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Friday, 22 July 2016

Media mentions of my suspension from British Labour Party for writing poems

In an article by former Labour Parliamentary candidate Andy Newman on UK based Left Futures blog
And also in Gene Kerrigan's column in last Sunday's Sunday Independent

Saturday, 16 July 2016

"administrative suspension"-UK Labour Party Head Office Object To Pro-Corbyn Satires

I yesterday received a letter, see below, from Ms Katherine Buckingham, Head of Disputes and Discipline at UK Labour Party Head Office in London informing me that I am now subject to a "an administrative suspension from holding office or representing the Labour Party." 
I am an overseas member of the British Labour Party; as most people know I live in Galway on the West coast of Ireland. I was born in London in 1967 and so am entitled to membership as a member of Labour International. I am a full member of the party, having joined last July. 

I hold no office in and have never claimed to represent the British Labour Party. Most people would not even be aware that I am a member of it. However, I did help organise and edit the online publication '21 Poems, 21 Reasons To Choose Jeremy Corbyn' as part of last summer's leadership election campaign, which included poems by a number of prominent UK & Irish poets. 

My understanding is that the "comments made on social media" referred to in Ms Buckingham's letter are the sharing, see below, of three of my satirical poems lampooning Jeremy Corbyn's opponents in the Labour Party.

The first poem is a satire about pro-war former Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn MP, which was first published in The Morning Star newspaper last December. 
The second poem is a satirical re-write of the Bruce Springsteen song 'The Ghost of Tom Joad', dedicated to right wing Labour MP for Mansfield, John Mann, who is most famous for chasing Ken Livingstone up some stairs in front of the media while shouting about Mein Kampf. 'The Ghost of Miniscule John Mann' was published last summer on Ireland's leading alternative literature website The Bogman's Cannon.

The third poem was also published in The Morning Star newspaper last summer, and it ridicules Jeremy Corbyn's detractors, quite reasonably comparing them to a variety of discredited characters in British history.

This is a clear attempt to interfere with my right to free speech, and indeed artistic freedom. Clearly those who long for the good old days when the British Labour Party could be summed up by the pictures below, don't like being laughed at.
  
There is, of course, no prospect at all that I'm going to stop laughing at the politically ridiculous. 

Some people tend to be endlessly surprised at the re-appearance of The Inquisition, for that is what this is. 
However, I am always expecting them. 

Those of you who are so minded can register your opposition to this smaller, and altogether less stylish, latter day inquisition by contacted Labour Party General Secretary Ian McNicol here 

Social media shares of this blog post would also be appreciated. 

In the meantime, my most recent satire on Jeremy Corbyn's critics was published on the UK based Socialist Unity site on Monday. It's called 'A Regressive Centrist Speaks Electability' and is dedicated to former feminist intellectual and Murdoch hackette Caitlin Moran, pictured below.   
UPDATE for most recent development on this see here

Further to my 'Adminstrative Suspension' from the British Labour Party for writing satirical poems


Lorraine Hardy, Membership Secretary of Labour International
Lorraine Hardy is the Membership Secretary of Labour International, the section of the British Labour Party catering for overseas members, of which I am one.

Following this blog post, I received the email below from Lorraine on Thursday evening.


From: Lorraine Hardy
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2016 18:01:25 +0200
Subject: Suspension from the Labour Party
To: kphiggins@hotmail.com


Kevin 

We are advised that you have been administratively suspended from the Labour Party.  You therefore no longer appear on the Labour International membership list.  

You have therefore also been removed from the Labour International closed Facebook group. 

If the result of the investigation confirms that you remain in membership of the Labour Party and thus Labour International, we will welcome you back to the FB Group. 

Regards
Lorraine 

Lorraine Hardy
Secretary LICC
Labour International Coordinating Committee


I replied:

On 15 July 2016 at 00:37, kevin higgins <kphiggins@hotmail.com> wrote:
Dear Lorraine,

Who advised you?

Regards,

Kevin

To which Lorraine answered:

From: Lorraine Hardy
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:31:09 +0200
Subject: Re: Suspension from the Labour Party
To: kphiggins@hotmail.com


Regards
Lorraine 

Lorraine Hardy
Secretary LICC
Labour International Coordinating Committee

 
She has yet to reply to my subsequent email:
 
kevin higgins (kphiggins@hotmail.com)

Sent: 15 July 2016 12:01:15
To: Lorraine Hardy 
Dear Lorraine,

You enthusiasm to act without instruction from party headquarters is admirable.

You will note, then, from the letter sent to me, which you will, I know, have read in detail, that the "administrative suspension" does not bar me from attending meetings of my local Labour Party branch, but only from representing the party, and attending other meetings, such as National Conference, until this absurdity is resolved.

You therefore have no business removing me from the Labour International membership list, though you enthusiasm to take this premature action will, I'm sure, meet with approval from some.

Furthermore, I have taken some legal advice this morning and been told that "Labour International is the equivalent of [my] local Labour Party branch". This being the case, I have been advised to insist that you immediately reinstate me in the Labour International Facebook group, or I will be forced to take action.

In your original email, you made it sound like you were operating on instruction for Labour Party HQ - "We are advised that you have been administratively suspended from the Labour Party". It is now clear though that my removal from both the membership list and the Facebook group were acts you rather over enthusiastically took upon yourself.

You now need to correct both of these.

Regards,

Kevin Higgins

As soon as Comrade Hardy gets back to me with her reply, I will post it here. 

Friday, 15 July 2016

Minor Farts In A Much Bigger Storm

Danuta Kean is a loud online supporter of the neo-Blairite attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn. Danuta supports denying the 150,000 people who joined the Labour Party recently a vote; she supports the ban on Constituency Labour Parties meeting until September.

When challenged on these issues Danuta says this sort of thing [to me] "You have officially tipped over into fascism. Orwell would be shocked to know you can spell when you clearly can't think for yourself." These days every clown on Earth, from Tony Parsons to Nick Cohen's cat starts digging up George Orwell's corpse when trying to justify their support for something horrible, such as the UK Independence Party or the imposition of martial law in the British Labour Party.

Despite the fact that Danuta clearly has no idea that fascism actually means the sort of atrocities pictures below, she is taken seriously by some, most of all by herself. She is books editor of Mslexia magazine and the sort of person literary types of not much discernible talent think it cool to stay on the good side of. 
What fascists actually do, given the chance
An important thing to remember about people like Danuta is that they essentially don't matter, their opinions are just small gusts of wind, minor farts, in a much bigger storm. 

Such unpleasant expulsions of air are proof though that some people in and around  the media and literary world in the UK are becoming a little (ahem) emotional at the possibility of no more frothy coffees in Brighton in post-Brexit Britain. They despise the people of the North East of England and South Wales who, though I would have supported remain myself, voted for Brexit for entirely understandable reasons. Frothy coffee in Brighton is one thing, but something else altogether when consumed in Gateshead or Merthyr Tydfil.

Many of these types have, in their usual shallow attention seeking way, leapt up to support the attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn. The fact that, when interviewed on The Last Leg,  he said that he was “7 or 7 ½ out of 10” in favour of the European Union has infuriated the poor darlings. When I took an online test during the referendum campaign it told me that I was 6/10 in favour of the EU. So I understand Jeremy’s hesitation at giving the EU the 10/10 which was the only answer that was going to satisfy the aforementioned metropolitan midget-brains. How anyone could be as enthusiastic as they appear to be about EU after said institution’s attempt, just last summer, to starve the people and democratically elected government into submission by strangling the Greek banking system is beyond me. If you give the EU 10/10 after that then, I’m sorry, but you are part of what’s wrong with the world right now.

Argument makes no difference to such people. They are so far gone that they believe that sending Chuka Umunna to Sunderland and Swansea to tell the good people of those cities how globalisation is actually good for them would have swung the referendum for Remain.
Devilishly handsome Blairite dreamboat Chuka Umunna
Such a strategy would, I’m pretty sure, have led to an even bigger vote for Brexit.

Now, this tragic band of Julie Burchill wannabees want to put things right by replacing Jeremy Corbyn with someone such as the dreadful Angela Eagle or that guy with the Welsh accent no one has heard of yet. They want a leader of the Labour Party who talks against austerity a bit in opposition, though not too loudly, and then implements it in office. For this is what will happen if the coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn is successful. 

For more re: recent comical events in the British Labour Party see here.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016