Even superhero creator Stan Lee couldn’t save me from Labour’s fake anti-Semitism rap

Even the words of the great (Jewish) comics legend Stan Lee could not sway Labour’s disciplinary panel into accepting that Vox Political’s Mike Sivier isn’t an anti-Semite.

What a travesty!

If that is the standard of evidence on which the Labour Party has been expelling members for alleged anti-Semitism, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a wholesale thinning of the membership.

As you can probably guess, today (November 13) was the date of my disciplinary hearing with a tribunal from Labour’s National Constitutional Committee. It related to a charge of anti-Semitism that had been hanging over me since May 2017. And the panel found against me.

Did I mention I’m crowdfunding for court action to fight the false claims of anti-Semitism against me? As Labour leaked false information about me to the press in February, the party is vulnerable to an action for defamation. Please visit my page and contribute as much as you can spare. 

There were seven “particulars” of the charge, and I arrived to be told that there was no need to go over the Presenter’s (it’s not a court so they’re not the prosecution) case and we could proceed straight to the questions.

I had an awful lot of questions. More than 200, in fact. I wanted to find out whether there were any facts behind the accusations against me.

And we did find out, didn’t we? There was absolutely no factual evidence supporting any of the claims against me.




To questions that tried to determine where, in the evidence, there was proof that my use of quotation marks (around “anti-Semitism”) was anti-Semitic, or that tried to ascertain why an article about the Israeli Embassy scandal of a couple of years ago was being used to suggest I was pushing forward the anti-Semitic “global Jewish conspiracy” stereotype, what answers do you think I received?

“No comment.”

“We’ve not provided evidence; it’s about the impact in the public domain.”

“This is about perception… It’s about how this is perceived by the Jewish community.”

“You’re going into technicalities.”

“That is not relevant.” (This was actually used in response to a question about the words in one of the allegations against me – and also in response to a question about whether one of the facts I had quoted was true, so the facts were not materially relevant to this case; think about that.)

One of the questions related to the racist abuse suffered by fellow Labour Party member Jackie Walker at the hands of false accusers who were also said to have claimed the Nazi Holocaust exclusively for Jews. When I tried to explore the validity of the claims against me, I was told (by the panel’s chair, Maggie Cousins, who appears to have ‘form’ when it comes to interrupting proceedings before they turn in favour of the accused and who also seemed far more interested in catching her four o’clock train than in justice) that it was inappropriate to discuss another case. I wasn’t the one who had raised it!

(For more on Ms Cousins, see how she contributed to the expulsion from Labour of the son of two Nazi holocaust survivors.)

I asked why we could not talk about it and was told members of the panel may be hearing that case as well, so I pointed out that I had requested that the panel not include any members who had a conflict of interest due to any item of evidence. Then I was told that no such conflict of interest existed. So what was the problem?

I’ll tell you: The problem was the panel’s chairperson did not want to have to admit that, in this matter, the Labour Party’s controlling committee was apparently supporting the racist abuse of one of its members. I’ll explain more in a future article.

As for whether it was anti-Semitic – Holocaust denial – to suggest that anybody had claimed the Nazi Holocaust exclusively for Jews, I asked if the NEC had carried out any research into whether campaigners had made such a claim and the answer was, “No.” have carried out such research and there’s surprisingly much of it about. I’ll explain more in a future article.

How about this comment from the Presenter: “Whether your comments are anti-Semitic is neither here nor there.”

Or this: “Your intentions are not relevant.”

You can see that they were angling that the way my words were perceived by other people was said to be the issue. The problem is, other people can say whatever they like about my words; it is whether their comments have any validity that I was trying to ascertain – and that, it seemed to me, the panel was trying to hide.

I made the point that it is very dangerous for the Labour Party to try to talk down to members – and voters – about how my articles (or anybody else’s words) should be perceived. It is for members of the public to make up their own minds. Attempts to dictate to people will make them feel patronised.

“The NEC is not here to police what people say.”

But the NCC was, it seems – as became clear over the four hours following that statement. When the panel had a chance to question me on my evidence, it was all about whether members of the Labour Party should be discussing emotive matters like anti-Semitism in public. My point that these matters were in the public domain in any case, and that it is the responsibility of Labour members to counter false claims wherever we find them (or to accept valid points in order to improve the party’s policies, procedures and offer to members), fell on deaf ears.

By the end of the hearing, the issue of anti-Semitism had been left far behind and the matter at hand was whether the Labour Party’s ruling committee has a right to gag members. In my closing statement, I argued passionately that this was a terrible idea because it would leave the public arena to the party’s critics, who would – of course – have free rein to influence public opinion in whatever way they chose, to the detriment of Labour and against the interests of the UK.

Deaf ears.

There was some urgency to get me to say I would consider re-education on anti-Semitism – which I rejected out of hand, something like four times during the course of the day.

The panel retired to consider its verdict and, on its return, said that on the balance of probabilities the charges against me were proved. With what – thin air? Did I have anything to say in mitigation?

I said: “No mitigation. The charges are false. I am innocent.”

This seemed to set the cat among the pigeons because the panel took another half an hour to come to its decision to rescind my party membership for 18 months, following which I would be able to reapply to join.

That’s not exactly a resounding condemnation, is it?

Oh – but I was going to talk about Stan.

After I finished referring to the evidence in my closing statement I expressed regret that I had been forced to discuss the issues of the case, because I had put together a nice speech about my own beliefs, prompted by the death of superhero comics creater Stan Lee on November 12. I asked if the panel wanted to hear it anyway and the members didn’t seem opposed so I gave it to them:

“Stan is best known to the world as the creator of the Marvel superhero universe, that has entertained generations of comic-book readers in the 20th century and led to some of the biggest movie blockbusters of the 21st.

“He created the X-Men, a series that has the struggle against racism – of any kind – as its central theme, and some may think that is reason enough to mention him here.

“But his most famous character is Spider-Man, the bullied schoolboy who gains fantastic abilities and uses them, not to make easy money or achieve easy romantic success, but to stand up for the poor, the weak, those who cannot defend themselves because, as Stan put it, “With great power comes great responsibility”. That is a message I certainly hope the members of the panel take to heart today.

“Stan always made it clear that, although his protagonists wore masks, it was the actions of the human beings behind those masks that made them heroic – their choice to do things, not because they were easy, but because they were hard.

“He had a huge effect on my life – as a young reader of Stan’s work, I learned these lessons well, and they have deeply affected my work as an adult.

“An obvious example would be the two years I spend forcing the Conservative government to release its statistics on the number of people who have died after being forced off sickness benefits under the work capability assessment system. Many people thought I should give up but I persevered – not because it was easy but because it was hard. And I won. And the scandal of the homicidal Tory benefit system has been big news ever since.

“Another example might be this case, and my determination to show that it is perfectly reasonable to discuss the subjects mentioned today, in the ways I have discussed them, without expecting to be accused of wrong-doing.

“I owe my determination to do what’s right, even when it seems an impossible struggle, to Stan.

“If you’re asking why that is important to this hearing, I’ll tell you:

“Stan Lee was Jewish.

“His real name was Stanley Martin Lieber. Like his collaborator Jack Kirby (or Jacob Kurtzberg) and other contemporaries, he was one of a generation of Jews who built up the US comics industry from the 1940s onwards.

“Stan wrote an editorial that is relevant to today’s proceedings, that was published in Marvel comics in 1968 – before I was even born. A friend put it up on Facebook last night; it covers the subject that concerns us today and reflects my own feelings.

“He wrote: “Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them – to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater – one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen – people he’s never known – with equal intensity – with equal venom. Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race – to despise an entire nation – to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God – a God who calls us ALL – His children.

“”Pax et justitia,


“They’re his words, but my thoughts too. It IS totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race – to despise an entire nation – to vilify an entire religion. We MUST learn to judge each other on our own merits – as I was doing when I wrote the articles that form the basis of the complaints against me today.

“Using those words to combat the evils we have discussed may not be the best way to pay tribute to Stan, but it’s the best I can do.”

Of course, I was saying that a person who had been so profoundly influenced for the positive, by a person who was well-known as a Jew, could not possibly be an anti-Semite.

Deaf ears.

Even Stan Lee couldn’t make a speech heroic enough to sway a tribunal that seemed to have made up its collective mind before the hearing started.

So allow me to remind you that I have a crowdfunding page and you are invited to contribute – if you have an interest in justice.

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44 thoughts on “Even superhero creator Stan Lee couldn’t save me from Labour’s fake anti-Semitism rap

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Maggie Cousins. I’ve just been looking her up on the web and Oh My Word! It seems she has ‘form’.

      1. G Millward

        Yes indeed. I was hoping the chair would be Anne Dyer because I’d heard that Cosins was no longer going to be the chair. It could have been worse you could have had Peter Mason who apparantly had a full blown melt down in this case …

        Who were the other panel members in your case Mike?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        As I understand it, their names were Russell Cartwright and Dave Clement (or Clements). The latter seemed a nice enough guy – we had a conversation about Brexit and its effect on Dover during the lunch break and he seemed reluctant to join in the questions the panel put up in an attempt to knock down my case (most of these came from Mr Cartwright).

  1. Pat Richmond

    “they” are blind and deaf. Another wonderful piece of writing and thank you for all you do and say.

  2. James Fussell

    The Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee shows itself to be bigoted, irrational, blinkered – if not severally insane. Who appointed these blithering idiots to sit in judgment on people who blatantly and overwhelmingly surpass them in intelligence, perceptiveness and straightforwardness? Were they appointed by the previous leadership clique? Presumably they didn’t appoint themselves! I hope at least that they have zero connection to the current leadership!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They were three members who weren’t members of the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel; that’s about all I know.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Not in an NCC panel, I think.
      Still, next we’ll be going to court – where I will, indeed require a lawyer. It’ll be fun.

      1. Jan Brooker

        Not quite true; in Court you can have a McKenzie Friend [https://www.mckenzie-friend.org.uk/] ~ unlike in LP procedures: so ~ the bourgeois courts are more democratic than the LP’s internal procedures. In a unionised workplace you can have a shop steward or rep, so the workplace is more democratic than the LP. Q. Who set up the LP? ~ A. the trades unions. You couldn’t maker this up ~ as they say.

      2. Tony Dean

        Mike you are by English law allowed to be represented at ANY disciplinary type of meeting.
        (That dates back to the Magna Carta.).

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        Yes but that would have allowed the other side to have such representation too.
        What I didn’t expect was that the chairperson would be biased against me and the concept of a fair hearing was alien to the NCC.

  3. aunty1960

    Sorry, but you block and ban me as I keep raising the issue Labour is not true and is a traversty. And probably used the new interpretation of Protection from Harassment, which says it is not what you say, or if it is true or supported by evidence, it is how the other person feels and for the person to feel “upset” is enough for your to be found guilty.

    and you block and ban me for saying they remain the bastards they always have been

    Like Catholics being devoted to the Catholic church after all that has happened and remain blind and deaf until tbeir eys and ears and brains are openes

    It is about POWER It is not about you, any working class person or any disabled or vulnerable.

    I would not spend one penny on them

    I would call for all to withdraw and withhold their membership in protest

    They have lost because many people have not renewed their membership

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Your “new interpretation of Protection from Harassment” is a perversion of the so-called Macpherson Principle – it isn’t true.
      Macpherson said if a person reported a crime as being racially-motivated (or anti-Semitic), it should be recorded as such. But the police would still have to investigate the allegation and come to their own conclusions about whether it was a crime, and if so, whether it was racially-motivated (or anti-Semitic). You would not expect a judge in any court case to agree that a person was a racist criminal, just because someone else said so, would you?
      Obviously that goes for claims such as those against me, too – but certain operators, with their own agenda, have twisted it for their own purposes to horrifying effect.

      It’s still no reason to condemn the entire organisation, as you are too keen to do.

  4. trev

    It doesn’t endear me to voting Labour when they treat people in such a high-handed way in what sounds like a kangaroo court.

  5. 4foxandhare

    Dear Mike, I’m so sorry that your excellent appeal for justice, fell upon deaf ears. To paraphrase; “There are none so deaf as those who will not hear.”

    I feel so helpless; unable to help you. I’ll never believe that criticism of the policies of the Israeli government, is antisemitic.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Only part of it went as far as criticism of the policies of the Israeli government. I’ll run a few articles to get the details out.

  6. beastrabban

    Really sorry that they treated you like this, Mike. But I’m not surprised either. Keep fighting, and best wishes to you and all the others, who’ve been smeared and tried by these kangaroo courts.

  7. Duncan Shipley Dalton

    I had wondered if it was Maggie Cousins who Chaired because the description of events seemed in keeping with her complete lack of understanding of fair process. Who were the other 2?

    I have messaged you through Twitter. I am disgusted by this and will do whatever I can to help.

    To answer the question above by deemac42Dorothy. The NCC rules do allow you to be represented by a lawyer. However if you are represented by a lawyer then the Party usually hires one as well to be the presenter.

    The NCC however did recently change its own procedures to allow a Party member to appear at the NCC as a representative/advocate for another member. Therefore someone like me (not a lawyer in England and Wales but barrister in NI) is now able to appear as an advocate at the NCC on behalf of other Party members in my capacity as a Party member. I intend to take advantage of this and help as many members as I can. I am determined to keep fighting on this until the disciplinary process is actually fair and just in the way it treats members.

    1. G Millward

      Well said Duncan.
      This case does not bode well for the person I am representing at the NCC.
      I am not a lawyer but have managed to persuade the NCC to allow me to represent the suspended member as a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act.

  8. Growing Flame

    I wonder if this ridiculous decision was based on a desire to try to smother the worst of the accusations of anti-semitism by being seen to “do something about it”. As you describe , the panel was more concerned about how your words might be construed by readers (without considering the political views or intentions of those readers) so that their decision to suspend you could then be submitted, as it were , for the approval of those same readers. In the hope that those readers would be satisfied. In fact, I fear that they will be emboldened and may even insist that the Labour panel was too lenient and too indulgent of anti-semitism! What proof do they have that your comments were anti-semitic? Why, the Labour panel itself says so!!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s exactly what the Twitter trolls do.
      When I was accused by the right-wing newsrags, they came out in force, claiming I must be anti-Semitic because the papers said so.

  9. Rod Jones

    It appears that in the whole organisational structure of the Labour Party that the NCC is an exception in that it it answers – and panders – to an external right-wing organisation and not any other part of the party.

    1. jill Phillips

      It’s very clearly the case. How did this set of seemingly awful people get to be in charge of such an important committee as this? How many people are in the NCC – and what inept procedure permitted it?
      Labour members must be informed – and an appropriate procedure must replace it. A member of the Jewish Voice of Labour would be helpful. Is their position now frozen as being the ‘wrong’ Jews. And if so, how can this, too,be put right?

      I’ve always been impressed by your work – as I am also impressed by the calibre of those who are supporting you here. I do hope that the lawyer (barrister?) who offered help above can truly help put this right. It would do a very great deal of good.

  10. Ray

    How stupid can they be and this is coming from a jew I don`t give a toss about Israel I`m British not Israeli as far as Israel goes`s they can go to hell they are behaving like the Nazi`s did to the Jews.
    you are right mike labour I don`t understand them any more seem`s to me to be pc correct.

    1. Neil Cameron

      New members on the panel may not help, Alan. It’s not just the influence of Labour Right-wingers and Israel lobbyists that’s a problem….. it’s also the moral cowardice and timidity of many on the ‘Left’ who won’t speak up. Ironically, the poem of the repentant Nazi, Martin Niemöller comes to mind.

  11. Dez

    Deeply disappointed that this cabal has even been allowed to sit in so called judgement of fellow members without really thoroughly revisiting the situation in detail to ensure the right decision is made. One comes to accept the Tories permanently stick their heads and their few brain cells where the sun does not shine but this result shows there is something dreadfully wrong with the selection processes and indeed within the Labour party leadership in even allowing this lot loose making any half decent decision. I hope you succeed in your external crowd funding such that this Labour flaw becomes public and more Labour supporters can see what they can look forward to should the big picture comes together again at the next election opportunity.

  12. Barry Davies

    If you description of the hearing is accurate clearly the criminal basis of innocent till proven guilty and being found guilty beyond reasonable doubt is no where being met. The lower standard of balance of probabilities, should be more in your favour as no case was actually presented against you. I’m no lawyer but as an ex shop steward
    I would be going hell for leather that the case be dismissed on the grounds that the correct proceedure had not been followed, and there was no case presented to be answered.

  13. Pat Sheehan

    So it’s not just torys with feet in mouths and heads up a***-****s! You’re dealing with nincompoops and pratts Mr Sivier so you will need to take a deep breath and keep a cool head. As much as I admire the Labour leadership team I won’t be parting with any money for membership whilst the ‘Party’ remains in such a hopelessly divided and self-destructive state!

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