Perhaps this is the moment for people who have been smeared for political reasons to form their own party.
Alex Salmond has formed Alba – a new Scottish nationalist party – after SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon was found to have misled Parliament (albeit unintentionally) in evidence about accusations against him – and already one SNP MP has quit that party to join him.
Before Salmond made his announcement, suspended and expelled Labour Party members were already planning to create a ‘shadow’ Labour Party to fight back against the purge of left-wing members instigated by Keir Starmer and his unelected general secretary, David Evans.
The ‘shadow’ party is the brainchild of Labour In Exile Network (LIEN), a national organisation of members who have been unfairly suspended or expelled from the party headed by Starmer.
It is holding its first meeting today (March 27) at 6pm – and as an unfairly-expelled Labour member, This Writer did seriously consider attending.
But my problem is that I come with the kind of baggage that opponents in Labour and the other mainstream political parties could exploit.
And I’m not alone. Most, if not all, of the members of LIEN will have been removed from Labour accused of anti-Semitism or of supporting anti-Semitism by backing Jeremy Corbyn after Starmer (or was it really Evans?) suspended him.
I have no doubt that such accusations are false. They were in my case. But that won’t matter to seasoned politicians who will merrily manipulate a lie if it means keeping their privileged position.
So I hope one of the topics of tonight’s inaugural meeting will be a discussion of how to sideline such accusations and make the accusers look ridiculous.
LIEN has said this about the event:
How do we fight back against the ongoing onslaught against the left in the Labour Party? That’s the theme of LIEN’s first Fightback Meeting at 6pm on Saturday 27 March on Zoom – open to all members and supporters of LIEN (and no, you don’t have to have been expelled or suspended from the Labour Party to get involved!)
SHADOW CLPS: One key way is the building of shadow structures, “ghost” CLPs which enable members to continue debating how we advance the cause of the left. People will share their experience of setting up such structures and possibilities of national cooperation will be discussed.
WORKING GROUPS: From fighting the witch-hunt, racism and disability discrimination, to how we engage with the media and transform the Labour Party — LIEN is setting up a series of working groups to enable grassroots members to take their struggle forward. This meeting is your chance to get involved in an existing group or make the case for a new group. If you have an idea for a working group, please draw up a proposal of around 200 words and send it to [email protected]. There are a few working groups already running/in preparation – see here: https://www.labour-in-exile.org/working-groups/
Please consider joining LIEN – annual minimum fee of£5 unwaged/£10 waged: https://membermojo.co.uk/lien
I have no doubt that this organisation will develop into a political party of its own, rather than concentrating on trying to save the original Labour Party; many are likely to believe this is a lost cause after more than 40 years of pollution by right-wingers, starting in earnest with Neil Kinnock but expanded hugely by Tony Blair. After that amount of time, the corruption runs deep.
I wish it the best in its inaugural meeting – and may apply to join later. I want to be sure it will be able to deal with the smears first. If you want to sign up for the meeting, you can do so here.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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