Parliament and Miller: The Missing 92%

The Times, 5 March 2021

A letter condemning David Miller – signed by 116 UK Peers and MPs – was released yesterday afternoon. (After it was released, three more asked for their names to be added: Baroness Neuberger (Crossbench), Peter Kyle MP (Labour) and Rushanara Ali MP (Labour)).  (Later still came Lord Woolf (Crossbench), Carla Lockhart MP (DUP) and Charlotte Nichols MP (Labour)). (Later: Lord Mitchell (Labour)). (Later: Lord Mackay and Theresa Villiers (both Conservative)).

I’ve tabulated the party affiliations of the signatories (not including these late signatories):

Miller’s antisemitism has been shocking.  He has claimed that some Zionist organisations fund Islamophobia; that the concept of Israel is a “racist endeavour”; and that there is nothing “historically inaccurate” about Ken Livingstone’s assertion that Hitler supported Zionism.  He claims that “Britain is in the grip of an assault on its public sphere by the state of Israel and its advocates”.  He has accused Jewish students of “being used as political pawns by a violent, racist foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing.” He has claimed that UJS pursues  a “campaign of censorship” which “renders Arab and Muslim students, as well as anti-Zionist Jewish students, particularly unsafe”.

Ludicrously he has suggested that the real motive of Jewish interfaith activists making chicken soup together with Muslims for the homeless, in an East London mosque, is not to help the homeless but to ‘normalise Zionism in the Muslim Community.

This is Nazi- or Soviet-style antisemitism. Look at this: The words in black are Miller’s.  The ones in red are mine, to demonstrate that there is no difference between Miller’s antisemitism and the antisemitism of the Kremlin circa 1965:

This is unquestionably antisemitism. It is not a question of whether one accepts the IHRA definition.  Caroline Lucas is no friend of Israel but she realises this – and signed.  Whether the year is 1921, 2021 or 2121, it is antisemitic. It is therefore nothing short of shameful that only 116 Parliamentarians signed. There are 650 MPs and 801 sitting members of the House of Lords. 113 is less than 8% of the total.

Analysis of the signatories raises the following questions:

  • Around 15% of the signatories are Jewish, way disproportionate. Where are the others? Antisemitism is never solely about the Jews. Out of 18 Muslim MPs, not one was on the published letter (One – Rushanara Ali – asked to be included later).
  • There are 47 SNP MPs – Why did 45 not sign?
  • There are 34 Labour MPs in the Socialist Campaign Group on the Left of the Parliamentary Party. Why did 33 of them not sign? (the exception is Kim Johnson who replaced Louise Ellman in Liverpool Riverside).  Corbyn? McDonnell? Abbott? Long-Bailey? Morris? Tarry?
  • How about the 27 MPs who signed Nadia Whittome’s antisemitic Jewbaiting EDM, fibbing that Israel has a legal responsibility to vaccinate Palestinians? Only 2 of the 27 signed the Miller letter (Caroline Lucas, Kim Johnson). The other 25 endorsed antisemitism – then doubled down!
  • Where are Tulip Siddique and Wes Streeting, both Vice Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism? (They are front bench – so supposedly precluded from signing – but so is Alex Sobel who HAS signed).
  • There are 26 Bishops in the House of Lords. Why have none of them signed? Justin Welby included? What was the point of the Church of England adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism? Did they think it was just a matter of Virtue Signalling? ‘All fur coat and no knickers?’
  • And where are these MPs and Lords, who are so quick to sign anti-Israel letters? -:
Baroness BlowerLord SoamesCrispin Blunt
Lord DubsLord WarnerSarah Champion
Lord HainBaroness WarsiAndy Slaughter
Baroness KennedyBishop of SouthwarkPhilippa Whitford
Lord PattenBishop of Coventry

My regular readers will know that (in contrast it seems to most of the rest of NW London)  I was lukewarm about David Baddiel’s book…..

But when less than 8% of Parliamentarians are willing to put their names to condemn Soviet-style vile antisemitism ……..

Notwithstanding the fact that frontbenchers are precluded from signing, was there ever a more graphic illustration that


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Update (4.15pm Friday)
Adding the 9 late signatures brings the total to 125 or 8.6% of the total of MPs and sitting Lords. 10% of Conservative MPs and 11% of Labour MPs have signed.