UK Politics

Tonge Trouble

Apparently, Lib Dem peer Jenny “Kaboom” Tonge ” is to face party whips”, having repeated her claim that:

“The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the Western world, its financial grips. I think they have probably got a certain grip on our party.”

The recidivism apparently took place at a meeting at Edinburgh University where, having been asked to explain her comments, she cited “”extensive” US academic research”

That’d be the Mearsheimer-Walt paper, then.

Radio 4’s Today programme chose a surprising interviewee to comment on this news story [listen again]. George S from the DSTFW summarises:

Who is the ideal person to bring in and comment on this but Chris Davis who was reprimanded for calling a female Jewish emailer, “filth”? He received a perfectly sympathetic interview in which he said he meant to call her “racist filth” for implying, in his own words, that Palestinians were subhuman.* As for the current problem Jenny shouldn’t have said what she said but it was hard, he sighed, “like dancing on the head of a pin of political correctness”. In other words she was dead right only she shouldn’t have put it like that because of all the forces gathered outside that pin-head. He even brought David Grossman in to imply that there are one or two decent people in that wicked country of Israel who agreed with him, though, he also implied, hardly anyone else there or in the Israel Lobby was in favour of a two-state solution.


* The exchange Chris refers to went precisely as follows:

The woman wrote: “You make the same mistake as many others who call themselves liberals – you seem to equate the situation of the Palestinian people as being exactly the same as the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.”

To which Davies replied: “Sounds like racism to me. I hope you enjoying wallowing in your own filth.”

It is not altogether clear that this amounted to what could legally be called filth, though, no doubt, the woman did have a filthy meaning. It is nevertheless a faint sign of hope that the BBC did not attempt to question Chris’s correct interpretation of her words.

Immediately after the interview, I turned over to Radio 3, where I heard Rachmaninov’s Prelude in G minor Op 23 No 5, played by Ronald Brautigam.