News and political views

A photo-journal of news and views from The Meadows, Nottingham and the Labour Party, by Councillor Michael M Edwards, using Wordpress

Seeking an End to the Anti-Semitism Crisis

Yep, recently heard “the Jewish lobby control the media …” so a reminder of the IHRA code on anti-Semitism – including its second contemporary example –

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

– Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

The contention that the Jews seek to control the media is just one of those cited in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion  which is a fabricated antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. The hoax, which was shown to be plagiarized from several earlier sources, … was first published in Russia in 1903,”

One of the problems of picking up on examples of anti-Semitism and then trying to refute it, is that writing anything original requires some knowledge and expertise. So I will try to cite others.
For now, I will merely add that denying such “control” is not just an example of political correctness, that people get upset to hear anti-Semitism, especially when they hadn’t expected to have to refute it – startled even.

Meanwhile a new statement on tackling anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, which all 5 leadership candidates has already agreed to.
Disappointing that Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler, candidates for Deputy Leader, can’t support it. Or that Dianne Abbot should back them up (check).

Nottinghamshire Pride 2019

Seemed bigger again this year, despite the weather forecasts and the weather itself.
Fuller res. photos available.
Links to previous years’ reports –
2018 – 2017 (parade and festival) – 2016201520142013


Astonishing to hear complaints about distractions from the important issues.
True – given the poverty both visible and hidden, and the attention it deserves, February was striking for
– its extreme weather (record lows in the USA, record highs in Britain),
– an extreme US President (racist, conman and cheat), 
– ongoing delays to make meaningful votes on Brexit in Parliament, oh and
– anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

We have lost Luciana Berger MP to the Labour party and seven others (who have been described as “no loss” cos they are protesting against anti-Semitism rather than being direct victims of it – go figure). 
How is anti-Semitism still hanging around?  Because too many people who are critical of Israeli gov’t policy can’t avoid describing the issue as pertaining to Jews in general (generous description) or believe in conspiracy theories that means they see others doing harm to Jeremy Corbyn (and making it worse in the meantime) or they are anti-Semitic and have shared tropes in the past (e.g. the Rothschilds) indicating as much (least generous); some even go on David Icke shows to make their point. 

And people point out that Labour is the most progressive UK political party and we have done the most on racial equality (years of legislation and councils making a difference).
And it’s right how in the eighties, people like Ken Livingstone would be celebrated on how far we pushed the boat out.
We raised the standards. And that why people should work to maintain high standards rather than saying it’s an attack on Jeremy Corbyn. Cos how does that even work? That Jeremy needs us to tolerate anti-Semitism. He does not.

So stop saying it’s a distraction.
Stop the what-about-ery.
Stop saying criticism of Israeli government actions is not allowed.
Stop hunting in packs against those who are protesting about anti-Semitism.
Stop being anti-Semitic.

And if you want to avoid distractions, be very tight, accurate and focussed on what you want to protest about.

Previous posts – Unreasonable social behaviour, HMD 2018, Are we the baddies?, Denial, Heather Heyer.


Shebeen montage ad0440h
Another hit from the Nottingham Playhouse, and another Nottingham story.  Go see.
This time, the late fifties in St.Ann’s and Caribbean immigrants have developed their own shebeens – illegal drinking events in homes – where they get to enjoy their favourite music with their favourite drink and the profits stay within friends.
A proud, devoted young couple, who never lie to each other, who have strong respectful codas and precious possessions.  Fashions of the fifties and accents that I hear so often in The Meadows.
So many issues rehearsed in the preparation for another party, the party itself and in the aftermath, being strong on what theatre can be strongest at – conversation.
Most powerful issue – that of reactions to mixed race relationships.  (Bringing back memories of George and Jill).

Pentrich Revolution exhibition

171025R Pentrich exhibition ab0435h Screenshot (700)
England’s last armed rebellion, from 1817, and exhibited at the National Justice Museum on High Pavement in Nottingham city centre opened on 200th anniversary of the conviction / execution of 4 of the leaders.
Open until 7th January 2018 and free entrance, put together by the Pentrich and South Wingfield Revolution Group and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Opened by Roger Tanner and attended by Paddy Tipping, pictured alongside a display on decades of Police spying on activists.
Stating plainly that the Luddites were not anti new technology, but anti shoddy goods and poor working conditions.


The new movie “Pride” evokes the 80’s and tells big political stories. History. Tales from our own time.
The miner’s strike.
Victimisation of gays.
Public health responses to HIV and AIDS.

Big tales of the time to tell, and the film does it well. Of personal suffering. Of victimisation. Of struggle. Of defeat, and of victory.
Perhaps too much at the expense of one family portrayed.
Perhaps too much of the other worldliness of South Wales – despite them dancing to the same disco music as the rest of the world – well, the women anyway.

Pride directed by Mathew Warchus
But some great humour. A favourite scene – a Welsh gay, returning home after many years, and pretending to be from Rhyl. No – we won’t have that – not someone from North Wales. A wind-up, masterfully executed.
And an excellent, triumphant end, with some sadness.
Authentic. Makes you think about the value of making bigger demands in politics.
Reminds you of some of the events of the time at work and in Nottingham.
One tiny moan. Celebrating the NUM driving the Labour Party conference to adopt gay rights. But no mention of the New Labour government passing the legislation that was sought.