23 June 2022

Jeremy Corbyn’s latest interview shows just what a crank he always was

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It sounds groovy in Corbynland doesn’t it? The trains are cheap and run on time because they are publicly owned. Everyone has free WiFi, even if computer screens seem permanently frozen on that marvellous moment at Glastonbury when thousands sang, ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’.

There are no homeless people; they are now living in Buckingham Palace or mansions appropriated from the dastardly rich. There are no nasty headlines to deal with either – ‘pathetic’ newspapers which dared to criticise him, leading to his historic defeat in 2019, have simply been abolished. The Morning Star’s lead columnist Julian Assange remains on British soil, extolling the virtues of the man everyone now calls Magic Grandpa.

And, of course, in Corbynland there is no racism because there simply couldn’t be; Jeremy is a committed anti-racist – he talks about this a lot – so it’s impossible for him to be racist.

This is presumably why, in his latest dispatch from Corbynland, the former Labour leader once again denies the state of antisemitism in the Labour party he led. And this despite the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) finding there had been unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination against Jewish people.

His interview in Declassified UK  needs to be read in full to expose the sheer narcissist nuttiness of the man. There is a lot to laugh at; him calling The Guardian ‘a tool of the establishment’, his claims that the reason the security services were concerned about him was because of his international policies, ‘based on peace, based on human rights’, his confession that he knew little about Keir Starmer when he appointed him Brexit secretary, and his comparison of Julian Assange to Nelson Mandela. 

When it comes to the antisemitism issue, he knows who he blames – the people who dared to complain about it – the Jews. He describes accusations of antisemitism as ‘foul, dishonest and utterly disgusting and appalling from people who should know better and do know better’.

Why would the Jews make up these lies about him? Money, could be one reason, he ponders. The Labour Friends of Israel were among those who complained and they get ‘apparently very generous funding…I presume from the Israeli government.’

It is also, he mused, because he was pro-Palestinian and perhaps warmongers didn’t like that. 

‘It’s very horrible and very nasty and is designed to be very isolating and designed to also take up all of your energies in rebutting these vile allegations,’ says Corbyn, the real victim of the antisemitism crisis in Labour. ‘It tends to distract away from the fundamental message about peace, about justice, about social justice, about economy and all of that,’ he adds with typical eloquence.

While some might say a proper antiracist would recognise using tropes such as lying, greedy warmongers about Jewish people who complained about antisemitism was perhaps not a good idea, in conspiratorial Corbynland it makes perfect sense. 

That Corbyn popped his head up from his navel just as two constituencies in the country were preparing to go to the polls shows the danger Corbynism remains to his successor. 

Whatever Starmer has to kick at Boris Johnson – and by God, Johnson has given him some open goals – the Prime Minister always has Corbynism and the fact that Starmer was a cheerleader for it to fall back on. 

Corbynism is as big an Achilles’ Heel for Starmer as his own lack of charisma. Long Corbyn affects everything – from the way he’s responded to the train strikes to the way yet more political infighting has grabbed the news with Corbynista MP Aspana Begum being signed off sick after a ‘campaign of misogynistic abuse’ and a trigger ballot to get rid of her. 

In the meantime, Jew-hatred remains a stench Labour cannot rid itself of. In the last few weeks five new councillors have been suspended by the party over antisemitism allegations – including one of my own new Haringey councillors, Joy Wallace, who claims a rabbi was paid to criticise Jeremy Corbyn. The local ‘moderates’ are still fighting against antisemites within their ranks. 

That Corbyn remains a member of the Labour Party – even if he’s had the whip removed – means his tenure as leader remains a sore which can’t possibly heal. Some in the party say to get rid of him completely would be to make him a martyr but he already revels in that status. 

His new interview in which he blames the victims of antisemitism for perpetuating it and claim the real victimhood for himself should be grounds alone for removing him permanently. As the EHRC made clear, denying the extent of antisemitism in the party is, in itself, a form of antisemitism. Why is he still in the party? Why doesn’t Starmer spell out exactly what Corbyn did and why it was wrong? Why not expose dark side of Corbynland – showing it up for the cranky, nasty, racist dystopia it really is?

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Nicole Lampert is a freelance journalist.

Columns are the author's own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of CapX.