Jeremy Corbyn was absolutely right in the comments that got him suspended: “One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents”. [echoes of Chris Williamson]
It is a real shame that he did not say so when he could have made a real difference to the civil war in the Labour Party
Unfortunately, it was the Corbyn leadership’s silence and complicity in the witch-hunt that made his suspension possible in the first place.
Hundreds of socialists and Corbyn supporters have been suspended and expelled for comments that often do not amount to much more than what Corbyn said.
We need to understand that the campaign by the right inside and outside the party was never about fighting antisemitism. It was always a campaign designed to get rid of Corbyn and make sure that the Labour Party becomes once again a safe “second eleven” that could run Britain on behalf of capitalism, and follow the US into any new military adventure.
Sadly, it appears as if Corbyn and his allies still do not understand this basic reality.
The six candidates supported by the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance in the current NEC elections have made sure not to mention the word ‘witch-hunt’, or propose any actions on how to stop it.
Corbyn himself has now become a victim of this “zero tolerance” approach he champions.
The fight for socialism is intrinsically linked to a culture of free speech and open debate on all issues – including, importantly, the question of Israel/Palestine.
Starmer is using the recommendations of the EHRC in order to purge the Left by removing the presence of a former leader.
The question is whether or not the Left responds by declaring war on Sturmer or, like Momentum makes a pathetic plea for unity with those trying to destroy it.
Some of thought that when Lansman’s cronies were defeated earlier this year by Momentum Forward that its politics might change.
Unfortunately Momentum Forward has continued where Lansman left off.
Yesterday they put out an appalling statement in reaction to Corbyn’s suspension in which they protested that
This suspension risks politicising Labour’s response to antisemitism.Momentum
Perhaps someone should tell Scatterbrain that anti-Semitism has been weaponised for over five years now. Starmer wants to destroy the left not unite with it!
Who do Momentum think Margaret Hodge, Tom Watson, Lucian Berger et al represent? The anti-racist left? Momentum pathetically plead that the suspension ‘should be immediately lifted in the interests of party unity.’
Where have these dunderheads been living? Starmer isn’t interested in party unity. He’s interested in driving out the left from the Labour Party. If Momentum don’t recognise this it’s because they are wedded to the same reformist illusions as Lansman.
Momentum’s co-chairs then go on to describe the EHRC Report in completely uncritical terms.
for many it will make for difficult reading. It concludes that the Labour Party complaints process for antisemitism is inadequate, and expresses concern that the current process does not ensure fair and transparent sanctioning of antisemitism complaints. It also finds unlawful acts to have been committed by former Labour Party agents.Momentum co-chair Andrew Scatterbrain
It is clear that whatever this year’s Momentum elections were about they were not about politics.
The EHRC is not an anti-racist body. Its Commissioners are taken from the corporate and banking world with the odd lawyer thrown in. It is an organisation of the liberal Establishment that has been mobilised to drive a wedge into the Labour Party using identity politics to disguise its purpose.
It is a body that has said next to nothing about the Windrush scandal, done nothing about the ‘hostile environment’ policy of the Tories, has said nothing about stop and search, refugees or institutional racism. Why? Because it is itself an institutionally racist body.
As Simon Woolley, a former Commissioner wrote that the EHRC doesn’t have a single Black or Muslim Commissioner. It is stuffed with liberal and corporate do-gooders.
I’ve been particularly stuck by the huge gulf between the EHRC and the new generation of young Black Lives Matter activists.Simon Woolley, former EHRC commissioner
The EHRC is utterly irrelevant to the victims of racism in Britain today. It is a body whose sole purpose is in incorporating and blunting the anti-racist message. It is as much our enemy as Boris Johnson.
Whilst we must oppose Corbyn’s suspension he is the author of his own misfortune.
When the EHRC first proposed its investigation it should have been vigorously opposed as an intrusion by a State body into a democratic political party.
What has happened is the kind of tactic used in police states. The State has effectively sought to neutralise a radical political party.
According to a Yougov poll for Hope not Hate, nearly half of Tory Party members oppose having a Muslim Prime Minister and more than two-thirds of Tory members believe the myth that parts of the UK are under Sharia law. 45% think some areas are not safe for non-Muslims. And if that is not enough nearly two-thirds of Tory members believe that Islam is a threat to western civilisation.
Yet the EHRC has fought shy of doing anything about this openly racist party led by someone who believes that Black people are ‘picanninies’ with ‘water melon smiles.’
Unlike ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party Islamaphobia in the Tory Party is part of its DNA. Yet this useless body has kept its mouth shut for fear of losing what’s left of its grant.
Corbyn, whose stupidity is beyond doubt, said nothing when what he should have done was to refuse all co-operation.
When two openly Zionist organisations, both of which are effectively extensions of the Israeli state – the Jewish Labour Movement and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism – made their complaints to the EHRC, Corbyn should have launched legal action to stop it in its tracks.
This is state interference in a legal party and a breach of Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights on freedom of association.
Realising that its previous statement was hopelessly inadequate Momentum issued another after a meeting. It was equally useless.
The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn by the Labour Party leadership is a factional attack on the left that inevitably undermines the fight against anti-semitism and makes a mockery of Keir Starmer’s pledge to unite the Party. Tonight our Party is more divided than ever.Momentum
When will the Scatterbrain and Gaya Sriskanthan get it into their heads that there has never been a fight against ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party? It has always been an attack on anti-Zionism and the Palestinians.
Every Letter of Investigation I have seen accuses people of anti-Semitism based on their comments about Israel, the world’s only apartheid state.
Does Scatterbrain really think that Tom Watson, Hodge and co. were really interested in fighting anti-Semitism? The same Hodge who was praised by the BNP for her housing policies? Or the same Tom Watson who ‘lost sleep’ thinking about the injustice of the High Court removing racist Labour MP Phil Woolas from the Parliament after running a campaign that aimed to ‘make the White folk angry’?
The ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign waged for the past five years was not about anti-Semitism. If it was then isn’t it strange that so many Jewish members have been expelled or suspended. Why should Labour MPs who voted to legalise torture be concerned about anti-Semitism anyway?
We know Starmer’s attitude to racism. Black Lives Matter is just a ‘moment’ whose time has gone. He believes in more funding for the racist Metropolitan Police. At a time of Black Lives Matter, stop and search, Windrush etc. the only form of racism that matters is ‘antisemitism’.
Jews in Britain are a privileged White community. To prioritise ‘anti-Semitism’ over racism against Black and Muslim people is itself racist.
Sure there is some antisemitic prejudice if you look hard enough, but as the EHRC Report concedes, most of it is in social media.
No one has ever died from a tweet but plenty of Black youths have died in police custody yet Starmer has nothing but praise for the police.
Growing up as a Jewish person in non-Jewish communities I never had to fear being attacked in the street. I didn’t have to hide from the deportation squads. My father wasn’t stopped when driving for being Jewish and handcuffed.
Jews in Britain are not oppressed. They are, for the most part, a prosperous middle class community. The days of working class Jewish communities are gone. The Jews of the East End have moved to London’s suburbs.
In short Jews do not experience state racism. They are the kept pets of Britain’s ruling class for whom it is a safe form of anti-racism.
The ‘antisemitism’ campaign was always about attacking Corbyn. Yet Momentum’s Scattergood/Sriskanthan believe that a campaign which only arose when Corbyn became leader is somehow being jeopardized by Corbyn’s suspension!
Momentum Forward and Lansman’s Momentum Renewal are peas in a pod.
If you want to read a decent statement on the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn then you can do worse than read the Morning Star’s Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension is a declaration of war. And you don’t win a war by asking someone trying to kill you to hold your hand!
What can we do?
Tomorrow, Saturday, Labour Against the Witch-hunt holds a public meeting with guest speakers Ken Livingstone, Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and me.
The following Saturday there is a similar line-up being organised with Asa Winstanley, Chris Williamson and me with Miko Peled, another ‘wrong sort of Israeli Jew’ chairing.
On Friday Brighton & Hove LLA hold a local anti-witch-hunt meeting. Starmer’s suspension of his predecessor is unprecedented. We should be clear about why we oppose it and where it came from.
Corbyn himself laid the basis for what has happened. His opposition to Open Selection at the 2018 Labour Party Conference and then his decision at the 2019 Party Conference to support ‘fast track’ expulsions, which we were assured were only for ‘egregious’ cases but which have since been used in EVERY ‘anti-Semitism’ case, laid the basis for his own suspension. Corbyn literally fashioned his own noose. However, just because someone is an idiot or a coward doesn’t mean he should not be supported!
The Labour Left Alliance have launched an Open Letter: Reinstate Jeremy Corbyn please sign it. (Please click the link.)
Labour Against the Witchhunt has also issued a statement ‘Reinstate Jeremy Corbyn’ as well as a model motion Reinstate Jeremy Corbyn! Stop the witch-hunt!
The gloves are off and anyone who thinks that by conceding to the lie that there was an ‘anti-Semitism’ problem in Labour that they are then going to gain a tactical advantage is seriously mistaken.
‘Anti-Semitism’ was the Right’s chosen weapon. It was never about anti-Jewish racism, hence why the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism was foisted upon the Labour Party.
In fact I am incorrect. It was Corbyn himself at the end of 2016 who unilaterally adopted the 38 word IHRA. Having spent his whole political life supporting the Palestinians, having been called an ‘antisemite’ countless times, he voluntarily adopted a definition whose only purpose was to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and define him as an anti-Semite.
Anti-Semitism was chosen as the method of attack precisely because it was not a form of racism but a means of denigrating opposition to the Israeli state and giving the Right some moral stature.
It fitted in well to the Left’s addiction to Identity Politics rather than Class Politics. Those like Momentum’s Scatterbrain and the rest of the NCG who think they can gain Corbyn’s reinstatement on the basis of adhering to the EHRC Report are fooling themselves and no one else.
As part of the new democratic order David Evans, Labour’s General Secretary has warned local parties not to allow members to discuss the EHRC Report.
It is crucial that local parties defy Evans, condemn the report and Starmer with it. That is what Momentum should be calling for not unity with the devil.
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