You Don’t Have To Be Black To Be Expelled – But It Helps

Marc Wadsworth and Jeremy Corbyn

JVL Introduction

As the crisis in the Labour party over accusations of antisemitism continues to rage, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s best efforts to accommodate his critics, there is a growing fury among many rank-and-file members about the manifestly different standards of behaviour to which diffferent people are being held.

In this post from his Jewish Dissident blogspot Jay Blackwood comments angrily on the differential treatment accorded to Margaret Hodge and Marc Wadsworth

You Don’t Have To Be Black To Be Expelled – But It Helps

Jay Blackwood, Jewish Dissdent
7 August 2018


Yesterday’s announcement that charges against Margaret Hodge were to be dropped, following her foul-mouthed outburst against Jeremy Corbyn, marks a watershed in the ongoing war between the Party’s leadership and the Israel lobby.

If the people behind that decision seriously thought, against all evidence and all common sense, that such appeasement would draw a line under the issue, they were quickly put right. Hodge immediately released a statement through her solicitor denying that she had apologised. It was a statement that reeked of arrogance. It was also a clear indication – as if any were needed, except by those unable to see the obvious – that the civil war in the Party will continue. Only Jeremy’s head on a platter will satisfy the Blairites and the Zionists.

One of the first victims of Corbyn’s policy of appeasement was Marc Wadsworth. He was suspended two years ago for an innocuous comment to Labour MP Ruth Smeeth – and his expulsion duly followed earlier this year at a kangaroo court hearing. Despite a long record of anti-racism and anti-fascism, and despite his instrumental role in organising for Labour in the BME community, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell didn’t lift a finger to help him. Instead Marc was hung out to dry, one of the first victims of our leadership’s refusal to confront the Zionists in the Parliamentary Party. As gutless as it was unprincipled, that decision – and countless other refusals to intervene in a series of egregious suspensions and expulsions – has now come back to haunt the Party leadership.

One wonders what the BME community makes of this double standard. It certainly looks to this Labour Party member as if there is one rule for the PLP – and in particular for its Blairite/Zionist wing – and another rule for the rest of us. One might even suggest that there is clear evidence of institutional racism in this double standard. But as the only form of racism Labour Party members are allowed to talk about nowadays is antisemitism, we’d better not broach that possibility…

In any case it looks as though the Zionists have all but won the battle. Short of a major counter-offensive at Conference next month, it looks like the foreign policy interests of the Israeli state have proven to be more important than this country’s desperate need for a change of government. Never mind the poor and disenfranchised. If any Labour leader dares to support the right of the Palestinians to decent treatment, no matter in how moderate a way, he will be taken down. It’s a lesson that won’t have been lost on those members of the PLP plotting to replace Corbyn.

Yesterday’s events furnish the final proof, if any were needed, that the Israel lobby is able to exercise an extraordinary degree of influence within our Party, and that they are able to do so with apparent impunity. One can rest assured that there will be no internal enquiry into the Labour Friends of Israel or the Jewish Labour Movement. Likewise there will be no investigation into the unholy lash-up between the core of the Zionist/Blairite wing of the PLP and their shills in the mainstream media.

On the other hand, we can be sure that the suspensions and expulsions of good socialists will continue – with the quiet collusion of our own wing of the Party. The leadership will ring its hands and announce that it has no power to intervene in disciplinary cases (despite Hodge proving otherwise). Momentum’s ruling circle will selectively approve of some expulsions, while remaining conveniently silent on others.

You won’t have to be Black – or a Jewish anti-Zionist – in order to be expelled in the coming months. But it will certainly help.

Comments (5)

  • John says:

    Jay Blackwood’s analysis is absolutely spot-on.
    The fact that Hodge has been allowed to get away with abusing our party leader and then let off the hook, while simultaneously rubbing the noses of hundreds of thousands of party members in the dirt of her sheer arrogance is appalling.
    These are sinister days for decent members of our party while the glory boys and girls swan around with their utterly undeserved attitude of superiority.
    Corbyn – it has to be said – is equally to blame for all this mess.
    He should have got these awful individuals out of our party long ago.

  • Paul Smith says:

    How is the campaign to support Marc Wadsworth going? What happened at the Unite conference?

  • Rick Hayward says:

    The blatant hypocrisy is a thing to behold. In my book, calling someone an ‘racist and anti-semite’ is parallel to calling someone a ‘Nazi’.

    Now – imagine the outcry if the boot had been on the other foot.

    .. and let’s have no doubt about the way in which the term ‘anti-semite’ has been weaponised as a means of brooking to contradiction over highly controversial issues.

    One of the most telling filmed incidents in Al Jazeera’s ‘The Lobby, occurred when a patently straightforward, non-prejudiced member of the Party approached the ‘Labour Friends of Israel’ stand at conference with the aim of discussing the ‘two state’ solution. She wasn’t in the least bit antagonistic, but as soon as her back was turned, it was muttered that she was an ‘anti-semite’ because she asked probing questions.

    … not quite as violent as Hodges outburst, but yet another example of this self-righteous hysteria (and that’s putting a charitable interpretation on it’

    … and, of course, the same series of documentaries showed the actual incident for which Marc Wadsworth was hung out to dry, and which shows the totally disproportionate nature of the charges against him.

    The main mistake that has been made is to apologize for unexceptional behaviour. It only feeds this manufactured hysteria.

  • Rick Hayward says:

    I’m coming back on this general thread, because a glance at today’s Guardian (that visitors to this site may sensibly have given up) shows the exaggeration that is being applied to the issue on a regular basis by this august journal (hollow laugh). Only the double standards and fakery aren’t funny.

    First of all, hold in mind that another headline of the day gives airtime to Margaret Hodge to claim that a purge of Corbyn critics is taking place. So … Marc Wadsworth is a member of Progress?

    But the main item is headed thus :

    “Leaked Labour papers reveal scale of challenge to tackle antisemitism”

    Wow! Hold the front page!

    Then look at the examples given to justify these headlines. The barrel being scraped probably has no bottom by now – given that (Shock! Horror!) Pete Willsman is again quoted as saying (Shock! Horror!) that ” he had “certainly never seen” antisemitism in the Labour party.”

    … which I guess puts a lot of us in the dock for simply stating our own observation.

    We then have an indictment of the ‘Palestine Live’ Facebook group. Now – I’ve not examined the utterances in this group – but I reckon that the wayward utterances on (anti) social media are hardly evidence of anything ‘endemic’ in the Labour Party.

    But then we get to (Shock! Horror!) the terrible specific examples of ‘antisemitic’ remarks (amounting to three) that the leaked NEC papers contain.

    These amount to the following :

    – The founder of the controversial Facebook group Palestine Live calling it a “badge of honour” to be investigated by the party

    – A member claiming the Israeli lobby had manufactured the party’s antisemitism crisis

    – A member suggesting Adolf Hitler’s policy on Zionism “might not be mutually exclusive with his later actions”

    Now, the last one is a bit hard to decode – but can actually be simply read as suggesting a continuum from the 1930s to the horrors of the holocaust in the 1940s in terms of Nazi policy.

    As to the other two – well – perhaps all that needs to be said is “… and this is unacceptable in a scale of remarks that includes Margaret Hodge’s vile insult to Corbyn?” and “Did you ever watch ‘The Lobby’ ?”

    Now … bets on whether the article will be (a) open for comment and (b) what comments will be censored if it is.

  • In response to Paul:
    I wasn’t aware that the issue was due to come up at Unite’s conference, though we have put a motion through my Unite branch. AFAIK Marc’s campaign is currently at the stage of legal action, and the best way to support him – aside from passing resolutions at LP meetings and union branches – is to publicise and if possible contribute to his crowd-funding page here:
    https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/justiceforantiracismcampaigner/

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