Right-winger’s haste to announce shows right’s contempt for process as quasi-judicial committee slips toward right’s rubber-stamped guilt factory
Luke Akehurst, the hardline Labour First right-winger, published the results of the elections to Labour’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC) last night before all the participants in the election had been informed.
The NCC has been appallingly misrepresented and abused in the last few years as the Labour right tried to push a narrative that it was going easy on supposed antisemites when in fact under chair Anna Dyer it operated quasi-judicially, under expert legal advice, as the party’s only thorough process for taking evidence on complaints and reacting appropriately to what that evidence suggested.
That legal and procedural rigour led to as much as ninety percent of ‘evidence’ in antisemitism complaints being rejected as ‘unfit’ – a far cry from the rubber-stamped kangaroo court the right wanted in which accusation would equal guilt and expulsion.
Some of the contempt the Labour right felt toward that rigorous process could be seen in the appalling treatment of Dyer when she tried to explain to conference earlier this week how legally dangerous Labour’s proposed – and now confirmed – new process is, because the so-called ‘independence’ of the process is in fact a set of people and boards hand-picked by David Evans, who has already shown what he thinks of democracy and due process in the mass purging of left-wing Jews and others, including delegates who were due to vote on whether he stayed in his job.
The new process will be vastly more expensive than what it is replacing, because the NCC provided hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of work on a voluntary basis, with only basic expenses and the cost of legal advice borne by the party. Johanna Baxter, one of Akehurst’s fellow right-wing NEC members, told a conference fringe that Labour is already spending around £2 million a year on legal costs as it starts to move across to its new system – an amount that will rocket now – and attributed the party’s recent near-bankruptcy and shameful job cuts in large part to this.
In this week’s gerrymandered conference, two right-wingers were elected yesterday onto the soon-to-be sidelined NCC, narrowly pushing out committee chair Dyer, bringing the right’s aim of rubber-stamped guilt a step closer until the new fast-track-out-the-door is fully up and running.
And the first Dyer heard of her removal was when Akehurst announced the results, in yet another example of shoddy treatment of people who have given a large portion of their time free of charge to serving members and protecting the party’s reputation for fairness.