by Martin Odoni

Jacqueline Walker, a black Jewish activist and long-time Labour Party anti-racism campaigner, was expelled from the party today. The story of her, somewhat-carelessly-worded-but-accurate, remarks about Jews being leading financiers of the slave trade in past centuries, is well-enough recorded that I doubt I need to go over it. If you need to refresh your memory, see here.

Jackie Walker stitched up

Jackie Walker has been expelled from the Labour Party for stating historical facts.

However, the reason why this is as much a stitch-up as the expulsion of Marc Wadsworth last year bears mentioning. As with the Wadsworth hearing, the disciplinary process was clearly corrupted.

The pretext for Walker being suspended was supposed ‘anti-Semitic’ behaviour. There is a reluctance on the part of many in the media to mention that the accused is herself Jewish. (As indeed there has been with the accusations against the likes of Tony Greenstein, Cyril Chilson, Jo Bird, myself, and others. As Alexei Sayle has pointed out, those suspended or expelled from Labour for anti-Semitism are frequently Jewish.)

Walker was not allowed to speak in her own defence at her hearing, although as she had chosen to have a legal counsel present, that is not an irregularity in itself; the party rules are quite explicit that any defendant who accepts legal counsel must leave all the talking to him/her.

The critical matter, which media reports of the expulsion are not making much effort to mention is that Walker, just like Wadsworth last year, was not charged with anti-Semitism. The charge that the Labour National Constitutional Committee levelled against her was Prejudicial and grossly detrimental behaviour against the party. This is taken from part of the text of Clause 2.I.8 of the Party rulebook.

This charge is problematic in itself –  see below – but more concerning yet is that Walker was not made aware until a few days ago exactly to which of her actions/words the charge applied. She and her legal counsel had insufficient time to prepare a full defence against some of the accusations therefore, and Walker’s wish to make an opening statement was in response to this serious irregularity.

The main reason the charge is problematic is similar to the one with the charge levelled against Wadsworth last year. At his tribunal, Wadsworth was charged with Bringing the party into disrepute, a lazy, catch-all term that effectively amounts to, “The NCC can throw you out just because its members don’t like something you said or did”. While being slightly more specific, the charge Prejudicial and grossly detrimental behaviour against the party, in the cold light of day, does not appear to mean anything greatly different. It is useful as it matches words in the clause of the rulebook, so it sounds legitimate, but does so without having to give the ‘transgression’ any precise definition or clarity.

Both Wadsworth’s and Walker’s charges amount to extremely blunt legal instruments. They hand an excessive amount of power to the party right-wingers who dominate the NCC, and make it much too easy for them to get rid of any member for whom they just have a political, or even personal, antipathy, on the shakiest of pretexts.

Zionist organisations like The Jewish Labour Movement, The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and The Jewish Chronicle are trying to insinuate that Walker has been thrown out precisely for being an anti-Semite, and no other reason. What they fail to explain is why the NCC needed to press such a vague and subjective charge as prejudicial and grossly detrimental behaviour in order to ‘convict’ her? Surely if they really had sufficient grounds to convict her of ‘anti-Semitic behaviour’, they could have made it more explicitly clear?

The ruling given by the judgement panel on the NCC was worded,

“The National Constitutional Committee has found that the charges of breaches of party rules by Jackie Walker have been proven. The National Constitutional Committee consequently determined that the sanction for this breach of the rules is expulsion from Labour Party membership.”

They did not mention anti-Semitism, or racism, as being the reason for the expulsion. Given Walker’s long history of fighting racism – just like Wadsworth’s – that should go without saying really. And yet – just like Wadsworth – it did not

This imprecise announcement fits a pattern that occurs a lot when Labour members are expelled for alleged anti-Semitism. See the ruling when Tony Greenstein was given his marching orders last year; –

“The NCC of the Labour Party has today found that all three charges of a breach of the Labour Party’s rule 2.1.8 by Tony Greenstein have been found proved. The NCC consequently determined that the sanction for the breach of Labour Party rules will be expelled from membership.”

And the ruling at the end of the aforementioned Wadsworth expulsion; –

“The National Constitutional Committee of the Labour Party has found that two charges of a breach of the Labour Party’s rule 2.1.8 by Marc Wadsworth have been proven. The NCC consequently determined that the sanction for this breach of Labour Party rules will be expulsion from membership.”

All sounds very similar does it not? And all very obscure.

What do all the accused mentioned on this page have in common?

Well of course; they are all pro-Palestine supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.

Thus it is quite impossible not to suspect that Walker’s guilt and expulsion – just like all the others’ – were premeditated conclusions. My own, much lower-profile suspension will doubtless lead to the same place in whichever century the NCC finally get around to assessing my case of implied ‘self-hating-Jewry’. But in Walker’s case, all that was in doubt was not her expulsion, but how the NCC chose to word the verdict. In the event, they took the tried-and-tested route, making it as obscure and legal-ese-precise as possible.

What happened to Jackie Walker today was just history ‘rhyming’. As Wadsworth was stitched up a year ago, so Walker has been stitched up now, demonstrating just how much right-wing corruption remains in the innermost mechanisms of the Labour Party.

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by Martin Odoni

The largely-fictitious ‘anti-Semitism-in-Labour’ controversy is clearly never going to be allowed to die. I have no doubt more examples will be brought to public attention in the final days before the Local Elections in May, and most accusations will stem from heavily-distorted information, just as Mike Sivier can testify from what happened a year ago.

In case anyone is just back from a five-day holiday to Mars, the present storm of outrage is about a notorious mural on Brick Lane in London.

Mural

The artist who painted the mural is an American called Kalen Ockerman – alias ‘Mear One’. The mural is widely-held to be anti-Semitic in intent.

Back in 2012, there was a discussion on social media about having the mural removed. Jeremy Corbyn left a comment on the discussion thread defending its presence on freedom-of-speech grounds. This comment has ‘mysteriously’ been dragged into the cross-examination of the public domain just as the Local Elections campaign is getting under way.

Now, I really was not planning to comment on this, because frankly it was embarrassing that anyone thought it worth the nation’s time or attention. What Corbyn said six years ago about someone’s right to produce a slightly paranoid bit of artwork is not important. No, sorry, it really is not. James O’Brien (oh good grief, him again?) and Shelagh Fogarty may have thought that this business was worth top billing on their LBC shows today, but they are wrong. They should not have dignified it with their time, nor should the other hysterics across the media. The only reason I am even bothering to write about it is because individuals on social media – including the aforementioned O’Brien – have been complaining that Corbyn sympathisers are ‘more outraged’ by Owen Smith’s rebelliousness on Brexit than they are about anti-Semitism.

That accusation is rubbish, but okay, I will talk about the mural. And I will not just focus on how minor or old Corbyn’s ‘transgression’ is. I will also point out a detail that the critics refuse to acknowledge about the mural; –

It is not anti-Semitic.

No, I am perfectly serious, it really is not. Now, if a Jew wishes to argue with me about that, they are welcome to bring it on – the comments section is below. But I will not have the likes of O’Brien, or Fogarty, or any of a million other outrage-foam-at-the-mouths who are not Jewish telling me what is anti-Semitic or what is not. I am a Jew, and I have experienced the sharp end of real anti-Semitism first hand. I know the genuine article when I see it, and I also know a false alarm about anti-Semitism when I see it too. So you can stuff it if you are non-Jewish and you try to tell me which is which. The mural is not anti-Semitic, and this is why.

The rich men portrayed in the mural sitting around the Monopoly gameboard include the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, the Warburgs and the Morgans. The Rothschilds and the Warburgs are indeed Jews. But the others are not. They are portrayed in exactly the same light as the Warburgs and the Rothschilds, but this is not because of their ethnicity, but because they are all banking magnates. Their portrayal is not anti-Semitic, it is anti-plutocratic.

The pyramid in the background is often assumed to embody the legendary ‘Illuminati’, which is often thought to be an undercover world-controlling movement dominated by Jews. But again, this is not correct. The pyramid actually symbolises Freemasonry, and the widely-held (and possibly correct) suspicion that Freemasons often give each other un-earned ‘foot-ups’ up the hierarchy.

Freemasonry is not a Jewish movement.

How do I know that all of this applies to the mural? The explanation for that is shockingly simple; unlike the majority of pompous outraged attack dogs snapping at Corbyn’s heels, I bothered to read up on the history of the mural before passing judgement on it. One of the details I checked was what the artist had to say about it. Sure enough, Ockerman responded to the accusations of anti-Semitism back in 2012, and explained all of the above.

You might argue, “Why should we believe what Ockerman says?” but if you think about it, that really is a stupid question; if Ockerman had intended to stir up anti-Semitic paranoia by painting the mural in the first place, surely he would be defeating the object of his own exercise by then denying that the rich men in the picture are Jewish? (And be careful – if you see a picture of rich men with large noses and your immediate assumption is “Jews!!!!” that may say more about your own prejudices than it says about the artist’s.)

What astounds me is that the people who are steadfast in their certainty that the mural is anti-Semitic seem so confident that they know more about it than the person who bloody painted it in the first place! So much so, they never even thought to find out what the artist had to say. And James O’Brien has the nerve to lecture his listeners on being ‘rational’ when he makes an absurd leap-to-conclusions, probably a bandwagon fallacy too, on this scale? Not for the first time recently, I find myself saying, “Pull yourself together, O’Brien!

NB: Worry not, James, I do like you really, and I agree with far more of what you say than I disagree with usually, but you really have been suckered on this. I cannot believe you wasted ninety minutes of your programme today on this. It is a complete non-story.

It has been pointed out that the mural bears a passing resemblance to Nazi propaganda. I do see that, and I agree that it is unfortunate. But again there is a deafeningly-loud fallacy in the argument. Just because the mural has a resemblance to Nazi propaganda, it does not follow that it has to have the same meaning as Nazi propaganda. As I say, it does not. I find the reference to the Freemasons in the mural a bit paranoid, but the fundamental meaning of the picture is visibly anti-elitism, and there is no reason to assume that the plutocrats therein are Jewish. I mean, why is there no Star of David in the image?

(Jonathan Cook makes some more useful points about how doubtful and obviously-orchestrated this flare-up about the mural has been.)

Now as I say, this whole business has been a nonsense. Even if there were genuine anti-Semitic content in the mural, so what? It was years ago, and it was very clear that Corbyn’s comment was not meant as a defence of anti-Semitism. Now, how is a passing comment that Corbyn made six years ago on a bit of bizarre artwork suddenly so important that it takes priority over the Local Elections, over Conservative laundering of Russian finance, over Tory and pro-Brexit groups getting potentially-illegal help from Cambridge Analytica, the fantastic fraudulence of Jeremy Hunt’s untrue ‘pay-rise’ for NHS workers, the suspicious-looking miracle of only three people getting exposed to a lethal nerve agent in Salisbury and all of them so slightly that somehow none of them are dead almost a month later, the never-ending Brexit chaos, rampant child poverty… ? Good grief, I reckon even the ball-tampering scandal by the Australian Test Cricket team should rate as more of a priority than this! I mean, at least that happened this week! (Darren Lehmann and Steve Smith should be sacked, for what my view on that is worth, by the way.)

Of course, the answer to my question lies with the alternative topics I have listed. A lot of the media would like to talk about ‘anti-Semitism-in-Labour’ right now precisely because it blots out all these other matters. And sadly, even usually fairly sensible broadcasters and journalists, including O’Brien and Fogarty, have allowed themselves to get caught up in the tidal wave of rage.

No, Corbyn is not ‘comfortable in the company of anti-Semites’. No, the majority of the Labour left are not anti-Semites, not even a large minority of the Labour left are anti-Semites. Rather than being taken in by the huge number of accusations, what is needed is actually to study a lot of the accusations. Do so and you soon notice how absurd some of them are. Ask Mike Sivier about his ‘anti-Semitic punctuation’. No, I kid ye not, he really was accused of ‘anti-Semitic punctuation’ last year!

'Anti-Semtic punctuation' is now a thing.

Zionists are becoming such uncompromising censorship-trolls, they have now invented ‘anti-Semitic punctuation’. (Click here for more info.)

Ask Tony Greenstein (who is himself Jewish, but an anti-Zionist).

Ask Alan Bull.

Ask Jacqueline Walker, of course.

This whole controversy about anti-Semitism only started up in the aftermath of Jeremy Corbyn standing for leader of Labour, and the reason for it should be obvious; Corbyn is pro-Palestinian, and a loud critic of the way Israel treats the Palestinian people. The Zionist-Israeli lobby is terrified of the prospect of a UK Prime Minister who is pro-Palestinian, and so they are trying to isolate him by getting some of his most articulate supporters removed from the party. The Zionists, especially in the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, are perfectly happy to use false accusations in order to do so, knowing that they are unlikely to be held to account for doing it, as authorities fear the same accusations being re-directed at them.

What the Zionists are doing is corrupt and illegal. Instead of exposing this corruption, the media are allowing themselves to be pushed into playing along with it.

Labour were seven points up in the polls sixteen days ago, and the Local Election campaign began last week. This non-story controversy from years ago suddenly flares up now.

How is it that no one in the media is able to join such giant dots?

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MORE ON THIS HERE.