The British writer David Baddiel’s polemic, Jews Don’t Count outlines his critical observations of politically progressive minded people during Mr. Jeremy Corbyn’s stewardship of the Labour Party between 2015 and 2020. Baddiel’s thesis is that progressive people, at the very least, are beholden to a stubborn anti-semitic blind spot. How is it that progressives jump aghast at the slightest slight towards any given racial, religious or sexual minority but are amiss when people of Jewish faith are maligned or grotesque anti-semitic tropes are instrumentalised to score political points. Ipso facto Baddiel legitimately asks, “why is there not a level playing field around racism?”
First of all, lets the scene. Jeremy Corbyn was overwhelmingly elected as Labour Party leader in September 2015 to the dismay of all wings of the British establishment. Corbyn had opposed the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and domestically always battled for the less privileged in British society. In the leadership race, there was a phenomenal 40 per cent difference between Corbyn and his closest rival. Yet, Corbyn was seen as a hopeless and hapless figure for the next 18 months. In the run up to the June 2017 General Election opinion polls showed the Labour Party trailing Theresa May’s ruling Conservative Party by up to 20 per cent. Pollsters were projecting a shoe-in for May, an increase in the Conservative slim parliamentary majority and a welcome trouncing for Corbyn. Instead, Corbyn’s Labour defied expectations and eliminated the governing Conservative’s majority. He increased the Labour Party vote to the highest it had been since Tony Blair’s first election victory in the 1997.
Many of the episodes Baddiel chronicles in his polemic occurred after the 2017 election. This review will highlight some of those episodes and also focus on its main shortcoming.
An essay about Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) so-called “investments” into the British economy can be read on the al-Mayadeen English website. I argue that investments such as the Saudi Arabian in Newcastle United Football Club, Qatar’s in all aspects of London or UAE in British infrastructure projects are modern day neo-colonial plunder and loot in plain sight.
“[Hitler] is only the ghost of our own past rising against us. He stands for the extenuation and perpetuation of our own methods…” George Orwell
Hollywood’s “Dunkirk” movie, released to rave reviews in the midst of the Trump presidential era and a year after the UK Brexit vote, clocked in more than $500 million at the box office worldwide. The so-called ‘World War Two’ blockbuster depicted retreating British troops in the French coastal city of Dunkirk evading the German air force as they attempted to safely board boats back to England. But how exactly did this desperate state of affairs arise? This essay provides a general overview of the military developments which led to the retreat at Dunkirk and identifies the similarities in the world view of the main belligerent parties.
No one kissed their loved one’s goodbye and then embarked on the journey to fight in the Hundred Years’ War or the Thirty Years’ War for that matter. Likewise, when war was declared many centuries later in Europe in September 1939 no one absurdly tempted fate to announce World War Two had began. Actually, in 1939 there was then no such conflict known as World War One. The war that is now known as World War One, was then known as the ‘Great War’. Yet as the cold European autumn and winter of 1939 naturally seasoned into the following year’s spring, the latest round of European warfare pitched two white supremacist camps against each other.
On one side were the imperialist nations of Britain, France, Belgium, Holland and their allies. Western historians possess an empirically-lacking fascination to refer to the imperialist nations in their literature as “democracies” or “allies” rather than for what they actually were, white supremacist nations who denied democracy to hundreds of millions of non-white inhabitants in their colonial territories while plundering them. These four imperial powers had prided themselves on conquering and plundering colonial territories for the last 300 years. On the other side, was Nazi Germany and its allies. Nazi Germany was led by Mr. Adolf Hitler, a dictator with strong racial prejudices similar to those held by the leaders of the imperialist camp. Continue reading
More and more people are now realizing that Britain’s war time leader, Winston Churchill wasn’t the person they were brought up to think he was. There was simply a lot more to him than the person who refused a peace deal with German Nazism and favoured the continuation of the war between 1939-1941 in the hope the United States would soon enter the conflict.
In principle, Churchill was no more committed to empire, ethnic cleansing and genocide than Germany’s Adolf Hitler. Whereas Hitler’s evil manifested itself on the European continent in the 1930s and 1940s, Churchill (and to be fair other European white supremacists and imperialists) justified the same evil in their colonial territories in Africa and Asia. Hitler had briefly established his Empire, the Third Reich, in Europe, whereas Britain and France had established their empires in Africa and Asia. Continue reading
A colourful Twitter beef that caught the eye this summer in the wake of the George Floyd murder at the hands of racist police officers, pitted the esteemed University of Cambridge Professor, Priyamvada Gopal against the right-wing Etonian author Douglas Murray. Gopal has positioned herself as the British liberal establishment’s leading connoisseur for all currents that oppose imperialism and require decolonisation. She published her tomb, Insurgent Empire to rave reviews. While Murray’s bestselling books on immigration and the culture wars has earned him millions of followers. His book, The Strange Death of Europe is one of the leading go-to books for right-wingers on contemporary immigration.
The pithy indictments they fired at each other on Twitter were standard schoolyard barbs. Murray sanctimoniously sneered at Gopal spending time on Twitter as compensation for her lack of academic repertoire, while Gopal predictably retorted that Murray finds it difficult a woman of colour lectures at Cambridge. Their adversarial tweets were not only aimed at each other but also clearly played to their on-line base. Gopal’s to the “woke” generation, Murray’s to the Trumpian/Brexit anti-woke masses. The ‘woke’ term emanated in the United States to help give expression to those who were historically marginalised and enslaved.
However, both authors have one essential thing in common. Continue reading