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.

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