Slow learner: Margaret Beckett [Image: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images].

Slow learner: Margaret Beckett [Image: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images].

It seems The Guardian is now a fervent supporter of the old Nazi maxim that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.

All the top three stories on that news outlet’s ‘politics’ web page are attempts to bash Jeremy Corbyn, and all are based on old claims.

Here’s Neil Kinnock, attacking Corbyn with claims that the Labour leader failed to make a strong enough case for remaning in the European Union during the EU referendum.

In fact, Mr Corbyn clocked in five times more media appearances than any other Labour representative and covered nearly 3,000 miles of travel to public meetings. His style of presentation – delivering information in a cool, matter-of-fact way – won over audiences far more than the rehearsed soundbytes of other campaigners and, ultimately, he persuaded 63 per cent of Labour members and supporters to vote ‘Remain’ – more voters than any other party leader. And let’s remember that other Labour representatives were campaigning for ‘Leave’.

Now read what Mr Kinnock had to say about it: “Plainly, the party leader’s commitment had neither clarity nor conviction – 10 events in six weeks was never going to be enough to mobilise potential support. On the most vital issue of this generation – the future national and international wellbeing of our country – the leader simply didn’t show leadership.”

Codswallop.

Kinnock – together with article writer Jessica Elgot – does his best to destroy Corbyn’s credibility on this subject but his argument reinforces what we are all seeing from the right-wingers who oppose the leader: That they also oppose democracy.

The former Labour leader has put his support in Owen Smith, who has promised to try to reverse the decision to take the UK out of Europe with a second referendum. Apparently he thinks we need another one because we didn’t vote the way he wanted last time.

This Writer voted ‘Remain’ but has had to accept that the UK voted to leave. It is undemocratic of Smith – and Kinnock – to reject this.

Here’s Margaret Beckett warning that the Labour Party will split if Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership election – handing the Conservatives “unfettered power”.

She has tried to accuse the Corbyn campaign of supporting the idea of a split, but this is a falsehood. Jeremy Corbyn has always maintained a conciliatory attitude to Labour MPs who have tried to oust him – accepting Sarah Champion back into his shadow team after she admitted she had made a mistake in joining the rebels.

No, if a split happens, it will be entirely due to the actions of those of Ms Beckett’s side of the divide. She is simply trying to confuse Labour members.

So let us remember that a person who has been asked what will happen if Mr Corbyn wins and says, “we shall all have to consider how we go forward from here” is talking about her own decision to split from Labour – not anything Mr Corbyn is going to do.

And a person on the right wing of the Labour Party, which has supported the Conservative Party in far too many policies, is clearly talking nonsense when she says: “This is about whether or not we have an alternative to the present government who otherwise will be set free to wreck people’s lives, as I fear that they will.”

Right-wing Labour is not an alternative to the Conservative government; it is far too similar for that. The voting public realised this in 2010 and 2015 and rejected Labour at those elections. Ms Beckett and her fellow rebels have yet to learn the lessons of those defeats.

Some people are slow learners, one supposes.

Here’s Tom Watson, arguing that his claim of Trotskyist entryism into Labour is not to be dismissed by Jeremy Corbyn. Unfortunately for him, he’s having to resort to a different argument from that denied by Mr Corbyn – one that actually contradicts his original line.

So, where previously he had claimed entryism from The Socialist Party (the current incarnation of 80s left-wingers Militant) using tactics handed down by Militant and (suspiciously) published on right-wing Labour think tank Progress’s website, now Mr Watson is talking about the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL), a left-wing group that isn’t even a political party, whose members actively disassociate themselves from Militant and its descendants.

One supposes Mr Watson thinks he’s being clever, suggesting that AWL infiltrators are trying to influence young Labour members and students – but really, how many AWL members are there? A few hundred? A couple of thousand at most? And not all will have joined Labour.

Add to this the fact that they are joining Labour because Labour is now promoting policies they support – rather than because they want to change Labour policies – and Mr Watson is really offering us a big bag of hot air.

That’s pretty much all he is, nowadays.

Incidentally, it may interest some of you to know that Labour right-winger Gloria de Piero is apparently a former member of the AWL. Does Mr Watson propose ejecting her from the party?

Finally, here’s Owen Smith saying there’s a “secret Tory plan to privatise the NHS” and he’ll fight it.

It remains a cause of bitter hilarity that this former spokesman for a private pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, is now arguing against private involvement in the National Health Service – no matter that he denies any personal involvement in such campaigning.

Worse is the fact that we’ve all known the Tories have been privatising NHS services for at least the last four years, if not five – and that they were building on work carried out by the previous, neoliberal Labour governments of Blair and Brown.

It is ridiculous of Smith to say he will fight a process that his side of the Labour Party supported and that he supported – if not in deed, by virtue of being employed by a private health firm.

But then, the campaign against Jeremy Corbyn has been characterised by lies, double-dealing and underhandedness and, viewed in that context, Mr Smith’s claims are simply par for the course.

Note: It is interesting that three of the four Graun articles mentioned above were penned by the same reporter – Jessica Elgot. One wonders whether she is allowing her personal politics to interfere with her work.

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