Labour First confirms McKenzie not welcome at events while suspended

A couple of days is a long time in politics. Just ask Lewisham East Labour Party chair Ian McKenzie.

On Saturday he was ‘crowing’ – his own choice of word – about the selection of Janet Daby as Labour’s candidate in the constituency’s impending by-election:

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This evening, he’s ‘eating crow’ with the news that he has been suspended from the Labour Party – and has resigned from an appointment as an advisor to his borough’s elected mayor – over foul tweets about gang-rape, sex-slavery and beheading.

His former – and very brief – boss, Newham’s elected mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, issued an anodyne statement about his resignation this evening:


Probably an even more bitter pill to swallow for Mr McKenzie is the news that Labour First will no longer welcome him.

McKenzie has been what passes for a star player in Labour First terms in recent months, travelling the country to conduct ‘Organising to Win’ events to train right-wingers in other constituency parties (CLPs) how to seize or cling onto control of their ‘CLP’ structures:

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But Labour First secretary Luke Akehurst told the SKWAWKBOX:

Obviously [Ian McKenzie will not be eligible to participate in further events]. While someone is subject of a disciplinary process we wouldn’t have them speak at our events.

McKenzie is also still the subject of a number of complaints with regard to the conduct of recent local election candidate selections. Right-wing Labour figures, Tory politicians and journalists have defended his misogynist tweets, but local Labour councillors Alex Feis-Bryce and Luke Sorba condemned McKenzie’s comments:

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Oddly, the ‘MSM’ has paid little or no attention to the suspension and resignation of a right-wing Labour die-hard.

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  1. What gets me is how someone can spend years purporting to support Labour party principles and yet think and act in such a grossly misogynistic way.

    One could be forgiven for concluding that he was only using the Labour party as a convenient vehicle to feather his own nest and advance his own political ambitions.

  2. Sorry to be contrary but I actually disagree with this suspension. I support freedom of expression for all in the Party. This includes right wingers so he should be able to spout this dreadful, offensive, nonsense as should any other member. I have no great regard for this member but I just stand against any kind of thought police regardless of who they are directed against. As Chomsky said “If we don’t believe in freedom of speech for people we despise we don’t believe in it at all”.

    On a technical point he posted this comment in 2016 so the old version of rule 2.I.8 will apply which absolutely precludes the NCC taking into account expressions of belief or opinion. These comments are not very pleasant opinions but they look to me like opinion and so are probably outside the remit of the NCC to consider in determining whether gross disrepute has been caused. So that may be a problem in actually progressing a charge against him.

    Saying all that they are deeply unpleasant comments and with values like that I do wonder why he is in Labour at all as he would quite clearly fit much better in a genuinely nasty, misogynistic and discriminatory Party like the Conservatives. Just my opinion though.

    1. You are entitled to your opinion, but surely you agree that saying such things brings the Labour Party in to disrepute. Funny though isn’t it how Ken Livingstone says something that is a matter of historical fact (I hope you were defending him as well?), and the MSM have been falsely accusing him of anti-semitism for the last two years or so, but this guy – who is quite obviously a psychopath – spouts off totally abhorrent comments, and there’s practically no reaction at all from the media. I wonder why that is!

      Now if someone in JC’s camp had said such things, you can be absolutely certain that all hell would have broken loose. But the PTB look after their own of course.

      1. I don’t accept the premise that expression of opinion by an individual member brings the party into disrepute. Looking at the way the old rule 2.I.8 was drafted nor did that rule for a long time.

        What brings the Party into disrepute is illegal wars of aggression, sending people on secret CIA flights to Libya to be tortured, backdoor privatisation of the NHS, PFI that costs 6 times as much as direct Govt borrowing, student tuition fees that burden kids for a lifetime but massively profit the lending companies at mostly taxpayer expense etc

        Yes of course the principle extends to Ken and to all the others like, Marc, Tony, etc. It is a universal right. democratic debate is a messy affair sometimes it might offend or cause emotional responses. It is dealing with some of the most important issues of our lifetimes so to expect a bland no one gets heated conversation is daft. As long as it remains peaceful and does not advocate political violence then in my view it should be anything goes.

        Whataboutery along the lines of ‘they did it so we can’ is pathetic and regressive. The enemy torture so we can as well, really?

        Fundamental human rights are just that, they are fundamental so regardless of whether you agree with the sentiment being expressed it is vital to protect the right to say them. If not it is a slippy slope to all discussion being controlled and before you know it you will be in such a tight Overton window you won’t be able to say anything on any subject of import and your freedom will be long gone.

      2. The things you list as bringing the Party in to disrepute were not, in reality, LP decisions, but the Establishment’s decisions which New Labour so-called enacted on their behalf. And THAT’S the whole point, and as I said before, if it had been someone on the left of the Party who had said such things, the Establishment’s propaganda machine – ie the Sun and the Mail and Express etc – would have gone in to overdrive, along with the usual ‘collaboraters’ on the right of the LP..

        The Psychopaths (check out Psychopathocracy) have declared all-out war on the Empaths and, as such, are revealing themselves to an ever-increasing number of people for the fascists that they are, and always have been. The Establishment (in all countrys) is inherently fascist. And their propaganda machine controls what hundreds of millions (in Europe and N America etc) think and feel and believe about any given topic or individual. As Malcolm X said (and bear in mind, for example, the way much of the media reported the recent massacre in Gaza):

        “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

  3. Duncan Shipley Dalton’s comments are plain dumb. I never agreed with Chomsky on this point about disagreeing but l defending ‘your’ right to say it’. McKenzie’s base comment about ISIS, beheading and rape directed at our Shadow Foreign Secretary requires policing and is not defensible and must be shut down. On another issue. Why is anyone surprised at the lack of MSM comment on Mckenzie’s suspension? The MSM is not interested in painting the right in a poor light and this is also a small story.
    Why is anti- Semitism a big story? Because of Jewish history. It has been weaponised by turning a few stray bullets into a toxic bomb. A few left individuals’ ignorant comments were trawled for, named, publicised, and shaped with shock-horror comment by dissembling right-wingers, including Jews. It was inflated, Involved in this multi-faceted directed grape-shot campaign, was a) Israel’s propaganda machine which includes many groups and so-called representative Jewish groups in the UK b) anonymous emails and social media ‘bot’ tweets with anti-Semitic content disseminated via tory trolls and the same dark arts-manipulated Jewish groupings c) changing the goal posts on definitions of what constitutes anti-Semitism and revisioning some Jewish History, and d) right wingers within the Labour Party climbing on board, regularly feeding comment to their MSM friends while using the Party’s democratic complaints procedure to pick off individuals one by one.

    Weaponisation feeds the MSM’s interest because they know it could topple Corbyn, which is the principle reason it is being covered. That objective is still being pursued. None involved in the campaign will let it rest. It fed into the local elections. It is effective as a weapon, and Corbyn has to be perfection itself to turn things around from a -23 % personal poll standing. Livingstone falling on his sword will not be enough . Some feel the Left error was to ever apologise in the first place, Too late now. The Likud lobby with all its political objectives , is an integral part of the British establishment and has been, since long before Corbyn. They were on a potential ‘war footing’ before. Have nodbout, this is war – war against Corbyn and any that support Palestine. Hard to see what the next move will be. 100 deaths in Gaza has wised up some people about Israeli policy and propaganda, but that will soon be forgotten. Knowing all this may help us be a little nore canny. What this has done of course is for months, it has knocked Corbyn’s policies from any news agenda.
    A story about Ian McKenzie a suspended Lewisham East CLP Secretary is just not ‘news’ in the same way. It is parochial.

    1. Mostly I share your concern about a secondary agenda.

      Out of interest why don’t you see freedom of expression as a universal and absolute right?

      Do you recognise that if you begin in one place to restrict what is acceptable that it will inevitably lead to the expansion of what is unacceptable discussion and ultimately the ability to raise counter points or criticise those in authority will be lost? If you don’t agree with that slippy slope argument then how do you perceive it and why?

      Take an example in Lenny Bruce the comedian. His act was shut down numerous times on the basis he used profanity, he was arrested and jailed for it. You might think well what is wrong with stopping profanity? I think he answered it quite well when he said “if you can’t say fuck, you can’t say fuck the government”.

  4. And in nearly fifty years the most nauseating sustained public betrayal of the potent truth of satire, of the Left and the Palestinians was to be seen on Frankie Boyle’s “satire” show on television a few days ago. A truly horrible sight,with fifteen minutes of Bad Faith apologised for by claims that some little jokes, and a “monologue”, was “Cut out”. Satire informs through laughter. Its frst duty is to truth. This was a shredding of that, ulitmately for Scottish consumption, by grimly staying loyal to the anti-labour tide in Scotland opposed to New Labour. Which Corbyn’s manifesto is against more than Green or SNP. New Labourite ex chair of LFI James Purnell’s BBC would have been laughing all the way to the repeat shows. And “Lord” McN will be laughing all the way to the House of Lords. No doubt brilliant attacks on the Tories will now be made. That will be ok with the Newsquest / Global proprietors of the Sunday Herald and the National SNP daily. And all this from someone whose politics one thought were beyond party.

      1. Satire is certainly a wholly different issue from what took place on Boyle’s show. Boyle “weaponised” a satire show for the same old RW weaponised “Anti-semitism of the Labour Left” canard, carried to extraordinary extremes through 15 minutes of a 30 minute episode to a national audience.

  5. Nahh Mckenzie is small fry compared to the scalp of Ken L that the RW bastards have just claimed .I could go banging on about Smeeth and that little weasel Streeting etc etc but whats the point. Until those corrupt systems ,loop hole rules and slack interpretations applied to the membership are righted and the membership is given back their rights of selection then any further democratisation of the party is stuffed.
    The Blairites and agent MPs of the Israeli Govt are still winning in Labour…time to redouble our efforts to support JC and the drive to force thro democracy and change the party for the better.
    GIVE back the membership their voice without fear of trumped up false charges being brought to silence those criticising the Isreali Govt.

  6. Yes but as I keep saying at a time of potential significant historical change one moment can crystallise a struggle and Naura Eskaret’s brilliant CBS interview (see You Tube) laid the Right Wing Israeli Govts arguments bare, it’s time may be up.
    It can no longer maintain its refusal to allow refugees the Right of Return as Naura argues to maintain it’s “religious, ethnic, and economic supremacy” (aided and abetted by the USA).
    Time for citizens around the World to stand with the oppressed and for Freedom for Palestinians!
    As for Labour here, we need selections for remaining PCCs as soon as possible; if the Sunday Times was right about one month ago quoting a Right Wing Labour MP saying if Corbyn wins “they should sit as an independent bloc'” then perhaps if they won’t support a radical transformation of the UK (as an example to the World) then there are plenty of others who will and who are willing to step into their shoes.
    I will be voting for a left wing democratic socialist.
    If we win with JC it could be more exciting than 1945 so keep the faith!

  7. These comments involving Emily Thornberry are vile and disgusting but more significant IMO was the 26th March 2018 tweet to Eddie Marsan saying ‘hold back’:

    ‘Please don’t do it now. The tide is turning. The Unite Court case is tomorrow. The Anti-Semitism, Brexit and Salisbury stuff is cutting through as the IRA/Iran stuff didn’t. We need you. We’ve a real chance of winning back NEC seats this summer. Please!’

    Implicit in that is acknowledgement of a deliberate strategy with the collusion of the mainstream media…. a conspiracy not a theory.

  8. I think it would be a useful exercise to step back for a moment to look at the bigger picture.

    There is a common denominator which links the obnoxious tweet about our shadow Foreign Secretary, the anti-semitism accusations, the attacks on the leadership and membership of the party, the constant briefing against and undermining of the party and the sense of entitlement and complete disregard of the policies and rules of the party by the right wing of the Labour Party.

    That common denominator is the orthodoxies of the right wing of the party.

    We often ask what the right wing of the party stands for. It is difficult to tell because they seem to stand for nothing. They have no discernible policies, no vision, no leader. Like the corporatist Democrats they speak in platitudes and do not offer a concrete, coherent policy platform.

    What binds them together is their worldview, their orthodoxies. These inform everything they do and everything they say.

    They have two core beliefs.

    The first is that it is in the national interest to closely align our foreign policy with American foreign policy. The disastrous interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and the aggressive and hysterical posturing against Russia, Iran and China are evidence that our close foreign policy alignment with the US degrades, not enhances our national security, and is therefore not in the national interest of this country.

    The second orthodoxy is that we must closely align our economic policy with American economic policy, that we must embrace neoliberalism. The foundations of this economic model are privatisation, deregulation and austerity. This model was introduced by the Conservatives and continued under New Labour.

    The effects of this model have been increased mortality rates, increased public and private debt, degraded public services, wage/living standard stagnation and restricted economic growth.

    The orthodoxies of the right wing of the Labour Party have proved to be fatally flawed.

    All orthodoxies have a bitter end when they are found to be false. Their most extreme acolytes always refuse to accept the truth and try to keep their orthodoxies alive by destroying new orthodoxies.

    This is what is happening today in the Labour Party.

    The right wing Labour MPs aren’t representing the interests of the electorate, or the Labour Party, or the economy, or the country. They are purely engaged in a battle to protect their discredited orthodoxies.

    They are engaged in a futile battle against the truth.

    1. Well put. I agree. The foolish nonsense about ending so called ‘sectarian’ infighting is to mask the deep differences in world and philosophical outlook of the Labour RW. It is not just small scale tactical disagreement it is at a level of fundamental political difference. This is why it will never be resolved and there will never be a genuine unity. This conflict in Labour has been running since its foundation pretty much it won’t just blow over.

      The left have in my view been naive and overcautious in the approach to this and I suspect some do actually believe the RW can be sated or worked with and a reasonable unity obtained. I believe this is a deeply flawed strategy myself.

      1. I agree with you there ..Strategy to embrace the right is not working at all because they are not us – we have to reselect and get tough to survive with the present Party . The Labour Party changed fundamentally to a largely elitist London -centric Tory Lite Party from 1984-1997 and onwards. It stopped representing the working class as the economic models changed and Labour heartlands were left to go hang. Don’t think Tony Blair felt at ease with workers. Party became largely filled up with careerist cheerleaders of the triangulatory appeal to Worcester woman sort- so interested in their own advancement and loot, out of touch and protected from their own policies; so incompetent they deregulated wildly and failed to see the bankers crash coming, built no homes, but bought their own and many flipped houses as was revealed in the expenses scandal. Many salivated at the prospect of being the favoured US child , lead tamely up the flight path to the Iraq War, manipulating public opinion dodgily. Later, in opposition many voted FOR austerity. So we are now trying to get hold on to the machine that contained back in 2015, a fairly small percentage of socialist good men and women . Tricky. But there is no doubt from 2017 vote there are many people out there who want an alternative to the Tories, the Lib Dems and the Labour Right. Whether Corbyn who is a grand, principled and resilient man,, is actually the right one to lead us on to victory we shall see. But it is not about one man is it although it is difficult to separate out from what Corbyn has managed to achieve – it is about the policies.

    1. Hadn’t finished, meant to add: When people have been arrested and sometimes charged for less??

  9. I should have said ‘principal’ reason not ‘principle’ reason. It was the early hours when I wrote but no excuse for bad spelling which is a bugbear of mine. So rap over the knuckles for me!.

  10. Not to change the subject or put myself down, but I wish I could articulate as good as you lot

    1. Bet you could if you as you speak and use the passion for socialist policies and real experience I am sure you have. Don’t compare yourself with others. You will have something valid and valuable to say.

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