UK POLITICS: Harriet Harman Holocaust ‘Joke’ Backfires

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By Politicoscope November 4, 2017 08:00

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“I cannot recall being so disappointed in a politician,” said Mr Johnson.

“Harriet Harman must surely know better than to repeat a vile Holocaust joke, irrespective of the point she was trying to make. She must apologise and do so quickly. It is a staggering error of judgement.”

In a tweet released following Mr Johnson’s call for an apology, Ms Harman said: “Anti-Semitic `jokes/banter’ perpetuate discrimination & hatred. No laughing matter.”

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UK POLITICS: Harriet Harman Holocaust ‘Joke’ Backfires

A leading Jewish charity is demanding an apology from Labour MP Harriet Harman after she repeated an offensive joke about the Holocaust on live TV.

But the former Labour deputy leader insisted that she recounted the joke in order to show that anti-Semitic humour was “no laughing matter”.

In a discussion about unacceptable subjects for comedy on BBC1’s This Week, Ms Harman said she had been branded “humourless” in the past for complaining about offensive jokes. And she went on to tell the joke as an example of the kind of material she objected to.

But her claim that presenter Andrew Neil would find the tasteless quip funny was rejected by the broadcaster, who turned his back on her and told her to “be quiet”.

During a debate on the limits of acceptable humour, Ms Harman said: “I’ve long been accused of being a humourless feminist and I’ll give you two examples that I protested about because they were offensive and hurtful.

“So, this was a Guy’s Hospital rag magazine back in the day and people like Andrew say that these things are perfectly alright.

“Two jokes. One was ‘How do you get 100 Jews into a Mini? One in the driver’s seat and 99 in the ashtray’. That’s not funny.”

Cutting her short, Mr Neil responded: “We’ll stop with that one example and we won’t bother with the minute’s silence that you would dare to think what I would think about that, because you have no knowledge of that at all.”

As he turned to speak to another guest, the former Labour deputy leader attempted to interrupt in order to justify her decision to repeat the joke, only for Mr Neil to tell her: “Be quiet.”

The broadcaster later explained his handling of the incident on Twitter, saying he was “appalled and even a little bit upset by what she said”.

And the chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, Simon Johnson, demanded an apology from the Camberwell & Peckham MP for what he termed “a staggering error of judgment”.

“I cannot recall being so disappointed in a politician,” said Mr Johnson.

“Harriet Harman must surely know better than to repeat a vile Holocaust joke, irrespective of the point she was trying to make. She must apologise and do so quickly. It is a staggering error of judgement.”

In a tweet released following Mr Johnson’s call for an apology, Ms Harman said: “Anti-Semitic `jokes/banter’ perpetuate discrimination & hatred. No laughing matter.”

She linked the tweet to an excerpt from her autobiography A Woman’s Work, in which she said that after complaining about the joke to Guy’s Hospital and referring the matter to the Director for Public Prosecutions, she was accused of “over-reacting and being humourless” by a local newspaper.

She said that Jewish community groups were “deeply appreciative when the hospital apologised”.

– PA


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Politicoscope
By Politicoscope November 4, 2017 08:00

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Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help

There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
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