Analysis comment

New attack by Newbon’s fans confirms Newbon repeatedly disciplined for social media

Anti-left academic Hirsh gives away details of atrocious record in attack on Michael Rosen and Northumbria University

The pro-Israel right continues to attack renowned Jewish author Michael Rosen and to attempt to link him – against the evidence – to the death of anti-left activist Dr Pete Newbon, who was ruled last month to have committed suicide after a row with his wife.

Newbon’s former colleagues in the ‘Labour against Antisemitism’ (LAAS) attack group also vilified Rosen well before Newbon’s death, attempted to have the BBC sack him and even in one case suggested they might have physically attacked him given the chance One person who was cited as being a ‘consultant’ for LAAS has convicted of threatening behaviour toward left-wing supporters of Palestinian human rights and has reportedly turned up, with associates, on a number of occasions at children’s events organised by Jewish organisations where Rosen was reading poems and stories.

The group has since lionised Newbon as a ‘hidden saint’, despite his public conduct.

Rosen’s ‘crime’ was daring to object to Newbon’s attack on him and Jeremy Corbyn – Newbon had bastardised Rosen’s famous ‘Bear Hunt’ book in an image photoshopped to suggest that Corbyn, pictured during his leadership reading ‘Bear Hunt’ to a group of rapt children, was instead reading to them about going on a ‘Jew hunt’. Along with the photoshopped image, Newbon tweeted a parody of Rosen’s text.

Rosen’s horror at the abuse of his work was hardly surprising. The antisemitic text photoshopped onto his book was glowingly quoted by Hitler in his book ‘Mein Kampf’ and Rosen lost several close relatives in the Holocaust.

Newbon’s fellow activists have persisted in trying to link his suicide to Rosen, even though Rosen was never mentioned during the inquest: many months separated his dispute with Newbon and Newbon’s death, while Newbon faced financial ruin because he was being sued for a separate smear attack involving harassment, defamation and abuse of private information that put James Wilson in physical danger and seriously defamed him. That case was going, and continues to go, badly for the remaining defendants.

And while initially Newbon’s supporters claimed Rosen was not specifically targeted by Newbon’s foul satire, comments by his supporters since his death have confirmed that Rosen was targeted specifically for speaking up for Corbyn against the endless smears of the ‘Labour antisemitism’ propaganda attack.

And now the latest attack piece by Newbon’s fans confirms that, as Skwawkbox has previously reported, Newbon’s social media conduct was so poor that his employer’s disciplinary case against him for the Rosen attack was just one in a string of disciplinaries for similar social media output.

David Hirsh is a pro-Israel and anti-left academic who featured prominently in the campaign to smear Jeremy Corbyn as antisemitic and has called for left-wing Jews to be expelled from the Labour party. Hirsh has now written a document for an ‘Annual Pete Newbon Award’ that amounts to an extensive attack on Michael Rosen, despite the evidence against doing so – and Hirsh’s own claim that the ‘document doesn’t speak to the cause of Pete’s death’ – mentioning the Jewish Rosen nineteen times in a document about an award to commemorate the late Newbon.

But the document gives away – again – that Rosen was targeted by Newbon’s group; it also confirms in detail that Newbon had been repeatedly disciplined by Northumbria University for his behaviour on his social media accounts, whose profiles mentioned that he was employed there, before the disciplinary for his abuse of Rosen:

But the University of Northumbria in fact came to the conclusion that Pete’s work online harmed its reputation. He was hauled in front of a disciplinary tribunal and scolded for it, not once but three times.

Even more to the point, Hirsh’s document exposes the falsity of his fellow-travellers’ claims that Rosen ‘instigated a pile-on’ against Newbon by publicly complaining about the misuse of his work – in reality, the criticism of Newbon’s actions was extensive before Rosen ever commented:

Each of Pete’s tweets and his posts was seen by thousands of people; that included politicians, opinion formers, journalists, academics, activists, students to specify a few…

By the time Rosen posted the above on Facebook, Pete had indeed already been bullied off twitter by a pile-on of thousands of people repeating the allegation that he had made an antisemitic attack against Rosen.

The university’s disciplinary action against Newbon for his Rosen tweet came in response to this avalanche of outrage, frequently ‘tagged in’ to the Northumbria University Twitter account – and this happened before Rosen commented publicly about it.

Hirsh also appears to attack Rosen’s Jewishness – ironically, given that Newbon himself was not Jewish according to Orthodox doctrine, having only a paternal Jewish grandparent and being brought up, in Newbon’s own words to the Jewish Chronicle, with ‘next to no Yiddishkeit’. Hirsh claims that Rosen ‘frequently mobilised his own identity’ – in other words, that Rosen ‘weaponised’ his Jewishness to refute the smears against the left – ironic, considering the non-stop weaponisation of antisemitism accusations by the right. It seems Hirsh thinks that Rosen was the ‘wrong type of Jew’ compared to the late Newbon.

And Hirsh accidentally undermines yet another key pillar of the right’s attempts to blame Rosen for Newbon’s death. Newbon, the right-wing logic goes, was suing Rosen for suggesting his tweet was antisemitic and was so stressed by the case that he took his own life. Yet Hirsh claims that:

It was clear that Pete was likely to win that court case.

The university’s conclusion regarding Newbon’s conduct was emphatic, though Hirsh construes this as some kind of defence that Newbon’s post was not antisemitic:

The university’s ‘verdict’ was as follows:

I uphold the allegations against you and find all of them proven… I have decided to issue you with a Final Written Warning which will remain on your personal record for a period of 12 months… Should the University have cause to discuss any other aspects of your conduct between now and the expiry of the warning you could be subject to further disciplinary action which may result in termination of your employment.

What were the allegations that had been ‘proven’? 

  • Actions constituting a serious breach of the University’s Code of Conduct
  • Not acting in the best interests of the University
  • Actions that have harmed the University’s reputation and had a significant and adverse impact on the smooth running of its operations

And of course, outrage at the idea of complaints to the university about Newbon’s behaviour rings hollow when LAAS directors have tried to have Rosen sacked from his show on BBC radio.

Finally, not mentioned in Hirsh’s document, but worth mentioning here, is the Twitter account ‘University Antisemitism Map’. The account, which tweeted support for Newbon after his death, runs a website accusing numerous academics of antisemitism – along with details of their places of work – for ‘crimes’ as spurious as tweeting support for academic David Miller, who was sacked by Bristol University despite two university investigations finding he had said and done nothing antisemitic, after pressure from pro-Israel groups.

Apparently, in the eyes of at least some of Newbon’s supporters, it’s wrong to complain of the behaviour of Dr Newbon but fine to demand the sacking of academics who support Palestinian rights.

Solidarity with Michael Rosen and all victims of such smear campaigns.

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  1. This approach seems to be a common one which is not limited to only one particular pressure group.

    As Maya Forstater, Kathleen Stock, Esther Giles and a whole plethora of victims of the same Official Narrative enforcement will testify.

    1. Speaking of which here’s a video of an honourary member of The TRA Provisional Wing, Bandera Brigade, explaining how The Official Narrative will be enforced across the entire planet:

      This is “CIA “journalist” Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, dressed in the uniform of Ukraine’s Nazis, holding his weapon sideways…… and echoing Ukrainian warlord Kirill Budanov in threatening to murder all “Russian apologists” both inside and outside Ukraine.”

      This, apparently without any irony, represents the postmodernist definition of “left wing” and “progressive.”

      1. @Dave

        That lovable rascal in the video is going to have its work cut out then.

        The Russians have announced they want Alaska back. They’re currently going through the fine print, but they have it contractually that they can have it back

        As for Mr. Rosen, he has my sympathy. It can’t be easy deal with scum. But he’s a good man and he’ll come out on top eventually.

  2. I do not wish to speal ill of the dead but if anybody apart from Mr Newbon is responsible for his suicide it is the people who encouraged and fermented his intolerance and apparent hatred of a political view that was different to his own.
    Not content with expressing profound disagreement with individuals such as Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Newbon, backed to the hilt by pro Israel groups, decided to engage in gutter politics. This engagement had consequences which he was unable to face and which unfortunately resulted in his death.
    Those groups need to have a hard look at themselves and how they behave and encourage others to behave and understand their role in Mr Newbon’s death so that further similar tragedies can be avoided.

    1. Not mad, not stupid, but very dangerous.
      These people choose not to engage in debate when they find that others have a contrary opinion.
      They choose to try to prevent the contrary opinion from being expressed, and sometimes to eliminate, metaphorically and on occasions, actually, those who express it.

  3. Excellent, detailed article, Skwawkie! Thank you, for this!

    I hope the more people who read it, the more will come to understand the smear campaign. What happened then, what continues to happen now.

    The scurrilous lies – demented lies.

  4. In other news:
    Paul Clark: Former MP jailed over child abuse images
    A former Labour MP who shared child abuse material has been jailed.
    During his time in government, Clark served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Derry Irvine, Charles Falconer, John Prescott, and Ed Balls,
    Consistently voted for introducing ID cards
    Almost always voted for a stricter asylum system
    Voted for requiring the mass retention of information about communications
    Consistently voted for university tuition fees
    Consistently voted for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system
    Almost always voted for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas
    Consistently voted for the Iraq war
    Consistently voted against investigations into the Iraq war
    Generally voted against a transparent Parliament
    Generally voted against a wholly elected House of Lords
    Almost always voted against greater regulation of gambling
    Consistently voted for introducing foundation hospitals
    Voted against allowing terminally ill people to be given assistance to end their life.
    What a nice man. (?)

    1. And what a “nice’ system which selects and advances only those parasites who operate in this way – however they self-identity politically.

    2. I do remember him and how politically dreadful he was.

      On the subject of euthanasia, that is a difficult one. I do not like it one bit. Allowing it would be fraught with danger.

  5. Tony writes .On the subject of euthanasia, that is a difficult one. I do not like it one bit. Allowing it would be fraught with danger. But that’s happening every day in hospitals it’s called a driver were you hooked up to a drip which overdoses you .it’ was called the Liverpool pathway’s to death yet we still have it and if I have a accident they won’t operate has of Alzheimer’s dementia. So open your eyes it’s here

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