I would like to qualify Helen Lewis’ assertion today in the New Statesman that “there is nothing left to say on Labour’s anti-Semitism row. If you don’t think there is a problem by this point, then surely nothing can change your mind. In fact, you are the problem”.

There is something utterly remarkable about the way in which the terms of the debate have remained almost precisely the same – the contours of the anti-Semitism row in Labour have effectively been fixed since Corbyn came to prominence.

This is Jeremy Corbyn in 2016, speaking in a fly-on-the-wall Vice documentary film ‘Jeremy Corbyn: The Outsider’: “The one thing I’ve learnt over the past six months or so is how shallow, facile and ill-informed many of the supposedly well-informed major commentators are in our media. They shape a debate that is baseless and narrow.”

Right after this bit of MSM bashing, he picks up the phone. It’s his then head of strategy Seumas Milne: “The big negative today is Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian,” says Corbyn.

Milne groans.

Corbyn reads out the headline: “Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism under Corbyn.”

He continues: “Utterly disgusting, subliminal nastiness, the whole lot of it, you know. He’s not a good guy at all. He seems kind of obsessed with me.”

The article he is referring to was published in March 2016 after it emerged that Gerry Downing, who had previously called on Marxists to “address the Jewish Question”, had been readmitted to the Labour Party. It was a sensitive, well-expressed plea for the Labour leadership to recognise that anti-Semitism has found a place in the Labour Party.

It’s worthwhile dwelling on the substance of Freedland’s argument for a moment. He directs the bulk of his analysis to the way in which reasonable criticism of the state of Israel had mutated into a series of traditional anti-Semitic tropes: Zionism as a kind of universal evil; Jews as shadowy representatives of global capital; a Jewish conspiracy conspiring against Jez.

He was asking good questions, the kind of questions that good intellectual historians ask, not the stuff of cynical hacks. Not – is Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite? But rather – what is it about Corbynism that allows genuine anti-Semites a space in the Labour Party?

Corbyn has not bothered to devote any intellectual energy into a convincing answer to that question, beyond blandly reasserting again and again that Labour is an anti-racist party, and that he has always been a “militant opponent” of anti-Semitism on the Left. And that’s because he doesn’t really think it’s worth his time. He doesn’t accept that it’s a problem. It’s utterly disgusting. It’s nasty, the whole lot of it, you know.

Later in the documentary, Corbyn says, in a David Brent-style platitude: “Every single person you meet knows something you don’t know. If you don’t interact with people, you can’t learn anything. And also, it keeps you humble.”

It’s extraordinary that that humility has never been extended to the Jewish community. Maybe they’re trying to tell you something you don’t know, Jez. And maybe they’re right.