It seems we are witnessing a concentrated attack on Labour MP Chris Williamson.
Not only did he face calls for his expulsion after his office arranged a screening of a film about the Labour WitchHunt against innocent people accused of anti-Semitism – as if someone doesn’t want anyone to hear alternatives to the official party line about this fiasco…
But now he has been forced to issue an apology over videotaped comments he made at a party meeting in Sheffield.
And what did he say? See for yourself:
WATCH: Chris Williamson tells a Sheffield Momentum meeting that Labour has been "too apologetic" about anti-Semitism… pic.twitter.com/zxtKdHQPvw
— Liz Bates (@wizbates) February 26, 2019
“The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party.
“I have got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we have backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic.”
Amid applause from the audience, he went on to say: “We’ve done more to address the scourge of anti-Semitism than any political party.”
Obviously it’s the “too apologetic” line that triggered the outrage.
As Mr Williamson said in the apology he issued after a meeting with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, just before Prime Minister’s Questions today (February 27), “Our movement can never be ‘too apologetic’ about racism within our ranks.”
(The problem is, the party can never be sure of eliminating it altogether. That’s why it has been such a handy stick, with which his critics have beaten Jeremy Corbyn.)
But I don’t think that’s what Mr Williamson meant when he said those words.
His speech was making the point that perfectly innocent people are being “demonised” as “racist” and “bigoted” – and I think he was right to say that Labour’s response is partly responsible for that because party leaders have been too ready to accept accusations as proof of guilt. They have encouraged the witch-hunt by doing so.
To me, he seemed to be advocating a stronger, more balanced response: Yes, genuine anti-Semites should be penalised appropriately. But false accusations should also be met with an appropriate response.
My personal opinion is that false accusations – especially contrived, convoluted claims such as the nonsense concocted against myself, Jackie Walker and some others – deserve to be investigated, and the people who made them subjected to the same disciplinary procedure they forced unnecessarily on the innocent.
In his statement, Mr Williamson said: “I have been an anti-racist all my life. As a former member of the Anti-Nazi League, I participated in direct action to confront foul anti-Semites in the streets. I reject racism ethically and morally.”
Yet he is now facing “investigation for a pattern of behaviour” – as have many of those the party has accused of anti-Semitism.
The good news, for him, is that Mr Williamson is an elected party representative and could therefore enjoy the benefits of the in-built bias of Labour’s compliance unit, in favour of party officers and elected representatives.
The bad news is he has put himself very firmly on the side of the members, which is a definite no-no where the anti-Semitism witch-hunt is concerned.
Who do you support?
EXTRA: As I was typing this, it emerged that Mr Williamson’s membership of the Labour Party has been suspended.
This knee-jerk reaction is just another example of the party’s leadership making the wrong decisions in response to the manufactured anti-Semitism row.
Labour seems determined to follow a policy of appeasement towards an aggressive faction that is determined to keep using false claims to bring down the current party leadership. It’s a self-destructive policy, as anyone who knows their history will attest.
Until the party can handle these accusations with intelligence and sense, it will continue to disgrace itself.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: