Opinion: Labour MP Tristram Hunt announced Friday he was quitting his job as MP for Stoke in Trent.
Jeremy Corbyn was gracious when he acknowledged Mr Hunt's equally gracious reisgnation letter but scratch the surface to probably see a whole different picture.
Hunt's timing is terrible but he has denied that his timing was meant to hit home.
But who is Mr Hunt and why was he an MP and a Labour Party one at that in the first place?
The first thing I came across when I looked online was information regarding the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where Hunt will be the new CEO on a big fat salary.
Their website says "Trustees. The Victoria and Albert Museum is governed by a board of trustees appointed by the Prime Minister."
Conspiracy theorists do your worst.
Theresa May had to sign of Tristram Hunt's appointment at the V and A and I imagine she did so with glee; well as much glee as Mrs May ever shows.
So I had a snoop around online to see how Mr Hunt ended up as Labour MP for Stoke on Trent. FIrst this from Wikipedia;
Tristram Julian William Hunt Labour Party politician, who served as the Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central in Staffordshire since the 2010 general election. In January 2017 he announced he would leave the Commons in order to take up the post of Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. (born 31 May 1974) is a historian, broadcast journalist and former British Hunt is a lecturer in modern British History at Queen Mary University of London. He has written several books and in his work as a broadcaster has presented history programmes on television. He is a regular writer for The Guardian and The Observer.
So he is or was a relatively new MP; one from the dying days of old new Labour under Gordon Brown.
"On becoming Leader of the Labour Party on 25 September 2010, Miliband also became Leader of the Opposition. At 40, he was the youngest leader of the party ever."
But back to wikipedia and Tristram Hunt;
Hunt was born in Cambridge, the son of Julian, Baron Hunt of Chesterton, a meteorologist and leader of the Labour Group on Cambridge City Council in 1972–73, who was created a Labour Life Peer on the recommendation of Tony Blair in 2000. He was educated at University College School, an independent school in London.
So a good old down to earth working class lad from a good old working class background?
Of course such a background is not mandatory to be a Labour Party MP but it does help.
So finally I popped over to They Work For You to check out Tristam Hunt's registered interests and I was left reeling.
How the hell did he ever have time to work as an MP and represent his constituents?
ITV mainstream news Friday evening included a few interviews with a handful of Mr Hunt's comsituents. Whether it was selective or accurate reporting I cannot comment.
But those interviewed were not unhappy that Mr Hunt has resigned with some saying he hardly visited the area and was initially as they say parachuted in as the Labour Party candidate.
The conclusion is?
You make up your own mind but he was anti Corbyn and like a fish out of water as a Labour Party MP in my opinion.
He has selfishly triggered a by election at a tricky time for the Labour Party but at least he has finally done the decent thing and quit though for a huge pay rise.
This post is a type of part two following on from Tuesday's "Since when was the word TRAITOR so abusive."
The above letter was received by the person in Tuesday's story; a Labour Party member who was recently suspended from the party for a handful of angry tweets.
Tweets which on the grand scale of abuse would probably be laughed out of court. No swearing, no nastiness and no threats.
For me it is ironic that in so many ways Labour's NEC and General Secretary Iain McNicol are acting on a par with the management of American owned supermarket chain Asda.
How so I hear you say? Well this is how.
When an Asda colleague faced disciplinary action for a silly angry comment on Facebook, with no names but obvious hints that Asda was the target, he was hauled over the coals. As an older man months away from retirement he opted to act with his feet and walked.
That person was and still is my husband.
But among those hauled over the coals for his indiscretion, calling ASDA "shite factory" and the "head man" useless following a crappy night shift, was an older female colleague who dared to LIKE his post.
She in fact was given "counselling" for her sins.
So how is the Labour party different? The answer is that at this time it is not.
People choose to join the Labour Party and pay for the privilege. They do so for many reasons.
They use social media in their own time and what they choose to share and re-share should be down to them.
If they break the law or are truly abusive that is a different matter.
But if party members share another person's social media comment what then?
Will the Labour Party like Asda offer counselling? Will they exclude a member for retweeting?
The following was retweeted by our source and forms part of the suspension process in this case:
ŷStrong stuff that makes your blood boil? Banter that will be a step too far for some? Hilarious? Silliness or what?
Opinion: aged 64 perhaps I am out of touch. Certainly some of those currently suspended from the Labour Party are my age or older.
They have seen life and some. They know first hand real trials and tribulations. They are real adults living in the real world.
Do the Labour Party want to be elected or not? Do they only want to be elected if they have removed Jeremy Corbyn? Do they think they can disrespect and or remove members and those same people will vote for them?
I am increasingly at a loss as to WTF is going on and why.
Do they think this constant "bad news week" will do the party's image any good? Will they say well you should not share it online?
Too that I would have to say "on yer bike."
Tough working-class people do not always swear but some do. Some are better educated than others. We the people are far from "champagne socialists." But as a point of fact many of those in Labour attacking Corbyn as some sort of "champagne socialist" are far from working class.
But it is a convenient tool like allegations of perceived abuse.
In much the same way unnamed sources within the Labour Party feed the right-wing mainstream media negative articles those accused and suspended are finding it increasingly difficult to get information from the NEC and are sharing their stories with people like me.
Letters and documents legally requesting information are arriving with redactions.
What have they to hide? Who is trying to hide?
Let's face it any person can screenshot an angry tweet or comment, send it off to the dreadfully named Compliance Unit of the Labour party and have any person suspended.
Jeremy Corbyn may not do personal but many ordinary people do. We lash out on social media often following provocation.
The above letter received by our source is not the first. As a point of fact that person tells me "they just asked me to appeal. I've already appealed 3 times what do they want? Blood" and perhaps they do; their "pound of flesh" to quote Shakespeare but that is not a politically correct saying these days.
Many things about all of this make me angry.
As yet I am not directly affected but we lefties traditionally care for and about each other.
Seeing the Labour Party act much like Asda chastising employees is more than worrying though. It is a bloody disgrace.
OK now do your worst Mr McNicol.
Free speech ASDA or lack of it - http://www.wherebuttheuk.com/uk-news/free-speech-and-asda-or-the-lack-of-it
In the run up to the Labour leadership election 2016 a series of party members where suspended from the Labour party.
Reasons were at times vague and many people smelled at least on big fat rat.
For most their problems stemmed from activity on social media.
For many it also appeared to be a McCarthy style witchunt with Jeremy Corbyn supporters targeted.
If that was the case were or are Corbyn supporters excessively abusive online? Just where is the line between banter and abusive interaction online?
If you are active online and drop by political forums, especially on Facebook, you may have already experienced abuse of some sort. It could be simple school yard type name calling or something more serious. It could also be by way of a "troll", possibly of the paid kind, and aimed at getting you to respond angrily.
It is then as simple as them copying your response and sending it off to the Labour Party validation team.
Initially this writer and Labour Party member was determined she would not stoop to that level but after too many online friends were removed from the party, perhaps temporarily, but all without due democratic process, it was a case of why not?
I posted a series of reports which featured some high flying abusers in the Labour Party followed up by open letters to the validation team.
Councillor John Ferret was one and he quit Labour recently. Did he jump before he was pushed? Who knows and in his case who cares. He has posted vile stuff on Twitter since Corbyn was first elected September 2015 egged on and supported by some MPs and he continues to do so.
But here is the thing.
A few things about the so-called #LabourPurge2 are worth noting:
One friend today has received details of five comments made on Twitter that used the word traitor.
One was actually during an interaction with Jo Cox who was murdered in June of this year.
But and there is a big BUT.
No expletives were used, no nastiness either, but pure and simple anger in response to a lack of support for party leader Jeremy Corbyn. A party member, an ordinary retired person who responded angrily as Labour Party MPs who opposed and still oppose Corbyn closed ranks.
Traitor was one word some had warned would be off limits.
However such ridiculous infringement of an adult's use of social media would act as a red rag to a bull in many cases.
In truth for some it would become a fight for freedom of expression.
Some of those suspended refused to toe a party line if that meant a curb of freedom of expression and can you blame them?
There was a time the Labour Party would have supported Evelyn Beatrice Hall who wrote the phrase: ""I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" as an illustration of Voltaire's beliefs. Hall's quotation is often cited to describe the principle of freedom of speech."
Social media at times is anything but social. It sometimes is more like anti-social media but how you choose to spend your free time is up to you as long as you do not break the law.
Since when has the word TRAITOR broken any laws?
I can think of far worse name calling, have seen it and experienced it in fact.
There is always the block button or the police if abuse is actual real abuse not simply silly name calling.
Remember some words hurt as they are close to the truth.
For many Corbyn supporters those who plotted from day one to undermine and then remove him from office are traitors pure and simple. They feel they have been betrayed by those who vowed to support whoever was elected leader. So a natural choice of word is traitor.
As for the Jo Cox comment hindsight is a wonderful thing.
At the time my friend commented to Jo Cox "traitor" no person could have guessed what was to follow - the murder of Jo Cox.
I have my own theories on #LabourPurge2 and I am sure you do too.
Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section but remember the thought police may be watching. When I used that phrase in the Labour Party Forum on Facebook months ago I was ridiculed but hey I am a big girl and can take it. Sadly however it seems that was not such a silly notion after all.
Note: The "traitor" person becomes my third online buddy to quit the Labour Party rather than face a foolish unnecessary investigation. This time though the person's partner is quitting the party too. Four Corbyn supporters gone but at what price? Four decent law abiding individuals who are valuable members of society.
I presume the Labour Party will not want their votes come election time then?
About that word Blairite.
STATEMENT FROM RHEA
Labour internal struggles real, perceived, created and works of fiction continue.
Labour Party members have a chance to vote for candidates who will make up the party's policy making NEC.
Make no mistake they want a return to Blair politics.
Accusations of anti-Semitism have some links to the NEC elections.
One candidate Luke Akehurst regularly posts pieces calling Jeremy Corbyn's credibility as party leader into question.
Akehurst has links to the weapons industry, BICOM, Friends of Israel and is just back from a 'holiday' in Israel.
He is at odds with Corbyn.
The conclusion then has to be he yearns for a place on the NEC for dubious reasons.
Some old 'new Labour' supporters are stuck in the Blair years.
This week they have been showing their heads above the parapet again. Could that be as parliament is in recess and some senior politicians are away on holiday?
According to the Huffungton Post "Eastwood CLP declined to nominate Wolfson after party members felt that Momentum was too ‘factional’ and expressed concerns about “its role within the party”, local members told HuffPost.Under party rules, anyone who fails to win their own local party’s nomination cannot stand for the NEC."
Yes the old guard cling on.
Further reading pertinent to allegations of anti-Semitism follow:
Labour Friends of Israel in the House
NEC candidate Luke Akehurst calls on Corbyn to resign
Open letter BDS and NEC hopefuls
Op-ed: The blistering attacks against Jeremy Corbyn continue this time with Lord Alan Sugar leading the charge.
With such a short time left before local elections in May undermining the Labour leadership and spearheading a leadership coup seems the prime objective.
The attitude shown toward Jeremy Corbyn by some highlights that people like Sugar will never accept him as party leader.
Sugar quit Labour when Ed Miliband was party leader over alleged anti-business politics.
Like many on the rich side of life they do not want a Labour Party that even inches over to the left.
So it is no surprise that he attacks Labour with Mr Corbyn at the helm.
Sadly he and other dissenters have a loud voice in the mainstream media in effect manipulating the electorate.
This time Sugar is voicing his concerns over the upcoming election for mayor of London.
He has attacked Labour candidate Sadiq Khan presumably preferring fat cat Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith.
Sugar may claim to be a non-affiliated Peer these days but he is a Conservative in all but name or maybe his only affiliation is Alan Sugar?
Either way the big winner from mainstream media attacks on the Corbyn leadership is the Tory government. The big loser is 'we the people'.
The Jewish News reports "The billionaire businessman accused Mr Khan of being personally responsible for wrecking the Labour Party as Lord Sugar branded the City Hall favourite and Jeremy Corbyn the “Laurel and Hardy” of politics. Lord Sugar, who quit Labour to become a non-affiliated peer in protest at what he called its anti-business stance under Ed Miliband, warned Mr Khan would be a disaster for London if he wins the May 5 showdown with Tory Zac Goldsmith."
Sugar was writing in Murdoch's Sunday Times and the Jewish News was quick to follow on.
They posted a piece damning Khan, Ed Miliband and Corbyn claiming "labour now welcomes anti-Semites and terrorist sympathisers to its ranks, the TV star warned."
It is a hate filled piece but if you are a Labour Party member or supporter be careful how you respond.
Those with their own agenda are quick to shout anti-Semitism.
It seems it is fine to call those of the left of Labour the 'hard' left with the obvious connotations but not to call those from the Blairite camp attacking the Corbyn leadership ' bitterites'.
And of course the Tories love and welcome Sugar's distraction coming at a time when that party is split over Europe and not fit for government.
Sugar is quoted as saying “Under Corbyn, the lunatics have truly taken over the asylum" which is divisive and biased.
Those on the left will simply explain they are turning the Labour party back to its roots and changing it from a second class Tory party to a real party of the people.
Sadiq Khan is from the Muslim faith and Alan Sugar the Jewish faith-that should not be relevant but these days it is.
Last week David Cameron used parliamentary privilege to launch an attack on Khan and as always he uses the mainstream media as a drip feed.
Guess he will be sending Sugar a thank you note then.
Cameron called racist but allowed free rein by Bercow
Op-ed: Friday we posted "Not murder when an Israeli kills a helpless Palestinian." It was an opinion piece written by a retired teacher in Canada-a person who could never be seriously accused of being anti-Semitic or racist. It openly shares an opinion and it does not have a hidden agenda nor is it aimed at misleading the reader.
That cannot be said for "Anti-Semitism at the heart of Corbyn's Labour Party: Devastating dossier exposes how extensive anti-Jewish bigotry is in Labour and poses profoundly troubling questions its leaders MUST answer" posted by the Mail Online Saturday.
That piece begins "To the duffel-coated members of Labour’s ‘loony Left’, one particular weekly newspaper was, for much of the Eighties, required reading" but is that relevant in 2016?
That lead into the story however must tell you all you need to know about its credibility?
If you want an idea of the standard of journalism at the Mail Online consider that Katie Hopkins, previously a columnist at the Sun, joined the team in September 2015 days after Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party. If you are British you must have heard of Hopkins who has made her name and paid the bills out of abuse and sensationalist headlines such as:
Petition against Katie Hopkins passes 250,000 mark
Katie Hopkins attacks Kelly Clarkson again
Katie Hopkins seeks personal attention out of the death of Cilla Black
So how credible is Saturday's piece in the Mail?
It uses information from the past, social media and Bitterities within the Labour party to craft an article which sensationalises a perceived anti-Semitic view allegedly running rampant in the Labour Party.
You will need to read it carefully and perhaps more than once to see that it is in many ways out of time and a false flag.
Are some so desperate to remove Jeremy Corbyn as party leader and John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor that they are prepared to rake up old history and to sacrifice local elections scheduled for May?
But in all political parties there are rogue elements.
Tory Grant Schapps resigns amid bullying scandal for example.
Sometimes it is the young who have a passion for politics, life and fair play.
The first, a passion for politics, appears to have been true of PM David Cameron who allegedly in 1985 was a top member of the "Federation of Conservative Students, which produced the "Hang Mandela" posters. In 1989, Cameron worked in the Tory Policy Unit at Central Office and went on an anti-sanctions fact-finding mission to South Africa with a pro-apartheid lobby firm sponsored by PW Botha."
The Independent wrote in 2009 "The trip by Mr Cameron in 1989, when he was a rising star of the Conservative Research Department, was a chance for him to "see for himself" and was funded by a firm that lobbied against the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime."
Two wrongs do not make a right and calling all who criticise Israel - when it invades a neighbouring country and kills many, grabs land, appears to want to squeeze another small nation into oblivion and encircles that small country with a huge wall turning it into the world's largest open air concentration camp - anti-Semitic is plain wrong.
This writer is not bigoted but nor is she naive enough not to realise that there may be elements in any political party with hidden agendas, and there may be "double agents" of sorts, trying to help the other side along.
And of course money rules.
The piece in the Mail Online uses social media posts to attack individuals. In one case it attacks a fair-minded individual who became embroiled in tit for tat debates on social media. During the last Israeli invasion of Gaza passions ran high. Can you really use a social media post in the heat of the moment to attack an individual's credibility?
Hypocrisy rules in 2016.
Raking up old news to cobble a story together can result in many things but is it really news?
Still we have taken a small leaf out of the Mail Online's book of journalism to see where it leads.
As for social media it can be many things including interesting, manipulated, funny, abusive, paid for, misinterpreted, taken out of context, polite, vile and at times far from social.
And there are many forums online.
Those that are closed are rarely invitation only; people tend to ask to join and are accepted or not.
Why they join is relevant.
Administrators of these groups face huge 24/7 challenges monitoring conversations, watching out for trolls, banning abusers and weeding out those with hidden agendas.
That means invariably some problems from time to time but many of the political forums enable people to get together and share ideas and knowledge.
Perhaps Labour needs to start fielding members to Tory forums, so they can copy text out of context and allow the mainstream media to manipulate politics ahead of elections?
Finding a left-wing mainstream media source however could prove tricky.
May 5, 2016, Vote Labour and ignore the right-wing hype.
Remember WE are Labour, not the Bitterites or high-profile personalities.
Opinion: Forget the UK EU in / out referendum for now; six weeks before the referendum, when the British electorate vote on our future in or out of Europe, there are local elections and this year they are more important than ever.
Fact - The May elections tend to have a poor turn out.
Fact - You can change that.
In 2016 many people are talking about the elections as if they are a make or break time for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
It should not be like that but it is.
Elected as Labour Party leader September 12, 2015, Mr Corbyn's position has been undermined from day one and too many times from those who should be working for unity, supporting him as he settles into his role and enabling Labour to win elections.
While we get the feeling that some Labour MPs and activists are almost gleefully rubbing their hands at the prospect of more Labour defeats at the polls people power could win the day.
Across the Pond in the USA supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the two democrats fighting for the party nomination, face similar challenges.
As some voters in the UK let petty personality politics get in the way of a Labour victory a similar situation could play out in the USA.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton cover different areas of the centre to left ground of US politics but they are on the same side. They are both hoping to represent the same political party and those who refuse to vote Democrat if their preferred candidate does not win are delusional.
Similarly we hear UK Labour supporters saying they will not vote for their local candidate as they do not like them and other such foolish sentiments.
Well we say NEWS ALERT.
If you fall into the petty politics trap all you do is enable the other political party to win.
If you are a UK voter and happy to see Mr Corbyn ousted on the back of Labour defeats, if they happen, you are not really a Labour person but rather a pathetic self-server.
If you want more zero-hour jobs, government handouts to big businesses and banks, cuts to benefits for people with disabilities, social security reforms that have removed a financial safety net for many, the NHS privatised bit by bit, teachers up in arms due to enforced academy schools, fracking at even sensitive areas of the UK, huge pay rises for MPs and the Queen, pay freezes for public sector staff and more then use your democratic right not to vote.
If you want to start the battle to remove the Tories from office before they enforce boundary changes which could help keep them in office for years get out there and vote.
Forget local or petty party politics which can be addressed if necessary at another time.
Vote Labour May 5.
Op-ed: This writer has a good socialist heart often arguing for others when it will not make a halfpenny of difference personally. That in many ways is how I see the Labour party; a fair and just political organisation not founded on personal wealth or greed or a desire to get rich and just benefit a few.
No university education for me; in some ways a series of hard knocks in my younger years; a graduate of life.
But just because I am now aged 64 does not mean I do not care about the young or the next generation. Contrary to popular opinion not all pensioners vote Tory.
It would be a poor socialist who no longer cared because it no longer affected them.
So to me that is socialism in simple terms.
But if that is the Labour Party how come a group of unnamed Labour MPS are feeding the right wing media a series of divisive and nasty snippets of gossip?
Supporters of Mr Corbyn and his shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have been fighting hard to support the Labour party which in turn keeps these same MPs in a good standard of living.
Now either the MSM are using political licence or pure lies or someone or some MPS are playing the backstabbing card.
When last week we posted an Open letter to Chuka Umunna and his team after a Guardian report which appeared again to show backstabbers working within the party we hoped that would be our 'last post' in every sense.
That letter still needs a response.
But in a short time it garnered a huge number of signatures highlighting that many people in the party, Labour voters and floating voters are sick and tired of the backbench games.
If the MSM is to be believed those leading the charge against Corbyn and McDonnell include some politicians who dropped out of the leadership race last year for their own reasons or preferred the backbenches and being a foot soldier rather than a commander; it includes others who are keen to get their backsides on the front benches; and it also includes some who refused to work alongside Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
If they are leading by example little wonder the MSM is having a field day.
And the knock on effect is a Labour party leader undermined time and time again.
If you receive undue criticism at work it is doubtful your standard of work will improve. If you receive helpful criticism and support you could soar.
So Monday the Torygraph aka the Telegraph went for "'Dreadful, dire, laughable': Labour MPs lay into Jeremy Corbyn after he fails to mention Iain Duncan Smith in key speech" after Jeremy Corbyn gave a thoughtful and intelligent speech that did not fall into the Commons theatrics trap. Corbyn has his own style and remember the tortoise and the hare? He who shouts loudest may be heard but may not get the last laugh.
That story has the usual Torygraph drivel but this is worth noting. It says "Jeremy Corbyn was yesterday attacked by his own backbenchers after he failed to mention the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith in his response to a Commons statement by David Cameron. MPs said he lacks the "intellect" and "experience" to think on his feet after he was unable to capitalise on the biggest Tory crisis for 20 years."
So which MPs?
Is that Torygraph piece deliberately misleading? Was it Tory MPs saying he lacked intellect and experience? Or was it his own backbenchers once more talking out of turn?
Politicshome went for "Labour MPs in despair over Jeremy Corbyn performance" but again who is the mole?
According to the Independent three days ago "Jeremy Corbyn allies call for second reshuffle ahead of Labour party conference" so is that what has rattled their cages? This time if the Independent report is accurate it is MPs supporting Mr Corbyn that are making waves.
An internal power struggle especially a public one does the electorate no favours but helps the Tory party out no end.
And having angered Labour supporters wounds will be difficult to heal.
This long time Labour voter, fairly recent party member, is one of many watching and waiting.
Ed Miliband was Labour's sacrificial lamb in 2015. Overpaid MPs did not take any blame for GE2015 but it is never about just one man.
In unity we win and are all powerful in division Labour will be in the doldrums for years and the Tories laughing all the way to the bank.
We need to make a stand against vile stories circulating in the media. We need clarification. Either they are fantasy or we have a double agent or two in the ranks.
Someone should be calling the MSM out and finding who is putting their hand out each month for a nice little parliamentary salary and running to the press wrecking Corbyn's and thus our political future.
We posted "Jess Phillips feeds the mainstream media more negativity" three weeks ago and after that continued with "International Womens Day, an open letter to Jess Phillips."
That was written as an earlier email to Phillips got no response. I tweeted that to her and she blocked me declining I guess to comment.
So we know some of those feeding the MSM but we need a clear picture and then the party must act. If it lets down Mr Corbyn, Mr McDonnell and their supporters many will simply walk away and that includes me.
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