Thursday, July 7, 2016

UK: Labour Party finds itself innocent!

Douglas Murray @ Gatestone Institute:
Readers who have followed the UK Labour party's recent travails will be surprised to hear the results of the party's latest inquiry into its own behaviour. After a slew of anti-Semitic comments emanated from a Member of Parliament, a number of councillors and a member of the party's executive committee, party leader Jeremy Corbyn finally ordered an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the party. The findings of this inquiry have now been published and amazingly the Labour party has found itself innocent. But even that has not gone down without incident.

The Labour party's anti-Semitism problem began to be exposed at the start of this year when stories of routine anti-Semitism emerged from a junior wing of the party -- specifically the Oxford University Labour Club. That scandal involved a number of resignations, and revelations of the use of anti-Semitic language as routine and commonplace among Labour students at Britain's most prestigious university. An inquiry into these events, ordered by the party and conducted by Labour's own Baroness Royall, promptly found "no evidence" of "institutional anti-Semitism."

Then came the scandal of Naz Shah MP, who was suspended from the party pending an investigation into messages on social media, as well as the suspension of a number of Labour councillors for posting anti-Semitic content on Facebook and other sites.

Kerosene was promptly thrown onto this smouldering fire by National Executive Committee member, Ken Livingstone. The former Mayor of London used the opportunity of an anti-Semitism row to go on the BBC and talk about which early policies of Adolf Hitler's he thought the Jewish people had agreed. The resulting firestorm culminated in Mr Livingstone locking himself in a disabled lavatory at the BBC while journalists shouted questions about Hitler under the door. Sensing that his party was in difficult public-relations waters, Jeremy Corbyn ordered an inquiry into the Labour party's anti-Semitism problem, and asked left-wing campaigner Shami Chakrabarti to conduct the inquiry. Chakrabarti promptly joined the Labour party and started work.
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