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Issue of ‘competence’

10 September, 2020 — By John Gulliver

LOYALTY to a cause? Or loyalty to a leader? Under the shadow of Covid-19, little else can matter in the economy – or society.

Apart from conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers whose numbers are surprisingly high, a sideshow is playing out on the fringes of the Labour Party where the “new management” is steadying itself in the leadership.

The party hierarchy is set to curb any discussion of anti-semitism among members by issuing an edict ruling that it is beyond the “competence” of members to discuss it. It is an order that has come down from the new general secretary, David Evans, and sent to all constituency parties.

Reactions can vary. Perhaps, predictably in Jeremy Corbyn’s North Islington constituency, a large Zoom meeting attracting more than 80 viewers backed a motion objecting to attempts by Mr Evans to axe discussions on anti-semitism, a recent settlement following a Panorama documentary and the policy on what anti-semitism actually is.

I hear a that a motion objecting to what is known as Mr Evans’ “competence” ruling almost made a Zoom discussion on Tuesday in a north Camden Labour meeting but a heavy agenda meant it ran out of time.

Meanwhile, I gather at least one erring west London constituency party – presumably critical of the new leadership – has been “taken over” this week by the London hierarchy which means all its official posts will now be run by HQ.


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