First of all, apologies in advance if anyone’s delicate sensibilities are disturbed by the following.
However, as much as some may find it distasteful, opportunistic and/or an act of callous point-scoring, many of you fragile little flowers have shown no such reticence in rushing to condemn Muslims for Lee Rigby’s murder, immigrants for the near-collapse of the NHS and forecasting a Turkish rape-apocalypse by 75 million, brown-skinned savages, in the highly unlikely event that that country ever qualifies for admission to the EU. As I remarked previously, we are way past matters of taste; the high-horse upon which you precariously sit resembles ever-more a Blackpool nag with broken knees. Your moral high-ground is a straw on the edge of a precipice. We are where we are so let’s deal with that.
With depressing predictability, people have rushed to explain Thomas Mair as, variously, “A lone nutter” “a deviant paranoid personality” and “an individual with mental-health issues.” Some have gone further and in acts of unintentional intelligence-shattering irony have begged we do not tar all far-right, neo-Nazis and white supremacists with the same brush. You simply couldn’t, as the cliché has it, make it up.
Let’s cut to the chase. This act of far-right terrorism is the logical, and entirely predictable, outcome of the nation’s direction of political travel. This is an unavoidable truth and it shames us to try and pretend otherwise. No, Jo Cox’s murder isn’t the fault of the Brexit campaign, per se. After all, our truly toxic and poisonous political atmosphere precedes the EU referendum by many years. Cameron, Osborne and co cannot claim any purity of word or deed simply because Farage, Johnson and co have recently managed to out-racist them. The rhetoric of the OUT campaign is merely the national consensus turned up to 11. They are all culpable; they are all guilty.
If Mair does turn out to have mental issues – as racist apologists and mealy-mouthed right-wingers are desperately scrambling to prove – this doesn’t, in any way, mean his shocking act wasn’t also an act of fascist terrorism. Make no mistake; it was. This terrorist atrocity, by a man with proven links to neo-Nazi organisations, was the inevitable, direct and unavoidable culmination of years and years of racist demonising; of hate-mongering by an inhumane establishment, presiding over a decaying, backward, semi-feudal society, blinded by Empire nostalgia, imperialist arrogance and nothing but utter contempt for the Other.
And no accusations of opportunism or point-scoring can alter that. No cowardly denials, no sophistry, no injured innocence can wash away the simple truth that while Mair plunged in the knife and pulled the trigger, the entire British state, its apparatus, media and representatives are all equally guilty of her murder.
“I find it in poor taste to use the death of an MP to try to score political points in the EU referendum debate.” I was rebuked thus, earlier.
We’re way past taste, though. Brown people and Muslims, dead babies on beaches, immigrants and the damned have been political capital, just so much collateral damage, for years. The new British currency. ‘Daily Mail, mate? Cheers, that’ll be ten dead darkies, please. Lovely. ‘ave a good day, guv.’
My, but don’t we get prissy and self-righteous, though, when it’s on our own sparkling-white doorstep? When the bodies aren’t Syrian infants but white, privileged British ones? Bit too close to home now, eh? Easier to deny there’s any connection between the murder of an MP by a fascist screaming ‘Britain first/First’ and the sort of politics that have consciously and deliberately fostered that act. Isn’t it?
But relax. Chill. This will be a “lone nutter” as someone said to me, earlier. Because, as we know, Muslim/brown person equals terrorist, savage etc. Because ‘they hate our values,’ don’t they?
White person, though, even a fascist with a gun and a knife, for God’s sake, well, he’ll be a ‘lone nutter.’ Not a product of those ‘values’ eh? Not our ‘values.’ Which is fortunate. Because then we’d have to take a long, hard look at those ‘values’ and the society spawned by them. Wouldn’t we?
So now you know. Stir the racist swamp and monsters emerge. Drip, drip, drip racism, spread anti-immigrant poison, demonise terrified refugees as as “swarm”, dehumanise the Other, do it every day, year in, year out. In the media, from the mouths of politicians. Buy into yourself with your mates down the pub. Until Jo Cox is murdered. Will you stop now? Have you got your country back now?
… Cheers for the card and the leaving present. Not too sure what we’re gonna do with an electronic garlic press, mind; probably just stick it in the pantry with Auntie Mabel’s signed photo of Nigel Farage.
We’re gonna end up with Boris Johnson, Michael Gove or Theresa May as PM and the far right will be celebrating their biggest propaganda victory since the BNP won its first council seat on the Isle of Dogs. UKIP will surge on the back of it and little Ingerlunders will be jizzing so hard, the country will look like a plasterer’s radio.
We might get a Corbyn government, eventually, when the racists run out of immigrants and the EU to blame for the state of our feudal, bankrupt, little backwater. Thankfully, though, as Jezza lacks balls, at least you won’t be able to do a Greece on our asses if he implements anything vaguely social democratic! Ho ho ho. Not so smug now, are you, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys?
Mind you, by then the natives will have moved on from immigrants as the Tories take us full-retro. We’ll be back to scouring the land for unemployed shirkers, pitchforks in hand. Or working-class teenagers in tracksuits. We’ll be burning single mums from council estates. Or whoever the latest hate figure is that we’ve been spoon-fed by the establishment and media. And Peter Lilly, complete in Salem-style Puritan garb, will come out of retirement to host the new prime time TV sensation ‘Britain’s Got Whores.’ And, of course, Corbyn will be ‘soft’ on the new enemy of England anyway, whoever or whatever that turns out to be, so he’ll be booted into the long grass while we continue to turn on each other with increasing ferocity.
Plus ca change etc, eh?
The Jocks will finally say ‘fuck it, we’re off’ only as they wield a giant saw and try hacking themselves off at Gretna Green, the Geordies, Scousers and Mancs – and anyone else with an iota of humanity and hope still desperately flickering – will beg them to cut lower. Eventually the island will be sawn in two, somewhere around Watford Gap.
Muslims will finally be so beaten down that they’ll almost be part of the establishment. Those not in jail or not deported, that is. There will be plastic Muslim theme-pubs and every Ramadan hordes of pissed-up Brits will roam the streets singing the call to prayer. While bemused Irish look on, thankful, at least, for their loss as England’s favourite ethnics to patronise.
Still, looking a bit shit for you, too, aint it? The French are next in line to piss off or will die rioting while they try. You’re shitting yourselves at the gains by Nazi parties in the latest EU elections and austerity has finally bitten you on the arse as everyone sees your project for what it always was – a giant shell game with the working class as the marks.
Not all bad, though. Poverty is the mother of revolution and we’re getting there. Yeah, you can laugh. I know it sounds ridiculous but, you know, we are the world’s oldest imperialist nation. It just takes a few centuries to shake off all that internalised oppression.
Yeah, we’ve got mixed feelings. Who wouldn’t after so long together? But there’s hope. And if there is hope it lies with the proles.
Brexit will triumph. Forget the perfectly reasonable left argument for leaving; don’t even waste your time with the plausible left case for remaining. This is now (as if it has ever been anything else) a referendum on immigration. And the racists and bigots are winning (Lord Ashcroft’s latest poll gives the leave campaign a 3% lead).
Some of things I’ve learned this weekend, conversing with working-class Brexiters:-
All the nation’s ills are the fault of the EU. All of them. Because immigration.
The end of the post-war boom and the victory of Thatcherism over traditional social democracy – irrelevant.
The collapse of the USSR and its satellites and the resulting triumph of neoliberalism on a global scale – irrelevant.
An international banking crisis of truly historic proportions – irrelevant.
All our problems only started when “Tony Blair and Gordon Brown introduced a benefits and mass immigration culture.” Yes, really.
I’ve also encountered former striking miners and residents of former pit villages who genuinely believe that the EU and migrant labour are the reasons we no longer have a mining industry in the UK. Seriously. You want to punch yourself in the face now, don’t you? Unbelievable. I know.
This is where we are. Reason, sanity and logic have absolutely no chance in this ‘debate.’
I honestly believe these people would happily shoulder pay cuts across the board and the sale of their first-born sons to slave traders if it meant no immigrant was ever allowed to set foot on UK soil again.
I watched your exchange at PMQs with Jeremy Corbyn, earlier today, and I must confess to ending up a bit confused. Of course, I’m not a sophisticated, Eton-educated politician, holding the reins of state power like your own fine self, so I thought you could help me out a wee bit.
Firstly, Corbyn and his “friends from Hamas”, who you described as a “terrorist group.” Well, I did a bit of research and was surprised to learn that Hamas were actually elected, with over 70% of the vote (over double the size of your own mandate, by the way, Dave, lol!), by the Palestinian people, in a free and fair election, overseen by neutral and impartial international observers. So doesn’t that make them, well, the government, Dave? Like your own, in fact, only with shit-loads more votes?
Secondly, I get that these are violent guys, what with all those rockets and whatnot fired into Israel, but I’m given to understand that the Geneva Convention, the International Criminal Court and the Treaty of Rome all permit armed resistance by an oppressed people whose land is illegally occupied by a foreign military power, no? If so, then Palestinian rockets are the legitimate resistance of an oppressed people, fighting a recognised and permitted national liberation struggle, no?
Also, even if you disregard international law (surely not, Dave?) and you class the few poxy home-made rockets desultorily fired into Israel as ‘terrorism’ then I assume, surely, that dropping white phosphorous onto kids, blowing up hospitals, bombing schools, shooting children playing football on beaches, evicting people from their homes so the illegal occupiers can move their folks in, surely, Dave, all that must count as ‘terrorism’? Surely the Israeli state and the IDF are the terrorists? (also, what about Saudi Arabia? Some pretty dodgy links with Daesh, Dave. And they even – get this! – execute women who have been unfortunate enough to get themselves raped. Seems to me, Dave, you’d at least be critical of their dodgy approach to human rights, rather than selling them weapons of mass destruction).
I also think you need to be a tad cautious, mate, banging on all the time about Jezza saying “our friends from Hamas.” You know, what your Maggie being an actual personal pal of General Pinochet. You remember him, Dave? Mass-murdering fascist dictator? Didn’t even get as many votes as you, mate, never mind Hamas. Nope, he just toppled the democratically-elected government in a bloody coup, then unleashed his infamous ‘Caravan of Death’ to tour the country massacring civilians. “A true friend” was how your Maggie described him, as she went to bat to prevent his extradition to face justice for his reign of terror.
You see my point, Dave? Hamas: democratically-elected, fighting a legitimate war of national liberation = bad guys.
Pinochet: unelected dictator, topples democratically-elected government at gunpoint, murders his own people = “true friend.”
Maybe, it’s because he wasn’t a Muslim, Dave? Is that it? Aye, it’s all a bit confusing to a state-educated working class lad, I must admit.
Maybe it’s the anti-Semitic thing with Hamas, then, Dave? That’s shit’s not on at all. I’ve heard about the infamous Charter with all it’s truly vile anti-Semitic filth. I’ve even read it myself. Real horrowshow. Mind you, it turns out, I’m told, that it was written by one geezer and distributed by him without the knowledge or permission of the leadership and so doesn’t represent Hamas’s official position. Instead, I was directed to their official position on the question, which reads as follows:
“What is Hamas’ position on Anti-Semitism? Charges of Anti-Semitism is a most convenient and handy argument Israel’s apologists often throw out when they are basically run out of arguments. They use such an accusation in order to intimidate Israel’s critics or to sterilize discussion and divert attention from the real issues.
The scourge of Anti-Semitism is an abhorrent form of racism that discriminates against all Jews for who they are, and therefore, much like all other forms of racism targeting other decent human beings, it must confronted and eliminated.
There is a clear distinction between Anti-Semitism on the one hand, and legitimate criticisms of Israel’s degrading and oppressive policies against the Palestinian people. We have nothing against Jews for who they are. We are not against Jews as a religion or an ethnicity.
There are many conscientious Jews and Israelis who are ashamed and sickened by what Israel has been doing in their name. These principled Jews have consistently condemned Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights and its settler colonialism
Hamas is against Israel as a settler colonial state that occupies Palestine and subjects the Palestinian people to war, colonization and displacement. The conflict with Israel is fundamentally political and the Palestinians are fighting for freedom and self-determination. Had Palestine been occupied by another people holding a similar or different religion, Hamas and the Palestinian people would have fought against it with all their force. (See Hamas’ Conceptualization of the Other: Its stance towards Judaism, Jews, Zionism, Zionists and Israel)”
Seems pretty clear, that, Dave, no? The sort of unequivocal rejection of anti-Semitism that’s all the rage, these days.
Now, I’m a bit confused with all this stuff about racism anyway. I totally get one absolutely shouldn’t say, for example, that Jews control the banks and the media; clearly anti-Semitic, no question. But Boris came out with all that guff about “Pickaninnies” and “watermelon smiles.” Surely that’s well racist, Dave? No? And the stuff about refugees being a “swarm”? The constant Muslim-baiting of Sadiq Khan? Then there’s the less recent stuff like leaflets mentioning having “… a nigger for a neighbour.” Seems like you might have a race problem in your party, Dave. Why, it’s almost like it’s institutionalised in the Conservative Party. Why don’t you set up one of those enquiry thingies that Corbyn’s got going on, currently?
Anyway, I appreciate you’re a busy guy so, you know, no rush to reply. I would’ve asked Jezza for some help but he’s even busier than you, currently. What with retreating at full speed in the face of all this relentless bullshit and throwing his most loyal supporters under the bus you’re driving, so whenever you can get to me, Dave.
Of course this didn’t happen. At all. In any way. Anywhere. Ever.The Daily Star and Jean Gardner are liars. Aye, Jean; I’m talking to you, mrs. This is nothing more than fevered conjecture, rumour, lies and the sadly now-traditional Muslim-baiting urban myth.
Apart from anything else, if Jean, the ignorant bigot, actually knew anything at all about Islam then she’d know that Jesus – peace be upon him, as our Muslim brothers and sisters would say – is revered as an important prophet. Given that, it’s hard to see any Muslim mortally offended by a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But I tell you what; I’ll make it easy for you racist quarter-wits to earn yourselves an easy oner. Just think; a free ton for more Stella or those chunky easy-to-hold crayons. Or, in Jean’s case, the cash would clearly be better spent taking some lessons on how to use the internet, given that a thirty-second search via Google was all it took to completely disprove these lies.
I’ll give a £100.00 to the first person that provides documented, verifiable proof of any bodies or organisations – not just Cadbury’s – banning anything Easter-related because any Muslim, or indeed any human being at all, anywhere in the UK, ever complained.
If anyone actually does chance their arm (and I’m expecting at least 130,000 applicants from the stupid idiots who ‘liked’ and/or ‘shared’ Jean’s gibbering nonsense, with Jean herself leading the pack) and once I’ve debunked your rubbish and left your laughable claim in tatters, then you make just a £25.00 donation on my behalf to theNewcastle Islamic Diversity Centre.
On a final note, Muslims aren’t complaining about anything; they aren’t picketing or rioting. The poor sods are just trying to struggle through lives blighted by hatred, Islamophbia and bigotry. Whipped up by a disgusting racist media and fuelled by idiots and scum gleefully buying into it and giving lies legs and unfounded rumours impetus.
In the same way that Daesh/Isis are trying to turn Europe against Muslims to generate more embittered recruits for their cause, so too are our press and its brain-dead readers and believers like Jean Gardner. They are aiding the very cause they claim to so virulently oppose. In the wake of the Brussels tragedy and the resulting Islamophobic backlash, this sort of cynical and callous stirring is even more disgusting than it usually is.
Of course this didn’t happen. At all. In any way. Anywhere. Ever. Darren Slater is a liar. Aye, I’m talking to you, son.
Being charitable, this is nothing more than fevered conjecture, rumour, lies and the sadly now-traditional Muslim-baiting Christmas urban myth.
Apart from anything if Dazzer the ignorant bigot actually knew anything at all about Islam then he’d know that in Islam Jesus is revered as an important prophet. Given that, it’s hard to see any Muslim mortally offended by a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
But I tell you what; I’ll make it easy for you racist quarter-wits to earn yourselves an easy oner for Christmas. Just think; a free ton for more Stella or those chunky easy-to-hold crayons. Or, in Darren’s case, the cash would clearly be better spent taking some English lessons.
I’ll give a £100.00 to the first person that provides documented, verifiable proof from any bodies/organisations – not just Lloyd’s Bank – that any of them anywhere banned decorations, trees, nativity plays, Christmas trees, Santa fucking Clause, mince pies or Rudolph because any Muslim anywhere in the UK – not just Coventry – ever complained.
If anyone actually does chance their arm (and I’m expecting at least 768 applicants from the cerebral flatliners who ‘liked’ and/or ‘shared’ Darren’s gibbering nonsense, with Darren himself leading the pack) then once I’ve debunked your rubbish and left your laughable claim in tatters, then you make just a £25.00 donation on my behalf to the Newcastle Islamic Diversity Centre.
Mozart’s inarguable genius often obscures the fact that he was also a debt-ridden hack; a jobbing muso who took on many commissions simply for the money. To that end, like many of the great composers, he was a skilled re-cycler of his own work. You don’t need to listen to a lot of his music to spot the re-used motifs, phrases and – in more contemporary parlance – riffs that constantly reappear. There’s no shame in that, of course. We’ve all got to earn a living. Even Nick Cohen.
However, that’s where the comparisons end. I offer the premise, with no expectation of controversy, that Nick NeoCohen is not a genius. Like Wolfgang Amadeus, though, Nick also re-cycles his own work. As many, with even the most casual acquaintance with his oeuvre, will know, Nick has, at most, two articles in him and merely offers seemingly endless variations on their themes. In fact, scratch the Mozart analogy; Nick NeoCohen is the Status Quo of contemporary political commentators. Double denim at the ready; again, again, again, again; why don’t you do it? Why don’t you do it ag-ain?
The first article concerns his obsession with Islam and how nasty it is; how reactionary and how little it differs from fascism in its applied form.
The second concerns how appalling the British left is and how it aligns itself with the aforementioned reactionary Islamic creed. As a result the left has degenerated to such dreadful form that Nick cannot, any longer, be sullied by it and must, therefore, ‘resign’.
With such a limited palette from which to paint – and always with the broadest of broad brush strokes – Nick must be eternally gratefully to Jeremy Corbyn. The rise of Corbyn has provided our anti-hero with the opportunity of combining both his articles, as his latest polemic shows.
Nick ignores, though, the fact that any left organisation is as much a product of the capitalism it aspires to oppose. It will contain exactly the same kind of flawed human beings as any other organisation. It’s only as dysfunctional, incompetent and unpleasant as any other organisation that comprises human beings. Yet far from being quiet, or complicit, in the crimes of which Nick accuses it, one factor in the weakness of the left is that it often tears itself apart in a principled refusal to accept some of the foul infections with which it finds itself assailed.
The Socialist Workers Party is now merely a shadow, numerically speaking, of its former self. The ‘Comrade Delta’ scandal saw the organisation explode into a bitter internal war as huge chunks of the membership refused to stand idly by and be a party to the leadership’s attempted cover-up. There are now scores of lefties who will never again associate, in any way, with the SWP in protest at its gasp-inducing misogyny.
Similarly, the most successful socialist initiative ever seen on these shores in modern times – the Scottish Socialist Party – destroyed itself rather than accept misogyny, perjury and corruption as the price for proletarian glory.
To give just two examples.
And so to Corbyn. Nick has no words for the extensively documented ‘bullying’ and ‘intimidation’ by his Blairite heroes. Still fewer for the contempt with which whatever passed for democracy in New Labour was held. No, Corbyn’s ‘new politics’ is mere apologia for racism, intimidation and violence, according to the NeoCohen gospel. As with all the current attacks on the Labour leader, in this regard, there is no, none, nada, zero evidence presented to establish Corbyn’s culpability; simply the wearily familiar device of smear by association.
Two wrongs rarely make a right and the ah-yeah-but-what-about tactics of most political partisans is distasteful. And, to be fair to Nick, he has ‘resigned’ from the left so cannot reasonably be expected to examine it any more fairly or rationally than previously. Nevertheless, it’s instructive that NeoCohen chooses to aim his fire at the non-existent campaign of Corbyn-inspired bullying and yet utters not a word about a case of genuine bullying that led to an actual death…
Elliott Johnson was a Conservative, though, so it doesn’t fit the popular anti-Corbyn narrative. Still; give Nick some time and he’ll no doubt devise another variation on his riff that blames Corbyn for the unfortunate Johnson’s demise.
After all, those bills won’t pay themselves, right?
I tweeted Hilary Benn, following the Commons debate on Wednesday. The tweet read: Let’s plug your auld man’s corpse into the National Grid. It’s now spinning so fast we could power the nation. You in? @hilarybennmp
As most British people know, ‘spinning (or ‘burling’ in Scotland) in the grave’ is a widely-used and accepted saying; intended to indicate disapproval by a departed loved-one. I merely stretched the metaphor for greater impact. Well, it certainly had impact…
I was surprised to see the channelling of my inner Frankie Boyle reproduced in The Daily Mail, as part of an article concerned with ‘Corbyn’s anti-war bullies.’ The Daily Mail, it isn’t unfair to suggest, has a certain form of its own regarding bullying and intimidation. The rag was quickly followed by The Metro, Russia Today and then BBC’s Newsnight, for which I did a twenty-three minute interview (Newsnight didn’t use any of the footage on the program but, instead, posted forty-nine seconds of it on Twitter).
Many people found the tweet offensive; a roughly equal number did not. And that’s all we really need to say on the question. The most important aspect of the affair is its tiny and inconsequential place in the wider narrative of pro-war MPs being ‘bullied’ ‘abused’ and ‘threatened.’
At this point, given my status – along with millions of others who oppose the bombing of Syria – as a “terrorist sympathiser,” allow me clear up a few things before we attend to the substantive issue. Firstly, I oppose Daesh with no qualification, hesitation or mental reservation of any kind. I am not even opposed, in principle, to the use of force in dealing with it. I’d just like that force to be effective instead of it simply killing children, handing Daesh the propaganda coup for which it desperately yearns and ensuring yet more recruits and martyrs to its cause.
I also deplore threats of violence, including those directed towards MPs. I even condemn threats of violence toward those who see no hypocrisy in cheering and applauding, alongside their Tory colleagues (I use the word ‘colleagues’ deliberately), following a successful vote to kill people, while whinging that they are being ‘bullied.’
However, lobbying one’s MP is not ‘bullying.’ Sending angry Tweets to one’s MP, expressing disagreement with their stance, is not ‘intimidation.’ Neither is it ‘abuse’ to promise one’s MP that one will take all possible measures to ensure said MP’s de-selection As for holding a candlelight vigil outside an MP’s surgery, the suggestion that such an action is ‘offensive’ is derisory.
What all these things are, though, is applied democracy. It is demanding MPs be accountable for the actions they take, on behalf of those that they purport to represent. It is the public, and constituency party members, exercising their right to choose who they want to be their elected representatives.
Calling a Labour MP a ‘red Tory’ isn’t, in any playground I’ve ever spent time, ‘harassment.’ In fact, if one’s ideological world-view is so similar to that of the Conservatives (yes, I’m looking at you, Liz Kendall), then suggestions that such people simply complete their natural trajectory and join the Tories seems not unreasonable.
Interestingly, among those Labour MPs who were enthusiastically Je Suis-ing away, post-Charlie Hebdo, are some who seem to have rather forgotten their fierce commitment to free speech. It’s almost as if free speech is acceptable when it provides a cover for mocking and taunting Muslims, but unacceptable if one exercises it to ask MPs to stop killing them.
Regarding the sending of photographs of dead children to MPs, I wouldn’t do it myself; but not for any concern regarding the feelings of MPs who vote to bomb Syrians. After all, when a politician makes a decision that will result in the deaths of children, then he or she should, at the very least, have the spine, the integrity and the moral fibre to face, unflinchingly, the consequences of that decision.
If you vote to drop bombs on people then you have forfeited the right to be offended at angry people Tweeting or emailing you photographs of the victims. What’s your problem? No big deal killing kids, but your delicate sensibilities quiver in disgust and offence when you’re forced to confront the inevitable horror of your own actions? Stiffen your spine and own your choices. Take responsibility for what you do.
No, my reluctance to the sending of such photographs is that I could not be sure that this wouldn’t cause yet further pain and grief to the victims’ loved ones. These are the people who really are suffering from ‘bullying’ ‘abuse’ ‘intimidation’ and ‘harassment.’ Along with death, heartache and a fear we cannot even imagine. Not privileged and arrogant MPs whose sense of entitlement has now grown to such obscene proportions that they object to the little people daring to question them.
It’s all part of the anti-Corbyn media offensive, though, isn’t? To tie in the threats from a random collection of disturbed individuals to the legitimate and quite proper anger of voters and party members. As if there is a sinister plot afoot to do down these hapless and vulnerable right-wingers. There isn’t, of course. It’s ridiculous. In fact, many people feel a growing sense of frustration with Corbyn precisely because he doesn’t take disciplinary action against these people.
Today, on Radio Four’s lunchtime news, the report of a, presumably authentic, death threat received by expert self-publicist Simon Danczuk, was linked seamlessly with “… over a hundred complaints received by his office.” See? A death threat and legitimate “complaints” are to be conflated. All orchestrated by the controlling hand of Corbyn and his malevolent outriders, of course. Telling us the Andrex puppy was really a serial killer would be more plausible.
Those who know me offline will testify; I never say anything on social media that I haven’t already said in real life or wouldn’t be quite happy to say, given the opportunity (as my nose will testify. Trust me; you don’t get one like mine hiding behind a keyboard). I think that’s only right. It’s just one of the many values my mam and dad instilled in me; never say anything about anyone if you’re not prepared to say it to their face. With that in mind, I’d be delighted to discuss my Tweet in person with Bomber Benn.
Another parental lesson concerned personal responsibility. The idea that I should bear the weight, suffer the consequences, of any decisions I made. What a shame so many of today’s pro-bombing, privileged and pampered MPs didn’t have a similar upbringing.
So Corbyn bottled it. All the desperate spin and plaintive self-justification by his acolytes cannot obscure this simple truth.
Their arguments are spurious and mendacious. At best. Even if the alleged strategy – to avoid a split in the party – had been successful then the unity of the Labour Party has been prioritised over saving the lives of Syrian infants.
But, to pile tragedy upon contempt, the strategy has not and will not be successful. Corbyn has been hounded and monstered from day one. At least half the shadow Cabinet and a majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party have been in open revolt from the very moment he ascended to the leadership. Their contempt for him has been astonishing. Their disobedience, their disloyalty and the disdain in which they hold their leader has been there for all to see. There is no unity. None.
Instead, there is – cruel pun, perhaps – a civil war raging inside the PLP. It cannot be avoided. It’s happening now. To continue the martial metaphors, it is a universal truth of military warfare that if one must fight a war, then one should always seek to do so on terrain of ones own choosing. Corbyn should have taken the fight to his enemies. He should have whipped his MPs and sacked the pro-war dissenters. He has the overwhelming support of the membership and even official Conference policy on his side. Yes, the split would have widened but it’s here already and is set only to accelerate anyway with, possibly, Corbyn ousted from his post. And such an act would have been in the service of nothing less than humanity and he, at least, would have acted with courage and principle.
Let’s stick with war aphorisms and remind the Labour leader that weakness only invites aggression. His right-wing will not be deterred from their plotting; the media will not cease its assassinations. There is nothing Corbyn can do to appease these people. All his current trajectory will do is weaken his powerbase in the CLPs. As Tolkien wrote, “A man who flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”
As it is, he has chosen the coward’s exit; the Pontius Pilate option of washing his hands and preserving his own sainted purity while allowing his MPs a free vote to massacre brown babies.
His supporters mutter darkly about deselecting the pro-war MPs in their constituencies; allowing the rank-and-fail to dole out the punishment they so richly deserve but that Corbyn lacks the guts to deliver himself. This, though, is a ridiculous double-standard. Corbyn apologists defend the free vote as ‘a matter of conscience.’ Yet now they wish to punish MPs for… voting with their consciences? (or at least that which passes for conscience among these people) So a free vote is fine for Corbyn but not those who disagree with him? In fact, the sixty-six MPs who voted for war can’t even be termed rebels. After all, what were they rebelling against? There was no party line. Such is the unavoidable outcome, the inevitable logic, of Corbyn’s tactical cowardice.
And what of those MPs? On the one hand there are those who genuinely believe that murdering Syrian civilians in an utterly futile and doomed attempt to bomb an ideology into submission is the right thing to do. It says so much of Labour, ‘a party fit for imperialism,’ that these worthies are the good guys. Relatively speaking. At least such people have the dubious honour of being up-front and honest in their idiocy and callousness.
Worse, though, than even these creatures are those Labour MPs cynically exploiting the impending massacre for personal career advantage; and to settle scores with the leader they despise. Terrified of the growing wrath of their local party members and the prospect of losing the perks and trappings of Westminster, they plot, they scheme and they betray in a concerted bid to bring down Corbyn to save their own careers. Imagine that; pursuing the killing of other human beings solely to shore-up your ambition.
In both cases, these specimens have lined up with the Tories and condemned Syrians to death. And so it is that another murderous folly is now unleashed. The UK’s fourth in fewer than twenty years. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; close the wall up with Muslim dead.
Tonight, there are Labour MPs that never deserved less than they do now the prefix ‘honourable.’ But, as always, they’ve certainly done their best to ensure Labour remains Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition…