Friday 24 August 2018

Oops! ...I Did It Again

John McDonnell has done it again. 

A month ago it was "Let me put this message out to anyone: We are a party that is anti-racist and anti-Semitist". This morning (on Today) it was "Let's talk about how we tackle that now as a community as a whole and the Labour party will play its full role in leading that anti-Semitism". 

Don't worry John, it's already doing more than enough on that front!

Of course, he misspoke. Here it is in context - the whole two minutes that Today gave over to the topic this morning:

Kamal Ahmed: Can I just ask you finally about headlines in the papers today and yesterday around a speech made by Jeremy Corbyn in 2017 where he was quoted as saying - this raises again the issues around anti-Semitism in the Labour Party - where he says that Zionists in Britain and I quote "don't understand English irony". This has received very strong condemnation from many Jewish leaders in Britain. Is there a that a phrase, firstly, Mr. McDonnell you would use? And was it right for the leader of the Labour Party to described 'Zionists', as he put them, and some people are saying that's shorthand for 'Jewish people' "don't understand English irony"?
John McDonnell: No. I think this has all been taken out of context. Whatever Jeremy has said throughout the years has always been about how to secure peace, particularly within the Middle East. and also peace with justice for all concerned, both members of the Jewish community and also members of the Palestinian community. In that context, in that context Jeremy has devoted his life. So I think to take expressions out of context in that way is not helping...
Kamal Ahmed: (interrupting) Would you have used a phrase like that? Would you have used a phrase like that?
John McDonnell: In the certain contexts certain phrases are appropriate. To take them out of context is unacceptable and I think is not helping. It's exacerbating the issue. Where we want to get to now is let's recognise there is anti-Semitism in our society. Let's have a real serious debate about the actions needed to tackle anti-Semitism wherever it's displayed. I want to live...I repeat time and time again...I do not want to live in a society where Jewish pupils have to have security when they go to school or when Jewish cemeteries are daubed with swastikas. Let's talk about how we tackle that now as a community as a whole and the Labour party will play its full role in leading that anti-Semitism, the campaign against anti-Semitism, the way in which we develop our policies both to tackle anti-Semitism wherever it occurs, and that includes in the Labour party.
Kamal Ahmed: Mr. McDonnell, thank you very much.

Kamal didn't exactly go at him like a ferret up a kilt there, did he? In what way, Kamal might have asked, have Jeremy Corbyn's words been taken out of context here? And doesn't the actual context make it even worse?

And talking of context, Radio 4 listeners coming new to the story weren't given the full context either. The bit about "having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives" (i.e. that they aren't properly English) got missed from Kamal's framing of the story. 


  1. "Let's recognise there's anti-semitism in our society..." but not exactly where it's to be found, eh John?...

    I think this whole scandal shows just how much the UK has changed, thanks to mass immigration and Sharia infiltration in our political parties and other major institutions, because it seems nothing short of a video appearing showing Jeremy strutting around in an SS uniform will dislodge him, and even that would be somewhat doubtful at this stage (I can almost hear the Corbynista excuses being uttered now).

    1. "I was present when it was worn. I don’t think I was actually involved in wearing it."

    2. "I may have been reaching for the salt cellar on the top shelf...I certainly didn't make any sort of formal salute. Had I known the Horst Wessel song was being played at the time I would of course have left the room." (Rolls his eyes.)

  2. Also, when the "Jeremy's search for peace" gambit is played, why do interviewers like Ahmed never ask which Jewish politicians Jeremy has sat with, broken bread with, stood on platforms with, laid wreaths with...

    1. Couldn't agree more. I often find myself internally screaming at the radio or TV "Why don't you ask him how many times he's visited the graves of Israeli victims of Palestinian terror?" Or how many times has he spoken with extreme Zionists to try and understand their point of view? Or even left wingy Israelis, who are of course Zionists themselves, whether they like it or not. And does he ever use the word Islamists to describe Arabs who want to see Islam reign supreme, in the way he applies Zionist to Jews? If not, why not? There are any number of hard and challenging questions that could be put to Corbyn but our useless media, either out of laziness, incompetence or ideological sympathy fail to do so, and let him off the hook by asking stupid questions like "Are you anti-semitic Mr Corbyn?" or "Are you going to say sorry to British Jews..." which just allows him to witter on about being non-racist and pro-peace.


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