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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Campbell goes — Labour should say good riddance!

by New Worker correspondent

ALASTAIR CAMPBELL, the Blairite spin doctor during the Iraq war, has given up his attempt to remain in the Labour Party. The loathsome ‘director of communications’ during the Blair era was expelled from the Labour Party after publicly stating that he voted for the Liberal Democrats in May’s European parliamentary elections. He vowed to fight the decision on appeal. But he threw in the towel in a lengthy rant published in the New European, a Remainer weekly set up in 2016 in support of the European Union.

Lord Falconer, a minister in Blair’s government, said it was “an incredibly sad day”, claiming that Campbell was behind so much of the good that the New Labour administration did for schools, hospitals and transport. Others, such as Lord Mandelson, are stepping up the Blairite fight to get rid of Corbyn. In an interview with an Italian newspaper, Mandelson said: “Corbyn is not the leader that Labour needs at this time. He cannot deliver. Even his supporters are realising this.

“We need an alternative who can stand up to Johnson and lead the country against the disaster which is in the making.”

Campbell was a prominent member of Tony Blair’s kitchen Cabinet and the spin-doctor for British participation in US imperialism’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 that led to the deaths of a million people. Although Campbell left Blair’s entourage in 2003 he continued to be a major player in the Blairite lobby.

In 2015 he backed the Blairite “Anyone but Corbyn” campaign during the elections for the Labour leadership. In recent years he’s been beating the drum for the Remainer ‘People’s Vote’ campaign that wants a rerun to reverse the result of the 2016 referendum.

In his lengthy letter Campbell says he no longer wishes to remain in the Labour Party.

He denounced Jeremy Corbyn for failing to “provide consistent leadership” on Brexit and called on the Labour leader to “make way for someone who can provide the leadership, the strategy, and the energy required” to fight the next election.

Some clapped-out old Blairites were sorry to see Campbell go. Others were glad to see the back of him, including Greek left-social democratic MP Yanis Varoufakis, who said this was the “best news of today for Jeremy and Labour. Let us not keep you AC”.

Meanwhile the BBC has revealed that it’s received a whole tranche of complaints over an anti-Corbyn Panorama programme that Labour condemned as unfair and dishonest. Complaints figures for the period 8—21 July reveal that across that full two-week period, the BBC received 6,551 complaints, with 1,593 — nearly a quarter — related to the Is Labour anti-Semitic? episode.

Labour criticised the Panorama episode as a “hatchet-job” and pointed out that it contained major inaccuracies, including innocuous emails doctored so that they appeared damning, such as a response to a request for input that was presented as “interference”.

The episode was slammed by Labour as being in violation of the BBC’s “obligations of fairness, balance and political impartiality”. Labour said that the programme included a deceptively-edited email and was largely based on former party members’ opinions, many of whom were staunchly anti-Corbyn, and was produced by John Ware, who had previously made a programme smearing Corbyn.

The programme also features two unnamed interviewees who also appeared in an Al Jazeera documentary on the Israel lobby’s influence in British politics and are on the executive of the anti-Corbyn Jewish Labour Movement. They are Ella Rose, a former Israeli Embassy employee, and Alex Richardson, who is seen in the Al Jazeera documentary colluding with Joan Ryan MP to fabricate an incident of anti-Semitism at the Labour conference in 2016.

The BBC does not disclose their associations, nor does it mention that interviewee Alan Johnson is employed by the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) lobby group.