The Nus Executive Has Opened the Door to Legal Action by George Galloway

On Wednesday 26 September the NUS Executive passed a motion denying George Galloway a platform at any of their meetings, or meetings organised by them, in response to MP for Bradford West’s now widely publicised comments regarding the rape allegations levelled against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. In the original motion, Tony Benn was also included due to comments he had made on the same allegations. However, Tony Benn’s name was removed after the former Labour MP apologised and retracted.

George Galloway took steps to clarify his position vis-a-vis rape and the Assange case in a statement sent to NUS Executive members from his office prior to the NUS Executive meeting. This follows the statement of clarification he made immediately after the podcast over comments that were clearly made in the context of the specifics of the Assange case. Did he overstate his position? Perhaps. But there is a massive difference between that and being an apologist for rape or a rape denier, both of which he’s been accused of over the past few weeks.

The key part of the NUS motion recommending that George Galloway be accorded the same status as the BNP’s Nick Griffin and other fascists by the NUS reads as follows :

NEC Resolves:

2. That NEC councillors and NUS officers shall not share a platform with George Galloway, Tony Benn, Roger Helmer, Andrew Brons or other speakers who are rape deniers, and who blame and undermine rape victims.
3. The NUS shall not offer a platform to speakers who are rape deniers, and blame and undermine rape victims, nor shall it officially support any event that does.

This is clearly defamatory and actionable and suggests the NUS Executive neglected to seek legal advice before drafting the motion. The result is that they have opened the door to legal action being taken by George Galloway in response. Consequently, many members of the NUS will no doubt be angered and concerned at the irresponsible actions of their Executive in drafting and passing a motion which could conceivably cost their union many thousands of pounds in damages.

The motion was submitted and seconded by the following members of the NUS Executive.

Motion3: No Apologies for Rape Apologists

Submitted by: Kelley Temple, Jo Johnson

Seconded by: Adrianne Peltz, Caroline Dangerfield, Fee Wood, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Stacey Devine, Vicki Baars, Danielle Grufferty, Hannah Paterson, Jo Johnson, Joe Vinson, Rachel Wenstone, Toni Pearce, Emma Meehan

Below is the statement of clarification sent by George Galloway’s office to the NUS Executive on Wednesday prior to it meeting.

GEORGE GALLOWAY, JULIAN ASSANGE AND RAPE

Dear NUS Executive Member,

We are extremely surprised to learn that the NUS Executive plans to debate a motion to ban George Galloway from speaking at NUS organised events and NUS elected officers from speaking on platforms with George Galloway. No-one from the NUS Executive planning to move or support this motion has bothered to contact him or his office to seek clarification of his views on the matters that have provoked this extraordinary move, not that the NUS Executive has ever invited him to speak on its platforms in recent years.

I am however pleased to provide you with clarification of George Galloway’s views both on rape and Julian Assange, views which have been subject to widespread misinterpretation since the podcast in which he expressed views about Julian Assange.

Firstly, on the issue of rape, George Galloway has always held and continues to hold the following positions. No always means no, and never means yes. Consent must be present for any sexual intercourse or other sexual contact. Without meaningful consent, sexual contact will imply sexual assault or rape. Meaningful consent cannot be given if someone is not conscious and sexual intercourse in such circumstances could therefore prima facie imply the possibility of rape. He is also mindful that rape has been severely under-reported over many years because of fear on the part of women, and that it has proved difficult to secure rape convictions in many cases where rape has occurred. He wholeheartedly welcomes the work done by many women’s groups and others to assist women who have suffered domestic and sexual violence and to change attitudes on these issues and he deplores the closure of projects to assist women in these circumstances, and especially women’s refuges, as a result of government and local government spending cuts.

Secondly, on the issue of Julian Assange, he holds the view, based on the evidence in the public domain, that Julian Assange has been set up by those who had most to lose from the exposure by Julian Assange and Wikileaks of the support for murder, torture, rape and abuse of those whom Western Imperialism has deemed enemies of its interests or “collateral damage” as it invades and occupies other people’s countries. This is what he was addressing in his podcast, the specific issue of Julian Assange. He was not seeking to generalise on the wider issues of the definition of rape in other cases where very different factors and evidence are involved. George Galloway also believes that the extradition demand on Julian Assange should be dropped and the Swedish authorities should guarantee that he will not be extradited to the United States where he could face a life sentence in the appalling conditions being inflicted on Bradley Manning for his whistle-blowing.

I hope this will at least clarify for you where he stands. As far as we are concerned, there may be those who still disagree with his assessment of the Julian Assange case, although George’s view that Assange has been set up has been one widely held on the left of the political spectrum and by those who have examined the detail of the allegations against him in the public domain, including presumably by the Stop the War Coalition who gave a platform to Julian Assange at a rally in Trafalgar Square last year long after the allegations had arisen. We certainly do not see any justification in this legitimate disagreement for imposing a policy of no platform on him and indeed we believe such a move would bring the NUS Executive into disrepute in the eyes of many.

With best wishes,

Rob Hoveman
Office of George Galloway MP

120 comments on “The Nus Executive Has Opened the Door to Legal Action by George Galloway

  1. The NUS NEC passed a resolution they knew was based on lies, thanks to the email from Galloway’s office. They are indeed guilty of libel and they don’t have a leg to stand on. I don’t want Galloway to sue them. But sane students in the NUS should demand the idiots who voted for that resolution are forced to resign, for opening up the entire NUS to substantial damages. It is disgusting for anyone to be framed as a rape apologist when the evidence proves it to be bullshit. So decent students should not wait for the courts to point out the bleeding obvious. They should immediately tear up their idiotic resolution and apologise for what they’ve done. The NUS NEC should not merely drop their pathetic no platform nonsense, but invite him to debate issues related to rape, Julian Assange and anything else he wants to debate.

  2. There is zero possibility that Galloway would lose if he sues the NUS for what they’ve done. A simple apology and withdrawal of the resolution should suffice. Although the idiots who passed it should be held to account by students up and down the country. Every cloud has a silver lining and there might be one here too. It would be rediculous for the NUS not to go further than apologise and withdraw the no platforming nonsense; they should offer him a right to debate the issues, publicly. And it would be a good idea for him to discuss what is happening over Julian Assange. He is innocent until proven guilty, and it would be a good idea to let Galloway remind all students about that.

  3. jim mclean on said:

    Idiot,

    I’m a kind person and quite happy to feed a Troll, oh the idiots been deleted, still, I am not to worried about GG, he can take care of himself. The main issue to me is the betrayal of trust here. The NUS has been severely compromised by the actions of the NEC.

  4. The NUS wanted to no platform Tony Benn? Words can’t express how much I hate them for that. Right-wing scab tossers.

  5. I really hope GG just goes straight ahead and issues a writ. It will be a salutary shock to those who propagate the demented smear that those who believe Assange is being framed are ‘rape deniers’. It puts all them in the dock, where they belong.

  6. It used to be the consensus position on the left that we did not seek to resolve our differences through resort to the bourgeois courts. This response by GG smacks of bullying.

  7. SSDO: t used to be the consensus position on the left that we did not seek to resolve our differences through resort to the bourgeois courts. This response by GG smacks of bullying.

    David Osler must be living in an upside down world if he really believe that GG is guilty of bullying. Has he been sleeping these past few weeks?

  8. Santa Claus on said:

    the SWP were about the only people to oppose it, on CC instructions. Them and “Student Broad Left”, a Socialist Action front, put forward an amendment that was defeated.

  9. John, criticising somebody else’s political positions, however stridently, is not ‘bullying’. Hinting that you will take them to court very clearly is.

  10. Edmund Schluessel on said:

    The e-mail was sent during the meeting, not after.

    And it’s really a bit rich to on the one hand admonish students into action against Parliament as a whole and on the other saying they should hide behind lawyers for fear of George Galloway.

    Nearly as unbelievable is Galloway using a broken libel system to avoid taking responsibility for his comments rather than honourably apologising — unbelievable, at least, except it fits the MP’s previous pattern of trying to talk out of both sides of his mouth in an age of digital media.

    I am not a Labour member. I have never been in Labour. I have always been fiercly critical of Labour.

    I am, rather, a feminist, and proudly so.

    If George Galloway now uses the Blairite playbook, he deserves the same contempt as those withered corpses.

  11. SA,

    This accusation that the SWP moved, seconded the motion is of course a lie. SWSS has issued a statement opposing the no platform of George Galloway. I would expect an apology from this site for this untruth. Of course the SWP would not even consider court action for libel but then when lies like this a splashed around which is opposite of the truth I really think it is encumbent on the moderators to make sure that the truth is told.

  12. I would expect an apology from this site for this untruth

    You people are bizarre, given your record of never apologising for the lies and smears your organisation was responbsible for in recent years.

    As it happens, it’s even worse: You want an apology from the site owners because of something on of the commenters said! Why don’t you direct your comments at the person responsible? I know, I know, if you do that you won’t be able to fit this all into the “Andy Newman is moving to the right” narrative that is a favourite of yours.

    But for now, please deal with the person who wrote the actual words.

  13. What Galloway did was describe a rape, then call it “bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape”. You can’t ‘clarify’ that position by making statements about the importance of consent: Galloway must wholly and unambiguously retract those comments and apologize for them. Otherwise he remains exactly what NUS NEC have declared him – an apologist who undermines the safety and integrity of rape survivors everywhere.

    I’m baffled as to why opponents of this motion continually tie the words Galloway used to the additional context of the Assange case. Galloway wasn’t talking about extradition; he wasn’t talking about Wikileaks; he was talking about consent and whether or not a particular act constituted rape. The claim he made about non-consensual sexual contact is abhorrent regardless of whether it’s connected to Assange case or anyone else. Nothing about the Assange case can possibly justify what Galloway *actually said*.
    So why drag the Assange case into this at all?

  14. Rob: he was talking about consent and whether or not a particular act constituted rape. The claim he made about non-consensual sexual contact is abhorrent regardless of whether it’s connected to Assange case or anyone else. Nothing about the Assange case can possibly justify what Galloway *actually said*.

    Well you see, this is just an outright falsehood, isn’t it, which really sums up the wilful distortion that’s been the norm from those who’ve sought to demonise Galloway.

    He never at any time claimed that a non consensual sex act was NOT rape. What he said was that ‘some people might think that you’re already in the sex game with them and not everybody feels the need to be asked a second time’…or words to that effect.

    Now the words he used here were certainly crude and indelicate, but what he was describing is the grey area that is consent. The wording of the law on consent as it currently stands reveals this to be the case.

    So why don’t you retract what is a clear distortion of what he actually said?

  15. jim mclean on said:

    kipper,

    Why should this site apologise due to the erroneous statement of one individual, me. The problem with an open site which allows instant publications is that mistakes are sometimes made. I wont apologise but only because you have allowed some horrendous stuff to be published on SU by your membersincluding some second rate wiki cut and pastes.

  16. SSDO,

    The NUS is not a working class organisation.

    Even if it was, there is no principle that you can never sue people who lie in such an outrageous manner.

    I would refer you to Trotsky’s legal actions in the 1930s against Stalinists in France and Mexico, who accused him of support for Hitler and the like. Or Marx’s legal action against Vogt. All similar to these witchhunting scum.

    Personally I would like to see those who make filthy claims that those who believe Assange is being framed are ‘rape apologists’ crushed without mercy. If you can’t defend your lies, don’t lie in the first place.

    The people who make these allegations are no better than the scum who smeared Galloway from the Daily Telegraph in 2003. And beware, you know where that ended up!

  17. Edmund Schluessel,

    “If George Galloway now uses the Blairite playbook, he deserves the same contempt as those withered corpses.”

    Well that’s a joke to start with. You are following in the footsteps of the same Blairites that hounded him out of the Labour Party in the first place. You want to extend that Kafkaesque crap to the wider society. But you have gone too far, and left yourself sitting ducks for legal action. Poor you!

  18. John,

    Where is the ‘grey area’ between consenting and not consenting?
    Galloway’s office confirmed what we should all believe, in the email published above – that engaging in sexual contact with someone who was unable to consent (eg: asleep) is the very same thing no consent being given.
    Galloway described a situation in which, under the terms laid out in his office’s email, a man engaged in sexual contact with a woman who could not give meaningful consent. Then he said that it wasn’t rape.

    The ‘grey area’ is a false notion that only exists in the way Galloway couched his initial statement. His apologetics have not been ‘clarified’ (whatever that means – presumably that he wasn’t saying anything wrong, just that it needed more explanation) by saying more palatable things about the nature of consent: they have been thrown more starkly into contrast with what he claims to believe.

    Until Galloway retracts these comments, rejects their content and unambiguously apologizes for them, then he has not stood by the principles his office claims he holds dear. He has instead undermined the integrity of rape survivors and desperately stretched a paraconsistent re-imagining of ‘consent’, all for the sake of reasserting the narrative of Assange’s victimhood. Whatever you think of the Assange case, we can’t let the fight against rape denial to become collateral damage.

  19. Just when I thought the Assange issue had gone quiet. Here we go again……..
    Fucking unbelievable. Hope GG does sue and wins an apology and damages against these middle class self serving wannabe bourgeois careerists and single issue obsessives. In response he should be invited to speak at as many demos, meetings and rallies as possible so these useful idiots of imperialism get totally marginalised, its what they deserve as they represent nobody but themselves. Maybe boycott NUS organised events too?

  20. jim mclean on said:

    As an aside it is now expected for the Democrats to retain a majority in the Senate come November. The reason being Atkin’s “Legitimate Rape” remark.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/09/28/the-devastatingly-bad-candidacy-of-todd-akin-and-how-it-could-cost-republicans-the-senate/?wpisrc=nl_pmpolitics

    Oh and have been scrutinising the NUS debate.
    The SWP stance,

    We, like many others in the student movement, were disgusted and appalled by the comments made about rape in connection with the Julian Assange case by Tony Benn, George Galloway, and others.
    HOW ABOUT AN APOLOGY KIPPER

    Fecking semantics

  21. Mary Seacole on said:

    The Socialist Workers Student Society has issued a statement condemning both George Galloway and Tony Benn as “rape apologists”. The SWP may have voted against the NUS executive motion on the narrow grounds that the no platform policy should not be extended beyond the fascists. But they’ve joined in the witch hunt against Galloway, Benn and by extension Assange, every bit as much as the Labour right wing and the Alliance for Workers Liberty.

  22. just saying on said:

    Would the N.U.S.be horrified that in their ranks are future capitalist exploiters.

    We Geordie,used words like all front line defenders of fairness being under attack.He is old school soldier and his words reflected that.

    Sad that some cannot put themselves in that place,no matter gender.

  23. Mary Seacole: The Socialist Workers Student Society has issued a statement condemning both George Galloway and Tony Benn as “rape apologists”. The SWP may have voted against the NUS executive motion on the narrow grounds that the no platform policy should not be extended beyond the fascists. But they’ve joined in the witch hunt against Galloway, Benn and by extension Assange, every bit as much as the Labour right wing and the Alliance for Workers Liberty.

    What you mean is, anyone who challenges Galloway on anything is a right winger!! SWP voted against the motion I know this is upsetting for you as many on here spread lies on this issue. Now the SWP opposed what Galloway said on the issue of rape, well so do a lot of RESPECT members…

  24. jim mclean: kipper, Why should this site apologise due to the erroneous statement of one individual, me. The problem with an open site which allows instant publications is that mistakes are sometimes made. I wont apologise but only because you have allowed some horrendous stuff to be published on SU by your membersincluding some second rate wiki cut and pastes.

    So you told a pack of lies and won’t retract…lol well its clear as this is related to a matter of fact and not opnion that you made a claim which was total lies and bullshit. You wanted to attack the SWP and felt you could sling any old mud around..shame the voting record is public…the fact that you cannot even bring yourself to say you got it wrong speaks volumes for your real intention.

  25. Rob: Where is the ‘grey area’ between consenting and not consenting?
    Galloway’s office confirmed what we should all believe, in the email published above – that engaging in sexual contact with someone who was unable to consent (eg: asleep) is the very same thing no consent being given.

    Clearly you haven’t taken the time to look at the wording of the law. For your benefit, here it is:

    Rape

    (1)A person (A) commits an offence if—
    (a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
    (b)B does not consent to the penetration, and
    (c)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

    It is obvious reading this that the law as currently constituted protects neither men nor women as it opens the door to one person’s word against another in the context of a sexual relationship where consent may have been given and then withdrawn.

    Nowhere does the wording of the law mention the word ‘asleep’ as a red line. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in a sexual relationship, but I assure you that as I write this at 7.50am there are people in every street in every town and city in this country who are initiating sex on their partners while they are still asleep or half asleep.

    How do you know that prior consent for such an act is not given explicitly after a couple has had sex night before. Perhaps they discuss it and agree that whoever wakes first the next morning should wake the other up with a sex act. Perhaps the relationship includes something called trust and prior consent is implicit.

    But you’re saying that under every instance anyone who initiates sex with a partner while they are asleep is a sex offender? I hope you realise that this makes you a complete fool who does not live in the real world.

    I know this may be an inconvenient truth for you, but Assange has denied these allegations and by law remains innocent until proven guilty.

    Galloway and others, including me, who believe that these particular allegations bear all the hallmarks of a set up, have never once suggested that Assange not face them. What we argue is that there needs to be the safeguard that he won’t be extradited to the US before he does.

    Yet you and yours have smeared Galloway as a rape denier and apologist.

    I really hope he sues.

  26. prianikoff on said:

    Maybe their words could have been clearer, but Tony Benn and George Galloway were right to differentiate between two different situations:-

    (1) A man rapes a woman who is drunk, or unconscious, who has never consented to sex with him and is in no position to give consent.

    While it’s not always easy to prove, this is clearly a crime.

    (2) Sex occurs between a man and a woman where a consensual relationship has already been established.

    It’s simply impossible to make every sexual act which occurs in (2) subject to an individual verbal agreement.
    This flies in the face of basic human behaviour.

    The fact that unforseen consequences may occur as a result, such as pregnancy or contracting an STD, doesn’t really alter this.

    No one has ever disputed that the Assange case falls into category (2)

    A woman who feels she’s incurred injury as a result of (2) has clear recourses available to her:-

    -She can have a baby, establish paternity and seek support from the father. (The scientific advance of DNA testing establishes the truth)
    -She can seek an abortion (a good reason for defending abortion rights)
    -She can seek treatment at an STD clinic (a good reason for defending the NHS)
    -She can end the relationship immediately. (a good reason for defending the right of women to work and equal pay)

    All of these are progressive solutions.
    All of the solutions proposed by the “rape is rape” proponents lead to a bloc with reaction.

    In the Assange case (which is what prompted this debate) it’s led them to:-
    -form a de-facto alliance with the state against anti-imperialist whistleblowers.
    -trying to get two of the most prominent left wing figures in British politics banned from universities!

    This isn’t very surprising because the argument that “rape is rape” is simply tautology.
    If logical gibberish is your lodestone, it’s not surprising that it leads you towards incoherent and reactionary conclusions.

    Whether George Galloway decides to sue the NUS is up to him.
    Although defamatory statements have been made, I personally don’t think it’s a good idea.
    I think it would be better for NUS branches to defy their NEC and invite Galloway and Benn to speak at campus meetings on the Assange case.

  27. Crusading feminist George Galloway bravely defends the principle that no means no.

    But you can’t say no when you’re asleep can you? Or give consent. Because you are unconscious.

    I don’t know why the concept of etiquette was introduced here. The scenario we are describing is a rape, and George Galloway has used his public profile to deny that. Presumably out of a sense of unconditional solidarity with another Left Wing Man, and his famous contempt for women.

  28. And here we have brave comrade prianikoff, defending my right to fuck sleeping people, and effectively calling for the repeal of laws against rape by spouse.

  29. Karl Stewart on said:

    Yes of course Galloway should sue this elitist right-wing organisation for every penny its got.

    As to the laughable “no-platform” motion, so a bunch of spoilt, pampered and privileged sons and daughters of the wealthy won’t be inviting principled socialists to their social clubs in the future.

    Who gives a flying fuck?

    The more important question is what the fuck is any serious socialist doing taking part in this organisation in the first place? And why on earth should a left-wing legend like Tony Benn feel the need to apologise to them?

    We should “no platform” the National “Union” of Students with immediate effect – bunch of scab right-wing tossers!

    I’ve never been a member or supporter of Respect and I’ve often disagreed with Galloway in the past, but on this he deserves the full 100 per cent support of every socialist, trade unionist and every person of principle.

  30. James N: But you can’t say no when you’re asleep can you? Or give consent. Because you are unconscious.

    But you can say yes the night before to being woken up by a sex act the next again morning.

    Are you now trying to legislate every intimate relationship, regardless of the particular dynamics and nuances of that relationship? What is this moralism? Is there no concept of privacy, communication and trust between two consenting adults? Are you now telling every couple in the land that they can never wake one another up with a sex act because if they do they are committing rape?

  31. just saying on said:

    Rape, male or female is not on the socialists scale of care and compassion.Pissed or drugged either sex induced,is not a right for sexual gratification.

    The N.U.C. its cite of judgement seems mainly female in its judgement as clearly pointed out in the post.

    Sexual exploitation is and never will be in my political being.Bugger that comrades get blinkerd by by it.

    It is without doubt that females get the rotten deal,understood.Not liked, and I try in my stupid socialist way to alter that.Not too much success for that attempt,but a attempt.

    The attempt although male, is a attempt not blinded by my being male,but by being a socialist.And as a socialist, no matter of your gender or gender, sexual prefrence rape is not a go.

  32. Step Left on said:

    who cares what NUS hack faced students do or think. An irrelevant bunch of authoritarian hacks who one day will be labour party hacks or part of the professional activist/campaigner/journalist class.

  33. James N: But you can’t say no when you’re asleep can you? Or give consent. Because you are unconscious.

    Sigh we have done this one asleep and unconscious are not the same – you use the latter for its emotional impact.

    The letter from GG’s office is giving the NUS Executive a chance to step away from the precipice. I don’t think they will take it and so will likely face the concequences. All part of the learning process.

  34. Karl Stewart on said:

    Let’s state some basic principles here:

    “No I don’t want sex” means exactly that, in any imaginable context whatsoever – whether people have just met, are in a relationship or have been married 20 years.

    And “no I don’t want that particular type of sex, to do that particular act, or to do that in this place, or under these circumstances” means exactly that too.

    If one person continues in spite of this, then that is rape.

    That’s the view of any decent person and that’s exactly Galloway’s position too and he’s absolutely right.

    What Galloway has said is that he does not think Assange is not guilty of this. And Galloway is right on that too.

    The CIA has manufactured a case against Assange as part of its campaign to destroy him.

    All those who’ve jumped on the anti-Galloway bandwagon here are, either wittingly or unwittingly, siding with the CIA against Assange.

    Assange has infuriated the US ruling class by releasing evidence of US war crimes.

    It’s far, far easier for the US ruling class to destroy someone whose personal reputation has already been destroyed – that’s the reason for the manufactured case.

    It’s also far more difficult to campaign on behalf of someone whose reputation has been destroyed.

    That’s the reason why the various fake “lefts” who’ve jumped on the anti-Galloway bandwagon are so useful to the US ruling class here.

    If we don’t stand up now, for Galloway, and for Assange, then next time the ruling class want to use this tactic to destroy someone they see as a threat, then it will be easier for them to do so.

  35. Karl Stewart on said:

    Correction par 6 should read:

    “What Galloway has said is that he does not think Assange is guilty of this. And Galloway is right on that too.”

  36. The NUS farce “no platform motion” is the crazy end result of the anti working class nature of “identity politics”. We saw another result of identity politics with the crash of SSP. Working class politics are rejected in favour of feminism and nationalism etc. Such politics have nothing worthwhile to offer working class people faced with the current assault on their living standards by the Capitalist class. Divide and rule for the benefit of capitalism and imperialism. The left groups are in decay as they offer nothing positive to workers in respect of the struggle against declining capitalism but instead pursue the shrinking market of the middle class with appeals to feminism and other forms of identity politics. Identity politics may get you a political career but it wont produce a working class socialist party

    sandy

  37. #35 & 36 So are you saying that the woman involved in this is telling a complete pack of lies? According to her he had sex with her while she was unconscious AND without condom, when she had insisted before that when they had consensual sex he wear a condom, which he reluctantly did. Another female who had sex with him also had unprotected sex with him when she insisted on a condom. Both women wanted him tested for STDs, which he refused to do. Why? It must also be remembered that the women’s movement in Sweden has won the most protective laws for women over the past 3/4 decades and we are not considering English law. Under Swedish law he has a case to answer, though the less severe of the three rape categories they have. GG has stuck his nose and revealed both legal and personal ignorance for which he should retract and apologise for but he stubbornly refused to, splitting his party and allowing opportunists to attack him.

  38. 37. Alternatively its a result of middle class kids acting in their own class and individual interest under the guise of feminism.

    38. You should read Craig Murray’s blog about the how, where and why.

  39. Vincent Doherty on said:

    Mary Seacole:
    The Socialist Workers Student Society has issued a statement condemning both George Galloway and Tony Benn as “rape apologists”. The SWP may have voted against the NUS executive motion on the narrow grounds that the no platform policy should not be extended beyond the fascists. But they’ve joined in the witch hunt against Galloway, Benn and by extension Assange, every bit as much as the Labour right wing and the Alliance for Workers Liberty.

    The sexual politics of the SWP have always been very suspect. These are the guys who helped destroy the Scottish Socialist Party by insisting on supporting Tommy Sheridan and his sexual pecadillos. Without doubt the SWP have some very talented and dedicated memebers, but they are forever motivated by a sectarian core which mimics the old Stalinist addage ‘the party right or wrong.”

  40. #41 The SWP take position on things usually based on opportunism or a warped ideological view. Thus they are supporting GG as he’s ‘anti-establishment’ and likewise they support the Muslim Brotherhood as they are supposedly anti-imperialist, when they are in fact a reactionary,
    anti-socialist movemen. SWP = my enemy’s enemy is my friend.

  41. Karl Stewart on said:

    HcH, the “case” against Assange has been wholly manufactured by the CIA.
    Either wittingly or unwittingly you’re lining up with the CIA here.

    Sandy, I’m sorry but I don’t agree with your criticism of feminism, or the implicit argument you seem to be making that the choice is somehow “either the class struggle or the equalities agenda.”

    I just don’t agree that those lining up with the CIA here are feminists – they’re people making fake “feminist” and fake “left” arguments as a cover for what is, in essence, support for US imperialism.

    The feminist and equalities agenda is our agenda and we mustn’t allow the forces of reaction to hijack it.

    In my opinion, feminism is a wholly positive and progressive force which has fought hard and won important gains.

    It’s the CIA that’s demeaning women by their cynical abuse of the two individuals in this manufactured “case.”

  42. #43 Then you are saying the woman involved is telling a pack of lies, which is doesn’t seem to be the case when you read the reports and understand Swedish law. I’m sure the CIA are quite happy that Assange is in legal difficulties but they are of his own making and GG has jumped in to reveal his reactionary position on women and sexual assualt.
    What should be remembered is that it will be legally more difficult to extradite Assange to the USA if he ends up in Sweden and not easier.

  43. Red S:

    Personally I would like to see those who make filthy claims that those who believe Assange is being framed are ‘rape apologists’ crushed without mercy.

    Hooray! Let’s send in the tanks and teach those eggheads a lesson! Let’s send those intellectual troublemakers to the countryside to learn from the peasants! I bet those pampered feminist film theory majors have never even set foot in a rice paddy.

  44. Karl 43#

    working class woman and ruling class woman dont have a common interest in respect of the struggle against capitalism. Similarly black workers dont have a common interest with black members of the ruling class. Nor do Scots. Muslims etc. Working class unity is the primary aim of Socialists. Within the anti capitalist struggle we oppose all specific oppressions that provide material barriers to workers unity. Thus we oppose national oppression, racism, sexism etc where it exists but we dont promote the lie that woman or blacks or gays or muslims or Scots etc form a community with common interests. That is identity politics and it promotes division in the working class and thus aids the ruling class. Feminism, where it is not another name for socialism, is anti working class.

    sandy

  45. Karl Stewart on said:

    HcH, neither you nor I were present when the events you’re referring to took place.

    What should be remembered is that the whole manufactured “case” is part of the US ruling class’s campaign to destroy Assange.

    Of course it will be far easier for the US to take custody of Assange from a Swedish jail than from the Ecuadoran Embassy.

    Only a complete fool would argue otherwise.

    And of course it will be far easier for the US ruling class to destroy Assange if he’s widely believed to be a sex offender.

    This is why the manufactured “case” is such an important part of the US ruling class’s strategy.

    And this is why fake “lefts”, fake “feminists” and their useful idiot supporters are so helpful to US imperialism here.

  46. Hch,

    You are aware that the case was originally thrown out under the “Swedish law” ,whose authority you defer to, only to be mysteriously revived by another prosecutor later on?

  47. Hch: What should be remembered is that it will be legally more difficult to extradite Assange to the USA if he ends up in Sweden and not easier.

    This is complete bullshit. Sweden has not refused an extradition request from the US since 2000. In 2001 Sweden handed over to the US two Egyptian refugees, who were subsequently rendered back to Egypt by the CIA where they were tortured. HRW criticised the extradition.

    Meanwhile in this country Gary McKinnon has been able to resist extradition to the US for nine years in the courts, while the NatWest Three resisted US extradition for four years. So it’s simply not true to assert that Assange would be less likely to be extradited from Sweden than here.

  48. Omar: You are aware that the case was originally thrown out under the “Swedish law” ,whose authority you defer to, only to be mysteriously revived by another prosecutor later on?

    Exactly Omar. The case was initially dropped and deemed so weak it did not warrant investigation. After the intervention of a Swedish politician close to American diplomats, it was revived by a different prosecutor.

  49. #50 Yes, I am aware of this and it is quite common in Sweden for a higher legal official to overrule a lower one in cases of sexual assault.

  50. Karl Stewart on said:

    Of course it would be far easier for the US to take custody of Assange from a Swedish jail than from the Ecuadoran Embassy.

    Only a complete fool would argue otherwise.

    And of course it would be far easier to destroy Assange if his reputation has been wrecked first.

    That’s why the manufactured “case” against him, and winning the support of useful idiots such as HcH and the “students” is so important for the US ruling class here.

  51. # 51 You are wrong. It would be easier for the USA to extradite Assange from here as opposed to Sweden.

  52. John: you’re saying that under every instance anyone who initiates sex with a partner while they are asleep is a sex offender? I hope you realise that this makes you a complete fool who does not live in the real world.

    Every instance of intercourse where consent has not been given is non-consensual sex. That does not rule out explicit consent being given about sexual contact while one partner is sleeping, but you seem to have taken the attitude of assuming that that consent exists with no evidence.

    Assuming consent without evidence for it existing is the very foundation of rape denial.

    I do not initiate sexual contact with a partner when they’re not in a position to say ‘no’. I so this because I respect the people I sleep with and don’t want to treat them as an unwilling sexual partner (which, were there is no opportunity for consent to be withdrawn, they tacitly would be).
    Is it really ‘foolish’ to suggest people have the same level of respect for their partners’ integrity?

    Under the statement issued by Galloway’s office, it would be unreasonable for Galloway to claim that he believes the women in question reasonably consented, nor that Assange should have believed consent was given.

    You (and, by extension, Galloway too) have assumed consent where there is no suggestion consent was given. Indeed, in this particular case, the woman in question is adamant that consent was *not* given. [DEFAMATORY STATEMENT BY ROBERT HENTHORN HAS BEEN DELETED]

  53. Hch,

    #50

    Well by all means ,provide us with some links to verify that assertion, but if it’s a “common” occurrence in cases of sexual assault, then that would suggest there might be problems with the sexual assault laws in Sweden,no?

  54. Karl Stewart on said:

    HcH, from a Swedish jail, Assange will be flown straight to the US. It’s called “rendition” and the Swedes do this whenever the US wants them to.

    From the Ecuadoran Embassy, the US would need to take him by force, possible but unlikely in light of the diplomatic repercussions.

  55. Martin Kelly on said:

    Go on George, use the capitalist courts against students.
    And put in a big claim for compensation.
    And every time you appear in public, student activists throughout the country will express their feelings – “Fuck off George and take your big mouth with you”.

  56. andy newman on said:

    kipper: Of course the SWP would not even consider court action for libel

    Factually, the SWP have threatened me with libel on TWO occasions now.

  57. Rob: but you seem to have taken the attitude of assuming that that consent exists with no evidence.

    And you have taken the attitude of assuming that consent must always be unambiguous at the exact point of sexual contact. This reduces intimacy between two human beings to the level of tarantula spiders, where sex can only take place on some prearranged no man’s land and where neither partner can ever trust one another. It is complete nonsense.

    Rob: Every instance of intercourse where consent has not been given is non-consensual sex.

    Where have I even hinted at the opposite? This is an utter lie on your part. But the issue being discussed is the nuances and dynamics of intimacy, where consent is often times implied, assumed, and yes mistakenly. But this does not mean it is rape. You cannot reduce human relationships to the same status as a legal contract. Otherwise you negate the essence of what intimacy is.

    Rob: Assuming consent without evidence for it existing is the very foundation of rape denial.

    You’re actually just talking to yourself now, aren’t you? Did you even read what I wrote? You might not like it, it may offend your morals, but there are men and women who both enjoy being woken by their partners in the morning via a sex act. It’s called, and here’s that word again…intimacy. In some cases, where the dynamic of a relationship is unhealthy or where the man has no reason to be believe that consent has been given, that is clearly a red line and to cross implies rape. No one is arguing on this point.
    But you can say yes the night before to being woken up by a sex act the next again morning.

    Are you now trying to legislate every intimate relationship, regardless of the particular dynamics and nuances of that relationship? What is this moralism? Is there no concept of privacy, communication and trust between two consenting adults? Are you now telling every couple in the land that they can never wake one another up with a sex act because if they do they are committing rape?

    Rob: You (and, by extension, Galloway too) have assumed consent where there is no suggestion consent was given. Indeed, in this particular case, the woman in question is adamant that consent was *not* given.

    And Julian Assange is equally adamant that consent WAS given. So now without him even being tried, the evidence presented and argued in court, you’ve found him guilty.

    This is fascism hiding behind concern for women and rape victims. You are trivialising the serious issue of rape in order to conduct a transparent political agenda.

  58. Karl Stewart on said:

    Martin Kelly, do you really think Galloway’s going to be the slightest bit concerned by the whinings of a bunch of spoilt and pampered new Labour rich kids?

    Can you honestly see a pathetic bunch like that squaring up to the youth of Bradford?

    Don’t get out of your depth boy!

  59. Mary Seacole on said:

    I don’t know if Benn or Galloway will sue all those who have publicly called rape apologists and rape deniers but they better have very deep pockets if they do. Both descriptions of both people are clearly false and seriously defamatory.

    A very important point that was made in the Galloway statement seems to have been forgotten. There was a wide consensus on the left that Assange was set up prior ro the launch of the witch hunt against Galloway. Many people signed a round robin letter demanding all charges should be dropped. In other words, very large numbers of people, including all those who cheered Assange at the Stop the War rally last year, were of the view he had no case to answer.

    Are those screaming rape denier and rape apologist at Benn and Galloway now going to extend their targets or are they just going to cynically leave it at two of the most principled and courageous politicians over the last several decades? I hope they do extend their witch hunt as it will further expose the absurdity of the NUS motion and be even more expensive for these toytown politicians by the time the courts have finished with them.

  60. # 59 Please spare us the drama. If Assange were to be extradited to Sweden, due legal process would occur, which would take some time. As I say, it would be easier to extradite him from England and again, due legal process would be gone through as per Gary McKinnon but no application has been made by Obama & Clinton, even before he fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy.

  61. The NUS motion is despicable and clearly the result of ulterior motives. The Socialist Worker student statement is not far behind. It makes no effort to distinguish Galloway’s badly mistaken argument from something called ‘rape apologism’, which is a term so vague that it is in Alice and Wonderland territory: it means what it’s users choose it to mean.

    But Mary Seacole’s arguments are weak. It is one thing for people to argue that there is a plot against Assange and that he is being framed, and to sign a letter to that effect. It is another to say that if all the facts alleged against Assange were true, in other words that there was no plot in terms of the evidence of the accusers, then there would be no case to answer because those facts don’t amount to rape. Taking the argument unnecessarily in that direction was something Galloway did, stupidly. Benn said something similar, but retracted and apologised. Galloway didn’t. Again stupidly.

    I also don’t agree that a court is automatically going to regard this as defamatory and
    find that Galloway has been libelled. There are a number if reasons. This is a robust political argument and there is increasing pressure for the law to protect political speech. Galloway went beyond the Assange case to state what did and did not constitute rape. He used the uber-stupid language of not everyone needing to be asked prior to each insertion. It is not obvious that it is intrue to say that those words and his claim are contrary to the British law on rape and that they therefore ‘deny’ that someone has been raped when according to law they have.

    In other words, there is massive scope for argument about the meaning of Galloway’s words and also about the meaning of the words in the NUS motion. My hunch is that the court would want to preserve that scope by saying these are issues that should not be curtailed by libel actions. There are many ways for judges to do this. Even if they found for the claimant they could refuse damages and costs against the defendant on the grounds that there was a public interest in upholding political free speech.

    People can say all they want that this is ‘clearly actionable’. I don’t think it’s clear at all. I imagine it would take senior counsel to give a view. And that would have to be a considered view of at least a 60 percent success before any insurance firm would touch it. That’s pretty expensive at the outset considering the hourly fees of defamation silks.

  62. jock mctrousers on said:

    #49 well said that man! More than just ‘working class unity’, it’s working class unity for a purpose – the purpose of achieving effective democracy, which is impossible with the existence of immense private capital accumulations. That’s what socialism has always meant.

    It’s not novel or controversial. To an extent it’s been the object of all ‘class-struggles’ from the peasant revolts of the middle ages up to today. The seemingly politically naive ‘Occupy’ movement focuses on this as the blatantly obvious thing that’s wrong – ” Get money out of politics”.

    Effective democracy includes equality for all; so what differentiates feminists? What distinguishes them from plain women’s rights advocates? Well, it’s that they insist that the ‘struggle against patriarchy’ take precedence over class struggle.

    But without effective democracy, how are they to achieve their aims? That’s the heart of it. They’re not about winning women (or men) to their cause, whatever it is (and there is next to no support for feminism amongst women) they’re about petitioning the powerful for a bigger slice of the cake – yes, it’s been said often enough. And what do they offer the powerful in return? Services rendered.

  63. If GG did resort to civil law then that would be as despicable and foolish as the NUS action in banning him. It’s politics, so it should be settled politically.

  64. jim mclean on said:

    Hch,

    GG has always made it clear if if he is falsely accused he will resort to the courts. So those who attack him in the political field may be slagged off by GG in the normal rough and tumble of politics. Those who lie or discredit him on false evidence,they will be sued. So the thread on another site called “George Galloway is not a nice man Allegedly” is OK. If it was “GG is not a nice man” they would have been open to litigation. :-)

  65. prianikoff on said:

    #32 James N wrote ” … here we have brave comrade prianikoff, defending my right to fuck sleeping people, and effectively calling for the repeal of laws against rape by spouse.”

    More baseless insinuations against people who are trying to prevent a state frame-up.

    Absolutely nothing that I’ve written defends a “right to fuck sleeping people”. I don’t even see how this is physically possible without causing an injury.

    Furthermore, the laws against “rape by spouse” were designed to stop violent assaults against women, using the pretext of a legal marriage which has broken down in practice. They have nothing to do with this case, where there’s no medical evidence at all for the use of force.
    In fact, DNA tests on the “split condom” showed that neither Julian Assange, nor anyone else had used it.

    There is also the little matter of a highly irregular personal and political relationship between the police officer who drew up the witness statement and one of Assange’s accusers. Not to mention fact that his other accuser never signed the statement.
    Nor, strangely enough, have either of the women ever instigated proceedings against the newspaper “Expressen” for leaking their names into the public domain.
    All of which undermines the basis for the arrest warrant and strongly suggests a state frame-up.

    If you want to understand why the Swedish State might be complicit in such a frame-up, read this article by a Swedish Marxist.

    http://www.marxist.com/case-of-assange-sweden-and-hypocrisy-of-imperialism.htm

  66. Mark Victorystooge on said:

    andy newman: Factually, the SWP have threatened me with libel on TWO occasions now.

    Interesting.
    My own attitude is that the left should avoid the capitalist courts if it has any choice in the matter at all. That the NUS is opening the door to legal action hardly undermines that.

  67. It’s just so utterly appalling that these morons are so ignorant of politics and history that they can casually brand socialists “rape deniers” or other such crap. They’d put the Assange case before 150 years of struggle to liberate the working class. They probably think they’re progressive, but they’re Thatcher’s bloody brats.

  68. Mary Seacole on said:

    I have heard senior counsel have confirmed the statements made about George Galloway in the NUS motion are defamatory, and by extension those made in the SWSS statement, and that there’s an extremely good chance of the courts coming out in Galloway’s favour. I have no idea if Galloway intends to sue but it’s a bit rich for people to say these defamatory statements should be combatted by political means when the NUS and SWSS are using their apparatchiks to do everything they can to smear and demonise Galloway. I hope he does sue and takes them to the cleaners.

  69. Just to clarify, the motion is legally sound as it was sent to lawyers for approval before the meeting.

  70. If senior counsel has said the chances of winning the claim are ‘extremely good’ then I’d imagine a no win no fee action very shortly. Of course, the NUS and more importantly other actors on their behalf might also procure a similarly favourable assessment. Let’s see and await the case being listed.

  71. Maryam – sending things to lawyers does not make them legally sound. It’s how we make money at both ends!

  72. Mary Seacole on said:

    Maryam in 74, you have got to be kidding. No libel lawyer would ever have given the green light to the use of either the defamatory term rape denier or rape apologist in this motion. I suggest the NUS should ask for their members’ money back.

  73. If what we are told by Mary Seacole is true then Galloway has obtained senior counsel opinion extraordinarily rapidl and at some cost. If what’s said is true then there will already be a letter before action sent to the NUS and it seems to the Socialist students.

    So I would have thought that in the next couple of days we will see a media note from Galloway that he has demanded an apology and reversal of the policy on pain of legal action. Then there is likely to be a period of quiete as both sides’ lawyers advise against public comment.

    That’s if what we have been told is true and there really is such strong opinion in favour of a case brought by Galloway. We’ll see soon enough whether there is a formal threat of proceedings or just a rhetorical call to law.

  74. Terry Burns on said:

    I have read the items posted in this debate and would like to make these few points
    1. the NUS no platforming was a stupid move, not because George might sue but issues should be politically fought out and argued rather than by the use of admin measures
    2. taking a position on george’s reactionary and facile statements on what constitutes rape has nothing to do with taking a position on stopping, as I believe we should, the sending of this bourgeois individual to Sweden where there is a high risk of him ending in a US prison.
    3. does this individual need to face an investigation and questioning – there seems to be disputed accounts about comsent – I have difficulty in accepting his views on the basis of simple logic but he holds at present to his story. Again on the basis of simple logic ( I’m avoiding the use of dialectics) there are questions to be answered (many of us may have strong views and positions)but the need for an investigation seems clear.
    4. Should this employer of wage slaves be sent to Sweden – No. I use these terms to avoid all the rubbish about him being a working class hero of some sort, not to deny the fact that the info from his org has been of use, but then so has info in the FT and Times etc, and I;m certainly not taking up arms to defend them. An alternative would be to set up some form of independent body. Another would be for the Swedish cops to question him here – in front of independent observers.
    Terry Burns – I sometimes use the tag Mashredterry but if people get involved in this sort of denate they should not hide their identity.

  75. #80 Assange is not wanted for questioning over matters by the Swedish authorities – he’s wanted for arrest. So Swedish cops coming here to question him is irrelevant.

  76. Hch is taking remarkably more interest in this question than I would normally expect from someone who’s usual appearance (completely legitimately of course) on here is to promote the political strategy of the SP/CWI.

    Whether that’s to do with a genuine interest in the subject or more related to other considerations I’m not clear.

    I’m sure it will all come out in the wash.

    I did note his/her comments about opportunists.

    A famous lefty who I generally no longer quote once said something about opportunism and ultra-left sectarianism being two sides of the same coin.

  77. Terry Burns,

    “Should this employer of wage slaves be sent to Sweden”

    My understanding is that Wikileaks employs a grand total of five full-time people and is a not-for-profit organisation mainly run by volunteers. I would observe that if this makes Assange ‘an employer of wage slaves’ then the same could be said of every legal trade union in the advanced capitalist countries and a great many in ‘developing’ countries as well.

    This comical ‘bourgois’-baiting and workerist political masturbation is a left-talking cover for joining in a witchhunt waged by the imperialist bourgeoisie and its social-democratic political servants (including some who claim to be ‘revolutionary socialists’).

    “No. I use these terms to avoid all the rubbish about him being a working class hero of some sort, not to deny the fact that the info from his org has been of use, but then so has info in the FT and Times etc, and I;m certainly not taking up arms to defend them.”

    If there were some real attack on democratic rights linked to an attack on these mainstream organs, then if you did not defend them you would be a traitor to the working class. There is a fat chance of that happening of course, but never say never. Regimes can change.

    Even a individual bourgeois can come under attack in a manner that obliges class conscious workers to defend them. The case of Captain Dreyfus in France just over a century ago is a very famous example. Those who failed to defend him on grounds that he was a bourgeois figure crossed class lines. They were capitulating to bourgeois anti-semitism, which at that point was the cutting edge of imperialist and indeed proto-fascist reaction.

    And those who fail to defend Assange today are crossing class lines and siding with imperialism also. All the scabby non-arguments about Assange’s alleged ‘bourgeois’ nature notwithstanding.

    By the way, as is well known, Friedrich Engels actually was an ‘employer of wage slaves’. Makes Assange look positvely petty-bourgeois by comparison (as no doubt he is, buth then so are both Alex Callinicos and Salma Yaqoob).

  78. Karl Stewart on said:

    Spot on RedS, this issue is certainly shaking out the principled anti-imperialists from the capitulators.

    It’s also starting to draw class lines.

    This socially priveliged group of individuals trying to set themselves up as the arbiters of what may or may not be said – breathtaking elitist arrogance.

    And look at their arguments – the contribution from “BY” at (48) describing supporters of Assange as “peasants” and “paddies” and the post from Martin Kelly at (60) threatening to take his fearsome gang of spotty teenage geeks to enforce the “no platform” at Galloway meetings around the country.

  79. The NUS is always controlled by a bunch of careerist politician/civil servant wannabees, usually the next generation of mass murderers and the sort of people who send gang rapists to invade other peoples countries. These are people who think nothing of sending heavily armed, intoxicated and racist thugs to control foreign neighbourhoods.

    They are also usually the sort who rightly goes beserk when a homosexual accused of rape in Iran is put to death or punished. How often have the decents been rape denying in relation to Iran?

    But let it be clear, on the evidence I have seen so far Assange has done nothing wrong, save getting involved in sordid sex with brazen groupies. And if the Swedes cannot give guarantees that Assange will not be sent to the US, where he would face torture, then no serious leftists would even consider it correct to send him to Sweden.

    If students cannot see the value of Wikileaks and cannot see how their immensely valuable work is trying to be undermined by the forces that be then we really are all truly fucked and the establishment have won yet again.

  80. Richard Goestler on said:

    Galloway’s comments on rape offered the possibility of a widespread labour movement discussion of the issue of rape and attitudes towards it which the NUS executive have now tried to close down with their truly revolting resolution to `no-platform’ Galloway and originally Benn too. That said, I find Galloway’s retraction of his comments rather mealy mouthed and unhelpful even to his own case.

    Two naked people who have just embarked on a vigorous sexual relationship sleeping in a single bed and one initiates sexual activity with the other whilst that person is asleep is not rape. Whilst there should be consent, and I would say the circumstances here constitute consent in the absence of an explicit prior instruction not to initiate sex whilst the person is asleep, there must also be intent. This was a `sex game’ not rape. Had the person awoken and said no to the continuation of such a game and the initiator had not responded then we would be looking at rape. I find the notion that every time somebody initiates sexual contact with a sleeping person with whom they are in an active sexual relationship that there is a prima facie case of rape a bit disturbing. I think those who do think that way would be better off pursuing a change in the law rather than persecuting Galloway for stating the obvious.

    Martin Kelly above certainly expresses how the New Labour careerist wannabes bleed into the fascist right with their threats of physical attacks on those they disagree with in the movement.

  81. onlyoneteaminessex on said:

    Gone are the days when bosses were saying that they’d never employ a social studies graduate grom Essex University, or anyone could walk into the occupied LSE and get involved vibrant debate or the demonstrations outside. This present lot of politically anaemic excuses for idealistic youth look more like students on campuses in America during the 1980′s – 9o’s who would hound out of a job perfectly decent and well-intentioned, left leaning lecturers for accusations sexism based on political correctness gone mad. Ironically, it was an article in the one of the SWP publications (ISJ ?) that brought that particular craziness to my attention.

  82. #83 Well said.

    I remember having a drunken argument with a colleague many years ago who on many subjects was a bit of a lefty. He was also a former para, from the same battalion responsible for Bloody Sunday and around at the time, albeit in a different company.

    The 2 things that stick out most were him berating me for often wearing a Che t-shirt on the grounds that he was a ‘middle class murderer, and his assertion (common from ex-paras) that his comrades in arms were innocent of murder on 31st January 1972 but the evidence will never come to light. The reason? They actually killed far more that day, but the bodies, which would carry forensic evidence that they were firing weapons, were spirited away by the IRA nad buried secretly.

    Funnily enough, I know or 2 types of people have used the term ‘middle class murderer’ to describe Che- ex-squaddies and ‘left’ imperialist collaborators.

  83. onlyoneteaminessex on said:

    Mary Seacole:
    Does Vanya in 82 know if the SP have also described Benn and Galloway as rape apologists?

    Even if that was the case (link please) that wouldn’t make them right, only joining the reactionary bloodhounds for reasons of disgraceful opportunism.

  84. onlyoneteaminessex on said:

    Vanya:
    #83 Well said.

    The 2 things that stick out most were him berating me for often wearing a Che t-shirt on the grounds that he was a ‘middle class murderer, and his assertion (common from ex-paras) that his comrades in arms were innocent of murder on 31st January 1972 but the evidence will never come to light.

    I’d have inwardly smiled at you for wearing a trendy Che t-shirt as well, I must confess. But more seriously, how many ex-paras do you actually know ? Because I can assure you that there are a fair few who settled in Colchester after demob who questioned the role and actions of the 1st Battalion – albeit often qualified with a “only obeying orders” justification. Too easy to stereotype, imo.

  85. #88 And you believe him, Vanya? Why would the IRA do that? More protester bodies would help their propaganda, wouldn’t it? Oh and by-the-way, I’m not an SP member as you assert.
    Keep wearing the T-shirt, Vanya.

  86. Mark Victorystooge on said:

    onlyoneteaminessex: Gone are the days when bosses were saying that they’d never employ a social studies graduate grom Essex University, or anyone could walk into the occupied LSE and get involved vibrant debate or the demonstrations outside. This present lot of politically anaemic excuses for idealistic youth look more like students on campuses in America during the 1980′s – 9o’s who would hound out of a job perfectly decent and well-intentioned, left leaning lecturers for accusations sexism based on political correctness gone mad. Ironically, it was an article in the one of the SWP publications (ISJ ?) that brought that particular craziness to my attention.

    My own student days are ancient history (early 1980s), and I haven’t tracked what things are like in universities since then, politically, but since the end of grants there are probably fewer students from poorer backgrounds than there were even back then, and those that there are must be under greater pressure to conform, while there are more middle-class careerist wannabes, as Marko observed.

    Students are in any case not intrinsically left-wing. Under the Weimar Republic in Germany, Nazi sentiments among students were probably even more widespread than in the general population, esp. after the Depression hit, when many young middle-class people who hoped for a career could not find one, even after gaining PhDs, and turned to fascism out of frustration. (There seem to have been few Communist sympathisers among German students, and not all that many Social Democrats.)

    But leaving German history to one side, imperialism needs its “left face”, and it occurs to me that some individuals and organisations, in or out of university, are providing it with one.

  87. Mary Seacole on said:

    I agree with 89. I was only asking in order to get an idea how far the witch-hunting mentality had spread. I know about the NUS ans SWSS. Are there others?

  88. onlyoneteaminessex on said:

    Mark Victorystooge:

    Too be honest, perhaps I’m still lost in the 60′s to an extent. Back then students ,and youth generally, were far more likely to at least be sympathetic to the radicalism of the late 60′s. Without having the actually statistics at my disposal , I’d say – from the not few students that I knew – were far more likely to be from middle class backgrounds than even today.

    But otherwise, I accept your analysis.

  89. # 94 Vanya – have you got that t-shirt pulled over your head as your answer does not compute, nor does your silence to my reply to you.

  90. Mark Victorystooge on said:

    onlyoneteaminessex: Too be honest, perhaps I’m still lost in the 60′s to an extent. Back then students ,and youth generally, were far more likely to at least be sympathetic to the radicalism of the late 60′s. Without having the actually statistics at my disposal , I’d say – from the not few students that I knew – were far more likely to be from middle class backgrounds than even today.But otherwise, I accept your analysis.

    I certainly remember people who were more obviously middle-class in my eyes (subjective, I know), but also others who were more working-class. However, grants were still around and people from poorer backgrounds could go to university then without risking being in debt for a decade or longer at the end of their study.

    University was the first place I encountered left and Irish Republican publications, because these could be bought in the university shop. Although I turned to the left after university, not during it, I read widely and university expanded my mind in non-pharmaceutical ways.

  91. Mark Victorystooge on said:

    Vanya: #83 Well said.I remember having a drunken argument with a colleague many years ago who on many subjects was a bit of a lefty. He was also a former para, from the same battalion responsible for Bloody Sunday and around at the time, albeit in a different company.The 2 things that stick out most were him berating me for often wearing a Che t-shirt on the grounds that he was a ‘middle class murderer, and his assertion (common from ex-paras) that his comrades in arms were innocent of murder on 31st January 1972 but the evidence will never come to light. The reason? They actually killed far more that day, but the bodies, which would carry forensic evidence that they were firing weapons, were spirited away by the IRA nad buried secretly.Funnily enough, I know or 2 types of people have used the term ‘middle class murderer’ to describe Che- ex-squaddies and ‘left’ imperialist collaborators.

    And of course Mike Gonzalez, who doesn’t quite call Che a murderer but seems to have devoted a lot of time to attacking him and his legacy. Presumably Che should have stuck to trying to sell “Socialist Worker” in the high street of Buenos Aires.

  92. BTW, those saying only middle class people wear Che t-shirts are really saying that “the working class are too ignorant, apathetical and thick to wear anything like that, more likely the workers are too busy watching the X-factor or deal or no deal to bother themselves with politics”

    Plenty of middle class people don’t wear Che t-shirts, and some working class people do wear them. Ok!

  93. Mark Victorystooge on said:

    I know of at least one case where the wearing of a Che T-shirt was considered as evidence of membership in a “terrorist” organisation, and the prosecutor in a trial included it in his “evidence”. The judge, however, remarked that he himself had worn such T-shirts in his time.

    I think it does rattle the cage of right-wing toerags, which is as good a reason as any to wear one.

  94. brokenwindow on said:

    Still the same old working class/middle class toss. Really do you not have a ruling class to fight, t-shirt wearers??

  95. I am not going to fight them naked, though personally, with the winter months looming, I will wear a jumper or coat rather than a t-shirt.

  96. jim mclean on said:

    I went to an area meeting once, not only were they wearing T-shirts, but the berets and two comrades had Che man bags. Then I realised I no longer had the fashion sense to belong to the radical left as I was unwilling to spend £20 on this essential part of the revolutionaries equipment..

  97. To clarify on a number of points,

    a) I do not believe that the paras killed more people on Bloody Sunday and that the IRA secretly buried them- that’s a myth perpetuated by some apologists for the atrocity.

    b) I was not being accused of BEING middle class for wearing Che t-shirts (we were both semi_skilled manual workers, the class gibe was aimed at Che. In fact the only time I was accused of being middle class (‘PB’) for wearing a che t-shirt it was by a militant full-timer, and now the SP actually sell the things.
    c) I genuinely thought Hch was SP and has certainly given that impression on a number of occasions.
    d) In order to avoid making rambling incoherent comments on SU I should pass a breathalyser before opening Internet Explorer.

  98. Mark Victorystooge on said:

    brokenwindow: Still the same old working class/middle class toss. Really do you not have a ruling class to fight, t-shirt wearers??

    And which part of the left is actually doing that, I wonder?

  99. Definitely not the SWP, they put in an amendment to the motion.No platform for rape denial is not the best way – as is being proven! But what Galloway said was awful and a crass reaction to the Assange case. He should be ashamed. He may well win this but I for one will never forget.

  100. Mark Victorystooge: My own student days are ancient history (early 1980s), and I haven’t tracked what things are like in universities since then, politically, but since the end of grants there are probably fewer students from poorer backgrounds than there were even back then, and those that there are must be under greater pressure to conform, while there are more middle-class careerist wannabes, as Marko observed.

    The first half of this is demonstrably false. HE has expanded exponentially in the past two decades. There are quite simply far, far more students than there were then, and by extension far more from poorer backgrounds. This trend continued despite cuts in grants and increase in fees, and it’s only the latest raft of Tory attacks that look to be choking it off.

    There probably are more ‘middle-class careerist wannabes’, at least of a certain sort, but that’s as much a feature of cultural (and legal) shifts in Students Unions as anything else.

    People shouldn’t let what is the latest in a long line of preposterous moves by NUS’ bureaucracy push them down the line of ‘all students are middle class’ type arguments.

  101. The NUS Executive’s decision is deeply disappointing and counterproductive, coming from a peculiar combination of Labour students – how many Labour MPs should now be NP’d by the same logic? – and those elements of the ‘far left’ who increasingly accommodate to the crasser kind of student identity politics (Michael Chessum, AWL et al…) (For instance, one set of arguments being made is: ‘I actually don’t agree with No Platform for those who aren’t fascists, but we must be beholden to the decision made by the autonomous NUS Women’s Campaign, or else we exercise our ‘privilege’ and create ‘a hierarchy of oppression’!?!)

    The vilification by the latter of SWP and SBL members has been pretty unpleasant, not to say boneheaded, particularly when this includes socialists who utterly rejected the dangerous and unpleasant comments made by Galloway. No Platform here weakens the effective power of this important instrument in the anti-fascist movement, and excludes influential members of the labour and anti-war movement who can through argument and engagement continue to make valuable contributions to our common struggles.

    A legal move by Galloway however would not only be very wrong but would also rebound upon him badly, regardless of the case in law. He would quickly be painted as a bully and win little sympathy.

    Despite the gross error of the NUS Exec, this issue continues to encourage much of the worst of the culture at Socialist Unity, and I’m still saddened to see the same atrocious and misogynist rubbish being recycled on this and other threads (nonchalance about penetration while sleeping; denigrating women as groupies…) I’d appeal to some posters to think hard about what they say about rape and the Assange case, and hope to remember that it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time!

  102. Can I commend Dan’s statement 100%:

    Dan: The first half of this is demonstrably false. HE has expanded exponentially in the past two decades. There are quite simply far, far more students than there were then, and by extension far more from poorer backgrounds. This trend continued despite cuts in grants and increase in fees, and it’s only the latest raft of Tory attacks that look to be choking it off.

    There probably are more ‘middle-class careerist wannabes’, at least of a certain sort, but that’s as much a feature of cultural (and legal) shifts in Students Unions as anything else.

    People shouldn’t let what is the latest in a long line of preposterous moves by NUS’ bureaucracy push them down the line of ‘all students are middle class’ type arguments.

    I was wanting to say exactly the same thing. Even compared to the early ’80s, student levels are dramatically higher, comprehending a much more diverse cut-section of the population now than when any of the older posters here went to university themselves.

    The ‘all students are middle-class’ frothing at the mouth by one or two posters above (John or Karl?) looks pathetic, is grossly ignorant, and parrots precisely the line taken by the hard right – the day after the Milbank demo in 2010, when 50,000 students from all types of HE and FE institutions marched, and smashed the Tory HQ, the Daily Mail splashed a photo of the affair on their front page with the words ‘A Very Middle-Class Protest’.

    The argument that students are bearers of privilege, waging a self-interested struggle, should be anathema to the left. That a union bureaucracy behaves badly and against the best interests of its members is hardly a peculiar feature of the student movement.

  103. Mary Seacole on said:

    James H in 109 describes the bullying witch hunting tactics of a tiny and unrepresentative minority in the National Union of Students and their determination to demonise and vilify principled politicians and others who question their actions. What other recourse is there to stop this witch hunt than to seek legal redress? Most sensible students will simply ask what madness infected the NUS Executive and why do these people claim to speak on behalf of the vast mass of students when they obviously don’t.

  104. James H,

    “A legal move by Galloway however would not only be very wrong but would also rebound upon him badly, regardless of the case in law. He would quickly be painted as a bully and win little sympathy.”

    You are wrong James, because the issue is not Galloway but Assange (and Manning – the two are inseperable in the real world).

    A legal test of this mendacious crap about ‘rape apologists’ preferably in front of a jury would test the issue to the limit. Never mind the legal technicalities here, the Guardian and the Independent (who I suspect you are rather familiar with) would be forced to acknowledge their error because not only the legal issue (which is child’s play in my opinion) but in effect the whole Assange frame-up itself would have to be considered by the jury. Because that is the context of GG’s remarks. The jury could not consider them without the context. And a verdict in favour of Galloway in that context, handled correctly, would be an enormous political blow against the frame up of Assange and would overshadow the whole frame up and the corrupt, undemocratic EAW process IN A DIRECT, POLITICAL SENSE.

    In a moral, political sense, a jury verdict on this could trump the Law Lords/Supreme Court crap over Assange and the EAW and set this issue on fire. Not in formal sense, of course, the Supreme Court can ignore and reject a jury verdict, but a jury has a popular authority that they lack. It could make things much more difficult for those attacking Assange, and that is what matters here.

    If GG has a modicum of sense on this (and he has, I have my differences with him but he is generally a smart cookie), he would simply undercut any bullshit about ‘bullying’ by pledging any damages he might win to the defence campaign for both Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.

    Let Galloway’s slanderers and those who have capitulated to them or been bamboozled by them die of shame. Lets have a working class jury have a say on this issue. These people have hung themselves with their lies already (and I suspect some Swedish state functionaries may have done also in time also).

  105. James H: nonchalance about penetration while sleeping

    When two people are in bed & have sexual intercourse one or more times, then while one is sleepy or asleep the other re-starts sexual activity and the first one does not object – what is there to get so non-nonchalant about?

    James H: denigrating women as groupies

    Not sure what your point is here. Are you saying that there is no such thing as a ‘groupie’? or rather that whether or not such a category of person exists, one should never use that term in reference to a woman, due to it being denigratory?

  106. Noah,

    “denigrating women as groupies”

    Indeed, Noah is quite right here. Groupies do exist, as anyone with any knowledge of rock music knows. Political groupies also exist: and not just female ones. It may indicate some nasty things about the society we live in, but it is simplistic to call it just ‘men vs women’ ‘sexism’ in the way some are doing here. It can be a factor in political corruption though, including in some left-wing cults and sects.

    Probably a bit harsh to call SW a groupie though. She appears to be an innocent who was very upset about being used by AA and her policewoman friend, refusing to sign the statement they seem to have tried to coerce out of her. It is a real corruption than an unsigned statement that would not be admissible in a British court was used as psuedo-evidence for the EAW against Assange.

    # 112 is me by the way. Red S, the red scribbler so to speak ;)

  107. James H on said:

    Mary Seacole: What other recourse is there to stop this witch hunt than to seek legal redress? Most sensible students will simply ask what madness infected the NUS Executive and why do these people claim to speak on behalf of the vast mass of students when they obviously don’t.

    Putting aside whether courts should be used against others within the movements, you are being optimistic at best in how you imagine students responding. Galloway’s stock unfortunately is currently harder to defend among ordinary students and activists – most of whom remember are now too young to have lived through Galloway at his best during the anti-war movement. Galloway would do best to refuse the exclusive legitimacy of the NUS bureaucracy and engage with students at large – emphasising the best of his record and goals and finally repudiating his dangerous comments on rape.

    rs:

    ‘You are wrong James, because the issue is not Galloway but Assange (and Manning – the two are inseperable in the real world).’

    No, this logic is unacceptable, and is a blight on a particular current within the UK left (almost exclusively articulated, it must be said, be male commentators).

    Assange must be defended against US imperialism, a real and sinister threat. End of.

    But in doing it would be – and sadly has been – a disgrace for any socialist to dirty the waters around how we understand and define rape. There is no justification for this. Galloway however incontrovertibly did this when he stated, *even taken at its worst*, and these charges were *100%* true, *the allegations made* do not constitute rape. No context excuses this.

    Let us think hypothetically… Imagine Assange was accused of racial abuse, and someone on the left, considering the overriding context to be the threat of US imperialism, equivocated, and said ‘Even if these accusations of racial abuse *were* 100% true, and there was a camera to record, these actions do not constitute racial abuse – merely the inadvisable outbursts of someone caught in a heated discussion.’ Such a statement would be an outrage, and no context could alter that.

    ‘Lets have a working class jury have a say on this issue.’

    Which issue? It seems to me you’re already eliding at least three quite distint issues.

    To broaden out a little, I find it deeply dispiriting that many of the posters here rightly shared their excitement about the working-class Asian women who defied local prejudices in Bradford to lead the RESPECT campaign, later ignore these same women when they tried to bring Galloway to account over his remarks on rape in a meeting in the town, highlighting as they did how his words concretely set back their own struggles against attitudes to sex and women.

    Noah, if you don’t see how the automatic dismissal of women who bring about rape charges with gendered languages perpetuates misogyny, I would simply call on you to be more reflective. (We’ve had far worse than groupies on previous threads, but it betrays the same set of prejudices). Likewise, I would hope that it is clear why penetration of a sleeping woman (or man) is a different prospect to initiating ‘sexual activity’, which I will concede is unhelpfully ambiguous language.

  108. Lets look at what Galloway said,

    “Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100% true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don’t constitute rape”.

    Unfortunately for George both the English and Swedish Courts believe that these allegations if they were true, DO constitute rape – hence Assange’s planned extradition to Sweden. Galloway is saying something which the courts recognise is rape “don’t constitute rape” – which is denial a rape took place.

    So the idea that Galloway would have a strong legal case against the NUS is ridiculous – the courts would effectively have to rule against their own definition of rape.

    On the issue of “initiating sex with partners” it is true that across the country men and women will initiate sex with sleeping partners – usually through kissing, fondling someone asleep then going on to have sex with them when both partners are awake.

    Julian Assange is not being accused of this. The complaint against him is that after a night of it being made clear to him repeatedly that he had to wear a condom, he started penetrating a woman asleep without one.

    If someone has made it clear to you that they are only comfortable in having protected sex with you, and you then go on to initiate unprotected sex with them while they are asleep you are acting in contradiction to what they consented to and you are taking advantage of them not being conscious. It’s not comparable to being woken up with a blowjob, and contrary to Galloway’s claims it does constitute rape – as it is a kind of sex you have not consented to, but made clear when you were awake that you were not comfortable with.

  109. John: you have taken the attitude of assuming that consent must always be unambiguous at the exact point of sexual contact

    Not at all. The problem with assuming that it needn’t be, in a case where a woman has claimed no consent was given, is that it denies her claim of rape out of hand. Which is precisely what Galloway did. He didn’t say ‘consent isn’t clear’ – he said ‘it isn’t rape’. Which is simply not true.

    John: What is this moralism? Is there no concept of privacy, communication and trust between two consenting adults? Are you now telling every couple in the land that they can never wake one another up with a sex act because if they do they are committing rape?

    Of course not. If you read what I wrote, I acknowledged the possibility of consent for those circumstances.
    In contrast, Galloway has asserted them. He did not claim that the reported incident might not constitute rape because she may have consented – he claimed that it *was not* rape because she may have consented. That’s the difference. And that difference is indefensible.

    Nobody gets to say that the woman’s claim of rape is illegitimate because consent *may* have been given – that is the argument used by rapists to blame ‘seduction’ or ‘leading on’ by their victim for their own actions. Rape can only be said to have not taken place if consent *was* given (freely and without coercion).

    That’s not the same as reducing intimacy, and it’s not the same as reducing relationships to contracts. All this position does is make clear that Galloway’s assertions were wrong and must be faced down. I stand by the Women of NUS NEC in support of their decision in this matter.

  110. John,

    Just to clarify exactly what I mean:

    - I agree, consent could have been given in the situation described, as Assange claims it was.
    - A consenting relationship of this kind would not constitute rape.
    - The woman in question claims consent was not given: though this on its own does not, I agree, give us cause to call Assange a rapist on this basis alone.
    - However, Galloway did not say ‘this might not be rape’ – he said ‘it is not rape’. What he has done (it seems to me) is extrapolate ‘consent might have been given’ to assuming it legitimate (both for himself and for Assange) to assume that consent *was* given; at least sufficiently that the case in question did not constitute rape.

    The central point is this: even if the case rests on one person’s word against another, it still might have been rape, based on the events described. For Galloway to assert that “whatever else it is, it is not rape” (his exact words) is illegitimate and undermines the integrity of the victim and the vital discussion around consent in society.

    It doesn’t matter mater how much we spin out the discussion about consent, intimacy, trust in relationships or indeed rape laws: Galloway should not have made that claim. He needs to retract it, apologise for it, and seek to make recompense for it. Until then, I remain firmly behind the NUSWC.

  111. Terry Burns on said:

    83.
    As RedS took the trouble to qoute me I was surprised he/she not complete the sentence it readd “Should this employer of wage slaves be sent to Sweden – No.”
    This is a vital point as it is clearly a statement against his removal to Sweden. But it is equally vital to leave it out as it allows RedS to tie me into the camp of imperialism – as Marx and his mate Engels would have said, this is nothing less than crap. If RedS i
    ries to say that was not the intension I qoute “This comical ‘bourgois’-baiting and workerist political masturbation is a left-talking cover for joining in a witchhunt waged by the imperialist bourgeoisie and its social-democratic political servants (including some who claim to be ‘revolutionary socialists’). (Just an aside if Mr Assange had practiced a bit of masterbation we could all have been spared this discussion)

    As to the issue of wage slaves RedS answers that question when he/she states – “Wikileaks employs a grand total of five full-time people and is a not-for-profit organisation mainly run by volunteers.” I see five wage slaves. This has nothing to do with “workersim” It is a simple statement of fact and it matters not what form the company takes – it is a matter of ownership. (An example would be a Co-op employing clearners who are not members of the company – they are wage slaves). . So RedS attemt to place Assange outside the role of employer is yet another attempt at a smoke screen with “if this makes Assange ‘an employer of wage slaves’ then the same could be said of every legal trade union”. Many employees of Trade Unions have had to take action in their interest including strikes

    This is not to engage in “comical ‘bourgois’-baiting and workerist political masturbation” it is an attempt to bend the stick against all the hyper rubbish about defending somebody misdiscribed as champion of workers. It matters not a jot as to Assange being bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, worker or even royalty – every effort must be made to defend him against removal to Sweden. I would not even consider a Swedish guarantee that they would not pack him of to the US.
    But I still stand by the point that Assange has questions to answer. I do not know if he is guilty of rape. I accept the position that if somebody is asleep they cannot say Yes and therefore if that is what he did it is in my view rape – and I care nothing for the law about this matter – if it is not rape in law the law is crap. I also accept if a couple agree sex can take place while one partner is assleep that is a different issue – but it cannot be a unilatteral act. The same goes for the use of condoms.

    I too would line up against real attack on democratic rights. I stand with those who defend Assange democratic rights including those that maybe deemed illegal – e.g. the publishing and printing of so-called state secrets.

    But that does not give me the right to deny investagations against him on other matters such as rape/sexual abuse. I would take the same stance if he was old Fred Engels, Marx or a wage slave. As to Alex Callinicos and Salma Yaqoob I have have had no dealings with the them and can only assume they are a concern/problem for RedS
    Terry Burns
    PS Cannot spend time reading this for typos, spelling grammar errors sorry – also if I do read my postings I end up making so many changes I often just give up
    PS

    Posted by Red S 30 September, 2012 at 8:43 am

  112. Rob,

    We are agreed that in the case of Julian Assange, based on the allegations that have been made, and under the present wording of the law in England and Wales, rape may or may not have taken place. This is what I was getting at when I asserted that the issue of consent is a grey area and the law at present protects neither men nor women, in that it lends itself to one person’s word against another. When it comes to the serious issue of rape this is clearly not good enough.

    Rob: However, Galloway did not say ‘this might not be rape’ – he said ‘it is not rape’. What he has done (it seems to me) is extrapolate ‘consent might have been given’ to assuming it legitimate (both for himself and for Assange) to assume that consent *was* given; at least sufficiently that the case in question did not constitute rape.

    This is why I said that in his remarks, GG overstated his position. However, there is a massive difference between overstatement and being a rape denier or apologist and according him the same status as Nick Griffin and other fascists, as the NUS has done.

    Moving onto legal arguments when it comes to a potential defamation case, any judge will take into account the particular context in which GG’s remarks were made – i.e. the case involving Julian Assange – the two statements of clarification released by GG after the podcast, which clearly set out that in his view no means no and non consensual sex is rape, plus his three decades in front line politics and public life in which there is not one scintilla of evidence that he has ever condoned rape or violence against women of any kind.

    I’m sure many supporters of GG would have joined you in supporting the NUS motion if he had not clarified his position on rape. But he did and has clarified his position – unambiguously.

    The NUS motion is defamatory. It is for them to retract and apologise, and quickly too, as I feel sure that GG and his legal team will be seriously contemplating legal action.

    The NUS Executive should have invited Galloway to speak to them on the issue and provide further clarification, rather than draft and pass this defamatory motion. It raises the strong likelihood that the motion was in large part motivated by a pre-existing political agenda and animus towards GG, which means the Executive has abused its position of trust and responsibility to the thousands of students it was elected to represent.