LABOUR PARTY supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have a responsibility to vote in a disciplined way in the ongoing national executive committee (NEC) election for the JC9 candidates.
Comrades may have misgivings about how the group came about or about individuals on it, but the fact is that splintering that list plays into the hands of Corbyn’s opponents.
This reality renders all the more surprising the decision by the Momentum national co-ordinating committee not to support Pete Willsman, a lifelong campaigner for party democracy.
Aside from the consideration that transforming the JC9 into JC8 could weaken the Corbyn-backing left on the NEC, there is widespread and well-justified disquiet over how this decision was taken.
Neither Welsh Labour Grassroots nor Scottish Labour’s Campaign for Socialism, which predate Momentum’s establishment and provide a political home for its supporters in these countries, was consulted.
Nor did this divisive decision win the approval of Corbyn himself.
Failure of democratic consultation isn’t the only problem. Political misjudgement lies at the heart of this wrong decision.
Anyone listening to the brief recording of Willsman’s contribution to the latest NEC meeting would have detected anger and frustration in reaction to wild claims that Corbyn’s Labour poses an existential threat to Britain’s Jews and that there is an inexhaustible well of evidence of serious incidences of anti-semitism in Labour.
There was certainly no anti-semitic prejudice in what Willsman said, yet a small group of people is effectively tarring him with this brush.
Momentum NCG ought to have questioned how Willsman’s comments came to light and been guided by this awareness.
An NEC member recorded proceedings and then approached the anti-Labour media, which lined up the usual suspects to underline how shocked, appalled, disgusted they were and to urge Corbyn to accept the false anti-semitism charges and fall in line with the usual demands to couch his opposition to prejudice in pro-zionist terms.
This member’s disloyalty to the NEC and the wider party has passed virtually unremarked in the rush to condemn a Corbyn supporter.
Similarly, Louise Ellman’s declaration that she was “shocked” to find that Corbyn had attended the 2010 House of Commons event addressed by Holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer passed unchallenged by mass media reporters.
Didn’t they know it could have been no surprise since she was in attendance for the whole meeting, including its disruption by Zionist Federation hooligans.
These latest instalments in the campaign to smear Corbyn and Labour as anti-semitic have persuaded some anti-Corbyn elements who ducked below the parapet after last year’s encouraging general election fightback to raise their heads again.
Stephen Kinnock’s reference to “a full-blown crisis for our party” mirrors BBC correspondents’ comments that the Labour anti-semitism controversy “shows no signs of going away.”
Both he and they have a vested interest in making damn sure the fires of controversy are stoked continually to ensure the party is paralysed by crisis.
Labour is under unprecedented attack for having elected a socialist leader for the first time in decades and powerful interests are ranged against it.
Imagine how the entire Establishment will react when a general election votes to send Corbyn to Number 10 and what would happen if flaky elements bail out at the first broadside.
Labour can only prevail if the left is united. That means not throwing Willsman under a bus or retaliating by reciprocating to Jon Lansman.
Every left vote in the NEC election should be cast for the JC9 in their entirety.
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