Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Reflections on the Labour Party Conference – A Missed Opportunity to Deal the Right a Fatal Blow

Open Selection – Palestine – Amidst the Euphoria Very Little Has Changed




There is no doubt that the third Labour conference under Jeremy Corbyn emphasised that amongst the CLPs the Left is dominant.  That became clear during the vote over Open Selection when the constituencies voted almost unanimously to back open selection and the trade unions, in a naked betrayal of their own members, voted to keep the existing right-wing MPs in place.
Because make no mistake, the reform of the trigger ballot process will only affect, at most a dozen MPs.  Yet we face a situation where the overwhelming majority of the PLP is hostile to Jeremy Corbyn and I would guess that at least 50, perhaps more, will refuse to vote for Corbyn to become leader whatever the result.
It is perhaps predictable that the GMB, which is historically a right-wing union should want to keep the Right in power in the PLP.  UNISON, which despite nominally supporting Corbyn has a right-wing leadership under Dave Prentis, the most useless General Secretary any union could hope for, has a bureaucracy which is essentially New Labour. The most ignominious role goes to Unite under Len McLusky, a nominally left-wing trade union leader.
On the Saturday evening in the CASA, a social centre established by the Liverpool Dockers after their sell out by the TGWU under Bill Morris, and which today is run by the Liverpool labour movement, there was a ceremony to unveil a plaque to the 47 Labour Councillors who were surcharged in the mid-1980’s for refusing to set a rate.
At the meeting a questioner asked McLuskey a question – why was the Unite delegation not supporting Open Selection. McLuskey responded by saying how the delegation had not even met yet and so the question was premature.  What he didn’t say was how he would vote and argue.  It is a fact that if the UNITE union had supported Open Selection then we would have seen the back of scab MPs like Chuka Ummuna and Joan Ryan.  As it is we will have a PLP hostile to its leader. Historically the British trade union movement has always acted against its own interests politically – it is the famous divide between politics and economics.  Politically the unions have been led by corrupt and useless leaderships more interested in feathering their own nests than fighting for their members’ interests. 
The Palestine debate was a highlight and no one will forget the sea of flags.  The resolution, which referred to the Nakba, the expulsion of the Palestinian refugees in 1948 onwards, was historic.  So was its call for a freeze on arms sales.  But who is responsible for implementing this resolution? Emily Thornberry, the Shadow Foreign Secretary and a paid up supporter of Labour Friends of Israel. Thornberry tried and failed to delete all references to the Palestinian refugees because their return is anathema to the racists and Zionists since their return would mean that Jews are a minority in the Jewish state. As it is Israel cannot afford to grant democratic rights to the 5 million Palestinians it rules over in the West Bank/Gaza. To admit millions more would spell an end to the Zionist racial state and that would be anathema to everything Thornberry stands for.
The debate was chaired by Rhea Wolfson, a Zionist and member of the Jewish Labour Movement. Wolfson cut off Hilary Wise, a strong supporter of the motion in her prime and tried to do the same to the proposer. She also warned Hilary to ‘be careful’ when referring to the Al Jazeera programme The Lobby which showed the role of the Israeli Embassy and the JLM in the destabilisation of the Labour Party and British politics.  Why should one be careful when telling the truth?
Although emotionally Labour conference made for great theatre, practically it will have made little difference as Labour is still wedded to the fake anti-Semitism campaign whose prime purpose is to derail support for the Palestinians and remove Jeremy Corbyn as leader. The mere fact that Thornberry went out of her way, in a debate on Palestine, to speak about alleged anti-Semites in the Party is proof of that.  Anti-Semitism has nothing to do with Palestine.  The time to mention anti-Semitism, in so far as it exists, was in a debate on racism not Palestine.
Jeremy Corbyn confirmed the token nature of the debate when he promised to recognise Palestine on Day One of his becoming Prime Minister. As a gesture that is fine but that is all it is.  A gesture. There is no Palestinian state nor will there ever be one.  Zionism does not recognise any other sovereignty in what it terms the Land of Israel than Jewish sovereignty. A Land without a People for a People Without a Land was the slogan of the Zionist movement. Recognising a Palestinian state, as Sweden has done, will make a nice headline but will do nothing to transform the position of the Palestinians.  Only sanctions will begin to do that.
Momentum held its third and most anodyne World Transformed festival in Liverpool’s Big E. Banned from the WTF was Labour Against the Witchhunt, Free Speech on Israel and of course Jackie Walker’s film premiere The Lynching. The world may have been transformed but it’s still under the domination of multi-millionaire property developer Jon Lansman!
Labour Against the Witchhunt held a very successful and packed public meeting on the Sunday which was addressed by Alexei Sayle, Chris Williamson, Jo Bird of JVL and Bob Walker of the Garston 3 and myself.  Below are the transcripts of the speeches from Chris Williamson and myself on behalf of LAW.
The JVL meeting on the Monday was once again packed out and was addressed by Matt Wrack of the FBU who emphasised the rise of the far-Right in Britain and Europe.  It is noticeable that the Jewish Labour Movement which held a lunchtime meeting on the Sunday, was completely unconcerned about the Football Lads Alliance or Tommy Robinson. Fascism and genuine anti-Semites don’t disturb them at all.  The only ‘anti-Semitism’ that worries them is opposition to Israel and Zionism and we had the absurdity of that most detestable of all Zionist MPs, Luciana Berger, apparently going around with a police escort to protect her from fellow delegates!
Suffice to say the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish News singled me out wherever I spoke and the Zionists, such believers in free speech, ritually called for the withdrawal of the whip from Chris Williamson. When Margaret Hodge was even threatened with disciplinary proceedings they cried free speech but when the heat is off they are continually seeking to clamp down on the speech of their opponents of course.
My fear from this conference is that by voting against open selection conference has made it more difficult for Corbyn to become Prime Minister.  McLuskey and Unite’s delegation should hang their heads in shame.
Tony Greenstein
Transcript Labour Against the Witchhunt Meeting 23rd September 2018
Tony Greenstein

Comrades, Tony Mulhearn of the Liverpool 47 made mention of that ghost from the past, Lord Larry Whitty.  I remember him well when he came down to Brighton to personally handle my disciplinary case.  This was in 1992 in the wake of Labour’s defeat in the 1992 General Election which everybody had expected Labour to win. He put the charges to me and I said that if anyone needed to be expelled it was Neil Kinnock for his remarks and display at the Sheffield Rally for those who remember that infamous rally which symbolised the loss of that election.
I agree with Tony entirely.  The Left needs to go on the offensive and we need to call out this witchhunt for what it is. Because even if the Labour Party is a broad church, even the broadest church does not tolerate atheists within it. The atheists in our party are the people who don’t believe in socialism and never have believed in socialism.
Now I was expelled as part of the anti-Semitism witchhunt and it makes sense that if you are going to expel people because of anti-Semitism you expel Jewish people! There is a certain logic to that! And Jackie Walker is due to be chopped and Cyril Chilson, the son of Holocaust survivors who were in the concentration camps has been expelled. 
The reason for this is very obvious.  Because whatever else this witchhunt is about it is not about anti-Semitism.  That is the one thing we should take home from this meeting.
It is perfectly understandable why we have this witchhunt. If you think about it.  You don’t have to be paranoid or to believe in conspiracies. When Jeremy Thorpe, (much laughter), that was a Freudian slip! When Jeremy Corbyn was even in danger of being elected as Leader back in the summer of 2015 already the smears started in the Daily Mail and the Jewish Chronicle about him associating with holocaust deniers.  The campaign ran from there.
If we have any doubts about the question of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party we only have to look at the people who are most concerned about it.  The Daily Mail, the Sun, The Telegraph, The Times. The very papers that employ people like Katie Hopkins, who believes that refugees are cockroaches. They are the people who are most concerned about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. So we should be quite clear, the anti-Semitism witchhunt has nothing at all to do with anti-Semitism. And if it’s not to do with anti-Semitism, what is it?
We were told throughout the 2 years I was suspended that it wasn’t about Israel.  It really was about hatred of Jews. We were also told that ‘no, we don’t think that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite’.  It’s just everybody who’s around him.
Well starting about March this year, before the local elections, they changed their tune. It was Jeremy himself who was anti-Semitic. And they started digging up all his old speeches and they started reading into them things with no reasonable person could  possibly find.
Anti-Semitism is quite simply really. If you go and look in the Oxford English Dictionary it tells you what it is in 6 words. An anti-Semite is someone who is hostile to or prejudiced against Jews.  It’s not a great formula really.  If you ask the man or woman on the Clapham Omnibus, which is the legal test of the reasonable person, what anti-Semitism is and they will tell you.  It’s someone who doesn’t like Jews. You don’t need an International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of over 500 words to tell you what anti-Semitism is.
Unless, unless you are trying to conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism and opposition to the Israeli state. If that’s what you want to do then you probably do need 500 words to do it and that of course is what the IHRA is about. They tell you it’s been internationally approved. In fact it has been adopted by 9 countries. But who are the 31countries who form part of the IHRA? There’s Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Rumania – all countries with anti-Semitic or far-Right regimes. 
Viktor Orban, who’s just visited Israel.  He’s an honoured guest of Benjamin Netanyahu. He visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum and he was picketed by Holocaust survivors. You won’t read that in the British press of course. Orban had a general election earlier this year. His main target was George Soros, a survivor of the Hungarian Holocaust. A figure who is demonised by the American Right. He ran a nakedly anti-Semitic campaign but Israel has no objection to that.
If you look at the far-Right throughout Europe, including in Britain, they are in favour of Zionism, they support Israel. Whether it is the EDL or Tommy Robinson, who’s a great fan of them or Marine Le Pen, virtually every fascist group in Europe supports Israel and Zionism. Not only in Europe but of course in America. The neo-Nazi founder of the American Right, Richard Spencer, describes himself as a White Zionist.  That is of course understandable. What is there not to like about Israel if you are on the far-Right?
At this moment Netanyahu, with the support of the Israeli Labour Party, is trying to deport 40,000 African refugees. Why?  Because they’re not white and they’re not Jewish.  If that’s not racism I really don’t know what racism means.  And yet the Jewish Labour Movement, the representatives of the Israeli Labour Party inside the British Labour Party, supports their deportation. There is no disagreement between the Israeli Labour Party and Likud over this.
I have to say, and this is not the policy of LAW, but it’s certainly my own personal opinion, that the Jewish Labour Movement along with the Labour Friends of Israel, should have nothing to do with the British Labour Party.  Yes they were affiliated in 1920. And the Labour Party had a pretty rotten record of supporting the British Empire. It’s about time that we jettisoned that legacy.
Because South Africa under Apartheid and Israel go together. There is no fundamental difference which is why when the Apartheid State was in existence its best friend was the Israeli state.  It was under the Israeli Labour government, that John Vorster, the South Africa Prime Minister was invited to Israel. And for those who don’t know, Vorster was interned during the war because he was a supporter of the Nazis.
So the idea that opposition to Israel or opposition to Zionism is somehow anti-Semitic is for the birds. Because historically the greatest opposition to Zionism came from Jewish people.   We are the ‘wrong sort of Jews’.
Only last week 29 Orthodox Rabbis signed a statement supporting Jeremy Corbyn. You might be forgiven for not having read about it in the British press.  For some reason the BBC didn’t carry the news. Because it is inconvenient to their narrative to do so. So we should be absolutely clear about it. This anti-Semitism witchhunt is about something else.  We all know what it’s about.
It must have been a great shock, not only to people in Israel but in Washington and probably MI5 when someone who doesn’t support NATO, been anti-American, hates their foreign policy was elected leader of the Labour Party. They immediately scrabbled around for something with which to attack him.
Now one think you can attack Jeremy for is his opposition to austerity. But that’s probably not going to be very popular.  That’s why they picked on the idea of anti-Semitism. Most people don’t want to be considered anti-Semites because they know the history of the Holocaust.  What happened to the Jews and their extermination.  That is why anti-Semitism is being used to attack the Left in the Labour Party. We have to reject that.
Anti-Semitism is a form of racism. Those supporting the anti-Semitism witchhunt don’t have a particularly good record. Like Chuka Ummuna for example. Chuka is very concerned about anti-Semitism, believe you me. So is Frank Field. These are the people who didn’t vote against the 2014 Immigration Act.  The Immigration Act which led to the Windrush scandal.
The government admits to 70 but there could be hundreds of  Black British people, who’ve been here for over a half a century, were deported. Yet the Labour Party sat on its hands in Parliament with the exception of 8 MPs, amongst whom were Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
So we should be quite clear about the attack against Corbyn and the Labour Party. We have to stand up and to have some courage to rebut the allegations. I’m sorry that Jeremy and John and others have adopted the IHRA ‘definition’ of anti-Semitism. It was a fundamental mistake. They have made a rod for their own backs.
When John says that if you don’t support a Jewish state that is racist, with the greatest respect, I disagree. There are religious states and religious states. Britain is a Christian state nominally. The Queen is the head of the Church of England. But you know if I want to go and buy a house no one says to me ‘Sorry Tony you can’t, because you’re not Christian.’  But in Israel 93% of the land is owned or controlled by the Jewish National Fund and Arabs cannot lease, rent or buy that land.
That is what apartheid is. Land ownership and separation. You don’t have to have, as in South Africa, a Group Areas Act, the fundamental apparatus of discrimination is there. That is why Israel is different. It is not a religious state. It is a state that bases its citizenship rights on race and nationality.  If you are of the Jewish religion you are also a Jewish national in Israel and ironically I have more rights in Israel than a Palestinian who lives and their and has lived there for generations.
I will wind up to say this.  We have to continue this campaign. The Campaign against the witchhunt is a campaign for the future of the Labour Party and for socialism. So I do hope that people here will not simply attend this meeting, important though it is, but you will join Labour Against the Witchhunt because we have a vital task. The Right is on the offensive and we have to throw them back. Because if we don’t we will be defeated. I’m sorry that Open Selection didn’t carry the day today but there’s always the fight tomorrow. It’s quite clear in my mind that we have to get rid of a large number of Labour MPs who will not vote for Jeremy.  Thank you.
Chris Williamson MP
Tony, we may have lost the Open Selection battle today but we will ultimately win the war because there is overwhelming massive support for greater democracy in this party.  As I keep saying, quoting Ed Miliband, Ed said, and you may have heard me say this before, if we trusted the members more when we were in government between 1997 and 2010 we wouldn’t have made as many mistakes. We wouldn’t have gone to war in Iraq. We wouldn’t have introduced tuition fees. We wouldn’t have cut benefits for some of the poorest people in our country.  So I think listening to the members, putting the members centre stage is absolutely the right thing to do.
I apologise for being here late but I was speaking over at the Labour Assembly Against Austerity and I also had the privilege there of meeting Valerie Wise. You remember Valerie Wise Tony because she was the author of the minority report on the NEC opposing the expulsions back in the 1980’s. So it was a great privilege to meet Valerie, a former GLC member alongside Ken Livingstone at the time.
Yes Neil Kinnock.  What can I say?!  I was at that conference actually in 1985, despite my youthful appearance I am 62, and as I keep saying it’s because I am a vegan. And vegans are going to inherit the earth! (Applause and laughter) Remember you heard it here first. The vegans are going to inherit the Earth!
In 1985 I was at that conference and I was absolutely appalled and I didn’t know some of the inside story which Tony (Mulhearn) has just spoken about tonight.
But how despicable when you are brought in to their confidential, you are told about  tactics which are being used, we know what they were doing anyway, they weren’t seeking to throw workers on the dole. I mean that Council had done everything they could to support workers’ rights, to invest in the local economy, to build, how many council houses was it?
Tony Mulhearn:  5,000 council houses.
Chris Williamson:         5,000 council houses. You know what? The 5,000 council houses that were built in Liverpool during that time were nearly as many council houses as were built in total through the entire  country from 1997 to 2010. That’s a scandal. We built social housing so-called, housing association dwellings, but in terms of council houses I think the number was of the order of 7,000 or so.  So that record stands on its own merits.
Yes I was at that conference and Kinnock was obsessed with Militant, expelling people from the Party on the basis that this was going to make us electable.  The previous year he had refused to stand shoulder to shoulder with the greatest industrial dispute we’ve seen in this country since the General Strike in order to make Labour more respectable.
We couldn’t have a Labour leader standing on the picket line, with miners! That would never do would it? It might upset a few of the bankers, the industrialists.  I think he did in January reluctantly stand alongside a number of pickets but that was a seminal moment in this movement’s history.
The Tory government had declared war on the brigade of guards of the labour movement and Neil Kinnock abandoned them. And where did it get us? It got us an election result that was nearly as bad as 1983 when we were decimated.  And what we need to do and what we are doing now is put forward a hopeful socialist vision for our country.  That’s why people are rallying  to us. That’s why people were rallying, much to the chagrin of some people, to what Labour in Liverpool were doing all those years ago.
And so while Kinnock was expelling people, refusing to stand on the picket lines and losing elections he was obviously missing a trick. And then Neil has the temerity to lecture us about being electable.
How many people heard that recording that was made? It was when I was taking a 2 year sabbatical from the Houses of Parliament, when I lost my seat in 2015, because we didn’t have a decent programme really to inspire people to vote for us but I heard that recording when Neil said ‘dammit, this is our party’ as if it belonged to the PLP.’
Absolutely not. The PLP is less than 0.04% of the total membership of our party. Our movement, our party is all of you and all of the other grassroots members outside of this conference. Up and down this country.  That’s the labour movement. That’s the Labour Party. Not a bunch of privileged parliamentarians sitting in Parliament.
And when they go on about oh it’s a job and they want to make me redundant.  It’s ain’t a job mate. If you want a job go and work on a building site like I did or work in the City or something.
Being an MP is a privilege. You are there as a representative. A representative of this Party and the people that elected you. And far too many people, I regret to say, forget that. And they get obsessed with this Westminster bubble. And then they get embroiled in all this nonsense about all these extremists coming in and joining the Labour Party.
Isn’t it terrible that we are the biggest left-of-centre political party in Western Europe. Somehow that is seen as being terrible. We’ve got into this absurd scenario where we are expelling people and suspending people left, right and centre (audience uproar – corrects himself) it’s left, left and left. That’s almost as bad as the Jeremy Thorpe slip. I remember him actually. He was going to change the face of British politics but never quite got round to it.
I absolutely think that we’ve got to stand together in solidarity and call out this for what it is.  It’s just a cover and all the speakers have made that point very eloquently. This is about bullying. In a way we are living in the pages of George Orwell’s 1984.  Good is bad, Black is White, we have a Ministry of Truth and the rest of it. It’s McCarthyism and McCarthyism came to an end when people called it out for what it was.  A pile of bloody nonsense at the end of the day.
This is not to excuse in any sense, shape or form any form of bigotry whether it is anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia or any other form of bigotry or racism.  Of course that is an evil, appalling and you call it out wherever it genuinely exists.  Of course we should do that but lets remember some of us, despite my youthful appearance, was around in the 1970’s like Jeremy, on the streets, confronting the anti-Semites, the racists in the National Front in the Anti-Nazi League, I don’ want to be ageist but I’m not going to take ... only about 11 stone ... but we were there, Jeremy was there and being demonised in this way is utterly disgusting and repugnant and what the .... he (Marc Wadsworth was showing Nelson Mandela round this country when he gave us the privilege of visiting the United Kingdom.  Marc worked with the family of Stephen Lawrence, the kid who was killed. He was there supporting the Lawrence family and he has been demonised as a bigot.
Now I went along with Marc to the hearing of the National Constitutional Committee, otherwise known as the National Kangaroo Court.  I was threatened by certain individuals that I would be expelled from the party for referring to it as a kangaroo court.  [22.39] But what else can you call it? Tony has been through it so he knows what it’s like.
But in Marc’s case I was there.  I gave a witness statement and spoke on his behalf.  You know when Marc rang me that night and said he’s going to a second day I said ‘what?’.  I said what have they got to talk about?  The only evidence that they have was that video of Marc at the Chakrabarti press conference, people must have seen it.  Look what he said.  He pointed out that an MP was liaising with a Tory reporter on the Telegraph and passing information.  Just making an observation about that and then went on to talk about  we’ve got to do better, be serious about diversity in our party, look around this room I’m about the only Black face in this room.  That was the kind of point he was generally making.
Bearing in mind that the Chakrabarti Report was about anti-Semitism and other forms of racism.  So it was a perfectly legitimate thing that Marc was pointing out there it seems to me.  But when he got up and started speaking Kevin Schofield, from Politics Home and a former Sun political editor shouted out ‘Anti-Semitism’ its an anti-Semitism  press conference.  And at that point all hell broke loose.  All these people shouting Marc down it was very difficult to hear what he said. But he said nothing anti-Semitic.
But when they came to expel him they didn’t expel him for anti-Semitism.  And I was reminded of it actually when Tony was going through some of the charges that were read out to him. What they expelled him for was bringing the party into disrepute.
Now what did he do? He asked a question at a press conference.  How was that bringing the party into disrepute? I just do not accept that in any way, shape or form. So I’ve continued to support Marc.  Certain individuals have said that I shouldn’t be doing so. But I think it’s so important that we do.  Because if we don’t stand together, if we don’t call out in justice, what are we ? I often say solidarity is really important at all times. But it only really counts when it is difficult not when it is easy.
I felt it important for me to show solidarity with Marc because  he’s been dealt a terrible injustice. And the same goes for Jackie Walker too. Whose also been dealt a terrible injustice. (applause)
(indecipherable) They have a go at Jackie and the rest of it and I just think it’s completely unfair and they say oh she’s a self publicist and all this and she’s doing this one woman show.  And my response is to go and see it. It’s incredibly moving. Anyone here that has seen it will be able to bear that out. I had a real lump in my throat listening to it because it’s about her life story. She talks about being a victim of racism, having her windows put through, very poor family, having to sleep with her mum because there wasn’t enough room, the lads slept in one room with the dad and then her mum died when she was only 7 years of age I think. And being taken into care and the Social Services Report saying ‘Jackie has a problem with authority’.  I have a problem with authority! (laughter) a lot of us have a problem with authority.  There’s nothing wrong with that. It then goes on in terms of her activities with the Anti-Nazi League. Of course the irony here is of a Black woman with a Jewish heritage married to a Jew who they want to boot out for anti-Semitism! 
For god’s sake we are in the pages of 1984.  It’s Orwellian. We’ve got to call it out. We’ve got to call it out.  That’s not to say, just to repeat the point in case someone is surreptitiously recording it here, it sometimes happens (!), I ain’t saying anti-Semitism is acceptable in any way, sense , shape or form and we have to challenge it.   We have to challenge all forms of bigotry and racism. That’s why the Labour Party or one of the reasons why the Labour Party was established for god’s sake.  We’ve got a proud heritage of standing up to racism and bigotry.
Right back to Cable Street where Labour Party activists, Jeremy’s mum, standing shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community against Oswald Moseley’s bloody fascists. And then into the Anti Nazi League in the later generation. So we’ve got nothing to apologise for. We may have a few wierdos on the fringes but what really gets me is that we’ve seen people in the media, there is appalling on-line abuse, there is no doubt about that, they are conflating on-line abuse with Labour Party members.  Saying Labour Party members are responsible for that. Where’s the evidence for that? (27.27)
Of course if there is evidence of that then clearly they have no place in the Labour Party. The truth is that there isn’t very much evidence of that is there? We are a party getting on for 600,000 now and with registered supporters well above that figure.
When you look at the stats, anti-Semitism amongst Labour Party members is on decline with Jeremy Corbyn became leader. It’s a cause for celebration but we should never rest until we have driven out all forms of bigotry.
My fear is that while we are focusing on trying to expel people like Marc Wadsworth, Tony, the next one is Jackie Walker, Cyril Chilsom and others the elephant in the room is the far-Right across Western Europe.
But where is the voice being raised about that. All these people who are kicking off, allegedly about racism, anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, in attacking Jeremy Corbyn of all people who’s spent the summer making clear that Jeremy is not a racist. For god’s sake that is just absurd isn’t it. At the same time as we saw 15,000 fascists on the street. I thought we’d never see the sight again.
I thought through those years in the Anti Nazi League that we had defeated them. But as Tony Benn said there are no final victories just as there are no final defeats. Each generation has to fight the same battles again and again and again.
It’s up to us now to fight that battle against the rise of the far-Right. The fascists and Tommy Robinson and the rest of them. It’s not just Tommy Robinson. The Tory Party is going in that direction with its links with Steve Bannon and the rest of it.
So that is the big elephant in the room. So why are these attacks coming against us?  Well other speakers have already made the point. Because we want to transform our society.  We want to create a common sense socialist economy and society.  An economy for the many not the few. That’s not just a slogan. That will be our modus operandi. They absolutely do not want that to happen.
Of course there is the Israel dimension too. I often refer to Netanyahu’s apartheid regime. I’ve just come back from New York during the international dimension of the democracy road show where I spoke to the New York branch of Labour International. They were unanimously in favour of mandatory reselection too.
While we were there we went over to Ellis island and had a look at the museum there. One of the things that really struck me and my partner in particular, she pointed it out to me, was the story of the Native Americans, the Cherokees in that region.  What we saw there, when they discovered gold in those hills, that where they previously had a territory, were inspected,  traded with the settlers etc. then suddenly that was put to one side. We saw the systematic destruction of that community. Land was taken away.
In a way you know what is happening to the Palestinians is more comparable with what happened to the Native American. It is an absolute scandal. When you look back in history what happened to the Native Americans? You like to think, I’ve thought it myself, god that was appalling but surely it could never happen in the modern era. But it is happening in the modern era. It’s happening right now in Palestine. And we’ve got to call it out. We’ve got to be brave.
When we stand together we’re strong, aren’t we. But if we do it individually they can pick us off. So that’s what we’ve got to do in my opinion. We have to call that out. We have to continue to make the case for common sense socialism. To transform our country. To create an economy for the many not the few. To build the council houses that we need. To invest in the public services.  To embrace the fourth industrial revolution. To make sure that we benefit from it rather than just the few at the top. 
And we can actually get to the place where we were told, in the 1960’s do you remember we were told that we were only going to be working for 10-15 hours a week?  Automation by the 1990’s, that was what was supposed to be happening.  It never happened but we could make it happen now through the fourth industrial revolution.
But it will take a common sense socialist government to make it happen. And they are fighting tooth and nail on a number of different fronts. Obviously we have the Israeli dimension and people obviously don’t want Jeremy Corbyn in No. 10 because of that.  But also because we are going to shake up this nation, we are going to change the balance of power in this country forever. That is the prize. And like that protest song from the 1950’s or 1960’s that inspired the civil rights campaigners in the US, it was keep your eyes on the prize. And the prize is the transformation of our society.
Comrades we can do it by standing together in solidarity. So it’s not about  winning this election. This is about changing the course of history. So we’re all history makers in here you know. We are not going to just get in and carry on with a bit more neo-liberalism. We’re going to shake it up. We are absolutely going to shake it up, turn it around.  And there is support there for us.
You may have seen Giles Brandreth going around looking for secret socialists in the safe Tory seat of Guildford. Did anyone see that? He had a clipboard and he was going through the policies.  Do you think that we should scrap tuition fees?  Oh yes. Do you think that we should bring rail back into public ownership? Oh yes, yes, that’s a very good idea. He was going through others like housing and he said, well you’re a secret socialist then mate. What do you mean? These are the promises of Jeremy Corbyn.  He shows a picture of Jeremy Corbyn. The guy recoils in horror.
The point I’m making is that there are really no unwinnable seats now because between 70 and 80% of the public actually support what we are putting forward now.  We could be more radical in some areas. There’s work still to be done  and John has made that clear. At the Labour Against Austerity meeting that we will have a more radical manifesto next time. I say radical but we are the moderates.  We are the mainstream because 70-80% of the public agree with us. So it ain’t that radical in reality. So that’s the prize comrades. And they are trying to pick us off. They are trying to pick off the people who are supportive of Jeremy and try to sap our strength and try to undermine us. It’s this war of attrition. Of course they’ve got the media on our side. What they haven’t got on their side is the numbers.  We’ve got the numbers, we are many.
Let me finish with a poem. Quoting Percy Shelley when the last verse of the Masque of Anarchy which was written in the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre and there’s a brilliant film coming out about that, in fact it’s being premiered somewhere around here this week I’ve been told:  Come along you can sing along if you like!ld:  Come along you can sing along if you like!
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep have fallen on you-
Ye are many - they are few.

Solidarity comrades

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