Squawk box is one of those websites that offers an alternative approach to the news, claiming to correct the mainstream media. A number of such outlets exist on both the alt-right and the far left. Squawkbox is a left-wing version.
One of the main priorities on the far left over the past couple of years is to attempt to “correct the record.” To prove that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party didn’t have a problem with Anti-Semitism and that it was all just a scam. The Labour MPs who claimed racist abuse were just Blairites looking to stop Corbyn and Momentum’s progress. People like Rachel Riley were in the pay of the Tories.
Well, Squawkbox believe that they’ve found the smoking gun that proves their case. They’ve reported a correction the BBC made in relation to the now famous Panorama interview, where they’ve acknowledged that editing removed important context.
In the segment on Panorama they quote a Labour student, saying:
However, if they’d included the full segment, then it would have said.
Squawkbox claim that this shows that the BBC had deliberately edited down the comments to distort them in order to make the student appear to be saying something they didn’t. They claim that it shows that they experienced antisemitism only at the hand soft her far right, not from leftwingers and not within Labour.
Well, first of all, the editing is perhaps not the best, though I don’t think that proves an agenda just clumsy editing for time constraints. However, not only that but when you look at the full quote, it doesn’t show that the problem was only with the far right at all. Izzy’s complaint was that she was experiencing similar, indeed, the same kinds of racist behaviour from leftwingers. The very things she heard Neo-Nazis shout at her were being said at Labour Party meetings.
If anything this makes things worse not better. It would be one thing if the kind of antisemitism we were hearing from the left was primarily a result of support for Palestine and opposition to Israel leading to carelessness around conspiracy theories. Yet, Izzy is saying that there was no material difference between far right and far left antisemitism.
Rather than Squawkbox proving that it was all a scam, they’ve further highlighted how big the problem was. Rather than this being a cause for celebration, it should be a cause for shame and those on the left who are as opposed to antisemitism as they are to other kinds of racism should, instead of trying to get their heroes off the hook be asking the difficult questions about why this toxic ideology was allowed a foothold where it should not have been.