David Rosenberg on the leaked internal report

JVL Introduction

David Rosenberg offers his reflections on the leaked internal Labour Party report. He captures well the visceral response so many of us had to the revelations:

“I’m a seasoned political activist. I’ve witnessed political betrayals at close quarters. I’ve seen turncoats do their worst, and heard their cynical justifications as they attacked former comrades. But as I read through the details in the 851-page leaked Labour report that emerged last weekend (the leak was effective BTW – I was offered it by six different sources), I didn’t just feel anger, I felt physically sick.”

He concludes that there must be a fight to unite the party as a whole, around its core socialist values again, with equality and respect at its heart.

This will involve an ongoing fight to educate our members and supporters against all forms of racist bigotries – including antisemitism

This article was originally published by Davesrebellion on Thu 16 Apr 2020. Read the original here.

What does Labour’s leaked report tell us?

Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 21.23.54“They are cheering and we are silent and grey faced”, lamented a WhatsApp message sent from the headquarters of a certain political party on the night of 8/9th June 2017. Despite a very poor and wooden campaign by Theresa May, a stark contrast with Jeremy Corbyn’s energetic one, based on Labour’s exciting and radical manifesto, major newspapers and pundits were still predicting a Tory landslide just days before the election. So you could completely understand the shock and misery that must have descended on the faithful at Tory HQ.

Only this wasn’t Tory HQ. It was Labour’s. In Corbyn’s office, staff  joyously celebrated thumping majorities in their safer seats and whooped with delight at every gain, including some very unlikely seats turning Labour for the first time in decades or ever. They allowed themselves to start to imagine what seemed unbelievable. Labour ended the night within a whisker of pulling off a shock result. Less than 2,500 votes spread over just seven marginal seats, would have not only deprived Theresa May of her majority – which they did achieve – but Labour could have feasibly formed a minority government. A government putting people before profit that could have started to turn the tide of years of austerity. In today’s Coronavirus crisis and the utter failure of the Johnson government to protect the most impoverished, marginalised and vulnerable members of society, or indeed frontline healthworkers, we can see the true cost of Labour failing to pull off that victory which was almost within its grasp.

But our grey-faced messenger was in a different room in Labour HQ with her close work colleagues. She messaged her wider circle on this WhatsApp thread, reacting to Corbyn’s strong performance: “Opposite to what I had been working towards for the last couple of years!!” (my emphasis.)

The hard-earned money of ordinary Labour members – a very different socio-economic profile to the average Tory member – was funding the salaries of Labour staff who had been actively working for a Labour defeat from the day that Corbyn became Labour leader. Our messenger was part of a tight-knit, self-perpetuating senior management team at Labour HQ, embedded in the Blair years. When vacancies occurred they were filled by carefully selected interview candidates some of whom were forearmed with the likely interview questions.

Corbyn may have been in office when he won the leadership in 2015 but he and his team were not in power. They struggled for resources to fund their campaign in key 2017 marginals, because, under their noses, in the same HQ, a powerful set of salaried staff,  were running a an alternative election campaign, that funneled resources instead to key seats, mainly safe ones, to make doubly sure that their close right wing allies in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), retained them, and would be well-placed to run a leadership challenge to depose Corbyn after they assumed would be an inevitable, crushing election defeat.

I’m a seasoned political activist. I’ve witnessed political betrayals at close quarters. I’ve seen turncoats do their worst, and heard their cynical justifications as they attacked former comrades. But as I read through the details in the 851-page leaked Labour report that emerged last weekend (the leak was effective BTW – I was offered it by six different sources), I didn’t just feel anger, I felt physically sick.

The disgusting language and repugnant values captured in a mass of WhatsApp messages and emails between key people who were at the heart of that staff team under the leadership of the former party General Secretary Iain McNicol, have been exposed in several commentary pieces penned in the last few days since the leak. I won’t repeat them all here but leave a few examples, such as the racist/sexist descriptions of the highest placed MP of Caribbean heritage Diane Abbott: “angry woman”, “truly repulsive”, “literally makes me sick”, said in the same breath as negative comments about Dawn Butler, another leading female Black MP.

Clive Lewis meanwhile, born to a white English mother but brought up by his Grenadian father on a council estate in Northampton, is described by a regional organiser as “the biggest cunt of the lot”. A very senior staff member, who later appeared as a “whistleblower” telling tales of woe on the infamous July 2019 Panorama hatchet–job on Corbyn in July 2019, wholeheartedly agreed with this description of Lewis.

Unflattering physical descriptions of leading staff members of Corbyn’s LOTO team litter these WhatsApp exchanges among Labour HQ’s senior management. One is described as “actually fat”, a “bitch face cow” and “medusa monster” whose face “would make a good dartboard”. Another highly-placed LOTO officer was referred to as “pube head” and a “smelly cow”. There are demeaning references to the mental health of perceived political opponents, often dismissed as “crazy”, “nutters” and “mentalists”. One senior staff member expressed a wish that a young Labour member, struggling with mental health problems, should “die in a fire”. And if that member was on fire, a member of Labour’s Governance and Law Unit (GLU) added that he “wouldn’t piss on him to put him out”. A key liaison person between the party bureaucracy and the PLP commented: “Wish there was a petrol can emoji”.

Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 21.33.00Insulting and physically threatening language was not reserved just for young activists but directed at Corbyn himself. Just after Corbyn was voted leader, one senior staff member at Labour HQ boasted that they had used the word “cunt more in the last 48hrs” than in their whole life.

They vented anger especially at Labour MPs who proposed to nominate Corbyn for the 2015 leadership ballot to “widen the field”. Any MP doing so “deserves to be taken out and shot”, said one staffer. Another thread discussed “hanging and burning” Corbyn. A policy head joked that staff should tattoo their foreheads “FUJC” – “Fuck You Jeremy Corbyn”.

In early 2018 after the Labour Party Left eventually won a narrow majority on Labour’s NEC, its ruling body, Iain McNicol resigned and now sits as a Labour peer. Many of his key staff followed, having negotiated fine redundancy packages for themselves even though they had been deliberately obstructive and uncooperative. On their own admission they spent their years after Corbyn became leader on a go-slow, while developing WhatsApp chat groups on which they would be “tap tap tapping away” to “make us look v busy”. Discussing likely redundancy packages if they completed enough years of service, one key GLU Director advised a staff member that she would be “entitled to a decent chunk. Worth staying for it even if it means coming into the office & doing nothing for a few months”.

There was, however, one piece of work that key members of staff engaged in very energetically and enthusiastically, devoting shedloads of time that could have been spent on other priorities, such as dealing with members’ complaints of racism including antisemitism. This was “validation” of members and supporters eligible to vote in the leadership contests of 2015 and 2016. During both those contests, thousands of voters  had their eligibility to vote removed at a stroke. Some were given explanations based on incredibly flimsy pretexts. Most got no explanation at all. This fell almost exclusively on voters planning to vote for Corbyn.

Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 21.36.58Back in Labour HQ, the perpetrators shared messages with each other about their “trot hunt”. Anyone remotely left of centre could be accused of being a “Trot”. Some HQ staff applied this, bizarrely, to Ed Miliband and Sadiq Khan.

The summary exclusions from the leadership electoral roll caused immense pain to many longstanding socialist activists who at last had a candidate with a radical programme they fully endorsed. One such person was a very close friend of mine, a Jewish man in his early 70s, who had been active in socialist and labour movement causes from his teenage years. Despite some health problems that limited his mobility, he always made strenuous efforts to get to meetings and support campaigns, locally and globally (in better health during the Yugoslav wars he had helped to deliver “Workers Aid” by lorry to Tuzla in Bosnia).

Late one Saturday night, in early September, 2015, he rang us in a very agitated state having been informed earlier that evening by Labour HQ that his vote had been nullified. We tried hard to calm him down and give him some practical advice about who he might contact to try to get it resolved. At the end of the conversation, though, he was still very wrought up. We didn’t hear from him the next day. The following morning he was found dead at home, having apparently died in his sleep.

The narrative that has dominated the commentary since last weekend has described the consistent attempts to directly sabotage Corbyn-led Labour’s progress by right wingers ensconced in the party’s inner bureaucracy. The saboteurs looked forward to their efforts being rewarded through a large Tory victory in 2017 after which Corbyn would be forced to resign. Some of them founded a plot they called Operation Cupcake and met with Tom Watson, Labour’s Deputy leader, grooming him to become interim leader if Corbyn resigned.

raynerkeir_errk2hIt is inconceivable that wider elements of the PLP, especially among the 178 who attempted a coup in summer 2016, did not know about this. Did Keir Starmer know? He was one of the Shadow Cabinet members who staged an immaculately choreographed, phased resignation from their posts to build the coup. Perhaps Angela Rayner, at that time very loyal to Jeremy Corbyn, and someone who still claims that legacy (though not always convincingly) might be pressurised to ask him.

The fall out from these revelations has had two contradictory effects. For some members, especially younger activists,  enthused and energised by Corbyn’s ascent to leadership, who gave their all for him over the last five years, the emerging details of this betrayal on the back of the failure by the candidate closest to Corbyn’s views to win the 2020 leadership election, is the last straw. They are leaving the party. I wish I could persuade them to stay, because the other reaction, now that the scheming, plotting and sabotage is  in the public domain, is shared anger across the Left of the party and across some of the arcane divisions that often needlessly separate us from one another on secondary issues. There is now the prospect of a more united fighting Left emerging within Labour.

But we must also not lose sight of the reason this report was written in the first place. ItDltb4itXgAIosLu was prepared as a submission to the EHRC, a body initially set up by the Labour Party to advance equalities in Britain and ensure that institutions were maintaining good practice in doing this. The Tory Party with a long history of racism going back to the Aliens Act of 1905 that sought to reduce Jewish immigration to Britain, through its harsh refugee policies in the 1930s, its fondness for Empire, its advancement of racist policing policies, its opposition to sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, while its student body in the 1980s sold  “Hang Nelson Mandela” merchandise, and its record of deflecting repeated accusations of Islamophobia, were hardly likely to be creators of equality institutions.

Bizarrely, at the behest of a very right-wing Zionist Jewish group, Campaign Against Antisemitism a body whose own attitudes to racism have been rightly questioned, and the rabidly anti-Corbyn Labour group, the Jewish Labour Movement, the EHRC were asked to investigate whether antisemitism has been present within Labour’s processes. At the moment Labour’s lawyers won’t let this document be submitted as an official Labour report. Perhaps it was through frustration at this situation that the report was leaked. Individuals are at liberty to submit it to the EHRC, though clearly it would be stronger coming from the party itself.  Their cut-off date for submissions has passed, but their terms of reference state they would continue to consider pertinent submissions.

The keenness of EHRC to investigate was also media-driven. A popular mainstream media narrative, mirrored by the the dominant press in the Jewish community, says that Labour was a proud anti-racist party but since Corbyn became leader there have been increasing numbers of cases of antisemitism in the party that the party has failed to deal with. In that five-year period the media have increasingly fingered Corbyn and people close to him, as the source of the problem. This attack on Corbyn-led Labour became increasingly virulent after Labour’s strong showing in the 2017 General Election. Organisations and individuals who self-define as Jewish community leaders have led the charge too.

In response, the Labour leadership has always stressed its absolute opposition to all forms of racism including antisemitism. It has made some errors of judgement and not always appreciated more subtle forms that antisemitism can take, but it can point to its record of dealing with such problems as there are, especially since a new General Secretary, Jennie Formby, came into post, in early 2018. She constructed a new team and initiated several reforms of the way the party has handled complaints.

At the same time many activists on the left, both Jewish and non-Jewish have argued that the dominant narratives around Labour and antisemitism were false, that claims of antisemitism within Labour were wildly exaggerated, and many allegations did not stand up to scrutiny. And they were especially concerned that among those targeted and punished for challenging these narratives were a disproportionate number of pro-Palestinian activists including Jewish left wingers. They argued with justification that the hullabaloo around questions of antisemitism has had a chilling effect on members wishing to promote the cause of Palestinian human rights and criticise Zionism for its racist practices in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

There are many shocking aspects pertinent to this debate that are revealed within this report. It certainly blows apart the dominant media narrative by showing that between 2015 and 2018 the party’s Governance and Legal Unit, which engaged in constant factional plotting against Corbyn’s leadership, failed dismally to act on the majority of complaints of antisemitism that it received, forwarding complaints from one inbox to another with very few cases being resolved, and the ones that were apparently settled often reached questionable conclusions. That period saw more than 300 complaints submitted. Only 34 were investigated.

Just as seriously, when the Labour leadership team inquired about progress on cases they were: given inaccurate information and statistics; told that complaints had been processed when they hadn’t; assured that many perpetrators were not Labour members (which was untrue); and given timetables for ongoing complaints to be resolved that were not met. Perhaps the leadership should have pressed further and deeper, and risked being told it was unnecessarily “interfering” and didn’t trust the staff to do their jobs. Ironically in the period since Formby’s substantial reforms there have been large numbers of allegations of antisemitism, especially through the MP for Barking, Margaret Hodge, that have turned out to be mainly complaints against individuals unconnected in any way with the Labour Party.

Outside the Party, though, during Corbyn’s leadership, the narrative gained traction that antisemitism was being allowed to fester in the party, and that this was the fault of the leadership. Corbyn commissioned a report by Shami Chakrabarti, but struggled to get its many excellent recommendations put into practice. The GLU simply didn’t play ball. She had provided guidance on a wide range of conduct that was antisemitic, and made a series of recommendations. The report was placed on the party website but GLU largely failed to use this guidance. When staff within HQ were asked to update and revamp the party website they did so, but in its new iteration the Chakrabarti Report had mysteriously disappeared. LOTO’s Stakeholder Manager pointed out this discrepancy, and also asked that agreed codes of conduct were placed there, accessible to members. The leaked report reveals a disagreement within senior GLU staff with one insisting: “My strong view is that (it) should not be on the website.” It was eventually reinstated but barely acted upon.

The question remains of why there was such a poor record of dealing with the cases? The leaked report portrays a dysfunctional system, where little attention had been given to training and development on issues of antisemitism or other racist bigotries. This was compounded by the inordinate attention key officers gave to their factional political work against Corbyn’s leadership. The fight against antisemitism and other forms of racism within the party was hampered and constantly deprioritised by this obsession.

Since some change of staffing initially in 2018, and a new and bigger team effectively in place since 2019, Labour can justifiably claim that on the whole it has addressed the complaints much more efficiently and with more professional systems for logging, recording and acting on cases. It acknowledges that some errors continued to be made, where complaints against certain members resulted in light sanctions, because patterns of behaviour failed to be discovered at first. These have been addressed since. Formby’s new team has also carried out a historical audit to trace cases going back several years, that were never properly resolved. Of those original 300 cases, the party believes there was a case for serious action on around 150 of them, far more than the 34 where some progress on earlier cases had been made by the staff previously in place.

But when you examine the detail of these cases it also presents a significant challenge to those who stubbornly deny there is any problem of antisemitism in the Labour party.

A Labour member shared Holocaust-denier David Irving’s material

Although the numbers of such cases are very small in a party of half a million members, these include some cases of very extreme antisemitism. A few examples: Holocaust denial; conspiracy theories about Jews/Rothschild bankers running the world; accusations of “zioscum masters” with an “ultimate agenda of wiping out the goyim”; members sharing David Irving’s material and claims of a “phony 6 million”; an image shared of a Jewish man rubbing his hands together, as the world burns, captioned “Zionism cancer of the Earth”; an image of numerous Jews with the caption “know your enemy these men rule the world”; a social media post claiming “Sadly all we have today is a bunch of worthless politicians controlled like puppets by Jewish lobbyists and Rothschilds working for their personal benefits $$$$”; an article claiming “Jews are leading the legal fight against brexit” and a video claiming “Gentiles will be the slaves of Jews”; a post saying the Jews were behind 9/11, Rothschilds were behind World War 2, and Israel controls America.

How could people holding these views have got anywhere near the Labour Party? Did they publicly express general views about a fairer society but somehow hide these repulsive but strongly felt ideas? Did they not give any hint to fellow Labour members of their views before they were eventually brought to the attention of the Labour Party centrally? There is also some evidence within the report of complaints of anti-black racism and Islamophobia also failing to make progress through the clunky (lack of) system formerly in place. But that is not so surprising when you read the everyday racism expressed in the WhatsApp chats .

Since Jennie Formby’s reforms, Labour has addressed the historical cases and sought to bring them to a conclusion. In many cases expulsions have occurred. In others, members who have expressed Hitlerite-style antisemitism, who have received notice of a case against them which may result in expulsion, have resigned.

Without doubt there must be a fight to unite the party as a whole, its members and its staff, around its core socialist values again, which must have equality and respect at its heart, but there is still an ongoing fight to educate our members and supporters against all forms of antisemitism and other bigotries.

Comments (10)

  • Paul Smith says:

    And still no detailed analysis of the report’s findings in the Guardian.

  • RH says:

    I can’t blame David Rosenberg for attempting to look on the shrinking bright side of this affair and the background ‘antisemitism’ scam. Let’s face it – there’s little enough to fix on that is positive.

    But I must pick him up on a couple of points . First of all – the statement that :

    “The keenness of EHRC to investigate was also media-driven.”

    Hmmm …. was it as simple as that? Even if it was simply so, the motivation calls into question the fitness for purpose of the EHRC. But, in the wider context, the lack of interest in parallel accusations affecting other parties, and prejudgment issues posed by senior management utterances leaves a disturbing question mark over the EHRC.

    Then there is the statement :

    “… when you examine the detail of these cases it also presents a significant challenge to those who stubbornly deny there is any problem of antisemitism in the Labour party.”

    I doubt that many would claim the complete absence of weird racial attitudes amongst the large Labour Party membership. But the minute scale is an absolutely crucial issue in the light of the constructed media narrative.

    Beyond that, in the present context, a prompt response from the Party to such egregious actual prejudice would have been perfectly possible had it not been for a dysfunctional administration.

    Sadly, the report itself is still embedded in this culture of apologia (as opposed to refutation) that has done so much damage and, I’m afraid, that it has continued under Jennie Formby’s period in office. The ‘Executive Summary’ is desperately keen not to offend the offenders.

    In fact, the major issues relating to disciplinary cases flow from the parade of good Labour members with strong anti-racist backgrounds who have been cynically targeted by a corrupt and opaque process that lacks natural justice – continuing under Jennie Formby.

    Let’s get the picture straight instead of constantly crumbling in the face of the BoD/JLM lobby.

  • dave says:

    I agree again with RH – so-called denialism is not about denying there is antisemitism and I’ve sure we all agree with the various reports that show that antisemitic tropes are expressed by those on the left but this becomes more prevalent in both numbers of people and tropes the further right one goes. What we deny is that there is a crisis of antisemitism in the party.

    David is right to wonder how those with extreme views, who aren’t many, get anywhere near Labour, and I would say that is probably because party involvement has become much more virtual and less personal in terms of vetting, and most of the issues come to light on social media (which must itself be carefully assessed for reality).

    And as I’ve said before, they are not a systematic problem because they obviously do not meet the standard for membership, and we should try and return to days where members are admitted through being proposed and seconded (did we before in Labour.. maybe I’m thinking of my union…). In any case we need to be a people organisation, not an adjunct of Facebook.

  • N.Thomas says:

    Qui bono ? I see Starmer was elected as LP leader.
    Interesting to see his next move.

  • RC says:

    Dave is right to highlight the way in which membership has been relegated to the status of customers. This was accelerated by the Miliband-Collins ‘reform’, specifically designed, like so many ‘reforms’ since at least 1994. to dilute any informed or socialist membership with an ocean of ‘sympathisers’ whose commitment need not extend beyond the vacuous and trivial new Clause 4 if that far. With representative-democratic institutions sidelined in the interests of plebiscitary methods, disguised as ‘a membership-led party’, the stage was set for the empty populism of ‘the many not the few’ to be filled by identitarian prejudices – devoid of any criterion of class. Amongst those prejudices, then, it was not surprising that the medieval identification of Jews with finance, reinforced by nationalist and neo-religious reactionary forces, appealed to some unhinged individuals to see ‘the few’ as Jews. Antisemitism – ‘the socialism of fools’. The systematic and deliberate murder of hundreds of Gaza protestors, followed up by the careful kneecapping of hundreds more, no doubt provoked a small number of those fools, affected by these brutalities, to blame British Jews – particularly when the alleged representatives of British Jews made a point of blaming the Palestinian victims. It was criminally irresponsible to infer from these few unrepresentative ranters that a Corbyn government would be any threat to British Jews – let alone of a sort comparable to 1930s Germany.

  • David says:

    The solution is to form a new Leftist party

  • Margaret West says:

    Excellent summing up – it seems (to me) that there has been a recent rise in intolerance towards all sorts of minority groups – where racists and xenophobes thought it OK to voice their hateful opinions – including antisemitism. Now whether there was a %age rise in antisemitism in the Labour Party is currently unclear given newly revealed obfuscation from certain LP staffers. If so is it possible that they were new members, who joined during the time when the LP had a massive increase in members?

    This is made clear in the response by McDonnell in LabourList, who wants to submit the report to EHRC:

    “Because I’ve had enough, I had years of asking what was happening on antisemitism. We were being told, according to this report, inaccurate information consistently. If it’s true, that’s appalling. We should never allow this to happen again, we’ve got to end this culture.”

    Not only that, but if the report is true, the Labour Party was left implementing a problematic complaints procedure because excellent recommendations by Chakrabarti had been obstructed by the same disgraceful staffers.

    The alleged behaviour and language of these staffers makes them unsuitable for employment by any respectable establishment, yet the whole affair is dismissed as “factional” by the MSM ..

  • Andrew Hornung says:

    Once again I find myself in agreement with RH (are we a faction or a conspiracy, I wonder). The report contains scores of quotes adduced as examples of anti-Semitism that don’t seem to me – not knowing anything about who said them or the context of these remarks – to be anti-Semitic. They might be in a certain context but the fact that the author confidently quotes them without context shows that s/he belives that they are, in and of themselves, self-evidently anti-Semitic.
    In fact the author isn’t even reading off the IHRA hymn-sheet. The standards are more draconian. All s/he wants to see is the processes speeded up and standardised and the references to conditionality – the “might”s and “could”s, the “should”s and “may”s of the IHRA – abolished.
    One notion that creeps into the report is that offending the Jewish community is anti-Semitic. This false view of the so-called McPherson principle must be rejected (as it was in the Chakrabarti Report).
    The author of the Report (who is to be congratulated for his/her diligence in compiling it) stretches the definition of anti-Semitism to include questioning the extent of its penetration in the Labour Party and offending the Jewish community. Not even the IHRA was so brazen as to allege this.
    Even if we were naively to imagine that there is a unified Jewish community with unified reactions, there is no reason to believe that it is immune to panics and fears. The task of a political party is to understand these reactions but not necessarily to adopt them or adapt to them. Representatives of the Jewish community where I come from have voiced their fears of growing anti-Semitism in the city and labelled those who deny this as anti-Semites. And yet, if we take the CST figures for the area we will see that there was not a single attack (even verbal) on a Jewish person or property in the two years prior to the panic-mongering by community representatives.
    The term “denier” itself is interesting. It’s a good example of linguistic territorialism. The term has traditionally referred to Holocaust deniers. So when the JC headlines “Deniers…” it can be assured that many of its readers’ first reaction will be to think that it is Holocaust deniers that are being referred to. Some will read no further. Others will and will learn that the subject is not Holocaust deniers but those to question the extent of anti-Semitism in the Party. (A similar but more subtle thing goes on with the use of Dayenu as Enough is Enough.)

  • Andrew Hornung says:

    Sorry…something I forgot to say.
    I was shocked to find that a fellow CLP member with whom I work closely and who knows I am Jewish retweeted some nonsense about the Rothschilds and a post suggesting Israeli collusion in 9/11. A clear case of anti-Semitism, David?
    Well, I admit I was shocked. So I had a chat with him and that proved even more shocking. He said he didn’t know the Rothschilds were Jewish!
    Well, given our good working relations, I believe him. He is young and fiery but has no political education. To him the Rothschilds are bankers and bankers are arch-capitalists. As for the 9/11 retweet he agrees that that was stupid and says that at the time he was ingenously open to all sorts of mad conspiracy theories.
    My fellow activist has supported my work in trying to clarify the Jewish-Zionist issue and wondered why the Party locally and nationally didn’t do anything to educate new members, paticularly young ones.
    So my disagreement with David is not over whether what my fellow activist retweeted fits an anti-Semitic paradigm, but how to deal with him. Educate, I say, get the person to post an apology on the CLP’s Facebook page, issue a warning and stay vigilant. Don’t expel, don’t even suspend. Deal with the matter locally but report it nationally for information.
    Finally, this was all some years ago. No one locally ever noticed there was an anti-Semite in their midst (because there wasn’t). It took some trolls to unearth these long-forgotten retweets and blame the Left for them.

  • RH says:

    … and Paul …

    “And still no detailed analysis of the report’s findings in the Guardian.”

    Quelle surprise!

    There is a continuity right through this sad piece of history in the co-option of the Guardian by an establishment narrative (since the Edward Snowden affair) when push comes to shove.

    I’m temperamentally allergic to conspiracy theories – but has anyone else noticed that the Graun is also deep into scare stories over the Covid-19 epidemic – reflecting the daily official narrative courtesy the Beeb.

    Of course, there is stuff to be a bit scared about – but there’s also a lot of contrary and conflicting analysis around that isn’t simply quotidian jabbering on the extreme fringe of the internet. You would think that a newspaper boasting :

    ” our measured, accurate, independent reporting – in times of crisis and beyond”

    .. would be giving some airtime to such balancing analysis and questioning.

    But when did you last see the bald fact (for instance – at the most basic level) that the track of 2020 cumulative deaths (the only reasonably reliable indicator) is still running below that of 2017/18 – a bad ‘flu year?

    Just asking.

Comments are now closed.