Sunday 22 November 2020

Purging socialists



Below is a condensed version of Lynne Segal’s article in Red Pepper. She is a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North CLP and has known him for forty years. I too was a member of this CLP; joining when Jeremy became leader and resigning when he was ousted. My political loyalties have always been to support socialists and anti-racists rather than parties! So when the Labour Party had a leader who was both of these, I was eager to give whatever support I could. In the twenty years I have known Jeremy; helping me with neighbourhood problems, in support of our local hospital, when I was press officer at Stop the War Coalition and now, when we need to give Jeremy the solidarity he has always shown others, I can confirm Lynne’s sentiments. Here is a photo of Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to me when I was a patient at Barts Hospital.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to write about being a Jewish member of the Labour Party in Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency … We have had to watch a wholly false invention of charges of antisemitism against our MP, with our own views as Jewish members completely ignored … I am devastated that this process has climaxed in the suspension of our cherished MP, and former leader … What we can confirm is that as Jews in North Islington we have always felt more than safe, more than welcome, unfailingly supported, in everything we do in the borough, and the Party … I have known Jeremy Corbyn since helping to get him selected, then elected, almost 40 years ago. However, battles to discredit Corbyn as antisemitic began only after his quite unexpected victory as leader of the party … Methods first used by Corbyn’s opponents were the routine ways of attacking the radical Left, as ‘unrealistic’, ‘unpatriotic’, and so on ... It was only in the last few years, under Corbyn, that continuing investigations into antisemitism began in the LP ... clearly tied in with Corbyn’s support for Palestinian rights ... Over the years, Corbyn has had mutually supportive relations with the practising Jewish community in Islington, attending Shabbat dinners with the orthodox Chabad Rabbi, Mendy Korer, and attending numerous other official Jewish events in North London … Unlike most of his critics in Westminster, Corbyn unfailingly turned up to vote for motions addressing antisemitism in Parliament, just as he worked tirelessly against racism on every front …" (Lynne Segal)