• Alexander Davidson

Starmer Salts The Earth

The suspension of Corbyn shows us yet another case of media dishonesty

US President Lyndon B Johnson famously told an aide to spread a story about a Congressional rival having a proclivity for pigs. When the aide protested that it wasn’t true, LBJ replied: “Of course it ain’t true, but I want to make the son-of-a-bitch deny it ….”

The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party marks another humiliation heaped onto the former Labour Party leader to go with the other indignities both imposed and self-inflicted since 2015.  The formal reason for the suspension is his comment that the much-reported “anti-Semitism problem” attributed to the Labour Party was overstated.  A very mild expression of a devastating truth but even in all its timidity it was too much for Keir Starmer.  If we wish to understand the reasons behind Corbyn's suspension we must analyse the nature of the anti-Semitism scandal.

It’s origins go back to the Ed Miliband leadership, a man of Jewish ancestry, who declared support for Palestinian statehood in 2014.  Miliband was declared “toxic” by the more rabid supporters of the state of Israel including several rich donors to the labour party and was accused of “pandering to anti-Semites".  This is largely forgotten now but this incident does show that the motivation to accuse Corbyn of anti-Semitism was the same.  It was to attack any move by the major British opposition party that might benefit the cause of Palestinian nationhood.

It has long been a tactic of the Israeli government to deploy baseless accusations of anti-Semitism to stifle all debate with regard to its actions.  Corbyn is not the first to be subjected to this but, due to his long history of advocacy for Palestinian causes, he was the most slandered by this method.  It is worth noting that even prominent Jewish scholars such as Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky who have criticised the Israeli government are routinely slandered as being “self-hating Jews” for doing so.  Corbyn being a potential Prime Minister with the capacity to change the 75-year British government's unbending support for Israel only intensified the smear campaign.  The smear campaign was designed to render all debate about Palestinian national rights toxic within the capitalist media.

The other factor at work here was that Corbyn's social democratic policies were always loathed by the very right-wing collection of Labour MP’s who dominate the Parliamentary Labour Party, despite being very popular with Labour Party members.  In order to destabilise, delegitimise and destroy the Corbyn leadership these MP’s were willing to stir up the lie that Corbyn and his support base were inherently anti-Semitic. This, again, is all about smearing the man because they have no desire to debate the ideas he stood for. It is the tactic of all cynical censorious frauds who wish to preserve that status quo by destroying the reputations of any who challenge it.

The fall of Corbyn provides a model lesson in how not to deal with smear campaigns. At each turn Corbyn threw his allies to the wolves and provided a scalp whenever one was demanded by his enemies. Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker and Chris Williamson being three prominent allies those pushing the smears targeted for suspension and Corbyn duly obliged.  No matter how much he bent to the will of his enemies though it was never enough. They wish to destroy Corbyn as an example to any others who may seek to follow his path and return the Labour Party to being as reliable a vehicle for the interests of big business as it was during the Blair/Brown government.

Corbyn's fall is a dreadful example of how a refusal to fight back against poisonous propaganda can erode your movement until there is nothing left.  

Alexander Davidson - Red Star Radio

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