Labour activist Marc Wadsworth has been expelled from the party after its National Constitutional Committee ruled that he had brought the party into disrepute.
This is nonsense.
The allegation against Mr Wadsworth – by MP Ruth Smeeth – arose after an incident involving the two at the launch of the Chakrabarti Report on June 30, 2016.
He had been handing out leaflets calling for the mandatory reselection of Labour MPs, and had seen a Telegraph reporter handing it to Ms Smeeth for a comment.
So he said: “I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand.”
Ms Smeeth, who we all subsequently discovered is Jewish, accused him of attacking her with an anti-Semitic trope (that Jews – or rather “the Jews” – control the media).
Can you find anything anti-Semitic in what Mr Wadsworth said?
He was calling out a Labour MP for colluding with the Tory press, wasn’t he?
All things considered – and it will be fascinating to learn the reasons for the NCC’s decision – it seems it is Ms Smeeth who is guilty of bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.
What was she doing, falsely accusing a man of anti-Semitism on such a flimsy basis?
Why did she kick up such a huge fuss, that overshadowed the launch of a very important piece of Labour policy?
And why did the party leadership take a frankly silly claim so seriously that it has permanently tarred a perfectly decent man as an anti-Semite.
This is an absolutely despicable decision and all those involved should be ashamed of themselves.
One can only hope that Jennie Formby’s review of Labour’s disciplinary procedures will make any further travesties of justice impossible.
But, considering today’s result, I doubt it.
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Very concerning, though hopefully there will soon be a full report setting out the reasons and justification for this surprising decision. Until this becomes available then it would be prudent to reserve judgement. If, after due and proper consideration, it is felt that an appeal is required, then we might need to consider the possibility of crowdfunding!
Looks like JC rolled over for the party machine! If this continues labour will loose out with many people moving away from labour and not voting at all.
Unfortunately Labour have allowed the media to seize the ‘anti-semitism’ narrative which was a BIG mistake.
The issue of a workable definition of anti-semitism should have been brought up as soon as the mural issue came to the fore. Instead Corbyn ended up breakdancing to the media tune.
creating a workable definition of ‘anti-semitism’ could have engendered a vital debate and robbed the neo-liberals of a further weapon to club Corbyn with.
This is a great shame and will have reinvigorated our appalling media which until now, Corbyn challenged effectively.
Calling anti-Semitism racism would be enough to do that.
If I was him, I would crowdfund for legal aide and take it to a court of Law.
It is time to drop the pretence. Until the Labour party reinstates ALL members falsely accused of anti-Semitism it will never be fit to gain the confidence of ordinary people.
There are thousands of potential activists who will not join the party because they feel it only represents the rights interests.
People can rally around Corbyn all they want. Until all the so called moderates are deselected this will never be a party for the many.
Shame on Labour. Again
Until we stop treating Jews differently from everybody else this will never go away. Racism is racism is racism and that’s the message that we need to send and stop categorising racial discrimination according to who is on the receiving end; it should be about those who dish it out!
I think you make a good general point-but we’re still left with the issue of definition which applies to all aspects of racism. We need workable definitions to understand where the boundaries are.
Take the mural, for example, that sparked all this off. The media described it as ‘anti-semitic’ before there was a chance of debate and by then Corbyn was on the ropes.
The artist maintained it wasn’t antisemitic though I’d say there were undertones of an Anti-semitic trope that most jewish people would be sensitive to.
So the debate and the creation of workable definitions is important, I think.
This appears to be a perverse decision taken by the NCC for reasons known only to themselves. I hope Marc pursues this matter through the courts and I for one will be happy to donate to a crowdfund for his legal fees in respect of that to ensure that the overriding objective is achieved, which is that justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.
I think the Labour Party needs to distinguish between:
1) The ‘anti-semitism’ accusation-which, like Mike, I consider to be groundless
2) Whether Wadsworth should have used THAT forum (contextually very sensitive) to make points about anti-Corbyn M.P’s and the media whilst combining it with a statement about ethnic balance.
I think Marc was wrong to use that platform in the way he did but NOT because any antisemitism was present.
This distinction needs to be made.
I wonder how many more people might join Labour if they weren’t put off by this sort of nonsense? I know I would.
According to the Guardian:
‘Wadsworth was charged with bringing the party into disrepute, rather than antisemitism, which was not a specific offence in the Labour rulebook at the time of the incident.’
So even though I think expulsion was harsh there seems to have been at least some separation from the anti-semitism accusation which was bogus>
What has sickened me though is the way the so-called representatives of the Jewish community (no representatives of me!) have made it look like it as Corbyn at last being tough on anti-semitism:
‘Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who met the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, this week to express community concerns about antisemitism, said it was “the right result and is a step in the right direction”.
Arkush is being rather ‘cute’ and disingenuous here twisting things to suit his own agenda. The jewish community should not allow politically biased people like him represent them.
Hmm. It would seem that perhaps he touched a raw nerve, so perhaps he had a point. So is anyone investigating whether Ruth Smeeth may have been colluding with the Torygraph?
He’s already crowd funded today’s hearing
Marc was not expelled for anti Semitism but for ” bringing the party into disrepute”. We must be careful with our words here, and not make claims that are over reaching.
Plenty of stuff about both Smeeth and Arkush lying about the internet. I cam across a rather interesting item written at the time of Smeeth’s selection for SoT North, seeking to ensure that if members selected her, they did so with their eyes open.As for Arkush, there’s no need to go to his enemies. Look up his potted bio on the Jewish Leadership Council site and ask yourself if this man would back Labour if he were a Christian, a Jain, a Snintoist or a Jedi.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually had an anti-Semitic comment on this article.
No, I’m not publishing it.
Mike- I’d like to personally thank you for bringing sanity, rationality and proper debate into the arena.
You have done some sterling work on this issue alone.
That’s very kind of you! I’m grateful.