The Daily Telegraph – or, as it’s more accurately nicknamed, the Torygraph – is trolling. Attempting to stir up trouble in the Labour party. Surprise.
Thing is, they’re really not very good at it. On this occasion they don’t make it further than the 2nd paragraph before saying something so patently untrue that anyone with eyes and a brain-cell calls ‘bollocks’.
And then it goes downhill from there.
The article attempts to persuade us that Clive Lewis is positioning himself for a possible leadership challenge, but gives its ‘fake news’ game away with this little gem:
No serious piece could make such a fundamental mistake. Owen Jones is not popular with Jeremy Corbyn’s grassroots supporters.
He hasn’t been since he began the series of somersaults (more than most Olympic gymnasts) in which he’s supported Corbyn one minute and the next has been all too eager to undermine Corbyn’s leadership.
And emphatically not since this, a few days ago, to a Tory online magazine:
And, of course, there’s the little matter of supposedly canvassing for yet another futile leadership challenge.
From a ridiculously pathetic start, the article manages somehow to go downhill a couple of paragraphs later:
Well, no. It’s certainly parliamentary convention that a party leader can sack a front-bencher who breaks the whip. He can also ‘withdraw the whip’ entirely, expelling any MP from the party, for breaking a three-line whip (or just because he decides he wants to, in fact).
But there’s no rule that says he ‘must’.
And the slide continues:
Nope, that’s wrong too. Although ridiculous polling over recent months has put the Tory lead at 17 points, the latest Opinium polling – tweeted without comment by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft – shows that Labour has closed the gap to just seven:
If you want reliable information on the Labour Party, the last place you’ll find it is in a rag that can’t – or more likely chooses not to – get even its basic facts straight. There are any number of good sources, but few to none have ‘Daily’ in their title – and absolutely none are owned by rich, right-wing billionaires or controlled by Tories like the BBC.
As for Clive Lewis’ supposed leadership ambitions, I’ve no doubt he hopes one day to lead Labour. But he’s too smart to think that time is now or that members would entertain a challenge for a second for the foreseeable future – and too decent to try, I think, even if he thought it could work. If anyone saw the BBC’s footage of him in his office yesterday, just after his decision to resign, he looked like he was about to burst into tears – genuine ones, not Angela Eagle’s patented crocodile version.
So, give Clive Lewis the benefit of the doubt, give Corbyn time to bed in his new-look team, don’t panic – and don’t believe everything you read in the papers. Or should that ‘anything’?
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