Political parties are essentially more-or-less stable coalitions of factions. The Liberal Democrats calls theirs things like the “Beveridge Group” or the “Orange Bookers“. Labour has a whole stable of components, comprising think tanks like Compass, movements like the Fabians, groupings of MPs like the Socialist Campaign Group, and component parties like the Co-Operative Party. The Tories are no different. They have outfits like the “wet” Tory Reform Group and the hangers and floggers of the Cornerstone Group, as well as think tanks like the Bow Group.
All party coalitions, from time to time, have become home to fringe factions which have hugely embarrassed the mainstream party, and have undermined their prospects of winning elections. For example, Labour engaged in soul searching and scrapping over the eventually successful attempt to expel from the Labour Party, members of a rival anti-democratic revolutionary socialist party, the Revolutionary Socialist League. Unlike the Co-Operative Party, the RSL did not acknowledge its existence openly – it claimed merely to be a faction of Labour Party members who enjoyed reading the RSL’s newspaper, Militant. Eventually, however, Labour woke up. It expelled Militant, and Labour recovered to win a striking run of electoral successes.
Likewise, the racism of the Monday Club, and the ties of some fringe Tory figures to the neo Nazi connected League of St George, helped to establish the Tory reputation as the “Nasty Party”.
For the Tories, in 2001, everything changed. Davis Davis and Iain Duncan Smith declared that membership of the Monday Club was incompatible with membership of the Conservative Party. Three MPs who were members of both, resigned from the Monday Club, and publicly repudiated its policies on race and immigration. Since then, the Tories have been ferocious in attacking and silencing the worst of their own bigots. In 2002, for example, Ann Winterton was sacked from her post on the Conservative front bench for telling a racist joke. In 2003, a candidate for the Llanelli seat, John Jenkins stood down after writing that homosexuals needed medical help and that the state should not recognise gay marriage or adoption.
Both Tories and Labour realised, after successive electoral defeats, that it was necessary for them to tighten up party discipline, if they were to present a coalition to the electorate that was not likely to be rejected.
The fact that a Labour Peer and a Labour MP have become shills for the Unification Church indicates that party discipline in Labour has broken down. The same can be said, in relation to the LibDems, of the involvement of Tom Brake MP – presented by the Moonies, wrongly, as having “responsibility in government for the whole agenda of community cohesion”. But I care less about them.
The Unification Church, better known as the Moonies, really is a sinister cult: run as a family business by a crook called “The Reverend” Moon, who has served time in the US for tax fraud. Because it is a dishonest and dangerous enterprise, the Unification Church has cultivated a range of public figures and politicians for its nice-sounding “Ambassadors for Peace” front. Their function is to vouch for the Reverend Moon, to frame their advocacy for the Moonies as a freedom of religion issue, and generally to muddy the waters in relation to this cult.
“I will be very clear, because there have been attempts in the past 24 hours to attack the UPF for what they are trying to do here. I am not, never have been and probably never will be a member of the UPF. I don’t support its political or religious philosophy or believe that the only way of peace is through God, but what I do believe is that it will be one way for some people to support peace, and I believe that that is good thing. I believe that if other people with responsibility in the press and the media and other parts of this country were at least to say what is true, to reach out to people, find and build peace through dialogue, through listening to people and not through attacking people, that this would be only for the good. I believe that is the responsibility of people who genuinely want to find a light for the future. You all know as well as I do the tensions that are in the world today, the only answer is when people of good faith come together and start to find the way forward.”
You’ll note that this utter bollocks appears on the Moonies’ own website. Dave Anderson MP hasn’t put any statement on his own website. Perhaps he is ashamed of himself. He should be.
What is Dave Anderson MP getting out of this arrangement? Possibly free trips to Kenya. However, perhaps he is just an idiot.
The fact is: political parties do contain their share of idiots. The function of party discipline is to keep the idiots under control. It is very clear, from the fact that a Labour Lord and a Labour MP have thrown their lot in with the Moonies, that discipline has broken down within Labour, and the idiots have free reign.
This is also why it is disproportionately Labour MPs who end up on platforms with Hezbollah and Hamas supporters. In the case of Andy Slaughter MP, appearing at a events organised by the nastiest and most extreme of Britain’s Hamas fan club is no bar to promotion – he’s Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister. Perhaps he thinks that objecting to senior Labour figures giving their support to a genocidal racist terrorist movement is just Jews ‘playing the antisemitism card’.
Compare and contrast the fate of Shadow homeland security spokesman Patrick Mercer, who said he had met “a lot” of “idle and useless” ethnic minority soldiers who used racism as a “cover”. That was the end of his prospects of becoming a Minister. He is still on the back benches.
There is an electoral cost to these antics. Parties which wish to be taken seriously need to control their fringes.
Take for example this Early Day Motion on Lloyds TSB’s withdrawal of banking facilities from Interpal.
Interpal is designated by the US Treasury as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” that aids Hamas. It was, until the Charity Commission finally took (limited) action, an affiliate of the global Muslim Brotherhood Hamas financing operation, the Union of Good.
That’s why Lloyds TSB withdrew banking facilities.
Check out who signed up to support this Hamas front.