Today’s Sunday Times front page represents a low point even for the Murdoch press, with an embarrassing attempt to attack ‘Corbyn allies’ Momentum:
The article itself is so thin that even two professional anti-Corbyn commentators on BBC News’ newspaper review were too embarrassed to do much more than point out the lack of evidence, the fact that the deselection claim relied on a single, anonymous source and that it was a regurgitation of a regurgitation of old claims on a topic not many people care about.
The bizarre graphic, reminiscent of antisemitic propaganda from the nazi era – together with the use of the nazi-associated word ‘putsch’ – was especially ill-chosen given that Momentum founder Jon Lansman is Jewish:
However, these are not the only shameful aspects of how low the article stoops. It also returns to the London borough of Haringey, calling it – without quotation marks – a purge when in fact all that happened was that some would-be candidates lost a democratic vote and others won.
That’s democracy – and the common thread in the selections was the candidates’ opposition to or support for the ‘HDV‘: the hare-brained plan to sell huge numbers of council homes to a developer that is opposed by most Haringey residents.
However, to put meat on the bones of the nonsensical purge claim, the article quotes one Nora Mulready – a self-described Blairite and die-hard anti-Corbyn activist who was as of last month facing disciplinary action by the Labour Party on charges of online bullying of an officer, of Indian ethnicity, of Tottenham constituency Labour party.
And just today, Ms Mulready has been accused of being like an ‘EDL activist’ for comments about Islam that she sent out on Twitter:
This was the person whom – along with Luke Akehurst mentioned in the above tweet – the Sunday Times quoted to pad out its slur.
Was the Sunday Times unaware of Ms Mulready’s history of comments about Islam – or did it know and not care?
In the end, the paper will have done little damage to Corbyn or the Labour left – does anyone really care whether the bland Chris Leslie is deselected?
But its eagerness to paint the Labour left as ugly – and a readiness to put material on the front page that doesn’t merit a paragraph in an obscure corner in pursuit of that goal – have done its own reputation no good at all.
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