FOR A FEW ANTI-CORBYN DIEHARDS, it is the smell of fear. For most of us in Brighton and Hove, it is a gale-force breath of fresh air.
We should have known something was coming. In a final desperate smear, one or two ‘centrist’ councillors scurried to the Times - anonymously, of course - to share much-rehearsed fabrications: Momentum was trying to turn our city into "Haringey II", with hard-left bullies determined to deselect "moderate" councillors. The Murdoch-owned tabloid fell for this farrago of fiction not just once, but twice.
And then it happened. Councillor Warren Morgan, the arch-Progressite who has (mis)led the minority Labour administration for more than two years, announced he was quitting. He is standing down not only as leader of the Labour group, but also as a councillor in the stronghold ward that is East Brighton - where Nancy Platts, a former aide of Jeremy Corbyn, recently stormed to victory in a by-election, winning 67% of the vote!
Cllr Morgan admitted he had achieved only a fraction of what he would have wished. For many of us, he achieved too much:
- His ‘private’ email claiming Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party had been taken over by Trotskyist entryists;
- Lies about the ‘spitting’ incident that never happened , fabricated to ensure the city party was suspended and its elections annulled, lies disproved by CCTV footage, lies that defamed an innocent young man;
- Smears about alleged antisemitism at the Labour Party conference, generating headlines in the Sun and providing fodder for Theresa May;
- Outrageous libel of a local citizen - a Labour Party colleague and Jewish son of a rabbi - whom he named as a “Holocaust denier”.
Despite it all, Cllr Morgan finally did an honourable thing. He resigned.
With perhaps only 13 of 22 sitting Labour councillors seeking election in May next year, it is stranger than ever if 8,000+ party members are not allowed to vote on who should replace him. That person will be an important member of the Local Campaign Forum, now managing the candidates’ selection process and the collaborative creation of a socialist manifesto for the city. She - or he - must have a mandate from grassroots activists for championing a bold and optimistic strategy to shape and secure the best possible future for our city.
Cllr Morgan and his Progress cronies are the past. Nothing and no individual can stand in the way of our common endeavour: a socialist majority on Brighton and Hove City Council and a socialist Prime Minister in Downing Street.