Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Labour Contenders Back Recommendations from Board of Deputies of British Jews.

with 63 comments

Contenders voice support for recommendations from Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Labour’s leader and deputy leadership contenders have demonstrated their commitment to tackling antisemitism in the party by backing a series of pledges set out by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Within hours of the organisation launching its “10 pledges”, which include adopting the international definition of antisemitism with all its examples and clauses, the majority of hopefuls had given their support.

This included Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry and Keir Starmer, who served in the shadow cabinet under Jeremy Corbyn.

It is a welcome move that the Labour candidates have accepted that the issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has to be sorted out.

Many of the ideas are good, above all the demand to resolve cases, and to make it clear that no quarter should be given to bigotry.

But there serious problems with this pledge.

The first is that training on antisemitism will be carried out the Jewish Labour Movement – the JLM is a pro-Israel group, with its own supportive  views on the issue of Zionism, which neither all people from a Jewish background agree with, nor all Labour Party members. 

There is equally the fact that the JLM expressed this factional view during the General Election (Jewish Labour),

We will not be campaigning unless in exceptional circumstances and for exceptional candidates, like our Parliamentary Chair Ruth Smeeth, and members of the Parliamentary Labour Party who’ve been unwavering in their support of us. We will not be giving endorsements to candidates in non-Labour held seats.

This statement was elaborated,

Where and how will the Jewish Labour Movement be campaigning in the general election?

The Jewish Labour Movement only will be campaigning for exceptional candidates and in exceptional circumstances. This includes for our Parliamentary Chair Ruth Smeeth. We will not be replicating the scale of our campaigning activity that we undertook in 2017, where JLM organised more than 50 campaign activities across six electoral regions and nations and in marginal seats. No JLM Officers will be standing for election.

Are individual Jewish Labour Movement members allowed to campaign for any Labour candidate?

Our General Election Statement is the Movement’s position and reflects the collective will of our members. What individual members decide to do during the general election is a private matter for each to decide; no doubt this will be a very difficult decision for many.

Will the Jewish Labour Movement campaign against candidates that they do not see to have been sufficient allies in the fight against antisemitism in the Labour Party?

We will seek to highlight candidates’ shortcomings or failings in the fight against antisemitism. Where this is the case, they will not benefit from any Jewish Labour Movement resources.

A body which engages in this factionalism is not a good vehicle to offer sensitive or coherent courses on the complex issue of anti-Semitism.

If we can dismiss the response below then this, and other issues remain such as the idea that Labour Party affairs be settled by an outside “independent provider”. And who exactly will decide which Jewish community body is acceptable and which is not?  Is the Board of Deputies going to decide on this? ‘Community Groups’ covers a wide range, and, without a suffrage and elections,  nobody is clear how “representative”one is. The Board of Deputies is not the only voice around who can say.

It is therefore not only the Corbyn ultras – below – who will express concern.

A rally in support of left-wing Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey was marred by an attack on the “Tory” Chief Rabbi and the Jewish Labour Movement.

Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon and Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe both spoke at the post-general election gathering in central London on Thursday evening but Graham Durham, a Brent Central Labour Party member, was cheered by many in the audience as he ranted that Ms Long-Bailey did not deserve support because she was “cuddling up to the Jewish Labour Movement and the Chief Rabbi, a well-known Tory”.

Jewish Chronicle.

No, Rebecca Long-Baily, you SHOULD NOT sign up to the 10 pledges by the ‘Board of Deputies’!

Labour Against the Witch-hunt.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 13, 2020 at 12:40 pm

63 Responses

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  1. Well if they are taking steps to eradicate racism that is good news.
    Shame the last leader was so tardy in doing this.
    He really was an awful fellow.

    Steven Johnston

    January 13, 2020 at 1:03 pm

  2. “the demand to resolve cases” is nonsensical, legal cases take as long as they take because of the legal complexities involved. Any attempt to speed up the process may result in innocent people being treated unfairly, as has already happened.

    By signing this pledge the signatories are admitting guilt, or fault, and giving credence to the largely erroneous belief that the Labour party as a big problem with antisemitism, which chiefly arose from false allegations by Rightwingers as part of a smear campaign against the Left, and Corbyn in particular.
    The signing of this pledge effectively hands the Labour party to the Right and will result in a mass exodus of Leftwing members, leaving Labour unelectable.


    January 13, 2020 at 2:05 pm

  3. So the reason the tories won the 2019 election was because the Labour party were not left-wing enough?

    Steven Johnston

    January 13, 2020 at 2:22 pm

  4. No Steven, the Tories won because of Brexit.


    January 13, 2020 at 2:25 pm

  5. You can’t say that here! Jim and Andrew will have cat fits over that comment.

    Quick take that back before they bore us with electoral data and pictures of Enoch Powell.

    Steven Johnston

    January 13, 2020 at 2:40 pm

  6. No, that is wrong. The British people wanted what the Tories offered and rejected what the labour party were offering. It’s that simple. Woe betide anyone who thinks they can be fooled into voting for something they didn’t want. As next election, the labour party will romp home…
    But Corbyn couldn’t even beat Theresa May, why did you think he would beat Johnson?

    Steven Johnston

    January 13, 2020 at 3:39 pm

  7. Whatever, have it your way.


    January 13, 2020 at 5:13 pm

  8. I’m from the north, I live in Yorkshire, I am white Working Class, but as I am a Socialist and (was) a Labour voter and a supporter of Corbyn, this article explains the situation better than I can put it:



    January 13, 2020 at 6:06 pm

  9. The voters had it their way and rejected Corbyn as they rejected Foot in ’83.

    Steven Johnston

    January 13, 2020 at 6:14 pm

  10. As somebody who grew up in North London I would say, because it’s something I’ve known about all my life, that this issue is just about the most sensitive going.

    The ‘anti-Zionist’ ultras, some of whom use deeply offensive language, and some of whom have mixed with anti-semites, conspiracy theorists and all the rest, are a problem.

    The wanted to give priority to the Israel/Palestine issue on the entirely false premise that, when the Middle East was seeing genocide by Daesh, and the mass murders in Syria, by government and Islamist sections of the opposing side reached a highpoint.

    The two state solution is the only one remotely possible, not absolute hostility to Israel.

    They used the false analogy with the South African regime to smother an issue of obvious complexity – one nationalist run state, Israel, Hamas,a reactionary Islamist group, the other Palestinian forces, Israel peace forces, just to start with – with their strident position.

    thought that Labour under Corbyn would take their side, including those whose stridency borders on obsession.

    The Board of Deputies found itself able to use them to promote their own predominantly right of centre politics, and their own support for Israel – the latter something which, it is hadrly a surprise to find (and I had arguments about this since, er, about the age of 11), that this backing for the existence of a state they feel threatened existentially by their enemies, most people of a Jewish background share.

    Andrew Coates

    January 13, 2020 at 6:45 pm

  11. Fair enough, but they can’t demand that pending/current cases be resolved any more quickly than they are. Legal complexities take as much time as what they will take. The inference is that the Labour party has been deliberately dragging its feet on dealing with alleged antisemitism cases, which is not true.


    January 13, 2020 at 7:30 pm

  12. Steven, the Socialist policies in Labour’s manifesto were very popular in principle with the majority of people, according to yougov. If they rejected Corbyn then that was largely due to the smear campaign waged against him by all and sundry and the way he was misrepresented by the media (they did the same with Foot – remember the non-existent “Donkey jacket” ?). They didn’t reject Labour on the basis of their excellent Socialist policies, rather they were duped into believing that Johnson would satisfactorily resolve Brexit, and quickly, which of course he won’t, whilst Labour’s approach to Brexit was overwhelmingly rejected, and Labour/Corbyn along with it. None of that means that Labour now needs to become Rightwing. We can’t go back to the days of Blair’s neoliberalism, look where that lead – Iraq, and the massively unequal distribution of wealth we have today.


    January 13, 2020 at 7:51 pm

  13. Absolute rubbish trev. They rejected Corbyn and the Labour manifesto. It had nothing to do with the media. Even the ultra left-wing media studies department at Glasgow University debunked that theory decades ago.
    Perhaps it is just as well he lost, as you seem like a decent fellow. I would have hated to see men and women like yourself make feeble excuses when Corbyns’ promises fail to materialise
    Still, brexit won’t be an issue for you in the next general election, so what will be the excuse when labour lose the next election? If labour chooses a right-wing candidate, you’ll blame that. If they chose a left-wing candidate you’ll blame the media! It could never be that the voters see through their bankrupt and failed policies. Nationalisation, an utter failure. Increased spending, another dead end. Face it, every labour government leaves office with unemployment higher than it was when they came to power. Yet you will want me to believe that they can reduce unemployment.

    Steven Johnston

    January 13, 2020 at 9:34 pm

  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_government,_1964%E2%80%931970#Fate

    You can see here why labour government are doomed to failure.

    Steven Johnston

    January 13, 2020 at 9:45 pm

  15. But those were great times, halcyon days, 1964 – 70, that was my childhood and life was so much better then, well as I remember it anyway. My father was never out of work, he changed jobs/industries whenever he felt like it, jobs were plentiful, housing was affordable, wages easily covered the costs of living, but the toilet was out in the back yard. Great times indeed. And my dad went to the same infant/junior school as Harold Wilson and remembered him as a kid, New Street in Milnsbridge (an old Victorian school with a small swimming pool in the cellar where I learned to swim)


    January 13, 2020 at 10:32 pm

  16. Yet when Labour came to power in 1964, unemployment stood at 400 000, when they left office in 1970, it was 600 000. Despite all that extra money they spent, unemployment still went up. Why?

    Steven Johnston

    January 13, 2020 at 10:52 pm

  17. Well unemployment is really high now, it’s just not truly reflected in the official figures. Many have dropped out of the Benefits system altogether because the Tories have made it such a nightmare. Half a million young people are unaccounted for, not in work or education, not claiming Benefits. Some of them are being kept by their families, others are sofa-surfing and doing whatever they can to survive – drug dealing, thriving, shoplifting, begging, borrowing, prostitution, some are living on the streets. Other people are classed as employed but are only working a few hours per week doing part time jobs or are on zero hours. The true figure is much higher than what the Tories say. Unemployment is going to continue to grow as jobs are lost to technology and the population continues to grow. Poverty is rising to unacceptable levels, including in-work poverty. There are 1.5 Million people having to use foodbanks. Meanwhile the richest people in the country have increased their wealth by 200 – 300% in the last decade of Austerity. Corbyn offered an alternative to that but the racist/xenophobic majority voted Tory because of Brexit, foolishly shooting themselves in the foot because it is their communities, towns & cities that will suffer even more under Tory rule.


    January 13, 2020 at 11:21 pm

  18. Yes but what did he offer to reduce it? It failed in 1964-1970 and would fail again.

    As James Callaghan put it:

    We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession, and increase employ­ment by cutting taxes and boosting Government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and that in so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion since the war by injecting a bigger dose of infla­tion into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step. Higher inflation followed by higher unemployment. We have just escaped from the highest rate of inflation this country has known; we have not yet escaped from the consequences: high unemployment.

    Steven Johnston

    January 14, 2020 at 9:59 am

  19. Mind you, have any of the current 5 hopefuls have anything to offer?

    Not one of them would stand a chance against Theresa May, let alone Boris Johnson.

    Btw, I think these days Wilson is considered to be, like Blair, a right-winger. So life, when he was the PM, must have sucked.

    Steven Johnston

    January 14, 2020 at 10:55 am

  20. I think Wilson was a Centrist, back in the days of true Centrism before Blair/Mandelson hijacked the Centre with their brand of neoliberalism masquerading as ‘Centrism’. But I still say life was better under Wilson, everything was Nationalized, much better.


    January 14, 2020 at 12:54 pm

  21. Shame about the unemployment figures increasing by 50% under that government. Still, you can’t have everything. Maybe that is why they lost the election in 1970?

    Wilson did hate the left-wing of the Labour party and I think the feeling was mutual. Shame they didn’t realise Wilson was a “true” centrist.

    Members of my family used to work in nationalised industries. They hated it, the pay was poor and morale was low. They couldn’t wait for them to be privatised.

    Steven Johnston

    January 14, 2020 at 1:20 pm

  22. What about Harold Macmillan who during his tenure undertook the biggest council house building programme the UK has ever seen as well as introduce student grants*? Where does he fit in on the left/right paradigm?

    Tony Blair replaced student grants with loans.

    Alicia Raspberry

    January 14, 2020 at 1:28 pm

  23. Corbyn talks about renationalising the railways. What he fails to mention is that train drivers did very well out of railway privatisation. Train drivers salaries soared when the railways were privatised.

    Alicia Raspberry

    January 14, 2020 at 1:38 pm

  24. The council houses they built were rubbish. I know as some of my relatives ended up in the high rises. They couldn’t wait to move out of them too.

    Steven Johnston

    January 14, 2020 at 1:40 pm

  25. You’re obviously not a Socialist Steven, but dare I ask are you a Tory by any chance? Or perhaps a floating-voter? I would consider myself to be a Socialist, but I suppose I have been a floater over the years as I didn’t support New Labour, I mostly voted Green through those years as I saw them as being more Socialist than Blair, or sometimes I voted SWP. I only returned to Labour because Corbyn and McDonnell turned the party into something I could vote for again after many years in the Political wilderness. As for these latest candidates I’m not that impressed but I’ll see how it goes as to whether I will continue to support Labour. I’m not happy that they have signed this pledge to effectively allow the Jewish Labour Movement to dictate. They are not even part of Labour, you don’t have to be either a Labour member or even Jewish to be a member of JLM , and so many of them are Right-wingers, even Tories. Their views are at odds with the Jewish Voice for Labour, who ARE Labour members and ARE Jewish! It’s not like there’s even a big problem with antisemitism in the Labour party, it was largely a fiction of the Rightwing intended to undermine the Left. Unfortunately, antisemitism does exist in the world but there is far more antisemitism in the Conservative party than in Labour, and more antisemitism in Society as a whole than in Labour. I’m not sure if I can continue to support Labour now.


    January 14, 2020 at 1:55 pm

  26. What have council houses and nationalisation to do with socialism? Can you point me to where Marx was in favour of either of these? I thought under socialism money would be abolished and it would be a society where each would be given according to their needs.
    Look into the history of nationalisation and council house building and tell me who the first political parties were that introduced these into the UK.

    Steven Johnston

    January 14, 2020 at 2:03 pm

  27. I grew up in a Council house (or Corporation house as they were known then), built in the mid-50s, and there was nothing wrong with it, perfectly adequate, well maintained, nicely situated, gardens front and rear. My parents were amongst the only ones on the estate who didn’t buy their house as it went against their Socialist principles.


    January 14, 2020 at 4:04 pm

  28. trev

    January 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm

  29. I lived in Leicester and in the mid-60s they built some of the finest council houses in Europe. They even won awards. The problem? The homes were so well built that they had trouble filling them, as the rents were so high. The council house you lived in must have been built by the tories! Come on, it sounds like you, not me are the tory.

    Steven Johnston

    January 14, 2020 at 4:14 pm

  30. I don’t know who was in government when our Council house was built, just that the estate was built sometime between 1955 – 58 as far as I know.

    Sorry, you just sound like a Tory. Perhaps you’re a ‘Blairite’, ie. Neoliberal?


    January 14, 2020 at 4:20 pm

  31. No, I sound like someone who realises that the capitalist system cannot be run in the interests of the workers. Even when the labour party are in office.

    Steven Johnston

    January 14, 2020 at 5:03 pm

  32. Oh I see, a ‘Blairite’. Surely you don’t believe in the myth of the ‘trickle-down’ economy, because that’s clearly not working so well is it? 1.5 Million people relying on foodbanks, millions living in poverty, in-work poverty. The rich are creaming off the wealth and hoarding it in off-shore accounts and dodgy Russian Banks, not re-investing it in infrastructure. The current system is unsustainable and has to change. Corbyn offered an alternative but the people were too stupid to see it, and the Establishment did everything in their power to prevent it. I’m a great believer in the words and ethic of the original Clause 4. Anything less than that won’t get my vote.


    January 14, 2020 at 7:05 pm

  33. Nope, not a Blairite, nope, the electrocute are not stupid and saw through Corbyn.

    He was never going to make a difference, if you think he could cure the ills you list then show me where it has been done before?
    What did the Establishment do to prevent it? Are you saying they convinced me not to vote for Corbyn? Remember they didn’t stop 9 million voting for him! So whoever they are employing should be sacked.

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 10:21 am

  34. 9 million people slipping through the mind control grid-matrix net and voting for Corbyn tells us that ‘they’ © ™ ® need to turn up the strength of the mind control beams being emitted from the Government towers. If it wasn’t for the protection afforded by our tin-foil hats we would have all voted Tory.

    Buck Rodgers

    January 15, 2020 at 11:02 am

  35. Or “we” need to hijack it and switch the matrix to “vote labour” at the next general election.

    Though how do we stop them putting “vote Tory” additives into our food?

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 11:27 am

  36. There was an orchestrated smear campaign against Corbyn involving MI6, Mossad, the Institute for Statecraft, and most of the mainstream media. Who do you think was behind the antisemitism allegations? Why was Corbyn the most misrepresented Politician in history?


    January 15, 2020 at 11:40 am

  37. Yet you could see through smear campaign…I assume you don’t have special powers and are just a regular human being?

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 11:52 am

  38. There are thousands, if not millions, of people in this country who are Politically illiterate, gullible, Reactionary, easily swayed by what they hear on the BBC News, Panorama, Question Time, Newsnight, HIGNFY, etc. (all of which were heavily biased against Corbyn) and by what they read in the Sun or Daily Mail, hence the popularity of Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, and hence the Brexit result. I encounter such people on a regular basis, people who said they didn’t like Corbyn but couldn’t say why, people saying that Corbyn is a racist who “doesn’t like Jews”, people who just repeat the nonsense they’ve heard/read, that Corbyn will “turn us back to the 1970s”, totally ignoring the fact that the Tories have turned us back to the 1870s. The same sorts of people who say to me that they “don’t want mixed race grandchildren”, or that we need to “kick out all the foreigners”. Believe me, I hear this crap all the time from unemployed Working Class white people. And remember, MI5 had a file on Harold Wilson whom they suspected of being a Russian spy and were actually investigating him whilst he was a serving Prime Minister! The Establishment were always going to do everything they could to prevent a Leftwing Socialist government, Corbyn didn’t stand a chance.








    January 15, 2020 at 12:58 pm

  39. M15 had a file on Harold Wilson? Was this the same Harold Wilson that won four, yes, four general elections?
    The establishment couldn’t prevent a labour landslide in 1945, they couldn’t prevent one now. The only people that can are the voters. Trust me, we are not that easily fooled. That is why we saw through the Labour manifesto.

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 1:51 pm

  40. But HIGNFY wasn’t around in 1945. Colour TV hadn’t even been invented in 1945!

    Logie Baird

    January 15, 2020 at 2:07 pm

  41. Perhaps there was an equivalent programme, on the wireless, in 1945, that brainwashed the proles into voting for, erm…umm…the labour party…

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 2:12 pm

  42. But Labour had an excellent Manifesto, full of all the Policies I wanted to see. It couldn’t have been any better. People didn’t reject the Manifesto, they were brainwashed into disliking Corbyn for no particular reason, and in the end were duped by Boris’ Brexit guff. But I can see we’re never going to agree Steven, as I am a Socialist and you clearly are not!


    January 15, 2020 at 2:14 pm

  43. Please tell me how I was brainwashed into not voting for the labour party.

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 2:18 pm

  44. I wasn’t meaning yourself in particular, but the general masses who read The Sun and believe all the BS. many of whom are uneducated, Politically illiterate or part of the de-Politicized Proletariat, and/or are racist/xenophobic, gullible and Reactionary, i.e. perfect fodder for Rightwing/Establishment propaganda.


    January 15, 2020 at 2:23 pm

  45. But how can people be brainwashed into not liking someone? Interviewers, juries form subjective opinions all the time oftentimes based on prejudice, bias, irrationality and lack of reason.
    The electorate were sat round their TV/wireless watching/listening to Corbyn and saying” “I don’t like that guy”. To the electorate Corbyn lacked that indefinable quality or je ne sais quoi as we French say. They just didn’t like the guy.

    Carole T

    January 15, 2020 at 2:28 pm

  46. trev, the general masses you are describing are those who don’t read Tendance Coatesy who account for a fair chunk of the electorate, unfortunately.

    M Sivier

    January 15, 2020 at 2:35 pm

  47. I only hope that the MI5 agents looking in on Wilson were sacked! They certainly didn’t do a good job there did they?

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 3:19 pm

  48. Don’t say that Trev! The establishment will send some round to brainwash me…

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 3:22 pm

  49. Apparently it was all just a paranoid allegation that he was under investigation, depending who you believe:



    January 15, 2020 at 3:27 pm

  50. @ Carol T

    People were unduly influenced by the media. Many said they didn’t like Corbyn but were unable to say why.
    If you want to know more about propaganda, brainwashing, and the role of television, read Michael Bentine’s books ‘The Door Marked Summer’ and particularly ‘Doors of the Mind’, as he touches upon that subject and was a British Intelligence officer in MI9.


    January 15, 2020 at 3:35 pm

  51. What went wrong in East Germany? The establishment there couldn’t stop the workers overthrowing their regime.

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 3:38 pm

  52. No television , or Russians on Social media.


    January 15, 2020 at 4:07 pm

  53. But they had 40 years to brainwash their population and failed. Spectacularly. They had TV in East Germany and it pumped out propaganda 24/7. If the Stasi can’t brainwash you, who can? I doubt the Daily Mail can do a better job than them.

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 4:43 pm

  54. Well perhaps it’s more difficult to keep people permanently brainwashed over a longer period of time than it is to influence people in the short term for a one-off event like an election, though the Nazi regime in Germany did manage to brainwash pretty much an entire nation for several years (something that Bentine addresses in ‘Corridors of The Mind’ as he served in British Intelligence during WW2) though not through the medium of television in those days.


    January 15, 2020 at 5:10 pm

  55. Sorry, ‘Doors’ not “Corridors”


    January 15, 2020 at 5:12 pm

  56. You need to watch the IPCRESS file and see how Michael Caine fought against the brainwashing.

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 5:29 pm

  57. So we are going round in circles. The Stasi can’t brainwash you over the long-term, but the Daily Mail can during the run up to a general election.

    Steven Johnston

    January 15, 2020 at 5:31 pm

  58. Oh Steven, I don’t know, I’m not an expert on brainwashing techniques, you are becoming a victim of your own pedantic brain! All you need to know is that the British Establishment conspired with the media to smear and undermine Jeremy Corbyn and dissuade people from voting Labour, and that combined with the Brexit factor worked.


    January 15, 2020 at 5:56 pm

  59. The BBC screened the Ipcress File TWICE over Xmas/New Year, once on BBC Two and again on BBC Four.

    Harry Palmer

    January 15, 2020 at 6:33 pm

  60. Not a lot of people know that 😉

    Harry Palmer

    January 15, 2020 at 6:34 pm

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