The elite in the Labour party who seem hell-bent on ensuring that Jeremy Corbyn does not win the leadership election are now resorting to desperate measures – by banning members for the use of certain words on social media.
Following on from the membership purge, which has seen a freeze on the right to vote for anyone who joined the party after the 12 January 2016 and those who were £3 members last year, this latest assault cannot be clearer.
The Labour Procedures Committee have reportedly announced that anyone who uses the words “traitor”, “scab” or “scum” in relation to another member of the party, will automatically be barred from having a vote in the leadership election:
They are apparently hoping to exclude up to 50,000 members on this basis.
While Corbyn has been resolute in his condemnation of anyone using abusive language against another Labour member, this is the next step in an all-out attack on free speech within the party.
On Thursday, as The Canary reported, the NEC has now banned all constituency Labour party meetings during the elections – effectively putting a halt to any motions for or against Corbyn and other MP’s. Furthermore, it comes as the party has decided to stop new trade union affiliated members from voting as well – putting the same time-sensitive restrictions on them as with full members.
And to top it all, one Labour donor is taking the National Executive Committee (NEC) to court, over their decision to allow Corbyn onto the ballot without having to be nominated. Michael Foster, who has previously made scathing attacks on the Labour leader, announced Thursday morning he would be mounting a legal challenge against the decision.
While the use of aggressive language is not to be tolerated from any quarter, it’s the fact that the party are clamping down in such an authoritarian manner that poses cause for concern.
Far from being the beacon of free speech, democratic values and egalitarianism that the Labour party should be – it appears to be morphing into a caricature of itself.
And with the target of the clampdown being Corbyn supporters, it is somewhat ironic that his advocates are labelled as “Trots”. Because the party elite are acting more like hardline Stalinists than Jeremy himself.
Corbynistas. You have been warned.
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Featured image via Screengrab