Our correspondent The Rebel explains why the anti-Semitic controversy engulfing the Labour Party could prove to be the defining feature of this General Election as the Prime Minister attempts to present himself in the mould of Churchill despite the fact that he is a serial philanderer and been accused of lying, and a hard left leader of the opposition has put his party way behind in the polls.
The Rebel is a leading figure close to senior politicians in London as well as Cardiff Bay, and will always give readers the inside track on what is being discussed in the corridors of power.
The bearded lefty simply cannot escape this anti-Semitic row.
The defence falls into three camps:
- Jezza is not anti-Semitic, he’s just pro-Palestinian. 2. This is all a concoction of the right wing press. 3. The fact that he is an imperfect leader should not stop voters opting for Labour to keep out a right wing Tory who is accused of lying and cheating.
But these arguments do not equate with the facts.
For a start – a lot of those who accuse the bearded one of being anti-Semitic are themselves pro-Palestinian.
Secondly – it isn’t only the right wing press, left wing papers and magazines too have accused Jezza of anti-Semitism.
Thirdly – for most voters being accused of anti-Semitism is simply beyond the pale and a lot are choosing not to vote at all, or are even turning to the Tories.
Those voters prefer a liar to an anti-Semite, and for traditional Labour supporters, it is an appalling choice to have to make.
Today, Britain’s Chief Rabbi made things even worse for the bearded lefty (who is also accused of being thick and never having read a book).
Ephraim Mirvis said that his handling of the accusations made him “unfit for high office” that the “very soul of our nation is at stake” in next month’s General Election, and that “a new poison” had taken hold in Labour “sanctioned from the very top”.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, has in effect backed the Chief Rabbi’s comments with a tweet highlighting the “deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews”.
Other faith groups also supported the comments.
The Muslim Council of Britain described anti-Semitism in politics as “unacceptable”, but also turned its fire on the Conservatives, accusing the party of “tolerating Islamophobia [and] allowing it to fester in society”.
The Hindu Council UK said that it “fully supports the Chief Rabbi’s comments on [the] Labour party having become a racist party under Jeremy Corbyn”.
The bearded lefty has, though, refused to apologise.
In a BBC TV interview he was challenged over the allegation that Labour’s claims it is doing everything to tackle anti-Jewish racism was a “mendacious fiction”, and that doesn’t look good to voters.
The extraordinary piece by Mr Mirvis for The Times was followed up by most of the UK media today, and it has put the spotlight once again on the failings of Labour under Jezza.
The media (right wing, left wing and neutral) have been quick to see this whole anti-Semitic crisis for Labour as an important story.
Still available on i-player is the BBC TV Panorama programme ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’, presented by the highly-experienced investigative journalist John Ware, who has exposed the shenanigans of a Tory council leader close to Margaret Thatcher.
The BBC has dismissed complaints about it from Labour.
The programme put centre stage what has been happening within the party.
Last month the Jewish section of Labour stressed it would not support the party in the election.
The party’s official Jewish affiliate announced that it will not back Labour because of Corbyn‘s “failure of leadership” over anti-Semitism.
The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) said it believed the bearded one was unfit to be Prime Minister (shades of what Mr Mirvis has said today) and claimed that “a culture of anti-Semitism has been allowed to emerge and fester in the party at all levels”.
The organisation, which has been affiliated to Labour for 100 years, said it would only campaign for “exceptional candidates” who had been staunch allies in the fight against anti-Semitism, such as its own parliamentary chair.
Voters will also be keenly aware of the small number of suspensions within the Labour party, set against the fact that there have been hundreds of complaints.
Among those who have been suspended due to their comments (perhaps because the media storm was too great) have been a number who were in the public eye.
They include MP Naz Shah, the ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone and MP Chris Williamson, a staunch ally and friend of Jezza’s.
This ant-Semitic business which is again in the news, will only compound problems for Labour in the election.
Polls put the Tories an average of 12 points ahead of Labour UK-wide, with one being spun by The Times recently as the lead ‘narrowing’ because it was down from 17 points before, and constituencies which have long returned Labour MPs appearing to lean towards the Tories.
An IPSOS Mori poll put the Tories across the UK 16 points ahead of Labour and easily taking the ultra-Leave seat of Great Grimsby despite the Labour MP there sitting on a majority of 2,565.
It couldn’t get much worse for Labour.
Or could it..?
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