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Saturday, 7 November 2020

Dave Rich - Wrong Again

Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street may recall the Community Security Trust’s report titled “Engine of Hate … The online networks behind the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis”, which was published last year. This claimed to have identified 36 Twitter accounts that it suggested were the “engine room”, the providers of fuel to the boilers of hatred. But very soon a problem entered: 24 of the accounts were not.

The CST later admitted this. But there was no apology, no retraction. Several Twitter accounts had been needlessly defamed, and the thought entered that they may have been selected, knowing that those accused did not possess the means to fight back. So those behind 24 accounts were left to face online abuse and threats, and perhaps even being tracked down and physically attacked. The CST appeared not to care.

More than a year later, the CST’s Dave Rich is still at it, throwing around accusations on the basis of nothing at all. This time, he’s not going after 24 Twitter accounts whose owners don’t have the means to take him to the cleaners, but has raised his sights a little, attacking the Guardian for not censoring an opinion piece. You read that right.

(c) Steve Bell 2020

The piece in question was a cartoon by the legendary Steve Bell, and came in the wake of the fallout from the EHRC report into allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. New leader Keir Starmer is widely believed to have been behind the decision to suspend his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn for not unequivocally approving the report’s conclusions.

As a result, Bell’s cartoon - which clearly has the words AFTER CARAVAGGIO at its right-hand side - depicts Starmer presenting the head of Corbyn, rather than John the Baptist. Suddenly, there were shouts of “Anti-Semitism”. But why? The impression was given that Bell had been accused of it before, so what the heck.

Then came a piece in the latest issue of Private Eye magazine (#1534) which suggested editor Kath Viner had cold feet over publishing, and asked Jewish voices on the paper for advice. Rich may not read the Eye, but the Jewish Chronicle lifted the content. “The fact that Kath Viner felt she needed to check this cartoon with ‘Jewish colleagues’ meant she already knew it was a problem, so she should have taken the decision herself not to publish instead of forcing that responsibility onto Jewish staff” he thundered.

She didn’t force responsibility onto anyone, but hey ho. Then came the giveaway: “unless, of course, the Guardian checks everything they publish about Jews, antisemitism, Israel etc with Jewish staff, and do the same with everything else that relates to a minority. But I doubt they do”. Rich is trying to paint the Guardian as a bad faith actor.

By doing so, he attempts to demonise the paper’s editor, perhaps to make it easier to soften her up in future. But this kind of attack ultimately turns people off, with the outbursts of indignation followed swiftly by denunciation and demands for censorship.

Also, Dave Rich might be better received if he had said sorry to the 24 Twitter account holders gratuitously and needlessly defamed last year. I’ll just leave that one there.

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Anonymous said...

"First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist."

Wonder how things will turn out for the useful idiots.

Anonymous said...

As if anybody - let alone extremist nutjob Rich - needed to "soften up" Viner to vomit right wing propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Living case against nominative determinism, Andrew Adonis, has claimed Mr Bell portrays Mr Corbyn as being martyred by a “sinister and murderously violent plot” by Jews.

Herod was, however, ethnically an Arab from both sides. He functioned as a tax farmer for Rome, and one whose brutality was condemned by the Sanhedrin. Surely it is anti-semitic to automatically attribute conspiracies to those of Jewish origin, especially when all evidence discredits that attribution. Asking for a certain commission.

Anonymous said...

Dave Rich and the rest of his foaming followers may wish to dwell on this:

"The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus also relates in his Antiquities of the Jews that Herod killed John, stating that he did so, "lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his [John's] power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise)"


Nigel Stapley said...

The 'CST' (aka 'Bouncers For Bibi') is one of those organisations with a vested interest in either creating the perception of a problem which doesn't exist, or in inflating a problem beyond its actual extent. In both cases, the goal is the same; self-aggrandisement and self-enrichment.

And if Viner did run Bell's cartoon past her Jewish colleagues, did she run any of the deeply insulting ones Bell did at the time of the independence referendum past any Scottish hacks and managers? I somehow doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone noticed hoe Steve doesn't caricature Keeves' physical appearance. It's almost as if he is A Man Without Qualities and there's nothing there to exaggerate.