Presentation and discussion: General Election: No Vote to Zionist New Labour – Support Left Independents/Anti-Zionists

(Top) Jeremy Corbyn,  Leanne Mohammad, (Below) George Galloway,  Andrew  Feinstein
 

The presentation and discussion at our forum this afternoon can also be heard here as a podcast

There is no major party standing in this General Election deserving of the support of class-conscious workers, socialists, anti-racists and fighters against oppression.

The Tories and Liberal Democrats are the open parties of the ruling class, speaking abstractly.

Being more concrete, we have all experienced the brutal austerity and increasingly decrepit corruption of this gang of looters of our social gains, public services, the Health service, the rivers polluted with raw sewage, the racist thuggery and sadism … I could go on.

First the Tory-Liberal coalition for 5 years, then the Tories alone. The rise of Jeremy Corbyn was a reaction from the workers movement to Tory-Lib Dem austerity attacks.

But today’s Labour Party was forged through a massive, reactionary driving out of the left that led the party from 2015-20 under Jeremy Corbyn.

This was the one period since the miners strike when millions of working-class people thought they had a chance of winning something back, through the election of a left-wing politician with a record of fighting for workers, of opposing privatisation and attacks on the poor, of standing up to bigoty and racism, and mobilisation against imperialist wars.

The current Labour leadership, as the whole country knows, buried that. They preferred the Tories. They engineered Johnson’s victory in 2019. Labour is standing in this election as a Tory second XI as they continue to stamp on the Labour left.

Some see the Greens as a potential repository of socialist possibilities. In Germany, the Greens are part of a coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD); they are deeply implicated in support for both Israel and Nazi Ukraine.

In this country sole Green MP Caroline Lucas, has been involved in ‘cross-party’ witchhunting critics of Zionism in academia, as shown in the case of David Miller.

They cannot be trusted, their environmentalism is bourgeois and depends on ‘Green’ capitalism, not socialist planning, which is the only thing that can solve the problem of human-induced climate change. We need a working-class alternative, not a petty bourgeois party that joins in with capitalist reaction.

But the main topic of this forum is Labour.

On October 8th Israeli ‘defence’ minister Yoav Gallant made his Hitlerian speech saying that the inhabitants of Gaza are “human animals” who should be allowed “no electricity, no food, no water, no gas”.

When Starmer was interviewed shortly after, he defended Israel’s “right” to carry out these genocidal measures.

This led to a major exodus of outraged members, particularly from Muslim working-class communities, and numerous defections of councillors.

The Labour leadership is dominated by genocidal Zionists.

The scam ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign against the left during the Corbyn period, was driven by the realisation by those forces that a genocide of the Palestinian people was in the offing, and politics had to be purged of sympathy for Palestinian rights.

But they have a huge problem now. This election takes place in the middle of that very genocide, that Starmer gave his support to

However much he tries to wriggle and evade now, he, and his supporters, are on the rack.

The Starmer leadership is a reversion to the politics of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and their neoliberal New Labour governments, which followed in the footsteps of Thatcher and Major.

That government, like the Tories, demanded austerity to make the working class pay for the world financial crisis of the late noughties.

The neoliberal right, which is interpenetrated with the Zionists as a matter both of history and current political reality, was horrified by the near victory of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 election.

It appears that only the sabotage of the Labour right –the funnelling of campaign funds to safe Labour seats inhabited by neoliberals and Zionists – deprived Corbyn’s Labour of being the largest party.

The shocked expressions of ‘Labour Friends of Israel’ like Jess Phillips and Stephen Kinnock when May lost her majority, said it all.

They worked overtime to sabotage Corbyn’s leadership and bring Boris Johnson to power in the 2019 election. For the bourgeois/Zionist right-wing, Johnson was the lesser evil to Corbyn.

When the anti-Semitism scam was ineffective (as was shown in 2017), Starmer manipulated the issue of Brexit to sabotage Labour.

So, the idea that Starmer and his followers are somehow a lesser evil to the Tories today is at odds with reality. They have more in common with the Tories than they do with the labour movement.

This election gives the opportunity to the left to begin to clarify that and split this bourgeois workers party along class lines. We are seeing the small beginnings of that.

There is already a substantial layer of independent socialist councillors around the country, many of whom successfully defended their seats in the council elections on May 4th.

Starmer has the party’s internal life sewn up, dissent is ruthlessly punished, and internal party elections are shamelessly rigged.

Then in February Starmer colluded with Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, another “Labour Friend of Israel”.

Hoyle broke with an element of parliamentary procedure that has a democratic content. The rule being that on a party’s “Opposition Day”, that party is allowed to put a motion, and only the government is allowed to put amendments to it.

The purpose of this is to ensure that all opposition parties get to have their say; they have the right to have their motions voted on by the house, yes or no.

Hoyle allowed Labour to put an amendment to the SNP’s motion calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Predictably, the Labour Party was able to outvote the SNP.  So, the SNP motion was amended to remove its most important demands, for a ceasefire and condemnation of “collective punishment” of Palestinian civilians in this genocide.

Which were never voted on in counter-position to the government,

Labour was afraid that if they were forced to vote on a ceasefire, they would split. But voting for something with ambiguous wording that was deliberately unclear, would not cause a problem.

So, the SNP’s right to a yes-no vote/confrontation against the government on Gaza was buried.

If the Labour Party had been forced to vote on the SNP motion versus the government, the whips would have demanded that Labour either vote with the government or abstain. Many would have rebelled.

This manoeuvre was to stop that happening.

This showed that Starmer is not just a threat to Labour members’ democratic rights, but of all who criticise Zionism.

It is comparable, in some ways, to Boris Johnson’s illegal manoeuvre to prorogue parliament in the Summer of 2019. This was a kind of coup.

And Starmer/Hoyle carried out their own mini-parliamentary coup against the SNP and any MP in their own party or any other who wanted to vote to demand a permanent ceasefire.

This is an attack on an element of parliamentarism that actually has a democratic content.

Numerous independent socialists around the country are standing against Labour, as well as several left-of-labour political organisations.

The most prominent individual is Jeremy Corbyn himself.

His exclusion from Labour, when only a few years earlier he was the leader of a massive movement against austerity, racism and imperialist war, symbolises why socialists should not be supporting the Starmer-led Labour Party.

Hundreds of thousands of people loyal to Corbyn’s leadership have been impatiently waiting for him to defy Starmer in the election.

Now he has done so, he deserves the support of all in society who have a basic working-class consciousness, along with those fighting oppression and imperialist war, crucially the attempted genocide in Gaza.

But it should be a critical support, as many of Corbyn’s own actions when he was leader, did not help to resist the reactionaries who sought to overthrow him.

Corbyn showed chronic weakness in Labour with the position that he explicitly formulated later in the witchhunt period, that both Zionists and anti-Zionists should work together in Labour.

Jon Lansman of Momentum, who admitted to being a left Zionist, was among his most influential supporters. He played a key role in undermining his leadership.

Even more to the point, Corbyn’s adherence to the view that Zionists and anti-Zionists should work together, meant that when the Zionists came after outspoken opponents of Zionist racism in the party, Corbyn turned the other cheek, which meant throwing them under the bus.

Corbyn’s appointee Jenny Formby, as General Secretary, proved more efficient at purging the pro-Palestinian left in the guise of fighting ‘anti-Semitism’, than her right-wing predecessor McNicol.

So that was disastrous weakness.

He is still at it – in the ‘Collective’ Umbrella he has initiated for this election, and his ‘Peace and Justice’ initiative, ‘left’ Zionists: Justin and Clare Schlosberg, are active.

Justin Schlossberg denounced David Miller, the militant, victimised anti-Zionist professor formerly of Bristol University, as a ‘psyop’.

David Miller who defeated Bristol University at an industrial tribunal, establishing for the first time that anti-Zionist views are a protected belief under British law.

The types are a danger to the left and Palestine supporters. It is terrible to be allying oneself with such people, particularly in these terrible circumstances. It is wrong in principle in any case.

Zionism is a key driver of racism in the Labour Party.

Diane Abbot, the first black woman MP, was deprived of the Labour whip based on phoney allegations of anti-Semitism, driven by Zionists.  Par for the course.

Abbott and her supporters appear to have forced Starmer to reinstate her as a Labour candidate. It is clear that Starmer wanted rid of her, and that she refused to go, and had the clout to insist, and defeat him.

This is because the Labour Party feared to take on black working-class communities in London, and in Britain generally, who still have considerable regard for Diane Abbott.

She is one of the few Labour candidates who deserve a vote in this election. For defying and defeating Starmer.

What happened to Faiza Shaheen is the converse of this. She was outrageously dropped as a candidate in Chingford/Woodford Green on the basis of feeble Zionist smears only a few days before the national candidate selection deadline

A highly regarded left-wing economist of Muslim family background, she was supposed to be crushed by this.

But not so, she denounced the ‘hierarchy of racism’ in Labour.

What this actually means is that Labour has a racial hierarchy, that privileges Jewish and white supremacists over the black and Asian communities.

She is now standing as an independent against the Tory Iain Duncan Smith and the Starmer stooge.

The quintessence of this racial hierarchy is Labour’s parachuting of Luke Akehurst into a safe Labour seat in North Durham.

He is a white supremacist, who as Diane Abbott has noted, had tried repeatedly to get rid of her from her Hackney seat.

He is also an ardent Zionist, but he is not actually Jewish. There is a famous photo of him wearing a T-Shirt bearing the caption “Zionist Shitlord”.

 It appears that his Zionist fervour is driven by his hatred of non-whites – he has deleted thousands of his tweets and social media posts recently to hide this.

One reportedly referred to Palestinians as ‘rats’.  Akehurst is basically a Zionist-Nazi and should be treated as one.

There is a proud working-class history in Durham, as symbolised by the Durham Miners’ Gala. They should ensure his type are better acquainted with the pavement.

George Galloway of the Workers Party is seeking re-election in Rochdale after his recent by-election victory.

There are also some independent candidates standing in Birmingham who are closely associated with GG and the Workers Party.

Jody McIntyre in Yardley against Jess Philipps, and Ahmed Yakoob in Ladywood against Shabana Mahmood.

They are making Gaza a big issue, but not just Gaza. Labour’s more general racism, neoliberalism and contempt for the working class, and particularly the British Asian working class, is crucial here.

Former UK Ambassador and Julian Assange defender Craig Murray is standing for the Workers Party in Blackburn (he may win also).

Chris Williamson, the former very left-wing Labour MP and Deputy Leader of the Workers Party is standing in Derby South, adjacent to his previous Derby North seat.

Former Labour whistleblower (about Zionist lobbying and witchhunts), Halima Khan, is planning to stand in Stratford and Bow, East London, also under the banner of the Workers Party.

George Galloway is excellent on Palestine and Ukraine and has a long and creditable anti-imperialist record.

But in the past decade he has shown softness on right-populism, and some of his followers follow in the same vein and to be treated with caution.

There are political debates to be had with the Workers Party about social conservatism and backwardness on questions involving immigration and oppression, including sexual oppression of various types.

However, Galloway’s views cannot be taken to represent the final word about the Workers Party and its politics. There are signs of it being a more inclusive project than that. 

Galloway himself has appeared to welcome the idea of prominent figures with different views joining with him. If that were to happen, then it could become a real vehicle for political advance.

Williamson, Craig Murray and Halima Khan appear to give substance to that.

Possibly the most prominent independent socialist campaign in London, barring Corbyn, is Andrew Feinstein in Holborn and St Pancras constituency, against Starmer himself.

He is a Jewish former member of the South African Parliament for the African National Congress. He is an outspoken defender of the Palestinians and supporter of South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the ICJ.

He was selected by OCISA (Organise Corbyn-Inspired Socialist Alliance), a left-Corbynite campaign group set up a couple of years ago with the aim of standing a socialist candidate against Keir Starmer.

Labour sees that as threatening politically, which is perhaps why a ‘left’-talking independent candidate, who appears to have family connections with the Labour right wing, is running in that constituency seemingly to split the left-wing opposition to Starmer.

Leanne Mohammad, a British-Palestinian Palestine solidarity activist, is challenging Wes Streeting is in Ilford North. Streeting can be considered an Israeli agent – and he evangelises for private healthcare. His defeat would be a major blow to the Zionists and neoliberals.

There are also the celebrated Liverpool Community Independents, who are standing Sam Gorst against arch-witchhunter Maria Eagle in Liverpool Garston.

They are now standing under the banner of Transform, another new leftist party that is partly the product of ex-Corbynites, notably the very youthful Breakthrough Party, which merged with the remnants of Left Unity as well as the Liverpool Independents last year.

Transform appears heterogenous; it has ‘socialist’ elements who are flatly on the wrong side in Ukraine, mixed with others with better views.

TUSC, which is basically a front for the Socialist Party, is standing in this election.

Its left-reformist sectarian caricature of Marxism makes it appear bureaucratic and sterile, but it does stand for some basic working class demands for trade unions, against privatisation, imperialist wars etc., so it is worthy of critical support in principle.

Though its habit of standing against other leftists gratuitously is part of what renders it sterile.

It does appear they might have a candidate standing under their ticket from the Spartacist League. That is an interesting anomaly. And also critically supportable.

The new Revolutionary Communist Party, formerly the labour entrist Socialist Appeal, that also has its origins in Militant is also standing on politics that appear critically supportable. It appears more political and open to debate.

What is necessary above all is a perspective that seeks to unite all of these fragmented initiatives in a new, democratically organised party, where proper political debates are possible, and thereby unity in action, so that political and programmatic development in a revolutionary direction comes onto the agenda.

A Vote for Starmer’s Labour is a vote for Zionist Genocide and Nazism in Ukraine!

Vote for independent socialists/Workers Party/Transform/TUSC/RCP!

For a Unified Democratic Anti-Imperialist Working-Class Party – No Zionists Allowed!

Rafah: Zionist massacre of refugees in tents with deadly airstrikes, May 26. This resulted in Palestinian newborns being decapitated, highlighting the barbarism of the Zionists, who lied about Hamas doing that on 7th Oct, precisely to incite this genocide.
 

In this general election, there is no major party deserving of the support, even critically, of class-conscious workers, socialists, anti-racists and fighters against oppression. The Tories and Liberal Democrats are the open parties of the ruling class, and it is elementary that no class-conscious element could even consider supporting them for a moment. In the last decade and a half working class people have had all out war conducted against them and their living standards by these parties – first in coalition, and then since 2015 the Tories alone. But today’s Labour Party, led by Kier Starmer, was forged through a massive, reactionary hammering of the left that led the Labour Party from 2015-20 under Jeremy Corbyn, that Labour Party itself is standing in this election as the continuity of the Tories, and garnering support from dissident Tories even as it continues to crush the Labour left.Not only that, but on the overarching, litmus test issue of elementary political decency and even basic humanity, it has been clear for several years that the Starmer leadership supports genocidal Israel, root and branch, and is dominated by genocidal Zionists. The bloody massacre in Rafah, the culmination of more than seven months of genocidal slaughter in Gaza, only underlines what Starmer stands for. The entire scam ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign that was waged by the neoliberal right wing against the left during the Corbyn period, was driven by the palpable realisation by those forces that a genocide of the Palestinian people was in the offing, and politics had to purged as much as possible of any reservoirs of support and sympathy for Palestinian rights. The Corbyn movement was seen as a huge threat and reservoir of such sympathy, dangerous to the Zionist project. It was always genocidal in its ultimate logic.

The Starmer leadership is a reversion, and then more, to the politics of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and the 1997-2010 neoliberal New Labour governments, which followed in the footsteps of Thatcher/Major’s earlier Tory governments and engaged in massive privatisation and repression of trade unions, supposedly to revive British capitalism’s economic fortunes after the major crisis of the 1970s. That government, like the Tories, demanded austerity to make the working class pay for the world financial crisis of the late noughties, a crisis of speculation, massive financial corruption and forms of profit that amounted to extortion and theft. Austerity was a device to make the working class pay for the bailout of the banks that prevented the collapse of the system that this crisis threatened.

New Labour and Austerity vs Corbynism

Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn

In the past decade and a half, we have seen major austerity attacks on workers’ living standards, on the NHS and other public services that constitute a key part of the ‘social wage’ of the working class. Social security benefits have been massively reduced and restricted, and disabled workers demonised by the profiteering billionaire media. The NHS has been plundered and massively slimmed down. This process began under the Tory-Liberal coalition of the early 2010s and has further considerably increased under the increasingly squalid and openly corrupt Tory-populist regimes in Britain since 2019. Under their tutelage, the NHS is now in a deliberately-engineered major crisis, and is visibly failing most of those who need it in some way.  This is the logic of neoliberalism, and the Labour right will not tolerate any serious opposition to it – they agree with the Tories on the fundamentals and are viscerally hostile to the aims of the labour movement.

Though the Tories actually implemented austerity since 2010, as the New Labour government had run out of steam through its own attacks on the working class at home and its imperialist wars abroad, notably in Iraq, the Labour Party throughout this period, except under Corbyn, accepted austerity and the Tory cuts, merely whinging under Ed Miliband’s soft left leadership that the Tories were going “too far, too fast” with such attacks. The neoliberal right-wing fought back by all means at their disposal against the break with austerity, imperialist wars abroad, and support for Zionism, that Corbyn’s leadership represented, from the moment it became clear in mid-2015 that Corbyn had the mass support to win the Labour leadership.

 That was what drove the demolition job on Corbyn’s leadership though the ‘anti-Semitism’ scam. The entire neoliberal right in Labour was horrified by the near victory of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 General Election, when Theresa May’s majority was destroyed. It appears that only the sabotage of the Labour right – in particularly the funnelling of campaign funds away from key marginals to safe Labour seats inhabited by Labour Zionists – deprived Labour of being the largest party in that election. But the televised, visible shock on the faces of neoliberal Labour ‘friends of Israel’ like Jess Phillips and Stephen Kinnock when May was predicted, by “Exit Polls”, to lose her majority, was a widely remarked upon public spectacle.

In the two years between the 2017 and 2019 elections, Starmer’s cynical manipulation of the issue of a second Brexit referendum aimed at securing a victory for the corrupt Trumpian thug Boris Johnson in 2019, which it duly did. This was another key element of their counter-attack, in addition to the ‘anti-Semitism’ scam, which did not work particularly well in 2017, and needed reinforcement. Starmer never cared particularly about Brexit either way, as revealed by his flag-shagging and pandering to Brexit voting xenophobes ever since. But he revealed his key motivation clearly when standing for Labour leader in 2020 after the destruction of Corbyn’s leadership, when he said that he supported Zionism ‘without qualification’.

Corbyn showed chronic weakness in confronting the ‘anti-Semitism’ scam/witchhunt, repeatedly throwing his most outspoken supporters to the Zionist wolves, and also suicidally allowed Starmer control of Brexit policy after 2017. The actions of Starmer as the standard-bearer of the neoliberal/Zionist thugs ever since, show the character of Starmer’s regime very clearly. He has massively purged the Labour Party of anyone showing any sympathy for Palestine. And within the workers movement, basic decency for Palestine generally coincides with basic socialist views on many other things, like opposition to privatisation, attacks on the NHS, anti-union repression, racism more generally.

Starmer and Israel’s Genocide

Whereas support for Zionism reflects socially and politically reactionary views more generally – Israel is now the cause celebre of the bulk of the far right, with very few dissenters. What Starmer has been doing, systematically for the entire period of his leadership, is using phoney allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ to purge socialist-inclined people generally from Labour. His whole strategy in this election is not to appeal to the working class on any kind of class basis whatsoever, but to prove that Labour has ‘changed’ from the days of Corbyn’s leadership when it did push basic working class demands, that it is in no way habitable for socialists, but very habitable for Tories alienated by the open corruption of Sunak, Truss, Johnson et all, but still hostile to the working class movement.

Starmer welcomes into Labour’s ranks right-wing Tory defectors – overtly xenophobic, racist types like Natalie Elphicke, while at the same time Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbot were deprived of the Labour whip for years based on phoney accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’. Where he is coming from on this is shown by his attitude when the genocidal Zionist assault on Gaza began after the October 7th Hamas-led Gaza prison break and raid on the IDF nearby. On October 8th the racist monster Israeli ‘defence’ minister Yoav Gallant, now facing indictment from the International Criminal Court for, among other things, ‘extermination’ of the Palestinian people, made his Hitlerian speech saying that the inhabitants of Gaza are “human animals” who should be allowed “no electricity, no food, no water, no gas”. For the Zionists, Palestinian civilians of all ages should be starved to death and die of dehydration, even babies in incubators should be left to die, as well as being bombed to death. All these things have happened many times over. Yet when Starmer the genocidaire (a.k.a. “Der Stűrmer”) was interviewed shortly after Gallant’s speech by Nick Ferrari on LBC, he defended Israel’s “right” to carry out these genocidal measures against the Palestinian people.

This openly genocidal affirmation by Starmer detonated a major explosion in Labour’s base and ranks and led to a major exodus of outraged members, particularly from Muslim-derived working-class communities, and numerous defections of councillors from Labour all over the country. There is already a substantial layer of independent socialist councillors around the country, many of whom successfully defended their seats in the council elections on May 4th. Starmer has the party’s internal life sewn up, dissent is ruthlessly punished, and internal party elections are shamelessly rigged by the central apparatus overseen by the ultra-corrupt and anti-democratic General Secretary David Evans, who long held that there was too much democracy in Labour, which is why Starmer appointed him in the first place. So, there is no reason for Labour dissenters not to go public, attack the corrupt Zionist vermin, and seek to punish them electorally.

This was further exacerbated by a major parliamentary scandal in February when the Scottish National Party put a parliamentary motion demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the ‘collective punishment’ of the Palestinian people. A permanent ceasefire in Gaza would signify an Israeli defeat, which is why the Starmer leadership is utterly opposed to it, no matter what ‘adjustments’ it makes to its rhetoric for cosmetic purposes. So Starmer colluded with the speaker of the House of Commons, Hoyle, who like Starmer is a “Labour Friend of Israel” to allow, contrary to elementary parliamentary procedure, a Labour amendment to gut the SNP motion of its most important demands.

This is contrary to democracy and parliamentary procedure; only the government is traditionally allowed to try to amend opposition parties’ motions like this. The purpose being to ensure that larger opposition parties cannot squash smaller ones, and that the motions of all opposition parties are allowed to be voted for and against in contention with the views of the government.  It was a major scandal and an abuse of democracy comparable to Boris Johnson’s unlawful proroguing of parliament in August 2019, and showed that Starmer the Zionist was quite prepared to abuse basic democratic norms not only within the Labour Party, but also in wider politics, in a manner usually associated with the far right. It is another reason why it is not in the interest of the working-class movement to allow the genocidaire Starmer to become Prime Minister. We should not be in the business of electing ‘Labour’ leaders who are so zealous about attacking our own democratic rights that even some Tories complain that they have gone too far!

Starmer the Red, or Pink Tory

All of these are clear indications that it is not in the interests of the working class to elect Starmer’s Labour Party. Labour has backpeddled on virtually every residual policy that temporarily survived from the Corbyn period, or which the Starmerites introduced as temporary sops to trade unions, environmental protesters, etc. Starmer stood for Labour leader in 2020 on a programme that superficially appeared to be ‘Corbynism without Corbyn’ but it was clear to many on the left that he was simply lying to get power. Once he gained it these promises were renounced one-by-one and critics were at risk of being purged, as many were. Even the far right Tory Suella Braverman has been able to criticise Labour from the left, after belatedly coming out against the government’s barbaric two-child cap on Child Benefit, which Starmer is now in favour of keeping. Starmer’s Labour has recently had conflicts about its junking of promises to spend £28 billion per year on green investments, and now about its supposed ‘New Deal for Workers’ – all of these things derived from the Corbyn period and are being junked and/or watered down.

Sharon Graham, the General Secretary of UNITE, who is a fake ‘left’ talking character as cynical as Starmer, has been complaining about this backtracking, on questions like abolition of zero-hours contracts, and then has been claiming to have secured some concessions. But the cynical instrumentalisation of such promises and eagerness to junk them to please right-wing voters is what Starmer is all about. Starmer has even attacked successful Labour figures marginally to his left over such things, criticising the Major of London, Sadiq Khan, for not retreating on the ULEZ clean air measures because right-wing London Tories objected. Khan, who is a feeble soft left and usually servile to the right wing and Zionists, in this case ignored Starmer and won a substantially increased majority in the May 4th Mayoral Election in London.

It looks likely that Labour will win the general election, not because of any appeal it is putting forward to workers as a class – it is shunning that as detailed above – but simply because of the advanced state of decay and near-collapse of the Tories. It is not in the interests of the labour movement to have this anti-democratic, second-string Tory leadership gain a substantial overall majority in the General Election. Ideally, what we want is a hung parliament with no overall Zionist-Labour or Tory majority and a significant number of left-wing independents and left-wing socialists to get elected and lay the basis for the emergence of a new, genuine working-class party.

As detailed, there are numerous independents around the country standing against Labour, as well as several left-of-labour political organisations standing. The most prominent is Jeremy Corbyn himself, the former Labour leader, who has been Labour MP for Islington North since 1983. His exclusion from Labour, when he was the leader of a massive popular movement against austerity, racism and imperialist war, symbolises why Marxists should not be supporting the Starmerites in the election. There are hundreds of thousands of people loyal to Corbyn’s leadership who have been impatiently waiting for Corbyn to take the final step and defy Starmer in the election. Diane Abbot, the first black woman MP to be elected, who has represented Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987, is in a similar position, deprived of the Labour whip on the basis of phoney allegations of anti-Semitism, made by genocidaires. She is very unlikely to get the whip back, and hopefully will feel compelled to follow Corbyn on this, though this is not completely clear.

Huge numbers of former Corbyn supporters, likely hundreds of thousands, are so angered by the cynicism of these exclusions that they would not countenance a vote for the ‘Red Tory’ Starmer. That is the stance, and it is thoroughly justified, of the most advanced and class-conscious layer of the British working- class movement. The layer that is dedicated to Labour irrespective of whether it stands for full-blooded leftist social democracy or warmed-over Toryism is not the advanced layer of the working class, not its vanguard, but its rearguard. Those who vote Labour knowing that its prospective Health Secretary, Wes Streeting, is not only an arch-Zionist but also an evangel of private healthcare companies, can hardly be said to be sterling defenders of the NHS, for instance. The job of Marxists is to keep step with the most advanced layers of the working class, not to tail after the consciousness of the most backward types, who Starmer is actively seeking to win with his flag-shagging and pandering to Tories.

One important flaw that exists among some ex-Corbynites is a softness on the Green Party as a potential repository of socialist possibilities, or at least a potential protest vote. But the Greens are not a working-class party and are not to be trusted. In Germany, where their Green Party is part of a coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) they are deeply implicated in support for both Israel and Nazi Ukraine. In this country, the sole Green MP up to now, Caroline Lucas, has actually been involved with New Labour and Zionists from other parties in witchhunting critics of Zionism in academia. Lucas signed a cross-party letter calling on Bristol University to discipline David Miller for criticising Jewish student organisation for supressing free speech on Palestine. He was duly sacked, and Miller took the University to an industrial tribunal earlier this year and won his case. It set an important legal precedent, as the judgement stated that Miller’s anti-Zionist views were a protected philosophical belief. No thanks to the Greens and Caroline Lucas! They cannot be trusted, their environmentalism is bourgeois and depends on ‘Green’ capitalism, not socialist planning, which is the only thing that can potentially solve the problem of human-induced climate change. We need a working-class alternative, not an alternative petty bourgeois party that joins in with capitalist reaction at the first opportunity.

Challenges to Zionist New Labour: Critical support.

Leanne Mohammad

It is therefore good that Wes Streeting is being challenged in Ilford North, both for his Zionism – more than almost anyone else in Labour, he can be considered virtually an Israeli agent – and for his private healthcare evangelising. His challenger is Leanne Mohammad, a British-Palestinian Palestine solidarity activist, who has the support of a broader network of former Labour activists in the North/East London environs, such as Redbridge Community Action Group and Newham Independents, who are also intending to stand candidates against Labour in Stratford, and East Ham, against well-known Blairites. Former Labour whistleblower about Zionist lobbying and witchhunts, Halima Khan, is planning to stand in Stratford and Bow, which also sounds supportable.

But possibly the most prominent independent socialist campaign, apart from Corbyn’s, in London is that of Andrew Feinstein in Holborn and St Pancras constituency, where the sitting MP is Keir Starmer himself. Feinstein is a Jewish former member of the South African Parliament for the African National Congress, who resigned decades ago in a conflict with former South African President Thabo Mbeki about shady arms deals. He is an outspoken defender of the Palestinians, a supporter of South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the ICJ, a critic of Starmer’s right wing politics and was a strong supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. He was selected by OCISA (Organise Corbyn-Inspired Socialist Alliance), a left-Corbynite campaign group set up a couple of years ago with the aim of standing a socialist candidate against Keir Starmer in the General Election. He has lived in that constituency for over 20 years.  Informally he was the favourite for much of that period, though he was always vague about whether he would actually stand, as he retained Labour membership. But now that the election is upon us, he has publicly resigned from Labour and taken up his position. His candidacy is certainly supportable, but critically, as like so many of the prominent lefts, when questioned about October 7th, he echoes an element of imperialist propaganda, and condemns the ‘atrocities’ committed by Hamas as a preamble to a fierce attack on Israel for genocide.

Andrew Feinstein

It is by no means clear that Hamas did commit atrocities. The stories of ’40 beheaded babies’ and mass rape have been shown to be fabrications by the Zionists to justify their genocidal programme. Out of the 1,143 who Israel say were killed on October 7th, a breakout from the world’s biggest concentration camp, over 371 of them were state and military personnel and thereby legitimate targets of military resistance. It is well known by now that many of the civilian deaths were killed by Israel’s own armed forces, because of the Hannibal Directive, a standard Israeli practice where they kill their own side rather than allow them to be taken prisoner by an enemy. There is also the fact that once Hamas had broken through the Gaza fence, numerous other angry prisoners (all Gaza inhabitants are prisoners and have been since Israel began its siege in 2007) broke through and some vented their undisciplined rage on Israelis indiscriminately. They were not Hamas people. Hamas’ objective was to seize hostages to be traded for the many Palestinians Israel has been arbitrarily holding, torturing and abusing for many years.  As Scott Ritter pointed out, the most that Hamas can be accused of is failing to leave a rear-guard to protect their operation, and the gaps in the fence, from angry, riotous elements not under their discipline. But large-scale killings by Hamas make no sense if the objective was to take prisoners for later exchange. The ‘atrocity’ stories against Hamas make no sense and are just pro-genocide propaganda.

Of course, moralists can condemn the taking of hostages itself as an ‘atrocity’. But in the context of decades of Israeli racist ‘administrative detention’ of many thousands of Palestinians without charges, who are often subjected to torture and murder, hostage exchange is a rational policy from the point of view of the workers movement. We can point out that the 1871 Paris Commune, the first workers government in history, took hostages when its people were seized by reaction and threatened with death. As Wikipedia points out:

“In April, the Commune had arrested some 200 clergy to serve as hostages against reprisals from the Versailles government, and to use in possible prisoner exchanges. In particular, leaders of the Commune hoped to be able to exchange the archbishop of Paris, Georges Darboy, for Louis Auguste Blanqui, but this offer was rebuffed by Adolphe Thiers, president of the Third Republic. Versailles troops entered the city on 21 May, and by 24 May had retaken much of the city. Théophile Ferré signed an order of execution for six of the hostages at la Roquette Prison, specifically including the archbishop; they were executed by firing squad.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_in_the_Rue_Haxo

To try to save the lives of fighters against oppression, in circumstances of civil war and conflict, taking hostages is a valid tactic of those fighting against oppression.

Andrew Feinstein is part of a bloc of left candidates called ‘Collective’ which also includes Corbyn. The bloc seems to be an outgrowth of Corbyn’s Peace and Justice project, which is a Corbyn-centred protest movement that overlaps Labour, which eschewed the idea of founding a new party.  One of the two directors of this bloc, Justin Schlosberg, describes himself as a ‘progressive Zionist’. His wife, Chloe Schlosberg, is the director of Peace and Justice. There is a distinct element of déjà vu over this, as Momentum, the ‘grass-roots’ ginger-group that was founded to support Corbyn during his period as leader, was also led by a ‘progressive Zionist’ -so-called, Jon Lansman, who was involved in throwing  many anti-Zionist activists under the bus and out of the party during Corbyn’s leadership. True to form, Justin Schlosberg recently denounced anti-Zionist stalwart David Miller as a “psyop” against the left. The root causes of this phenomenon are in the politics of Corbyn, who at the height of the witchhunt explicitly spelled out his conception that both Zionists and anti-Zionists should be regarded as legitimate trends within Labour. This was pathetic then, as political Zionism in its logic was always a genocidal movement, with ethnic cleansing, the ante-chamber of genocide, build into its very foundation. In today’s circumstances, right in the middle of the Zionist holocaust in Gaza, it is incredibly dangerous and simply grotesque.

This does go a long way to explaining why Corbyn has taken so long to finally declare his independent candidacy and has been so insipid in his opposition to Starmer. He needs to be challenged on this, to break with these apologists for a genocidal movement. Schlosberg’s activities, just as were Lansman’s, are a trap for the left, and need to be expunged. In this regard, Corbyn’s campaign does include elements of working class politics, and should be given critical support against Starmer, with the criticism sharply directed against this political idiocy. Leftist elements like Andrew Feinstein should be on guard against the likes of Schlosberg trying to exploit their campaign and undermine its opposition to Zionism. We need no Zionists or ‘friends of Israel’ in any new left party.

Such an approach should also be applied to other left social-democratic candidates, from TUSC, Transform, the newly formed Revolutionary Communist Party led by Alan Woods (formerly the Labour deep entrist Socialist Appeal), and other working-class candidates who are standing against Labour and opposing their ‘own’ imperialism’s support for genocidal Israel. Similar critical support is principled. 

Craig Murray

There are left-wing candidates across the North of England as well, notably Workers Party MP George Galloway in Rochdale, who is seeking re-election after his recent by-election victory, former UK Ambassador and strong Julian Assange defender Craig Murray in Blackburn (who may well win also), Chris Williamson, the former very left-wing Labour MP and Deputy Leader of the Workers Party, who is standing in Derby South, adjacent to his previous Derby North Seat when he was a Labour MP.  There are also the celebrated Liverpool Community Independents, who are standing Sam Gorst against arch-witchhunter Maria Eagle in the new Liverpool Garston constituency.

They are now standing under the banner of Transform, another new leftist party that is partly the product of ex-Corbynites, notably the very youthful Breakthrough Party, which merged with the remnants of Left Unity as well as the Liverpool Independents last year. That party is very heterogenous and contains some elements who are unfortunately backward and profoundly wrong on Ukraine, supporting the wrong side, implicitly supporting the imperialists’ proxy war in the name of fighting a (non-existent) ‘Russian imperialism’. Support for Ukraine is a far right, imperialist project, whatever some muddleheaded liberal lefts might delude themselves. So, it would be wise to keep a careful eye on who local candidates are regarding Transform and judge each one carefully before deciding whether to vote for them.

George Galloway’s Workers Party is very heterogeneous and though GG has huge authority within it, it cannot be taken to be simply a reflection of his views. Galloway is a contradictory figure whose political views on the Middle East and also Ukraine have put him firmly on the right side of the class line on some major issues. He is a sterling supporter of the Palestinians who has led major initiatives to oppose imperialist crimes, such as the Mariam Appeal for aid to Iraq under genocidal imperialist sanctions, and Viva Palestina aid convoys after Israel’s first major Gaza bombing massacre, Operation Cast Lead in 2009. His detractors on these questions are generally Zionist scumbags.

But, particularly since he was brutally beaten by a Zionist thug for his views in August 2014, and was then betrayed by the bulk of the ‘democratic’ body politic and the social-democratic left, who refused to publicly condemn the attack in deference to the Zionist lobby, he has become partially demoralised and alienated from the left, expressing contradictory softness and sympathy with aspects of right-wing populism, Trumpism, Brexit and the like. Some of those he has associated himself with have been very right-wing indeed. His attempt to launch a Russia-defencist anti-war movement over Ukraine,      No2NATONo2War, was crippled by his major mistake in trying to draw in the slippery crypto-fascist David Clews of Unity News Network as a public spokesman, which completely undercut its potential to make inroads into the labour movement. It was a gift to the social-imperialist supporters of Nazi Ukraine. The Workers Policy has a self-image as being partly nationalist (its cog-wheel roundel emblem in red, white and blue echoes the insignia of the Royal Air Force in WWII).

George Galloway

As well as good positions on many things involving opposing imperialist war, the WP is not necessarily so good on matters concerning immigration. Galloway is personally socially conservative on questions regarding abortion, and though his record on defending gay rights is historically very good, recently he has become more conservative at least in some of his personal musings. And on climate change, some of the WP’s criticisms of Net Zero appear to dovetail with climate change denial. It is a good idea to consider a vote for the Workers Party in this context – they are intending to stand in many constituencies around the country, but such a vote should be extremely critical as it is quite a contradictory and heterogenous organisation. Some right-wing anti-immigrant types have reportedly crept in in some places, so like with Transform, it is wise to examine such candidates carefully to see what their real politics are before blithely putting a cross on a ballot paper.

For a Genuine Workers Party!

All these initiatives are very partial, and some of them are very seriously flawed. But they are where the working class movement is at after several decades of defeats, and what ultimately proved to be a false dawn under Corbyn’s Labour leadership, although a fruitful one that has radicalised a considerable layer of left social democratic militants, who are capable of providing the forces to create a new, genuine workers party in Britain, if a correct tactical approach can be made to them.

What is necessary above all is a perspective that seeks to unite all of these fragmented initiatives in a new, democratically-organised party, where proper political debates are possible, and thereby unity in action, so that political and programmatic development in a revolutionary direction comes onto the agenda. Of course, such a party will have no room for ‘Friends of Israel’ and the like.  Our work in the Socialist Labour Network is aimed at making that relatively small but influential organisation into a vehicle to promote such democratic unification of the anti-neoliberal, anti-Starmer left. We need an organisation that can act as a principled unifying force, and the Consistent Democrats themselves are too small, too weak and too new to become such a body on our own. We hope that the SLN can play an important role as a ‘cog’ in bringing such a party into being. It is unlikely to just happen ‘like that’ during the General Election, but in the aftermath, when we are likely faced with a weak, but very right-wing pink-Tory government, but with a working-class base that is likely to be at odds with it from the start, the opportunities to make progress in that direction should be considerably greater.

Debate on the Left: No Vote for Zionist New Labour!

Spartacists v CPGB/Weekly Worker

The 9th May article in the Weekly Worker on the online debate between the Spartacist League and the CPGB, Debating with Oehlerites (https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1490/debating-with-oehlerites/) , shows nothing so much as the rightward political evolution of the CPGB, as well as some contradictory and problematic aspects of the political evolution of the Spartacist tendency since the death of their founder-leader James Robertson in 2018. The WW polemic against today’s reformed Spartacists as ‘Ohlerites’ (akin to Hugo Ohler, a sectarian critic of the Trotskyist movement in the 1930s) is frankly absurd, as it has not been demonstrated that faced with a genuinely leftward moving opportunity in the Labour Party, such as actually existed in the recent past with the Corbyn movement, today’s Spartacist League would simply abstain and refuse to intervene.

Seems reasonable to us…

James Robertson, the US American leader of the Spartacists, died (aged over 90) right in the middle of Corbyn’s leadership, and even before his death the Spartacists were politically paralysed and engaging in an agonised and confused political soul-searching about aspects of his legacy. Particularly involving allegations of chauvinism against oppressed peoples, which just before his death were unconvincingly blamed on Joseph Seymour, one of his senior lieutenants, excusing Robertson himself. During the Corbyn project, the ‘new’ Spartacists did not yet exist, and it appears that the old group went into a state of political collapse and only re-emerged, in a somewhat contradictory and less-than-fully rational manner, in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. That could be subject of another exploration, but it is not relevant here.

The point is that the SL’s involvement in TUSC is itself evidently proof that they are not Ohlerites. TUSC is itself a left-social democratic project – ‘Ohlerites’ would treat involvement in it as a heresy. Evidently the SL today see involvement in social democratic organisations as a valid tactic, their disagreement with the CPGB appears to be about which social-democratic trend to conduct political work within. In our view they are mistaken to see TUSC as the optimum milieu to conduct communist political work within today, as it is a project that, though it gets some semi-respectable votes in a few places, stands a lot of merely paper candidates that routinely get derisory votes and have done for many years.

Ridiculous CPGB polemic in favour of kissing the arse of genocidare “Sir Keir”.

It is a sterile project, dominated by what Mike MacNair accurately terms “sectarian purity politics combined with sub-reformism”. Without the RMT and the CPB, TUSC has long been a Socialist Party ‘front’ – and their sectarian boorishness and sub-reformism makes it deeply unappealing to those radicalised by the genocide in Gaza. Their policy statements on Gaza are very vague and bland, limited to ‘opposing’ the Israeli ‘war on Gaza’. Behind the scenes, the Socialist Party’s own statement after the October 7th prison break equated the two sides:

“Once again, in this new round of Israel-Palestine conflict, many civilians have already been killed and injured. The leaders of both sides have no hesitation in terrorising civilians whether it be the history of the Israeli state in Lebanon and Gaza or the Hamas leaders in their 7 October offensive. The killing of around 260 young people on Saturday at a ‘rave’ will not bring progress in the fight for liberation but was an attempt to terrorise the Israeli population, which can play into the hands of the ultra-right Israeli government.”

https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/116365/09-10-2023/stop-the-israel-gaza-war-for-workers-unity-and-struggle-against-national-conflict-and-oppression/

More recently, on 15th May, their article titled “Mass workers’ struggle can end slaughter in Gaza” put forward the following key demand as a ‘solution’ to the Palestinian liberation struggle:

“For an independent, socialist Palestinian state, alongside a socialist Israel, with guaranteed rights for all minorities, as part of the struggle for a socialist Middle East

https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/124705/15-05-2024/mass-workers-struggle-can-end-slaughter-in-gaza/

For all its rhetoric, this is a caricature of a socialist programme, as Israel was created through the forcible expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian Arab people of Palestine, who are not a ‘minority’ anywhere, but the overwhelming, legitimate majority over the whole territory of Palestine from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. Such is the conservative bureaucratic politics in TUSC in practice that it is not difficult to confuse these statements on this with that of the British TUC after October 7th, such as:

“We unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas and their targeting of civilians in this recent escalation of violence. Nothing can justify such an attack.”

[…]

“Finally, we reiterate our support for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace that is consistent with international law and is based on a two-state solution, security for both Israel and Palestine, and which promotes equality and respect for human and labour rights.”

https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-statement-israel-and-palestine

The policy of the Socialist Party, the main force (by far) in TUSC, is only a ‘socialist’ phrase or two different from that of the TUC! No wonder TUSC is considerably less inspiring and capable of mobilising struggles against oppression than was the Labour Party in the late 2010s under Corbyn’s leadership!

The Spartacist League of old used to excoriate, and even try to incite Irish Republicans against, anyone who would work with the Socialist Party in the late 1990s/early 2000s Socialist Alliance because their similar ‘both sides’-ism over Ireland meant softness on Ulster loyalism just as today on Zionism. Even though the old SL shared much of the SP’s ‘both sides’-ism over Ireland with their slogan ‘Not Green against Orange but Class against Class’, and their opposition to ‘forcible’ Irish reunification. They disguised that behind virulent sectarian provocations and idiocy, which they thankfully appear to have abandoned.   But TUSC, unlike the Socialist Alliance in the late 1990s/early 2000s, is a sterile SP front.

Entry into TUSC is a mistaken tactic, that quite likely has strategic and opportunist aspects to it. Better to give TUSC a degree of critical support from the outside and try to play a role in cohering something better as we are doing in the Socialist Labour Network. But the Spartacist League are quite right to refuse support for Labour in current circumstances under Starmer’s leadership and there is nothing ‘Ohlerite’ about that refusal.

Bourgeois Workers Parties: Concrete not Abstract

A bourgeois workers party, by its very nature, is a party with a class contradiction built into it, a party with two contradictory class poles, a proletarian element at the base, that may coexist with other elements, either oppressed groups that are not purely proletarian in composition, or elements of the petty-bourgeoisie who also make up part of the base of the party. And the other pole is the labour bureaucracy, initially connected to the bureaucracy of mass trade unions, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

As well as a pro-capitalist labour bureaucracy element, Labour also has an extensive political bureaucracy which has considerable autonomy in dealing with other sections of society, particularly elements of the ruling class. With the de-industrialisation and financialisation of imperialist countries such as Britain under the neoliberal paradigm since the 1970s, we also see that this semi-autonomous political bureaucratic element can grow and become complicit with elements of financial, as opposed to industrial, capital, and wander a long way from the traditional politics of the right-wing of the trade union bureaucracy.  Thus, we see Blairism, Starmerism, and the growth of neoconservative bourgeois politics in Labour, and not least an expanded role for Zionism.

As a bourgeois workers party, sometimes the proletarian pole within Labour is capable of fighting back, and in such periods critical support and entryism is appropriate, as in the Corbyn period. We in the Consistent Democrats, the main British Group affiliated to the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International, were then in Socialist Fight, which did engage in work within the Labour Party in that crucial period. If that opportunity arose again, we would do the same, though in current conditions that is unlikely. But it is difficult to call us ‘Ohlerites’ particularly given our work in the Socialist Labour Network, which is in part the continuity of Labour Against the Witchhunt (also the former Labour-In-Exile Network) and which organises a significant layer of the most advanced ex-Labour militants. We were pivotal in changing the policy of the SLN from one of neutrality in the war in Ukraine to one of critically supporting the struggle of the people of the Donbass, and the Russian side, against NATO’s Nazi proxy war.

In a period where the proletarian pole of Labour is driven back by the right-wing, and particularly today’s neoliberal, massively corrupt and bribed neoliberal/Blairite right-wing, in hock to Thatcherite privatisation, Zionism and the Israeli attempt to exterminate the people of Gaza, the Spartacist League are quite correct to agitate against voting for Starmer on the mass Palestine demonstrations. We would critically support that. Our criticism is that some of the literature the SL has put out about Gaza and October 7th has shown too much of a tendency to accept the demonisation of Hamas, who it is clear did not seek mass civilian casualties, as Scott Ritter correctly noted. We are also sharply critical of their failure to take sides with Russia and the people of Donbass in the current Ukrainian proxy war, which is another crucially important anti-imperialist struggle.

Not only are the SL absurdly characterised as ‘Ohlerites’. McNair is also quoted as arguing for:

“…fighting for working class unity requires the pursuit of the united front – including from above with rightwing leaders of the labour movement. We do not simply regard them as ‘social fascists’: ie, as untouchables. The SL’s claim that voting Labour is crossing class lines, or to vote for anybody who would back a Starmer government crosses class lines, argued comrade Macnair, is what Leon Trotsky dismissed as the ‘third period’ theory of Comintern.”

WW, op-cit

Here McNair resorts to Sean Matgamna-style dishonest demagogy.  “Third period” Stalinism was a cynical, bureaucratic pseudo-ultraleft policy formulated by the Soviet bureaucracy to obscure the Stalin faction’s previous rightist policy of conciliation of capitalism abroad and rich, exploiting peasants (kulaks) at home. These led to the destruction of the 1926-27 Chinese revolution and a 1928 kulak revolt that came close to overthrowing Soviet power. “Third period” Stalinism (1929-33) was not a reflection of the mood of an advanced part of the working class, it was a bureaucratic policy from above to fool the advanced working class. Completely unlike anything today.

If German Social Democracy, hypothetically speaking, had been directly complicit in Hitler’s (coming) genocide of Jews in the way that Starmer’s Zionist Labour Party is complicit in Israel’s  genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza (for which they are rightly hated), then the Stalinist epithet ‘social fascist’ might have had some justification. But in the actual historical situation that was impossible. In fact, the Stalinist bureaucratic policy of the ‘Third Period’ played a major role in sabotaging the united front of the German workers against Hitler’s Nazi movement that actually threatened such a genocide at the time. So, what is MacNair suggesting, that the left should form a ‘united front’ with Der Stűrmer to save the Palestinians from genocide? What the hell?

Starmer made it very clear that he supported Zionism, which now stands utterly exposed as the Nazism of today, “without qualification” as he grabbed for the Labour leadership after stabbing Corbyn in the back. Starmer is himself a genocidal racist, who rose to power in Labour with the support of Political Zionism and the Labour Friends of Israel, Jewish Labour Movement, etc, which as is visible to all now, is the hegemonic, open form of genocidal racism of today, which has the bulk of the imperialist ruling classes dancing to its tune. MacNair’s polemic is a damned insult against all those who suffered from the Zionist filth in Labour!

The polemic goes on. MacNair

“…in his response described the Spartacist position as ‘classic ultra-leftism’ of the sort attacked in Lenin’s Leftwing communism … it mistakes the mood of a section of the advanced part of the class for the mood of the broad masses. Yes, there is hatred of Starmer expressed by hundreds of thousands on Palestine demonstrations, but millions are supporting Labour in elections. They are not doing so under the illusion that Labour will bring socialism, or that it defends the fully independent interests of the working class. The illusion is that Labour will partially defend workers’ interests within the frame of the constitution and the nation.”

WW op-cit

CPGB support for Starmer: Another Capitulation to Zionism

This an example of rightward motion by the CPGB and softness on what Starmer represents politically. Lenin in Left Wing Communism attacked those ultraleft communists who refused on principle to support any candidates in bourgeois elections, and to stand communist candidates in such elections. The WW polemic is bizarre, as the Spartacist League apparently are standing a candidate under the TUSC banner in the upcoming election, and many others of those who oppose voting for Starmer are planning to stand, or support, independent leftist candidates themselves. It seems that for the CPGB, the epithet ‘Ohlerite’ is reserved for those who fail to kiss Starmer’s arse.

 This is shown by their respectful address to Starmer as “Sir Keir” in their coverage when the vernacular of those who have been through the mill of the Zionist witchhhunts in Labour is more often “Der Stűrmer”, “Kid Starver” or sometimes “Keith Stalin”. The absence of socialist or class illusions in Starmer’s Labour is because Starmer’s strategy is to win over alienated Tory voters by appearing to them as a slightly less deranged kind of Tory. That is why he excluded Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott from the parliamentary party, while welcoming in anti-immigrant scum like Natalie Elphicke. That is why Starmer can be opposed from the left by far-right Tory vermin like Suella Braverman (!!) when she called for an end to the two-child cap on child benefit, which Kid Starver is pledged to carry on with. That is why Starmer wraps his party up with the Union Jack to the point that his flag-shagging has become a sick joke and the object of hatred by those targeted by the far right.

But even more so, there is the overt Zionism of the Labour Party. In an earlier period, when Tony Blair was rising to become prime minister, and for the whole of the Blair/Brown government’s 13 years in power, the CPGB made a point about not calling for a vote to New Labour. They strongly opposed supporting New Labour in the 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2010 General Elections, because of new Labour’s overt Thatcherism, which was not some obscure point of doctrine but the whole basis of its attempt to win over Tory voters. They correctly opposed this because of what they called the “De-Labourisation of Labour”.  Now they call for votes for Starmer’s Labour and denounce as ‘Ohlerities’ those who refuse to snap to attention and vote for ‘Sir Keir’.

This is an index of their political softness on Zionism. The CPGB grandstands that

“Of course, the Spartacist League was nowhere to be seen in the 2015‑20 class war which raged inside the Labour Party. The CPGB, by contrast, through Labour Party Marxists, played a leading role in Labour Against the Witchhunt.”

WW op-cit

But their role was not so creditable as their braggadocio pretends. It would be justifiable to say that the CPGB turned Labour Against the Witchhunt, as originally conceived, into something that could justly be called Labour Against the Witchhunt (sic!). Under their stewardship, Labour Against the Witchhunt had its own witchhunts, some of which achieved national publicity, against those who were too consistent in their anti-Zionism, and analysed the material roots of the power of the Zionist lobby in Marxist terms.

Such as Socialist Fight, our political forerunner. who for our Marxist analysis of the Jewish question today were thrown out of Labour Against the Witchhunt by the CPGB and its then allies. Our comrade Gerry Downing was thrown out of the Labour Party after being denounced as a supposed ‘terrorist’ supporter by David Cameron and was then subjected to a prolonged witchhunt for supposed ‘anti-Semitism’ for referring to facts about the social weight of Zionist Jews in the ruling class, which are increasingly obvious today as one of the key driving forces of Western support for genocide and also repression in the imperialist countries against the pro-Palestine, anti-genocide student movement.

The CPGB originally lost the vote when the motion to purge SF was put to the meeting of LAW in December 2017, and SF stayed in. So WW declared a national mobilisation to throw us out, which they duly did, at an enlarged meeting in January 2018 where they ‘won’ by approximately two to one, having mobilised pro-imperialist pseudo-lefts like the supporters of Socialist Resistance, the British USFI group (now known as Anti-Capitalist Resistance), who are known for their support for the US/UK invasion of Libya in 2011, the reactionary US/Israel-sponsored jihadist war to overthrow Assad in Syria (which was foiled by Russia and Hizbullah), and now the NATO imperialist Nazi proxy war in Ukraine.

If you choose to block with such elements, it is purely accidental if you get a majority for a purge.  But a pro-Zionist, pro-imperialist witchhunt is what it was, and the rightward motion of the CPGB is shown today by their cynical deployment of the language of the Trotskyist movement against people who oppose their political softness on Starmer.

There is nothing orthodox Marxist or owing to the early Congresses of the revolutionary Comintern about the CPGB’s critique of the Spartacist League, as they claim. The CPGB reject the Comintern and the Russian Revolution itself as models for revolutionaries to seek to emulate.  As MacNair’s writings reveal, they prefer the politics of pre-1914 Karl Kautsky, the centrism that laid the basis for the destruction of the Second International and the necessity for a third. Their softness on Starmer and his genocidal Zionist Labour Party has deep roots in their own affinity for reformism and their fealty to the political method of Hal Draper, the ‘third camp’ theorist of later forms of pro-imperialist social democracy that have given the false impression that the Zionist neoconservatives had something to do with the Trotskyist movement.

They do not, but the politics of the CPGB and the Alliance for Workers Liberty, who the CPGB tried to fuse with in the early 2000s, have also a common root in the politics of Hal Draper, one of whose earliest tracts, titled How to defend Israel (https://www.marxists.org/archive/draper/1948/07/israel.htm) put a ‘socalist’ gloss on the Nakba of the Palestinians. Ironically, to a degree the Spartacists under Robertson’s also had roots in Shachtmanism, which seriously flawed their own politics on West Asia. But this debate had a left and a right, and it is useful for the left and political clarity to get a proper view and orientation of what the protagonists represent.