Also see Bob Pitt’s article, Did the Jewish Labour Movement get its way over Labour Party rule changes?


Jeremy Newmark of the JLM said this of Darren Williams’ account of the NEC meeting:

“”Sad that an NEC member describes the approach of the democratic legitimate Jewish party affiliate on zero-tolerance for racism as ‘draconian’. And equally disappointing that his update is misleading. The antisemitism/racism rule change text passed by the NEC was the precise text that JLM promoted and asked for. Why would he misrepresent the reality in this way, other than to incite bad feeling towards the Party’s only Jewish affiliate?”

Is this claim true? Short answer, no. In spades.

The original JLM rule change proposal is no longer on the JLM website but is reproduced below. In what follows, the original additions/changes to the existing rule proposed by JLM are shown in italics below, with colour coding for ease of reference.

If the JLM proposal had been accepted the relevant paragraph of the rule would have read as follows:

“No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party. A member of the Party who uses antisemitic, Islamophobic, racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions in public, private, online or offline, as determined by the NEC, shall be deemed to have engaged in conduct prejudicial to the Party. Any dispute as to whether a member is in breach of the provisions of this subclause shall be determined by the NCC in accordance with Chapter 1 Clause IX above and the disciplinary rules and guidelines in Chapter 6 below. Where appropriate the NCC shall have regard to involvement in financial support for the organisation and/ or the activities of any organisation declared ineligible for affiliation to the Party under Chapter 1.II.5 or 3.C above; or to the candidature of the members in opposition to an officially endorsed Labour Party candidate or the support for such candidature. The NCC shall not have regard to the mere holding or expression of beliefs and opinions except in instances involving antisemitism, Islamophobia or racism

They also wanted to add a new paragraph

E: “Where a member is responsible for a hate incident, being defined as something where the victim or anyone else think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity, or sexual orientation, the NEC may have the right to impose the appropriate disciplinary options from the following options.

Green passage. This does not exist in the NEC proposal. At that place in the rule the NEC have added instead

“The NEC shall take account of any codes of conduct currently in force and shall regard any incident which in their view might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age, disability etc etc … [through 7 alphabetically ordered possible problem areas]”.

COMMENT – no singling out of antisemitism. And a move to specifying codes of conduct, which had no place in the JLM proposal.

Blue passage. The NEC replacement is

“….except in any instance inconsistent with the Party’s aims and values, agreed codes of conduct, or involving prejudice towards any protected characteristics”.

COMMENT – this is rather vague waffle and hence potentially dangerous depending on who is doing the interpreting. But it is certainly not the JLM’s wording, and does not have its very direct and specific targeting of antisemitism

Purple passage. There is no NEC equivalent.

COMMENT – this attempt to install the McPherson principle has not made it over the threshold at all.

OVERALL

  • There is almost none of JLM’s actual wording in the NEC proposal
  • There are some transformed versions of their proposals in the NEC wording, but mostly the changes serve to place antisemitism within a range of possible offences rather than single it out
  • There are additional or substitute elements (especially codes of conduct) which had no place in JLM’s original proposal
  • The attempt to introduce the McPherson principle has been eliminated
  • THIS IS NOT JLM’S PROPOSAL


The motion below is reproduced from the Jewish Labour Movement website

Strengthening the rules against members who engage in antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism

The Labour Party Rule Book 2016 Chapter 2 Membership rules Clause I Conditions of Membership, Section 8 currently makes allowances for the NEC to suspend members of the party who are considered to have acted in a way that is grossly detrimental to the Party.

This section reads (Page 9) reads as follows:
No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party. Any dispute as to whether a member is in breach of the provisions of this subclause shall be determined by the NCC in accordance with Chapter 1 Clause IX above and the disciplinary rules and guidelines in Chapter 6 below. Where appropriate the NCC shall have regard to involvement in financial support for the organisation and/ or the activities of any organisation declared ineligible for affiliation to the Party under Chapter 1.II.5 or 3.C above; or to the candidature of the members in opposition to an officially endorsed Labour Party candidate or the support for such candidature. The NCC shall not have regard to the mere holding or expression of beliefs and opinions.

Amendment

Add an additional sentence after the first sentence:

‘A member of the Party who uses antisemitic, Islamophobic, racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions in public, private, online or offline, as determined by the NEC, shall be deemed to have engaged in conduct prejudicial to the Party.’ Add at the end of the final sentence after “opinions”:
…” except in instances involving antisemitism, Islamophobia or racism”
Insert new paragraph E:
“Where a member is responsible for a hate incident, being defined as something where the victim or anyone else think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity, or sexual orientation, the NEC may have the right to impose the appropriate disciplinary options from the following options: [same as D]”

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