Now then, things are a bit unusual just lately. Not your usual unusual, a very unusual unusual actually. I did not expect the immediate post GE months to be particularly enjoyable. That Rotherham count room put paid to that.
I really did believe that a period of quiet reflection would ensue, a sort of calm after the storm. Obviously our privileged friends were going to run riot given the epic landslide result. No surprise in that at all, and lets be honest, the red side would have done exactly the same from the blue point of view. So, why am I so surprised at how these months are sliding by.
I have been stunned by developments within the Labour Party. I have been a member for a long time and class myself as firmly on the Left. This is where definitions need to be looked at. "The Left" used to conjure up visions of mass riots at factory gates or battles with the coppers, bricks thrown at minibuses etc. The Tories still try to drag all that stuff up when it suits them. Reality check = it was all many decades ago. The Sweeney on the telly, a pint for under a quid, dirty rivers, milk on the doorstep.
So, today, "The Left", nothing like the stuff above. Today it means wanting to look out for others, especially minorities and the ones falling behind. I attend many meeting of Lefty people and have met lots of Lefty people around in all sorts of circumstances. Hand on heart none of them seem to represent any sort of threat to anyone else. They just CARE.
What they will all do is say exactly what they think. Sometimes in a quite direct manner. This suits me as I am likely to be like that myself. Ok it does get me offside at times, that is just the way it is. Lefty people will always exist. Due to the fact that there will always be a need for them. They are usually at the forefront of certain things the current Govt detest, such as demonstrating about things they see as warranting it. I do it.
I will always do it. If I believe in the cause, count me in. I actually think that this is a fundamental requirement of any decent Lefty. I also see this as being a part of the very definition of Socialism. Being prepared to go out of ones way on behalf of others is indeed something to be very proud of. Simple as that.
Labour is apparently a Socialist organisation. I pay into it so therefore feel entitled to write that which I am writing here. I used to be a union rep, the last line of defence for anyone facing having to go home and inform the family they have just been sacked.
No small responsibility. I am very proud of the times I got the job done, and still remember the times the member was marched off site. I can honestly say the whole thing was very well operated and all involved learned a whole lot. Procedures were open and transparent. Basically anyone getting the boot had made efforts to cause it and could not really complain about the process.
So, back to my political home at the moment. I am reliably informed that yesterday 25 members were expelled from the party. I have been sent a copy of an expulsion letter from a woman who was expelled earlier this month. I have to say that I see the expulsion as a rather unnecessary and drastic measure. Straight off the bat, expulsion should only be the ULTIMATE sanction. Very definitely NOT the first step. In this particular case expulsion was instant. The "crime" being retweeting a tweet that may have been offensive to the individual it was targeting. I have a few problems with this, namely is it not the job of Twitter to look out for this sort of stuff ? More worryingly will anyone else who retweeted it who is a member face the same heavy handed application of the ultimate sanction instantly ?? Turned out that this tweet may have been spurious in that it was not genuine. The person who is alleged to have said that which it contained within it claims it was not done by them. I see this as irrelevant actually.
Is it really a crime to accept stuff on social media in good faith and retweet it ? I stress again this expelled member is not being accused of writing it, just retweeting it. What sort of disciplinary process does NOT escalate ? Answer being a poor one.
This sets a very dangerous precedent. Who is behind all of this ?
If I am way off with any of this, then somebody please point out how this is so.
We all know that our party has been infiltrated by those who exist purely to wreck it.
The Left has become public enemy number One. The purge is underway and there does not seem to be much being done to face it and wrestle with it. Well, I am one member, on the side of a hill in South Yorkshire. I will do what I can. Good Socialists are being binned casually and in ever growing numbers. The right of the party wants the Left driven to extinction. Any means will do. Again this is the biggest shadow of doubt falling across this current disciplinary situation. All these good Socialists are not earning the right to be kicked out, they are Left wing. That is the REAL reason behind it all.
Where are the voices shouting loudly about this mess ? We have a leadership race in motion, I have yet to hear any of them bring this up ? I will go to my Ward meeting, put forward a motion for the CLP and see where we can go from there. I promise nothing other than I will try, it's all I have.
Anyone getting caught up in this please feel free to contact me.
So, back to my experience in that Rotherham count room, Didn't take me long to figure out that for the foreseeable future it was all about tomorrow. Waiting, watching, thinking, seeing a way forward. Looking around and sussing out who was up for it.
Now, I can't even remember tomorrow.
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