Antisemitism exists in the Labour Party, as it does in all parts of society. More than any other political party, Labour has led the way in improving and implementing processes to address the issue effectively. This is not reflected in media coverage of the issue.
This article was originally published in February. As the BBC’s Panorama programme prepares what is expected to be a regurgitation of Murdoch press smears against Labour and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, it is being republished.
Labour members and supporters will be more than familiar with the scale, intensity and sheer volume of Establishment smear campaigns against Corbyn, but the latest campaign is expected to plumb new depths. The information below will help to correct the record.
Claims of ‘Labour antisemitism’ issue continue to appear in the media – including most recently comments from MPs about Labour and its general secretary Jennie Formby.
But only one side of the issue is almost exclusively presented – as the SKWAWKBOX reported, the media’s portrayal of last night’s meeting of the PLP (parliamentary Labour party) was described as skewed and inaccurate by attendees, who said it was a ‘disgraceful’, ‘bullying’ attack on Formby.
To correct the imbalance caused by poor mainstream journalist, below are forty facts about the issue that will rarely, if ever, appear in the so-called ‘MSM’:
1. In October 1936, Jeremy Corbyn’s mother participated in the battle of Cable Street indefence of British Jews after British fascists had staged an assault on the area. Corbyn was raised in a household passionately opposed to antisemitism in all its forms.
2. In 23rd April 1977, Corbyn organised a counter-demonstrationto protect Wood Green from a neo-nazi march through the district. The area had a significant Jewish population.
3. On 7 November 1990, Corbyn signed a motion condemning the rise of antisemitism in the UK
4. In 2002 Jeremy Corbyn led a clean-up and vigil at Finsbury Park Synagogue which had been vandalised in an anti-Semitic attack
5. On 30 April 2002, Corbyn tabled a motion in the House of Commons condemning ananti-Semitic attackon a London Synagogue
6. On 26 November 2003, Jeremy Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motioncondemningterrorist attacks on two synagogues
7. In February 2009, Jeremy Corbyn signed a parliamentary motion condemning a fascist for establishing a website to host antisemitic materials
8. On 24th March 2009, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising British Jews who resisted the Holocaust by risking their lives to save potential victims
9. Nine years ago, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising “Jewish News”for its pioneering investigation into the spread ofAntisemitism on Facebook
10. On 9 February 2010, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion calling for an investigation into Facebook and its failure to prevent the spread of antisemitic materials on its site.
11. On 27 October 2010, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising the late Israeli Prime Minister for pursuing a two state solution to the Israel/Palestine question.
12. On 13 June 2012, Corbyn sponsored and signed a motion condemning the BBC for cutting a Jewish Community television programme from its schedule.
13. 1 October 2013, Corbyn appeared on the BBC to defend Ralph Miliband against vile antisemitic attacks by the UK press.
14. Five years ago Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion condemning antisemitism in sport.
15. On 1 March 2013, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion condemning and expressing concern at growing levels of antisemitism in European football.
16. On 9 January 2014, Jeremy Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising Holocaust education programmes that had taken 20,000 British students to Auschwitz.
17. On 22 June 2015, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion expressing concern at the neo-nazi march being planned for an area of London with a significant Jewish population.
18. On 9 October 2016, Corbyn, close to tears, commemorated the 1936 Battle of Cable Street and recalled the role his mother played in defending London’s Jewish community.
19. On 3 December 2016, Corbyn made a visit to Terezin Concentration Camp when Jewish people were murdered by the Nazis. It was Jeremy’s third visit to such a camp, all of which were largely unreported in the most read UK papers.
20. Last year, a widely-endorsed 2018 academic report found ninety-five serious reporting failures in the reporting of the Labour antisemitism story with the worst offenders The Sun, the Mail & the BBC.
21. On 28 February 2016, five months after becoming leader, Jeremy Corbyn appointed Baroness Royall to investigate antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club.
22. On 27 April 2016 Corbyn suspended an MP pending an investigation into antisemitism.
23. A day later, Corbyn suspended the three times Mayor of London after complaints of antisemitic comments. Party.
24. On 29 April 2016, Corbyn launched an inquiry into the prevalence of antisemitism in the Labour Party. In spite of later changes in how the inquiry was reported, it was initially praised by Jewish community organisations.
25. In Corbyn’s first seven months as leader of the Labour Party, just tencomplaints were received about antisemitism. 90% of those were suspended from the Labour Party within 24 hours.
26. In September 2017, Corbyn backed a motion at Labour’s annual conference introducing a new set of rules regarding antisemitism.
27. In the six months that followed the introduction of the new code of conduct, to March 2018, 94% of the fifty-four people accused of antisemitism remained suspended or barred from Labour Party membership. Three of the fifty-four were exonerated.
28. When Jennie Formby became general secretary of the party last year, she appointed a highly-qualified in-house Counsel, as recommended in the Chakrabarti Report.
29. In 2018, Labour almost doubled the size of its staff team handling investigations and dispute processes.
30. Last year, to speed up the handling of antisemitism cases, smaller panels of 3-5 NEC members were established to enable cases to be heard more quickly.
31. Since 2018, every complaint made about antisemitism is allocated its own independent specialist barrister to ensure due process is followed.
32. The entire backlog of cases outstanding upon Jennie Formby becoming General Secretary of the Labour Party was cleared within 6 months of Jennie taking up her post.
33. Since September 2018, Labour has doubled the size of its National Constitutional Committee (NCC) – its senior disciplinary panel – from 11 to 25 members to enable it to process cases more quickly.
34. Under Formby and Labour’s left-run NEC, NCC arranged elections at short notice to ensure the NCC reached its new full capacity without delay.
35. Since later 2018, the NCC routinely convenes a greater number of hearing panels to allow cases to be heard and finalised without delay.
36. In 2018, the NEC established a ‘Procedures Working Group’ to lead reforms in the way disciplinary cases are handled.
37. The NEC adopted the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and all eleven examples of antisemitism attached to it.
38. A rule change agreed at Conference in 2018 means that all serious complaints, including antisemitism, are dealt with nationally to ensure consistency.
39. Last year, Jennie Formby wrote to the admins and moderators of Facebook groups about how they can effectively moderate online spaces and requested that any discriminatory content be reported to the Labour Party for investigation.
40. Since last year, no one outside Labour’s Governance and Legal Unit can be involved in decision-making on antisemitism investigations. This independence allows decisions free from political influence to be taken.
Antisemitism exists in the Labour Party, as it does in all parts of society. More than any other political party, Labour has led the way in improving and implementing processes to address the issue effectively, This is not reflected in media coverage of the issue.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.