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Whitewash underway as Starmer names anti-left on panel to investigate leaked sabotage allegations

Panel members include one who shared anti-Corbyn message less than a month ago

Kier Starmer’s appointments to the panel to investigate the scandal of right-wing staff alleged to have undermined the party’s electoral efforts and obstructed disciplinary processes continue an abysmal response to the leaked Labour report and its findings.

Three weeks ago, Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner promised:

We will therefore commission an urgent independent investigation into this matter.

But their announcement also made clear that the investigation’s focus was to be more on why the report was commissioned and who leaked it than on the content of the report – which contains a mass of WhatsApp conversations among senior staff that have led to complaints including electoral and disciplinary sabotage, racism and misuse of party funds.

And today’s appointments to the panel include at least one who is anything but ‘independent’ – a move that has convinced many on the left that the report will be nothing more than the whitewash that many have feared from the moment the report and its scandalous contents were leaked.

Starmer has appointed at least one member to the four-person panel who has demonstrated an entrenched opposition to the left and to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn – to lead an investigation into allegations of persistent attempts to undermine the left and the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Baroness Wilcox

Baroness Wilcox endorsed and shared anti-Corbyn comments made by former general secretary Iain McNicol – one of the supposed targets of the investigation – less than a month ago.

NEC member Jon Lansman on Wilcox’s appointment

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg tweeted McNicol’s expression of delight at the departure of Corbyn as leader – a tweet Wilcox shared:

She was also a firm supporter of Starmer for the Labour leadership.

Lord Whitty

Tribune editor Ronan Burtenshaw said that Larry Whitty opposed the left in the 1980s and was a leading figure in opposition to Labour’s black sections.

However, a leading figure active in the black sections during this period told the SKWAWKBOX:

Far from opposing Black Sections, which I led when Larry was general secretary, he was attacked by Kinnock and Hattersley for supporting us.

He was slapped down when he told them: “The Labour Party has women Sections and the young Socialists, so why not Black Sections?” He was the best friend of Black Labour members we’ve had as general secretary. He helped Black Sections set up the Black Socialist Society in 1990. But it was sabotaged by his right-wing staff, like the venal right-wingers who criminally sabotaged JC and the LP exposed by the leaked document.

Kinnock used Whitty’s director of organisation Joyce (now Baroness) Gould, to sideline him. It’s not fair Whitty, a trade union-type left who’s never criticised JC, is being smeared.

No Jewish representative

Astonishingly, a panel meant to investigate allegations that include obstruction of the processing of racism complaints including antisemitism – and comments by staff members described as antisemitic – includes no Jewish person.

A move to include the highly-regarded Labour peer Alf Dubs was blocked by the Labour right on the NEC because he made comments supportive of Jeremy Corbyn during the 2019 general election. The vote to include him was defeated by 18 votes to 16.

So apparently it’s ok to have Corbyn opponents and Starmer supporters on the panel, but not to have a supporter of the Labour leader whose electoral campaigns were undermined by right-wing staff.

This is not even an attempt at a show of credible ‘independence’. This is roller in hand with a huge tub of whitewash at the ready.

Those who rightly commissioned the report and those who leaked it have plenty to fear – but the misdeeds the leaking of the report uncovered look set to be painted over and then buried deep.

And this will not be the last slap in the face to members who were told the party would hold its left course and policies under its new leader.

This article has been amended to reflect the information from a Labour black section activist quoted above. SKWAWKBOX is happy to correct the record.

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53 comments

  1. The party cannot win this unless they have a fair inquiry. Members will leave en masse and the party will lose most of its income. Its not inconcievable that another party will start up under a socialist banner and eventually wean Labour left MP’s away and then the Labour party will never get elected again. Young socialists especially those who have been shafted by the establishment are not suddenly going to beocme cynical capitalists and will provide the thrust as did the socialists in the last two elections moving toward, and it may take 10years, a party that will truly represent the people for all people.

    1. This is what has to happen. No progress is possible with the LP now. It has to wither away and be replaced by new growth!

    2. Indeed Tim and the RW PLP will rejoice at that mass exodus , any drop in revenues will be more than made up by those “establishment” and RW supporters whom are rich , very rich indeed as was all to clearly seen by those “few” who backed and financed Starmers election operation .
      IMO we need to stop being so innocent and “nice” in believing that there will be any justice or representation from Labour . It is clearly NOT a ” broad church” that was eradicated under Blair .
      IMO the best way forward now is to join in with the Forward Momentum initiative to hopefully re-democratise Momentum .
      Strengthen it make it a fit place for the socialists who remain in the Party and those who wish to see a Neoliberal RW Labour Party replaced by a better , more representative , truthful and honest Party .

      That happens imo with unifying the many disparate LW groups under one organisation , giving it purpose and direction and most of all UNITY.
      The ultimate goal should it not be possible to “save Labour” under it’s present organisational control by the RW , will be for it to either dominate and drive all the actions of the Labour machine ( no quarter or consideration given to the RW ) or more likely to breakaway taking as many of the membership with it , stand it’s own candidates against the Neoliberal PLP MPs and effectively create from the Labour ashes a new party that really does represent the many and not the few .

      1. There is no chance whatsoever of ‘re-democratising Momentum’, Rob. It is a wholly owned company of Jon Lansman, who owns its vital database. There is also no process within Momentum’s totally corrupt top-down organisational structure, packed out at the Leadership level with Lansman’s cronies, to re-democratise the organisation. Too many Lefties are now in utter denial about the total defeat we have faced with the collapse of the entire (always politically weak) Corbyn project. The harsh fact is that the Labour Party has never EVER been any sort of socialist party. It has always been a pro capitalist , pro imperialist, bourgeois party, with a minority of socialists in it, built from its very beginning to reinforce the control of the status-quo supporting trades union bureaucracy’s control of the organised working class, and keep any reforms achieved firmly within capitalist parameters . And since the triumph of neoliberal New Labourism under Blair, the PLP, local Labour Councils, and the Party machine has been packed out with middle class neoliberal careerists who are also all too often personally deeply corrupt. It is this huge endemic personal corruption , not just abstract political differences with the Left, that guarantees the deep solidarity and ruthless hatred of the Labour Right towards even modest social democratic reformism of the Corbynite kind.

        The Labour Party is a rotten , corrupt, hulk of a party, that has now lost its mass working class voter base in its heartlands – and will therefore never again form a government. Suggesting remaining in now – to fruitlessly waste our time trying to win Labour back to the Left is a fools errand, a Sisyphus task of endless effort and guaranteed disappointment. Forget the now politically dead Labour Party – it has now had its disastrous ‘PASOK Moment’ of electoral oblivion and political irrelevance. A new radical socialist party does need to be built – though the current class forces of radicalism in the UK – ie, the hopelessly middle class composition of the current Left – with all their diversionary identity politics infused belief systems and obsessions – guaranteed to continue to separate them from ordinary working people – makes that task a long and hard one. But whilst building a radical new party of the Left will be bloody difficult ; winning Labour to socialism is TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE. How much more evidence do you need than the utter failure of the 2015 to 2019 Corbyn project ?

    3. Totally agree Tim. My suggestion is that the Labour Party change its name to the BoD Party that way it will show who it represents not the faux pretence of representing Labour.

    4. Tim Draper, the money is not that important. What is more important is the loss of members going out campaigning.
      Many feel that we do not have a leader we feel we can support.

  2. The sheer ineptitude of an enquiry conducted by a cast completely lacking in credibility, without even a token attempt to provide balance of tens of thousand sitting on the fence is reassuring.
    This is Blairism without the false hope that it might amount to something reasonable, that it might produce some advance on Thatcherism. This is rubbing our noses in it.
    But most of all it is leaping onto the rotten hulk formerly known as the Empire as it slips beneath the waters. The first time in history that the rats swarmed onto the sinking ship.

    1. Why is an enquiry into the report necessary? The facts are there for all to see, the report was commissioned as an annex to our response to the EHRC antisemitism enquiry so the enquiry is only left with determining who leaked it,
      In my opinion whoever leaked it should be given a medal for exposing the unsavoury and disloyal behaviour of some of our paid employees.

      1. Had I leaked the report I’d now be shouting from the rooftops that there were more revelations to come – including some that may constitute criminal acts – and that everything was about to be submitted to the police through a trusted journalist.
        It would be true too – because I’d definitely have held some seriously damaging stuff back for just such an eventuality – if you’re going to have a witch hunt you better be sure you’ve nothing to hide and you’re smarter than the witch, dickhead.
        If Starmer made one friend in the CPS I’d be surprised – and fucking gobsmacked if one was willing to stick its neck out for him.
        Of course it wasn’t me, and I know nothing. I just have a good imagination.

      2. The “enquiry” will be into who leaked the report and then deal with them. They will be treated the same way all whistle-blowers are.by those they have shone a light upon.

        The truths revealed in the report will be inconvenient to the new regime and will be suppressed.

      3. “whoever leaked it”

        My money’s on Seamus Milne, the absolute Boy!

      4. Real Alice in Wonderland stuff. The party is now not only disgusting but politically irrelevant. As to reforming Momentum, it beggars belief as does the Landsman gripe. Remember to lock your doors behind you after your exercise hour.

      5. If not leaked by Jennie Formby, she will have approved the leak in an attempt to deflect from her own failures.

  3. The RW have always wanted the Left to leave. They are not interested in our subs.. there are plenty of big donors ready to fill the gap (for a price).

    1. I’d argue it’s more to do with a plan/scheme/ambition that uses politicians as tools.

      Stoma is the only UK MP that is a member of the Trilateral commission. I will be extremely surprised if he doesn’t become PM. He will get the Bliar treatment by the media. If you’re not sure if this, jump onto the Daily Fail of the so called left, the guardian. Notice the gushing? Yuck!

      Interesting times.

      Stay safe.

      1. The report has two indisputable outcomes
        It fucks up EHRC report
        It fucks up Panorama Drama legal cases from Cockwombles
        It is the report that will just keep giving
        Now can we stand by our beds and show some patriotism towards our country, a proud socialist country
        Keep the red flag flying lads and lasses, so fucking near yet so far
        Now is not the time to run away

      2. Building a new, better-equipped army is not “running away” so stop defending the Blair party – which Starmer’s just keeping warm for him.
        Rich donors expect a return on their investment – if half the Labour MPs leave to join the new party the rich donors will melt away.

  4. No time for anybody who even contemplates leaving
    What needs to happen now is the suspension of anyone named in the report subject to the enquiry
    How the hell can they whitewash this report, this is at worst a phoney war, we have the numbers and if necessary Starmer will be replaced
    What’s good for the goose, they still only have the PLP
    Now who do we want to run the GMB
    Stop fucking twisting and get on with the job in hand

  5. There’s probably a lot more that could be leaked if the left decided to sink to the level of the right for once.
    Just sayin’

  6. If someone at HQ knows something could they not tell all, show some morality to demonstrate to the folks that contribute to your salaries, most of your workmates are honest and don’t want to be vilified as being part of the murky mess. Leave a message in a hole in the wall.

  7. I don’t know if anyone drew attention to the following in a previous thread, but here it is anyway:

    Board of Deputies calls on Starmer to suspend Zoom meeting MPs
    Communal outrage over participation of Abbott and Ribeiro-Addy

    https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/board-of-deputies-calls-on-starmer-to-suspend-zoom-meeting-mps-1.499345

    NB Needless to say, the only ‘communal outrage’ was that invented by the Jewish Chronicle/Lee Harpin!

    1. ‘Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy disciplined by Sir Keir Starmer over Zoom call anti-semitism’

      https://distincttoday.net/2020/04/30/diane-abbott-and-bell-ribeiro-addy-disciplined-by-sir-keir-starmer-over-zoom-call-anti-semitism/

      This isn’t just bordering on fascism, it IS fascism. And it’s odd isn’t it how if Jackie Walker or Tony Greenstein (or Ken Livingstone or Marc Wadsworth or Pete Willsman or Chris Williamson etc) said anything anti-semitic, that no-one reported them to the police – ie the BoD or the JLM or the CAA or LAA etc! I wonder why they didn’t???

      1. Allan, I expect everyone here knows that the reason no complaint is ever made to the police is that the claims are insupportable and could result in action against the complainants.
        I haven’t heard of a shred of evidence that would pass the balance of probability test of a civil action, much less the beyond reasonable doubt test of a criminal trial.
        Conviction on accusation and trial by media is apparently now acceptable in Judaism – according to the BoD.
        Steve Walker, apologies if this crosses your line.
        My line has recently moved, albeit with great reluctance.

      2. @David McNiven

        You didn’t move your line. You probably never even noticed the line until it started to be used as a whip.

        I was ignorant. The line was irrelevant because I never went anywhere near it. Now the line is used as a whip, I’ve begun to try to understand why.

        I do _not_ like what I’m coming across on my investigations.

        We didn’t start the fire.

        Stay safe.

    2. BOD “Starmer, we demand that you wear your underpants on your head”

      STARMER “Boxers or Y-fronts?”

      1. Seeing as underpants cover genitalia, the perfect place for starmer to wear them IS on his (greasy) head.

    3. This is the ‘IHRA scheme’ in operation :

      “The Board of Deputies have said that two Labour MPs are in breach of the Ten Pledges that leader Sir Keir Starmer signed up to during his leadership campaign, after taking part in hard-left meeting with activists at the centre of the party’s antisemitism scandal. ”

      The technique being used by the Israel lobby is firstly to sucker the stupid (or recruit the willing) to totally nonsense declarations that would be laughed at by any judicial judgment. The next stage is to ‘convict’ your political opponents through the repetition of transparent nonsense that no-one who isn’t stupid or self-seeking wouldn’t see through.

      The next stage is to spread the lies like a virus by infecting people with the same fictions because they associate with the innocent victims of the ploy … and so on.

      Of course, Starmer can’t be in the ‘stupid’ category with his legal background …. any more than Jackie Walker is ‘antisemitic’ (and, of course was never, in the end disciplined for antisemitism).

      The political extremism of the BoD/Israel nexus is a massive threat to civil society.

      1. “can’t be in the ‘stupid’ category”
        Not true. I’ve known lawyers who were so limited they’ve needed constant correction not to cost me thousands. Thinking that things have to be done the way they’re usually done, that their relationship with my opponent’s lawyers is something I should care about. Pfft.
        Litigation is a last resort – far better to intimidate the other guy into conceding the field but most lawyers don’t think like that.
        I’ve never asked a lawyer to break the law but I’ve demanded they follow my reasonable instructions to the letter however uncomfortable it makes them.
        It bears repeating – the law requires much memory but little intellect.
        I’ve known only one lawyer I’d use again if he was still practising – even though he over-billed me he picked the amount perfectly 🙂

      2. The Labour Party should change it’s name to The Board of Deputies Party.. BoD Party for short as in truth that is what it is.. we say Cummings is pulling Boris Johnson strings & running the Tory Party The BoD are the puppet masters of Keir Starmer pulling his strings.

      3. Having a legal background doesn’t preclude a lack of sound judgement, so there’s no ‘of course’ about it.

        In fact, I would argue Starmer’s shown a comprehensive lack of sound judgement on numerous occasions, not only as DPP (Jean Charles de Menezes, Ian Tomlinson, Julian Assange) but also as leadership contender (BoD, withholding funding sources) and now as leader (shadow cabinet choices, patriotism, Kashmir, investigation panel, choices for gen sec).

        If, as he professes, he wants to bring the party together then he’s not making a very good fist of it so far. Quite the opposite since he seems more intent on driving people out. Or maybe that’s the real intention.

  8. Yes, David, precisely, but there’s no harm in reminding readers occasionally (and pointing it out to those who are new to skwawkbox) in relation to a specific story.

    And trial by media – including the Jewish newspapers – has been ‘acceptable’ to the BoD et al for the past four-and-a-half years of course (and not just as of now), trials in which the ‘evidence’ is often totally fraudulent and bogus, or distorted and skewed so much that it bears no resemblance to the reality.

    .

  9. You haven’t dealt with Ruth Lister, who presumably represents a lame attempt to balance the panel and express the voice of the sensible, middle-class, do-gooder, social worker, Guardian-reading faction of the party. Lister is an ally of Clive Lewis and a board member of Compass; an NGO that promotes progressive alliances with the LibDems/Greens/Independents (or naked class-collaboration, depending on your viewpoint). We will be safe in her hands because I have it on good authority that she is against sin.

  10. This is a ‘hostile’ panel who have been seen to be vexatious or bias towards victims named in the leaked report. Imo, independent expert witnesses should be sought to forge a panel. To continue with the current panel the investigation will be seen to be ‘Ultra Vires’. Members should be screaming this to those at the top !

  11. I don’t trust Lewis. Ignoring the working for the beeb, there’s always something fishy about people who are given temporary commissions or go to Sandhurst for the TA (looks great on the CV).

  12. And the silence from steve h speaks volumes…steve h’s plea?

    ‘I only voted for the best of a bad bunch’ 😒

    And he continually suggests I join the party to make my voice count…No, honestly!!

  13. I am so glad I have resigned from the Labour Party. I detest Labour now as much as I detest the Tories at least with the Tories you know what you get , with Labour it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    1. ”with Labour it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

      The invertebrate, oleaginous starmer reminds me now of a comical little corporal…Pretending to be our mate when all’s quiet, but then waltzing up & down with his swagger stick in the mess and screaming the odds at his platoon when the toerags & BoD tell him to do so – as if they’re somehow everyone’s superiors.

      Just like your common jumped-up corporal who dreams of making officer class but never will…That’s starmer.

    2. I’ve alwasy said, you know the Tories are gonna shaft you, they make no pretence. Labour has always disguised it and given the illusion of being on your side when they’re not really. But then, they are the elites alternative set of managers!

      Whoever you vote for, the government always wins!

      1. Labour has always disguised it and given the illusion of being on your side when they’re not really.

        They’re what’s known as a a Controlled Opposition!

      2. – Labour has always disguised it and given the illusion of being on your side when they’re not really. –

        S.B.M. Potter, in an article in Socialist Review, Dec. 1926 wrote:

        ‘Are we not indeed a middle-class party, with middle-class leaders, who can shake as good a leg in any drawing rooms of the great?’ (Florey, R.A.; The General Strike of 1926; Calder, London; 1980; p.13).

        J.H. Thomas, Labour MP and the railwayman’s leader and social climber was just such a person who ‘had been moving in upper class circles for years’ (ibid), ultimately betraying the miners in the 1926 general strike.

  14. I do not call that inquiry independent. I am asking myself who is “ruining” the Labour Party. Its members or those deputies…….

  15. The party has become a parody now. That’s why the media is no longer critical of it, and the tories have congratulated Starmer. It’s a joke. Time to abandon it and start another movement that will be true to itself.

    1. And that is what I am in favour of , but at least lets use the infrastructure in the Labour Party and that of Momentum to help organise and create it first, we know what we want and what /who we don’t want , THEN we leave on mass .

  16. ”but at least lets use the infrastructure in the Labour Party and that of Momentum to help organise and create it first,”

    Sans lansman…

    1. Yes Toffee , without Lansman and to an extent the initiative started by Forward Momentum seeks to do just that or at the very least neutralise him , which is why I keep banging on about joining in and supporting FWD Mom.

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