It was already well known that for Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, there was no action the Labour Party could take, short of summarily disposing of its entire leadership, which would satisfy him. He has decided that the party, and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, are anti-Semitic, or at least that they facilitate and even encourage anti-Semitism.
So it was no surprise when the JC once again attacked Labour in its editorial yesterday, addressing not only Jews, but the whole electorate. “To all our fellow British citizens … This front page is addressed not to our usual readers - but to those who would not normally read the Jewish Chronicle. In other words, to non-Jews” it told.
Pollard may at this point have felt rather pleased with himself: his editorial had garnered coverage across the broadcast media, much of it favourable, and very little of it critical. But this was the calm before the storm: the JC is now the subject of a Police complaint, and some of the endorsements are the kind Pollard might rather do without.
Simon Maginn was so concerned about the content of the editorial that he complained to Sussex Police. The grounds for his action are straightforward: “I believe this editorial contravenes Section 106:1 of the Representation of the People Act (1983), and I will be making a complaint to Sussex police concerning it”. His rationale was that the editorial constituted “an 'illegal practice' within the meaning of the Act”.
Here’s his reasoning. “The comments complained of are not ‘political opinions’, they are materially false statements of fact about the conduct or character of a candidate during an election, with the purpose of adversely affecting the candidate’s return, without reasonable grounds for believing them, and thus, I believe, rise to the level of ‘illegal practices’ within the meaning of the act. I therefore believe Mr Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, is in breach of the Representation of the People Act (1983), Section 106:1”.
Pollard, it seems, is taking his opinions and using them to generate his own facts, a course of action that never ends well. And worse was to come: the convocation of the irredeemably batshit otherwise known as Breitbart London decided that the JC’s editorial was just what its inmates, and their audience, wanted to hear.
“Jewish Chronicle Urges Non-Jews Not to Back ‘Racist’ Corbyn” told the Breitbart London Twitter feed, signposting an entire article dedicated to the JC’s editorial, although someone in the Breitbart bunker at least had the common sense to put quote marks around the claim of “racist”. That means the JC has been backed not just by a gang of actual racists, but by a brand known for its support for white supremacists.
If Stephen Pollard is found to be in breach of electoral law, well, as we’ve seen from the recent abuses perpetrated by Vote Leave and Leave EU, the penalties need not be so severe, but the embarrassment and indeed shame would be off the scale.
Reported to the cops and backed by racists. Not Stephen Pollard’s finest hour.
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