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Sunday, 1 October 2017

Open Letter to the Lying Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Warren Morgan

It’s Time to Make Way for an Honest and Truthful Politician

Lies come easily to Warren Morgan
30 September 2017

Cllr. Warren Morgan,
Leader Brighton and Hove City Council,
Town Hall
Bartholomew Square
BRIGHTON
BN1 1JA

To:       warren.morgan@brighton-hove.gov.uk          @warrenmorgan 
Dear Cllr. Morgan,
Sir Henry Wotton is famous for his observation that ‘an ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.’  Given that you are not a diplomat what is it that makes you feel the need to lie so often?
You have been widely quoted as saying that Labour’s conference will not be welcome in the city in the future because of ‘anti-Semitism’.  You are reported in Brighton and Hove News as having ‘singled out a local campaigner Tony Greenstein’.  You are quoted on Facebook as saying that:

 ‘We have the prominent activist and suspended Labour Party member Tony Greenstein here, who indeed was present at the fringe meeting where it was suggested that Holocaust denial should be allowed. His expulsion, in my view, is long overdue.’
The only possible interpretation of your remarks is that I am responsible for what a speaker at the meeting I attended allegedly said. Otherwise why call for my expulsion? What you are engaged in is the McCarthyist tactic of guilt-by-association. Unsurprisingly Joe McCarthy was also anti-Semitic.
The speaker, Miko Peled said that ‘Israel, Zionism, even the holocaust  - can these subjects not be discussed, yes or no?’  Nothing Mr Peled said disputed the holocaust. He was merely saying that all subjects, ‘even the Holocaust’ should be open for discussion. That is in fact the current legal position in the UK.  Of course we could bring in legislation to make Holocaust denial illegal, as in Germany and Austria.  However given the electoral success of far-Right, neo-Nazi parties, Alternative for Germany and the Freedom Party in both countries, this doesn’t seem a particular wise route to go down. 
All that Miko Peled was doing was to say discussion about the Holocaust is legitimate free speech.  To twist this into support for Holocaust denial is a prime example of how anti-Semitism has been weaponised by supporters of Zionism and the Israeli state.  It demonstrates your contempt for those who died at the hands of Hitler’s regime – Jewish and non-Jewish.
Unlike you I am Jewish. Unlike you half my father’s family was murdered in the gas chambers of Treblinka. For you to use the Holocaust, of both Jews and non-Jews, up to 5 million of whom also died in the Nazi concentration camps, as a cheap political device in order to gain a political advantage over your opponents in the Labour Party is despicable.  If anyone in Brighton Labour Party is anti-Semitic it is you and your followers. 
It is noticeable that you and your political soul mates have nothing to say about racism against the Roma, yet proportionately just as many Roma died in the camps as Jews. Racism against the Roma today is far higher than that against Jews today but it isn’t so politically advantageous.
As you well know I have often been the recipient of this vile Holocaust denial propaganda, as evidenced by the Argus article of 16th October 1993 as well as physical attacks by fascist groups such as the National Front. A cursory search of the Argus archive would turn up numerous articles e.g. Adam Trimmingham’s review of my book ‘Fighting Fascism in Brighton’  I confess that in 40 years of opposing fascism and racism in Brighton and Hove your name has never once come up.
My reasons for opposing Zionism and the Israeli state are the same as my opposition to fascism and racism in Britain and Apartheid in South Africa. Your use of the Jewish Holocaust for transparently cheap political purposes is contemptible.
Mega Momentum rally before last year's Brighton Labour Party AGM
Last year you lied about spitting at the local Labour Party AGM, because the candidates you supported lost a democratic election.  This year your friends had no traction at Labour Party conference and once again you have resorted to dishonest political gamesmanship, even if it is at the expense of stirring up and exploiting anti-Semitism.
The sophisticated wit of former Brighton councillor Craig Turton endorsed by Cllr Morgan
I realise that you may find this difficult to understand but even the worst political foes try to maintain a certain level of political decorum.  That however seems to elude you.  On your Facebook page there is a comment from former Brighton councillor Craig Turton:
‘Well said Warren Morgan! Greenstein is a poisonous piece of shit - the sooner he's kicked out of the Party the better! - Thursday at 10:09
Instead of admonishing Turton you respond ‘Thanks Craig, appreciate that. Hope you are well.’
It is clear that you are unfit for any public office, both because of your display of arrogant ignorance and your inability to conduct an appropriate public discourse.  You are clearly unfit to be the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.  Singling out and defaming one Brighton Jewish resident by name is inciting hate crime. If you have an ounce of decency you will resign of your own accord.
It would also be interesting to know with what authority you wrote your letter and on behalf of whom.

Yours truly,
 Tony Greenstein 
Background
Councillor Warren Morgan is a supporter of Progress.  In 2015 he supported Liz Kendall, the most right-wing candidate for leader of the Labour Party.  Last year he supported Owen Smith.

In the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the leadership elections Warren Morgan, Peter Kyle MP and the Labour councillors have felt ever more beleaguered.  The 3 Brighton & Hove parties contain a massive 8,000+ members.  Last July 2nd 600 people came out to vote at the AGM of the local District Labour Party.  When  Momentum supported candidates won with majorities of 2-1, Warren Morgan promptly invented an alleged spitting incident, backed up by another councillor Emma Daniels, which led to the national Labour Party and the Chair of the Disputes Committee, Anne Black, suspending the party.  Morgan thought nothing of lying through his teeth if it gave him a political advantage.  Last week he did so again.
Morgan even makes light of suggestions of a conspiracy - you don't need to be a conspiracy theorist to know that sometimes there are conspiracies - when the CCTV footage was examined and the staff member interviewed it was clear that Warren Morgan was a liar
Morgan was confident that City College would never release CCTV footage but when it did he remained silent
 The right-wing officials in the party did their best to uphold Morgan’s allegations and hatchet woman Katherine Buckingam was sent down by Iain McNicol from Labour nationally to ‘investigate’ the allegations.  Despite her best efforts, Buckingham found it impossible to find any evidence to back up Warren Morgan’s lies and when the video tape of the alleged incident was produced, courtesy of City College, where the AGM was held, Buckingham refused to view it!  [see Warren Morgan, Emma Daniels & The Spitting Incident That Never Was, My response to Katherine Buckingham, the Labour Party’s head of disputes and discipline]

At last week’s Labour Party Conference the Left was in a large numerical majority.  It is clear from the reception given to anti-Zionist Jewish speakers at the Conference, Naomi Wimborne-Iddrissi and Leah Levane, that Conference was unwilling to put up with more fake allegations of anti-Semitism.  Both received standing ovations.   The loudest cheer of Corbyn’s speech was reserved for his references to Palestine.  The Labour Friends of Israel and Jewish Labour Movement were not best pleased.

Both the Free Speech on Israel and Jewish Voices for Labour meetings were packed to the rafters.  So an allegation was invented and I have no doubt that Zionist activists pored over the footage they took secretly of the former meeting to find anything that could possibly discredit the speech of Miko Peled, an American-Israeli and son of an Israeli General Mattiyahu Peled.  When at one point Peled said that everything, including the Holocaust, should be discussed, this was transformed by the spin merchants and cynical manipulators of the Apartheid lobby into a call for Holocaust denial!
Warren Morgan, to whom lying comes as easily as his expenses claims, agreed to write a letter to Iain McNicol threatening the Labour Party with not being allowed to hold a conference in Brighton.  In other words for the sake of his Zionist and Progress friends he was willing to sacrifice millions of pounds in tourism money in Brighton.

Once again the fake anti-Semitism allegations have been used as the last throw of a desperate and discredited group of cynical and dishonest politicians.  And because I happened to be in the same room as 150-200 other people and even worse I spoke at the meeting, I am therefore guilty of Holocaust denial too and should be expelled immediately if not sooner.  I have no doubt that people will clearly see what has happened as the actions of desperate right-wingers trying to use the issue of anti-Semitism in order to halt the advance of the Left. 


I have therefore penned an Open Letter to Warren Morgan calling on him to do the only decent thing in his life so far and that is to resign as Leader of the Labour Group and better still as a councillor altogether.  To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Macbeth, nothing in his life would become him like the leaving of his office.

Tony Greenstein

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