This is dynamite from Skwawkbox, which reports that the chairman of Labour’s Colchester constituency party has quit, explaining his reasons in a letter that has been released to the public.
And it’s red hot.
Read Richard Hill’s letter for yourself [boldings by Skwawkbox]:
“As one of over 100,000 people to leave under your tenure I doubt my decision will give you pause for thought but I write anyway as after donating thousands of hours of my time over the last 5 years I feel I have enough skin in the game to express my immense disappointment in you. Your pitch to members was unity, authority and integrity. You are certainly an authoritarian. Unity and integrity seem to be sadly lacking. I’ve never wanted one faction to control our party, I value respect, plurality, robust debate and consensus-building. These are values I’m not sure we share.
“Another of your strengths that was lauded in the leadership campaign was your “electability”. That’s a meaningless notion in my view, and certainly not true in your case. You are 10 points behind an utterly corrupt and incompetent government that has decimated public services over the last 11 years. In recent elections the Labour vote has tanked, Hartlepool, Chesham & Amersham and the loss of 300 council seats aren’t indicators of “electability”, quite the opposite. The sight of you crowing after Batley & Spen was especially distasteful after Labour scraped a win with a massively reduced majority. Your triumphalism was pure delusion, if the Greens had stood, Labour would have lost.
“Perhaps winning elections isn’t what motivates you? It seems that punching left, controlled opposition and narrowing the political discourse matters more. This was not the vision you sold to party members. You promised not to trash previous leaders and to offer radicalism. You have removed the whip without grounds from Jeremy Corbyn and offered no policies whatsoever (barely even stating NHS workers deserve more than a 3% raise simply isn’t good enough). The blueprint for electoral success was written in 2017; a radical manifesto that understood how ordinary people were badly treated by a rigged system and offered a genuine alternative that would serve them better. This saw the largest increase in vote share for Labour since 1945. You have rejected that and played along with a narrative that it wasn’t appealing to voters, this can only be for ideological rather than pragmatic reasons. Young people and left behind communities, those with little power to change things, don’t agree and want and deserve a lot more.
“Labour is more than a party, it is a movement. You had half a million people, ready to campaign with you to undo decades of neoliberalism, rebuild our public services and build a better, more equal future. You’ve squandered that goodwill and with it your opportunity to become Prime Minister. I can only conclude you aren’t serious about winning power.
“Of all your failings and the endless excuses for them, the worst is giving approval to this criminally inept government’s handling of the pandemic. You could have challenged the obvious incompetence and corruption and maybe save lives but instead chose to “back the government”. Thousands died unnecessarily but you decided it wasn’t the time to challenge their actions for fear of negative Daily Mail headlines. You waved everything through, cowardice dressed as cunning is just weakness.
“I think it’s my own bloody-mindedness or idealism that kept me staying a member so long, under FPTP Labour is the only show in town after all. When you paid off Labour staffers in a case in-house lawyers advised you’d win, with the endless delays in publishing the Forde Report, when you lied about Rebecca Long-Bailey sharing an antisemitic trope, withholding the whip from Jeremy Corbyn and the general contempt you seem to hold [for] members. All of these should have been enough to send me packing. I held on in hope of the unity and radical vision you promised.
“It is with much sadness that I leave Colchester CLP. The fantastic members are like all across the country demonised and seem an inconvenience to you, this goes against everything the Labour party should be. My comrades aren’t hard left extremists, they’re ordinary, committed people who give their energy and enthusiasm in the hope of a better country and a better world.
“They deserve better than your empty rhetoric, endless relaunches and the slide towards irrelevance you are overseeing.”
The letter comes as Starmer’s victimisation of left-wing party members with false accusations of anti-Semitism has again come under the spotlight with a complaint to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission from Jewish organisation Jewish Voice for Labour.
This Site reported on this yesterday and Skwawkbox has started highlighting individual cases with that of National Constitutional Committee member Stephen Marks, who has been suspended from the party on charges that are shockingly flimsy”
The evidence adduced consists of 3 public documents which date from July 2016, April 2017 and April 2918 where Mr Marks’ name is to be found.
The first was signed by 43 Jewish members of the Labour Party, asking Chuka Umunna to “Stop using antisemitism smears against Corbyn”; the second by 145 members of the Labour Party a substantial number of whom are Jewish, argued that such incidents of antisemitism as there were in the Party were infrequent and not systematic and that antisemitism accusations were being used to undermine the right to criticise Israel; the third a petition which garnered 7,689 signatories (including that of Noam Chomsky).
This petition started with an unabashed condemnation of all forms of racism, says that “we know anti-Semitism exists in society and needs to be combatted”, but worried about the development of “a chilling culture of fear, self-censorship, of members afraid to openly ask questions and learn, particularly on social media”.
The accusations certainly support Richard Hill’s opinion that Keir Starmer, is authoritarian, punches left, and demonises Labour members across the UK who he treats as an inconvenience.
But we live in disturbing times when political leaders have managed to make themselves unaccountable to their party members and the public at large.
This Writer is certain that Richard Hill is right and that neither his resignation nor JVL’s complaint to the EHRC will give Starmer pause for thought.
If Starmer really is about controlled opposition and isn’t serious about winning power, then he will take this as evidence that his persecution policies are working.
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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