“Frankly fed up” – newly-elected, Jewish Wirral councillor responds to Field’s resignation smear

Newly-elected Labour councillor Jo Bird, left, with Labour MP Rebecca Long-Bailey

Now-ex Labour MP Frank Field announced yesterday that he was resigning the Labour whip with the intention of remaining in Parliament as an independent MP. In spite of his recent claimed conversion to the sovereignty of constituents over party members – he is on record dismissing the importance of constituents’ views previously – he has not said he will resign as an MP to let them choose whether they want him as an independent.

Field resigned – of course – as appears to be the recent pattern for resigning Labour MPs, with a scorched-earth diatribe accusing Labour members of ‘local thuggery’ – and accusing Labour (surprise) of antisemitism. This is again a bit rich to say the least, as Field has previously attacked a Jewish peer, calling him:

a leading member of the Jewish community applying Nazi attitudes towards the poor

in language that would unquestionably have been dredged up and called antisemitic, were he a left-winger instead of a right-winger.

Field is also deeply unpopular with his members, who had already voted no confidence in him and demanded withdrawal of the Labour whip well before Field resigned it.

But – again typically of the Labour right – Field appears to have given little thought to the effect of his smears on Labour members, particularly Jewish members. A local, newly-elected, Jewish councillor in a ward bordering on Field’s Birkenhead constituency, wrote a letter to the SKWAWKBOX for publication, in which she criticises his departing claims – and attacks him for not focusing on issues that matter to the local people he supposedly considers ‘sovereign’:

Frankly fed up

I am a newly elected Labour councillor who is Jewish, in a ward bordering Birkenhead. Frank Field MP chose to use antisemitism as his excuse to resign from the Labour whip. I am frankly fed up of anti-Jewish racism being used as a political weapon to attack Labour.

Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader a few years ago, my lived Jewish experience is a ‘broad church’ Labour Party showing solidarity and support to the many as well as the Jews.

More than 100 members from all wings of Wirral Labour Party worked together to elect me, in our successful local by-election this month. We spoke with over 2,100 residents and I heard no-one raise the issue of antisemitism.

Unlike Frank Field, my constituents’ highest priority is ending cruel Conservative government cuts to services we all rely on. The New Ferry part of my ward was devastated by a huge explosion in March last year and the government’s response is shockingly pathetic.

Cllr Jo Bird
Labour councillor for Brombrough and New Ferry

new ferry aftermath.png
The aftermath of the huge explosion in the centre of New Ferry, Wirral

An explosion in New Ferry in March razed a large area of the town’s centre. The Tory government has refused to provide financial help to the town or its people.

Frank Field has been contacted for comment.

Skwawkbox comment:

Councillor Bird’s view is typical of that of many Jewish people rarely given voice by an Establishment falling over themselves to smear the Labour Party and its media – and typical of the many Jewish Labour members who are not right-wingers eager to topple Jeremy Corbyn.

Her righteous anger at an MP happy to grandstand to gain airtime for more smears rather than spend his energy fighting for local people is palpable and justified – as is her outrage and frustration at the false picture Field and others paint of the party she represents.

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  1. Well in, Jo Bird!

    My sentiments exactly. This antisemtism mullarkey’s been going on since Corbyn was elected – only NOW does frankenfield make an issue of it.

    Shithouse trick, only too typical of him.

    1. It actually goes further than that. Maureen Lipman left the party due to ‘antisemitism’ when Ed Milliband was leader.

      Then she left again when Corbyn was leader.

      In both cases, it was about criticizing Israel.

  2. Have emailed this to roger philips on radio murkeyside,

    I doubt he/they’ll read it out as all they’ve done is laud field; and the ‘vox pops’ on the news bulletins were the few old people they could find who’d actually speak favourably about him.

  3. Apparently Frank Field has now said that he hasn’t ruled out a by-election…… so there!

    The general consensus of medical opinion is however that in the meanwhile imembers of the public would be very ill advised to hold their breadth.

    Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds anyone?

  4. Yet another old fella on radio murkeyside going about field reckons he’ll ‘walk it’ if there’s a by-election… More vetting of callers on the bbc methinks, because I don’t think I’ve heard anyone under 50 EVER have a good word for him.

    But old people very rarely fail to vote, so if that arl geezer’s anywhere near on the mark (I very much doubt it, but it IS Birkenhead after all) then the onus is on Birkenhead and the other Merseyside CLP’s to pull their fingers out and get the under 50’s voting.

    1. I’m not a local constituent, but I am over 50. I’m also chronically ill and have followed frankenfield since the mid 2000’s. Quite frankly, I know his politics on the vulnerable have no place in the party. I would suggest that the numbers of ppl on disability benefits who have suffered and will continue to suffer under the govt he has kept in power will more than offset the knee jerk voters of the old New Labour sort. Work to our party strengths – they are also FFs weaknesses. His role as the Workfare Tzar under Cameron should be the final handful of nails for the coffin of his political career.

      1. If your talking about Simon, yes, he’s done excellent work on behalf of disabled representations to the UN to get investigations started. But he’s not resident here. He’s Canadian if memory serves. So most of his information does come from the usual MSM sources, and televised commons committees. I mean if that was all you watched you might think Hodge was a scourge of the Tories. You probably wouldn’t have an inkling about Islington. So I get where he’s coming from, and respectfully, he’s totally hoodwinked. FF has been a “maverick” (dontcha just love that – behaviour the rest of us can’t even start to get away with) for decades. He is going to be an asset outside the party, IMHO, because there are many who have worked with him, nailed colours to the same mast, who will be fully exposed if he carries on like this and will.have to make a choice. His behaviour will spark a backlash and some of the “quiet” coup supporters will be dragged into daylight for better examination. Obviously, I’m just an average party member, and I feel more than happy he’s jumped before being pushed. It’s bolstered the argument for mandatory (re)selection, as the previous system (before trigger ballots) was used sparingly, and so will MR, but it will be the right thing to do. We have to have MPs who represent the party and constituents – this should not be either / or. I hope John Mann is dealt with soon too, as he’s just been on Sky TV with his usual vituperative self serving media act. Already heard of a slew of complaints going into Labour HQ as apparently we’re all “thugs”. (He obviously spends too.much time looking in the mirror.) We will reclaim our party one seat at a time. We are the many, they are the few.
        FF has now set the bar for anyone else who wants to keep the Tories in power. They do not belong in the Labour party. They are hell bent on damaging our party, and don’t give a flying fig about the wrecking of the economy or the hunger and deprivation being visited on the millions who haven’t got a choice. Good riddance.

      2. Yes, I’m talking about Samuel. And Samuel evidently has access to the same sort of information as you or me via the t’internetz.

        As far as I’m concerned, any good work he (Samuel) has done in the past has been negated by his wilfully blinkered veneration of field. The same frank field you, me, and plenty of others have rightfully lambasted him for are the things Samuel believes constitute: ‘A yeoman’s job’.

        It’s not as if he hasn’t been enlightened by me & others before, so I can’t accept he’s been, or is being ‘hoodwinked’ , I’m afraid, Florence.

      3. I was being uncharacteristically generous. Probably because he was a huge support to the disabled in the early years of the persecution, he gave hope that the UN would hear us. Apart from that I agree entirely,…. But one thing I have found over the years that ppl from the old commonwealth and empire sometimes respect our institutions (monarchy Parliament) far more than we do. We tend to be more “warts and all”. Personally, I have never found FF do anything that wasn’t for his own benefit, and his politics to be morally repugnant. He has, like many of his ilk, the ability to turn on the charm.(or slime, depending in your view), and I am sure that many have been (willingly) hoodwinked by FF and many of his contemporaries.

  5. I will never forgive Field for interfering in the Wallasey 1987 election. Field circulated a leaflet to Labour members asking them not to vote for the Labour Candidate because he was a true Socialist
    . The outcome Labour lost that seat by 279 votes and we were saddled with Lynda Chalker for another 5 years.

    1. Never forgiven or forgotten here in Wallasey. Shrugged off as some sort of misdemeanour in birkonia.

      But that’s birkenheaders for you. An entirely different species to the rest of Merseyside.

  6. when field voted for JC to challenge for labour leader i bet he thought he hasn’t got a chance and now because he became leader field is calling him A/S as a excuse to try and get rid of him what a fucking turd bring on the by election lets see how well he does

  7. Oh, and lets not forget the way frank ‘took down’ philip greed …sorry green, a peg or two over the BHS pensions scandal.

    …Until we remember that it all occurred under frank’s watch anyway.

  8. Good on Jo. I stand with her. For information I am not in the Labour Party, I live in Birkenhead, I’m in my 70s, I remember Mr Field as a great worker for the Child Poverty Action Group over fifty years ago, I respect (while coming to different conclusions) his thinking on welfare issues, and I disagree with everything he says and does politically. Perhaps I’ve missed him saying something on race issues and the treatment of Palestinians? A final straw (there have been many) was his defence of McVey against Margaret Greenwood and his stance on Brexit and keeping the Tories in power, especially given his paradoxical views on voter sovereignty and the intellectual abilities of the Birkenhead electorate. I voted Green at the last general election and will vote for any socialist who stands next time (and who is willing to defend the NHS against this government and [believe it or not] this council’s leadership). I too detest the way the issue of race is being used maliciously against Corbyn and how the false narrative on the related issues has been adopted by all and sundry. It is clear to me, and I’ve seen it since the early 1960s that there are elements within the Labour Party who have a nerve to be associated with it and will use any tactic to damage people of political principle. I’m not sure how far this applies to Mr Field and I dislike personal abuse; there are enough things one can say politically without aping the bullies of the Tory party and their fascist friends. But being a ‘lone voice’ and ‘thinking the unthinkable’ are no substitute for defending your party leader against lies and smears and puerile rumours.

  9. The candidate in Wallesley was one Lol Duffy an entrist from the Socialist Organiser group the name of the Matgamna led organisation at the time. Similar to Militant they were just smaller. Today they have returned as the Alliance for Workers Liberty with a new paper “Solidarity”.

    The CLP was closed down purely because it had been taken over by a Trotskyist sect that had its own organisation and membership which is in breach of Labour Party rules.

    Ironically of all the far-left groups they almost alone do not call for the destruction of Israel and have continuously campaigned against anti-Semitism.

    1. The Alliance for Workers Liberty might have been Trotskyist in the distance past but they’re now pro-imperialist, Islamophobic Zionists who favour bombing the crap out of most countries in the middle east. They’re led by a drunken nutter who likes threatening opponents online with violence and runs a website called Shiraz Socialist. Fortunately there’s less than a hundred of them and they’re all getting old.

  10. I am not a member of Birkenhead , or the Wirral, though I am a northerner now living in the SW. I am also an old geezer of 73 who never fails to vote. I am an unashamed supporter of Jeremy, and there are many like me in the SW. Whilst there are old geezers who support the Conservatives within the LP, I am sure they are in the minority. they should be even more in the minority in the North, Northwest, and North East. let us avoid ageism, as well as anti-Semitism. Ageism, buy the way can be applied to the young as well, so by all means get your fingers out and get the young vote out, including students, who are certainly not the lay abouts and lager louts they are often painted as. the many include all ages, both genders, all orientations, and so on. I hope that is not too old a view.

  11. Yes interesting point although apparently he had disowned this group?
    As a Left wing democratic socialist I have always argued there are 3 opponents:
    The Right Wing Neo-Liberal Capitalst Supporting forces like Tories.
    Right Wing Labour.
    And the Bourgois Socialists (top down, ready made programmes – they just need to deposit these into the heads of working people – a socialism FOR when we belive in a socialism WITH) like the morons in the likes of Alliance for Workers Liberty (Revolutionary Communist League).
    But with left wing democratic socialism thank you very much we will free ourselves!

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