4 thoughts on “London Blairites join Conservative social cleansing

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  4. Tuesday 8th August 2017

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    Symptoms of resentment bubble up on Twitter

    A RIGHT-WING operator behind a rule change designed to weaken Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has said the party’s left should “drop the obsession with rule changes.”

    Luke Akehurst, the secretary of the pro-Blairite Labour First faction, argued yesterday that the left had adopted a “winner-takes-all mentality” since the election.

    His comments on BBC Radio 4 came after Labour MPs started a public brouhaha using passive-aggressive messages on Twitter.

    Shadow fire minister Chris Williamson had said on the social media site that he was travelling to Redcar in the north-east of England for the launch of a new Momentum branch.

    Redcar MP Anna Turley, who resigned from the front bench last year, tweeted a waving emoji along with Mr Williamson’s message.

    She appeared to be protesting against the fact she had not been informed of the visit.

    She later added: “I’m not angry!! I really don’t care, I just wouldn’t set something up in a colleague’s seat without telling them.”

    Traditionally MPs inform one another when visiting a constituency other than their own — but some argue that this is frequently not adhered to.

    Mr Williamson was in fact speaking in the neighbouring constituency of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland — which is now held by the Tories.

    But another Corbyn critic, ex-shadow education secretary Lucy Powell, posted online: “What are you doing going to a colleague’s area to do this without speaking to them?”

    The micro-aggressions will be seen as a symptom of a lingering resentment from some Labour MPs at the left’s resurgence.

    Mr Akehurst accused the left of attempting to seize control of low-level party positions purely for the sake of factionalism.

    And he said leftwingers were also seeking to change the party rules in order to strengthen their own position.

    But his own Labour First faction has put forward a rule change for next year’s conference that could tip the balance on Labour’s ruling NEC against Mr Corbyn. The change would increase the number of seats on the committee appointed by councillors — who are regarded as more hostile towards the Labour leader.

    Mr Akehurst also called on Mr Williamson and Momentum founder Jon Lansman to say they opposed deselecting sitting MPs. The shadow fire minister said he favoured mandatory reselection of candidates, adding: “Even the chair of the local bowls club will periodically have to be re-elected.”

    Step away from the keyboard, Ms Turley

    ANNA TURLEY’s Twitter feed yesterday was a sight to behold.

    When activists asked about her relationship to Blairite faction Progress, whose website she has written for repeatedly, she accused them of “fake news.”
    Turley’s reply to a thread of comments describing Momentum as a “cancer” and referring to a Labour activist as “vile” was: “Dig in xx.”

    Approached for comment by the Star, she said she meant: “Stay in the party, don’t let people grind you down,” and had not seen the abusive tweets in the thread.

    “I don’t agree with the terms you say were used,” she added.

    Perhaps the Redcar MP was just a victim of the late-night typewriter, as Barry Gardiner likes to call it. But it wasn’t even noon.
    And this would not be the first time.

    Last year, on the day that Labour banned new registered supporters from using the words “traitor, scum or scab,” Turley referred to Unite leader Len McCluskey as an “arsehole.”


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