‘Bully’ MP Austin attacks the SKWAWKBOX. Goes badly

Dudley North MP Ian Austin has been called ‘thuggish’ and an ‘unpleasant bully‘ for his behaviour in the House of Commons – and has attempted unpleasantness with at least one parliamentary colleague. That didn’t end too well, but it seems he hasn’t learned a lot.

Austin, who managed the unique trick of reducing his majority to just 22 in the 2017 General Election in the midst of the ‘Corbyn surge’, did not have a good night on Monday night.

Mr Austin decided to venture an unprompted negative tweet about this blog, piggybacking on an ill-judged article by Channel 4’s FactCheck about the SKWAWKBOX’s highlighting of the conspicuous ‘MSM’ silence over Jeremy Corbyn’s award from the International Peace Bureau in Geneva last week:

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The SKWAWKBOX piece didn’t mention Mr Austin – but this blog has inconvenienced him on a number of occasions, highlighting things he might well have preferred us not to mention – and less than a week ago a question to the MP sparked an angry reaction.

If it was meant to be payback, it was a poor choice – the FactCheck article had missed the very obvious point entirely and FactCheck had to make an embarrassing correction to another of its articles only a week or so ago – and it backfired spectacularly.

Austin’s tweet turned out to be the trigger for an series of responses by Twitter users who found his praise of ‘MSM’ journalism interesting, given how he had suffered from it in the past, and were more than willing to remind him – and everyone else – of Mr Austin’s own history:

One chose to highlight the time Austin disgraced himself in the Commons by heckling his own party leader:

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Others – quite a lot of others – chose to remind Mr Austin of the time ‘proper serious journalists’ had featured uncomfortable information about his parliamentary expense claims, of which this is but one example:

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Several targeted – rather directly – the issue of why a Labour MP wasn’t welcoming his leader’s honour instead of attacking someone who was:

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While others chose to highlight Mr Austin’s error in choosing FactCheck to be the vehicle for his self-serving attack, when that organisation had to correct its own article just a week before:

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Still others echoed the SKWAWKBOX article about the deeply-flawed logic of the FactCheck piece:

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Meanwhile in his actual job, Mr Austin did not vote to support a Labour amendment to force the Tories to fund children’s services instead of cutting taxes.

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  1. If I were a constituent of Ian Austin I would be deeply troubled that having returned him to parliament as a Labour MP he seems to spend the majority of his time attacking the Labour Party, its membership, its leader and the media outlets which actually support the Labour Party.

    His constituents returned him to defend Labour and attack the Tories but Mr Austin seems obsessed with doing the exact opposite.

    Those constituents would be justified in thinking that by doing so Mr Austin has broken the electoral covenant between an MP and the voter.

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