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James Mendelsohn @jmendelsohn77
, 24 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
A thread about @RenewParty: (1/?)
I have followed @RenewParty with some interest for a few months. For those who don't know, they formed in February 2018 as a new centrist party:

Their strapline is "Reject Brexit / Reform Politics / Renew Britain"

(In other words, an anti-Brexit, centrist equivalent of @TheSDPUK.)

Fine: there are clearly many people in the UK who feel politically homeless, who are disillusioned with the main parties, and who are seeking alternatives.


One of @RenewParty's members is a man called Jonathan Hoffman. I believe he has been shortlisted as a candidate. He features in this promotional video from about 1:00 onwards:

In my opinion, this severely dents @RenewParty's credibility. The next few tweets will demonstrate why.

In May last year, a Twitter parody account posted this grotesquely racist image of Jackie Walker, the Momentum activist currently suspended from @UKLabour following various antisemitic statements.

The image came to my attention in August 2017, following which I wrote about it on Facebook.

In the comments below my piece, Mr Hoffman wrote: "Nothing wrong with the caricature. She is black and has dreadlocks."

I believe that this is a particularly lame defence. A caricature is a recognisable portrait of someone which exaggerates their prominent features - like this one of Bill Clinton, for example. (11)
This image, however, is not a recognisable portrait of Jackie Walker. It is a crude and vulgar racist stereotype. It appears also to push the false line that someone who is black cannot be Jewish: this would be news to Israel's many Ethiopian Jews. (12)
Mr Hoffman repeated the "caricature" line again recently: see his most recent comments under my original FB post:…

Two weeks ago, I brought this to the attention of @RenewParty. (14)
I received a reply a few days later. (15)
I do not consider the reply remotely satisfactory.

It says: "We have reviewed the comments made in relation to the caricature and do not believe it has passed the threshold for racism." (16)
It is unclear whether @RenewParty consider the "caricature", or Mr Hoffman's comments about it, to fall below the threshold for racism; a request for clarification has not been answered. In context, I don't believe the two can be separated. (17)
This presumably means that no action will be taken against Mr Hoffman - apart from, perhaps, some "training", which is alluded to later on in the reply. (18)
In my opinion, @RenewParty has failed badly in failing to take meaningful action against Mr Hoffman for his defence of the image. (19)
I have previously suggested that centrists who are anti-Brexit might consider checking out @RenewParty. If you're in that category, I would now say: don't bother. You might as well go with @LibDems. @RenewParty certainly won't be getting my vote, any time soon. (20, end)
PS Many of my followers will know (of) Jonathan Hoffman as a long-time pro-Israel and anti-antisemitism campaigner. In my opinion, his defence of the above image makes him unfit to be involved in any such campaign.
I believe that Jewish organisations and antiracist groups would do well to disassociate themselves from him.
PPS I will instantly block anyone who even tries to defend the image of Jackie Walker.
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