Regular readers will know that I often indulge myself by addressing matters only tangentially related to the BBC, but it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to. So can Craig if he wants to too.
Titled: The shame of Labour’s liberal supporters, I urge everyone to give it a try.
Before I start, the good news is that Sir Richard Evans, professor emeritus of history at Cambridge has changed his mind. After Anthony Julius’s open letter Sir Richard Tweeted thusly:
“Back from a visit to Germany to find Anthony Julius's persuasive open letter to me in the New Statesman. As much as Corbyn's lamentable failure to apologise in his tv interview, or the intervention of the Chief Rabbi, this has persuaded me to change my mind and not vote Labour.”
However, at the time Daisley’s Speccie piece was written, Sir Richard’s message had been:
‘I’m voting Labour. Great manifesto, pity about the leader, shame about Labour’s support for Brexit, though at least they promise another referendum. The failure to deal with antisemitism in the party makes me very angry. But in my constituency only Labour can beat the Tory.’
(For the record:
“Sir Richard is the greatest living scholar of modern German history but many know him as the famed Nazi-slayer of Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt. When Holocaust-denying pseudo-historian David Irving sued academic Deborah Lipstadt for calling him such, it was Sir Richard who eviscerated the anti-Semite’s reputation as a scholar and helped secure victory for Lipstadt, the truth, and the dead.)
“Those seeking an answer to the undying question, ‘How did good people come to let it happen?’, might turn to Sir Richard’s definitive The Coming of the Third Reich but the man himself has provided a more succinct account. Anti-Semitism makes him ‘very angry’ (as though he were talking about a dog that keeps running through a flowerbed) but ‘only Labour can beat the Tory’ where he lives.”
explains Daisley. Then:
“The same question may be asked of Labour MPs like Jess Phillips and Wes Streeting, of the party’s other academic enthusiasts, of its media outriders, of those who will not vote Labour but silently sympathise with Corbyn on this subject. Anti-Semitism is ‘the organisation of politics against the Jews’ but to succeed it requires those who are not anti-Semites to agree to be so organised, to learn to dismiss the Jews, then to blame them, and eventually to hate them.
I think it’s gone beyond the time when the remaining moderates can legitimately claim they’re better off fighting ‘from the inside’.
“There is a nexus of complicity between anti-Semites, their defenders and amplifiers, and those who fail to resist the organisation of politics against the Jews. It includes those who, though awake to the evils of anti-Semitism, will still vote, campaign and stand for an institutionally anti-Semitic part
The toxicity within social media shows that there’s much to worry about. Recent polls indicate that Labour is on course for a humiliating defeat, but it’s also been suggested that polling via landline is nowhere near an accurate representation of ‘the many’. Mobile phones have replaced all the old stuff - landlines, MSM and apparently, common sense and education too. Threads that consist largely of Momentum-orchestrated Twitterstorms are truly alarming. The vitriol heaped upon Rabbi Mirvis is but one example of where we’re heading.
For once, the below the line commentary is largely sympathetic. Daisley’s pro-Israel themed articles often attract nasty comments, ether innuendo-laden or downright racist from a small but regular group of right-wing contributors.
There’s a certain type of middle-class left-wing Guardian reader who embodies the righteous “I can’t possibly be an antisemite” delusion. I recognise them and I see them everywhere. Guardian-reader, special middle-class hairdo, nice clothes, well-spoken and unaware of the depth of their ignorance. If they were a race, I’d be the massive racist they already think I must be.
The real danger of Labour is not so much its anti-semitism as its growing opposition to free speech and democratic principles (which may result in it actually being able to implement anti-semitic policies). We've seen Labour people like Jess Phillips argue for Electoral Commission vetting of all candidates. We've seen Labour candidates threaten newspapers with statutory control, to intimate them against opposing Labour. We've seen them, in government, extend what we understand by "hate crime" to encompass factual statements, honest opinions, inoffensive statements held by most of the populace and religious beliefs. We've seen them argue for the removal by dubious means or non-platforming of democratically elected polticians such as Nigel Farage and Donald Trump.ReplyDelete
Deborah Lipstadt stated: "I am a free speech person, I am against censorship" and she opposed the prison sentence imposed on David Irving by the Austrian authorities. That is the Voltairian principle we should be adhering to, because that is the essential underpinning. As soon as we have censors - in the Electoral Commission, EHRC, Ofcom, Police Hate Crime Units and elsewhere - deciding what we are allowed to say, or not, then democracy is sliding to ruin.
Our "liberals" are not liberal. They support the imposition of PC ideology, the curtailment of free speech and the erosion of democracy, replacing it with a kind of parody based on group rights and "protected characteristics".