While the majority of CLP delegates reject fast-track expulsions and the anti-left smear campaign, the right has the backing of the capitalist media. That, together with a conciliating leadership, gives them the upper hand, writes Peter Manson (this article first appeared in the Weekly Worker of September 26).
In the words of deputy leader Tom Watson, there is “a battle for the future of the Labour Party” going on. However, it is not about “factionalism”, as Watson claims, but the very nature of the party itself.
It goes without saying that as a key part of this battle the right has weaponised anti-Semitism – mainly by ludicrously equating anti-Zionism with “hostility to or prejudice against Jews”, but also by making numerous allegations of anti-Semitism that are just totally false. Take what happened at the Labour conference on September 22.
A suspended Labour member, Pete Gregson, had erected a banner, which featured a cartoon by Carlos Latuff. This portrayed Binyamin Netanyahu piloting a plane marked ‘The Lobby’, firing a “Defamation” missile and shouting “Anti-Semite!” at Jeremy Corbyn as he was speaking about “Palestinian rights”. Various pro-Zionists not only physically attacked the banner, but actually cut it in half – three times (after being quickly repaired), before the perpetrators were eventually apprehended. Even though two days earlier the police had said they could not see anything improper about it, eventually two officers removed the banner. Incredibly, Jeremy Corbyn tweeted soon after: “I’m disgusted that this banner was displayed near our … conference centre. We asked the police to remove it and I’m glad they did. This kind of anti-Semitic poison has no place whatsoever in our society.” Presumably Corbyn had been advised that it was bad PR.
Continue Reading “Witchhunt one of the key issues at Labour Party conference 2019”
The meeting was opened with a video produced by Real News USA which interviewed Richard Kuper, Jewish Voices for Labour, on the false accusations of anti-semitism. This provoked a good debate on the issue.
There was 18 people present from a wide range of Labour parties in Bham, the Black country and a comrade from Nuneaton. There was a report on the successful Bham LAW meeting on the 30th January with Marc Wadsworth, Jackie Walker and Naomi Wimborne-Idressi with 55 in attendance. The meeting had a good geographical spread with comrades from the Black country, Coventry, Nottingham and Birmingham and different ethnic minority communities were well represented. It was noted the two Birmingham Momentum groups refused to circulate details of the meeting to their supporters. The pro-Corbyn organisation refusing to defend Corbyn supporters who are facing false allegations and expulsions.
Steve Price, convenor of Midlands Campaign for Labour Party Democracy chaired the meeting and reported on cases of exclusions from the Labour Party in the West Midlands area. He hoped to attend at least part of the national LAW meeting in London on Saturday 24th March. It was reported that there was an important anti-racist mobilisation in Birmingham at 12 noon outside Waterstones on Saturday. Comrades were urged to attend and LAW leaflets would be available from the Bham StWC stall.
It was reported that 100+ LAW leaflets were distributed at a Solihull Labour Party social with John Mcdonnell as the main speaker on the 15th March.
It was agreed Marian Brian from Ladywood LP would be the secretary of Bham LAW and Aktar Khan from Nuneaton LP would be the assistant secretary. Steve Price and Andrew Thompson would continue to be the joint chairs.
In summing up the meeting Steve Price, chair of Bham LAW, noted the comment by veteran anti-racist campaigner Marc Wadsworth “You can’t call yourself a socialist if you don’t publicly oppose the witchhunt.”
In any other business there was a report on the campaign against the plans for the closure of the Bham City Council 14 Nurseries. There would probably be another lobby of the Council on the 22nd May but it was important we lobby the new Momentum Labour Councillors to submit a motion opposing the closure of the Nurseries to the June Labour Group meeting which would probably approve a cabinet recommendation to close them. It was noted that Labour Women were playing a very limited role in opposing these Nursery closures.
A collection at the end raised £9.98 which in addition to the collection at the 30th January meeting meant the total funds were £78.33.
PS. “The Jewish Chronicle” 23.3.18. reports that “The Board of Deputies president has called for the whip to be removed from the outspoken left-wing Labour MP who called for Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker to be readmitted to the party.” The MP was Chris Williamson who said it was a “real pleasure and a privilege” to be sharing a platform with Jackie Walker. Clearly a MP is a hero of many in Momentum is willing to defend Jackie and others unlike many Momentum supporters in Bham. I would propose we invite him to speak at our next Bham LAW public meeting.