And today this group has been meeting. So who was present? Sienna Rodgers of Labour List gave us a sample of attendees and subjects discussed. “At #JLM2020, Joan Ryan called for ‘examination’ by Starmer & front bench of roots of antisemitism in Labour. Mike Gapes said Starmer had ‘been doing a good job so far - much better than I expected’ & he ‘can't back down’. Neither confirmed applying to join Labour again”.
Moving right along from what the merry fuck it has to do with Mike Gapes how well the current party leadership is doing, this appears rather strange. Ms Ryan took her bat home after being deselected by her local CLP, and joined another party. Gapes left Labour and joined the same, failed, party - the short-lived Change UK.
Moreover, the fact that neither of them is Jewish, yet appear to be attempting to tell the Labour Party how to approach allegations of anti-Semitism, and even to tell the leadership how it should be leading the party, is jarring. Nor do they intend to rejoin the organisation.
Small wonder one observer mused “Not really sure why Joan Ryan and Mike Gapes are appearing at any events held by affiliates of the Labour Party”. And one Jewish voice on the left was clearly dismayed at what he saw. “Welcome to the Labour Party where Non-Jews like Joan Ryan and Mike Gapes now decide what is Anti-Semitism and who are Anti-Semitic - while Left-Wing Jews like me are dismissed, ignored and demonised as self-haters” (he had previously been denounced as a “useful Jewish idiot” by Dan Hodges).
There was more. “One of the issues of Labour Anti-Semitism is how Jewish Labour Members suffered abuse. But the Labour-Right ignore how Jews who have supported Corbyn have been subject to the most horrific abuse for years”. And more.
“Jews who support Corbyn have been called Self-Hating Jews, the wrong type of Jew, traitors, fake Jews, useful idiots and much much more. But this abuse does not matter to [Keir] Starmer & his allies as they don't care when those committing the abuse come from their side”. Why Ms Ryan and Gapes should be driving Labour policy is bizarre.
And what is yet more bizarre is the idea of them deciding what constitutes anti-Semitism, as well as informally marking the leadership’s progress on dealing with the issue.
I always thought you joined a party in order to have influence upon it. You live and learn.
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