The Morning Star has a problem: its political masters of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) have stated that they advocate a Labour vote in every constituency – “including Derby North, despite the outrageous suspension of excellent sitting MP Chris Williamson”, to quote the CPB’s London district secretary Steve Johnson.
So what to do about the “excellent” comrade Williamson? After all, he’s an avid Brexiteer, sees complaints of antisemitism as all a plot by the Jewish Labour Movement, the Israeli embassy and the “Zionists”, supports Assad, and loves conspiracy theorists like Vanessa Beeley. All entirely in line with the politics of the CPB and Morning Star.
To square the circle of calling for a Labour vote everywhere and effectively supporting Williamson, the Morning Star gave him the best part of a page (9-10 Nov) in which to set out his stall. Under the heading “I resigned from Labour to spend more time fighting for socialism”, Williamson claims to be “the most Corbyn-friendly candidate in the country” before going on to call for the Labour party to “stand aside in Derby North and allow its members to campaign for me.”
Is this man serious? He’s really demanding that the Labour Party should stand aside just for him? It would appear so: he says “Imposing a new candidate at this stage is unfair on CLP members and constituents alike.”
But this isn’t a case of overweening arrogance verging upon delusions of grandeur, you see: “If the party fields a candidate against me, it could split the left vote and potentially thrust a Conservative on the people of Derby North. This would be disastrous for our fight against austerity and our bid to transform the country.” One can only assume that the “our” in that last sentence refers to the Labour Party in alliance with the fearless socialist fighter and charismatic Man of Principle Chris Williamson.
And Fearless Comrade Williamson has some advice for Labour members outside Derby North: “This [i.e. “my”] fearlessness is what the Labour Party lacks today. As we head towards the election, it is essential that socialists know what they’re fighting against. I encourage Labour Party members to stay in the party and fight for its soul, but you should not be under the illusion that it is a socialist party – yet.”
The Fearless Comrade then identifies the “two crucial barriers to socialism in the Labour Party: a lack of internal democracy and the threat of social imperialism.”
Yes, you read that right: “social imperialism”, the phrase that these days is used only by Maoists about the old Soviet Union (although Albanian leader Enver Hoxha went on to use the expression to condemn Mao’s Three Worlds Theory).
The Fearless Comrade explains: “”Contrary to Jeremy’s wishes, if Labour wins this election, it would aim to be socialist in words and deeds at home but imperialist in words and deeds abroad.”
And who are the carriers of this social imperialist virus? The Fearless Comrade has identified some important “power blocs” – “some union officials and MPs”, and ...
“Momentum, too, has been a barrier to building an anti-imperialist, socialist movement. At the same time as organising activists, it is busily engaged in targeting younger members with the inflammatory message that zionism and anti-zionism are morally equivalent. It deploys divisive and emotional arguments to suggest that zionism (an ideology that many Jewish socialists in our movement have honourably fought against) is essential to Jewish identity. In doing so, it is replicating a tactic used to crush the pro-Palestinian movement in Germany and criminalise Palestinian activism in France.”
But all is not lost in the battle against social imperialism and Zionism: the Fearless Anti-Zionist Comrade has “every confidence we can win this election”, but “we must do it as an outward-looking movement that takes inspiration from the success of socialist movements around the world. Onwards!”
The Fearless Anti-Zionist Comrade doesn’t, however, mention an interesting fact: if an MP stands down or retires, they lose their redundancy pay. But if they stand again, even as an independent, and lose, they will receive a big pay-off.
Well above the statutory minimum. Onwards!