Labour criticised after motion of no confidence in Starmer branded anti-Semitic

JVL Introduction

“THE Labour Party was criticised yesterday after a motion of no confidence in leader Sir Keir Starmer was branded anti-semitic….”

We hope to carry an update soon, when more is known about this story…

This article was originally published by Morning Star on Sat 13 Mar 2021. Read the original here.

Labour criticised after motion of no confidence in Starmer branded anti-Semitic

THE Labour Party was criticised yesterday after a motion of no confidence in leader Sir Keir Starmer was branded anti-semitic.

Bolton North East CLP put forward the motion saying Sir Keir had failed to keep his election promise of bringing unity to the party following Labour’s defeat at the 2019 general election.

Many members also believed the “terribly destructive behaviour” shown towards previous Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by large sections of the PLP and party bureaucracy would be at an end, the motion said.

But the motion said that since the leadership election, “there has been no indication of a will among the leadership to forge a meaningful unity among the membership.”

It cited the general secretary placing an embargo on what branches and CLPs could discuss in meetings and Sir Keir’s refusal to readmit Mr Corbyn’s membership as examples.

The motion read: “It is also evident in the apparent retreat from the hugely popular, transformational policies that remain an absolute requirement for meeting the challenge of climate change and tackling the appalling social inequality, the legacy of decades of rampant deregulation, government cuts and unrelenting attacks on organised labour.”

Labour responded by ruling the motion out of order for “providing a flagship for the expression of views that undermine the Labour Party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all members, in particular our Jewish members.”

The party said it “will not hesitate to take appropriate action where our rules and guidance are not adhered to, or standards of behaviour fall below that which we expect.”

A source close to the branch, who wanted to remain anonymous over fears of disciplinary action, told the Star: “Over the past few months we’ve seen a concerted effort by the right-wing party machinery to disrupt party democracy.

“Members and activists who have spent a lifetime campaigning for Labour have found themselves suspended from the party on trumped-up charges.

“Anti-semitism should rightly be rooted out whatever it is found, there is no doubt about that, but to weaponise it to stymie any criticism of the leader is an insult.”


Here is the text of the Bolton NE motion

Motion of no confidence in the Labour Party Leadership

Kier Starmer was elected on a platform of bringing unity to the party following Labour’s defeat at the 2019 General Election. For many members, this pledge meant that there would be a determined effort to bring together different strands of thought and opinion from all sections of the party and re-establish the principle of a broad church that the party has long prided itself on.

Many of us believed that the terribly destructive behaviour towards the previous leader by large sections of the PLP and many within the party bureaucracy would be at an end. Since the leadership election however there has been no indication of a will among the leadership to forge a meaningful unity among the membership.

This is evident in the relentless stream of diktats from the General Secretary placing an embargo on what branches and CLPs may discuss, so draconian that any genuine expression of the level of frustration and dissatisfaction among our members or even to reference it in this motion, is impossible. These include significant concerns that do not fall under the ambit of the disciplinary process, which was concluded by the NEC decision to reinstate the former leader of the Labour Party.

It is also evident in the apparent retreat from the hugely popular, transformational policies that remain an absolute requirement for meeting the challenge of climate change and tackling the appalling social inequality, the legacy of decades of rampant deregulation, government cuts and unrelenting attacks on organised labour. It is the belief of this Branch and this CLP that a return to an unsustainable status quo, supported by a pledge of greater competence in government, will neither unite the party nor win the support of a majority of voters. Yet it seems to us that this is precisely the direction in which the leadership wishes to take the party. Since the leadership election was fought and won on a platform of a unified party around progressive policies we believe this constitutes a breach of trust.

Therefore, in the absence of a mechanism through which to give voice to these concerns, this branch/CLP wishes to express its lack of confidence in the current leadership to deliver on pledges made by the Party Leader during his leadership bid, to:
• unite the party, and
• maintain our radical values and embrace and develop the transformational policies needed to meet the enormous challenges of the post-Covid world.

 

 

 

Comments (23)

  • steve mitchell says:

    What is the Labour Party now for?

  • Linda says:

    A splendid article. What’s happening now to Labour reminds me of the McCarthyite campaign of intimidation in the USA.

    Sadly, that campaign fell apart ONLY when its malign, possibly unhinged leading light tried to topple General Marshall (the architect of Europe’s Marshall Plan) and failed to bring him down. By that time, hundreds if not thousands of Americans had had their futures ruined for ever by groundless accusations of “unAmerican activities”.

  • Paul Smith says:

    In the immortal words of John McEnroe, ‘You cannot be serious’, but Starmer and Evans are deadly serious!

  • Kuhnberg says:

    Jonathan Cook recently gave a short talk (you can find it on twitter) about the problem for Zionists of facing up to the fact that Israel, as it is currently constituted, can’t be seem as a modern democracy. The very notion of a ‘Jewish state’ runs counter to the normal democratic model, as does the imposition of a form of apartheid both in Israel and the occupied territories. This is not a difficult argument, and the attempt to deny it requires a quite extreme sort of cognitive dissonance, a state of mind which many psychologists would claim causes acute mental distress to those trying to maintain it. As a result those Labour Party members who are fully committed to Zionism feel uncomfortable whenever they are asked to defend Israel’s anti-democratic treatment of the Palestinians, particularly if they feel a majority of members are passionate in their defense of Palestinian rights.

    Since Keir Starmer says that he himself is a Zionist without qualification, he too is likely to feel uncomfortable when Israel’s claim to be a democratic state is challenged. We are now told that certain debates must be ruled out of order because they provide “a flagship for the expression of views that undermine the Labour Party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all members, in particular our Jewish members.” In effect this means that no serious discussion of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians can take place on Labour Party premises while Starmer is leader. This clearly offends against the party’s traditional role of creating a forum for precisely this sort of discussion, so it is hardly surprising that so many CLPs are openly rebelling against it. Apart from anything else, members are being asked to accept that one particular group enjoys rights and protections which are not available to certain others – for example Palestinians and their supporters in the party. This is not a policy that the leadership can sustain indefinitely.

  • Mary Davies says:

    Solidarity with Bolton North East CLP

  • Jenny Mahimbo says:

    How is the motion antisemitic??? It doesn’t mention anything about antisemitism. It is expressing a lack of confidence in the leadership. Is the leadership Jewish? Is any criticism of the leadership therefore antisemitic by default??

  • Jack T says:

    The LP right wing is ecstatic to have found a magic bullet with which to despatch Socialists from the Party. It works beyond their wildest dreams, because they can even use it to get rid of Socialist Jews without fear of being criticised in the right wing media for being antiSemitic. All they need to do is twist any criticism they have of dissenters into one of antiSemitism and viola, job done.

  • Allan Howard says:

    As with so much that Starmer and Co have been doing since a couple of months after he was elected leader, they deliberately do these things so as to ‘prompt’ left-wing members to leave the party in disgust – ie fraudulently accuse people of anti-semitism, that is.

    Will they be reporting Bolton North East CLP to the police, given that anti-semitism – racism – is a criminal offence!? Er, no, of course they won’t, but maybe someone should report THEM to the police for making fraudulent and bogus and malicious claims!

  • Sabine Ebert-Forbes says:

    I stand by the motion put forward by Bolton North East CLP. Solidarität!

  • Myra Sands says:

    I hope Sir Keir Starmer and David Evans are members of Jewish Voice for Labour , therefore possibly taking the time to read these excellent comments and taking them on board. Hard to imagine them rowing back on their resolute stance though, sadly.

  • James Simpson says:

    As Jack T comments, this is the elixir of life for the Labour centre and right. They can attack the socialists, whom they detest far more than they do the Tories and fascists, with one magic formula: “”You’re being antisemitic”. It worked against Jeremy Corbyn and it will work indefinitely until the media decide they don’t want to play along any more. I suspect that day is a long time coming.

  • Philip Ward says:

    In response to Allan Howard: Antisemitism and racism are strictly speaking not criminal offences. There are laws against hate speech and against discrimination. The latter are fairly straightforward. The former are not and seem to be applied in a completely arbitrary manner: no prosecution of Farage for that terrible poster in 2016, but an atheist was jailed for leaving a leaflet compiled from several publications – including Private Eye – sometimes offensive anti-religious cartoons in a prayer room at Liverpool Airport. (I don’t know the details of the cartoons and some of the anti-Muslim ones may have been racist, but he was not prosecuted for distributing racist material).

    The Blair government, by introducing the religious hatred act in 2006 essentially restored the blasphemy laws they originally repealed.

    These laws are an utter mess and we should be wary of giving them credibility and should oppose current attempts by the government to widen their application.

  • Tim says:

    So does Starmer now self-identify as Jewish? That sounds pretty anti-Semitic to me!

  • bob cannell says:

    reductio ad absurdam. those who the gods intend to destroy, they first make mad.

  • Geoff T says:

    There seems to be nothing anti-Semitic about the motion from Bolton NE CLP. As Jack T said, the AS claim does seem to be a very effective device to use against socialists in the Labour Party, even against Jewish socialists.

  • Ruth Sharratt says:

    The convoluted thinking that makes this motion anti-semitic is breathtaking. However, the logic means that any criticism of ‘our great leader’ is anti-semitic, therefore unacceptable. Obviously membership of the Labour Party is open to acolytes only. It looks as if the only way to attack the real enemy is outside of the LP. Within it you either cede to such absurd thinking as shown in the LP’s response, or you spend all your time and energy fighting it. Sorry – I understand and support those brave folks who remain to fight. I haven’t got the energy I’m afraid to fight within the LP as well as those battles that are close to my heart. In solidarity.

  • John Moore says:

    Absolutely outrageous assertion that Jeremy Corbyn’s membership of the Party promotes anti-Semitism. What a stitch-up – I am nearly 70 years old and cannot bear to be associated with the leadership any longer – I will not renew my membership and will now vote Green.

  • Brian Burden says:

    To Jenny Mahimbo: Ah, but Starmer would say the motion was chock full of “tropes” – a handy and suitably meaningless word to justify a bullying bigot’s actions against comrades who disagree with him. I imagine Stalin had his own “tropes” equivalent to deploy against loyal but dissenting party members!

  • Anthony Baldwin says:

    It seems incredible that we have had the leading lights of the Labour Party constantly claiming that one anti-semite in the Party is one too many and re-emphasising this point by claiming that any action by members which makes our Jewish Comrades feel uneasy and unwelcome is itself anti-semitic.
    Why does this only apply to those members who are fully paid up members of the JLM and other Jewish bodies whose members aren’t even members of the Labour Party and not equally to the Jewish members of JVL? Is the sense of being unwelcome of one group more important than the sense of being persecuted by those with a different political belief. This is especially pertinent when the Zionists have actually engineered a situation whereby they are always innocent and their offences against everyone who opposes their political stance can be smeared, suspended and even thrown out of the Party.
    I would love Starmer to explain this case of Zionist exceptionalism so that we can all be clear why some anti-Zionist Jews can lose their Jewishness so as to absolve him, Evans and the members of LFI of being anti-semitic when persecuting them for their beliefs.

  • Diamond Versi says:

    I believe Sir Kier Starmer has a Jewish wife and so may be the motion is construed as antisemitic by association. That is obviously ridiculous!

  • Jimmy Cooper says:

    It appears that Starmer and Evans are a blunt instrument, who`s role is to throw an ideological grenade into the Party and ultimately leave a hollow shell. These quasi-Stalinist tactics cannot continue indefinitely.

    His hiring of an Israeli spy and grandstanding his support for zionism has opened the door to the likes of Izzy Lenga [who volunteered and trained with the Israeli Army] and an Officer in the Jewish Labour Movement – who is campaigning as a right wing candidate in the Labour Party election for the National Womens Committee! She actually has a photograph of herself in Israeli Army fatigues and an Israeli flag on her twitter feed!

    Starmer`s wrapping himself in the Union Flag stinks of populism and an appeal to the narrative of racism and Nationalism.The fight must continue. Nothing that Starmer and his apparatchiks do, to attempt the silencing of dissenting voices, should be a surprise to any of us.

    We can take strength from Rosa Luxemburg who said “Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.” Freedom is never granted, only fought for. Solidarity.

  • Margaret West says:

    Starmer’s behaviour is completely counter-productive .. it
    reminds me of story line in an old film where a bullying and incompetent manager completely alienates his staff and in doing so almost brings about the ruination of the Company he is running.

    We can only hope he does not ruin the Labour Party before he is stopped – but who is there to stop him? Us I suppose – for I am determined not to leave and have put a small contribution into one of the crowd funding appeals for Justice.

  • Doug says:

    Are vexatious claims of anti semitism hate crimes
    Can they be prosecuted

Comments are now closed.