Bolton South East members condemn cowardly move to force out left members
Labour members in the Bolton South East constituency have voted for a motion condemning the antidemocratic decision of Keir Starmer and his sidekick David Evans to ‘proscribe’ four left groups as part of Starmer’s war on members’ freedom of speech, making membership of or support for them an automatic expulsion offence.
The local Labour MP, Yasmin Qureshi, is a member of Starmer’s front bench. The motion, which passed with no opposition, reads:
This CLP notes:
On 20th July 2021, the National Executive Committee, by a majority, passed proposals to ‘auto-exclude’ from the Labour Party members who are presumed to belong to any of the following organisations: Labour Against the Witch Hunt; the Labour in Exile Network; Resist; and Socialist Appeal. These proposals were only publicised less than a week before the NEC meeting.
The NEC also voted to establish a panel to look at potentially proscribing other organisations which are deemed not to fit with the ‘aims and values’ of the Labour Party.
This CLP believes:
The Labour Party has always represented a very broad range of political opinion. Proscribing these organisations represents an attack on open, democratic, debate within the party and the right of party members to organise themselves to campaign for political objectives. It sets a concerning precedent for further attempts to narrow the scope of political debate.
Where individual members are accused of offences against party rules e.g. campaigning against party candidates or engaging in hate speech, these should be investigated on a case by case basis. ‘Auto-excluding’ party members because they are presumed to support certain groups denies them any right to defend themselves, or appeal – even against inaccurate presumptions of support for such groups – and so is contrary to natural justice.
That the Labour Party does best when it is focused on representing the interests of the mass of working people and their families, rather than turning inwards to pursue divisive vendettas against elements of its own supporters. Such campaigns reinforce, rather than challenge, false narratives about the ‘extremism’ of Labour Party members.
This CLP resolves:
To express its dismay at the decision of the NEC majority to proscribe the 4 groups, and to commend the action of the minority of NEC members who voted against these proposals.
To forward a copy of this motion, with thanks, to the 10 NEC members who issued a joint statement opposing the proposals – Laura Pidcock, Nadia Jama, Amy Jackson, Mish Rahman, Yasmin Dar, Jayne Taylor, Andy Kerr, Andi Fox, Gemma Bolton and Ian Murray.
Starmer’s war on the left has seen the expulsion of world-famous socialist and film director Ken Loach, as well as resulting in a complaint to the Equality and Human Rights Commission about his purge of left-wing Jews and outrage about blatant Islamophobia.
Bolton South East members are not the first to condemn Starmer’s hypocritical assault on democracy. Last month, Sheffield Heeley members overwhelmingly did likewise, despite the likelihood of reprisals by the Labour right in control of the party machine.
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