Right-wing rag The Spectator has named This Writer as number 20 in a list of 50 people or groups reckoned to be Labour Party anti-Semites – presumably because its editors are now terrified of the independent media’s reputation for factual accuracy.
What a shame the part of the article about me – by someone named only as “Steerpike” – has absolutely no factual accuracy of its own.
Here it is:
For those who have trouble reading images, it says: “Mike Sivier, author of the far-left Vox Political blog, has claimed there is a ‘conspiracy’ between Jews and those who defend them in the UK, saying: ‘We are being told that agents of a foreign country have infiltrated our institutions’. He was due to stand as a Labour candidate in council elections in 2017 but was suspended before the ballot took place.”
The link on the word “saying” takes you – not to any Vox Political article such as this one (on which the allegations were originally based), but to the false and malicious Campaign Against Antisemitism smear piece that I debunked immediately after it came out, almost a year ago. ‘Steerpike’ wouldn’t dream of letting you anywhere near my actual words because then you’d know his accusation is a lie.
Ironically, the article to which The Spectator indirectly alludes is headlined Accusation games: It’s all falling apart for the knee-jerk ‘anti-Semitism’ accusers – and now, it really is.
Let’s take the claims line by line.
“Mike Sivier, author of the far-left Vox Political blog, has claimed there is a ‘conspiracy’ between Jews and those who defend them in the UK.” Far-left? That’s a matter of opinion. I’d say I write from a centre-left viewpoint, but then I’d say The Spectator is written by people of a far-right bent. Agreed?
As for a “‘conspiracy’ between Jews and those who defend them in the UK”, take a look at my article and you’ll see that I was commenting on former Israeli embassy official Shai Masot’s attempt to conspire with members of UK political parties to achieve the wishes of the Israeli government. The example used in the Al-Jazeera documentary The Lobby was a plan to remove Alan Duncan, who has pro-Palestinian views, from his position as a Foreign Office minister. At one point in the documentary, Mr Masot even referred to what he was trying to do as a “conspiracy, yes?”
I make no mention of a “‘conspiracy’ between Jews [bolding mine] and those who defend them in the UK” because it was a conspiracy by a member of the Israeli government.
In the documentary, he mentions connections with other UK organisations including Labour Friends of Israel and its counterpart in the Conservative Party, and this led me to ask further – justified – questions about the role of such organisations in promoting the agenda of a foreign government.
“Saying: ‘We are being told that agents of a foreign country have infiltrated our institutions’.” ‘Steerpike’ let himself down here. “We are being told” means I wasn’t asserting it – I was merely reporting what had been said elsewhere. “Agents of a foreign country” cannot be taken to refer to Jews as a racial or ethnic group. And the infiltration of “our institutions” was demonstrated in the documentary.
“He was due to stand as a Labour candidate in council elections in 2017 but was suspended before the ballot took place.” The article fails to mention that I still stood as a candidate, and people still voted for me. The intention is for readers to believe heroic whistle blowers forced Labour to stop me from standing at all, which is a lie. It also fails to mention the fact that my membership was suspended because the Campaign Against Antisemitism (or one of its readers), having failed to win support against me from Welsh Labour, sent a copy of its lying article to Labour headquarters in London, where an officer triggered my suspension in a knee-jerk reaction, having failed to check if there was even a prima facie case to answer.
The CAA article was, it seems, written with the express intention of corruptly influencing the council election I was contesting, in flagrant breach of the Representation of the People Act, 1983. I’m still arguing about that with the police, who have been reluctant to understand the law in this regard.
So the Spectator reference to me is a pack of lies from beginning to end. Can anyone dare expect the rest of the article to be any better?
I’m not familiar with all the incidents listed but, of those I do know, none are reported accurately and all are treated in the most hysterical, prejudicial way possible.
What are we to conclude?
‘Steerpike’, together with the editors and owners of The Spectator, are afraid.
They know the fake claims of anti-Semitism against the Labour left aren’t gaining any traction because independent media sites like Vox Political are debunking them by publishing the facts.
And they know that this means people will know they are lying.
So they repeat tired old smears against This Writer in a vain attempt to swing opinion in the other direction.
All they have done is attract my attention – and, soon, the attention of my legal representative.
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