Tag Archives: board

The censor: is‘active Tory party agent’ shaping BBC news output?

Robbie Gibb: is Theresa May’s former director of communications a Tory agent on the BBC board, skewing its reputation for impartiality?

Former BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis has said a member of the BBC board is an “active Tory agent” who is skewing the broadcaster’s news output by “acting as the arbiter of BBC impartiality”.

It seems she was referring to Sir Robbie Gibb, previously Theresa May’s director of communications and a founder of right-wing channel GB News. Before those jobs, he had a successful 25-year career at the BBC, ending up as head of BBC Westminster.

Last year he was appointed to the BBC’s board by Boris Johnson’s government and has since influenced a series of ongoing reviews of the broadcaster’s editorial output.

Delivering the MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Maitlis told an audience of industry insiders that she had been rebuked after she told Newsnight viewers that Boris Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings had breached Covid-19 lockdown rules in 2020, by taking his family to Barnard Castle.

She said: “A phone call of complaint was made from Downing Street to the BBC News management. This, for context, is not unusual.

“What was not foreseen was the speed with which the BBC sought to pacify the complainant. Within hours, a very public apology was made, the programme was accused of a failure of impartiality, the recording disappeared from iPlayer, and there were paparazzi outside my front door.

“Why had the BBC immediately and publicly sought to confirm the government spokesman’s opinion? Without any kind of due process? It makes no sense for an organisation that is admirably, famously rigorous about procedure – unless it was perhaps sending a message of reassurance directly to the government itself?

“Put this in the context of the BBC Board, where another active agent of the Conservative party – former Downing Street spin doctor, and former adviser to BBC rival GB News – now sits, acting as the arbiter of BBC impartiality.”

She added that issues like Brexit had led to journalists self-censoring and trying to “sidestep”.

“sections of both the BBC and government-supporting newspapers appear to go into an automatic crouch position whenever the Brexit issue looms large,” she said.

And they are still reluctant to discuss the impact of Brexit “in case they get labelled pessimistic, anti-populist, or worse still, as above: unpatriotic”.

She added: “And yet every day that we sidestep these issues with glaring omissions feels like a conspiracy against the British people; we are pushing the public further away. Why should our viewers, our listeners, come to us to interpret and explain what is going on when they can see our own reluctance to do so?”

Worse still, perhaps, is the fact that it allows Tory representatives to criticise the BBC – like leadership candidate Liz Truss, who recently sidestepped a question about her own activities.

Asked on GB News about a report she had written suggesting that doctors’ pay should be slashed by 10 per cent, she corrected presenter Alistair Stewart, who had said it was written in 2019 when in fact the year was 2009.

Truss corrected him, then said: “I always thought you had high-quality standards at GB News… It’s not the BBC, you actually get your facts right.”

In response to Maitlis’s speech, it seems the BBC told Sky News: “The BBC Board has collective responsibility in protecting the BBC’s independence and ensuring it delivers on its mission and public purposes. It is made up of executive and non-executive members from a range of backgrounds.”

The corporation called Maitlis’s comment over a Financial Times journalist’s assertion that a BBC board member has played a part in selecting journalists “totally incorrect”.

The role of the board is to ensure the BBC delivers its mission and public purpose.

Source: Emily Maitlis says ‘active Tory party agent’ shaping BBC news output

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#Amnesty falsely labelled #antisemitic over report on #IsraeliApartheid

Israeli apartheid: this barrier separates Israelis from Palestinians, who are treated as a lower class of human being by the government of Israel.

There is no way that Amnesty International is an anti-Semitic organisation. It simply is not possible when one considers the composition and purpose of that organisation.

The world’s largest human rights organisation, it has just published a report labelling Israel as an apartheid nation and demanding change:

You can read the full report by following the link at the bottom of this article. It is sensible and balanced.

But when UK-based organisations that claim to represent British Jews caught sight of it, they made fools of themselves by denouncing Amnesty:

The joint statement says:

“The report is completely biased and applies standards to Israel that are not applied to any other country.”

A lie.

“The emotive term “apartheid” against Israel is a preposterous slur.”

Another lie. Israeli apartheid is well-documented – not least in the Amnesty video that appears above.

“Despite AI UK’s claim to recognise the Jewish claim to self-determination… it does not support that right.”

A lie. Amnesty does not suggest that Jews should not have that right.

“It chooses to focus on demonising the one Jewish state, holding it to clear double standards.”

A lie. Amnesty’s report attempts to hold Israel to the same standards as any other nation.

“The situation for the Palestinian people is indeed distressing; this will not be alleviated by destroying Israel.”

There is nothing in the Amnesty report that even remotely suggests dismantling Israel.

“This is a bad faith report hostile to the very concept of Israel.”

I think we can all see who is acting in bad faith!

Like all controversial acts, the Amnesty report has attracted detractors (who follow the BoD/JLC attack line) and supporters. Let’s focus on the supporters because they are right:

 

And if it is right to support Amnesty, then it is also right to criticise the BoD and the JLC:

 

The response by the Bod and the JLC has also led to another conclusion:

It’s a fair point, which leads to a further issue: Keir Starmer’s support for apartheid Israel.

We shouldn’t hold our collective breath waiting for a response. Starmer is a coward and will run away from a challenge like this.

While we do wait, we can all read the Amnesty report.

 

Here it is: Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity – Amnesty International

Outrage after Tory agent on BBC board sabotaged job appointment for political reasons

[Image: Sketchaganda].

It was never going to work.

Boris Johnson’s Conservative government put its man Robbie Gibb on the board of the BBC as a non-executive director and he has tried to block the appointment of a news boss on political grounds.

The irony is that non-executive directors are responsible for “upholding and protecting” the BBC’s independence – not to make demands on the behalf of their political leaders.

Gibb used to be Theresa May’s communications director when she was prime minister. Before that, he was a BBC journalist and he started his career as a Tory aide – so it seems likely that his politics has coloured much of his work.

The BBC has often been criticised as the propaganda wing of the Tory Party and this intervention will only strengthen that impression among members of the public. It proves that attempts to rig decisions of organisations like the BBC by stuffing their ruling bodies with Tories can only backfire.

What did he do?

He sent a message to the Corporation’s director of news and current affairs, Fran Unsworth, warning her not to appoint Jess Brammar to a new post of BBC executive news editor, saying it would shatter the relationship between the BBC and the Tory government.

It is clearly a political intervention. Brammar’s career is now being trashed by other Tory propaganda mouthpieces:

What could this “borderline fake news lefty clickbait website” be? It seems an odd way to describe HuffPost UK, and This Writer looks forward to seeing that organisation’s reaction to the smear.

Previously, Brammar had been deputy editor of Newsnight.

According to the Financial TimesGibb’s message to Unsworth said she “cannot make this appointment” and the government’s “fragile trust in the BBC will be shattered” if she went ahead. One of his cronies has apparently denied the claim.

The recruitment process has now stalled. Gibb’s message was allegedly sent on June 22 and the post has yet to be filled.

Apparently the Corporation is going through Brammar’s past statements, in public and on the social media. To see if it can find some dirt on her that would invalidate her application?

It’s alleged that Gibb would want her defence of HuffPost journalist Nadine White to count against her – but if so, natural justice would demand that he be disappointed.

White was attacked by Tory minister Kemi Badenoch, who claimed she was “creepy and bizarre” in asking questions about a Covid-19 vaccines video that Badenoch branded unnecessary.

In response, Brammar filed a former complaint to the Cabinet Office, stating that “this characterisation of a journalist asking questions as somehow undermining a public health message or fostering misinformation should alarm anyone working in journalism or anyone who believes its job is to hold power to account.”

Realistically, the vetting process is unlikely to provide any reason to reject Brammar because Gibb’s intervention has forced the BBC’s hand.

Turning her away would indicate that the Corporation is vulnerable to political pressure – the kiss of death for an organisation that has long had to defend itself against such accusations.

And there is another possible reason for Gibb to have intervened now.

Awkward

The BBC is currently negotiating a five-year financial settlement with Boris Johnson’s Tory government.

Still-newly-appointed director general Tim Davie – himself a dyed-in-the-wool Tory – has spent a lot of time, and used up a considerable amount of his own credibility, steadying relations with the government in the midst of aggressive (some would say unreasonable) criticism.

Doesn’t it seem likely that Gibb’s claim about Brammar may be just the excuse Johnson needs to cut BBC funding further than previous Tory governments already have?

Whatever happens, the public response has been a PR disaster for the Tories:

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Starmer is letting Tories order him around. Is this an unexpected twist in the lobbying scandal?

Keir Starmer: the face of shame, again.

We all know the Board of Deputies of British Jews is dominated by Conservatives, don’t we?

The use of anti-Semitism accusations may therefore be seen as a way for Tories to exert unwarranted influence over the Labour Party.

Now it seems they are extending that influence – by which I mean the following:

Labour leader Keir Starmer let a Tory-run organisation order him to reject an invitation to an interfaith event.

The Board of Deputies told Starmer to avoid the virtual Iftar event because one of its organisers is a member of Cage, an international advocacy organisation with a focus on Muslim detainees and communities impacted by the so-called War on Terror.

Apparently this person had shared a demand for a boycott of Israeli dates.

Is it true? Were there good reasons for it if it was? These questions are relevant but don’t really affect the core issue.

What matters is that Starmer let a Tory group order him around and that will never be acceptable in a Labour Party representative.

And at a time when he is trying to make mud stick on Boris Johnson and the Tories for letting former MPs and ministers, party donors and friends influence them, it is shocking that Starmer would show himself to be so easily-led by a Tory-led group.

The Twitterati have been having a field day:

This can only do further harm to Starmer’s chances in the local elections…

… but right-wing Labour is spinning like a top in its efforts to make him look supportable.

Labour is plummeting in the polls, with Starmer’s leadership the clearest reason, but that didn’t stop Peter – sorry, Lord – Mandelson taking a pop at former leader Jeremy Corbyn. He told Huffington Post‘s Paul Waugh:

“The memory of Jeremy Corbyn is still strong on the doorsteps amongst Labour voters here, it’s still coming up and I’m afraid we have still got some way to go before we rebuild the confidence and trust that we just threw away.”

No, Peter. It’s your boy Starmer who’s throwing away confidence and trust.

Meanwhile, the object of the Right’s continued enmity has managed to remain astonishingly equivocal about Starmer – but still couldn’t manage to say anything nice about him when questioned by LBC’s Iain Dale:

It is a class act – especially in contrast to that of Starmerites like Mandelson.

They fling dirt at Corbyn thick and fast – while he merely comments from experience about what a Labour leader should do.

One thing a Labour leader should never do is be seen to allow Tories to dictate his schedule to him.

Source: Starmer withdraws from Ramadan interfaith event after Board of Deputies warning | Jewish News

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Board members of UK’s biggest finance firms have had nearly 80% pay rise since 2009

Nice work if you can get it!

And, indeed, if you think it actually qualifies as work.

Board members on the UK’s largest financial companies have enjoyed an average pay rise of 79 per cent since 2009.

This means that during the decade of austerity, while you were probably facing a pay freeze – meaning a real-terms drop in income, median pay for the three highest earning non-executive directors (NEDs) in each of the FTSE 100’s 17 financial firms surged from £90,700 in 2009 to £162,000 in 2019.

They received this for attending – just attending, not necessarily contributing to – an average of 26 meetings a year.

The largest increases have been at Lloyds Banking Group, where top NEDs are earning 257% more than in 2009; the London Stock Exchange Group, where there has been a 219% rise; and investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, where fees have jumped 170%.

Remember, these firms don’t actually contribute anything to our lives – they don’t make anything, and such services as they do supply are highly exclusive.

They make money by betting on whether other businesses will do well or badly. That’s what investment is, after all – a wager that providing money to those firms now will bring a profitable return later.

It’s a game for the very rich.

And it depends on keeping the people who do the actual work very poor.

Payroll is always the largest cost to any firm so, if they are to provide an expected return to investors from firms like Lloyds Banking Group, the London Stock Exchange Group, Hargreaves Lansdown, Phoenix, Barclays, Prudential, Aviva, Admira, RSA, NatWest and so on, businesses have to keep pay low.

So these 79 per cent pay increases for finance firms arise from their board members attaching themselves to you like leeches and sucking out all the benefits that you should be enjoying.

Remember that as you endure the hardships you’ll be asked to face in 2021.

Source: UK’s biggest financial firms have given boards near-80% pay rise since 2009 | Business | The Guardian

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‘Homophobic misogynist’ Tony Abbott appointed to trade role by sexist racist Boris Johnson

Tony Abbott and Boris Johnson: two clowns in monkey suits.

Why would a sexist racist like Boris Johnson want to appoint a “homophobic misogynist” – as Tony Abbott has been described – to a role advising his Tory government?

The connection should be obvious. Birds of a feather flock together, and all that.

And it’s an attempt to reassert some authority after the disastrous loss of any credibility that Johnson’s administration suffered over the summer…

… Johnson’s saying we’ll put up with Abbott whether we want to or not.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been appointed as an unpaid trade adviser to the UK government.

Boris Johnson rejected claims Mr Abbott was not suitable for the role, despite criticism over past comments on women, LGBT people and climate change.

The UK prime minister said he did “not agree with those sentiments”.

It seems more likely that the UK prime minister agrees all too much with those sentiments – as held by Abbott – but not with those of the UK public that they are unacceptable.

According to the Huffington Post, though…

Asked about the allegations on Friday, Johnson said: “I don’t, obviously don’t agree with those sentiments at all.

“But then I don’t agree with everyone who serves the government in an unpaid capacity on hundreds of boards across the country. And I can’t be expected to do so.

“What I would say about Tony Abbott is this is a guy who was elected by the people of the great liberal democratic nation of Australia.

Okay, let’s find out what an Aussie has to say about him. Here‘s Van Badham in The Guardian:

I can only imagine someone in the appointment process believed the whole endeavour is destined to fail and only a fool would take the job. In that case, Britain, fair enough: Abbott romps it home on both fronts.

Abbott is a man whose nuanced contribution to international relations as prime minister was not limited to threatening to “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin with an Aussie Rules football tackle over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17. He also dropped a casual comparison to the Holocaust in a speech on the national jobs report. He reintroduced knights and dames to the Australian honours system, and the Australian he honoured first was … Prince Philip? He even got the name of Canada wrong (“Canadia”); he was in Canada at the time. Trade adviser?!

Maybe his British backers missed the time Abbott ate a raw onion like an apple in front of the national news media, and for no particular reason. The Australian town of Ballarat commemorates it regularly, crowning a local statue of the former PM with a garland of onions.

The Australian reaction to Abbott’s adviser appointment cannot be repeated, but it begins with a “W” and ends with “TF”. “Whichever Australian traded Tony Abbott to Britain,” remarked local cartoonist Jon Kudelka, “is the person Britain actually needs to help them with trade.” To appoint Abbott instead does not speak to qualification, or good governance – let alone anything like a desirable outcome. It speaks to “jobs for the boys” ideological loyalty that overrides history, fact and reason.

“Jobs for the boys” seems exactly right:

Well, the UK has major trade hurdles to overcome in the months left before January 2021.

If Abbott really is as bad as he seems, those months should be entertaining, at least.

The months immediately following may be considerably less so.

Source: Tony Abbott: Ex-Australian PM appointed UK trade adviser – BBC News

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Advisor who got Tories to buy useless PPE loses his unpaid position. Is that really enough?

Liz Truss: she slipped her buddy Andrew Mills £150 million for useless PPE, launching a huge corruption scandal in the process. Now the Tories have quietly dropped him from his position as an unpaid advisor to the Board of Trade.

Some might say it’s poetic justice that Andrew Mills, the man who advised Liz Truss to buy unusable face masks for the NHS, has lost his position as an advisor to the Board of Trade.

But what’s happened to all the money that she paid the firm he also (as it happens) advises, Ayanda Capital?

Was that repaid?

If not, then it seems the loss of his unpaid position – as part of a wider reshuffle and not even connected to the PPE scandal – is no punishment at all.

Source: Adviser in £150m PPE scandal is axed | News | The Times

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Charity Commission urged to take action over political activity by Board of Deputies

Marie Van Der Zyl: The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews may find herself answering serious questions if she wants to keep her charitable status.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has become the second self-declared “pro-Jewish” charity to be reported to the Charity Commission for breaking the rule never to support or oppose a particular political party.

Online commenter Simon Maginn quoted the Commission’s own documentation that states: “Whether or not charities choose to undertake political activity, they must never support or oppose a particular political party or endorse a particular political candidate.”

He continued: “The BoD have demanded the Labour Party, but no other, agree to a ’10 point pledge’. I asked the BoD why this was so; they explained that the Labour Party is “infested” with “anti-Jewish racism”, “more than any other party”.

“This is not what CST [Community Security Trust, an organisation established to ensure the safety and security of British Jews in the UK] statistics show, though. CST 17 shows antisemitism rising the further to the political right one goes… Thus, statistically, a Labour member or supporter is less likely to be antisemitic than a member or supporter of the Conservative Party.

“The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee report on Antisemitism in the UK (2016-17) says this:

“It should be emphasised that the majority of antisemitic abuse and crime has historically been, and continues to be, committed by individuals associated with (or motivated by) far-right wing parties and political activity. Although there is little reliable or representative data on contemporary sources of antisemitism, CST figures suggest that around three-quarters of all politically-motivated antisemitic incidents come from far-right sources.

“I asked BoD why, in light of this, they were singling out Labour as particularly problematic, when the available statistical information showed the opposite to be the case; they offered no statistical rebuttal.

“Thus, the BoD have made a very public statement that the Labour Party is problematic based on faulty data. They are ‘opposing’ the Labour Party in so doing. The issue is politically sensitive. The BoD’s ’10 point pledge’ has had enormous publicity, with all the Labour leadership candidates signing up to it. This, in my opinion, amounts to the BoD ‘opposing’ the Labour Party by singling them out for opprobrium and not demanding any other party sign the pledge.

“I think this politicisation of the BoD’s activities presents a negative image of charities, which the British people believe to be politically neutral. The suggestion that a charity might be using its charitable status to oppose one party and, by implication, support another is damaging to the reputation of the charitable sector generally.”

He tweeted his letter for all to see:

It’s a strong argument.

And it will be interesting to see what the Charity Commission does with it…

… Especially as it is already dealing with a complaint about the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

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Labour anti-Semitism row: members should use their votes to send a message nobody can ignore

Marie Van Der Zyl: The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews needs to think before issuing bigoted press releases.

Congratulations are due to Labour deputy leader candidates Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon, who refused to kowtow to the Board of Deputies of British Jews by supporting their frankly anti-Semitic “10 pledges”.

In a hustings on Saturday, both confirmed that they did not support the demands, even though their fellow candidates for the deputy leadership – and all the leadership candidates have.

Ms Butler said she intended to wait until she had seen the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on antisemitism in the party – and that she would support whatever it said. Personally, This Writer thinks that statement is premature; she should wait to find out what the verdict is before deciding whether it is worth supporting.

Mr Burgon, who has a history of questioning the so-called “witch-hunt”, said he had concerns about some of the demands. He made it clear that he would not support any move to pass investigation of anti-Semitism accusations to any external organisation.

He also said that he did not accept the Board of Deputies’ demand that only Jewish organisations it supported should be consulted on issues relating to all British Jews; all Jewish groups should have a voice. And he said the BOD needed to explain how the IHRA “working” definition of antisemitism could be implemented in the Labour Party without compromising freedom of expression or the rights of Palestinians.

(See this article for a full report – including video.)

Like the knee-jerk bigots they are, the Board of Deputies responded almost immediately – and stupidly.

“It beggars belief that after four and a half years of failure on antisemitism, Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler still think that they know better than the Jewish community how to fight this vile prejudice,” the BoD said in its statement. Trouble is, the Board of Deputies doesn’t represent “the Jewish community” because there isn’t a single, unified Jewish community in the United Kingdom.

Not only that, but neither of them said they knew better – this is falsely attributing words to people who did not speak them.

Oh, and after four and a half years, there is less anti-Semitism in the Labour Party than in the UK at large – and much less than in right-wing parties like the Conservatives. But we never hear the Board of Deputies complaining about that, do we? Because they are predominantly Tories, perhaps? (And don’t try to call this whataboutery; this is a political issue and the politics of BoD members is relevant.)

“No other minority would be treated in this way and this sort of thing is the very reason why Labour is being investigated for institutional antisemitism by the EHRC.” True in part: no other minority is treated the same as Jews, because the Board of Deputies has demanded that they be singled out for special treatment. This may be viewed as anti-Semitic in itself – applying double-standards by treating them differently from any other ethnic group.

And it is hypocritical to use the EHRC investigation against these candidates when one of them – Dawn Butler – specifically said she is waiting for its outcome.

Here’s a link to the tweet. Be sure to read the comments because many of them are scathing.

But don’t just take my word for it.

Jewish Voice for Labour has been a voice of sanity in this affair since the start, and its comment on the “10 pledges” is a damning indictment against the Board of Deputies.

“This organisation, deeply unrepresentative of British Jewry, presumes in effect to dictate to a major political party how it should run its internal affairs,” JVL states.

“Make no mistake – these are not ten requests: they are ten demands and one threat. The threat to each of the candidates for leader of the Labour Party. is in effect. accept our demands or we will attack you as enablers of antisemitism just as we contributed to making Jeremy Corbyn virtually unelectable. This not only brings shame on the Board of Deputies. It also brings danger to Jews living in the UK who will be seen as claiming a privileged place in determining how the country will be governed.” Applying double-standards by demanding that they be treated differently from any other group – see?

“It is deeply regrettable that all the Leadership candidates have succumbed to this blackmail.”

The statement goes on to explain what’s wrong with the “10 pledges”:

“Demand 1 is that all outstanding disciplinary cases should be swiftly concluded with a fixed timescale. That sounds good, but some cases are more complex than others. Those accused of something as serious as antisemitic behaviour must be allowed appropriate time to mount a defence, may need extra time because of serious illness, etc. Justice is complicated. The Board is simplistic. And underlying its attitude is the clear view that the only verdict that will satisfy the Board is ‘guilty’.”

Labour has a historic problem here, in that This Writer’s experience is that the party automatically assumes any accusation made against a member to be proof of that member’s guilt in any case.

“Demand 4 is that prominent offenders who were expelled or who left while under investigation should never be readmitted to membership. Never is a long time. The current Labour rules allow for the possibility of readmission after any offence, depending on behaviour, after a 5-year period. There is no reason, other than malice, that for this sole category of disciplinary finding the possibility of behavioural and attitudinal change should be excluded.

“The aim of this demand is revealed by its inclusion of the word ‘prominent’. How can it be just or appropriate to specify different penalties for people depending on how well known they are or have become? How can it possibly be acceptable to single out people by name? The explanation is that the two people mentioned [Jackie Walker and Ken Livingstone] were prominent ‘scalps’ claimed by a political campaign to extend the meaning of antisemitism. This is political vengefulness.”

Indeed.

“Demand 3 is that “Jewish representative bodies” (read, BoD) be given access to details of ongoing disciplinary cases. The confidentiality owed to ongoing investigations into allegations that have not been established to have merit is to be tossed out of the window. It beggars belief: the BoD is demanding the right to information that would give them, and their allies on the right of the Party, the ability to put pressure on how individual cases are determined. Out goes the independence of the judicial process. And what about the breaking of hard-won data protection laws?”

I seem to recall mentioning this myself.

“Demand 2 is the very purest chutzpah. The demand is that processing of all complaints, in effect the whole disciplinary process, be outsourced to an independent provider. This would mean that the Party would lose control of who was entitled to be a member! No autonomous organisation could implement such a scheme, least of all a political party. It strikes at the very heart of the freedom to organise for political change in this country. Parties are voluntary associations of people who come together to achieve shared ends, within national legal constraints. Their freedom of discussion and action and of self-regulation is the very fabric of our democratic processes.

“Demand 5 is headed “Provide no platform for bigotry”. But honesty in advertising would require it to be retitled “No platform for those who disagree with us”. What it says is that when people are going through the out-of-control disciplinary process assured by Demand 2, and while the details of the investigation are being fed to the BoD and its allies as a result of Demand 3, any other members who argues publicly that this treatment is misguided or unjust will themselves be suspended – and indeed perhaps expelled. If enacted this would ensure that no members could challenge unjust or slanted decision-making. Because those that did so would very likely cease to be members.

“Demand 6 – to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “international definition of antisemitism” with all its subordinate clauses, without qualification – begs many questions. Apart from the fact that the Labour Party has already done precisely this (misguidedly in our view), the IHRA document has proved ineffective in actual disciplinary situations. This is because its definition of antisemitism is so confused and its examples highly contentious, with no rules as to how to resolve the inevitable resulting disagreements as to what is and what is not antisemitic. The document was never drafted as a legally binding document, as countless critics (including Ken Stern, its drafter) have affirmed.

“Demands 7 and 8 both seek to define the “Jewish Community” by excluding many Jews – evidently the wrong sort. The right sort include those who run the Board, and the cadres of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The JLM it should be pointed out refused to campaign for the great majority of Labour MPs at the recent general election. It does not require its members to be either Jewish or in the Labour Party.

“Demand 7 is that all Labour Party internal training in antisemitism should be carried out by JLM. For two years from 2016 the aggressively pro-Israel JLM did indeed deliver the Labour Party’s antisemitism training. Its course content was both didactic and dogmatic, based on the supposedly revealed truth of the controversial IHRA document. When in 2018 the Labour Party asked them to revise their approach JLM walked away in a huff. Now they want it back, but on their own terms. Demand 7 is that they be given it.

“Demand 8 extends the same monocular approach to the UK’s Jews as a whole. The Labour Party is required to agree to communicate only with ‘mainstream’ Jewish Groups. That is to demand the exclusion of two-thirds of the country’s Jews. Why would they be so afraid that Labour might communicate with the wrong sort of Jews? The  Jewish Chronicle had a ready answer when it reported Demand 8 as being ‘to engage with the Jewish community via its “main representative groups and not through fringe organisations” such as Jewish Voice for Labour (emphasis added)’. Are our demands for a pluralistic vision of the Jewish communities in Britain really so much of a threat that contact with them is contamination? For the Board is demanding, in essence, that expression of our views be banned in the Labour Party.

“Oy Vey.”

Let’s just go back to the Board of Deputies’ tweet for the last part of its statement: “In the Deputy Leadership election, members now have a clear choice about whether they want to become a credible party of opposition or waste yet more years fighting the Jewish community about who gets to define our oppression.”

It seems clear that it is the Board of Deputies that is “fighting the Jewish community” – by falsely claiming to be representing it and demanding the exclusion of all others.

But Labour Party members do have a clear choice now.

It is impossible to ensure that nobody votes for the candidates who have misguidedly supported the Board of Deputies’ childish demand.

But what a message it would be, if Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon received more support than any of the other candidates – by a significant margin.

If you are a Labour member, and you want sanity to be brought back to the party, then This Writer would like to appeal to you to abstain from voting for any of the candidates who have supported the Board of Deputies’ pledges.

Use your votes to make a statement that they cannot ignore.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Will YOU call on Labour’s would-be leaders to support the People’s 10 Pledges, rather than the Board of Deputies’?

Labour’s remaining leadership candidates: will you ask them to reject the demands of a group that represents, at best, a minority of a minority and ask them to embrace a wider, better version?

A blogger who posted her own alternatives to the ’10 pledges’ – demands the Board of Deputies of British Jews tried to foist on the Labour Party – has won the support of thousands of readers.

This Site reported on Kay Green’s alternative pledges here – and she acknowledged the boost in a follow-up piece, calling for action to make Labour’s would-be leaders take notice.

Here are her main points:

Here’s a link to OUR Ten Pledges Don’t lose it.

  1. Send a link to your chosen leadership candidates, and ask them what they think.
  2. Send a link to your MP, and ask him/her if they endorse them.
  3. Send a link to Jennie Formby, and ask her to tell the NEC we prefer them.
  4. Send a link to ALL the NEC members!
  5. Present OUR Ten Pledges to your CLP as a motion to the NEC.
  6. Ask your CLP to put them forward as a motion for conference (and/or women’s conference).
  7. Present them to your Trade Union branch, socialist society or local assembly, and ask them to recommend them to the Labour Party.
  8. Send them to your favourite lefty blog or newspaper (mine’s the Morning Star) and ask them to write about them.
  9. Share this blog on different social media, and in your favourite groups, and ask them for more ideas about how to promote OUR Ten Pledges in the Party.
  10. Promise yourself you’ll never forget that leaders can be led. Whoever becomes leader, and whatever they may personally sign up to, if a membership of half a million are clear and politely persistent about wanting something different, different will happen.

And do please keep in touch. If you do any of these ten things, or if you think of other things to do, please pop back to the Ten Pledges blog post and leave a comment to let everyone know.

They may have knocked Jeremy Corbyn out (for now) but they can’t kill the movement he inspired unless we decide to do nothing.

What are you going to do?

Read the full article here: YOU have the power – Kay Green

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

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Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook