Defend Corbyn – speech to the Radical Alliance Zoom meeting on 1st November

JVL Introduction

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi spoke at the Radical Allliance meeting in defence of Jeremy Corbyn. You can watch  recording of the full session here (it starts at about 13 minutes 48 seconds in).

Naomi’s speech begins at 1 hour 17 minutes. The text of it is published below, followed by a link to the video (the quality of the images is not great).

We have reached a time when we have to recognise that we are in an IF NOT NOW, WHEN? moment.

Punitive action taken by the Labour Party leader against his predecessor for commenting on a publicly available report  – This is part of an attack on us all, and not just on Jeremy Corbyn and not just on Labour.

We are seeing local authorities bullied, universities threatened, charities’ funding deliberately endangered, litigation used to gag critics.

“Lawfare” is increasingly used to target individuals and organisations that dissent from the establishment narrative. Look at the treatment of Julian Assange and the supine mainstream media response. We are no-platformed, canceled, driven out of legitimate public discourse.

The inadequacies of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission report have been well documented already. JVL is working on a detailed analysis of its own.

One of many points in the report ignored by MSM is its acknowledgement that Labour’s dysfunctional disciplinary processes harm those accused more than their accusers.

JVL knows of many such cases. In one of the infinitesimally small number of media outlets to cover such stories, Middle East Eye recently published a report titled The Wrong Sort of Jew – How Labour pursued complaints against elderly Jewish opponents of Israel..

I’m one of those “elderly Jews”!

One example cited concerns Stephen Solley, a retired QC and former chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee. He is Jewish, a Labour Party member and a critic of Israel.

In January he found himself in an email altercation with a member of the Jewish Labour Movement, which he called “a pro Israel, anti Palestine group… that is destructive of socialism.“  Instantly, both his former chambers and the Bar Standards Board received letters accusing him of antisemitism.

Both rejected the accusations, but the Labour Party has put him under investigation!

By talking about it Solley knows he is defying the party’s injunction to silence. His response? “I don’t give a damn. If they really want to expel the Jewish former chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee, so be it.”

Stephen Solley is one of many Jews, like me, Julia Bard, James Schneider, Andrew Feinstein, on this call tonight, who are The Wrong Sort of Jews, “self-haters”, apparently, who refuse to tow the pro-Israel line, who persist, stubbornly, in combating antisemitism together with all victims of oppression, including Palestinians.

So, If not now, when?

All those who have urged compromise, caution, silence so as not to offend  – those who refuse now to talk about Palestine at all, and won’t even whisper the names of those unjustly accused, defamed in the media without recourse to justice – these people need to wake up and defend the freedom of speech that is being swept away in a tide of authoritarianism, intolerance and right wing bigotry, protected by global Surveillance Capitalism that has us in its thrall.

Stand up now, in our party and TU branches, solidarity organisations, anti-racist groups, schools and communities, wherever people come together to defend their rights against the privileged and powerful.

Stand up now, or we won’t just be talking about the wrong kind of Jew – we will find ourselves denied all rights –  as the wrong kind of human.

As others have said with passion and conviction – Don’t Leave, Organise!!



Comments (4)

  • Simon Dewsbury says:

    Unsurprisingly, both his former chambers and the Bar Council seem to have an understanding of law and evidence sadly lacking in parts of the Labour Party at present. The Rules of Court allow for an action without merit to be struck out at an early stage and for those who repeatedly bring claims without merit to be classed as ‘vexatious litigants’. Such a process might assist the Party – if the evidence were to be looked at objectively.

  • Mary Davies says:

    Thank you for this superb article and Radical Alliance webinar.

  • Tony Riley says:

    You’re lapsed Jews, who have a truly warped view of Israel.

    You have my permission to use this description in any future situation.

  • Jo Antonia Aloy says:

    Dear JVL
    Amazing article. Thank you.

Comments are now closed.