Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Naz Shah!

Naz Shah. What can I say? 

The Daily Politics tackled this issue. They were baffled. Where does it all come from, they wondered, not once mentioning the Muslims.

“How are these things not picked up during the selection process? asked Liam Fox.

Andrew Neil said:
 What’s going through someone’s mind when you post “Let’s not forget that everything Hitler did was legal”

“I don’t know - some of the things you see on social media...” said Lisa Nandy.

“It’s like something from the Ku Klux Klan” continued Neil. “Adolf Eichmann suggested in 1940 that all Jews should be deported from Germany and he wanted to send them to Madagascar

Jo Coburn read out this rather impressive apology from the Jewish News

I am sorry.
For someone who knows the scourge of oppression and racism all too well, it is important that I make an unequivocal apology for statements and ideas that I have foolishly endorsed in the past. 
The manner and tone of what I wrote in haste is not excusable. With the understanding of the issues I have now I would never have posted them. I have to own up to the fact that ignorance is not a defence. 
The language I used was wrong. It is hurtful. What’s important is the impact these posts have had on other people. I understand that referring to Israel and Hitler as I did is deeply offensive to Jewish people for which I apologise. 
When the “Gaza-Israel” conflict happened I played an active role in highlighting the plight of the Palestinian people, attended demonstrations to stop the bombing and called for equality in media reporting of the issues. 
Feelings were running high across the world and Bradford was no different. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I’m shocked myself at the language I used in some instances during the Gaza-Israel conflict. 
For this I apologise. 
Since winning the seat of Bradford West I have made conscious efforts in areas around integration, building bridges and community development, in particular around Muslim and Jewish relations. Indeed one of my very first visits was to my local synagogue. 
 Only last week I was learning and sharing over an interfaith Passover seder with Reform Movement Senior Rabbi Janner-Klausner, Vice Chair of Conservatives Friends Of Israel Andrew Percy MP and  others at the rabbi’s home. We all read from the Haggadah and learnt more  about Passover. 
I have been asked to consider joining the APPG, (All Party Parliamentary Group) on British Jews because of the work I’m doing locally, which includes building relations through my local synagogue. 
If politicians put their hands up when they get something wrong it would help to restore faith in politics. I hope that by writing to those who I have hurt, I am practicing as I preach and calling myself out. 
For those that I have caused hurt to, particularly the Jewish community, my constituents, friends and family, I sincerely hope my intentions and actions from here on in will win back your trust and faith in me. 
For my part I promise to have open and honest  conversations about such issues  and invite others to do that with me. 
Naz ShahLabour Party Member of Parliament for Bradford West

Later, in Daily Politics: Still puzzling over where this problem came from:

Andrew Neil:
For most of my adult life antisemitism was predominantly the preserve of the far-right -  it’s what the National Front was all about. Marine Le Pen’s father was a Holocaust denier and it was always on the far-right of British politics that had that lingering antisemitism that was still there and when it rose up it was slapped down. Why is this now coming from elements of the left? 
On the democratic left - they fought antisemitism. that’s why so many Jews joined the Labour party in the 1930s. Why has it now become - in a small element of the left - such an issue?But why?

Liam Fox
 It has always been associated In recent times with the far-right, but there is a far left element in this. In fact I was speaking in the US recently and I was quoting  Karl Marx - it was written in 1840 and he said ‘The essence of Judaism and the root of the Jewish soul was expediency and self-interest, the God of Israel is Mammon who expresses himself in a lust for money - Judaism is the embodiment of antisocial attitudes. There is an element in the left that has always taken these views. it needs to be stamped out whether it comes from right or left, it is fundamentally wrong and it degrades our society.

Laura Kuenssberg:
I think David Cameron ratcheted up the pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to act further on Naz Shah. He said it was quite extraordinary that she still had the whip. Now I do think that we should be watching this space through the course of the day. There has been, and it’s certainly the first time since I’ve been reporting on politics, ....the first time that we’ve seen this bubble up as a problem.  
Where the leader of a party has been accused of not acting swiftly enough when these things pop up - and I - like you - can’t unpick the reasons why it’s become an issue now. And the Labour leadership has tried - you quoted John McDonnell saying ‘out, out,out’ -that will be what we do,”  but when these things bubble up and out,out, out is not the immediate response, it does leave the door open to people questioning why things aren’t happening quickly enough.

It has just been announced that Naz Shah has been suspended from the Labour Party.


  1. On the BBC website yesterday, this story wasn't even on the front page (c.9pm when I checked) - it was on the site, deep in the politics section, but you had to look to find it. Today, the resignation story is on the front page, and is consequentially one of the most read items on the site.

  2. They talked about Naz Shah, so that counts as mentioning the Muslims. It does seem like a good apology. I almost feel bad for being a little suspicious about any lesson being learned.

    It's quite astonishing. The last few weeks have seen the most coverage of anti-Semitism in Britain ever on the BBC, by miles. And it hasn't been real events of vandalism and attacks and reports of increased incidents that's forced the BBC to report it. It's dear, beloved Labour, the party of justice and fairness and equality, having a massive problem with hatred of Jews. The Beeboids must be eating their own livers trying to work out how to handle this.

    Liam Fox gave one partial answer to Neil's question of why, and Laura K dodged it entirely. She can't 'unpick' the reasons? Pathetic.

  3. I suppose Laura Kuennesberg can be forgiven for being in nappies (or maybe not being born) when there was the Alan Clark problem - MP and Government minister he was most definitely anti-semitic and flirted with the NF (which was why he was a subject of interest to the security services).

    1. No forgiveness for Laura K. She's supposed to be an expert, finger on the pulse, and for her to claim she has no idea is a load of BS. She either knows or would prefer not to say, or....nah, she knows, and prefers not to say.

  4. Watching Newsnight now, and Hannah Barnes is the correspondent introducing this story and the larger issue of anti-Semitism in Labour. She said some in Labour are saying this is a problem with Jeremy Corbyn, who isn't sincere enough in his desire to address the issue. Big health warning given to her interview subject, a "leader of a Blairite group inside Labour", so any criticism of Corbyn is discredited before you hear it. Sometimes the BBC does follow its own editorial guidelines. Sometimes.

    Next up is Danny Cohen saying that Labour has a problem, and leadership isn't up to dealing with it. After years and years of people like us complaining, the BBC has finally said that criticism of Israel has crossed the line into anti-Semitism.

    Finally. It took how many ugly incidents, BBC? How many times did your staff or sympathetic journalists tell us we were full of #@$^?

    Evan Davis's guest is a woman rabbi. She is a cross-bench peer, grew up in a Labour family, Lib Dem as an adult, so except for homosexuality, all boxes ticked. Because obviously a male, possibly conservative Jew wouldn't be credible.

    She was quick to point out that Labour was not the only party with a problem. Oh, wait, next up is Lord Levy - a Labour peer, so male is okay but Conservative isn't, and why only elderly Peers, not MPs? - who took that ball and ran with it.

    He said he scratched his head in despair as to how someone this ignorant can become an MP, but what's her constituency?

    "But, I'm not quite clear. Are you saying Labour has a worse problem than the other parties, or all parties are equally bad in this regard?"

    How many Labour incidents have there been in the last few weeks, versus how many incidents amongst all parties in the last few years? There were two Lib Dems, I can think of. Levy said he was told when he entered the House of Lords that the Tories made some "Jew boy" remark. Hearsay, not even a first-hand account, but that's good enough for the BBC to spread the blame around. Save Labour At All Costs.

    Levy's response was in the affirmative. But at this time, it "seems more prominent" in Labour. After a lot of heat and zero light, Levy's summing up was about how all parties need to look closely at their own problems, and "we need to work closely" with the Middle East, etc. and sort this out.

    Davis went back to ask Rabbi Julia about how criticism of Israel might be taken as anti-Semitism. Her answer was not bad. But nobody went far enough and said the obvious thing we've all been saying for years: It has somehow 'passed the dinner table test' to say that Jews everywhere should be associated with, and accept consequences for, Israel's perceived sins. That's the conflation of anti-Israel with anti-Jew.

    Worst of all is that having two Jews on to discuss this is all a bunch of "Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?" and convinces no one. And once again, blame is shifted away from dear Labour and spread equally across all parties and ends of the political spectrum. FFS, BBC. And FFS, you useful Jews.

  5. PS: After this was a segment on....wait for it....Donald Trump. It's because of his foreign policy speech. Mark Urban (of course) said Trump criticized Obama's Iran nuclear deal, "what many think is His biggest foreign policy achievement". Are you kidding me? Who says that outside of Iran and the White House? OMFG. It's already well known that Iran is defying all of it. The Obamessiah worship never ends.

    The sneer dripped from Urban's voice as he reported that Trump said that he'd try to renegotiate a "reset" with Russia. Yet the BBC was ecstatic over Hillary's reset. David Frum - introduced as former speechwriter for George W Bush, in this instance as a reason to trust him rather than a health warning - on now, yawn, switching over to NBA playoffs.

  6. Nice to see the BBC has found a use for Danny Cohen again. Bet he checked the male/female ratio before agreeing to appear... as a man.

    As to 'what many think...', that seems matching today by the 'many worried' about right-wing protest groups spoiling the whole protest thing by existing, in Germany.

    'Many' seems BBC for 'us'. Try asking them to identify these sources and see how long before the 'purposes of' shutters uniquely reserved for BBC claims crash down.

  7. 24 hours of not covering the story except for a brief mention on a minor webpage. Then a brief mention at the dead hour in mid-afternoon, followed immediately by a positive immigration story. And Ms. Shah had apparently vanished by evening. The BBC, ever helpful in burying bad news (copyright JoMoore).

  8. Haha, Red Ken just shot himself in the ass on the Daily Politics. There must be some serious inner turmoil going on at the BBC over how to deal with this. I hope there's a rebellion and the truth comes out about just how many Beeboids are sympatico with Livingstone and Shah and the rest of them and are angry at how Jewish influence censors BBC reporting.