Remembering Sam Semoff – a giant of the Liverpool Labour Movement
Sam was a Jewish Anti-Zionist and an anti-racist to the last
It was in January of last year that my close friend of over three decades, Sam Semoff, an American Jew who came to live in my home town, Liverpool, passed away. At the time I wrote an appreciation of Sam.
Sam’s headstone has now been placed over his grave and that gives me the ideal opportunity to remind people of Sam, a comrade and a friend who stood and fought, despite ill-health, the witch-hunt in Liverpool carried out by the detestable Zionist ‘Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside (and Tel Aviv North), Louise Ellman. At least her sidekick, the equally detestable Blairite Luciana Berger, has departed for the TIGs
Sam was a dedicated fighter for the NHS. He fought the privatisation of the NHS and the rebuilding of the Royal Liverpool hospital which has now been severely affected by the bankruptcy of Carillon. Sam faced concerted opposition from right-wing Labour figures in 2013 when he brought a judicial review against the use of Carillon.
Joe Anderson, then the Leader of the Council, now Mayor of Liverpool said:
“My message is ‘Bog off Semoff’. We have had enough delays and interference in so many projects within this city. “Quite frankly it annoys not just me but literally thousands of people. “This is about the health of the people of this city, and is not for some individual with his own political and ideological reasons to jeopardise the services meant for the people of this city.”
Here you see the reactionary politics of those who abandon any semblance of socialist politics in order to espouse the philosophy of ‘if it works then use it’. This was the philosophy of Blair. Employ the private sector if it helps clear waiting lists in the NHS. The alternative, expanding the existing state sector of course was not an option.
This is how you get privatisation by stealth and opportunists like Joe Anderson and Nick Small espoused with ‘if it work’ principle. Forget the politics, we will use any means, even if it involves a PFI and a corrupt cowboy company like Carillon. Six years later Anderson was singing a different song. Anderson told the Liverpool Echo that
‘This building is a monument to corporate greed – if you give the private sector free reign within the public sector then profit comes before quality and that’s exactly what we’ve ended up with.
“We need an open public inquiry that looks at what went wrong and how it happened – because this is just obscene.”
Anderson didn’t have the decency to apologise for the comments he made disparaging Sam’s motives , suggesting he was putting his own socialist principles before the needs of ordinary people, and retract them. People like him constitute the detreitus of the Labour Party and reformism.
Even worse than this particular skunk was Cllr. Nick Small. As Greg Dropkin wrote when Sam brought an application for Judicial Review, Louise Ellman’s sidekick and a prominent figure in the current witchhunt approached the Legal Aid Board in order to cut off Sam’s funding. This action guaranteed the disaster of this failed scheme. It has set back the new building by years at vastly increased public expense. The whole construction that Carillon carried out was botched.
Nick Small is the human equivalent of a viper, today pointing the finger at other socialists in the Labour Party – all with the approval of Jenny Formby and Labour’s regional mafia.
I also reprint an obituary which Sam’s daughter Shela wrote for The Guardian. Perhaps one of the few decent things that paper has done in the past four years.
We will continue to remember this doughty fighter for the working class and the oppressed everywhere. The Zionist skunks and scabs like Joe Anderson and Nick Small will only be remembered for their obeisance and servility to the rich and powerful.
It was truly priceless to see Luciana Borges and Chumbawumba leave the PLP, then see their leaky boat hit the rocks almost immediately. Congrats! Open own goal! Well deserved!