Yes, the factionalism within the Labour Party really has become so ridiculous that a successful party representative can be removed from office undemocratically, simply because he met somebody who is not liked by those who are currently in control.
Here’s North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll:
I’ve been barred from standing as North East Mayor by @UKLabour. No explanation has been given.
I’m proud to have created thousands of jobs, fought child poverty, built affordable homes and delivered our Green New Deal. I believe in democracy. Share if you do too. More to follow.
— Mayor Jamie Driscoll (@MayorJD) June 2, 2023
The announcement has been greeted with shock by many, including senior members of the Labour Party:
This is staggering news. To refuse to allow a serving mayor onto even a selection long list demonstrates that factionalism in the party is completely out of control. Jamie Driscoll @MayorJD is widely credited with doing a great job. There can be no other motive for excluding him. https://t.co/uKLZwGJdPF
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) June 2, 2023
And what’s the reason for this sudden deselection?
Apparently it’s because Mr Driscoll once met and shared a platform with the filmmaker Ken Loach, who has been ejected from the party on unsupported grounds of anti-Semitism.
Labour said the pair sharing a platform had been “incompatible” with its attempts to tackle antisemitism,
according to the BBC. But then, it went on to say
Loach was expelled from Labour in 2021 amid efforts to tackle the antisemitism experienced during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership
and anybody who knows anything at all about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party will know perfectly well that it fell during Mr Corbyn’s time as leader.
From this, it is easy to demonstrate (i) that the BBC doesn’t bother to check its facts these days, and (ii) that factionalism in the Labour Party is indeed, as John McDonnell stated, out of control.
a senior Labour source told the Press Association Mr Driscoll’s candidacy was blocked because he had appeared with Loach at Newcastle’s Live Theatre.
The source said the mayor’s appearance with the director – famed for films including I, Daniel Blake – and his subsequent “refusing to apologise” was “clearly incompatible” with the party’s promise “to have zero tolerance of antisemitism”.
the party has never confirmed why [Mr Loach] was kicked out.
This is bad news for left-wing lovers of quality movies, as Ian Hodson (among many others) has pointed out.
— Ian Hodson (@IanBFAWU) June 3, 2023
By the way, if Starmer did bring in a law of ‘association crime’, the UK would have to have split from the European Convention on Human Rights and its own Human Rights laws. That would, of course, be entirely out of character for any Labour leadership.
Here’s a member of that party’s current leadership, Jonathan Reynolds, showing that he and his colleagues are indeed out of step with the facts and the character of the party.
"Where somebody shares a platform with someone who themselves has been expelled from the Lab Party for their views on antisemitism.. that would preclude them from being a candidate"
— Saul Staniforth (@SaulStaniforth) June 4, 2023
Remember, according to the BBC, Labour has never confirmed its reason for expelling Mr Loach.
Another person who thinks it’s okay to override democracy – remember, Jamie Driscoll is the democratically-elected sitting mayor of an English region; by deselecting him, Labour is usurping the right of the voters to re-elect the representative they want – is right-wing lunatic Luke Akehurst, who many believe to be using anti-Semitism as an excuse to rid the party of people he doesn’t like.
Here are a few opinions on that:
I don’t think people, particularly in the media, realise how big a deal this is and how quickly it’s happened.
It’s now okay to remove an elected leader (or block them from re-standing) because they spoke to someone. University politics.
Huge. Where’s the ‘free speech’ lot? https://t.co/Rmlp7TYvb7
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) June 3, 2023
This can't be treated seriously.
This twerpish pronouncement by a self important toxic nincompoop, belittling one of our best and most worthy film-makers, doesn't merit a serious response. It's embarrassingly ludicrous. It deserves nothing but a blown raspberry. pic.twitter.com/QhmiZ4GIsK
— MsAlfieB 🇵🇸#SolidarityWithDiane #ItWasAScam (@duduschka) June 3, 2023
Luke Akehurst, Labour’s foremost apartheid apologist, the little weasel behind these purges, has weaponised antisemitism simply to settle scores against the left.
— Phil Gould 🇵🇸🖕🥁 (@bongosaloon) June 3, 2023
Before anyone leaps in to defend Loony Luke, let’s have a balancing view of who the current Labour leadership (including, one concludes, him) thinks is an acceptable person to meet.
I'm hearing sharing a platform with anti-racist socialist filmaker Ken Loach is grounds for deselection by diktat?
Yet hobnobbing with racist Nakba denialist Tzipi Hotovely and chairman of the Israeli State Control Committee Mickey Levy, as Sir Keir did last September, is fine? pic.twitter.com/uJPJWxb81S
— Steve W (@StevenGWalker74) June 2, 2023
No wonder Labour’s party membership is plummeting, with plenty of people out here happy to help anybody who wants to abandon the sinking ship (like lifeboat users, not like rats):
Poor Labour can't work out how many members they have.
If you've cancelled your direct debit, but forgot to let them know you've quit, you can do so at the link below.
If you haven't cancelled your direct debit, completing this has the same effect! https://t.co/MG0BOFrKQT
— Tris Stock (@Tris_VanLife) June 3, 2023
Apparently (and I must be careful here; I’m quoting another BBC report), Mr Driscoll’s deselection leaves Starmerite Kim McGuinness in pole position to become Labour’s candidate.
I think we can all understand why that might seem suspicious.
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