Extraordinary news reaches me that Northampton South Constituency Labour Party has been suspended, Lock Stock and Smoking Barrel.
In addition four of their most loyal members Geoff Howes, Anjona Roy, Kathy Smith and Alan Scott are under further investigation.
So what have they done? Called for a return of Clause 4? or for total Renationalisation of the Public Utilities and Coal Mines?
Maybe they have upset the next door neighbour Sally Porter? or embezzled party funds to spend on a Vodka Frenzy?
But it seems it is none of the above, There crime is that they simply tried to win an election.
When Geoff Howes stood in the Borough Council By Election in Duston earlier this year he phoned me and asked me if I would give him an endorsement for his leaflet. He also asked fellow Independent "Fitzy" from Northampton's Market and the late John Gardner BEM for similar endorsements.
I was happy to oblige. Despite my expulsion from the Party and the way they have treated me, individuals within the Party remain my friends. Geoff was a very good Councillor, he is a very able man, and would run rings around a large number of the current incumbents at the Guildhall.
The endorsement simply said that the Council could well do with people of Geoffs calibre, and who could argue with that at present. Fitzy and John Gardner god rest his soul also gave endorsements. All three were published in an election leaflet at the time. I sought nothing from the endorsement other than helping a decent man get elected despite the way I was personally treated by the Labour Party. Geoff, his agent Anjona and Kathy Smith who printed the document sought nothing other than getting their candidate elected. What possible Machiavellian intent was detected by the Labour Party higher offices reveals more about their own insecurity than it does the intentions of those accused. If I wanted to put a leaflet together in Duston I could do so, without using it to support a Labour Party candidate!
Anyhow it seems the national party were not happy, what were local members thinking about, getting endorsements from people who were not party members? Heavens above, its never been done before has it? Alan Scott I hear is up on a different charge of swearing at a party meeting. Well there for the grace of god go half of the f*cking cabinet!.
But yes in fact getting external endorsements has been done before, all the time, and when I was in the party, I was told an endorsement from outside is worth a hundred from a Party member.
But they couldn't possibly have a quote from Tony Clarke on their leaflet could they, so the very slow wheels of Labour Party injustice churned ever onwards towards the inevitable suspension of the whole party, and since the suspension of individual members.
Very helpful with a general election around the corner I here you say. Their Parliamentary Candidate Clyde Loakes (remember him, still twittering away telling us of his leafleting in Northampton at the same time he was at meetings in London, and they say men can't multi task!) seems to be fully supportive of the NEC's actions and happy that at a time that the membership should be preparing for battle that they are spending all their time and energy fighting each other. The national party will now pretend there are "other reasons" for their actions and try to make themselves look conscientious by inventing non existant reasons for their concerns, but it wont wash with anyone in Northampton who knows what is going on.
And of course the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats will be beside themselves with glee
I though am very saddened, I hold no torch now for the modern day Labour Party, and as I have said on numerous occasions the top down, London controlled administration of all three of the main party's make it impossible for local democracy to remain meaningful, but the thought of good people being trodden down by cowards and traitors for simply trying their best to get local representatives elected makes me very angry.
If the Labour Party are unable to challenge the Tories and Liberal Democrats next May at a general election then I am more than prepared to fill that void and in doing so stand up for decent independently minded centre left voters across Northampton, but I can't help but think that any chance of the open wounds within Northampton Labour Party ever being healed will now have to wait until Clyde Loakes and Sally Keeble are back home in London as defeated candidates, both victims of their own stupidity and inability to see and respect loyalty when it is staring them straight in the face.
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