Tag Archives: Eddie Izzard

On anti-Semitism, Eddie Izzard is on the wrong side of the argument

Mistaken: Eddie Izzard.

I’ve got a lot of time for Eddie Izzard but he really needs to take some time of his own to find out what is going on, before he opens his mouth.

When he says Labour is “losing the perception argument” regarding its response to accusations of anti-Semitism among members, he is completely wrong on the details.

I know because I am fighting an allegation of anti-Semitism against me – and am crowdfunding for court action to clear my name. Please visit my JustGiving page for further information – and to donate.

The perception is that Labour is soft on anti-Semites, and it is a lie.

Don’t believe me? Look at the state of this, from Labour’s charge sheet alleging anti-Semitism against me:

“There are current and potential Labour voters of all backgrounds who are watching carefully what the Party does with cases like Mr Sivier’s. Taking definitive action in this case would send a clear and unambiguous message to all of them that Mr Sivier and the views he published extensively have absolutely no place in the party.”

It is a directive to find me guilty of anti-Semitism, no matter what the evidence shows.

Is that justice?

If you answered “yes” to that question, you badly need to change. Start by reading the following:

Labour is not easy on anti-Semites. Labour is intolerant of anybody who has even been accused of anti-Semitism. The allegation alone is enough to warrant expulsion from the party.

And that’s great news for anyone wanting to clear their political enemies out of the way.

Take a look at one of the charges against me: “On 18th January 2017 Mr Sivier posted a blog titled ‘Accusation games: It’s all falling apart for the knee-jerk “anti-Semitism” accusers’… To put ‘antisemitism’ in quotation marks implies that Jews are using the term falsely which diminishes the term and denies Jewish people the language to describe their own oppression. This is a completely unacceptable way to engage in political debate and falls significantly below the standards expected of Party members. This is clearly prejudicial and/or grossly detrimental to the Party.”

Oh, really?

It seems to me that this charge is prejudicial and/or grossly detrimental to the Party, falls significantly below the standards expected of Party members and is a completely unacceptable way to engage in political debate.

My reasons:

  1. It presents my words out of context, so the reader has no way of knowing why I posted them.
  2. The article is about false allegations of anti-Semitism. They were proven to be lies.
  3. The claim is that I said Jews were using the word “anti-Semitism” falsely. In fact, I made no reference to the ethnic or religious origins of the accusers.
  4. The claim further suggests that Jews are incapable of telling any falsehood, without any evidence to prove it – and in fact we know that anyone can tell a lie.
  5. And here’s the biggie: The charge denies Jewish people the language to deny their own oppression – because it links serious discrimination with legitimate criticism of those who use the term deceitfully. It opens the whole debate to abuse.

This is only part of Labour’s prejudice against people who have been falsely accused.

For example, after receiving the notification of charges against me from the Labour Party, I got in touch with the named contact and requested a copy of all the procedures the party should have followed, as my case was considered by different officers and committees. My concern is that, according to a news report I examine here, Labour has abused these procedures in my case.

My request was refused, because “the NCC is only concerned with the procedures to be adopted after a charge is presented to it.  It is entitled to act on the basis that the charge is properly brought before it and any complaints regarding the conduct of the investigation should be addresses to the General Secretary.”

Except, of course, misconduct by investigators would be legitimate evidence for the NCC (Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, which will rule on my case) to consider. If my case was mishandled with an intention to ensure prejudice against me, then that is a relevant matter.

So Labour may be trying to hide its misconduct from me – in order to prejudice the outcome of the case against me. Actually, Labour has a history of withholding information that includes breaking the law.

Back in February, I made a Subject Access Request for all information on me, held by the Labour Party. I wanted to know exactly what the party had received or generated in order to be pursuing a blatantly false accusation against me.

Labour had 40 working days to answer, or be in breach of the Data Protection Act. Labour failed to answer. Labour is in breach of the DPA.

I have that on good authority, having taken the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which has ordered the party to submit all the information I required within two calendar weeks (of Friday, July 20).

So we have a Labour Party that plays fast-and-loose with its own rules – and the law of the land – in order to justify false allegations of anti-Semitism. That’s the polar opposite of the public perception that Mr Izzard has bemoaned.

I hope someone passes this article on to him.

And if you want to help put an end to frivolous, lying accusations of anti-Semitism, please visit the page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mike-sivier and donate some cash. I’m hoping to raise £25,000 and have a long way to go.

Eddie Izzard has urged Jeremy Corbyn to put the antisemitism issue to bed, warning that Labour is losing the “perception argument”.

The comedian, who recently won a seat on the party’s ruling national executive committee, said Labour risked not being ready to attack the government and its Brexit plans because of infighting over an international definition of antisemitism.

Izzard said the changes had sent the wrong message. “The message I feel should have been sent was that we are with the mainstream on this, everything else can be done from here on, that was the time to do it. We are losing the perception argument,” he said. “This is a classic thing in the Labour party … and it is going to make it very hard now.”

Source: Labour has got to solve antisemitism issue, says Eddie Izzard | News | The Guardian

Anti-Semitism furore tips into farce as Shawcroft quits NEC to be replaced by Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard: In the name of honesty, he wasn’t giving his vote to the author of Vox Political but to someone called Mike le Surf.

Left-wing Labour member Christine Shawcroft has been bullied off Labour’s National Executive Committee after she was forced to resign as head of the disputes panel in a row over an alleged holocaust denier.

The worst part of this story isn’t the fact that Ms Shawcroft will be replaced by comedian Eddie Izzard (on the NEC – not as chair of the disputes panel, unless anyone knows better).

No – it’s the possibility that the charges against Alan Bull, whose alleged anti-Semitism was questioned by Ms Shawcroft, may have been entirely fabricated.

Here‘s Mr Bull’s comment on the matter:

In June 2015 I had 5000 Facebook friends, many of whom enjoyed discussing a wide range of controversial subjects that didn’t appear in the mainstream media. My habit then, as now is as follows — friends send me posts they think are of interest. I repost mostly without comment to discover what other friends have to say about the article/MEM. When a friend comments, I cut and paste this-complete with their name, and paste above the article before reposting. This stimulates more comments and we all get a better understanding of the subject as a result. The most controversial article I posted privately to friends only, 2 years ago, was a documentary, with the controversial title, “Red cross confirm holocaust is a hoax”. The more accurate and considerably less shocking sub heading of this title was excluded by the screenshotter for maximum impact. As were ALL of the 46 comments, including a short exchange I had with a Jewish friend who commented, “Can I ask the intent of this article, are you denying the holocaust”? To which I replied, “Not at all, just posting for discussion and debate, as usual, best wishes, Alan”.

These comments were removed, to create the impression that I, in some way agreed with the article in an attempt to misrepresent my intention and have me suspended from the party.

Other articles claiming I was anti-Semitic included supporting a petition to reinstate Ken Livingstone and another article which was actually written by one of my Jewish friends!

Interesting to see that support for Ken Livingstone is now taken to be support for anti-Semitism, even though he was not found guilty of any such offence.

Mr Bull’s case is now irretrievably prejudiced due to the publicity it has received.

And here‘s another severely prejudiced case: Marianne Tellier, the former secretary of Labour’s Park and Arbourthourne branch, in Sheffield, has been suspended after tweeting this picture:

Her accusers are suggesting she tweeted it in support of the Holocaust – the slogan, of course, hangs over the gates of Auschwitz. The significance is that Iain Duncan Smith, former Work and Pensions Secretary, visited Auschwitz in 2010 and famously stated, “Work makes you free” in at least one speech afterwards.

Satirists took the phrase and applied it to a Job Centre Plus sign (Mr Duncan Smith, as Work and Pensions Secretary was responsible for Job Centres at the time), making a double point, that he was behaving like a Nazi in both word and deed, as thousands of people were dying due to savage benefit policies.

I can’t say for sure that this is why Ms Tellier used the image, but it’s certainly my reason for doing so.

What we’re seeing is the disruption of due process by unscrupulous people with a political agenda – to harm the Labour left.

Red Labour explains it well, below:


The text in the attachments states:

As socialists, we have to uphold the principle of natural justice, based on due process. If we don’t, it makes it very difficult to talk about either democracy in the Labour Party or the importance of proper, legal protections, under the law in wider society.

We have heard a lot of talk, mostly from people not in the Labour Party, about ways to deal with the anti-semitism problem in the party. There is a sense that if only Jeremy, as leader, was tougher, the problem could be solved. Or, if we just could instantly expel people on the spot, the debate could move on.

However, that’s not the way it works in a democratic party, indeed any party which has any semblance of rights and engagement for its members. The Labour Party isn’t a private company, with a Donald Trump-style CEO in charge, pointing the finger and “sacking” people on the spot.

If it takes longer in these cases, that is because it is potentially life-changing (especially for a lifelong Labour activist) to be expelled from the Labour Party for anti-semitism. Indeed, it is important that all those accused are treatted fairly, and discretely – and with the principles of natural justice (including the ability to get a fair trial) because even being suspended can have a massive impact on your mental health.

What we can’t ever accept is summary justice. As Red Labour have maintained throughout, we acknowledge there are cases of anti-semitism in the party, and that it is a problem. We think it right for anyone to be expelled if they are found guilty, after detailed questioning and reviewing of the evidence, but if we accept the demand to expel people based on a swirl of hatred, we will struggle to call ourselves a democratic and socialist party in the future.

My own case has been undergoing trial by bigotry, of course. Someone in Labour’s NEC (or an officer reporting to it) gave a biased report about me to a Sunday Times newspaper reporter, and I was deluged with hatred on the social media – including messages from at least two Labour MPs, with a third being quoted discussing my case in other national newspapers. There is absolutely no chance that my case can ever have a fair hearing now.

Would you like to read the names of 39 Labour MPs and peers who demanded that Jeremy Corbyn enact summary, swirl-of-hatred justice against Christine Shawcroft, on the basis of her questioning the validity of the allegedly-doctored evidence against Alan Bull – even though he doesn’t have the authority? Here they are:

The letter states:

It is utterly wrong that somebody who defends a Labour candidate who has been suspended for Holocaust denial should be a member of Labour’s governing body.

This is highly offensive to the Jewish community and all those of us who wish to see the scourge of antisemitism eradicated.

We urge you to suspend Christine Shawcroft from the Labour Party immediately, thus ensuring she is removed from the NEC.

You pledged this week to be an ally in the fight against antisemitism. This action would represent an initial step in honouring that commitment.

Before going on, I should point out that, under the current, flawed system, all Labour members who are accused of anti-Semitism have their membership suspended before the evidence is considered – and that evidence is only considered by members of Labour’s governing body. We may therefore conclude that the signatories of this letter want everybody who is even accused of anti-Semitism to be dismissed without any opportunity to be defended by their NEC representatives, or even to defend themselves.

They want to make it possible to dismiss political opponents on the basis of false and malicious anti-Semitism charges, and that is not acceptable.

The Labour MPs and peers who want to pervert justice in this way are:

Siobhain McDonagh
Ian Austin
Luciana Berger
Chris Bryant
Ann Coffey
Mary Creagh
Stelly Creasy
Stephen Doughty
Louise Ellman
Jim Fitzpatrick
Dame Margaret Hodge
Mike Gapes
Lilian Greenwood
Mike Kane
Liz Kendall
Stephen Kinnock
Peter Kyle
Chris Leslie
Catherine McKinnell
Rachel Reeves
Jonathan Reynolds
Joan Ryan
Gavin Shuker
Ruth Smeeth
Angela Smith
Wes Streeting
Anna Turley
Chuka Umunna
Phil Wilson
John Woodcock
Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top
Lord Beecham
Baroness Cohen of Pimlico
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock
Lord Harris of Haringey
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
Lord Kennedy of Southwark
Lord Livermore
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale

I have stated that Mr Corbyn does not have the authority to sack anybody from Labour’s NEC. By resigning her position, Ms Shawcroft has rescued him from an impossible situation:

Of course, the only people to benefit from this are the Conservatives. Tory slimeball Sajid Javid was stoking the fires of disaffection on Twitter:

But we’ve all got the measure of him:

What we are witnessing here is an attack against justice, by the Labour MPs and peers named above, with the support of politicians from the Conservative Party (and no doubt many of the others, too).

It must not be allowed to succeed.

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Britain’s starvation crisis won’t bother our new millionaires at all

Britain's shame: The front page of yesterday's Daily Mirror.

Britain’s shame: The front page of yesterday’s Daily Mirror.

So the United Kingdom now houses more millionaires than ever before – but at the huge cost of forcing hundreds of thousands of people to seek help from food banks or starve.

This is David Cameron’s gamble: That enough people will profit from the misery of the huge underclass he has created to vote him back into office in 2015, to continue his attack on anybody who takes home less than £100,000 pay per year.

Are you really that selfish?

Do you think this is any way for a civilised, First-World society to order itself?

No – it’s more like the description of the Third World that became prevalent towards the end of the 1960s: A country with low economic development, low life expectancy, high rates of poverty, and rampant disease. They are also countries where a wealthy ruling class is free to exploit the population at large who, without money or force of arms, are powerless to stop them.

Let’s see now… The UK definitely has low economic development. Neoliberal governments since 1979 have decimated our industrial base and the so-called recovery we are currently enjoying has yet to show any worthwhile results, despite the dubious rises in employment and wages that are making headlines this week.

Low life expectancy? Yes, we have that. People in lower-class residential areas are expected to live only a few years into their retirement, if they make it that far, while those in rich areas may continue into their late eighties. Sharp readers will recognise that, although we all pay the same amount into the state pension, the rich get more from it as they live long enough to receive larger amounts.

High rates of poverty? According to the Trussell Trust, the number of food parcels it handed out per year tripled from 346,992 in 2012 to 913,138 last year, with 330,205 going to children. Another 182,000 were provided by 45 independent food banks. The government says poverty is falling but bases its figures on a proportion of the median wage, which has been dropping for the last six years. This means government claims that worker wages are rising must also be lies.

Rampant disease? Perhaps we should not go as far as to suggest this is happening – but the British Isles have witnessed the return of diseases long-thought banished from these shores, like Rickets and Scarlet Fever, along with an increase in Tuberculosis. These are all poverty-related, as they are caused by malnourishment. You can thank your Tory government for forcing so many people out of work and diverting so much NHS funding into privatisation.

As for a wealthy working class exploiting the population – the evidence is all around us.

Look at the reasons people are being driven to food banks, according to the Daily Mirror article from which I quoted the food bank figures: “Benefits cuts and delays, the rising cost of living and pay freezes are forcing more and more people into food banks, experts have long warned.” All of these are the result of Tory government policy.

The government is, of course, unrepentant. I had the misfortune to see Treasury minister David Gauke – who found infamy when he signed off on huge “sweetheart deals” letting multinational firms off paying billions of pounds of income tax they owed us – saying he was not ashamed of the huge food bank uptake. He said they were doing a valuable job and he was glad that the government was signposting people to them. Nobody seemed to want to ask him: In the country with the world’s sixth-largest economy, why are food banks needed at all?

Of course, I’m not likely to persuade anyone to change their political allegiance over this. You all know where I stand and, besides, this blog is simply not big enough to make a difference.

So I’ll leave you with the words of someone who is far more popular: Eddie Izzard, writing in (again) the Mirror:

“A million food parcels. How did our Britain get to be so hungry? Our country, where even after the Second World War, we still had the ambition to feed our poorest people and build a better country.

“This government said it wanted to reform the British welfare system. Instead, it has broken it. The proof is here in the desperate families who have had to turn to their GP, not for medicine, but for vouchers to be able to eat.

“Instead of supporting the most vulnerable people in Britain during the recession this government has hit them with a wave of cruel cuts and punishments – sanctions, Bedroom Tax, welfare cuts.

“The zero hours economy it champions is not enough to put food on tables. It’s done nothing to tackle food and fuel costs.

“No wonder that today, 600 faith leaders, dozens of charities and 40 bishops are telling David Cameron he is failing the country’s poorest people.”

Perhaps you are not affected, like all those new millionaires on whom the Tories are relying. Do you think that makes it all right for this to be happening here?

You can use your vote to share your opinion.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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