Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Labour anti-Europe Group Linked to Tax Payers’ Alliance and Hard-Right Business Campaign.

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Kaye Hoey MP: From International Marxist Group to Patriotic Tax Payers’ Alliance.

A new Eurosceptic Labour group has been accused of acting as a front for the campaign to leave the European Union in the referendum vote.

Labour for Britain, which launched in June and says it picking up strong support from MPs, peers, councillors and activists, aims to “provide a space” for party members who support a “significant change” in the relationship with the EU.

But The Independent has found that it has strong links to Business for Britain, an organisation that is prepared to go further and argue in favour of a British exit from the EU. The Labour group also has ties to the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which has variously argued for further benefits cuts, reducing pensions and eroding trade union rights.

Labour source said: “This isn’t a forum for debate but a front for people who want to erode workers’ rights and raise taxes on families while cutting them for millionaires. I’m shocked Labour MPs would work hand-in-glove with those whose policies run counter to the beliefs of our party.”

Brendan Chilton, the director of Labour for Britain, said the website would shortly be registered to Mr Mills.

“It just was a simple case in the very early days that we needed to get a domain set up and the website purchased, and Labour for Britain at the time hadn’t been established all too long and so we worked with Matthew Elliott to get that done,” he said.

Mr Chilton acknowledged it “certainly can appear” the group is a front for a pro-“Brexit” campaign, but he added: “Our activities to date [show] we are primarily a group that says the Labour Party …will press for reform.”


17th of June International Business Times.

A group of Eurosceptic Labour MPs have teamed up with one of the party’s biggest private donors to launch a campaign to push for a “full dialogue” ahead of the promised EU referendum.

The “Labour for Britain” group has the support of John Mills, the founder of household goods firm JML, who gave Labour £1.6m ($2.5m) worth of shares last year.

The organisation, set up by Kate Hoey, Graham Stringer and Kelvin Hopkins, warned that Labour could “weaken the UK’s negotiating position” by supporting the “In” campaign no matter what.

The MPs said in a joint statement: “We believe that the debate about our country’s future in the EU has been dormant within the Labour Party for too long. We need to have a full dialogue within our membership and with our natural supporters.”

Mills, who is also a co-chairman of Business for Britain, claimed that “many Labour voters feel that too much power lies in Brussels rather than with the UK Parliament”.

Kate Hoey is a former member of the International Marxist Group – way back in the 1970s it is true. (here).

This is what she says these days, (New Statesman 19th of June) – all of which puts the disclaimer from Chilton distancing Labour for Britain from the hard right in its true perspective.

What Hoey wants, she tells me, is: “To get back to our parliament the right to make its own laws, the right to have complete control of our economy, to decide everything that relates to our own country … and of course that is fundamentally opposed to what the original aims of the Common Market were”. She also calls for an end to the free movement of people (“People from the Commonwealth are completely penalised when it comes to getting their families in to visit them and yet somebody can walk in from Romania or Latvia with no history of involvement in this country whatsoever”) and the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy. “That’s what the Labour Party should be doing instead of going off into a little corner and saying ‘No, no it’s all wonderful and we might want to tinker around a little bit’. We are letting down millions of our own supporters, many of whom voted Ukip and will continue to do so until this is treated in a serious way.”

Even more strikingly, Hoey blames her party’s “extremely unpatriotic” outlook for its increasing alienation from its traditional working class supporters. “They feel very strongly about their country and we have been extremely unpatriotic as a party to our country. There’s just a feeling that we’re half-hearted about being British, we’re half-hearted about the monarchy, we’re half-hearted about the way we see our country in the world. I’m very proud of being British and I think the United Kingdom is a force for good in the world and we seem to feel all the time that we have to put ourselves down because somehow that might upset people”.

…we’ve been taken over by this kind of London, intellectual, academic-y, liberal-y people who feel that, really, if only we just got rid of all those people out there who ask awkward questions about immigration and ask awkward questions about people living off benefits when they shouldn’t be, that Labour would somehow be wonderful.

We hope that’s cleared that up.

Those who claim to be on the left and who back anti-EU campaigns for the coming referendum should reflect on the political evolution of our former comrade.



9 Responses

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  1. The Anglosphere generally is built on lies. High inter-generational income inelasticity, high prevalence of so-called “mental illness.” The progress and trajectory of the EU is increasingly looking like a bloodless German takeover. Germany has the largest economy in the EU, Germany routinely has trade surpluses, and Germany is second only to the United States regarding individual households with 100 million or more in household wealth.


    September 10, 2015 at 10:44 pm

  2. Is there anyone from an IMG background who you think has turned out well, Andrew? 😉


    September 11, 2015 at 12:33 am

  3. Yesterday’s Morning Star editorial shows where the “left” anti-EU fanatics end up:


    Jim Denham

    September 11, 2015 at 8:35 am

  4. “Of course, governments in Europe and beyond should do everything in their power to help people fleeing tyranny and war. No instruction should be needed from the EU to make refugees welcome and contribute in other ways to combating oppression and promoting peace in their countries of origin….

    “The refugee crisis is a global responsibility to alleviate, which is why, to complement national action, there must be whole-hearted engagement with the work of United Nations bodies such as the UN High Commission for Refugees and Unicef.”

    Hardly UKIP, is it?


    September 11, 2015 at 10:47 am

  5. Francis there are a lot of ex-IMG people in the Briefing, LRC, and the group Socialist Resistance are good people, even if we disagree with them.

    Apart from that there are plenty of fine activists on the left from the IMG who are associated with no group or network today.

    I will naturally except anybody in Socialist Action from this positive judgement.

    Andrew Coates

    September 11, 2015 at 11:11 am

  6. I remember Kate Hoey. She did a B.Sc(Econ) at City of London College, Moorgate, London EC2. During the heady days 1967-70. She may have been a member of the IMG in Northern Ireland… but if she was still a member by the time she arrived in London she kept it well hidden. We all thought she had her sights set on joining and working for the Labour Party.

    mister bijou

    September 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm

  7. The Wikipedia entry says, “She was a senior lecturer at Kingsway College from 1976 to 1985, during which time she left the International Marxist Group.”

    I must say Bijou I have never heard anybody talk about her days in the IMG, though I seem to recall something about her in a paper a long time ago.

    The late Bob Purdie (who I knew at Warwick University, just as he left the IMG) would have been the person to ask particularly in view of his connections with Ireland.


    Andrew Coates

    September 11, 2015 at 3:46 pm

  8. I remember Bob Purdie as being a good guy. He did good stuff for the IMG. Why or how he went to the SNP I don’t know. He was always a good guy.


    September 11, 2015 at 7:50 pm

  9. Yes he was: I really cannot grasp the attraction of nationalism in any shape or form.

    He concentrated on his degree when he was at Warwick, but I had a few long conversations with Bob in my first year when I was in the same student accommodation block.

    I learnt a lot.

    Andrew Coates

    September 12, 2015 at 10:50 am

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