What Labour needs now is a takeover by real left-wing radicals

Jeremy Corbyn and company’s anti-Semitism crisis is a symptom of a much wider malaise

7 May 2016

9:00 AM

7 May 2016

9:00 AM

To say that the Labour party is in crisis because it is ‘too left-wing’ is to miss the point spectacularly. With eyes wide open, and all democratic procedures punctiliously observed, its members have chosen in their tens of thousands to endorse not ‘the left’, but an ugly simulacrum of left-wing politics.

They have gone along with the type of left-winger who flourished in the long boom between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the great recession. The hypocrite who damns oppression, but only if it is committed by western countries. The pseudo-egalitarian who will condemn sexism and homophobia, but not the prejudices of favoured regimes and minorities. The fake anti-racist who will attack the ‘far right’ while echoing the fascist conspiracy theory.

Let us see how their ‘new politics’ are progressing. At the time of going to press, and we accept that this is a provisional tally, Labour has had to suspend Ken Livingstone for invoking Adolf Hitler in the latest of his many attempts to bait and humiliate Jews. Also suspended is Naz Shah, one of its two Bradford MPs, for saying that Israelis should be transported to America. Hanging alongside them on Labour’s drooping dirty-laundry line are a good half-dozen Muslim Labour councillors, suspended for saying that Jews were really behind Islamic State, or for echoing Shah’s call for the ethnic cleansing of Israeli Jews, or for telling Israeli footballers that their country was the new Third Reich.

Cynics dismiss the fuss. There are 2.7 million Muslims and only 260,000 Jews in Britain. If left-wingers alienate Jews, the profit-and-loss account is still in the black, particularly when a large segment of the white bourgeois left is as keen on laying into ‘the Zionists’, as they so daintily call them. It is not true to say all British Muslims want fevered rhetoric against Jews (any more than it is to say that all Jews oppose Corbyn). But in areas with large Muslim minorities, even the Liberal Democrats have played the race card. If Labour doesn’t join them, it will be beaten by them. That’s the ‘new politics’ and we had better get used to it.

In any case, they continue, Labour is more like Ukip than the BNP. It doesn’t defend its Livingstones and Shahs but suspends them, while ducking questions from reporters who wonder why they were attracted to Labour in the first place.

To me, there is every reason to make a fuss. Labour’s Jewish question is a symptom of a wider sickness in the party, which will discredit both it and left-wing culture if left unchecked. That culture’s huge and not wholly unwarranted advantage relies on the assumption that leftists are good people. The left did not invade Iraq, it did not crash the banking system, it did not impose the bedroom tax, or ransack company pension schemes and head off to Monaco. Even when the left was wrong, it was in the 1066 and All That formulation ‘wrong but wromantic’. The Tories, even in their fleeting moments of competence, which occur ever more rarely these days, could only ever be ‘right but repulsive’.

‘The left’ can get away with the assumption of romantic virtue because it has been on the sidelines. Who cared what it did or said? Now Corbyn leads the opposition and all its failings are on display.

The ‘left’, you might have thought, is against the far right. ‘Racist’ and ‘fascist’ are the insults leftists throw against everyone from their stuffy parents to members of the parliamentary Conservative party. Yet it is normal now to hear the fascist conspiracy theory fall from the lips of a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn or a supporter of Marine Le Pen.

Supporters? What am I saying? Corbyn himself is happy to endorse the most disgraceful liars. Corbyn decided that an Arab deported for saying that Jews feasted on the blood of Christian children was a victim of the ‘pro-Israel lobby’. He opined that the church was doing the Zionists’ dirty work when it disciplined an Anglican vicar, from Haslemere of all places, who cited Holocaust deniers and said 9/11 was the fault of the…oh go on, guess. Polite political commentators say that I must add at this point that ‘Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite’. Sorry to be a fact-checking bore, but if he isn’t a racist, then he is a remarkably stupid old man who in George Orwell’s phrase is ‘playing with fire without knowing fire is hot’.

If Labour is ever to win again, the poison from the far left will have to drained. And not just because Corbyn will keep the right in power indefinitely. Nothing will truly change unless there is a change of mind as well as a change of tactics. Those capable of self-criticism should at least consider that the prejudices they have endorsed may have been immoral. They should, but probably won’t. I can guess their reply. They will say: ‘We have not endorsed racism, we have just engaged in legitimate opposition to Israel.’

I could go on about how the supposed supporters of the Palestinians on the left do not appear to understand that Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘friends’ in Hamas and Hezbollah oppress Arabs as much as Jews. I could add that a left that cannot oppose clerical tyrants is no longer a force for progress in the world. But let us move away from the blood- and God-soaked ‘Holy Land’, and consider how, as a matter of course, the faction of the left in charge of the Labour party appears on the propaganda channels of Iran and Russia, and how it sides with Islamist conservatives against Muslim liberals.

The political consequence of these shameful double standards will be enormous. Not only is the Corbyn left comfortable with regimes that all decent liberals and leftists have a duty to oppose. It is comfortable with regimes that mean Britain harm. Patriotism may be an embarrassing subject today and no one talks of ‘traitors aiding the enemy’, but this does not mean that the patriotic impulse has died. The British public will still notice that the leaders of the opposition are more comfortable with hostile foreign countries than their own country, and the majority of their own countrymen and women too.

In France it is automatic for respectable politicians to condemn racism and then add ‘and anti-Semitism’. Perhaps anti-Semitism is not taken as seriously here because the Nazis stopped at the Channel and we never had to live through our own version of Vichy. But there is a more contemporary reason for the failure to tackle it, or even admit its existence, that could unravel social-democratic politics.

Most Jews are white. And across the middle-class left, it is held that racism is not racism when it is directed against whites in general and that entitled aristocrat of our age, the straight white male, in particular. The dangers for centre-left parties should be obvious. In Europe and in Donald Trump’s America, the white-working-class base of social-democratic parties is falling away. Voters will carry on leaving if they keep hearing expensively educated voices tell them in perfectly constructed sentences that they are the oppressors who must be overthrown. Why should a white man with miserable job and no prospects tolerate a left-wing elite that casts him as an overprivileged villain? If I were in his shoes, I would loathe the lies and point-scoring and want nothing to do with such politicians.

A ‘left-wing’ egalitarianism that takes so little notice of class is fake. Like a ‘left-wing’ foreign policy that is on the side of the reactionary and obscurantist, it will first infuriate and then fail.

The tragedy for Britain is that a dose of true left-wing radicalism is needed now. Only the most complacent Tories maintain that our economic order should continue unreformed. Simon Wren-Lewis, Chris Dillow and other left-wing economists whom I have always respected say there is a good case for many of John McDonnell’s economic policies. An entrepreneurial state that supports start-ups through a government investment bank is a sensible way of dealing with the manifold failings of the banking system to promote new business. Left-wing warnings against the government’s combination of austerity with close-to-zero interest rates are wholly justified. When the next shock comes, the supposedly prudent Osborne will have left this country naked before the storm without one monetary lever to pull.

Like a case of dysentery, the Corbyn moment will pass. My fear is that it will be replaced not with a serious commitment to reform, but with the terrified conformism that characterised the Labour party after Tony Blair became leader. Labour will be so desperate to prove it is strong on national security that it will agree with whatever the generals and security services propose. It will be so desperate to appear economically reputable that it will endorse rather than oppose the stagnant system the Cameron government has presided over.

The most haunting line about politics I know comes from the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci. While he lay in one of Mussolini’s jails, he wrote ‘The old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.’

Corbynism is a morbid symptom — the curse my generation of left-wingers have handed to on to our children, who deserved a better and more principled politics. In all likelihood, when the interregnum is over, we will return to normality, even though normality is the last thing Britain needs.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

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  • Trailblazer10

    ‘The old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.’

    Good description of Europe in general. The result of leftist poison. The prognosis is poor, but recovery in some places is not yet impossible.

    • Malcolm Knott

      Political fortunes change rapidly. The Liberal party went from Government to obscurity in ten years. All we need now is for people to stop voting Labour: an outcome which appears to have Jeremy Corbyn’s full support.

  • grimm

    As anyone with an ounce of nous will be aware the Left always lie to the electorate because they know that their real agenda is not widely popular. To get the votes they need to sell their political product as something more palatable to the people while preparing to ram down our throats the politics they think we should have once they get to power.

    All that has happened with the Labour party is that they got fed up with lying as the last election showed that it wasn’t working.

    Anyway, shouldn’t Cohen’s piece be published in the New Statesman where the readers constantly fret about the true Left. Is The Spectator being infiltrated and taken over by the Left? Should we be concerned about the sinister Burchill/Cohen axis?

    • beatonthedonis

      The Left tells lies such as ‘a cast-iron guarantee of a referendum on Lisbon’, ‘no more top-down reorganisations of the NHS’, ‘no cuts to child benefit or tax credit’, ‘no dithering on Heathrow’.

      • David Beard

        Yes, it’s been estimated that Dave has done a U turn on every single one of his manifesto promises.
        Then there’s erasing his internet history.

  • James Chilton

    Corbyn is a fantasy leader of the Labour party. Sooner or later, he will be overthrown by the “moderates” who know they will never form a government unless they can occupy the centre ground in British politics. The undiluted dogmatic left is unelectable.

    However, at the present time, the extent of the centre ground seems to be diminishing – at least if the fanatical rhetoric about the growth of the “extreme right wing” is believed. For example, reasoned opposition to further immigration is demonised as “fascist little Englandism”.

    • David Beard

      or example, reasoned opposition to further immigration is demonised as “fascist little Englandism”.

      So why are you playing the same cards then?

      • James Chilton

        What “cards” are you talking about?

        • David Beard

          Oh right, ‘what cards’ are they.

          • James Chilton

            I don’t know. You brought them into play.

  • RavenRandom

    Great article. What happened to the 1997 New Labour Party ideals? How did you let these Corbynite muppets turn an essentially forward looking, inclusive, optimistic movement into these communist and racist throwbacks?

    • Frank

      Because the 1997 New Labour Part ideals were just marketing BS put together by Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell! It was a thin coating of varnish on a sack of tired, stale, old potatoes.

      • RavenRandom

        Perhaps. I know there was an element of that. But much of the intent (if not ultimately the reality) was genuine. Even if marketing BS, the dour, depressed, depressing, grey, hopeless Labour party of today is still evidence of massive decline.

        • Frank

          I accept that for many Labour members the hope was genuine and heartfelt. The trouble is that the majority of the Labour Parliamentary Party is unchanged (and generally about as appealing as any failures are). I understand why the members voted for Corbyn to try and get a more authentic voice, but they got short-changed, as he is way beyond his sell-by-date and was third rate when younger. Plus the wish to find a more authentic voice got grabbed by the loony left (who have seemingly never understood that their very nature makes them un-electable).

        • David Beard

          They’re both in decline. Only when the crash comes it wont be Labour you’ll l be blaming.
          Remember, what they’re doing to Corbyn and the so called far-left, they did to Griffin, Farage and in America, Trump. The media rules. And that’s a fact. But they wouldn’t be able to do it without so many gullible fools buying in to start with.

          • RavenRandom

            I see, everybody is gullible… except for you, you see the way it is.

          • David Beard

            Well, i certainly don’t believe everything I’m told by the media Be it left or right. Is that so hard a rule to follow?

          • RavenRandom

            No you’re special.

          • Sinik

            10 years and the MSM will be finished. TV and newspapers.

      • MikeF

        It was a thin coat of varnish on a nasty intolerant authoritarianism that dressed itself in smart new suits – especially the women.

        • David Beard

          Now the Tory party are wearing the same suits.

        • Frank

          Saw an old shot of Tony B on TV news last night – he already looked deranged in 1998!

    • trobrianders

      9 million voters and only 2% of them pushed Corbyn into power. The other 98% couldn’t care less.

      • David Beard

        Yes, just like less than 25% voted in Dave. And still we call it a Tory majority.

        • trobrianders

          So you think Labour should have formed a government with less?

          • David Beard

            No, I’m just using the same argument against Dave as you’re using against Corbyn. Farage and UKIP were also stuffed by the same parties and their media. Now look at their few supporters on here, sucking it all up about Corbyn and antisemitism. Bunch of stupids.

          • trobrianders

            There’s no comparison stupid

        • Sinik

          You’re missing the point. He’s saying that 250,000 voted for Corbyn as leader whilst there are 9million voters at national level, i.e. the 250,000 £3 entryists may not be representative of the direction Labour need to be taking to be electable. Especially as many of them are Tories and UKIP supporters.

    • David Beard

      Must be really great for some of you Blairite/Thatcherite muppets to be able do so much of this PC virtue signalling for a change. And playing the race card – disgraceful! But what is some of you lot say elsewhere or whenever it comes to the other Semites: ‘Islam isn’t a race.’ Listen, why not just do the brave thing and

      OPEN- UP -THE- DEBATE.. Hmm?

      What could they be scared of?

      • RavenRandom

        Coherently argued. No insults, no shouting, no shoddy reasoning. You are a credit to your special school. Keep trying.

        • David Beard

          So, in other words, no answer and further insults .
          And do point out to me this so called ‘bad punctuation’.
          As for the caps, – they are there for the benefit of other slow learners.

          • RavenRandom

            Odd. I see, you insulted me out of the blue and then take issue at my truthful words. How sad. Do try harder.

          • David Beard

            Talk about reverse psychology. Mind, I don’t even think you know you’re doing it – do you?

          • RavenRandom

            You seem to lack the capacity for coherent thought. I pity you.

          • David Beard

            No you dont.

          • nibs

            you brought bugger all to the debate there.

      • Sinik

        I just love the way the left created a fake “sin” and it turns out that the left’s most pious of believers are guilt of precisely that sin.

        Time to admit it isn’t really a sin to prefer your own kind, that multi-culturalism is a sham and voting along ethnic lines is here, it’s now and it’s the future.

  • polidorisghost

    “A ‘left-wing’ egalitarianism that takes so little notice of class is fake.”

    I know – It’s why I abandoned the Labour Party in the first place.

  • Frank

    Mildly interesting article, but Nick Cohen really needs to understand that there is nothing “romantic” about the left (if you have passed the age of 21 and are reasonably intelligent). Neither are all Tories “repulsive”, that is just childish.
    Corbynism and Cameronism are merely symptoms of what happens when you let people like Tony Blair anywhere near power – Cameron attempts to emulate Blair’s focus group approach, whilst Corbyn attempts to present a more authentic voice. One hopes that the next crop of political leaders are both more competent and more principled!

  • Randal

    LOL! The spectacle of the likes of Cohen – a media operative for the Blairites who gutted and ruined the Labour Party, and (by their inspiration of the Cameron clique and similar opportunist power seekers in all parties) the whole of British mainstream politics – expressing faux concern for the corpse of the Labour Party is pretty comical.

    Cohen was one of the supporters and vociferous media enablers of the catastrophic invasion of Iraq in 2003. Sadly, we shouldn’t jail people just for expressing their opinions, even warmongers whose policy advocacy contributes directly to wars of aggression and mass murderous results, but a law barring any political material written by any of them from being published without a note warning the reader of their record in that regard would surely be reasonable.

    • Sinik

      Terrible isn’t it? Still at least he stuck to his principles, unlike the millions of Labour supporters that claimed to have been appalled by the Iraq War but then put a peg on their noses and voted for the war criminal again. Actually voting someone into office who was demonstrably evil in order to prevent the supposed evil of a possible Tory government.

      • Randal

        Still at least he stuck to his principles, unlike the millions of Labour supporters that claimed to have been appalled by the Iraq War but then put a peg on their noses and voted for the war criminal again. Actually voting someone into office who was demonstrably evil in order to prevent the supposed evil of a possible Tory government.

        So let me summarise your position:

        Blair and the Iraq war were “evil” [that’s plausible – if one is ever going to use terms like evil for political positions, policies and people, then waging a catastrophic war of aggression resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands at least, and manufacturing popular support for it by lying, must surely qualify];

        Therefore all the Labour voters who voted for him after the war in order to keep out the “Conservative” Party were evil, even though the “Conservative” Party also supported the attack on Iraq and indeed has committed a similar criminal blunder in Libya since having come into office subsequently, and even though the Iraq war was only one issue out of many in a general election in which foreign policy was far from the main issue;

        And this provides you with a “tu quoque” argument supposedly to defend, by contrast, a man [the execrable Cohen] who positively supported the said evil act and who acted positively to abet the aforementioned manufacturing of popular consent for it, for “sticking to his principles” (namely supporting the aforementioned act of evil).

        Pretty stupid line of argument, eh?

        • Sinik

          Wow. Climb down of that high-horse before you fall off and hurt yourself.

          I didn’t say that Labour supporters were evil – a lack of principles does not necessarily mean evil. I would never say that people that vote for another political party are by definition evil. My ex-wife has a lack of principle but I wouldn’t go as far as calling her evil. If I did that I’d have to look after the damn kids.

          I presume that neither Nick Cohen nor the Conservative Party knew that Tony Blair was lying about the WMDs at the time the Iraq war was proposed? Somebody supporting a war on the basis that they have been mislead into believing it is legal and moral is not evil. That is the basis on which I make the statement. Quite a lot of people changed their minds about the war after

          It is not a “Tu Quoque” argument at all. It is what is known in the trade as “flippant”. By definition a flippant comment doesn’t have to make sense. That’s why its dangerous to climb on a high horse because of them. Of course the left have a habit of doing it “Oh, look at those people that voted Tory. They’re evil they are! Oh we don’t want their votes anymore. We’re going to look for new votes!” – sound familiar? I believe it is the stated position of the current Labour leadership (that’s another flippant comment by the way so I wouldn’t try dissecting it too much)

          • Randal

            I presume that neither Nick Cohen nor the Conservative Party knew that Tony Blair was lying about the WMDs at the time the Iraq war was proposed?

            There is obviously doubt – you choose to give them the benefit of that doubt.

            In the case of the “Conservative” Party figures such as William Hague and David Cameron who used the exact same dishonest modus operandi again less than a decade later in Libya (a war of aggression based upon lies, this time of a fantasy impending massacre claimed by the target government’s enemies and a pretence that what was being done was mere defence against that supposed threat rather than what it was – regime change), with similarly disastrous results, one honestly is entitled to wonder.

            The reality is that anybody who claimed to genuinely believe that an invasion was justified based upon the WMD arguments could not possibly have done so honestly unless they were more profoundly ignorant than the likes of William Hague or Cohen, and the reality imo is most likely that they didn’t care if it was true or not, they wanted the war for their own various reasons anyway.

            As for the rest, if you seek to defend the likes of Cohen, even in jest, expect an appropriate response. I do have a sense of humour which is occasionally (admittedly rarely) on display, but not on the topic of interventionist wars.

          • Sinik

            “if you seek to defend the likes of Cohen” – I don’t . I seek to tar you with the same brush.

            It was an outrageous use of a tenuous link to the Iraq war and Labour supporter’s willingness to forget their principles and vote for the war criminal that started it that I was seeking to exploit. To add that to the current crime of widespread anti-semitism and convenient “turning of the blind eye” of those Labour supporters to that anti-semitism that have long since realised that without the Muslim vote Labour is utterly finished as a political force.

            I call into question just how corrupt is the Labour Party and those that act as its apologists? I am openly racist and yet Labour try to make me feel ashamed of that? They’re beyond parody! They’re deep in a cesspool of their own making, and in no position to criticise me for the pretend “sin” of racism, that they only invented to cover-up for the fact that Labour are now dependent on imported voters for 5million of their votes, having long abandoned the native voters they were set-up to defend.

          • Randal

            There is no “same brush”, since I’m neither a Labour supporter nor have I ever advocated a mass murderous war of aggression.

            It appears that you jumped from the fact that I was criticising Blairites for what they have done to the Labour Party to the false conclusion that I must be a traditional or Corbynite Labour supporter. That’s understandable, I suppose, but it’s about as wrong as it could possibly be. I’m a visceral conservative, traditionalist, nativist, and almost all the other ‘ists that make anyone holding views that were common sense in our grandparents’ days a member of the dissident right these days.

  • beatonthedonis

    Livingstone (cack-handedly) invoked Hitler to bait and humiliate Zionists. Many Jews objected strongly to the German Zionists’ cooperation with the Nazis that undermined the Jewish-led boycott of German goods at the time. The Jewish Chronicle ran a leader condemning it. The vast majority of German Jews had had no interest in leaving central Europe for Palestine. Furthermore, at least 25% of Israeli Jews today don’t describe themselves as Zionists, either for theological reasons or because they support the existence of Israel as a state but don’t believe in the Law of Return – i.e. they don’t believe that their state belongs to all Jews around the world.

    Naz Shah didn’t ‘say’ Israeli Jews should be relocated to the USA. She linked to a joke by Norman Finkelstein that was based around the idea that if Americans loved Israel so much, they would welcome Israel being relocated on their land.

    Her comment about ‘Jews rallying’ was far worse and totally unbefitting a 40-year-old with aspirations to run for Parliament.

    • SonOfaGun

      This manufactured anti-semitism pseudo-crisis can be described as nothing else but “Jews rallying”. No-one could have predicted that it would backfire so deliciously — or that it would turn into such a potential “red pill” moment on the realities of Jewish power in Britain today.

      • Son_of_Casandra

        Or a real attempt by the few remaining decent people in Labour to root out people like you.

        • David Beard

          He’s probably more far Right than far Left.

          • Son_of_Casandra

            Hard to tell, but definitely stinks of Jew-hatred. Makes you wonder why?

            Jewish girl who gave him a knock back?
            Jewish guy who was smarter than him at school?
            Jewish boss who he hated for being his boss?
            Someone Jewish who has more than this loser has?
            Or maybe a complete inferiority complex which is easy to acquire when you are so inferior.

          • David Beard

            I don’t know. I’ve been accused myself before now. But I rather wish we could discuss all manner of ‘sensitive things’ more openly without knee-jerk from either Right or Left.

          • polidorisghost

            I’m finding it hard to spot the difference and harder still to care

          • David Beard

            Same here.

        • greencoat

          The ones crawling out from under make rooting unnecessary.

    • David Beard

      That’s a fair comment.

  • SonOfaGun

    For months now, the media have been insisting that the failure of the Labour Party to make Jewish issues its main priority is akin to a national emergency. The ensuing PR firestorm has been so obviously out of proportion that it has drawn widespread attention to the domination of the media by Jewish priorities.

    • Son_of_Casandra

      Nothing at all to do with widespread public revulsion at the pervasive and pernicious anitsemtism that has anchored itself in the grassroots entryist Labour party, or in various levels up to and including the top level, with people like Livingstone and Corbyn/

      • David Beard

        othing at all to do with widespread public revulsion a

        Seriously, there really is no widespread public revulsion. No one I know gives a toss one way or the other.
        it’s all media hype to depose Corbyn. And no – if anyone’s asking, I’m not far left or a so called Corbynite. .

        • Son_of_Casandra

          People I know think it stinks.

          • David Beard

            No disrespect but I can imagine why that is. Whereas in my area there are no (or very few) Jewish people to offend.

          • Son_of_Casandra

            You’d be wrong. I was discussing it with 4 non-Jewish people.

          • David Beard

            Well, four people is hardly widespread.

          • Son_of_Casandra

            But is an indication that Corbyn and friends antics is turning off others.

          • Aquila Acuta

            I know several Hindus & Sikhs who have expressed disgust, and voiced their solidarity with British Jews.

        • Sinik

          It’s all media hype to sell newspapers. Not all motivations are political.

    • paulthorgan

      “The ensuing PR firestorm has been so obviously out of proportion that it
      has drawn widespread attention to the domination of the media by Jewish

      Your comment is anti-Semitic.

      Labour has for years stifled debate by accusing people of being racists to the point that Labour politicians did nothing while thousands of girls were raped because they saw this as a ‘diversity’ issue. So discovering that Labour is riddled with anti-Semite racists is exposing the party as hypocrites. It is pandering to sectarian sensibilities to get votes.

      If your were a member of the Labour party, you would be suspended for your racist comments.

      • greencoat

        Not unless someone was looking, he wouldn’t.

        • David Beard

          ‘If your were a member of the Labour party, you would be suspended for your racist comments’.

          Notice how easily and comfortably antisemitism has morphed into racism proper.

          • Ordinary Man

            That’s because it’s the same thing

          • David Beard

            No it isnt.

        • paulthorgan

          People are looking. There will probably one Labour activist exposed every day as an anti-Semite between now and election day in 2020.

      • David Beard

        Your comment is anti-Semitic.

        Why didnt you just stop there?

  • Colin

    Too little, too late, mate. You and those like you gave the scumbags now running your party, the cover they needed to exist. And, they’ve existed in your party, for decades. Not hiding, not pretending to be something else, just being themselves. Lying there, creeping around in plain sight, like a nasty dose of political syphilis. This is what’s known as a Karma attack. And, it’s f@cking glorious!

    • Freddythreepwood

      Yes. As a wiser man than I once pointed out – If you lie down with dogs you, get up with fleas.

    • Andrew Cole

      From the very party whose candidates and MPs have spent the last decade shouting “racist” at every other party.

  • 1e2c3a4w5

    “in areas with large Muslim minorities, even the Liberal Democrats have played the race card”

    It is shocking that Nick Cohen doesn’t know, or won’t admit, that Muslim loathing for Jews is based on religion not race.

    • greencoat

      That old clever-dick ‘religion not race’ thing is getting a bit tired.
      Ninety-nine percent of Muslims in the UK do belong to one race.

      • 1e2c3a4w5

        You racist!

      • David Beard

        So what – when a religion is also an ideology, it ought to be open to criticism. Be it Islam, Zionism or Christian Conservatism.

      • red2black

        Which one?

  • toonpaddymal

    You’ll note that not a single policy has been put forward that distinguishes ‘the real left’ from the Corbynista. The ‘Government Bank’ a McDonnell idea, would leave the government on the hook for all businesses that failed, to say nothing of start up costs, or how the Government Bank can better pick potential growth businesses/good ideas than banks themselves?

    As for Cohen’s assertion that “The British public will still notice that the leaders of the opposition are more comfortable with hostile foreign countries than their own country, and the majority of their own countrymen and women too” many of us noticed that years ago. Membership of the European Union, and with it the betrayal of Parliamentary democracy and the sovereignty of the people, and mass immigration are its socially destructive manifestations. There are no cockney (white) working class communities in London anymore. Let me repeat that. There are no cockney (white) working class communities in London any more.

    Needless to say Cohen supports both the EU and mass immigration. When the reckoning for Cohen’s generation of Left wing political defects, contemptible in there self serving narcissism, Nick Cohen and his ‘safe space’ Universality, will be high on the list of the most disgraced and culpable. And believe you me, that reckoning is coming.

  • LB

    The left did not invade Iraq, it did not crash the banking system, it did not impose the bedroom tax, or ransack company pension schemes and head off to Monaco


    Panto season starts early.

    1. Phillip Green didn’t ransack any pension scheme. The scheme is ring fenced. That happened because of a Labour supporter Robert Maxwell, raiding the pension scheme.

    2. On the big pension scheme, the state pension and the civil service pension, the Left looted every single penny contributed.

    That leaves massive debts and zero assets owned

    • SonOfaGun

      It should be pointed out that Robert Maxwell and Phillip Green both happen to be Jewish.

    • siphil

      And who really raided the company pension schemes? Gordon Brown, that’s who.

  • LB

    The other thing on the left is why they suddenly get an attack of property rights being important.

    Israel may have a right to exist, however it doesn’t have a right to exist at other people’s expense. Or perhaps we should kick out Corbyn from his house, take all his assets, and house some asylum seekers.

    Yet when it comes to citizens of the UK, then the left thinks is a great idea to take people’s assets without consent.

  • paulthorgan

    The true villains of the piece are the moderate Labour MPs who cannot accept that Labour is not longer their party. The party has been taken over by extremists.

    There has been an influx of members from the left. There is a compliance unit of 6 staff looking after a membership of half-a-million. If they cannot even investigate someone who is an MP and was PPS to the Shadow Chancellor before Guido Fawkes found their public facebook posts, what chance do they have with the rest?

    This means that every anti-semitic tweet or facebook post from every activist will be unearthed by Labour’s opponents from now until election day and promoted in the media from now until 2020. It would not be too surprising if a lot of people are deleting tweets and hiding facebook posts. It may be too late. Google may already have a cache of them.

    Moderate Labour MPs have to put country and career before party and quit the whip. After all, Ken Livingstone was kicked out of Labour only to be welcomed back with open arms. If it happened once, it can happen again.

    These moderates have to accept that the party is over.

  • rbw152

    So to be clear, the ‘old left’ were fine then were they? With their central planning and siege economies and the state involved in everything? Are there any examples of this ideology succeeding in the world today then? I mean I’d like to have a look before I’m convinced if it’s OK with you Nick.

    Cuba maybe? With it’s three tier health system and everyone on sod all a month salaries? Or Venezuela with it’s rampant inflation and black markets, plus it’s corruption and persecution? Or perhaps North Korea? The state controls everything there so it must be great!

    Why oh why does the left, new or old, think that the solution to the world’s problems lies in more government? None of us trust politicians really and yet the left would love them to interfere in our lives even more than they do now! Weird!

    Is it because politicians from the left are inherently more ‘noble’ than those from the right then? Do me a favour! Sure, the right may be corrupted by money but the left is corrupted by power and I’m not sure I like that either.

    And the arrogant assumption here, as always, is that the left are ‘good’ and the right are ‘bad’. The only distinction you are making is between old and new left yet they would both increase state power over our lives so I’m no fan of either ideology and neither are most people in this country.

    What you’d get with either McDonnell’s policies or the old left’s is less choice, less freedom, less money and an economy that would tank almost overnight.

    Even Karl Marx preferred Hampstead to Russia.

    • Ordinary Man

      It’s never been about the poor and dispossessed. The only thing the left truly care about is their hatred of the rich

  • Freddythreepwood

    Pretty good stuff, until you got to the economics bit at the end. How are the economic lefties in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy doing?

    • PiffedOffCentrist

      Venezuela more to the point. Corbyn has already endorsed the Chavist policy of taking the already-poor and putting the boot to them (in more ways than one).

  • grammarschoolman

    Of course it does. Just like a mouse needs cats.

  • PiffedOffCentrist

    I voted Tory for the second time in my life this morning. Last time I was embarrassed about it, today not really. Last time I listened earnestly to criticisms of the Tories by the reasonable Left, hoping to switch back soon. Today I read the criticisms thinking “well, never mind hey”. Next year, I’ll just vote Tory without thinking about it very much. In other words, never mind if Labour and the Lib Dems want to treat me as an idiot; I have other things to worry about.

    Incidentally, who was it who was recently outed as having appeared on Press TV? The same guy that Zac Goldsmith suggested might be a bit unwholesome, to cries of “racism” by Labour moderates and Corbynites alike? Almost as if the Left have taken the important and still unresolved issue of racism and tied themselves up in knots with it so tightly that if you take the Gordian approach you’ll end up chopping the Lefty in two along with the rope!

    • Andrew Cole

      You’re a decade behind. Today I voted UKIP for the first time and felt not a bit of shame nor guilt. No idea how the wife voted but seeing as she is Portuguese I guess it will be Green or Red.

      • PiffedOffCentrist

        Or perhaps a decade younger than you; you know what they say about turning Tory.

        I don’t criticise you for voting UKIP but I’m too much of a metro-lib to go that way myself; besides, I like what I’ve seen of Eastern Europe.

        • Andrew Cole

          I like what I’ve seen of Europe. I like my Portuguese wife. I don’t like the EU.

          Maybe you are right about turning Tory as you get older. I was a Tory voter from young so maybe I have made the same parallel movement where we have both moved over a little to the right.

          However in my case I would say returning to the position where I considered I was when young before Cameron came in with his Blair Centre Left approach.

          • PiffedOffCentrist

            Funny about Portugal, but as an Irishman I guess that lands me with the Lib Dems, the Greens and – what’s white? – Britain First, I guess. What a combo …

          • Andrew Cole

            I’m half Irish but even the love of the colour green could never get me to vote that way.

      • David Beard

        Good way as any to waste a vote i suppose.

        • Andrew Cole

          waste anyway here. The whole council is Labour constantly moaning about cuts while they sit on their war chest reserve while getting this year’s refurb of their offices.

          Only thing they ever spend money on is their baby the University.

          • David Beard

            They have every right to moan about cuts.Especially where they’re destroying or killing people.
            And it’s been widely shown and proved that the Tories are deliberately under funding Labour boroughs over Tory boroughs.

          • Andrew Cole

            Lincoln is Tory MP and Labour council.

            The Council have no right to moan when they are sitting on a war chest and waiving anything to do with their beloved university through at the expense of residents and at the same time refurbing their offices yet again.

            They have the money in reserve and they are refusing to spend it instead complaining about cuts.

          • David Beard

            We’re not talking about just Lincoln. Disingenuous assole.

          • Andrew Cole

            Thank you for your kind words. Now go and research how much reserves those Labour Councils crying about cuts are sitting on.

            It isn’t just Lincoln, it is countrywide. Labour councils that have money in the bank refusing to spend it moaning about cuts to their budgets.

          • David Beard

            Labour councils that have money in the bank refusing to spend it moaning about cuts to their budgets.

            So why dont you show us?

          • Andrew Cole

            And while they complain about cuts they still find the money for the consultation, design and implement of constant rebrandings, revamps and refurbs in their own offices and departments.


    • David Beard

      I doubt you had any real or true principles from the start.

      • PiffedOffCentrist

        That rather depends on what you call a “real” or “true” principle. If you mean an opinion that I’m going to hold to my deathbed, and to h-ll with evidence, anyone else’s opinion or the consequences … then yes, you probably have a bit of a point. I prefer Sadiq Khan’s embarrassment at some of the things he used to say to Jeremy Corbyn’s unflappable self-righteousness.

        It also depends on the extent to which you actually want principle in politics. David Cameron’s trimming to the wind is unedifying, but better than the wide-eyed enthusiasm of Thatcher, Blair or Corbyn, and better than the drab incompetence of Miliband, Brown and Major.

  • easynow

    A hint of arguable racism in the Labour party = Swathes of suspensions and an enquiry.
    Institutional systematic racism in the Conservative party = “Maybe it will blow over, keep your job.. Look, benefit scroungers!”

    Yet the Tories have the cheek to suggest that labour has a problem? They point to action against racism, and laugh! “ha ha ha! Look how weak the left is!”

    • greencoat

      There have been no ‘swathes of suspensions’ – just a few, reluctant token gestures, and those only after fierce external pressure.

      The Labour Party has more than a dozen Muslim MPs, hundreds of Muslim councillors and millions of Muslim voters. How many of all these, do you think, are not hostile towards Jews?

      A real clear-out of the anti-semites would reduce the Labour Party to a skeleton.

      • easynow

        They’ve confirmed 18 suspensions, and there have been more. Thats substantial considering there is virtually no evidence in most cases , and what evidence there is is more than arguable.

        You’re claiming that being Muslim makes you a likely antisemitic?
        By the same logic, that would make all Jewish politicians Islamophobic.

        Besides, voters are voters. I’m sure the conservatives have more than their fair share of racist voters!

        Have a think.

        • David Beard

          Dave never suspends anybody though – does he? So how’s Zac Goldsmith these days.
          Oh but wait a minute – best check my antisemitism meter before I post anything else.

        • Sinik

          Yeah but your missing the point by a country mile.

          The Conservatives and their voters don’t think being racist is a sin. Neither do UKIP and its supporters. They are sick and tired of being told that it is wrong to prefer the company of your own kind. As every day goes by and they see “what Islam did next” in the newspapers, they feel less and less guilty about this “sin”. When 77% of ordinary voters say they don’t want to let in Islamic refugees even when their kids drown in the Med they realise they have no need to worry about this “sin” anymore.

          Who has made it a sin? The Labour Party, and their cheerleaders in the broadcast media. Unfortunately for the Labour Party it seems they are guilty of the same sin! That’s what is so delicious. The most pious believers in the moral high ground occupied by the left turn out to have a lot in common with the Nazis. Who would have thought it!

      • David Beard

        A real clear-out of the anti-semites would reduce the Labour Party to a skeleton.

        Of course, what you really want is an outright purge of all the Muslims.
        Just have the guts to say it. I wont play the race or Islamophobe card – honest.

        • Sinik

          I’m honest about it.

          I want Sunni and Shia Islam made illegal in the UK. In fact since these flavours of Islam are already an incitement to violence by their nature, they should already be illegal. Sunni and Shia Muslims can either convert to Quranism or become Ahmadi or make their way to the exits.

          It’s an absolute disgrace that Labour and the other mainstream political parties continue to support this oppressive belief system. We either consider such beliefs abhorrent and band them or we admit we don’t really stand for much at all.

    • David Beard

      Boris is a Negrophobe. And I’m not referring to the ‘Half Kenyan ancestry’ remark previously mentioned by Nick (as. ‘belonging in the gutter’). As in my view that in itself doesn’t constitute racism .

      • Robbydot1

        Boris is afraid of Negros? Based on what exactly?

        • David Beard

          Well, far from me to call him an outright racist, which I don’t believe he is. I guess I’m using the ‘phobe’ as a convenience.

          (Based on a number of derogatory remarks about black people.)

          • Robbydot1

            And has he made any derogatory remarks about White people? I can think of a few, or don’t they count in your world of race and identity?

          • Sinik



            1 Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior:

            In the Spectator Boris made the comment that black people have a lower IQ. By the dictionary definition of racism he is therefore racist. He is also, according to a number of studies, telling the truth. And white men can’t jump.

  • WFC

    Apart from the fact that you support continued membership of an organisation which would prohibit most of McDonnell’s economics programme, an interesting article.

    The left wing’s continuing obsession with identity politics is baffling.

    • William Brown

      Well, I’m not sure that it’s baffling, it’s par for the course. Lefties simply cannot hold two opposing thoughts in their heads and make a decision – it’s just too difficult. So their default response is to follow the herd.

      • WFC

        I thought that the problem was that they could and do hold contradictory thoughts in their heads, but lack the ability to see the contradiction.

        Like extremist Muslims who believe both that the holocaust is a lie, and that it was a good thing.

        • William Brown

          I think you have a point there!

          • red2black

            Like anti-Union people who accept improved pay and conditions that a Union has negotiated for them.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Your blaming the left for your politics… lol.

  • Badger

    Ahh the death throes of mainstream politics.

    My corn is poppin’.

  • Joe Long

    “Why should a white man with miserable job and no prospects tolerate a left-wing elite that casts him as an overprivileged villain? If I were in his shoes, I would loathe the lies and point-scoring and want nothing to do with such politicians.”

    Indeed, the consequences of left wing elite attitudes have been seen to appalling effect in Rothxrham and many other towns and cities across England

    Why is that these warped lefty freaks will cry a river over Palestine but don’t give a tinker’s cuss over………??

    “Det Insp Simon Morton, of Thames Valley Police, said: “They start out at 11 or 12 as ordinary girls, in our case, and by the time they’re finished they’re hollow.

    “They are shells of what they should be and the little girl in there is gone.

    “It’s sexual atrocities, it’s torture.

    “You can’t report it, you can’t put it on TV, you can’t write it down. We have had members of the press in tears in court.

    “It’s been horrendous.””


    For the factually challenged on scale and horrific nature of this vile epidemic


    The grooming gang victims are frequently racially and religiously abused but apparently “progressives” don’t see this as racism because they are generally white.

    Unnatural or what?

    • David Beard

      Why should a white man with miserable job and no prospects tolerate a left-wing elite that casts him as an overprivileged villain? If I were in his shoes, I would loathe the lies and point-scoring and want nothing to do with such politicians.”

      Look, if it wasn’t antisemitism it would be something else. You only have to Google Corbyn and you would think he was Jack the Ripper solved on top of all else. The Tories aren’t doing too well either and have their own share of infighting and gaffes to overcome. Funny though how their media have gone so quiet on that lot though eh!

      Corbyn, the best day ever invented to bury bad news.

      • William Brown

        You’re sounding exactly the same as a pro Farage kipper. You have a dog in the race who’s been rumbled, quit griping. Anti Semitism has been the new ‘cool’ racism amongst the left for years.

        • David Beard

          You’re sounding exactly the same as a pro Farage kipper. You have a dog in the race who’s been rumbled, quit griping.

          And maybe you need look into someone’s posting history and do some research before you jump the gun to the race. Troll. And talking of posting history, surprise -surprise. Yours is closed.
          Now why would that be?

          • William Brown

            Because there were a number of lefties who trolled every single comment previously made – I would imagine that they didn’t like any view that was a diversion from ‘Das Narrative’…

            I’m also not too proud to apologise to you if you feel that my response was unfair, but your comment seemed very pro Corbyn & in denial of Left wing anti-semitism.

  • Reco2

    Cohen is no friend of the left, he supported the Iraq war which was a complete disaster and tarnished Labour’s brand immensely . The New Labour party also freed Augusto Pinochet, how is that leftwing?

    Following neo cons into a disastrous war and freeing fascist dictators may be Cohen’s idea of “leftwing radicalism”, but it is not mine.

    • polidorisghost


  • KampungHighlander

    Anti Semitism has been so misused as to render the term meaningless.

    Anyone with any political nous ignores it. For all intents and purposes it does not exist.

  • CalUKGR

    Nick, great piece, but this bit:

    “…‘The left’ can get away with the assumption of romantic virtue because it has been on the sidelines. Who cared what it did or said?”

    I always thought history shows us perfectly clearly just how much carnage ‘the left’ can inflict on entire nations. Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot and (for the sticklers) Hitler (yes, he was a National Socialist)… anyway, the point is the left has failed every single time it has come into power – and almost always it has descended into utter depravity and totalitarianism (not to mention mass murder, torture and the virtual enslavement of the proles).

    So which ‘romantic virtues’ were you thinking of..?

    • Reco2

      Mussolini and Hitler privitised state owned industries, which makes them more akin to Thatcher and Augusto PInochet than to Stalin and Mao. The Far Right privatize industries, far left nationalize. World War II can be laid at the feet of the goose stepping right.

      “left has failed every single time it has come into power “- The Attlee government saw massive economic growth and rising living standards, Thatcher oversaw two recessions and the highest unemployment and poverty rates since the great depression.

      I suggest you learn history before making a fool of yourself

      • polidorisghost

        I doubt that your command of history is any more profound than his.

        • Reco2

          Convincing retort to all my arguments.

          • fundamentallyflawed

            Isn’t privatisation with focus on the public good simply an alternative way for the elites to separate themselves from the proles and engage in a good bit of Philip Green asset stripping.

      • Zalacain

        How did Chile do economically under Pinochet?

        To say that the far right privatised industries you have to either be a total liar or completely ignorant of history. Look at most South American far right dictators (excepting Pinochet) as well as Spain, Portugal Indonesia, Myanmar, Turkey or Iran. The far right has always tended to want to have nationalised industries. That’s how they keep hold of power, a bit like socialists, no?

      • Sinik

        They allowed the industries to be retained in private hands but retained total centralised state control of them setting both wages and prices.

        Thatcher only saw high “poverty rates” because the definition of poverty used by the left is a mathematical sliding scale, not an absolute measure. Nobody starved under Thatcher. They starved under Attlee.

    • William Brown

      …I think that’s why he used the word ‘assumption’.

  • MC73

    Ah yes, Corbyn’s labour is not the REAL left, just like Soviet Russia wasn’t communism etc etc

    • red2black

      Same as there’s never been a real Free Market.

  • Great sneer, Nick, but small beer. People know you only too well as a Corbyn-hating automaton, so they may be amused for a second, but then they’ll ignore you.

    • Morris Traveller

      How about refuting some of the excellent and telling points that he makes- in particular:

      “To say that the Labour party is in crisis because it is ‘too left-wing’ is to miss the point spectacularly. With eyes wide open, and all democratic procedures punctiliously observed, its members have chosen in their tens of thousands to endorse not ‘the left’, but an ugly simulacrum of left-wing politics.

      They have gone along with the type of left-winger who flourished in the long boom between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the great recession. The hypocrite who damns oppression, but only if it is committed by western countries. The pseudo-egalitarian who will condemn sexism and homophobia, but not the prejudices of favoured regimes and minorities. The fake anti-racist who will attack the ‘far right’ while echoing the fascist conspiracy theory.”

      That’s the question- how has it come to be the case that those on the Left find themselves supporting the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah who by their words and deeds ought to be anathema to those who are genuinely on the Left?

      If anyone is engaging in “small-beer sneering” it’s you.

      Is that really the best you can do?

    • nibs

      As a Blair fanboi who supports every Middle East war that’s going. And many that aren’t.

  • MashDownBabylon

    Where are the Disestablishmentarians for freedom and justice when you need them?

  • Philsopinion

    A very fine article and much needed at this present time.

  • Zalacain

    The problem with the left is that they are demonstrably wrong when it comes to economics. All talk of principle and of doing things in a better way, is bullshit when its economic policies create so much poverty.

    • David Beard

      The problem with the left is that they are demonstrably wrong when it comes to economics.

      No, Labour for all their other faults have always run the economy better than the Tories. Though making such statements on a blog such as this could get one certified. But history and the research and links back up the facts consistently.
      They also , generally speaking, tend to run their councils better.

      • Zalacain

        I was talking about the left worldwide, where I can’t think of a single socialist state that could be considered a success.
        As to the UK, I disagree with you, but I don’t want to get into a long debate on the various merits of different governments.

        • nick

          The quantitative easing keeping the world banking system afloat is pretty socialist isn’t it?

          • Zalacain

            I don’t know. I don’t know that quantitative easing is good for the long term of the economy, and I don’t know that it is very socialist.

          • nick

            It’s a redistribution of public wealth to private enterprise – ‘to each according to his need’ as Marx said.

            Trillions of dollars. It’s the only thing keeping the whole capitalist facade propped up, and even now it’s struggling.

            Besides that the health service is socialist, education, the roads you drive on daily, the police and security services, all socialist. So you can’t really say socialist economies have failed – show me a developed country that exists without some socialism. The question is the extent to which we balance it with private enterprise. Capitalism’s increasingly imbalanced, as the trillions of dollars suggest.

          • Zalacain

            I can’t think of a single person that has done more damage to humanity than Marx and his ideas, maybe Mohammed?
            Basically you are attributing all government actions to socialism, I mean saying that the government provision of security services is socialist is a bit of a stretch. But more than that, if all government actions are socialist, then socialism has to answer for the hundreds of millions of people that governments killed in the 20th century alone.
            And yes, all governments or countries that have called themselves socialist have failed. Which is amazing if you think how many times it has been tried.

          • red2black


          • nibs

            Don’t let Nick Cohen see what you wrote about Marx and the Bolsheviks…

          • Sinik

            The roads are socialist in this country – which is why they are full of potholes like in Russia. In Austria they are run by a not-for profit paid for by drivers directly – no potholes.

            The proportion of UK wealth that is spent on the state is much the same as it has always been – about 35%. It appears that is the end-stop of how many people, as a resource, we can afford to have in non-wealth-creating jobs. Even when the Harold Wilson governments put taxes up through the roof they couldn’t extract more than 35%.

            The left simply will not admit to itself that the amount of resource we have available for the public sector is limited to 35% of all productivity. Consequently Labour cannot raise more wealth – only choose how the wealth we have is deployed. Money is only the temporary store of wealth.

          • red2black

            Feel free to come and drive down some of the private and unadopted roads where I live –
            just make sure you’re in some sort of military or off-road vehicle that can handle the terrain.

          • nibs

            yes I used to live on one of those; all visitors used to knock their sumps off.

          • Sinik

            If only you had a means of regulating peoples shared use of the adopted road, and their shared funding of repairs.

            oh but wait, you can’t do that because that would call into question the whole issue of why it is the state needs to have full control of the roads and indeed other rights of way. You might start to ask “why is the state, which is supposed to be our servants, directly controlling roads. Indeed why is it that the state is running so many things, and not merely regulating the running of things”. Then you might wake up to realise that it is the state that it manipulating itself into a position of grabbing you by the balls and squeezing.

          • David Beard

            he roads are socialist in this country – which is why they are full of potholes like in Russia. In Austria they are run by a not-for profit paid for by drivers directly – no potholes.

            Dont you just talk some old rubbish?

          • magi83

            No, the problem is that we have state/crony capitalism. This is what many on the left fail to understand. We have nothing like unfettered capitalism. We don’t have a free market. Big government inevitably = power weilded by vested interests.

            The problem with social democracy (which all mainstream parties support) is that electorate bribery results in an inevitable debt creep and the current dismal state of public finances around the world. Before the 2015 election, I wonder why Labour and the Conservatives painted such a different picture of their economic plans when you could barely pass a sheet of paper between them? Perhaps because their priorities are 90% getting elected and 10% actually fixing the economy?

          • Zalacain

            I couldn’t agree more.

          • Sinik

            Why is there trillions of $ of debt?

            Because Bush & Brown & the EU juiced up the economy after the dot.com crash by dropping interest rates through the floor.

            Does that sound “free market” to you? Cos it sounds like massive state intervention to me.

          • nick

            Exactly – state intervention in order to fix the mess made by the free market.

          • Sinik

            No, it is fiddling with the free market in bank interest rates that creates credit booms which are inevitably followed by busts. Brown of all people was well aware of that because he was allegedly an expert in “The Great Depression”. Nevertheless he was fond of saying “No more boom and bust” before going ahead and engineering just such a cycle. To be fair to the Labour Party this one wasn’t directly their fault – Brown had been promised by Blair that if he just kept Labour in power he would get his hands on power as PM, which was a huge incentive for this most ambitious of men to paper over the cracks in the economy using whatever means possible. There must be a God because the the whole mess he made blew up in his face almost immediately he got into power.

            By the way, global statistics show that socialist economies tend to experience recessions which are both longer and deeper than free market economies.

            Anyway, it is time Labour admitted that it can’t be trusted to run the economy. The temptation to spend,spend,spend is just too great. They should announce they will be handing over control of caps on public spending, and the collection of tax revenue to the BofE which will decide the maximum permitted public spending at any time, rather as the Deutsche Bank did before the Euro came into being.

          • Sinik

            QE = state intervention. Keynsian. Therefore socialist.

          • nick

            That’s my point – a socialist solution is the only way out of the mess capitalism has created.

          • Sinik

            So QE has resolved the situation has it? Correct me if I’m wrong but we still have a big deficit and massive amounts of debt. The problem would never have existed if the state had not intervened in the first place. Now it is jumping from one intervention to the next, each intervention getting bigger than the last, but never resolving the problem, just as the Bank of Japan has been doing for decades now.

          • nick

            I’m not saying QE has resolved the situation. Far from it.
            If the state had not intervened there would have been widespread collapses of major banks and institutions. Who knows what the eventual fall out and societal cost would have been. Governments decided it wasn’t worth the risk of finding out.
            Either way, it’s not a good advertisement for free market capitalism is it?

          • Sinik

            Widespread collapse of the banking sector was inevitable after the government interfered in setting interest rates. If you reduce interest rates then banks need to pump out many more loans to make the same profit. On the assumption that everyone that could afford to pay back a loan already had taken out as much debt as they could handle to buy a house and a car, any new loans had to be foisted on people that were unlikely to ever be able to pay them back. Et voila, this is exactly how it unwound.

            Those banks should have been allowed to fail, taking the Qatari and Saudi sovereign wealth with them – not bailed out by taxpayers. There was overcapacity in the banking sector, which is why the sector is still trying to find space for the banks that we have rescued.

            Propping up failing business is a mugs game – if we had invented socialism 500 years ago we’d still be propping up the Cotswold wool industry, the slave trade and the East India Company. We would never have anticipated the mobile phone industry, big pharma, hedge funds, petrochemicals and a whole raft of new industries created by the private sector on which we are entirely dependent for exporting goods to allow us to import the food and energy we need.

            Government should regulate the market, not run the market. Now we have failed unregulated banks being run by the government and subsidised by the taxpayer.

        • Ron Todd

          Five hour queues for bread in Venezuela.

        • David Beard

          You can disagree with me That’s your right. But you’d still be wrong.

        • nibs

          Socialist Smocialist….all states where we would care to live are basically social democrat, with health services, good roads, social care, fairly high taxes and the freedom to run a business.
          Then we’re merely arguing over about 4% of tax take: 38% under the Right or 42% under the Left.
          Social democracy won the battle.

          • Zalacain

            Social democracy may have won the battle, but not the war. The less government there is, the better the country functions.

          • nibs

            Like er…Liberia for example ?
            The countries highest on the happiness and human development rankings are pretty well always the heavily socialized Scandinavian countries. Never the ones to which you refer.

          • Zalacain

            Top ten countries for economic freedom according to The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal:

            Hong Kong
            New Zealand
            United Kingdom

            Liberia is in position 141 of 178 countries. Higher than I expected

      • Sinik

        I’m 51 and that’s just plain laughable.

        2008 crash and bailing out the banks.

        Calling in the IMF when Jim Callaghan was running the show.

        Took years to repair the damage.

        • David Beard

          Calling in the IMF when Jim Callaghan was running the show.
          Took years to repair the damage.

          Yep, at 51, I guess you were there in 74. You and your curly-wurly bar.

          2008 crash and bailing out the banks.

          Yep, and George Osborne would have done exactly the same if he had been in charge -ask him.
          And btw, who caused the crash?

          Labour governments: more fiscally “conservative … – Prime Economics

          Summary of key points:

          Public spending

          Within the UK, since 1972/3 (the start of the dataset) the highest three years for Total Managed Expenditure (TME) as a share of GDP were from 1974/5 to 1976/7. However, Mrs Thatcher’s early governments oversaw the highest sustained 5 year period of public spending as a share of GDP, with public spending that was 46% or more for a record 5 consecutive years, from 1980/81 to 1984/5.

          As regards UK public sector current spending (i.e. excluding capital spending), the highest figure as a percentage of GDP was 40.4% in 2009/10 under the Brown government. However, the highest sustained period of current spending was under the Thatcher government, from 1981/2 to 1984/5. Her government also saw a higher level of current spending as a share of GDP for 6 consecutive years than in any year of the 1974/9 Labour government.

          Budget deficits

          Looking at current budget deficits or surpluses (i.e. excluding public investment), for the period from 1956 to 2008, Conservative governments had an average annual surplus of 0.3% of GDP, while Labour governments had an average annual surplus of 1.1%.

          For the period starting 1970/1, In the case of Conservative governments, the average annual current deficit for this period is 0.6% of GDP, while for Labour governments over the same period, the average current budget deficit is 0.3% of GDP.

          Looking at overall budget deficits (i.e. including public investment) for the period 1970/1 to 2008, for Conservative governments, over this period the average annual overall deficit is 2.9% of GDP, while for Labour governments in the same period, the average overall deficit is 2.6% of GDP.

          Public investment

          Conservative governments, over the period 1971 to 2008, spent a higher percentage of GDP on average on public investment than did Labour governments (this excludes PFI), whether one looks at gross or net investment. Gross investment per year by Conservative governments was on average 5% of GDP, while that by Labour governments it was 4.3%.

          Public debt

          Taking the period 1974 to 2008, the level of net debt as a share of GDP has fluctuated sharply under both Conservative and Labour governments (with a bigger fall under the 1979-97 Conservative government), but net debt as a percentage of GDP was lower at the end than at the start under each government than at its start, including the 1997 Labour government up till 2008.

          But once the financial crisis hit, the ratio worsened greatly, so that by the end of the Labour government, the debt to GDP ratio was some 25 percentage points higher than at the outset in 1997. Under the 2010-2015 Coalition government, the debt to GDP ratio rose further by around 18 percentage points.

          Taking the amount of annual debt interest payments as a share of GDP since 1964, these peaked under the 1979-97 Conservative government at 3.5%, and were lowest under the 1997-2010 Labour government at 2.3% of GDP. With the increase in public debt since 2009, this increased to 2.9% of GDP under theCoalition government

          Unemployment rate

          Since 1970, the best average annual unemployment rate was achieved by the Heath Conservative government of 1970/4 with 3.4%, and by far the worst under the 1979/97 Conservative government, with an average annual rate of 9.3%, and exceeding 10% for 6 full years. The 1974/9 Labour government had an average rate of 4.9%, and the 1997-2010 government 5.6%. The 2010-15 Coalition government’s average rate was 7.6%.

        • nibs

          The “socialist” USA did the same. We’re all talking about the worst of all worlds: crony capitalism.

          • Sinik

            Capitalists absolutely adore socialists. Capitalists don’t like having to compete for our money. They much prefer socialism – force us by threat of imprisonment to hand over 35% of our hard-earned wealth and then they lobby the ministers with their £100bn budgets to hand it to the capitalists. Buy off anybody that gets in the way with a job at JP Morgan and your sorted.

            Capitalists love immigration. Why would Tesco want to compete in Germany or France – that’s hard work. Far better to move a bunch of people from Poland to work for low wages as shelf-stackers, then force the taxpayer to subsidise their wages, then the only place they can do their shopping is Tescos. Capitalists absolutely adore it. Starbucks love it even more, because socialists have created an EU-topia where they can play games to avoid paying any tax at all, as well as benefitting from low wages on imported Romanians subsidised by British taxpayers and then of course the population is rising so more customers! What’s not to like!

            Yeah, capitalists adore the welfare state, the EU and mass immigration. They only have a 5 year outlook. They don’t care its all going to go bang when the handful of British taxpayers left can’t support millions of immigrants working as baristas and car valets with subsidised wages, health-care, pensions, childcare, child benefit, housing benefit.

  • Eques

    Ha ha ha, it really is hilarious to watch the Blairites tie themselves up in knots in reponse to Corbyn, and Cohen is about the funniest of them all.

    Such people still like to imagine that they are fiery radicals and see themselves in the tradition of the radical journalists of the past such as Hazlitt, Desmoulins, Wilkes and so on. Unfortunately for them the advent of Corbyn has exposed the emptiness behind this facade. When confronted with a Labour leader who actually has radical policies rather than just striking radical poses, they don’t actually like it, and this exposes them to themselves and others as the conservative Thatcherites they actually are.

    So, in desperation, they try and ludicrously change the definition of what is radical. They try to claim that campaigning on minor issues like cycle lanes or free condoms or Social Partnerships with business is the true radicalism.

    Or they try and muddy the definition by making it about radical change of the Labour Party (ie changing it from a Left Wing Party to a Right Wing One).

    Or, most ludicrous of all, they claim that their opposition to Corbyn has its basis in opposition to the Tories, because they claim that the Tories will never lose power if Labour has left wing policies. Can be summarised as “We must only have Tory policies otherwise the Tories will stay in power and enect their, um, evil Tory policies er, er ,er….”

    • Sinik

      Are you sure he has radical policies?

      Was in favour of no nukes – did an about turn

      Was in favour of withdrawing from the EU – did an about turn

      I don’t think you know what his policies are now.

      • Eques

        Nationalisation of Rail and Power
        Rent Controls
        Not making public spending cuts
        Raising the top rate of income tax
        Raising Corporation Tax
        Restoring Trade Union and Employment Rights
        Restoring Tuition Fees

        He did not U-Turn on nukes, he was outvoted by his Party but even then said he would never use them.

        • Sinik

          Well you can forget nationalisation of rail and power. Whilst we are in the EU – which he has decided to support – that would be against EU directives.

          Raising the top rate of income tax has been tried many times before. We have never managed to take much more than 35% of the nations wealth in tax. Which likely means his promise to not make spending cuts will fall by the wayside too.

          He could put up corporation tax and the corporations will simply claw it all back through higher prices, thus causing inflation.

          I presume you mean removing tuition fees – which we can’t afford, especially with 40% of kids going to uni now.

          I’m afraid you are praying to false gods again. You should demand that Labour aim for a stable economy, because most working people fear unemployment more than any of the concerns you have listed, because they risk losing everything, and Labour doesn’t have a good track record of stabilising the economy when in power. But you are like children, with no grasp of the realities of life. You simply take what you are fed without question.

          • Eques

            That’s all fine, but the question under discussion at the moment is what constitutes Radicalism.

          • Sinik

            Well the policies you’ve listed can’t really be considered radical because they are almost exactly the policies that Labour had implemented by the 70s. From my point of view as a rather cynical older guy they seem very “old hat”

          • Eques

            Just because ideas have been around for a while, that doesn’t mean they’re not radical.

            Abolition of Slavery, Universal Suffrage, Abolition of Capital Punishment – they were all around for decades (and suffered setbacks) before success. Doesn’t mean they weren’t radical.

            That was actually largely the point of my first comment – Blairites keep trying to blur the definition of what is radical by saying they radically transformed the Labour Party. Well, yes, but they radically transformed it into a right wing one.

  • dianahelen

    Interesting analysis. However, what does Nick propose that western countries, especially the United States and the UK, should do about the appalling human rights abuses going on in Israel. Surely one is allowed to decry the extreme right wing politics of the current Israeli government without being automatically accused of anti-semitism. Unfortunately the recent furore in the media about the anti-semitic behaviour of a few Labour people has resulted in any pro-Palestinian comments being silenced as anti-semitic.

    • Mattwales

      “Unfortunately the recent furore in the media about the anti-semitic behaviour of a few Labour people has resulted in any pro-Palestinian comments being silenced as anti-semitic.”

      Really? link to a few instances of this happening.

      • nibs

        The comparisons made by several Labour politicians between Israel’s collective punishment and that of the Nazis. All suspended.
        Same comparison was made only yesterday by the 2nd in command of the Israeli Army !!

    • RockyLives

      I’m sure that, like many of us, he is curious why so many people who tell us they are passionate about justice seem to find fault ONLY with Israel.

      If someone tells me they support a boycott of Israeli products I will ask them “and which other countries’ products are you boycotting?” If they add that – from the same yearning for human rights to be respected that informs their decision to boycott Israel – that they are also boycotting products from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, China just for starters, then I will respect their view.

      But invariably they are boycotting only Israel. Which leads to only one conclusion.

      • David Beard

        But invariably they are boycotting only Israel. Which leads to only one conclusion.

        Or it could be because you’re only looking for one conclusion. Yet I’e seen lots of Lefty rhetoric on human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, India, China .. etc. I see it everyday in fact. Just read their spreadsheets and see for yourself. It all gets a bit boring after a while anyway. Because either way nothing’s ever done. And why would it be when George wants us to work like the Chinese and Dave needs the good old Saudi dollar to buy his war machines.

        Cameron under pressure to review arms sales to Saudi Arabia in…
        http://www.express.co.uk › News › World

        5 Jan 2016 – David Cameron and the Saudi Kingdom, with the Saudi emblem in the background … to sell weapons to the oil-rich state, including refraining from selling … Amid heightened diplomatic tensions, Saudi planes resumed heavy …

        • RockyLives

          OK, my mistake I’m sure.

          Would you be so kind as to direct me to links on any left wing website to the “Boycott Saudi Arabia” movement? And the links to the “Boycott Pakistan” movement.

          And, if you have time, the links to the “Boycott Iran” and “Boycott Turkey” movements.

          Thank you, in anticipation…

          • David Beard

            You didnt ask for websites and petitions.Though there are probably a few out there for all I know. Click change seems rather left wing to me and they seem to have a petition for just about everything ‘human rights’ going these days. I should know, i get enough of them in my bloody email box.

          • Paddy Nolan

            OK Big Nose.

        • nibs

          You can see the desperation when the only “defence” of Israel’s behaviour is to compare to old colonialist escapades, massacres in Darfur, the lovely Saudis etc.
          It’s comic.

      • Larzlaff

        The reason so many people in the UK and the US are so critical of Israel is because so much of our tax goes on supporting its genocides, its war crimes, its land theft, etc, etc. Also, the UK media is full of hysterical propagandists like Cohen who never stop promoting Zionism. Simples.

        • Sinik

          You do appreciate the land was originally stolen from the Jews by Arabs in the 7th century, thus rendering them stateless, apart from those that were forced to convert to Islam at knifepoint?

          • Larzlaff

            What’s that got to do with my taxes being spent on weapons that murder Palestinian civilians? Or bulldozers that destroy their homes? Or prisons that lock them up without trial? And what’s it got to do with me having to read dozens of Zionist journalists like Cohen dominating the UK media, and jabbering on about their obsession whenever they can?…Frankly I don’t care about your historical tribal squabbles, or which religion you support. I’m just sick of people obsessing about murderous Israeli nationalism while trying to demonise anybody who takes an opposing view…

          • Aquila Acuta

            Where were you, brave crusader, during Rotherham?
            I smell a Muslim.

          • Mandrake

            Actually, a pox on both their houses. Let them get on with it. Winner take all. The Middle East is a cesspit and has been for millenia. If its denizens had wanted to end the never-changing loop of their tribal lifersetyle/culture they would have done so many hundred of years ago.

          • nibs

            That has sod all to do with it. They are back now in Israel and killing and ethnically cleansing and occupying another people with the tacit approval of OUR government. This is the case for NO OTHER nation.
            Hence #BDS.

          • Aquila Acuta

            Israel sells technologies into 170+ countries, and is the most economically stable nation in the MENA region, without a drop of oil, and while being in constant state of war.

            Everything the Palestinians do, fails, as does the BDS movement.

          • Sinik

            Ethnically cleansing? Get a grip on yourself man. There are 2 million Muslims Arabs that chose to become citizens of Israel and have their own elected representation in the Israeli government. Furthermore the Palestinians in the West Bank don’t feel the need to lob missiles at the Israelis so generally speaking there is little friction with them. It is only the Hamas controlled Gaza strip that regularly kicks off either planning to dig tunnels into Israel and attack or lobbing missiles over the border, provoking retribution.

            This is where your strange obsessions with a far off land of which you obviously know little are getting you. Nowhere. You’re lying only to yourself – oh and Labour’s Muslim voters of course, they’v never been keen on the truth.

          • Mandrake

            Their land was stolen 1,300 years ago, you say. How unique. No other country ever lost land/got conquered. No, wait…

            Your point is?

          • Sinik

            Ah but there’s the problem.

            You either take the attitude that “who dares wins, and he who takes the land wins the land” in that case the Israelis win

            Or you take the attitude that the owners of the land are those with the original title to the land – in that case Israelis win.

            The left focus on Israel “stealing” the land in 1948. Except that the Palestinians were not the owners of the land in 1948 – it was a protectorate of the UK so the land was “stolen” from the UK, who determined that they didn’t want it anyway. If you go back further in time to consider when the land was “Palestinian” – then it becomes pretty arbitrary.

      • ossettian

        Coz Israel keeps claiming to be the only civilised democracy in the area, and therefore can be judged by different standards?

        • Sinik

          There’s not an opressive regime in the world that doesn’t justify its behaviour. I can’t think of one that says “We crush people cos we enjoy it! Power-crazed behaviour gives us a real adrenaline rush!”

        • magi83

          Impressive mental gymnastics.

        • Aquila Acuta

          Compared to Israel’s neighbours, wild beastly savages are civilised and democratic.

          • nibs

            Bullshit: the most attacked nation by Israel is the Lebanon, civilized and democratic.

          • Aquila Acuta

            All those lebanese politicians who kept being blown up by Syria and Hezbollah, until they finally surrendered to them, civilised indeed lol
            It’s neat how nobody kills more Muslims than other Muslims, neat for Israel 😉

      • Smedley Butler

        I’ve wondered in my more philosophical moments how I didn’t get scurvy as a child. My mother wouldn’t buy anything from South Africa or Israel which pretty much meant all fruit was forbidden. As an adult I continued our family boycott until the end of apartheid and made my peace with Israel when I realised that the Palestinians preferred their victim status to any sensible deal. I’ll still walk a mile to get a coffee rather than put money in Starbucks coffers so proving I’m still my mothers child.

        • Mike Johnson

          That is the dumbest statement I have ever heard, You think that the only place that grows plant with vitamin c grow in South Africa or israel you and your mother are stoopid.

    • Snag

      Tell me, have there been Israeli governments that you’ve strongly supported?

    • Sinik

      How much do you have to say about human rights abuses in Turkmenistan?

      Not much?

      Thought not.

      Thing is the Israel/Palestine issue is a peculiar obsession of the left. There are far worse regimes in the world. It is an intractable problem. You’re not going to solve it and neither is Jeremy Corbyn. If you did “solve” it, you would end up doing so in the same way as apartheid was solved – that is you would lose interest as soon as you saw the change you’d hoped for and not worry that the outcome for real people was actually measurably worse than it was before.

      Focus on issues that potential Labour voters might care about.

      • Mike Johnson

        you dipschit deflecting from israels human rights violations to other countries does not work you hasbara troll

        • Sinik

          Human rights abuses you and I can do precious little about? Perhaps you should have concerned yourself more about human rights abuses that occurred with citizens of this country held in Guantanamo.

          You also need to look up the term “hasbara”. To be a hasbara troll I would need to say something positive about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians – I didn’t do so. I just don’t understand why people like yourself become frothing-at-the-mouth maniacs as soon as Israel/Palestine is mentioned.

    • Lynne T

      There is nothing pro Palestinian about blaming all of the misery on Israel. Hamas and Fatah are both abominable towards their own people and then there are the free lance non-ruling elite thugs. That’s why there are no serious negotiations to determine final borders. Neither of the main factions are interested in governance, just power and control.


    • nibs

      No Diana, only compulsory pro-Zionism will be tolerated. Likewise we have discovered that we, who fought the 1939-45 war fron start to finish, are no longer allowed to discuss that period, the events leading up to it, and so on.
      The UK and French parliaments BOTH voted last year to recognize a Palestinian state…but what have the governments replied ? “This is not policy”.
      So much for re-inforcing the idea (some would say “trope” in order to smear), that influence is brought on our politicians from outside. Otherwise Brexiteers in the name of independence wilt in the face of foreign influence if it comes from the USA or Israel.

    • Aquila Acuta

      “What do you propose western countries, especially the United States and the UK, should do about the appalling human rights abuses going on in”: Iran, Saudi Arabia, PA territories, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Qatar, UAE, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Sudan, CAR, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Congo, Honduras, North Korea, Mali, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Venezuela, Western Sahara, etc?

      • KsenyaM

        and Russia and the annexed Crimea……

  • Nick

    So basically and to summarize,Corbyn is a t- – -.

  • Farages 16ucked Face

    Once again Nick Cohen is mad and nude online. He has filled his nappy and needs changing

    • David Beard


  • DaviddeAngelis

    Sorry, Speccy, but this is blog is easily the most readable on this site: http://www.davidsedgwick.co.uk/blog/yvette-copper-and-heidi-allen-spot-the-difference

  • andy_gill

    Nick is spot on here. Labour have allowed racism in their ranks to fester unchallenged for years. Because it suited their anti-Zionist agenda, and because it got them Muslim votes.

    Now the lid has been taken off, and decent people are disgusted by what has been laid bare. The left has overtaken the far right as the most racist group in the UK, and deserves to be held in equal contempt. Well more actually, because at least the far-right are honest about their bigotry. The far left hide their hatred behind a wall of sanctimonious self-righteousness.

    • wibbling

      There is no ‘far right’. There’s normal people who are concerned about immigration, high taxes, schools, jobs and the useless NHS, there are Right wingers who want even lower taxes and there’s the Left, who are spoiled thuggish brutes.

  • ossettian

    I’ve been buying the Spectator for many, many years, but this article is the straw.

    I’m going to cancel my subscription. I rarely have to enter my subscriber number online, so in practice it won’t make much difference to me, but it will make a difference to the Spectator.

    • Ray Spring

      I have doubled my Spectator subscription. The articles are brilliant, plus they come from a number of viewpoints. Great fun and even stimulates what is left of my brain.

    • McDrrrrm

      I don’t think I’ve ever subscribed to a magazine in my life. The Spectator is the most conservative magazine I’ve ever read.

      But Nick Cohen’s articles are singlehandedly forcing me to subscribe.

  • Sinik

    I’m sorry Nick but you have got it completely wrong.

    The fact is that you and I both know that Naz Shah is an anti-semite. In the spirit of multi-culturalism there is “nothing wrong” with her being an anti-semite because most Sunni and Shia Muslims are anti-semitic by nature. There is no point in Naz Shah trying to pretend that she is not anti-semitic – what would that achieve? That would be like pretending you could walk through Bradford at dead of night with a kippah on your head and not risk being beaten half to death. We know that many of Labour’s voters are anti-semites, and they make up at least 16% of the Labour Party’s voter base. Without them Labour is finished, because a long time ago Labour decided to go down the multi-culti route for support leaving its native working class voter base wondering where they’d gone.

    So Labour should now simply admit it is the anti-semitic socialist party. That will go down very well with at least 16% of its voters and the rest might not be that bothered. I mean it worked for the Austrian guy back in the 30’s, right?

    Then what we really need is a left-wing party that isn’t full of the nutters that have infected Labour since the 60s. A left-wing party that realizes that most of the working class is now lower middle class with their own problems of a different nature than back in ’45 and doesn’t obsess of over the undeserving underclass and peculiar minority groups such as transgenders and people with peculiar and often dangerous belief systems.

    • Maureen Fisher

      Some of these fossilized socialists keep trotting out that “lower than vermin” quote from Bevan. I usually reply the lower than vermin legislated for both the women’s vote and equal marriage.

    • nibs

      Naz Shah retweeted a post from the well known pro-Palestinian professor Norman Finkelstein (yes, good chance he may be Jewish), jokily suggesting that Israel move to the USA, saving money and strife all round.
      This is then presented here as Naz Shah’s “call for the deportation of Jews” in the most disingenuous way, likewise by the BBC. As for Ken’s comments, bar the date he was not far off on his facts of 1930’s Germany.
      You can’t hold recently arrived Asians to the same standard on this: they were not part of the European war, Hitler has little or no resonance for them, and the Holocaust is not a religion as it has become in guilt-ridden Europe, it’s just one of a multitude of massacres, injustices, famines killing millions etc. They can be allowed some Muslim-solidarity with the dispossessed Palestinians in the same way as Jewish and non-Jewish Zionists here defend Israel whatever the outrage.
      A total storm in a teacup, which is having little traction on is pleased to note.
      Also “we all know” that the anti-immigration Right is waaay more prone to racism (whilst holding on to their jobs) than is the Left.
      I write this as someone who will vote Brexit and who is against mass immigration,

      • Augustus

        “As for Ken’s comments, bar the date he was not far off on his facts of 1930’s Germany.”

        Nevertheless it is underhand to invoke and trivialize the Holocaust, as if it was just another grievance in the history of nations. Israel today is a democratic country, it has a High Court of Justice independent of government, and the Israeli media is certainly diverse. Compare that to Germany in the 1930s, when the regime murdered its political dissidents and had Jews fired from their workplaces just because of their ethnicity.

    • new_number_2

      They need to obsess over immigration and Muslims instead.

  • Oh my god. Pure unadulterated nonsense.

  • Dave Cockayne

    What is this load of crap?
    I expect to find stuff like this in the Socialist Student’s Union weekly pamphlet, not in the Spectator.

  • Have you noticed that this thread is inundated with paid Marxist operatives regurgitating their scripted comments? Proof, you ask? Watch for the non-shocked responses to the following…

    “Red Star”, the official newspaper of the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Defense…


    Note the Soviet era title (Red Star) and the four Soviet emblems (representing awards*) to the left of the masthead, the outer emblem displaying Vladimir Lenin. Now Google the Russian Ministry of Defense’s official newspaper…

    Google: red star ru

    The newspaper is still called Red Star(!) and still has the four Soviet emblems with Vladimir Lenin still present! The Soviet government military newspaper was never folded!

    Soviet roundel still on Russian military aircraft…


    Soviet red stars still attached to the bows of Russian naval vessels…


    The ‘freed’ Soviets and West never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the five million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the cities during the period of ‘Perestroika’ (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    The above means that the so-called ‘War on Terror’ is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending ‘War on Terror’; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’; which will (5) see the end of NATO.


    The West will form new political parties where candidates are vetted for Marxist ideology, the use of the polygraph to be an important tool for such vetting. Then the West can finally liberate the globe of vanguard Communism.


    * Soviet awards from left to right…

    The Order of Lenin Type II:


    The Order of the October Revolution:


    The Order of the Red Banner:


    The Order of the Red Star:


  • Jojje 3000

    No thanks to ‘entrepreneurial state’.

  • Maureen Fisher

    The only “solution” for the far left is for all the Jews to leave and turn the last remaining democracy in the Middle East into a hellhole resembling all the others.

    • David Beard

      It might be a democracy but it’s certainly not multicultural or multi tolerant or fully inclusive in the sense that ours in the west are forced to be.

      • Maureen Fisher

        The debate and criticism is held daily in Israel itself, something that is not permitted in Turkey right now. Barely a whimper from the left though.

      • Aquila Acuta

        How inclusive, multi tolerant and multi cultural are Israel’s neighbours, the ones who scream to be let into racist Europe?

      • wibbling

        We are not multicultural. We’re an unhappy, divided society where people don’t get on. It is as far from ‘inclusive’ as oil and water.

  • David Beard

    You know, the more I keep looking at Nick’s cartoon picture, the more I keep seeing antisemitism.
    Surely the artist should apologize forthwith.

    • Hippograd

      The American neo-con Jennifer Rubin seems to have been subject to attempted genocide in the same way.


      • Trailblazer10

        She supports the 99. (Often reported as 100 “republicans”).

        This what Paul Nehlen says about “republican” Paul Ryan

        “His disdain and disrespect for the American electorate is breathtaking. It is for the people to decide who they want to lead, not for one man or a cabal of party elites.Paul Ryan’s establishment GOP has zero respect for the American people”

        That is putting it very politely.

  • Maureen Fisher

    John McDonnell is behind the curve already. The private sector are already stepping in with something called peer to peer lending which will surely beat any slow grinding bureaucratic state system he wants to introduce.

    • wibbling

      What happens when the other party doesn’t pay? You can contract all you want, but when the borrower doesn’t respect that contract, has no concept of honesty and has no assets – beyond a brood of children – what can you do to get your money back?

  • William Brown

    The thing with right wing racists is that you pretty much expect to find at least some, skulking in the depths – they’re generally easy to identify and most often don’t care to hide their prejudices.

    Left wing racists, however, hide up in their assumed moral high ground, soaring way above criticism and, (until recently), censure. The indignation of some of them that they’ve been found out, in addition to their continuing denial, only serves to demonstrate the scale of the problem.

    • Gwarh

      It’s because the Overton Window has slid so far to the Left of that they can hide in plain sight. Their brand of racisim (Anti-Semitic, Anti-White) isn’t radical any more and has become the default position for the political left.

  • quotes

    Hard to escape the conclusion that to Cohen left wing = good. Or perhaps more accurately, “whatever Cohen believes”. Difficult as it may be to admit for Mr Cohen, his values aren’t left wing. They are pretty obviously reactionary: defending the progressive gains made by secular society over the past few centuries. I don’t see that it’s left wing to think “homosexuals are people deserving our respect” or “poor children should have adequate schooling”. That might have been left wing years ago, but it’s centrist now.

    A left wing that takes no notice of class is still left wing. It’s just not classically Marxist. Islamic revolutionaries are only “reactionary” by Western standards (and any “real” left winger will tell you that those are just moral imperialism anyway); the fact of the matter is that Islamic revolutionaries are revolutionaries. Which in my book makes them left wing.

    That’s what the left/right dichotomy is at heart, or at least was originally: revolution versus reaction. Which side of the King are they sitting? Because these days “the King” is America (again, any “real” left winger can confirm) and Islamic revolutionaries are firmly on the side of his overthrow.

  • Fenman

    Labour and the unions have betrayed the white working class, not just on race,but wages and jobs. They support the EU and freedom of movement which led To a flood of cheap labor keeping real wages down and making it difficult for school Leavers To get jobs. The fact multi-nationals love it shd have made Labour realise the EU isnot in the interest of the indiginous working class.
    uKIP is doing abetter job of supporting both white and blue collar workers.

  • Kevin T

    You have to look at the reasons the new generations of leftists are so insanely obsessed with identity politics, with its hierarchy of victimhood that puts Jews near the bottom (white and successful).

    Reason 1 is they are rich. You ask why they don’t talk about class. How can they? They are overwhelmingly upper middle class and above. The left has somehow gone from a working class movement to a rich people’s religion. Of course they would sooner talk about race and gender and sexuality. That way Laurie Penny can pretend she is oppressed by builders. That way Seb and Josh can flagellate themselves for something they can’t change about themselves – no one wants to face the fact that their privilege comes from their parents’ money which they could renounce, not their whiteness, maleness or straightness which they can’t.

    Reason 2, which we can and must do something about, is the education system is engaged in Maoist indoctrination of the children who pass through it. Generations are being brought up obsessed with left wing political concepts, mainly identity politics and belief in man made climate change. Unfortunately it’s the brighter kids, the ones who listen to their teachers, who are the most brainwashed. Then the universities complete the job.

    But the 3rd reason is your generation of leftists, which adopted identity politics when the country stopped believing in left wing economics, and pushed the idea of evil right wingers for your own political reasons. Now you have spawned a generation which believes all this literally and fantatically.

    • Gwarh

      “They are overwhelmingly upper middle class and above.” I just came across the term “Silver Spoon Socialists” and it perfectly captures the essence of these UMC Leftists.

      • wibbling

        It is the position of privilege that gives them the victim hood they want to instil in others. They need an audience for their own lack of want because it makes *them* feel good.

        This is what’s so utterly back to front. instead of actually promoting what really helps people: jobs, wealth, low taxes – the state demands more tax, more state, more waste. It makes no sense until you understand it isn’t about other people. The Left are purely selfish.

  • new_number_2

    “What Labour needs now is a takeover by real left-wing radicals”

    Yes, I’m sure. “Real left-wing radicals” who back privatising everything with a pulse, abolishing the welfare stare, support draconian anti terrorism laws, champion illegal, unnecessary wars of choice and stand shoulder to shoulder with countries like Saudi Arabia. Those sort of “real left-wing radicials”. The sort of “left wing radicals” who would want to appease immigration obsessives and anti Muslim bigots.

    • Kevin T

      A party that chastises the electorate for not being virtuous enough to vote for it is not a party that needs to worry about being in power any time soon.

  • Trojan Horace

    “Those capable of self-criticism should at least consider that the prejudices they have endorsed may have been immoral.” Yes indeed Nick

  • antoncheckout

    “the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci. While he lay in one of Mussolini’s jails…”

    Doesn’t that just say it all – a visionary entrepreneur constructs a useful building, and a left-wing theorist just lies around in it.

  • Billo Qasira

    Hatred of white people is a primary driver of the Left and Labour today. Supposedly sensible Labour attacked those who were troubled by Sadiq Khan’s links to extremists in the past as ‘racist’. We are entering dark times.

  • Billo Qasira

    ” “The British public will still notice that the leaders of the opposition are more comfortable with hostile foreign countries than their own country, and the majority of their own countrymen and women too” ”

    === Well the British public will notice that the Left loves Islam and Muslims more than it loves them. That is a growing perception every day.

    • Trailblazer10

      I assume you are including Cameron’s Tories.

  • TheJustCity

    Some self-deception here. What is a ‘true radical left’ when radicalism is the reached objective and now the concensus on the Left? What will be the means of ‘returning to normal’ in the absence of a time machine being devised? This piece seems to be relying on Normality being safely stored in a cupboard waiting to be reanimated in some post-‘New Labour’, post-Corbyn, post-Cameron future. And it is Gramscianism which is the very root cause of that ‘variety of morbid symptoms’ which has led to us, our institutions, our liberal values and freedoms, being perverted, co-opted, or existentially imperilled.

  • A.Alexander

    Good old inquisition will save the Church from itself.

  • grimm

    Socialists, being revolutionaries at heart, routinely try to freshen up their world changing movement as it repeatedly fails to deliver the utopia (or should that be “fairer society”) they see as their destiny.

    So now we have Nick Cohen telling anyone who will listen that Labour needs to be taken over by “real” Lefties. We have heard that story so many times. The revolution never quite works so a rethink is needed. Nothing is wrong with socialism itself. “True socialism” has not been tried yet. Socialism has just fallen into the wrong hands. Next time will be different…

    • MikeF

      They may regard themselves as revolutionaries but they are actually reactionaries who cannot cope with the idea of change because they regard themselves and whatever situations they create as the embodiment of perfect principle. The tension between those two polarities is one they cannot resolve and why they inevitably seek to take refuge in sheer authoritarianism.

  • Sean L

    This tripe would be bad enough in a student union magazine. Why do I have to read it *in the Spectator?* Aren’t there enough left wing columnists here already? If it weren’t for Charles Moore and Rod Liddle one might as well be reading the Guardian or Daily Telegraph…

  • Allosaurus

    “not wholly unwarranted advantage relies on the assumption that leftists are good people.”

    corbyn’s Labour Party lays that silly superstition for good.

    • Father Todd Unctious

      Corbyns Labour just retook Bristol Council from the ecoloonies. Labour lost just 18 seats out of 1,350 nationally.

      • Landphil

        You’re at it again – admit it, you’re the man who has visited and photographed every station in Britain.

      • wibbling

        But it *lost* seats. Usually local elections are a publicity stunt against the government. This time around the opposition has *lost* seats.

        • pdhan

          This time around the opposition is *split* between more parties. Clearly Labour needs to do better but they’ve still held on to a large majority of local seats.

  • mikewaller

    At the heart of this article there is a problem that Cohen simply does not face up to: it is not just Muslims and anti (white) colonialists that deplore the way in which Israel treats Palestinians. About 15 years ago I was a member of a creative writing group in a small town in the heart of middle England, the membership of which was wide ranging both in terms of politics and economic background. However, they were all white-British, with neither a Jew or a Muslim amongst them. On a day on which 13 members were present – there no doubt being some Israeli/Palestinian outrage or other in the news – I asked the group with whom their greater sympathy lay. With the exception of one who thought “both as bad as the other”, the whole lot said “the Palestinians”.

    That could, of course ,be taken as yet more evidence of that great misnomer “anti-Semitism” i.e anti-Jewish prejudice. However, in my part of the world the big “threat” is seen to be Muslims so it seems to me very unlike that that kind of sentiment would be the underlying driver. The real problem, I suspect, it not Jews but Israel. With even Jewish scholarship now accepting that the great preponderance of Palestinians were driven from their homes by the nascent Israeli army and Israeli terror gangs, most non-Jewish people I speak to are inclined to see Palestinians in terms of that famous phrase “the victim’s victim” i.e. a people dispossessed and currently being killed at a rate of 10:1, by the even more cruelly ill-used race who went through to unimaginable horrors of the holocaust.

    As to what can be done about it, God knows. I think that the lesson from history is a bleak one. If you going into the dispossession business, there are two viable strategies and one that is endlessly problematic. The former are (a) completely swamping out the indigenous population as in the USA, Canada, Australia, etc.etc. or (b) put in a small governing elite that, in extremis, can be readily withdrawn. British India is a case in point. The problematic option is to put in a very substantial governing minority. White South Africa, Ascendency Ireland are examples here.

    Taking a general view of the Middle East, my inclination is to put Israel in the third, problematic, category with the clear implication that the battle to hold on to it will endless and without quarter. I sincerely hope I am wrong, but the chances of my being so would be significantly greater if well-intended writers like Cohen faced up to this particular elephant in the room and if the Israeli’s slung out their present appalling PM and replaced him with someone prepared to face down those other dangerous Middle Eastern fundamentalists: the Israeli settlers of the more recently occupied land.

    • Omar

      I think those who have more sympathy for “Palestine” than Israel fundamentally misunderstand the conflict. True, it is a matter of Israel’s enemies refusing to accept Israel’s right to exist, but this is not a matter of Arab ethnicity, or the existence of an “occupying” elite.

      The fact is that the conflict is not a “Palestinian-Israeli” conflict; and it is not even an “Arab-Israeli” conflict. It is not a territorial conflict which can be solved by drawing new lines on old maps. The conflict is an Islamic holy war – jihad – against the Jews, just like it says in the Hamas Charter. Allah, in the Koran, commands Moslems to make war on the Jews and subjugate them to Islamic rule, whereas Islam’s prophet commands Moslems to make war on the Jews and kill them. Therefore, no Moslem, Arab or non-Arab, can make peace with the Jews. They consider that the very existence of Israel as a Jewish state is an offense to Islam and their god.

      Therefore, we are not talking about an “Arab grievance”. We are talking about a Moslem grievance. Only by looking at the doctrines of Islam can we explain why it is that Israel’s deadliest enemy is “Iran” (the ‘non-arab’ ISLAMIC State) , and why the entire Moslem world refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

      • mikewaller

        Years ago I came across the sentence “Single factor explanations do scant justice to the complexities of social reality”. It is not true in all cases but certainly is in this one. Yes Islam plays into as does religion in the Northern Ireland conflict. But at root the underlying problem in both cases is that one group is perceived by the other as having come in forcibly taken the land of the other and rendered those they have not killed or expelled into second class beings in their own land. You can obfuscate matters as much as you like by using terms such as “the right to self-determination” “terrorism” or whatever but underlying it all is the matter of the land. Having said that, Israel is no better and no worse than other incomers across the globe who have dispossessed the locals. Indeed it has some very ancient historical claims, but as all bible scholars know that initial acquisition was at the expense of another people. Israel also enjoyed enormous sympathy amongst Western nations because of the extreme horrors of the holocaust. Howevers, each time some fundamentalist settler appears on our screens or we see the Israel airforce smashes whole areas to smithereens or its repellent PM has something to say, that sympathy is chipped away at. Sorry, but that is just how it is.

        • pdhan

          I fear you are far too reasonable for this comment board.

          • mikewaller

            I see it as my duty to do missionary work amongst the heathen! [:-)]

      • Mike Johnson

        Tell that to the families of British soldiers who died at the hands of jewish terrorist in Palestine.

    • wibbling

      It is notable that all Palestine has to do to end the conflict is stop killing Israelis. it doesn’t, so it must like the war.

      • mikewaller

        This is the kind of self-delusional crap that totally alienates disinterested third parties many of whom, like me, have no love for terrorism or the radical Muslim mind-set. It would obviously apply with equal force to the proto-Israelis who caused multiple deaths by blowing up the King David hotel and the Irish rebels who took part the Easter Rising. You either accept that they were all pursuing legitimate objectives by justifiable means or that they were all irresponsible, murderous, bastards. You cannot have it both ways. Please try to get real!

      • Mike Johnson

        In 1948 the israelis ethnically cleansed 100,000 Christians from Palestine and continue to ethnically cleanse israel today. You need to do some serious research and not depend on what the media feeds you.

  • Jacobi

    All politicians have their faults. Labour now exhibit a strong anti-Semitic influence which has little to do with events in Israel. It is because of the poisonous drip, drip of anti-Semitic, often low-key, propaganda in UK, much of it from the left in UK for some twenty years, but which goes back way beyond that .

    I was told last week, by some “youngies” how the University common room chat was so pro-Israel in the early eighties, just as I remember it in the sixties. But that has probably changed due to the poisonous steadily growing propaganda

    Since the early eighties there have been about 900 hundred attacks on Israelis, often suicide bombings, most of them fatal with death rates up to 20 or more and 11,000 rockets have been fired into Israel indiscriminately at civilian targets. Israel has responded with considered and admirable constraint constraint.

    We would have flattened towns in France, just as we flattened Cologne in 1945 let us not forget, if the French had even started that.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    ” if the mountain won’t go to Muhammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain” would be the best way of looking at the political situation in the UK I think. This would be to avoid the futility of paying executive forces instead to deep mine, undermine , break up, dissolve and drive to destruction the rock that is democracy, a mountain that is rising and growing.

  • marvin

    The Labour Party have in general drifted completely away from their original policies – they now appear as a completely confused political group. Even their own ministers oppose one another’s ideals!

  • Hanamanganda

    There really isn’t any reason for Jews to think that they have a place in Britain long term. Demographics is destiny.

  • wibbling

    Considering the damage the faux ‘Left’ have done in terms of racism, bigotry, intolerance, the promotion of unhappiness and the spread of job destroying anti democratic big state, let alone the persistent damage from high taxes and forcing poverty through offensive levels of envy based taxation isn’t it really time the Left were consigned to the bin of history? Haven’t they done enough damage?

    The modern Left are just wretched, spoiled, ungrateful children. It’s time they went.

  • Impromptu

    “Perhaps anti-Semitism is not taken as seriously here because the Nazis stopped at the Channel and we never had to live through our own version of Vichy.”
    There is plenty of documented evidence that in the occupied Channel Islands collaboration and denunciations were rife. It’s entirely plausible that had parts of the mainland been occupied, we’d have proven anything but the plucky bulldog breed we fondly imagine ourselves to be.
    The British character never has been and isn’t now somehow magically immune to prejudice, fear and envy. I’m patriotic, but also a realist.

    • MikeF

      What evidence? Active resistance in a few small islands was a practical impossibility and many if not most men of military age had left for the mainland before the German occupation to fight with the main British forces. It is impossible to extrapolate from what happened in such atypical circumstances what might have happened if the mainland had been occupied. Also it is not quite true to say that the Germans ‘stopped’ at the Channel. The reality is that they ‘were stopped’ by the refusal of the United Kingdom to surrender and the fact that it fought on.

  • Mary Barnes

    Labour had a great left wing Jewish leader less than year ago in the great good Ed Miliband.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Experimenting with irony?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “What Labour needs now is a takeover by real left-wing radicals”
    Great idea; make Labour unelectable for a generation.

  • Mike Johnson

    Purge anyone that questions zionism and replace them with a zionist

    Former Jewish Society chair backed to replace Ken Livingstone on Labour executive


    A former Jewish Society chair has been backed to replace Ken Livingstone on Labour’s National Executive Committee.

    Rhea Wolfson, a Scottish Labour activist, has the support of the pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum.

    She is expected to replace the suspended Mr Livingstone and represent the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance, for the place on the party’s governing body.

    Welcoming her NEC bid, Jon Lansman, chair of Momentum’s steering committee, said: “Rhea Wolfson is a very impressive young woman, committed to fighting for a more democratic party and a credible democratic socialist agenda.

    “As a young, Jewish Scot, she will provide important perspectives that will improve the running of the Labour Party.”

    A former president of Oxford University’s Jewish and Israel societies, and an ex-chair of the Zionist Youth Council, Ms Wolfson supported Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign last summer.