What is this nonsense from the Graun about ‘hard left’ infiltration of Labour?

Jennie Formby (pictured, right) with Jeremy Corbyn (left) and John McDonnell (centre). Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

Yet again, The Guardian shows that it is no friend of progressive politics since it came under new management.

Have a read of this:

Labour is facing serious questions about the role of of hard-left activists within Jeremy Corbyn’s grassroots movement after the party’s decision to expel four alleged Trotskyists was challenged by Britain’s biggest trade union.

The most senior political figure in the Unite union, Jennie Formby, intervened after Labour’s national executive this week recommended that four members of the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) be barred from party membership.

According to two accounts, Formby, Unite’s political director and a Labour national executive member, argued that the AWL had dissolved itself by deregistering with the Electoral Commission two days after Corbyn was elected party leader and that its members should now be entitled to join the party. Her challenge was rejected.

The four people were Vicki Morris from Nottingham East, Daniel Randall from Hampstead and Kilburn and Ed Maltby and Liam McNulty, both from Hornsey and Wood Green.

McNulty is the founder and organiser of the Haringey branch of the Momentum movement, which he says is not a separate party within Labour. The group’s stated aim is to make Labour more democratic and create a mass movement for real progressive change.

There is concern in the Parliamentary Labour Party that several hard-left groups such as Left Unity, the Socialist Workers party (SWP), the Socialist party and the AWL are trying to attach themselves to Momentum to gain entry into the party. Party moderates are fearful that Labour’s largest affiliated union is too relaxed about opening the party’s doors to the hard left.

Source: Unite challenges expulsion of alleged Trotskyists from Labour party | Politics | The Guardian

How the Graun can claim organisations like Left Unity are “hard-left groups” defies belief, but shows how far the Overton Window, the theoretical “window” that opens onto the range of ideas that the public will find acceptable, has shifted to the far right of the political spectrum.

It seems nobody in the UK can contemplate political policies that benefit the whole nation any more, without being labelled a Communist.

But what can we expect from a media organ that embraces the current definition of the word “moderate”? This Writer prefers the sentiments expressed here:


If that is what passes for “moderate” in the Parliamentary Labour Party, then a little movement to the Left would not go amiss.

In fact, it seems downright advisable.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


5 thoughts on “What is this nonsense from the Graun about ‘hard left’ infiltration of Labour?

  1. AndyH

    What about all the extreme right people in the Conservative Party? IDS, Osborne, Cameron (the first world leader to be investigated by the UN for human rights violations against disabled people).

  2. AndyH

    Are we going to end up being like America, were Obama (a man whose campaigns were bankrolled by Wall Street) is branded a communist just for believing sick people should be entitled to see a doctor?

  3. John D Turner

    So Left Unity, in your opinion, are not Hard Left. As a former member of PCS, a trades union riddled by such entryist bodies (see Left Unity quote below), I beg to differ. Trades unions exist to represent all their members, regardless of their political leanings, and not just those who have no life outside of factional politics (of either the Right or the Left). I forget what name the Right use within PCS to hide behind.

    What is your opinion of the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party, the AWL and Class War (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/25/tony-benn-granddaughter-calls-for-expulsion-of-andrew-fisher)? All of their members are banned by Labour’s membership rules from being members, are they not?

    Would be great, would it not, if everyone focused on getting people registered to vote, no need for anyone to seek to infiltrate the Labour Party to do that, and then focus on getting the candidates of their respective parties elected? The latter is something Left Unity has singularly failed to do since its inception. Are they looking for advice about how to do that?

    Momentum is becoming divisive, not only between those who did or did not vote for Corbyn, but also within the group who voted for Corbyn. Will those who argue against becoming involved with Momentum, a top down organisation, but who voted for Corbyn be branded as ‘moderates’ for taking that line? It was noticeable that Momentum was not launched at Labour’s Conference, but its existence was announced just under a week later (and after it had been registered as a company). Hardly an auspicious start?

    You took a pop at Jess Phillips the other day. May I suggest you look at how she trounced John Hemming here in Birmingham to see how real grassroots campaigning wins elections to public office? She had momentum for sure, but as a result of hard graft and engaging with the voters. I assume you recall the latter? The people whom you, as much as anyone, need to persuade that Corbyn is the real deal.

    You omitted the Guardian’s on the record quote from Andrew Burgin, the national officer of Left Unity,

    ” “It is heartening to see that one of the first steps forward for the Corbyn movement has been to launch Momentum, an organisation which will seek to act on a mass basis drawing together those both inside and outside the Labour party.

    “I hope that Left Unity members are at the heart of these new Momentum groups. The days of entry work are over. They were in many ways counter-productive anyway,” Burgin wrote on inter:change, a Left Unity website.

    Burgin warned that poor results in next May’s elections could lead to “a moment of crisis” for Corbyn. “The pressure on the Corbyn leadership to trim their policies to make themselves acceptable in those terms will be immense, particularly given their isolation within the PLP.

    “There has to be a mass movement surrounding and protecting this new leadership and helping it resist the pressure from wherever it stems. That is where Left Unity situates itself.” ”

    Burgin underlines in bold why Left Unity has been such a failure to date by saying, “There has to be a mass movement surrounding and protecting this new leadership and helping it resist the pressure from wherever it stems.” Seemingly he includes the voters amongst those whose pressure must be resisted!

    One almost thinks that the likes of Burgin want poor results in May 2016 so as to provoke a confrontation. Momentum seems, for some at any rate, a way of channelling activity away from campaigning to get people elected to public office in order to bring about a crisis from which they expect to benefit (and bugger the people for whom the party was founded).

    Methinks Seumas Milne is going to have his work cut out, spinning a good yarn out of all this old school faction fighting. Have you thought of sending him your cv? Milne is certainly going to need help dispelling the impression that a kindly, but weak Labour leader is becoming ever more incapable of controlling his own supporters and seemingly becoming a hostage of their agendas. He might, for starters, point out that the expulsion of the four, in the face of Jennie Formby of Unite’s personal objections, shows that Corbyn is not in thrall to the trades unions. Might highlight though that their members took little interest in the leadership election.

    Note to Momentum, trades unions need real help to recruit new members and organise. May be if more than 1 in 5 of those in work were in trades unions then that would be good for Labour, regardless of who is leading it? What was I thinking, working with as well as recruiting and organising people not in sympathy with Momentum’s aims and values is beyond the pale. I am afraid, however, Momentumites that community activism, like politics with a small p more generally, means doing the other thing, even working on occasion with known members of your own party, let alone other political parties to achieve a common goal …

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You are aware that Left Unity is an organisation that has always included members of the Labour Party and that has worked towards a unified Left-Wing political approach since its creation, rather than nationalist in-fighting, aren’t you?
      I don’t accept your interpretation of this. You seem keen to cause division yourself – look at the way you have tried to reinterpret the term ‘moderate’ to suggest it is a derogatory phrase being used by the Left, when it is in fact as I and others described it in the article.
      It seems clear that you have your own agenda.

  4. Di ane

    When is a leftie not a leftie? I can only assume when it’s:

    1) You’re a Blairite
    2) You’re a blue-Labour old-Tory Supporter

    Now that should be blindingly obvious, however, to some it obviously ain’t.

Comments are closed.