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Smears hit new depth as Labour ‘moderate’ compares Corbyn supporters to ISIS

luke-akehurstA leading Labour moderate is today quoted in today’s Observer comparing supporters of Jeremy Corbyn to people “moving through the party like Isis in their jeeps in Iraq“.  The context of this comparison was the enthusiasm expressed by Jeremy Corbyn at a recent rally for the influx of new members and supporters to Labour and what it meant for party democracy:

This level of participation is unprecedented and I am delighted by that. It will change the Labour party. I think it will make it a much more democratic organisation; it will make it much more participatory. My determination – it’s not about me, it’s about us, there’s a whole lot of us – is that we have a much stronger grassroots democracy, so that ideas come up, rather than decisions are made at the top and are handed down like papal encyclicals.”

Luke Akehurst’s repose was to claim there was an ulterior motive for this support for participatory democracy:

The analogy an MP gave me was that these people are moving through the party like Isis in their jeeps in Iraq. They need to push on, take over, before they lose the momentum.”

This statement was recognised as being “not the most tasteful of analogies” by the Observer but was justified on the basis that “these are traumatic times for Labour MPs who have spent a lifetime opposing the hard left.” Luke himself justified it on the basis that it was “a compliment. And, in another Twitter exchange, because “Corbynites haven’t come to terms with fact they are the bad guys who through stupidity or malice will help Tories“, a statement which he recognised as insulting but being insulting was justified because “I don’t respect people making Labour unelectable“.

This remarkable exchange coming from a self-described Labour “moderate” who in person is always unfailingly polite and friendly is especially disappointing given his very sensible advice at the start of the Leadership election to readers of LabourList:

We are going to need to understand how to do unity without uniformity, how to conduct an honest debate and a robust democratic election without descending into civil war, if our party is going to survive. Get this next few months wrong, let rancour and spite and score-settling triumph over solidarity and mutual respect, and we risk turning a desperate political situation into a terminal one.

As if he was an embodiment of Godwin’s law, Luke Akehurst sought to justify his choice of comparison of Corbynistas with ISIS by using a Nazi analogy in a later Twitter exchange with leading party democracy supporter representing party members in Yorkshire on Labour’s national policy forum, George McManus,

Luke is especially (and rightly) quick to criticise simplistic comparisons made beteween Israel and the Nazis. As you will see in these words he wrote for Progress that, thjough he thinks it is a reasnable comparison to make with Corbyn supporters, he is just as quick to condemn comparisons made between the ISIS and the Israeli Army:

But the prize for crassness and embarrassment and general unhelpfulness to peace and understanding in reacting to the Gaza conflict must surely go to Grahame Morris, Labour member of parliament for Easington, for asking the prime minister this:

Will British citizens fighting in the Israel defence forces be treated in the same way as those returning from Syria and Iraq?

False analogies that invert the truth about Israel are sadly common currency for those that seek to delegitimise and demonise the Jewish State. The worst examples of this we see include the offensive comparisons between Israel and the Nazis made by people including Liberal Democrat MP David Ward. Holocaust Inversion seeks to portray the Jewish people who were the victims of genocide as perpetrators of one.

And now Morris is seeking to portray the IDF as comparable to Isis. This inverts the truth. Israel was the first victim of Islamist terrorism, with hundreds of its civilians killed by suicide bombings in pizzerias, nightclubs, hotels and buses. The IDF’s actions in Gaza, whether you agree with them or not, were an attempt to deal with Islamist terrorists firing rockets at civilians and digging tunnels to launch attacks on civilian communities. Hamas and Isis may not be the same organisation but they share much of the same ideology, including a genocidal hatred of Israel and Jews.

Morris, and anyone else, is entitled to criticise Israeli government policy and the IDF’s actions if they disagree with them.

But to draw a comparison between Israel and its armed forces and Isis, a terrorist organisation that is seeking to create a medieval theocracy, butchering any minority group that does not convert to its extreme version of Islam, and publicly beheading journalists, goes way beyond acceptable discourse.

Way beyond acceptable discourse indeed. Luke Akehurst who is a frequent Labour “moderate” candidate for and former member of Labour’s national executive and a former Labour parliamentary candidate, may regret his poor choice of comparison if he seeks election or selection in the Labour party in the future.

8 Comments

  1. Phil says:

    They, i.e. the Blairites, don’t like it up them, Captain Mainwaring!

  2. Chris says:

    I like the bit about making Labour unelectable. In what way are we electable now? Didn’t we lose two elections?

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      You rather did.

      Or rather the completely out of touch, up for hire, out to lunch and sticky fingered PLP lost it.

      But this is very much the nature of the challenge, particularly for people such as myself who quite deliberately turned our backs on the Labor party of Blair and walked away utterly sickened and who doubted we’d ever return, but have, (at least for now.)

      But it’s still been damn close run thing and how firm and true our support for Labor will remain, (that isn’t a threat,) will depend on how well Corbyn can manage to establish a working consensus among people who not only disagree with one another profoundly, but who actually loath each other with a passion, (for my money Blair is simply a grubby criminal well overdue to be brought justice and so on.)

      What is remarkable about JC is that he somehow managed to remain within the labor party despite the same holding firm and principled objections to it’s policies, objections that were shared equally by many who left.

      So despite that we’re, (some of us are,) prepared to to make the effort to see if some kind of compromise is possible.

      I hope that it is; but my doubts remain powerful, nor do I think that I am alone in this.

      Not least because of the many people that I’ve discussed this with and who undoubtedly broadly agree with JC, almost non of them have even registered to vote.

  3. Gary Brooke says:

    Supporters of a man who opposed New Labour wars and its founding father’s association with middle eastern dictators for fun and profit are compared to murderous psychopaths? Who would possibly print such rubbish? Oh, it was in The Observer. Just a thought, anyone from the ‘moderate’ wing of the Labour Party been rushing to condemn this comparison?

  4. John P Reid says:

    Thank god , Jeremy supporters haven’t been calling Liz or Yvette Nazi B@tches on Twitter….oh wait they have

    1. Chris says:

      I doubt that was anyone of the stature of Mr Akehurst though.

      And for the record, I have a lot of time for Yvette Cooper.

      1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

        Whereas I along with many other people think that she, (Cooper,) should probably be doing time.

  5. Bazza says:

    Funny Jeremy and his supporters are Peace Mongers in a World at times that seems to dominated by War Mongers.
    The Labour establishment and Right are playing their last card positing a ‘surge’ for the opportunist and safe and dull Cooper.
    I still hope Jeremy has a chance and think the establishment may have finally exhausted their utilisation of the full kitchen sink and more.

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