An open letter to Michael Foster
Dear Mr Foster,
I read with real astonishment your recent piece in the Daily Mail. Surely simply your choice of newspaper to put forth your argument undermines your premise straight away?
However, I digress because I want to challenge a few of the points you have tried to make. At first I thought to ignore the abuse and name calling, but as this forms such an important theme in your article I decided to include some of it. According to you, Jeremy and/or his supporters (ie: me too) are:
divisive, aggressive, holier-than-thou, hard-Left socialists, no moral compass, Sturm Abteilung (stormtroopers), arriviste followers, schoolboy, idealistic revolutionaries, bullies, arm-twisters, economically illiterate, extreme Left, divisive and blinkered, second-rate minds, bully boy, extreme political recidivists.
And that doesn’t include the veiled condescension and obvious contempt. If you are going to make statements such as “In the midst of this, something is rotten.” you need look no further than your own language.
Your complaint of being smeared a “Blairite conspirator” pales into insignificance when compared to the banner headline carried by the paper for which you’re writing which read: “Labour Must Kill Vampire Jezza” over a photo of Jeremy in a coffin, this in the week following the murder of Jo Cox.
While we’re here I would also like to address your attempt to use the word ‘conspiracy’ as an example of ‘left’ Labour’s anti-semitism:
“..‘conspiracy’ (the ancient racist rhetoric is that Jews don’t act alone, the malevolent Jew always conspires)”.
The Cambridge dictionary says it’s: “the activity of secretly planning with other people to do something bad or illegal”. I don’t know if your behavior has been illegal but in trying, along with the NEC, to deny the democratic choice of hundreds of thousands of Britons it was certainly bad. I couldn’t find any dictionary reference to conspiracy as anti-semitism, nor in the encyclopedia either but I take your point, we must all be on our guard against any real examples of racist behavior - against any group. As for your (tenuous at best) imaginings; they only serve to distract us from the problem. Your ‘crying wolf’ undermines the real fight against genuine examples of this social disease.
So, how about a little fact checking now?
Your paragraph: *1“It matters not whether you are Angela Eagle with a brick through a window, *2 Stella Creasy with a mob outside her constituency office, or *3 Labour general secretary Iain McNicol with a letter threatening court action unless he secured victory for Corbyn at an NEC vote.” plus *4“...Shami Chakrabarti, whose detailed report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was anything but independent.”
*1 Again? Even you must know the truth here, illustrated by your reluctance to use ‘constituency' window, instead just the vague reference to the failed lie. You appear to be knowingly perpetuating a falsehood.
*2 An anti-war demonstration ended at the CLP office. The police said "The demonstration followed a route from Queen's Road Mosque to Orford Road outside Labour HQ. There were no arrests and it was a peaceful demonstration". The right to protest is a fundamental part of a healthy democracy, your use of the word “mob” seems to be an attempt to prejudice the truth. This was a legal, peaceful demonstration.
*3 Solicitors acting for a union NEC member wrote to party general secretary Iain McNicol warning they would take "injunctive action" unless Mr Corbyn was on the ballot. Haven’t you just taken the NEC to court (and lost) on this topic? Case of double standards?
*4 “Shami Chakrabarti, the former director of Liberty and a lawyer with a well-deserved reputation for integrity, produced a thoughtful and important report on antisemitism and racism in the Labour party at the request of Jeremy Corbyn. It is highly regrettable that they are both now under attack because her inquiry did not find evidence to support allegations of rampant anti-semitism in the party.” Not my words but the words of 100+ British Jews published in the Guardian 9th August, who feel that their views are not represented by the chief Rabbi or the pro-Israel lobbyists of the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Then you make lots of accusations against Jeremy and his supporters with absolutely no attempt to provide any evidence - more ‘name calling’. Here’s a few examples:
“Corbyn and his leadership team have no respect for others and worse, no respect for the rule of law.” Really? This would concern me if true. Where is your evidence please?
“They clearly have no moral compass…” Now you’re confusing me. It was the strength of Jeremy’s ‘moral compass’, his unwavering commitment to a set of core values over decades, that drew me to him. I’ve heard enough from him to know that he is a dedicated, peaceful and honourable man who supports views and policies that I want to be represented and carried out.
“...inappropriate, democratically damaging and wrongful actions by the Corbynistas…” You don’t specify what you mean, let alone back up with any evidence, so not even worth a response.
And on and on and on..., just badly written drivel and baseless accusations. I can’t be bothered to go through it all it’s so bad.
Oh, for heaven’s sake man, you must be able to see it! YOU are the problem here. You and your cadre of ‘right wing’ (or Neoliberal / Blairite / RedTory - choose your epithet, they’re all deserved) Labour politicians and executives so desperately trying to deny the democratic process and hang on to ‘your’ power. YOU are the ones trying to halt the momentum (no pun intended) of the most significant political movement in the UK since Thatcher brought the neoliberals into the mainstream… and there’s the rub, Neo-liberalism, politics of the elite for the elite. Deregulation, devaluation of the workforce, minimise the government footprint. The rich get richer and the rest of us…? Well, we’ve seen it happening the past 30 years. But this extremist, elitist agenda runs on greed, it just doesn’t know when to stop until eventually the population recognise how disenfranchised and exploited they have become and react accordingly. Hence Siriza, Podemos, Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, Brexit etc...
Did you know that statistically the UK has greater inequality than in Victorian times? (Do you care?) Working people have to use food banks because wages are so low, corporations work hand in glove with government to create a society for their own benefit, yet we had no opposition worth its name to challenge a form of government that long ago forgot it is supposed to represent the people.
Well now we do. And that opposition is led by Jeremy Corbyn. And for the first time in nearly 30 years I feel I have some representation in parliament.
And you and yours better understand this; that I and hundreds of thousands of ordinary working people like me will fight you tooth and nail in support of Jeremy, and we will return Labour to its socialist roots, to the socialism I knew as a young man working in the Yorkshire steelworks that long ago fell to the neoliberal agenda. There’s 300,000 of us already, and we’re motivated, inspired, determined, and there’s a lot more coming...