Why has Labour forced Chris Williamson to apologise for defending innocent people? (Part Two of two)

Chris Williamson: His ill-chosen words have now led to his suspension as a member of the Labour Party.

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:

“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.

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17 thoughts on “Why has Labour forced Chris Williamson to apologise for defending innocent people? (Part Two of two)

  1. [email protected]

    The news that Chris Williamson has been suspended, by the Labour Party, fills me with a deep sense of injustice and sadness! I have been a socialist for sixty years, joined the Party after the GE in 2015 and support Jeremy Corbyn 100%, but I now feel like cancelling my membership! Chris, yourself Mike, Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone and others are not anti Semitic! The Labour Party are ignoring the real wrong doers, like Blair and Tom Watson! I am angry and will leave my party if justice and fairness do not prevail.

  2. Malcolm James

    So Chris Williamson has been suspended for alleged anti-Semitism. A witch hunt is a very dangerous game, because, if you stifle even legitimate criticism, it can create a pressure cooker effect born of resentment at the inability to criticise. This doesn’t usually end well. One of the most common anti-Semitic tropes is that there is a secret Jewish cabal controlling the world. If people feel that it is impossible to criticise Israel, this just plays into this.

    The fact that knuckleheads can’t tell the difference between legitimate criticism and genuine anti-Semitism doesn’t mean that we should not be allowed to make fair and legitimate criticism on the grounds that it has created an environment in which anti-Semitism is considered acceptable. This is simply dishonest reasoning.

  3. James

    Williamson is a nasty, unnecessarily aggressive and dull-witted piece of work. God forbid that Corbyn would bring him into government as a minister were Labour to win. It would be best for the man himself and for the Labour party if he crawled back under his rock and stayed there. He is doing nobody any good by his attention seeking antics.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      He’s nasty in comparison with whom? Ruth Smeeth? Margaret Hodge? Luciana Berger? Tom Watson? I’d take him over any of them.

      1. 4foxandhare

        So would I. I”m standing right behind him. Nobody has ever given me proof of anti-semitism in the Labour Party – and believe me – I’ve asked many, many people. The accusation of anti-semitism has got completely out of hand ad it needs to be stopped.

  4. Audrey Pool

    I totally despair of the Labour party,this continuous attack from within is destroying its chances of defeating the tories. Anti Semitism is a tiny problem which affects very few members but it’s been blown out of all proportion by the msm and the usual suspects .I totally agree with Chris Williamson,every apology just fuels the rhetoric and convinces the public that this is true. Labour needs to stand up and refute these allegations,not give in to them and vilify innocent members.

  5. Simonsky

    Mike, Labour is making a big mistake and seems to be sinking into a culture of panic and trying to dance to the media tune of bogus notions of antisemitism which, ironically, will lead to real antisemitism not being rooted out.

    The real mistake was not to seize the narrative early on. The public is confused by this and the JVL view is not getting the audience it should. The Antisemitism issue (largely bogus) is now the main hammer of the neo-liberal press and if they see that Labour is dancing to THIER tune it will only hammer even more!

    Unfortunately, John Lansmann did not help by strengthening the acceptance of the media bias. This is very bad news indeed-an M.P trying to show a film directed by a Jewish person and supported by a Jewish organisation! This is very scary.

  6. bevchat

    I stand with Chris Williamson he was only telling the truth…and the witchhunters mob are the ones that should be suspended or kicked out of the Labour Party…This is dispicable act to do to an innocent man…Tom Watson is corrupted by Israeli money so he has been bought….BUT mark my words this will come back to haunt him and those others who are maliciously attacking innocent people with false antisemitic accusations…A sad day for democracy indeed!!!!

  7. James

    Thank you providing the video; I was shocked earlier by the coverage and response in national media; it is apparent now this is a smear.

  8. The Toffee (597)

    The bbc report this evening had the LIAR ruth smeeth commenting on Chris’ suspension. Yes, the same smeeth what made FALSE, AND DEMONSTRABLY FABRICATED accusations of antisemtism – later changed to bringing the party into disrepute, no less – against Marc Wadsworth.

    Then later, on CH4 news Michael Crick reported ’30 or 40 labour MP’s gave loud cheers on hearing Williamson had been suspended’.

    Yet ‘poor, old, hounded out’ ian austin said members shouldn’t gloat when other members are being forced to leave (Or words to that effect) in his parting shot last week.

    One rule for one…

  9. Florence

    Absolute disgrace – I agree entirely with your analysis, and that it is a witch hunt to scare LP members into McCarthyite compliance with the forces against us.

  10. Michael McNulty

    Chris Williamson has now been suspended. Labour has attacked people when it should have defended them, to satisfy false witnesses it can never appease.

    When a lot of Jeremy’s working-class votes go to the far-right we could see some real anti-Semitism rear its ugly head. How are they going to blame him for that?

  11. bootbard

    This witch hunt is about restoring neoliberalism, and the means chosen is extremely devious. I’m with Chris.

  12. hilary772013

    I am sick to death of it all.. I for one will continue to criticise the Israeli Government with regards to Palestinian Rights.. I will not be shut up & if that means I get suspended again (McNicol purge) then so be it. All I want is a Labour Government but appeasement is not going to achieve this, I agree 100% with Chris Williamson.

Comments are closed.