'One of us had a discussion with an elderly relative:
'He can't be allowed to become Prime Minister.'
'It's so awful...'
'The way he hates the Jews.'
The last comment was spoken with real anguish, the result of continuous exposure to just two main news sources: the Daily Mail and the BBC.
What is astonishing is that, just four years ago, essentially no-one held this view of Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn first became an MP in 1983. He stood for the Labour leadership 32 years later, in May 2015. We searched the ProQuest database for UK newspaper articles containing:
'Jeremy Corbyn' and 'anti-semitism' before 1 May 2015 = 18 hits
'Jeremy Corbyn' and 'anti-semitism' after 1 May 2015 = 11,251 hits
None of the 18 hits accused Corbyn of anti-semitism. For his first 32 years as an MP, it just wasn't a theme associated with him.
We also searched the ProQuest database for UK newspaper articles containing:
'Labour Party' and 'anti-semitism' before 1 May 2015 = 5,347 hits
'Labour Party' and 'anti-semitism' after 1 May 2015 = 13,921 hits
The archive begins in 1980, which means that more than twice as many articles have included these terms in the last four years than in the 35 years from 1980 until May 2015 when Corbyn stood for the Labour leadership. A standard response to these findings runs along these lines:
'Irrelevant backbencher gets less Press attention than Leader of The Opposition SHOCKER. What's your next scoop, Water Wet, Sky Blue?'
But in fact, Corbyn was not an irrelevant backbencher. We found 3,662 hits for articles mentioning Corbyn before May 2015. Many of these are mentions in passing, but he had also long been a high-profile anti-war MP at a time of numerous wars. And he was frequently smeared, only not about his supposed anti-semitism. '
Read more: The Fake News Nazi - Corbyn, Williamson And The Anti-Semitism Scandal