On Thursday 23 January I received a letter from the Labour Party Head Office, dated 21 January. I was asked to respond within seven days of that date. It would have been be nice to have be able to publish this response by then but I was not able to.
The letter states “It has been determined that this case may be suitable for use of NEC disciplinary powers”.
There is what they term a ‘Draft Charge’ attached to the letter. This states that I have engaged in conduct online that:
a. may reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on race, religion or belief; and / or
b. may reasonably be seen to involve antisemitic actions, stereotypes and sentiments, and / or
c. undermines the Party’s ability to campaign against racism.
Fourteen ‘pieces of evidence’ are presented to support this allegation. This ‘evidence’ consists of posts that I made on Facebook over a period of from July 2014 to November 2018
The letter asks that I “keep all information and correspondence relating to this investigation private, and that do not share it (sic) with third parties or the media (including social media).”
I have already shared much about this on social media after I received the original notice of these allegations in September 2019 and a second, detailed, notice in October 2019, and will continue to do so. I think it breeches no confidentiality to do so as nothing that I am sharing pertains to any named complainant, witness or individual dealing with the case.
All the ‘evidence’ consists of my posts to Facebook and in, a few cases comments by others on what I had posted or written. These posts were not posted confidentially; they were posted publicly and have been open to public scrutiny; that is the nature of the medium. I do not object to anyone reading, commenting on, challenging or drawing conclusions about me from any of my activity on social media. And while I consider it intrusive, distasteful and, arguably malicious, that unknown persons should have dredged through five and a half years of my Facebook posts in order to find 14 posts, made between July 2014 and October 2018, to present as evidence for the allegations outlined, I accept that as a risk I take in exchange for the privilege of taking part in conversation on a public medium.
It is important for me to respond and to publicly share my response to demeaning accusations of antisemitism, racism and prejudice. I am not concerned that my sharing this charge and my response to it may be a breach of party rules as the sanction of expulsion means little to me. I am however concerned that I have been accused of reprehensible behaviour. I am making my response public because a) there is nothing I wish to hide and b) I do not wish to be subject to what is effectively a secret trial.
For a powerful organisation to demand of an individual that they do not speak about an interaction that the individual experiences as oppressive is similar in principle to an abused partner being told not to say anything about the abuse. I have experienced these accusations as abusive. Additionally, if this interchange is not publicly shared then the narrative around any outcome, whether expulsion or resignation, becomes the narrative of the organisation. If people are told that I am accused of something then I want them to know the facts; I want them to make up their minds on the facts not on a story I tell or that my accusers tell. I will say what I think about the ‘facts’ and provide some context but in the end I wish people to make their minds up.
I also present this an example of what is taken to be ‘antisemitism’ or ‘racism’ within the Labour Party.
With the letter and the 14 items of ‘evidence’ are 55 questions.
I present and deal with each of the 14 items answering each of the 55 questions asked so that both the investigators and my peers online can make their own judgement regarding my online conduct.
It is a very detailed response. I am not racist or antisemitic and neither are my Facebook posts. I have spent a lot of time on this but if anyone really has to cut to the chase read from answer 50 onwards.
The first two questions ask me to confirm that the posts are mine:
1. I confirm that all of the posts presented are from my Facebook account.
2. I confirm that I posted and shared these statements myself.
3. I am asked to explain the reason for sharing this post. I note that the post is dated July 30, 2014 and that this is now more than 5 years ago. It was posted during the time of the Israel-Gaza conflict (8 July – 26 August 2014). The following is quoted from a Wikipedia article:
Between 2,125 and 2,310 Gazans were killed and between 10,626 and 10,895 were wounded (including 3,374 children, of whom over 1,000 were left permanently disabled). Gazan civilian casualty rates estimates range between 70% by the Gaza Health Ministry, 65% by United Nations Protection Cluster by OCHA (based in part Gaza Health Ministry reports), and 36% by Israeli officials, The UN estimated that more than 7,000 homes for 10,000 families were razed, together with an additional 89,000 homes damaged, of which roughly 10,000 were severely affected by the bombing. Rebuilding costs were calculated to run from 4–6 billion dollars, over 20 years.
67 Israeli soldiers, 5 Israeli civilians (including one child) and one Thai civilian were killed and 469 IDF soldiers and 261 Israeli civilians were injured. On the Israeli side, the economic impact of the operation is estimated at NIS 8.5 billion (approximately US$2.5 billion) and GDP loss of 0.4%.
Gilad Atzmon’s article is dated 19th June 2014 it deals with the lead up to a massively disproportionate use of deadly force by the state of Israel against the inhabitants of Gaza. Atzmon argues that in that situation Ed Miliband was showing bias in favour of Israel and against the Palestinians in Gaza. He highlighted this bias. I agreed with the point that Atzmon was making about bias. I think that Atzmon’s tone and language is intemperate and I do not defend that language but in the context of the Gaza atrocity I did not, at the time, think that my posting of his article was inappropriate.
4. I quoted Atzmon because I thought that what he had to say in this article, regarding the possible bias of a political leader was worthy of consideration.
5. I am asked to explain my understanding of the statement ” Britain doesn’t need a ‘Friend of Israel’ in Number 10 Downing Street. It needs friend of the British people, an ally of truth and justice and not a Zionist merchant. “. The statement appears to be quite plain. I would not use the same language; I would put a full stop at ‘truth and justice’, because ‘truth and justice’ is the point. I would wish any political leader and potential nation leader to put truth and justice before any preference.
I personally avoid using derogatory terms of individuals in or out of public life but many people who have a public voice do use such terms. It has been widly reported that a Labour MP called Jeremy Corbyn a “fucking anti-Semite and a racist” . I do not condone that language or Atzmon’s language but corrosive language is an unfortunate norm in political and public discourse as we can see with language sometimes used about Jeremy Corbyn and indeed about Boris Johnson.
6. I am asked to explain my understanding of the statement that continues “It needs a humanist and a universalist, instead of an imbecilic tribal operator who sees the world from a kosher perspective driven by the primacy of Jewish suffering.”. My answer is the same as with question 5, The language is intemperate. I would put a full stop at ‘a humanist and a universalist’.
7. I am asked to explain ‘the context of the article’ I shared. I’ve explained the context in which I shared it in answer 3. I note also that at this time I was not a member of the Labour Party. I joined that on the day in 2015 when a humanist and universalist who believed in truth and justice became leader of the Labour Party. That was the context. I will say that re-reading Atzmon’s post I find the tone grating and understand that because of its repeated reference to Jewishness as well as Zionism it can arguably be regarded as antisemitic. For this reason I would not now share such a post.
8. I shared the article because it appeared to be making a point about Corbyn’s commitments to creating a just world. Atzmon writes “Corbyn the symbol has come to embody the general fatigue with this post-political condition -frustration with austerity, endless immoral Zio-con wars “. I would delete the term ‘Zio-con’ because I am unclear about its validity.
9. I understood this article as arguing that support for the Corbyn candidacy was based on an idealism that was antiwar, anti ‘austerity’ and pro truth and justice as I am.
10. In reply to a comment on the post questioning Atzmon’s use of the term ‘Zionised Labour Party’ I wrote that “given that the three main parties all give near uncritical support to Israel, ‘Zionised’ is not an unfair term.” What I meant by saying this was that I believed that there was significant pro-Israel bias within the main parties as evidenced by there being prominent Friends of Israel groups within those parties.
11. I am asked to explain the term ‘Zionised’. It came up in the context of a discussion about the article where Atzmon’s use of the term ‘Zionised Labour Party’ was questioned. I have given my understanding of it in the previous answer. I accept that it overstates a perception and may therefore be unfair. The friend with whom I was discussing this wrote, that:
” The subtext of this is the kind of ‘Jews running the world’ conspiracy that you would expect to find on stormfront. Miliband condemned the 2014 attacks on Gaza as “wrong and unjustifiable”. Thats not uncritical support. Zio-con wars? I’ve never heard an argument that Israel benefited from Iraq/Afghanistan wars that made any sense.”
Some of this objection seems fair as Miliband did condemn the 2014 attacks but some of it is arguable as it involves a characterisation of a ‘subtext’. People may make up their own minds about this but in sharing this I did not see and was certainly not supporting any subtext relating to a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ of any kind.
Any notion of a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ is irrational; as irrational as talking about a ‘white conspiracy’, a ‘black conspiracy’, a ‘male conspiracy’, a ‘Catholic conspiracy’ and so on. These groups are quite heterogeneous in political interest and opinion so it makes no sense to assert conspiracies that encompass all or even a majority of members of such extensive groups.
Items 3 – 6
Item 3 references a number of other links I made from Gilad Atzmon’s site. It appears that I posted eight links to Atzmon’s site between July 2014 and November 2018.
12. I am asked ‘Taking each one in turn, please can you explain the reason for sharing these Articles by Gilad Atzmon’. I believe that I am doing this as I have undertaken to answer each question openly and reflectively.
My reasons for sharing and discussing anything on Facebook are generally the same:
a. I am interested in discussions on a variety of subjects and I enjoy using social media. I probably post an average of at least 5 items a day. That is over 1800 posts each year.
b. I use social media as a kind of ‘thinking aloud’. I discuss and reflect on things that interest me and my posts may be taken as invitations for others to join me in reflection so that my understand and the understanding of others may be deepened. My sharing of an item on social media does not mean that I endorse it. My commenting on any particular item or on any particular situation reflects what I think at the time and my then state of knowledge but I acknowledge that I may be mistaken in the way that I perceive thing and may change my view at another time.
c. I believe that discussion is important in a healthy society and healthy democracy and that it is generally a good thing to listen to a multiplicity of voices even if we find some of those voices disagreeable, wrong or foolish. Among my 1000 plus posts to Facebook each year I may have posted some thing that are disagreeable, wrong or foolish. I have not posted any with an intention of malice or discourtesy towards any person or group though I will have been critical of persons and institutions.
13. I am asked “Please can you explain your understanding of the articles shared in these posts?”. That is what I am doing in response to the questions.
14. I am asked to explain what I mean when I state that “Atzmon is among the excommunicated but his view here is correct.” In making this statement I am saying that that I understand that Atzmon is considered antisemitic by many people within the Labour Party and some other political circles; and that because of this I have been warned not to have anything to do with him or to quote anything that he says, but sometimes, and in this case, he makes valid points that can add to important conversations.
A few days ago I wrote that this violent shift requires much deeper analysis and not our mere anecdotal debate over the 2nd Amendment or gun control. It demands a profound study of the transition in our human condition. Mass killings as a daily occurrence has something to do with people’s sense that we live in a universe that lacks a prospect of a future. It is the outcome of the reduction of the working class into a workless mass. It has a lot to do with the collapse of the family and the orchestrated attack on family values and the church. It may also have something to do with the fact that our governments are wiping out countries and people in the name of immoral interventionism and Ziocon interests. As a part of understanding the motivation for these killings, it is important to consider that taking people’s lives on a mass scale makes the killer a ‘little god.’ Add to the mixture some ‘emancipatory ideology’ and the perpetrators of these barbarian crimes are elevated, at least in their own eyes, into martyrs.https://gilad.online/writings/2018/10/31/preventing-the-next-pogrom
It is perplexing; despite our real time access to world news which notifies us of developments around the globe as they happen, our understanding of these events and their meanings is constantly shrinking. The more we ‘know,’ the less we understand. We seem to have forgotten how to question events, political exchanges and historical changes. We are removed from essentiality and authentic critical thinking, we are drifting away from Being.
Instead, we have learned to operate carefully within a strict regime of correctness. We know how not to cross some sensitive lines and that has kept us from questioning what really happened. We got ourselves accustomed to a tyranny of correctness.
I think it is worth reading this. If in reading the long extract above we focus on Atzmon’s use of the term ‘Ziocon’ we miss the point. And the fact that we have missed the point demonstrates the point that Atzmon is making.
15. I am asked my understanding of the context of Atzmon’s work. From what I have read I would characterise him as a political and cultural provocateur, a controversionalist. I understand that he comes from a Jewish and Israeli background and that this informs his perspective on an issues of historical and ongoing importance for all of us. The existence of Israel as a political fact, as a powerful nation among nations and as the locus of political and military struggle, a struggle between two peoples and between conflicing moral and existential claims is of importance to all of us.
Atzmon, in my limited understanding, attempts to examine the relationship between Israel, Judaism and Jewishness as a cultural identity. I do not know that he does it well, but he does this at a moment where, again in my limited experience, there seem to be few people who are willing to have that discussion.
16. I am asked to explain a statement that “Atzmon, I think is a ‘Holocaust questioner’ rather than a Holocaust denier’.” This is a simple view that I put forward that is either true or false. I think Atzmon denies denying that the Holocaust happened and that the accepted history is broadly true. I understand that he believes that the details of the Holocaust and the significances of the Holocaust can be discussed. That’s all.
17. I am asked if I think that my statement goes against the spirit of the Chakrabarti report where it states “excuse for, denial, approval or minimisation of the Holocaust and attempts to blur responsibility for it , have no place in the Labour Party”. I do not think that my statement goes against the spirit of this. I do not do any of those things. I have only expressed an opinion, based on my necessarily limited knowledge, as to whether Atzmon is in fact a Holocaust denier. If it is shown that he is then I will accept that he is. I expressed an opinion that I will let go of if presented with evidence that I am mistaken.
18. I am asked to explain what I meant when I stated that “He [Atzmon] is definitely coming from a place of personal emotion and does ‘sometimes identify as a ‘self hating Jew’ (whether he says this with ‘scare quotes’ or not) but this does not mean that he is a hateful person or that we should dismiss his arguments and insights.” I think what I meant is quite clear. I am making an assessment of Atzmon. I am stating an opinion of him and saying that from what I have read I do not consider him to be a person who is ‘hateful’ or ‘hating’. This was my view and I stated it. It may be correct or mistaken but I do not believe that the meaning is unclear.
19. I am asked to explain the reason for ‘this post’:
In posting this I was expressing an opinion that I had at the time about allegations of rampant antisemitism within the Labour Party. I saw it as part of a public conversation.
20. I am asked to explain what I meant when I stated “Atzmon mentions three billionaire (or at least multi millionaire) party donors, Lord Levy, Lord Sugar, Michael Foster who happen to be Zionist Jews and who have come out strongly against Corbyn’s leadership. They have all insinuated that anti-Semitism is rife within the party but where is the evidence for this?”
It is sometimes difficult and frustrating to be asked to say what one ‘means’ by a particular statement that is not gramatically or logically unclear. It seems to be a statement of fact followed by a question about that fact. I don’t see what is ‘unclear’ about that.
21. I am asked to explain my ‘understanding of the article shared in this post’. I am not particularly interested in going over what Atzmon wrote in this article because it is no longer of any particular interest to me. I am willing to answer specific questions but not willing to write a synopsis of a whole article by Atzmon; not do I see what purpose this would serve.
22. I am asked if by sharing this post I am indicating agreement and/or support. In my comment I feel that I indicated to at least some extent where I agreed and where I disagreed with Atzmon’s post. Often I share a post as a starting point for my own ramblings or reflections and do not pay too much attention to what the author has said; the longer my own ramblings the further I go from what the author has said.
When I write on social media I feel that I am engaging in an exploration of my own thinking and I like to think of this as a developmental process. My sharing Atzmon’s post does not indicate agreement or support, and I believe that I indicated in my comment that I disagreed with the main thrust of his argument.
23. I am asked to explain my reason for sharing a YouTube video.
I am or was at that time interested in the things, referenced in answer 15, that Atzmon writes and speaks about. I was also aware of the controversy around Atzmon and wished to examine the question of whether he was an antisemite, that is to say one who hates Jewish people, or whether he could be considered a valuable voice within the conversations that I have referred to.
I listened to Atzmon in the video and my conclusion at the time was that Atzmon was not antisemitic and I chose to share that conclusion. I posted this in May 2016 and cannot remember the content of the video.
24. I am asked to explain my understanding of the context of the video. I cannot do this as I do not recall its content. The video is one and a half hours long. I have no wish to view it again. Others can watch and come to their own understanding, for which they may or may not feel accountable to the Labour Party.
25. I am asked to explain what I mean by stating “he does make clear that he thinks that there is a problem with what he sees as ‘political Jewishness’ and ‘Jewish identity’ as opposed to Judaism or being a Jew.” What I was trying to do was to understand and discuss the the distinctions that Atzmon was making. As I said this article was posted over three years ago but Jewish identity is important in a discussion about what antisemitism means and what is covers. There is an ongoing controversy about whether criticism of the state of Israel and by extention criticism of individuals and institutions that support Israel is antisemitic. If supporting the state of Israel is intrinsic to Jewish identity, then such criticism and, more particularly, political positions such as supporting BDS might be considered to be intrinsically antisemitic. This seems to me to be a legitimate point to consider in a discussion about the meaning of ‘antisemitism’ .
26. I am also asked to explain what I meant when I stated “He [Atzmon] associates Jewish identity with the concept of ‘chosenness’ and ‘political Jewishness’ with support for Israel as a Jewish state. Atzmon considers these two identifications as inherently racist and he is opposed to them.” This is a continuation of the same thought that is discussed in the previous answer. I think it is clear what I mean or intend; I am expressing my understanding of Atzmon’s argument.
27. I am ask to explain my reason for sharing this post regarding Holocaust Education. My reasons for sharing and discussing anything on Facebook are generally the same. Please refer to answer 12.
28. I am asked if by sharing this post I am indicating agreement and / or support. The strict answer to this is ‘no’. My sharing of any post does not in itself indicate agreement or support. In this case however, and with the caution that I have only glanced over the entire content, I do agree with the article’s concluding contention that “For the Holocaust to garner universal interest, it must carry a universal message! Let’s expose our kids to Aleppo, Tripoli and Gaza and show them the crimes that are committed by our own democratically elected governments. Let them figure out for themselves who are the Nazis of our time. “
29. I am asked to explain my understanding of the context of the post. My answer is that the context in which I understand it is in the context of the universality of suffering and oppression, of the universality and importance of the struggle for justice against injustice, for freedom against oppression and for truth against lies. There are lessons that we can learn from the Holocaust, as there are lessons that we can learn for other historical atrocities that can become politically and morally transformative if they are seen, not only for their particularity, but also for the universality that can make them a moral lens that can be applied to other particular instances.
30. I am against asked to explain my reason for sharing this post. My reasons for sharing and discussing anything on Facebook are generally the same. Please refer to answer 12.
31. I am asked to explain my understanding of the context of the article I linked to. As the nearly 5 year old article can no longer be found I cannot even attempt to do this.
32. I am asked to explain what I meant when I stated “Here’s a link to an interesting article that argues intelligently that terrorism and the chaos in the Middle East are rooted in Saudi Wahabbism, Israeli Zionism and Western Imperialism. These three are not opposed to each other but often work together as in the assaults against Iraq and Libyia that contributed to the rise of ISIS and as in the current assault against Syria and the intervention in Yemen. “ What I intended was to convey and discuss the thought that there seemed to be a commonality of interest between the three powers whose driving ideologogies I identified. The thought may not be particularly profound or helpful but having and sharing thoughts is part of what it means to be a member of a free society.
33. I am against asked to explain my reason for sharing this post. My reasons for sharing and discussing anything on Facebook are generally the same. Please refer to answer 12.
34. I am against asked to explain my reason for sharing this post. My reasons for sharing and discussing anything on Facebook are generally the same. Please refer to answer 12. I cannot find this post (item 9) on my Facebook account. The picture is courtesy of the pdf sent to me by the Party.
35. I am asked what I meant when I stated “Zionism is not Judaism. It is a separate creed that is political rather than spiritual. Perhaps it bears a relationship to Judaism that is similar to the relationship between Wahaabism and Islam.” Again it is not really a question of what I meant, it is a question of what I intended and what I intended was to share a perception of the world and events in it from my limited knowledge and understanding. I have not done any profound research or study concerning the things I comment on but I think that trying to make sense of the world is a human and proper thing to do even for those of us who are not very well informed or very perspicacious. From the text in the image above, however, it should be evident that my comment follows from and expresses agreement with that made by Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro.
36. I am asked to explain my understanding of the context of the video but as I said I cannot find it on my Facebook account.
37. I am asked to explain my reason for sharing a post referred to in the image above (item 10). I cannot find a link to this post on Facebook and as the reference is on paper I cannot respond except to repeat that my reasons for sharing and discussing anything on Facebook are generally the same. Please refer to answer 12.
38. I am asked if by sharing the post I am indicating agreement and / or support. The answer is strictly ‘no’ on the principle that sharing never in itself indicated approval. I note that the heading in the title of the article sent to me reads “Israel in 2014 is like Germany in 1933 – Can the Madness be Stopped”. The date of posting, 24 July 2014, is during the Gaza conflict but I cannot comment further as I can’t read the article.
39. I am against asked to explain my reason for sharing this post. My reasons for sharing and discussing anything on Facebook are generally the same. Please refer to answer 12
40. I am asked to explain what I mean when I stated “David Icke, interviewed by Luke Rudkowski, says that the coming world war and the previous are part of a Illuminati/Zionist plan hatched up over a hundred years ago to establish a world government “. First I note that this post was shared over five years ago and that the video that it refers to is no longer available. But I do not ‘mean’ anything by this statement, as to what I intend; I certainly do not intend to assert that what Icke says is true.
41. I am further asked to explain what I meant when I stated in a comment “Hosein [a Muslim cleric featured in the now unavailable video] says much the same as Icke, outlining a pattern that suggests some kind of plan, whether we name those behind the plan Illuminati, Zionists, New World Order or anything else. Both Icke and Hosein see Putin’s role as central. “ Here I am outlining what is said in the video so it is not a matter of my ‘meaning’ anything. What I intended was anexploration and discussion of ideas.
42. I am asked to explain my understanding of the ‘New World Order’ conspiracy. I do not know why I am asked this and, as with the term ‘Illuminati’, it means very little to me. I have heard it used by individuals who postulate a world spanning and centuries spanning conspiracy to rule the world but I consider this to be I consider this to be an exercise in speculative fiction. ‘New World Order’ and ‘Illuminati’ are likely as fictive as allegations widespread antisemitism in the Labour Party. References without corresponding referents in reality.
While the video that this post refers to has disappeared comments in a discussion about it remain. A comment that I made in the discussions on this item may throw some light on my general attitude to these matters:
” We should [neither] take the word of outré theorists as gospel nor should we just dismiss them; they should be analysed critically and critical analysis/discussion should be encouraged because a discursive culture is both a tool and a goal of social change. We should learn to entertain thoughts without being entranced by them. Different people take different forms of social/political action but the action we all need to take is on the level of our minds which are pretty much colonised by the ‘powers and principalities’ of this world whatever we understand them to be. Talking at any deep level helps, meditation helps too. “
43 – 45. I have looked for the post referenced by this image but could not retrieve it from my Facebook account. I am again asked my reasons for sharing the YouTube video, whether sharing indicates agreement and about my understanding of the context of the video.
Whoever has sought out these videos is evidently more competent that I am in retreiving past posts from my account but as they have provided no links I cannot comment except to repeat the general responses that I have given with regard to my reasons for sharing. With regard to any presumption of agreement, none is implied by me sharing a link. In the case of David Icke however, and as I indicated in the previous answer, I consider his work and ‘theories’ to be mostly speculative fiction that can be entertaining or tedious.
46. I am asked my reasons for sharing ‘these posts’. In this case, in addition to my usual general reasons, Jiddu Krishnamurti is a philosopher whose works I greatly admire and have read since I was quite a young man. I agree with the fundamental truth that Krishnamurti presents us with in the statement
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
Source: Jiddu Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known
In the comments on this post I added
Celebrating, acknowledging, enjoying difference is not the problem, identifying with them is. Identification leads to the belief in the specialness of that with which you identify and so distances you from those who do not share that specialness. In that distance is the violence that tears you from the other. Identification is with the measurable in you rather than the immeasurable, with the accidental rather than with the essential.
There is a difference between, identifying [in the sense of] acknowledging, something and identifying with it [as your identity]. If I’m not mistaken the concept of the ‘dunya’ in Islam refers to the temporal world in which such identifications are made. All religions at their core guide us from the ‘dunya’ or ‘samsara’, the world of illusion or socially constructed reality to the experience of Union.
I have deleted the few comments of others that appear with my posts as I have not wish to drag anyone else into this matter.
47. I am asked to give my understanding of the content David Icke produces. I state of Icke in a comment to this particular post ” I’m not a fan of Icke and someone else posted the quote from his site to FB. On the other hand Icke’s site does contain useful links and I’d be loath to dismiss everything he says because most people laugh at him or because I can’t relate to much of it. “ This was my view of Icke and his site in 2014. I had not visited his site for a very long time and quick look revealed it to have deterioriated in design and to be of no particular interest to me.
48. I am asked to explain my reason for sharing this post. Again please refer to answer 12.
49. I am asked to explain what I meant when I stated ” Whether Labour members should have a right to question Holocaust orthodoxy does not seem to be the relevant issue for me. The right to free speech on any issue derives from belonging to a free society. People have this right as members of such a society, if they collectively choose to deny themselves use of this right with regard to any particular issue this is I suppose a matter for them.”
It is my understanding that questioning the Holocaust or anything else is not a crime in this country therefore citizens of the UK have a legal right to question anything; however stupid or offensive that questioning might seem to anyone else. They are of course free to deny themselves this right. They are free to consider some questioning to be off limits. That is a choice. This is the whole meaning of my statement.
50. I am told that the Party’s rulebook states: “No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party. The NEC shall take account of any codes of conduct currently in force and shall regard any incident which in their view might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age; disability; gender reassignment or identity; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation as conduct prejudicial to the Party: these shall include but not be limited to incidents involving racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia or otherwise racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions, sexual harassment, bullying or any form of intimidation towards another person on the basis of a protected characteristic as determined by the NEC, wherever it occurs, as conduct prejudicial to the Party. The disclosure of confidential information relating to the Party or to any other member, unless the disclosure is duly authorised or made pursuant to a legal obligation, shall also be considered conduct prejudicial to the Party.”
And I am asked for my response to the allegation that my conduct may have been in breach of this rule.
I cannot possibly answer this. This rule states “No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party.” Clearly this implies that judgement on any allegation is entirely dependent on the opinion of the NEC and not on any published and objective criteria. Without known and objective criteria judgement is purely arbitary.
The last sentence states “The disclosure of confidential information relating to the Party or to any other member, unless the disclosure is duly authorised or made pursuant to a legal obligation, shall also be considered conduct prejudicial to the Party.” This is icing on the cake attempting to hide abuses of justice and reason implicit in the arbitrariness, the deliberated injustice and irrationality, of the Party’s disciplinary procedures.
Elsewhere I have written of a crisis of antirationalism in the Labour Party but until read this reference to ‘Rule 2.1.8’ I did not fully comprehend how profound that crisis is. That such a rule appears in the rulebook of a Party aspiring to govern a nation should be a matter of grave concern not only to members of the Party but to all citizens of a democratic nation ruled by objective laws.
51. This question reads. The Party’s Code of Conduct states that members should “treat all persons with dignity and respect. This applies offline and online” do you think that the posts in this pack are consistent with this policy” I think that I have treated all persons with dignity and respect. With regard to the posts ‘in this pack’ I have commented on those quite extensively. My question in return is “do you think that this procedure treats all persons with dignity and respect?”
52. I am asked if I regret sharing any of the content supplied as evidence. I do not.
53. I am asked if I intend to post or share content of ‘this nature’ in the future. I see no reason why I should not.
54. I am asked if there are further matters I wish to raise in my defence. I do not perceive anything I have said as a defence. The only further matter I wish to raise concerns the motivation for this charge or inquiry or whatever it is. What motivated the Labour Party to trawl through five years of my Facebook posts. These are presented as ‘evidence’ but evidence of what? Evidence in support of what charge? Think about it; evidence is usually sought in support of some allegation or conjecture. What is the allegation that preceeded the search for ‘evidence’ in this case?
55. I am asked if there any evidence I wish to submit in my defence. I include this question for the sake of completeness. The answer is no.
In closing this presention I want to say that I am grateful that someone within the Labour Party has chosen to bring these charges against my membership. Without being presented with these charges I would have been unaware of the crimes against reason and justice being perpetrated by bodies within the Labour Party and I would have been unable to present this case for examination by conscious and moral members of the Labour Party.
It is not my current intention to resign from the Labour Party though in the light of this presentation it could hardly surprise me if I were expelled. I remain to await a judgement by the Labour Party with a rationale for that judgement. I will not appeal against or resist expulsion but I will share any such judgement and the rationale for it.