The conservative Board Of Deputies (BoD) is opposed to left-wing politics. If left-wing politics increases in popularity then the BoD’s opposition is greater and expressed more frequently.
The gradual but continuous rise in the popularity of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s left-of-centre political outlook is hugely problematic for any conservative organisation. It is unsurprising that the conservative BoD does everything it is able to try to prevent Corbyn, or a like-minded comrade of his, from becoming prime minister.
Since his first election as leader of Labour in 2015 Corbyn has been the target of a constant deluge of smears, lies, libel and propaganda from all opponents of socialism. One of the themes of these attacks has been the oft-repeated accusation of antisemitism, aimed at him and at people he has worked with. The veracity of each accusation has never been proven. There has never been any attempt to construct proof. The accusers have relied on repetition, dramatic verbosity, random juxtapositions and a pliable media. Intelligent, concise debunks of the accusations have been ignored by both the accusers and by others who are anti-socialist.
This week BoD published its latest inventive statement aimed at Corbyn. Factual inaccuracy, absurd deductions, wilful misrepresentations and eclectic juxtapositions were the key features of the statement alongside clumsy language in the style of a mediocre student’s first attempt at writing a ‘legal’ statement.
The BoD have chosen not to provide an online link to a digital version of the statement, except as a screenshot of the paper version, but there is an online précis of it. It isn’t clear if the lack of an online link was a technical issue or a deliberate act to focus attention on the summary; the screenshot of the statement was difficult to read and the summary was an interpretation of the statement with selected quotes.
The statement was concocted in the form of an open letter in order to direct focus onto the recipients rather than the author Gillian Merron (above), a former Blairite MP.
Analysis of the statement was difficult because it had no linear flow, no constructed arguments and it jumped erratically in topic from one sentence to the next.
(All italicised quotes below are from the BoD statement)
The opening line of the first paragraph in the first section (see (1) below) set the dishonest tone.
“Over the last few weeks, there have been numerous revelations about Mr. Corbyn’s past comments and affiliations.”
No revelations have occurred; all reports on comments and attendance at events are repetitions of previous reports.
The next sentence begins: “It is now beyond contention…” followed by a list of libellous comments about Corbyn and people he has met.
All the “revelations” in “the last few weeks” have been swiftly, concisely and unambiguously shown to be deliberate misrepresentations and/or lies. They have been dealt with. BoD has chosen to pretend that the facts about the “revelations” have not been stated.
“There is no evidence that Mr. Corbyn has sought to reach out to mainstream Israeli speakers.”
Who are “mainstream” Israeli speakers?
Why would Corbyn be required to speak to “mainstream” Israeli speakers?
Does the clumsily emotive phrase “sought to reach out to” mean the same as “contacted“?
“We would urge Mr. Corbyn to engage with mainstream Israeli and Palestinian leaders with a view to advancing peace.”
Has the BoD decided who the “mainstream” Palestinian leaders are? Which “mainstream” Israeli leaders should Corbyn speak to in order to advance peace? The current Netanyahu-led government has no interest in peace with anyone.
In the third paragraph Corbyn is accused of “failures of judgement.” A conservative organisation is in no position to accuse a left-of-centre politician of “failures of judgement.”
“These failures of judgement send a signal that such behaviour is acceptable or laudable.”
The “such behaviour” refers to the behaviour seen in the aforesaid “revelations” that have been wholly debunked as bunkum.
The next sentence jumps to an extraordinary deduction: “This [failures of judgement?] leads to a hostile environment for Jews where those who have even sought to kill British Jews are praised.”
The BoD knows that antisemitism in Britain and associated threats of violence come from the extreme right. In the statement, as shown above, the BoD used false “revelations” to draw invented conclusions and then extrapolated to a conclusion that is not related to the debunked “revelations” or to the false conclusions.
“Mr. Corbyn must offer a heartfelt apology to the Israeli victims of the terrorists with whom he shown solidarity.”
The instruction quoted above is a direct political instruction. It is not up to the BoD to instruct a British politician on who he supports, if any, in a military conflict.
Contrast this instruction with the BoD response to the slaughter of civilians in a peaceful protest in Gaza in March this year by IDF snipers cowering behind mounds.
The entire first section of the statement was isolated sentences ripped from any cohesive structure and then spliced together randomly; some of them contained unproven accusations. There were no logical deductions. It read as a series of incoherent utterances that had been thrown down in the hope that, magically, some meaning would manifest itself.
The second section (2) of the BoD statement discussed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA). Rightly, the Labour party will consider acceptance (or not) of IHRA at the upcoming party conference.
“Much of the summer has been taken up with what we [BoD] see as an unnecessary and alarming debate over various clauses of the internationally-accepted definition of antisemitism. It is alarming because it seems that there are those in Labour who believe themselves better able than the Jewish community to define oppression against us, despite all the evidence of the last few years pointing to the contrary. It is also alarming because, while Labour could have used the summer to focus on any number of other serious challenges facing this country, the leadership has chosen to make its priority a fight with British Jews about antisemitism.”
Corbyn’s opponents “used the summer to focus” on attacking him over IHRA and the same people “chose to make [their] priority a fight” with Corbyn rather than “focus on any number of other serious challenges facing this country.” BoD observed the cause of the time-consuming disagreement and blamed the wrong participant, deliberately, in a pathetic and fraudulent attempt at misdirection and blame reversal.
In the following paragraphs BoD admitted that it knows that Labour’s concerns about IHRA relate to whether it restricts criticism of the Israeli government but BoD then stated that “it is hoped that Labour will end this destructive stand-off with an ethnic community forthwith.” Why did the BoD get confused between Jewish people and the Israeli government? Does such a confusion violate the IHRA?
At the end of the section the statement asked if Labour can regain confidence in its “anti-racist credentials.” The Tory government, driven by racism, is supported by the BoD. Another ridiculous libel against Labour and another reversal of truth.
The next section (3) in the statement was instructional. No details were offered to why BoD assumed it has the authority (moral or otherwise) to issue instructions to a political party it does not support.
The first paragraph objected to the possibility of disciplinary action that may be taken against Progress MP Ian Austin for aggressive, libellous and false statements aimed at Corbyn; the objection was followed by libellous comments aimed at Peter Willsman. It isn’t clear if that was an attempt at irony.
“There are widespread allegations of politicisation and other forms of injustice and corruption in Labour’s disciplinary process.
By accident, the sentence above was sort of correct. Many people were unjustly refused their rights as Labour members by the McNicol regime and problematic issues remain with respect to politicised disciplinary action; for example, the disgraceful treatment of Marc Wadsworth. Of course, that isn’t what BoD meant.
“Appointments that have been made to key positions within Labour’s disciplinary structure have eroded rather than bolstered confidence.”
Translation: Appointments that have been made to key positions within Labour’s disciplinary structure have partially removed residual opponents to Labour’s leftward tendency. It wasn’t revealed in the statement whose “confidence” was “eroded.”
“We are open to proposals how [greater transparency in disciplinary procedures] might look, but scrutiny must come from a mutually-respected independent source.”
The sentence above needs unpicking.
Who is “we?” If the “we” is the BoD, a conservative organisation, then what business is it of the BoD to dictate what internal disciplinary procedure should exist in the Labour party?
“Scrutiny” can come from anywhere and anyone and does so constantly. Did the BoD mean something more invasive than “scrutiny?”
If it assumed that all the words were being used in accordance with their dictionary definitions then “a mutually-respected independent source” meant a source that is not the Labour party but is respected by the Labour party and by someone or something else. Thus, in a disciplinary issue for a Labour member the BoD demanded that there must be a third-party that is not the Labour party and not the Labour member who has the disciplinary issue, whether complainant or accused. So, who is this third-party? Does any other political party allow an unattached third-party to interfere, other than the court if necessary?
The sentence quoted above was left vague to allow all interpretations.
Later in the instructional section the statement objected to Corbyn’s critics being described as “right-wing.” Not all such critics are right-wing but many are, including the Board of Deputies and including Stephen Pollard, editor of Jewish Chronicle, a newspaper that abhors Jeremy Corbyn: Stephen Pollard’s politics.
For some reason the statement referenced an article on the left-wing news site Skwawkbox. The Labour party has no connection to Skwawkbox.
The last section (4) demanded that Labour has a “programme of education and training” and that such a programme should be directed by the right-of-centre Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). JLM has persistently attacked Corbyn, his colleagues and his supporters; these attacks have included relentless libel. The statement accused Labour of introducing “providers [of training] who would not be acceptable to the vast majority of the Jewish community.”
The final paragraph was intended as a summary.
“The last few years have represented an incredibly painful period in the recent history of Jewish life.”
The above sentence is correct because of the rise of far-right extremists who have been assisted by enablers in various governments including USA, Poland, Hungary, Australia and Austria and by the willingness of the British media to give platforms to the extreme right. Is that what BoD meant?
“We have no interest in an ongoing dispute with any major political party about the nature of racism against us.”
The BoD has a keen interest in inventing and perpetuating an ongoing dispute with a major political party because of the latter’s left-of-centre leadership.
“However, our mission to promote and defend the interests of the UK’s jews means that we cannot remain silent in the face of antisemitism.”
Therefore, would it be correct to assume that the BoD complained to the Tory party about the meeting between three Tory MPs – Gove, Rees-Mogg and Johnson – and white supremacist and anti-Semite Steve Bannon? Bannon?
Did the BoD complain to the BBC about its willingness to give anti-Semite Sebastian Gorka airtime? Gorka?
The final sentence (below) in the paragraph bore no relation to the preceding three.
“We hope that Labour will turn the tide and do the necessary.”
The random juxtaposition of sentences in the final paragraph of the BoD statement was a microcosm of the BoD’s strategy against Corbyn. Valid concerns regarding antisemitism were placed beside a mention of Labour without any connection attempted. This clumsy, lazy strategy insulted the intelligence of anyone reading the statement.
The statement from the BoD contained lies, misrepresentations, libel, bizarre non-contiguous deductions and even stranger conclusions, and was packed full of contradictions and plot holes. There was nothing in the statement that was constructive, useful or informative.
The tone of the statement was disrespectful, petulant and rude, and the style was immature with poor uneducated use of language. There was no coherent structure.
Random assertions, some of which were valid in isolation, were placed beside vacuous comments about Labour in an attempt to create guilt out of nothing. The intent by the author was to rely on people speed reading the statement and absorbing the false juxtapositions as valid deductions.
Clearly, the statement was written hurriedly. A tired performance.
The Board of Deputies is opposed to Corbyn and to the tendency of Labour to edge leftward because BoD supports conservative politics. BoD will continue to attack Labour whether the party is in opposition or in government. There will continue to be no substance, cohesion or factual accuracy in BoD’s attacks.