Politics

‘A moderate socialist’

twenty-eight quotes by and about
Christine Shawcroft
councillor Tower Hamlets 1985–98
member of the Labour Party’s NEC 1999–2018


‘It’s thirty years since we were defeated. We can’t be defeated again. If we don’t do it this time, it will be thirty more years before there’s a similar resurgence of the left.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2015) [i]


‘If you ignore the grass roots, you can get out of touch.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2007) [ii]

‘Improving the environment is high on our list of priorities. We need to safeguard the health of children and the elderly.’ – Christine Shawcroft (1994) [iii]

‘What London needs is a change of emphasis away from the car. Funds currently planned for road building should be directed towards improving the existing public transport network.’ – Christine Shawcroft (1994) [iv]

‘I think we have to restore ownership in a way that people really feel it truly belongs to them.’ – Christine Shawcroft (1996) [v]

‘The best way of being tough on crime is, I think, by making sure stolen property is returned to its rightful owners – starting with privatisation.’ – Christine Shawcroft (1996) [vi]

‘We cannot be the only party not to have a debate on Iraq.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2003) [vii]

‘We welcome John McDonnell’s commitment to a leadership debate based on the policies, not the personalities. We note his long-standing support for workers’ rights, a peaceful foreign policy, publicly owned services, progressive taxation, an emergency council housing programme, a living wage, and civil liberties.’ – round robin letter signed by Christine Shawcroft (2010) [viii]

‘While we cannot ignore the concerns of anyone struggling and feeling insecure in a country that still has huge but concentrated wealth, we cannot pander to anti-immigrant sentiment in a race we cannot win and should never want to.’ – round robin letter signed by Christine Shawcroft (2017) [ix]

‘I think we should bear in mind that having cups of tea might actually be the best kind of system of defence and national security that you could have.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2016) [x]


‘Christine Shawcroft has managed to serve two terms on Tower Hamlets council while raising a family and being a highly respected schoolteacher in Newham.’ – Ken Livingstone (1999) [xi]

‘I support public ownership of the utilities, railways and air traffic control; also the index-linking of pensions to average earnings. I oppose PFI schemes for schools, hospitals and the London Underground. I support the readmission of Ken Livingstone to the Labour party.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2001) [xii]

‘My NEC colleague Christine Shawcroft regularly comes near the top of the biennial one-member one-vote elections for what is supposedly Labour’s ruling body. But she is not even deemed acceptable as a candidate for Tower Hamlets council, never mind parliament. “You might disagree with Labour group policy in the future,” she was curtly told.’ – Mark Seddon (2005) [xiii]

‘I don’t think if you speak on a platform that someone else also speaks on, that means you support those people.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2018) [xiv]

‘Christine Shawcroft told the gathering in Mile End that she was “proud to be standing here in support of democracy in Tower Hamlets and in favour of Lutfur Rahman”.’ – The Times (2014) [xv]

‘The whole weight of the British establishment seems to be crashing down on Tower Hamlets for no other reason than that it had the temerity to elect a Bangladeshi mayor. It is just disgusting, absolutely disgusting.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2015) [xvi]

artwork-christine-shawcroft


‘When Tony Blair was leader I had to put up with it.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2016) [xvii]

‘Christine Shawcroft criticised both [Ed] Balls and Ed Miliband, the party’s former leader, for being too pro-austerity. She went on to joke about Mr Balls: “I don’t know what he is doing these days,” which was reportedly met with laughter.’ – Financial Times (2015) [xviii]

‘Al Capone was brought down by tax evasion. If this is what brings [Tony Blair] down, I don’t mind.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2006) [xix]

‘I consider myself to be a moderate. I’m a moderate socialist. I consider Jeremy Corbyn to be a moderate socialist.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2017) [xx]

‘There’s a democratic deficit in the Labour Party, where the structures of the party don’t reflect the support for Jeremy Corbyn that has been shown by the mass of the membership.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2017) [xxi]

‘Ms Shawcroft argued that Jeremy Corbyn had not been given “enough time” to develop polices and outlined the issues of renewable energy, nationalisation of the railway and pay inequality.’ – Watford Observer (2016) [xxii]


‘Ann Black’s brilliant – a radical voice for ordinary members on the NEC with an awesome work rate. The idea of the Corbynite Left trying to undermine her is outrageous. If true it would confirm what I’ve always feared: our party completely taken over by and for a Leftist clique.’ – Tony Robinson, shortly before Black was replaced by Shawcroft as chair of the NEC’s Disputes Sub-Committee (2018) [xxiii]

‘Ann [Black] is a friend of mine and I have nothing but respect for her work in the party, but I’ve got as much right to stand in a democratic election as she has. This whole thing is a storm in a tea cup.’ – Christine Shawcroft (2018) [xxiv]

‘NEC member Christine Shawcroft later suggested that councillors could lose the Labour party whip if they pressed ahead with the scheme, called the Haringey Development Vehicle.’ – Evening Standard (2018) [xxv]


‘Nothing would induce me to support a candidate from a major trade union, they stick it to the rank and file members time after time after time. It’s also time to support disaffiliation of the unions from the Labour party. The party belongs to us, the members.’ – Christine Shawcroft, Facebook (2018) [xxvi]

‘Christine Shawcroft is a member of the Labour party. The clue is in the name. We are the party of labour, founded by the trade union movement. Her proposals for disaffiliation aid the most backwards forces in our society and she should withdraw them.’ – Len McCluskey (2018) [xxvii]

‘As I understand it, the comments made by the person you are talking about were a heat of the moment remark. She has said that herself, she has deleted the comment.
‘I don’t think it even represents her view, let alone the views of the vast majority of Labour party members.’ – Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesperson (2018) [xxviii]


see also:

artwork-chris-williamson-square
Chris Williamson

[i] Guardian 4 October 2015

[ii] Nottingham Evening Post 20 February 2007

[iii] Times 21 September 1994

[iv] Times 22 October 1994

[v] Guardian 1 October 1996

[vi] Times 1 October 1996

[vii] Birmingham Post 29 September 2003

[viii] Guardian 21 May 2010

[ix] Guardian 10 January 2017

[x] Financial Times 21 March 2016

[xi] Independent 26 May 1999

[xii] Guardian 16 May 2001

[xiii] Guardian 16 March 2005

[xiv] Times 29 January 2018

[xv] Times 13 November 2014

[xvi] Sunday Times 26 April 2015

[xvii] Daily Mirror 11 July 2016

[xviii] Financial Times 29 July 2015

[xix] Evening Standard 21 March 2006

[xx] Today (BBC Radio 4) 20 March 2017

[xxi] Evening Standard 20 March 2017

[xxii] Watford Observer 14 September 2016

[xxiii] Daily Telegraph (web edn) 16 January 2018

[xxiv] Evening Standard 17 January 2018

[xxv] Evening Standard 24 January 2018

[xxvi] Guardian (web edn) 7 March 2018

[xxvii] ibid.

[xxviii] PoliticsHome 7 March 2018

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