Jewish Voice for Labour condemns Marc Wadsworth’s expulsion

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Passed unanimously at Jewish Voice For Labour’s AGM on April 29:

JVL condemns the expulsion of Marc Wadsworth from the Labour Party, and the procedures that led up to it, on the back of a scurrilous campaign to damage his reputation by falsely branding him as an antisemite.  We fully support the campaign for his reinstatement.  We note that the decision to expel Marc was based on grounds not of antisemitism but on the convenient claim of bringing the Party into disrepute.  It is a bitter irony that what really does bring the party into disrepute are unprincipled campaigns to demonise members, in particular people of colour, and the failure by the hitherto entrenched bureaucracy to implement the processes to ensure natural justice proposed in the Chakrabarti report.
 
We demand justice for Marc and the rapid adoption of speedy, fair and transparent disciplinary procedures.

LAW model motion on the expulsion of Marc Wadsworth

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Feel free to change and amend. Please send us successfully passed motions to info@labouragainstthewitchhunt.org and we will publish them.

You can download the motion in Word format here. 

1. This branch/CLPs notes that:

1.1 Ruth Smeeth MP claimed that at the launch of the Charkrabarti report in June 2016, veteran anti-racist campaigner Marc Wadsworth was being “anti-Semitic” for criticising her as “working hand in hand” with a reporter of the Daily Telegraph – a fallacious claim that was repeated in almost every newspaper.

1.2 An all-white, three person panel of the National Constitutional Committee of the Labour Party, however, did not uphold this charge. They expelled Marc Wadsworth on April 27 2018 under the catch-all phrase of “bringing the party into disrepute” (point 2.1.8 in Labour’s 2016 rulebook). Continue Reading “LAW model motion on the expulsion of Marc Wadsworth”

Complaints and disciplinary procedures in the Labour Party 

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The motion below was passed unanimously by Ceredigion CLP on 27th April.

This CLP calls on the NEC to ensure:

1) that there are fair and transparent procedures and processes in relation to the suspension and expulsion of members from the party, including the right of appeal, and

2) similarly, that there are fair and transparent procedures and processes in relation to the suspension and partial suspension of CLPs and other party units.

We call for:

  • transparency both of the procedures in general and also of the processes in particular cases;
  • supportiveness within the process both for those who are bringing charges and also for those who are the subject of charges;
  • an initial presumption of innocence across the board;
  • clear statement of the exact nature of charges;
  • identification of those bringing charges;
  • reliance on verified, fact-based evidence;
  • reasonable time scales for dealing with cases including the right of challenge and reply;
  • and proportionality of disciplinary measures.

We recognise the need for the involvement and initiative of paid officials in order to encourage the speedy examination and resolution of difficult situations, but we call on the NEC to ensure that all decisions of paid officials are

  1. a) based on agreed and well-publicised procedures and values, and
  2. b) subject to supervision, review and revision by elected post-holders and elected bodies.

We call on the NEC to maintain and strengthen a diverse culture of responsible free speech, discussion and debate within the party.

Model motion on Anti-Semitism and the witch-hunt of Corbyn supporters 

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1. This branch/CLPs notes that:

1.1. The dramatic increase in suspensions and expulsions of Labour Party members without due process – especially those based on alleged anti-Semitism or “support for other organisations” using rule 2.1.4.B.

1. 2. Despite the growing number of fallacious allegations of anti-Semitism, initiated by a group of anti-Corbyn MPs in cooperation with the mainstream media, the number of cases of anti-Semitism among Labour Party members upheld remains tiny. The overwhelming majority of allegations have been baseless and politically motivated – attempts to purge or muzzle members who are critical of Israeli government policies and actions, particularly pro-Corbyn members on the left of the party.

1.3. The Labour Party has only adopted the preambleof the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. It has not adopted the disputed list of examples, which conflates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism and support for the rights of the Palestinian people.

1.4. Yet we are witnessing members being publicly witch-hunted, suspended and expelled for using the word ‘Zio’; for criticising the ideology of Zionism; for comparing the actions of the state of Israel to those of the Nazis; or for pointing out, as Ken Livingstone did, that in 1933 the Zionist movement and the Nazis signed the Ha’avara agreement (breaking the non-Zionist Jewish-led call for an economic boycott of the Nazi regime). This is a historical fact and no one should be disciplined for alluding to it.

2. This branch/CLP demands that:

2.1. The Labour Party ends the practice of automatic, instant, expulsion or suspension of Labour Party members;

a) that all those summarily expelled or suspended from membership without due process be immediately reinstated;

b) that a member accused of a breach of rule be regarded as innocent until proven guilty and be given all the evidence submitted against them by their accuser

c) that membership rights must not be removed until disciplinary investigations and procedures have been completed;

d) that disciplinary procedures must be time limited. Charges not resolved within three months must be automatically dropped.

2.2. The Labour Party’s “Compliance Unit” should be abolished. Disciplinary decisions should be taken only by elected bodies, not by paid officials.

2.3. The first part of rule 2.1.4.B (‘Exclusions’) should be abolished: it bars from Labour Party membership anybody who “joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the party” and has been exclusively used against left-wingers.

 

Merseyside Pensioners Association: a toxic conspiracy to bring down Corbyn

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At a meeting on Wednesday April 25th 2018 the Merseyside Pensioners Association unanimously passed this resolution.

This MPA reaffirms it’s belief that the continuing fiction of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is generated by a toxic mix of Tories, Blairites, right-wing self-styled representatives of the ‘Jewish community’ and is designed to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and the ideas he espouses.

We condemn the role of the media, particularly the BBC, for perniciously linking the Labour Party to anti-Semitic attacks by far-right thugs

Labours response should be to call out the lies for what they are: a toxic conspiracy to bring down Corbyn.

McCarthy and the Salem with-hunters were eventually exposed as charlatans. We call on the leadership to stand firm and the current onslaught will suffer the same fate.

Transparency and presumption of innocence

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Based on FSOI/JVL model and passed unanimously by South Cambridgeshire Constituency Party on March 27:

“South Cambridgeshire Constituency Labour Party notes that more than 20 months on from the Report of the Chakrabarti Inquiry, disciplinary measures in response to complaints and charges against members have continued to be implemented in an arbitrary manner without consistent regard to the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report.

This Constituency Party calls for the NEC to initiate a review of the relevant Labour Party rules and procedures to ensure that there is a fair and transparent process in relation to the suspension and expulsion of members from the Party, including a right of appeal.

These procedures should, in addition, and following the precepts of natural justice, recognise the right of those charged with infringing Party rules to know the exact nature of the charges and by whom they are laid.

The review should include consideration of the role and procedures of the Compliance Unit.

This Constituency Labour Party confirms its support for the Chakrabarti Report’s recommendations of due process based on natural justice in dealing with complaints against members. The Report advocates:
• transparency,
• presumption of innocence,
• reliance on fact-based verified evidence,
• reasonable time scales for dealing with cases and for the right of challenge and reply,
• proportionality of disciplinary measures.

We fully support the Chakrabarti Report’s commitment to strengthening a culture of free speech within the party and its desire that complaints are dealt with as far as possible through educational means rather than suspensions and exclusions

We are concerned that the Chakrabarti Inquiry Report is not specifically mentioned in the brief for the Democracy Review.

We call for the new General Secretary and the NEC to reiterate its support for the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti inquiry Report, and to implement them in practice immediately, including and in particular the new “End to End” disciplinary process recommended in that Report.

We call upon the convenors of the Democracy Review to ensure that there is opportunity within the Democracy Review to:
• examine the role of party structures that deal with disciplinary and compliance matters;
• flesh out the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report and to consider the best ways to put its principles and recommendations into practice.”

To be sent to NEC and as submission to Democracy Review by our Chair.

How you can support LAW’s submission to the Corbyn Review

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Background: The so-called Corbyn Review aims to produce a report to the 2018 annual conference in Liverpool. It is not a blue-sky-thinking exercise, however: Submissions invited are limited to answering 32 pre-set questions on six themes with a 250-word-limit on each of the questions.

None of these deal with the compliance unit (Disputes) or the fate of expelled and suspended members per se (or, for that matter, with the important demand for mandatory selection). We have therefore picked a relatively open-ended question that we think it worthwhile filling with some of LAW’s demands.

Here is what you can do:

1. Please submit the proposal as an individual here in the section: How do we get our increased membership more involved in the Party?’ Deadline is March 23.

2. Please submit it to your Labour Party branch and/or CLP and/or other party unit – and submit it again online in their name if they approve it.

3. If you are a Momentum member, please “nominate” the proposal, which has been submitted by Tony Greenstein: Click here. Deadline is Friday, February 16. Continue Reading “How you can support LAW’s submission to the Corbyn Review”

Order LAW’s new leaflet

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Download front page and back page in PDF format or download in A4 format (both pages side by side)

You can now order copies of this leaflet for distribution in your local area: 

20 leaflets for £2
50 leaflets for £3
100 leaflets for £5
200 leaflets for £8
1k leaflets for £30

You can pay via Paypal below or transfer the amount directly into our account (please also send an email telling us that this is for leaflets): Labour Against the Witchhunt, Sort code 30-94-73, Account No 21409868




Anti-Semitism training by the JLM? Just say no!

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We understand that the Jewish Labour Movement is writing to Constituency Labour Parties offering training sessions in opposing anti-semitism.
While opposed to racism in all its forms, we urge CLPs to reject the JLM’s offer for the following reasons:
  • The JLM encourages the adoption of the International Holocaust Memorial Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-semitism, with all its accompanying examples, several of which equate antisemitism with criticism of Israel. The IHRA definition has been challenged by Jewish groups and legal experts.
  • The Chakrabarti report, commissioned by the Party leadership, argued against “narrow anti racist training programmes (p22)
    “On reflection, and having gauged the range of feelings within the Party, it is not my view that narrow anti-racism training programmes are what is required. There is a grave danger that such an approach would seem patronising or otherwise insulting rather than truly empowering and enriching for those taking part. Instead, the Party’s values, mission and history could be firmly embedded in more comprehensive activism and leadership education designed to equip members”

Instead, we urge branches and CLPs to invite a speaker from an organisation like Labour Against the Witchhunt or Jewish Voice for Labour, to address issues like ‘Why anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism’ or ‘How to stop the witch hunt against the pro-Corbyn left’.

Grassroots Black Left Submission to Labour’s Democracy Review

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I have been asked to distribute this to people and ask them to submit the following to the Democracy Review at democracy@labour.org.uk.  It has to be in by Friday 12th January 4pm.

I am also enclosing the Grassroots Black Left (GBL) criticism of Momentum owner Jon Lansman’s proposals on BAME. They are very critical of the fact that Lansman has wound up all the liberation strands in Momentum and is in the process of winding up the Youth Section as well.

Here is the link to Lansman’s Open Letter with which the GBL agree.  At the moment BAME is in the hands of the Right and is a rotten borough which excludes 99% of Black and Asian members of the Labour Party.

The Grassroots Black Left proposals reject the term BAME as a white term.  In particular they reject the concept of ‘ethnic minority’ which is ill defined and can include people who are not oppressed.  They call for a Labour Party Black Socialists group with 2 representatives, not one as Lansman proposes on the NEC.  They also call for an annual not a biannual conference.

If you agree with the Grassroots Black Left Proposals can you please submit them in your own name, with your membership number attached and contact details by tomorrow January 12, 4 pm at the very latest.

Thank you, Tony Greenstein

Please accept this as my submission to the Labour Party Democracy Review. I request an acknowledgement of receipt.

According to the Guardian’s Rajeev Syal Democracy review may put Keith Vaz’s position on Labour NEC at risk, fewer than 800 members voted for Keith Vaz as the BAME NEC member in August, despite an estimated 72,000 black and minority ethnic members.  This is unacceptable.  As presently constituted BAME Labour appears to be a self-selecting elite club which is not open to the vast majority of Black and Asian members of the Labour Party.  As presently constituted some 1% of Black and Asia Labour Party members are members of BAME Labour  and yet they elected Keith Vaz as the BAME member of the National Executive Committee.  It is clear that as presently constituted BAME Labour is a rotten borough.  The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader was supposed to lead to a wind of change, not a consolidation of the undemocratic practices of New Labour.  The old undemocratic institutions of New Labour need to be overthrown. Continue Reading “Grassroots Black Left Submission to Labour’s Democracy Review”