Wednesday, 13 April 2016

What’s your poison?

Antisemitism in the Labour Party is in the news again. Unfortunately they’ll never be able to get to grips with it.
It’s far too late. 
All they can do is retrospectively sack rogue members for tweeting stuff about Hitler or Jews’ noses and dismiss borderline fruitcakes for bleating about ‘the Jewish question’.
That just demonstrates stupidity and ignorance, and should be easy to deal with, but I’m afraid it’s not the same thing as the insidious antisemitism that just won’t go away.

There are far too many MPs (not all of whom are Labour MPs) who represent Muslim-heavy constituencies or are Muslims themselves, whose gratuitous pro-Palestinian advocacy is based on religious prejudice.
An example of voter-appeasing antisemitism is ostentatious campaigning for BDS, professing that it’s nothing but legitimate criticism of the Israeli government. Typically, they’ll use the code phrase: ‘What Israel is doing to the Palestinians’, which they don’t even have to bother substantiating.

What’s BDS got to do with poverty in Bradford or unemployment in Luton, or normal constituency issues that they should concern themselves with? 

When the BBC and the mainstream media put the record straight about the Middle East we might get somewhere. Before then, it ain’t happening.

Someone should tell Jeremy Corbyn that you can’t root out antisemitism and Islamophobia; this is impossible.   Rooting out antisemitism necessitates employing a restorative dose of “Islamophobia” (code for legitimate criticism of Islam) since much of the current outbreak of antisemitism stems from Islam.  Sorry, but that’s the way it is. 


  1. I would put it slightly differently. It's not illegitimate for our elected representatives to be concerned about foreign affairs and international human rights. Our MPs have over the years raised concerns about the fate of African slaves, opposed Russian oppression of Poles, Ottoman oppression of Greeks and Bulgars, inhuman treatment of Congolese people, persecution of Jews in Europe, genocide of Biafrans and Communist oppression of dissidents etc etc. The issue I think is (a) do MPs and party activists apply common standards all around the globe and (b) (in so far as Israel/Palestine issue is concerned)what is really standing in the way of a two state solution?

    I think you then find that (a) these days most Labour politicians apply very differing standards - expecting far more from the Israelis than the Chinese or indeed ourselves (would we really just allow the Channel Island Liberation Front to fire missiles at us from Calais?) and (b) they fail to recognise it is Arab racism and genocidal Islamic supremacism that is standing in the way of a two state solution.

  2. btw, can anyone work out what Jezza is trying to say in his latest tweet, re the Maxim gun?

  3. No, I can't. The Maxim gun was introduced into service in 1886, so how it becomes a symbol of imperialism is anyone's guess. It's greatest use was in the slaughter of World War 1. And the connection to the Middle East? No idea. Love to know who Bowen was having discussions with in the building opposite. It's in Hatton Garden.

  4. You're obviously unfamiliar with the poem by Hilaire Belloc (the antithesis of a liberal lefty) then:

    Whatever happens, we have got
    The Maxim gun, and they have not.

    "They refers" to the natives, "we" to white Europeans.

    The Maxim Gun was certainly crucial in filling in the last bits of pink on the map in the late 19th century e.g. in Sudan, where previously the natives (well actually Jihadists) had seen off the British Empire.

    1. Digging into this a little, that poem...

      The Modern Traveller

      Blood thought he knew the native mind;
      He said you must be firm, but kind.
      A mutiny resulted.
      I shall never forget the way
      That Blood stood upon this awful day
      Preserved us all from death.
      He stood upon a little mound
      Cast his lethargic eyes around,
      And said beneath his breath:
      'Whatever happens, we have got
      The Maxim Gun, and they have not.'

      ...was dated 1898, the year of the Battle of Omdurman.

      The 'Blood' in question appears to be Major-General Sir Bindon Blood who, along with General Sir George Luck (ie. General Blood and General Luck), served with Kitchener in South African and India - though it seems that was after Omdurman. Blood had previously fought in India, Egypt and South Africa, crushing a couple of mutinies.

      The one in 1897 - the Siege of Malakand in British India - looks as if it's the battle Belloc had in mind (as Blood wasn't at Omdurman). There were plenty of Maxim guns there, and the British beat the 'Mad Fakir'.

  5. The splendidly named Blood I believe was related to Captain Blood who stole (tried to steal?) the Crown Jewels. IIRC Winston Churchill fought under him as a young man and Blood spoke highly of him.

    1. Yes, and he died (aged 97) six days after Winston Churchill became PM in May 1940.

    2. Other reports say he was 98 when he died - some 42 years after Belloc's poem.

      This obituary says he spent 80 years in the Royal Engineers and that, three weeks before his death, he resigned as Chief Royal Engineer because "I no longer feel I am able".

      He was known was the "Father of the British Army" by the time of his death.

      That obituary says he called Captain Blood a "rapscallion".

      Sounds a most interesting man.,3042952&hl=en