Posts Tagged ‘Luciana Berger’

Those who think the Corbyn leadership can change are dreaming. Appeasement will only strengthen the hard left’s hand

12/07/2017, 10:38:05 PM

by Rob Marchant

Last week Luciana Berger, prominent centrist, Jewish MP and Corbyn critic, underwent a coup on her local party’s Executive Committee, with nine out of ten places going to Momentum members.

Shortly afterwards, one of said members, Roy Bentham, demanded a pledge of allegiance to the leadership from her, the implication being that, if she did not start to be behave herself as a good Corbynite, she would soon face deselection: “Luciana needs to get on board quite quickly now…she will have to be answerable to us. We would like her to come out publicly like other MPs have done and apologise for not supporting him in the past.”

We could look at this story in two ways. First, the way that the local party and, ultimately, Berger herself have spun it: that it was an exaggerated story from the Liverpool local press, stirring up trouble. There was a tweet to that effect from Berger, disassociating herself from the Sunday Times tweet on the story, and a statement that the party was doing well under Corbyn. The local CLP also distanced itself from the remarks made by Bentham.

The second way is this: exactly what the Times said in its leader (£). In short, whatever the local party or MP might claim, there will definitely be a move to oust Berger, at least unless she toes the Corbynite line from now on. It is not hard to see that this is the right interpretation, whether Berger wants to accept it or not. One has to ask why Momentum would bother to take control a local party and then leave in place an MP who has views diametrically opposed to the Momentumites.

One might also reasonably ask the question, why mention the fact here that Berger is Jewish? The answer is, sadly, because it matters in some quarters of the Labour party nowadays, especially for some (although surely not all) members of Momentum.

There are four female, Jewish MPs in the PLP. All have experienced considerable and documented anti-Semitic abuse in recent months. While some comes, inevitably, from the far right, much comes also from the far left, particularly the Palestine-supporting, BDS (sanctions against Israel) crowd.              But it also seems that the vitriol is particularly reserved for women, where the misogynism of the far left is already a well-known phenomenon (cf. the Comrade Delta rape case in the Socialist Workers Party).

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Councillor complains that Liverpool MP made his life “unbearable”

05/06/2013, 07:00:48 AM

The spat between Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger and one of her local councillors is hardly in the same league as the epic battles fought within the Liverpool Labour party – (remembered this month as its thirty years since Militant seized control of the city council) – but it’s a strange little row nonetheless.

To recap, a messy war of words between Berger and one of her local councillors, Jake Morrison, has poured forth into the public domain – largely thanks to Morrison publishing the contents of a letter of complaint he received from Berger last Friday.

In it, Berger, the upwardly-mobile shadow minister for climate change, complains to Morrison about “your complete lack of team work and respect for other members.”

She alleges he “ignored” emails about a training session with Ed Miliband’s campaign guru, Arnie Graf, and that he is the only councillor in her constituency who doesn’t “engage with my office”.

The letter was copied to Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson and the party’s chief whip.

Morrison published the letter on his Facebook page before responding with his own complaint to Ed Miliband about Berger’s behaviour.

He alleges that Berger and her constituency aide, Sheila Murphy, “orchestrated” a campaign enlisting party members in a bid to put pressure on him to quit before his term of office ends after announcing last month that he will not contest his seat at the next election in 2015.

He protests to Miliband that Berger has made his life “unbearable” and that “at every opportunity Luciana has undermined me, rather than supported.”

Sensationally elected to Liverpool City Council in 2011 having only just turned 18, Morrison managed a notable giant-slaying, beating formidable ex-Lib Dem council leader Lord Mike Storey.

At the time, Ed Miliband telephoned to congratulate him.

Morrison says that he wasn’t invited to the session with Graf, but fully supports his campaigning methods, which seek to develop a more meaningful conversation with the electorate rather than just identifying voting intentions – an approach he already uses as a local councillor for the Wavertree ward.

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