Has Labour learned nothing from the anti-Semitism scandal?

Ieuan Joy reports from the Dudley deputy leadership hustings.

Ieuan Joy

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Topics Politics UK

The recent political history of Dudley, in the Black Country, has been pretty remarkable. Ian Austin, the former MP for Dudley North, left Labour last year in disgust over anti-Semitism within the party. But he refused to join the anti-Brexit Change UK because of his loyalty to his constituents, the vast majority of whom voted Leave.

Still, Austin was so incensed with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership that he eventually urged his constituents to vote for Boris Johnson at the General Election in December. Dudley North then went Tory for the first time in its history. Austin’s actions have clearly not been forgotten by many in the Labour Party, as was clear from the Daily Mirror’s deputy leadership hustings in Dudley on the weekend.

Unity was the buzzword of the event. But from the outset it was clear that, for some candidates, particularly Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon, what this means in practice is taking revenge on those who dared speak out about anti-Semitism within Labour. When asked what she would do to get a Labour MP back in Dudley, Butler replied, ‘I’m going to get you a Labour MP better than the last one, I can guarantee you that’.

Just imagine what the response would be if a Tory MP had said that about someone who left the Conservatives over racism in the party. Still, I suppose it is an open secret at this point that anti-Semitism is treated differently in Labour compared to all other forms of racism. Given Austin was adopted by Holocaust survivors as a child, it would take a remarkably cynical person to think that he acted out of self-interest or a petty political dislike of Jeremy Corbyn. And yet this is what many in Labour seem to believe.

During the hustings, Butler kept returning to the theme of party discipline. She mentioned it dozens of times. But by party discipline she seemed to mean MPs keeping quiet about their concerns. ‘We can have those disagreements, but you the membership won’t hear about it’, she said, to rounds of applause from the audience. She later nodded to her recent TV clash with Tory MP Laura Trott over Boris Johnson’s supposed racism, saying that some people act as though it is ‘worse to talk about racism than it is to be racist’. The cognitive dissonance was remarkable.

Richard Burgon, for his part, advocated for open selections for MPs. This, he said, would keep sitting MPs loyal to the party leadership, nodding to the ‘grotesque spectacle’ in Dudley last year ‘where the last person elected [Austin] was endorsing that Tory MP’. Here we see that the likes of Burgon aren’t advocating for open selections in the name of greater party democracy. Rather, he just wants to use them as a stick with which to beat those who dare to dissent.

Angela Rayner is the clear favourite to win the deputy leadership. And she gave an impressive performance in Dudley. She was the only candidate who displayed any grasp of the Black Country’s industrial history, nodding to the women chainmakers who went on strike in 1910. More importantly, she also raised the issue of anti-Semitism, along with fellow contender Ian Murray. But Burgon and Butler’s comments, and the response they got from the audience, made clear that large parts of the Labour Party haven’t learned the lessons of the anti-Semitism scandal.

I reported for spiked from the Black Country during the election campaign. It was clear then that Labour was on the road to collapse. There isn’t exactly a large Jewish population in Dudley. But a lot of the lifelong Labour voters here could see that something had gone morally wrong with Labour. Dudley North, Ian Austin’s former seat, is now a Conservative stronghold, and if Labour doesn’t do some serious soul-searching, it will stay that way.

Ieuan Joy is a student journalist based in Sheffield. Follow him on Twitter: @JoyIeuan.

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

Marvin Jones

11th March 2020 at 3:24 pm

The new labour mantra/maxim. Islamophobia is rife and rancid. Anti-Semitism is fiction and just a few pigs flying by windows. Must be to do with the sheer numbers through uncontrolled breeding that is paid for and the vital votes they produce. Vote labour for an Islamic government.

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 2:51 pm

Little Jonnie
Lots of evasive tripe. And stop the crap about me needing to use Bower to critique Corbyn observation alone is enough for most people, strawman argument.
You told me that Bower book had been torn apart you have yet to give me details as you have none. Cite them.
You have told me his books are hit jobs yet despite asking you are unable to give me any examples of how they are hit jobs. Cite your examples.
If you have read several of his books you would have been able to come up with a critical consensus of his writing but you are unable to do so.
For the third and final time answer my questions, if you don’t then we know you are a bluffing liar.
To have to quote others that knock Bower is proof you haven’t read his books otherwise you would say in your own words why they are hit jobs and have been torn apart.
You and I know you won’t answer because you can’t.
Two questions now for the third time.
How has his book on Corbyn been torn apart?
How are his books on WW 11 and Klaus Barbie hit jobs?
Two questions and two straight answers Jonnie squirm?

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 2:55 pm

Further Little Jonnie your assertion that I ‘only read books I agree with’ is a figment of your imagination and wishful thinking. Quote me where I have stated that?
Oh, BTW this is a nominally leftist site. The editor is a Marxist, you prize idiot.

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 12:38 am

Anyone who believes Spiked is left wing is a liar.

We both know Brendan is no leftie, all you’ve done is further confirm that you are either incapable of reading or a liar.

Which simply reinforces my claim about how widely read you are, ie not very.

Frank Sutton

11th March 2020 at 6:18 pm

Sure you’re posting on the right thread, Little Jerry?

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 6:41 pm

Yes he is down below hiding little Frank

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 12:36 am

Little lying loser Jerry is not sure of anything.

It comes with the territory when your mind is as small as his.

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 12:36 am

“And stop the crap about me needing to use Bower to critique Corbyn observation alone is enough for most people, strawman argument.”

Then why do you keep referring to him? We both know the answer don’t we Jerry, you little liar.

I told you who had torn apart Bower’s work, you desperately claimed that what I said didn’t count for ridiculous reasons.

Why don’t you actually respond to what I posted for once, instead of lying and spewing more meaningless garbage?

I told you exactly how they were hit jobs, I you what the consensus was, and you couldn’t counter.
I won’t tell you again.

The evidence is clear for all to read, you are a liar and I am not.

“To have to quote others that knock Bower is proof you haven’t read his books otherwise you would say in your own words why they are hit jobs and have been torn apart.”

I have done both, therefore that’s another lie from you.

I told you why I concluded they were hit jobs, and I referred you to multiple other sources that agreed with my view.

I always answer your questions. You cannot name one time where I didn’t with you telling another lie.

You continue to obsess over books I told you I haven’t read because you have no argument.

I notice you cannot talk about his books on Blair and Brown. Why not? Have you not read those?

And still you cannot critique Corbyn in your own words. You only have vague references to thinks you cannot back up.

As usual, your comments are drivel. If they were written down they would not be worth the paper they were written on.

Jerry Owen

12th March 2020 at 7:28 am

Little hysterical Jonnie
Point me to your post where you explain Bowers book on Corbyn has been ‘torn apart’ as you falsely claim? Or is it the post where you mention his beard… If so that’s not tearing his book apart that’s reading something you don’t want to read. I note you still haven’t told me how his other books are hit jobs !
My my I have upset you, but then when you have no answer all your have left is insults and stamping your little feet.
In conclusion then.. Bowers book has been torn apart because he mentioned Corbyn’s beard and food he ate!
How hilarious!

Jerry Owen

12th March 2020 at 7:42 am

Let me help you little Jonnie.
For a book to be ‘torn apart’ it has to be full of falsehoods, not things Little Jonnie doesn’t like.
Now off you go and try again !
Oh, and best let mummy calm your little tantrum down!

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 2:01 pm

No Jerry. Bower’s ranting about Corbyn’s beard and other irrelevant things are proof his book is a hit job, not a serious analysis of Corbyn and his politics.
Just like the snide remarks that pop up all over Bower’s other work on Blair.

And not only is it a hit job, it is an inaccurate one. I pointed out to you various people who had produced a comprehensive list of the book’s falsehoods. And let’s be clear, a falsehood is a falsehood, no matter who says in and who points it out.

Do you need me to post the link because you cannot bear to search and read it yourself?

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 2:03 pm

Jerry, why don’t you go spend some time in the store and stop making yourself look stupid here.

When you’ve chilled out and thought it over properly, then you can read up on the falsehoods of your beloved book.
Maybe then you’ll be able to give a better argument as to why Corbyn is supposedly so bad.

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 2:04 pm

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/tom-bower-book-dangerous-hero-jeremy-corbyn-labour-leader-truth

Of you go Jerry. Read it and weep!

I wonder what excuse you’ll come up with?

Jerry Owen

12th March 2020 at 2:28 pm

Recommended by :-
Guardian
Daily telegraph
Chartist
Financial Times
Daily mail
Mail on Sunday
Entertainment Focus
I could go on but you have Oborne.
How interesting that you are unable to ‘tear apart’ his book with your own words you have to rely on someone else, how sad. I on the other hand know what Corbyn is like from lots of other publications etc, the pattern is clear a Jew hating, terrorist sympathizing, economically illiterate Marxist…. just as it says in Bower’s rather excellent book.
BTW I note with interest that you tried to change the subject to Blair and Brown because you know you’ve lost this one.. twist and squirm.
I rest may case.

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 3:00 pm

Hilarious.

Jerry whinges about me using other people’s words to show the book’s inaccuracies – right after he has used multiple other people to try and defend the book.

How hypocritical.

And yet even then, Jerry can not debunk a single one of Oborne’s points. Because Jerry, a falsehood is a falsehood, no matter who point’s it out. You ought to learn that.

I explained to you why I personally felt his books to be hit jobs, and then I posted evidence pointing out the book’s falsehoods.
And all you can do is meekly point to people who recommended the book in response. Not very impressive.

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 3:04 pm

And of course, Jerry is still unable to explain what it is about Corbyn that is so bad.
Just more vague references to “other publications” that we all know he cannot back up.
How pathetic.

The only clear patter is that you are a liar Jerry.

And no, I never changed the subject to Blair or Brown, I told you right from the start that they were the books by Bower that I had read. You tried to talk about other irrelevant works of his.
Fail from you again.

You cannot defend Bower, you cannot defend his works on Corbyn, or Blair, or Brown, despite the being the 3 books you tried to argue about. And you cannot criticise Corbyn or defend any of your claims.

This one goes down as another L for you Jerry.

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 1:18 pm

Little Jonnie
If you’ve read so many of his books then you are in a prime position to debunk them, so… Over to you little Jonnie !

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 3:01 pm

No doubt you chortled along wide eyed at his sniping in the opening chapter of Broken Vows. This being the chapter where he provides his full judgement on Blair…. right after he states he does not come to bury Blair.

And your equally one eyed to get as worked up as Bower does over Corbyn’s beard, or what he eats for dinner, or Bower’s incorrect claims about Corbyn’s early political career.

You’re just the type of tool to share therefore photo of Corbyn at an IRA march too.

I could post more comprehensive examples of Bower’s inaccuracies, but what’s he point?

Unless you ever pull your head out arguing with you will remain less productive than arguing with a brick wall. A dull brick wall at that.

And you still cannot critique Corbyn without resorting to Bower.

What is it specifically in his book that exposes Corbyn? Go on, don’t run away this time!

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 4:41 pm

Little Jonnie I have not run anywhere on this thread you utter nerd, tell me where I have?
The simple fact is that Bowers points are repeated elsewhere from other books to video footage to photos to quotes from newspapers and politicians all readily available.
It’s a shame you can’t answer two simple questions Jonnie.
Further more the stuff about his food and beard etc are a beginnings of a book giving an insight as to the character of the man who wanted to run this country.
I note with interest and not surprise that yet again for the third time you are unable to tell us how his book has been ‘torn apart’, considering you think you have read it you clearly don’t have the intellect to do so.
I also note with interest and not surprise that you are unable to tell me how his books on WW 11 and Klaus Barbie are ‘hit jobs’.
If you come here you must expect to explain your assertions.

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 12:27 am

As usual, I answered all your questions, despite your lies.

“The simple fact is that Bowers points are repeated elsewhere from other books to video footage to photos to quotes from newspapers and politicians all readily available.”

What a weak response. Again you can only vaguely refer to some additional source without being able to provide any proof yourself.

Weak weak weak.

“Further more the stuff about his food and beard etc are a beginnings of a book giving an insight as to the character of the man who wanted to run this country”

Again, weak. They do nothing to give insight into his character, they are snide desperate little digs.

Just like those that pepper Bower’s books on Blair and Brown.

“you are unable to tell us how his book has been ‘torn apart’,”

I gave you several examples of people who had torn apart the book. You tried to claim they were invalid. Hypocrisy again from you.
Stop lying.

I told you which books of Bower’s I read, and why theory were hit jobs.

You need to understand that you lying doesn’t invalidate anything I’ve said.
It merely undermines your own arguments.

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 12:40 am

What points from Bower’s book are repeated elsewhere?

Be specific and tell us, with the supporting evidence provided.

Go on.

No doubt you’ll run away again. Or lie.

Mike Stallard

11th March 2020 at 11:08 am

The Labour Party is paying a very heavy price for the student and for the Muslim vote.

Jim Lawrie

11th March 2020 at 11:37 am

The Labour Party now is the student and muslim vote. Polling in the last 2 months suggests their decline is continuing.

Dominic Straiton

11th March 2020 at 9:44 am

Trotting out bullshit theory as fact like parrots, shows what a bunch of losers the left have become . These people are an irrelevance .None of them will ever be in a position to force their poison on the British people.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 10:01 am

I though the left controlled most of the establishment and dominated the orthodoxy of the elite?

Make your minds up.

Dominic Straiton

11th March 2020 at 10:29 am

your talking about the establishment woko haram which Dominic Cummings is going to boot into touch.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 11:32 am

If he hasn’t done so yet then my point stands.

Jerry Colonna

11th March 2020 at 12:46 pm

But Jonnie, you don’t know the diff between suspended and kicked out.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 2:05 pm

Oh dear, are you still desperately flogging that?

You can’t even get it right.

Jim Lawrie

11th March 2020 at 9:20 am

Labour voters did not abandon because of anti-Semitism. We are fed up hearing about it on here. And racism from the left.
I watched a hatchet job on BBC4, “The Making of Spain”, that managed to reach 1485 before the Holocaust was mentioned. Prior to that, no opportunity was missed to attack North Europeans, The Spanish, Christianity etc … and to make one false claim after another on behalf of Islam and Judaism. We are sick of this.

Why does anyone want The Labour Party to come back? Why plead on here for them to reform? Is this publication missing its whipping boy?

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 8:06 am

‘Party discipline’… Ah yes Trevor Phillips will know all about that the nasty racist !!

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 12:12 am

“it would take a remarkably cynical person to think that he acted out of self-interest or a petty political dislike of Jeremy Corbyn”

Not really, given he was hostile to Corbyn’s leadership from day 1.

It’s no more cynical believing that than believing, for example, that Baroness Warsi has any ulterior motives when she comments on the issue of islamophobia within the Tory party.

And yet that is what many on the right seem to believe.

Ian Wilson

11th March 2020 at 6:29 am

Let us not forget that almost the entire set of Labour MPs went against JC many times. Labour really are deluded on this problem.

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 10:10 am

Little Jonnie is a Corbynista. He sings himself to sleep with the words …’Oh Jeremy Corbyn, oh Jeremy Corbyn’. Words remarkably easy to remember apparently !

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 11:31 am

Does he?

Good for him. Let’s hope he doesn’t spend as much time as I do debating dull righty idiots such as yourself Jerry!

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 8:17 am

Little Jonnie
So Corbyn’s support for terrorist groups, anti Semitism, his desire to control the free press, steal wealth and property from the wealthy, open fully our borders, and install a Marxist government isn’t reason enough for Austin not to support him? Austin’s views are the result of solid pragmatic thinking, not self interest.
No sane person could support Corbyn unless they are Communist or a useful idiot.
Are you one of those little Jonnie?

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 9:02 am

Jerry, if any of that was actually true, and not merely an extension of your lying and dishonesty, you would have a point.

But they are not. Corbyn’s politics are the same as those from Labour’s past. And they are the politics supported by Labour’s members. They are not communist in the slightest, though I wouldn’t expect you to understand that. Or to be truthful about it.

Austin’s actions were entirely motivated by his own narrow political desire.

Millions of sane people support Corbyn, they are neither communists nor idiots.

You however, well the jury is still out there.
You do not appear blessed with intelligence, to put it lightly.

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 10:07 am

Little Jonnie
Utter garbage, Corbyn is like no other labour leader, I suggest you try reading ‘Dangerous Hero’ by Tom Bower, it gives a concise biography of Corbyn from his early days to the present day. The man has clearly tried to hide and obfuscate his past.
As for his policies for being supported by labour members, most are useful student idiots who have no history of Communism and the rest are Marxists and Communists.
Educate yourself before posting tripe it makes you look dimwitted.
Further I note with interest that you refuse to nail your colours to the mast despite being asked many times.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 10:14 am

You lose all credibility when you reccomend reading Bower and his loathsome hit jobs.

Bower’s book was torn apart comprehensively upon it’s release, that should be enough for anyone sensible. Though we know that doesn’t include you.

The result of the upcoming leadership election will show up your silly claims about the Labour membership for the nonsense they are.

No doubt you will lie in a desperate attempt to distract from your incorrect claims. Don’t write about things you have no knowledge of.

I have never failed to nail my colours to the mast.

You however, have never done so.

That makes your comment a huge dose of projection, amongst other things.

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 11:17 am

Little Jonnie
Written by an ex Marxist and praised by a broad spectrum of papers pundits from ‘left and right’ … torn apart by whom…. Corbynistas ?

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 11:23 am

Little Jonnie
A list of all the inaccuracies in the book would be handy if as you say it’s been torn apart ?
As for hit jobs, are you serious? Have you read them all ?

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 11:29 am

Corbynistas like lifelong conservative Peter Oborne?

Criticised by the Times and Independent, amongst others?

Hardly Corbynists.

The criticism was far broader than the praise.
To say nothing of the reception of his previous books (hatchet jobs).

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 12:13 pm

Little Jonnie
You make a fool of yourself you are unable to tell me how it has been ‘torn apart’ Your quick Google or Wiki research shows a mile off.
Oborne, Times, and Independent .. is that your best ?
Even the Guardian recommended it for heavens sakes.. it was met with very good reviews.
You haven’t read a single one of his books that much is clear. But of course you have a partisan political viewpoint, I on the other hand having been a Trotskyite have the advantage in comparing both left and right from a non partisan viewpoint, something you couldn’t even begin to do yourself. Try reading for yourself little Jonnie rather than relying on others to read for you just so you can lap up their conclusions uncritically and think they are your views.

How has ‘Heroes of WW 11’ been ‘torn apart’ ?
How has Klaus Barbie : Butcher of Lyon been ‘torn apart’ ?
Try answering without going on Wikipedia. Well ?

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 12:16 pm

BTW little Jonnie
Oborne the life long Corbynista.. is this the same Oborne that says that ‘Corbyn is a liability’ ?
Hilarious little Jonnie..hilarious !!

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 12:31 pm

Corbynistas like lifelong conservative Peter Oborne ? Hence my post before I could edit it .. so what little Jonnie ?

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 12:32 pm

A quick wiki search shows you are lying when you claim it was only Corbynists who criticised the book.

I just gave 3 examples of none Corbynistas that completely proves your lies incorrect.
It was not met with good reviews.

I have indeed read several of his books so that’s another lie from you.

You are not non partisan, however much you might try and delude yourself otherwise.

Furthermore all of your comments on here indicate you are narrow minded in the extreme, and spend your entire life in an echo chamber of people you agree with.

Something not true of me as evidenced by my repeated comments on here.
And my reading of Tom Bower, amongst others.

You are a poorly read, narrow minded ideological bore.
You have not reached any of your conclusions via pragmatic, balanced reasoning or a fair considering of the evidence.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 12:37 pm

And also, let’s focus on your hypocrisy.

Try and defend Bower’s work without quoting others. You failed to initially, your first defence of him involved defering to “a broad spectrum of papers pundits”.

So you cannot defend him yourself, you can only repeat what others say about him like. So you’re a hypocrite. You rely on Bower to critique Corbyn for you because you are unable to do so yourself, then you reply on nameless pundits to defend Bower for you because you are unable to do so yourself.

Try and write something that’s actually your own thought for once.
And stop being a hypocrite.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 12:39 pm

I never called Oborne a “lifelong Corbyista”

Yet another hilarious example of your inability to read.
Oborne does not support Corbyn, yet he still calls out Bower’s poor work.

What does that say Jerry?

Aside from that you’re an idiot.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 12:43 pm

After Bower’s hit job on Tony Blair, and his hit job on Gordon Brown, you’re going to defend his hit job on Corbyn?

Good luck. I’ve read all 3 though, so unlike you I’m not ignorant on the topic.

Neither am I especially inclined to feel defensive of Blair and Brown.

Or Corbyn, for that matter.

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 1:07 pm

Little Jonnie tries to pretend he’s read all three books I have commented on, yet little Jonnie has nothing but contempt for Bower !
So what are the chances of little Jonnie reading three books I have commented on by Bower who has written over twenty books ? Zero and we all know it.
So little Jonnie tell us :-
How was his book on Klaus Barbie ‘torn apart’?
How was his book Heroes of WW 11 ‘torn apart?
Well little Jonnie … off to Wikipedia again?

Jerry Owen

11th March 2020 at 1:12 pm

Little Jonnie
Nowhere did I say it was only Corbynistas that criticised his book.
Do you really think I need Bower to critique Corbyn? Corbyn is here for all to see and judge you fool, and the last GE shows that.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 1:45 pm

Wait, so Jerry thinks you should only read books if you agree with the author?

No wonder Jerry is such a narrow minded little tool!

You should realise Jerry that unlike you I am capable of reading works by people I disagree with. That’s what I do on here ever day.

Jerry, where did I claim to have read those books? You still cannot read!

Jerry is so clueless.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 1:48 pm

If you don’t need Bower to critique Corbyn then why did you bring him up instantly?

You want to go read what you wrote about who critiqued his books?
Or are you getting it wrong again?

“How was his book on Klaus Barbie ‘torn apart’?”

I don’t know, I haven’t read it and nor have I claimed to. You’re an idiot.

“How was his book Heroes of WW 11 ‘torn apart”

Ditto. Come back when you can read properly.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 1:48 pm

“Jonnie tries to pretend he’s read all three books I have commented on”

I never said that Jerry. When did I say that?

Huh?

Come on, be specific and honest for once, you stupid liar.

When?

Jonnie Henly

12th March 2020 at 1:40 am

Jerry thinks he can lecture me about a book he hasn’t read and I have, so he can prove his claims about the leader of a party he’s not part of and I am.

What the hell do you know Jerry?

Absolutely stuff all that’s what.

You can’t even provide a SINGLE EXAMPLE from Bower’s book, or anywhere else for that matter, as to why Corbyn is so extreme.

Fail.
Fail fail FAIL.

Jonnie Henly

11th March 2020 at 12:10 am

“Just imagine what the response would be if a Tory MP had said that about someone who left the Conservatives over racism in the party”

Spiked would publish an article arguing that said Tory MP was entirely correct and anyone who said otherwise was either a hypocrite, and elitist, a liar or any combination of the 3.

And there’d be plenty of whining about the ‘woke brigade’ within the article as well.

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