Jeremy Corbyn’s ascendance to the leadership of the UK Labour Party in 2015 offered hope for a revival of the British left. With decades of experience and principled opposition to war and privatization under his belt, Corbyn was uniquely positioned to bring the Labour Party back from its neoliberal turn. But this was not to be—just five years later, Corbyn was ousted from the Labour Party and his supporters were purged. The political opposition to Corbyn was accompanied by a media villification campaign that conflated support for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism. Ultimately, the question of Labour’s support for Israeli Apartheid was successfully wielded to isolate and expel Corbyn and his supporters.
“The beast is slain,” Joe Glasman delighted – Corbyn has been “slaughtered.” He rejoiced that “we defeated him” in the election. “They tried to kill us,” he ranted, but “we won.” Glasman leads the “political investigations team” at the Campaign Against Antisemitism, or CAA – an influential anti-Palestinian lobby group. He made his comments in a bizarre video rant addressed to his team of supporters that he posted online during the holiday break.
A prominent Israel lobbyist in the UK has claimed credit for last month’s electoral defeat of the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn. “The beast is slain,” Joe Glasman delighted – Corbyn has been “slaughtered.” He rejoiced that “we defeated him” in the election. “They tried to kill us,” he ranted, but “we won.” Glasman leads the “political investigations team” at the Campaign Against Antisemitism, or CAA – an influential anti-Palestinian lobby group.
If criticism against state Zionism is sufficient to prove antisemitism, then many Jewish critics of the Israeli government are therefore antisemites. This is indeed the definition of antisemitism being used in a long-running smear campaign against the left-wing of the UK Labour Party and against Jeremy Corbyn. Any respect I once had for The Guardian really took a hit over the course of this campaign, and the articles below by Jessica Elgot and Peter Walker have nothing of substance to say at all. Louise Withers Green is quoted in the headline below: “In 30 years I’ll be very proud of myself.” Because she is so modest about her heroism now.
The anti-Corbyn coalition includes the Conservatives, the Blairite right-wing of Labour, and a crew of careerist journalists who are guardians of the “center.” Thus the collaboration of journalists at BBC and The Guardian. There is documentary proof (including videotaped conversations) of close links between Israeli embassy members and campaigners on the right-wing of Labour against “systematic antisemitism” among left-wing members of the Labour Party. Then the smear campaign is “objectively” reported as news. This includes dismissing Jewish socialists and anti-imperialists as deluded antisemites. Criticism of state Zionism is offered as proof of antisemitism. Case closed.
Brexit seems to be blowing up as a deadline nears for the British exit from the EU and before another crucial week for Prime Minister Theresa May that threatens her survival in office. There are reports that her ministers are organizing to remove her and predict she will be gone within ten days. Gina Miller of Lead Not Leave wrote,"Today’s truly epic march is testimony to the groundswell of public opinion turning against Brexit. A groundswell so great that it can no longer be ignored in a fully functioning democracy."
The British Parliament between Dec. 10 and Dec. 12 was host to dramatic scenes, not normally seen during the half-empty procedural debates that take most of its time. Jeers and laughs were plentiful, one Labour MP even picked up the parliamentary ‘mace’ (a royal staff), the most disrespectful act one can commit in Parliament, under archaic feudal laws, the House of Commons is not allowed to sit until the Mace is in its place. First, Theresa May had finally put together a Brexit deal that the EU was happy to accept. Despite most opposing it for different reasons, May was determined to push this through.
When Mio Tastas Viktorsson and I argued that the Left should revisit the Meidner Plan last year, we could have hardly expected that a strikingly similar policy would be adopted by British shadow chancellor John McDonnell and the Labour Party at this year’s conference. The Inclusive Ownership Funds (IOF) proposal — drawing its name and much of its inspiration from a recent report by researchers Matthew Lawrence, Andrew Pendleton, and Sara Mahmoud of the New Economics Foundation — calls for transferring 10 percent of the equity in all British firms with over 250 employees into worker-owned and -controlled funds over the next ten years. The funds would pay out annual dividends up to £500...
An open letter has slammed the Guardian for “wildly inaccurate coverage of Nicaragua.” It's the latest condemnation of a newspaper which positions itself as a champion of the left but is increasingly accused of attacking it. The letter, signed by some 28 activists, accused the paper of disproportionately reporting on the country’s embattled left-wing government, headed up by Daniel Ortega. The circulation of the Guardian, along with almost all British newspapers, has dramatically fallen in recent years. Critics suggest its reputation as a champion of the left has fallen with it.
By Naomi Klein for The Intercept - Naomi Klein: I’m Naomi Klein, reporting for The Intercept, and I’m here in London at the Houses of Parliament with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, three weeks after the Labour Party in an historic election won many, many more seats than anybody predicted – except for some of the people in this room, who saw it coming. And it’s just an enormous pleasure to be here with Jeremy and to talk about the importance of a forward-looking, bold agenda to do battle with the right. Hi, Jeremy. Jeremy Corbyn: Lovely to see you. NK: So, Jeremy Corbyn, it’s been extraordinary being in the U.K. this week, and seeing the political space that you have opened up, and the fact that now we’re seeing the Tories try to poach some of your policies and scramble to try to appeal to young people by talking about maybe getting rid of tuition fees. JC: Well, social justice isn’t copyrighted, but it’s a bigger picture than just the individual issues. NK: I want to talk about this extraordinary moment in which the project that really began under Thatcher in this country, and Reagan in the U.S. — the whole so-called consensus that never really was a consensus, the war on the collective, on the idea that we can do good things when we get together — is crumbling.
By Kenneth Surin for Counter Punch - To state the obvious: two weeks can be a long time in western electoral politics. The Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn has been gaining steadily in the opinion polls, despite a massive media campaign to undermine him, extending from the BBC and the supposedly “liberal” Guardian to the UK’s famously ghastly tabloids. When Theresa May called the election, Labour was 20 or more points behind the Conservatives, but this figure was down to as little as 5 points in some polls conducted before the Manchester bombing atrocity occurred. The policies put forward in Labour’s manifesto are popular (especially when they are not identified as Labour’s!), Corbyn has been an effective campaigner, but Labour has also been aided by a woefully inept Tory campaign. The Tory spin doctors and election strategists somehow convinced themselves that the largely untried Theresa May was their trump card, so much so that only her name (accompanied by the vacuous slogan “strong and stable”), and not her party affiliation, featured on their election propaganda. While the hunch behind this decision of the election strategists was probably the marketing of May as a Thatcher Mark II, she has been a disaster so far.