Wolfson chastises Times over latest membership/antisemitism fake news

A Jewish Labour NEC (National Executive Committee) member has chastised the Times for fake news linking a supposed membership slump to recent trumped-up antisemitism claims by hostile organisations.

The Times’ Twitter account tweeted that 17,000 members have left the party over the last three months, but was corrected in a tweet by Rhea Wolfson:

wolfson times

The Times has used an out of date figure and has treated late-paying members as ‘quit’ – ignoring the fact that membership always drops at this point in the year as direct debits renew and some members go into arrears when debits ‘bounce’ for technical reasons or for lack of funds.

In fact, Labour’s latest membership figures show new members joining at almost three times the rate of actual resignations, although there was a slight lull at the height of the antisemitism slur.

This skewed representation by the Murdoch-owned Times comes hard on the heels of a Twitter claim by one of its journalists that only nineteen percent of Labour members recognise antisemitism in the party, when in fact the correct figure was ninety-six percent.

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  1. I read an interesting study recently about the reasons why memberships to political parties lapse.

    Women’s memberships lapsed more than men’s and the most often cited reason for this was financial.

    I think the Labour Party needs some type of system in place to help members who fall into arrears due to financial hardship.

    Perhaps the cost to members who are finding the cost of renewing should be reduced for 12 months to make membership more affordable? Or perhaps we should start a fund for members who are struggling to help them pay for their membership, so they pay a significantly reduced rate?

    As a mass membership party we can now do these things.

    We must not price people out of being members of the Labour Party.

    1. Good points.

      The membership fee isn’t something you pay in order to get something tangible in exchange as in other ‘clubs,’ it is in effect a donation to the Labour Party. As such there should be a suggested minimum donation for those on low income and trust the integrity of the member. After all, as Socialists, integrity is one of our strong points – surely?

  2. The way this ‘anti-Semitism’ situation is being allowed to rumble on and if it is correct that Christine Shawcroft was forced to resign her position on the NEC, it’s clear that someone in the Leader’s office is making all the wrong decisions. From the very start, the Zionists, whose interest is not anti-Semitism but in removing Jeremy Corbyn should have been confronted head on.

    It appears that Jeremy has been receiving advice from ‘semi-Zionists’ who support him but who also do not want to upset full blown Zionists. This appeasement advice was and is fatal because it has emboldened the enemy and make no mistake it is an enemy who are implacable.

    Jeremy needs to call on ‘professional’ help with this and form an advisory group of people with impeccable credentials and public recognition, people such as Ken Loach and Roger Waters who can highlight the real reason for the anti-Semitism accusations.

    1. My immediate frustration is similar but I remember that actually allowing the PLP coup was ultimately extremely helpful. Not only did it open a lot of member’s eyes but also allowed new blood into the shadow cabinet to gain experience. The second leadership contest also put in place a tried and tested manifesto and an experienced team of Momentum activists, ready to fight the snap GE in 2017.

      Corbyn and co. seem to have adopted that fight strategy of allowing the weight of the opposition’s attacks to be turned back, against them. Fingers crossed the same will happen here.

      1. I agree wholeheartedly. The media works with bursts of energy and false claims at the beginning – a mass onslaught. They can’t keep this up and this is replaced by a slow drip feed afterwards which they expect will maintain the pressure. The best time to attack is after the onslaught. Keep your head down and take the flack, then fight back. Expect to see a Labour response now (hence Corbyn’s visit to Judas) and expect to see a debate taking place about the issue now eg how the Jewish community is divided by zionism and the Labour party is the man in the middle because both Jewish communities are prevalent in the party.

  3. The hypocrisy .When Ed Milliband was labour leader there was a lot of nasty remarks made on social media. Saying the UK didn’t want a yid
    running the country.
    There were lots of derogatory comments about Ed Milliband being Jewish. I complained about it and yet nothing was done .anti semitism was rife and it was allowed. Nothing was done .It is very real and deeply nasty and unpleasant. It is sickening though what is happening now.thereza maY said she will make sure Jeremy Corbyn will never be prime minister she should have added by fair means of foul.though it would be foul. .He has had everything thrown at him and all because he is an honest decent man who believes each and every one of us are worth something .

  4. Just read the interview with Rhea in the Guardian and talk about putting a -ve spin on it ,,, it reads like a criticism of Corbyn , no mention that the hold up in pace was down to McNicol and the right-wingers .
    But what am I thinking !!! it’s the Guardian the thinking man’s Daily hate Mail.

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