Analysis Announcement

Highly regarded former MP and front-bencher quits Labour over “toxic” and ‘stomach-turning’ parliamentary party

Thelma Walker was a key part of McDonnell’s Shadow Treasury team

Former Colne Valley MP Thelma Walker has resigned her membership of the Labour Party, while expressing solidarity with former party leader Jermey Corbyn.

Ms Walker attended her local branch meeting to tell local members first and then tweeted the news last night:

The loss she represents to the Labour Party was apparent in the responses to her tweet, with Labour activists and former parliamentary colleagues – even a handful from the right of the party – recognising her passion and integrity:

And the reasons for her resignation became more apparent when she responded to a tweet from another former MP:

Tragically for the party and the country, many of those ‘self-aggrandising, toxic and stomach-turning MPs now sit on Labour’s front benches after being promoted by Keir Starmer.

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  1. Thelma Walker is exactly the sort of highly principled socialist any Party of the Left which will have any chance of winning back our lost Labour Heartland voters, needs to have in large numbers . She simply can’t stomach Starmer’s reborn NuLabour Party. IF Thelma, and the likes of those Lancaster socialist councillors who also just resigned, was joined by Jeremy Corbyn as figurehead, AND the supposedly SOCIALIST Campaign Group of MPs, to found a new radical Left Party , at this very specific crisis-ridden juncture of UK politics, who can seriously doubt that it would have over a 100,000 members overnight, and that the previously quite true, barrier to new party success of our FPTP electoral system, would be split asunder by the presentation of clear socialist policies to a desperate electorate , firstly at local council election level – and then art Westminster level. And there are a significant bloc of Left-led trades unions which surely would come on board too.

    The only thing holding back such an epochal , necessary , development is the cowardice and careerism of the PLP ‘s supposed ‘Socialist ‘ Left .

  2. Last night’s ‘Zoom’ CLP Exec.Meeting only showed me just how many ‘loyal’ & ‘hard-working’ Socialist activists were leaving because of the stomach churning nausea they felt over Jeremy’s expulsion & Sir Keir’s refusal to endorse him as a Labour MP. They all claimed that the New Labour Party would suffer financially & ‘Keir’ (irony) would then see sense.

    Oh Irony! Perhaps this is exactly what he wants? A sanitised membership without questions nor opposition to his policies & political obedience to his Lord & Master, Tony Blair.

    The Labour Party do not need money right now; no General Election pending for 4 years; enough money in coffers to pay John Ware for his services & Sir Keir can always depend on large political donations for his petty cash.

    Sir Keir does not only want every single Socialist Activist to leave & abandon the Labour Party, he has deliberately opened the door for you.

    1. Stale old stuff from you as usual, Steve Richards. So you suggest that , despite the totally obvious total recapture of the Labour Party by the Labour Right (on the back of their four-year sabotage of the Party’s electoral prospects) , and the four years of evidence that the Labour ‘Left’ whether in the PLP, or in Momentum, never had, and will never have, the bottle to confront in any way the vicious sabotage of the Right , the hundreds of thousands of Left-leaning ‘Corbynistas’ should just carry on pouring their time and subs into trying to get elected an overwhelmingly corrupt and neoliberal bunch of careerist Labour councillors and MPs

      Have you learned NOTHING from the TOTALLY failed four year ‘Corbyn Insurgency experiment’, Steve ? The broad church Labour Party has never been, and can never be, a useful political vehicle for Left advance, and in the current ever-deepening covid19 , and EU Crash Out , looming economic crisis, even a vehicle for the most basic defence of working class living standards . Labour, under Starmer and his corrupt cronies is simply another arm of the UK capitalist state – time for socialists all to leave and build something better.

      1. jpenney and those who were taken in by your hypocrisy and subterfuge. The Labour Party has not been taken over by the ‘right’ it has been taken over by your gang the Zionists, the right have just jumped on the bandwaggon to assist them.

        The Labour Party has now become the ‘Zionist Party of Great Britain’ If you really do want a new Socialist Party, which if it was truly Socialist it would reject Zionism, you would support Chris Williamson but you would never do that because you know he has no time for the Zionists who did their damndest to have him expelled.

      2. I first left the Labour Party when Tony Blair became leader. I thought I had definitely made the right decision as events proved ‘how right I was’……….but I was wrong! I didn’t stay & fight; I walked away & told myself how right I was as the bombs fell on Iraq. The cancer of Blair is still there because too many of us walked away. Another Β£24.1 billion + Trident approved by both Johnson & Starmer & you think I should again walk away? As I get older, even walking away is getting harder.

  3. Starmer believes he is ‘cleansing’ the party to make it electable. The hard left and ‘woke’ crackpots frighten ordinary working class voters so the chances of getting a Labour government with Jeremy and his fellow travellers is nil (BoJo the clowns massive majority tends to prove that as a fact). The middle class metropolitan elite (of which Starmer is a paid up member) don’t care as their income, lifestyle and influence is guaranteed but if we are going to have Loopy Laura Pidcock, Rebecca Wrong Daily and Arrogant Ian Lavery as the face of the party just get used to being out of power for many decades. Let Starmer gain power THEN organise the coup to get the revoutionary left in and him out. Every analysis of 19th and 20th century history shows this is the way for socialism. Then we can look forward to a land of milk and honey (for the party elite anyway).
    You may scream and shout brothers and sisters but you know in your hearts my analysis is correct.

    1. “Let Starmer gain power [then get him out]”
      Yeah, because every serious military strategist recommends waiting until your enemy is at his strongest and his forces are thoroughly dug in before you attack him.
      Good thinking.

    2. The ‘on the coat-tails’ strategy is no longer a ‘safe’ one, or one a democratic left can afford. Politics happens in and is shaped by, context. Our context is end-stage capitalism: Increasing income and wealth inequality, powerful finance setrting governmental objectives, where financial capitalist occupy and control government, where rentier-ism is the main method of creating value, where precarity becomes a norm for the maany and whre the ecology of the planet is critical.

      I’d say we haven’t the time or the justification to use the approach you suggest. Of course, FPTP and the billionaire press (together with the lack of political awareness) are immense obstacles to democratic socialism and havee, in the past, encouraged the approach you promote/propose.

  4. There is no broad church and unity with the right is as ridiculous a proposition as coalition with the Tories.

    1. New socialist party. Now.
      When ‘New New Labour’ collapses we can take back what is, after all, only a once-honourable name.

  5. So it’s not a matter of when but a matter of how we force Red Tories out of our party

  6. David Drew (main text) has it absolutely right. The PLP has becoime a “party within a party”. It is the PLP tail wagging the LP membership dog!

  7. It was always thus. See R. Miliband, ‘Parliamentary Socialism’, and R. Crossman, ‘Introduction’, W. Bagehot, ‘The English Constitution’.

    What changed was the end of the trade-union bloc vote and the surge in newly-empowered individual members. So under Starmer, the marginalization of the constituency members is now a priority for the Centre and Right of the LP, led by the PLP. Hence the diktats as to what can be discussed at meetings ‘non-competent’ business.

    1. I not the author of the foul-mouthed comments in the name of ‘Paul Smith’ below.

  8. How
    Challenge with Trojan Horse
    Negotiate let them take right wing unions with them, we can always go back for them
    Bankrupt 3 options here
    Unions withdraw funding
    Members withdraw funding
    Class Action succeeds and damages are beyond them
    Ant other suggestions

  9. Cut βœ‚off the oxygen of the party(money πŸ’°)and the members will gain control over the parasitical PLP…simply put but the only language they understand..Theres not enough money to feed the cat 🐱at HQ so go on show them whos the boss and who can effect the gravey train πŸš†.Also use the option of strike and picketing…you know it makes sense and its certainly the best example of strength and power which they respect..The knight and his misfits will soon be given the heave ho if you go the old fashioned route.Withdraw their money and withdraw their free unpaid Labour.and support.If you have a constituency office open it to the homeless and those evicted from Labour inaction and finaly feed the press and watch the knight and his misfits do triple somersaults to appease you..Then put the boot in.

    1. Sympathetic comrades volunteering in RW party offices could withdraw their labour. Refuse to send out puff piece pamphlets with awful pictures of the vain m.p, councillor etc. Let them do their own dirty work. Go through exes with a microscope. It’s called industrial warfare. If you are staying in then make their political climb a bit more greasy. Be over polite, obsequious even, beyond personal reproach. Win.

    2. Like it. They haven’t got the guts to do battle on their own but they have the media to fight for them. Don’t pick the bastards up at the station when they deign to visit. No exes for cabs, they’ll claim it from their shop floor anyway. Let them get the rooms ready, make the tea, swab the fucking decks. If they whinge then call mr. plod because you feel intimidated physically and mentally. JVL members attack them for A/S. Flood hq with complaints, questions about procedure and legality on everything. Do not let them rest and always thank them for their service. Constant, intense gratitude can become grating. This will finish them off. Show them your holiday pics.

  10. Starmers weaknesses are members and money, it used to be called ‘entryism’. Get in (stay in), sit tight and say nothing, let Starmer get elected then strike to throw out incumbent MPs and other undesirables.
    Party is financed by union bosses. Take over union financing then tell Starmer no money for party HQ only grass roots organisations (much easier to infiltrate and dominate) until he pursues proper policies or he will be challenged in NEC and his constituency. This has worked for every time.
    Stop waffling start organising.

    1. That is a good point PC. The traditional left in Labour (dem socs) NOW need to behavee as eentryists, i.e. – get in, stay in, sit tight, say nothing, POUNCE when right time. But IF WE COULD counter the billionaire press impediment and the FPTP impediement, a new party would be our best hope.

  11. After 5 years of this being my main focus, almost full time, I have to say the majority of officials are corrupt. They are driven by their own conceit and consequently ownership of the party. And they work only behind the scenes not even discussing anything of consequence.

  12. The implosion is imminent, its time now for the radical move,close it down, it is no longer the Labour party..The suits that hide in the dark have only won a concession to collect a good wage for a short time and in doing so have shown the rank and file that treachery is still rife and that everything comes at a price.
    The party is finished it is now time for the real labour party to rise and the massive swarm that was Jeremy Corbyns support should stop paying into a party that is not working as it should!
    Its like stopping for petrol and giving the attendant your money but not taking the fuel!

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