Labour Party

Shami Chakrabarti: a shameful peerage for a sham report into Labour's anti-Semitism


It takes a lot for the Chief Rabbi to remonstrate with a big political cheese and denounce an official independent inquiry. But the elevation of Shami Chakrabarti to the Peerage so soon after absolving the Labour Party (and Jeremy Corbyn) of multiple charges of anti-Semitism stinks like a hefty slab of Stilton. As a lawyer, she really ought to be attuned to allegations of bias and the perception of bias.

There were murmurs of suspicion when she announced her membership of the Labour Party on the same day she was asked to lead the review. She ditched her longstanding (and highly respected) political neutrality in order, she explained, to gain members’ “trust and confidence”, which is curiously sophistic. Why would the author of an independent inquiry into Labour’s anti-Semitism consider it more important to gain the trust and confidence of Labour Party members than remain untainted by the perception of partisanship or pre-ordained bias? Unless, of course, a peerage was mooted as long ago May, and Corbyn wasn’t talking about a comfy crossbench sinecure.

Her report has been widely criticised for its evidential omissions and inadequacies: some called it a “whitewash” for suppressing an interview which Corbyn gave on his “friends” in Hamas. That suppression is compounded by another: that of Baroness Royall’s report into the anti-Semitism of Oxford University Labour Club.  We read that the Baroness was “visibly frustrated” by the NEC-imposed restrictions on publication (leaked copy available HERE). By way of redress, “the peer had been offered a key role in the new inquiry into anti-Semitism in an apparent bid to allay her concerns that the report would not be released to the public”. Quite why such an obvious buy-off should allay the Baroness’s shame and dismay that her party has been infected with the “ancient virus of anti-Semitism” is unknown, unless, of course, it’s a matter of party loyalty before anti-Semitic truth.

No wonder Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis concludes: “Shami Chakrabarti has a proud record of public service, but in accepting this peerage, the credibility of her report lies in tatters and the Labour Party’s stated intention, to unequivocally tackle anti-Semitism, remains woefully unrealised.” It’s all the more puzzling that Shami Chakrabarti doesn’t appear quite to grasp the significance of this. Keith Vaz, Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, is determined to get to the bottom of it all. “We were told that this was an independent inquiry,” he said, “and if it transpires that Shami Chakrabarti was offered her peerage before she was appointed or during the time she was appointed to conduct that inquiry then we needed to have been told.” So he has written to her, demanding answers.

When the author of Labour’s official inquiry into anti-Semitism herself becomes the subject of an official inquiry, Jews everywhere are right to question the reliability of her methodology and the validity of her findings. And all reasonable, intelligent and discerning people of all faiths and none might make a justifiable observation of potential corruption, which might be called ‘Whitewash for Peerages’. You can’t investigate anti-Semitism with cover-ups and buy-offs. Indeed, it smacks of institutional conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and avert the pursuit of truth. But perhaps it’s a truth they can’t or don’t want to face.

And so Labour’s Jewish MPs will be reduced to tears by continuing anti-Semitic slurs. Jewish students at Oxford University will go on being made to feel uncomfortable as ‘anti-Zionists’ sing their favourite song: ‘Rockets over Tel Aviv’. And the Jewish Labour Movement will carry on despairing “that the political rhetoric of zero tolerance on anti-Semitism is not matched by action”. But if you want to attract a certain ‘robust’ minority vote, it’s important to be seen to be favourable to the cleansing of Zionists and Jerusalemites from your progressive fraternity. As the former chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club observes: “It is common to encounter antisemitic individuals in all walks of life, but the mass turning of a blind eye that has come to characterise vast parts of the Left is chilling. As antisemites can double up as vocal critics of Israel, there is a marked tendency on the left to view them as fellow travellers whose hearts are in the right place – so their rhetoric passes the test of social acceptability.”

Perhaps Baroness Chakrabarti and Baroness Royall can unite now in the House of Lords to lead a transparent, open and very public inquiry into Labour’s anti-Semitism since Jeremy Corbyn became leader. By focusing specifically on anti-Semitism (rather than including ‘other forms of racism’), and by limiting the historic scope of the inquiry to the past year (ie since 12th September 2015, when Corbyn became leader), we might derive a more honest assessment of the swift spread of the infection, and so prescribe a more effectual antidote – however inconvenient that truth may be to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

  • The Meissen Bison

    Jeremy Corbyn could change his name to Horst Wessel and Labour could rebrand to the Wannsee Conference Party and Shami Chakrabarti would pronounce all tickety-boo.

  • James Bolivar DiGriz

    “[Shami Chakrabarti] ditched her longstanding (and highly respected) political neutrality in order”.
    Sorry but that is clearly not true. Chakrabarti may not have been a paid up member of a political party before this year, but the location of her political sympathies have been obvious for years.

    Those who ‘respected’ her ‘political neutrality’ were only from one side of the political divide, which clearly showed her not to have actually been neutral.

    Hence there were many saying that her report would be a whitewash from the moment that it was announced.

  • len

    The problem with’ the Establishment’ is not the people(well… not entirely) but with ‘the system’The system is corrupt and in order for people to ‘get on ‘ they must submit to ‘the System’.
    Sounds Orwellian?…You bet!.

    • chefofsinners

      But who corrupted the system? And who continues to corrupt it? The human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.

  • The definition of anti-Semitism is so broad that it is virtually impossible to be even mildly critical of Jews without being labelled an anti-Semite; the European Parliament’s working definition, based on that of the Anti-Defamation League, is here.

    The ex-Jew Gilad Atzmon describes this Jewish hypersensitivity as ‘Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder’: ‘while some people are truly tormented by a past event, Jewish culture facilitates a unique mental condition in which the Jewish subject is tormented by a phantasmic event set in the future. Jews are indoctrinated to think at least one holocaust ahead.’ Similarly, Lawrence Auster, the Jewish convert to Christianity, says that Jews are preoccupied with ‘what they think the goyim might one day do to them.’

    Atzmon explains that ‘Within the context of contemporary Jewish politics, Jews are always innocent and the goyim, whoever or whatever they are, are always guilty of blind racially motivated hatred’ but he then asks: ‘is it really possible to imagine an historical narrative in which Jews are always innocent and goyim are constantly guilty? In other words, how is it possible that Jews have managed to make themselves unpopular in so many places and in so many cultures that have nothing to do with each other?!’ Atzmon concludes: ‘Like [Paul] Eisen and [Bernard] Lazare, I also believe that Jews must self-reflect and identify what is it in their politics and [culture] which some people reject’, a rejection which Jews and their apologists reflexively label anti-Semitism.

    Last word to John Friend, asking Atzmon: ‘What explains this hypocrisy? How can the Jews be so openly ethnocentric and concerned about their own unique political, cultural, and economic interests, while demonizing and pathologizing other racial or ethnic groups—especially White people—for even attempting to do the same thing?’

    • Inspector General

      JR. This is being typed minutes after hearing that yet another muslim has attacked two policewomen in Belgium. Fortunately, they managed to get at least one round off, apparently, for the blighter is now dead. So we come to the point…

      You really must update your opinion of our Jewish friends. It is they, and seemingly they alone, who have shown that Islam can be kept at bay. Well, not overrunning Israel and slaughtering as they go. You see, THEY are showing US that it can be done!

      One isn’t asking you to hang up Star of David bunting, but to consider joining the rest of us in the here and now, and not spooking everybody like some damnable seventeenth century puritan.

      What do you say. Up for it…

      • A good post, Inspector.

      • @ Inspector General—Your Jewish friends are equally adept at keeping Christianity at bay. Giles Fraser reports from Israel:

        the government is ‘making conditions so hopeless that asylum seekers feel they have no choice but to leave’. Officially classed as ‘infiltrators’, they are subject to daily racism and harassment, being taken to the miserable Holot detention centre in the Negev, for no other reason…than to ‘break your spirit’ and ‘stop you integrating into Israeli society’. Some are offered cash sums of up to $3,500 to get on a flight to Rwanda or Uganda and basically bugger off.

        Sadly, Christ isn’t being nearly so well looked after, as Israel Shahak writes in Jewish History, Jewish Religion: ‘in addition to a series of scurrilous sexual allegations against Jesus, the Talmud states that his punishment in hell is to be immersed in boiling excrement’.

        • Inspector General

          So, Israel holds the current asylum racket in as much derision as this man does. Can’t blame them for that.

          On the subject of the Talmud and Jesus, one has seen much worse on Pink News comments. Jesus isn’t for everybody. Well he is, sort of, but if they don’t want to know, we’ll just move on…
          An edit is called for: ‘almost as bad’. Being immersed in boiling excrement – you can’t really better that, if better is the word to use…

          • As the self identified “special correspondent” on those issues, Inspector, you may be interested in this latest research from Sweden. Will you break the news to your friends on PN?


          • Inspector General

            Totally off topic, Jack. Hang head in shame…

          • Lol …. Jack was just keeping you appraised of developments and didn’t mention the subject matter, old boy.

          • @ Inspector General—Israel holds the current asylum racket in as much derision as this man does

            Dear God. Israel adores the asylum racket and does all it can to help ‘refugees’ enter Europe. Israel21c has an article about ‘IsraAID volunteers helping thousands of refugees…streaming through Greece and the Serbian borders.’ In a 6½-minute video, deeply caring IsraAID personnel boast: ‘As Israelis, we draw on our own history of tragedy and triumph to help the biggest wave of displaced persons in Europe since our grandparents searched the Earth for refuge.’ The first speaker laments the ‘war-torn Middle East’ but omits to mention that it was torn apart at the request of the Israeli lobby.

          • Inspector General

            But JR, don’t you see. That is contempt at its finest. That is contempt all polished up and buffed, with a pretty bow tied on it, ready to be entered into a competition to find the world’s finest contempt…

            Quite wonderful, really…

          • Anton

            With what motive? It was entirely predictable that the alternative to nominal Muslim hardman dictators in Middle Eastern countries was fundamentalist Islamic regimes like IS. Such regimes detest Israel as least as much as their predecessors did. So why should Jews in Washington have sought such a change?

          • @ Anton—Countries in chaos are in no position to threaten Israel. IS may detest Israel but its firepower is minuscule compared to Israel’s. As a bonus (seen from the Jewish point of view), the Muslims fleeing the Middle East are speeding up the Islamization of Europe.

          • Inspector General

            If we’ve any sense JR, we’ll be sending the migrants home once we’ve established West friendly dictators for their wretched countries. One always puts unpleasant humanity first. It’s their inheritance, so it is. They are born to it, and are racially adapted to put with what is their homeland.

            At least we can agree on that (?)

          • @ Inspector General—Even if we did return the current crop of migrants and even if we could reinstall the Arab dictatorships we removed, Europe would still be left with substantial and rapidly growing Muslim populations. The outlook is not good.

          • Inspector General

            JR. It is through following the excellent Cranmer that ones eyes have been opened to the stark truth. To wit, the West left alone to it’s own devices will degenerate and decay anyway.

            We can see this happening already. We are aborting ourselves out of existence, feminism is having a damn good go at destroying family life and replacing it with the ’empowered’ often single, unmarried mother, and most astonishingly of all, the homosexual lifestyle of choice is enjoying the very best in promotion from the highest in the land. It’s as if there’s a brain virus at work.

            So you see. We NEED a certain amount of Islam around to stop us going under completely. It will keep us right of centre. It is necessary for our very survival, sir!

          • Anton

            Chaos is transient. And an Islamised Europe is no bonus to Israel, for Europe has first-world weapon systems and armed forces unlike most Middle Eastern countries.

          • @ Anton—
            ● Anthropogenic chaos (as opposed to the permanent chaos of the universe) can continue as long as necessary.
            ● Beginning here, Israel Shahak discusses Judaism’s opinion of Christianity and Islam. Idolatrous Christianity loses out to non-idolatrous Islam by a long chalk: ‘Judaism is imbued with a very deep hatred towards Christianity’ vs ‘The attitude of Judaism towards Islam is, in contrast, relatively mild.’

          • Anton

            This is true of Orthodox Jews, to be sure. But most Jews in Israel are secular, and many remember their parents being forced to leave Islamic lands in the years after 1948 in revenge.

          • Ivan M

            I can’t understand why with your command of Israeli sources you are unable to read what Michael Oren and Ya’alon said in preference of the ISIS to Assad. JR below has it 110% right on this matter. The neocons would rather see the entire ISlamic world die than one hair of the Israelis harmed. That is all there is to it. The Muslims have it all figured out.

          • Really? Hahaha! Not surprised. The IsraAid folks are genuine dreamy leftist do-gooder idiots, who would take in the Muslim migrants, all of them if they could, but know better than to even suggest such an absurdity.

            But seriously, just try to guess the level of my sympathy for an EU which has been at Israel’s throat to split its state in half and surrender its historical and strategic heartland to yet another pile of Islamic terrorists.

        • Your concern for Ugandans and Rwandans is touching, Johnny. Bitten by the social justice bug you are, I see. I had you for a garden variety BNP chap with brass knuckles in your trouser pocket, but you seem to have, er, evolved…at least in this instance. I’d suggest you take a few of the charming African entrepreneurs (plenty of them hanging around south Tel Aviv), but your other declared friends, the Muslim Arabs stuck in Judah and Shomron, might get jelous. You can take as many of those as you want…all, if you can.

      • Hmm. Star of David bunting. Never seen such, but what an idea, Inspector! The holiday of Sukkot/Feast of Booths is coming up in mid October, which gives you and me just enough time to roll up our sleeves and spin up a little cottage industry to compete with the lightly reworked, barely concealed Christmas decorations used year-in, year-out for the booths. Ale and whiskey cash-money for both us.

        Just think of the historical-ecumenical statement we would make,too! A reenactment of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, as we get bored of the actual work well before lunch and revive the Protestant work ethic by trawling the streets for indigents and abandoned urchins to toil

      • Hmm. Star of David bunting. Never seen such, but what an idea, Inspector! The holiday of Sukkot/Feast of Booths is coming up in mid October, which gives you and me just enough time to roll up our sleeves and spin up a little cottage industry to compete with the lightly reworked, barely concealed Christmas decorations typically sold year-in, year-out for the booths. Ale and whiskey cash-money for both us.

        Just think of the historical-ecumenical statement we would make, too! A reenactment of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, as we get bored of the actual work well before lunch on the first day of our toils and smoothly move on to reinterpret the spirit of the Protestant work ethic by trawling the streets for indigents and abandoned urchins to toil at our bustling bunting looms which we will no doubt design on napkins over a pint (or two) at the Mouse and Wheel. Then, we can replay the birth of the Hebraic retail boom by taking our wares on squeeky pushcarts down the streets of London; you can attract custom with some manly bellows, while I stumble about the alleys for any rags we can pick up along the way. we can’t fail; it’s how the West was built before things got wobbly and confused!

  • Redrose82

    Baroness shameless.

  • steroflex

    The decadence of Islam:
    When Caliph Omar entered Jerusalem as a victorious general, he refused to pray in the cathedral. If he had done so, he said, it would soon become a mosque and he wanted to be magnanimous.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Isn’t it a good thing that he wanted to be magnanimous?

      • Mike Stallard

        Roy we are both on the same side! I wanted to point out that true Muslims (The rightly guided Caliph who was also an Ansar) do not behave anti-Semitically at all. OK the Prophet himself had a lot of trouble with recalcitrant Jews when at his wits end in a difficult war of annihilation, but that is different.

        • Anton

          “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends” – Q5:51.

          Jews who refused obedience to Allah and/or the prophet of Islam are referred to as apes and pigs in Q5:60, Q7:166.

          “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslim, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him” – a hadith (saying of Muhammad) reported in several collections and categorised as Sahih (the most reliable category).

          • Mike Stallard

            Been there, done that.
            Look, I do not like Islam. Last night I was reading some of al Bukhari. Some of the things the Prophet is reported to have said are, frankly, ridiculous. Whether or not he was speaking as a human or as the Messenger of Allah, I really do not know.
            I am really (I mean that) sorry to say that I know a lot of old men like that. Alf Garnett was a very good example. Uneducated, they think they know everything!
            The fact is that we are landed with a huge mass of Muslims in Britain at the moment and I politely treat them and their religion very much like the Baptists and the Adamites were treated in the time of Elizabeth I: with good humoured toleration.
            It was only later, when the civil War broke out, and they won, that the true evil emerged – and we survived that too!

          • Anton

            Of course I believe that Muslims should be treated courteously in all personal interactions. (How the State should treat them politically is the issue in Europe today.) But you claimed that “true Muslims… do not behave anti-Semitically”, and I am showing that the Islamic sacred writings suggest otherwise. Whether or not Islam’s prophet actually said those things is not the point; a “true Muslim” is someone who believes he did, and seeks to live by those words. I am glad, of course, of all self-declared Muslims who treat all others courteously but that is not the point either.

            You have chosen a comparison with the Civil War with which I roundly disagree. Certainly the judicial execution of a king by his people’s representatives is a shocking event. But if the king is under the law, and if he is bound by his own word – by the Coronation Oath and other pledges – then who but Parliament might hold him to them?

            Charles had refused to heed or have a Parliament through the 1630s, consistently breaking his word and unilaterally introducing unscrupulous new taxes, driving a coach and horses through the Petition of Right which he had signed in the previous decade. Also he and Archbishop Laud forcibly imposed on England their ritualistic form of protestantism. Entirely peaceable puritan pampleteers had their ears cut off and faced other penalties. Opposition to these practices organised itself, and both sides reacted by escalating until one had won a confrontation which had grown mortal. Charles’ refusal to take his opponents’ grievances seriously showed that the alternative to what happened was absolute monarchy (as on the Continent) and, in the absence of religious tolerance, a continuing exodus of Puritans – the citizens of England most committed to diligence, family life and honest dealing. The constitutional proposals and patience of the Army and its leaders in the two-and-a-half years between Charles’ surrender at Newark and Pride’s Purge show good faith, in contrast to Charles’ intransigence and duplicity.

            The English Puritans were perhaps the most biblically committed Christians ever to govern a country, but they too ran into the problem that biblical Christianity by definition cannot be enacted by law. When they put into England’s statutes more of the laws of morality that Christianity had been intended to help people keep (from ancient Israel’s code), the people did not react well. This shows not that the Puritans were evil but that England was not a Christian country. Which no country is or has been, in fact, vanity notwithstanding. The true church is a minority that is called out of every nation, and will be until Jesus Christ returns.

          • Cressida de Nova

            To insult Muhammed by saying that he is ridiculous is blasphemy to a Muslim and punishable by death. …not polite at all. Maybe you and Alf have more in common than you think.

          • Mike Stallard

            Luckily we still have free speech in this country. I think the difference is that I have read a lot of al Bukhari.
            Have you?

          • Cressida de Nova

            No, I have not… but I have lived in an Islamic country and I know what is offensive to a Muslim. Your claim of politeness towards Muslims is disingenuous when your comments would earn you the death penalty in an Islamic country. Do you remember what Jesus said about hypocrites? Maybe you should read the scriptures.You would be better informed if none the wiser. Alf Garnet is a notch above you. He is at least authentic.
            Muslims have a word which equates hypocrisy with Christians. Obviously they had people like you in mind when coining the term.

          • Mike Stallard

            Let us not get into the hypocrisy debate. You must have been to countries where Muslim men go for R&R? Or been to Bugis? Or the Casino in Singapore?
            I want to question the bit about how Muslims feel. Feeling hurt is not the criterion really. Generally speaking I am polite (I hope) to the Muslims in my own family (unless I forget, which I do on occasion like eating pork knuckle in Ikea).
            But this is not (yet) a Muslim country and debate and frank speaking is still OK – unless you are in a safe space at University.

          • len

            Alf Garnett? Blimey Cressy you remember Alf?. Not terribly PC nowadays but He stood up for what he believed in (right or wrong) which people are not allowed to do nowadays…

          • I just realized, it cannot be a coincidence that the blue collar Archie Bunker, with his long-haired son in law, “Meathead” of the US sitcom *All in the Family* is the spitting image of Alf.

          • len

            ‘Americanised Alf ‘

          • I’m a genius, then! Sure, half of the Western world might already know that, but I came up with it all on my own.

          • len

            Not awfully polite to kill people for standing up for the truth either?

          • Cressida de Nova

            “The words with which a child’s heart is poisoned whether through malice or through ignorance remain branded in his memory, and sooner or later they burn his soul”
            Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  • Inspector General

    Ah yes! Her of the whiny voice. Your Inspector generally likes to hear people out on the radio, but he can’t tolerate her. It’s her heritage, you see. Do you know fellows, no other woman on earth has got whining off to such a degree that it becomes a powerful instrument of painful assault like the Indian woman has…

    If they want her in the Lords, then it’s hard luck on the inmates. Considering Labour will be out of office for at least 10 years, if not forever, then there’s bags of whining to come from her. She’ll empty the chamber, no doubt about that…see you in the bar, men!

    • Royinsouthwest

      You might have a long wait in the bar to get served!

      • Pubcrawler

        Regulars never have to wait long

    • Didn’t know Clare Short and Dianna Abbot were of Indian descent, Inspector. They have both mastered the art of torture by whining. Indeed, it seems an attribute of the female left.

    • Pubcrawler
      • Inspector General

        I say, that’s rather good news. They’ll just have to hang around street corners with a can…

        • A sober MP, now there’s a thing. We might have something sensible come out of their mouths!

    • She’s Pakistani or Pakistani descent. Full of her own importance she is too.

      Btw a bit off topic, do you know where you come from Inspector?
      Have you had your DNA analysed on yet? Fascinating it is.

      • Inspector General

        That’s a splendid idea, Marie. The Inspector is an utter mongrel as communicants may suspect. How much does it cost?

        • £79

          • Inspector General

            Sold, that gal! Will get on the case when the winter comes…

          • Inspector General


          • Probably to cover postage I forget now. They send you a kit for you to take a saliva test to return to them for analysis. Your results are emailed to you in 6 to 8 wks time from thence.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Why is anyone surprised? Wherever you get political correctness you get hypocrisy, and often lies as well.

  • David

    It has long been obvious that this woman had left wing leanings. Indeed political neutrality would be the very last label that I would have pinned on her.
    But this turn of events is tawdry, and rather amateur in its execution; certainly to me it smacks of institutional racism directed against Jewish people – nasty, very nasty.

  • Morgeo

    is this any worse than Cameron’s abuse of honours ?

    • Royinsouthwest

      In a way yes since the left are those who are readiest to accuse opponents of racism on the flimsiest of grounds just to silence them. Sham Shami’s whitewash of the Labour Party and her subsequent peerage show just how hypocritical the so-called social justice warriors really are.

  • Dreadnaught

    The root of all this lays with the Left’s transmission over several generations from being pro-Israel to being pro-‘palestinian’ and supporting ‘the cause’ of Yasser Arafat, Hamas Hezbollah and more latterly, the Muslim Bro Hood.

    When once they would and indeed did, condemn the Munich Olympic atrocity; the succession of hijacked and blown apart aeroplanes ; the Achilies Laro murders; bus bombs and cafe bombs, that were familiar in the 70s news reportage, not to mention the Six Days war of the Arab States; the present crop of politicians, journalists and academics have been conditioned by ignorance and self censorship.

    No one mentions that the rise in anti-Semitism on the streets is largely being carried out by over confident Muslims from Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc, etc.

    On top of this the West has been totally ineffectual to match, let alone counter the Islamic propaganda machine which would have left Goebels drooling with envy.
    Chakrabarti has shot her credibility in the foot by accepting the ermine offered by the ancient and naeve student rabble rouser Corbyn.

    However, had Dangerous Dave not dropped his bat and cowardly legged it off the field of play, the peerage appointment would not have been made at this time. Having read the report I would agree that the Labour Party is not ‘awash’ with a-S, unless that is qualified by reference to racist Muslim influence and the corruption of British political constituencies.

    The good Rabbi and indeed the peace-at- any-cost Christians, are making the wrong kind of responses instead of pointing the finger at the real cause of the rise in a-S in Europe and the eradication of their numbers in the Middle East.

  • Anton

    It does deserve to be said that the Labour party was led by a secular Jew until 2015 and it was entirely his electoral defeat that caused his downfall.

  • Off topic, mea culpa, but could someone please explain why there’s a yellow pineapple playing solo tennis on Google? Very disconcerting.

    • carl jacobs

      Day 2 of the 2016 doodle fruit games…

      Whatever that means. Perhaps they don’t allow grapefruits to participate and that’s why you don’t know about it?

    • chefofsinners

      Pull the handle. Three pineapples in a row and you win a peerage.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        or a pearage

      • Keep handles out of this, please.

    • Pubcrawler

      Never mind that, WTF is the latest? Some sort of weird hurdling spider?

      • It is very, very odd.

        • Pubcrawler

          And now a lemon doing the backstroke in what appears to be a duck-infested ice floe

          • The poor thing is drowning. Jack thinks the duck is there to keep him company.

    • Martin


      Something to do with forcing children to play sports at school?

  • bluedog

    There’s an obvious solution to this situation – abolish the House of Lords in its current form. Ever since Blair’s ‘reforms’ it has become an increasingly corrupt house with ever-dimishing legitimacy. If Cameron’s nominations were to be accepted the number of peers jumps to 813, with 39 suspended for diverse reasons, giving a grand total of 852 worthies for the tax-payer to remunerate. This communicant suspects that the work of the upper house could be done with a quarter of the current membership, and a lot of what they do is essentially ‘busy work’.

    Mrs May seems to have some good ideas, and her performance so far exceeds expectations. Once she has played herself in, one hopes that Mrs May will devote some time to constitutional reform. An English parliament is long over-due and a federal constitution would enable the current peerage to be dismissed and replaced by senators, but we’ll call them ‘Lords’ for the sake of tradition, representing the various entities that make up the UK.

    One can scarcely imagine M/s Chakrabarti submitting herself for public scrutiny, so her real gift to the United Kingdom would be as a catalyst for constitutional reform, specifically the cleansing of the upper house.

    • IanCad

      Back to the hereditary peers then?
      In truth it worked better. Add in the Law Lords, the Lords Spiritual – with the addition of the Chief Rabbi and the heads of other churches, including the Muslims. Include past Home and Foreign Secretaries, Chancellors and PM’s, leaders of the opposition, and we may get back to a reasonable condition.
      I mean — seriously, how on earth did Baroness Chest get elevated to such an honour?

      • bluedog

        The hereditaries could only be returned if devolution were to be reversed, and that would start a civil war, irrespective of the provisions of the Scotland Act 1997. The only hope at this stage is to complete the federal project and devolve England. If that fails, a return to the old unitary state could contemplated. But with the EU on the brink of total failure, an opportunity exists to re-unite Ireland within a federal union.

        • Old Nick

          Why, please, could “the hereditaries… only be returned if devolution were to be reversed”. Scotland has its own peerage (some of whose members have titles also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom). What do I not know ?

          • bluedog

            In the first instance it is only ever possible to do what is politically feasible at any given time, irrespective of any other options that can be devised. Currently the trend is towards consolidation of the federal constitutional model. That being the case it would seem likely that some form of elected Upper House will ultimately emerge, although not on the lines proposed by Clegg. The further advance of devolution and an elected HoL would appear to shut out the hereditaries for all time. However if there were to be a catalytic event which ended the devolutionary trend, such as Scotland leaving the Union, a rump UK might well decide on the recidivist path of re-embracing a hereditary based upper house. But at present that seems the least likely option. Agreed that England, Ireland and Scotland all had their own peerages, and the Irish Republic has not cancelled the Irish peerages, over which the British Crown continues to hold jurisdiction.

  • David

    The H of Lords worked better before the Blair destruction. Landed peers who turned up had a genuine interest in the long term health of the nation, without political strings attached. The present system is increasingly corrupt and politicised and it just isn’t working well. Undoubtedly the old system was better.
    But we are where we are. So I think we should complete the federal project, give England an elected Parliament and make the H of C a federal parliament for UK wide decisions. If we do that the present corrupt, highly politicised H of L can be all but abolished and reduced in numbers to say 200 at most, with a purely advisory function. If NZ can be governed successfully without a H of Lords why, in this age, do we need one – we don’t ! Come on Mrs May after Brexit let’s get to work with a proper constitutional reform, one that is this time well thought out.

  • Eustace

    Elevation to the peerage has always been used to reward political support. All of the life peers and most of the hereditaries owe their titles to services offered to the crown or the government of the day. So why the outrage at continuing the tradition?

    What you’re really complaining about is not the cronyism that governs the appointment of life peers, but this particular instance of it. You don’t like this particular peer, so you bitch about the circumstances of her elevation. But not a word do you say about any other peerage granted as a blatant reward for crooked goings-on, nepotism and back-scratching.

    What about the duke of Montrose, whose title was a payoff for driving the Act of Union through an uncooperative Scots Parliament? What price strawberry leaves, eh? Is betrayal of the country of your birth for personal gain and increased social status any better than a crooked political deal exchanging silver balls for a desired result?

    And what about the Viscount Hailsham who, after being rejected for a life peerage by the Appointments Committee following his abuse of parliamentary expenses for moat-cleaning purposes, then failed to be elected to the Lords twice as an hereditary peer? How blatant a political act of cronyism was the life peerage given to him by Cameron last year, which a more cooperative Appointments Committee no longer troubled by his irregular financial activities had no issue rubber stamping? Why jump up and down in protest at one blatantly political appointment while turning a blind eye to another?

    Worse than the political bias underlying just about every appointment to the Lords is the partisan nature of objections to it. If you only object to the political appointments you don’t like, you reveal yourself as entirely corrupted by a rotten system.

    • Inspector General

      The House of Lords is rather like HIV. Nobody wants it in the system, but its there and we’ll always have it. And it’s not going to get any better. That’s for sure. Hope you appreciate the analogy…

      • Eustace

        HIV will be eradicated within a generation. The Lords too. The current scandal is only one of many that will bring it down. Government by cronyism can’t last.

        • Any news on what Ian Duncan Smith is doing now he’s no longer in the cabinet? Has he got a directorship somewhere?

          • Eustace

            Who? The Iain Duncan Smith who claims to be a devout Catholic and is even bringing up the children of his mixed marriage to an Anglican peer’s daughter as Catholics? The same one who voted in favour of equal marriage? That Iain Duncan Smith?

            Whatever he’s doing, one can only suppose him to be applying the same level of moral consistency to it.

            So, has he snagged directorships with arms companies or landmine manufacturers while professing to deplore the taking of life? Does he enjoy a seat on the board of companies that produce abortifacients while claiming to be pro-life?

            I really do not know. Why don’t you ask him?

          • Yes, that’s the same one who didn’t declare he was a non executive director and owner of 65,000 shares since 2009 @ a strike price of 31p in Byotrol who were posting a loss,run by ex directors of Unilever, P&G, Mars, Astra Zenica and many others from top companies, who are set to make mass profit when the NHS is privatised. They state this in their Co. literature. As of January 13th 2013 Byotrol has recently won contracts with the NHS, ADM (Archer Daniels Midland convert corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses) and Kimberley Clark; the major US healthcare company which owns brands like Kleenex and Huggies. The revenues for these contracts have not been seen yet but are expected to be significant. Some of their existing customers are Boots, Tesco, PZ Cussons and other companies that would stand to benefit from the privatisation of the NHS. Part of the company strategy going forward is to sell licensing payments and royalties for the use of its patents. Selling a royalty to a major healthcare company who then supply large parts of the NHS is a good way to make money at public expense and then shuffle it away from the prying eyes of the taxman.
            So how did IDS know to buy shares in this company when it was a dog on paper? It was certainly very fortuitous to purchase these options before the company won major contracts with the NHS which will lift up the share price.


            He also didn’t declare he was NED at Nlyte Software Ltd


            What rewards is he going to reap for giving Maximus the lucrative £650 million a year contract to strip the sick and disabled of their money. What sister or associate company will be rewarding him with a directorship and a share price tip off I wonder?

          • Eustace

            I cannot possibly comment on Mr Duncan Smith’s financial arrangements. Casting aspersions on another man’s financial probity without comprehensive and convincing proof just is not de bon ton.

            If you believe a crime has been committed, I suggest you take the matter up with the CPS.

            In the meantime, used as I am to considering a man innocent of a prosecutable offence unless his guilt has been clearly established before a competent court of law, I shall take your accusations with a very large grain of salt and instead ponder on the propensity of the religous to wreak vengeance on those they see as traitors to their cause.

            The recent example of the Muslim cab driver convicted for killing a colleague he deemed to be insufficiently pious is an object lesson in how far fanatics are prepared to go to punish those who fall away from the faith.

            Is Mr Duncan Smith about to pay the price for supporting equal marriage? A price exacted by those enjoined to turn the other cheek and forgive all offences?

            Let’s see, shall we?

        • len

          Government by cronyism is ‘the system,’ goes right back to ‘William the Bastard’ AKA William the Conqueror.

          • Eustace

            The Conqueror didn’t invent cronyism, but he was certainly adept at using it to consolidate his hold over his newly conquered kingdom.

            Your monarchy is founded on the principle of “might is right”. So why the objections to modern-day expressions of that fact?

        • Inspector General

          Yes, you’re probably right on HIV. In fact, the medical establishment are placing great store on it being done. To be able to manipulate a virus to such a degree as to completely neutralise it, or even rid the body of it, would open up a whole new discipline in medicine, virology. As it stands, there’s a whole list of cancers that result from particular viruses being present in the body.

          As for the Lords, we’re stuck with that, at least until democracy is dispensed with. And when will that be, you might ask. When HM Loyal Opposition in the Commons is ‘The Islamic Party of Great Britain’ says this man…and by that time, with a muslim population around 30%, it won’t be a second too soon…

          • bluedog

            ‘As for the Lords, we’re stuck with that, at least until democracy is dispensed with. ‘ On the contrary, democracy will be what dumps the Lords, the sooner the better. One can expect a proletarian revolt once the masses finally realise there are over 800 peers as against 650 members of the Commons. It’s frankly Ruritanian, if not Transylvanian.

          • Inspector General

            Oh dear, Bluedog, you didn’t realise. Never mind, the Inspector is here to inform you.The masses just want order in their lives so they can be about what they do. That’s about it, really.

            The problem with democracy is this. We don’t just elect the blighters into power, we also trust them to do what’s right. Now, remembering mass Islamic immigration and the problems that has given us since the 2005 London bombings, do you think it’s going to be that hard to inform the public that we’ve something better than democracy lined up for them when the time comes….

          • bluedog

            You have a depressing point, Inspector. There have been a number of surveys which suggest exactly what you say. But there must come a time when the numbers of life peers impinges on the public consciousness as being excessive. Does one hear 1000? Only our very good friends in Beijing run an even larger upper house, but they have 1.2 billion constituents. In fact, there is about one member of the Chinese upper house per million Chinese. Taking this as the gold standard, we could make do with 65 peers. Sounds right.

          • Inspector General

            Well, the way this man sees things is this. It’s not even a full hundred years since full suffrage for women. That’s how transient democracy (or at least, our present version of it) is.

          • bluedog

            Check out the Select Committees of the House of Lords. There’s one entitled the Constitution Committee, the aims of which are given as, ‘The Constitution Committee examines all public bills for constitutional implications and investigates broad constitutional issues’.

            No prizes for guessing what the broad constitutional issue is! ‘I’m alright, Jack, pull up the ladder’.

          • Eustace


            Who are you trying to kid? You belong to no ruling elite that can dictate anything to anyone. You’re just a mad old Christian (well, ish) and Ukip voter who dreams of what he’ll do when he rules the world.

            Don’t hold your breath, old fool. Or perhaps what remains of your life might be less drawn-out, disappointing and miserable if you do.

          • Inspector General

            “We’ve…” is definitely the word, old fruit. You see, one instinctively knows when he’s in with the right crowd. Thus, those fellows know it too. And that is how we act as one. But with a whiny outsider like you around, that’ll be different. You’ll be ‘smelt out’ as not one us…and ignored, if you’re lucky. Sent away with a kick up the pants, if you’re not…

          • Eustace

            Advanced age and incipient dementia dull the instincts, old fool.

            Be wary of what you think you feel. At your age, it may just be the loss of emotional control that announces the onset of Alzheimer’s.

            And as for having to send me away, I’ve already gone. No doubt you and the fascist friends you dream about will find others to exile however. Or isolate in concentration camps, the way those of your political persuasion have a wont to do.

          • Inspector General

            How’s your bum these days?

        • Martin


          Hazardous sexual behaviour will always result in harm, just as ignoring what God has said will always result in judgement. And homosexuality is such a judgement.

          • Eustace

            All sexual behaviour can be harmful. Look at the wretched state of a woman’s body after multiple births have ravaged it.

            And as for “what God has said”, have you ever heard him say anything? You read a text written by men and attribute it to your invisible, intangible and silent god because it suits you so to do. But nobody has ever heard God utter the words that men have written for him. Nobody has ever heard him say anything. How could he when he only exists in your imagination?

          • Martin


            As usual, you are being silly. You seek to justify your wicked behaviour by comparing with what is normal. Child birth isn’t by it’s nature harmful, for women are designed to have babies. Men, on the other hand, are designed to have sex with men.

            You compound your silliness by denigrating the Bible. Your hatred of the God you know exists extends to what He has written and you attempt to cast doubt on His words. Like your ancient master you say “has God said?”. You’re nothing more than a wicked fool.

    • chefofsinners

      This not about the peerage, it is about the report.
      The question which has been repeatedly asked is ‘Was the peerage offered before the inquiry into antisemitism was begun?’
      Jeremy and Shami have had plenty of opportunity to answer ‘no’, but they have not. The obvious conclusion is that the report is compromised.

      • Eustace

        If it were not for the peerage, few would be questioning the integrity of the report.

        Peerages have been exchanged for political favours for centuries. Now all of a sudden that’s a problem? Why? Because you don’t like the peer, you don’t like her politics, you probably don’t like her ethnicity, and Brexit has empowered you to stick the knife in.

        Objecting to Chakribarti without objecting to other peers whose appointments were just as suspect (like Hailsham, for example) reveals your desire for truth and justice to be selective indeed. If a peer is white and Conservative, few of you will object to him. If she’s black and socialist however, out come the accusations of corruption and foul play.

        • chefofsinners

          “If it were not for the peerage, few would be questioning the integrity of the report.”
          It is the integrity of the report which is in question. Hailsham has not written a report. Who are these white Conservatives who have been offered a peerage before writing a report and received it afterwards?

          • Eustace

            The list of white Conservatives given peerages for services rendered is almost as long as the list of Conservative peerages. Not that Labour or even crossbench peerages are any better.

            Gongs are not supposed to be earned, but they’re most certainly paid for. If you want the (dubious) kudos of a title, you have to purchase it with whatever coin the dispensing power is short of. It might be a report that says what is required. Or it might be a promise to support a particular party come what may, or a reward for support given in the Commons. Or it may even be a cynical PR exercise designed to boost a government’s popularity by appointing seemingly uncontroversial figures to the Lords, especially if they’ve earned public admiration by winning gold medals and promoting Britain’s image abroad. Corrupt governments love to bask in the reflected glory of other people’s achievements.

            At the end of the day, ALL peers get their peerages by dubious and underhanded means. Peerages are just another form of political patronage. They have no democratic credibility.

            Of course, if that’s how Britain wants to govern itself, well and fine. As you won’t be part of the EU for much longer, it’s really none of our concern if you decide that democratic mandates are optional. But don’t expect us to do anything except scoff when you claim to be one of the world’s great uncorrupted democracies. Anyone taking even the most cursory look at your honours system understands just how preposterous that claim is.

          • chefofsinners

            You aren’t paying attention, are you?
            The article is not about who gets gongs and why. It is about the integrity of Labpur’s stance against antisemitism.
            “No wonder Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis concludes: Shami Chakrabarti has a proud record of public service, but in accepting this peerage, the credibility of her report lies in tatters and the Labour Party’s stated intention, to unequivocally tackle anti-Semitism, remains woefully unrealised.” I

          • bluedog

            Guilty, M’lud. Notwithstanding the thrust of His Grace’s post, this communicant saw another opportunity to stick the knife into the House of Lords and twist it. After all, without the HoL, Chakrabarti’s alleged bribe would have taken a less public form and may not have been possible. But yes, her report is clearly a whitewash and an utter disgrace that does nothing to exorcise the institutional anti-Semitism of the Labour Party. That apart, Eustace/Linus makes some valid points, if one can look through the characteristically poisonous rhetoric.

          • Eustace

            Labour exists to champion the oppressed underdog, so in any struggle between two unequal foes it will always support the least powerful and demonise the most powerful with its anti-imperialist rhetoric.

            So anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is a given. It doesn’t want to be labelled as anti-Semitic however, so it’s trying to whitewash over the issue. Hence the report in question, and the disputed peerage it allegedly used as the purchase price.

            Seems simple enough to me. It’s the sort of thing political parties have been doing for centuries. Why are you only objecting now and in this particular instance?

    • Royinsouthwest

      Your comment completely misses the point. Shami Chakrabarti has not made a career in party politics; she has made a career in the “human rights” industry. When she was asked to investigate the problem of (alleged) anti-semitism in the Labour Party the public in general, not just Labour supporters, were entitled to expect that she would try to be conscientious and impartial. If she did try, which is open to doubt, she did not succeed.

    • Anton

      I’m most relieved that you didn’t mention the Act of Union in front of Mrs Proudie.

  • Bernard from Bucks

    “stinks like a hefty slab of Stilton.”
    May I, with respect suggest you try ‘Stinking Bishop’.
    No doubt recommended by Mrs. Proudie?

  • chefofsinners

    Is it a coincidence that in the picture the word ‘Standin’ appears next to Jeremy Corbyn’s head?

    • There is something familiar about Shami Chakrabarti’s arm gesture. An extended right arm to eye level and a straightening of the hand so that it is parallel to the arm. Where has Jack seen this before? Isn’t there usually an utterance accompanying it?