Marc Wadsworth: a little justice at last for this dedicated anti-racism campaigner who has been falsely accused of anti-Semitism, repeatedly, since 2016.
The hard-right-wing Jewish Chronicle has been made to apologise and pay substantial damages to socialist campaigner Marc Wadsworth after it published very serious false allegations about him.
As someone who has also been libelled by the Wrongicle, dear reader, I’m sure you know I’ll have something to say about this!
Let’s have the details first, via the Morning Star:
The publication falsely accused Mr Wadsworth, in an article on its website in March, of being part of a group of current and ex-Labour members targeting Jewish activists in the party.
The High Court heard … that the JC article focused on allegations that a group of Labour members — including people said to have been suspended or expelled — were part of a plan to track down Jewish Labour activists at their homes to “take care” of them.
Dominic Garner, representing Mr Wadsworth, said his client was a civil rights campaigner, lecturer and author who had been wrongly associated with the group in the article.
He said: “The article named Mr Wadsworth in this context, as well as featuring a prominent photograph of him in its print edition, stating that Mr Wadsworth had given a speech at a launch event for the group — and in turn, alleging that he was both a member of the group and either involved or complicit in its activities.
“As the defendant has accepted, the allegations in the article about Mr Wadsworth were wholly untrue.
“In fact, Mr Wadsworth is not and has never been a member of the group to which the article referred.
“He neither spoke at nor attended the event in question, and has not been involved whatsoever in the group’s activities.”
Adelaide Lopez, representing the newspaper, said: “Jewish Chronicle Media Limited withdraws these false allegations and apologises to Mr Wadsworth.”
This is a welcome verdict in favour of a man who has spent years facing false accusations, ever since right-wing Labour cuckoo Ruth Smeeth lied that he was an anti-Semite after he said she was working “hand in hand” with the Daily Telegraph.
Smeeth went on to have Mr Wadsworth expelled from the Labour Party on the basis of this entirely false and baseless lie.
He has spent years trying to clear his name, as have many more of us.
The Wrongicle was among the papers that gleefully reported that This Writer was a Holocaust denier, after that article in The Sunday Times in February 2018.
Like all the others, it had to publish a correction – and did so, reluctantly, as you can tell from the surly wording – after I took a complaint to IPSO and it found in my favour.
But IPSO is toothless. It is merely a means to help papers avoid having to pay for their false accusations. I should have sued those papers for libel, as Mr Wadsworth has.
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.
If anybody reading this doesn’t understand the significance: Marc Wadsworth is a left-wing campaigner who Labour MP Ruth Smeeth had ejected from the party after she made a false accusation of anti-Semitism against him.
I explained what happened in a 2016 article on This Site:
Smeeth had [Wadsworth] kicked out of the Labour Party after an incident at the launch of Shami Chakrabarti’s report into alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour party on June 30.
A Telegraph reporter had handed her a leaflet Marc Wadsworth had been distributing, allegedly (I haven’t seen it) accusing Labour MPs who had rebelled against Mr Corbyn of treachery, and asked her (we’re told) for a comment.
Mr Wadsworth’s comment was: “I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand. If you look around this room, how many African Caribbean and Asian people are there? We need to get our house in order.”
He is a person of colour himself and says he had no idea Ms Smeeth is Jewish. But she had him booted from the party for anti-Semitism.
A report on that incident by the Jewish Chronicle prompted Wadsworth to take a complaint to newspaper regulator IPSO, who upheld it.
The paper had claimed that Wadsworth’s “verbal abuse” of a Jewish MP, during the launch event of a report into “Jew-hatred in labour” had caused outrage among moderate party members and the Jewish community.
Under investigation by IPSO, the paper changed its reference to abuse, so that the article now states that he “challenged” Smeeth.
But that hasn’t stopped the Jewish Chronicle from publishing false information about this man. According to its own standards, he would be well within his rights to bring an action against it for racism.
This time, the paper’s correction reads as follows:
We reported that Marc Wadsworth had spoken at the launch event for the ‘Labour in Exile Network’ (LIEN), a group that aimed to discover the addresses of Jewish Labour activists to “take care” of them, and that he was thereby complicit in a conspiracy to intimidate, threaten or harass Jewish activists into silence. We also suggested that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that such activities were criminal. Our story was wrong. Mr Wadsworth did not speak or even attend the online event. Mr Wadsworth is not a member of LIEN and we accept that he has not been involved in any of the group’s activities. We apologise to Mr Wadsworth for our error and have agreed to pay damages to him.
How does a reporter make a mistake like that? To say, not only that somebody was at an event when he wasn’t, but that he had taken an active role?
If it’s a case of “all black people look the same” then it is time for a serious investigation – not only into this propaganda sheet’s political bias, but into racism as well.
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.
Wrong again: Starmer’s insistence that Labour is anti-Semitic has created a huge backlash, with 70 per cent of members saying there is no major problem.
You have to laugh. In the week after the Jerusalem Declaration that provides a new definition of anti-Semitism to stop it being confused with criticism of the hard right-wing Israeli government, the Likud-supporting Jewish Chronicle accuses Labour Party members of delusion.
It is reporting that a YouGov survey has found 70 per cent of current Labour members – that’s the people who are left after Keir Starmer and David Evans’s purges – don’t believe the party has a major problem with anti-Semitism.
There’s a good reason for that: the Labour Party does not – and never did have – a major problem with anti-Semitism. That attitude has been found within the party – but on a smaller scale than among the UK’s population generally and a much smaller scale than in right-wing parties like the Conservatives.
Hacks like the JC‘s Lee Harpin keep carping on about it because they have an anti-left wing political agenda of their own, it seems.
Consider the language Harpin uses in his story:
An exclusive poll for the JC reveals a party that remains in denial about the scale of the crisis, with large numbers still in thrall to Jeremy Corbyn.
There’s no evidence in the poll itself of any kind of denial at all, and agreement with Jeremy Corbyn’s opinion is not blind servitude to him.
The story goes on to say that, “in echoes of Mr Corbyn’s claim that the issue had been ‘dramatically overstated’, almost half (46 per cent) thought the scale of the allegations were ‘exaggerated’, while 24 per cent said the party did not have a serious problem.
Harpin editorialises (which is highly unprofessional among reporters who claim to be writing the news rather than opinion pieces):
Significant support for the toxic former leader remains, with a striking 72 per cent of members insisting that he should not be expelled from the party.
No evidence is put forward to explain why Corbyn should be considered toxic – unless it is his accurate point that anti-Semitism claims had been “dramatically overstated” and “exaggerated”.
Almost a third of those polled, 29 per cent, thought that Sir Keir was doing a worse job than Mr Corbyn, who quit in 2020 after leading Labour to its worst general election defeat since 1935.
There’s a debatable claim! Corbyn lost a lot of seats but still won more votes than Tony Blair in 2005, Gordon Brown in 2010 and Ed Miliband in 2015. And that’s (allegedly) fighting the huge drag factor of Labour Party officers working to ensure that the Conservatives won.
The poll also disclosed that hostility towards Israel remains rampant amongst Labour’s rank-and-file, with almost half of respondents (49%) agreeing with the suggestion that Israel is an “apartheid state” .
It is. Palestinians are treated as an underclass by law – a law passed by the Likud government under Benjamin Netanyahu. Of course, this doesn’t mean Labour members think Israel will always be an apartheid state. South Africa used to be and isn’t any more so there’s always hope. It isn’t an anti-Semitic attitude to oppose the bigotry of that nation’s current government.
The revelations highlight the scale of the challenge that still faces Sir Keir, who pledged on his first day as leader to tear antisemitism out by the roots and restore trust with the Jewish community.
More accurately, they show that, rather than restore trust with the Jewish community (that was lost when Labour started paying attentions to the rantings of its pro-Likud Israel critics), Starmer has lost the trust of Labour Party members.
He will never regain it.
Starmer nailed his colours to the mast when he made his grovelling apology for anti-Semitism in Labour on his first day in office. He has spent his time since then pursuing, suspending and expelling party members under the pretext of anti-Semitism, when their real crime – as far as he is concerned – is Socialism.
But Labour is a Socialist party. It’s right there on the membership card. If Starmer disagrees with that, he should not be a member, let alone a leader. Nor should any of his cronies who take his side.
He will lose many seats in the local government elections next month because he simply can’t understand that anybody who supports the policies he likes will vote for the party that originally put them forward – the Tories.
His reliance on watered-down Conservatism, and his insistence on pursing a crusade against an enemy that doesn’t exist in any meaningful form will kill Labour as a political movement.
People have started to believe that this has always been his intention.
So, ultimately, Harpin’s hack-piece has the issue arse-backwards (as usual).
Starmer’s challenge isn’t ridding the Labour Party of anti-Semitism; Labour’s challenge is ridding itself of Starmer.
Jeremy Corbyn is supported by significant number of Jews. Perhaps they were the “wrong kind” and were not asked to participate in the JC’s poll.
Yet again, the Jewish Chronicle has turned the Labour anti-Semitism story backward.
The paper has trumpeted the results of a poll carried out by Survation, showing that more than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite.
We all know he is nothing of the kind.
In contrast, the poll also indicates that only 98.3 per cent of British Jews think Theresa May – a genuine racist and anti-Semite, judging from her party’s support of the anti-Semitic and Islamophobic Hungarian regime in the European Parliament – has no hatred of Jews at all.
It is a travesty.
Inevitably our friends on the social media have correctly identified the problem, which is media outlets like the Jewish Chronicle that push fake news rather than fact.
This figure should *shame* you @JewishChron Corbyn is NOT antisemitic He does NOT pose any threat to Jews in the UK But you have played a significant role in convincing the community that the opposite is true You have used lies, distortions and crucial omissions Awful, shameful https://t.co/9SewJLoXdb
Sadly, this particular organ is not about to improve. It has a political agenda, which is the removal of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party in the UK.
Perhaps readers who wish their news to have a smattering of accuracy could consider altering their purchasing habits.
More than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic, according to polling carried out for the JC. A similar percentage believe there are significant levels of antisemitism at all levels of the Labour Party.
The survey, undertaken by polling company Survation between August 12 and September 4, shows that 85.9 per cent of British Jews regard the Labour leader as antisemitic, while just 8.3 per cent believe he is not.
In a recent Survation poll among the general public, 39 per cent said Mr Corbyn was antisemitic.
Among British Jews, only 1.7 per cent believe Prime Minister Theresa May to be antisemitic, with 89.9 per cent saying she is not. Just 6.1 per cent say that Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable is antisemitic.
This Site has been unusually quiet for a few weeks now. Usually I manage to put out anything between five and 10 articles a day but lately I have had trouble getting even a single piece to the public.
This is because I have been writing huge amounts of text intended to defend myself against false accusations of anti-Semitism that have been made against me by an anonymous accuser who contacted the Labour Party, and by the Conservative-supporting press.
I do not believe these accusations have been made because of any anti-Semitism in my work or my personal attitudes. My opinion is that they were intended to stop me producing articles for This Site which support a Labour government.
If you would like to learn more about the attack on me, and would consider contributing to me efforts to raise funds to challenge these claims in court, please visit my JustGiving page.
This is not about racism; it is about politics. It is about undermining support for a Labour Party that would help all people in the UK.
Look at the latest stunt: Three Jewish newspapers teaming up to attack Labour’s refusal to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working – take note of that word, “working”; we’ll come back to it – definition of anti-Semitism.
A government led by Jeremy Corbyn would pose an existential threat to Jewish life in the UK, a joint editorial published by the country’s three most prominent Jewish newspapers has claimed.
The Jewish Chronicle, Jewish News and Jewish Telegraph each produced similar front pages for their Thursday editions attacking the Labour party’s decision not to fully absorb an internationally accepted definition of antisemitism into its code of conduct, and its wider record on the issue since Corbyn became leader in 2015.
Does anybody else think this is a response to the 36 international Jewish organisations who came out in support of Labour, last week?
Oh, you didn’t hear about that? I’m not surprised – it was hardly reported here in the UK. Fortunately, quite a few of us read The Canary and know what’s going on.
That website stated: “Jeremy Corbyn has received a major boost from 36 Jewish groups worldwide, embarrassing the corporate media. The Labour leader is currently under pressure from the press, the right of his party, and the conservative Board of Deputies of British Jews. They are pushing for Labour to adopt wholesale the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism into its rule book.
“On 17 July, 36 Jewish groups from around the world said that the IHRA definition “intentionally” equates “legitimate criticisms of Israel… with antisemitism”. And later in the day, Labour’s ruling body approved a new code of conduct that included a version of the IHRA definition without the examples that could stifle legitimate criticism of Israel.
“For the first time, 36 Jewish groups (including six based in the UK) have come together in a move that strengthens the position of Corbyn and organisations that support Palestinian rights.
“Their statement says the IHRA definition is “worded in such a way” as “to intentionally equate legitimate criticisms of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights with antisemitism, as a means to suppress the former”.
“Spearheaded by the US-based Jewish Voice for Peace, the groups continued: “This conflation undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality and the global struggle against antisemitism. It also serves to shield Israel from being held accountable to universal standards of human rights and international law.
“”We urge our governments, municipalities, universities and other institutions to reject the IHRA definition and instead take effective measures to defeat white supremacist nationalist hate and violence and to end complicity in Israel’s human rights violations. Israel does not represent us and cannot speak for us when committing crimes against Palestinians and denying their UN-stipulated rights.””
The international response has been to support Labour and it seems the three newspapers attacking the party are doing so in order to reinforce the trumped-up opposition to the party’s policies and boost support for the Conservatives.
Now look at the way The Guardian reports the same issue:
Concern has been expressed about the refusal of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to accept the full text of the working definition of antisemitism produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The document provides a definition and 11 examples. The former is accepted by Labour, but not all of the latter.
Labour’s NEC objects to the example that defines “claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour” as antisemitism. The party said it was concerned about creating a code that could be “used to deny Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel and their supporters, their rights and freedoms to describe the discrimination and injustices they face in the language they deem appropriate”.
See how it is slanted to suggest that Labour’s modifications to what is – let’s remember – a working definition (one that is intended to be modified to improve clarity) are cause for concern.
In fact, Labour’s changes are welcome because they take away the automatic assumption that the state of Israel cannot act in a racist way.
Consider current Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s racist “Israel as a nation-state of the Jewish people” Bill. It permits neighbourhoods to block people of specific nationalities or religions from moving in, removes Arabic as an official language, and directs judges to look for precedents from Jewish legal rulings in instances where Israeli law offers no guidance.
It isn’t about protecting Jews; it is about persecuting Arabs.
But people who make this point can be accused of anti-Semitism by those like the editors of the Jewish Chronicle, the Jewish News and the Jewish Telegraph, pointing at the example in the IHRA working definition.
This isn’t even the only place where the working definitions examples let the document down.
Another example of anti-Semitism is described as “Making … stereotypical allegations about Jews … such as… the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.” But what about Shai Masot?
He was a staff member at the Israeli embassy in London who was caught conspiring to influence UK politics in the interests of his country; a Jew trying to exert control over the UK government. Under the working definition of anti-Semitism, anybody accusing him of that would be smeared as an anti-Semite – but the allegation was true.
And Mr Masot said members of organisations including Labour Friends of Israel and Conservative Friends of Israel were among his supporters. To the best of my knowledge, no questions have been asked of those groups – for fear of the action being labelled anti-Semitic?
I wonder if these abuses of the term “anti-Semitism” stem from the misinterpretation of the so-called Macpherson principle – that a racist incident (including anti-Semitism) is “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”.
This was devised as a tool to encourage the recording of allegations of racism by the police, after a “refusal to accept racist motivation by a number of officers” was noticed in the investigation of the Stephen Lawrence case.
But the so-called Macpherson principle is now being used to suggest that any claim of anti-Semitism, made by someone claiming to be a victim, must be automatically accepted as anti-Semitism, without investigation.
It is wide open to abuse. As Professor David Feldman stated in his sub-report to the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism: “it is unambiguously clear that Macpherson intended to propose that such racist incidents require investigation. He did not mean to imply that such incidents are necessarily racist. However, Macpherson’s report has been misinterpreted and misapplied in precisely this way.”
Labour’s modification to the IHRA example regarding Israel as a racist endeavour states that: “It is not racist to assess the conduct of Israel – or indeed of any other particular state or government – against the requirements of international law or the standards of behaviour expected of democratic states (bearing in mind that these requirements and standards may themselves be contentious).” I would go on to state that criticism of Israel as a racist endeavour could be considered anti-Semitic – but only if evidence of anti-Semitic intent was proved.
Simply put: There should be no automatic assumption of anti-Semitism, just because somebody claims it.
The claim of anti-Semitism should be recorded and the accusation investigated. Only after a full – and impartial – investigation should any final conclusion be drawn.
That is justice.
If we take the alternative currently being offered, then, as Professor Feldman states, “we open the way to conceptual and political chaos”.
So you thought Mary Hassall was the only British coroner to have blamed a benefit claimant’s death on the DWP? Think again.
To This Writer’s shame, the case of Julia Kelly was reported in This Blog, earlier this year – but I did not recall that Northamptonshire County Coroner Anne Pember’s report had conferred responsibility for her death on the Department for Work and Pensions after the case of Michael O’Sullivan was reported last month.
Mr O’Sullivan committed suicide in late 2013. North London coroner Mary Hassall, at his inquest early the following year, recorded that his death occurred as a direct result of being declared “fit for work” in a DWP work capability assessment, made in response to his claim for Employment and Support Allowance.
Julia Kelly took her life in November 2014. At her inquest in March this year, according to the Northampton Chronicle, “Coroner Anne Pember, recording her verdict of suicide, said she also believed that the ‘upset caused by the potential withdrawal of her benefits had been the trigger for her to end her life’.”
Ms Kelly had been forced to give up work in 2010 due to pain caused by a car crash (which was not her fault) five years previously. In 2013, she was involved in a second crash and had to undergo a six-hour operation on her spine as a result.
Together with her father, David Kelly, she formed a charity – Away With Pain – to help fellow sufferers of chronic back pain.
But then the Department for Work and Pensions told her she had to repay £4,000 in Employment and Support Allowance payments, saying she had failed to declare capital funds.
It seems the government department was referring to money held by the charity, rather than funds owned by Ms Kelly herself.
Ms Kelly, who had fought for every penny of her benefit at three tribunal hearings, was bombarded with a series of repayment demands. According to her father, it was this relentless stream of brown-envelope letters that pushed her to suicide.
He told Channel 4 News about it. Take a look at the report:
A few months later, the DWP started stridently claiming that no causal link had been shown between claims for incapacity benefits and the suicide of claimants, in response to demands from almost 250,000 petitioners – and more than 90 MPs including the new leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn – to publish the number of claimants who have died on benefits.
We all know the DWP was lying, thanks to Ms Hassall’s report on Michael O’Sullivan.
The facts about Julia Kelly mean we must now question the magnitude of the lie.
We know the DWP examined the cases of around 60 people who committed suicide after their benefits were withdrawn or reduced – that fact was most recently mentioned in Prime Minister’s Questions, in the House of Commons on Wednesday (October 21) – but the Department has refused to publish its findings.
All Cameron would offer was that he would “look … at” the question asked about publication. He can look at it all day without doing anything about it, of course.
Meanwhile, serious questions are arising as we learn more about these deaths and the extent of the DWP cover-up.
How many people have died due to the reduction or withdrawal of incapacity benefits?
How many of these deaths happened long enough after their benefits were withdrawn that the DWP never bother to record them – on the grounds that it was none of the Department’s business (this is what happened with Mr O’Sullivan)?
How many more coroners’ verdicts have implicated the DWP in the deaths, but have been quietly swept under the carpet?
And – as the United Nations investigates possible grave and systematic violations of incapacity benefit claimants’ human rights – what can be done to secure the release of the facts?
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