As an octogenarian, my views on antisemitism were shaped by growing up before and after the Second World War.
The tragic mistreatment of the Jews in Europe led me to become an active anti-Nazi.
After the war I encountered Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts.
I witnessed the Jewish ex-servicemen’s association and many on the left attack the platform of the Nazis. These influences led to my political development.
I joined the Communist Party and later the International Socialists, which became the Socialist Workers Party.
I never joined the Labour Party, which has been described as a “broad church”. I never considered it broad enough to include me.
I lived through the Clement Attlee government. It has gained a reputation as a left government, but was quite right wing.
Of course it created the health service. But it failed to rid us of the House of Lords, the monarchy and private education.
It fought wars trying desperately to save the British Empire. It was also involved in breaking strikes.
Whenever the left gains support inside Labour, the right wing campaigns against it.
Margaret Hodge has called Jeremy Corbyn an antisemite for daring to side with the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel.
Israel’s role is to act in the interests of the US in the Middle East. Palestinians inside Israel are second class citizens.
What is really troubling is that the alt-right, Islamophobia and antisemitism are on the rise.
Jews face growing danger and the anti-fascist movement requires the utmost unity. To this end, Corbyn’s defence is critical.
We must cast aside any sectarianism. The stakes are too important. If we are to take this movement forward, the Blairites and Zionists have to be defeated.
Are you up for the fight?
Justice for Orgreave
The Tories gave another kick in the teeth to miners and people in ex-mining areas this month.
Sajid Javid, the home secretary, rejected an offer by Sheffield bishop Dr Wilcox to oversee an independent panel inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave, a police attack on striking miners in June 1984.
It was part of Margaret Thatcher’s attack on the miners’ NUM union and unions in general.
The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) welcomed Dr Wilcox’s intervention into our seven-year campaign.
However, we have become hardened to Tory refusals to investigate—after all, they have the most to lose.
Dr Wilcox said there are “unresolved questions about what happened at Orgreave and why”.
The OTJC welcomes the Labour Party manifesto commitment to a full inquiry into the events at Orgreave.
We recognise that only a socialist Labour government can bring justice to not only our comrades wrongly arrested and charged, but to all other campaigns fighting for justice.
We take strength and encouragement from other justice campaigns and vow to fight on. We urge our supporters to contact Javid and express their anger at the decision.
OTJC founding member
Shamima Begum case shows double standard
If Shamima Begum was white, people would have a much easier time seeing her as British (Socialist Worker, 13 March).
She is as British as I am!
Lots of people commit crimes abroad—they don’t get their citizenship revoked.
There are people who’ve murdered people overseas and they still get to come back once they’ve finished their sentence.
Gary Glitter is still British and he’s spent basically his entire life abusing children in Asia. So we’ll happily keep him, but not a teenager who hasn’t actually physically harmed anyone? Not to mention that she’d be returning in order to face the music and go to prison.
Real extremists will already be using this to prove that Britain is Islamophobic and mobilise more support.
If we want to prove them wrong we’re going to have to do a lot better than this.
Link the climate fight to wider struggle
Paula Hughes is right to highlight the seriousness of climate change and I agree that Socialist Worker’s coverage of the recent climate protests is excellent (Letters, 13 March).
The threat from climate change is of paramount importance.
Winning the change we need will come out of building radical movements that fight for reforms as part of building the wider struggle for socialism.
Socialists helped to launch the One Million Climate Jobs campaign through the Campaign Against Climate Change—which has now spread internationally.
This is about working people fighting for more and better jobs that reduce emissions and improve people’s lives—such as more public transport and renewable energy.
But every time workers fight back and win—over pay, jobs or anything else—they come out of the experience more confident and willing to fight over other issues.
We cannot counterpose environmental issues to other demands. We need to link the fights together, as the enemy is the same—capitalism.
Fight now to stop the cuts
My council tax bill shows that in 2010 my local authority received £289 million—and in 2017 just £171 million.
The only things booming in Leicester are food banks, queues for benefits advice and people on the streets.
Brexit and fights in the Labour Party can be a distraction. Jeremy Corbyn needs to fight back. We can’t afford another ten years of these cuts.
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Stop support for apartheid
When will the West stop supporting apartheid in Israel?
A new low for Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson reached a new low by complaining about investigations into child sexual abuse.
For Johnson, looking into “historic offences and all this malarkey” is money “spaffed up the wall”.
It’s shocking they think they can get away with this. We have to get these scum out of office.
A government of hypocrites
The UK should have followed due process in the case of Shamima Begum, as they would for any other British citizen.
Casting her out like this makes the government look hypocritical in its advocacy of human rights across the world.
Theresa May’s two-tier rights
Theresa May and the Tories have created two tiers of human rights.
One for those who are white natives, the other for immigrants, refugees, Muslims and BAME groups—the hostile environment.
Jeremy Corbyn fights against racism and apartheid at home and abroad. #JC4PM #ToriesOut