Left-wing Labour member Christine Shawcroft has been bullied off Labour’s National Executive Committee after she was forced to resign as head of the disputes panel in a row over an alleged holocaust denier.
The worst part of this story isn’t the fact that Ms Shawcroft will be replaced by comedian Eddie Izzard (on the NEC – not as chair of the disputes panel, unless anyone knows better).
No – it’s the possibility that the charges against Alan Bull, whose alleged anti-Semitism was questioned by Ms Shawcroft, may have been entirely fabricated.
Here‘s Mr Bull’s comment on the matter:
In June 2015 I had 5000 Facebook friends, many of whom enjoyed discussing a wide range of controversial subjects that didn’t appear in the mainstream media. My habit then, as now is as follows — friends send me posts they think are of interest. I repost mostly without comment to discover what other friends have to say about the article/MEM. When a friend comments, I cut and paste this-complete with their name, and paste above the article before reposting. This stimulates more comments and we all get a better understanding of the subject as a result. The most controversial article I posted privately to friends only, 2 years ago, was a documentary, with the controversial title, “Red cross confirm holocaust is a hoax”. The more accurate and considerably less shocking sub heading of this title was excluded by the screenshotter for maximum impact. As were ALL of the 46 comments, including a short exchange I had with a Jewish friend who commented, “Can I ask the intent of this article, are you denying the holocaust”? To which I replied, “Not at all, just posting for discussion and debate, as usual, best wishes, Alan”.
These comments were removed, to create the impression that I, in some way agreed with the article in an attempt to misrepresent my intention and have me suspended from the party.
Other articles claiming I was anti-Semitic included supporting a petition to reinstate Ken Livingstone and another article which was actually written by one of my Jewish friends!
Interesting to see that support for Ken Livingstone is now taken to be support for anti-Semitism, even though he was not found guilty of any such offence.
Mr Bull’s case is now irretrievably prejudiced due to the publicity it has received.
And here‘s another severely prejudiced case: Marianne Tellier, the former secretary of Labour’s Park and Arbourthourne branch, in Sheffield, has been suspended after tweeting this picture:
Her accusers are suggesting she tweeted it in support of the Holocaust – the slogan, of course, hangs over the gates of Auschwitz. The significance is that Iain Duncan Smith, former Work and Pensions Secretary, visited Auschwitz in 2010 and famously stated, “Work makes you free” in at least one speech afterwards.
Satirists took the phrase and applied it to a Job Centre Plus sign (Mr Duncan Smith, as Work and Pensions Secretary was responsible for Job Centres at the time), making a double point, that he was behaving like a Nazi in both word and deed, as thousands of people were dying due to savage benefit policies.
I can’t say for sure that this is why Ms Tellier used the image, but it’s certainly my reason for doing so.
What we’re seeing is the disruption of due process by unscrupulous people with a political agenda – to harm the Labour left.
Red Labour explains it well, below:
As socialists, we have to uphold the principle of natural justice, based on due process. If that takes longer in these cases, that it is because it is potentially life changing to be expelled from @UKLabour for anti-semitism. We’re democrats & we can’t ever accept summary justice pic.twitter.com/hlelD0Rhu5
— Red Labour (@Redlabour2016) March 30, 2018
The text in the attachments states:
As socialists, we have to uphold the principle of natural justice, based on due process. If we don’t, it makes it very difficult to talk about either democracy in the Labour Party or the importance of proper, legal protections, under the law in wider society.
We have heard a lot of talk, mostly from people not in the Labour Party, about ways to deal with the anti-semitism problem in the party. There is a sense that if only Jeremy, as leader, was tougher, the problem could be solved. Or, if we just could instantly expel people on the spot, the debate could move on.
However, that’s not the way it works in a democratic party, indeed any party which has any semblance of rights and engagement for its members. The Labour Party isn’t a private company, with a Donald Trump-style CEO in charge, pointing the finger and “sacking” people on the spot.
If it takes longer in these cases, that is because it is potentially life-changing (especially for a lifelong Labour activist) to be expelled from the Labour Party for anti-semitism. Indeed, it is important that all those accused are treatted fairly, and discretely – and with the principles of natural justice (including the ability to get a fair trial) because even being suspended can have a massive impact on your mental health.
What we can’t ever accept is summary justice. As Red Labour have maintained throughout, we acknowledge there are cases of anti-semitism in the party, and that it is a problem. We think it right for anyone to be expelled if they are found guilty, after detailed questioning and reviewing of the evidence, but if we accept the demand to expel people based on a swirl of hatred, we will struggle to call ourselves a democratic and socialist party in the future.
My own case has been undergoing trial by bigotry, of course. Someone in Labour’s NEC (or an officer reporting to it) gave a biased report about me to a Sunday Times newspaper reporter, and I was deluged with hatred on the social media – including messages from at least two Labour MPs, with a third being quoted discussing my case in other national newspapers. There is absolutely no chance that my case can ever have a fair hearing now.
Would you like to read the names of 39 Labour MPs and peers who demanded that Jeremy Corbyn enact summary, swirl-of-hatred justice against Christine Shawcroft, on the basis of her questioning the validity of the allegedly-doctored evidence against Alan Bull – even though he doesn’t have the authority? Here they are:
BREAKING: In the biggest rupture since the general election, 39 Labour MPs and peers tell Jeremy Corbyn his action against antisemitism – specially Christine Shawcroft – is insufficient
Sack her from the NEC, they say pic.twitter.com/xBW2VPnAy3
— Sam Coates Times (@SamCoatesTimes) March 29, 2018
The letter states:
It is utterly wrong that somebody who defends a Labour candidate who has been suspended for Holocaust denial should be a member of Labour’s governing body.
This is highly offensive to the Jewish community and all those of us who wish to see the scourge of antisemitism eradicated.
We urge you to suspend Christine Shawcroft from the Labour Party immediately, thus ensuring she is removed from the NEC.
You pledged this week to be an ally in the fight against antisemitism. This action would represent an initial step in honouring that commitment.
Before going on, I should point out that, under the current, flawed system, all Labour members who are accused of anti-Semitism have their membership suspended before the evidence is considered – and that evidence is only considered by members of Labour’s governing body. We may therefore conclude that the signatories of this letter want everybody who is even accused of anti-Semitism to be dismissed without any opportunity to be defended by their NEC representatives, or even to defend themselves.
They want to make it possible to dismiss political opponents on the basis of false and malicious anti-Semitism charges, and that is not acceptable.
The Labour MPs and peers who want to pervert justice in this way are:
Dame Margaret Hodge
Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top
Baroness Cohen of Pimlico
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock
Lord Harris of Haringey
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
Lord Kennedy of Southwark
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale
How odd, it's mostly all the far right extremist Labour MPs. It's almost like its really about stopping people having affordable homes, a good education, and enough food to eat, rather than anti-Semitism. https://t.co/Zugb1aaxMG
— Labour Insider (@Labour_Insider) March 30, 2018
I have stated that Mr Corbyn does not have the authority to sack anybody from Labour’s NEC. By resigning her position, Ms Shawcroft has rescued him from an impossible situation:
MPs: You must sack Christine Shawcroft, Jeremy.
JC: I don't have the power.
MPs: You're weak!
JC: OK, I'll change the rules to give myself the power.
MPs: POWER CRAZED DICTATORSHIP!
— Rachael (@Rachael_Swindon) March 30, 2018
Of course, the only people to benefit from this are the Conservatives. Tory slimeball Sajid Javid was stoking the fires of disaffection on Twitter:
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) March 30, 2018
But we’ve all got the measure of him:
To get an idea of how depraved Javid is. Yesterday he was calling hundreds of Jewish Labour Party members Fascists (the ideology that resulted in the genocide of their ancestors) & today he's weaponising anti-Semitism to score political points.
— Tom (AAV) (@Angry_Voice) March 30, 2018
What we are witnessing here is an attack against justice, by the Labour MPs and peers named above, with the support of politicians from the Conservative Party (and no doubt many of the others, too).
It must not be allowed to succeed.
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