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Anti Corbynism

There has been a sustained campaign against Jeremy Corbyn since he was elected leader of the Labour party. The walkout is part of that campaign and Tom Watson’s characterisation of it as a ‘wake up call’ is part of that campaign. Watson wants Corbyn to give up and go away so he is pushing the narrative that Corbyn is damaging the party. Look at the storm over antisemitism and and ask yourself if there is evidence of wrongdoing that supports this level of attack. Look at the likes of Berger, Umunna and Watson and compare them with Corbyn. Who seems more authentic to you? Who is more likely to have your back as an ordinary citizen of this country, maybe struggling to make ends meet? If you think it’s Berger, Umunna, Watson and the billionaire press barons, go ahead make their day.

If Jeremy Corbyn is a racist, an antisemite, how is it that he is supported by very many Jewish people on the Left?

“It is … shocking that cynical attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the progressive movement around him continue, baselessly alleging a failure to tackle antisemitism.

This morning [25th January 2019] Nick Ferrari’s flagship LBC talk show devoted a slab of prime-time radio to Holocaust commemoration. At least that was the ostensible subject. But actually it provided Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, with yet another opportunity to attack Jeremy Corbyn. This as we remember the millions of dead, and with the reincarnation of fascism visible on our streets.

The racist threat is serious, and it needs to be treated responsibly. The treatment of Diane Abbott last week on Question Time was neither serious nor responsible. That the BBC allowed, indeed encouraged, racially abusive behaviour towards her is a disgrace. We urge the widest possible support for a petition in her support.

The Labour Party can be proud of its record in combatting antisemitism and other forms of racism within its own ranks. No other party has commissioned and acted upon a comprehensive report exploring failings in relation to members of minority communities. No other party is dealing with bigotry among its membership so forcefully – indeed the Tory party’s links to antisemites are blatant.

Under Corbyn’s leadership Labour is uniquely equipped to mount a serious challenge to the very real far-right threat, with racism including antisemitism at its core. As we remember the inhumanity of the Holocaust, other responsible political organisations would do well to follow Labour’s lead.”

Jewish Voice for Labour
Jewish Socialists’ Group

“WE are very concerned about the joint statement of the three Jewish newspapers in the UK that asserts false definitions of anti-semitism for political ends and falsely claims that a British government led by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party would somehow represent an “existential threat to Jewish life.”

Jewish Voice for Peace

” Consider these facts. Jeremy Corbyn is the democratically elected head of the Labour Party. His ascendancy vastly expanded and galvanized the party’s ranks. Corbyn has devoted a lifetime to fighting racism; like eponymous labor organizer Joe Hill, where workers strike and organize, it’s there you’ll find Jeremy Corbyn. By British and even global leadership standards, he cuts a saintly figure. On the opposite side, mostly unelected Jewish bodies have dragged Corbyn’s name through the mud, slandering and defaming him. They have refused to meet with Corbyn, even as he has repeatedly extended olive branches and offered substantive compromises. Instead they issue take-it-or-leave-it ultimatums.”

Norman Finkelstein
https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/chimera-british-semitism/

Chomsky would vote for Corbyn.

There is no evidence that the Labour party is ‘institutionally antisemitic’. There is plenty of evidence of Israeli attempts to influence the Labour party. 

Tom Watson and other Labour Friends of Israel equate criticism of Israel with antisemitism. 

It’s time for the media to recognise the tremendous support that Jeremy Corbyn has among members of the Jewish community. It is inconceivable that he would have that support if he were the antisemite that his enemies accuse him of being. Those who are making these accusations are not merely mistaken nor is this just some difference of opinion, they are being consciously dishonest and are using antisemitism as a strategem to undermine the Labour party and it’s leader.

On Wednesday 20th February “over 200 Jewish members and supporters of the Labour party sign[ed] a letter [to the Guardian] urging that anyone seeking an end to bigotry and racism should back Labour and Corbyn.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/20/jeremy-corbyn-labour-party-crucial-ally-in-fight-against-antisemitism

CORBYN’S record against Amti-Semitism……A valuable resource from Swansea CLP by way of Mehboob Noormohamed

1. In October 1936, Jeremy Corbyn’s mother participated in the battle of Cable Street in defence of British Jews after British fascists had staged an assault on the area. Corbyn was raised in a household passionately opposed to antisemitism in all its forms.
2. In 23rd April 1977, Corbyn organised a counter-demonstration to protect Wood Green from a neo-nazi march through the district. The area had a significant Jewish population.
3. On 7 November 1990, Corbyn signed a motion condemning the rise of antisemitism in the UK
4. In 2002 Jeremy Corbyn led a clean-up and vigil at Finsbury Park Synagogue which had been vandalised in an anti-Semitic attack
5. On 30 April 2002, Corbyn tabled a motion in the House of Commons condemning ananti-Semitic attackon a London Synagogue
6. On 26 November 2003, Jeremy Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion condemning terrorist attacks on two synagogues
7. In February 2009, Jeremy Corbyn signed a parliamentary motion condemning a fascist for establishing a website to host antisemitic materials
8. On 24th March 2009, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising British Jews who resisted the Holocaust by risking their lives to save potential victims
9. Nine years ago, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising “Jewish News”for its pioneering investigation into the spread ofAntisemitism on Facebook
10. On 9 February 2010, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion calling for an investigation into Facebook and its failure to prevent the spread of antisemitic materials on its site.
11. On 27 October 2010, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising the late Israeli Prime Minister for pursuing a two state solution to the Israel/Palestine question.
12. On 13 June 2012, Corbyn sponsored and signed a motion condemning the BBC for cutting a Jewish Community television programme from its schedule.
13. 1 October 2013, Corbyn appeared on the BBC to defend Ralph Miliband against vile antisemitic attacks by the UK press.
14. Five years ago Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion condemning antisemitism in sport.
15. On 1 March 2013, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion condemning and expressing concern at growing levels of antisemitism in European football.
16. On 9 January 2014, Jeremy Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising Holocaust education programmes that had taken 20,000 British students to Auschwitz.
17. On 22 June 2015, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion expressing concern at the neo-nazi march being planned for an area of London with a significant Jewish population.
18. On 9 October 2016, Corbyn, close to tears, commemorated the 1936 Battle of Cable Street and recalled the role his mother played in defending London’s Jewish community.
19. On 3 December 2016, Corbyn made a visit to Terezin Concentration Camp when Jewish people were murdered by the Nazis. It was Jeremy’s third visit to such a camp, all of which were largely unreported in the most read UK papers.
20. Last year, a widely-endorsed 2018 academic report found ninety-five serious reporting failures in the reporting of the Labour Antisemitism story with the worst offenders The Sun, the Mail & the BBC.
21. On 28 February 2016, five months after becoming leader, Jeremy Corbyn appointed Baroness Royall to investigate antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club.
22. On 27 April 2016 Corbyn suspended an MP pending an investigation into antisemitism.
23. A day later, Corbyn suspended the three times Mayor of London after complaints of antisemitic comments. Party.
24. On 29 April 2016, Corbyn launched an inquiry into the prevalence of antisemitism in the Labour Party. In spite of later changes in how the inquiry was reported, it was initially praised by Jewish community organisations.
25. In Corbyn’s first seven months as leader of the Labour Party, just ten complaints were received about antisemitism. 90% of those were suspended from the Labour Party within 24 hours.
26. In September 2017, Corbyn backed a motion at Labour’s annual conference introducing a new set of rules regarding antisemitism.
27. In the six months that followed the introduction of the new code of conduct, to March 2018, 94% of the fifty-four people accused of antisemitism remained suspended or barred from Labour Party membership. Three of the fifty-four were exonerated.
28. When Jennie Formby became general secretary of the party last year, she appointed a highly-qualified in-house Counsel, as recommended in the Chakrabarti Report.
29. In 2018, Labour almost doubled the size of its staff team handling investigations and dispute processes.
30. Last year, to speed up the handling of antisemitism cases, smaller panels of 3-5 NEC members were established to enable cases to be heard more quickly.
31. Since 2018, every complaint made about antisemitism is allocated its own independent specialist barrister to ensure due process is followed.
32. The entire backlog of cases outstanding upon Jennie Formby becoming General Secretary of the Labour Party was cleared within 6 months of Jennie taking up her post.
33. Since September 2018, Labour has doubled the size of its National Constitutional Committee (NCC) – its senior disciplinary panel – from 11 to 25 members to enable it to process cases more quickly.
34. Under Formby and Labour’s left-run NEC, NCC arranged elections at short notice to ensure the NCC reached its new full capacity without delay.
35. Since later 2018, the NCC routinely convenes a greater number of hearing panels to allow cases to be heard and finalised without delay.
36. In 2018, the NEC established a ‘Procedures Working Group’ to lead reforms in the way disciplinary cases are handled.
37. The NEC adopted the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and all eleven examples of antisemitism attached to it.
38. A rule change agreed at Conference in 2018 means that all serious complaints, including antisemitism, are dealt with nationally to ensure consistency.
39. Last year, Jennie Formby wrote to the admins and moderators of Facebook groups about how they can effectively moderate online spaces and requested that any discriminatory content be reported to the Labour Party for investigation.
40. Since last year, no one outside Labour’s Governance and Legal Unit can be involved in decision-making on antisemitism investigations. This independence allows decisions free from political influence to be taken. 
Thanks to the Swansea Constituency Labour Party.

East Ham CLP

I posted the following comments to the Newham Labour Party FB page:

A month ago AGM’s were held in the 10 East Ham BLPs. When is the East Ham CLP AGM?

In February 2019 it will be a full two years since the East Ham CLP has had a general meeting. A full two year since the last AGM. It is not my natural instinct to blame others for a bad outcome or situation, even institutions rather than individuals, my first instinct is to take unfavourable circumstances into account. But after two years the argument from unfavourable circumstances wears very thin and the options that remain are indifference, incompetence or intent. This must reflect on ALL position holders who are at all involved in this including all constituency councillors and the constituency MP.

Supporting Diane

I chose Diane Abbott as ‘a woman who makes London great’. I wrote:

Diane has been the brunt of incredible racism. She has been the subject of sickening comments and the fact that she has survived and continues to serve her constituency is in itself heroic. While not everything she says is well spoken it is a characteristic of the brave that they often say things that controversial or even incorrect, not out of malice but out of their sense of justice. If the size of our valor is to be measured by the size and viciousness of our enemies then Diane Abbott must be judged amongst the most valourous.

Support her here:

https://www.london.gov.uk/hidden-credits/tl=true

Dissing Diane

Not understanding the widespread hatred of Diane Abbott I look for videos of her speaking. I find a few. In some she does not come across as brilliant but she is clear and reasonable. In one an unpleasant interviewer whose name escapes me keeps banging on about a bad interview she did with Nick Ferrari on LBC. I may share some of these videos on my blog if I can maintain my interest … no I’m not going to be able to maintain interest. Just one then, of Diane versus the Media.

In December 2016 Diane Abbott is talking to Nick Robinson who says of her articulation of the Labour position that “many people may think that’s a perfectly sensible position but it sure ain’t simple.” I think it is both sensible and simple, it just isn’t stupidly binary. Nick Robinson’s position that you are either for Brexit (at any cost) or against it (at all costs) is simplistic to the point of stupidity. Robinson asks Diane about Labour’s poor polling and poor performance in the recent local elections and she replies that it’s going to get better “within twelve months it’s going to get better.” Within six months Labour had taken away the Tory’s majority.

The comments under the video are vile.

“Oh god, not her again, I’ve got more chance of having a dump on the moon as Labour has of winning election, they really are comedy gold.”

“Is this person actually female …”

“How did this thick as whale spunk, imbecile ever get a stage to preach her vile bigoted divisive hatred.”

And so it goes on and on … excrementally. On a BBC News YouTube channel. I’m no lover of censorship but I’d be embarrassed to have this shit on my channel and would either delete or at minimum disown such comments.

But who, honestly, is being the idiot here and who is making the more reasonable case? Abbott or Robinson?

Although I Voted Remain

Although I voted Remain and would almost certainly vote against a Tory led Brexit, one of the things that has put me off the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign is the dishonest characterisation of Jeremy Corbyn as a poor leader because he is not leading a campaign to overturn a choice made by more than half the voters in the referendum and supported by about half of the people of theis country.

The Labour position is to push for a Brexit that works and oppose a Brexit that is likely to be harmful as May’s deal is, or disasterous as a No Deal Brexit would be. If these options remain the only ones on offer then Corbyn and the Labour party are, as I understand it, obliged by Conference decision to oppose Brexit.

The following was posted to FB and purports to be a motion moved and passed at the Labour Party Conference in summer. It’s badly written (no one can support ‘all options left on the table’ especially when they don’t know what those options are) but if this is the Labour Party conference position then JC has been faithful to it so far.

Claims that Corbyn is out of step with the mood of Labour voters and members appear to be false:

“As a means of keeping together an unpromising electoral coalition that includes the constituencies of Doncaster North (72 per cent Leave) and Bristol West (80 per cent Remain), Corbyn and Keir Starmer’s Brexit strategy has been jaw-droppingly successful. Making every effort to reach a workable Brexit settlement before countenancing switching to Remain if impossible, is also arguably the only moral and democratic response to the referendum result. Voters agree. “
Guardian 3 January 2019

” A leaked poll commissioned by the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign suggests that voters would be less likely to back Labour if the party was committed to stopping Brexit.”
Guardian 19 January 2019

Corbyn’s Leadership

I posted this article in Facebook yesterday and was pleased that at the time I’m posting it here it’s been shared 59 times and liked more than 85 times.

There has been a fair bit of talk recently about an alleged lack of leadership from Jeremy Corbyn, about people being ‘disappointed’. I’m far from being an uncritical supporter of Corbyn, of Labour, or of anyone really but I must say that over the past few weeks Corbyn has gone up rather than down in my estimation and his has been the clearest and most rational leadership on offer. Let us remember:

It wasn’t Corbyn’s leadership that led to a referendum on the EU that wasn’t necessary and that unnecessarily divided the country. That was Cameron.

It wasn’t Corbyn’s leadership that led to a deal that Parliament could not accept. That was Theresa May.

It is not Corbyn’s leadership that is calling for a gamble on a second referendum that might well deliver the same result as the first and be more divisive than the first. That is David Lammy.

Corbyn’s leadership seeks to mend our nation rather than to break it further. It is not about asking again the closed question of Leave or Remain, it is about having an open debate about the best way forward, recognising where we are now. It is about recognising division and the causes of that division without blaming either side for their concerns. It is about seeing opportunity in crisis and the potential for grasping victory from the jaws of a self-defeat wrought by others.

Corbyn’s leadership is not about playing on passions but about engaging us in thought rooted in compassion.

We will be told again and again that Corbyn is a bad leader or a wrong leader or no leader but the people telling us that are not thinking or do not want us to think, they are deluded or seek to delude. As to Corbyn? He is the leader for those who do not care to be misled, for those who prefer to think, for those who understand that the world is more complex and deeper than ‘yes or no’, or ‘black and white’, or ‘left and right’ but know that compassion and reconciliation are good and that hate and blame are wrong and self-defeating.

A Certain Perception

I wrote the following as a comment elsewhere and (as is my wont) I’m reposting here:

The IHRA ‘definition’ has it that:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non- Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The proposition here is that antisemitism is not equivalent to antipathy towards Jews (though it may be expressed as such) it is a ‘certain perception of Jews’ but that perception is not described and therefore has no gives no information and therefore cannot define anything.

Nevertheless this ‘definition’ has been adopted by the Labour party. Since it is empty of meaning examples were necessary to give it any utility. I understand that the NEC found four of the eleven IHRA examples problematic and made ammendments. The four examples are: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”“Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” “Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” “Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

To take just one of these examples: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” This is problematic because it could be taken to deny expression of a legitimate interpretation that the founding of the state of Israel, by priveliging one ethnic group over another and through its implementation was a racist endeavour. It could also be taken to deny expression of the thought that the current policies and practices of the state of Israel are racist. It might be argued that the wording does not deny these expressions as it concerns itself with the existence of the State of Israel not with its founding or its policies and practices but what expression does it then deny? Mere existence cannot be said to be an endeavour at all let alone a ‘racist endeavour’; existence is a precondition to any endeavour. Phrasing such as this can be taken to mean very little or very much. It is correct to say that the definition with its examples is not fit for purpose if that purpose is sanctioning antisemitic racism while protecting the right to speak freely against oppression and injustice wherever and by whomever it is perpetrated.

It is the right of any autonymous organisation or community to determine how, subject to national laws, it is governed internally. It is the duty of such organisations to apply due diligence to the adoption of guidelines. To abrogate that responsibility to outside bodies would be a dereliction of duty on the part of elected officers.

The Antisemitism Heresy

Marc Wadsworth

More than 40 Labour MPs formed a human shield around their Jewish colleague Ruth Smeeth this morning as she arrived at a disciplinary hearing of an activist accused of being anti-Semitic towards her.

Flanked by dozens of her colleagues, Ms Smeeth, an outspoken campaigner against anti-Jewish hatred in the Labour Party, was heckled by far-left activists demonstrating outside the hearing in Westminster.

She was due to give evidence against Marc Wadsworth, a Jeremy Corbyn supporter who is alleged to have accused her of colluding with the media during a press conference on anti-Semitism two years ago.

The exchange, which took place at the launch of Labour’s Chakrabarti report, resulted in Ms Smeeth breaking down in tears.

Mr Wadsworth was condemned afterwards by Baroness Chakrabarti, who said he had behaved “incredibly rudely”. He was later suspended pending investigation.

Read more from the Telegraph 24 April 2018: http://tgr.ph/Hj0MNJ

As Smeeth walks out (from the Chakrabarti Report Launch) I hear Jeremy Corbyn dealing with what Wadsworth has said. He is dealing with it calmly, no dramatics. This is what I expect from politicians, rationality. I am too often disappointed. ‘How dare you? How absolutely dare you?’ shouts Smeeth Is that what we should expect from those who have the privilege to represent us? Yes Wadsworth is clumsy, but Smeeth is cruel.

When she shouts ‘how dare you’ and walks out it no longer matters what Wadsworth has said, what he alleges, Smeeth has changed the nature of the interaction argument to intimidation. How dare he challenge her? To challenge authority and privilege is indeed an act of daring. Observe this carefully, observe where power lies and ask who is being victimised.

Marc Wadsworth has been expelled from the party, not for the antisemitism that he had been accused of but for ‘bring the party into disrepute’. It is not however Wadsworth who has brought the party into disrepute it is Smeeth. To my eyes it is Smeeth but I suppose my eyes do not matter.

Ken Livingstone

Ken Livingstone has been in the news again. The fuss over a remark he made two years ago continues.

It seems to me that Ken made a daft and irrelevant remark that was not dismissed as a daft remark but was immediately attacked as heresy. I find the reaction a lot more scarily fascistic than anything Ken said ..

Where there is free speech there are going to things said that offend others. Sometimes this will be understandable and we will take other people’s being offended or hurt into account, at other times we will explain why what we have said is important to us.

I understand the sensitivities around comparing the behaviour of the Israeli state to that of the Nazi regime but where the analogy is apt it should not be out of bounds. The analogy is not used of particular Israel individuals, behaviours or institutions on account of their Jewishness but on account of their oppressiveness and to fail to condemn that oppressiveness is as much a betrayal of those who suffered under Nazi oppression as it is of those who suffer in Gaza under Israeli oppression. This Holocaust survivor makes this point powerfully:

(BTW, I do not endores the headlined equivalency. I don’t know much about the Zionist philosophy but I condemn oppressive Israeli practices)

Local Elections 3 May 2013

The picture is of me as ward secretary with three councillors, Jenny Bailey, Omana Gangadharan and Lester Hudson, representing my ward in Newham. It’s safe to say that Newham is a safe Labour borough but we campaigned actively winning all 60 seats and getting our new mayoral candidate Rokhsana Fiaz elected as Mayor.

I freely admit that I do not know much about the intricacies of national and party politics and so I was initially puzzled that some Labour supporters were disappointed by the overall results of the local elections in which Labour was well ahead in the number of seats gained. But I understand now that only 150 out of 405 councils held elections this year and a map of those councils shows a sea of blue with a few islands of red. It was this support boosted in the May 2017 local elections that made Theresa May miscalculate the odds of smashing Labour in the June 2018 general elections. With a total of 20,209 councillors, an increase by 77 is a drop in the ocean. Nevertheless given the mobilisation of the MSM and establishment against the Corbyn project a hold is a creditable performance. There is a lot of work to do if the Corbyn project is to succeed and given the orientation of the MSM much of this work has to involve very deep conversation that challenges political and ethical assumptions.

LGC-18.05.17-Council-Control-Map

Manchester and The Foreign Policy Connection

Theresa May tries to present a ‘prime ministerial’ front after the Manchester bombing. She accuses Jeremy Corbyn of saying that terror attacks in Britain are ‘our own fault’. He didn’t say this of course, in fact Corbyn gave a speech that was rather wonderful and all about bringing the nation together. It was the speech of a national leader and is well worth listening to here,

and listening to and reading on the Mirror website.

In his speech Corbyn promises:

There will be more police on the streets under a Labour Government. And if the security services need more resources to keep track of those who wish to murder and maim, then they should get them.

We will also change what we do abroad. Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.

He continues:

That assessment in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children. Those terrorists will forever be reviled and implacably held to account for their actions.

But an informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people, that fights rather than fuels terrorism.

Protecting this country requires us to be both strong against terrorism and strong against the causes of terrorism. The blame is with the terrorists, but if we are to protect our people we must be honest about what threatens our security.

Those causes certainly cannot be reduced to foreign policy decisions alone. Over the past fifteen years or so, a sub-culture of often suicidal violence has developed amongst a tiny minority of, mainly young, men, falsely drawing authority from Islamic beliefs and often nurtured in a prison system in urgent need of resources and reform.

And no rationale based on the actions of any government can remotely excuse, or even adequately explain, outrages like this week’s massacre.

But we must be brave enough to admit the war on terror is simply not working. We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism.

That’s why I set out Labour’s approach to foreign policy earlier this month. It is focused on strengthening our national security in an increasingly dangerous world.

We must support our Armed Services, Foreign Office and International Development professionals, engaging with the world in a way that reduces conflict and builds peace and security.

Seeing the army on our own streets today is a stark reminder that the current approach has failed.

So, I would like to take a moment to speak to our soldiers on the streets of Britain. You are doing your duty as you have done so many times before.

I want to assure you that, under my leadership, you will only be deployed abroad when there is a clear need and only when there is a plan and you have the resources to do your job to secure an outcome that delivers lasting peace.

That is my commitment to our armed services.

This is my commitment to our country. I want the solidarity, humanity and compassion that we have seen on the streets of Manchester this week to be the values that guide our government. There can be no love of country if there is neglect or disregard for its people.

I think this was a defining speech. It defines Jeremy Corbyn as a leader and it defines a better and more honest vision for Britain. Much of the mainstream media however reacded with a kind of knee-jerk condemnation along the lines of Thresa May, pretending that they believed that Corbyn was an apologist for terrorism or at least arguing that although he might be partially right it was not the right thing to say as it was giving comfort to the enemy.

An assumption that people seemed to be making whether they were supportive of or against Corbyn’s speech is that he was saying that because we bombed Iraq and Libya and are bombing in Syria. Corbyn does not if fact say this at that is not the reality. The reality is that the strain of Islam with political and jihadist aspirations that Isis represents, (Wahabbism/Salafism), has been around for a long time and secular governments like those of Sadaam and Gaddafi were keeping them in check because they were seen to be opposed to secular states. When we bombed Iraq and acted as an airforce for Islamists in Libya we destroyed the infrastructure of those countries and set free the jihadist. We are currently supporting anti-Assad forces in Syria and so doing the same to that country as we did to Libya and Iraq. It is not the people who we bombed who are bombing us, it is the jihadists we set free to destroy their countries that are bombing us.

The West has been supporting jihadists since at least the early 1980’s when the US backed jihadists against the Soviet sponsored secular goverenment of Afghanistan.

As a result of this support Afghanistan eventually fell into the hands of the medievalist Taliban. From 2001 the US and their allies have imposed more suffering on the Afghan people in a supposed war against the terrorist group allegedly responsible for the attacks of 9/11.

In 2003 the US and its allies went to war with the Iraqi government of Sadaam Hussain after alleging that he had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and was a threat to his neighbours. No such weapons were found but Iraq’s political and social infrastructure was destroyed and the country was occupied and exploited by western corporations. In place of a stable, if brutal, secular government keeping a lid on the political aspirations of religionists the Western occupiers turned governance over to a Shia dominated government at odds and at war with a Sunni resistance that came to be dominated by the fanatics that became known as Isis or Isil or Daesh.

In 2011 the US, the UK and France used a pretext of humanitarian concern to get UN authorisation to protect rebels in Libya from Gaddafi against whom they were waging a civil war. The mandate was to protect civilians from Gaddafi but the US, UK and France started bombing Gaddafi forces and effectively acting as an air force for the rebels. After the death of Gaddafi the Western powers handed over control to a government that was not strong enough to keep the country together as different groups vied for power. Salafist elements seem to have flourished in the chaos. The Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was a British born member of a Libyan Salafist family, he and they had connections to the Salafists and to Daesh in Libya.

2011 also marked the beginning of the Syrian conflict, a brutal war in which regional powers, notably Saudia Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have supported an armed and predominently Salafist opposition to the government od Bashar al Assad. This armed opposition also got support from the West and without the intervention of Russia would have overrun the government forces and very likely thrown Syria into the kind of chaos we see in Libya.

Why the West supports Salafist terrorism against secular states is best left to another ramble but there is clear evidence that it does. Why then, if we have been enabling them, do Salafist terrorists attack targets in the UK and Europe? It’s because that’s what they do. They carry within them the virus of hate and intolerance, intolerance not only for the secular states in the Middle East that we have armed them to destroy, but for any secular state.

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