View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Reviewing the Situation 

In yet more evidence that the Labour Party is more anti-semitic than the Conservative Party has been in 25 years, Labour Party chairman Ian McCartney referred to the Tories' economic spokesman, Oliver Letwin, as "a 21st-century Fagin." Sadly, Britain has actual legal recourse for these sorts of things, and the Scots are investigating.

Director of Liberty and Law Gerald Hartup, who lodged the complaint to the police about the comments, said the allusion to Charles Dickens's "archetypal evil Jew" had "dragged political debate into the gutter."


He was also disturbed that, "if you make anti-Semitic comments from the Left you seem to be immune from prosecution." There was, he added, "a tendency to regard the Left as socially progressive and, therefore, to regard criticism from the Left as legitimate."

Is there any doubt he's right about the last? "Fagin" in England has roughly the same resonance as "Uncle Tom" in the South. You can try to squirm out of the reference all you want, but everyone listening knows exactly what you mean.

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