Two weeks ago, the SKWAWKBOX exclusively outlined six tactics that senior Labour sources predicted the blairite right of the Labour party would use in a desperate attempt to regain relevance by undermining Labour’s surge:
Some started some time ago.
Number 1 ‘Attack Jeremy’s outriders’ has manifested in a number of ways, including a libellous attack on the SKWAWKBOX in the right-wing press.
Number 6 predicted a manufactured Brexit division and was seen in Chuka Umunna’s ridiculous and unwinnable Queen’s speech amendment.
Number 2 took the guise of claims about Trident when Corbyn was being lauded by hundreds of thousands of Glastonbury-goers.
And now we have number 4.
‘Desperation tactic’ number 4 predicted a ‘generic smear’:
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.
Yesterday Yvette Cooper gave a speech to the Fabian Society, which she began with carefully-moderated praise for Jeremy Corbyn among others, but which quickly turned into a thinly-veiled rehashing of the whipped-up furore over a supposed ‘threat’ to Liverpool’s Wavertree MP Luciana Berger by the newly left-wing ‘exec’ of her local Labour party.
Ms Cooper told her audience:
The attacks, the abuse and the attempts at intimidation don’t just come from the right.
Sometimes our party members and supporters target each other.
Frankly Labour Party members should be united in supporting Luciana not targeting her or trying to intimidate her. Unacceptable always in the Labour party. Utterly shameful against someone who has stood up to fascists, someone who is on maternity leave.
Reports during the week of the ‘intimidation’ called it antisemitic and misogynist, so by raising it in her speech Cooper subtly re-fanned those accusations, even though there’s not a shred of evidence for either.
Here’s what was actually said concerning Ms Berger after her CLP’s annual general meeting – and by one individual, not the CLP as it was portrayed:
Spot the misogyny and antisemitism? No, thought not. Looks more like democracy – the idea that an MP should be expected to be accountable to her local party seems an entirely reasonable, even desirable, one.
And of course, the actual CLP committee hadn’t made even these comments and was quick to issue its own statement:
Oddly, that has not been reported anything like as widely as the original so-called ‘threat’. But then, the right has never let inconvenient facts get in the way of a good smear and emphasising the second comment would undermine the whole aim of Desperation Tactic 6.
Ms Cooper might, of course, not have intended her remarks as part of a tactic undoubtedly represented by the furore whipped up last week by the media and other right-wing ‘Labour’ MPs – but the net effect was the same.
And whatever the truth about her motivations in the speech, it should be remembered that Cooper was widely reported to be preparing – and her allies were briefing the press about – a bid to challenge Corbyn for the leadership had the ‘Corbyn surge’ not inconveniently made that impracticable. Some quarters even reported that Cooper had to sack a team she had put together in readiness for her bid.
When the SKWAWKBOX published the list of likely tactics that senior Labour insiders anticipated from those who want to undermine the Labour leader’s success, we said that ‘forewarned is forearmed’.
The whipped-up antisemitism/misogyny smear is just a rehash of similar old attempts, because the Establishment has no new ideas, no inspiration.
And once you’re forewarned, it’s remarkable how lame and predictable efforts to put those tactics into practice look – including number six.
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