Good to see Labour’s de facto leader and top union fixer Len McCluskey working for party unity at yesterday’s annual Durham Miners Gala: “I have a simple message for Tom Watson – you should fucking be ashamed of yourself”. These were not some words uttered in private: McCluskey read them out in his speech. And Watson’s crime? To challenge the scourge of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
I found McCluskey’s attacks to be quite sickening. His former partner and mother of his child Jennie Formby just happens to be, by pure coincidence, general secretary of the Labour Party. She is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, so McCluskey suggests she must not be criticised or held to account for the anti-Semitism that has dragged Labour into the sewers of politics.
Like everyone else, I would only wish for Formby to make a swift and full recovery. Her odious politics is a distant second to her fight against cancer and scarcely matters in the circumstances but having said that I’d like to ask one thing: if Formby is apparently not well enough to carry out her duties and deal with all the aspects that surround it, does Labour not have a duty of care to ensure she is not forced to go to work at this difficult time? Labour’s problem with anti-Semitism does not go away because a senior employee is, sadly, suffering from illness.
This situation is all rather typical of the hardline, hard left attitudes of those who are resurrecting the failed Bennism of the 1980s that condemned Labour to many years of opposition. When there is a problem – and let’s be honest: Jew hatred, racism to all intents and purposes is a pretty serious problem – rather than dealing with it, the comrades return fire to the victims, as they have done to those brave souls who went public on the subject. That’s only part of the story.
This is how the hard left works. It is ‘my way or the highway’ and already Corbyn’s organ grinders have prepared the ground so that those who do not worship at the altar of Magic Grandpa have to go. What they consider to be a strength, which is their certainty, is actually a weakness. They may even convince themselves that, for example, they are not anti-Semitic at all and say, as many have said, that the vicious Jew hatred in Labour doesn’t actually exist and is merely a means by which to attack the sainted leader. This is not just deflecting the truth; it is an outright lie.
If I were a Jew, would I stay in Labour? The answer to that is no. My Jewish friends tell me they feel unsafe in Labour and some genuinely believe that the agenda of those with the real power at the top of the party have an anti-Semitic agenda, based on personal experience and hard evidence.
Corbyn’s desperate political outriders, like the former journalist and now Corbyn fan boy Owen Jones, employ all manner of methods to avoid the truth, misleading people and employing ‘whataboutery’, as Jones did last week when asking why there was no focus on Islamophobia in the Tory party instead. In other words, don’t worry about what’s happening throughout Labour, let’s change the subject by distracting you. It won’t wash and anyway why can’t you can’t investigate both?
McCluskey is the one who should be “fucking ashamed of yourself” by way of the nepotism and his political chumocracy that ensures his place men and women operate at the very highest levels of the Labour Party, that Corbyn and his friends employ each others children on vast salaries in ways that might just remind you how the likes of Rupert Murdoch behave with their children.
The message is clear: if you oppose the racism in Labour that is anti-Semitism, then there can be no place for you in the party. These are the depths to which Labour has sunk and unless the vast swathes of hard left comrades who have taken over can somehow be removed – and I very much doubt that they can – the party is on a one-way journey to permanent opposition on the irrelevant fringes of politics. And sadly, they deserve no better.