Laughability of term ‘moderates’ put in a nutshell by Adonis ‘eradicate’ tweet

‘Moderates’ were never moderate – but Establishment media helped create massive, hypocritical fiction of ‘nasty left’

The terms ‘moderate’ and ‘centrist’ have always been a joke, terms used as part of an Establishment media to support their fiction of a ‘hard left’ in the Labour Party – and to paint as ‘extreme’ policies like decent jobs and wages, adequate NHS funding and public services for the public good instead of profit.

The viciousness of the Labour right has never been far below the surface – and sometimes not at all, as when right-wingers tried to ‘break Corbyn as a man’ in 2016 – but the sheepskin has been well and truly removed since the general election result.

Right-wing MPs who survived their own sabotage of the party’s election prospects shamed themselves during the first meeting of the ‘PLP’ [parliamentary Labour party] after the election, again launching a vicious assault on Corbyn in what one MP described as:

an absolute disgrace by people who are determined to wreck Jeremy personally and even the policies that nobody disputes the people of this country approve of.

There has also been extensive psychological warfare against the majority of Labour’s membership, with shameless ‘gaslighting‘ as the right-wing architect’s of Labour’s losses in leave seats blamed Corbyn, Corbyn’s popular policies and the Labour left for the defeat.

Language of extermination

But the language of the ‘moderates’ has hardened now into outright talk of extermination – and a tweet by peer and former Blair minister Andrew Adonis illustrates its disturbing nature:

Labour’s left majority of members will not consider Tony Blair’s time any type of ‘democratic socialism’ and with reason.

Appallingly, Adonis’ tweet is neither unusual nor even particularly extreme. Some right-wing, quasi-Tory MPs who have sat festering on the back-benches and were thwarted in the 2017 general election have used language that would not have been out of place in 1990s Rwanda and other horror spots.

We have to eradicate the Marxist cancer

General Leigh of the Pinochet dictatorship

The reaction

The response to Adonis’ tweet has largely formed three streams worth mentioning. Some are rightly pointing out that what Adonis called ‘Corbynism’ is merely socialism – and democratic at that:

Others have responded with defiance, pointing out that the prospect of a decent society and prosperity for all has changed the political narrative however much the relics of Blairism might wish it otherwise :

And others have pointed out correctly how disturbing such language is – and how the Labour right created the damage they are now trying to blame Corbyn for. Former Crewe and Nantwich MP Laura Smith was withering:

Nobody aligned with the so-called ‘moderates’ or the referendum-obsession with which they drove away Labour voters in so many leave towns – let alone those who waved through Tory cuts to the most vulnerable before most people had heard of Corbyn – can be allowed anywhere near the Labour leadership if the poor and vulnerable of this country are to have any hope of genuine change.

Adonis, for what it’s worth, seems to think Labour would have done better in the general election if Keir Starmer was leading:

Andrew Adonis is a former LibDem parliamentary candidate made a peer by Tony Blair in 2005. He last won an election as an SDP councillor in Oxford in 1987.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. Yes,if a slimeball like Adonis is favouring Starmer,he is even worse than I already thought.

  2. Ask them to leave and form this mythical centrist party that the country is crying out for,
    Hopefully it will go the same way as the Peoples Vote, LibDums and Change parties
    But can someone make it clear the members and supporters were screaming out for clear red water after 2015 GE and there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of our going back to Red Tories

    1. Moderates I woukd argue are timid, poorly read, frightened of being radical, and Labour to some such as MPs under Blair was a cosy rewarding career and cosy not very political meetings.
      New Labour I would argue was in Govt but not in power, its reward for keeping the Left and unions down were a few crumbs from capital until New Labour became surplus to requirements.
      But by then Scottish Labour had fallen for the spell of Blairism (the opportunist SNP were glad of old Labour’s clothes and the rest is history) and were crushed as were European Labour party’s who followed suit and they still haven’t recovered.
      Only Labour party’s in 2 countries bucked the trend, the UK and Portugal who went to the Left.
      Yet the moderates want to go back to Blair which I would argue would lead to political oblivion; if Labour had had a centrist Neo-Liberal Leader like Miliband D, I believe it would have ended up like Pasok with 80 seats.
      Capital, the elite, the right wing media all want moderates otherwise they may have to pay their full share of tax etc.
      So keep Left whilst learning from the GE and millions are depending on us now (likely to increase) so don’t walk away, its what the Right wants.
      We need to rebuild fighting alongside the poor like a Syrizia offering political and practical support.
      We could have Labour Solidarity Committees in every town and city made up of Labour members and trade unions.
      Left Wing Democratic Socialists stand for SOMETHING now whilst the Right stand for NOTHING!
      History has passed them by but a transformation is still on the agenda and perhaps “Only the stars will ride the storm.”

  3. One thing that might give them pause is everyone who joined because of Corbyn cancelling their membership and standing orders on the day they elect one of themselves as leader.
    Take away the financial security Corbyn’s personal following brought to Labour.

    1. Surely whoever is elected as the next leader of the Labour Party will have been elected by the membership.

      1. Steve H….Tom Watson was elected on a pack of lies to the membership .This time the Labour party membership will hopefully realise that electing a leader this time will make or break the Socialist Labour party..The Channels of whos who? will show that a true socialist is the only option for survival..You couldn’t go far wrong by looking to who Squawk box and the canary endorse..

  4. Today’s Observer carries a letter (which was amplified by the BBC this morning as “news”) from a bunch of right-wing has-beens including Anna Turley and Phil Wilson, former MPs for Redcar and Sedgefield respectively. As well as peddling the same sorts of smears as Adonis they pick out anti-semitism and anti-imperialism as being big vote losers for Labour. That to me is code for “we need to remake the Labour Party one that the governments of Israel and the USA plus the UK secret state can feel comfortable with.” What we really need to do is stop appeasing any of these forces whilst a) making sure that Labour candidates are ideologically tough enough to understand how and why these forces work and b) rooting out those of our elected representatives/officials who are in the paid employ of these forces. It’s worth mentioning that Turley and Wilson, although representing leave voting constituencies, campaigned to overturn the Brexit vote. They rather thoughtfully lifted the lid on the dustbin of history and their constituents were only too glad to slam it behind them.

    1. Another signatory was Emma Reynolds who was filmed leaving the Conference Hall in 2015 when Jeremy was elected leader by a landslide. She had a face like thunder and said ” I won’t be serving” in response to an enquiry if she would accept a shadow cabinet position. She never supported Jeremy from day one and now wonders why she was ousted by the Labour electorate .
      Another was Mary Creagh who apparently threw a hissy fit at the PLP meeting. She represented a Leave area but thought she new better than her constituents, wanted a peoples vote, never showed any support for the leadership ( she thought she knew better than the Labour members too) and was one of those who forced a disasterous change in our Brexit position on us. After all that she has the barefaced cheek to blame Jeremy for her constituents loss of confidence in her.
      These people need to get real and recognise that 4 years of sniping at the Leader and the party along with their Peoples vote campaign caused them to be chucked off the gravy train by the electorate who saw them for what they are and didn’t like it.

      1. “forced a disasterous change in our Brexit position on us.”

        Oh dear. Another Leaver trying to excuse the early adoption of Tory policy and the resulting lack of a distinctive direction and alienation of support until it was too late. This wasn’t about Brexit.

        (I do know Wakefield, and I hold no candle for Mary Creagh)

      2. Didn’t Mary Creagh fancy herself as leader in 2015? Few knew who she was then, let alone now but her delusion of popularity speaks for itself.

      3. Reply to RH
        I am not and never have been a leaver, I voted remain but still genuinely believe we should have respected the result of the referendum. This was our position until Mary Creagh and the likes of her pushed for a peoples vote. As a result of her and others non stop whingeing we adopted a compromise position which went down like a lead balloon in leave areas like Mary’s and she lost her seat.
        Now she won’t admit that her animosity to Jeremy and her stance on Brexit i.e., her failure to accept the democratic decisions of the either the membership and her constituents led to her losing her seat. She needs to take responsibility for her actions and recognise that she has nobody to blame for the loss of her well paid job with generous expenses but herself. A little more humility and less sense of entitlement wouldn’t go amiss either.

      4. Creagh sounds a lot like all Hillary’s disciples. Taking responsibility for electoral defeat, having humility and less sense of entitlement are things you’ll never get from pushy, white female neo-liberals!

      5. reply to Syzygysue
        Yes Mary Creagh did fancy herself as leader but when she realised nobody else did she dropped out of the contest.

      6. Mary Creagh played a crucial role in electing Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

        She dropped out of the race before nominations closed because she had nothing like the number needed.
        4 of her supporters then nominated Corbyn.

        At least 2 of them, the late Jo Cox and Neil Coyle, were both staunchly anti-Corbyn but nominated him at the request of the Cooper campaign.

        35 nominations were needed and Corbyn got 36.

  5. I have no time for the laughingly named ‘Adonis’, or the likes of Watson. Or their whining ilk.

    But the article (JVL) :

    … gives a vivid personal account of the depredations of the Israel lobby on decent members. Depredations that have been endorsed by the *current* administration of the Party. Principled support from the leadership has been notably absent.

    Unless this dire influence of the Israel lobby, and its promotion of the evil of false accusation, is rooted out, then I see no future for Labour as a genuinely principled anti-racist party.

  6. If these scum want a fight we’ll give it to them. Tom Watson’s victim-playing valedictory interview with the Groan reminds us they will always have the media uncritically on their side, so we we’ll just have to get down in the ditch with them and learn to fight dirty.

    One thing’s for sure, Corbyn’s policy of appeasement must be replaced with one of undiluted aggression.

    1. I don’t know about aggression Timfrom but each and every smear needs to be exposed for what it is – a smear. However with the complete hostility of the MSM to contend with this will be a very difficult task – so maybe you are right, maybe we do need the aggression to which you refer.
      In relation to Tom Watson, it is a measure of the MSM’s bias against the left that this man whose championing of a liar and a fantasist caused so much pain, distress and loss of reputation to people like the late Leon Brittan is allowed to claim that HE is a victim of brutality. I’m sure the police raiding the home of Lady Brammell when she was suffering from dementia or Harvey Proctor’s loss of employment and the accommodation that went with it were an awful lot more brutal that anything Watson ever suffered.
      In fact I would be amazed if he suffered any brutality whatsoever at all at the hands of the party. Our members are generally well mannered and certainly not brutal to those with whom we disagree. As I recall Watson prided himself on his reputation as a bruiser and came out on top of most of the verbal scraps he was involved in.

      1. ‘Aggression’, so-called, would NOT have made the slightest difference to bringing the black op smear campaign to an end, and nor would it in any future scenario. Take the case of Ken Livingstone, foe example. Every single last individual and organisation and newspaper and other media outlet who colluded in smearing him KNEW that he was alluding to an historical fact – ie The Haavara Agreement – when he said what he said about Hitler having supported Zionism, just as they undoubtedly knew that seven of the ten people who participated in the Panorama hatchet job and were ‘presented’ as ordinary Jewish LP members were and ARE executive committee members of the Jewish Labour Movement, and one of the other three was their former Campaigns Officer AND that the claims they made in the program were of course total falsehoods, but they ALL went along with it all.

        A number of posters on here have literally posted hundreds of times in the past ten months or so since Chris Williamson was suspended that the ‘leadership’ should have defended him (and Ken and Jackie and Marc etc), and yet the reality is that if the MSM were even remotely honest and impartial THEY – or at least sections of it – would have revealed the falsehoods themselves (for example that it is complete fabrication that Ken said – or ever said – that Hitler was a Zionist), and the very fact that they DIDN’T tells you all you need to know.

      2. The ONLY way a smear can be exposed is through the MSM, and given that the WHOLE of the MSM has been conspiring and colluding in every single smear from the outset, it was NEVER going to happen

        There have been some 12,000 plus ‘articles’ in the MSM during the past four years or so dissembling and perpetuating the anti-semitism myth/lies, and not ONE covering the rejection of said smears. Do you not think for one millisecond that the editors and journalists, so-called, who have conspired in the smear campaign didn’t realise that when Izzy Lenga alleged (in the Panorama hit-job) that she had been subjected to anti-semitic abuse ‘every day’, that she was lying through her teeth, let alone wonder why she kept going to any meetings if that were the case. Of course they DID. And wouldn’t any news outlet worthy of the name have been slamming the program for not checking with the respective CLPs re the claims that these people made on the program AND including THEIR responses in the program. Of course they WOULD, but they DIDN’T.

        The point I am making of course is that the MSM don’t need – and never needed – the ‘leadership’ to defend anyone falsely accused of A/S, and were MORE than capable of determining THAT for themselves, BUT, the reality is that they KNEW the likes of Ken and Jackie and Jeremy etc were being falsely accused and smeared AND conspired and colluded in it, and were more than happy to do so.

      3. How do you think we should deal with the smears and downright lies Allan Howard spread in the print and broadcast media particularly the BBC?

      4. As you know Smartboy, I have said on a number of occasions that the only way to get the truth out there is for US at the grass-roots level to put leaflets together and print off as many copies as we can and stick them through peoples doors (and to say at the end of the leaflet to PLEASE COPY AND CIRCULATE TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND WORK COLLEAGUES ETC).

        If some of the people on here who spend all day long posting comments EVERY single day week after week after week were to do so – instead of complaining about the leadership ‘not fighting back’ etc – they could very well enlighten a few thousand people each if they were to take the time to do so.

      5. Allan Howard at 1:52 am.

        Allan what a ‘brilliant’ idea. Did you get your inspiration from seeing how successful the LibDems leafleting campaign was in the the GE.🤨

      6. Allan – You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into your ‘brilliant’ concept of leaflet canvassing so have you thought about writing to Milne & Murphy to tell them about your thoughts. I hear they are looking for some new and effective campaigning ideas.

      7. While your idea of local leafleting/ word of mouth may be useful in some instances unfortunately it would not, in my opinion, be enough to counter the onslaught of negativity , lies smears etc emanating from a very hostile media,
        The media is using its power to influence voters against the party and I think we now need to make a song and dance about it.The question remains – how?

  7. What is Lord Adonis’s current status within the Labour Party. He resigned the Labour whip in October 2015 and yet bizarrely 4 years later he was second on Labour’s party list in the SW for the 2019 MEP elections. I presume Adonis is still a member of the Labour Party (one wonders why?). Has he accepted the Labour whip again or is he still sitting in the Lords as an independent?

    1. Good questions.

      Adonis’s allegiance has always been questionable – particularly in the field of education where he had a totally inexplicable influence in an area where he displayed only profound ignorance.

  8. Maybe slightly off-topic but we need to remember that we started from a very low base. This appeared on Telesur earlier:

    Meanwhile hundreds of mercenaries from Sudan have been recruited by the other side. It is becoming a proxy war, the prize – control over undersea oilfields in the Mediterranean. It is also being used as a testing ground for drone technology.
    The Guardian’s report of 24th December 2019 described the murder of Gaddafi and the overthrow of the Libyan government as “Libya has been in turmoil since a civil war in 2011 toppled Muammar Gaddafi, who was later killed.”
    Now I distinctly remember a vote in parliament on 21 March 2011 when only 13 members voted against NATO intervention in Libya. This wasn’t a civil war, it was a regime change operation.
    John Baron MP, the only Conservative MP to vote against intervention subsequently said: “Our decision to intervene in Libya has been a disaster, and the report underlines that the Government overstated the threat Gadaffi (sic) presented to the citizens of Benghazi.” (14th September 2016)
    “Our subsequent decision to expand the mission to regime change directly led to the current violence and instability, which has been greatly to the benefit of extremists and people traffickers.”
    For the record, the mere 13 MPs who voted against the intervention, and whose position has subsequently been 100% vindicated were:-
    Allen, Mr Graham
    Baron, Mr John
    Campbell, Mr Ronnie
    Corbyn, Jeremy
    Durkan, Mark
    Gardiner, Barry
    Godsiff, Mr Roger
    Lucas, Caroline
    McDonnell, John
    Riordan, Mrs Linda
    Ritchie, Ms Margaret
    Skinner, Mr Dennis
    Wood, Mike

    1. It’s interesting to note, from my point of view, that my own constituency MP voted in support of the Libya bombing campaign; Lisa Nandy. At that stage she was one year into her membership of the House.

  9. One of the things that worried me about a Corbyn led win, was what would the RW PLP do to sabotage him from taking or being in office. If there is a silver lining to now, it is that there is little reason to encourage such to stay in the LP and I hope that a future leader will be considerably less kind/tolerant towards them, than Corbyn has been. They have made it abundantly clear that they will never be reconciled to a socialist LP.

  10. If there was ever an example of a ‘moderate’ it would be Jeremy Corbyn, someone who listens to and has time for everyone.

    In today’s world, a moderate such as Jeremy in a leadership position, must also have the ability and desire to recognise and deal with those whose sole purpose is to undermine and destroy them. Not just for their own sake but also for the sake of those they have accepted the responsibility of leading.

  11. It is not a very good start to her campaign for the leadership when RLB is being likened to a rabbit in the headlights by commentators on Sky News

  12. I always believed a Corbyn win would project Bernie Saunders into the White House, now I believe it’s the other way round. Bernie is pushing the policies Labour held at the last election and if he gets the Democratic nomination has the ability to sweep Trump from office. The next Labour leader needs to be radical and of the left, pushing the same “Green new deal”

  13. Whatever happened to the ‘Socialist, left-wing membership’ that dominates the Labour Party? Do they not attend constituency meetings or participate in the selection of MPs or representatives on the NEC? Why is the Labour Party still so Blairite?

    1. The Party is neither ‘left-wing’ nor ‘Blairite’ – that’s an unhelpful false duality. It’s the Labour Party.

    2. Steve Richards at 11:06 am
      Do they not attend constituency meetings or participate in the selection of MPs or representatives on the NEC?

      Apparently not, not even as a one off. Despite being gifted a trigger ballot in Hodge’s constituency they couldn’t get their act together. Why Momentum utterly failed to garner their resources within Hodge’s constituency to get rid of her is a question worthy of careful consideration.

    3. Having done time in past years as Branch Secretary, CLP and DLP representative and elected member, the question of the Labour Party organisation and operation has arisen time and time again.

      The hard fact is that a lot of members find other things to do than go to meetings. I make no judgment about that – it’s just a fact.

      Over the years, the same issue has arisen time and time again, and you find yourself on one side or other of the fence (not unusual in any community organisation) – either one of those trying to breath life into the organisation – and failing, or one of those sitting watching and bellyaching about the failure to succeed.

      That sounds defeatist – but it’s actually only a historical record of general failure that the enthusiasm generated by Corbyn managed, for a time, to counter. Whatever the precise views on Momentum, the organisation did show the power of on-the-ground organisation.

      What is clear is that – particularly in the aftermath of this defeat – the only way forward is via a radical look at that organisation on the ground, and the dysfunctionality of arse-breaking boredom engendered by narrow sectarianism and, on the other hand, the top-down monolith of the central Party organisation – typified in the way that the disciplinary processes have become like a flesh-eating virus in the host.

      I’m not going to be there. Time is too short, so this is lecturing from a distance. but I’m pretty sure that keeping on with the same (and the same delusions) isn’t going to cut the mustard.

      1. RH, I don’t think any amount of reorganisation will fix Labour when it’s so fundamentally divided.
        I do think life under BloJob and brexit is about to get a whole lot worse though – maybe even bad enough that kicking the Tories out of government might become more important to the Blairites than kicking the socialists out of Labour – but I don’t really hold out much hope.
        The Tories are so cosmically incompetent I suspect a Labour united under any leader and any manifesto will soon be able to just about wipe them out – little benefit to the people though if Labour’s run by right wing mini-me Tories, so we fight on.
        Or we split and give the people a real choice. Blair’s followers have been hiding behind real Labour’s principles for too long.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: