I will be 67 years of age this year, and up until I was 63, I dedicated my entire adult life to fighting for the Labour Party.  I’ve held virtually every elected position in the party from branch secretary to shadow minister. 

I gave nearly 44 years of my life to a party that has now completely lost the plot, or maybe it hasn’t.  Maybe the plot was always to serve the interests of Britain’s Establishment.  Maybe the plot was always about creating the illusion that we live in a democracy where people have a genuine choice at election time.

When I was suspended from the party I loved on trumped up charges at the behest of the Zionist lobby and a ragtag and bobtail bunch of revolting right-wingers I felt incredibly betrayed.  The lies and the smears should have been rejected out of hand and I should have been defended by Jeremy Corbyn and the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs (SCG).  But rather than standing up to the haters, Jeremy and the SCG sat on their hands and allowed me to be thrown to the wolves.

What a way to treat a comrade who had been viciously smeared for standing up for the Palestinian people and for fighting for a democratic Labour Party and socialist future for the country.  Their myopic timidity was entirely misguided and led directly to Labour’s catastrophic election defeat in 2019, followed by Jeremy’s suspension in 2020, and Diane Abbott’s earlier this year.

The left now has even less influence over the Labour Party today than it did under Neil Kinnock, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.  Truth be told, the left has no influence whatsoever anymore and there is no prospect that it ever will.  The mechanisms that enabled Jeremy to be elected leader, or allowed me to become a Labour MP have been obliterated.  Not only will a leftwinger never be allowed to stand as the Labour leader in the future, no leftwinger will ever be allowed to even become a Labour parliamentary candidate.

But although the Labour left has been comprehensively crushed, Labour’s deplorable right-wingers, who now have complete control of the party, are still resorting to desperate lies and smears against the left.  But the SCG has continued sitting on its hands.  In fact, some SCG members have been spending their time ingratiating themselves with the monarchy rather than challenging this diabolical behaviour.  Where is the radical, principled leadership we have a right to expect from a group of MPs that call themselves “socialists”?  It seems their parliamentary careers trump any notions about doing the right thing.

One example of the Labour Party’s occupation of the gutter was on display in the campaign for the local council elections in England earlier this month.  There were some startling reversals for the party, where former Labour Party members, who had been kicked out by Sir Keir Starmer’s regime, stood as independent candidates.  One such case was in Winsford, which is a district of the West Cheshire and Chester local authority, where Labour was all but wiped out by a new grouping called Salt of the Earth.  The Labour Party’s dirty tricks failed to hoodwink local voters there.

One of the candidates, who also successfully stood as a contender for the West Cheshire and Chester unitary council, was Mandy Clare.  She was originally elected as a Labour councillor four years previously.  She was subjected to a particularly nasty smear campaign, as were other independent candidates in other parts of the country like Sam Gorst in Liverpool

One of the more preposterous smears used against Mandy was that I had endorsed her campaign and the Salt of the Earth group.  According to a communication the Labour Party circulated on 17 April, they urged voters not to vote for her because I posed “a national security risk” and that I was “peddling antisemitism and conspiracy theories for the Iranian regime”.

One can only wonder what Sir Keir Starmer’s namesake, Keir Hardie would make of the rotten, unprincipled shambles that the party he founded has become.  

Chris Williamson

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