News

Ten ‘exec’ members of one CLP resign over Starmer’s return to right-wing politics

All but three elected officers of Harwich and North Essex CLP resign at once

The Clacton Gazette has reported that ten elected officers of Harwich and North Essex constituency Labour party’s (CLP) executive board have resigned their positions because of new party leader Keir Starmer’s sharp swerve to the right.

Those stepping down – all but three of the CLP’s ‘exec’ – include those in the most senior positions: chair, vice-chair, secretary and treasurer. All have said they intend to retain their party membership.

The group’s statement records their grounds for resigning:

It is always a sad moment when it becomes necessary for a Labour member to step aside from a role within the party but the time has come for us all to do just that.

As executive committee members we have experienced a great feeling of comradeship and unity of purpose as we endeavoured to promote and organise the Labour Party in our locality.

Our firm objective has been to promote socialist ideals and to argue unregulated capitalism is incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity and these ideals can only be achieved through the realisation of a socialist society.

We did our very best to support and run the constituency Labour party through good times and bad. The General Election result of 2019 was indeed a very bad time for us.

The growth of membership in our group was quite extraordinary from 2015 until late 2019 and the quality and organisation of our meetings was of note. We embraced the broad church and respected a range of views.

We all now feel that with the direction being taken by the leadership towards a more neo-liberal stance it is right the executive baton should be handed over to those that share the direction of the leadership.

Whether those right-wing members who will take over the positions will maintain the ‘comradeship’ the CLP enjoyed under its left-wing leadership remains to be seen, but the conduct of their national equivalents does not suggest grounds for much hope.

The resignations mirror similar exoduses across the country. Labour’s eastern regional office did not comment.

The SKWAWKBOX is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

39 comments

  1. Whether you are reading the Guardian or watching BBC, the difficult questions “What about patriotism, what about the return to work?” and all the rest, the current leadership aims to have no views known to man nor beast. Surely they have a view other than “Not Corbyn?” Sadly, I feel that that is their only policy for getting in to power – except of course in a fight between activists and the media that beklongs to billionaires (mostly foreign), Starmer will back the billionaires.

    1. Well, I hope this results in Labour Party members voting and making sure the left has a clear majority on the NEC following those elections, so that we can take back control of the Party. It is vital that members stay IN the Labour Party to make sure there are still enough of us to get rid of the delusional and disgusting Blairites, who, it seems to me have no moral compass whatsoever, particularly if the only thing they stand for is anyone but Corbyn. We MUST remain IN the Labour Party to get rid of those political charlatans and dinosaurs if the country is to stand a chance of not heading over the cliff into an economic and social oblivion and nightmare.

  2. I wonder how many who remain in the party are continuing to pay subs at a higher rate, as many did, and how many have reduced their payments to the minimum?
    Hopefully the need for a genuinely socialist party is becoming more widely accepted.

    1. I understand their frustration and you have to make a stand but I don’t believe Starmer is interested one jot if the CLP’s never meet again, as long as the delegates are his supporters his job is done.

      1. That is why it is so important that as many left wing members of the Labour Party stay IN the Labour Party to make sure the Blairites cannot stitch-up selections at these meetings against us. I would encourage all those left wing members who have left, without, it seems to me, thinking through the consequences of their actions, when Starmer became leader, I would encourage them all to return, because there is no socialist alternative out there, and there is no sign of a social alternative being about to happen out there either. So, leaving the Labour Party means the left has no voice and no power in politics, those on the left are therefore potentially doing irreparable harm to themselves, which is also known as cutting off their noses despite their faces. The left has never been very good at organising ourselves for vital and important meetings which could result in us being in control of our own lives, it is way overdue that the left did finally organise in order to take back control of our own lives, the alternative has limited appeal for me, which is fear, tyranny and oppression.

  3. Dramatic two fingers to Starmer ok but what’s the point of resigning but remaining a member? I honestly do not get it.

    1. Well Rita, from my point of view they are behaving with honour. Hence, when in 2024 at the latest Starmer falls from grace, we will be able to say to the right wingers of our Party, get out you are surplus to requirement.

  4. The resignations are (sort of) understandable, but the way forward remains as unclear as ever it was.

    I resigned after the sacking of RLB. I could feel the party’s ideals plummeting. Starmer’s power grab makes the party a less viable opposition with each passing day. Such is its position now that the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee and Jonathan Freedland are singing its praises. ‘Anyone and anything but Corbyn.’ I’d anticipated abysmal, but never to this degree!

  5. What has happened to the party in recent times is nothing less than a disaster.. We lost a strong and principled leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who was defeated by the combined forces of the establishment MSM Tories and our own right wing.
    He was replaced by someone scared to raise his head above the parapet and who engages in supportive private communications with a Prime Minister who is to the right of Thatcher. He does this while trying to shut down criticism of the HQs officials and others who engaged in foul racist and misogynistic slurs and who deliberately set out to delay resolving antisemitism complaints so that Jeremy could be blamed. He is leading the party backwards to the bad old days of Tony Blair and his appalling cronies – Blunkett Hain Mandleson etc.
    However resigning en masse or individually from an Executive or from the party is not the answer in my opinion. It sickens me when I see people like Jess Phillips, Rachel Reeves etc promoted by our new leader and people like Dawn Butler, Barry Gardiner etc shut out. I am also sickened by his casual racism when he referred to the Black Lives Matter movement as a “moment” but I believe that if we want to change things we have got to hang in there and use our collective power and our votes to do so. If we walk away as these good but disappointed people did we are simply handing the party over to the Right Wingers who will joyfully implement Starmer’s policies.( if he ever manages to produce any that is )

    1. Smartboy, Jeremy’s leadership happened by accident as we all know – a fortuitous accident, but an unforced error by the right nonetheless – an error that world neoliberalism moved rapidly to correct.
      Can Labour really be won back against those odds, particularly now the right have understood the full extent of their advantage?
      I’d say not.
      I’m convinced we only have a short window, and then only if Jeremy can be convinced to join it, to form a brand new socialist party.
      I believe Labour is dead as a force for the many unless another totally unpredictable event on the scale of Jeremy’s accidental nomination occurs.
      Can we wait another fifty years?

      1. I disagree with you David and also with Pablored62. I believe that if we formed a breakaway party it would sink without trace the same was as all the other breakaway parties over the years have done. Anyone advocating this has either not thought it through or not the best interests of the Labour left at heart.

      2. Smartboy – Apparently the Corbyn supporting Socialist Campaign Group of left-wing MPs have the common sense to agree with you.

        Richard Burgon – ““We want Keir in Downing Street. We don’t want to capsize the ship – we want to steer its course – its policy programme – to the left,”

      3. So Smartboy, we just carry on campaigning and get Starmer elected and then what? Somewhere along the way you have to make a real stand and not be afraid of losing. Starting a new party with already elected MP’s and four years to get the message out in key areas may not get the party in government but it would have influence ie DUP. Then again, as you point out, only you have the best interests of the left at heart! Lol!

      4. pablored62 06/09/2020 at 2:30 pm
        “So Smartboy, we just carry on campaigning and get Starmer elected and then what?”
        After 14yrs of Tory misrule we would have a desperately needed Labour government in office who would govern the country on behalf of all the people, not just the few. We would have a Labour government who would have the power to implement their manifesto, a manifesto built on the firm foundations of the core policies and principles laid out in the 2017 manifesto.

        Unfortunately nobody seems to have got around to asking these serving MPs, that you are relying on, about whether they are actually up for it. Maybe they don’t share your dreams of political irrelevance.

        This is what Richard Burgon said at a recent SCG meeting that was convened after the sacking of RLB –
        Richard Burgon says left-wing MPs will work constructively with Starmer, as opposed to “some of the right of the PLP” under Corbyn, who tried to “steer the ship” towards the rocks and make the “elected captain walk the plank”.
        “We want Keir in Downing Street. We don’t want to capsize the ship – we want to steer its course – its policy programme – to the left,” he explains. “We are not oppositional; we intend to be propositional.”

      5. SteveH you actually believe we’ll have a manifesto built on the foundations of the 2017 manifesto? Dear oh dear! Starmer has already started to dismantle it and he’s only been in for 5 mins. As for irrelevance – that’s you kid.

      6. pablored62 06/09/2020 at 5:14 pm
        SteveH you actually believe we’ll have a manifesto built on the foundations of the 2017 manifesto?
        Yes I do, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary I see no reason to doubt this. I have recently renewed my membership and I will exercise what influence I can to ensure this remains the case.

        Dear oh dear! Starmer has already started to dismantle it and he’s only been in for 5 mins.
        As you’ve now treated us all to your rather pathetic attempt at condescension do you think you may be able to find the time to do something constructive and actually add some substance to your ‘assertions’ by detailing these changes in policy that you claim have taken place along with the links to some credible evidence? Or are you going to have to go away and think about that one?

        As for irrelevance – that’s you kid.
        You’re the one in the small minority group, not me.

      7. Smartboy, you’re going to have to be a bit more explicit than “not thought it through” – I believe JC brought well over 100,000 new members to Labour.
        Haven’t researched it but given the aging & dying Tory support base 100,000 members would probably make the new party 2nd-biggest by membership, wouldn’t it?
        I think 100,000 may also be a considerable underestimate, and I’ve never seen SteveH claim xxxx members left when JC was elected leader.
        With one or two savings I’d willingly manage to pay more than five times the subs I paid to Labour and I’d think it a privilege if Jeremy were leading the new party.
        I believe many more would feel the same way – you may not, which is your privilege of course – but I’m not known for baseless optimism.

      8. David – Pipedreams of a new party are just that, nothing more than pointless pipedreams. Whether you like it or not the only way you can effect left-wing change in a first past the post system is through the Labour party

    2. reply to Pablored62
      I don’t and have never claimed to be the only one with the Labour Left’s best interests at heart. I am happy to say that there are probably hundreds of thousand of people like me who want to see a left leaning Labour party. That cannot be achieved if we jump ship and start a new party That I am sorry to say is the road to oblivion – ask Chuka Umunna or Luciana Berger

      1. Smartboy, those fucktards’ desertion was an unprincipled attempt to undermine JC and the left, as were all the efforts of the right, the Tories, the MSM, the LFI, BoD and Israel itself.
        The other difference if JC quit would be the number of young, energetic supporters and members of the new party there’d be.
        Few of the CLP would jump initially but after a short while – with Starmer’s dour intransigence giving unwitting help and a membership growing at Labour’s expense – I think there’d be many MP’s willing to cross the floor – most of whom I personally would want to reject.

      2. David – Don’t waste your time on pointless dreams. I doubt very much that Jeremy will ever leave the Labour Party, why would he want to destroy his own legacy and sink into political obscurity.

  6. Update just now from Carole Morgan’s £332,343 fund for Jeremy to defend the suit threatened by John Ware.
    Three trustees have now been appointed – herself, Liz Davies and Andy Gregg, both of whom she says Jeremy has known for a long time.
    Bring it on, Ware.

  7. I see no purpose in fighting another unwinnable battle. I gave up membership as soon as Starmer was elected and because of the sheer numbers of idiots that voted for him and his lies.

    There is to much cancer even if you win back the whole of the NEC and get a left wing leader the blk of MP’s and the bulk of the party machinery will be solid right wing, now until you magicly manage to remove every shred of this we will be back to the briefing, lies and consent sniping by the right wing press and TV in this country. Do you honestly see what this will be ever possible?

    I held my nerve during Blaire when they could not have given less than a toss about members and it’s going right back there so I am glad some comrades want to fight all power to you, I am a middle aged tired disabled man who will save what strength to fight on local issues with good left wing comrades and leave the other battles for people with more fight that I have. i hope we will return to the wonder days but currently I honestly believe it’s impossible.

    To really get a honest socialist party started again seams the better choice currently and slowly grow it, with honest MP’s and activists showing everyone solid compassion and socialism wins hearts and minds. I whould rejoin that in a heartbeat! Then make sure this big tent BS never get allowed again any right wing infections have to be cut out of they like a cancer silently spread and then your just back to this mess. Sadly a so called socialist party that is solid tory lite just wearing the skin of a left wing party like in a cheep horror film.

  8. One presumes that if they had continued to enjoy the support of their CLP’s members that they would have remained in post

      1. Steve Richards – My apologies but I haven’t a clue what you are on about, could you perhaps elaborate.

  9. How long before many of these CLP’s prior to 2015 that were all but redundant, return to the same malaise

  10. I’m confused, why are they stepping down only to hand over power to hard-line right wingers, or are they stepping down over a particular issue and putting themselves forward again as motion of confidence.

    If not, it doesn’t make sense and will just hand over the party to the right.

    1. rotzeichen – “why are they stepping down”

      I’m guessing that their lack of support for Labour’s new leadership made their positions untenable with the CLP’s membership.

      1. Steve H, it could be the other way round too. Some members will put principles before pragmatism.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: