Analysis Breaking comment

Breaking: all 16 exec members of Wakefield Labour resign in protest at Starmer’s war on democracy

All 16 members of Wakefield local Labour party (CLP)’s elected executive have resigned in disgust at Keir Starmer’s war on democracy. At least some have resigned their party membership entirely, with one former exec member saying:

I believe in local democracy. I believe local people should be representing people in Wakefield. If a party ignores a membership to that extent that I’m not going to be part of the membership

Local party members are furious at the regime’s decision to trample on selection processes and impose a longlist of candidates from outside the area for the Wakefield by-election in what another member said was ‘a complete stitch-up from the start’, according to the ‘Northern Agenda’ podcast.

The Wakefield group is far from the first to quit the party over Starmer’s anti-democratic obsession, his war on members and the Labour right’s racism. Just in March, the exec of New Brighton Labour resigned en masse and a week before that, the elected officers of Berwick upon Tweed Labour did the same, while in February the execs of both CLPs in the London borough of Newham quit their party memberships along with a number of ‘rank and file’ members of those local parties, in protest at both the war on democracy and the unchecked and unpunished racism and Islamophobia of the Labour right.

Labour under Starmer is a shell and democracy in the rotting corpse of a recently-great party is sham that Starmer and co often don’t even bother to maintain as a front, trusting their pals in the laughably-termed ‘centrist’ media to ignore or actively cover for their actions, as they do with everything else.

And many members who remained in the party after more than 200,000 already quit in disgust are saying ‘enough is enough’ and refusing to be part of it.

SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – 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 doing its job.

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

31 comments

  1. Good for them. Clearly Heinitz must no longer be on the council or he would have been on the LP exec. and would certainly not have resigned over excessive control by Southfork.

    1. Here is the statement from Wakefield executive committee.

      Wakefield constituency Labour executive to resign en bloc over NEC conduct of by-lection candidate selection. Over the past year the Wakefield Labour Party has repeatedly put two requests to party headquarters:
      1. To do an early selection to avoid a rushed job and get a candidate in place early
      2. We wanted a local candidate
      The Labour Party has a special set of rules when it comes to by-elections, updated as recently as last year, but the national executive committee (NEC) simply haven’t kept to them.
      The rules say a shortlist should be drawn up by a five-person panel, three chosen by the local Labour Party, plus one each from the NEC and the Yorkshire Region. The NEC simply reversed this, with three from the NEC itself plus one for region and one local (which had to be female).
      The rules say there should be a week between publication of shortlist and the vote, so members can find out about the candidates and a chance to think about their choice. The NEC have given two clear days.
      We asked for local candidates, but there are none. Three prominent council and local Labour candidates, including the deputy council Leader didn’t even make it onto the ‘longlist’.
      A shortlist of four was requested by our representative on the panel to give members some choice but the NEC members insisted on just two.
      Representations to party officials at the highest level have got absolutely nowhere with some queries not even answered.
      As a consequence, the constituency executive (comprised of local branch representatives and constituency officers) decided last night to resign en bloc with effect from the Sunday selection meeting

      1. Reply to Steve
        Just some additional background info
        The deputy Council leader an extremely hard working local man names Jack Hemingway was not placed on the longlist for selection as PPC in the upcoming by- election after Mike Katz of the Jewish Labour Movement criticised him for
        liking a post from George Galloway
        liking a post from Salma Yaqoob
        claimed he downplayed antisemitism in the party and for
        calling for the reinstatement of Jeremy Corbyn
        The contents of the posts Jack liked were not disclosed but I assume they were fairly innocuous otherwise Mike Katz would have published them in full.
        Following Mike Katz’s criticism Jack Hemingway was advised his application for PPC was unsuccessful.
        The Executive subsequently found out that following manipulation of the composition of the selection panel no local candidates had made it on to the longlist and instead someone would be parachuted into the constituency so they resigned en masse.

  2. they r only saving mandelson’s keith the trouble of doing what the parasites made it clear they want. the parasites will not mourn their resignations. they’ll be drinking more beers, champagne, and eating a million more curries to celebrate. if resigners fail to stand as independents or join with Aspire, SWP, et al, and fail to publicise their resignations to a GENERAL audience, then they only make the parasites more entrenched.

    1. We have a choice to take DYNAMIC action or join the whining brigade of passive victims. ASPIRE defeated Keith, even more than Ken Livingstone and Galloway defeated Mandelson’s WMD Blair. THAT is of PRACTICAL value. In my opinion, Piddock handing over her hard won CLP position in SILENCE re the general public, = HELPING the parasites and leaving the heavy lifting to those who remain.
      The ridiculous pathetic thing is Jeremy is still hoping desperately to be reinstated. Who has the numbers to make that OR ANYTHING else happen???

      1. ps if resigners fail to take DYNAMIC action outside to bring down the parasites, eg join insurgents eg ASPIRE, then what exactly do they expect to achieve???

  3. Pffffft! ‘Tis only 16 members….Corbyn ‘lost’ 40000, apparently.

    Isn’t that right, wee divvy?

    Awaits the inevitable: But we must wait for the outcome of the by-election before rushing to judgement….😒

    1. According to the official figures published by Jeremy Corbyn’s staff in 2018/19 the Labour Party lost 20% of its membership.

      1. What matters is the trend. The figures are rarely accurate because most people leave by not renewing rather than firing off a protest to HQ.
        And the trends are unmistakeable: with Corbyn at the helm membership rose steadily beyond half a million. The biggest party in europe people were calling it and a million members seemed to be on its way. It was all very logical, if a socialist is going to challenge The Establishment and make real changes a mass movement, energetic and organised will be needed to counteract such nonsense as the anti-semitism campaign.
        Then there was the urgent business of cleaning out the traitors and turning the PLP, a nest of imperialist careerists, into an instrument for reform and leadership. That required active majorities in every constituency to dismantle the municipal machines and the bosses in rotten boroughs- which we know by their fruits, the Austins and Watsons, the Hodges and Streetings.
        Even from a distance the excitement was palpable, once again, it seemed the oldest working class was rejoining the battle and throwing its weight and experience into the international struggle for justice and fairness, kindness and peace. What was inspiring for some, though, was frightening for the evil elites which fear nothing more than ordinary people united and awake.
        Since Starmer conned and purchased his way to the top the trend has been very clear, all the figures and lies in the world can’t disguise it. For him and his allies it has been Mission Accomplished: the trend towards a million members has been reversed. The party is now on course for less than a hundred thousand. And that is only the beginning, the lively movement of ‘supporters’ has almost evaporated. But the worst of it is that the solid vote from working class areas and industrial regions, ‘ the pig with a red ribbon’ solidarity and the hatred of the old capitalist parties has gone too.
        The Blairites have realised their dream: a pale imitation of the corrupt and ineffectual Democratic Party in the States, which, itself looks on the verge of disappearing.

      2. bevin – You are right about the trend being important which is why I find Labour’s consistent lead in the polls so heartening.
        The verifiable figures below are the actual number of fully paid up members who were entitled to vote in various internal Labour Party elections. They do not include any members who were in arrears at the time.

        July 2017 – 538,606
        November 2017 – 525,779
        June 2018 – 506,320
        November 2019 – 430,359
        January 2020 – 552,835
        August 2020 – 495,961

  4. When will this farce end! With over 200,000 members having left since Corbyn, surely this is now the time to launch a Labour left wing oriented party. Even if only half these disenfranchised joined it would still be one of the strongest parties going into the next election. We cannot allow Starmer and his right wing cronies to lead us into the next General Election, with his Tory Party Agenda. Now is the time for the left to organise, sort out their differences and challenge Starmer, a Party with policies that would help the people that Labour used to represent and who are now being shafted by the elite
    There never has been such a need, Who out there will accept the challenge?

    1. “Continuity Labour” would be my choice of name, let people know that it would be the REAL Labour Party not a paler shade of Tory.

    2. Yes a National List of 620 Jeremy Corbyn Independents but NOT standing against the 30 or so Left Labour MPs.

  5. Starmer’s ‘Labour’ against Independent Labour- it’s got to be Independent Labour (or Aspire) every time!
    At what point will the BBC be ‘encouraged’ to acknowledge what’s happening? Get Question Time off life support.

    1. If the BBC acknowledged the fact of the purge of
      Jewish LP members that would be something.

      Sooner or later it will all come out – just as the
      scandal of the treatment of Sub Postmasters has
      all come out.

      1. Can’t see the Beeb ever doing that. It would be more than their licence fee is worth.

    2. “Starmer’s ‘Labour’ against Independent Labour- it’s got to be Independent Labour (or Aspire) every time!…”

      The Labour party neoliberal entryists and their lawyers would be horrified it if a ‘new party’ were formed and called itself The Independent Labour Party. They’d find millions from the likes of Lord David Sainsbury and Sir Trevor Chinn for lawyer fees to protect their “brand”.

      I’d like it too. It would allow the new party to loudly proclaim its providence.

      Credit to Spartacus Educational:

      In the 1880s working-class political representatives stood in parliamentary elections as Liberal-Labour candidates. After the 1885 General Election there were eleven of these Liberal-Labour MPs. Some socialists like Keir Hardie, the Liberal-Labour MP for West Ham, began to argue that the working class needed their own independent political party. This feeling was strong in Manchester and in 1892 Robert Blatchford, the editor of the socialist newspaper, the Clarion joined with Tom Garrs, and Richard Pankhurst to form the Manchester Independent Labour Party.

      ……..

      “As Henry Snell explained in his autobioghraphy, Men Movements and Myself (1936): ” The Independent Labour Party was avowedly and uncompromisingly Socialist, and those of us who were its advocates attacked capitalism in every speech that we made. The Sunday meetings of the I.L.P. held in a thousand halls, suggested religious revival meetings rather than political demonstrations. The fervour of the great audiences that assembled in centres like Glasgow, Bradford, Leeds, Huddersfield, Birmingham, and Bristol, was quite without precedent in British political history. Men who had grown old in years had their youthful enthusiasms renewed under the glow and warmth of a new spiritual fellowship. They were born again; they joyfully walked many miles to listen to a favourite speaker; they sang Labour hymns; and they gave to the new social faith an intensity of devotion which lifted it far above the older political organizations of the day.” ”

      1. qwertboi – You can look back to the good old days all you like but it is self evident that the movement lacked staying power.

      2. As rare as hens teeth but
        Two Cheeks has a point
        The left does not produce the right kind of bastard, the sort needed to get things done and deal with the opposition
        Nice, decent and with integrity does not match utter ruthlessness

  6. Yes the Right dominated NEC bypassed the sovereignty of Labour Conference and changed the rules on a whim.
    What they are saying is that there isn’t a Labour member in the whole of Wakefield good enough to represent their area for Labour? What an insult!
    If I hadn’t have left already & lived in Wakefield I would leave now or definitely go on strike!
    Oh and a little birdie told me that one of the Right Wing contenders from Bradford a Ms Deardon on hearing Ken Livingstone had left Labour, on 21/5/2018 tweeted: “Corbyn says Ken Livingstone resignation is sad?!
    We’re jumping for joy pal – hope he takes the rest of the disgusting anti-semites with him.”
    James Stern-Weiner ‘Anti-Semitism and the Labour Party’ (2019) points out that out of 500,000 members in 2019 there were 296 complaints of AS (0.000592%) and 149 were removed, expelled or left (0.000298%).
    Such is the mediocrity in Right Wing Labour, and an academic recently described some former communist countries as ‘Imitation democracies’ they have elections then have Govts which are Anti-Democratic so this too perhaps applies to the Tory Govt and Right Wing Labour?
    Perhaps Right Wing Labour’s new mantra is:
    Better Dead than Red! (?)
    if there is a Wakefield independent Left Wing Democratic Socialist standing there I hope the Left will flood in!

    1. The risk with standing a left wing candidate is that there is a high likelihood they won’t win enough votes from the official Labour party to win the seat, with the result that the blue Tory will win; and then the entire narrative will be that it is solely because of the left that the Tories won, and the left have proved they are not sufficiently popular to win themselves.

      If the left doesn’t stand, then if the blue Tories win, it weakens Starmer and his brand of Labour still further. If Labour does win, it is unlikely to be as convincing a win as in 2017 (when Labour increased their vote share from 40% in 2015 to 49%, despite the candidate being Mary Creagh). While the Labour right will no doubt still crow about winning back a seat that Corbyn lost, the closeness of the result will send an unmistakeable message.

      It’s tricky. Sometimes, at some point, you just have to go ahead and take the risk. I don’t know enough about the constituency to judge whether this could be the time to do it – if an independent left candidate stood and won, it really would send shockwaves through the establishment, and would destroy Starmer’s narrative that he has to tack right to win back the Red Wall. The potential prize is big, and if the risk does not pay off, well, it’s what they are already saying anyway.

      I guess we need to do what Starmer has refused to do, and trust people locally to make the call.

  7. Well starmers conduct has made the news again and it looks like the news is slowly leaking out that the labour party are infected with lunatics and a right wing extreme leader who ignores democracy and the members.

  8. Good on ye Steve Walker for listing a few of the other instances where long-standing party members in executive roles have resigned in disgust at how Keir-10-Pledges is mis-managing and thwarting the Labour party.

    SKY News and the guardian were reporting this story today and I suspect their journalists were so ignorant and clueless about the oppresive shock tactics that Starmer and Evans have been instigating against the party’s membership (“the dearly departed”) for two years that they probably needed to dig up SKWAWKBOX exclusives, analysis and comment pieces from SW’s pen.

    Good on ye Steve Walker.

  9. News is certainly leaking out – or more
    likely gushing out as the dam of silence
    is breached ..

    The Wakefield resignations are on THREE
    “Labour List” posts – though some of
    the response to this is equivocal. There
    are other posts on the relative success of
    Welsh Labour and the promotion of proper
    policies.

  10. Local Labour Party branches are effectively worthless now. Only the PLP is regarded as worthy.

    1. Marty – no they are not worthless*** – they are putting
      forward good candidates who do their best for
      the local people and persist in doing so in spite
      (possibly) of the machinations of other branches
      in the same CLP or of Labour HQ..

      *** Provided they have not been got at of course ..

      Meanwhile – some of us are waiting ..

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: