This should be a complete answer to accusations that Labour is “soft” on anti-Semitism: The party’s dispute procedure allows it, not only to demand that defendants be found guilty in spite of the evidence, but also to produce new evidence with no warning, if the original claims are disproved.
This is not justice. It is a good reason for you to support my bid to take this matter – and others – before a real judge in a court of law.
You’ll remember I wrote about the paragraph in Labour’s charge sheet against me that stated: “There are current and potential Labour voters of all backgrounds who are watching carefully what the Party does with cases like Mr Sivier’s. Taking definitive action in this case would send a clear and unambiguous message to all of them that Mr Sivier and the views he published extensively have absolutely no place in the party.”
This, I said, was a directive to find me guilty of anti-Semitism, no matter what the evidence shows.
Well obviously I got in touch with Labour to demand an explanation as to the meaning of this outrage. I also took the opportunity to check whether I had, in fact, received all the evidence that was likely to be used against me.
Here’s the answer: “It is actually part of the opening submissions that the NEC proposes to make at a hearing of its charge that purpose of which is to persuade the NCC panel to find in favour of the NEC. It is open to you to rebut such statements in your answer to charge and to make your own statements at the hearing to persuade the Panel of your case. It is for the Panel whether they are influenced or not by such statements.”
Not acceptable. It is an attempt to persuade the judging panel that they must find me guilty because of concerns beyond those related to my case – that it will look bad to outsiders if an innocent man is found innocent.
That is so backward, so corrupt, it should be shouted from the rooftops until Labour changes its barbaric ways.
On the evidence likely to be submitted, I was told: “The Party’s rule book allows the presenter of charges to reply to a respondent’s answer to charge and to provide new witness statements and other evidence in support of that reply, all of which will be copied to the respondent prior to a hearing. If either party however wishes to produce any documentary evidence at a hearing that has not been previously seen by the other party and the Panel, they need agreement of the Panel to do so. Such permission is usually only given if the evidence is material to the matters to be decided and there is a valid reason why the evidence has not been disclosed before e.g. it has only come to light after the disclosure of other evidence.”
This suggests that, if my evidence defeats the charges against me, my accusers will bring forward something else – with no prior warning, allowing me no time to assemble a defence against it.
I’ll be writing another stern letter, of course. In the meantime, don’t forget to contribute to my crowdfunder – or share it with someone who might, if you have already given.
After this has blown over, those of us in the Labour Party will need to overhaul its procedures and root out the unfairness that has been written in over the last few decades.
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