Tuesday 17 April 2018

Applause in the HoC

I watched Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons this afternoon.

No, not the emergency debate  secured by Corbyn .....
 “calling for a new War Powers Act that would require Parliament to be consulted on military intervention”.
As it happens, I did watch that one (which seemed to be eating into the time allocated for the following one) while waiting for the advertised business, the debate about antisemitism. (Click to view the whole thing)

Many of the most significant speeches are on Youtube already, and Guido has some of them on his site, where I notice the comments are disabled. That’s unusual for Guido. I wonder why. No I don’t.

Apparently Jeremy Corbyn was “Chuntering" during the speeches (before he left the chamber)

....but  warned he won’t take part…

Luciana Berger got a round of applause, and

So did Ruth Smeeth. The antisemitic comments she read out were not quite as amusing as Richard Dawkins's....

John Mann was terrific, and

Ian Austin was impressive.

The BBC has reported it here:
“The Labour leader, who was present in the chamber for much of the debate, is due to hold talks next week with leading Jewish groups amid criticism of his handling of anti-Semitism cases.”
They describe it in a 'glass half full' way, whereas sone of us might have put it another way “The Labour leader, who was absent from the chamber for much of the debate.."

The News Channel was much more interested in the previous business as was Corbyn.
The leader of the opposition looked even more reptilian than normal during Andrew Gwynn’s statement, but he slunk off in the middle of the debate, missing the most impassioned contributions. 


  1. It's nice to see Corbyn discomfited but I have a slightly different take on this...

    We've had about 30 years of increasing restrictions on free speech - legal, official and informal. People now go in fear of losing their jobs, their freedom, their livelihoods, their partners if they speak out of turn. At the same time we have had a huge increase in puffed up virtue signalling, that now rivals the peak period of Victorian hypocrisy.

    And what has been the result? Has anti-semitism been vanquished? No. It is very much alive and doing well in the Labour Party, thanks...and also in the Liberal Democrats' outfit (but that gets far less mention).

    I stand squarely in defence of free speech. Some of that speech will be offensive. But it should be out in public and where it is wrong, it should be challenged.

    The problem is not that there is too much free speech but too little. So we have a situation where for instance no one is allowed to discuss in public the anti-Jewish statements in the Koran, Hadith and rulings of Sharia courts. Why? It would be much better if they statements were exposed, if their defenders were required to make their defence and if the defence was taken apart. But as things stand, it is all suppressed and so followers of Islam are able to carry on believing that such statements are both true and ethical.

    Controlled thought is the disease and free speech is the cure.

  2. You’re spot on, but it’s a double standard.

    On Radio 4 this morning they interviewed a Christian Reverend (or similar I forget) from somewhere in commonwealth about his beliefs that being gay etc is illegal. I cannot remember any similar discussion being held with a Muslim who would share those beliefs.

    1. Indeed there is a double standard. Same applies to polygamist Mormons...totally trashed by the BBC but Islamic polygamy gets virtually a free pass - even on Woman's Hour! :)

      We need to return to free speech principles. I have never really been a fan of written constitutions but it is vital we now embody free speech principles in a constitution or new bill of rights.

      I remember how we used to be told by the BBC that it was shocking that people under Soviet oppression couldn't express themselves freely for fear of being put in prison or suffering terrible personal consequences like loss of their job...well what do we have now? Exactly that.

  3. The BBC can hardly claim any sort of moral high ground. They have been dragged kicking and screaming into this as much as the Labour party. Where were those intrepid investigative journalists at the time of the utterly corrupt Chakrabarti whitewash (sorry, report) in 2016? Have they not been fanning the flames of anti-Semitism for decades with their biased reporting of Israel/Palestine?

    I assume the Corbyn camp will be working overtime to deflect attention: Windrush, chemical weapons, Parliamentary approval, etc. I wonder how far the BBC will go to assist him?


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