Analysis Breaking comment

BBC leaves black and brown women out of article about abuse to MPs

Women MPs like Diane Abbott, Dawn Butler, Zarah Sultana and Apsana Begum, who receive huge volumes of foul racist abuse, not even mentioned

MPs who do get a mention in the BBC article almost all have something in common

Black and brown women MPs – the recipients of huge volumes of foul racist abuse – have been omitted entirely from a new BBC article about online abuse toward MPs.

While white MPs such as Flick Drummond, Jess Phillips, Dehenna Davison and Ben Bradley all feature in the article about analysis of tweets over a two-week period last spring. But not even a nod is given to the fact that black and brown women parliamentarians are well known to receive by far the greatest volume of messages – and of the most foul, racist sort.

Diane Abbott, the first Black woman MP, has long received the worst and most frequent abuse, while colleagues Dawn Butler and Zarah Sultana have received similar, with Sultana receiving not even a message of support from party leader Keir Starmer – and independent MP Claudia Webbe was forced to lock her Twitter because of a tsunami of grossly racist messages. Butler has also been targeted by police for ‘driving while Black’, Abbott was subjected to a ‘disgusting’ face-to-face tirade of abuse by Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting and party officials have both mounted and excused appalling abuse toward Muslim women MP Apsana Begum. Black women MPs were forced to protest Keir Starmer’s lack of action over racism in his party faction.

The glaring omission in the BBC’s coverage of abuse toward politicians is not a one-off. Like almost every other so-called ‘mainstream’ outlet, the broadcaster has stubbornly ignored revelations of racism and abuse by right-wing Labour figures and disgusting treatment of left-wing figures, even when exposed by Labour’s own Forde Report.

Similarly, supposed ‘champions’ in the fight against abuse routinely ignore such abuse when it is directed against women of colour, especially when the women are on the political left.

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  1. Are we really surprised? I am not.
    When I first came to Britain many years ago, I knew basic English so I was only able to read easy reading news papers such as the Sun.
    Every day they were articles in which “a black man” had been to court and have been found guilty of some crime or another. One could be forgiven for believing that all the crime in Britain was carry out by black men.
    Then it was the sport, when Linford Christie was wining a gold medal he was described as British when he was failing to win the gold medal he was the Jamaican born.
    After a while a discovered too misogynistic attitudes, an older colleague (manual work) announced very proudly that she had never payed a bill because her husband was in charge of dealing with all financial matters. Her weekly earnings were used to buy food. I asked if the bank account wasn’t in her name too? No, she replied it was only in her husband’s name because he was the one earning most of the money and the tenancy on their home was in his name too.
    By contrast even my grand mothers have their names as co-signatories on the family bank accounts and women in my family have always been in charge of paying the bills and going to the bank to withdraw funds. Of course they didn’t take the names of their husbands upon marriage either and in the case of my grand mothers we are talking very early 20thC.

  2. The culture at the top of the Labour party seems to be, if they’re on the left – as most of those affected by this kind of abuse are – then no amount of suffering is too severe. The Labour RW’s hatred for the left has led them to a very dark place.

    Some of the abuse Corbyn suffered from hostile elements within the PLP was equally threatening, their anti-Corbyn rants becoming increasingly unhinged.

    Basically, Starmer’s mob are so ideologically repulsed by socialism and the left they seemingly think it’s justified. More evidence in how how Starmer fails to respond to Sunak’s idiotic PMQ taunts about Corbyn, why not call out Truss? Starmer is so in agreement with Sunak’s assessment of Corbyn, he doesn’t know how to respond.

    1. That ties in, nicely, with Streeting’s adolescent outburst, at the end of PMQ’s today.

      A perfect example.

      Good to see Claudia Webbe MP, and Jon Trickett MP lending their Comradeship and friendship to JC, in the Commons today. Let’s see more of it, from more Labour MP’s, please.

      1. Starmer too, when it was electorally convenient in the leadership hustings to class Corbyn as a dear friend and colleague. Only later to suspend him.

        Who’d want a treacherous, two-faced double dealer of a friend like Starmer?

        The whole idea Corbyn was an electoral disaster is nonsense anyways. Labour, under Starmer are unlikely to match Corbyn-led Labour’s near 13 million vote haul in 2017. but the RW have collectively purged that GE from the record, because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

  3. Is the BBC having a laugh- Jess Phillips is a victim of abuse? Is that the same Jess Phillips who effs and blinds like a navvie, who said she would stab her then party leader in front , who rubs shoulders with the scum of the earth at Rupert Murdock drinks parties, who mocked and belittled Diane Abbot the most abused woman in parliament, who defended s sex pest Brendan Cox and who is raking it with book deals TV appearances newspaper articles etc. Poor Jess my heart bleeds for her

  4. Hypocrite Phillips channelling her fake ‘Ella Rose’ pose! Disingenuous Charlatan!

  5. Well skwawky BULLIED smeller greasy IIRC.

    Yes – BULLIED AND ABUSED her, he did.

    BULLIED ABUSED AND HARRASSED poor old smeller…

    Want the proof? Here it is…

    Seriously, most of these fucking frauds deserve any abuse hurled their way, given the bitter disappointment through nonchalance as well as the abject misery they impose upon millions- on a daily basis.

    Trouble is, whenever they’re subject to scrutiny, or someone gives them their opinion of their idiocy, or is simply and justifiably outraged by their aloofness and incompetence, they shriek ‘abuse’.

    That said, racial abuse and death threats do not fall under the above and are a different issue…Unless of course it’s antisemitic, or perceived antisemitism that they can attribute to Corbyn or the left.**

    Because the far right lunatic fringe haven’t murdered any MPs, nor have they been jailed for conspiring to kill MPs, have they?

    **Not important enough for the been or the Murdoch to bother with.

  6. Claudia Webbes name has been mentioned here – who some of
    you might remember as the victim of a miscarriage of justice. She
    was found guilty of harassing a certain Ms Merrit.
    The Society of Black Lawyers condemned the verdict as racially motivated.
    (See many back issues of Skwawkie!)

    You might remember this incident too –
    that on July 1st within a couple of minutes of the start of “Any Questions”
    a Tory MP Richard Holden accused Claudia of threatening to throw acid
    on Ms Merritt – which the Court had ruled out. On 15th July I complained about
    this to the BBC and on October 6th received an answer from them….
    … you will need to scroll down for this.

    Now it seems to me the BBC are keen to protect themselves more than
    anything and at least they have edited out the slander (for that is what it is!)
    They admit Claudia had not said what she was accused of –
    but they say nothing about Holden’s responsibility for the outrageous
    lie about another MP or his need to apologise and the lack of any
    comeuppance for him (so far as we know). Claudia has behaved with dignity
    throughout – getting on with her work as an MP and this in spite of
    a death threat for which someone was imprisoned and her being on a hit list
    of the individual who murdered David Amess.

    This contrasts with the furore which followed Myriam Margoyles use of
    a Bad Word on R4 when within a couple of minutes there were masses
    of complaints ..

    I have no idea when the lie was edited out – it WAS still there a fortnight
    later but was NOT by early October where indeed there was an admission
    by the BBC that they had altered the original. So that is at least a fortnight
    when this slander was out there and possibly a lot longer ..

    I feel really angry about this but the Complaints procedures about MPs
    does not seem to cover this. I even thought about complaining to the Speaker
    who appears to deal with discipline but I dont know that Claudia would
    even want this ..? There isn’t even a proof now that he said this – I tried
    using “Wayback Machine” to look at old versions of the recording but
    got nowhere.

    ******* Response from BBC about my Complaint******

    Any Questions is broadcast live and, although we choose the questions that will be covered, and discuss possible topics with panellists where appropriate, it’s not always possible to predict the subjects that may be included in some of the answers from panellists.
    In this instance, the question concerned sleaze in the Conservative party in light of the revelations about Chris Pincher. We could not reasonably have anticipated Claudia Webbe MP being referred to in an answer to this question and unfortunately did not pick
    up on any issues at the time.

    However, we acknowledge that it was reported that the Court of Appeal found that Claudia Webbe had not “made a threat to throw to acid over” Ms Merritt and therefore, in the interests of accuracy, we edited the recording of the programme available online to
    remove the statement. The programme on BBC Sounds is preceded by a message saying that the audio has been amended since broadcast, however we do not consider that a public apology is warranted in this case.

  7. Holbyfan, you only need to watch newswatch early on a Saturday morning to see just how the nonce-infested corporation (operating on behalf of, and for the conservative party and establishment) whitewash or dismiss any, and all, criticism or scrutiny.

    Their editors and producers are beyond reproach. They have bestowed papal infallibility upon themselves and us great unwashed are not to question their methods.

    Oh, and by the way – they know where you live and if you have a TV licence…

  8. Thats all very well Toffee – but I was more concerned at Holden not
    being held to account or getting his comeuppance. I have not got a
    twitter account so apart from reading small fragments I dont know
    what goes on there.

  9. As for the BBC – in refutation there is
    Alexei Sayle
    (and he’s funny too!)

    Of course – “one swallow does not a summer make ..”

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