On the Chakrabarti Inquiry

I had reason to have another look at the Chakrabarti report, you can imagine why. It saddens me deeply, that a such a well thought out & evidenced response to the allegations of antisemitic behaviour has not become the benchmark by which the Labour Party judges itself.

When I first read this, to me the implied allegation that the disciplinary process was unsafe because of the lack of professional legal time and latterly the exposure of the fact that the NCC (Judges & Jury) received little or no independent legal advice from the prosecution seemed to me to be possible the most important finding. After the last week, I am of the view that the gentle yet robust definition of unacceptable behaviour in terms of racism and the Party’s response is equally if not more important

However, for various reasons[1] the then NEC, decided not to bring the recommendations to conference in 2016. This was recognised as a partial mistake by both sides of the argument i.e. those that wanted harsher rules and those who wanted vanilla Chakrabarti since the rules were changed at Conference 17 to delete the “free speech” defence which would have previously prohibited disciplinary actions against any racists or misogynists. Successful prosecutions will remain difficult as the decisions to “do” Livingstone & Greenstein on “bringing the party into disrepute” and not on antisemitism or use of abusive language in the case of Greenstein prove because, despite having changed its rules at Conference 2017 any decisions are still potentially subject to judicial review.

We i.e. the Labour Party badly need the rest of the Chakrabarti Inquiry recommendations to offer certainty around behavioural acceptability, ensure proportionality in terms of penalty and guarantee a fair trial if things require it. In this, the intra-party sectarian delay, has served it poorly.

The benchmark by which we i.e. Labour judge ourselves should be the Chakrabarti report, not the IHRA definition.

ooOOOoo

In this case, there is more to read ….. …

Anti-Semitism

The article, Crying Wolf at Open Democracy calls out the double standards of the Commons Home Affairs Committee report on Anti-Semitism and the dangerous and missed opportunities. In particular it notes the honesty and forward looking nature of the Chakrabarti Inquiry Report into anti-semitism in the Labour Party and questions the motives of those who voted for the Commons Committee report which spends an inordinate amount of time, conducting an inaccurate and inadequate review of anti-semitism in the Labour Party and its recent responses. The article also looks in detail at the history of the development of  and needs for a working definition of anti-semitism. It does not quote David Schnieder’s but it does make the point that the definition chosen from the EUMC is questioned and never adopted by its authors and is considered to be too censorious of critics of the Israeli government. This is a comprehensive, temperate and critical treatment of the report. I recommend it be read by anyone interested in evidence based and just policy making. …