The coming hatchet job on Labour

JVL Introduction

David Rosenberg  looks at the forthcoming hatchet job on Labour, this time from the Panorama programme and urges us to stay calm. Respond with forensic refutation after the broadcast, he says, but also find more productive ways of getting information out in a campaigning way about issues of racism, including antisemitism in Britain today.

Let’s go on the offensive about the real increase in racism, especially Islamophobia, since the Tories came to power in 2010 – and ask why none of this is of interest to John Ware or the BBC.

This article was originally published by Facebook on Sun 7 Jul 2019. Read the original here.

The coming hatchet job on Labour

A bit of advice to Labour Party supporters getting anxious about the hatchet job that is coming our way this Wednesday with a special Panorama programme called “Is Labour Antisemitic?”, by the former Sun journalist, John Ware, who touts his “journalism” mainly in the right wing press and has been strongly criticised as Islamophobic. Let’s save our energy for a bit of calm and forensic refutation for Wednesday night and Thursday, but let’s use the beginning of this week in a much more productive way to get information out in a campaigning way about issues of racism, including antisemitism in Britain today.

We know the BBC is not putting on this programme because it is concerned with antisemitism or wider racism in British society, otherwise its programming and priorities would be very different. So here is what I think we should focus on this week and how.

There is a mountain of evidence that racism in its many varieties has become more severe since the Tories took power in 2010, aided and abetted by the Lib Dems until 2015, and on their own since. The referendum result of 2016 no doubt enhanced this and the evidence for that is clear in terms of street level abuse, but the Tories’ Hostile Environment policies targeting migrants and refugees and having such a devastating effect on longstanding Caribbean communities began in 2012.

The racism of the Tory supporting press has magnified over that whole period, not simply since the referendum, and the effects of that are felt especially by Muslim communities.

That’s two other programmes the BBC and John Ware could have made to present to the British public this week if they care about the largest forms of Racism in Britain in statistical terms in the last decade. Is that not interesting enough for the BBC?

And given levels of Islamophobia that have been exposed within the Tory Party, is the refusal of the Tories to hold an independent inquiry about it not scandalous – and a good subject for a Panorama investigation?

And what about antisemitism in British society? A mainstream Jewish body, the Community Security Trust (CST), who are no friends of Corbyn, can show you sound statistics that prove that, pretty much year on year, antisemitic incidents have been rising under Tory rule. These incidents are mainly verbal abuse and threats, anti-Jewish hatred/Holocaust denial, expressed on social media, attacks on Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, physical harassment and assaults on individuals or small groups of Jews (especially ultra-orthodox Jews and school students). And where the perpetrators are identified, they are largely white and far right. Is that not of interest to John Ware/the BBC? If not, why not?

The Tory government professes concern with antisemitism but seems to interpret that simply as adverse comment about Israel. It is not that surprising since they are closely allied with and supportive of Netanyahu’s extreme right wing, racist government. But could their reticence about wider issues of antisemitism be at all to do with the fact that for several years the Tory Party has been institutionally allied through its European Parliament group, with some of the most antisemitic, Islamophobic, anti-Roma, anti migrant/refugee parties in Europe who share right wing populist politics, such as the Polish Law and Justice party and United Poland, the Bulgarian National Movement, the National Alliance in Latvia, the Brothers of Italy, and more recently the Sweden Democrats and the Vox party in Spain. Is it also anything to do with their alliance with Trump who emerged from Alt-Right circles and has breathed new life into fringe white supremacist groups in America who, for example, chant on their demonstrations “Jews will not replace us!”

The Euro Parliament alliances are not speculation but real and verifiable links. And we can add to them the strong friendship and support the Tories have offered Orban in Hungary, a politician who openly used “Jewish conspiracy” antisemitism against George Soros to help get himself re-elected in Hungary’s last General Election.

“Who are the Tories friends in Europe, and what do they stand for?” – would make an interesting BBC investigation for John Ware or somebody less biased and more competent.

Does anybody seriously believe that with friends like these the Tories will offer solutions to antisemitism or any other form of racism in Britain? And which British politician has a record of campaigning against racism and fascism, and  done more than most to warn about the growth of the populist right/far right in Europe? Theresa May? Boris Johnson? Vince Cable? Tom Watson? None of them. It is actually Jeremy Corbyn on many occasions.

So how about we concentrate our efforts on getting these messages out this week as sharply and clearly as possible?


Comments (5)

  • amanda Jones says:

    Thank you for this. Shared far and wide. I am sorry for the way JVL voices are ignored and vilified. Solidarity.

  • S H says:

    The Bloody Biased British media is not even trying to pretend they are abiding by impartiality and broadcasting rules and getting the knives continually out for the Labour Party and it’s members and helped by the revolting Blairite traitors who couldn’t tell the truth even if it fell on their stupid heads. Lies and smears AGAIN and AGAIN. We need to fightback against our enemies who are using disgusting methods to hurt us backed by up the sick establishment. Well done to our friends David and JVL. We salute you.

  • David McNiven says:

    I take some comfort in the reasons behind the right having to resort to “Labour antisemitism” smears and their innumerable other lies.
    The major proofs of capitalism’s failure – austerity for the many concurrent with massive gains for the few – make “trickle-down economics” a busted flush.
    The right can justify their hegemony in no other way so they and their lapdogs the media push the same old lies ever more recklessly and transparently.
    Rising populism is a symptom of anger, frustration and societal collapse but offers no answers – the only true answer is Socialism.

  • John says:

    I have come to the conclusion that the Conservative Party is equally complicit in the muck-sxpreading of false accusations of mass antisemitism in Labour.
    Statements made by May in the House of Commons and Jeremy Hunt have chosen to exploit this farrago of lies for their own narrow advantage.
    The fact that the former Chair of the so-called Jewish Leadership Council – Sir Mick Davies – is now Chief Executive and Treasurer of the Conservative Party speaks volumes.

  • Deborah MacIntyre says:

    I’m a bit confused, having watched the Panorama programme about antisemitism in the Labour Party, which seemed to be suggesting that an influx of Marxists to the Labour party since Corbyn became Labour leader and that this has been a factor in the rise of antisemitism within the party. But Karl Marx was a Jew, was he not? And does not the BBC display prejudice against him?

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