Labour leader hustings – eyewitness account

On Monday, JW3 hosted the Labour leadership candidates at a hustings organised by the Jewish Chronicle, Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel. Stretching just over an hour, three-quarters of which were surprisingly taken up by questions relating to Israel, Jewdas generously sought to cut through the haze, and read between the lines of what little was left of interest.

 

Q: How does Labour restore its links with Israel, on the slide since 2010?

Yvette Cooperation: Ed Miliband lost the UK election. Livni lost the Israeli election. The centre-left is in free fall and we have no fucking idea what to do about it.

Jeremy Corrr Blimey: I want to reach out to all parts of Palestinian and Israeli society, especially the parts that agree with me. Did you know there are Jews in Israel who agree with me?

Liz Ken Doll: A responsible opposition would not have gone through with last year’s Palestine vote. As Labour leader, I will never recognise any country, least of all Palestine. I will pretend entire continents don’t exist, if that’s what it takes to get elected.

Andy Burnt Ham: What’s an Israel?

 

Q: Will you make a visit to Israel the first thing you do as Labour leader? Yes, we’re really asking, because we really are that narcissistic.

Yvette Cooperation: Sure. That sounds like the country’s top priority. Why not?

Liz Kendall Mint Cake: I will permanently relocate Labour to a West Bank settlement, if that’s what it takes to get elected.

Andy Burn ‘Em: Yes, I’ll say I’m going to do that. I am absolutely determined  to say I’m going to do the thing you want me to do.

Jeremy Corrr Bloody Nice: I probably won’t, because I already went there with Gerald Kauffman. He’s a Jew. He agrees with me. See?

 

Q: What should we do about BDS?

Yvette Cooperation: We should boycott, divest from and sanction everybody who supports BDS. Boycotting is the worst thing you can do and that’s why I won’t have anything to do with people who support boycotts.

Jeremy Come on Corbyn: I support boycotts of things I don’t like, but I don’t support boycotts of things that are a bit questionable. That’s a sensible position. It’s so sensible that there are actually some Jews who agree me with me on it. Can you imagine?

Liz Ken Doll: I WILL FIGHT BDS WITH EVERY FIBRE OF MY BODY, if that’s what it takes to get elected.

Andy Bored Hum: B, D and S are all letters. They are letters that I’m sensing you disagree with this. If you disagree with them, I disagree with them too. Although I also disagree with them in a balanced way. They need to be in the alphabet, but maybe not in that order. That’s why it’s so important to listen.

 

Q: With the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration soon approaching, how should we commemorate it?

Liz Kendall: I will dry hump the Balfour Declaration on national television, if that’s what it takes to get elected.

Jeremy Cum on Corbyn: I, too, want to fuck Israel.

Yvette Cooperation: I’d just caress it. No heavy petting. I’m reasonable about these things.

Andy Bone ‘Em: The Balfour Declaration is a document. Or possibly a speech. I get the feeling you like it. So I like it too.

 

Q: Who would you call ‘friends’ in light of Jeremy Corbyn’s comments to Channel 4 News? Would you invite likes of Hamas and Hizbollah to Parliament?

Jeremy Corr Blimey: I call everyone my friends. You’re my friends. You are my friends, right? Right? Guys?

Yvette Cooper: I didn’t mind calling the Northern Alliance our friends when we were bombing Afghanistan. But I’m also opposed to calling terrorist groups friends. I will consistently abstain on this issue. Nothing will deter me.

Liz Can-Do: I will never call anyone my friend. I will isolate myself in a cave in the Hebrides and refuse to speak to anyone, if that’s what it takes to get elected.

Andy Bomb ‘Em: What’s a Hizbullah?

 

Q: Finally, what is your concluding message?

Liz Kendall: I’m like Blair. Blair won elections. How have you forgotten that? It was, like, really recent. Anyone but me will lose the election. Stop asking what I’m going to do if I win. Winning is the only goal.

Jeremy Corbyn: I really like London. It’s nice here. There are lots of different people. Muslims, Christians, atheists, Jews. Some of them agree with me. And that’s nice, isn’t it?

Yvette Cooper: We need a leader as comfortable in boardroom as in a working men’s club. And I’m a woman. A woman who can achieve that.

Andy Burnham: We need to care for communities such as the Jewish and Indian (?!) ones. I will listen to whatever you want me to hear. And I will nod along like I understand. I will say whatever it takes. That right there is how you communicate.

 

Verdict: I didn’t drink enough at the start.

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