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.
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.
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.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?