It seems very odd to write that Rachel Riley, from Countdown, has been at the centre of the defining moment of Jeremy Corbyn’s time as Labour leader. I reckon it’s true, though. Once she became the victim of industrial scale trolling and abuse when she stood up against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, I had the feeling the game was up.
I know little about Ms Riley, other than the fact she is a highly personable and intelligent young women who appears in one of the most loved programmes on British television. She just happens to be Jewish, something which I did not previous know, did not even think about and care even less about. However, the Labour Party – the Labour Party (think of Neil Kinnock when you say it) – is drowning in a cesspit of anti-Semitism of its leader’s making.
Oh, wait, you might be thinking. Are you saying that lifelong hard leftie Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite? I’m afraid I am. Labour’s magic grandpa has a long history of involvement with Jew-hating organisations, some of whom call for the destruction of the Jewish state. Corbyn calls them “friends”. He’s shared numerous platforms with holocaust deniers and a variety of terrorists. And don’t forget he laid a wreath in Tunisia in respect of the Black September fascists who killed and castrated Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. He’s got form, all right.
Rachel Riley called out anti-Semitism and the backlash from the Corbyn-worshipping cult has been entirely predictable. However, Riley has not been abandoned. Far from it. People from all walks of life are lining up alongside her in support, including Countdown Host Nick Hewer who has been a Labour member all his life, until now, and tonight Stephen Fry. Call it trolling, call it abuse, call it bullying. It’s all the same. In divided and broken Britain, everyone is fair game for abuse, whether it’s from far left Corbyn outriders or Brexiters.
Until recently, the idea that Corbyn was some kind of amiable old man, wise and principled, representing a kinder, gentler form of politics has gained some traction. No more. He’s what he always was: an ill-tempered career backbencher with some highly unpleasant views and friends, who finds himself unexpectedly in the top but one job. He’s been at the summit of popularity in the 2017 general election, but he won’t ever reach those heights again.
The open sewer of Jew-hating and Jew-baiting in the Labour Party has spilled over and the wider electorate is looking on in horror. Labour, as a mainstream left of centre political party is dead in the water but so too is the rehashed 1980s Bennite version brought back briefly into prominence by the Corbyn experiment.
How odd, and how disgusting, that it has been the vicious internet attacks on a young woman that has brought everything to a head. Corbyn’s many shortfalls have already become clear to the electorate. Now they know he’s not a very nice man, too.