Shami by name, shammy by nature. The shambolic Chakrabarti Report, triggered by public displays of anti-Semitism by Labour Party members at all levels, is an amateur put-up job. It is a report in name only. Its best use is as a wrapping for fudge. But then, I did predict this. Once again, Corbyn’s Labour party is on form.
Proper independent inquiry reports tend to have executive summaries. They are laid out with wide margins, clear line spacing and readable sentences. They have numbered sections. The focus is on the actual events and persons. They explain official responses and the mechanisms that control them, where they went wrong and how they should improve. The Labour Party has a ‘Compliance Unit’, which presumably regulates party discipline and enforces rules. No mention is made of it or how it works. Without these kinds of contents the report is pointless.
Instead there is page after page of dense, rambling, vague text, which resembles its beleaguered leader in its style. It is as boring as a communist manifesto or a speech by Fidel Castro. The writing seems to owe more to a stream of consciousness style than it does to a report prepared by what some people regard as a professional. Instead of being an objective examination, this is simply a chat amongst comrades.
The whole report looks like it is been cobbled together over a wet Sunday afternoon by a committee after someone realised it was due on Monday morning. The process for the report was based on interviews and written submissions. Chakrabarti admits that, ‘This was not a judicial, public or otherwise very formal or legalistic inquiry.’ She does not explain why. So even she admits that there is not too much to it. Surely substantiated accusations of open racism in a party that claims to be anti-racist while attacking others for being less so should have been subject to rigorous examination. But then, this is, at the time of writing, Corbyn’s Labour party.
One reasonable explanation is that the Labour party hesitated in turning over the rock where its supporters and activists reside and having a really close look because it was afraid of what it would find underneath. Another is that it knows only too well but will not admit the truth.
Labour has for decades traded on social bigotry and envy to secure political advantage. Its hatred of the Conservatives and wealth creation in general is blind and has led it down an ideological path that is now regularly rejected by British voters. The only time Labour embraced economic realities, it won three elections under a talented and articulate leader that it now disowns. In the minds of most Labour supporters, the last ‘proper’ Labour government lost power in 1979. They forget that it was only reluctantly elected in 1974 by voters that had been battered by strikes and other civil disorder, at a time when politicians could only govern with the consent of openly undemocratic trades unions.
This amateur report was commissioned by a party that is now run by a cabal of amateur politicians, so perhaps it is not too surprising.
And what of Chakrabarti herself? She has now joined the Labour Party, stating:
“I had for some time been an undeclared Labour voter and supporter, though formally unaffiliated due to my work as first a civil servant and then the director of a cross-party, non-party human rights organisation. That employment ended only a month previously. Secondly, I wanted to be clear with everyone and especially with Labour members and supporters, that my Inquiry would be conducted, and any recommendations made, in the Party’s best interests.”
Given that ‘the party’s best interests’ are now a matter of severe internal dispute, perhaps this was not the best time to be sharing sharing a platform with Jeremy Corbyn, especially as the number of people willing to do so diminishes every day. Chakrabarti should have been delayed the report until the outcome of what can only be described as ‘The Battle of Corbyngrad’ had been determined.
The launch of the report was marked by a walk-out by a Jewish Labour MP after personal attacks by a left-wing activist. The activist was later greeted by Jeremy Corbyn, who in his remarks equated Daesh with Israel. Chakrabarti did not demur. Judging from Corbyn’s actions, the report will be ignored, having served its purpose by demonstrating ‘something’ was being done.
Perhaps Chakrabarti has been promised a safe Parliamentary seat to be parachuted into if she played along. Unfortunately, under the current conditions, there seems to be no such thing as a safe Labour seat, perhaps because there seems to be no such thing as a Labour Party.
Chakrabarti should disown the report and get some self-respect back. After all, that would be no more or no less than what numerous Labour MPs and others are doing to the person who commissioned it.
(Image: Southbank Centre)