Tag Archives: code

Why is James Cleverly refusing to talk about UK weapons being used against Palestinians?

James Cleverly: He was once described as “the Tories’ go-to eejit when they need someone to tweet absolute nonsense or defend the indefensible”. Now it seems he’s not even bothering to say anything at all.

Here’s another story that should be all over the BBC’s prime-time news but, for some reason, seems to have been missed by the mostly-Tory news team there.

The information comes from Declassified UK, an independent investigative site run by Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis. This Writer follows Kennard on Twitter and I am impressed by the information he provides and the opinions he puts forward. Therefore I think his site is trustworthy.

Here’s what it says:

Middle East Minister James Cleverly may be breaking the Ministerial Code by failing to answer questions put to him in the House of Commons. The Code demands that ministers have a duty to “be as open as possible with parliament” and to “give accurate and truthful information”.

The questions were about whether military equipment from the UK was used in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in May – which killed 66 Palestinian children.

The best response anybody appears to have received – to 14 questions that Declassified has identified – is that the UK “takes its export control responsibilities very seriously”. That is not an adequate answer.

There is an obvious conclusion to be drawn from this – and I’m sure you don’t need me to spell it out for you.

But Cleverly certainly won’t spell out the facts for all of us unless he is forced to do so.

And, given the huge prominence the Israel-Palestine conflict received in the news during May, the absence of such pressure from mainstream media outlets like the BBC is deeply disturbing.

Britain’s Middle East minister James Cleverly is regularly refusing to provide answers to written questions posed to him by members of parliament, especially on UK arms exports to Israel, contravening House of Commons rules.

Source: Foreign minister James Cleverly accused of breaking UK…

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After Lord Geidt’s whitewash, Labour wants INDEPENDENT probe on Downing Street flat redecoration

Good advice: Boris Johnson can say what he likes about his alleged breaches of the ministerial code, but nobody in their right mind would take only his word for it.

Labour will be like a dog with a bone over Tory corruption.

You know why?

The party can’t attack the Tory government over its incompetent hnadling of Covid-19 because Keir Starmer supported every duff decision Boris Johnson made (until the evidence revealed those choices to have been homicidal).

And Starmer can’t criticise the Tories over Brexit because his choice of policy contributed to Labour’s spectacular loss of the 2019 general election. He would just be inviting ridicule.

But Tory corruption is a different matter.

And the controversy over the redecoration of the Downing Street Flat occupied by Boris (and Mrs) Johnson, dubbed “Wallpapergate” due to the enormous cost of the wallpaper they chose – more than £800 per roll – was only ever likely to get worse after the prime minister was cleared of wrongdoing by a man who is his employee.

And Labour has found a way to make this an actual Double Whammy.

Not only has Labour reported Johnson to the independent Parliamentary standards commissioner, but it has pointed out that he was warned to face stronger sanctions after a previous transgression.

He had failed to declare shares in a property by the deadline required for it to appear in the relevant register of MPs’ interests.

At the time, standards commissioner Kathryn Stone had reprimanded Johnson. She also warned that any further breaches may warrant “more serious sanction”.

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, reminded Ms Stone of this in her letter requesting an independent investigation into Johnson’s failure to register a donation by Tory donor Lord Brownlow to pay for the flat redecoration.

She wrote: “Far from learning the lessons of his previous transgressions, the prime minister has continued with his attitude of treating basic standards of integrity, openness and transparency with contempt, and behaving as though there is one rule for him and another for everyone else.”

And she said the fact that Mr Johnson told Lord Geidt he became aware of the donations for the works on the flat in February this year but did not settle the invoices personally until March 8 suggests he is in breach of parliamentary rules on declaring donations that all MPs must follow.

Ms Stone is already investigating whether Mr Johnson properly declared a £15,000 holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique with his now-wife Carrie.

Johnson is also facing two other inquiries into the flat refurbishment.

The Electoral Commission is investigating whether the Conservative Party broke the rules on declaring donations over the Downing Street flat and has the power to issue a fine of up to £20,000.

And Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, the UK’s top civil servant, is also examining whether donations were properly declared.

And it will only get worse for Johnson because he won’t stop breaking the rules. It seems he genuinely thinks he’s above the law.

Still, it’s great for political commentators like This Writer. It guarantees me stories for years to come.

As for you… if you like that sort of thing, I recommend you buy popcorn – in a regular supply.

Source: Labour demands further probe into Boris Johnson’s flat revamp – BBC News

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Hancock breached ministerial code with his shares in firm that has NHS contract. Why is he still health secretary?

Matt Hancock: you wouldn’t trust him to pick up a prescription from the chemist, but Boris Johnson made him health secretary. No wonder hundreds of thousands of people have died of Covid-19.

Here’s a great example of Tory corruption: the independent advisor on ministerial standards has announced that Health Secretary Matt Hancock has breached the ministerial code. It’s a sacking offence, so why does he still have his job?

Answer: because standards have slipped to such a low standard under prime minister Boris Johnson that cabinet ministers can get away with anything.

This case concerns a firm called Topwood, run by Hancock’s sister and brother-in-law. It managed to get onto NHS Shared Business Services framework in 2019, just months after Hancock became Health Secretary.

Hancock was then given – it seems he didn’t pay for them – a 20 per cent share in the shredding, storage and security firm, right before it won two NHS Wales contracts worth £150,000 each to carry out waste disposal including the shredding of confidential documents.

His failure to disclose that he has shares in the firm was described as a “technical breach” of the ministerial code by Lord Geidt – who has also given Boris Johnson a clean bill of health over the funding of refurbishment work on the 11 Downing Street flat.

Hancock was characterised as having been unaware that he needed to declare this conflict of interest. But ignorance of the law is no excuse – as you or I would soon find out if we were to fall foul of similar rules.

You see the problem?

Labour’s Angela Rayner does. She has pointed out that the decision not to penalise Hancock sets a precedent that cabinet ministers do not have to follow the rules.

She said:

“I have asked Lord Geidt whether he agrees that this precedent of a Cabinet minister being found by an independent investigation to have broken the ministerial code and then not resigning sends a very clear message that the rules don’t apply to Cabinet ministers, with this case therefore damaging public trust in our politics, fundamentally weakening the ministerial code system and giving carte blanche to other ministers to break the ministerial code safe in the knowledge that they will not face sanctions.”

In fact, this has already happened.

Priti Patel was found to have broken the ministerial code in a serious way – she had been bullying civil servants in the various government departments she has darkened with her presence, including the Home Office.

But prime minister Boris Johnson, who has ultimate power to decide whether a breach has taken place, let her off.

The decision prompted former independent advisor on ministerial standards, Sir Alex Allan, to resign.

The Cabinet Office has tried to laugh off the controversy by saying that new guidelines suggest that ministerial code breaches should be attract a range of different sanctions according to their seriousness, and this was the first case to be examined after the change.

How convenient.

All this shows is that the Johnson government has deliberately let the corruption in.

The removal of a minister after any breach of the code at all was intended to be a strong deterrent – to ensure that ministers stuck strictly to their duties, because even the slightest deviation would attract the harshest penalty.

But now deviants like Hancock are being told they can do what they like.

It is a scandal and you should not put up with it.

But you do, because there is no mechanism within the law by which you can put a stop to it.

Now, who do you think put that system in place?

Source: Letting Matt Hancock keep job after breach ‘gives ministers licence to break rules’ | Evening Standard

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Lord Geidt clears his employer Boris Johnson of ministerial code breaches. He would, wouldn’t he?

We all know the Tories think we’re stupid; accept this nonsense at face value and they’ll know it’s true.

A Tory peer, Lord Geidt, has apparently carried out an internal party review of the way refurbishment of the 11 Downing Street flat (occupied by Boris Johnson) was funded and found that Johnson – who is his boss, let’s not forget – was innocent of any wrongdoing.

And nobody should believe a word of it.

Geidt said the Cabinet Office paid the costs and charged them to the Conservative Party, on the understanding that a trust was being set up to provide the funds.

This trust was never set up and the bulk of the cash came from Lord Brownlow, a Tory donor and former vice-chairman of Johnson’s Conservative Party from 2017 to July 2020 – as had been claimed in press reports.

With regards to the flat, [Geidt] said: “It is clear from the record that while a serious and genuine endeavour, the trust was not subjected to a scheme of rigorous project management by officials.

“Given the level of the prime minister’s expectations for the trust to deliver on the objects he had set, this was a significant failing.

“Instead, the prime minister – unwisely, in my view – allowed the refurbishment of the apartment at No 11 Downing Street to proceed without more rigorous regard for how this would be funded.”

In other words, Johnson claimed ignorance of the situation – but ignorance is no excuse.

Besides, he told us he had paid for the works himself, and that is plainly a lie.

He gets £30,000 a year as an allowance for such works – more than most of us earn in full-time work – and it still wasn’t enough. Reports suggest that the changes to the Downing Street flat cost around £200,000 in total.

Still, the Electoral Commission has launched its own investigation.

The commission said it was “satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to suspect than an offence or offences may have occurred”.

At the end of the day, it wouldn’t have matter what Geidt found, as power to decide whether a breach of the ministerial code has occurred rests with the prime minister – Johnson himself.

Knowing how corrupt he is, we know that he was never going to admit an offence that may require him to resign from his job.

We are left with several conclusions:

That Johnson is guilty as sin, that the government is utterly corrupt because he is leading it, and that Geidt and Brownlow have implicated themselves in that corruption by whitewashing their boss.

Source: Boris Johnson was ‘unwise’ to allow flat refurbishment ‘without more rigorous regard for how this would be funded’, report finds | Politics News | Sky News

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Anyone who knowingly misleads Parliament should resign. So why hasn’t Johnson gone?

The double-standards in this story are atrocious.

On one side, we see Nicola Sturgeon. The First Minister of Scotland has been found to have misled Parliament by giving an inaccurate account of meetings with Alex Salmond in 2018.

If an inquiry finds that she knowingly uttered falsehoods, then that is a resignation offence for an elected minister of any government, according to the Ministerial Code, and she should go – without question.

On the other side, we see Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has been accused of having misled Parliament by failing to provide details of funding for renovations to his official Downing Street flat.

The allegation is that private donations to the Conservative Party totalling £60,000 have been used as part of £200,000 worth of refurbishments to the flat.

If so, it should have been reported to the Electoral Commission, because the Ministerial Code demands that “a statement covering relevant Ministers’ interests will be published twice yearly”. The last such statement appeared last July, eight months ago.

It seems clear that Johnson has knowingly breached the Code in failing to declare the sources of funding for the flat.

So he should resign – right?

But within Parliament there has been no pressure for him to do so, while Tory calls for Sturgeon to take a hike have been punitive in their decibel level.

Labour’s Keir Starmer, despite being a lawyer, has claimed Sturgeon should go whether she knowingly misled Parliament or not – which is another indication that he should not be in politics, let alone running a political party.

10 Downing Street says all appropriate codes were followed, but this rings hollow. What does Allegra Stratton, Johnson’s press secretary, mean by “appropriate”? Something different from the dictionary definition, one would guess.

That’s how Downing Street has explained the other ways Johnson has recently misled Parliament, as I mentioned in a previous article:

After he said there would be no funding cut for the body tasked with improving transport in the north (he’s taking away 40 per cent of its funding), Downing Street tried to suggest he had been talking about transport generally for the north of England.

And after he claimed all Covid-19 contracts had been published and were “on the record” – only to be contradicted by the High Court – a minister said all CANs – Contract Award Notices – had been published. They are not the same thing.

Today’s howler was his claim, in Prime Minister’s Questions, that Keir Starmer had voted against a promise of a 2.1 per cent pay rise for nurses – that his own government is breaking.

The plan was in the NHS Funding Bill last year – which passed without a formal vote because all the main parties supported it. Starmer didn’t need to vote, but if he had, he would have supported the Bill.

Johnson (or rather, Stratton – he’d done his usual runner) eventually came out with a claim that he had been saying Starmer voted against the Queen’s Speech – but the plan wasn’t mentioned in it.

The document Starmer had been waving around at PMQs – and to which he had been referring – was the NHS long-term plan, which was a policy document and not a piece of legislation on which he could have voted.

So it seems clear that Johnson had knowingly misled Parliament but the issue also seems to have gone away because nobody is calling for his resignation over it.

If you’re wondering who did fund the renovation, here‘s openDemocracy:

The Daily Mail has reported that Downing Street allegedly sought to plug the gap in the six-figure refurbishment of the prime ministerial flat using Conservative Party funds. After the party initially paid for part of the refurb, the Mail reports, Conservative Party donor Lord Brownlow gave it £60,000 last autumn to make up the difference.

The Mail also claims that party officials have since been looking for ways to keep the donation anonymous by returning it, and then repeating it through a new ‘Downing Street Trust’ that would conceal the original source.

Lord Brownlow, who served as vice-chairman of the Tory party in 2017-20 and was made a peer in 2019 by Theresa May, is expected to head up this new non-charitable trust.

So the person who allegedly provided this dodgy donation is set to head the organisation dedicated to hushing it up. More corrupt cronyism?

Let’s face it: nobody involved in this is going to come out smelling of roses.

It’s just that Boris Johnson, more than anybody else, is going to be smelling of faeces.

And it will take more than a Union Flag to wipe them away.

Source: Election watchdog quizzes Tory party over funding of PM’s flat makeover – BBC News

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High Court urged to overturn Johnson’s decision to overlook Priti Patel’s bullying

Do you ever wonder whether High Court judges get frustrated that any serious work they do is delayed by the misdeeds of government ministers (not to mention the bleatings of sensitive celebs – but that’s another matter)?

Civil service union the FDA is demanding a judicial review of Boris Johnson’s decision not to sack Priti Patel for breaking the Ministerial Code by bullying officers at the Home Office, Department for International Development and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Johnson rejected the findings of a report by Alex Allan that found Patel was guilty of bullying civil servants while a minister in three government departments.

He defiantly backed her to continue as Home Secretary when, according to the rules, she should have been sacked – and said he had “full confidence” in her.

The decision provoke Allan to resign as government adviser on ministerial standards last November, immediately after the prime minister announced his decision.

It also emerged that Johnson had spent considerable effort trying to rally support for Patel among other ministers. This became even more questionable when it was revealed that Patel’s loathsome behaviour appeared to have pushed one employee into attempting suicide.

Now the FDA is taking the matter to the courts – and about time too:

In a written submission, general secretary Dave Penman told the High Court that “civil servants should expect to work with ministers without fear of being bullied or harassed”.

Mr Johnson’s actions had “fundamentally undermined” the disciplinary process, he added, and the prime minister had “misinterpreted” the definition of bullying in the Ministerial Code.

Mr Penman said there was “bewilderment, dismay and anger among our membership” and there had been “serious detrimental effects to workplace relations and confidence in the process for dealing with complaints against ministers”.

He added that, if Mr Johnson’s decision was not “corrected” by the court, “his interpretation of the Ministerial Code will result in that document failing to protect workplace standards across government”.

This is a row that has been simmering for a year – since the resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam as Home Office permanent secretary in February 2020.

He said he had been the target of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” ringled by Patel.

And he is pursuing an employment tribunal claim for constructive dismissal.

This action can only be strengthened if the High Court supports the FDA’s application.

Source: High Court urged to overturn PM’s decision to stand by Priti Patel – BBC News

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Labour’s first post-‘IHRA’ anti-Semitism accusations have been made – and they abuse the new rules

Remember when right-wing Labour MPs were screaming for the party to adopt the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism with all its examples, including those that make it almost impossible to criticise the Israeli government?

Remember how those people swore blind that adopting these examples would not lay party members open to false accusations by those abusing the new rules?

Well, they lied.

(Or at least, they have been proved wrong.)

The first accusations under the new system are starting to come to light, and they are damning.

Consider the case of Eleanor Penny, a correspondent for Novara Media, who happens to be Jewish.

It seems – and please correct me if I’m mistaken – that parts of this video in which Ms Penny states that it isn’t anti-Semitic to criticise Israel, holding it to the same standard as other countries, are being used as the evidence against her.

Fortunately there are those among the rest of us who are not willing to lie down and put up with this nonsense:

For what my word is worth (not much at the moment, owing to my own suspension by Labour after allegations of anti-Semitism – a suspension that is now in its 16th disgraceful month), Labour should not just dismiss the complaint.

The party needs to make a sincere apology for allowing such an abuse of its complaints system to take place – as it should with other false complaints such as that against me.

And does the complaint itself count as anti-Semitism, as it is intended to create discrimination against a Jew?

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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Guardian article reveals scale of Labour prejudice against those accused of anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn: He seems to be the only member of the Labour Party who is immune from false allegations of anti-Semitism.

As This Writer warned, it is now clear that one only has to be accused of anti-Semitism to be “kicked out” of the Labour Party, thanks to the hysteria whipped up by those who see advantage in it.

Jessica Elgot’s recent article in The Guardian referred to “cases” that are “pending” – not people who have been found to be anti-Semites; just those who have been accused. And look at the reaction.

A “party source” is quoted as saying the “antisemitism subgroup” of Labour’s National Executive Committee means “we have the potential to kick people out super fast”. Apparently justice is not a concern.

What kind of person makes such a suggestion?

And what kind of newspaper publishes it as evidence that Labour is taking appropriate action?

The corruption in this system is clear. Allegations of anti-Semitism are being made dishonestly – not to rid Labour of racists but to “kick out” members their accusers simply do not like.

Why else would the NEC have included, in its sheet of charges against me, a directive for the panel hearing my case to find me guilty, no matter what the evidence says?

I have now sent my defence to the Labour Party – all 194 pages of it – and there will be a hearing at some point in the future. I have absolutely no confidence that the interests of justice will be served by it.

That is one reason I am crowdfunding for legal action in a genuine court. I believe this is the only way the facts of the matter will be revealed.

I have a JustGiving page and you are invited to visit it and contribute to the cause.

The Labour Party deserves better than the fake justice its members are being offered.

Leaked Labour disciplinary papers have laid bare the scale of the challenge the party’s governing body faces in tackling antisemitism.

Around 70 cases are believed to be pending. However, the papers reveal only a minority were considered by the NEC because of time constraints.

Another party source said action would ramp up considerably within weeks. “The new code of conduct means we will not have to go to the full NEC disputes committee, but a smaller antisemitism subgroup. It will mean we have the potential to kick people out super fast, instead of waiting months for a full disputes meeting and just getting through 11 of 70.”

Source: Leaked Labour papers reveal scale of challenge to tackle antisemitism | Politics | The Guardian

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Another Labour MP falls foul of her local party members – this time over anti-Semitism

Louise Ellman: Where do her loyalties lie – with her party, with her constituents, or with the Tory-run Board of Deputies of British Jews?

This is self-explanatory, courtesy of Skwawkbox:

Earlier this week, Louise Ellman was one of two Labour MPs expected to propose a motion at the weekly PLP (parliamentary Labour party) meeting. The motion was ultimately deferred until early September, but constitutes an attempt to manoeuvre Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) into abandoning Labour’s Code of Conduct.

That code endorses the IHRA’s (International Holocaust Remembrance Association) ‘working definition’ of antisemitism – which describes itself as not legally binding, making it unusable as a party rule without clarifications – but, as the ‘working’ title invites, it builds on, clarifies and reinforces it by elaborating on some of the ‘examples’ that experts, including the working definition’s original creator, agree can be used to inhibit legitimate criticism of the behaviour of the Israeli government.

Ms Ellman has also appeared on national television this week to attack the code, saying that many MPs “referred to their own constituents” when voicing their objections during the PLP meeting.

Some of those constituents, including Jewish members, had their say tonight on Labour’s Code of Conduct at the monthly meeting of the Liverpool Riverside CLP (constituency Labour party) of which Ms Ellman is the MP, where a motion supporting Labour’s Code of Conduct had been tabled.

Members voted by more than three to one in support of the motion and therefore in support of Labour’s code.

Source: IHRA-motion MP’s CLP votes overwhelmingly to support Labour code | The SKWAWKBOX

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Jewish newspapers attack Corbyn – or are they TORY newspapers?

I have an apology to make.

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”.

Source: Jewish newspapers claim Corbyn poses ‘existential threat’ | Politics | The Guardian

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