Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Morning Star urges “no compromise with a right that seeks to permanently smash the Labour left.”

with 12 comments

 

Keir Starmer calls for end to Labour 'factionalism' after leaked anti-semitism report sparks fresh civil war

Morning Star urges “no compromise.”

There has been talk of a split in Labour, talk.

Foremost in many people’s minds is that efforts to create independent parties of the left in the UK, break-aways from Labour,  in the early years of this millennium, failed.

From the Socialist Alliance, the Scottish Socialist Party, to Respect, TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) and Left Unity, did not succeed electorally, to put it mildly.

In the Socialist Alliance, the experience of working with other parties, such as the SWP, and the SP, who claim a Leninist and Trotskyist lineage, was not a happy one for democratic socialists. These groups impose their ‘line’, febrile campaigning, and basically do what they like regardless of anybody else’s opinion.

Respect, the party that had an MP, George Galloway had a leading member, Yvonne Ridley, saying  in February 2006, Respect “is a Zionist-free party… if there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out.   It is worth noting that the present leader of Counterfire came out with this in 2006, “Respect official Lindsey German stated that “whatever disagreements I have with Hamas and Hezbollah, I would rather be in their camp… they want democracy. Democracy in the Middle East is Hamas, is Hezbollah.” John Rees, another Counterfire leader, who lectures the Labour Party,  John Rees attended the Beirut International Conference organised by Hezbollah in 2006″(Here).

Remember this the next time that lot talk about anti-Semitism.

TUSC is now aligned with the RMT and Chris Williamson, a man with a reputation that has led to him being dubbed Lord Voldemort. Williamson is now tweeting praise for the fringe figure known as the Monster Raving Greenstein Party:

Williamson has had the cheek to Tweet this,

 

Galloway (when he is not involved in an alliance with people from other parties, including Tories, to save the Union of Scotland in  the United Kingdom, theAlliance 4 Unity ), is part of the Workers Party of Britain It is run by cadre from the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), a groupuscule that admires North Korea. This is one of its memes:

If anybody wants to join up with these people, they are welcome.

Please do it.

A reasoned analysis of the present crisis has been presented by Owen Jones.

A few days ago he wrote in the Guardian.

Both sides of Labour’s internal war need to focus on a vision for Britain’s future

….the battle lines have been drawn not on policy but antisemitism, through Corbyn’s response to the EHRC report. This protracted dispute is causing genuine hurt and distress to Jewish people across the political spectrum. It is also causing despair among some of Corbyn’s closest and natural allies, and they fear that this saga is inflicting terrible damage on the left and destroying its influence – just 18 of the 34 Socialist Campaign Group MPs signed an initial statement criticising his suspension.

Jones concluded,

During the leadership campaign, Starmer committed to maintaining the core domestic pledges of the Corbyn era, including raising taxes on the rich and big business, scrapping tuition fees, a green industrial revolution (a slogan, and much of its polices now raided by the Tories), “common ownership”, no illegal wars, and restoring workers’ rights. The leader’s team is divided between those who regard these promises as millstones that need to be discarded, and others who believe they are commitments that cannot be abandoned. The latter have more political common sense: while it is hard for a politician to establish a reputation for honesty and integrity, it is easy to lose one in an instant.

And that is surely where the left comes in. The Survation polling shows that the Labour membership overwhelmingly remains committed to the radical policy prospectus of the Corbyn era. The left is far more powerful than it was before 2015: in the parliamentary party, in the unions, in the membership, in civil society through institutions such as Momentum, and through the political sympathies of many younger people. A savvy left would focus on building political pressure on the Labour leadership to offer the transformative agenda that a crisis-stricken country needs – and which is politically required to distinguish the party from a Conservative government willing to raid and then water down Corbynite policies.

If the left cannot untangle discussions of its progressive vision to end inequality from the evils of antisemitism, then it will permanently lose sympathy from the party membership and public alike. The battles over policy are there to be won – and with it, the promise of Labour’s first transformative government since Clement Attlee.

Jones has continued on this theme:

 

Into the fray steps the Morning Star, run by the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), sorry an independent daily run by the co-op. They know a thing or twenty about marginalisation and ruin.

We can’t compromise with a right that seeks to permanently smash the Labour left

AS INCREASING numbers of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) defy the ban on discussion of Jeremy Corbyn’s removal from the parliamentary party, the number of suspensions grows too.

 

The party leadership are prepared for purges on an extraordinary scale: deputy leader Angela Rayner talked at the weekend of suspending “thousands and thousands” of members.

Now we are seeing suspensions at a further remove. Not for anti-semitic conduct, not for defending anti-semitic conduct, but for debating the decision to discipline someone else for making an observation which he has every right to make, according to the very report the Labour leadership pretends to be acting on.

This is facilitated by a cynical abuse of the concept of “safe spaces,” where an extremely vague definition of safety apparently trumps the democratic rights of members to decide what they can and cannot discuss.

This is indeed a serious turn, and one can sympathise with those who have been caught up the process of ruling motions out or order and suspensions. It is not helped by reports that some of these meetings have seen instances of personal abuse and unrestrained railing against Keir Starmer. The  paper that backed East Germany right to the end is not in a strong position to shout about democracy.

They speak of Jones,

 

Left commentators such as Owen Jones have sought to blame both sides for Labour’s current civil war, arguing that socialists close to Corbyn who believe “that the incumbent leader is intent on smashing Labour’s left flank” are wrong and that it is significant that Starmer has not attacked Corbyn “on policy but [on] anti-semitism.” The implication is that Corbyn should apologise and move on.

This ignores the entire history of this issue in Labour.

The Chakrabarti report, the reformed complaints process under general secretary Jennie Formby, the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism — none of these had any impact on the ferocity of attacks on Corbyn, because the purpose of the attacks was to break him and the political movement he led.

Their conclusion:

This is an attack on the socialist left and its aim is to prevent any possibility of another movement that makes redistributing wealth or opposing war mainstream political positions.

Going along with the charade is not just a betrayal of brave Labour members who face disciplinary action from a dishonest leadership. It concedes to slander about Corbyn’s leadership and helps to trash its legacy. It weakens the whole left.

Is the Morning Star part of the socialist left? Are they part of the “we”?

They backed what has become the Bosses’ Brexit of a fraction of capital that sees this as a means to further deregulate and enrich finance. The alliance, the Full Brexit, involved CPB members, supporters of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, the Spiked Network, old Labour nationalists, Blue Labour, for “family faith and flag”,  sovereigntists  and a variety of odd-balls. One very odd ball from the Full Brexit and Blue Labour, anti-Latte drinking ‘bourgeois bohemians’, Paul Embery,  appeared at his book launch chaired by a prominent member of the CPB and Morning Star writer, Mary Davis, only  few days ago.

Internationalists have policy disagreements with Starmer, about, for example, the prospect of Labour backing a Tory-negotiated Brexit Deal. Many find threats to expel people en masses wrong in principle. But not many of us relish the thought of being used by the Morning Star to call for “no compromise”.

Starmer’s own response to the crisis, (the I’)

Speaking at the Jewish Labour Movement’s conference on Sunday, Sir Keir said: “We’re only in this place because of Jeremy’s response to the commission… We’ve been set back by what Jeremy did in response to the commission.”

:

Sir Keir said: “I can’t tell you how disappointed how I was with Jeremy Corbyn’s response. Because the words he used, what he said coming from the former leader of the Labour Party in response to that report, were just about as bad as you could get.” He said Mr Corbyn’s response “undermined me and what I was trying to achieve”.

The Labour leader has faced anger from supporters of Mr Corbyn for withholding the party whip from his predecessor, including at some constituency Labour party meetings who have held votes calling for it to be reinstated.

Sir Keir said he was “determined” to deal with that issue but pledged that his action plan in response to the EHRC report would be in place by the deadline of 10 December.

Here is some perspective.

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

December 1, 2020 at 12:49 pm

12 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Perhaps the earlier failures were down to the wording of the party names, it’s a matter of branding, keep it simple; the Labour party and the Real Labour party (decide which is which!). N.B. The name ‘New Labour’ is best avoided.

    trev

    December 1, 2020 at 1:06 pm

  2. Yes, a quite extraordinarily sectarian editorial in today’s M Star. Ming you, these people (ie the CPB) basically believe that claims of antisemitism within Labour are almost always fraudulent and often the work of what Nick Wright calls the “Hasbara department of the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs” (Morning Star Feb 20) so no wonder they cannot accept that the present row really *is* about antisemitism.

    Jim Denham

    December 1, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    • It should also be about the fact that the Rightwingers within the Labour party conspired to make the situation worse to deliberately undermine Jeremy Corbyn, and also that it seems to be largely Rightwing Jews who are the ones complaining whereas Leftwing Jews who support Corbyn (and are opposed to Zionism and Israeli oppression of Palestinians) are completely ignored. And Corbyn was correct in what he said so shouldn’t have been suspended in the first place.

      trev

      December 1, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    • Which in itself begs a small question; how is is this panning out amongst Jewish members of the CPB ? They must be there – in my boyhood in London, the old street East End fighters of the 1930’s were still heavily involved, and their children and grandchildren who had moved out into the suburbs still – to a large extent – kept the faith. (I am sure the same would be true of places like Manchester and Leeds as well). Are they just gritting their teeth ? Or – like some smaller Jewish left groups – pretending there isn’t a problem ?

      david walsh

      December 1, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      • “pretending there isn’t a problem”

        Or perhaps realizing that the ‘problem’ has been vastly over-stated by the Rightwing and is mainly of their creation.

        trev

        December 1, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      • I think many are aware that these issues are hard to have escaped if you grew up in the areas you mention Dave, particularly London, and more specifically North London.

        The CPGB in Haringey, which had a large membership right up to the ‘seventies, had Jewish members, the areas where there is a Jewish community, like Muswell Hill, had some whose children in our Woodcraft folk group, (which equally drew membership from less exalted areas like Bounds Green and Wood Green), who joined the YCL. I think most of these people melted away as they got older. Certainly the only person I came across at the time, who still in the CPB, is Ken Keable (the brother of the Weekly Worker Stan Keable). He is not Jewish. His mother, and I think the whole family, were CPGB in Tottenham.

        A number who remained after Hungary in 1956 left after the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Which was a major trigger for what became Eurocommunism.

        The CPB, whose motto is nothing must change in the party’s foundations and goals, is unlikely to appeal to more than a limited number of people except the diehards of that tradition. Its recruitment amongst younger people with ideas in the Eddie Dempsey mould (I’m not sure if he is an official member) would not attract anybody but head-banagers.

        The Shoah, remembering the Holocaust is something I knew about from an early age, not from school but from Jewish friends, and my parents friends (one family, Jewish, were Communists right up the early 70s), and from Anne Frank’s Diary, which we encouraged to read early. We also also heard it explained from Jewish Communist and other adult helpers in the Woodcraft Folk group cited above and at larger summer and international camps. It was there, from Communists of Armenian origin, that we learnt about the Armenian genocide. That is a horrific crime that the racist Turkish state has never recognised, and actively denied under Erdogan’s Islamist regime.

        Andrew Coates

        December 1, 2020 at 5:23 pm

  3. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    December 1, 2020 at 1:52 pm

  4. A split seems inevitable as I wrote a year ago. If the Left in Labour organise to halt the forward movement of the Right, then either we will see large-scale bureaucratic expulsions and closures of CLP’s, the start of which has already been prepared as a result of the recent decisions to close down debate, and to suspend CLP officials. If that works, then a large part of that expelled Left, which amounts to multiples of the numbers who voluntarily left Labour in the 90’s, in a sectarian drive to create new versions of Labour, would have an incentive to form some kind of new party.

    As opposed to the 90’s, a large part of those who would be expelled are people who do not belong to any of the sects, whose inveterate sectarianism and party building have doomed all previous such ventures to disaster, as they fight like rats in a sack for miniscule amounts of party advantage. We are talking here not about a few thousand members of sects, but tens or even hundreds of thousands of new young party activists, who could get the backing from some big unions – though I remain to be convinced about the latter. The unions will move if the rump LP that was left appeared to have no chance of winning an election.

    But, the unions would probably first try to prevent such massive expulsions, which would destroy the LP as it stands having a chance of winning an election. Starmer and the Right are clearly like the Stalinists in 1930’s Spain described by Orwell. They are far more concerned with defeating anyone to their Left than they are in stopping the Tories. Indeed, on present showing on Brexit, lockdowns, immigration controls, protecting war criminals, and promoting jingioism, and so on, can anyone tell any difference between Labour and the Tories?

    If an attempt at mass expulsions failed, then the Right would split, rotting from the head, with first the PLP separating itself, which Starmer has already essentially done with his declaration of UDI, in refusing to reinstate Corbyn, after the party had done so. The PLP with the backing of apparatchiks, Right-Wing Councillors, and right-wing union leaders, would declare themselves to be the real LP, seizing its name and machinery, as Hyndman did, or as Burnham and Shactman did.

    If the Left does not organise, then the Right will simply seize the day, and start expulsions anyway having seen weakness. Any idea that the Right will simply go quietly is doomed to severe disappointment.

    Boffy

    December 1, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    • I agree with the writer’s inevitability premise. How many nature films does one have to watch of hyenas or jackals squabbling over a carcass before forming the general conclusion that they are bound to attack one another as part of the division of spoils? A glance at the two latest American elections illustrates the point with a textbook clarity.

      oiltranslator

      December 1, 2020 at 4:51 pm

  5. I’m going to have to take advice from Comrade Blair of the POUM on this one. Three decades of intense inquiry have convinced me to join the English writers convinced that fascism and socialism are the same thing–differing perhaps in their Gospel content alone. In any case both are monstrous evils that ultimately rely on the initiation of harmful and deadly force, which must be fought to the death. Already a Libertarian party exists there, and another two dozen elsewhere, so that the self-deception instilled by the fallacy of altruism is bound to erode and extinguish all variants of parasitical aggression. Perhaps this is overoptimistic, but that is the way I place my bet.

    oiltranslator

    December 1, 2020 at 4:44 pm

  6. When the Morning Stalinist talks of ‘opposing war’ and Jones of ‘ending illegal wars’ as if it is self evident what they actually mean I’m left wondering what their opinion is of spoons.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: