Saturday, April 18, 2009

'Sickened' Party Stalwart Quits New Labour

Long-standing Labour stalwart Alice Mahon has quit the Party with a withering attack on Brown and New Labour saying she can no longer stomach how it operates and feels betrayed. A rebel with a left-wing cause, Mahon is not the only one "sickened" by New Labour, leaving members 'staring into the abyss'. 

The Smeargate fallout continues with Mahon, 71, a Halifax MP for 18 years and a party member for more than 50, resigning her membership citing the recent scandal smearing top Tories as the last straw which left her feeling "sickened''. 

She told the Yorkshire Post: "My stepdaughter Rachel said to me: 'How could they do that to people like David Cameron and his wife Samantha when they had recently lost their son Ivan? What kind of people think it would be a good idea to smear them?'

"I was sickened by that – that is not the Labour Party that I joined all those years ago.''

No doubt New Labour spinners will try to play down her resignation but she was a rare breed, an ardent critic of Blair's government and the illegal Iraq war - and Brown.

Telling her Halifax Labour Party she had hoped that under Brown "we might go back to being a really progressive and caring party'' a dismayed Mahon said "but in the event I could not have been more wrong''.

Brown, she says, has "shown zero contrition over privatising public services and failed to tackle the excesses of the bankers", echoing views that chime with many voters as well as rank and file members.

And she heaped scorn on the welfare reform bill saying: "This Labour Government should hang its head in shame for inflicting this on the British public just as we face the most severe recession any of us have experienced in a lifetime.''

The Labour Party veteran said: "I can no longer be a member of a party that at the leadership level has betrayed many of the values and principles that inspired me as a teenager to join.''

Mahon, a self-proclaimed socialist with a long record of peace activism, was one of the most vocal critics of the war in Iraq and the way the Blair government sucked up to the Bush regime, now followed by Obama's Brown poodle

"Brown has just announced plans to send another 900 troops to Afghanistan, billions to be spent on an unwinnable war and pensioners dare not turn on their heating because this Government will not tackle the energy fat cats.''

But she said: "My final reason for leaving the party is because it is no longer democratic. Quite simply I have had it with New Labour.''

Despite failing eyesight, Mahon is still active in left-wing politics and groups such as the Stop the War coalition and CND. A rebel against New Labour since 1997 and  a eurosceptic, she opposed the government on a range of issues from cuts in lone parent benefits to Trident.

Mahon, showed here in a BBC interview, captures the feelings of so many rank and file Labour Party members "left staring into the abyss", captured so well by current backbench rebel MP, Frank Field. 

Once again, as so often noted here by the Orange Party, this highlights the long running battle between the true Labour Party and the bunch of ruthless and arrogant chancers who hijacked the Party with a lust for power and glory under a now discredited New Labour brand. 

Facing a wipe-out by the Tories at the general election, the vexed question for Party members and MPs who are left with a shred of dignity is do they follow Mahon's example and quit the Party in disgust or hang on in there, trying to fight a rearguard action from within? Maybe another true Labour veteran, Tony Benn, could provide the answer?

The 60s anti-war anthem on the right side bar is for Alice. The words are as true now as they were then.

Picture: Yorkshire Post

1 comment:

Silent Hunter said...

God Bless her! :o)