Last night was the Jewish Community hustings for Chipping Barnet where Theresa Villiers is defending a tiny majority (353) over Labour.
The Labour candidate, Emma Whysall, said (0.19) that Labour “is winning” in the battle against antisemitism in the Party.
If this is “winning” I’d hate to see “losing” ……… Only a few days ago it was revealed that Maria Carroll, Labour’s candidate for Carmarthenshire East, administered a secret Facebook group to help party members suspended for antisemitism and even Holocaust denial. She has been removed as a candidate and suspended, of course? Er ……………. No.
And the total of ‘dodgy’ Labour candidates with questionable records on antisemitism has reached 43.
So why does Ms Whysall think Labour is “winning”? Well “We have passed a rule change that makes hate speech an expellable offence; neither of the other two parties here has passed a similar rule change”. Er ……. That’s maybe because they don’t have the problem? (except in a few cases where transgressors HAVE been quickly suspended?)
Then came the Israel question: “What would be the relation between the UK and Israel if your Party was elected?”
Indeed. It is pellucidly clear.
An immediate arms embargo; an attempt to stop the “illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip” (there is no blockade apart from weapons components and it is perfectly legal) and immediate recognition of a Palestinian State – which would be a terror state which does not even recognise Israel’s right to exist.
But that’s not what she said. None of it. She said “A strong stable and secure Israel and a viable Palestine”. Strong, stable and secure? With an arms boycott? How exactly does that work?
And then we were told “I believe that the State of Israel should and must exist”. Gee thanks. France too? How about Canada? New Zealand?
At the ‘comfort break’ the Chair, Richard Carlowe, told me that my factual corrections had so upset Ms Whysall that she was reluctant to reappear for the second half! Poor snowflake. I’m not exactly Andrew Neill – maybe politics is not the right profession for her? If she can’t take the heat …. Absurdly property developer and John Prescott family associate Carlowe tried first to get me to move back from the front row and then to throw me out, backed up by JCOSS head Patrick Moriarty (the hustings were there).
No way José – You should have JOINED me in calling out a candidate who misleads Jewish voters (a) about antisemitism in Labour and (b) about what her Party’s Manifesto says about Israel. Particularly when that candidate is challenging an incumbent with a tiny majority!