A Friendly Question or Two to Jonathan Freedland – Does the Guardian have a Death Wish?

A Friendly Question or Two to Jonathan Freedland – Does the Guardian have a Death Wish?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

 

A once in a life-time offer – I will replace Owen Jones AND Nick Cohen at half
the price!

Dear Jonathan,
Yours and Katherine Viner’s stewardship of the
Guardian reminds me of that saying of Euripides, or was it Sophocles?  Those whom the gods seek to destroy they
first drive mad.’
At a time when the Labour Party has had a massive
influx of members, some 700,000, when the political centre of gravity has
shifted to the left as neo-liberal economics have been seen to fail, the
Guardian is full to the brim with repetitious, boring columnists, literally the
left-overs of the SDP and New Labour – the Kettles and the Toynbees. All singing
from the same songsheet.  I except Owen
Jones from these strictures since his decision as to which side he’s on depends
on what time of the day it is and what he’s had for breakfast.
In order to make these points obvious I compiled 48
sample headlines from the last two years for a sample of the Guardian’s tedious
anti-Corbyn articles. Why
no self-respecting socialist or Labour supporter should buy the Guardian
What
is amazing is how all your
columnists got the Corbyn phenomenon
wrong.  They sang the same melodies as the
Daily Mail and Sun.
Perhaps my favourite was Roy Greenslade’s Yes, Jeremy Corbyn has suffered a bad press, but
where’s the harm?
  If Greenslade really doesn’t know what is wrong
with the British press and their coverage of Jeremy Corbyn then what is the
purpose of Greenslade? He is but one example of the insipid and lightweight
nature of your coverage.  Would it be so
difficult to get Greg Philo of the Glasgow Media School to write a media column
instead?
The best advice to give about Nick Cohen’s predictions is that the opposite is almost certain to occur!
Rather than engage with Labour’s half million new
members, who wished to jettison the politics of New Labour, you decided to
whinge and moan about how terrible Corbyn is. There was no attempt to engage
with his politics as the Guardian became the last ditch defender of the status
quo. I sometimes wonder if Guardian editors never sit back and reflect?
If the Guardian had any morality, they would refuse to employ a war criminal with the blood of a million on  his hands
Perhaps, when you decided to employ that old war criminal
Tony Blair to tell us that Jeremy
Corbyn’s politics are fantasy – just like Alice in Wonderland
you forgot
about the million people who lost their lives for a lie in Iraq?  That was certainly no fantasy.
Or perhaps what Peter Mandelson said about being ‘intensely
relaxed’
about people becoming filthy rich (as well as poor and homeless) also
escaped your attention? It wasn’t just Tory politics that led to Grenfell
Tower. The Arms Length Management Organisation that ran this tower block was
put in place under New Labour.  I know
because we in Defend Council Housing ran a campaign in Brighton which successfully
rejected them.
This absurd article by former Labour MP Martin Kettle sums up the wishful thinking of ‘the centre ground’ – either you are for free market economics or against them – there is no 3rd way.  As for the ‘superior grasp’ of Theresa May it would like taking candy of a child to comment!
You have however excelled yourself with the contrived
antisemitism campaign, a convenient stick with which to beat Corbyn, as I have documented.
 You refused to allow any debate
within the pages of the Guardian about whether these allegations were true or the
product of a monstrous dirty tricks campaign based in the Israeli & US
Embassies.  You refused a right of reply
to this one-sided Zionist monologue about ‘anti-Semitism in the Labour Party in
your so-called Comment is Free
columns to all critics. 
You portray yourself as a liberal Zionist but as in
South Africa, you are a liberal apologist for Apartheid.  The fact that there are two legal systems in
the Territories, one for Jews and another for Palestinians counts for nothing.  Criticism of Zionism is anti-Semitic. The
routine use of torture against (Palestinian) children or even the demolition of
Arab villages in Israel itself does not disturb your narrative because all
criticism is ‘anti-Semitic’.

Your claim of ‘antisemtism’ rests on the false assertion
that 93% of British Jews said Israel formed some part of
their identity.’
  Despite
the fact that the most authoritative survey
of British Jewry’s attitudes to Israel, conducted in 2015 found a fall
in the number of Jews identifying as Zionists from 71% in 2010 to 59%.
Principle and consistency have never been Owen Jones strong points – I’m not sure you could even describe him as a fairweather friend
Even if what you said had been true and 93% of
British Jews had supported an Apartheid state then that would have nothing to
do with anti-Semitism.  If 93% of Africans said that FGM was ok would it be
racist to oppose it? Would the imposition of the Burka be fine if 93% of
Muslims approved of it? 
If what you said was true and 93% of British Jews support
Israeli Apartheid that would be a matter of deep shame.  Opposing an identity is not and cannot be racist
or anti-Semitic. Fortunately more and more Jewish people are dissociating
themselves from Israel’s ethno-religious state, the kind that the French
Revolution overthrew in 1789.
What I find amazing is that the Guardian’s insidious
attacks on Corbyn have become little more than a circulation death wish.  Given
that Nick Cohen has a 100% record of getting everything wrong, whilst telling
his readers that they are ‘fucking
fools’ 
what is the point
of employing him?  I would even be
prepared to replace him at half the salary. What have you got to lose except a
columnist who writes the same column a hundred different ways?
It wasn’t so long ago that Nick Cohen was informing
your readers that:
In an election, they [the Tories] would tear them
to pieces. … Will there be 150, 125, 100 Labour MPs by the end of the flaying?
My advice is to think of a number then halve it.

I’m also happy to replace Owen Jones thus enabling
the Guardian to have its first socialist columnist for a very long time as well
as the first anti-Zionist since David Hirst.
I hate to boast about it but almost alone I wrote on
20th April that
 Labour
Can Win if Corbyn is Bold
and 5 days before the election,
I posted Is
Labour on the threshold of victory?
My replacement of Cohen and Jones could only be a
win-win situation for the Guardian.  
Who knows?  You might be able to abandon your ludicrous web site charity
appeal and instead start gaining some readers before they completely disappear!!
Kind regards
Tony Greenstein

 

 

 

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