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John McDonnell, Moving “Towards a People’s Vote” on Brexit.

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McDonnell sticks to his Principles.

Labour ‘moving towards People’s Vote’: Shadow chancellor John McDonnell tells of party shift on Brexit

EXCLUSIVE: John McDonnell speaks about Labour shift on Brexit and calls for ‘fiercer’ action against anti-Semitism

He gave his strongest indication yet that Labour is close to backing a second public vote and said he would campaign for Remain if one is held.

“On the people’s vote, we’ve kept it on the table and we’re moving towards that,” he said.

He said an amendment calling for a public vote which is being tabled for debate next week by Labour MPs  Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson “could be a solution”.

The amendment, which was reportedly endorsed by shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer at a planning meeting this week, would offer Theresa May’s deal an easy ride in the Commons if she put it to a binding yes-no vote of the public.

Mr McDonnell revealed the two backbenchers had been asked to redraft the amendment. And he said that if the Prime Minister’s deal was rejected by the public, Britain would remain in the EU by default.

“If we were going on a people’s vote based on a deal that has gone through Parliament in some form, if that got voted down then you’d have status quo, and that would be Remain,” he said.

….

Mr McDonnell said Remain should be an option in a referendum and said Labour was “moving into implementation stages around our conference decision, around the People’s Vote”.

Asked how would he vote, he said firmly: “I’ve said all along if there was another one I’d campaign for Remain and I’d vote for Remain.”

This is a genuine step forward for the internationalist left.

Comrade McDonnell also responded to chagres of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party in a way which will resonate with many activists,

In the same interview, Mr McDonnell criticised his party for moving too slowly and softly against anti-Semitism. “We’ve got to be quicker, and we’ve got to be fiercer,” he said. “I think there’s been a lot of listening but not enough action. That’s the problem.”

I cannot underline too much how more comfortable I and many feel with McDonnell’s way of dealing with these issues then the official line so far.

That’s without the kind of recoil many of us feel at the hyper ‘anti Zionist’ reaction.

The story has echoed widely in the media:

 

The Evening Standard notes that Len McCluskey, leader of UNITE, is opposed to any such vote.

No doubt influenced by the charge that, with company after company announcing shifts in car production, decisions generally said to be influenced by Brexit, that McCluskey he has let his members working in the auto industry down, the UNITE chief is now squirming:

 

Cormade McDonnell has won praise:

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

February 22, 2019 at 5:09 pm

As Labour and Tories Split, Committee for Workers International (CWI/Socialist Party, ex Militant) Rows on “petty Bourgeois Mandelism” Escalates.

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Call to Purge Labour as they face International Split of their own.

In the latest copy of the Socialist you’ll find this call to purge Labour,

Eight Blairites split – Now kick out the rest

  • Gang of eight traitors must face by-elections
  • Mandatory reselection to kick out the rest

Corbyn and unions must call mass action – for a general election now

They also demand they be allowed back into the Party, through the convening of a special conference in which they will happily particticate,

The Gang of Seven have exposed more clearly than ever the real nature of the battle that must be waged to refound Labour as a genuinely democratic, socialist party, with a renewed, federal structure. The Socialist Party calls for the convening of a labour movement conference, in which all anti-austerity forces, including trade unions and socialist groups such as our own, could participate.

Such a conference could discuss the urgent tasks facing our movement. Most immediately, these include building mass action to fight for a general election, deselecting Blairite MPs and their replacement with fighting socialist candidates, and building the struggle to transform society along socialist lines.

What you won’t read is an account of their own split, an international one involving their Irish and Greek sections, inside their mini-International, the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI).

In Defence of a Working-class Orientation for the CWI Peter Taaffe for the International Secretariat (Majority) 14/1/19 It is necessary to call things by their right name. Barely a month has passed since the IEC and yet it is already quite clear that the CWI faces an opposition to the policies and programme of the CWI with tendencies towards petty bourgeois Mandelism. This opposition originated with the leadership of the Irish section, but it is also present in the leadership of a number of sections of the CWI who support them. This is most prominently displayed in the recent lengthy Greek Executive Committee’s resolution written by Andros P, which represents an open political retreat from the policies and analysis of the CWI. This is a complete apologia – both organisational and political – for the false methods, policies and perspectives of the Irish organisation.

More: IS-majority-and-PT-Statement-one.pdf

While the above magistral masterpiece  has been the subject of many discussions amongst the Leftists Trainspotters’ Permanent Central Committee (FB) over the last few days, there is also this:

Members bulletin Documents on the dispute that arose at the IEC

At the recent IEC meeting a major dispute erupted involving, in the view of the majority of England and Wales comrades who attended, fundamental issues. Arising from that dispute an international faction has been formed which the England and Wales IEC members are members of. There will now be a process of debate, leading up to a World Congress in January 2020, in order to discuss out and clarify the issues. The faction will be producing written political material explaining its view, and will invite others to do the same. Organised debates, with all views being put, will then take place. We recognise that it will not be possible for most comrades in England and Wales to draw firm conclusions prior to that process of discussion.

“It is not complete, as some confidential issues cannot be reported in writing…”

Contents:

IS statement following meeting with Irish leadership 3

Email from PS to KMcL, PM, DB 4

Our response to the issues 7

A brief contribution on some political issues mentioned by PM 13

IS letter for discussion on a marxist challenge to identity politics 19

Women’s oppression and identity politics – our approach in Ireland and internationally A Response to the IS document “Women’s Oppression and Identity Politics” Response of Belgian IEC members on IS document 46

T he United Front method and putting forward a Socialist Programme today Resolution from faction to the IEC 65

Concerning IEC 2018 66 30 51

Notable extract,

A crisis has developed. The IS and representatives of the leadership of the Irish section have met to have extensive discussion to try and find a principled solution to the problems which have arisen. 3.  This meeting followed the revelation that a comrade, CP, had [redacted]. The IS totally condemns these actions and finds them reprehensible. We agree that this needs to be reported and discussed to the NC of the Irish section which should discuss and agree what disciplinary sanctions should be taken against CP.

See also Urban 75.

A screenshot has been circulating containing the opening paragraphs of a document titled ‘Crisis in CWI’ and penned by head honcho Peter Taaffe. The tirade accuses the Irish section, their star section and most successful in electoral terms, of ‘political retreat’ and lurching towards ‘petty bourgeois Mandelism’. No substantive differences are raised and I don’t have access to the rest of the document, but the accusatory and intemperate tone suggests a split is on the horizon.

Irish comrades, not in the CWI, fail to detect substantial differences over wider Irish issues, though the Socialist Party’s pro-British Brexit nationalist line may well, they suggest, have caused tensions.

The “redacted” section suggests something that they wish to hide.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 21, 2019 at 6:27 pm

Labour Split: Brexit and Beyond.

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” possibility that they have nothing to offer but anti-Corbynism and vacuous centrism..” (Labour List)

 

Labour split: Jeremy Corbyn faces major crisis as deputy leader warns more MPs are ready to quit party

Jeremy Corbyn faces a historic Labour rupture after being warned that more MPs are ready to follow the seven who dramatically quit his party on Monday.

The leader publicly appealed for unity while his supporters launched savage attacks on the MPs, branding them “cowards”, “traitors” and “splitters” and demanding they give up their seats.

But as the crisis deepened, deputy leader Tom Watson said other MPs are also considering leaving Labour, a party he admitted he sometimes no longer recognises, amid visceral anger over antisemitism, Brexit and Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

Independent

The first response to the 7 resignations and the creation of the Independent Group in Parliament should – this comes in the realm of the bleeding obvious – be temperate.

In this vein, “We at Open Labour view the split from the Labour Party as a step backwards for open politics within Labour, and for the communities our party represents. Many of those splitting away have served Labour for years, so we thank them for their work and wish them well, though we disagree with their decision.”

By contrast, the response  to the resignations shows some of the left at their worst.

Screams of ‘traitors’, as the Independent reports,  are likely to be welcomed by the new Parliamentary group.

They confirm their charge of intolerance and hatred.

The Napoleon of Counterfire, John Rees, writes,

Good that the splitters have gone, but this is a dangerous moment for the left, argues John Rees

What all this means is that the Labour left is faced with a choice: do you want a genuine left-wing workers’ party, or do you want to continue the losing battle to hold together a traditional Social Democratic party which contains right-wing, pro-capitalist, pro-imperialist, MPs?

No, NO!

This should be the moment when the entire Labour left, including the leadership around Jeremy Corbyn, decisively strikeout to recreate Labour as a genuine socialist party.

Perhaps Rees, experienced in creating a genuine workers’ parties, from the SWP to George Galloway’s Respect, should be appointed an adviser to Corbyn.

The next issue is to focus on the most important aspect: this break-away weakens efforts to stop the Tory Brexit.

Not only by grabbing attention for the split.

Concern at the influence of forces hostile to left-wing internationalism, that is, the pro-Brexit wing in Labour, can hardly have an effect outside the Party.

The damage caused by the looming threat of Brexit is already major:

Finally, is the controversy about anti-Semitism going to disappear?

The respected Mayor of London commented yesterday,

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he is deeply distressed by the Labour split, but admitted the party has been “shockingly poor” at dealing with anti-Semitism.

The Labour Party has been shockingly poor at addressing the issue of antisemitism over the last few years. We know that there are members of the Labour Party who have joined who have clearly anti-Semitic views, or have been in our party for some time and have clearly anti-Semitic views, the Labour Party hasn’t acted swiftly enough to kick them out.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON

But he said he believed the Labour divide will make it more difficult for the party to be elected to govern.

History tells us that when the Labour Party splits, it leads to the Conservative Party winning the next election and the one after that and the one after that. What people I care about need is a Labour Government. One thing that’s going to make that more difficult is Labour splits.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON

It beggars belief that the Chair of  Luciana Berger’s CLP was capable of this without being caught out.

The chair of the Liverpool Wavertree Labour Party – which is facing claims of antisemitic bullying by local members against MP Luciana Berger – made repeated appearances on a current affairs show broadcast by conspiracy theorist David Icke.

Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, who is a member of the pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice For Labour group, has been a regular guest on the Richie Allen on David Icke.com show since 2015.

Chair of CLP accused of bullying Luciana Berger appeared on show broadcast by David Icke

At the moment most minds are going to be focused on the potential of the group in elections.

The Spectator states,

When asked in the survey who they would vote for if there was a general election tomorrow, 8 per cent of the respondents opted for ‘A new centrist party opposed to Brexit’ if one existed. If these results materialised in a general election, this would make the Independence Group the third largest party, behind the Conservatives on 39 per cent and Labour on 34 per cent. Revealingly, the majority of the new party’s vote share has come from Labour, causing the party to fall into second place, five points behind the Conservative Party.

The capacity of the group to keep in the headlines is underlined by speculation over new defections,

Will more MPs leave Labour and the Conservatives to join the Independent Group?

Stephen Bush

John McDonnell makes a  suggestion to deal with the difficulties Labour faces:

McDonnell: Labour needs “mammoth, massive listening exercise.

Statements: 

“IT IS THE LABOUR PARTY OR NOTHING” – OPEN LABOUR STATEMENT

We at Open Labour view the split from the Labour Party as a step backwards for open politics within Labour, and for the communities our party represents. Many of those splitting away have served Labour for years, so we thank them for their work and wish them well, though we disagree with their decision.

As as a principle of democracy, we believe that those MPs splitting from the party no longer represent the people who voted for them as Labour candidates on our 2017 manifesto. They should stand down and face by-elections.

We stand by Labour’s direction of travel on the economy and austerity, which alongside Brexit are the most important issues facing the country. Labour is the only party serious about fighting for a transformation of our broken economy, and all indications are that it will remain the only party offering such a platform.

We have sympathy with some of these MP’s concerns raised around party culture, particularly with regards to the long failure of Labour to tackle anti-Semitic abuse and a culture of bad faith or exclusionary rhetoric which grips some CLPs – these criticisms cannot be dismissed. But the cure offered does not remedy the problem. We firmly believe that leaving the party offers no way to improve Labour, to ease the suffering in our communities, or prevent even greater suffering as a result of Brexit.

Open Labour will continue to fight for a left which encourages pluralism and tolerates a range of traditions and groups in their right to exist and campaign. Without it, there can be no vibrancy in the party, splits become inevitable, and our democracy loses its purpose.

The path to making our ideas a reality is through Labour and its allies in the trade union movement.

We are sorry to see this happen and thank our leaving MPs for their service, but we look forward to campaigning for Labour candidates in the seats affected.

Labour for a People’s Vote: 

Today seven Labour MPs have resigned from the Labour Party and announced that they will form a new “independent grouping”.

We understand that these MPs have had concerns over the way that the party has handled Brexit, and over the way that antisemitism has been dealt with.

Antisemitism is a serious issue. We are committed to rooting it out of the party and hope all Jewish members will stay to help us do this. Racism of any kind has no place in our party or our country. Labour has always been against discrimination of any kind. Antisemitism must be no exception.

We understand too that Brexit is a national crisis, made by the Tories and designed only to create division and harm in our society. Labour is the only party able to stop the Tories achieving their ends – which is why we are so clear on the need for a public vote, and for Labour to campaign for our EU membership in that campaign. Anything else would let down the people of Britain who put their trust in us at the last election.

We believe however that this fight is best fought within the Labour Party. Only Labour can win a General Election and keep the Tories out of power. Only Labour can stop the Tories’ Brexit getting through Parliament, and win a parliamentary vote to get a new referendum on Brexit. And only Labour has the reach and authority to lead and win the remain campaign.

We believe that Labour has the answers to the problems Britain faces. Britain needs a radical Labour Government, able to sweep away years of Tory misrule and austerity, and restore fairness and justice to our country. This agenda is not served by splits or resignations.

Labour for a People’s Vote.

People’s Assembly leader John Rees urges Corbyn to “face down” anti-Brexit Labour membership and MPs

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Happier Days: John Rees, Experienced Campaigner and Strategist. 

In a multi-pronged strategy for reviving Labour’s fortunes, John Rees, a leading figure in the People’s Assembly and the influential groupuscule Counterfire launched this broadside yesterday:

Waiting for the Tories to fail is a losing strategy, argues John Rees

Jeremy Corbyn, who has historically held an anti-EU position only altered under pressure from the right wing in the first days of his leadership, and now aware that Labour would lose the next general election if Labour deserts the very large number of Leave voters, is embattled at the head of his party.

One way of improving Labour’s prospects would be to face down the remainers and second referendumers. All the placatory talk of Labour being a broad church which can accommodate diametrically opposed views is doing nothing to quell the determination on the part of the remain right-wingers to see the end of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

The pro-Brexit Rees, who sees leaving the European Union as the basis for a “new economic settlement that works for the many”, a “People’s Brexit”  urges Corbyn to come out forcefully for….. Brexit,

Worse still, placating these forces in Labour sends a signal to Leave voters that Labour is not serious about respecting the outcome of the 2016 referendum. The secret of the Tories continued relative success in the opinion polls is that they look like the only party seriously committed to delivering Brexit. If Labour allows this to continue it makes the next general election a much more close run thing than it ever need be.

Rees, on the strength of the 3,000 strong (some say, 2,000)  People’s Assembly March last month, which ended in fisticuffs about who has the patent to be the “real” British Yellow Jackets, urges action.

Now!

Labour’s campaigning is not up to scratch.

In the midst of an unprecedented political crisis Labour’s response has been wholly Parliamentary. Remainers take to the streets. Leavers take to the streets. The far right take to the streets. But the Labour left? Even Momentum, which used to pride itself on being a social movement, is in entirely passive in respect of any large-scale extra Parliamentary movement.

What we need is action!

Now!

Call the rallies now. Send left leaders of the movement out to address them. Call a mass national demonstration now. Call on every Labour movement organisation to build for it. Break the bounds of the Parliamentary deadlock and give ordinary people the chance to shift the political spectrum to the left, open up the path to a general election, and win a left Labour victory.

In a heartfelt plea Rees ends his Philippic,

The whole left, but crucially the Labour left, will allow their best opportunity yet to create a left Labour government pass by if they remain passive for much longer.

Guardian:

Most Labour members believe Corbyn should back second Brexit vote

Labour members are significantly more opposed to Brexit than Jeremy Corbyn is, with 72% of them thinking their leader should fully support a second referendum, according to a study of attitudes in the party.

The polling, part of an ongoing wider academic study into attitudes in various parties, found that only 18% opposed Labour campaigning for a second referendum, while 88% would then opt for remain if such a vote was held.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 17, 2019 at 11:40 am

Love Socialism, Hate Brexit – MPs and Meeting Make Waves.

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Anti-Brexit Left.

On Wednesday night a Union boss told the world his pro-Brexit policy.

Len McCluskey has said that remaining in the EU would “not be the best option” for the UK – but called on Prime Minister Theresa May to accept that a soft version of Brexit is the only one achievable.

Talking to ITV’s Robert Peston on Wednesday night, the General Secretary of Unite, which represents 1.2 million British workers across a wide range of sectors, said that he prefers a softer Brexit with membership of a customs union and tariff-free access to the single market.

He told Mr Peston that he was “vehemently in favour of a people’s vote, it’s called a general election” but said that he was against any efforts that could reverse the Brexit process as a whole.

He said: “My view is that having had a 2016 referendum where the people have voted to come out of the EU, to try and deflect away from that threatens the whole democratic fabric on which we operate… I’m saying that in reality, it is not the best option for our nation.”

The ‘I’.

Yesterday Clive Lewis spoke at “Love Socialism, Hate Brexit” with other Labour MPs to express a different view.

Love socialism, hate Brexit? Labour’s position is crumbling

Independent.

This is a man who resigned from Labour’s front bench in order to vote against triggering Article 50, but has now returned, and claims he has only done so because part of Labour’s Brexit policy involves the possibility of a second referendum, which now looks unlikely to happen.

Clive Lewis warned the Love Socialism, Hate Brexit crowd that the Liberal Democrats were “utterly, comprehensively destroyed for facilitating austerity,” and that the Labour Party risked the same fate by “facilitating a Tory Brexit”.

He told them a new Tory leader would come in, after Theresa May. “And they will say ‘you know what, she was a disaster for this country, she betrayed this country, but so too was the leader of the opposition. He was part of this sorry debacle and I’m now going to move forward to try resolve this situation in the best way I can.’

“And I tell you what, the Tory right-wing mainstream media will get behind that narrative and it is us, the Labour Party, that will pick up a lot of the flack for what happens.”

The Guardian also reports:

Shadow minister says party would never be forgiven as calls for second referendum grow

Labour tensions over Brexit threatened to boil over on Thursday as two shadow ministers broke ranks to call for a second referendum, and others hinted they could quit the party unless Jeremy Corbyn’s position changed over the next fortnight.

Clive Lewis, a shadow Treasury minister, warned Corbyn that Labour might never be forgiven and could disappear from UK politics if MPs voted to facilitate a Conservative Brexit deal.

Another shadow minister, Paul Sweeney, also backed a second referendum on the final Brexit deal for the first time on Thursday.

The high-profile pro-EU backbencher Chris Leslie said he was “clinging to hope” that the Conservatives would back a fresh poll in the next fortnight, suggesting that he had lost faith in his own party.

Leslie accused Corbyn of “regressing” from the party’s conference policy to pursue a public vote when other options had been exhausted. “I certainly feel we are being played for fools by the leadership of the Labour party on this particular issue. By now we should have reached the stage of a public vote. Nobody can explain to me seriously … why we are not at that particular stage right now.”

Leslie is among several backbench MPs rumoured to be considering quitting the party in the coming weeks, as concerns mount not only over the party’s Brexit policy but also how it has dealt with cases of antisemitism.

The shadow minister, a prominent supporter of Corbyn, made his comments at a Love Socialism, Hate Brexit rally promoted by the pro-referendum group Another Europe is Possible.

Lewis, who resigned from the shadow cabinet in 2017 to vote against triggering article 50 but returned to the frontbench last year, said Labour could face electoral annihilation similar to that of the Liberal Democrats after the party entered a coalition with the Tories.

The Socialist Workers Party makes a bold counter call:

The left should put forward an anti-austerity, anti-racist vision of Brexit that rejects the neoliberal single market and defends freedom of movement.

Labour Party Marxists (Weekly Worker, Communist Party of Great Britain Provisional Central Committee) , ignores the issue of Europe altogether,

Heading to a Split?

Amazingly, there are still people ostensibly on the Labour left appealing for ‘party unity’. But the last few weeks will have done wonders to convince most Jeremy Corbyn supporters that, in fact, there can be no unity with the right in the party. Corbyn and his allies have certainly launched plenty of appeals for ‘unity’ in the past three and a half years – trying to appease the right by bending over backwards to accept most of their demands. But we are seeing signs that, perhaps, the policy of appeasement pursued by Corbyn’s office might finally be coming to an end.

Instead,

the campaign to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is very much part and parcel of the slow coup against Jeremy Corbyn and the left.

Meanwhile back on the internationalist left:

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 15, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Case for Brexit Boosted as Defence Secretary says it “can enhance UK’s lethality”.

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Defence Secretary” Makes Strong Case of Brexit Benefits.

With all that talk about Dunkirk and valiant little Britain Battling Brussels Bullies it’s a wonder the military side of Brexit has not gotmuch of an airing.

Today that’s all changed.

Brexit ‘can enhance UK’s lethality’, says defence secretary

Brexit represents an opportunity for Britain to boost its global military standing and “enhance our lethality” in response to the threats posed by Russia and China, the defence secretary will say in a notably combative address at a defence thinktank.

Gavin Williamson intends to argue in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute on Monday that a post-Brexit UK should redefine its role as a global power prepared to intervene against countries that “flout international law”, backed up by new military technologies and capabilities.

The cabinet minister, who is increasingly keen to talk up Brexit at a time when a deal is elusive, is expected to say leaving the EU will allow the UK “to consider how we not only project but maximise our influence around the world in the months and years to come”.

Williamson is expected to conclude: “Brexit has brought us to a great moment in our history. A moment when we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality and increase our mass.”

Without challenging the premise of this rabid rant this was Labour response:

Labour’s Nia Griffith, the shadow defence secretary, said Williamson’s rhetoric was undermined by cuts to the defence budget of £9bn in real terms since 2010.

“Instead of simply engaging in yet more sabre-rattling, Gavin Williamson should get to grips with the crisis in defence funding that is happening on his watch,” she said.

It is hard to deny that the concerns of the Leave voting, ‘left-behind’, ‘people-from-somewhere’, and their wish to “enhance our lethality” have to taken seriously.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 11, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Labour Representation Committee (LRC) Heads For Oblivion as it Backs ‘Labour Against the Witch-Hunt’.

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Image result for labour against the witchhunt LRC

Top LRC Activists.

Labour Against the Witch-hunt, an alliance of Jackie Walker, The Weekly Worker (CPGB – Provisional Central Committee) and the Monster Raving Tony Greenstein Party is a at the fringes of the fringes.

This is from its recent (a few dozen strong) conference resolution,

Position agreed unanimously at LAW’s conference on February 2 2019.

The slow coup against Jeremy Corbyn

The war of attrition against Corbyn as Labour leader, carried out by an alliance of the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the Party bureaucracy, the Israeli state, the pro-Israel lobby and the mainstream media, began even before he was elected. Corbyn was portrayed as a terrorist sympathiser, a security risk and an all-round danger to society.

That somebody like Greenstein is involved, and that the campaign makes statements like this, means, simply, that nobody with an ounce of sense will have anything to do with the group.

Not so the Labour Representation Committee.

They welcome them as affiliates and give their policies support.

LAW stands alongside a long list, including Gerry Downing (as an individual), Labour Party Marxists (the Weekly Worker wearing another cap) the New Communist Party, Britain’s Posadist (in fact a rather pleasant woman), the Brent Soviet, the late Ted Grant’s followers in Socialist Appeal, and other political confetti.

LAW stands out for its relentless, “absolute Anti-Zionism’. It has managed to piss off a lengthy list of would-be supporters, from Marc Wadsworth to  Michael Mansfield QC – who no longer have anything to with the clique.

Greenstein himself is launching yet another ‘crowd funding’ for a legal action against his numerous enemies.

Perhaps he would do better spending his time on holiday, as he did last summer, in Italy.

Yesterday this came out,

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) has written an open letter to John McDonnell, urging the Shadow Chancellor to “stop the double speak” or resign.

Stop the Double Speak John McDonnellTell the Labour Representation Committee conference this weekend that by referring to antisemitism as smears, they are the problem. Or resign from the LRC.

Dear John McDonnell,

We write to you as Jewish and non-Jewish members, supporters and former supporters of the Labour Party – but supported by the wider Jewish community. This weekend you will be addressing the conference of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), which you are President.

Just this week you were clear that allegations of anti-Jewish racism in our party are real and not smears. The LRC believe that they have the right, without any input from the Jewish community to define antisemitism. For the conference this weekend the LRC National Executive have published a 48 point statement for debate and discussion, several points are dedicated to antisemitism and Jews. The language used mocks Jews who raise antisemitism and consistently claim that we are acting in bad faith. The amendments published that have been proposed by ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ in the name of expelled Labour member Tony Greenstein are even worse. LRC exists within and nurtures a culture of antisemitism.

LRC are affiliated with both ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ and ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ (JVL). Both organisations ridicule and minimise the real lived experiences of victims of antisemitism. Just this week also on LBC Radio, Naomi Wimborne-Iddrisi of JVL openly mocked our Parliamentary Chair Luciana Berger who has been a victim of death threats. Neither bodies nor individuals associated with these organisations should be given a platform and you should not be indulging these conspiracists.

The LRC completely reject the IHRA definition of antisemitism or any definition that the victims of antisemitism, the Jewish community, feel reflect the prejudice they experience. This approach is in no way consistent with any established conventions within anti-racism movements.

Such a culture feeds an environment whereby Jewish MPs such as Luciana Berger receive death threats, abuse and threats of violence. It feeds a culture whereby Jews across the party are targeted for deselection, sanction or intimidation. It feeds a culture of not believing Jews when they are on the receiving end of hate. It feeds the cancer of antisemitism in our party.
It is not consistent to be honestly robust in an LBC interview without being equally robust to your own supporters at the LRC.

We hope and expect that you will be clear to the LRC that you will say that ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ and ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ are corrosive to our values and that the LRC should not work with them or indeed anyone suspended or expelled from the Labour Party.

LRC are feeding the problem and unless they change their position of condoning and nurturing this racism in our party then you cannot and should not have anything further to do with them and they also should have no place in the Labour Party.

We look forward to hearing your comments this weekend.

Now this is one of the issues in the controversy.

Labour’s NEC blocks parliamentary candidate over tweets about Hitler and Jewish MP

The NEC decided Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt brought the Labour Party into disrepute.

Labour’s ruling body has decided not to back a woman to be a parliamentary candidate over tweets about Hitler and the “Zionist sympathies” of a Jewish MP.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) decided not to endorse Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt to stand for Labour in South Thanet on the basis that she had brought the party into disrepute.

Ms Gordon-Nesbitt was selected in April, having joining Labour when Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

But, writing on Facebook on Tuesday, she said the NEC had decided not to back her over tweets posted from a think tank she set up which defended Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker over allegations of antisemitism.

One tweet posted from The Centre for Cultural Change Twitter account asked: “Has anyone looked into Hitler’s policy on Zionism? Might not be mutually exclusive with his later actions #Scapegoating #Corbyn.”

Another tweet called into question the “Zionist sympathies” of John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, who is Jewish.

 

 

This is the reply from the LRC Conference today: