Tony Greenstein | 02 May 2018 | Post Views:

How Equalities Policies are Used to Deny Free Speech & Human Rights

On March 26th, as part
of the wholly contrived campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, which blew up around a long
erased, allegedly anti-Semitic, mural various Zionist organisations organised their
first ‘anti-racist’ demonstration outside Parliament.  It is worth noting that over 2 years ago the
Jewish Chronicle was far more tentative, describing the mural as having ‘anti-Semitic
  Fast forward to today
and the same Jewish Chronicle was clear that ‘its intent was obvious’.

This must have been the first anti-racist
demonstration that the bigots of the anti-Catholic DUP had attended. We even
had our old friend Norman Tebbit there. 
Tebbit was previously known for devising the ‘cricket
to ascertain whether Pakistani and Indian immigrants were really
British, according to which, if someone supported the Indian or Pakistani
cricket team then they weren’t really British.
A counter-demonstration was also
called by Jewish Voice for Labour and about 200 people, including supporters of
Labour Against the Witchhunt rallied
to the banner of Jews who believed that the fake anti-Semitism campaign was
more about defending Israel and getting rid of Corbyn than anti-Semitism.
Lucy Dawidowic’s War Against the Jews – the SS consciously favoured the Zionists
Lucy Dawidowic’s War Against the Jews – the SS consciously favoured the Zionists
One of the demonstrators was Stan
Keable, the Secretary of LAW. As Stan went around handing out leaflets he got
into a conversation with some Zionist supporters and into a conversation about
the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. During this conversation Stan made his views
clear that the Holocaust wasn’t only caused by anti-Semitism (obvious it wasn’t
– anti-Semitism has existed since time immemorial), that the basis of Zionism
was that Jews didn’t belong in the countries of their birth and further that
the Zionist movement had collaborated with the Nazi in the period leading up to
the Holocaust.
David Grossman – BBC Newsnight’s Skunk of a Journalist
This is the distortion that one comes to expect from a BBC ‘journalist’ – from the school of Tory Kuensberg
Unknown to Stan BBC Newsnight editor
David Grossman had secretly recorded the conversation and it wasn’t long before
it was in the public domain and on social media.  The result of this quite innocuous
conversation was big headlines in papers like The Standard
and Jewish
, articles in that well-known anti-racist paper the Daily Mail
on-line.  The next day local Tory MP,
Greg Hands sent a tweet out demanding action against Stan and he followed this
up with a letter to Steve Cowan, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Stan’s
employer, demanding action.
Note how Greg Hands has elided comments made in Parliament Square to ‘anti-semitism’ at Hammersmith – Stephen Cowan could and should have told him to get lost 
Greg Hands ties in the ‘antisemitism’ crisis (what crisis?) with Momentum
It has to be said that the BBC’s
David Grossman behaviour is akin to a syphilitic ulcer. Utterly
reprehensible behaviour by this skunk of a human being.  It’s just a pity that there are no more job
opportunities left as a Stasi informer.
How Equality Policies are used to clamp down on democratic debate and the free exchange of opinions – everything is ‘offensive’
Stan has been suspended for the
past month for making ‘offensive
likely to be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.   And of course these comments ‘have the potential to bring the Council
into disrepute.’
  Because you always
need a catch-all charge, plumbed from the depths of McCarthyism if you don’t
have anything substantive.
Freedom of Speech

You don’t have to be a follower of Voltaire or Socrates or to
have read John Stuart Mill’s On
to understand that inherent in freedom of speech is the right to
offend or shock. That one cannot discuss one’s opinions with one’s fellows in a
public space without a servile member of the BBC Newsnight’s Thought Police
recording you, only to denounce your opinions with all the fervour of a moser, is in itself shocking. 
Steven Cowan – Reactionary Leader of Hammersmith/Fulham Council
It is no surprise that Stephen Cowan, the Leader of
Hammersmith & Fulham Council, being a paid up member of Labour’s Right,
should seek to excommunicate and dismiss Stan Keable for daring to voice a
dissenting opinion.
After all it is received wisdom amongst our rulers (but
precious few others) that Zionism is a good thing, Israel is the only democracy
in the Middle East and that kosher pigs fly. 
In that order.  To dare to voice
an opinion on Zionism that runs counter to the accepted narrative risks
incurring the wrath of robotic council bureaucrats and mindless pen pushers
with the claque of equal opportunist hangers on trailing behind.
As Jodie Ginsberg wrote
in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings and the murder of a Danish filmmaker
by jihadists, ‘the right to free speech
means nothing without the right to offend. 
If all you have the right to do is to utter platitudes then free speech
is meaningless.’
If Corbyn should be hauled over the coals, it is not for
failing to tackle a non-existent ‘anti-Semitism’ but in his failure to stand up
for his friend Ken Livingstone.  When
Livingstone said that Hitler ‘supported
then he was doing no more than speaking an uncomfortable truth
about an ideology and movement that has led to millions of refugees, thousands
of deaths and a series of never ending wars and that is just in Palestine.  It is a fact that during the War the Zionist
was opposed to the rescue of Jews if the destination was not Palestine.
Lucy Dawidowicz on the Haavara agreement between the Nazis and Zionists
The fact that Livingstone was essentially correct is almost
irrelevant.  It is an indisputable fact
that on 10th August 1933 the German Zionist  Federation and the Palestinian Jewish Agency
signed an economic trade agreement, Ha’avara, with the Nazi state, that helped
destroy the Jewish led international boycott of Nazi Germany.
It is also a fact, as Zionist historian
Lucy Dawidowic wrote, that on 28th January 1935 Reinhardt Heydrich
issued a directive stating: ‘the activity
of the Zionist-oriented youth organizations that are engaged in the
occupational restructuring of the Jews for agriculture and manual trades prior
to their emigration to Palestine lies in the interest of the National Socialist
state’s leadership.
’ These organisations therefore ‘are not to be treated with that strictness that it is necessary to
apply to the members of the so-called German-Jewish organizations
. [Lucy Dawidowicz, War Against the Jews, pp.118, and Francis Nicosia, Zionism
and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany
p.119]  It is also a fact that
another Zionist historian, David Cesarani, in his book The Final Solution noted
that ‘the efforts of the Gestapo are
oriented to promoting Zionism as much as possible and lending support to its
efforts to further emigration.’
How do you ‘discredit’ a Council anymore than it is already discredited?
Stan was also accused of breaching the Equality Act because
he said that according to Zionism Jews are not acceptable here
Perhaps Alexander and Claude Montefiore, Presidents
respectively of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and of the Anglo-Jewish
Association, were also anti-Semitic (because that is what is really being
alleged) when on 24th May 1917 they wrote a letter to the Times protesting against political
Zionism which said that the:
“…establishment of a Jewish nationality in Palestine, founded on the
theory of Jewish homelessness, must have the effect throughout the world of
stamping the Jews as strangers in their native lands and of undermining their
hard-won positions as citizens and nationals of those lands.”
It might be true but it is ‘offensive’
Likewise Lucien Wolf, a leading member of the Conjoint
Foreign Committee of British Jews, wrote a worried letter to James de Rothschild, dated August 31 1916 concerning the efforts to form an
alliance between British imperialism and the Zionist movement: Wolf declared
‘the Zionists do not merely propose to form and establish a Jewish nationality in Palestine, but that they claim all the Jews as forming at the present
moment a separate
and dispossessed nationality, for which it is necessary to find
an organic political centre, because they are and must always be aliens
in the lands in which they now dwell
and, more especially, because it is ‘an absolute self delusion’
to believe that any Jew can be at once ‘English by nationality and Jewish
by faith.  I have spent most of my life in combating these very doctrines, when presented to me in the form of anti-Semitism, and I can only regard them as the more dangerous when they come to me in the guise of Zionism.’

When Stan Keable was repeating the
above he was no more breaching the Equalities Act than someone who exercises
their right to free speech at Speakers Corner. 
The temerity and cowardice of the sycophants and petty bureaucrats of
Hammersmith Council is a wonder to behold.
Did Stan Keable Breach the Equality Act 2010

If anyone deserves to be dismissed
for gross misconduct it is those who were responsible for the Disciplinary Investigation Into Allegations
Against Stan Keable. 
It is difficult
to believe that trained HR Professionals can come up with such utter
nonsense.  One wonders whether it ever
passed the eye of a lawyer in Hammersmith and Fulham Council.  If Steve Cowan were to spend less time plotting
to appease Greg Hands and more on the Council he is leader of then he might
ensure that their HR Department was fit for purpose.
The suggestion that debating an
issue such as Zionism is a breach of the Equality Act is for the birds.  The Introduction to the Act, which sets out
its purpose is quite clear.  It is an Act
whose purpose is
‘to reform and harmonise
equality law…  to enable certain
employers to be required to publish information about the differences in pay
between male and female employees; to prohibit victimisation in certain
circumstances; to require the exercise of certain functions to be with regard
to the need to eliminate discrimination and other prohibited conduct… to
increase equality of opportunity; to amend the law relating to rights and
responsibilities in family relationships; and for connected purposes.’
There is nothing in the Act about
restricting freedom of speech or disciplining people who make comments
unpopular with Britain’s yellow press or its obsequious journalists. The key
paragraph in the charges against Stan are contained in Paragraph 5.2 which
This is the level of idiocy – the allegation about Zionist collaboration with the Nazis has nothing to do with whether or not Zionism is ‘at the centre’ of Judaism – which incidentally breaches the IHRA definition of antisemitism that you can’t blame Jews for Israel!
The person who wrote this never once thought to ask whether challenging someone’s belief, not discriminating on the basis of that belief, is a breach of the Equality Act.  The standard of professionalism or rather the lack of it is breathtaking
Whoever wrote this clearly does not understand what a Protected Characteristic is – it doesn’t imply protection from criticism but discrimination
The question as to whether
or not Stan Keable’s comments breach the Equalities Act may hinge on an
interpretation of what constitutes ‘belief’ under the terms of the Act… One
of these [protected] characteristics is “religion and belief”. Zionism is not a
religion, although it is closely related to Judaism, but it is a belief in the
right of the Jewish people to have a nation state in the ‘Holy Land’, their
original homeland. Legal advice, obtained as part of this investigation, states
that case law has established that the definition of belief can extend to
political beliefs. If Zionism constitutes a ‘belief’ under the terms of the
Equality Act then the statements by Stan Keable that the Zionist movement
collaborated with the Nazis and that it accepted that “Jews are not acceptable
here” might be deemed to have breached the Equality Act.
Leave aside the nonsense about
Zionism being ‘closely related to Judaism’ or that Israel/Palestine is the
‘original homeland’ of the Jews (a popular anti-Semitic misconception of the
Evangelical Christians who wanted to send the Jews back) there is a fundamental
flaw in the above passage which any child of above average intelligence should
be able to spot. 
Equality Act Section 13
Zionism probably is a philosophical
belief under s.10 of the Equality Act. But then so is anti-Zionism. However it
is not the protected characteristics of Zionism’s believers which is at stake
but those of Stan. Protected characteristics are not a free floating cause of
action but they are tied to specific acts such as discrimination, harassment
and victimisation. The Act is quite specific. Section 13(1) says for example
A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a
protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would
treat others.
It should be obvious to any fool,
though clearly not to those trying to persecute Stan Keable that debating a
topic in the open air or in a pub does not infringe your adversaries rights or
treat him less favourably. By saying that the Nazis and Zionists collaborated
at certain times, no one is being discriminated against.  Stan was not in any contractual or employment
relationship with his adversaries.
BUT in suspending and seeking to dismiss Stan, it is Hammersmith
Council which is guilty of breaching the Equality Act because it is Stan who
they are discriminating against on the grounds of his Religion or Belief.  The
failure to understand this simple but obvious point is quite staggering.
There is no single definition of what constitutes a religious
or philosophical belief but the case of Grainger plc
& others v Nicholson
 set out some guidelines. There must be:
  • A genuinely held
  • A belief and not an opinion
  • A belief as to a weight and substantial aspect of human life and
  • The belief must have a certain level of cogency, seriousness,
    coherency, and importance
  • The belief must be worthy of respect in a democratic society, not be
    incompatible with human dignity, and not conflict with the fundamental rights
    of others
If Stan Keable were to be dismissed
then almost certainly he would have been directly dismissed because of his
philosophical belief, i.e. anti-Zionism. 
In addition to being unfairly dismissed he would also have suffered a
The person who compiled the Council’s
Report states (Para. 5.6) that
in attending the counter demonstration at Westminster on 26th March and
in making the comments that subsequently appeared on social media, Mr Keable
has failed to avoid any conduct outside of work which may discredit himself and
the Council.’
The only conclusion from this piece of idiocy is that Council employees must not take part in protests, demonstrations or any other political activity
Under recommendations (Paragraph
7.1) we have this little gem, the product of the kind of bureaucratic mind that
diligently produced ID cards that were nigh impossible to forge in Nazi Occupied
Netherlands (thus condemning thousands of Jews to death): 
in attending a counter demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament on the
26th March 2018, Stan Keable knowingly increased the possibility of being
challenged about his views and subsequently proceeded to express views that
were in breach of the Council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and
the Council’s Code of Conduct (‘Working with integrity’ and ‘Working with the
Have you ever heard such a
pathetic, cringing, ingratiating formulation? 
That in attending a demonstration Stan ‘knowingly increased the possibility of being challenged about his

What kind of pathetic wretch of a
human being is capable of formulating this nonsense?  Whoever wrote this drivel should be sent on
an extended course on basic civil liberties, the Human Rights Act, the Equality
Act and for good measure a civics course explaining why protest is legitimate
in a democracy.
We should be under no illusions
that the product of the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign of groups like Labour Friends
of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, where people are made to feel guilty
about saying a word out of place, at the very same time that unarmed
Palestinians in Gaza are being gunned down in cold blood, is to make people afraid
that they might say something ‘anti-Semitic’. The McCarthyist campaign of Israel’s
shills and propagandist organisations – such as Luke Akehurst’s We Believe in Israel,
is to exert a chilling effect on democratic debate. 
If this Report is accepted by
Hammersmith Council and Stan is dismissed, then mere attendance at a
demonstration will be a potential breach of one’s employment contract. Because
of course there is always likely to be press coverage of a demonstration and,
horror of horrors, one might even feature in that coverage.
Clearly the person who drew
up the Report are also unaware of Schedule
1 of the 1998 Human Rights Act
which incorporates the European Convention
on Human Rights into British law. 
Article 10 Freedom of Expression states:
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.
This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart
information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless
of frontiers.
Article 11 Freedom of Assembly and Association
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful
assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form
and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
allied to these is Article 9 on Freedom of
, Conscience and Religion.  If it is disappointing that a Labour Council
is prepared to trample over the most basic human rights in order to appease the
Israel lobby, then the reaction of UNISON and its London Organiser, Steve Terry,
is little better.  He has been
obstructive, incapable of acknowledging the issues at stake and has suggested
that if Stan didn’t apologise (for what?) then he would sit in on the
disciplinary as a ‘silent representative’.  I have tried in vain to get UNISON to obtain a legal opinion from their own solicitors. The complete lack of any politics or awareness of trade union bureaucrats is nearly equal to that
of their council counterparts.  One of the reasons that the trade unions in this country are in such a weak state is that their leadership has almost no political understanding of who their friends and enemies are.  Their capitulation before the false ‘anti-semitism’ campaign against Corbyn may in the end prove fatal.  Steve Terry also doesn’t appear to understand that UNISON
officials are paid to represent and support their members.
I have no doubt, having considerable
experience of both Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal,
that in the event of Stan being dismissed he will win any subsequently case
because not even the most conformist and timid Tribunal will accept that going
on a demonstration and airing one’s views in public constitute a breach of the
Equality Act or one’s contract.  What is
truly pathetic is that Steve Cowan and the Labour Council don’t understand this.

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Tony Greenstein

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