Statement by eleven Berwick-upon-Tweed elected officers is damning indictment
Recent months have seen a growing exodus of members from the Labour party, with more than 200,000 already gone compared to the membership under Jeremy Corbyn of around 600,000 – and recent weeks have seen a series of dramatic departures by elected officers running local parties (CLPs), with many resigning both their positions and their membership of the party in protest at Keir Starmer’s war on members and their democracy and the racism he has allowed or even encouraged to burgeon under his tenure.
And last night in Berwick-upon-Tweed in the north-east of England, eleven out of thirteen CLP officers stood down from their roles and most left the party altogether, issuing a damning statement of the reasons for their decision:
On Friday 11th March eleven of the thirteen elected Officers on Berwick-upon-Tweed CLP Executive Committee stood down with immediate effect. The majority simultaneously resigned from the Labour Party.
This has been coming for some time given the current leader and his team have:
– betrayed leadership campaign pledges including the one to unite Labour;
– removed the whip from Jeremy Corbyn, despite him being a member of the Labour Party;
– eroded democracy within Labour Party national and regional structures to beyond worthless;
– expelled friends to the Party, like Ken Loach, and fantastic member activists across the country, on ludicrous and often retrospective, grounds;
– muzzled socialist councillors and MPs such that they may not utter a single word of disagreement with the current Leader without being threatened with losing the Labour whip and/or being deselected.
The very last red line crossed was the expulsion of the Berwick-upon-Tweed CLP Chair, Ian Chapman, for frankly spurious reasons. Trish Williams, former CLP Secretary and 2019 Parliamentary Candidate for Berwick Constituency, explained:
“Ian has worked tirelessly to elect Labour representatives in Berwick, Northumberland and North of Tyne. He epitomises the true socialist Labour values the Party ought to stand for. We are outraged at how Ian has been treated and cannot stay actively involved in a Labour Party without him in it. We stand in solidarity with Ian and thank him for his tremendous support and comradeship to us, and all the officers and members of Berwick-upon-Tweed CLP, and across Northumberland, over the last five years.“
In 2015 hundreds of thousands of Labour members started to hope and believe that a better world was possible. But given the issues listed above, and the lack of any meaningful opposition to the worst government in history, it seems the current regime does not have the same political priorities we do.
This Labour Party prefers to adhere to the establishment status quo and has no intention of implementing the radical and transformational change required to achieve social, economic and environmental justice in the UK or the world. We are therefore not prepared to volunteer another moment of our precious time and energy to support it.
It’s upsetting that it has come to this but there is also a sense of relief to have distanced ourselves from the hostile environment currently being experienced by socialists in a toxic Labour Party. But those of us who have left Labour are not going anywhere. You will still see us campaigning to improve people’s lives in our communities and with the wider grassroots labour movement; the difference is we will not be campaigning for a craven Labour Party that has forgotten its roots in working class solidarity and seems hell bent on self-destruction.
Keir Starmer, his cronies and sidekicks have gutted a party that was just recently the greatest force for positive change in this country and in much of Europe – and have left it a corpse rotting from the head in an unforgivable betrayal of the suffering millions desperate for a real political alternative.
Solidarity with the principled socialists of Berwick who have taken a decision to stand for something rather than fall for the vapid nonsense that passes for policy and leadership in the Starmer regime, or tolerate the unpunished racism and war on human rights that now run rampant through what used to be the Labour party and is now competing with the Tories for the title of most poisonous and hypocritical.
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