2005: Abbott condemned antisemitism of Campbell’s posters. Mandelson defended him

Then-back bencher Abbott criticised ‘sheer nastiness’ and antisemitism – but now-peer Mandelson defended
Diane Abbott

This week, a number of Labour peers paid to advertise a letter attacking Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitism. Among the signatories was Tony Blair’s former right-hand man, Peter Mandelson.

But while Corbyn’s critics claim antisemitism in the Labour Party is a recent phenomenon that reared its head only since Corbyn became party leader, Mandelson’s own history exposes the claim.

Alastair Campbell

In 2005, Blair’s communications head Alastair Campbell was criticised for an ‘antisemitic’ poster campaign targeting the Jewish Tory leader Michael Howard – including one that showed Howard’s head on the body of a pig:

Campbell’s deeply unpleasant image of Howard

Diane Abbott, at the time a back-bench MP, wrote an article condemning Campbell’s posters as a symptom of an “aggressively macho” general election campaign and of a problem in the Labour Party.

But instead of denouncing the ‘Labour antisemitism’, Mandelson leaped to Campbell’s defence – publicly warning the BBC not to ‘demonise’ Campbell.

Louise Ellman, who has been at the forefront of claims Labour is now antisemitic, also equivocated, calling the poster ‘very insensitive’ and saying:

I do not think it is deliberately anti-semitic, but we should not have such posters.

Luciana Berger – another prominent current critic but then not yet a Labour MP – described the posters as ‘misguided’ and ‘wrong’.

Antisemitism has always existed in the Labour Party, just as it has existed in society. However, research by Jewish organisations showed that it is decreasing among Labour supporters.

It is certainly not a new phenomenon. The personal history of one of the peers signing this week’s letter demonstrates that beyond doubt – and casts further doubt on the motives behind the peers’ letter.

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  1. There are no doubts about the motives.
    They do not want a Far Left government led by Corbyn. He frightens them to death. The end of their gravy train.

  2. I can’t see campbell’s deep[ly unpleasant image of howard.

    However, I CAN see campbell’s deeply unpleasant image of campbell, though. Looks like he’s been on the sauce again in that photo.

    Anyway here’s a picture of howard that should bring a smile…Does for me 😀,offset-y0.5

  3. Hmmm…

    Skwawky’s ‘deeply unpleasant picture of howard’ didn’t load and it looks like my picture didn’t neither…Is the site under attack skwawky?

  4. All of these attacks on Jeremy would cease overnight if he recanted and turned a blind eye to the persecution of the Palestinians by Israel.Would he do it? like hell he would, he is far too principled and fair minded.

    The majority of those on the right cannot compute that such a person with integrity exists on our political scene and they are running around in circles trying to find a strategy to beat him. Even to the extent of calling in the BBC to shame itself by producing such a hideous programme as the recent episode of Panorama.

    1. Jack T…….I believe that the attacks would not stop and the plans for return to a system of government that gave the people ownership in the strategic industry’s would not get corbyn off the hook.The outside money will not be available for The AS scam but ,the attacks will carry on regardless.Corbyns agenda which many socialists consider not radical enough,will always be considered as an attack upon the state and the establishment..We would see only a return to a properly funded welfare state,and a National health service we can be proud of..The Neo cons will fight tooth and nail to stop socialism,and I do not rule out killings to acheive it.Remember NIreland Death squads concentration camps,woman,children ,lawyers and even priests shot dead giving the last rights to a person protesting for cival rights.We are in for a dirty war and the establishment have not even started.How do I know ? well I have seen it in Ireland and SAfrika.The state will reply if they feel threatened just look around the world !

      1. We don’t have alternatives other than to pursue socialism, driven by destruction of living standards, NHS etc which means we are on a collison course with these dark forses of the state that have sent the army to open fire on strikers in the past. Remeber what happened in Chile in 1973 –
        Pinochet assumed power in Chile following a United States-backed coup d’état on 11 September 1973 that overthrew the democratically elected socialist Unidad Popular government of President Salvador Allende and ended civilian rule. Several academics – including Peter Winn, Peter Kornbluh and Tim Weiner – have stated that the support of the United States was crucial to the coup and the consolidation of power afterwards……… The new government rounded up thousands of people and held them in the national stadium, where many were killed. This was followed by brutal repression during Pinochet’s rule, during which approximately 3,000 people were killed, while more than 1,000 are still missing.

      2. Joseph, I should have said the anti Semitic attacks. Of course being a Socialist, the attacks on him by the right wing and upon any Socialist will never cease.

  5. ……….& pigs might fly. It seems the murder in 2015 of the satirical magazine journalists in Paris has taught us nothing. The dominant narrative afterwards was ‘Freedom of Speech’ is the keystone upon which our democracy is built. Comedians proclaimed that all religions have a right to be insulted ……….all except one. It appears that ant-Semitism is raw & sensitive to any criticism; grow a thicker skin! Je suis Charlie Hebdo.

    1. “It appears that anti-Semitism is raw & sensitive to any criticism”

      If by “A/S” you mean the Jewish psyche (that of some of them, anyway), then I’d say it’s a chronic case of untreated collective PTSD.

      But then I’m no doctor.,.

      1. Timfrom…..very perceptive….collective memory….seen in others where a major event …slaughter….famines and State sponsored murder!….are known.The slaughter of Jewish people must never be forgotten!

      2. Put it this way, gents….

        israel’s ‘justification’ of having suffered the holocaust (They weren’t the only victims) is NO mitigation for their subjugation of palestine.

        That’s no different than those dirty horridable nonces who employ the: ‘But, I too, was abused as a child’ blood-boiling attempt at a cop-out.

    2. Steve If only we did have a democracy…….No constitution ….Head of state….Elizabeth….able to abolish parliament,appoint the PM or sack the Pm….Royal prerogative?…..Loyalty to the house of Windsor,not the people Lords,knights Barons not forgetting the Barronesses and a Privey council to overturn any plans before parliament gets a wiff…….Forgot death sentence for High treason.Democracy think not.We need a bit more work with that,if we are ever allowed to govern?

  6. Yes bet the Grusome Threesome (Mandelson, Blair, Campbell) are giving that flip chart strategy some stick and what is Blair’s offices (with a room full of staff) up to? Trawling your Facebook page etc?
    Bet when it is the turn of the next Right Wing group of actors to play their designated part the email heading reminder goes something like ” Do you want to get rid of the Corbyn Leadership? This is what you need to do… ”
    Fortunately they are a bunch of political lightweights and imbeciles.
    Donkeys led by donkeys!

  7. This is clearly a disgusting anti semetic image used to degrade and humiliate a Jewish opponent, Michael Howard.
    This revolting image was devised by Alaister Campbell acting on the authority of Prime Minister Tony Blair.
    Peter Hain Peter Mandleson and John Reid were ministers in the government which approved the circulation of this anti semetic image. All of these signed the Guardian advert condemning Jeremy Corbyns alleged failure to address anti Semetism in the party.
    If any of them were unaware of the anti semetic image before it was published they could have resigned from Blairs government when they saw it. None did therefore we can only conclude they approved and /or condoned the use of a revolting anti semetic image to attack a political opponent.
    Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman only barely acknowledged the blatant antisemetism of the image and were very mild in their criticism of it but at least they criticised it which is more than can be said for Margaret Hodge. She too was a minister in the government which approved the circulation of this anti semetic material but she did not raise any objection to it publicly nor did she resign her cabinet post.
    However Diane Abbott our shadow Home Secretary, the most maligned woman in parliament complained about the image and the anti semetic nature of the attack on Michael Howard. Nobody listened – not Margaret Hodge, not the so called Labour grandees , not prominent Jewish Labour MPs – nobody. As far as I am aware Michael Howard never received an apology.
    The double standards are there for all to see – I find the blatant hypocrisy disgusting,

    1. Then the game plan becomes obvious; JC needs to challenge the A/S fakers against this benchmark. At the risk of standing up for “Something of the Night” Howard, call them out and dismiss!

      1. No, it was Michael Howard alright – and it was the swivel-eyed old Bat-virgin Widdecombe who coined the phrase.
        I had to look it up – brain couldn’t get past Paxman asking him the same question over & over.

  8. The sun going down on such a beautiful day,Will Johnson husher in the first truly socialist government,With Boris we will very soon see Jeremy Corbyn ma rch into number 10.(after disinfecting of course) ……recommended by housewives favourite comedian Tommy the Tit
    Watson having been thrown out of the Labour party. he’s….. now scraping a living on the northern club circuit ….Then I awakened to another day….hopfuly god willing?.

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