Thursday 12 December 2019 6:00 am

This Labour party does not deserve your support, however tactical or temporary you consider it to be

Today you’ll have the opportunity to vote in the most consequential election for 40 years. You’ll have your own motivations and concerns, your own views on what constitutes a good result.

Maybe one party’s victory is something you hope for, maybe it’s something you dread. For a lot of readers, the outcome may not be much more than something you can live with.

A lack of enthusiasm from all but the most devoted cheerleaders has been a hallmark of this campaign. People have talked about voting for the lesser of two evils, voting tactically or holding their nose and voting against their instinct.

Voting, even, against their principles. This newspaper has devoted tens of thousands of words to the task of criticising Labour’s economic policies, and it has deployed considerably fewer words than that in support of Boris Johnson — or indeed, of Brexit.

During the referendum three-and-a-half years ago, we remained neutral on the issue of Leave or Remain. Following the result, a respect for democracy and a faith in the City’s ability to adapt led us to support successive governments’ policies of leaving the European Union — with a deal.

That remains our position. But this election is not about Brexit. This election isn’t even about competing economic agendas. It’s about something much more profound.

Over the months, we’ve expressed our exasperation at the Tory party’s easy abandonment of fiscal prudence and we’ve shouted our disapproval of its immigration policy, its flirtation with state aid and subsidies and its inadequate response to the housing crisis and the problems of the property market.

But this election isn’t about any of that. We’ve also led the way in pushing back against the socialist dogma of the ageing Marxists in whose grip the Labour party finds itself.

It’s too late, now, to make any further arguments against the nationalisation of industry, high tax rates, hostility to private enterprise or the monstrous irresponsibility of its spending plans. But that’s OK, because this election isn’t about any of that.

What today’s vote comes down to is a simple question: are you prepared to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister of this country?

Maybe you agree with his policies. Maybe you find yourself in full support of his diagnosis of this country’s problems. Maybe you just don’t like Brexit and you think he’s your best route to a second referendum.

Well, it’s the view of this newspaper that any form of Brexit is better than any form of Corbyn. In fact, the list of things that are better for this country than Jeremy Corbyn goes on and on.

Corbyn’s Labour is infected with anti-Jewish racism — and the leader of the party must take responsibility for that.

Corbyn’s Labour is being investigated by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission amid detailed and horrifying allegations that it is institutionally antisemitic.

The weight of evidence submitted to that inquiry (provided by former and current Labour party members and officials) should stop this country in its tracks.

The racism, paranoia and conspiracy theories swirling around the party is compounded by an inability or unwillingness to find it, stop it and sling it out. The correct response to this racism is not to weigh it up and conclude “yes, but…” — it’s to do all in your power to deny it a foothold in office.

Maybe Corbyn will spend more on the NHS, maybe he will give you a second referendum, but the price paid will be high. Too high. Jewish families have told you that they would leave the country if Corbyn walks up Downing Street.

The chief rabbi has begged you not to put this man and his supporters into government. That was not an intervention made lightly. The problem of antisemitism cannot be separated from Corbyn.

He has shared platforms with antisemites, campaigned on their behalf and called them his friends. He has failed to recognise antisemitism time and again — even when it’s right in front of his face, be it a grotesque mural or a book riddled with anti-Jewish tropes — both of which he has supported and endorsed.

He has appeared on Iran’s state TV and claimed to have detected “the hand of Israel” in attacks carried out by Islamists in Egypt.

Through his words and deeds he has allowed antisemitism to seek a home among the grassroots of his party and, whether by accident or design, he has presided over an organisation that has never appeared to grasp the seriousness of the situation. Corbyn — and Corbynism — must be defeated today.

From the ashes, a reformed party may emerge and it would be free to champion the same economic policies. That’s a Labour party you could support. But this Labour party? This Labour party does not deserve your support, however tactical or temporary you consider it to be.

Main image: Getty

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

Share: