Momentum sacks Jackie Walker as vice-chair claiming her remarks caused ‘upset’. To whom?

Jackie Walker: Her comments were made in what was supposed to be a 'safe space' - but wasn't.

Jackie Walker: Her comments were made in what was supposed to be a ‘safe space’ – but wasn’t.

It is surprising that Momentum has bowed to pressure and removed Jackie Walker from her role as vice-chair of the organisation, simply because of “upset” caused by statements that were leaked to the press in a betrayal of trust by the Jewish Labour Movement.

Ms Walker had questioned the definition of anti-Semitism being used by the JLM at a training event during the Labour Party Conference last week. Training events are supposed to be ‘safe spaces’ where attendees may discuss ideas and issues without prejudice but she was secretly recorded – presumably by the event’s organisers – and the recording leaked to the right-wing press.

She also questioned the focus of Holocaust Memorial Day, which does not commemorate all holocausts/genocides.

There was also a question about security at schools for Jewish children – which has still not been explained adequately, in This Writer’s opinion.

None of these comments were made in public and they should have remained in the room where they were made, as issues for debate and discussion in the training event.

If there was any irresponsibility, it was on the part of the event’s organisers who allowed a recording of the discussion to be made and given to the gutter press; Ms Walker was well within her rights to ask questions as part of the event.

Indeed, in discussion of this incident on Twitter, I have seen at least two Labour members say they could not attend any Labour Party training event in the future, because their trust in the ‘safe space’ claim had been shattered.

Any upset that was caused to people at the event is unjustified as the purpose was to help people learn (or at least, that was the stated intention. It’s in the word “training”).

Any upset caused to people outside the event should not be blamed on Ms Walker as it was not her intention that a recording should be provided to the papers.

In any case, who has said they were upset? Were they genuinely upset or did they have an ulterior motive? This whole situation seems to be a deliberate attack on Ms Walker, to me.

Why aren’t we asking the JLM what its intention was in allowing that recording to get out? Why aren’t we accusing that organisation of irresponsibility?

There are good aspects to this. Momentum’s statement clearly shows the organisation does not consider anything she said to have been anti-Semitic and doesn’t believe she should be expelled from the Labour Party. That, at least, is correct.

It seems Momentum’s steering committee has been paying too much attention to the wrong people.

The vice-chairwoman of the Labour left-wing grassroots group Momentum has been sacked from the role amid a row over comments she made about anti-Semitism.

The organisation said it viewed Jackie Walker’s behaviour as “irresponsible”.

It said remarks on Holocaust Memorial Day and Jewish school security at a party training event were “ill-judged and offensive” but overall she did not appear to be anti-Semitic.

Ms Walker, who is Jewish herself, has said she is not an anti-Semite.

In a statement, Momentum, which was set up following Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 election as Labour leader, said its steering committee had voted seven to three to remove Ms Walker as its vice-chairwoman.

“Jackie’s actions at Labour Conference, in her subsequent Channel 4 interview, and by not understanding concern caused by her statements, have led the steering committee to view her behaviour as irresponsible and lose confidence in her…

“Having read reports of what Jackie Walker is alleged to have said, listened to the leaked video, and heard Jackie’s version of events, the committee does not regard any of the comments she appears to have made, taken individually, to be anti-Semitic.”

It said Ms Walker “should have done more to explain herself to mitigate the upset caused and should have been careful about statements on this and related subjects, whatever her record as an anti-racist, which the committee applauds”.

Momentum added that on the basis of the evidence it has seen, she should not be expelled from the Labour Party.

Source: Momentum vice-chair sacked after anti-Semitism row – BBC News

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20 thoughts on “Momentum sacks Jackie Walker as vice-chair claiming her remarks caused ‘upset’. To whom?

  1. Sven Wraight

    Jackie Walker has grounds to sue Momentum’s steering committee, whoever recorded her and leaked the recording, plus those accusing her of anti-Semitism. Some of us would really like to see these invertebrates hauled over the coals, Mrs Walker: give ’em hell!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I don’t see that – not in this case.
      I don’t think Blairites had anything to do with this decision.

      1. Pjay Mac

        Mike I believe you are wrong I think this has everything to do with the Blairite PLP NEC and Watson et al it is their modus operandi divide and conquer

  2. Barry Davies

    I think this raises some questions, such as why is there a Jewish Labour Movement in the labour party? Isn’t that divisive? It is a fair question to ask why the holocaust only commemorates the Jews who dies after all the Gypsies were treated in the same manner although being a minority the number was not as great and also many mentally ill or with what is now called learning difficulties. Also the difference between anti semitism and anti zionism should be highlighted,so in these areas I’m not sure why this uproar has been propagated or leaked to the press.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Personally I think the Jewish Labour Movement should be renamed the Zionist Labour Movement. My understanding is Zionists who aren’t Jews are allowed to join, while Jews who aren’t Zionists are not.
      Holocaust Memorial Day does commemorate other genocide events, and I think the Roma who were also persecuted by the Nazis are among those who are remembered.
      Good point about the mentally ill – although it should be widened to include everybody who was considered sick or disabled at the time.
      It was leaked to the press in order to create an uproar. Ms Walker’s words were spoken in a ‘safe space’ environment – a so-called training event in the Labour Party Conference – where she should have been able to say anything she liked without fear that it would be publicised. In my opinion the fault, for the recording being made and released to the Daily Telegraph (if I recall correctly) lies entirely with the JLM.

  3. Roland

    Momentum is bowing the the rightwing and zionists, looks like they have found a way to split Momentum before long there will be no more Momentum as they lay down and play dead and if they can’t stand with there member how do they thing they are going to win

  4. Geoff Ryan

    The first victims of Nazi capitalism were German Communists, Socialists and trade unionists – some of whom were undoubtedly Jewish. The Nazis frequently linked Judaism and Communism, using the term Judaeo-Bolshevism – while at the same time claiming Jews were bankers and financiers.
    Nazism was certainly anti-Semitic but was also murderously hostile to others:Slavs, Black people, Jehovah’s Witnesses (frequently forgotten victims of the Nazi Holocaust) as well as disabled and mentally ill people. All these should be remembered as victims of Nazi capitalism. And the Left should constantly refer to Nazi capitalism (not merely Nazism) as the Nazis undoubtedly worked to uphold capitalism in Germany. Capitalism is not just the supposedly benign economic system claimed by Tories, Liberals and the Blairites. It also includes Nazism and Fascism, it includes the slave trade, it includes the rape of Africa by European colonists, it includes the genocide of the indigenous people’s of Latin America as well as the Nazi holocaust.

  5. mohandeer

    Well, the right wing anti-Corbyn pro Israeli Zionist Jewish Labour Party won – of course.
    Perhaps this is an example of Corbyn’s leadership of the future. How much is he willing to concede to “appease” his enemies? This is, to say the least, disappointing. It’s one thing to bend in the wind, quite another to break or buckle.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        No – and you’re trolling.
        Momentum supports Mr Corbyn in his choices. That is the limit of its purpose.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I hope you’re not suggesting these incidents were anti-Semitic when combined. That would tell us more about you than about the situation.

      1. Clare Quilty

        thanks for ad hominam slur. I am completely suggesting that. Those two words dont accidentally find themselves in a carefully worded statement. Shows that others in Momentum must also feel when combined they teeter over the edge. Furthermore, David Schneider, who is left wing and a corbyn supporter wrote the definition of antisemtism that Jackie Walker chose to adopt in her press statement – he feels these comments put together are antisemitic – what does that say about him and his proCorbyn agenda?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        It’s not a slur. It really would tell us more about the person making the suggestion – and what’s your real name, “Ben” or “Clare Quilty”, who I seem to recall is a character in Lolita? He’s described as Humbert’s nemesis in it, and I wonder if you’re trying to describe yourself as mine. That would indicate a comparison between me and Humbert that would be a much more direct insult than your claimed ad hominem (that isn’t one).
        It’s a shame about Schneider, but he may have realised (and been offended) that Ms Walker may have used his definition of anti-Semitism because the first line suggests that anyone who lumps Jews, Israel and Zionism together as one thing – as the Jewish Labour Movement did – may be an anti-Semite.

  6. WOZZA

    The political elite are trying to keep ordinary people out of politics .because we don’t take crap

Comments are closed.