From March this year, the BBC’s Daily Politics had weekly – and often daily – reports and segments on anti-semitism in Labour.
But these reports have now completely stopped since the local elections finished.
Interestingly, a quick check of the Daily Politics Twitter timeline reveals they also did EXACTLY the same in the run-up to the 2016 local elections.
From around March 2016, there were weekly/daily reports on anti-semitism in Labour by Andrew Neil and co, which also mysteriously ceased literally one or two days after the 2016 local elections were over.
The next report on Daily Politics on anti-semitism in that year, as far as I can tell, was a good 5 months or so after the 2016 local elections.
The pattern, however, was not the same in the run-up to the general election in 2017 – in which the issue of anti-semitism was barely mentioned. Could this be because anti-semitism is something that tends to affect voting intentions in local elections, but tends not to have any significant effect on voting intentions during general elections?
A similar pattern can be seen with all of the mainstream press; of dragging out a supposed problem with anti-semitism in Labour every two years in the run-up to local elections, only to more or less ignore the issue until the next local elections come round.
Daily Politics literally had 4 or 5 reports on anti-semitism in 2017, until the run-up to this year’s elections, when from about March, they started the same pattern of weekly – often daily – segments and reports on Labour’s supposed anti-semitism problem.
But their reports have again also almost completely disappeared now the local elections are over.
Obviously, Daily Politics could argue that the Tories – knowing the anti-semitism issue is effective in local elections – have tried to weaponise it for party politics, and they are just reporting on that.
But then, why did Daily Politics not have weekly/daily segments on issues Labour was trying to weaponise during the campaign too, such as housing, the NHS, police cuts etc etc.?
My own research has shown that anti-semitism is not actually a major problem on the Left, but is almost entirely a problem on the Right:
I would argue it is the job of good political journalists to make sure they do not become part of any party’s narrative in their campaign strategies.
But on this matter – as usual – the BBC’s poliitical journalists have utterly failed.
Anti-semitism is far too important an issue to allow it to be dragged out once every couple of years just before local elections and used for petty party political point-scoring by politicians.
Shame on you Daily Politics.