Times journalist caught out sharing ‘outrage’ re Corbyn’s foreword – after writing his own praise of Hobson

Blair’s former chief speech-writer shares tweet by Guardian journalist – who shared Times hit-piece. But sharp-eyed Twitter user spots uncomfortable connection
Phillip Collins (image P Collins Twitter)

Philip Collins writes for the Murdoch Times, among other publications – and used to be chief speech-writer for one Tony Blair. He was not slow to share a tweet by a fellow centrist, the Guardian’s Rafael Behr, when Behr shared a Times article written by one of Collins’ colleagues.

The article was an attack on Jeremy Corbyn for his foreword in 2011 edition of “Imperialism: A Study”, by JA Hobson. Hobson’s writings, like many of his contemporaries, such as the likes of Winston Churchill, include antisemitic comments.

But Collins has an issue – and it was spotted by Twitter user Tom Williams:

As Williams observed, Collins’ 2008 Prospect piece titled, “Liberalise or die“, referred in glowing terms to the achievements of ‘radical liberals’ of the early twentieth century – and JA Hobson specifically:

Williams assessment was brutal: “opportunism and hypocrisy”.

Philip Collins has been contacted for comment.


As the SKWAWKBOX showed earlier, the centrists who idolise the likes of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and others – and who have attacked Corbyn today for writing a foreword to a book – have a problem. Their heroes also praised Hobson – and others who have said and done awful things.

Gordon Brown even wrote a glowing foreword to a book about another historical character known for racist comments, as one of Collins’ colleagues found out to his embarrassment.

Most people, most of the time, can separate historical characters’ achievements from their almost inevitable unsavoury side. Surely Philip Collins is among those who can exercise that discernment.

So why did he – along with many of his fellow centrist politicians and writers – fail to do so this time?

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  1. yawwwn bears wood shit etc , he’s a effin jurno for the MSM , awww stuff it , he an’it worth wasting the data allowance on my broadband commenting any further…

  2. This is on a par with Louise Ellman Mp attending an event in 2014 in Westminister Hall at which the late Hajo Mayer spoke. Mr Mayer was a Jewish concentration camp survivor and then in his 80s. He spoke of his experiences in the Nazi era and also of what he had witnessed in Gaza in recent times. For this he was heckled and verbally abused by some in the audience. Louise wrote a piece in one of the papers praising him and condemning his treatment.
    Roll on a couple of years and the fact that Jeremy Corbyn was also at the event hit the headlines. Hajo Meyer and Jeremy Corbyn were both denounced as anti semites by the MSM. Louise Ellman expressed outrage at Jeremy’s attendance at the event, conveniently forgetting that she was there too. But for the documentary evidence of her attendance – her write up in one of the papers – she would have got away with it. As it was her hypocrisy was exposed in exactly the same way as Mr Collins has been. Utterly disgusting.

  3. Isn’t this utterly pathetic.?
    Corbyn’s detractors are becoming increasingly desperate to try and find something to discredit him !!

  4. We can trawl their old statements and actions as easily as they can ours – it’s their ownership of the media that makes the difference.
    That has to stop.
    I don’t care if they call it Stalinist with their last breath, I want to squeeze the media moguls until their eyes and wallets bleed.

  5. Phillip Collins is the brother-in-law of Krishnan Guru-Murthy…. another example of the incestuous links between our establishment figures.

    1. I did not know that. He is no longer in the Labour Party—such a terrible loss.

      Like Baldrick, he does not understand irony.

      “Yes, I do. It’s like steely and bronzy”.

  6. Do any of these critics cite Hobson’s book? It would be unsurprising if he did make references that can be construed as ‘anti-semitic’ but I missed them when I read the book, shortly after it was published or maybe half a century or so later.

  7. It is of course purely coincidental that this ‘story’ just happened to be published by The Times yesterday evening (at 5.00pm) and quickly get taken up by the rest of the media JUST before the local council elections. And perish the thought that they had it lined up for weeks – possibly months – beforehand ready to publish, in effect, just the day before. Talking of which:

    I wasn’t aware – until I just happened to come across an article about it just now – that a recall petition had been started by Peterborough City Council back in March in relation to Fiona Onasanya, which just happened to close today. What an amazing coincidence that it should have been ‘opened’ six weeks ago, for a duration of six weeks, and close the day before the local council elections. Perish the thought that it was deliberately timed to do so! The following is from a BBC News article posted on March 19th (and yes, she has lost the seat and there will now be a by-election):

    A recall petition has been opened in Peterborough to decide whether MP Fiona Onasanya will keep her seat.

    The petition will be available for constituents to sign over the next six weeks, closing at 17:00 BST on 1 May.


      1. Fiona was expelled by Labour.
        Labour called for a by election .
        Fiona refused to resign so
        Labour organised the formal petition
        The petition had sufficient support to force a by election
        Don’t suppose you will see/hear much about that in the MSM

      2. When I came across The Times article (re JC and the book) about 11.30pm last night, I noticed that it had been posted/published at 5.00pm and, as such, thought to myself: “Oh, right, just in time to catch the early evening news (and Channel 4 News etc, etc). I didn’t need to check it again to confirm it, because I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that THAT was exactly the time it was posted, and the following is from a comment I wrote last night in lieu of SB posting an article about the matter:

        ‘It just occured to me – given that the article was – conveniently – posted on The Times website at 5.00pm – that it may very well have already been covered by the news broadcasters – ie Channel 4 News, BBC News and Sky News etc – earlier this evening….’

        BUT, I DID check it out again, and now they have the article – or some re-vamped article about it – as having been posted TODAY. Anyway, what an odd coincidence that the petition re Fiona Onasanya just happened to close at 5.00pm TODAY, and The Times just happened to post the JC article at exactly 5.00pm YESTERDAY. Just sayin’.

      3. smartboy: Just out of interest, where did you get the information from that it was Labour who organised the petition – ie what was your source? It’s not that I disbelieve you, but if it WAS “Labour”, then I can’t help but wonder if it was so-called moderates who were behind it.

      4. Anyhow, whatever the case, the fact that the petition to remove her closed the day before the local council elections is incredibly bad luck for Labour. And you would have thought that after what happened to Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce, she would have known better. Anyway, at least she didn’t kill or permanently cripple and/or brain-damage anyone, as speeders DO on a daily basis on Britains roads..

      5. It was reported at the time that Labour , after expelling Fiona Onasanya, called for her to stand down as MP. When she failed to do so they triggered a recall petition.

    1. ” What an amazing coincidence … ”

      Actually, the ‘amazing coincidence’ is that she, and the member for Sheffield Hallam were both selected and promptly nose-dived. Not a great recommendation for the process.

      … and I reckon that, after several years of struggle to get it, the Hallam seat will be lost because of that process. And what of Peterborough?

      “NIGHTMARE by-election battle”

      Indeed – largely self-inflicted. Pity the troops on the ground.

  8. It’s a shame Labour candidates are not mandated to state whether they’re Left or Right wing – In Enfield candidates in the last local elections said they were full on left wing JC supporters till they were voted in then they showed their true blue colours. No local elections in Enfield today so we’re stuck with them

    1. Just another example of how duplicitous and totally devoid of principles the vast majority on the right ARE. And I very much doubt you would ever get someone on the left pretending and deceiving people they are on the right. That’s the difference between left and right – ie integrity.

      And it is precisely THAT which always puts us at a disadvantage.

  9. There must be something about the name ‘phil collins’ & bullshitting.

    I mean, remember when the world’s best shit drummer said he’d bugger off forever if ‘new’ labour got in??

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