Writing a blog is a useful way of venting my frustrations. I don’t delude myself that I am influencing the national debate; I am not a figure of importance and my readership, while welcome, is hardly likely to mobilise into action.
I get occasional bits of feedback from readers. Most of this is welcome but one set of communications was both puzzling and disappointing. Over the last months I have received two formal complaints: one from the Secretary and one from the Chair of the North Norfolk Labour Party. To quote from one of the e-mails: ‘We would ask that you refrain from posting blogs that appear to make the meetings and processes of the local party unsafe for party members. In addition, we would ask that you consider removing those blog posts that refer to internal processes of the local party”.
My reaction on receiving this was to feel flattered (not only was I being read but my words were having some impact) had it not been for the implication that I am in some way threatening the idea that members should feel safe in local meetings. This I find offensive – particularly in the context of the Internet bullying and the jeering of Owen Smith that has characterized the leadership election to date.
The North Norfolk Labour Party has attracted some veterans from Labour’s civil war of thirty years ago, some of whom who have recently defected from the Greens. I suppose that, at 70, I must also be classed as a veteran Given all this, the major threat to personal safety at most Labour Party meetings, dominated as they now are by the Corbynistas, is for someone to fall off their chair. This would be a result of drifting into a doze induced by the boredom of listening to endless retro-slogans from the 1980s. However, since it appears that my presence and reporting could constitute a safety hazard, I have decided it best not to attend for the time being.