Labour Party

This Shames Labour

Left Futures describes itself as:

an independent on-line network which seeks to bring to the web the best writing and the sharpest criticism on the Left, and open debate about shaping the future. It is committed to socialism, sustainability, internationalism and democracy.

In reality, is is the vanity project of Michael Meacher and his senior researcher, Jon Lansman. I know little about Jon Lansman, although he is a prominent supporter of the anti-Labour/Respect mayor, Lutfur Rahman. Michael Meacher was a former Shadow Cabinet member, who was wisely kept out of the Cabinet by Tony Blair, and who is now a 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist.

As you can see, Left Futures is a blog by those on the fringes of the Labour Party. Nevertheless, the following post by Jon Lansman shames Labour. It is right for Labour Party members  to say clearly to Jon Lansman that this disgusts us, and represents the polar opposite of the politics that we stand for, and the party of which we’re proud to be members.

I shouldn’t have to explain what is wrong with this sort of imagery. The point was made well by Michael Tomasky, in the context of the prevalence of violent rhetoric in US politics, and its contribution to political assassinations and attempts.

It is not even as if Jon Lansman is a callow kid, with little exposure to politics – he’s a veteran!

One commenter on Left Futures raises his concerns:

While I agree with much of the article I’m left rather uncomfortable by the illustration.

Having spent a fair bit of time arguing that the Tea Party movement were irresponsible to use the rhetoric and imagery of violence and gun sights against their democrat opponents I don’t feel I can pass this by without comment.

I think it’s important we argue politically and don’t, unconsciously, create an atmosphere of violent hyperbole and the dehumanisation of those we don’t agree with.

Much as I hate Osborne’s policies and have a personal dislike for the man showing pictures of him murdered are not just in bad taste (although they are) they can feed into the kind of political conversation that, if we were on the end of it, we’d find entirely unacceptible.

If a Tory blog had a picture of Ed Balls or Caroline Lucas hanging from a lamppost we’d be appalled – and I think it’s up to us on the left to lead by example and not make this style of argument acceptable.

However, Jon Lansman brushes those concerns away:

Jim: I didn’t imagine that the illustration would alone “create an atmosphere of violent hyperbole” or I wouldn’t have used it but I will take account of your views in future

Really really poor.

UPDATE

Hasan Prishtina says:

Jon Lansman is a name I remember from the past; he was the brains behind Tony Benn’s challenge to Dennis Healey in 1981, which all but destroyed the Labour Party and a member of the Orwellian-sounding ultra-left group of that time, the Campaign For Labour Party Democracy.

His handiwork now shows that in the intervening 30 years the Labour left have learned nothing.

Figures.

UPDATE 2

The Late Lord Shore says:

Lansman was thrashed in an election to be chair of Tower Hamlets Labour Party at its AGM a couple for months ago (even with his wife and two sons present and presumably voting for him). Last month he couldn’t even get enough support at his ward branch meeting (again with ‘er indoor and the ankle biters in atendance) for an ‘isn’t Lutfur lovely, please let him back in the party’ motion.

The Labour Party doesn’t need to ‘deal with him’; he’s been dealt by the party’s democracy.

Very good news.

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