“In Germany they came first for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
Pastor Martin Niemoller wrote these words in 1945. They echo down the intervening years with a shuddering and immediate relevance.As a failed Anglican Brummie holding no specific religious interest, I make no apology whatsoever for bringing these words front and centre right now.
As a Nation, regardless of the colour of our skin or the God we worship or what our party politics are, (assuming we have any (which, thank God, is not yet compulsory)) we must all of us rise up and stamp out the rising tide of anti-semitism wherever we find it, however it shows itself and whatever the cost.
“Walking by on the other side” is no longer an option. We cannot leave dealing with this to others. “Evil only flourishes when good men do nothing” is as accurate today as it was decades ago.
This is where Mr Corbyn and his Hard Left, Marxist, Stalinist – call them what you will – followers come in. There is such a thing as The Fascism of the Left (it’s seriously politically incorrect to state that of course but no less true for that) and in our Country it’s growing every day.
Not for a minute would I see Jeremy Corbyn as a Fascist but, by his clear refusal to take swift, decisive ACTION against incidences of anti-semitism in his Party he stands accused of “walking by on the other side”; and, surprise surprise, those who are anti-semitic take such inactivity (including just uttering fine words) or expressions of solidarity only with party political tribal friends, as a green light to keep going with their bile, their venom and their disgusting behaviour.
The issue is a result of a confluence of several strands of Corbynism all at one time. There is a heady, but potentially viciously destructive, mix of anti-Americanism (the totem of Capitalism is to be vilified in every way and at every turn) plus opposition to everything the recipient of American guaranteed security – Israel – stands for plus a jealousy of the achieving classes in which there will inevitably be some Jews with amazing stories of hard work, generosity and tax-paying, people-employing success. The tragedy for the hundreds of thousands, nay millions, of decent centre-left people in our Country is that the Labour Party used to be the natural party for British Jews. But then, the 2018 Labour Party is no longer the party of the centre-left either, let alone those of the Jewish faith. “For the many not the Jew” was aptly coined by Howard Jacobson, a tragic truism if ever there was one, but “the many” has been redefined as well.
The position of Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition is one of the longest (and most public) job interviews in the World. The Electorate are looking to see if the person who wants their vote to make her or him Prime Minister has got the leadership credentials to do the job. That means putting fine words into action …..and being seen to.
On this whole issue of endemic anti-semitism in the Hard Left of the Labour Party (who now boss the Labour Brand and rule the entire roost of the political left) Corbyn has failed his interview miserably. He might be talking the talk but he ain’t walking the walk. Because he doesn’t, deep down, see it as that important. It is simply not a priority for him…..and through that misjudgement he has endangered our Country.
For when the Marxists have done with the Jews and other minorities of whom they don’t approve ………. they’ll come for the likes of you and me, people who routinely enjoy the freedom to express an opinion with which the Fascists of the Left don’t agree…….and to echo Pastor Neimoller back in ’45…….there’ll be no one left to fight for you and me.