Thursday 10 March 2016

That would be "a Jewish question". Yes.

The re-exclusion from the Labour Party of Trotskyite Gerry Downing seems to be down to Mr Staines & Co. at Guido Fawkes

(For those not aware of the story, the Jewish Chronicle has a decent summary of it here.) 

The final straw seems to have been Order Order's publication of tweets from Mr Downing, including one about "the Jewish question": 

Andrew Neil had the man himself on The Daily Politics today (beginning at 14:29) after David Cameron had condemned Mr Downing's re-admission into Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party at PMQs yesterday, citing his comments refusing to condemn 9/11 and Islamic State.

AN played it in an understated way, putting quietly probing questions whilst giving Gerry Downing all the rope (and time) he needed to hang himself.

And hang himself he did. 

He still refuses to condemn Islamic State and the 9/11 attackers, saying it was important to understand the reasons for their actions. (No such 'understanding' is allowed to the wicked imperialists of the West of course). 

And his obsessive talk about the all-powerful 'Zionists' must have made him sound to many a viewer like an Elders of Zion-believing-style, anti-Semitic conspiracy nut (even if he isn't), thus giving force to Andrew Neil's point that what he was saying was likely to remind viewers of the sort of things that were said in Nazi Germany.

My own quibble here with Andrew Neil was that he didn't re-ask the question about why Gerry Downing had tweeted about "the Jewish question" after all his ramblings today about the 'Zionists' (followed by his quick, passing comment that "it's not to do with their actual Jewish origins as such"). 

That would have been the perfect moment to say, "But if you meant 'Zionists' rather than 'Jews', why did you say 'Why Marxists should address the Jewish question concretely today' rather than ''Why Marxists should address the Zionist question concretely today'?

Maybe AN thought that Mr Downing had shown his 'true colours' enough already that there was no need to push the point. 

I still think that question should have been put at exactly that point though to fully finish him off.

Gerry Downing himself come across as a strange character. He kept jerking around and looking over his shoulder. 

I suspect he was nervous lest some 'Zionist' sneaked into the studio and stole his shoe while he was busy talking to the BBC. 


Credit must, of course, be given to the BBC's The Daily Politics for putting this centre stage. 

No credit, however, goes to the so-called 'BBC journalists' responsible for the article about this on the BBC News website

Astonishingly, though now updated with a review of that TDP interview, that BBC article completely fails to include anything about Mr Downing's tweet about 'the Jewish question'.

This is especially hard to understand as those comments are probably the reason Labour felt it had to exclude him again.

And it completely beggars belief that the BBC article's write-up of the Daily Politics interview also completely fails to mention the crucial exchanges about Gerry Downing's alleged anti-Semitism.

The BBC News website has a tendency to be particularly prone to this kind of 'lapse'. 

I find it seriously worrisome and will be complaining about it.


  1. You can bet there is enormous pressure at the BBC - from the bottom up and well as from the top down - to tread lightly on this issue. After all, we have plenty of evidence that Beeboids share Downing's concerns about the Jewish problem: Katty Kay ("the Jewish Lobby"), Paul Mason, the Beeboid who tweeted about his conflicted feelings over owning a Sodastream, Tim Willcox, Jeremy Bowen, and that's just off the top of my head.

    I remain convinced that the BBC's number one concern is being seen as a Zionist shill, and they get the most worrisome complaints about it, more than on any other topic. Even Andrew Neil will feel this pressure. No Tommy Robinson or Eddie Mair/Boris Johnson treatment for Downing.

    As for the online article, News Sniffer shows that the Jewish Question has never made it into any version so far. Either the editor doesn't think it's a problem, or it was deliberately omitted out of fear.

    1. It's certainly a significant omission.

      You must be keeping an eye on their Corrections and Clarifications page -

      If anyone doubts your point about the BBC's number one concern they should regularly read what's put there by the BBC.

      It's vanishingly rare for the BBC to find in favour of complainants but they DO very occasionally find in favour of complaints about BBC pro-Israeli bias. Large numbers of complaints the other way are regularly 'not upheld' by the BBC.

  2. I was quite shocked. There is giving him enough rope to hang himself, which he did, but there is also doing little more than paying lip service to all the required questions. It felt as if Andrew Neil’s interview fell somewhere between the two positions. Downing clearly has difficulty in separating Jewishness and Zionism and claimed to disregard Jewish conspiracy theories, whilst at the same time promoting them. Yes, Andrew Neil picked up a few points, but not with any real vigour. Contrast this to his treatment of Katie Hopkins a few months ago.

    The fact none of this has appeared on the BBC website suggests that they have done just enough to escape any charges of anti-Semitism, but would prefer to bury the whole thing.

    1. The BBC website omission is beyond belief.

      There's a thread about this at Harry's Place which is well worth a read:

      Some are saying there that Gerry Downing clearly has Asperger's Syndrome and that Andrew Neil might have been holding back for that reason.

      I'll admit that hadn't crossed my mind, and I really don't know what to make of it. My joke about him jerking around looking out for Zionists trying to steal his shoes get even less PC as a result though.

    2. Sarah AB linked to your piece.

      I’m not familiar with the intricacies of hard left politics and I tend to dismiss the whole lot of it as dumb and vindictive. As you say, some of HP’s commenters have concluded that Gerry Downing is unwell, and in the spirit of not mocking the afflicted, shouldn’t be - well - mocked.

      However, sometimes the ‘afflicted’ need a jolly good mocking, especially when there are people out there who are ready and willing to take them seriously. It’s no good saying, of, e.g., Jeremy Corbyn, ‘don’t mind ‘im, he’s a bit thick‘ - and next minute he’s your prime minister.

      Downing represents a certain type one might have met in the Irish Republic pre EU boom and bust. The Pope had yet to forgive the Jews for killing Christ, and Catholic youth was resentful and beginning to rebel against the church’s stronghold; the child abuse revelations were emerging. Some people were firmly stuck in the past and
      from Downing’s demeanour I’d guess he is one of them.

      Even if he has Aspergers, one shouldn’t make too many allowances for his toxic political insanity.
      One aspect of this fiasco, which was mentioned in a comment, is that the Labour party mustn’t be allowed to claim that his expulsion proves that have zero tolerance for antisemitism.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.