Let’s be blunt about it: if you are shocked by tonight’s Panorama on Labour’s antisemitism crisis either you’ve not been paying attention or you have shut your ears to the cries of anguish from the vast majority of Labour’s Jewish members over the last four years.
From the very moment Jeremy Corbyn emerged as a serious candidate for the Labour leadership there were major questions about his attitude, and those of his supporters, to antisemitism. It was widely known he had donated to a Holocaust denier (though of course he denied he knew anything of the Holocaust denial), he’d defended an antisemitic Church of England vicar, and he’d taken money from the Jew-hating Iranian regime.
But the majority ignored all that or at least regarded it as less important than his pledges to re-open the coal mines, send Trident submarines out without missiles and create sex-segregated carriages on trains.
The evidence has mounted that – and this is the most generous interpretation possible – Corbyn and his allies don’t really care very much about antisemitism. For instance, how else can one explain Corbyn’s defence of his brother Piers, who is indisputably a spreader of antisemitism, other than to say this lot are not much bothered about being associated with racism so long as it is directed at Jews?
What more could Panorama tell us that we do not already know?
Bear this in mind amid the soaring hype preceding tonight’s programme. Of course it is in the BBC’s interest to boost their audience and nobody should blame them for that. But consider this also – it is in Jeremy Corbyn’s interests to elevate the importance of this programme if all it tells us is what we already know – that he and his team have given Jew haters a free pass.
The hype surrounding the programme will help Team Corbyn if it proves to be a rehash of newspaper reports and little more.
We don’t need Panorama to tell us what we already know. We need to act on what we already know.