This Writer couldn’t care less about former BBC suit Danny Cohen. Operators like him are 19-to-the-dozen right now.
But this Zelo Street article uses comments by him to make very good points about the Shami Chakrabarti inquiry into allegations of racism in the Labour Party, while also highlighting the knuckle-headed attempts to manipulate it, made by people who should know better.
Only yesterday (August 6), This Blog recorded comments against the Chakrabarti report, made by the Chief Rabbi and the chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Now we see a gentleman whose surname suggests (and I stress that it only suggests this) that he may be of the Jewish persuasion, saying much the same thing.
In fact – as the article points out – many Jewish organisations happily co-operated in the making of the report and it contains much that – it says – “should reassure and encourage Jewish voices”.
So what do these leading names – who I suspect do not represent the majority of British Jewry in this matter – have to gain from suggesting there is an agenda to hide anti-Semitism, when in fact it is nothing like the epidemic they describe?
Perhaps some British Jews who aren’t media operators could suggest an answer? I’ve left the link to the Chakrabarti report in the passage I’ve quoted so you can all read it for yourselves before responding.
Cohen … buys in to the idea that the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is somehow soft on anti-Semitism, and this has not served him well at all.
The claim of anti-Semitism, which Corbyn and his inner circle had not adequately confronted… has tasked Cohen, to the extent that he Tweeted “Corbyn’s Labour must stamp out anti-semitism in the party … Labour ‘Anti-Semitism’ At Oxford” Note the quotation marks: here is an experienced media practitioner who knows he cannot stand up that claim. Labour resolved to tackle those complaints. The report quoted in the link he includes in his Tweet does not back up the claim, either.
Then came the Chakrabarti report, and the author’s peerage. Cohen was particularly harsh here: “So much for the independence of the inquiry in to Labour anti-Semitism. A peerage follows … Corbyn’s Inquiry into anti-semitism in the Labour Party is now fully discredited. Sums up Corbyn’s disdain for the Jewish community … The last 24 hours are more evidence of why many British Jews could not vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party”. Did he actually read any of that report?
Shami Chakrabarti’s report (read it HERE) makes a series of straightforward recommendations with which no-one should have a problem: this is a case of seriously bad timing, appalling communication and dreadful media management, but it does not show any “disdain”, and nor is there anything in it to “discredit” the party.
Indeed, the groups that were consulted it the report’s preparation include the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Community Security Trust, the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Jewish Museum, Labour Friends of Israel, the Sephardi Community, and the Zionist Federation of Great Britain. Some of those groups have since passed adverse comment on Ms Chakrabarti’s peerage, but had no problem contributing to her report.
There is much there that should reassure and encourage Jewish voices, and indeed those of all ethnic and religious groups. It’s sad that a respected media figure like Danny Cohen feels the need to dismiss it so lightly, rather than look at the whole and rather more complex story behind it.
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