I have written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission today, since the Times carried a story that 70 alleged Labour 'officials' had made a damaging series of claims about the Labour Party's supposed institutional anti-Semitism. The irony of such a story should not be ignored - if indeed 70 officials made such an allegation, they must to a large extent be condemning themselves. And since the EHRC itself would never leak submissions to its inquiries (no, never) one can only assume that the leak came from a subscriber to the allegation. No questions about motive there!
To the EHRC:
I apologise for seeking to make a late submission to this inquiry, so I will keep this email short. I am writing partly because I have read about a 'leak' of a submission to you by '70 Labour officials.' I am also writing to make a complaint about the EHRC itself, so I am asking for a reply to this email.
I joined the Labour Party in 1984 and during my membership (which continues) I served 12 years as a councillor, spent many years serving in various voluntary constituency party capacities, seven years as a Labour Party regional official (at one time working as full time agent for a Jewish PPC (Leeds North East: Fabian Hamilton) and nine years as an MP. In all this time, and in all these capacities I have never encountered any expression of anti-Semitism in the party. As a Labour Party official I worked in campaigns across the country, although most of my experience has been in Yorkshire. It should be noted that when I worked in Leeds North East constituency, if there were any issues about identity, they had to do almost exclusively with gender, not ethnicity. Some of this arose, ironically when a female was originally selected as the parliamentary candidate (from an all-women shortlist), to be eventually replaced by a Jewish man. You would think that might have stirred up some anti-Semitism. It simply did not.
I find the current suggestion that Labour is 'institutionally anti-Semitic' scandalous. I don't doubt that there are individual racists in the party and they need dealing with. But I also find it astonishing that you are conducting an inquiry solely into the Labour Party when the evidence suggests that of the main UK political parties, Labour is least infected by racism. In this latter regard therefore I am asking you to open up your inquiry to include all UK political parties - all parties have a responsibility to tackle racism in whatever shape or form. I want to know why you haven't widened your inquiry. I am complaining that you haven't, and that in this you are failing in your duties, which must (I assume) require you to act impartially.
I await your response.