A sad commentary on British politics

I would once have thought it impossible that some of the stories I have seen in the media today could ever again appear in British newspapers. Here are two examples.

For four year while studying for my first degree and then as Treasurer of the Union at the University of Bristol I lived in what is now part of the Bristol West constituency. The idea that the MP for the constituency, whichever party he or she represented, would be criticised by a significant part of the membership of their constituency party for attending a demonstration against Anti-Semitism would have been seen by everyone I was at University with as absolutely bonkers.

Yet here is a report in the FT about how precisely that happened this week: a motion explicitly criticising the MP was passed by a branch and "noted" by the Bristol West constituency Labour party without being voted on while a slightly less extreme motion which implicitly criticised her was narrowly defeated but did get 84 votes.

And here in the Guardian is an incredibly powerful article by Howard Jacobson about Anti-Semitism. Here are a few extracts from his article:

"I still think Britain is a fine country to be a Jew of any complexion in. But it is as though I now live in the shadow of an unseen enemy."

"The incantatory repetition of the charge that Jews cry Anti-Semitism only in order to subvert criticism of Israel or discredit Corbyn is more than fatuous and lazy, and it is more than painful to those many Jews who own an old allegiance to the Labour party and who are not strangers to criticising Israel. It is the deepest imaginable insult."

"Most Jews know what Anti-Semitism is and what it isn’t. Its history is written on the Jewish character in blood. To invent it where it is not would be a sacrilege."

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