My personal response from Harriet Harman(‘s correspondence manager) #JezWeCan #Corbyn4Leader #LabourLeadership #LabourPurge

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I almost feel sorry for the Labour Party establishment. They have made one monumental fuck up after another during this leadership campaign, and only served to draw attention to the difference between themselves and the left of the party whilst simultaneously showing how they are barely distinguishable from the professional liars and freeloaders on the government bench.

I received this letter dated 4th September from H. Lazell, Harriet Harman’s Correspondence Manager. At first it seemed to have successfully shafted me with what sounds like Arnold Rimmer quoting from the Space Corps Directives.

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Yes this letter has been altered. I composited the two page letter into one.

However, if you read the quotation carefully, I am still not excluded.

“A member of the party who joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the party, or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member, subject to the provisions of Chapter 6.1.2 below of the disciplinary rules.”

Seeing as Harman is a qualified lawyer and Queen’s Council (QC), one would have thought that she would be able to understand that this clause still does not specifically exclude me. It begins “A member of the party who…” and I am not a member. What’s more I did not support  a candidate who stood against Louise Haigh MP (Labour) nor did I declare my intent to stand against the Labour candidate.

If the online sign-up page had excluded members of other parties, or if it had not offered the new designation of non-member supporter, then fair enough, and I would not have either signed up or argued with that.

But they didn’t and I acted in good faith. So cough up, Harriet, you still owe me three quid.

My letter to Harriet Harman, Acting Leader of the Labour Party #JezWeCan #Corbyn4Leader #LabourLeadership #LabourPurge

Letter Harriet Harman Acting Leader of the Labout Party v3

Harriet Harman MP
Acting Leader of The Labour Party
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

Dear Harriet,

I am one of the many people who have been “purged” from the members and supporters of the UK Labour Party and denied a vote in the leadership election.

On 19th August 2015 I received an email that said:

“We have reason to believe that you do not support the aims and values of the Labour Party or you are a supporter of an organisation opposed to the Labour Party”.

Neither statement is true. I don’t know what those stated reasons might be but if you have people scanning my political memberships and/or social media channels, it is abundantly clear that I am a traditional Labour voter and a committed socialist.

In 1997 I was delighted by the landslide victory of Labour, and what seemed to be a promise of a new Labour that was less in thrall to the unions and would represent those of us who considered ourselves to be socialists, but certainly not “hard left”.

Unfortunately, this new Labour party turned out to be New Labour who went on to continue and implement deeply unpopular and unwise policies and actions such as the Private Finance Initiative, student loans and the Iraq war amongst many others. New Labour transformed the Labour Party into something barely distinguishable from its traditional nemesis, the Conservative Party. I did not vote again until 2015.

I started voting again because cynicism and apathy have demonstrably failed, so I decided to try optimism and activism instead. I joined the Green Party in order to be part of the “green surge” but I voted Labour to contribute towards maintaining a majority in the safe seat where I live in Sheffield Heeley. I also joined the Stop The War Coalition at the same time.

Local Labour Party activists came canvassing during this year’s general election campaign and I told them I would be voting Labour but had joined the Green Party because New Labour was no longer a socialist party.

As a Green Party member, I did not expect to be able to sign up as a supporter of the Labour Party, but the online form that I filled in said nothing about members of other parties being excluded from the election. So I paid £3 and joined as a supporter for the sole purpose of voting for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election, the only candidate that represents traditional Labour values.

Like many others, I am appalled by the way the Labour Party establishment and the other leadership candidates have conducted themselves during this campaign. You are witnessing a huge popular movement that you should be listening to rather than attempting to silence. The New Labour experiment is over and it has been shown to be, not only a huge failure, but also deeply unpopular amongst traditional Labour voters.

I would like to urgently insist that you reinstate my right to vote in the leadership election and review all the applications of other members and supporters who have been excluded.

I have sent copies of this letter to Louise Haigh MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Bolam

Jeremy Corbyn keeps getting elected, so how is he “unelectable”? #JeremyCorbyn #JezWeCan #VoteCorbyn

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I was at a meeting of local Labour Party members last night (here in Sheffield Heeley I am not ostracised even though I am a member of the Green Party), and one of the old school Labour guys used the phrase “unelectable” about Jeremy Corbyn and the kind of Labour Party that he might lead at the next general election.

This is bullshit and I told him so. The “unelectable” label has been very successfully seeded by the professional liars that are so favoured by the neoliberal cheats and war criminals on the right, and it’s been repeated endlessly by the pseudo-journalist goons of Channel 4 News and BBC News (amongst many others) that it has now been shoehorned into the current political zeitgeist.

Strange that despite being “unelectable”, Corbyn seems to keep getting elected. He has been the Member of Parliament for North Islington since 1983 and just keeps getting elected. What’s more, it looks like he is about to be elected as the leader of the Labour Party.

All despite being “unelectable”.

And so, unless in the meantime he is murdered by MI6, or the CIA, or Mossad, we will have a left-wing Labour Party again.

On the subject of unelectability, one might have thought a party whose figurehead was complicit in covering up the activities of child rapists might be considered unelectable.

Also, one might have thought a prime minister who has been bought by fossil fuel corporations might be unelectable.

And one might have thought that a chancellor of the exchequer who has borrowed more than all the other governments since the Second World War put together, and regularly lies to parliament about the state of the economy, would also be unelectable.

One might have thought that a government whose social care policies have shortened the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people might be unelectable.

I know it is a backhanded compliment, but if a demonstrably incompetent bunch of liars, cheats and warmongers can be elected then it is not too much of a stretch of the imagination that a principled, considerate and peaceful government could be elected.

And finally, here is my appeal to those of you on the left: please stop repeating the propaganda that has been very skilfully inserted into the mainstream media and no longer elect the unelectable, but elect the electable.

The Labour Party won’t let me vote for the new leader & now I want my £3 back. #VotePleb #VoteCorbyn #JezWeCan #LabourLeadership

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Today, I received this email from The Labour Party.

“Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your recent application to become an Affiliated/a Registered Supporter of the Labour Party.

As part of the process to sign up as an Affiliated/a Registered Supporter all applicants are asked to confirm the following statement;  I support the aims and values of the Labour Party, and I am not a supporter of any organisation opposed to it.

We have reason to believe that you do not support the aims and values of the Labour Party or you are a supporter of an organisation opposed to the Labour Party and therefore we are rejecting your application.

Although you may have received or may still receive a ballot paper, it will not work and if you do vote it will not be counted.

Should you wish to dispute rejection by the Labour Party you would have to submit and pursue an application to join Labour as a full member.

Kind Regards

The Labour Party

Sent by email from the Labour Party and promoted by Iain McNicol on behalf of The Labour Party, both at One Brewers Green, London SW1H 0RH.

Website:  To join or renew call 0845 092 2299.”

I guess they found out that I’m a member of The Green Party and apparently I am “a supporter of an organisation opposed to the Labour Party”.

Wrong, you fucking dimwits.

To paraphrase what Mhairi Black MP (SNP) said in her maiden speech to the House of Commons, it is The Labour Party that left me rather than the other way around, and it is the leftover Blairite neoliberal parasites that are opposed to the values of the Labour Party, not me.

In the 1980s I would never have been considered “hard left”, although I have always been a Labour voter. These days, Labour has become so infected by the freeloading, neoliberal apologist career-politicians that now I am almost indistinguishable from Karl Marx himself.

Certainly not my first choice, but better at least than Thatcher, Cameron, Pinochet, Netanyahu, Bush, Hitler, Pol Pot or the Royal House of Saud. However, these days I count as a “hard-left infiltrator” because I want the Labour Party to be a socialist party and represent the needs of the many rather than the greed of the few.

During the 2015 pre-general-election campaign, Local Labour Party activists came knocking on my door and asked me who I would be voting for. I told them I would be voting Labour (they nodded approvingly) because I live in Sheffield Heeley, a safe Labour seat, but I had joined the Greens because Labour was not left enough for me (no eye contact). They were visibly disappointed but could understand my concerns. Every one of them spat when I mentioned Tony Blair and I kept them talking so long that one of them looked at his watch and said “we’ve got to go”. I’ll try that on the Jovies next time.

I was already a member of the Stop The War Coalition (for whom Corbyn is chair) when I heard he would be running for Labour leader, and I did consider resigning my membership of the Greens and joining Labour, but the terms and conditions did not exclude members of other political parties becoming a supporter, so I paid my £3 just to vote for him.

So fuck the Labour Party generally, but here in Sheffield Heeley we have Louise Haigh who, like Corbyn, voted against the Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015, so I still have hope, locally if not nationally.

What’s more I have successfully infiltrated my mum, dad, sister and wife, all who have joined the Labour Party despite having never been members of any political party before, and all so that they can vote for Jeremy Corbyn. If the Labour establishment wants to defeat Corbyn’s leadership bid, it might be more wise to publicly distance themselves from war criminal Tony Blair, professional liar Alistair Campbell and neoliberal apologist Gordon Brown rather than antagonising us traditional Labour voters.

So Liz Kendall, Andy Burnam and Yvette Cooper, fuck you and I want my £3 back.

Apathy & cynicism are already failed strategies. I’m trying activism & optimism for a while. #EndAusterityNow #JuneDemo


End Austerity Now National Demonstration 20th June 2015

I’ve never been to a public demo before, at least nothing of any size, and to my shame I didn’t join the protests against the Iraq War in 2003. I doubt that my additional, lone presence would have made much difference, but maybe if those of us who were apathetic had bothered, together we might have made a difference.

To ameliorate my guilt, I have decided to get off my arse and go to join the big, anti-austerity protest in London. Like many, I believe the so-called “austerity” policies of the current government to be a con, and I will be there to tell them so. I am also a member of Stop The War Coalition and will attempt to meet up with them.

I will be documenting much of it on video, and it will be interesting to compare what I witness with what is reported by my duet of bêtes noire, BBC News and Channel 4 News.


Pictured here is my general-purpose travel survival kit, everything I think I might need for a bit of non-violent civil protest in any location away from my home town of Sheffield.

In the days when I had hair, I could feel fairly comfortable in most circumstances if my hair had been washed, my teeth brushed and my fingernails clipped. They were things that These days I only need the toothbrush and nail clippers. A recent new addition to my travel kit is the anti-bacterial handwash, in case I have to shake hands with any Conservative MPs. Unlikely I know, but it is always best to be prepared.

I normally carry a cork screw but I might leave this at home in case it could be creatively misinterpreted as a weapon. This was an essential on a recent trip to Paris but I doubt we will be celebrating the overthrow of the government and the installation of a utopian socialist collective on our return journey. However, if that happens we’ll just drink Champagne!

The medication is paracetamol (which I never take) and antacid tablets (which I do take). The padlock is for my sac, rather than the doors of the Bank of England, to deter and opportunistic pilfering. For documentation, I will have my iPhone 5s with clip-on fish-eye lens, a GoPro Hero, which I shall attempt to wear as a bodycam, RODE SmartLav+ lapel mics which I might use if there is any opprtunity for interviews or voxpops, and a 12,000 mAh NiMH battery for recharging the cameras. I might also take an SLR.

Not pictured here is food and clothing, but I am going to try to be mostly self-sufficient as M&S Food will probably have a rush on.

As an admirer of Gandhi, I will not be throwing molotov cocktails, setting fire to police vehicles or defiling monuments. I will be employing far more scary tactics, made famous by Monty Python and the notorious Piranha Brothers; and they are sarcasm, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire.

Screen shot 2015-06-18 at 13.18.09Having never been part of a major demo before I am a bit unsure about placard-etiquette. It would be embarrassing to turn up with placards that are not a-la-mode and I am torn between going for the Chanel of protest banners, little-black capitals on a white background, or for more of a LaCroix day-glo. Above is one of my favourites, so far.

Not voting is already a failed strategy and it’s my fault #VoteForSomeone #GE2015

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It’s my fault. Well, not mine alone, but for some years I have been a non-voter due to the usual list of of reasons: apathy, cynicism and laziness.

It is said that we get the government we deserve, but what kind of karmic felony did I commit to give us a government that is more greedy, spiteful and corrupt than even Margaret Thatcher’s notorious cabal of mis-educated thugs and sociopathic toffs from the 1980s and 1990s? I voted in 1997 and was genuinely elated with the Labour landslide.

Oh dear.

The Labour Party has a long way to go to regain the trust of the British people after the grotesque betrayal of Tony Blair and New Labour, but I agree with Owen Jones when he says that he would rather fight the Labour Party than the Conservative Party, and this is the crux of it. Labour activists and socialists know that they have a mountain to climb in order to restore faith in British socialist politics, but my number one priority is to remove the Nasty Party (their phrase, not mine) from government.

I joined the Green Party in order to express some support to their much more radical, left-wing policies, but I will be voting Labour in Heeley, Sheffield, because it is a safe Labour seat and I want it to remain safe. At least from the Conservatives and UKIP.

The attribution is disputed, but I like to quote Edmund Burke, who said “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

The shortening of disadvantaged people’s lives by denying them readily available funds is evil. The proliferation of war for profit is evil. The theft of public assets is evil, and the incitement of hate against people of different colour, creed or religion is evil.

All these thing have been made flesh by the UK Conservative Party via benefit sanctions, via complicity with the United States’ foreign policy, via the fall-guy trickery perpetrated against local authorities and the right-wing seeded anti-immigration rhetoric we hear all around us.

I know it might have been repeated a little too often, but I also remember what Aneurin Bevan, Labour Minister for Health (1945 – 1951), who oversaw the establishment of the National Health Service (NHS), said:

“No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.”

I will be voting tactically and I hope you will do the same.

Please vote. Please vote them out.