In her campaign to expose anti-Semitism, Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley has one ally whom she has praised openly, and his name is David Collier. He can be found on Twitter using the handle @mishtal, and is also a contributor to the @gnasherjew feed. Her clear empathy and gratitude comes through clearly from her public social media exchanges with him. But he, and she, now have a problem.
Collier has now been caught on video effectively admitting that his own personal campaign to root out anti-Semitism is a highly selective one: it extends to the Labour Party and no further. He has therefore turned a blind eye to anti-Semitism elsewhere, and as Zelo Street regulars will know, that means giving the Tory Party, at least, a free pass.
In the video, Collier, at right foreground, and his colleague at left are in conversation with an individual who they are seeking to persuade to join their campaign. But their potential recruit has a nasty surprise for Collier. First, he calls anti-Semitism “a disgraceful thing”.
Collier’s pal takes it from there. “So will you be an ally and join with me and David in the campaign against anti-Semitism, whether it’s in the Tory Party, whether it’s in UKIP, whether it’s in the Labour Party, will you help us to expose those that express anti-Jewish racism?” Then the potential recruit takes the mic, and it all goes wrong.
“I have a wonderful question for David here. David, can you go through your routine … can you go to your record on exposing anti-Semitism in the Tory Party? Over to you, David”. After a pause, Collier responds “Do you think that’s a point?” NO COMMENT.
Back comes the question. “David, would you like to go through your record of exposing anti-Semitism in the Tory Party? Over to you David”. Collier’s response this time? “I’m not a member of the Tory Party”. Not going very well, is it? Back comes the question again.
Except with a little more pointedness. “Anti-Semitism exists everywhere. If you are here to fight anti-Semitism, you fight anti-Semitism everywhere. You seem to specialise in anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Can you please tell me not why, but what your record is in exposing anti-Semitism in the Tory Party? Over to you, David”. Come on Dave!
Next excuse? “Again, your questions are disingenuous. Now if you’ll let me answer …” But the questioner had by now heard enough. “Disingenuous? It is because I asked a very straightforward question. What have you done to expose anti-Semitism in the Tory Party? Over to you David”. Collier bleated “I am a member of the Labour Party”.
The questioner’s conclusion? “He says he has done nothing”. There you have it. Totally and utterly unacceptable. As the questioner said, you fight anti-Semitism, you fight it everywhere. You give it a free pass anywhere, you let it fester, you let it grow, you let it get worse, you let it get out of control. And David Collier is prepared to do just that.
Think about that next time you see Rachel Riley banging on about Labour anti-Semitism: she apparently finds it acceptable to ignore anti-Semitism when it happens elsewhere, which for any serious anti-racist is a frightening prospect.
Ms Riley’s pal just gave the game away. It’s not exposing hatred. It’s just Labour bashing.
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