Friday, 21 April 2017

Good Grief, New Statesman Edition

Sarah Ditum actually wrote the following in the New Statesman yesterday:
Corbyn, who has led the way in smirking denial of anti-Semitism within Labour, even while one of the greatest threats to the nation and the continent is the creep of the far right.
Never mind that Corbyn set up an inquiry into claims of antisemitism, something no other Labour leader bothered to do.

Never mind that he condemned Ken Livingstone's stupid decision to repeat the stupid statement that lead to his suspension.

Never mind that the New Statesman quoted Corbyn's condemnation at length just a couple of weeks before Ditum penned her spite column:
"Ken Livingstone’s comments have been grossly insensitive, and he has caused deep offence and hurt to the Jewish community.

“Labour's independently elected National Constitutional Committee has found Ken guilty of bringing the party into disrepute and suspended him for two years.

“It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused. Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action.

“Since initiating the disciplinary process, I have not interfered with it and respect the independence of the party’s disciplinary bodies. But Ken’s subsequent comments and actions will now be considered by the National Executive Committee after representations from party members.”
Never mind that there is an election on, and Ditum has deliberately decided to start accusing the leader of the Labour Party - without evidence, mind you - of condoning antisemitism.  I'm not in favour of people having to suppress their opinions for party electoral advantage; but I'm equally not in favour of people deliberately timing their phoney accusations to cause maximum damage to the party she is a card carrying member of.

Never mind all that.

Sarah Ditum is a journalist.  She enjoys privileged access to the media.  I had a look over her recent New Statesman columns to see how much time she had dedicated to identifying and targeting antisemitism in the past year.

I did find a passing reference to 20th Century pogroms in one column on the Brexit referendum; but that's it.  (And in it, Ditum manages to repeat the false claim that Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was subjected to antisemitic abuse.  She wasn't.  She was called out for talking to a journalist from the Telegraph.)

Yet in the past year, from what I can see in the index of articles she has published in the New Statesman, she has not dedicated one to the issue of antisemitism, in the Labour party or elsewhere.

Even though she lambastes Corbyn for ignoring the "creep of the far-right" which is "one of the greatest threats to the nation and the continent."

In the odd, self-righteous world of Sarah Ditum, this grave issue - which she attacks Corbyn for ignoring - did not merit a column.

Not one.

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