This Writer is eager to hear Michael Dugher’s speech later today (Wednesday), in which he is apparently expected to demand Ken Livingstone’s expulsion from Labour on a charge of anti-Semitism.
I’m keen to see how Mr Dugher proposes to show that Mr Livingstone hates Jews, when none of the remarks he made in support of Naz Shah – which led to his suspension from Labour – actually contained any anti-Semitic content. His historical accuracy has also been verified.
I’ll want to hear specific evidence, not vague accusations – which is all we’ve seen so far from haters like Mr Dugher’s colleague, John Mann.
I am particularly keen to hear arguments disproving the evidence I have unearthed.
Too much of the campaign against Mr Livingstone has been accepted unquestioningly.
Look at this Guardian article. It states that the proposal that Labour members excluded for anti-Semitism should no be banned for life, “raising the prospect that Ken Livingstone could be readmitted”. Has everybody forgotten that he remains innocent of the allegations against him?
He will remain so until such time as his guilt is proven, and that hasn’t happened yet.
Also, has everyone forgotten that Mr Livingstone was suspended on a charge of “bringing the Labour Party into disrepute” – which is actually more worrying than an anti-Semitism accusation would be.
Did he bring Labour into disrepute? Or was the party’s reputation tarnished by the reactions of people like Mr Mann, whose verbal attack on a BBC staircase was fulsome in its vehemence but lacking in facts.
Will the public reaction to such attacks be used as evidence against Mr Livingstone, under a claim that they wouldn’t have happened if he had not spoken up?
It all seems deeply dodgy to me.
Add to that the fact that the media storm over the issue died out the day after the local elections took place.
And consider the fact that Mr Livingstone had to give up his place on Labour’s National Executive Committee because the nomination process was likely to be over before the inquiry into his behaviour was.
When you look at it that way, it seems far more likely that this whole sordid incident was nothing more than a game played by ‘moderates’ like Mr Dugher and Mr Mann, in a bid to worsen Labour’s chances at the polls and harm Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership (which failed), and to get Mr Livingstone off the NEC (which has succeeded).
So who should really be facing dismissal from the Labour Party?
Labour members who are excluded from the party for antisemitism should not automatically be banned for life, an internal party inquiry has recommended, raising the prospect that Ken Livingstone could be readmitted following his claim that Hitler supported Zionism.
Lady Royall conducted an internal inquiry into claims of antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club (OULC). The Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, later bowed to pressure for a separate independent inquiry after Livingstone claimed Hitler supported Zionism “before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews”. Livingstone was suspended from the party and later gave up his seat on the national executive committee.
Royall’s recommendation that suspended members should not face life bans will infuriate Labour figures who want to see Livingstone thrown out of the party permanently.
The Labour MP Michael Dugher will call for Livingstone’s expulsion in a speech on Wednesday. “It is inconceivable that Livingstone will not be kicked out of the Labour party for good. There has been a pattern of behaviour from Mr Livingstone established over many years and there has never been any sign of any ‘demonstrable’ change of views,” Dugher will say.
“Labour cannot give Livingstone a free pass. To do so would make a mockery of the urgent need to show that Labour is resolute in our determination to stamp out antisemitism.”
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