Money doesn’t talk, it swears: the multi-millionaire who tried to stop Jeremy Corbyn

sainsbury

EXCLUSIVE

THIS is the richest and most powerful man in British politics whose money is behind every move to destroy Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

And as Mr Corbyn is set to be re-elected leader, we can expose the true power of Lord David Sainsbury’s staggering £12million of donations to his opponents.

It is all part of his mission to stop the trade unions and Labour becoming an inclusive anti-austerity socialist party.

And it’s a mission which shows no sign of slowing.

David John Sainsbury, Baron of Turville is a multi-millionaire British businessman.

From 1992 to 1997, he was chairman of the Sainsbury’s supermarket empire, established by his great-grandfather in 1869.

He was made a Labour life peer in 1997 by Tony Blair and served in the government as the Minister for Science and Innovation from 1998 until 2006.

He joined the Labour Party in the 1960s, but was one of the 100 signatories of the right wing Limehouse Declaration in February 1981, in opposition to then Labour leader Michael Foot.

He went on to be a member of the breakaway Social Democratic Party (SDP).

After the 1983 election Sainsbury was by far the biggest donor to the party, giving about £750,000 between 1981 and 1987.

But along with David Owen, Sainsbury opposed merging the SDP with the Liberal Party after the 1987 election, and provided office space for Owen to help him re-establish the “continuing” SDP in 1988.

That party was wound up in 1990, and Sainsbury changed allegiance back to the Labour Party, rejoining them in 1996.

Between 1996 and 2006, when he stood down as a government minister, Sainsbury donated £16 million to the Labour Party, usually in batches of £1 million or £2 million each year.

But in April 2006, Sainsbury faced a possible probe into an alleged breach of the ministerial code “after admitting he had failed to disclose a £2million loan he had made to the Labour Party.”

He subsequently apologised for “unintentionally” misleading the public, blaming a mix-up between the £2 million loan and a £2 million donation he had made earlier.

In July 2006, he became the first government minister to be questioned by police in the Cash for Peerages inquiry.

On 10 November 2006, he resigned as Science Minister, stating that he wanted to focus on business and charity work.

He categorically denied that his resignation had anything to do with the Cash for Peerages affair, stating that he was “not directly involved in whether peerages were offered for cash”.

He was the Blair government’s third-longest-serving minister after Tony Blair himself, and Gordon Brown.

Because of his importance to the Labour Party as a donor, contemporary press reports described him as “unsackable”.

But now, thanks to the Electoral Commission filings, released on Tuesday, the continuing influence of Lord Sainsbury’s wealth and influence can be revealed.

 

For while Jeremy Corbyn has relied on £187,000 in personal and trade union donations since first standing for election as Labour leader in 2015, Lord Sainsbury has donated almost £25 million to MPs and political groups in the past 10 years.

Some £12million of this has gone to right wing opponents of Mr Corbyn. This dwarfs the donations of his Blairite contemporaries: property developer David Garrard’s £1.6million; hedge fund manager Martin Taylor’s £1.3million; and showbiz agent Michael Foster’s £470,000.

Of Lord Sainsbury’s donations since 2006, about £8million went directly to Labour (but that stopped when Ed Miliband became leader),  over £2.1million went to the Lib Dems (who may also be seen as opponents of Mr Corbyn) and £4.2million to various Scottish and Europe referendum lobby groups.

This left about £12million for cash hand-outs to groups vehemently opposed to Mr Corbyn and to individual Blairite MPs: Alan Johnson, David Lammy, David Miliband and Tristram Hunt received £227,329 between them.

These figures only include those submitted to the Electoral Commission. We have no way of knowing whether Lord Sainsbury may or may not have donated through other companies or agencies.

His favourite group is Progress, which has received £4.22million of his cash since 2004.

Progress is the Blairite power behind the core group of MPs plotting, since last year, to oust Mr Corbyn.

Progress runs on £282,000-a-year funding from Lord Sainsbury. Its income since 2010 is about £1.85million.

Tristram Hunt MP is a particular Sainsbury favourite — he was Lord Sainsbury’s personal spokesman before he became a Labour MP.

Hunt was working for Sainsbury when Progress was formed out of the money left over from the original campaign to make Tony Blair leader of the party.

Progress is deeply committed to pro-privatisation and pro-corporate policies. It has also steadily campaigned to reduce trade union influence in the Labour Party and latterly to do away with one member one vote for the Labour leadership.

Progress is vehemently opposed to Mr Corbyn and his left wing policies.

It is chaired by Alison McGovern. Vice-chairs are fellow Labour MPs Jenny Chapman, Stephen Doughty, Julie Elliott, Tristram Hunt, Dan Jarvis, Liz Kendall, Seema Malhotra, Toby Perkins, Lucy Powell, Steve Reed, Jonathan Reynolds and Nick Smith.

Prior to 2015, Progress was chaired by John Woodcock – the same MP who has viciously attacked Jeremy Corbyn on a number of issues.

Current members of the Progress strategy board include: Baroness King of Bow, Gloria De Piero MP, Nick Smith MP and Phil Wilson MP.

But there are other more shadowy groups besides Progress.

The right wing Movement for Change kitty of £1.75million has been almost exclusively funded by Lord Sainsbury.

The Movement for Change grew out of Citizens UK, the community action group established by Neil Jameson, former director of Save the Children and the Children’s Society, and Lord Maurice Glasman.

The organisation – which was a strong supporter of David Miliband – has a strong base among a diverse range of faith communities, which in turn has a strong influence over its culture and agenda.

But there is a political ambiguity to its aims which many in the Labour Party find troubling as it seems anti-trade union.

Maurice Glasman said: “The unions are the great silent, awful fact in all this. They are the self-organised wing of the Labour movement. They are dominated by a narrow crust of progressive activists, they are disengaged from their members.”

Peter Mandelson’s Policy Network & Communications Ltd has also been funded to the tune of £291,349 by Lord Sainsbury.

Policy Network is an international right wing progressive think tank and lobbying group.

Its president is Lord Mandelson, who has consistently briefed and spoken against Jeremy Corbyn, often in derogatory terms.

Other directors are Lord Roger Liddle, former special adviser to President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Tony Blair, is its chairperson.

Other anti Corbyn groups, the soft left Owen Smith supporting Labour Together, received £85,000 and the Blairite Labour Tomorrow received £453,000, largely from Martin Taylor.

  • An excellent piece from 2015 on donations to the Labour Party can be read here. But interesting that little of no mention is made of Lord Sainsbury!

 

 

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The real enemies within the Parliamentary Labour Party

Memory, ecstasy, tyranny, hypocrisy

Betrayed by a kiss on a cool night of bliss

In the valley of the missing link

And you have no time to think

 

TEN days have passed since I was expelled from the Labour Party as part of Iain McNicol’s “rigged purge” of Jeremy Corbyn supporters.

I was expelled for publishing a blog piece entitled Hanging from Traitors’ Gate – Progress: Labour’s right wing Militant  some 10 weeks earlier. In my piece, in which I use the proscribed word “Traitor” I listed the MPs who displayed treachery to Jeremy Corbyn, and to us the membership of the Labour Party.

You can read my appeal against the expulsion here.

Yesterday a close lawyer friend of some 24 years standing, described my appeal thus:

“You’ve done exactly the right thing from a legal point of view and you should carry on to the bitter end to exhaust your remedies and keep all your options open.

“And, as you’re well aware yourself of course, you’ve done exactly the right thing from an activist’s point of view by standing up for yourself so eloquently and movingly and by sharing what you’ve done to encourage and strengthen the resolve of others.

“I have no doubt there will be legal action here, and you may well be a good candidate for one of the test cases.”

Anyway, on with the show…

There is some personal irony that just 24 hours after I emailed my appeal letter to Iain McNicol, a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team leaked a list singling out 14 Labour MPs, including deputy leader Tom Watson, who it claims have abused the leader and his allies.

In the release, Owen Smith, the challenger for the Labour leadership, was accused of being the “real disunity candidate”, who has failed to tackle abuse meted out by his own supporters.

The list, obtained by Press Association, highlighted the behaviour of a number of Labour MPs, including Jess Phillips for telling Corbyn’s ally Diane Abbott to “fuck off”, John Woodcock for dismissing the party leader as a “fucking disaster” and Tristram Hunt for describing Labour as “in the shit”.

Watson was highlighted for calling the grassroots Corbyn campaign Momentum a “rabble”.

The list emerged just hours before the final Labour leadership hustings between Mr Smith and Mr Corbyn, who is the overwhelming favourite to win the contest.

At the Sky News debate, Smith branded it a “deselection list” that would be used by some activists to target MPs considered hostile to Corbyn.

Mr Corbyn responded by defending the accuracy of the release and urging Smith to focus on policies.

“There was information put out there, which is statements made by colleagues on the record and is all out there in the public domain,” the leader said.

He went on to say he would rather Watson had not referred to activists from the Momentum group of Corbyn supporters as a “rabble”.

The others identified on the list were Ian Austin, Neil Coyle, Ben Bradshaw, Frank Field, Anna Turley, Jamie Reed, Karl Turner, Stephen Kinnock and Tom Blenkinsop.

Coyle, the MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, who was among those criticised, said he was “fuming”, while long time vocal critic of Mr Corbyn, Woodcock was similarly angry.

Now the list of names – and offences – is out in the public domain, all the claims can be checked and verified and appropriate action taken.

One wonders, as the information was in the public domain already, why the Labour Party’s Compliance Unit had not taken the requisite steps on its own initiative.

It is welcome to see Owen Smith criticised – after all the times Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of allowing abuse to continue – of failing to tackle his own supporters’ inappropriate behaviour.

As for those who were named – the MPs who have already complained haven’t got a leg to stand on and I’m surprised the list isn’t much, much longer. I would certainly add Luke Akehurst and John McTernan to that list.

 

Neil Coyle, for example, abused Jeremy Corbyn by claiming he had presided over the “Farage-ification” of the Labour Party. Now he is complaining about “trial by troll”. Forget it, Mr Coyle. It isn’t trolling if you did what is claimed.

John Woodcock tweeted that Jeremy Corbyn was a “fucking disaster at PMQs” back in March and quickly deleted the message – but it was caught by the mainstream media nonetheless and members of his own electorate launched a petition calling for his deselection – months before that became an issue in the leadership election.

Now he’s saying a list pointing out this abusive behaviour is “shabby” and is complaining that it “targets colleagues for more abuse”.

Isn’t that exactly what he was doing when he wrote about Mr Corbyn, all those months ago – inviting others to abuse the Labour leader alongside him?

As for the claim that the MPs mentioned are on a “deselection list”: Their future is not a matter for Mr Corbyn or his team. It is for Labour Party members in each constituency to decide whether their sitting MP is representing them in a sufficiently courteous manner.

In Mr Woodcock’s case, alas, considering his constituents are already petitioning for his removal, an apology may be too little, too late.

Of course it is not the first time a list of disloyal and potentially treacherous Labour MPs has been released.

Back in January my blog The Enemy Within – the 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn listed those MPs who were most likely ready to oust their democratically elected leader.

And of course on 23 March there was the now infamous list of the 36 MPs “most hostile to Mr Corbyn”.

So let’s look more closely at a few of the names on the most recent list of Labour MPs who have gone beyond the call of duty in their hostility.

  • Ian Austin – On my original list of MPs who oppose Jeremy Corbyn. Also on the 23 March list of 36 most hostile MPs. Originally a Brownite. Among a hard core of 14 right wing Labour MPs that refused to vote against the Tories on austerity, voted TO BOMB Syria AND for the renewal of Trident.
  • Ben Bradshaw – Member of Progress. On my original list of MPs who oppose Jeremy Corbyn. A Blairite and vocal right winger. Among a hard core of 14 right wing Labour MPs that refused to vote against the Tories on austerity, voted TO BOMB Syria AND for the renewal of Trident.
  • Frank Field – Member of Progress. On my original list of MPs who oppose Jeremy Corbyn. A Blairite and among a hard core of 14 right wing Labour MPs that refused to vote against the Tories on austerity, voted TO BOMB Syria AND for the renewal of Trident. A long-time vocal critic of Mr Corbyn.
  • Tristram Hunt – Member of Progress. On my original list of MPs who oppose Jeremy Corbyn. Also on the 23 March list of 36 most hostile MPs. Blairite. Former chair of the Progress group. Among a hard core of 14 right wing Labour MPs that refused to vote against the Tories on austerity, voted TO BOMB Syria AND for the renewal of Trident. Has previously openly mocked Mr Corbyn. He is infamous for tweeting that Labour under Mr Corbyn was “in the shit”.
  • Stephen Kinnock – Member of Progress. Two months ago Kinnock was talking openly about a right wing breakaway from the Labour Party – working title: Continuity Labour if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected as leader.
  • Jess Phillips – Backed by Progress. Mouthy MP who is infamous for telling Diane Abbott to “fuck off”. She also threatened to “knife” Mr Corbyn in the front and suggested she would leave the Labour Party if he was re-elected leader.
  • Jamie Reed – On my original list of MPs who oppose Jeremy Corbyn. Also on the 23 March list of 36 most hostile MPs. Blairite. Among a hard core of 14 right wing Labour MPs that refused to vote against the Tories on austerity, voted TO BOMB Syria AND for the renewal of Trident.
  • Tom Watson – Originally viewed as a mediator until engineering a motion at the forthcoming party conference to replace the current one member one vote system with an electoral college to elect the leader and for MPs to choose the shadow cabinet. Has been highlighted for calling Momentum a “rabble”. He had previously called shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry a “traitor” in the House of Commons voting lobby.
  • John Woodcock – Member of Progress. On my original list of MPs who oppose Jeremy Corbyn. Also on the 23 March list of 36 most hostile MPs. Blairite. Former chair of the Progress group. Voted for bombing Syria. Resigned from the shadow cabinet in January in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s so called ‘purge’ of right wing MPs from his front bench team. Has previously openly mocked Mr Corbyn and is infamous for dismissing the party leader as a “fucking disaster”.

These are some of the most treacherous… it is now make your mind up time.

 

 

Right wing Labour MPs exposed by their own voting record

AMID all the rhetoric, propaganda, smears and double talk, perhaps the best way to isolate the right wing Labour MPs is to examine their recent voting records.

Over the past 10 months, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, there have been three key House of Commons debates where MPs showed their true colours to the Labour membership.

In many ways these votes exposed the real “Enemy Within” and those who will undermine Mr Corbyn at every turn.

The first occasion was last October when Labour had the opportunity to vote against George Osborne’s fiscal charter, which introduced a law to ban governments from borrowing money to fund infrastructure, housing or public services “during normal times”.

It was a key vote to secure the Tories’ Austerity programme and stop future public investment.

The second time was in December, when MPs debated and voted on whether to extend British bombing to Syria. An extension which has already killed hundreds of innocent civilians.

And the third occasion was on 18 July this year when MPs backed renewing the Trident £200 billion nuclear deterrent by 472 to 117 – a majority of 355 votes.

On Wednesday 14 October Labour voted against George Osborne’s fiscal charter. But a group of 20 MPs from Labour’s right wing felt they could not vote against the Tories’ Austerity proposal and instead abstained.

The abstainers were:

  • Rushanara Ali 
  • Ian Austin 
  • Adrian Bailey 
  • Ben Bradshaw 
  • Ann Coffey 
  • Simon Danczuk 
  • Chris Evans 
  • Frank Field 
  • Mike Gapes 
  • Margaret Hodge 
  • Tristram Hunt 
  • Graham Jones 
  • Helen Jones 
  • Liz Kendall 
  • Chris Leslie 
  • Fiona MacTaggart 
  • Shabana Mahmood 
  • Jamie Reed 
  • Graham Stringer 
  • Gisela Stuart

The debate and vote on whether to extend British bombing of Isis into Syria was high profile and controversial for many reasons.

Labour MPs were given a free vote and allowed to vote according to their views.

Most Labour MPs – including the majority of the Shadow Cabinet – opposed the bombing, in line with Jeremy Corbyn.

But 66 Labour MPs voted with David Cameron in support of the military strikes.

They were:

  • Heidi Alexander
  • Ian Austin
  • Adrian Bailey
  • Kevin Barron
  • Margaret Beckett
  • Hilary Benn
  • Luciana Berger
  • Tom Blenkinsop
  • Ben Bradshaw
  • Chris Bryant
  • Alan Campbell
  • Jenny Chapman
  • Vernon Coaker
  • Ann Coffey
  • Yvette Cooper
  • Neil Coyle
  • Mary Creagh
  • Stella Creasy
  • Simon Danczuk
  • Wayne David
  • Gloria De Piero
  • Stephen Doughty
  • Jim Dowd
  • Michael Dugher
  • Angela Eagle
  • Maria Eagle
  • Susan Elan Jones
  • Louise Ellman
  • Frank Field
  • Jim Fitzpatrick
  • Colleen Fletcher
  • Caroline Flint
  • Harriet Harman
  • Margaret Hodge
  • George Howarth
  • Tristram Hunt
  • Dan Jarvis
  • Alan Johnson
  • Graham Jones
  • Helen Jones
  • Kevan Jones
  • Liz Kendall
  • Peter Kyle
  • Chris Leslie
  • Holly Lynch
  • Siobhain McDonagh
  • Pat McFadden
  • Conor McGinn
  • Alison McGovern
  • Lucy Powell
  • Bridget Phillipson
  • Jamie Reed
  • Emma Reynolds
  • Geoffrey Robinson
  • Joan Ryan
  • Ruth Smeeth
  • Angela Smith
  • John Spellar
  • Gisela Stuart
  • Gareth Thomas
  • Anna Turley
  • Chuka Umunna
  • Keith Vaz
  • Tom Watson
  • Phil Wilson
  • John Woodcock

In July this year when MPs backed renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent by 472 to 117, some 140 Labour MPs voted for the renewal, compared to 47 who voted no. A further 41 abstained or made themselves scarce.

Those who voted for Trident were:

  • Heidi Alexander 
  • Rushanara Ali
  • Rosena Allin-Khan
  • Ian Austin
  • Adrian Bailey
  • Kevin Barron
  • Margaret Beckett
  • Hilary Benn
  • Luciana Berger
  • Clive Betts
  • Tom Blenkinsop
  • Ben Bradshaw
  • Kevin Brennan
  • Chris Bryant
  • Andy Burnham
  • Liam Byrne
  • Alan Campbell
  • Jenny Chapman
  • Vernon Coaker
  • Ann Coffey
  • Julie Cooper
  • Rosie Cooper
  • Yvette Cooper
  • Neil Coyle
  • Mary Creagh
  • Stella Creasy
  • Jim Cunningham
  • Nic Dakin
  • Simon Danczuk
  • Wayne David
  • Geraint Davies
  • Gloria de Piero
  • Stephen Doughty
  • Jim Dowd
  • Peter Dowd
  • Jack Dromey
  • Michael Dugher
  • Angela Eagle
  • Maria Eagle
  • Julie Elliott
  • Louise Ellman
  • Bill Esterson 
  • Paul Farrelly
  • Frank Field
  • Jim Fitzpatrick
  • Robert Flello
  • Colleen Fletcher
  • Caroline Flint
  • Yvonne Fovargue
  • Gill Furniss
  • Mike Gapes 
  • Pat Glass
  • Mary Glindon
  • Kate Green
  • Andrew Gwynne
  • David Hanson
  • Harriet Harman
  • Helen Hayes
  • Sue Hayman
  • John Healey
  • Stephen Hepburn
  • Meg Hillier
  • Margaret Hodge
  • George Howarth
  • Tristram Hunt
  • Dan Jarvis
  • Alan Johnson
  • Diana Johnson
  • Gerald Jones
  • Graham Jones
  • Helen Jones
  • Kevan Jones
  • Susan Elan Jones
  • Mike Kane
  • Liz Kendall
  • Stephen Kinnock
  • Peter Kyle
  • Chris Leslie
  • Emma Lewell-Buck
  • Ian C Lucas
  • Holly Lynch
  • Justin Madders
  • Khalid Mahmood
  • Shabana Mahmood
  • Seema Malhotra
  • John Mann
  • Rob Marris
  • Christian Matheson
  • Steve McCabe
  • Kerry McCarthy
  • Siobhain McDonagh
  • Pat McFadden
  • Conor McGinn
  • Alison McGovern
  • Liz McInnes
  • Catherine McKinnell
  • Ed Miliband
  • Madeleine Moon
  • Jessica Morden
  • Melanie Onn
  • Chi Onwurah
  • Albert Owen
  • Matthew Pennycook
  • Toby Perkins
  • Jess Phillips
  • Bridget Phillipson
  • Lucy Powell
  • Jamie Reed
  • Steve Reed
  • Christina Rees
  • Rachel Reeves
  • Jonathan Reynolds
  • Geoffrey Robinson
  • Joan Ryan
  • Virendra Sharma
  • Barry Sheerman
  • Paula Sherriff
  • Gavin Shuker
  • Andy Slaughter
  • Ruth Smeeth
  • Angela Smith
  • Nick Smith
  • Owen Smith
  • Karin Smyth
  • John Spellar
  • Keir Starmer
  • Wes Streeting
  • Gisela Stuart
  • Mark Tami
  • Gareth Thomas
  • Nick Thomas-Symonds
  • Stephen Timms
  • Anna Turley
  • Karl Turner
  • Stephen Twigg
  • Valerie Vaz
  • Tom Watson
  • Phil Wilson
  • Rosie Winterton
  • John Woodcock
  • Iain Wright

And the hard core of 14 right wing/Blairite Labour MPs that refused to vote against the Tories, voted TO BOMB Syria AND for the renewal of Trident are therefore:

  • Ian Austin 
  • Adrian Bailey 
  • Ben Bradshaw 
  • Ann Coffey 
  • Simon Danczuk 
  • Frank Field 
  • Margaret Hodge 
  • Tristram Hunt 
  • Graham Jones 
  • Helen Jones 
  • Liz Kendall 
  • Chris Leslie 
  • Jamie Reed 
  • Gisela Stuart

It is easy to see without looking too far, just who are Labour’s Red Tories and those who might be advised to find a different political party to represent.

  • For more background you may also like to read: The right wing incontinence of the Progress plotters.

https://seagullnic.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/the-right-wing-incontinence-of-the-progress-plotters/

 

Ten steps in the denial of democracy

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb.  (Benjamin Franklin)

PROTECTING democracy requires that the general public be educated on how people can be manipulated by the Establishment and media into forfeiting their civil liberties.

After the insidious assault on democracy over the past year by forces within the Labour Party we certainly need protecting.

Or in the words of the late US satirist and political agitator Lenny Bruce, we must “shine a light in their beds”.

On 5 August 2015, journalist and author Owen Jones warned of the scenario which lay ahead: “If Jeremy Corbyn wins the Labour leadership, he will come under attack from the media establishment, the Tories and much of his own party.

“The liberal left and conservatives alike have united, dripping condescension, smarm, contempt or outright bile on Jeremy Corbyn and those who support him.

“The Corbyn campaign may have unleashed the biggest pan-British progressive grassroots political movement for many years. But should Jeremy Corbyn win the Labour leadership, then this movement will be plunged into a political firestorm.”

Now, with 12 months hindsight, what a firestorm that has been, with every Machiavellian trick and smear known to man, used to discredit Mr Corbyn and subvert democracy at every turn.

 

Step 1       

It started on 12 September 2015, when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party with a majority of almost 60% of the vote on the first ballot alone, and huge mandate for change.

He received 121,751 votes from Labour Party members, 88,449 votes from Registered Supporters and a further 41,928 votes from Trade Union Affiliated Supporters.

But within minutes of his election Progress backed Labour MPs were briefing journalists in the print media and the BBC on their plans to unseat him.

By 11pm on 12 September 2015, the normally Labour friendly Daily Mirror reported on plans to bring Blair acolyte David Miliband back as leader, the moment Jeremy Corbyn could be seen to fail:

Labour MPs are already plotting to bring back David Miliband after Jeremy Corbyn’s victory, reported the Mirror.

The triumph of left-winger Jeremy Corbyn has spurred on the Labour MPs who are secretly working for a dramatic Miliband comeback ahead of the 2020 general election.

His allies at Westminster believe Mr Miliband could be persuaded to make a sensational return to the Commons by 2018 at a by-election for a safe Labour seat.

A senior Labour MP said:

“If Corbyn is not up to the job as leader, there will definitely be another leadership contest.

“The best person for the job by a country mile would be David Miliband and overtures have already been made to him about a potential return.

“If things turn out as horrendously as we fear they will under Corbyn, David would be the only hope of saving the Labour Party.”

In a separate move, several MPs are also looking at ways of changing the Labour Party’s rules to make future leadership challenges easier.

At present, anyone trying to oust a Labour leader needs to put themselves forward and win the backing of a fifth of Westminster’s Labour MPs.

But a rival plan put forward earlier this year by right wing Labour MP Frank Field would mean just 30 anonymous Labour MPs could trigger a vote of confidence in the leader to get rid of a “deadbeat” leader.

 

Step 2

It became an uneasy autumn and a winter of discontent for Mr Corbyn, with 66 of his own MPs rebelling against him on the vote to bomb Syria and Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips stating she would knife her leader “in the front”, being some of the lowlights.

But nothing quite prepared Labour Party members or the general public for the sinister shenanigans which emerged on 7 January.

Mr Corbyn’s long expected Shadow Cabinet reshuffle led to the revelation, that BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Daily Politics presenter Andrew Neil and Labour MP Stephen Doughty planned his live resignation on their programme, hours before it began.

The producer of the programme revealed in a BBC blog (quickly deleted) that Neil, Kuenssberg and himself manipulated the news to negatively impact Mr Corbyn during Prime Minister’s Questions.

In the blog, the producer – Andrew Alexander – admitted that the BBC team were not just reporting the day’s news but trying to influence it:

“This was a story where we could make an impact,” he wrote.

“We took a moment to watch the story ripple out across news outlets and social media. Within minutes we heard David Cameron refer to the resignation during his exchanges with Jeremy Corbyn.”

The broadcasting set-up was conceived by Mr Doughty – under advice from fellow Progress backed MPs – to create the maximum damage to Mr Corbyn.

 

Step 3

On the morning of 23 March, just hours before Mr Corbyn was to tackle David Cameron in Prime Minister’s Questions on the Tories’ Budget U-Turn, a confidential list of loyal and disloyal Labour MPs was leaked to The Times.

The result was predictable: Mr Cameron used PMQs, not to defend the Budget U-Turn, but repeatedly mock the Labour leader for the leaked ‘list’.

It later emerged that the list was compiled three months earlier, yet it was leaked just as Mr Corbyn’s popularity was increasing in the opinion polls, just as the Tories were taking a big hit, just before a PMQs when Cameron was likely to be in very serious trouble, and weeks before the May council and mayoral elections.

So only an enemy within would deliberately leak the list at a key moment in order to help the Tories and do as much damage to Labour under Mr Corbyn as possible – to make them ‘a laughing stock’, as Labour plotter John Woodcock MP put it.

Ironic then that Woodcock privately tweeted to a journalist that it’s a ‘fucking disaster’, presumably to further damage Corbyn. Only he inadvertently tweeted publicly so we can all see what he’s up to and give momentum to the plot against the leader.

 

Step 4

On 13 June, The Daily Telegraph published an article which gave a deeper insight into the scheming of the Labour MPs, who hoped to topple Mr Corbyn.

The piece entitled: Labour rebels hope to topple Jeremy Corbyn in 24-hour blitz after EU referendum lays out the scheme:

Labour rebels believe they can topple Jeremy Corbyn after the EU referendum in a 24-hour blitz by jumping on a media storm of his own making.

By fanning the flames with front bench resignations and public criticism they think the signatures needed to trigger a leadership race can be gathered within a day.

They see the tactic as a way of securing public support for the move while targeting what is perceived as one of the Labour leader’s major flaws – indecision.

After the referendum Labour splits will return to the fore as the Tories call a string of parliamentary voters on Trident renewal and banning councils holding Israeli boycotts to help rebuild party unity.

While losing the EU referendum is seen as fatal by many to Mr Corbyn’s leadership, continued speculation remains about a challenge if the referendum brings a Remain vote.

Rather than naming a date to make their move – as some had done with May’s local elections – some rebels now believe taking advantage of an opportune row holds the beast chance of success.

“It is not going to be a date in the calendar, it will be on the back of a media firestorm. It could happen within 24 hours,” said one Labour MP.

Asked how the coup could take place, another said: “Things go wrong, people have had enough, you start to see resignations and it spirals from there.”

A third Labour MP who served in the shadow cabinet said: “There is undoubtedly a frustration and a simmering anger. After the referendum there is going to be an immense number of lessons to learn and decisions to make.

“It is likely to be a pang of frustration that makes one colleague say ‘enough and enough’ and just resign. If one person did it and said to others ‘how about it’, things are desperate enough that it will happen.”

 

Step 5

Now fast forward to the so-called Morning After the Night Before: Saturday 25 June – less than 36 hours after the Brexit referendum result.

Eight right wing Labour MPs broke cover to use the Brexit vote to knife their leader Mr Corbyn in the back.

MPs Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey submitted a motion of no confidence against him to the Parliamentary Labour Party chairman, John Cryer.

Almost immediately six other Labour MPs went on record backing the motion.

Mr Corbyn defended his conduct in the Euro referendum campaign amid criticisms that he offered no more than lukewarm support for remain, blaming government austerity cuts for alienating voters.

Asked about the vote of no confidence, he said: “Margaret [Hodge] is obviously entitled to do what she wishes to do. I would ask her to think for a moment. A Tory prime minister resigned, Britain’s voted to leave the European Union, there are massive political issues to be addressed.

“Is it really a good idea to start a big debate in the Labour party when I was elected less than a year ago with a very large mandate, not from MPs – I fully concede and understand that – but from the party members as a whole?”

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell accused many of the would-be assassins of being linked to Progress.

“They all come from a sort of a narrow right-wing clique within the Labour Party based around the organisation Progress”

he said.

“I don’t think they’ve really ever accepted Jeremy’s mandate. I’m afraid they have to recognise that Jeremy got elected with the largest mandate of any political leader from any political party in our history.

“I’m afraid they haven’t respected that leadership election result.”

 

Step 6

Within two days – hot on the heels of Mr Corbyn sacking Hilary Benn as Shadow Foreign Secretary for his part in organising the coup – a battle for the heart and soul of the Parliamentary Labour Party began.

By the evening of Monday 27 June, 34 Labour MPs had publicly announced their intention to try and oust Mr Corbyn as leader – with carefully timed resignations from the Shadow Cabinet.

Paul Flynn MP stated what many onlookers were thinking: “Orchestrated treachery. Resignations on the hour by the future Blair Tribute Party. Self-indulgent party games as steel jobs are in new peril.”

One of Mr Corbyn’s staunchest allies Ian Lavery MP said: “If we don’t respect democracy then we stand for nothing. The Labour Party membership gave Jeremy Corbyn a massive mandate. I’m supporting the membership and Jeremy.”

And as a shock to the plotters, shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham stood with the membership.

“At an uncertain time like this for our country, I cannot see how it makes sense for the Opposition to plunge itself into a civil war,” he said.

“I have never taken part in a coup against any leader of the Labour Party and I am not going to start now.

“It is for our members to decide who leads our Party and 10 months ago they gave Jeremy Corbyn a resounding mandate. I respect that and them.”

Angela Eagle was among the resignations from Mr Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet on that Monday, in the wake of the Euro Referendum result and the sacking of Hilary Benn as Shadow Foreign Secretary.

But while heaping the blame for Brexit on Mr Corbyn, Ms Eagle failed to admit that just two weeks earlier she publicly said of Mr Corbyn campaigning for Remain: “Jeremy is up and down the country, pursuing an itinerary that would make a 25-year-old tired, he has not stopped.”

And within hours of her resignation, it was revealed that Ms Eagle’s leadership campaign website Angela4Leader was registered at 6pm on Saturday 25 June, hours before Hilary Benn was sacked and two whole days before she resigned.

The website was registered by Joe McCrea, a PR executive who served as a special adviser in Downing Street during Tony Blair’s tenure.

But as we all now know, Ms Eagle’s candidacy was that of a stalking horse for the more media friendly Owen Smith to step in.

 

Step 7

The next attempt to subvert democracy occurred on Tuesday 12 July, when a hastily called meeting of Labour’s NEC had to determine whether Mr Corbyn needed the nominations of fellow Labour MPs and MEPs in order to stand for re-election as leader.

The crunch meeting at Labour’s Westminster headquarters began at 2pm and continued well into the evening

NEC members voted 18-14 in a secret ballot that he was not subject to parliamentary nominations and could automatically stand for re-election.

The decision to hold a secret ballot at the NEC was taken after some of Mr Corbyn’s critics, including his deputy, Tom Watson, won the argument that some members might otherwise feel afraid to express their views.

Allies of Mr Corbyn said the move to a secret ballot resulted from “black ops” by Watson.

And in a separate decision taken after Mr Corbyn had left the room, the NEC ruled that only those who had been Labour Party members for more than six months would be allowed to vote – while new supporters would be given two days to sign up as registered supporters to vote in the race, but only if they were willing to pay £25.

Then in a further sideswipe at Labour Party members, on Wednesday 13 July, the NEC banned all CLP, Ward and branch meetings until AFTER the leadership election in September. In the cases of South Shields and Brighton and Hove District, the CLPs were suspended completely from the Labour Party.

This was done amid spurious and unfounded claims of bullying and intimidation within some CLPs.

 

Step 8

The firestorm was now ablaze as ordinary members cried foul and foul again.

The Anyone But Corbyn coup plotters decided to disenfranchise over 100,000 existing Labour voters, and in doing so deliberately destroy the incentive for people to join the Labour Party.

What kind of organisation would be so afraid of democracy that they’d openly discriminate against existing members by treating them as second class citizens if they hadn’t joined by an arbitrary date.

Or could afford to pay a poll tax of £25 each!

But the undermining of democracy didn’t end there.

Following the NEC ruling that Labour members who had joined the party since 12 January 2016 had been banned from voting in the upcoming leadership election. They were also denied attending their own constituency Leadership Nomination meetings – even as a non-voting observer.

I, like thousands of Labour Party members, received this email from my local CLP secretary:

I regret to inform you that our Freeze Date Report shows that you are not eligible to vote at the Labour Leader Nomination meeting because the start of your membership is after the Freeze date of the 12 January 2016.

Two days later a second email arrived:

We intend to hold a Constituency LP Nomination meeting to enable members to decide if the CLP should nominate one specific candidate for the LP leadership election or if the CLP should remain neutral with neither candidate being nominated.

A LP membership Freeze Report will be used to identify those members who are eligible to attend and vote. Anyone on the list who is shown as not eligible because they joined after the Freeze Date of 12 Jan 2016 will be emailed informing them they can’t attend the meeting.  Rules clearly state NO OBSERVERS are allowed 

Yet nowhere in the 12 July NEC ruling is any mention made of banning new members from ATTENDING Nomination meetings!

The coup plotters are clearly terrified of democracy, and they’ve tried using all kinds of anti-democratic measures to fight it.

 

Step 9

The next affront to democracy was done in the open, when millionaire and Labour Party donor Michael Foster applied to the High Court to stop Mr Corbyn standing in the leadership election.

But despite the overtly vindictive application, by this close friend of Tony Blair, on 28 July, Mr Justice Foskett ruled that Mr Corbyn could automatically appear on the leadership ballot.

Speaking after the decision was announced Mr Corbyn said: “There should have been no question of the right of half a million Labour Party members to choose their own leader being overturned.

“If anything, the aim should be to expand the number of voters in this election.

“I hope all candidates and supporters will reject any attempt to prolong this process, and that we can now proceed with the election in a comradely and respectful manner.”

 

Step 10

And just when you thought it was all over, the final denial of democracy and the will of hundreds of thousands of ordinary party members came last weekend.

Having exhausted almost every trick, the leaders of the coup are now so convinced that Jeremy Corbyn will win the leadership contest that they are planning to elect their own leader and launch a legal challenge for the party’s name.

Leading Blairites leaked to the Daily Telegraph that they are looking at plans to set up their own “alternative Labour” if Mr Corbyn remains in post.

The move would see them create their own shadow cabinet and even elect a leader within Parliament to rival Mr Corbyn’s front bench team and take on the Tories.

They are also already planning to go through the courts to get the right to use Labour’s name and assets including property owned by the party across the country.

They would also approach John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, and argue that having more MPs than Mr Corbyn means they should be named the official opposition.

“The notion that we’ll all go back to happy families is nonsense,” said one prominent Corbyn critic, saying that the plan would help avoid the “nuclear” option of a full party split.

But support for the move is not universal, with some Labour centralists saying a legal challenge would be unlikely to succeed and warning creating a de facto alternative leader would be too provocative.

But the fact the plans are now actively being considered by some of the party’s most senior moderate figures shows the level of despondency at Owen Smith’s chances of success and their contempt for democracy.

  • So there you have it: Ten steps in the denial of democracy, courtesy of the Labour Party. And to finish where we started: Protecting democracy requires that the general public be educated on how people can be manipulated by the Establishment and media into forfeiting their civil liberties.

 

Democracy doesn’t rule the world

That’s something you need to understand

This world is ruled by bankers

Who use politics as a sleight-of-hand

(Nic Outterside)

 

POST SCRIPT:

At the moment of publication on Monday 8 August, this welcome news is breaking:

Five new members of the Labour Party have won a High Court battle over their legal right to vote in the forthcoming leadership election.

The five accused the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) of unlawfully “freezing” them and many others out of the high-profile contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith even though they had “paid their dues”.

The NEC decided that full members would not be able to vote if they had not had at least six months’ continuous membership up to July 12 – the “freeze date”.

To gain the right to vote, members were given a window of opportunity, between July 18 and 20, to become “registered supporters” on payment of an additional fee of £25. Non-members were given the same opportunity.

But Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting in London, ruled that refusing the five the vote “would be unlawful as in breach of contract”.

The court action affects almost 130,000 Labour supporters who are victims of the freeze. The five who won the legal challenge are Christine Evangelou, Rev Edward Leir, Hannah Fordham, Chris Granger and “FM”, a new member aged under 18.

The judge said at the time each of the five joined the party “it was the common understanding, as reflected in the rule book, that, if they joined the party prior to the election process commencing, as new members they would be entitled to vote in any leadership contest”.

The judge added that that was the basis upon which each claimant joined the party, and the basis of their contract with it.

The judge overturned the requirement that they must have been party members since January 12 – that, is at least six months’ continuous membership up to July 12 – the “freeze date”.

He declared: “For the party to refuse to allow the claimants to vote in the current leadership election, because they have not been members since 12 January 2016, would be unlawful as in breach of contract.”

The Labour Party was given permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. It is understood that the appeal could be heard later this week.

The right wing incontinence of the Progress plotters

IT is more than 30 years since former Labour leader Neil Kinnock began his attack on Militant – as a left wing ‘Party within a Party’ seeking to undermine core Labour values.

Within six years Militant had been proscribed by Mr Kinnock and banned from ever being part of the Labour Party.

Now in 2016, his son Stephen Kinnock is part of a sinister group known as Progress – a right wing ‘Party within a Party’.

More sinister and undermining than Militant ever was.

And Mr Kinnock Junior is now talking openly about a right wing breakaway from the Labour Party – working title: Continuity Labour (or should it be Incontinence Labour?) if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected Leader in September.

Progress is the Blairite power behind the core group of MPs plotting, since last year, to oust Mr Corbyn.

Progress runs on £260,000-a-year funding from Lord Sainsbury.

He used to fund the Labour Party, giving over £6.3 million between 2005 and 2010. But he stopped funding Labour when Ed Miliband got elected. Angry at Miliband’s shuffle to the left, Sainsbury went on a rich man’s strike.

But he didn’t just take his money and go home. Instead of funding Labour, he funds Progress, whose job is to keep Labour right wing and Blairite. Its income since 2010 is about £1.5 million.

Progress, through its website, its weekend school, its meetings at Labour’s conference and its activist network push the candidates and policies Sainsbury likes.

Tristram Hunt is a particular Sainsbury favourite — he was Lord Sainsbury’s personal spokesman before he became a Labour MP.

Hunt was working for Sainsbury when Progress was formed out of the money left over from the original campaign to make Tony Blair leader of the party.

Sainsbury originally got Derek Draper to run Progress.

He soon disgraced himself and Labour by claiming he could get influence with the New Labour government for corporate lobbyists.

Despite this early link to a lobbying scandal, Progress still relies on money and contacts from lobbyists, alongside Sainsbury’s cash. In fairness, Progress is more open about its income than it used to be. Its website advises that in 2014 it relied on money and support from Bellenden Public Affairs, a lobbying firm that represents privatisers like Serco and NHS outsourcer Care UK.

Progress also took money from Lexington, another lobbying firm whose clients include Interserve, another major privatiser, and the “Giant Vampire Squid” of banking, Goldman Sachs. The City of London Corporation put some cash into the Progress operation as well.

Progress is deeply committed to pro-privatisation and pro-corporate policies. It has also campaigned to reduce trade union influence in the Labour Party.

During last year’s Labour leadership election Progress supported Liz Kendall for Labour leader and Tessa Jowell for mayor of London.

Progress could not pick a candidate for deputy leader — which shows how deeply Progress is embedded in the parliamentary party. The three deputy leader candidates — Caroline Flint, Ben Bradshaw and Stella Creasy — are all Progress members, so they couldn’t choose which one to back.

Progress’s attempts to shift the party towards privatisation and other business-friendly policies favoured by their funders aren’t hard to find.

But they don’t get reported that much because most national journalists both rely on Progress members for their stories and agree with their Blairite arguments.

Only now are people waking up to the sinister nature of Progress’s coup attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn.

Paul Flynn MP (Newport) condemned the plotters as:

“Orchestrated treachery. Resignations on the hour by the future Blair Tribute Party. Self-indulgent party games as steel jobs are in new peril.”

Even former SNP leader Alex Salmond – a politician I know personally and someone steeped in honesty – called out the Progress plotters.

The mass resignation of senior Labour MPs over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party is a “disgusting, organised coup”, he said.

But their plotting has been an open secret.

An article in the Telegraph dated the 16 June detailed that the Progress led

“Labour rebels hope to topple Jeremy Corbyn in 24-hour blitz after EU referendum.”

Further evidence that these Labour MPs have been plotting against Mr Corbyn and would have assailed his leadership regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell described the MPs in Progress as a “narrow right-wing clique”, “conservative” and “hard right”.

“They all come from a sort of a narrow right-wing clique within the Labour Party based around the Progress organisation,” he said.

“I don’t think they’ve really ever accepted Jeremy’s mandate. I’m afraid they have to recognise that Jeremy got elected with the largest mandate of any political leader from any political party in our history.

“I’m afraid they haven’t respected that leadership election result.”

In 2012 the GMB openly accused Progress of being a “party within a party”.

It unsuccessfully submitted a resolution to Labour’s annual conference in September that year to try to “outlaw” the group.

The Labour Party said it would consider the GMB motion but stressed that it was “not in the business of excluding people”. A cruel irony considering what it is now doing to supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.

“We are a party that is reaching out to people, gaining new supporters and offering real change for the country in these tough times. The Labour Party is a broad church and we are not in the business of excluding people,” said a party spokesman at the time.

The GMB expressed concerns that Progress was operating to undermine the party, accusing it of attempting to sabotage Labour’s London mayoral campaign.

A motion passed at the union’s congress in 2012 accused “prominent members” of Progress briefing against Ed Miliband and said was responsible for persuading Labour’s front bench “to support cuts and wage restraint”.

It went on to say: “Congress notes that Progress advances the strategy of accepting the Tory arguments for public spending cuts.

“Congress believes that such factional campaigns to undermine Labour candidates, and to soften opposition to Tory policies, endanger the unity of the party and the movement in our fight against the coalition government.”

Progress hit back claiming there was “no evidence whatsoever” of its members briefing against the Labour leader, and that any attempt to suggest it had not backed Ken Livingstone for London mayor was “uncomradely”.

Detailed research carried out by Walking The Breadline adds more detail to just who is who within Progress:

Progress is chaired by Alison McGovern. Its vice-chairs are fellow Labour MPs Jenny Chapman, Stephen Doughty, Julie Elliott, Tristram Hunt, Dan Jarvis, Liz Kendall, Seema Malhotra, Toby Perkins, Lucy Powell, Steve Reed, Jonathan Reynolds and Nick Smith. Its honorary president is former Minister Stephen Twigg.

Progress is constituted as a private company limited by guarantee, with a legal board of directors in 2012 consisting of Jennifer Gerber, Jonathan Mendelsohn, Robert Philpot and Stephen Twigg.

Prior to 2015, Progress was chaired by John Woodcock – the same MP who viciously attacked Jeremy Corbyn during the Trident debate last week.

Prior to 2012, Progress was chaired by MP and former Minister Stephen Twigg, and the honorary president was Alan Milburn, the former Secretary of State for Health. Jonathan Mendelsohn was its treasurer.

Current members of the Progress strategy board include: Baroness King of Bow, Gloria De Piero MP, Nick Smith MP, Phil Wilson MP, Cllr Florence Nosegbe (Lambeth), Cllr Claire Reynolds (Tameside), Cllr Rachel Hodson (Doncaster), Cllr Paul Brant (Liverpool) Cllr Mandy Telford (Cumbria), Hopi Sen, Joan Ryan and Joe Mann.

Since its inception Progress has had a number of operational directors: Derek Draper (former aide to Peter Mandelson), Darren Murphy (former Special Adviser), Patrick Diamond (former Special Adviser), Jennifer Gerber, Jessica Asato (acting director), Richard Angell (acting director), Robert Philpot (retired October 2014) and Richard Angell.

Progress donations and sponsorship since 2001:

Lord Sainsbury – £2,022,500

Lord Montague (trust) – £875,500

Pfizer/Pharmacia – £52,287.50 (Owen Smith’s former employer)

Sir Frank Lowe – £49,999.98

Lord Bhattacharyya – £20,000

John Mendelsohn – £10,000

Sovereign Strategy – £12,000

Network Rail Infrastructure – £5,875

Total donations – £3,059,673.16

It is also worth noting that Conor McGinn MP who alleged bullying against Jeremy Corbyn might have overlooked mentioning this fact.

Kate is Chair of the Young Fabians, the under-31s section of the Fabian Society and Political Adviser to leadership contender Owen Smith MP.

Seema Malhotra who last week accused aides of Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell of violating her security and effectively breaking into her office after her resignation, is also a member of Progress, as is Ruth Smeeth who accused Mr Corbyn of  anti-semitism three weeks ago.

To sum up, these right wing Blairite plotters, who undermine democracy at every turn, must now be put on notice: We are watching you, have noted your actions and your time as a Labour MP is numbered:

  • Alan Johnson (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)
  • Alison McGovern (Wirral South)
  • Angela Eagle (Wallasey)
  • Ann Coffey (Stockport)
  • Ben Bradshaw (Exeter)
  • Caroline Flint (Don Valley)
  • Chris Leslie (Nottingham East)
  • Chuka Umunna (Streatham)
  • Conor McGinn (St Helens North)
  • Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)
  • Frank Field (Birkenhead)
  • Gloria de Piero (Ashfield)
  • Hilary Benn (Leeds Central)
  • Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East)
  • Jamie Reed (Copeland)
  • Jenny Chapman (Darlington)
  • Jess Phillips (Birmingham Yardley)
  • John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)
  • Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge)
  • Julie Elliot (Sunderland Central)
  • Keir Starmer (Holborn & St Pancras)
  • Kevan Jones (North Durham)
  • Liam Byrne (Birmingham Hodge Hill)
  • Liz Kendall (Leicester West)
  • Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)
  • Margaret Hodge (Barking)
  • Maria Eagle (Garston)
  • Michael Dugher (Barnsley East)
  • Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent)
  • Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East)
  • Phil Wilson (Sedgefield)
  • Ruth Smeeth (Stoke on Trent North)
  • Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston)
  • Stella Creasy (Walthamstow)
  • Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South)
  • Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon)
  • Stephen Twigg (West Derby)
  • Steve Reed (Croydon North)
  • Toby Perkins (Chesterfield)
  • Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central)
  •  

Hanging from Traitors’ Gate – Progress: Labour’s right wing Militant

Traitors_Gate

IT is more than 30 years since former Labour leader Neil Kinnock began his attack on Militant – as a left wing ‘Party within a Party’ seeking to undermine core Labour values.

Within six years Militant had been proscribed by Mr Kinnock and banned from ever being part of the Labour Party.

Now in 2016, his son Stephen Kinnock is part of a sinister group known as Progress – a right wing ‘Party within a Party’.

More sinister and undermining than Militant ever were.

Progress is the Blairite power behind the 75 treacherous MPs now seeking to oust the Labour Party’s democratically elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Progress runs on £260,000-a-year funding from Lord Sainsbury.

He used to fund the Labour Party, giving over £6.3 million between 2005 and 2010. But he stopped funding Labour when Ed Miliband got elected. Angry at Miliband’s shuffle to the left, Sainsbury went on a rich man’s strike.

But he didn’t just take his money and go home. Instead of funding Labour, he funds Progress, whose job is to keep Labour right wing and Blairite.

Progress’s income since 2010 is about £1.5 million.

Progress, through its website, its weekend school, its meetings at Labour’s conference and its activist network push the candidates and policies Sainsbury likes.

Tristram Hunt is a particular Sainsbury favourite — he was in fact Lord Sainsbury’s personal spokesman before he became a Labour MP.

Hunt was working for Sainsbury when Progress was formed out of the money left over from the original campaign to make Tony Blair leader of the party.

Sainsbury originally got Derek Draper to run Progress.

He soon disgraced himself and Labour by claiming he could get influence with the New Labour government for corporate lobbyists.

Despite this early link to a lobbying scandal, Progress still relies on money and contacts from lobbyists, alongside Sainsbury’s cash. In fairness, Progress is more open about its income than it used to be. Its website advises that in 2014 it relied on money and support from Bellenden Public Affairs, a lobbying firm that represents privatisers like Serco and NHS outsourcer Care UK.

Progress also took money from Lexington, another lobbying firm whose clients include Interserve, another major privatiser, and the “Giant Vampire Squid” of banking, Goldman Sachs. The City of London Corporation put some cash into the Progress operation as well.

Progress is deeply committed to pro-privatisation and pro-corporate policies. It has also campaigned to reduce trade union influence in the Labour Party.

During last year’s Labour leadership election Progress supported Liz Kendall for Labour leader and Tessa Jowell for mayor of London.

Progress could not pick a candidate for deputy leader — which in fact shows how deeply Progress is embedded in the parliamentary party.  The three deputy leader candidates — Caroline Flint, Ben Bradshaw and Stella Creasy — are all Progress members, so they couldn’t choose which one to back.

Progress’s attempts to shift the party towards privatisation and other business-friendly policies favoured by their funders aren’t hard to find.

But they don’t get reported that much because most journalists both rely on Progress members for their stories and agree with their Blairite arguments.

Only now are people waking up to the sinister nature of Progress’s coup attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn.

Paul Flynn MP (Newport) condemned the plotters as:

“Orchestrated treachery. Resignations on the hour by the future Blair Tribute Party. Self-indulgent party games as steel jobs are in new peril.”

Even former SNP leader Alex Salmond – a politician I know personally and someone steeped in honesty – called out the plotters last night.

The mass resignation of senior Labour MPs over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party is a “disgusting, organised coup”, he said.

“I find it depressing to see people that he appointed, most of whom the public have never heard of, stabbing him in the back.

“I find that is a debilitating sight, and personally I hope he sticks it out and is vindicated, because I’ve never seen such a disgusting, organised coup.

“On the hour, every hour, one of them resigns, and if they think the general public finds that impressive I think they’ve got another think coming.

“I can’t help but have a good deal of sympathy for Jeremy Corbyn and some contempt for the tactics of those who he appointed, who now feel free to stab him in the back,” added Mr Salmond.

But their plotting has been an open secret.

An article in the Telegraph dated the 16 June detailed that the Progress led “Labour rebels hope to topple Jeremy Corbyn in 24-hour blitz after EU referendum.”

Further evidence that these Labour MPs have been plotting against Mr Corbyn and would have assailed his leadership regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has described the MPs in Progress as a “narrow right-wing clique”, “conservative” and “hard right”.

“They all come from a sort of a narrow right-wing clique within the Labour Party based around the organisation Progress,” he said.

“I don’t think they’ve really ever accepted Jeremy’s mandate. I’m afraid they have to recognise that Jeremy got elected with the largest mandate of any political leader from any political party in our history.

“I’m afraid they haven’t respected that leadership election result.”

Some 30 of the 75 plotters who have so far broken cover are active Blairite members of the Progress cabal.

But while they try and oust Jeremy Corbyn as leader, many more are supporting him and more than 217,000 ordinary members have signed an online petition of total confidence in him.

These plotters must now be put on notice: We are watching you, have noted your actions as traitors to the Labour Party and your time as a Labour MP is numbered.

  • Alan Johnson (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle) PROGRESS
  • Alex Cunningham (Stockton North)
  • Alison McGovern (Wirral South) PROGRESS
  • Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith)
  • Angela Eagle (Wallasey) PROGRESS
  • Angela Smith (Penistone & Stocksbridge)
  • Anna Turley (Redcar)
  • Ann Coffey (Stockport)
  • Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) PROGRESS
  • Caroline Flint (Don Valley) PROGRESS
  • Chris Bryant (Rhondda)
  • Chris Leslie (Nottingham East) PROGRESS
  • Chris Matheson (Chester)
  • Colleen Fletcher (Coventry North East)
  • Conor McGinn (St Helens North)
  • Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central) PROGRESS
  • Diana Johnson (Hull North)
  • Frank Field (Birkenhead) PROGRESS
  • Gloria de Piero (Ashfield) PROGRESS
  • Hilary Benn (Leeds Central)
  • Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East)
  • Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)
  • Ivan Lewis (Bury South)
  • Jamie Reed (Copeland) PROGRESS
  • Jenny Chapman (Darlington) PROGRESS
  • Jess Phillips (Birmingham Yardley) PROGRESS
  • John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne)
  • John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness) PROGRESS
  • Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge) PROGRESS
  • Julie Elliot (Sunderland Central) PROGRESS
  • Karen Buck (Westminster North)
  • Karin Smyth (Bristol South)
  • Karl Turner (Hull East)
  • Kate Green (Stretford)
  • Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras)
  • Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)
  • Kevan Jones (North Durham) PROGRESS
  • Liam Byrne (Birmingham Hodge Hill) PROGRESS
  • Lillian Greenwood (Nottingham South)
  • Lisa Nandy (Wigan)
  • Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree)
  • Lucy Powell (Manchester Central) PROGRESS
  • Margaret Hodge (Barking) Non Progress Blairite
  • Maria Eagle (Garston) PROGRESS
  • Matthew Pennycrook (Greenwich and Woolwich)
  • Melanie Onn (Great Grimsby)
  • Michael Dugher (Barnsley East) PROGRESS
  • Mike Kane (Wythenshawe)
  • Mike Gapes (Ilford South)
  • Neil Coyle (Bermondsey and Southwark)
  • Nia Griffith (Llanelli)
  • Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe)
  • Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent) PROGRESS
  • Nick Thomas Symonds (Torfaen)
  • Owen Smith (Pontypridd)
  • Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) PROGRESS
  • Peter Kyle (Hove and Portslade)
  • Phil Wilson (Sedgefield) PROGRESS
  • Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfield)
  • Roberta Blackman-Wood (Durham)
  • Ruth Smeeth (Stoke on Trent North) PROGRESS
  • Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston) PROGRESS
  • Stella Creasy (Walthamstow) PROGRESS
  • Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South) PROGRESS
  • Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon) PROGRESS
  • Stephen Twigg (West Derby) PROGRESS
  • Steve Reed (Croydon North) PROGRESS
  • Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South)
  • Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West)
  • Toby Perkins (Chesterfield) PROGRESS
  • Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South)
  • Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) PROGRESS
  • Vernon Coaker (Gedling)
  • Wayne David (Caerphilly)
  • Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)

At the time of writing fellow Progress members Chuka Umunna (Streatham) and Liz Kendall (Leicester West) have yet to indicate whether they will vote to oust Mr Corbyn.

Watch this space!

  • Acknowledgement: The Morning Star

 

 

 

Traitors’ Gate: 28 Labour MPs named as part of Coup

Traitors_Gate

WE can now name and shame 28 Labour MPs who have signed up as part of an undemocratic coup to oust Jeremy Corbyn.

Most have been part of a cabal with a right wing agenda since September 2015, ready to use any opportunity to topple the Labour Party’s democratically elected leader.

Their plotting has been an open secret. As a humble journalist I was able to name 28 would-be assassin MPs as far back as January in  a published article entitled The Enemy Within.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell accuses many of the assassins of being linked to the Blairite campaign group Progress.

“They all come from a sort of a narrow right-wing clique within the Labour Party based around the organisation Progress,”

he said.

“I don’t think they’ve really ever accepted Jeremy’s mandate. I’m afraid they have to recognise that Jeremy got elected with the largest mandate of any political leader from any political party in our history.

“I’m afraid they haven’t respected that leadership election result.”

The move to oust Mr Corbyn is outrageous, and more than 185,000 ordinary Labour members and supporters have already signed an online petition of total confidence in Mr Corbyn – who already has a mandate as leader from the vast majority of party members.

These plotting MPs have no mandate.

Jeremy Corbyn has the support and mandate of the vast majority of the Labour Party and by acting as they are, they are pandering to their own narrow self-interest and political opportunism

These traitors must be put on notice: We are watching you, have noted your actions as traitors to the Labour Party and your time as a Labour MP is numbered.

As at 10pm on Sunday 26 June, we can name:

Alan Johnson (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle) *

Angela Smith (Penistone & Stocksbridge)

Ann Coffey (Stockport) *

Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) *

Caroline Flint (Don Valley) *

Chris Bryant (Rhondda)

Chris Leslie (Nottingham East) *

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central) *

Frank Field (Birkenhead) *

Gloria de Piero (Ashfield) *

Hilary Benn (Leeds Central)

Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East) *

Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)

Ivan Lewis (Bury South)

John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness) *

Karen Buck (Westminster North)

Karl Turner (Hull East)

Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)

Lillian Greenwood (Nottingham South)

Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)

Margaret Hodge (Barking) *

Mike Gapes (Ilford South)

Peter Kyle (Hove and Portslade)

Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston)

Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon)

Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) *

Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South)

Vernon Coaker (Gedling)

  • Those marked * were on the original list of suspected assassins, published in January

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, has been a close ally of Mr Corbyn for three decades, and gave warning to the plotters.

“If your local MP is undermining Jeremy Corbyn, opposing the anti-austerity measures that we want, people should have a right to say: ‘I’d like to have an MP who reflects my view.’ It shouldn’t be a job for life,” he said.

The redrawing the parliamentary boundaries, as part of plans to shrink the size of the Commons from 650 MPs to 600, will provide the opportunity to move against some right wing Labour MPs.

Under the Labour rules for boundary changes, existing MPs have the right to be reselected for a new seat if they can claim a “substantial territorial interest” of at least 40% in the new seat.

But reselection battles could be triggered under the current rules in many of the 206 Labour-held seats in England.

Just 36 will remain unchanged while in 54 of the seats the proposed boundary changes will be larger than 40% of the territory of the constituency, potentially opening them up to new candidates.

Many of these plotters have narrow majorities – John Woodcock’s (Barrow and Furness) for instance is only 795.

But Mr Corbyn still has a number of allies within the parliamentary party, led by John McDonnell, Andy McDonald, Dennis Skinner, Jon Trickett, Ronnie Campbell, Catherine Smith, Graham Morris and Diane Abbot.

In the past 18 hours Paul Flynn (Newport), Emily Thornberry (Islington South), Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central) , Richard Burgon (Leeds East), Ian Lavery (Wansbeck), Liz McInnes (Heywood and Middleton) and Jon Trickett (Hemsworth) have all put their heads above the parapets to support him.

Paul Flynn condemned the plotters as: “Orchestrated treachery. Resignations on the hour by the future Blair Tribute Party. Self-indulgent party games as steel jobs are in new peril.”

And this afternoon, shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham (Leigh) joined them.

“At an uncertain time like this for our country, I cannot see how it makes sense for the Opposition to plunge itself into a civil war,”

he said.

“I have never taken part in a coup against any leader of the Labour Party and I am not going to start now.

“It is for our members to decide who leads our Party and 10 months ago they gave Jeremy Corbyn a resounding mandate. I respect that and them.”

  • Please note we cannot do this alone. We as Labour Party members, associate members and supporters must unite around Jeremy Corbyn. Please help add to the list by sharing this article and posting comment on social media so we can expose all the plotters.