As the Witch-hunt gathers momentum, Jon Lansman’s Momentum does nothing
As the Witch-hunt gathers momentum, Jon Lansman’s Momentum does nothing
Mike Paling and David Watson are just two of the casualties of McNicol’s
war on free speech
Mike Paling’s Expulsion letter
Resolution on the Witch-hunt
Welcomes the reinstatement of Professor
Emeritus Moshe Machover, who was expelled (‘auto excluded’) from the Labour
Party on 3 October 2017. Professor Machover is Jewish, born in Tel Aviv in
1936, and is the co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organisation which
from the 60s to the 80s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the
illegal occupation of Palestine (see http://www.matzpen.org/arabic/ );
Notes that the Head of Disputes, Sam
Matthews, accused Prof Machover of writing an “apparently antisemitic article” according to the International
Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, and further accused
him of “membership or support for another
political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the
Labour Party’ on the basis of having written articles for them and having
spoken on their platforms.
By this criteria Jeremy Corbyn, who
was a columnist for the Morning Star for 10 years should also be ‘auto-excluded’.
The witch-hunt that the Compliance
Unit and the Disputes Committee are conducting is unacceptable. It is an attack on supporters of Jeremy
Corbyn under the guise of opposing anti-Semitism. It is used almost exclusively against those
on the Left, supporters of the Palestinians and opponents of Zionism.
We note the comment of Jewish comedian,
Alexei Sayle in a Sky TV interview in October 2017 that: ‘most
of the people who have been suspended from the Labour Party for anti-Semitism seem
to have been Jewish.’
It is noticeable that anti-Muslim or
anti-Roma racism doesn’t merit the same concern by the Party apparatus.
vii. No auto-exclusions or expulsions. Everyone has the
right to a fair hearing. All those who
have been auto-excluded must be reinstated.
viii. That the proposed expulsions of Tony Greenstein,
Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and Ken Livingstone should be halted. It is noticeable that two of the above are Jewish
and two are Black anti-racist activists.
We reject the 450 word IHRA definition
of anti-Semitism whose sole purpose is to conflate criticism of Israel and Zionism
with anti-Semitism. We note the Opinion of
Hugh Tomlinson QC that ‘It does not have the clarity which would be
required from such a definition.’ http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/ihra-opinion/#sthash.xHhUS24q.dpbs.
We prefer the simple 21 word definition
of Professor Brian Klug of Oxford University:
a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something
other than what they are.’
The Compliance Unit should be
abolished. All disciplinary action against members should be undertaken by
elected bodies not full time staff.
As the the case of Mike Paling below
demonstrates, the Right is attempting to reverse the victories of the Left at
Party conference by stepping up the witch hunt and ‘auto-excluding’ and
suspending anyone who speaks out on Palestine or is associated with a left group
they disagree with.
Labour Against the Witchhunt
Calthorpe Arms, Grays Inn Road,
Saturday December 2nd
On the very same day that Moshe
Machover was expelled so was Michael Paling.
As his email to Moshe explains, his ‘offence’ was sharing posts which
included articles from Weekly Worker. His timeline is full of posts he has shared, most of them have nothing to do with the CPGB or LPM. He was obviously targeted as an active trade unionist. They
were amongst many such posts that he shared on Facebook. We need to put an end to this McCarthyism.
Why the hell are Labour
Party staff, paid by us, spending their time poring over social media posts of
people in the party and seeing what they are sharing?
David Watson, the Fundraising
Officer in Walthamstow CLP has also been suspended for 18 months now. Stella Creasy, his local MP, takes exception to
anyone speaking out on Palestine in her constituency. The constituency is by all accounts run by her
family like a mafia town.
Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol – it is almost certain that he is working with Britain’s secret state to help destabilise the Labour Party
Meanwhile Jon Lansman and
Momentum’s leadership are like the 3 monkeys – they neither see, say or hear
anything. It is outrageous that Momentum
have done absolutely nothing about
the expulsions or suspensions even though they must know that their purpose has
nothing to do with anti-Semitism and everything to do with weakening the Left. The only point of these witch-hunts is to
weaken the pro-Corbyn left.
Mike Paling has been expelled under Chapter 2.I.4.B of the Labour Party’s
rules which states:
member of the party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other
than an official Labour Group or unit of the Party or supports any candidate
who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their
intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible
to be or remain a party member, subject to the provisions of part 6.I.2 of the
These posts were the ‘evidence’ Mike Paling was supplied with
This rule has to go. As it stands it could be interpreted to debar
any member or supporter of Progress or Labour or indeed any organisation deemed
political but of course it is only being used to debar members of left-wing groups. An anti-fracking or an anti-racist group could equally be deemed political. The proscribed list of
organisations, such as Militant, has been scrapped. Now any member of the Compliance Group can
take exception to any group they define as political and then auto-exclude
someone, without them having any right of appeal, from the Labour Party. This rule is
witch hunter’s charter.
It could of course and maybe in the future it will
be used against members of Momentum. However today it is being used solely against people on the Left. Although I detest the Zionist politics of the
Alliance for Workers Liberty for the reasons I gave in my
post yesterday, they have a right to function and operate in the Labour
Party like any other group.
Letter from Mike Paling to Moshe
No one was happier than myself when your expulsion was rescinded after the
fantastic campaigning by members. Sadly the same cannot be said for myself
regarding my expulsion at the same time, my crime was the sharing of 8 items
from Labour Party Marxist and the weekly worker, (CPGB).
I would just like to make it clear from the off, I have never attended a LPM or
CPGB meeting let alone joined either of these organisations.
I regularly share political articles on Facebook, including some by your good
self, but I’ve shown no bias towards LPM or WW. I’ve checked my Facebook
timeline and counted 12 occasions when I’ve shared LPM and WW pieces during
September, the month cited by Sam Matthews. However, there were over 200
political articles shared from other sources, such as Labour MPs, Unite the
Union, the TUC, New Statesman, national newspapers, etc, during the same
period. Of course, I will dispute the premise that LPM support is incompatible
with membership, but even if that is accepted, there is no evidence that I’ve
given any such support. Like yourself, I was offered no right of appeal but
given 14 days to challenge the validity of the so called evidence attached to
the expulsion letter, unlike you, however Sam Matthews has not seen fit to
reply to, or even acknowledge, my communication.
During my time as a Labour Party activist I’ve participated in election
campaigns Party actions regularly attending CLP, branch and Momentum meetings
and supporting Labour movement, antifascist and Palestinian solidarity
actions. No doubt the latter has made me more susceptible to the attention of
purge minded bureaucrats.
Kind regards, M Paling.
this petition in support of David Watson, who has been suspended for 18 months
by the Labour Party
David Watson, Labour Party
fundraising coordinator for the Walthamstow constituency in northeast London,
was suspended last week for unspecified “breaches of party rules.” The Jewish
Chronicle – a Zionist weekly newspaper which has been a main cheerleader for
the campaign branding Labour a hotbed of Jew-hatred – gave an “Exclusive” tag
to its May 6 report
alleging that Watson had been suspended because of antisemitic Facebook posts.
Both the JC and the local Waltham
Forest Guardian newspaper quoted Labour MP Stella Creasy saying that “bigotry” is inconsistent with membership
of “a party campaigning for social
justice,” implying that this was relevant to Watson’s case.
Word in local Labour circles says
it was the MP’s father Philip Creasy, Constituency Party secretary, who
notified Watson of his suspension on May 9, three days after he was asked about
it by a journalist from the Jewish Chronicle. How did they know?
Who has an interest in pillorying
a secondary school teacher of modern languages with a long history of working
with Greenpeace and the Campaign Against Arms Trade? David Watson is a man who
prides himself on combating antisemitism among kids he teaches, getting them
involved in projects run by organisations such as the Anne Frank Trust and
Amnesty International. Might his friendship with Jewish anti-Zionists have
played a role? Or his past visits to Israel and Palestine and association with
Israeli and Palestinian anti-Occupation activists? Or was it merely the fact
that when he was elected Walthamstow party fundraiser, he replaced Stella
Creasy’s mother in the role? Witnesses present at the relevant Annual General
Meeting say that the honourable member made no attempt to hide her displeasure
at Watson’s election.
Some suspect the Conservatives may
have had a hand in his victimisation, since pictures of Watson with Sadiq Khan,
at that time vying with Tory Zac Goldsmith for election as London’s mayor,
featured in the JC and alongside charges of antisemitism posted by the
so-called Campaign Against Antisemitism on May 3. Allegations had also
appeared on the notorious Zionist blog, Harry’s Place.
Let’s have a look at Stella
Creasy’s idea of what constitutes bigotry, remembering that this is taking
place against the background of an ongoing witch hunt in the Labour Party –
gleefully stoked by Conservatives joining hands with Labour opponents of Jeremy
Corbyn’s leadership making allegations of antisemitism, mostly distorted
or even fabricated, against opponents of Israel’s colonial
settlement of Palestine.
The CAA alleged that Watson
believed “Israel is secretly behind ISIS.”
Reality: He had posted a picture
of Israeli shells allegedly found in an ISIS camp and written over it “Mmmm”
He was charged with suggesting
links between Israel and the Nazis.
He had posted a link to a Daily Mirror report, which was also carried in many
other newspapers, about an SS officer who had been employed by the Israeli
secret service to kill former Nazis working in Arab countries after the war.
Watson wrote: “A moral army with a fine
Other alleged crimes include
calling Zionism a racist ideology and expressing sympathy for Palestinian
There is no hint of animosity
towards Jews in any of these posts. Many Jews would agree that Zionism is a
racist ideology, discriminating again Palestinians and stereotyping Jews as
congenitally incapable of living alongside non-Jews in diverse societies. Many
– including former Israeli
Prime Minister Ehud Barak – also empathise with Palestinians
resisting the occupation of their land.
These are subjects which we should
be free to debate without being hounded out of any democratic political
organisation – above all one that claims, as Stella Creasy says, to be
“campaigning for social justice.