Mike on Saturday put up another piece on the antics of the Blairites trying to accuse Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters of harassing and intimidating them. On Friday, Paula Sheriff and 43 other female Labour MPs sent a letter to Corbyn demanding that he act against groups that they claimed were intimidating them in his name. They also criticised John McDonnell and other Shadow Ministers for attending rallies were bullying was rife or quietly condoned.
The women behind the letter gave no evidence that the people involved in such campaigns against them were supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, or even members of the Labour party. As for their claims of bullying and intimidation, Corbyn himself has been making appeals for reconciliation. The personal attacks and criticisms come from the Blairites – Owen Smith, Angela Eagle and the Blairistas. And their tactics of abuse and misrepresentation have become so bad, that the Corbyn camp has drawn guidelines urging their supporters to have nothing to do with the Blairites, because they will mock and attempt to twist their words so as to misrepresent them.
Mike states that he can confirm these tactics are being used, because people have tried it on him. As for their demands, Mike reports that Corbyn is quite happy to hold meetings with women in the Parliamentary Labour party. He has also already issued statements condemning threatening behaviour. As for bullying at rallies, Mike states very clearly that it is difficult for him to control some of it, when it does not come from his camp but the Blairites themselves. Such as that ‘Eradicate Blairite Scum’ T-shirt, produced by Anna Phillips, of the Blairite pressure group, Progress, and her pet PR stunt organiser, Lewis Parker. This was the occasion where a threatening slogan was used on a T-shirt, as Madam Sheriff claims. Mike asks rhetorically whether those responsible for the T-shirt have come forward. Obviously, they haven’t, nor are they likely to.
All this reminds me of the tactics Mussolini used to try and justify Italian imperialism on the international stage. The Fascists claimed that Italy was a ‘proletarian nation’ that was being discriminated against by the other European powers, who were preventing it from acquiring the empire it so richly deserved. Apart from Ethiopia, and North Africa, Musso also had his eye on Nice in France, Greece and Albania. Before he finally launched his invasion of the last two, the Duce made a number of inflammatory speeches claiming that Italy has a right to them. When the Great Powers, France and Britain, told him precisely where he could go, he then made a series of new speeches complaining about how poor Italy was being bullied by France and Britain. Even though the ranting and aggressive militarism was all coming from him.
So it is with the Blairites. In fact, there is something very childish about the way they behave. It all reminds me very strongly of school bullies. You know, the type that liked to punch people from behind, and then run away screaming for miss the moment they were accused. Or would issue a stream of insults, challenging you to a fight, but demand that you should hit them first, so they could say you started it. And if you weren’t drawn, they’d then start yelling that you were obviously a coward and afraid of them. It’s all at that level.
And several of their demands actually look to me like a way of trying to close down democratic debate through the back door. Let’s take their demand that people should stop demonstrating in front of constituency offices, because they and their staff feel threatened. The most logical place for a demonstration against an unsatisfactory politician is in front of their office. Now this should be done without personal threats or abuse. But it should be a perfectly legitimate form of the right to demonstrate. It only becomes harassment if threats and insults are made. I would argue that demonstrations, simply as demonstrations, only constitute harassment if they are made outside the person’s home, or that of other members of their family. The Blairite ladies are here using the precise logic that has seen Cameron’s government crack down on the right of the public to hold demonstrations. These can now be banned by the local authorities if they feel they constitute a ‘nuisance’. Not if they may lead to public order problems, like possible rioting or fighting, but simply ‘nuisance’. It’s part of the same desire to find ‘soft’ reasons for limiting public expressions of disapproval, and so maintain the image of overwhelming public support.
And I don’t take seriously the Blairite’s claims that there is somehow a culture of misogyny under Corbyn. A year or so ago he was being ridiculed for suggesting segregated, women-only railway carriages might be a solution to the problem of sexual assaults and rape against women on the trains. His opponents rightly pointed out that wasn’t the answer, and that women should be safe regardless of where they were. Absolutely. But Corbyn’s answer, although extreme, showed that he took the issue very seriously indeed. In many ways, it reminded me of the controversies over Ken Livingstone’s GLC over the way they funded radical feminist, gay and anti-racist groups.
This is yet another bullying attempt by the Blairites to play the victim and smear their opponents. All such antics are doing is revealing quite how childish and bullying Smiff, Sheriff and the Blairites are.
Tags: 'Progress', Albania, Angela Eagle, Anna Phillips, anti-racism, Bullying, David Cameron, Demonstrations, Feminism, Gays, GLC, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Ken Livingstone, Labour Party, Lewis Parker, Mussolini, Nice, Paula Sheriff, PR, Schools, tony blair, Vox Political, Women