The activist group, Show Racism the Red Card, has become involved in another controversy over antisemitism following an invitation to the outspoken filmmaker, Ken Loach, to join a panel of judges for a school competition on creative anti-racism designs.
Mr Loach has a history of inflammatory comments on the subject of antisemitism. Mr Loach’s voice has been among the loudest of those who attempt to dismiss Labour’s antisemitism crisis as non-existent and a right-wing smear campaign. He claimed that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was subjected to a “torrent of abuse” that was “off the scale” and that regardless of what he did, the “campaign” of antisemitism accusations was “going to run and run”. He described the BBC’s Panorama investigation into Labour antisemitism as “disgusting because it raised the horror of racism against Jews in the most atrocious propagandistic way, with crude journalism…and it bought the propaganda from people who were intent on destroying Corbyn.” He was also reportedly behind a motion passed by Bath Labour Party branding the Panorama programme a “dishonest hatchet job with potentially undemocratic consequences” and asserting that it “disgraced the name of Panorama and exposed the bias endemic within the BBC.” John Ware, the programme’s reporter, is apparently considering legal action against Mr Loach for his comments.
In 2017, Mr Loach caused outrage when, during an interview with the BBC, he refused to denounce Holocaust denial. The International Definition of Antisemitism states that “denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” is a manifestation of antisemitism. Although Mr Loach later sought to clarify his remarks, he has continued to make inflammatory and provocative statements about Labour’s antisemitism scandal. While speaking at a meeting of the Kingswood Constituency Labour Party, Mr Loach advocated the removal from the Party of those Labour MPs, some of whom are Jewish, who have taken a principled stand against antisemitism. Shortly after that incident, the Labour Party announced that it would no longer use Mr Loach as a producer of their election broadcasts.
Another invitee to the panel, Michael Rosen, is a former backer of the Socialist Workers Party who has also reportedly defended Jeremy Corbyn against charges of antisemitism.
The group’s chief executive described Mr Loach and Mr Rosen as “valued supporters” and said that he could not “think of two people better qualified to choose winners.”
Show Racism the Red Card describes itself as an anti-racism educational charity and appears to focus on discrimination and hate towards Black and Asian communities in the UK. It does not appear to offer resources on antisemitism.
The organisation has also itself hosted Mr Corbyn, along with fellow Labour Party frontbencher Emily Thornberry, at a panel at Arsenal.