On the day of the release of the EHRC report, Jeremy Corbyn characteristically achieved the very same that he had done throughout his leadership. He positioned himself as the victim of Labour antisemitism. He is not the victim of Labour Party antisemitism.
Rather than addressing the findings contained within the EHRC report, Corbyn once again denied and downplayed the scale and impact that anti-Jewish racism had both on Jewish members and the wider Jewish community. For that statement, he was suspended. This week, having made the same kind of insincere and inadequate apology that became a theme of his tenure, he was readmitted.
A fair and reasonable minded observer might be driven to the brink having watched events unfold. Despite the EHRC finding that Labour’s disciplinary processes were broken, susceptible to political manipulation and mandating them to institute an independence under threat of enforcement, his case was resolved within three weeks. This despite the countless complaints still lagging away, such as Pete Willsman, a key factional leader who called 68 of our Rabbis “Trump supporting fanatics” for daring to ask the Labour Party to listen to Jewish voices when they asked to be heard.
No doubt, with confirmation that the Labour Whip in Parliament will not be restored, we will continue to see the same group of malign and insincere voices repeat the refrains of the last fortnight. Having spent five years denying, downplaying and obfuscating the problem, many of the same voices have now recast their rhetoric.
Instead of the fundamental lack of leadership and moral courage to tackle antisemitism within Labour’s ranks being the biggest barrier to tackling it now, we will once again be told that Jeremy Cobyn’s readmission to the Parliamentary Labour Party is the biggest barrier instead.
We will see the same patterns of statements and motions, ignoring the inconvenient truth of the moral turpitude of Corbyn’s actions and inactions, replacing it instead with the uncompromising demand of conformity.
We will not submit to mob bullying.
We will not prostrate ourselves to the notion that it is we who need to be quiet for the sake of Party unity.
We will not be silenced as those with malign intent usurp a time that should be spent reflecting on the collective failure of the left to police its boundaries of acceptable thought and behaviour whilst emails are harvested to continue the factional fight.
Because there is one, central, crucial question left unanswered: Who will be held accountable?
Accountable for the experiences of Jewish members these past few years.
Accountable for the EHRC report, and its findings of harassment and discrimination.
Accountable for the entry of antisemitism into mainstream political discourse.
The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn on the day of the EHRC report did not answer that question. Nor does his readmission to the Party. But it must be answered if the Labour Party is to rid itself of the stain of anti-Jewish prejudice.
This week’s decision by a factionally aligned political committee of the Labour Party highlights just how difficult answering that question has become.
Whilst the narrow terms of their decision may have been legalistic, the implication was much broader. Is the future of the Labour Party one that will be built on a culture of discriminatory and harassing behaviour, or will it be one of universal equality and justice?
Whether he and his supporters like it or not, Jeremy Corbyn will not be part of that future.
His political legacy and reputation are already a settled matter.
Determined both by the electorate, and the EHRC.
The Labour Party needs to work out if discriminatory unlawful acts committed against Jewish members, caused by the failure of leadership identified in the EHRC report is prejudicial and grossly detrimental to its interests and act accordingly.
The rest is commentary.