Analysis comment

Calls for Starmer to act against Nandy after comment appears to imply all Jewish people are wealthy and powerful (video)

Does ‘zero tolerance’ mean zero tolerance when it involves the Labour right?

Labour leader Keir Starmer is facing calls for him to act against one of his most senior front benchers after she made a radio comment that appeared to imply Jewish people are all wealthy and/or powerful.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy, in an interview on BBC Radio 4, said that antisemitism is ‘a form of racism that punches up’:

‘Punching up’ is shorthand for the less powerful criticising or attacking the more powerful, rather than ‘punching down’ on those less powerful than the attacker.

The significance of the comment seemed clear to those listening – and not just to Labour supporters:

But after Starmer’s haste to suspend Jeremy Corbyn today – for a comment the EHRC’s own report said he was perfectly entitled to make – many Labour members and supporters are demanding that Starmer apply the same ‘zero tolerance’ to Nandy.

One angry ‘Socialist Campaign Group’ MP told the SKWAWKBOX:

Keir’s action against Jeremy was clearly political and opportunistic, but if he doesn’t want to advertise that in big neon letters he’s got to sack Lisa and withdraw the whip. What she said seems to be actually antisemitic, while even the EHRC said Jeremy’s right to free speech means he could say what he was sacked for.

Is it zero tolerance or not?

A Labour councillor representing an area with a large Jewish population said:

A lot of Jewish people in my ward are poor and anything but powerful. There’s even destitution. Antisemitism is not ‘punching up’ and Lisa Nandy’s comment was appalling.

Jeremy Corbyn, along with Diane Abbott, recognised the reality that Jewish people are just as likely to be poor as anyone else in a motion they put to Parliament in 2007:

Ms Nandy was contacted for comment and also asked whether she wished to dispute the characterisation of her comment as antisemitic. She did not respond by the time of publication.

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  1. The the question in the subtitle of this post “does ‘zero tolerance’ mean zero tolerance when it involves the Labour right?” was obviously rhetorical, no one should be in any doubt about the answer.

  2. It would have been more relevant if Nandy had said ‘Zionism is a very particular form of racism’.

  3. She’s probably learned the expression ‘punching up’ relatively recently and uses it often to signal how ‘down with the cool kids’ she is.
    Beyond crass to use it in that context.

    1. Nandy was never the sharpest knife in the box, but this is stupid even by her own standards.

  4. What an ignorant woman and what a vile comment!No chance of her being disciplined though – she’s not a Socialist.

  5. This is stupid enough already. Imitating the culprits’ methods of making up antisemitism charges is just doubling down on stupidity.

    1. Well that’s two minutes I’ll never get back. Thanks a lot.
      Ever heard of Bob Dylan? He won a Nobel prize you know…


        ‘I was feelin’ sad & kinda blue, I didn’t know what I was gonna do,
        the Labour ant-Semites was a comin’ around, they was in the air, they was in the ground,
        they was all over.
        Well Donald Trump he’s a Russian spy; Biden; Pelossi & that Bolton guy,
        now to my knowledge there’s just one man who’s truly an American,
        that’s Benjamin Netanyahu’.

        (rough translation from original)

    2. Let’s not forget that Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures At An Exhibition’ was also the theme tune for ‘The New Statesman’ … Maybe that’s where today’s out-and-out tory rodents within the labour party get their ideas from.

  6. The only way politicians learn humility is by having done to them what they do to others.
    When they understand they can be caught breaking their own most stupid and shortsighted laws, however inadvertently, they’ll make fewer stupid laws.
    They’re not children to be gently cajoled into doing the right thing, they’re aberrant humanoids who need the arrogance driving out of them and humility driving in.

    1. “They’re not children to be gently cajoled into doing the right thing,”
      Exactly. But will the “Left” learn?

    2. Sorry David, but psychopaths/sociopaths are incapable of feeling or experiencing humility.

      And needless to say, signpost is popping up everywhere spouting his falsehood since yesterday, as are the other paid shills on here, the one they’ve repeated literally dozens and dozens and dozens of times (at LEAST a hundred times) during the past fifteen months or so. Probably closer to TWO hundred times!

      But NOT before that!

  7. Looks like Starmer’s honeymoon with the MSM – or the BBC at least – might be over.
    They’re beginning to ask the Tories some harder questions too, but mostly just on coronavirus measures.
    Haven’t yet heard them ask the obvious question on tiered restrictions, which is “How can it work when tier 3 drinkers can freely travel to pubs in tier 1 or 2 areas?”

  8. Interesting that Nandy walks blindly into this trap. Clearly what was at work in her head was that racism if often directed at less advantaged groups and she felt she had to explain that in the case of anti-Semitism, it’s the opposite. Her stereotypical thinking is exposed: Jews are doing okay, but some people still hate them. She’s right. Jews in the UK are flourishing, by and large. Some 70% vote Tory. It’s great they’re doing well. It shows that prejudice against them in the UK is at a low level. The same is true, of course, in the US. When did you last hear of a Jew being killed by having a cop’s knee on his neck? There are some 300,000 Jews in the UK. They do not constitute an homogeneous group. Yet Nandy, Starmer and co like to call them “the Jewish Community.” Patronising and racist: all Jews are the same. Starmer speaks as if every Jew in the UK has been offended by Labour, every one is alienated. He never mentions the thousands in the Party who are content and experience no anti-Semitism. And yet, he claims there is no political angle to what he says and does. Disingenuous beyond measure. Nandy gave herself away: she was protecting those rich and successful Jews from the nasty anti-Semites in the Party. All 2,000 at most. They are the accused. How many falsely? How will we ever know? “Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K because he was accused of anti-Semitism one fine morning, though he had done nothing wrong…” Of course, there are some idiots who shoot their mouths off, who speak before they think…like Nandy. But institutionalised anti-Semitism ? Fantasy. And the EHRC report says so.

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