The Huffington Post, Politics Home and other outlets have been running this morning with the story of a supposed ‘staffing crisis’ in Jeremy Corbyn’s office. Some people have left, true – two because of ill health and one for unknown reasons – but that’s normal in any office job.
In fact, two people suffering ill health should surprise nobody – it can’t be easy working in an office that is continually the target for ludicrous criticism. One of the people leaving for health reasons is Jayne Fisher, who was attacked – along with Corbyn for employing her – because she used to work, in Parliament at the Sinn Fein office. This was the epitome of nonsense, because it was a job – she was a Labour member all along – and those making the most fuss about her previous post will have been among those praising the late Martin McGuinness after his sad, recent death. One Labour critic of the appointment was even in Sinn Fein as a youth.
Now Corbyn is being attacked because she’s leaving – but the media won’t let logic or facts get in the way of a good smear.
But the articles soon give away the real target of the attack by turning their fire on Corbyn’s Office Director, Karie Murphy, whom they term ‘effectively Corbyn’s chief of staff’.
The Huffington Post uses quotes from an anonymous source (apparently it’s ok to use those as long as you’re not the SKWAWKBOX, according to its right-wing critics) to talk of a Murphy ‘takeover’, of Murphy’s ‘forceful’ character and of supposed clashes with other staff – a transparent and perhaps misogyny-tinted attempt to smear her as some kind of dictator or harridan who is driving staff out in order to tighten her grip on the Labour leader’s office.
The truth is rather more prosaic and not in the least surprising. This morning, a senior Labour source told the SKWAWKBOX:
What this comes down to is an attempt by ‘moderates’, with some help from the media, to smear Jeremy’s core team because they fear its growing effectiveness.
This especially applies to Karie – the straightforward truth is that she is bloody good at her job. Her enemies probably fear the improvements she has made to how things are run.
They now know they are up against it. The larger role she’s taking simply reflects that effectiveness and the success she’s already had. Typically, the first resort of certain people is to smear, but it’s absolute nonsense.
As for the people who are leaving, they’re superb people who go with our best wishes.
No surprise to find that the truth behind a story is that there is no real story – except a positive one. But the Labour right-wing faction couldn’t exactly ‘brief’ that, now, could they?
Especially the day after five historic Labour wins.
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