Can we take the Labour Party’s Opposition to Anti-Semitism Seriously? An article by Martin Rosner (Churchfields).
Following the publication of the EHRC report, Keir Starmer said that those who: “deny there is a problem are part of the problem … Those who pretend it is all exaggerated or factional are part of the problem.”
The EHRC report’s conclusions placed a lot of the responsibility for anti-Semitism on the leadership office.
In Corbyn’s response to the report, he said that anti-Semitism in the party had been: “dramatically overstated for political reasons”. This directly contradicted Starmer’s statement and, as a result, he was suspended.
Corbyn issued a statement on Tuesday (17th November) saying that he regretted any hurt caused by the statement that he made - in the wake of the report by the EHRC, which had led to his suspension. He said that he was attempting to: “clear up any confusion” about his previous statement. He did not apologise for the earlier statement. He also said that concerns about anti-Semitism were neither “exaggerated” nor “overstated". He said that the point that he wished to make was that the vast majority of Labour party members were and remain committed anti-racists, deeply opposed to anti-Semitism.
So, within the space of a few days, it would appear that he has said one thing and, in response to his suspension, the complete opposite. Which Corbyn should we believe? Based on what we know, it isn’t difficult to come to the conclusion that the first statement is what he really believes.
In response, Labour’s ruling body has lifted his suspension. The removal of the suspension might help efforts within the Labour Party towards party unity but it does nothing to allow us to believe that the party is committed to root out anti-Semitism.
If the Labour Party is to be taken seriously, the least that we can expect is that all allegations of anti-Semitism are taken seriously and independently investigated - with those responsible being kicked out of the party. This is what we would expect the Liberal Democrats to do and is the least that we can expect from other political parties.
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Best wishes, Martin.
Martin Rosner (Churchfields Liberal Democrats): 18 November 2020
Dr. Mark Twitchett (Ed.)
On behalf of:
Dr. Mark Twitchett, Martin Rosner & Gwyneth Deakins: Churchfields Focus Team
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