US Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi met with three former Labour MPs on 14 April. Two of them helped found The Independent Group after leaving Labour. The speaker of the house of representatives tweeted:
Important discussion with former Labour Party MPs @MikeGapes,@ChrisLeslieMP & @IanAustinMP to hear their perspective on Brexit, why they left the Labour Party, and the importance of standing unequivocally against anti-Semitism wherever it is found. pic.twitter.com/RcQKfjd37d
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— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 14, 2019
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In a recent interview, the speaker of the house, whose net worth in 2015 was estimated at more than $100m, confirmed her ‘rejection’ of “socialism”, and pushed her intention to “hold the centre”. Pelosi is clearly free to meet with whomever she sees fit. And she also met with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. But Twitter users were quick to respond to what they perceived as one group of pro-war and pro-corporate establishment types meeting another.
Supporters of the Iraq war, austerity and the Saudi regime. And you should ask children's author @MichaelRosenYes about how much Ian Austin stands against antisemitism.
— anita K (@a_nitak) April 14, 2019
Wall Street-funded neoliberal Democratic Party leaders in the US are openly helping their center-right Blairite counterparts in the UK wage war against Corbynism, falsely smearing it as "anti-Semitic."
Neoliberal imperialist collusionhttps://t.co/H9m5UnBd8k
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) April 14, 2019
Investigative journalist Asa Winstanley saw similar connections:
Transatlantic conference on how best to import a fabricated "crisis" of antisemitism as a hammer against the left in defense of the dying neoliberal consensus. https://t.co/2ggV3l6LLz
— Asa Winstanley (@AsaWinstanley) April 15, 2019
The Canary has detailed how anti-Corbyn and establishment elements have been ‘weaponising antisemitism’ to push a “witch hunt” within the Labour Party, to smear the pro-Corbyn left. Pelosi is herself known for “staunchly pro-Israel” positions which include blaming Hamas for the Israeli slaughter of civilians in Gaza in 2009.
Commentator Gordon Dimmack glibly noted:
It's not a co-ordinated cross-Atlantic smear campaign against progressives and progressive values. Honest.
— Gordon Dimmack (@GordonDimmack) April 14, 2019
Novara Media’s Aaron Bastani, who is of mixed-Jewish heritage, said:
Genuinely offensive tweet.
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) April 14, 2019
One tweeter explicitly drew connections to the ‘antisemitism’ smears against US congresswoman Ilhan Omar:
Absolutely embarrassing in light of what's going on with Ilhan and the bad faith arguments made by these people against Corbyn
— Bob Sufficientdunk Terwillidyer (@TheDyerWolf) April 14, 2019
Others questioned Pelosi’s wisdom more generally:
Good idea to speak to people who are going to lose their seats at the next election and are currently polling at 1% as a group – you're a strategic mastermind
— Chris (@ChrisKPH) April 14, 2019
So so disappointed in you – these people represent nobody but themselves
— Pat Schan #JC4PM2019 (@patsy24) April 14, 2019
The slams just kept coming in:
— Zulubus (@Zulubus) April 15, 2019
Sorry to point this out Nancy but that is a really crap focus group.
— Nigel Mason (@NDM66) April 14, 2019
Pelosi’s choice to meet with neoliberal former Labour Party MPs should surprise no one. But as the replies show, the wider public will not keep quiet about what they believe this symbolises.
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