Who exactly is Chelley Ryan and what does she represent?

The wretched Skwawkbox blog, as ever representing the most craven and regressive forces within the apolitical Corbyn fan club, is presently promoting an open letter to Tom Watson, penned by one Chelley Ryan:

 “One of the likely reasons we have lost support over Brexit, is because many MPs like yourself, refuse to put the case for our sensible compromise position”

An open letter to Tom Watson about his behaviour regarding Brexit – condemning it, detailing the damage it is causing and reminding him that he does not speak for Labour’s membership – has been signed by almost 1,200 Labour members in just three days.

The letter hits hard from the beginning, informing Watson of members’ “ever growing disgust” at his conduct and telling him that many Labour members object on principle to his attempts to railroad them and the party’s leadership into a position that would be an affront to the democratic socialism that Labour represents.

It reminds Watson that Labour is not the party of Liberals, who hold working-class voters in contempt – and that Labour cannot and must not adopt an anti-Brexit position that would make a mockery of it’s standing as the party of the many, let alone one that would inevitably cost the party the general election win that the many so desperately need.

Here we have all the familiar tropes of the apolitical and largely middle class Corbyn fanclub and their Stalinist, pro-Brexit handlers:

  • That to oppose Brexit is “liberal”, holding the working class “in contempt”
  • That (despite all the evidence), Labour’s members support “constructive ambiguity”
  • That because the likes of Tom Watson advocate a clear pro-Remain position, it is therefore a right wing stance.

All these propositions are demonstrable nonsense and fly in the face of Labour’s 2018 conference policy (which was itself a bureaucratic fudge designed to appease but effectively neutralise the overwhelming pro-Remain and pro-public vote wishes of the membership).

But who, exactly, is this Chelley Ryan, self proclaimed “ordinary”, “working class” Labour party member who claims to have voted Remain in 2016 (OK: I’ll take her word for that), but to now be repelled by the approach being taken by those seeking to oppose Brexit.

Well, we know that she has a blog, is a prolific tweeter and gets her stuff published in the Morning Star quite frequently, where she is billed (and/or describes herself) as an “ordinary”, “working class” Labour member.

A couple of quotes tell us a lot about this “ordinary” “working class” salt-of-the earth Corbyn supporter; here’s the first:

I’ve been a member of numerous Corbyn supporting Facebook groups for several years. In all that time I have not seen one threatening, anti-semitic or racist remark. So how have I missed all the virulent, vile abuse making the headlines at the moment? I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, and I condemn it where it does…

…To which one can only respond, “If, in all your years in the Labour party, you’ve never seen any such abuse, what makes you accept that it may exist and why are you condemning it?”

Then there’s this (also published in The Morning Star, April 28 2019):

To make it crystal clear, I won’t be voting for the Brexit Party. If a party has Farage in it, I could not vote for it. I’m Labour and will be voting Labour as long as it has a socialist leader.

And I understand why people are angry with Galloway and feel he’s legitimising Farage with his decision, though arguably you could say a left presence in this new party might water down some of the Farage narrative the way the Blairites in our party water down ours…”

…To which one can only respond, “Why, as a loyal Labour member, would you want to see a ‘left presence’ in the Brexit party and how do you think such a presence could possibly water down the ‘Farage narrative’?” And just in case anyone thinks Chelley’s apparent tendresse towards the Brexit Party and the renegade pseudo-leftist George Galloway, is just a matter of one clumsily-worded blog-post, here’s what she tweeted:

These Blairites pointing fingers of judgement over George Galloway backing the Brexit Party, are the same MPs who backed the Tories austerity programme before JC came along. I want the Brexit party to contain diverse voices from left & right so it’s not just the Farage show”

It is, of course, quite possible that Chelley is not a conscious agent of Skwawkbox, Murphy, Milne and all those bent upon undermining the internationalist, anti-racist instincts of the vast majority of the Labour party’s membership. She may, indeed, be a useful idiot.

Frankly, I don’t really care. The important thing is to defeat these reactionary forces and ensure that at this year’s Labour conference there is no fudge and we come out clearly for Remain and a new Public Vote.


11 thoughts on “Who exactly is Chelley Ryan and what does she represent?

  1. I refuse to put the case for what I do not want
    since I have no access to where I’s like to put it,
    it’s a sort of replaying hot air machine overloaded with rant
    and in good Glaswegian well enough classified stewpit.

    the best idea I have is to set it handy
    like the rugby ball for the conversion kicker’s boot,
    run at it like a rooster on fire and randy
    and swing a claw to send it on the standard route

    back whence it tried to come and still in its shell
    work inside the silly bird as duly fertilised
    to emerge fully formed and easily recognised
    as a project which will not do terribly well —
    the chicken which laid it might yet be a but chicken
    Lord, help us should the soup we’re in together thicken!


  2. Anybody who is so out of touch that she denies “the overwhelming pro-Remain and pro-public vote wishes of the membership” is bad enough, but this bit….

    “These Blairites pointing fingers of judgement over George Galloway backing the Brexit Party, are the same MPs who backed the Tories austerity programme before JC came along.”

    I was once introduced to a left wing meeting in London as “Galloway’s worst enemy on the left.”

    From the back of the dusty hall a voice from a Fedora came, “Not while I’m around laddie”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But the vote was to leave the EU. What part of that don’t you get? Help me out as I’m struggling here.
      Yes, the leave side told lies but so did the remain side too. The voters were clever enough to see through their lies and voted for what they wanted. It’s patronising and insulting to suggest otherwise. Either you believe in democracy or your don’t. So maybe they should also tag you “Democracy’s worst enemy on the left” too?


      1. Wasting your time Steven. Jim thinks anyone who disagrees with him is stupid and a racist. The fact that the EU is corrupt and dictatorial he dismisses. The Capitalist EU onslaught against the Greek working Class to make them pay for the crisis means nothing to Jim Denholm. I wonder why he uses the word Socialist.!


  3. Well Glesga, if the Morning Star can say it is for “Peace & socialism” why can’t Jim?

    NB The Morning Star actually is for war and state capitalism.


      1. How patronising and insulting it is to those who voted to leave, to be labelled racists and that they feel for the lies of the leave camp. The fact that they saw through the lies of both the remain and the leave camps and still voted leave is something he just can’t accept. As for being racist, was Michael Foot a racist for wanting to leave the EEC in ’83? Was Major anti-racist for singing the treaty of Maastricht?


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