Britain 

Jeremy Blair and the gathering Brexit revolt

The Commons Speaker, John Bercow, is now issuing threats against the British prime minister. Making the premature assumption that Johnson intends to break the law by refusing to follow parliament’s instruction to ask the EU to extend the Brexit date from October 31, Speaker Bercow has threatened to use “procedural creativity” to stop him doing so. That means tearing up parliament’s own rules — which this most outrageously partisan of Speakers has already done to enable MPs to seize control of government business, calling into question the constitutionality of the…

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Labour party antisemitism Britain 

Why the Labour party can’t deal with its Jew-hatred

In recent days, plotting within the British Labour Party to get rid of its far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn has moved up a gear as deep concern over the party’s precipitous plunge in the opinion polls has burst into the open. Corbyn is being blamed for the two causes of this meltdown. The first is the party’s ambiguous stance over Brexit, in which it is trying simultaneously to please its working-class Brexit supporters and its metropolitan, educated liberals who want the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union — and…

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Labour party antisemitism Britain 

Jewish dismay increases after the Peterborough by-election

The Brexit Party narrowly lost yesterday’s Peterborough by-election by 683 votes. For a brand-new party registered only four months ago, that was a significant achievement. What a pity, though, that it didn’t actually win the seat. According to national polling by YouGov, the Brexit party has opened up a staggering six point lead over Labour and the LibDems, suggesting that more than a quarter of voters would back it in a general election. To do that, however, voters need to be persuaded that the party has a credible chance of…

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america Britain 

Conservatism in crisis

I took part in BBC2’s Politics Live to discuss my Times column (reprinted in The Sun) on the crisis of conservatism. My argument was that the centre of political gravity has moved. The Labour party now occupies the far left. The Conservative party, which through funk and ignorance has adopted many of the tropes of what it perceives to be a changing culture, now occupies a mushy soft-left ground. Which means there’s an enormous hole where conservatism once was. A Conservative MP who was on with me clearly didn’t have…

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antisemitism Britain Culture wars USA 

How antisemitism became unleashed in the west

Why is antisemitism now out of control in the west? Jew-hatred, alas, is always with us. The most we can expect is that it is kept down by unequivocal social disapproval. What causes it to explode into an uncontrolled epidemic is the weakening of that powerful social stigma. After the Holocaust, the enormity of that crime was such that antisemitism went underground. Any such expressions that did occur were regarded as the province of cranks on the fringes of society who were accordingly shunned. What tells you the Jews are…

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Labour party antisemitism Britain Culture wars 

Why the Labour party cannot deal with its antisemitism

There can be no doubting the anguish felt by decent Labour party members over the terrible poison of antisemitism that has corrupted their cause. As Harold Wilson said in another era, Labour is a moral crusade or it is nothing. After the departure from the party of nine MPs, wholly or in part over the failure to deal with its antisemitism, deputy leader Tom Watson warned of a crisis over its soul. Those who, like Watson, are appalled but are staying put say they are fighting to rescue the party.…

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antisemitism Culture wars 

Why Labour party antisemitism is a crisis for the world

At long last, the British government has proscribed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Ministers previously banned only its military wing, pretending that Hezbollah also had a legitimate political function in the government of Lebanon. This week, however, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it was no longer possible to distinguish between Hezbollah’s “already banned military wing and the political party.” About time. Hezbollah is a murderous proxy for the Iranian regime, through which it destabilizes and effectively controls the Lebanese government. It is responsible for numerous murderous attacks around the world…

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Brexit Britain 

The real symmetry of extremism now threatening British politics

Both Theresa May’s government and the Labour Party leadership are now being threatened with a haemorrhage of their MPs. Both groups poised to revolt are posing as the beleaguered custodians of the centre ground which has been taken over by extremists in both parties. Seriously? Let’s boil down to essentials just what they’re all saying. The Times (£) reports: “About 100 members of the Brexit Delivery Group, which comprises Remain and Leave Tory MPs, warned the chief whip Julian Smith in a letter that they were prepared to force the…

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synchronised Britain USA 

The synchronised hatred now destroying the left

In a notable display of synchronised moral meltdown, both America’s Democrats and Britain’s Labour Party have been struggling to manage their shocking eruptions of antisemitism. Both will fail. In America, there has been outrage over remarks by Democrat congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who recycled the trope of manipulative and moneyed Jewish influence when she suggested that American Jews were buying support for Israel in Congress. Although her fellow Democrats denounced her, their reaction has been wholly inadequate. A statement signed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats called on Omar…

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Labour party antisemitism Britain Israel 

How western humbug gives antisemitism a free pass

A few days ago, I wrote about antisemitism in the Labour party following the rough ride given to shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry when she spoke at Limmud. I suggested that those who, like Thornberry, were concerned about the egregious examples of antisemitism in their party were nevertheless unable to face an inconvenient truth. This was that the bigotry against Jews which so horrified them was symbiotically connected to the commitment throughout progressive circles to the Palestinian cause, whose foundation, activities and goals are defined by virulent, murderous Jew-hatred. In response,…

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