Friday 26 January 2018

The power of speech

Another furore surrounding Jeremy Corbyn is the omission of ‘Jews‘ from  his Holocaust Memorial Day speech. 

This year’s HMD is themed “The Power of Speech’ so here are a few examples of  ‘speech’ from Corbyn’s defenders. 

Here’s a short excerpt from a powerful Commons speech from the January 18th Holocaust debate  by one Labour MP who ‘gets it’.
“As we know, the Nazis created and peddled myths about Jewish people; they dehumanised them, representing them as an existential threat to ordinary German citizens. Their propaganda was massively and horrifically effective. Hate-filled words enabled their crimes. It is startling how many of the myths they created reflected the Nazis’ own sickening plans and twisted thinking. In March 1942, well after the campaigns of mass murder had begun, Hitler said that the so-called Jewish wire-pullers aimed to
“unite democracy and Bolshevism into…a conspiracy…to annihilate all of Europe”.  
They peddled fear: democracy a threat from the west, Bolshevism a threat from the east, and Jewish people threatening Germany and Germans from within. Goebbels said:
“The Jew will not exterminate the peoples of Europe. Rather, he will be the victim of his own attack”. 
This web of fiction was channelled into cruel and cynical propaganda, and it enabled the holocaust. 
Ensuring that such fantasies would be believed by ordinary people was not easy. In 1937, teachers were instructed to​ 
“plant the knowledge of the true danger of the Jew deep in the hearts of our youth from their childhood”—done using children’s stories. One, “The Poisonous Mushroom”, told children that just as they should not assume they could tell the poisonous mushroom in the forest from the good ones, they could not assume that Jewish people were good and honest just because they seemed that way—truly heart-breaking.” 

Oddly, the BBC hasn’t reported Jeremy Corbyn’s speech. At least not according to the BBC’s wonderful search engine.

Hugo Rifkind has been criticised for singling out Jeremy Corbyn for “not mentioning the Jews” when Nicola Sturgeon and, apparently, Theresa May didn’t mention them in their speeches either, which in my opinion, says as much about them as it does about Mr. Corbyn.  


  1. The BBC's wonderful search engine knows what BBC editorial integrity expects in terms of what gets found and what... doesn't.

  2. All I see when I look at Lyn Brown's Twitter account is a load of v. dangerous nutjobbery...

    Do you really want to promote her as a sane voice?


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