‘It’s amazing, isn’t it? Just because Jeremy Corbyn wrote a new foreword for an old book that contains one sentence that might be interpreted as anti-Semitic, not only is that enough to condemn Mr Corbyn as anti-Semitic, but also the century-old text and its well-respected author.
Did I write “amazing”? I mean “utter lunacy“.
And hypocrisy, it seems.
Mr Corbyn wrote a foreword to a new edition of John Atkinson Hobson’s 1902 book Imperialism: A Study in 2011.
Academics and people who are sane consider the book to be a classic text which is still useful today, written by a man of his time. Hobson’s attitudes are acknowledged but are not considered to outweigh the usefulness of what he wrote.
I can certainly understand this. Back when I was at college, studying European literature, we looked at a text by August Strindberg – who was an appalling misogynist. This was acknowledged and formed part of our study of the text.
Were my course leaders misogynists for including this book on my course? Were those of us who were on the course – men and women alike – misogynists for studying it? No – that would be ridiculous.
We acknowledged it for what it is.
As, it seems, Mr Corbyn did in his words about Imperialism: A Study.
As, it seems, did Times journalist and former Tony Blair speech-writer Philip Collins, who was quick to share a link to a Times article condemning Mr Corbyn for writing a foreword to a renowned book, regardless.’