Momentum are afraid to say what everyone knows – that the ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis was a gigantic hoax
The Hartlepool by-election result was not unexpected, even if the size of the 16% swing took most people by surprise. Analysis of 31 Red Wall seats makes grim reading.
Hartlepool is a good example of the problems Labour faces. Created in 1974 Labour gained 54.3% at the first election, reaching a high of 60.2% in 1997 before dropping precipitously to 40.7% in 2005 under Blair. It dropped to 35% in 2015 (Miliband) before recovering to 52.5% under Corbyn in 2017. In 2019 it dropped to 37.7%, still higher than under Ed Milliband. Under Starmer it has dropped a further 9%.
Dennis Skinner’s Bolsover seat and uber-Blairite Caroline Flint in Don Valley were much the same (click for details.)
Despite the malevolent and dishonest explanations of those like Tom Watson and Mandy Mandelson who put Labour’s defeat down to Corbyn’s ‘long shadow’ it is abundantly clear that the problem was the utter failure of the Labour Right to offer any answers to the problems of neo-liberalism – the destruction of whole industries, the cuts to the NH etc.
It was during the Blair years that Labour suffered its most staggering losses declining from 43.2% in 1997 to 29% in 2010.
There was a small recovery (1.4%) under Ed Miliband (with the loss of all but one Labour seats in Scotland!) and a gain of 9.6% under Corbyn in 2017, the highest swing to Labour since 1945.
Even the 32.2% Labour vote in 2019 was higher than Labour gained under Gordon Brown in 2010 and Miliband in 2015.
The evidence is crystal clear. What caused Labour to lose in 2019 was not Corbyn’s radical manifesto but the determination of the Labour Right that they preferred to see serial liar Boris Johnson in power than Corbyn.
Hodge, Tom Watson, Streeting, Mann and Austin (and Woodcock), acted as a fifth column. If Corbyn and McDonnell had shown just a hint of guts and expelled half a dozen of them it would have sent a signal to the coup-mongers that their days were numbered.
We were told by Jon Lansman, Momentum’s Fuhrer, that Labour suffered from ‘unconscious’ anti-Semitism. Proof – none! John McDonnell ran around like a headless chicken. Ken Livingstone said McDonnell advised him to apologise ‘because the Jews are a forgiving people.’ Chris Williamson has a similar story.
That you can’t form an alliance with the pro-capitalist, racist Right in the Labour Party is a lesson that has yet to sink in with Momentum and the Campaign Group. The Right has to be purged like they have purged us.
To those who say that Labour is a broad church I agree. But even the broadest church doesn’t tolerate non-believers and atheists.
It was under New Labour that PFI and private involvement in the NHS took off. Racism and hostility to migrants and asylum seekers was the norm. It was under New Labour that Britain went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It should have been a no-brainer that the Right’s ‘anti-Semitism’ offensive, in conjunction with the Tory Press, the Guardian, Board of Deputies and virtually every Establishment talking head (with few honourable exceptions such as Peter Oborne) was their chosen method of attacking the Left. It was as dishonest as it was all-embracing.
Today we see Tory MPs so concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’ that they call for the dismissal of Professor David Miller at Bristol University. What is it that motivates Tory MPs to protest about ‘anti-Semitism’ when they are silent over the continuing Windrush scandal or the daily discrimination Black British people face?
But it was not simply the Labour Right who lost Labour the 2019 election and who, under Starmer are determined to ensure that Labour faces electoral oblivion. The fault is equally that of the Labour left which failed to stand up to Tom Watson, Ian Austin and the Zionist lobby, and even adopted their narrative.
We were told by Jon Lansman, Momentum’s Fuhrer, that Labour suffered from ‘unconscious anti-Semitism’. Proof? None.
John McDonnell ran around like a headless chicken telling all the Zionists’ targets to back down. Ken Livingstone said McDonnell advised him to apologise ‘because the Jews are a forgiving people.’ The same for Chris Williamson.
There seemed no recognition that the threat of a Corbyn government frightened the ruling class and unleashed a tsunami of vitriol and lies about ‘anti-Semitism’.
What happened between 2015 and 2019 was one long dirty tricks campaign.
The Left made strategic mistakes. When Corbyn’s 2017 radical manifesto was leaked (thought to be Watson) against ‘strong and stable’ Theresa May, to the leaker’s shock it was met with enthusiasm.
The turning point for me was a crowd of 8,000 in Leamington Spa of all places. Nowhere more symbolizes Middle England than this county town.
Yet in his moment of triumph Corbyn and those around him snatched defeat from victory.
Corbyn should have immediately sacked Iain McNicol rather than allowing the slimeball to stagger on for months and truly buried the anti-Semitism fusillade. The Board of Deputies should have been called out for their support of Israeli snipers murdering Palestinian children, medical workers and unarmed protesters in Gaza. Instead Corbyn continued to appease the Right and betray his friends.
Neither Corbyn nor his friends and supporters understood the nature of the attack upon them. Corbyn himself reacted with pain to the accusations of anti-Semitism. He denied he was personally an anti-Semite while condemning it as vigorously as he could.
But the Zionist accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ simply meant that he didn’t like Zionism and Israel. The proper reaction to such accusations should have been both to condemn anti-Semitism, such as exists in the Labour Party and to condemn the egregious racism of Israeli Apartheid that the Board of Deputies supports.
Instead Corbyn turned on his friends as detailed in Labour’s Leaked Report.
We were all expelled or forced out yet what was the result? Was trust rebuilt? Of course not. Their real goal was the removal of Corbyn not the removal of Jackie Walker or Tony Greenstein. We were just collateral damage.
Which is why it was so absurd when Corbyn was suspended that the Momentum chair, Andrew Scatterbrain attacked the suspension as ‘undermining the fight against anti-Semitism’.
Scatterbrain and Momentum failed to understand that there never was a fight against anti-Semitism. It was always a fight against the left. That is why today there are dozens of Jewish Labour Party members suspended or expelled/forced out of Labour.
The anti-Semitism campaign was about making Labour a safe home for apologists for Israeli Apartheid.
The choice of Keir Starmer to be the Right’s standard bearer is no accident. His lack of anything approaching a personality is symptomatic of the whole of the Labour Right. They have nothing to say and no alternative to offer to Boris Johnson.
Starmer’s statement that he would take the blame for the election disaster lasted precisely one day before throwing the useless Angela Rayner under the bus! Since he is surrounded by a useless Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds and the equally useless Lisa Nandy as Foreign Secretary, he has a lot of bodies to bury.
The present Shadow Cabinet has all the impact of a wet paper bag.
Corbyn showed in 2017 that it was possible to halt the decline in Labour’s support in the Brexit heartlands of the North. Unfortunately he was incapable of facing down the Right.
Determined to appease his opponents Corbyn opposed the one hope of reigning them in, Open Selection. Having sealed his own fate Corbyn then went on to stab Chris Williamson in the back.
Perhaps most pathetic of all was Jennie Formby who saw it as a badge of pride that she had expelled so many people for ‘anti-Semitism’ under the fast track procedures compared to her predecessor. The only problem was that the more people she expelled the more she ‘proved’ that Labour did have an anti-Semitism problem.
Since nearly all of the people were expelled for what they said about Israel Corbyn and Formby did the Right’s job for them.
Starmer is unlikely to last long. The knives will be out for this dishonest knight without a trace of charisma. But whoever is put in his place will not find an answer to the leaching of support from the Red Wall seats unless they face up to and challenge Johnson’s neo-liberal politics and the austerity that will be come in the wake of COVID.
With the loss of the Red Wall in tandem with the loss of its 50 seats in Scotland, the Labour Party faces a dismal future. Just as Israel has no right to exist as a racist state, so the Labour Party has no right to exist as another conservative party. In France and Italy social democratic parties have all but disappeared. All over Europe social democracy is in retreat. There is no reason why Britain should be the exception.
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