Controversy of the week Labour’s disgrace
Yet that has been the decision of the report released by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) last week to Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism in the celebration under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. It described”a civilization which, at best, did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, might be seen to accept it”. It found that many complaints about anti-Semitism were not investigated in any way, and that”political interference in the handling of complaints” was so continuing that it amounted to unlawful conduct. The EHRC reasoned that Labour had, during its representatives, dedicated harassment and discrimination against Jews — such as utilizing anti-Semitic tropes and indicating complaints were smears.
For British Jews who’d insisted that Corbyn’s employees had been contested by anti-Semitism, the report attracted a”measure of relief”, said Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian. “The catharsis lasted all of three hours”: Corbyn himself soon put out a statement stating that he did not accept all the EHRC’s ?ndings, including that the scale of the problem had been”dramatically overstated” for political motives,”by our competitors inside and outside of the party”, also by the media. Why was the investigation necessary at the ?rst area? “He had been in denial afterward. Why should we be surprised that he remains in denial today?” That is unfair on Corbyn, said Hilary Wainwright at precisely the same paper. In his statement, he admitted that the issue existed, together with the reforms proposed by the EHRC. His remarks had been”not to deny anti-Semitism but to put it in perspective”: it is in the fringes of the party membership.
That is absurd, said Philip Collins at the London Evening Standard. The report was utterly damning, and it reasoned that, ultimately, responsibility lay with the party leadership. “The only clever reply, by the Corbyn facet, to such a verdict was supposed to say nothing”, as John McDonnell did. But with”average obtuseness”, Corbyn went straight onto Facebook and put his petulant response. From Labour’s standpoint, the incident’s sole redeeming feature is that it provides”a big de?ning moment to reveal that the party is under new leadership”. For the time being, the answer to Corbyn’s suspension from his wing of the party was muted,” said Tom Harris at The Daily Telegraph. But when he is formally expelled, there’ll be — at the least — mass grass-roots resignations, and fury from the marriages. Starmer would almost certainly win this ?ght. “However, when the dust has settled and the blood has been mopped up, it’ll be the voters, not the Labour Party, who determine if it was worth it.”