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Anorak | Only bigots and fools think Jews lost Barnet for Labour

Only bigots and fools think Jews lost Barnet for Labour

by | 4th, May 2018

According to the Indy, the Conservatives won control of Barnet Council in north London because “Labour was punished by voters for the antisemitism controversy”. Er, no.

Also wrong is Owen Jones, who writing beneath the hopeful headline “The biggest election threat facing Labour is complacency”, tells Guardian readers:

“Westminster, Barnet and Kensington and Chelsea are all Tory citadels in the capital that have never surrendered to the wooing of Labour.”

Jones’s long and monocular story tells of Tory “chaos” over Windrush and makes a single mention of all that anti-Jew hatred in the heart of Labour’s ranks:

Barnet, in north London, is home to Britain’s biggest Jewish population, many of whom feel angry about, and fearful of, the left’s antisemitic fringe.

Fringe? Is Jeremy Corbyn now on the fringe of the party he leads?

Jones might also like to read this letter in the Guardian:

Labour took control of the council in 1994 with the support of the Lib Dems, remaining in power until the election of 2002. From 1997 until 2010, it returned two Labour MPs: Rudi Vis (Finchley and Golders Green) and Andrew Dismore (Hendon). Not so “otherworldy” then.

Having reduced Jews from individuals with their own likes, dislikes, needs, contradictions and prejudices to a group who vote en masse – what racism? – the Indy adds:

Labour was widely expected to win the borough for the first time since the local authority was created in 1964. London Mayor Sadiq Khan had predicted the party would “probably” claim victory but admitted fears about left-wing antisemitism could damage their campaign.

Depressing stuff, no, not least of all because the narrative goes that only Jews give a toss about anti-semitism at voting time. Is Barnet the only borough where race hate is punished by voters? Can it be that everywhere Labour won is a haven for anti-Semites?

Barnet’s Labour group leader Barry Rawlings tells us:

“…to be honest most of the conversations have been about potholes rather than antisemitism. That said, we want people to know it is an issue we take very seriously in the Labour Party.”

No. You don’t. Anti-semitism is not something Labour takes seriously. Of course, if the Guardian and Indy are correct, only lots more Jews in lots more wards would force Labour to censure Jew baiting and Jew hatred in its ranks. But thinking that way is to fall into the trap of Jews losing Barnet for Labour.

Council leader Richard Cornelius, a Conservative councillor, also said voters were generally more concerned about “local issues” rather than accusations of antisemitism within Labour.

“It’s things like potholes, the collection of their rubbish bins and keeping the council tax low,” he said.

Most people didn’t bother to vote at all. Voter turnout in Barnet 43.7% – an increase from 41.1% four years ago. Sod the Jews – it’s apathy that prevented a bigger Tory win.

 

2011 – census

 

And how many Jews are there in Barnet? The census tells us:

Garden Suburb in Barnet was the most populous Jewish ward in 2001, even though it has grown since, it has been overtaken by Golders Green, which has increased by a third in a decade.

JPR [ Jewish Policy Research] now puts the number of Jews in Golders Green at 7,661 – which is considerably higher than the 6,795 people in the ward who identified themselves as Jews by answering the religion question in the census.

Not all that many, then. Although many don’t want their thoughts and aspirations to be calculated and sieved through race:

JPR has adjusted the total by adding the estimated number of Jews from among people in the ward who did not answer the religion question. In fact, JPR demographer David Graham has found that in wards with large Jewish populations, the number of residents overall who omitted the religion question was 9.3 per cent — more than the 7.2 per cent who left it blank across the country as a whole.

 

Total Barnet population*, 2001–2016

Total Barnet population, 2001–2016 – Via

 

What about non-Jews?

According to the 2011 census, by religion, Christianity is the largest faith in Barnet accounting for 41.2% of the total population. The next most common religions are Judaism (15.2%) and Islam (10.3%).

Drop those flaming torches and stand down the hunt, Corbynists. It wasn’t the Jews wot wunnit for the Tories in Barnet. It’s doubtless comforting for Corbyn and his supporters with their adherence to the reductive and patronising power of identity politics to view Jewish voters as a ‘community’ best managed through lunch with a ‘community leader’, but people are individuals. Labour lost and the Tories won for as many reasons as there are voters.

 



Posted: 4th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians Comment | TrackBack | Permalink