Right-wing hardliner Ian Austin’s CLP shuns him to swing left. Twice

Thuggish‘ Ian Austin is one of the most extreme and least liked of the Labour Party’s right-wing old guard. In 2016 he disgraced himself by heckling his own party leader from the backbenches when he didn’t like Corbyn’s support for the Chilcott Inquiry into Tony Blair; and just recently he tried a ‘John Mann’-style attack on Labour front-bencher Chris Williamson, but failed embarrassingly.

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Thuggish’ MP Ian Austin

Austin hasn’t been all that extreme in the context of the right-wing bastion of the West Midlands, though he’s been a lamentable MP even compared to the average Blairite.

The West Midlands is an area previously dominated almost uniformly by dreary Blairites and ‘old right’ figures at parliamentary, council and CLP (constituency Labour party) levels. In that swamp, he was simply a slightly more pungent waft among the usual odours – a shame though, for Labour’s new and envisioned intake of members who have to live with them.

But the bastion has been crumbling recently. Hodge Hill CLP ignored the pleas of its right-wing MP, voting solidly for the left-wing slate for the new NEC members, for union affiliations and in support of striking Royal Mail workers.

Last night it was Austin’s turn – and members have told the SKWAWKBOX it was an undignified sight.

At its monthly meeting last night, Austin pleaded with Dudley North CLP to nominate the ‘Labour First’-backed slate of Gurinder Singh, Eddie Izzard and Johanna ‘kicked off in 2016 to everyone’s relief’ Baxter for the three additional NEC (National Executive Committee) places agreed by Labour’s recent annual conference.

However, members voted solidly for the ‘left slate‘ candidates – Rachel Garnham, Yasmine Dar and Jon Lansman.

Mr Austin was reportedly most upset about the result of the vote. So upset, in fact, that at the end of the meeting he agitatedly argued with the CLP chair, demanding a new vote to replace the one just run. This ‘suggestion’ met the scorn it deserved and Austin had no choice but to leave and nurse his wounds.

Which CLP will be the next to express its disdain for its right-wing MP? Rumours abound.

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  1. Very nice turn of phrase! It’s not often that news reports make me laugh out loud – but this is very funny!

  2. Sounding off in the local rag about Moshe Machover’s expulsion being overturned. What on earth is Austin still doing in the party?

  3. “In that swamp, he was simply a slightly more pungent waft among the usual odours –”. Priceless! What WOULD I do without my daily dose of SKWAWKBOX?

  4. Which CLP will be the next to express its disdain for its right-wing MP?

    *Crosses fingers*

    Please be Wallasey, Please be Wallasey, Please be Wallasey, Please be Wallasey, Please be Wallasey, Please be Wallasey, Please be Wallasey, Please be Wallasey…

  5. Has the Labour Party got to be completely left wing. The most successful Labour government in my life time was under Blair. Like it or not he and Brown did a lot of good. Reducing child poverty, maintaining the NHS, etc. Completely left wing has never been elected in my living memory. Just beware!

    1. It can be a range of genuine soft-left to genuine left – problem is at the moment that perceptions are skewed by years of media indoctrination. What is called ‘hard left’ is really only centre-left anyway, looked at objectively – in most countries, Corbyn would be considered a bit left but not particularly.

      In that skewed perception, ‘centre’ is actually pretty far right and certainly on the right of any genuine centre. Blair achieved a lot – but created huge damage at the same time by being essentially neoliberal with a veneer of nicer-ness. Doesn’t make the achievements in the NHS, child poverty etc meaningless of course – but it does mean there are a lot of Labour MPs who really shouldn’t be.

    2. Good grief Carol , just where to even begin , take a look at the Wilson Govts in the 60’s then compare with what New Labour under Blair did .
      One thing for sure there was no PFI or Iraq
      New Labour was right wing by those standards as SB has intimated and it doesn’t mean that a centre left Govt’s never delivered anything of value to it’s voters. The only thing to beware of is the creeping corporatisation of our democracy where all parties are run by the elite/big business for their benefit only . For the many NOT the few

    3. Carol; To be true to it’s roots, the Labour Party MUST be left wing, although I’m not too fond of the attribution of left and right wing.
      Jeremy Corbyn’s aspirations and policies are in full accord with those of the founders of the Party. In real terms he is not being unduly radical, although most of the media depict him as being so, and in comparison with the Conservatives it certainly looks that way.
      It was a Labour government in the 1940s that gave us our currently bedevilled NHS and Welfare State. Before that, only the very rich could afford to see a doctor, let alone receive any treatments such as operations. If people lost their jobs, they became dependant on their families or resorted to begging on the streets. Servicemen who had been seriously injured during WW2, having risked their lives and served our country relied on charities to support them. Children from poor families were not getting a wholesome diet, in spite of the provision for children, of free orange juice with added levels of vitamin D and C for children. But it did depend on parents taking advantage of the offer. Some children suffered from Rickets because of the lack of vitamin D in their diet.
      I know because I’m old enough to remember these things and I assure you that the NHS and Welfare State are the biggest and most valuable provisions ever made in the UK. The current government is for the wealthy few, and systematically under-funding both of these and only a government for the many can stop this.


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