Me ‘N Boris

As we approach the second round of the Conservative leadership contest on Tuesday, Boris’ record is coming under scrutiny. Let me add my own contribution.

I campaigned for Boris in the London mayoral election in 2008, principally due to intense dislike of his opponent Ken Livingstone (later suspended from Labour for alleged antisemitism).   Remember that Boris was a late entrant as the Conservative candidate – no-one of any stature wanted to be the candidate because London was seen as a Labour fiefdom.  But against the odds, Johnson won, helped by a very astute highly disciplined campaign by Lynton Crosby.

By complete coincidence a year later (May 2009) I was offered and accepted a job as an economist at City Hall. It soon became clear to me that the quality of the political appointees Boris had made was very high. As non-political local government appointees, we were not allowed to canvass in the 2012 election inside the building. But Livingstone was again the candidate and Boris had done  a good job – so after work and at weekends I raced to Central Office and hit the phones. He was duly elected for a second term, including the glorious fortnight when London hosted the Olympics.

In January 2013 David Cameron announced that he would hold an In/Out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, if the Conservatives won the 2015 election.

London is an international City. 40 per cent of the 250 top global companies have chosen London for their global or regional headquarters (Deloitte, London Futures: London crowned business capital of Europe, 2014).  London lives or dies by its attractiveness for international investors and multinational companies.  Therefore for the Mayor of London to be a Brexit supporter ought to be unthinkable. But in the ensuing months it became clear that in Boris’ scale of priorities, leading the impending ‘Out’ campaign was as important – maybe more so – than banging the drum for London as an international City. As I saw personal ambition beginning to dominate, the scales fell from my eyes.

Boris knew his Brexit manoeuvres would need intellectual support. Despite having worked in Brussels as a journalist, his knowledge of Europe was poor. This was shown by a speech of his that I attended (December 2012 I think), where he said that any single country could call an IGC (an Inter Governmental Conference, necessary to change the EU Treaties) and achieve change hostile to the UK. He was wrong of course. So the same month – December 2012 – Boris hired Gerard Lyons, a eurosceptic economist who had recently left Standard Chartered.

In August 2014 Boris published a clearly political piece by Lyons. It found that the best option for London was to remain in a reformed EU BUT THAT staying in an UNREFORMED EU would be a lot worse. In particular it would be worse than quitting and pursuing open policies. In a speech set around the publication, Boris proclaimed

“I speak to you obviously as a Eurosceptic”.

But worse was to come.  GLA Economics – where I worked for six years from 2009 to 2015 – has a deserved reputation for professionalism and political independence.  That was violated on Boris’ watch. In February 2016 – just four months before the referendum and after Boris had returned to Parliament in the 2015 election – GLA Economics published this study: London: The Global Powerhouse. It mixes objective statistical analysis with advocacy for Brexit. Look at these passages:

(p43) “The UK can only achieve serious reform if it is serious about leaving, and it can only be serious about leaving if it believes this is better than the status quo of staying in an unreformed EU. It is.”

(p20) “remaining in the EU means the UK has effectively no control over its borders”

(p45) “it is clear that the UK has lost the capability to influence the direction of EU institutions since the creation of the euro area and since the signing of the Lisbon Treaty.”

GLA Economics is publicly funded. It was entirely wrong for it to be used as a vehicle for the Brexit campaign. Boris Johnson’s Brexit campaigning should have been kept entirely separate from the research and analysis on London carried out by GLA Economics. Significantly no-one in the GLA protested – and I had left by that time.

By the way in February 2016 a number of commentators said that Boris had gone through an ‘agonising decision‘ in defying David Cameron and coming out for Brexit. That’s nonsense – he had been planning his Brexit campaign for months.

So where are we now?

Boris is the favourite to be the new PM having won 114 votes in the first round versus 43 for Jeremy Hunt, his nearest rival. Boris’ main appeal seems to be that he can win elections. Specifically that he can beat both Farage and Corbyn. But I believe that Boris’ two Mayoral election wins have no implications at all, as regards the next general election. In 2008 Livingstone’s mayoralty was awash with scandal. Every day there was something new in the Standard. In 2012 a different Labour candidate probably would have won it – but the candidate was Livingstone again, a gift for Boris. Neither election is comparable to the one impending in 2022, or earlier.

And Boris is committed to leaving the EU on 31 October even if there is no exit deal. This could precipitate a vote of confidence and there are probably enough Conservatives implacably opposed to ‘No Deal’ to defeat the government. In which case there will be an election and the nightmare could happen – Corbyn as Prime Minister  ………

 

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The BOGOFs of Jenny Manson

Co-Chair of Jewish Voice for Labour Jenny Manson had an interview on BBC News Channel on Saturday.  You can see it here.

Let’s recap what Pete Willsman said on the recording passed to LBC (excerpts from which were broadcast on Friday).

First he said that the Israel Embassy is “behind” all the cases of antisemitism in the Labour Party. “They’re the ones whipping it up all the time”. Then he said that that the letter from 68 Rabbis in July 2018 (urging Labour to adopt IHRA) was “obviously organised” by the Embassy.

Both statements are viciously antisemitic. Did the Israeli Embassy somehow bribe Ken Livingstone to say that “Hitler supported Zionism”? Or encourage people to complain about this comment because it was allegedly antisemitic – when it actually wasn’t?  And did they bribe Labour’s National Constitution Committee to then find Livingstone in breach of the rules?  You see?  How else could the Embassy have been “behind” the case? So ‘scheming Jews’ stop at nothing, even fabricating acts of antisemitism to achieve what they want – in this case the resignation of Corbyn as Labour Leader because he supports the Palestinians.

And the 68 Rabbis – they didn’t act of the own volition – the Israeli Embassy drafted the letter then armtwisted (bribed again?) the Rabbis into signing it. This is BOGOF antisemitism (two in one in other words). One, Rabbis cannot think for themselves and they accept bribery. Two, there’s that scheming nefarious bunch of Jews at 2 Palace Green pulling the strings of Rabbis – again in order to undermine Corbyn.

Straight out of the forged antisemitic document ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

As a Jew, Jenny Manson of course made all these points – didn’t she?

Afraid not. She didn’t. The opposite in fact ….. Here’s what she said: “Nothing he said is antisemitic… We know that Israel has been involved in British politics, because of the Al Jazeera programme.

BOGOF again. One, the AJ programme did NOT show the Israel Embassy bribing Ken Livingstone or anyone else to make antisemitic comments. Two, the AJ programme showed nothing untoward.

What did it show? BOGOF for a third time………..

One: An Embassy employee doing his job (for which he should not have been fired) – in this case discussing how to render less influential (“take down”) an MP with a long history of hostility to Israel …….. Remarks which earned him a sharp rebuke from the CST (who said that they ‘resonated with the Jews / money / hidden power / alien purpose motifs of old antisemitic conspiracy theory: only now directed at Israel or pro-Israelis, rather than Jews’).

Two: That Embassy employee discussing with Joan Ryan MP – Chair of Labour Friends of Israel – his budget to take MPs on factfinding missions to Israel.

There was still more from Manson.

She says “I haven’t heard the film”. No dearie it wasn’t a film – it was an audio. That’s like a film – but with no pictures. And by the way if you hadn’t heard the audio why did you accept the invitation by the BBC to comment on it? Because you’re an outrageous self-publicist?  Surely not.

Finally Manson complains that “a confidential conversation was leaked”. Seriously? How about the Al Jazeera non-exposé?  Didn’t Ella Rose think that when she was in tears after the Labour Party Conference, having been abused online by Jackie Walker, her conversation with ‘Robin’ – the undercover reporter – was confidential?

Anyway Willsman’s remarks to Tuvia Tenenbaum WEREN’T ‘confidential’. Right at the start of the audio (which I have heard in full) Tuvia Tenenbom told Willsman he was a journalist.

Why did the BBC have Manson on?

Because of some misplaced idea of what ‘impartial’ means. And because this story is about Jews, not Muslims or Blacks.

When black football players complain about racism, does the BBC feel the need to call on someone to question their sincerity?

So what’s different about Jews?

 

 

Three Ageing Israel Haters Shill for JVL

‘Never underestimate the power of antisemitism.  Those infected with the virus will horrify you by the complete absence of the intellectual rigour present in every other aspect of their lives.’

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Three superannuated leftist Israel haters (with around 220 years on this earth between them) have produced a sham study of the statistical evidence regarding antisemitism on the left.

Jonathan Coulter (70 or 71) is a PSC activist.  Moreover he is a member of the secret Palestine Live group in Facebook that is riddled with antisemitism.  He initiated a judicial review of the IPSO decision regarding the Times and Sunday Times coverage of a meeting in Parliament hosted by Jenny Tonge in October 2016. A meeting that saw full-on Holocaust Denial and blame of Zionists for the Holocaust. He lost…… Coulter thinksthe press is bullying people in such a way that they are reluctant to speak up on Israel/Palestine’. And he thinks that the reason MPs join Friends of Israel organisations is because they are “scared of being done over by the Jewish Chronicle”. You get the picture………….

Alan Maddison (71), a retired biochemist, oversees Disinformation for Jewish Voice for Labour.

Tim Lllewellyn (78) was the BBC’s Middle East Correspondent for ten years.  He thinks the Zionist movement is an ‘alien polity’ which has ‘penetrated the British government and British institutions. He often sees Jews under the bed …

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He believes that Zionists steal books.  In 2004 he accused President Clinton’s former Middle East envoy Denis Ross of hiding behind “a lovely Anglo-Saxon name”.  He went on to say that Ross “is not just a Jew, he is a Zionist … a Zionist propagandist” (quoted in Ben Cohen,  The Persistence of Antisemitism on the British Left).

So do you think these three auspicious scholars conclude that antisemitism on the left is a problem? No prizes for the right answer: “No”.  Campaigners against antisemitism in Labour are said to be bent on ‘creating a minefield for critics of Israel’ and on ‘ensuring that Jeremy Corbyn never becomes Prime Minister.’ In short, we’re in the world of Antisemitism Denial.

Let’s take their sham study apart. Their first section is on statistical data.  They reproduce a Pew Research chart which shows that negative views of Jews is less in the UK than in six other EU Member States. The problem is that the research just tested negative views of Jews in the country of the respondents – nothing about Israel – so the definition of antisemitism was wrong. The correct definition is the widely accepted IHRA definition.

Then they use the infamous Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) survey which – they claim – shows ‘strong antisemitic attitudes’ on the left as no higher than the right (apart from the ultra-right). Wrong, see my analysis of the JPR Survey here.  Again, the definition of antisemitism that the JPR used was wrong – astonishingly for a respected research organisation at the heart of the UK Jewish community.  When it comes to anti-Israel attitudes, the proportion of the ‘very left-wing’ holding at least one anti-Israel attitude (seven out of eight of which are antisemitic) is around 78-79%, way above that for the general population (47%).

As I said at the time, the research has provided a wide open goal for Corbyn. I take no pleasure at all from being proved right.

Coulter et al go on to cite the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer.  It is true that agreement with non-Israel based antisemitic statements is found to be higher on the right than on the left. And that the proportion not endorsing any (non-Israel based) antisemitic statement is higher in Labour (68%) than in the Conservatives (60%). But look at this chart from the survey (the response is of Jews). I wonder why they didn’t include it 🙂

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Our three ‘antisemitism experts’ assert that antisemitism in Labour has declined since Corbyn became Leader. It’s a lie, as I showed here.

They then go on to cite the Home Affairs Select Committee’s 2016 Report on Antisemitism:

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Possibly that Report predated the CAA’s monitoring of antisemitism in political parties – but it’s simply wrong. Labour has seven  times more cases than the next nearest Party. No doubt the Labour MPs on the Committee insisted this passage went into the Report; one wonders what Chuka Umunna MP would say now, after leaving Labour for ChangeUK.

They turn now to Home Office data and suggest that Jews should be thankful that ‘only’ 10% of antisemitic crimes involve violence, versus 30% in the case of all racial or religious hate crime.  Daniel Allington has taken this one on. It is perfectly possible that Jews face so many non-violent antisemitic crimes that the violent element is compressed down to 10%. Hardly evidence that Jews should ‘stop complaining’.

Next the three luminaries suggest that Jews have it easy (in terms of likelihood to be the victim of a hate crime) than a BAME person. They provide no data so it’s impossible to check their results without searching it out.

Next they quote from a CST report finding that around three-quarters of all politically-motivated antisemitic incidents come from far-right sources. Note ‘politically-motivated’. Most antisemitic incidents are NOT ‘politically-motivated’. Next comes a quote from a World Jewish Congress Survey in 2016, that “90% of antisemitic tweets in the UK came from far-right perpetrators”.

madd4Again we have the definition problem: That WJC study did NOT include the Israel-based antisemitism which is a speciality of the Left.

Next come Labour Party data. The Party stated that (as of February 2019) that just 453 members were in the queue for investigation for antisemitism or had been investigated.  But Labour Against Antisemitism puts the real number far higher. As of February 2019 it had reported 1,200 cases since 2016.

Finally the three superannuated luminaries use this study to suggest that media coverage is biased against Corbyn. I fisked that study  – their suggestion is utter nonsense.

Jewish Voice for Labour wants to mobilise this sham statistical study to persuade journalists (ahead of the EHRC announcement) that allegations of antisemitism in Labour are false and are designed to undermine Corbyn.  Fortunately it is so shoddy that it will have the opposite effect.

Smearing campaigners against antisemitism (continued)

The Labour Party Forum recently discussed Glyn Secker’s appalling speech at the anti-Israel rally in London on 11 May.  There is defamatory material about me in the comments. If it is repeated I will not hesitate to take legal action. Some below-the-line comments on me by Adrian Cohen (aka Leon) have been passed to me.

adrian 1

Adrian has known me for at least 20 years. He knows perfectly well I have nothing to do with the EDL. But instead of categorically saying “Hoffman has nothing to do with the EDL” look how he noncomitally distances himself from that assertion (“Hoffman vigorously denies….”)….

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Adrian knows perfectly well the reasons why I believe that Rich should not be a ZF Patron.  And he could have read my blog to remind himself. Above all it is that Rich maintains that to advocate for ‘One State’ (that is, the end of the Jewish State of Israel) is not antisemitic. IHRA says ‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination’ is antisemitic.

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Again look at his noncomittal ambivalence (“It isn’t something I have researched”).

Adrian is a member of the Council of the Jewish Leadership Council – its top policymaking body. He is also a Trustee. Plus he chairs the London Jewish Forum. Plus he’s a Deputy. With those kind of responsibilities you’d think he might be less noncomittal about rebutting defamatory lies about other Jews, wouldn’t you …………

One Day in Gaza

This BBC2 programme was appallingly biased against Israel and will add to antisemitism.  It was clear what Olly Lambert’s strategy was. To show the ‘brutal’ IDF responding savagely to innocent unarmed Palestinian protesters who just wanted to cross over the border to see their ancestral lands. Moreover this against a backdrop of US and Israeli political leaders celebrating callously the recognition by the US of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – they would be portrayed by Lambert as uncaring about the loss of life in Gaza.

This is far from the reality – which the programme hardly touched upon. Indeed how could it, when the timescale was constrained to be just one day?

Gaza is ruled by the terrorist organisation Hamas which wants to murder Jews (and BBC “yahud” means ‘Jew’, not ‘Israeli’, please don’t sanitise the antisemitism).  Discontent with Hamas is now in the open – where was that in “One Day in Gaza”? Nothing  happens in Gaza without Hamas so the programme’s suggestion that Hamas was not involved initially in the Friday protests simply defies credulity. The programme said that Israel ‘strictly controls’ goods flowing into Gaza. No – see the COGAT website – all goods are allowed in in unlimited quantities – the exception is items that can be used for weapons manufacture. Children are brainwashed to hate Israelis – there was little reference to this apart from Bader who says that the revolutionary songs sung on the protests encourage him to rip off the head of an Israeli and Bashir Faraj who says he’d kill an Israeli soldier with his teeth and Wisal Khalil who “always wanted to be a martyr”. If the Palestinians were allowed to breach the fence they would go into Jewish homes and murder Israelis – the programme never made this clear. And it failed to explain how the sick in Gaza are often treated in Israel.

There were some elementary errors too. Near the start of the programme the narrator (who was he, with the ridiculous husky voice, was that supposed to represent empathy with the Palestinians?) spoke of the ‘decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital’. Wrong. The USA has long recognised Jerusalem as the capital – the US Senate simply delayed moving the Embassy there.

The worst part came towards the end when it was suggested that Israel used drones to spread toxic gas (there was no mention of tear gas). Israel does NOT use illegal weapons, of which toxic gas is one. The people shown with convulsions were acting. Tear gas does not have that impact – and it must have been tear gas. It’s called Pallywood ………. Note that the film the BBC used was not shot by BBC cameramen!

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Postscript

David Collier picked up the ‘Yahud’ point

So has Jewish News

Secker’s Lies Foment Antisemitism

At the Israel Hatefest in London yesterday, Glyn Secker addressed the mob. He accused the Zionist Federation of “embracing the English Defence League”.

It’s a blatant lie of course and a lie which can only fuel antisemitism. As a ZF National Council Member I am urging the ZF to sue Secker. I am confident that other Council members will support me.

JINO Secker of course has form when it comes to fomenting antisemitism and sharing platforms with antisemites.

Postscript

David Collier’s eyewitness account of the hatefest

Israellycool catalogues the lies and libels

The JC saysThe allegation that the Zionist Federation has embraced the EDL is false’.

secker jc may19