Socialist Appeal journalists excluded from Labor conference
The Labor right has carried out a brazen attack on press freedom, explicitly denying Marxist journalists to Socialist appeal entry to the next party labor conference for political reasons. We urge readers to stand up against this injustice.
In a scandalous attack on press freedom, the Labor bureaucracy banned Socialist Appeal journalists from covering the party’s next annual conference.
This outrageous decision shows how far the Labor right will go to suppress ideas it deems dangerous; explicitly forbid Socialist appeal – the Marxist voice of work and youth.
We call on our readers and the rest of the labor movement to speak out against this brazen attack on the left – and on the basic democratic principle of press freedom.
Hypocrisy and double standards stink. As left-wing journalists are barred from covering the Labor conference, a veritable gallery of rogue media is allowed in, no questions asked.
From the Murdoch press, including reactionary rags like the sun; to the rest of the conservative media, like the Daily Mail favorable to fascists; spokespersons for big business and the establishment, such as the Financial Time and the BBC: all these right-wing scoundrels, and more, will be in Brighton next week.
Socialist Appeal reporters, however, will be explicitly denied entry.
As at previous union conferences, Socialist appeal Editorial board members Rob Sewell and Adam Booth were planning to attend this year’s event, which begins on Saturday.
The two writers had gained access to the press at the last Labor conference – held two years ago under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn – without any problems.
However, a week ago the two comrades – who are registered members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) – received a blunt response from the Labor conference organizing team, informing them that their request to leave -pass press had been rejected, not to have “” the portfolio concerned “. And this despite the fact that Rob has been a socialist journalist for more than four decades!
Rob and Adam appealed the decision, only to receive an even shorter message from the Labor press office, saying: “Thanks for your email. But we will not approve your application on this occasion.
“Objectives and values”
At this point, the NUJ has been set up, in the hope that light will be shed on the reasons for the move – a move that prevents two bona fide journalists from doing their jobs.
The NUJ General Secretary contacted Labor Headquarters and received an equally blunt response, which deserves to be quoted in full:
“Rob Sewell and Adam Booth informed us that their work would be for Socialist Appeal. As you probably know, Labor’s NEC recently banned Socialist Appeal as a political organization that does not share Labor’s goals and values.
“We are fully committed to supporting freedom of the press and have accredited over 1,200 UK and international staff and freelance journalists for this year’s conference, including some who work for politically aligned media. But we don’t feel obligated to provide media passes to people working on behalf of a banned political group. “
In other words, everyone under the sun – including the sun (!!) – is allowed entry and, by implication, is considered to share the “goals and values” of Labor. Socialist appeal, meanwhile, the newspaper Starmer wants to ban is explicitly censored.
NUJ branch secretary Steve Jones said Socialist appeal:
“I am really shocked at the way our branch members have been treated. Journalists do not cover conferences to help party leadership or act as glorified public relations officials. They are there to work for their newspaper. or media, and to provide quality copies for the benefit of their readers.
” What is the next step ? Political control of journalists? Fidelity tests? Journalists must be able to work unhindered.
“Socialist appeal is a legitimate trade union newspaper, and that members of the NUJ who work for it are targeted in this way – presumably to foster internal party conflict – is shameful and does the party no credit, in my opinion.
“The freedom of the press must be defended.
Defend the freedoms of the press!
This political victimization is a clear attack on journalistic freedoms: control of journalists; exclude those who are considered unacceptable by the bureaucracy; and turn the press into public relations agents for the party.
And above all, it is a direct attack against Socialist appeal and the ideas of Marxism: ideas that have much more tradition – and much greater legitimacy – in the labor movement than the pro-capitalist interests that Starmer and the right represent.
We therefore call on all our supporters to mobilize against this suppression of press freedoms, and to rally to the defense of Socialist appeal journalists, by raising this issue in the CLP and union sections; and bombarding the Labor bureaucracy with letters of complaint, written to the party press team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Most importantly, the support Socialist appeal – the newspaper the right does not want you to read – by subscribing today; and donate to our crowdfunder, to help us fight Labor starting at this year’s showdown conference.
- Defend the freedom of the press!
- Say no to bans and bans!
- An injury to one is an injury to all!
Originally posted Sep 21 on socialist.net |