This week, the Bored of Deputies released its election manifesto. To be honest, most of it’s pretty inoffensive. It might not seem like much to the outside, but to have the UK’s biggest Jewish body put condemnation of Islamophobia and a viable Palestinian state into its main political programme for 2015 is a pretty big step in the Left direction.
This is one of the most right-wing platforms in the community so when journalists do write-ups about the great paradigm shift in the Jewish community, they’re not joking. Based on my wildly delusional predictions, by the time of the next election, the Chief Rabbi will come out with a statement about how Jewdas was right about everything. In the meantime, here’s what I reckon a Jewish pre-election manifesto should have looked like.
1. Bring back the NHS
Given that, statistically, all doctors are either Jewish or Indian or both, a Jewish manifesto would be incomplete without a call to bring back the NHS. Nice Jewish girls go through seven years of training and work back-breaking hours to become doctors so they can help people, only to find these politicians selling off the health services to their mates.
Also, Jews, with a few notable exceptions, do all die, which means we need good quality free and accessible healthcare. We can’t have that if you chop it up and pawn it out to dodgy shmucks like Richard Branson.
And while you’re at it, make dentistry free too. Right now, I have so many chipped teeth I look like a vampire. And, as we all know, making Jews look like vampires is deeply anti-Semitic. So stop it you rascals, bring back the national health service.
2. Peace in the Middle East
David Cameron once described Gaza as an open-air prison camp. He’s right, but you have to ask: who built it? The tanks that lock Gaza in from the ground are built in Leicester. The F16s that bomb Gaza from the air are made in Coventry. Its military prisons are run by the UK’s very own Olympics -fucker-uppers G4S.
It’s bloody hypocrisy for UK politicians to talk peace when our country’s the third-largest arms exporter in the world. “Naughty Israel, have some bombs.” “Bad Assad, have some bombs.” Hey UK – how about having some consistent moral principles? Stop funding wars. Get out of Libya, Iraq, Mali, Afghanistan and everywhere else you’ve waged war on in the last couple of years.
If the UK wants to do its bit to end conflict in the Middle East, it can stop building the weapons for it. Put the geeks that make the bombs to useful work like making fully-automated Slivovitz communism and mind-controlled sex toys.
3. No cuts (except to foreskins)
Racism, fascism and anti-Semitism are on the rise because of austerity. People are poor and struggling so they’re looking for scapegoats. The bankers caused the crisis but they live miles away and we never see them so instead people are blaming immigrants, Black people, Muslims and Jews. As long as the government keeps stripping away the services people depend on, racism will rise. So cuts to public services are anti-Semitic. You know who else was anti-Semitic? Hitler. Do you want to be like Hitler? Well then. End austerity.
(Also, on a punrelated note, can we get over the white supremacist foreskin fetish? Jews and Muslims have cut dicks – deal with it.)
4. Stop stealing Shabbat with shit pay
And on the seventh day, the Holy One rested, because She’d been paid a decent wage so could afford to, and had worked reasonable hours so He wasn’t just doing all the things on Saturday that She couldn’t find time to do during the rest of the week. A day of rest is a religious right and a worker’s demand. It doesn’t just mean a few hours off work. It means you actually get the time to relax. Poverty pay and excessive working hours mean people just can’t do that. Raise the minimum wage to £20 an hour. Triple all benefits. Abolish ATOS assessment centres. Also make chocolate free and on demand.
In order to attend all the Jewish Holy Days, we would need about 42 days off work every year. Instead, employers grudingly give out a couple of weeks to people on contracts and people on “flexible hours” have to pretend they’ve died just to get time off. If the nomadic desert peasant society that the Bible was written in can afford a five-day working week and 42 days off a year, then our modern high-tech economy where people are paid ridiculous sums to tweet at each other and make PowerPoint presentations can do it too.
5. Universal, free, comprehensive education
In Pirkei Avot, The Talmud teaches that the world depends on three things: education, service and acts of loving-kindness. That means that if you get rid of education as a kind public service the universe will literally implode. However much you might think tuition fees or private schools are a good idea, is it really worth it if it means the universe implodes? We need universal, free and comprehensive education. The world depends on it.
6. No space for racists
No more documentaries on Channel 4 about how Jews are all rich and that’s a fact so it’s not racist. No more Jeremy Clarksons and his wannabes chatting shit about blowing up Gypsies. No more actually burning down the sites where Gypsies live. No more 5 Minutes Hate Against Muslims every night on the 9 o’clock news. No more complaining that you can’t have “a serious debate about immigration” because you want to send people back where they came from. No more criminalisation of young Black and Asian men. No more fascist marches through the Midlands smashing up houses.
(But, but… something about free speech… wah wah wah)
7. Luxury social housing, not yuppy apartments
Nobody needs a fucking penthouse. Even Ed Miliband has a pretty modest second kitchen. On top of all the awful stuff that gentrification involves, it takes some serious chutzpah to take an East End synagogue and turn it into fancy housing for rich people, as has happened at Rectory Square.
“Oooh look Stephanie, it has all the features from when it was the only place an old lady could go to remember her late husband.” “Yes, and look, Joffrey, it still has the same windows as it did when people’s precious childhood memories of their bat mitzvahs were destroyed to make way for our egos.”
Stop building yuppy apartments. Nobody wants them except yuppies. And they’re yuppies, so who cares? Instead, invest in a billion fancy new social houses with really cheap rent and dishes that clean themselves. (Not willing to compromise on this issue).
8. Daloy politsey – abolish police and prisons
There’s an old Yiddish saying. Loosely translated, it means “fuck the police.” The American-Jewish prophet Emma Goldman wrote much better than I could why it’s so important we get rid of police and prisons. Read it in your own time, I’m not going to spoon-feed you.
If you can’t be arsed, here’s a good YouTube video of Russian-Jewish anarchists singing their “daloy politsey” song.
9. Stop changing the climate
Jews are going to be disproportionately affected by climate change when we can no longer have cheap holidays to Marbella. Haven’t our people suffered enough?
Replace all the bad energy sources with windmills and those water things. Ban people from driving round in land rovers where they clearly don’t need them (I’m looking at you, Surrey). Plant trees – it’s a mitzvah.
Besides, the foxes in London are getting pretty cocky. If climate change and deforestation continue, they might team up with the rats and the pigeons and take over the city completely. Jews demand an end to this hypothetical nightmare scenario.
10. Fund our shit
Every pre-election manifesto from NGOS and private lobbyists ends with a reminder to politicians that we need money from the state. Jewdas is no different. I’m not really clear on what we need it for because I’m not really clear on what Jewdas is meant to do – or what Jews are meant to do – or what people are meant to do, for that matter. You could give a hand to Nelson Street synagogue and help them fix their roof though.
So that’s it. That’s what Jews really want this election. What would you include in an alternative Jewish election manifesto? Answer in the comments.