If I were the Conservative party I’d be getting worried: Labour’s implosion is happening too fast. At this rate they could fall apart and regroup in time to go into the next election with a respectable leader.
Everybody knows the latest developments. Naz Shah MP was found to have said some anti-Semitic things on social media. After some bitter internal wrangling she was suspended from the party. Fellow MP Rupa Huq tried to come to her defence and compared anti-Semitism to any old mishap. And then Ken Livingstone smoothed it all over by talking about which of Hitler’s policies he thinks Zionists agree with. The low-point today was probably the former Mayor of London and stalwart Corbynista locking himself in a disabled loo in London’s Millbank while questions about his views on Hitler were shouted at him through the door by a press pack.
Of course this is only happening because the Labour party is run by a man who has spent his entire political life in these fever-swamps. Jeremy Corbyn having to suspend Ken Livingstone from the Labour party is a truly impossible divorce – impossible because it makes Corbyn’s position impossible. How can Ken Livingstone be out of the Labour party and Jeremy Corbyn be leading it? There is barely a sliver of moonlight between their views on Jews and Israel.
But now everybody is talking about the Jews and Labour’s anti-Semitism problem. Yet they still refuse to get to the point. Because it is not as though anti-Semitism is simply transferred in the water-supply. Of course there are anti-Semitic tendencies in every strain of politics. I could point to a strain within the Conservative tradition. But in the Conservative tradition it is dying. The problem for Labour is that anti-Semitism in their party is a growth industry. And the simple reason for that is a demographic one.
The modern Labour party claims to be an anti-racist movement, but because of demographic changes in the UK in certain areas it has to run on a covertly racist ticket. Try getting elected in Bradford as a Jew or a philo-Semite. And what exactly do people think the voters of Bradford West want? This is a constituency that voted for George Galloway even after everything one needed to know about Galloway was known. It is a constituency which he, while the local MP, declared an ‘Israel-free zone’ and where journalists of Jewish appearance or name were physically assaulted. Is it an accident that David Ward (remember him?) of the Lib Dems represented Bradford East?
Why did that happen? The simple reason is, as Mehdi Hasan once said, that anti-Semitism among Britain’s Muslim communities is ‘routine and commonplace.’ It is, as Mehdi said, the ‘dirty little secret’ of Britain’s Muslims. Numerous polls have shown a glimpse of the same thing. And that, right there, is Labour’s problem: the more Muslims you have, the more anti-Semitism you have. Of course the party will not admit this. Not least because it goes directly against New Labour’s policy of mass immigration. The architects of that grand policy in the late 1990s thought that the more people you brought into Britain the more ‘diverse’, ‘vibrant’ and ‘tolerant’ our society would become. Instead they have imported, among other things, a new generation of racists.
It is the same story across our continent. In every country in which the Muslim community is growing the Jewish community is dwindling. It’s why you hear so many French accents in Herzliya these days. And is it surprising that this has electoral consequences? Of course not. People tend to talk about the importance of ‘rooting out’ this problem. But the Labour party no longer can, because those roots are an increasing proportion of their grassroots.