We Must Stand Up To The Labour Party Witch-Hunters.

I write from a pro-Corbyn perspective. Not only is that my right as an independent blogger – because of the extreme right wing bias of our media, I almost feel duty bound to do so. A small red boat bobbing about amongst a vast ocean of blue.

If I was suddenly plucked from obscurity to be given the role of political editor of the BBC, I like to think I would be strenuous in my efforts to be seen to be politically impartial in accordance with the BBC charter. If I failed in these efforts, I would hope my boss would take me to one side to pull me up on it.

But what if my boss shared my politics? What if they were blind to my bias because they shared it? If that was the case I would imagine the public would help keep my bias in check. If I was doing my job well, I would expect to get as many complaints from viewers on the left as I received from viewers on the right. So if it came to my attention a petition had been launched calling for me to be sacked because of my blatant anti-Cameron bias, I would take that very seriously. Even more so if it attracted 35,000 signatures in under a week. Knowing me, I would probably resign because I’d find it impossible to convince myself that such strength of feeling had no basis in truth.

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I can only deduce from Laura Keunssberg’s appearance on my TV screen yesterday, that she is not troubled by thoughts like these. Not for her self doubt and scruples. But is that so surprising, considering she has the entire establishment jumping to her defense? In the Labour corner we had Jess ‘Corbyn is a misogynist’ Phillips, who made the sweeping and unsubstantiated claim that the ‘attacks’ on Keunssberg were ‘underlined with sexism from people who did not even know they were perpetrators.’ In the Tory corner we had Lucy ‘fake death threats’ Allan, who used her question at PMQs to call on David Cameron to condemn the ‘hate ‘campaign being waged against Laura Keunssberg.

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While Phillip’s declaration about sexism has been shown to hold only a few drops of water in a very large pond, thanks to the close scrutiny of former UK ambassador and blogger Craig Murray, Lucy Allan’s comments were nearer the mark. Keunssberg is the focus of a hate campaign, but the hate is not aimed at her, it is aimed at the way she conducts herself in a highly influential and powerful media role.

But why wouldn’t Phillips and Allan jump to Keunssberg’s defence? They are on the same team right now; united in their burning desire to see Corbyn toppled, fuelled by their secret fear that he really is electable. The saying, my enemies enemy is my friend, has never been more apt. To have such an unabashedly anti-Corbyn political editor at the heart of the BBC is an asset that must be guarded jealously. The strategy they have decided to employ to guard their asset comes straight out of the pages of Arthur Miller’s chilling book, ‘The Crucible,’ which is to point their fingers at anyone complaining about how biased Laura Keunssberg is, then scream ‘sexist!’

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When people play the sexist card for cynical and political purposes, real cases of sexism are undermined. That makes me very angry. That’s not to say we should not condemn anyone who sent a sexist tweet about Keunssberg. We should. What we shouldn’t do, is allow a handful of cases to be conflated into a ‘sexist hate campaign’ when it isn’t. That would be like suggesting all men are sexist because a few undoubtedly are, or closing down an entire corporation because one of the bosses made sexist remarks to his secretary. But sadly that is exactly what 38 degrees did. They took down the petition, having bowed to the pressure from these contemporary witch-hunters. They say it was to make a stand against sexist bullying. I don’t believe them. I suspect they were terrified they would be the next ones to be called out and accused. That is how witch hunting works and why it is so effective.

Sixteen alleged cases of anti-semitism, some dating back several years, have been cynically, and going by the dropping off of support for Labour amongst Jewish voters, effectively used by anti-Corbyn Labour MPs to paint the Corbyn led Labour Party as a hot bed of antisemites. Now anyone who is appalled at Laura Keunssberg’s biased reporting is a sexist. Witch-hunting is immoral, but it is also undeniably effective. Not only does it have a muzzling effect, because no-one wants to attract the eye of the witch-hunters, it has a dead cat on the table effect; distracting attention away from the original point of focus.

And that is why McCarthyism is alive and well in today’s Labour Party. And that is also why we must stand up to the witch hunters and expose their agenda from every platform at our disposal.

In my case, from the deck of my little red boat.

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14 comments

  1. Terry Kelly · May 12, 2016

    I still haven’t seen any evidence of anti Semitism or Sexist abuse fro anyone in the Labour Party, can Jess Phillips provide any?.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. navalairhistory · May 12, 2016

    Very insightful

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hirsutemal · May 12, 2016

    Reblogged this on MAL's MURMURINGS.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ruth White · May 12, 2016

    Fantastic – really well written. Thanks for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mark Catlin · May 12, 2016

    Reblogged this on Mark Catlin's Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mike Nightingale · May 12, 2016

    Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sandy Palmer · May 12, 2016

    I always enjoy Chelley’s blogs, insightful and makes me think, however, I have noticed on my time line some Laura Kussenberg comments which I would describe as crossing the line. I only tend to follow those people for whom I have some respect and so this has been disheartening. Also this goes for other women commentators. I have no respect with regard to their political viewpoint.or ability as journalists to add to the political discourse and who may abuse their position. I do believe that the MSM has been biased. I hope that those rightfully accused of sexism are a small minority, not having access to all of the twittersphere I have no idea if this is the case. As Chelley points out there is always a danger that shouting sexism,racism,antisemitism etc.. will be used to shut down valid criticism but we need to take time to consider, always, whether there is something to it before protesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Chris Mckenzie · May 12, 2016

    Well said and very clearly written.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Florence · May 12, 2016

    Well said, and exactly my thoughts on the witch-hunting, the most dubious use of “sexism” by Philips and the capitulation by 38 degrees. The latter is the most disturbing having positioned themselves as campaigning for justice & truth etc. Instead of appealing to their 1 million members for support or guidance, or providing any evidence behind this slur, they just folded. They have probably lost a majority of their supporters by this. If so, then that’s a double bonus for the Establishment. And that is the point – the silencing of anything except the most crass government propaganda and editorial opinion in place of news reporting. The petition dates from January, after the disgraceful manipulation of the resignation of an anti-Corbyn Labour MP live on TV, 5 minutes before the start of PMQs by Keunssberg. It was reinvigorated by her reporting during the election.. She is being protected by some of the Establishment, that is now positioning itself to be the State that rules us too. If this is not enough to cause extreme alarm to anyone who values human rights, democracy and free speech, than what is?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Arthur O'Connor · May 12, 2016

    This is a very interesting commentary. It is much needed. Cameron and company must not be let off the hook Nor Kuenssberg. There should be a continued campaign for her sacking. Andrew Neil – a painful old fart with his brillopad – should also take his part of the blame. He actively supports and no doubt shares her malicious anti Jeremy Corbyn plots. The programme should be given to Nick Watt. Neil is past his sell by date. We should always remember that Mordechai Vanunu is languishing captive in Israel because of Neil’s tabloidism. BBC has Israeli lobbyists walking in the wood work – James Harding – Kuenssberg’s boss – is an active supporter of Israel. Kuenssberg herself is jewish and her animosity to Jeremy Corbyn is because he is known to stand for Justice for The Palestinians. Such people will go to any length to ensure that Jeremy Corbyn is not elected our Prime Minister.Sadly we shall have to wait until he does become Prime Minister before this country lifts a finger to defend the Palestinians who are being deprived of their land on a daily basis to be settled by jews imported from all over the world. Palestinians are being murdered daily by the IDF and nobody in the Government says a word about it.We are all complicit in these murders if we don’t stand up and do something about it. Our protests should be heard. We should stand up and be counted. Not rest in the shame of indifference.

    Like

  11. abaker119 · May 12, 2016

    Really enjoyed this, thanks. Someone else made the point that I’ll repeat here, which is – why not simply remove the offending comments’ signatory, rather than stigamtize everyone who signed by pulling the whole thing? If that isn’t the case with 38 it needs to be now, otherwise it sets a dangerous precedent.

    Like

  12. l8in · May 13, 2016

    Reblogged this on L8in.

    Like

  13. Robert Baker · May 14, 2016

    excellent piece! shared.

    Like

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