Video: Gardiner perfectly quantifies antisemitism in Labour – and party’s actions to deal with it

Labour front-bencher resists interruptions to deliver detail on antisemitism in Labour and the party’s organisational changes to deal with it

Barry Gardiner on Sky News’ Ridge programme

Defying the host’s attempts to interrupt, Barry Gardiner delivered a perfect exposition of the true scale of antisemitism among Labour members – and the changes made by Jennie Formby since she became the party’s general secretary:

Gardiner, who is supportive of ex-Labour colleague Luciana Berger, set out the complaints made, the actions the party has taken – and put the issue into a perspective that is rarely seen on so-called ‘mainstream’ media:

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Labour has made huge strides under Jennie Formby to deal with the genuine issues and the party’s processes have been transformed compared to what she inherited from the previous administration.

What a pity that Gardiner’s exposition is such a rarity in the media presentation of the issue.

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  1. I also heard the remarks he made in parliament on Wednesday and have to say I wasn’t impressed.

    Should’ve said the same there as he did in this interview.

    ALL labour MP’s should be ordered (NOT asked) to go on ALL channels and repeat those stats, just like Gardiner, with a refusal to be allowed to be interrupted or sidetracked.

    Any who refuse, or even politely decline should be expelled for ‘Bringing the party into disrepute’ (And where’ve we seen that before?) because these are the FACTS.

    After all, the ones who refuse’ll only be the same ones who want to dictate the terms of what constitutes antisemtism.

    1. Had the response to the original anti semitism smears been a lot more robust,it would have been buried long since.Bu once the creatures realised that Corbyn was unnerved by the accusations,they poured into the breech.

  2. Sorry, but Gardiner is not a trustworthy person,at
    least politically.I have no knowledge of him in any other capacity.

    1. Barry Gardiner is not any sort of socialist Left winger by any stretch of the imagination. He is, however, alongside Emily Thornberry, (also no sort of socialist Left Winger at all), apart from the genuine Left Wingers of Chris Williamson, Jeremy and John McDonnell, the best representative of Labour’s various policies on the always hostile News media that we currently have. Which is nice as far as it goes, but an indictment of the talent (or more accurately, lack of) we have amongst avowed Left Wingers in the PLP – who usually come across as poorly briefed and intimidated by the constant aggression of the interviewers.

      Some posters here dislike Barry’s condemnation of the undoubted massive amount of genuine anti-Semitic abuse the dreadful Blairite ,Luciana Berger, has faced for years. Berger may well have made a career feature of spotting “anti-Semitism”, even in her university days, and cynically deliberately confusing this with solidarity with the Palestinians and hostility to the actions of the Israeli state. But unfortunately , the blind willful self denial of those who insist the ENTIRE anti-Semitism furore is just a mass media and pro-Israeli lobby concoction, is simply not true. Plenty of genuine , full cream, anti Semitism does lurk on both the Left, and of course amongst that much larger cohort of non-Labour Party anti-Semites who make up the bulk of the abusers cited as evidence by the Labour Right and mass media. Barry’s comments simply recognise this vital fact, and he then explains the measures the Party has now in place to root out this small cohort of either deliberate or ignorantly lazy perennial users of anti-Semitic memes .

      Skwawkbox, unfortunately, has a cohort of obsessively regular posters on the anti-Semitism issue , who seem incapable of grasping that both unthinkingly ignorant and deliberate anti-Semitism IS a real problem in our Party, small in scale compared to media claims, but a problem nevertheless. And they , in their wilful denial of this hard fact, are part of our problem – helping to make the Labour right’s case for them with every post.

      1. Your distortions are worthy of the MSM.

        None of us here will fail to condemn real antisemitism in the Labour Party and call it out when we see it. But not the pretend antisemitism contained in the totally confused IHRA ‘examples’.

        Thus our suggestion that accusation, evidence and action be made public – so that such cases are transparent.

        Where this has happened by circumstance, the interesting fact is that a remarkable percentage of cases where the facts *are* known represent not ‘antisemitism’, but the hounding of left-wing individuals with strong records of anti-racism who have called out the inherent bad faith of the Israel lobby. They are often ‘the wrong kind of Jew’ and/or black, and always vocal advocates of the Palestinian cause, rather than antagonistic towards Jews.

        Two wrongs don’t make a right (to be stunningly original), but the filth that they receive from Facebook nut-jobs matches the genuine antisemitic abuse that occurs from the other side. The difference is that you will not have come across much about the persecution of Jackie Walker in the MSM.

        As to your claim :

        ” Plenty of genuine , full cream, anti Semitism does lurk on both the Left”

        No. A small amount, perhaps, and certainly more *pretending* to be of the left. And such as it exists, it can be dealt with.

        What is much more common is tacit complicity in (or plain ignorance about) the horrendous treatment of Palestinians that the Israel lobby seeks to conceal and perpetuate.

      2. Gardiner,like Thornberry is a member of “Friends of Israel”.That is supporters of a racist apartheid state,and that should be unacceptable in a Socialist party.As for the “two state solution”you mention elsewhere here,a thoroughly dead duck.No serious commentator looking to solutions in Palestine take it seriously.Its only purpose is to provide cover whilst the Zionist go about their business of stealing the rest of Palestine.A modern unitary state where all are equal is the only realistic solution that delivers any sort of justice for the Palestinians.

      3. I plead guilty to being one of the cohort. I am conscious of the tendency to conflate the state of Israel & the Jewish Religion & again plead guilty to sometimes feeling anger which can blind objectivity, but the state of Israel is also guilty. Often deliberately conflating the Religion with the State of Israel to claim anti-semitism when anyone criticises the country & its ruthless slaughter of Palestinians. Anyone even suggesting a one-state solution is guilty of anti-semitism. To advocate equal rights; equal representation & true democracy for both Jew & Arab is …………..being anti-semitic.
        Jeremy Corbyn is penalised not only because of his Socialist beliefs, but also because of his criticism of Pro-Israeli foreign policy; the establishment will not allow him to become Prime Minister. The constant accusation of anti-semitism will never leave MSM because the constant repetition of the lie is the gift that must keep on giving; any denial provides more proof!

      4. Well put although I would like to quibble ever so slightly with your point about Gardiner and Thornberry being the best representatives beyond JC, J McD and CW; I see them as being loyal too.

  3. “Labour has made huge strides under Jennie Formby to deal with the genuine issues and the party’s processes have been transformed compared to what she inherited from the previous administration.”

    Hang on. This implies that there was a significant problem *before* Jenny Formby’s appointment.

    There wasn’t, and, before this blew (or was blown) up, objective evidence showed that prejudicial attitudes were at low levels in the Labour Party in comparison with society as a whole and parties of the right. There were many posts from long-time members to say that they had never come across ‘antisemitism’ as a phenomenon.

    See :


    The previous regime was actually noted for caving into confected allegations rather than ignoring genuine ones.

    1. RH

      “There were many posts from long-time members to say that they had never come across ‘antisemitism’ as a phenomenon.”

      Wrong their was it had always been their and far worse under previous Labour Govts, only you did not get to hear about it as press and media did not report it as they was happy with centrist Govts

      Iain McNicol the then Sec Gen has a lot to answer for as he did NOTHING bar sit on the complaints instead of acting on them

      1. “Wrong”


        I’m just stating a fact – that many of us have not witnessed antisemitism within our lengthy time in the Labour Party.

        If it was genuinely all-pervasive, rather than an aberration, that would not be the case.

  4. Labour has to tread carefully on AS, that’s why he said what he said in HoC re Berger… she’s gone now, yesterdays fish and chip paper now. good riddance, he needs to distance himself from LFI at a later date. LFI membership should be limited to 2 or 3 trusted individuals not of weak mind..

  5. Skwarwky please do not try to rehabilitate Barry Gardiner, he with his advice to JC to appease at all costs has probably done more harm to Labour than anyone else over the A/S issue.

    Gardiner is a member of the Labour Friends of Israel the front in the LP to house Israel’s political allies. They say they promote a ‘Two State Solution’ which in itself is fatuous. If they were genuine they would be campaigning for one fully democratic state but as the lady who challenged Joan Ryan at the conference and was called an anti-Semite for her troubles asked, what have they even done to further a two state soution? the answer is ZERO.

    1. Barry’s position is Labour Party policy – and Jeremy’s position too. Only the posturing ultraleft, and the clerico-fascists of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, reject the Two States Solution approach to a negotiated settlement of the Palestine/Israel tragedy. Every other international body, from our Labour Party, the UN, to the PLO itself, supports the Two States Solution. It is you, Jack T, with your empty posturing, that reveal yourself as fatuous, and with no place in our Party. If indeed you are in our Party, and aren’t just a second Troll identity alongside “RH” , with his absolutely identical posturing on all issues.

      1. jpenney, Your position is the LFI position – hold the fort for Israel until they can force all Palestinians out of Palestine so that the Zionists can realise their dream of a Jewish State in Palestine.

        I must say, your response aproaches that of Zionists who when challenged, come out with the most vile personal abuse against those who question them.

        Regarding a solution, has anyone asked Palestinians on the ground? – I have.

      2. I am heartened by your response, ha’penny.

        It shows vividly that rational argument is something you run from in favour of playground chanting.

        I do enjoy a good laugh, however, and the irony of ‘the posturing ultraleft’ was amusing (I seem to remember the label being ‘Blairite’ when the wind was from the other direction.

        We can debate ‘the two state solution’, which is the purported aim of reconciliation, but has become a flag of convenience rather than a realistic solution as Israel kicks the can out of the park and seizes more and more land whilst emulating the Berlin wall as it hunkers down.

        I talk to people who have lived on the ground in Palestine rather than just inhabiting the safety of the internet.

        The last time (six months ago) I asked the question of someone who has observed years of the Nakba and consequent dispossession, followed by the fakery of the Oslo Accords, they felt that any hope of a two state solution is now dead.

        This then leaves only a ‘one state’ solution. But, of course, that requires imagination and honesty that hasn’t been much in evidence.

        But perhaps you actually have insight as to how the ‘two state’ solution might be progressed? I’m open to suggestions.

      3. jpenney, do you seriously think the grown-ups here will be ignorant of the fact that Israel has its own ‘clerico-fascists’?
        I ask because you’ve used the term twice in two days to decry Islamic clerics, a trope some might think antisemitic.

        Do you seriously expect anyone here to accept your specious claim that Israel favours (or even would eschew force to prevent) a two State solution when it continues to pepper the West Bank with armed Jewish settlements to make that physically impossible?

        Do you seriously equate your trivially-hurt feelings on hearing a 400-year-old Shakespearean expression (the offensiveness of which will be unknown to most) with the poverty and enormous historic and ongoing oppression suffered by sections of BAME Britain?

        If so your attitudes are very much of the right – self-satisfied, self-righteous, dismissive of the suffering of others and ready to use every despicable advantage to maintain its hegemony – and I’m done with you.

      4. Minor correction – nearly done.

        Britain was innocent of the Holocaust but many British families lost husbands, sons and fathers fighting the Nazis.
        Given the relative populations there are many more non-Jews than Jews in Britain mourning family members from that war, most of whom suffered savagely violent and protracted deaths.

        Britain’s wealthy elites – of all faiths – were far from innocent however in those other holocausts of slavery and empire.
        I’d argue that our duty to make restitution to descendants of peoples our upper classes’ forebears kidnapped, enslaved and worked to death remains unfulfilled – and far outweighs our admitted duty to avoid hurting your feelings.

        One might hope the British descendants of peoples oppressed by Nazi imperialists would argue more strongly than anyone for the primacy of Britain’s duty to address the ongoing racism and deprivation suffered by many of our BAME citizens today as a direct result of our imperial past.

      5. Re. David’s comment: “Israel has its own ‘clerico-fascists’?”

        The fact is that, in Netanyahu and Likud, it is in the hands of the extreme far right (the ‘clerico’ bit) is optional, and it is no accident that Netanyahu in mates with sundry extreme right/dictatorial leaders.

        The fascist-tending settler movement in the Occupied Territories are openly encourage in their racism as they destroy the land and the indigenous civilisation with it, replacing centuries of a settled agricultural community with revolting blots on the landscape.

        If you want an insight into what has happened – from an understated and incidental examination of a landscape despoiled by crude colonial settlement, I would recommend : “Palestinian Walks’ by Raja Shehadeh. For anyone who knows and values what remains of that historic landscape, it’s heart-breaking, lament is more forceful than crude polemic. And – unlike the mythologised biblical stories of ancient exile and servitude, it is here and now – and visible.

      6. I think that Jonathan Cook restores a bit of balance in terms of the theocratic stakes in the Middle East :


  6. Labour has been scared into apologising for things that have been trumped up by Corbyn’s enemies. Rather than meeting these false accusations head on the Labour rabbits whispered in Corbyn’s ear advising mass apologies to Jewry in general rather than finding out the real truth of the complaints. This elevated the situation to a mare’s nest of whole party soul searching and left Corbyn open to all sorts of false allegations. Time to put the lid on this can of worms opened by those who have little to lose and a lot to gain regarding publicity, as we’ve seen!

  7. Yes Labour has a rigorous process now in place to deal with any claims of AS.
    Meanwhile millions (including 4m kids) are living in poverty, millions are desperate for decent homes, millions are on poverty pay, millions are suffering from Tory austerity for working people US but not for THEM (tax cuts for millionaires and corporations), millions are struggling due to pay freezes, millions of young people have to rent privately at expensive rents with a lack of security being unable to buy, many are suffering from UC, benefit cuts and sanctions and the Tories may even take free TV licences from the over 75s so let’s get back to trying to be proactive and setting the agenda!

  8. Barry played a perfect straight bat to Sophy Ridge. His exposition of the antisemitism issue was faultless and he deserves great praise for that.
    We must be very careful not to demonise people just because they differ from us in terms of policy. Honest differences must be respected.
    As for Luciana Berger, a close perusal of the available evidence over the years suggests, at least to me, that she is more to be pitied than condemned. Which might explain why she received gentler treatment than the other eight reprobates from those in the know.

  9. The reason why Sophie Ridge let Barry Gardiner have his say and only tried to interrupt him once is because he refused to let her talk over him on an earlier occasion. He told her at that time that when she talked over him he could not hear her and couldn’t answer her questions. There was then an awkward silence. She became flustered and embarrassed.She did not want a repeat performance so she let him gave the statistics.
    I think there is a lesson for all Labour MPs there both in the way the earlier rude interruptions were dealt with and in the way the statistics were used to refute the allegation of widespread anti semitism in our party but WHY did he not go further and point out that we have select a disproportionately high number of Jewish PPCs, finance their election campaigns,canvas for by knocking on doors, vote for in huge numbers ( Louise Ellman got over 80% of the vote in her constituency) and once elected their CLPs provide support in their constituencies week in week out. Despite all this we are deemed ” institutionally ” anti semetic. Utter nonsense the absurdity of which and needs to be highlighted at every opportunity.

    1. Smartboy

      The same tactics for dealing with interruptions from interviewers who prefer the sound of their own voice should be employed against Kirsty Wark (Newsnight), Cathy Newman (Channel 4 News) and Jo Coburn (BBC2 Politics Live), to name but three.

      I’m not saying this ego problem is confined to female presenters, but I’m struggling to think of any male ones who are habitually as rude…

  10. It is all about how present the issue and interpreted a word of anti-semitism is so important. Because centerists use the word of anti-semitism to misguide ordinary people who do not question much of anything but would understand how it presented by the media. The media’s responsibility is so huge. It easily grow uncontrolable gross into misunderstanding or has already and a bit too late, hope not. A good example is my neighbour said that she does not like Corbyn because he is anti-semitist. I explaine to her about anti-semitism and told her Corbyn is a humanist how he could be anti-semitist. She did not know one word of it she seemed a bit more understanding about anti-seminitsm and Corbyn. It seems very dangerous time at the moment not only Britian but all over the world as every system under the capitalism started not working. They want to blame somebody with wrong reason.

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