by Martin Odoni

This evening, a little-known former leader of Camden Council implied over Twitter that Hampstead & Kilburn’s constituency Labour Party is guilty of anti-Semitic behaviour.

Sarah Hayward, wording her tweet carefully so she could deny making any libellous accusations, kicked up a stink about Hampstead CLP barring delegates from the Jewish Labour Movement from attending the local Annual General Meeting the previous evening.

I shall come to the real reason why the JLM delegates were barred presently. Firstly though, I would like to suggest that Hayward should pause and consider warnings from the party’s General Secretary to the party’s Deputy Leader, which she published this evening. Jennie Formby’s warnings were against Tom Watson’s recent, very blatant habit of making public complaints about goings-on within the party via media, including social media, and trying – illegally let me stress – to interfere directly in the party’s disciplinary process.

The reason I mention this is that, instead of reporting her concerns about Hampstead & Kilburn to Formby in the first place, Hayward simply went public with a Twitter thread that was quite insinuating, but essentially provoked anyone reading to leap to conclusions of anti-Semitism.

Now, to put it euphemistically, it is quite mysterious (READ: pretty bloody obvious) as to why Haward did this as a first step, and failed to contact either Formby or the Hampstead & Kilburn CLP about her concerns. Moreover, her public show of outrage was in a Twitter thread that, again ‘mysteriously’, did not tag either Formby or Hampstead & Kilburn CLP.

To add to the ‘bewilderment’, Hayward retweeted other people who replied expressing well-meaning but uninformed outrage. However, I can see no evidence that she has retweeted anyone who responded with the explanation for why JLM delegates were barred from a CLP meeting. That explanation is actually very simple, by the way, and not remotely underhanded; –

It is because JLM had not paid a high enough subscription for more than one delegate.

Here is Hampstead & Kilburn CLP responding to Hayward’s insinuating remarks; –

Hawyward stirring faeces

It is as simple as that. Only one JLM delegate was allowed in to the AGM, and all others were barred, because one delegate at the AGM was all to which JLM were entitled.

It is curious to note that, as best I can tell, Hayward has not, at the time of writing, retweeted this response from the CLP. (There are two retweets that do not appear in the list generated on my screen due to the security settings of the users. It is just about possible that one of them is Hayward, although that seems unlikely given how publicly loud she is being about this. Why suddenly go all coy about it?)

retweet list

This failure is doubly curious when you see some of the replies Hayward has retweeted. As a very striking example, take this one, which Hayward seems to be using as a corroboration of JLM’s ‘martyrdom’, from Sara Gibbs (former writer on Dead Ringers, if that interests anybody) who was not even present at the meeting!

explaining the rules to Sara Gibbs

Sara Gibbs being presented as a reliable witness to an event she openly admits she never even attended.

How come Gibbs’ hearsay is considered worthier of spreading far-and-wide than the CLP’s right-of-reply?

This is yet more blatant trouble-making by the right wing of the Labour Party, and Hayward, while not exactly lying, has deliberately misled people, which is really just as bad as lying.

And here is the big matter for me, and one that makes it so infuriating that so few people are prepared to ‘brain up’ about this endless hysteria. If anti-Semitism really is as rife in the Labour Party as people like Hayward want us to believe – and we know conclusively that it is absolutely not – why, on the few occasions when attention can be brought to specific instances of it, are so many of them clearly made up? Remember Kevin Clegg? Why do the accusers need to keep contriving examples of a problem that is supposedly ‘endemic’?

I think we all know the answer to that, do we not?

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