London elections – the Left caught in the act of alienating a supporter

Welcome to the latest installment of Flesh’s Mayoral Dilemma.

There are various tools around to help you decide who to vote for in the London Mayoral elections, based on your values and political convictions. You answer a number of multiple choice questions generated from manifesto statements and it tells you which candidates are best matched.

We have two votes to give – Vote Match tells me to vote for Sian Berry followed by Lindsay German. The New Statesman’s Fantasy Mayor (hah!) tells me Sian Berry followed by Brian Paddick (though this was only Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green).

Trouble is Lindsay German is a member of the SWP, a party which pushes antisemitic ways of thinking, admires Hamas and Hesbollah, assumes a most infuriating and plain wrong anti-Zionism, and promotes a weird and disturbing hate-fuelled boycott of Israel which is utterly devoid of class analysis. And Sian Berry’s Green Party, in the absence of any developed foreign policy, absurdly boycotts Israel with a motion which clearly implies that Israel should moreover be cancelled. She hasn’t replied to my email asking about her personal take on Israel.

And here I am, understanding if skeptical of Zionism, diagnosed by the decision support tools as still Left – even after the repellent cuddling of terrorists and the equally repellent persistent – obsessive, even – stalking of the state Jews decided to make for themselves under the auspices of the 1947 UN Partition Plan after narrowly escaping total annihilation at the hands of murderous antisemites.

My two top candidates are playing the game of constructing Israel as a pariah state. Because I dig my heels in about that, their parties have wasted days-worth of my time. And I baulk at Ken Livingstone (my third) who has baited Jews, warmly cuddled Intifada Fatwa-issuing, homophobic, misogynist cleric al-Qaradawi, and provided a perch for Redmond O’Neill who said the Board of Deputies of British Jews represented the ‘Zionist lobby’ and ‘we must smash the Zionists’.

The upshot is that I can’t vote for the candidates I’d naturally vote for and look myself in the eye. In order to vote the way I want to on affordable housing, the environment and public transport, I have to disregard the ways the candidates are flouting the concerns of British Jews.

See my difficulty? Why has my vote been sacrificed so that these candidates can try to unite the fractured support for their small, weak parties around Israel as a scapegoat?

I feel like a faithful but abused dog.

The local rescue home seems to be run by Brian Paddick.


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