3 June 2016

Labour’s Inquisition – from the banal to the mundane

Calling for the reselection of Labour MP Peter Kyle is a disciplinary offence

It is apparently a disciplinary offence to call for the resignation of Peter Kyle MP - a man who supports private involvement in the NHS
On bank holiday Monday, having been suspended on March 18th and supplied with my list of crimes, I faced the person who was my Inquisitor.  Accompanies by Christine Shawcroft of Labour’s National Executive Committee as my silent witnesses, I met Harry Gregson, Labour’s SE Regional organiser.  Harry had a whole bundle more tweets to question me over thus demonstrating how absurd the process was.
My interrogator - Harry Gregson - Labour's SE Regional Organiser
First I was suspended without any reason being given, then I found out what the reasons for my suspension were via the Daily Telegraph as Labour’s Compliance/Constitutional Unit had leaked the details, or some of the details.  The whole process is devoid of anything remotely resembling natural justice.  So blatantly unfair is this process that Labour’s General Secretary Iain McNicol’s only response was to complain that I had besmirched the name of those who had leaked details of my charges.
Christine Shawcroft of the NEC was my silent witness - Christine was herself suspended last year
I have now transcribed what was slightly more than an hour’s interrogation.  Amusing points for me were when, in response to a question as to why I  had  described Zionism as a form of Jewish anti-Semitism, I asked Harry whether or not describing Jews as vermin might count as anti-Semitism.  He refused to answer!  Of course I had already telegraphed the answer to him, by supplying him with an article Classic zionism and modern anti-semitism - Parallels and influences (1883-1914) by an Israeli scholar Jacques Doron in the Journal of Israeli History.  The exact quote was by one Pinhas Felix Rosenbliith, who later became Minister of Justice in Israel.  He described Palestine as "an institute for the fumigation of Jewish vermin."
Torquemada - A man whose picture adorns Labour's Compliance Unit
One thing was clear from the interrogation.  It wasn’t about any actions of mine but solely concerned with my views and beliefs.  This demonstrates that it isn’t a question of any actions I have undertaken but my opinions which are on trial, something which is explicitly ruled out under the Labour Party’s own rules and constitution.  That is why the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement is seeking to amend the rules in order that someone’s beliefs and views when it comes to anti-Semitism are indeed an expulsion offence.  Of course the JLM will be the arbiter of what constitutes anti-Semitism.  Hence if, like Jackie Walker and myself, you are Jewish and have been to the fore in anti-fascist and anti-racist campaigning, that will be no defence.  Because the anti-Semitism the Zionists are talking about is not a form of racism but opposition to the State of Israel – and that certainly is an offence under New Labour.
One of the questions was about 'how Israel’s policy is about waiting for the remaining holocaust survivors to die.'  The answer lay in the above article from Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper
The interview took place at the Labour Party offices at 99 Church Street in Hove as it was a bank holiday and nowhere else could be booked.  It did entail entering a building with the local MP Peter Kyle’s  photo adorning it, however I had taken the precaution of wearing a silver cross and covering myself in cloves of garlic!

The transcript can be viewed here

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