Labour, Margaret Hodge, Jeremy Corbyn, and AntiSemitism

The Anti-Semitism Saga. It's complex and clouded.

In short, some incidents of Anti-Semitism by some high-profile persons within Labour have not been dealt with as fast, or as hard, as most of us would like, because the internal Labour Party NEC Code does not strictly define AntiSemitism clearly enough.

Coupled with Jeremy Corbyn's undoubted support of the Palestinian Cause (not Terrorism but their Human Rights) it's only natural the key Right Wing Media titles are jumping all over it. They have successfully managed to brand the most passionate and most consistently Anti-Racist Campaigner in Westminster ... a 'Racist'.

... while simultaneously (of course) pointedly ignoring the far bigger and viler Islamophobia in the Tory Party.

Two recent news items clarify the picture :

One, Media reports of a Corbyn 'visit' to a Terrorists grave site were busted (the terrorists involved weren't even buried in that cemetery).

And two, Corbyn's Labour has also lodged an Official Complaint with the Press Regulator IPSO, over the many falsehoods connected with this story, printed in the Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Metro, the Times and the Sun.

But the Margaret Hodge at el Brigade soldier on with a invalidated campaign against the most popularly elected Labour Leader of modern times (putting aside his support for Brexit for just a moment.)

And here's the crux of the matter - the really big issue is Israel. It is, in fact, a matter of Free Speech (and Moral Duty) to attack many of Israel's policies right now. But the 'Definition' of AntiSemitism that Labour is being strong-armed to adopt, would class that as AntiSemitic ... which is why many are resisting it.

If adopted, it would give Israel a free hand, a Carte Blanche, to do as it will, legally or illegally, with no possible allowable comment or criticism. It's a great result for those who defend Israel whenever and whatever the crime, but it is not acceptable for everybody else with a moral compass.

Only last month, Razan al-Najjar, a 21 year old unarmed emergency medical aid worker was shot and killed Friday by an Israeli sniper. She was wearing the white uniform of a medic and was tending to a wounded protester when fired on. This was a War Crime, but the adoption of the IHRA Code would entail that critically reporting of this would be classed as AntiSemitism.

Opinion from contributor Andrew Grindley, on the background behind the argument, Margaret Hodge, the media links, and the option of Mandatory Candidate Reselection ...

Hodge - Comparisons and Contrivances

Are we finally coming, if not to the end of the whole saga, at least to the end of the beginning ? It is plain that elements of the Parliamentary Labour Party will not be happy until Labour ditch any ideas about implementing socialist policies and they will do anything to achieve this outcome.

The attacks on Corbyn by Labour MP's and others, with even Netanyahu feeling emboldened to offer his thoughts, all part of what is now evidently a coordinated campaign - and nothing whatsoever to do with principles.

The increasingly unhinged plotters have exposed themselves to be the shameless opportunists that they are, and as a consequence are left with only a choice of bad moves. Labour and the NEC should avoid falling into this crudely sprung trap. Margaret Hodge's shameful "interview" on Sky was a new low and it is impossible to make a case against her expulsion. On its own, her widely mocked comparison of the fear felt upon receiving a disciplinary letter to the fear felt by those in Nazi Germany, is enough on it's own to warrant her expulsion.

The claim that there is any kind of fine line between being Pro-Palestinian and Anti-Semitism causes betrays her own racism towards Palestinians and the outrageous slur by inference that Corbyn himself is antisemitic seals the deal.

She has no place in a Labour Party that espouses socialist values.

Having said all of that, I still believe that Labour should not expel Hodge. The plotters need someone to play the martyr and their desperation shows. Don't give them their martyr, give them more rope. With the plots to oust Corbyn surely done, the latest plot to split from the Labour Party after a General Election to prevent a Corbyn-led socialist Labour government now exposed, Chukka Umunna, Ian Austin, Margaret Hodge et al, are running out of options.

Hodge's latest intervention appears to be a calculated gamble. The fifth columnists within the PLP would use Hodge's expulsion, and any fig leaf of contrived principle that offers, to split from the Labour Party. It is looking increasingly likely that mandatory reselection will pass conference next month.

Unite are backing it and the behaviour of certain MP's is surely forcing the membership to consider mandatory reselection as inevitable, if we want a socialist government. If some MP's want to jump - then let them jump, and look like the charlatans they are. Don't give them their martyr to rally round.

Mandatory reselection is sure to rid the party of fifth columnists before the next election. It is clear that they have manoeuvred themselves into a corner and it would be foolish to fall for a transparent ruse and help them out of it. Their options now are jump (and look disloyal) or wait for their inevitable deselection. No need to offer them a third option, and with it the fig leaf of credibility that they need, by expelling Hodge and giving them a martyr.

Let's help out by offering, instead of a martyr, some more of that rope. The Campaign Against Antisemitism has been prominent in pushing the narrative of antisemitism within Labour. Formed in August 2014 after the protests against Israeli atrocities during the Gaza Offensive and registered as a charity in October 2015, the month after Corbyn's election as Labour leader, CAA seems more interested in smearing pro Palestinians than tackling any actual antisemitism.

The list of honorary patrons tells a tale in itself including as it does the odious Ian Austin MP, the well known committed anti racism campaigner Eric Pickles (surely some mistake), Mark Lewis advocate of "unapologetic Zionism" and inevitably the dame herself, Margaret Hodge. The sceptical amongst us can be forgiven for noticing that the patrons of this campaign are perhaps better known as Pro Zionists rather than anti racism campaigners.

Perhaps scrolling through their "news" items will disabuse the sceptics of this notion and demonstrate the anti racist credentials of the campaign. Of the first twelve headlines, Corbyn was the direct subject of eleven, with the twelfth being about Len McCluskey, where Corbyn is still also attacked. It is more accurate and honest to call it the Campaign Against Jeremy Corbyn and Palestinians. Read it - go to their website and it is not reasonable to conclude that they are anything but pro Zionists and anti Palestinian with a transparent agenda.

With the revelation that Lizzi Watson, daughter of Margaret Hodge, is deputy editor for BBC News, having previously been executive producer of Newsnight, things look murkier still. The outrageously biased coverage by the BBC during the whole affair and Hodges "starring role" throughout, surely raises questions about conflict of interest.

Hodge's connections with the so called "Campaign against Antisemitism" add a further layer of intrigue.

The membership by voting for mandatory reselection will give the Constituency Labour Party's all they need to ensure candidates represent the values of Labour. The plotters are going to have to leave - or be deselected, the right to stand as Labour candidates now forfeited.

Labour should not adopt the full IHRA examples and allow this stifling of free speech by hypocrites and saboteurs.

Let the 'pro Zionist' plotters start their new party and adopt the IHRA code in full with all examples if they wish.