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Lucy Powell: What stronger argument for mandatory reselection could there be?

What a great team player Lucy Powell really is!

Despite being “100 per cent” on the side of hecklers who shouted “Corbyn out!” at an event last weekend, her mere presence showed that she was in support of the ‘mandatory reselection’ of MPs, a policy that Mr Corbyn’s supporters want imposed across the party.

Because you see, she was attending an event that purported to be a demonstration against anti-Semitism… organised by friends of far-right organisations including the English Defence League and the Football Lads’ Alliance.

That’s not a demonstration against racism – it’s a rally for it!

And Ms Powell was there, along with fellow Labour MP Louise Ellman (representing the Jewish Labour Movement, so we all know where that organisation now stands), and former Labour Home Office minister Beverley Hughes (now Baroness Hughes of Stretford, deputy mayor of Greater Manchester for policing and crime).

Also attending were Marie van der Zyl, current president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mervis.

All of the above clearly thought it was worth standing up with racists in order to attack a man who is not a racist.

How would you describe such people?

Tony Greenstein – another target of the accusers – knows exactly how he would describe them.

In his blog, he states: “This demonstration has nothing to do with anti-semitism and everything to do with supporting Israeli Apartheid. Those organising it stand full square behind a racist ‘Jewish’ supremacist state that bars Palestinians from hundreds of Jewish only communities.

“The EDL, formed by Tommy Robinson aka Steven Yaxley-Lennon, was an organisation of Islamaphobic and racist bigots which managed to combine support for Israel with Hitler salutes. Tommy Robinson himself is popular with Zionists these days and completed a tour of Israel with his Zionist fan Dr Brian.”

He said the organisers of Sunday’s demonstration, the North West Friends of Israel, were deeply involved with the EDL: “In its opposition to Palestine solidarity demonstrations outside the Israeli Kedem shop protest in Manchester in 2014, NWFOI worked with the EDL… As a report at the time observed: ‘NWFOI warmly welcome the English Defence League to their demonstrations.’ The accompanying commentary by Natan Levinson of NWFOI, explained that: ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’”

That seems to have been Ms Powell’s justification for attending an event supported by the far-right. She jumped in feet-first, too, as this clip shows:

Mr Greenstein’s article describes the connection between the EDL and the organisers of Sunday’s event, the North West Friends of Israel. He also states that the Board of Deputies of British Jews said it would never have anything to do with the EDL and its then-leader: “Tommy Robinson’s record of anti-Muslim provocation means that he could never be a partner of a respectable or mainstream Jewish organisation.”

Yet here’s the Board’s president, reeling off a list of lies about Jeremy Corbyn at Sunday’s event.

The enemy of her enemy is her friend, it seems.

This should signal the end of any credibility held by the people named at the top of this article, and the organisations they represent. The reaction on the social media has been damning:

And Jewish Voice for Labour – a group that represents British Jews just as much as the Board of Deputies claims to – made its own disgust at the event, and participation in it by people claiming to represent them, perfectly clear.

In a press release, the organisation stated: “For the last three years there has been a concerted effort to discredit and unseat Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition, a man who is quite possibly the most consistent anti-racist leader the Labour Party has ever known.

“This campaign has been led by a coalition of groups which are deeply opposed to Jeremy’s championing of Palestinian rights together with political opponents many of whom have shown little previous interest in combating antisemitism.

“Rather than seeking to oppose genuine anti-Jewish hatred, they have cynically sought to amplify and manipulate the anxieties of British Jews in order to further their political aims.

“Many of those organisations and individuals taking part this Sunday, including Margaret Hodge, Louise Ellman and the Board of Deputies, are the same instigators of the campaign against Jeremy.

“That progressive Jewish organisations, including those supporting Palestinian human rights, were excluded from participating suggests that the organisers and speakers are not acting in good faith.

“For some of the headline speakers, however, the demonstration is not just about antisemitism. Rather it concerns the uncritical defence of some of the actions of the Israeli government whilst giving voice to those who want to remove Jeremy Corbyn, a consistent and principled supporter of Palestinian rights, as leader of the Labour party. We cannot emphasise enough that they do not speak for us.”

Of course – according to some – JVL represent the “wrong kind of Jew”. Look at the reaction this announcement received:

The evidence is clear. This was a racist event, organised and supported by racists who hid beneath a banner of opposition for anti-Semitism.

Under normal Labour Party rules, Lucy Powell, Margaret Hodge and all the other elected representatives who supported it would get away with such an outrage, free as birds, because constituency Labour parties would have no democratic power to remove them.

They would then be able to continue openly campaigning against a leader who is supported by a clear majority of Labour members, presenting lies about him to the public via an unquestioning (right-wing) media establishment, with an ultimate aim of undemocratically removing Mr Corbyn from office.

But their appearance at this event shows that the current situation cannot be allowed to continue. MPs must support the leader, and the will of the party – or they must be replaced by those who will.

By appearing at this appalling event, Lucy Powell and the others have done the Labour Party a huge service.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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