What, one has to ask, is the purpose of John Mann? The former MP, who was allegedly representing the Labour Party during his tenure as the Member for the Bassetlaw constituency, has recently been ennobled and given the title of Government anti-Semitism Czar, despite the unfortunate connotations of pairing “Czar” with “anti-Semitism”.
Doctor, I can't keep my mouth shut
Mann has effectively given a free pass several public figures who have been called out for anti-Semitic behaviour. Suella Braverman was not censured by him over her “Cultural Marxism” comments. Nor were Priti Patel over “North London Metropolitan Elite”, Michael “Oiky” Gove over conflating “Jews” and “Israel”, or Jacob Rees Mogg over his “Illuminati” jibe at two Jewish politicians, and claiming George Soros funded the Remain campaign.
Did I hear that right?
It may not be entirely coincidental that all of those incidents involved leading Tories, and that Mann has decided anti-Semitism is something that is mostly done by Labour figures. Nor is it going to help his efforts when he starts ignoring, or even shutting out, the views of Jewish voices merely because they do not coincide with his own.
And that appears to be what has happened - with the assistance of the deeply unpleasant Ian Austin, another former MP who benefited from the party’s support and who, during the latest General Election campaign, bit the hand that had fed him in no style at all by doing the bidding of the Tory Party by putting out propaganda on their behalf.
After writer and broadcaster Michael Rosen had investigated the claim that Paul Golding of far-right Britain First had joined the Tories, concluding “From this account, Paul Golding is NOT a member of the Tory Party”, the less than dynamic duo of Austin and Mann sprang into inaction. Austin went first. "Looking forward to [Michael Rosen] a) apologising for trying to belittle and undermine [John Mann]’s work on Antisemitism, and b) resolving not to stupidly give horrible racists like Paul Golding and Britain First the publicity they crave”.
Rosen was not looking to belittle or undermine anyone. He corrected Austin: “I don't undermine [John Mann]’s work on antisemitism: I provide him with examples he hasn't retweeted so that he can slot them alongside the ones that he does”. Mann, it might be thought, would be sensitive to Jewish voices expressing concern about anti-Semitism.
But that thought would have been misplaced, as Mann himself soon demonstrated - by smearing Rosen as a troll and then blocking him. I kid you not: The Great Man responded unequivocally to Austin “All trolls are blocked. Another trolled added. Thank you”. Think about that. A supposed anti-Semitism campaigner blocks a leading Jewish voice.
One observer, not quite believing what they had seen, responded “Lord John just blocked [Michael Rosen] for raising concerns about Anti Semitism. How do you think this looks John, that you, the AS tsar has just blocked a prominent Jewish figure from highlighting areas of concern he has? Cause to me it looks really really bad. Be better”.
And another Tweeter observed “Just take this in for a minute! The AntiSemitism Tsar John Mann has blocked Jewish Holocaust author & educator Michael Rosen for asking for feedback on alleged AntiSemitism in the Conservative Party”.
John Mann gives every indication of not being impartial. I’ll just leave that one there.
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