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The problem that is Corbyn
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Keema's Nan
2019-11-08 12:32:23 UTC
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First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.

None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.

Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.

And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.

Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.

Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.

Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.

The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.

As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.

Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.

It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.

Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.

The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
party”, adding:

“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”

The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.

The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
added:

“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”

In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.

The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.

These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.

Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.

There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.

That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.

As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”

- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019
Farmer Giles
2019-11-08 13:28:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Keema's Nan
First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.
None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.
Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.
And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.
Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.
Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.
Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.
The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.
As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.
Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.
It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.
Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.
The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”
The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.
The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”
In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.
The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.
These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.
Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.
That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.
As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”
- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019
Excellent piece - thanks for posting.

I would be grateful if someone could gives precise details of this
Labour Party antisemitism - without mentioning Israel, that is. In a
free world everyone should be entitled to point out practices and
policies that they disagree with in any country.

Only two types of people can fail to see what is really happening here -
the terminally stupid and the wilfully blind.
Keema's Nan
2019-11-08 13:38:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Farmer Giles
Post by Keema's Nan
First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.
None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.
Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.
And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.
Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.
Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.
Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.
The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.
As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.
Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.
It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.
Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.
The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”
The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.
The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”
In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.
The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.
These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.
Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.
That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.
As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”
- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019
Excellent piece - thanks for posting.
I would be grateful if someone could gives precise details of this
Labour Party antisemitism - without mentioning Israel, that is. In a
free world everyone should be entitled to point out practices and
policies that they disagree with in any country.
Only two types of people can fail to see what is really happening here -
the terminally stupid and the wilfully blind.
Well you will find many on uk.p.m. who not only exhibit both of those
‘qualities’ at the same time - but are also too arrogant to believe their
view could ever be incorrect.

Mind you, many are simply doing as they are told.
Dan S. MacAbre
2019-11-08 14:17:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Keema's Nan
First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.
None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.
Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.
And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.
Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.
Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.
Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.
The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.
As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.
Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.
It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.
Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.
The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”
The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.
The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”
In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.
The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.
These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.
Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.
That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.
As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”
- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019
IMV, the spectrum of 'acceptable' political discourse had become so
narrow that it simply burst at the seams. Both Left and Right. The
gatekeepers have lost control, and I think they will now rely more on
what has become known as 'Lawfare' to restore the status quo ante. I
think we have the Internet to thank for that. I won't say it is good or
bad - I don't know - but I believe it was inevitable.
Keema's Nan
2019-11-08 15:37:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.
None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.
Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.
And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.
Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.
Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.
Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.
The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.
As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.
Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.
It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.
Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.
The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”
The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.
The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”
In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.
The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.
These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.
Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.
That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.
As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”
- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019
IMV, the spectrum of 'acceptable' political discourse had become so
narrow that it simply burst at the seams. Both Left and Right. The
gatekeepers have lost control, and I think they will now rely more on
what has become known as 'Lawfare' to restore the status quo ante. I
think we have the Internet to thank for that. I won't say it is good or
bad - I don't know - but I believe it was inevitable.
You are probably right, but there are desperate attempts to control the
internet via monitoring all traffic for certain character strings which will
cause the text to be saved for examination; not to mention backdoor access
for organisations who wish to snoop on what others might be doing in private
via their computers and/or smart phones.

A VPN is useful, but who knows how long it will be before those companies are
put under pressure to reveal encryption to the authorities?

Using Tor via a VPN turns up some interesting anomalies. Hansard seems to be
unavailable to anyone who does not reveal their UK ISP address, or maybe it
is because the request appears to come from Italy which spooks the Hansard
servers?What the authorities really want is the ability to track everyone
everywhere - just in case, you understand; and all in the name of national
security.

When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm in the UK
(of all places) within my lifetime.
Dan S. MacAbre
2019-11-08 15:41:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Keema's Nan
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.
None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.
Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.
And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.
Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.
Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.
Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.
The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.
As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.
Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.
It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.
Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.
The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”
The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.
The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”
In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.
The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.
These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.
Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.
That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.
As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”
- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019
IMV, the spectrum of 'acceptable' political discourse had become so
narrow that it simply burst at the seams. Both Left and Right. The
gatekeepers have lost control, and I think they will now rely more on
what has become known as 'Lawfare' to restore the status quo ante. I
think we have the Internet to thank for that. I won't say it is good or
bad - I don't know - but I believe it was inevitable.
You are probably right, but there are desperate attempts to control the
internet via monitoring all traffic for certain character strings which will
cause the text to be saved for examination; not to mention backdoor access
for organisations who wish to snoop on what others might be doing in private
via their computers and/or smart phones.
A VPN is useful, but who knows how long it will be before those companies are
put under pressure to reveal encryption to the authorities?
Using Tor via a VPN turns up some interesting anomalies. Hansard seems to be
unavailable to anyone who does not reveal their UK ISP address, or maybe it
is because the request appears to come from Italy which spooks the Hansard
servers?What the authorities really want is the ability to track everyone
everywhere - just in case, you understand; and all in the name of national
security.
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm in the UK
(of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
Joe
2019-11-08 20:54:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
--
Joe
Dan S. MacAbre
2019-11-09 01:07:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.

My favourite bit at the moment:

"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."

Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Keema's Nan
2019-11-09 09:25:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Thanks,

I might have to re-read 1984 with the current situation in mind.
Incubus
2019-11-13 10:57:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Speaking of which, I note that there is a Women's Prize for Literature. I
wonder why there is no Men's Prize for Literature.
Dan S. MacAbre
2019-11-13 11:04:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Incubus
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Speaking of which, I note that there is a Women's Prize for Literature. I
wonder why there is no Men's Prize for Literature.
Who would dare to nominate a man for any prize nowadays?
p***@gmail.com
2019-11-13 13:20:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Incubus
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Speaking of which, I note that there is a Women's Prize for Literature. I
wonder why there is no Men's Prize for Literature.
Who would dare to nominate a man for any prize nowadays?
2019 Booker shortlist, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize etc. etc.

Patrick
Dan S. MacAbre
2019-11-13 13:22:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Incubus
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Speaking of which, I note that there is a Women's Prize for Literature. I
wonder why there is no Men's Prize for Literature.
Who would dare to nominate a man for any prize nowadays?
2019 Booker shortlist, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize etc. etc.
Patrick
Yes, yes. I should have stuck a big smiley on the end. :-)
abelard
2019-11-13 13:26:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Incubus
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Speaking of which, I note that there is a Women's Prize for Literature. I
wonder why there is no Men's Prize for Literature.
Who would dare to nominate a man for any prize nowadays?
2019 Booker shortlist, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize etc. etc.
Patrick
Yes, yes. I should have stuck a big smiley on the end. :-)
that'll larn you :-)
--
www.abelard.org
Dan S. MacAbre
2019-11-13 13:28:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by abelard
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Incubus
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Speaking of which, I note that there is a Women's Prize for Literature. I
wonder why there is no Men's Prize for Literature.
Who would dare to nominate a man for any prize nowadays?
2019 Booker shortlist, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize etc. etc.
Patrick
Yes, yes. I should have stuck a big smiley on the end. :-)
that'll larn you :-)
It's hard to remember that this is supposed to be serious.
abelard
2019-11-13 13:36:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by abelard
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Incubus
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Speaking of which, I note that there is a Women's Prize for Literature. I
wonder why there is no Men's Prize for Literature.
Who would dare to nominate a man for any prize nowadays?
2019 Booker shortlist, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize etc. etc.
Patrick
Yes, yes. I should have stuck a big smiley on the end. :-)
that'll larn you :-)
It's hard to remember that this is supposed to be serious.
i know....i know....i know!
--
www.abelard.org
abelard
2019-11-13 11:18:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:57:00 -0000 (UTC), Incubus
Post by Incubus
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Speaking of which, I note that there is a Women's Prize for Literature. I
wonder why there is no Men's Prize for Literature.
for the same reason that evil men are not permitted to race
against girls...
but that is changing as politics over-rides reality...

soon girl's teams with dicks will be competing with men's teams
--
www.abelard.org
Incubus
2019-11-13 12:40:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by abelard
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:57:00 -0000 (UTC), Incubus
Post by Incubus
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Joe
On Fri, 8 Nov 2019 15:41:33 +0000
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm
in the UK (of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
No, Orwell just understood politicians. If they had today's technology
a century ago, they'd have done it then.
I thought it was amusing that Margaret Atwood would carry around with
her bits of newspapers from around the world to show to people that
various things from the Handmaid's Tale had sort of happened to someone,
somewhere; whereas you can read 1984 and recognise it instantly.
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the
most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the
amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Doesn't get more spot-on than that.
Speaking of which, I note that there is a Women's Prize for Literature. I
wonder why there is no Men's Prize for Literature.
for the same reason that evil men are not permitted to race
against girls...
but that is changing as politics over-rides reality...
soon girl's teams with dicks will be competing with men's teams
They should just settle it with a sword fight.
Keema's Nan
2019-11-10 19:47:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.
None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.
Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.
And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.
Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.
Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.
Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.
The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.
As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.
Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.
It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.
Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.
The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”
The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.
The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”
In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.
The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.
These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.
Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.
That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.
As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”
- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019
IMV, the spectrum of 'acceptable' political discourse had become so
narrow that it simply burst at the seams. Both Left and Right. The
gatekeepers have lost control, and I think they will now rely more on
what has become known as 'Lawfare' to restore the status quo ante. I
think we have the Internet to thank for that. I won't say it is good or
bad - I don't know - but I believe it was inevitable.
You are probably right, but there are desperate attempts to control the
internet via monitoring all traffic for certain character strings which will
cause the text to be saved for examination; not to mention backdoor access
for organisations who wish to snoop on what others might be doing in private
via their computers and/or smart phones.
A VPN is useful, but who knows how long it will be before those companies are
put under pressure to reveal encryption to the authorities?
Using Tor via a VPN turns up some interesting anomalies. Hansard seems to be
unavailable to anyone who does not reveal their UK ISP address, or maybe it
is because the request appears to come from Italy which spooks the Hansard
servers?What the authorities really want is the ability to track everyone
everywhere - just in case, you understand; and all in the name of national
security.
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm in the UK
(of all places) within my lifetime.
1984 seems almost like a instruction manual for them now.
And yet, it is worse - because the BBC can act with complete disregard for
those who pay their salaries, because they know that the alternative is a
prison sentence for the non-payers.

So, Big Brother BBC can treat the people (without whom they couldn’t exist)
like shit - or, the plebs get a custodial sentence.

This is why Strictly has been fixed for years - and yet no Freedom Of
Information Act can force the BBC to admit they have been fiddling the
figures every series, because they cannot release the vote numbers, which
would not agree with their shit version.

If the BBC can’t even be truthful over a dance show - how can we believe
anything they say.

I suggest the BBC should only be financed by those who pay voluntarily. If
they don’t like it, they should not have taken the piss out of the license
payers in the first place.
Incubus
2019-11-13 10:50:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Keema's Nan
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by Keema's Nan
First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.
None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.
Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.
And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.
Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.
Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.
Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.
The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.
As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.
Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.
It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.
Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.
The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”
The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.
The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”
In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.
The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.
These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.
Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.
That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.
As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”
- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019
IMV, the spectrum of 'acceptable' political discourse had become so
narrow that it simply burst at the seams. Both Left and Right. The
gatekeepers have lost control, and I think they will now rely more on
what has become known as 'Lawfare' to restore the status quo ante. I
think we have the Internet to thank for that. I won't say it is good or
bad - I don't know - but I believe it was inevitable.
You are probably right, but there are desperate attempts to control the
internet via monitoring all traffic for certain character strings which will
cause the text to be saved for examination; not to mention backdoor access
for organisations who wish to snoop on what others might be doing in private
via their computers and/or smart phones.
A VPN is useful, but who knows how long it will be before those companies are
put under pressure to reveal encryption to the authorities?
Using Tor via a VPN turns up some interesting anomalies. Hansard seems to be
unavailable to anyone who does not reveal their UK ISP address, or maybe it
is because the request appears to come from Italy which spooks the Hansard
servers?What the authorities really want is the ability to track everyone
everywhere - just in case, you understand; and all in the name of national
security.
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm in the UK
(of all places) within my lifetime.
At the moment, we can still turn our televisions off but we are constantly
bombarded with advertising for the great agenda wherever we go.
abelard
2019-11-13 11:22:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:50:38 -0000 (UTC), Incubus
Post by Incubus
At the moment, we can still turn our televisions off but we are constantly
bombarded with advertising for the great agenda wherever we go.
you can now buy an 'alexa' which won't only turn on you
tele...but will also watch you to make sure you press the
correct buttons...or even switch to a suitable channel

and you can actually buy them...and install them yourself...
--
www.abelard.org
Dan S. MacAbre
2019-11-13 11:27:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by abelard
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:50:38 -0000 (UTC), Incubus
Post by Incubus
At the moment, we can still turn our televisions off but we are constantly
bombarded with advertising for the great agenda wherever we go.
you can now buy an 'alexa' which won't only turn on you
tele...but will also watch you to make sure you press the
correct buttons...or even switch to a suitable channel
and you can actually buy them...and install them yourself...
I think you'd have to be mad to invite one of those things into the home.
abelard
2019-11-13 11:29:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by abelard
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:50:38 -0000 (UTC), Incubus
Post by Incubus
At the moment, we can still turn our televisions off but we are constantly
bombarded with advertising for the great agenda wherever we go.
you can now buy an 'alexa' which won't only turn on you
tele...but will also watch you to make sure you press the
correct buttons...or even switch to a suitable channel
and you can actually buy them...and install them yourself...
I think you'd have to be mad to invite one of those things into the home.
most people are mad...

they're selling like cold kakes
--
www.abelard.org
Dan S. MacAbre
2019-11-13 11:32:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by abelard
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by abelard
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:50:38 -0000 (UTC), Incubus
Post by Incubus
At the moment, we can still turn our televisions off but we are constantly
bombarded with advertising for the great agenda wherever we go.
you can now buy an 'alexa' which won't only turn on you
tele...but will also watch you to make sure you press the
correct buttons...or even switch to a suitable channel
and you can actually buy them...and install them yourself...
I think you'd have to be mad to invite one of those things into the home.
most people are mad...
they're selling like cold kakes
Amazing what can be made fashionable.
Incubus
2019-11-13 12:42:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Post by abelard
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:50:38 -0000 (UTC), Incubus
Post by Incubus
At the moment, we can still turn our televisions off but we are constantly
bombarded with advertising for the great agenda wherever we go.
you can now buy an 'alexa' which won't only turn on you
tele...but will also watch you to make sure you press the
correct buttons...or even switch to a suitable channel
and you can actually buy them...and install them yourself...
I think you'd have to be mad to invite one of those things into the home.
I know someone who has one, but she thinks the right kind of thoughts...
Incubus
2019-11-13 12:42:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by abelard
On Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:50:38 -0000 (UTC), Incubus
Post by Incubus
At the moment, we can still turn our televisions off but we are constantly
bombarded with advertising for the great agenda wherever we go.
you can now buy an 'alexa' which won't only turn on you
tele...but will also watch you to make sure you press the
correct buttons...or even switch to a suitable channel
and you can actually buy them...and install them yourself...
Like ET, they like to 'phone home.
Vidcapper
2019-11-14 07:21:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm in the UK
(of all places) within my lifetime.
When did you first read it, BTW.

For me, it was Oct 1983
--
Paul Hyett, Cheltenham
Keema's Nan
2019-11-14 09:07:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Vidcapper
Post by Keema's Nan
When I read 1984, I would never have believed it would be the norm in the UK
(of all places) within my lifetime.
When did you first read it, BTW.
For me, it was Oct 1983
It was a school set book one term in Eng Lit. I can’t remember which year,
but some time in the 1960s.

Ophelia
2019-11-08 15:31:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
"Keema's Nan" wrote in message news:***@news.giganews.com...


First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.

None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their
own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.

Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.

And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.

Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.

Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.

Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.

The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but
backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.

As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.

Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.

It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was
the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to
have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.

Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.

The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in
relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
party”, adding:

“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”

The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it
had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.

The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
added:

“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”

In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.

The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.

These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.

Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be
unremarkable.

There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned
by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.

That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power
structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.

As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent,
less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”

- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019

===

Thanks for sharing. I have no liking for Corbyn but it just continues
to show how filthy politics is:(
abelard
2019-11-10 11:45:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Fri, 08 Nov 2019 12:32:23 +0000, Keema's Nan
Post by Keema's Nan
First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership
contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper.
Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an
election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted
having assisted him.
None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the
parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and
his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own
version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party.
These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Russell Brand had noted, to
represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.
bliar extended socialism in the party...a good part of why agent cob
was able to take over
in some degree you (or jc....jonathon cooke) don't get socialism
Post by Keema's Nan
Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years
he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and
again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later
proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership
contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to
leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had
already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by
2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.
you don't understand the difference between fabianism(death by
a thousand cuts) and come the people revolution a la agent cob..
they both desire exactly the same end and diverge on the best way to
get it....let alone in an established 'democracy like the uk

bliar's lot greatly extended the numbers dependant on hand-outs...
ie, the percentage of supplicants/dependents in the population

'you people' really should get a better understanding of the cult...
it's the only way you can really protect yourselves from them
Post by Keema's Nan
And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook
– one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system
gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary
party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.
the party is owned by the unions who use it primarily to transfer
money from taxes to their own advantage/pockets...
the enthusiastic useful idiots pound the streets....

the propaganda refers to these group as 'the right wing' an 'the
left wing'
Post by Keema's Nan
Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Russell Brand wrong. Even the best
designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the
system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t
that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was
representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power
had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out
of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was
that accident.
Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he
challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a
chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its
interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to
damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous
“accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.
Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn
would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these
media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this
kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.
The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist,
unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless,
unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever
faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously
propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired
– not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the
party the largest in Europe.
As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more
urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.
indeed...the need to keep adolf or castro or saddam and other power
mad lunatics from power was also urgent...and in each case and many
more, the people/establishment failed

you simply don't understand that the cult is a religion...not 'normal
political party'
Post by Keema's Nan
Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party
within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly.
Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a
turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the
early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable
“humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other
sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the
pockets of the military-industrial complex.
It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the
danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have
an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known
for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The
political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could
recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as
anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over
an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.
Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly
controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists
and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – which expressly
conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one
Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite
consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen
foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have
been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the
accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.
The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation
to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble
– now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be
heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But
also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any
particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too
ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks
and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted
“Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my
opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground,
we’ve been too apologetic.”
The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not
once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian
report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour
was “too apologetic about anti-semitism. In short, the Guardian and the
rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism.
But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when
dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had
too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party
condoned racism.
The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by
association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish
party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears,
voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum
group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of
the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour
Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he
“Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the
organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”
In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess
that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from
Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to
deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of
guilt.
The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the
narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by
any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal
one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached
such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now
under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only
party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an
investigation.
These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the
Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago,
when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Back
then, the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state
privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded
patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged
apologists for Israel.
Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s
Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish
identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an
identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by
implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this
consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who
supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored –
are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may
be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by
critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our
societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has
evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that
keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part
of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we
unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our
education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with
myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting
for Christmas.
That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully
constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure
that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is
entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western
economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back
against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.
As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies,
the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply
ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural,
immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are
over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme
climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent
such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less
concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system
designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our
children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise
our voices and loudly say: “No!”
- Extracts from ablog post © Jonathan Cook dated 3 July 2019
--
www.abelard.org
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