The legacy left by the trade unions, Ramsay MacDonald, Nye Bevan, Tony Benn, George Galloway, Dennis Skinner, Chris Williamson and Jeremy Corbyn has been squandered away to appease the right wing, apologists for Israel.
The Labour Representation Committee was formed in 1900 and after winning 29 seats in the 1906 General Election, became the Labour Party. It was formed by socialist groups like the Fabian Society coming together with the trade unions. Ramsay MacDonald (pictured above) was the first Labour prime minister in office in 1924, and again in 1929 – 1935. MacDonald was determined that the party should have a broad, national appeal. He wanted the party to be firmly progressive, committed to individual freedom, and to the securing of power through existing democratic, parliamentary methods. By the 1945 general election Labour had a focused programme: a welfare state, selective nationalisation and full employment. In 1948 the National Health Service was formed and this was and still is the jewel in Labour’s crown ( from A Brief History of the Labour Party by Dr. Jeremy Nuttall March 2019 )
I have given you a very brief history of the beginnings of the Labour party so you can see what has been lost in the last 4/5 years since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour party and the campaign of hate and manufactured allegations of anti-Semitism. In my opinion the campaign of hate and anti-Semitism smears began with Joan Ryan (then Labour MP for Enfield North) and Shai Masot an Israeli diplomat based at the Israeli Embassy in London. They were secretly filmed conspiring on how to take down certain British MPs and the film was shown in the four part AlJazeera documentary ‘The Lobby‘. Joan Ryan is the Chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) a pro-Israeli group in which you do not have to be a member of the Labour party or Jewish to join. She embarked on a campaign of manufactured anti-Semitism allegations against Corbyn and Labour party members which lasted several years up until her resignation from the Labour party in February 2019. In her resignation speech she continued with her campaign of hate and accused Corbyn of demonising and delegitamising Israel and stated that a government led by Corbyn “would be an existential threat” to the Jewish community.
The campaign of hate and manufactured anti-Semitism claims continued and in fact snowballed into what has become known as the ‘Labour anti-Semitism crisis’. This was the beginning of the eventual end of what was, for a while, a powerful voice for the working class and non-elitists … all achieved under the honest politics and policies of Jeremy Corbyn. Israel was not happy about the thought of Jeremy Corbyn forming a government, in my opinion this is because they knew if he became PM it would mean an end to military aid to Israel and Palestine would gain the support it deserves and needs.
Sadly Israel had and still has many allies within the Labour party the main one being Margaret Hodge MP for Barking and member of LFI. Margaret Hodge was embroiled in a child abuse scandal going back to the 1980s when she was head of Islington council. It appears that she was aware of child abuse that happened at care homes she was responsible for but took no action. She received shares in a family company from a foundation based in a tax haven which is complete hypocrisy when you consider that as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee she was viewed as a fierce critic of tax avoidance. After the referendum in 2016 Hodge attempted a coup against Corbyn but did not get the backing she needed so she began a campaign of manufactured anti-Semitism claims against Corbyn, the left wing and supporters of Palestine.
Hodge started to get really nasty in her campaign of hate against Corbyn. In July 2018 she screamed “You’re a f*cking antisemite and a racist!” at him after the party amended it’s definition of anti-Semitism in which the NEC adopted the IHRA working definition. Corbyn also soundly defeated her in a debate about Labour’s Clause 4 (the public ownership clause) in 1995, which in this writer’s opinion was the start of Hodge’s antipathy towards Corbyn. Despite Hodge refusing to apologise to the Labour leader for her defamation of him, Labour dropped the inquiry. Labour claimed she had expressed “regret” to the then chief Whip Nick Brown, Hodge denied this and Labour still let the matter drop. This was by no means the end of her campaign against Corbyn; in March 2019 she made a secret recording of a meeting she had with Corbyn, without his permission, and she passed the recording to the Sunday Times. Corbyn accused Hodge of a complete abuse of trust and privacy for her actions. Again Labour took no action against her for this betrayal of trust and privacy.
In May 2019 Margaret Hodge committed an outright breach of Labour policy when she wrote an article in the Times advising readers to ” Vote for a pro-EU party,not mine” According to Labour party membership rules (Rule 4 B), any member “who joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the Party” will “automatically be ineligible to be or remain a Party member”. Despite this obvious breach of the aforementioned rule and despite complaints from other Labour party members, once again Labour took no action against her. This complete disregard of the rules in favour of a member who had broken the rules on more than one occasion shrieks of favouritism and party bias, and certainly, for this writer, it was the beginning of the end for what had been a party “for the many not the few”.
I know the main body of this post has been devoted to two people but they are people that I consider key to Corbyn stepping down as leader and the demise of the once socialist Labour party. There are others that are key and they too will get a mention but by this time the manufactured smear campaign had turned into a full scale witch hunt. One of the first Labour party members targeted was Jackie Walker, a black Jewish woman who was vice chair of Momentum when Labour suspended her in October 2016. Jackie was suspended for comments she made when attending a Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) training session. This is the comment for which she was suspended and the JLM amongst others sought her expulsion from the Labour party, “in terms of Holocaust Day I would also like to say, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all peoples who have experienced holocaust?” JLM campaigns officer and Labour councillor Adam Langleben filmed Jackie during the training and the Daily Telegraph published a story attacking Jackie with the intent of having her suspended from the party. In 2019 director Jon Pullman released a documentary called WitchHunt. On the web page for the documentary it states “In 2015 while the far right was gaining ground around the world, socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the UK Labour Party in a landslide victory. Accusations of antisemitism within the party immediately began to circulate. Well-known anti-racists and left-wing Jews, such as Jackie Walker, were amongst the chief targets”. Jackie was interviewed for the film and spoke about her experience of being suspended and it opened peoples’ eyes to what was happening to members within the Labour party. Jackie was expelled by Labour in March 2019, the group Jewish Voice for Labour called her expulsion “a travesty of justice” and a “shameful conclusion” to a flawed process.
Labour MP for Derby, Chris Williamson booked a room in parliament to screen WitchHunt. The small pro-Corbyn group Jewish Voice for Labour was to host the screening. He was ‘dressed down’ by chief whip Nick Brown and told to cancel the booking. That was the beginning of the smear campaign against Chris and all because he defended a fellow Labour party member who was also a fellow anti-racism activist. Footage also emerged of Chris addressing a Momentum meeting in Sheffield and he is reported as saying the following when he said that Labour had been demonised over the issue of anti-Semitism, “I’ve got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that. Because, in my opinion, we’ve backed off far too much, we’ve given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic.”. In February 2019 Chris was suspended by the Labour party over his remarks at the Momentum meeting. He was very briefly reinstated in June but was suspended again after a few hours due to an outcry from fellow MPs including Ruth Smeeth (another member of LFI). Chris resigned from the Labour party in November 2019 after the NEC failed to lift his suspension which meant he could not run as a Labour candidate in the general election. He then decided to run as an independent on a Socialism platform.
This leads me to why I am writing this article. Two weeks ago I was expelled for retweeting a crowdfunder for Chris Williamson. The reason given was that I had broken the membership rule 4 B, ironically the same rule that Margaret Hodge broke and that I wrote about earlier. The thing is, the crowdfunding appeal was for his legal battle and nothing to do with the general election. I have not and will not be contesting my expulsion because I do not want to be in a party that favours millionaire members like Margaret Hodge over working class members like myself and others who have also been expelled for the most spurious of reasons, especially a party that is supposed to be for the working class. There currently seems to be a purge of left wing members going on within Labour, most especially those left wing members who also dare to criticise Israel and its occupation of Palestine. More and more Twitter users are telling of how they have been expelled from Labour and the flimsy reasons for why they have been expelled. Writer and blogger Asa Winstanley who writes about what is happening in Palestine was suspended about 18 months ago and last week he announced he had resigned from Labour. In the article he used to announce this he wrote “I did so to protest the party’s illegal mishandling of my private data, and because it is using its complaints system to conduct a political purge of members who support Palestinian rights”. And there it is … the recognition of the reason for Labour’s current purge. Corbyn is stepping down as leader in April and the choices we are left with for new leader do not instil much in the way of confidence that the party will once again be a party “for the many, not the few”.
Here is a litany of the others who, in my opinion, have contributed to the manufactured anti-Semitism claims, the WitchHunt and Corbyn stepping down:
Margaret Hodge, Joan Ryan, Ruth Smeeth, Ian Austin, John Woodcock, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes ( all current or ex- Labour MPs); Jewish Labour Movement (under leadership of Mike Katz); Labour Friends of Israel (under leadership of Joan Ryan); Sussex Friends of Israel (started by Simon Cobbs and Fiona Sharpe); Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (Chairman Gideon Falter); Labour Against Anti-Semitism ( under leaders Euan Phillips, Joanne Bell and Nicole Lampert); Gnasherjew a group of social media trolls and doxxers (John Arnott, Ray Baker, David Collier, Ambrosine Dipshit and others); Rachel Riley (Z list celebrity) and her followers; Jewish Chronicle (Editor Stephen Pollard) and other members of social media, the Labour party and mainstream media and the name behind it all is of course ISRAEL
I know this has been lengthy and perhaps tedious but it needed to be written. The opinions are my own and I have cited resources when used. Comments welcome but please be polite.
- Chief Rabbi, Mainstream Media and the smears against Jeremy Corbyn (Guest post by Peter Gregson Chairperson of LAZIR)