Last night’s meeting of the PLP (parliamentary Labour party), not untypically, featured instances of abusive behaviour. Also typically, the abuse was by so-called ‘moderate’ MPs – as reported, uncritically, by ‘mainstream’ reporter Mikey Smith:
It’s hard to avoid drawing an unflattering comparison with how this would be reported if a right-wing MP had stormed out after being called a ‘c**t’ by a left-wing colleague – days’ worth of headlines and analysis would follow, all of course blamed on Jeremy Corbyn. But it didn’t happen – and unlike right-on-left PLP abuse it’s almost unheard of.
Nor had Williamson said anything that, on the face of it, would be considered provocative. A parliamentary source told the SKWAWKBOX:
Chris was pointing out that every single MP in the room was only there because they stood under the Labour banner and had grassroots activists pulling out all the stops to knock on doors and deliver leaflets.
He had also mentioned the 200+ Jewish members who had signed an open letter last week saying that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are a crucial ally in the fight against racism, islamophobia and antisemitism.
He then called for unity behind our popular policies and it was important for Labour MPs to be out there talking about and supporting the most popular Labour programme for more than a generation – one that is backed by between 70 and 80% of the public.
Chris said a reason we weren’t well ahead in the polls was because of the failure of the PLP to promote our policy agenda – and he concluded by saying that we should be focusing on positively offering our alternative vision beyond the EU because that was the route back to power.
Williamson himself told the SKWAWKBOX:
It’s very disappointing that calling on Labour MPs to unite behind Labour’s policies and pointing out they’re in Parliament because they stood under the Labour banner and benefited from the efforts of grassroots members could prompt such uproar and a foul mouthed outburst.
Mikey Smith was contacted for comment. While not addressing the issue of asymmetrical treatment, he responded:
I’d apply the rules on sourcing in exactly the same way whoever had spoken – left, right or centrist.
Edit: Mikey Smith subsequently commented that his report of the MP’s comments was not inaccurate or untrue. The SKWAWKBOX is happy to confirm that his description was factual.
As an episode of ‘moderate’ behaviour, last night’s conduct was appalling – but not unusually so.
As an illustration of the fact that the public is being fed a line that doesn’t match the facts – and as an example of the hypocritically-different treatment of abusive behaviour when it’s perpetrated by laughably-termed ‘moderates’ – it was priceless.
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