On the subject of "hounding" Labour MPs: this is the way a group of Labour officials (not ordinary members or unknown members of the public, paid employees at party HQ) reacted to the news that Diane Abbott was feeling overwhelmed by racist and sexist abuse.
The person who claimed (then) to have passed on the news of Abbott crying in a toilet to Michael Crick of Channel 4 later came out with this curiously specific denial (I don't think anyone ever imagined he had burst into the cubicle himself).

Contacted by openDemocracy about this behaviour (and much else like it, all fully documented), Starmer's Labour Party gave it their full endorsement as a bit of harmless banter among colleagues that nobody should be upset about.


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More from @DanFinn95

8 Jun
Four years to the day since Jeremy Corbyn & his allies obliged columnists such as Jonathan Freedland to write columns like this. The ferocity of the backlash that followed—and is still following—surely owes a great deal to feelings of wounded pride.

No guff here about May being a uniquely awful campaigner (although he did squeeze in a line about the "weakest Tory campaign in at least 40 years" towards the end—a taste of the narrative to come). Corbyn "deserves credit for this astonishing performance", said Freedland. Image
Freedland also acknowledged that Labour under Corbyn won a lot of ex-UKIP votes instead of forfeiting them to the Tories—a trick that seems to be eluding Keir Starmer today. Another point that was scrubbed from the media narrative as soon as possible. Image
Read 6 tweets
4 Jun
I see Margaret Hodge is hamming it up for the cameras like the world's worst soap actress, and journalists are pretending to believe a word she says. It's like the summer of 2018 all over again, albeit without the sunny weather.

Frankly, anyone who believed that Hodge was sincere in any of her claims that summer should atone for their gullibility by wearing clown make-up in public for a full year. Every part of her protracted temper tantrum was planned out on a grid with her factional allies.
You can be quite certain that no British journalists actually took her ravings seriously, although they found it expedient to pretend otherwise. It was a display of cynicism and bad faith with few parallels in modern times—a stomach-churning performance.
Read 7 tweets
17 May
Latest Long Reads podcast is up now, with Paul Buhle talking about the life and work of C. L. R. James (and a few clips from James himself talking about cricket, Haiti, Marxism and more):

Great interview with James by Studs Terkel from 1970 here:

And another between James and Edward Thompson here:

Read 4 tweets
12 May
This article is worth reading, not because it has any positive merits, but because it condenses the sheer malevolence of Blair’s role in public life. No constructive ideas, just a remorseless drive to smash and wreck any progressive political force on behalf of his paymasters. 1/
Labour under Corbyn bucked this trend, increasing its vote share by 10% in 2017. Its 2019 performance was still vastly better than recent elections for the SPD, which averaged nearly 41% of the vote from 1994 to 2005, or the PS, which won the presidency as recently as 2012. 2/ Image
Blair can acknowledge the difficulties now Corbyn has been ousted. But he implies the SPD lost support for being too radical after serving in government with the main conservative party for 12 of the last 16 years. He won’t even mention the name “Renzi” when it comes to Italy. 3/ Image
Read 20 tweets
2 May
There's a steady trickle of these unverifiable anecdotes before the Hartlepool by-election has even happened, getting their excuses in early, but no discussion of what this "breach of trust" actually was—and certainly no mention of Labour's change of line on Brexit after 2017.
Hartlepool voted 70% Leave in 2016. The following year, Labour pledged to accept the referendum result and increased its vote by 17%, two years into Corbyn's leadership. When Labour promised a second referendum in 2019, its vote dropped by 15%.

Lewis Goodall looked at the impact of Labour's change of line on Brexit in an excellent article the week before the 2019 election that accurately predicted what would happen on polling day. You can't talk about "trust" without acknowledging this.

Read 5 tweets
31 Mar
He's right, of course. But I can't help recall that Sanghera signed an open letter telling people not to vote for Labour because of alleged concerns about antisemitism in 2019. It said nothing at all about the racism of Johnson or the Tories, and several Tories signed it.
The implicit but unmistakable message of this letter was: a vote for Johnson is morally permissible in a way that a vote for Corbyn is not. No wonder the likes of Tony Parsons, Frederick Forsyth and indefatigable Saudi apologist Ghanem Nuseibeh signed it.

The hypocrisy was breathtaking: the signatories demanded to know "which other community's concerns are disposable", while giving a green light to the party of Windrush and the "hostile environment". Tellingly, the only other factor they could think of was Brexit.
Read 4 tweets

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