Former chair long targeted by Labour right for standing up for democracy leaves party in disgust
Paul Davies, long one of the leading figures of the Labour left on Merseyside, has quit the party with a letter of resignation that provides a devastating dissection of the evils of Labour under the Keir Starmer regime.
Davies, like his local party, was suspended by the party for many months as part of what the infamous leaked Labour report confirmed was a deliberate stitch-up of left members in Wallasey to defend right-wing MP Angela Eagle from democracy – and notably refuted a string of baseless smears by then-general secretary Iain McNicol against party members. The stitch-up collapsed and Davies was elected by members as the local party chair – but now he has decided enough is enough and that he will not collude in the deception perpetrated on the nation that Starmer’s outfit is in any way a Labour alternative to the Tories.
In his resignation letter, Davies writes:
As Chair of Wallasey Labour Party and Chair of the Wirral Local Government Committee I have watched developments within the Labour Party with growing concern.
The authoritarianism, lack of respect for democracy, unfair disciplinary procedures, failure to develop policies that offer anything substantive for those we claim to represent and last but not least the broken pledges of Keir Starmer have led me to resign from the Party.
To remain a member would in my view mean that I was complicit in the actions of a Party that I am embarrassed to be linked with and which I believe threatens the very foundations of democracy in what is effectively a two party state.
For any who might be interested in a further explanation of my decision I give an outline below.
To the diminishing number of good members who remain in the Party in the hope that it will somehow be possible to transform it; I wish you well and hope you prove me wrong in my belief that it is too far gone for a democratic transformation into a Party of principle that fights for justice and equality standing up for the weak and poor against the strong and wealthy.
Contributing factors in my decision to resign
1. Central control by the Party Machine
This has been witnessed by many of us personally and was further revealed in the Leaked Report “The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019” .
The activities of the Party staff [were] fully exposed in the Report and the inquiry into it conducted by Martin Forde QC has yet to be published even though it was originally scheduled for July 2020.
2. Exaggerated claims of Antisemitism
The actual number of antisemites in a party that had 500,000 members was never published and if it had been would indeed have shown that the number being reported was exaggerated.
Any assertions that the extent of anti-semitism was exaggerated gives rise to a judgement that the persons making such assertions are either themselves anti-semitic or bringing the party into disrepute. Any criticism of Israel or defence of members accused of anti-semitism was judged as anti-semitic.
3. Suspension of CLPs and Branches
These are carried out for purely factional reasons and in Wallasey when we did not support Angela Eagle in her Leadership bid lies were told about the CLP and false allegations made.
The leaked Report alleges that Angela Eagle was asking the staff in head office to extend the suspension of the CLP so that she could have time to get control of the CLP
4. Lack of respect for local democracy
In Liverpool the 3 candidates for Mayor selected by the local parties were not allowed to stand.
In Oxton the local preferred candidate Jeff Davies was suspended so preventing his selection and in Bebington the selected candidate Ruth Molyneux was removed from the Panel because of her opposition to council cuts.
New Brighton was refused the right to select its own candidate.
The Wirral Local Government Committee is entitled to send 6 representatives to all Group meetings but this attendance was refused throughout the whole period of the budget consideration.
5. Lack of respect for national democracy
Keir Starmer has made it clear that he will ignore Conference Resolutions that he does not like such as the call to sanction Israel for its apartheid policies towards Palestinians.
The challenge to Corbyn’s leadership by MPs showed disdain for the democratic process within the Party and was an attempted coup by the PLP.
The Leaked report also showed that Party Officials were intent on manipulating the outcome of the General Election to ensure that a socialist did not become PM.
The Party closed down debate over the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn and does not allow members to discuss any decisions reached under its disciplinary procedures even though the accusations against left wing members are regularly leaked to the press.
Young Labour’s social media accounts were closed down because they were critical of the leader’s uncritical support of NATO.
The Party also prohibited debate regarding the leaked report so effectively closing down debate about its own conduct.
7. Lack of free speech
The most marked examples of this are the clamping down on criticism of Israel and NATO. Perhaps even more worryingly there is a self censorship for fear of saying something that might be construed as being anti-semitic and lead to suspension or expulsion.
Any debate about Labour-controlled Councils not complying with Tory cuts is prohibited.
8. Unjust Disciplinary Procedures
The procedure is unfair and criticised as such in the both the Chakrabarty Report and the judgement of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Left wing members are judged to be guilty and then try hard to prove their innocence.
Regional Officials readily come to the rescue of favoured members.
When the Labour Group Chief Whip Karl Greaney received a complaint against Councillor Paul Stuart and said he would investigate the complaint, which was his duty to do as Chief Whip, he received phone calls from both Regional and National Officials instructing him not to investigate. His independence as Chief Whip was being threatened and as a result of the ensuing argument he both resigned as Chief Whip and his Labour Party Membership.
The right to free speech and freedom to debate is crucial both in society and any political party so there should be no proscription except in extreme cases.
Even if the proscription of the 7 organisations proscribed so far is justified it is inconceivable that every person who has ever been a member of them or liked something on Facebook should be expelled.
Party rules now state that action against such members need not comply with Natural Justice.
10. Witchunt or McCarthyism
Angela Rayner made it clear that she would be willing to expel thousands of members but it does seem beyond irony to expel members for being members or supported of Labour Against the Witch-hunt when the way it is being done is clear evidence of such a Witch-hunt.
Under McCarthyism many on the Left in the USA were persecuted for tenuous links to the Communist Party or other Left organisations and the inquisitors went back many years looking for these tenuous links. This is the system now being adopted within Labour.
Members are being expelled for attending one of the proscribed organisations meetings even merely as a guest speaker or liking something on one of their Facebook pages even if these actions were several years ago.
The process used in expelling of members for alleged anti-semitism was bad enough to bring comparisons with McCarthyism but this was made even worse by the declarations that anyone who defended a member accused of anti-semitism is themselves anti-semitic which is reminiscent of those who were accused of Communist sympathies if they defended others so accused.
The trawling of social media accounts to look for “evidence” to expel members is reminiscent of the Stasi. Originally this search was for comments opposing Israel but now it has been broadened out to any hint of support for the proscribed groups.
In Wallasey there was no justification for expelling Alan Runswick or Luke Agnew . A party that cannot accommodate such fine hardworking members has no semblance of Socialism and any Party that expels them for such flimsy reasons has no respect for justice.
11. Starmer’s Leadership campaign
Keir Starmer presented a progressive manifesto when standing for Leader and then ditched his pledges as soon as elected. I cannot see how he can be trusted over any other issue or would be any more trustworthy than Boris Johnson if he became PM.
He failed to disclose his wealthy backers until after he was elected and these backers may have undue influence so creating a party that “is not for the many but for the few”.
12. Side Lining and Controlling potential rivals
Keir Starmer immediately took steps to stamp out potential criticism by removing the whip from Jeremy Corbyn in contravention of the PLP Disciplinary Rules and the ruling of the EHRC regarding debate on the extent of antisemitism and then by demoting Rebecca Long Bailey. Action taken against the previous leader and most recent challenger was Putinesque.
Similarly from the Putin book of politics was when members of the Socialist Campaign Group were forced to withdraw a Stop the War open letter they had signed in relation to Ukraine and NATO with the threat that they would have the Whip removed if they did not
Skwawkbox understands that Mr Davies now intends to join the Green party, as did Wirral councillor Jo Bird, one of the many left-wing Jews persecuted by Starmer’s right-wing regime.
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