Here is a copy of the proposed rule change. It’s a hefty wedge of text but it is worth wading through it. See if you can find anyting in principle wrong with it:
“No member of the party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the party. The NEC shall take account of any codes of conduct currently in force and shall regard any incident which in their view might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age, disability, gender reassignment or identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation as conduct prejudicial to the party; these shall include but not be limited to incidents involving racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia or otherwise racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions, sexual harassment, bullying or any form of intimidation towards another person on the basis of a protected characteristic as determined by the NEC, wherever it occurs, as conduct prejudicial to the party. Any dispute as to whether a member is in breach of the provisions of this sub-clause shall be determined by the NCC in accordance with Chapter 1 Clause IX above and the disciplinary rules and guidelines in Chapter 6 below. Where appropriate the NCC shall have regard to involvement in financial support for the organisation and/or the activities of any organisation declared ineligible for affiliation to the party … or to the candidature of the members in opposition to an officially endorsed Labour Party candidate or the support for such candidature. The NCC shall not have regard to the mere holding or expression of beliefs and opinions except in any instance inconsistent with this party’s aims and values, agreed codes of conduct, or involving prejudice towards any protected characteristics.”
It seems okay – right?
However, it also seems that some of the proposals around it are less sound. Here’s Free Speech on Israel, a predominantly Jewish campaign group that was set up “to counter the manufactured moral panic over a supposed epidemic of antisemitism in the UK”:
“This (organisation) deplores antisemitism. But we believe the press outcry on alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party was designed, in league with Israel’s apologists and censors, to damage the party and its leadership. This does no service to a genuine fight against this hate crime.
“We deplore the proposal to task Jewish Labour Movement with training Labour Party branches and organisations in recognising and defining antisemitism. JLM is an affiliate both of the Israel Labour Party which in office has promoted the building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories and the World Zionist Organization, which has channelled funds to the illegal settlements.
“We oppose censorship of legitimate and valid political action such as Palestine solidarity. We assert our right to speak and organise against the State of Israel’s systemic, historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and violations of human rights and international law, and to support Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against those complicit in these injustices.
“This (organisation) therefore, urges the Labour Party to:
“* Listen to the many Jews who are outraged by the lie that Jews are not safe in the Labour Party; establish an ongoing role in the Party for alternative Jewish Labour voices;
“* Adhere to fair practice and transparency when investigating charges against members;
“* Call to order Labour Party members who bring the Party into disrepute by spreading false allegations about widespread antisemitism in the Party;
“* Urgently lift all suspensions that were based on flimsy or unfounded claims of antisemitism.
“* Strongly oppose the press incitement against Muslims, refugees and immigrant workers.”
That seems to put a different complexion on the matter.
Your opinions are requested.
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