I am no fan of Alastair Campbell; I became active in politics in 2001 and one of the first times I was invited to speak was over the Dodgy Dossier. I joined the Labour Party thanks to the push to the left which elected Jeremy Corbyn leader. Why then to I oppose his expulsion?
Mr Campbell broke the rules. Everyone agrees that, nobody is disputing that fact. On May the 24th he admitted that the day before he voted for the Lib Dems in the Euro elections. The Labour parties’ rules are very clear, you may not vote for another party. I not only voted for the Labour Party I overcame my fear and actively campaigned for the party I am proud to be a member of, so why then to I oppose his expulsion?
My concern is with the process, not the outcome. Mr Campbell is far from the first high profile member of the party to be expelled, in 2003 the Member of Parliament for Glasgow Kelvin, George Galloway was expelled for inciting troops to defy orders. Mr Galloway made the comments for which he was expelled on a TV interview on the 28th Of March, he was expelled on the 22nd of October, almost seven months after his comments.
In April 2016 Ken Livingstone was accused of “bringing the party into disrepute” after a radio interview where he made antisemitic comments. He was suspended as a result of the comments, a year later a National Executive Committee (NEC) internal inquiry; determined that he did being the party into disrepute and ordered his suspension continue for another year. Finally, on the 21st of May 2018, over two years after his initial comment, Livingstone resigned from the party.
To me, it is very worrying that in some cases the leading bodies of the party are committed to full investigations while Mr Campbell was expelled, seemingly without any investigation whatsoever. Alastair Campbell should indeed have been suspended, and a full investigation into his actions mounted, however this is not what happened. How can the left claim the moral high ground, the ground we well and truly should own, when we act like the worst extremes of the right of the party? After the Euro elections more than ever, we need to show people the Labour Party speaks for the many and not one side of the party or the other.