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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Labour's membership crisis

When members are actively encouraging Labour Party HQ to expel them for voting for another party then warning klaxons should be sounding amongst the leadership. There is even an #expelmetoo hashtag on twitter in support of the most high profile expulsion to date, former Blair spin doctor Alistair Campbell.

Instead, the purge continues, with high ranking Labour Party apparatchiks defending the decisions as being in line with party rules. I am in no position to argue with them. If they want to gut their party of Remainers who can no longer stomach Corbyn's backing for Brexit and his tacit support for the Tory position on leaving the EU, then by all means carry on.

Hopefully, some of these people will end up in the Liberal Democrats, the only UK-wide party committed to staying in the EU and the party with the longest-standing and consistent commitment to a further referendum.

The only exception to Labour's kamikaze approach is Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, who, according to the Independent, has called for an “amnesty for members who voted a different way” during the recent European parliament elections.

He is right of course. If a party's leadership cannot convince its own members to back their position then there is something wrong with the way they are doing their job. Labour's real problem is with Jeremy Corbyn and his inner circle, not with independently minded members.

I will sign off this piece with one thought: if the Liberal Democrats had expelled all the members who did not vote for the party during the coalition years, we would have ceased to exist sometime ago.

Maybe, Labour need to adopt a similar tolerance to claw their way out of the hole they have dug for themselves.
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