Chris Leslie, MP for Nottingham East, is speaking now. He says it has not been an easy decision and that they have all been MPs for very many years. The Labour party they joined, campaigned for and believed in has been hijacked by the “machine politics of the hard left”, he says.
He says it would be irresponsible to allow Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister, which is something other Labour MPs will say privately. He accuses the leadership of having a “narrow and outdated ideology”. “To them the world divides between oppressor and oppressed, class enemies, when in truth the modern world is more complicated than this.”
Now Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, says she is from a Labour-supporting, working-class family who were ambitious for her. “Most people are like my family. They do not want to be patronised by leftwing intellectuals who think that being poor and working-class is a state of grace.” She says her decision to resign her membership has been very painful.
It does short term for sure, long term as well if they're successful and more people jump ship. Perhaps it's true Labour can align themselves better without these voices who were never really going to get on board, but losing 7 MPs is damaging no matter how your slicing it.
But it's gonna be a while before we see where this goes, and what concrete policies they're going to try and build around.
fwiw a hypothetical party isn't the same as the one that now exists. The realty is everyone thinks they are moderate or reasonable in some way but once you put these ideas on paper you find everyone has a different idea of what being moderate means.
The independent group needs to 1) form an actual political entity, 2) form policy that identifies to potential defector MPs and voters alike - ie actually come out utterly anti-brexit and 3) needs to have proper financial backing and an actual framework of a legitimate organisation for them to grow into something more serious than a few disgruntled members of parliament.
But Hatton’s response was to set an illegal budget – expenditure exceeding income – and to gamble that the government would make up the £30m overspend. Other councils also affected by central government grant cuts managed to set legal budgets.
The debt Hatton plunged Liverpool into was finally cleared 15 years later, in 2001. The interest rate paid over this time amounted to 57%. The Militant loans? They came from Swiss, Japanese and French banks. But Hatton’s nadir came when he hired taxis to deliver redundancy notices to the council’s 31,000 staff, on the basis that the council couldn’t afford to pay them, as a “tactic” to extend negotiations of the Whitehall stalemate.
Away from finances, Hatton appointed an unknown Londoner, Sam Bond, to the Liverpool Race Relations Liaison Committee over objections from the Black Caucus, at a time when racial tensions were especially high. Bond did not support affirmative action policies, and similarly, Militant did nothing for LGBT groups, given its opposition to policies that focused on particular oppressed groups. The neutral office of lord mayor, meanwhile, was abolished, to strengthen Militant’s power.
Opposite my former school, there used to be Harthill Gardens, known as the “Kew Gardens of the north”. When the gardeners were called out on strike, they rebelled, fearing the impact on the flora. In an act of political revenge, and a mark of his character, Hatton sacked the gardeners and bulldozed the gardens. A famous banner held aloft in protests against the council at the time read: “Hitler only destroyed half of our city. Hatton tried for the lot.”
It's for the best, I thought he might have changed when he left politics but it looks like he's still a magnet for trouble, I doubt it's just that tweet though, the Brexit connection seems dodgy as fuck as well.