London’s free sheet evening paper the Evening Standard has seen its reputation shredded in recent years as it has shilled shamelessly for the Tories: first, the paper supported the election and re-election of formerly occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, whose years at City Hall oversaw monumental waste and ineptitude, along with selling out to property developers on an obscene scale, and failing the cab trade miserably.
Guess who wants to be Mayor?
Then it backed the forthrightly racist Mayoral campaign of Zac Goldsmith, joining in with the suggestions that Labour’s Sadiq Khan was somehow in league with terrorists. Now, the paper has decided to start the 2020 Mayoral campaign early, by going after Khan once again by suggesting that he is soft on anti-Semitism.
Under the headline “The Mayor must speak out on anti-Semitism”, the editorial, presumably dictated by the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the seventeenth Baronet, tells “Today, many thousands of Jewish people are deeply anxious about a rising tide of anti-Semitism”. Then it goes for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
And then the editorial loses its way. “Far from acting to stamp it out, Jeremy Corbyn has gone in the other direction - refusing to allow Labour to adopt the internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism”. Let’s take this nice and slowly. One, Corbyn does not dictate Labour policy, and Two, the party has indeed accepted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. It is a number of the examples given in addition that it has modified.
It gets worse. “His association with anti-Jewish groups, including laying a wreath near the graves of those who had links to the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, has raised deep suspicion”. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Jezza, along with representatives from the Tories and Lib Dems, went to Tunis to pay tribute to those who were killed in an internationally condemned Israeli air strike.
Also, the links of others buried near where the group paying tribute had gathered to the Munich Olympic massacre is not only disputed, but has only been claimed well after the event. Still, on drones George. “People will remember that Mr Khan relied on the Momentum wing of Labour when he beat the late Tessa Jowell to become the party’s mayoral candidate; and they will note that, as an MP, he was one of the very few who signed Mr Corbyn’s nomination papers for leader”. Ah, guilt by association.
And, indeed, guilt by association with someone whose guilt has just been invented by those in the press who are petrified at the prospect of a Corbyn Government. Why? Because it would almost certainly dust off Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry.
The reality of this wayward editorial - Jack Mendel of Jewish News UK has responded “Sadiq Khan has *consistently* spoken out against anti-Semitism. He's attended Jewish community events. He's attended HMD events. He is one of the few Labour politicians the community would vote for” - is that Osborne is playing cheap party politics.
Does that means the Standard’s occasional editor is thinking of trying for the Tory nomination in 2020’s contest? You may wish to mention that. I can’t possibly comment.
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Someone like Gideon doesn't give up on politics just because he got fired as Chancellor. The editor's job at the Standard was always and obviously his route back via City Hall. Just a means to keep his name out in the public eye. Mayor in '20, safe by-election seat a couple of years later if not the GE in '22. Leader for '27. Still only in his mid 50s
People like him play a long game.
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