, , , , , , ,

Was Chuka Umunna trying to be as offensive as possible to the largest number of people in his latest speech?

Why did he think it was appropriate to characterise Labour Party members as “dogs” while bemoaning the motions of ‘no confidence’ called against Labour Friends of Israel chairperson Joan Ryan and Gavin Shuker, both of whom had attacked party leader Jeremy Corbyn over the anti-Semitism row?

According to BBC News: “Labour MP Chuka Umunna has accused leader Jeremy Corbyn of driving centre-left MPs like himself out of the party.

“The MP … urged Mr Corbyn to “call off the dogs”.

“In a speech to the Blairite campaign group Progress, the former frontbencher said MPs were being targeted for standing up for zero tolerance of racism.

“He said: “My message to our leadership: it is within your power to stop this, so call off the dogs and get on with what my constituency, one of the most diverse communities in the nation, demands we do – without equivocation, fight this Tory Brexit.”

It is not credible to think that he does not know that characterising human beings as “dogs” is dehumanising behaviour, designed to strip people of their dignity – as European Jews discovered during the 1930s and 40s, when the Nazis in Germany called them “vermin”.

Nobody would suggest that Mr Umunna wants to exterminate opponents of Labour MPs who seem more interested in supporting the interests of the Israeli government than their own party and people, but it is clear that this is an exercise in “othering” – making perfectly legitimate members of the Labour Party appear to be enemies.

The word has also been used as a slur against Labour left-wingers, who have also been described as “Trots” (Trotskyists) – as Joan Ryan did in a tweet after she lost her own ‘no confidence’ vote – and “rabble”.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell condemned Mr Umunna’s words as “unacceptable” –

John McDonnell’s excellent statement after Chuka Umunna referred to the Labour Party membership as “dogs”! Source: BBC News 8th September 2018Update Note: The BBC has now uploaded McDonnell’s interview to their own webpage. It only featured Umunna’s speech when I originally posted my clip. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45460143

Posted by Tracey Dawson on Saturday, 8 September 2018

– and he is absolutely right.

Already, social media colleague Martin Odoni has created a template letter of complaint to be submitted to the Labour Party. You can find it here.

Mr Umunna has tried to strike a more reasonable note on Twitter – and failed:

For example, Mr Umunna’s claims about Labour’s left are further undermined by the facts about Joan Ryan, who faced deselection attempts in 2015 – before Jeremy Corbyn became Labour Party leader and the anti-Semitism row was manufactured as a stick with which to beat him:

Check out the other responses:

Oh – and this turned up as a response to Joan Ryan’s ‘no confidence’ vote: Owen Smith tweeted that the Iranian channel Press TV was live-streaming Labour Party meetings as part of a propaganda campaign… against Israel.

How interesting.

Of course, the ‘no confidence’ vote was partly triggered by allegations that Ms Ryan has been using her position as chair of Labour Friends of Israel in the interests of the current Israeli government.

That last point about whether Mr Smith was equally outraged when a fellow Labour NEC member recorded Peter Willsman speaking on anti-Semitism accusations is excellent. This is all about double-standards.

After all, Mr Umunna was displaying his own double-standard when he dehumanised left-wing Labour members using language that he would never have employed if he had been referring to Jews.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: