Tag Archives: prejudice

Tory ‘rape clause’ starts to fall apart: how can a woman be denied benefit for being raped in the wrong order?

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“Punish the rapist, not the victim”: Campaigners against the so-called ‘rape clause’ have been trying to overturn the rule for years.

We’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

The experience of the lady involved in this story shows that the Tories are discriminating unfairly between rape victims.

They’re saying that a person can have two children and still receive the child element of Universal Credit for a third born of rape, only if it was the third, and born after April 2017.

This clearly discriminates against mothers who have had first or second children as a result of rape, because they are then forbidden from claiming the child element of UC for a third child that they wanted.

Both situations involve two children not born of rape and one that is, but only one qualifies for the benefit.

That is unfair.

I hope someone takes a case through the courts. Perhaps this is a job for public interest solicitors like Leigh Day, who seem to have done very well with other benefit-related cases recently?

Then, with luck, we’ll be able to force the Tories to u-turn on this despicable rule that humiliates women who have already suffered too much.

Source: DWP denies mum Universal Credit for her child because she was raped in the wrong order – Mirror Online

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The Scottish Tories have a new leader – but he seems to be both confused … and prejudiced

New Scottish Conservatives’ leader Douglas Ross – in what seems to be the role he prefers.

The Scottish Conservatives have a new leader – Douglas Ross, who was elected unopposed by party members.

This seems a very odd thing for them to do.

Consider the evidence in the video below – which I know was created by a supporter of the SNP. Try to ignore the party political message and concentrate on what this says about the person:

The ‘dark money’ claim seems accurate, as the Scottish Unionist Association Trust did support Ross, and did not declare donations and contributions to political campaigns properly to the Electoral Commission. As a result, SUAT was fined £1,300.

His voting record speaks for itself and seems extremely, traditionally, Tory – supporting central government, hammering the NHS and minorities.

But he seems confused: his discussion of rural broadband, ATM closures and unfair postal charges challenged his own party directly, and his votes against equal marriage and equal gay rights ran against party policy.

Also, his claim that refereeing football matches would not interfere with his Parliamentary responsibilities – and his subsequent trip to Barcelona instead of voting on a Welfare Bill – is well-documented.

Let’s look a little closer at his attitude to travellers:

Tom London’s point is a good one. He doesn’t want tougher enforcement against a particular aspect of travellers’ behaviour that the public may find objectionable; he just wants enforcement against them because they are travellers.

So it is right to ask how people would have felt if Ross had been speaking about Jews, Blacks, Muslims, gay people or any other minority group.

And this is the Scottish Tory choice as leader of their party…

A man who opposes his party as much as he supports it, with a reputation for prejudice against a minority group for no reason other than that it exists, and who prefers to run off and referee football matches rather than representing his electorate.

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Covid-19 hate crime fear for people with disabilities who can’t wear face masks

This is a bitter turnabout: and Boris Johnson should be the first to admit that people in masks used to be the criminals rather than those in fear of crime:

Disabled people are frightened about travelling as lockdown eases due to a lack of public awareness and clarity about exemptions to the mandatory need to wear face coverings on public transport, according to a new survey by Disability Rights UK.

Nearly 40% of respondents said that they cannot wear a face covering and just under half said that mental health conditions and breathing impairments would prevent them from wearing a mask, with a fifth citing sensory issues and needing to intake medication and/or food and drink while travelling.

Nearly forty per cent said they had a hidden disability which affects their ability to wear a mask, and 13% said they needed to lip read.

Nearly 60% said they feared being challenged if they did not wear a mask, with the same amount not feeling they had the confidence to stand up for themselves if challenged.

Almost 70% said they feared being judged for not wearing a mask, and 55% feared being the victim of a hate crime if they were seen without a mask.

The fact that more than half of people with disabilities who cannot wear masks fear hate crime says everything we need to know about the prejudiced and judgemental attitudes that have been created in the UK – mostly by the government.

And the Tories have been blamed for creating the current situation – by switching policies with extremely short notice.

Fazilet Hadi, Disability Rights UK Head of Policy, said the Government must improve its communications strategies with big shifts like this.

“Releasing information on a Sunday for a Monday morning start, with no awareness campaign, no posters on buses and trains to provide reassurance about exemptions, and guidance hidden deep on the gov.uk website leads to the kind of horror stories we have been hearing from disabled people.

“Members of the public have been calling the police on them for not wearing masks while on trains, and British Transport Police refusing to let people through station barriers without face coverings, even when they have insisted they have an impairment which makes them exempt.

“As one survey respondent said: ‘Having both fines for not wearing a mask, and an unproveable exemption alongside each other is an impossible situation. Greater global clarity is needed, and fast.'”

So next time you’re out on the streets, if you see someone who isn’t wearing a mask, don’t jump to aggressive conclusions!

Source: Coronavirus: Disabled people fear becoming victims of hate crime as 40% say they cannot wear face masks – Welfare Weekly

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Will the UK follow America and abandon people with disabilities to die of coronavirus?

A ventilator: The NHS in the UK doesn’t have enough of these to cater for the number of people likely to need them. Will people with disabilities be passed over because of Tory prejudice?

Boris Johnson and his Tories like to copy what happens in the United States – and they already have a record for persecuting disabled people.

So what would you give for the chances of people with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism or any of the other reasons for receiving Personal Independence Payment, knowing that the US is letting them die of coronavirus?

Read:

New guidance published Alabama officials says that ‘persons with severe mental retardation, advanced dementia or severe traumatic brain injury may be poor candidates for ventilator support.’

It goes on to say that ‘persons with severe or profound mental retardation, moderate to severe dementia, or catastrophic neurological complications such as persistent vegetative state are unlikely candidates for ventilator support.’

Similar guidance has been issued in Washington and Arizona, with medics in the latter state instructed to ‘allocate resources to patients whose need is greater or whose prognosis is more likely to result in a positive outcome with limited resources.’

Disability advocacy groups have now filed complaints against the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for further clarification on the often vague guidance, and are seeking assurance that disabled people will not be discriminated against when it comes to receiving emergency care.

Too late – the discrimination is already happening.

In the United Kingdom, the NHS doesn’t have enough ventilators to go around so it is entirely logical to expect the Tories to ration them.

This Writer has a terrible feeling disabled people are already being passed over – or the orders may already be in place – in the UK.

I would appreciate any information from people who experience such prejudice.

Source: People with Down syndrome could be left to die of coronavirus to ‘save’ supplies | Metro News

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Why is the BBC contributing to anti-black racism?

Propaganda: it seems people have moved on from avoiding mainstream fake news providers like the BBC, and are now physically attacking reporters in the street.

Let’s get this right.

In the week that a Downing Street advisor resigned because it had been revealed that he is a white supremacist racist who considers black people to have lower IQs than whites…

… and prime minister Boris Johnson’s spokespeople refused to deny that he holds the same opinions…

… because they can’t; he has already apologised for them…

… the BBC – which is being attacked by the Conservatives – inexplicably advertises for white people to take part in a documentary with the premise that they are the ones facing discrimination:

To say that this is tone-deafness by BBC commissioners would be an insult to understatement.

Meanwhile, the Corporation’s own reporters are being attacked in the streets.

This is what happens when you allow your national purveyor of independent news to be overrun by supporters of a ruling party that is not only racist but, at its heart, fascist.

Will Labour take Hastings & Rye after Conservative candidate’s disablist remark?

End the hostile environment: Labour’s policies for the disabled really are kinder, gentler politics.

Hastings & Rye? That’s Amber Rudd’s old constituency, isn’t it? The one she held with an advantage of just 346 votes over Labour’s Peter Chowney in 2017? Well, it looks like he’ll take the seat this year!

Why’s that, you ask?

Well, it’s probably got something to do with the current Tory candidate being hugely prejudiced against disabled people.

Sally-Ann Hart was met with cries of “shameful!” after she told people at a local hustings that people with learning disabilities should be paid less than fully-able people because they “don’t understand money”.

What should we understand this to mean?

I think it means it is Conservative policy to rip off and shortchange people whenever and wherever they think it is possible.

Never mind whether they do a good job or not, if someone has a learning disability, the Tories are saying not only that you can – but that you should – pay them less money.

That’s exploitative – and probably against equalities law.

In response, one person shouted, “I’m autistic, and I want to get paid for the work I do!”

Quite right, too.

But we can see what kind of nation the Tories would create if they are elected into government again on December 12: one in which the hostile environment they have already built for disabled people would spill over into open contempt, with more pushed into poverty, and possibly even more deaths than we’ve seen in the last nine years of Tory misrule.

The one good aspect of this is that, with such openly prejudiced remarks, Sally-Ann Hart won’t be a part of it. Right?

Source: Man born without arms or legs told to prove he is disabled enough for benefits

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Stella Creasy is right: Nobody should be forced to choose between their career and motherhood

Facing discrimination: Stella Creasy.

At first it may seem very much a First World problem: Labour’s Stella Creasy has written a Guardian article apparently complaining that Parliamentary rules make it almost impossible for women to be both MPs and mothers.

Ms Creasy has a stake in this matter; she is expecting a baby and is currently having to deal with a deplorable lack of support from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

I was ready to be extremely unsympathetic. Think of all the women who have suffered unfair discrimination – for many reasons, not least because of pregnancy, especially since the Conservatives took office in 2010.

If you are a woman who has suffered such prejudice, please feel free to tell us all about it in the comment column.

But it seems Ms Creasy was prompted to put finger to keyboard by more than just her own situation.

She writes: “If we can’t get this right for MPs, how can we get this right for parents elsewhere?

“Britain still has a long way to go to ensure that fertility isn’t a barrier to equality. A third of employers think it’s acceptable to ask women about their plans for having a family at a job interview. Non-disclosure agreements are used frequently to cover up pregnancy discrimination, with the legal advice service Pregnant Then Screwed receiving on average 350 calls a year.”

And in fairness to her, Ms Creasy has also used her position to try to ensure that people who aren’t in work, or who do not earn very much, still have access to a reasonable standard of living – and I think we can include the means to bear children as part of that.

Her voting record shows that she has supported equality and human rights; voted to increase state benefits at least in line with inflation; opposed laws to cut housing benefit; and supported increased benefits over longer periods for people with illnesses and disabilities.

All these actions suggest that Ms Creasy believes people should have more life choices, including the choice of whether – and when – to have a child. She walks the walk, besides talking the talk, it seems.

My own opinion is clear: Your body – your choice. The only person with a right to dictate when – or whether – a woman has a child is the woman herself.

It’s nothing to do with employers. In fact, pregnancy discrimination is a hypocritical nonsense in a country where successive neoliberal governments have tried to make a virtual of workforce “flexibility” – meaning people don’t stay in the same job for long anyway.

It’s certainly nothing to do with lawmakers. The idea of legislating against a biological imperative is bizarre.

And, coming back to the reason Ms Creasy wrote her article, it’s certainly not a matter for the Parliamentary organisation concerned with standards.

Fair enough – MPs’ private lives should not interfere with their work representing their constituents.

But there are many ways that they can keep on top of the matters of the day – and have their say on them – while discharging their responsibilities as mothers.

The question for IPSA, as for employers across the country, is not how to prevent women from taking maternity leave; it is how to support them when they do – or, more damning, why they do not.

Source: I’m pregnant and forced to choose between being an MP and a mum | Stella Creasy | Opinion | The Guardian

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By expelling Jackie Walker, Labour has sealed its reputation – as a supporter of prejudice and racism

Protest: Labour Against the Witch-hunt was set up to defend party members – including Jews – who have been falsely accused of anti-Semitism by people and organisations with an agenda.

It will be a long time before Labour lives down the shame.

Socialist Voice puts the decision to expel Jackie Walker from the Labour Party into context:

That’s about the size of it. Thanks to its hugely prejudicial and politically-motivated “disciplinary” (if you can call it that) procedure, Labour has positioned itself as the party that persecutes left-wing Jews who support a peaceful solution to the Israel/Palestine question.

You can reverse-engineer that statement to work out Labour’s definition of anti-Semitism – any statement that might be said (you can’t put it any more strongly than that) to offend a right-wing, Zionist/pro-Israeli-government Jew.

Ms Walker was expelled after a panel of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee said she had committed “prejudicial and grossly detrimental behaviour against the party” – by being secretly recorded taking part in a training session on anti-Semitism run by the Jewish Labour Movement.

That’s right – she was asking perfectly reasonable (in context) questions about how the organisers defined anti-Semitism; about the genocides commemorated by Holocaust Memorial Day; and about the necessity for security at Jewish schools. Her crime, it seems, was in not knowing that somebody was recording her, intending to use her words to set her up as an anti-Semite herself.

Labour has said the finding against her also took account of a pattern of behaviour in the two-and-a-half years or so since her membership of the party was suspended – but I think it’s clear that this is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to justify the unacceptable.

A previous attempt to frame her – by hacking into her Facebook account and sending the most prejudicial material to be found (a claim – accurate – that Jews were among the financiers of the Caribbean slave trade) to a Jewish-orientated newspaper that turned it into a smear piece – had failed.

Members and supporters of the Labour Party, who know the history of this squalid smear, have been tweeting their support for Ms Walker since the verdict was revealed:

https://twitter.com/LabLeftVoice/status/1110937633239302144

“The subtext being that if you are Left and you have any opinions at all, then consider the trapdoor open anyway. The NCC are cowards. The system at the top, as regards these glorified back-room office drones, really needs an overhaul,” added Michael Clarke.

Hear, hear. This is an assault on people who have been termed “the wrong kind of Jew” – and is therefore racist in itself.

In stark contrast to the public response is the coverage by the (ha ha) mainstream news media and those who claim to represent British Jews. Consider:

Tom Clark of Another Angry Voice is right – there isn’t a single mention of Ms Walker’s own ethnicity in the article. Is someone ashamed of the fact that this crusade against anti-Semitism actually targets Jews?

It does mention the fact that her words were secretly recorded – but fails to question this unethical behaviour or why it should stand as evidence against her.

Apparently the Jewish Chronicle couldn’t bring itself to admit that immoral methods were used to frame Ms Walker – it couldn’t even get the charge right:

LabourList carried a hideously one-sided piece that would put a professional news organisation in danger of legal action for failing to be fair or accurate. It carried no comments in support of Ms Walker – had reporter Sienna Rodgers even sought any?

But it did feature several paragraphs of hate speech from the Jewish Labour Movement in which it accused her and others (who, me? I would hope not, after I forced that … organ to retract its smear piece against me) of “perpetuating a culture of denial and obfuscation”, whatever that is supposed to mean.

“She was free to make a mockery of the Party’s processes because she was a political ally of the leadership, NEC members and had support from MPs.” Such as the 38 members of Labour Tribune who signed a letter to Jennie Formby, Labour’s general secretary, less than a month before Ms Walker’s hearing, describing her as “…someone who has been thrown out of the party for making antisemitic comments” in the certain knowledge that it would prejudice the panel at her hearing?

Or like our old friend (ha ha) Margaret Hodge, who “welcomed” Ms Walker’s expulsion, according to the JC report?

The JLM statement concluded: “Despite warm words, very little action has followed in truly addressing the scale and impact of antisemitism within the Labour Party.” That is a bold statement to make after a verdict based on the unethical secret recording of honest, innocent questions at a session where it is reasonable to expect such questions to be addressed!

A joint statement from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust stated: “Nobody wins in this latest ugly case of disreputable behaviour.” Certainly not the facts, it seems; the “disreputable behaviour” to which the statement referred was not that of the JLM in recording Ms Walker.

As for the Campaign Against Antisemitism – a right-wing fringe group masquerading as a charity that has been using trumped-up, falsified claims of anti-Semitism to attack left-wingers in the Labour Party for years – well, see for yourself:

“What do they want? A public stoning?”

I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

I can mock these clowns – The Guardian, The Jewish ChronicleLabourList, The Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Community Security Trust, the Jewish Labour Movement, the Campaign Against Antisemitism, Margaret Hodge and all the others – for as long as you like. Let’s face it – they provide plenty of material.

But the simple fact is that Ms Walker’s expulsion is mortifying – for everybody who thinks members of the Labour Party deserve better from their leaders.

Look at the charge – Prejudicial and grossly detrimental behaviour against the party. It’s a nonsense. It can be made to mean anything Labour’s highly-prejudiced and right-wing disciplinary team want it to mean – as Martin Odoni points out in this revealing article.

Look at the way Labour ignored the definition of anti-Semitic behaviour it adopted in such a high-profile way only last summer, in favour of a claim that Ms Walker would be guilty if an “ordinary person hearing or reading the comments might reasonably perceive them to be antisemitic”. Claptrap!

Look at the way Labour ignored its own disciplinary procedures – most notably in presenting Ms Walker with details of the evidence against her only days before her hearing. This runs contrary to the rules in that any evidence produced at such a late stage cannot be introduced into a case unless both parties agree to it, and time must be allowed for a response to be prepared and submitted. That is just one example among many.

We are left to contemplate – not a disgraced anti-Semite who has finally been made to face justice, but an honourable campaigner,  falsely-accused, falsely-expelled, and wrongly vilified by a disgraced, debased and corrupted political machine.

If Jeremy Corbyn ever gets to read these words – and he should – it is to be hoped that he burns with shame at the travesty committed by his subordinates, not in his name, but in an underhanded and foul-spirited campaign to remove him from the party leadership.

He has been able to beat the false accusations against him – possibly because of his position. So his enemies have attacked his high-profile supporters instead. And he has let it happen.

But he can’t stop this persecution alone. Labour’s ruling organisation is the National Executive Committee, whose members have failed to lift a single finger in the cause of justice. In fact, they have cheered on the persecution carried out by the compliance unit and the NCC.

Labour needs root-and-branch reform of all three organisations. And it needs it yesterday.

Or the party will never be fit to govern.


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Why is the BBC trying to prejudice the inquiry into Arron Banks and Leave.EU?

Arron Banks.

Has the BBC taken its claim to impartially serve up both sides of news stories a few steps too far?

That’s how it seems in the case of Arron Banks, who is apparently being investigated by the National Crime Agency after the Electoral Commission found that his campaign group in the EU referendum – Leave.EU – had broken electoral law.

After it was announced that the NCA is investigating, the BBC decided to invite him onto The Andrew Marr Show to discuss the matter. The show was to be broadcast live at 9am today (Sunday, November 4). Here’s the Corporation’s statement about it:

“There is strong public interest in an interview with Arron Banks about allegations of funding irregularities in relation to Leave.EU and the 2016 EU Referendum. The Electoral Commission has laid out concerns about this in public and it is legitimate and editorially justified for Andrew Marr to question Mr Banks robustly about them, which he will do on Sunday morning.”

No it isn’t. In fact, it may pervert the course of justice.

We already know Leave.EU is guilty of breaking electoral law – that’s what the Electoral Commission found. Now it has passed the matter on to the NCA, which will investigate the possibility that serious criminal offences were committed.

Nobody from the NCA or the Electoral Commission has been invited to put forward what they know, so this is basically giving Mr Banks an opportunity to influence the nation’s thinking on the matter. This could be disastrous for justice if a jury is ever asked to decide on his innocence or guilt.

People have picked up on these facts. For instance:

It’s a perfectly legitimate question, if the BBC is interested in balance. Carole Cadwalladr is the investigative journalist who uncovered much (if not all) the evidence against Leave.EU.

More to the point is this:

This is the substantive point – presenting evidence that might go before a criminal court may prejudice the case.

Trouble is, I think we need to watch, just to check whether what’s broadcast is reasonable. This member of the public thinks it won’t be:

Again, good points. The BBC is acting hypocritically as it is affording Mr Banks a courtesy never offered to other people in the public eye, whose behaviour has been the focus of legal interest in the past. And it is the job of all reporters to ensure that they do not prejudice the outcome of criminal inquiries and court cases when reporting them.

Will the following be mentioned?

Probably – but not in anything like the exhausting detail with which Mr Banks is likely to put his side of the story.

So it should be no surprise that the BBC has received a huge number of complaints and people have been calling on other members of the public to make their views known:

And what do you think was the BBC’s measured response?

It closed down the complaints page on its website.

This is not the action of a responsible organisation.

It gets worse than that, though – information has been leaked to suggest Theresa May quashed an investigation into Mr Banks’s dealings, years ago, quoting “political sensitivity” (which is the reason the Met Police has given for failing to do anything about the matter over the last several months).

Here‘s The Guardian:

“A Labour MP has asked Theresa May whether she or any other minister had ever declined a request from the security services to conduct an investigation into the controversial Leave.EU campaign donor Arron Banks.

“Ben Bradshaw wrote to the prime minister a day after it was announced that a criminal investigation into Banks had begun, amid repeated allegations that May had blocked an investigation in 2016, when she was home secretary.

“Downing Street would not comment on Bradshaw’s suggestion that an investigation was blocked, although it is understood the claim is denied. A No 10 spokesman said: “We would never confirm or deny the detail of any conversation with security services on any topic.”

“The Daily Mail reported on Thursday that May declined a request by one of the security services to investigate Banks in 2016, repeating a claim made by Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, at his party conference in September.

“At the time Watson asked: “Did [May] ask the security services to investigate? Or did she stop them doing so? There is a suggestion that in the run-up to the referendum the prime minister – in her capacity at the time as home secretary – declined at least one application from the security services to mount a full investigation into Mr Banks and others suspected of Russian influence. We need to know if that is true.””

Again, the social media have been having a field day:

And there is a critically serious issue at the heart of this: Alleged interference in UK politics by a foreign power – Russia – with the aid of individuals like Mr Banks and, it seems, Mrs May.

The fact that lawbreaking has happened, the spectre of foreign interference, and the possibility of corruption at the highest level of government – all focused on the UK’s departure from the European Union – mean that the legitimacy of Brexit has been called into question.

Ardent ‘Leave’ voters will be infuriated at Professor Brian Cox’s suggestion…

… but in legal terms – in a nation run by people who accept the rule of law – it is the correct course of action.

We need to know the facts before Brexit happens – not when the damage has been done.

That is why it is important for the facts to be examined thoroughly – including and especially the facts about Arron Banks and Leave.EU.

And that is why the BBC should respect the rules – or does Auntie think that she’s above them?

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Luciana Berger has prejudiced anti-Semitism investigations with evidence-less claims. Labour should expel her

Luciana Berger misportrays Peter Willsman’s words and the position of the Board of Jewish Deputies, then presents two still-to-be-investigated party suspensions as definitely guilty, which may be indictable on grounds of prejudicing the inquiry.

This Site’s colleague over at The Critique Archives makes an important point about the behaviour of Labour MP Luciana Berger, who has been whipping up outrage by faking complaints of anti-Semitism.

Ms Berger was the most vocal critic of Peter Willsman’s recorded outburst against Trump-supporting members of the Jewish community who, he said, were “making up daft information without any evidence at all” – referring to accusations of anti-Semitism.

Ironically, he was then subjected to exactly the same treatment. As you can see from the extract below, Ms Berger’s complaint about Mr Willsman contains no evidence at all.

The point is that Ms Berger seems to subscribe to the false interpretation of what’s become known as the Macpherson principle – that an accusation of racist (in this case anti-Semitic) behaviour must be true if the person making it belongs to an ethnic minority.

It is a transparently false assumption. Suppose the police received such a complaint – do you honestly think they would take legal action against the alleged perpetrator without first having investigated the facts of the matter for themselves? They would be laughed out of court. In fact, the case would never even get that far.

But I reckon it is under that principle that Ms Berger made her big mistake – prejudicing the cases of two Labour councillors who have been accused of anti-Semitism.

My concern, as a person who is experiencing Labour’s prejudiced disputes system for himself, is that nobody investigating these cases will care. My own case indicates an automatic presumption of guilt, simply because I have been accused.

(If you doubt that, allow me to remind you of the paragraph on my charge sheet, urging Labour’s NCC to find me guilty, no matter what the evidence shows: “There are current and potential Labour voters of all backgrounds who are watching carefully what the Party does with cases like Mr Sivier’s. Taking definitive action in this case would send a clear and unambiguous message to all of them that Mr Sivier and the views he published extensively have absolutely no place in the party.”)

I agree that Ms Berger has brought the Labour Party into disrepute by publicly accusing other party members and by endangering the (claimed, if not actual) impartiality of the investigation process.

She should be punished for these offences – behaviour for which, let us remind ourselves, there is clear evidence, unlike her own claims about other people.

It will be interesting to see whether Labour’s disputes mechanism actually allows any action against her – or if its bosses wish to declare their own prejudice for all the world to see.

If you wish to report Berger’s appalling behaviour, please e-mail the Labour Party’s complaints office at [email protected]. The more reports the party receive about what Berger has done, the more pressure they will come under to bring her to book.

In her determination to prove that the ‘anti-Semitism-in-the-Labour-Party’ controversy is something more than a semi-fantasy, [Luciana Berger] has overstepped an important line.

Berger was interviewed on 31st July – much too gently as usual – by Shelagh Fogarty on LBC Radio about the deafening furore. In particular, Berger was asked about this week’s kerfuffle over Labour NEC member Peter Willsman‘offensively’ suggesting that some British Jews were disturbingly happy about Donald Trump becoming US President.

Fogarty rightly asked Berger to clarify precisely what was anti-Semitic about Willsman’s words. It was noticeable that Berger did not clarify, beyond waffling in a strident but roundabout way about Willsman’s statements being ‘unacceptable’, which really just put the implication of the question in different words. She also failed to explain why Willsman’s words were even untrue. Which of course they were not; the Board of Jewish Deputies, in particular, were tellingly eager to congratulate Trump on becoming President. Given Trump’s ignorant enthusiasm for Zionism, largely based around trying to please Christian fundamentalists in the USA, that is perhaps to be expected.

Fogarty – again as usual – managed to miss Berger’s evasion completely and moved on. To her credit, she soon asked Berger a question she does not get asked nearly often enough in the mainstream media; what evidence is there that anti-Semitism in the Labour Party really is as widespread as she claims? It was here that Berger overstepped from mere McCarthyite cynicism to a possibly indictable violation.

She then cited two Labour councillors who had been suspended during this week as supposedly definitive examples of anti-Semitism being out of control.

In so doing, Berger has risked prejudicing the investigations, while increasing public pressure on the party to find the two councillors guilty, irrespective of the investigations’ findings. She is also guilty of a lazy form of fallacious thinking that is as worrying to observe in a national legislator as is her poisonous maliciousness; by assuming that the accusation is evidence, instead of the accusation requiring evidence, she has lapsed into infantile circular reasoning. “I know they must be guilty because they’ve been accused, because if they’ve been accused they must be guilty.”

No, It does not work like that, it must never work like that. The accusation must be followed by evidence. When the accusation is the evidence, we enter a world in which anyone can be accused of anything, and they are automatically guilty. Chaos and endless injustice lie down that path.

Source: Expel Luciana Berger | TheCritique Archives

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