The former shadow chancer – sorry, Chancellor – John McDonnell was very upset when someone called Thelma Walker resigned from the Labour Party. She was angered by Keir Starmer taking a hard line against antisemitism by refusing to restore the parliamentary whip to Jeremy Corbyn after the EHRC found that Labour, under his watch, became a grim place for Jews. Don’t worry about those pesky Jews, she must have thought. It’s all about the sainted Jeremy. But it isn’t, is it?
Walker, it turns out, was a Labour MP for the Colne Valley from 2017 to 2019 and became part of McDonnell’s team. In 2019, the electors of Colne Valley, like the majority of voters elsewhere, took one look at Labour under Corbyn and voted her out. She stayed as a member until last week, obviously desperately upset not by Labour being infiltrated by racists, but because the bloke who did nothing to stop it and then pretended it was all ‘exaggerated’ and ‘politically motivated’ was denied the Labour whip. “It was a privilege to serve as Labour MP for Colne Valley,” she sobbed, “to be PPS to John McDonnell and to work with (a gnarly old crank like) Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. I will continue to work for the many not the few.” (My parenthesis.) Thanks for that.
Not a word about the EHRC report, then. And just like Corbyn, no regret and certainly no apology. But don’t worry. By leaving the only serious political party that can realistically win an election, she still wants to “work for the many not the few.” I am not sure this makes a great deal of sense but I welcome her departure and sincerely hope that the rest of Corbyn’s cult following leave with her.
So far as I can tell, a landslide win for Boris Johnson’s hard right Conservative party does little to benefit ‘the many’ but presumably Ms Walker isn’t too bothered by that. It’s the political purity that matters, “winning the argument” as Corbyn’s cranks put it in the wake of Labour’s worst electoral defeat since 1935. In her eyes, losing is the new winning.
I don’t want Jeremy Corbyn to issue one of his insincere non-apologies. I don’t want him to return to the Labour backbenches in order to oppose the leadership on every major issue. And I don’t want a cranky old man, who calls terrorists his friends, anywhere near the top table of British politics. People like him belong at middle class ‘socialist’ talking shops, ranting to people who already agree with his warped idea of the world.
Labour has a choice. It either compromises in favour of its ultra left fringe or it seeks out the place where voters are and elections are won. It’s one or the other. I think the many would benefit more from a Labour government than a middle class crank talking shop, but I am a little old fashioned in thinking that winning elections is important. My only message to Thelma Walker is to keep on walking.