The “Purge” in the British Labor Party, to use Ken Loach’s word, continues. British director, author of Me, Daniel Blake (Palme d’or 2016) or the Wind rises (Palme d’or 2006) announced Saturday August 14 that he had been excluded from Labor. “Labor HQ has finally decided that I am not acceptable as a party member, because I will not deny those who have already been kicked out. “
‘Labor HQ finally decided I’m not fit to be a member of their party, as I will not disown those already expelled. Well … ‘KL
The director, 85, a fine columnist for five decades of social inequalities in the United Kingdom, is caught up by the violent internal fight between the left wing of the party, which had been galvanized by Jeremy Corbyn, leader between 2015 and 2020, and his successor Keir Starmer, with a much more centrist positioning. The standoff crystallized around the accusations of anti-Semitism which stirred the party much under Mr Corbyn.
The latter is accused of having allowed members of the Labor Party to make openly anti-Semitic remarks without sanctioning them and of having systematically turned a blind eye to the slippages of some groups blinded by their support for the Palestinian cause.
Upon arriving at the head of the party in April 2020, Mr. Starmer had promised to turn the page and no longer tolerate any such comments. But his opponents accuse him of using this weapon to clean up on his left. In October 2020, following a report condemning his stance on anti-Semitism, Mr Corbyn was expelled from the party and then re-admitted but without retaining the Labor label as an MP. In July, Labor’s national executive committee ruled out four groups that remain very close to the former leader.
As for Mr Loach, the exact reasons for his deportation were not disclosed, but he was very close to Mr Corbyn. He had not become a member of the Labor Party again until after the latter’s victory in 2015. Two decades earlier, he had slammed the door by criticizing Tony Blair’s too centrist positioning.
On anti-Semitism, a 2017 BBC interview haunts Mr. Loach. The day before, a meeting on the sidelines of the Labor Congress debated the reality of the Shoah. Is this an acceptable discussion, had asked the journalist? “History has to be debated by all, isn’t it? “, replied the director. He then made up for it in a letter to Guardian : “My words have been twisted to suggest that I believe it is okay to question the reality of the Holocaust. I do not believe that. The Holocaust is as real an event as WWII and should not be questioned. “
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