Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Labour Against the Witch-hunt Faces New Crisis over “member’s support for Holocaust denier.”

with 9 comments

Image result for tony greenstein and Pete Gregson

The “procedure that Peter faced has been wholly unfair..” Tony Greenstein.  January 2019

Last November in the Weekly Worker, a leading force in Labour Against the Witch-hunt,  ‘Carla Robert’ of Labour Party Marxists wrote,

Similarly ridiculous is the case of Edinburgh Labour Party member Peter Gregson, who is currently “under investigation”. We will not be surprised if Gregson is also either told to undergo the JLM’s pro-Zionism training and/or referred to the NCC.

Anti-Zionism and self-censorship

By no coincidence whatsoever Labour Against the Witch-hunt publicly declared,

LAW Statement: Lift suspension of Peter Gregson from GMB, stop investigation

Labour Against the Witchhunt calls on Labour’s NEC to reject the allegations of anti-Semitism against Peter Gregson, condemns his suspension by the GMB trade union and calls for the immediate restoration of his full membership rights.

But, spotters of LAW’s tortured inner workings will have noticed at the time,

Although Peter’s petition is a good idea, challenging Labour’s NEC to revoke its adoption of the IHRA definition, we cannot support it. Firstly, we disagree with some of its wording – eg, before it adopted the full IHRA definition on September 4, Labour did not allow “full freedom of speech on Israel”. On the contrary, the witch-hunt was in full flow long before that. Secondly, some of the formulations in Peter’s supporting documents internalise the racism of Zionist ideology, failing to distinguish clearly between the Zionist movement and the Jewish population, and attributing a non-existent collective political identity to “the Jews”, eg, “the Jews have so much leverage here [in the UK]”.

LAW leading light Tony Greenstein wrote in January,

Although Labour Against the Witchhunt didn’t support Peter’s petition because of problems with its wording we recognise that it represents a significant opposition in the Labour Party to the attempt to curtail if not abolish freedom of speech.

Of course the corrupt and racist GMB has never had freedom of speech. The regional barons ruled without opposition. The union exists primarily for the benefit of its highly paid officials not its membership. However even Roache and co. will have difficulty defending this particularly iniquitous decision. If Peter’s expulsion is not revoked then GMB members should join another, genuine trade union.

Shop Steward Expelled for ‘anti-Semitism’ by a Racist and Corrupt Trade Union

In March Labour Party Marxists (another hat for LAW to wear) were saying:

Reinstate Peter Gregson 

 It goes without saying that, while Gregson is not anti-Semitic, he can certainly be criticised for his eccentric politics – in the words of Jewish Voice for Labour, he is a “loose cannon”. For example, he admits that his initiative can be described as a “death-wish” petition, in that it is “sticking two fingers up to the NEC” by “brazenly breaking the IHRA rule”. He adds: “It is important now for more of us to come out and openly breach the IHRA, whilst never being anti-Semitic in the true sense of the word.”

Such brazen defiance is a matter of tactics, of course, but it must be said that in current circumstances it is not exactly a wise move. Firstly, the forces opposing the witch-hunt are extremely weak and are hardly in a good position to mount a successful challenge of this sort. Secondly, the “death-wish” petition does the right’s work for it by identifying hundreds of Labour members as easy targets.

Gregson also makes himself a target through his inappropriate choice of words. For instance, he has claimed that “Jews” in Britain have “leverage” because of what he describes as a general feeling of guilt over the holocaust. When this clumsy phrasing was criticised by JVL – surely it is the Zionists, not undifferentiated “Jews”, who would try to turn any such sentiment to their advantage? – he was not prepared to admit his error or change his wording. His response is: “… we suffer in the UK from holocaust guilt. Thus, all Jews have leverage, whether they want it or not, because all Jews were victims.”

However, we must not let this hold us back from defending him.He is a victim of a rightwing witch-hunt, aimed at defeating the left and regaining control of the party for the Blairites.

web-Peter-gregson

Now…

Emails reveal row within Labour Against The Witchhunt over member’s support for Holocaust denier

Pete Gregson insisted denier Nick Kollerstrom was ‘Holocaust sceptic’, and was condemned by fellow LAW member Tony Greenstein

Labour Against The Witchhunt (LAW) – which was launched to defend Labour activists accused of antisemitism – has been rocked by a bitter rift over one of its member’s open support for a Holocaust denier.

Tony Greenstein, LAW’s vice-chair, who was himself expelled from Labour over his use of the word “Zio” and for mocking the phrase Final Solution, has clashed with another of the group’s supporters .

Peter Gregson – who has been backed by LAW since being expelled by the GMB union over alleged antisemitism – had urged Mr Greenstein and his allies to support a petition he started, which included links to an article by Ian Fantom of the conspiracy theory Keep Talking group.

In that article, Mr Fathom writes approvingly of Dr Nick Kollerstrom – author of The Auschwitz ‘Gas Chamber’ Illusion.

But in emails sent to LAW’s leading members – including expelled Labour activist Jackie Walker, her partner Graham Bash and Tina Werkman – Mr Greenstein initially attempts to persuade Mr Gregson to “cut links” with the Mr Fanthom and Mr Kollerstrom, saying the association “would be incredibly damaging” for LAW.

He writes: “I must ask you to remove all references to Ian Fantom’s article from your petition update which directs people to Kollerstrom’s holocaust denial article on the website of the well-known Holocaust denial site CODOH.”

In his March 22 email, Mr Greenstein also refers to wording in Mr Gregson’s petition saying: “It is bad enough that you yourself used the word ‘exaggerate’ in terms of the Holocaust.”

He writes on March 23 that Mr Greenstein is “exhibiting the kind of shrill neurosis for which the left is rightly famed. And is why of course so many in the left are doomed to obscurity, for they slam the door hard shut at every opportunity.”

Mr Fantom has previously shared conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11. But Mr Gregson writes of him: “I have spent time with Ian Fantom. I believe he is OK. I do not have a problem with his politics.”

In his own furious response, Mr Greenstein writes back at 2.54 am, setting out detailed evidence of Mr Fantom’s support for Mr Kollerstrom, noting that the article Mr Gregson links to says Mr Kollertrom “had been targeted in a witch-hunt”.

“You can call me whatever you want but I am not going to have holocaust denial being debated or legitimised under the guise of ‘free speech’,” Mr Greenstein writes.

“It’s like debating the rights and wrongs of murdering 50 Muslims in New Zealand last week, or perhaps that too didn’t happen?

“I am removing you from the LAW Facebook and will leave it to the LAW Steering Committee as to whether you are removed from LAW membership too.”

In a further message on April 3 – still copying in much of the LAW leadership – Mr Gregson writes: “Tony is stating he will seek to damage my reputation by making LAW shun me if I do not do as he asks. If that is not a threat, then I’m a chinaman.”

No response to this article has yet been seen.

Informed sources suggest that since he began, earlier this year, being published by the racist Islamic Qatar  dictatorship’s Al Jazeera Greenstein  has become more careful with his ‘robust’ language.

We still expect some broadside…

On the up, a couple of days ago Labour Against the Witchhunt, was celebrating Ken Livingstone’s decision to join their campaign.

“Former London mayor is announced as Labour Against The Witchhunt’s honorary president”

Written by Andrew Coates

April 16, 2019 at 5:22 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Gregson is a loose cannon. He is an indefatigable campaigner and is prone to hysteria and misinformation. He’s also totally unscrupulous. Sooner or later he embarrasses the cause he takes up. A bit like Greenstein in fact…

    Rosie

    April 16, 2019 at 8:39 pm

  2. What is the point of the post above?

    Dave Roberts

    April 17, 2019 at 5:14 am

  3. Errr… fighting antisemitism? Or is that a non-issue, Dave/

    Jim Denham

    April 17, 2019 at 8:36 am

  4. And, having raged at the “racist” GMB for getting rid of this type, and the Labour Party’s disciplinary procedures, they seem ready to ditch this man on the say-so of Greenstein.

    Andrew Coates

    April 17, 2019 at 11:33 am

  5. Once upon a time I think the Weekly Worker crowd were better than this. No longer. Not even Mike Macnair, who in the past did serious scholarship and whose book from 2008 is still worth reading.

    Jim will disagree with me, which is fine — I never thought that the WW was entirely fair to the AWL.

    Very said that the “paper of Marxist unity” has become a more erudite version of Workers’ Vanguard, and the CPGB/LPM a more erudite version of the Spartacist League.

    jschulman

    April 17, 2019 at 9:14 pm

  6. My only difference with you on this, Jason, would be your use of the expression “more erudite”!

    Jim Denham

    April 18, 2019 at 10:32 am

  7. […] guessed this was Pete Gregson – who Shiraz Socialist has covered here and Tendance Coatesy here. Expelled from the Labour Party, expelled from the GMB for anti-semitism, fired from the Council, a […]

  8. Seems a lot of fuss about a chap just having been in the same room as me. In view of Mr Gregson’s expulsion, let me warn LAW members that they should under no circumstances be seen with a copy of my book ‘Breaking the Spell: The Holocaust, Myth and reality’ (https://www.findbookprices.com/isbn/9781591481874/). In its 4th edition, fully revised and corrected, it’s the best-selling Revisionist book.

    Nicholas Kollerstrom

    May 21, 2019 at 8:04 pm


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