Too late, it seems, for the earlier editions of the papers, but featuring strongly on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme and elsewhere, is another mildly creative claim about allegations of anti-Semitism against a number of Labour Party members. The story has been set running because the Metropolitan Police is now examining some of these as potential hate speech. But one name keeps being missed off the reports.
The BBC has reported “Met Police chief Cressida Dick told the BBC her officers were assessing online material because it appears ‘there may have been a crime committed’.
It comes after LBC Radio obtained what it said was an internal Labour document detailing 45 cases, involving messages posted by members on social media. Ms Dick says the Met had a duty to assess the material and not dismiss it”.
There was, though, one important detail that many launching the usual howling denunciation of Labour today have managed to ignore: “she insisted the Met was ‘not investigating’ the Labour Party itself”. Moreover, “It is understood Labour has not been contacted by the police and has not been told of the exact nature of the allegations being investigated”. That has not stopped the usual suspects kicking off in no style at all.
Heading the charge have been the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, whining “Labour’s anti-Semitism problem is in the spotlight again as it emerged this morning that the Metropolitan Police have launched a criminal investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism within the party”. The Great Guido only yesterday missed Arron Banks indulging in cheap anti-Semitic tropes. I’m sure it was just an oversight.
Over at the Mail, they are also on the case: “The document, obtained by radio station LBC last month, had been reviewed by a former Met Police commander who said four could be hate crime … In a statement this morning, the force said it had reviewed the dossier of evidence”. The Murdoch Sun has screamed “Labour members face criminal investigation over torrent of anti-Semitic abuse”. Fewer than 0.01% of the membership is a “torrent”.
But no-one has told who handed over the dossier. Why so sensitive? LBC’s account of the handover is still extant: that happened on September 4, and the host handing over the dossier was Nick Ferrari. The report includes a video titled “Moment Nick Ferrari Handed Cressida Dick Labour Anti-Semitism Dossier”. Why is no-one crediting him with this act? One might have expected the Labour bashers to line up and applaud him.
Maybe this line from his Wikipedia entry has something to do with it: “In 2015, Ferrari was investigated by Ofcom after he said on his radio programme that the November 2015 Paris attacks were ‘a Muslim problem’ and told a Muslim caller to ‘go some place else’ if the caller didn't agree with UK foreign policy”. There’s an even handed host for you.
He’s also got Labour bashing form: for example, “Mr Ferrari insisted the shadow chancellor and other Labour party politicians were a ‘bunch of deadbeat phonies’ that were being propped up by the drive of grassroots campaign group Momentum”. Labour MP Angela Rayner concluded after one exchange “It would be interesting to see if he gives the Conservatives such a hard time”. And there was more.
He said this of the shadow cabinet during one exchange: “You honesty think my listeners look at that bunch who form the shadow cabinet and seem them as a government in waiting? They look like the barroom scene out of Star Wars … They are the weirdest collection you have ever seen. They have actually got no experience”. And that’s before his bullying of Diane Abbott. So maybe he’s not just a disinterested actor here.
Which may explain why all those media outlets lining up to kick Labour today have missed his name off the credits. I’ll just leave that one there.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at