The Social Review represents a wide range of factions within the Labour Party. Our writers and contributors are drawn from various traditions. As a result, we have never taken an editorial stance – this was a key commitment in our Mission Statement. In the case of Chris Williamson’s recent readmission to the party, the editorial team feel that this is no longer tenable.
The Social Review unequivocally condemns the Labour Party’s decision to reinstate Chris Williamson following his suspension earlier this year. Over a lengthy period, Williamson has displayed a consistent pattern of antisemitic behaviour. He has made no secret of his contempt for those who seek to challenge antisemitism within the Labour Party, and has repeatedly and calculatedly provoked the Jewish community and their allies.
We regard his readmission to Labour’s ranks, at a time when the Equality and Human Rights Commission is formally investigating the party, as indefensible. We call on this decision to be urgently reviewed.
The Labour Party should always seek to ensure that it is an inclusive movement with a commitment to tackling racism, bigotry and injustice. When it fails to do this, as in this case, it has failed in its central mission. There are some issues which transcend factional disagreements, issues which exist on a different plane to legitimate areas of policy discussion: they are issues of common decency, shared humanity, and of our commitment to basic principles of equality. There are never two sides to racism. That is not up for debate.
Harold Wilson once said that the Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing. There can be no place in our movement for antisemites.
We hear the slogan “stay and fight” all too often. For too long, too many in the Labour Party have been doing a lot of staying and not enough fighting. We at The Social Review have a responsibility to do more. In the coming weeks and months, we intend to expand our remit to include the hosting of resources to aid this fight. We are asking our readers to send anything they think may be useful for this to firstname.lastname@example.org. This could be links to useful organisations, draft motions for CLPs and conferences, or anything else that you feel may help. We will do everything we can to promote these causes, and we will also seek to foreground the experiences and arguments of our Jewish comrades who have too long been subjected to antisemitism from within party circles. This fight may be a hard one, but we all believe it is the right one.
This open letter was written today by Jack Lubner, Jewish Labour’s co-youth and students officer. We would encourage all Young Labour members to sign it.