Tag Archives: human

Why did ‘celebrity’ Twitter users force suspension of ordinary woman? Because they could

Some of you have been kind enough to notice that This Writer’s @MidWalesMike account has been in the Twitter sin bin since the beginning of the month because somebody didn’t like one of my articles about the court case against Rachel Riley.

That is dangerous enough – it’s clearly an attempt to create a “chilling” effect on my crowdfunding (that, fortunately, has failed – the fund has nearly raised £125,000 since it started nearly two years ago).

But now I read that another Twitter user, who apparently has no public profile at all (she’s not a celebrity or a journalist/blogger or a member of the commentatorati), has found her account suspended, simply for expressing her dislike of an actress.

The actress in question was Tracy-Ann Oberman, who apparently searches the social media platform for any adverse comment about her. Spotting this one, it seems she claimed that the lady in question had to be an anti-Semite, even though no part of the view she expressed in her tweet conveyed any such sentiment. See for yourself:

“It’s a sin was doing so well then I saw Tracy Ann Oberman left a bad taste in my mouth … trying to quickly forget I’ve seen her.”

“Caroline do you think that YOU may be one of those intolerant bigots that Russell is talking about in #itsasin

“Seems you’ve missed the entire point of the series. You and the rest of this thread. Oh dear. @cst @UKLabour @LabourAgainstAS”

The @ tags at the end of Oberman’s tweet are significant. She was tagging in the Community Security Trust and Labour Against Anti-Semitism – both highly vocal self-proclaimed crusaders against anti-Semitism (although both could equally well be described as witch-hunters against people targeted with false claims) along with the Labour Party, because ‘Caroline’ could be seen holding a Labour membership card in her profile picture.

The implication is clear: Oberman wanted to brand ‘Caroline’ an anti-Semite and she wanted to bring Labour’s attention to it. In order to provoke disciplinary action, perhaps? Because this person had expressed an opinion about her appearance in a TV show. Overkill?

No. Overkill is what followed. Oberman’s tweet led to a dogpile so vile that even some of its participants later withdrew their comments and apologised.

I won’t go into the details but you can read about it on Zelo Street if you like.

Then – apparently after pressure from the usual cohort of “blue tick” celebrities – ‘Caroline’ had her Twitter account suspended.

I repeat that she had not expressed a single opinion that was not well within her right. If she doesn’t like Tracy-Ann Oberman, it is not for Tracy-Ann Oberman to take offence and have her hounded off of Twitter. For all Tracy-Ann Oberman knew, ‘Caroline’ had perfectly good reasons for disliking her.

Those reasons don’t have to be restricted to her acting, either. I refer to her “clitoris” comment in response to David Quantick, and her (clearly racist, in my opinion) “Is Ping Pong the Thai help?” query in response to a tweet from Liz Hurley that her parrot had spoken in human language for the first time.

Nevertheless, Tracy-Ann Oberman reacted the way she did, and now an innocent member of the public has been hounded off of Twitter.

You may be wondering why Tracy-Ann Oberman feels justified in having acted as she did. I’ll tell you the answer:

Because there is a court ruling that says she cannot be held to account for it.

It’s the ruling of Mrs Justice Collins Rice in the case brought by Oberman’s friend Rachel Riley against This Writer.

Riley’s legal team had put forward an argument that she could not possibly be held responsible for the behaviour of her followers, who abused and harassed a teenage girl with mental health problems who had had the temerity to criticise her for accusing Owen Jones (and Jeremy Corbyn) of anti-Semitism.

Riley had tagged celebrities, politicians and so-called activists against anti-Semitism into her tweets responding to the girl, who had received many hundreds of responses critical of her as a result – forcing her to quit Twitter several times for the sake of her mental health.

But the judge agreed that Riley was not responsible. Her ruling means nobody else can be, either.

And this is the result.

It is hugely damaging – not only for the safety of people like ‘Caroline’, but for everybody’s Article 10 right to Freedom of Expression according to the Human Rights Act (she was hounded off the platform for expressing an opinion about an actress, remember).

It also contradicts the intentions of Online Harms legislation that is due to pass through Parliament soon. Part of the proposed law would make participation in online dogpiles a criminal offence with serious penalties attached.

As everybody should be aware by now, I have appealed against Mrs Justice Collins Rice’s ruling.

I hope that judges at the Court of Appeal agree that it has created the opportunity for significant harm – and has already caused such harm in the case of ‘Caroline’.

If so, then we may also hope that the ruling is rescinded and the Obermans of this world lose their legal protection.

My case is still going on, I am still crowdfunding to pay its costs, and you are invited to contribute in the time-honoured ways:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you haven’t donated before, perhaps this story will encourage you.

After all, they might come for you next.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Court challenge against EHRC anti-Semitism claims about Livingstone and Bromley

Ken Livingstone: he is appealing for donations to help him mount a judicial review against questionable accusations made against him by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The basis in which the Equality and Human Rights Commission said the Labour Party committed unlawful harassment of Jewish people is to be challenged in court.

The long-delayed EHRC report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, when it finally appeared in late October last year, stated that it could find only two instances in which Labour members had broken the law – involving Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley.

The report claims that Livingstone committed unlawful harassment in April 2016 when he pointed to a “smear campaign by ‘the Israel lobby’ to stigmatize critics of Israel as anti-Semitic, as well as being aimed at undermining and disrupting the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn,” in his defence of Labour MP Naz Shah.

The EHRC report said Shah had posted an image to Facebook “suggesting that Israel should be relocated to the United States” and a second post “in which she appeared to liken Israeli policies to those of Hitler.”

(For clarity: the first image was a satirical response to moves within Israel to forcibly remove all Palestinians from within the borders claimed by the Israeli government to neighbouring Arab states; the claim about the second was even more disgusting – the text, stating that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal, was pointing out that an act can be legal and still be wrong, as stated by the black man depicted in the image… probably the 20th century’s most-celebrated anti-racism campaigner, Martin Luther King. I notice EHRC does not appear to have mentioned that small but important fact.)

Shah admitted anti-Semitic intent in posting the images, although they are not inherently anti-Semitic in themselves. The third tweet mentioned in accusations against her – a claim that “the Jews are rallying” in response to a poll on whether Israel should stop bombing Palestinians to oblivion during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 – was anti-Semitic (it would have been accurate if it had said “pro-Israelis” instead of Jews).

Livingstone has always denied saying anything anti-Semitic. He says the draft EHRC report had not been sent to him before publication, which means he had not been given the opportunity to correct the record.

Livingstone’s defense of Shah included a BBC radio interview in which he accurately pointed out that in the early 1930s when he first came to power, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “was supporting Zionism.” This was perverted by critics including former Labour MP John Mann into a false claim that Livingstone was saying Hitler himself was a Zionist. That was never true; his aims and those of German Zionists coincided for a brief period, that is all.

The EHRC report does not mention the radio interview comment – which was what led to Livingstone’s suspension from the Labour Party and eventual forced resignation.

Instead it states that, merely by denying that Shah’s posts were anti-Semitic, Livingstone was guilty of “unwanted conduct related to Jewish ethnicity,” which “had the effect of harassing members of the Labour Party.”

But the anti-Semitic intent of the image posts was not apparent in the posts themselves; Shah had to admit it for it to be considered true.

This Writer is less familiar with the case against Bromley so I shall not comment on it here.

In a press release announcing the launch of the case Livingstone said,

“The EHRC’s investigation into the Labour Party was a politically-motivated attack aimed at derailing Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. The Commission cobbled together a half-baked case against me, justified by a flawed legal analysis.

“This judicial review will be a vital step in correcting the record and in fighting back against a McCarthyite smear campaign which has been waged against the British Left over the past five years.”

And Bromley added,

“The EHRC Report and its dubious legal analysis will have knock-on effects for freedom of expression. The right of pro-Palestine campaigners to criticise the State of Israel and its apartheid policies is being actively suppressed.

“This judicial review will not only help to clear mine and Ken’s names, it will ensure that the EHRC Report can’t be used as a tool to bludgeon activists who dare to speak up for Palestinians.”

The judicial review is supported by the Left Legal Fighting Fund, which was set up by left-wing former Labour MP Chris Williamson, using the proceeds of a legal win against the Labour Party in 2019.

The fund is hoping to raise £40,000 towards legal costs.

Further details and information on how to donate are available from the Left Legal Fighting Fund here.

Today’s (January 14) announcement must be another blow for hard-right-wing Labour leader Keir Starmer, who welcomed the report and used it to attack former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He keeps saying he wants to put Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis to rest – but his own activities are prolonging it.

Source: Ken Livingstone to challenge EHRC in court | The Electronic Intifada

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Lords inflict two defeats on government over ‘spy cops’ bill – but Keir Starmer could have made it three

Keir Starmer: he thinks the government and its agents should be above the law.

The Tories bid to allow spies working for government agencies like the Financial Conduct Authority to commit crimes like murder and rape without fear of prosecution has been foiled by the Lords.

Peers supported amendments to the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill as follows:

Peers inflicted two significant defeats on the government on Wednesday evening over a bill to regulate the use of undercover informants, passing amendments to stop them participating in murder and rape, and to curtail the use of children as informants.

The government was also defeated by 299 to 284 on an amendment from the peer Doreen Massey, which proposed explicitly banning those acting undercover from being allowed to participate in a list of serious crimes, including murder, torture, rape or other sexual offences as they gained information.

Ministers had ruled out introducing such a list previously, arguing that creating a list of forbidden offences could give terrorists and serious criminals ways to unmask infiltrators by asking them to engage in such banned activities.

Campaign groups welcomed the result, arguing that it would put the UK on a par with similar western countries in setting clear limits.

Sadly, this result is notable for another reason – Labour leader Keir Starmer’s unacceptable support for the Bill with all immunities against criminal prosecution intact.

If he had whipped Labour to oppose it in the Commons, it would never have got as far as the Lords. But he didn’t.

Worse still, after former shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti put forward an amendment to remove immunity from prosecution for crimes from government agents who commit them, saying there would otherwise be a “grave risk” of human rights abuses by undercover agents, Starmer whipped Labour peers to abstain and it failed:

Peers were debating the bill at the second day of its report stage. On Monday, an amendment from Shami Chakrabarti seeking to strike out immunity for undercover agents acting within authorised guidelines was defeated by 309 to 153, after the Labour leadership chose to abstain.

It seems clear that this former Director of Public Prosecutions thinks the government and its agents should be above the law.

It is an unacceptable attitude for any potential national leader to have.

Source: Lords inflict two defeats on government over ‘spy cops’ bill | House of Lords | The Guardian

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Less than a week after the EHRC damned the Tories over the Windrush scandal, deportations continue

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

It is ironic that the Conservative government’s own review of its behaviour in the Windrush Scandal was called Lessons Learned, considering its plan for a mass deportation to Jamaica tomorrow (December 2) shows that the Tories have learned nothing.

The Home Office failed to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) under the Equality Act 2010 when implementing Theresa May’s “hostile environment” strategy, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

May’s plan, which commenced in 2012, was originally intended to make staying in the UK as difficult as possible for illegal immigrants – people who do not have leave to remain, in the hope that they would leave of their own accord.

But the policy’s severe harm to members of the so-called Windrush generation – whose documents showing that they were allowed to stay in the UK were destroyed by May’s Home Office shortly after she took over responsibility for it in 2010 – was ignored, dismissed and disregarded, despite the fact that the Home Office was warned about it repeatedly.

Perhaps part of the responsibility for this lies in the fact that the Tory government, obsessed with outsourcing work to private, profit-making firms, told landlords, banks, doctors and employers to carry out ID checks and report people who lacked adequate documentation.

As a result, thousands of people – yes, thousands – were denied access to health care, benefits and housing, before being deported illegally.

Engagement with representatives of the Windrush generation – people who came to the UK, mostly from Jamaica, to help rebuild the country after World War Two, after the government of the day promised to allow them to settle here (see the 1948 Nationality Act) – was limited.

Most of the government’s Windrush victims are still awaiting compensation.

Some have died before receiving it.

The EHRC report said the consequences – which have included several deaths – were “foreseeable and avoidable” and the organisation’s interim chair, Caroline Waters, said the treatment of the Windrush Generation was “a shameful stain on British history”.

This Counterfire article is damning in its condemnation of the policy:

Dehumanisation and discrimination are built into the very concept of the ‘hostile environment’. For the Tories, the purpose of the policy was twofold: to divert growing anger at their austerity policies and to undercut the rise of far-right rivals like Ukip by appropriating their unabashedly dehumanising and racist ideology.

That’s right – the Tories under Theresa May adopted a deliberately racist ideology. And the policy of dehumanising victims was taken directly from the Nazi playbook, as Jews know very well from bitter experience.

Counterfire continues:

The lives of migrants and ethnic minorities are routinely exploited and endangered for the political gain of those in power in this way. This is not recognised in the EHRC report, which is only able to recommend a set of vague rectifications that rely heavily on the government’s good will, such as the recommendation for the Home Office to ‘prioritise and act early’ on its Equality Act duties.

The Home Office under current Home Secretary Priti Patel has made a public commitment to avoid any similar events occurring.

So it is strange that Ms Patel is determined to force as many as 50 more people out of the UK – including another member of the Windrush generation – in a specially-chartered flight tomorrow:

Immediately after it was revealed that the flight was taking place, no fewer than 82 BAME celebrities wrote to six airlines known to have carried out such flights, begging them to reject contracts to carry out any more. It is not known which airline has been engaged to carry out tomorrow’s flight.

Signatories included the author Bernardine Evaristo, model Naomi Campbell, historian David Olusoga and actors Naomie Harris and Thandie Newton, as well as lawyers, broadcasters and NGO chiefs. Leading Windrush campaigners including Michael Braithwaite and Elwaldo Romeo also signed.

And now – better late than never – 70 MPs and peers have also written to Patel, demanding that the flight must be cancelled:

The letter, co-ordinated by Labour’s Clive Lewis, states:

You have previously committed to ‘righting the wrongs’ concerning the Windrush scandal. But eight months after the Windrush Lessons Learned Review was published, the recommendations have still not been fully implemented, it adds.

“Planning a pre-Christmas deportation flight demonstrates that the Home Office has so far failed to learn any lessons.”

The letter also highlights the threat posed by Covid-19 to anybody being forcibly deported:

“The conditions of deportation, such as shackling detainees to ushers for long journeys in potentially cramped conditions, risk exposing people to the virus,” the letter reads, adding that Black people are already at an increased risk of contracting coronavirus.

And there is the more tangible threat of deportees suffering harm or death at the hands of the authorities when they arrive at their destination:

“We know that five UK deportees were killed between 2018 and 2019. Some people in detention have scars from past abuse in Jamaica, or siblings who have been murdered.”

Strangely, Labour leader Keir Starmer has not signed the letter – nor have 12 of his front benchers. They are: Angela Rayner, Anneliese Dodds, Nick Thomas-Symonds, Lisa Nandy, Ed Miliband, Jon Ashworth, Rosena Allin-Khan, David Lammy, Jess Phillips, Rachel Reeves, Wes Streeting and Yvette Cooper. Are we to conclude that these MPs approve of the Tories’ racism?

On the other hand, one of the signatories is former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn:

There is absolutely no doubt that the Conservative government’s racist deportations of people who have every right to remain in the UK should stop. This Writer also has absolutely no doubt that they won’t.

Priti Patel’s record marks her out as a vicious racist who delights in dehumanising and tormenting others.

It is sad to see that she faces no opposition from the so-called Opposition front bench.

But we should remember that the people who have opposed this obscenity are those who have been vilified by the Tory Establishment and their lackeys in the mainstream media. They have lied to us; they are not to be trusted.

And we need to find better ways to oppose them.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Rayner defies EHRC by threatening to suspend ‘thousands’ of Labour members

Angela Rayner (here with her boss Keir Starmer): hypocrites – and very possibly anti-Semites without acknowledging it.

Note to Sienna Rodgers at LabourList: the headline on your report is wrong. It should have read Angela Rayner is a big ol’ hypocrite.

In the article, Rayner states that the findings of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party are not open to debate:

There’s no debating what the EHRC said.

LabourList also reported another statement she made to the Jewish Labour Movement’s conference – insultingly held on the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians – that she and Keir Starmer attended rather than support the Palestine solidarity event:

If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that.

The two comments are mutually exclusive. The report clearly states that

We have concluded that the practice of political interference was unlawful… The Labour Party should… implement clear rules and guidance that prohibit and sanction political interference in the complaints process.

Her threat to suspend thousands – a warning that the leadership is planning to purge the party of anybody who dissents against its dictatorship – is itself political interference in the process, as it is an attempt to suppress complaints by members against the actions of the leadership of which she is a member. Therefore she is not only debating the legitimacy of the EHRC’s finding; she is ignoring it altogether.

Remember that this is all about the attack on Jeremy Corbyn by Keir Starmer, party general secretary David Evans, and others at the very top of the Labour leadership including Rayner herself, despite the fact that she once said this:

She went from that position to saying that the truth is “unacceptable”:

She is a hypocrite. She has revealed her true colours. She cannot be trusted. She should be ejected from her position of power.

This will be hard because the Labour Party leadership has a well-known track record of rejecting any complaints against its own members and friends, no matter how well-justified they may be.

But we have all seen this behaviour and we are talking about it:

And organisations that formerly wanted Rayner’s support and endorsement are now rejecting her. To be honest, I don’t know if the following tweet was connected with what she said on LabourList, but I anticipate that this is the soft footfall that precedes a stampede:

Oh, and by the way, Labour is not completely irredeemable. Members across the UK did come out in support of Palestine, unlike their treacherous leader and deputy leader. Here’s a tweet from Wales:

Let’s remember that Rayner – and her vile boss Starmer – are saying that they are taking all this action against the good members of their own party because of hurt, harm and injury done to Jewish people in the UK.

What about the harm done to Jewish people who agree with the viewpoint Rayner, Starmer and the others are attacking?

That’s right. These Jews feel that Rayner, Starmer and the others are attacking them. And Rayner, Starmer et al treat them as though they don’t even exist.

Isn’t that attitude a little… you know… anti-Semitic?

Finally, Labour’s deplorable leaders need to acknowledge that this confrontation between them and party members arose because the EHRC found that the leadership had been interfering in investigations of anti-Semitism complaints in order to make it seem that there were more anti-Semites in the party than was the case.

A court found only last week that the process of investigating accusations against This Writer – me, Mike Sivier – was perverted in order to produce a false finding against me.

Labour failed to follow its own investigation procedure. It did not adequately inform me of the nature of the allegations against me (in fact, the party changed those claims as it went on, in order to ‘fix’ the result), and a party officer leaked false claims about me – including a lie that I was a Holocaust denier – to The Sunday Times (which subsequently had to publish a lengthy correction).

And I’m not the only one who has suffered this treatment. The EHRC report found that, of the investigations it examined, no fewer than 60 per cent suffered from bias calculated to discriminate against the respondent – against the person accused of anti-Semitism.

Where are the apologies for lying and smearing us? I still receive abusive messages accusing me of anti-Semitism, even now. It may be that I will continue receiving them for the rest of my life. The Labour Party is to blame for that. Where is the contrition? Where is the apology for that?

Starmer lied over Corbyn, the EHRC and anti-Semitism. Shouldn’t he quit as Labour leader now?

Apt: Keir Starmer reckons he was named after original Labour leader Hardie – but can anyone doubt that his illustrious forerunner might have said these words, if shown how Starmer has degraded the party Hardie helped to found?

Alex Nunns used to be Jeremy Corbyn’s speech writer, so it is true that he has a stake in this debate.

But his analysis of Keir Starmer’s role in the decision to suspend Corbyn’s Labour Party membership – a much larger role than the current Labour leader wanted to admit and one that puts him in breach of EHRC recommendations he promised to uphold – is carried out in such a way as to foil all critics.

At first he said general secretary David Evans took the action, but then added “I’m not going to shy away from difficult decisions”, and “we made a very difficult decision”. He shouldn’t have been anywhere near it but clearly he was.

Worse follows:

The above is self-explanatory. On the day he said he would honour the recommendations of the EHRC report, Starmer contradicted one – and a major one at that.

It was going to look like a political decision, no matter what. Notice of investigations – let alone suspensions – should only ever be issued after the Labour Party has received a complaint about a party member. Who complained about Corbyn?

As far as anybody can tell, nobody did. And if it was made by the general secretary – whether in consultation with the party leader or not…

Then there’s the issue of whether the Governance and Legal Unit (GLU) – the party employees who investigate complaints against members – is subject to political interference itself.

There was considerable controversy when it was alleged that someone was appointed to the GLU in a political appointment by Jeremy Corbyn – but it seems Starmer has done the same:

Starmer has gone on to lie – on television – about the statement made by Jeremy Corbyn that led to his suspension:

So Starmer lied about Corbyn; he has been misrepresenting what Corbyn said in an attempt to make his words seem worse than they were.

Starmer also lied about the EHRC report; he either participated in or oversaw political interference when the report demanded an end to it, and he appears to have participated in unlawful indirect discrimination against Corbyn.

We already know that the current Labour leadership is lying about anti-Semitism; Angela Rayner’s words in an interview yesterday show that neither she, nor Starmer, nor Evans (it seems) have any interest in whether an allegation of anti-Semitism is accurate. They say if a statement causes “hurt” or “distress”, that is enough. It isn’tAnybody can say a comment caused them distress and it won’t matter a fig. The only way to judge these allegations is against a set of clear definitions – such as the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism that Labour has adopted and that Corbyn did not break anywhere in his statement.

Otherwise, a high-profile suspension like Corbyn’s may lead to counter-allegations of libel by the Labour  Party (as embodied in its general secretary, Evans).

These are big lies, for which Starmer has no defence.

He has deliberately tried to mislead party members and the general public.

In This Writer’s opinion, that makes him unfit to lead the Labour Party.

(If I’m honest, it makes him unfit to be a member of the Labour Party).

He needs to go – now. And if he won’t go willingly, he should be removed. Let’s see a call for a Vote Of ‘No Confidence’ from the membership. Who’ll table it?

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If political interference in anti-Semitism complaints is wrong, why was Chris Williamson expelled from Labour?

Chris Williamson: he was dismissed from the Labour Party after political interference – in extremely bad faith – by right-wing Labour MPs, some of whom are now among Keir Starmer’s chief lieutenants. Shouldn’t THEY now be suspended and investigated?

I called it at the time.

Last year, Chris Williamson’s Labour Party membership was suspended amid false allegations of anti-Semitism. There was an investigation, the charge was upheld (wrongly, in my view) and he was punished for it with a formal warning.

Then a roll-call of the usual suspects – bad-faith Labour MPs acting on an agenda (in my opinion), along with that fake charity the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and others – demanded his re-suspension after the details were leaked to the press. They had their way and he was dismissed from the party.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report, published yesterday – ruling that there was no “institutional antisemitism” in the Labour Party during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – has condemned political interference of exactly this kind.

Referring to the Williamson case, the EHRC report points out that Williamson “successfully challenged the decision to reopen the complaint in the High Court. The court found that: ‘it is not … difficult to infer that the true reason for the decision in this case was that members were influenced by the ferocity of the outcry following the June decision … the NEC should decide cases fairly and impartially in accordance with the rules and evidence; and not be influenced by how its decisions are seen by others. Internal and press reaction to a decision are not of themselves proper grounds for reopening a case that was not otherwise procedurally unfair or obviously wrong.”

The EHRC does not make any recommendations that could lead to those responsible for the reopening of the Williamson case to be penalised.

But it does call for the current leadership to implement clear rules and guidance that prohibit and sanction political interference in the complaints process, and to acknowledge the effect that political interference has had on the handling of antisemitism complaints.

It occurs to This Writer that such an acknowledgement should include punishment of those responsible in the Chris Williamson fiasco – for bringing the party into disrepute in the way they did.

They are [shadow ministers in bold]: Tom Watson, Holly Lynch, Stella Creasy, Anna Turley, Rosie Duffield, Louise Ellman, Ruth Smeeth, Jenny Chapman, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Stephen Doughty, Karin Smyth, Baroness Thornton, Lord McNicol, Baroness Morgan of Huyton, Lord Turnberg, Gloria de Piero, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, Yvette Cooper, Baroness Massey of Darwen, Baroness Kingsmill, Lord Soley, Madeleine Moon, Kate Green, Ruth Cadbury, Owen Smith, Seema Malhotra, Liz Kendall, Chris Matheson, Margaret Hodge, Stephen Kinnock, Jeff Smith, Chris Bryant, Wes Streeting, Julie Elliott, Lord Levy, Lord Knight of Weymouth, Lord Harris of Haringey, Ali McGovern, James Frith, Lucy Powell, Bridget Phillipson, Pat McFadden, Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall, Lord Triesman, Lord Dubs, Ian Murray, Darren Jones, Alex Sobel, Karen Buck, Neil Coyle, Lord Mandelson, Anna McMorrin, Chi Onwurah, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Lord Willie Bach, Susan Elan Jones, Ged Killen, Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale, Lord Livermore, Kevin Barron, Dan Jarvis, Jess Phillips, Martin Whitfield, Rachel Reeves, Peter Kyle, Baroness Armstrong of Hilltop, Lord Young of Norwood Green, Ellie Reeves, Baroness Maggie Jones, Rushanara Ali, Debbie Abrahams, Daniel Zeichner, Lilian Greenwood, Graham Jones, Toby Perkins, Lord George Robertson, Baroness Mary Goudie, Barry Sheerman, Tonia Antoniazzi, Ian Lucas, Lord George Foulkes, Lord Wood of Anfield, Cat McKinnell, Ben Bradshaw, Lord Haskell, Lisa Nandy, Gareth Thomas, Lord Brooke, Sharon Hodgson, and Lord Kennedy of Southwark.

Will Starmer take appropriate action?

Or will he merely provide further proof of his own unfitness to be Labour leader?

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Starmer’s meltdown: he suspends Corbyn and splits the Labour Party

Out in the dark: Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party membership has been suspended – illegally and undemocratically. Labour members are quitting in their thousands.

It doesn’t matter which way you cut it, Keir Starmer has sabotaged the Labour Party.

Overreacting after Jeremy Corbyn responded to the EHRC report on allegations of “institutional anti-Semitism” in the party, he has acted undemocratically and illegally – and seriously jeopardised Labour’s electability.

The report itself was entirely reasonable. It didn’t find the “institutional anti-Semitism” that was claimed, said it could only show two occasions when “agents” for whom the party was responsible displayed anti-Semitism, 23 cases when the leader’s office showed “political interference” in anti-Semitism complaints – often prejudiced against the accused, rather than against Jews, and 42 cases when the complaints process discriminated against the accused, rather than against Jews (out of 70 in both sets of cases).

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader at the time, responded by saying the report’s recommendations should be implemented immediately. He would; he had been trying to improve the system since he first became aware that it was a shambles, back in 2016 – with some success from 2018 when he was able to replace an unsympathetic general secretary with one who supported his leadership.

He also said the scale of the problem was dramatically overstated for political reasons by opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.

And Keir Starmer, the current party leader, flipped his lid.

In his own response he said anybody who claimed complaints of anti-Semitism against Labour were “exaggerated” has “no place in the party”. Shortly afterwards, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party membership was suspended.

Starmer backed away from this act, leaving his new general secretary, David Evans, to justify it.

He could not. He provided no evidence that Corbyn had broken any Labour Party rules and could not show that Corbyn had said anything that was not – in fact – accurate.

The EHRC report corroborates Corbyn’s claims – and also shows that his right to make them is enshrined in law – in his human right to free speech.

And the decision is hypocritical. The report condemned political intervention in complaint cases – even to speed them up – but the decision to suspend Corbyn’s membership is a clear intervention by the office of the Leader Of The Opposition (LOTO).

I noted that Starmer has today tried to justify Corbyn’s suspension, telling the BBC’s Today programme ,”I made it clear the Labour Party I lead will not tolerate anti-Semitism, neither will it tolerate the argument that denies or minimises anti-Semitism in the Labour Party on the basis that it’s exaggerated or a factional row.”

This is only going to make it worse because it is a lie. Corbyn didn’t deny or minimise anti-Semitism on that basis. His claim that is was exaggerated is true, as shown by the EHRC report. And he didn’t say it was a factional row – just that “opponents” used to to cause problems – and again this is accurate.

I am not the only person clever enough to see this.

But you are unlikely to hear much in complaint from Labour Party members – because the party leadership has gagged them. Communications from Labour HQ have made it clear that anybody taking to the social media – or any other media – to criticise Starmer’s behaviour will face punishment themselves.

Starmer’s people even set up a dedicated fast-track complaints system to ensure that his supporters could report offenders quickly – again in contradiction of the EHRC report’s findings, which demanded a single, simple process for everyone.

I thought he said he accepted the report in its entirety and would implement its recommendations fully? It seems this was a lie.

The result? Labour Party members up and down the country have been cancelling their Direct Debits and quitting – despite the efforts of many more level heads to encourage them to stay and exert influence within the organisation, for sanity.

My own view was that, as Corbyn has not been expelled yet, and has himself appealed for people to sit tight until the situation can be resolved “amicably”, people who still enjoy the privilege of party membership – rather than having been thrown out under false pretences like myself – should stay and fight his corner for him.

It seems likely that Starmer will expel him eventually. Any other choice now will make him look weak.

But this will split the Labour Party.

People are leaving because Starmer has shown he is unfit to lead the party, let alone the country.

His decision to suspend Corbyn was undemocratic and illegal. He overrode party rules and the rule of law to do it. And he is a lawyer, remember.

How can any responsible voter allow such a man a chance to run a government and disregard the law there as well?

I can see us entering a period when Labour will be hindered either by a plethora of left-wing candidates standing in elections against it – splitting the Left vote and allowing the Conservatives in to more constituencies, or by a new left-wing party standing against it.

The latter would be This Writer’s preferred choice as it may drag Labour back towards its proper place in politics – in the same way that the existence of UKIP pulled the Conservative Party towards fascism and illegality.

Whatever the future holds, it seems clear that Starmer has sabotaged Labour’s electoral chances for the next few years, no matter what.

Was this what he wanted?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Starmer perverts findings of #EHRC report on #Labourantisemitism in his initial response

Keir Starmer: his response to the EHRC report on Labour anti-Semitism is a betrayal of party members and former party members who were falsely accused.

Keir Starmer: what a piece of work!

Responding to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report that found Labour was not guilty of “institutional anti-Semitism” – and to Jeremy Corbyn’s reaction to it, Starmer said that anybody who claimed complaints of anti-Semitism against Labour were “exaggerated” has “no place in the party”.

But the fact that complaints were exaggerated is recorded in the EHRC report.

It shows that the party was unfair to the respondent – the person complained about – in 42 of the 70 cases that it investigated.

This indicates that the extent of anti-Semitism in Labour was inflated by people making false accusations – and that Labour Party officers helped perpetuate this myth.

This Writer was among those who bore the brunt of this discrimination. I was expelled from the party under false pretences and had to go to court to point this out. The verdict in my case against the party for breach of contract will be announced on November 24.

In the meantime, I await an announcement of action against those party officers who used the complaints process to attack innocent members.

I fear I may be waiting for a long time.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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EHRC says Labour’s corrupt complaints system discriminated heavily – against people ACCUSED of anti-Semitism

 

The Labour Party discriminated against people who had been accused of anti-Semitism in a majority of its investigations, the Equality and Human Rights Commission found.

The report states: “Overall, we identified concerns about fairness to the respondent in 42 of the 70 sample files.” That’s 60 per cent of the cases the EHRC investigated.

Part 6 of the report covers “Serious failings in the antisemitism complaints handling system” – and This Writer can confirm the validity of its findings because I suffered many (if not all) of them while Labour was investigating – if we can call it that – a complaint against me.

To me, these findings indicate not only that the accusations against me were false but that the process of investigation was perverted in order to generate a false finding against me.

The report states that “the Labour Party has failed to publish a clear and comprehensive complaints or disciplinary policy or procedure” – now, in 2020 – despite the fact that “this failing was identified by the Chakrabarti report in 2016”.

It continues: “The Labour Party’s Rule Book has a high-level section on disciplinary measures by the National Executive Committee (NEC), and a more detailed appendix of procedural guidelines in disciplinary cases before the National Constitutional Committee (NCC). However, it does not include any procedural guidelines or information on antisemitism complaint handling. For example, there is no information on the different procedural stages of an antisemitism complaint.”

This is what I found when building my court case against the party for breach of contract (I said it had broken its own rules in the investigation against me): to find the procedures that should have been followed at the time of my investigation (but weren’t) I had to go to a document published online by the Huffington Post, in a report on how they were to be changed.

The EHRC report goes on to discuss a “lack of clear and fair process for respondents”. It states: “In 2017, the NEC Organisational Committee identified principles for disciplinary processes. This included that anyone accused of a disciplinary breach should be made aware of the nature of that breach in a ‘timely fashion’, and that NEC guidance notes should be drafted to ‘advise any persons under investigation of their rights and responsibilities’.”

I can assure you that this did not happen to me. The letter of suspension I received from Sam Matthews did not mention any rights that I may have had in the matter, and the only reference to the nature of the breach was the fact that the Campaign Against Antisemitism had published an article accusing me of anti-Semitism. I was never told the nature of the actual charges against me during the course of the investigation that took place between May 2017 and January 2018. When I finally got to see them in July that year – in the run-up to my hearing before the National Constitutional Committee – none of the claims in the CAA article were mentioned at all.

The report then goes into specifics:

“Our analysis of the complaint sample showed that:

• Some letters of administrative suspension failed to identify the underlying
allegations, or did so in a vague manner.

I have already demonstrated that this was true in my case.

• The system for explaining allegations to respondents and giving them an
opportunity to respond was not always effective.

After I was advised that my party membership had been suspended in May 2017, I received no contact from the Labour Party until October that year, when I was invited to an interview with an investigating officer (IO) at Transport House in Cardiff. I was not given any advance information about the allegations he was going to discuss and in the interview itself he did not explain what the allegations were. I was expected to respond “off the cuff”, rather than being given an opportunity to prepare a detailed defence with reference to the appropriate material.

• Some complaint files did not hold the identity of the complainant.

• Respondents were not told the identity of the complainant even when there
was no obvious reason to withhold their identity.

I have never learned the identity of the person who complained about me – despite several requests. Labour’s attitude was that it was of no concern to me.

• Respondents were not generally given an expected timeline for the
investigation

After attending the interview in October 2017, I was left in limbo again until December, or January the following year, when I was told informally that my case would be heard by the NEC at its next meeting. I received no official communication from Labour about it.

The next section discusses “inconsistent application of administrative suspensions” and states:

In our complaint sample we saw that:

• Suspension or removing a suspension took place in response to external
pressures.
• There was political interference in suspension decisions (we explain this in
Chapter 5).
• The Labour Party almost never kept written reasons for a decision to
suspend or a decision to lift a suspension.

I cannot comment on this as I have no information on whether my suspension took place due to external pressures or as a result of political interference. I did submit a Subject Access Request to the Labour Party, to find out more about the process, but when I finally received a response two years and two months later, much of it was blacked out.

The next section is headed “poor record-keeping” and stated that “there were documents missing in 62 of our 70 sample files”. I have no idea if documents were missing from mine as Labour has withheld that information from me.

The next section is about a “lack of guidance to the NEC and NCC” but I’ll skip that because it leads directly to something I can discuss: “unclear decision-making by the NEC and NCC”.

“NEC and NCC panels make decisions on suspension and expulsion, among
other matters,” the report states. “Given the potential consequences for the person being accused, we would expect detailed notes of NEC and NCC meetings, and the reasons for their decisions, to be recorded. This is also essential to ensure confidence in the process and to allow monitoring of decisions.

“However, the Labour Party informed us that it does not keep detailed notes of NEC antisemitism panel meetings and the reasons for the panels’ decisions. This is particularly problematic now that the NEC has the power to expel members.”

I was never provided with reasons for the NEC’s initial decision to send me for indoctrination by the Jewish Labour Movement. 

I was told about the discussion by a friendly NEC member – that my case was not on the agenda but was heard in “Any Other Business”, meaning no documentary information was provided to committee members; they were asked to listen to a verbal briefing and then come to a decision. My friendly NEC member did not, as I recall, provide any information on the reasons for their decision.

Note that I was not asked to attend and that, therefore, nothing in my defence was stated in the verbal report. I later saw a version of it (in the bundle of papers I received ahead of the NCC hearing) and it either misquoted me, twisted my words, or both. My understanding is that the only reason I wasn’t expelled on the spot was that several NEC members who were familiar with my work spoke up for me.

“We also note that an appeal to the NCC is on procedural grounds only, and question how someone can use this right properly without knowing the underlying reasoning from the NEC.”

This is curious. After I refused to go for JLM indoctrination, my case was automatically referred to the NCC. I was not informed that it was on procedural grounds; my understanding was that the panel would make its decision on the merits of the case against me and my defence against it. Indeed, I was told: “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”.

The report continues [boldings mine]: “Our analysis of the complaint sample … shows that the NEC and [NCC] do not often give reasons for their decisions; where they are given, they are often not adequate to explain why an allegation is found proven. We found unclear evidence of decision-making by the NEC and NCC in 56 of our 70 sample files.

This is clearly what happened in my case. I have seen no record of any reason given to find the case against me proven. I provided an excellent defence which was overlooked by the NEC and the NCC. Neither body provided even the slightest evidence in support of their decisions.

The next section refers to “inappropriate use of informal communications in the complaints process” and states that “The use of personal communications outside of the formal complaints process undermines confidence in the process, and affects its fairness and effectiveness.

“Because they do not form part of the complaint file process, including record-keeping, informal communications undermine scrutiny of the process.”

It goes on to discuss – and legitimise – theleaked Labour report which “referred to ‘thousands of messages exchanged on … an internal Party messaging service’ and 465,000 words in three WhatsApp groups”.

It notes that Labour did not provide these messages to the EHRC, claiming that ” it would be disproportionate and too onerous to provide this material to us”. I would have thought that would be a decision for the investigator, not the organisation being investigated.

In my own case, I am aware of only one instance of personal communication – and I found it in the files delivered to me after I made my Subject Access Request.

It refers to a complaint I made after Labour MPs Anna Turley and Wes Streeting referred to a Sunday Times report that I was an anti-Semite (using information leaked from the NEC meeting), and discusses the relevance of this matter to my NCC hearing which was still several months away at that time.

It states: “He will rightly say it is impossible to have a fair hearing if his case has been discussed publicly by senior party members, and we won’t be able to apply any sanction without it being subject” and the rest is blacked out. I subsequently received an email response saying that the matter was not a suitable subject for a complaint to the Labour Party and would be taken no further. This discouraged me from mentioning it at my NCC hearing or in the run-up to it. I now consider it to be clear evidence of an attempt to corruptly influence the outcome of that hearing.

The NCC hearing I attended was nothing more than a kangaroo court, as I have stated in previous articles. I was not allowed to conduct my case in the way I had expected, while the tribunal chair, at least, seemed to have made up her mind before the hearing began. When I received the decision notice it was that the charge against me was proved “on balance of probability” – which means nothing.

In summary: The EHRC report contains a wealth of information that the Labour Party did not only discriminate against Jewish people (and/or anybody else) complaining about anti-Semitism; it also discriminated strongly against the majority of people accused of the offence, and I am able to provide proof to support the EHRC claims.

Nobody in the mainstream media is mentioning this; neither is Labour leader Keir Starmer. They are concentrating on the claims that make Jeremy Corbyn look bad and he had nothing to do with any of the transgressions I mention above, apart from attendance at the NEC hearing.

As I mention above, I had to take a case to court in order to seek justice.

The verdict in that case is due on November 24.

What will Starmer say if it comes out in my favour?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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