Right-wing Labour MP Ian Austin is one of the most abrasive of the so-called ‘moderates’ – and one of the most intransigent supporters of Israel regardless of its actions.
When the Israeli army massacred around sixty unarmed Palestinians and maimed thousands of others, including journalists, during the recent ‘Nakba’ protests, Austin wrote an article for Labour list that only mentioned Israeli soldiers or military once – to describe Palestinians shooting at them. Israeli bullets were did not feature.
Austin’s stance and history so outraged some of his constituents that they took the step of picketing Dudley’s Central Library on Friday while Austin was holding a surgery in it, to call for an end to Israeli attacks on Palestinians and asking him to support their cause:
Four members of the protest entered the library to speak to Austin, who was described as ‘arrogant and abusive’. One reported:
Ian was very angry about the demo and kept telling us we should have called or emailed instead of turning up. The four of us tried our best not to answer him and not to give him an excuse to walk away from meeting but he was very upset about the protesters outside.
He said we were make a scene of him considering people came to see him in Surgery and what constituents will be thinking of him. He was shouting very aggressively and he treated us like idiots. We didn’t feel we received any respect from him before the meeting. During the meeting he calm down a bit but he never really gave us a chance to speak.
We all felt it was very unprofessional from a politician who has been in politics for nearly 30 years – he was acting like a gangster and godfather, pointing fingers at us and shouting.
Mr Austin was contacted at noon on Saturday with details of this story and a request for comment. He has not yet responded.
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