The Establishment Smear What The Establishment Fear – And Right Now That’s Us!

Please read the tweets and messages below:

So what point am I making with this display of unpleasantries aimed at Corbyn and his supporters? Am I trying to insinuate that people who are opposed to Corbyn are a nasty bunch? No, of course not. Amongst the many thousands who oppose Corbyn these tweets only represent a small percentage of individuals who struggle to debate without resorting to insults. Or maybe those responsible have a nasty streak, and social media is their chosen forum for venting their nastiness.

Either way, I won’t be asking Owen Smith to condemn the abuse on display and I certainly won’t expect him to put a stop to it. How on earth could he stop something that has nothing to do with him? He hasn’t put a call out for people to be abusive anymore than Corbyn has.

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If these people are already lacking the wherewithal to debate without getting nasty, they are certainly not going to obey a command from anyone to ‘play nice.’ They probably enjoy their rants and feel proud of their rather pathetic put downs. They might even get a kick out of chastisements they receive and reactions they provoke. If they weren’t trolling Corbyn supporters they’d soon find something else to troll about. These people haven’t been sitting there dormant, waiting for Owen Smith to activate them. Their nastiness was in circulation long before the leadership campaign. The target of their venom just happens to be Corbyn and his supporters at this particular moment in time.

The bottom line is this: Owen Smith is no more responsible for the abuse we receive than the abuse spewed out in Corbyn’s name. To reiterate, these are individuals. Some may not even be Smith supporters, but even if each and everyone of them is, it doesn’t change the fact they are nothing to do with Smith. They are just your regular unpleasant twitter trolls, plain and simple. And before anyone says, ‘there are far more examples of Corbyn supporters using abuse’ I’d say that’s probably because there are a lot more of them. Regardless, far more Corbyn supporters debate civilly on Twitter and Facebook than don’t, and like the trolls displayed here, they have simply latched onto a campaign which most of them probably care very little about – rather like the inevitable trouble makers who latch onto peaceful political demonstrations, or football hooligans who go for the fight not the football.

Even if I wanted to use these examples to smear all Smith supporters – which I don’t because I have too much integrity – I wouldn’t be able to because I don’t have the ‘magic formula.’ Without the establishment and their propoganda media machine on my side, any smear campaign I tried to launch would very quickly fall flat. The establishment are experts at demonisation and smear, and have all the levers at their disposal to do serious damage. Look at the way they have demonised immigrants over the years, which undoubtedly contributed to the brexit vote; or trashed the reputations of people who rely on social security.

They could pick on any group they wanted and demonise them if they so chose. They could demonise single mothers for instance. All it would take is for the press and politicians to target them as a group, then seek out every horrific story of child abuse and neglect at the hands of a single mother and emblazon it on their front pages day after day; stories which would then be regurgitated by the tv media, until single mothers were thought of as the lowest of the low, viewed with suspicion and scorn by many.

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Maybe next they could go after NHS nurses. They could dig out every distressing story of abuse, neglect or poor care and hold it up as an example of NHS nurses in general. They could sow seeds of mistrust in the public’s minds to such an extent, people would eventually avoid going into hospital or choose to go private.

By now you may be thinking you’d never be taken in by these smear tactics, and maybe in your case that’s true, but many would be and the outcome could be catastrophic.

That’s why smear campaigns terrify me, whoever is the target. They terrify me because they work. Smear campaigns have lead to immigrants being thought of as a burden; the poor and disabled as work shy and devious; public sector workers as greedy and militant. Smear campaigns are dangerous. I’ve always thought that. The fact I’m now one of the hundreds of thousands who are being targeted as part of a smear campaign, where honest, decent, sensible Corbyn supporters are being labeled as a Trotskyite, hard left, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, deluded rabble, just confirms what I already knew.

The establishment use smear to steer public opinion against a group; either because they feel threatened by it, as in the case of Corbyn supporters or trade unions, or to distract attention from their own nest feathering agenda. If people are up in arms about immigration rather than corporate tax avoidance, that’s just how the establishment like it.

The fact so many Labour MPs are at the heart of the anti-Corbyn smear campaign says a great deal about them and their establishment ties. As does the selective nature of their outrage. A sexist tweet from a supposed Corbyn supporter is ‘a shocking and disgraceful example of the type of people Corbyn is attracting to the party.’ But when their own preferred leadership candidate let’s yet another sexist remark fall from his mouth, tumbleweed blows through the same MP’s Twitter accounts. I did read the mildest of chastisements to one remark Smith made from Jess ‘Corbyn is a misogynist’ Phillips but that’s as far as the outrage has gone.

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When is a sexist remark not a sexist remark? When it’s not useful to the anti-Corbyn smear campaign it seems. And that really does tell you everything you need to know about the integrity of those doing the smearing.  And that’s what we have to remember when we hit our inevitable low ebbs. It hurts to have our character dragged through the proverbial mud day after day, but it tells us an awful lot about the character of those  prepared to engage in these smear tactics. It tells us how unprincipled they are, and how ruthless!

We are currently backing a leader who undoubtedly receives death threats and the vilest of abuse on a regular basis but barely ever mentions it, even though he could make political capital from it. Using the actions of the few to demonise the many to further an agenda takes a crafty, manipulative, unprincipled character. Jeremy Corbyn is as far removed from that character type as it’s possible to be. And that’s why he’s under assault, and it’s why we are under assault for supporting him.

And it’s why he’s the right leader for the Labour Party if it’s going to be the party of principles we want it to be.

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4 comments

  1. Hilary Temple · September 16, 2016

    The trouble is that smears are memorable whereas the refutations aren’t. People just have to stay calm and hope that ultimately the nastiness and the hatred are seen for what they are: capable of turning on anyone at any time.

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  2. Mark · September 17, 2016

    Remember when public enemy number one was…….New Age Travellers? Ohh! Those dirty gypsies! They’re setting up camp in your back garden! Their hippie ideas are seeping through the walls of your home! It’s a motorhome Armageddon! How can we ever defeat this evil menace? Yeah right. Pick a subsection of society, and relentlessly demonise it out of existence…….

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  3. JC Atwood (@JaaaaayCeeeee) · September 17, 2016

    During Q1 and Q2 of 2016, when the Clinton campaign, her surrogates, pundits who work/ed for her and news media were smearing Bernie Sanders daily (the Washington Post did 16 hit job articles in a 24 hour period once!) and Hillary Clinton was musing that Bernie Sanders had not been vetted or shown he could withstand opposition like she had, Bernie’s favorables only dipped temporarily and just kept slowly climbing, as they still are, from the entire populace. http://fair.org/home/the-myth-that-sanders-hasnt-been-criticized-wont-go-away/

    Expect the combination of rhetorical sleight of hand, unfalsifiable assumptions and conventional wisdom to escalate. When economic, social, racial and environmental policies have been long unjust, all that’s left to use are smears, personality politics, misrepresentation, cherry picking, blackouts, omission, dismissiveness and negative campaigning like a ’90’s Carl Rove against a candidate’s strengths. These have a real effect on electability, not just smears. But when the most highly paid strategists and media have to ignore a lot and often become trolls, and you don’t let them distract you from your public policy goals, the negative campaigning becomes counter productive and your job easier, or at least more satisfying.

    Sticking to the issues and treating labor and trade economists like rock stars or Joseph Stiglitz may seem hard to do, during which the negative campaigning seems only emboldened, but you are still opposing basically negative campaigning. Negative campaigning doesn’t give most people something to vote for, only something to vote against. Documenting the atrocities, especially with humor (inconsistency and hypocrisy become powerful problems) works, perhaps slowly, but it works, just as decades of promises that policy choices will better everyone’s lives (or that courage is whacking the least powerful) accumulate counter productively, for those in power, who are trying to extend unsustainable status quo’s: https://34justice.com/2016/06/20/theres-a-reason-people-think-the-democratic-primary-was-unfair-and-undemocratic-it-was/

    I’m just an old lady Bernie supporter from the USA who noticed a hep young socialist tweet a link to this, but thought I’d give you props for what you are doing. The examples of documenting the atrocities against Bernie Sanders that I linked to, are kinda comprehensive, and they don’t really show you examples of the every day tweets that have exposed a number of pundits (many of them blissfully unaware and smug enough to think “this is fine” until it isn’t, of course). Your pictorial is very good. And it’s impressive what a tweet with snips highlighting inconsistency or hypocrisy can accomplish! Over here, it’s been very nice to see that the kids really are all right, while our establishment pundits, when not blaming them for the fall of civilization, are making fools of themselves trying to theorize that the left has wrapped around and become one with the alt-right, just because they are pointing out that mount bullshit is melting! Best wishes, JC Atwood

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  4. Mark Catlin · September 18, 2016

    Reblogged this on Declaration Of Opinion .

    Like

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