Delusional, but amusing in its absurdity. Promising a ‘golden age’ is like promising to ‘Make Britain Great Again’ only without the connotation that under a Johnson reign Britain would only become as great as it ever was instead of becoming greater that it has ever been.
Instinctively, I suspect, feel, that underneath the arrogance, greed, gaucheness and stupidity of Donald Trump and Theresa May are buried vulnerabilities and remnants of conscience that make them hesitate at the brink of true evil whereas underneath Boris Johnson’s arrogance, greed, surface affability and wit it is arrogance all the way down to a bedrock of pristine amorality. He will not have a trace of sympathy for anyone and I instinctively have not the slightest sympathy for him.
Jon Lansman posts on Twitter that “People who support the campaign to deny or diminish the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party need to read what this fellow supporter has to say about “Zionism” https://t.co/dpq83QNGc2”
First, it is wrong to describe challenging the narrative that there is widespread antisemitism within the Labour Party and that Chris Williamson has said anything antisemitic as a ‘campaign to deny or diminish the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party’
Second it is grossly insulting and ludricous to describe the cretin who posted a Jew blaming, Holocaust denying, racist, anti-communist, anti-socialist far right piece of garbage as in any way a ‘fellow supporter’ of any Labour Party member.
The anonymous tweeter that Lansman cites accuses Jews of “lobby[ing] for mass immigration, miscegenation and cultural marxism in every country on earth.” How could anyone in their right mind make the equation that Lansman does?
Still, this is an example of what genuine antisemitism, racism and clear hate speech looks like. And this will grow while Lansman and his fellow travellers turn all their efforts to destroying Corbyn and his supporters.
After I attended a protest on Wednesday morning against having the arms fair at the Excel Centre in Newham I watched the Shadow World documentary. It’s well worth seeing the whole documentary but I pulled out this clip and it should have us asking why this terrible man Blair is still in the Labour Party and not in jail.
It was revealed this week that Ms Forbes had liked a post saying Theresa May had a “Zionist Slave Masters agenda” alongside a video of children praying after the New Zealand terrorist attack.
I don’t know what bearing the comment about Zionist slave masters had on the video but this sort of hyperbolic comment is hardly unusual in today’s political discourse and it’s well known that Israeli lobbying has a tremendous influence on both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party.
By 2009, according to the Channel 4 documentary Dispatches – Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby, around 80% of Conservative MPs were members of the CFI. In 2013, the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator, Peter Oborne, called CFI “by far Britain’s most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group.”
It seems to me that Lisa Forbes has been accused of antisemitism and forced to apologise on the grounds that she did not express outrage rather than sympathy. It seems too that it is antisemitic to enjoy reading a thread that discusses assertions widely recognised as true.
It is mystifying that Ms Forbes should be accused of being antisemitic because she enjoyed reading assertions that are accepted to be true. It is worrying and it is an attack not only on Ms Forbes and the Labour Party but also on freedom of thought, freedom of dialogue and on truth.
However, as worrying as these accusations are, what is more worrying is their endorsement by figures with the Labour party itself:
Labour former minister Dame Margaret Hodge, who has clashed with Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism, wrote on Twitter: “Seriously mixed feelings about the Peterborough result. I never want to see Nigel Farage’s party in Parliament. “But Lisa Forbes & the Labour Party have a lot to answer for. We must learn lessons & never have a repeat of this. Have formally raised concerns with party leadership.”
Shadow policing minister Louise Haigh, who worked on Lisa Forbes’ campaign, wrote that it was “extremely upsetting for all of us involved when the posts that Lisa had mistakenly engaged in came to light.
“They were thoroughly unacceptable and I know she sees that and is truly sorry.”
This is a response that would be easy to characterise as ‘slavish’. It is a response that shows a shocking lack of courage and a wholesale disregard for the truth.
Blair make a contribution to the Brexit debate that is good and that is characteristic especially of him. However what is good is not characteristic especially of him and what is characteristic especially of him is not good.
1. Blair was the prime minister who deliberately lied about WDMs in Iraq in order to justify and prosecute a war which killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. His actions make him a mass murderer. He dishonoured this nation and deserves no respect whatsover as a prime minister or as a human being.
2. While Blair’s assessment that Britain has more power and protection as a member of a strong economic bloc is as correct as it is obvious, there are reasons why so many people voted for Brexit and those reasons include distrust of slick politicians like Blair and Cameron who were seen as working on behalf of the well off in this country and not those who have nothing and do not see themselves sharing in any benefits from the UK being part of the EU. Dismissing the concerns of working class people in poor northern constituencies is not right. These concerns should be acknowledged and addressed whether we are inside or outside of the EU. Currently the only political leader attempting to respond directly to those concerns is Jeremy Corbyn.
3. Blair talks of blocs confronting each other and alludes to possible military conflict. To survive the world needs to get beyond a paradigm of competition and conflict and move towards cooperation and communication. We need to transition away from blocs and think in terms of new constructive relationships with and within the EU and constructive relationships between the EU and other national and supernational partners. This requires thinking that is disruptive of the current neoliberal paradigm and that is not on offer from the Conservatives, the Brexit Party, the Liberal Democrats or the Blairites within the Labour Party. A Corbyn led Labour Party has a social dimension at home and internationally that is not shared by the other parties. It offers possibilities beyond the retreat to Remain or the blind leap of a mismanaged Brexit. These possibilities are grounded in socialistic principles of respect for people and the pursuit of peace and justice and they are only on offer from a Corbyn led party.
Trump is not an anomaly in US politics, nor is he uniquely evil, he continues the policies of previous administrations. This is particularly true with regard to the Middle East. These policies are not only US policies they have been supported by the UK through the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq by Blair and Bush, the destruction of Libya by Cameron and Obama, their support for terrorism in Syria and the current aggressions against Iran and Venezuela.
Those who oppose Trump on the grounds that he is a ‘misogynist’, a ‘racist’, an ‘Islamaphobe’ and that he has been rude to London’s Mayor (who has been rude about him – I don’t care who started it), and other ‘royal’ people, are missing the point. They should be opposing Trump, but as the leader of the American Empire, they should be opposing the wars of regime change, the use of economic power to coerce and starve countries like Venezuela and the perpetuation of a policy of confrontation rather than partnership with Russia and China.
Those who say that they, respect the office of President but not the man who holds it, who think that the ‘special relationship’ with the US is something to be proud about, are really missing the point. The visit of Trump should be an opportunity to revisit the relationship with America – particularly as it coincides with the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landing and what might be seen as the inception of the present world order. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade or protest but focusing on the personal failing of Trump makes them politically irrelevant. Even if they were, improbably, to lead to whatever just retribution the protesters wish to befall Trump, they would still make no difference to the wider imperialist projects of the US, UK, KSA, Israel and France.
Prior to and during the 2016 Referendum Corbyn declared that he was pro Remain. He supported triggering Article 50 after the Referendum result as did Parliament by 498 votes to 114 – Perhaps he thought that if you hold a Referendum it is proper to respect the decision while trying to make it work. Yet this is being presented as a dishonourable position. His position on this and on the EU are constantly misrepresented. Corbyn has worked consistently for a social, moral and just Europe.
He has never been against immigration and the free movement of labour. It was not Corbyn who produced Labour’s infamous anti-immigration mug. The EU has indicated its willingness to negotiate on the widely different basis that Corbyn would be offering as this would be avantageous to both sides. Further Corbyn’s policy and the Labour Party’s policy is now to have a confirmatory ballot on any deal. I really don’t see how these is a better option for Remainers.
I’ve collated three BBC pre-referendum interviews with Corbyn, partly for my own amusement, to remind people of Corbyn’s position before the referendum and of the consistency of his social goals. The only thing that has fundamentally changed (and for the better) is his dress sense.
When people of the calibre of Norman Finkelstein, Naomi Klein, Ken Loach, Noam Chomsky, John Pilger and many other intellectuals and activists (many of them Jewish) are supporting Jeremy Corbyn and characterising the allegations of antisemitism laid against him and allegations of widespread antisemitism Labour Party as contrived it is bizarre that an MP like Chris Williamson should be suspended for making the same characterisation which every honest and informed person knows to be correct.
Attacks by people claiming to be ‘on the Left’ on Gilad Atzmon are attacks on freedom of expression. They are part of an irrationalism within the party and the so called ‘Left’ but they do not represent the Labour Party or any true Left any more than the CAA represents Jewish people. This is my response on YouTube to Atzmon’s understandable counter attack.
This is a completely unnecessary battle that is damaging for all concerned. I disagree with your view concerning JVL. While I do not like the notion of identity based political groups I understand that they may be necessary in particular circumstances. And when the Board of Deputies, JLM, CAA and LFI are powerful voices claiming to speak on behalf of the ‘Jewish community’ there is surely a need for a JVL to counter that claim. If I were Jewish and groups like JLM and CAA were claiming to speak for me I would take it personally and would wish to have my voice heard as a Jew.
You are of course entitled to your view. I have read your writings and have found nothing hateful, racist or antisemitic in them though not everyone may understand your use of irony and humour and you do not seem to make concessions to people’s sensitivities. It is not surprising that some people like Owen Jones and the leadership of Momentum jump on the Jewdas bandwagon in condemning you for being you but I have not heard of any attacks on you from either Corbyn or JVL.
It seems clear that the Labour party has been a pro-Zionist and latterly neoliberal party and that those elements are powerful within it. What we are experiencing is a kickback against Corbyn’s challenge to their power. With the excrable Tom Watson organising a ‘counter revolution’ within Labour and with a MSM almost wholly ranged against him, Corbyn’s strategy of keeping his eyes on the prize of a democratic socialist government is highly intelligent. It is right to resist and expose the empty irrationalism of those who are attacking you and freedom of expression but we should also understand the fight that Corbyn and his allies like Chris Williamson are engaged in. Very few of us could stay the course under that sort of pressure. Corbyn continues to do so and Corbyn continues to deserve our support.