Not a Tory supporter, Stephen?

Hold the press -- JC editor comes out for Cameron.

Stephen Pollard, the Brown-hating, Kaminski-supporting editor of the Jewish Chronicle, on his blog, 9 October 2009:

On a couple of blogs today I've been described as a Tory, as if that somehow undemines my arguments because I am parti pris in Kaminski's favour.

Problem is, it's nonsense . . . James Macintyre of the New Statesman, however, has behaved rather differently. In two posts at 13.14 he called me a "Tory supporter" and a "Tory sympathiser".

I emailed him to point out that I am not a Tory supporter.

Stephen Pollard, the Brown-hating, Kaminski-supporting editor of the Jewish Chronicle, in the Times, 27 April 2010:

Next week I will vote Conservative for the first time . . . It's strange looking at the election campaign and hoping for a Tory victory. But since Tony Blair went, Labour offers only tax-and-spend big government. I've encountered far worse racism from Labour supporters than Conservatives. And only one party offers to transform opportunities for the poor and the struggling middle classes. It's not Labour.

Surprise, surprise!

Update: Egomaniac Pollard has been quick to respond to my playful post above with a rather weird and intense post on his JC blog:

Hasan is clearly unable to comprehend the concept that someone might vote for more than one party in their lifetime. I have always voted Labour. Were Brown not leader and the party instead had a leader who did not disgrace the office of Prime Minister, I would probably have carried on doing so. But for reasons I outlined in my piece, I've decided now that I'll be voting Tory.

You might not agree with my reasoning, but I'm sure most people understand the idea that you can make up your mind about which party to vote for based on the evidence available to you.

Pollard is "clearly unable to comprehend" that I'm not questioning his right to vote for a party other than Labour; I'm just questioning the idea that he wasn't a Tory back in October when he was getting all high and mighty about James calling him a "Tory supporter" and a "Tory sympathiser". The idea that he only converted to the Tory cause in the period between October and April is, frankly, laughable.

As for him rejecting a party leader who has "disgraced the office of Prime Minister", why then did he vote for Tony Blair in 2005? As his own JC columnist Jonathan Freedland pointed out, back in October, he has long been a "fierce anti-Brown partisan". And I have no doubt that he'd decided to vote Cameron in October when he was shamefully defending the indefensible Tory alliance with nutjobs and loons from Poland, Latvia and the Czech Republic.

Ideologically, as Pollard himself concedes in his Times piece, he hasn't been on the left since the mid-1990s. He is a market-worshipper. In fact, he is a Murdoch-worshipper. From his blog, 28 August 2009:

This is to whoever wrote James Murdoch's speech today at the Edinburgh TV Festival (maybe the man himself?):

I worship you.

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.

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Leave.EU is backing a racist President - why aren't more Brexiteers condemning it?

Our own homegrown Trump trumpeters. 

The braver Republican politicians are condemning Donald Trump after he backtracked on his condemnation of far-right protestors in Charlottesville. “You had a group on one side and group on the other,” said the US president of a night in which an anti-fascist protestor was run over. Given the far-right protestors included neo-Nazis, it seems we’re heading for a revisionist history of the Second World War as well. 

John McCain, he of the healthcare bill heroics, was one of the first Republicans to speak out, declaring there was “no moral equivalency between racists and Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry”. Jeb Bush, another former presidential hopeful, added: “This is a time for moral clarity, not ambivalence.”

In the UK, however, Leave.EU, the campaign funded by Ukip donor Arron Banks, fronted by Nigel Farage, tweeted: “President Trump, an outstanding unifying force for a country divided by a shamefully blinkered liberal elite.” A further insight into why Leave.EU has come over so chirpy may be gleaned by Banks’s own Twitter feed. “It was just a punch up with nutters on all sides,” is his take on Charlottesville. 

Farage’s support for Trump – aka Mr Brexit – is well-known. But Leave.EU is not restricted to the antics of the White House. As Martin Plaut recently documented in The New Statesman, Leave.EU has produced a video lauding the efforts of Defend Europe, a boat organised by the European far-right to disrupt humanitarian rescues of asylum seekers crossing the dangerous Mediterranean Sea. There are also videos devoted to politicians from “patriotic" if authoritarian Hungary – intriguing for a campaign which claims to be concerned with democratic rights.

Mainstream Brexiteers can scoff and say they don’t support Leave.EU, just as mainstream Republicans scoffed at Trump until he won the party’s presidential nomination. But the fact remains that while the official Brexit campaign, Vote Leave, has more or less retired, Leave.EU has more than 840,000 Facebook followers and pumps out messages on a daily basis not too out of sync with Trump’s own. 

When it comes to the cause of Brexit, many politicians chose to share a platform with Leave.EU campaigners, including Labour’s Kate Hoey and Brexit secretary David Davis. Some, like Jacob Rees-Mogg, get cheered on a regular basis by Leave.EU’s Facebook page. Such politicians should choose this moment to definitively reject Leave.EU's advances. If not, then when? 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.