Progress Director Resigns

Richard Angell, director of the Blairite factional organisation Progress has announced he is resigning after four years in the role. His resignation letter isn’t the chirpiest read, bluntly stating that “the next decade is going to be challenging for social democrats in the Labour Party.”

Angell’s period as head of the organisation charged with keeping the Blairite flame alight has seen the take-over of the Labour Party by the hard left and a financial crisis for the organisation as billionaire-backer Lord Sainsbury switched his funding to his think tanks; the Institute for Government and the Centre for Progressive Policy. Good luck to whoever replaces him…

Now Progress Advertises For Team of Unpaid Interns

What is it with Blairites not paying their staff? Yesterday, as Chuka Umunna was getting a deserved pasting for not paying his interns, the moderate Progress think tank placed a new advert on the W4MP website seeking a whole team of unpaid “volunteers” to do specific jobs with clear responsibilities that patently amount to real work.

Progress want “a number” of events interns to “organize flagship events like Progress political weekend, Progress annual conference and the Progress fringe programme at Labour Party conference”. That is clearly real work that merits payment.

They want a team of unpaid sub-editors “to produce and edit content for our website, and supporting our editorial team”. Progress want young staff to write and edit unpaid…

And they want a social media intern to run their Twitter and Facebook accounts unpaid.

According to their website, last year Progress had an income of £487,574. This year the likes of Tony and Cherie Blair and Charlie Falconer have given them tens of thousands of pounds. They could at least pay their interns rather than make them work for free…

UPDATE: Statement from Progress’ Richard Angell:

“Like many good causes with a social purpose, we have created a structured way that people can volunteer. All of which are tasks that can be done in people’s free time, not from an office or specific location. The volunteer is free to change their mind or opt out of any commitments. Progress was one of the first groups to stop unpaid internship and supports changes in the law to ensure this is not just best practice but common Place. If people wish to volunteer with Progress – in their own time and in a location of their choosing – we look forward to hearing from them. The experience included training and all reasonable expenses will be covered.”

Lewisham Labour Candidate is Progress-Backed Prevent Champion

Having lost the Lewisham East selection, Corbynistas are boldly spinning that the successful candidate, Janet Daby, is one of them as she voted for Jezza for the leadership. Apparently her victory is proof of a new left-wing “hegemony” in the Labour Party. Not quite…

  • Her selection campaign was run by a rival faction on the right of the party, Labour First, led by Corbyn arch-enemy Matt Pound. Their operational success on the ground is infuriating Momentum and Unite.
  • She was the Progress candidate – the Blairite faction’s support was crucial in helping her win the selection.
  • Daby vowed to “continue Heidi Alexander’s work” campaigning to stay in the single market – a position directly at odds with Labour policy and Lexiteer Jezza’s plan to escape state aid rules.
  • Her role as a local Prevent champion will rile the left – how can Corbynistas who say Prevent is Islamophobic possibly back a candidate who has a key role in delivering the programme in Lewisham?
  • As a councillor, her centrist credentials go way back, even to 2010, when she backed Oona King against Ken Livingstone, a position she took once again alongside Progress.

Does that sound like Corbynista hegemony to you?

Paul Mason Tells Blairites and Remainers to Set Up Own Party

Speaking at the Progress conference today, Paul Mason told Blairites and Remainers to set up their own party:

“If you want a centrist party, this is not going to be it for the next ten years. If it’s really important to you to have a pro-Remain party that is in favour of illegal war, in favour of privatisation, form your own party and get on with it.”

Labour unity creaking today…

Corbynistas Plotting to Deselect Moderates Again

Diane Abbott has signalled that Labour MPs are likely to face deselection challenges this parliament, telling today’s Progress conference “you can’t cut across local parties” looking to take out moderates. Diane could have shut down talk of deselections, instead she has carefully and deliberately left the option open. The true Corbynista viewpoint has been expressed by Jon Lansman’s apprentice Max Shanly, who vowed yesterday that Labour’s membership will deselect moderate candidates:

A reality check for those pathetic Labour moderates who spent months telling voters Corbyn wasn’t fit to lead and are now grovelling for their careers. The Yvettes, Chukas and Woodcocks cringingly sucking up to the hard-left deserve everything their side of the party is going to get…

Sainsbury Broke Labour Rules, Purging Likely

LORD SAINSBURY

Top Labour donor Baron Sainsbury’s grant of over £2 million to the Lib Dems this year means, without any doubt, he has broken Labour’s strict membership rules. The 2016 rulebook, Chapter 2 clause I section 4 paragraph B calls for the automatic exclusion of any members who “supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group”. £2,125,000 to a rival party surely counts as support…

Sainsbury’s money, though much needed with the collapse of union donations on the horizon, can’t have been welcomed too much by the current leadership. Although Sainsbury has, particularly during the Blair years, donated some £15.6 million to the party, he’s given over £5 million to the New Labour faction’s Progress and £1.35 million to the Movement for Change – a now defunct front for David Miliband’s ambitions and that was once seen as integral to the New Labour continuity project in the way that Momentum is to Corbyn. The rules are however clear – with £2 million given to the LibDems – Sainsbury has to be purged by Labour’s Compliance Department…

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