The former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said that Boris Johnson’s stunning victory at the polls on Thursday will be “the end” of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and blamed the left’s loss on an “unhelpful Jewish vote.”
“Red Ken” Livingstone was suspended by the Labour Party in 2016 for claiming that Hitler was actually a committed Zionist. He told BBC Radio, “When Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
So it’s not surprising that Livingstone would choose the Jews to scapegoat Labour’s decisive and humiliating defeat.
Mr Livingstone said: “The Jewish vote wasn’t very helpful.” He added in comments reported by The Mirror that “Jeremy should have tackled that issue far earlier than he did.”
“It looks like the end for Jeremy, which is disappointing for me since I’m a close ally. I’m sure he’ll have to resign tomorrow,” he concluded.
Indeed, Corbyn resigned as Labour leader a few hours ago:
Facing his second General Election defeat, Corbyn announced he would call it a day as leader after being re-elected to his Islington North seat in London.
He said he would not lead the party into another election, but would stay on during a “process of reflection.”
Many Labour figures are calling on Corbyn to resign immediately as the party grapples with what looks set to be an overwhelming defeat. But Corbyn seemed determined to resist the pressure, accusing the media of attacking Labour and contributing to its poor result along with Brexit.
Corbyn might have followed Livingstone’s lead and fingered Jews as the culprits in the election debacle. To his credit, he resisted the temptation, even though a report in the Times of London detailing Labour’s miserable efforts to police anti-Semitism in its own party, published last weekend, might have initiated an anti-Labour backlash among Britain’s Jews.
As it was, the Jewish vote was not critical to Labour’s downfall. This was a Brexit election — Remain or Leave — and the British voters spoke decisively in favor of Leaving the European Union.
Labour has lost the last four elections as their agenda has become more and more radical and Corbyn was the perfect vessel to carry that transformative message. As the party became more radical, it actually grew under Corbyn, and its members became more enthusiastic and passionate. This fooled the left into thinking they had the election sewn up.
The American left believed them.
Many writers, not only on the left, detected parallels between the rise of Corbyn and the movement around Bernie Sanders. The latter is considerably more moderate and pragmatic than the former, and also not laden with the political baggage of Corbyn’s widely-derided openness to anti-Semitic allies. And yet many leftists have emphasized the similarities between the two, which are indeed evident. Both built youth-oriented movements led by cadres of radical activists who openly set out to destroy and remake their parties. Both lost in somewhat close fashion, Sanders in 2016 and Corbyn the next year. And fervent supporters of both men treated their narrow defeats as quasi-victories, proof of victory just around the corner.
As bad as many Brits feel that Johnson is, Corbyn would have been worse. The radical leftists couldn’t escape his own shortsightedness and biases.
The same could be said about Americans and Trump. If Trump pulls out a win in 2020, it will be because the opposition failed to see their radical policies were not what the people desired, but what they feared. Trump, a jungle political animal with killer instincts, will play on that fear and ride it all the way to victory.