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Monday 11 February 2019

Luciana Berger - Calm Down Everyone

One hates to exhume a corny catchphrase invented about Scousers by someone who knew very little about them, but in view of yet another internal Labour Party argument which is not only generating more heat than light, but threatening to be more useful to the party’s opponents in other parties, the right-leaning press and elsewhere, it seemed strangely apposite. Everyone needs to take a step back.
Luciana Berger

What has happened can be put directly: Liverpool Wavertree Constituency Labour Party had two motions of no confidence in their MP, Luciana Berger, submitted recently. Both were in accordance with the relevant rules. After extensive discussions, and having paused for thought, both were withdrawn. That Ms Berger is heavily pregnant was clearly a factor, as was her having suffered years of anti-Semitic abuse.

Sadly, matters were not allowed to rest there. Suggestions were made in the London press that this was yet another example of low-level anti-Semitism and perhaps an attempt to deselect an MP who had been less than totally supportive of party leader Jeremy Corbyn. The inability of those in the press to do the most basic research was exposed when it was pointed out that the Chair of Wavertree CLP is disabled … and Jewish.

Regrettably, deputy leader Tom Watson - someone for whom this blog has a lot of time, especially because of his sterling work on press misbehaviour and reform of press regulation, a cause to which Ms Berger has previously been close - intervened further, suggesting that Wavertree CLP should be suspended. He also made accusations of bullying during an interview yesterday on The Andy Marr Show™.
However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby has now confirmed in an email that Liverpool Wavertree CLP has no case to answer, and that there will not be a suspension. Her communication with Alex Scott-Samuels has been made available, and bears close reading.

I welcomed the withdrawal of the motions, as with Luciana being nearly 9 months pregnant, and under pressure from continuous abuse and threats, I fet that they were ill-judged” she states. She also has this to say about no confidence motions in general.

CLPs are at liberty to discuss motions of no confidence in their elected representatives, including MPs, and in the case of Wavertree, to date I have seen no evidence of any behaviours that constitute potential bullying or anti-Semitism, other than the complaints about one individual which are being investigated”. And on Ms Berger’s treatment?
Before the motions were withdrawn, I had taken steps with the region to ensure that Luciana felt supported if she attended the meeting, and to arrange for regional staff to be present to ensure that the meeting was run in an orderly manner”. Something else that you will not see in our free and fearless press - well, not outside Merseyside, anyway.

Ms Formby makes this conclusion: “I am therefore clear that there is no justification for suspending the CLP and should be grateful if you would share this with your executive”.

And with that, perhaps all concerned can now - yes, it’s that catchphrase again - calm down, take a step back, and thus extract the heat from the argument.
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Malcolm Redfellow said...

Any Labour candidate outside the cultist tent can affirm it doesn't require being in Liverpool, or being Jewish, to get a dose of anti-semitic abuse.

Female Labourites, but of course, get both barrels.

Compare: https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/labour-decides-it-s-not-antisemitic-to-call-a-candidate-zionist-israeli-stooge-1.478634

Mark said...

Of course the comrades at Wavertree CLP have every right to express no confidence in Berger; a Labour MP who couldn't bring herself to say she wanted a Labour govt on a recent Eddie Mair show, who thinks so little of the city she represents that she ensured she had a policeman escort her around it at the last conference and who is clearly looking to jump ship if there's enough support for this so-called centre-left party. None of their concerns have anything to do with her being female or Jewish and I find it rather alarming that these things are now considered beyond reproach for fear of being slandered a misogynistic anti-semitic.

Anonymous said...

Didn't anyone ask Merseyside police if they provided security for any Labour MP's at the conference?

Gonzoland said...

With the Israeli Government moving to the far right taking right wing media with them, it's worth noting that in the USA young Jewish people seem to be rejecting the illiberal.
Corbyn bashing isn't restricted to the UK: -
"When a crazed Trump supporter murdered 11 Jews in a synagogue in Pittsburgh on 27 October 2018, members of Netanyahu’s government rushed uninvited to the scene in order to absolve Trump’s hateful rhetoric of responsibility. Predictably, they blamed the left. Naftali Bennett, the far-right minister of the diaspora, disputed, without evidence, the Anti-Defamation League’s statistics about the alarming rise of rightwing antisemitism and neo-Nazi agitation since Trump’s inauguration. The Israeli ambassador to the US, Dani Dayan, used the occasion to attack Jeremy Corbyn for alleged antisemitism, but failed to mention Trump." - Eric Alterman, Le Monde Diplomatique, February 2019. https://mondediplo.com/2019/02/06us-israel

Anonymous said...

Pro-nuke, pro-war Watson would be amongst the first to try to destabilise a Labour government. Close behind him would be Benn, Umunna, Mann, Kinnock, the pathetic Smith - and Berger, amongst several others. These are the very people who whine about "a broad church" in the Labour Party, but who are indistinguishable from the tories and who over the years have done their worst to try to eliminate opposition to their quisling betrayal. Blue cuckoos in the nest. Their legacy is the destruction of millions of lives in the Middle East. To say nothing of the poverty they have ignored or even promoted in this country. They are the new rentier class. Truly vile people.

The sooner the lot of them cross over to the tories the better. The Labour Party will stand a chance of reinforcing what's left of its political morality.

Berger - Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu or Atheist - isn't and never was wanted by Wavertree CLP members. And that's because she's a spiv opportunist with no local knowledge, a tenth rate MP who has achieved the square root of fuck all for her constituents, a typical self-serving Blairista with no conscience, but with plenty of lying self pity.

Anti-semitism has nothing to do with her possible de-selection, except where it suits quislings like Watson and herself. If she had a scrap of respect for her constituents she'd resign and take the bus back to Blair/Brown HQ where she truly belongs. But she hasn't and she won't.

Anonymous said...

Broadly agree with the article and like yourself I was happy that Watson tried to bring the press to heel, but if you believe that Watson is anything but an enabler of the Tory party and the enemy within the Labour party then I'm afraid you are not paying attention.

A duplicitous man, entirely in hock to the Blairites who will do everything within his power to wrest control of the party back to the right wing of the party and his defence of Berger and the subsequent calls for the suspension of Wavertree CLP are entirely in character.

The vote of no confidence in Corbyn of which he was one of the major players if not THE major player was fine, but the votes of no confidence in people like Berger are affronts to democracy.

Double standards, hypocrisy or just plain lying, we see you Tom and we are not deceived

Sam Best said...

A very good example above of how antisemitism has been falsely weaponized to attack Corbyn.
The Jewish Chronicle is edited by a man who preaches his admiration for Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch's Australian newspapers (80% of the country) ran an inflammatory article last year by one of Murdoch's most beloved columnists Andrew Bolt stating "Melbourne Jews live in ghettos and try to change Australia immigrants etc.

Rupert Murdoch's Sky News interviewed a Nazi named Blair Cotrell who says all schools should have a photo of Hitler in their classrooms and that immigrants should be deported (especially Jews) and those who refused to go executed.
The interviewer said "I wish you well in your endeavors".

Local Jewish community leaders were outraged but Murdoch demonstrated what he thinks by hosting Andrew Bolt at his top table at his annual news Corp dinner a few weeks later.
The Jewish Chronicle and Board of Deputies refused to comment on this.

Malcolm Redfellow links to this: https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/labour-decides-it-s-not-antisemitic-to-call-a-candidate-zionist-israeli-stooge-1.478634

If the person accused IS a Zionist Israeli Stooge then that's what they are. It's fact. It's not antisemitic. If they are not it's bloody rude and inaccurate.

Unless Mr Redfellow or the Jewish Chronicle can solve this riddle: what is it when the media accuses Jeremy Corbyn of being an East European spy and basically, a stooge for Communists?. Is that an attack on all English people? .

Anonymous said...

What does lucky luciana do but agitate against her party leadership and members?she certainly doesn't represent her constituents, as she should do as an M.P.