Parliamentary Labour Party Coordinating Union Obfuscation

The Labour leadership seems to be getting rattled by the continual highlighting of their members’ servitude to their biggest donor and string-puller: the unions. Regular readers will know that Guido caught Sadiq Khan and Kate Green red-handed and the Tories went very publicly for Rachel Reeves.

At Monday’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, backbenchers were given the following advice:

Correct, you do not need to declare membership, but when local donations are received they should not only be registered with the Electoral Commission, but also mentioned in the Register of Members Interests. However this is classic Labour obfuscation –  denying charges that nobody is making. The trouble they have got themselves into isn’t about these two things, it’s about declaring an interest when scrutinising legislation, or speaking on an issue or subject that your donor has a direct interest in. Guido will repeat it until he is blue in the face, Rule 74 of the House of Commons Code of Conduct is very clear:

“It is the responsibility of the Member, having regard to the rules of the House, to judge whether a financial interest is sufficiently relevant to a particular debate, proceeding, meeting or other activity to require a declaration. The basic test of relevance should be the same for declaration as it is for registration of an interest; namely, that a financial interest should be declared if it might reasonably be thought by others to influence the speech, representation or communication in question. A declaration should be brief but should make specific reference to the nature of the Member’s interest.”

This is the advice the whips should have been dispensing.




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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn in the Evening Standard

“… we must also face the uncomfortable fact that a small number of our members and supporters hold anti-Semitic views and attitudes, which need to be confronted and dealt with more rapidly and effectively.

The evidence is clear enough. Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.

So let me be clear. People holding those views have no place in the Labour Party.

… we have not done enough to get to grips with the problem, and the Jewish community and our Jewish members deserve an apology. My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress caused. … We must strive to understand why anti-Semitism has surfaced in our party…

… when criticism of or opposition to the Israeli government uses anti-Semitic ideas — attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis — then a line must be drawn.  Anti-Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitic and many Jews themselves are not Zionists. But there are also a very few who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a “respectable” setting. Our movement must not be a home for such individuals.

Second, there are people who have come to see capitalism and imperialism as the product of conspiracy by a small shadowy elite rather than a political, economic, legal and social system. That is only a step from hoary myths about “Jewish bankers” and “sinister global forces”.

These views do no service to the struggle for a just society.”

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