The Labour Party continued its slide into electoral oblivion yesterday, as it increasingly adopts the character of a third-rate student union debating society. With yesterday’s reshuffle, Corbyn’s old contacts in the shady underworld of the London left have consolidated their grip on the party.
Openly Marxist Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell (who infamously brandished Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’ in his response to last year’s Autumn Statement) and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, kept their existing roles.
Diane Abbott has been promoted to Shadow Home Secretary. Mr Corbyn’s former squeeze has claimed that voters for Brexit were motivated by racism, bigotry and a hatred of “foreign” faces.
Ms Abbott would know all about bigotry and intolerance. She got herself into hot water in 2012 when she tweeted that “white people love playing divide and rule”. Many at the time rightly condemned her as a racist. Of course, her politically correct defenders claim this is not true – since in their view only ‘privileged’ whites can be guilty of racism.
Abbott has been branded a “sell out” for sending her son to a £10,000 a year private school in 2003. She has defended her actions by claiming white people would “never understand” the difficulties facing Afro-Caribbean parents.
Meanwhile, Baroness Chakrabarti has been appointed shadow attorney general. Chakrabarti was elevated to the House of Lords in August – despite having inconveniently objected to it’s existence.
This came shortly after she chaired a farce of an inquiry into growing Labour anti-semitism following the influx of tens of thousands of hard-left activists into the party. Many of these belong to Momentum, a pro-Corbyn campaign group whose vice-chair was recently sacked for suggesting Holocaust Memorial Day was not inclusive enough.
Ms Chakrabarti joined the Labour Party on the day she began her inquiry. Her report concluded that the party was “not overrun by anti-semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of racism”, although she did concede that there was an “occasionally toxic atmosphere”.
The former Liberty director was accused of a “whitewash” and her appointment to the Lords was strongly criticised by prominent Labour MPs and members of the Jewish community. She denied there was anything “remotely transactional” about her appointment.
Chakrabarti is also the Chancellor of the University of Essex, yet is evidently not too keen on “Essex man”. As an Essex alumni, I can assure readers the feeling is more than mutual.
Clive Lewis has been moved from shadow defence secretary to shadow business, energy and industrial strategy, following a row at Labour conference. A speech by Mr Lewis was altered at the last minute to remove a promise he “would not seek to change” Labour’s stance on nuclear weapons. Anti-Trident Nia Griffith is set to replace him.
Chief Whip Rosie Winterton has been sacked. This has predictably gone down like a cup of cold sick among Labour MPs. Winterton was well-liked and seen by many as a unifying figure in the party.
What we’re seeing here is the tightening of the grip of the left on the Labour Party. Having beaten off an attempted coup by the Parliamentary party, they are no longer taking any chances. Twenty-first century socialism looks an awful lot like an Islington Marxist dinner party.
Roll on 2020…
Chris writes at https://libertarianright.wordpress.com. He believes strongly in individual freedom, personal responsibility, and the power of free markets to eliminate poverty and create wealth.
Follow him on Twitter: @cjmanby1989
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty