Labour – the Nasty Party

Jeremy Corbyn wins reelection as Labour leader

Jeremy Corbyn wins reelection as Labour leader

There was a time when the British Conservative Party was known as the Nasty Party.  How the wheel has turned. That derogatory title is now well-deserved by the Labour Party.  Since Jeremy Corbyn was reelected head of the Labour Party last week this position has only been further confirmed, in particular by the leadership of the Momentum grass-roots movement.  Its vice-chair, Jackie Walker, was previously suspended – and then readmitted to the party,  lays a spurious claim to being Jewish in order to cover her antisemitism. In the last week she has found another hole, reached bottom, and continued digging.

Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker, suspended and dismissed for antisemitic and offensive comments

Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker, suspended and dismissed for antisemitic and offensive comments

It started, or rather continued, when Jackie Walker spouted  a series of offensive comments last week as Harry’s Place reports:

Now it transpires that she came out with a series of offensive comments relating to antisemitism at a meeting on Monday. First she complained that she hasn’t been able to find a definition of antisemitism she can work with. There are many definitions – surely she can find one she can put up with, and even if she can’t, that doesn’t stop her trying to engage with the problem rather than find excuses to brush it aside.

Next she complained that Holocaust Memorial Day was too exclusive – ‘look at the website’ someone in the audience suggested.  This would have informed her that HMD is a time to remember all victims of the Nazis, for example the Roma, and victims of other genocides too.

She then sought to trivialise the way Jewish schools (and other Jewish organisations and events) rely on security, and seemed unconcerned when reminded that Jews were targets for terrorist attacks.

Finally she completely garbles ‘the Livingstone theory’ (sic) – ‘if it is an antisemitic issue, if you deny it, it’s antisemitic’. I assume she was referencing the Livingstone formulation which in fact refers to the accusation that the issue of antisemitism is being raised in bad faith to deflect criticism of Israel.

Here’s is Jackie Walker’s response:

 

Her apology was in fact a non-apology. It was a pathetic attempt at an excuse for her antisemitism and she only compounded her sin as she responded to the accusations of antisemitism with a non-sequitur:

When she remarked the Holocaust is not solely the preserve of the Jews one has to wonder why she would want to be a victim of such a terrible genocide!

Meanwhile, Labour’s, or rather the Jewish Labour members’, woes were not over.  The Jewish Labour Movement representative was heckled during his speech at the Labour Party Conference.

Labour then refused to comment on Walker’s disgusting antisemitic post.

Jewish groups condemned Walker’s comments and the Labour cover up. Non-Jewish members, including even Momentum members, also issued condemnations and demanded her resignation.

Momentum Chairman Jon Lansman was appalled by Walker’s behaviour and was said to be seeking her resignation.

The Guardian’s Marina Hyde (Via Harry’s Place) wrote a damning report which perfectly encapsulated the absurdities at the Labour Conference, “Bending reality like a spoon“. I’m still not sure whether to laugh or cry: (emphases added):

By way of illustration, consider this snapshot of about three hours on the first evening of the conference. At 7.15, there was a Jewish Labour Movement rally against racism and antisemitism. At 7.30, there was an event organised by Jewish Socialists for Justice, entitled Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Semitism. By this stage, a chap manning the Labour Friends of Israel stand in the conference auditorium had revealed that he had been approached by another chap asking, rhetorically, “But wasn’t there a Jewish plot to oust Jeremy Corbyn?”, following up with the inquiry, “But it was organised by Jewish MPs, wasn’t it?” and continuing in this vein until his attempt to confirm that Angela Eagle’s “husband” is Jewish caused the LFI volunteer to curtail the discussion.

A few minutes’ walk away, at Momentum’s concurrent conference, the hours between 5pm and 7pm were given over to a debate featuring the movement’s vice chair, one Jackie Walker, whose chief claim to fame was previously being briefly suspended from the Labour party for an allegedly antisemitic social media post (though today it was revealed she had enlivened a conference antisemitism training session by declaring it would be “wonderful” if Holocaust Memorial Day was not just for the Jews). On Sunday, however, she took the opportunity to judge that her claim to Jewish identity had been questioned by Jewish publications, “because I’m a black person and that’s it”.

Fellow panellist and Jewish Labour chair Jeremy Newmark was rebuked from the floor for comments about the Holocaust, the speaker referencing the current “police holocaust” against black people. Newmark cited a poll showing just 8% of British Jews supported Labour; an audience member demanded: “Whose fault is that!” The event’s title: Does Labour have an Antisemitism Problem?

To which the only possible answer seems to be: what does it effing look like? I’m sure there were party conferences in the year 1933 at which the Jews were this much discussed. But not, perhaps, in this country.

Finally, it all got too much even for Momentum who could not help but realise that Walker had become a liability, and yesterday we were informed that Jackie Walker has been dismissed from her position.

Whether this will translate into a dismissal from the Labour Party itself remains to be seen.  If she is not, this will only confirm the epithet bestowed upon it by Theresa May.

British Prime Minister Theresa May blasted the Labour Party at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, calling it “the nasty party“:

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday accused the UK’s opposition Labour Party of “tolerating anti-Semitism and supporting voices of hate,” after a string of its members were suspended for making anti-Jewish and anti-Israel comments.

“You know what some people call them — the nasty party,” May told the final session of the Conservative Party’s conference in Birmingham, the Daily Telegraph reported.

British PM Theresa May at the Conservative Party Conference

British PM Theresa May at the Conservative Party Conference

Labour, she said, is “not just divided but divisive,” and “determined to pit one against another. To pursue vendettas and settle scores. And to embrace the politics of pointless protest that simply pulls people further apart.”

“That’s what Labour stands for today. Fighting among themselves. Abusing their own MPs. Threatening to end their careers. Tolerating anti-Semitism and supporting voices of hate,” she continued.

Labour, she said, had given up the right to present itself as the party of the worker.

“Let’s put an end to their sanctimonious pretense of moral superiority,” she said, because Labour’s “extreme ideological fixations” had lead them to “simply stop listening to the country, when they abandoned the center ground.”

Certainly Labour is no party for Jews at the moment. The only good thing to be said is that their behaviour is making it almost sure that they will not win the next general election under the current leadership.

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13 Responses to Labour – the Nasty Party

  1. Pingback: Labour – the Nasty Party – 24/6 Magazine

  2. I am not based in the UK and have only been following this debate recently, but I would suspect (that’s me understating a personal but unsupported certainty) that the Momentum people took away her vice-chair position because it’s, as you say, a “liability” for them, not because they have the least understanding of what she did wrong and why there’s an outcry. It seems a PR move, a way to smooth over public bumpiness, rather than anything deeper. People simply DO NOT understand what anti-Judaism is and how it functions (which is why anti-Zionism still has ANY legitimacy at all amongst supposedly progressive people). Is it “Good New Friday” yet???

  3. YJ Draiman says:

    British illegally blocking & restricting Jewish immigration into Palestine aka Israel caused the deaths of millions of Jews in Nazi extermination camps

    Britain was given control of Palestine aka The Land of Israel by Versailles Conference in 1919

    The Ottoman Empire owned over 90% of the land in Palestine aka The Land of Israel. The British illegally gave away Jewish land to the Arabs, they also allowed hundreds of thousands to come into Palestine from neighboring Arab countries without restrictions They also violated the terms of the Mandate to promote Jewish immigration and did just the opposite by severely restricting Jewish immigration into Israel aka Palestine. The British went as far as blowing up Jewish Holocaust refugee ships under “Operation Embarrass”. There is no private Arab-Palestinian land in The Land of Israel. The Arabs took away all Jewish assets, businesses, homes and over 120,000 sq. km. of land when they terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families and their children who now reside in Israel and comprise over half the population. The Jordanians (who are on Jewish land) expelled all the Jews from Jordan and confiscated all their assets including homes and land. Jordan prohibits Jews from owning land or residing in Jordan. There is no Arab private land in Greater Israel. It is Jewish land stolen or taken by force or the foreign occupiers over the centuries who allowed foreigners to take the land which is Jewish land. Just like the Arabs with Muslim false prophet Muhammed killed the Jews in Medina and took over their assets and land in the Jewish city formerly called Yathrib. This scenario has been repeated in many Arab countries.
    It is time for Israel to take what belongs to the Jewish people with no equivocation and ignore the objection by the world at large. The World at large throughout history has stood idle and or was complicit when Jews were terrorized, persecuted and murdered.
    Many Jewish assets throughout the world have been confiscated and or retained by the locals, without any compensation to the Jewish people.

    P.S. Fighting terrorism is not unlike fighting a deadly cancer. It can not be treated just where it is visible – every diseased cell in the body must be destroyed leaving no traces.

    When a poison strikes the human body, the only way to address it, is to remove it and destroy it completely. That is the way the terrorist organizations and its people should be treated.
    YJ Draiman

    • anneinpt says:

      Thanks for the reminder of how perfidious the British were. At least for the moment the Conservatives seem to be on our side, but the Labour Party has inherited the worst of the Mandate period’s biases.

      • Brian Goldfarb says:

        re YJ Draiman: I’m not as certain as many others that the refusal of the British Mandate Authority and the UK Government refusal to allow European Jews into Palestine in any numbers necessarily added hugely to the Holocaust total. Let’s not forget the behaviour of that great liberal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in undermining the Bermuda(?) conference in the 1930s and refusing to let any significant numbers into the US; to say nothing of similar behaviour by so many other countries, all over the world.

        For other reasons, I recently trawled through the (London) Jewish Chronicle archive from 1933 to 1949, and noted in passing (not my focus at the time) how few countries were prepared to take in Jewish refugees fleeing, literally, for their lives during the 1930s.

        Just to say that the focus shouldn’t be ONLY on British perfidy. There’s enough of that perfidy to go round the whole world several times.

        Separately, but related, yes, the UK Labour Party really has, sadly, become the local nasty party – and this is the party I have voted for my whole voting life. But next time, in 2020? I really have no idea if I will even vote. There was an article a week or so ago in The Times of London arguing that the party which won general elections in the UK was the one which appeared (underlined) to be more centrist. At the moment, Labour is racing towards the left, leaving a gaping hole in the centre. Theresa May is no-one’s fool and is also a “One-Nation” Tory, so she is, sensibly from her point of view, racing for that centre ground. If she can keep her maniac right-wingers muzzled, she will have a landslide in 2020. Especially if the Labour Party fails to find a way to politically assassinate Corbyn in the interim.

        Anne was kind enough to post an article of mine a few weeks back: I’m trying to write a follow-up to that to explain just how the above position comes to be. Watch tis space: I may just manage to write in within a reasonable time-frame, and Anne might be kind enough to post it, if it’s good enough.

        • Brian Goldfarb says:

          I should have added that we mustn’t forget that those Jews who actually managed to reach these hallowed British shores were allowed to stay, even if they were interned on the Isle of Man, etc. Then there was the Kindertransport from Germany: how many Jewish children did that save? To say nothing of the Czech equivalent.

          Which is more than the US did.

        • “It is shameful how the democracies dribble with pity for the poor Jewish people, and yet remain stonily indifferent when it comes to actually helping them.” Adolf Hitler, after the Evian Conference, 1938. Sometimes your enemies see things more clearly than your friends.

        • anneinpt says:

          Yes, most definitely almost every other country refused to take in Jewish refugees during WWII.

          And I’m looking forward to your next post. 😉

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