Analysis comment Exclusive

Excl: Butler – I’ve signed ‘Decency Plan’ but I will not cut out JVL

Latest version of ‘ten pledges’ says it is intended to ensure ‘non-discrimination’ – but explicitly discriminates against at least one group of Jewish Labour supporters

Labour deputy leadership candidate Dawn Butler has tweeted her support for Open Labour’s so-called ‘Plan for Decency’:

This is the name given to what Open Labour says,

is in large part based on Jewish Labour Movement’s (“JLM”) submission to Labour race and faith manifesto consultation and the ten pledges that the Board of Deputies of British Jews

and which the group says “attempts to address some of the concerns raised about them”.

However, while Dawn Butler’s tweet said that she would continue to reach out to ‘other Jewish community groups’ and the Open Labour ‘plan’ demands that future Labour candidates sign a commitment to ‘non-discrimination’, the plan itself explicitly discriminates against at least one Jewish group of Labour supporters.

One of the plan’s clarifications meant to address ‘concerns’ says:

The concern that Labour should not be prevented from engaging with smaller groups within a minority group has been addressed by making clear that this is meant to only prevent engagement with fringe groups that are not committed to non-discrimination, such as Jewish Voice for Labour.

The document does not appear to define the ‘non-discrimination’ to which it thinks Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is not committed. However, a JVL spokesperson said:

We regard the statement that JVL is “not committed to non discrimination” as utterly absurd. We abhor all forms of discrimination. This is clearly expressed in our statement of principles which informs everything we do.

It says: “Our mission is to contribute to making the Labour Party an open, democratic and inclusive party, encouraging all ethnic groups and cultures to join and participate freely. As such we aim to strengthen the party in its opposition to all forms of racism including antisemitism, broadening the party’s appeal to all sections of British society.

We take inspiration from the long history of Jewish involvement in the socialist and trade-union movements and in antiracist and antifascist struggles, including the anti-apartheid and civil-rights movements.

To exclude our more than 1000 members and supporters from debate is itself discriminatory.

Last month, both Dawn Butler and fellow deputy leadership candidate Richard Burgon said that they would not sign up to the BOD’s list of demands, one of which also demanded the ostracising of JVL.

Butler said then that she wanted to wait until the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published its report on the Labour Party and that getting Labour’s response right was too important to rush.

Burgon added that he had a number of concerns and wanted to ensure that all Jewish groups have a voice, including “minorities within a minority” – and his comments received a huge welcome from the audience of Labour members:

And in spite of tweeting that she would support the Open Labour ‘plan’, Ms Butler clarified to the SKWAWKBOX that her commitment to involving ‘other Jewish community groups’ includes JVL, whatever the plan might say about it.

Other issues with the original demands remain largely unchanged by the ‘Plan for Decency’, which with fifteen points instead of ten has added potential complications.

The SKWAWKBOX asked Open Labour to clarify what it means by ‘non-discrimination’ and how it thinks JVL is not committed to it. No response was received by the time of publication.

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  1. “to only prevent engagement with fringe groups that are not committed to non-discrimination, such as Jewish Voice for Labour.” TOTAL TOSH!!! As absurd as it is obscene!!! This confirms exactly what i detected in Butler. She is the MP who does not know how many people are homeless in her own Brent community. She is a lamentable pathetic disgrace. I saw over the weekend a large number of properties Durham mining towns going for the peppercorn price of £1.00 That is the result of the utter neglect and decimation of our heartlands by the Tories. Yet the liked of Starmer, Butler, Nandy, Rayner, Murray and Khan are happy to do everything to undermine and sabotage the only true labour party prised out of the claws of the monstrous Thatcherites. How biased is Butler to now slander Jewish Labour party members as a “fringe”? And where is her outcry and pledges to stamp out eugenicists in the Tory Party??? This precisely why i caution members, WE DO NOT HAVE ANY 2nd prefs in this leadership election. A vote for anyone other than Rebecca and Richard is a hazard from which our party will struggle to survive. The revival of the party is on the cliff because of Brexit and saboteurs trying to blame Jeremy. DON’t give our party to the disgraceful band of shallow traitors.

  2. oh and Butler used her Evening S slot to whine for Bercow. oh poor bercow is being bullied, thus advertising herself as the out of touch disconnected self serving fraud that she is like Starmer and Nandy etc. They have no regard for the members. The members are only used as fuel to propel their sordid shallow personal ambition. We desperately need Richard Burgon in there with Rebecca as she is the least worse of the 3 begging to be leader.

  3. The problem appears to be for all of the candidates is “who controlls the candidates” and who will control the Labour party,after the poorest set of candidates presented to us by the establishment PLP.?The result will mean the end of socialism especially if Sir starmer wins.

    1. Joseph, not many things come easily. You should know. Do you ever hear the right making defeatist noises??? No. They are always on the march, organising, using every means fair and foul. Please no more negativity. Ways to build! Ways to encourage! Constructive advice!!! Winners win because they work to win. They focus on winning. What exactly is the point of the opposite of that??? We have a month to rescue our party. PLEASE!!! A challenge yes. Hopeless no. No one thrives in negativity. It saps energy. If you have given up then please just enjoy the fruits, people and sunshine in Cambodia…or send us encouragement. … or what’s the point of sending the opposite???

      1. Tories are generally wealthier than we are and one of the benefits of wealth is lots of free time to indulge their interests.
        Conservatives’ primary interest is in conserving their personal wealth and privilege by fighting socialism.
        If every Labour member canvassed every evening and weekend it would make little difference.
        Massive brexit disaster would be the end of this Tory government, but at enormous cost.
        Only honesty imposed on the mainstream media with legislation and sanctions can finish off the Tories for good.
        Or pitchforks, obviously.

      2. McNiv i disagree, but understand your negative vibe. Was giving that “cultural” Left trait this very morning. For no though “If every Labour member canvassed every evening and weekend” focusing on everyone of the Tory evils u correctly highlight, as well as the need for stiff “sanctions” on the MSM “it would make” HUGE “difference.”

        Alas the self-serving jokes like Starmer Nandy Rayner Butler set no example re what our priorities and SUSTAINED focus should be. Hence for example the HUGE photo of Starmer’s HUGE face sent out to six hundred thousand homes. That reveals the priority of Sir K Starmer’s and his equally base B- siders – A sustained focus on themselves.

        We, with thought + determination, CAN, faster than you feel, expose the frauds and crush them. It takes a change from the complaining attitude to a DETERMINED POSITIVE ATTITUDE … Look through history. Radical change has ALWAYS been possible and achieved in micro and macro situations but NEVER without belief. A key problem is the poverty of belief. The “left” shows their defeatist poverty by the never ending protests. Odd thing to say, but to me protesting screams, we are not the ones to take charge and change things. We will never run things so you born rulers, change this, change that, this is bad that is bad. Instead of total focus on the electorate, their priorities and SPEAKING WITH THEM TO PERSUADE THEM THAT WE AND THE ELECTORATE WILL KICK THE TORIES OUT AND DEAL WITH THEIRS AND OUR B A S I C & U N I V E R S A L priorities. There is a creeping tendency to become a self soothing therapeutic group rather than eg making easily available the info, the data, to eg to regain the control of our CLPs. Cliques develop, the members of which show scant regard for new members especially. The nuts and bolts basic info to assist all to give their best is hogged, most likely for personal ambition. I suspect that the transformation in behaviour is

      3. … transformation in behaviour is unwitting. It stems from us becoming institutionalised without realising it. Tis a natural human trait but aspects like these are ignore in most organisations. Any critical enterprises demand attention to “manage” counter productive human traits. Amateur outfits, ignore them. Thus unprofessional attitudes and practises prevail. It takes CONSCIOUS planned action to counteract what is natural. People are often not bad. Rather we are naturally bad at reflection and bad at believing change is possible because, horror of horrors, we are actually all conservative with a small c😰😰😰

        But look up and onwards!!! NEVER give up!!! NEVER 🌹🌹🌹

      4. “Tories are generally wealthier than we are”

        That’s obviously true in terms of the members of the Party and the hierarchy.

        But – in terms of the voters? Not necessarily so : a narrow majority of the working class have voted Tory for a while. The attraction to notional ‘betters’ seems to be quite seductive – just like support for the monarchy.

      5. RH, I sort of hoped it was clear I meant the wealthy zealots with time and money to spare, not those ordinary gulls who vote Tory because they’re impressed by Savile Row suits and plummy accents.

        spnw, sorry but I couldn’t make sense of your reply at first reading.
        You seem to imply I’ve given up – far from it.
        I just disagree with you on the means – I think Labour needs to kick the media up the arse in the way I stated.
        No more Mr. Nice Guy.

      6. McNiv, no, my intended short post, was intended to encourage u and all of us. The post grew as ever to focus on some acute general “cultural” deficits on the left, not u… on this occasion. I hold the same view, Labour MUST kick the media u t a!!! Eg as re the vile irresponsible AS slanders, the while response was a pathetic, illogical silence, the a deluge of apologies not once asking fir evidence and comparing and contrasting the shameless irresponsibility of the MSM to ignore the intrenched racism, bigotry, ant-semitism in the Tory cesspit. Even now where are the MPs and sordid accusers assertively challenging the MSM on the comparatively deafening silence of CUMMINGS employing a vulgar disgusting eugenicist at the heart of government??? So i am at one with you on that. And there is a vast amount of publicly documented evidence that should have been used from the get go re the AS lies.

        Yes no more Mr Nice Guy!!! I would go further. It is a gross misunderstanding of niceness to refuse to drive home the historical and ingrained racism in general and antisemitism in particular in the Tory Party. It is not nice it is worse than stupid. It leaves the electorate in doubt. eg many may assume that the Tories have stopped being as bigoted as they were always known to be. But worse yet, why be silent about Tory antisemitism to be “nice”, but throw the most decent and long time campaigners against ALL racism under the bus??? That is inconsistent and NOT NICE.

        It was not done with malice. That gross injustice to Chris Williamson and many others was done out of a chronic failure to reflect on what it us to be ACTIVELY and USEFULLY “nice”.

        Niceness, kindness and gentleness is NOT speaking in a barely audible monotone voice on ANY issue let alone urgent ones. Niceness is not allowing decent people to be sacrificed to appease monsters, while absenting oneself from a vote to “impeach” the war criminal and liar Tony Blair. Niceness is not rewarding McNicoll with a peerage and nominating TWatson for one, thus enabling the Twatson to do more evil to us the members. Nice is not allowing Hodge to remain in the party while others are expelled for trivialities. AS much as Jeremy is exceptionally great, no one is perfect. And, in my opinion, the greatest imperfection appears to be a lifetime cultivating a flawed idea of niceness. Sadly those around him have failed to help him reflect on that. These are not easy things to hear, but once one is in a position of responsibility FOR OTHERS, we have to listen to and respond positively to challenging things.

        Hope i’v been clearer.

  4. When presented with “no choice” one can aceppt it at face value,or reject it,,Thats the only democratic choice I am allowed for now amd after july my last democratic choice that I will make being a member of the Labour party.. Regards comrade

    1. Joseph, in our democracy you have the privilege of voting for someone else’s choice after viewing MSM with someone else’s eyes.

  5. If Open Labour can substantiate its claim that JVL is not committed to non discrimination ie it allows discrimination within its ranks, it should present its evidence to the party and seek the expulsion of all JVL members.
    If it cannot substantiate its allegations it should apologise and withdraw the slurs against the Socialist Jews concerned .
    However it appears that Socialist Jews do not warrant the same protection against vile slurs as non Socialist Jews.If it is the case ( and I think it is) that Open Labour etc consider it acceptable to insult, undermine and isolate Jews who are socialist then they are behaving in an antisemitic way . As the a party has a zero tolerance policy in relation to antisemitism we need to take action in this matter without delay.
    In relation to the comment about a ” minority within a minority” I would point out that the Board of Deputies represents only 40% of British Jews ( around 100,000). It does not represent the other 60%. and in my opinion we need to encourage the participation of all Jewish groups in our party whether the BOD like it or not.

  6. Given the horrible, antisemitic old tropes about Jews I can’t imagine why it hasn’t occurred to the BoD to distance itself from the greedy, money-grubbing Tory party and support the egalitarian Labour Party.

  7. “this is meant to only prevent engagement with fringe groups that are not committed to non-discrimination,”

    … but discrimination and violence against Palestinians living peaceably in their own land is OK?

    The lack of self-awareness and cheek is breathtaking – if any group is ‘fringe’ – one that works against the Labour Party – like the JLM.- is certainly it. The group is far outside the remit of acceptable behaviour – unlike the anti-racist JVL.

  8. All 3 ‘Leadership Candidates’ have accepted the BoD 10 demands. How easily the Labour Party acquiesces. You dare criticise Israel &/or Zionism there are howls of derision & accusations of ‘AS’ reminiscent of the ‘Scream’ by Donald Sutherland in the re-make of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’. All 3 candidates now take instruction from a Zionist Organisation, but if I express that as a self evident truth I am labelled anti-Semitic.

    In a public meeting last night @ the Adelphi Hotel Liverpool, RLB was asked why she describes herself as a Zionist? It seems such questions are anti-Semitic & those who ask are immediately labelled AS. Hysterical name-calling has become a ‘blood sport”.

    1. Essentially – if a candidate for leadership cannot, or will not, distinguish between ‘Zionism’ and ‘Judaism’, they are either too unintelligent or too self-serving to deserve a vote. There’s no third option.

      End of.

  9. This decency pledge is sommet else. First I thought it was about sex & gender related issue.
    When I googled it it became clear to me that it is yet another dangerous, divisive rightwing ploy to curtail ‘members rights’. it is not inclusive, look at further ostracising expelled members who were merely expelled because the deputies do not agree with their viewpoint, and who were subsequently reinstated because they had not ‘misbehaved’ in the first instant!
    Also I think it is simply not on to exclude JVL. That to me is at least very divisive. I wonder if that is not a variation of anti-semitism against JVL Party members who happen to be condemning the politics and actions by the state of I against the palaestinian population.
    And in my book it is not ‘decent’ to discriminate against members.

    1. “Also I think it is simply not on to exclude JVL.”

      Sabine – that’s too kind. It’s a wish that puts the proponents beyond the pale of civilized radical politics, democratic and places them with right-wing racists. (Like the Israeli government).

      Zionists are at a ‘make up your mind’ time in terms of what sort of behaviour they back in this world.

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