The above Tweets are concerned with an article published on the Labour Uncut website which is titled Screaming,bullying,laziness and voting for the opposition : Welcome to Wirral Labour Party
If you read the link above you will understand why the pair are so animated as the post involves an interview with “veteran Labour official and northern legend, Sheila Murphy”
Below are some highlights that Ms Murphy alleges to have encountered whilst campaigning for the Labour Party on Wirral
“I accept the left has have taken over. We’re a democratic party and I accept all that. I just think our electoral chances, both locally and nationally are at risk because of their behaviour,” she says.
What she means, it turns out, is a combination of bullying, extreme levels of micro-control and indolence from the hard left in her local party on the Wirral where she now lives, after retiring as the party’s former ‘super’ director covering the three northern regions…
…she wants to speak out after facing bullying herself by some of the new members. “We have a new hard core whose behaviour is nasty, vicious, and controlling,” she says. “It’s a return to the factionalism of the 1980s. And we all know how that worked out.”
One recent incident saw a local male councillor scream in Murphy’s face demanding to know who had “given her permission” to be out door knocking. One of the women activists Murphy was with was so distraught she had to be driven home.
She reports this kind of aggravation and centralising control is now commonplace, but her major gripe concerns the behaviour of the hard left during the last local elections. Murphy was asked by the leader of the council and the local candidate to lead the campaign in a target ward as they tried to oust a Green councillor.
They lost, narrowly, by 72 votes. “We managed to speak to 4,000 people during the campaign and it was clear that some of our new members were actually voting Green,” she says. “I just couldn’t believe it.”
“We were knocking on these people’s doors and they were openly telling us they were voting Green instead of Labour and even had Green posters in their window. I reported them to the Local Campaign Forum and was told: ‘It’s their choice’.” For good measure, the local branch even posted on their Facebook page that the Greens were not the problem – their Labour council was.
Banned from attending the branch by officers to offer a de-brief on the campaign, she had her efforts dismissed as “crap” by the local chair. Undaunted, she organised a “thank you” letter to voters. This act of defiance saw the chair post another message on Facebook, warning local people that the group out campaigning, which included the leader of the council (in his own ward), were not representing the Labour party.
“Honestly, looking back I wonder why I bothered!” she says with a wry smile. “But this is my party and I’m not being put off by bullies. Especially when they’re not prepared to do the work that keeps the party alive. Incidentally, no campaigning has been done in this ward for three months since I stopped organising, but the Greens are out in force determined to win the second seat at the next elections in May.”
Her criticisms about the toxic culture in parts of her local party are specific…
Painting a picture of Momentum on the Wirral as an undisciplined militia rather than a professional army, Murphy reports the left returning to bad habits. “Branches, CLPs the LCF have gone back to tabling motions – mostly against their own council.”
There’s also a fear of widespread deselections as the process to choose council candidates begins. “Hard working councillors are telling me that their mental health is suffering as a result of the pressures from local party members. It’s one of the reasons I have decided to speak out. I know I’ll be vilified for having done so,” she says.
“It’s just so frustrating. We’re not discussing the key issues or standing up for real people,” she complains. “Housing and Universal Credit don’t get a look in when we can pass resolutions against the newly established NHS birthing unit, or demand the whip is removed from Frank Field, or oppose the proposal to build a golf resort – anything that attacks the Labour Council.”
The fate of local MPs inevitably comes up in the conversation, with reported moves to deselect Field, who represents nearby Birkenhead. “If they move against Frank and he stands as an independent they are seriously underestimating how loyal the voters are to him personally and many in the party think he will walk it and take members with him.”
So now you can understand as to why Green and Lewis have an opportunity to indulge in what Labour Councillor Matthew ‘Matty Patty’ Patrick once memorably described as ‘faux outrage’. We’ll be eternally grateful to Matty Patty for that prissy putdown if nothing else. It may surprise you that we’re not sticking the boot in – but what galls us about all this is that the behaviours described are not the preserve of new members and should come as no surprise to either our readers or Tory councillors. We contend that the behaviours of the Labour ‘old guard’ which we have chronicled for years on this blog far exceed anything that Ms Murphy details. This presumably includes the unnamed councillor who it is alleged screamed in Murphy’s face who is clearly not a new Labour Party member . Unfortunately as far as we’re concerned Green and Lewis have colluded with these behaviours from the Labour ‘old guard’, the former passively the latter actively. Whilst Lewis is currently concentrating on describing the poor viewing figures for Wirral Council’s webcasts and comparing them to Crossroads and Love Island – real lowest common denominator stuff – not so much low hanging fruit as political windfall at the bottom of the barrel. Meanwhile might we suggest that what is alleged to go on behind closed doors has in fact been hidden in plain sight.
We are not expecting Lewis to kick at the door that is ajar , even when the local Labour Party’s woes have been further highlighted this evening by another Labour Uncut story headlined Wirral councillor quits party blaming hard left ‘parasites’ . The councillor involved being Michael Sullivan . All we ask is that Lewis , Green et al spare us the faux outrage – it worked for the Tories a few years back when they managed to gain control of Wirral Council with the aid of the Lib Dems in the aftermath of a series of shock horror reports which highlighted the toxic and dysfunctional nature of Wirral Council.Once in power under the leadership of Green they clearly didn’t know what to do with it and inevitably the power was handed back to a small group of Labour politicians who had previously abused this power and have been allowed to continue to do so. Tut-tutting at new Labour party members who challenge the ‘old guard’ is political cowardice – you may not like their politics or the way they go about things but please remember some of the people they are challenging are simply unfit for public office and they are doing what opposition councillors have simply failed to do for years and that is hold Wirral Council’s ruling administration to account…