Friday, 19 July 2019

Squad Rotation?

To which country is Rashida Tlaib, who is a Palestinian, supposed to "go back"? Surely Donald Trump is not suggesting that there ought to be a country called...?

There are plenty of political grounds on which to criticise any one or more of Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, as well as plenty on which to applaud them. But the likes of Jess Phillips, Margaret Hodge and Luciana Berger, who are all vocal in support of The Squad against Donald Trump, are the kind of people who, as House Democrats, would vote to recognise him as a racist but not to do anything about it. Well, if a racist could not be President, then where would that leave Joe Biden? Where, indeed?

And under the terms of the IHRA Definition, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Pressley would all be ineligible for Labour Party membership, meaning that they would be expelled if they were already in the party.

While agreeing with their identitarian social policies and with their anti-industrial Malthusianism, Phillips, Hodge, Berger and the rest are implacably opposed to The Squad's anti-war foreign policies and to their more anti-neoliberal economic policies, to the point that Berger has helped to set up one or more breakaway parties, it can be difficult to keep track, even after Labour's adoption of the IHRA Definition.

That adoption, which has happened under the Leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, has banned both the Black Left, as such, and the Jewish Left, as such, from the Labour Party. It is now compulsory, both to support a white settler colonial state as a first principle, which the Black Left can never do, and to hold that that state is fundamental and central to Jewish identity, which the Jewish Left can never do.

Effectively, therefore, both the Black Left and the Jewish Left are now proscribed. It is no surprise, then, that they are being purged. Along with the closely connected treatment of Chris Williamson, that is the real purge in Corbyn's Labour Party. Just as no other MP has defended Williamson, so no MP, not a single one, has been deselected. On this as on so many other grounds, one wonders quite what Blairite grandees think that they have to complain about, and one wonders quite what the point of a Deputy Leadership Election would be. A Deputy Leadership Election about what, exactly?

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. A new party is now in the process of registration. I will stand for Parliament here at North West Durham even if I can raise only the deposit, which I could do by going pretty overdrawn, although that was not how I was brought up. I would still prefer to raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign, but I am no longer making my candidacy conditional on having done so. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

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