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Hard Labour

Thanks to the ongoing Brexit constitutional crisis, Labour’s annual conference in Brighton was cut short – but divisions were exposed between and within the party leadership and over the party’s attitude to Brexit itself.

Jeremy Corbyn managed to fudge the Brexit issue due to a dubious conference show of hands whilst also relegating his main ‘right-wing’ rival Tom Watson, also the party’s deputy leader, to a fringe meeting despite attempts to abolish his position within the party hierarchy prior to the conference.

One notable feature of the conference was the composition of the delegates. They were (at face value) mainly young, female, middle class with a sprinkling of non-whites, just like the party’s front bench in the House of Commons and the surrounding cohort of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Not much room for white working class men in the PLP!

Its bloated (mainly middle class) membership numbers and the laughable parliamentary party means the Labour party is a travesty of its former self and so removed from its founding fathers (white working class men such as Keir Hardie, rather than pettifogging lawyers such as Keir Starmer) only the rigged electoral system keeps it relevant.

One aspect of the party infighting at the conference so far unreported is the ongoing row over ‘anti-semitism’ which has led to the suspension and expulsion of long-standing party members and representatives, primarily because of their attitude to Israel.

The ‘right-wing’ pro-Labour campaign group Hope not Hate infiltrated a fringe meeting organised by those former members and representatives currently suspended or expelled by the party.

Hope not Hate openly spy on Labour Against the Witchhunt rally

Hope not Hate’s twitter account reported: “The ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ group held a rally outside Labour conference this evening. Attendees were asked to rendezvous outside a Ben and Jerry’s before being walked to the secret venue. We attended as part of our work to track anti-semitism on the left.”

Hope not Hate went on to produce a commentary on those speaking at the meeting attended by over 100 Labour activists, but also published pictures from the rally.

Hope not Hate picture of the former London Labour mayor Ken Livingstone speaking at rally
Hope not Hate picture of suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson speaking at rally

As many ‘right-wing’ people on the receiving end of Hope not Hate’s ‘infiltration’ and ‘monitoring’ over the years have suggested, such ‘anti-fascist’ organisations do not simply restrict their activities to those they deem to be “fascist” (which according to their warped world view is almost everyone to the ‘right’ of the UK Conservative Party) but they are also happy to do the same thing to their supposed comrades on the ‘left’ because of the funding they receive from the state and other sources..

Hope not Hate (despite its much vaunted radical left credentials – no laughing at the back!) is closely linked to the (albeit much-diminished) ‘Blairite’ wing of the Labour party which is vehemently antagonistic towards Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Israel and wider foreign policy matters.

Alarm bells should now be ringing within the Labour party and the wider so-called left, but is anyone taking notes?