AS Paul T Horgan reported in TCW on Tuesday, Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle is set to keep his shadow ministerial position, despite the recent revelation that during the last election campaign he alleged Conservatives had ‘conspired to murder and let die British citizens’. According to a spokesman for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Russell-Moyle’s accusation of a Tory-led genocide was ‘unacceptable and Lloyd will be spoken to’.
That’ll teach him. Also, let us not forget that Sir Keir made that shadow ministerial appointment in the full knowledge that Lloyd Russell-Moyle is prone to displays of derangement. In one of the highlights of election night in December, the wild-eyed and finger-jabbing MP reacted to the Tory triumph by vowing to ‘fight them in Parliament, fight them in the courts, fight them in the workplace and fight them in the streets’.
Our street-fighting man had already fancied himself as a rabble-rouser. Of all the words which Russell-Moyle could have chosen to describe the MPs who quit Labour in early 2019, he opted for ‘scabs’ – one of the ugliest insults in the political lexicon and a slur more commonly spat out by a picket-line thug.
Among the ‘scabs’ who quit the party a year ago was Luciana Berger. The Jewish MP’s reasons for crossing Lloyd’s imaginary picket line included Labour’s ‘culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation’ and its ‘institutional anti-Semitism’. Evidently Russell-Moyle had little sympathy for Berger’s plight; he also dismissed Margaret Hodge’s attempt to expose the party’s anti-Semites as motivated by a decades-old grudge against Jeremy Corbyn.
Furthermore, only days after Sir Keir appointed him as a shadow minister, earlier this month Russell-Moyle posted an unredacted copy of a Labour Party report into anti-Semitism, thereby revealing the confidential identities of complainants.
No doubt that was entirely accidental, an innocent mistake, a most unfortunate error which could have happened to anyone. For luckless Lloyd, however, it was yet another misdemeanour to add to his lengthy charge sheet. In an apology which appeared to lack genuine contrition, Russell-Moyle even complained that criticism of his carelessness was intended ‘to muddy the waters on the actual salient issues’.
Previously a local councillor, Lloyd Russell-Moyle represents the Kemptown constituency in Brighton, the modern-day madhouse where he was born and has spent most of his 33 years, which probably explains a great deal. In the neighbouring constituencies, Hove is also held by Labour (Peter Kyle), while Brighton Pavilion has unfortunately become the fiefdom of Caroline Lucas, the Greens’ goddess who, among her many risible utterances, last year seriously proposed an ‘emergency Cabinet’ comprising only white women opposed to Brexit.
Added to which, 39 of 54 Brighton & Hove councillors are either Labour or Green. Formerly infamous for its seaside seediness, Brighton was memorably described by Keith Waterhouse as ‘a town that always looks as if it is helping police with their inquiries’. Today, the earnest Lefties who dominate the city are more likely to urge Sussex Police to prosecute their opponents for politically incorrect hate crimes.
Interestingly, BBC One recently screened the film adaptation of The Damned United, David Peace’s imagined and controversial account of Brian Clough’s turbulent stint as manager of Leeds United for just 44 days in 1974. In one of many fictitious scenes, Michael Sheen’s Clough tries and fails to persuade assistant Peter Taylor (Timothy Spall) to leave Brighton & Hove Albion for Yorkshire. Disparaging the ‘blue-rinse retirement home by the sea’, Clough admonishes his sidekick: ‘You’d sooner fester down there with all those bloody Tories.’
The film features chain-smoking, vast sideburns and garish 1970s wallpaper; Brighton being belittled for its preponderance of ‘bloody Tories’ is almost as dated a reference. It is difficult to comprehend that Brighton & Hove used to be solidly Tory and that Conservative MPs were entrenched in all three parliamentary constituencies until the Blair landslide of 1997.
Narrow Conservative successes in 2010 and 2015 were false dawns and Kemptown fell to loopy Lloyd in 2017 (thanks, Theresa). Last December Russell-Moyle increased his vote share to 52 per cent and now enjoys a comfortable majority of 8,061.
His plan to ‘rout [sic] out’ from right-on Brighton the remaining Tories – ‘we know where they live’ was his menacing message – therefore appears to be working. Already indulged by his new leader, Kemptown’s crackpot is here to stay, the embodiment of the malevolent Left.