Britain: Brexit and the Crisis of the Labour Party


Defend Chris Williamson against Zionist Attacks in the Labour Party


By Joseph Adams, RCIT Britain, 12 July 2019,




The crisis of Brexit in the Labour party has shown the role of reformism within bourgeois workers parties like the British Labour party. The ostensibly left reformist leader Jeremy Corbyn finds himself assailed on all sides by the pro-imperialist and pro-austerity wing of the Labour party. This wing, led by the deputy leader Tom Watson desperately wants to remain within the imperialist European Union, rejects the 2016 Referendum result and campaigns for a second referendum in Europe.


“Tom Watson is urging grassroots members to sign up to a public declaration calling for Labour to be “the party of remain”, as pressure mounts on Jeremy Corbyn to embrace an anti-Brexit position. In a move likely to be regarded as provocative by Corbyn’s team, Watson is publishing a statement online and inviting signatures, to underline the breadth of concern about Labour’s stance. “As the party of remain, we will not take every voter with us, but it’s the only way that Labour can win, and the only way to keep our country together.” [1]


Brexit is the result of the crisis within all the metropolitan capitalist countries. Since the Great Recession of 2008 every bourgeois country has been trying to resolve its relationships with each other but we are in a period of extreme contradictions and inter-imperialist rivalry. The task for the British bourgeois is survival and continued attacks on the working class and the oppressed. This crisis is reflected most strongly in reformist parties.


The trade union bureaucracy recently made a statement supporting Watson’s position. Len McCluskey, leader of the biggest trade union UNITE and a noted Corbyn supporter, defended the changed position of the bureaucracy which is the mainstay of capitalism in the workers movement.


“Labour is poised to declare it will campaign for remain in a second referendum on any deal put to parliament by a Conservative prime minister, after trade union leaders including Unite’s Len McCluskey backed a change of policy. The joint position agreed by the unions on Monday would not commit Labour to an explicitly pro-remain position in all circumstances: unions also agreed Labour should seek to deliver a Brexit deal if the party won an election before the UK left the EU. Unions have backed a referendum on any deal this parliament and Labour campaigning for remain – that’s a big victory. What’s in a manifesto is a debate for another day,” Labour will campaign for a second referendum in all circumstances and will campaign for remaining in the EU against a Tory prime minister’s Brexit deal and in order to stop no deal.” [2]


The trade union bureaucracy and labour aristocracy have over the years reaped the super profits of imperialism in the semi colonial countries where the oppressed are driven into slave-like conditions. This caste at the top of the working class is the direct agent of imperialism and capitalism in the workers movement. The decision of the bureaucracy to lend its support for the remain position was taken by the bureaucrats in their privileged position. At no time were their members canvassed or asked about this position. Most of the bureaucrats are appointed through the anti-democratic structures of the trade unions.








Corbyn has found himself isolated amongst his own allies, alone defending his original Brexit position. Two of his strongest supporters John McDonnell and Diane Abbot are supporting the idea of a second referendum on Europe for a remain position. Of course they are being whipped up to this position by the right-wing in the Labour party led by Watson who now rules as de-facto leader of the Labour Party.


“The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has rejected claims that he has been urging Jeremy Corbyn to sack his two most senior aides because they are opposed to Labour committing to backing remain in a second referendum. Insisting that he had not called for anyone to sacked, McDonnell claimed stories about a split between him and Corbyn were a “myth” promoted by journalists prone to exaggeration. Earlier this year, in response to fears it was losing support to pro-remain parties such as the Liberal Democrats, Labour shifted its Brexit stance and agreed that any Brexit deal passed by parliament should be put to the people in a second referendum. But the party has not committed to backing remain if such a referendum were to take place. McDonnell said last month he was arguing the case for Labour to explicitly back remain. Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, has previously said publicly that she is “beginning to worry” about party policy not being sufficiently remain”. [3]


Jeremy Corbyn in a letter to party members has under pressure from the Blairites done a 180 degree turn rejected his original Brexit position and now with qualifications acceded to the Blairite position of supporting a second referendum.


“In those circumstances, I want to make it clear that Labour would campaign for Remain against either No deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs”. [4]








Chris Williamson the Labour MP who was suspended and then reinstated finds himself again suspended again by a Kangaroo court who administer the disciplinary procedures in the Labour Party. Anti-Semitism, as we have stated many times, is a red herring in the Labour Party. Many of these Zionist MP’s have close connections with pro-Israeli lobby groups which are openly operating in Britain. “Labour against the Witchunt”, a small group in the Labour Party, has identified the real reason for Williamsons’ continued suspension and the preparation for his expulsion. He will join others like Ken Livingstone, Tony Greenstein and Jackie walker who have found them being dragged through these disciplinary procedures to satisfy the Blairites and their pro-Zionist allies.


“The renewed suspension of Chris Williamson MP, two days after he was readmitted to the Labour Party, is deeply troubling. We are particularly concerned that Keith Vaz’ U-turn seems to have been motivated purely by the pressure coming from the right inside and outside the party. Sadly but unsurprisingly, that now includes Jon Lansman. We presume Vaz initially judged the case by its merit and found – correctly – that Chris had not said or done anything that could be described as anti-Semitic or bringing the party into disreputeVaz quite rightly judged that the evidence did not warrant Chris’s ongoing suspension or his referral to the National Constitutional Committee (which is still dominated by the right). But Vaz’s U-turn and Chris’s renewed suspension, following the deeply undemocratic and hysterical letter organized by Tom Watson, symbolize how unfair and one-sided the whole disciplinary process really is.” [5]








The RCIT again reiterates its position on both Zionism and the Brexit crisis in the Labour Party. We advocated an abstentionist position in the 2016 referendum and that position has not changed. We do not support either imperialist state whether it is the EU or the British national state. Our position is revolutionary defeatism and for an anti-imperialist position to support the masses and the exploited against the imperialist enemy both here in Britain and throughout Europe.


The issue of Zionism has been a feature of Labour party support since the State of Israel was created in 1948. Zionism is supported by most Labour MP’s and they have consistently attacked as Anti-Semitic anyone who criticised the State of Israel or who showed sympathy for the Palestinian or Arab cause. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have been murdered, assassinated, killed and made homeless and are prevented from returning to their homeland. Islamophobia is rampant in Britain with open attacks on Muslims and migrants from Arab countries, secret deportations and concentration camps exist in Britain like Belmarsh. But Zionist Labour MP’s have nothing to say on this or other matters, but when it comes to a defence of Israel and its barbarous activities these reformists will ensure that Corbyn and his supporters are either silenced or expelled. That is why Williamson now faces expulsion and why others who support the struggle for a free Red Palestine are being expelled from the Labour Party. On both Brexit and Zionism Corbyn remains a hostage of the Blairite right refusing even to support his own supporters who are being expelled. He is leader in name only the same as many who have trod this path. When shove comes to push Corbyn will end up capitulating to the Blairite right.


“Let us be clear: the state of Israel is a racist, imperialist and apartheid state comparable to the worst excesses practised against the Black population of South Africa by the ruling white racist minority. Its racism has led pogroms, murders and assassinations against Palestinians and Arabs who have been deprived of their homeland and basic democratic rights. Children and women have been murdered by the Zionist state indiscriminately.” [6]


In a recent BBC Panorama special there were further attempts by Zionists and Blairites to continue witch-hunts against both Corbyn and his supporters. The BBC is a direct arm of the state with objective journalism thrown out the window and has consistently in its news reporting maligned workers and socialists. Its aim in the Panorama programme was to malign Corbyn’s top aides and the General Secretary of the Labour Party Jennie Formby. Its purpose is to brand Corbyn a racist which he clearly is not, remove him as leader and ensure that Watson is elected leader. The Blairites are determined to destroy any last vestige of socialism in the Labour party and turn the Labour Party once more into a 2nd Tory Party when the Tories are in enormous crisis. These Blairites are consistent and want to ensure Labour’s defeat at any General Election if Corbyn remains leader.


The RCIT in Britain puts forward the following transitional demands in order that the right-wing in the Labour party is defeated and for the success of socialists campaigning in the Labour Party.


* Defend Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters against the Zionist witch-hunt irrespective of Corbyn’s failure to defend those Anti Zionists who find themselves expelled from the party.


* Expel all Zionist and Blairite MP’s from the Labour Party. For free and democratic debate. No proscriptions whatsoever.


* For open borders! Migrants and refugees should have free movement and the right to their own language and able to dress as they please. Reject all immigration controls. No to racism and Islamophobia. For self-defence guards to protect migrant communities from provocation or attack.


* For a free democratic red Palestine from the river to the sea.


* For a General strike to bring down this hated Tory Government. Reject both camps of imperialism – neither Remain nor Brexit. For revolutionary defeatism! For a United Socialist States of Europe!










4) Letter from Jeremy Corbyn to all Labour party Members, 9th July 2019