Monday 19 September 2016

You cannot be both friend and foe

The Labour Party has committed the outrageous act of expelling people who have acted against its best interests in recent years. Outrageous? Well, actually no; it is a reasonable response to those whose loyalty can most charitably be described as flaky.

If you have allowed opponents to stand against the party (by signing nomination papers, for example) then you cannot be surprised that this attracts a ban. Labour, the party of working people, can only represent those working people by having its representatives elected. Supporting the nomination of an opponent means that our job is that little bit harder.

Similarly, making public pronouncements in favour of opposing parties also undermines Labour's attempts at creating a better world for working people.

One cannot expect to be allowed to join a party, and vote for its leader, after publicly undermining the party.

Labour is seeking to protect itself from entryism, whereby people with agendas that conflict with the aims and values of the Labour Party join in an attempt to move the party towards their worldview. The Labour Party as a vehicle for improving working people's lives would soon invalidate its own existence if it did not root out these people.

The bans, which are usually only for five years, will allow the miscreants to reflect on their actions. If they can avoid working against the Labour Party then they will gain admittance.

Some are crying 'foul', seeing this as some sort of plot to undermine the leadership contest, and especially Jeremy Corbyn's attempt to remain in post. If Mr Corbyn has to rely on the votes of those whose recent behaviour was decidedly anti-Labour then we are in a sorry state. Toxic elements have no place in Labour, and to be believe that undermining Labour will be forgotten or forgiven is delusional.

Those who now seem themselves excluded will have ample time to reflect, and this reflection should include owning up to their guilt.

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St Luke's Voice Winter 2018/19 edition