Celebrate BBC – Bye Bye Corbyn

Oh joy. Celebrate like it’s 1979. The bad man has gone away. The good man – and I’ll come back to that – has triumphed.  But first, some random thoughts.

  • This campaign stiffened my dislike of the Guardian. Any institution that can admit the Labour Party had a serious problem with antisemitism but still recommend people vote for it is a deeply flawed body.
  • Chief Rabbi Mirvis got his intervention spot on. The last thing he would have wanted to do was become involved in national politics, but he believed it was wrong to stay silent. His noble behavior in the face of the storm of criticism directed his way after his statement simply cemented the belief (sic) of many, that he’s a decent man doing a difficult job very well. Long may he continue.
  • One response from the losing side has been slinging mud at the Tories suggesting that they have a problem with Islamophobia. Expect more of the same. I also expect Boris to put his own house in order, as required, and to deal swiftly with any such instances that arise.
  • I registered for a postal vote. I’m still waiting for the ballot to arrive. (Thank you Israel Post!) It would have taken another 6,000 votes like mine to see off the SNP who, sadly, took Renfrewshire East.
  • The election is a bad result for Scotland. It’s created a false expectation of independence that the SNP cannot deliver. I presume Johnson will stand resolute. So far as the rationale is concerned, there is no longer an economic argument for Scottish independence. And there is no prospect of Europe wanting Scotland as a member without the rest of the UK. Despite those inescapable facts, it seems likely that there will be a huge waste of time and energy and money – public money – wasted on campaigning for an independence referendum.
  • The markets do not like uncertainty. Well, this election result should sort that out. Whether you like it or not, Brexit is going to get done.
  • Note the following quotes from Dominic Cummings which should make uncomfortable reading for many:

“After the shock of the referendum MPs and journalists should have taken a deep breath and had a lot of self-reflection of why they misunderstood what was going on in the country but instead a lot of people just doubled down on their own ideas and fucked it up even more. That’s why something like this happens against expectations.

All these better than average educated remainer campaigner types who have waved around for eight weeks, for the last four months and didn’t understand what was going on and didn’t understand they were driving everyone mad.

Hopefully now they’ll learn because it’s not good for the country, the whole dynamic to carry on. MPs need to reflect, the media needs to reflect and they need to realise that the conversations they have in London are a million miles away from reality.

Finally, Boris. I have never met him, am never likely to, and have no burning desire to make him out to be a hero. He can be very clever. He can be nasty. He can be entertaining. He can be cruel. He can be charismatic. He can be sly. In short, he is not perfect. But none of us are. And many of those who sling stones are too quick to criticize (and name call) instead of arguing principles, ideas, and so forth. They shoot first and think later. He is also not a dictator. He has a party to keep him on track and, more importantly, an electorate who will not forgive him if he fails to deliver on his promise to be the Prime Minister for everyone. (For the many and not the few?) In this case, I am an optimist. I am happy to leave the PM alone and let him get on with the job.

Bye bye Corbyn, and let’s go Boris!

Barrier or Encouragement?

It’s a generally well recognized phenomenon in politics, that in opposition it is easier to promote extremist policies, than it is to put them in practice, if elected. Often, there are solid, practical – rather than ideological – barriers to implementation.

That thought popped into my mind on reading the Jerusalem Post article about the special honor being granted by the UK to Israeli businessman Haim Shani.

It positively burned brightly when I read this part:

In recent years, bilateral trade between Israel and the UK has repeatedly broken records, reaching $7.2b. in 2016 and $9.1b. in 2017, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. The UK is the second largest trading partner worldwide for Israeli goods, after the United States.

Were Jeremy Corbyn to be elected, would this be a barrier to his anti-Israel plans, or an encouragement?

Corbyn only has himself to blame

It’s this kind of behavior, from the man at the top, seen as acceptable within the Labour party, that has seen them play host – welcome host – to bigots and haters. Given how endemic antisemitism appears to be within the Muslim community, it’s not easy to see a durable solution for those who might actually want to fix the problem.

Oh, and it’s possible it might get worse. Labour have put a pyromaniac in charge of putting out the fires.

Suddenly, the Guardian takes notice

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

So far as I can tell, Gerard Kaufman’s outburst of anti-Semitism at a recent pro Palestinian meeting, had gone unreported by the Guardian and the BBC, until now.

This is on the Guardian site, as I type:

guardian031115

The article starts off:

Jeremy Corbyn has condemned one of his Labour MPs, Sir Gerald Kaufman, for making “completely unacceptable” remarks about the Jewish community.

Kaufman, the longest-serving MP in the Commons, was hauled into a meeting with the Labour whips after he talked last week about how “Jewish money” was influencing the Tories.

“It’s Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative party – as in the general election in May – support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the Conservatives,” Kaufman said. “There is now a big group of Conservative members of parliament who are pro-Israel whatever government does and they are not interested in what Israel, in what the Israeli government does.

“They’re not interested in the fact that Palestinians are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time. In the last few days alone the Israelis have murdered 52 Palestinians and nobody pays attention and this government doesn’t care.”

Nice guy. You can read the whole thing here.

The interesting thing is that the Guardian is now reporting on the hate speech, but only after the passage of time and the (grudging?) public denouncement by Jeremy Corbyn.

Questions, questions, questions

One question is why didn’t the Guardian report the matter before now?

Isn’t it reasonable to assume that a paper with a stated liberal, anti-racist ethos, would want to report anti-Semitism? It surely wouldn’t want to sweep it under the carpet, would it?

So why did the Guardian wait until now? Did Corbyn’s intervention mean they felt there was no alternative? Is anti-Semitism not news worthy? Is anti-Semitism by “the longest-serving MP in the House of Commons” not news worthy? Did the Guardian need help to identify what Kaufman said as being hate speech? Are they that culturally blinded?

It simply beggars belief that the oldest hate reared its ugly, smelly head, and the Guardian neither noted (apparently) nor cared.

It’s unlikely we will get a clear answer (if any) but their behavior regarding this dreadful episode has been a disgrace.

The other question is why is the BBC still ignoring this?

Is Corbyn being cowardly?

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Guido Fawkes reports:

“Jeremy Corbyn is making excuses for missing his first Privy Council meeting and investiture kneeling at the feet of the Queen. Claiming a diary clash he could join the Privy Council without attending in a procedure usually reserved for people who are overseas. Guido suspects that the palace will compromise and spare Comrade Corbyn’s blushes rather than allow it to become a point of political controversy. Guido would have more respect for Corbyn’s republicanism if he openly said that as a democrat he wasn’t going to kneel in front of an unelected hereditary monarch. Claiming a diary clash is cowardly…”

It’s Corbyn’s right to be a republican (or any other political type he wants to be). However, when that ‘type’ is a genuine belief, the right thing to do in public office is to stand up for the belief – stand up for your principles. It appears that Mr Corbyn isn’t doing that.

Like Guido Fawkes, I also would have more respect for his republican stance if it were maintained. But, to do as the report suggests is neither proper nor principled, unless the diary clash is genuine, and really, really important, and incapable of being rescheduled. My gut tells me he is behaving like a coward.

Corbyn it is

So Corbyn, an enemy of Israel, is elected head of the UK’s Labour Party.

Not good.

“Yes Jeremy being called out on the loons and far-Left types you hang out with must be most upsetting but it isn’t an attack on your loved ones. In fact your responses to criticisms along these lines looks like a deliberate attempt to avoid legitimate questions.”

Not good.

“Jeremy Corbyn set himself firmly against British involvement in airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) targets in Iraq and Syria by calling for “peaceful solutions”, as he described bombing as the easy option.

[…snip…]

The remarks by Corbyn confirm that he will oppose any attempt by David Cameron to extend British involvement in the coalition airstrikes against Islamic State forces from Iraq to Syria.”

Not good at all.

Economical with the truth

It may be a sign of the dumbing down of political discourse, that little – if any – of the British Labour Party’s leadership election race has featured a proper discussion of the economic theories and practices of the candidates. It’s slogans, sound bites, and general mumbling and mumbo jumbo. So, even if it is probably unfair to pick just one out (because it’s the only one I could find), I read Tim Worstall‘s piece at the Register – Hey, folks. Meet the economics ‘genius’ behind Jeremy Corbyn – and was hit by a proverbial breath of fresh air.

In brief, it’s an attack piece about Richard Murphy, the source of Corbyn’s thinking about economics. It is fascinating to see what is going on (or has been going on) behind the headlines, and largely ignored by the media. They are otherwise engaged, it appears.

Here’s an exert to give you a flavor:

He [Murphy] is rather proud of claiming that he ignored his university economics lectures because they were obviously all neo-liberal-inspired. So he worked the whole lot out on his own, from first principles. This rather reminds me of Bitcoin, for as I’ve said, the whole alt-coin scene has seen the fast-forward replay of every monetary and banking mistake, fraud, scheme and scam that humanity has managed to cook up over the millennia in a mere few years.

Murphy’s economics – ignoring, as it does, what tens of thousands of very clever people have found out over the past few hundred years, namely that we’ve really had “economics” – falls into the same error. It’s just too large a subset for any one brain, however large, to be able to encompass from first principles without error.

Even if economics bores you, and quantitative easing sends you to sleep, it is worth reading this piece. Then take a look at the coverage of the leadership race, and wonder when there is going to be a proper discussion of the issues. Shining some light on Corbyn’s dark places is long overdue.

 

Insult of the week

This, from James Bloodworth at the Guardian, on the lingering matter of Jeremy Corbyn and the British Labour party, is terrific:

“…some of the things Corbyn is accused of are, to paraphrase George Orwell, still concerning even if the Daily Mail says so.”

Ouch!

Read it all, here.

When I read the piece, one thought was that much of the (deserved) criticism, was criticism that could equally be directed at other Guardian writers and guests. So, it is less than surprising that the comments have more than a few vitriolic blasts at Bloodworth and all who dare criticize JC.  Whatever happens, it’s unlikely a win by him would be an impetus for unifying the strands of the party. Far from it. New Social Democrats, anyone?