Late last year, the SKWAWKBOX covered the abuse directed toward Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott by a right-wing ‘Labour’ member of a Facebook politics group. The abusive message was deeply troubling:
Bigham also routinely posted angry messages about Jeremy Corbyn and other left-wing figures. However, although the Abbott message was reported to the party, he escaped expulsion under Ian McNicol’s tenure as General Secretary.
But that may be about to change.
Outrage about membership of Facebook groups has become almost routine in recent weeks – but a number of readers have contacted the SKWAWKBOX to point out that the Labour ‘moderate’ is acting as moderator of a Tory group:
Even to join the group as an ordinary member requires applicants to answer three questions in order to prove their loyalty to the Conservative Party:
What moderators have to do to prove their suitability is unknown.
Labour Party rules make support for another party while a Labour member – which Bigham is – an automatic expulsion offence. The SKWAWKBOX contacted Bigham to ask why his acting as a Tory group moderator shouldn’t result in his expulsion – and his response did not suggest any sense of remorse:
I am helping out a very good friend of mine and where in the rulebook does it say I cannot join any Facebook group I see fit to join. We are in a Democratic Party not a dictatorship. I would like to draw your attention to Andrew Fischer who was suspended from the party for actively campaigning against it but was readmitted. I have done nothing of the sort I am simply helping out a friend of mine.
However, evidence suggests otherwise – in the form of Bigham’s responses when challenged by members of the Tory group about his Labour membership.
When asked whether he had voted Tory in the local elections and would do so at the next general election, his answer was an unequivocal ‘yes’:
It appears Bigham’s subsequent behaviour convinced his fellow members – and he seems to have assured them he had quit his Labour groups and connections:
Bigham’s allegiance was ‘outed’ on a Facebook politics group – and in spite of his assurances to the Tories he seems to still be insisting that he remains a Labour Party member and is only in the Tory group ‘to help out a friend’, as shown when he was taken to task by Labour supporters:
Bigham also attempted to deflect suggestions that he should be expelled by claiming he was only a member of a Facebook group, not supporting another party – a claim at odds with his comments to the Tory group members.
If Mr Bigham is reported to Labour’s compliant unit, it is hard to imagine his membership of the party will last much longer – and it’s unlikely his Tory friends will be too thrilled at the conflicting realities of his social media existence.
Bigham’s comments late last year about Diane Abbott were despicable, but they provided a useful illustration of the way in which the arrogant right, while pointing fingers at the left, is in fact the source of much abuse.
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