Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

New Split in Labour Against the Witch-hunt as Grassroots Black Labour Leaves.

with 8 comments


New Split After “difficulties encountered on the LAW SC”

Official statements from: Grassroots Black Left leaves LAW

Marc Wadsworth and Deborah Hobson of Grassroots Black Labour have decided to part company with Labour Against the Witchhunt to concentrate on GBL.

GBL’s statement announcing their withdrawal

Grassroots Black Left has decided to withdraw its representatives from the Labour Against the Witchhunt steering committee. GBL will continue to work with individuals and organisations in the fight against unjust Labour Party suspensions and expulsions, as long as they respect the important principles of black self-organisation and self-determination.

We will vigorously resist any attempts to make GBL subordinate to the will of individuals and groups who choose to misuse their power or positions. While recognising the good work LAW has done, particularly by its local activists who have helped GBL, Jewish Voice for Labour and the Labour Representation Committee make the #Justice4Marc national speaking tour a success, difficulties encountered on the LAW SC have made it impossible for us to stay on that body.

A broad-based, non-sectarian, mass campaign against the purge is desperately needed by all those comrades affected by it. GBL notes many of the victims have been black people, Muslims and Jews. They must therefore be at the heart of the fightback. GBL is totally opposed to anti-black racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. But we deplore the cynical weaponisation of false accusations of anti-Semitism, which have undermined the genuine fight against racism and support for the Palestinians. When the targets have been black, including GBL member Marc Wadsworth, this has damaged much-needed unity between black people and Jewish people.

We recognise the main objective of the right wing, who have been driving the purge, is to attack Jeremy Corbyn’s progressive leadership of the Labour Party. Appeasement and capitulation is not the best way to defeat them.

GBL will continue to work with JVL, LRC, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, Red Labour, supportive LAW groups and others committed to stopping the purge, getting Marc reinstated by Labour and the Shami Chakrabarti report recommendations on the party’s disciplinary procedures implemented.

The LAW steering committee sent the following short reply

Dear GBL comrades,

We regret that Grassroots Black Left has decided, in its May 27 statement, to withdraw its representatives, Marc Wadsworth and Deborah Hobson, from the steering committee of Labour Against the Witchhunt. We hope that GBL and LAW can cooperate fully in campaigning against all unjust suspensions and expulsions of Labour Party members, including for the reinstatement of Marc Wadsworth.”

It was signed by remaining SC members Tony Greenstein, Stan Keable, Steve Price, Jackie Walker and Tina Werkmann (SC members are elected as individuals, not as delegates, by voting at membership meetings).


Grassroots Black Labour: Labour Party black sections reborn as a new movement (2018)

Grassroots Black Left is a new grouping aimed at revitalising black and ethnic minority participation. DEBORAH HOBSON reports from its parliamentary launch



Comment: One can only guess at the ‘difficulties’ involved but the name of the first individual (aka Monster Raving)  suggests one possible reason, another  is perhaps the involvement of Labour Party Marxists, that is,  the Weekly Worker.

The latter had got extremely hot under the collar with the Tendance and our allies all last week.

Now we know one of the reasons why they were so vexed with left criticisms of their campaign – not the principle,  the campaign.

Still LAW representatives have been busy, including, we hear, giving an interview on Iranian regime Press TV. 


Written by Andrew Coates

June 2, 2018 at 12:43 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Is this a re-run of The Popular Front of Judea versus The Judean Popular Front? Marc Wadsworth was and is a complete tosser who, as far as I know, has never done a proper day’s work in his life. First of all how is he black? I have seen him and I would describe him as of possibly ” Mediterranean” appearance. He seems to me to be one of those basically white people who are forever proclaiming their blackness and oppression rather like Lee Jasper whose mother and one of his grandmothers was white. You give credence to these charlatans and hustlers you are only after ego and money.

    Dave Roberts

    June 2, 2018 at 6:21 pm

  2. A bit of Kremlinology here, who are the Witchfinder Generals?

    Steven Johnston

    June 2, 2018 at 6:25 pm

  3. “You give credence to these charlatans and hustlers you are only after ego and money.”

    Dave, you mean like Momentum? Red faces all round for those that give that lot their hard earned dosh.

    Steven Johnston

    June 2, 2018 at 6:26 pm

  4. The problem is not this or that person – personally from what I’ve seen Wadsworth reminds me of my Glaswegian family more than anything else – but, apart from the hysterical ‘anti-Zionism’, the Weekly Worker strategy of ‘provocation- repression-recruitment”.

    Andrew Coates

    June 3, 2018 at 11:44 am

  5. Steven Johnston. Momentum never got a penny from me. What’s also interesting is how Jon Lansman that multi millionaire property developer and winkler of tenants isn’t updating his site Left Futures.

    Dave Roberts

    June 3, 2018 at 2:19 pm

  6. Dave, glad to hear it! Oh well, seems like Momentum has had it’s day. Surely no one believes in that “party within a party” any more.
    But why do this other group, Labour against the witch hunt call themselves that? Surely if it’s the Labour party who are carrying out the witch hunt, then they can only call themselves Labour party members against the Labour party witch hunt? What ever moniker they go by, they certainly haven’t brought unity to the party!

    Steven Johnston

    June 3, 2018 at 7:30 pm

  7. Thanks Boleyn,

    Make of this murky account what you will.

    “Marc arrived, objecting vocally to the locally agreed chair, Lee Rock (who runs Sheffield Left List, which organises the Labour left across all six Sheffield CLPs and had about 30 supporters at the meeting), and insisted on a particular black member of GBL and Momentum Sheffield chairing instead.

    However, the local LAW organisers objected to her, as at the January AGM of Sheffield Momentum she had been one of the instigators of a motion to exclude all non-Labour members – including, explicitly, those who had been expelled from the Labour Party for unjust reasons. The AGM motion was carried by a very small margin and now affects about a dozen former members. They can attend some (not all) meetings of Sheffield Momentum, but are not allowed to vote or be elected to any positions – ie, they have no membership rights. That would now, of course, include Marc Wadsworth.”

    “Huge credit to Jackie Walker, national chair of LAW, who pointed out very patiently how this local decision – which is almost unique among local Momentum groups – was in fact an integral part of the witch-hunt against the Labour left and that she would not accept any chair who had voted in favour of it. Lee Rock agreed to vacate his position and Jackie chaired the meeting instead. Marc, who still objected, decided at that point to leave the top table and made his contribution from the floor. As it turned out, it was a very successful meeting, with over 75 attending and excellent contributions from:

    Andrew Coates

    June 6, 2018 at 4:09 pm

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