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By Russell Grenning - posted Friday, 13 April 2018

According to the BBC last March, “Since then many Labour MPs feel that an almost continuous flow of allegations have emerged, including Mr Corbyn’s own unwitting participation in some online debates, with the party leadership accused of being slow and reluctant to take a strong stance, and the Labour machine crawling, rather than racing, to close down the problem.”

Also in March, the head of the party’s disputes panel Christine Shawcroft was forced to quit when it emerged that she had opposed the suspension of a Labour local council candidate Alan Bull who had posted to his Facebook page an article suggesting that the Holocaust was a “hoax”.  It was, he admitted, a “bad mistake”.

Ms Shawcroft, who had only been appointed head of the disputes committee in January, had originally said that Mr Bull’s Facebook post had been “taken completely out of context and alleged to show anti-Semitism” and that Mr Bull was being pursued by some of his local party members for “political reasons”.


Later, she was contrite and apologetic actually saying that she hadn’t even seen the candidate’s Facebook post before she defended him. This convenient blindness is very typical of far too many on Labour’s left.

 But Ms Shawcroft is very well protected and has easily rebuffed suggestions that she stand down from the party’s ruling National Executive Committee – she is a director of the pro-Corbyn Momentum Group, the internal militant wing that engineered Corbyn’s election as Leader.



In the wash-up from his disaster, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor (Treasurer) John McDonnell told the BBC that measures to deal with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party should have been put in place “ages ago” although he couldn’t say why they hadn’t. Labor MP and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on anti-Semitism, John Mann, said Corbyn should “show some real leadership” and suspend Ms Shawcroft from the party. He was ignored.

Corbyn has made quite a lucrative career from appearing on the virulently anti-Israel and anti-Jewish Iran State-owned “Press TV” and has admitted receiving $AU36,500 for doing so. Last year he claimed that he hadn’t been on the show for a “long time” although his own Parliamentary records showed his last appearance was in 2012. It depends, I suppose, on whether or not five years is a long time. And why did he stop appearing on the show? Was it because it had been drawn to his attention that the show was a nonstop tirade against all things Jewish and Israeli? Well no, “I ceased to do any programs when they treated the green movement the way that they did,” he told the BBC. One has to have priorities after all.


In 2012, local authorities in London removed a wall mural by American artist Mear One. The mural depicted anti-Semitic caricatures playing monopoly on a board held up on the backs of the poor. It was the sort of obscene cartoon that Julius Streicher, the notorious Nazi publisher of the German newspaper Der Sturmer would have been proud to publish. Streicher, who was executed after the war for crimes against humanity, was Nazi Germany’s most fanatical anti-Semite which was quite some achievement in those days.

Corbyn publicly sympathised with the artist and when the media uncovered the post only last March, he bungled the response. Initially the Labour Party said, “Jeremy was responding to concerns about the removal of public art on the grounds of free speech” although a subsequent statement issued by his own office said the problem was that “he did not look more closely at the image he was commenting on.”

Yes, really.

All of this – and more – prompted Israel’s Labor Party to sever its historic relations with Corbyn’s Labour Party in early April. In a publicly released letter to Corbyn, the Israeli leader Avi Gabbay accused him of allowing “hostility” to the Jewish community and of having a “very public hatred of the policies of the government and State of Israel”. All Corbyn did was to complain that Gabbay should have spoken with him before sending and releasing the letter.

But at least he still has his new chum Nick Griffin to support him so all is not lost, is it?

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About the Author

Russell Grenning is a retired political adviser and journalist who began his career at the ABC in 1968 and subsequently worked for the then Brisbane afternoon daily, The Telegraph and later as a columnist for The Courier Mail and The Australian.

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