John McDonnell’s Labour group is taking aim at Keir Starmer

John McDonnell and Keir Starmer
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The Labour group led by John McDonnell has issued a furious statement over the party’s banning of four left-wing groups. It also takes aim at Keir Starmer directly – saying he has brought the party “almost to its knees”.

Banning the left?

As The Canary previously reported, Labour has banned four groups:

  • Socialist Appeal.
  • Labour in Exile Network (LIEN).
  • Labour against the Witchhunt.
  • Resist (the Chris Williamson-founded group).

A Labour source said at the time that the party banned them because the groups’ values weren’t “compatible” with Labour’s. SKWAWKBOX noted that the banning of these groups would make:

mere membership of them an automatic expulsion offence even though they do not breach Labour’s rule about standing candidates against the party.

Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) voted to ban the groups on Tuesday 20 July. At the same time, people protested the decision outside Labour HQ. As Terry Deans from LIEN told The Canary:

The result of all this will be that the working class people of this country will have no socialist agenda to work with and no rescue from the brutality of the Tory regime

Now, McDonnell’s group has got involved.

Read on...

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Enter McDonnell and Co.

The Labour Representation Committee (LRC) began in 1900, but its current incarnation dates back to 2004. It says its aim is:

to fight for power within the Labour Party and trade unions and to appeal to the tens of thousands who, during the Tony Blair years, turned away from our party in disillusion and despair.

McDonnell is its president, and the Fire Brigades Union’s Matt Wrack is the chair. On 27 July, it weighed in on the banning of the four groups. The LRC’s statement condemns the move “in the strongest terms”, adding:

Starmer promised in his leadership bid to bring unity to the party. He spoke of fighting for the underdog and of his track record in defending human rights. There can no longer be any doubt that this was simply a means to gain control of our party.

You can read the full LRC statement here. It criticises Starmer ‘upsetting’ “loyal voters”; it takes aim at the state of the party’s finances, and asserts:

The establishment wing of the party has declared war on the membership – and, in particular, the left of the party.

“Defend the Left”

The LRC is clear on what needs to happen:

We need to unite and resist. The future of our party is at stake. That’s why the LRC is part of Defend the Left and is working to get trade union branches and local Labour lefts to sign up to it.

Defend the Left is a campaign to stop Labour’s purge of the left. It has a petition which you can sign here. The group says that it urges:

everyone who wants to build a united, fighting opposition to the Tories to join together against the attempt by the right to reintroduce a list of proscribed organisations. No doubt, other socialist groups will be added to the list, should this first round of proscriptions go through without a hitch.

‘No one is safe’ from the purge

As the LRC sums up:

This is already the thick end of the wedge – no one who defends socialist ideas is safe unless we act together.

So, is Starmer’s ongoing purge the end of the left of the Labour Party? Clearly not if McDonnell and countless others have anything to do with it.

Featured image via the Telegraph – YouTube and Sky News – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. “John McDonnell’s Labour group is taking aim at Keir Starmer”
      …. Let’s hope their aim is good.

      Last night, the Leeds Central CLP monthly meeting passed overwhelmingly a motion condemning the witchhunt and the proscriptions.
      Let’s see more of these
      “I AM SPARTACUS” moments.

      1. Jonno-2. An admirable motion but with the present bunch of control freaks in charge of the Party the chair of Leeds Central CLP must be at risk being suspended. Free speech in the Labour Party has gone.

        1. It’s true – Free speech in the Party is being squeezed out.
          I expect to be kicked out even though I’m not a member of one of the 4 proscribed organisations.
          I will not be silenced.
          If I am kicked out, the truth will still be told.

    2. Mr McDonnell is being diplomatic in his assessment…NeoLabour is in the gutter and about to be washed into the sewer…at least for me and damn near 100 000 socialists who have been thrown to the wolves.

      1. Given that Labour is already in the gutter and was so before Starmer and is about to be washed into the sewer by far left factions you post was priceless. This is where the right has the advantage, they don’t bicker like you children, they stick together and stay in power. Suck it up being a loser.

      1. So speak many of us. To succeed a new party would have to take a couple of large unions with it, it certainly wouldn’t be short of party workers. In the first instance maybe the unions should tighten their financial squeeze and see if that brings results?

      2. Please do. Go ahead and guarantee that no Labour voices are ever taken note of. There is a plethora of parties there for you to join, and has been for a long time. I’m surprised you not only don’t know about them but aren’t already a member.

    3. I proposed a motion of no confidence in KS at our branch which was passed 10 for,
      2 against with one abstention, but after some obstructions, it was due to be debated 29 July at the following CLP AMM. It was inquorate so has not yet been debated. The next AMM is in early Sept. Chances are it will fail as the right are now back in charge with the left demoralized. My area, Suffolk, is a sea of blue so it’s always been a struggle, but seeing the Corbyn effect trashed by the antisemitism line, the 5th column in the GLU and aided by Mr Tony and his former ministers, it’s now doubly so. The right wing sees no problem with the suppression of the Forde Inquiry. It must have come to to the ‘wrong’ conclusion otherwise it would have been published in a trice. He set it up, selected Forde QC, with the publication promised a year ago, then followed postponement after postponement. Now silence. It is impossible to get an answer re it’s publication. This alone shows KS has acted dishonestly once having been elected as leader. He is untrustworthy lacking in principles, political nous and apart from his consistent purge of the left, has been politically invisible. His idea of unity is to demand, on pain of expulsion, conformity with the Supreme Leader.

      1. Maybe the left’s biggest weapons are its votes and the tireless work of many at elections. It used to be said that a centrist Labour government was better than the tories, “vote Labour and keep the tories out”, but after bomber Bliar I no longer think this is the case, there is so little to choose between them. Abstain (or vote for some other left wing candidate) and, if you’re a member, be unavailable at elections.

    4. Starmer’s mission is to destroy the Labour Party as an effective voice for ordinary people against the Tories and the neo-liberal consensus.
      It is also to silence criticism of the apartheid state of Israel.
      I shan’t leave – There’s still a battle to fight.
      On the other hand, I shan’t shed too many tears if they get me in their sights and pull the trigger.
      Either way – I will not be silenced.

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