Antisemitism exists in the Labour Party as it exists across society. But not every claim made about it is true.
As the SKWAWKBOX published on Monday, a Twitter account making a vile antisemitic comment and publicised on that platform by well-known ‘troll’ accounts who frequently attack Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party was a fake that bore striking similarities to a known fake account quoted last year by former Labour leadership challenger Yvette Cooper – one that the Israeli government had also had to apologise for quoting two years earlier.
One of the accounts that did most to push the fake tweet as evidence of ‘Labour antisemitism’ was ‘Left Over‘, which styles itself as “Exposing the hypocrisy, thuggery, extremism and antisemitism of the anti-British hard-left“:
The revelation that the @DeanBrownLab account that ‘Left Over’ had pushed was a fake seems to have provoked the anti-Corbyn troll, as it then proceeded to put out additional information to try to shore up its credibility. But in the process, it exposed its own involvement in the fake. Each of those self-exposures are analysed below.
The profile image
The ‘Dean Brown’ Twitter account used an image later confirmed as belonging to an entirely different individual – because the owner of the image came forward:
When the stolen profile image was exposed, ‘Left Over’ was desperate to explain away its significance – and in doing so linked him/herself to the account and the person supposedly behind it:
The claimed knowledge ‘all about the photograph and when and why‘ seem to be limited to the ‘explanation’ that a fake photo was added by the account owner to try to convince everyone it was fake:
Supposedly, the image was changed in the expectation that someone like ‘Left Over’ would screengrab it with the fake profile picture. However, in spite of a long track record of immediate screen captures by ‘campaigners’ like ‘Left Over’ of tweets they wish to highlight, no image of the original tweet showing the ‘real’ Dean Brown’ seems to exist.
The missing CLP
‘Left Over’ pushed further – and exposed more – by claiming to personally know the individual behind the account:
“I know who he is, where he lives and which CLP he’s a member of” – but when asked to specify which CLP (constituency Labour party) he was referring to, ‘Left Over’ suddenly became full of evasion and bluster:
Despite the claim “I already have”, ‘Left Over’s Twitter timeline shows no sign, as of the time of writing, of the information he claims he has provided many times, nor does a search for its Twitter handle and ‘CLP’ return one:
‘Dean Brown’ is supposedly not only a Momentum member but ‘high-profile’. Yet Momentum has no record of him being a member.
A ‘very active activist’
‘Left Over’s initial claim about the antisemitic account was that it was run by someone who is:
- a former Labour staffer
- a member of Labour and Momentum
- a Corbyn supporter
However, as awareness that the account was fake started to spread, ‘Left Over’ began to elaborate on the ‘back story’, providing more detail and going further with its claims:
Dean Brown is so ‘very active’ as an activist that no relevant response is returned on the search term “dean brown”+”Labour” – by Google, or by Bing, or by DuckDuckGo – apart from the mentions by ‘Left Over’ and discussions of the fake account’s tweet:
The only Dean Brown who even seems to mention the Labour Party is a Scottish independence campaigner based in Glasgow – and that mention goes back to Johann Lamont being Scottish Labour leader, so at least as far as December 2014, when she vacated the role.
Searches for the name in conjunction with Momentum – ‘Left Over’ has also claimed Brown is a member of that – also yield no relevant results.
‘Dean Brown’ ‘very active’ activism would have had to leave no trace at all online for ‘Left Over’s claim to look anything but ridiculous.
‘High profile ex-colleague’
From initially being merely a ‘former Labour Party staffer‘, ‘Left Over’s version of ‘Dean Brown’ morphed into ‘a high-profile ex-colleague‘ of Jeremy Corbyn.
‘High profile‘, of course, is completely incompatible with the complete absence of any online trace of a ‘Dean Brown’ associated with the Labour Party, let alone working for it. But ‘ex-colleague‘ of Jeremy Corbyn?
This claim – extremely similar to the infamous ‘WesleyBrownLab’ fake account whose antisemitic tweets were embarrassingly quoted by Yvette Cooper and the Israeli government – that ‘DeanBrownLab’ is an ex-colleague of the Labour leader was a serious misstep by ‘Left Over’, because it’s straightforward to check whether a Dean Brown ever worked with, or for, Jeremy Corbyn.
The SKWAWKBOX has verified with senior Labour figures that no such person has worked for or with Corbyn. The SKWAWKBOX also checked with genuine staff members and ex-staff members who worked for the Labour leader going back decades – and no ‘Dean Brown’ ever worked for or with him.
When the SKWAWKBOX asked ‘Left Over’ how old the Dean Brown is that s/he claimed to know, the only response was more abuse, evasion – and an attempted threat:
Ironically, ‘Left Over’ has been frequently supported on Twitter by another fake account: ‘@SwindonRachel‘, another troll that passes itself off as the well-known left activist ‘@RachaelSwindon’.
‘Left Over’ is one of the higher-profile accounts making allegations of antisemitism against the Labour Party and its members – including Jewish members.
But in this case the anonymous person behind the account appears to have overreached – making claims that not only can be used to expose his/her evasion of questions s/he claims to be able to answer and to put beyond reasonable doubt the fact that ‘DeanBrownLab’ was a fake account used to smear Labour and its its leader, but that also shows his/her active participation in the fiction and the smear it was intended to create and propagate.
If ‘Left Over’ had all the information it claims, it would be simplicity itself to publish the details to prove that ‘DeanBrownLab’ was a genuine account. The ‘troll group’ of which it is part has shown no hesitation in ‘doxxing’ alleged antisemites before. Yet it persistently refuses to do so, instead reacting with bluster, evasion, smears and threats – which have escalated even further since.
By providing evolving information in an attempt to shore up the credibility of a fake account – and of its own claims about that account – ‘Left Over’ has linked itself to the existence and claims of the fake.
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