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News Labour MPs - Quit Over Anti-Semitism

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
Seven Labour lawmakers quit on Monday over leader Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and a row over anti-Semitism, saying Britain’s
main opposition party had been “hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left”.

In a direct challenge to Corbyn, the seven centrist MPs said they were courting others from across parliament to join their group, saying “enough is enough” in keeping silent over their doubts about the Labour leader’s fitness for office.


Seven MPs quit Labour Party citing Brexit 'betrayal', anti-Semitism | Reuters
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
There isn't much in that piece about anti-semitism. It refers to a row over anti-semitism and the allegation that Corbyn has failed to tackle anti-semitism in the party. I'm curious what sort of concrete episodes of anti-semitism have been found in the Labour party that would justify all the noise about it.
 

Jamie in Chile

Renowned Member
The Labour party needs more unit to stop the Tories at the next general election otherwise it will be more environmental destruction and inequality for the country.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
They're 'tipped' to resign, but they've not actually resigned at this point ... And these MPs would be specifically resigning over the party's handling of Brexit, nothing to do with the anti-semitism row in the Labour party.
They have resigned and are now sitting with the other MP's that have formed the Independent party, in the House of Commons. Their decision has nothing to do with the anti semitism dispute.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Yes, I see in other news sources they have indeed now resigned from the Conservative party. The Guardian link you posted said only 'tipped', presumably because they hadn't announced it yet at that point.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
Yes, I see in other news sources they have indeed now resigned from the Conservative party. The Guardian link you posted said only 'tipped', presumably because they hadn't announced it yet at that point.
I actually posted a link with the correct information but for some reason I couldn't open it, once posted. I didn't read the content of the 2 nd link.
 

Jamie in Chile

Renowned Member
It seems very unclear what these people are proposing.

Are they really interested in forming a new party?

Are they leaving to force Labour and the Tories, their former parties, to commit to move to the centre ground (in which case they might go back)?

I think they need a website that outlines some of their policies and beliefs, or some kind of presentation/manifesto that summarizes the same.

We've seen cases (e.g. in Spain) where new parties were created and won 20% of the vote when they barely existed a year before. This never looked likely in the past for the UK, but who knows?
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
The Independent Group doesn't seem like a very cohesive group. If they're really going to form a new party, that has to change, but maybe that isn't really their goal at this point, just to make it easier for more MPs to leave the two big parties, and over time break their power. If a few more Conservatives leave, it could mean the Conservatives and DUP no longer have a majority.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Another Labour defector:
He told the BBC the leadership had failed to tackle anti-Semitism and had turned the party into a "narrow sect".
Source: Labour MP Ian Austin quits party (22. Feb. 2019)
Austin has stated he's not planning to join the new Independent Group, though.

More about the anti-semitism row in the Labour party:
Labour: 673 anti-Semitism reports in 10 months (11. Feb. 2019)
According to a statement in the article, more than 200 of the 673 complaints were made by a single MP, Dame Margaret Hodge.

I can't help but think that while there clearly is a problem with anti-semitism, that issue is being used in order to push a different agenda which is unrelated to anti-semitism. Part of it is unhappiness about Corbyn taking the party (back) to the left, is supporting Brexit (although soft), part of it has to do with a concern that the Labour party will become more critical of Israel, part of it has to do with a concern that Corbyn is not a very effective leader and may not be able to win the next general election despite the Conservative party's many serious problems.
 
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shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
A 9 th Labour MP, Austin also quits but will not be joining the Independent Group:

Austin has frequently criticized Corbyn in the past, saying that under his leadership some members of the Labour Party
“go beyond legitimate and passionately held views about the plight of the Palestinians and tip over into anti-Semitism.”

Last year he faced disciplinary action by the party after accusations he swore at party chairman Ian Lavery during a “heated discussion” about Labour’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism.
Austin is the adopted son of a Holocaust survivor and has always said his politics and his father’s story are inextricably linked.


Holocaust survivor’s son quits UK Labour over ‘extremism, anti-Semitism’
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
The Independent Group, which has now become a political party, 'Change UK', appear to itself have serious issues with racism as two of their candidates have had to stand down within 24 hours of each other. One had tweeted about "a crazy black *****" and the other had tweeted that he saw some merit in Brexit on the basis that allegedly 70% of the pickpocketers caught on the London Underground were Romanian.
Change UK election candidate steps down over offensive tweets | Change UK – The Independent Group | The Guardian
 

Jamie in Chile

Renowned Member
It's clear that there has been some anti-semitism within the Labour Party, and it's good that they are working through it. Whether they are any worse than the Conservatives or other parties in this regard I can't say.

I am concerned about anti-semitism in the Labour party, but it's certainly not one of the top 10 things I worry about.

I think the right wing media, and who knows, maybe even others in the right wing establishment (pure speculation here, no evidence) are obsessively digging up dirt and going through old social media posts to try and stop Corbyn winning the next general election.

The media attention is there, but I think most British people will realize that this story has been overblown, or just not care, and I don't think it will have much effect on the electorate. However, if they have other bombshells and dirt to drop later, and are able to point to Labour as a party beset by a series of different scandals, or if Corbyn makes other missteps, I think it could make more of a difference in combination with other factors.

We've all said something foolish or offensive in our lives. In Corbyn's case, it's mostly because he has associated with others rather than things he's actually said or done. I don't think being in a facebook group or attending a presentation where something was said, or meeting a morally dubious person and shaking their hand, is even remotely close to doing or saying morally bad things yourself.

That being said it is actually plausible that Jeremy Corbyn is a bit anti-semitic. However since there's no evidence to prove that assertion, he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

I think criticism of the Israeli government is totally justified and sometimes supporters of the Israeli government will sometimes cry anti-semitism when it is not really.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
I think the right wing media, and who knows, maybe even others in the right wing establishment (pure speculation here, no evidence) are obsessively digging up dirt and going through old social media posts to try and stop Corbyn winning the next general election.
I suspect that if you look closely, you'll discover that British politics is much more vicious than one might reasonably suspect. Digging up dirt is probably a full-time job that employs scores of people working on behalf of political parties, factions within parties and lobby groups with dubious funding. The in-fighting in the Labour party and the Labour anti-Semitism must be considered in that context.

What scares me about this is the 'boy who cried wolf' effect - when serious anti-semitism and racism do turn up in British politics, we'll be thinking that it's probably just exaggerated and/or that this is normal, so we won't really bother to react to it.

Carl Benjamin: UKIP MEP candidate challenged over racist language
 
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Celibataire

Star Member
Location
England
The reason that the 'centrists' quit and have now faded into deserved oblivion had nothing to do with allegations of 'anti-Semitism' and everything to do with Corbyn's non-committal as to where he stands on the EU; an institution that he always opposed until his apparently Damascene conversion a few years ago (though he looked as uncomfortable wearing a 'Remain' badge as he would have done chewing on a fillet steak).

Getting back to the main topic, it is unclear to me exactly what Chris Williamson MP - who is incidentally vegan - said, or is alleged to have said that merited his suspension. I am also suspicious about who is pushing Rachel Riley - another vegan - as some kind of Messiah to save the Jews from Jezza. Remember she claimed that Noam 'Chomski' is an 'anti-Semite'.
 

Celibataire

Star Member
Location
England
Thanks for the link. Re Rachel Riley:

Countdown's Rachel Riley says she would vote Tory over 'Labour anti-Semitism'

Not mentioned in the Mirror article is that the GQ magazine interview was with Alistair 'People's Vote' Campbell, Tony Blair's spinmeister at the time of the invasion of Iraq. So he is in no position to take the moral high ground. Here's the summary, but you need to be a subscriber (I'm not) to read it all:

Rachel Riley: 'Whether Corbyn says he’s an anti-Semite or not, he’s allowing this to happen'
 
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