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Monday, 13 November 2017

As the Witch-hunt gathers momentum, Jon Lansman’s Momentum does nothing

Mike Paling and David Watson are just two of the casualties of McNicol’s war on free speech

 

Mike Paling's Expulsion letter

Draft Resolution on the Witch-hunt
This Branch/CLP

i.                Welcomes the reinstatement of Professor Emeritus Moshe Machover, who was expelled (‘auto excluded’) from the Labour Party on 3 October 2017. Professor Machover is Jewish, born in Tel Aviv in 1936,  and is the co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organisation which from the 60s to the 80s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine (see http://www.matzpen.org/arabic/ );

ii.             Notes that the Head of Disputes, Sam Matthews, accused Prof Machover of writing an “apparently antisemitic article” according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, and further accused him of “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party’ on the basis of having written articles for them and having spoken on their platforms.

iii.           By this criteria Jeremy Corbyn, who was a columnist for the Morning Star for 10 years should also be ‘auto-excluded’.

iv.           The witch-hunt that the Compliance Unit and the Disputes Committee are conducting is unacceptable.  It is an attack on supporters of Jeremy Corbyn under the guise of opposing anti-Semitism.  It is used almost exclusively against those on the Left, supporters of the Palestinians and opponents of Zionism.

v.             We note the comment of Jewish comedian, Alexei Sayle in a Sky TV interview in October 2017 that:  ‘most of the people who have been suspended from the Labour Party for anti-Semitism seem to have been Jewish.’

vi.           It is noticeable that anti-Muslim or anti-Roma racism doesn’t merit the same concern by the Party apparatus.

We demand:

vii.       No auto-exclusions or expulsions. Everyone has the right to a fair hearing.  All those who have been auto-excluded must be reinstated.

viii.      That the proposed expulsions of Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and Ken Livingstone should be halted.  It is noticeable that two of the above are Jewish and two are Black anti-racist activists.

ix.        We reject the 450 word IHRA definition of anti-Semitism whose sole purpose is to conflate criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-Semitism.  We note the Opinion of Hugh Tomlinson QC that ‘It does not have the clarity which would be required from such a definition.’ http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/ihra-opinion/#sthash.xHhUS24q.dpbs

x.         We prefer the simple 21 word definition of Professor Brian Klug of Oxford University:
‘antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are.’

xi.        The Compliance Unit should be abolished. All disciplinary action against members should be undertaken by elected bodies not full time staff.

As the the case of Mike Paling below demonstrates, the Right is attempting to reverse the victories of the Left at Party conference by stepping up the witch hunt and ‘auto-excluding’ and suspending anyone who speaks out on Palestine or is associated with a left group they disagree with.
Labour Against the Witchhunt
Next Meeting
Calthorpe Arms, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross
Saturday December 2nd 12.00-3.00 p.m.
On the very same day that Moshe Machover was expelled so was Michael Paling.  As his email to Moshe explains, his ‘offence’ was sharing posts which included articles from Weekly Worker.  His timeline is full of posts he has shared, most of them have nothing to do with the CPGB or LPM.  He was obviously targeted as an active trade unionist.  They were amongst many such posts that he shared on Facebook.  We need to put an end to this McCarthyism.  

Why the hell are Labour Party staff, paid by us, spending their time poring over social media posts of people in the party and seeing what they are sharing?

David Watson, the Fundraising Officer in Walthamstow CLP has also been suspended for 18 months now.  Stella Creasy, his local MP, takes exception to anyone speaking out on Palestine in her constituency.  The constituency is by all accounts run by her family like a mafia town.
Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol - it is almost certain that he is working with Britain's secret state to help destabilise the Labour Party
Meanwhile Jon Lansman and Momentum’s leadership are like the 3 monkeys – they neither see, say or hear anything.  It is outrageous that Momentum have done absolutely nothing about the expulsions or suspensions even though they must know that their purpose has nothing to do with anti-Semitism and everything to do with weakening the Left.  The only point of these witch-hunts is to weaken the pro-Corbyn left.

Mike Paling has been expelled under Chapter 2.I.4.B of the Labour Party's rules which states:
“A member of the party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour Group or unit of the Party or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member, subject to the provisions of part 6.I.2 of the disciplinary rules”.

These posts were the 'evidence' Mike Paling was supplied with
This rule has to go.  As it stands it could be interpreted to debar any member or supporter of Progress or Labour or indeed any organisation deemed political but of course it is only being used to debar members of left-wing groups.   An anti-fracking or an anti-racist group could equally be deemed political.  The proscribed list of organisations, such as Militant, has been scrapped.  Now any member of the Compliance Group can take exception to any group they define as political and then auto-exclude someone, without them having any right of appeal, from the Labour Party.  This rule is  witch hunter’s charter.

It could of course and maybe in the future it will be used against members of Momentum.  However today it is being used solely against people on the Left.  Although I detest the Zionist politics of the Alliance for Workers Liberty for the reasons I gave in my post yesterday, they have a right to function and operate in the Labour Party like any other group.
Letter from Mike Paling to Moshe Machover
Dear Moshe,

                    No one was happier than myself when your expulsion was rescinded after the fantastic campaigning by members. Sadly the same cannot be said for myself regarding my expulsion at the same time, my crime was the sharing of 8 items from Labour Party Marxist and the weekly worker, (CPGB).

                     I would just like to make it clear from the off, I have never attended a LPM or CPGB meeting  let alone joined either of these organisations.

                     I regularly share political articles on Facebook, including some by your good self, but I've shown no bias towards LPM or WW. I've checked my Facebook timeline and counted 12 occasions when I've shared LPM and WW pieces during September, the month cited by Sam Matthews. However, there were over 200 political articles shared from other sources, such as Labour MPs, Unite the Union, the TUC, New Statesman, national newspapers, etc, during the same period. Of course, I will dispute the premise that LPM support is incompatible with membership, but even if that is accepted, there is no evidence that I've given any such support. Like yourself, I was offered no right of appeal but given 14 days to challenge the validity of the so called evidence attached to the expulsion letter, unlike you, however Sam Matthews has not seen fit to reply to, or even acknowledge, my communication.

                    During my time as a Labour Party activist I've participated in election campaigns Party actions regularly attending CLP, branch and Momentum meetings and supporting Labour  movement, antifascist and Palestinian solidarity actions. No doubt the latter has made me more susceptible to the attention of purge minded bureaucrats. 

Kind regards, M Paling.

Please sign this petition in support of David Watson, who has been suspended for 18 months by the Labour Party
David Watson and Jeremy Corbyn

Walthamstow Labour Party fundraiser suspended – who had it in for David Watson?

EXCLUSIVE:
David Watson, Labour Party fundraising coordinator for the Walthamstow constituency in northeast London, was suspended last week for unspecified “breaches of party rules.” The Jewish Chronicle – a Zionist weekly newspaper which has been a main cheerleader for the campaign branding Labour a hotbed of Jew-hatred – gave an “Exclusive” tag to its May 6 report alleging that Watson had been suspended because of antisemitic Facebook posts.
Both the JC and the local Waltham Forest Guardian newspaper quoted Labour MP Stella Creasy saying that “bigotry” is inconsistent with membership of “a party campaigning for social justice,” implying that this was relevant to Watson’s case.
Word in local Labour circles says it was the MP’s father Philip Creasy, Constituency Party secretary, who notified Watson of his suspension on May 9, three days after he was asked about it by a journalist from the Jewish Chronicle. How did they know?
Who has an interest in pillorying a secondary school teacher of modern languages with a long history of working with Greenpeace and the Campaign Against Arms Trade? David Watson is a man who prides himself on combating antisemitism among kids he teaches, getting them involved in projects run by organisations such as the Anne Frank Trust and Amnesty International. Might his friendship with Jewish anti-Zionists have played a role? Or his past visits to Israel and Palestine and association with Israeli and Palestinian anti-Occupation activists? Or was it merely the fact that when he was elected Walthamstow party fundraiser, he replaced Stella Creasy’s mother in the role? Witnesses present at the relevant Annual General Meeting say that the honourable member made no attempt to hide her displeasure at Watson’s election.
Some suspect the Conservatives may have had a hand in his victimisation, since pictures of Watson with Sadiq Khan, at that time vying with Tory Zac Goldsmith for election as London’s mayor, featured in the JC and alongside charges of antisemitism posted by the so-called Campaign Against Antisemitism on May 3.  Allegations had also appeared on the notorious Zionist blog, Harry’s Place.
Let’s have a look at Stella Creasy’s idea of what constitutes bigotry, remembering that this is taking place against the background of an ongoing witch hunt in the Labour Party – gleefully stoked by Conservatives joining hands with Labour opponents of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership making allegations of antisemitism, mostly distorted or even fabricated, against opponents of Israel’s colonial settlement of Palestine.
The CAA alleged that Watson believed “Israel is secretly behind ISIS.”
Reality: He had posted a picture of Israeli shells allegedly found in an ISIS camp and written over it “Mmmm”
He was charged with suggesting links between Israel and the Nazis.
Reality: He had posted a link to a Daily Mirror report, which was also carried in many other newspapers, about an SS officer who had been employed by the Israeli secret service to kill former Nazis working in Arab countries after the war. Watson wrote: “A moral army with a fine moral foundation.”
Other alleged crimes include calling Zionism a racist ideology and expressing sympathy for Palestinian “guerrillas”.
There is no hint of animosity towards Jews in any of these posts. Many Jews would agree that Zionism is a racist ideology, discriminating again Palestinians and stereotyping Jews as congenitally incapable of living alongside non-Jews in diverse societies. Many – including former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak – also empathise with Palestinians resisting the  occupation of their land.
These are subjects which we should be free to debate without being hounded out of any democratic political organisation – above all one that claims, as Stella Creasy says, to be “campaigning for social justice.

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