The details of the new system to speed up expulsions of Labour Party members accused of anti-Semitism are deeply disturbing.
Apparently the procedure put forward by Jeremy Corbyn yesterday (July 22) would mean that high profile cases and those that seem, on the face of it, to be extreme would go to a panel of NEC members plus the general secretary.
This panel would be advised by an independent barrister who is an expert in discrimination law.
And it would only be activated in “clear cases”.
As defined by whom?
I have no doubt that there are still people in the Labour Party who would describe my case as “clear anti-Semitism” – even though there wasn’t a single particular of it that fits any accepted description of that offence!
Remember: This is the organisation that wrongly expelled me for suggesting that British Jews are more loyal to Israel than the UK. A commenter on This Site had claimed that most British Jews identify with that country in some way. I asked: “If Jews in the UK identify with the state of Israel, why aren’t they Israeli citizens?“ This is the line used by the party to expel me. But later in the conversation I stated: “How about applying the most simple answer: They aren’t Israeli citizens because they don’t identify with the state of Israel, to anything like the degree required. Possibly because they actually disagree with the actions of the Israeli government.” My Labour Party accusers would certainly have read those words – but ignored them in order to frame me as an anti-Semite. That is the problem here.
Steve Walker, over at Skwawkbox, may be optimistic about this (see link below), but he has not been through the process.
Any panel dealing with any particular case needs to be provably impartial – that is, its members must not be affiliated to any part of Labour that is unsympathetic with the defendant’s own political views, nor should they be part of any organisation with sympathies to Israel or Zionism (or hidden sympathies to the same, as with the Jewish Labour Movement).
No panel should be allowed prior site of the details of any case it is to handle.
And the Labour Party’s case should not include instructions to any panel that it is to find a defendant guilty whether the evidence indicates this or not.
Would a defendant be present at meetings of such a panel? Or would they simply be informed that this organisation had kicked them out? This would violate the right of any accused members to defend themselves.
The addition of the right of appeal (which I didn’t have after my case was heard) is a good sign – but who would handle such an appeal and in what manner?
The devil is indeed in the detail – but from the details on offer so far, this arrangement is just as diabolical as the last and I can see no justice in it.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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