Mob mentality has no place in this country

Dave Hansell

By The Star Newsroom
Wednesday, 13 March, 2019, 05:43
Labour MP Angela Smith

Ralph Ellis Drive, Stocksbridge, S36

“Contemplating the reasons presented by the former Labour MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge to justify recent actions one is reminded of the words of Jonathan Swift: “Falsehood, flies, and truth comes limping after it.”

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Reasonable people, regardless of political affiliation or non, might reconsider the perception of injured party being marketed. Particularly given the admission that, whilst many local constituents were giving up significant amounts of their own valuable time and money campaigning for the candidate chosen to stand on a practical and popular set of manifesto policies, their efforts were being undermined by the former Labour MP campaigning only for themselves. It is certainly disingenuous to claim the majority of local voters during the last election campaign shared the MP's view of the Party when the reality on the doorstep was what you would expect, a mixture of views with as many expressing negative views of the candidate as those of the Labour Party leadership. Indeed, many doors I knocked on took some persuading as a result of the MP's stance and actions on fracking, privatisation, and against other manifesto policies and traditional core Labour values in which the MP was and remains out of step with those of many local voters. Sticking simplistic labels on people such as “extremist” betrays a lack of confidence in ones position and arguments and does not represent a mature form of discourse. The consistency in which efforts by local Party members to engage in proper dialogue was ignored or rebuffed certainly contributed significantly to many local members voting with their feet during campaigning in the 2017 General Election. Despite the best efforts of those now arrogantly dismissed with the level of abuse one would not even hear in a school playground. Consequently, the recent vote of no confidence was, merely a catching up exercise which formally recognised an existing reality based on over three years of the local MP consistently attacking the Party and its policies in order (Quote) “To break” (the elected Party leader) “as a man” (Unquote), as one member of the Parliamentary Labour Party put it. Throwing evidence free accusations about whilst investigations of complaints are being carried out demonstrates a lack of respect for proper due process standards and the rule of law. Particularly when nearly 40% of those complained about, in a total number of complaints representing around 0.2 of a group, are not even members of that group. This represents the behaviour of a mob mentality, has no place in the culture of this Country and undermines the efforts to deal with racism. As does the the bizarre fact that a number of those accused are members of the Jewish Community who just co-incidentally happen to have been identified by some with a convenient political label of their manufacture. On Brexit, leaving aside the apparent contradictory actions of the Leader of the Opposition, labelled pro-Brexit even after submitting a Parliamentary amendment seeking a second vote (which lost 296-327) what is one to make of those who claim to be anti-Brexit and yet are publicly prepared to prop up a Government committed to Brexit? Or the poor quality of judgement of those who take such a strategically inept position risking a double lock on Brexit against their own supposed objective of reversing the referendum of 2016? From that viewpoint the practical reality to achieve such an objective requires a “PV” to be legislated through Parliament. The Parliamentary arithmetic does not exist. The only practical means to achieve that objective is to change the numbers in Parliament. Traditionally done via a General Election. However, even if this is occurs without an election the objective of winning a remain vote is fatally undermined by leaving in place and in charge of the process the Party in Government which delivered the 2016 leave result.  Once again the only practical route to the objective is a change of Government. Yet the so called “Independent Group” are publicly comfortable to sustain a Government in office against such an objective. Rationally, the only reasonable explanation is the principles of being anti-Brexit are not really principles at all with those MP's merely using Brexit as a cover excuse for their real objective which is not to reverse Brexit but the dishonest on one of preventing a Labour Government. The actions of all those MP's in this grouping makes a mockery of the universal franchise. Setting up as a private consortium to hide the funding received from outside (which was a practice accurately derided by them against the Leave campaign) means they cannot serve both their shareholders/funders and constituents simultaneously  It is little wonder a recent opinion poll showed 87% of the populace considered politicians have little time for their constituents and are just going through the motions. There are always at least two sides to any set of events and readers can come to their own reasoned judgement on the misleading single sided portrayal employed in justifying a dishonest position from just the small sample of facts detailed above.”