Breaking comment

Now Liverpool council follows Wirral and bars independents from committees

Labour right and its fellow-travellers target left councillors for discrimination

Earlier this week, the ruling Labour group on Wirral council on Merseyside colluded with the Tories to bar the borough’s only Jewish councillor, Jo Bird, from sitting on the council’s policy-making committees. Bird has been expelled from the Labour party, essentially for the ‘crime’ of being a left-wing Jew and sits as an independent to serve the people who elected her – and right-wing, non-Jewish councillors even denied her experience of antisemitism in order to marginalise her.

And now, Labour-run Liverpool council has joined Wirral in targeting ex-Labour independents and barring them from sitting on the policy bodies in which any other city councillor would be entitled to participate.

Cllr Sam Gorst is a well-known left-winger in the city – and like Bird he has been retrospectively expelled after repeated persecutions by Labour for comments supporting Palestine and for standing in solidarity with other Labour members smeared by the party.

Gorst posted on Facebook to describe the council’s shameful manoeuvering:

Among other councillors affected are Anna Rothery and Sarah Morton. Rothery resigned from the party last month, after facing profound racism and anti-democratic abuses, in protest at Keir Starmer’s determination not to oppose the Tories, his war on party members and democracy and his failure to properly support black communities.

Morton similarly resigned in disgust at the ‘racist, counterfeit Tory party’ Labour has become under Starmer, his sidekick David Evans and their hangers-on.

Other councils routinely allow independents to sit on committees. In some cases, independents hold the balance of power and play a key role in the running of the council.

Yet Liverpool Labour – run by a mayor who claims to be on the left – has copied the right-wing tricks performed on the other side of the Mersey to sideline councillors who have been abused by the party and/or quit their membership in disgust at the abuse perpertrated against others.

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  1. Very possibly freemasons.
    There is a lot of it about in the North West where I first became politically active.
    I could hazard a guess why Cyril Smith got away with it for so long !!

    1. Yes indeed. It might not be the Freemasonry which started in the thirteenth century and is, as wiki tells us, “the subject of numerous conspiracy theories throughout the years”, but might just be the Labour Right showing its obedience and acquiescence to the ruling class’ neoliberal hegemony, i.e. the Establishment.

  2. Labour for The Upper Middle Class, Priveleged, White Zionist Jews and Non-Jews Only!
    NOT for “The UNDESRVING POOR”, Black, Muslim, Other Minorities including “Fringe”/Black Non-Zionist Jews!
    The Neo-New-Labour Party Parasite TORIES’ crime does not extend to those 4 councilors mentioned, but to the 100s of 1000s of constituents who they represent! I hope they send out a letter/email/pon an apology on Twitter of apology to their constituents, informing constituents that they have not been represented and therefore been silenced, because as councilors they could not access the meeting to represent their Constituents!

    1. White bad; Black good? Not in this house. It is a CLASS struggle, not race (or is that what you want?)

      1. I am intrigued by “White bad; Black good? Very interesting to a) read that ‘issue’ in my comment. b) Making out that Race and Class Struggle are not ONE STRUGGLE, The STRUGGLE encompasses everything class, equality, justice, unity, solidarity, freedom, etc, etc, etc, etc. For you to ask do you want to make it that, (a race struggle), signals that you are perhaps irritated by Comrades standing Up against Racism, or is that just Black Racism? Perhaps you want to read it again and think about what I said. If you think for one moment that there has been ANY equality in “labour” and their dealings with racist complaints, I would suggest you go and have a chat with Dianne Abbott, and many others as per my comments!
        You say it is a class struggle, who are fighting this struggle!? “labour”!?
        If we want to end class, I would like to think racism is of equal importance, first we need to remove Thatcher/Blair’s Neo-New-Labour Party Parasite TORIES, where there MOST CERTAINLY is a ‘race thing’ going on, if you can’t see it you choose to be ignorant to it.

  3. Compassion and kindness when applied to political opponents lead us to weakness and to lose political ground. However, totally agree that we need fairness and honourable politics.
    The Labour groups in Wirral and Liverpool are breaking the rules of honourable and fair political engagement, they are a disgrace and are behaving like fascists.
    I hope the independent Labour Cllrs re-stand as independents when the time comes and that former Labour members that have been expelled for the crime of been socialists stand up and challenge the red Tories on their seats so that the people of Liverpool and the Wirral could have a choice.
    Skwawkbox could you start a campaign to open a bank account in which to donate money to see these comrades re-elected? As a priority a letter need to be sent to every resident in their wards explaining what the local Labour Group has done and requesting the support of the residents, in order to do this effectively and keep reminding residents month by month that these Cllrs are at their service they need money for printing letters and leaflets, also it could help recruit boots on the ground to canvass for them when the time arrives.

  4. This behaviour shouldn’t surprise us – what do you expect from a pig but a grunt

  5. “Yet Liverpool Labour – run by a mayor who claims to be on the left”

    Neil Kinnock claimed to be on the left.

  6. The bigest obstacle to local democracy is the “cabinet style” structure of councils, which replaced the more democratic committee structure, in the 2000s.

    It’s another triumph of Blairs, that the bully with the most in his/her gang gets to chose who will be the council leader and they in turn allocate who will be the chairs of committees, appointees to local bodies eg the fire authority, Liverpool City Region rep etc. Each appointment comes with a greater wedge of dosh attached to the basic councillor allowance, so the incentive to keep on the right side of the leader or chairs of committees is obvious and it leads to a distortion of the democratic process.

    In Halton Labour (part of the Liverpool City Regional Authority) it was common for members to refer to the executive of the council as the “grey old men”. This was soon stopped when said councillors had a motion passed at a Halton CLP meeting to stop delegates referring to them as such. Even though it was basically true and they were unrepresentative of the local community.

    I believe Swkawks posted about this sometime in late 2017.

    1. Yes I think you are quite right that some of the rot set in when the ‘Cabinet’ system was introduced into local government. A trivial point I know, but I well remember the Labour Leader of the Council and the rest of the councillors in the town I lived in (a pretty deprived area in the North West) along with the large Labour controlled local authority I worked for, were transformed seemingly overnight into Peter Mandelson type figures : complete with sharp suits, long black overcoats, etc! I am sure they or their replacements are still strutting around feathering their own nests.

      1. No – I’m saying Labour would not win. Divided parties never do and Labouris divided because of the war its supposed-leader is waging on its membership, even in Liverpool

  7. As none of them seem to be prepared to let their electorate decide whether they still want them or not it looks like we’ll have to wait until the next election to find out whether their respective electorates voted for them personally or just wanted a Labour Party councillor.

    1. True stevieh, but I think the Labour Right (most of whom are neoliberal hegemony-supporting entryists) will be disappointed when they realise (sadly, through bad electoral performance) that socialists, radicals and the people we defend, do have “somewhere else” to go – and we go there rather than give the anti-democratic Labour Right our votes.

      Mandelson’s arrogance will be the Labour Right’s undoing.

      1. qwertboi – If they stand as independents and win then you are welcome to come back and gloat.

      2. Sadly, neither side – neither you nor me – will have anything to gloat about – unless there is a miraculous genesis of an electorally strong new Labour party (which I doubt will happen). Can you not see that the only “victors” from Starmer’s de-naturing of Labour are the billionaires and the oligarchy their ascendency produces?

      3. qwertboi – So you agree with me that they would lose if they called a by-election.

      4. No – I’m saying Labour would not win. Divided parties never do and Labouris divided because of the war its supposed-leader is waging on its membership, even in Liverpool

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