Sometimes it is not the action, but the timing; not the arguments, but the conduit. So it has proved for veteran MP Louise Ellman, who has announced her decision to leave the Labour Party. She will, for the time being, continue to represent the constituency of Liverpool Riverside; she has been the MP there since 1997, and at the 2017 General Election retained the seat with 84.5% of the popular vote.
Louise Ellman MP
Thus the action: the argument is, as with Luciana Berger in the neighbouring constituency of Liverpool Wavertree, that she is the victim of alleged anti-Semitism within party ranks. This, though, has been hotly contested by many local members, with Jewish Voice for Labour having compiled a comprehensive report on the matter (see HERE).
But neither the action, nor the arguments, are new or surprising. Louise Ellman has been consistently critical of the party leadership for some time. She is an unswerving supporter of the state of Israel, and of its actions; this is inevitably going to put her at odds with those who advocate for the cause of the Palestinians. That can be seen in the JVL report.
What lifts the Ellman resignation above the routine of Labour disagreements is the timing of her action, and one of the conduits used to disseminate information about it. Right now, Labour stands ready to bring down the current Government, once the Article 50 process has been extended in accordance with the provisions of the Benn Act.
There had not been any significant new accusations of anti-Semitic behaviour levelled against the party for some time, with the EHRC investigation taking its course. Cross-party discussions around bringing forward a Vote Of No Confidence have been proceeding. And with remarkable timing, the anti-Semitism accusations are brought to the fore again.
That much may raise a few eyebrows, but added to the timing is the conduit: at 2159 hours yesterday, Henry Zeffman of the Murdoch Times announced the Ellman resignation. Just three minutes later, her statement was published by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. That’s a remarkably fast turnaround for a post. It’s so fast - three minutes - as not to be credible. Not without prior notice.
So my Occam’s Razor is pointing at The Great Guido having had prior knowledge of the resignation. And anyone opposed to anti-Semitism should not be going anywhere near Staines and his pals, for one very good reason: they have had no qualms about dabbling in it themselves in the recent past - notably during Ed Miliband’s leadership of the party.
Posts like that telling “Every week Cameron looks easier, calmer, more in control of his party, his policy and his election plan – and every week his opponent dances at the despatch box like a spastic marionette … Ed kept asking, his convulsive string master taking another swig of the meths”. Marionette. Puppet master.
Not long after that post came another containing this gem: “Miliband is no Messiah. Pious, yes. Other-worldly, yes. Crucifixion-material, yes”. Both posts are still live as I type.
But now, all is transformed, and the Fawkes massive are right behind Louise Ellman. One can only hope that their intervention was not prompted by her. That, after all, would be the most appalling hypocrisy, and that would never do.
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