It’s time for Jennie Formby to find Witchfinder General Sam Matthews a real job
I learnt yesterday that Alan Bull has been suspended by Sam Matthews, Blairite detreitus left after the departure of McNicol, Oldknow, Stolliday and co. Alan has been blocked from standing for Labour in the forthcoming local elections in Peterborough because of the malicious allegations of two far-Right Labour councillors, Richard Ferris & Matthew Mahabadi..
|The Real Target is Corbyn|
Alan Bull has been under investigation by the Labour party since July 2017 as a result of these complaints, which involve doctored facebook posts being sent to Labour's Eastern region. Mr Bull was asked a number of questions about these posts and he responded in full in November 2017.
|Sam Matthews standard letter of suspension|
Since then Alan has not been given any information about the progress of the investigation. Many people have written supporting letters in his defence. At the local Labour Campaign Forum meeting in November, although these doctored posts were circulated, Alan’s candidature was nonetheless ratified and was selected as candidate for Stanground South.
Having failed to derail his nomination through Labour's democratic procedures the Right have instead used the tried and trusted methods of McCarthyism - false and wounding allegations.
|Cllr. Richard Ferris - the race hate baiter|
|Cllr. Mahabadi - Ferris's partner in crime|
A complaint was made to the Eastern Region in November 2017 about the fact that these doctored posts, which were subject to investigation, had apparently been leaked to the press by Labour members. No action was taken against those who were responsible.
|Cllr. Richard Ferris's malicious and baiting tweets - for which he should be suspended|
An article about Mr Bull was published in the Peterborough Telegraph in February 2018. The two councillors who made the malicious allegations, Richard Ferris and Matthew Mahabadi, not happy with the investigation, took it upon themselves to launch a smear campaign against Alan. They have continually fed the press with leaked information.
|It isn't anti-semitism that Ferris is opposed to but the Palestinians|
Ferris and Mahabadi arrived at a full council meeting on 7th March in Peterborough wearing red T shirts with the slogan “Labour against anti Semitism” at the moment when Alan Bull arrived as a guest to the meeting. They have now launched a twitter page called “ Labour councillors against anti-Semitism” which is almost entirely devoted to defaming Alan and where doctored Facebook posts have been posted naming him publicly as an anti-Semite and a bigot.
This behaviour is not only grossly detrimental to the party but also detrimental to Mr Bulls’s chances of winning the seat for Labour. Mr Ferris, as can be seen in one of the screen shots, when Mr Bull advertised a canvassing session commented “We don’t canvass for deluded bigots, ta very much”
|Another key target is Chris Williamson MP - one of the PLP's most committed socialists|
As the Secretary of Alan’s CLP wrote in her letter:
‘This behaviour by two councillors from our own party is totally unacceptable and should be dealt with as a matter of urgency. We have elections in 7 weeks’ time, and Mr Bull like many others is working hard for his campaign, and is being hounded and smeared in this disgraceful way. They are bringing the party into disrepute as well as making slanderous and libellous comments about a fellow member and candidate... I sincerely hope that these individuals will be disciplined as a matter of urgency before they cause any more damage.’
The next meeting of the Disputes Committee is in 4 weeks time. It is clear that this sudden decision is intended to prevent a socialist candidate standing for election. Even if as we expect Alan is cleared of any wrongdoing then the suspension will have served its purpose. These most recent public smears and false allegations made against Alan by these two far right Labour councillors will have served their purpose and Sam Matthews is a willing partner to this deception.
The background to this story in Alan Bull’s own words is this:
In June 2015 I had 5000 Facebook friends, many of whom enjoyed discussing a wide range of controversial subjects that didn’t appear in the mainstream media. My habit then, as now is as follows - friends send me posts they think are of interest. I repost mostly without comment to discover what other friends have to say about the article/MEM. When a friend comments, I cut and paste this-complete with their name, and paste above the article before reposting. This stimulates more comments and we all get a better understanding of the subject as a result. The most controversial article I posted privately to friends only, 2 years ago, was a documentary, with the controversial title, “Red cross confirm holocaust is a hoax”. The more accurate and considerably less shocking sub heading of this title was excluded by the screenshotter for maximum impact. As were ALL of the 46 comments, including a short exchange I had with a Jewish friend who commented, “Can I ask the intent of this article, are you denying the holocaust”? To which I replied, “Not at all, just posting for discussion and debate, as usual, best wishes, Alan”. These comments were seen by at least two independent witnesses before the post disappeared from my inbox, two days laterI was ratified last November.
These comments were removed, to create the impression that I, in some way agreed with the article in an attempt to misrepresent my intention and have me suspended from the party.
Other articles claiming I was anti-Semitic included supporting a petition to reinstate Ken Livingstone and another article which was actually written by one of my Jewish friends!
I have one chance to have this appalling decision overturned, and prevent the local party appointing their own candidate to replace me. But I need your URGENT help.
I NEED YOU to write urgently to your CLP secretary TODAY! To express your opposition to me being suspended, and your insistence that the individuals responsible for making this internal matter public are sanctioned. Also to bombard Jenny Formby @Jenieunite
|The LAAS trolls instruct Matthews to suspend Alan Bull|
|Euan Phillips, Chair of Tonbridge CLP and Emma Picken of Lewisham West are the main trolls involved in LAAS|
|LAAS has 'serious concerns' that Jennie Formby won't continue the witchhunt - lets hope so|
|The real target of LAAS is Corbyn himself - the Palestine Live FB group is an excuse - and it in fact contains virtually no antisemitic material anyway|
Alan Bull’s offence is not having ever said he is a holocaust denier but that he distributed a Holocaust denial article for discussion. Since when are topics such as Holocaust denial ‘forbidden’ by the ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ thought police? These people have one goal only. To smear anyone like Alan who is a Palestine solidarity supporter, if necessary by doctoring screen prints. Their purpose is to deflect attention from things like Israel’s deportation of 40,000 Black African refugees or the comments this week by Israel’s Chief Rabbi that Black people are monkeys. Their outrage over racism is entirely selective.
|It's in Israel that you get the real White Supremacist racism and bigotry - Ferris, Matthews and Mahabdi's purpose is to distract from the real racism|
Alan was asked, during the course of his investigation, a series of questions about the posts, mainly - whether he thinks that “some people might find them offensive and/or anti-semitic” His answers are below. Questions asked of him are in bold.
I don’t doubt that you are able to appreciate that in a broad party like Labour anything is likely to cause offence to others who chose to take a different view.
Personally I find it offensive that doctored Facebook posts with my name on them were handed out to everyone at a recent LCF meeting by the regional colleague who introduced the material with statements like, “this is definitely anti-semitic”, before any serious analysis of the evidence had taken place.
I am a lifelong anti-racist and opposes all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, and I draw a sharp distinction between anti-semitism and anti-zionism, the latter which as an internationalist I support.
I am concerned that the party appears to have started this investigation without identifying any objective anti-semitic content.
Baroness Chakrabarti in her Report of June 2016 wrote, regarding the Party’s complaints procedure that:“It is also important that the procedures explain that those in respect of whom allegations have been made are clearly informed of the allegation(s) made against them, their factual basis and the identity of the complainant”. This has not happened.
I am entitled to see the exact allegations that have been made, the name of his accuser, when and in what context they were made.
The articles were not posted with intent to offend anybody. Rather they were reposted to friends, (not the public), to encourage discussion and debate as I have done with many other posts on a wide range of subjects.
Articles were reposted inspired by the idea of Machloket (Torah Debate), and in the same spirit. Because I post articles does not mean I agree with them.
I am now aware that I should restrict posting on FB to party political matters only – something I have become aware of since becoming actively involved in the Labour party. I am sorry for any offence that may have unintentionally been caused.
I am also aware that my Facebook account has been hacked so that posts intended for friends only have been seen by the public and this has been done with deliberate intent to find materials with which to discredit my membership.
The same intent was apparent when the doctored facebook posts were leaked to the local press after the LCF meeting on 9th November from inside the Labour party which would not only discredit me but also the Labour party itself.
Other Points to support Alan’s case
A. Question - Do you think these posts are offensive to some people or could be seen as anti-semitic?
Shami Chakrabarti's point was that "even offensive language on its own is only antisemitic if it is coupled with antisemitic intent ".
The sharing of posts in itself does not show an anti-Semitic intent. It may be upsetting or offensive to some, in varying degrees. It is possible to disagree with the content of these posts. Posting something by itself cannot be an action deserving sanction.
In any event the people who hacked into his account were clearly looking for something to be offended by.
Noone can be in control of the offence that others take. The party asked him to speculate on the inner feelings of others and he was in no position to comment on that. In any event, giving offence is the essence of free speech. If no one was offended then all speech would be anodyne. Offence itself is not and should not be a disciplinary offence.
A Recent email from Alex Hall . secretary of LCF, 1st December gave information about the use of social media as a Labour Member and “Tom Watson’s code of conduct”. This information had not been sent to members at any point - and now this information was being distributed to candidates. How can a member be held responsible under these rules if they have not been given them?
There must be no more Labour Party kangaroo courts. The Labour Party should adopt Trade Union best practice on discipline of members. Natural justice: not procedural unfairness based on prejudice. Moshé Machover must be the last to suffer this injustice. (recently summarily expelled and then re-instated)
“The issue of weaponisation and false and malicious accusations of anti-Semitism which are hurled at those who dare to speak against the Zionist project of colonisation and its Israeli settler colonial state needs to be addressed and this vicious weapon thrown on the scrap-heap” as happened in the case of Moshe Machover December 2017
1. At the LCF meeting of 9th November 2017
2. Procedural rules appear to have been broken as the screenshot facebook posts from Alan were taken out of context, doctored and then presented to attendees as “evidence” before any investigation had taken place or defence given.
3. Teddy Ryan, the Labour Party Regional Representative, produced confidential papers relating to Alan Bull that he had photocopied which he handed round the meeting. These were supposed to assist the delegates with their decision on ratification of Mr Bull as candidate for Stanground South.
4. Teddy Ryan, also made several judgements on what he saw in front of him as “evidence of anti-Semitism”, even though the investigation in the case had not been concluded. Some of the evidence presented to members of the LCF included “doctored” facebook posts which were intended to be prejudicial.
5. It should not be necessary to point out that opposition to the Zionism or the Israeli government has no relation whatsoever to anti-Semitism, just as opposition to the British government has no relation to anti-British sentiment. Clearly Ryan believes anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are one and the same.
6. Under the new rules for investigations, accusations against a member must be assessed by the investigating officer before it is progressed or used in any way. That assessment and initial investigation had not taken place? It was therefore entirely inappropriate for the accusations of anti-semitism to have been spread around in the manner that it was during the meeting by the Labour Party Regional Officer Teddy Ryan.
7. The subjective issue of evidence “bringing the labour party into disrepute” should be balanced against the very strong likelihood that a fellow member of the Labour Party actively trawled the Alan Bull’s Facebook to find posts which would discredit him as a candidate. This action, and the fact that the posts were presented in a distorted and manipulated manner, could equally be seen as bringing the party into disrepute. Nothing in the behaviour of Alan Bull, a hard working activist, has been brought into question before this time.
8. The above allegations are particularly disturbing since the Labour Party in Peterborough is on the verge of making a major breakthrough in Council elections and it would appear that one or more people are seeking to prevent that.