Labour Party bullies like Tom Watson and Michael Foster must not be allowed to win

Last Updated: August 19, 2016By
This image by Elaine Jackson on the #thuginistas FB page sums up the gulf between the anti-Corbyn claims and the reality. The caption reads: "Terrible ‪#‎thuginistas‬ at the Birmingham hustings last night! I hadn't been allocated a ticket but a friend transferred her ticket to me - such thuggery."

This image by Elaine Jackson on the #thuginistas FB page sums up the gulf between the anti-Corbyn claims and the reality.
The caption reads: “Terrible ‪#‎thuginistas‬ at the Birmingham hustings last night! I hadn’t been allocated a ticket but a friend transferred her ticket to me – such thuggery.”

There’s a strong argument that it’s the Anyone But Corbyn brigade within Labour who don’t understand – but it’s worse with them because it is their choice.

This Writer agrees with Rachel Heeds, author of the article quoted below, that leading Labour figures are fuelling abuse, setting a poor example and encouraging others to follow it.

I really don’t have any choice, having experienced this kind of abuse first-hand over the last few days.

There seems little point attempting to reason with the people who follow leaders – if you can call them that – like Tom Watson or Michael Foster, Jess Phillips (the ‘panic room’ affair), Angela Eagle (brickgate), John Mann (anti-Semitism) or Owen Smith (abusive language).

They don’t want to take part in a rational discussion.

They just want to hurt anyone who criticised their leaders (for want of a better word).

A good example is Rachel Nesbitt, founder of the Facebook page ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s Terrible Thugs – the #thuginistas’, who was interviewed by Ms Heeds for her blog piece.

A member of a Jewish family, many of whom “suffered unspeakable horrors and died” at the hands of Nazis, she has now been defined as a Nazi by Michael Foster, because she supports Mr Corbyn.

“Calling me a Nazi is possibly the most loathsome thing you could do and claiming that I have a second rate mind is grossly offensive,” she said.

That’s the point, though.

The idea is to be so offensive that anyone who’s even trying to be rational will throw up their hands in despair and walk away, leaving them free to mess up the Labour Party however they see fit.

But that isn’t going to happen.

As Ms Nesbitt said: “Politicians complain that not enough people, especially young people, are involved in politics. We finally see someone we believe in- we rise up, come together- go to meetings, voice our opinions, get involved- and suddenly we are ‘Entryists’ and idiots who ‘don’t understand’.

“Excuse me?! The tone of the press is predominantly ‘Oh they don’t really get it’. We DO understand actually. We just don’t AGREE with you. There is a difference. Just because you don’t like us doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be here or have our voices heard.”

Exactly right. This is about silencing reasoned discussion.

We cannot allow that to happen.

People like Tom Watson and Michael Foster are fuelling abuse, setting a terrible example and encouraging others to follow their lead. When will the NEC take action against THEM?

Many have been left in distress by comments from prominent Labour figures which filter down and fuel divisiveness in online groups and elsewhere.

Many tell me they dare not try to discuss or debate Corbyn’s leadership due to the name calling this provokes, or that they have been reduced to tears by the nasty personal comments and accusations they have received. But nothing is done.

What do we see instead? Tom Watson’s ludicrous claim that the Labour Party is being infiltrated by hard-left “Trotsky entryists”, who are “twisting the arms” of young members, closely followed by Michael Foster in The Mail Online with “Why I despise Jeremy Corbyn and his Nazi Stormtroopers.”

Malone’s Gulag remark in The Mirror and Michael Foster’s Nazi comparison in particular are trivialising something utterly horrific.

We are still seeing a long list of criminal and anti-social acts allegedly perpetrated by Corbynistas used to justify insults used against them, but where is the evidence?… A number of claims about abusive or threatening behaviour have been categorically refuted, yet they are still endlessly repeated as fact.

Source: Tom Watson And Michael Foster – What The Hell Are You Playing At? And Why Does Nobody From The Labour Party Care?


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  1. Jeffrey Davies August 19, 2016 at 11:03 am - Reply

    hmm When will the NEC take action against THEM? they closed down local party opposition nowing full well the members back home would set in motion their deselection process ouch the blairites think this will stop the people back home i wonder but we see unofficial meetings saying that their mps doesnt speak for them ouch

  2. Rachel Heeds August 19, 2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Thanks for the support!

    • Mike Sivier August 19, 2016 at 11:30 am - Reply

      You’re entirely welcome.
      It would be nice if your Facebook page gets a few more members.
      Of course, I was writing this as a victim of concentrated abuse from the Anyone But Corbyn mob myself, so I do have an interest.

      • Rachel Lucy Nesbitt August 20, 2016 at 1:40 am - Reply

        Thank you Mike! Great article! We really appreciate your support on this. Come say hello on the page :)

        • Mike Sivier August 20, 2016 at 11:21 am - Reply

          Okay, I will.

    • Florence August 19, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      Rachel, love the #Thuginistas, indeed quite enthusiastic! Humour can be a main way to fight these negative, no, insulting and demeaning, descriptions of Corbyns supporters (or indeed in any mainstream political discussion.)

      I hope that the recent “hints” that have come out that Foster is being investigated by the NEC are true, but I would actually like to see him publicly suspended, like so many others in the last year, while being investigated. It was Chakrabhati’s report that said using Nazi analogies is unacceptable in any form of discussion in the party, but he even finds time to try and undermine her report too. Unbelievable that the NEC did not take action on the day this article appeared.

  3. tom August 19, 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

    As we approach the election for the leader of the Labour party, Mr Corbyn should realize that there are little chances that the party will unite, therefore he should prepare himself for the split and have his idea of the future party to challenge the tories because it is obvious with these so called Labour MPs, Mr Corbyn will never have peace to develop his policies whilst they are in the cabinet, they already prepared to form another party, Mr Corbyn should have an idea ready for when the time comes as he has a very big chance to lead the party.. the people would not want to see any of these traitors around after the elections, they made their preferrences loud and clear, then they can clear off many decent Labour politicians are capable to take their place and deliver a socialist policies for the many and not the few.

    • Mike Sivier August 19, 2016 at 11:34 am - Reply

      The Labour rebels aren’t in the – shadow – cabinet any more.
      It is possible that they will split away. That would be their choice. If it does happen, current convention means we’ll see a lot of by-elections and it is to be hoped that pro-Corbyn candidates would be put up to oppose those who have walked away.
      Then Labour can consolidate its new direction and move forward on surer footing.
      I would still support Mr Corbyn’s statement that anybody who wants to come back to his side is to be welcomed. Sarah Champion did that; anybody else who has genuinely reconsidered their position should get the same treatment.

      • gracie samuels August 20, 2016 at 3:27 am - Reply

        I would support that also, but with caveats, anyone found briefing against or leaking confidential information faces immediate suspension pending expulsion from the party. I don’t think that all but a select few Labour MPs actually know what is happening in the party and that they are being used in some very dark political game by a select few elitist right wing Labour MPs and when they do realise, it may be too late!

  4. casalealex August 19, 2016 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Shades of Tory Mark Clarke’s alleged bullying. Time to cross the floor guys….just saying…

  5. Tim Sims August 19, 2016 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Dear Mike,
    I know you won’t let this be posted or acknowledge my attempt to contribute but I’ll continue to write in case you read before deleting. I do feel that vindictiveness on both sides is the ultimate threat to our Party once Jeremy has won his immediate battle and your blog could offer some leadership in this. Even if some MPs are deselected; it won’t be 272 being turfed out, and certainly not immediately, so the fact that there are currently not enough with confidence in Jeremy to form a Shadow Cabinet will remain a factor. The fact that Jeremy will clearly win the vote is another. Foolish people will always behave without integrity in battles like these and clearly they have done. But my CLP in Wales debated strongly and well. We were clearly divided but we ended up supporting Jeremy without rancour or abuse. My mother at 95 remembers the split with the Independent Labour Party in the 30s and says that was really vicious; why repeat it? This leadership battle is already won or lost. Please don’t get lost in the poisonous stuff. Please consider offering ways to look forward to a way of us all working successfully at the stuff most of us paid our membership fees to support – neither one leader or another but a decent opposition that can be taken seriously by the electorate as a government in waiting because its got good policies at last (thankfully we are now hearing of some) and leading people who sound like they’d implement them successfully.
    (PS have you looked at Roy Lilley’s recent blog attacking Owen Smith?)

    • Mike Sivier August 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      There are only 171 Labour rebels, not 272.
      There is currently a shadow cabinet, so there are – currently – enough with confidence in Mr Corbyn to form one.
      I certainly agree that forming a decent opposition after the leadership election ends is vital; some of the material in my articles yesterday evening made a start at suggesting appropriate policy positions.
      That doesn’t mean I won’t get my hands dirty if I have to.
      Some of the poison, as you describe it, has been aimed at me, so I’ll be having my right of reply.
      And no, I haven’t seen Roy Lilley’s blog on Owen Smith. Do you have a link?

      There. Why did you think I wouldn’t let this through? There’s nothing objectionable in it!

      • Tim Sims August 19, 2016 at 5:18 pm - Reply

        Oops about my extra 100 MPs!
        In response to your last question, I thought it wouldn’t get through cos my three other submissions didn’t and then I didn’t get a reply from you to my question about whether I had done anything wrong. But thanks for airing this one. Your blog has been an inspiration for over a year for me. Just not so much lately during this storm. Roy Lilley’s is worth following.

  6. foggy August 19, 2016 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Brilliant article Mike. Have you seen the latest article by Gerry Cordon ? It gives a remarkable insight into the Labour Party’s divisive history and language used and what is happening now;

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