Posts Tagged ‘Liverpool Wavertree’

Wavertree CLP’s rotten leadership shines a light on the party’s

15/02/2019, 07:39:55 AM

by Rob Marchant

It has been said during the last week, and not by Labour-watchers accustomed to hyperbole, that this might have been the week when a party’s split became irrevocable.

While that may or may not be true, it is difficult to remember a time when the parliamentary party was in such disarray, even in the mad 1980s, or the late 1950s’ nadir.

Perhaps this is partly because of Jeremy Corbyn’s true, Eurosceptic colours on Europe finally becoming clear, to all but the most avid Kool-Aid drinkers in the strange party that is now Labour.

The Labour leadership’s Janus-faced position on Brexit is both embarrassing and terrible for the country, particularly if it leads, as seems quite possible, to a hard Brexit, which will undoubtedly hurt the country for years, perhaps decades. But that is a situation which can, in some sense, be rectified. It is a function of the leadership, not local parties.

The current situation with anti-Semitism, however is not so easy. A stain on the party’s previous good name for anti-racism is a deep wound, one from which it is perfectly possible it will never recover. And it has by now infested many local parties, which are much more difficult to fix, as any witness to the party’s slow purge of Militant will tell you.

There have been many, many CLPs have been suspended over the years, mostly for subverting the party’s internal democracy, via fiddling votes or entryism. But never can one recall a local party having been suspended for rampant racism, as the party’s Deputy Leader and others have called for Liverpool Wavertree to be.

Luciana Berger, its decent and competent MP, has been targeted by her own local party in a vicious campaign of racial harassment. It is hard to overstate the freakishness and sickness of some of the comments to be found on Facebook and Twitter, many by people who are clearly party members, local and not. One Twitter account I reported on Monday was wishing her unborn baby dead. And there are many, many more.

Now, some say that Berger has not worked her local base hard enough and is now paying the price. There may even be some truth in it. But it’s hardly the point.


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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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