Labour’s Jennie Formby demolishes anti-Corbyn propaganda with a powerful counterattack

Jennie Formby
Support us and go ad-free

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis says that Labour Party action to stamp out antisemitism is “a mendacious fiction”. But Labour general secretary Jennie Formby has hit back with a powerful counterattack. And it should lay such anti-Labour propaganda to rest once and for all.

The attacks continue

A 2016 report by Baroness Chakrabarti found that “the Labour Party is not overrun by anti-Semitism”. But in recent years, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – a veteran anti-racist – has taken firm action against the very small amounts of racism within the party. Numerous high-profile Jewish figures have openly supported him in this fight. They’ve also accused his opponents of ‘weaponising’ allegations of antisemitism to try and undermine his popularity.

The Chief Rabbi’s comment piece for the Times on 26 November, meanwhile, has ensured that the issue remains in the mainstream media. But Formby’s powerful response should put his “mendacious fiction” allegation firmly to rest.

Formby’s long list of firm Labour action

Writing in Jewish News, Formby first referenced the 2016 Chakrabarti inquiry. She then gave a long list of Labour action against antisemitism ever since, saying:

Our 2017 Conference passed a rule change, drafted with help from the Jewish Labour Movement, which made the Labour Party the first political party in Britain to have a rule explicitly prohibiting antisemitism.

She continued by stressing that, after she became general secretary in 2018, she saw that the party’s “disciplinary processes” were “slow and cumbersome”:

So we set up an Antisemitism Working Group from our National Executive Committee [NEC] which met experts and stakeholders and recommended a number of reforms.

Read on...

She also stated that “we made sure every single complaint of antisemitism is recorded”, emphasising that:

We introduced smaller, specialised NEC antisemitism panels to hear cases monthly (rather than quarterly), advised by an independent barrister with expertise in equality law, ensuring cases are reviewed more swiftly and with sound legal advice. We changed our rules to ensure that all antisemitism complaints are investigated nationally, as complaints of racism should not be subject to the whims of local parties.

And she insisted that:

this year, Conference approved a major rule-change – initiated by Jeremy Corbyn – to give NEC panels the power to expel members. Now, when someone engages in antisemitism, they can be expelled within weeks – rather than months – of us receiving the complaint. Just this month a number of members have been expelled using these new powers.

Much quicker responses

Formby insisted that:

We have doubled the number of staff working on antisemitism disciplinary cases and a designated member of staff works on improving our antisemitism processes. All staff have undertaken antisemitism education delivered by the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism

She also said:

we have improved our recording of information, so that we now have data on the length of time cases take to be dealt with. Analysis of this shows a more than four-fold increase in the rate at which we are now dealing with antisemitism cases.

She further clarified that:

In line with suggestions from Jewish communal organisations to make our processes more transparent, I have twice published a detailed breakdown of data on antisemitism disciplinary cases and we will be publishing these on a regular basis going forward. As previous publications of our figures have made clear, complaints relate to a small minority of party members, about 0.1%.

And she stressed that:

any suggestion that there are thousands of unresolved cases is categorically untrue

Nonetheless, the party has also been “conducting audits of historical antisemitism complaints”.

Education for change

Formby continued by speaking about the party’s No Place for Antisemitism website, highlighting that:

we have launched proactive education which we are continuing to roll out. This aims to give members the tools to identify antisemitic tropes and conspiracies, and challenge them. …

Jeremy has made clear in video messages, emails to members, articles and speeches that there is no place for antisemitism and that anyone who denies its existence is wrong and is contributing to the problem.

She then said:

Online spaces which are used as fertile breeding ground for antisemitic conspiracy theories should never be allowed to legitimise themselves by hijacking our party’s name. Tech giants have turned a blind eye to this problem for a decade. In 2010 Jewish News reported on this very problem and Jeremy Corbyn signed a motion to Parliament congratulating them on this important investigation.

I personally wrote to the administrators of a number of Facebook groups last year to advise them on how to better moderate content within their groups. And our staff have provided information to Facebook to enable them to close down groups which use Labour’s name to disguise their sharing of racist content. We continue to be in contact with them on this issue.

“Serious and extensive work”

Formby concluded by stressing that:

The list of actions I’ve outlined above is by no means exhaustive, but it demonstrates the serious and extensive work the Labour Party has undertaken to deal with this issue. We know we have further to go to root out antisemitism, but I believe we are firmly on the path to achieving that.

So if you see anyone sharing the Chief Rabbi’s dodgy claims, just share Formby’s words. Because they make it crystal clear that the Labour Party is the chief anti-racist force in British politics today. And that’s why anyone who truly wants to stamp out all forms of racism needs to back Corbyn on 12 December.

Featured image via screenshot

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. The Labour Party should have made a stand when John Mann abused Ken Livingstone in front of the BBC’s cameras. Instead, it banished the victim. And then it had another chance when the AJ documentary showed Labour MPs and officials (recently “stars” of Panorama) consorting and conspiring with the Israeli Embassy.
      And now it refuses to remind the British public that the Chief Rabbi represents only some UK Jews and that his views appeal to anti-Palestinian bigots.
      The leadership has let down the membership on this issue but, more importantly, it has betrayed the Palestinian people too.

    2. The Labour Party needs to grow some balls and tell these Idiots where to go. Chris Williamson hit the nail on the head when he said the Labour Party had been too apologetic about the whole thing. Labour needs to understand that when you appease a bully, you encourage them. Many Jews have been expelled for “antisemitism” after criticizing Israel! It’s getting ridiculous!
      The way Labour have caved in will make some people wonder how much power and control the Jews have, and they will actually be feeding into anti Jewish conspiracies just to appease the right wing press.

    3. There is, of course, an issue in all these processes garnered, arranged and exclusified for one demographic’s racial needs that other demographics suffering hurt will not garner to there requirements and needs the same detail of scrutiny and justice. Another aspect is the intrinsic, implicit, basic innocence of those accused of the particular racism being investigated is a justice that aught, always and ongoing, might be facilitated for those accused and condemned to have an opportunity to redeem themselves back to, in this case, into the Labour Party. Spite and perpetual recrimination will otherwise be a constant irritant outside scratching at the doors and windows.

    4. in simple terms, for simpletons, which most, even, of my allies are (even if boris and his simpleton dad agree, it’s true, and true of them too), JEWS IN THE WARSAW GHETTO DID NOT COMMIT VIOLENCE DUE TO JEWISH IDEOLOGY and MUSLIMS, ‘even’ ‘terrorists’, DO NOT COMMIT VIOLENCE FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN THE REASON JEWS IN THE WARSAW GHETTO DID.
      almost zero white people i’ve met are ready to understand this because for them there are 2 key taboos here:

      1. their collective guilty re genocide of jews makes them put jews in a ‘special category’ to other humans – even though the same genocidal gits have killed WAY more muslims than they ever killed jews, but haven’t been called out on it yet
      2. the white racist pseudo-scientific entrenchment of mechanical-philosophy ideas and total lack of real understanding of the tenets of quantum theory leads them to treat muslims as weird religious barbarians even though the average muslim is FAR more scientifically minded and evolved than the average white person, the average christian and the average jew.

      but hey. concern yourself about outward show and NEVER LEARN. that’s the way the white world turns. stay stupid. it’s your ideology.

    5. if the media was honest and not worthy of my scorn (this includes the rebel media, eg you, canary) it would talk about the fact that white racist hysteria just killed 3 people on london bridge. that white racists need to stop doing this. it has, as i have shown, happened time and time again. these attacks happen when white racism is at a peak

      and the idea that terrorists personify any islamic will or british muslim viewpoint is absurd – we are 14 days away from OUR prime minister, we hope, and nobody carrying out terrorism is in any way helping us achieve that goal or part of achieving it; the terrorist is 100% driven by and part of white culture, white racist culture, imperial culture, hyperconsumer culture – terrorists often, it appears, envy the diseased smelly warped brainless slaves who ‘work’ in london, and are its ‘office workers’ etc, with ‘salaries’ (to spend on death and disease causing food and drink, high rent and that’s it. car insurance. and every now and then a ‘holiday’ – that’s what you do you live warped slave diseased lives and your ‘gain’ from it is that you take a short break from it sometimes, usually drowning in alcohol and killing your body more)

      you are morons

      i hold YOU ALL responsible for the deaths on london bridge – ALL OF YOU

      if ANY OF YOU followed what tvhobo teaches PROPERLY this WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED

      you killed 3 people. ALL OF YOU DID.

      you are f*cking scum

      may god have mercy on you.

      stop the boorish d*ck waving you pratts.

    6. and if canary wants to deny also being the same d*ck-waving pratts as almost all of the rest of anglozionist americabritain, look at how many times you use the word ‘demolish’ and its synonyms

      you are a culture of bestial meat-head pratts. well it rhymes with pratts.

      evolve you ape bastards.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.