Labour insiders have drawn up a report on the likely tactics that right-wingers – inside and outside the party – will use in a desperate attempt to negate the huge groundswell of support for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour and vision.
“Forewarned is forearmed”, so the SKWAWKBOX has obtained details of these smear and scorched-earth tactics so that readers can be ready to recognise and call out these tactics when they see them appear – or, even better, so the right knows they’re going to be recognised and ridiculed for even attempting them.
Right-wing commentators, ‘centrist’ media supporters and so-called Labour ‘moderates’ have already been using the ‘no one saw it coming‘ excuse to try to regain credibility that was shredded by their completely-inaccurate predictions of the General Election result, even though the SKWAWKBOX and others had told them it was coming weeks before polling stations opened.
These six steps represent the likely next steps in their desperate attempt to regain control of the narrative:
1) Attack Jeremy’s outriders
The people who have led the way in predicting Corbyn’s success and/or defending the credibility of his politics are now high on the target list, as ‘centrists’ and Tory sympathisers currently see Corbyn as too strong to attack directly. Len McCluskey of Unite has been a staunch supporter and, as General Secretary of the UK’s largest union, a serious threat and will be high on the hit list.
The hugely successful independent left media will also be targets. The SKWAWKBOX has already seen a surge in the number of attacks on its credibility, even involving the creation of fake news to try to undermine the blog.
2) Engineer a foreign policy division
As the right did (with unforgivable cynicism and callousness) over Syria and Yemen, look for faux-Labour MPs and others to manufacture a split over some foreign policy issue
3) Attack Momentum
Two years ago, deputy leader and arch agitator Tom Watson insulted Momentum and other Corbyn supporters as rabble and Trotskyists – ludicrously, but with the help of the media it gained public attention.
Post-election, there have already been calls for Momentum to disband (perhaps to offset Progress’ financial troubles after its chief donor decided not to back a losing horse any longer). Watch out for further attacks as the right tries to deflect attention from Momentum’s huge role in Labour’s General Election campaign, winning seats that Labour HQ had decided not to fund in order to protect Blairite MPs
4) Generic smear
Create a furore over some manufactured smear to achieve buy in from Murdoch press. Last year it was alleged antisemitism, which was treated as a fact even when a Tory-dominated parliamentary committee was forced to conclude that there was no evidence for it.
If a new smear isn’t handy, expect the antisemitism one to be recycled – there were already signs of this during the General Election campaign in the mock-outrage by ‘moderate’ MPs and right-wing plants in the TV Q&As about Corbyn’s ‘decision’ not to expel Ken Livingstone from the Labour party when Corbyn, under Labour’s rules, does not have any authority or role in such decisions.
5) Smear performance of Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet
Corbyn’s front-bench team has performed incredibly under less than ideal circumstances, but was routinely and cynically painted as under-performing before the General Election campaign.
Expect the ‘incompetency’ narrative to be resurrected, even though the Tories are now in disarray thanks to the strength of Corbyn’s team and their performance, with no contribution – and plenty of sabotage during the election campaign – by ‘moderates’.
In this scenario, Corbyn’s opponents defy or ridicule the official party line on Brexit thereby harnessing the Liberal Press.
As Corbyn is widely acknowledged to have played a difficult Brexit hand exactly right, leading to Labour gains in both leave and remain areas, any attempts to do this will only make the perpetrators transparently ridiculous and self-serving.
But never underestimate the desperation of Blairite relics to regain a semblance of relevance – and recent comments by some ‘moderates’ already indicate that this ill-advised strategy is well and truly on the table.
Watch out for these tactics rearing their head – and call them out with the scorn they deserve when they appear – and share this information to inoculate others against them.
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