Labour anti-Europe Group Linked to Tax Payers’ Alliance and Hard-Right Business Campaign.
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.
Written by Andrew Coates
September 10, 2015 at 5:26 pm
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