IS this the beginning of the end for the Labour Party? There are signs it is all starting to fall apart. Yesterday the party’s former general secretary Lord Triesman resigned the Labour whip on the grounds of its institutional anti-Semitism. He said: ‘We may one day be the party of anti-racism once again but it certainly isn’t today.’
By the end of the day he’d been followed by two more peers, Lord Darzi and Lord Turnberg.
BREAKING: Lord Triesman has resigned the Labour whip, citing "institutional anti-Semitism".
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) July 9, 2019
Last year Lord Triesman, who is Jewish, wrote in the Times that Jeremy Corbyn’s inaction over anti-Semitism was ‘like the 1930s’. Labour’s tolerance of anti-Semitism under Corbyn was comparable, he said, to the failure to confront fascist ideology before the rise of Hitler. Yesterday he reiterated his concerns:
‘Day by day the extent and depth of anti-Semitism became clearer in the top leadership and the National Executive Committee. Anti-Semites are shielded, and solid and serious party members are thrown out unceremoniously.
‘Each new manifestation is followed by a grim parade of social media messages directed at Jewish party members. The experience of life in the party has become sickening.’
Triesman said the party had ‘slipped into the familiar gutter of so many of the hard left, and the old tropes about the secret wiring connecting Jewish entrepreneurs and the use of wealth to exercise secretive control can be heard almost daily’.
In a series of damaging remarks aimed at Corbyn and his inner circle, Triesman said Labour’s leadership now used ‘any excuse to allow their allies to attack Jews or to engage with anti-Semites’.
He wrote: ‘My sad conclusion is that the Labour Party is very plainly institutionally anti-Semitic, and its leader and his circle are anti-Semitic, having never once made the right judgement call about an issue, reflecting deep prejudice.’
This exodus follows a spate of Labour MPs who resigned, sickened by the same issue, earlier in the year.
On the BBC’s Today programme yesterday, former Labour Attorney General Lord Falconer, asked whether he too would resign, insisted the party was still worth fighting for. It is hard to see why. And what, we wonder, will it take to sicken him and the remaining Labour peers?