Thursday, 17 September 2015

Corbyn, Labours Crisis and anti-Semitism

Left-wing thought has shifted towards movements it would once have denounced as racist, imperialist and fascistic. It is insupportable (Nick Cohen)

The election of Jeremy Corbyn continues to cause waves across the political scene, but it's not just affecting Labour, though the party remains in disarray. The Times (no link £) reports that one of Labour's biggest donors has described Corbyn as "the beginning of the end":

Assem Allam, the multimillionaire owner of Hull City football club said he would financially support moderate figures prepared to launch a centrist party or defect to the Liberal Democrats.

Allam considers that Labour is a "dead horse".

The Evening Standard reports:

Jeremy Corbyn faced a threat of Labour defections today after days of turmoil over his leadership.

In a dramatic interview, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron revealed he has been called since last Saturday’s election result by Labour figures distraught about their new boss.

Mr Farron told the Evening Standard: “I’ve had various unsolicited texts, some of them over the weekend, where I felt like I was being an agony aunt rather than anything else.

“People who have been members of the [Labour] party for as long as I’ve been a member of mine who feel that they don’t recognise their party anyone and feel deeply distressed.”
However the Jewish Community is also alarmed at the rise of Corbyn, a long time supporter of the less than savoury "Palestine Solidarity Campaign".  In a brilliant article at Algemeiner, Paul Bogdanor writes of Corbyn "placing himself at the head of "Palestine Solidarity lynch mobs":

In Warrant For Genocide, Norman Cohn’s classic study of antisemitic conspiracy theories, he made an astute observation: “There exists a subterranean world where pathological fantasies disguised as ideas are churned out by crooks and half-educated fanatics for the benefit of the ignorant and superstitious. There are times when this underworld emerges from the depths and suddenly fascinates, captures and dominates multitudes of usually sane and responsible people, who thereupon take leave of sanity and responsibility.”

Such a moment is now upon us with the landslide election of left-wing extremist Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, the official opposition to the Conservative government. Corbyn, who was chosen by a quarter of a million Labour members, is the embodiment of the half-educated fanatic described by Cohn.

Continue reading: here.

I'll leave the last word to Nick Cohen who wrote of his resignation from the left today in The Spectator:

The half-educated fanatics are in control now. I do not see how in conscience I can stay with their movement or vote for their party. I am not going to pretend the next time I meet Owen Jones or those Labour politicians who serve in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet that we are still members of the same happy family. There are differences that cannot and should not be smoothed over.

I realise now what I should have known years ago. The causes I most care about — secularism, freedom of speech, universal human rights — are not their causes. Whatever they pretend, when the crunch comes, they will always put sectarian unity first, and find reasons to be elsewhere.

So, for what it is worth, this is my resignation letter from the left. I have no idea who I should send it to or if there are forms to fill in. But I do know this: like so many before me, I can claim constructive dismissal.

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