I note the commentary on the CST blog was about “lavish”. Far more problematic (i.e. racist) is the term “over-influential” that ties into the antisemitic rhetoric of the power of the Jews and their “disproportionate influence”.
It will be interesting to see that if she decides to confront her own racism, she will make use of the Livingstone Formulation and call it “criticism of Israel” and unfair allegations of antisemitism.
Alternatively, maybe we should congratulate her for being so “brave” is “speaking out” through sly innuendo. Indeed, one now waits the terrible retibution that will befall her for such “bravery”…………a horse’s head in her bed, the loss of her job, or, even………….a few lines on various blogs that will serve as an example to all who dare take on the “over-influential”.
It is rarely the case that one reads something that is good “but for” the antisemitism bit. Antisemitism is the practice of charlatans and, as such, charlatanism is an characteristic of the work as a whole.
And this is the same person who wrote an excellent short piece in today’s (14.10.09) London Evening Standard on how the BBC is failing in its duty to civil society by giving the BNP platforms on Question Time and elsewhere.
Nothing new under the sun.
“We have within the nation a power largely controlled by alien elements, which arrogates to itself a power above the State, and has used that influence to drive flacid governments of all political parties along the high road to national disaster… No State can tolerate within its body the irresponsible superiority of such a power.”
Can one name the British politician who made this statement?
Sounds horribly like Harold Wilson in his “In Place of Strife” days, when he was attacking trade unions and accysing them of being the enemy within – especially those with communist influence. If it isn’t him. it’s got to be Thatcher.
Karl, don’t be mean — who was it? I googled around a bit, and found this:
Colin Holmes, Anti-Semitism in British Society 1876-1939
— some of the stuff mentioned there also looks a bit like yesterday’s news….
BTW, I’m terribly sorry that I will miss your upcoming event in Jerusalem — am out of the country! Admittedly, I’m more often out of the country than in Jerusalem — it’s a shame.
Anyway, what I wanted to say about Mark Gardner’s blog post: it is, of course, as always excellent; though I don’t know how he managed to write it so restrained — I mean in one of her recent op-eds, the lady went completely bonkers (IMHO): it wasn’t all that easy to figure out what she was trying to say, but it seemed that her message was that if Obama failed to “reign in” Israel, he would hasten “the end of the world”, no less…
And already in this piece she sort of flirted with the idea that if she exercised her “freedom of speech”, she would be accused of antisemitism.
Years ago, when the YAB left the Labour Party in a huff about something – much public handwringing etc – she wrote a piece in the Indy about how she went to Labour Conference and nobody asked her about her stand. She of course assumed everybody there knew who she was and desperately cared. I’ve never taken her seriously on Labour politics since.
Interestingly, Thatcher was not an antisemite per se. She was a philosemite and believed “Jews” to be hard working, resilient, self-reliant, etc. Hence the number of Jews in her cabinet (most of them in the cast of Freidman). Despite Klein’s “shock” that “Jews” should be from the right of the economic spectrum. Thatcher’s view of Jews is exactly the mirror image of Klein’s – Jews as the personification of ethics.
Two sides of the same coin – both want to essentialise “Jews” and take them out of the world in which they continue to live and upon which “their” opinions are formed, left, right and centre.
Comrade T, I have never suspected Thatcher of (overt or covert) antisemitism. Rather, she took the talent she needed for her raft of policies where she found it. A significant number of the bearers of these views with the talent to deliver the policy outcomes _and_ who were in politics on her side of the political divide turned out to be Jewish. Probably because they or their parental generation had made it financially big in the UK and tuned their politics accordingly.
No need to “essentialise” Jews (although La Thatcher may well have done), just follow the money. However, for what it’s worth, I _would_ characterise the Thatcher administrations as authoritarian in intent, without ever tipping over into fascism. I’ll provide the argument, if you wish: it’s in a book review I wrote.
Actually, the quote that Karl provides (and to which he provides the source below) could well be about groups other than Jews or any migrant group: “alien” might well be a reference to “alien ideologies”.
it was Sir Oswald Mosley,
source Stephen Dorril: Sir Oswald Mosley & British Fascism
Black Shirt, Black shirt, Penguin Pocketbook 2007, page 207
Of course you are right, many like to essentialise Jews. But
Margaret Thatcher had remembered her father who took in a refugee Jewish girl from Germany or Austria and let’s not forget what many Jews and many British have in common: the “protestant ethic” (Max Weber)
Mosley made a difference between “good” Jews, and “bad” communist Jews. He even had the bloody cheek to tell Israel Sieff, chairman of Marks & Spencer in his house “A new movement must find somebody or something to hate. In this case it should be the Jews.” Mosley added,” Of course, it doesn’t apply to Jews like you, Israel”, but the insult had been made and Sieff asked him to leave. (page 212)
Some people from the left substitute the word Jew with Zionist and believe to have to continue to claim the old stereotypes against Jews.
But in Germany the antiimps “Arbeiterfotografie” have now rehabilitated Jörg Haider, the leader of the extreme right who killed himself when drunk a year ago in a car accident.
So antisemitism can unite people of very different backgrounds.
The book I mentioned is fascinating reading. Here in central Europe we often hear the argument, there was no other alternative to Nazism/fascism, because we had an economic crisis. But this crisis was also felt in ‘GB. The difference was the British political culture at the time.
Since then GB has changed and today Israel bashing and thinly masked Antisemitism is part and parcel of British mainstream political culture. It is enough to read ‘Guardian, Independent or New Statesman
Leo Löwenthal published in the USA (1949) his book “Prophets of Deceit. A Study of the Techniques of the American Agitator” in which he quotes a fascist Agitator who said “My fellow citizens. I am not ignorant of Jewish history. I know its glories. I am acquainted with its glorious sons. I am aware of the keen intellectuality which has characterized its progress in commerce, in finance and particularly in the field of communications.”
And then he is telling that the success of Jews can become dangerous: “In the fields of publicity, finance, commerce, communications, amusement and industry, the Jews have risen to perilous heights.”
I bet if someone would copy out of this book statements of fascist rabblerousers and send them as letter to the editor or as postings to left-liberal mainstream British media, they would be published.