Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Left Fragmentation Part 4: Chris Williamson Falls out with Novara Media as Labour Against the Witch-Hunt Lines Up Divisive Meeting.

with 12 comments



Novara media’s Commissioning Editor & Reporter

The above has just been retweeted by Chris Williamson.

Novara Media have yet to respond.

In further news there are demands for a Labour Recall Conference.

A group of left-wing MPs and unions have called on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to hold an emergency conference as they warned of widespread “anger and disillusionment” in the party.

The row follows the suspension of former leader Jeremy Corbyn and suspicion among some over the direction in which Sir Keir wants to lead Labour.

The call for a special conference has been backed by the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, which includes Sir Keir’s former shadow cabinet colleagues John McDonnell and Richard Burgon, as well as the Unite union, the Bakers’ Union and Momentum.


The Morning Star, (independent of the Communist Party of Britain and owned by the co-op) Socialist Appeal and the anti-Labour site Skwawkbox back the demand;;

Yet this development will surely be overshadowed by this event.

Against no platforming of fellow socialists! What does Free Speech actually mean?

Following the debacle over the no-platforming of suspended Labour activist Esther Giles at the Momentum-led “Labour Lockout” rally, we are pleased to welcome the comrade as a speaker at our February 13 conference on ‘Building the Campaign for Free Speech’. It is a great shame that the mainstream left has adopted the strategies of the right – bowing to baseless accusations of “transphobia” reminds us very much of the sidelining, smearing and vilifying of critics of Israel as “antisemites”.

Wherever one might stand on the debate over trans rights – and the issue is far from as black and white as some make it out to be – we very much “oppose demands for ‘zero tolerance’ and ‘safe spaces’, including on controversial issues like trans rights. They are the opposite of a culture of open debate. The best way to fight prejudice, misperceptions and misunderstandings is through education and debate”, which is how our draft Charter for Free Speech (which will be discussed at conference) puts it.

Labour Against the Witchhunt, the Labour Left Alliance and the Labour in Exile Network have issued an excellent joint statement on Esther’s no-platforming, which you can read below.

To demonstrate his credentials against anti-Semitism one of the speakers at the event tweet this, from the Monster Raving Greenstein Party:






Written by Andrew Coates

February 9, 2021 at 11:10 am

12 Responses

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  1. Interesting that Ms Brown’s tweet about CW is from July last year. Seems someone has been doing some mega-trawling. Is it a co-incidence that this comes just hours after she had been confirmed as Novara’s new Commissioning Editor ? Sour grapes on the part of another aspirant, I wonder ?

    On a secondary matter, apropos the Socialist Appeal site. In the interests of mental wellbeing, I have long made it a guide to avoid all stories in the left media that (a) are in block capitals throughout, and (b), have two exclamation marks against every header line.

    david walsh

    February 9, 2021 at 3:02 pm

  2. I get that CW has retweeted awful people an has a shit voting record. But where is the evidence he is a ‘jew baiter’?


    February 9, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    • June 29, 2019

      5. The times Williamson promoted an antisemitic right-wing pro-Kremlin Spanish conspiracy theorist and then bought into a Russian conspiracy theory about why people don’t like the Spanish conspiracy theorist.

      8. The time Williamson promoted a bow-tied Holocaust revisionist


      9. The time Williamson signed a petition defending a Holocaust denier

      10. The time Williamson trolled Jews in their time of grief by accusing the Board of Deputies of British Jews of being antisemitic hours after the Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre.

      12. The time he defended the guy who ranted about Tesco’s having Jewish blood.

      12. The time he defended the guy who ranted about Tesco’s having Jewish blood.


      Andrew Coates

      February 9, 2021 at 7:08 pm

  3. I find it quite extraordinary that some people on the left don’t appear to ‘get’ what the term “jew-baiter” means, and then (usually the same people) object to the term being applied to (eg) Ken Livingston and/or Chris Williamson.

    Jim Denham

    February 9, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    • Nothing extraordinary about it. I don’t hear that term in every day life, nor do I use it. I’m not jewish, I don’t know anyone that is so I don’t hear about these issues except on social media and trying to learn abotu this stuff is extremnely difficult because too many people aren’t interested in helping me learn. Not least of all because of attitudes like ‘I find it quite extrardonary’. CW isn’t my MP, never has been, nor have I ever had any contact with him. I only know what I hear about on social media. If your’re not willing to be charitable when dealing with someone that doesn’t understand these issues then you can fuck off quite frankly. I’m too tired to put up with strained faux indignation


      February 9, 2021 at 10:18 pm

      • Okay, as somebody, and I have blogged on this at length, who grew up with the Jewish Community in North London down to the closest relations you can possibly imagine, I know a bit on that.

        But I did not grow up with Syrians

        Unlike Williamson I do not talk shite about Syria.

        Andrew Coates

        February 9, 2021 at 10:47 pm

        • So when I tweet you, as I have several times now, asking for you to help me out and learn this stuff, your response is…


          February 9, 2021 at 11:34 pm

      • Sorry “stranger”: I didn’t intend to cause personal offence and I accept that you genuinely didn’t understand the term and are making an admirable effort to learn. OK?

        Jim Denham

        February 10, 2021 at 9:17 am

  4. I was never pursued by the free speech in the Labour Party for antisemites argument put forward most coherently by Norman Finkelstein. I’ve got as little sympathy for this free speech for transphobes argument.


    February 10, 2021 at 12:32 pm

  5. The question always is: who gets to define what constitutes the category which is not allowed to speak? When we move from the plane of moral righteousness to the plane of practicality, it is never that simple.


    February 10, 2021 at 2:30 pm

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