I finally resigned from the Labour Party last week, after being warned that I was in danger of being disciplined for ‘anti-semitism’ on the basis of a blog I wrote some time ago arguing that the problem of anti-semitism in the party was less serious than was being made out (https://bernardjporter.com/2016/04/28/anti-semitism-and-labour/). That seemed to be regarded as almost as egregious as holocaust denial.
But that it was almost certainly true is evidenced by none other than the recent Equalities Commission report on Labour anti-semitism, which was universally presented by the press as having found against Labour; with the results that (a) the life-long anti-racist Jeremy Corbyn was suspended by the new party hierarchy for his continued ‘denial’; and (b) constituency parties were formally instructed never to raise or discuss the issue again. In fact the Report showed almost no evidence of Labour anti-semitism at all, with even the tiny number of examples it offered being highly debatable. (The old Ken Livingstone slur was one.) Here is the Middle East correspondent Jonathan Cook’s account of the whole affair: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2020-11-07/ehrc-labour-antisemitism-corbyn/. In my view it’s unanswerable.
But that’s water under the bridge now. The reputation of the Labour Party will probably never recover from its popular image, entirely unfounded, of having been ‘30%’ anti-semitic at one time (the real figure was 0.3%); and the reputation of British Jewry may never recover – as I wrote recently (https://bernardjporter.com/2020/11/01/plots-and-paranoia/) – from the suspicion that it may have ‘conspired’ to prevent a left-wing government coming to power, and hence have helped bring about the appalling political situation in which Britain finds itself now.
I find this infinitely depressing. I’ve tried to transfer my political feelings over to Sweden, where I’ve just been admitted to Vänsterpartiet (the Left Party); but I find I can’t shake off my concern for my other national identity (still), or my utter despair at its apparent descent into a pit of falsehoods, propaganda and lies; taking my beloved Labour Party, of which I was an active member for nearly 60 years, with it. How do Lefties in Britain who are without the comfort of a foreign asylum to flee to, cope?