I use “blackmail” in the headline advisedly. This may very well be a criminal offence.
For those who are unaware, blackmail occurs when a person (or several) make a demand of another person (or indeed organisation), accompanied by the threat of a particular consequence if they don’t comply.
(For example, if a group of so-called anti-Semitism “whistleblowers” threaten the Labour Party with bankruptcy either fighting or settling legal claims, unless it expels Jeremy Corbyn.)
The intent must be to make a gain for someone (not necessarily themselves) – or a loss for someone (not necessarily their victim).
(For example, if Jeremy Corbyn loses his Labour Party membership.)
The demand must have been “unwarranted” – that is, it should not be possible to justify it reasonably, and its reinforcement with menaces should not be proper in the belief of the perpetrator.
(For example, if Jeremy Corbyn has not done anything to justify expulsion from the Labour Party – and he hasn’t – and if those making the threat are able to take legal advice showing that their demand is not proper – and they are.)
So, if the Mail‘s story is true, Labour should file a complaint of blackmail, with the police, against those people taking legal action against the party.
The party’s current leader, Keir Starmer – useless though he has been on anything relating to anti-Semitism accusations so far – should be aware of this, having been a Director of Public Prosecutions (and therefore a lawyer himself) prior to being a member of Parliament.
I note that the Mail states only that “sources close to some of the ex-party staffers” made the threat, so presumably the litigants themselves will be able to deny it.
Even if blackmail could not be proved – and I think there’s a strong case for it – the threat is unwise.
I refer you to this comment on Facebook which states: “The disloyal staffers who would be claimants in this action are claiming personal insult, hurt feelings and career damage. To make an alternative offer of accepting Jeremy Corbyn’s head on a plate would damage their case by giving the impression it was politically motivated.”
And of course they are doing their best to claim that their lawsuits are not motivated by political gain but by injury to themselves. If it could be proved that they are trying to harm left-wing influence in the Labour Party instead, then their cases would fall.
“Secondly, there is no point making such an offer if it would only pacify ‘some’ of the potential claimants.”
True – the party would still face the possibility of having to pay a fortune in compensation.
“If it satisfied them all, they would look like participants in a conspiracy to engineer a right-wing coup in their party, which is surely not the impression they would want to give.”
Again, they would be showing political motivation.
“And thirdly, Corbyn would have excellent grounds for appealing his expulsion.”
He would. If Starmer expelled him in order to avoid expensive litigation/compensation payouts, without charging him under any of the party’s disciplinary procedures, holding an investigation into those charges, and hearing the evidence at an NCC hearing – the very process other (innocent) members have had to undergo – then Starmer would have broken party rules and Labour would be vulnerable to a hugely-damaging lawsuit from Corbyn himself.
The result is that Keir Starmer is now in danger, no matter what he chooses to do.
And this is the man the Labour right – sorry, ‘centrists’ – said was the brilliant leader who would make the party electable again!
Needless to say, the situation has attracted serious amounts of scorn online:
Well done Keir.
By settling you've given legal weight to anybody in that leaked report to bring an action against the Party. You gave away £600K now it could be millions more.
OR, you boot Corbyn out.
Bankrupt the Party one way, destroy it the other.
It's all on you. pic.twitter.com/178TyRylq8
— Damo (@Cornish_Damo) July 26, 2020
If the Labour Party acquiesces to the rumoured financial extortion that is being publicised in the gutter press, and expels Corbyn from the Party, a movement will coalesce around him that will see the Labour Party consigned to the dustbin of history for ever more.
— CrémantCommunarde#ActivistLawyer ⚖️ 😷 ✋ (@0Calamity) July 26, 2020
Personally, This Writer’s favourite comment on the whole issue comes from Corbyn’s long-term friend and former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell:
As my friend, Jeremy Corbyn, gets on with job of being an incredibly hard working local MP & throwing himself into huge range of international, humanitarian campaigns I see the campaign of character assassination continues apace.They just don’t get it. You’ll never break this man
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) July 26, 2020
Oh, and one more thing: My own court case against Labour is still set to take place on October 2.
If I win, then Labour will be vulnerable to further court action from me.
It has been suggested that Labour is in fact extremely vulnerable because members are leaving en masse, taking their subscription money with them. I’ve seen rumours that more than 300,000 – half the membership under Corbyn – have voted with their feet. So aggressive action from a party member who has suffered genuine wrongdoing over a period of years could be crippling.
I’ll have a much stronger case than these others and I won’t be inclined to be lenient.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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