Oh, look: the jackboot is on the other foot now.
I hope nobody is ignorant enough to suggest that Labour right-winger John McTernan isn’t mouthy. In fact, he’s one of the mouthiest people in the party – and with the least reason.
This is a man who is often described as a political strategist – but his strategies are rubbish. Ask the Australian Labor Party – he lost an election for them a few years ago. Ask Scottish Labour – his campaigning lost them all but one of their MPs last year.
His performances prompted former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who would know him well from the time Mr McTernan was political secretary/director of political operations for Tony Blair (2002-2007), to describe him as in this Tweet:
(If anybody wants to bemoan the use of language like “punches”, just remember this is John Prescott, who punched a man after being egged during a previous general election campaign – therefore in self-defence. It’s a reference to that incident and I can’t believe I’m having to explain it.)
If anyone is proof that the politics of Tony Blair has had its day, that man is John McTernan. He can’t see it, though, and opposes Jeremy Corbyn’s vision of the Labour Party with the vehemence of the bad loser, with pronouncements like this, “I can’t see any case for letting him have two minutes in office, let alone two years in office because I think the damage that will be done to the Labour party in that period makes it incredibly hard to recover”, and describing the MPs who nominated Mr Corbyn for the leadership as “moronic”. Mouthy.
Now, only a matter of days after a mouthy MP announced she was getting a panic room because of threats that she implied were from supporters of Jeremy Corbyn (extremely unlikely and we have yet to see any evidence), this mouthy fellow-member of the Owen Smith campaign has threatened violence to another MP.
Here’s Carlyn Harvey in The Canary:
John McTernan, a commentator and previous strategist for the Labour Party, has threatened an SNP MP with violence on Twitter. In one fell swoop, McTernan (who strongly backs Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest) proved himself to be the very type of abusive person that officials claim they want ejected from the party.
The threat transpired during an exchange between McTernan and SNP MP Pete Wishart over recently released figures on the state of Scotland’s finances. Wishart had commented that the newly released figures “reflect Scotland as part of the UK”. McTernan responded by suggesting that the country’s finances would be worse outside of the UK.
Mr Wishart then tweeted: “Phew….! At least I’m not getting a ‘doing’…..”
Mr McTernan responded: “Being a nasty wee MP who’ll always be asked why he thinks journalists should be silenced is punishment enough.”
“As opposed to a nasty wee Blairite who threatens MPs,” retorted Mr Wishart.
This was a reference to a comment made by Mr McTernan in an article for the Torygraph (what a shining example of the Labour movement he is) as follows: “What do you do when faced with a weak opponent? Personally, I crush them… Politics is a contact sport. If you want to win, you have to play to win. Have a plan. Execute it violently.”
One would have expected a normal person to at least try to refute the allegation that he was violent. Mr McTernan’s response confirmed it: “Come down to Peckham and try saying that, mate.”
This, of course, puts supporters of the Owen Smith campaign in a very tricky position!
After saying that no MP should be subjected to threats because of the things they say (no matter how provocative); after saying it doesn’t matter whether the threats are intended to be serious or not (and in fairness, how can you tell?); after demanding that those responsible, if they are Labour Party members, should be banned from voting in the leadership election at the very least; after implying that supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are responsible for such threats; and after calling those supporters by many names including “Nazi Stormtroopers” (I’m looking at you, Michael Foster – this is why I mentioned jackboots in the opening paragraph of this article)…
We now have some evidence. It shows an Owen Smith supporter (and a supporter of Tony Blair before him) subjecting an MP to a threat of violence.
I understand the relevant email address is [email protected]
Will, say, Jess Phillips do the decent thing and demand that Mr McTernan’s vote in the leadership election be revoked and that he be suspended from the party?
Postscript: Twitter has, of course, reacted joyously to Mr McTernan’s threat, in exactly the right manner: humorously.
So we have been given this:
If anyone sees more such images – or funnier ones – please send them to the ‘Comment’ column.
Let’s all have a good laugh at the expense of this failed bully.
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