A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on. –Terry Pratchett
Labour Party MPs do not like Jeremy Corbyn, or at least a vocal minority who are given a daily platform in the media, especially by the BBC.
Ever since Jeremy Corbyn was nominated for Labour leader we have had to put up with a constant whine. Some describing their fellow MPs who nominated Jeremy Corbyn as ‘morons’.
He is unelectable, he will damage the party, the sun won’t rise.
Jeremy Corbyn toured the country speaking to larger and larger meetings, often to overflow meeting, long queues to attend the meetings.
With over 60% of the votes cast, Jeremy Corbyn duly elected Labour Party leader.
It was then, we must have a coup.
Hilary Benn praised to the rafters for a brilliant speech calling for bombs to be dropped on Syria, a future Prime Minister no less, best speech since … well at least since Adolf Hitler.
Only was not anything such, it was turgid bullshit, by a man who demonstrated his ignorance of the Middle East, and this from a man whose brief includes the Middle East.
- Hilary Benn’s ‘Extraordinary’ Speech for Bombing Syria Was Disingenuous Bullshit
- There was one winner in the Syria vote. And it wasn’t Dave or Hilary Benn
Labour MPs wetting themselves at the thought Labour would lose the Oldham by-election. It turned out, Labour did quite well.
Then we had the mob threatening Stella Creasy in Walthamstow, only it turned out not to be a mob at all but a candlelit vigil of those opposed to bombing Syria. But this still has not got through to Tom Watson, who has a bad habit of opening his big mouth before engaging brain. He is calling for all who attended this mob to be expelled from the Labour Party. For good measure he has called Momentum a rabble. Should not Tom Watson be expelled, or at the very least resign as deputy leader of the Party?
An eye witness account of the Walthamstow ‘mob’:
If you’ve never been to Walthamstow or have access to the internet, the television or a newspaper you could be forgiven for thinking that what we do all day is sit around in our underpants posting vile abuse to our elected representatives and planning violent assaults on their homes. The truth is very different.
Let me tell you the truth. A truth that can be verified by witness accounts, facebook posts, photographs and the police. One of those truths.
Let me tell you about something we did, something that’s got a lot of people very frightened.
On the evening of the 1st of December over 250 local people assembled at Queen’s Town Road Mosque. They were a mixture of middle aged women, elderly Muslims, young parents, working folk on the way back from work and children – all people from a range of backgrounds, both socially and politically. And because this is Walthamstow, there might have been a hipster or two twirling their moustache or attractive fifties flare skirt, depending on gender. Or maybe both, all were welcome. They had gathered to walk to Stella Creasy’s constituency office, which was empty at the time. They were armed with a few placards, some featuring terrible Star Wars jokes – I apologise, candles and, heaven preserve us, post-it notes. Assembly complete, health and safety instructions imparted they ambled very amiably to the office with the police stopping the traffic for them where necessary so there wasn’t any unseemly running across the road in fear of life and limb. Then they congregated outside the office. They lit candles and listened to some people talking about why we shouldn’t bomb Syria and how lovely it was that everyone had gathered. Then came some milling around. There would have been some talk about how lucky they had been with the weather. Perhaps some compliments regarding the excellent cupcakes offered at the recent open day at Lea Bridge Road Mosque. Then a child had the idea of writing on post-it notes and putting them on the windows, which people did. Then everyone went home because the event was over. The whole thing was hastily organised in less than 24 hours, a dash to get a final chance for constituents to let Stella Creasy know how they would like her to vote, partly because she had been very open about not being able to make her mind up.
There we have it. A peaceful vigil.
We are all going to hell in a handcart! What a terrible, frightening occurrence! What kind of place is this Walthamstow where women in matching hat and scarf sets they crocheted themselves stand outside an empty office and write their reasonable opinions about killing people on brightly colour bits of paper that stick to things. How has this evil come among us? Who allowed all these people with their Scandinavian rye bread and craft beer to stand around with probably scented candles contemplating collateral damage and surgical strikes? Who on earth thought it right and proper that in these times of Islamaphobia and hate crime a large number of people from different ethnic backgrounds and faiths should come together and have a jolly nice time exercising their democratic rights and making new friends. Hateful. Vile. And what about this maniac rampant left wing vicar we hear about, stirring up hate so he can take control of the CLP, the council and probably the Hornbeam Cafe as well? Well, I’ve met him. He’s like one of those vicars from those cuddly Sunday evening dramas that used to be on the telly when I was a kid. There the jolly Reverends that want the lonely old people to have someone to talk to, single mothers to have a plentiful supply of nappies, a supply purchased after a whip round in the local pub and that new family at number six to be invited to the jumble sale. Even I liked him and I am highly suspicious of humans wearing dog collars in any context. In. Any. Context.
Most of that last paragraph didn’t make a lot of sense, did it? Apart from the dog collar bit. I suspect that’s because there’s too much truth in it. Terry Pratchett wrote that ‘a lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on’ and in the last three days a lie has gone round so fast Justin Gatlin wants his drugs back. I’m not going to bother to repeat it here. Many people far more powerful than me have already done that. Some of them, like Bonnie Greer, were quick to retweet the right story, others just did the first retweet and ignored the request to retweet the truth. And others still, like Tom Watson, are repeating the lie and conflating the issues today. I can’t tell you how sad and disappointed Tom Watson’s words made me as a new Labour Party member. I voted for him in the leadership elections, evil three pound entryist that I was. And yes, I did vote for Jeremy Corbyn. And my continuing support for him is the only reason I’m still a member of the party at this point. If you think that makes makes me a dangerous lunatic you can stop reading if you like. I don’t mind. I’m not, if it helps.
The real issue here is not my hurt feelings. It’s not even the hurt feelings of people on that vigil who have been reduced to tears because of how they’ve been misrepresented and hounded, exhausted from trying to get the real story out there. No. The real issue is the assault on the right of ordinary people to express their political views, the attack on democracy in local politics and the undermining of free speech. Are those things really so frightening? Of course they are.
So, let’s add the overcoat of reasonably-informed opinions to those boots of truth we popped on earlier.
On Any Answers, Saturday afternoon follow-up to Any Questions, a member of the executive of the local Labour party, gave voice to the same sentiments, as has the aforementioned vicar.
To reiterate, a candlelit vigil, described as a mob, with Tom Watson calling for party members who attended to be expelled from the Party.
Somewhat late in the day, Tom Watson issued a half-hearted retraction, he admits he got his facts wrong, admits he did not even check the facts. But then neither did Stella Creasy.
So quick to climb atop the anti-Corbyn soapbox, something as inconvenient as facts is a mere oversight.
Simon Danczuk, as have other Labour MPs, been bleating about harassment. OK though to harass Jeremy Corbyn.
Maybe close scrutiny should be paid to his expenses claims.
Just nine MPs claimed overtime for their spouse or family member in the last two years.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Mr Danczuk claiming the most. A Freedom of Information request showed that the Labour MP claimed 621 extra hours for his then-partner while she worked in his office.
- Labour MP Simon Danczuk paid estranged wife Karen up to £10,000 in overtime equivalent to FOUR MONTHS work
- Labour rebel Danczuk gives £30,000 job to stunning aide who claimed he was a sex pest
Today, Tristram Hunt dictating that Jeremy Corbyn should cut his links with Stop the War, a group he describes as ‘disreputable’.
Maybe Tristram Hunt should cut his links with the Labour Party.
It is a wonder Jeremy Corbyn is not being blamed for the heavy rain in Cumbria.
What we are seeing is a Parliamentary Labour Party corrupt and rotten to the core, that is completely out of touch with ordinary people. It is time for a massive clear out.
There is not Civil War within the Labour Party. There is a handful of the Labour Party who are fighting a guerilla campaign to safeguard their privileged positions.
The Sottish Referendum politicised Scotland. Jeremy Corbyn leadership campaign has done the same thing. Once that genie is out of the bottle, it cannot be stuffed back in, no matter how hard you try.
Too many MPs see election to Parliament as a sinecure for life. They are not used to being held to account. Many MPs could not even be bothered to respond their constituents who wrote to them with their grave reservations over bombing Iraq.
For many MPs, the job is an opportunity to line ones own pocket.
What Labour MPs are calling harassment, is being held to account. It is called democracy. If they don’t like it, they can always resign, local members can help them on their way with a Vote of No Confidence and de-selection.
All last week, BBC Radio news was an anti-Corbyn platform. The ghastly Westminster Hour tonight was no exception, with an anti-Corbyn Labour MP granted a soap box.
- Fear and loathing in Walthamstow
- We marched for peace – not to ‘bully’ Stella Creasy
- Were MPs bullied by anti-war protesters before they voted on bombing Syria?
- Response to Tristram Hunt MP’s attack on Stop the War Coalition
- Bombing in cloud cuckoo land