For your answer read the submission to the ECHR from the Jewish Labour Movement, listen to Jews. The vast majority of British Jews believe Labour to be institutionally racist, because they are. A majority said they would consider leaving the country if he got elected. When it comes to social justice issues the advice is always to listen to the victims of racism and discrimination to explain their own experience, when it comes to Jews though it seems conspiracy theories are more likely to be brought up in defence of racism than empathy for their experience.
The plot is: Corbyn once provably said something positive about the Palestinians, therefore it must be true that he and his party are anti-semitic.
Because facts and truth don’t matter any more and it is really hard to prove you’re not a racist/xenophobe/anti-semite et al and eventually you say “I’ve answered this a hundred times!” and someone else says, “See, he’s bored of this, he’s hiding something, he does hate us!”
Anti-semitism, as an accusation, is the one slur that sticks every time.
Thank you for posting this. It is a nice synopsis (if an article that long can be seen as a synopsis) of the POV I’ve tried to raise here.
I always read people making the weaponization argument and find myself thinking “it can be both.”
Yes, of course, and when it is true it makes the most effective weapon. And Gibbs does a nice job of explaining why dismissing the accusations as merely weaponization is problematic in itself.
The Labour left expected Blairite criticism when they took control of the party, and when criticism came they just assumed it was all Blairite. This terrible mistake is why, over a period when inept, bickering Tories were all but handing the country to Labour in a gift-wrapped box, the party managed to lose all the momentum they had been painstakingly building and become an also-ran.
It could all have been so easily avoided had Labour had leadership that was a little more self-aware and less arrogant; then, when the complaints came in, they could have seen that the issues were real and dealt with them, instead of doubling down and attacking the complainers. This is all squarely on the heads of Corbyn and his close advisors.
you think “Israel”, as a nationalist state, is an appropriate response to anti-antisemitism,
you have doubts about nationalist states as being a solution to fuck all.
After all, inherent in the idea of a nationalist state is that those outside shouldn’t control those inside.
Yeah, that makes more sense than believing that a left party is the one that’s rife with hatred for duh Jewz. Any shoot em up of a synagogue, for instance, is sure to be inspired more by rightwing xenophobic bullshit than leftwing tolerance and respect for otherness.
Sadly, they brought it on themselves. Some members (including some of Jewish heritage) took the path from being against Likud and religious fundamentalism and in favour of rights for Palestinians (which, ok, fine) to being against the State of Israel and the Zionist project in general to being anti-Semitic when it came to Israeli Jews to being anti-Semitic against British Jews, including liberal ones, who dared support the existence of Israel.
Corbyn had a chance to clearly denounce these members and expel them from the party, but he bungled that as surely as he did the party’s support for Remain. Instead he dragged his feet on investigating the clear-cut cases of anti-Semitism within the party and on censuring the bad actors. When Corbyn and his coterie started claiming there was no anti-Semitism problem despite long-time Labour people making a good case that there was, the British press – no friend of left Labour – was able to hang that albatross around the party’s neck.
But again, all of that doesn’t change the fact that anti-Semitism is baked deep into the Tory and Brexit Parties, even if they make the right noises toward supporting Bibi and other Israeli ultra-nationalists. As bad as the outcome for Jews (as distinct from Zionists) might have been under Corbyn, it is so much worse now.
The problem comes when obviously there are anti-semites in the Labour Party, as there are in all of the political parties, as well as homophobes and racists. They are people, just like everyone else.
Is it institutional? Not in my experience - but that doesn’t matter, the card was played that “Corbyn is…” was worse than Johnson’s “Those bloody foreigners…” and it stuck.
What struck me as odd about the election was that Corbyn attempted to bring people together and he didn’t choose to do it by finding a common enemy for his supporters to turn on.
Compare that to the Conservatives entire campaign.
He lost because he played nice, and because desperate people always follow bastards.
Well, there’s the old truism that most people vote with their emotions instead of their brains. Seems from what I could tell that Corbyn was trying to bring people together over an array of issues. Facts and things.
“Let’s get Brexit done!”, said the Tories. And never mind actually thinking about the details of whatever comes next.
No doubt. And labor seems as feckless as US Dems are about getting The People to see the real bigotry and such that lives on and is enflamed by the right.
It’s not so much that he played nice, but that he’s still living in 1972 when many on the British left saw Arafat as an underdog freedom fighter and chose to ignore his less savoury aspects (the promotion of international terrorism, the corruption), when Israeli Labour Zionists walking the socialist walk on kibbutzes could be considered enemies, and when a good party comrade had to defend the tankie elements in British Labour no matter how hateful they were out of a simple-minded sense of solidarity.
It’s great that Corbyn brought the party back from Third Way neoliberalism recently, but his inability to break out of his nostalgic haze for the “good old days” (which also gave rise to his Euroscepticism) will have him go down in history as a significant contributor to this disaster.
I disagree, but not that harshly. I don’t think he’s out of his timezone, I think it’s more to do with the power the Unions still appear to wield over the party in general and his constant disagreements with Tom Watson and almost every other major player in the party which meant he never picked a position; on Europe, on immigration, on Brexit, on Green issues… It’s all very well saying “let’s sit down and talk about it,” but he never actually seemed to pick a side, on nearly everything, and I think that’s what gave openings for his opposition to keep hitting him and he was too weak or too unwilling to make a stand anywhere for all the years he has been in charge.
It didn’t matter in the last couple of weeks that the manifesto was full of positive and progressive ideas that the country surely needs and thousands of people really responded to - he never led, only suggested.
Nice guy, nice ideals; crap leadership skills.
“Join me,” just isn’t as powerful as “Follow me!” much as I wish it was.
That goes back to his stuck-in-time attitude. Thatcher switched from support to opposition for EU membership in large part because the super-state recognised labour rights to a degree* that repulsed the Tories. But from his statements and behaviour, it seems Corbyn never got that message back in the 1980s.
It didn’t matter because this election was about one thing and one thing only, and the old ditherer either didn’t have the guts or – more likely – the inclination to make a clear statement on it. Instead, as Frankie Boyle said, he instructed the party to read poetry at an orgy.
I can definitely agree on his nice ideals (which moved the party back in the proper direction) and his crap leadership skills (in general if not in the specifics). He’s yesterday’s man, if you measure the hours in two-year increments – the wrong leader at the worst possible time.
[* a very small degree – acknowledging that workers are humans worthy of dignity rather than cogs in a capitalist’s machine is enough to repulse a Tory – but a degree none-the-less]
In better news the DUP have lost 3 of their seats in NI, 1 to Sinn Fein, 1 to SDLP and the other to Alliance. All thanks to their voting pact. If Labour had been willing to work the LDs and the Greens we could’ve prevented 10-20 seats going to the Tories (LDs would’ve picked up seats in London, Labour would have retained more in the north), it wouldn’t have been enough though, Labour have only themselves to blame.
Edit: DUP didn’t lose a seat to Alliance, it used to be an Independant Unionist seat, but it would’ve gone to them without the pact.
That is never how things work. Do you think the people who voted for the nazis were the ones who suffered the most?
So, so fucked.
I’ve seen people describing Corbyn as being at least one generation out of date, and that seems accurate enough to me. Also, he was an opposition leader who seemed unwilling to do much opposing, because of his own Brexiteer leanings.
How fucked? Indescribably, infinitely, absolutely, unutterably, desperately fucked.
Long rant deleted - it was becoming incoherent, I’m so full of despair and anger today. But nobody who voted Tory in any of those previously safe Labour strongholds will ever get any sympathy from me when they start bleating about how they’ve been shafted - as they certainly will be, one way or another. Whatever befalls them now, well they can just suck it up, with zero sympathy, as far as I am concerned. Every time these voters object to some newly invented fuckwittery by the Tories that threatens to harm them, I hope they enjoy being told how they gave him a mandate to do whatever the fuck he likes.
A man who doesn’t give a fuck about anything at all - beyond himself - has just been given permission to do whatever the fuck he likes. It’s terrifying.
They will not be allowed one. Boris doing a u-turn on that one might get even him slung out of his party.