Tag Archives: anti semitic

Long-Bailey’s sacking tells us all we need to know about Keir ‘double-standard’ Starmer and his racist Labour Party

Racist anti-Semite: Keir Starmer’s sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey shows support for Israeli organisations teaching US police how to subjugate – and in the case of George Floyd, kill – black and minority ethnic people. Paradoxically, he also supports the presence of anti-Semite Rachel Reeves in his Shadow Cabinet.

This is the end of the Labour Party as an inclusive, anti-racist organisation.

Keir Starmer has sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey from the Shadow Cabinet after she retweeted a link to an Independent interview with one of her constituents, the actor Maxine Peake.

Starmer’s excuse is that Ms Peake’s article includes an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. He is lying in one of the most disgusting ways possible.

Here’s the passage in Ms Peake’s interview that has caused the offence:

“Systemic racism is a global issue,” she adds. “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”

It is not anti-Semitic to suggest that. She wasn’t saying, “The Jews taught police to kneel on George Floyd’s neck.”

In fact, it seems widely accepted that Israeli organisations do indeed teach tactics to US police.

So this isn’t anti-Semitic to Keir Starmer:

Baltimore law enforcement officials, along with hundreds of others from FloridaNew Jersey, Pennsylvania, CaliforniaArizona, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, North CarolinaGeorgiaWashington state as well as the DC Capitol police have all traveled to Israel for training. Thousands of others have received training from Israeli officials here in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Justice published a report … that documented “widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement, and culture of retaliation” within the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).

Nor is this, which you should note is from the Jerusalem Post:

A city in North Carolina has become the first municipality in the United States to ban training and other forms of exchange between its police department and Israel’s military or police.

“The Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of color,” [a] petition stated. “They persist in using tactics of extrajudicial killing, excessive force, racial profiling and repression of social justice movements. Such tactics have been condemned by international human rights organizations for violating the human rights of Palestinians.”

But Starmer seems to think that Ms Peake’s comments are anti-Semitic – despite their factual accuracy.

Doesn’t that suggest that Starmer is himself a… you know… racist?

He has deliberately attacked people who have exposed the way racists in one country – “The Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of color” – have been teaching their methods to racists in another  – “’widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement, and culture of retaliation’ within the Baltimore Police Department”.

Anyone who genuinely wants to fight racism would be thanking Ms Peake and Ms Long-Bailey for bringing this issue to public knowledge. Instead, he has sacked his MP from the shadow cabinet.

Meanwhile, Rachel Reeves – who made public her own support for a very well-documented anti-Semite – remains in the Shadow Cabinet with Starmer’s full support:

It seems clear that in Starmer’s Labour, racism and anti-Semitism are supported, and their opponents are opposed – all while the Labour leader glibly mouths platitudes claiming the exact opposite.

For those of us who have been contesting decisions to expel us from membership of Labour, this presents a thorny problem.

I had always intended to return to the party and campaign for reform, after I win my court case against Labour, which is now set to take place in October.

But I think it would harm my position if I were to say that now, because I do not want to be associated with any organisation that can be clearly identified as a racist, anti-Semite endeavour.

And Labour under Starmer is a racist, anti-Semite endeavour in a way that the party under Corbyn never was.

Or so it seems to me.

Ms Long-Bailey has put her side of this story in a Twitter thread:

This puts a nastier complexion on the matter still, because it seems Starmer used this issue as a pretext to eliminate Ms Long-Bailey – one of the last left-wingers, if not the last, from the Shadow Cabinet. He could have given her a chance to do as she suggested but he didn’t. That says it all.

Well, he should be gratified to know that we’ve all got the message. Take a look at some of the responses on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/AmmarKazmi_/status/1276157080819372037

https://twitter.com/simonmaginn/status/1276177278007939072

It does.

If Ms Peake does decide to sue Starmer, I would certainly consider helping fund her case.

Alternatively, Starmer could put us all out of our misery by making a full apology and resigning his membership of UK Labour with immediate effect.

Source: Maxine Peake: ‘People who couldn’t vote Labour because of Corbyn? They voted Tory as far as I’m concerned’ | The Independent

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Shame on Victoria Coren Mitchell for joining the anti-Corbyn, anti-Semitism witch-hunt

Lost respect: She might have been smiling but not only did Victoria Coren Mitchell lose the respect of knowledgeable TV viewers, her actions were deeply upsetting to those who had previously thought better of her.

This Writer’s television had a lucky escape last night. I was out watching a gig in Shrewsbury and did not see Victoria Coren Mitchell making a fool of herself – and no doubt many millions of viewers – on Have I Got News For You.

I understand from reports following the travesty that she made a comment to camera after a segment suggesting that the Labour Party had gone from being several million pounds in profit to hundreds of thousands in debt.

Apparently addressing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the gist of the joke – if you can call it that – was that if he wanted someone good with money, he should try the Jewish bankers he believes are conspiring against him.

Firstly: Jeremy Corbyn has never – ever – given voice to the anti-Semitic trope about a conspiracy of Jewish bankers.

So Ms Coren Mitchell was broadcasting a lie. Claiming it was a joke doesn’t make it acceptable. Nor does claiming it was part of a script; she knows about the anti-Corbyn smears and the witch-hunt in general and could have refused.

Secondly: As she was the one who invoked the ‘Jewish banking conspiracy’ trope, it is Ms Coren Mitchell who committed an act of anti-Semitism.

Worse still, she doubled down on the transgression when she was challenged about it on Twitter, although she got what she deserved in response.

If I had seen it – well, as I stated at the top, my TV set had a lucky escape.

In the name of balance, we should mention – as Beastrabban has – that Mr Corbyn is on the record as having criticised the BBC for failing to broadcast enough programmes catering for the Jewish community in the UK. That should be indicative of his attitude to Jewish people.

The BBC, of course, has ‘form’ when it comes to anti-Corbyn smears. One has only to consider the outrage caused by its grotesquely biased Panorama documentary Is Labour Antisemitic? that was broadcast in July.

But I must echo Beastrabban’s disappointment in Ms Coren Mitchell – and that of the many others who voiced similar feelings. We all thought she was better than that. How shaming for her that we were mistaken.

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For the confused: This is an example of an anti-Semitic attack

A man was subjected to an anti-Semitic attack in St Albans.

The incident demonstrates real anti-Semitism, in contrast with the many false allegations that have been bandied about by people with a political agenda in recent years.

It also highlights what This Writer – among many others in the left-wing media – has feared for some time: That the near-constant focus on anti-Semitism has ‘normalised’ it for some members of the public.

People may be starting to resent what they may see as unfounded complaints and criticisms, and it seems they are lashing out in response.

Consider the bullying, the threats of violence, to which hotel staff were subjected in order to discourage them from hosting a speaking engagement by Chris Williamson in Brighton. This is a clear attempt to stifle free speech and the implication is that pro-Jewish, pro-Israel organisations were behind it.

If those responsible really do think they are acting to stop anti-Semitism, then they clearly need to reconsider their strategy as it isn’t working.

Alternatively, it may be simply that the person in this story is a bigot who has always hated Jews, and feels able to express this hatred in the heightened atmosphere of racial prejudice fostered by the Conservatives since the EU referendum in 2016.

You decide.

A 30-year-old man was sat with his family outside the café when a man shoved his nephew’s pram with the boy still inside.

After the victim challenged the man, he responded with racial abuse, reported as being anti-Semitic.

The suspect then kicked an advertising board at the victim before walking away, still using racially abusive language.

EXTRA: This is not the only anti-Semitic crime to be recorded recently, as David Linney’s tweet, below, shows. He points out that these crimes are being committed by people on the far right of British politics, but that they are not properly reported because of the obsessive claim that anti-Semitism is a problem for the left-wing Labour Party.

Are the right-wing media suppressing reports of anti-Semitism for political ends? If so, that’s another box ticked on our list of the 14 indicators of fascism. How many do I have to tick before the public realise that the UK is drifting deeper and deeper into atrocity?

Source: Suspect identified after alleged anti-Semitic assault in St Albans | St Albans and Harpenden News | Herts Advertiser

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This is disgusting. If you ever need a reason NOT to vote Lib Dem, here it is.

This bird is dead: The Liberal Democrats’ behaviour in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election has fallen well below the standard expected of political representatives.

I’ve just read the, from a Labour canvasser who was out in Brecon today (August 1) for the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, and met a group of Liberal Democrats working the same streets:

“They accused us of letting the Tories in. I asked them about the 25 leaflets being delivered to every home and they pretended they had no idea about that.

“One of our team reported that one [of] them asked her when she was going to punch Jews.”

Let’s have that again, shall we?

“One of our team reported that one [of] them asked her when she was going to punch Jews.”

How much lower can the Liberal Democrats go?

I certainly hope this will be reported to the relevant authorities as it is shocking.

And if you were thinking of voting for the people who think this kind of behaviour is acceptable? Please think again – and vote Labour while there’s still time.

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Peers’ vote of ‘no-confidence’ in Corbyn called off | The SKWAWKBOX

Anti-Semitic: Lady Hayter.

It seems more level heads have prevailed over those Labour peers in the House of Lords who thought it would be a good idea to hold a vote of no confidence (VONC) in Jeremy Corbyn.

Perhaps the peers who advocated the vote have realised that, with 179 Labour representatives in the Upper Chamber, they might not get the result they wanted.

According to Skwawkbox, it seems a vote in support of sacked peer Dianne Hayter may still take place.

This still seems off-colour. Lady Hayter compared Mr Corbyn’s leadership to the “bunker mentality” in the “last days of Hitler”.

A Labour spokesperson rightly responded that this was “grossly insensitive to Jewish staff in particular.”

Indeed. Some would call it anti-Semitic.

It seems entirely likely that the VONC was called off because of this double-standard – that peers would be claiming anti-Semitism against Mr Corbyn by supporting an anti-Semitic statement by one of their own.

So how can they be still contemplating a debate and vote in her support?

Source: Peers’ no-confidence vote called off | The SKWAWKBOX

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Evidence mounts up against the BBC’s Panorama hatchet-job

More than a week after its transmission, the BBC’s Panorama documentary Is Labour Antisemitic? is still attracting huge criticism.

As one of those directly affected by the actions of the people involved in it, I intend to make a complaint – or more likely a series of complaints – to the BBC, and have written a series of articles analysing the programme – that is yet to be completed.

Others have also published important information on this, and I want to collect a lot of it here, for reference – that we can all use.

So:

Here’s Labour’s letter of complaint to the BBC, sent on July 4 – before the programme was transmitted:

I write on behalf of the Labour Party in relation to your planned Panorama programme “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?”.

Our lawyer Gerald Shamash will shortly be sending a letter to the BBC’s group general counsel dealing with legal, statutory and wider editorial concerns and issues. We will also be sending detailed responses tomorrow to the questions and issues raised by your reporter/presenter John Ware to Jeremy Corbyn, Jennie Formby, Shami Chakrabarti and a number of Labour Party staff members, which were received by us on Monday 24th June.

Both from the nature of the questions and their framing, the public record and pronouncements of your reporter/presenter John Ware, and your prior publicity for the programme in the Radio Times, we believe the programme is unlikely to meet the BBC’s obligations of fairness, balance and political impartiality; shows clear signs of political interference and attempts at undue influence in the current EHRC investigations into our disciplinary and complaints procedures; is likely to be politically slanted in language, presentation and balance of interviewees; and relies heavily and one-sidedly on the claims and allegations of politically partisan anonymous / unnamed sources and Conservative-supporting newspapers and organisations.

In particular:

1) From the framing of the programme in the Radio Times profile, it appears that the answer to the question “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?” has already been built into the programme – it refers to the “evasions and contradictions” at the heart of the Labour Party – without hearing the Labour Party’s response, considering the rebuttal of unsubstantiated allegations or interviewing a balanced set of voices and views. The programme has clearly been filming and in production for many months but has only offered us an opportunity to provide balancing interviews and responses last week.

2) The timing and length of the programme (double the time allowed for “The Race for Number Ten”) both point to political interference in a highly charged and sensitive political issue between the main political parties – currently being invoked in the Conservative Party leadership election – as well as undue influence by the BBC in the current EHRC investigation into Labour’s procedures for dealing with antisemitism.

3) Both from the questions posed and the framing of the programme’s agenda, there is clear reliance on unsubstantiated allegations and selective use of data and internal communications by former members of staff, who are openly and publicly opposed to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party and highly critical of him and members of his staff. The reliance on a series of politically partisan and hostile interviewees and informants on a highly sensitive political issue in current domestic politics – without, from what we understand, a range of interviewees with an alternative perspective – shows every sign of breaching the BBC’s obligations and own editorial guidelines to be fair, balanced and even-handed in political controversy.

4) The investigation and focus on instances of antisemitism and their handling in the Labour Party – while reasonable and justifiable on its own terms – will be regarded as a political intervention without a balancing investigation and focus on the incidence of Islamophobia among members of the Conservative Party, particularly in the month when those same members are voting to choose the country’s next Prime Minister. As polling has shown, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice is more prevalent in British society than antisemitism, and far more prevalent among Conservative party members than instances of antisemitism in the Labour Party. Polling published last week by YouGov and Hope Not Hate shows that nearly half of Conservative Party members hold Islamophobic views. And both surveys by You Gov and Campaign Against Antisemitism on antisemitism in British politics show that antisemitic views are higher among Conservative voters than Labour voters. But BBC coverage has focused far more on the latter than the former. Without an early investigation of Islamophobia in the Conservative party of similar length and prominence, this will inevitably be regarded as evidence of political bias.

5) The choice of John Ware as reporter/presenter of this programme – whose record of public political hostility to Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership of the Labour Party, as well as a series of controversial articles and programmes on the Muslim community, means he cannot be regarded as fair or even-handed on British politics or community relations – will further undermine confidence in its impartiality.

In an article in the neo-conservative magazine Standpoint on 27/6/17, Mr Ware wrote that the Conservative Party “risks letting in a Labour leader whose entire political career has been stimulated by disdain for the West, appeasement of extremism, and who would barely understand what fighting for the revival of British values is really all about”.

In an article on 2/8/18 in the Jewish Chronicle, Mr Ware accused Jeremy Corbyn of using a “classic antisemitic trope” in comments about Israel and Egypt, and argued that anti-Zionism had “morphed into anti-Semitism” “deeply” on the Labour Left. These are the remarks of someone who has clearly and publicly already made their mind up on the issue of Labour and anti-Semitism.

His Panorama programme in 2005 “British Muslims: A Question of Leadership” was described by a former Panorama journalist in the Guardian as “disgusting”, with the presenter acting “like a prosecuting attorney, not a journalist” – and by the then Guardian columnist Madeleine Bunting as “McCarthyite”.

However robust the editorial process, Mr Ware’s public views and priorities will inevitably have shaped his approach to this programme’s content and interviewees, and will be certain to lead to reasonable accusations of bias and lack of fairness.

Contrary to BBC editorial guidelines on presenters, John Ware’s own personal and political views make him unsuitable to present this programme. As well as previous complaints of bias, including one about a documentary he made about Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 leadership campaign, he has written that Jeremy’s “entire political career has been stimulated by disdain for the West, appeasement of extremism” and says he is someone “who would barely understand what fighting for the revival of British values is really all about”. These allegations have been put to us as being expressed by others – whether Jeremy Corbyn would be at risk of being disciplined now if he repeated previous things he has said, and a suggestion that the Chakrabarti report insulates him from blame and are in fact John Ware’s own views, expressed in an article on August 22nd 2018.

It goes without saying that we do not accept that the Labour Party is antisemitic: we completely reject any such a claim and will strongly contest and challenge through all channels available to us, any such conclusion or implication given in this Panorama programme.

I trust that you will take fully on board the concerns, objections and rebuttals we are providing, will suspend and reconsider the planned broadcast of this programme in this form – and will fully adhere to the BBC’s statutory obligations to be fair, impartial and balanced in its reporting in any reworking of the material.

On July 7 – perhaps as part of an attempt to silence or divert Labour’s criticism, newspapers published claims that Labour, which plans to abolish non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) between organisations and their staff, is hypocritical in that it was accusing the so-called whistleblowers in the Panorama documentary of violating such agreements.

There was one problem: The letter from Labour solicitors Carter-Ruck, on which these claims rely, doesn’t mention NDAs onceIt does raise the question of former disputes chief Sam Matthews leaking information to the press over a prolonged period of time, and the information that he may have provided. As someone whose details were leaked to the press, I have raised this with Labour general secretary Jennie Formby.

Sadly, the deadline for her to respond has passed without any communication from Ms Formby or Labour, so I must turn to law to get satisfaction. This is a shame as it is a matter on which I am prepared to work alongside the party.

Here are images of the Carter-Ruck letter:

Further details are here.

There was an implication that Labour was unfairly cracking down on whistleblowers, but the former Labour employees featured in Panorama weren’t whistleblowers; they did not go to any person or organisation that is accepted as an avenue for such activity:

As for the documentary itself, much information about the “whistleblowers” was omitted, it seems, to present a false impression of them and their character.

The Electronic Intifada published an article which contained the following interesting details:

“Two activists from the Jewish Labour MovementElla Rose and Adam Langleben … appeared on Panorama last night.

“The JLM is an explictly pro-Israel organization which has close ties to the Israeli embassy.

“Indeed, Rose herself is a former embassy employee, who came straight out of that job and into a role as the JLM’s executive director in 2016, soon after the JLM was reactivated to fight against Corbyn.

“Yet not only were these affiliations unmentioned on last night’s BBC program, these two heavily partisan figures were not even named!

“Instead they appeared on screen, distressed, speaking straight to camera. The were presented as sympathetic whistleblowers against Labour Party racism.

“Yet, as The Electronic Intifada has reported in detail for the past four years, the JLM has been one of the main groups promoting and manufacturing the false “Labour anti-Semitism” crisis all along.”

The website also pointed out that Alan Johnson, who tried to set limits within which criticism of Israel may be justified (and beyond which he believed they weren’t) “is an employee of BICOM, the UK’s main Israel lobby group. Once again Panorama did not mention this affiliation.”

And it exposed Alex Richardson:

Another of the young whistleblowers speaking “as a Jew in the Labour Party” was Alex Richardson – a member of the JLM executive.

The BBC did not name him, but I – and many others on social media – recognized him because he was a key figure exposed in Al Jazeera’s 2017 undercover documentaryThe Lobby.

At the time of filming, Richardson was an employee of lawmaker Joan Ryan – who chairs Labour Friends of Israel, which is an Israeli embassy front group.

Ryan, who quit Labour earlier this year, was infamously exposed in Al Jazeera’s film fabricating an instance of “anti-Semitism” at the Labour conference in 2016.

But the film also shows that Richardson was personally involved in that same fabrication.

“Joan convinced me to report the one yesterday because I was made to feel uncomfortable,” the undercover footage shows him telling Labour Friends of Israel’s director Jennifer Gerber.

Yet he privately admitted, “nothing anti-Semitic was said.”

You can watch the relevant clip in the video above.

But a party member was still reported for “anti-Semitism.” She was Jean Fitzpatrick, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Fitzpatrick was formally investigated by the party and ultimately cleared of accusations of anti-Semitism. But the experience had a disturbing effect on her life, leaving her under a cloud of suspicion.

Another Angry Voice went into the documentary’s falsehoods in a big way:

1. The “documentary” states that at the time of Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader complaints about anti-Semitism were almost non-existent, but the obvious reason for this was that until Jeremy Corbyn became leader, anti-Semitism was widely tolerated within the Labour Party and the Labour ranks. Consider the absolute lack of action when Tony Blair’s spin doctor Alistair Campbell created anti-Semitic attack posters portraying a Jewish political rival as a pig and a Fagin character.

2. The “documentary” allowed a guy called Mike Creighton to assert that new Labour Party members joining the Labour Party after Corbyn’s election as leader brought with them a “worldview” that “allowed anti-Semitism to arise”. The reality of course is that after this membership surge occurred the level of anti-Semitic views within the Labour ranks actually fell dramatically.

This is likely due to the fact that Corbyn attracted a lot of socially progressive left-wing anti-imperialist people back to the party, which diluted the bigoted views of the kind of people who approve of the right-wing economic neoliberal orthodoxy and the imperialist war-mongering that caused the humanitarian catastrophes in Iraq and Libya.

3. The “documentary” makes absolutely no mention of this dramatic fall in anti-Semitic views within the Labour ranks. Neither does it mention that rates of anti-Semitic views are lower within Labour than in other parties like the Tories and Lib-Dems, and lower than the general population too.

This is the kind of context that’s absolutely vital in giving a reasonable impression of the true scale of the problem.

4. The “documentary” includes claims from someone called Louise Withers Green that she interviewed Jackie Walker. Walker claims to have never even met this person and that the claims about her are fabricated.

Walker was provided no right to reply to dispute the claims about her.

5. The “documentary” allowed Labour’s former Chief Disputes Officer Kat Buckingham to claim that the right-wing controlled Labour disputes team were bringing “civility back into proceedings” and another former member called Dan Hogan to claim that “we had a really good team”.

What they had actually been up to was the orchestration of a mass purge of thousands of left-leaning Labour members for “crimes” like once retweeting a Green politicianadmitting they voted for other parties long before they joined Labour, and liking the Foo Fighters too much!

This hyper-partisan purge was aimed at reducing the Corbyn vote and throwing the 2016 leadership election in favour of Owen Smith, hardly what anyone would describe as either “civil”, or “good”.

6. The mass purge failed, and Corbyn was re-elected leader with an even bigger mandate, but the thousands of purged members demanding readmittance created an unmanageably vast backlog of disciplinary cases, meaning that legitimate cases involving anti-Semitism got buried under the pile.

The documentary made no mention whatever of the extraordinary Anyone But Corbyn purge and the essential role it played in creating the massive backlog of disciplinary cases.

7. When the right-wing head of the NEC Ian McNicol was finally replaced by Jennie Formby, she insisted that serious cases like anti-Semitism accusations be sped up. The “documentary” sought to portray her as a terrible sinister figure for wanting to change the disciplinary team responsible for orchestrating the purge, creating such a massive backlog of cases, and sitting on extremely serious cases – including anti-Semitism accusations – for years!

8. Formby, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, was afforded no right of reply.

9. Unike Formby the former right-wing General Secretary of the NEC Ian McNicol (the guy who oversaw all of this rank incompetence) was allowed a say, in which he claimed that “to try to interfere politically within the [disciplinary team] is just wrong”, which would be an entirely fair point had the  right-wing faction of the party he represents not recently made very public appeals to Jeremy Corbyn to interfere politically by reversing the reinstatement of Chris Williamson. Apparently it’s wrong for the General Secretary to interfere by making sure the party can’t be sued for discrimination over its disciplinary decisions, but somehow right and entirely justifiable to demand that Corbyn personally interferes to expel someone they don’t like!

10. The documentary claims that “one by one party officials tasked with investigating anti-Semitism left their jobs” as if they simply weren’t replaced, when the reality was that they were replaced with a larger and more competent team tasked with dealing with the massive backlog their incompetent predecessors had created.

11. Perhaps the most glaring problem of all was the use of a ridiculously doctored quote from Seumas Milne that was deliberately cut mid sentence to dramatically alter the meaning.

Here’s what the documentary quoted:

“something’s going wrong, and we’re muddling up political disputes with racism.”

and here’s the full sentence:

“But if we’re more than very occasionally using disciplinary action against Jewish members for antisemitism, something’s going wrong, and we’re muddling up political disputes with racism”

So what Milne was actually raising concerns about was Labour anti-Semitism procedures being used to hound Jewish people out of the Labour Party, but the documentary makers deliberately cut the sentence in half to shear it of context and radically alter the meaning.

As yet the BBC have made no explanation of why the quote was doctored in this way, let alone an apology.

John Ware laughing and joking about being one of the worst
anti-Muslim bigots in the British mainstream media.

12. The “documentary” maker John Ware is a former S*n journalist, and renowned anti-Muslim bigot who laughs and jokes about being recognised as one of the five worst Islamophobes in the cesspit that is the UK mainstream media.
It’s extraordinary that the BBC decided to commission such a person to produce a show about the subject of bigotry in politics.

13. The general tone of the entire “documentary” was to give an entirely uncritical hearing to numerous disgruntled former staff members as they completely absolved themselves of blame for the appalling mess they made, excused their theft and destruction of confidential documents, smeared the leadership, and disparaged the hundreds of thousands of left-wing socially liberal members who have joined the party since 2015.

The Mirror has said a Labour spokesperson claimed BBC employees should “consider their positions” in the wake of the documentary’s screening on July 10.

The spokesperson said: “Arguably they should do because of the extraordinary lack of balance, the inclusion of factual errors, misleading information highly selective use of emails and the editing of emails.”

The BBC has said: “The BBC stands by its journalism and we completely reject any accusations of bias or dishonesty. The investigation was not pre-determined, it was driven by the evidence.  The outcome shows the serious questions facing the Labour Party and its leadership on this issue. The programme adhered to the BBC’s editorial guidelines, including contacting the Labour Party in advance of the broadcast for a full right of reply.”

It is hard to give credibility to this because of the amount of doctored quotes and prejudicial statements in the show.

ADDITIONAL: Tony Greenstein, himself accused of anti-Semitism (despite being Jewish) has weighed in with no fewer than 100 complaints against the BBC over this programme. Read his article here. The complaints are reproduced below:

i.                  I do not accept that your refusal to respond to complainants individually is because of a desire to ‘use our licence fee resources as efficiently as possible’.The BBC’s waste of licence payers’ money is legendary. Money spent on accountability to those who pay the licence fee should be the last area for cutbacks.  This is nothing more than a self-serving lie, a pretext to avoid scrutiny.

ii.               Naturally you ‘completely reject any accusations of bias or dishonesty.’ One would not expect anything else. Donald Trump claims that he doesn’t have a ‘racist bone in his body.’ The evidence suggests otherwise.

iii.            You claim that you ‘explored a topic of undoubted public interest, broadcasting powerful and disturbing testimonies from party members who’d suffered anti-Semitic abuse.’ No the members in question allegedthat they had suffered anti-Semitic abuse. They presented no proof whatsoever and they should be viewed with extreme scepticism.

iv.             The party members whose views you ‘explored’ came from a single and narrow Zionist political group, the Jewish Labour Movement. You didn’t interview a single Jewish member of the Labour Party who wasn’t a Zionist or a supporter of the Israeli State.

v.                It is true that you ‘heard from former Labour officials, some of whom defied non-disclosure agreements to speak out about their experiences inside the Party and its anti-Semitism crisis.’ The fact that these officials signed NDA’s does not however mean that they were telling the truth or that they didn’t have their own agenda. Your failure to treat their claims with any level of scepticism suggests that you share their agenda.

vi.             You say you gave a ‘full right of reply to the Labour Party.’ I disagree. Given the tendentious and relentlessly one-sided nature of the broadcast it would have been impossible for any right of reply to have dealt with the programme’s in-built bias. Since you did not supply the Labour Party with a copy of the programme before it was broadcast it was impossible that they could have adequately responded.

vii.          Your programme defamed ordinary members of the Labour Party, including its many Jewish members, who didn’t agree with those whom you carefully selected to give ‘evidence’

viii.       You say that ‘John Ware is a highly experienced and respected investigative journalist.’  John Ware is a former Sun journalist, a racist and Islamaphobe who is on the record as saying [Why the I-word has closed down debate on extremism, Jewish Chronicle 26.7.13. that whereas anti-Semitism is ‘entirely irrational’ Islamaphobia, if it exists, is ‘reactive’.  It is no wonder that Ware won the Islamic Human Rights Commission’s Islamaphobe of the Year award in 2005.

ix.             No one, apart perhaps from ‘journalist’ Tommy Robinson, could have been less suitable to present this programme than John Ware. Ware made a hostile and biased Panorama programme, Jeremy Corbyn: Labour’s Earthquake  in 2015 even before he became leader. The Independent reported that ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s team send a complaint to the BBC over its ‘hatchet job’ Panorama programme’ .

x.                ‘The significance’ as you put it of the email from Seumas Milne is that you deliberately excised part of it in order to create a false and misleading impression. You omitted all reference to Jews who had been disciplined for ‘anti-Semitism’.  If Ware had been interested in a serious investigation he might have asked why people like myself and Jackie Walker had been expelled. Instead of portraying Jackie as some kind of disembodied alien he would have interviewed both of us and Marc Wadsworth, who was disgracefully framed.

xi.             Your claim to have relied on ‘a significant body of evidence, some of which could not be included in the broadcast programme for reasons of source protection’is unverifiable. What is clear is that you have ignored a much greater body of evidence that the anti-Semitism crisis as you call it has been a confected and artificial crisis in which Jewish and Black anti-racists have been the prime target.

I am therefore submitting to you a series of questions which form part of the overall complaint.

1.                Why did you not name or caption Ella Rose?
2.                Were you aware of Ms Rose’s history as an Israeli Embassy staffer and Director of the Jewish Labour Movement [JLM]?
3.                Why did you not mention that she was the former Director of the Jewish Labour Movement and a former worker at the Israeli Embassy?
4.                Why did you not think that was relevant?
5.                   Were you aware that Ms Rose also featured in Al Jazeera’s undercover documentary The Lobby?
6.                Were you aware that Ms Rose was filmed making threats of violence against another Jewish member of the Labour Party, Jackie Walker?
7.                How is Ms Rose’s portrayal in Panorama as a innocent victim of anti-Semitism compatible with her threats of violence against another Jewish person and her boasting that she could attack someone nearly three times her age because she is ‘tiny’?
8.                Do you agree that in hindsight this throws doubt on Ms Rose’s claims that she is an innocent victim of anti-Semitism?
9.                If you weren’t aware of Ms Rose’s background and her portrayal in The Lobby, making threats of physical violence, then what due diligence did you do?
10.          Why was Ella Rose not questioned about her allegations of anti-Semitism and asked for specifics? For example who was the person who ‘screamed’ at her? Did she make a complaint at the time?
11.          Did you ask what were the leaflets she was giving out? Perhaps they were justifying Israel’s brutal and murderous attacks on Palestinians and that someone understandably disagreed with her? This would have nothing to do with anti-Semitism but as you failed to ask the relevant questions we will never know.
12.          Were you not interested in the details of her allegations and did you prefer all the allegations to be as general and unspecific as possible?

13.          Seven Jewish Labour Party members appeared in the programme.  All seven were not only members of the Jewish Labour Movement but officers of this organisation. Were you aware of this fact?
14.          If not why not?
15.          If you were aware of their membership of the JLM, which seems likely, why did the programme deceive its viewers by omitting to mention this fact?
16.          If you weren’t aware of their membership of the JLM how were these seven Jewish Labour Party members chosen? The fact that they knew each other and were part of the same group cannot simply be coincidence.
17.          What direct contacts with the JLM did Panorama and John Ware have?
18.          Was the programme planned jointly with the JLM?
19.          Did you discuss its format with the JLM beforehand?
20.          Why did you not seek to interview other Jewish Labour Party members who held different opinions to those of the JLM?
21.          Why did you make no attempt to interview members of Jewish Voices for Labour for example? Large numbers of Jewish members of the Labour Party, being a left-wing anti-racist party, are not Zionists. Isn’t it strange that you didn’t manage to interview a single non-Zionist Jewish person?
22.          Did you think that interviewing non-Zionist or anti-Zionist Jews might spoil your narrative?
23.          Would it have been inconvenient if not embarrassing to have Jewish people on the programme who disagreed with John Ware’s strongly held belief that Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic?
24.          The title of the programme was ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’.  What attempt did you make to interview people who did not believe it was anti-Semitic?
25.          Why did you not attempt to achieve any balance and have supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, including Jewish supporters, who would refute the false assertion that he was anti-Semitic?
26.          Did Panorama find it difficult to make contact with any of the 29 Jewish rabbis who last year signed a statement supporting Jeremy Corbyn? What attempts did you make to contact them?
27.          Why did Panorama not interview the well-known Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Telegraph columnist Dr Geoffrey Alderman, who is himself a Zionist, of Buckingham University, who wrote an article in The Spectator recently,Is Jeremy Corbyn really anti-Semitic?, rebutting the absurd accusations that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite? Would this have been too embarrassing for the BBC and John Ware?
28.          Did you make a conscious decision not to present at any evidence running counter to your narrative?
29.          How do you reconcile this with the BBC’s duty to impartiality?
30.          Do you intend to run another programme countering John Ware’s thesis that Corbyn is anti-Semitic?

31.          According to the Pew Global Attitudes Survey 2016negative opinions about Muslims and Roma in the UK are 28% and 45% respectively compared to 7% for anti-Semitism. Why is it that Panorama has not made programmes about these forms of racism and asked whether the Tory party is institutionally Islamaphobic or anti-Roma?
32.          Is the reason for Panorama’s disinterest in these forms of racism due to the fact that Jeremy Corbyn cannot be accused of them?
33.          Do you have a reason for preferring to concentrate on anti-Semitism rather than other forms of racism?
34.          Is your reluctance to Panorama do a special on the background to the Windrush Scandal have anything to do with the assertion that opposition to the State of Israel and Zionism is anti-Semitic?
35.          Why has Panorama not seen fit to do a documentary on the hostile environment policy of Theresa May?
36.          In the programme John Ware asked Mike Creighton and others ‘do you believe Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite’ despite there being not a shred of evidence, from anything he has ever said, to suggest that he is.  Can you envisage a programme, for example on Windrush, in which you asked the same question about Theresa May?
37.          Why in her valedictory interview with Theresa May why did Laura Kuenssberg not ask Theresa May about her hostility to immigrants with special reference to the hostile environment policy, Windrush and Grenfell Tower?
38.          Given that the former head of the civil service, Sir Bob Kerslake, said that Theresa May’s attitude to migrants was seen by some other Tory Ministers as “almost reminiscent of Nazi Germany” why did Ms Kuenssberg not pursue this line of inquiry?
39.          Does the BBC have a blind spot when it comes to racism in the Conservative party?
40.          Is racism against Black people, Roma and Muslims more acceptable to Panorama than anti-Semitism? Is that the explanation for your disinterest in them?

41.          John Ware stated that ‘Corbyn campaigned toallow anotoriously anti-Semitic preacher Raed Salah into Britain who had called Jews the ‘germs of all time’ and blamed them for 9/11.’ These assertions are untrue and have been found to be untrue by a British court but Panorama’s audience would not have known this fact. Will you retract these lies and apologise to both Raed Salah and Jeremy Corbyn?
42.          It is untrue that Jeremy Corbyn did not campaign to allow Raed Salah into the country because he had already entered Britain unhindered despite Theresa May having issued an order preventing his entry.Corbyn campaigned for Raed Salah to be released from custody in order that he could continue with his speaking tour. How did John Ware manage to get such a simple fact wrong?
43.          The allegation that Raed Salah was anti-Semitic and had called Jews ‘germs’ or made other anti-Semitic comments were shown during the hearings before the First and Upper Immigration Tribunals to be untrue. These allegations were based on the doctoring of a poem by the Jerusalem Post. This was the reason that the Upper Immigration Tribunal overturned Theresa May’s deportation order.These are matters of fact and were widely reported for example Theresa May’s haste to ban Raed Salah will be repented at leisure, Guardian 9.4.12. All 4 chargeswere thrown out by the Vice-President of the Upper Immigration Tribunal, Mr Justice Ockleton who ruledthat Theresa May ‘was misled as to the terms of the poem written by the appellant, a matter on which there is now no room for dispute.’  Why was it that John Ware chose to ignore the ruling of a British court, which was upheld by the High Court?
44.          Was John Ware of the facts surrounding Raed Salah’s entry to Britain and his attempted deportation?  If so why did he not report them?
45.          If John Ware was unaware of the above facts then doesn’t this cast a shadow of doubt over the whole Panorama programme?
46.          Are you disputing the findings of the Upper Immigration Tribunal as upheld by the High Court with your egregious comments?
47.          Will you withdraw your allegations and apologise for them?
48.          Does John Ware not believe in doing basic research before making a programme containing serious accusations of anti-Semitism? Why did Ware make these bigoted and slanderous comments without researching what had actually happened?
49.          Why did John Ware allege that Raed Salah was a‘notorious anti-Semitic preacher’ when the Upper Immigration Tribunal  found that the allegations of anti-Semitism against him were false?
50.          Was this another case of a former Sun journalist plying his old trade and playing fast and loose with the facts?
51.          Was John Ware aware that Raed Salah is the leader of a significant proportion of Israeli Palestinians who have suffered extreme discrimination  in Israel including persistent attempts to hinder their ability to pray at the Al Aqsa and Golden Dome mosques.
52.          Would you accept that John Ware’s demonization of Raed Salah is an example of the very racism that he purported to decry?
53.          Was the affair of Raed Salah merely another convenient Islamaphobic stick with which Ware could beat Jeremy Corbyn?
54.          The principal source according to The Guardian 9.4.12. ‘for the decision to ban him, according to witnesses who testified in court for the Home Office, was a report compiled by the CST.
55.          Given the unreliability of the Community Security Trust, an overtly Zionist organisation with close links to Israel’s Mossad (MI6) why did the programme use its Deputy Director, Dave Rich, as one of its two expert witnesses?
56.          After being freed from detention, Raed Salah wrote an article Britain’s duty to the Palestinian people in the Guardian 19.4.12. in which he wrote:‘‘I have no doubt that, despite this, [his arrest and detention on the basis of false evidence] Israel’s cheerleaders in Britain will continue to smear my character. This is the price every Palestinian leader and campaigner is forced to pay.’  Does the BBC accept that John Ware’s lies about Raed Salah constitute a good example of this smearing?Izzy Lenga and the Jewish Labour Movement
57.          Allegations were made by Izzy Lenga, the International Officer of the JLM, that Holocaust denial was discussed at her Labour Party meetings.  No detail was provided of this wild allegation, for example which CLP was this was taking place in? This seems to be a blatant lie, a flight of fantasy.The idea that Labour Party meetings would debate whether the Holocaust had happened or declare that Hitler didn’t go far enough is inconceivable. Did Ms Lenga make any complaint about what had happened?  If not, why not?
58.          Why was Ms Lenga not questioned as to any specific details to establish whether in fact this happened?
59.          Were the seven JLM members encouraged to make whatever allegation first came into their heads, however unlikely or fantastic?
60.          Why were none of the seven Jewish ‘victims’ questioned about what had allegedly happened?
61.          What kind of programme is it that allows those it interviews to simply make allegations without any attempt to verify them or subject them to scrutiny?
62.          It would appear that supporters of Israel were given carte blanche to invent any allegation that came into their heads without ever being challenged. Do you agree and if not why not?

63.          Ben Westerman, an investigator into the Riverside CLP stated that during the course of an interview he was asked if he came from Israel. A recording of the interview makes it clear that this was a lie and that Westerman was asked which branch of the Labour Party he came from. Johny Begg’s Facebook page,
64.          Do you accept that Westerman’s assertion was untrue?
65.          If not why not?
66.          What attempts did John Ware and the programme’s researchers  make to verify these assertions and was any attempt to interview those in Riverside CLP who were subject to Westerman’s investigation?

67.          The programme began with footage of the Zionist ‘Enough is Enough’ demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in March 2018. Why was no mention made of the JVL counter-demonstration.
68.          Was it not thought important that there were hundreds of Jews and others who were opposed to what was seen as a racist, Zionist demonstration?
69.          Would the opposition of anti-Zionist and non-Zionist Jews to this demonstration have spoiled Ware’s narrative?
70.          Why was no mention made of the fact that Norman Tebbit of the ‘cricket test’ fame and Ian Paisley of the sectarian DUP were present?
71.          Does this not run counter to the claim that this demonstration was about anti-racism and anti-Semitism?
72.          Can you think of another ‘anti-racist’ demonstration that either of these two gentlemen have ever attended?
73.          The BBC focused on a group of far-Right Zionists in particular Jonathan Hoffman and Harry Markham of Young Herut. Were you aware of these people and their antecedents?

74.          One of the ‘whistleblowers’ you interviewed was Kat Buckingham whose confessed to being frustrated at not being able to suspend people at will. This is the same Kat Buckingham who investigated Brighton and Hove Labour Party when it was suspended in 2016 over bogus charges of spitting at its AGM. Ms Buckingham refused to even watch CCTV evidence proving the spitting allegation to be false. Why did you not interview people who had been the sharp end of Ms Buckingham’s ‘investigations’?
75.          Ms Buckingham and Sam Matthews denied they were Blairites out to exact revenge but it is common knowledge that their team suspended thousands of people on suspicion of being Corbyn supporters during the leadership elections in 2015 and 2016.  Why did you not think that this was relevant?
76.          Did the programme makers feel that mention of the ‘whistleblowers’ actual records of suspending and expelling people might undermine their stories of having only been concerned about anti-Semitism?
77.          Were the ‘whistleblowers’ ever asked whether or not they had ever suspended or expelled Labour Party members for Islamaphobia or other forms of racism?
78.          Were the ‘whistleblowers’ ever asked whether or not they had ever suspended or expelled Labour Party members for supporting Jeremy Corbyn?
79.          Were the ‘whistleblowers’ ever asked why such a high proportion of those suspended/expelled for ‘anti-Semitism’ were Jewish and Black/Asian?
80.          Were the staff ‘whistleblowers’ asked whether or not they had considered suspending John Mann MP, who harangued Ken Livingstone, for publishing a vehemently anti-Roma handbook on anti-social behaviour?
81.          Why were the ‘whistleblowers’ not asked why they did not consider suspending Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, for having supported racist Labour MP Phil Woolas? Woolas was removed as an MP by the High Court in 2010 for having lied about his Lib Dem opponent in the General Election. Woolas fought a racist campaign to ‘make the white folk angry’ and Watson gave him full support confessing that ‘I’ve lost sleep thinking about poor old Phil Woolas’.
82.          Why were the Labour Party ‘whistleblowers’ not asked why Tom Watson, who ran a racist campaign during a 2004 by-election in Hodge Hill where he claimed that‘”Labour is on your side, the Lib Dems are on the side of failed asylum seekers.” was not suspended?
83.          Did Panorama not think of asking why there has never been any disciplinary action against racist White Labour politicians such as Tom Watson?
84.          Could this be because ‘racism’ against White people is more interesting?
85.          One of those prominent in the false allegations of anti-Semitism is John Mann MP. Mann brought out aBassetlaw Guide to Anti-Social Behaviour  The contents list Travellers alongside Rubbish, Alcohol, Grafitti and Fireworks as an example of anti-social nuisances. Were Labour’s ‘whistleblowers’ ever asked whether they had considered suspending John Mann?  If not why not?Alan Johnson of ‘BICOM’
86.          The second ‘expert witness’ that the programme dredged up was Professor Alan Johnson. Johnson is not Jewish and he has no special knowledge of anti-Semitism. He is the Editor of Fathom, the journal ofBICOM, the main Israeli propaganda organisation in Britain. He is a Zionist. Why was this information concealed?
87.          Did John Ware deliberately set out to mislead viewers by not providing Johnson’s political and professional background?
88.          If not how can Ware explain his parading of Johnson as a neutral expert when he was nothing of the sort?

89.          Sam Matthews was allowed to explain his frustrations at not being able to expel at will anyone he deemed anti-Semitic. Why was Matthews not subject to cross-examination in:
i.          Suspending thousands of pro-Corbyn members for the ‘crime’ of supporting the ‘wrong’ candidate in 2015 and 2016?
ii.          the suspension of Glyn Secker, Secretary of Jewish Voices for Labour?
iii.          the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover in October 2017? This expulsion was retracted after a world wide campaign against the victimisation of this Israeli professor by renowned academics in Moshe’s field of mathematics.
iv.          Would this have run counter to the programme’s narrative of Labour ‘anti-Semitism’?

90.          Why was no mention made of Matthews partiality in expelling or suspending Jewish members of the Labour Party for ‘anti-Semitism’?
91.          I was the first Jewish member of the Labour Party to be suspended in March 2016. I was given no explanation as to what it was that I had said that merited suspension. Two weeks later, April 2 2016 I learnt from leaks to the Telegraph and The Times that I had been suspended because of the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign in the Labour Party. The details of my case and many other future cases were leaked by the Compliance Unit and Sam Matthews. Why was no mention made of the fact that Sam Matthews was a notorious leaker of confidential data despite this practice being condemned in the Chakrabarti Report?

92.           John Ware has a history of hostility to Muslims and attempting to paint them as terrorists and terrorist supporters. His programme A Question of Leadership in 2005 attracted 600 complaints in its first week. Ware tried to link a Palestinian charity Interpal to Hamas, an allegation which had already led to a successful libel action against the Daily Mail and an apology and damages from the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
In Panorama or Propaganda Faisal Bodi documented Ware’s Islamaphobic journalism. Arzu Merali also documented the Islamaphobia of Ware in The banality and boredom of anti-Muslim witchhunts. Or beware John Ware for Middle East Eye, 29.3.18. Madeleine Bunting in The Guardian described in Throwing mud at Muslims Ware’s journalistic method as being one of ‘Branding moderates as extremists’ and gave as an example his targeting of Sir Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain. She described his behaviour as McCarthyite.  Do you agree and if not why not?
93.          The MCB described Ware as an ‘‘an agenda-driven pro-Israeli polemicist.’ Do you agree, given his attempt to describe Interpal as a terrorist supporting charity and his failure to make any criticism of Israel’s racist behaviour towards the Palestinians?
94.          Does not John Ware’s repeated writing in the racist Jewish Chronicle, edited by far-Right former Expresseditor Stephen Pollard not suggest that he has a hidden agenda?
95.          John Ware’s latest article in the Jewish Chronicle is entitled ‘If Labour wants a fight, bring it on,’ says Panorama’s John Ware. Leaving aside the Clint Eastwood rhetoric, is this the kind of neutrality that the BBC encourages in its journalists?
96.          Perhaps you can explain why John Ware attacks even the most moderate Muslims as ‘extremists’ whilst defending racists and bigots such as Douglas Murray, author of ‘The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam’ in an article in the Jewish Chronicle (26.7.13.) Why the I-word has closed down debate on extremism
97.          During the course of a one-sided attack on Ken Livingstone when recounting his statement that ‘Hitler supported Zionism’ John Ware described his view of history as ‘cranky’. Perhaps you can explain what qualifications in history Ware has which enables him to pass this historical judgement? Is he a trained historian?
98.          Since when is it the job of a presenter to pass a view on a particular historical period as fact?
99.          David Cesarani, a Zionist historian, wrote in his bookThe Final Solution p.96 that ‘‘The efforts of the Gestapo are oriented to promoting Zionism as much as possible and lending support to its efforts to promote emigration.’ Do you agree that John Ware, the former Sun journalist, had no right, still less qualifications, to describe Ken Livingstone’s views as ‘cranky’. Some believe that this adjective best applies to Ware’s views of Muslims.
100.     In an article for a right-wing magazine Standpoint (27.6.17) Enough is enough of terror — but also of our self-doubt Ware wrote that ‘Western civilisation is itself based on Christianity, which enshrines individualism and freedom.’ This was in contrast to Islam which is an ‘ideology’.In making this contrast Ware demonstrates that he is a narrow minded bigot as well as historically illiterate.  It was ‘Christian’ Europe which was the site of the Holocaust not the Arab or Muslim world. Anti-Semitism  was strongest in the most devout Christian states such as Poland, Rumania, Slovakia and Hungary. During the second world war Christian anti-Semitism allied with Nazi anti-Semitism throughout Europe.Do you agree that in hindsight employing an arch bigot and Islamaphobe, as well as someone who is historically illiterate, to present a programme on ‘anti-Semitism’ was a mistake?
101.     In the same article for Standpoint John Ware wrote that the Conservative Party’s‘family quarrel over Europe… risks letting in a Labour leader whose entire political career has been stimulated by disdain for the West, appeasement of extremism, and who would barely understand what fighting for the revival of British values is really all about.’These heavily prejudiced and ignorant remarks clearly mark out John Ware as unfit to comment on a greyhound race let alone the leader of the Labour Party. Do you therefore agree that John Ware was the worst possible choice of presenter for the recent Panorama programme?
102.     Will you now rectify your mistake with a programme focussing on genuine racism in British society and Jeremy Corbyn’s role in having fought racism throughout his political life?
103.     If not, why not?
104.     What confidence can we have that John Ware will not be allowed to roam through the BBC studios in the future defaming all this imagined opponents?
105.     It is difficult to imagine anyone less suitable than John Ware [to] present a programme on anti-Semitism or any form of racism. If you continue to defend him, can you tell us if you have any plans to employ the Yorkshire Ripper to present a programme on the evils of violence against women?

106.    I am curious why those whom you deemed anti-Semitic such as Corbyn, Jackie Walker, Livingstone and Thomas Gardiner appeared with a grid or vertical lines superimposed on their images? Why were these special effects employed and was it in order to create an impression of them being disembodied and not quite human?

The issue is ongoing so this article is likely to grow. I’ll try to flag up additions.

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Labour lords’ ‘no confidence’ threat to Corbyn is shooting themselves in the foot

Anti-Semitic: Lady Hayter.

Whoever thought it would be a good idea for Labour lords to hold a vote of ‘no confidence’ (VONC) in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership over his handling of anti-Semitism – after he sacked one of them for a blatantly anti-Semitic comment – needs to think again, sharpish.

Lady Dianne Hayter (phonetically-speaking, she is well-named), lost her shadow cabinet post after she compared Mr Corbyn’s leadership to the “bunker mentality” in the “last days of Hitler”.

This clearly an anti-Semitic attack on Jewish members who work for the Labour leadership.

A Labour spokesman said: “To compare the Labour leader and Labour party staff working to elect a Labour government to the Nazi regime is truly contemptible, and grossly insensitive to Jewish staff in particular.” Quite right.

It seems Lady Hayter made her comments in a meeting of Corbyn-hating right-wing subgroup Labour First, on Tuesday.

Now it seems the Labour lords may hold a VONC in Mr Corbyn. It would be nothing more than a statement of opinion – there could be no pressure on Mr Corbyn to resign.

But it seems the ringleaders haven’t considered what they are really saying in supporting an anti-Semite and attacking a move against her.

They’re effectively saying: “We, the Labour lords supporting a ‘no confidence’ vote, are all anti-Semites and we are attacking Mr Corbyn in bad faith.”

In Westminster-speak, the “optics” of this are terrible.

Mr Corbyn is unlikely to take immediate action. But some of us will expect plans for any future Labour government to change the second chamber of Parliament radically.

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Panorama v Jackie Walker: The great Labour stitch-up part four

Jackie Walker: Panorama described her as an anti-racist, then ignored the fact that it went on to stitch her up as an anti-Semite. And where was her response to these falsehoods?

“Jackie Walker was a long-standing anti-racist ally of Mr Corbyn,” stated John Ware in voice-over, around half-way through the now-thoroughly-discredited BBC Panorama documentary (mockumentary would be more accurate) Is Labour Antisemitic?

“She seems to have had a blind spot when it came to anti-Semitism.” Did she? Did she really? Or did her concept of anti-Semitism simply not correspond with the Labour disputes team’s view – which was that any criticism of the Israeli government or the Zionist ideology that informed it must also be anti-Semitism? (That is a view that is not upheld by any accepted definition of anti-Semitism, of course.)

A confused and worried-looking Louise Withers-Green appeared, to explain what happened when she interviewed Ms Walker. She started by saying Ms Walker had said “a number of very offensive things”. The first that she listed was that “the Jews were financiers of the slave trade”.

It is interesting that the BBC allowed this claim to appear on Panorama as the corporation had been forced to admit that Nick Robinson was wrong to say that, when he tweeted the suggestion in February. That correction had come at the end of June – at least 10 days before the transmission of the Panorama programme. Why had the BBC allowed itself to repeat this – call it what it is – libel?

“She suggested that Jews were… unwelcoming to black people.” This is a new one on This Writer and I would like to hear more evidence.

“And [she] repeatedly reiterated tropes about Jews having undue power and influence.” Did she? My recollection is that members of the Israel Advocacy Movement (an organisation with connections to the Campaign Against Antisemitism) hacked into Ms Walker’s private messaging system on Facebook and grabbed whatever they could get, which included a comment in a discussion with a friend that the Caribbean slave trade, at the time her ancestors were slaves, had numbered Jewish people among its chief financiers – and this is why the Caribbean has many very old synagogues. Later, in what was advertised as a “safe space” session during a Labour conference – where attendees were encouraged to air controversial views in order to discuss them, my understanding is that a recording was taken of Ms Walker saying she had not found a definition of anti-Semitism with which she could agree, that she wished Holocaust Memorial Day was open to all peoples who have experienced holocaust (going on to point out that it excludes “the African holocaust” during the slave trade, among others), and when the subject of security at Jewish schools was raised she questioned the trainer’s point – as she understands that all London primary schools have security now.

Who was acting in bad faith during those incidents? Was it really Ms Walker? Or was it the Israel Advocacy Movement members who broke the law by hacking into her private messages and presenting a distorted version of what they found to the Jewish Chronicle, and the Jewish Labour Movement members who claimed to have organised a “safe space” training session and then betrayed the faith attendees placed in them by recording what was said and pretending it was evidence of anti-Semitism?

“She showed absolutely no contrition or remorse for the things that she had said,” claimed Ms Withers-Green. Why should she? Ms Walker had said nothing wrong.

The complaint was sent to Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, which has authority to expel members (I have personal experience of this), and former party general secretary Iain (now Lord – when was he ennobled?) McNicol was wheeled on to say the NCC is completely independent and should make decisions based on the facts of a case.

I have personal experience that this is not true. When my case went before the NCC, its members decided against me – but not on the facts of the case. I had proved those facts wrong and the party representative who had been brought in to make its own case had been unable to deny anything I said. Instead the NCC seemed more perturbed that I had discussed internal Labour Party issues on This Site, even though all the issues I had discussed had been matters of public knowledge and it was my job as a responsible journalist to write about them impartially. In fact, the decisions I had made had been based on the facts of the individual cases and the NCC panellists could have learned from my example. Their final reason for expelling me was the limp excuse that I had made statements which had upset somebody (who was never named and therefore, legally, does not exist). Of course, the Labour Party makes statements every day that somebody will find upsetting – Tories in particular, I suspect. But that double-standard was ignored.

Back in the documentary, Mr Ware stated that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership discussed how to “control” the NCC in an email chain. It seems there was an attempt to interfere with the selection of the NCC panel set to hear Ms Walker’s case, back in spring 2018 – which is interesting as her case was not actually heard until earlier this year.

He quoted from an email in which Jennie Formby allegedly stated, “The NCC cannot be allowed to continue in the way that they are,” adding “and I will also be challenging… the panel for the Jackie Walker case.” I wonder what came between “challenging” and “the panel” in the original email?

As you can see from my own experiences, there are genuine reasons to doubt that the NCC has acted in good faith over cases of alleged anti-Semitism and the woman who chaired the panel in my case – one Maggie Cousins – has been subject to particular criticism, having contributed to the expulsion from Labour of the son of two Nazi Holocaust survivors. Evidence has shown that her judgement is not to be trusted.

There was more discussion of whether interference with panels should be allowed with Iain McNicol, even though the quote from Ms Formby’s email doesn’t mention any challenge to the composition of an NCC panel.

Labour’s response, flashed on-screen was: “The emails… are simply about ensuring the NCC is held accountable for the length of time they take to hear cases and about protecting the party against any successful legal challenge on the basis of perceived bias if the same panel is used in high profile cases.” Such fears may well be justified, as the length of time between this alleged email discussion and the date of Ms Walker’s NCC hearing, together with my reference to Ms Cousins, show.

Mr Ware had to admit that there is no evidence the email chain he discussed had any effect on the NCC and its deliberations, as Ms Walker was (wrongly) expelled from Labour after her hearing. She had walked out of it after being denied the opportunity to make a statement at the start, so it is unsurprising that the panel had run roughshod over any evidence that she may have submitted.

As for Ms Formby – Mr Ware quoted from another email in which she stated that she had deleted all parts of the chain as “too many eyes” were watching her address. He made no comment on the morality of people – like his own informers – spying on the private correspondence of a senior officer of the Labour Party. Hmm…

Mr Ware moved on to make an unsubstantiated claim that last summer the Leader’s office had ordered the transfer of batches of complaints files from Labour’s Southside HQ to the Leader’s office itself, in a different location. Considering the claim in another leaked letter – the legal correspondence between Labour solicitors Carter-Ruck and Sam Matthews (former head of Governance and Legal) – that documents had been leaked wholesale to the press or shredded, this seems an appropriate precaution to have taken.

Labour’s on-screen statement was that, as with any large organisation, it occasionally seconds staff to do alternative work where there are capacity issues [as with the number of anti-Semitism complaints it was having to handle]. “This in no way contradicts the party’s position that the complaints process operates independently of the Leader’s office.”

Another testimony: “People were posting Nazi and openly anti-Semitic material from conspiracy websites on the constituency party’s Facebook page.” Which CLP page? “We are very frightened of what Corbyn might do because we have seen these behaviours before. We know what happens when people don’t speak up against things that are patently wrong. Zero tolerance just doesn’t apply for hatred towards Jewish people.”

But people are speaking up – against the falsehood of the attacks against Mr Corbyn. People like this speaker are acting in bad faith, it seems – and may in fact be creating the very hatred towards Jewish people – with their lies – that they are pleading against.

Mr Ware was now saying that by last spring there were several hundred anti-Semitism cases waiting to be resolved, but Labour would not provide accurate figures. They were made public a few months ago, in response to a (public) demand by Parliamentary Labour Party members. Perhaps Mr Ware missed it because he was rooting around in stolen email chains?

He said by spring the number of members who had been expelled stood at only 15.

“That was a figure that really shocked me when I read it,” said Martha Robinson. “I think I was actually brought to tears with anger and frustration.” That all her hard work to rid the party of innocent people had come to nothing? “It was just horrifying to hear that all the work I had tried to do had essentially been for nothing.”

Indeed. Never mind justice; she just wanted to purge the party of anyone who criticised her particular – and narrow-minded – view.

Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne responded to the numbers. He was asked: “Do you regard 15 expulsions of anti-Semites in a crisis that has been running over three years as evidence of having dealt with this crisis?” A loaded question. Ms Walker wasn’t an anti-Semite, and wasn’t expelled as one. Neither am I, and neither was I. Marc Wadsworth is bringing legal action against Labour; so am I.

Mr Gwynne’s response: “Well 15 fewer racists and people who hold obnoxious views, I think is important.” Oh really? I’m a racist, am I? I hold obnoxious views? Has Mr Gwynne even heard of my case? From this evidence I think not and I will challenge him on this.

“We are serious about getting shot of this problem,” he said. Well, I’m here to say the Labour Party is going about it the wrong way.

Here in the UK we have a fundamental principle of justice, which is that a person is innocent until they are proven guilty. Labour’s disputes team – especially the former members interviewed in this documentary – inverted that principle. They decided that anybody who had been accused of anti-Semitism must be guilty of it – the mere fact of having been accused was enough.

In my dealings with the disputes team over my own case, I was never given the impression that anybody involved considered me to be anything less than guilty of all charges, evidence be damned, and my innocence in respect of some of them has only been demonstrated by contact with other authorities.

Yet Labour has never acknowledged its errors in these instances and I have received no apologies. The claim is that “the decision of the NCC is final” – even when it has been made in error (or, more likely, through prejudice).

Labour is in the wrong – but not in the way Mr Ware claims. The problem is not that the party has wrongly acquitted too many people, but that too many have been wrongly demonised.

Next came a segment about the Chakrabarti report of 2016. Disputes team members were negative about it – but by this point their claims were so clearly prejudiced that there’s no reason to bother with them. “It was so poorly researched,” whined Kat Buckingham. “Pitiful is the right word.” Yes – to describe Ms Buckingham’s own reaction.

Mr Ware used part of the report – that people should not be judged by the company they keep – to link to the next section, which is criticism of the people with whom Mr Corbyn has shared a platform. We’ll discuss that next time.

To be continued…

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Panorama’s Labour stitch-up part three: Enter the nit-pickers

We came to the meat of Panorama: Is Labour Antisemitic nearly halfway through – the allegation that the Labour Party’s leaders interfere in the disciplinary process when people are accused of anti-Semitism.

This is not a new claim – it was broken by The Sunday Times (if I recall correctly), in a report by Gabriel Pogrund based on a leak of confidential papers.

Information that has come out since that revelation suggests that one of the contributors to Panorama: Is Labour Antisemitic was responsible for that leak. Other claims suggest that the same person provided further information to Mr Pogrund and may also have shredded documents relating to party members against whom complaints had been made that he (for it was a he) had personally and unilaterally decided should not be investigated.

So who, exactly, interfered with the complaints process in the Labour Party, again?

John Ware seemed determined to pin the blame on the party leadership. He pontificated: “In an email, Mr Corbyn’s director of communications, Seumas Milne, asked for a review of the disciplinary process into anti-Semitic complaints. There was a risk, he said, of ‘muddling up political disputes with racism’.”

Brace yourself, because you are now coming to a sequence in which the meaning of claims and comments depends hugely on their context, the amount of information you’re provided, and the intention of the person imparting it. You are in the land of the nit-pickers – and here was the first example.

This email has been quoted selectively and out-of-context, it seems – not the first time people accusing others of anti-Semitism have resorted to such a tactic!

I was lucky enough to have been in my car listening to Radio 4’s PM on Thursday when Evan Davis quoted the email in more detail.

He said: “There was one aspect we gave mention to… on our programme, and we thought you might like some fuller context. Now this is about an email from Seumas Milne, key aide to Jeremy Corbyn – in fact, the key aide to Jeremy Corbyn, you might say, and we quoted him as writing the following in an email: ‘Something’s going wrong, and we’re muddling up political disputes with racism.’ And we got that quote from a BBC press release yesterday (July 10), it was in the Panorama programme, and this would naturally be taken as evidence of political interference in the disciplinary procedures. He’s in the leader’s office; he’s not meant to be tampering with the uh… the investigations.

“But Labour have said this was a selective quotation. The full email actually concerned a specific case of charges of anti-Semitism against Jewish people. One Jewish member was under investigation – a Corbyn supporter, someone who, in fact, was the son of a Holocaust survivor – and Seumas Milne had been asked his opinion on this case.

“And the fuller quote from the email says this…: ‘If we are more than very occasionally using disciplinary action against Jewish members for anti-Semitism, something’s going wrong and we’re muddling up political disputes with racism. Quite apart from this specific case I think, going forward, we need to review where and how we’re drawing the line and if we’re going to have clear and defensible processes.’

“You’ll have to make up your own mind as to whether that amounted to interference on Milne’s part, and whether the BBC’s edited version was a reasonable edit or not.”

OF COURSE IT WASN’T!

He was making the very clear point that it is wrong to suggest that a Jewish person, the son of a Holocaust survivor, hates Jewish people because they ARE Jewish people – and he was drawing the obvious conclusion that a disciplinary process that even suggests such a thing in more than a tiny minority of cases must be seriously – if not fatally – flawed.

The operative phrase is indeed “we’re muddling up political disputes with racism”, but without the vital piece of context – that he was referring to a case against a Jewish member – Panorama was inviting readers to leap to a false conclusion. His suggestion that “we need to review where and how we’re drawing the line and if we’re going to have clear and defensible processes” is a clear indication of his own opinion – that the party’s processes were neither clear nor defensible.

And even the PM report of the email isn’t complete. Here’s the full quotation, courtesy of Steve Howell on Twitter:

In the light of that information, let’s go back to Panorama.

Next to appear was Mr Matthews, who told us that he had interpreted the email – which was about the treatment of an anti-Semitism case against a Jew, remember – as follows: “This was the leader’s office requesting to be involved – directly – in the disciplinary process.”

This is not true. There was no demand to be involved in any individual case. It was a warning that the process needed reform, but it was not an expression of a desire to influence that reform in any overbearing way.

Mr Matthews continued: “This is not a helpful suggestion; it is an instruction.”

In the light of what we now know, do you think he was tellling the truth then?

And again, about Seumas Milne: “In that context, when he says I think we need to review this process going forward – that isn’t a suggestion. That’s him instructing what he expects to happen – without needing to say it.”

Even if it was an instruction, given the correct context, rather than that in which Mr Matthews framed it, Mr Milne would have been right to demand a review. Would he not?

And the Labour response puts the cap on this: “The leader’s office did not intervene. These former disaffected employees sought the view of staff in the leader’s office, which was complied with in good faith. These disaffected former officials include those who have always opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, worked to actively undermine it, and have both personal and political axes to grind.”

It seems clear, given what we have heard about the leaks to The Sunday Times, that this may certainly be true in Mr Matthews’s case.

Next up: Dan Hogan, another former member of the disputes team, saying “there was an increasing darkness”.

He went on to claim that “the leader’s office and Jennie Formby and her team wanted us… wanted us out.”

Could this be because these members of the disputes team were following their own political agenda, rather than acting impartially, as they were expected to do?

And he said Ms Formby’s claim that tackling anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is a central priority was “a joke”. He said people she brought in when she became general secretary overruled members of the disputes team – because they were following their own agenda, as I just suggested? He said, on a number of cases he worked on, they “downgraded what should have been a suspension to just an investigation or, worse, to just a reminder of conduct; effectively a slap on the wrist”. Because that was all these cases deserved?

Clearly this programme now needed to undermine Ms Formby and her people. So we are told about one of the new faces, a councillor and Corbyn loyalist named Thomas Gardiner, who was “given a veto over which anti-Semitism complaints should be investigated”. We were told that an email, flashed on the screen but out-of-focus, proposed giving Mr Gardiner political oversight over anti-Semitism complaints. Labour says this email was never sent to him and any suggestion that he was offered such control was “a malicious political attack on a party staff member by a disaffected, politically-hostile former employee”.

“But: ‘Political overseer’ was how the staff saw him,” Mr Ware said directly to camera. He can only have been referring to those staff he interviewed, whose opposition to the Labour leadership should now be clear to all.

Next we were told of the kind of issue Mr Gardiner was given to handle. Commentator Dave Rich was up again. By the way, he was credited as “Author: The Left’s Jewish Problem” but is probably better-known as deputy communications director of the Community Security Trust, a charity established to secure the safety and security of the Jewish community in the UK. All charities must be apolitical – that is, they must not interfere with politics – and while their members may have their own political views, it is true that questions may – and should – be asked of an organisation that has been so strong in its opposition of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership and has such a man in a communications role.

He referred to an image of the face-hugger from the Alien films, attached to the Statue of Liberty, with the Star of David on its back. He said the meaning was that Jews are an alien creature, sucking the life out of America. “It was an image that belonged in 1930s Germany,” he said. Although this is impossible as Alien wasn’t released until 1979, you can appreciate what he meant.

Martha Robinson was up next, to say how shocking the image was – clearly anti-Semitic. We were being set up to hear that Mr Gardiner disagreed, and sure enough, that was the next, voiced-over, claim. His argument – in many cases, Ms Robinson said, was that an image was anti-Israeli, or opposed to the State of Israel.

One can understand such an argument, to a large extent. Israel has long been seen as a magnet for financial and material support from the United States, and it is possible to see how someone may describe that in terms of an alien (read: foreign) power acting as a parasite against the US. The Star of David in the image is shown as it is depicted on the Israeli flag, and therefore may be seen as a symbol of Israel, here, rather than of the Jews.

But it is arguable either way and, certainly, an image intended to criticise the Israeli government may be used by anti-Semites as well. So it would have been important to examine the attitudes and behaviour of the person who tweeted the image, one Kayla Bibby, of Liverpool, and its origins.

Apparently it came from a far-right website and was originally captioned “bloodsucking alien parasites killing America”. Ms Bibby, now suspended, has said she regrets any offence caused.

Is she an anti-Semite? Or was she making what she thought was a reasonable comment about the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States? That is a hard judgement to make.

It seems to me that the disputes team members – or at least, those “disaffected” members on whom Mr Ware relied to make this programme – had a knee-jerk reaction to the image, while Mr Gardiner took a more diplomatic view.

Ms Robinson appeared, to say she had spent “day after day” reading anti-Semitic comments from members, only to have Mr Gardiner dismiss them or downgrade the punishment from her recommendations. We cannot have enough information on which to judge the truth of that statement. A single – well-documented – example does not establish a pattern.

Mr Matthews was next, to say that having Mr Gardiner overseeing his work was “awful” and made it impossible to do that job “in the way it had been done previously”. Considering what we had heard so far, and the facts that have become clear about the people speaking, it seems clear that “the way it had been done previously” was unacceptable.

These now-ex-staffers, it seems clear, were “drawing the line” in accordance with their own prejudices – not in line with any “clear and defensible” processes. But you weren’t supposed to think that.

So when Mr Matthews says, “Jennie created an environment and a culture that was toxic for me and my team,” this tells me that she was trying to drag Labour’s disputes process back from what now seems to have been prejudice-driven hysteria.

Labour’s comment: “It is unfair to attack staff members who cannot publicly defend themselves,” is accurate and has been stated previously, in reference to this subject. That being said, if a decision was controversial, it should be possible to call the party to account for it.

The further comment, that “It is simply untrue to say that there were any significant number of disagreements about what constituted anti-Semitism” is as impossible to judge as Ms Robinson’s claim that she had been reading anti-Semitic comments from members, day after day. We weren’t there; we don’t know.

Another testimony: “Until 2016, being Jewish was either a neutral thing or it was a positive thing; people would celebrate diversity. That changed decisively, in my personal experience, in 2016, when a local member… compared me to a Nazi in the local newspaper.”

So, if true, what had changed? Who was this person? Had they done something to provoke such a suggestion? Was it prompted by some outside influence? There certainly isn’t enough here to support the immediately-following claim that “Labour isn’t now an anti-racist party”.

The next segment referred to Jackie Walker, of whose story I know a great deal. We’ll leave it for tomorrow.

To be continued…

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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Panorama’s great Labour stitch-up part two: The bias continues

The BBC’s hopelessly-biased Panorama documentary that posed the question in its title, Is Labour Antisemitic and tried to answer with an loud “yes” in every minute of its hour-long duration is so riddled with falsehoods and questionable material that I got less than a quarter of the way through it before calling a break in yesterday’s article on the subject.

And there’s more. Much more.

We pick up the story with another personal statement from “Rachel”, talking about Jewish friends feeling they’re being held to account for Israeli atrocities (her words) and feeling unwelcome in the Labour Party as a result. That is not my experience. Mine is of Jewish Labour members speaking out against the Israeli government, and calling for an end to those atrocities. The only reason I can imagine that people would take issue with fellow party members – of any ethnicity at all – is if they were trying to defend the actions of the Israeli government in committing such atrocities – and, in that circumstance, they probably should not be members of the Labour Party at all. I heard no evidence of that in this testimony – but then there was also no information that could be used to confirm or deny any of Rachel’s claims.

“Complaints about anti-Semitism began to surface. Corbyn loyalists dismissed them as smears, a plot to undermine the party’s new left-wing leadership,” stated John Ware’s voice-over. Kat Buckingham then appeared, to claim that the problem was real, huge, and not constructed by “embittered old Blairites”. But it didn’t have to be. The Blairites only leapt onto the bandwagon after the allegations started to be made by organisations like the Campaign Against Antisemitism. The false claims started as a way of undermining Mr Corbyn’s support for Palestine, and that was a political project by supporters of the current Israeli government.

“We have standards,” she said. “We have clear rules that we had to try to uphold.” But it seems those rules have been broken with alarming regularity. Allegations have been made that Sam Matthews was leaking like a sieve – possibly throughout his period in charge of Governance and Legal. Is that upholding Labour’s clear rules?

“Lifelong Marxists were now joining the party, clashing with the traditional centre-left of Brown and Blair, now fading into history.” This was a false claim. Brown and Blair were right-wingers who dragged Labour into right-wing authoritarianism in the 1990s. There was nothing traditional about them as Labour members. The Marxists of whom Mr Ware spoke – if they really were Marxists – were closer to traditional Labour values.

Ms Buckingham reappeared to claim the environment was like a civil war and her role was to try to bring civility back into the proceedings. As a Labour member at the time, I would dispute that. It seemed to me that the disputes team was dedicated to upholding complaints against rank-and-file members – especially those accused of anti-Semitism – while complaints against high-profile personalities like MPs and/or NEC members who condemned the accused without evidence were dismissed out-of-hand. This does not appear to be explored by the documentary.

And it wasn’t a “war between members and new members” as she falsely claimed. I was not a new member, and I have already stated that others who were falsely accused were long-standing party members too. It seems more accurate to describe the situation as an attempt to sweep people who supported Labour’s historical values out of the party.

I actually think it was appropriate to put Jeremy Corbyn’s words, often paraphrased as “kinder, gentler politics”, into the programme at this point. They certainly seemed to act like a red rag to the bulls of the anti-Corbyn campaign, who seem to have done everything they could to stir up the exact opposite. That is not Mr Corbyn’s fault and it would be wrong to doubt his sincerity. We need to look around for people who were acting in bad faith. With this programme, it seems we do not have to look far.

Next up to give testimony was Alex Richardson: “It’s been a really nasty experience as a Jew in the Labour Party,” he said, going on to discuss “an individual” who he said claimed ISIS had been created by Israel. “I’d really like Jeremy Corbyn to show leadership on this issue.

The trouble with this is that Mr Richardson is (or was) a member of the Jewish Labour Movement executive – an organisation within Labour that opposes Mr Corbyn at every opportunity – who was exposed in Al Jazeera’s 2017 documentary The Lobby, in which he not only fabricated a claim of anti-Semitism against another party member, but was also present when Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) chair Joan Ryan MP was offered £1 million by Israeli embassy conspirator Shai Masot to recruit Labour MPs to the side of the Israeli government.

https://twitter.com/AlexJohnMason93/status/1149117809596739585

Complaints about anti-Semitism were growing, we were told, so Mr Corbyn’s political advisor Seumas Milne sought help from disputes team director Mike Creighton on how to deal with it. He said top-level cases needed to be handled much more quickly, and Mr Corbyn should make a “significant” speech on the Middle East, “particularly saying that Israel had a right to exist” – something which Mr Corbyn has never denied. Indeed, he supports a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine question. Mr Creighton went on to say that Mr Milne laughed at the suggestions, and that he believed the advisor had actually been asking how the party should deal with the bad publicity it was getting.

A Labour Party response, flashed up on the screen, stated that the allegation was false and malicious, that the party disputes this conversation ever took place, and went on to state – as I have already indicated – that Mr Corbyn has repeatedly expressed his support for Israel’s right to exist and for a two-state solution.

Now the focus moved on to the investigation into Liverpool Riverside’s constituency Labour Party. After the influx of new party members, we were told, there were moves to remove Jewish MP Louise Ellman, who has held the seat for 22 years.

Ben Westerman – then the only Jewish member of the disputes team – was sent to investigate, we’re told. He referred to “uncomradely behaviour” – not just anti-Semitism but bullying and harassment. He said he thought the situation was intolerable and could be stopped.

“Westerman discovered that the word ‘Zionism’ had been weaponised into a term of abuse,” Mr Ware’s voice-over claims, and we’re treated to unattributed examples of such abuse. Apparently, attacks on Zionism are offensive to Jews because it is the movement by which they were able to establish “Israel as a secure Jewish homeland after centuries of persecution”. This may be true – although there have been implications that anti-Semites supported Zionism as a way of removing Jewish people from their own countries. And it also fails to account for the way Zionism has been used to justify the persecution of Palestinian people and the encroachment into their land by Israel over a period of decades.

Another commentator, Dave Rich, cropped up to claim that the words “Zionism” and “Judaism” have been swapped by left-wing anti-Semites and may now be considered interchangeable. This is highly problematic as it threatens to stifle genuine criticism of atrocities (Rachel’s word) carried out in the name of Zionism beneath an accusation that anyone uttering such criticism is an anti-Semite.

Ms Ellman told us that while she would come to meetings wanting to discuss domestic issues that are at the heart of Labour’s policy platform (like the NHS), she would be confronted about the Middle East, matters would become unpleasant and people would leave those meetings in tears.

She did not mention the fact that she has been a chair of the Jewish Labour Movement and vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, and has been an active spokeswoman in Parliament on issues relating to the Middle East. It seems to This Writer that questions about her opinions on this subject may well be justified in such a situation. As for the manner in which those discussions take place… We have no empirical evidence, just the statements of contributors to this documentary – and these have been demonstrably lacking in balance.

Mr Westerman then related an account of an interview with a constituent that ended with that person asking where he was from: “Are you from Israel?” He said he assumed that this person was implying that he was “in cahoots” with the Israeli government. Maybe Mr Westerman wasn’t – we aren’t told – but he does call opposition to Israel “an obsession that just spills over all the time into anti-Semitism.”

And this very programme had already featured testimony from at least two people who are known to have been “in cahoots” with that government so one could argue that it was a reasonable question to ask – and a reasonable position to take.

And if Mr Westerman’s report didn’t result in any punishments being handed out to alleged anti-Semites in the constituency, then how serious were the comments he mentioned, really? Or will this fact be used as evidence that Labour is lenient on anti-Semites?

There was more testimony, from an unnamed man. Who is he? He referred, again, to other party members calling him “a dirty Zionist”. Again, This Writer never saw any such behaviour at Labour meetings.

Now the focus shifted to the arrival of Martha Robinson as disputes team administrator in early 2018. She said the idea that Jeremy Corbyn was going to change politics had “worn off a bit”.

“As had some of the sheen from Mr Corbyn’s reputation as a lifelong anti-racist campaigner,” voice-overed Mr Ware, going on paradoxically to refer to the mural about rich bankers by the artist Mear One that Mr Corbyn had defended, six years before.

A smirking Ms Robinson returned to say that, if Mr Corbyn is a lifelong anti-racist, he should be able to distinguish anti-Semitic tropes when he sees them – referring to the depiction of these bankers as Jewish because they all have big noses, and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that may then be assumed to have informed the creation of the mural – that the Jews control the world’s money.

The voice-over goes on to say Mr Corbyn apologised for his support of the mural in 2018, saying he hadn’t noticed any anti-Semitism because he had not looked closely enough. It turned out at the time that he had thought this was a free speech issue, not one about anti-Semitism. And isn’t it interesting that somebody had gone to the trouble of finding a six-year-old Facebook comment and resurrecting it, just at that particular moment?

Another testimony: Hurtful comments, friends reduced to tears, anti-Semitic comments in party meetings and concerns that nobody will speak out about it; a belief that the leadership don’t want to engage.

Next we came to the meat, so this seems an appropriate point at which to write:

To be continued…

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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