The Herald and the Scotsman, today, headline:
Labour has a ‘huge problem’ with anti-Semitism, Scottish members in Scotland
‘Eddie Izzard warns Labour must ‘repair damage’ from anti-semitism storm’
Any fool can see this ‘storm’ is being whipped up by the anti-Corbyn faction still in the Labour Party, as part of another attempted coup to unseat him. Of course, the Tory press are delighting in it too.
However, a side effect has been the Scottish press failing to clarify the important fact that there is no evidence, at all, of anti-semitism in the Labour Party’s Scottish branch because, in the main, there is no evidence at all of a serious problem of anti-semitism in Scotland. Surely as Scottish newspapers, they feel obliged to clarify this kind of thing for their readers?
The Herald included further comment like:
‘Labour has a ‘huge problem’ with anti-Semitism, claims Scottish party members. Prominent Labour members in Scotland have said there is a “huge problem” with anti-Semitism in the party amid fresh claims of abuse by Jeremy Corbyn supporters.’
Now, I know that doesn’t say there is a problem with anti-semitism in Scotland but neither does it provide the evidence, which is available, that it isn’t. I think that’s important for accuracy and clarity.
The Scotsman went on to say:
‘Labour moved to distance itself from a series of pro-Corbyn social media groups after an investigation found they contained hundreds of messages promoting Holocaust denial and hate towards Jews. Shadow digital minister Liam Byrne admitted there was “real alarm” at the scale of the problem.’
Once again, that doesn’t say there is a problem with anti-semitism in Scotland but neither does it or the full text provide the evidence, which is available, that it isn’t. Again, I think that’s important for accuracy and clarity.
Now, here is the actual evidence from, the Community Security Trust ‘Anti-semitic Incidents 2017 Report’:
There had been 1 382 incidents in the UK in 2017 up 3% from 1 346 in 2016 (p34). So, not much of a surge overall but there had been a 34% increase in physical assaults from 108 in 2016 to 145 in 2017.
On the same page of the report, I found a breakdown revealing that of the 1 382 incidents, only 16 had occurred in Scotland, up 1 from 15 in 2016.
With 8% of the population, only 1.15% of all anti-Semitic incidents took place in Scotland.
‘Incidents’ included tweets and shouts from passing cars. In the report, no cases of physical assault in Scotland were reported. Only two examples were offered, one was a tweet and the other was an insult from a shopkeeper angered by Israeli attacks in Gaza. So, there almost certainly had been no physical assaults at all in Scotland