Analysis comment

All 4 leadership candidates agree to disempower Labour members

Concession at councillor hustings weakens member influence over party matters

On Saturday, Labour leadership hopefuls appeared at a hustings in front of assembled Labour councillors – a group still dominated by the right of the party, many of whom are determined to get back the influence and status they rightly lost as the party’s members dragged it back to its roots.

The councillors’ response was a demonstration of the arrogance and entitlement that led to their lack of support among members – and one that included some shameful abuse toward Rebecca Long-Bailey.

But all four candidates failed the wider membership. When the arrogant right-wing councillors demanded greater representation on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) – a move first proposed by Keir Starmer, who was represented on Saturday by Jim McMahon because of a bereavement – every candidate caved in.

An increase in the number of councillors, who already wield disproportionate influence at a local level, would dilute the power of member representatives on the NEC – and gift the Labour right a level of influence its numbers do not merit.

It was a colossal failure of leadership.

By conceding, every one of those hoping to lead the party agreed to disempower and disenfranchise Labour’s almost 600,000 members in favour of a few thousand self-entitled officials who have not enjoyed the loss of prestige that the behaviour of many of them, over years and on Saturday, has deserved.

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49 comments

  1. I watched a leading local councillor in action at a CLP meeting recently. She was there chairing a troika of the head of the Progress faction and a local Labour list councillor. From the onset it was to denigrate Corbyn, the vast majority of members plus all the other supporters of the democratic socialist Labour Party. It was a loaded right wing meeting which was setting out who they wanted as Leader and why. RLB never came into the frame but Starmer did, no surprise there, with what their expectations are from him. Primarily, it’s to recapture the party in its entirety which means no dissenting opinions will be allowed. Just like in Blair’s era. The buzz word was unity but off course it meant coercion and the suppression of anything that smacks of socialism.

  2. Fuck Labour and all who sail in it. It’s finished. Too many in it for their own betterment. They deserve to be permanently in opposition.

    Green party here I come.

    1. I understand your frustration and feelings of outrage.

      Labour may deserve to be in permanent opposition, but the people being victimised and demonised by the Tory government don’t deserve it.

      To the best of my knowledge the Greens are still a neoliberal supporting party, so no lasting social and economic change will come from them any time soon.

      I’m not sure what the answer is.

      1. The Greens could be a perfect Trojan Horse in the same way that Extinction Rebellion has been used to attract dumb middle class voters with a superficial knowledge of climate change and less of economics and then use it as a means to attack western capitalist society. Aidey Aitchdee knows exactly what they are about.

      2. Once this leadership election is done, there will be no non-neoliberal option. The Greens may be a least-worst option. You won’t get systemic change from representative democracy anyway.

      3. “…. dumb middle class voters with a superficial knowledge of climate change…”

        Care to elaborate Plain Citizen?

        Now where have I come across such rhetoric and abuse before? Oh, right, in the Sun and the Daily Mail and Daily Express!

      4. The Green Party 2019 manifesto is of course available online, but here’s a BBC article I just found, given that more than a few posters on here are criticising it. The problem is that they are never going to win a GE or have more then one or two MPs in a First Past The Post system:

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50464641

      5. @Allan

        Plain Citizen is correct. ER is a false construction. As is Greta Thunberg. The evidence is out there.

        Sadly, the people are being duped.

        For example, what good is swopping a diesel lorry for an electric lorry when the problem is the lorry itself?

        It’s about the 4th industrial revolution. Will you be profiting from this? Or grafting to make someone else rich?

    2. The Green Party agrees with Blair,’the class war is over’. It is nothing but a bourgeois pretence @ politics to give politicians reasons to tax you for your own good. In the Green Party, Socialism is a dirty word.

    3. I’ve read down here, and I perhaps should report that I’m really f*****d off.
      What the UK needs is a party that supports the 2019 manifesto and working-class engagement.
      Maybe we need a new party (contravening everything I have ever believed).
      The Corbyn Party?
      TCP (For those who remember….”TCP and you gargle everyday until the Blairites/C**s/Fascists go away!)

      The Labour party has been infiltrated by the establishment since its inception (Fu*t me, I’m even using the vocabulary of the enemy to explain my point!)

      Perhaps even the grassroots needs a wake-up call.

    4. The Greens are no better. They showed their true colours with the referendum.

      It’s clear the election was stolen via postal votes. The options available are limited for us, but politics is a dead end, for junkies like us addicted to Hopium

  3. Re treatment of RLB: I think heckling and challenging has always been part of a hustings and usually a good deal of back and forth between candidate and members is a good thing. Personal abuse is wholly different. Why a competent unbiased chair of the meeting would permit it is unknown but plainly a disgrace and a derogation of their duties.

  4. All I hear is outrage and I am outraged too. Leaving Labour for the Greens isn’t the answer but rather to plan and organise to regain the Labour Party for the majority.
    Hence, made them pay by no participating in their elections, selections or whatever the Party establishment want to call it.
    Just last week Jo Bird and Mo Azam were suspended and promptly CLPD found two new candidates to replace them. I am not going to vote for any candidate put forward left or right.
    If anything I will encourage any other candidate standing to show solidarity towards Jo and Mo and refuse to stand.
    Let’s allow Joanna Baxter and Gurinder Singh Josan to “win”. Their isn’t victory when nobody is standing against you. All of the NEC’s position are going to be opened again for the election of 9 CLP’s reps during the summer.
    Let us just boycott this one is only two positions and let’s keep it in the news. Let us see how Starmer and Nandy like it.
    Let us allow Starmer or Nandy to win the leadership too but let’s treat them in the same way that they treated Corbyn. Let them regret sabotaging a good man. Let’s see if either of the two last four years or they give up.

    1. Gorria said:

      ‘Let us just boycott this one is only two positions and let’s keep it in the news. Let us see how Starmer and Nandy like it.
      Let us allow Starmer or Nandy to win the leadership too but let’s treat them in the same way that they treated Corbyn.’

      And just how precisely do you keep it in the news? And what do you have in mind regards treating them the same way they treated Jeremy?

      So if I understand you correctly, you want everyone on the left to boycott the leadership and deputy leadership elections so that THEY win, and DO so so as to teach them a lesson. Is that right?

      Yerse, makes a lorra sense!

  5. As a parting aside I will leave you with this analogy: There are four people in a lifeboat at sea; land has been spotted by the helmsman so they all take up an oar and start rowing. Unfortunately they are all rowing from different sides of the boat and instead of going towards the land they are going around in a circle. The helmsman tries to organise them into rowing in the direction of the land but the rest of them are so engrossed with their own methods of pulling on their oars that they get fed up with the helmsman’s honest attempts at directions and throw him overboard.
    As far as I know they are still 5 miles out at sea spinning around in a circle.

  6. Blairism on steroids!

    Labour should entirely eliminate those sections of the NEC in which an elite elects an elite (councillors, PLP, Shad Cab), a horrible innovation of the Blair era which Corbyn should have abolished.

    To be democratic, every NEC section should be elected by rank and file affiliated and individual members.

  7. I wonder if this is another reason Williamson was victimized and hounded out of the party… he was very active pushing to democratize the party rather than put members back in their box.

  8. Being an ex Labour councillor I can only say that I left the council whilst Blair was in charge and feel sad that the old dinosaurs are still dancing to the same old worn out tune….muppets and puppets.

    1. Oh that’s interesting Joseph, where were you a councillor – ie which council?

      1. Keep digging sunshine 🌞its all out their,historic win never held by Labour before.Help from phone ☎ banking TGWU and the US Teamsters union.and of course the weekley soap box in the town centre….not forgetting the tame reporters I cultivated which you are so terrified of…..other than that NO Comment!

  9. For all you having a pop at the greens, you’d do well to bear in mind, there is no starmer, lansman, bliar, mandelson or jess media-whoring mouthpiece philips in the green party.

    If that’s NOT a bonus I don’t know what is.

    1. I was a member of the Green Party during the ‘wilderness years’ of Blair. I learned the party has nothing but contempt for the poor; the downtrodden aka the working class. Poverty & the causes of poverty are not their problem & have no regard for the consequences of using taxation to force the low paid to conform to their ideologies

      1. On poverty, the greens are archangels compared to the likes of rachel reeves, liam fking byrne and even shithouse starmer, all of who would gladly go for the things thatcher used to flick herself off about (but never dared implement) against the poor.

    2. The UK Green Party, like its many (more successful) counterparts in Europe is a very broad church indeed, with members varying from socialists to racist eugenicists, Malthusians, and certainly knee deep in bee in the bonnet nutters of various kinds. No different to Labour, the Lib Dems , SNP or Tories, then ! But for serious socialists looking for a new political home as the short-lived Corbyn insurgency fizzles out, it is important to note that , despite the odd bit of confused and contradictory ‘Left wing’ policy rhetoric, the Greens everywhere are not actually socialist in any shape or form. In fact, throughout Europe their uncompromising anti growth mindset, lacking any class analysis, or real policy-based concern for the fundamental structural power and wealth inequalities of capitalism, always ends up with them going into coalition with pro Austerity parties, and defending their support for cuts, which of course hurt the poorest much more than the rich, by hiding behind their smug middle class privileged excuse that Austerity is reducing output and pollution and ‘saving the planet’. Meanwhile the superrich continue to buy and consume their luxury yachts, personal executive jets, multiple homes, and consumption levels generally which obscenely dwarfs that of the rest of us !

      Green politics, totally lacking serious joined-up socialist politics , is a dead end which has always led Green Parties to collaborate with austerity – as the Green led council in Brighton did – with Caroline Lucas even organising scabbing via organised rubbish collecting by volunteers to undermine the dustbin collectors strike against the Green Council’s wage cutting demands ! Forget the middle class Greens – ‘neoliberals on bicycles’ in the main. Though no doubt as ‘Corbynism’ dies in the Labour Party loads of disillusioned middle class Labour members will waste their time moving over to the Greens – yet again in many cases – lots of Greens joined Labour after the 2015 Corbyn victory. .

      1. Further to my comment on Caroline Lucas’s scabbing on the Brighton binmen, The two-faced Caroline Lucas both expressed empty ‘support’ for the Brighton council bin men ( in dispute with her own Green Party-led Brighton Council – hiding behind a bogus ‘equal pay’ excuse to implement massive pay cuts ! ) AND organised a scabbing ‘community rubbish pick up day’ too ! A totally dodgy politician is Caroline Lucas. There is no doubts about the strike-undermining scabbing she personally organised – it was well documented at the time , https://libcom.org/news/caroline-lucas-green-scab-17062013

    3. Greens couldn’t give a rodents furry crack about you Toffee, or anyone else of our ilk.

      They are the millionaire middle class type. They want what the next rung above has (aspiration ensures they look down upon you). Bearded LibDems…

      It’s all a con. Political cul de sacs. I learned an expression this week. “The old army game” And that’s what is happening here.

      Cons conning Cons.

      It hurts me to say this, but it’s over. They won’t let this opportunity happen again.

      Good luck to you and yours

  10. Despite the increase in membership, where I live less than 5% attend clp meetings from approx 2000. Meanwhile the rt bolster their position through bureaucratic methods, same as they’ve always done. Yes, depressing, but surely we didn’t think they’d all just disappear so that the LP could be democratised?
    The social democratic parties across Europe have become a joke for ordinary working people, as even if and when elected, they betray most promises, generally, The LP currently is incapable of challenging for power; and less so given the line up of luvvies competing for job of head honcho; a green light for the fascists I think.
    We don’t use the opportunity we have to educate people through good leaflets, instead we have ‘Andrex leaflets’, written by unaccountable personnel. Instead of leaflets explaining basic economics and how to improve society, we advertise dog pooh patrols by Councillors; leaflets devoid of politics.
    ‘They’ don’t appear to have any desire to lead a movement where they might actually have to be different from the Lib Dems. Generous allowances seem to be the motivation for many of them, plus having their images in the media at every given opportunity. Ker-ching. No concern apparently of the crisis facing millions of working people through poverty, and how it could be alleviated.
    If the rt close everything down rather than lose control, as they have done many times in the past, then those of us who value democracy and socialist policies, not unreasonable as they’re the values given to us ‘in the brochure’ (LP rules and constitution) have a collective decision to make.
    New, more electable organisations have been built all over Europe as the traditional party’s of working people have lost support. Fascist organisations are also growing all over Europe, If, we decide, and I mean a collective ‘we’, that the LP is indeed a rotting corpse not worth fighting for, then maybe we need to be discussing an alternative.

  11. Rebecca will not carry this trough. She has just stated her Open Selection Policy and her intention to democratise the Party. Articles like this demoralise. Vote for Beccy!!!

  12. Are those councillors only in their roles because of the support the membership have been giving them? Maybe the membership might decide to go on strike to relay an important message: nothing about us without us, and you are not entitled to call the shots. Our Party is member led, and we demand full participation. We will defend the progress made with JC as our leader.

    1. Sabine, you say “Are those councillors only in their roles because of the support the membership have been giving them?” The answer has to be “yes” as all councillors are subject (and have been as long as I have lived) to open selection before every election (and do so with no complaint or a call for local “trigger ballot” thresholds”). On that basis there is not a single Labour Councillor around who has not been subject to the potential discipline of formal challenge under the rule book within the last 3 years. It is also worth pointing out that such recall and “churn” provides plenty of avenues for people wanting to put their political ideas in place for their local wards and communities – but avenues that alas are not contested to the extent they could be.

      1. ” all councillors are subject (and have been as long as I have lived) to open selection before every election (and do so with no complaint or a call for local “trigger ballot” thresholds”).”

        Precisely.

        So – given that this is no magic recipe, what is the next object for a self-pitying whine which ducks the question of the fact that piss-ups in breweries are better organised and more popular than a lot of the self-identifying ‘left’ would like to believe?

        ” ”Snot fair!” isn’t a political programme.

    2. Sabine, if you are a member, check out how councillors are selected to stand in the local council wards.

      There will be a body called the Local Campaign Forum (LCF). This is comprised of the current Labour councillors and other members. Some of the non councillors have ambitions to be councillors. Don’t be too surprised if the other members are the councillors’ family and friends, because they usually are.

      This body goes through the charade of assessing councillors suitability for a position on the list of prospective councillors. Basically, they assess each other. New prospective councillors can be assessed at this point also, but don’t expect that they will be given a winnable ward. This is, especially true, if they are of the left. Winnable wards are for current councillors, their family and friends.

      Once elected to the position of councillors, they will meet to decide who will be the council leader. As the council leader’s family and friends will have been re-elected, they re-elect the previous leader, to be the new leader. As leader he/she will then hand out the (mostly paid) positions on the council as chairs and vice chairs (and where appropriate, to outside bodies that has council representation) This group of self appointees, then comprises the council cabinet or executive. The executive or cabinet, are the body that make the decisions.

      From here on, most councillors need do nothing more than allow the council officers to carry out Government legislation, which for the last 40 years at least, has been to make cuts to services. The council executive will meet to rubber stamp the officers recommendations. Although there is a provision, to allow other councillors to object to these decisions, after the minutes are published. This hardly ever happens. Some full council meetings are held to debate whether to endorse contentious issues like support of the Orgreave miners or other such campaigns. Worthy as they are is this really the priority for Labour councils?

      Hence there is a veneer of democratic accountability.

      From my experience this is typical of councils in Labour strongholds. Ordinary members cannot cut through this, because the only body that could intervene to stop the blatant corruption of nepotism and cronyism is the Labour the Regional Office.

      And they are staffed with the right wing Blairites.

      1. Too true, Nemtona. Also, most Councils, Labour -run ones, and all the others, are nowadays run on a ‘cabinet structure’ basis – which means that a tiny claque of insider top councillors run everything, and the rest of the councillors sit on totally powerless ‘scrutiny committees’ which actually fail to hold the tiny group of well-paid Cabinet members to account at all. The shift to this ‘Cabinet structure’ (loved by New Labour) over the last twenty years has totally destroyed any remaining element of genuine internal democracy in local councils – and of course massively raised the opportunities for corrupt dealings by those Cabinet members with key responsibilities like Planning and external contracting, to operate without effective oversight. Just read Private Eyes ‘Rotten Boroughs’ page every fortnight to see the scale of the corruption by councillors of all parties that goes on ! And people wonder why Labour Councillors want things to go on just as they always have, and feared the honesty of a Jeremy Corbyn socialist Leader !

        I worked at senior levels in local government across the UK for over 20 years, and I can assure you those Private Eye exposes are just the tip of a festering iceberg.

      2. I am unsure where to start in terms of tihs farrago of nonsense. No matter, lets try 1 “There will be a body called the Local Campaign Forum (LCF). This is comprised of the current Labour councillors and other members” Wrong, All serving councillors are strictly limited by number on a LCF. 2 ” This body goes through the charade of assessing councillors suitability for a position on the list of prospective councillors.” Wrong. Simple good practise requires LCFs to bring in party non-interested members from other council areas to act as assessors. (worth also pointing out that rejected panel members can appeal that rejection before the local regional party board – I have acted as a “members friend” in that setting. 3 “New prospective councillors can be assessed at this point also, but don’t expect that they will be given a winnable ward. ” Wrong. No-one can be “given” a ward They have to win a selection, and anyone wanting to contest a winnable ward needs to set their stall out. Plenty do win a candidature. I did on seperate occasions for one. 4 “As the council leader’s family and friends will have been re-elected, they re-elect the previous leader, to be the new leader.” Wrong. The shelf life of a leader is pretty short in most cases. Some do soldier on, but they work their group. Nothing wriong with that. 5 “As leader he/she (as leader) will then hand out the (mostly paid) positions on the council as chairs and vice chairs (and where appropriate, to outside bodies that has council representation)” Partly wrong. This can be done under rule if the council as a “strong leader” role written into its constituion, but any proper Labour group will not let this happen, insisting on election at all group agms (My council did this and still does)

      3. David Walsh. Nice try, that may work as you say in some councils, but in Labour strongholds its not the case.

        They are corrupt as Ronnie Campbell wrote just after the December route, the Tories organise and get to work. Labour councillors turn up and say when do I get my cheque.

        Then there is this.

        https://gopro.com/v/KRkPNGpmmlqbK

      4. “I worked at senior levels in local government across the UK for over 20 years,”

        So did I. On both sides of the fence. And your generalisations are nonsense.- redolent of sour grapes rather than a wide insight.

        I note that your point of reference is the public school boys’ Rag Mag, which, despite some good work, tends to be selective in its exposees, which you would recognize if you have knowledge of some of their reported incidents. You’ll note one particualr aspect of the Rag Mag’s reporting – they haven’t touched the antisemitism scam, aligning themselves essentially with the MSM.

        The idea that local government is inherently corrupt is far off the mark. Of course there are/were indeed some dodgy characters around, and some dodgy dealing, such as infects the whole spectrum of politics from local to national and from left to right.

        However : your comments about the scope to manipulate Planning decisions having no oversight or transparency are particularly ill-informed. It can happen, but it requires a lot of ducks to be lined up. Such decisions are not generally made by Cabinet.

        In actual experience, I can recall only one case of manipulation – and that was influence at a ministerial level after an application had been called in.

        *Much* more common were the false accusations of prejudice and interest by the usual suspects like yourself with an axe to grind.

      5. That tiresome Mandelson-funded, all-day-every-day, troll, RH, simply cannot actually have ever really worked in local government, accept perhaps as a school janitor, or he would know that his pathetic denials are demonstrably crap. There is a huge body of hard evidence, and criminal prosecutions, demonstrating the almost universal periodic and often systemic petty and major corruption in local government, in councils of all colours , which has been endemic for many generations.

        Who, for instance, still remembers the bribery-rich utter corruption of Newcastle council by its Labour Leader, T Dan Smith, over building contracts for immediate post WW2 reconstruction of bombed housing areas? It happened across the UK , with both Labour and Tory councils. Sneering emptily at the generally very accurate fortnightly ‘Rotten Borough’ reports (often based on criminal prosecution reports from the local press), of council corruption in Private Eye, just because the journalists are ‘posh’ is even more pathetic.

        The diversionary paid troll, RH, is simply trying here to protect the reputations of Mandelson and Blair’s Right Wing pals in their Labour Council fiefdoms. Understand the endemic Labour Right corruption at council level and you understand why the typical Labour councillor feared the uncorrupt leadership of Jeremy Corbyn – a man who simply wasn’t part of their cronyism infested game, and in government might have disrupted their local scams.

  13. The Labour Party is an antiquated bureaucratic nightmare. They prefer pencils and bits of paper to anything swift and dynamic. They swop crucial information with a 13 week delay before answering. The right wing love the arrangement which undoubtedly reduces membership to something the right wing can handle. It’s more like an Edwardian cycling Club where the drama is confined to internal meaningless elections. The Rules and Regulations are cherished by the members who use the arcane rules to ensure they remain in charge. It’s not a mass party seeking Government but a Club of people dedicated to talking about their own opinions. Most of them don’t really want the angst of Government, just the opportunity to whinge about those with the energy and will to obtain power. If 250,000 members left they’d be delighted. It’s very sad when you think what a Corbyn administration could have done for the country. This lot will happen end up begging some fruit cake like Austin to rejoin and stand for Leadership. Like many I’m close to having had my fill of an organisation that hasn’t shifted in 100 years.

  14. “All 4 Leadership Candidates agree to disempower Labour members”. No change there then.

  15. Sorry folks but even if all of the above is true it means SFA to anyone looking to win the forthcoming GE
    Uncle Festa will not last 4 years
    The neo liberal red Tory blue tory era is bankrupt, insolvent, skint,
    My favourite
    They dont have a pot to piss in
    Wheres the money coming from to pay off his new found friends in the North
    Has Uncle Festa taken the NHS off the table yet
    Methinks not

  16. The imbeciles who believed Farage and Johnson, disappointed and sullen in the ruins of brexit, will have to be dissuaded from clutching at the first ‘strong man’ with a catchy populist line in hindsight masquerading as foresight.
    I haven’t decided yet whether to stick around and fight, take the piss from the sidelines, buy a rifle or just pack up and head south.
    Truth is I’m bored with every last one of the ineffectual fence-straddling fuckwits standing for leadership – choosing the least unacceptable of those tossers is beyond depressing.

  17. Nemtona No idea how things are in leafty Cheshire but here in the NE we are, and will return to be, a stronghold. I would also suggest that issuing videos asking people not to vote for Labour candidates on a supposed Labour supporting site is a bit ric – but there we are, I suppose

    1. David Walsh – still totally delusional and smug about the supposed ‘Labour Stronghold’ of the NE – and doubly delusional that the old Labour ‘stronghold’ council areas aren’t utterly under the control of often corrupt, always very willing to implement Austerity for the Tories, as long as their allowances keep coming in, claque ridden and often multi-generational family nepotism-based , rotten borough Labour councillors.

      We’ll see if the May elections show the old Labour heartlands at council level are still ‘strongholds’ !

  18. Slightly off piste here but are you aware of this brave initiative from Labour members of Jewish Network for Palestine? Received this morning:

    You may by now have seen the superb letter written by Natalie Strecker (attached below) to Jennie Formby asking that she (Natalie) be referred to the Labour Party Compliance Unit for antisemitism. You can read a stirring preamble to her letter by Howard Cohen here:

    https://www.facebook.com/howard.cohen.505/posts/2595459713886174

    By taking this brave initiative, Natalie intends to force the Labour Party to confront the rules of the politically-destructive IHRA definition, which Jeremy Corbyn was pressured to adopt, and which contributed to his downfall in the recent elections.
    Two members of JNP’s Steering Group have written similar letter inspired by Natalie’s initiative and demanding to be put through the same unjust Labour Party process. We intend to give these letters the maximum publicity in every possible avenue on social and mainstream media. This will force the party to confront the madness of the situation – either they get rid of all of us, which we will then mock and use, or they review the whole bizarre process and change it for good.
    I doubt if the party, in its current iteration of self-destruction, has the ability to stand up to the bullies in the Zionist Lobby. It means the party is likely to expel us all, because it is easier to do that, than to confront the lies and propaganda. In that sense, this is no longer a struggle for the ‘soul of the party’; it is a struggle to establish the racist nature of the Zionist propaganda campaign in the wider context of Brexit Britain – a society where right wing, racist agenda are on the increase, and where support of ever more aggressive policies by Israel will be fully supported by a proto-fascist Tory government. This will be a long and painful political campaign of supporting Palestinian rights, and courageously calling out Israeli racism and brutality – knowing this will have some punitive reactions against us.
    JNP is not a party political organisation and we are aware that there are many other political parties that have adopted the sinister IHRA definition. JNP contacts who are in the Labour Party, are encouraged to use ‘Call A’ below to email Jennie Formby (jennie_formby@labour.org.uk) supporting the letters by Natalie, David and Haim and to add their own letters. If preferred, you can post a hard copy to; Jennie Formby, The Labour Party, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT.
    Equally, there are members of other parties suffering similar vicious campaigns of silencing and shaming when voicing support for Palestine and criticising Israeli atrocities.
    Les Levidow, another member of JNP’s Steering Group, is a member of the Green Party. He published an article denouncing the Green Party leadership for colluding with a racist pro-Israel agenda. His article helped to force the Green Party to clear Shahrar Ali of antisemitism accusations.
    A similar campaign for freedom of speech to criticise Israeli oppression of Palestinians has been going on within the LibDem Party and I understand the Conservative Party has also adopted the IHRA definition.
    Members of all other parties who have adopted the IHRA definition are encouraged to use ‘Call B’ below to demand their party abandon their blind adoption of the IHRA code forthwith.
    Call A:
    As members of the Labour Party, we support the letter sent by Natalie Strecker, Haim Bresheeth and David Cannon, attached. The Labour Party must stop the witch hunt against supporters of Palestinian rights, and allow its progressive members the right to criticise the militarised racist state; apartheid Israel. Its current position is tantamount to institutional racism and must be changed.
    Call B:
    We call upon every single political organisation which has misguidedly accepted the racist IHRA ‘definition’ to rescind its decision forthwith. The acceptance of this ‘definition’ is tantamount to making Israel the only state in the world which is beyond criticism, safe in its apartheid regime over more than six million Palestinians. This will not lead to a just peace, but will promote racism, injustice, forced expulsion, and possible genocide.
    I hope you all feel able to support one of the calls and encourage your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to do the same; it is time to say ENOUGH!
    David Cannon
    Chair of Jewish Network for Palestine.

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