What do you call someone who makes up their own facts and abuses their opponents? In the US you say they are acting like Donald Trump; in the Labour Party you say they are channelling their inner John Mann.
A letter from a Jewish 90 year old long-time Labour member to John Mann has been gaining attention. In his letter Dr Glatt draws attention to Mann’s “narcissistic and attention-seeking” behaviour. He goes on to write:
However, your comments that all Labour members who supported her [Jackie Walker]“should be expelled from the Party,” which were reported in the media, absolutely appalled me. The implied ‘guilt by association’ is akin to the ‘fellow traveller’ accusations made during the McCarthyite era in the USA. Shame on you. There seems to be a desire, on your part, to conflate (i.e. run together as if they represent the same meaning), the words and concepts of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
Was Mann’s response to issue an apology, quite the contrary. He alleged, without foundation, that Sam Glatt hadn’t written the letter but that Graham Martin has fraudulently issued his own letter and misappropriated Dr Glatt’s name. A serious charge.
Unfortunately for Mr Mann Tony Greenstein did some detective work and made contact with Sam Glatt who readily confirmed that he wrote the letter with some minor editing assistance from Graham Martin.
Mann’s response so far has only been to delete his Facebook post but unfortunately, for him, not before a number of people had taken a screen-shot.
Mann’s behaviour to Dr Glatt reminds us of how he was denounced by an Employment Tribunal for giving evidence-free evidence when Ronnie Fraser tried to sue his own union, UCU, for spurious allegations of antisemitism.
Mann is a serial offender who leads a charmed life. He is not ridiculed in the Press or on the broadcast media; rather he treated with extraordinary respect and taken at his own estimate as a truth-telling expert. The UK media ignore unwelcome inconsistencies as readily as the most dedicated Trump supporter praises Donald’s respectful treatment of women.
Similarly the Labour Party compliance unit, which at Mann’s urging has chased wills-of-the-wisp across the landscape of Palestinian rights advocates, has sat on its hands and not started proceedings against Mann for bringing the Party into disrepute.
We await Mr Mann’s intersection with justice more in hope than anticipation.
UPDATE 22 October: Graham Martin asks Labour party to investigate John Mann for harassment