Friday, 20 December 2019

The main reason that Labour lost the Election is because, for the past 4 years, the Labour Right Waged War on Corbyn

We Should NOT Support Rebecca Long Bailey – she is a female Neil Kinnock – Critical Support Should Be Given to Clive Lewis and Richard Burgon
Graham Bash (left), Chair Rebecca Massey and John Rees (right)
Update
After having been contacted by members of Norwich South CLP, which is where Clive Lewis is based, I have withdrawn my previous critical support for him.  I should have known (but didn't) that he is a supporter of Trident but also has a record of attacking the left locally.  My apologies.  That means that there is no one that I can recommend which is probably a good reflection on the present situation.

The question is who is worse?  Someone like RLB moving rightwards and taking the left with her or Jess Phillips, who everyone with more than 1 brain cell knows, is a fake feminist friend of the Mogg.

Tony Greenstein

Last Monday Brighton and Hove Labour Left Alliance, which over the past 6 months has replaced the now defunct Brighton and Hove branch of Lansman’s Private Company (Momentum Ltd.) held a packed meeting at The Rialto on Where Do We Go Now?
The speakers were John Rees, from Counterfire (formerly of the SWP) and Graham Bash of the LRC and Editor of Labour Briefing, as well as Political Officer of Jewish Voice for Labour.
Pathetic racist Fiona Sharpe, founder of Sussex Friends of Israel, engaging in a last bit of vitriol against Waterstones and the Rialto, for the 'crime' of  supporting free speech. 
The Rialto was where we held a number of events last autumn, during Labour Party conference, after the Zionists had done their best to close down free speech in Brighton. We held the book launch for Bad News for Labour, which the Zionists had successfully forced Waterstones to cancel, as well as Jackie Walker’s film The Witchhunt (which had been due to premiere at the Liverpool Labour Party last year but which was prevented by a bomb threat which the Police didn’t investigate).
Part of the audience at the Rialto
Graham pinpointed the essential contradiction behind the rise of Corbyn which was the decline in working class struggle and strikes at the very same time that Labour elected its most left-wing leader ever. It is this that helps explain the political demoralisation in the northern ‘Red Wall’ constituencies that led to many working class people voting Tory.

As Graham made clear, there is no obvious successor to Jeremy Corbyn. Rebecca Long Bailey, who is apparently the Socialist Campaign Group candidate, appears to be running on a joint slate with the even more right-wing Angela Rayner.
When Angela Rayner was chosen to address the Board of Deputies she chose to first distance herself from her previous description of Norman Finkelstein’s book, Holocaust Industry, as ‘seminal.  She then launched into an attack on me! According to the Jewish Chronicle Rayner said that she was glad activists such as Tony Greenstein had been expelled and said "those who distort history by likening Hitler to Zionism are no longer welcome".
John Rees mentioned that when he visits the Stop the War Coalition offices, in the same building as Corbyn’s constituency office, he is there hard at work on behalf of his constituents. We are unlikely to see someone who has devoted himself to the poor and oppressed again at the top of the Labour Party.
An excellent discussion ensued after Graham and John had spoken. B&H LLA hope to organise another meeting next month on the scandal surrounding Julian Assange’s incarceration.
Why Rebecca Long-Bailey Should NOT Be Supported
There are many on the Left who are saying that RLB is  the least worst candidate.  I disagree. RLB stabbed Chris Williamson in the back when according to the Jewish Chronicle she told the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement’s Vice Chair Stephane Savary that Williamson ‘should not be a member of the Labour Party and that she did not know how he had not already been expelled.’
Possibly one reason Chris should not have been expelled was that he was fitted up by racists who lied and distorted what he actually said. But when you are comforting Zionists truth flies out the window.
Angela Rayner - the lightweight partner of RLB is standing for Deputy Leader as part of a nightmare ticket
Let us remind ourselves what it was that Chris Williamson actually said because it is a microcosm of the lies and distortions and the contempt for truth by those for whom ambition is all.
The Yorkshire Post, the BBC and many others reported that Chris said that the Labour Party was "too apologetic" over anti-Semitism. What he actually said was:
The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party.

“I have got to say I think our party's response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we have backed off too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic.”
Tom Watson 'lost sleep' over the sacking of racist Labour MP Phil Woolas - Rebecca Long Bailey was happy to sign Watson's petition calling for the suspension of Chris Williamson
If RLB is prepared to support the expulsion of a Socialist MP and sign a petition by the racist Tom Watson on the basis of deliberate misreporting by the Tory press then no one should be under any illusions as to what direction she will take the party.
The news is that Black MP Clive Lewis, who supported Marc Wadsworth, is standing for the leadership. It is true that Clive is no anti-imperialist but neither is RLB. Clive has shown more independence than RLB and did at least stick his neck out on occasion. Given that he is Black that in itself is a reason for supporting, everything else considered.
I urge socialists in the Labour Party to critically support Clive Lewis.
RLB explained to the racist rag that is the Jewish Chronicle, a paper that in the election campaign unceasingly for anyone but Corbyn and which openly called him an anti-Semite, that but for her membership of the Shadow Cabinet she would have signed Tom Watson’s petition calling for resuspension of Chris Williamson (ruled unlawful by the High Court).
Phil Woolas's racist leaflet caricaturing all Muslims as violent Jihadists - Rebecca Long Bailey was happy to sign Woolas supporter Tom Watson's petition
This alone should prevent the Left from supporting Long-Bailey.
The fact that John McDonnell, who has made his peace with Blair and Campbell, wants RLB to succeed Corbyn, should be another reason for not supporting RLB. Let us remind ourselves that when the High Court removed racist Labour MP Phil Woolas from the House of Commons for running an election campaign which, in the words of his own agent, was designed to ‘make the white  folk angry’ Watson wrote on Labour Uncut that he had ‘lost sleep thinking about poor Phil.’ If RLB was prepared to sign a  petition by this racist she is no socialist.
RLB also told members of the JLM, which didn’t even support Labour in the General Election, that ‘she is aware Jeremy Corbyn has lost the trust of the (Jewish) community’. This was of course the same allegation made about Labour’s only Jewish leader, Ed Miliband. In fact the Labour Party has long since lost the confidence of British Jews, most of whom have voted Tory since the 1960’s.
People should face facts.  The Jewish ‘community’ today, in particular the synagogue going adherents of the United Synagogue which the Board of Deputies represents (about 30% of British Jews) are a reactionary community whose identity is shaped by the Israeli state’s oppression of the Palestinians.
Just imagine that at the time of Apartheid there had been a large community of exiled South Africans. According to RLB’s racist logic we should have supported Apartheid for fear of upsetting the identity of white racists.  This is exactly the same situation today. Jews who support Israeli Apartheid are either ignorant or racist or both.
RLB has been engaged in a love-in with the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who more than any other body, were responsible for the fake anti-Semitism campaign.  A body that supported the mowing down of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza and which has supported every war against the Palestinians and every aspect of Israel’s Apartheid policies.
This political lightweight, who has all the charisma of a dictaphone, produced a slick video claiming that that had been “born to the sound of the roar of the Stretford end  Since she was born on 22nd September 1979, when Man United were playing away to Wolverhampton, this is quite a remarkable feat!
Where the Blame Lies for Labour’s Defeat
As this blog has repeatedly said, Jeremy Corbyn made, over the past 4 years, grievous mistakes, not least in abandoning old comrades like Ken Livingstone and Chris Williamson. But ultimately Corbyn is not responsible for the disaster last Thursday. Neither is Seamus Milne, his disastrous adviser or John McDonnell, despite his rapprochement with Alistair Campbell and his perpetual backsliding and overtures to the Right of the Labour Party.
The blame for what happened lies with the Parliamentary Labour Party who waged an unending war against Corbyn. People like Margaret Hodge, Wes Streeting, Louise Ellman, John Mann, Ian Austin and the two fake ‘victims’ of anti-Semitism – Ruth Smeeth and Juliana Berger.
If only Corbyn and Len McLuskey had supported Open Selection at the 2018 Labour Party Conference. Fortunately every cloud has a silver lining and the last five are no longer in parliament having either not stood, left the Labour Party for the Lib Dems or deserted to the Tories. 
It is noteworth that Austin, Mann and Ivan Lewis, who was suspended for sexual harassment, all backed the Tories. The victory of the Tories was , despite public protestations of horror, welcomed by the Peter Kyles and Jess Phillips of the PLP.  Indeed in an unguarded moment Phillips, a ‘feminist’ friend of anti-abortion Rees-Mogg, was caught expressing her delight at Labour’s defeat.
WHERE TO WE GO FROM HERE?
As John Rees made clear there is no Labour MP of the calibre of Corbyn.  None with his record. Whoever replaces him, for all their faults, will be politically worse. That is the reality we must face.
Those tempted to support RLB should remember when the Left backed Neil Kinnock against Roy Hattersley after the 1983 election.  Kinnock came from the Left and despite his betrayal of Tony Benn in the Deputy Leadership Election in 1981 was supported by the Left against the right-wing Hattersley. 
In fact Kinnock used his antecedents in the Left in order to betray the Left.  Whereas Kinnock paved the way for Blair and supported him throughout his premiership Hattersley became a trenchant critic.
My suggestion is that we don’t repeat the same mistake twice with RLB. If she is prepared to sacrifice the Palestinians to her own political ambitions, cuddling up to the reactionary and racist Zionists then she isn’t worth the candle.
It is essential that the Labour Left regroups and draws the necessary conclusions from the General Election. It is untrue that it was Brexit that defeated Labour. Brexit is symptomatic of a demoralisation and despair amongst a working class that has seen industry in the North of England laid to waste and devastated by monetarism and austerity. Brexit is the product of political defeat.
The antagonism to Corbyn was not hostility to his programme  It is unfortunate that Corbyn appeared weak and indecisive because he refused to stand up to the Right.  In appeasing the Right and apologising to Zionists he weakened himself in the eyes of the working class electorate. Instead of a Manifesto which promised lots of goodies there should have been a narrative about how Labour would reverse the 30+ year transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. Reforming capitalism is simply not enough.  Socialism is about replacing capitalism not reforming it.
In the short term the Labour Left Alliance needs to regroup and the LRC, a group which has achieved little or nothing in its sad history and which has McDonnell as its President, is going to have to decide whether to follow the sectarian stance of its current Executive or try and build a strong left inside the Labour Party.
The Labour Left needs to understand that there is a need for left unity that straddles those in and those out of the Labour Party, especially given so many of us have been expelled.  The existing left groups outside the Labour Party are constitutionally sectarian and all too often divorced from reality. The question is whether the Labour Left is up to it given that large sections of the previously Corbyn left has been taken in  by identity politics, which is what their concern over ‘anti-Semitism’ is. 
There is a battle ahead and RLB will be on the wrong side of it. The battle also needs to extend to the trade union movement, without which the Labour Party would never have adopted the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism.
We should also be campaigning for the readmission of Chris Williamson and an acknowledgement of the injustice done to him.  An injustice which led to the loss of Derby North to the Tories.
Tony Greenstein

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