Taking the lid off

Submitted by AWL on 13 April, 2020 - 9:46 Author: Patrick Murphy
Former Labour Party General Secretary Iain McNicol

Some issues emerge clearly from the leaked Labour Party report on its Governance and Legal Unit's handling of antisemitism and other issues.

1. The remnants of New Labour, entrenched in the party machine, hated any attempt, however modest, to move the party to the left. They were opposed to Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham as well as Corbyn. They were virulently hostile to even minimally left-wing policies.

2. They preferred a Tory government - even under Johnson and his hard Brexiteers - to a Labour victory under Corbyn. In a kind of "Third Period Blairism", this was a case of "After Boris our turn" (like the German Stalinists who said "After Hitler, our turn").

3. They put factional opposition to Corbyn ahead of dealing with the problem of antisemitism effectively. No matter of principle, even the one they claimed to champion most, was immune from their poisonous anti-socialism.

These people are amongst the most contemptible anywhere in politics, in any of the main parties. They believe in no principle higher than their own importance and wisdom. They dream of no goal more significant than their own careers. It is not a matter of factionalism to call them out. It’s a matter of simply observing their actions and drawing the only possible conclusions.

4. At the same time, I have seen people attempt to use the report to justify the claim that anti-semitism was never a problem and was just made up by these malevolent forces. Anyone trying to do that simply hasn’t read the report.

The executive summary says this: "This report thoroughly disproves any suggestion that antisemitism is not a problem in the Party, or that it is all a ‘smear’ or a ‘witch-hunt’. The report’s findings prove the scale of the problem, and could help end the denialism amongst parts of the Party membership which has further hurt Jewish members and the Jewish community."

5. Socialists must continue to organise in the party to demand democracy and accountability, combat the right and build a principle, effective left, including on antisemitism and the other issues raised in the report.

• We will publish more soon.

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