Sunday, 11 September 2016

One token sacrifice will not mask the obvious double standards

The Labour Party purge squad has finally suspended the party donor Michael Foster over his appalling Nazi storm troopers slurs in the Daily Mail last month, and it's about time too.

It could be seen as a measure of progress that the Labour Party has eventually got around to suspending one of the party elitists for hurling abuse, but the question of how it took them four weeks to decide to take action over such a high profile example of abuse-slinging still remains.

Why the discrepancy between the instant suspensions handed out to ordinary members over utterly trivial stuff (liking the Foo Fighters too much, voting Green before they even joined Labour, allegedly abusive social media comments that apparently don't even exist ...) and the four weeks it took them to decide to suspend Foster over his extremely high profile abuse of other Labour Party members?

It could be argued that Foster is being used by the NEC as a token sacrifice to stem the chorus of condemnation in the Labour Party ranks over the the clear double standards of the purge operation. Foster's continued membership of the party weeks after having submitted such an abusive article to the Daily Mail was one of the totemic examples of double standards between the treatment of ordinary members and the treatment of the party elites.

How on earth could the Labour Party purge squad have been concentrating their efforts on a massive social media trawling operation to turf hundreds of people out of the party over completely innocuous social media comments while this incredibly high profile example of abusive behaviour went unpunished for so long?

The problem with the NEC using Foster as a token sacrifice to create the impression of balance is that there are plenty of other examples of Labour Party elitists (like Tom Blenkinsop, Ian Austin, and Luke Akehurst) busily slinging and retweeting insults, abuse and utterly divisive comments. If the Foster suspension sets the precedent that calling other Labour members Nazis is unacceptable abuse, then surely it stands to reason that calling other members "Stalinists" or "Trots" constitutes unacceptable abuse too?

Another thing that will ensure that the accusations of hypocrisy will not be going away is the continued membership of the major Labour donor David Sainsbury. If voting for the Green Party ages before they even joined Labour has been deemed a purge-worthy offence by the NEC, then making a £2,125,000 donation to the Liberal Democrats whilst a member of the Labour Party has to result in suspension too.
As long as they're turfing ordinary members out of the party for utterly trivial stuff, there's absolutely no way that the Labour purge squad can justify continuing to allow the insulting, abusive and utterly divisive behaviour of anti-Corbyn members of the party elite to go unpunished.

As long as they're turfing ordinary members out of the party for having supported other parties before they even joined Labour, there's absolutely no way that the Labour purge squad can even try to justify allowing a member of the party elite to actually hand two million quid to a rival political party.

One token sacrifice of a Labour Party elitist by the NEC will not make the accusations of elitism, heavy-handedness, double standards and politically motivated bias go away.

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