Vote Down Purgemaniac David Evans at Labour Conference

If you’re left wing and in the Labour Party you must be wondering how much longer that’ll be the case for, because under the management of Starmer’s appointee to the post of General Secretary, David Evans, the biggest purge of members, aside from those already driven away by the right wing lurch of the Party under Starmer and Evans, has been underway for months and has only accelerated recently in response to fears Evans might not get confirmed by conference in his role. Purgemania. If we’re to save the Party from these unconscionable fools, we need to make sure that comes to pass. David Evans has to be sent packing and at conference, delegates will have the power to do just that.

Acting General Secretary David Evans tenure has been marked by control freakery and diktat, combined with repeated acts of self harm and epic examples of gross incompetence against the Labour Party and its wider movement. The man is not fit for the office he holds and since assuming it, he’s acted as if he was safe and secure in that role, but actually he is still yet to be formally ratified and accepted by the Labour movement and therefore, his position is vulnerable. Normally the act of conference ratifying the Party leader’s chosen candidate for this post is a formality, but with a leader as weak and disliked as Keir Starmer and his Gen Sec selection a man who has made himself incredibly unpopular in a very short space of time, this vote has become the main focus of Labour Conference this year for a great many people.

For months Team Starmer had been trying to rig the delegates attending Conference to ensure a right wing majority was appointed to ensure Evans gets ratifed. This hasn’t worked out as well as they had hoped, so for all the purging of members that has been going on for several months, this process has recently been accelerated to remove as many awkward people for the weakest most pathetic reasoning they can possibly find. Some Conference delegates have found they’re being put through extra checks, others are finding themselves being sent NOI’s Notices of Investigation into alleged misconduct, or are being auto excluded, a process not confined to delegates, but happening to members around the country for the crime of being left wing, the crime of being socialists, the crime of standing against Starmer and Evans. The trouble is, this has exposed gross examples of incompetence. The Party sent a notice of investigation to the Chair of Young Labour Jess Barnard, who immediately got her legal team involved and this was quickly removed and told it had been an administrative error. She had been sent it at 1am in the morning, just what kind of outfit still has people sending purge notices out at that time? David Evans evidently. Just yesterday we learned that even Labour MP’s aren’t safe from this mistreatment as Jarrow MP Kate Osborne also got sent a letter. Again she got her legal team involved and this was quickly claimed to be in error. Just how incompetent can you get, but this raises a bigger concern because leading figures in the movement such as these with their legal representation can get these things hurriedly dismissed, but for the wider Labour membership? No chance. How many of them are getting rolled over on and who is reporting them? Should right wing members be rolling over on left wing comrades, that’d be the political equivalent of scabs crossing a picket line, if Labour staff are being employed to sift through social media in order to build cases against members of their own party, that’s a gross misappropriation of funds and resources, but would explain why the Party seems to have so little time to attack the Tories and little wonder why Johnson’s recent polling blip over his National Insurance rise already seems to have been recovered from. Normal due processes for this has been circumvented to suit the agenda of Starmer and Evans as they wreck our membership and any chance of electability we have. We already know of other cases such as that of former PPC Pamela Fitzpatrick and Labour List’s Sienna Rogers who reported on an investigation letter being sent to her house for somebody else, who had never lived there and was no longer a member anyway! Just gross errors that shouldn’t happen in a competently run organisation. They’ve gone completely rogue.

The Trade Unions, the backbone of our movement have taken notice too. Unite has already said it will instruct its delegates to Labour Conference to vote against David Evans. The Bakers Union will almost certainly do likewise and may even vote to disaffiliate from Labour completely afterwards. Just yesterday in light of what has happened to Kate Osborne, who, as a former postal worker has close ties to them still, the Communication Workers Union has said it will instruct its delegates to vote against David Evans ratification and Matt Wrack of the Fire Brigades Union, only recently reaffiliated under Jeremy Corbyn has today stated he fully expects that his union will vote against David Evans appointment too as well as consider disaffiliating once more due to Starmer and Evans dire behaviour. Aside from this there’s a left wing NEC on the right wing controlled Unison union ready to cause problems going forwards and the GMB are going to review their funding to Labour to ensure they are still getting value for money from its members. On top of that Momentum members who are delegates have been instructed to now vote against Evan’s appointment as have member delegates of the CLPD, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, which actually shouldn’t be much of a surprise all things considered! In addition to that left wing Labour MP Jon Trickett put out on Twitter that the executive of his own CLP had unanimously voted not to endorse David Evans, making Trickett the first Labour MP to position himself against the acting Gen Sec’s formal appointment. These are huge problems for a Party that inherited over £13m when Jeremy Corbyn stepped down, but has been taken to the verge of bankruptcy by Starmer and Evans, forced to court donors and deliver whatever these wealthy individuals might want in return rather than work for the interests of its members and the British people.

All delegates have a responsibility to the movement to act now. Starmer and Evans have a track record of representing little aside from their own ideological desire for entrenched control of the party. Starmer promised unity and has gone back on that and considerably more. He’s demonstrated he’s about as trustworthy as Boris Johnson all things considered. David Evans is a Blairite who has imposed dictatorial instructions on Labour CLP’s, abused the Party rulebook to rule motions out of order and to do as he generally pleases. He’s acted like the job was already his and the party his personal fiefdom. It isn’t. He and Starmer need to be sent a message they cannot ignore. We need 50.01% of members to vote against David Evans appointment. We need delegates to vote to fire him as he has done to a quarter of party staff he can no longer afford to employ through his and Starmer’s mismanagement. I’m recommending each and every delegate going to Labour Conference ensure they cast their vote to vote down David Evans appointment. We need someone not only competent but credible running the Party and it’ll send a message to Keir Stalin that we’ve had enough of his abuse of position and of the party and he might want to consider his own too. We’ve a slim chance of sending Evans packing, but it’s a real chance. It’d be a great start to rebuilding a left alternative in this country so we need to make sure everyone with a say in that knows to take it.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

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Labour Party suspension of Young Labour Chair jumps the shark.

The Labour Party has truly demonstrated what an utter cesspit it has become under Keir Starmer and David Evans in the wake of so many suspension letters being sent out, often at a ridiculous hour, midnight or 1am, designed to cause maximum distress to people unable to act at that time, or to start their day with. Young Labour chair Jess Barnard was one such recipient, a fantastic advocate for the party, someone who genuinely wants to make a difference, someone who has a particular interest in mental health awareness and has spoken of her own struggles publicly. So what did Labour do? Chose to send her a suspension letter at 1am in the morning on Suicide Prevention Day for, of all things, standing AGAINST transphobia.

The Labour Party has become a regime of diktat under the current leadership, flouting the rulebook in order to impose orders to not discuss certain topics, block no confidence motions in the leadership, block solidarity motions with some of those already suspended and meting out suspensions for the most ridiculous reasons, such as those given against people who had ever had anything to do with proscribed groups at a time before they were proscribed, leaving the Party open to legal challenges as it has. You’d think given Starmer, as he always likes to remind us being the former Director of Public Prosecutions, he’d know when he’s doing something legally stupid, but perhaps he, or Evans really don’t care as long as they can keep purging socialists, keep driving more members away, so the party, in as dire a state as it is, remains in their control. Above all else, this is about control.

So it is that we come to Jess Barnard, the elected Chair of Young Labour, the representative body within the Labour Party to represent members below the age of 27 – a weird figure, but there we go – who has herself been targeted for suspension.

Jess has found herself on the wrong side of the Labour leadership, but hasn’t let that stop her from doing what she feels is right and that means highlighting causes the leadership would rather not and it has invited pile-ons from right wing supporters of the Labour leadership, most recently for inviting the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to speak at the Young Labour event at Labour Conference.

She’s also found herself on the wrong side of the right wing press with Murdoch Times scribbler Oliver Kamm going as far as to derangedly accuse Barnard of wanting a second holocaust for Young Labour’s advocacy of Palestinian rights. Thankfully, there are journalists out there who will write factually, such as the Skwawkbox, who has covered this story in detail. No support from the Labour leadership whatsoever, they’d already cancelled Young Labour’s rulebook mandated Conference of their own, so you can see how much regard the leadership have for young members – about as much as they have for members full stop. This Labour leadership would rather have rich donors.

However at 1am in the morning of Friday the 10th of September, she found herself presented with a suspension letter for challenging transphobia – I repeat, she was challenging it. Not defending it. It is indefensible to defend hate speech of any form after all, identifying as trans is a protected characteristic, but that is not what Jess Barnard was doing and was not what she’d been issued with a suspension letter for. She was challenging transphobia in a twitter exchange with a right wing Labour Councillor and had been issued with a suspension letter for it. It was on Friday. Suicide Prevention Day. Often such letters, knowing they cause significant distress, particularly to long time members are supplied with contact details for the Samaritans. I don’t know if that was the case with Jess, but my goodness, can you imagine if anyone sent suspension letters that day was?

Here are the tweets in question, where Jess makes reference to TERF’s, an acronym standing for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, emphasis should be on the first two words since as I said before, identifying as trans is protected in law. I also fail to see what is so feminist about behaving this way towards such people either. The label fits the behaviour, Jess had done nothing wrong, in fact if its not obvious in the first tweet it is with the exchange with the councillor where she is clearly defending the rights of trans people and not attacking them.

To her credit, Jess went straight to the NEC and also got her legal team involved. Lo and behold, later that day the suspension order was rescinded. The claim from the Party is that this was sent in error, but the Communication Worker’s Union General Secretary Dave Ward hit the nail on the head when he sent a tweet saying the Labour Party disputes process is in disarray. It is not an error to hunt through somebody’s tweets, compile an investigation document, attach it and send it. This is clearly factional and wrong.

Of course he’s right, a fair amount of work goes into investigating anyone to the point a suspension is warranted, but you get the feeling they’re being doled out like sweets, especially when they’re being sent out for standing up for a protected characteristic! Are we the Transphobe Party now? It’d be good to get a statement from Starmer on this, but he’s been too busy tweeting about tennis to show interest in this or show Young Labour’s top representative an ounce of solidarity.

It had been suggested that all of this was the work of a rogue senior official with a vendetta against Barnard, but again, the work involved shows that is a risible, weaselly excuse. She was targeted for her beliefs, which are not in keeping with the current leadership even if they are in keeping with the party ethos and she’s not alone. Another example publicised in Evolve Politics this morning shows a Labour member, who shared one of that publications tweets relating to supporting a 4 day working week and championing free broadband has been suspended on the basis that they’ve shared racist content. Free broadband isn’t a protected characteristic last time I looked and I’ve yet to meet someone who self identifies as broadband who might be offended! Something has got to give and with Labour Conference just around the corner, things may well be explosive. A lot of hurt and upset is being caused by these often hilariously stupid suspensions, that sadly the people affected do not find funny at all. Exposed for being based on absolute idiocy, on factional vengefulness as they have in this and many other instances is incredibly damaging to the party’s reputation, its electability and we need a change. That change has to come from the very top.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Sharon Graham wins!

It’s not very often these days that I get to report some good news for a change, but at last the Unite the Union General Secretary election appears to be over and seemingly from out of nowhere Sharon Graham has won it.

She’s exploded what a lot of people felt. That she had no chance, that she should’ve stepped down when Howard Beckett did, that only one left candidate should run else we risk letting the right winger, laughably referred to by the lamestream media as a centrist – centrist to them, he won’t rock the boat – win.

I’m guilty of surmising the same, I’ll admit it. I was from the start an advocate of Howard Beckett, was devastated when he stood down, but understood why, that under the appallingly bad First Past The Post system the Unite election was taking place under, the risk of Gerard Coyne winning with the left vote apparently split, was a clear and present danger. I’m a Community member, I’d be slung out under a Coyne leadership along with thousands of others. This was after all why Howard stepped down, I understood why he got behind Steve Turner, who had the most nominations and that left many wondering why Sharon wouldn’t step aside.

Of course anyone wanting to stand should be able to, that’s good for democracy, but under such an unsuitable, archaic system, the right is favoured in such circumstances and this really needs to be addressed.

However as things have turned out that has not been the case. the two left candidates have come first and second so despite a split, the right winger still came last! Rupert Murdoch’s candidate, Keir Starmer’s candidate came last, the Labour To Win candidate came last and the right is kept out of any controlling role in our Union.

Sharon Graham ran a clever campaign, she got her data together and she’s reaped the reward.

As for Steve Turner’s campaign, behaving like the heirs apparent to the crown of McCluskey has blown up in their faces. Even with the support lent by some of Beckett’s supporters it wasn’t enough. Many would not be persuaded to back another candidate after their favourite bowed out, but without them, Steve Turner, the guy who got the most nominations, would certainly have come last, only just pushing Gerard Coyne into third place. The whole, ‘Steve got the most nominations, so the left must rally around him’ myth has been busted. The nominations process has always been a poor indicator and those defending this argument were just plain dishonest, just playing to their favourites and for many big name mouthpieces as my Socialist Telly colleague Steve Walker of Skwawkbox has laid out in recent articles, some supposedly lefty commentators have been left with reputations well shredded over this. The left is strong, a surprise has been sprung, I wish Sharon Graham well and look forward to seeing what she’s got in store for us.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

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Starmer ‘paint a picture in primary colours’ relaunch. WTF?

Keir Starmer, Labours absolute shambles of a leader is – you’ve guessed it – relaunching himself again!

He’s gone from embracing Blair’s legacy to finally admitting those 10 pledges were a sham and now wants to paint a picture in primary colours – what the hell does that even mean?

Keir Starmer has announced a departure from his 10 pledges, a pledge lest we forget being a solemn promise, made to us, the Labour membership. This is hardly news to those of us who have been or still are members of the Labour Party. He departed from them on day one, its just taken him 18 months to admit he never really meant a word he said in order to become elected. His war on the left of his own party just confirming that. His promise to build on the success of Corbyn’s leadership translated as rip it all up and suspend him from the party for far longer than the rules allow and suspend any CLP’s that dare try show solidarity with him. Any semblance of socialism he appointed to his front bench was ousted on the flimsiest of terms as fast as he could manage and its been diktat ever since.

He’s lost support, lost volunteers, lost members and has now thrown out even more by proscribing various groups on the left of the party and as a result is no longer competitive in by elections, losing one after another, only hanging onto Batley & Spen as a result of emotional blackmail and a bit of luck in the Green Party stepping aside.

Pledge one was the easiest to keep as it was on economic justice. Lowest corporation tax level in Europe, a tax only on profits as this is, raising it should’ve been a no brainer. He said now is not the time to this at the same time he was campaigning to be Labour leader – he literally broke it before even getting elected!

Pledge 2 was social justice – well where’s the social justice in saying nurses deserve a 2.1% pay rise, after the Tories promised 1%. They needed 12%, they were owed 15%, the Tories went 3% and Starmer broke his pledge and faith with nurses needing a fair deal.

Climate justice was pledge 3, for heavens sake all he had to do was stick with Becky Long-Bailey’s excellent Green New Deal and Corbyn’s 2030 climate crisis target. Nope, ditched it within months of becoming leader, has offered a limp ambition since. Always ambitions and never actual policy announcements.

Promote peace and human rights was pledge 4, just look at his treatment of Labour Party members, his abuse of the Labour party rulebook, the payoffs to shush up legal cases we had, and you’ve got an authoritarian who has been far too profligate with Party cash. No wonder Labour is worried it can’t even cover payroll now, but besides internal abuses he’s been a serial abstainer on the issue of human rights and he’s a former human rights lawyer! From the overseas operations bill, to the spycops bill he whipped his MP’s to abstain and was going to on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill until Clapham Common happened, forcing him to grudgingly oppose. Pathetic.

Pledge 5, common ownership – he ripped that up when he rowed back on the prospect of nationalising BT saying Labour under him is pro-business. In other words, he’s a red Tory.

Defend migrants rights was pledge number 6. When we have a sociopathic migrant hater in Priti Patel, it should be easy to just oppose frankly anything that comes out of her mouth. Starmer has failed to ever do so, so hasn’t kept this pledge.

Pledge 7 was strengthen workers rights and trade unions – what a sick joke this one is. When Becky Long Bailey sided with the teaching unions over concerns regarding covid in schools, she got the sack, allegedly over calling actress Maxine Peake a diamond, but we all know the truth. Useless Kate Green replaced her and Starmer just went, schools must open no ifs, no buts, no equivocation. He backed Unite over Fire and Rehire on twitter, then panicked over it and deleted it and now he’s using fire and rehire tactics to sack 90 staff, whilst recruiting more on temporary part time contracts, causing the trade unions to consider industrial action against Starmer and Labour! He broke this in the most egregious possible way.

Pledge 8, radical devolution of power, wealth and opportunity, was torn up when he defended Boris Johnson’s trip to Scotland to promote the Union during the pandemic and has been utterly silent on Tory cronies ending up in the House of Lords – so much for equal opportunity, the gravy train rumbles on.

Pledge 9 was promotion of equality, but then he called Black Lives Matter a moment and has expelled members, most notable Jeremy Corbyn and most recently Ken Loach over factually questioning the prevalence of antisemitism or standing in solidarity with suspended members, plus he’s still burying the Forde Report, which, lest we forget is a report into internal racism in the party and BAME members in particular are furious this has still not been released.

And pledge number 10, to provide effective opposition to the Tories. I’ll never forget the people on Gogglebox saying ‘if him saying I agree with the Tories were a drinking game you’d be pissed!’

So lets bury this notion that he might scrap his 10 pledges, he’s already broken every single one, some several times over and they are no longer worth the paper they were printed on.

Now, on top of his agile ceremonies and multi-disciplinary collaboration in iteration, he’s talking about painting in primary colours. Why the hell does this brylcreemed advert for suited and booted nothingness insist on talking in such a meaningless fashion? His speech is now a direct reflection of his persona, it’s like he’s from an alien planet, there’s no sense in anything he says! Painting in primary colours, what are you three? Well you’ve torn up any semblance of socialism, so you won’t be using red, you stand for a metric ton of sod all, so Liberal yellow might suit, but with all your constant agreement with the government your tenure as leader is most definitely blue. Some might argue that mixing them makes green, but we’ve already exploded pledge number 3, so lets not go there.

The top priority is a Labour government he says, great, tell us something we don’t know, how are you going to achieve that when you lie, break your promises and have no policy? Are you going to announce some? No you’re apparently going to paint.

What is the one thing that connects Attlee, Wilson and Blair? They all had vision, had policies, they all increased Labour’s seat count, you missed Corbyn out in 2017 who did the same though, but that little nugget doesn’t suit you does it?

By officially announcing the 10 pledges might be on the way out, broken as they are anyway, merely confirms you lied to get elected. You lied to members who might have supported you and that makes you fundamentally untrustworthy. You’re dishonest Keir. You have no policies, still, to this day for anyone to base an opinion on your ability to lead, and the longer that goes on for, the worse people’s opinions of you are going to be. A recent YouGov poll of people’s attitudes towards you was excoriating. Of 12,000 respondents – huge by YouGov’s measure – 76% think you’re incompetent, 80% dislike you, 80% don’t believe you’ll ever be Prime Minister and as for people voting who they thought did a better job of leading the Party, you scored 35% compared to Jeremy Corbyn leading with 44%.

‘Win the Future’ is the new strapline you’re sticking to, how handy for a guy with no policies and no direction that the future isn’t written yet, but it won’t be primary colours with you still leading, you walking absence, it’ll be beige, beige, beige. The fact this abbreviates to WTF and what that usually stands for hilariously sums up how the majority of not just members but voters feel about you and what passes for your leadership, but how cringingly awful you are at promoting yourself or the party.

Nobody trusts you after you broke all your promises, nobody knows what you stand for when you relaunch yourself more often than you change your underwear and so I’m afraid I have to break it to you that you will never lead the country, you will never win, because unlike the Tories, we won’t support somebody with so little substance, nor back a liar. Next month at Labour Conference I really hope some home truths are going to hit you hard, you useless little man.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Labour agile ceremonies? What is this drivel?

What in the ever loving chuff are Agile ceremonies? Unelected, unratified acting General Secretary of the Labour Party David Evans has taken inspiration from a Thick Of It script by the sounds of this. What a pile of drivel! In his strategic plans unveiled to Labour staff this week, some of whom it won’t matter to anyway when around a quarter of them now face the axe, somehow have to make sense of this in order to succeed. All this, because of the financial mismanagement of the Labour Party under Starmer & Evans tenure. What happened to just making popular policies?

Agile ceremonies, I had a vision of a vicar in gym gear when I first heard it, athletic weddings perhaps? Maybe its Starmer, Evans, the right wing frontbench and certain members of the NEC dancing in a circle and chanting around a cauldron? Is this how they resurrect the legacy of Blair perhaps? Sounds a bit cultish.

But no, apparently it’s the new way of working for those surviving the cut at Labour HQ.

David Evans idea of leadership is to tell the remaining staff they need to work collaboratively in agile and multi-disciplinary ways, that they need to adopt agile ceremonies, be empowered to make decisions and focus on rapid prototyping, deployment and iteration.

What the hell? Has he tripped over a dictionary and swallowed it? What do we want? Agile Ceremonies! When do we want it? At an optimum point for delivery whilst maintaining product quality!

How do you convey this to local party members when they ask for help or advice? Iterate more! Deploy with more agility! What does it mean? do you want us performing somersaults as we post flyers through doors?

This absolute travesty passing for advice is what Labour staffers have been told they must do in order to make up for the job losses faced by colleagues. Evans admitted the key driver was a need to achieve a substantial cost reduction – no bloody kidding! Where has the money gone Keir and Dave? Corbyn left you with a £13m surplus! Blown on pay-offs to people who may or may not be badly incriminated in the never to be seen Forde Report, losing membership subs in droves as they attack the left of the Party ceaselessly, driving more members away from the party and pissing off the Trade Unions to the point some are considering disaffiliation, have withdrawn funding and are now even considering possible industrial action, since the way the party has gone about the layoffs, whilst recruiting more people on poorer terms and conditions, temporary, work-from-home contracts, is straight out of the Fire and Rehire playbook! Reports last month were that the Party was a single payroll away from bankruptcy, they’re certainly going to need to be more agile with their spending if they’re going to last much longer!

There is of course a way that we can put this nonsense to bed once and for all and that’s to make sure unratified Dave Evans, remains so. He cannot remain as General Secretary if he isn’t formally endorsed by Labour Party Conference happening next month and it really does depend how much the Starmer faction has stitched up the delegate selection process as to whether he’ll get the nod. A lot of people want him gone, not just over this latest, hilariously bad, incomprehensible plan for the Party going forwards, but as a result of his dictatorial instruction to CLP’s, walking all over the party rulebook, ordering them not to discuss things such as no confidence votes in him and Starmer, but also blocking solidarity votes in the perpetually suspended Jeremy Corbyn, for which he and Starmer will never be forgiven. The additional suspension of Ken Loach only adding to the contempt members across the country hold for the pair of them. We can give Starmer and his regime currently running our Party into the ground and into financial ruin a massive headache. Send Evans unceremoniously packing next month, let’s see how agile he bloody is then and see how well Starmer can rapidly deploy and iterate after that.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.