24 December 2013
Denis MacShane, Tony Blair's Europe minister, has been jailed for six months for stealing £13,000 in expenses fiddles while an MP. He was expelled from the Labour party just over a year ago for the fraud. The crook, bully, and petty crook submitted false invoices over many years to supplement his already inflated salary. During the years he was stealing taxpayers money he spent much of his time working to conflate anti-Semitism, real and sometimes imagined, with criticism of the State of Israel and defence of Palestinian human rights. Some of the false expenses were for his work as chair of the all-party Parliamentary group against antisemitism.
He was born in Glasgow and educated at private schools and Oxford. He later changed his original Polish name at the request of his employer. He prematurely attacked Hugo Chavez during the failed coup attempt of 2005 and had to backtrack swiftly. Perfidious Albion had a suitable servant in MacShane who was several times caught out brazenly lying for political purposes.
Ironically, the fraudster is trying to blame the BNP, dressing himself in anti-fascist colours, ironic since he was an unstinting defender of Israeli mass murder and human rights violations. Norman Finkelstein wrote of one of his major efforts:
Whenever Israel faces a public relations debacle its apologists sound the alarm that a "new anti-Semitism" is upon us. So, predictably, just after Israel faced another image problem due to its murderous destruction of Lebanon, a British all-party parliamentary group led by notorious Israel-firster Denis MacShane MP (Labour) released yet another report alleging a resurgence of anti-Semitism (Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism, September 2006). To judge by the witnesses (David Cesarani, Lord Janner, Oona King, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Melanie Phillips) and sources (MEMRI, Holocaust Education Trust) cited in the body of the report, much time and money could have been saved had it just been contracted out to the Israel Foreign Ministry.
MacShane has fallen into well-deserved ignominy but he at one time secured the support the British Prime Miniister for his scheme to criminalise Palestine solidarity and support for the Palestinian call for boycott of Israel until it stops its crimes. I was one of five SPSC members charged with 'racism' for activities during Palestine solidarity campaigning, charges that were levelled well after the protest involved and very shortly after MacShane's glittering conference in London on Combatting Anti-Semitism, an event attended by Zionist ultras from Israel, including one who had criticised Ariel Sharon for being too moderate.
The unprecedented charges were only laid after the British Government gave official endorsement to Dennis MacShane's long-term campaign to define much opposition to Israeli apartheid as 'anti-Semitic'. The British Government endorses the EUMC Working Definition of Anti-Semitism which makes it racist to point out Israel's apartheid structures and the racist programme of political Zionism towards Palestinians, i.e. "claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour", or "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis."
The Rotheram fraudster's recommendations that would have effectively criminalised campaigns for boycott were taken up officially by another Minister who would later be shamed for massive expenses fraud, Hazel Blears. Her Parliamentary Secretary of State Sadiq Khan, announced in February 2009 that the British Government intended to implement MacShane's proposals:
Following on from the All Party Inquiry into Antisemitsm (2006) - chaired by the Rt Hon Denis MacShane MP...we set up a working group...to ensure that the recommendations were implemented.
Shortly after the five SPSC members were charged. The charges were ridiculed and thrown out by an intelligent Scottish Sheriff.
By their friends shall ye know them.
24 December 2013
(Updated from November 2012 piece)