Tony Greenstein | 20 August 2015 | Post Views:

Time for Jeremy Corbyn to Speak Out and Throw Caution to the Wind

Guardian Letter 21.8.15. attacking Zionist & Jewish Chronicle Attempts to Smear JC as ‘anti-Semitic’

It was but short and sweet and had a certain logic
to it.  Yes you can register as a
supporter and vote in the Leadership elections but if you vote or intend to
vote in the wrong way then you will not be allowed to vote.  It is surely something that that Tony Blair,
that great democrat, he of the heart transplantation, would certainly
admire.  If you don’t get the right
result change the electors.

Don’t start applauding yet – and don’t accept advice to please our political enemies

And so it is happening.  Thousands seem to be  barred for nothing more than the wrong type of
name, face of the mere fact that they want to join the Labour Party.

Carlos Latuff cartoon – Latuff is denounced as ‘anti-semitic’ by the Zionists & Jeremy Corbyn has pulled out of appearing with him though there is no proof that he is anti-semitic

There is of course a logic to the process.  It is the last ditch hope of the 3 right-wing
candidates and almost certainly won’t be enough to help them.  But at least they will have tried.  The more panicky of the Labour Right wanted
to call off the elections altogether until there had been a more thorough
purge.  That was too risky and instead
they are simply purging voters. 

And Jeremy Corbyn wants to shake off his advisors and throw caution to the wind.  Being perpetually on the defensive is not good enough and will possibly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  He should speak out now and condemn what is happening and threaten that those taking part in this purge will themselves be purged.
More generally Jeremy is beginning to sound too cautious.  When he was attacked today over comments made on RT re ISIS and the United States he should have done the obvious thing – point to the fact that there would have been no ISIS but for the USA and also point out the treacherous game the US is playing with Turkey at the moment, whereby they are attacking the Kurds.
Jeremy Corbyn needs less caution and more attack at the moment.  Attack is the best form of defence.
Tony Greenstein


Michael Chessum

August 2015

The UK
Labour party is cancelling the memberships of significant numbers of people who
joined in order to vote in its leadership election – and even some who joined

Labour is
rejecting reams of legitimate membership and supporter applications. Is this a
desperate purge aimed at tipping the leadership result? 
It sounds
like a murder mystery. Everyone had a reason for promoting the idea that the
Labour leadership ballot was being undermined by Tory infiltrators and
‘entryists’. Anything that could destabilise the ballot and make it look like a
mess is good news for the right and much of the press. It suits some groups on
the hard left to seem bigger than they are. Once it became clear that Corbyn
might win, anything that de-legitimised his victory was music to the ears of
the Labour Right. And some knew, deep down, that if enough of a storm was
created about infiltration, this would provide cover for the party apparatus to
deny more leftwing activists a vote, and that this could, just about, influence
a close result. 
after a lot of noise about weeding out infiltrators, and one batch of more
obvious candidates for expulsion which included Ken Loach and other prominent
figures from other parties, there is a clear drip-drip of new rejections. Many
are young left wing activists from the student movement and other social
movements who joined Labour, enthused by the Corbyn campaign, and had every
intention of remaining in the Party. The reasoning behind these new rejections
looks, at least at first sight, murky.
Craig is a recent graduate from the University of Birmingham, and a relatively
prominent activist the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts – the biggest
organisation on the student left. “I was inspired by the Jeremy Corbyn
campaign,” she says “and the possibility that Labour could truly represent and
fight for those most oppressed in society.” Like many others, she has received
an email stating that she was rejected because “we have reason to believe that
you do not support the aims and values of the Labour Party or you are a
supporter of an organisation opposed to the Labour Party.” But, Craig tells me,
she has never been a member of any other electoral project – or indeed any
other party at all.
A large
number of the rejections appear to be students. Rachel O’Brien is also a
student activist and a current student in Birmingham. She describes herself as
“heavily critical of the Labour Party and their current policies – but not
opposed to the party as a whole”, and has, like Craig, never been a member of
another party. “I think they are missing a nuance there.”
Pope-Wiedemann, another rejectee, is a freelance writer and producer who was
also politically active as a student and has continued activities outside
Labour. But she is no longer in anything else and, as she points out, being
active outside Labour is rather inevitable: “most people are active through
organisations other than Labour because the Labour Party has been so long
disconnected from community struggle and afraid of taking on the big issues,”
she says. “This is the first time my generation has seen Labour stand up and
fight for ideals most of them are too afraid even to speak of anymore.”
Goyder’s example looks even stranger. Now a financial journalist, Goyder was a
student activist in 2010, and then involved in Occupy and a number of housing
campaigns. “I was involved in Young Labour as a sixth former, and joined
properly in 2010, days after the election. I rang the party to notify them of
my new address, and found that it had lapsed a few years ago.” Now his
application to re-join has been rejected.
In the
past, Goyder voted for a mix of parties – including the Lib Dems and the Greens
– but he campaigned and voted for Labour in 2015. “In 2010, the NUS and the
parliamentary system failed young people so we had to make our own politics.
I’m proud to have been involved in the 2010 student movement and the 2011
occupy protests, but see no contradiction between this activity and ‘the aims
and values of the Labour party’”.
apart from how this all looks, Goyder’s cases raise another rather glaring
issue: people changing their minds. Labour at high school, fighting on the
outside at uni, and then back into Labour – it’s a well-trodden path. By
definition, everyone now joining Labour is, to an extent, changing their mind;
many are being swayed by the real possibility of an anti-austerity alternative
in the form of Corbyn. Across the course of the campaign, many thousands have
changed their minds about Labour – giving Labour hordes of new members and
supporters, and a good deal more credibility in places where it previously had
none. This was, after all, the entire point of having a supporter sign-up
system – and many will have joined, as the system’s architects hoped, from
Labour’s right as well as its left.
swathes of the PLP and Labour establishment were once in, or voted for, other
parties. John Reid and Peter Mandelson were once members of the Young Communist
League, and Shaun Woodward, current Shadow Cabinet member, was a Tory MP until
he crossed the floor of the House in 1999. Hell, some Labour MPs have
campaigned for other candidates while in office: when Lol Duffy, a member of
the now-proscribed Socialist Organiser platform, won the Labour selection in
Wallesey in 1987, neighbouring MP Frank Field openly refused to support Duffy
as the Labour candidate.
But for a
large chunk of those who have had their membership or supporter applications
rejected, it doesn’t even get that far. For Craig and O’Brien, who have never
been supporters or members of other parties, the implications of being rejected
seem clear: “I had already voted when I got the email, and it is also very
clear from my Facebook that I support Corbyn,” says Craig. “I do not think this
is unconnected.”
Of course
many, if not all, of those who have been rejected have been critical of Labour
policy and the Labour leadership – often in the public domain and on social
media, where Labour staff are reportedly trawling for evidence. But then,
within Labour’s broad church, so have most members. In fact, so has every
candidate for leadership. Those of us on Labour’s left flank, many of whom have
door-stepped for the party, held minor office and never voted for anyone else,
could be forgiven for nervously refreshing their email inboxes.
None of
this is helped by the vigilante attitude that seems to have gripped some on the
Labour Right. One post currently doing the rounds on Facebook states: “If you
know that someone who has recently signed up as a member, supporter or
affiliate, who is not in fact a supporter of the Labour party, you should email
their name to [email protected]
with proof.” The post concludes: “Please do report anyone you suspect should be
ineligible – and you too could be called a star by the Compliance Unit”.
There is
no way to verify whether or not Labour’s Compliance Unit have in fact called
informants ‘stars’, but adverts to report your neighbour like this one, posted
in relation to a university labour club, are breeding an atmosphere of
McCarthyite fervour.
If, as
the post says, “any written expression of support for a party or group other
than Labour, or opposed to Labour” is enough proof to have you expelled, then
we had all better be careful about praising so much as the individual policies
of another party. That could go for Liz Kendall’s supporters just as much as
Jeremy Corbyn’s.

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Tony Greenstein

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