Here’s how equality watchdog’s threatened investigation of Labour may be worthwhile

Would it surprise you to read that This Writer would welcome an investigation into Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism cases?

If so, you may be even more surprised to discover that I have written to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, encouraging it to start such a probe.

Of course, there is a caveat which I’m sure wasn’t part of the submissions by the Campaign Against Antisemitism or the Jewish Labour Movement.

Rather than restricting itself to investigating whether Labour discriminated against Jews, I asked for the EHRC to find out whether the party has wronged any party members at all.

I’ve been through Labour’s complaints procedure myself, remember.

The party failed to follow its own rules, and in fact expelled me on the basis of a rule that didn’t even exist when I wrote whatever it was I wrote that someone found so offensive.

Oh, and I don’t even know who accused me. That information was never passed to me so, in legal terms, no such person exists.

The party’s disciplinary tribunal found against me because its members had been told to find against me in the particulars of the case that were passed to it (and me) by the party’s National Executive Committee.

The reasons given for finding against me had nothing to do with the particulars of the case.

This is because the charges themselves, the evidence, the rules and the reasons were all secondary considerations. I had to go because I was a left-of-centre party member who had been accused of anti-Semitism – and in Labour at the moment, accusation is the same as guilt.

The party discriminated against me because of the protected characteristic of “race” – I suffered indirect racial discrimination – and therefore may be investigated by the EHRC.

I continue to suffer harassment from members of the Labour Party – and others – who describe me using insulting and offensive names as a result of the Labour Party’s discriminatory treatment of me and its decision to put the desires of people who claimed to represent people of a particular ethnicity above the facts.

It’s an unusual case because it is about the abuse of equality rules to victimise the innocent.

I think the EHRC would be unwise to refuse to investigate it.

After all, there’s no point in having a law if people are allowed to abuse it.

Source: Equality watchdog to decide if Labour broke law over antisemitism | News | The Guardian

7 thoughts on “Here’s how equality watchdog’s threatened investigation of Labour may be worthwhile

  1. Growing Flame

    I have been thinking the exact thing. Let’s have an open investigation. Let the public know just how many examples of anti-semitism have actually been proven in the 650,000 strong Labour Party. And how many anti-semitic tweets were really sent to Luciana Berger and whether any of them at all could be directly attributed to actual Labour members .
    If conducted honestly, such an investigation could be very revealing about the whole witch hunt.

    1. Zippi

      The problem is what is considered anti-Semitic. The scope is almost limitless, depending on to whom you speak; how else is it that Jews have been accused of anti-Semitism?

  2. Zippi

    It is interesting that “race” is the protected characteristic that found you ion the wrong side of the procedure yet, Jews are not a race. If we subscribe to the race idea, there are people from many races who are Jews so, how does that work? you don’t have to take my word for it; other Jews, prominent, learned persons will tell you.

  3. Birdgirl

    Absolutely! If there were any actual evidence of this alleged anti-semitism from Labour party members, surely there would be screenshots all over social media – but it just isn’t credible.

  4. kateuk

    And it is a witch hunt. Our local mayoral candidate (who is currently a local councillor) for the May election was suspended for the Labour party this week for “historical antisemitic posts on social media”. Someone with an axe to grind and too much time on their hands trawled through social media and found 2 posts from 2 years ago and reported him. In his words:
    “The first, was an online article which explained the origins of an illustration used by Labour MP Naz Shah in a tweet for which she was suspended and later apologised. The article explains that the creator of the illustration was an eminent Jewish Professor Norman Finklestein, an analyst and expert in the Israeli/Palestine conflict, whose parents survived the holocaust. My comments on this article are correct, there is no evidence of ant-Semitism within it. I do not accept that this indicates that I am of an anti-Semiticdisposition”.
    Regarding the other post he says:
    “I was (poorly) attempting to express my anger and frustration towards the government of Israel, and its political and military policies regarding Palestine. This does not make me an anti-Semite –it makes me someone who cares deeply about the loss of life on both sides of that conflict”.
    I believe that the complaint regarded the use of the word “Zionism”. He has now resigned from the Labour party and when his term as a councillor ends in May he says he will no longer involve himself in politics. He says:
    “I have no faith at all that a fair and equitable process would indeed take place-there is a battle raging within the Labour Party which has nothing to do with racism, and everything to do with power and control. Whilst it is absolutely vital that the importance of tackling anti-Semitismis not minimised, and that my poor choice of words is acknowledged, it is also apparent to many observers and Labour Party members that the issue is also being weaponised, as factions within struggle for control and ultimately power. This in itself is cynical, and in my view dilutes the seriousness of fighting racism in all forms.”
    So the Labour party has lost another good councillor and dedicated member and we are the poorer for it, because of this nonsense.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The image wasn’t created by Norman Finkelstein, although he used it. It isn’t anti-Semitic, though.
      And discussion of Israel’s political direction may justifiably include mention of Zionism.
      Of course, I’d have to see the posts to be sure they’re innocent, but on the face of it, what you’re saying suggests harassment of someone who’s done no wrong.

      1. kateuk

        I don’t have access to the original posts, only what the accused man had to say about them. However he is a local councillor, well known and well liked and local feeling is that there is no way he would be racist in any way. All I can say is that it has to be a political opponent that has done this for reasons unrelated to anti-semitism, otherwise the post would have been reported at the time, rather than when it is convenient to remove a candidate just before an election, a situation that I belive is familiar to you.

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