In his latest piece for The National, columnist Bruce Whitehead "bares all on why he quit" @UKLabour. The former member of Edinburgh West CLP presents a list of woes but somehow manages to avoid mentioning the party's #antisemitism crisis and his own role in exacerbating it. /1 Image
There were clues in @guardianletters last week where Whitehead objected to Labour's decision to proscribe four groups, three of which are known primarily for their antisemitism. He seems to have been especially keen on Labour Against the Witchhunt, which is probably the worst. /2 ImageImageImage
A search of Bruce Whitehead's social media soon reveals why. He claims that "Zionism stains the Jewish race with the blood of innocent Palestinian children". Whatever your view on events in Israel, it's clearly antisemitic to attribute blame collectively to all Jews. /3 Image
Whitehead claims the Holocaust is used as a shield to protect Israel from criticism (that doesn't seem to have worked then). He believes antisemitism is alleged to deflect such criticism and, startlingly, even argues that Hamas is not antisemitic just because it says it isn't. /4 ImageImageImage
Bruce Whitehead says that concerns about antisemitism in the Labour Party are fabricated, thereby dismissing the experiences of many Jews, both inside and outside the party, who have encountered anti-Jewish racism from some Labour members - I would say including himself. /5 ImageImageImage
According to Whitehead, Chris Williamson isn't antisemitic because he doesn't hate Jews. Actually, hostility toward or discrimination against Jewish people also constitute antisemitism. You don't have to hate to act on a prejudice. And Williamson wasn't vindicated by the EHRC. /6 Bruce Whitehead defending C...Merriam-Webster dictionary ...Bruce Whitehead defending C...EHRC report on Chris Willia...
Rather like his approach to Hamas, Bruce Whitehead claims that Mear One's infamous 'Freedom for Humanity' mural wasn't antisemitic because the artist denied it. He tries to throw the charge back by saying those who thought it portrayed Jews must be antisemitic themselves. /7 Image
Whitehead claims the Board of Deputies tells Labour who can be a member, congratulated the Tories on election victory (they send such greetings whoever wins) and "congratulated the Israeli government every time it murdered innocent Palestinians trying to defend their homeland"./8 Image
There are further examples of Bruce Whitehead defending antisemites and making antisemitic comments, but you will probably have got the picture by now. It's disappointing when the Labour Party loses members, but in this case the loss is all his, not ours. /9 ImageImage

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More from @Steve_Cooke

5 Nov 20
Typical of the genre, Darren Murtagh claims the #Labour Party has expelled him because he "shared an article from the Guardian saying how Israel funds groups associated with Tommy Robinson". He says the party is driving out "left thinking people", not tackling #antisemitism. /1
Cue messages of solidarity from Darren Murtagh's friends and comrades, many of whom report being forced out of the party themselves because they supported Palestinians, criticised Israel or were too socialist and too antiracist for the Labour leadership's liking. /2
But wait a moment. That Guardian piece doesn't mention Israel at all, not even indirectly, though Darren Murtagh has shared an article about Robinson's funding that did - from the neo-Nazi 'Right of the Right' website, which has since been rebranded as 'Christians for Truth'. /3
Read 10 tweets
2 May 20
Congratulations to the Socialist Workers Party on recruiting Malcolm Adlington. Malc has rejoined the SWP after the Labour Party suspended him for regularly posting antisemitic, in some cases explicitly neo-Nazi, material. But the SWP don't seem to mind. "Welcome home", comrade!
As several SWP activists joined the thread to express their joy at Malcolm Adlington's return to the fold, I asked why they were so keen given the Labour Party had suspended him for antisemitism. Surely, the SWP were supposed to be antiracist? The exchange didn't go well.
Adlington defended sharing an article about Tommy Robinson on the grounds that it denounced him. Yes, it did: from a neo-Nazi perspective that Robinson was taking "30 pieces of silver" for "pretending that the Jews aren't behind the intentional destruction of England and Europe".
Read 5 tweets
15 Apr 20
Whilst some people who promote antisemitism falsely claim to be members of the Labour Party, there are others who pretend not to be. I'm now wary of taking resignation announcements at face value as they may be intended to lessen the likelihood of AS misconduct being reported.
Lesley Perrin, a Holocaust denier who was a Torbay CLP officer, said she'd given up her membership in Feb '19 after Labour HQ notified her of an investigation, yet the leaked #LabourReport shows she only received a 'reminder of conduct' at that time and hadn't actually resigned.
When I blogged about Perrin's Nazi-grade antisemitism in March that year, I therefore did so believing she had already left the party.
Read 10 tweets
28 Feb 20
Thread: One of the candidates excluded from the Labour NEC ballot has posted a statement defending himself. Keith Hussein (South Shields CLP) says that claims he promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories are "completely baseless" and "vicious personal character assassination". /1
Concerns about alleged #antisemitism in Keith Hussein's Facebook posts were first raised publicly by Stephane Savary, vice-chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, whose blog questioned whether the comrade was fit to join Labour's governing body. /2
Hussein says: "An innocent discussion on economics is somehow re-spun to make the accusation that I was spreading anti-Jewish conspiracy theories regarding George Soros. I didn’t even know Soros was Jewish at that time." He assures us that he doesn't believe in such theories. /3
Read 11 tweets
15 Jan 20
Whilst some of the Board of Deputies' #TenPledges to end the #antisemitism crisis are problematic and arguably contradictory, the ferocity of the response from many on the Labour left is unwarranted and reflects discriminatory attitudes towards Jewish community advocacy. /1
The BoD is being accused of arrogance and interference in the Labour Party's internal affairs as if the central issue highlighted by the pledges - antisemitism and our leadership's failure to tackle it - had absolutely nothing to do with the communities it represents. /2
From all the fuss, we might imagine the #TenPledges to be an initiative without precedent, but challenging political parties and election candidates to sign up to commitments of this type is a campaigning tactic used by many community bodies and campaign groups. /3
Read 12 tweets
17 Nov 19
Thread: 1/ I was a member of the same Facebook group (Labour Party Compliance: Suspensions Expulsions Rejections Co-Op) as Maria Carroll for a while, though I had no role in running it.
2/ The LPC group started amid the mass suspensions of the 2016 leadership contest when many members were disenfranchised without explanation. You had to submit data protection requests to find out what you were accused of and it created an atmosphere of confusion and paranoia.
3/ The group's initial emphasis was on advising suspended members about their rights, which is a laudable aim in the labour movement. Many of the exclusions were unrelated to antisemitism but that became the dominant theme and some extremely unsavoury types joined the group.
Read 16 tweets

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