The EU referendum question did not ask political parties, big business, the banks, Parliament or the media for their opinion. It asked ordinary citizens across the UK. Parliament got its instructions: leave.
To say that Saint Theresa and her Government have gone about it the wrong way is putting it mildly. The EU’s bureaucrats never wanted to hand us a deal – why would they, it’s not in their nature. It might have been better to just walk away after first agreeing terms with European industry and commerce for continuing trade, and letting the Europeans argue the toss with their ‘crats in Brussels? Similarly our collaboration on the environment, security and science.
Twenty-five years of EU membership have left us half-crippled and malfunctioning. We’ll have to re-learn many things including the lost art of export selling. We should have been doing that these last 2 years. The Institute of Export has been there to help.
Tangled with the shambles of Brexit is the continuing witchhunt by the Zionist Inquisition which stalks our marbled corridors and menaces politicians in their smoke filled rooms, especially Labour. Indeed, a 62-minute documentary film with the title WitchHunt was due to be screened at the House of Commons next week but has been ‘pulled’ after an outcry from the very people it exposes.
They, of course, haven’t yet seen it. Within hours of invitations being sent to Labour MPs and journalists, there were calls for the expulsion from the Labour Party of Chris Williamson MP whose office had booked a room for the film show. Williamson was later suspended from the party for saying Labour had “given too much ground” in the face of criticism over anti-Semitism. Unbelievable, eh?
Incidentally, the film has been praised by directors Peter Kosminsky, Mike Leigh and Ken Loach (Kosminsky and Leigh are both Jewish). Kosminsky: “[WitchHunt] packs a powerful punch, telling a story we just aren’t hearing at the moment.”
Leigh: “This impeccably-executed film exposes with chilling accuracy the terrifying threat that now confronts democracy, and the depressing intractability of the Israel-Palestine situation.”
Loach: “The case of Jackie Walker is important. This film asks whether her lengthy suspension from the Labour Party and attempts to expel her are fair, or an injustice which should be challenged. She is not the only one in this position. See the film and make up your own mind.”
The film is due for online release on 17 March after touring a number of UK cities with its director Jon Pullman. The press briefing describes it thus:
“In 2015, while the far right was gaining ground around the world, socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the UK Labour Party in a landslide victory. Accusations of antisemitism within the party immediately began to circulate. Well-known anti-racists and left-wing Jews, such as Jackie Walker, were amongst the chief targets.
WitchHunt sets out to investigate the stories and the people behind the headlines, examining the nature of the accusations. Is this a witchhunt, as some claim? If so, who is behind it, and what is the political purpose of such a campaign?
“Has the media failed in its duty to fairness and accuracy in reporting on such serious allegations? Through a series of interviews, analysis and witness testimony, WitchHunt explores the connections between the attacks on Labour, the ongoing tragedy of Palestine and the wider struggle against race-based oppression.”
And this week the BBC continued to stoke the anti-Semitism ruckus by wheeling in two Friends of Israel MPs (the unbearably bombastic Zahawi and the tediously pedantic Gardiner) as panellists on their flagship political debate programme Question Time. Both spoke on anti-Semitism without declaring their interest. Chairperson Fiona Bruce should have tipped off the audience but didn’t.
It’s true that the Labour Party is swamped by complaints of anti-Semitism, many of them absurd or vexatious, and is struggling to deal with the backlog in reasonable time. But that’s no excuse for Tom Watson, the party’s deputy leader and no particular friend of Corbyn, to barge in and email all Labour parliamentarians asking them to send him complaints about anti-Semitism for monitoring. This would of course undermine and compromise the official process now managed by the party’s new General Secretary Jennie Formby.
Watson describes himself as “a proud and long standing supporter of Labour Friends of Israel” and is a recipient of considerable funds from Jewish sources. He calls the BDS movement “morally wrong” and says those who campaign for it “seek to demonise and delegitimise the world’s only Jewish state”.
With his leanings he represents an ever-present knife in Corbyn’s back. All things considered, perhaps Watson himself should be suspended.
Meanwhile our Israel-adoring Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, was busy arranging for the political wing of Hezbollah to join its military wing on the list of proscribed terror organisations.
This is not a very good idea since, in Lebanon, Hezbollah is seen as a political movement and a provider of social services as well as a militia. As such it forms an important part of the Lebanese government and Javid’s move could cause obstacles for the UK in the rehabilitation of the region and when providing humanitarian help to refugees pouring into Lebanon to escape the horrors of Syria.
But Javid insists: “Hezbollah has identified as one of its biggest targets the state of Israel and its people…..
This Government have continued to call on Hezbollah to end its armed status; it has not listened …. it is evident that Hezbollah has got more involved in and drawn into the Syrian conflict, and is responsible for the death and injury of countless innocent civilians. …..”
Javid, a merchant banker in the literal and rhyming sense, might just as well call on Israel to disarm. He conveniently overlooks the fact that Hezbollah was formed to counter Israel’s invasion and occupation of South Lebanon in 1982. Hezbollah is funded by Iran, a bitter foe of Israel, and is therefore, by crazy logic, an enemy of Israel’s chums like the stupid wing of the UK’s Conservative Party. But let’s not leave out Labour.
A big noise in Labour Friends of Israel, Louise Ellman MP, congratulated Javid on “bringing this much-needed measure before the House….. Hezbollah is not our friend, and today was a good opportunity to say so….. Hezbollah specifically targets Jewish people and Jewish organisations.”
Hezbollah, it seems, hasn’t been forgiven in some quarters for doing rather well against Israel’s mighty military in the 2006 war.
©Stuart Littlewood – 2 March 2019
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics, he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. An Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, he has produced two photo-documentary books which can be read online at Radiofreepalestine.org.uk and Paperturn-view.com