We are posting this article by Tony Greenstein following the Labour Representation Committee’s AGM, in which John McDonnell took part, breaking the Board of Deputies ‘banned list’, borrowed from Apartheid South Africa,
At last Saturday’s Labour Representative Committee AGM McDonnell and Laura Pidcock decided to take a day trip to the Left.
Gone was the McDonnell who wanted war criminal Alistair Campbell reinstated in the Labour Party and who said that Starmer’s COVID strategy was 100% correct. Now he talked of Solidarity and even the Grunwick Strike (past battles always make social democrats more at ease than current ones)!
Amongst those listening and taking part were Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein. McDonnell and Pidcott didn’t bat an eyelid. Surely they hadn’t forgotten the Board of Deputies ’10 Commandments’ No. 5 of which stipulated that
Any MPs, Peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been expelled or suspended in the wake of anti-Semitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership.
Jackie Walker is also mentioned in Commandment No. 4, alongside Ken Livingstone, as someone who will never be readmitted to the Party. McDonnell and Pidcock up to now have never made it clear whether they reject or accept the BOD’s McCarthyist programme, whereas the miserable Rebecca Long-Bailey signed up to the Commandments in an attempt to gain the racist vote in her bid for Labour’s leadership.
I have to say that I am extremely pleased that John McDonnell and Laura Pidcock, whose behaviour throughout the witchhunt has not been a model of socialist solidarity, have now seen the error of their ways. The repentance of the sinner on the Road to Damascus is to be welcomed.
The Zionist attempt to construct a ‘banned list’ is no different in principle to the actions of their good friends in the Apartheid regime. I’m pleased to say that their attempts now lies in ruins.
The Conference itself was a damp squib. I was ruled out of order when attempting to move reference back of the section of the LRC’s dire statement ‘Learning from mistakes of the past five years’. Clearly the leadership of the LRC has learnt nothing at all.
A section of the Executive Statement asks ‘Did Jeremy make mistakes? Of course he did’ and then concludes that ‘Frankly his conduct as an individual has been heroic.’ Perhaps I have an aversion to hero worship, but to me his conduct wasn’t so much heroic as idiocy on stereoids. Others may call throwing your friends and comrades under the bus cowardice.
Not once did it seem to Corbyn that the anti-Semitism attacks, on him and others, were the normal Zionist Weaponisation of Anti-Semitism. Because if he had realised this he might have called it out. Despite employing numerous advisers it doesn’t seem to have occurred to Corbyn that what he needed to do was to fight back and devise a strategy which consisted of more than the words ‘I surrender’.
Firstly by making a major speech explaining that when you have to justify house demolitions of civilians as part of Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing or imprisonment without trial of children as young as 12 then ‘anti-Semitism’ is about the only card you can play.
Over ¾ of Labour’s membership consistently refused to accept that Labour had an anti-Semitism problem yet Corbyn insisted on appeasing enemies who would not be appeased. Corbyn had a duty to call out the gaggle of Blairites and what John Prescott called the ‘bitterites’ who levelled the charge of anti-Semitism at anyone they disliked.
Instead Corbyn threw his friends, one by one, under the bus to appease Tom Watson and the Jewish Labour Movement and then in the final insult to the members tried to ennoble Watson as well as Iain McNicol.
In the Leaked Report that Starmer is doing his best to bury the following appears on page 306 and in with slightly different wording on pages 333, 346 and 573. There are other references to ‘rebuilding trust’ with the Jewish community without once stopping to ask themselves why only 22% of Jews voted for his predecessor, the Jewish Ed Miliband.
Jeremy Corbyn himself and members of his staff team requested to GLU that particular antisemitism cases be dealt with. In 2017 LOTO staff chased for action on high-profile antisemitism cases Ken Livingstone, Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth, stressing that these cases were of great concern to Jewish stakeholders and that resolving them was essential to “rebuilding trust between the Labour Party and the Jewish community”. GLU often failed to quickly progress these cases, as well as on several cases of antisemitism that LOTO staff directly raised or discussed with GLU.
Well all the above named were expelled or forced out of the Labour Party. Did it ‘rebuild trust’ with the mythical Jewish community? Of course not. Our expulsions merely ‘proved’ that the Labour Party had an anti-Semitism problem so they upped their demands and Corbyn and the even more servile Jenny Formby rushed to expel even more people even more quickly. To do this they devised the fast track expulsion procedures so that people could be expelled without a hearing.
The 2019 Labour Party Conference was told that these fast-track procedures would only be used in ‘egregious’ cases but that was a lie. They have been used in every ‘anti-Semitism’ case. And the faster Formby expelled people the more this proved Labour had a problem with ‘anti-Semitism’ so they expelled even more people.
It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Formby and Corbyn that by expelling anyone who mentioned the word ‘Zionism’ in anything other than a positive light they were simply hastening their own demise. They surrendered the narrative to their enemies.
Was the Zionist Establishment and the Board of Deputies pleased . with them? Of course not. The Zionists knew that they had Labour’s leadership on the run and they pursued them even more. Corbyn forgot Mick McGahey of the National Union of Miner’s advice that ‘they’ll stop chasing you when you stop running,” Corbyn, McDonnell and Formby never stopped running.
In the end Corbyn was subject to an ambush during the General Election by the racist Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who trained to become a rabbi at the Har Etzmon Yeshiva on the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut. And what was Corbyn’s response? To ask for a meeting with him! Heroic? I can think of other words!
The LRC is unable to come to terms with what happened during Corbyn’s leadership, not least the way its own President, John McDonnell, was the leading appeaser. This is betrayed in the poverty of its analysis (if one can dignify it with such a description). And because it draws no lessons from the debacle of Corbyn’s leadership it has nothing to say about how the Left should go about tackling the right-wing leadership of Keir Starmer.
According to Andrew Fisher’s new book, after Margaret Hodge’s description of Corbyn as a ‘fucking anti-Semite’ when McDonnell urged that she should suffer no consequences, Corbyn didn’t speak to him for months. It would have been even better if Corbyn had openly called for her suspension.
The LRC was in a prime position during the past 5 years to become the leading organisation of the Left in the Labour Party. Instead it sat on the sidelines and failed to organise any opposition to the Right’s counter offensive. The LRC allowed Lansman’s Momentum to first cement its position, move to the Right and in the end destroy the Corbyn Project it had been founded to protect. Now the LRC is an organisation without a role and without much of a voice either.
Laura Pidcock is seen by activists as having a relatively clean pair of hands compared to McDonnell. However as co-Chair of the Campaign Group of MPs it was she who told Chris Williamson not to turn up to meetings anymore once he had been suspended.
Alistair Campbell (and the British National Party’s favourite MP, Margaret Hodge) kept his silence like a Trappist monk when Chris Williamson was resuspended as a result of a petition of right-wing peers and MPs organised by Tom Watson.
Even now the LRC, spurns unity with the Labour Left Alliance and instead takes part in the stitch-up that is known as the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance who, along with the CLPD and Momentum, vetoed Jo Bird’s candidature for the NEC.
Still, at least those of us expelled as a result of Corbyn’s betrayal can be grateful to McDonnell and Pidcock for their belated opposition to the Board of Deputies’s McCarthyite 10 Pledges!
Tony Greenstein, 13th September 2020
This article first appeared on Tony Greenstein’s Blog