Right-wing unions and party combine to maintain flouting of fundamental principle of justice
Last night, Labour added to its long and sorry list of shame when the party’s national executive voted to continue its practice of retrospective expulsion.
Retrospective punishment is outlawed as a fundamental principle of justice, because it would self-evidently be wrong to punish someone later for doing something that they were allowed to do at the time. But under the Starmer regime the Labour right has long been kicking out members for associating with groups that were not ‘proscribed’ at the time, but were since outlawed to salve the right’s fear of arguments they know they can’t win.
These retrospective expulsions have been disproportionately applied to Jewish party members, leading to complaints against the party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) after it became clear that left-wing Jews are more than thirty times more likely to be targeted than non-Jewish members – and their leaders more than two hundred times more likely.
But this structural and intentional antisemitism appears to have given the slightest pause to the right-wing cabal obsessed with tightening its grip on a party in which it has no honest place, as the right-dominated NEC voted by 22-15 to maintain its abuse of power.
This was only a one-vote swing from the result of the ballot on the motion to reinstate Jeremy Corbyn on the same afternoon, which was defeated 23-14. Member representative Ann Black is understood to have voted against retrospective expulsions but not in favour of reinstating Corbyn.
Labour insiders have told Skwawkbox that the Unison, GMB, USDAW and Musicians’ unions sided with the Labour right on both issues, a dark day for the union movement.
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