Barnet Momentum chair Fred Leplat has been expelled from the Labour Party or rather had his “membership terminated” – for a typically garbled and unjustifiable mix of “reasons”.
Fred came to the attention of the bureaucracy because he coordinated a letter signed by a range of Barnet members on Israel-Palestine and antisemitism.
The context is widespread speculation that Labour failed to win the council elections in the borough due to antisemitism.
No Workers’ Liberty member signed the letter. We wouldn’t have, given our disagreements with its political line. However, it was far from some of the worst “anti-Zionist” politics that exist on the Labour and broader left, let alone antisemitism. As socialist blogger Andrew Coates (whose position is closer to ours) has commented, “there is room in a democratic socialist party for disagreement within these boundaries”.
But then Fred was excluded without prior charges or hearing. According to the communications he received, that was because i) he is a supporter of the Socialist Resistance group and ii) he was previously a member of Left Unity (even though he resigned from LU before joining Labour).
The rule cited again him because of his involvement in Socialist Resistance, 2.I.4.b, is the same rule used to expel a number of Workers’ Liberty supporters from the party. It is an outrage against democracy which should be scrapped. A rule change is going to Labour Party conference this September, submitted by five CLPs, to do just that. (See bit.ly/IA7VDr)
On Left Unity, it is the same old issue again: join Labour from a right-wing party and there is no problem. But join from another left-wing organisation and you better watch your back.
Reinstate Fred! For a democratic, politically pluralist Labour Party!