Michael Foster, the rich ‘former Labour donor’ who instigated – and rightly lost – a legal case to try to prevent Jeremy Corbyn being on the ballot for the Labour leadership contest, has caused outrage among supporters of the Labour leader and in any right-thinking person by going to the Daily Mail to pen an article, as poisonous as it is laughable, equating Corbyn and his supporters with Nazi stormtroopers.
Since I belong to the “don’t get mad, show it to be bollocks” school, I decided to do just that, which in this case is anything but difficult. Since I have no wish to link to the “Fail”, I’ll let you look it up if you can stomach it, but you can consider the ‘newspaper’ duly ‘credited’.
Here’s what he wrote. As it’s a point-by-point refutation, I consider reproducing it here ‘fair use’. Mr Foster’s words are in italics, my points are not and are in bold for ease of identification.
Saturday of last week in my home town of Camborne, the Corbyn Circus rolled into town. A crowd of 2,000 disciples came from all over Cornwall to cheer and clap and worship. One after another, Momentum speakers praised ‘Jeremy’ and spoke of the hope he gave them, the socialism he would bring to Britain.
Then the mood got much darker, with each speaker declaiming their personal persecution by unnamed sources and to round it off, all but one named me as the villain who via the courts had tried to rob them of their right to have Jeremy Corbyn as the Leader of the Labour Party.
Interesting that, as a Jewish person who claims to consider Corbyn and his supporters Nazis, Mr Foster was not afraid to stand among a crowd of said supporters in the full knowledge that the latters vexatious court case was due to be decided and that his face would be likely to be known to at least some in the crowd.
The fact that Mr Foster felt safe to attend and was, as it turned out, perfectly safe to attend, suggests not only that his comparison with stormtroopers is spurious but that Mr Foster knows that full well. I’m sure he would have felt much differently about standing among actual Nazis.
From where I stood in that evangelical crowd, I saw what we have all witnessed across Britain for a year.
A brand of politics alien to this country, defined and delivered by a divisive, aggressive holier-than-thou cadre of hard-Left socialists with no real policies to speak of, no defined social and economic objectives, just a call for the committed to take this journey with them down the Yellow Brick Road.
Again, ‘aggressive’ is shown to be nonsense by the mere fact of his attendance. But passion and disagreement seem to be synonymous with ‘abuse’ and ‘aggression’ to many of Mr Corbyn’s opponents. As for ‘no real policies’, Mr Foster should talk to the candidate he supports, since Owen Smith has publicly agreed, in the leadership debates, that there is no substantive difference in the policies of the two candidates except on Trident. Jeremy Corbyn’s camp goes so far as to accuse Smith of copying them. If you would like to see 10 of Corbyn’s core policy pledges, here they are.
In the midst of this, something is rotten. You are either with them, or you are labelled as being against them
Erm, you’re calling them Nazi Stormtroopers and tried to use the courts to keep him from even being on the ballot. I think considering you ‘against them’ is self-evidently justified.
and so excluded, briefed against, often threatened and intimidated.
Poor you, and you such a shrinking violet and all. In all seriousness, though, ‘briefing against’ has been a stock in trade of the anti-Corbyn camp since before he was even elected, as have been the most hideous slurs and smears. Like ‘nazi stormtroopers’, for example.
If you are like me, a Jewish donor to Labour, you are smeared as a Blairite conspirator,
Er, your status as a ‘Blairite conspirator’ has nothing to do with your religion/ethnic identity. Perhaps Corbyn’s team simply consider you a ‘self-entitled wanker’? I can’t say, but it’s a term they’ve used of some of their parliamentary opponents of various religions and none, not without justification.
plotting to falsely use the accusation of anti-Semitism to damage the Left.
I’m sure any organisation has its anti-semites. However, accusations that Labour has an ‘anti-semitism problem’ have been based on the most vaporous of ‘evidence’ and the enquiry by Ms Chakrabarti, whom you slur below, found no grounds for it and was welcomed by, among other organisations and individuals, ‘The Jewish Leadership Council‘, whose comment that the ‘final verdict’ would depend on its implementation in no way suggests that the conclusions are invalid or biased, together with the CST, a Jewish charity with the specific aim of protecting Jews from antisemitism. So, if the findings of the report say there is no ‘Labour antisemitism problem’ as such, what else does the continuing repetition of the slur but an attempt to ‘damage the left’?
It matters not whether you are Angela Eagle with a brick through a window,
The window did not belong to Ms Eagle, as has been well-known since almost immediately after it was claimed. Video evidence is freely available.
Stella Creasy with a mob outside her constituency office,
Er, here’s a video of the ‘mob’. Or as sensible people would put it, ‘people’. Exercising their right of peaceful assembly in what vicar Stephen Saxby, who was part of it (terrors for getting involved with ‘hate mobs’, those vicars!) called a ‘vigil‘.
or Labour general secretary Iain McNicol with a letter threatening court action unless he secured victory for Corbyn at an NEC vote.
As the judge in your failed court case observed, there was no ambiguity or lack of clarity whatever in the party rules about the leadership. So if Mr McNicol had failed to apply the rules properly, the Corbyn camp would have been perfectly correct to take legal action.
Unlike your spurious attempt to take legal action. Which failed, in case you need reminding. So, “pot, kettle, black”, as the saying goes. Seems you’re not averse to a large bit of hypocrisy, as well as repeating long-disproven accusations.
Corbyn and his leadership team have no respect for others and worse, no respect for the rule of law.
Er, hang on. You just accused them of threatening to involve the courts. Which kind of requires at least some respect for the rule of law. As for respect for others, Corbyn’s behavious stands in stark contrast to the hysterical and unfettered smears, slurs and insults flung by pretty much everyone opposing him. Like your Daily Fail article, for example. Honestly.
They clearly have no moral compass,
Some might say that a Jewish man making Nazi slurs in the rag which, famously, railed against Jewish refugees fleeing pre-war actual Nazis, indicates a serious malfunction or even absence of a ‘moral compass’:
and in Corbyn they have a leader who wants to abolish the House of Lords yet is happy to confer and defend the granting of a peerage on Shami Chakrabarti,
As Mr Corbyn correctly observed, however much you want to see the end of the House of Lords, failing to nominate anyone to it is simply handing control of it to the Tories. Which would be silly.
whose detailed report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was anything but independent.
The Jewish Leadership Council disagrees with you. Among many others.
Mr Foster said Corbyn’s team was an ‘aggressive, holier-than-thou cadre of committed hard-Left socialists’ who ‘excluded, briefed against, often threatened and intimidated’ opponents
‘Hard-Left’? Pull the other one. The fact that you can consider them that just shows how corrupted your thinking has become by the so-called ‘neoliberal consensus’.
We are asked to accept wave after wave of inappropriate, democratically damaging and wrongful actions by the Corbynistas as the new way by which politics will be conducted.
‘Democratically damaging’? Seriously? You went to court to try to prevent party members even having the option to vote for him – and your team-mate Tom Watson and others on the party’s right spent members’ money going to court to prevent them having a vote. The other one has bells on.
It is why I, as a lifelong Labour supporter, funder and former parliamentary candidate, last month took Jeremy Corbyn to court to have the law decide whether the leader of the party could self-nominate for leader.
Haven’t you just criticised him for even talking about going to court? I think some self-awareness courses might be advisable. And he didn’t “self-nominate”. The party’s own rules made that superfluous. As the judge in your court case – which failed, you know – emphatically ruled.
To me, respect for the rule of law is fundamental to a democracy. Once political parties believe they are above the law it ends with all opposition silenced,
I take it you’ll be having a very cross word with Tom Watson for just going to court to claim that the NEC’s decisions on the rules are, er, above the law, then.
whether it is my grandparents in Dachau, or the Left in Erdogan’s Turkey rounded up and held uncharged in prison.
I’m sorry to hear about your grandparents. And about the left in Turkey. However, I’m fairly sure both would be horrified by a ‘lifelong Labour supporter’ using the Mail as a vehicle for Nazi slurs.
The courts decided that the rules as they stand allowed it. This decision advantaged Corbyn and his Sturm Abteilung (stormtroopers), but on Friday afternoon the Appeal Court handed down a big decision for British democracy.
“British democracy” is served by stopping people from having a vote? Can you say ‘suffragettes’?
It disallowed the attempt by arriviste followers of Corbyn to flood the Labour electoral college. This caused the mask of reasonableness of the Corbynista leadership to slip even further.
‘Arriviste’? You do realise how snobbish that is, right? Unless in your dictionary ‘arriviste’ means ‘people who became members of the Labour party and would like a vote because the Labour website said they could have one if they joined’. Not to mention the fact that the mis-named ‘Saving Labour’ was positively begging people to join up in order to vote against Corbyn. I suppose those people, assuming any bothered, are just ‘democracy-lovers’. Either way, I bet they’re royally pissed off, eh?
Suddenly the most holy of holies, the NEC,
Weren’t you just mocking supposed ‘worship’ of Corbyn at the top of the article? And anyone who knows anything about the NEC knows it’s often been anything but ‘holy’, even in a secular sense. It even had Luke Akehurst on it once. You know, the one who in the past few weeks has been emailing local Labour parties begging them to prevent their pre-12th Jan (i.e. non-‘arriviste’) members from having a say in the leadership nomination votes.
But I forgot, democracy means not letting people vote, so I guess he’s a hero of it.
was labelled a shoddy organisation capable of using a ‘grubby little device’.
You mean like going to court or asking local parties to lock their members out of the nomination process?
Cross this lot and you are straight into the firing line.
That Corbyn firing line of ‘I don’t do abuse’, you mean? If only your ‘firing line’ was like that.
Corbyn no longer has a clear path in his bid to destroy the Labour Party as we have known it in Government and in Opposition for the past 70 years.
This is what’s known as begging the question. With a bit of ad hominem thrown in for good measure. Bollocks.
Rather than start a party of the Left, he wishes to steal for the Left the respectable cloak of the Labour Party brand.
It’s just a guess, but I suspect that’s because of that pesky mandate from hundreds of thousands of, er, Labour members. Cheeky bastard, eh?
For these schoolboy, idealistic revolutionaries, perpetual opposition is the weak and acceptable substitute for perpetual revolution.
Our CLP voted massively to support Corbyn’s candidacy. We’re full of schoolboy idealists, like consultant obstetricians, teachers, company directors, nurses and the like. Oh, and for someone not interested in winning elections, Corbyn seems to win a lot of elections. Unlike the previous two party leaders. Or any of the non-Corbyn candidates at the last leadership election. Or you. In your failed attempt to become an MP. Fancy.
Let these people win Corbyn this election and Labour as a political force in this country will be heading for terminal decline.
Yes. As long as ‘decline’ means ‘growing at unprecedented levels and far bigger than under, for example, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or Ed Miliband. Oops.
And ‘let these people win’? If they win, it’s democracy. You know, the actual dictionary-definition type.
The Labour Party secretariat – knowing that Corbyn spells disaster for an effective and legitimate Opposition in Britain
‘Knowing’? Oh yes, that will be because Corbyn’s Labour has failed to be effective. Apart from annoying things like preventing so many attempted government measures that a Tory MP complained to John Pienaar on the BBC that David Cameron couldn’t get a single measure through Parliament. Awkward.
Oh, and ‘secretariat’? Careful, too many words like that and people might think you’re a totalitarian.
– have taken a stance against the bullying by men such as Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Unite leader Len McCluskey.
Entirely unevidenced. Unlike, for example, the ‘chicken coup’ and its attempts to ‘break Corbyn as a man’ in order to get their way when they realised they’d completely bolloxed up their attempt to remove him.
They were rewarded for their bravery by a victory secured with the backing of the High Court. We must reward that by backing Owen Smith against Corbyn and end the civil war bought to Labour’s door by the bullies and arm-twisters of the hard-Left.
Have you ever read ‘1984’? You do realise that the people behind ‘newspeak’ are the baddies, don’t you? As for ‘civil war’, anyone with two brain-cells to rub together can see who started that and who’s doing the bullying and arm-twisting.
Oh sorry. I forgot. You’re in the Daily Mail.
Smith now has a real chance of winning this contest. He is supported by the vast majority of his parliamentary colleagues.
I don’t think even Owen Smith believes he’s supported by a majority of his ‘colleagues’. He’s the scapegoat they’ve put up to take a pounding while they continue to undermine the party they claim to love. By writing slurs in the Mail, for example. And he knows full well that his only chance of a ‘win’ is a complete fix.
The Corbynistas know Smith will win the union affiliate vote because what matters to working union members (ie, not union leaders) is economic competence and no one has ever heard Corbyn speak about the economy in terms of output and productivity.
We’ll see. But I think you and I (and anyone with two brain-cells.. oh never mind) both know that’s hogwash. Unlike you (I suspect), I’m actually in a union and I suspect I know a lot more about how working Labour members and supporters think.
And there are other ways of talking about the economy than ‘output and productivity’. You know, words that won’t bore the average person to death. Corbyn has also employed world-renowned economics experts like Stiglitz and Piketty to take care of the mechanics while he talks sense to people. That’s what smart leaders do.
Corbyn, as with many economically illiterate people of the extreme Left, looks at the economy only as a means to gather revenue to redistribute, not as a way to rid us of poverty, to grow wages and increase employment.
That’s why he talks all the time real jobs, good wages and fairness, I guess. And actually clearly means it, unlike – well, unlike pretty much anyone for a good while.
Smith will most likely win the £25 sign-up vote too; as many right-minded middle class and working class people, are tired of the Corbyn rhetoric that has bought almost nothing in the past ten months for the people Labour is meant to serve.
Again, we’ll see. But I know of a lot of people who’ve gone without food in order not to be deprived of their vote. For Jeremy. Because nobody would go without a polo mint to pay for a vote for Owen Smith. Only for the real deal.
They have realised that effective opposition to a Conservative Government’s austerity programme will never be made to work by the divisive and blinkered extremes of a Corbyn-led cadre of second-rate minds.
Second-rate minds like those pesky world-renowned economists.
Yes, far more effective to ‘abstain for the poor’. Instead of, you know, actually stopping the Tories doing stuff that hurts people (that moaning Tory MP again, remember).
Those who do not share their view of the world are dismissed as neo-liberals or worse as ‘Blairite’ elitists hell-bent on protecting capitalism’s vested interest.
Because ‘Blairite elitists’ would resort to all kinds of dirty tricks to protect those vested interests. Like go to court to prevent people having a say or to try to prevent them even having a candidate to vote for (and failing).
If MPs declare their opposition to Corbyn, bully boy McCluskey threatens to target them with deselection.
You mean vote them out for not representing them satisfactorily. That pesky definition of actual democracy again. How unreasonable.
Oppose them as a Jewish donor and the riposte from Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s mouthpiece, is that you are part of a Blairite, Right-wing ‘conspiracy’ (the ancient racist rhetoric is that Jews don’t act alone, the malevolent Jew always conspires)
As already observed, I’m sure there is ample reason to despise you with absolutely no thought of your religion/ethnic identity. The fact that many Jewish Labour members have publicly supported Corbyn and his team must really be annoying to you. Like these guys. Or these.
to destabilise the democratically and legitimately elected leader.
Isn’t that exactly what you want to do?
The Corbynista dream of government is our nightmare.
Well, speaking personally (and, I can safely say, on behalf of at least a few hundred thousand members), a return to the “status quo ante” is my nightmare. The one you want to go back to.
Britain is not a land of extreme politics. From the Reform Acts of 1832, 1868 and 1884 and even the Attlee Government of 1945, Britain’s people have always rejected extremism.
It is why sensible Labour members will vote now for a strong opposition, and for Smith in order to preserve constitutional democracy in this country and consign to a footnote in history the socialist revolution led by the good burghers of Islington, The Guardian and other extreme political recidivists.
‘the Guardian and other extreme’?! I rest my case. But I – and most other members – will be voting for a leader and an opposition that are already proven strong and effective. Which is not Owen ‘what Jeremy says – but in POWER!’ Smith.