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Sunday 10 November 2019

Liverpool Labour Factionalism - Stop It

Many MPs who were returned at the 2017 General Election have decided that, this time, they are going to stand down. Of those in the North West, Stephen Twigg, the man who brought us the “Portillo moment” in the 1997 campaign, has decided he will not stand again for the Liverpool West Derby constituency. So after the usual shortlisting and selection decision, local Labour activists decided Ian Byrne would succeed him.
Ian Byrne, selected ...

Byrne is a straightforward old school Labour man. He’s local, he’s a straight talker, and readily admits that he’s been on a journey when it comes to learning about the struggles of minority groups, and about sexism and misogyny. “Seven years ago I was working in a printing shop and at the start of my political journey … It is through political education and becoming active in the Labour Party that I’ve learnt about struggles for disabled rights and LGBT+ rights, and have strived to be an ally in those struggleshe told recently.
... to represent this party ...

But after the narrow result in last week’s selection meeting, and increased media interest in comments which had been known about widely since September, when the Mail on Sunday dug up his social media history, there have been some voices raised against his candidature. Their problem is that Byrne is a genuinely popular choice.
... in this city

This can be seen from what others - including many female voices - have said about him, such as Alison Clarke: “Thanks so much [Val Colvin] It’s fantastic to have [Ian Byrne] as our parliamentary candidate.  He is going to be an amazing MP & such a strong advocate for our residents & our community”. And there was more.
After Tory Fibs mused “Labour's [Ian Byrne]’s crusade to defeat hunger and food poverty is inspiring. Having survived on charity handouts when I was a child, to have this man in Parliament fighting for the hungry will give the poor a voice we have been missing”, Rona Heron responded “[Ian Byrne] is an amazing grassroot socialist, true to himself and others, transparent and approachable, he will give 110% representing the City of Liverpool and [West Derby] … how proud we are”. And yet more.
Byrne himself, as one would expect from a Scouser, is being honest about his past and confronting the issue head-on: “On Tuesday evening I am meeting local West Derby women to discuss issues around sexist and misogynist language, how we use political education to tackle these issues across society and talk about what my own personal journey in our labour movement taught me about equality”.
The Liverpool Labour Facebook page has this comment from Alice Bennett: “Ian Byrne is one of the best MP candidates in a long time, with a great community-focused, anti-austerity legacy. He is someone who wants the best for others. Let's all get behind him and ensure we have a genuine socialist MP in West Derby”. The accompanying photo shows Byrne is also a supporter of Fans Supporting Foodbanks.
Many local women were happy to stand with Byrne earlier today with the FSF van. So what is the problem? It seems it’s the F-word, as in Factionalism. Does it matter which faction it is? Rather less than it matters to stop fighting one another.

Ian Byrne has been selected for West Derby. He’s massively popular. Get behind him.
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Anonymous said...

You can bet the factionalism is coming from what's remaining - and it's barely visible - of the New Labour rump in Liverpool. The same applies in the Riverside constituency where Ellman (who never lived in the constituency and wasn't from the city) did a long overdue bunk and was replaced by lifelong local Kim Johnson.

The truth is that New Labour earned national contempt because of its craven abandonment of everything decent the Labour Party once stood for. They had over a decade to bury the evils of extreme tory capitalism. Instead, they made everything immeasurably worse. KThey represent nothing more than a disgusting betrayal, minor other apparatchik examples being Austin and Woodcock.

Now they are being politically obliterated by a democratic attempt to recover those founding principles. The sooner they leave the Labour Party and join their natural allies in the tories and LibDems the better for the cultural and political health of this country. In particular it would be a good idea to keep in mind the actions, meetings and words of "Sir" Keir Starmer, as slippery a political operator as any in the Blair-Brown gang.

In the meantime the far right corporate media propaganda campaign hasn't even got out of second gear. There are much worse lies in the pipeline.

Anonymous said...

The factionalist campaign to have Ian removed is actually coming from Momentum, not New Labour.

During the selection process, national Momentum phone bank canvassers were actually referring party members to the incriminating piece in the Mail.

Now, it is Momentum seeking to use its power on the NEC to have Ian replaced by their preferred candidate.

Liverpool will remember.

Anonymous said...

To 18:48.

If true, New Labour have been hoist on their own petard - as when they ran the NEC. But I'll need evidence first. The Heil doesn't count as "evidence".

What Liverpool and other areas remember is the last four decades of unrelenting far right socioeconomic attacks, including the Blair-Brown years of betrayal and corruption - would you like a list?

This is why New Labour have been routed and the membership more than tripled. The COUNTRY hasn't forgotten, let alone Liverpool.

Anonymous said...

Momentum have been great in getting young people involved in Labour politics, but they are in danger of becoming just like New Labour in their prime, forcing their favoured candiadates into safe seats that the csndidates often have no link to. The fact that these candiadates are often incredibly young, utterly inexperienced in the macinations of local politics and far more concerned with radical identity politics than the nuts and bolts Labour policies of fighting austerity and poverty is a recipie for disaster, especially in traditional working class seats.

Anonymous said...

@ 20:27.

Jesus wept.

No wonder this generation decided to jettison the New Labour gang.

The only "nuts and bolts" New Labour operated were furtherance of divisive extreme right wing tory socioeconomic policies, intensification of shameful failed PFI policies, Milburn's privatisation of the NHS, economic ignorance which helped bring on the 2008 Depression, Blair's disgusting craven cosying up to the Bush 2 moron, surrender to the Murdoch spiv, illegal wars and mass murder of innocents, and continued abandonment of the country outside the M25 - which led directly to the rise of Scottish and Welsh nationalism and virtual annihilation of the Scots Labour Party. Among many other things.

New Labour's "challenge to austerity" was nothing more than a fart in a bottle and a waving of the White Flag. And that's why the party membership elected to get rid of them. It was long overdue.

LiamKav said...

"New Labour are terrible for trying to have this local MP removed.

"Actually, it's Momentum who are running the campaign to get rid of him."

"This is New Labour's fault! Also I don't believe the story anyway! And BTW look how the membership has increased thanks to Momentum! Boo to New Labour!"

You've taken a post that is all about how factionalism is bad and will hurt Labour and have used it to have a four paragraph rant about a faction you don't like. It's fanatical.

LiamKav said...

Labour have always had the issue of trying to balance the social and economic parts of being left-wing. A lot of the time it's two very different demographics.

Anonymous said...

@ 22:16.

Utter Nonsense.

The FACT is New Labour has been democratically rejected by a more-than-tripled party membership. Which means the Labour Party now has the largest membership in Europe. There's nothing fanatical about it, except to your kind of absurd "argument".

The reasons for that democratic rejection are listed in another comment. Inconvenient truths for, er, fanatical hate-filled New Labour losers.

LiamKav said...


"The FACT is New Labour has been democratically rejected by a more-than-tripled party membership."

Again, you've taken a post about how tribalism is bad and are using it to try and prove that the current makeup of Labour party members "proves" that New Labour have been "democratically rejected". I could just as easily argue that since New Labour won three General Elections and Corbyn has won exactly zero that "proves" that New Labour were "democratically" the superiour party. I could also argue that Corbyn's share of the vote last time was less than Brown's during the 20010 GE. But we can all argue numbers.

There are several factors that we all want. Getting rid of the Tories. Stopping Brexit. Getting our preferred candidate in number 10. And for me, the risk of a Johnson/Farage double-team is far more serious than anything the Lib Dems might do. So if I were in a marginal seat and the LDs had the best chance of unseating a Tory, then you're damn right I'd vote for them. It's ludicrous tribalism to even pretend that the LDs are on the same level as what a Tory/Brexit party government could do to the UK.

Alfrescochaz said...

I'm sorry guys but the attack on new labour- the continued reference to the only success as a party for 40 years is damaging us. We lost repeatedly with a rising left agenda being rammed down the public's throats. We are all left of centre,none of us own the right to be left.We need to consider how the public view us - it is the public which vote us in and not all the public are downtrodden workers. Whilst our intentions are good our message to the populous is easily demonized. Stop with the comrade banter it sounds too frightening. We can evolve slowly as a party but abandoning an electoral approach that won us 3 elections is stupid. We have lost the last 2 elections when they should have been easy to win. Seriously stop the comrade chat it us putting off the public. We know in our hearts who we are,we dont have to keep repeating rhetoric that makes us sound like a faction rather than a caring party that encompasses the vast majority. True socialism will take decades to achieve and won't be achieved in just this campaign.