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Be thankful you are not a LAB party press officer having to make excuses for the leader day after day

August 24th, 2018

Danny Finkelstein hits the nail on the head in the Times article linked to in the Tweet above when he says that never before has Corbyn been accused of saying something so directly and unequivocally antisemitic.

Having once been a PR man for Seamus Milne’s Dad, ex-BBC D-G Alastair Milne, I very much sympathise with those who daily have to deflect criticism of the party leader. It’s hard when you seem to be making the same excuse each time. This time just about the only defence they could come to was that the remarks were taken out of context.

Ex-SDPer, longstanding Times writer and now Tory peer, Finkelstein, writes:

“The best that could be said of Mr Corbyn’s comments is that they were addressed to a specific group of people, not all Zionists and certainly not all Jews. And these people had behaved in an annoying fashion, or at least one that annoyed him. That’s all context can do for him.

Yet what this means is that Mr Corbyn told Jewish individuals with whom he disagreed that they weren’t properly English. The fact that they were specific individuals robs him of any chance to suggest that the remarks were ambiguous. The only thing that could help him is if the individuals came forward and it turned out that they weren’t Jewish after all and that Mr Corbyn knew that. This is vanishingly unlikely…”

It is hard to see what closes this down for Labour. Corbyn’s leader ratings have slumped dramatically since March and that has meant far fewer poll leads for the red team.

Mike Smithson