Welcome to the new McCarthyism.

America in the 1950’s was in the grip of anti-Communist hysteria. It was a period in US history dubbed the Second Red Scare. The US desire to find and prosecute every last “red” did not start with Senator McCarthy, but his chairing of the House Un-American Activities Committee has meant that his name is now inextricably linked to a political practice with disturbing implications for anyone remotely interested in due process.

“During the McCarthy era, hundreds of Americans were accused of being “communists” or “communist sympathizers”; they became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private industry panels, committees, and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, academicians, and labor-union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person’s real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs were sometimes exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment or destruction of their careers; some were imprisoned. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts that were later overturned,[3] laws that were later declared unconstitutional,[4] dismissals for reasons later declared illegal[5] or actionable,[6] or extra-legal procedures, such as informal blacklists, that would come into general disrepute.”

Many innocent lives were ruined by McCarthyism which, as a tool of political oppression, is still alive and well, rampaging through British culture in the form of the “Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis”.  McCarthyism is defined as:

“the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.”
Take the case of Chris Williamson MP. Chris is a good hearted lefty who isn’t afraid to go toe to toe with ‘journalists’ in order to offer strong, reasoned support for the Corbyn project. Therefore an obvious target. Chris has recently been suspended from the party, re-admitted then re-suspended (following howls of outrage from various members of the PLP). His crime? To say at a public meeting that Labour had been “too apologetic” around accusations of anti-Semitism.
What Chris Williamson actually said:
“The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party. I have got to say, I think 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…We’ve done more to address the scourge of anti-Semitism than any other party”
Once the story surfaced the media went into over-drive. This was a most heinous sin, and nothing less than immediate expulsion would do! Jewish Voice for Labour offer an alternative interpretation:
“What Williamson said was not that Labour had been “too apologetic” about anti-semitism, but that Labour had been “too apologetic” in the face of smears that party members were anti-semitic. He wasn’t minimising anti-semitism, he was defending the membership from a campaign of demonisation that portrays them as anti-semites – something you might think delicate centrists, so ready to take offence, might have understood.”
It would not have escaped the attention of the careful observer that the tone and tenor of all declarations on this subject must needs be of a high temperature variety. Outrage is the game and so nothing less than morally indignant will do. This is the core affective tone of the A-S smear campaign. This tone is adopted by design as, in most people’s minds, outrage is usually spurred by genuine, serious grievance and hurt – when a significant injustice has been perpetrated on the victim.
Unfortunately, the outrage is simply not justified by the facts of the matter.

The Home Affairs Select Committee report on Antisemitism of 2016 stated that:

“despite significant press and public attention on the Labour Party… there exists no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than in any other political party.”

Figures released by the Labour Party in Feb 2019 show that only 453 Labour members (i.e. one in 1,250) had been verified as requiring investigation for antisemitism, which is hardly evidence that the party had let antisemitism run rife  – see here.

Surveys commissioned by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) demonstrate that A-S views among Labour supporters have actually gone down since Corbyn became leader of the party. It seems from the available evidence that Labour may have become less anti-Semitic since Corbyn took over!

Of course, the tone of the MSM narrative does not allow the admission of uncomfortable facts as these would immediately puncture the necessary tone of outrage.

We are, therefore, firmly in the territory of a McCarthy style witch hunt. A-S is one of the many accusations which have been thrown at Corbyn since he had the temerity to be voted LOTO in 2015. These insults and smears are unlikely to let up and may well intensify when Corbyn gets into power.

I believe that the Corbyn supporting members of the Labour party must find their voice in order to rebut at every opportunity these baseless, ridiculous and dangerous charges. Indeed, it could end up being the defining issue of the Corbyn project. The MSM, Tom Watson, JLM have certainly made it so. The response of the membership may well be decisive.

 

 

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