Jonathan Hoffman

What’s Sauce for the Gandz

When Michael Foster called the Corbynites ‘SturmAbteilung’ (stormtroopers), the Jewish Left was up in arms at his use of a Nazi comparison and the Board of Deputies issued a condemnation.

On Wednesday (5 October) James O’Brien on LBC read out a quotation from Mein Kampf saying “I want to read you something from Amber Rudd’s speech yesterday.”

O’Brien’s suggestion was of course absurd. Worse than that –it was offensive and an insult to those who died in the Holocaust – and to the survivors – because it suggested a complete lack of understanding, both of what happened in Germany under the Nazis and of what Home Secretary Amber Rudd actually said.  As Jay Stoll wrote, “it can demean and undermine those working in Holocaust Education. It is scarring to the survivors who lived to pass on their story to future generations.”

Amber Rudd is now the target of abuse on social media and has had to take her Facebook page down.

So why did O’Brien target her?

Because there was a proposal in the briefing issued after Rudd’s speech that the consultation (announced in the speech) should include provision for companies to report the nationality of their employees. In the US this is policy.  The proposal was for reporting of proportions of UK and non-UK nationality – not for lists of individual employees, as has been widely misreported.

The fact is, that UK national workers already have preference over non-EU nationals in employment, and if the UK leaves the EU, UK national workers will have preference over all foreign nationals in employment. It does not seem unreasonable for the government to want to know if there are companies with unusually high proportions of non-British workforces. One, to ensure the law is being upheld. Two, to help identify where there might be training gaps, either by sector or by geographic area. For example if 90% of HS2’s railway construction team is non-British, you know there is a problem with skills training in railway construction in the UK.

If you google ‘“James O’Brien”  Rudd Hitler’ you will get around 32,000 results.

Yet his shock-jockery has been met with silence by those who condemned Foster.

Does anyone know what the difference is?

About the Author
Jonathan Hoffman is a blogger who has written for United With Israel, CiFWatch (now UK Media Watch), Harrys Place and Z-Word.
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