Posts Tagged ‘David Evans’

‘I’ Report on Walkout by Left-Wing Labour NEC Members

November 27, 2020

Starmer’s attack on the Labour left and his drive to centralise authority around himself and the Blairites continues. On Tuesday the left-wing members of the party’s NEC staged a Virtual walkout at an online meeting in protest against Starmer’s imposition of Margaret Beckett as chair. Starmer’s action had breached party rules stating that the position was elected. The I published a piece about this, ‘Left-wingers ‘walk out’ after Beckett wins NEC chair’ by Harriet Line and Alan Jones in its edition for Wednesday 25th November 2020. This ran

Members on the left of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee staged a digital walkout in protest at the election of veteran MP Dame Margaret Beckett as chairwoman.

In a letter to the party’s general secretary, David Evans, a dozen NEC members said the “longstanding protocol” of the vice-chair being elected as chair was not being followed.

They said Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had lobbied for Dame Margaret to be elected to the position, and accused him of “promoting factional division within Labour”.

The members staged a Virtual walkout from the NEC’s “away day”, which was being conducted via Zoom, yesterday morning.

In the letter, they said: “We believe the true reason for the leader lobbying for Dame Margaret, and indeed the reason that had been given by senior party MPs in private, is because the vice-chair, Ian Murray, was a signature to the previous correspondence sent to you seeking admonishment of the Leader.”

Signatories to the letter are believed to include the NEC’s outgoing chiar, Andi Fox, Mick Whelan, the Aslef general secretary, former MP Laura Pidcock and youth rep Lara McNeill, as well as Mr Murray. Ms Fox said the “disregard and disrespect for the left is something we could not allow.”

Some in the NEC had already expressed anger at Sir Keir’s decision to withhold the whip from Jeremy Corbyn, despite the body allowing him to return as a party member.

On Monday, Labour’s chief whip Nick Brown asked Mr Corbyn to apologise for claiming that the scale of anti-Semitism in the party was “dramatically overstated for political reasons.” In a letter seen by the PA news agency, Mr Brown said Mr Corbyn’s response to a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report caused “distress and pain” to the Jewish community.

This looks to me like Starmer trying to keep control of the NEC after a large number of people from the party’s left were elected. As for Starmer’s imposition of Beckett as chair, of course it’s not democratic. Starmer’s a Blairite, and Blair hated grassroots democracy in the party along with anything that smacked of traditional Labour values and policies. He did everything he could to centralise power about himself and the New Labour faction.

Corbyn’s comments about the exaggeration of anti-Semitism in the party for political reasons was absolutely correct, and he has nothing to apologise for. The actual incidence of real anti-Semitism in Labour was very, very low. In 2019 the party had the joint lowest level of anti-Semitism of all of them. And contrary to what we’re now being fed, anti-Semitism, like racism generally, comes overwhelmingly from the fascist and populist right. But the right-wing British political and media establishment exaggerated its incidence in Labour in order to smear Corbyn and his supporters. They took their cue from the self-proclaimed Jewish establishment – the Board, Chief Rabbinate and various other malign organisations – who don’t represent all of Britain’s diverse Jewish community by any means. These organisations just represent the United Synagogue and were not concerned with protecting Jews from real anti-Semitism as protecting Israel from criticism for its barbarous, inhuman treatment of the Palestinians.

The left-wingers on the NEC were entirely right to protest, especially as Starmer is continuing his abandonment of Corbyn’s genuinely popular policies. Policies that this country and its working people, Black, White, Asian, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist or pagan, desperately need.

But Starmer doesn’t want to represent them, only the interests of the elite and affluent, and the neoliberalism that enriches them.

Bristol South Passes Motion of Solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn

November 20, 2020

As Mike has reported in his piece about Jeremy Corbyn calling in m’learned friends, Bristol South has passed a motion of solidarity with the former Labour leader. This was one of four motions, one of which commented on the EHRC report on anti-Semitism in the party.

Bristol South is my local Constituency Labour Party, and I was at the meeting. Due to the lockdown, it was held on Zoom and was packed. It was a long meeting, partly because of problems some members had accessing the meeting and the polling system with their machines.

The current secretary, David Evans, has issued a diktat stating that it was ‘not competent business’ for local Labour parties to repudiate the EHRC report or comment on the disciplinary proceedings against members. Hence the meeting was very rigidly controlled in order to prevent people unfortunately breaking those rules. The four motions were present to the members, who were called on to suggest amendments. However, because of the danger of transgressing Evans’ decrees, people were not allowed to discuss them. This was naturally resented by many members, but the local party leadership made it clear that they were not going to change their rules for the evening.

One of the motions was, I think, passed unanimously or almost so. This was presented by the CLP’s LGBTQ+ officer. It noted that there was rising levels of prejudice and abuse against other minority groups, such as Blacks, Asians and ethnic minorities, gay and transfolk, and the disabled as well as Jews. It called for the party to treat hate and discrimination against them as seriously as anti-Semitism, for officers dealing with cases to receive special training.

The first motion commented on the EHRC and there was some bitter opposition to it and to the motion of solidarity with Corbyn from those members, who I assume are members of the party’s right-wing or have been taken in by the lies of the establishment smear merchants. These members wished the motions to be altered to omit a number of clauses. One of these was a condemnation of the political interference now being done by the leadership, because it was bringing the party into disrepute, just like the political interference in the anti-Semitism cases condemned by the EHRC in their report. Others stated that it was a pity that the EHRC had not waited until the party’s own reports into the handling of anti-Semitism cases had been published before publishing theirs. The motion also contained a clause requesting the party issue clear guidance on how anti-Semitism cases should be handled. Despite very strong opposition, the proposed amendments to remove them failed and the clauses remained in the motion.

A young man tried to amend the motion of solidarity with Corbyn so that it removed all reference to him and became instead a pledge of unity that the party would go forward to combat racism, Fascism and anti-Semitism. This chap clearly believed that Corbyn was a terrible anti-Semite, but his motion was also defeated. It’s noxious for a number of reasons. The most important of these is obviously that Jeremy Corbyn is not and never has been an anti-Semite, despite the screaming lies by the right-wing British establishment. Secondly, the reason why Corbyn and his supporters have all been grossly libelled as anti-Semites is because Corbyn is an opponent of Israel’s barbarous treatment of the Palestinians. The supporters of the current Israeli government have tried to defend the indefensible by decrying the country’s critics as anti-Semites. They’ve been doing that since the 1980s, which is why one Jewish critic of Israeli racism, Norman Finkelstein, has called the Israel lobby a machine for manufacturing anti-Semites. Thirdly, you cannot pick and choose which racism you oppose if you are serious about combating racism. You cannot, say, denounce and fight anti-Black racism or Islamophobia while ignoring anti-Semitism. At the same time, you can’t oppose institutional racism against Blacks while defending the Israeli apartheid system which viciously discriminates against the Palestinians. This is why Jackie Walker, a Jewish Black woman, came to become an opponent of Israeli apartheid. She had been a member of the movement against South African apartheid in the 1970s, and somebody asked her how she could oppose that, but not Israeli discrimination against their indigenous population. She couldn’t, and so became an opponent of Israeli racism along with the other noxious varieties. This is why the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Jewish Labour Movement took it upon themselves to smear her as an anti-Semite, as they have done so many Jewish critics of Israel, despite her Jewish heritage, marriage and faith.

I am very glad that these motions have been passed, and fully appreciate the reasons for the very tight restrictions the local party leadership placed on their debate. As the secretaries made clear, these are very emotive issues, quite apart from the fact that it has been made clear that any breach of Evans’ rules would result in disciplinary action.

I hope the current leadership will take these motions on board and reinstate Jeremy Corbyn fully, restore the whip to him and adopt the recommendations of the other motions in order to make the party more just and fair in dealing with cases of prejudice and discrimination.

The Complete Guide to the Bigots, Racists, Islamophobes and Weirdoes in UKIP

March 21, 2015

The website Angry Meditations has put up this post, Your definitive guide to UKIP’s racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes, anti-Semites, paedophiles, animal abusers, and violent bullies. listing every every racial and religious bigot, misogynist, paedophile, animal abuser and general weirdo in UKIP and their offensive statement and views, or their crimes against children and animals. And there’s a very long line of them, from the Fuhrage downwards.

They include not just the Purple Duce himself, but also senior party officials, such as Steve Crowther, Neil Hamilton, Matthew Richardson, Misty Thackeray, Christopher Monckton, Stuart Wheeler, and Winston Mackenzie; the party’s MP, Mark Reckless; their MEPs, Janice Atkinson, Diane James, Julia Reid, Stuart Agnew, Patrick O’Flynn, Roger Helmer, Bill Etheridge, Mike Hookem, Gerard Batten and Godfrey Bloom; their parliamentary candidates, Bill Walker, Donald Grewar, Przemek Skwircynski, John Rees-Evans, Dr Jonathon Munday, Martyn Ford, Lynton Yates, Rev. George Hargreaves, Ted Strike, Philip Rose, Julia Gasper, Kerry Smith, Mark Walker, David Evans and John White; local chairs and party secretaries, Steve Kendall, Pamela Preedy, Neil Whitear, Richard Crouch, David Challice, Peter Entwhistle, and Andy Lovie; local councillors, Trevor Shonk, Martyn Heale, Tiggs Keywood-Wainwright, Donna Edmunds, Chris Paine, Eric Kitson, Rozanne Duncan, David Silvester, and Dave Small; council candidates, Geoff Courtenay, Anne-Marie Crampton, John Lyndon Sullivan, Dean Perks, Iain McLaughlan, Paul Rimmer, Magnus Nielsen, David Wycherley, James Silverfox, Gary Port, William Henwood, Matt Pavey, Ronald Loebell, Heino Vockrodt and Keith Woods; ordinary UKIP members and affiliated groups and individuals, David William Griffiths, Jan Zolyniak, Douglas Denny, Timothy ‘Dusty’ Miller, Christian Soldiers of UKIP, Demetri Marchessini, Richard Desmond, Robert Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, Bjorn Soder and Mike Read.

The article begins

As a historic election looms in Britain, a self-described anti-establishment party which wants to leave the EU and cull immigration is beginning to make waves. UKIP promises to restore lost British glory by renegotiating trade deals and placing restrictions on immigration, and insists that it is an inclusive, libertarian, non-racist party.

So, one would expect an exposé list like this to be full of candidates taking on the most powerful and greedy: Media elites, corporate CEOs, stockbrokers, bankers, and anybody else with significant money or influence. And yet, this “non-racist” party instead seems to be riddled with hate-filled bigots whose sole delight is targeting minorities and those with absolutely no power.

Perhaps this list is part of some big Lib Dem-Labour-Tory-BBC conspiracy to discredit the opposition and maintain the status quo. Or perhaps its evidence of a pervasive lack of compassion and a rife infestation of hatred.

Unfortunately, I have to update this list nearly every week, and it’s therefore divided into sections to make it easier to read.

It’s at https://angrymeditations.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/your-definitive-guide-to-ukips-violent-racists-sexists-homophobes-benefit-haters-anti-semites-islamophobes-and-extremists/ if you want to take a look at the list yourself and see the really disgusting ideas and actions of the people listed themselves.

And after reading that long list, you’re left wondering if there’s anyone, anyone at all in UKIP, who isn’t a raging bigot who hates just about marginalised group around, and who isn’t a threat to children and livestock.