Proxy attacks on Corbyn look coordinated. Not hard to imagine why..

The last day or so has seen a set of media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn – proxy attacks, since those attacking don’t currently seem to believe they can dent his credibility and authenticity directly – that to observers of media trends might seem co-ordinated.

The theme for the attacks stems from the self-pitying complaints of right-wing Labour figures desperate for some way to smear members exercising their democratic right to choose who represents them on Haringey council – and who resorted to characterising the democratic candidate selections as a ‘purge’ or a ‘take-over’.

Echoes, still, of the ridiculous ‘entryist’ smears of the early days of Corbyn’s leadership – and transparently pathetic, since both left and right members want change and even some right-wing councillors have remained unchallenged.

The common denominator in the candidates supported by activists instead of deselected is clear – they all oppose the ‘HDV‘, the Haringey Development Vehicle that will involve the destruction of thousands of social homes to make way for redevelopment that locals call social cleansing.

The ‘MSM’ have featured at least three concerted attacks within the space of twenty-four hours all focusing, from one angle or another, on the supposed purge and attempting to smear Corbyn by association with the ogres daring to use their votes for candidates they agree with.

The relic

One, in the Guardian, involved digging up a rusted relic in the shape of Roy Hattersley, who

  • tries to claim that Labour is in crisis – when what he means is that Labour is doing really well under people he doesn’t like
  • appears oblivious or uncaring that he is praising and encouraging factionalism on the part of the people he likes, to combat largely-imagined factionalism on the part of those inconveniently successful people he doesn’t
  • imagines that the success of the left in Liverpool (and other places) is down to former Militant pensioners, when in fact the former Militant pensioners are still busy but are not in the Labour Party and Labour’s resurgence as a genuinely-envisioned movement is driven by far younger members
  • with a stunning lack of irony claims Haringey changes are being driven by entryists, when in fact one of the few wards in which the right has been successful there resulted from an anomalous influx of one-time-only members who all paid their subs on the night in order to vote for the council leader despised for her central part in – you’ve guessed it – the HDV

and a lot more dross besides.

Former Labour MP Roy Hattersley and his far better-remembered puppet version

Hattersley’s political career is most remembered for his Spitting Image puppet – and in his latest article he only succeeds in showing just how irrelevant and out of touch he is now.

But the intent is clear: undermine Labour members, claim they’re all in Momentum – they’re not – and hope some mud sticks to Corbyn and to somehow protect right-wingers in other places by ‘shaming’ members who want change.

The usual suspect

Another is a piece in the Independent by entrenched Blairite John Rentoul who, surprise surprise, shows how out of touch he is by claiming that Labour is only strong because of Jeremy Corbyn personally and completely missing that it’s Corbyn’s vision that has people engaged and impassioned – for a cause, not just a person:

rentoul title

He does, however, act as a ‘useful idiot’ in a couple of ways. First, he admits that local government is still a stronghold of Blairism:

rentoul local

This makes it perfectly obvious why Labour’s massively pro-Corbyn membership want change at local government level – and is exercising those democratic rights to effect change.

Secondly, he lets slip a phenomenon that those who have been watching carefully have noticed over the last week or two – that two of Labour’s front-bench women are being positioned as future leaders by those who oppose Corbyn’s vision:

rentoul leader

Which leads us neatly onto the third attack.

The MP

Murdoch’s The Times featured an interview – of sorts – with Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner. It’s an odd piece, with extrapolation and commentary by the interviewer or journalist plays at least as prominent a role as Ms Rayner’s own words.

rayner times.png

But where her own words do feature, some of them are problematic. One comment appears dismissive of left-wing activists, caricaturing them as wearing Guevara t-shirts and holding pointless student union nights about miners. She also describes the democratic attempts of members to select council candidates who represent their views as ‘heartbreaking’ – which has caused dismay among members in Haringey and around the country who are trying to remove councillors they feel have betrayed them and Labour values.

Ms Rayner posted a Facebook comment in which she said she had been misquoted or quotes had been used out of context. She also told the SKWAWKBOX that her comments about factionalism were general and about possible negative effects for the party and so were not aimed at Momentum, who she said should be welcome in Labour’s ‘broad church’.

If the Times misrepresented Ms Rayner’s comments, it only strengthens the impression that the article was structured to portray a damaging picture of the Labour Party, exploiting Ms Rayner’s perhaps unguarded comments for that purpose.

The reason

If the attacks are coordinated, a potential reason is not hard to identify.

Survation was the only company to predict the General Election result correctly, in spite of being ridiculed for this by BBC interviewers sure that their own reading of the nation’s mood was better.

Today, the company published a poll on the ‘State of the Parties’ – one that showed Labour with an eight-point lead over the Tories:

survation 021217.png

If Establishment media outlets are attempting to coordinate their attacks to maximise impact, an eight-point Labour lead would make a good reason.

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  1. Just a quick question to other Labour members on survey sites esp. YouGov – are you still being asked who you’ll vote for? I was asked regularly from 2011 until this year but can’t remember the last time YouGov asked my intentions.

  2. This is of course the second time that the right wing of the Labour Party and their surrogates in the media have sought to damage the party’s polling in order to undermine the leadership and membership.

    As a result of Jeremy Corbyn has saved the party from bankruptcy, won the party 3 million extra votes and tripled the number of members to almost 600,000, the sabotaging of Labour’s polling numbers is the only course of action left to the right wing of the party.

    There are three interlinked reasons why they are doing this: orthodoxy, control and corruption.

    There are two key orthodoxies the right wing clings to. The first is that the party cannot win a general election from the left and that members are deluded to think that you can. This is a bizarre orthodoxy to maintain as the party won a landslide and the the largest number of seats in its history on a largely left wing prospectus in 1997. The minimum wage, a windfall tax on excessive profits and a massive investment were the key planks of the 1997 manifesto and were all left wing policies. The party has also just gained the largest vote increase since 1945 by offering the public a left wing prospectus.

    The second orthodoxy the right wing of the party holds is that it is in the national interest to precisely align British foreign policy with American foreign policy. This orthodoxy has been shown to be unsound by the disastrous outcomes caused by that alignment: Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, our relationships with apartheid states, dictatorships and the headchopping Saudi regime which exports terrorism. It is clear that the alignment damages, not enhances, the national interest and national security of the UK.

    Which brings us to the last two reasons for the right wing’s attempted sabotage of the Labour party’s polling numbers: control and corruption.

    Like the corporatists in the DNC, the right wing of the Labour Party would rather lose elections than lose control of the party. Their corruption is therefore twofold. They are corrupt because they attempt to gerrymander internal elections, and they are corrupt because both when in and out of power they serve the interests of their corporate donor class and not the electorate.

    These are the issues the leadership and membership of the Labour Party currently face. If these issues remain unresolved then the party’s four term programme of government to invest in the infrastructure and people of the UK will not be able to be implemented.

    If that programme is not implemented then the UK and the people living here will be unable to compete and prosper in the modern world.

    The first step the party needs to take to resolve these problems is to replace the current corrupt right wing General Secretary with a new GS who, instead of seeking to undermine the leadership at every turn, will offer the required support and assistance to implement the strategic four term programme outlined in the 2017 Labour Party manifesto.

    1. Brilliant summation Internal Affairs, thank you.

      This is the key point about the Labour right wing ( and their supportive commentators). They might want Labour to win – under certain circumstances.

      But they don’t want our lives to change.

      They joined The Labour Party primarily not to defeat the Tories, but to prevent The Labour Party changing the balance of power in our society.

    2. Agree with Nomatestype. brilliant summation.

      ” …and they are corrupt because both when in and out of power they serve the interests of their corporate donor class and not the electorate.”

      I would like to add banks to “corporate”. Of course in the current financialized economic system, banking and corporates work as one hollowing out companies, pension funds etc. on the back of share buy backs and other mechanisms to increase share price that enables the huge bonuses and dividends to shareholders.

      Foreign policy is going to be the greatest challenge… US is not the only country that believes it is ‘exceptional’ and the empire mentality is still deeply embedded in British and European allied political, civil and security services and of course wealthy vested interests are major beneficiaries..
      Then there are the powerful lobbying forces… politicians need to find some real courage and a moral compass that doesn’t involve the egregious hypocrisy that permeates foreign policy..

    3. Thank you IA excellent summation of the situation and eloquently illustrates what my expletive riddled rant failed to do .Apologies for allowing my anger/exasperation to get the better of me but these right wingers will try and cost us the election and hence condemn us to more yrs of crap .They have and will be stopped and kicking out McNicol is the start and then democratically reselecting the correct Labour reps up to and inc prospective MP is the way to do it .
      Grass roots will power !

  3. Second para correction:

    As a result of Jeremy Corbyn saving the party from bankruptcy, winning the party 3 million more votes and tripling the number of members to almost 600,000, the sabotage of Labour’s polling numbers is the only course of action left to the right wing of the party.

    1. Which could well be the game plan for the up coming local elections using unpopular policies in a scorched earth approach alongside smear campaigns like this one in Haringey to switch local voters off from the Labour brand regardless of the difference between the Blair old guard in local government and those seeking a genuine break from the failed approach and policies of he past.

      With a poor set of results providing the springboard for yet another chicken coup involving the usual suspects and their cohorts in the corporate media.

  4. “‘I’m a gangsta granny punching above my gene pool in this job'”

    I sincerely hope this is not a quote from Rayner…

    1. Me too, made me cringe so it did.

      I like Angela Rayner; but she needs to heed the lesson here – don’t bother with the murdoch rags if you don’t want to be misquoted. Or end up getting a ‘jess phillips’ reputation.

      Your choice, Angela.

      1. I have clarified my comment below. We may or may not be on the same page… but my position is clear now.

        Giving interviews to hostile rags and media requires very experienced political nouse these days, unless your agenda is to discredit Labour leadership and policies of course.

        Make no mistake all big, hegemonic media is hostile to any form of Socialist policies at home and abroad no matter how mild …it might catch on!

    2. Just to clarify…

      We are all equal.
      Some are not superior or inferior which is the basis of supremacist and ruling class ideology that uses ‘gene pool’ to back up and justify their perverted thinking and belief in Kings and Queens birth right to rule.. No one has ‘blue blood’! These are certainly not the times to reference such thinking. Classes are made by economic, financial, judicial, political, physical and psychological coercive instruments to repress and use swathes of the population to benefit the wealthy vested interests.

  5. Hattersley thinks that the 500k members who joined because of Jeremy Corbyn are just a ‘narrow clique’! The man is delusional.

    1. Yeah, but remember when the tub of lard did better than hattersley ever could on HIGNFY?

  6. hattersley gould and mandelson were the Blair inquisition I know as I suffered the most blatant fix when I was the choice of the unions and most branches in the constituency won by Kim Howells when nominations for me were converted into recommendations for Howells in the LP Wales office
    Howells became Hattersleys PPS when elected The documentary evidence is deposited in the National library of wales political Archive Ian and Thalia Campbell collection

  7. AI/robotics job losses will hit the middle class hard and soon, the higher-salaried being the most tempting targets.
    On losing their own jobs & small businesses all but the most gullible/diehard will be forced to admit that the poor were never the cause of poverty after all.
    I hope that will finally condemn the 1% and shift the balance permanently in our favour – but dealing with something bigger than the industrial revolution in a tenth of the time will be a challenge of distribution greater than any administration has ever faced.
    Need to start thinking about it soon.

  8. I have just read Hattersley’s article in the closet tory Observer. The man must think he is working for the ministry of truth. He has twisted the whole thing to imply the exact opposite of what has occurred. He then has the nerve to say he is a social democrat. The pair of ‘journalists’ who wrote the lead piece where also way off the mark, short on facts and high on spurious claims and of course no names to support them.
    In the meantime can somebody please tell me why it takes two of the flunkeys to write such an article? Mutual gratification I suspect.
    Thanks for the excellent informative post from Internal Affairs et al.

  9. Anyone would think that there were elections going on to the NEC or something.


  11. Enough is enough. We don’t owe these people the lint from our pockets, let alone a comfy job, a second home, a nice pension and the ability to rule over us. They’ve sneered at us and thrown us under the bus for long enough, they can go form their own party as they used to tell us to do when we had no power. Now the power is ours, and they want to take it back, but if we were to surrender any ground to these people now then should we form a government we would be persistently hindered by them. We need to purge them all, and damn the media for calling it what it is, they need to go and the people want them to go.
    It’s a simple matter of those who aren’t with us are against us. Everyone who doesn’t get their fair pay, a roof over their head, or are living hand to mouth is in direct competition with these people who have taken us for marks for decades. They will rape the planet of everything it has to keep the privileged position which they feel they deserve, it’s time to rid them of this delusion and create a country that works for the people, not the people who think they own us.

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