Tony Greenstein | 15 May 2019 | Post Views:

The Renew Party’s Racist Star Crashes to Earth in an Entirely Predictable Explosion

The full versions of the above videos can be seen here andhereYou can take a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink.  You can take Yonatan Scoffman to a Party but you can’t expect him to remain house trained.

You will be forgiven if you haven’t heard of the Renew Party.They are yet another ‘centrist’ party, anti-Brexit, full of middle class professionals and budding careerists. The type of people who can be characterised as the muddled middle or as we used to say of the SDP, the fuddled fiddle!They describe their politics as economically dry or freemarket and socially liberal. In other words another variant of the free market Blairite/Clintonite economics that have left the poor poorer, the NHS half privatised, demonised claimants and refugees whilst their international solidarity begins and ends in Europe.

Perhaps not quite the kind of renewal that most people want!

Renew is a party of unashamed capitalism in political crisis.These people abound with business degrees and marketing skills. They are the kind of people who if they can’t find a fence to sit on will go out and build one. They stand for a system in crisis and harken back to a gold age. In the absence of anything to say they proclaim that they are ‘new’or in the case of these people ‘renew’.

Annabel Mullin

Richard Breen – property developer who funds Renew

Their leader is Annabel Mullin, a member of the identikit middle class and their main funder is Richard Breen, a property developer.It is no surprise that Jonathan Hoffman felt in his element. He took to Renew much like a leech to its host. Just as support for Israel and Zionism was a precondition of support for and membership of New Labour, so this is the case with Renew.

One thing that marks out political ‘centrism’ is unquestioning support for British foreign policy, which means the ‘special relationship’ with the US, NATO and imperialism. And that means unquestioning support for Israel’s role in the Middle East as the United States’s gendarme.

Hoffman appears in a training video

Renew advertise themselves as a ‘new party with a new vision for fixing the problems of 21st century Britain.’ Sometimes one wishes that these people also possessed a political memory because there was another New Party. It was formed in 1931 by one Oswald Moseley. By the following year it had metamorphosed into the British Union of Fascists.It is therefore no surprise that they have formed up with Chuka Ummuna’s TIG group and apparently the Greens and Lib Dems too to field a joint Renew-TIG candidate at the forthcoming Peterborough by-election.

Hoffman with Kevin Caroll of the EDL
In the background are members of the EDL in army fatigues – picket of the Ahava shop – Hoffman originally called this photo shopped until the photographer (David Hoffman) threatened libel

Here we see Hoffman with Besser of Britain First (top left) Amanda Shitrit and Sharon Klaff (far-right Islamaphobes). Hoffman’s normal excuse is to blame being seen with fascists on the camera!

Hoffman with Britain First’s Paul Besser – in front Amanda Shitrit, Pegida alongside ‘Mad’ Mel Gharia both of whom are Tommy Robinson supporters

Hoffman with far-Right Tory activist Thor Halland (left) and looking glum with the Police (yet again)

Hoffman with 2 members of the Jewish Defence League, Roberta Moor and Robert de Jonge. The JDL is a Jewish-Nazi group outlawed as a terrorist group in the USA

It is on one level not surprising that Hoffman, a man who is at home with an ecumenical list of fascists, from Britain First to the EDL, fits in so easily with Renew. Parties such as these consist of wannabee members of the political establishment. Not only are they mainly White but racism and assumptions of Britain’s imperial role courses through their veins. Anti-racism consists of tokenism and a few Black faces. It stops at anything questioning the state.Renew’s big brother, Change UK, is led by Chuka Ummuna. Although Black by birth he is as politically White as his fellow TIG MP, Angela Smith. She of the ‘funny tinge.’Chuka is very exercised by ‘anti-Semitism’ but has nothing to say about the Windrush scandal or the ‘hostile environment’ policy that led up to it. Unsurprisingly since he supported it.

Googling would have saved Renew a lot of heart ache

However in the age of the Internet, it was rather remiss ofRenew to admit Hoffman to its candidate list without having done basic due diligence. Like Googling his name for example! A quick search turns up such gems as his recent arrest on charges of harassment and assault. You’d even learn that Hoffman was shot by his grandmother! However I suspect this was unfortunately a different Jonathan Hoffman though on second’s though it could be true!I have been passed a fascinating Facebook conversation involving a James Mendelsohn, who is some kind of liberal Zionist and his exchanges with both Renew and Hoffman. Clearly Mendelssohn is a dying breed.In essence the conversation revolved around a disgusting cartoon that Hoffman was distributing, allegedly of Jackie Walker from a fake parody Twitter account. The cartoon was virulently racist, emphasising thick lips, dreadlocks and green slime emanating from her head. It contains just about everything you could possibly want from a racist cartoon about Black people.

Candidate Hoffman explains all

If a similar cartoon of a Jewish person, with a long and crooked nose, grasping hands and fingers, an evil eye etc. had been drawn one suspects that Hoffman would have had no difficulty recognising its anti-Semitism.As Mendelsohn made clear, a cartoon exaggerates peoples’ features, this was simply a racist caricature. There was nothing amusing in it nor was it in any way a likeness of Jackie’s features.

Letter to Annabel Mullin about Hoffman

Hoffman defended it on the ground that well, Jackie has dreadlocks and she is Black. He argued that as the person who drew the cartoon has no racist intent (how could he possibly know leaving aside whether he is the best judge in such matters) the cartoon itself can’t be racist.The logic is baffling. An act of discrimination in law isn’t negated because the discriminator didn’t intend to discriminate. It stands or falls on its own merits. If you pay someone less because they are Black or older then you are presumed to have intended to discriminate. It is inherent in the act.It used to be the case that a person was presumed to intend the consequences of his own action in capital murder cases. Today this is interpreted as assuming that if you engage in certain actions then you must be taken to foresee the consequences and hence possess the essential mens rea (guilty intent). What the person intended when she drew the racist cartoon is irrelevant to the question of whether the cartoon is or is not racist. That is an objective fact. What she intended is subjective.

Letter to Annabel Mullin about Hoffman

When Mendelsohn brought Hoffman’s cartoon to the attention of Renew Annabel Mullin responded by saying ‘We do not believe it has passed the threshold for racism.’Presumably Mullin was referring to the cartoon itself and not just Hoffman’s distribution of it. Regardless the explanation did not give a clue as to why an obviously racist cartoon, was not deemed to pass the threshold for racism. The only conclusions to be drawn is that Renew’s threshold is very high or Ms Mullin’s toleration for it is high.

Mendelsohn therefore concluded that ‘@RenewParty has failed badly in failing to take meaningful action against Mr Hoffman for his defence of the image.’ And that@RenewParty certainly won’t be getting my vote, any time soon.’

Where I part company with James Mendelsohn is in his final conclusions that Hoffman is ‘a long-time pro-Israel and anti-antisemitism campaigner’ and that in his opinion ‘his defence of the above image makes him unfit to be involved in any such campaign.’

On the contrary someone like Hoffman is extremely well qualified to defend the world’s only Apartheid state! There is nothing incompatible in Hoffman being a virulent anti-Black racist and being a Zionist. They go hand in hand.

Many of the comments of Mendelsohn and his friends, in their attacks on Jackie Walker and their unfounded assertions that she is racist, are themselves racist. Hoffman, with his crude golliwog style cartoons is being honest whereas his liberal Zionist critics are being disingenuous.

If you support the State of Israel in all its racist glory then it is inevitable that you will end up as a thorough going racist. That however is something that Mendelsohn and his fellows are going to have to work out for themselves. Asking themselves questions such as why is it that Zionism is politically supported by the far-Right and people like Tommy Robinson and Richard Spencer?

However it seems, after denying that Hoffman had crossed their invisible threshold for racism, that he has nonetheless been quietly excluded from the Renew candidates list. I also have a confession to make. Finding out that Scoffman is such a dedicated opponent of Brexit has been the only thing that caused honest soul searching on my part about my stance on Brexit!

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

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