Talk:Jeremy Corbyn

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RfC on use of Morning Star as a source[edit]

Should the Morning Star be used as a source in this BLP article? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 18:00, 2 September 2018 (UTC)


  • Yes, It is not a tabloid source. Tabloid journalism refers to a style of journalism that emphasizes sensationalism, not the specific printing format, which several papers like the Times, Guardian and Independent also use. There is no evidence that the Morning Star falls into the Wikipedia's definition of tabloid unlike the Daily Mail which the community has deemed unreliable because of its inaccurate reporting. Separately the Morning Star is no more partisan than the The Jewish Chronicle and if we're going to use sources like The Spectator and the Telegraph etc which are well known for their political bias against the Labour Party then we can't really argue against using one of the rare newsmedia sources which are politically biased the other way to help provide an overall WP:NPOV. It is one of the longest standing newspaper titles in the UK, established since 1930. ~ BOD ~ TALK 18:15, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per Bod, but we need to be cautious-----Snowded TALK 18:30, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
  • No, highly BIASED communist source that uses over the top language generally. Has supported pro-Russia/Assad conspiracy theories - e.g. denying the Douma chemical attack in [1], [2], and a few other pieces. Coverage of "fake news" calls by MS and others - here.Icewhiz (talk) 18:31, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
The Morning Star story you provided a link to says, "chemical inspectors found no evidence that nerve agents had been used in Douma....[but] found traces of chlorine that it said was possibly used in the area."[3] The BBC reported the same day that inspectors concluded that "chlorine may have been used...but there was no evidence of nerve agents."[4] So in this case I would rate the Morning Star claim as true or at least says the same thing as mainstream sources. TFD (talk) 19:03, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Ah, but they lead off with "BRITAIN, France and the US’s case for missile strikes against Syria appears to have crumbled after chemical inspectors found no evidence that nerve agents..." -a stmt of fact, when the allied bombing was based on of chemical weapons in general and not nerve agents in particular. They indeed report the OPCW correctly (so does RT) - but make conclusions, in their own voice, that are not made in other sources. Their coverage of [5] - is entirely uncritical and does not seem to even mentions, as done in say the BBC, that this testimony was a coached and coerced stunt.Icewhiz (talk) 19:12, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Again, no proof of a chemical attack was found, contrary to the fact Macron claimed their was proof. And the BBC did not say the evidence was a stunt, but quoted the U.S. and France as saying that. TFD (talk) 20:57, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
One would expect a RS to portray a balanced picture - not cherrypick what fits its agenda. The Morning Star has a very clear agenda - it is closely linked to the Communist Party of Britain and its editorial policy is based on strict adherence to the Britain's Road to Socialism programme. This is essentially a political advocacy outlet - not a news organization.[6][7][8]Icewhiz (talk) 10:52, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
This source [9] says it has "varied between Stalinist, Euro-Communist and Democratic Left views." G-13114 (talk) 16:26, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
But the test for whether or not a publication is reliable is whether the facts reported are reliable, not its editorial position. Every newspaper in the U.K. has a political position. TFD (talk) 20:56, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes The Morning Star is a well established daily newspaper in Britain. It's been in existence for almost 90 years. Of course it's left-leaning, but then the vast majority of the other British daily newspapers are right-leaning. They're still used repeatedly as 'reliable' sources. So too should the Morning Star. Garageland66 (talk) 19:30, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
  • No fringe paper with a very troubling history colored by a conflict of interest as it was the mouthpiece of the British Communist party, and the Soviet Union effectively bankrolled the paper by regularly buying tens of thousands of copies, which were occasionally used to force the paper to adhere to the "correct" line if it ever strayed [[10]][[11]][[12]]. That the paper today continues to tow an uncritical Russophile line is not encouraging, and this is damning where Corbyn is concerned, given that one of the most sticky criticisms of the man's stances is knee-jerk anti-Westernism, Corbyn being accused by critics of being a Trumpian (but leftist) populist with views that are compatible with Putinist interests. [[13]]

[[14]] Thus-- highly inappropriate -for this topic. We can't rely on it with a clear conscience. -Calthinus (talk) 19:45, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

  • Yes, as per Talk:Jeremy_Corbyn/Archive_13#Are_the_Morning_Star_and_"Ekklesia"_non-tabloid_sources? The Morning Star is no more partisan than the The Jewish Chronicle. However, there's no evidence that this meets Wikipedia's definition of tabloid such as the Daily Mail which the community has deemed non-RS because of its inaccurate reporting. Subjective opinions such as tabloid style paper, fringe political stance, Communist bias (similar arguments could be applied many other publications) aren't valid reasons for deeming a source as unreliable but its fact checking. RevertBob (talk) 20:44, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Several? I was wondering on which part of the political spectrum those might lie. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:09, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Perhaps you could copy them here? Many thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:13, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Here is a paper known for anti-Zionism, calling MS known for "bone-headed Stalinism", the quote coming from a former editor of a socialist paper, Tribune [[15]]. Their pieces often look like they could have been written by Putin fangirls. --Calthinus (talk) 15:19, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Is that it? Martinevans123 (talk) 15:48, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Of course not. Ktrimi has posted at least one source down below. Of course the Morning Star's astonishingly uncritical coverage (uncritical acceptance of the Kremlin narrative on.... everything international pretty much it seems) is not limited to Syria, Corbyn, and Russia, but also the Balkans, where the Morning Star defended its darling Slobodan Milosevic, a vaguely "socialist" leader who happened to also be a Greater Serbian ultranationalist whose rule oversaw attempts at ethnic cleansing by the Yugoslav army of Kosovar Albanians[[16]]. No surprise -- as already elaborated by Icewhiz, it is the mouthpiece of the British Communist party. --Calthinus (talk) 16:04, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes It is true that the MS is the organ of the British Communist Party. MS should not be cited for statements about that party. Note that the term 'communist' is super-scary to some people (notably conservative americans). And at one time the BCP did indeed follow a stalinist line. But Stalin is long-dead, and the BCP is nowadays considered to be well out on the right of british left politics, and has been so for decades. MrDemeanour (talk) 14:42, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes I came here because of the notification on RSN and was initially only interested in fixing the question wording, but looking at it a bit more deeply, it seems that it is in fact several of the "No" !voters who are the ones who are trying to turn this article in a tabloid-style rumour piece (including citing, via intermediary sources, the Daily Mail), which calls into question their good-faith in describing one of the RSes cited by the "Yes" !voters a "tabloid". I don't see any citations of the "reliable sources" that "describe the MS as a tabloid", and I strongly suspect the reason for that is that when this description is used it is a neutral description of the paper size/format, not a judgement on the quality of its journalism; if anyone actually linked me to such a source that countered this suspicion of mine, I'm open to changing my mind, but the lack of direct citation of these nebulous sources makes me very skeptical. The "Yes" !voters, on the other hand, have a pretty compelling argument. Hijiri 88 (やや) 11:02, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Hijiri88 Imo, Daily Mail should not be here (I have never once used it as a source and have usually removed it upon detection), and neither should an openly communist newspaper which nowadays acts like a Putinist mouthpiece and is known for ["its reputation for bone-headed Stalinism"]. --Calthinus (talk) 15:14, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
So ... what exactly is it being cited for in this article that is instinctively opposed to anything supported by any western power, in particular the United States? Or is someone trying to insert pro-"single-party ‘socialist’ states" into this article? Hijiri 88 (やや) 02:51, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
The Daily Mail is the only reason we have the section on Wreathgate? Are you saying they should not be mentioned because their story is in some way just a fanciful fabrication with no basis in reality? Martinevans123 (talk) 17:42, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
I have no idea what view you're attributing to me, but I don't much care to find out. I'm only posting this because it would be rude to reply to Calthinus and not you. Hijiri 88 (やや) 02:51, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
I was replying to Calthinus. Sorry if that was unclear. Martinevans123 (talk) 07:01, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. It may have political bias, as do all news sources including the BBC. However, it does not fall into the Daily Mail camp of made-up rubbish where it is not just biased but invented out of thin air or deliberately distorted out of all semblance of reality. QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:52, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia articles are required to present a neutral point of view. However, reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject.....
Bearing this in mind, it hardly seems to me to be unjustified for a newspaper which broadly supports Jeremy Corbyn's politics to be used as a source to give balance to an article about Jeremy Corbyn. In fact I would argue that it is effectively impossible for this article to be balanced or neutral if it uses only "mainstream" sources because nearly all of the mainstream media is vehemently anti-Corbyn. G-13114 (talk) 13:10, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
I guess we should add Breitbart News to balance Donald Trump per this argument. We reflect the balance of sources (which in a well covered topic - Corbyn - or Trump - usually means mainstream sources).Icewhiz (talk) 13:16, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
I hardly think the two are remotely comparable, Breitbart News has been well documented as a fake news factory. G-13114 (talk) 13:38, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Breitbart News is excluded because it has a history of posting false or misleading stories without retractions and therefore lacks the "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" WP:RS requires, not because it has a political perspective. The Wall Street Journal also has a political perspective, but it passes WP:RS easily due to its reputation. If it weren't for WP:BIASED, people would push to eg. exclude every US-based newspaper from reporting on controversial stuff about the US, every Britain-based newspaper for controversial stuff about Britain, every Israel-based newspaper for controversial stuff about Israel, and so on. What we care about isn't the source's perspective but whether they can be relied on to report things accurately. (The perspective does matter somewhat for WP:DUE and WP:BALANCE, and extremely WP:FRINGE sources can be excluded on those grounds, but that's not what people are objecting to here. I think it's difficult to argue that one sentence or so devoted to this source is WP:UNDUE.) --Aquillion (talk) 18:20, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Opinions should always be cited as opinions which is always true, and too often ignored. Straight facts are fine. Interpretations of those facts are opinions. almost all "political articles" are zealously guarded by partisans who make sure that the lines are blurred. I may be in a minority on those, but neutrality is not really well settled by "votes" of the most interested editors on any issue whatsoever. Collect (talk) 13:41, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, but it should be contextualized. If it is this ref for this diff then it should read According to left-wing paper Morning Star Corbyn has a long history record of opposing bigotry. - the rest of the diff along with this other diff is WP:PUFFERY. --The Vintage Feminist (talk) 14:49, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Left wing does not cut it. It is described as Stalinist[[17]] (this from a paper known for anti-Zionism). --Calthinus (talk) 15:16, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
To be fair the 'Stalinist' quote was made the former editor of a rival publication. G-13114 (talk) 15:51, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment On the situation of journalism in the UK, meaning of "tabloid" and concerns regarding the MS read [18]. Furthermore, other reliable sources elaborate on the positions of the MS [19], [20]. The latter source says The Morning Star was the only newspaper explicitly identified as ideologically motivated, though others might be described as 'biased '. As Oakland says, the positions of the MS depends on the opinion of its readers. The MS should not be used for controversial claims that are not accepted by other sources. Ktrimi991 (talk) 15:28, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Depends. It's a valid primary source for statements made in its pages by notable individuals, and a fair source for the views of British communists, but I would not use it to source anything stated as fact. Guy (Help!) 17:38, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, it passes WP:RS easily. The objections above seem to be based on a misunderstanding of WP:BIASED; simply having a perspective doesn't disqualify a source (after all, "mainstream British politics" is also a perspective.) Similarly, the style of publication does not matter at all, so I'm confused by the people calling it a "tabloid-style publication." What matters is whether they have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy; and nobody seems to be calling that into doubt. --Aquillion (talk) 18:20, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Exactly! The point I've made in this discussion and the previous one. Much like the corporate, right-wing biased media the obvious impartiality here is pretty obvious. Fringe and undue arguments are causally used a lot when content isn't liked. RevertBob (talk) 12:55, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, The Morning Star has a Factual Reporting of HIGH on mediabiasfactcheck However, it is a left leading paper and the wording might need to be adjusted into neutral terms and balanced with alternate views. The entire mainstream media including the BBC, and the Guardian are failing badly to report issues surrounding Jeremy Corbyn fairly and accurately at the moment. The Morning Star and various left leading blogs are the only sources for information which could balance this strong bias. What UK papers are currently allowed for referencing on Wikipedia? I recall the Mail was banned. All of the UK tabloids have a lower score for factual accuracy on this site. (Andromedean (talk) 19:56, 3 September 2018 (UTC))
Andromedean, you might be interested in the current debate about the use of Evolve Politics as a source. G-13114 (talk) 21:33, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, with a qualifier that I would prefer much less reliance on media in general; but if we are going to include media with a pro-Tory bias in the article, we should include this one too. The tendency to deny left-wing sources RS status is not an endearing flaw of Wikipedia. Simonm223 (talk) 13:30, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Absolutelypuremilk, the distinction between tabloid format and "tabloid journalism" (in the BLP sense) was explained to you a month ago on this very talk page, and the Morning Star is not the latter. - (talk) 17:38, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
Can you point to where I said that the Morning Star should not be used because of its format? I thought it was obvious that I meant its journalism, for example the description by the New Statesman here where it says the Morning Star uses "a brisk, populist tabloid style". Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 13:51, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
    • This ambiguity also means that our characterization of the Morning Star as a tabloid newspaper in the body is loaded language. Entirely factual, if you happen to follow the piped link to Tabloid (newspaper format) and take in all the fascinating details about whether a tabloid is 280x430 mm or 280x400 mm, but come on. Seriously? - (talk) 17:48, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
      • Agree. The word is misleading and the link offers no added value over the adjacent link to Morning Star itself. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:54, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  • (Aside ~ memory lane ~ ahh my dad used to buy the daily mail everyday apart from Sunday, when we had the *quality broadsheet* the News of the World, which was not in tabloid until the 1980's, but def tabloid journalism.)
  • Yes, it is not "tabloid journalism" as some people referred to it, generally has good factual reporting according to statistics (mentioned above). It does have, like nearly every other media source, a perspective, which doesn't disqualify it. BeŻet (talk) 15:32, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
  • No It's a sensationalist tabloid with a fringe old-school communist view and a circulation of 10,000. People have some guts here to claim it's not really a tabloid. Just Google Morning Star newspaper and you see their front pages with "BLOOD ON HANDS", "TAX THE RICH", "WAR CRIMINAL NOT WELCOME", "A SHOCKING CONSPIRACY", "BANKER'S PM PLOTS NEW ATTACK ON WORKERS" taking half of the cover, as if any non-sensationalist daily newspaper would do this. --Pudeo (talk) 18:17, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I'd see that more of a biased prediction than an untruth. But I was more concerned about what's printed inside. I'm not sure we usually quite headlines, from any newspaper, to support article claims. Perhaps Pudeo could explain to us what algorithm Google search uses to rank its results? All of those images seem to have been published by other organisations. I wonder why? Martinevans123 (talk) 19:37, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Oh - it's in the body of article as well - "Labour’s enemies, including its most embittered fifth column, have tasted blood and won’t end their attacks until Corbyn is hung out to dry." - the last paragraph. If we are to treat them as a RS, then the existence of a fifth column within Labour would be factual.Icewhiz (talk) 19:42, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I see. Well they don't even give a definitive blood type there, so you may have a point. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:47, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  • No Simply put, the Morning Star has far too much of a left-wing pro-Corbyn bias. It may be useful for other articles and BLPs, but I think in this instance, if the information is truly worth putting in the article, it will be in other sources. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 09:32, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I counted 8 places where it's currently used as a source. You're saying that each one of those "has far too much of a left-wing pro-Corbyn bias" to be used? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:10, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment although there may be more yes !votes, none of them have addressed in a meaningful way the very real issue of whether a paper that is known to have in the past accepted being bankrolled by the Soviet Union for regurgitating its propaganda (obviously an enormous ethical scandal), never repented or stated that they would hold themselves to a better (or actually existent) code of journalistic ethics in the future, and continues the same pro-Kremlin patterns after the fall of communism, is without reasonable doubt, a reliable source. This is not an attempt to convict the source -- instead users who vote yes are vouching it is reliable. --Calthinus (talk) 18:02, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Most of the MSM are bankrolled by advertising, so it seems reasonable their impartiality could be compromised by narrow corporate interests. Surely we need to balance views using a newspaper that relies minimally on advertising? (Andromedean (talk) 13:02, 9 September 2018 (UTC))
  • Comment Quick tally ~ Currently 5 No, 15 Yes & 2 Partial Yes ~ BOD ~ TALK 16:12, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
  • (Summoned by bot) Tentative yes. I am not acquainted with the Morning Star; but reading through this, I'm not seeing solid evidence that it is unreliable, ie has published factually inaccurate statements, or that it is an actual mouthpiece for the communist party. A priori it meets the requirements for a reliable news outlet. It's editorial position is not a reason to discount it; if its positions are minority positions, rigorous enforcement of WP:DUE takes care of that. Vanamonde (talk) 14:24, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Corbyn had a regular column in the Morning Star till at least 2010, and it is unsurprising that this publication unquestioningly supports him. It can hardly be considered a WP:NPOV source when discussing this. For those not familiar with this publication here [[21]] is an overview of the MS by the New Statesman. This MS article [[22]] is demonstrative of the attitude of the MS with regard to this whole issue. There are other articles which I could link to which show an ideological Anti-Zionist fixation coupled with a strong whiff of Conspiracy theory. This [[23]] is a good example. The MS editorial staff do not seem to grasp that most British Jews find Corbyn problematic, so it must be a Zionist conspiracy. Finally I should mention WP:EXTRAORDINARY. Point 5 here is of particular relevance to this discussion.

Any exceptional claim requires multiple high-quality sources.[13] Red flags that should prompt extra caution include:

surprising or apparently important claims not covered by multiple mainstream sources; challenged claims that are supported purely by primary or self-published sources or those with an apparent conflict of interest;[9] reports of a statement by someone that seems out of character, or against an interest they had previously defended; claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community, or that would significantly alter mainstream assumptions, especially in science, medicine, history, politics, and biographies of living people. This is especially true when proponents say there is a conspiracy to silence them. WP:EXTRAORDINARY should be applied to sources as well as WP editors. I do think that Martin's comment If the article wants to say that Corbyn wrote something in The Morning Star, with a quote, then yes, I think it's appropriate to use The Morning Star as a source for those quotes. The article makes it clear what Corbyn's connection has been with that publication. But I'd have no issue with using secondary sources, if they are available, as well as, or instead of, the MS. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:51, 2 September 2018 (UTC) could be used as a compromise regarding alternative secondary sources. Simon Adler (talk) 23:29, 20 September 2018 (UTC)


Most Newspapers, if not all are biased or highly biased. Also, I am not against rewording of the relevant section. ~ BOD ~ TALK 18:42, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

  • Wrong venue. Should have been take to the reliable sources noticeboard. Note that page requires that you provide the exact article used in the source and the text it is supposed to support. That is particularly useful because it allows editors to find better sources. Note that there is absolutely nothing controversial in the information provided by the Morning Star article. TFD (talk) 18:49, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
    Writing that Corbyn has a record of opposing ... antisemitism, sourced supposedly to MS, is highly controversial considering a reknowned expert in the field of antisemitism has recently penned Jeremy Corbyn’s Ironically Ahistorical Anti-Semitism, The Atlantic, Deborah Lipstadt.Icewhiz (talk) 18:55, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Are you saying the events of the 23 April 1977 or 23 April 2017 or for that matter[[24]] did not take place? As John McDonnell you've said "really have misinterpreted Jeremy. I've known him for over 30 years. His whole life has been devoted to anti-racism, to peace and justice." [[25]] ~ BOD ~ TALK 19:11, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
    His anti-fascist stance (which is well documented, including acadmic sources) is a separate issue from his positions on Jews (the left, generally, is anti-fascist - this does not mean that all leftist movements are opposed to antisemitism - e.g. see Antisemitism in the Soviet Union).Icewhiz (talk) 19:21, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
    The examples given concern him actually opposing fascist marches, or celebrating the successful stopping of those marches in areas where the is a significant Jewish residence. ~ BOD ~ TALK 19:46, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Tbh, WP:POINT. In addition to the sourcing issues, I have doubts about the relevance of this deserving its own section. Corbyn has not made "support for Jewish causes" part of his political brand. An individual incident or two, great. It's POV too, to assert in Wikipedia's voice that these (tabloid-reported) episodes boil down to "support for Jewish causes", as opposed to mere opposition to fascism and other far-right ideologies. --Calthinus (talk) 19:49, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
If the article wants to say that Corbyn wrote something in The Morning Star, with a quote, then yes, I think it's appropriate to use The Morning Star as a source for those quotes. The article makes it clear what Corbyn's connection has been with that publication. But I'd have no issue with using secondary sources, if they are available, as well as, or instead of, the MS. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:51, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

Is this section for a discussion about the Morning Star's reliability. It seems to also have some discussion about the section "Actions against antisemitism"? The section "Corbyn's Voting Record" elsewhere on this page already has a discussion about "Actions against antisemitism" including a vote on whether to include Corbyn's voting record in the article. An editor has questioned whether this is the right venue for determining whether a source is RS. Does anyone else know anything about the protocol? Burrobert 02:43, 3 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burrobert (talkcontribs)

  • @Absolutelypuremilk: I've slightly modified the wording of your RFC question, as the talk page of the Jeremy Corbyn article is not the proper forum to establish whether a daily newspaper is a reliable source for BLP articles in general, and that was what your original question asked. I haven't looked into the context of this question further to establish whether my answer would be "yes" or "no" to either form of the question, and have only done this as a procedural matter. Hijiri 88 (やや) 10:42, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks so much for the bit of MS history there from 29 years ago. You don't think we're just possibly, very slightly, moving away from the point at issue here? Martinevans123 (talk) 15:58, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • No - this is an organization that for most of its existence was heavily subsidized by the USSR (and whose writing was an English language version of Pravda) - and even in this post-USSR world adheres to the Britain's Road to Socialism program. It would also seem they are for the most part (aside from pieces on socialist nostalgia or opinion pieces (e.g. Corbyn) quote from them - ignored by academia and news orgs). This is a non-independent advocacy organization.Icewhiz (talk) 16:04, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I see. Looking forward to some RS evidence in support of your extraordinary Pravda claim. But perhaps at a different venue. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:13, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Far from extraordinary., Guardian, 2015, "As an ex-Communist Party member myself, I am amazed to see that the paper that most symbolised unquestioning support for the horrors of Stalinism is still alive a decade after the Communist Party of Great Britain dissolved ..... Until 1974, the Morning Star was bankrolled by the Soviet government with direct cash contributions, and from 1974 onwards was indirectly supported by bulk orders of copies every day from Moscow." Still flying the red flag, Independent 2005. Soviet control is aptly summarized in - the Soviets were able to threaten the future of the daily paper, the Morning Star, by reducing the huge order for copies that were flown out each day from Heathrow (what a uniquely capitalist means of threatening / editorial control between communists :->). [27]. Icewhiz (talk) 16:23, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Sorry not seeing the title Pravda in any of those sources. But I was suggesting a different venue? Quite happy if someone wishes to hat this bit of the discussion as not relevant to the use of MS in this article. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:04, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
It is relevant. It illustrates pretty transparent cases of the conflict of interest present in MS' reporting in the past. The question is not whether this holds true still -- the question is, knowing this and everything, can we use this paper while holding true to our policies and ideals. A paper that in the past acted not in the name of journalism but rather in promoting the interests of the Soviet Union, with no reform or repentance in between, is not kosher, imo. --Calthinus (talk) 17:13, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Then we'll have to disagree. I think this is mostly historical. More recent examples would be needed. To me the question certainly is "does this still hold true"? And, as I have already suggested, it also depends very much on what the source is being used for. Exactly which of the current uses is seen as problematic? Where is it being used as the mouthpiece for Communist Russia? Martinevans123 (talk) 17:20, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Subjective opinions such as ownership (otherwise we'd discount all Rupert Murdoch owned publications too) aren't valid reasons for deeming a source as unreliable but its fact checking. RevertBob (talk) 12:56, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
@Calthinus: If that's the case we shouldn't use any corporate-owned media source as an RS for any statement on the economy. Because their capitalist ownership introduces a conflict of interest. Simonm223 (talk) 12:07, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
@Simonm223: Irony: in the specific case of reporting on the stock market, on aspects of corporate media culture, and on figures opposing the corporatization of the media, I actually agree with you. Likewise, I very much dislike use of Murdoch media like Fox (harder to make that fly as its more mainstream, for better or for worse, than MS). However, this line of logic smacks of Whataboutism. The fact is that MS has historically had a severe and unsalvageable conflict of interest as it was a Soviet bankrolled mouthpiece, as has been aptly demonstrated by refs given above. Today, they still have a stunningly Putinophile line of reporting, regarding opinions and facts, even though this is quite bizarre as modern day Putin's Russia is a corporate oligarchy that makes no pretensions of advancing the rights of marginalized classes. The old "dezinformatsiya network" is still quite active [[28]]. While I do understand concerns that editors can use arguments like this to eliminate sources they don't like, for me this has to be balanced with the other side and I'm sorry but being bankrolled by Moscow is far beyond the red line. How people can be comfortable with this, is really beyond me. --Calthinus (talk) 17:30, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Except I haven't seen anyone saying that Putin's Russia is bankrolling Morning Star - rather that it was bankrolled by the Soviet Union. These are different states even if one is a successor to the other. Simonm223 (talk) 17:37, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
The revelations about the Soviet relationship with Morning Star came out long after the fact. They never apologized, nor repented, nor reformed, nor admitted any sort of wrong. The question is not whether we are convicting the paper. The question is if they are reliable -- and in this case, the benefit of the doubt is dangerous to give. If you want to give the benefit of the doubt to a former and possibly current propaganda mouthpiece, that is your choice, and it is now publicly on the record. --Calthinus (talk) 17:43, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

So there's no reason to believe Putin is influencing it. Gotcha. I support its use as an RS. Simonm223 (talk) 17:48, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Except that they (a) violated journalistic ethics in the past, (b) never repented, (c) are a confirmed source of past propaganda and (d) continue the same line today. As I said, benefit of the doubt does not apply to judging a source reliable. Lack of doubt does. --Calthinus (talk) 17:50, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
A socialist paper was bankrolled by a socialist economy. Capitalist papers are bankrolled by capitalist economies. The socialist paper has been limping on without that support for years, still turning out good content. The fact that it's a POV that you don't agree with doesn't make it any more or less propaganda than the Financial Times or the BBC. And frankly your bringing up Putin, who had nothing to do with anything seems like attempting to cast aspersions in the absence of any reason to exclude the source. Simonm223 (talk) 18:05, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
I have not casted any aspersions against an editor. People make mistakes-- as do I, I am merely pointing out they are making a mistake. Deflection anyways. The point of whether we can rely on the source without reasonable doubt remains unaddressed.
I meant you were casting aspersions against the source, not an editor. And I do believe you are mistaken here. Furthermore your reasonable doubt seems to be that you doubt socialists can run a newspaper. Simonm223 (talk) 18:10, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Now you're casting... something unsubstantiated. I'm actually a "socialist" myself -- albeit much more in the Bernie sense than the Corbyn sense. Based on your user page we agree on all but a couple things you listed in the userboxes. I do have quite reasonable doubts that a newspaper that has never repented for its known past ethical shortcomings can be relied on.--Calthinus (talk) 21:17, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Suggested amendments for the section “Comments about Zionists not understanding English irony”.[edit]

I would like to suggest a few amendments to the section “Comments about Zionists not understanding English irony”.

1. The name of the Palestinian ambassador should be included somewhere in the paragraph as well as the country in which he is acting as ambassador. Perhaps the first line could be changed to start : “In a 2013 speech, the Palestinian ambassador to the the United Kingdom Manuel Hassassian said … “

2. I am concerned that the current wording does not accurately reflect what Corbyn said in his speech. There is a possibility that readers will think that Corbyn was saying that all Zionists do not understand English irony. As his speech makes clear he was referring to particular Zionists who were at a particular meeting. He also mentioned that their lack of understanding was despite them having lived in England for a very long time, probably their whole lives. He compared them with the Ambassador whom he said does understand English irony and uses it effectively even though English is not his first language. His comments in The Guardian article dated 24/8/18 makes this clear. Can I suggest that something along the following lines would be a clearer representation of what Corbyn said:

"Commenting on the event at a later date, Corbyn said that those berating the Ambassador at the event were “Zionists” who did not want to study history and who, despite having lived in England for a long time, probably all their lives, did not understand the English irony used by the Palestinian ambassador in his speech. In a statement issued on 24 August 2018 Corbyn said he had “defended the Palestinian ambassador in the face of what [he] thought were deliberate misrepresentations by people for whom English was a first language, when it isn’t for the ambassador”. In the same statement Corbyn said he used the term Zionist in an "accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”. He said that he would in future be more careful using the term "Zionist" because the political term had been "hijacked as code for Jews”".

3. It seems to make more sense to include Jonathan Sacks response in this section rather than in the “Responses” section. Perhaps it could be included after the suggested alteration above. Burrobert 11:16, 13 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burrobert (talkcontribs)

Remember to sign your talk page posts :)
Mostly done, though in stages and hope not too messy. ~ BOD ~ TALK 13:58, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks @Bodney: The changes look fine. Sorry about the signing but I don't understand what is happening. I am pushing the button with the 4 tilde's next to the label "Sign your posts on talk pages:" before posting. I am going to try pushing the button twice on this comment to see what happens (i.e. 8 tildes). The preview looks good except that my name is listed twice (Burrobert 15:16, 13 September 2018 (UTC) Burrobert 15:16, 13 September 2018 (UTC)). Burrobert 15:17, 13 September 2018 (UTC) Burrobert 15:17, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Awe Sorry ~ regards the tildes internet ~ BOD ~ TALK 16:21, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Content that may not be relevant to Corbyn[edit]

The following text appears in the section “Labour in opposition (1983–97)”:

“The mainstream Anti-Apartheid Movement agreed not to demonstrate within 30 feet of the embassy, and the London ANC did not support CLAAG's protest. In 1984, Seamus Milne wrote in The Guardian that CLAAG had "antagonised the ANC — the main liberation organisation fighting apartheid in South Africa — to which anti-apartheid has close links", and the group was monitored at this time by Special Branch as a possible Trotskyist front organisation. The organisation failed to gain Mandela's retroactive support for the group or the non-stop protest upon his release from prison in 1990”.

I don’t see that it is relevant to Corbyn and suggest it be removed. There seems to be a story behind the relationship between CLAAG, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, ANC, South African Communist Party, Pan African Congress and other anti-apartheid groups. However Corbyn’s page does not seem to be an appropriate place to recount this. Perhaps the story would be more relevant to the pages of CLAAG and the ANC. What do others think? Burrobert 14:40, 14 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burrobert (talkcontribs)

Not so much that it's irrelevant as that it's undue detail and a bit of a WP:COATRACK for claims of Trotskyism by way of the transitive case. I've BOLDly removed it. Simonm223 (talk) 14:59, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I think it might be relevant, but would have to be completely rewritten to show how it was relevant. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 15:54, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Fair enough. I think the fact that the protest which Corbyn was arrested at was a CLAAG protest which was not supported by the Anti-Apartheid Movement should be mentioned, at the very least, because the current text seems to imply that it was.
I was in no way saying that Corbyn was a Trotskyist via guilt by association; I added comment about it being a Trotskyist group to emphasise that it was non-mainstream (unlike the AAM mentioned) and caused concertation among anti-apartheid activists. I feel this is important to mention on the article as a lot of people use the viral image to claim that Corbyn's march against apartheid was somehow instrumental in achieving majority rule in SA, whereas this information seems to suggest the opposite. But I can totally see how that seems undue on this page (maybe more appropriate on the Anti-Apartheid Movement article?) --Bangalamania (talk) 16:27, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Looking at it more closely, I would be happy for it to be re-added without the middle sentence, which doesn't seem to add much and is also the more controversial bit. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 19:16, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. I have re-added a modified version of this with the middle removed. --Bangalamania (talk) 21:08, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

Certainly the middle sentence should be removed. However, I also think the other two sentences are not appropriate in an encyclopaedia article on Corbyn. If we are to include a summary of CLAAG’s relationship to the ANC and Mandela we should also include its a summary of its positioning in the anti-apartheid movement generally. The make up of the anti-apartheid movement was diverse and the interactions between the various groups complicated. The ANC and CLAAG did have a difficult relationship for various reasons. However, ANC was only one part (though possibly the most important group) in the anti-apartheid movement. Brown and Yaffe state that CLAAG’s “politics developed to extend unconditional solidarity with all liberation movements in South Africa and Namibia not just the ANC and South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO), but also the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) and the Black Consciousness Movement amongst others”. ANC’s relationship with CLAAG is only one part of a complicated story which I don’t think should be told in an article on Corbyn, especially since there is no indication Corbyn played a major role in developments and the approach to Mandela after his release. For example, Martin Plaut says that almost every Labour MP at the time was a member of CLAAG. By the way I don't have access to the times article so can't see what it said about CLAAG in relation to the anti-apartheid movement outside the ANC. Burrobert 04:46, 15 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burrobert (talkcontribs)

No that's fair enough; I agree that the differences between the anti-apartheid coalition are completely undue for this page. At the very least, I think it should be mentioned that the non-stop picket was not supported by the Anti-Apartheid Movement and that the Anti-Apartheid Movement specifically did not want protests within 30ft of the embassy, as the article as it stands seems to suggest that it was. --Bangalamania (talk) 20:24, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
@Bangalamania: Sorry I don’t have access to the times article so would you mind answering a few questions:
1. Did the times use brown and yaffe’s book as the source for its article? Was any other source used?
2. Did the times say anything about CLAAG’s activities other than the non-stop picket?
3. Did the times say anything about CLAAG’s relationship with other anti-apartheid groups?
4. Did the times say anything about the relationship between the London ANC and CLAAG after Mandela’s release (other than the non reply to a letter)? Burrobert 05:41, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
@Burrobert: Sorry for the late reply.
1. Yes, The Times used Brown and Yaffe's book for its article (Youth Activism and Solidarity: the Non-stop Picket Against Apartheid); fairly sure nothing substantial from other sources was mentioned as the article is about the book.
2. AFAIK the only other substantial bit of information about CLAAG was the content mentioned above (Milne report, Special Branch files viewing CLAAG as Trotskyist front)
3. Source says that "The African National Congress (ANC) is understood to have advised Mandela against holding the meeting because the group was not part of the mainstream Anti-Apartheid Movement", and quotes Milne in The Guardian with regard to alleged "antagonism" (as per removed text above)
4. The Times, quoting Brown and Yaffe: "When it was announced that Mandela would be visiting London in April 1990 (for the first time since his release), several members of the City Group wrote to him requesting that he made time during his visit to meet the people who had maintained a four-year non-stop picket for his release […] The meeting never happened (and, as far as we know, many of the letters received no acknowledgment or reply). These letters were part of a political campaign to gain Mandela’s (retrospective) approval for the non-stop picket in the face of long-standing opposition to it from sections of the London ANC." So although it only mentions the non-reply specifically, it makes it clear that this was one of many.
Hopefully that was helpful to you! Face-smile.svg --Bangalamania (talk) 17:47, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you @Bangalamania: that was exactly what I was interested in knowing. I understand the need to avoid giving the impression that the group of which Corbyn was a member did not have the ANC’s support to protest. However I think the current wording gives readers the impression that the relationship between CLAAG and the ANC/Mandela was irretrievably broken. Therefore, I would like to suggest adding these two sentences at the end.
“In the late 1980s, the relationship between the ANC in London and CLAAG began to improve. The ANC began to acknowledge receipt of the material aid and donations collected by CLAAG and from early 1991, ANC representatives began once again to speak at rallies organised by CLAAG”.
In addition, the current wording implies that the only activities of the group of which Corbyn was a member were the Non-Stop Picket and writing letters to the ANC asking to meet Mandela. I suggest we include the other notable activities of the group so that readers get a more accurate perspective of what the group Corbyn had joined did. I would therefore like to suggest adding this to the section on CLAAG.
“This was as a member of the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group (CLAAG). The group carried out demonstrations on cricket pitches around Britain protesting against a British rebel cricket tour of South Africa captained by Mike Gatting and conducted a ‘No Rights? No Flights!’ campaign, which attempted to shut down the offices of the (state-owned) South African Airways offices in London through repeated occupations. It also carried out a "non-stop picket" for 1,408 … “
The source for these additions is either the book by Brown and Yaffe or their preliminary research paper available at Burrobert 03:35, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm personally unsure as to whether all that above would be due weight for this article, although I think it is very valuable information for the Anti-Apartheid Movement article. (Pinging @Absolutelypuremilk: and @Simonm223: for further input). – Bangalamania (talk) 11:36, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes it was a fascinating group and I don't think we or the times (from what you have told me) have done the story justice. I thought readers might like the image of Jeremy running onto cricket pitches and grabbing the stumps to stop play in between writing letters to the ANC. There is no evidence that he did interrupt the cricket or shut down South African Airways but the same applies to the letter writing. If we can't bring ourselves to mention that the ANC and CLAAG's relationship did improve and that the ANC did eventually acknowledge the support that CLAAG provided, then perhaps we could include a suitable reference along with the times article that would allow the readers to find out more than what is in the seemingly limited times article. One such reference the research article I have previously mentioned and another is Martin Plaut's recollections at Actually one other possible change that would put Corbyn's role in CLAAG in perspective in the absence of anything else is Plaut's statement that almost every Labour MP at the time was part of the Non-Stop picket. Anyway, I'll wait to get further input before moving on. Burrobert 12:44, 17 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burrobert (talkcontribs)
I don't think that saying almost every Labour MP at the time was a part of the non-stop picket would be undue (so long as it is properly attributed to the New Statesman article); I had considered adding that myself but I didn't want to do it without discussion here first. I certainly wouldn't be against adding more reliable sources to substantiate the claim (including the research article you have mentioned). --Bangalamania (talk) 16:34, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

I'm not sure why we need to mention Mike Gatting in this article - I think adding something of this length would not be due weight. Perhaps we can start a CLAAG article and put this information there? Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 14:56, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps adding this to Anti-Apartheid Movement article as a new section before creating a new page would be a better idea? Either way, I agree with you that it would be undue weight to mention Gatting or other things the CLAAG did which were unrelated to Corbyn. --Bangalamania (talk) 16:34, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

There seems to be strong opinion not to include Mike Gatting's name anywhere on this page so I'll leave things as is in the CLAAG section until more information becomes available. The suggestions about moving Mike Gatting to either the AAM or CLAAG page if they will take him are good thanks. Burrobert 09:03, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

Letter from Orthodox Rabbis is Valid[edit]

The Jewish press have now reluctantly accepted this in their latest editions (17th Sep). as you can see from this reference

"The Jewish Community Council of North London (JCC) initially disputed the letter’s legitimacy, however, they later said: “After making our enquiries by the lead rabbis behind the letter, we can hereby confirm the letter is authentic and is genuinely signed by the leading rabbonim of our community in full faith.” [387]

Unfortunately, despite the article making this clear someone has inserted an earlier article on the 12th Sep which is itself discredited. Could someone revert my post please? I assume we can't revert ourselves within 24hrs but someone else can? (Andromedean (talk) 11:13, 18 September 2018 (UTC))

@Andromedean: I am not sure about the rules. The reference to the letter has been removed. Are you not allowed to add it back in yourself? Burrobert 11:47, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

[This subject seems to be under a 1RR rule] try to edit and you will get a pop up. Perhaps I'm the only person on wikipedia who takes any notice of them. The last time I merely reverted a reference within 24hrs someone placed this [claim of a violation on my talk page]. I'm not sure who has violated a rule, me or the person posting these dubious 'violations' in an attempt to Game the system, I have asked for advice without reply, but I'm getting tired of it. (Andromedean (talk) 14:24, 18 September 2018 (UTC))
Well the most recent reason for removal (it has been removed twice) was that the letter was fake but that seems to have been based on a claim reported in the Jewish Chronicle which itself has been retracted. The claim was made by a group called the Jewish Community Council of North London. The JC article does not explain why the group would know whether the letter was genuine or why the JC and the Jerusalem Post (which wrote an article titled "Anti-Israel Satmar group forges UK rabbis' pro-cornyn letter") would accept the Jewish Community Council claims. The group is described as 'nascent' in the JC article which may possibly imply it currently does not have many members. Anyway, irrespective of all that it appears that the validity of the letter is now accepted so should be included in this section which @Bodney: has now done.Burrobert 16:06, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Even if the Haredi rabbis' letter is not fake, is it notable? The section is already overweight in relation to the whole article, so is a letter posted on synagogue noticeboards signed by some pretty marginal rabbis (and the ephemeral dispute over its authenticity) deserve a whole paragraph? This belongs in Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party, maybe, but surely not here? BobFromBrockley (talk) 14:37, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
I'd say the letter is notable; but to bounce back your question about which article it is in, which is the letter more about - the Labour Party as a whole or its leader? I'll note we're trying right now to shorten the Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party article, which is bloated.Simonm223 (talk) 14:46, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Even if the letter is not fake, which is not clear, it has been ignored for the most part - mainly being coverend regarded whether it is fake or not. So besides the V issues, it is clearly UNDUE.Icewhiz (talk) 17:48, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Even the Jewish press have accepted the letter was genuine. I included this specifically to dismiss claims of fakery. “After making our enquiries by the lead rabbis behind the letter, we can hereby confirm the letter is authentic and is genuinely signed by the leading rabbonim of our community in full faith.” It is probably the most relevant letter in this section, since this group represents around 20% of Jews which will increase to 50% by 2030. However, they are politically marginalised, hence the lack of publicity for the letter. The Jewish press grudgingly had to accept the letter as genuine after pressure from an independent media. (Andromedean (talk) 12:45, 20 September 2018 (UTC))
The JC is not expressing any editorial opinion on this being a fake or genuine - it's all attributed. Skwawkbox is not a RS. If this is so important - why isn't this coverage by actual media sources (with the exception of coverage of this being a forgery) ? Icewhiz (talk) 12:50, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I would say that the lack of coverage makes this definitely undue to include here. Issues of validity may be relevant for inclusion in Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party (yes, most editors are trying to shorten that article, but equally since that article exists the coverage of antisemitism on this page is also UNDUE as it should really be a brief summary of the other article). And Skwawkbox is by no means an RS (violation of WP:BLOGS, questionable track record of reliability). --Bangalamania (talk) 13:04, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
The JCC has since backed down after a challenge by Stamford Hill activists Shraga Stern and Naftoli Friedman who have since taken responsibility for the letter.
After its publication, doubts were raised about the letter and there were claims the signatories were misled as to its content before they signed. Mr Stern and Mr Friedman denied this, insisting that some of the rabbis even made their own amendments. Three of the signatories, Rabbis Eliyakim Schlesinger, Azriel Schechter and Ze'ev Feldman, all confirmed they had read and signed the letter.
Sqwawkbox is printing all the evidence which isn't being refuted. We can't accept Jewish Chronicle on authority, their reputation is much diminished by this. No-one seriously doubts it. The Torah community have original sources. Hardly anyone seriously doubts the letters authority (Andromedean (talk) 13:19, 20 September 2018 (UTC))
You have an open letter signed by a significant group of rabbis addressing this precise issue about Corbyn. I'd suggest, as long as we don't editorialize, WP:PRIMARY would allow us to print a statement of the letter notwithstanding press coverage. So how about that for a solution? Simonm223 (talk) 13:23, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Regarding the noteworthiness of the letter:

1. Now that the news source that published the claim about the letter being fake has accepted its authenticity I think we need to as well. It is inexplicable that it would publish the claim based on the opinion of the JCC without making basic enquiries of the signatories. In an article dated 20/9/18 the JC states “a number of rabbis later confirmed to the JC they had read and signed it”.

2. It has been covered by three of the most important Jewish news sources in English (Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and the Jewish Chronicle). All are responsible sources and some had multiple stories on the letter.

3. The coverage was focused on the claim that the letter was fake but in doing so the sources have provided information that indicates the importance of the signatories to the letter. For example, the JC states that the letter was “signed by 28 leading Charedi rabbis”. The Jerusalem Post states that the signatures on the letter are those of “haredi leaders”. It also describes the letter as having “the support of the UOHC’s Principal Rabbinical Authority Ephraim Padwa, Senior Dayan (religious court judge) S. Friedman, and 27 others”. The UOHC is Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.

4. In a recent article dated 20/9/18 the Jerusalem Post mentions the “letter defending Mr Corbyn was “signed by 34 leading Charedi rabbis”.

5. According to the JC the size of London’s Charedi community is “approximately 50,000 – the world’s largest strictly Orthodox community in Europe”. Of course the signatories do not represent the whole community and are in fact challenging the Board of Deputies as representative of the Charedi community.Burrobert 13:53, 20 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burrobert (talkcontribs)

The sole coverage of this is in regards to whether it is fake or not. JC only confirmed 3 rabbis - and doesn't state anything regarding authenticity in its own voice. JPost published it was fake - [29] - but has not retracted. And absolutely no one (at least per sources presented here) has covered this in a non-forgery context.Icewhiz (talk) 14:57, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
It's clearly a notable document; there is clearly press coverage of it. Please stop trying to game WP:NOTE to exclude things that are inconvenient to your POV. Simonm223 (talk) 15:02, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
NPA please. Sources please - if it is so notable - where is the coverage of this (in a non-forgery context)?Icewhiz (talk) 15:07, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
That sort of moving of goalposts is exactly what I'm talking about. Simonm223 (talk) 16:08, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

I did say above the coverage was focused on the authenticity of the letter. In fact the Times of Israel did publish an analysis of the content of the letter by Moshe Forman on 18/9/18. He make an attempt at interpreting what the letter was trying to say. Among other things he said in his article "who was the letter aimed at? I believe it was written to the mainstream Jewish community, pleading with them to keep a low profile". Burrobert 15:40, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

The letter obviously has a degree of notability, in that the apparent signatories are senior figures in the Haredi community, although they don't represent all the highly factionalised sections of that community, which altogether represents about 15% of the British Jewish population), and it got some news coverage, mostly over the question of if the letter was real or not. But this is an article about Jeremy Corbyn, not about his relationship with different Jewish denominational communities, and it is unclear why this particular letter is notable enough to be mentioned, let alone get a whole paragraph, when all sorts of people's opinions on him or letters about are flit through the news literally every single day. What is the case that this letter is really important enough to get lines in this article? I feel this letter is of ephemeral and not sustained public significance. BobFromBrockley (talk) 15:55, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I would only support that position if every single reference to this silly, hyperbolic, partisan scandal was expunged. If we must comment on Corbyn's involvement in the Labour Antisemitism Scandal at all here, we should include defenses of him from the Jewish community and not just cherry-picked hit pieces. Simonm223 (talk) 16:08, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

The first paragraph of the letter indicates why it is relevant to an article on Jeremy Corbyn: "We were shocked to hear that there are those who are spreading reports that the Jews in England are united against the head of the Labour party, Mr Jeremy Corbyn. They have also publicised that as a result Jews are considering leaving the Land of England out of concern that he may be elected as prime minister". The notability of the letter including the standing of the signatories has already been discussed above. The current article on Corbyn already includes the opinions of other sections of the Jewish Community (e.g. "In March 2018, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council accused Corbyn of not tackling antisemitism ...") as well as referencing at least three other letters giving opinions about the antisemitism claims. Burrobert 16:22, 20 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burrobert (talkcontribs)

It looks as though we have a 3-3 draw. We can either have extra time, go to penalties or perhaps invite others to join the discussion via RfC. Any other suggestions? Burrobert 05:44, 21 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burrobert (talkcontribs)

It's a bit ridiculous that we are still arguing about this. The issue on whether the letter was genuine has long since been resolved. The Jewish Chronicle referred to it yesterday regarding a planned Charendi demonstration outside the Board of Deputies’ annual fundraising dinner.

"It follows a letter defending Jeremy Corbyn, signed by 34 leading Charedi rabbis, was circulated in the strictly Orthodox communities of North London, centred on Stamford Hill, which condemned bodies such as the Board for being so stridently critical of Labour's antisemitism crisis under Mr Corbyn."

The Jewish Chronicle has totally backed down. The only issue is whether the Jewish Chronicle can be considered to a more reliable source than the Sqwawkbox considering the former has recklessly attempted to censor and demean the views of this sector of the Jewish community, and latter has scrupulously checked sources and followed professional journalistic practice. Time to move on surely? (Andromedean (talk) 10:15, 21 September 2018 (UTC))

I think the coverage justifies inclusion but the content trimmed in proportion to the coverage received. RevertBob (talk) 13:00, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
@Icewhiz: your deletion of that paragraph was counter to the wishes of most of the participants in this conversation and verging very close to WP:TEND territory. I ask you here to please immediately self-revert. Simonm223 (talk) 13:21, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
While there are walls of text in this discussion - there is no consensus for inclusions of this UNDUE possibly fake letter.Icewhiz (talk) 13:32, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure you are the last person left on earth who thinks this letter is fake. You're editing tendentiously and you've crossed a line with this one. I would suggest you need to consider walking it back. Simonm223 (talk) 13:34, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
I don't think the letter is notable enough, given that it hasn't been widely covered. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 13:48, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
I support inclusion re: Simonm223, Andromedean & Burrobert. ~ BOD ~ TALK 14:34, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

Claim that IHRA is the 'internationally recognised definition of antisemitism'[edit]

Stating this is the Internationally recognised definition of antisemitism' violates [NPOV]. Surely it should be called the IHRA definition of anti-semitism or the 'so called' International definition of anti-semitism?

[The source used] claims that Labour sought to alter part of the internationally recognised definition of antisemitism.

[This also contradicts the Wikipedia page on the subject]. First of all Labour haven't attempted to alter the definition which is the 40 word statement, not the examples which don't form part of the definition. Secondly only eight Sovereign countries have adopted or endorsed the working definition. How can eight countries form an International definition? This is not WP:nor as claimed. Nowhere does this page accept it is an International definition.

Following its adoption by IHRA, the working definition has been adopted for internal use by a number of government and political institutions; in historical order: the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Scotland, Romania, Germany, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Macedonia.[8] Six of 31 governments whose countries are members of IHRA have formally endorsed or adopted the definition.[10] (____) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Andromedean (talkcontribs) 08:58, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

Indeed. The IHRA has as members 32 countries, the great majority of which have declined to adopt the definition. Forget about the other 140-odd nations in the international community. "International recognition" is not something that this definition possesses. MrDemeanour (talk) 09:17, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Also: it's not clear to me what might be meant by a country 'recognising' a definition. Does that mean it remembers seeing the definition before? A definition might be cited in legislation; that would certainly count. Have any of the 'recognising' countries done that?
The Labour Party have 'adopted' it as a part of its internal disciplinary procedures. I'm not aware of any sovereign nation that has done anything similar (oh - Israel, probably).
These verbs - 'adopt', 'recognise' - are awfully weasely. If a body (country, party, etc.) is using this definition, then we should require clarity about how they are using it. If they are just using it as a kind of umbrella against criticism, that is not at all the same as mandating the use of the definition in court cases, disciplinary hearings etc. As far as I'm aware, the only use the 'recognising' countries are making of the definition is to state that they recognise it. MrDemeanour (talk) 13:47, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree that it should be referred to as the IHRA working definition. Reflects wording used by most RS and is more NPOV. Disagree with the use of 'so-called' as I think that violates NPOV as much as the current wording. – Bangalamania (talk) 09:25, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
PS: I am aware that The Independent refers to it as such (in passing), but the claim was made in Wikipedia's voice. – Bangalamania (talk) 15:44, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

While I agree with the other editors that the IHRA definition is somewhat tenuous, and not necessarily what the Independent seems to rely on it for - this is all besides the point. Since the story being cited as the source is an article about Corbyn and the furor surrounding acceptance of the definition or otherwise, it belongs on the page for what it is. I'm therefore restoring it as the information comfortably passes WP:RS. Winchester2313 (talk) 21:16, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

I agree with you that the edits pass WP:RS, but they the wording used was WP:POV (the "internationally recognised" claim; "forced to"). I've altered the wording to try and make it more NPOV. --Bangalamania (talk) 21:44, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

I think the real issue here is simply whether the Independent makes the wp:rs standard or not. Nobody is questioning that it does, so the information stays in. Trying to remove or manipulate a source that some people don't like is simply wp:synth and violates wp:npov. I happen to think that the IHRA is a load of s*** but the information is properly sourced, so it staysBen133 (talk) 01:34, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

It fails WP:BOLLOCKS. The definition is only "internationally recognized" in the sense that more then one country has recognised it. The implication of that phrase is that the IHRA definition is recognised in most of the world; it isn't - only 6 countries have adopted it (and that is sourced). The sources therefore conflict, and the Independent's claim is wrong. Hey, it won't be the first time a mainstream UK newspaper published utter tommyrot and declined to retract.
Relying on this utterance from the Independent brings Wikipedia and its editors into disrepute. Wikipedia already has an unenviable reputation for being seriously unreliable on controversial political topics. If the Independent published an article declaring that black was white, should we repeat that claim without comment, on the grounds that it was published by a RS? Of course not - it's obviously wrong. Same with the absurd claim that this definition is internationally recognised. MrDemeanour (talk) 04:24, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Relying on RSes is what we do - and Independent is correct in calling this international - for starters since this is an international body. This definition is also used internationally - most recently adopted by the US education department, following widespread use in the US for years (Politico). Not all countries have an interest in antisemitism - e.g. antisemitism is not a problem in most of Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa and Ethiopia) - as Jewish communities did not exist there historically (and still don't). The IHRA includes some 42 countries - and mainly countries "that count" in this matter. Finally, for all its possible flaws, the "working definition" is the only definition out there that has international acceptance. As for Corbyn - Corbyn was strong criticized for attempting to modify the accepted international definition - if this weren't an accepted definition - there wouldn't have been any criticism. So no - this is not a RS calling black is white. This is a RS saying things for what they are. Nor is Independent alone - outlets ranging from Sky News to the New York Times use "internationally recognized definition of anti-Semitism". Editors objecting to this - should write a letter to the editor of Independent and the NYT - however on Wikipedia - we simply use sources.Icewhiz (talk) 05:54, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
OK. So it's cited to the Independent, which is supposed to be a RS; as you say, "Relying on RSes is what we do". Accordingly, I am forced to accept "internationally recognised definition", because that's what it says in the source.
However the definition is clearly not recognised by the entire international community; not even a majority of the member countries of the IHRA have adopted it. So if we are going to use this phrase, we need to unpack it. That can't be so hard - only six countries have adopted it.
For example, let's take the first country in the world to 'adopt' the definition: the UK. What does it mean to say that the UK has adopted the definition? Well, it seems to mean that two Conservative Party politicians have declared in speeches that they have adopted it. [30][31] They say no more about what that means. In particular, they have not introduced any legislation that incorporates or refers to the definition. That is interesting, because of the legal opinion of leading QC Geoffrey Robertson that the government's 'adoption' has no legal effect. [32] In this context, 'legal opinion' is technical jargon; it's not just the personal view of Robertson, it's a formal piece of legal reasoning.
Before the UK government adopted the definition, it was adopted by UK Chief Constables (in an earlier form - I don't know what form; and interestingly, they have not faced the shitstorm the Labour Party has faced over the particular version of the definition they are relying on), and incorporated into police procedure manuals. It doesn't form the basis for an arrest, or anything like that.[33] Of course, these constables are not members of the international community.
So when we say "internationally", can we please say what members of the international community we are referring to (the list is short), and what they mean by "recognise" or "adopt" (usually they just mean that they have used one of those words in a government statement).
If we don't do that, then we are abusing that RS to perpetrate a serious misunderstanding.
MrDemeanour (talk) 10:23, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

What this page fails dismally is WP:BALANCE. A simple google search of 'Corbyn' news any day over the past several month's brings up articles and never-ending stories and allegations of Corbyn's alleged antisemitism. At this stage, the antisemitism crisis has become a major part of his WP:NOTABILITY as has been continually reported by a broad range of media sources. Yet certain editors here have engaged in continual WP:POV editing to 'sanitize' (for lack of a better word) Corbyn's record. I think it's time to bring in some uninvolved admin's to review this page, and for everyone editing it to re-read WP:NPOV and WP:IDONTLIKEIT. The antisemitism controversy surrounding Corbyn is not a sidebar, and the page needs to reflect the current reality based on the many WP:RS's that are continually reporting on it, not silly fringe groups etc.Winchester2313 (talk) 05:43, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

The IHRA consists of 31 Member Countries and 11 Observer/Liason Countries. Thus it is an intergovernmental organisation.
So far 8 Governments have adopted it (including both the UK and Scotland). Has the US adopted it? I am not sure.
8 Countries is only a quarter of the IHRA member & observer states, and a fraction of the international community ~ So I am not sure if anyone can really call it "internationally recognised".
The independent is WP:RS, what do we do when we think a RS is not factually correct?
I think my own issue (apart from missing the passage the first time i checked the source) was the POV language (note: also Corbyn had not altered The Working Definition of Antisemitism examples, the Labour NEC had, thats why Labour's adoption of the amended examples is not actually on this page).
Is the a problem with more neutral language Currently in the text?
I also put the content in date order as Frank Field's resignation was before the final adoption of the examples. ~ BOD ~ TALK 10:59, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
This long wall of text is OR. IHRA is an international body with 40 some members - it stands behind this. Per the Independent, the New York Times, and a few others is it a "internationally recognized definition of anti-Semitism" - RSes trump OR. There really is very little to quibble here about - take it up with the editor of the NYT.Icewhiz (talk) 12:05, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
This is a useful authoritative text for what the 'IHRA working definition' means and determining who has adapted what regarding the IHRA: 'Legal Form and Legal Legitimacy: The IHRA Definition of Antisemitism as a Case Study in Censored Speech'
"the UK was the first country to “adopt” the IHRA definition, and it remains the only country along the transatlantic axis wherein public and quasi-public institutions regularly reference it and impute to it legal authority.
With the adoption of this definition by six of the thirty-one IHRA member states, the fight against antisemitism has been further politicized.
In most mainstream usages, particularly by its advocates, making the definition into a synecdoche for the entire text has enabled its proponents to conceal the fact that the UK government adopted only the definition, without taking a formal position on the examples.Although it has not been widely publicized, the same caveat applies to many so-called “adoptions,” which involved only the definition, and not the examples. (Andromedean (talk) 12:24, 21 September 2018 (UTC))
I would agree that it would be a good idea to get some uninvolved admins on this page (and hopefully at some point on the Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party page. However, with regards to the Google search, WP:NOTNEWS and WP:RECENTISM apply here. Additionally, since there is a Wikipedia article on antisemitism in the UK Labour Party, this page's section on the issue should be a brief summary of notable incidents involving Corbyn personally, with more in-depth coverage on the main page, as per WP:SPINOFF. (Although I understand why some see that article as a POV fork (and personally agree with that view), that is a discussion for that article's talk page, not here.) --Bangalamania (talk) 12:49, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
I think this is pretty straightforward. "Internationally recognised" is obviously a POV statement which can't be presented in the Wiki voice as fact, the page title should be used which allows readers to make up their own mind. RevertBob (talk) 12:58, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
I too would like to see some oversight and input from some uninvolved admins on both this page and the Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party page. ~ BOD ~ TALK 14:34, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
In related news the BBC offered this retraction a few days ago.
Wednesday 19th September 2018: Today, BBC Radio 4, 4 September 2018 In this edition of Today it was stated that the IHRA definition of antisemitism had “been accepted by almost every country in the world”. In fact, 31 member countries of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) supported the adoption of a non-legally binding Working Definition of Antisemitism to guide the organisation in its work on 26 May 2016.
To date, according to the IHRA, the working definition has been adopted and endorsed by the following governments and bodies: The United Kingdom (12 December 2016), Israel (22 January 2017), Austria (25 April 2017) Scotland (27 April 2017), Romania (25 May 2017), City of London (8 February 2017), Germany (20 September 2017), Bulgaria (18 October 2017), Lithuania (24 January 2018), and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (6 March 2018). (Andromedean (talk) 17:51, 21 September 2018 (UTC))

Link to the full 2016 London School of Economics Report[edit]

London School of Economics and Political Science, Academic Report on Journalistic Representations of Jeremy Corbyn: Journalistic Representations of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Press: From Watchdog to Attackdog - Bart Cammaerts, Brooks DeCillia, João Magalhães, César Jimenez-Martínez

LSE Department of Media and Communications: Online Description of the "Journalistic Representations of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Press" project.

    ←   ZScarpia   12:29, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

I tried to add this at the time, but I was in a minority and it got swept into the Labour Party leadership of Jeremy Corbyn long grass, with another study. I am sure I saw another paper recently. ~ BOD ~ TALK 21:54, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

RfC about a letter from Orthodox Rabbis[edit]

Should the letter from the Orthodox Rabbis be included in the “Allegations of antisemitism and responses” section? Arguments for and against are in the “Letter from Orthodox Rabbis is Valid” section of the talk page. Burrobert (talk) 14:59, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

See this diff for the content in question - and to be accurate these are ultra-Orthodox (Charedi) Rabbis. Icewhiz (talk) 15:03, 21 September 2018 (UTC)


  • No - As WP:UNDUE with a side of WP:V/WP:BLP issues. The sole reporting on this is in the context of this being possibly fake or not. The Jerusalem Post ran a single item back in 12 September on this being a fake - [34], and did not run a followup. The Jewish Chronicle ran an item on this being possibly fake on 12 Sep - [35] - and appears to have walked this back (but not with a retraction - saying the Jewish Community Council of North London (JCC, not JC) now accepts this, but still saying others dispute) somewhat - on 17 September - [36]. JPost did not post a retraction. JC did not quite say this was genuine (they did however verify 3 signatories). So we have 2 RSes (and JPost is probably the more established of the two) - one whose last reporting is that of this being a fake - so the V issue as well as the BLP issues (towards, if not Corbyn, the alleged signatories) is clear. Perhaps even more clear than the BLP/V issue - there has been no coverage of this outside of the minor forgery coverage (JPost wrote on this being a twitter fake, JC wrote on this being a possible fake and then maybe not a fake) - it seems the letter itself has little significance as it is simply uncovered outside of the possible forgery angle. Icewhiz (talk) 15:12, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes It's become very clear the letter is not a fake, and it's certainly notable. It has had coverage in reliable sources, and even if that coverage was spurred by the misguided belief the letter was fake, it doesn't change the fact that this document is notable. As I mentioned in talk, I believe that the furor surround the letter in the press is significant enough that we should be able to refer to it (in neutral language and without commentary) under WP:PRIMARY even if the other sources are seen as inappropriate for various reasons. Furthermore the arguments of WP:DUE are very weak here. This is a notable group of influential rabbis, not just some random guys off the street. Simonm223 (talk) 16:04, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Support mention of the letter based on arguments provided by Simonm223 (talk · contribs). Burrobert (talk) 16:43, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
  • No major issues with WP:V, potentially WP:BLP (as the organization involved claimed to be involved has itself denied it), WP:POINT, WP:DUE as pretty much the entire coverage is about its authenticity or lack thereof. ["The UOHC itself said the letter had not gone out in its name."] -- inclusion could imply contradicting what the org actually said in public and accusing them of lying. Inclusion is unjustified WP:POINT.--Calthinus (talk) 18:18, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
  • No as per Calthinus and Icewhiz. There are major concerns with that letter. Sir Joseph (talk) 19:33, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes since even the Jewish Chronicle now clearly accepts it is genuine or else they wouldn't post this paragraph on the September 20, 2018 without any caveats: "It follows a letter defending Jeremy Corbyn, signed by 34 leading Charedi rabbis, was circulated in the strictly Orthodox communities of North London, centred on Stamford Hill, which condemned bodies such as the Board for being so stridently critical of Labour's antisemitism crisis under Mr Corbyn."(Andromedean (talk) 20:12, 21 September 2018 (UTC))
  • No as per Icewhiz and Calthinus. --Bangalamania (talk) 22:00, 21 September 2018 (UTC)


Could those above still claiming the letter is fake please provide a more recent source than this, verifying the letter was signed by 34 leading Charedi rabbis. I don't believe publications always offer official endorsements or refutations of articles, just statements.

Shraga Stern a prominent Charedi (Orthodox) Jewish activist in London explains through the Jewish Voice for Labour site that this Orthodox community of almost 50,000 in the UK; is not far short of the number which the BoD represents, whose views dominate the MSM. The article is therefore very important so views of other Jewish communities are covered. (Andromedean (talk) 09:07, 22 September 2018 (UTC))

The Finlayson Article[edit]

The recent article by Finlayson in the London Review of Books will be good for a lot more than the antisemitism scandal related quote I pulled from it this morning. It is a great document for contextualizing how British responses to Corbyn more reflect the biases of an increasingly conservative political establishment than those of the average person. Simonm223 (talk) 16:48, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

@Winchester2313: would you care to explain how an article by a British politics professor in the London Review of Books violates WP:NOR or how it possibly constitutes WP:FRINGE did you even look at the source?!?!? Simonm223 (talk) 21:03, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
It's very simple. It fails WP:RS so it cannot be on the page. Whatever you or a million other people do or don't think about this professor is irrelevant - it still doesn't justify WP:OR or WP:SYNTH. Using that document as a source clearly violates WP:NOR. The policy is very very clear - if it's mainstream, there will be sources in the mainstream media reporting it, and then it can be here. Otherwise it cannot. In my original deletion I simply typed WP:RD by mistake instead of WP:RS which is the actual standard it fails.Winchester2313 (talk) 21:33, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Wait now you are trying to suggest that the London Review of Books isn’t a RS? Surely you must be joking. Simonm223 (talk) 10:00, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference @Simonm223:. Added to the London School of Economics reference above provided by @ZScarpia: it shows that academia is starting to analyse, reflect on and interpret the effect Corbyn and the policies he espouses have had on various sections of society. Some rational analysis can surely only raise the level of the debate. As you said there should be some useful information to incorporate into the Corbyn page. Burrobert (talk) 09:56, 22 September 2018 (UTC)