If it wasn’t bad enough that the Brexit Party’s candidate in Brecon and Radnorshire has been making promises he can’t keep (he’s not the only one doing that!) – it seems his party is now facing an anti-Semitism crisis.
The allegation arises from legal action initiated by Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice against campaigner Femi Oluwole for tweeting “How have we allowed the Brexit Party to be seen as a tolerant party when its Chairman, Richard Tice, founded an overtly anti-Jewish organisation?” with a screenshot of a Leave.EU tweet showing Tony Blair as a marionette, his strings being worked by George Soros. See for yourself:
Can’t see the problem? It’s because the original image was cut off. Here:
Claims that George Soros, a Hungarian-American Jewish businessman, is influencing political figures in another country (like the UK) tie in with the anti-Semitic trope of the “international Jewish conspiracy”.
Mr Tice’s claim – as I understand it – is that he left Leave.EU in 2016, just after the referendum – and there has been plenty of time for that organisation to have changed direction in a way that does not represent his own views since then.
So how does he explain this?
It occurs to me that this is another SLAPP lawsuit – Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation. These are abuses of UK defamation law by very rich people against much less-rich journalists in order to stop discussion of matters of public interest. Another example is Rachel Riley’s lawsuit against me.
And, you know, when you have someone extremely rich taking someone poor to court in order to stop discussion of an issue, you have to wonder why. Don’t you?
None of this necessarily means that the Brexit Party itself is anti-Semitic – but it is enough to raise concerns. After all, Mr Tice is the chairman. And look at Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party – despite the fact that none of the allegations of anti-Semitism against him were accurate, people are still demanding that we believe Labour is institutionally anti-Semitic.
Meanwhile, here in Brecon and Radnorshire, Brexit Party candidate Des Parkinson is doing the exact opposite of his party chairman. Instead of trying to convince us he hasn’t done something he may have done, he’s trying to convince is he will do something that he can’t.
So he’s telling us that if elected he’ll campaign to:
- Deliver Brexit – which he’ll never manage as his party’s sole MP.
- Reverse the 9.5 per cent council tax rise in the constituency – which is a county council matter and nothing to do with MPs.
- Maintain long-term subsidies for farmers and cut paperwork – again, something he can’t achieve as the single representative of his party in Parliament.
- Expand local NHS services with Minor Injury Units at local hospitals – but Powys Teaching Health Board is about to get a £1.5 million cash injection so perhaps those hospitals that don’t have such facilities are about to get them (my local hospital has one now).
- Invest more in local schools – again, a county council matter.
- Increase funding for Dyfed-Powys Police – impossible because he will be unable to affect police budgets or the police precept.
- Stop the expansion of windfarms – this is a devolved matter, handled by the Welsh Assembly and council planners.
- Stop the BBC’s plan to make people over 75 years pay the TV licence fee – but this is a Conservative government plan that the BBC is being ordered to implement – and he won’t be able to stop it on his own.
In other words, Mr Parkinson can’t do any of the things he is promising.
And now there’s a hint of possible anti-Semitism about his party.
People will vote for him because they’ll see the word “Brexit” and think it will happen if they put him in Parliament (it won’t – at least, not the way he’d do it).
I’m just hoping he’ll take enough votes away from Chris “expenses fiddler” Davies, the Tory candidate who’s also campaigning on a pro-Brexit ticket, to scupper them both.
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