Is Labour still a '˜broad church'?

There is now a growing element of fear entering the soul of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 22nd August 2017, 10:40 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:00 pm

It is the product of the hard line left-wing leadership of the party, aided and abetted by Momentum, the group which is possibly even more fiercely left-wing than Labour’s top MPs.

Moderates, who are now probably a majority in the Parliamentary Party are, however, reluctantly toeing the party line because they are fearful that if they do not, they could be barred from standing as candidates at the next general election.

The Labour Party has always boasted it is a “broad church” capable of holding all types of left-of centre politicians. That boast seems to have been thrown out the window. Some MPs have been privately claiming they’ve been warned that if they stray from the official party line, they could find themselves out on their ears, sacked by their local constituency party, when the next election comes round.

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So much for free speech. Jeremy Corbyn should be bluntly told that a party governed by fear is heading for trouble. For a start, they should spend more time and effort holding the Government in check than in scaring those they regard as the awkward squad in their own movement.

- The battle over the Big Ben bongs continues unabated and (at the time of writing) there seems little prospect of an early resolution. However, it is reported the bongs annoy Sally, wife of Commons Speaker, John Bercow. It is claimed they keep her awake as she tries to sleep in the Speaker’s palatial apartment at Westminster. One satisfied customer, at least!

But they are beloved by American tourists. I remember some time ago a US tourist, who was also a radio station owner, visited the St Stephen’s Tavern, just across the road from the Palace of Westminster. He wanted his listeners to hear “live” the bell bonging at midnight, ie. early evening on the US East Coast. The outcome was, at the witching hour a few days later, the landlord could be seen leaning perilously out of the top window of this tall pub, pointing a microphone at the Great Clock. That meant another satisfied customer – in the United States this time.