Anti-Brexit OFOC’s (Our Future Our Choice) Tess Milligan appeared on the BBC’s Daily Politics today in a debate with Novara’s Aaron Bastani about the company’s – or ‘grassroots movement’, depending on your viewpoint . – demonstration at last Saturday’s LabourLive event.
The show’s presenter accepted uncritically OFOC’s claim that its people were thrown out of the event – in spite of easily available evidence suggesting otherwise – and suggested that Bastani’s criticism of the group was misrepresentation.
However, the most interesting feature of the debate was the performance of Milligan who claimed to have voted for Jeremy Corbyn in both leadership elections and – twice – that,
I admire him greatly.
But that claim is not without its problems:
Her denial that OFOC has a Millbank office, instantly followed by a claim that it’s only small, is also noteworthy.
Ms Mills might well have voted for Corbyn both times in spite of Corbyn’s clear statement in the second leadership election that he would honour the referendum result.
But if so then her opinion appears to have rapidly changed after the second contest – as she wrote an excoriating article for the Huffington Post a few months later, just after Theresa May’s ‘snap’ election call, predicting an electoral ‘car-crash’ for the Labour leader:
The article was no less emphatic for being completely misguided – and it suggested anything but admiration:
Ms Milligan went on to dismiss Corbyn as:
- a ‘sham’
- only able to appeal to existing supporters
- not interested in winning the election
Nor was her lack of admiration was not limited to the Huffington Post or the specific Brexit issue, rather it appeared to extend to his politics and person:
Corbyn, of course, went on to conduct one of the all-time great election campaigns, destroying Theresa May’s majority, driving the biggest surge in electoral support in over seventy years and coming within a whisker of being able to form a government, in spite of eighteen months of constantly negative media.
If Ms Milligan has turned that dismissiveness back into admiration, it didn’t prevent her critical tweets continuing after the general election result.
Interestingly, hard-core centrists have been leaping to her defence or support:
Ms Milligan was contacted for her input but has not yet responded.
OFOC’s links to organisations run by anti-Labour figures are beyond dispute – it shares a space with them in Millbank Tower jokingly referred to as ‘GCHQ’. Its apparent inability to put up an unimpeachable Corbyn supporter as a spokesperson cannot be considered irrelevant to any judgments about its nature.
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