The Wind That Shakes the Labour Party
A new day, a new witch-hunt targeting veteran members of the Labour Party is underway.
German philosopher and renowned nihilist Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “We have art in order not to die of the truth.”
Yet sometimes, Life imitates art.
And sometimes, artists embrace their art to create an extension of realities mostly unheard, unseen.
The latter would perfectly describe British filmmaker Ken Loach, whose cinematic sensibilities and craftsmanship was dedicated to relaying the stories of the oppressed, the have-not, and the freedom fighters; stories which have generally been left behind in both mainstream and art-house cinema that has been brought to full grandiose scale by this master filmmaker whose film Kes (1969) was deemed the 7th greatest British filmmaker of the 20th century.
A dedicated leftist and a core member of the Labour party for nearly 50 years, Ken Loach’s voice as well as his film have always fought for justice for workers and unions, so how does he get recompensed by standing by the party’s supposed values?
Labour ousts him.
Loach is a two-time Palme d’Or-winning filmmaker for his films The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2007) and I, Daniel Blake (2016), a shining example of the beauty created through the intertwining of social virtues and filmmaking. In an ideal situation, he would be the Labour's perfect poster boy, yet he has been elided by the party he so vehemently aspired to promote.
As the filmmaker himself would put it:
“Labour HQ finally decided I'm not fit to be a member of their party, as I will not disown those already expelled," labeling the whole process as a "witch-hunt."
'Labour HQ finally decided I'm not fit to be a member of their party, as I will not disown those already expelled. Well...' KL— Ken Loach & Sixteen Films (@KenLoachSixteen) August 14, 2021
The ousting of Loach comes at a time in which the party is being led by Keir Starmer, who has come under attack for attempting to “cleanse” his group from socialist and left-leaning factions in an effort to strictly preserve the centrist policies...Although something far more dangerous seems to lurk behind Starmer’s decision.
Originally, Labour was formed in 1900 by a group of socialist parties and trade unions to fight for the rights of the urban working class, yet it seems individuals such as Starmer do not subscribe to these ideals as did one crucial figure in the Labour’s history: Tony Blair.
The Tony Blair Witch Project
In the 1990s, Ken Loach departed from the Labour Party due to Tony Blair’s election as leader and Prime Minister.
Blair attempted to eradicate all semblance of leftism within the party, pushing it into a more centrist middle-field, which went against all of the party’s core values.
While many were excited about the future of the party after the landslide win of 1997 under Blair’s leadership, people like Loach were able to see the PM for who he truly is: Nothing more than a "fake left politician."
In 2003, the filmmaker’s opinion of Blair was cemented by the latter’s decision to align himself with arguably one of humanity’s worst war criminals, George W. Bush. This alliance resulted in the Iraq invasion in which the US and UK troops took center stage.
Key Labour members have departed from the party, such as George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn, in the hope of disrupting Blair’s reign and point out the dangers of his continued control of the Labour’s fate but alas, it was all in vain.
Half a million dead Iraqis later, Blair’s image in British media would have still been largely uncontested were it not for the rallying cries of many anti-war activists.
Though he is still a Labour member and works as an international advisor to an Emirati organization called the Mubadala Development Fund which aims at mining $1 trillion worth of resources in Afghanistan. He is paid around £1 million annually.
The legacy of Blair has tarnished the Labour Party forever, until the arrival of Jeremy Corbyn, although even he couldn’t outrun the damage done and the Machiavellian members left to sabotage the core of the party.
No Pride, all Prejudice
The witch-hunt of which Ken Loach spoke could be clearly seen in the ousting of these key members:
A Labour MP of Afghan origins.
Ex-Mayor of London for two terms.
An MP and a candidate for Labour Leadership.
An MP and the democratically-elected leader of the party.
And of course, Loach.
Corbyn himself has received the lion’s share of smearing and character assassination as even the BBC, supposedly a state-sponsored channel, took a strong side, visually depicting the national party leader as a Russian stooge!
This trial by media, this Pythonesque “crusade,” was a result of a string of stances taken by the aforementioned members in favor of Palestine, stances that awarded them the title of “anti-Semites”: Naz Shah has once shared a photo of the Israeli map imposed on the US’, suggesting the apartheid "state" be relocated to its closest ally’ land, Livingston made anti-Zionist statements, Bailey drew a comparison between George Floyd’s killing and the tactics adopted by the Israeli forces, while both Corbyn and Loach have long been associated with pro-Palestinian anti-Zionist discourse.
These baseless accusations suddenly took the British media by storm, creating an ambiance of fear and prejudice akin to that plaguing the infamous Salem witch hunt!
'I am proud to stand with the good friends and comrades victimised by the purge. There is indeed a witch hunt....' KL— Ken Loach & Sixteen Films (@KenLoachSixteen) August 14, 2021
The accusations thrown by media and political pundits towards Corbyn and Corbynites gave the impression of anti-Semitism in the Labour party being rampant, of gargantuan proportion, of infinite effect, and of endless bigotry. It felt as if the whole current Jewish generation hid under tables in the hope of avoiding the rise of a British Hitler.
But here’s the catch: Corbyn is a principled socialist who has no affinity whatsoever for discrimination, but simply for universal rights.
Unfortunately, certain rights should not be supported in this day and age yet Corbyn and his cronies performed the cardinal sin of voicing their support for Palestinians in the face of Israeli apartheid and aggression.
Yes. This is the crux of the issue: Not anti-Semitism nor the fear of an Anglo-Saxon CCCP, but the fear of directing “Israel’s” wrath towards members of the Labour Party and taking out the lobby-sponsorship rug from beneath their feet.
Let’s be clear: Anti-Semitism, in its original European phenomenon, still exists in parts of the world, but Great Britain is far from being a harboring shore of such resented sentiments towards the Jewish community and is, statically speaking, one of the nations which are least prone to have a mass-expression of this vile outlook. This takes us back not to the phenomenon of anti-Semitism, but its modern political ramifications.
Indeed, Abba Eban, a former Israeli foreign minister, once decreed that “there’s no business like 'Shoah' business,” outlining a dangerous misusage of the Jewish collective suffering in World War II to appease "Israel’s" need for ham-fisted sympathy and shield itself from all forms of criticisms.
Criticize the siege on Gaza? Anti-Semitism. Condemn the massacring of children in Lebanon? Anti-Semitism. Speak of the apartheid nature of Israeli policies? Anti-Semitism.
Corbyn’s stance with the Palestinian people, a unique event in Labour leadership and even more so in British politics, signaled a dangerous shift away from old England’s colonialist narrative and its much-maligned “Balfour Declaration,” which paved the way for the creation of “Israel” by way of stealing Palestinian lands and ignite terror in the hearts of its native population.
Corbyn, Loach & co. were a voice of change, a unison of workers, and a global radical belief in justice.
Each of these members did not seek to earn political prerogatives, but rather disseminate their progressive political ideals in a party that was once considered to be a nationwide platform for supporting workers with no racial, religious, or class distinction. The current leadership aims at collecting financial benefits.
As it stands now for the Labour’s leadership, it prefers to host a mass-murdering megalomaniac, allied with a right-wing nutcase speaking of “holy crusades" against Muslims, than to have amongst its ranks a principled member who is truly firm in heart, mind, and moral responsibility.
But as Ken Loach said: “Starmer and his clique will never lead a party of the people. We are many, they are few. Solidarity.”