HUGH ASH

Pre-conference Labour has sunk and stunk in cesspool of racism

THERE is something sinisterly apt about this forthcoming week’s annual Labour conference in Liverpool.

The city was the stronghold of Militant, the knuckle-dragging, Trotskyist goons who tried to wreck the people’s party back in the 1980s, taking Liverpool’s council hostage to its far-left lunacy, before their summary expulsion by Neil Kinnock.

Back then, even The Guardian dubbed Militant “a party within a party” and the same observation applies today in describing Jeremy Corbyn’s thuggish storm-troopers, Momentum, the entryist mob hellbent on eradicating Labour’s traditional mainstream.

Employing the identical tactics of “infiltrate and annihilate” pioneered by Militant more than four decades ago, Momentum activists are busily contorting constituency Labour parties (CLPs) into far-left fiefdoms and threatening the tenure of MPs who refuse to toe vacuous Corbyn’s cockamamie line.

And with Merseyside such historically fertile ground for extremism, it’s no accident that the area’s moderate parliamentarians are prime targets for Stalinist-style purges.

Jewish MPs Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree) and Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside) are assailed daily by torrents of vicious antisemitic abuse, while Angela Eagle (Wallasey) had a brick tossed through her constituency office window after she campaigned to replace Corbyn as leader in 2016.

And veteran Frank Field, the long-respected member for Birkenhead, felt forced to quit the party whip when he saw a tsunami of Jew-hatred infesting Labour while personally battling a “culture of intolerance, nastiness and intimidation” in his local party ranks.

All this viciousness happened — and continues to do so — with more than a nod and a wink from an ever accommodating Corbyn.

Meanwhile, the Lenin lookalike piously cites party discipline and the “democratic rights” of CLPs to take their MPs to task over loyalty to the leadership.

This is a tad rich on both counts coming from a serial mutineer, an upstart who promised a “kinder, gentler” politics when he took Labour’s helm, after demonstrating arrogant disloyalty to previous leaders in his 27 years as an MP by voting against them more than 500 times.

So the Dear Leader’s hypocritical message to likeminded dissidents is a simple one: do as I say, not as I did — or suffer the consequences.

However, irrespective of whether or not they heed his threat appears immaterial.

Because they are effectively doomed, persona non grata on their home, political turf, marginalised as Jews — or genuine anti-racist fellow travellers like John Mann and Ian Austin — who have balked at the slew of antisemitism Corbyn unleashed and/or they can’t see a future in gormlessly supporting extreme and failed socialism.

For the faithful, however, Liverpool ‘18 will be a Corbynista love-in, a cultish carnival celebrating an odious figurehead, a brazen admirer of Soviet era repression more than an advocate of modern-day social democracy.

In normal times, such aberrant nonsense wouldn’t have been tolerated, not even at head-banging fringe events.

But, these are far from normal times. And when Jewish MPs are offered bodyguards to guarantee their security at annual conference, it speaks volumes about how deep into the cesspit of racism today’s Corbyn-branded Labour Party has sunk and stunk.

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