Labour Rejected Me In The Purge, Then ‘Outed’ Me In The Media As An ‘Infiltrator’

B005 With 3,000 new supporters already purged from the Labour Party ahead of the leadership election, and news that Harriet Harman is aiming to reject 100,000 more – it is clear that supporters of such efforts simply do not get democracy.

I should start with a disclosure. I’ve been rejected in this purge. I got the email, and when I asked for evidence for the decision, the Party was silent. But yesterday, a friend pointed out that the Party had ‘outed’ me in the Guardian newspaper as an ‘infiltrator’.

B005This references a Twitter conversation with my local Labour MP Kerry McCarthy prior to the 2015 General Election. I stated how sad I was to be unable to vote for an outstanding local Labour MP because the leadership of the party were standing on the promise to continue Osborne’s failed austerity programme. Labour used this Twitter conversation as an excuse to reject me from voting.

Here is that conversation in full. See for yourself how Party, and the Guardian, turns a nuanced, reasoned conversation into something black and white.

B005They also failed to take into account the various other public, collaborative communications between me and my Labour MP Kerry McCarthy. You can see for yourself here.

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From this, it appears that I am not allowed to vote for a left-wing Labour Leader because I refused to vote for a neoliberal one – because whatever one thinks about Ed Miliband as a man (and I rather like him), his platform was to continue austerity, he made no stand against TTIP, and his shadow cabinet contained people like Rachel ‘I will be tougher than the Tories on Benefits’ Reeves in the DWP.

The argument from pro-purge types goes like this: You advocated against the Labour Party then, so you cannot be a supporter now. Which is interesting, because I was being told something quite different a few months ago, before the general election. Back then I was being told: “Don’t abandon Labour. Join us and influence our ideas.”

It is one thing disallowing registered supporters with a right-wing history, having gathered robust evidence that they are seeking to undermine the party. The case of conservative columnist Toby Young is one such example. But I would be against rejecting any new supporter, whatever their voting history (but especially social democrats) who seek to help build the party into a broad, popular, social democratic movement. By kicking out anyone who voted Green in 2015, they are basically barring the route back to Labour for disaffected social democrats.

Furthermore, if Labour don’t win back these voters, they are sunk in 2020. Labour need to win an extra 106 seats in 2020 to gain a majority, an almost impossible task. But that almost impossible task becomes totally impossible without a mass, popular movement to reengage the public. Just 24% of people voted Conservative in the last election, 76% didn’t. The largest gains went to socially democratic populists the SNP, who killed Labour in Scotland. The biggest losers were the Liberal Democrats, the only ‘centrist’ party in town.

So why would the Parliamentary Labour Party NOT want to harness the power of a populist, social democratic movement? Especially when it is the only chance they have of regaining office in 2020.

It is becoming ever more clear that the Labour Party in Westminster has become a part of a permanent political class alongside their Tory and Liberal Democrat counterparts. Disengagement and voter apathy means a fairly stable job, a few seats lost and won either way each election and no big surprises. The chance to earn a great wage and pass policies which guarantee lucrative consultancy/director roles after politics. All done with the passive acceptance of a disaffected electorate, half of whom don’t even bother to vote anymore. To this permanent political class, a popular movement based on social democratic values is about as welcome as a fart in an elevator.

This is why Harriet Harman is planning to cull over 100,000 so-called ‘infiltrators’ from the vote. This is why self-appointed voice-of-the-left Polly Toynbee, the Guardian editorial team, and most of the press (right and liberal) are character assassinating Corbyn and anyone who would give him their vote.

The knee-jerk response to this from those of us caught in the crossfire is, let’s be honest: “To hell with you Labour!”

I am furious at being treated this way. I literally shook with rage when I read that piece in the Guardian. It reminded me of every single reason I stopped being a Labour voter in the first place – even though leaving the party of my youth, family and community hurt like hell. But then I realised, it is also the strongest possible reminder of why it is so vital that we take our party back. Because it is ours, whether they like it or not. This party was founded by socialists like Keir Hardie, not a ‘centrist’ liberal accountant with a conscience. The Labour Party’s greatest gifts to Britain are it’s national education system, health service and social housing – all of which are today under threat by neoliberals in both main parties. This is not the time to be apathetic, annoyed and walk away. This is the time to fight for our party.

I’m in. Are you?

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44 thoughts on “Labour Rejected Me In The Purge, Then ‘Outed’ Me In The Media As An ‘Infiltrator’

  1. Pingback: #JezHeDid – Maybe Miracles Do Happen. Or Is It Something More? | TheCritique Archives

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  3. All organisations are flawed and they are not a single entity like a human mind. So I am still a member of the Labour Party after about 4 decades, of Occupy London after nearly 4 years and the CofE after over 20. People do foolish things that hurt. You can keep going or withdraw and let the (often well meaning) idiots win. Dealing with people will never be comfortable. Respect for not over-reacting; I feel hurt and angry on your behalf and frustrated by people who think they know better.

    • After the heartening result of a Corbyn victory with 59.5%, I wonder how much higher it could have been if so many genuine Labour supporters hadn’t been excluded.
      Ah well, job done!

  4. So you said you were going to vote Green and you did vote Green and you are complaining because Labour stopped you having a say in the Labour leadership on the grounds it has – accurately – defined you as someone who is not a Labour supporter.

  5. Pingback: The Inhumane Despicable Sociopath and Attempting to Bury Bad News | aspiblog

  6. Pingback: Purge of Jeremy Corbyn Voters Unmasks Britain’s Blair’s Labour Party* | Hwaairfan's Blog

  7. This whole chain of events fascinates me – and let me disclose here, I am from the right of politics. Firstly, I see Corbyn as a man with whom I disagree on most issues, but whom I respect as a decent, honest and honorable opponent – we need more like him across the spectrum of politics.
    Labour is adrift, lacking philosophical underpinning, having traversed the Blair years as a movement exercising power for its own sake, and accommodating the rightward shift of the electorate over previous decades – it has an identity crisis! And much of its original mission has been realised – leaving it bereft of purpose yet failing to find a new one and becoming ‘Tory Lite; as some have justifiably claimed.
    So my question to those of the left here is – why try to change this (obsolete) party when other parties exist that are aligned with your political beliefs – the Green Party, and the Socialist Worker Party for instance. Could it be that you, like Blair, believe that an overtly socialist party is not electable and you seek the ‘respectability’ of the Labour mantle as a vehicle for your political aspirations?
    I don’t know – I am NOT being sarcastic and I am NOT trolling you.
    Incidentally, I do agree with Mr Corbyn’s intentions to scrap Trident (I’d put the money into conventional forces) and to restore free tertiary education, albeit with a reversion to higher entry standards. I have never understood why my generation were able to benefit from free education whilst today’s Britain which is so much wealthier ‘can’t afford it’! To me, that is an unforgivable betrayal of youth by both parties and a blight on the lives of the young to whom every opportunity within their ability and willingness to work hard should be extended.

  8. I don’t understand your point. You seem to be acknowledging that you stated publicly that you did not support the Labour Parry in the election.

    • The question should be rephrased as to when did the Labour party fully abandon it supporters, the answer was 1991 (Clause 4) and removing ‘militant’ to make itself electable in a Gerrymandered first past the post system of Key Marginals, Labours supporters were promised the earth for gains given to Corporate elites, friends and sycophants. The Rot actually started in taking the IMF conditional loan in 1976.

      Labour is not Harriet Harman, Cronies, the Parliamentary MP’s or the Unions, it belongs to its membership of which I two was a member until the Election of two Jags and Blair but I am never coming back.

  9. I’m sticking with the Greens – we’ve got the policies Labour should have.

    Labour don’t need to win a majority in 2020, we need enough progressive MPs from all progressive parties to be able to get the Tories out. It doesn’t matter if they’re Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru or Green.

  10. It becomes increasingly obvious that the test being applied is not ‘do you agree with Labour’s values’ but ‘do you agree with Labour’s current leadership’.
    It’s one thing, to root out obvious trolls, such as journalists in the pay of right-wing tabloid rags, or with currently-active memberships as Conservatives or UKIP.
    But it is deplorable, to reject or eject members with a history of supporting other socially-conscientious parties or movements. THESE ARE YOUR CORE BASE. Or they should be, if your party leadership still had any integrity.

    It’s hardly a surprise, that so many of the recent (rejected) applicants to the Labour party have a history of supporting other parties, or speaking against the current shadow cabinet policies.
    These are the voters who left the party, because it was hijacked by Blairite career politicians who have no business being in the Labour party.
    Their rejection of the LINO (Labour In Name Only) manifesto, is what caused the party to lose in 2010, then implode at the last election, lose so many safe English seats, and handed 56 of 59 Scottish seats to the SNP, who (now that independence has been temporarily shelved), produced the manifesto that should have been Labour’s.
    There are English voters, begging the SNP to field candidates south of the border, because that is the only way they forsee being able to vote for a party that honours the values that Labour once held.
    These are the voters who need to be won back, if the party is to have a hope of a 2020 victory, along with the ones who made a protest vote for the Greens and independents.
    In five years, once the SNP begin making noises about independence again, the Scottish ex-Labour voters need to have the option to choose between two major socialist parties (one pro-Union, one anti-), for them to feel confident in ticking that red box. Otherwise, they will shrug, and tick the orange box again. Then, just as now, the Labour front bench will cry again, that they failed for being too left-wing, and will expel or drive away even more of their grass-roots members, and become even more of an irrelevance.

    There are infiltrators in the Labour party. But they are not the ones being named and shamed as such, by the current failed leadership.
    The infiltrators are the ones attempting to purge any aspect of social responsibilty from the party, who sit on the Opposition front bench, despite despising everything that Hardie, Attlee and Bevan stood for.

  11. Pingback: Labour Rejected Me In The Purge, Then ‘Outed’ Me In The Media As An ‘Infiltrator’ | Scriptonite Daily | sdbast

    • Not quite. PIE were very sly in how they dealt with the NCCL (now called Liberty), and presented themselves more along the lines of general civil liberties around sexuality (naked photos of kids not being automatically obscene, so you could take a pic of your kids in the bath without being prosecuted; gay rights, etc.). Hard to imagine now, with the massive leaps we’ve made in understanding child abuse and the ways in which it gets organised, the extent of it, how it affects kids throughout their lives, and how it gets covered up, but in the 70s it wasn’t on most people’s radars. Harman wasn’t the only one hoodwinked by them. You can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paedophile_Information_Exchange

      I’ve known several older police officers who told me that they routinely dealt with kids back then who they would nowadays be checking into for abuse; at the time, though, it was just not something they really knew much about, and it didn’t occur to them. One guy told me he’d taken runaways back to homes in the belief that he’d taken them back to safety, but now tortures himself wondering whether he was taking them back to abuse.

      It’s a testament to the culture of ignorance and fear around sexuality that organisations like PIE were able to get as far as they did. Thank goodness things are changing for the better. We’re still not as child-friendly as we need to be as a society, and we’ve a long way to go towards healthier attitudes to sexuality, but we are at least far more aware of abuse thanks to the sheer heroism of survivors refusing to stay quiet.

      Though I don’t like Harman, I can see that the situation back then was ripe for this kind of con job.

      • Thank you for clarifying this……I’m living in Canada at the moment and a bit out of touch on some issues back home.

    • No. PIE conned a lot of people into believing they were about changing public ignorance around sexuality and being progressive. They were very clever in how they presented themselves at a time when sexual mores were changing fast, the country had only decriminalised sex between men in 1967, and the very institutions which insisted on policing public morality were often the ones hiding child abuse when it came to their notice in order to maintain their reputations. PIE, along with thousands of other organisations that weren’t fully background checked (because of the lack of capacity to do so), affiliated with the NCCL – now Liberty – by simply sending in a form which affirmed they were in agreement with the organisation’s aims and paying a nominal affiliation fee. You can read about the situation here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paedophile_Information_Exchange

      Though I don’t like Harman, I can see how the culture of the time and the cunning way in which PIE presented themselves allowed them to fly under the radar to some extent.

      It’s hard to imagine now, but in the 70s there was huge ignorance about child abuse – that it happened, that it might be organised, or that it might be covered up through a combination of the ability to leverage respectability on the part of groups and institutions, the damaging silencing of victims, and the public’s ignorance and unwillingness to discuss sexuality. We’re still a long way from being a truly child-friendly society with a healthy attitude towards sexuality, but we’re so much better informed because of the sheer heroism of survivors and their allies who refused to stay silent. I’ve known retired police officers who told me that they routinely dealt with kids in the 60s-80s who they’d nowadays check out for sexual abuse, but at the time it simply did not occur to them. One guy told me he’d often taken runaways back to homes thinking he was returning them to safety; now he has nightmares that he sent them back to abuse.

  12. There is room for an alternative party to ‘Labour’ ( as it is today). Jeremy Corbyn should start a splinter party that represents the old values of ‘Labour’ as we know it used to be. I won’t ever vote for Labour again if any of the other ‘wets’ win the leadership contest. I voted ‘Green’ at the last election, as he only viable alternative to the Tories that is an option. I suspect the last election was ‘rigged’ anyway. Democracy is dead in this once ‘Great’ Britain. We still have to keep exposing the truth, and the charlatans who pose as democratic leaders, or we are merely slaves.

    • You are quite right in your sentiments regarding what you refer to as the Labour Party. The truth is, the genuine Labour Party is actually an underground movement fighting to regain it’s ownership of the name ‘Labour’. The Labour Party’s assets and voters were usurped by Tony Blair when he founded a right wing party called ‘New Labour’. The first thing he did when he came into power was to negate clause 4 and sever ties with the Trades Unions. He then continued to ape his Tory mentors by introducing right wing policies and starting wars with foreign countries – much like Thatcher before him. If / when Jeremy Corbin becomes leader of the Party, instead of starting a splinter group, he should reclaim the name of the Labour Party and expel any New Labour MP who refuses to embrace old Labour values. He should then field genuine Labour candidates in constituencies held by New Labour MPs at bye elections or the 2020 General election.

      • Thank you Bob for your reply. I followed ‘New Labour’ after Tony Blair took over the leadership of the Labour Party, and voted Labour as I had done since Michael Foot went ‘Anti Nukes’, at which point I voted something else ( It wouldn’t have been Tory, as I never could stand them, and still cannot). My opinions have changed over the years, as I now am in favour of abandoning nuclear weapons. I have witnessed ‘New Labour’ become increasingly similar to the Tories over the years, and was disgusted with Ed Miliband’s quiescence in the face of Tory abuse in the PM’s question time. Labour have not been all that bad with the economy, though not many people know that, due to lack of persistence of the previous Labour leadership. I was hoping Tony Blair would at least have the decency to apologise for the war in Iraq, with the benefit of hindsight, but he still maintains it was the right thing to do ( go to war). The Labour government was right to help to stop the genocide in Serbia. They also did a marvellous feat of diplomacy in getting the IRA to disarm, and effectively bring about peace in Northern Ireland. So not all bad then. The problem is they now seem to me to be going along with all or most of the Governments economic plans, and seem happy to support the outdated Aristocracy, Monarchy, House of Lords, and Honours System, all of which I personally disagree with. I do not see much opposition to any of those things, so I voted Green at the last election as a protest against the dire state of the democratic system in this country. If Jeremy Corbyn becomes Labour Party Leader, then I might just vote Labour at the next general election. If not, then there is less chance of that happening.
        As for joining the Labour Party to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, I almost did that but was too late. I thought being a life time member of GMB union automatically meant I was a member of the Labour Party, but apparently that does not apply either. I still think Jeremy Corbyn would be a fine leader of the Labour Party, and sounds as though he most nearly represents my views on British politics.

  13. Ms.Scriptonite- you were a much more effective campaigner against the Tories than any of the “Shadow Cabinet” were during the last election. They’re handing Cameron & Co unopposed & complete control. Consider what has happened as flattering !

  14. i rejoined the party after the Blair ventures and clear neoliberal hijacking of the party, infiltrating it with a vast number of people who didn’t share my socialism and view of how i saw the solution to this society’s problems. I thought the entry of Jeremy Corbyn would take the party lack to its core voters and hopefully with success, create a rebirth of a movement that might see the end of the likes of Mandelson and Blair, who see more desire in taking the party to a tory 2, even deeper in bed with corporate finance and the city, Directors and tax evading multimillionaires. I was accepted, voted online and a day later was emailed to tell me i had been rejected as my views were inconsistent with the values of Labour. I will never look back at the deceit of the party and see anything other than lies to go to war sending so many to their death, the continuation of the terrible PFI burden on our countrys social fabric by condemning hospitals, schools and colleges, etc to 30years of debt to financial establishments who have the future of patients, children and most decent people in their hands with this outrageous scheme, which was continued on from the tories. When i see current leadership candidates and members of the party who held shadow positions, refusing to vote against the welfare bill, desire more public spending on free schools, waste on overcommitment to Trident and NATO, I see Corbyn as the only hope for the party and people it should be representing and should have always been representing first and foremost. I despair when all i hear from some candidates is their pride for the successes of the 1997 to 2010 spell with no mention of deceitful wars and such light regulation of the City and financial authorities that the country as part of global domination of banks and finance, have enabled the Tories to exploit the result to use austerity to impose their ideological attack on the NHS, Welfare State and State dismantling and rolling away of so many of our public servants, that the country will be dismantled in reality by 2020. Yet, even New Labour party members show more animosity and fight against Corbyn’s true socialist Labour principles, than against this truly extreme government. It fills me with both fear and despair, along with the hope that a movement could be there waiting for a leader to take us to face this neoliberal onslaught as well as a party shifting, given the chance to a copy of the Tory party spouting intolerance and bile for the weak, most vulnerable in society, as well as mimicking the increasing scapegoating lack of compassion for refugees fleeing lands decimated by western inspired wars, expansions miitarily, or civil wars in lands like Stria prompted by western leaders with no real desire to want to help the people in Syria or Libya, but see them become warzones or failed states.

  15. How come Harriet Harman still has her job……..wasn’t she “outed” in the media about her links to a paedophile group?

  16. Haven’t voted Labour since they ditched their “no nukes” policy and am not in the slightest bit surprised by this latest nonsense from them. Given that they don’t want people like us anyway, maybe all these 100,000 people might like to join the Greens?

  17. It becomes increasingly obvious that the test being applied is not ‘do you agree with Labour’s values’ but ‘do you agree with Labour’s current leadership’.

    Unlike you I feel enough is enough, I simply don’t want to be associated in any way, shape or form with the childish, self-serving behaviour of Harman and her ilk.

  18. Congratulations on a balanced well written article. Wish there were more in the Mainstream Media, but that’s highly unlikely.
    I wish success to the Canary.

    • David, I understand your feelings – I’d feel the same if I hadn’t left the party that (I felt) left me, years ago. But please, don’t not vote! It’s only a tiny lever, but it’s the best one you have and not all political candidates are corrupt self-serving hypocrites. Save your vote and use it as a weapon when the time comes again, if you are fortunate to have a candidate with promise.

  19. Funny how dishonest people always create what they fear. Harman fears infiltrators so she creates a purge. The more we all think about this, the more we all want to “break into politics” and take back control.

  20. All those rejected until the leadership winner has been announced should join the Party afterward, that is if Jeremy Corbyn wins, as then we’ll have one supporter in charge of the Party and also be able to assist his transformation of it. Only sour grapes should make us give up if he wins….and sour grapes are for petulant children :-)

  21. Hum the blair babies of this party would rather break the party but they cant or wont cross that floor to their bigger brother jeff3

  22. Personally, I feel that Labour should have used a cut-off date for rejections, i.e. 7 May 2015. That way they wouldn’t have Tory, Lib-Dem or others voting for their leader. But then, I, like you, vote for the best person for the constituency not the party.

    • I left the Labour Party following the Iraq invasion but since Jeremy Corbyn came up for election as leader I have thought of re-joining . Like you I voted Green at the last election. After reading your excellent article I support Corbyn even more but the current Labour set-up is deplorable in what they are doing.

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