Monday 18 February 2019

Is The Independent Group a Wind-Up?

Is The Independent Group a wind up? We'll pass over Luciana Berger fluffing her lines and introducing herself as the Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree at the launch. TIG is incorporated as a private company to get around donation reporting rules for political parties. This move, which is without precedent as far as the party affiliation of sitting parliamentarians is concerned, is about preventing scrutiny of their finances. And this is one eschewed even by Farage's new party, an outfit and a project that has serious questions to answer about past finances. Not the best way then to break the mould of the old politics.

Fancy another? TIG is owned (sorry, "supported") by a shell company going by the name of Gemini A (website registered in Panama [edit: see comments]). Looks suspect, yes? It gets better. Not only is the business address a Wetherspoon's in Altrincham, a curious choice for an explicitly anti-Brexit "party", said pub trades under The Unicorn. You couldn't make it up.

They also thought it would be a good idea to poach a Tory, and so approached Ruth Davidson to be their leader. Having a sense of self-preservation and half a brain, she turned down their kind offer. But still, Soubz is there waiting in the wings. She's already removed all mention of being a Tory MP from her Twitter bio in preparation for the jump.

And it would be remiss to forget Angela Smith's appearance on Politics Live where she did a racism. Lest we forget.

But you know what truly damns this clowns' car of an ego vehicle? It's the total lack of seriousness. They have learned nothing, nothing since 2015. Like the ill-fated Corbyn coup, no ground has been prepared in the wider party. This is a gaggle of minor-to-anonymous parliamentary personages with no backing apart from shy rich people and naff celebrities. They didn't try and win over other party members, let alone appeal to those who have left Labour. No work was done to reach out to the affiliated organisations or to try and get councillors on board. In other words, the most basic organising, the 101 of launching a new party, has been set aside. Why? Incompetence is part of the story, but it's in equal part the arrogance that comes with launching an elite political project. The truth is you, me, the little people don't matter. Politics is a plaything for MPs, Lords and Ladies, and the money bags who can buy their way in. Us? We're just voting fodder at best, and the people who politics is done to the rest of the time. We don't understand, we don't get it, and we definitely should have no role to play in a political party above the station of envelope stuffing and leafleting.

This is what their split is about. It's no accident this comes after three of them got no confidence votes by the constituency parties, that similar moves were being made by another, and that Chuka Umunna's local party voted to move away from delegate-based to all-member meetings. Democracy is only okay if it leaves them unchallenged and gifts them a job for life. 

Let's be honest. The Labour Party is well rid.


Unknown said...

SDP2. First times as trajedy, second as farce.

Unknown said...

Excellently put The arrogance,and the deafness to changing public opinion, has always been the achilles heel of the centrists it will do for them here too

1729torus said...

Sarah Wollaston has changed her Twitter Bio to remove all references to the Tories.

I doubt these people will retain their seats if they have no ground operation to bring out the vote for them.

bbk said...

As a Jew (for what it's worth), listening to Ms. Berger cynically exploit anti-Semitism for her own political wants is making me really angry.

Labour under Corbyn could never "tackle" anti-Semitism to her satisfaction because "fixing" the "problem" of anti-Semitism has obviously never been her real goal. As long as Corbyn stepped down as leader the party could appoint the reanimated corpse of Oswald Mosley as Labour's special brown shirt for fixing anti-Semitism and she'd be perfectly happy.


SimonB said...

Agree, but if more join them from Labour I’ll start to worry.


Adam Jacobs said...

Small correction: the business address is not a Wetherspoons. It's a corporate services company (Oakwood Corporate Services), which just happens to be in the same building as a Wetherspoons. They are completely separate businesses.

Anonymous said...

While hiding behind a company is dodgy the web site for "" is not based in Panama.

The WhoIs record merely reveals that the details of the domain is held by a third party (WhoIsGuard.Inc) which is in itself based in Panama. This is a normal procedure for web sites to protect domain owners from spam.

The site itself is hosted via CloudFlair whic is again fairly normal protection against DNS attacks and other hacking attempts.

Phil said...

Thanks for the heads up re: the website address, Anon.

Adam, yes - I wasn't suggesting they were the same company! Still, it is amusing that they are in the same building and, well, the name of the pub speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

While Labour Party members and volunteers are out campaigning to win local elections.

Shai Masot said...

Nightmare. We've now got Blairites on the outside pissing in; and we've got Blairites on the inside pissing in. Blairites, everywhere, pissing.

Dipper said...

Labour's "problem" is not that a few anti-semites have mistakenly wandered into a party of really nice people who just want the best for everyone, it is that the logic of anti-semitism is at the core of Corbynism and the modern left. The modern left is an organised witch-hunt based round conspiracy theories and identity politics. It starts from a position that comfortable modern living standards are everyone's birth-right and that if these are denied then it must be a conspiracy of rich people exploiting the poor. It then moves on to finding the people responsible for these conspiracies and punishing them. Combined with identity politics which denies individuality and makes people vehicles for the collective interests of their given identities, and there you have it - jews are generally successful, many are rich, so it must be a jewish conspiracy. It is worth noting that both Margaret Hodge and Melanie Phillips have said that there jewishness was secondary to their Englishness until the left got obsessed with anti-zionism and has cast them in the role of israeli supporters first and foremost (I paraphrase).

The basic methodology now is to identify the peak victims and capture them, and use them to oppress every other group. So recently an number of Labour MP's who represented largely white working class Leave-voting constituencies indicated that they were open to additional investment in return for supporting a deal that reflected their constituents interests. Immediately David Lammy blasts them as not socialists, and I saw comments form various people saying that of course Lammy's constituents were worse of than the people in this other constituents, which is a dubious claim and denies those individuals in traditional working class constituencies the right to a voice.

It is happening with the trans debate. "Cis" women are now being told that "trans" women suffer more. So unless "cis" women are prepared to yield to the demands of "trans" women and their champions then they are not victims, they are oppressors, and must expect to be punished.

Unknown said...

I was looking forward to reading this blog.
It is surprising just how shit they are and just how little they have to say for themselves of substance.
I held them in low enough esteem before, but I was expecting quite a bit more from them.
In the long run, I expect this to benefit Labour and it to recruit more members.
It will take about 5 minutes before everyone is sick to the back teeth of them.

Speedy said...

Folie a sept?

It was interesting to read that a number were facing deselection, which at least helps explain the inexplicable.

Otherwise, why would they, basically, choose to end their careers? None of them can expect to beat any of the party machines - and I think you miss the point about elites (frankly it seems the enemy is always "elite" these days). They are all professional politicians and none can be naive enough to expect to be re-elected. Neither do I buy anti-semitism.

Could it be (whisper it) principle? They realise Corbyn's Labour will never support another referendum so they have burned their bridges? Or is it only the 'hard' left who believe in anything?

It's always a mistake to underestimate the conviction of your enemies.

Incidentally, before the inevitable brickbats, I think it was a dumb unhelpful thing to do. But I think there's more to it than is revealed by partisan analysis.

Anonymous said...

Lol, I know that Unicorn - Weatherspoons Pub very well. Who would have thought that dreary building would be the hub of centrist plotting to sabotage the Corbyn Project. Small World. Small World.

Also, Dipper what are you on and can I have some :)

graeme braisby said...

It's more that they expected to be pushed before the next election so took the opportunity to jump first and to hopefully give themselves time to get established... It not going to work!

Dipper said...

@ Anonymous

I'm on this kind of stuff on auto-repeat.

read and Learn.

Anonymous said...

This new party will be the absolute darlings of the ‘free press’ (or the communication wing of the ruling class to give the so called journalists and media organisations their proper designation!)

Do not underestimate something that will be so heavily backed by the communication wing of the ruling class and will be used by the communication wing of the ruling class to undermine labour at every opportunity. Which isn’t really much of a change, they are simply now doing it outside the tent instead of inside it!

Before the last general election Angela Smith sent out a leaflet to residents in her constituency telling us how labour were going to lose the election (despite her great work!), how useless Corbyn was and how crazy his policies were but that we should still vote for her because of how great she was.

And am I sure she claims she won her seat because of her greatness and had nothing to do with labour or Corbyn!

When Corbyn’s leadership ends so will any chances of a progressive candidate being put forward (they won’t make the mistake of putting up a token candidate again!). Meaning the Labour party will be officially lost to the right wing.

And with it any pretence of a broad church will go with it. Of course the idea that New labour was a broad church was of course laughable, as Corbyn’s leadership has spectacularly showed. Well its a braod church in that black, white, gay, straight, you are all welcome in labour if you accept the neo liberal policies and do as you are told by the PLP!

After Corbyn there will be no more excuses for being part of the Labour party, any leftist in the Labour party at this point will simply be exposed as fraud/careerist.

Corbyn has himself to blame for this and has been too weak, he needed to deal with this Tory lite infestation as soon as he became leader but has pathetically tried to appease them at every turn. When they stab in the front and back he apologies for bloodying their knives.

David Parry said...


LOL. Paul Staines, a man who, as far as I'm concerned, deserves a lengthy spell in prison?

Can't exactly say I'm surprised.

Dipper said...

@ David Parry - yes of course because the place for your political opponents is prison. Nothing remotely scary about that. Quite clearly a kinder politics, a gentler society.

Tom said...

If deselection and reselection of other MPs goes ahead expect more defections,
but it's a necessary process to replace them with democratic socialists instead of vanilla capitalists and the least the membership, who after all are the party not the PLP, can expect

JN said...


I'd describe Melanie Phillips as an extreme right-wing crank and war-monger, "first and foremost". Her uncritical support for the Israeli state derives more from that POLITICAL worldview than from the fact that she is Jewish.

As for Margaret Hodge, again it's her politics that is "first and foremost". She is a quintessential Blairite. That she happens to be Jewish changes nothing.

JN said...

Well, they're funny at least: a group of (so far) only seven members whose whole pretext is their accusations of racism, and they couldn't get through one day without one of them coming out with something worthy of Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage.

"Funny tinge", indeed. That would perhaps better describe the group's politics: an unsightly mix of Lib-Dem orange, Tory blue, and just a hint of UKIP purple. But not the slightest trace of red, or even the palest pink (Chuka Umunna made that quite clear).

Wilhelm Steinitz said...

This is a very strange rant and devoid of logical thinking. To take one example, the way income and wealth distribution has changed over the past forty years, and the political steps taken to make this happen, is not a conspiracy theory, it is perfectly open to examination at every level, and has been studied and reported on by many economists, political scientists and others.

Cricisim of Classical economics, most often referred to these days as Neoliberalism, is again not based on conspiracy theories, but on cold scrutiny of the evidence in the public domain, with extensive debate and discussion from every perspective.

Identity politics is to many people a serious distraction from the more central issues, but a focus on human rights is appropriate in a country whose Prime Minister has openly worked to get rid of human rights legislation while implementing oppressive policies against migrants, the disabled and the poor which shamefully revela the utter lack of protection for the vulnerable n the face of the powerful. You certainly are in a mess if you imagine debates about trans people are something confined to Labour or the Left.

Your confused rant about May's backroom dealing to buy support for her Brexit dog's breakfast is just nonsensical; do some more reading on the topic. If you imagine for a fraction of a second that these deals are at all beneficial to the "white working class" then you are being gullible, esy met for May and the Tory press with their daily lies.

David Parry said...


Staines isn't merely someone with whom I disagree. He helped funnel money into the coffers of the Contra death squads in Nicaragua back in the 1980s. A lengthy spell of prison is the least a piece of shit like that deserves.

Johny Conspiranoid. said...

The Independent Group in parliament are not members of incorperated private company of the same name because an incorperated private company does not have members, so what the relationship of the MPs to that company?