Iain McNicol Steps Up the Attack on Free Speech as Corbyn’s office gives the OK
|Iain McNicol - as shifty as he looks - responsible for the attack on free speech and the Left - came from the GMB as their political officer - close ally of Tom Watson, who was also an employee of the GMB|
In what is, even for New Labour, a quite unbelievable decision, Labour Party Headquarters has stepped in with an instruction, behind which lies of course the threat of suspension and worse, that a motion on the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ witch-hunt cannot be discussed at a local party branch. According to Ben Westerman of the ‘governance and legal unit’ (Compliance Unit I guess) the motion was ‘objectionable on almost every level’.
|After his victory we didn't hear much about a probe as Corbyn set about appeasing McNicol and Tom Watson - his office's support for this attack on free speech will rebound on him|
|Stanley Keabble of the Labour Party Marxists group|
Even in the bad old days of the Right this level of attack on basic and fundamental rights did not occur. If the Leader’s Office, whomsoever that was, was complicit in McNicol’s actions, then that is not only wrong but counter-productive. Does Seamus Milne or Corbyn really believe that attacks on free speech in the Labour Party is going to shore up his position? McNicol might be lying low for the moment but when the chance to wield the assassin’s knife comes round again he won’t be found wanting. What the Leader’s office should be doing is encouraging the maximum debate on these topics.
It probably hasn’t occurred to Mr Westerman that forbidding free speech and treating members as children who are too precocious to debate and discuss what is happening in the Labour Party might also give the wrong impression? But that is not the real reason why this pettifogging bureaucrat has stepped in. It is because the Labour Party bureaucracy has stepped in to prevent what it sees as a political critique and attack on itself and its actions over the past months. Like all such bureaucracies what they are best at is forbidding something.
|Ronnie Draper - one of the early victim's of crooked McNicol's purge|
There is nothing in the least objectionable about discussing where the ‘anti-Semitism’ witch hunt has come from or rejecting the concept of ‘new anti-Semitism’ which holds that criticising Israel is a form of anti-Semitism. If it is forbidden to mention the word ‘Zionism’ as some would like then maybe those same people can explain why the term is in common parlance in Israel. Zionism in short means today Jewish supremacy and domination in the Israeli state. The World Zionist Organisation, which is a living and breathing organisation, funds the West Bank settlements and settlement expansion. The WZO founded the Israeli state.
What is involved here is an attack on free speech of anti-imperialists using the pretext of ‘anti-Semitism’. It is sad, to say the least that Jeremy Corbyn, given his own record of support for the Palestinians, is now so cowed that he does not face down those who have done their best to remove him. Just as it is shameful that instead of telling McNicol to this face, after his re-election, that he had no confidence in him and that he should go, said that he had never challenged him. Caving in to the right-wing like this only embolden’s Corbyn’s enemies. It is a stupid and counter-productive decision and should be reversed without delay.
|crooked Iain McNicol - did his best to swing Labour's election Owen Smith's way|
Gagged - Labour HQ forbids branch motion
Discussion of political differences over the issue of anti-Zionism and alleged anti-Semitism was blocked at the November 10 AGM of Ravenscourt Branch Labour Party in the Hammersmith constituency - on explicit instructions from Labour HQ.
My motion (see below), condemning "the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign and witch-hunt against the Labour left and supporters of Jeremy Corbyn", had been circulated with the agenda to the 231 members of the branch - 70 of whom joined during 2016. Four new members were among the 26 present. Members looking forward to an open discussion between comrades - the best way to overcome misunderstandings and mistrust, and to clarify different opinions - were dismayed by the bureaucratic gagging of debate from above, and made "nervous" by the dangerous precedent that party HQ can control discussion in a branch.
The branch secretary read out an email received earlier that day from a Mr Ben Westerman of the party's "governance and legal unit", endorsed by "the leader's office" - ie, by Jeremy Corbyn himself - instructing the branch to rule the motion out-of-order.
When members asked "Why?", the secretary confirmed that no reason was given in the email, but gave an indication of some of the reasons Mr Westerman gave in a phone conversation, including that the motion was "objectionable on almost every level" and was the kind of thing that "should not be put before new members" as it "would give the wrong impression of what the Labour Party is about".
Such patronising nonsense, sacrificing debate to sanitise appearances, is characteristic of New Labour's discredited method, and the antithesis of Corbyn's "straight talking politics" brand, and must be overcome in the struggle to democratise Labour and advance socialist politics in the party.
Motion: ‘Anti-Semitism’ smear campaign and witch-hunt:
This Branch/Constituency Labour Party/Conference:
1. Rejects the Zionist concept of so-called ‘new anti-semitism’, which conflates anti-Jewish racism with political criticism of the state of Israel and its ongoing colonisation of Palestinian land, and with criticism of the political ideology of Zionism.
2. Condemns the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign and witch-hunt prompted by the Israeli establishment and carried out by the mass media, the Tory Party and the Labour right against the Labour left and supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. The claim that anti-Semitism – ie, anti-Jewish racism – is rife in the Labour Party, particularly in the left wing of the Labour Party, is simply untrue.
3. Calls for the immediate lifting of all of the suspensions and expulsions from Labour Party membership in any way connected to the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign and witch-hunt. That includes Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, Tony Greenstein, Gerry Downing and numerous other supporters of the Palestinian cause.
4. Calls for disciplinary proceedings to be instigated against John Mann MP. He publicly attacked Labour NEC member Ken Livingstone in front of TV cameras, calling him a “disgusting Nazi apologist” - an accusation without foundation. Mann’s attack played a key role in stepping up the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign and witch-hunt and could only but damage Labour’s chances in the May elections. Presumably the aim was to create the conditions for the removal of Jeremy Corbyn as leader.
5. Condemns the willing collaboration in the witch-hunt of the Labour Party’s Compliance Unit and the Labour Party general secretary, Ian McNicol. They have been more than ready to accept at face value obviously false and malicious complaints of anti-Semitism.
6. Condemns the lack of due process in the suspensions and expulsions of Labour Party members. The failure to apply the principles of natural justice brings the Labour Party into disrepute.
7. Calls for the abolition of the Labour Party Compliance Unit and for the establishment of democratic, transparent disciplinary procedures which follow the principles of natural justice, and in which disciplinary decisions are made by elected representatives, not by paid officials.
The misnamed 'Jewish Labour Movement' - a political Zionist organisation, formerly 'Poale Zion' - continues to assert that the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism’s working definition on antisemitism is the standard definition. However, its successor body, the Fundamental Rights Agency, has junked this definition, which equates criticism of the Israeli state with antisemitism.