Loach’s outburst over Labour MPs at anti-Semitism demo should provide food for thought – not knee-jerk reactions

Ken Loach.

It’s going to be hard to have a serious discussion about Ken Loach’s reported words because the rent-a-quote crowd have been all over it already.

He says his suggestion that party members should “kick out” Labour MPs who attended the anti-Corbyn (not anti-Semitism – that was just a pretext) demonstration does “not reflect my position”.

Of course, we know that the characterisation of Mr Corbyn as a leader who has done little about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party does not reflect his position, either.

Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has reduced since Mr Corbyn became leader.

So the question arises – did these MPs attend the demonstration because they genuinely wanted to harm their party leader by supporting a lie, or were they genuinely misled? Either answer implies a critical failure of judgement.

And this leads us back to the last point Mr Loach made – that Parliamentary candidates should be selected every time there is an election, and the selection should not be based on individual incidents but on the MP’s principles, actions and behaviour over a sustained period of time.

Whatever you think about his other comments, he is right in that.

Everybody makes mistakes, and it is easy to be deceived by a lie if enough people are demanding that you believe it.

I wonder how many of the Labour MPs who attended that demo are big enough to admit they made a mistake in supporting such a lie?

The outspoken film-maker and ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the dozen Labour MPs who attended last month’s demonstration – including Bristol representatives Thangam Debbonaire and Darren Jones – of “dirty tricks”.

Mr Loach said: “Unless we get Labour MPs who believe in that manifesto last year we won’t get in power.

“If they’ve been going to the demonstration against him [Jeremy Corbyn] outside Westminster… those are the ones we need to kick out.”

The Kes and Looking for Eric director said: “You cannot work with people who have come to undermine the biggest challenge we’ve had – we’ve never had a leader like Corbyn before in the whole history of the Labour Party….and that’s why the dirty tricks are going to come out.”

Mr Loach has since rowed back on his comments telling the Daily Mail , which broke the story, that he did not want MPs to be deselected based on one event and that what he is reported to have said at Kingswood Entertainment and Sports Club “do not reflect my position”.

He clarified, saying: “Re-selecting an MP should not be based on individual incidents but reflect the MP’s principles, actions and behaviour over a long period. Being an MP is not a job for life.

“My view is that candidates should be selected for every election and party members should be able to make a democratic choice.”

Source: Film director Ken Loach says Bristol MPs should be ‘kicked-out’ over anti-Semitism rally – Bristol Post

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6 thoughts on “Loach’s outburst over Labour MPs at anti-Semitism demo should provide food for thought – not knee-jerk reactions

  1. Stu

    A serious question – What precisely is Theresa May doing about Racism and Anti-Semitism in her party? (specific actions, not hot air)

    Proportionally it should be a much smaller issue, given the miniscule size of her membership but it’s very obviously not.

  2. aunty1960

    I think those MPs wanted to be seen to be seen

    and again be shown to support an untenable a intentional and concerted campaign against Corbyn although he has shown popularity (If anyone is allowed to listen to him) and strength and consistency of integrity, and increased Labour votes by thousands in many constituencies and reduced the Tory majority

    Yet again and again the manipulative power machine will continue to press and manufacture the lies of Corbyn being unpopular and unelectable and invent what they can

    But I do think Corbyn and Co need to do a 3rd Offensive and come out with a White Hot Campaign

    Got to keep the ball rolling

    Do not be complacent and do not get into reactive politics and always defending yourself.

    Need to get a White Hot Campaign going. and a Fervid Debate.

  3. Growing Flame

    “Being an MP isn’t a job for life”. Ken has hit an important nail on the head. As part of the transformation of the Labour Party, this issue should be addressed. All MPs should face regular assessments as to performance eg time spent in the House, time spent in the constituency etc. But, more importantly, how have they been voting, how have they been arguing for Labour policies, how have they been defending the Party against Right-wing criticisms and smears?

    I live in a Tory-held constituency but we have real hopes for a Labour future. Hundreds of members. We have selected a Labour candidate from a list of many, all of whom support the Corbyn leadership and the Labour manifesto. So I don’t have any experience of living in a “always Labour” area with a Right Wing Labour MP who has been in post since Kier Hardy was a lad.

    What do members in those areas do to cope with an MP who is actively plotting to undermine all the gains we have made with the election of Jeremy Corbyn? Do they put up with it? Do enough of them actually welcome the plotting? Or are our systems so feeble that there is no real way of removing a sitting MP regardless of how they behave?

    Perhaps “Vox Political” should stimulate a practical discussion about this problem so that we can come up with strategies.

  4. Bay

    I am infuriated by the way everybody is just swallowing this allegation of what Loach said. The quotation has the three dots that indicate material was missed out. I have searched and searched for video or sound clip of what was actually said, and found nothing. But the dots are well known to indicate elision – he may have said all sorts of things between “If they’ve been going to the demonstration against him [Jeremy Corbyn] outside Westminster” and … “those are the ones we need to kick out.”

    It strikes me as absolutely pathetic how ready people are to just swallow this story hook line and sinker. Talk about leaving your brains at the door.

Comments are closed.