Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Beeston's Pete Radcliff: A Labour Party injustice to a family member

I have known Pete Radcliff since c.1980 through the Labour Party in Nottingham and since the of 2014, here in Beeston. We have not been friends, but we have rubbed along and I have never doubted his loyalty and intent for one moment. For some us the Labour Party is family and Pete is a member of that family, so to receive an email from Broxtowe Constituency Labour Party telling me he had been expelled from the Party because of his links with Workers' Liberty (once better known as Socialist Organiser) came as a surprise.

Over the years he has worked his socks off for the Labour Party and I find it amazing that he can be expelled without a hearing. This is the nasty right-wing of the Party at work. History shows that it is the Party's right-wing that betrays it (remember 'The Gang of Four').

Back in 1970, I was on the receiving end of an attempt to expel me from the Labour Party whilst living in Mansfield. A long time ago, but I remember the experience well. After an appeal and support from others in the Party, I was banned from holding office in the Labour Party for five years, but that did not stop me becoming a Nottinghamshire Labour Party county councillor in 1981 and being an election agent in 1983.

In his blog Pete says that he intends to fight his expulsion and I will be one of many Labour Party members standing behind him, as will my wife, Susan Griffiths, who shares my disgust at what the Labour Party's right-wing machine has done. I am sure many other Party members in Broxtowe and elsewhere will be speaking on his behalf given the opportunity. 

The manner in which the Labour Party machine appears to be expelling members is undemocratic and centralist.

There will be a backlash from this and I hope it does not focus on Lilian Greenwood, who has to be in prime position to be selected as the Labour Party's prospective candidate for the new Nottingham South & Beeston constituency, assuming it is created in 2018. She is a critic of Jeremy Corbyn, but I know her, trust her and will support her of she does seek the nomination, even though at the time of her original selection in Nottingham South I actively worked for Christine Shawcroft, recently re-elected to the Labour Party National Executive Committee. I like Christine, but Lilian has earned my loyalty and you do not have to agree with people on everything to support them — which neatly brings me back to Pete Radcliff and where I began this post...

FOOTNOTE: See Pete's blog for his own thoughts and comments.

The title of Pete's blog is Observations from a Third Camp perspective and this link takes you to his home page.

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