Above: headline from Solidarity 494, February 2019
On Wednesday 19 February 2020, the Financial Times reported that Andrew Murray had resigned from his job in the Labour Party "Leader's Office".
His associate Karie Murphy has already been lined up to go to the House of Lords. We still don't know whether Seumas Milne, the other main figure in the "Leader's Office" in recent times, will cling to his position or return to his job as an associate editor on The Guardian.
We are glad to see them go. The "Leader's Office" coterie played a big part in:
- Labour's fumbling and evasive policy on Brexit. Murray and Milne were keen Brexiters well before 2016, and retreated only step by step before the overwhelming Labour rank-and-file push against Brexit.
- Labour's antisemitism fiasco: Murray and Milne are long-time hate-Israel campaigners.
- The bureaucratic and manipulative mode of Labour politics between 2017 and 2019. The 2017 manifesto anti-cuts policies were all shelved, for practical purposes, for over two years. Labour abandoned street campaigning. Instead we had a platform of opposing police cuts and claiming to offer defter Brexit-negotiation than the Tories. Then suddenly a shower of leftish policies were "announced" from on high just days or weeks before the 12 December 2019 election.
Sack the 3Ms, 29 May 2019
Where are the Three Ms taking us?, 6 February 2019.
We should beware, though. If it's good that Murray and maybe Milne are going, it doesn't follow that their replacements will be good.
Keir Starmer has, as his "deputy head of field", Matt Pound, the national organiser of the right-wing Labour First faction, who is as bureaucratic, manipulative, undemocratic, and hostile to anti-Stalinist socialist politics, in his own way, as Milne and Murray ever were.
We need a Labour Party where decision-making power is in the hands of the members and the conference, not of apparatchiks.