Analysis comment

McDonnell’s outstanding responses continue Labour fight-back mode – and reminds party of its strength

Shadow Chancellor calls out smears in plain words – and accuses one so-called journalist frankly of ‘invention’
John McDonnell on a similar occasion in the first year of Corbyn’s leadership

Yesterday the SKWAWKBOX highlighted a renewed assertive Labour response to media smears and fabrication against the party and its leader – and the enthusiastic response of the party’s grassroots supporters.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has continued this approach in his own responses to media smears against Jeremy Corbyn – even accusing one ‘journalist’ of outright invention and challenging him to back up his nonsensical claims – and it has received just as warm a grassroots welcome.

Hack Lee Harpin, who never misses an opportunity to attack the Labour Party, had claimed McDonnell was distancing himself from Jeremy Corbyn ‘because he knows leader’s days are numbered’ and that he was briefing against Corbyn’s close aide Seumas Milne.

McDonnell publicly and bluntly challenged Harpin to back up his ‘invented story’, which he described as ‘farcical’ and a transparent ‘attempt to sow division’:

McDonnell also praised Unite boss Len McCluskey’s condemnation of the ‘gutter press’ and its ‘onslaught of fake news, lies and smears against Jeremy Corbyn’:

The grassroots response was fast and emphatic, with thousands of shares and hundreds of comments supporting McDonnell, deriding the supposed journalists, or both:


Labour has adopted a conciliatory tone towards those trying to undermine it for long enough. Calling smears what they are is a timely reminder that the party is at its best as the insurgent force unapologetically standing both for something – and apart from its centrist critics.

The return to such an approach is as welcome as it is essential, not only for grassroots morale but for the sake of millions desperately in need of Labour government.

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  1. Unity and solidarity. Hopefully a change of direction that we can all get behind.

  2. Good Cop JC Bad Cop JMc works for me, lets see what happens next
    Numerous opportunities to stand our ground and begin to push back, doesn’t have to be a civil war, just clear message ‘off you must fuck’
    still havnt had an answer on CW standing at next GE and NEC restoring whip

  3. Always call liars out. If Lee Harpin won’t name his source, chances are there isn’t one and he’s making stuff up again.

    1. But Skwawkbox doesn’t name his sources – does that mean the chances are that there aren’t any and he makes stuff up??!!

      1. Well hello again Graham Hindson is that you me old fruit , after what ,, about 2 yrs or so since you last passed wind or what passes as an excuse for a comment but is all piss and wind .What’s up me old duck was it getting boring for you over on The Canary where you v’e tried and failed with your comments. Now you’re back here again trying your luck eh Graham.
        Sorry folks but for those of you who don’t know Graham is a self confessed TORY voter and troll and I do mean Troll who tries and fails to be clever in his commentary , best just ignore the twat and he’ll get bored and piss off eventually .
        Hey The Toffee are you about , guess what your old mate the twat Hindson is back just like a bad shit smell

      2. The joke of it is Graham that whilst you present four options in your 6.44pm post, you only ever go with ONE of them, feigning to believe the lies and fabrication and distortions regularly churned out by the Establishment’s propaganda machine. Did Ken Livingstone – in passing, in his radio interview with Vanessa Feltz – allude to an historical fact, or did he say something anti-semitic, as all of the MSM and the Blairites had millions of people believe – ie LED millions of people to believe.

        He was alluding to an historical fact of course – the Haavara Agreement – and the Establishment media was lying through it’s nasty, vile fascist teeth, and YOU know it, as does just about everyone on the left of course, but you’ll just go on playing your stupid little game of pretending that the MSM has credibility AND delude yourself that we can’t or don’t see through you. You are SO transparent Graham it’s a joke, so why don’t you run along back to the Comments section of the Daily Mail where you belong, cos your’e completely wasting your time on SB.

    2. Just to respond as a one off to the vitriol posted by rob below.

      I’ve been absent for quite a while because I was subject to censorship by Skwawkbox, which now seems to have lapsed.

      But as always rob’s comment does not address the valid point I’m making which is that journalists (of whatever political leaning) never reveal their sources – that doesn’t mean (necessarily) that any particular story claiming to rely on a source is invented.

      There are, as I see it, four possibilities – there is no source and the story is invented; there is a source and the story is true, there is a source, but the source is mistaken and finally there is a source providing false information maliciously.

      I won’t respond further to any posts that are mere name calling without any substantive content.

      1. Graham you forgot to mention the 5th point which is a pathological liar whos part of coordinated attack upon the Leader of the Labour socialist party.You will take some time to catch up after your banning, welcome back!

      2. And you are just as full of shit as you always were when you were last destructively commenting here before and quite rightly Skwawkbox censored you .Now FUCK OFF YOU TORY CUNT

      3. Whatever happened to confirmation from a second source?
        That not part of the job any more?

      4. but you know very well Mr Hindson that real journos protect their sources because if they don’t they won’t come back again. Fake journos ‘protect’ their sources because there aren’t any. Almost all MSM journos are fake journos today. They sit at their desks and make stuff up for the lobby groups their papers /program works for. Simple fact. It has been proven time and time again. There are probably only about 10-20 real journalists in the country and most of those are foreign correspondents – the last refuge of the quality journo!

    3. @Joseph OKEEFE I think my gentler language would put “pathological liar” in categories 1 or 4. But I don’t think we can know which of 1-4 applies in this case.

    4. @David McNiven Apparently not.


    5. @pimatters If there are only 20 real journalists in this country would you like to name them – with their publications if they’re not freelance?

  4. OK. But how about confronting the Witch Hunt stuff and the NEC stitching up good Party members?

    1. Bloody Hell RH bang on the money 100% agree with you never mind the usual bollocks in the press , what about our own PLP smearer’s , or is that just to difficult to do , come on John M’c , if its OK for Twatson to interfere in an ongoing case publicly then it sets the precedent for the Leadership to support one of our own good DS MPs

  5. We know the press lie and twist but we have given them no end of ammunition. We could have neutered them a long time ago by not procrastinating over A/S and Brexit.

  6. Len McCluskey said no need to panic – as we head towards the cliff edge. Panic or not, we need clear thinking for a change before events overtake us.

    1. Yes Liz, that’s the very same Lee Harpin, proud to have been criticised by him in the past 🙂

      1. Just trying to get a handle on who he is – Wasn’t he involved in some hacking scandal in 2015?

  7. Here’s an example of the Jewish Chronicle spewing out its abhorrent and vile Goebbels-type black propaganda:

    If people at all levels in Mr Corbyn’s party, from the leadership to the grassroots, could take complaints of antisemitism seriously instead of dismissing them as smears designed to silence critics of Israel, then common ground could be found in understanding the particular nature of left wing antisemitism and taking steps to tackle it.

    1. One day a Jewish writer will stumble across the documentary “The Lobby” that foully smeared Israel and some British Jews – he’ll carry out a proper investigation and then publish his results, explaining how Al Jazeera hired a doppelganger of an entirely innocent Israeli diplomat and concocted a complete fabrication about the Israeli Embassy paying certain British Jews and other right wingers to make shit up about Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.
      I’m surprised we haven’t already seen an outraged Jewish response to all those lies in “The Lobby.”
      Maybe Jewish writers simply don’t watch Al Jazeera?
      I keep writing to them but my letters keep getting lost in the post, obviously.

      1. Allan, they complained to (I think) the Press Commission. They alleged it was.. wait for it….antisemitic.
        The complaint failed.

    2. In the despicable piece of black propaganda that I quoted a passage from in my post above, the author says blah, blah, blah ‘…then common ground could be found in understanding the particular nature of left wing antisemitism and taking steps to tackle it.’

      The ‘particular nature’ of it of course – as the author AND the JC knows – is that the vast majority of it is fake, phony and contrived.

      You can just feel the sense of amusement the author was feeling as he composed each line of his Deception. And who is it aimed at deceiving – as the JC does on an almost daily basis – and causing them worry and consternation. Fellow Jews! Pure and unadulterated evil!

  8. Thank goodness Len McCluskey put John McDonnell straight on the way to support Labour Party policy.

    McDonnell has broken a golden rule and speaking against and outside the shadow cabinet collective position (honoured only in name by many of course). McDonnell’s stance is really a departure for the Left now and is a turning point where our shadow Chancellor looks like letting us down. To be fair though McDonnell always said you have to watch out for likes of people like me when we get closer to power as the pressure may be too much to resist.

    1. Indeed felicity, John McDonnell is well aware that within the neoliberal rules of the EU all of the nationalisation plans of our 2017 Manifesto would be impossible because of legitimate demands for compensation from private firms not allowed to tender for outsourced work , particularly in relation to Labour’s rail nationalisation plans. He also knows that the State Aids rules would disallow government support to steel or any other strategically important industry. But McDonnell has recently repeatedly said Labour should support Remain, and claimed current EU membership is the best deal ! So despite Skwawkbox’s praise in this item, McDonnell has actually now joined Diane Abbott, Emily Thornberry and Barry Gardiner, in contradicting Conference BREXIT policy, and did so again in this very interview Skwawkbox has selected out this little item for praise ! McDonnell has sold out every Labour voting Brexit supporter in our Labour heartlands, and if or when PV and Remain becomes Party policy we will be wiped out by the opportunist populists of the Brexit Party in those previous heartlands. Hard NOT to believe that McDonnell is indeed distancing himself from Jeremy, ready for a new Leadership opportunity , in which HE maybe sees himself as a candidate ? If not, what exactly is this supposed
      ‘Marxist’ playing at ? And yes, I know McDonnell isn’t a Marxist, just someone capable of spouting a few phrases, but actually the recipient of many , many, years of hugely well paid work as a licenced tame Left Wing MP. Who is left in Jeremy’s old comrades team who hasn’t recently stabbed him in the back ? No good covering this betrayal up Skwawky by focussing on a bit of verbal fistcuffs from McDonnell , on a journalist’s claim that looks ever more TRUE !

    2. Felicity,john has been a loyal member of the democratic socialist party ,for most of his life.He is not of the same identity of the traitors and as suffered over many years like corbyn for their defence of democratic socialism inside the Labour party.Corbyn and John MacDonald formed a partnership on the GLC that was a rallying point for all of us.I think we need to give him the benefit of the doubt? John has socialist in his DNA.I believe that their might actually be a good reason for johns words to keep the remainers on board..I think you might find that john whom most of us feel to be corbyn right hand man and defacto deputy leader will show you that he knows what needs to be done to bring us all together to fight the Tory and Treacherous scum the enemy within and win the upcoming General election.

    3. ” McDonnell’s stance is … a departure for the Left … and is a turning point ”

      Sorry, I’m really not keeping up as well as I used to. For my information, would you please provide a reference, or link?

      Thank you so much for your assistance.

  9. Felicity, you say: ‘To be fair though McDonnell always said you have to watch out for likes of people like me when we get closer to power as the pressure may be too much to resist.’

    So he ‘always’ said that did he? And presumably you can give us a few examples/links, hmm?

    1. He said it at a public meeting I was at in Wrexham two years ago , whilst explaining the need for mass democratic active member engagement to keep the leadership on track. So there’s one example cleverdick. It was a staple part of the standard speech he delivered at that time all over the country. Maybe you were too busy ?

      1. And if Felicity is to be believed, then what do you think John McDonnell meant when he said ‘people like me’? And surely even to say something to that effect just ONCE, let alone regularly – as you and Felicity claim – would have been jumped on by JC’s detractors and, as such, been front-page headline news in the fascist-controlled media. So I assume you won’t have too much trouble coming up with an example or two – ie links that is.

        But it’s THREE hours now, and neither of you have provided any concrete evidence to back up your claim. What you are claiming in fact is that JM was regularly saying at public meetings that he would, in effect, stab Jeremy Corbyn in the back if need be to replace him as leader. Yeah, sure, it’s just the sort of thing you would say at public meetings!

        Anyway, it was very principled of Felicity to – as she said – be fair.

  10. Yes I am afraid ‘only the stars will ride the storm” and some Lefties’ stars seem to be dimming lately?
    If Labour supports a 2nd PV then the Corbyn Dream is over.
    And I speak as a working class socialist and trade unionist who works with some of our poorest and diverse citizens.
    “To the oppressed and those who fight on their side.”

    1. But some have time to redeem themselves if we stand up to our attackers politically.
      I bet a lot of people are sick of the news and want us to focuss on the issues impacting on their lives such as school cuts, austerity, poverty, the housing crisis. Poverty pay, the NHS, homelessness, climate change etc and when was the last time they were discussed on here?
      Its like Brexit etc is a deliberate distraction from the Tories mess and 2 crap Neo-Liberal Tory contenders.
      Oh an interesting point in Orrible Observer today – Tories with DUP only have majority of 3 and at least 2 Tory MPs have said they will not vote for a No Deal Brexit so if Boris the Barbarian or May in Trousers Hunt win it is unlikely the can command a majority?
      So get them Labour CLP re-selections completed by 31/10/19 ready for a GE.
      And fight back politically and try to get back to our agenda for the MANY!

      1. Bazza 30/06/2019 at 9:02 pm

        “I bet a lot of people are sick of the news and want us to focus on the issues impacting on their lives such”

        You mean like the important policy announcement that Jon Ashworth made a couple of days ago that everyone appears to have ignored.

        a Labour government will introduce a Future Generations Wellbeing Act.

        Fundamentally, such an Act will commit the next Labour government to a ‘health in all policies’ approach with ‘health equality audits’ of all government decisions; it will enshrine our commitments in legislation to ensuring life expectancy match the best of our international peers and that children enjoy the best health and wellbeing outcomes possible; and it will place a new duty on both local health services and national leadership to reduce health inequalities.
        Our NHS is not just a national driver of prosperity, employing over 1.5 million staff UK wide, but also communities acts as a local ‘economic anchor’ institution. Provision of services, levels of NHS employment, pay and conditions impacts local economies and therefore wider local health outcomes too.
        So a Future Generations Wellbeing Act will also ensure the NHS maximises the social value of its local spending decisions to improve the wellbeing of local communities. So a wellbeing framework could have radical, far-reaching consequences indeed.

  11. there has been a massive shift to giving a vote on labour brino v remain,
    which by definition the party cannot campaign against its own deal, I would put in 60% threshold, so there can be no doubt about result,
    allows us to go into GE honouring result saying put up or shutup

  12. Once more with feeling for the hard of thinking


    1. Will C
      There is no No Deal
      There is no revocation of article 50
      Only Labour brino has majority in country
      Cheap and nasties are incapable of compromise and therefore government cannot survive

  13. Whilst searching for something in relation to John McDonnell earlier I came across the following article, which although they – the Sun, that is – DO mention a few points made in a statement put out by the LRC (the Labour Representation Committee, which John McDonnell was/is honorary president of), the general thrust of the article, so-called, is set from the headline onwards. Here’s the headline, and one or two phrases they use:

    RED RAGE Fury as John McDonnell is star guest of far-left group which claims Labour anti-Semitism scandal is a smear

    JOHN McDonnell was today blasted for agreeing to speak to a far-left group which has dismissed Labour’s anti-Semitism scandal as a smear campaign.

    The hardline group……

    And then the Sun quotes the JLM as saying that the LRC:

    “feeds an environment whereby Jewish MPs such as Luciana Berger receive death threats, abuse and threats of violence….”

    But both the Sun and the JLM KNOW of course that the only death threats made against Luciana Berger were made by right-wing nut jobs, but they are hardly going to point that out of course, and both the Sun and the JLM KNOW of course that what the LRC said in its statement is true, precisely because THEY are both part of the disinformation/smear black op.

    1. Will the current EHRC investigation, apparently financed according to him, by John Mann, find that virtually all of the so called anti-Semitism incidents are actually anti-Zionism, which is perfectly legitimate. Unless you are a Zionist of course, then it becomes a ‘hanging offence’.

      1. The EHRC investigation is privately funded? Are you sure about that?

      1. Confirmation of what had become glaringly obvious during the past few years. Thanks Liz.

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