Saturday, 18 August 2018

On the Campaign against Corbyn

As the dust settles after another episode in Labour's interminable anti-semitism wars, one in which we're told there's a "fine line" between opposing Israel's oppression of Palestinians and anti-Jewish racism, it seems even the most gutter attacks will do as long as it's seen to damage Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.

Yet let's step back and assess the factional battlefield. It does look like the party will adopt the contested IHRA definition and its woolly examples. And the anti-Corbyn group in the party have successfully worked to ensure anti-semitism allegations have dominated the summer's headlines and news bulletins, crowding out even egregious and deliberate displays of Tory racism. This flashy show of apparent strength, however, papers over real weakness and retreat. Yes, despite the likes of Hodge, Umunna, Austin and others dragging the party's name through the mud without comeback or consequence they are still losing.

Consider the bunkum about Labour's institutionalised anti-semitism. For those gullible enough to swallow the line of the Labour right, a number have foolishly taken them at their word and torn up their party cards. Meanwhile, they are getting replaced by a wider circle of Labour supporters disgusted at the attacks on Corbyn and have joined the party in solidarity. When you're in the numbers game, which among other things factional battles always are, pushing a strategy that builds your opponents' base while shredding your own is stupid.

Not only are the right's shenanigans building up the left, it's firming up and sharpening its attitudes and outlook. Smart centre and right Labour MPs understand this, which is why we see the same old malcontents time and again. Most keep shtum. As they have and continue to behave appallingly, they make their dread nemesis - mandatory reselection - more likely. Consider Unite, would they now be backing it if the right hadn't repeatedly lied about and scabbed on the members these last three years? The leader's office might be minded to compromise, but the bulk of the left are not. Support for reselection is growing among members, which the right can chalk up to their genius moves.

And third, for all the hand-wringing, the theatrics and bad language, what has actually been achieved? There is no appreciable impact on Labour's polling. Indeed, the consensus points to a modest lead. Likewise, ordinary people who don't pay attention to Westminster minutiae are getting sick of hearing about it too. And guess what, they're not blaming Corbyn for the round-the-clock coverage. They see politicians who like the sounds of their own voices attempting to bully someone they might not like but accept is principled and driven by values over self-interest. It's also possible a few more people have started following things in more depth and are getting a crash course in media manipulation and lobby hack cronyism. Well done the Labour right!

What we are seeing is a consequence of an entirely avoidable and self-inflicted factional collapse. But how has it come to this? Where is their self-awareness, their instinct for self-preservation? There are a series of reasons, but chief among them is they're just not good at politics. And as this encompasses many politicians, not just one or two, incompetence has to be more than a coincidence of personal failings: if large numbers consistently make crap calls we're talking about dysfunctional social relationships.

It's widely accepted that the PLP has gentrified. Thanks to the defeat of the labour movement in the 1980s and shutting down the conveyor between the shop floor and Westminster the unions once provided (Angela Rayner proving a rare, recent exception), middle class professionals simply expanded into the vacancies the unions left unfilled. And we have Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair to thank too. Getting more of these sorts in, so went the reasoning, would increase the party's kerb appeal to nice middle class people in the market for an alternative to the Tories. Now, there's never been a golden age of Labour selections without unfair advantages, but as the centre of gravity shifted away from the unions and more to the party leadership and the apparat different skills were demanded of aspirant MPs. Forming alliances with key officials, politicians, people who matter, and factional outfits draws on networking virtuosity, of looking smooth and speaking well, and transferring one's PowerPoint presentation skills to the selection meeting. The stuff of political organising beyond voter ID was obsolete next to the glad handing, back rubbing, and smoke blowing capacities of the determined careerist. Fast forward to 2015 and the return of mass politics, the cadres formerly used to the calm waters of the Blairist paddling pool suddenly find themselves at sea without a compass, a life jacket, and no idea how to swim. They don't know how to fight politically because they've never had to, and they're definitely unused to masses of new members immune to the star power that wowed the sparsely attended CLP meetings of old. Disarmed by upbringing, habit and inclination, the fact their boasts to out-recruit and out-organise Corbynism were always going to prove empty, if not farcical, and so they have.

This brings us back to their counter-productive, self-destructive campaign against the party. They could've eaten a bit of humble pie, learned from Corbynism and developed a skill set appropriate to the political situation. But they didn't. The media is what they know and what they think matters because it did under Saint Tony. Obviously, it does still but its power is hobbled by social media, which circumvents its messaging and reaches beyond the audiences of specialist politics programmes and the papers themselves. And then there is the reach of the party itself. At 550,000 members and another 300,000 affiliates on top almost everyone in Britain now knows a family member or a friend who is a member or a vocal supporter. Remembering these are heavily pro-Corbyn, the left have won the network wars outside of the internet as well. For instance, a non-political mate is more likely to believe my take on what's happening to Labour than any number of talking head personnel managers lining up to attack Corbyn. And there are hundreds of thousands like me. The left have roots, and the right do not. All they have is privileged media access and a mindset that can only comprehend success in media terms - the column inches given over to their positions, the air time, the prominence in the news. Even their own people abandoning the party is seen not as a disaster but proof their strategy is working!

Many folks have noted how much the Labour right shares with their Tory counterparts. The tendency to Parliamentary cretinism and cross-party chumminess immediately come to mind. There is something else they share too: decadence. Their entire trend is zombified and dropping to bits, and yet they mindlessly carry on, uninterested or unable to grasp the character of their predicament. And nothing will change until the much-promised centrist outfit turns up and they disappear into the obscurity of the historical footnote, or party members call time on their undistinguished careers.

29 comments:

Tim Murray said...

They thought they were on the gravy train for life. They can see that comfortable ride disappearing

Jeremy Corbyn (Parody) said...

Superb post. Enjoyed the read.

Support #JC9yes9. Support mandatory reselection. Keep an eye on Lansman. Taunt Blairites. Nobody owns Momentum.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Thank you!

Unknown said...

Very well written. I will keep a copy on my desktop to revisit. Thank you.

Debbee said...

Excellent analysis. Personally, I felt for a long time that there was a strong faction within the PLP that wanted to the party to become a clone of the US Democratic Party, in many cases these MP's had been 'parachuted' into safe Labour seats. The likes of Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelsohn believed there was 'nowhere else' for the traditional Labour voters to go, how very foolish they were. Understandably local members often felt completely unrepresented by these people and then Brexit came along, giving the opportunity to make a protest vote.

Anonymous said...

Are things so essentially different now?

Regarding power- A couple of years ago I was told by someone who had in the past been a prominent MP and who is still prominent on the right of the Labour Party, (referring to selections and the help that individuals may or may not get from interested political factions)- that 'it is not how good you are in the Labour Party but only about who you know'. Someone on the left of the party (in a similar prominent position) only a couple of weeks ago said the same thing to me to describe the current state of the party. I think it is a mistake to juxtapose one set of interests against another as better when it comes down to one set of elites against another- friends of friends ...and so it goes on.

Blissex said...

«strong faction within the PLP that wanted to the party to become a clone of the US Democratic Party»

In more ways than one, in particular as to being funded by business sponsors as a marketing organization, rather than a mass movement. Two hopefully very interesting quotes, the first about the USA Democratic Party:

https://theintercept.com/2017/06/25/ralph-nader-the-democrats-are-unable-to-defend-the-u-s-from-the-most-vicious-republican-party-in-history/
Do you want me to go through the history of the decline and decadence of the Democratic Party? I’m going to give you millstones around the Democratic Party neck that are milestones.
The first big one was in 1979. Tony Coelho, who was a congressman from California, and who ran the House Democratic Campaign treasure chest, convinced the Democrats that they should bid for corporate money, corporate PACs, that they could raise a lot of money.
Why leave it up to Republicans and simply rely on the dwindling labor union base for money, when you had a huge honeypot in the corporate area? And they did.


And the all time classic from the diary pf A Campbell's deputy spinmaster, 1999-10-19 about a New Labour marketing strategy meeting:

Philip Gould analysed our problem very clearly. We don’t know what we are. Gordon wants us to be a radical progressive, movement, but wants us to keep our heads down on Europe. Peter [Mandelson] thinks that we are a quasi-Conservative Party but that we should stick our necks out on Europe.

Amazing to discover that J Corbyn is a brownite, less surprising that P Mandelson is still a mandelsonian. :-)

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that Corbyn's enemies in the party (I use that word deliberately - this is his hardcore opponents, not just those who may genuinely disagree with some aspects of his worldview) have cranked up the rhetoric on AS to absurd levels, gambling that the bad publicity would finally be enough to shame the party into ditching Corbyn (or at least easing him out after a decent interval)

It is now looking fairly clear that this last-ditch attempt to reclaim control of "their" party is going to fail. Which leaves them in a genuine bind about what to do. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch!

Anonymous said...

I don't know how 'influence' regarding selections work now but in the recent past phone calls giving the interview questions to favoured candidate/s were made by party officers and some times MPs. Some members of the interview Panels were informed about who to vote for by senior past and present MPs. A little different than the social capital and ability of middle class people perhaps to just do well at interviews.

Captain Swing said...

The real source of the anti–Corbyn faction's hubris dates to the implementation of OMOV for leadership elections. In particular as an unintended result of the abdication of the PLP's traditional hegemony over party power which followed as a consequence of a measure intended to fatally and finally defenestrate the trades unions. For, in their enthusiasm to abolish the block vote, the exponents of OMOV neglected to consider or more likely wholly misunderstood the corresponding consequences of the removal of PLP's weighted franchise and correspondingly dramatic empowerment of Labour members. Their error, in other words, was in presuming the docility of the rank and file - 'individual'ordinary members in the CLP's: constituted as a mass party swollen by anger at the supine refusal of the Miliband era party to oppose austerity. The feigned injury and manufactured brouhaha over antisemitism and Corbyn's acceptance of the referendum result are thus revealed as the crocodile tears of an ABC (Anybody but Corbyn) faction in the PLP (and perhaps party in waiting) whose mutinous response to the loss of 'their' privilege is to sabotage the party's prospects of winning a general election and reversing some of the damage done by the policies of the neoliberal era.

Barney said...

The 'who you know' factor needs to end. That's what the campaign for open selections and reselections is about.

Unknown said...

Tony blair said once that he wished he had done more with his landslide victory,been bolder ect ect.Well I dont think we are going to have that problem with Jeremy.Anything over 80 seats and it will be goobye trident,goddbye HOL,goodbye HS2 and break the pfi con.We will be rolling in money,a man who wont travel first class to save the public purse could save a pisspot full of readies from buckingham palace.

Blissex said...

«reclaim control of "their" party»

That "their" in air-quotes really means the party of their sponsors; these people are very realistic and know very well that who pays the piper calls the tunes.

What has really killed their dream of controlling the party is that Labour is no longer funded, sparingly to keep it on the leash, by billionaires, but since J Corbyn entirely (and better than before) by members.

That is I reckon by far the biggest consequence of corbynism, and probably the main reason why attacks are so unrelenting and vile, out of all proportion to his very mild socialdemocratic programme. It is about the loss of control...

Blissex said...

«the implementation of OMOV for leadership elections»

The plan there was very explicit: that mostly socially liberal and economically conservative affluent property owning suburban voters would become members, and that would guarantee mandelsonian rule of the party "forever".

The mandelsonian plan was then to turn New Labour in a clone of the LibDems, with a small whig membership, but keep its mass voter base; the assumption was that lower income or renter voters would still vote for the party symbol, or abstain, because they would have nowhere else to go, but not become party members, repulsed by the thatcherite policies of the leadership. This assumption was confirmed by the big fall in membership thanks to T Blair, and by the big rise in non-voting since 1997.

The plan had three big flaws:

* The affluent suburban voters see voting as a shopping decision, and not something they need to participate in, so not many became New Labour members.

* Those affluent suburban voters care primarily about property rents and prices, and have little party loyalty, so when New Labour let property rents and prices crash in 2009 they went back to voting Conservative, which they had abandoned in 1997 because of the previous crash in property rents and prices.

* There were no practical barriers to membership for low income voters, so many became members, or returned to membership, in 2015.

K. said...

Not so sure about that. Where I am, the Corbynistas are from a similar socio/economic group to the Blairites. No massive influx of workers yet. Hopefully that's to come.

Anonymous said...

I think some people are too hung up on the outdated, if not outright misleading at times, ABC1C2DE definitions of "class" here.

The "new" working class - the "precariat" in crappy short term jobs like call centres and temping - are still classified as middle class according to the above, but really aren't. And quite a few of them have joined Corbyn's party.

Meanwhile, former skilled (or even unskilled) workers who have bought their own homes and often gone into stuff like landlordism, are still "working class" according to pollsters. Of course, they are no longer in any meaningful sense, and the fact they mostly voted Tory last year really should not surprise anybody.

Anonymous said...

It seems clear to me that there is a simple message here. Re-Education. We cannot assume that everyone understands what the Party stands for & what democratic socialism means, that there is no correlation between Labours socialism & Russia's communism or the Nazis supposed socialism. The Labour Party is not, nor was it ever exclusively one individuals party. It is a party for everyone. A Labour party in Governmet will be for all, regardless of political affiliation, profession, education. religion, gender and age. Whilst I agree then in the fundamental message/statements coming from Labour *hierarchy* this AS row must be resolved. The bickering, taunts, abusive tweets only lowers us to the critics level & does nothing to address the subject of all forms of racism in this country. So we should re-educate & monitor ourselves explain in laymans terms what AS is, what Islamaphobia means what is racist rhetoric.
The biggest screw up so far this century was the EU referendum & because not many knew or understood the role we played in the Union. it's benefits to our society or it's failings, the consequences are a large number of leavers now wish to remain & the country & party is split down the middle .
We are now witness to the rise in extreme RW factions in society not least in Britain, on our streets, workplaces, schools & now , ye gods forgive us, political arena. This isnt simply a racism issue, this is hatred fuelled aggression which we have ignored during Labours civil war.

We cannot wait for a GE to address the consequences of our inaction or our inability to communicate our desired policies.

Apologies for taking over your blog.

TheOnlySanePersonOnPlanetEarth said...

Anonymous makes important points here, even if it is over stated. Objectively a good portion of the working class are natural Tory voters, own home, shares, landlordism, and all the other advantages that relative wealth brings.

The real base of Corbyn are those sections of the precariat who can be bothered to vote or have been enthused by Corbyn’s agenda, the young whose opportunities have narrowed considerably since austerity and those traditional labour voting families.

So why is anons point over stated? Well because by ward the votes still largely reflect class position or at least class tradition. So if you drive through any town the leafier parts will vote Tory/Lib Dem and the more run down areas will vote Labour, as has been the case for decades.

Of course the no voters linear trend is still on the upward curve, as voting becomes more and more pointless.

On the ‘anti Semitism’ hysterical nonsense,

I think people who are genuinely concerned about racism wouldn’t be calling for expulsions of people who may have said the slightly wrong thing once upon a time. This draconian, ‘zero tolerance’ approach belies the real agenda.

Genuine anti racists wouldn’t say to a comrade who had said something slightly inappropriate, get out and never come back. No, you would try to explain why what they said was inappropriate and try to educate them to see the error in what they say. Driving them out is not zero tolerance, it actually says, be racist, but not here!

The witch hunters don’t try to educate or engage with people and go for the draconian measures because witch hunters always have a hidden agenda. In this case it is the defence of Israel and the undermining of Corbyn. They don’t give a fig about anti Semitism or any other form of racism.

People who are genuinely concerned about racism wouldn’t have an army of people pouring over every utterance, appearance or action of a certain section of people and try to find a direct link to Corbyn. These are not the actions of a real opposition to racism but are the actions of pure political opportunists and scoundrels. They are truly sickening.

Anonymous said...

Blair's New Labour was about congruence with American foreign and domestic party policy and makeup. In this schedule the difference between Left and Right supposedly becomes that between a "diverse and inclusive" neoliberal miltarism versus a neoliberal militarism plus homophobia sexism and racism (aka "traditional family values")

Blissex said...

«Objectively a good portion of the working class are natural Tory voters, own home, shares, landlordism, and all the other advantages that relative wealth brings.»

But those people are not just or even mostly "proletarians" in the sense used by our blogger, because their interests as property owners override their interests as workers for hire. They may still have a "working class" culture and accent, but they are mostly rentiers.

What many people especially in areas like Stoke forget is that property in the south-east and London has delivered to "middle-income" workers around £10,000-£20,000 a year, sometimes more than their after tax income as workers. This story from a commenter on another blog is not rare:

“I inherited two properties in 1995 [ ... ] and the value has gone from £95,000 to £1,100,000”

That's £43,000 a year work-free of wealth redistributed upwards for 23 years, not a few hundred or a few thousand even. Most property rentiers worship Thatcher, Blair, Osborne, and are born-again tories who are the core constituency of Conservatives and New Labour, the famous “aspirational voters who shop at John Lewis and Waitrose” championed by P Mandelson, C Umunna, T Hunt. Then there are also the pension rentiers, a result of (temporary) success of the trade union movement.

The classic "leftoid" attitudes and clich├ęs need to be revised in light of 30-40 of mass rentierism. This revision need not be the "let's become quasi-Conservatives" like P Mandelson and T Blair, but it requires serious political thinking.

«Blair's New Labour was about congruence with American foreign and domestic party policy and makeup.»

That, but also much more crudely to be on the side of rentiers rather than that of renters and workers. Which is what the USA Democratic Party did when their italian/jewish/irish base became property rentiers and after they started taking business campaign funds.

Anonymous said...

Great piece but it is putting a certain gloss over the "expected" acceptance of the IHRA examples.

If the examples are adopted, like it or not, it will be a victory for Corbyn's enemies because it will show that they still wield considerable power to influence enough people in the Party to do their bidding and change policy. This will give them even greater impetus to continue with their attacks. No matter what spin is put on the acceptance of the examples, if it goes ahead it will be an unmitigated disaster and a lesson that we still have not turned the corner nor have the stomach to face down the wreckers.

What is so galling is that to appease one side of the Jewish community - those who are trying to destroy Corbyn, we are completely letting down the other side who are begging us not to accept the examples. What sort of dirty trick is that to play on our friends?

It’s wonderful that Corbyn has been able to attract an additional 300/400k members to the Party but how fickle are they? Could they disappear just as quickly or even join the ‘other side’ when influenced by the wreckers, who will still be there, when confronted with issues not so clear cut as at present?

Tmb said...

A good portion of the working class are natural Labour voters, too. Not the fake Labour party beloved of 'left liberals' and metropolitan 'Guardianistas' and phoneys like them, but a Labour party focussed on improving the lives of working class people. The Tories, and the neoliberal economic system they espouse has gone three notches too far. For many people, things are a big struggle, whilst for a cosseted elite and their middle class poodles, toadies and supporters, things couldn't be better. As I've said before, there is a moral issue to the deeply unequal wealth and other divisions in this society. It certainly seems as people get wealthier, they become callous and indifferent to the hardships and sufferings of others. These are, by and large, the people who are in power in the UK. For the most part, they disgust me for their greed, hypocrisy, selfishness, lying, narcissism and blatant self regard. Not an ounce of integrity amongst the lot of them, from any party.

Blissex said...

«what democratic socialism means»

Of all people it was R Hattersley that in 2001 explained that well, and what "corbynism" (that is, the Labour wing of the Labour party) is for:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/jun/24/labour2001to2005.news
«Tony Blair discovered a big idea. His destiny is to create a meritocracy. Unfortunately meritocracy is not the form of society which social democrats want to see. ... A Labour government should not be talking about escape routes from poverty and deprivation. By their nature they are only available to a highly-motivated minority.
The Labour Party was created to change society in such a way that there is no poverty and deprivation from which to escape.
... The certain knowledge that the Conservative Party would be a worse government than Labour is not enough to sustain what used to be a party of principles. ... At this moment Labour stands for very little that can be identified with social democracy»

Tmb said...

The change from 'improving the lot of the working class' to 'escaping the working class', was merely the whole political class' excuse to abandon the 80% of the population, and concentrate on building up the wealth of the 1 to 3% of the wealthiest, and keeping the professional middle class, now in virtually all of the institutions as the 'gatekeepers', in the best jobs. The rest of us don't really count anymore. It's a political, social and economic variant on the American system. Amoral, Darwinian, harsh and unfair at worst, brutal, selfish, chaotic and limiting at best. Take a look at America to see how this system works out, now take a look at London.

We are under what some people have called the 'New Orthodoxy', which could be explained clearly and briefly as a mix of hard right 'neoliberal' economics with 'liberal left' privileged 'obsessions' with numerous genders, minority rights, transgender issues and identity politics, whilst studiously avoiding class and economic issues. In short, the left are in cahoots with the right. Politics is now mostly a gravy train for people who have few if any real principles.

TheOnlySanePersonOnPlanetEarth said...

“The change from 'improving the lot of the working class' to 'escaping the working class', was merely the whole political class' excuse to abandon the 80% of the population,”

Whenever I hear discussions about class I am always reminded that it is done within the confines of the nation state in question, so is not just about class but nationalism. If we look at the working class, one of the major changes in Britain was a move away from heavy industry to service jobs, and an increase of women in the workforce. But, those heavy industry jobs did not disappear they were just done by non Brits (ok and the odd machine).

Why am I telling you this? Well if we were to speak on behalf of the working class we would have to say that the take home pay of those employed in heavy industry went down significantly during the neo liberal period, because instead of mining being done by a British worker it was now being done by a Colombian slave.

So I think we need to admit that when you are talking about the conditions of the working class you speak of a very small section of it, the UK section. The left have become sectional in their view of the working class.

The average wage in the UK has actually increased over this neo liberal period but the gap between wages and productivity has increased. This isn’t an abandonment of the 80% of the population it is how capitalism functions at its most basic level, and it really is irrelevant what the political class thinks. Obviously we all agree the ultimate solution is to get rid of capitalism. And unless Corbyn is planning to overthrow capitalism (given his defensive attitude to anti Semitism then it seems unlikely he has the balls to bring down the capitalist system!) then these trends will simply continue as capitalism knows no other path, the path of exploitation and destruction.

I agree we are under the new orthodoxy as you describe it, mixing hard right economics with militant liberalism, though they do keep the illiberal attitude to sex, the illiberal attitude to those claiming benefit, an illiberal attitude to those in prison and an illiberal attitude to migrants! In fact their liberalism seems to coincide with whatever imperialist adventure is active at the time.

They also have very specific objections to violence, blowing someone up with a homemade device bad, blowing someone up with a high tech bomb good, mowing people down with a truck bad, mowing people down with austerity good, land mines bad, aerial bombardment good. Though it can be basically reduced to, when the Western imperialists kill a million people good, when a mentally ill person mows down some people the greatest threat to civilisation ever necessitating the erection of a mass surveillance society and a huge military complex.

Tmb said...

Very good reply.

When I say class, I generally mean economic class, and I think that society conforms along those lines, as in 1 to 3% at the top are very wealthy and powerful, around 17% are affluent and middle class, and the 80% propping them up. I call it the 20/80 society. Seeing class as an economic reality makes the most sense to me. It's not a new idea and there's lots of stuff online.

http://www.whataboutclassism.org/new-blog/2016/11/11/the-continued-rise-of-the-2080-society

'In fact their liberalism seems to coincide with whatever imperialist adventure is active at the time.'

Yes, with a few points of disagreement, I agree with you. The 'left liberals' infesting the left wing and to some extent the Labour Party, are by their actions and pronouncements neither left or liberal, they are merely cuckoos in the nest. It all gets rather confusing. Liberal seems to mean everything, nothing or anything the person using it wants it to mean. It seems that, like in other ages, a person can call themselves 'respectable' or 'a good Christian' or a 'tolerant liberal', and then rather bizarrely can act and behave as vilely and hatefully as they like. It is cheap psychology, but it seems to have so many precedents in history and recent history. Todays 'left liberals' are simply establishment toadies, stooges and gatekeepers, pretending to be impartial, independent and anti establishment. I think most people these days are aware of this, to some degree.

'...it can be basically reduced to, when the Western imperialists kill a million people good, when a mentally ill person mows down some people the greatest threat to civilisation ever...'

Yep, we live in a dreadful and insane age. What kind of self proclaimed humanist or liberal can agree with the above? Phonies, fakes and flakes. We live in an age of acute hypocrisy and double standards. But, being honest, what's new?

levi9909 said...

This is a very good and useful post but far too fatalistic and casual about the adoption of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism which conflates Jews, the State of Israel and Zionism & it conflates antisemitism with anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel. It can & will be used to further harass, silence & expel supporters of the Palestinian cause. It's examples of antisemitism are not "woolly", they are clear assertions. A Jewish right to self-determination is asserted and the meaning of self-determination as per IHRA is Jewish statehood. The idea that a state specially for the world's Jews is a "racist endeavour" is listed as an example of antisemitism but Israel is a racist endeavour whose existence is predicated on the ongoing displacement of the Paletinians. Israel is posited as a democracy and yet there is no other democracy that invites people from abroad to come and live there whilst denying that right to people who live there now or who come from there.

The IHRA working definition of antisemitism has been used to silence Israel's critics and to lose people their jobs. It now looks like if it is adopted by Labour, it will lose Jeremy Corbyn his job.

Another Green World said...

Sensible as usual, I have seen a fair bit of internal battling in my day, totally agree a strategy that recruits opponents and reduces membership of sympathisers is a losing strategy.

K. said...

Actually quite a few of the Baltic states and former Yugoslav republics have disenfranchised their Russian/Serbian citizens to varying extents and welcome foreigners of the'correct' ethnic origin. Which should also be condemned, imo.