I listened to Momentum founder Jon Lansman being interviewed on the Today programme this morning and have to say he came across as somebody who appeared to possess a magisterial sense of proportion. Heeding the advice of driving instructors who tell their students that the best way to stop a skid is to follow it he sought to take control of this current long drawn out Labour skid. Sadly, this meant he seemed forced to accept a large part of the media’s critique that Labour has an egregious problem with anti-semitism. But I still don’t accept that. I still happen to believe that much of this furore is being perpetuated by a right-wing, anti-Corbyn agenda. The use of this ‘anti-semitic’ line of attack is particularly valuable in this regard, since it seeks to undermine the very quality Corbyn represents: authenticity. Having spent most of his political life being authentic - turning him into Labour’s chief parliamentary rebel - he must now be shown NOT to be such an authentic chap after all, and what better way than to show him up as being hypocritical on the subject of anti-racism. Given that the Guardian (in its own comparatively mild tempered way) appears to be following the media herd on this issue, it was good to see that at least they saw fit to publish a letter from over 40 academics condemning journalism “that so blatantly lacks context, perspective and a meaningful range of voices in its determination to condemn Jeremy Corbyn.” Corbyn has ruffled a lot of feathers. Some, inside and out of the Labour Party are still pinching themselves in disbelief that he ever became leader. They have found the perfect tool to beat him with, employing that old Lyndon Johnson trick of accusing him of something so terrible that in having to deny it, it makes it worse. (Here is the first reference to LBJ's tactic which appears on a Google search.)
P.S. Reported today as well - Jezza last night attended a Jewish ceremonial meal, which for some commentators seems was proof positive that he is anti-semitic. That's because, as the BBC described those involved, they were a 'left wing Jewish group.'