Labour’s re-selection procedure has taken another right-wing – yes, right-wing – scalp.
Gloria de Piero announced her departure – she won’t be a candidate at the next general election – with a speech attacking critics of her fellow Blairites, claiming she found it “utterly offensive” to hear of people in the Labour Party being called “right-wing”.
But if being right-wing was an offence, she would have been among the worst offenders.
Let’s have a look at her record:
In July 2016, she wrote an article in ultra-right-wing newsrag The Sun, begging for people with views in line with that … periodical’s … politics to join the Labour Party in a bid to get right-wing entryists flooding into the party to vote Jeremy Corbyn – who is genuinely left-wing, although only centre-left – out of the leadership.
She wrote: “By signing up you can help choose a leader who recognises that the Labour Party was founded to be a Party of Government and implement policies to improve the lives of working people. A party of protest doesn’t help a single person.”
It attracted applications from people like the author of this: “I know that the current leadership of the Labour Party consists of the very worst people in this country’s political society… Originally I joined the Labour Party in support of their commitment to the removal of Saddam Hussein… Vanquishing Saddam Hussein showed the world that you couldn’t murder your own people by the thousands without consequence… Enabling the transformation of Iraq into a democratic country is one the United Kingdom’s greatest achievements since World War Two… The United States path to freedom should be the inspiration for the left, yet it is not. The documents that Americans hold dear – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – these should be our aspiration… And finally I know that Gloria De Piero is right, inspirationally so.”
Ms de Piero was among the MPs who wrote a letter deploring the short-lived re-admission of Chris Williamson into the Labour Party, alleging anti-Semitic behaviour without providing a scrap of evidence, and provoking death threats against her left-wing colleague.
In 2015, she was among around 70 MPs who supported the Conservative government in authorising air strikes on Syria, under the pretext of attacking IS (also called ISIS or Daesh). This support was absolutely unnecessary because the Tory majority in Parliament at the time meant they could win the vote on their own, but it does reiterate Ms de Piero’s support for pointless military action in the Middle East and the resultant terrorism against the UK that it engenders.
Also in 2015, she was among a large number of Labour MPs who abstained from voting on the Conservative government’s utterly vile Welfare Reform and Work Act which imposed the benefit cap, reduced ESA rates to JSA levels, cut tax credits and froze working-age benefits. Then-leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn led the rebellion against the order to abstain (by Harriet Harman), proving to This Writer that he was the man to lead Labour out of the dark.
In 2016, she was among more than 100 MPs who defied the Labour whip to abstain on the party’s motion to withdraw UK support from Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen. What can you say? She’s a warmonger.
That summer, she was one of the shadow cabinet members who resigned to trigger the so-called ‘Chicken Coup’. The claim was that Mr Corbyn had run a lacklustre “Remain” campaign in the run-up to the EU referendum. The Labour MP in charge of that campaign was, of course, Alan Johnson. In fact the resignations were triggered after Mr Corbyn heard that Hilary Benn had been planning a coup, phoned him and sacked him from the shadow cabinet on the spot.
Earlier this year (2019), she was among around 40 MPs who wrote to Jeremy Corbyn, demanding that he should not “torpedo” then-ongoing talks on Brexit with the Conservative government by insisting on a new referendum. Labour has since adopted such a referendum as policy, after it became clear that not to do so would be electoral suicide.
So Ms de Piero supported foreign wars, supported benefit cuts that harm the poor, and opposed Labour Party socialism by trying to recruit right-wingers into the party and trying to undermine and remove the party’s left-wing leader.
Her claim to be left-wing, and to reject the “right-wing” label, is nothing more than gaslighting and Labour should be glad to see the back of her.
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