THEY say the best things in life are free. Up to a point, I suppose. You can’t get a free salt beef sandwich or a free holiday in Barbados.
But there’s some excellent stuff around which costs nothing. Like entry to the British Museum in London.
One of the most interesting items there is a small sculpture known as the Ain Sakhri Lovers (sometimes called the “Palestine lovers”.)
It shows two figures entwined in a sexually intimate embrace and was found in one of the Ain Sakhri caves near Bethlehem and identified in 1933. It is 11,000 years old — the oldest known artistic representation of sexual intercourse.
I realise that last sentence will upset some readers who are adamant that the world is less than 6,000 years old. They are simply not interested in any evidence to the contrary so I doubt they would join me wandering round the British Museum on a free afternoon.
Who knows what treife you might encounter there (and not just in the cafeteria)?
I realised long ago that there is no point trying to argue with religious fanatics of the closed mind variety. Nothing you say, however cogent, coherent and persuasive, will change their minds.
So don’t waste your time even trying. Which brings me nicely back to Jeremy Corbyn. In the past, I have focused on Corbyn’s unsuitability for high office. His views on Israel and Jews haven’t bothered me much because I doubt they bother the electorate.
But allegations of antisemitism in the “new improved” Labour Party have caused such a furore these past few weeks that I must offer my tuppenceworth.
It’s easy to get overwrought by all the revelations. They will keep on coming so long as the Corbynites control the party. The only question is how much longer the media will find it interesting.
One response is to laugh. Last week’s Have I Got News For You went to town with guest presenter Jeremy Paxman reminding us of Corbyn’s visit to the Jewdas seder, where participants described Israel as a “steaming pile of sewage” and sang “F*** the Tories! F*** the police! F*** the Queen!”
Paxman: “Well, I wouldn’t open the manifesto with that!” before adding, “The seder went on for four hours which meant that Mr Corbyn missed his meeting with Gerry Adams to p**s on the Cenotaph.”
One half of Britain can see that Corbyn is a joke who is completely out of his depth among normal adults who realise that the country’s finances are stretched.
There’s a limit to how much taxpayers can pay for the services we all value. Corbyn doesn’t really get this, believing as an article of faith that the country’s needs can always be met by endlessly fleecing the rich.
In the eyes of the hard left, it’s sinful to be rich and the only penance is high taxation.
But it’s Corbyn’s world view that provides the insight to his alleged antisemitism. Most normal people can see that the West, for all its present and past sins, is open, free, tolerant and wealthy.
Corbyn and Co, however, despise the West in general and America and Israel in particular for being
capitalist, colonialist and expansionist. Which is why they invariably side with the West’s enemies.
Successful Jews in banking and business are synonymous with capitalism and a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern world.
Not that they would ever admit to being antisemitic. Some of their best friends are leftie Jews fighting alongside them to bring on the revolution. If, like me, you’ve tried over decades to argue or reason with the hard left, you soon find you’re getting nowhere.
When people are brainwashed, bigoted and bonkers, talking with them is pointless. You might as well take Rabbi Finklebaum round the British Museum where countless exhibits are described as being more than 6,000 years old. But that’s not what it says in the Torah, so he’s not listening.
So all the communal hoohah demanding that Corbyn tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party entirely misses the point. They won’t address the problem because they don’t see there is a problem — when in truth they are the problem.
Asking a Marxist to cure his antisemitism is like telling a crocodile to turn vegetarian.
And while it’s understandable that we should shout about the antisemitism that has infected the Labour Party’s leadership and rank and file membership to anyone who will listen, the hard truth is that no one is listening. At least, no one who can make a difference.
Come the next general election, the main opposition will be led by an anti-Western leftist who hates Israel but can’t grasp that this merges into antisemitism. Many of his grassroots supporters hold identical views.
And recent polling evidence suggests that their suspicion of Jews may even have been hardened by all the “smears” against their messiah.
But when they go into the polling booths, the voters of Skelmersdale, Merthyr Tydfil and Cowdenbeath will have other things on their minds.
No Jew in their right mind should want to see Jeremy Corbyn in No 10. So I ask yet again in the hope that they might deign to give us an answer: for how much longer will Louise Ellman, Luciana Berger and Ivan Lewis remain in the Labour Party, having voted in June, 2016, that they have no confidence in Corbyn?
We’re still awaiting their reply.