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Establishment desperation to bury leaked report abandons even nodding acquaintance with reality

Reaction suggests EHRC report may not give left’s enemies what they want – and Rentoul’s irony-free claim suggests how badly they want to tarnish revelations

The Establishment has taken its attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the left movement up several more notches as it tries desperately to write off the inconvenient leaked Labour Party report that exposed WhatsApp messages and tactics of a number of senior former staff as they worked against Corbyn and his team when he was Labour leader.

Considering the Forde inquiry isn’t even due to report until December, a considerable number of articles in the so-called ‘mainstream’ media are hammering a similar theme, amplified by the Labour right, to write off the leaked report and the WhatsApp chats it revealed. Some of those attempts claim Corbyn and the leaked report are discredited because Corbyn has reportedly submitted comments to the Forde inquiry into the report accusing the Labour right of sabotaging his leadership and the party’s electoral campaigns.

Even reports of the submission are misleading. The Guardian and other media have claimed that Corbyn submitted a joint report, together with former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. In fact, Corbyn has submitted comments, but separately. The joint submission was signed by Corbyn and others but put together by Labour’s 2017 campaign committee of MPs and former LOTO staff.

But comments by Independent hack John Rentoul typify the sheer denialism involved in attempts to dismiss the significance of the leaked report – and Rentoul’s description of himself in his column only underlines it. Rentoul says of himself, without any apparent indicators that he’s being ironic or self-mocking:

But I always go out of my way to be fair to Corbyn

If you can pick yourself up from ‘ROTFLOL’ for long enough, a 30-second Google search will yield no shortage of examples that call Rentoul’s ‘fairness’ into question. Here are a few:

The top right part of the image shows Rentoul’s confession after the 2017 general election that he had been wrong about Corbyn’s popularity and viability as leader – but there’s no trace of this self-awareness now. Rentoul underlines his distance from impartiality by referring to the likes of John Mann, Ian Austin and John Woodcock entering the House of Lords, without even a nod to the accusations of anti-Gypsy prejudice against John Mann and the fact that Woodcock quit the Labour Party just before the conclusion of a party investigation into allegations of sexual harassment – or even that all three were made peers by the Tories.

It’s no surprise, of course, that Rentoul fails to give due weight to the significance of the 2017 result. The shocked faces – which reflect the comments of ‘grey-faced’ Labour staffers in the leaked report – on the night of the 2017 general election result spoke volumes about how hard the right had worked to prevent a Corbyn victory.

But those pale, sweaty faces are now erased from the centrist version of history, who dismiss the ‘Corbyn surge’ that destroyed Theresa May’s majority and took Labour to within a whisker of government. They have to be, because if 2017 is properly acknowledged, then the question screams from the rooftops why the same Labour Party, with the same leader and essentially the same policies fared so badly in 2019.

The difference between 2017 and 2019 isn’t complicated – although the right’s attempts to rewrite history twist and contort to deny it. In 2017, Corbyn’s commitment to honour the Brexit referendum result was front and centre in Labour’s promises – and in 2019, driven against the leadership’s wishes by Keir Starmer and others, Labour was offering to force those who voted to leave to have to win yet another referendum to see what they had already successfully voted for.

The result mirrors its cause: more than 50 lost Labour seats in towns that voted to leave the EU. Any explanation of the 2019 result that doesn’t put these facts at its centre is either fantasy or politically-motivated denial.

But the revisionism also works backward. The centrist story now is essentially that if Corbyn lost heavily in 2019, it can’t have been the Brexit issue – so his 2017 popularity never really happened.

Instead, so the story goes, any actions of the Labour right to prevent Corbyn winning winnable seats can’t really have made much difference, because Corbyn’s supposed unpopularity was only disguised and waiting to emerge, so we should all accept that the leaked report reveals nothing damning or significant – no matter how obviously damning or significant it seems to be.

All of this haste to discredit the leaked Labour report right now, when the EHRC’s report into claims of ‘institutional antisemitism’ is so close to publication, does tend to lead to the possibility that the EHRC’s report is not going to deliver what the right hoped for.

We’ll soon know, but indications are that many of the right’s accusations – which were routinely repeated as unqualified fact by the BBC and other media – are not going to survive the EHRC’s findings and at least some of those who were maligned freely in the media will be deciding whether to pursue those who accused them.

Either way, the Establishment’s desperation to discredit Corbyn, the left and the accusations of the leaked Labour report demonstrate just how much they remain a threat to its interests. It’s not hard to spot once you’ve seen it the first time.

And if the left in Labour is considered that much of a threat by the right, then it’s as good a reason as any to stay in and reinforce it.

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36 comments

  1. This is a brilliant post. It contains almost everything anyone could ever want to know about the last 4-5 years of skullduggery and treason. Thank you Skwawk!

  2. Starmer knows what’s in the EHRC report as he was given a draft. Very soon after he settled out of court.

  3. Everything that comes from the right of the Party will nw be ‘Starmerised’ i.e it will be spun as though they are lilly white and only acting in the best interests of the Party. In exaclty the same way as the activities of the Israel Lobby were ‘Zionised’ after the Aljazeera documentary. Zionists spun it by saying they were being unfairly targeted.and victimised and we’re not traitors but good Socialists.

  4. What I don’t understand is why LOTO with a majority in the NEC and with Jenny Formby as General Secretary didn’t commission and independent forensic audit, to find out with certainty if the alleged “operation cupcake” was enacted or was it all loose talk.
    I still don’t understand why Corbyn, McDonell et all don’t report the matter to the Electoral Commission for further investigation, requesting and independent forensic audit into the Party’s accounts, CLP by CLP.
    All the independent report provides is evidence that Labour HQ’s staff, couldn’t stand the sight of LOTO’s staff. That they were frustrated and engaged in racist and sexist language with gusto. That alone should result in their expulsion from the Party; that sort of language I associated with the far right. It is appalling that we are expected to share political space with such individuals.
    However, despite talking about it, they didn’t shoot anyone or set anyone of fire. Hence did the alleged “operation cupcake” happened? or did all amounted to loose talk?

    1. I wasn’t aware that the Electoral Commission troubled itself investigating factionalism within political parties but maybe I’m wrong?

      1. The Electoral Commission has the role of ensuring that all UK elections are conducted according to UK Electoral Law. If the alleged “operation cupcake” was enacted behind the Treasurer of the Labour Party’s back and without LOTO been aware of the transfer of funds to selected CLPs, the legal provision under PPERA (2000) could well have been breached and perhaps even amounting to criminal offenses.

  5. With the general election now past and with Corbyn gone, the Observer has now started criticising Johnson.

    1. Yes. And on an almost daily basis one Guardian columnist or another wring their hands and weep about how sleazy, corrupt, incompetent and downright awful Johnson is, having throughout the election campaign and long before helped pave the way for his premiership by their rabid hostility to Jeremy Corbyn, a decent fair man of absolute integrity. In a way these self styled savvy, intelligent whingers are even more despicable than the moronic tub thumpers from the Daily Mail, Express and Telegraph. We all are reaping what they have sown, unwitting pawns of the right and hypocrites to a man (and woman).

  6. “And if the left in Labour is considered that much of a threat by the right, then it’s as good a reason as any to stay in and reinforce it.”
    I’m very sorry, that’s like asking me to join the Tories and change them from within.

  7. No wonder the Left gets walked over with this sort of constant banging on about Brexit whilst the world moves on and Johnson gets away with massive invasions of civil liberties.

    The reality is that the same majotity that supported Corbyn came from members who also overwhelmingly supported Remain. You can’t have one without the other without being in total denial.

    1. The world might move on but the working class will need something like a war to make any hope of uniting the party possible. You’ve got your own way, live with it.

      1. And what you don’t understand is, while Starmer might seem acceptable, even preferential to you. To the rest of us he’s no different to Layla Moran and we’d rather vote Tory than elect one of those establishment clones.

    2. “Labour was offering to force those who voted to leave to have to win yet another referendum to see what they had already successfully voted for.”

      Skwawky spininning the lie again that it was the support for a Referendum confirmation vote that scuppered Labour’s election chances. The one eyed section of the Left which Skwawky represents, totally failed to acknowledge that the more the public found out about the consequences of leaving the EU the less they liked it. Lexiters were petrified that another vote would reverse the crazy decision to leave the EU therefore they weighed in against others on the Left who disagreed with them. They were just as I’ll tempered as the far right who championed Brexit and the consequential overtures to the USA as demonstrated by Farage and his racists in UKIP.

      1. JackT
        2nd referendum would have been 60/40 minimum for leaving, remainers have a lot more respect for the result than you
        I never heard anyone say, I voted leave but I think it would be fair to let the remainers have another shot at it,
        It’s called democracy

      2. Doug, it’s only democracy when the electorate have full possession of all of the facts. We had an overwhelming right wing media, including the BBC who had Farage in almost permanent residence, telling lies and pushing Brexit day after day. Anyway, if you thought the Referendum was democratic, why wouldn’t a confirmatory vote with the electorate having more information, also be democratic? Are you saying it would be too democratic?

      3. JackT
        I voted leave but No Deal means all bets are off
        No one voted to take us off a cliff
        Might need secession with Scotland bring back the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria

      4. Doug, what the GE confirmed is those places which some in Labour touted as ‘heartlands’ were no such thing. How could anyone who was a committed Labour voter not support Labour, especially with Jeremy Corbyn as Leader? The heartlands were the areas which remained faithful to Labour and incidentally also supported Remain in the Referendum.

        By the way, all bets are not off. Those of us on the left who predicted Britain would be worse off if we left the EU will be proven to be correct, particularly if the UK splits, as seems likely. If you believed the lies of Johnson, Fox and Farage et al, that we would have a ‘fantastic’ future – Bozo’s favourite adjective – with new trade deals coming out of our ears, you are not alone, many on the left also fell for it.

      5. JackT
        What have I got in common with Brexiteers, fuck all
        The evil genius Cummings calculated majority would honour the result
        He was right we were wrong
        Those who jumped did not want to and they will return once No Deal plays out
        Splitting country is a certainty, let’s see how Tartan Tories get on

  8. No one had the backbone to stand up against Quislings and Bad Actors
    Mark Howell has done more in months to get us our day in court than entire leadership did in 5 years
    No matter, the report effectively hamstrings the EHRC , the only narrative in town now is one of utter betrayal by Red Tories
    Off they must fuck

    1. Doug, Red Tories are not a problem it’s Blue Labour in the form of Glasman, Crudas and Purnell etc., i.e. the Tory lite we need to keep a close eye on.

      1. Jack T…..Starmer is leading the Labour down the ‘Remain’ Road advocated by his mentor, Blair, perhaps you should listen more closely to your chum Chris Williamson, or even Jeremy Corbyn? I know neither Dennis Skinner nor Dave Nellist were advocates of the Rich Man’s Club……….perhaps the answer to your question about who is Tory Lite is closer to home?

      2. Steve, most of the surveys since the Referendum show it was hostility to immigrants which drove Brexit. Bloody-minded racism, fostered by Farage and the far right gave us the most dire prospects for the future. Already, 70% of those who voted Leave regret it. Still, you can congratulate yourself that you were on the ‘right’ side.

    2. In the event that Mark Howell wins, the likelyhood is that the MSM will just completely ignore it, as surely they are not going to give any credence to the fact that former staffers conspired to sabotage Jeremy’s chances of winning the 2017 GE.

      And my point is THIS….. that no matter what Jeremy had done, the saboteurs and spinners would have twisted and distorted it to discredit and demonise him, and if you KNOW that to be the case – as Jeremy MUST have done – then you just end up thinking that there’s no point in taking legal action against this person or that person because it won’t achieve anything that’s to your benifit electorially. Just the opposite in fact! The following is from the above article:

      ‘The Establishment has taken its attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the left movement up several more notches as it tries desperately to write off the inconvenient leaked Labour Party report…..’

      When you own and/or control the MSM, you have total control of the narrative and, as they HAVE done, can create and ‘manufacture’ a totally false reality in the minds of millions of people. Backbones, or lack thereof, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it!

      NB I just did a quick search, and Mark Howell’s legal case appears to be getting little coverage in, or by, the MSM! The only thing that came up in the list of results re MSM coverage was an Evening Standard article from June 19th:

      https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labour-party-antisemitism-report-leaked-high-court-suspensions-a4474456.html

      1. Alan Howard
        If class action wins they leave and form the mythical centrist GE winning machine party
        That would be the price demanded for not Bankrupting party

      2. It would appear that, far from being an ‘equalities watchdog’, the EHRC has become a right-wing attack dog.

        Chris Williamson

  9. I notice somebody else who has a casual acquaintance with reality’s being strangely silent.

    I guess he’s waiting patiently to see what these reports will consist of…

  10. Always keep your friends close-and your enemies closer-that was the failure of 2019-in a word-naivety-the british working class is incapable of thinking straight-like er 1926

  11. Dear Skwawkbox In 2017, after two years of Pension 60 Now campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn’s pension policies of pension age 60 men and women and increased state pension, that would have brought him elected as Prime Minister.

    But the right wing of Labour within the internal admin, never put any meaningful state pension policies in any election manifesto from 2015 to 2019.

    No matter the pension campaign group, the 1950s ladies were desperate for state pension money, aged between 60 and 66.

    Why?

    Because Blair knew back in 2005 that pension age rise would result in early death long before retirement.

    This came to pass from 2011 pension age rise, which saw the highest early death rate in our 50s and 60s, for half a century.

    The assumption of continuing life from 50 to 70 ended in 2011.

    That is why life expectancy is the biggest lie of these times.

    Men died alongside us, as became the newest I Daniel Blakes from age 60, from lack of Pension Credit, that replaced state pension, and saved knackered old men and women from the cruel benefit system, only focused on leaving you to starve. From 50, never mind 60, least chance of a new job.

    From 2017 I still campaigned into Labour for Jeremy Corbyn’s pension policies as Grey Swans. Still no sign of any meaningful pension policies in Labour’s election manifestos.

    Chris Williamson, the former Labour MP purged out of the party for being Corbynite, has now published an article in The Morning Star Saturday 8 August, 2020, supporting Grey Swans £372 per week per person state pension, from his socialist movement to become a party and lowering pension age (by 2024, for the 1970s born now turning 50, the kids of the 1950s born). ARTICLE LINK
    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/there’s-no-reason-why-we-can’t-all-have-proper-pensions

    Grey Swans seeks members from 50 to 100 plus, men and women, and younger people, including the 1980s born now in their 40s, for early works pension age to revert to 50 from 2024 (lost by Blair’s 2004 Finance Act from 50 to 55 since 2010, and due to rise to 57 soon, and even 65). The threat is that 1960s to 1980s born could have further pension age rise to 70 going on 75.

    Jeremy Corbyn lost by around 3000 votes in key marginals in 2017. The 1950s ladies number around 5000 women in most voting areas. With 1960s women the same, who would have voted for pension age 60, as they have turned 60 now from 2020.

    1. Along with a four day week of six hours a day AND three months paid holiday a year (albeit a maximum of one month at any one time).

  12. EHRC Blair’s quango. David Isaac CBE steps down later this month & a new appointment will be made by Tory Minister for Equality & Women, Liz Truss. David Isaac has been constantly praised for his efforts by the Jewish Chronicle……..”Equality, I spoke their word, quite clear, no doubt somehow, but I was …… Trust the System!

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