IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

‘Bullying by left’ claim has no credence

08 March, 2019

• HOW often have we heard in the mainstream media the accusation that “The Labour Party is a racist party, that it is not safe for Jews and is doing little about anti-semitism”? None of this is true.

Complaints to the executive have totalled 453, which is 0.08 per cent of the party’s 540,000 members. Ninety-six of these resulted in suspensions, and there were 12 expulsions.

But if it serves the purpose of defeating a possible Labour government that is critical of the abusive treatment of Palestinian, so be it.

In these hypersensitive times you can face being called “anti-semitic” by daring to ask legitimate questions. I never said in the Tribune that “Labour rebels” were “financed by the Israeli Embassy”, (The ‘Sack of Seven’ group jumped before they were pushed, February 22).

Rather I said: “A question being directed in the first instance towards the Israeli Embassy’.” The extreme right-wing Likud government of Israel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has form over interfering in British and American politics.

I faced calls from anonymous correspondents for suspension if I’m a member of the Labour Party. And the invented and disgusting Protocols of the Elders of Zion were invoked to further deepen the smear. I never, nor would I, mention an invented right-wing trope.

As for the dreamt-up accusation of “bullying by the left”, it has no credence. The right of the Labour Party has failed to support its policy, or its elected leader (twice, by 59 per cent then 61 per cent) but has happily led moribund constituency parties which they were often imposed on.

I have heard the patronising phrase, “You don’t understand”, used by both political ends of the spectrum when you hold a different opinion, which I thought, with free speech, you were allowed to exercise.

An example of blatant double standards is that defector MP Luciana Berger can rightly claim the abhorrent abuse by six imprisoned hate speech criminals. Four from the right, two from the left and none was a Labour Party member.

How many convictions have there been for racism and sexism against MP Diane Abbott? Zero.

PATRICK EDLIN
N1

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