Media attacks drive new Labour membership surge

Incessant media attacks on Labour drive rapid membership growth

At the end of last year it seemed impossible that media attacks on the Labour party and its leadership could be any more intense – or go any lower.

That expectation was misplaced, with 2019 seeing an ever-intensifying and non-stop media assault.

But party general secretary Jennie Formby tweeted the latest good news last night of a fortnightly growth of over three thousand members:

This comes in top of a recent announcement of over two thousand new members – and against a backdrop of false ‘MSM’ claims of a huge fall.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Yet again the bankrupt media tactics are having the opposite of the intended effect.

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  1. Maybe they are all would be Nazis who think they are joining an antisemitic Labour party as described by the corporate media, and Zionists inside and outside the Labour party.They will be suing us for recruiting then under false pretences next.After all T Blair tells us all new members are leading the antisemitism surge in the LP.

    1. This became prediictable when the media, not to mention MP colleagues stepped up the attacks on the Labour Party generally and Corbyn particularly: It gradually became so obvious that the biggest villain in the world could not be guilty of all these charges and remain so calmly carrying on with his job. The Tories cannnot deal with Corbyn’s integrity, they do not understand him, they must all have been at the wrong schools when honesty and integrity were up for discussion.

  2. How do you know that the media attacks are driving an increase in membership? The two things could be totally unrelated.

    1. Interesting that the Democrats are facing the same issue after Representative Iihan Omar called out the Israeli lobby and was – of course – immediately accused of being an anti-Semitic Nazi. The difference is that in the US she has the support and votes of many young Democrats who share her horror of supporting Israel, one of the most aggressive and rogue Nation in the World. In the UK any such ‘naughty’ talk is dealt with by suspension and expulsion. Is Chris Williamson alive and well? Nobody knows because now he’s a Non-person. What a surprise it will be if the Democrats free themselves from aping Israel Policy before the Brits do!

      1. Neoliberals on both sides of the Atlantiç use the same tired old tactics!

    2. Could be but either way it shows that the name calling and the resignations and the procession of prominent citizens condemning Jeremy is not having the desired negative effect.
      The party is vibrant and growing and Jeremy and his team and their policies have massive public support. And why not? What normal decent person wants to see disabled people hounded , sometimes to death , because they are too sick to attend a DWP assessment, who wants to see people living on the streets, hard working people depending on the charity of others to eat, sick and elderly people deprived of care and the National Health Service in ruins and likely to be privatised?. Who is happy to know that ten of thousands of children go to bed hungry? Jeremy and our party offers hope for people who are on the sharp end of Tory austerity. Thats why our numbers are rising – simple as that.
      It also shows that people aren’t gullible and are not taken in by a biased media, a bunch of right wing “Labour in name only” MPs or a Tory party tottering on the verge of collapse.

  3. If there appears to be a fall in membership (even if there isn’t) then it’s blamed on the party being filled with racists. Doubtless a surge in membership will somehow be for the same reason, they’ll be the ‘wrong sort of new members’. That’s how the new McCarthyism works.

  4. It’s interesting the Democrats are having a similar debate after Iihan Omar attacked the Israeli lobby – and was accused of anti-Semetism. But grassroots Democrats have supported her and alarmed the old time ‘bosses’, many of whom are Jewish supporters of Israel. But in the UK anybody daring to speak out will be suspended from politics like Williamson. Sad state of affairs here. People are joining because they know their vote might be able to stop the Watson coup. I for one am relishing the moment I can vote against him.

  5. The MSM are just fuelling the divisions brought about purposely by the Tory Government. The worst government in HISTORY and that’s saying something when you think what Mr Blair did in Iraq whilst he prayed shoulder to shoulder with Mr Bush. Corruption is now being metered out in plain sight, the ruling ‘elite’ don’t even hide it anymore. They are fighting the dirtiest and most morally low of fights against an un-corruptible Mr Corbyn, because Jeremy Corbyn cannot and never will be bought and owned no matter how much money they try to throw at him. Yet the news fails to pick out the blatant lies being bilged continually 24/7, instead they propagate the lies and let them flourish. If you want a truthful review of ‘that book’ Dangerous Hero look no further than Peter Oborne’s scathing attack on Tom Bower, the author, and I use that term loosely, spinner of untruths for his neo liberal elites. Don’t forget Peter Oborne is a Tory, the link and it’s a must read. https://t.co/XtdkvuHjHg

      1. The Osborne review is really interesting. I wonder how he feels about being a Daily Mail columnist and being praised on Sqawkbox? But, more seriously, I wonder if Mark Wadsworth has seen it and realised that he’s included in the book and that he’s apparently falsely quoted as making a clearly antisemitic remark. As we know because of the video he did no such thing. I’m not a libel lawyer but it looks to me as if Mark might be well advised to consult one. The wider the publication the higher the more significant the libel, and this is an apparently libellous statement in a book which has got to 2nd in the bestseller list.
        Frankly, I’m surprised that the quote got past the publisher’s legal team. Perhaps critical faculties took a back seat in the excitement of bringing out a book which rubbished a major political figure so heavily?

    1. Yes – very worth reading. Oborne may be a Tory – but he has a good record on integrity that puts a large swathe of ‘journalists’ to shame.

      Remember – he was the author of the original Dispatches Ch 4 documentary on the Israel lobby – about ten years old now, and he had the guts to resign from the Torygraph on principle.

      (‘Principle? Journalism? Investigation What’s all that?’ I hear a chorus shouting from the offices of the Groan)

    2. Surprising that Oborne now presents as that rarest of all unicorns, a fair-minded Tory.
      His review will be the closest I ever get to reading Bower’s (hopefully actionable) comic so the following is just guesswork.

      It occurred to me that the factual errors alluded to have the whiff of a ghost writer presenting as fact the denialist rants of a hidden actor with a personal obsession to paint himself as the shamefully-unrecognised hero of some kind of ‘centrist revolution’ and Corbyn as ‘dangerous’.
      Of the potential candidates one stands out.
      Not that I have any evidence – just an impression that his pathological hatred of Corbyn is that of a venal, self-obsessed man – one capable of dismissing Iraq as collateral damage – confronted by a man of unshakeable principle.

      Or it could be he’s just the one I most want to throw excrement at as his tumbril passes by.

      1. Oborne has always been ‘fair minded’ : his scorn for the media and political establishment and its lack of integrity. His ‘The Triumph of the Political Class” (2007) may have been written under an allegedly Labour government – but it bangs many nails on the head. And we see the culmination today.

    3. In his article, illuminating as it is, Peter Oborne links to an article he wrote in the Daily Mail in April 2016 about the anti-semitism problem in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, and he says the following in relation to Naz Shah:

      However, too many Labour politicians have allowed their antagonisms to Israel to spill over into very unpleasant attacks on Jews themselves. We saw this last week, with the emergence of remarks from Naz Shah (made before she became MP for Bradford West, and for which she has now apologised to Parliament) calling for ‘the transportation of Jews from Israel to the United States of America’.


      Whereas in his article about the book he now says the following, in effect defending her:

      Bower’s account of Labour MP Naz Shah’s suspension from Labour in April 2016 also contains important omissions and inaccuracies. Shah was suspended after an anti-semitic Facebook post from two years earlier came to light. The post suggested relocating Israel to America and was accompanied by a map with Israel inside North America. Bower neglects to mention that Shah was sharing a satirical post from the website of Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish historian.


      He was – by posting a link to his earlier article – in effect letting us know that he got it completely wrong in the DM article (and that what he believed to be the case at the time completely wrong), and has since learned the truth and is happy to share the fact with us, and kudos to him for doing so. And let’s hope he learns the truth about Ken and Jackie, and so many others and, as such, about those who defended the likes of Ken and Jackie, and who were, as a consequence, themselves falsely accused of anti-semitism.

      1. “He was – by posting a link to his earlier article – in effect letting us know that he got it completely wrong in the DM article”

        .. as said, he does have a record for integrity and real journalism – and the ability to see through the tropes that are spread, even if he was originally taken in by that one.

      2. Yes, there’s now an almost unquestioned assertion that what she said was antisemitic. That’s in part because Naz Shah then said she accepted that it was. Don’t know why but I suspect that she was taken aside by McNicol era officials and told to do so or else.
        I remember looking to find the offending comment, naively (at the time) expecting to see something unpleasant and then thinking “that’s not antisemitic, that’s a joke about American foreign policy”. Which was then confirmed by reading Norman Finkelstein’s take on it.
        Oh, and given that
        1. I’m sure all comments on this blog are monitored by the antisemitism ‘activists’
        2. I’m a Labour Party member and
        3.I’m not using a pseudonym
        I expect I’ll be added to Margaret Hodge’s updated Dossier in the near future.

    4. I’m not posting a link to this Sun Article because of the main content – which is just the same old same old – but because of what it says right at the end of the article about a Tory councillor being suspended AND
      the reason she was suspended:


      Mind you, Ellman and McDonagh should be suspended for slandering the membership and, as such, bringing the party in to disrepute. Enough is enough!

      1. Yes – it’s interesting how, across the board, a narrative is being shut down if points the finger in the right direction, with no hint of racist or hate speech.

        One interesting feature of Oborne’s documentary on the Israel Lobby is that Tory MPs are quoted in confirmation.

    5. …I just finished a post about Naz Shah on here and found that Asa Winstanley has now been suspended. What is happening to the Party?

      1. Yes, I learnt about that a couple of days ago – when I was in the middle of checking out something else – and meant to bring it to everyones attention on SB, but then forgot (and then remembered, and THEN forgot AGAIN!). He was of course an easy target ONCE it was ascertained by the smearers that he was an LP member. I haven’t had a chance to look into it further – and if I remember correctly, I came across the fact that he’d been suspended in one of the Jewish newspapers – but a couple of things immediately come to mind;

        1. Did he become a member just recently and, if not, how long has he been a member.

        2. How did the smearers learn he was a member – ie has he openly mentioned the fact at some point, or did the smearers somehow get hold of the information by illicit means.

        Maybe he’s said something about it, so I’m gonna check out The Canary and see if he has.

      2. Sorry, my brain went AWOL for a moment there! NOT The Canary, but Electronic Intifada.

  6. …on the New McCarthyism, I see that Margaret Hodge considers that the appropriate way to deal with branches which disagree with her is to close them down. A chilling attitude to freedom.

    1. Did you see her on Politics Live the other day smiling like the cat who got the cream?

      Can’t wait to see it wiped off!

      1. I’ve noticed an alarming gleam in her eyes. She could blow a gasket anytime soon. Not all British Jews share this manic preoccupation; many oppose the Likud government and others I know feel that right wing Jews are dragging them into a divorce with the Labour Party whic( has for many years been the home for progressives – indeed the Jewish influence on the Labour Party has been profound especially since 1945. That home was leftwing and of course many refugees were communist at heart – it did the Labour Party no harm at all while sharpening Labour’s intellect. No wonder Israel wants to sever that link. The surprise is that so few British Jews speak out about being dragged rightwards to support an apartheid State.

    2. Yes and Hodge interviewed in the Guardian on Saturday (9/3/19) admitted that when she met Jeremy to discuss her concerns with him she secretly recorded him.
      Hodge also said re complaints that she would have expelled 47 but we don’t allow individual people to be both judge and jury.
      One AS charge is one too many but we have to give people a fair hearing.
      And someone at a NEC meeting (Labour’s top table) secretly recorded part of the meeting and leaked it to the media.
      What are things coming to when ideas should be discussed and democratically voted upon (like JC was democratically elected by most members) and is it a lack of ideas that some feel they have to use underhand procedures and tactics?
      One of the saddest things I recently read was in a piece by Mike Cushman of the excellent Jewish Voice for Labour when he said he had been asked to write this by other JVL members because they were too worried to say anything.
      It is almost getting like an Ibsen play and “Is this what they (the Right) have done to us?”
      Many of us want to focus on fighting for diverse working people, many of whom are being hammered by the Tories.
      And many of us also want to fight the real threat from Far Right Barbarians who aim to divide diverse working people and thus act as Useful Idiots for the rich and powerful.
      Perhaps we should put one question to all these internal Right Wing Labour critics – When was the last time you attacked the Tories?

      1. “we don’t allow individual people to be both judge and jury”

        Were that the case. There’s been a lot of suspensions based on little but the loose allegations of individuals.

  7. Time to call these talentless, boot licking, lazy hacks.

    1. Excellent from Cook as usual.As for Jones,he is a bloody coward(at best) he dare not stray outside the “Overton’s window”,whose size and shape is decided for him in part by the publication that provides his core income,and the other media outlets where he is the token “Lefty”.

      1. Owen Jones has always been a “fairweather radical Leftie” , who has made a very remuneratively profitable career from being constantly available to spout a generally middle of the road reformism on chat shows and politics programmes , and in that viciously anti Labour Left organ, the Guardian, over many years now . He built this ” go to celebrity Leftie ” persona on very thin foundations indeed , ie, he wrote the timidly Leftish book “Chavs” , and was picked up by the various politics shows on TV as the “voice of radical Left yoof”. Jones’ dad was a longstanding Militant/RSL oraniser, but Owen himself had NO previous record of youthful socialist activism , even at university, prior to becoming a “face of Left yoof” – after writing “Chavs”.

        Let us never forget that after assisting in the propaganda battle to win Jeremy the leadership in 2015, he then denounced Jeremy constantly for the next 18 months from his Guardian pulpit , as “not up to the job” . Why ? Because Jeremy didn’t take him into his core advisory team – and rightly rejected his constant demand for Jeremy to rein back on the Left politics , to suck up to the Labour “centrists”. So Owen Jones was signally absent to support Jeremy throughout the long PLP Right Chicken Coup of 2016 – and indeed only really came back on board the Jeremy Corbyn Left bandwagon AFTER the June 2017 amazing, unexpected, Labour General Election success – with a grovelling “mea culpa” in The Guardian.

        It must be a solid bet that Owen Jones will end up, like that ex Stalinist hack Leftie, now pro US imperialism, neocon, Dave Aaronovitch, (who I was unfortunately at university with) as a sad old bitter hack on The Times, Telegraph, or Spectator, bitterly regretting his youthful fling with socialism. The ever rightward march of Paul Mason, whose obsession with the EU and “building up NATO to confront the Russians” gets ever more bizarre , provides another salutary lesson that “celebrity” career journalist Lefties are best viewed with some cynicism by the rest of the Left

  8. ‘Incessant media attacks on Labour drive rapid membership growth’…

    Wait for the membership tsunami triggered by the departure of the second tranche of the traitors, who are rumoured to number 29, although I think there are more.

    Maybe we should be more proactive in this instance and kick them out. Let’s get their CLP’s to express no-confidence in them and suspend/expel them. Surely we can find something against them that ‘brings the party into disrepute’. We have nothing to loose, but new members to gain.

      1. Advice taken. Certainly a very unattractive look. Now you are going to be accused of being anti-semitic towards the Dame by calling for restraint – for the mere fact of portraying her in negative light. We will never win with these traitors.

  9. Owen Jones and others have come out categorically against Chris Williamson and I still have no clue what there problem is,
    At best its naive anti semitism in a snowflake world where everyones feelings must be respected
    How about we frame the argument in our favour and repeat ad nauseum this is the safest country in Europe for the Jewish community thanks to JC and the Labour movement
    The party is the least anti semitic in the world, our enemies have been trawling and smearing for 2 years with full support of MSM and they have failed to gain any kind of traction whatsoever
    Put it another way if there was a grain of truth the party would be out of business
    By far the greater crime are those who make vexatious claims of anti semitism, Hodge 200 Watson 50, how are they still in party
    From Cable Street to Downing Street

    1. “By far the greater crime are those who make vexatious claims of anti semitism,”

      Absolutely – and not least for the way it has whipped up fear in some parts of the Jewish community by promulgating these wild stories.

    1. Last week’s Labour List survey asked if the Labour Party was ‘institutionally anti semitic’. The result published today was that only one in five respondents thought it was (70% no, 10% not sure). So this seems to me to suggest that even with the huge MSN onslaught of fabrications, most people in the party are not being fooled by the smears. And a few surveys ago Tom Watson came out as one of the most popular MPs, so it can’t be shrugged off as being unrepresentative. One in 5 is still too high though.

      1. And 90% of those who said ‘Yes’ were Blairites. So that leaves about 2% who actually believe it all!

      2. Possibly. Labour List might be able to analyse their other results to tell us whether people whose other votes tended towards the right of the party correlated to believing the smears. Though if they do carry out such analysis (which must be a possibility) I doubt they’d publicise the findings if that was the case.

  10. That’s heartening – although surveys via skewed populations can be misleading.

    I reckon that the scammers may have overplayed their hand in making their allegations – they stretch intelligent credibility too far, and are contrary to the experience of so many in the Party.

    But … but … the electoral effect can depend upon a relatively small proportion who are gullible.

  11. Interesting dislocation in the Groan. Headline :

    “Prime minister accused of racist ploy to try to win next month’s general election”

    Yet the paper still suppresses the wider insight that such racism is implicit in the essential set-up of Israel.

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