For the third issue of HUP comic in 1989, cartoonist Robert Crumb turned his eye on real estate tycoon Donald Trump, “one of the most evil men alive”. Crumb despised the 1980s greed he saw embodied in “venal” Trump. In 1991, Crumb left the USA for a Trump-free life in bucolic France.
They suspended EU Referendum campaigning in respect to Jo Cox, the Labour MP killed in the streets of her Yorkshire constituency. No-one told the Daily Mirror. As Jo Cox’s alleged killer, Thomas Mair stood in the dock at Westminster magistrates’ court, giving his name as “death to traitors”, the Mirror wondered: could Jo Cox’s barbaric killing help the Remain camp win the vote?
The paper teasers its readers: “ComRes analysts were amazed when the results coming in after 2pm began to show a marked change of heart from Brexit to Remain.”
Nigel Nelson continues in the paper that supports Remain: “Voters became more inclined to want to stay in the EU after MP Jo Cox was shot.”
The astonishing finding comes in a ComRes poll for the Sunday Mirror. And it shows the murder of the 41 year old mum of two could have a direct effect on Thursday’s result.
Awful if it does. Awful if a heinous crime decides the direction the future of the United Kingdom. Awful if Thomas Mair, Mrs Cox’s alleged killer, has a decisive say in the vote.
Our pollsters were asking questions on the EU referendum at the exact time news broke of the attack on the Batley and Spen Labour MP at 2pm on Thursday. ComRes analysts were amazed when the results coming in after 2pm began to show a marked change of heart. Before Ms Cox was shot 45 per cent of those polled said they would be “delighted” if the UK voted to leave the EU.
That dropped to 38 per cent after it – and the Remain camp got an astonishing nine point boost from those saying they would be delighted if we stayed.
Jo Cox made a difference then, so too did Thomas Mair, allegedly.
ComRes polled a total of 2,046 people between Wednesday June 15 at 9pm on Thursday. Most people had answered our questions before Ms Cox was gunned down on Thursday afternoon, but 192 answers came in afterwards.
Seems a bit woolly, no? The poll contained no question on Jo Cox. It’s pure guesswork to say her death had an impact.
EU referendum poll: 44% would be ‘delighted’ if Britain voted to Leave. Only 28% would feel the same if it’s Remain. Exclusive ComRes poll for The Independent finds voters feel more strongly about leaving the EU than staying…
In the only reaction that favours Remain, 41 per cent said they would feel “anxious” in the event of a Leave vote, more than the 33 per cent who would feel the same about Remain.
But what about the “tragic Jo poll surge”?
Polling was carried out online on Wednesday and Thursday this week, with 192 out of 2,046 interviews carried out after the news of the attack on Jo Cox, the Labour MP. Andrew Hawkins, chairman of ComRes, suggested that the attack might have influenced responses: “Not all respondents will have learned of the attack immediately, and the results should be taken with a degree of caution, but across all emotions reaction to a Leave vote was more negative among those interviewed after 2pm on Thursday.”
Thankfully, the poll is published online. Comres reports:
With less than a week to go until the vote, British adults are far more likely to say they would be delighted in the result of Britain voting to Leave the EU, rather than voting to remain (44% v 28%).
Similarly, more than two in five say they would be disappointed if Britain voted to Remain (44% v 33% who say the same if Britain votes to leave).
Despite this, many British adults remain uncertain over the future of a post-Brexit Britain; two in five say they would feel anxious if Britain votes to leave the EU next week, compared to a third who say the same for remain (41% v 33%).
Labour voters are more likely than their Conservative counterparts to feel anxious in the event of Britain voting to leave the EU next week (52% v 41%). This is the only emotion where a majority of voters of either major party share this sentiment.
Thomas Mair, 52, of Birstall, stood in the dock at Westminster magistrates court charged with the barbaric killing of Jo Cox, the 41-year-old MP for Batley and Spen. Why Westminster and not a court in Yorkshire, where Mrs Cox was killed? Because Westminster magistrates’ court is where terrorist cases are usually dealt with.
Asked for his name, Mair replies, “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.” His lawyers step in and confirm that the self-styled Mr Britain is called Thomas Mair. He entered no plea.
Deputy chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot noted: “Bearing in mind the name he has just given, he ought to be seen by a psychiatrist.”
Do all narcissists need to see a psychiatrist? Doesn’t the therapy industry create enough of them without inviting them in for a chat?
The suspect had allegedly been a supporter of National Alliance, the American neo-Nazi group that inspired Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, and has been called “the most dangerous hate group in America”.
Mair’s links to the “far-right” are front page news on the Times, Yorkshire Evening Post and Guardia. The Sun and Mirror also mention it on their covers, albeit in context of mental health and Jo Cox’s private life.
The Daily Star, which once supported the EDL, omits to mention Mair’s alleged “Nazi” sympathies on its cover, and leads with a pretty tawdry headline about what her last words were.
She is the Star’s “tragic Jo”. And on Page 4 readers do hear that Mair has Nazi memorabilia at his home. “The alleged killer also splashed out on books” from the National Alliance (NA), “a far-right US group”. The group “fight for an all-white homeland and slaughter of Jewish people”. The Times says the National Alliance”inspired Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber”.
The paper also notes there is no evidence that Mair had anything to do with the NA after 1999, when he “appeared to have ordered Ich Kampfe, the book given to all new members of the Nazi Party.”
So what about his mental health? Is it relevant? The Mail says it is:
The Daily Mailhas learned Mair walked into a centre which provides alternative therapies and counselling the evening before the shooting.
Staff said he came into the private business – 100 yards from the murder scene – asking what treatments he could have. Rebecca Walker, 43, who spoke to him for about 15 minutes, said she realised he was in ‘some sort of crisis’ She said: ‘He said he had walked by the centre every day for years and wanted to come in but never did.
‘He has never had the courage to come in. He suffered with depression and said he had been on medication for a long time.’
Miss Walker said he seemed a ‘quiet and gentle man’ and added: ‘I couldn’t believe what has happened.’ She said: ‘He was clearly have some kind of crisis. I think there was a real problem. He made a choice to come inside when he had never been able to do that before.’
Courage to come in to the health centre a day before he allegedly killed an innocent woman.
Why did Thomas Mair allegedly kill Jo Cox? Because he’s ill? Because he’s a Nazi? Because he’s a terrorist? Because he’s scared? Do we put the crime in a box and hammer the lid down, using the whys to still the dynamics and censor the crime? Why did a man stab and shoot an innocent women – a public figure, a mother, a wife, another human being, a Christian, a Labour MP and all the myriad things Jo Cox was? Do we want to know?
Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed and shot outside her surgery in Yorkshire. Many reports claim her alleged killer yelled “Britain First” before striking.
A 52-year-old man, named as Thomas Mair, has been arrested. What do we know about him? The Guardian notes:
Neighbours say suspect, named locally as Thomas Mair, would help them with gardening and did voluntary work
His half brother, who is mixed race, claimed he had been volunteering at a school for children with disabilities for several years and had never expressed any racist views.
The paper says he has “mental health issues”.
Nick Gannon, 33, who lived two doors away from Mair, has known him since he was 10 years old…”He was friendly. If you said hello to him, he would say hello back. He was not aggressive or anything. He wasn’t frightening.”
Britain Stronger In Europe and Vote Leave have stopped their campaigns.
Britain First have moved to distance themselves from the assassination:
Staying with the Guardian, Polly Tonybee knows why it happened. Even with no access to police records and interviews, she knows:
This attack on a public official cannot be viewed in isolation. It occurs against a backdrop of an ugly public mood in which we have been told to despise the political class, to distrust those who serve, to dehumanise those with whom we do not readily identify…
Her words drip in bias and opportunism. She mentioned Hitler, and how a goon or goons in “my local Labour councillor in Camden, north London” stuck a neo-Nazi stickers on their car windscreen. She records the words on the flyer: “This is a lave [leave] area. We hate the foriner. Nex time do not park your car with remain sign on. Hi Hitler. White Power.”
Others have been more erudite on racism and Hitler, people like Labour’s Ken Livingstone and Labour MP Naz Shah, both of whom Tonybee does not mention. She does, however have a point to make about right-wingers, apparently keen to paint Brexit voters as bigots:
It’s been part of a noxious brew, with a dangerous anti-politics and anti-MP stereotypes fomented by leave and their media backers mixed in. Only an hour before this shooting Nigel Farage unveiled a huge poster showing Syrian refugees fleeing to Slovenia last year, nothing to do with EU free movement – and none arriving here. Leave’s poster read: “Breaking Point. We must break free from the EU and take control of our borders.” Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas and many others condemned it as “disgusting”, and so it is…
This campaign has stirred up anti-migrant sentiment that used to be confined to outbursts from the far fringes of British politics. The justice minister, Michael Gove, and the leader of the house, Chris Grayling – together with former London mayor Boris Johnson – have allied themselves to divisive anti-foreigner sentiment ramped up to a level unprecedented in our lifetime. Ted Heath expelled Enoch Powell from the Tory front ranks for it. Oswald Mosley was ejected from his party for it. Gove and Grayling remain in the cabinet.
This is a new low. A woman is dead. Murdered. And people are using using her death to campaign for the EU Referendum. On twitter, we know what we get, but in the national Press we should expect better.
Hilary Clinton notes that the FBI had Omar Mateen in their sights. Mateen murdered 49 people at an Orlando gay club. Clinton is mazed that Mateen was able to buy a gun. She says anoyine under FBI investigation should be presumed guilty.
As one wag notes: “If the FBI is searching your emails for suspected highly classified security leaks, you shouldn’t be able to campaign for the presidency with no questions asked by the Media.
One more reason to vote to leave the European Union arrives. “The internet is a place for free speech, not hate speech,” says Vera Jourova, the EU commissioner responsible for justice, consumers and gender equality.
Jourova was born in 1964 Czechoslovakia. She grew up under Communist rule. You might suppose she’d know better than to meddle with hard-won freedoms. She says she understands what freedom means. Vera Jourova loves free speech. But Vera Jourova wants to censor free speech, to shackle it. The bits she does not like, she calls hate speech. These parts of free speech, says its champion, must be banned. And because the undemocratic EU works the way it does, what she says goes for every country in the bloc.
There’s a lot about European regulations, or regulatory intentions, that U.S. Internet giants don’t like. They hate being described and treated as monopolies, and a mention of paying taxes where they operate — as European countries have long wanted them to do — instantly puts them on the defensive. Yet ask Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube to censor their content, and they will happily oblige. Of all the U.S. rules that have allowed them to get as big as they have become, freedom of speech appears to be least important.
The four U.S. companies have accepted a European Union-dictatedcode of conduct, which obliges them to “review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content.” The reviewing is to be done by “civil society organizations” and “trusted reporters”: the EU and its member states are to “ensure access” to them…
Laws limiting free speech have a tendency to change in response to terrorist attacks, electoral upsets, changes in public attitudes. Russians and Turks can attest to how quickly anti-terrorist legislation can turn into a system of censorship and suppression. Europe is not immune to versions of these developments. The U.S. giants’ willingness to work with governments and advocacy groups to uphold speech limitations makes them unreliable as platforms.
Long ago, we kept up a feature called Now Watch, a look at instances of “NOIW” in front-page news headlines. Today we revisit the meme with a look at the Daily Express front-page laments: “NOW EU WANT TO BAN OUR KETTLES.”
Stopping just short of hailing the death of the Great British Kettle (made in Germany), the Express is at least prove that the boiler is reusable, having earlier thundered in 2014: “NOW KETTLES FACE EU BAN.”
When Harriet Harman, the Labour former deputy leader, told us Kim Kardashian’s naked breasts and pouting buttocks possessed “a kind of bravery and pioneering spirit” and that Page 3 Girls with their naked breasts and pouting buttocks were just “fodder”, we realised how right she was. So today we’re offering all Guardian readers a free Kim Kardashian Pioneer Kit. Each kit contains:
A leaked sex tape
A litre of baby oil (organic)
A famous father
A famous step-mother who used to be a famous step-father
A copy of The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
What they’re saying:
“Kim’s a pioneer, like Amelia Earhart, albeit with a better airplane and killer luggage” – Helen of Anjou
See if you can fathom what it is Harriet Harman, the Labour former deputy leader, is saying. Appearing on ITV morning telly to talk about women’s issues, Harman turned to nudity, celebrity, Page 3, onanism, feminism and narcissism. Yeah, she was talking about naked-to-deadline, sex-tape stunna Kim Kardashian:
“I am an expert on the Kardashians, I have to confess. I think, if you step back, the overall message that comes out of the Kardashian women is that they are kind of going to make their own decisions, make their own way in the world, they’re not going to be told by anybody what to do.
“They are going to try things differently. If they make mistakes, well, they’ll get up back and try and do it differently. There’s a kind of bravery and pioneering spirit in them.”
Kim’s porn and naked pictures are” brave and pioneering”. Kim’s like Amelia Earhart, albeit with a better airplane.
Now Harriet talked about the Sun and Daily Star’s Page 3 girls, who are mostly not rich:
“I think it’s an issue of control actually, because I get the sense from the Kardashians that they are in control of their own agenda. The thing about Page 3 girls in the Sun is it was male editors producing young girls for the male readers as fodder.”
No male readers ogle Kim Kardashian? No women read the Sun? No Page 3 Girl wanted to pose topless? Male editors get young girls as “fodder” but young Kardashians on TV stations and Twitter – any men on the board of MTV, Instagram or Twitter? – are empowered and possessed of the pioneering spirit?
What hideous elitist balls.
PS – Rupert Murdoch, why not get Kim Kardashian on Page 3? Admittedly, you’ll have to tell it’s just topless, but if she tones it down a notch, Harman will be even more confused.
Labour’s Future, Why Labour Lost in 2015 and How it Can Win Again, to be published this week, says the party is losing socially conservative voters to Ukip in droves, while appealing most to metropolitan liberals who tend to be better off and to have been to university.
Thankfully, Islington’s knowing and elitist dinner party chatters aren’t in the majority…
Intolerance of alternative viewpoints is spreading to places that make me, a moderate and a liberal, most uncomfortable. Only last year, we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry to the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures.
Just a moment.
I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine. Unless we take that absolute position without caveats or apologies, we have set foot upon a road with only one destination. If my offended feelings can justify a travel ban on Donald Trump, I have no moral ground on which to argue that those offended by feminism or the fight for transgender rights or universal suffrage should not oppress campaigners for those causes. If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on them grounds that they have offended you have crossed the line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification.
Boris Johnson’s wife Marina Wheeler is the victim of a “sex smear”, says the Sun. The attack on Marina is “designed to derail his battle for Britain to leave the EU”.
You might well roll your eyes. So what if Marina Wheeler has been playing away. What business is it of ours? Her husband is no paragon of virtue.
The Mail had more on Petronella Wyatt and her affair with Bozza the boffa:
Her four-year affair with Boris Johnson, which ended with her having a termination, led to Johnson being sacked from the Shadow Cabinet after famously rejecting reports of the affair as an ‘inverted pyramid of piffle’.
Is the Sun’s issue with the fact that a woman is now accused of straying outside her marriage? Is it different for girls? The paper adds:
False claims have been swirling around Westminster and online that Marina Wheeler was the high-profile QC caught in a drunken clinch with a fellow lawyer at Waterloo station last summer. And it’s members of the Remain camp that have helped fuel the lie, a Tory minister says. Sources claim the slur was spread around a champagne reception for Lord Ashcroft in early March. But a pal of Boris, 51, said she was “categorically” not involved and branded the slurs “pure poison”.
The Sun knows the real identity of the QC at the centre of the affair, but cannot reveal it for legal reasons.
Maybe that Sun story should run: “BORIS Johnson’s wife is the subject of a vicious sex smear campaign designed to derail the battle for Britain to STAY IN the EU.”
Marry Anne Noland’s obituary was published in Virginia’s The Richmond Times. She’d rather die than vote for Clinton or Trump:
NOLAND, Mary Anne Alfriend. Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68.
For his first act as the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump strode on stage, extended his arms and conducted the crowd through a chorus of “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
“We need to put our miners back to work!” he shouted Thursday to the crowd of more than 12,000 in the sunken, cavernous concrete Civic Center here. Hundreds of miners invited by the campaign to sit behind his podium rose in an extended standing ovation.
They love him. He’s local. Hell, he’s local everywhere:
Mr. Trump spent extended riffs going after Hillary Clinton, repeatedly referencing her comments about wanting to put the coal industry out of business (her campaign says she misspoke). He called the Clinton Foundation “disgusting,” referred to the investigation into her emails as secretary of state and Bill Clinton’s role in creating the North American Free Trade Agreement, and made a thinly veiled joke about Mr. Clinton’s infidelities.
“The Clinton administration, of which Hillary was definitely a part,” Mr. Trump said, continuing, “she was a part of almost everything. Almost, I say, not everything. Almost.”
He paused for a beat, as the crowd grew into a mix of laughter and cheers.
“Terrible,” Mr. Trump said, a wry joking tone in his voice. “I didn’t think the people of West Virginia thought about that. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Terrible, terrible people.”
Mr. Trump even donned a hard hat after receiving the endorsement of the West Virginia Coal Association, miming using a pick and shovel, before taking it off and risking his carefully crafted hair.
“You know you’re not allowed to hair spray anymore because it affects the ozone,” he said.
He added, in an allusion perhaps to his campaign’s overall slogan: “Hair spray’s not like it used to be. It used to be real good.”
The so-called rust belt states — in the north-east and midwest — are ripe for the picking. Trump does best in areas where the death rate among white people under 49 is highest — the downtrodden working class. Many of these people traditionally vote Democrat, but they have been voting for Bernie Sanders — Hillary Clinton’s Left-wing rival for the Democrat nomination — rather than Hillary herself. She lost the Michigan contest to Sanders, just as she lost Indiana to him this week.
Yes, Sanders is a socialist and Trump a billionaire plutocrat. But on trade — protection of American jobs — Sanders and Trump are on the same page.
Add a dash of Trump’s xenophobia and he’s in business.
Those who voted for Sanders because he speaks up for the little guy might well feel that Trump is closer to their hearts than Hillary.
What’s John Whittingdale been up to? The Star says the Tory MP, currently working as the culture and media secretary (GSOH, WLTM 4 MTV) “had a two-year fling with a Daily Star Page 3 girl”. Will he be involving himself with other mainstays of tabloid news, buying a lawnmower from the classified section, perhaps, or appearing in the TV pages as a Britain’s Got Talent wannabe?
Whatever’s next for Whittingdale, we are more interested in his past, chiefly his five-month romance with Olivier King, a dominatrix he met on Match.com, when he was single man and before he became a government minister, though he was chair of the Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport select committee. When Whittingdale discovered the single woman’s job he called off the affair. You might have read about his squeamishness in the tabloids, but when the story was hawked around Fleet Street, no-one bought it.
Anti-free Press, pro-privacy outfit Hacked Off and the BBC thought that a shame. Andrew Gilligan writes that Hacked Off worked with the BBC to produce their story of Whittingdale and the sex worker for Newsnight – that’s the show that opted to keep Jimmy Savile’s crimes private, spiking a story on the paedophile. These champions of privacy who bemoan press invasion into private lives wanted us to know about John’s sex life.
One theory is that tabloid newspapers passed on the story to keep Whittingdale in his job? He’s not all that in favour of Leveson and plans to clamp-down on the free press. If the Press expose John as – shock of shocks – a single man who likes women, he might be replaced by someone keen on an increasingly State-regulated Press. Or maybe he was being blackmailed? Or maybe that’s all nuts because if a free press is free the politicians have no say over what goes in it. So much for the conspiracies – which rather undermine the other story about tabloids being peopled by unscrupulous bastards who name and shame before fabricating facts to support their salacious gossip. It turns out they are edited and considered publications. Who knew?
And now about that Page 3 girl. Stephanie Hutton, for it is she, “said the Culture Secretary cheated on her with a dungeon-dwelling dominatrix known as Mistress Kate.” On pages 6 and 7 – after we’ve seen Page 3 girl Brook tell us about a love of topless ice-skating – we get to Stephanie, one half of the Boobie Twins. Stephanie say she met John on a dating site in 2013. “He told me he was a Russian arms dealer,” says Stephanie. “I don’t know if he was just being careful or trying to make himself more attractive, but it wasn’t necessary. I liked him.” She says at the Commons, he “always turned the lights out so we wouldn’t be recorded on CCTV”.
The Mirror says this caution approach to dating means Whittingdale is “addicted to danger”. The paper says Whittingdale has “been spotted with East European women at public events in the UK”. Scurrying about for anything to spank Whittingdale with that doesn’t make the phone-hacking Mirror look opportunistic and crass, we learn via a Labour MP of concerns about “powerful, middle-aged men being targeted by young women from the old Soviet Union and left open to blackmail”.
You see, it’s not about sex and privacy – it’s about State secrets and, er, sex and secrecy. Much better and in the public interest.
Danny Cohen, the former director of BBC television, says no Jew can vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, an outfit embroiled in accusations of anti-Semitism. He tells the Times:
“If you are Jewish how can you vote for them? How could you? For me it would be like being a Muslim and voting for Donald Trump, how could you do it? You have to feel absolutely confident that it is totally unacceptable and it won’t be tolerated and I personally haven’t felt comfortable that it is happening yet in the Labour party.”
Do we really believe Corbyn’s Labour if full of anti-Semites? Surely not. Anti-Semitism is rife, but to lay the root of it at Corbyn’s door is wrong. The issue is that the Labour Party appears to acquiesce to anti-Semitism and anti-Semites.
“For too many on the Left, Jewish suffering does not touch them the way Muslim suffering or gay suffering or black suffering touches them,” writes Stephen Daisley on STV News. “Scrutiny of Corbyn’s associations elicits cries of ‘smear’ or just a collective shrug of the shoulders. It was always going to. We lack a language to talk about anti-Semitism because too many on the Left don’t consider it a serious problem and couldn’t recognise it as readily as racism, misogyny or homophobia anyway.”
Cranmer adds: “Jeremy Corbyn is not only a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign: he supports the BDS agenda. What manner of peace-making diplomat supports sanctions against one party after hearing the grievances only of the other? Why invite Islamists to tea on the House of Commons terrace, but not extremist Zionists?”
Corbyn is a politician. His business is winning votes and gaining power. If anti-Semitism is ok on the Left, well, why rock the boat? After all, there aren’t that many Jewish voters. In 2010, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian:
I can no longer do what I and others did in 2008, putting to one side the statements, insults and gestures that had offended me, my fellow Jews and – one hopes – every Londoner who abhors prejudice. Back then I tried to shrug off Livingstone’s quip to property developers the Reuben brothers that they could “go back to Iran and see if they can do better under the ayatollahs”, even though telling immigrants to go back to where they came from is the language of a pub racist from the 1950s. (The Reubens are in fact an Iraqi-Jewish family and the brothers were born in India.)
Likewise, I accepted that when the mayor repeatedly likened a reporter to a concentration camp guard – even after he knew the reporter was both Jewish and offended – he was merely being irritable, his tongue loosened by a glass or two. I condemned his hugging embrace of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the scholar who supports female genital mutilation, the murder of homosexual people, and suicide bombing so long as the victims are Israeli civilians…
This week he made the news again, as a group of Jewish activists, all lifelong Labour supporters, wrote to Ed Miliband describing a closed-door meeting they had had with Livingstone that had left them “despondent”. The letter was leaked, with most attention focusing on its account of Livingstone’s suggestion that “as the Jewish community is rich, [it] simply wouldn’t vote for him”.
Jews are privileged – the wealthy one, the poor ones, the disabled ones, the ones who might ever vote Labour or become a Labour MP. Under the terms of identity politics, where you’re defined by what you are and, more vitally, what you are not, being a Jew is a bad thing to be. Jews should check their privilege. There are anti-Semites in Labour, of course – there are bigots on all sides – but the Left’s little problem isn’t really with Jews, their customs and beliefs; it’s with what they symbolise.
When you’re devoid of ideas, have no direction of travel for your weak projects, you need to find something to bind, define and epitomise what you stand for. We don’t know what Labour is any more but the loyalists can show us what it is not: Israel.
Things soon get ugly. Just as anti-Semites say Jews are behind all the world’s ills, puppet-masters in a shadowy cabal, anti-Zionists say all problems in the Middle East are down to Israel. Defeat the Jews / Israel and all things in your life will be made better.
Hamas can be Jeremy Cornyn’s “friends” (his word) because as Zionist haters they are on the side of the good and the decent. But Corbyn’s “friends” don’t believe in sexual equality, women’s rights, gay rights, democracy, freedom of expression, a free press and human rights. To overlook all that anti-freedom – to blame all those Islamist and anti-progressive policies on Israel – is to side with the anti-Semites. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism become indistinguishable.
Jamie Palmer has written a terrific essay on the history of Jews, Israel and the West. He notes:
…the Left is unconcerned with Jewish interests and unwilling to take the matter of rising anti-Semitism seriously, preferring instead to dismiss it as a consequence of Israeli policies or a censorious attempt to close down discussion of the same. The horror with which many Jews greeted the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party was outstripped only by the realization that his supporters felt that his fondness for the company of anti-Semites was unworthy of their concern…
So why can’t the European Left change in such a way that European Jewish socialists and social democratic Zionists are made to feel welcome again? A number of recommendations suggest themselves:
1. Stop seeing the partition of Mandatory Palestine as some kind of act of paternalistic expiation for European sins rather than the realization of a persecuted people’s legitimate quest for self-determination.
2. Banish the term “anti-Zionism” from the realm of permissible discourse and reframe criticism of Israel—no matter how vehement—in political and not existential terms.
3. Respect the fact that for the vast majority of Jews, Israel represents an expression and final guarantor of Jewish security and identity.
4. Stigmatize anti-Semitism in the same way as any other kind of racism, including when it issues from the mouths and pens of other minority groups.
5. Stop treating Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular like children whose pathologies are to be patiently indulged.
6. Reject moral and cultural relativism, and hold all people to the same moral standards you would expect of yourself in the same circumstances.
7. Understand that differences of opinion with most democrats, of whatever political persuasion, ought to fall within the boundaries of respectable disagreement.
8. Appreciate the value of liberal democracy and learn to take seriously the threats of those who declare their intention to destroy it.
But the reality is that the Left is in no mood to do much, if any, of the above. On the contrary, it is moving in exactly the opposite direction. In Britain, the Labour Party has elected Jeremy Corbyn as its leader—an unrepentant hard-Left anti-Zionist who has shared platforms with genocidal terrorists, blood libelers, and Holocaust deniers in order to supposedly demonstrate his solidarity with the oppressed denizens of Palestine, even as he signed petitions calling upon a centrist Israeli MK to be arrested on arrival in the UK.
Brendan O’Neill and Tom Slater have been discussing Labour’s little problem. You can hear it below:
Tory MP John Whittingdale’s sex life is not a matter for gossips, ‘Outraged of Hacked Off’ of tabloids. As Francis Wheen puts it:
Just heard a Today programme “debate” on the Whittingdale affair which made the Republican primary debates sound like Socratic dialogues.
In the Hacked Off corner was Evan “Dr Death” Harris, lambasting the tabloids for not printing a story about an MP and a dominatrix – even though his pressure group actually wants to stop such stories ever being published. In the tabloid corner, Neil “Wolfman” Wallis pretended that a story about an MP and a dominatrix isn’t the sort of thing that would interest red-top editors, who prefer front-page scoops about Cartesian circularity and the eternal truths.
Toe-curling imbecility and insincerity from start to finish.
John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary, says he has been “in a relationship” with a sex worker. The Telegraph takes up the story of the Tory MP and the “dominatrix”. The Mail calls her a “prostitute”.
The Cabinet minister released a statement stating that he did not know about the woman’s occupation when they were together and that he ended the relationship as soon as he was made aware of her job.
The Tory didn’t pay for his time with the “worker”. Plus ca change, eh?
“Between August 2013 and February 2014, I had a relationship with someone who I first met through Match.com. She was a similar age and lived close to me. At no time did she give me any indication of of her real occupation and I only discovered this when I was made aware that someone was trying to sell a story about me to tabloid newspapers. As soon as I discovered, I ended the relationship.”
You might not like David Cameron, but anyone sane should know that the fuss over his tax affairs is nonsense. The business pages of the Press – and the BBC’s own Money Box show – is full of tips on how to pay less tax and tax plan. In this video, the BBC speaks to tax expert James Quarmby. It slowly dawns on the financially illiterate BBC journalist that her big story is hollow:
“Adieu, Adolf!” salutes theTegernseers Stimmenewspaper. After a mere 83 years, the Tegernsee burghers have stripped Hitler of his “freedom of the city”.
Should the dead controversialist seek to roam the town in the dead of night, riding a goat to Poland and gargling sparrows, or whatever else the title of honorary citizen gives him the right to do, he can’t.
Of course, Hitler might carry on anyhow, murdering anyone who tells him to stop. He was not all that good at obeying orders, which is ironic, of course.
More tax illiteracy in the Guardian, which has seen David Cameron’s tax return:
It’s not all hardship, though. The prime minister’s own party supports him where necessary, the returns reveal. Expenses met by the Conservative party have varied between £5,105 and £13,149, which have been declared as taxable benefits. They cover travel, clothes and other associated expenses for Cameron and his wife.
When the PM next berates Jeremy Corbyn over a shabby suit, the Labour leader will be able to reply that, unlike Cameron, he isn’t receiving a taxpayer subsidy for it.
No. He paid tax on his work clothes. Sheesh!
In other news, his m other didn’t fancy leaving her kids with big inheritance tax bill. Nothing illegal.