Yesterday, seven members of Parliament left Britian’s Labour Party. They will remain in Parliament as an independent bloc. The Washington Post has the details.
The leader of Britain’s small Liberal Democrat party said he hoped to work with this bloc. He also suggested that it might grow in the near future.
The seven MPs cited several areas of disagreement with the direction of the Labour Party under its radical head, Jeremy Corbin. The areas include lack of support for Britain finding its way back to the EU, hostility to NATO, and softness towards hostile nations — all of which “are rooted in the Labour leadership’s obsession with a narrow, outdated ideology,” said one of the defecting members.
But anti-Semitism in the Labour Party appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Luciana Berger, another of the defectors, said she has become “embarrassed and ashamed” of her party, which she described as “institutionally anti-Semetic” and riddled by a culture of “bullying, bigotry, and intimidation.”
Some Labour MPs expressed disagreement with Berger’s decision, but not her sentiment. Lucy Powell tweeted that Berger made the “wrong decision,” but agreed that she had been subject to “despicable and appalling abuse.”
Even Jeremy Corbin has acknowledged that anti-Semitism is “a real problem” in his party. He did so after an investigation of online chatter among party members revealed disturbing evidence of anti-Jewish sentiment. “Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one individual who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood,” Corbyn admitted.
The further left the Labour Party moves, the more of this kind of trash it will attract.
The same is true of the Democratic Party in the U.S. In light of recent developments, I expect the Democrats to replicate the Labour Party’s anti-Semitic trajectory — minus, perhaps, the resignations.