Jeremy Corbyn addresses people protesting Conservative cuts

Corbyn, the Tories and their friends

Jeremy Corbyn has been attacked as antisemitic in the past few weeks. I think these claims have been sufficiently exposed as nonsense, for example through a letter to the Guardian from influential Jewish figures in the UK:

Corbyn has an outstanding record of opposing racism, including antisemitism in all its forms. He was particularly prominent in the campaign against apartheid in South Africa. He has consistently supported oppressed peoples such as the Kurds and the Palestinians.

The allegation that Corbyn supports or associates with Holocaust deniers is malicious and unfounded. It is based on an article in the Daily Mail, which was dependent on the word of a self-confessed Holocaust denier, Paul Eisen.

The letter is signed by 34 people.

In other words, the story against Corbyn was a smear without real foundation. The hypocrisy of those who atacked Corbyn in this way is compounded by the evidence against his opponents, after all the right is most associated with racial hatred. To rectify this misdirection, here’s a brief run down of Tory dalliances with the far right.

Jacob Rees-Mogg gave an after-dinner talk to the Traditional Britain Group in May 2013. The group supports the Tories’ 1970 manifesto which included the promotion of non-white people to their “natural homelands”. Rees-Mogg claimed not to have realised the nature of the group.

Senior Conservatives Owen Paterson and Liam Fox addressed a rightwing Tory fringe group in Nov/Dec 2014 whose material discusses mass deportations to Africa and links immigration with rape. Backbencher Christopher Chope is also understood to have spoken at one of the circle’s gatherings.

In 2009 the Tories were accused by David Miliband of putting Britain’s relations with the world’s leading powers at serious risk by allying the Conservative party to far-right European politicians with neo-Nazi and antisemitic links. They even came under pressure from the Obama administration to sever links:

William Hague, the Shadow Home Secretary, is to meet the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in Washington on Wednesday amid outrage from the American Jewish community about the alleged antisemitic and neo-Nazi views of the Tory’s European allies.

There is also concern in the US that David Cameron’s Euroscepticism could damage the influence a Conservative government would have over events in the EU.

Most people have probably forgotten that, before the invention of Ukip, the Tories were the ones forming extremist pacts in Brussels. (Although, guess what, they still are).

And my favourite story for comedic value – but a valuable reminder of the true character of Iain Duncan Smith:

Edgar Griffin hit the headlines when it was revealed that, even though he was a vice president of Iain Duncan Smith’s Tory leadership campaign, he had links with the far right British National Party.

His son is Nick Griffin, leader of the right-wing party, and his wife Jean had stood for election against Mr Duncan Smith for the BNP.

The Tory leader sacked Mr Griffin from his campaign, saying he abhorred what the BNP stood for, and would not allow its members to “infiltrate” the Tory party.

Mr Griffin countered that he had been a party member since 1948, and that most grassroots members agreed with his views – for instance that immigrants who wanted to be repatriated should be helped.

Corbyn is clearly not racist. Is the Conservative Party?