Nandy’s plan to tackle Labour anti-Semitism allegations isn’t only bad – it’s illegal

Lisa Nandy: The mouth is open but there is no sign of intelligence.

Can someone please give Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy’s head a shake and, when it’s cleared, show her a copy of the Data Protection Act?

Nandy has just put forward her plan to deal with allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. It is imbecilic and illegal.

Here’s the gist:

The plan calls for an immediate zero-tolerance policy under a new leader, with the party fully implementing, as a minimum, any recommendations from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which is formally investigating Labour over allegations of antisemitism. Another instant change would be to lower the threshold for suspending members where there are “credible accusations of antisemitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism”.

Nandy has also pledged to introduce a new and independent complaints process, saying the existing process “is not trusted to handle the wave of cases the hard-working staff team have faced because of legitimate concerns about political interference” and a factionalised process.

Another promised element would be transparency, with Nandy pledging to share information on disciplinary cases with MPs, local parties, the JLM and the media. The JLM would be brought back to carry out training on antisemitism.

We’ll put to one side the insistence on slavish obedience to the findings of an EHRC investigation that may be tainted by false evidence and allegations of bias within that organisation. Let’s look at that another day.

If Nandy wants to lower the threshold for suspending members accused of racism, she probably knows the bar is already very low. This Writer’s own membership was suspended in the basis of an article by the Campaign Against Antisemitism that was – let’s be fair – chock-full of lies.

It’s no wonder that the CAA is now under investigation by the Charity Commission over claims that it has breached rules of political impartiality that all charities must keep.

But it is Nandy’s promise to introduce an independent complaints process, and to share information on disciplinary cases with other organisations – including the media – that are illegal.

As a data controller, Labour is under an obligation to keep data on its members confidential.

That means no sharing with other organisations or individuals, except under exceptional circumstances, without the consent of the data subject.

This Writer is currently in the middle of a court case against the Labour Party over the cavalier way it disregarded its own disciplinary procedures and the Data Protection Act that was in effect at the time (the current version has more protections for data subjects).

I think my case is airtight. The breaches of law and contract are clear. I do not expect to lose.

That will be extremely embarrassing for Labour – and doubly so for any leader who imposes new rules that spit on the law.

Postscript: Oh, and Nandy’s claim to be sympathising with Jewish party members who say they’re agonising about quitting the party is all well and good – but she seems to be ignoring the fact that her planned pogrom against Labour members indicates that she supports a certain form of racism herself.

Source: ‘Make-or-break time’ on antisemitism in Labour, says Lisa Nandy | Politics | The Guardian

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  1. SteveH February 12, 2020 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Todays blog by Jonathan Cook about the conspiracy of false anti-Semitism smears against Corbyn and Labour members is a must read.

    Antisemitism threats will keep destroying Labour

    The party’s Blairite faction – supporters of the former centrist leader Tony Blair – knew that they could not win a straight fight on ideological issues against Corbyn and the hundreds of thousands of members who supported him. The Blairites’ middle-of-the-road, status-quo-embracing triangulation now found little favour with voters. But the Blairites could discredit and weaken Corbyn by highlighting an “antisemitism crisis” he had supposedly provoked in Labour by promoting Palestinian rights and refusing to cheerlead Israel, as the Blairites had always done. Identity politics, the Blairites quickly concluded, was the ground that they could weaponise against him.

    As a result, Corbyn was forced endlessly on to the back foot, unable to advance popular leftwing policies because the antisemitism smears sucked all oxygen out of the room. Think of Corbyn’s interview with Andrew Neil shortly before the December election. Not only did Corbyn not get a chance to explain the party’s progressive platform to floating voters, but much worse he was forced into abandoning the very personal traits – openness, honesty, modesty – that had made him unexpectedly popular in the 2017 election. Accusations of antisemitism – like those of being a wife-beater – are impossible to face down in TV soundbites. Corbyn was left looking evasive, shifty and out of touch.

  2. James Fussell February 12, 2020 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    “…Nandy pledging to share information on disciplinary cases with MPs, local parties, the JLM and the media. The JLM would be brought back to carry out training on antisemitism.” I have had an absolute BUCKETFUL of the ‘Jewish’ ‘Labour’ Movement!!! *Jewish’ so-called. ‘Labour’ so-called. It ticks all the boxes for fifth column status and really desperately needs to be disaffiliated forthwith!

    • Simon Cohen February 12, 2020 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      I agree (and I’m Jewish). Mike, of this blog (who is not jewish-I assume) would be a much better trainer on what constitutes antisemitism than the JLM!

      The JLM submission to the EHRC was a random catologue, in general, of twitter and facebook comments not attributable to members in any unambiguous way. We know that trolls ‘cloned’ accounts (MIke has reported on this) and many posed as Party Members. The JLM ‘evidence’ to the EHCR is nothing of the sport.

      The ghastly Joe Glassman off the CAA has also produced a lot of trashy ‘whataboutery’ journalism based on allegedly antisemitic comments by people not unambiguously traceable to the Labour Party.

      Clearly, Nandy knows diddley squat about the real provenance of this fake crisis.

      The same is being tried out on Sanders who is, of course, Jewish.and will, no doubt, increase in intensity if he is seens as posing a threat.

      Let’s remember, the ‘Haredim’, the most orthodox and observant of the country’s Jews have twice issued condemnations of the accusations against Corbyn.

  3. Growing Flame February 12, 2020 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    Like the other leadership candidates, I expect Nandy is just thinking that it’s best to go along with the Jewish Labour Movement and anything it says. That way, she hopes that they will go easy on her. Perhaps she thought that the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn had genuinely not done enough to deal with this problem.
    At some stage, whoever wins the leadership position will find that , as long as they retain the bold , anti-establishment policies already in place, the anti-semitism problem in Labour will, mysteriously, not go away. In their turn, they will be found to have “failed” to rid Labour of AS no matter what they do.

    Because they are not supposed to!
    These accusations are too valuable a weapon for reducing the Labour vote amongst progressive and anti-racist voters.

  4. James February 14, 2020 at 8:43 am - Reply

    The interesting question for me is asking, investigating and revealing how this whole issue has got so much traction in the media. This is not to diminish the problem of antisemitism. I think we understand the why. What we now need to expose is the how.

  5. Tony February 14, 2020 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    I do not remember hearing much about anti-Semitism originally under Corbyn. He was attacked as being unelectable and one news site even produced a story about research which showed that Corbyn would reduce Labour to around 150 seats.

    The article never said who conducted the research or who commissioned it. Nor was the research in line with by election results or opinion polls. I do not think that the research actually existed at all!

    But the 2017 general election showed that Corbyn was not as unelectable as had been claimed. And then we heard the anti-Semitism argument instead. This used a line of attack that first surfaced under the leadership of the Ed Miliband, Jewish himself, of course.

    I find it incredible that anybody can agree to carry out recommendations without knowing what they actually are yet.

  6. jezzabeauc February 14, 2020 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    And now she has the backing of JLM in the leadership campaign. This means she may well have won already because of the call to action by right wing groups to join the JLM so as they get a vote in the leadership elections

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