Analysis comment

Forde criticises party for excluding JVL antisemitism training. JVL responds

Among the many criticisms of the Labour right in the Forde Report that Keir Starmer’s mouthpieces are not talking about, one of the most explosive is the report’s comments on the right-wing Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) so-called antisemitism ‘training’ – and its condemnation of the party’s refusal, driven by JLM and other right-wing groups, to include left-wing Jews in its processes, consultations and delivery of training.

Skwawkbox has already covered the report’s conclusion that the ‘training’ delivered by JLM is one-sided, arrogant lecturing that leaves no room for debate or questioning – but the report also explicitly addresses the party’s appalling treatment of left-wing Jewish group Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL):

as we say in paragraph E9.2, we have our criticisms of the form that [the JLM’s] education has taken. However, we do recognise that there are other voices amongst Jewish communities and Jewish members of the Party. Hence we are disappointed that there has been a refusal to engage at all with Jewish Voice for Labour’s proposals for antisemitism education and that CLPs are, we are told, not even allowed to enlist their help.

Link and emphasis added

CLPs – local Labour member groups – have, in fact, been threatened with disciplinary action if they affiliate with JVL or enlist its help in training members – and left-wing Jewish activists were explicitly told by the party that the findings of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on antisemitism did not apply to them.

JVL responded to the Forde Report’s conclusions in a statement sent to the Jewish News in reply to a denialist hit-piece by JLM secretary Adam Langleben. The paper did not publish their response:

The Forde Report provides a very useful critique of Labour’s antisemitism training. In particular it recognises that Education including respectful dialogue is the key to this.  It is clear too that Forde and his team have actually read the materials our Jewish academic experts at JVL have provided as well as the work done by the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. They clearly recognise we have something valuable to offer.

Langleben holds his position with JLM – a Labour party affiliate – despite campaigning enthusiastically for the disgraced and now defunct ‘Tinge’ party during the 2019 general election and stating publicly that he was dedicated to preventing a Labour government. In fact, he appears to have held executive positions throughout that farce. But despite Labour’s rules banning those who support other parties even being members, Keir Starmer and his allies have even appointed former Tinge campaigners to senior positions and have talked about their hopes of welcoming back former MPs who defected, so the usual hypocrisy and arrogance of the Labour right prevails.

For full disclosure, it should be noted that in 2018, after Skwawkbox responded to a tweet about Mr Langleben’s failure to get re-elected as a Barnet councillor – the first time he had ever come to the attention of this site – he published a bizarre video accusing Skwawkbox of ‘going through all the tweets attacking me’ and “accus[ing] me of being a Mossad agent”, claims that were entirely fictitious.

SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. I undertook the JLM anti-Semitism alleged “training”, and it was patronising twaddle, somewhat similar to the much-promoted and rightly criticised IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which is designed by it’s proponents to make people think, erroneously, that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic, when they are as different as chalk and cheese. The Labour right weaponised anti-Semitism for political advantage against the left. In doing so, they demonstrated that the only things they really believe in are their credentials as nothing more than untrustworthy careerists, who, as every day passes, show that their “ideas” for the next Labour government are not going to be worth a row of beans, and that their job will not be to make the real and permanent changes the country needs, but to keep seats warm for their Tory successors.
    We rightly think the Tories are a shower, but we have a shambles of our own. And they both threaten democracy and the future of our country.

    1. I agree with every word you write Ludus57. The threat that Starmer poses to democracy stems from his inability to understand – and respect – diversity of opinion.

      I’d say this intolerance of opinion is a feature of right-wing labourism, not least because they are enterists who know they must deny and destroy the values and way of thinking of the organism they are trying to overcome. On top of that Starmer’s a Establishment monkey and follows neoliberalism’s lead so that when you disagree with the ‘opinions’ of the powers that be you immediately become a conspiracy merchant.

      That’s the real threat to democracy, I’d say. The conceit and entitlement of globalism and the crony capitalism it creates. First time as tragedy, second time as farce. In Labour, Starmer’s here to en-farce the tragedy that was Blair. A new party looks more necessary every day.

      1. Thanks, Qwertboi. I think the simple truth is that Starmer is basically running the Establishment Second XI. There are a number of threads that are coming together with respect to the cost-of-living crisis and the totally wrong response to cost-pull inflation.
        I predict much civil unrest before Christmas, and we are at least a week away from the end of July.
        I would simply suggest looking at the pure nonsense being spouted by the shadow chancellor who is clearly an austerity worshipper, and the studied silence in other areas, in particular, levelling up, which is in the hands of one of the most compromised members of a thoroughly compromised bunch of shadow ministers.

  2. At what stage do we accept the Labour movement is like a one legged man in an arse kicking contest
    No chance of winning and practically useless
    No one standing up and calling for Red Tories to be run out of town
    Just as cheap and nasties are back to disappearing up their own arses
    When their is no choice, legal remedy, regulator or functioning democracy, wtf do you expect people to do
    Said before, the last major Unrest in this country crossed the Rubicon, they were not a protest, they were overwhelmingly criminal, conditions are now exponentially worse
    What have folk to lose when they cannot feed their bairns never mind dream of a better future for them

  3. >> What have folk to lose when they cannot feed their bairns never
    >> >> mind dream of a better future for them
    >> Enough

    Quite – and that is the nub of the thing ..

    Those from Starmer Central trail sneer that more
    left wing Labour Party members do not appreciate
    “aspiration”. For those at the bottom of the heap
    aspiration is in the first place being able to feed
    your children ..

    1. “To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.” Robert M Pirsig

      People forget that we live on a highly volatile grain of sand in a vast and volatile universe. There are so many reasons that life on earth and indeed earth itself could cease to exist at any moment without notice.
      Some Sheeple chase carrots on sticks, my advice to The PEOPLE is live! Live every bit of stuff out of life! Give when you can and receive when you can’t, whether giving or receiving always be filled with gratitude. Never Ever discount yourself as less, as lower, as not enough, that said never as consider yourself as more, better, higher as anything other than Human.
      We are all EQUAL one single being and that is Human.
      Tags of religion, colour, race, culture, gender, etc, etc are optional and unecesary, we are just one thing Human.

  4. I retired from being a Lecturer approx. eight years ago after spending many decades in HE & FE. I was trained to deliver programmes dealing with social problems & especially racism. I have never received any training in anti-Semitism & often wonder if it is any different from any other form of racism & if so, why? Can you question the IHRA definition or believe that Israel is a fascistic apartheid state without being anti-Semitic? I would always encourage students to ask awkward & difficult questions, but that is the difference between training & education……..

  5. There is an interesting article by Tessa Milligan on LabourList about the fallout from the Forde Report.

    Forde’s findings brutally lay bare a deep-rooted factionalism that left our party dysfunctional. Tribalism entrenched all manner of shockingly bad behaviour – the same tribalism that risks entrenching poor behaviour under the new leadership, too.
    Reflecting on this deep-rooted dysfunction is unflattering for all wings of the party. I have been harassed, defamed, threatened, bullied, deceived, followed, photographed without my knowledge, racially abused (I am Jewish), demeaned as a young woman and plagiarised. All in the name of political warfare……
    …..Moving forward, I don’t expect any of us to overlook wrongdoing or feign trust where there is none. I do expect people to be capable of speaking to each other respectfully, like normal human beings. We should be capable of debate that doesn’t descend into a verbal scrum.
    The different aspirations of our broad church of members – and any disappointments – have to be managed, not crushed by immoral means. …………
    …The party must break with this unsustainable culture because the following is how it plays out, regardless of which faction is temporarily in the driver’s seat. Internal debates on policy and political issues are viewed through a factional lens. Ideas – good or bad – are not considered on their merits, but on the basis of who suggested them, and what faction they are perceived to be aligned to and, for those who take the extreme view, whether that makes them an enemy who must be destroyed. Mutual respect is eroded. Informed decisions cannot be made because point-scoring is more important. Factional game-playing starts to destroy relationships.
    Factionalism begins to supersede competence in hiring or selection decisions, sometimes with a dose of nepotism. A fast-track service operates for the under-qualified yet over confident sons and daughters of influential people, online activists who have demonstrated sufficient levels of factional loyalty and white middle-class Londoners called Hugo (sorry white middle-class Londoners called Hugo). Incompetence begins to reveal itself and affect the party’s efficiency and functionality.
    Barriers remain firmly in place for those from backgrounds already under-represented in politics. Lack of diversity becomes ingrained and paves the way for ignorance, prejudice and discrimination. This begins to enter workplaces, local parties and wider debate. People begin to talk to about about each other in ways which are abusive and some start to think that racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination are fair game.
    Apologies or atoning for wrongdoing are discouraged, for fear that an opposing faction might see it as a win. Allies go out on social media to defend the indefensible. Revelations of internal dysfunction that should be watershed moments are watered down into glib commitments of ‘reflection and accountability’ that fail – sometimes intentionally – to materialise into anything tangible.
    Internal governance becomes infected with the personal and factional agendas of people who should be operating neutrally. ‘Yes men’ nod through bad choices and are rewarded for loyalty. The public sense that the party’s focus has shifted inwards.
    Then, the party wakes up the day after a general election to find that voters delivered five more years of Tory rule and Britain is locked once more into a downward spiral of dwindling growth and living standards whilst the planet heads for irreparable climate catastrophe. I’ll stop there.
    We cannot remain on a factional seesaw that sees power swing from one faction to another, whilst sectarianism remains rife and the root problems in our party culture fail to be properly tackled…………….

    You can read the full article here

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: