Vox Political writer mentioned in Graun piece on anti-Semitism – where’s my right of reply?

Keir Starmer: he’s clueless about anti-Semitism, as this latest debacle demonstrates.

This is pathetic from the Guardian – and the Labour Party.

It seems a councillor in Brighton and Hove has been suspended by the Labour Party for sharing Facebook posts “promoting alleged anti-Jewish conspiracy theories” – including one on This Site.

The article states:

Labour’s inquiry will also focus on a second post from August 2018 on a website run by Mike Sivier, who was expelled from Labour in the same year after he allegedly refused to undertake antisemitism training.

The headline of that post said: “Jewish Israeli journalist claims pro-Israel propagandists have ‘taken out contract’ to stop Jeremy Corbyn being elected.”

I was not contacted for comment on this, despite the fact that it clearly concerns me and implies that I have been spreading anti-Semitism.

The article – if either of the reporters on this piece (Henry McDonald and Jessica Elgot) had bothered to visit it – quotes the highly-respected award-winning (and occasionally controversial) Jewish journalist Gideon Levy, demonstrating that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had support among Jews at a time when many – including high-profile members of the Labour Party itself – were claiming he was an anti-Semite.

As Mr Levy is himself Jewish, it could be argued that attacks on his article – or mine that quotes it – are themselves anti-Semitic, by alleging anti-Jewish behaviour by someone who is himself a Jew.

Regarding my own circumstances, regular readers will know it is true that I was expelled from Labour in November 2013, but not because I refused to undertake anti-Semitism training.

The expulsion was based on false accusations by people who had selectively quoted from my articles in order to present a false impression of my views.

There was a hearing involving a tribunal of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee that was nothing short of a kangaroo court; my own evidence was ignored and it was clear to me that the tribunal members had made up their minds before even arriving at the hearing.

I have therefore launched a legal action against the Labour Party – for breach of contract – with the case to be heard at Bristol Civil Justice Centre on October 2.

Guardian reporters are certainly invited to attend, where I expect to win my case.

If I do, it will have a significant impact on perception of the Labour Party’s attitude to allegations of anti-Semitism – and, I hope, to the reporting of this issue in rags like the Graun.

In the meantime, I have contacted The Guardian and expect the newspaper to make an offer of restitution in the near future.

Otherwise it seems I may be forced to consider even more litigation.

Source: Labour suspends Brighton councillor over alleged antisemitism | Politics | The Guardian

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  1. Jeffrey Davies July 15, 2020 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    They make their own version of truth just like previous master race done next they have all true labour MPs out of the little Tory patty truth is dead with stammer the spammer and the little Tory party anyone who takes to show up their ways gets the boot

  2. trev July 15, 2020 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    How on earth can it be anti-Semitic to quote a Jewish journalist? Quite bizarre.

  3. Simon Cohen July 15, 2020 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    I read that article in the Graun which has now become even more of a vile rag dancing on the political corpse of Corbyn at every opportunity

    The quote connected with your blog is not remotely antisemitic but the article tries to taint you by association with the other cases (which in one case DID use an antisemitic Rothschild trope).

    Good luck battling with them. You have been consistently brave and courageous in challenging the tidal wave of misinformation and faux antisemitism charges.

  4. G Millward July 15, 2020 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Well the Guardian are in breach of the editors code in that they did not contact you prior to publication, so worth putting in a complaint to IPSO.
    The Code makes clear in Clause 1 (Accuracy) that the press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text. This means that sometimes it might be necessary to contact an individual to ensure care is taken over the accuracy of what is published.

    If an article contains personal or serious allegations or claims against an individual, it may be appropriate and necessary to give that individual an opportunity to respond to these claims, or to deny them if they wish.

    The Code also contains a requirement for a publication to give a “fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for”, but this relates to information that has already been published, rather than a requirement for pre-publication contact.

    • Mike Sivier July 16, 2020 at 12:35 am - Reply

      In fact, I reckon they should have known they needed to contact me, simply because of the content of the article they mentioned – the actual content does not correspond with the content as stated by Labour. That would have been enough for me to try to get in touch with someone or, failing that, to at least comment on the discrepancy in the text.

      • G Millward July 17, 2020 at 9:07 am - Reply

        Exactly Mike. It will be interesting to see what their response is to the query you raised with them. Do keep us posted.

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