UK Voting Intention Polls: A Victory for the Israeli Lobby
By Hamza Ali Shah
The polls immediately after the British political party’s conference season always provide astute indications regarding the plight of the political arena. Indeed, the most recent polls stipulate the Conservatives have opened up a 4-point lead over Labour, as confidence in Jeremy Corbyn and his party plunges. In other words, mission accomplished for the Israeli Lobby.
This is despite the mounting pressures by Theresa May and her party are under. Much of it derives from the uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations, which appear on a knife-edge, in light of the latest impasse, this time concerning the Irish border. Additionally, the relentless in fighting that has been detectable in the party for so long does not appear to be waning.
This was conspicuous with former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and his scathing attack on Prime Minister Theresa May during the Conservative Party conference, where he lambasted her leadership and Brexit standpoints. Consequently, such practises have crippled the party.
Yet, sentiments held by the public relating to the prospect of Corbyn’s Labour taking over proceedings at No.10 still seem despondent. Several polls have been conducted, most of which suggest the Conservatives are in the ascendancy. Opinium, the latest one, suggests the Tories possess a 4-point lead. Polls conducted by YouGov exhibit similar findings, with the Conservatives allegedly holding a 6-point lead. ICM’s findings also paint a picture of a prevailing Conservative party who are ahead by 1 point. Only BMG’s findings differ. They indicate that Labour hold a 5-point lead over the Conservatives.
Captivatingly, none of the polls display the dominancy that many predicted for Labour following a largely successful conference in Liverpool in September. Indications are that Labour leader Corbyn does not have the complete faith or backing of the public. That is music to the ears of those associated with the Israeli Lobby, such as Labour Friends of Israel, BICOM and the Board of Deputies, and their enablers in the British press and government.
Undeniably, they and their affiliates have spent the entire summer perpetually hurling damaging rhetoric in the direction of Corbyn, under the semantic umbrella of anti-Semitism. Prominent backbencher Chuka Umanna professed that the anti-Semitism that allegedly has roots in the party is pushing the party to a ‘breaking point’. Former Labour leader and Prime Minister Gordon Brown also got in on the act. He claimed the anti-Semitism crisis was ‘running sore’, required resolving, and that Corbyn ‘has to change’ in order to address the concerns.
Likewise, former Labour leader in Scotland, Jim Murphy, took out a full-page advert in the Jewish Telegraph to offer an apology to British Jews. He then accused Corbyn and his top team of being ‘intellectually arrogant, emotionally inept and politically maladroit’. Sticking with the theme of using media outlets to disseminate pernicious rhetoric, the former chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, asserted his stance in an interview with the New Statesman.
He declared that Corbyn had ‘given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map’. The consistency of the smears leveled at Corbyn suggest that such a strategy is part of a wider cunning and schematic plan. Indications are Corbyn’s opponents want to see him defeated at all costs. Since he has proven himself enormously successful in attaining and holding the party leadership, playing the anti-Semitism card looks very much like a cynical political ploy designed to stifle him.
Accordingly, Corbyn breaks the traditional Labour Blairite mould of unconditional support for Israel, and that is why he is anathema to the UK’s Jewish leadership. He is a politician who will question old orthodoxies and try new ideas, someone who will turn away from Britain’s militarist, interventionist past and its support for autocrats and dictators around the world. Therefore, he is a leader who will not benefit the interests of Israel and its advocates, hence the determination to undermine him.
When a plethora of malicious accusations is being directed at you regularly, the impact it has on your reputation, particularly as the leader of the opposition, can be detrimental. That is the precise predicament for Corbyn. A survey conducted by BMG suggested that less than a tenth of the public believe Corbyn and Labour handled the anti-Semitism allegations well. Likewise, a poll conducted by the same research group questioned respondents on who they would prefer, Corbyn or May, to be the next Prime Minister. More than a third voted for May, as opposed to the 28% that voted for Corbyn. Moreover, in his conference speech, Corbyn announced the Left was ‘ready to win, ready to govern’.
Contrastingly, the Israeli Lobby appear adamant on preventing such a scenario. Granted, Labour’s Brexit strategy is one that stimulates ambiguity. This will presumably pitch in the mind of the public, thus assist in forging public opinion regarding the governing credibility of Labour. However, judging by the polls, it is the trust in Corbyn that appears to be the issue amongst the public.
Such doubts in trust are the result of unrelenting smears and ruthless unfavourable media attention regarding the Labour leader. Thus, after what appeared encouraging signs for the Labour Party in the conference, the latest polls tell a different story. It is palpable that Corbyn’s popularity still requires refining, in what is a Machiavellian victory for the Israeli Lobby.