11 May 2017

Will Ben Bradshaw support Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister?

Ben Bradshaw, Exeter's Labour MP, is a known opponent of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Will Ben Bradshaw support Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister? Apparently yes – although I am completely sure that Ben doesn’t believe for a single moment that Labour will emerge from the election with a majority. So the undertaking is costless.

Corbyn made a grave error in voting for this election – and without Labour’s votes the two-thirds majority to trigger it would not have been achieved. The vast bulk of the PLP do not support Corbyn and voted for the election not to get rid of the Tories, but to get rid of the current leader of the Labour Party.

The choice for the left is capitulation or implosion. Labour will lose in June. If Corbyn stays on – and I hope he does – it is probable that the Blairites in the rump PLP will defect. If that happens, it happens, but socialists should not capitulate to Blairite threats, and we will just have to pick up the pieces from where we find ourselves.

9 May 2017

John Lloyd (died 7 May 2017)

John Lloyd writing on front page
of first issue of Devon Labour Briefing
John Lloyd (died 7 May 2017) was a Labour Party Activist and Councillor in Exeter.

I remember John from one incident in circa.1984.

At the time I was the membership secretary for the Pennsylvania / St. Davids branch of Exeter Labour Party. On my rounds to collect subs, I called in at a shared house, inhabited by several animal rights activists. To my misfortune, I arrived just as a police raid was taking place. It was quickly established that I had nothing to do with the house, nor the animal rights movement. I was sent away, but all my Labour Party cards and membership lists were confiscated.

I immediately went to the Heavitree Police Station to complain. Again, I was treated extremely impolitely, before being sent away empty-handed. The following morning after explaining the situation at the Clifton Hill Party HQ, I met up with John, and, in his capacity as a Councillor and member of the Police Authority, he made the complaints. The documents were returned later that day, no doubt after having been photocopied.

John even went on to write an article on excessive police powers for the first issue of Devon Labour Briefing.