After the Guardian’s latest censorship, John McDonnell can’t believe what the paper’s become

John McDonnell & Guardian logo

After the Guardian’s latest censorship, shadow chancellor John McDonnell can’t believe what the paper’s become:


Censored cartoon

The Guardian refused to publish the latest work from its resident cartoonist Steve Bell:

Read on...

The cartoon seems to be poking fun at a long running contradiction in the mindset of the pro-Israel establishment. It’s an antisemitic trope to suggest a Jewish person must support Israel simply because they are Jewish. Yet, ironically, it’s Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu who frequently peddles the idea that his government speaks for all Jewish people:

On this day, on behalf of the Jewish people, I say to those who have sought and still seek to destroy us: You have failed and you will fail.

Donald Trump has also said to a room full of North American Jewish people:

I stood with your prime minister at the White House to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights

In other words, the US president was referring to Netanyahu as the prime minister of the Jewish people in the room, even though they were North American.

Nonetheless, it is the Labour membership that is hounded as antisemitic. That’s despite disciplinary cases relating to antisemitism among Labour members since September 2015 amounting to 0.06% of party’s membership.

With that in mind, Bell’s cartoon makes a striking point.

“Some subjects that we just can’t touch?”

Bell appears to have sent an email to the Guardian over the cartoon. In it, he questioned the outlet’s logic for rejecting his work:

You said ‘the lawyers were concerned’, but what about? It’s not antisemitic, nor is it libelous…

I suspect that the real problem is that is contravenes some mysterious editorial line that has been drawn around the subject of antisemitism…

Does the Guardian no longer tolerate content that contravenes its editorial line?

Bell then called out an apparent double standard. On the same day, the Guardian hosted an attack ad against Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitism from 64 Labour lords. Bell said:

Why in today’s paper has the Guardian published a highly partisan and personally insulting… advert on page 20 that uses the Labour Party logo, but is clearly not a Labour Party approved advert? I would have thought that there would be far more reason to expect a legal challenge on that than on my… cartoon. Or is it that you don’t want to offend poor Tom but are quite happy to offend poor Jeremy?

And, for Bell, the double standard goes further:

Why on earth did the Guardian publish, then unpublish, a letter in support of Chris Williamson signed by 100 persons identifying themselves as Jewish, including Noam Chomsky? Were they the wrong kind of Jews.

The paper’s contortions on this subject do not do it any credit…

are there some subjects that we just can’t touch?

A Guardian news and media spokesperson told The Canary:

We stand by our decision not to publish the cartoons.

And the outlet said that it removed the letter in support of Chris Williamson because of “errors in the list of signatories provided”.

“Cheerleading the same witch hunt”

On social media, many people were unimpressed with the Guardian:

When allegations of antisemitism damage Corbyn, the Guardian is all over it. But as soon as anyone questions the smear campaign, of which the Guardian has played a key role, the outlet immediately goes on the defensive.

Its latest censorship of Bell only confirms that the Guardian is no friend of the Labour movement. No wonder McDonnell is aghast.

Featured image via Guardian News/ YouTube

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Joe McCarthy went too far and tripped over his own reasoning when he made the mistake of going after the US military (the US Navy first, I think), saying it was full of Reds sympathetic to Russia. The backlash to that accusation started closing him down.

      Such is life that something similar will happen with these AS smears. The arguments are unsustainable over the longer term because they’re rooted in lies, so tripping over their own reasoning must happen.

    2. A brief glance at Cif, probably best avoided as it only encourages them, exposes the number of people who have given up on that insidious peddler of lies, smears and vile innuendo over the last couple of years; a once lively forum is now an echo chamber for dullards. Nevertheless, if Bell and the Guardian part over this, it will be a watershed in the paper’s history, the moment when it abandoned any claim to being anything other than a mouthpiece for the political and economic status quo and the elite that it serves, beyond the boutique activism of identity politics addressing burning issues of social justice, such as whether or not the next James Bond should be female…. Steve Bell represents their last right to any such claim.

    3. John McDonnell is right. The Guardian has altered its editorial stance I noticed after financial difficulties , and has chosen to speak to the mass mind of the world as a business plan, and profit. A fatal desire I think as diversity in opinion is sacrficed , and the ability to see the truth of an issue is compromised.
      Its plain to see in this antisemantic row politics seeks to speak for all Jewish people, and neglects their faith.
      Its bizzare.
      Its fun to see Bell’s outrageous cartoon of courage , and raw intelligence. I know its intelligent as it uses the word Trope, and I’ll have to look up the dictionary’s meaning.
      It means using a book.

    4. The AS nonsense has dragged on and on ‘ad nausium’ with most of MSM lobbying, in one way or another, on behalf of the Tory party it is hard to see an end to it. I do hope that ‘nobodylicksme’ is correct when they say “Such is life that something similar will happen with these AS smears. The arguments are unsustainable over the longer term because they’re rooted in lies, so tripping over their own reasoning must happen.” but Im not optimistic as most people are too lazy to read too deeply about anything and many just don’t bother if it goes against the vein of their normal perceptions of the world.
      Reposting articles on Social media is effective as many who just browse will see things in their feed that they don’t see elsewhere.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.