The civil war in the Labour Party is intensifying on all fronts. Alongside the attempted coup against Corbyn, the bureaucracy within the Party is being used by the Blairite wing to conduct a purge of socialist activists from Labour. The manoeuvres to remove both Corbyn and his most determined supporters must be defeated by Labour’s rank-and-file.
The civil war in the Labour Party is intensifying on all fronts. With the flimsy fig-leaf of an excuse that Jeremy Corbyn is to blame for Brexit, Blairite MPs are now organising to stab the Labour leader in the back and trying to oust him. At the same time, the bureaucracy within the Party is being used by this same Blairite wing to conduct a purge of socialist activists from Labour. These manoeuvres to remove both Corbyn and his most determined supporters must be defeated by Labour’s rank-and-file.
As we have reported previously, a number of Socialist Appeal supporters have been expelled from the Labour Party in the past couple of months. These expulsions have been carried through by the shadowy and McCarthyite “Compliance Unit” – an unaccountable and thoroughly opaque part of the Labour Party’s bureaucracy, which remains in the hands of the Party’s right-wing.
At the time of writing, six comrades have been recently expelled on the grounds of their involvement with Socialist Appeal and the Marxist Student Federation (MSF). This is in addition to several expulsions of Socialist Appeal supporters and MSF members in August 2015, during last year’s Labour leadership election.
The most recent cases will be heard and reviewed by the Disputes Panel of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at a meeting on 5th July 2016. It is vital that the upmost pressure is applied now in order to ensure that these expulsions are overturned and that a firm blow is landed against the Blairites and the bureaucracy.
According to correspondence from the Compliance Unit, these comrades have been “automatically excluded”, with “no right of appeal”. The grounds given are that involvement with “the Marxist Student Federation and/or Socialist Appeal…is incompatible with membership of the Labour Party”. This is a flagrant violation of the most basic principles of natural justice, displaying a complete lack of due process. It is an attack against the democratic rights of Labour members.
The Compliance Unit letter received by expelled comrades goes onto say, “Political organisations…having their own programme, principles and policy, or distinctive and separate propaganda…shall be ineligible for affiliation to the Party.” But such conditions could equally be applied to any number of organisations that Labour members are involved with, such as Momentum, Stop the War, the People’s Assembly, or any unaffiliated trade unions.
These expulsions, therefore, set an extremely dangerous precedent that could – and will – be used to justify further expulsions against any left-wingers and Corbyn supporters in the Labour Party. For these reasons, Momentum and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy are now backing a campaign to oppose such expulsions.
Such support is warmly welcomed. We now urge all Momentum members and Corbyn supporters to pass motions in their Labour branches and CLPs, and in Momentum meetings and trade unions, calling for these expulsions to be overturned and be brought to a halt. Such motions have already been passed in several CLPs, Momentum meetings, and trade union branches (see example below). In addition, letters should be written to Iain McNicol, the general secretary of the Labour Party, and Labour NEC members, in protest against this purge.
Sources on Labour’s NEC have confirmed that neither Socialist Appeal nor the MSF have ever been proscribed (that is, deemed “ineligible for affiliation to the Party”) by the NEC or Party Conference. Furthermore, in the case of another long-standing Labour Party member and Socialist Appeal supporter (who was expelled in August 2015 for the same reasons as the other comrades mentioned), a hearing was granted and the expulsion was overturned on the grounds that his involvement with Socialist Appeal was not deemed incompatible with Labour Party membership by the appointed panel.
The Compliance Unit, therefore, is acting in the manner of a vigilante as a law unto itself. Importantly, this bureaucratic arm of the party is clearly specifically targeting socialist activists. The grounds cited by the Compliance Unit in relation to Socialist Appeal supporters and MSF members are also applicable, for example, to Progress or Labour First – Blairite tendencies that have been active in undermining Corbyn’s leadership from day one. Yet, unsurprisingly, such saboteurs carry on with impunity.
At a time when right-wing Labour MPs are openly waging war against the democratically elected leadership and attempting to split the Party, it is an outrage that the Blairite bureaucracy can have the audacity to accuse socialist activists of “not supporting the aims and values of the Labour Party”. It is these careerist gangsters – such as Hilary Benn, Angela Eagle, and many others in the Parliament Labour Party (PLP) – who should be reprimanded for their actions, not loyal rank-and-file Labour members who have shown a concerted effort to fight the Tories.
We call on all our readers and supporters to put an end to these shenanigans. All those who support the aims and values of the Labour Party should be welcomed back into the party with open arms. It is the out-of-touch Blairites in Westminster who should be booted out and sent packing. Rather than expelling socialists and loyal Labour activists, we should focus our attention on uniting to defend Corbyn, defeat the Tories, and fight for socialism.
- Fight the witch hunt! End the purge!
- Abolish the Compliance Unit!
- Defend Corbyn and fight for socialism!
Motion passed by Harrow West CLP and Rossendale and Darwen CLP:
“This CLP notes that there has been a wave of expulsions across the country of Corbyn supporters and socialist activists who are loyal Labour Party members, carried through by the shadowy and unaccountable Compliance Unit. These comrades are being expelled on the spurious grounds that they ‘do not support the aims and values of the Labour Party.’
“We are outraged by the lack of due process involved in these expulsions and the failure to apply the principles of natural justice. In some cases, these comrades are being given no right to appeal, or decisions are being made by committees at hearings in the absence of the accused.
“We demand that a stop is brought to these expulsions and that all those who do support the aims and values of the Labour Party are welcomed into the Party with open arms. We call for an investigation into the compliance unit by the NEC and and staff found to have acted in breach of Labour Party rules to be subject to disciplinary procedure. We call on the NEC to ensure that internal disciplinary issues and procedures are returned to the procedure set out in the Labour Party rule book and dealt with by democratically elected bodies. Rather than expelling socialist activists within the Party, we must focus our attention on uniting together around a socialist programme in order to defend Corbyn, kick out the Tories and end austerity.”