Coyle’s whine re Williamson’s democracy roadshow suggests right-wingers rattled

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London MP Neil Coyle – not a happy bunny

Derby North MP Chris Williamson has embarked on a ‘Democracy Roadshow’ with union man Tosh McDonald to talk to Labour members about the democratisation of the Labour Party to reflect the views and aims of its huge membership.  It’s an initiative that shows Labour is in a class apart – no other UK-wide party would be able to mount something similar, let alone fill venues for it and have to add dates and locations.

Yet a few in the party are less than thrilled about it.

Redcar is in the north-east of England and about as far from Bermondsey in London as you can get. Yet right-wing Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle felt exercised enough this morning by a Williamson tweet mentioning the seaside town to make a snarky comment about it:

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The tweet is not without irony. Mr Coyle was widely predicted to lose his seat in last year’s general election, yet increased his majority from a little over 4,000 to almost 13,000 as a result of the ‘Corbyn surge’ – yet his post-election gratitude didn’t last long and he was attacked by constituents and others who helped in his campaign for his attitude, as well as by one of his neighbouring MPs.

Williamson, on the other hand, won back his seat and has thrown himself into the task of supporting Labour’s leadership and energising the members in a manner fully in line with the party’s direction that is inspiring voters.

Seems at least some ‘centrists’ are feeling grumpy. Perhaps Williamson and McDonald need to add a London venue to their tour. Bermondsey’s nice, we hear – and Labour members there might well be glad to hear what they have to say.

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10 responses to “Coyle’s whine re Williamson’s democracy roadshow suggests right-wingers rattled

  1. Myself and many Momentum members campaigned hard to get Coyle re-elected in 2017. “With a nose-peg on” as one of my fellow lefties described it. I organised, with a Unite member, a mass leafletting at a popular Saturday market. 30 of us gave out thousands of leaflets then went door-knocking.

    His response – whine to the Daily Mail and refuse even to send us a thank-you note (when asked to do so by fair-minded members of his CLP).

    Not going to bother campaigning for him again, plenty of other MPs and potentials who appreciate the effort.

  2. I should say, this attitude was not shared by his campaign staff. I bumped into some of them on the way home and they were very appreciative and supportive.

  3. That Mr Coyle should comment on a colleagues absence from his constituency seems mighty ironic.

  4. Neil Coyle; I bloody leafleted for you last summer. Now I’m wondering if are one of the traitors within???

  5. Can someone tell Coyne that his nasty attitude puts more voters off than Williamson being a “lefty” will ever do. Someone also tell Coyne to spend more time looking after his own constituents and less time scheming, plotting and moaning.

    • *Coyle (Perhaps you’re thinking of another blert with a similar sounding surname – gerard coyne?)

  6. patient grass-roots activity is the best way to build a real opposition party, with less bickering among MPs- members need to recognise that the “Third Way” has had its day. The more one reads about the Blairites, the more obvious it is that they betrayed not just the NHS, but the school system,and did nothing to reverse Thatcherite destruction of local government and unions’ rights. A real alternative to the Toffs is needed, on sensible policies which appeal to voters.

    • An interesting comment I read on a Tory website:

      Margaret Thatcher considered Tony Blair to be her greatest achievement for the simple reason that Blair transformed the Labour Party from democratic socialist to a form of social democracy modelled on the American Democrats.

      This was not especially popular amongst Labour members and supporters, and after the Clause IV arguments many traditional Labour members left (or were purged) as Blair dragged Labour to the right, stamped on anything that smacked of socialism and filled the PLP with liberal entryists.

      What this meant for British politics as a whole is difficult to under-estimate, because in neutering the unions, gagging the membership and removing the threat of nationalisation, Blair not only made the Labour Party attractive to wealthy liberal investors, but he also effectively killed democratic socialism in the UK. What we had instead, was a liberal party that made policy (including foreign military intervention) based on what donors and lobbyists wanted rather than the views of members and unions, and along with that came the effective privatisation of British politics.

      Traditional Labour voters were left politically homeless, with no choice at the ballot other than voting for New Labour or wasting their vote on one of the democratic socialist parties that arose in Blair’s wake; which, as UKIP voters will appreciate, had no chance of gaining any traction under FPTP anyway. With central selection of liberal candidates to safe Labour seats, Blair almost killed socialism in the UK completely, and had the financial crash come a couple of elections later there would have been no traditional left-wingers remaining in the PLP to be elected as leader and Blair’s job would have been complete.

      Like him or loathe him, it’s difficult to think of another political leader who had such a profound effect on British politics; nor one that successfully triangulated our political system to replace a member-run party with one run for the benefit of private vested interests.

      • Thee is a tremendous degree of continuity between Blair and Kinnock.

        They surrounded themselves with many of the same people. Angela Eagle was imposed on Wallasey CLP under Kinnock not Blair.

        Dumping of clause 4—Jack Straw started this process off before Blair became leader.

        Thatcher’s ‘Fortress Falklands’ policy was ridiculed by David Owen but endorsed by Kinnock before the 1992 election.

        Under Kinnock, the PLP supported Gulf War 1 more solidly than the US Congress!

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