18 February 2013

On Jewish British Prime Ministers - and some corrections

"If the latest polls hold true, Britain appears to be two years from electing a Jewish prime minister. Labor holds its biggest lead in a decade over David Cameron’s governing Conservatives, and Labor is led by a Jew, the child of Polish Jewish immigrants." So says the Times of Israel. With, inevitably, some caveats.

After all, if "a week is a long time in politics" (Harold Wilson), then 2 years is an age. It's the old (UK) pollsters cliche: if an election were held tomorrow how would you vote? At the moment, 41% of UK voters would vote Labour (please note the "u" after the "o": that's how we Brits and the Canadians - among others - spell the word - the proper way), which would be enough to give Labour a landslide victory, even greater than 1997. But it won't be like that. It never is.

The most interesting aspect of this article is that the current President of the Board of Deputies doesn't think that antisemitism is much of an issue in UK politics. I think he's being a little Pollyannaish here: Ken Livingstone, anyone? To say nothing of all those lovely BDS types who just delight in chanting "we are all Hezbollah now" at the drop of a anti-Israel demo.

You've had the first correction. Here's the second one. The article claims that "Nationwide, 30% of school-age children are Haredi, he says, “and in Manchester [the nation's second-largest Jewish community after London] they may even be the majority.” Even in the context of the paragraph this is in, this needs correcting. The figure refers, of course to Jewish schoolchildren, not all schoolkids. Even then, this may be an overestimate. By no means all Jewish children in Jewish schools are going to be Haredi. Jewish schools, certainly in the London area, are good schools and attract lots of marginally practising Jewish parents. Further, not all Jewish children go to Jewish schools, even in areas of high Jewish concentration and sufficient Jewish school places.

Enough from me. Go read the article. It's actually good news for Jews, for once.

By: Brian Goldfarb  


SnoopyTheGoon said...

I don't thin many people give a damn whether Miliband is Jewish, observant or not. The same went for Howard.His unpopularity was down to his obnoxiousness than his faith!

I remember back in the early 90s speaking to a colleague in the Pres Office when Howard was appointed Home Secretary.She described him as making Kenneth Baker (a predecessor) look like a trainee shit.Howard was probably the most unpleasant Home Secretary in my time of wring for that department

SnoopyTheGoon said...

A remark or two, Brian. If you look at the article from ToI, its URL (address in simple words) is:


Than the headline was changed to:

Is Britain ready for (another) Jewish PM?

Looks like the editor (or the author) are not exactly sure about the situation.

As for the general idea of Jewish PM: I agree with what Shaun says, but with a caveat: you know who will be blamed if (or, rather, when) the things start to go sour after a few months...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Anne Widdecombe was hardly the nicest person in politics (but enough of character assassination), but, regrettably, she had Howard nailed when she suggested tjat he "had something of the night about him". He did (does?) abd there was nothing antisemitic in her remark.