The shenanigans after yesterday’s (March 11) meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee make This Writer glad not to be a member of that party any more.
The fact that Margaret Beckett is being allowed to continue as chair of the NEC after calling fellow committee member Laura Pidcock a “silly cow” on a Zoom meeting is unacceptable.
Pidcock had made a perfectly reasonable point after a motion to recall Labour’s party conference had been rejected with no vote taken, in a snub to party democracy.
The motion sought to recall the full party conference, possibly to coincide with Labour’s women’s conference in June, for reasons This Writer set out in a previous article:
The motion… reads: “Discussion in local Labour Party meetings has been suppressed; motions banned; scores of activists suspended; and anger and disillusionment is exploding across our lay membership across the party.
“Members are leaving in droves and many more are expressing frustration and dissatisfaction at the attack on democracy and free speech. Many members are saying it doesn’t feel like the Labour Party anymore.”
There is also frustration after several ex-officials suspended over the contents of a damning leaked report have been let back into Labour.
These are serious, party-splitting concerns, and it is unacceptable that Laura Pidcock, asking how members could have this out-of-hand rejection of those concerns explained to them, was dismissed as a “silly cow”.
The reaction on the social media was unequivocal:
I remember sitting in on an NEC meeting where expelling Simon Danczuk was discussed after he’d sent explicit messages to a minor. Margaret Beckett argued against it on the basis we “need a by-election like a hole in the head”. Can see from this she’s still stinking the place out https://t.co/lcZP6epU54
— Matt Zarb-Cousin (@mattzarb) March 11, 2021
This is NOT how ANYONE should speak to a colleague, let alone the chair of Labour's sovereign body! 'Dame' Margaret Beckett should step down with immediate effect, such bullying, disgusting behaviour will never be tolerated. https://t.co/qI5HHrrBwP
— Damo #JoinAUnion #20More4All (@Cornish_Damo) March 11, 2021
Margaret Beckett should be removed before she has the opportunity to resign.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) March 11, 2021
One thing's for sure if someone had called Margaret Beckett a "silly cow" at the NEC meeting today they would already be suspended
— Fanxxxxtastic-Trada (@Fanxxxxtastic) March 11, 2021
If this abuse had happened in my union they would be off @Keir_Starmer.
This is your Labour.
— Daniel Kebede (@DanielKebedeNEU) March 11, 2021
The last commenter is right: this is indeed Keir Starmer’s Labour.
And he has made it a cess pit.
I am delighted that I am not a member of an organisation that puts Starmer and Beckett in positions of seniority that they clearly do not merit. I have a feeling that many other Labour members will also abandon the party in the face of this ill-treatment.
And I expect the general public will do the same at the May elections.
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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