Analysis Breaking

Forde Report confirms party staff intentionally blocked Corbyn supporters from 2016 leadership election

No surprise to those of us who have known it for years, of course

The Forde Report, which was finally released today two years after it was promised, has been rightly criticised for its determination to ‘both-sides’ abuse by party staff when the evidence is overwhelming that racism, abuse and more was perpetrated by right-wing factionalists at Labour’s ‘Southside’ HQ.

And it has been condemned for claiming, risibly, that there was no intentional sabotage of Corbyn’s leadership and the 2017 general election campaign, soft-soaping or outright ignoring abundant evidence to the contrary, leading cynics to conclude that the two-year delay involved the insertion of various sections or phrases helpful to the Labour right’s attempt to spin away the unavoidable damning sections of the inquiry’s conclusions – of which there are many.

The inquiry has already been shown to have found that right-wing Labour staffers were racist abusers who wrongly diverted election funds for their own purposes and – crucially – that the issue of antisemitism was indeed weaponised against Jeremy Corbyn for factional gain.

And it also concludes – again as Skwawkbox revealed at the time and many Labour members agreed – that party staff conducted a purge during Corbyn’s second leadership election in 2016 specifically designed to remove as many members and supporters as possible who condemned the disgraceful behaviour of right-wing MPs and were likely to vote for Jeremy Corbyn to remain leader:

None of the GLU witnesses we spoke to accepted that there None of the GLU witnesses we spoke to accepted that there was any particular focus on removing ballots from members on the Left (and indeed some suggested that the focus had in fact been on Right entryism): “there was absolutely no coordinated attempt to ‘block’ Jeremy Corbyn supporters from voting, unless their application failed to meet the rules of the contest”.

The fact is, however, that GLU staff had a substantial role in deciding how those rules were interpreted, for example by choosing the list of search terms in relation to abusive posts. The list of flagged words should have been agreed by GLU and the NEC, and published transparently.

We can see no legitimate non-factional reason why the search tool was apparently designed only to catch abuse aimed at MPs on the centre and Right of the Party, and to ignore the majority of abuse aimed at MPs on the Left (including Jeremy Corbyn).

The names of all MPs could easily have been included. Instead, it seems likely that problematic behaviour by individuals on the Right (for example, abusive tweets at Jeremy Corbyn) were not investigated, because they were not searched for. If the concern was about Right entryism, that was a strange decision.

C2.25 In our view the intention and effect of both validation exercises was to remove ballots from individuals who would otherwise have voted for Jeremy Corbyn. It does not seem to us credible to suggest that the exercise (in particular the social media component) was not targeted at applicants and members on the Left.

The inquiry’s conclusion – based on a mass of evidence – that party staff tried to oust Corbyn by blocking his supporters in the leadership ballot shines an even more unflattering light on its determination to whitewash the campaign of intentional sabotage conducted to try to remove him via a planned heavy general election defeat the following year.

But that whitewash also makes even more damning the findings on the behaviour of right-wing Labour figures that the report cannot help but acknowledge.

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  1. The current MSM and Toilet papers will forever be hung by their own petard for their treatment of JC and Julian Assange
    Just ask are their any mainstream journalists worth their salt still working in this country today

  2. Despite waiting for over two years and try its best to come out with excuses for the treatment Corbyn and his supporters suffered at the hands of the Party’s machine.
    Forde does his best to accommodate the present leadership of the Party that after all is paying a very substantial bill. I suspect heavy redaction of the initial report as he try to accommodate the client.
    However, as a QC he needs to protect his professional reputation, I suspect Forde emphatically refused to go any further and exonerate the saboteurs. Forde might no call them saboteurs but give us enough room to allow us to call them saboteurs and they aren’t going to be able to take anyone for liable as it would be our honest believe after reading Forde’s conclusions.
    Maybe we should ask Starmer to pay from his pocket the six figure settlement that the Party paid to the saboteurs.

  3. This report is a very bad joke?
    And the BBC focussed on the claim that anti-semitism was used by both sides Right & Left?
    But just before (what some claim are exaggerated claims of AS) took off, a Right Wing Labour member sent a message to another Right Winger in London who had been threatening to leave Labour.
    He implored this person not to leave as “This AS stuff is gaining traction unlike the other stuff.”
    James Stein-Werner, ‘Anti-Semitism and The Labour Party’ (a free ebook, 2019) argues that in 2019 out of 500,000 members there were 296 complaints of AS and 149 members were removed or quit (0.000298%).
    And in 2017 a large scale survey of 5 AS attitudes found those having them was: Left 2.5%, Centre 4%, Right 4.4%, and Far Right 13%.
    Some suggest AS was exaggerated by the Right in Labour because they couldn’t beat Corbyn on IDEAS as they are devoid of them?
    Some further suggest this report is giving Right Wing Labour members ‘arguments’ when anyone with experience of Right Wing Labour members takes this report and comments from the Right with a large pinch of salt?
    And it is still the case that via the Ergon House Project some Right Wing Members of staff SECRETLY used Labour members/union members money for THEIR project WITHOUT the permission of the Labour Leader, and the NEC which some suggest is very serious?

    1. Bazza, MOST of the MSM focussed on the claim – the falsehood – that anti-semitism was used by both sides Right & Left

      1. AND omitted to mention that party staff intentionally blocked Corbyn supporters from 2016 leadership election – ie that the Forde Report confirms party staff intentionally blocked Corbyn supporters from 2016 leadership election.

        And did so for the obvious reason….. Most people would regard THAT as subverting democracy. No small matter!

      2. Yes Alan it’s a Right Wing tactic, promote a fake counter narrative and as someone suggested perhaps they believe in a post-truth society?
        But the Left knows what happened, we experienced it plus read and discussed the issue thoroughly.
        And it dawned on me when I was with other Lefties opposing the Far Right on the streets as we were going through this plus putting ourselves at risk, where were our Right Wing Labour and other critics as we put our anti-racism into practice!
        We should have had a Corbyn Govt in 2017 & could have prevented millions of diverse working class people from suffering.
        To Right Labour & others, to quote John Lennon “How do you sleep?”

      3. Allan Howard,

        But the Honorable QC Forde couldn’t find any evidence from the Left side…But there must be some somewhere, and even though I cannot find any I’ll report that there was.

        What sort of shit is this?

      4. Allan Howard, I agree that higher up management in the Party subverted democracy. Indeed no small matters we have proof that these people are fascists.

    1. RIP.. …Labour party…for all our sakes and especially the working class..The Ford fiasco is nothing new ask any Catholic resident of Ulster.who know that the establishment rig everything including State terror and murder.We must be patiant… they tell us?

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