Issue 152: 2018 05 03: Diary of a Corbynista

Thumbnail Don Urquhart Red Sky Lenin Cast of Play Red Dawn

3 May 2018

Diary of a Corbynista

An inadvertently misleading week

by Don Urquhart

26 April

It’s a week until the local elections.  What impact will the anti-Semitism issue have in London where there are many Jewish people?  Will they be influenced by the attacks on Corbyn by The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council?  My Jewish friends tend to be set in their political allegiances but some might just be swayed by the focus on Corbyn’s Palestine agenda real or imagined.  They also tend to be emotionally invested in the State of Israel and might see Corbyn’s lukewarm view of the concept as decisive when poised over their ballot papers.

27 April

Watching Question Time usually ends up in a shouting match in our front room.  The wife maintains that there has been a surge of anti-Semitism in recent years.  When she was at school in the early sixties there had been no trace of the evil.  Well the school was in Hampstead and 2/3 of the pupils were Jewish.  My experience at the same time could not have been more different.  I attended an excellent Grammar School in the East End of London and Jewish pupils were a small minority.  If someone did something they didn’t like many boys would call the transgressor a Jew because it was the commonest and most damning term of abuse in that world.  I think it was hard to be Jewish in that otherwise fine school.  My observation of today’s younger generation is limited but in my experience they exhibit no racism of any kind and jump heavily on their elders and betters when these people let prejudices slip out.

I am now fed up with the subject.  I am off in a minute to a school reunion which includes several dear Jewish friends with whom I will not discuss the State of Israel.  There are fervent Remainers and Brexiteers so hopefully that will also be off the menu.  If I have the opportunity I will attempt in vain and for the umpteenth time to get one over on an Irish friend but mostly it will be the relative merits of our football teams and the choice of restaurant that will inflame passions.

28 April

Many words have been published in media of all types about the Marc Wadsworth case.  He is the Labour Party member expelled in the week by the National Constitutional Committee (NCC) for “bringing the party into disrepute”.  At the launch of the Chakrabarti report into Labour Party Anti-Semitism Wadsworth accused Ruth Smeeth MP of being hand-in-hand with The Daily Telegraph.  So it seems that you can be expelled for ad hominem attacks on other party members.  Jess Phillips MP who marched with Ruth Smeeth to Wadsworth’s tribunal must be shaking in her shoes having famously threatened to knife Corbyn in the front if he didn’t improve and advising Diane Abbott to (expletive deleted) off.  John Woodcock MP described his leader as a “(similar expletive deleted) disaster”.  There is a long list.  When will senior Labour figures focus on defeating the Tories rather than fomenting discontent in their own ranks?

29 April

A few days ago news reached us from Peru of a mass grave containing the remains of around 140 children, who it is believed were sacrificed in the 15th Century to appease the weather gods.  I was reminded of this sad event this morning when watching two young politicians being laid out for a similar if not quite so bloody human sacrifice.  I mean of course Brandon Lewis and James Cleverly sent to be dismembered on TV by Andrew Marr and Niall Paterson respectively in a vain attempt to depict the Home Secretary’s misspeaks about immigration targets as anything resembling either honesty or competence.  Paterson put it rather well when noting how crowded was the pin head Cleverly was asking his many angels to dance on.

30 April

Phrase of the day is “inadvertently misleading”.  It is what Amber Rudd owned up to doing yesterday with Parliament as the victim.

Studying the proposed Sainsbury’s Asda deal one has to wonder whether the inadvertent misleading habit is catching on.  Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said the deal would lead to no store closures and no job losses in stores.

In Parliament there are sanctions for misleading the members inadvertently or otherwise, if the perpetrator is dumb enough to get caught or has nobody available to take the fall for them.

Mike Coupe is the proposed CEO of the new supermarket behemoth.  What if we find at some time over the next couple of years that he has inadvertently misled the 330,000 staff?  One of the weaknesses of our glorious free market system is that there is no sanction – it will be overlooked or he will be off to his next lucky employer with several million in the bank.

1 May

President Trump seems to be stepping back at least temporarily from a trade war with “friendly” countries.  Nevertheless his advisers would do well to deal with his Tackleberry syndrome.  The term derives from a member of the police force keeping Los Angeles safe back in the 80’s according to the Police Academy movie franchise.  Tackleberry’s modus operandi is best illustrated by an incident soon after he has completed basic training.  He bursts into an apartment taking down several suspects with an automatic weapon before declaring “FBI!”  A moment’s pause then “(expletive deleted) I was supposed to announce first.”

Lacking serious weaponry by his bedside POTUS approaches every issue with a belligerent tweet.  The media reports of his trade war backtrack have Macron and Merkel as the key influencers.  It’s a relief to see that someone has a special relationship.

2 May

It is a perfect time not to be in government.  A group of Brexiteer Tory MP’s have sent a 30 page document to the Prime Minister declaring their antipathy towards the Customs Partnership concept.  Naturally they leaked it to the press so there is no chance of sorting it all out in smoke filled rooms if such things still exist.  Apparently today’s Brexit Sub-Committee (War Cabinet?) will thrash out the relative merits of a Customs Arrangement and a Customs Partnership.  As a Corbynista I rejoice that this issue has the potential to bring the government down.  As a citizen I fear that we will be saddled with one of these half-baked proposals just so that the Tories can claim some fragile and transient unity.


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