Friday, June 12, 2009

Why don't they throw Blears out of Labour?

When I think of the good people I've known who were thrown out of the Labour Party for standing up for Labour values, it just astounds me that Hazel Blears is having no sanction taken against her what so ever.

Take Rod Green. He was the Labour candidate for Colchester in '97 and a good socialist who missed out on winning the seat by a handful of votes. I'm proud to have voted for him and proud to have campaigned with him after the election.

When they expelled him from the Labour Party it was for his support for the local Defend Council Housing organisation set up to oppose the introduction of an ALMO proposed by... the local Labour leader.

The local party voted to oppose the ALMO, leading Labour members and indeed the majority of party members in the town supported the Defend Council Housing Campaign and DCH nationally even has stalls at Labour conference (or at least it used to).

However the leader of the Labour group was on the cabinet and his own personal career was far more important than democratic decisions and Rod, along with three other party members, were expelled from the party for campaigning for the democratically decided local Labour policy. It still shocks me today that this could happen and Labour in Colchester have been utterly screwed ever since because of the tight control by the right.

Unlike Rod, Blears was not blameless nor politically principled. In fact Brown even publicly praised her on hearing of her resignation even though she had done everything in her power to destroy the careers of her Labour colleagues up and down the country. She played a direct part in ensuring that hundreds of Labour councillors lost their seats and the historically low Labour vote in the Euros.

No Tory MP could have dreamed of inflicting this much damage on Labour and she did it with a grin and a self satisfied wink.

Whilst someone like respected Labour MP Ian Gibson has been reprimanded for his stupid and wrong use of the expenses system Blears clearly used the system to avoid paying tax and should be investigated by the police, let alone simply forbidden for standing for Labour - but she faces no consequences at all.

It's clear that if you are on the right of the party you can commit crimes (only financial ones though, as that's just part of the game), you can denounce the leader whilst still a member of cabinet, you can go out of your way to damage your party's chances as part of a factional struggle - you can do anything and you'll be fine.

If you're on the left of the party, like Rod or Ian, you had better watch your step. Ian Gibson was definitely in the wrong and it's simply galling to see the double standards at work - but Rod was blameless. He was genuinely trying to save his local Labour Party and history has proved him right. Yet again Labour disciplines the wrong person.

In Colchester the hierarchy never once considered disciplining the leader for the Labour group for going against the locally determined policy but instead helped him wreck the party for years on end. Nationally Blears has been treated with kid gloves when Ministers should be denouncing her from the rooftops and throwing her on the streets.

She got half of what she wanted - a historic Labour defeat and BNP MEPs but not the resignation of Brown. Now she's crying because her little plan didn't fully work. If Labour doesn't expell her they truly have lost their spine.

But let's be clear - all of this is the fault of the Labour Party for refusing to do the right thing, not the fault of the right wingers concerned. It's Labour's inability to take action that's the problem not the fact that all parties will have people who help the enemy if given half a chance.


ModernityBlog said...

agreed, good post

Gibson, another careerist, one time Trot, ex-IS

CharlieMcMenamin said...

I'm hearing unconfirmed reports three of the branches in her constituency have pass no confidence motion.

Anonymous said...

It's true, she may be foisted on a democratic petard after all!

We can live in hope.

Jim Jay said...


Jim Jay said...

She survived. Typical.