Socialism and the oldest hatred

The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism
By Dave Rich
Biteback, 320pp,
£12.99/ebook £8.64

An anti-Semitic remark is today more likely to leave the mouth of a left-wing politician or activist than come from even the most unreconstructed of conservatives. In a world that is neatly divided into oppressors and the oppressed, “Jews do not deserve to be treated as victims,” as Dave Rich puts it in his new book The Left’s Jewish Problem. Or as a revolting letter published in the Morning Star in 2002 bluntly phrased it, “the good Jews were all killed in the concentration camps”.

Left-wing anti-Semitism has come to national attention since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party in September 2015. Since then up to 20 Labour members, including an MP and a former mayor of London, have been suspended by Labour for anti-Semitism. There have also been three separate inquiries into anti-Semitism within the party. A senior activist in the Corbyn-supporting campaign group Momentum has claimed that Jews were the “chief financiers of the slave trade”. Meanwhile Beinazir Lasharie, a Labour Party councillor who was suspended from the party in 2015, posted links on her Facebook page to videos claiming to show that Israel was behind Islamic State. Continue reading “Socialism and the oldest hatred”

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The government’s political choices have led to the spike in rough sleeping

Rough sleeping

Shame has become an emotional by-product of a night out in contemporary Britain. Not the type of shame one might associate with the imbibing of alcohol or, after about the fifth or sixth drink, compulsorily purchasing that soon-to-be-unwanted packet of cigarettes.

It is not the scrunched-up Marlboro Lights box stuffed in the pocket which causes this discomfiture. It is the crumpled up human being who meekly sidles up to you to plead for some coins.

Drinkers loitering outside of London’s pubs, clubs, and restaurants have become unwitting empiricist explorers akin to Henry Mayhew or Jack London. The superficial cocoons we Londoners walk around encased in – headphones on, eyes transfixed to the small ‘device’ we carry close, scurrying from office to fooderie to drinking den – are more akin to rooms with poorly fitting front doors. Continue reading “The government’s political choices have led to the spike in rough sleeping”