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Jeremy’s wall.


POOR OLD JEREMY Corbyn didn’t have time to take a closer look at Kalen Ockerman’s mural, “Freedom of Humanity”, a few years ago, thus missing its anti-Jewish message and later embroiling him in accusations of being soft on anti-Semitism in his party. Mind you, when the first spat happened in 2012 Jeremy was merely an insignificant backbencher so he had no reason to fear it would redound on him six years afterward. Nobody at the time, including the sea-green incorruptible himself, could have imagined him as leader of the party.

I think we can dismiss his words as a pathetic attempt to excuse himself, so I won’t waste time on them. It seems obvious from even the briefest glance at the picture that it targeted Jews. The depiction of the men about the table was, as has been noted numerous times already, reminiscent of Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda, big noses and counting of bank notes and all, and the implication that the wealth was directly built on the backs of the labouring classes.

The artist has claimed that the painting was about class and privilege – which it was, but that didn’t preclude it from also being anti-Semitic, or indeed of being primarily anti-Semitic. For all that pious waffle about humanity and freedom and its self-righteousness its message was as clear as any piece of cliched agitprop.

If the central image itself wasn’t enough to make its intentions clear, then think on these other points.

Above the image is the pyramid and eye found on the reverse of the US dollar; a connection with the power of international finance (trigger warning – Jews!), and the conspiracy theory about the Illuminati and the Freemasons (trigger warning – Jews!).

Off to the left was an SJW/Wolfie Smith type of street protestor holding a sign that read, “The new world order is the enemy of humanity”. The New World Order is another trigger warning for Jews. Because according to the theory the Jews are in charge of everything. Or will be, I can never work out which it is.

In addition: the mural went up in Brick Lane, in the Tower Hamlets borough of London. That area is now predominantly Muslim, so I don’t think I’ll be existentially incorrect by suggesting many of the residents would agree with the mural’s message about the awfulness of Jews. The irony is that a century ago the area was predominantly Jewish.

Whether this latest brouhaha will effectively unseat Corbyn remains to be seen. I think it is doubtful. The man has enough followers and apparatchiks, as well as naive useful idiots, to keep him in place, and the majority of the electorate may just see this as an internal party schism that doesn’t concern them.

If you spend thirty years as a backbench revolutionary who has achieved nothing…nobody takes you seriously.

One of the things it reveals is that if you spend thirty years as a backbench revolutionary who has achieved nothing, never held ministerial office, and voted against your own party hundreds of times, you can hobnob with the most violent and disgusting terrorists and get away with it because nobody takes you seriously. You can even give a nod and a wink to the anti-Semites inside and outside your party that you will tolerate their views, especially if this can be camouflaged with the perennial pro-Palestinian victim, anti-Israel narrative – something that will also go down well with certain communities in the country on whose vote you rely (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

It reminds me of the casual, socially-acceptable anti-Semitism of my parents’ generation, when comments about “Hebrews”, “cosmopolitans” and “Jew-boys” could be made without criticism. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now.

Every day it becomes clearer that Comrade Jez is out of his depth, doesn’t comprehend what is going on and has no control over his own supporters. He’s a vacuum into which the most destructive and malevolent political forces are pouring. How much better it would have been if he’d stayed a backbench nonentity mouthing socialist platitudes and making jam at home.

suxcoverCurrente Calamo columnist, poet, writer and lecturer Michael Blackburn lives in Lincolnshire . From 2005–2008 he was the Royal Literary Fund fellow at the University of Lincoln where he now teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies over the years, including Being Alive (Bloodaxe) and Something Happens, Sometimes Here (Five Leaves Press). His most recent collection is Spyglass Over The Lagoon. A selection of his Fortnightly Currente Calamo columns, Sucks To Your Revolution: Annoying The Politically Correct (US), is available as a Kindle ebook.

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