Thursday, 12 December 2019

Open Letter to Seamus Milne: If Labour Fails at the Polls Today Then You Will Bear a Heavy Responsibility for What Has Happened

Your strategy of apologising for ‘anti-Semitism’ neutrality on Brexit and Appeasement of the Right has led to Disaster

Dear Seamus,
Short of a miracle, Jeremy Corbyn is not going to become the next Prime Minister. Yet after 9 years in opposition Labour should have had little difficult in winning the General Election, despite the ferocity of attacks on it.  Austerity has provided the ideal opportunity to be rid of Johnson and his acolytes.
Because of Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous handling of the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ attacks, coupled with the absurd policy of neutrality on Brexit whilst accepting that we should be part of the NATO alliance fir war, I fear that we are going to fall short of what was achieved in 2017. As I blogged recently  and in the Weekly Worker, I expect the worst whilst hoping for the best.
Has Seamus Milne Sunk Corbyn's Hope of Becoming Prime Minister?
You were Corbyn’s Strategic Advisor and that meant drawing up a strategy not making fire fighting into a fine art.
It should have been clear from the outset that Corbyn, who more than anyone was identified with the anti-war, anti-NATO wing of the Labour Party, would come under fierce attack when elected as leader in September 2015. With your experience you above all should have understood what covert destabilisation was. Because that is what we have been witnessing for the past 4 and a half years.
American imperialism isn’t just for third world countries.  It has interfered repeatedly in Europe when it felt necessary as with Operation Gladio, in Italy. Imperialism isn’t just a jargon word but a description of how western capitalism maintains itself politically and economically.
You above all should have known that the United States and its allies here and in Israel would stop at nothing to destabilise Corbyn’s leadership in alliance with the Zionist movement.  The United States doesn’t give the Israeli state $4+ billion a year because of its love for Jews.
Trump is a good example of an anti-Semite who loves Israel and Zionism. When referring to American Jews tendency to criticise Israel he remarked that ‘some Jews don’t love Israel enough.’
Indeed if you are or should be aware that Zionism has no interest in combating anti-Semitism.  Zionism from the beginning accepted anti-Semitism as a natural phenomenon that could not be fought and should therefore be accepted.  Why?  As the editor of the Zionist paper Die Welt, Jacob Klatzkin explained:
‘If we do not admit the rightfulness of anti-Semitism we deny the rightfulness of our own nationalism... Instead of establishing societies for defence against the anti-Semites who want to reduce our rights, we should establish societies for defence against our friends, who desire to defend our rights.’
Did it never occur to you that there was something strange about the Board of Deputies of British Jews or the Jewish Chronicle’s apparent enthusiasm for fighting anti-Semitism? This is the same Board of Deputies and Jewish Chronicle that urged Jews to stay at home when Oswald Moseley tried to march the British Union of Fascists through the East End of London in October 1936.
The same Jewish Chronicle which has conducted a ceaseless war against Corbyn warned ‘Jews are urgently warned to keep away from the route of the Blackshirt march and from their meetings.’
I realise that being a scion of the British Establishment - Winchester and Oxford - your dad having been Director of the BBC, your parents would have run a mile from confrontation with the fascists. However Jeremy’s mother was there and so was my father.
I’ll let you into a secret. My dad didn’t need a 500+ word IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in order to know what anti-Semitism was.  All he had to do was go down the wrong road and get his head kicked in or worse. It is unbelievable that with the Zionists bellowing for the adoption of the IHRA, with no caveats or get out clauses, you were unable to perceive that anti-Semitism was being weaponised in support of the world’s most racist state, Israel.
Fascism and anti-Semitism has never been fought with a definition. The IHRA had an altogether different purpose which was to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. It would seem that all your previous writings and political involvement counted for naught when you smelt power.
You were after all closely connected with the Communist Party, including being the business manager of Straight Left, the pro-Soviet faction in the CP.
Having written The Enemy Within: The Secret War Against the Miners, about the Great miners' strike which focused on the role of the Intelligence Services you cannot but have been aware of what the Deep State in Britain would do to undermine a perceived opponent of the United States and the NATO Alliance.  After all Corbyn had been elected as leader of the second major political party in the US’s closest European ally.  All this is or should be bread and butter to you.
Your inability to put into practice the insights gained from years of activism and journalism suggests that you never really believed half of what you wrote. Or that theory and practice had difficulty in reconciling with each other.
So how can we account for your hamfisted, counter-productive advice in respect of the accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’?  They didn’t begin with the infamous mural but in the summer of 2015 before Jeremy was even elected when the Daily Mail, followed swiftly by the Jewish Chronicle, alleged that Corbyn was an associate of Paul Eisen a holocaust denier.
It should have been obvious even then that anti-Semitism was being weaponised by those whose purpose was to defend the most racist state in the world, Israel and the ideology of that state, Zionism.
The Eisen allegations were followed by attacks on the late Sir Gerald Kaufman, a Jewish MP, Father of  the House and supporter of the Palestinians and then the affair of Oxford University Labour Club where allegations of anti-Semitism were made on the basis of the club supporting the university’s Israel Apartheid Week.

The Oxford allegations were comprehensively debunked by Asa Winstanley in two articles Electronic Intifada when Asa demonstrated that Alex Chalmers, the Chair of the Labour Club who was behind the allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ turned out to have been an intern for BICOM, the main Israeli propaganda group in Britain.
Ken Livingstone - thrown under the bus by Corbyn and Milne
There then followed a whole series of manufactured incidents.  Ken Livingstone was accused of anti-Semitism for having mentioned that the Nazis had had a close relationship with the Zionist movement, which is a demonstrable fact.

The lynch mob that accompanied Ruth Smeeth to Marc Wadsworth's Expulsion Hearing
Marc Wadsworth was then accused of anti-Semitism for criticising CIA asset Ruth Smeeth MP at the Chakrabarti press conference for her buddy relationship with Telegraph reporters.
What an absolute disgrace that someone who was integrally involved in the Stephen Lawrence campaign, who introduced Nelson Mandela to Stephen’s parents, a pivotal moment in the campaign, should be expelled for criticising racist Labour MP and hoax ‘victim’, Ruth Smeeth?
Marc didn’t even know Smeeth was Jewish yet her tantrum and fake after event tears, because no-one saw them at the time, were allowed to dominate the narrative. Corbyn, no doubt on your advice, refused to defend Marc when challenged during the current campaign. Indeed when Labour Against the Witchhunt held a picket of his expulsion hearing members of Corbyn’s office had the gall to ask Marc to call off the demonstration.
What I find most puzzling is why it was not obvious early on that there was something strange about all these accusations of anti-Semitism coming from the right-wing press, who are not normally concerned about racism?  When I was suspended in March 2016 it was immediately clear what was going on.  The idea that with Jeremy’s election there had been a sudden upsurge in ‘anti-Semitism’ is about as likely to be true as sightings of the Yeti.  It was clearly part of a developing narrative and it was your job, as Strategic Director to get on top of it.
When Jeremy was accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ he responded painfully insisting that he wasn’t.  It was painful watching because it was clear he didn’t get it. The ‘anti-Semitism’ he was being accused of was not hatred of Jews but hatred of what Israel does.  He may not have worked it out but that’s what you are paid to do.
There isn’t a Palestine Solidarity activist in Britain who hasn’t been accused of ‘anti-Semitism’. It goes with the territory.  When we engaged with the National Front and fascist activists we were accused of being ‘anti-White’ hating the white race etc. Racists always project their own view onto others. What was there about these fake accusations of anti-Semitism that you didn’t understand?
Maybe the most ugly aspect of all of was the way you advised Jeremy to abandon old comrades and friends in the hope that throwing them overboard would somehow help you reach land sooner. It turned out, of course, that the more concessions you made the greater the attacks.
I thought that one lesson we learnt from the 1930’s was that you don’t appease an aggressor. You appeased the Jewish Labour Movement and the Board of Deputies.  Did they thank you?  No, in the words of Len McLuskey ‘Jewish Community Leaders Are Refusing To Take 'Yes' For An Answer’.  And why do you think that might be?  Why is it that every concession that you’ve made was never enough?
The answer is really very simple but it seems that it didn’t penetrate your consciousness or the thick head of John McDonnell whose pathetic pleadings on how Labour should have got on top of the ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations sooner suggest he will be easy meat for the banks and speculators if he should ever become Chancellor.
The goal of the JLM and the Zionists was simple.  It was to secure the head of Jeremy Corbyn. Nothing else would do. When a full  frontal challenge by Owen Smith failed in 2016 then the covert ‘anti-Semitism’ war was stepped up, though strangely enough I’ve never come across someone Jewish who has ever experienced this Labour ‘anti-Semitism’.
However as we know, BBC Panorama found 7 ‘victims’.  Strangely enough, despite not informing its viewers, all 7 happened to be officers of the Jewish Labour Movement.
And something else that hasn’t penetrated either Corbyn’s or McDonnell’s skulls is that the JLM isn’t the Jewish section of the Labour Party. Leaving aside that a majority of its members are right-wing non-Jews, it is, by its own admission, the ‘sister party’ of the Israeli Labour Party, a party that is all but extinct in Israel today. 
The JLM is also a member of the World Zionist Organisation, which specialises in the theft of land of Palestinians on the West Bank. According to Ha’aretz, the WZO has a special Settlement ‘Land Theft’ Division. Yet the JLM is not only affiliated to this racist colonising organisation it is affiliated to the Labour Party.  Despite this it is not supporting the Labour Party in the general election.
As I revealed, in the early 1980’s Jeremy sponsored a Labour Movement Campaign on Palestine conference, one of whose demands was to disaffiliate Poale Zion which was renamed JLM. He understood all the arguments then.
It seems you allowed him to forget that it was the Israeli Labour Party that was responsible for the Nakba, the expulsion of the Palestinian refugees. The JLM not only is the direct inheritor of  this tradition but it was effectively refounded in 2015 with just one purpose in mind – the removal of Jeremy Corbyn.
You will understand then that when the JLM threatened to disaffiliate from the Labour Party, which of course was nothing more than grandstanding, Corbyn sent them a message pleading for them to stay! Never in history has a man on death row pleaded with his executioner to stay a while longer in order that he can finish the job. Even Jesus Christ didn’t beg the Roman soldiers to torment him a little longer.
Yet the journalist who revealed all of this, Asa Winstanley of Electronic Intifada, has been suspended from the Labour Party for the ‘crime’ of journalism, that is telling the truth.  Of course the official pretext is ‘anti-Semitism’ but that just proves how ‘anti-Semitism’ has become debased.
It is an outrage that you and Jeremy haven’t spoken up about Asa’s suspension and told the execrable Jennie Formby, a worthy successor to Iain McNicol, to reverse this injustice.
There was a time in the 1990’s when I and others were suspended during the Kinnock witchhunts over the poll tax. At that time a certain Jeremy Corbyn was Secretary of Labour Against the Witchhunt.  I can only imagine his reaction if the then Labour Party had adopted ‘fast track’ expulsions without even a hearing.
I helped refound LAW two years ago.  Who would have thought that our main antagonist would be Jeremy Corbyn?
The job of a Strategic Advisor, if words are to have any meaning, is to devise a strategy.  Yet it would appear that you had no strategy apart from running so fast that you hoped your opponents wouldn’t catch up with you.
All this should have been clear to you when the Zionists put pressure on the Labour Party to adopt the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism in September 2018.
Whose idiotic idea was it to adopt the IHRA in December 2016 following Theresa May’s embrace of it?  Did it not occur to you that if May, the person who introduced the ‘hostile ‘ and sent Home Office vans into areas with immigrant communities telling them to ‘go home, was concerned about anti-Semitism that something wasn’t right?
Israel is a state that armed and equipped the Guatemalan Junta when it butchered up to 200,000 Mayan Indians and which today arms and trains the Burmese Junta in its genocidal war on the Rohinga.
The Israeli state has about as much to do with the traditional Jewish values of justice and the fight against oppression as a ham sandwich has to do with keeping a kosher diet.
Today in the Labour Party criticism of Israel is tantamount to ‘anti-Semitism’. Historically it was always the anti-Semites who supported Zionism in the hope that it would rid them of their Jews.  Arthur Balfour, Edouard Drumont and Adolf Eichmann were just 3 of the many anti-Semitic supporters of Zionism.
According to Mark Gardener of the Community Security Trust your only objection to the IHRA was to one half of one bulletin  point which described Israel as a racist state (endeavour).  Really?  Did you have no objection to the example which said that ‘double standards’ in criticising the world’s only apartheid state is anti-Semitic? Wasn’t ‘double standards’ the same defence that supporters of Apartheid in South Africa used?
Why is the IHRA example which says comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany are anti-Semitic? People compare states such as Iran to the Nazis? Why should Israel be a special case? Would you say that a child survivor of a Nazi ghetto, Ze’ev Sternhell should also be accused of anti-Semitism for writing an article in Ha’aretz In Israel, Growing Fascism and a Racism Akin to Early Nazism.’
Two years ago Israel’s Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan in a speech at Holocaust Memorial Day reflected that:
“If there is something that frightens me about the memories of the Holocaust, it is the knowledge of the awful processes which happened in Europe in general, and in Germany in particular, 70, 80, 90 years ago, and finding traces of them here in our midst, today, in 2016.”
If Yair Golan had been a member of the Labour Party he would have been suspended or expelled as an anti-Semite.  The Zionist ‘anti-Semitism witchhunt has meant that even honest Zionists are susceptible to an allegation that has nothing to do with actual anti-Semitism.
What I’ve been describing is how far free speech has been under attack and demoted in the Labour Party.  In order to assuage the racist defenders of the Israeli state, a state where dozens of Jewish rabbis issue edicts forbidding the renting of homes by Jews to Arabs, it is forbidden to say that Israel is a racist state. 
That is the tragedy of Corbyn’s leadership. He has presided over a regime that is more intolerant of free speech and debate than even Blair or Kinnock.  And you Seamus Milne have been Strategic Advisor to this pitiful regime of intolerance. 
What I find difficult to understand is why someone who was considered an expert on the Middle East and Palestine should find anything attractive in the IHRA ‘definition’ of anti-Semitism.  The only reason that the IHRA, formerly the EUMC Working Definition of Anti-Semitism was created was in order to ensnare criticism of Israel within the web of ‘anti-Semitism’.
If you don’t understand this I suggest that you read The Working Definition of Antisemitism – A Reappraisal by the main author of the IHRA, American academic Kenneth Stern. The IHRA was the brainchild of Dina Porat, Chief Historian at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Propaganda Museum in Jerusalem which regularly entertains all manner of racist, fascist and anti-Semitic guests in the name of fighting ‘anti-Semitism’.  I refer to creatures such as Duterte, Hungary’s Orban and Brazil’s Bolsinaro, all of whom have paid their homage at Yad Vashem in the past year.
It is little wonder that Daniel Blatman, a Holocaust Studies researcher at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem called Yad Vashem a
hard-working laundromat, striving to bleach out the sins of every anti-Semitic, fascist, racist or simply murderously thuggish leader or politician like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.
Possibly your main failure was to question the claim of the Board of Deputies of British Jews to represent British Jewry. The Board of Deputies represents at best one-third of British Jews. It represents neither secular Jewry nor the Ultra Orthodox. 
When 34 Orthodox Rabbis from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations wrote to defend and support Jeremy why the silence? Of course it didn’t make the headlines, since only Skwawkbox and the Jewish Chronicle reported it, the latter to discredit it.  When Rabbi Mayer Weinberger wrote supporting Jeremy on behalf of the Executive Board of the United European Jews organisation why did you say nothing? 
What is it that makes you spurn those within the Jewish community that try to support you. As the Canary observed, it was the letter from a rabbi that won’t make the front pages of most of the mainstream media. However that is no reason for your paralysis.
Instead of openly meeting with Jewish Voices for Labour you have reinforced the most reactionary section of the Jewish community.
It is no accident that during the election campaign the Jewish Chronicle has devoted every issue to attacking Corbyn.  In his letter to readers last week, its far-Right editor Stephen Pollard wrote that ‘there is just one fundamental issue for the vast majority of our community – doing what we can to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM.’
All your appeasement has come to nought.  The nadir was Corbyn’s pathetic response to Andrew Neil.  But it wasn’t just Corbyn’s fault.  What is the job of a Strategic Advisor and Media specialist if not to brief Corbyn in advance?  When Neil asked whether he was going to apologise to the Jewish community Corbyn should have responded that there was nothing to apologise for.
And when Neil persisted Jeremy could have responded that he wasn’t going to take lessons from someone who employed a holocaust denier, David Irving, when he was editor of the Sunday Times, to examine the Goebbels diaries. To say nothing over his presiding over a diet of racism as Chairman of the Board of The Spectator.  Just what do you do in your job?
Was it beyond your ability to brief Jeremy on the racist background of Tom Watson, the hypocrite who pretended to be concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’? This was the same Tom Watson who backed racist Labour MP Phil Woolas who had a run an election campaign in 2010 to ‘make the white folk angry’.  When the High Court removed Woolas for lying about his Lib Dem opponent Watson wrote he had ‘lost sleep over poor Phil.’
In 2004 Watson ran a racist campaign in the Birmingham Hodge Hill by election As Campaign Manager Watson oversaw the distribution of  leaflets which said “Labour is on your side; the Lib Dems are on the side of failed asylum-seekers.”
All but 6 Labour MPs abstained on the vote on the 2013 Immigration Act, which introduced the ‘hostile environment’ policy of Theresa May yet these self-same people are apparently concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’.  John Mann, the anti-Semitism ‘czar’ was interviewed by Police over the hate pamphlet he wrote labelling Gypsies and Travellers as a problem of anti-social behaviour.
Why was a full frontal attack on the Tories over the Windrush Scandal and the deportation of Black British  citizens not highlighted.  This would have shown up the hypocrisy of those concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’.  As far as I’m aware British  Jews have not been deported back to wherever they may once have come from.
Instead of fighting back Corbyn, with your ‘advice’ has become little more than a political punchbag. It is difficult to know just what your role is. In the words of Ali Abunimah, in an email to me,
It has been so incredibly frustrating to watch Corbyn refuse to fight back and even worse continue pandering to the smears. It is hard to believe that a politician who has been at it so long can be so absolutely naive about how the Israel lobby works. They cannot be appeased. They have to be fought, and when you do fight in a clear and principled way, people rally to you. He could have defeated them, but instead he let them run the show. Appalling!
And if the fake anti-Semitism campaign has not been your finest hour then how to explain the position on Brexit?  Clearly you find it difficult to let go of the days when the Soviet Union opposed the Common Market because it preferred to see Europe divided, which was the original reason for the Communist  Party’s opposition to the EEC.
Today it is, or should be obvious that Brexist means coming under the domination of the United States. There is no third way. Labour could have campaigned on a position of Remain and Reform and cleaned up the Remain vote.  In addition it could have put a socialist argument in the North that Brexit would simply continue the deindustrialisation that began under Thatcher.  That it wasn’t Europe but the Tories pursuit of monetarism that closed the mines, shipyards and steel mills.  But enchanted as you are with the Communist  Party’s British Road to Socialism you were unwilling to stand out for such basic socialist ideas such as the free movement of workers.
How else to explain the absurd position where Corbyn will apparently negotiate a new deal on Brexit and then take no position on it in the Referendum?  Whilst writing this letter I have increasingly wondered just what you did to earn your £100,000+ salary? Because whatever else you did Seamus Milne, the one thing you didn’t do was help provide Jeremy Corbyn with any sense of strategy or direction. 
Unless of course loving your enemies, including Margaret Hodge, counts as a strategy.  The problem though is that whilst loving his enemies Corbyn has presided over the most dictatorial and authoritarian regime for socialists and anti-racists.
The very idea of ‘monitoring’ social media posts and trying to get inside peoples’ heads is or should have been anathema.  Racism exists in society and is obviously reflected in the Labour Party. The way to tackle racist ideas, such as the belief that immigrants ‘steal’ peoples’ jobs or lower the price of labour is by education.
If Labour lose on Thursday then it will in part be because you failed so comprehensively. Indeed if you had been a fully paid up agent of MI5 you could not have been more successful. And given their expertise in running people like Harry Newton, who was trusted by so many for so long in CND, I don’t think we can ever be quite sure who you were really working for.
Yours sincerely,




Tony Greenstein          

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