At this year’s Labour Party Conference, Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger was snapped walking towards the Echo Arena alongside a Police officer. This image was immediately seized upon by the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate and a number of others as evidence that Labour was in serious trouble. Ms Berger is Jewish, therefore, the established narrative went, Labour had a problem with anti-Semitism.
This was typified by Sun Politics, which told its followers “Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger flanked by police protection at party conference after months of anti-Semitic abuse”. The paper’s deputy political editor Steve Hawkes obediently sneered “John McDonnell attacks the media for attacking Jeremy Corbyn. Nothing as yet about the trolls who force Luciana Berger to turn up to her own conference with a bodyguard”.
Pro-Israel sources also piled in, Stand By Us asserting “Everything you need to know about @jeremycorbyn’s Labour Party: Jewish #UK Labour MP Luciana Berger forced to receive police protection at Labour Party conference in the UK following threats from party members & activists for speaking out against Antisemitism”. Threats from party members? If they were party members, they won’t be now. But there was more.
Julie Lenarz was there to trowel it on: “Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger needs police protection at the annual party conference simply for being Jewish and her activism against anti-Semitism. This is what Cult Corbyn has done to the country, in living memory of the Holocaust”. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point.
But some at Conference wondered about the security, one musing “Have walked around the entire conference site since Saturday when Women’s Conference opened. Have not seen a single incident of unfriendliness - well apart from issue of Open Selection vote. Just heard on Ch4 news that Luciana Berger needs 2 bodyguards. *scratches head*”.
Then came one Tweeter who claimed “Luciana Berger DID NOT have a police escort inside the Labour Conference”. What? Jim McCabe also noticed it: “Just noticed Luciana Berger in the conference reception area...with NO police escort”. Do we have a third source? We certainly do: “Just seen Luciana Berger wandering round the Conference Arena without a police escort”. Ms Berger’s security is not a problem inside Conference.
What does this all mean? Well, not being party to Ms Berger’s thoughts, one has to make the occasional inference, but this is what it looks like to me. Let’s spell it out.
One, Ms Berger has been the subject of a series of threats from those not connected with the Labour Party. One of those was anti-Semite Joshua Bonehill Paine, who was sent to jail for his trouble. Another came from Jewish activists who did not like the idea that she was remaining inside the Labour Party (see HERE and HERE)).
Two, the photos being circulated by press outlets and others were taken outside the Conference secure area. So anyone could have approached the MP.
Three, Ms Berger has not, apparently, had to have any additional security when inside that secure area. So there can be only one conclusion.
And that is, Four, that the threats to Ms Berger are not from those attending Conference.
What has happened is that a photo has been circulated, and those wanting to draw their own conclusions have done so, based on what they want to be true, rather than finding out first whether it is true. It is no surprise that the part of the press viscerally opposed to Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader is in the vanguard of those concluding thus (the Mail was in there too, making the story its front page lead yesterday).
Whatever threats have been made against Luciana Berger, they clearly have not come from anyone attending the Labour Party Conference. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Louise Ellman predictably leapt to her defence yesterday on Granada Reports. Every scouser I know was appalled that Berger, a parachuted in Blairite, was effectively saying she doesn't feel safe walking around Liverpool. Not exactly a vote winner
Looked through Luciana Berger’s twitter feed and there is no mention regarding a need for protection at the conference. Apologies if she has done this elsewhere but a statement from her explaining the need for protection would be helpful. At the moment the silence is feeding the right wing press et al.
Didn’t notice any high profile protection for her on the People’s March last weekend.
Snow's behaviour is no surprise at all.
Channel 4 "News" turned to shite years ago and has been sliding into the sewer ever since. It has only two reasonably competent journalists, Gary Gibbon and Simon Israel - Alex Thomson used to be similar until he identified an assassination attempt on him during a Middle East visit; since then he's gone all trembly, not half the man he was. The rest of them are the usual bought-and-paid-for gobshites, especially the corrupt "foreign correspondents" triumvirate of Hilsum, Rugman and Miller.
Snow likes to portray himself as some kind of "liberal". Actually, he's nothing of the sort. Whenever it comes to a crunch he always ends up on the establishment side of the fence. As he's got older he's morphed into a tenth rate Berkshire bullshitter sensitive only to his own narcissism and self-righteousness. An appalling fellow in stupid ties and socks that only make him look more absurd.
Meanwhile, the Berger Saga is like all the other "antisemitism" lying propaganda - a load of manufactured bollocks from the right wing of what is laughingly called British politics. If Berger had the slightest trace of conscience she would denounce it all for what it really is. But she won't.
Notice the complete absence of Bomber Benn, Creepy Umunna and Mad Mann in all this, to say nothing of that utter birdbrain McTernan The Loser. For them the motto will be "Someone has to hide behind the scenes and pull the strings." Expect them to stay there until told to emerge from hiding by their paymasters.
Maybe best to ignore this as making a big argument about it looks bad, I don't know. even if she feels she wants police with her it doesn't mean it's necessary or that she's received threats from members. I will say those police are not good body guards (they aren't at all. I dont even think ordinary police act as bodyguards) they are in front of her chatting away to themselves smiling not looking at her or any possible threats around her, not keeping her safe from anyone that may come from behind/the side. Maybe all MPs have police with them outside. There are police all around conference, there are even armed police to protect the venue and those inside. Her majesty's opposition is inside. And their leader Corbyn has received death threats. Luciana has received terrible antisemitism and threats but from the Right Wing and neo-nazi groups, not Labour members. indeed a couple of people are in prison for it. I reported one to the police years ago - Joshua Bonehill. Another person was jailed recently a month or so ago. These people tweeting seem to have no idea of that and are blaming Corbyn and Labour for any threats or abuse she's recieved. Corbyn stood in solidarity with Luciana last year at the women's conference against abuse and threats she received. Did anyone at conference try to approach her? The answer is NO. We would have heard about it. There is no threat from Labour members. This is her constituency right? Does she walk around with police all the time? is she at her CLP meetings with police, does she hold surgeries for her constituents? With police? Show me one threat she's received from a Labour member?
Outside of the Labour Conference venue, police officers in Hi-Viz jackets patrol the area. I presume that The Sun and others are hoping that many people do not know the difference between uniformed plod and close protection officers.
When ms. Berger finds herself in the company of the Daily Heil she really ought to take a good long look at herself.
So far, she's batting zero, not only in that respect but also for her complete lack of achievements on behalf of the constituency. Her Jewish religion has nothing to do with it because nobody gives a shit if she's Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist or Pagan or Jewish. But they do object to her incompetence and right wing betrayal of everything the Labour Party once stood for.
Dearie me. Once again that old comment by Mark Steel about Militant rings true - you read the literature and think "sure, why not?", and then you meet the people...
Anonymous (of Alan Clifford or whoever you are, you've been copying and pasting variations of the same rant onto every ZS article for the last few years), might you consider that a death threat isn't an easy thing to live with? You're not exactly putting your head above the parapet after all.
Second, ideological purity is all well and good but it doesn't pay the bills. If people we need votes from to get back into power perceive the party as something, that's a problem.
None of ths happens by accident.
I suggest the story is closer to:
"creepy gutter press photographer hangs around until Berger leaves Conference awaiting for the the opportunity to get a photo of her close to a copper so they have a picture for the report which was prepared a couple of weeks ago."
There were literally Jewish audience members wearing traditional wear at the conference, who were clearly safe there. Not that this will ever enter the anti-Labour narrative.
However, one must not dismiss death threats lightly. The treatment of Berger, and other Jewish people in politics, is a scourge and must be stamped out. The creeps standing around to take photos of her without consent are awful too- why do this to a person who has received death threats?
@ Andy McDonald
"of Alan Clifford or whoever you are, you've been copying and pasting variations of the same rant onto every ZS article for the last few years)"
Excellent description. It is getting really rather tiring, indeed.
Death threats? I doubt our dear Anonymous has considered in the slightest how getting them may feel. Anything for a good soundbite.
Hit the nail on the head with your last sentence: “If people we need votes from to get back into power perceive the party as something, that's a problem.” So who do you think stands to gain more from perpetuating this nonsense.
Just because a great many peopld day a thing is true does not make it so.
Saddam Huesein did not orchestrate 9/11 or have weapons of mass destruction. The literal meaning of Jihad is a struggle or effort (more often within oneself) and not just a holy war. The German Nazi holocaust (there have been many other holocausts) resulted in the slaughter of 6 million Jews, and 11 millin others, including the ‘incurably’ sick, Roma, ethnic Poles and Slavs, Soviet citizens, Soviet prisoners of war, political opponents, gay men and Jehovah's Witnesses. In 2009 the Conservative Party had links with a Latvian far right political party which attends funerals for former Latvian Waffen SS members, something which concerned even the US. (The Jewish community in the UK were strangely unmoved at the time). This year we have heard of the Conservative Party links with a Swedish far right political party.
I don’t see an endemic failure in Labour. I see a party, representative of the majority of the people in this country, those downtrodden by austerity, gaining a lot of ground and becoming a viable alternative to the current establishment. And I see the minority in control shitting themselves, fabricating and perpetuating nonsense in a desperate attempt to keep Labour out of power.
Because the minute that Labour get in power it will be minority interests which are affected... offshore accounts, jobs for the boys, a share of a carved up privatised NHS... all gone.
And I for one look forward to that.
Didn't 'we' go through all this kind of thing re. Laura Kuenssberg a year or two ago?
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