I have been reading all the significant election manifestos, insofar as far as they are available to see what, in particular, they had to say about nuclear weapons.

Of the parties who are likely to have significant representation in Parliament ( Labour/ Conservative/ Liberal Democrats/Scottish National Party), only one , the SNP opposes the renewal of Trident and the existence of nuclear weapons( in Scotland) and only one leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has said she would never press the nuclear button.

What on earth has happened to Jeremy Corbyn who used to be as much opposed to nuclear weapons as Ms Sturgeon?

After all,Trident will cost $l00 billion over its lifetime ( unless there is a nuclear war) And as Jeremy knows. the Labour Party needs all the resources it can muster to pay for its ambitious social programme - and yet it is still proposing to waste money renewing a weapon of mass destruction which it would be a crime to use.

The answer was given in an interview with Norman Finkelstein the Jewish American peace activist.

He claims that immediately after Corbyn's election as leader of the Labour party the cultural and political establishment were determined to get rid of him.

I well remember one significant line of attack was that Corbyn would not press the nuclear button.

When he yielded on that one by backing the renewal of Trident, the establishment realised that Corbyn's championship of Palestinian rights, which was anathema to all but the minority of British Jews who agreed with Corbyn meant that he and his supporters could be falsely discredited as anti-Semitic (though it is fascists not socialists who are anti Semitic) and so attacked on spurious "moral" grounds.

I am afraid that this has proved a winning strategy: the vile attack on Corbyn personally as unfit for office by the Chief Rabbi and the widespread favourable response to it by the commentariat has proved decisive.

The significance of the fact that the rabbi was an extreme Zionist and a personal friend of Boris Johnson and that he was promoting the victory of his friend has not registered.

Malcolm Pittock

St James Avenue