Gary Ostrolenk Profile picture
Sep 11 19 tweets 5 min read
I have just been summarily expelled from the Labour Party. Not suspended, but expelled. In their words, my “membership has been terminated”. #ItsAScam
I was first notified in March that I was threatened with expulsion. My crime? I shared two Facebook posts from ‘proscribed’ organisations, in one case two years before the organisation was even proscribed!
One was a video of ex-MP Chris Williamson discussing his successful court challenge of the disciplinary process. The other was a statement from long-serving CLP Chair and Jewish socialist Graham Bash, talking about his own expulsion.
Here is my reply to the accusations, which I put out on social media because I completely reject the legitimacy of the process.…
This is nothing more nor less than a witch-hunt of the left, and one which targets Jewish socialists on bogus claims of anti-semitism.
I am upset and angry – like most people suspended or expelled in Starmer’s purge, I have worked hard to build the Party, in my branch and in the CLP, to strengthen the left and to fight for socialist ideas.
I have been denied the right to participate in the only mass party in which we can fight for the interests of the working class.
Behind the proscriptions, of course, is an insinuation that the organisations are anti-semitic, and that so is anyone who has had any kind of association with them in the past. Yet it is Jewish socialists who have been purged more than any other group.
My grandmother was murdered by the Nazis, and my father came to England as a child refugee on the Kindertransport. He was always nervous about disclosing his Jewish identity in public for fear of repercussions.
Yet here I am now, effectively expelled from the Party for supporting a century-old Jewish political tradition that is opposed to Zionism.
We have become a little numb from the drip drip drip of the witch-hunt, but each and every suspension and expulsion, including mine, is an attack on every one of us: an attempt to silence, to create fear, and to suppress democracy.
The biggest problem is not that as socialists we have been purged by the Party – under Starmer, that was inevitable. The biggest problem is in the manner of the rout, under Momentum’s influence and leadership.
In Camberwell & Peckham, Momentum have overwhelming control of the CLP’s Exec Cttee, & point blank refused to allow/prioritise a succession of motions against the witch-hunt and the proscriptions.
The EC have been silent about my own expulsion. Can you believe, I had to draft my own solidarity motion (linked)? Even that was not prioritised for discussion at GC:…
Senior CLP officers were suspended in 2019 for allowing a motion in solidarity with Corbyn to be discussed, and our Momentum-controlled EC have still to this day not told the members who elected those officers about their suspension.
Momentum in my CLP have consistently refused to act in solidarity with victims of the witch-hunt, going back to Jackie Walker, Chris Williamson and others. “Keep your heads down and live to fight another day.”
The truth is, if you don’t put up a fight, you police yourselves into submission, demoralisation & despair. It’s time to say ‘no’ to Momentum’s leadership and strategy, and to forge a fighting socialist left, inside & outside the Party.
This motion prompted a serious discussion in my branch, where the left is in a minority, but we won people over. The tragedy is, ordinary members recognise this as an unjust purge, yet Momentum throw the motion in the bin and refuse to allow a debate.

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