Right/’centrist’ humour-fail as they miss satire in Williamson’s Xmas message

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On Christmas Eve, Labour front-bencher Chris Williamson released his ‘Christmas message’.

It was a tongue-in-cheek affair. Williamson releases weekly video updates on goings-on at Westminster, but his Christmas edition was ‘green-screened’ to look as if it was filmed in Buckingham Palace. The video showed the MP signing Christmas cards to Dudley North MP Ian Austin next to a picture of Stephen Kinnock on his desk – and finished with a ‘shout-out’ to Austin.

Austin allegedly dislikes Williamson almost as much as he dislikes the SKWAWKBOX – and once attempted a confrontation with the Derby North MP that didn’t go well. The picture of Kinnock is a still from a BBC documentary that showed his less-than-thrilled expression when the ‘Corbyn surge’ wiped out Theresa May’s majority in June.

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Predictably, right-wingers in and out of the Labour Party failed to see the joke.

Former MP Fiona MacTaggart rebelled against Corbyn when Labour was trying to defeat a nonsensical Osborne measure only a month into his leadership – and called for his resignation just over a month after that.

She failed to recognise the green-screened royal setting and considered Williamson’s gentle satire ‘threatening’ and claimed it’s ‘not who we are’:

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To put Ms MacTaggart’s claim that it’s ‘not who we are’ in context, only a couple of days earlier she retweeted a tweet asking how – presumably – ‘centrists’ can ‘stomach staying in [the Labour] party’ under its current leadership. And misnaming the leadership:

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Another ‘centrist’ also missed the point entirely and got even more irate:

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Outside the Labour Party, a right-wing ‘reporter’ who works for one of the most odious Tory mouthpieces recognised the setting – but apparently not the satire:

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Another former S*n employee also missed – or ignored – the humour in order to repeat the ‘threat’ nonsense:

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While at lower levels of the Tory undergrowth, a councillor missed the joke entirely and thought that was how Williamson really writes his Christmas cards:

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All in all, the right inside and outside the Labour Party didn’t cover itself in glory in its response to Williamson’s video.

It managed to miss the warmth of the appeal to Austin and others to get on board with the passion and vision of the movement that Labour is becoming – for the sake of something we can surely all want.

A “fairer, decent, compassionate country”.

Yes, the appeal was made with some gentle leg-pulling and perhaps in hope rather than expectation – but it was made.

In doing so, Williamson showed a generous side to his nature without any compromising of his commitment to ‘the project’ – and he did so with humour and style.

That his opponents and detractors chose to cast it as ‘threatening’ says a lot about them – but if even just a few would genuinely listen and get on board, it will be better for Labour and for the country.

If you missed the video and want to see it, you can do so here.

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  1. The centrists in the Labour Party have no vision, no policies, no leader and, as is clear from their responses to Chris Williamson’s video, no sense of humour.

    They are an electoral and reputational liability to the Labour Party and their orthodoxies of neoliberalsm and incrementalism are nothing more than discredited and obsolete 20th Century thinking.

    As soon as they start spewing out their centrist platitudes and making their weird hand gestures people can see straight through them and can see that they are nothing more than self serving, greasy pole climbing fakes. They are electorally toxic and personally repellant individuals who do not serve the public interest or represent public opinion.

    They have shown themselves to be utterly untrustworthy and have burned their bridges with the leadership and membership. There is no no future for these people in the Labour Party, they will rot on the back benches for the rest of their political careers.

    When we leave the EU it is most probable that there will be an exodus of these centrists from the Labour Party. They will leave to take up well paid lobbying jobs and directorships. The party will be strengthened as a result of the departure of the centrist saboteurs if there are replaced by proper Labour MPs who will support the Labour Government’s programme.

  2. I find it fascinating how touchy many of the neoliberals/neocons are, they have no vision, no arguments, no grace or strength of character, even when mildly satirised they take umbrage and respond with more digs and sagging pet lips.

    When you compare what Corbyn, McDonnell and Abbott in particular have had to endure from all sides and their responses to the never ending smears, misquotes, undermining, back (and front) stabbing and outright abuse, it is crystal clear who are the strong characters, strong leaders and who are committed to their beliefs and policies rather than just self serving careers.

    Great Christmas message from Williamson.

  3. I’m afraid I get rather tired of this kind of ‘He said, She said’ comments when the message is NOT important. Fill your great site with adult serious stuff for ppl who don’t give a shit about Xmas and the misery it brings.

  4. How much longer do those calling themselves “centrists” in our party suggest that trickle-down economics should be given to prove itself valid?
    If the theory were valid poverty would reduce over time yet it grows at an increasing rate.
    Centrists of our party have either been misled or they’re Tory collaborators and liars.
    I see no third possibility.

    The international 1% have bribed, blackmailed and outwitted governments into losing control. Now they “avoid” tax with impunity and manipulate our economies for the benefit of themselves alone while their PR consultants and the MSM spin lies to keep us in ignorance.
    Lying to the electorate needs to be punishable by imprisonment or democracy is worth nothing.

    If centrists would push with us and not against us we could set an example to the world.
    We all know by now that new technology will soon make changes to society far greater than anything seen by previous generations.
    Under the control of the 1% and their sub-parasites the Tories AI/robotics would make the Highland clearances look like a generous redundancy package.

    The same technology could, instead of just replacing us in the name of productivity gains for the 1%, actually replace the Markets in their function of “aggregating information” as described by Hayek and touted by Tories since Thatcher.
    Then Capital and the 1% are finished. History.

    In the meantime we keep countering their lies until enough people see the light and the electorate genuinely own democracy again.
    Thanks for this year Skwawkbox, and Happy New Year to all of us.

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