Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Zionism

Labour Against the Witch-Hunt Faces New Crisis After Call to Purge….Labour Party HQ.

leave a comment »

Monster Raving Greenstein, the Labour Party Marxist and Friends.

First there was this,

Then there was this:


The Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW) campaign group has been protesting today outside Labour’s ‘Southside’ HQ, where Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has been meeting. The protesters been calling for a clear-out of Labour HQ staff whom they blame for what they believe are a series of politically-motivated suspensions and expulsions of Labour members.

The protesters have been condemned by some members and observers, who say believe that the group is intimidating Labour staff.

The protest has featured a red banner carrying the logo of Momentum Brighton and Hove – where several of senior LAW figures are based – alongside LAW’s own livery:

This has been the subject of hot dispute today among Momentum B&H members, many of whom were unhappy about their group’s banner appearing at the protest and believe it hands a propaganda opportunity to the mainstream media and other opponents of Momentum.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Momentum’s national HQ to ask whether the group had Momentum’s permission to use a banner bearing its logo. The answer was brief and emphatic:

No they do not.

LAW has stated that it did not ‘use’ the banner, which they say was brought to the protest by Momentum B&H members. Other Momentum B&H members have said that the group did not agree to the banner’s use at the protest, but this is disputed by some locals.

Labour Against the Witch-hunt are known to be furious about this accurate report.

A frothing Greenstein wrote on the site,

the whole of this article is a lie and it should be taken down. The banner is from Brighton & Hove Momentum. 3 members of whom came to the lobby. It was discussed beforehand on the Brighton Momentum Cttee page.

It has not been ‘the subject of hot dispute today among Momentum B&H members’ today.

Furthermore we do not need the permission of Momentum’s unelected dictator Jon Lansman in order to display it.

We also did not call 4 a clearout of LP staff. I did however call for Witchfinder General Sam Mattews to follow his leader Iain McNicoll.

Shame on you. You have carried nothing about the false antisemitism witch hunt, you failed to contact LAW and went instead to Lansman.

LAW ignored this in their own coverage of the historic event.

This is their “report”.

LAW lobby: NEC members sneak in through the back door

mysteriously, despite the people on the lobby being outside the office block an hour before the NEC meeting started, no more members of Labour’s 39-strong ruling body, where the Corbyn-backing Left recently took control, were seen – suggesting they may have slipped into the building from a back entrance to avoid being questioned. The campaigners chanted: “Stop the witch hunts”, “End the suspensions”, and “Implement Chakrabarti now”.

No mention of the chanting, “McNicol’s gone, now it’s time for the rest of them”.

Informed commentators suggest that Greenstein, who from the evidence of recent photos scarfs a wheel-barrow of Waitrose Hot Cross Buns a day, is not just aiming to clear out anybody he disagrees with from the Labour HQ.

The ballooning Brighton campaigner and mates may have taken a tip from Monster Raving’s  new best friend, George Galloway and aims to make Labour a “Zionist Free” Party.

This may indicate their direction,

Friends of Israel groups blocked from joining anti-racist demonstration (Shiraz)

The two Friends of Israel (FoI) groups defend not just Israel’s right to exist but also the policies pursued by its governments. They vaguely advocate peace between Israel and Palestinians, but that is no more than a sub-text to their overall politics.

It seems that all their members are Jewish (or at least the vast majority are). Like most Jews, they are Zionists and they support Israel.

For absolute anti-Zionists, it was therefore a matter of principle that they should have no place on an anti-racist demonstration, not even one which included condemnation of antisemitism amongst its slogans: they were Zionists, and pro-Israel.

In the weeks leading up to the demonstration there was a concerted campaign to push the demonstration organisers into banning the FoI groups from marching on the demonstration.

UTR was lobbied by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (signatories to its open letter included Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker and Moshe Machover), Brighton and Hove PSC, Sheffield PSC, York PSC, and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods.

Greenstein’s exchange with Skwawky is to savour:

Guido Fawkes and Skwawkbox Sing From the Same Hymn Sheet.

Sample (if you can stomach it):

We do not need the approval of the dictator of Momentum, Lansman to bring the banner.

In short the report is a lie

Tony Greenstein

After many a page we get this, 

00:15 (0 minutes ago)

to me, Sally

It did. You just didn’t like how it did.

Like I said, you have your reasons why you thought today was a good day. They’re narrow, in keeping with your focus. Fair enough, just do try to be reasonable if others see things differently and have a wider picture.

Aaand there you go with the Lansman crap again. Have you been paying attention to anything going on outside your bubble? If you had, you wouldn’t spout such crap.

The ‘Garston 3’ were three similarly blinkered people – they knowingly broke a clear party rule, did massive damage that undid gains others on the left had worked years for and then expected the people whose work they had just undone to self-immolate in their defence, when there was no defence. They were selfish and then served their own heads on a platter to the right – everyone else is still dealing with the consequences. Perhaps you’ll see why I’m not in a rush to help others I don’t trust not to do the same.

As to ‘steering clear’, again I invite you to bloody read. If you can’t be bothered doing that, then as a next-best option refrain from flinging shit about things you’re ignorant about.

And you’re equally ignorant about journalism if you think the only sources that can be used are those who can be named publicly.

We’re done. I have neither time nor appetite to beat my head against a brick wall any longer.




 Questions remain about Brighton Momentum and its involvement in this charade.


Then there is this, Grr Grr Greenstein.

Tony Greenstein

This relates to the secret Momentum Brighton Committee Facebook group where one member on the Right resorted to blocking me in order that he could stop me responding to his post on taking BH Momentum banner to a picket of LP HQ today. The little shit is an administrator with the NHS Trust. I kinda guess that is where he learns these kind of tricks.


A post appeared on this list under Renato’s name. I cannot see it because he blocked me. Because I have another account I can access it and see it but this is utterly dishonest. Renato didn’t want me to take part in the discussion, even though I am a member of the Steering Committee.

To deliberately block someone to prevent them taking part in the discussion which is about their own actions is about as dishonest as it gets.

To respond to the accusations made on that discussion.

It was flagged up here that the banner was going to be taken to the lobby today Originally it was Becky who was going and we discussed her taking the banner, as she had it not me and I would take the poles. Because Becky decided at the last minute to go to India I collected the banner on Saturday but it was flagged up on this list.

I make no apologies for taking it. Brighton & Hove Momentum has clear policy AGAINST the witch hunt though I suspect Renato isn’t opposed to it, hence his objection. LAW has advertised its lobby for sometime and there were 2 other members from B&H Momentum – both from the Unite branch.

The allegations on Swawkbox are untrue but I now know who supplied the information, with instructions that they weren’t going to be quoted by name. Renato.

If people want to argue in favour of the witch hunt which has led to 3 expulsions in BH Momentum and the same no of suspensions fine. Today the National kangaroo Court met in oxford to consider the case of someone whose parents were survivors of Nazi concentration camps and who was a Captain in the Israeli army. He too is ‘antisemitic’ People who agree with this are in my view total scum. These allegations of ‘antisemitism’ are nothing short of political terrorism. They are common, they are frequent and they are being used as a means of destabilising Labour. That is and was their origin.

I was proud that BH banner was present today. It wasn’t to embarrass but to remind the NEC that there is a legacy of McNicol to be overcome and that is the hundreds if not thousands of people who have been auto-excluded, expelled and suspended.

Perhaps Renato would like to move a change of policy at the AGM and we can argue about it?

I am particularly angry at the dishonesty that allows someone to post something whilst blocking the person that it is aimed at. that is underhand, to put it mildly. No member of the Committee should block another person unless they have been the recipient of abuse. I have never posted or messaged Renato so clearly something was churning up inside him to motivate him to do this.

Yes I am expelled. But if people cast their minds back they will recall I was suspended for remarks I was alleged to have made. Those remarks did not form any part of my hearing. Hence I was suspended without good cause. That is the issue not whether I took a banner. I realise that as Labour nears office then Momentum will politically differentiate. That is happening here. Some people – Renato and his supporters in the post I can’t even see, believe one should hide one’s politics and not protest too loudly. the result of this will be that the only pressure on Corbyn will be from the Right.

Indeed we will probably see, and it is a matter of guesswork whether it is b4 or after the next election, some form of split in the PLP. Momentum or rather Lansman has decided against compulsory reselection. These are the issues not the fake issues of a fake Skwawkbox and the actions of the ‘blocking’ Renato, that matter. Yes I expect support being expelled for no good reason. I don’t expect certain people to give it.

However argue your politics openly. Don’t resort to blocking manouvres!


Written by Andrew Coates

March 21, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Tony Greenstein Expelled from the Labour Party – Good Riddance.

with 17 comments


The Tendance is not in favour of any witch-hunts.

The Tendance does not see, however, why on earth Tony Greenstein wants to be a member of the Labour Party, why he should be allowed to join or keep his card.

The clue is in the response from Greenstein, and the reference to “noxious behaviour”  in the  Daily Mirror article.

Those who know the background are aware that Greenstein has harassed a large number of people, for a variety of alleged reasons, not always over the issue of Israel and Palestine. They include long-standing office holders and lay figures in the labour movement.

Anybody wishing to see something of Greenstein in action can see on the blog you are now reading.

This concerns only his style of argument, not the kind of close up obsessional intimidation he is so so often accused of.

“Reply to Bogdanor 8.9.14.
I had previously said that I wouldn’t respond to further replies from Bogdanor and his side-kick Ezra. However, now that I have some time, it would be churlish to avoid pointing out how our kosher fascist, in the absence of any coherent argument, insists on continuing to behave like a jaded holocaust denier.”


I have posted a full response to the lies, deceptions and misattributions of Ezra and in particular Bogdanor, a vicious anti-Communist whose political position places him on the fascist map. Any further response from these 2 clowns will be ignored.

There is a lot, a lot, more.

The recent ruling (9th of January)  by District Judge Susan Brown in Brighton merits a mention in this context, (Brighton and Hove News).

Apart from anything else, “The hearing – organised by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee – was given a copy of extracts from a recent county court judgment when Mr Greenstein unsuccessfully sought information held about him by the party using the Data Protection Act.

The judge described Mr Greenstein as “demonstrably intelligent” and “a highly controversial figure”.” (Brighton and Hove News.)

That is not the half of it….

On Greenstein, at the time engaged in one of his numerous court cases, this time about the Labour Party’s expulsion process, she said,

“It is important to say something about the applicant. He is demonstrably intelligent and has engaged in this process in an articulate and detailed way. He is also a highly controversial figure.


“This court deals with a wide variety of litigant. The applicant quickly brands a query as to why a claim form was not issued as being an allegation of fraud which viewed reasonably it was not.

“He alleges that only a ‘fool or a knave’ would interpret one of his comments in the way the respondent submits which is an emotive comment.

“Whilst he claims to be viewed out of context he has within document repeatedly used language which is offensive in any context – ‘racist Zios’, ‘fascist scum’ to give just two small examples.

“I do not underestimate the complexity of the applicant’s views but his views and the strength with which he expresses them is something the respondent is reasonable in taking into account in providing third party information.”

This is how Greenstein reacted:

Racists Celebrate as the Labour Right and the Zionists Gets Their First Victim.

This is the Mirror:

Labour party activist ‘with history of noxious behaviour‘ expelled for using offensive anti-Semitic term “zio”

Tony Greenstein, who describes himself as an anti-Zionist, had his membership revoked on Sunday.

Labour activist Tony Greenstein has been expelled from the party over allegations of antisemitism.

The Brighton-based member was suspended in 2016 and a disciplinary hearing into his conduct was delayed until January for health reasons.

HuffPost UK understands the charges against him related to abusive online behaviour, including the use of the word “Zio”.

A Labour spokesperson confirmed on Sunday that the party’s National Constitutional Committee had found him guilty on three counts of breaching its rulebook.

They added: “The NCC of the Labour Party has today found that all three charges of a breach of the Labour Party’s rule 2.1.8 by Tony Greenstein have been found proved.

“The NCC consequently determined that the sanction for the breach of Labour Party rules will be expelled from membership.

“The Labour Party will make no further comment on this matter.”

Party rules state that no Labour member should engage in conduct which “might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age; disability; gender reassignment or identity; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation”.

Greenstein is vice-chair of the Labour Against the Witchhunt group, which challenges the suspension of hard-left party members.

A spokesperson for the Jewish Labour Movement said: “We welcome the decision by the Labour Party to expel Tony Greenstein.

“His continued membership is at complete odds with our collective values of solidarity, tolerance and respect.

“Deliberately harassing, intimidatory and hateful language of the kind Tony Greenstein has continually used has no place inside the Labour movement.

“Despite the unacceptably long time it has taken to reach this conclusion, we are heartened that the party has sent out a clear message on this today.

“We will continue to press the party to deal firmly and swiftly with antisemitism including the high number of cases that are still waiting to be resolved.”



From Labour Against the Witch-hunt there are protests.

That is their right.

They are marred by this  ridiculous sentence,

It is shameful that anti-Semitism has been cynically weaponised by the right-wing to purge Labour of Corbyn supporters, while much more prevalent anti-black racism and, until Jeremy Corbyn spoke out against it, Islamophobia, have been ignored by the party.


Jon Lansman, Tony Greenstein, Ann Black and Christine Shawcroft.

with 9 comments

Image result for labour nec election

Left NEC Success.

In Patrick Cockburn’s Chaos and Caliphate: Jihadis and the West in the struggle for the Middle East (2016) the author compares the effects of the multiple civil wars in the Middle East to the mass murders, ethnic and religious cleanings that followed the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the history of Eastern Europe in the decade after 1939. Hundreds of thousands have died, murders have culminated in  acts of genocide, whole communities have been uprooted – the fate of the Christians and other non-Muslim minorities is dire,  Shia and Sunni sectarian battles rage, the Kurds are (again, today) menaced by Turkey, and there are millions of refugees. Governments routinely use torture. Daesh, is still around, after having, as Cockburn puts it, tried to create an Islamic ‘Khmer Rouge” state.

Despite this, or perhaps because of this, some people on the left continue to consider that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians  is the central international issue the Labour Party should be taking up, not only in the region, but  globally.

This has reverberated to damaging effect inside the Labour Party. Apart from a hyper-sensitivity – given the gravity of the some of the language and images ‘Anti-Zionists’ have employed against Israel, an understandable reaction –  there are those who wish to bring alongside Corbyn’s success their own overwhelming interest in promoting the hardline anti-Zionist side on the issue.

Militant anti-Zionism is contentious, it avoids confronting the apocalyptic destruction that is happening right now in Syria and Iraq, not to mention Yemen and elsewhere.

It is divisive, and promoted, no doubt by a minority, as such.

Such a reaction came with the results of Labour’s NEC and particularly with this from one of the dividers, Tony Greenstein,

The witch-hunting of socialists under the bogus pretext of anti-Semitism, i.e. opponents of the world’s only Apartheid state, Israel, is coming to an end in the Labour Party.

Greenstein, considers that the religious and sexual apartheid of states and militias inspired by varieties of Islamism and the mass killings taking place in the region  unworthy of his attention.

He is clear about own thing, and indeed yelps with joy at it, above all the attention he has received in the wake of a result to which he contributed nothing,

A Momentous Day for Democracy as Chief Witch-hunter, Ann Black is sacked

Christine Shawcroft is a good socialist and she has stuck up for her principles in the past, notably over her support for Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

No doubt Greenstein, revelling in this “success” forgets this (Jewish Chronicle 2016),

Mr Lansman says there is no reason why Zionist Labour supporters cannot find a place in the Corbyn Labour Party.

“I have Zionist friends in the party. Jeremy supports the existence of Israel, he wants peace and co-existence. Why should Israel supporters not have a place in Labour? Of course they should. I’ve been arguing for two states long before it was acceptable within the Jewish community to argue for two states.

Many will agree with this. A critical stand towards the Israeli government, and backing for – however difficult it may seem at present, a comprise two state solution. This is not the militant anti-Zionist view which is against the existence of  Israel.

In his jouissance Greenstein may have equally forgotten this,  (Jewish Chronicle December 26th 2017), another interview with Jon Lansman,

He described Mr Greenstein – a Jewish anti-Zionist who has been suspended from the party over comments he made about Jewish MP Louise Ellman – as “probably the rudest person I know in politics. He says many offensive things, most of the time”.

On the NEC elections like many people I am happy with the result – not least because the candidates I voted for won.

I am not happy that Ann Black is no longer chair – the details of her politics and decisions are less important than that she is a respected person (I was part of the original Grassroots Alliance that backed her). She has stood up to supporters of Tony Blair in the past. Ann is particularly liked for having kept in close contact with ordinary members during her service on the NEC.

Christine has many good qualities but like many people I have concerns – illustrated not just by her support for the anti-Labour Lutfur Rahman (and the involvement of her close allies with this individual)  but also  her own split as part of the ‘Original’ Labour Briefing with the ‘LRC’ Labour Briefing (Labour Briefing… and now there are two). Her qualifications for the role as the neutral chair of the Disputes Panel do not look promising.


Written by Andrew Coates

January 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm

‘Anti-Zionist’ Tony Greenstein’s Latest Adventures.

with 2 comments

Yes dear, everything you don’t like is anti-Semitic – I suspect you accuse your breakfast of being anti-semitic sometimes

Snoopers, Serpents and Mosers – McNicol’s Secret Police are hard at work

McNicol’s Inspector Clouseau refused to believe I’d been in hospital – I was on a demonstration!

To those not familiar with him T.G. is an anti-Zionist…a bit, a bit….

And who says Greenstein has no sense of humour?

I sent him a satirical email, purporting to come from a Zionist.  In it I suggested that maybe the Labour Party should submit all membership applications to the Israeli Embassy just to be on the safe side.  It would appear that the humourless apparatchiks at Southside took it literally. Because in the witness statement for the Labour Party in my attempt to obtain unredacted documents from them, the verdict for which still hasn’t come through, their solicitor states (Para 20(b)(ii) that:


The man complaining about not being allowed to join the Labour Party on “these Labour Party scum ” ” the Chief serpent is McNicol and John Stolliday is his Deputy. There are unfortunately many serpents at Southside.” “Informers were particularly detested by Jewish people because their activities led to peoples’ death. Jews hiding out under Nazi occupation feared the informers most of all. It was one such creature who was responsible for the death of Anne Frank. It seems that you and your associates take some pride and pleasure in your activities. This is the tradition that you and Iain McNicol stand in. “

For those who want a larf there’s plenty more via the link.

It’s a quiet day but after this brief bit of an update on the Monster Raving Greenstein Party we should add this chilling warning. 

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Written by Andrew Coates

November 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Momentum Grassroots Conference: Why much of the Left Keeps its Distance.

with 2 comments


Grassroots Momentum,  “packed out” meeting says Monster Raving Greenstein Party.

Many people on the left have been wary of Grassroots Momentum and its Conference.

A clear indication of why comes in this report from the Monster Raving Greenstein Party,

A Fighting Start but It is Only the Beginning

Despite opposition from the Zionist Trotskyists (!) of the Alliance for Workers Liberty, the original statement to the conference opposing ‘unjust’ expulsions was amended to make it clear that fake allegations of anti-Semitism should be resisted.

As the said “Zionist” AWL have commented,

On the “anti-semitism witch-hunt”

An amendment was carried which was written down on a flipchart on the platform (illegibly to many) as “opposition to the antisemitism witch-hunt” and read out (inaudibly to some) as “opposition to the false antisemitism witch-hunt”.

This was done without debate, and with a fair scattering of abstentions, votes against, and people just not voting.

Why? Most people surely voted for the amendment because they oppose the Compliance Unit’s arbitrary ways, know that some charges of antisemitism have been invented or inflated arbitrarily, and anyway believe that prejudice is best dealt with primarily by discussion and education.

However, the term “antisemitism witch-hunt” is ambiguous and slippery. In some of the arguments elsewhere of those backing the amendment, it is taken to mean that any charge of antisemitism against anyone on the left must automatically be assumed to be witch-hunting invention motivated by hostility to the Palestinian people.

That is not true. There have been streaks of antisemitism in the left throughout our history – and, where Stalinism has been influential in the left, more than a streak – and the best sections of the left have sought to clean up that antisemitism and educate ourselves, rather than wave away all concerns as fabrications by the right wing.

We have called for an amnesty for all those summarily suspended or expelled by the Compliance Unit. We have opposed the suspension of Jackie Walker. Those stances can and must be combined with a proper recognition that the left must put our own house in order on antisemitism, and that someone being targeted factionally and arbitrarily by the right does not make everything they have said automatically ok.

There was another problem with the amendment. A number of people have been suspended on charges to do with antisemitism. Mostly they will get a hearing with at least some rules and safeguards. Some have had their suspensions lifted.

The far bigger section of the victims of the Compliance Unit are those excluded just for being left-wing, for allegedly sympathising with Workers’ Liberty or Socialist Appeal or Left Unity. Almost all of them have been denied a hearing, or an appeal, or even what would in any halfway fair system be considered definite charges.

That is the larger part of the Compliance Unit’s work. An amendment which just said “opposition to the witch-hunt”, reinforcing the already-included “opposition to unjust expulsions and suspensions”, would have been much better.

Tony Greenstein and Gerry Downing – in their different ways, the most vocal advocates on the web of the view in which the core of politics is about the heroic resistance of “anti-Zionists” such as themselves to the supposedly all-powerful, all-pervading, ever-conspiring “Zionists”, and the most strident denouncers of leftists such as Rhea Wolfson (“Zionist ally of Jon Lansman”) – stood for election to the committee. We are glad to report that they both failed, with Downing coming bottom.

Greenstein and Downing stood for election…

The Monster Raving Greenstein Party got 49 votes,  and Downing got 11 coming last in the poll, but he still stood.


Greenstein, as the above article states, has denounced Rhea Wolfson.

Denounce is perhaps too weak a word.

This is what he says of her support for Momentum’s Jon Lansman’s exclusion of Jackie Walker from her position..within Momentum, “a White woman who supports the racist Israeli state scapegoating a Black woman.” (Blog)

Comrade Rhea is not the only person individually targeted for Monster raving abuse.

There is a long, a very long list, but we will limit this post to a special case, in Momentum...

Lansman has embarked on rehabilitating Zionism and the State of Israel“, (June 2016), “I could also ask Jon Lansman a few of those questions that Tony Benn once suggested, such as ‘who put you there’ ‘from where does your power derive’ and the clincher ‘how do we get rid of you’? There is a reason that dictators have always loved plebiscites.  That is because they get to choose the questions and to frame them in such a way that they get the ‘right’ answer. Most people won’t remember Hitler’s plebiscites on the Rhine and the Saarland but they haven’t had a very good reputation ever since.” (January 2017).

Here is how he attacked the Jewish Socialist Group: Bundists behaving like Stalinists – JSG Leaders Remove Critics of Lansman from Jews 4 Jeremy FB Group (February 2017).

Here is the most recent raving limits of Greenstein, a call to create a separate ‘democratic’ Momentum, “The fight for democracy is not a split. Lansman’s coup should be resisted by founding a democratic Momentum, urges Tony Greenstein (Weekly Worker. 23.2.17)

Small wonder that he was suspended from Labour, the old charge of bringing discredit on the party  would alone be enough.


Gerry Downing, be it noted, is famous for his writings, and those of his comrade, Ian Donovan, on the Web site Socialist Fight, on the ‘International Jewish Bourgeoisie”.

This is located Donovan writes, in Draft Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialism 6-9-2014.

Jewish overrepresentation in the US and other ruling classes. For the United States, which is the most powerful state in human history, you can easily find informed Jewish sources that place the representation of Jews among billionaires, the most powerful elements of the capitalist elite, at between 40 and 48% – nearly half (for example see http://www.jewishworldreview.com/joe/aaron101007.php3). This is the only logically coherent explanation for the power of the so-called lobby. It must be faced fearlessly by Marxists, irrespective of any discomfort that may result from confronting the widespread prejudice (for that is what it is) that to mention, let alone try to analyse, such factual matters is in some way racist. To ignore them in this way is itself an act of betrayal of those on the receiving end of the crimes that result from this state of affairs, and in that sense a chauvinist position.

After a lengthy ‘analysis’ he concludes:

The Jews are not a nation, but they have a pan-national bourgeoisie that had national aspirations and wanted a territorial asset to give expression to that.

This pan-imperialist Zionist bloc within the bourgeoisie plays an active role in the oppression of the Palestinians.

Downing has been expelled from membership of the Labour Party.


Few would be bothered to read the above drivel but they will look at what the right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes revealed.

“An unbylined article on Downing’s Socialist Fight website, which Downing himself tweeted, is headlined: “Why Marxists must address the Jewish Question”. The piece speaks for itself:

“The role Zionists have played in the attempted witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign is glaringly obvious… Since the dawning of the period of neo-liberal capitalism in the 1970s, elements of the Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie, from Milton Friedman to Henry Kissinger to the pro-Israel ideologues of the War on Terror, have played a vanguard role for the capitalist offensive against the workers.”

Downing appears to have an obsession with “Jewish” people”

Given this background it is not surprising that Downing was thrown out of the Labour Party,  and claims about “witch-hunting invention” are distasteful, to say the least.

Is Grassroots Momentum going to campaign to get him back?

Then there is this, which is equally serious, politically if not ethically.

Socialist Fight recently helped organise this pro-Assad  meeting on Syria:

Socialist Fight Public Meeting Vanessa Beeley Speaks

To continue on last Saturday’s  meeting.

Grassroots Conference 11 March 2017 Steering Committee Election Results

The candidate for this group, Labour Party Marxists, Stan Keable, got 13 votes.

The Latest Labour Party Marxists Bulletin describes the conflict within Grassroots Momentum.

Against Jon Lansman, but for what?

The outline three tendencies (how far they are organised factions is left open):

  • Some want a clean split from Momentum – the sooner, the better. There are, naturally, differences over with whom to split, to form what exactly and on what political basis.
  • Some want to continue to work in Momentum for now, while at the same time almost replicating the official body – with parallel structures and similar political limitations, but on a lower level: similar campaigns, similar leadership elections, etc.
  • Some – and LPM belongs to this third group – agree that we should continue to work within Momentum for the time being, but with a clear understanding of its limited shelf life, openly criticising its exceedingly pinched political outlook and subordination to the politics of Jeremy Corbyn’s 10 pledges.

But essentially it boils down, apparently, to two.

Tina Werkmann of Labour Party Marxists, the New Steering Committee, and, I am not spilling any beans, the group that produces the Weekly Worker,  gives an  overview.

Are political differences between the two groups?

Definitely. This is reflected in Grassroots Momentum as a whole: Those left on the old steering committee included Alliance for Workers’ Liberty supporters Michael Chessum and Jill Mountford (plus Fire Brigades Union leader Matt Wrack and Jackie Walker); the CAC is made up of Jackie Walker, Alec Price and Delia Mattis (Josie Runswick resigned early on and was replaced by Lee Griffiths). The CAC took control, chaired the whole day and managed to almost totally sideline the AWL.

Jackie Walker and her supporters hate the AWL with a passion, of course.

And I totally understand why. The ugly truth is that AWLers have actively participated in the ‘anti-Semitism’ witch-hunt against her. They supported Jon Lansman in sacking her as Momentum vice-chair in September 2016. In effect, this was a dry run for the next coup – the ‘big one’ on January 10 – when Lansman crushed any democracy in the organisation and simply imposed a new, crassly undemocratic constitution.

It was clear at the GM conference that the AWL has really made a lot of enemies in all of this – just to add to those of us who already opposed their pro-Zionist social-imperialism. There was a great deal of hostility against them on display – and it only increased during the day. I must confess, I almost felt a bit sorry for them. Almost

Because the few proposals on display were presented so out of context and in a truncated manner, AWL members tried to make various ‘points of order’ throughout the day. Some were more useful than others; some were presented more coherently than others. The AWL’s Rosie Woods, who had taken up a position near the stage, was greeted, after she’d been on her feet a few times, with a rather sectarian chorus of “Sit down, sit down” (led by Gerry Downing, of all people – he’s been on the receiving end of people’s displeasure a few times, so probably should know better). But to claim that they “disrupted” the conference, as some comrades have since done on Facebook, is seriously misleading and excuses the CAC’s role in the often disorganised and muddled way conference was planned and conducted.

Actually, it reminds me of the way Jon Lansman, Owen Jones and Paul Mason have tried to blame ‘the Trots’ (ie, the left) for the failures of Momentum to take off. Not a healthy response …

I happen to be one of those who thinks that the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty have sane politics on a variety of issues, from Europe (they are pro-Another Europe is Possible), the Middle East (as for their ” pro-Zionist social-imperialism“, they are for a democratic ‘two states’ solution to the Israel/Palestine issue, and back democratic secular forces against both Islamists, genocidal or ‘moderate’,  and tyrannies like Assad’s), and on the need for radical democratic socialist politics in the UK.

Many of us hold these views, without a need to ‘join’ anything more than pressure groups within the Labour Party.

We want to see a Labour government and  are intensely  aware of the difficulties that presents at the moment.

To that end wish to co-operate with the full range of party members, to reach out to the electorate, while trying to promote ideas of democratic socialism.

The above reports on Momentum Grassroots confirm that we are right not to get directly involved in this particular war, which involves those of the stripe of Greenstein and Downing, however much on the margins.

Regardless that is, if “Our comrades elected to the leadership of this new network will try to work seriously, constructively, and in cooperation with others, to make that happen” this will, I suspect, be the attitude of many on the left.

Meanwhile this is taking place in a couple of days:

CONFERENCE 2017  Momentum’s Inaugural National conference – Building to Win – Saturday 25th March


More information: Momentum conferences are like buses. Andy Stowe. (Socialist Resistance).

Written by Andrew Coates

March 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Rhea Wolfson Speaks of Racist Abuse: “Pretentious, self serving, martyrdom promoting, precious nonsense.” Says Leading ‘anti-Zionist’.

with 13 comments

Rhea Wolfson is  a breath of fresh air.

Like many activists I was very pleased to see a fresh face standing for the Centre left Grassroots Alliance slate for Labour’s NEC along with the other strong candidates, Ann Black, Claudia Webbe, Darren Williams, Christine Shawcroft, and Pete Willsman.

Reflecting the diversity of the democratic socialist, labour spectrum reflected on this list, which includes those from all parts of this tradition, Rhea is an activist with her own views. She immediately attracted criticism, from the Progress Right-wing of the party, from the Eustonites, and, as can be seen from her own account, from others who have nothing to do with the labour movement or any form of left.

Harry’s Place – the ‘Eustonites’ – singled her out.

Saul Freeman wrote,

Rhea Wolfson, a young socialist who has stated that “winning 2020 should not be the priority of the Labour Party” and asserts that “to focus only on elections loses sight of other ways of making effective changes in society”.

If Ken & Rhea didn’t exist, some of us would be tempted to invent them as clumsily drawn characters to use in our blog posts where we write about the moral and political collapse of the Left.

He appeared to suggest that her opinions fitted in a box that included the Stop the War Coalition, amongst people who, “who sneer at the dull incrementalism of parliamentary social democracy”.

Now I appreciate that Rhea isn’t too concerned about this aspect, but how could I vote for Labour in 2020 anyway? It wouldn’t be the safe or responsible thing to do. I mean – and I know this is stretching the argument – what if Labour actually achieved power? Is anyone seriously suggesting that we vote to empower those that hold the STWC world view, in whole or in part? How might history judge us?

Harry’s Place was not the only critic.

Rhea has written her own account – which should be read.

My first 24 hours as an NEC candidate made me want to give up – but I won’t.

On Tuesday afternoon, I announced that I was standing for election to represent Labour Party members on its National Executive Committee. My first 24 hours as a candidate were a crash course in why so many are reluctant to put themselves forward. In less than a day I have faced racist and sexist abuse through social media, directed to both my family and me, been smeared by Tory blogs, and had senior figures in my own party attack me unfairly.

My day got worse from here. The right wing blog Guido Fawkes then picked up the story. This led to more attention and more hatred on social media. And I presume it was thanks to this coverage that I won the attention of the far-right.

A neo-Nazi blog covered my candidacy. There, I am described as a ‘dirty Zionist Jewess’. The writer has publicised my twitter account and instructed its readers to send Nazi images to me. The comments on the page include photoshopped images of me in a gas chamber. More harrowing still, they have shared my sister’s Twitter handle and suggested that she be targeted too.

Labour List.

After Harry’s Place it was the turn of Tony Greenstein, a leading ‘Anti-Zionist’ campaigner to give his judgement,

This is such pretentious, self serving, martyrdom promoting, precious nonsense. Those of us who have actually been active in the anti-fascist movement, you know actually facing up to fash and driving them off the streets, would find this pathetic. I’ve been targeted for close on a decade by Redwatch – Southern Coast, a neo-Nazi site dedicated to physically targeting anti-fascists for attacks in the street or home or both. People on it have been attacked but we don’t moan. I’ve been attacked but you just put it down to experience.

Those who wish can try to finish this particular line of thought on the original site.

Greenstein added, in response to the suggestion that Rhea should be entitled to a Safe Space that,

there are no safe spaces under capitalism. Asylum seekers don’t have safe spaces nor do the victims of Syria’s civil war or the families whose houses have been demolished by Israel.

What you mean is a pampered middle class kid shouldn’t have their oh so precious feelings hurt. So sad. NOT

Comments on site.

Tony Greenstein is currently believed to be appealing against his suspension from the Labour Party.

By contrast how is the labour movement reacting?

Left Futures reports.

GMB condemns antisemitic abuse of centre-left candidate for Labour executive

GMB Scotland today utterly condemned the vile antisemitic abuse suffered by their Glasgow Branch Secretary, Rhea Wolfson, who is standing for a position on the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

A spate of deliberate attacks on social media by Nazi propagandists occurred following confirmation of Rhea’s candidacy and GMB Scotland have said they will bring these hate crimes to the attention of the police, while using every tool at their disposal to flush out the online racists.

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, said:

There is no place for anti-Semitism or racism of any kind in our politics or society and Rhea has the total solidarity of her trade union in the face of this vile abuse.

Rhea is a hugely talented and principled activist; a popular and respected member of our union in Scotland and beyond with an established track record of campaigning for social justice and human rights.

We can’t let this hate go unchallenged. What sort of message would that send out to young people of all backgrounds who may want to get involved in making our communities and workplaces more fair, peaceful and prosperous?

GMB Scotland looks after our members and we call on all representatives from across civic society and politics to condemn these hate crimes.”

Like many others who were involved in forming and supporting the Grassroots Alliance when it was set up in 1998 I can say that all this brings back recollections of the response of those hostile to it at the time. *

Watch out Labour, the Trots are back with a vengeance. David Aaronovitch. 1998.

This piece, which enjoyed cult status in some quarters (though not, for reasons which become immediately clear, amongst those individually singled out), brought us back down memory lane.

 WHEN I was first at college, the most romantic and sexy left group on campus was Tariq Ali’s International Marxist Group. They smoked dope, they dropped acid, they bonked, they argued, they partied. When they got militant the blokes all put on denim jackets, tartan scarves and black gloves, and occupied things. And the IMG women were cool, too, divided between free-loving Alexandra Kollontais and Earth Mothers.

The International Socialists (forerunners of the Socialist Workers Party, and political home to Paul Foot) and sections of my own Communist Party were hostile to the IMG. “IMG, IMG, idle sons of the bourgeoisie”, was one little chant that we all enjoyed in those far-off days. Hour after hour we would sit up debating with IMG members the virtues and vices of Ernest Mandel’s critique of the Neither Washington Nor Moscow problematics.


Echoes of this past were ringing in my ears when I read the accounts this week of the attempts by Liz Davies, the ousted Labour candidate for Leeds, to get elected to the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party this autumn. She is part of a slate – the “centre-left” slate, no less – which is canvassing for the votes of ordinary Labour Party members, even as I write. She’s had a very good press for, after all, what is she doing, other than trying to debate, in a party that now stifles debate? Poor Liz.


As always. Nice to see you again, comrades. But “centre-left”? Please.

I should point out that Liz had nothing to do with the IMG whatsoever.

That was before the Web, Twitter, Trolling, and when the likes of Saul and Greenstein could only grind their teeth in their basements amid the smell of damp socks.

At least Aaronovitch could do funnies.


*The Alliance’s founding groups were originally Labour Reform, a centrist democratic group within the Party, and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, the left wing democratic grouping, who subsequently brought in other more left-wing groupings from within the Labour Party. Private talks with trades union representatives to build a broader base had failed on union demands and this initiated the inclusion of a much broader Left group from the grassroots, including Labour Left Briefing and the Editor of Tribune, Mark Seddon. Successful efforts were also made to include the Scottish Left. Wikipedia.

Euro-Elections: Carlos le Chacal Parle.

with 3 comments

Fighting the ‘Anti-France’.

Now (have just begun new signing-on process) for something different.

French Euro-elections.Le Monde has reported a Meeting by the Dieudonné ‘anti-Zionist’ list (here) (More information here and here).

The Théâtre de la Main d’Or (1st of June) was packed out with Holocaust deniers, ‘national revolutionaries’,  9/11 ‘truthers’, Islamicists, fascists, Dieudonné’s mates, former Greens, former leftists, very much present anti-Semites.  

There was one very special guest – albeit by telephone link from his Prison cell. A certain CarlosTaking time off from gnawing a few bones, the Venezuelan extended his full  ‘symbolic’  support.

 “Saluant sa “camarade” Ginette Skandrani, il s’est indigné : “Toi qui vis avec un Arabe, on te traite de raciste”avant de s’en prendre à “cette bande de gitans et de juifs qui te taxent d’antisémitisme. Ces gens (…) sont protégés par l’anti-France, excusez-moi d’employer une expression vichyste, c’est l’anti-France”. La salle s’est levée pour l’acclamer.”

“Saluting his ‘comrade’  Ginette Skandrani, he showed his anger, “You who live with an Arab, they treat you as a racist.” before launching into, “this band of Gypsies and Jews who accuse you of anti-Semitism. These people (…) are protected by the ‘anti-France’, excuse me for using this Vickyist expression, it’s the ‘anti-France’. The room rose in acclamation.”

Those bloody Zionist gypsies are at it again!

Written by Andrew Coates

June 4, 2009 at 11:38 am