We should probably make a list of all the post-truthers (it’s a little nicer than calling them outright liars, isn’t it?) who peddled this falsehood.
The article is very clear but I’d like to add a couple of points.
First, our minds work in such a way that, when somebody repeats a word in conversation, we are likely to repeat it in our response.
For example, when David Dimbleby repeated the word “now” in his questioning of Jeremy Corbyn on June 24, it was an indicator to Mr Corbyn that he should respond by framing his answer around what should happen “now” – so he did.
He wasn’t saying Article 50 should be invoked immediately but that “now” – after the result of the EU referendum – it was clear from the vote that this was what the public wanted.
He went on to say that “it is for Parliament to now act on that opinion” – meaning that Parliament had “now” been given a duty to follow the will of the people, at the appropriate time.
The mandate had been conferred “now” but the action was expected later.
It’s obvious to anybody without an agenda because the very next thing Mr Corbyn said was, “Quite clearly negotiations must take place.” That wasn’t going to happen in a matter of minutes.
My second point is simply that the article quoted below demonstrates that much of what we’ve been told about Momentum isn’t true.
Momentum, we are told, consists of thugs who like to abuse, intimidate and harass other Labour members at party meetings. Right?
But this article, by a Momentum member, presents the most coherent argument about Mr Corbyn’s words that This Writer has seen.
So, again, perhaps it is time to take a good, hard look at the people who are propagating these claims about Momentum and its members.
I dare say the two groups will have many names in common.
The source of Jeremy Corbyn: invoke Article 50 now is an interview on College Green in Westminster at about 7.30 am on the 24 June 2016. David Dimbleby asked Jeremy Corbyn:
“How do you see the future now? Are you an enthusiastic Brexiter now?”
To which Corbyn responded:
“The British people have made their decision. We must respect that result and Article 50 has to be invoked now so that we negotiate an exit from European Union. Obviously there has to be strategy but the whole point of the referendum was that the public would be asked their opinion. They’ve given their opinion. It is up for parliament to now act on that opinion. Quite clearly negotiations must take place. There must be the best deal possible in order to ensure strong industries in Britain stay strong and strong industries that have big export markets protect retain those export markets. But we are in some very difficult areas. That’s obvious to everybody.”
What has been quoted from this response is Article 50 has to be invoked now. This then was morphed by a number of sources into Corbyn demands immediate Brexit.
Now I am aware that there are people in the Labour Party who do not support Jeremy Corbyn and there are people who feel very aggrieved about the way the EU referendum went. The former are looking to challenge Corbyn, the latter are looking for someone to be held to account. I accept and acknowledge this. But what I don’t accept is lazy argument, argument that is based on a partial reading of the evidence. This is what has happened here, a careless and possibly emotional interpretation of decontextualized data supported by an uncritical use of a wider narrative. It is misrepresentation supported by rumour or what has come to be known as post-truth.
Let us have robust debate about what we want and what we should become, but resist the post-truth squabble.
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