Tendance Coatesy

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As Labour Against the Withchunt Collapses in Infighting: “Third-Camp Stalinoids bring Witchhunt into ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ (that’s enough Witchhunts ED)

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Witch Hunters themselves, say Socialist Fight.

Amongst the eternal classics of the workers’ movement, As Soon as this Pub Closes stands tall.

A dog-eared copy exists in the Coatesite archives.

It opens with this,

THE entrance to the conference hall is nearly deserted. The delegates have retired to adjacent hostelries to sink enough pints to allow them to sleep through the afternoon debate, so most literature sellers have taken a break.

Only two groups remain. One, the Spartacist League, are chanting ‘General Strike Now’, while another, the International Communist Party, try to drown them out with ‘Build the ICFI’ – International Committee of the Fourth International to the uninitiated. Do they hope to convert each other? Or myself, the only other listener? Surely not, but each feels that the first to leave would be chicken. I am glad my daughter is not in sight as she is probably warm and dry – on the other hand, she has my coat. Resisting the temptation to raise my own slogan – ‘Smash neo-Kantian revisionism!’ – I leave both groups to the sardonic screaming of the gulls. The rain drizzles from a lead-grey sky as I walk to the station. ‘So what’, you may say, ‘I never did care for Brighton.’ However, the two groups, and their rivals who have gone to lunch, form the core of organised British socialism. If a bureaucrat temporarily wakes from his slumber during the afternoon and feels any guilt about applauding the hypocritical rhetoric coming from the platform, he has certainly in his youth been a supporter of one of the socialist groups. This work is to be commended for providing the uninitiated with a guide through the labyrinth.

Yet the Tendance considers that even John Sullivan would find it hard going navigating this one.

Breaking news from our Ace reporters…

Hold the Front Page: anti-semites not to be expelled!

To our considerable relief and greatly to the credit of those attending the meeting, the proposal to exclude Socialist Fight from the Labour Against the Witchhunt campaign, made by the three members of the executive, was rejected. In fact, two votes were held effectively on the proposed exclusion, one was closely lost and one slightly different but in effect the same was tied, therefore also falling. Our own broader motion was lost 5 votes for, 8 against and 8 abstentions.

In the interests of getting LAW on an even keel, we are not going to go into more detail. But we do note that SF supporters were the only organised left tendency present arguing for a non-exclusionist united front campaign of the entire Labour Left against this witchhunt, with the only real condition for participation being a complete, principled opposition to all exclusions of the people on the left. Outside of that, there should be no exclusions of any left-wing current from the campaign.

We in Socialist Fight welcome this victory for working class norms of democracy and will do everything we can to build LAW as such a principled united front campaign, aimed precisely at broadening the space in the Labour Party for political and programmatic debate, including over contentious questions involving political Zionism and the Middle East.

Once the issue of our non-exclusion was resolved, there were some useful discussions on among other things organising a LAW public meeting in January in London, with another one planned for Birmingham on 30th Jan also. There were some important debates about the wider Labour Left and the witchhunt; the meeting voted to withdraw support from Ann Black as an NEC member nominated and supported by the left who has participated enthusiastically in the witchhunt, and to demand a wider repudiation of Ms Black by the left.

There was a powerful speech by Grassroots Black Left activist Mark Wadsworth, a Labour member and long-time anti-racist campaigner who was outrageously suspended by Labour for ‘anti-semitism’ for challenging the collaboration of right-wing MP Ruth Smeeth with the Tory media at the Labour press conference on the launch of the Chakrabarti Report into antisemitism on 30 June 2016. The comrade’s address drew considerable applause. A model motion for Labour Party bodies, coming from the Grassroots Black Left, containing a very powerful attack on the unlawful trawling of social media by the witch hunters, was approved by the meeting. We will reproduce it later when we have the text.

LAW resolved to meet monthly; we will hold the next meeting in early January. And the interim executive was expanded to include Steve Price of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and Deborah Hobson of the Grassroots Black Left, making a broader-based five-strong executive.

Seek ‘Safe Space’ from real Anti-Imperialism/Anti-Zionism

It would seem absurd in the middle of a campaign against socialists in the Labour Party, for part of the left, itself under attack with suspensions and expulsions, to refuse to defend others and imply that some socialists really are worthy of expulsion. Such behaviour would surely be regarded as grotesque treachery by any class conscious worker.

Apparently three members of the Steering Committee of ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’, an organisation that has held one national meeting (on October 21st) have decided that Socialist Fight, one of only two organised Marxist trends at the initial meeting, are to be excluded. A statement to this effect was published in the Weekly Worker of 23 November..

Socialist Fight (SF) finds the weak point in the arguments used by this crew. Why exclude the AWL for their hostility to all forms of anti-semitism, including a left-wing version, when they’ve got rid of their groupuscule on the grounds that it is ‘anti-semitic’ (in reality, informed sources suggest that the reason is that SF is seen by even committed ‘anti-Zios’ as too wild, a tactical rather than principled decision).

So apparently the AWL are unwelcome, not for their actions, which our intrepid three cannot quarrel with in principle judging by the above, but for their ideas. Conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and thus believing in ‘left-wing anti-Semitism’ which is apparently a ‘myth’.

But if ‘left-wing anti-semitism’ is a ‘myth’, how come Socialist Fight is being excluded on the basis of the same myth? For two of the three signatories of the above statement are fellow-travellers of the Weekly Worker/CPGB, supporting its allied group in the Labour Party, known as Labour Party Marxists, as is comrade Keable, or a years-long sympathiser and contributor, as is comrade Greenstein. It is not clear where comrade Walker stands with regard to this, but she appears to concur with them in any case, so the question is abstract.

Consistency is not the CPGB’s strong suit. Their anathema against our analysis of the role of Jewish bourgeois in the diaspora in bolstering Israel’s strength in the older imperialist countries goes back to 2014, when one of our now-leading members was driven out of the CPGB-initiated ‘Communist Platform’ in Left Unity, before the Corbyn movement emerged. That anathema stated that our comrade had to be driven out because..

We leave it to Cds to read the rest, though this stands out as an indication of how fast this lot are disintegrating,

This would be too ‘anti-imperialist’ for the CPGB, whose cowardice here is similar to their flinching over the witchhunt against Galloway over Iraq in 2003-04. We submitted our motion on 19 Nov. On 22 Nov we received the following communication from Stan Keable on behalf of the three-person rump steering group of LAW (Pete Firmin, the fourth member, had resigned due to difficulty in working with some of the others).

Pete is, unfortunately for Donovan, a real human being and a genuine democratic socialist…..

Not to mention this,he CPGB are sabotaging the potential of Labour against the Witchhunt to unite socialists in Labour against the witchhunt. They actually are trying to turn it into a confessional sect, in their own terms. We would actually have no objection to working even with the Alliance for Workers Liberty in a body like LAW, provided they were prepared to defend all victims of the Labour bureaucracy against the right. Of course, this is a big if. But ideological proscriptions, based on spurious smears, in a body whose purpose is to unite the left against a witchhunt, indeed amount to sectarian sabotage. Even more so when the ideological proscriptions are incoherent and self-contradictory, as demonstrated above.

Observers may feel that Donovan has a point.

How can Greenstein go on claiming that there is no such thing as left wing anti-semitism, or, in a weakened form, that the charges of anti-semitism against  people in the Labour Party are trumped up ‘Zionist’ fabrications and then go on to exclude poor old Gerry and Ian for anti-semitism?

There is more to this spicy soup – we leave it to others to relish the attack on Hal Draper – on grounds one can guess…..

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the author of this text, one Ian – International Jewish bourgeoisie – Donovan suggested that George Galloway lead the campaign.

  • The claim that left-wing anti-semitism is a ‘myth’ appears accepted by all sides of this barney and is the bone of contention.
  • The claim that there is a “witchhunt” against Socialist Fight.
  • None of them accept the findings of the Chakrabarti Inquiry, in particular ” Labour members should resist the use of Hitler, Nazi and Holocaust metaphors, distortions and comparisons in debates about Israel-Palestine in particular.”
  • This puts them at odds with Labour Party policy.
  • The whole crew are barmy.

Evidence, M’Learned Friends,

Greenstein’s Blog,

A Sense of Humour Failure – The case of the JLM’s Ella Rose
Ella Rose is a free transfer from the Israeli Embassy to the Jewish Labour Movement where she is now Director.  She played a starring role in the Al Jazeera undercover programme, The Lobby. She came across as a petulant, foul-mouthed, potentially violent young woman.  She threatened physical violence against Jackie Walker because ‘she’s like 5’2” and tiny’ and ‘’if it came to it I would win that’s all I really care about’ which is a perceptive comment on Zionism and its ideals.  In the course of her musings Ms Rose stated ‘I’m a Zionist, shoot me.’  To which I responded that it was tempting.

 

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14 Responses

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  1. The Joker

    December 3, 2017 at 2:25 pm

  2. And of course, mentioning the Peoples Front of Judea is a bit risky now

    David Walsh

    December 3, 2017 at 3:04 pm

  3. Isn’t it reasonable to oppose both anti-semitism and the weaponisation of anti-semitism by the Labour right?

    Eric

    December 3, 2017 at 3:11 pm

  4. David, you can mention whomever you want but be forewarned I will be reporting you to the Police.

    Snowflake of Judea

    December 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

  5. Nothing is reasonable with this lot.

    Andrew Coates

    December 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm

  6. I do not always agree with the AWL but consider them part of the rational left. Andrew you have some insight into their behaviour. Why did they get mixed up with no hopers as in Grass Roots Momentum and now LAW?

    Badger

    December 3, 2017 at 6:45 pm

  7. This is awful lot of space to devote to the goings on of three people Andrew. I hadn’t heard of Wadsworth for years, I thought he was dead.

    Dave Roberts

    December 3, 2017 at 11:36 pm

  8. “DAMIAN’S DOWNLOAD”

    WHILE OTHERS WORKED,
    HE JERKED AND JERKED,
    HIS ARM TO REACH HIS CLIMAX…….

    FOOD BANKS GREW,
    WHILE THIS MOTTLEY CREW,
    SELF PLEASURED WATCHING LEWD ACTS…….

    VIEWING SOMETHING BLUE,
    THE DISABLED SLEW,
    A BODY COUNT CAREFULLY HIDDEN…….

    THE PERVERT’S DREAM,
    UPON HIS SCREEN,
    CARE CUTS TO BEDRIDDEN…………

    COUNTING ATOS KILLS,
    TWISTED DAMIAN’S SPILLS,
    HIS HOBBY IN HIS TISSUE…….

    THE POOREST SCREAMING,
    WHILE DAMIAN CREAMING,
    A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE……

    IT’S NOW TIME TO LEAVE,
    WE DON’T BELIEVE,
    ANYTHING YOU EVER SAID…..

    SO UNPACK YOUR DESK,
    YOU’RE SO GROTESQUE,
    TO THE VOTERS THAT YOU MISLED……..

    TELL YOU’RE CHUMS,
    CONSERVATIVE BUM’S,
    WE’RE COMING FOR THE REST……..

    FOR THOSE WHO DIED,
    AND THE FAMILY’S CRIED,
    AND MILLION’S YOU OPPRESSED………

    TO SEE YOU HANG,
    WITH THE FUCKER’S IN YOUR GANG,
    FOR THE VULNERABLE THAT YOU SLAYED,,,,,,,

    Sarah7

    December 4, 2017 at 6:42 am

  9. Badger: The AWL is *not* involved in LAW.

    Jijm Denham

    December 4, 2017 at 7:32 am

  10. Andrew – can you give an estimate of the total numbers of people involved? Are we talking single, double or – heaven forfend – triple figures?

    Francis

    December 4, 2017 at 10:20 am

  11. They state, “5 votes for, 8 against and 8 abstentions.”.

    Their main demands, to be able to say that ‘Zionists’ are ‘Nazis’, to link ‘Zionists’ with responsibility for the Shoah and to be members of the Labour Party where they can have a platform for these views, are probably more widely shared.

    Andrew Coates

    December 4, 2017 at 12:33 pm

  12. Jim, Thanks for the correction.

    Badger

    December 4, 2017 at 3:30 pm

  13. Andrew Coates

    December 4, 2017 at 5:33 pm

  14. Corbyn=Armageddon if he gets a whiff of power. Back to the seventies? Nah, the seventies will seem like boom compared with what Crusty the Clown has in mind. If Crusty the Clown ever gets in there won’t be any money. McDonnell has vowed to borrow 50,000 Billion on day one. Making our currency worthless, just like their beloved Venezuela.

    Twilight Zone

    December 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm


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