Durham Miners Gala’s public smack-down of Progress faction

As if being an event attended by hundreds of thousands of socialists and solidly behind Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t reason enough to like the Durham Miners Gala (DMG), the team behind the event earned it even further kudos by throwing very public shade at the arch-rivals of the pro-Corbyn majority of members, Progress.

On Thursday evening, the good folk at DMG sent out a terse tweet addressed to the Progress Twitter account about the organisation’s  unauthorised use of images of the DMG HQ:

prog dmg

Ruthless.

To be fair to Progress, its deputy editor responded fairly quickly to ask for the urls of the offending links so he could address the problem – although at the time of writing they have still not been removed – but other supporters were quick to criticise DMG for wanting to distance itself from the right-wing pressure group:

prog dmg3

As the miners promptly pointed out, the image was not being used just for ‘campaigning for Labour’, but instead for doing the Tories’ job for them and attacking Labour’s superb and widely-lauded manifesto – as the image below, from which the right-wing nonsense has been blurred out to avoid giving it oxygen, shows:

prog dmg2

The Facebook article DMG linked to is a direct attack on a document that a majority of Labour voters identified as being key to their decision to vote Labour at the recent General Election – and one that ignores or smears the detailed costings it contained. It’s hard to escape the feeling that it was written purely to have something, anything negative to say. Of course others may see it differently, but the commenters on the post seem not to be among them.

Progress is floundering at the moment – a fact welcomed by most Labour supporters who are behind the party’s vision under Jeremy Corbyn and who know anything about Progress. The group lost its main donor and has been pleading for support in articles boasting of its efforts, not to win the General Election but to control Labour’s Conference in Brighton later this year:

The irony of the fact that prioritising control of the party over winning elections was a favourite fall-back jibe (not to mention simply untrue) of Progress and its supporters against left-wing, pro-Corbyn members will not be lost on most readers of this blog.

Bravo Durham Miners Gala. Keep up the good work. As for Progress, if its demise arrives as many expect, it will not be missed.

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6 responses to “Durham Miners Gala’s public smack-down of Progress faction

  1. Is it possible to establish exactly how many members the Progress organisation has?

    It has made very grand claims about its contribution to Labour’s successful GE campaign so we will need to know its membership total to assess the validity of those claims.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TO THE “HOW PETTY ARE YOU JIBE”!
    WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE, OR PUT YOUR THINKING HEAD ON!
    PROGRESS IS A RIGHT WING THINK TANK, TOTALLY AGAINST OUR LABOUR LEADER, OUR POLICIES OUR MANIFEST!
    NUMB NUTS!
    DON’T COME TO ANY MEETINGS WITH THEIR NAME ON YOUR BANNER YOU WON’T BE WELCOME “OK”?

    Like

  3. Pingback: Durham Miners Gala’s public smack-down of Progress faction | Jaffer's blog·

  4. > Is it possible to establish exactly how many members the Progress organisation has?

    I don’t think that is generally known. We can estimate a number though from the accounts.

    In 2015 Progress had a “Turnover” of £112,935, which note 1.2 says is “subscriptions and donations”. Assume £100,000 is subscriptions.

    Full price “membership” is £36/year, but magazine alone is £20, and “Progress 100 Club” is £300. Let’s assume the average is £35.

    So 100k / £35 gives about 2,850 “members” or magazine subscribers. For comparison the Fabians publish a membership number of about 7,000.

    Lord Sainsbury’s donation of about £260k/year must go in “other operating income” in the accounts, which was £313,473 in 2015. I’m not clear where conference/meeting fees goes in the accounts – if it is in turnover, “membership” could be a lot less.

    NB The accounts lists “Director’s remuneration” as £49,290 in 2015. I think Richard Angell is the only full-time director, so I guess most, if not all, of this is his salary.

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    • Thanks for that information.

      So that means the entire membership of the Progress Organisation is the same amount in percentage terms as approximately 0.3% of the Labour Party membership.

      When you also factor in the constant attacks upon the Labour Party by Progress members in the run up to the election it is reasonable to conclude that the Progress Organisation’s contribution to the campaign was to lose the party votes.

      These facts would suggest that any association with this organisation is not only of no benefit whatsoever to the Labour Party but it is in fact an electoral liability to party and that Labour would be best served cutting all ties with Progress.

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  5. Well done Durham Miners Group.. As a lifelong Labour voter and except for the Blaire years – supporter I wholeheartedly agree and thank you for this move and you lovely twitter to ‘Progress’! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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