It will come as the biggest non-surprise of the year that David Ward, the LibDem MP with a thing about “the Jews”, has been at it again. This time he has said that it is “a shame there isn’t a powerful, well-funded Board of Deputies for Roma”.
Ignore Mr Ward for the moment. The real issue here is not his antisemitism. It is his party’s reaction to it. To say the LibDems have a track record of excusing antisemitism barely comes close to the reality. It took years for the party to remove Baroness Tonge, despite her form of antisemitic Tourette’s. But its treatment of Mr Ward takes its acquiescence in race hate to another level.
When the LibDems finally decided to act against the Bradford East MP they suspended him over the summer recess, then swiftly readmitted him in time for the party conference. It was a ‘non-punishment punishment’ and implied the party did not believe any serious action was really necessary. That impression has now been confirmed by the LibDems’ refusal to utter even a word of criticism against Mr Ward for his latest outpouring of hate, despite it being a clear restatement of the most basic antisemitic theme of all — that wealthy Jews buy up power.
Is this now LibDem policy? It is difficult to see how it could not be, given that Mr Ward’s words have been met not with a shudder of revulsion but a welcoming smile. A truly contemptible response from the LibDems.