May tries to lecture Corbyn at PMQs, but it totally backfires on her

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs
Ed Sykes

At Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on 10 July, Theresa May tried to attack Jeremy Corbyn. But her assault soon backfired disastrously.

May said:

If the right honourable gentleman is really interested in tackling injustices, then the biggest injustice he should tackle is in his own Labour Party – and deal with antisemitism.

Corbyn insisted that Labour is “totally committed to eliminating racism in any form – antisemitism in any form”. But he then had a perfect comeback for May, saying:

While she is about the lecturing, how about the investigation into Islamophobia in her own party?

Two days ago, a Channel 4 documentary about the Conservative Party aired. It revealed a survey showing that “56% of party members agreed that Islam is a threat to the British way of life”. This yet again brought into focus the widespread Islamophobia in the party.

End the selective outrage

Labour is not immune from antisemitism. But according to numerous reports, antisemitic discrimination exists across society; and most comes from far-right groups. Accusations of antisemitism in Labour reportedly relate to 0.1% of the party’s 540,000-strong membership. The party is also taking more action than other parties (including the Tories) to root out racism. However, the establishment media has faced serious accusations of “misleading”, ‘distorted’ and “inaccurate” coverage of all this; and it is all but silent about the Conservatives’ woeful response to “endemic racism” in its own ranks.

Twitter account Tory Fibs has been vocally calling out this hypocrisy:

 

Many prominent Jewish voices on the left have long accused Corbyn’s opponents of using antisemitism as a political football to attack Corbyn. As award-winning Israeli journalist Gideon Levy points out, such accusations have become a favourite tactic to “blackmail.. anyone who dares to criticise Israel”. Renowned Jewish academic Noam Chomsky, meanwhile, has called the smear campaign “an insult to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust”.

Meanwhile, widespread Tory Islamophobia has attracted very little media coverage. That’s in spite of:

Theresa May’s Tories are in no position to lecture anyone

Considering all the above – and more, Corbyn also stressed at PMQs that he’d be taking no lectures from May on fighting racism:

Coming from the prime minister who… created the ‘hostile environment’ – which brought about the Windrush scandal, … who ordered ‘Go Home’ vans to drive around London, who refuses to acknowledge Islamophobia in her own party, … and whose party consorts with racists and antisemites in the European parliament, … we don’t need those kind of lectures.

All racism is despicable. And we must oppose it everywhere. But Corbyn is 100% right: no one should be taking lectures from the Tories on this issue.

Featured image via YouTube – Guardian News

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us