Antisemitism? A letter to Luciana

20 Feb


A Facebook friend posted a link to this open letter to Luciana Berger, one of the seven (now eight and set to rise) MPs leaving the Labour Party this week. It’s from Shaun Lawson, a Jewish supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, and appeared yesterday in Dorset Eye:

Hello Luciana. You have my absolute solidarity and support re: the disgusting abuse you have received and documented. It’s vile and unconscionable. Beyond that, however, here’s what I think.

I don’t think you joined Labour to change the world or achieve real social justice. I think you joined Labour because of personal ambition. That’s borne out by your being parachuted into a safe seat regarding which, at the time, you knew nothing.

It’s also borne out by your extraordinarily weak record on challenging the Israeli government on more or less anything; and your desire to ignore the very real problems with several of the IHRA examples, and misrepresent Labour’s code of conduct.

In 2015, through Corbyn’s election, Labour changed. Suddenly, it was no longer a party in which you and your fellow ‘centrists’, like Chuka, could expect to one day lead. You’ve had no idea what to do with yourself since – other than oppose Corbyn and try to get rid of him.

A fairly remarkable position, given the enormous amount of funds, members and energy which Corbyn has brought to the Labour movement: which was bankrupt, broken and without a clue before he was elected. Indeed, that’s a large part of WHY he was elected.

Right now, the UK has its worst government in living memory – maybe, ever. This government is doing unspeakable things on a daily basis to the most vulnerable people. Socialists fight for those people and stand up to such a government. You prefer smearing Corbyn instead.

In that regard, the Tories must love you. I highly doubt most of your constituents do, though. If you feel unwelcome, I’d suggest it’s because you’ve done little other than undermine the leader and the movement he’s delivered at each and every turn. Helping the Tories, not Labour.

I write, incidentally, as a Jew and grandson of a Holocaust survivor. I know precisely where antisemitism can lead. Which is why I’m happy that Labour held an investigation, reported on it, then developed an excellent code of conduct. Which you chose to misrepresent.

In that, you’ve only done the same thing as many many others. But sadly, it means I doubt your integrity. I think you WANT to make this whole thing much bigger than it is; I think you’re only motivated by a desire to bring Corbyn down. That saddens me, greatly.

I wish you well because I wish all people well. But I, like many more British Jews than is commonly assumed or reported, stand with Corbyn who is not a racist, nor an anti-semite. And who actually wants to improve the lives of the British people. Shame on him for that, huh?

My FB pal who posted the link added that “I’d love to see or hear the BBC interviewing someone who spoke like this!”



Meanwhile, in a BTL response to a piece by Kit in yesterday’s Off Guardian, bevin says this:

This is just the beginning. These people are the least important. what they have in common is that they are all on the verge of being deselected. Their Constituencies have either rejected them or were close to doing so.

The next lot to go -and there will be several more – will try to take their local parties with them. For decades there have been local parties which are virtually closed to new members, local cliques with control over local government patronage and all manner of rackets-T Dan Smith type parties. In Wales they are called the Taffia, I believe.

Labour has to have a strategy to deal with this rolling assault on the media. Nothing could do the party more good, or win it more support than to see these discredited, corrupt semi tories leave.

In essence those involved in this auto-purge are enemies of the country, they want to give its sovereignty away to NATO and the EU, life will be very easy for MPs when all the big decisions are taken elsewhere and they can concentrate on the important matters, like bigger pensions, for MPs, security of tenure-fixed Parliaments, higher salaries, better expenses and a crack at even cushier billets in imperialist think tanks and – as any Kinnock can tell you – Brussels.

The Establishment in the UK including its Scottish sector has lost confidence in the idea of sovereignty. They see themselves as part of an imperialist caste committed to carry out policies determined in Washington/Wall Street. They regard the idea of British independence as ludicrous and anachronistic. This is what they learned at Oxbridge. All three UK parties and the SNP are of the same opinion, there are minimal differences between them. They are all agreed on Foreign Policy-follow the boss across the ocean, worship Israel – and they are all agreed on economic policy rich people will decide.

They see their roles as lobbyists for the powerless, begging that they be given the occasional dole and spared the more dramatic consequences of ‘losing.’ But their real work, the job at which they excel, is to hector the powerless, the exploited, the over taxed and the victims of monopoly and greed to the effect that theirs is an enviable lot, life is short, the providential market decides, there are always lotteries for the discontented, prostitution for the young and opportunities of every kind for the talented … in this best of all possible worlds.

It is no wonder that people are saying Tories and Liberals might join with them: the political world is changing. Look at France where Macron’s neo-fascist movement has replaced all that preceded it. The only thing that hasn’t changed is that the Bevanites, who became the Bennites have become the Corbynites. Against whom is now leveled the full hatred of the entire sub imperial establishment, a hatred strengthened by their jealousy of those daring to be honest and independent, daring not simply to pay lip service to the poor and blow kisses down to the crowd but to work for and with the people, shoulder to shoulder against their powerful enemies, the arbiters of power in society.

The best response to this split and the cracks to come is for Labour to pledge itself to join wholeheartedly the opposition to imperialism, for peace and for rationally planning to mitigate and reverse the threat of climate change and ecological collapse. These are not only necessary but popular policies.

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