Momentum has released a video on antisemitism. It’s not too bad, three+ years late. Odd in places, but coming from Momentum it is better than nowt.
Dave Rich, a real expert on the topic, is not as charitable as me.
We can only hope if Momentum are really sincere in their complete opposition to antisemitism that they take these meaningful criticisms to heart, and release a second, better, video in the near future.
Another upside is, the threads concerning the video are useful as they tend to “out” real antisemites, who are often the most grumpy in the discussions about this slight change.
Why slight? Because at the moment it is just words, not actions.
Saying you are against antisemitism is a simple thing and a low bar in politics, but actually doing something, strongly, against it, is the real issue. Words alone are fairly useless when faced with active antisemitism. One example.
Piers is the brother of the current Labour leader, Jeremy, which tends to explain the obvious cowardice.
But not in this case.
Corbyn Sr is the brother of the Labour leader and therefore immune from any criticism of overt racism. One rule for the Corbyns, another for the rest of us.
The Clarion Magazine and the antisemite question!
A large part of the problem of antisemitism is witlessness.
Many on the Left have little ability with social media and even less instinct to spot accounts which are clearly dodgy or overtly antisemitic.
True enough, if someone looks like an abusive skinhead or a BNPer then they’ll probably be spotted, but anything less tends to slip through the net.
This is particularly true of the Momentum supporters magazine, Clarion. Over the past year they have regularly posted material from people who exhibit strong antisemitic ideas or are fond of promoting neo-Nazi sites, shown below.
Why is that peculiar?
The Clarion apparently has many Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) supporters in it.
We are frequently told that the AWL are exceptional on the British Left, that they take a very hard line against antisemitism.
All to be welcomed.
Then it turns out just to be words, because they can’t stop promoting people on Twitter with a strong inclination to antisemitic sentiment.
Mistakes happen. Again, and again, then, again. Instead Clarion and AWLers seem to show no significant willingness to acknowledge their errors or learn from them.
The antisemite question is simple, if you can’t spot them how will you ever, ever get around to opposing antisemites and their allies?
1. Sid AKA @LabourUnite
I have covered his racism before but these examples should suffice.
Clarion Magazine has promoted him 5-6 times in their timeline over the last year. They never even noticed his past racism or really dodgy habits.
2. Graham Warwick AKA @Warlock19947
3. 97thmonkey AKA @97thmonkey
Yes, that is correct, 97thmonkey liked and promoted a neo-Nazi site numerous times.
The type of material that Veterans Today approves of, fawning after Hitler:
1. Keep lists of known antisemites (update regularly)
2. Scan timelines for racism, if found shun.
3. Goto 1
The salient point is, that socialists and the Left have a duty of care to be shrewder on this topic, aware of the cesspool they are wading in and exercise due diligence.
There is no excuse, there is no “how could we know?”.
In particular, for the Clarion there’s no excuse.
If they consider themselves to be political sages on every other topic then they must be better when it comes to social media and genteel antisemitism. There is plenty of material of the topic.
Socialists must repudiate antisemites and antisemitism completely by their actions, no matter where it or they are found, in a dowdy pub, on the streets or even lurking around Twitter.
If you feel the British Left doesn’t have an issue with antisemitism, then pray explain how this promoter of Stormfront was never spotted by his thousands of “comrades”.
He admits to being a member of South West Norfolk Labour Party. Let that sink in.
Apparently, the AWL are very busy elsewhere, haven’t the time to learn social media or how to avoid helping hardcore antisemite and their allies?
At least that’s what I think this AWL supporter is suggesting, but who knows?
In such circumstances it would have been much simpler for the AWL and Clarion Magazine to say:
“Ok, we made a mistake, will do better next time. Got your point, thanks for the warning.”
But alas that isn’t the typical response of the Fringe Left in Britain or cranks on anything.
Lack of common sense, ego and sense of entitlement seem to preclude that.
They often want to learn things the hard way, a bit like the Corbynite Left when it comes to antisemitism in Labour: can’t admit the bleeding obvious, can’t see why it is important or ever know what to do, on their own.