Luke Stanger – Why has this racist & misogynist not yet been expelled from the Labour Party?
Calling Gypsies and Travellers a ‘Nasty Blight’, targeting Women and Black women especially for abuse and making false accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ is all in a day’s trolling for Lukey
At the end of last year, one of the nastiest of Labour’s right-wing trolls, Luke Stanger, was suspended by the Labour Party. Even by the standards of Labour’s odious Right Stanger is in a league of his own.
His speciality is in targeting women, Black or ethnic minority women in particular. People such as Labour’s Black council candidate in the Brighton and Hove Council elections, Alex Braithwaite, or Haringey’s Seema Chandwani. It says a lot about the current state of the Labour Party that the target of Stanger’s abuse, Alex Braithwaite, has herself now been suspended.
Luke claims Jewish ancestry. It seems every non-Jewish racist in the Labour Party is now searching their family tree for a trace of Jewish blood! In reality Luke is about as Jewish as a ham sandwich.Stanger has a nasty habit of accusing anti-racists of ‘anti-Semitism’ – especially if they are Black or Jewish! As Alexei Sayle, the Jewish comedian, said ‘There can be no greater injustice than anti-racists being accused of racism by racists”To be fair (and I always try to be fair) Stanger is a few sandwiches short of a picnic. He doesn’t seem to understand that non-Jews accusing Black people of racism and Jewish people of ‘anti-Semitism’ is both racist and anti-Semitic. But what can you expect from a White person for whom racism is simply an abusive epithet to hurl at your opponents?
What makes Stanger’s behaviour so inexcusable is that there has never been the slightest evidence that he (or the rest of the Labour Right), has ever had the slightest interest in combating genuine racism.
You won’t see Stanger protesting outside Yarl’s Wood or Campsfield Detention Centres for asylum seekers which New Labour set up and ran. The idea of him or fellow Zionist trolls campaigning around Grenfell Tower or any other form of state racism would be to indulge in a flight of fancy. Only ‘anti-Semitism’ concerns them. And not the kind of anti-Semitism that we are seeing amongst Israel’s best friends in Hungary, Poland or amongst Trump’s supporters. Stanger’s concern about ‘anti-Semitism’ only arises in the context of criticism of Israel or Zionism.
Indeed Stanger has taken to retweeting from the far-RightJewish Human Rights Watch, a group that is neither Jewish nor interested in human rights. It is led by Manchester solicitor Robert Festenstein, who made a guest appearance in a promotional video with Tommy Robinson.
Stanger learnt the tricks of the trade when he was an intern with crooked MP, Joan Ryan. People may remember Ms Ryan from her starring role in Al Jazeera’s The Lobby when she tried to frame Labour conference delegate Jean Fitzpatrick as an anti-Semite. Unknown to Ryan, the conversation was being taped. The Labour Party had to unsuspend Jean when it became clear that Ryan was a brazen liar.
Ryan of course was a model of probity. She was forced to repay more than £5,000 in mortgage interest in the parliamentary expenses scandal. Ryan’s only achievement, apart from being Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, was to claim more expenses than any other MP in 2006-7 having been runner up the previous year. Given the stiff competition this was indeed a remarkable achievement.
Stanger is well connected. It’s rumoured that the reason he wasn’t suspended earlier was because of support from Tom Watson. Despite accusing others of racism, Stanger is quite clearly an accomplished racist in his own right. On August 8th 2018, in response to a Daily Mail story‘200 travellers moved from Surrey common invade village SIX MILES away’Stanger tweeted in response:‘I am perplexed by how some on the left have any sympathy for such matters. The traveller community are frequently a nasty blight on communities who wreak civil unrest onto areas.’ (my emphasis)Anyone who doubts the racist nature of this post should substitute ‘Jews’ for ‘travellers’. It met with a strong response from other Twitter users.
Luke’s initial defence was that ‘Highlighting that some in the traveller community cause civil disorder and wreak havoc onto local communities makes me a racist?’ This was disingenuous. Luke didn’t talk about some but all travellers. But even if he had used ‘some’ that would not make the Tweet any less racist. Instead of concentrating on the hounding of travellers and Gypsies from one area to another, the deprivation and attacks they suffer, Luke joined in those attacks portraying Gypsies and Travellers in terms of anti-social behaviour or as the Nazis put it Gemeinschaftsschädlich, damage to the community.
For someone who professes to be so aware of ‘anti-Semitism’ that he can attack anti-Zionist Jews as ‘anti-Semites’ Stanger is seemingly unaware of Porajmos, the extermination of the Gypsies by the Nazis. Of course that is not so surprising since the Holocaust and the extermination of European Jewry are treated as being synonymous.Contrary to Zionist mythology and the propaganda of the Holocaust mongers, the Jews were not the only victims of the Holocaust. The Gypsies were murdered in much the same proportion as the Jews. An estimated half a million died in the camps and Nazi ghettos. There were Gypsies in both Warsaw and Lodz, the two largest ghettos in Nazi occupied Poland. But whereas the Jewish Holocaust has been harnessed to the needs of western imperialism and its support for the Israeli state, the Gypsy Holocaust has been all but forgotten. The same is true of the T4 ‘Euthenasia’ campaign which marked the start of the Holocaust. The murder of up to ¾ million disabled people is barely mentioned.
The Holocaust has been the principal ideological justification for the Israeli state. As Israeli Professor Edith Zertal wrote in The Politics of Nationhood [pp. 4, 91] there hasn’t been a war involving Israel ‘that has not been perceived, defined, and conceptualized in terms of the Holocaust.’ Israel has mobilised the Holocaust ‘in the service of Israeli politics.’ Even the definition of anti-Semitism which conflates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is called the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Israel receives thelargest amount of US aid in the world, all of it military, because Israel is a state which operates as the West’s armed watchdog in the Middle East.The Gypsies play no such role and are instead the scapegoat of the European Right. Last June the fascist Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini promised to expel thousands of Roma and conduct a census of the remainder in a chilling reminder of what happened under Mussolini.
It is because there is no political utility in opposing racism against Gypsies that the Labour Right, not just Stanger, have demonised them. In his Defence after having been suspended Stanger drew attention to the anti-Gypsy racism that is prevalent amongst MPs and Councillors.
Stanger mentioned John Mann MP in particular. Mann, who famously called Ken Livingstone a ‘Nazi apologist’, issued a pamphlet on Anti-Social Behaviour in which Gypsies were demonised as a social pest and nuisance. There is a certain logic in Stanger’s Defence. Why hasn’t Mann been suspended? However it is no defence against racism to point to the treatment of other racists. It’s like complaining of being prosecuted for speeding and pointing to the fact that other people were also breaking the speed limit.
Stanger has engaged in a non-stop campaign against the Labour Party’s only Black candidate in the local elections in Brighton and Hove, Alex Braithwaite. Why? Because she cast doubt on the existence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and suggested it had been a means of attacking Corbyn. That is obviously true. Why else would the Mail and The Sun be so concerned about Labour anti-Semitism? Is it seriously suggested that newspapers who employed Katie ‘migrants are cockroaches’ Hopkins are seriously concerned with anti-Semitism? Why is it anti-Semitic to cast doubt on the motives of those who are weaponising anti-Semitism?
Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was never raised until Corbyn was elected Leader. It was only after the 2017 General Election, when to everyone’s surprise, Corbyn achieved the biggest swing to Labour since 1945, that claims began to be made that Labour was ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’. As Bob Pitt observed:[Luciana] Berger wasn’t alone in undergoing a dramatic conversion to the view that Labour is afflicted by a plague of antisemitism. Back in 2016 Berger’s fellow Independent Group founder Chuka Umunna similarly dismissed suggestions that party was institutionally antisemitic (“I have not seen one incident of antisemitism in almost 20 years of activism within my local Labour Party”), as did Jewish Labour Movement vice-chairs Sarah Sackman and Mike Katz (“neither of us has ever experienced any incidence of anti-Semitism from within the party”), only for all of them to discover just a couple of years later that the Labour Party was riddled with antisemitism from top to bottom.To people like Stanger and the JLM denying the existence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is in itself proof that you are anti-Semitic. It is the same logic that prevailed in theSalem Witch Trials. Denial of the existence of witchcraft was proof that you were a witch! This is the medieval standard of justice that Stanger and the Labour Right employ.
What makes it worse is that whilst Stanger has repeatedly harassed Alex Braithwaite for exercising her freedom of speech other Labour council candidates who hold the same opinions and who, like Alex, oppose the IHRA, have not been targeted. Why? The only conclusion is that they are White.Alex has now, quite shamefully, been suspended and such a decision increases the likelihood of the Tories retaining a marginal seat. It is shameful that Jenny Formby and Jeremy Corbyn have effected a regime that takes its orders from the Tory Press and Guido Fawkes. Helping the Tories retain a seat is what Stanger calls his ‘love’ of the Labour Party.
Stanger’s Self-Pitying WhinesWhat is truly pathetic is how Stanger whines and sobs about how terribly he is suffering as a result of his suspension! He is quite happy to harass others who are vulnerable and for his political enemies to be suspended without good cause but when he is suspended he engages in one long self-pitying whine. He pleads in his Defence that::I also wish to set out my mental health problems as I believe you should take these into account.As noted above, I suffer from depression, anxiety and ADHD. I don’t wish to invoke my mental health as an emotive matter. Nor do I wish to use it as a prism with which to contextualise any mistakes I have made.However, the process my suspension has so far entailed has sent me down into a deep depression and seen my motivation affected. Being so abruptly formally suspended from the organisation that makes up such a significant part of my heart and soul was crushing.Skwawkbox appeared to know more about the reasons for my suspension than I did, shaking my faith in the integrity of the party’s disciplinary process
This special pleading by someone who has done so much to inflict depression and suffering on others is symptomatic of the Labour Rights self-obsession and sense of victim-hood. A lack of empathy and understanding of how others feel is certainly part of Stanger’s condition but this is not so much a mental as a political affliction. Not once, in his incessant abuse of women in particular has he ever thought about the effects of his own actions on others. In his self-indulgent whine, he tweeted that:‘I am so desperately sad to be informed that my Labour Party membership suspension has been referred onto the NCC… From the outset this process has been marred with an absence of due process… vindictive spirit… the letter of my formal suspension containing only unspecified allegations in mid-October relating to ‘social media conduct’ to the leak to Skawkbox several weeks later who were given prior notice of my charges before I was… the sense of powerlessness felt by the matter’s unreasonable conduct…’
And so it goes on. Whine after whine, bleat after bleat, moan after self-indulgent moan. It’s strange how the Right only talk about due process when they experience their own treatment of others. Civil liberties are only applicable to them. One person, Carl Sargeant, even committed suicideafter being suspended but I don’t recall Luke Stanger displaying the slightest interest or concern. One might have an ounce of sympathy for this wretch if Stanger hadn’t done his best to inflict as much pain and suffering on his political foes.I was suspended for two years for comments I was alleged to have made. I wasn’t even told what those comments were still less who had made the complaints. A letter arrived in the post one sunny spring day in 2016 and when I emailed and rang up Labour HQ I was given no information whatsoever. The first that I knew of the reasons for my suspension was when my son alerted me to articles in The Telegraph and Times online two weeks later. Powerlessness? Depression? Vindictiveness? Stanger and his cronies gloated at my suspension and that of many others. They called the Chakrabarti Report a ‘whitewash’ because it called for due process and natural justice.So you might not be surprised that I don’t feel too much sympathy with Stanger’s plaints. As for Stanger’s mental health problems. I do not accept that his vitriolic, racist and misogynist behaviour are a consequence of his mental health. If Stanger suffers from anything it is a political pathology for which there is probably no cure this side of socialism.
On 9th July in Brighton after an Annual General Meeting that the Left won by 2-1 (& which was almost immediately set aside because of lies by Councillors Emma Daniels andWarren Morgan) there was an ugly incident in a pub afterwards. Two right-wing Labour thugs, one of whom was Harris Fitch, threatened and abused Seema Chandwani and Michael Calderbank who were told “get the fuck out of Brighton now, scum”. They had previously addressed a packed to overflowing Momentum rally at the Brighthelm community centre. The person who pointed out Seema and Michael to these thugs was Stanger:I was in conversation with two individuals at the bar… I pointed out to them that also in the bar was a man called Michael Calderbank who had previously worked for John McDonnell. I suggested he might have been in Brighton to organise for Momentum’s attempt to win the local party AGM. … At no point did I foresee what occurred next, which was that the two individuals were abusive and threatening towards Mr Calderbank and his partner, Seema Chandwani. The subsequent offensive conduct by the two individuals was entirely unpredictable…’And if you believe that you really do believe in Father Xmas. Stanger by his own admission, having targeted Seema and Michael did nothing to restrain his associates.
Stanger claims that he harassed Alex Braithwaite and wrote tweets attacking her candidature ‘because I am extremely concerned about incidents involving antisemitism in my local party, which have been common knowledge in recent years.’ Really? What incidents? There haven’t been any anti-Semitic incidents in Brighton and Hove Labour Party so why should he be concerned about a non-existent threat?
Of course people criticise Israel and Zionism but that is notanti-Semitism unless Stanger believes that Jews and Israel are one and the same thing. If so then it is he who is being anti-Semitic because he is saying that British Jews bear a responsibility for the actions of Israel.
What puzzles me is why someone who has been active in the Labour Party since 2010, and who has had noinvolvement in anti-racist or anti-fascist activity, suddenly be so concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’? In April 2012 there was a mass mobilisation of hundreds of people in Brighton and Hove which prevented the English Defence League marching through the city centre. We stopped the fascist march. Stanger played no part in this unlike the people he is now vilifying.
Another person that he has demonised as an ‘anti-Semite’ is Hove Labour Party Executive Member Anne Mitchell. Active in Palestine solidarity and anti-racist work she too has now been suspended. Anne’s offence according to Stanger? ‘stating antisemitism is being ‘privileged’ against other forms of racism. I am unable to determine how any racism can be privileged against any other and therefore concluded that she in some way is trivialising antisemitism compared to other forms of racism.The Labour Opposition under Ed Miliband supported the 2014 Immigration Act and Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment policy’ which led to the Windrush deportations of hundreds of Black people. Has Stanger ever raised concerns over genuine issues of racism such as these? Has he or his Labour Right trolls shown any concern over the Grenfell fire which was as much the responsibility of New Labour as the Tories?Anti-Semitism has been the only form of racism that has been raised in the Labour Party by Stanger and his fellows. What is this if not privileging anti-Semitism? Jews in Britain are not subject to deportation, do not suffer from Stop and Search or Police violence or over representation in the prison estate. Jews in Britain are not economically discriminated against. Those whose only concern is a non-existent ‘antisemitism’ related of course to Israel are obviously privileging anti-Semitism.
According to Stanger ‘Anne Mitchell has also asked JLM to justify reports of IDF violence.’ Apparently this is ‘invoking a traditional antisemitic trope in suggesting British Jews have split national loyaltiesthat involve Israel or are collectively responsible for the actions of a state they are not usually citizens of.’The hypocrisy is breathtaking. The JLM sponsored the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which states that ‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour)’ is anti-Semitic.If words mean anything then this means that Israel is, as it claims to be, the nation state of all Jewish people, including British Jews. That is what Israel’s Jewish Nation State Law claims. Zionist mythology holds that Israeli Jews are part of a world wide Jewish nation. If this is so then Jews in Britain are obviously responsible for what Israel does since they are part of one, world-wide Jewish nation. But Anne wasn’t even doing that. She was querying aZionist organisation, the JLM which is affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation and what its view was on Israeli army violence. The JLM is the British wing of the Israeli Labour Party. The JLM only accepts Zionists, Jewish and non-Jewish, as members. Of course it is perfectly right to challenge it on where it stands on the violence of Israel’s military.
So worked up was Stanger that he made a Complaint Against Ann Mitchell.Anne tweeted him: ‘Can we please stop talking as if all Jewish comrades are in agreement and hold similar views, because they do not.’ By conflating the JLM with all Jews it is Stanger who is guilty of the very crime he accuses Anne (& Alex) of. In her tweet to the JLM she specifically referred to ‘Zionist orgs’. It is Stanger’s anti-Semitism which translates ‘Zionist’ into ‘Jew’ when as Stanger knows, the worst Zionist racists are, like himself and the neo-Nazi founder of the alt-Right, Richard Spencer, non-Jewish. Spencer even calls himself a White Zionist, an apt description for Stanger.Further information on Stanger’s sad plight can be obtained from Skwawkbox’s Stanger ‘abusive behaviour’ case referred to Labour’s senior disciplinary committee.