A party for ‘all Jews’? Labour expels Jewish Cllr Jo Bird

JVL Introduction

The Labour Party is deepening its commitment to making the Party a safe, comfortable home for Jews by continuing to investigate, harass, suspend and expel Jewish left-wing members.

Jo Bird, popular local councillor in the Wirral who has been investigated and suspended many times is now the latest sacrificial lamb.

As we watch this Orwellian doublethink charade unfold in front of us, Jewish communal institutions like the Board of Deputies, and groups within the Labour Party like Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, all claiming in one way or another to speak in the name of British Jews, whether in the country or the Party, egg them on.

It shows the commitment by Starmer “to tear this poison [of antisemitism] out by its roots” for what it is: a crusade against the wrong sort of Jews – antizionist Jews, socialist Jews, Jews who do not put “Israel at the centre” of their Jewish life in Britain.

Meanwhile the clouds of real antisemitism and ethno-nationalism gather on the horizon.

And anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, anti Gypsy-Roma-Traveller sentiment and more in the Party is virtually ignored and unchallenged.

This article was originally published by Skwawkbox on Fri 19 Nov 2021. Read the original here.

A party for ‘all Jews’? Labour expels Jewish Cllr Jo Bird

Just days after Keir Starmer told a Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) gathering that his would be a party for all Jews, Starmer’s Labour has expelled Jewish Wirral councillor Jo Bird.

Bird, who has been suspended multiple times by Labour to eliminate her from internal party elections when she was a favourite to win, has tweeted that she is ‘delighted’ at the expulsion because it frees her to speak out:

She will continue to serve as a councillor for Bromborough in the Wirral.

Keir Starmer’s claim that Labour welcomes all Jews was already a mockery. Left-wing Jewish members have faced a witch-hunt by a party regime determined to back right-wing supporters of Israel, with leaders of left group Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) over 200 times more likely to face suspension and expulsion than non-Jewish Labour members.

JVL was also excluded from discussions on Labour’s so-called ‘independent’ disciplinary process, which is in fact controlled minutely by right-wing general secretary David Evans involving a handful of pro-Israel advocates. The group has even been told in effect that ‘the EHRC does not apply to you’.

Solidarity with Jo Bird and the many whom Keir Starmer and co consider ‘the wrong type of Jew’.

Comments (31)

  • Brian Walford says:

    That’s terrible!

  • Moshé Machover says:

    I would like to extend my full solidarity with and support for comrade Bird, the latest victim of the right-wing clique that has usurped control of the Labour Party. Shame on them.

  • Daniel Vulliamy says:

    A simply magnificent introduction which complements David Rosenberg’s fine essay of a couple of days ago. Thank you, Jo, the anonymous author of the Introduction, David and JVL.

  • Alasdair MacVarish says:

    Labour Party on a self-destruct path with Starmer and the arselickers led by vile Steve McCabe.

  • Joseph Hannigan says:

    We’re going to need a Real Labour party.

  • keith russell says:

    Bloody disgraceful actions by calmer and crew socialists with principles there not

  • Ruth Sharratt says:

    I am with you Jo – your strength is amazing. We will not surrender.
    Naomi Klein in her book ‘The Shock Doctrine’ talked about torture as never being a means to extract information, nor even to particularly punish the tortured but to ‘terrorise’ the population so that they wouldn’t resist the draconian measures and treatment meted out by those in power. The treatment of Jo Bird and many like her is not so much against her, but a warning to others to self censor, to fall into line, otherwise the same will happen to ‘you’. I left the LP as it no longer represents my values or politics. To those still in, all I can ask is that you continue to speak out. The worst they can do is expel you.
    We really need an alternative.

  • Annie Weatherly-Barton says:

    I am beyond angry and disgusted by UKLabour, Keir Starmer & Evans! The worst antisemites in Party! This lovely lady has done nothing wrong! Just utterly appalling!

  • Martyn Meacham says:

    I just wish that I could tweet this…as I am banned for 30 days on face book for criticising Israel.

  • What Sir Useless is doing to Jewish Voice for Labour Members is Disgracefull
    It seems now that anyone who is a kind caring human being who put people’s interests first and like most of us want a better country for everyone to have a decent standard of living then you don’t fit in with the labour party anymore .
    It’s as if all that the labour party stood for does not exist anymore
    Instead it seems to be a party for the big corporations and bankers were their interests and other outside interests seem to be directed
    They have a leader like Sir Useless who was supposed to have been awarded his knighthood for championing peoples human and civil rights Well those civil and human rights don’t seem to count as far as the Palastinian Human Rights are concerned as well as other people’s as well
    Those Jewish Voice for Labour Members who have wrongly been suspended were suspended mostly for two reasons
    1) They are Socialists and
    2) They are good Caring Human Beings who like other none Jewish Labour Party members will not be stopped from speaking out in support of the Palastinian People and the terrible attrocities they are suffering at the hands of the Israeli Government Just like they would speak out if other countries governments were carrying out these terrible attrocities .
    And for speaking out and Rightfully condemning these attrocities they are told they are not the right kind of Jew which in itself is a disgraceful thing to say about people
    But to do it while at the same time expelling them from the labour party it is obvious that it’s being weaponised to silence any criticism of the Israeli Government
    Sir Useless and those other MPs in the party who support him all need to hang their heads in shame for staying silent on what the crimes against humanity the Israeli Government are carrying out
    Like a lot of other labour party members who could not stay while the current leader is in charge and the direction he seems to be taking the party It does give you hope while we have good people like the JVL and those other members who have been expelled from the party by Sir Useless who still are willing to fight in order to get the labour party back to a party that welcomes everyone and takes care of the most vunrable people in this country While also caring for their fellow men women and children who are suffering in one way or another around the world just like the previous leader of the party wanted people to do

  • Paul Leach says:

    I’m shocked disgusted and really sad to hear this.
    I don’t know her personally but Jo Bird is a lovely person brimming with empathy, integrity and concern for ordinary people and their problems. This comes on the heels of Starmer’s recent speech to the LFI in which he could not have made it clearer that the Labour Party has taken sides against Palestinians in their demand for human rights, equality and freedom from miltarised rule in the land of their births. If the Labour Party is no longer to have the breadth and tolerance to include someone like Jo, it has disqualified itself as a vehicle to resist injustice and oppression anywhere.

  • John Noble says:

    Judged on his actions Starmer is an anti-Semitic person.

  • Mary Dwyer says:

    Love & Solidarity to Jo.

  • Taraneh Ahmadi-Parker says:

    This is shocking treatment of Jo Bird , shame on Starmer and co. Solidarity to jo and many more socialist that have been expelled from the Labour Party.

  • Amanda Crawford says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Jo a couple of times, once when Jacki Walker performed her brilliant one woman show in Derry, & I’m appalled at the treatment she has received from Starmers “Likud Lite Labour”
    Solidarity with Jo✊ and, as the article says, all those who they – “LikudLiteLabour” – consider the “wrong kind of Jews” for the treatment they received too. I resigned from the Labour Party in December 2019, as soon as JC resigned, as I knew that the writing was on the wall for the one hope Labour had for getting back to its socialist origins, and, fortunately, I’ve been proven correct!

  • Geoff Taylor says:

    Solidarity with socialist councillor Jo Bird. It is Starmer’s bureaucratic goons who have broken members’ trust.

  • Wendy morgan says:

    While I respect the decisions of other socialists to remain in the Labour Party in the hope of being involved in helping to get it back on course for the benefit of the many, I totally agree with Jo’s characterisation of its current presentation as racist and against the “wrong sort of Jews” that is those who are ant-Zionist and in favour of an end to the oppression of Palestinians perpetuated by Israel’s apartheid policies. Solidarity with Jo and other comrades being persecuted by LP leadership.

  • Stephen Richards says:

    Orwellian

  • Michael Rosen says:

    Perhaps it’s time for a group: JEFL – ‘Jews expelled from Labour’.

  • Linda says:

    What commonly happens in witch hunts like these is that each incident is responded to AFTER it happens and as an INDIVIDUAL case. It seems to me that a more proactive approach – when it can be achieved – produces better results and acts as more of a deterrent to future attacks.

    Fighting funds for individual cases have been organised. However, could a central fund (set up to run like a charity even if it may not fit the organisational rules laid down for charities) now be created to provide EVERYONE attacked with “first step” skilled legal / “political” advice and support? For PR reasons, I’d suggest all donations should be made as individuals (no corporates allowed) and the maximum level of individual donation be set as £25. The scheme would be created and funded by Labour-leaning “little people” to save other “little people” party members from unjust treatment by their own party.

    Could the initiative be publicised on “general support” web sites not controlled by Labour HQ – eg Citizens Advice Bureau, local advice centres etc?

    The existence of such a well-publicised scheme would support the morale and positions of those attacked and deter future attacks because of its public relations impact.

  • SB says:

    I wonder if this has anything to do with Cllr. Bird urging IPSO to launch a standards investigation into the JC?

  • John Coates says:

    Maybe it’s time for myself and others to be “free from the fear of speaking and meeting other people”.
    Each day I am more appalled and disgusted by the anti-democratic and anti-Semitic actions of Starmer and Evans and much of the PLP.
    If these were the actions of right-wing, fascist parties, they would be more-easy to understand.
    When there is no room in the party for beacons of socialism and humanity like Jo Bird, Graham Bash and other leading comrades, then I am asking myself why I am biting my tongue and not calling out the outrage that is happening in my/our name.
    We need to be getting our arguments out to a wider audience – particularly to the unions and their members.
    Talking to comrades in our comfort zone is not a threat to Starmer and his crew.

  • Alan Stanton says:

    [edited down to 300 words]
    Hardly a “sacrificial lamb” when Jo Bird herself tweets that she is:
    “delighted the Labour Party expelled me today. I’m free from fear about speaking and meeting with other people. Adding that she will:
    “. . . continue to work for people of Bromborough as your local Councillor” . . Ending:
    “This racist Labour Party is dying as a vehicle for social justice.”
    An interesting and challenging set of statements.
    Among so many lies, distortions, and well-intentioned misunderstandings, it’s essential to try finding what people directly involved have to say.
    I say this having been the subject of such lies myself. Bearing false witness now appears to be a weapon in wide use with no sanction. Jo Bird is not the only local councillor subject to a convenient and, in my view specious, complaint just before a key ballot. It happened to former colleagues of mine. Once the Party apparatchiks demonstrated their complicity it became a game anyone could and did play.
    I said Jo’s tweet throws down some challenges. Two I feel very strongly about: the issues of free speech; and free association. Jo tweeted that she’s “… free from fear about speaking and meeting with other people.”
    Me Too, Jo!
    I like thinking for myself and talking to anyone who is willing to speak with me. A democratic centralist Party never appealed to me. And Bureaucratic anti-democratic centralism is worse. The only reason I can see for the Starmer/Evans Autocracy is to shut down any left opposition. And eventually the Party.
    In 2014, my 16th year as a Labour councillor I lost the whip for voting against our Progress Party Leader’s choice of Chief Executive. I felt like Brer Rabbit “punished” by release into the briar patch!
    I could write & say what I wished, and meet who I liked. Marvellous!

  • Doug says:

    Right lads and lasses on here and across the movement its time to
    Cancel your Direct Debits but don’t tell the party
    If there were to be a leadership contest then you can pay the arrears and vote
    It hits there cash flow and hopefully if they are struggling then it tips them into insolvency
    There is no room in the party for Red Tories
    Regards

  • bob cannell says:

    Congratulations Jo. Free at last. Free from the harassment, the bullying, the crass injustice, the double standards, the duplicity, the newspeak of Starmer’s Labour Party. Expulsion is a badge of honour, a sign of principled ethics in these days. I predict it’s not long before Labour MPs realise their cosy sinecures are under threat and Starmer is yesterday’s loser. But what next?

  • Andrew Hornung says:

    Solidarity with Cllr Jo Bird – in or out of the Party!
    Further evidence that the leadership faction is shifting its tactics slightly to concentrating on “support” for proscribed organisations where they fail to win the argument on “anti-semitism”.

  • Graeme Atkinson says:

    Jo Bird has my total solidarity.

    She is being witch-hunted by the right-wing because she is a principled, honourable and courageous working class socialist, something evidently in extremely short supply in the “Labour” Party these days.

    Are ALL the people being hoyed out of the party at the moment Jewish? Smells badly of antisemitism, that.

  • Gill Hughes says:

    What can I say, Jo? Not unexpected. You are not afraid to speak out whereever you find injustice and I know your record on Palestine rights is exemplary. So obviously not to the taste of the Israeli right. Just keep on fighting. You lovely woman, you. Gill xx

  • Totally depressed that this is still ongoing. Considering leaving LP

  • Richard Snell says:

    I have been disgusted and appalled by the response of the Labour Party’s heirarchy to the growing opposition to Israel in the Party. It is a betrayal of democracy, a betrayal of the internationalist ideal on which the Party was founded, a betrayal of the Palestinian people, and a clear betrayal of all those Jews of goodwill whose view of Israel differs from Israel’s own.

  • Mark Serlin says:

    The witch hunt continues…

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