Joan Ryan joins ‘Independent Group’ with a huge lie. Par for the course with this mob?

Joan Ryan: Now she has gone, the Parliamentary Labour Party will be a much more honest place.

The (now-former) chair of Labour Friends of Israel has quit the party to join the new ‘Independent Group’ of MPs, with a lie – which is typical of her behaviour.

Joan Ryan had already lost a vote of “no confidence” in her Enfield North Constituency Labour Party after she was caught in a lie that a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was anti-Semitic.

She had faked an accusation of anti-Semitism against a Palestine Solidarity Campaign supporter called Jean Fitzpatrick. Speaking to an undercover reporter who she thought was a pro-Israel activist, she claimed the PSC activist had said Labour Friends of Israel was a route to getting a job at a bank in the City.

“You heard her say … ‘join you lot and you get into Oxford’ or ‘you get into working in the bank,’” Ms Ryan lied in the resulting documentary, The Lobby. The film shows that Jean Fitzpatrick had said no such thing, but Ms Ryan reported the campaigner to the party’s disciplinary system.

Ms Fitzpatrick, 71, provided a statement to local members on what really happened, attached as an appendix to the motion. She stated that “the strain of the whole case took its toll on me psychologically and emotionally… It would be true to say that it is only in the last year I have begun to recover my health and equilibrium”.

Ms Ryan has been one of Jeremy Corbyn’s most bitter opponents since he was elected leader of the Labour Party, and the motion cited this long-running campaign as its basis, stating that she had written and contributed to many articles in a “press unjustly hostile to Jeremy Corbyn. By doing so our MP has smeared his character.” A constant theme had been baseless allegations of anti-Semitism against the party under Mr Corbyn.

And Enfield North constituency party members were angry that Ms Ryan’s 2017 general election campaign was “all but abandoning Labour and sought to publicize herself as an independent in all but name.”

At the time, Ms Ryan sent out letters claiming that “many” local people had told her “they have more confidence in Theresa May as prime minister than they would have in Jeremy Corbyn.” Despite “your misgivings about the Labour leadership,” she wrote, “I hope that you will consider voting for me as your local MP.”

She lost the the confidence vote despite attempts to bully members by her supporters, who shouted that those who didn’t vote for her were anti-Semites.

You can see that Ms Ryan has a track record of dishonesty.

She left Labour in the manner that characterised her membership of the party – with a lie.

In her resignation letter, she stated: “The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has become infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism. This problem simply did not exist in the party before his election as leader. No previous Labour leader would have allowed this huge shame to befall the party.”

Oh really? Then why was such a fuss made about anti-Semitism after Ed Miliband recognised Palestine’s statehood, to quote examples featuring the immediately-previous Labour leader?

“Cremant Communarde”, on Twitter, wrote a thread about this, going into the history of claims against Labour – starting before Mr Corbyn became leader, that is worth quoting here:

If anti-Semitism wasn’t an issue under Ed Miliband, what were all these people – and you’ll notice they’re the usual suspects – making such a fuss about?

The fact is that anti-Semitism in Labour has reduced under Mr Corbyn’s leadership – but that doesn’t suit Ms Ryan’s narrative so she has denied it with a tissue of falsehoods.

With that record of dishonesty, the rest of Ms Ryan’s claims about anti-Semitic sentiment in the Labour Party aren’t worth a fig. You can read them here if you can stomach the lies.

If you haven’t got the gist yet, let me make it clear: Joan Ryan is a liar. She has made one dishonest claim after another in an increasingly desperate series of attempts to discredit Mr Corbyn.

Now she has joined the “Independent Group” of former Labour MPs who have split from the party, fully half of that organisation have lost votes of “no confidence” in their constituencies.

I have already written about the way that organisation is based on lies and broken promises – so she should be very much at home there.

As is the case with so many of the others, the Labour Party is better for Joan Ryan’s departure.


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10 thoughts on “Joan Ryan joins ‘Independent Group’ with a huge lie. Par for the course with this mob?

  1. Simonsky

    Ryan-someone else who knows diddley squat about the history and reality of anti-semitism conflated anti-Zionism with it. Does she not know that many Jews opposed Zionism, both Orthodox and Left Wing Yiddish speaking groups before Israel existed?

    As a Jew, I’m sick to death of these people telling me what is or isn’t antisemitism.

    Thanks for your sterling work again on this issue, Mike.

  2. Max Cat

    I wondered when this self -serving, disingenuous waste of space was going to join the other bunch of *****

  3. Jan Brooker

    Before the pro-Israel lobby decided to weaponise anti-semitism, this is what the, then, 2 JLM vice-Chairs wrote: “Both of us have been involved in Labour Party, at the grassroots, in local government and as candidates for many years. As Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Finchley and Golders Green at the last election and its GLA candidate in the .. London elections, respectively, neither of us has ever experienced any incidence of anti-Semitism from within the party.”

  4. Bob Vant

    I’ve raised this general point with you before, Mike. I don’t think you’ve responded yet?

    You are very thorough at exposing “This Sort Of Thing” (thank you, Fathers Ted and Dougal….. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/apr/20/father-ted-legacy-20-years-on-up-with-this-sort-of-thing). You make well-evidenced arguments. You are very patient.

    However, you shouldn’t ignore evidence which gives another slant. As long as you/we do that, this cloud will hang over us.

    I don’t think that anti-semitism is a big problem in the Labour Party. Nor is JC anti-semitic. But – by ‘eck! – he and some us us have been remarkably clumsy in how we have dealt with the issues.

    I have a big file with examples of where JC has had to apologise for what/how/to whom he’s spoken on Palestine/Israel. Let me know if you want more……but calling Hamas “Friends” when their Charter was viciously, openly, anti-semitic is the real doozy. He hasn’t apologised DIRECTLY for that. Vague claims about “Being against all racisms” won’t cut the mustard. As his critics say, he HAS “…associated with anti-semites.” You can’t argue with that… but some do….if even only with silence.

    In the wider context, I’m shocked by how often some of us use the same arguments as anti-semites use against Jews. Look at this latest one…..

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47296591

    There are loads more examples of that.

    Can we agree that HOPE NOT HATE isn’t a tool of Zionists/Israelis/Blairites/Red Tories? This is its summary of what it sees as how many British Jews feel about their position.

    “The family history of so many members of the British Jewish community includes first-hand experience of persecution. Many people in the Jewish community therefore identify with a sense of the precariousness of their safety, where material security and educational attainment are not seen as guarantors of security and safety. The inability of the Labour Party leadership to understand and acknowledge this experience is particularly chilling when the Labour Party and the left in general hold values of equality and antiracism as core to their identity.”

    CAN YOU ACCEPT THAT OUR INSENSITIVITY AND CLUMSINESS (JC AND OTHERS) HAVE ADDED TO THE PROBLEM?

    ‘COS, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, MATE, IF I WAS JEWISH I’D ASK MYSELF WHAT THE FECK IS GOING ON.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You cite an instance that has been explained perfectly adequately – calling Hamas “friends”, which we all know was a diplomatic nicety and was never intended to indicate a close personal tie. It is bad faith to dredge it up again.

      Ruth George jumped the gun. The appropriate thing to do was to ask who does back TINGe, and take matters from there. Many people have deep concerns about this new organisation which models itself as a limited company, specifically in order to hide its finances.

      I can certainly accept that there has been insensitivity and clumsiness on both sides of the debate. Will you accept that the witch-hunters’ insistence on their victims explaining every slightest nuance of everything they’ve ever said on the subject of Israel and Jewish people clashes harshly with their own failure to form their own arguments in anything but the bluntest possible terms?

      Finally, PLEASE STOP SHOUTING!

    2. Zippi

      I’ve associated with racists. Am I to apologise for that? Why do people insist that other people apologise for having accociated with people? If we only associate with those of whose opinions we agree, whose values we support, of whose ideals we approve, whose actions we applaud etc. we won’t go very far in changing the world. We must acknowledge that we are not always right, that we don’t know all that there is to know about everything. So what if Jeremy Corbyn referred to some people as “friends”? Does that mean that they were his actual friends? Does it mean that he approves of what they do, or their methods? Sometimes, you associate with certain people in order to better understand them, sometimes, because they have something that you want. Do you agree with all that your friends do, or say, with their ideals, in what they believe? Do you go around apologising on their behalf to people to whom they, personally, have done no wrong? Why do you expect that of Jeremy Corbyn? Why is it that a man whose whole political life has been spent fighting oppression and prejudice has become the poster boy for anti-Semitism? The man is a pacifist yet we are to believe that, under his leadership, the £abour Party has become a nest of bullies and intolerance. Things just don’t add up.

  5. Zippi

    “She lost the the confidence vote despite attempts to bully members by her supporters, who shouted that those who didn’t vote for her were anti-Semites.” Is she Jewish, then?

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