Tag Archives: incident

The devil’s in the detail of proposed new rule on hate behaviour in the Labour Party

Jewish Labour Movement chair Jeremy Newmark with former Labour leader Tony Blair in 2010 [Image: Facebook].

We all know the Jewish Labour Movement is pushing for a change to Labour Party rules, in a bid to make it harder for members to engage in hate behaviour.

Readers of This Site will know that This Writer has been accused of anti-Semitism, but I don’t see anything wrong with the wording of the motion that will go before the Labour Party conference.

It seems to me that the questionable aspects are all around the enforcement of the rule change – and the Jewish Labour Movement could very easily find itself in a hole of its own devising.

Because hate speech is something of which anybody can be found guilty.

That’s one reason why This Writer believes the JLM should not be given the responsibility of explaining enforcement of this proposed rule change to constituencies (if it is passed), as has been suggested. A single-issue group like the JLM cannot help but show bias towards its own subject matter – and may betray bias against other advocating organisations, such as those in favour of Palestinians (obviously).

The motion as it now stands is not about anti-Semitism, but about hate speech and behaviour, so it would be wrong for concerns about anti-Semitism to predominate. The Labour member who has received the most abuse is Diane Abbott, who is a black woman and not (to my knowledge) Jewish. How would the JLM address the unpleasantness she has experienced?

I’m not sure that a counter-motion with words that explicitly protect “legitimate political discourse” about Israel or Zionism, as I see nothing in the JLM motion to prevent that.

If the JLM were to go on to demand codes of conduct that define criticism of Israel and Zionism as anti-Semitic, then it occurs to me that such a move should be opposed – but at the appropriate time.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism as including criticism of Israel and Zionism is the principle reason people of good conscience cannot accept it, and any move for the Labour Party to adopt it should also be rejected.

That being said, it would be inappropriate to attack the existence of Israel itself. It is the actions of that nation’s government that would be subject to legitimate criticism.

Similarly, with Zionism, there is nothing wrong with the aspiration for Jewish people to have a homeland – but if questionable methods are used to achieve that end, then they should be subject to reasonable criticism.

Any nation or ideology should be subject to criticism under the same criteria.

These are my views, and I believe any rational, impartial onlooker would take the same position.

But I have been accused of anti-Semitism. Comments about JLM leader Jeremy Newmark in the source article suggest possible reasons for that to have happened and I would advise readers – especially those who are likely to be voting at the Labour Conference – to read them carefully.

This issue is not going away, because agitators within the Labour Movement won’t let it.

It is the responsibility of all Labour members to ensure that good sense prevails.

An Israel lobby group in the Labour Party is trying to pass a rules change at the main UK opposition party’s conference, which starts this weekend.

The Jewish Labour Movement – which is closely linked to the Israeli embassy – claims the motion aims to “create a zero-tolerance environment for anti-Semitism” in the party.

But critics charge that the Jewish Labour Movement, which has been at the center of politically motivated exaggerations of anti-Semitism, is merely aiming to make it easier to push Palestine solidarity activists out of the party.

Jewish activists in Labour have told The Electronic Intifada that, although not as bad as the original version, the new rule could still endanger free speech on Israel.

Jewish Voice for Labour is a new group which will launch at the conference.

It rejects attempts by the Jewish Labour Movement “to extend the scope of the term ‘anti-Semitism’ beyond its meaning of hatred and bigotry towards Jews, particularly when directed at activities in solidarity with Palestinians.”

Leah Levane, a Labour activist in South East England, was due to speak at the conference in favor of an alternative that would explicitly protect “words or actions regarding Israel or Zionism that are part of legitimate political discourse.”

Jewish Voice for Labour activists have recommended that conference delegates back the alternative motion.

Jewish Voice for Labour media officer Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi told The Electronic Intifada that even in the watered-down version, “the notion that ‘the mere holding or expression of beliefs and opinions’ should be taken into account when someone is accused of breaching party codes of conduct is alarming.”

Should the rule change be approved, Wimborne-Idrissi said, the Jewish Labour Movement is likely to push for new “codes of conduct” that define criticisms of Israel or Zionism as “anti-Semitism.”

This would be done by incorporating the controversial “IHRA definition” of anti-Semitism, which Israel lobby groups have pushed legislatures and institutions around the world to adopt.

Source: Is the Israel lobby rewriting the Labour Party’s rule book? | The Electronic Intifada


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

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

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

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

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

There’s nothing wrong with the Labour motion on discrimination. The proposals for actioning it are a different matter

[Image: Getty Images.]

This Writer has already indicated that there seems to be nothing wrong with the proposed Labour Party rule change regarding hate incidents. As someone who has been accused (maliciously) of involvement in such behaviour, I think I might have a stake in this.

Here is a copy of the proposed rule change. It’s a hefty wedge of text but it is worth wading through it. See if you can find anyting in principle wrong with it:

“No member of the party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the party. The NEC shall take account of any codes of conduct currently in force and shall regard any incident which in their view might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age, disability, gender reassignment or identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation as conduct prejudicial to the party; these shall include but not be limited to incidents involving racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia or otherwise racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions, sexual harassment, bullying or any form of intimidation towards another person on the basis of a protected characteristic as determined by the NEC, wherever it occurs, as conduct prejudicial to the party. Any dispute as to whether a member is in breach of the provisions of this sub-clause shall be determined by the NCC in accordance with Chapter 1 Clause IX above and the disciplinary rules and guidelines in Chapter 6 below. Where appropriate the NCC shall have regard to involvement in financial support for the organisation and/or the activities of any organisation declared ineligible for affiliation to the party … or to the candidature of the members in opposition to an officially endorsed Labour Party candidate or the support for such candidature. The NCC shall not have regard to the mere holding or expression of beliefs and opinions except in any instance inconsistent with this party’s aims and values, agreed codes of conduct, or involving prejudice towards any protected characteristics.”

It seems okay – right?

However, it also seems that some of the proposals around it are less sound. Here’s Free Speech on Israela predominantly Jewish campaign group that was set up “to counter the manufactured moral panic over a supposed epidemic of antisemitism in the UK”:

This (organisation) deplores antisemitism. But we believe the press outcry on alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party was designed, in league with Israel’s apologists and censors, to damage the party and its leadership. This does no service to a genuine fight against this hate crime.

“We deplore the proposal to task Jewish Labour Movement with training Labour Party branches and organisations in recognising and defining antisemitism. JLM is an affiliate both of the Israel Labour Party which in office has promoted the building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories and the World Zionist Organization, which has channelled funds to the illegal settlements.

“We oppose censorship of legitimate and valid political action such as Palestine solidarity. We assert our right to speak and organise against the State of Israel’s systemic, historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and violations of human rights and international law, and to support Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against those complicit in these injustices.

“This (organisation) therefore, urges the Labour Party to:

“* Listen to the many Jews who are outraged by the lie that Jews are not safe in the Labour Party; establish an ongoing role in the Party for alternative Jewish Labour voices;
“* Adhere to fair practice and transparency when investigating charges against members;
“* Call to order Labour Party members who bring the Party into disrepute by spreading false allegations about widespread antisemitism in the Party;
“* Urgently lift all suspensions that were based on flimsy or unfounded claims of antisemitism.
“* Strongly oppose
 the press incitement against Muslims, refugees and immigrant workers.”

That seems to put a different complexion on the matter.

Your opinions are requested.


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

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

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

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

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Bus driver subjects disability activist to humiliating discrimination

[Image: Getty.]

I don’t know Paula Peters personally, but everyone in the UK who has a disability should be aware of her activism, fighting government changes to benefit conditionality, fighting injustice against people who are forced to endure pain and prejudice through no fault of their own, and trying to make the UK a country in which life for the disabled is bearable, despite Conservative government policy.

If conditions for people with disabilities is any more bearable today than the Tories intended when they came back into office in 2010, it is because of Ms Peters and people like her.

If you don’t believe me, just type her name into This Site’s search box and read about a few of the initiatives in which she has taken part.

What follows is an example of the way she is treated, because she has a disability. It is deeply unpleasant; it is a stain upon our lives as citizens of the UK today.

Why do we sit quietly and tolerate this abuse?

It has taken a week for me to write this as was too upset to put this into words. I want to share this with you all now.

This is an experience I had on the R3 bus last wednesday morning 16th August 2017 at 10.40 am.

I had chaos with me. I call my tri rollerator walker Chaos. I give names to my mobility equipment, it helps me deal with the fact I need the equipment as part of my every day life.

I need to use chaos as unsteady on my feet due to POTS and lots of other health issues. Its not much fun falling over with no warning.

Chaos has a seat so I can sit down when i need to rest. I can fold it up when required to do so.

I often take chaos into the wheelchair space when no wheelchair user is using the space a) to keep the walk way free so other passengers can get to the back of the bus and b) more room for me to get in and out of the bus easily and somewhere for me to sit down. I would move for a wheelchair user if required to do so. I never get offered a seat in priority seating or one easy for me to access. I have often experienced abuse on the bus when asked, which has left me distressed. There have been times I have been threatened with physical violence, called a scrounger, fraudster and worse. I have to say not one person on the bus came to my aid on those occasions.

Anyway, last week experience on the R3. I waited for the bus to arrive at my local stop. Doors opened, driver saw my walker and immediately looked behind her at the wheelchair space where a pram was already parked to see if i could get in. There was plenty of room for me, but could see the driver was not happy about me boarding the bus and tutted loudly when I did so. As I went past her to access the space I got fucking disabled people should not be allowed on any bus.

I ignored it, not the first time I have had that to be honest, and before bus drivers on my wall have a go at me, not every bus driver is like this, and I have met many who are lovely people go the extra mile and i see first hand the abuse they get from passengers every day and feel for many of them.

So I get in the wheelchair space. I sit on my tri rollerator and another pram user comes on behind me and immediately goes into wheelchair space. I said to driver there is a pram already here and myself. There was not room to swing a cat. I get told aggressively by driver the space is for wheelchairs and I can move fold up my tri rollerator and sit on a seat. Well there were no seats for me to sit in where i had access to fold up chaos and keep the tri rollerator out of the way and I could not access the back of the bus.

Driver then thought I was being awkward and decided to switch off her engine. I took my headphones out of my ears and said to her what is the problem? Got told to move. I said I have no where to move to and as wheelchair user is not on the bus i am in the right space for my mobility equipment.

I then get threatened to be removed from the bus! By the driver! I told her she was discriminating against me and not taking my access requirements into account and putting my safety at risk. I then get screamed at which triggers my anxiety and has me on the verge of tears.

I get out my notebook to make a note of the date and the time and get the bus driver’s number located at door. MB 321 a metrobus bus. So time 10.40 am 16th August 2017 Wednesday 2017 in case anyone here thinks I am making this story up which I am not. I have a friend of mine who can back up this story who saw me in deep distress within two minutes getting of the busl later on as I was shaking like a jelly and in tears.

Because I got out my notebook to make a note of the time and date, I then get abuse from the passengers and accused of being rude to the driver. I can assure you now I was not, but the driver screamed at me and I got sworn at by three passengers.

I am sick and tired of having a daily battle to access public transport. Sick and tired of being looked at like I am a fraudster and I don’t need need a mobility aid. Well, people want to try living with what I have see the pain I am in on a daily basis with RA, Fibro POTS and the balance problems I experience on an hourly basis, and the severe and enduring mental health issues I have on top of all of that.

I often feel anxious leaving the house, mainly because I do not feel safe when leaving the house because a I can fall and hurt myself, but mainly because of people’s appalling attitudes towards disabled people like myself.

I did not ask for my disability. No one does. All I want to do is live my life, access services and public transport and go about my way. Life is made all that much harder because of incidents like this.

Needless to say I have not used the local bus again. I do not feel safe to do and it has ramped my anxiety up.

To the bus company, while you have many good drivers, you also have ones who need to seriously have updated disability equality and awareness training and one driver’s bad attitude gives the company a bad name.

Anyone can become disabled. Anyone. It can happen to the bus driver. In the world we are living in now and the high rate of stress, she could have a break down. No one is immune from that.

I am scared to complain due to retribution. I took a risk to write this because I am frightened of a back lash. But, if I do not write and share my experiences and show just how bad things are getting how can i encourage anyone else to.

I feel deeply sad, disappointed by people’s attitudes, but most of all scared. It is getting to the stage due to the reheotric, in large part due to the government propaganda in our media that has caused such huge divisions in society that has seen an implosion of hate crime towards disabled people and society thinking we deserve to be treated in this way.

I have rights, I am a human being and I will not stay silent on incidents such as this any longer.

I am glad Ms Peters had the presence of mind to note the details of the bus, the date and time – and I have no problem with re-publishing them here. Let the driver be identified; let us see how the bus company handles prejudice by its employees.

Let us all remember: Bus companies are legally obliged to give priority to wheelchair users over mothers with baby buggies after a court ruling in January; that ruling is pointless if they continue discriminating against other people with disabilities.

And if any of us witness the same, I hope we have the courage to stand up and support the disabled person. These ugly incidents happen because good people do nothing, and that makes them complicit.

Don’t be complicit.

Set a better example.


Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

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

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

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

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

This Week in Toryland – your copy-and-keep guide to Conservative news

Welcome to This Week in Toryland! Feel free to copy the guide below and share it anywhere – with a link back to This Site, of course.

This Week in Toryland a regular feature. If you find a piece of news you think should be included, please send it to the Comment column marked “This Week in Toryland”.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Cameron – and the respect he deserves

141027camcollision

Fancy meeting you here! Dean Balboa Farley gets up close and personal with David Cameron while a security guard tries to break up the touching scene.

Do we believe the jogger who collided with David Cameron in Leeds today?

Most of us would relish the chance to make a short, hard, physical comment on the quality of Cameron’s leadership, but Dean Balboa Farley – for it was he – claims it happened by accident.

In fact Mr Farley – who should be reckoned a hero of the people simply for reminding the comedy prime minister what a member of the public looks like – made matters worse for the PM when he recalled the incident, saying he only “brushed into someone”.

It’s fun to compare the different account of this event. Police Chief Inspector Derek Hughes said: ”Around midday, a 28-year-old local man was briefly arrested after he came close to the prime minister’s group who had just left the civic hall in Leeds.

”No threats were made, and after the man’s details were checked, he was de-arrested and allowed on his way.” The police said they believed he had been jogging to a nearby gym.

Mr Farley, on the other hand, wrote on Facebook: “So I’m all over the news as ‘the protester that attacked david cameron in leeds’ yeah if you call brushing into someone while running then getting assault[…]”

Cameron probably deserved no better. He now has a personal collision to add to the battering he is taking from the public over the state of the English NHS and the failures of his European adventures.

Considering the way he has used his premiership, not to improve the nation’s finances and sort out any imagined mess caused by the previous administration but to advance the business interests of the Conservative Party and its backers, with no concern about the consequences for the State he was supposed to be defending, he probably deserved much worse.

Perhaps next time someone could engineer it so that a piano falls on him?

So let’s be honest – do we really believe that Mr Farley had so little spatial awareness that he didn’t know he was on a collision course with the face most Vox Political readers want to slap?

If he lived up to the fictional character who shares his middle name* – and considering he was on his way to the gym, this seems possible – then spatial awareness should be one of his skills!

So let’s not bother whether it’s true or not; let’s all just enjoy the fact that one person managed to do what we’ve all envisioned. Not only did he give Cameron a hiding…

He also got away with it.

*Rocky. The one who’s nothing to do with Bullwinkle.