By far the poorest argument presently being used by those who seek to deny or minimise the problem of antisemitism within Labour is that the Tories are worse racists.
Surely we should hold ourselves to a higher standard?
Nevertheless, it’s worth getting to the bottom of what’s just happened in Pendle, Lancashire.
At the recent local election in Pendle the Tories tied with Labour and the Lib Dems combined, until Councillor Rosemary Carroll appeared wearing a Conservative rosette, and her re-election gave the Tories a majority.
Last June Carroll was suspended from the Tory party and/or the council (it’s not entirely clear) for sharing a “joke” on Facebook. She then sat as an independent.
Now, it seems, she’s been readmitted to the Tories in order to give them a majority in Pendle. The Tory Chair, Brandon Lewis tweeted his praise for the local party, hailing “the super result for the fantastic team in Pendle”.
He later added, about Carroll, “She’s been through training, she’s apologised, she’s had punishment”, which suggests that as far as he’s concerned the matter is closed.
At this point I must warn readers that something pretty unpleasant’s about to appear here, but I think you need to see it – exactly what that “joke” that Carroll shared on Facebook was:
“I took my dog to the dole office to see what he was entitled to, The bloke behind the counter said ‘You idiot, we don’t give benefits to dogs ‘. I argued: ‘Why not? He’s brown, he stinks, he’s never worked a fucking day in his life and he can’t speak a fucking word of English.’ The man replied ‘His first payment will be Monday’.”