That Starmer fella...

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  • The red-card waving partner of a woman removed from this week’s Labour Conference for barracking Keir Starmer during his speech has said he believes the party has changed under new leadership because “his wife is Jewish.”

    The Labour delegate also added Starmer had “certainly got many advisers who are Jewish.”

    https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/lab­our-changed-as-starmers-wife-is-jewish-s­ays-partner-of-woman-kicked-out/

  • Oh it was awful. I think the reason I like it is as an example is because it was an awful policy when it had majority support, too. My journey with it is pretty typical of us lefties I imagine:

    1. august: yes, any change to any tax to fix the NHS is justified and I am in favour of it on general principle
    2. hang on, maybe NI isn't the best one for this:
    3. what do you mean it only applies to workers
    4. what do you mean it unfairly penalises the low paid and young
    5. what do you mean it puts additional burdens on those who have borne the main brunt of covid
    6. sept: alright lads lets look at a different tax to do this

    My principle hasn't changed. I still want the NHS to be well funded. But my journey with this policy reflects I think a lot of the journeys people go on with these kinds of policies. In general they sound great. When we find out more about them, we find out more of their problems.

  • Good. What with Momentum trying to block the EHRC reforms this weekend, and affiliates doing this kind of stuff, a period of quiet reflection would be very much appreciated from them. This kind of stuff is unhinged and sadly typical of the last few weeks.

  • As does the EHRC, no?
    My understanding may well be off, but isn't any compulsion to act is because of the HRA / EA / other legislation - the EHRC cannot themselves directly compel action, but can seek enforcement through the courts.

    Absolutely right - my point is that we call the leaked Labour report and the JLM report (et al) a 'report' too, but they don't carry the same legal weight as the EHRC. The EHRC is solely there to determine whether or not organisations have breached equality legislation and they found that we have. We cannot ignore their findings or their recommendations - though many in the conference wanted and voted for us to do precisely that - unless we want to get ourselves prosecuted.

  • If this really is the beginning of the end for Labour, where do their votes go next?

    It'll probably up more transactional than party loyal.

  • My gut feeling is that party loyalty isn't as big a factor in UK politics as it once was.

    How many members do political parties have anyway? It's less than half a million if you combine Labour and Conservative isn't it?

  • How many members do political parties have anyway?

    A lot less post Starmer! haha

  • Lol I see that the labour right are now going after the socialist terror that is Ed Milliband

    These people will only be happy when they’ve managed to clone Wes streeting and given him every position on the shadow cabinet

  • We cannot ignore the EHRC's findings or their recommendations...

    how do you rationalise starmer's political intervention to suspend jeremy corbyn (in direct contravention of the EHRC's guidance that there must be no political interference in disciplinary cases because such interference could be unlawful)? dispute the version of facts set out by those around jeremy corbyn (principally len mccluskey) because they're unreliable, unproven and not made in good faith? argue that - while keir starmer accepted the findings in full - the recommendations of the EHRC had not yet been implemented?

    one of the points on labour's action plan to address the EHRC recommendations was implementation of quarterly reporting on all disciplinary cases, to allow comparative analysis with AS cases. they said they would begin implementing that immediately (though some system changes may be required to facilitate this). where can I find those statistics?

    why did momentum counsel their members to vote against the implementation of reforms to labour's disciplinary processes?

  • how do you rationalise starmer's political intervention to suspend jeremy corbyn (in direct contravention of the EHRC's guidance that there must be no political interference in disciplinary cases because such interference could be unlawful)? dispute the version of facts set out by those around jeremy corbyn (principally len mccluskey) because they're unreliable, unproven and not made in good faith? argue that - while keir starmer accepted the findings in full - the recommendations of the EHRC had not yet been implemented?

    I'm afraid that argument (that Starmer broke the EHRC guidance by suspending the whip from Corbyn) is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the way party discipline works and what the EHRC report says about it. It's not helped by Novara media and the like repeating this stuff, but I'm happy to clarify:

    There are two processes here. The governing body of Labour members is the NEC - they decide who can be a member of the party, and the leader's office (LOTO) should not interfere in that. However, LOTO decides who can call themselves an MP (i.e. whether an MP has the whip). The disciplinary process the EHRC are interested in is the member/NEC one; they are not interested in how the LOTO chooses to dispense the whip, which is a matter for LOTO only. The EHRC report puts it like this (my bolds):

    "We agree that the leadership and the Chief Whip have a role in matters relating
    to the conduct of MPs. However, neither LOTO nor the Chief Whip has the power
    to suspend or expel an individual from the Party: that power is reserved to the
    NEC and National Constitutional Committee (NCC), based on work done, in
    practice, by the GLU
    . It is therefore not legitimate for LOTO to interfere in the
    handling of a complaint against an MP that has been made under the Party
    rules."

    So when the NEC restored Corbyn's membership (and by default returned the whip too, because Labour has a rule which says that Labour MPs must also be Labour members) that marked the end of the disciplinary process the EHRC are interested in, and as long as Starmer didn't interfere in that, he's aligned with the EHRC judgement. It also freed up Starmer to be able to withdraw the whip - separately - under his powers in the LOTO.

    This is more or less exactly the same thing that happened with Chris Williamson - the NEC suspended his membership (and therefore the whip) and once the membership (and therefore the whip) was restored, Corbyn (correctly imo) removed the whip. Corbyn didn't break the EHRC by removing the whip and neither did Starmer - it's within their gift to do.

    one of the points on labour's action plan to address the EHRC recommendations was implementation of quarterly reporting on all disciplinary cases, to allow comparative analysis with AS cases. they said they would begin implementing that immediately (though some system changes may be required to facilitate this). where can I find those statistics?

    According to the action plan that report is for the EHRC: "The Labour Party will make monthly returns for the first six months to the EHRC to report progress and thereafter, the Labour Party will report quarterly." and not for the public.

    why did momentum counsel their members to vote against the implementation of reforms to labour's disciplinary processes?

    No idea. I suppose if I had to try to be fair, I'd say that most of them genuinely believe that the EHRC report was wrong, and that Corbyn hadn't done anything wrong, and that therefore we shouldn't have to make any changes. Though frankly I have a fairly low opinion of Momentum, especially after this week, and it wouldn't surprise me if the reasons were much worse.

  • as far as I understood it, the party suspended JC's membership and withdrew the whip (both at KS' direction, according to len mccluskey). I'm just going off the recent claims in the graun tho (I don't read or follow any novara/canary/etc content)

    action plan also says they will "collect, analyse, and publish quarterly data that enables a comparison between the handling of antisemitism complaints and other types of complaint." they may have a different meaning of publish ('report to the EHRC'? why not just say that then) or they just not have made the system's changes yet.

    I don't know why momentum directed their delegates to vote against the new proposals either but seems unfair to characterise them as 'unhinged' without knowing/understanding their rationale first. from a cursory google it seems like they did not accept that the proposals would put in place a properly independent process, because of the involvement of the GS (a political appointee) in selecting disciplinary panels. counter argument to that seems to be that the EHRC were happy with that... guess where you land on this would depend on whether you think the EHRC are beyond reproach

  • Momentum statement:

    A Momentum spokesperson said: “The proposals we are voting on today are a flawed interpretation of the report. The EHRC report itself described the general secretary’s office as a political organ – so review boards and complaints panels which are accountable to the general secretary cannot, by definition, be independent.”

  • Just trying to get my head around that.

    The EHRC report says this:

    Whatever the exact meaning of the phrase ‘political oversight’ in the 13
    April 2018 email referred to above, the evidence shows that Thomas
    Gardiner carried out functions within the complaint handling process and
    reported on that process to the Party’s political organs (the GSO, Party
    Chair and LOTO).

    So they did indeed say that the GSO is a political organ.

    However, what I can't find is any suggestion that the GSO would have any possible means to interfere in the independent complaint process. There is also no mention that I can find of the new independent complaint process being accountable to the GSO or what that would actually mean.

    In other words, imho, it sounds like a bullshit objection. The whole complaint process is monitored by the EHRC...thats the true accountability in play. Is there even a mechanism to have a process/panel within an organisation that has literally no oversight?

  • both at KS' direction, according to len mccluskey

    Well he would say that, wouldn't he. He's about as far from impartial as it's physically possible to be.

  • The other thing to add is that the EHRC approved Labour's new independent complaint process for anti-semitism complaints. I'm not sure how Momentum can claim that the EHRC report has been interpreted incorrectly when the EHRC themselves have approved the proposals.

  • Well he would say that, wouldn't he. He's about as far from impartial as it's physically possible to be.

    and the account from the other side comes from entirely neutral observers... ?

  • my understanding is that the changes introduce a new complaints system, to cover all cases about protected characteristics. all NEC decisions on these complaints will be reviewed by a member of the new independent review board and the NCC’s role will be done by the new independent complaints board. the boards will consist of 4 specialist lawyers, 4 human rights experts, and 4 party members. these will be vetted/appointed by the general secretary (who is themself a democratically-elected - but obviously political - appointee). however, as you say, as far as I understand it the EHRC themselves were happy with that arrangement.

    individuals' (and presumably momentum's) take on that then comes down to whether you think this is an appropriate arrangement, and I expect that would be largely guided by whether you think the EHRC is beyond reproach.

  • Of course not, but citing McCluskey on any subject concerning Starmer is very definitely not neutral.

  • the official version of events put out by starmer's office and reaffirmed repeatedly by his allies (and KS himself) in the press is very definitely not neutral either. just politics tho innit, ~shrug~

  • Thanks. Useful.

    I wonder if Momentum proposed an alternative during the consultation phase?

  • Does anyone think the tories bother with this sort of thing and is there another message board out there where people debate the inner workings of the party in the same way?

  • do tories care about internal disciplinary processes? don't know. I guess tories don't really need to care about having independent complaints processes because they can continue being institutionally racist, knowing full well they'll get cover from our country's bootlicking servile press.

    do individual tories care about the internal machinations (and constitution) of their party? yes, I suspect they do for the same reason it's such a locus of dispute within labour - it affects who has and can wield power. you just need to see how boris johnson reshaped the party when he gained the leadership for an example of this. the conservative party (and its membership) is a well-oiled machine, honed with a laser focus on achieving power and knobbling its adversaries from achieving the same

    tbf I don't really care about the internal machinations of the labour party - I'm not a member anymore. I was just curious about the rationale behind momentum's position because prima facie it did seem a little 'off', so thought I'd do a little digging to find out a bit more. perhaps a momentum member on the forum would be better placed to give us an account of their argument

  • is there another message board out there where people debate the inner workings of the party in the same way?

    not even another forum, another cycling forum, singletrackworld are way more fragmented and argumentative than this thread on their Kier Starmer thread, has twice as many posts as their Boris thread which says alot

  • I was surprised by Starmer's very unequivocal support of Cressida Dick yesterday. Seemed a strange one to be definite about rather than just give a political, slightly non-committal answer.

  • There's an argument that Labour shouldn't appeal directly to voters if they want to win an election, they should appeal to Rupert Murdoch, the police, the military etc etc.

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That Starmer fella...

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