Labour leader candidates sign Board of Deputies’ pledges in bid to become completely unelectable

Rogues’ gallery: Five of the six Labour leader candidates have signed up to the Board of Deputies’ undemocratic, divisive and damaging list of pledges. Only Clive Lewis has had the good sense to decline (so far) – and he is struggling to get enough nominations from fellow MPs to get on the ballot paper!

This is either an act of unutterable stupidity or a conscious betrayal of the entire Labour Party membership – and four of the five leadership hopefuls have committed it.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews – a self-appointed organisation claiming to represent Jews in the UK, believed to be composed mostly of Conservative voters – has released a list of 10 pledges  – in fact demands – its members claim Labour must support “in order to begin healing its relationship with the Jewish community”.

The Board of Deputies has no right to claim that it represents all British Jews; it doesn’t.

As for the list – let’s have a look:

“1. Resolve outstanding cases: All outstanding and future cases should be brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale.”

This is an insult to justice. Cases take as long as they take – otherwise more innocent parties will fall victim to miscarriages of justice, as has already happened in the cases of Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Chris Williamson and myself, to name only a few.

“2. Make the Party’s disciplinary process independent: An independent provider should be used to process all complaints, to eradicate any risk of partisanship and factionalism.”

And how is that supposed to happen? The Board of Deputies will be certain to demand a veto on any organisation chosen to carry out such work, ensuring that its disciplinary process could not be independent. This demand also conflicts with pledge 7, below. Come to that, it’ll be a neat trick marrying this up with pledge 10.

“3. Ensure transparency: Key affected parties to complaints, including Jewish representative bodies, should be given the right to regular, detailed case updates, on the understanding of confidentiality.”

This is a demand for access to confidential information about party members to be provided to people from outside organisations who may belong to organisations that oppose the Labour Party. I’ve already mentioned the BoD’s apparent preference for Conservative government; who else would want access under this unreasonable demand. And isn’t it contrary to the Data Protection Act?

“4. Prevent readmittance of prominent offenders: It should be made clear that prominent offenders who have left or been expelled from the party, such as Ken Livingstone or Jackie Walker, will never be readmitted to membership.”

This Writer is currently in the process of court action against the Labour Party over its decision to wrongfully expel me. If I succeed, then the party will be legally bound to readmit me, no matter what some third party like the BoD may think. This is simply an attempt to prevent Labour from reconsidering decisions to expel innocent members under false pretences.

“5. Provide no platform for bigotry: Any MPs, Peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of antisemitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership.”

This is a blatant attempt to thin out the party, ensuring that it remains too weak to win any future election. All members who were falsely accused have supporters who remain members, but this means anyone saying anything remotely supportive will face automatic suspension and possible expulsion. It is a fascistic attempt to exert control. And if anyone signing up to this pledge becomes leader, it will probably be unnecessary as the exodus is likely to be thunderous. People who have supported me have already indicated their disgust with Labour’s behaviour over the last few years, and a willingness to leave of their own accord.

“6. Adopt the international definition of antisemitism without qualification: The IHRA definition of antisemitism, with all its examples and clauses, and without any caveats, will be fully adopted by the party and used as the basis for considering antisemitism disciplinary cases.”

The man who wrote the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is on the record as saying that it has been weaponised by hard right-wing characters to demand support for criminal activities by the government of Israel. It was intended to be a working definition and is flawed in that it can be interpreted as demanding that anyone criticising the Israeli government should be treated as an anti-Semite.

See for yourself:

“7. Deliver an anti-racism education programme that has the buy-in of the Jewish community: The Jewish Labour Movement should be reengaged by the Party to lead on training about antisemitism.”

So much for “make the Party’s disciplinary process independent”. Labour has, in the past, told members to take anti-Semitism training from the JLM, but those members would be fools to accept it as the JLM has been known to fake evidence in order to get party members expelled.

“8. Engagement with the Jewish community to be made via its main representative groups: Labour must engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through fringe organisations and individuals.”

This is an example of genuine anti-Semitism. The Board of Deputies is trying to ensure that groups representing a more common-sense attitude, like Jewish Voice for Labour and Jewdas, are denied a voice. That’s denying Jewish people a right to self-determination, and it’s a claim that members of this organisation are “the wrong kind of Jew”. Despicable. It’s also undemocratic, of course.

“9. Communicate with resolve: Bland, generic statements should give way to condemnation of specific harmful behaviours – and, where appropriate, condemnation of specific individuals.”

An attempt to turn the anti-Semitism circus that Labour has become into a full-on witch-hunt. The demand for individuals accused of anti-Semitic behaviours to be named is a malicious attempt to blacken the names of people who may be perfectly innocent.

“10. Show leadership and take responsibility: The leader must personally take on the responsibility of ending Labour’s antisemitism crisis.”

The leader has always been responsible for tackling claims of discriminatory behaviour by party members. But this is a contradiction as the Board of Deputies is trying to claim seniority over the party leader – make the leader kowtow to its demands. That is simply unacceptable.

But five out of the six leadership candidates have signed up to it: Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry.

And deputy leadership candidates Rosena Allin-Khan and Ian Murray has also backed the pledges.

None of these turncoats should be allowed to have any position of authority – at all – in the Labour Party.

Already the move has put people off joining Labour – like Michael Siva, below:

And others both within the party and outside have voiced their outrage:

It goes on and on. These probably aren’t even among the strongest examples.

The Board of Deputies – and their Labour-hating allies – are undoubtedly loving the division they’ve caused. If party members elect a leader who supports these pledges, the resulting split could plunge us into far right-wing dictatorship for decades.

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  1. john thatcher January 12, 2020 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    The behaviour of the “leadership” candidates is beneath contempt and shows that none of them are suitable.

  2. trev January 12, 2020 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Absolutely unbelievable. Labour are finished.

  3. Kenneth Billis January 13, 2020 at 12:22 am - Reply

    “If party members elect a leader who supports these pledges, the resulting split could plunge us into far right-wing dictatorship for decades.”

  4. hugosmum70 January 13, 2020 at 12:31 am - Reply

    i am disgusted. no matter what the labour party members who were accused, were accused of, (and i still think the whole antisemite business was right wing dirty tricks.) this organisation have no right to demand what they are demanding. i can agree that there was a haulocaust but only because of books ive read, not from personal experience, too young , in fact born in the middle of WW2 , so only a baby, but do have members of family who married into branches of our family who were there. who it happened to and who lost members of their own families in the haulocaust…. my grandaughters step sister is married to a jew.took on the Jewish religion and is bringing her 4 kids up in it as far as i know, now lives in israel ,we see nothing of her. but know of her. but the labour party should not be even asked, let alone told to sign these so called pledges. and i am fast getting to the stage where i am seriously thinking of giving up on the labour party. didnt like momentum being so involved. either but i stuck with it. because i agreed with the policies the labour party held.wholeheartedly. but i was so confused. we paid our membership fees. then were continually asked to donate ,not only to the labour party itself. which i would expect. but to momentum and various other organisations all claiming to fight the same things. why? result was i didnt know who to donate to and as i was going to struggle to do so i thought sod it. then the dirty tricks brigade started in on it. now this lot. sorry,.i vote for the labour party not a party made up of different bits of organisations. its not a patchwork quilt. so unless things alter drastically. i wont be voting for any of those candidates, and i wont vote labour at any general election.(nor will i vote for anyone else. )peed off now.never known the like.

    • Charlie Browne January 13, 2020 at 7:01 am - Reply

      “Oi Veh! Now they are saying that we in the Labour Party are anti-Semitic!”

      JC manifesto looked good, though!


  5. Kenneth Billis January 13, 2020 at 12:34 am - Reply

    “If party members elect a leader who supports these pledges, the resulting split could plunge us into far right-wing dictatorship for decades.”

    We don’t have any choice. If we take that route we’ll be leaving the vote to those who are quite happy about it and they may well be more inclined to vote for the likes of Starmer and Phillips. Surely we need to hold our nose and make sure we still vote for candidates who we think will protect the changes Jeremy Corbyn has brought about?

    • Mike Sivier January 13, 2020 at 12:43 am - Reply

      But Clive Lewis has yet to get enough nominations to be on the ballot paper. None of the others are acceptable after this – unless they recant, as I’ve tweeted them to suggest.

      • jezzabeauc January 13, 2020 at 2:23 pm - Reply

        And of course none of them will because 4 of them are towards the right and pro-Israel and RLB is too involved with JLM to listen to common sense

  6. timfrom January 13, 2020 at 12:38 am - Reply

    That’s it then, Clive Lewis or bust!

  7. Aelfy January 13, 2020 at 3:19 am - Reply

    I cannot vote for anyone who signed this, damnit

  8. Jan Holbrook January 13, 2020 at 5:24 am - Reply

    Keir Hardie must be turning in his grave. I was going to vote for Rebecca Long-Bailey…. If Clive Lewis does sign the Board of Deputies’ pledges, then I can’t see I have any option but to leave the Labour Party because it will not be the Labour Party that I love and have fought for

  9. Charlie Browne January 13, 2020 at 6:35 am - Reply

    A malign foreign power has secreted its agents in structural positions within British Society in order to wage asymmetric warfare against us through our democratic institutions.

    • timfrom January 13, 2020 at 11:51 am - Reply

      Whoever can you be talking about, heh heh?! One thing’s certain, this is something that won’t get pinned on Russia for a change…

  10. Charlie Browne January 13, 2020 at 6:49 am - Reply

    Talking of the “far – right”, take a look at the at “Generation Identity”, who have just floated a petition online calling for ‘Participatory Democracy’ in the U.K.

    Can’t help but be envious?


  11. Charlie Browne January 13, 2020 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Corespondents might like to look up the Board of Deputies on Wikipedia?
    There are not many of them, and they are not democratically elected or constituted!

  12. Paul January 13, 2020 at 7:01 am - Reply

    This is appalling news. I don’t understand why Labour politicians keep kowtowing to these people, rather than vigorously rebutting their lies and smears – they’re just meekly handing the right-wing press and the BBC all they need to continue their propaganda campaign against Labour.

  13. Pat Mc Ginley January 13, 2020 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Success for the relentless pro-Israel campaign to silence and ban legitimate condemnation of the vicious Israeli apartheid regime. Utterly shameful but no surprise in this fake democracy based on greed, privilege, gross inequality, gross injustices against the poor, sick, vulnerable, etc., propped up and enabled by divide-and-rule 24/7 right-wing media brainwashing by right-wing billionaire media moguls and right-wing state broadcaster BBC controlled by the ruling elites. A republic based on real democracy is the only realistic solution. Anything less will always end in bitter disappointment for the many good people working for a fair and just society.

  14. Julia January 13, 2020 at 9:50 am - Reply

    What collective madness is this? Have they taken complete leave of their senses?

    I spent quite a lot of time researching the candidates yesterday (I am in my 70’s and time is precious!) then wake up to find this. Almost as shocked as the result only one month ago.

    My only criticism of Jeremy Corbyn is that he should have been more ruthless dealing with the lies and smears by the likes of the BoD and almost the whole of the media. But this is just rolling over and capitulation with a capital C.

  15. RICHARD EVANS January 13, 2020 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Have labour learned absolutely nothing over the past three years? The snake organisation called the British Board of Deputies, which does not represent all Jewish opinion are still trying to hobble the Labour party and I for one would tell them to get lost. Like all snakes once it starts to swallow it does not stop until it has devoured all of its victim. The BOD can be blamed in large part to labours defeat at the last election and their day of reckoning will come.I would advise all potential labour candidates to ignore their attempts to fashion labour in its pro Israel anti Palestine image. My vote will not be going to anyone who supports this ‘REQUEST’.

  16. Florence January 13, 2020 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    This is a terrible set back.

    Why the rush to appease the BoD?

    It’s the first time in the entire AS saga I have felt that the PLP really has been taken hostage and has started to suffer Stockholm syndrome.

    Conference will be messy if the candidates dont recant.

  17. trev January 13, 2020 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Mike, I think someone commenting on Ipswich Unemployed Action under the name Ollie B. might have just libelled you:

    “(As far as I can remember Mike Sivier, owner of the Vox Political blog, was expelled from the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn for his strident antisemitic outpourings. Has Sivier been allowed back into the Labour party yet? I don’t know.) To be honest, trev, most people outside of the Labour party seem unable to support a Leftwing Labour party controlled by Momentum and without that externally earned support Labour will continue to wither on the vine.”

    • Mike Sivier January 13, 2020 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      “Strident antisemitic outpourings”? Yes, that seems libellous.

      • timfrom January 13, 2020 at 3:13 pm - Reply

        Rise above, Mike. Don’t be a Riley! He likely doesn’t know what he’s on about and doesn’t have much of a readership.

        I’m sure it’s way beneath you to go after the unemployed!

        • Mike Sivier January 13, 2020 at 6:32 pm - Reply

          I sent a message to the site saying “please take this comment down”. It doesn’t do anybody any good to go publishing damaging false information about people.

  18. jezzabeauc January 13, 2020 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    This is the final straw for me. As if being overly apologetic for unproven anti-Semitism allegations was not bad enough. What happened to Labour’s backbone? I do not want to be in a political party that is controlled by outside Tory influences and the Israeli lobby. It is time to leave Labour … unless of course JC decides to remain as leader when he sees what is happening to the party.

    • trev January 13, 2020 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      That’s the way I feel too. Jeremy Corbyn was the best thing to have happened to the Labour party in 40 years, but they vilified him and have thrown it all away. I’m not sure if I’ll vote Labour again, or even vote again I’m so disappointed and disillusioned.

    • timfrom January 13, 2020 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      …which right now looks about the most tempting option. And then just watch the PLP & MSM self-immolate with outrage!!!

  19. trev January 13, 2020 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    That blog is infested with Trolls, another one (or perhaps the same one) now posting under the name ‘Marcel’ has also Libelled you:

    “Monsieur Sivier is lucky to live in the UK. Holocaust denial attracts a custodial prison sentence in France.”

  20. Tanya likkens January 13, 2020 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Emily Thornberry is comedy gold…

    • Mike Sivier January 14, 2020 at 12:14 am - Reply

      I don’t think she’s funny.

  21. Kenneth Billis January 14, 2020 at 12:34 am - Reply

    Am I right in thinking that the membership and the NEC decide policy, not just this motley lot? Surely this they can be kicked back into line at Conference?

    • Mike Sivier January 14, 2020 at 12:50 am - Reply

      Like Conference kicked back the decision to support the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism (and examples) after Labour adopted it (without Conference approval) in September 2018? Of course, Labour had adopted its own definition (and examples) around July 2018 and that didn’t have conference approval either.

  22. Mike Farah January 15, 2020 at 5:50 am - Reply

    I was expelled having been targeted by the Gnasher Jew who begs for cash to smear decent people for my pro pal posts on FB I asked for and was granted an extension for my rebuttal of this slander but the expulsion letter came well before i was told i could send in my case. You should see the questions on my posts ie; What do i mean by ” Time to get rid of this Zionist Con selfservative Government ” You could make it up ? Time we collectively sued them for their perversion of democracy and slander ! We know Apartheid Israel funds them that is evident in the banned Al Jazera doc “The Lobby” We also know its on record Apartheid Israel spends millions to fund an army of “Hasbara” Trolls to hide and conflate its War crimes ? Since when is the Truth antisemitic ? Now Boris wants to make #BDS illegal i suppose as a thank you for Israel helping them steal the Election This is Sick beyond reason #FreeSpeechOnIsrael In Germany they have unlawfully charged with the promotion of hate and funding of terror A genuine humanitarian Charity all are Unwaged NO EVIDENCE GIVEN This is just the beginning IT MUST STOP They are targeting all who support justice truth and Palestine .. Please sign and share www, petition We are now in limbo as a Charity all aid stopped until we fight this huge legal battle which is exactly what is intended Israel has a whole doc on “Lawfare” Please lets form a Coalition of the defamed CODE contact me at our website or at details below !

    • Mike Sivier January 18, 2020 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      Calling anyone Zionist is apparently an instant-dismissal offence, these days. Apparently it’s anti-Semitic although nobody can explain why in any reasonable way.

      Your claim about Israel funding anybody is wide open to reinterpretation as anti-Semitism. Even a claim that the Israeli government funds anybody would lay you open to a possible libel action.

      There is – or certainly was – a project called Hasbara which I understand behave(s/d) as you describe.

      Again, suggesting that the state of Israel helped the Conservatives “steal” the election lays you open to possible legal action.

      If you want to defend yourself and your organisation against these attacks, you must be much more careful with the language that you use.

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