MacShane’s Interests 5 – The European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (EISCA)

The ‘think tank’ the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (EISCA) was set up under the leadership of Stephen Pollard in 2007.

“STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (EISCA) was established in 2007 as an independent think-tank to examine the growth and development of antisemitism in the world today and to explore new strategies for countering this age- old hatred in all its forms.

EISCA is founded on the principle that the key to addressing antisemitism in the 21st century comes from a knowledge of its origins, a grasp of its history and a recognition of its changing shape and centrality when analysing racial hatred and contemporary prejudice.

In addition to carrying out original research, EISCA provides a network to the most comprehensive scholarship in the field and a blog (www.eisca.eu) devoted to monitoring and examining the discourse of antisemitism in the written, visual and electronic media.”

March 2009 saw the appointment of the Rt Hon Dr Denis MacShane MP, as the new Chairman replacing Stephen Pollard and promising much including the publication of a report that the taxpayer had funded to the tune of £20,000!

The report entitled ‘Understanding and Addressing the ‘Nazi Card’ – Intervening Against Antisemitic Discourse’ was eventually published and can be viewed here.

In fact the most interesting thing about the report is not it’s contents, but those associated with it and EISCA! You would have thought some of these prominent people would think more than twice before lending their names and reputations to this shadowy organisation now run by the currently ‘in disgrace’ Denis MacShane. See notes below for full list. MacShane, it should not be forgotten, is currently suspended from the Labour Whip and under police investigation for expenses irregularities!

Why is this of interest to students of Denis MacShane’s activities? Because since taking over Chairmanship of EISCA most content has been removed from their website, the blog shut down and all details of those involved removed!

They now hide behind the secrecy afforded them by the Companies Act. I quote from the EISCA website:

“EISCA LIMITED
A private company, limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and Wales with Company No. 6140653 on the 6th March 2007.

European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (EISCA)
New Broad Street House, New Broad Street,
London.”

So there you have it, not one of the most transparent organisations that Denis MacShane is involved with, see MacShanes Interests 3 – European Policy Institute. Yet again we witness another of MacShane’s interests that operates on the fringes, without benefit of any accountability whatsoever and now hiding from public scrutiny!

MacShane seems to like to operate in secrecy. It is interesting to note that there is no link to their own report on the EISCA website!

Why not, one wonders? As it is the only thing they seem to have done and had £20,000 taxpayers money to pay for it!

The reason? Probably because it is rubbish!

The report is simply a predicable rehash, of old ideas and prejudices, mostly lacking in intellectual rigour, trotting out the same canards that those apologists for Israel constantly rehearse. Embarrassment then, may be the simple explanation for the fact that they they would appear to want no one to read it.

Notes:

EISCA Board of Directors: Denis MacShane (Chairman), Jon Benjamin, Jeremy Newmark.

Patrons: Lord Carey, Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Sir Sigmund Sternberg, Lord Weidenfeld.

Advisory Board: Jessica Asato, Professor Brian Brivati, Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Adrian Cohen, Janet Daley, Lord Dholakia, Daniel Finkelstein, Rokhsana Fiaz, Dean Godson, Michael Gove MP, Tom Gross, Dr David Hirsh, Anthony Julius, Oliver Kamm, Dominic Lawson**, Maureen Lipman, Charles Moore, Fiyaz Mughal, Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP, Douglas Murray, Dr Peter Neumann, Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi, Geoffrey Paul, Stephen Pollard, Baroness Margaret Prosser, Baroness Meta Ramsay, Sir Tim Sainsbury, Dr Charles Small, Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, MP, Stephen Twigg, Michael Whine.

References:

  1. Denis Macshane and the ‘European Policy Institute’- ‘scooping’ British taxpayers’ money – Neil Clark Blog.
  2. An Oration to Welcome Denis MacShane as Fellow of Birkbeck College, 9th March 2005.
  3. The Culture of Impunity, NATO Style – The Global Realm, author Diana Johnstone. Published on counterpunch first here.
  4. If this is analysis of Anti-Semitic tropes in contemporary media, I want my £20,000 back. published on D-squared Digest.
  5. + + + Denis MacShane Kicked Out of the Labour Party + + + Guido Fawkes asks important questions, and brings us the, now infamous, ‘ EPI receipt.
  6. Former Labour Minister’s £8,000 cash for his poet brother’s ‘translation services’ Mail 20th June 2009.
  7. The same Dominic Lawson** who said this about bent labour politicians when he wrote about, the “type of man of the left for whom the essential and intrinsic virtuousness of his public positions allows him to retain his sense of personal rectitude even when his private conduct is deplorable.”

MacShane – More musical chairs in Parliament?

After the humiliation of being forced off the Labour benches at last weeks PMQ’s, MacShane was back to pretending to be a Labour MP once again!

I am reminded here of Dominic Lawson’s views of shamed politicians when he criticised the, “type of man of the left for whom the essential and intrinsic virtuousness of his public positions allows him to retain his sense of personal rectitude even when his private conduct is deplorable.” Many Rotherham citizens believe that this describes MacShane to a tee, if not some others, yet to hit the headlines?

Why can’t the Whips ensure discipline? Their failure is beginning to make them look ridiculous! Why do Labour MPs put up with this incredible charade from MacShane? They are all going to look pretty stupid sometime soon!

Hansard has continued to refer to him as a Labour MP despite MacShane’s designation as Independent in the list of MPs. Over the last few weeks I have taken issue with the parliamentary authorities over this and seem to have been given the run around so far, with numerous emails going back and forth when exactly as I was writing this, an email arrived which gave me the current excuse, I share it with you now:

“I have explored this in detail with the Table Office of the House of Commons, the Labour Whips and Hansard.

The problem comes, as you might have expected in a bit of Parliamentary trivia.

The Labour Party have not withdrawn the whip from Mr MacShane, they have simply suspended the whip and so he remains a member of the party and entitled to call himself a Labour MP.  Some MPs decide that they wish to distance themselves from the party in situations like this but Mr MacShane has wanted to continue to be referred to as a Labour MP.

Possibly the unintended consequence of this is that Mr MacShane is now listed as Labour on the Parliament website rather than Independent Labour – this office (officially) had it wrong, not Hansard.”

This is a pretty arcane use of the procedure to explain the indefensible! Splitting hairs in this lawyerly fashion, does not reflect well upon either the Labour Party or Parliament frankly! Yet another demonstration, if one was needed, of  Parliament being out of touch with public sentiment!

It is unfortunately typical of MacShane, misrepresenting himself by manipulating the fine print to his advantage, rather than being open and honest about it! ‘Dissembling’ Denis, indeed!