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”
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.”
Letter sent to all member of the Labour Party NEC
15 January 2018
Dear NEC member,
We understand that the suspension of Syed Siddiqui is being considered by the NEC very shortly and we urge you to lift the suspension. We append a Case summary, and attach the relevant sections of the Rule book and the exchange between Mr. Siddiqui and Party Officers, leading now to a second complaint about how this issue has been handled.
As Mr. Siddiqui has been selected to stand for the local Council, it is even more important that it is addressed swiftly. We have 2 JVL committee members in this constituency who can attest to the falseness of the allegations and to the truth of the Islamaphobic comments addressed to Mr. Siddiqui.
We look forward to a speedy resolution of this matter.
Leah Levane and Jenny Manson
Co Chairs, Jewish Voice for Labour Continue Reading “The case of Syed Siddiqui”
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