Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2016

Why the anti-Semitism row could pave the way for Corbyn's downfall

First of all, I have to lay some cards on the table. I do have a vested interest, as my father is Jewish. This makes me Jewish enough from a Nazi perspective to have been persecuted in Germany in the late 30s and early 40s. I would have been charmingly classed as a ‘Mischling of the Second Degree’ under the terms of Hitler’s race laws.  My abhorrence of anti-Semitism is therefore quite visceral.
Labour has done exactly the right thing in suspending Naz Shah MP and Ken Livingstone for their recent comments. Unfortunately, there will be plenty of people now in the Party – or affiliated via the £3 sign-up scheme last year – who silently support their offensive views. That’s because the election campaign and subsequent elevation of Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 opened the floodgates to cranks, extremists and a whole variety of people with far-left affiliations.
The argument of these people is that whenever they condemn Israel, they are accused of anti-Semitism. This is not true. I’m absolutely f…

Why sovereignty won't save us from climate change or help us regulate banks

I had a short, but fairly intense, discussion with an avid Brexiter about the EU referendum the other day. His fundamental case for voting to break away on June 23rd was to reclaim British ‘sovereignty’. He yearned for a country with a Parliament that could make its own laws.
Of all the arguments advanced by the ‘leave’ campaign, the reclaiming of sovereignty is, to my mind the least compelling. Merriam-Webster defines the term as ‘unlimited power over a country’ or ‘a country’s independent authority and the right to govern itself’. It sounds fine in principle. Who could possibly disagree? But what exactly does it mean in the world of 2016?
Naturally I’m keen for the UK Parliament to retain power over matters that affect the British people. But over the past 20 years or so, we’ve made decisions that have transferred much of that power to other bodies, institutions and executives. The Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament are the most obvious examples, although the London Mayor has bee…

The feedback loop from a Brexit vote will come back to haunt us

Two things really worry me about the EU referendum.

The first is the incoherent messages emanating from ‘remain’ supporters because of Labour’s determination to separate itself from the mainstream campaign fronted by David Cameron and George Osborne. Following the vote on Scottish independence, there has been an impression that any connection with the Tories is an electoral liability for Labour. South of the border, I very much doubt this is the case, even in the context of the recent string of PR disasters for the government.

Nevertheless, Corbyn insists on putting his own spin on the issues.

He proclaimed last week a ‘socialist’ argument for the EU, which seemed only designed to shore up the support of people on the far left who have yet to embrace their leader’s remarkable and Damascene conversion after 35 years of anti-European rhetoric. The Conservatives focus on the financial cost of quitting the trading bloc, while Labour talks of some imaginary world in which the EU transforms…

Why Labour's silence on the EU is incredibly dumb

I do feel sorry for fans of Jeremy Corbyn.
No, seriously. 
There’s a hell of a lot of psychological turmoil involved in playing follow-my-leader these days.
I was talking to a Corbynista recently and she admitted that she signed petitions to protect the BBC, even though she didn’t actually watch or listen to any of its output. She’d gone ‘indie’ in recent years, feeling that the Corporation had abandoned its remit as a public-service broadcaster and simply followed a Tory agenda.
In other words, she buys into the narrative – quite common now on the left – that the ‘mainstream media’ cannot be trusted. But still she goes through the motions with the ‘save the BBC’ stuff online, perhaps out of some residual loyalty to what she imagines the institution might have been. Pretty weird stuff. Hard to get your head around.
No doubt, when confronted with the European referendum on 23rd June, she goes through the same agonising process.
In the eyes of the Corbynite left, the EU is a terrib…