The propaganda campaign against Corbyn
Ever since Corbyn became party leader the New Labour faction who still make up the majority of MPs (but not party members any more) have spent more time joining with the Conservative party and right wing elements of the media to try to undermine Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader than they have criticising the tories.
Corbyn and Scotland
The story that Labour lost the 2016 Scottish parliament elections due to Corbyn is pretty far fetched, given that Labour had already lost Scottish parliament elections when Blair and Brown were leaders – and had lost all but one of its MPs in Scotland in the May 2015 General Election, months before Corbyn was elected leader.
Labour didn’t win seats back in Scotland under Corbyn, but the fact that New Labour MPs retained so much influence and could move against Corbyn at any time will have made it hard for Labour to get back trust with Scottish voters. As did Kezia Dugdale MSP remaining Scottish Labour leader, as she is well known to be on the New Labour wing of the party.
Corbyn and the EU referendum
The pretext the New Labour MPs have used is that Corbyn failed to get a Remain vote in the EU referendum. It’s true that 37% of people who voted Labour in 2015 voted Leave. But 37% of SNP voters did too. So did 30% of Lib Dem voters, the Lib Dems being most pro-EU party in the UK. Yet no one is calling for Nicola Sturgeon or Tim Farron to resign (1).
The “disaster” of Britain leaving the EU is also being hyped up a lot. The likeliest outcome is that the EU will negotiate a deal with the UK similar to the ones Norway and Switzerland have – free trade in return for two-way Freedom of Movement of people and annual financial contributions to the EU budget.
There might yet even be a second referendum on whether to accept the final deal negotiated for the UK outside the EU, or remaining after all.
The EU is hardly the model of international brotherhood, solidarity and equality it is made out to be either, or it would not still be imposing levels of crippling austerity on Greece that make Conservative austerity in the UK look mild by comparison (and the tory austerity is bad enough). (And I say that as a Remain voter) (2).
It’s unlikely that any Labour leader could have avoided many Labour voters voting Leave.
Tom Mauchline, who heckled Corbyn over the referendum, is an employee of Portland Communications, a public relations firm established by former Blair adviser Tim Allan and employing Alastair Campbell (3) – (6). (credit to The Canary)
The allegations of Anti-semitism
The attacks on Corbyn for having referred to “our friends in Hamas” are pretty hypocritical coming from New Labour and Conservative MPs who have actually provided arms to dictatorships like the Saudis and Egyptian military
Corbyn was attempting to encourage peace negotiations between Israel and the entire elected Palestinian government – which includes Hamas.
Efraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad, is among Israelis who have said Israel should accept Hama’s offer of talks. Is he meant to be an anti-semite too? (7)
The “anti-semitic slur” supposedly made by a party member to Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth at a Corbyn press conference does not seem to exist when you watch a video of the incident on The Independent newspaper’s website. (8)
Labour member Marc Wadsworth can be heard saying “I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand. If you look around this room, how many African Caribbean and Asian people are there? We need to get our house in order.” (credit to Craig Murray here)
Ruth Smeeth and some of the media spun this into a “traditional anti-semitic slur” of “Jewish media conspiracy” though her being Jewish had not been mentioned at all.
It also turns out that Ruth Smeeth is a former employee of BICOM – a pro-Israeli government lobby group. (9).
So it seems very likely she will be hostile to Corbyn, who is a well-known critic of some of the actions of the Israeli government.
The majority of the criticism of Corbyn and his allies equates any criticism of any of the actions of the Israeli government to anti-semitism or hatred of all Jews.
That is as ridiculous as claiming that any criticism of the Iraq war makes you “anti-British” or “anti-American”.
No doubt some anti-semites use the cover of anti-Zionism or opposition to Israeli policies, but these are a small minority even on the left of the Labour party, most of who, like Corbyn, believe that Israel has a right to exist, but should allow Palestine to exist alongside it.
Death Threats and “mob rule”
The police are absolutely right to treat allegations of death threats and threats of rape by Corbyn supporters against some Labour MPs seriously in case they are real (10).
But given all of the above there has to be a bit of doubt in anyone’s mind about whether they are.
If they are there is no way that Corbyn or MPs close to him have approved or encouraged it.
It also turns out that one of the people posing with an elderly man wearing an “Eradicate the Blairite vermin” t-shirt is Anna Phillips, an employee of the Blairite campaign group Progress – and the other is another public relations media strategist (credit to Craig Murray again). Did they provide the t-shirt too?
(1) = Lord Ashcroft polls 24 Jun 2016, ‘How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and why’, http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/
(2) = Salon 29 Apr 2016 ‘“Ponzi austerity” scheme imposed by E.U. and U.S. bleeds Greece dry on behalf of banks, says ex-finance minister’, http://www.salon.com/2016/04/29/ponzi_austerity_scheme_imposed_by_e_u_and_u_s_bleeds_greece_dry_on_behalf_of_banks_says_ex_finance_minister/
(3) = BBC News 25 Jun 2016 ‘EU referendum: 'It's your fault, Jeremy' - Corbyn heckled’, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36629976
(8) = www.independent.co.uk 30 Jun 2016 ‘Labour activist who berated MP Ruth Smeeth says he did not know she was Jewish and denies Momentum links’, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-activist-who-berated-mp-ruth-smeeth-says-he-did-not-know-she-was-jewish-and-denies-momentum-a7111366.html (see video on the page)
(9) = BICOM 11th May 2015 ‘BICOM Analysis: UK General Election – Implications for Israel’, http://www.bicom.org.uk/analysis/25415/ ( scroll down to bolded sub-heading ‘What can we expect from the new House of Commons?’ – 2nd paragraph under it, final sentence ‘Incoming Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North Ruth Smeeth is a former BICOM staffer.’)
(10) = www.telegraph.co.uk 29 Jun 2016 ‘Revealed: Labour MPs go to police over death threats after refusal to back Jeremy Corbyn’, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/29/revealed-labour-mps-go-to-police-over-death-threats-after-refusa/