This blog does not always agree with minor Sleb Tracy Ann Oberman. But what she described yesterday on the BBC’s Victoria Live not only deserves wider exposure, the perpetrator of what appears to have been utterly reprehensible behaviour towards her deserves to be named and shamed. What she described to Victoria Derbyshire should never have to be endured by anyone. So let’s hear it in her own words.
Tracy Ann Oberman
“I thought that these people just existed behind a Twittersphere, or social media sphere, or a Facebook page. I was at a party and an actor … was very drunk, and he kept looking at me, was eyeballing me. Eventually he came over, and he said ‘I know you, I know you, you’re one of that lot, you’re one of that lot, your lot’s days are over’”.
Well, there’s a chat-up line to savour, or maybe not. Do go on. “And I said ‘what d’you mean, my lot?’ and he said ‘Your lot, you’re trying to bring a good man down’. Very aggressively, spitting in my face, and I said, ‘I’m sorry, a woman, a mother, an actress, a … Jew?’ and he went ‘There, you said it’”. That sounds particularly nasty. And there is more.
“‘You said it’. And then he said ‘your North London cabal, your days are over, because change is coming’. And I said, as he spat at me, ‘are you the sort of supporter that Jeremy Corbyn would like to align himself with?’ and he went ‘I know Jeremy very well, and your days are numbered’. And so it was really quite intimidating, frightening to see that in real life”. What she has described is totally inexcusable.
That conclusion was also reached by several Twitter observers, with comments such as “That sounds awful. If antisemites like him are expecting a Corbyn government to persecute Jews, then he's going to be sorely disappointed” typical. Another commenter responded “That's assault though, as she said he spat at her.. Hope she called the cops and got him arrested. Antisemitism and assault, his career would be over. She should name and shame”. Name and shame should be the name of the game.
One voice from the left pointed out “Tell Tracy to report him to the Labour party immediately. If he's a member, he will have to answer her charges. If she doesn't, how can the party do anything about it?” She knows who he is, and he sounds like a Labour member - so yes, she should report that to the party.
Others were of similar mind: “Who was it... please... this person needs to be identified” …”Name and shame him”. And one voice asked “Who’s the actor? Why didn’t anyone at the party step in? Why didn’t anyone call the police? I ask these questions because If it happened anywhere else someone would have videoed it, people would have stepped in and the police would have been called as it’s a hate crime”. Name the name.
What Tracy Ann Oberman has described is wholly unacceptable behaviour. And yes, it sounds very much like it should be reported as hate speech. There must have been witnesses. So she must name the name - this kind of behaviour is not acceptable, whether one agrees with Ms Oberman’s stance on Labour or not.
Only by naming the names will casual anti-Semitism like that be eradicated. That is all.
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