LRC Drops Charges of Antisemitism against Gerry Downing

3

16/06/2016 by socialistfight

Below are the three letters that constitute this affair.

  1. The letter from Gordon Nardell QC setting out his charges against Gerry Downing (already posted on the website) on 6 June.
  2. The response from Ian Donovan and Keith Henderson, Gerry’s representatives, rejecting the charges and demanding to see the original complaint and the minutes of the meeting on 10 June
  3. The response of Nardell to this on 16 June dropping all charges: “Since receiving your letter, I have been informed that the person who made the original complaint wishes to withdraw it. That brings the CsC’s investigation to an end, and no action can now be taken against Gerry Downing under Rule 9A in relation to the Daily Politics interview in March.”

However all this leaves a bitter taste. I have been libeled as a antisemite and this put across the twitter domain by Dave Osland and Andrew Coates. I cannot see the original complaint or be allowed to know who the complainant was and I cannot be allowed to know what went on at that meeting because the minutes are not produced. I will not let this matter rest there.

And look at the extent they are forced to go to to keep the original complaint secret at the end of Nardell’s letter:

“ii) Disclosure of the original complaint: had the complaint proceeded, we would for completeness have summarised the original complaint in our report, and explained why we decided that the only aspect it meriting further consideration was the narrow allegation of breach of Rule 9A, based on the interview in the context of the 2015 SF article, as set out in my letter of 6 June. The case made in the report would have been confined to that allegation”

So the intention was that I was to face a hearing to lift my suspension or to expel me not on the basis of the complaint made on which I was suspended/expelled but on the bit of it that Gordon Nardell QC thought I could be allowed to see. And that would stand up in court, would it?

And note the refusal to define the term ‘antisemitism’ because of the implications this would have for the whole Zionist-inspired antisemitism witch hunt, from Nardell’s letter:

“The term “anti- semitism” does not appear in Rule 9A. In any event, it is unlikely to be possible to lay down a “clear and unambiguous legal definition” of the term, and the same observation can probably be made of the language actually used in Rule 9A. However, there may well be some sense in the LRC NEC considering whether further guidance on the equalities issues raised by Rule 9A would be helpful for the future.”

I find it extraordinary that a top barrister should write: “it is unlikely to be possible to lay down a “clear and unambiguous legal definition” of the term.” Because if he had done so the whole antisemitism witch hunt would be exposed for the fraud it is.

Or was there just too much opposition to the witch hunt of Gerry Downing within the LRC itself?

Gerry Downing

CsC LRC

PO Box 2378

London E5  9QU

Gerry Downing

By e-mail to gerdowning@btinternet.com

6 June 2016

Dear Gerry,

INVESTIGATION OF A COMPLAINT ABOUT YOUR CONDUCT

  1. The LRC’s Complaints Sub-Committee (“CsC”) has been asked to investigate a complaint made about your behaviour, based on comments about “Zionists” and Labour’s “Jewish question” you made during a broadcast interview with Andrew Neil broadcast on The Daily Politics on 10 March 2016. The CsC consists of Clare Wadey, Austin Harney, Maria Exall, and myself as Convenor. This letter explains how we intend to proceed, and invites you to comment if you wish to do so at this stage.
  2. We propose to treat the complaint against you as an allegation of infringement of Rule 9A of the LRC Rules and Constitution, which was inserted at this year’s SGM. Rule 9A reads:

“Suspension and termination of membership 9A

(a)        If an individual has:

  1. i) at one or more meetings of the LRC, behaved as mentioned in rule 9(a), and the LRC considers that the conduct in question is so serious or persistent that it is necessary to act under this rule;
  2. ii) behaved in a violent, abusive, intimidating, bullying or defamatory manner towards any member of the LRC;

iii)         used words or behaviour of a discriminatory character or which improperly make reference to an individual’s personal characteristics (which may include gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age, religion or belief);

or

  1. iv) seriously breached any rule or provision of standing orders about the conduct of LRC elections; the NEC may exercise the powers conferred by subparagraph (b).

(b)        The powers are:

  1. i) to suspend the individual from membership of the LRC for a specified period, or
  2. ii) where the NEC considers the conduct in question so serious or persistent that it is necessary to do so, terminate that individual’s membership of the LRC (or, where the annual renewal of that individual’s membership is imminent, decline to renew that membership).

(c)        Where the NEC finds that an individual has acted as set out in subparagraph (a) of this rule, that individual is a member of an affiliated organisation, and the NEC is satisfied that the conduct in question is so closely related to the activity of the organisation as to make it inappropriate for the organisation to continue to be affiliated, the NEC may terminate the affiliated membership of the organisation (or, where the annual renewal of that organisation’s affiliated membership is imminent, decline to renew that membership).

(d)       The NEC may terminate an individual’s membership, or decline to renew that membership, if it is satisfied that the individual no longer meets the conditions for membership set out in rule 6.

(e)        The NEC may also terminate the affiliated membership of an organisation, or decline to renew that membership, if it is satisfied that the organisation no longer meets the conditions for affiliated membership set out in rule 8.”

  1. Rule 9B is also relevant. Paragraphs (a) and (d) read:

“Procedure, etc

9B

(a)        The NEC may not exercise any power under rule 9 or 9A(b) unless it has first given the individual concerned a fair opportunity to be heard.

(d) The NEC may issue guidance about the conduct of members of the LRC, and in exercising any power under or relating to Rules 9, 9A and this Rule, the NEC, and any sub-Committee, must take any applicable provisions of such guidance into account.”

  1. The NEC issued guidance on conduct last year. The NEC and CsC are obliged to take it into account in applying Rule 9A. The relevant paragraphs (8, 9, 16 and 17) read:

“8. When attending LRC events, representing the LRC, or identifying themselves as an LRC supporter, whether physically present or participating remotely via online communications, LRC members are expected to repudiate all forms of harassment, prejudice, hate speech, abuse or discriminatory behaviour.

  1. Using discriminatory language or engaging in any form of abusive behaviour based on an individual’s personal characteristics (which may include gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age, religion or belief) is incompatible with continuing membership of the LRC. Allegations of such conduct must be speedily referred to the CsC.
  2. The LRC reserves the right in serious cases to suspend, terminate or not renew the LRC membership of any individual, or the affiliation of any organisation or local LRC group, found to be in gross or persistent breach of this guidance on conduct. Such a decision will be made by the NC following this guidance note and in accordance with the rules and standing orders of the LRC.
  3. The LRC has no intention to impede free expression, nor will the CsC or NC tolerate the abuse of conduct complaints to unjustly target any individual or group. The purpose of conduct rules and guidance is to protect the LRC as a body where socialists can unite, organise and campaign in a comradely and tolerant atmosphere. However, if demonstrated, serious or persistent misconduct is likely to lead to the suspension, termination or non- renewal of an individual’s LRC membership or an organisation’s LRC affiliation. Examples of such misconduct include, but are not limited to, the use of hate speech or discriminatory language based on personal characteristics, making threats, repeated abuse, continuing disruption of meetings, personal intimidation, online bullying, deliberate misrepresentation or defamation (a damaging and untrue factual statement about a person, not an expression of opinion).”
  4. The procedure for consideration of complaints under the LRC Rules is set out in the LRC Standing Orders.  The relevant paragraphs are as follows:

“32. The CsC must first decide whether the matters alleged fall within Rule 9 or 9A. If not, but the CsC considers that they raise an issue in relation to Guidance issued under Rule 9B, the CsC may:

  1. offer advice to the persons concerned;
  2. where appropriate, seek to mediate between the persons concerned;
  3. report to the NC with any recommendations for resolution of the matter and/or any future steps to prevent its recurrence or to improve members’ understanding of appropriate conduct for LRC members.

33 [not relevant]

  1. If the CsC, whether on receipt of a complaint or after receiving further information after initially proceeding under paragraph 32, considers that the matters alleged fall within Rule 9 or 9A, it should if possible proceed (or continue to proceed) under paragraph 32. But if the CsC does not consider that appropriate, it shall take such steps as it considers necessary to investigate the matter and establish the facts, and shall report its findings and opinion to the National Committee as soon as possible.
  2. Where the NC receives a report under paragraph 32 indicating the CsC’s opinion that a member has behaved in a way that falls within the NC’s powers under Rule 9 or 9A, the following procedure must be observed:
  3. The Political Secretary must notify the member concerned of the matters alleged and must provide him or her with a copy of the CsC’s report and particulars of any facts or evidence on which the report is based (if not contained in the report).
  4. The NC must arrange a hearing at its next scheduled meeting or at a meeting convened for the purpose (but not less than 7 days after the member has received the material referred to in paragraph (a)).
  5. At the hearing, the member concerned (or the appointed representative of an affiliated member) must be given a fair opportunity to answer the allegations, including the opportunity to present evidence.
  6. The NC must decide whether the matters alleged have been established and, if so, whether and how to exercise its powers under Rule 9 or 9A.
  7. A nominated member of the CsC may speak to its report and present evidence; but neither a member of the CsC who has participated in the CsC’s consideration of the matter or preparation of its report, nor any member of the NC who has otherwise been involved in the matter, may otherwise participate in the hearing or the NC’s decision.
  8. The Political Secretary is not to be treated as involved in the matter merely as a result of taking the steps required by paragraph 31 or by subparagraph a. of this paragraph.
  9. A person is not to be treated as involved in the matter merely as a result of participating in a decision to suspend a person from meetings or membership pending the NC’s substantive decision. Where the matters alleged fall within Rule 9, a person is not to be treated as involved in the matter merely because he or she chaired any meeting at which the conduct alleged took place. “
  10. So the CsC’s task is to investigate allegations of breaches of the LRC Rules, and to decide whether the matter should be the subject of a formal report to the NEC, in which case the NEC has to consider whether a breach of the Rules has taken place and if so what action, if any, to take under Rule 9A(b). The procedure laid down by SO34 ensures that where the CsC reports formally to the NEC on a member’s conduct, the member receives a fair hearing as required by Rule 9B(a).

 

  1. Acting under SOs 32 and 34, the position we have reached is as follows.
  2. We have viewed the YouTube video of the Daily Politics interview. To aid matters we have made the following transcript of the relevant part. This is not quite verbatim but we believe that it is a fair account of what was said:

Q/ You say need to confront the “Jewish Question”  – what do you mean?

A/ The fact that Israel commits heinous crimes against the Palestinians, bombing without let or hindrance, and that’s presented in the Western media as an attack on terrorism.

Q/That’s Israel, not the Jewish question

A/ It’s not the Jewish… It is Zionism as such

Q/ I’m interested because you talk about Zionism – you say and your group says — you say zionism plays a major role in politics in all advanced capitalist countries, Zionists are behind the witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn, zionists hold great sway over our 3 main political parties, Zionism is in the vanguard of injecting anti-muslim hatred into western politics, Zionism is in the vanguard role in the capitalist offensive against the workers.

Sounds to me … for you the Jewish question is a Zionist conspiracy…

A/ It doesn’t add up to a Zionist conspiracy – it adds up to something very material – the number of millionaires and billionaires of zionist persuasion within the American ruling class and within the European ruling class in general, it’s their economic and political power that lead to the ridiculous situation…

Q You think Zionists, as you call them, play key role in that?

A/ They obviously do play a key role, they have dual citizenship in fact most of them

Q/ That language is reminiscent of Nazis in the 1930s – rich Jews controlling the German economy…

A/ Indeed no, if you want take what Netanyahu says, Netanyahu says actually the holocaust was caused by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem not by the Nazis…

G/ I don’t have Netanyahu to interview, I have you… I just think if you list the things that you accuse of Zionism [sic], it sounds very much – I don’t want to push this too far – but people listening may think they hear shades of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

A/ I reject absolutely the Protocols of Zion. It’s based on material political facts of the overwhelming political authority of Zionist politicians within the ruling classes of America and Europe, it’s not to do with their actual Jewish origins.”

 

  1. We take the view that any action by the NEC under Rule 9A must be based on conduct taking place on or after the SGM held on 20 February 2016 at which this rule was adopted. The Daily Politics interview satisfies this. However, the quotes put to you in the interview, about the “Jewish question” and Zionism “in the vanguard” of

 

various matters, appear to derive from an article dated August 2015, which appeared on Socialist Fight’s website. That article is at this link: https://socialistfight.com/2015/08/22/why-marxists-must-address-the-jewish-question- concretely-today/.  The NEC would have no power to take action under Rule 9A solely on the basis of that article, because it pre-dates the SGM. However, key elements of the article were put to you in the interview; and while the authorship of the article is unattributed, you did not seek to dissociate yourself from it, but rather you answered the points put to you in terms that closely resemble its contents. We consider that your comments in the interview are sufficiently associated with the article to make it appropriate for us to take the article into account as part of the context.

  1. On that basis, we consider that your remarks during the broadcast raise an issue under Rule 9A(a)(iii) – “words or behaviour of a discriminatory character or which improperly make reference to an individual’s personal characteristics (which may include gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age, religion or belief)”. As LRC members we are deeply concerned at the present climate in the Labour Party in which the expression of trenchant views about the behaviour of the Israeli State, and of western political support for that behaviour, are wrongly conflated with anti- semitism. We have therefore adopted a cautious approach to the interpretation of your remarks. However, taking the above passage of the interview as a whole, and in the context of the 2015 article, we have reached the provisional view – subject to any comments you may wish to make at this stage — that your remarks cross the line. They appear to amount to criticism of persons on the basis not only of their political position or conduct, but also of their ethnicity.
  2. That feature is lacking from many of the reported remarks of other individuals who have faced, or face, disciplinary action by the Labour Party. But its presence in your case leads us to take the view – again provisionally, and subject to any comments you may wish to make — that this is a serious enough matter to warrant consideration by the LRC NEC under Rule 9A.
  3. I must stress that you are not obliged to comment in response to this letter. You will have every opportunity to make your case directly to the NEC. But we do wish to extend to you the chance to correct or add to anything set out above, or to make any observations that you feel may cast your interview comments in a different light.
  4. If we maintain our provisional view that we should report formally to the NEC, we will need to ensure our report is ready for circulation to you and the NEC members at least 7 days before the next meeting, which is due to take place on 25 June. So if you do wish to take up our invitation to comment at this stage, would you please do so within the next 7 days, ie. by Monday 13 June. Please send any response via the LRC Political Secretary, Michael Calderbank, who will ensure it is copied to the members of the CsC
  5. I am sorry to have to write to you in these terms, but you will appreciate the importance the LRC attaches to both freedom of political expression and the rooting out of racist language and conduct.

Yours fraternally,

Gordon Nardell

Convenor, LRC CsC

Response to Gordon Nardell’s letter to Gerry Downing of 6 June 2016

10 June 2016

Dear Mr Nardell,

With reference to your letter to Gerry Downing of 6th June

INVESTIGATION OF A COMPLAINT ABOUT YOUR CONDUCT

We write to you today as Gerry Downing’s representatives in these proceedings.

Procedural matters

Firstly, we would like to clear up some procedural matters that are listed below if due process and a fair hearing are to take place.

1)      Before any investigation commences we demand a clear and unambiguous legal definition that will be used throughout these proceeding of what exactly constitutes “antisemitism”?

2)      We demand an apology from the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) for their failure to carry out their own procedures as outlined by Political Secretary Michael Calderbank in his letter to Gerry Downing of 6 April 2016.

3)      Mr Downing must be given a copy of the complaint made against him by an LRC member. Any minutes of meetings where this case was discussed by NEC members must be made available for Mr Downing.

4)      In addition Mr Downing should be advised of his right to appeal to the LRC AGM.

Pro-Zionist thug John Mann MP confronting Ken Livingstone

Elaboration of these matters:

1) We would cite the case of John Mann MP who manages to confuse the question of what is antisemitism? totally as related by Richard Hutton in his blog:

“… Also during 2006, (John) Mann (MP) had published a Parliamentary report into anti-Semitism; which again focused overwhelmingly on criticism of Israel’s government – and arguably serves as a precursor for the same problematic tendencies exhibited by his colleagues: decrying a refusal to distinguish between Jewish people, and Israel; but then advancing precisely this conflation himself. So, on the one hand, Mann bemoans the fact that “some of those who are hostile to Israel make no distinction between Israelis and Jews”; but on the other, exclaims:

“Israel is the world’s only Jewish State and Zionism its founding ideology…moreover, there is a strong attachment between the British Jewish community and Israel. Many British Jews have relatives in Israel and it forms one of the key themes of Jewish education and identity” (pp. 16-17)

So what does apply here? Either Jewish identity is intrinsically bound up with the state of Israel, or it isn’t.” [1]

This is the also the absolute contradictory line taken by the official spokespersons for and political leaders of the state of Israel. We need absolute clarification on this.

2) In his letter to Gerry Downing of 6 April LRC Political Secretary Michael Calderbank wrote that the LRC had decided to “suspend your membership of the organisation while those steps are taken, up to a maximum of 42 days.” Some 65 days after my suspension Mr Downing got the letter from CSC convenor Gordon Nardell QC, so obviously the suspension was by then null and void and an apology is required.

3) It is very important to Mr Downing’s defence that the original complaint made against him is disclosed and made available in a timely manner as soon as possible.

We note that these charges are not the original complaint against Gerry Downing that caused the suspension in the first place. This is only the barrister’s charge and the original complaint we are not allowed to see, nor are we allowed to know who presented the complaint or indeed anything that happened at that meeting because we cannot see the minutes. On inquiry we have discovered that no minutes have yet been produced.

This is entirely understandable because a completely different version of events immediately emerged in public from the twitter accounts of Dave Osland/Osler (present) and then Andrew Coates (not there but close confidant of Osland/Osler). These alleged that Gerry had been expelled, not suspended, for antisemitism and by a unanimous vote of the NC.

The following tweets were posted on 2 April: David Osland (@David__Osland): “Gerry Downing has today been expelled from the Labour Representation Committee, on account of his antisemitism. Correct decision” and Andrew Coates (@Pabloite): “Gerry Downing was this afternoon expelled from the Labour Representation Committee, by unanimous decision, on grounds of his antisemitism”.

If true the vote for expulsion is totally contrary to the constitution of the LRC and apparently some cautious soul recommended that the advice of Gordon Nardell QC be sought on what they had just done. And he told them, apparently, they had to go by their constitution as a matter of law. So they had broken the law, we might speculate.

So either Osland and Coates are lying or those others present at the NC meeting are lying. Hence the extreme reluctance to produce the original complaint contained in the minutes of the meeting. We must see the original complaint which, in our understanding, is the only thing that the Complaints Sub-Committee can proceed with against Gerry, not some post-hoc legal cover-up which this document drawn up by Gordon Nardell QC is. Moreover he now gives Gerry, a semi-retired bus driver, 7 days to respond to these charges, although it took one of the country’s leading barristers 65 days to draw up this very legalistic 2,500 word document.

4)   Mr Downing’s right to appeal to the LRC AGM. Prior to the Special Conference of 20 February the LRC Constitution stipulated:

  1. The national committee will have the right to exclude members from any or all of its meetings for a specified period of time for disruption or violent behaviour subject to;

(a) the right of the member to a hearing before the national committee prior to any decision to exclude them;

(b) the member having the right of appeal to the AGM.

The abolition of the right to appeal in the Special General Meeting of 20 February 2016 was not picked upon at the time but it remains a central democratic procedure which should be implemented in all cases.

Discrimination based on Marxist beliefs

It has been brought to our attention that these allegations that have been made against Mr Downing are in itself an act of discrimination based on his beliefs in Marxism.

It is believed that the individual that has made this complaint has in fact acted against rule 9A and 9B as that individual or individuals are discriminating against Mr Downing based on his beliefs in Marxism that is covered under rule as a religion or belief.

Can you please confirm on behalf of the LRC whether they accept during these proceedings that Marxism is a protected characteristic and falls under religion or belief?

It is clear that potentially Mr Downing may have his own complaint to make for discrimination under the current rules of the LRC.

This is part of the same witch hunt against Gerry Downing and Socialist Fight that Guido Fawkes began, that David Cameron followed up in Question Time on 9 March 2015 and that the shadowy Compliance Unit in the Labour party then wielded against him using their Star Chamber powers to expel him without hearing or right of appeal.  He is basically being attacked for his Marxist/Trotskyist philosophical-ideological beliefs on this matter which are directly informed by Jewish Belgium Marxist/Trotskyist leader Abram Leon and his book, The Jewish Question, A Marxist interpretation. [2]

The legal precedent that philosophical beliefs have just as much protection under law as religious was set out in the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal “GMB v Henderson” in Law & Religion UK in March 2015. We would cite the article by Frank Cranmer, “Is socialism a “protected belief”? as a defence of our case here. In particular where Cranmer quotes the judge:

“In doing so, however, Simler J made two important preliminary observations at paragraph 62 of her judgment:

“First, to the extent that Mr Williams [on behalf of the GMB] appeared in the course of argument to suggest that less protection for a philosophical as opposed to a religious belief is to be accorded by the legislation, that proposition is not accepted. The law does not accord special protection for one category of belief and less protection for another. All qualifying beliefs are equally protected. Philosophical beliefs may be just as fundamental or integral to a person’s individuality and daily life as are religious beliefs.”

And, quoting the Equality Act 2010 (Religion or belief):

“(1) Religion means any religion and a reference to religion includes a reference to a lack of religion.

(2) Belief means any religious or philosophical belief and a reference to belief includes a reference to a lack of belief.

(3) In relation to the protected characteristic of religion or belief—

(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person of a particular religion or belief;

(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons who are of the same religion or belief.”

And, the concluding paragraph of the piece:

“So are the theoretical Marxism of Marx and his followers or the Conservatism/economic neo-liberalism of writers such as Oakshott, Friedman and Hayek merely party-political or do they have more profound implications of a kind that would attract the “cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance” test? As Bs Scotland predicted, “It will be for the courts to decide”: and it is not an easy decision for the courts to make. But if allegiance to the BBC Charter is, potentially at least, a protected belief, why not allegiance to “left-wing democratic socialism”?”[3]

The Socialist Fight group, and Gerry Downing before the group’s publication Socialist Fight was founded in 2009, has always taken Abram Leon’s Marxist materialist interpretation of the history of the Jews contained in his book, The Jewish Question, A Marxist interpretation very seriously. We would cite from a 1 February 2007 article in the Weekly Worker by Gerry Downing, The Sigh of the Oppressed as proof of this:

“Abraham Leon’s book The Jewish Question: a Marxist analysis (sic) has the following to say about the Jewish religion: “Whereas Catholicism expresses the interests of the landed nobility and of the feudal order, while Calvinism (or Puritanism) represents those of the bourgeoisie or capitalism, Judaism mirrors the interests of a pre-capitalist mercantile class.

Leon quotes Marx approvingly from On the Jewish Question: “We must not start with religion in order to explain Jewish history; on the contrary the preservation of the Jewish religion or nationality can be explained only by the ‘real Jew’, that is to say by the Jew in his economic and social role.” [4]

And in the end of the section of that book entitled Judaism and Christianity Leon clearly sets out his materialist concept of history as applied to why the Jews survived the fall of the Roman Empire:

“One can only say, therefore, that if the Jews have been preserved, it was not despite their dispersion but because of it. If there had been no Diaspora prior to the fall of Jerusalem, if the Jews had remained in Palestine, there is no reason to believe that their fate would have been different from that of all the other nations of antiquity. The Jews, like the Romans, the Greeks, the Egyptians, would have been mixed up with the conquering nations, would have adopted their religion and their customs. Even if the present inhabitants of Palestine would have continued to bear the name of Jews, they would have had as little in common with the ancient Hebrews as the inhabitants of Egypt, Syria, and Greece have with their ancestors of antiquity. All the peoples of the Roman Empire were carried away in its fall. Only the Jews have been preserved because they brought into the barbarian world, which followed upon the Roman, vestiges of the commercial development which had characterized the ancient world. After the Mediterranean world was dismembered, they continued, among themselves, to link its scattered parts together.” [5]

As proof of the centrality of Abram’s book to Marxist/Trotskyist philosophical thinking on the Jewish question we will cite David Rich. He is a leading writer in the website of the Zionist opponents of Marxism, the Community Security Trust (CST). Rich condemns Downing’s stance as antisemitic but does accept that his opposition falls into the category of Marxism:

“Leon’s book has proven enormously influential in Trotskyist thinking about Jews. Gerry Downing’s article on his Socialist Fight website titled “Why Marxists must address the Jewish question concretely today” draws extensively on Leon. Several other articles on the website do the same. The Socialist Workers Party pamphlet Israel: The Hijack State claims that “Leon’s book is today recognised as the authority on the Jewish question by both Jewish and non-Jewish opponents of Zionism” (emphasis in the original). Shlomo Sand, author of The Invention of the Jewish People, said “I feel that Abram Leon is my family” – politically speaking.”” [6]

Obviously Abram Leon continued to apply this Marxist materialist philosophical method to the situation of the Jews in 1942 when he wrote the book, just two years before he was murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz death camp. And Socialist Fight continues to apply that same method to the situation of Jews today, those who live in Israel, its ruling classes and government and those in the diaspora.

Conclusion

If the LRC continues to refuse to provide Mr Downing with a copy of the original complaint made against him, then we will have no alternative but to advise Mr Downing to instruct a barrister under direct access to take out proceedings against the LRC to seek an order for disclosure of these documents.

We hope that this does not need to happen and this information will be disclosed to Mr Downing in a timely manner. We reserve our substantial answers to the complaint/charges against Gerry Downing until we have sight of these documents.

Best Wishes

Representatives

Ian Donovan

Keith Henderson

Notes

________________________________________

[1] Richard Hutton Does the Labour Party have ‘a problem with anti-Semitism’? No; and the accusations raise more questions than answers, https://richardhutton.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/does-the-labour-party-have-a-problem-with-anti-semitism-no-and-the-accusations-raise-more-questions-than-answers/

[2] Abram Leon (1918-1944), The Jewish Question, A Marxist Interpretation,https://www.marxists.org/subject/jewish/leon/

[3] GMB v Henderson” in Law & Religion UK, 23 March 2015, http://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2015/03/23/is-socialism-a-protected-belief-gmb-v-henderson/

[4] Gerry Downing, The Sigh of the Oppressed, pp. 66-7, 1/2/2007,http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/658/the-sigh-of-the-oppressed/

[5] Abram Leon, The Jewish Question, A Marxist Interpretation, Pathfinder, 1970, p. 122

[6] Dave Rich, Gerry Downing’s ‘Jewish Question’, 10 Mar 2016, https://cst.org.uk/news/blog/2016/03/10/gerry-downings-jewish-question#.VuPBxdfFGRQ.wordpress

CsC LRC

PO Box 2378

London E5  9QU

KeithHenderson2

LRC members rally in support of Keith Henderson (centre) last year – was there just too much opposition to the witch hunt of Gerry Downing within the LRC itself?

Reply by Gordon Nardell on behalf of the CsC

Ian Donovan and Keith Henderson

c/o Michael Calderbank, Political Secretary LRC

15 June 2016

Dear Ian and Keith

INVESTIGATION OF A COMPLAINT ABOUT GERRY DOWNING

Thank you for your recent letter on behalf of Gerry Downing.

Since receiving your letter, I have been informed that the person who made the original complaint wishes to withdraw it. That brings the CsC’s investigation to an end, and no action can now be taken against Gerry Downing under Rule 9A in relation to the Daily Politics interview in March.

Your letter raises a number of important points about the way in which views along the lines expressed in the interview relate to the LRC’s conduct rules. The term “anti- semitism” does not appear in Rule 9A. In any event, it is unlikely to be possible to lay down a “clear and unambiguous legal definition” of the term, and the same observation can probably be made of the language actually used in Rule 9A. However, there may well be some sense in the LRC NEC considering whether further guidance on the equalities issues raised by Rule 9A would be helpful for the future.

So, for your information, I have asked the Political Secretary to invite the LRC EC to consider whether they would like the CsC to report on that question, and if so whether they wish the NEC to deal with the matter on 25 June or at a subsequent meeting.

Just to pick up a few specific points from your letter:

i) Apology sought from the LRC “for failure to carry out their own procedures”: As this relates to the meeting of the NEC and not to anything within the CsC’s purview, this is not something I can deal with. I suggest you put this point, if you wish to pursue it, to the LRC officers via the Political Secretary.

ii) Disclosure of the original complaint: had the complaint proceeded, we would for completeness have summarised the original complaint in our report, and explained why we decided that the only aspect it meriting further consideration was the narrow allegation of breach of Rule 9A, based on the interview in the context of the 2015 SF article, as set out in my letter of 6 June. The case made in the report would have been confined to that allegation.

iii) Like the other members of the CsC, I am acting as a volunteer LRC activist. I am not acting in a professional capacity.

Yours fraternally

Gordon Nardell

Convenor, LRC CsC

 

3 thoughts on “LRC Drops Charges of Antisemitism against Gerry Downing

  1. Can you move that the accuser be expelled (or otherwise sanctioned) for submitting a frivolous and defamatory complaint?

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  2. Lookingintoart says:

    I am very glad they have withdrawn these groundless and mendacious charges. I am surprised that a QC would put their name to the letter he sent Gerry Downing which was full of legal holes and avoid stating the actual accusation made – the very basis of common law.

    Glad that comrades are continuing to pursue how it was allowed to get to this stage and to reveal the full documentation.

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  3. leftaudio says:

    Dear Comrades,

    I am very glad they have withdrawn these groundless and mendacious charges. I am surprised that a QC would put their name to the letter he sent Gerry Downing which was full of legal holes and avoid stating the actual accusation made – the very basis of common law.

    Glad that comrades are continuing to pursue how it was allowed to get to this stage and to reveal the full documentation.

    Regards, John

    Like

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