How did Labour go From Being the Party of Equality to Being Probed for Institutional Racism?
By Julie Lenarz
March 7, 2019
The resignation of Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger over sickening levels of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has been described by deputy leader Tom Watson “as the worst day of shame” in the organisation's 120-year history.
Today was another such occasion. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced that it had begun proceedings against the Labour Party over its failure to stamp out anti-Jewish hate in its ranks. To add to the scandal, the independent body was founded by a Labour government in 2006.
How rapidly things can take a turn for the worse. The party of today is a far cry from Tony Blair’s Labour, which enjoyed intimate and friendly relations with the Jewish community. In the era of Jeremy Corbyn and his hard-Left ideologues, a once proud anti-racist party has turned into a powerhouse of anti-Jewish extremists.
Corbyn’s attempt to personally sabotage the suspension of his toxic ally, Chris Williamson MP, over a pattern of hostility towards the Jewish community was only the latest in a long line of failures to purge extremists from the party’ ranks.
I’m not mincing words here. The election of Jeremy Corbyn was a catastrophe – for Labour; the country; and the Jewish community, especially. I am of the strong belief that Corbyn harbours anti-Semitic views. And unlike some who see him as a misguided old man, I think Corbyn knows exactly what he’s doing. This is a serious charge, but the evidence has been lining up.
Beyond the walls of his carefully constructed bubble in which supporters celebrate him as an anti-racist, social justice campaigner for the most disenchanted in the world — lies a decades-long record of extensive links with racists, terrorists and dictators.
The problem, of course, is not just one man. The hard-Left ideologues who surround Corbyn and roll out an excuse — no matter how shameful — every time a Labour official is caught red-handed being anti-Semitic are equally responsible for the morally depraved situation in which the party now finds itself.
That’s why the EHRC investigation isn’t an optional exercise. It’s a necessity. The Labour leadership – everyone from Corbyn to Jennie Formby and the party’s National Executive Committee – has proven unwilling to eradicate the cancer of anti-Semitism that has spread through the skeleton of Labour like a raging wildfire.
Instead of cooperating sincerely with the EHRC investigation, they will likely hide behind a barrage of denial and refusal to admit any blame. After all, that’s the only consistent element in Labour’s handling of the anti-Semitism crisis – blame the victims, silence their supporters, and protect the perpetrators.
The MPs forced out of the party by a mixture of despair and disgust also didn’t mince their words. Luciana Berger called the party “institutionally anti-Semitic” when she resigned. Mike Gapes, another defector, said Corbyn was a “threat to national security.” The former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, appears to share that assessment.
It doesn’t get any more damning than this. The question now is whether the EHRC investigation will help, or rather force, Labour to come to its senses or if we will see more resignations in the coming days. One thing is certain, however - we are witnessing the battle over the soul of the Labour Party, and only one side will come out alive.