Tag Archives: Jennie Formby

Corbyn’s ‘worst meeting as leader’? No – just biased reporting from the Graun

Cosy at the top: Concerns raised by MPs at Monday’s Parliamentary Labour Party meeting have no substance and should not bother either Jennie Formby or Jeremy Corbyn – but the fact that they are being allowed to discuss these matters openly, in violation of party rules, lays open the double-standard that may make the party unelectable.

On the face of it, it looked bad.

“Labour MPs tore into Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit strategy at a party meeting on Monday night,” according to The Guardian.

The same report went on to say: “The parliamentary Labour party (PLP) meeting came amid anger about how Corbyn’s office had handled harassment complaints against two senior Labour figures, as well as an investigation into Labour antisemitism by the equalities watchdog.”

But it turns out this is nothing more than hyperbole from the paper that misrepresented Labour’s new commitment that every UK citizen should have a chance to succeed as “Corbyn to drop social mobility”.

In fact, it was reasonable for MPs to want to re-examine Labour’s Brexit policy after large falls in voter share at the European Parliament election and the Peterborough by-election.

Reading between the lines, the regrettable aspect of the report is that it shows no willingness on the party of Jeremy Corbyn’s critics to accept that they are at least partly responsible for the confusion over Labour’s position.

MPs – and indeed shadow cabinet members – who know a divided party cannot win elections went into the most recent campaigns spouting any old nonsense that came into their heads, rather than the official party line.

Where were their apologies?

This ties in with Mr Corbyn’s plea for MPs not to publicly attack party staff or shadow cabinet members, which was knocked by Lloyd Russell-Moyle at the meeting, to his shame.

Let us be clear: MPs pleading for the right to attack other Labour members is a demand for rights that rank-and-file party members don’t have.

The reason This Writer was expelled from Labour wasn’t the false charges of anti-Semitism that were made about me – it was the fact that I had discussed in public the failures of the party machine to correctly address the issue – even though these were matters of public knowledge and it was my job as a journalist to report on them.

(From this it should be clear that the party’s National Constitutional Committee was demanding that Labour-supporting journalists must show a bias towards the party that conflicts with their duty to report facts. This would, of course, prevent any honourable journalist from being a party member or supporting it. Perhaps NCC boss Maggie Cosins didn’t think of that.)

It was clear that, as a rank-and-file Labour member, I was expelled for discussing internal party issues in public – but that is exactly the privilege Mr Russell-Moyle was demanding at Monday’s meeting.

That is not acceptable. There must be a single rule for all party members, no matter how high in the party hierarchy they have risen.

Steering this back to Brexit, it is clear that – had MPs honoured the obligation to support party policy, rather than criticise it or contradict it – Labour could have won a far larger voter share.

And Labour’s policy really isn’t that hard to understand.

As long as we have a Conservative government that is determined to honour what is now widely accepted as a fatally-flawed plebiscite (consider the recent Swiss decision to invalidate a referendum result after it was decided voters had received false information), Brexit is going to happen.

Labour’s policy is to limit the amount of harm this will cause to the general public.

This policy is to be carried out initially by the measures available to the party in Parliament, as laid out by Mr Corbyn many times in the past.

It would also be carried out in policies which address the effect that Brexit would have on the lives of UK citizens – tackling the so-called “burning injustices” that Theresa May said she would solve, back in 2016, about which she then did exactly nothing.

It’s actually a winning combination, if only the party blabbermouths would shut up and think for a moment.

Of course, the real solution to Tory Brexit is a general election and a Labour government, but that is a dream as long as the same party blabbermouths continue to preach division. And they will.

As for the issues around harassment and anti-Semitism: If complaints have been made, then these matters are under investigation and it is not only inappropriate but itself a disciplinary matter if MPs discuss them in public.

So the words allegedly said by Jess Phillips to Jeremy Corbyn – “If you abuse women in the Labour party and they’re a friend of yours, they get away with it” – should result in her suspension from the party while her own transgression is investigated, as it seems she is attempting trial-by-media.

But of course, the Labour leadership won’t take any such action, because there really is a two-tier system in place and Ms Phillips is on the level that need fear no disciplinary action, no matter what she does.

This is the matter for concern – not the whinges of a few out-of-order MPs.

Mr Corbyn has been told about it. Labour general secretary Jennie Formby has been told. So have leading members of the NCC.

The general public see that.

And perhaps that hypocritical double-standard is what will keep Labour out of office, more than anything else.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn lambasted by Labour MPs in ‘worst meeting as leader’ | Politics | The Guardian

Labour’s brand of justice: The disturbing implications behind Formby’s anti-Semitism figures

Witch-hunt: Jennie Formby’s figures on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party make about as much sense as some of the accusations against innocent party members.

Why are people welcoming the diabolical figures on Labour anti-Semitism provided to Labour MPs by Jennie Formby a week after she said she doesn’t answer to those people?

It seems to this victim of Labour’s policy on anti-Semitism that the most telling information lies in what Ms Formby did not report.

For example:

Her report refers to cases between April 2018 and January this year; why not to all cases, including the backlog left behind by former general secretary Ian McNicol? That’s what the Parliamentary Labour Party’s motion was about, after all – “a backlog of antisemitism cases”.

She says that during the period to which she refers, 211 party members were issued with a “Notice of Investigation” and 96 had their membership suspended immediately, but only 96 cases have been decided by the NEC disputes panel(s). What is happening with the other 211, considering Ms Formby said last week that the backlog of cases had been cleared?

Of the 96, six members’ cases were referred “for further investigation”. So these cases may be added to the uncleared backlog.

A further 42 were referred to the National Constitutional Committee, which has made only 18 decisions. This means another 24 cases may be added to the number outstanding.

That makes a total of 241 cases not cleared, out of 673 accusations, roughly one-third of the total. That’s a considerable number.

But Ms Formby said the backlog had been cleared: “Reforms have enabled us to clear all of the previously outstanding antisemitism cases from the investigation and disputes panel stages of the process.”

Oh, but when she referred to the backlog of cases, she meant those left behind by the previous general secretary Iain McNicol, didn’t she?

Was Marc Wadsworth’s case included among the expulsions listed here? He was expelled in April last year, after all.

What about my own case, from November?

Both were part of the backlog left behind by Mr McNicol. If they were part of Ms Formby’s statistics, then her figures are inaccurate.

Both expulsions were also based on lies.

And both form the basis of potential court action against the Labour Party, meaning that – if they are included among the expulsions listed by Ms Formby – she was doubly wrong to do so; the outcome of these cases remains in doubt and it is misleading not to mention this.

For that matter, why not apply the questions around my case to all the others? In how many of them were Labour’s own rules on anti-Semitism actually honoured?

For example, in my case an incident in which I referred – entirely correctly – to a conspiracy involving former Israeli Embassy officer Shai Masot was deliberately misrepresented as perpetuating the anti-Semitic stereotype of the “global Jewish conspiracy”.

I refuted the claim thoroughly in my statement of defence to the NCC panel that heard my case, and no attempt was made to suggest that my argument was not persuasive.

The NCC panel simply ignored all the evidence and decided to call me guilty anyway.

Is that Labour Party justice?

Even the cases that were dismissed have left questions to be answered.

Ms Formby’s report says they were dismissed because there was not “sufficient evidence of a breach of party rules to proceed with an investigation”.

That looks like an attempt to dodge having to say that any of these members were falsely accused.

But we live in times when many of us believe that a large number of members have been falsely accused, so it is wrong of Ms Formby to sidestep that question.

Furthermore, if any have in fact been falsely accused, then who were the accusers, and what action has been taken against them?

Or has Ms Formby done nothing at all about such liars?

No doubt many among the Parliamentary Labour Party, for whom she wrote her report, would welcome an announcement that she has overlooked such heinous crimes against the innocent.

But I wonder what the membership at large as to say about it?


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Bullies in the Labour Party… are those who lied about Wavertree CLP’s ‘no confidence’ votes on Berger

Luciana Berger: “No confidence” motions against her were about her attempts to undermine the Labour leadership. Why is the Labour leadership trying to defend her?

Labour’s leadership shot itself in the foot yet again at the end of a disastrous week for relations between the executive and rank-and-file members.

Earlier in the week, general secretary Jennie Formby’s refusal to suspend Wes Streeting and investigate his behaviour after he launched a despicable attack on a 70-year-old female member, using faked evidence and publicising her true identity which she keeps hidden, put her in hot water – with members telling her in no uncertain terms that the complaints system was not fit for purpose, prioritising representatives over the people who put them there.

Then Wavertree CLP cancelled two ‘no confidence’ votes about the behaviour of that constituency’s MP, Luciana Berger. The first was withdrawn by its proposer, and the second by the CLP itself after it emerged that the member proposing the motion will be out of the UK on the day planned for the debate. This Writer’s understanding is that both motions referred to the actions of the MP, whose false claims of anti-Semitism within the party have caused deep offence.

Yet some within the party hierarchy have made reference to abuse that the MP receives (Ms Formby), to the fact that she is eight months pregnant (Harriet Harman – and what does that have to do with anything?)…

… and to racism/anti-Semitism within the CLP (Tom Watson – who should know that it has a large Jewish contingent and is chaired by a Jewish person; Wes Streeting (again) – who accused the people of Liverpool of being anti-Semitic en masse in yet another ill-advised tweet;

https://twitter.com/LabLeftVoice/status/1094269171867754496

…and Chuka Umunna).

The attempted bullying by the members named above incensed party members across the UK – many of whom are now threatening to burn their membership cards in protest at what they see as clearly prejudicial behaviour – in favour of MPs who are spreading lies, and against members who are the victims of those lies.

Mr Watson’s comments in particular – as a non-Jew potentially implying the “wrong kind of Jew” argument against Jewish party members – disgraced the Labour Party. Wavertree CLP’s executive has released a statement to “strongly reject the media inaccuracies and the accusations of political bullying, for simply adhering to Party rules and doing our jobs” and asserting that “the suggestion that the CLP Executive is in any way a party to bullying and antisemitism is a false and slanderous accusation”.

And Mr Streeting’s tweet – following Ms Formby’s call for no more “trial by Twitter”, this indicates he believes she was lecturing rank-and-file members, not him – will undoubtedly have led to more calls for his Labour membership to be suspended and an investigation into his behaviour held. See this article for further details.

Ordinary Labour Party members took offence at the glib way so-called leaders of the party tried to pretend that the “no confidence” motion was an attack on Ms Berger as a person, rather than as a representative of the party. Ms Formby came in for particularly strong criticism. See:

Donahue Rogers tweeted: “Gen Sec should not be voicing an opinion about this – especially as you’re asking members to show solidarity with someone who refuses to show support for a Labour government and also refuses to dismiss rumours that she is about to join another party

Here’s the ever-controversial George Galloway – with an opinion that, for once, wasn’t:

It was an error of judgement, especially as it allowed party members to compare support for an MP who consistently undermines her party with the lack of it for the MP who has endured more abuse than all the others put together. As “Audrey” put it: “I didn’t see that many ppl falling over each other publicly to defend Diane when she is abused permanently even by tv journos. Guess some ppl are just not worth standing in solidarity with…Planning to do something about Watson or aren’t the members worthy of solidarity either?”

Albert Trigg also took issue with Ms Formby’s claim that party members should stand in solidarity with Ms Berger: “‘Solidarity’? The same kind of solidarity she shows Corbyn and the membership? She could not even bring herself to say she wanted a Corbyn Government. Abuse is wrong but it works both ways. False accusations of racism from Labour MPs is not on.”

Consider these:

Carla Marx added: “More disappointing responses from our leaders. This isn’t enough from Jennie. The online abuse has nothing to with Wavertree activists – they have a perfect right to hold their MP to account for her signal lack of respect to them and the Party she’s meant to represent.”

Some suggested that the Labour leadership had lost focus and needed to concentrate on the real troublemakers in the party:

https://twitter.com/reperioverum/status/1094279887957970944

Ms Berger has already called for a “no confidence” vote in the Wavertree CLP executive in what can clearly be recognised as a piece of “tit-for-tat” vindictiveness:

Labour’s national leadership has already confirmed that there will be no action taken against Wavertree.

Then came the threats to quit:

Fortunately other members took a more rounded view: “There is a greater need than us,” tweeted Teri_Card007. “The 14 million in poverty, 1.5 million in destitution, 330,000 homeless and the disabled who are dying every month because of Tory policy. We stand together, support each other. Labour is Socialist and there are many of us and they’re the few.”

Here are a few more such opinions:

Perhaps the best reflection of the way Labour members feel came from a former 2017 general election candidate going under the handle @DisIdealist, who wrote: “Where members tend to draw the line, in my experience, is when a representative is seen as both politically unsympathetic and not helping to obtain a Labour government. If an MP ever crosses a line to be seen as actively helping to prevent a Labour government, then members will almost always move against them. If one looks at those Labour MPs who have faced motions of no confidence – and it is a relatively small number – one finds that it is inevitably the case that they not only have serious political differences with the leadership, but they are seen by members as making a Labour government less likely through their public provision of ammunition to the hostile media and the Tories.”

That is the real spirit of Labour. Not the fake-Tory divide-and-rule we’re seeing from the likes of Berger, Harman, Watson, Streeting, Umunna (always the same names, aren’t they?) and (I’m sorry to say) Formby.

But those are just six voices – loud voices, maybe, but not many – among more than half a million. They want to deceive the rest into thinking that their few voices matter more than those of the rest of us – and they hope that their lies will convince people of good conscience to quit the party, so they can have their cosy little club back; never challenging the Tories enough to make a difference, just making sure they take their ministerial salaries home.

To the mass of Labour members: Don’t let them win. Force the issue. Make them defend themselves – and prove that they can’t.


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Formby asked and Labour answered: Reform Labour’s complaints system. But will she listen?

Jennie Formby: Rather than taking a confrontational attitude to rank-and-file Labour members, she should consider the words behind her in this image.

Labour Party general secretary Jennie Formby took to Twitter to appeal for members not to use the social media forum to attack MPs…

… and had her posterior handed to her by scores of people, representing just a fraction of the Party membership that has had enough of a system that favours privileged members of Parliament over the hard-working campaigners who put them there.

She tweeted her appeal after This Site’s article about Wes Streeting’s disgraceful attempt to smear a party member as an anti-Semite by using a doctored image and releasing personal details of the person involved without her permission (doxxing).

That person responded sharply to Ms Formby’s intervention, which has been taken as an attempt to take the heat off Mr Streeting, rather than any commitment to justice:

Asked how she was coping by another Twitter user, she responded: “The attackers are still at it. Someone is keeping a great deal of information on all of us to bring up to accuse us all. Nothing I can do. Wes Streeting is a police matter.”

The “Diane” mentioned above is Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary. @xpressanny believes her to have been bullied by Mr Streeting.

She stated she would put in a request to Labour under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to see who has accessed her data: “No stone will be left unturned. But I am exhausted, stressed & very anxious for my safety and that of my husband. It seems MPs can dump on members & get away with it whilst members can be expelled, rubbished & lied about.”

I can say from my own experience that Labour is unlikely to honour any such request. I put in a Subject Access Request for all information held on me by the Labour Party last year, while I was facing false claims of anti-Semitism (as @xpressanny is now). It was neither acknowledged nor actioned and I am still waiting for the information. The Information Commissioner’s Office stated that I would have to take Labour to court myself if I wanted the information.

Other Twitter users tweeted their support for @xpressanny…

… and their disgust that the Labour Party’s general secretary seems so keen to ignore the issue.

Others – and there were many more than I can list here – pointed out to Ms Formby that they have no faith in Labour’s complaints system (it’s called the Compliance Unit), pointing out that they know it favours elected representatives over subscription-paying members because members had been suspended for offences including enjoying the music of the Foo Fighters, while here we have an elected member who has exposed a 70-year-old woman (@xpressanny is a pensioner) to the threat of harm by faking an accusation of anti-Semitism and releasing personal details that make it possible to track her down.

I tweeted on this myself: “The complaints system is not fit for purpose as it favours MPs over members. The current Streeting issue makes that clear.”

Here‘s Ruth Morgan “Polluting Wes’s Bullshit Mentions”: “Sorry but when we have mp’s like Streeting making scurrilous attacks on paying members then that’s the tipping point. Rather than attacking the government, he and his ilk are more engaged in falsifying smears against people who are actually doing his job without pay. Remove him!”

Sullycorbynista: “If you did something about it when members complain there would be no need for ‘Trial by Twitter’. Yet when an MP complains it’s dealt with ASAP – one rule for them and another for us members. Pull your socks up and start dealing with these rebellious MP’s attacking members.”

And @milkysue, who tweets under the presumably-satirical handle Turning Point UK Spalding, stated: “We will not stop. As long as u r silent over the despicable behaviour of a labour MP’s treatment to a 70 yr old member, resulting in her being in tears and getting 24/7 insults. Live up to the slogan ‘for the many not the few’.”

These are valid points:

https://twitter.com/LabLeftVoice/status/1093197372937654272

Masmit hit the nail on the head: “All I will say is one rule for members then, and one rule for MPs. It’s time MPs were treated the Same way as members, when they use social media, as a tool to lie and smear, then attack members. Obviously rules are inadequate, because they are out of control.”

This theme was expanded by “brenda105”, who stated: “For the past 3 years we have been called every name under the sun by the so-called centrist, and nothing is ever done to these MPs. we have had enough and its about time they were booted out of the LP.”

Mary S Wheeler made what might seem an obvious point: “You can not change human reaction. If we are attacked by the Wes Streetings and Gapes of the world we will defend ourselves. You’re asking the wrong people.”

She’s right. Mr Streeting had taken to Twitter to make his accusation but it was rank and file Labour members who were being criticised by Ms Formby it seemed. Here are a couple of tweets that put the issue in a nutshell:

“m00 cow”, who published a template complaint letter online, only to have fellow members complain that the Compliance Unit had rejected their concerns out-of-hand, tweeted her frustration:

https://twitter.com/SamanthaPippin7/status/1093147266662187009

Socialist Sam’s point came a little late, in fact, as @xpressanny is understood to have contacted the police already.

One positive aspect of this is that Ms Formby has at last found an issue that concerns party members more than the fabricated claims of rampant anti-Semitism. Her problem is that people are angry that she has done absolutely nothing to halt the flow of falsehoods or penalise those who broadcast them.

The sheer volume of tweets on the subject made it abundantly clear that Labour Party members who expressed an opinion have no confidence in the Compliance Unit or Ms Formby’s words:

Vanessa Frank was even more blunt: “I did. You said I wasn’t allowed to complain – literally.”

Here‘s Dallo: “Jenny, if you start to discipline the Blairites, Bitterites, Centrists (whatever you want to call them), maybe members will complain more to LP HQ, but sorry people are sick of tired of the you doing sweet FA about them constantly bringing the party into disrepute.”

“terry6120” pointed out the glaring omissions in Ms Formby’s tweet that suggest a lack of sincerity on her part: “You missed a few important words eg ‘we’ll investigate, take action, expel if necessary’ between ‘send it to us’ and ‘then let’s all…'”

Others made clear what they thought the Compliance Unit would do with any complaints about MPs like Mr Streeting. Here‘s Julian Rowlands: “‘send it to us and we’ll force you to sign a NDA before sweeping it under the carpet'”

And here‘s Ian Musgrave: “f you have a complaint send it to us and we’ll ignore it.”

Anthony McNamara: “Yes let’s cover it up. Unacceptable.”

Jay: “The problem is that ‘sending complaints’ to you is akin to attempting to heat a vacuum.”

Here‘s [email protected]: “What frustrates many of us is that those who are Corbyn / Left Labour seem to get summary judgements made against them, yet certain Labour MP’s can say and do as they like. It would help if when a Complaint was made that it was acknowledged.”

Ms G Richards expanded on this: “Maybe if you started dealing with MPs like Wes Streeting who is happy to doxx party members on twitter, people might start having a bit of confidence that you will act fairly. Just sayin’.”

“Rho” pointed out that loyalty goes both ways and that Ms Formby and the Labour leadership are being disloyal to members by allowing MPs to get away with behaviour that may be illegal:

Challenged over her threat to quit the party, she pointed out that it is hard-working members and campaigners who are being attacked, with no evidence, by liars who seem to be immune to censure because they happen to have a Parliamentary seat:

“I Daniel Blake” expanded on the realities of Mr Streeting’s behaviour: “Doxxing is illegal & harrassment, & something has to be done when an MP not only does it, but uses a photo-shopped tweet as his reason.”

Weston Labour Party has provided important information: “You can report @wesstreeting to the ICO for revealing the personal details of Twitter user @xpressanny https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/ 

Finally, consider this lunacy:

https://twitter.com/karendurley1/status/1093121456748331008

That’s right – when “Karen” stood up for @xpressanny, someone took it on themselves to report her for bullying. That report is presumably with the Compliance Unit. Will it be thrown out or will “Karen” be penalised?

What do you think?


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Lies fly as witch-hunters AGAIN fling false claims of Labour Party anti-Semitism

Witch-hunters: I like this image because it paints the Labour Party anti-Semitism fakers as cartoon characters.

How interesting that blogs like PoliticsHome are saying Labour MPs passed a vote unanimously, demanding that the party’s leadership “do more” (whatever that means) to fight anti-Semitism. This is a lie – there was no such vote.

The motion – and amendments – were taken, and Luciana Berger asked if any MP wished to vote against them. Nobody did but, as Skwawkbox noted in its summary of the meeting: “Not intending to vote against a motion is not the same as intending to vote for it. Abstentions exist – and a motion is not carried unanimously unless everyone votes for it. Also, under the current chair’s rules for PLP meetings, no front-benchers at all are allowed to speak – meaning that anti-Corbyn MPs on the back benches have a disproportionately loud voice in the meetings. In such circumstances, a reasoned and balanced debate of the motion was never going to be possible.”

Under party rules, the motion has no force whatsoever.

Note also that the expression of unwillingness to vote against the motion was taken before general secretary Jennie Formby had even taken the floor to present her report on what had been done to tackle anti-Semitism in the party.

It seems the claim that MPs had voted to support the motion comes from Margaret Hodge, who was quoted by LabourList as saying, “The resolution was unanimously supported by the Parliamentary Labour Party.” This is not accurate; it simply was not opposed.

Four MPs then put forward the same point of order – attacking Ms Formby, demanding that the unenforceable motion be enforced, and calling for Ms Formby to be brought back to face MPs again next week. But she has no obligation to report to them at all; her duties are to the National Executive Committee, where backbench Labour MPs have their own representatives. The correct procedure is to ask those representatives to answer questions on these matters.

The Skwawkbox report goes on to discuss parts of the motion, and it seems clear that the intention was for the party leadership to treat any accusation as proof of guilt. This is the witch-hunt in action and This Writer knows how it works because I fell foul of it.

The motion states: “The PLP is very concerned by recent reports that a number of cases of alleged antisemitic activity from high-profile members have been dropped. The PLP calls on the Party leadership to adequately tackle cases of antisemitism.”

This assumes that anybody who is accused must be guilty.

Prior to the meeting, Ms Formby had already sent a full response to the motion, which may be read in the Skwawkbox article.

As a party member who has been through the complaints procedure she described, I must admit surprise at her claim that “it couldn’t have been clearer that urgent action was needed to ensure our processes for dealing with complaints were robust, efficient and fair” and that she had taken such action.

My concern arises not because the system fails to punish the guilty – but that it earnestly seeks, through avoidance of proper procedure, bias, and – let’s face it – perversion of justice, to condemn the innocent.

I welcome Ms Formby’s announcement that the NCC, which hears the most serious cases, has been doubled in size but I fear that this will do no good unless the corruption at the heart of that committee is tackled. As I have stated before, my own hearing before an NCC panel (chaired by one Maggie Cousins) was a kangaroo court; the panel had clearly decided to find me guilty – based, I believe, on a directive from the NEC to do so, that was on the charge sheet (and you can see that this belies Ms Formby’s claim that the NCC has “complete autonomy of decision-making”) – and ignored the evidence, claiming to base its decision on a claim brought up in the hearing that someone had complained that something I had written had “upset” them. No evidence was produced that any such person existed, nor were we allowed to discuss what had upset them or why this should take precedence over the description and examples of anti-Semitism that had been adopted by the party.

And, of course, the whole case was meaningless because it was based on rules that were not in force when I wrote the articles that formed the basis of the charges against me. I was expelled from the party under false pretences.

That doesn’t change the fact that Labour MPs have no right to demand anything from the general secretary.

She was well within her rights to “defy calls from MPs to prove the party is clamping down on abuse”, as the Mirror‘s report puts it. Note that this report does not point out this fact. Note that the Mirror did not report the fact that Ms Formby reports to the NEC, not MPs. But then, what can you expect from a piece that quotes the hysterical leader of fringe hate-group the Campaign Against Antisemitism, Gideon Falter?

Melanie Melvin had this right on Twitter:

(… Although her use of the term “cabal” may see her accused of anti-Semitism by some of the more shrill witch-hunters.)

And the volley of supporting comments from hard-right politicians posing as Labour MPs has met with similar disdain:

https://twitter.com/earthygirl01/status/1092463852342730756

The issue here isn’t anti-Semitism, despite what the right-wing Labour backbenchers want you to think. It’s bad faith by those same backbenchers.

Look at the people involved. Luciana Berger, who proposed the motion, just got rinsed as an ambitious publicity-hunter with no integrity in a Twitter thread by rising star Shaun Lawson.

Margaret Hodge got into the headlines with a foul-mouthed rant against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that had nothing behind it but an interest in smearing him as an anti-Semite.

And Chuka Umunna seems deeply confused about whether or not his party is “institutionally” anti-Semitic or racist. He said it wasn’t in 2016 but changed his mind two years later – when it suited him.

With these attention-seekers at the forefront of this latest attempt to smear the Labour leadership, it has no credibility at all.


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Mainstream news reporters: If you can’t provide evidence for claims, then those claims are FALSE

Prove it: If you see a political claim being put forward without evidence – in the social or mainstream media – feel free to post this in response, so everyone knows.

It’s past time we put an end to un-evidenced claims from so-called news reporters who are politically biased.

Claims attributed to “a source” or “an official” have as much authority as claims attributed to Merlin, Darth Vader or Robin Hood and it’s time we stopped putting up with them.

The latest I’ve seen is from Robert Peston, who quotes an “official with access to internal figures” to claim the Labour Party has lost 150,000 members since its peak.

Who is this official? How do they have access to the figures? Has Mr Peston obtained – or even sought – corroboration of the claim?

We don’t know. So we must conclude that the official doesn’t exist and the claim is false.

Furthermore, we have access to information from a named official who we know has access to the figures – Labour general secretary Jennie Formby – and who says the claim is not true. She did it in response to recent claims in the Mail:

I’ve created a little banner (above) that you can use to highlight unevidenced claims when they appear in the mainstream or social media. Feel free to use it.

Let’s swing the spotlight to point out the fakers.


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New plan means local Labour members will have a chance to choose election candidates

All smiles: Jennie Formby and Jeremy Corbyn know the plan to give local Labour members greater control over the selection of Parliamentary candidates will be hugely popular.

This is interesting, from Skwawkbox:

[A Labour] NEC source has told the SKWAWKBOX that the NEC has made a statement of intent – and of the party’s preparedness for a new general election – by authorising Labour general secretary Jennie Formby to prepare a plan to ensure that CLPs have the opportunity to call a selection process if they so wish, even if Theresa May calls a new ‘snap’, short-campaign general election.

On the face of it, this is excellent news. It means constituency Labour Party members will be able to end the cronyism that corrupted New Labour, when candidates were parachuted into safe seats because it suited the leadership of the time.

But there’s no plan yet, and rumours are circulating that an election may take place as early as February 28.

If she was minded to do so, it would be in Theresa May’s interest to call an election before Labour can put candidates in place who will command the support of the general public, rather than just party loyalists.

And Labour’s NEC cannot meet to approve any plan that Ms Formby concocts until March.

I’m not saying Mrs May will call an election – just that she would be wise to do it before Labour is prepared.

But then, who could ever accuse Theresa May of wisdom?

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If Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism’ row is still running by Christmas it will be because TOM WATSON is still there

Looking over his shoulder: Tom Watson will need to watch his back for as long as he continues trying to stab other people in theirs.

So now the agitators in the Labour Party are targeting new general secretary Jennie Formby.

It is surprising that deputy party leader Tom Watson has chosen to be the spokesman for this attack, considering his own record.

It is hard to take complaints seriously, about a woman who has been in her role for half a year, when they come from a man who has held his own job for three years and done nothing with it other than plot against his party leader and go on subsidised junkets to music festivals. (Glastonbury, anyone?)

Labour’s problem with anti-Semitism would disappear if the party would only stop taking Mr Watson and his friends at their word and start taking a serious interest in their own behaviour. They are the people who are stoking the anti-Semitism row, after all.

We already know Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan faked an accusation of anti-Semitism against a fellow party member who supports the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (now, why on Earth would she want to do that?) and there is no reason to believe she was the only one acting in this manner.

So the operative question, whenever a story like this rears its ugly head in the media, is: When will Labour investigate this person?

Here‘s the story, as published in The Guardian:

Tom Watson has suggested Labour’s general secretary should quit if trust in the party’s ability to deal with antisemitism has not been restored by Christmas.

The deputy Labour leader said Jennie Formby, who joined from the trade union Unite in April, had “staked her career on dealing with antisemitism in our party”, and the Labour leadership was taking the matter very seriously.

“We should have dealt with it earlier. We have hired a new general secretary who has staked her career on dealing with antisemitism in our party,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Wednesday.

“She has been in post for three or four months. If I come here again at Christmas and she has not dealt with it then you may be asking me why she is still in post.”

And here are a couple of reactions from the level heads on the social media:

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Treachery in the Labour Party? Vested interests try to stymie new General Secretary

Controversial: Jennie Formby.

John Cryer may be a veteran Labour left-winger, but he is not doing the will of the people in leaking an email outlining vague concerns about new GenSec Jennie Formby.

It seems Ms Formby has told two party officials, who quit in response to her appointment, not to work out their notice.

Perhaps there are trust issues with acting Parliamentary Labour Party secretary Dan Simpson and compliance chief John Stolliday?

Mr Stolliday’s departure will be welcomed by many of those who have been through the Labour Party’s current disputes procedure – a kangaroo court system that offers almost no opportunity for party members accused of breaching the rules to defend themselves.

Ms Formby has dedicated herself to the creation of a fairer system – in particular, with reference to accusations of anti-Semitism. She intends to implement the long-delayed recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report, published in 2016, introducing much-needed transparency into the procedure.

As for Mr Simpson, This Writer has no information about him. But his resignation was as a result of Ms Formby’s appointment as GenSec, so it would be reasonable for her to conclude that he would not be a hindrance rather than a help.

Mr Cryer should appreciate this.

So I question the decision to write an email about it to MPs – and to leak it to the press.

A Labour row has broken out after a senior MP attacked the “deeply troubling” and “worrying” priorities of the party’s new general secretary.

John Cryer, chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party , criticised Jennie Formby in her first week in the job in an e-mail to MPs.

The leaked e-mail blasted Ms Formby, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn , after two officials were put on gardening leave.

Acting PLP secretary Dan Simpson and compliance chief John Stolliday were both told not to return while they work out their notice, PoliticsHome reported.

Mr Cryer wrote that Ms Formby had “forced” Mr Simpson into gardening leave “rather than remaining in the service of the PLP until the summer as had been previously agreed.”

Source: Labour row as senior MP attacks ‘deeply troubling’ behaviour of new general secretary – Mirror Online


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