Wednesday, 28 September 2016

All-Seater

Sheila Coleman, the Hillsborough campaigner who introduced Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon, signed the nomination papers of a non-Labour council candidate earlier this year.

Well, what if she did?

There are former Conservative MPs in receipt of the Labour Whip in the House of Lords, as there have been in the House of Commons.

Coleman is clearly being lined up for a parliamentary seat.

Perhaps Liverpool Walton, once the Hillsborough survivor and Corbyn's erstwhile PPS, Steve Rotheram, has been elected as Merseyside's Metro Mayor?

Or perhaps Coleman's home area, which is currently part of Liverpool Riverside, but the boundary changes are coming?

No one in Liverpool is going to say no to the actual Sheila Coleman of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

And what of her past dalliances with TUSC? Well, what of them?

There are former Conservative MPs in receipt of the Labour Whip in the House of Lords, as there have been in the House of Commons.

Although there is no evidence that Coleman is of that persuasion, Britain is possibly the only country where a moderately well-informed member of the voting public would know the word "Trotskyist".

Three of them sat overtly as Members of Parliament in the 1980s and early 1990s, although there were more of them than that on the Green Benches at the time.

The All-Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation, which made no bones about being the Militant Tendency, brought down Margaret Thatcher.

Don't take either my word or Militant's for that. Read the extremely bitter account of it in her own autobiography.

Had the Poll Tax survived to the advent of Tony Blair, then "regretfully" keeping it in place would have been a shibboleth of New Labour, not least because the opposition to it came from Militant.

Likewise, had apartheid South Africa survived to that advent, and they missed each other by only a matter of months, then a "realistic engagement" with it would have matched the cover that previous Labour Governments had provided for it at the UN.

The opposition, which was always treated as part of the "Loony Left" when that term was current, would have been left to an alliance between the churches and the Communist Party. Just as it had been under those Governments.

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