UPDATE: Since this was written, Dawn Butler has capitulated to the Zionists, signing up for a Jewish Labour Movement statement that is just as bad as that of the Board of Deputies. So this is out of date: we are no longer calling for any preference vote to her, only to Richard Burgon.
Reinstate Jo Bird and Mo Azam!
Vote Burgon 1, Butler 2 for Deputy. No Vote To Any of the Blairite/Zionist Stooge Leader Candidates!
(This leaflet was published and distributed by the Trotskyist Faction on 9 February)
The Trotskyist Faction, the revolutionary anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist wing of Socialist Fight, calls for critical support for Richard Burgon as the first choice for Deputy Leader. He at least has defied the demands of the racist Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) to sign their ’10 commandments’, as has the softer left Dawn Butler who deserves a second preference vote. Though he himself has not always stood firm , as when he apologised for saying the simple truth, that Zionism is the “enemy of the Palestinian people”, he at least is defiant now and should be put to the test.
The actions of all the candidates standing for leader in capitulating to the pro-Tory BOD enemies of organised labour, have put the Zionist attack on democratic rights at the top of the political agenda. We say: No vote to Long-Bailey, Starmer, Thornberry and Nandy. All of these candidates, from the overt neoliberalism of Starmer to the Corbyn continuity of Long-Bailey, have sold themselves and Labour to the class enemy by signing up to the BOD’s agenda, that of organised anti-Arab racists who applauded the massacre of Palestinian civil rights marchers in Gaza and seek the wholesale expulsion of Palestine supporters from Labour.
The capitulation of Corbyn and the Labour left in the period before the election laid the basis for these attacks. For all the feverish desperation of the official ‘lefts’, it is not clear than Long-Bailey is even in a position to win, so much has the left been undermined. One very good reason why she most likely will not is that her leftism, her talk of Open Selection and democratic reform of Labour is completely contradicted by her signing the Zionists’ pledges, to destroy the democratic rights of Labour members on behalf of the Israeli state. Thus her candidacy and her left-wing promises are just not believable; she like the others standing against her, have already sold Labour to a very important part of the ruling class. The likely result of her treachery is to let in Starmer.
The labour movement should regard the BOD and other Zionist cheerleaders for racist massacres and ethnic cleansing of Arab civilians as roughly equivalent to Neo-Nazis trying to dictate to the working class. We would not have tolerated Nazis when Jews were persecuted telling the left we had ‘no right’ to stand up for Jews. Well we should no more tolerate viciously racist bourgeois Jewish-Zionist organisations dictating to us about Palestine and banning criticism of their totalitarian racism today. They need to be very publicly declared persona non-grata to the whole labour movement. Support for Israel should be anathema in every labour movement body, just as much as support for Nazi racism.
The suspension of Jo Bird and Mohammad Azam in the NEC election is racist-ballot rigging, pure and simple. Of course we demand their immediate reinstatement, but it has to be said that capitulation of the vast bulk of the Labour and Trade Union bureaucracy, including much of the ‘left’, to the Zionist takeover of the Labour Party has made that very unlikely today. The blatant racism of the suspensions is breathtaking: Jo Bird is Jewish but in this reactionary climate she has already been accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ once, a smear akin to accusations of ‘anti-white racism’ from neo-Nazis and the like. And the motive for purging Azam is equally transparent, as they don’t want people of Asian/Muslim background, particularly leftist ones, on leading committees as they cannot be relied on to vote for Israeli racism.
Pam Bromley, a left-wing councillor who has just been expelled herself, reported that 11.400 members have been recently expelled. That is an incredible number purged and there must be a risk to the right-wing and the Zionists that if they became organised, they could become a substantial political force.
We need a political lifeboat for the many Labour members who are in the process of being purged, or leaving in disgust. There needs to be created a principled bloc of socialists on the basis of the principle of freedom of criticism and debate, and unity in action, to build a broadly left-wing movement that can organise both pro-socialist militants within the Labour Party, and outside it. Given the totalitarian climate that currently exists within the Labour Party, there may even have to be a degree of clandestinity about the way it organises. Such a body must have a revolutionary component to act as the yeast to bring into being a genuinely anti-capitalist party, a party that can fight for socialism and which realises that capitalism in decline is making a serious struggle for social reforms impossible within the existing social and political system.
We Trotskyists stand on a transitional programme whose purpose is to act as a bridge between the felt needs of working class people today and the destruction of capitalism. But a felt need of today is for a political movement, a party, of the working class that can enforce class independence against the Zionists and the mendacious neoliberal media machine, which has effectively hollowed out and abolished in practice even much of the limited democracy that exists under capitalism. That party cannot be just declared, it must be fought for and built by a regroupment of forces currently within and without the Labour Party, not on the basis of trying to repeat the errors of the Labour left, but going beyond Labourism itself, so that a truly mass force, not just a sect or an agglomeration of existing sects, can be crystallised.
Of course that sounds like a tall order today. But with the rapid decline of both capitalism and democracy, and the advancing shadow of environmental and economic catastrophe, nothing can be more urgent.