Sunday, October 01, 2017

British Labour Party: No Place For Hate

The British Labour Party held their annual conference this past week. I have never voted for Labour. And can think of few circumstances in which I might. What I have to say next should be set in that context.

I cut my political teeth in the UK in the late Seventies, early Eighties. One of the primary reasons I joined the British Conservative Party at that time was my belief from extensive research and discussion that the then Labour Party was close to holding views indistinguishable from the Communist Party.

The Tories are no angels. On many occasions since originally joining them, I have found myself unable to adhere to some of their policies and their antics. And more often than not, I've said so.

But, political parties, especially when you've sweat blood for them. Stayed up late, with fingers crossed so firmly the blood no longer flows. Political parties are like family. You stay loyal. So, I've never abandoned the Tories.

I read this morning an article written by Richard Angell, in Progress, the newspaper of the rightish element within the British Labour Party, saying much the same. He decries what is happening with Labour at the moment. But he is damned if he will leave.

I know there are those who are terribly excited at the ascension of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party. Who feel the Party has been re-energized. However, I see a darker side. Richard describes it.

During the Eighties, Labour was afflicted by the bullying tactics of far-left internal organizing groups like Militant Tendency. I see that again with Momentum, the internal Labour group supporting Corbyn. Richard describes their tactics at conference this past week.

Interestingly, those tactics are also used by Trump in the US. And they come from the same playbook used by the anarchists I encountered in Occupy, and since: make noise, bully, intimidate, marginalize, shout down, force to leave the room, and then effect the business you want.

I am truly happy for those in the British Labour movement who feel their Party has found new worth with Corbyn. However, there is no place in any organization for hate. In any society. For whatever reason. If you find yourself alongside someone demonstrating hate, find the courage to ask them to stop. Or disassociate yourself. As publicly as you can.

I say the same to the Tories. To Trump supporters. To the AltRight. To the left in the US (and in the US - I am a dual British-American citizen - I find myself what I describe as a Democratic Populist ( To AntiFa. There is never any place for hate. Cut it out ...

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