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Rebecca Long-Bailey Defends Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth, Wants Alastair Campbell and Berger Back in the Party

Rebecca Long-Bailey has gone on record to defend former Labour centrist MPs Luciana Berger, Louise Ellman and Ruth Smeeth and even states she would welcome Berger back into the party alongside Alastair Campbell. Berger, one of the most vocal opponents of Jeremy Corbyn, stood for the Liberal Democrats at the last election while Alastair Campbell, likewise a huge critic of socialism, canvassed on her behalf.

Once again falling completely into line with the fake antisemitism witch-hunt that has been concocted to silence Palestinian and socialist voices in the Labour Party, Long-Bailey has now completely abandoned any pretence of solidarity with the Palestinian cause or the party’s socialist base and despite earlier claims that she would be offering Jeremy Corbyn a shadow cabinet position, the leadership candidate once again appears ready to flip-flop on the issue. Long-Bailey now refuses to be drawn of the matter and instead merely says that she is “friends with both [Corbyn and John McDonnell] them. I’ll be in touch with them for many years to come.”

Interviewed by another Corbyn critic Ayesha Hazarika for The Evening Standard alongside Joe Murphy, Long-Bailey states that she is the “shadow cabinet member brave enough to go out to the media and talk about the deficiencies in the way that we’ve dealt with the [antisemitism] crisis.”

Long-Bailey goes on to say that the “treatment” that Luciana Berger, Louise Ellman and Ruth Smeeth “faced” in the party was “terrible because it should never have happened within our party. We should have done more… I should have done at the time and that’s another one of my big regrets.”

The potential Labour leader wants all MPs and members to “get education” on the matter and would not only welcome back Berger who “had a terrible time” but would also welcome back arch-Blairite and Corbyn critic Alastair Campbell.

“[Alastair Campbell has] got a lot of expertise and capability that I wish had been there to help us prior to December.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey

All four individuals mentioned played key roles in acting against Jeremy Corbyn throughout his run as Labour leader, taking strong anti-socialist stances and supporting the pro-Zionist Labour witch-hunt which resulted in the suspension of dozens of Palestinian activists and human rights campaigners including Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth. Despite hundreds of frivolous allegations, police investigations concluded that only one case was worthy of action with that individual not even being a member of the Labour Party at the time of the alleged offence.

Ruth Smeeth was one of the individuals who resigned in a coordinated attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn during 2016’s “Chicken Coup” and was defeated by the Conservative Party’s Jonathan Gullis at the last election, polling a mere 14,688 votes. A US embassy diplomatic cable that was exposed by Wikileaks reveals that Smeeth is listed as “strictly protect” by the US government.

Louise Ellman quit the party last October stating that Jeremy Corbyn was “not fit” to be Prime Minister and blaming “antisemitism” as the cause. By an amazing coincidence, she was days away from facing a trigger ballot on whether to make her face a selection contest, a contest she would almost certainly have lost. Ellman was a former Chair of Labour Friends of Israel.

Writing in October following Ellman’s resignation, Asa Winstanley of The Electronic Intifada, says that a source stated that Ellman had been “politically crushed in Liverpool Riverside by ordinary members” and that she “knew it was game over.”

Berger meanwhile is another former Chair of Labour Friends of Israel and after leaving the Party to join first the hilariously inept Independent Group For Change and then the Lib Dems, she couldn’t even manage to win in Finchley and Golders Green, being defeated convincingly by Tory MP Mike Freer

Rebecca Long-Bailey’s solidarity with the Palestinian cause and activists has long been in question, with the candidate stating at the height of the smear campaign that Jeremy Corbyn had “lost the trust of the community”.

Long-Bailey also played her part in throwing Chris Williamson under the bus, stating that Williamson shouldn’t have been a member of Labour and that she didn’t know why he was still in the party. She also refused to stand in solidarity with The Canary after coming under fire for an interview she gave to the website, smear proponents claiming the website is “antisemitic”.

The Jewish Chronicle reports that in 2015 Long-Bailey addressed a meeting co-hosted by Manchester’s Zionist Central Council and the Jewish Representative Council, the newly elected Salford MP stating her opposition to the BDS movement.

“When asked for her views on BDS, she did not know what this was. It needed to be explained that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was a primary tool used to target Israeli academics, businesses, sports and culture and why this is largely considered to be an antisemitic movement. We were however assured by her comments that she was opposed to such boycotts.”

Daniel Berke, chair of the Zionist Central Council

Even more alarmingly, Long-Bailey stated her intent to join Labour Friends of Israel.

“Ms Long Bailey was asked why she had chosen to join Labour Friends of Palestine and not any other groups offering support to any of the many stateless people throughout the World; for example the Rohingya or Chechens. She replied that her first days at Parliament were rather like ‘freshers’ week’, and it seemed a popular organisation to join. She accepted readily that there were clearly two sides and gave a firm ‘promise’ that she would join Labour Friends of Israel so she could better understand the issues and for balance.”

Daniel Berke, chair of the Zionist Central Council

In January, Long-Bailey declared herself “a Zionist” and signed up to accept the British Board of Deputies ten demands made against the party, demands which include that Labour should only engage with Jewish communities through them alone, a body which is fervently pro-Israel and does not represent the diversity of Jewish communities. The demand effective silences left-wing Jewish voices such as Jewish Voice for Labour.

Since, Labour has suspended socialist and pro-Palestinian NEC candidates with impunity, setting out their agenda quite transparently.

Wirral councillor Jo Bird, who is Jewish, was suspended at the start of the month alongside Mohammed Azam. Bird had already won the backing of 45 local parties and was also supported by the Labour Left Alliance, the Labour Representation Committee and Jewish Voice for Labour. The suspension was followed by that of Graham Durham for calling the Chief Rabbi “a Tory” and Mehmood Mirza for either applauding or sharing a cartoon critical of the Zionist weaponisation of antisemitism.

Momentum founder and Long-Bailey backer Jon Lansman is seen by many as an influential figure in events, showing his true colours on Twitter in February when he launched a vile anti-socialist tirade against Skwawkbox. Lansman’s offensive Tweet was in response to a Skwawkbox poll that put Jo Bird ahead of Momentum’s anointed candidates.

Merely talking of economic justice and “asperation” does not make an individual a socialist. Being a socialist involves standing with the oppressed and downtrodden no matter where they are in the world and resolving to liberate them from that oppression, no matter the personal difficulty of that position. To break the chains. It never involves siding with the oppressor. Rebecca Long-Bailey’s failure to stand with the oppressed people of Palestine and alongside activists and campaigners, instead allying with the Zionist lobby and Blairite centrists stands against even the most basic of socialist principles and betrays both her lack of solidarity and the ease with which she flip-flops her political principles.

Whether she’s throwing bones to the Blairites to try and get ahead of her opponents or actually believes what she’s saying, it’s largely irrelevant. Rebecca Long-Bailey, like Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy, is unfit to lead the Labour Party.

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