Video: Austin’s ‘full frontal assault’ on Rosen’s testimony on antisemitism

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Ian Austin: ‘full frontal assault’ on Jewish author Michael Rosen

West Midlands Labour MP Ian Austin is the subject of at least two formal complaints by fellow Labour MPs Ian Lavery and Chris Williamson relating to at least three instances of alleged abusive conduct described as at extremely close quarters and extremely aggressive.

The outburst toward Lavery, as eyewitnesses reported to the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire, contained no political point. One of the two at Williamson has been described as:

an incoherent rant accusing [Chris] of all manner of things relating to racism and sexism.

In spite of this, Austin has spoken on BBC News and elsewhere denying he was abusive and claiming he was simply upset about antisemitism.

This prompted Jewish author Michael Rosen to relate an incident involving Austin’s behaviour toward him during a session of the Commons Education Committee, at which Rosen was asked to share his perspectives on antisemitism and the Holocaust.

In a series of tweets and responses to questions, Rosen outlined what he described as a ‘full frontal assault’ by Austin against him for making a point Austin didn’t want to hear – and when one correspondent described Austin’s behaviour as ‘thuggish’ (a word that has been used about him before), Rosen did not disagree:

austin rosen assaultrosen austin 0rosen austinrosen austin 1rosen austin 2

Mr Rosen was right – the session, which took place in December 2015, was recorded. Here is the footage of the pertinent exchange, in which Austin persistently talks over and aggressively interrupts a guest invited to help the Education Committee, before dismissing his viewpoint – twice – as ‘absolute nonsense’:


Austin’s outburst that the reason Britain wasn’t invaded by the nazis was ‘because Britain fought back on its own‘ is shockingly disrespectful. It ignores, for example, the sacrifice of the soldiers of other nations who did try to resist the nazis or the free Polish, Czech, French and others who were among the troops who pushed the Germans back on D-Day and afterward.

It also ignores the decisive roles played by US and Soviet troops, at huge cost in lives – and surely betrays a simplistic, even jingoistic tendency. His “Dad’s Army” bluster would be comical if his attitude was not so objectionable.

Austin has a track record for boorish – thuggish – behaviour, but presented himself to the media on Sunday as an innocent offended by the evil Labour Party.

But his readiness to steamroll and denigrate the opinion of a respected Jewish parliamentary guest, recorded by Commons cameras, betrays a brittle, volatile temperament and calls into question his respect for and self-control towards people – including Jewish people – who dare to contradict him.

Certainly Michael Rosen felt disrespected and – in his own words – assaulted out of nowhere.

Ian Austin has been contacted for comment.

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  1. Austin is a horrible weasel. The idea he is a Labour MP is appalling. Deselect him and let us never hear from him again.

      1. “The Labour Party will emerge stronger if it continues to be a broad church: an alliance of traditional centrist social-democrats, including people who subscribe to the Third Way doctrine that inspired Blairism, centre-leftists from the Brown/Ed Miliband days, Momentum, the unions and the new social movements and the ‘Blue Labour’ tradition.”

        Sorry but I couldn’t disagree more – surely by now we’ve learned that the centre will not form a true alliance with, share power with or even tolerate the left except as a tiny minority under their domination to be patted on the head and humoured – as the few honoured hold-outs for socialism were under Blair.

        The common ground Mr. Mason alludes to is illusory.
        The centre and Blue Labour are Tories hiding in red, keeping the people quiet and hopeful while the 1% gather unto themselves what they don’t yet own or control.

        Compromise will hardly even slow the return to feudalism.
        We should have none of it.

      2. I used to admire Mason enormously, but since he, in trying to hold on to his place at The Fraudian, spouted the neo-con propaganda line that Russia was a major threat to this country – no less than 3 times over a 5 week period! – I’ve had severe reservations about just whose side he’s on. He then did at least have the decency to leave the paper and try to wash the stain off.

        Whether or not this article puts him on the level again, well, we”l have to see if he stays on this track or veers off again in order to please some shady new employer. Time will tell…

  2. Austin bleats in the media that he has been misrepresented and is being victimised – a classic defence of those who support Israeli atrocities and then blame the victims.

    Most of us have no way of knowing, apart from the testimonies of those who were the victims of Austin’s verbal abuse, exactly what was said. However millions of us were witnesses to Austin’s nastiness when he made that televised loathsome outburst against Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament.

    Ian Austin has form and it stinks.

  3. I’ll be disappointed if Mr. Rosen is correct that we’re still teaching kids the kind of jingoistic stuff about our part in the war that my (and Austin’s?) generation was taught.
    Without any one of the Navy, the RAF and the English Channel we would have been overrun in weeks. To suggest that we would have somehow behaved more honourably than other European nations in defending Jews from the Gestapo is nonsense.
    The ease with which Europe was defeated left populations shocked. That and collective punishments of civilians for resistance cowed almost all into submission.
    Most of our citizens would have behaved no differently with family members threatened with death.
    Austin is an idiot – and a nasty one.

  4. Anyone who is unaware of Austin’s long history of rude and abusive outbursts in the HofC which have been directed at members from all sides of the House needs to give their head a good shake. The man clearly has “issues” and I often wonder who he is really angry with.

    The Guardian however reaches new depths this morning in giving Austin his own opinion column. Our man is of course not guilty of anything. It’s absolutely tragic what that paper has become. I have read it for over half a centuary and when it eventually disappears in a couple of years time I like many of its former readers won’t give a dam.

    1. Used to read the Guardian myself. I read it because it contained views from across the spectrum and this was reflected in the comments online. It started to go downhill under Rusbridger but when Viner took over, and post referendum, any criticism was wheedled out and it became a seriously illiberal liberal mouthpiece.

      1. Yes,another “former reader”here,I took the Guardian as a daily paper for years.It is tragic what it has now become,in its.Ltd company incarnation.I will be glad when it has gone.

    2. As a 40+ years ex-reader, the G has now entered into ‘gutter politics’. The constant stream of anti-Corbyn/Momentum/Labour Party articles [with about 1 in 10 with some counter-argument] has gone beyond a joke. As captainbeefheart BTL I cannot even be bothered to Comment any more. The bulk of BTL comments now more closely resembles a Tory ‘rag’.

      1. Seconded, rob. Off-Guardian is the natural home for the discerning, disillusioned ex-Fraudian readers!

  5. Having watched the clip I feel Austin appears rather blinkered and a bit rude but to describe it as a full frontal assault is somewhat over the top. His record tells us he is an unpleasant character with a tendency to bully but let’s keep our outrage in perspective.

  6. ‘Simply upset about antisemitism.’

    Yeah, alright.

    So, let’s see you tear into mcvile about her treatment of the unemployed, the sick and women in the same manner. Or don’t they matter if they’re not jewish?

    Or the toerags in general for their overt islamophobia…Or doesn’t that matter because they’re not jewish?

    Or Enfield CLP/Caliskan???

    You’re beyond a disgrace with your pathetic excuses after pretending you’re some sort of hardcase, austin. Carry on like that and one day you’ll end up picking on the wrong one.

  7. Also, it’d have been reasonable to assume that angela (ill)eagle would return the favour to austin and jump to his defence – Alas,there’s nothing on her twitter about it.

    Further proof of what them on the right are about.

    Mizz balls has piped up on twitter, though…and been roundly put down again – as per.


  8. To put things in perspective for a change,
    Corbyn’s difficulty appealing to Jews at the ballot box must be put in context. A Survation poll before the election found only 13 per cent of Jews were planning to vote Labour in 2017, but two years earlier, in 2015, just 14 per cent said they were backing Miliband’s Labour before Corbyn’s ascent to the leadership.

    1. UK population c66,000,000 – registered voters c44,000,000
      so it is reasonable to assume that
      Jewish UK population c300,000 – registered Jewish voters c200,000

      in 2015 14% – 28,000 Jewish voters for Labour
      In 2017 13% – 26,000 Jewish voters for Labour

      So Jeremy Corbyn may be responsible for the loss of a total of 2,000 Jewish votes

      1. Precisely the point I was making the other day on that other thread you responded to, Steve!

        Labour does not exist to cater for the endless needs of a minority who make up approx 0.384% of the population (assuming 250,000 British Jews out of a population of 65 million), no matter how “special” they might think they are!

      2. Time to sue for defamation those publications, media and individuals that have libelled or slandered Mr. Corbyn, other members and the party.

        We know there is no evidence to support their claims, so do they and soon so will their lawyers.
        The evidence that their claims are not only false and defamatory but also vengeful and vindictive is, however, overwhelming.

        They must pay.

    2. Miliband was detested by many Jews because as a Jew himself he’d backed the Palestinians. And that is what it’s ALL about. Acres of newsprint and barely a mention of Palestine, they are all getting off on the idea they can get rid of Corbyn and have an Israeli friendly Labour Party. It won’t happen so their best bet you might think would be to join their natural party, the Tories or Cable’s New Party. But they won’t take their claws out of Labour and hope they can at least stop them winning. It’s why the Editor of Jewish News told the Jerusalem Post that British Jews ‘could no longer vote Labour’ (not that he ever had!)

      1. I agree with much of what you have said but the major point I was trying to emphasis was the actual number of Jewish voters is really very small. Plus it ain’t all JC’s fault.
        It is also worth noting that the number of Jewish Labour MPs is way in excess of being representative of the number of Jewish votes indicating that the party structures, members and voters are not riven with anti-Semitism as some one like us to believe

  9. People like TV.
    The Skwawkbox, Evolve Politics, Rachael Swindon and so many others do brilliant work but if uncommitted voters read them it’s probably by accident – or am I wrong?

    People like to laugh.
    Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson were the last right wing comics I remember – most of the current generation are at least left-ish aren’t they? And I suspect would love to use their talent for more than wealth and fame.

    Tories have no visible sense of humour that doesn’t rely on racism, sexism or spite so I don’t see the charmless ones competing.
    Leo Kearse? Geoff Norcott? Gimme a break.

    Can’t build a channel on Chubby Brown, Cabinet’s Got Talent (No, Really), The Only Way Is Brexit and Dancing On Thin Ice ffs.

    And people will love Jeremy without the MSM’s distorting editorial lens.

    Labour TV please.

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