Thursday, 19 April 2018

Its Time For The Blair-rights To Put Up Or Shut Up

Yet again we have seen the Blair-right make scandalous accusations against the Labour Party, against supporters of Momentum, and against Marxists within the Labour.  They have done so under cover of parliamentary privilege, which prevents them from being sued for their unsubstantiated accusations.

If any member of the Labour Party is subject to racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic or any other kind of abuse they deserve our full support and sympathy, and our best endeavours to find the culprit responsible for the abuse, and for action to be taken against them.  But, it really will not do for members of the Blair-right to simply throw out accusations that every such instance of abuse is the action of some Labour Party member, supporter of Momentum, or Marxist.  That kind of blanket, unsubstantiated blaming of a group of people is, in reality, not different than the mentality that lies behind anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry.

The speeches given by Luciana Berger, Ruth Smeeth and others in Parliament were very moving, but also illustrated the point.  The correct approach to instances of abuse was illustrated by Luciana Berger, who reported that 4 people who had been tracked down by the police, for having abused her online had been charged.  Three of them had been convicted.  But, none of these three convicted people were members of the Labour Party, Momentum, or were Marxists.  On the contrary, all of them were members of far right groups.

If the Blair-rights truly are interested in stamping out abuse of all kinds then rather than throwing out scatter-gun accusations without any substantiation against certain members of the Labour Party, which has all of the hallmarks of anti-Marxist bigotry, they would be joining with all members of the Labour Party, including all those on the Left, and particularly the Marxists, who have a proud history going back more than a century in opposing all forms of bigotry, to track down the real culprits, and to deal with them.

Simply, saying that some twitter troll used this or that hashtag, or made a comment in this or that Facebook group, simply is not good enough, because the Blair-rights must know that anyone can assign to themselves whatever identity they like on the Interweb, and that is what trolls do all the time.  Those of us who have received abuse and hatred from trolls know that they can present themselves as a supporter of the BNP one day, and as a supporter of the SWP tomorrow, and a libertarian the day after that.  Just because a few trolls, or one troll using several sock puppets posts a series of hate filled comments in a Facebook group, or some other forum, does not give the Blair-rights the right to paint everyone in that forum as being tolerant of, or in some way in agreement with those comments, any more than someone who comments in the Daily Mail, can be made responsible for the racist, xenophobic and generally bigoted views which appear there.

The Blair-rights might get away with such lazy methods of arguing amongst some older members of the public unfamiliar with the way social media works, and the way trolls operate, throwing out abuse of all sorts simply to provoke flame wars for their own entertainment, but they cannot get away with it, with younger people, which is why, like the Tories, they are seeing their support amongst the young and middle aged disappear into thin air, and which is why they are so desperate to throw out any old muck in the hope it will stick.  It is why we see, as in Parliament in recent days that open alignment between the Blair-rights and the Tories, with Theresa May at the end of PMQ's openly acknowledging her debt to them, for getting her off the hook over the disgraceful treatment of the Windrush generation, by providing her with a useful diversion, in their attacks on Corbyn.

The truth is that nearly every case of a troll that has been tracked down and brought to court for online abuse, or for other actual threats have been found to be people who are socially inadequate, suffering from some form of psychological or personality disorder, or as in the case of Joe Cox's killer, or Luciana Berger's abusers, members of extreme right-wing groups.  As far as I am aware, there has been not one single case of someone from the Left of the Labour Party, not one single Marxist who has been brought into court charged with such abuse.  Yet listen to the combined voice of the Blair-rights and the Tories, and you would believe the very opposite to be the case.

And, indeed, we all know why the case of Ken Livingstone has taken so long to go through the Labour Party's internal disciplinary procedure.  It is that if Livingstone was expelled, he would undoubtedly take the case to court, and would undoubtedly get his expulsion overturned, because there would be no shortage of Jewish members of the Labour Party, like Walter Wolfgang, to speak in his defence, and no shortage of historians who would be able to testify in court that in terms of facts, what Livingstone actually said, was substantially true, which is that the Nazis did establish the Ha'avara Agreement with Zionists, which was intended to encourage Jews to move to Palestine.  Moreover, it is also true that there were other connections between important sections of Zionism and both the Nazis and Mussolini's fascistsThe Stern Gang also known as the Lehi Group, whose leading members included Israeli prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, sought to ally with the Nazis against Britain, because thy felt the former were a lesser evil compared to the latter.

The Lehi Group's members were commemorated in 1980, by the Israeli government with the introduction of the Lehi Ribbon.  The Stern Gang committed declared that it would establish a Jewish state based upon "nationalist and totalitarian principles".

So, its no wonder that socialist Jews, such as those of the Jewish Voice for Labour, or Jewdas do not want to be associated with those sentiments that are entrenched within the ideology of Zionism.  Yet for the Blair-rights, such opposition makes these socialist Jews the wrong kind of Jews, Jews who as in the case of Moshe Machover, or Tony Greenstein, it is quite right to expel from the party for expressing their opposition to Zionism, and with whom Jeremy Corbyn should not have links, or break bread.

Real opposition to anti-Semitism involves tracking down those who are actually guilty of it, and bringing them to account, it does not involve simply using it as a weapon to attack anybody in the party, without substantiation, simply because you disagree with their views, but find yourself on the losing side of the argument.  No serious person would want the police to just pick up the usual suspects in the case of a murder, rather than seeking out the actual murderer.  Nor should anyone serious about tackling anti-Semitism or other forms of bigotry be happy with certain sections of the Labour Party simply throwing out unsubstantiated allegations against other members of the party, simply for their own short term political advantage, when they find themselves on the losing side of debates and votes within the party.  The Blair-rights are simply using anti-Semitism as a weapon with which to attack Jeremy Corbyn, and his supporters within the party, and in doing so they are doing our Jewish brothers and sisters inside and outside the party a great disservice.  They are treating them merely as pawns in their own political games to hold on to their own cushy positions now they are under threat from democracy.  They are undermining the real struggle against anti-Semitism, by letting the real ant-Semites off the hook, not least all of those anti-Semites and other racists and xenophobes in the Tory Party, with whom the Blair-rights now seem to be in open alliance in parliament!

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