JLM vote ‘no confidence’ in Jeremy Corbyn. But so what?

April 8, 2019

by Martin Odoni

A vote of no confidence in the leadership of someone you do not recognisably follow is a pretty futile gesture. Imagine Joseph Stalin, in 1943, had run a ballot of the Soviet population asking them, say, whether they had confidence in the Presidency of Franklin D Roosevelt in the United States – the USSR’s ally-of-convenience during World War II. Now I daresay the result of such a vote might have been interesting, but it would not have made any practical difference.

With this in mind, it seems bizarre that the media are reporting yesterday’s news that the ‘Jewish Labour Movement’ have voted that they have no confidence in the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, as though it is some major development. Does anyone in full honesty imagine that the vote matters one jot?

I often encounter people on social media who claim that the JLM is the true voice of Jewish members of the Labour Party. But if you cast your eyes down the constitution of the JLM, you quickly notice two gigantic flaws in that assumption. Have a look at the below section copied from the document, section 4.3, which deals with the qualifications required to become a member of JLM; –

JLM absurd rules

Membership of the ‘Jewish Labour Movement’ requires neither a Jewish background nor membership of the Labour Party.

Quite simply, if you wish to join JLM, you do not have to be Jewish, or a member of the Labour Party. Furthermore, while it is affiliated to the Labour Party, it is not actually a Labour Party organisation. Therefore JLM does not really follow Corbyn, as such, while the only real requirement for joining boils down to a prospective member must not already be a member of another party. Therefore, JLM’s qualification as either representative of left wing British Jews, or even an organisation ‘following’ the leader of the Labour Party is shaky in the extreme.

Many of the same people who swear by the word of JLM frequently mock its rival, ‘Jewish Voice For Labour‘, as being the proverbial ‘two-men-and-a-dog’. But really, how do these people imagine JLM has any more credibility, when its very name is so hopelessly misleading?

As for the reasons for this vote, they are a joke for reasons well-recorded. Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is entirely fleeting, while holding Corbyn individually responsible for dealing with what instances of it there are shows a laughable ignorance on JLM’s part of the party’s disciplinary process. The party leader does not have the power or authority to intervene in that process, as it would risk politicising any judgements made. (Although it is all-too-clear that politicised judgements are being made anyway, only by the National Constitutional Committee.)

JLM’s expression of no confidence in Corbyn is both ignorant and insignificant.

3 Responses to “JLM vote ‘no confidence’ in Jeremy Corbyn. But so what?”


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