Nothing could demonstrate more starkly the movement of the Labour party to the far left than what happened on Monday 18th February 2019.
Seven backbench MPs one of whom was a very vocal and televisual star, one of whom was prominent due to her religious faith and the others who were, with all due respect little known, announced they were leaving the Labour party to form a new independent group within the commons.
On that very same day, after a 34-year-expulsion, Derek Hatton was allowed back into the party – more of him later.
These MPs were, for mainly two reasons, left ‘no choice’, in their own words, but to go. One reason was for the failure of the party leadership to address the issue of a people’s vote on Brexit. The other was for the antisemitism which we all know is rife and institutionalised within the party and more importantly the movement.
It cannot go unnoticed that two of them were facing deselection in the near future and by going independent they have secured their careers for the foreseeable future.
The response from Corbyn was mute and thin. Tom Watson (could he also go soon?), the deputy leader of the party, was much more erudite and you have to say emotional about the state of the party and where it finds itself.
As I sit writing this missive, one more MP from the Labour party has quit and three from the Conservatives. We are, it seems, seeing a seismic change to politics and the makeup of the House of Commons.
Allowing Derek (Degsy) Hatton back into the party was either very poor timing, or a deliberate clear signaling by Jeremy Corbyn to the electorate as to where the Labour Party sits right now and how it intends to offer itself to the electorate in the future, especially when it has emerged that the Labour front bench team had no idea of the move to reinstate him. This was followed by the immediate suspension again of this wonderful man, due to a tweet from 2012 surfacing that is, yes you guessed it, antisemitic!
Derek Hatton was originally a fireman. He left to work for the Liverpool City council in 1980 and rose to be the deputy leader in 1983. He was by far the most vocal deputy, always on TV at any given opportunity. He sought out and craved fame. The actual leader of the council at that time was the much quieter and less seen and heard of John Hamilton. You should know that Hamilton was much admired as a politician. He did though have no control over his infamous deputy.
Hatton led the charge as a Trotsky militant to promulgate the Militant Tendency group. A capping of council tax rates rebellion took place in 1985. Liverpool took part with gusto and refused to make any increases. In June 1985, led by Degsy, the council took a u-turn and agreed an illegal deficit budget totaling £30 million.
The Trotsky led council agreed on spending of £30 million more than its income, claiming that this figure was stolen by central government. This led to media coverage of Hatton and his comrades which he could not have dreamt of. It also brought them into a direct conflict with the then conservative Government.
The ‘Militant’ group within the Labour party was found to be in breach of the rules. Hatton himself was expelled from the party in 1986 for being a member. He fought this at every chance he had but they were unrepentant, and he remained out of the party until this last Monday.
In the intervening years much has happened to this outcast, none of which I will make comment on. The fact that he has now been welcomed back into the Corbyn run, Momentum-supported Labour Party of this Century should be, and is, a quite stark pointer to the journey travelled from the days of Blair.
The modern-day party of Owen Jones, Diane Abbott, John McDonell and Momentum, led by the long- time Marxist backbencher Corbyn, is in my opinion unelectable. The party is a cabal of far-left Marxist leaning people, who claim to be “for the many not the few”, yet most of them are millionaires, property portfolio owners with children privately educated and of whom my lorry-driving Labour voting father would rightly be disgusted.
The usurping within different constituency parties by Momentum, to have votes of no confidence of sitting MPs who do not wholly worship at the altar of Corbyn is distasteful and reminds me of Animal Farm and its message.
Derek Hatton, now back within the fold, will assuredly not be quiet, he will seek out the camera at any given opportunity. I suspect that the seat of Liverpool Wavertree will be lined up for him at any coming election. The thought of him in the commons is most certainly not an attractive one.
The question now has to be, especially as it is suspected that more sitting MPs might leave and join this new group, will they, when the numbers are sufficient, form as a party – and what then of the British Labour Party?
Is Labour then done? Will they be a force of any note as a credible opposition? I suspect they have not been effectively holding this Government to account for quite some time and as such they are an impotent force, more given to internal fighting, tricks and nasty antisemitism.