Around 40 supporters (and a few witches) showed up today, January 23, to help us lobby the Labour Party NEC to demand an end to the witch-hunt against left-wing and pro-Palestinian Labour members. Expelled and suspended members (amongst them Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and Tony Greenstein) spoke to NEC members and lots of press. Continue Reading “LAW’s lobby of the Labour Party NEC”
Morning Star January 20 2020
Reporting about our open letter to Rebecca Long-Bailey, urging her to withdraw support from the Board of Deputies’ 10 Pledges
Daily Mail January 20 2020
Furious ultra-Corbynites blast Rebecca Long-Bailey after Labour leadership contender backs plan to fight anti-Semitism organised by ‘pro-Israel’ Board of Deputies of British Jews
Jewish Chronicle September 27 2018
At the entrance to the Liverpool arena, the JC saw scores of Palestinian flags being handed out to delegates ahead of the afternoon debate from a stall set up by the Labour Against The Witchhunt group – which has defended expelled far-left antisemites such as Tony Greenstein.
The Guardian September 27 2018
“The biggest downside to conference, it must be said, is all the pathetic conspiracism you can’t help but hear, epitomised by the persistent presence of such groups as Labour Against the Witch Hunt. At one of their events, Chris Williamson explained that party disciplinary action against antisemitism was “McCarthyism””
Daily Mirror September 25 2018
Anti-Semitism crisis is a ‘witch hunt’ plot to ‘topple Jeremy Corbyn’, expelled activist tells Labour party conference
Reports about Labour Against the Witchhunt’s first ever fringe meeting at Labour conference, September 23 2018
Labour’s rank-and-file members recognise anti-semitism smears for what they are, September 3 2018
Ken Loach nails it, as do Jewish Voice for Labour, Labour Against the Witch Hunt and Camden Momentum members meeting outside Labour’s national executive committee meeting (NEC) tomorrow morning.
Camden New Journal September 1
No conciliation for Stan Keable
LAW at the ‘Biased Broadcasting Corporation’ protest, August 7 in the Daily Mail:
Corbyn’s local Labour branch joins anti BBC protest
On our lobby in support of Marc Wadsworth at his expulsion hearing, April 25 2018:
RT February 24 2018
George Galloway interviews Tony Greenstein
About Tony’s expulsion from the Labour Party; Jeremy Corbyn’s role and the future of the Labour Party
Jewish Chronicle February 21 2018
Naz Shah and Clive Lewis among Labour MPs who attended event organised by activists facing antisemitism claims
On the parliamentary launch of Grassroots Black Left, which was attended by leading LAW members
The Electronic Intifada February 17 2018
Labour apparatchiks smear Black activist in “anti-Semitism” witch hunt
On Marc Wadsworth’s case
Daily Mail February 4 2018
Boyfriend of Labour MP is accused of sending ‘abusive and racist’ tweet to Jackie Walker
“Labour Against The Witchhunt, a group chaired by Ms Walker, tweeted: ‘Hi Stella. What do you think about this troll and his racist outburst. We believe he is your partner?’”
The Times February 2 2018
Labour’s antisemitism is worse than it looks
“At a meeting of Labour Against The Witch-Hunt this week, the filmmaker Ken Loach said that Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary, “didn’t distinguish herself” when she praised Israel as a beacon of freedom.”
The Times January 31 2018
George Galloway to sue Momentum founder Jon Lansman in Israel spat
“The row erupted after the film director Ken Loach criticised Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, for praising Israel. He was appearing on a panel alongside Labour Party members suspended over alleged antisemitism. At the meeting of Labour Against the Witch-hunt, which defends the left wing of the party, on Monday in London, Loach, 81, said that “sadly, Emily Thornberry didn’t distinguish herself” when she praised Israel last autumn as a beacon of freedom.”
Daily Politics show, BBC2, January 23 2018
Interview with Jackie Walker, chair of LAW (Youtube clip)
Despite being frequently interrupted by the presenter, Jackie managed to demand a swift end of the witch-hunt against left-wing and pro-Palestinian members. She also clarified that the witch-hunt is not orchestrated by Jeremy Corbyn, but is a campaign by the right in the Labour Party AGAINST him and his supporters.
Jewish Chronicle, January 23 2018
MP accuses Jackie Walker of ‘fantasy’ over claim she is being targeted by Israel
‘Report’ of our NEC lobby on January 23 2018
Spectator blog, January 22 2018
Labour Against the Witchhunt welcome Corbynista’s appointment as chair of Disputes Panel
Jewish Chronicle January 19 2018
“Hard left power grab spark new Labour fear”
Click here for the PDF
Jewish Chronicle January 19 2018
“Labour hearing into activist who abused Jewish MP postponed indefinitely” (on the case of LAW supporter Marc Wandsworth)
Jewish Chronicle, January 19 2018
Claims of a witch-hunt or smear campaign are a ‘new threat’ to combating Jew-hate in the party
Weekly Worker January 18 2018
“Democratise the party”
The election of Christine Shawcroft as chair of Labour’s disputes panel gives some hope that Jeremy Corbyn and his allies might finally put an end to the witch-hunt, says Carla Roberts of Labour Party Marxists
Daily Mail January 17 2018
“Labour anti-semitism probes could be axed as far-left takes control”
January 18 2018 House of Commons Hansard (in the speech of Tory MP Andrew Percy:
“… We have to be honest that we have a new threat: the new smear that anti-Semitism is being used as a cover for other things or as part of a witch hunt. I do not wish to step into party politics too much, but it is important that in debates like this we call out campaigns such as Labour Against the Witchhunt, which has called for
“the immediate lifting of all suspensions and expulsions from Labour Party membership which were…connected to the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign.”
This is a minority—the vast majority of Labour party members and people in politics throughout the country have no truck with any of this—but let us remember what some of those suspensions have been for. They have been for people who have claimed that Judaism is not a religion but a crime syndicate; people who have called holocaust education in schools a holocaust indoctrination programme; people who have questioned what good Jews have done; and people who have claimed that the Jews financed the slaved trade and who attacked Holocaust Memorial Day—the very day we are debating and respecting today. We have to guard against those who seek to spread this new smear against anti-Semitism, in the strongest way we can.”
I was notified this evening that my hearing of the disciplinary charge that has been presented by the NEC against me will take place on Saturday 27 January 2018, starting at 12 noon, at a venue in Oxford, details of which will be confirmed shortly. Needless to say, I will keep you posted.
As I have already made clear, I am not going to make any attempt to reason with those who are determined to seize every opportunity to sabotage the Party and stifle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. They have most magnanimously granted me permission to be represented by a lawyer but I will be represented by myself – and not only because I can’t afford hiring the services of a high-powered member of the legal trade. The bubble of a show-trial like this can only be bursted if the accused become accusers- and that is precisely the show which yours truly intends to stage there. To accuse an Israeli-born Jewish convert to Christianity, a son of Holocaust survivors of being an ‘anti-semite’ is mind-bogglingly Kafkaesque (mother survived Auschwitz and Theresienstadt concentration camps and father managed to flee his hometown and join the Red Army 24 hours before the invading Germans reached his hometown. Their respective families were annihilated by the Nazis).
As you all know, this is part of the Party’s (allas, still relentless) right-wing to mount resistance to Labour’s return to its Socialist roots – and labelling any criticism of the State of Israel as ‘anti-semitism’ is an essential ingredient in this dish. The coalition of right wingers within Labour and certain stake-holders outside the Party have identified fake antisemitism a convenient method to tarnish the Labour Party. It is high time to put the kibosh on these machinations. Especially as today’s NEC election results reflect clearly and distinctly the Party’s will.
I intend to make all of this (and beyond) very clear to the honorable adjudicators. Even if it costs me my Labour membership.
And I know I shan’t be standing there alone.
On the very same day that LAW’s honorary president Moshé Machover was expelled from the Labour Party, so was Michael Paling. But, unlike Moshé, whose expulsion had to be overturned by a successful international campaign, comrade Paling remains expelled. Mike was a member of Redcar CLP prior to his expulsion. The MP there is the notoriously anti-Corbyn, Progress-supporting Anna Turley.
As his email to Moshé explains (see below), his ‘offence’ was sharing posts which included articles from Weekly Worker. His Facebook timeline is full of posts he has shared, most of them have nothing to do with the CPGB or LPM. He was obviously targeted as an active trade unionist. They were amongst many such posts that he shared on Facebook. We need to put an end to this McCarthyism.
Mike Paling has been expelled under Chapter 2.I.4.B of the Labour Party’s rules which states:
“A member of the party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour Group or unit of the Party or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member, subject to the provisions of part 6.I.2 of the disciplinary rules”.
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- The JLM encourages the adoption of the International Holocaust Memorial Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-semitism, with all its accompanying examples, several of which equate antisemitism with criticism of Israel. The IHRA definition has been challenged by Jewish groups and legal experts.
- The Chakrabarti report, commissioned by the Party leadership, argued against “narrow anti racist training programmes (p22)
“On reflection, and having gauged the range of feelings within the Party, it is not my view that narrow anti-racism training programmes are what is required. There is a grave danger that such an approach would seem patronising or otherwise insulting rather than truly empowering and enriching for those taking part. Instead, the Party’s values, mission and history could be firmly embedded in more comprehensive activism and leadership education designed to equip members”
Instead, we urge branches and CLPs to invite a speaker from an organisation like Labour Against the Witchhunt or Jewish Voice for Labour, to address issues like ‘Why anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism’ or ‘How to stop the witch hunt against the pro-Corbyn left’.
I have been asked to distribute this to people and ask them to submit the following to the Democracy Review at firstname.lastname@example.org. It has to be in by Friday 12th January 4pm.
I am also enclosing the Grassroots Black Left (GBL) criticism of Momentum owner Jon Lansman’s proposals on BAME. They are very critical of the fact that Lansman has wound up all the liberation strands in Momentum and is in the process of winding up the Youth Section as well.
Here is the link to Lansman’s Open Letter with which the GBL agree. At the moment BAME is in the hands of the Right and is a rotten borough which excludes 99% of Black and Asian members of the Labour Party.
The Grassroots Black Left proposals reject the term BAME as a white term. In particular they reject the concept of ‘ethnic minority’ which is ill defined and can include people who are not oppressed. They call for a Labour Party Black Socialists group with 2 representatives, not one as Lansman proposes on the NEC. They also call for an annual not a biannual conference.
If you agree with the Grassroots Black Left Proposals can you please submit them in your own name, with your membership number attached and contact details by tomorrow January 12, 4 pm at the very latest.
Thank you, Tony Greenstein
Please accept this as my submission to the Labour Party Democracy Review. I request an acknowledgement of receipt.
According to the Guardian’s Rajeev Syal Democracy review may put Keith Vaz’s position on Labour NEC at risk, fewer than 800 members voted for Keith Vaz as the BAME NEC member in August, despite an estimated 72,000 black and minority ethnic members. This is unacceptable. As presently constituted BAME Labour appears to be a self-selecting elite club which is not open to the vast majority of Black and Asian members of the Labour Party. As presently constituted some 1% of Black and Asia Labour Party members are members of BAME Labour and yet they elected Keith Vaz as the BAME member of the National Executive Committee. It is clear that as presently constituted BAME Labour is a rotten borough. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader was supposed to lead to a wind of change, not a consolidation of the undemocratic practices of New Labour. The old undemocratic institutions of New Labour need to be overthrown. Continue Reading “Grassroots Black Left Submission to Labour’s Democracy Review”
Dear Brother and Sister,
January 12 2018
Until very recently the political balance on Labour’s National Executive Committee meant that decisions concerning suspensions and referrals to the NCC appeared to be rubber stamped.
Following today’s elections of a further 3 constituency members it is widely hoped and expected that there will now be a socialist majority on the NEC. From now on there is no longer an excuse for the witch hunt of socialists.
Nothing can be more ludicrous than the suspension of poet Kevin Higgins for writing a satirical poem about Tony Blair. It is only the most oppressive countries that persecute poets. Nothing can be more unjust than members left suspended, often for months, without information as to charges against them, without regard or due care for the effect this has on members lives and reputations.
We know of a number of members in this situation who have been put at risk of severe depression and suicide.
As you know, at the present time the cases of Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth are going to the NCC. Nothing can be more absurd than a socialist party seeking to expel Jewish, Black and life-long anti-racists for the ‘crime’ of having upset the supporters of Zionism & Israel.
The fact that these suspensions are so avidly reported by Britain’s most racist tabloid press – the Daily Mail, Express and Sun – gives the lie to the suggestion that these suspensions have anything to do with ‘anti-Semitism’. Does anyone seriously believe that papers which employ Richard Littlejohn, Katie Hopkins et al are seriously concerned about anti-Jewish racism?
Shami Chakrabarti, in her Report recommended that ‘The Labour Party should seek to uphold the strongest principles of natural justice, however difficult the circumstances, and to resist subjecting members to a trial by media.’ Eighteen months later these Chakrabarti proposals have not been applied in any meaningful way to the disciplinary process. Members being processed by the Compliance Unit have been subject to repeated leaks to the media, in a clear breach of the Data Protection Act.
We call for a freeze in all disciplinary actions as and until the Chakrabarti Report’s recommendations on due process and natural justice in regard to the disciplinary process have been debated and implemented.
Jackie Walker – Chair, Labour Against the Witch-hunt
Tony Greenstein – Vice Chair, Labour Against the Witchhunt
Notes and Decisions
Venue: (Cost £50) Union Tavern, 22 Lloyd Baker Street WC1X. The original venue, Calthorpe Arms, had cancelled our booking after spurious warnings of trouble between rival groups promoted by Guido Fawkes, The Independent and The Times.
Attendance: roughly 60 people, including comrades who had travelled from all parts of England and Wales.
A proposal from Graham Durham of no confidence in Tony Greenstein as chair was defeated overwhelmingly.
LAW Vice-chair Tony Greenstein chaired the debate on the Steering Committee motion for the exclusion of anti-Semites from LAW, including Socialist Fight. LAW Chair Jackie Walker chaired the rest of the meeting.
Steering Committee motion CARRIED by approximately 34 votes to 16.
Gerry Downing motion LOST overwhelmingly, by a similar vote.
Gerry Downing motion: “This meeting rejects the motion to expel Socialist Fight from LAW and rejects the accusations of anti-Semitism against them.”
(Tony Greenstein’s report of the debate and the meeting as a whole is available here)
After the votes on the two motions, a few Socialist Fight supporters left the meeting, respecting the decision of the meeting that they were excluded from LAW. Some of those who had voted against the exclusion of SF stayed in the meeting, and remain in the campaign. The meeting moved on to plan the development of the campaign.
Steering Committee report: LAW Secretary Stan Keable reported progress so far, and forthcoming events.
- Mobilise for pickets of disciplinary hearings
- Compile a list of those suspended or expelled from Labour without due procedure.
- Write to Labour NEC: Is Chakrabarti being implemented with respect to current disciplinary cases? What is the basis of these hearings?
- Provide model motions for CLPs, Labour Party branches, TU branches, etc.
- Write to every Labour NEC member: why we are picketing the NEC meeting ( Jan 23), “Drop the charges”.
- Actions to “embarrass” NEC members and the Labour leaders, and Momentum.LAW individual membership: £10 waged, £5 concessions.
- Produce a LAW leaflet for use at events, eg Jackie’s The Lynching.
- Add immediate implementation of Chakrabarti to the LAW submission to Labour’s Democracy Review.
- Organise a telephone tree and a Whatsapp group for urgent mobilisations.
- Moshé Machover is LAW Honorary President. Other prominent names to be invited to be Sponsors or Hon Vice Presidents. Eg, Miriam Margoyles, Alexei Sayle, Kate Osamor, etc.
- To circulate a Moshé Machover letter: “Join LAW, affiliate to LAW”.
- Sally Eason elected to Steering Committee.
- LAW Bank Account needs more than one signatory, to ensure funds are not lost if one signatory disappears.
- Next members meeting: Saturday March 3, 1pm to 4pm, Union Tavern.
- A collection of £146.60 was taken.
* Grassroots Black Left launch meeting, 6:30pm, February 7, House of Commons.
David Watson, Labour Party fundraising coordinator for the Walthamstow constituency in northeast London, was suspended for unspecified “breaches of party rules.” The Jewish Chronicle – a Zionist weekly newspaper which has been a main cheerleader for the campaign branding Labour a hotbed of Jew-hatred – gave an “Exclusive” tag to its May 6 report alleging that Watson had been suspended because of antisemitic Facebook posts.
For more info on this case, click here.
To sign a petition calling for his reinstatement, click here.
Poet Kevin Higgins has been suspended from the Labour Party for over 18 months, apparently for writing this satirical poem about the Blairs. For background to this case see here.
What Did The Politician Get His Wife?
after Bertolt Brecht
And what did she get, the girlfriend,
from the student union meeting
at which he rose to his feet
and realised he could speak?
From that meeting she got
the Snickers bar he forgot to eat
so busy was he watching them listen;
and that speech, unabridged,
every other night for thirty five years.
And what did she get, his new wife,
from the time he first used a party
conference microphone to agree with both sides?
Those okay with the Moslems/Mexicans/Gypsies being here,
and those who want them kept over there.
From that microphone she took away their
invitation to dine with the Deputy Mayor
and his not new wife.
And what did she get, his no longer new wife,
when, at the second attempt,
he won that seat on the City Council?
From his election she got to drink Pinot Noir
and go swimming in their private club
with the no-so-new wives
of those who got the contracts
to make the paving stones and install
the pay-and-display ticket machines
during his years as Chairman
of the relevant committee.
And what did she get, his well-maintained wife,
the night he was elected to the big shiny
parliament? From that night she took away
an architect to re-design their new three storey pad
in the priciest possible part of the capital,
and an article about herself
in the Daily Express lifestyle pages.
And what did she get, the no longer new MP’s
no longer new wife, the morning
they made him Minister?
That morning she got to go horse riding
with the Leader of the House of Lords’
fourth (or fifth) wife..
And what did she get, the no longer new
Cabinet Minister’s wife, the night the landslide
made him Prime Minister? That night
she got to hold to her breast
invitations to break foie gras
with the Sultan of Brunei, the President of China;
and the chance to write husband’s speech
announcing the crackdown on beggars
who accost hard working
families who stop to ask for directions
en route to the nearest funeral parlour.
And what did she get, the ex-Prime Minister’s
no longer new wife, from all the depleted uranium shells
he had dropped during the Battle of Basra, all the soldiers
he sent to meet improvised explosive
devices in far Mesopotamia in the hope
of getting rid of something bigger
than the beggars and prostitutes
at Kings Cross. For these she got
white night terrors
of him on trial for all their crimes,
and the desire to never again
look out the front window of their fine
Connaught Square house
at the tree from which, it’s said,
they used to once string
Model Motion to Labour NEC
Review suspensions policy
This branch/CLP notes the August 9 report by online political news journal Skwawkbox revealing the Information Commissioners Office ruling that Labour headquarters cannot trawl through members’ social media accounts for disciplinary purposes, as this was a breach of the Data Protection Act, because, as a ‘data controller’ under the act, it does not have permission from the members to use their data for that purpose.
We recognise that in the past two years, particularly during the Labour leadership contests of 2015 and 2016, a number of Labour members were suspended, excluded or expelled from the party. There is a great deal of evidence that many of these members and applicants were treated as such for unclear and sometimes seemingly arbitrary reasons, and often without the transparent, time-limited process based on natural justice, recommended by Labour’s Chakrabarti report into anti-Semitism and racism.
We deplore the malicious and vexatious accusations against Labour Party members and others that has resulted in their suspension from the party. And, while these accusations have sometimes been overturned, they caused a great deal of distress to the individuals involved and damaged their reputation and standing within the party and the wider community.
We call on the NEC to review the suspensions policy so that, except in exceptional circumstances of credible accusations of hate speech, violence or threats of violence or intimidation, all outstanding exclusions and suspensions should be lifted and this course of action publicly supported by the party leader.
(please not that this article first appeared on the website of Labour Party Marxists – all links refer to that site)
The expulsion of long-standing Israeli socialist Moshé Machover from the Labour Party (expulsion letter here) caused shockwaves throughout the labour movement. We feature the motions and statements in support of Moshé and against the ongoing witch hunt by the right in the party.
On October 5, Moshe received a second explusion letter, which states that “These allegations [of anti-Semitism] are not subject to an investigation as you are not currently a member of the Labour Party.” They will probably be kept on file, should his expulsion based on his “clear support” for LPM be overturned. This is arbitrary, to say the least.
Clearly, the mass protests against the outrageous decision worked: On October 30, they were forced to – very reluctantly – reverse their own decision and Moshé has now been reinstated to full membership.
Click here to read the correspondence between comrade Machover and Sam Matthews, “head of disputes”.
Labour Party branches and CLPs
- Sheffield Hallam CLP
- Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP
- Hexham CLP
- Hampstead and Kilburn CLP
- Stoke Newington Labour Party branch
- Otley & Yeadon branch (Leeds North West CLP)
- Broomhill & Sharrow Labour Party branch (Sheffield Central CLP)
- Larkswood & Valley Labour Party Branch (Chingford and Woodford Green CLP)
- South West Central Labour Party branch of Oxford East CLP
- St Michael’s Branch Labour Party, Liverpool
- Mapesbury Branch (Brent Central CLP)
- Sherwood branch (Nottingham East CLP)
- Wanstead Branch (Leyton and Wanstead CLP)
- Queen’s Park branch of the Labour Party (comrade Machover’s branch)
- Cam, Dursley and Berkeley branch of Stroud CLP
- Ecclesall Labour Party branch, Sheffield
- St. Georges Labour Party branch
- Hoxton West Labour Party branch
- Haggerston Labour Part branch
- East Dulwich Labour Party branch
- Herne Hill Labour Party branch
- Bethnal Green Labour Party branch
- West branch Hastings and Rye Labour Party
- Kilburn Labour Party branch
- Holme Valley North Labour Party branch
- Highams Park Labour Party branch
- West Hampstead and Fortune Green Labour Party branch
Other organisations and individuals
- Sheffield Momentum
- Swansea Bay Momentum
- Camden Momentum: 2 motions
- Statement by the Labour Representation Committee
- Merseyside Pensioners Association
- Brighton and Hove UNISON Local Government Branch
- Statement by the Jewish Socialists Group
- Hands Off the People of Iran
- Statement by Kevin Ovenden: Everyone should stand up for Moshe Machover
- Free Speech on Israel: Article by Mike Cushman
- Statement by Jewish Voice for Labour
- Article by Bob Pitt
- Article by The Electronic Intifada
- Jonathan Cook: Article 1 (October 4) and Article 2 (October 5)
- Tony Greenstein in the Weekly Worker