News that retiring Labour MP Lynne Jones is offering support to Respect’s Salma Yaqoob rather than her own party’s candidate Roger Godsiff has sent shockwaves through West Midlands political circles. Tony Kennedy, secretary of the Hall Green CLP insists Godsiff has the full support of members and is “famed for being hard working” in the local area.
In his response, Kennedy makes reference to the recent resignation of long-standing Labour member David Spilsbury whose resignation letter published on The Stirrer earlier this year contained reference to the fact that Godsiff had never lived in Birmingham despite being an MP in the city for 18 years.
Here’s Kennedy’s full letter to Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg:
I am Secretary of Hall Green CLP. Roger Godsiff MP was nominated and endorsed by ALL branches and affiliates of the CLP, it is totally untrue to say he does not command the support of the CLP and its several hundred members. Roger is famed for being hard-working in the constituency, as our opponents will find on election night.
Since there have been references to a member who publicly ‘temporarily’ resigned, I attach a personal note I circulated internally as CLP Secretary, when this occurred:
‘I am saddened that David has chosen to give succour to our opponents in attacking our Labour MP and Labour candidate who has a longstanding reputation for spending too much time in the constituency!
David has many qualities, amply compensated for by extreme pomposity and a zealous adherence to shibboleths. I do agree that careerists, opportunists, trotskyist, other entryists and bureacratic centralists are a pain in the neck, however there is nothing new in this, some join other parties to seek platforms. What is most disappointing, from someone who prides themselves on upholding the principles of democratic socialism, is the casually racist reference to ‘Pygmies’ in David’s note.
Hall Green constituency is a microcosm of local, national and global politics where the principles of social justice and Labour are needed now more than ever. The choice voters have in Hall Green constituency is not between the Perfect fantasy Labour Party and the others, but between the Labour Party and candidate committed to principles of social justice, fairness and the communal, collective and co-operative values we uphold in the teeth of the global economic crisis being succesfully tackled by our Labour Government.
We do not have the luxury of a magical resolution we could pass which would resolve the many problems and uncertainties we face, nor do we have masses of activists to do the necessary hard-slog of fighting elections as we saw in the recent Sparkbrook by-election. What I do know, having knocked many doors and spoken to many electors in that election is that support for Labour is still there, voters do not want to hand the election to the Tories, their Liberal allies, or, especially, to the ragbag of ‘respect’ opportunists whose sole raison d’etre is to damage Labour, while being used as ‘useful idiots’ in a wider trotskyist conspiracy.
Hall Green Constituency Labour Party will be healthier for having a full discussion on these issues later, after we have secured the election of Labour candidates at the coming elections!
Let cowards flinch and traitors sneer!!!
Yours in comradeship,