It seems an age ago now – so much has happened in the interim – that, at the end of May, Alastair Campbell was expelled from the Labour Party for voting Lib Dem in the EU elections. On 30 May, as there was no mention of this in her May Newsletter, I wrote to our local MP Catherine West asking if she agreed with this decision. I received an acknowledgement of receipt but no reply. So, on 4th June, I wrote again.
The next day she replied: “I certainly heard from a lot of longstanding Labour supporters who, like Alistair, were very unhappy with Labour’s position on Brexit and felt they couldn’t support it.” No mention of whether she agreed with her party’s decision to expel Alastair Campbell.
I replied thanking her but pointed out that she had not answered my question and continued: "I wonder if you could let me know if you agree with Jeremy Corbyn’s expelling of Alastair Campbell from the Labour Party. I appreciate that you are busy and so a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will be fine. Looking forward to clarification.”
By way of reply I received the following: -
"Thanks for your email. I covered this issue extensively on the Westminster Hour last Sunday which can be accessed on the BBC radio 4 website."
I listened to the programme. The presenter asked our MP if the Labour leadership should reconsider its decision to have Alistair Campbell 'kicked out.' Catherine West made reference to his writing articles for the Guardian. (?) When pressed by the presenter (who, like me, obviously did not see the relevance of this to her question) with: "Do you think it was the right decision?” she said:
"I think being that public and having people round to your house and lots of journalists it’s a bit me, me, me. That’s how it feels as somebody who works elections really hard.”
I have no idea what this means. (If you do, please explain.) This reply obviously requires the skill of a codebreaker at Bletchley Park to divine its meaning. Still unclear on her position I wrote to her on 12 June explaining that I had no idea what her reply meant and politely asked, given that her time was tight, for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.
I did not receive an acknowledgement of receipt on this occasion. This suggested to me that my email had been blocked. I wrote from another email address on 17 June and received an automated acknowledgement of receipt. But no reply.
I wrote again but did not receive an acknowledgement of receipt which suggested that this email address had also been blocked.
Now, given that Catherine West is our local Labour MP and Alastair Campbell was the press secretary of the longest running Labour administration in living memory I don't think it unreasonable to seek an opinion on the decision to expel him.
This is not the first time that Catherine West has failed to respond in a clearcut manner to the expulsion of a member of the Labour Party. Gideon Bull, a Haringey Councillor, was suspended from the Labour Party after he opposed cuts to vulnerable adult services in 2016. At that time I wrote to her to ask if she agreed with the suspension. Failing to get a meaningful response after six (!) emails I gave up.
Had I asked about her views on overturning the results of the Referendum I think the reply I received would have been unequivocal. I suppose there are some questions that are just too difficult to answer. I wonder if any other local residents have had the same experience as me?
Interesting. When I wrote to Tottenham MP David Lammy in 2014, asking his support in condemning israel's bombing of defenceless Gaza murdering almost 2500 men women and children and deliberately destroying huge amounts of housing to create 100,000 homeless, I expected some support. I was gobsmacked to receive a reply in which he wholeheartedly supported this war crime. Given that he normally ignores emails this surprised me. Puts west's feeble equivocation in the shade!
Just seen you ranting about this on another forum - you seem to have a lot of time on your hands. Catherine is an excellent MP and as this isn't a question on policy - and particularly given the sensitvity of this issue within the party - there's no surprise she isn't giving you the answer you want.
Also, her email is probably set to auto reply only once, you're not blocked.
Funny enough, When I wrote to her, early 2003, regarding the United Kingdom's involvement in an illegal war in Iraq she reminded me of a sexed up dossier. Your mate Campbell has blood on his hands and a negative force in politics. Poor Alastair knew what he was doing.
With Johnson walking into Downing Street, you have bigger problems to think about. Lets be clear...
If you vote Lib Dems, you put the Tories in power.
If you Green Party, you put the Tories in power.
Johnson has ruled out a snap election - time to get ready for a snap election.
My mate, Campbell. I don't know how you deduced that. I cannot stand the man.
And if you vote Labour YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU WILL GET!
This is treating the electorate like children and it stinks. This is deceit. I would be very annoyed if I had been through the same process. Put it on twitter, where it's easy to reach a large audience. Go to one of her surgeries.
This is all a little juvenile and sounds like you are just trying to trip her up.
Very sensibly she has chosen not to reply to give haters further ammunition and dare I say focus on more important matters.
Perhaps you are right. With the Labour candidate nearly losing his deposit yesterday at the Brecon and Radnor by-election I would think all current Labour MPs need to focus on such important matters as their position.
Well in my opinion as she isn't a corbynista she was probably rather dismayed at the the treatment of Campbell and representing a remain constituency she's probably rather frustrated at Corbyns complete abdication of leadership on the issue.....but then of course you have a highly active far left in Haringey who will try and deselect her at the first hint of disloyalty to the messiah, so she needs to tread carefully.
Labour heading for the catastrophe of the century.
We have seen just how inept the local politics are.
Just what does Labour stand for? Can they win any election before Brexshit with a non-leader in charge? Who cares what his principles are. He does not have the charisma/communication skills/authority needed to LEAD the party to victory.
Then if perchance they do win an election after a Boris Brexshit catastrophe, will they really want to pick such a poisoned chalice? There will be much, much, less RESOURCES around "to take from the few to share with the many".
Brexshit, unless there is a very good deal (read staying in the single market and customs union), means there will be austerity squared in the short term and a period after that.
The UK has dug itself ino a hole and there are no leaders to get it out...Wars do happen 'by accident'. The damage to communities is significant and lasts for generations.
Dunkirk spirit my a**
That's all well and good JJ but the hornsey and wood green local labour party had been completely taken over by the loonies and your saw how that worked out for them at the local elections with the lib dems reclaiming many of the muswell hill seats they had lost.
So back to the originally point they are probably testing out Ms West for ideological purity and any hint of new labourism and they will be pushing to deselect her. Its pathetic. And as you say JJ far bigger issues going on whilst some locals are obsessed with whether she did or didnt approve of Campbells expulsion.
Yes. 'Dogmnatic purity'...all the while the world is falling apart around them.