Celebrations as Iraq war PR man Alastair Campbell finally gets expelled from the Labour Party

Alastair Campbell
Ed Sykes

Alastair Campbell was a key player in facilitating the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq. Yet in spite of his role in Iraq’s devastation, he remained in the Labour Party.

But now, it seems the party has finally expelled him. And his exit has sent waves of celebration across social media.

Good riddance!

Campbell has been a high-profile supporter of the campaign to remain in the EU. And his open disagreement with Labour’s efforts to respect the 2016 Brexit referendum results has apparently led to his expulsion from the party.

On 28 May, he tweeted that Labour had expelled him via email. And he explained why, saying:

I voted Lib Dem, without advance publicity, to try to persuade Labour to do right thing for country/party.

While many Twitter users thought Labour should have expelled him a long time ago, a key sentiment was one of ‘good riddance’:

 

Campbell’s fellow Iraq war architect Tony Blair, also a high-profile Remain supporter, is another figure whom many feel has long been undermining the Labour Party’s current leadership and deserves expulsion. Like others on the right of the organisation, he has openly encouraged people to vote for other political parties.

The rules apply to everyone. That means high-profile figures too.

Some Labour right-wingers disagreed with Campbell’s expulsion. Former Labour MP Peter Hain, for example, suggested the decision was “mad Stalinism”. But as journalist Owen Jones pointed out, the Labour Party was apparently just following its rules:

As Jones explained, these were rules that Tony Blair also implemented when in power:

In fact, in recent years, some of the highest-profile expulsions from Labour have been left-wingers supportive of current leader Jeremy Corbyn. So it’s hardly the case that Labour has been picking off Corbyn critics.

Numerous key Corbyn allies, and specifically defenders of Palestinian rights, have faced suspension or expulsion in recent years. Numerous activists have been closely monitoring this controversial crackdown. And the media has faced specific criticism for its complicity with this campaign, which a recent documentary slammed as a “witch hunt”.

So while some people are currently trying to defend Campbell’s decision to back the Liberal Democrats, many activists are clearly happy that Labour finally seems to be applying its rules more equally.

Moving on…

Campbell isn’t moving on yet, though, saying:

I have been advised by lawyers with expertise in this field I have grounds for appeal against expulsion and shall do so

Some more sarcastic Twitter users, meanwhile, suggested other paths for him:

Others, however, think Campbell knew exactly what he was doing – and that his backing for the Lib Dems may have been part of a cunning plan:

Don’t let the media turn Campbell into the victim

Labour’s rules may not be perfect, but they exist. So Campbell is not the victim here. He knew the rules, and he chose to break them. And considering the immense damage he helped to cause both at home and abroad, he’s someone who deserves absolutely none of our sympathy.

Good riddance!

Featured image via Twitter – Jeremy Vine On 5

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