So far, Corbynites have been "boiling the frog" to keep moderates on board. Now, it is as if they have picked up the frog and thrown it into the deep-fat fryerby Chaminda Jayanetti / July 28, 2018 / Leave a comment
Labour’s shadow chancellor and strategist-in-chief John McDonnell was touring the airwaves this week offering assurances that Margaret Hodge would not be ‘disciplined’ for her denunciation of Jeremy Corbyn.
Given the fraught relations between Labour’s Corbynite left and its centre, it was less surprising than it should have been that someone had filed a complaint against the Blairite ex-minister for accusing Corbyn of being a “racist and anti-Semite” after the leadership modified the broadly (though not universally) accepted definition of anti-Semitism.
Labour’s internal divisions over the code highlights three broad dynamics within the party.
First, and most obvious, is the split over foreign policy, particularly towards Israel. While most Jewish organisations in the UK back the IHRA code, critics claim it could be used to restrict criticism of Israeli policy—an especially fraught issue for those who, like Corbyn and his press chief Seamus Milne, have been trenchant critics of Israel for decades. Both sides feel strongly about the issue, and the gap appears unbridgeable.
Second is what McDonnell’s intervention revealed—that whatever fierce divides exist between Corbynites and Labour centrists, the former desperately need the latte…