Exclusive: Clive Lewis on THAT tweet. #Grenfell

lewis burn neo.png

Last month, Clive Lewis became famous for his reaction to his huge General Election victory in the early hours of Friday 9 June.

Just a few days later, after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, he was in the headlines again for the brief, evocative tweet above that he sent out about the role that our economic and political system played in the deaths of so many residents in the ill-fated high-rise – and the need for that system to change.

It was a masterpiece of succinct political communication. It was also provocative enough to rouse the right-wing media – from Fawkes to the Daily Politics show and everything in between – to first attack it and then use it as a challenge to every Labour politician, even weeks later.

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Clive Lewis’ famous, endearing post-election celebration

Lewis has spoken exclusively to the SKWAWKBOX about that tweet, its meaning, its aim and the reaction to it:

First of all the medium of twitter – the right has always tended to have better slogans than us. If you understand neoliberalism you know they’ve spent decades honing their buzzwords, making their views seem like common sense. That’s how they govern.

The Left has usually stuck to trying to explain facts and as Ronald Reagan said: “if you’re explaining you’re losing”. But now the right’s coherence is falling apart and social media has played a key role in that.

That tweet was a slogan, on Twitter you’re limited to 140 characters so you’ve got to be concise and nail the message. Some people say it’s unfeeling, it’s political – but people burning in their homes is political.

And it’s not just the people who died in Grenfell Tower. There are hundreds of buildings affected, thousands of people – and sometimes things just need to be said.

Some people say it played into the right’s hands by giving them something to criticise – look, some people will take anything you say and twist it so you have to say what you think.

All austerity was is the next stage in the Tories dismantling the post-1945 settlement as they’ve always wanted to do – using the crash they created as an excuse. Now we have commentator after commentator saying it’s time for the system to change. It’s nine years overdue.

I stand by it. It’s not incitement to violence in any way, it’s saying get rid of this nefarious system whose time needs to end.

The Establishment keeps trying to attack a resurgent Labour Party for saying what it thinks – John McDonnell’s accusation that the victims of Grenfell Tower were murdered has similarly been used as an attempted criticism by the right. But these comments ring true to most people – because they are.

Labour’s ‘straight-talking, honest politics’ has come into its own and people are responding to its obvious authenticity. Well played Clive Lewis – and John McDonnell, and David Lammy and others who have ‘told it like it is’.

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  1. “…John McDonnell’s accusation that the victims of Grenfell Tower were murdered has similarly been used as an attempted criticism by the right. But these comments ring true to most people – because they are.”


    Has this definition of murder:

    “Subject to three exceptions (see Voluntary Manslaughter below) the crime of murder is committed, where a person:

    of sound mind and discretion (i.e. sane);
    unlawfully kills (i.e. not self-defence or other justified killing);
    any reasonable creature (human being);
    in being (born alive and breathing through its own lungs – Rance v Mid-Downs Health Authority (1991) 1 All ER 801 and AG Ref No 3 of 1994 (1997) 3 All ER 936;
    under the Queen’s Peace;
    with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm (GBH).”

    The devil is in the last line.

    Is it really your position (and Mr McDonnell’s) that someone or some people intentionally set out to kill or cause GBH to 80+ people?

    1. I take it that you must agree with the apparent position of Skwawkbox and Mr McDonnell that a person or persons intentionally set out to kill or cause GBH to 80+ people.

  2. So far as I’m aware no one has been charged with murder in relation to Hillsborough.

    And as I’m sure you’re aware we must be careful not to discuss that case in detail.

    1. Don’t evade & obfuscate. You were asked a simple question.

      An inquest reached a conclusion of ‘unlawful killing’ I didn’t ask if they were ‘murdered’. I asked if you thought it was ‘an accident’. I think you do, but you’re too much of a coward to actually spit it out.

      It’s patently obvious (And demonstrably so) that you seem to think that people’s deaths don’t really matter as long as the establishment remains intact; no matter how they go about cutting corners to save a few quid or saving their own skins when the shit hits the fan, as it inevitably will.

      Well it’s NOT.

      You really are one pedantic, contrary shithouse. Have you nothing better to do in your old age than antagonise people by defending the overtly indefensible? Those poor sods are homeless, destitute, or dead because of things you’d ordinarily support – as long as you could get away with it. Well, you & yours have been found out. What have you to say about that?

      Feigned sympathy? Faux grievance? Get to f**k. You’re not remotely arsed because it hasn’t happened to you or yours.

      And don’t try palming sensible people off with that tired old ‘devil’s advocate’ bullshit. You’re nowt but a troll. A sad, old troll.

      1. As I’m sure you’re aware we must be careful not to discuss the Hillsborough case in detail.

        Leaving aside the insults, am I to take it that you share the view that a person or persons intentionally set out to kill or cause GBH to 80+ people in the Grenfell disaster?

    2. Weevily pathetic squirming non responce tothe question .Fuck me you make full time profeesional MPs look like true amatures in dodging the question

  3. I’m not discussing the (Upcoming) Hillsborough case. I asked for your opinion on the event.

    I know you believe it was an accident, defying your own logic because a jury found it to be ‘unlawful killing’. I CAN discuss that much, because that’s already the case. Don’t try to stifle me. Refrain from obfuscating and evading.

    I know you believe Grenfell was no more than ‘unfortunate’. Not in any way as a result of failings (despite many warnings) of the authorities (Local & national).

    You’ve made it all too obvious. Not once – on any site where I’ve seen you post – have I seen you express sympathy, or call for justice for to the victims – despite the all too obvious arrogance & aloofness of the tory rats who you unflinchingly support, that have nigh on left those poor sods to get on without any meaningful assistance.

    All’s you’ve done is make excuses and question the motives of people who’ve had the temerity to question, or call to account, the authorities responsible.

    They died, or were made homeless/destitute by the actions of the same people you routinely support.

    Oh, and fuck you, with your ‘leaving the insults aside’. Trying to take some moral stance when you’re devoid of morals yourself, you fucking bad joke. Your indifference to others’ suffering insults me. Your refusal to give a straight answer to a simple question insults me.

    And your attitude is an insult to those victims of both disasters.

  4. Go on, prick…Let’s hear it.

    “Yeah – but is it MURDER???”

    Just fuck off.

      1. Nothing ‘civilised’ about you or your attitude, when all that you ever do is post with the intention of antagonising people, here and on other sites. .

        Take your semantics, your pedantry and your antagonism and shove them. No wonder society’s ‘broken’ with helmets like you around.

      2. Ahhh dear little Hindson you truly pathetic little worm of a non human Tory appologist.You hide behind a thin vaneer of civility BUT in fact what you have demonstrated on numerous posts is that you fully support policies of a Govt who is the most murderous ,vindictive,bunch of cunts we have ever suffered .AND I dont give a flying fuck wether you leave aside the foul language or not as you have pointed out to others here we are quite entitled to our views ,no doubt whatever, you will never change yours .

  5. I also notice there was no denial to my earlier statements about you.

    Oh, but you’re above explanation – aren’t you?

  6. You’re quite entitled to your views, however spattered with foul language they are. I suspect, however, that even if I deny the truth of your statements your views will not change.

      1. Again, leaving aside your foul and abusive language, you may recall that I originally made the point about “murder” involving intent.

        Skwawkbox and Mr McDonnell seem to think there was intent behind the Grenfell disaster.

        Do you share that view?

        I find it an extraordinary position to take.

      2. Rob, forget about the idiot-savant – he’s just GOT to be right, and you MUST answer his questions, relevant or otherwise with a FULL explanation, and it MUST be semantically correct and entirely within the context that he finds agreeable.

        (Then you must bow before your lord & master and thank him for the ‘benefit of his eternal wisdom’)

        The same courtesy is never reciprocated to us great unwashed. What do we know?

        I’m in no doubt that he’s the type of ‘person’ (And I use that label VERY loosely) that reckons child poverty doesn’t exist or that victims of CSA can’t be called ‘victims’ if they werent penetrated.

        Horrible, horrible ‘person’.

  7. Hindson in reply to Graham Hindson on 05/07/2017 at 6:15 pm
    You wrote
    Again, leaving aside your foul and abusive language, you may recall that I originally made the point about “murder” involving intent.

    Skwawkbox and Mr McDonnell seem to think there Etc Etc

    Still not answering the question posed by Toffee and its non or your fucking business what I beleive .You are nothibg more than a Tory troll appologist
    The game is up for you back to Tory HQ for you .Here on in you are stuck with the rightful label of Tory Troll and all future comments from you will be seen for what they really are and treated with the contempt they deserve

  8. Agreed Toffee
    Hindson is truly one hell of a vile sub human but then again most tories are

    1. Is that most of the 13.7m who voted Cons in the GE?

      In conclusion (I’m going to be out in the sticks for a few days) it’s illuminating (for me at least, and possibly for impartial observers) that neither you nor The Toffee have actually made any attempt to address the substantive original point I made yesterday on the validity or otherwise of the “murder” claims around Grenfell, preferring instead to engage in a barrage of foul mouthed name calling.

      Civilised, calm and courteous debate it certainly ain’t!

      1. Have you ever expressed sympathy or condolences for the victims?

        Have you ever answered anyone’s questions directly? When you offer those courtesies you can then ask of others.

        And for your benefit in particular – Yes, I do believe they were murdered. When profit is put before people’s right to safety and people die as a result of it; along with threatening to sue people for raising genuine concerns (which sadly were self-fulfilling) and ignoring & callously disregarding all sorts of advice, then yes, I DO think they were murdered.

        You can point to the law and use your semantics all you bloody well please, squire. Makes no odds to me. Those responsible are guilty of murder as much as they’d be if they paid to have those people killed for their financial benefit.

        Alright? Now go away you mind-numbing bore.

      2. Dont kill to many foxes whilst out in the country estates hunting with your hoorayHenry mates will you .
        And yup thats every one of em 13.6 exactly as the great man known as Nye Bevan, once said lower than vermin.
        Ps nearly 13 million voted Labour as you keep banging on about the vote size.Next time we will wipe you out.
        Tory troll

  9. Clive Lewis has been very quiet lately. Wasn’t he unimpressed over Trident decision?

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