The Campaign Against Antisemitism was in bullish mood yesterday as it continued to accuse the Labour leadership of racism. Sadly, though, as I pointed out, this organisation has assembled within its list of Honorary Patrons at least six individuals who have either exhibited racist behaviour, used racism for their own ends, or been singularly unwise in their choice of language in areas concerning race.
One of those Honorary Patrons attracting attention by using racism for his own ends was Harrow East’s Tory MP Bob Blackman, who exploited prejudice against Dalits, sometimes also called Untouchables, in order to secure the backing of the National Council of Hindu Temples in the run-up to last year’s General Election. He was not alone in indulging the racism of the Indian sub-continent to garner votes. But there was more.
Blackman had also hosted a hate preacher in a meeting at the House of Commons. Tapan Ghosh, who is not merely anti-Islam but also anti-Christian, has endorsed Geert Wilders. And there has been more bad news for the CAA: this less than distinguished Honorary Patron endorsed a figure - Tapan Ghosh - who “praised the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, and said Muslims should be forced to leave their religion if they come to a western country”. Yet the CAA has no problem with Blackman’s presence.
Perhaps they will think again after yet more unfortunate news about the Harrow East MP came to light overnight. To its credit, once more it is the Murdoch Times which has called him out, telling readers “Tory MP Bob Blackman attacked for anti‑Muslim Facebook post … A Conservative MP has been accused of giving a platform to bigots by sharing a story from an anti-Muslim website on his Facebook page”.
Bob Blackman MP
There was more. “Bob Blackman shared a story titled ‘Muslim Somali sex gang say raping white British children “part of their culture”’ late on Sunday night but had deleted it by yesterday morning. He has apologised for his ‘error’ in posting the piece from the anti-Muslim website Hardcore News USA”. “Error”? Blackman deliberately shared that post. Is he pretending that his fingers somehow slipped several times to cause him to do so?
Worse, in order to share that post, he would have had to know where to find it, or have gone looking for it. Was Hardcore News USA part of his news feed? If you Google “Hardcore News USA Facebook”, that page does not come up in the first dozen results. How did Bob Blackman know where to find it? This is genuinely disturbing.
The only thing Hardcore about Bob Blackman is his nailed-on bigotry. He exploits racism for political advantage, and revels in Islamophobia. Yet the Campaign Against Antisemitism is happy to use him as part of its fig-leaf of respectability. And yes, this morning, Bob Blackman was still there in its list of Honorary Patrons, as was the raving Islamophobe Richard Kemp. Some kinds of racism are clearly OK for the CAA.
Perhaps Gideon Falter would care to address this minor inconsistency in the approach of some of his Honorary Patrons to racism. But don’t hold your breath.
There should be no mistake about anti-semitism or racism of any kind from any source. In a supposed democracy it is evil and probably criminal. Anybody guilty of either form of bigotry should suffer the full weight of the law.
However, let us be equally clear about this most recent episode concerning the Labour Party:
IT IS AN ORGANISED SMEAR FRONTED BY WILLING PARTICIPANTS IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA. IT IS A POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ACT ORIGINATING IN RIGHT WING POLITICS BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE LABOUR PARTY.
It is timed as part of the run up to the local elections and is quite deliberately aimed at Jeremy Corbyn. Because of that it is corrupt, cowardly and hypocritical. The giveaway in broadcast news is use of the phrases (or similar) "Under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn" or "Originating in his far left politics". And because it is made political, it is appropriate to question which of the perpetrators belong to the Conservative Party or New Labour.
Last night gave part of the answer when the BBC trotted out the New Labour political corpses of Harman, Umunna, Ellman, Mann and the sniveling, whiney face of the mass murderer Blair. On Newsnight Maitlis did little more than shout over anything the interviewee tried to say - her usual tactic when she's desperate.
This is altogether one of the most shameful and disgusting smears even by contemporary far right media "standards". Those who knowingly perpetrate the smear for their own political gain are the lowest of the low. They shame this country and what's left of its decency. They should get out of public life, advice once tendered by Ken Bigley's brother to the ineffable tory moron Boris Johnson.
But, mark my words, this is just the start of smears. There will be others. Each of them will draw a new low line in British politics and hypocrisy. And each of them will be beneath the contempt of decent citizens.
I recall vividly the way in which the corporate media and indeed, the Jewish Board of Deputies strode out in force against the appalling & insidious yet subtle anti-Semitic attacks upon former Labour leader Ed Miliband and..oh wait. I'm dreaming again.
A very eloquent description of the smear gang and their Gammon supporters by Anonymous.
Keep up the good work.
Interesting comment in CiF in The Guardian today
"The Labour Party has disciplinary processes for these things. Just because Corbyn was elected leader a couple of years ago did not give him an automatic majority on the NEC and other parts of the Labour Party like this disciplinary panel. That is why so many Corbyn supporters were barred from voting in the last leadership election!
Instead of blaming Corbyn, look to the 'moderate' and 'progressive' factions who dominated this body until VERY recently. Then ask yourself why their MPs are perpetuating these smears just before the local elections"
Please list the other 5
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