Another stick to beat Jeremy Corbyn with

JVL Introduction

Another council election, another “revelation” of Jeremy Corbyn’s murky misdeeds. It would be serious if it wasn’t so laughable.

How to relate to historical figures and historical works from other epochs that carry the racist baggage of their times is a serious question. But no-one seems to want to address that in relation to Corbyn’s Introduction, written 8 years ago, to a reprint of JC Hobson’s famous work on Imperialism (on which Lenin was to draw so heavily in his analysis of the same topic). It is a topic we intend to return to. (Update: see Donald Sassoons’s brief comment here.)

In the meantime, here is a report from the Morning Star.

The Times’s launches yet another desperate smear against Corbyn

Rupert Murdoch’s rag has accused the Labour leader of anti-semitism for writing a foreword to a book by an influential historian who has also been cited by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown

Phil Miller, Morning Star
1st May 2019

THE TIMES newspaper has launched another desperate anti-semitism smear against Jeremy Corbyn, this time for writing a foreword to a book by an influential historian who has also been cited by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

The latest smear attempt appears to contradict previous smears in which Mr Corbyn has been accused of not reading enough books.

The Times has now realised that Mr Corbyn has not only read a book, but he has also written a foreword to one.

The book in question is called Imperialism: A Study and was authored by JA Hobson in 1902.

Mr Corbyn wrote a foreword in 2011 for a new edition of the book.

Eight years after the book went on sale in bookshops across Britain, Mr Corbyn’s foreword was “uncovered” by the Times journalist and Tory peer Lord Finkelstein.

The Times published its scoop a day before this week’s local elections, revealing:

“Jeremy Corbyn wrote the foreword to a book which argued that banks and the press were controlled by Jews.

“… In his foreword Mr Corbyn said the work was a ‘great tome’, praising Hobson’s ‘brilliant, and very controversial at the time’ analysis of the ‘pressures’ behind western, and in particular British, imperialism at the turn of the 20th century.”

However, in 2015 the Guardian’s former political editor Michael White said Mr Corbyn had written a “perfectly decent introductory essay”.

The book’s front cover carries a Guardian review which said Hobson had “changed the contours of social thought.”

Hobson was also cited in 2005 by Gordon Brown who said in a Chatham House speech:

“This idea of liberty as empowerment is not a new idea, JA Hobson asked, ‘is a man free who has not equal opportunity with his fellows of such access to all material and moral means of personal development and work as shall contribute to his own welfare and that of his society?’”

Tony Blair also described Hobson as “probably the most famous Liberal convert to what was then literally ‘new Labour’.”

Mr Blair made the comments in a pamphlet for the Fabians.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey MP told BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday morning:

“Jeremy’s not unlike other politicians who have quoted Hobson in particular speeches or written pieces about them.

“Jeremy in no way supports or sanctions the words that were used in relation to anti-semitism.”

Glyn Secker, secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour, told the Morning Star: “Daniel Finkelstein, in his scurrilous piece for the Times, ingeniously cobbles together quotes from two different books by Hobson.

“If you read Finkelstein’s piece carefully you will see that all the most anti-semitic passages come from an earlier book published in 1900 not from the later book to which Jeremy Corbyn wrote a foreword.

“In his Imperialism Hobson does in one passage make a dodgy reference to the Jewish element in international finance and to the Rothschilds as did many others at that time.

“But he also referred to JP Morgan and Cecil Rhodes — neither of them Jewish — as examples of financiers backing imperialism.

“The central argument of Hobson’s imperialism is not anti-semitic and is widely acknowledged as a key text in the history of the analysis of imperialism.”

Comments (1)

  • Sara says:

    The British press should be thoroughly ashamed at distorting the truth for political reasons and spreading the continual lies and smears about the Labour Party in order that a true socialist isn’t elected to power. I don’t trust any of these establishment publications including the BBC, ITV, Sky and Murdoch mouthpieces. Even the Guardian gives the odious Margaret Hodge and other Corbyn baiters license to spew. Murdoch unconditionally supports the racist idiot Trump yet bashes the champion of poor people Jeremy Corbyn. These overseas billionaires are protecting their own selfish interests and using disgusting means to do it. Trump calls everything Fake News so he can hide his behaviour and cover ups. No one believes anything coming from the British media which is totally controlled by vested interests who don’t want restribution of wealth. People are literally dying as a result of savage cuts and years and years of Tory austerity. JVL have shown that the REAL Fake News is about Jeremy Corbyn.

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