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Panorama exposed?

It is now alleged that most of the people interviewed as direct witnesses to antisemitic incidents in Wednesday’s BBC Panorama programme were members or supporters of the Jewish Labour Movement (formerly Poale Zion) relaunched in 2015.

This was not mentioned at any point in the show, during the programme itself or in the credits at the end.

The first witness and many others on Wednesday’s Panorama programme recounted their experiences of antisemitism in the Labour party with apparent sincerity. No professional actress could have performed more movingly than the first person to appear – seen below

Jeremy Newmark (former JLM chair) and Ella Rose with Israeli ambassador Mark Regev

Investigative journalist Asa Winstanley, on the Electronic Intifada website, was the first to break the news and others have added their observations. A provisional list of JLM people who “gave witness” anonymously in the Panorama show reads as follows (click here to see the full list of JLM officers):

Ella Rose (JLM equalities officer, former national director)
Alex Richardson (JLM Membership Officer)
Adam Langleben (ex JLM Campaigns Officer)
Stephane Savary (JLM vice-chair)
Rebecca Filer (JLM political education officer)
Joshua Garfield (JLM local government officer)
Izzy Lenga (JLM international officer)

There was no semblance of balance: no witnesses from Jewish Voices for Labour were invited to speak, so they have issued their own statement on Wednesday’s Panorama programme which may be seen here and on this website.

Richard House quotes from JVL’s text: “It is shameful that the BBC has joined in an orchestrated campaign whose principal aim is quite clearly to prevent Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister of a Labour government committed to socialism.”

As George Monbiot says, in nominal democracies, billionaires get political power by funding parties, lobby groups and social media ads. But above all, they buy newspapers and television stations. Social media is dominated by stories the billionaire press generates: “As their crucial role in promoting Nigel Farage, Brexit and Boris Johnson suggests, the newspapers are as powerful as ever”. He advises readers: “If a newspaper is owned by a billionaire, be suspicious of every word you read in it. Check its sources, question its claims. Withhold your support from any party that allows itself to be bullied or – worse – guided by their agenda. Stand in solidarity with those who resist it”.

Richard House advocates extending the Star’s “people’s press” ethos to the rest of the media, and take back ownership of it. To this end, the political left should initiate a national campaign for people in their millions to cancel their licence payment and start its own radio station. Many readers would invest in such an enterprise.







Honourable Jeremy or deplorable Jess? No contest

 Desperation? ‘The Establishment pick’ to replace Jeremy Corbyn 

Jess in the Times: “At school we got asked to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I said I wanted to be the prime minister. And why not? I think I’d be a good prime minister.”

I sent this to a Hall Green friend:

Times interview ends: Shoot credits

  • Styling Prue White.
  • Hair Peter Burkill at S Management using Colour Wow and GHD.
  • Make-up Julia Wren at Carol Hayes Management using Chantecaille. Jess Phillips wears jacket, £538,
  • Ashley Graham x Marina Rinaldi; blouse, £453, com;
  • trousers, £139, com;
  • shoes, £475, com;
  • earrings, £79, The Hoop Station (

He replied:

Well, she’s certainly got the wardrobe for it…wonder how all those constituents she was almost in tears about in the House of Commons last week have got to spend on clothes? 

Kit Knightly details and then summarises her record: “She backs Trident and Austerity and Israel. She hates Corbyn and Williamson and Leftists in general. She doesn’t believe in class politics or ideology, but she does talk about gender all the time, and says “fuck” a lot, in a midlands accent no less, so she’s definitely hip and cool and down with the kids”.

Kit Knightly asks: “Shouldn’t a Labour MP being roundly praised by The Times, Tory MPs and neo-liberal vultures like Miliband be a cause for concern?”





‘Colourless (aka sober and thoughtful) Corbyn’ is the best leader

On 12th March, Richard House responded to a Western Daily Press letter from B.E. Roberts (“Labour Party needs a new leader”, letters, March 8) which characterised Jeremy Corbyn as a “colourless” leader:

“If it’s a choice between a colourful leader like Tony Blair or David Cameron leading us into policy nightmares like illegally invading Iraq and the Brexit catastrophe, respectively, or “colourless Corbyn”, for me and many others, it’s a no-brainer.

“The “colourless” Clement Atlee is regarded by many as Britain’s greatest post-war prime minister; and in the multiple crises engulfing us today, we need another leader who isn’t driven by ego and ambition, who is sober and thoughtful, and who’s been on the right ethical side of history throughout his political career.

“Only one current leader ticks all those boxes – and that’s colourless Corbyn”.

Richard House, Stroud, Gloucestershire,

Western Daily Press, 12 March 2019, p. 19







Hundreds of Israeli citizens sign letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn


Felicity Arbuthnot draws attention to a report that hundreds of Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs, have in the last few days signed a letter expressing support for the leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. The letter will be sent to Labour’s Annual Conference that will take place in Liverpool starting next Sunday, September 23, and continue until Wednesday, September 26.

The letter of support reads as follows:

“We are Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel, committed to civil equality within Israel, to an end to the occupation and the blockade of Gaza, to a just peace and justice for the Palestinian refugees. The solidarity of progressive forces abroad is vital to our struggle, and we therefore welcomed the election of Jeremy Corbyn, a committed campaigner for peace, as leader of the British Labour Party.”

“Since his election, Corbyn has been subjected to sustained attacks for his supposed friendliness to antisemitism. We reject the substance of these accusations completely, and we note that some of Corbyn’s accusers, such as Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu, are themselves notorious racists and allies of known anti-Semites, such as Viktor Orbán and the Polish nationalists.

“We also note that, even as many of Corbyn’s critics claim to respect the right to criticize Israel in theory, in practice their attacks seem designed to shut down debate on Israel-Palestine and prevent a future Labour government from applying any real pressure on Israel to change its policies.”

“At the same time, we recognize the reality of antisemitism, including on the left, and we applaud Labour’s sustained efforts to fight it within its ranks. These efforts are free from the hypocrisy of the right, which decries antisemitism, real and imagined, while openly encouraging racism of other kinds. In a global climate of rising fascism, this hypocrisy is extremely dangerous. In order to combat it, it is absolutely necessary to repudiate antisemitism while also standing up for Palestinian rights and for socialism.

“We call upon all friends of Israeli-Palestinian peace to join the Labour Party’s leadership in its unequivocal commitment to creating a politics free of hate and prejudice, and to support us in working together toward a future without oppression and discrimination in Israel and Palestine. Labour friends, we wish you success in your upcoming National Conference and in the struggles ahead.”

At the food of the letter, following Hebrew and Arabic versions, Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel are invited to add their signatures to the letter of support for Jeremy Corbyn:






Media Lens at its best

 Extract from the latest article:

In his outstanding essay, ‘The chimera of British anti-Semitism (and how not to fight it if it were real)’, Norman Finkelstein, Jewish author of ‘The Holocaust Industry’ and the son of Holocaust survivors, comments:

‘The degree of anti-Semitism infecting British society has been the subject of numerous polls over a sustained period of time. These surveys have uniformly, consistently, and unambiguously concluded that anti-Semitism:

(1)  has long been a marginal phenomenon in British society, infecting under 10% of the population,

(2)  is far less salient than hostility to other British minorities, and

(3)  is less pronounced in the UK than almost anywhere else in Europe.’

Finkelstein argues that Jews have considerable power within British society. Indeed, the intensity and longevity of the campaign targeting Corbyn’s ‘antisemitism’ in part reflect that influence:

‘Jews are incomparably organized as they have created a plethora of interlocking, overlapping, and mutually reinforcing communal and defense organizations that operate in both the domestic and international arenas. In many countries, not least the US and the UK, Jews occupy strategic positions in the entertainment industry, the arts, publishing, journals of opinion, the academy, the legal profession, and government. “Jews are represented in Britain in numbers that are many times their proportion of the population,” British-Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer notes, “in both Houses of Parliament, on the Sunday Times Rich List, in media, academia, professions, and just about every walk of public life.”‘

As Finkelstein says, ‘it cannot be right to deny (or suppress) critical socioeconomic facts’ of this kind. Noting them has nothing to do with ugly, racist fantasies about Jews controlling the world.

He adds:

Jeremy Corbyn is the democratically elected head of the Labour Party. His ascendancy vastly expanded and galvanized the party’s ranks. Corbyn has devoted a lifetime to fighting racism; like eponymous labor organizer Joe Hill, where workers strike and organize, it’s there you’ll find Jeremy Corbyn.

‘By British and even global leadership standards, he cuts a saintly figure. On the opposite side, mostly unelected Jewish bodies have dragged Corbyn’s name through the mud, slandering and defaming him. They have refused to meet with Corbyn, even as he has repeatedly extended olive branches and offered substantive compromises. Instead they issue take-it-or-leave-it ultimatums.

Finkelstein summarises accurately: ‘The transparent motive behind this cynical campaign is to demonize Corbyn, not because he’s a “fucking anti-Semite,” [the words of former Labour minister Margaret Hodge] but because he’s a principled champion of Palestinian rights’, although ‘a broad array of powerful entrenched social forces, acting on not-so-hidden agendas of their own’ are all seeking to destroy Corbyn.

Indeed, no rational observer can see this as anything other than an extension of the relentless establishment attack on Corbyn, the mild socialist threatening to let democracy loose from its box. The objective of the antisemitism moral panic is obvious, writes Lindsey German of Stop the War:’removing Corbyn from the Labour leadership and his replacement with someone much more amenable to the needs of British capital, whether in the arena of foreign policy or in terms of domestic policies’.

David Hearst, a former Middle East editor at the Guardian, concurs: ‘The Labour leader’s opponents don’t care about anti-Semitism. They’ll just do anything to remove Corbyn.’

Hearst argues that Corbyn’s opponents are using: ‘the tactics of fascists – smearing, libelling, intimidating: ‘Unable to put up a candidate capable of defeating him by democratic means, at the ballot box, unable to attack him on his polices for which there is majority support in the country, Corbyn’s detractors have methodically and consistently set about the task of character assassination.’

We asked Noam Chomsky for his view on these issues. He replied: ‘The charges of anti-Semitism against Corbyn are without merit, an underhanded contribution to the disgraceful efforts to fend off the threat that a political party might emerge that is led by an admirable and decent human being, a party that is actually committed to the interests and just demands of its popular constituency and the great majority of the population generally, while also authentically concerned with the rights of suffering and oppressed people throughout the world. Plainly an intolerable threat to order.’ (Noam Chomsky, email to Media Lens, September 9, 2018






Why the UK needs Corbyn in Downing Street


Edited extract from a site run by Unite activist Steven Walker from Liverpool. The site’s address comes from his initials.

Jeremy Corbyn spoke in Edinburgh about his plans for changes to the media landscape. The full address may be seen on YouTube or read here.

‘MSM’ coverage of the event has tended to avoid reference to Corbyn’s question session with journalists and members of the public and the extensive ‘Q&A’ with actor Maxine Peake.

Dignity and understatement

The telling and moving segment of the Q&A came when Corbyn was asked about his experience of mainstream media attacks since he became Labour leader – and he responded with dignity and understatement, describing a ceaseless campaign of smears against him as “The papers being somewhat unkind about me”, before going on to make a steadfast defence of the need for journalists in a ‘vibrant democracy’ and to pay tribute to journalists who have risked and even lost their lives in the pursuit of truth.

About the many: for the poor and for our children.

When asked what he thinks it’s most important for the mainstream journalists to do now, his answer – as it has consistently been throughout his leadership – was all about others and their needs.

Others would add his policies on nuclear power and weapons, military intervention in other countries and on projects such as HS2, privatisation and the third Heathrow runway.

The article summarises: “No self-pity. No drama – in stark contrast to the behaviour of some Labour MPs who have suffered far less for far more cause. Just, as ever, a self-deprecating and completely authentic concern for others – especially those left vulnerable and deprived by our broken economic system and our skewed, dysfunctional mainstream media landscape”.





No place for antisemitism

I want to share this video message about the problem of antisemitism that Labour is working to overcome — and the need to support and guarantee the security of Jewish communities.

Antisemitic abuse has no place in our Party or movement. No one with such views acts in my name, or the name of our Party. They are not our supporters.

I want Jewish people to feel at home in the Labour Party and be able to play their full part in our campaigning work to take our country forward.

Driving antisemitism out of our party for good, and working with the Jewish community to rebuild trust, are vital priorities.

Anti-racism is at the core of our movement. We must act to unite people of all communities to overcome inequality and prejudice, and build a fair country for all.





Jeremy Corbyn’s statement statement responding to air strikes on Syria:

Bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace. This legally questionable action risks escalating further, as US defence secretary James Mattis has admitted, an already devastating conflict and therefore makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely.

Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm’s way.

Theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump. The government should do whatever possible to push Russia and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account.





We need clean pair of hands at the helm


Mrs May is to discuss what role Britain should play in a US-led attack on the Syrian regime and our masters contemplate safely indulging in the distance killing of other human beings and ‘laughing all the way to the bank’ as their armaments shares rise.

As CAAT noted in February 2018, it’s not just a matter of shareholdings:

“While outright bribes of UK government figures are rarely reported, Government decision-makers get plenty of perks from the arms trade.

“Arms companies often invite ministers, military chiefs and civil servants to dinners at five-star hotels.

“After they’ve retired they are often offered jobs on their advisory boards – where they enjoy good salaries for doing very little work – except for sharing their contacts book and insider knowledge of government”.

Feathered nests: we add that these positions are also taken by the friends and relatives of decision-makers.

All heads of state should take these words to heart

Former General Eisenhower on the consequences of preparing for war.





Francesca Martinez: a word on the latest Corbyn ‘mural’ outrage

While we’re all debating whether Corbyn’s a spy or a Putin stooge, or an anti-semite, people are dying in NHS corridors, disabled people are starving to death, our public services are being cut, our assets are being privatised, our wages are being driven down, our environment is plundered and polluted, and wealth and power remain in the hands of the 1%.

Francesca writes:

This is, as always, about politics. If anyone needs convincing, please read about other socialist leaders around the world. They are routinely called commies, anti-semitic, insane etc. It is an age-old tactic.

Corbyn can’t be touched on policy so they have to manufacture shit-storms.
He is a life-long anti-racist campaigner with a thirty year record of standing against racism in all its forms.

He is one of only 8% of MPs to have signed the five UK parliamentary motions that condemned antisemitism.

No other MP has such a record of commitment to fighting racism and anti-semitism.

While we’re all debating whether Corbyn’s a spy or a Putin stooge, or an anti-semite, people are dying in NHS corridors, disabled people are starving to death, our public services are being cut, our assets are being privatised, our wages are being driven down, our environment is plundered and polluted, and wealth and power remain in the hands of the 1%.

Make no mistake, this is a war.

If Corbyn goes, we, the 99%, all lose.


We will never achieve a more equal, democratic, humane and peaceful society, if we allow the elite to destroy anyone who stands up against them.