Shaheen vs. Labour: Racism Allegations and Forde Report Disregard

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Shaheen's Legal Battle
Labour's Betrayal: Racism, Exclusions, and Shaheen's Legal Battle

Starmer’s Labour: Racism, Controversy, and Internal Divisions Exposed

As the Labour Party gears up for the upcoming general election, a cloud of controversy looms over it another question of racism and internal divisions. Even after ‘The Forde Report’, an independent inquiry commissioned by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in 2020 thrust these issues into the spotlight, exposing uncomfortable truths and raising questions about the party’s commitment to addressing the systemic discrimination Labour stands accused of once again.

The report, delivered by barrister Martin Forde in July 2022, painted a disturbing picture of the Labour Party’s culture and practices. Its findings were a far cry from the expected, revealing a hierarchy of racism and discrimination within the party ranks, where antisemitism cases took precedence over other forms of prejudice, such as anti-Black racism.

Forde’s report provided a litany of evidence showcasing discriminatory views held by senior party staff against people of colour. It concluded that the interfactional conflict within Labour effectively led to an “operating hierarchy of racism or of discrimination, with other forms of racism and discrimination being ignored.”

Labour Files
Forde revealed that he has heard almost nothing from the Labour Party since the report was published.

This damning assessment struck at the heart of the party’s professed values of equality and inclusivity, exposing the deep-rooted factionalism that had taken hold. As Forde bluntly stated, “the whole situation rapidly deteriorated as several on the Right did seize on the issue as a way to attack Corbyn and several on the Left adopted a position of denialism and conspiracy theories.”

While Sir Keir Starmer, the current Labour leader, has attempted to frame these findings as relics of the past, asserting that the report’s focus was on the 2014-2019 period before his tenure, concerns remain about the party’s commitment to implementing the report’s recommendations.

Martin Forde has since voiced concerns that Starmer and his staff have effectively ignored the report’s recommendations. He warned it is not “a sufficient response to say that was then, this is now”. In response, the party retorted that Starmer had implemented many of Forde’s recommendations and led the drive to rid “the party of the destructive factionalism … that did so much damage previously”.

Now as the facade of Starmer’s “progressive patriotism” continues disintegrating, the sordid reality of Labour’s deep-seated prejudices is being dragged into the disinfecting light. The party’s despicable treatment of first Diane Abbot and now Faiza Shaheen – blocked from standing in Chingford over dubious social media smears – represents just the latest damning data point in what increasingly resembles a systemic racist pathology.

Labour’s Betrayal: Racism, Exclusions, and Shaheen’s Legal Battle

Faiza Shaheen, the candidate blocked by Labour from standing in Chingford and Woodford Green, announced she will challenge the decision in the courts, claiming she has faced “a systematic campaign of racism, Islamophobia and bullying”.

Citing a series of recent issues, including having a local organiser removed from her team and being blocked from producing videos blaming inflation on “corporate greed,” Shaheen claimed Keir Starmer’s party had “a problem with black and brown people”.

“This campaign of prejudice, bullying and spiteful behaviour has finally been rewarded by Labour’s NEC [national executive committee] and my name has been added to the list of those not welcome in the candidate club. And it is no surprise that many of those excluded are people of colour,” she said in a statement.

“I have come to the inescapable conclusion that Labour, far from being a broad church encompassing different views, has an ingrained culture of bullying, a palpable problem with black and brown people, and thinks nothing of dragging a person’s good name through the mud in pursuit of a factional agenda, with no thought of the impact on committed members’ mental health and wellbeing.”

Shaheen’s campaign team said she had instructed a lawyer, and was seeking to challenge her exclusion on Wednesday by a panel of Labour’s ruling NEC.

Labour’s rule book says members are “entitled to dignity and respect and to be treated fairly” by the party.

Hierarchy of Racism

Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott
Jeremy Corbyn (centre) and Diane Abbott with anti-apartheid and social justice campaigners Bernie Grant and Tony Banks (front)

Let’s be clear: despite the Forde Report’s unequivocal findings that Labour effectively “operated a hierarchy of racism” which routinely marginalised anti-Black discrimination, Starmer’s high command has opted to airbrush its recommendations into oblivion. This brazen coverup alone exposes the utter Mephistophelian hypocrisy at this project’s core.

How can an ostensible vehicle for societal advancement so casually disregard the righteous fury of Martin Forde himself – who warned the party’s non-response “is not sufficient”? The disturbing answer seems to be that, much like their Tory counterparts, political self-preservation remains Labour’s prime directive – ethics and anti-racist struggle be damned, that’s so eighties…

And let’s be equally clear – Shaheen’s ordeal of being ambushed without fair process by Starmer’s cabal is FAR from an isolated incident under this “progressive” watch. The egregious mistreatment of Diane Abbott – that trailblazing pioneer cruelly rendered an unperson for her perceived Corbynite associations – reeks of similar prejudicial malice.

So as the Starmer outriders fan out across the media campfires, bleating about their phoney “broad church”, ask yourself this: in what ethical universe does systematically persecuting Black women and ideological dissenters qualify as progressive, pluralistic or remotely socialist?

The unfortunate reality is that under the watchful gaze of its current masters, Labour has devolved into a neoliberal Protection Racket – willing to monetise even the most existential struggles against white supremacy for transient professional gain. All whilst spouting utterly insincere platitudes that would never withstand a millisecond of rigorous scrutiny.

This is the truth of so-called 21st century “social democracy”. Little more than the elaborate choreography of power by a princeling gentry class utterly decoupled from the material interests of working people – especially those staring down the intersectional barrel of racial capitalism’s most malign offshoots.

So as this looming electoral panto reaches its climax, demand better than the empty blandishments of insincere hucksters in freshly tailored suits regurgitating stale Blairite pabulum. Demand a true democratic renaissance premised on restoring dignity and self-determination to all – not just the privileged arbiters of what struggles the political orthodoxy deigns to acknowledge on any given PR cycle.

Labour’s Neoliberal Protection Racket

Meanwhile, Luke Akehurst has been feverishly scrubbing his Twitter history. According to the analytics tool Socialblade, he deleted a staggering 2,179 tweets over the course of two days last week. Now Starmer’s little altar boy has managed to secure the Labour candidacy for North Durham. Hailing from Oxford and having no discernible connections to North Durum Akehurst has been parachuted into the safe seat. However, no matter his forensic clean-up in the digital age, nothing truly disappears, as there’s always someone ready to capture screenshots. And alas, one did manage to slip through the cracks and here’s one…

Of course, in Labour’s hierarchy of racism and as the Western world has proved Palestinians are right down at the bottom…

At this stage, the hard evidence can no longer be ignored. Labour has devolved into a cynical vehicle designed to perpetuate the oppressive neoliberal duopoly. The only moral choice remaining is a wholesale repudiation of its racist agenda-setting prioritising image over substance. Working people’s future depends on breaking the two-headed hydra’s stranglehold over our democracy once and for all.

As we cast our votes in this pivotal election, we must remember that our choices today will shape the legacy we leave for generations to come. Do we resign ourselves to the sham of democracy, where voting is a mere ritualistic process, devoid of meaning and consequence? Or do we rise up, reclaim our collective power, and demand a system that truly represents the interests of the many, not just the privileged few?

This 4th of July, if you want real change then the choice before the British people has never been starker. Do we continue to perpetuate the cycle of broken promises and disenfranchisement, or do we find the courage to break the chains that bind us to this neoliberal duopoly?

Our hope, it seems, lies in the emerging parties – the Workers Party, the Socialists, and the Independents who stand firm against the onslaught of corporate interests and the erosion of true democracy. It is in their ranks that we may find the spark of resistance, the flame of change that has been all but extinguished within the ranks of Starmer’s Labour Party.

#GeneralElection2024

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