Right-wing men defending McKenzie’s misogyny show the dark heart of the right

Ian McKenzie, the Lewisham right-winger exposed tweeting vile comments about Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, has been suspended from the Labour Party because of them.

Before his misogynist tweets – which talk of Labour front-bencher Emily Thornberry in terms of sale into sex-slavery, gang-rape and beheading – McKenzie was touted by the Labour right as an expert in preventing or reversing the democratic influence of the party’s majority left-wing membership and toured the country passing on his ‘expertise’.

McKenzie also made a comment on Twitter to fellow right-winger, actor Eddie Marsan, which would have had ‘centrists’ baying for immediate expulsion if it had been put out by a left-winger.

McKenzie pleaded with Marsan not to leave the Labour Party, telling him that while earlier ‘stuff’ hadn’t ‘cut through’, the latest round of accusations were putting the right in a position to win back seats on Labour’s National Executive Committee:

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Any left-leaning member making such a suggestion that criticisms of the party were being weaponised in the way that McKenzie’s tweet implies would have been in for a torrid time from so-called ‘moderates’ and even the national media.

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But McKenzie apparently felt no concern about framing it as he did.

McKenzie is also the subject of several complaints of anti-democratic or discriminatory practice during local election candidate selections – and was accused on social media of tampering with questions during last weekend’s parliamentary selection meeting.

His impunity ended last night when news leaked that Labour had suspended him pending an investigation of his ‘gang-rape’ tweets – although it took mainstream publications some time to get their sources and stories straight – and that McKenzie had resigned from his position as a political advisor to Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz.

But a number of – almost entirely male – supporters from the right of the Labour Party and of politics generally clearly felt horrified at the idea that McKenzie’s chickens might be arriving ready to roost.

The Tories


The Mail’s deeply unpleasant and highly unsuccessful political pundit, Tory supporter Dan Hodges, was one of the first to leap to McKenzie’s defence. Hodges chose a brazen route, doubling down when it was pointed out to him what the tweets he was defending said and meant.

He persisted in claiming that McKenzie’s plight was a result of him ‘standing up to Momentum’ rather than of making comments any civilised human being would be ashamed of:

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Hodges also attempted a particularly pathetic piece of ‘whataboutery’:

hodges lew mck

This nonsense was, happily, immediately dismantled by other social media users who helpfully pointed out that Lewis’ comment was made as part of a game show during Labour’s conference last autumn, at a party and not intentionally broadcast to the world on social media – and that he said it to a man.

Karl McCartney

When a rare woman tweeted defending McKenzie’s social media output – albeit a woman who left the Labour Party the day before a hearing into bullying allegations against her – McCartney jumped in with both feet to support the feeble defence and ignore the real reasons McKenzie is shamed:

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The Labour right

The right of the Labour Party contains a number of people – again, almost exclusively male – prepared to defend the indefensible.


McKenzie’s Labour First colleague made a lame attempt to appeal to unity in the by-election campaign and to write off McKenzie’s comments as merely ill-phrased:

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Pound has a troubling comment about women in his own social media history:

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Blairite former staffer Rob Marchant was happy to ignore the content of McKenzie’s Twitter comments, instead blaming his fall on Corbynite ‘bitterness’ – and claiming McKenzie’s supposedly tireless work for Labour should get him a free pass. Mr Marchant felt that being outraged by a right-winger’s tweets about gang-rape and beheading was ‘childish’:

marchant mck.png


‘Labour’ MP Mike Gapes retweeted Marchant’s comments, but didn’t leave it there, attempting to blame McKenzie’s discomfiture on an ‘orchestrated campaign’ by this blog. Clearly the SKWAWKBOX inhabits a few right-wing waking nightmares:

gapes jones mck

Fellow right-wing MP Graham Jones was happy to support Gapes’ efforts to cast McKenzie as the victim. Jones was also seen last night having a drink and a chat with McKenzie on the Commons Terrace Bar along with another right-wing Labour MP, Neil Coyle.

When Gapes was challenged on his supportive tweets, he responded odiously – and flippantly:

gapes crgapes oj

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Former Blair spin doctor Alistair Campbell considered McKenzie a ‘total warrior for Labour’ – presumably that makes misogynist tweeting irrelevant:

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Devon MP Ben Bradshaw wanted to ‘second’ praise for McKenzie – but seemed less eager to answer when challenged about the content of McKenzie’s tweets:

bradshaw mck


Peer Michael Cashman stood unsuccessfully on the Labour First slate for Labour’s Conference Arrangements Committee.

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Murdoch journalist Philip Collins – who used to write speeches for Tony Blair – thought Labour deserved to fail if it didn’t embrace McKenzie with open arms – again, no mention of McKenzie’s misogynist comments:

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This was a fact that journalist Adam Bienkov found ‘grimly’ unsurprising and deeply hypocritical:

bienkov collins mck


Progressite former staffer Paul Richards, who has also written for Conservative Home about how great David Cameron was, echoed Hodges’ weak line – ignoring what McKenzie had said, in favour of casting him as a noble victim:

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Jon Woodcock retweeted a tweet that attempted to lionise McKenzie and – again – made no mention of his vile comments:

woodcock mck

Woodcock is currently suspended from the Labour Party because of ‘sex-pest’ allegations and is an avowed supporter of Saudi Arabia.


Michael White – a ‘hack’ by his own description – has a history of defending the ridiculous on social media. So it was appalling but not surprising that he was among those jumping in to defend McKenzie’s behaviour with the same tired line as others:

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All of them

As the Huffington Post’s Paul Waugh pointed out, McKenzie’s supporters are attempting to excuse him from the consequences of his behaviour by appealing to a supposed ‘statute of limitations’:

waugh excuse

The hypocrisy of this is breathtaking, since the right afforded no such protection to left-wingers during the infamous purges in which members were expelled for old retweets of a comment by the Greens or commenting on a rock star.

And, of course, every statute of limitations has exceptions – offences that never expire.

The silence of the female right

The near-complete absence of condemnation from female so-called ‘centrists’ has been almost as horrific as the readiness of their male counterparts to defend him. As barrister ‘CrémantCommunarde’ observed:

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The same voices that were rightly loud in criticism of, say, suspended MP Jared O’Mara, have been deafeningly silent when it comes to Ian McKenzie.


Blairites and rosette-wearing Tories alike seem either to have no filter about defending the vilest misogynistic comments or the hypocrisy it demonstrates – or not to care how it appears.

It’s bleak enough as a demonstration of their sense of entitlement. But as a manifestation of the dark, hypocritical heart of the right that is only ever thinly veiled by their political posturing, it’s both nauseating and horrific.

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  1. McKenzie, along with his right leaning buddies, are all nowhere people!
    Wake up and smell the coffee you bunch, it’s over!
    Your type of politics are resigned to history!
    No more bigitts needed, hypocrisy is dead, along with your “BULLSHIT and SPIN”!

  2. Any person who attempts to defend or justify Mr McKenzie’s obnoxious and deeply offensive tweets discussing the Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary being raped, beheaded and thrown into a mass grave has no place in the Labour Party.

    1. Yes, of course, but their tweets are directed at those who are unaware of the background, so to speak, and to attack the left/Momentum/JC /Skwawkbox etc by giving the impression it was about something entirely different. They are distorters……. deceitful, devious and duplicitous. In a word: psychopaths.

      Hopefully someone is keeping a list of them all (including all the false accusers) and, one day, in the not to distant future, they will be revealed to the whole country for what they are and what they do.

  3. Jo Cox was murdered so it was right action was taken regarding his tweets. To see many male MP’s are openly supporting him raises concerns.

  4. How has the Labour Party become so right wing that Socialists such as Ken Livingstone and Marc Wadsworth for example, are targeted for suspension and expulsion and not defended by the Leadership, yet the ‘McKensies’ have had a free pass?

  5. A fantastic article that gets to the heart of ‘centrist’ hypocrisy. Identity politics and playing the victim suits them when they can use it to attack the left but they are happy to ignore victims when it doesn’t suit their agenda.

  6. What sickens me to the stomach is the silence of the likes of Jess Philips who are usually the first to condemn misogyny – perhaps she needs to re title her book to become ‘Not Quite Every woman: A Rallying Call to Stand up and Speak up Only for Centrists’

  7. Action taken against McKenzie must strike fear in a lot of RW operators’ hearts. He is just the tip of the iceberg. His sort of behaviour is typical of too many CLP officers in LCFs and Labour councillors across the UK … as Richard Seymour says ‘they are the last bastions’ of the Labour Right.

    1. ‘Action taken against McKenzie must strike fear in a lot of RW operators’ hearts.’

      Some, granted. But not enough. As long as mandatory reselection’s not an issue we’ll continue to see gobshite MP’s carry on with near impunity.

  8. What planet is Collins on the Labour Party “sinking” – with over half a million members . The biggest political Party in Western Europe and paid for by its members.
    The Tory party has so few members that they are afraid/ ashamed to tell us exactly how may – the majority of the members that they do have are OAP’s and they are paid for by the super rich who do so simply buy political influence. As a “popular” political part the Tories are already dead

  9. The ‘Great men and women of history’ (without an original idea in their heads), failing to recognise that history as passed them by.
    Proud to be a left wing democratic socialist! Solidarity!

  10. The cynical exploitation of anti-Semitism and the attacks on the Skripals. That is really appalling.

    Who are those people whose pictures appear at the bottom of that tweet?

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