As experienced activists in the Labour Party, we knew that the right in the party was plotting against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters from day one. We knew, because we were the victims of their wrongful suspensions, their expulsions and their public smears and lies, all based on the flimsiest of evidence.
The report now gives us irrefutable proof of the plotting and outright sabotage committed against Corbyn and the hundreds of thousands who joined the party to fight for socialist and democratic change. It is a crying shame that this report was produced only in the last days of Corbyn’s leadership. It is based upon primary evidence showing serious wrong-doing by senior party officials. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the left to radically transform the Labour Party and achieve progressive change was ruined by the right in the party.
At the same time, supporters of Corbyn were vilified and slandered, their voices silenced and their votes reversed. Unfortunately, it appears that this was sometimes done with the knowledge and occasionally even with the participation of the Corbyn leadership, such as in the expulsions of Jackie Walker and Chris Williamson. Click here to read the full statement produced by the LLA and Labour Against the Witchhunt.
LAW and the Labour Left Alliance are collating and publishing witness statements, original documents, useful articles, statements and analyses on the report. It is important that the left learns some important lessons from the hugely successful campaign against Corbyn, orchestrated by the right inside and outside the Labour Party: Chiefly that attempts to appease the right are not only futile, they will inevitably lead to self-inflicted disaster and defeat.
Comrade Machover was briefly expelled himself – here is his first expulsion letter, which was followed by a second expulsion letter, before he was reinstated after an international outcry. Click here to read the full exchange between Moshe and the disgraced Sam Matthew, then head of ‘Disputes’.
“But the report does not reflect too well on its authors and on the political friends they champion. In fact, they broadly share with the scoundrels whom they denounce the same view of the validity of the accusations that the Labour Party has a serious anti-Semitism problem. They also wilfully ignore two of the three sources of hostility to the Corbyn leadership, which fuelled and motivated the campaign of alleged ‘anti-Semitism’ against this leadership and the party as a whole. I will deal with these two interconnected failures of the report in turn.” – Weekly Worker
Moshe Machover’s brief expulsion was in fact based on this article defending Ken Livingstone (whose suspension and vilification were as absurd as his own):
“What did he [Ken Livingstone] say that got him suspended? Hitler came to power in 1932 and “supported Zionism until he went mad”. Of course, he got the date wrong, Hitler came to power in 1933. It was also wrong to personalise the shift in policy. But the point he was making about the Nazi regime and Zionism is basically correct, as I shall demonstrate.” – Labour Party Marxists
“The report does conclusively refute the accusation that delays were occasioned by Jeremy Corbyn or his office, or that his office displayed any sympathy for anti-semitism. In fact, the opposite is the case. Corbyn’s office showed a proper hatred of anti-semitism, but also an alarming willingness to throw good people under the bus on very flimsy allegations of anti-semitism. pp306-7 The report shows a serious inability to distinguish between real, nasty anti-semitism and opposition to the policies of Israel. Furthermore, this is the attitude of the authors of the report themselves who in many scores of examples take for granted that the accusations of anti-semitism are sufficient to consider the case proven, and accept a number of specified opinions as proof of anti-semitism which are anything but.” – article
Anne Mitchell is an activist in Brighton and Hove, a lifelong antiracist with strong feelings on the Israel-Palestine conflict in particular. She is a well-known local Palestine Solidarity activist. She was expelled from the Labour Party last October, without a hearing, solely on the “self-evident” basis of a small number of postings on social media. It was a bizarre process and an appalling judgment.
As Richard Kuper from Jewish Voice for Labour shows below, nothing in what Anne Mitchell posted justified a charge of antisemitism, let alone expulsion. – article
Asa, a journalist for the respected Electronic Intifada, was suspended and then resigned before a hearing took place. He writes about the report that “…it reveals the extent to which Corbyn and his supporter, party general secretary Jennie Formby, conceded ground to the Israel lobby and the false narrative of rampant Labour anti-Semitism. After Corbyn, a lifelong Palestine solidarity campaigner, became leader in 2015, pro-Israel groups relentlessly attacked him and his supporters as anti-Semitic. This defamation campaign ultimately succeeded. The “crisis” was a top focus during the 2019 general election, and polling showed that Corbyn’s mishandling of it was one of the top five reasons for voters not supporting Labour. The Israel lobby declared victory, with one group claiming to have “slaughtered” Corbyn.” – Electronic Intifada
Chris is of course one of most famous victims of the witch-hunt and was sadly thrown to the wolves by Jeremy Corbyn and Jennie Formby who accused him in an email featured in the report of “a pattern of behaviour”. He has shown his own evidence to a small number of media outlets: “What emerges from his evidence is a picture of someone who, far from being antisemitic, is a principled anti-racist campaigner. Williamson’s support for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, left-wing Jewish Labour supporters, and Palestinian rights is unwavering.” – Canary
One of the first anti-racist campaigners to be expelled in the witch-hunt against Corbyn, Tony has written an excellent two-part analysis of the report – part 1 dealing with the racism and the sabotage of the right; part 2 dealing with the efforts of Corbyn’s office to throw anti-racist campaigners like Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone and Marc Wadsworth to the wolves in a futile attempt to appease the right.
Greg is a well-known activist in Brighton and was elected secretary of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party, but the votes annulled by NEC. He was suspended Oct 2016 and re-instated Feb 2019. He is publishing his evidence in installments – click here.
Jewish Voice For Labour
JVL has produced a detailed analysis of over 150 claims made by the Jewish Labour Movement in their late submission to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in support of their charge that the Labour Party discriminates against its Jewish members when dealing with allegations of antisemitism. The executive summary of the analysis has been made available to the public.