Rileywatch: Now offensive Countdown co-host has tried to smear Owen Jones

Inappropriate: But it sums up Ms Riley’s attitude to anyone who disagrees with her.

Look at the state of this tweet from Countdown co-host Rachel Riley:

She seems to think re-tweeting an image denigrating Owen Jones as “The queen of bellends” is an appropriate way to behave after accusing him of anti-Semitism during Holocaust Memorial Day.

Mr Jones had been attacked by a Twitter account calling itself Peterrogers. He (Mr Jones) had been attacking the pathetic Brexit-related Liberal Democrat attempt to troll Jeremy Corbyn by claiming his backbone had been found in odd places and this person jumped in to attack him for failing to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day:

(Note that Peterrogers had tagged in Ms Riley, in search of help from her and her supporters.) Trouble is, Owen Jones had put up several posts and links commemorating HMD. Here are a few:

(We should remember that Mr Jones has fallen foul of genuine fascists recently. One wonders how those people would have greeted Ms Riley – and fears that it would be with open arms.)

So it is understandable that Mr Jones responded to Peterrogers with proof that he had, indeed, posted about HMD. But the troll (let’s call him what he is) simply complained that the post he saw wasn’t strong enough (it was about fighting fascism, for crying out loud), as you can see:

So Mr Jones did the obvious and pointed him to other posts. This is very generous as all he had to do was direct that person to his timeline and suggest he see them for himself. By now, other people were commenting on the thread – such as Keith Simmonds, who made the following suggestion:

Peterrogers seems to think Mr Simmonds is a sockpuppet for Mr Jones, to judge from his follow-up:

This is shockingly poor behaviour. Mr Jones had posted several tweets condemning anti-Semitism; Peterrogers had simply ignored them. And of course Mr Jones is known to have campaigned strongly against anti-Semitism.

Bad faith is what it is: an “intent to deceive”, a “refusal to confront facts”.

By now, Ms Riley had stepped in. Having been tagged in from the start by Peterrogers, she posted:

What a despicable pack of lies and nonsense. Where does Owen Jones suggest he is a victim of the Holocaust? Nowhere. Nor does he pretend that anti-Semitism (referred to as “this” by Ms Riley) does not exist in the Labour Party; we will see that he posted links to some of his previous writings about it. Labour does not foster “Jew-hating rhetoric” either. Ms Riley provided absolutely no evidence to support her claims because they are not true.

As for British Jews seeing Labour as a “direct danger” – that is because people like Ms Riley, who have a political agenda, tell them to see it that way. If they were confronted with the facts, they might feel very differently about it.

She followed it with a smear:

Mr Bastani himself responded to that one:

And so did my old buddy in the battle to save people with long-term illnesses and disabilities from the DWP’s chequebook euthanasia, Sue Marsh:

Mr Jones himself came back with a list of links to his writings about anti-Semitism, and added a further point:

His point was that he has been attacked over anti-Semitism – by individuals claiming to speak for Jews – no matter what he has done. He just can’t do right for doing wrong (any course of action leads to a negative outcome).

Not good enought for Ms Riley, who dug into Mr Jones’s background for her next attack:

The links seem to refer to claims that Mr Jones edited Wikipedia entries about Israel while he was at college, and that he defended Jeremy Corbyn against “guilt by association” claims of anti-Semitism.

By now, Ms Riley’s followers had cottoned on that another dogpile was in the offing, and had started bombarding Mr Jones with their usual torrent of abuse. I had a taste of it over the weekend and you can sample it here.

So it is unsurprising that Mr Jones gave her a taste of it, and put the record straight over her claims:

That was when Ms Riley posted that tweet at the top of this article – the one that resorts to low and vulgar abuse.

You can read another perspective on this story on Zelo Street.

I’d like to address her claim, “This is a dog-whistle . The brigade will hear “political smear by Jew.””

This is exactly the kind of gross generalisation and double-standard that witch-hunters like Ms Riley like to make. They complain that they are victimised for being Jews, but think nothing of claiming that all supporters of Jeremy Corbyn must be anti-Semites.

And the claim is wrong. I certainly don’t see Ms Riley’s actions as being “political smear by Jew”. Ms Riley needs to take responsibility for her own actions.

That’s one of the positive elements that came from my contact with her supporters over the weekend – that I was able to establish that the claim that Ms Riley was being challenged because she was Jewish was a lie. I’ve made a little image to sum up the issue:

Feel free to use it against witch-hunters like Ms Riley for whom the label is appropriate. I do fear it will be abused but that’s the problem when people start witch-hunting – accusing others of anti-Semitism under false pretences; it makes it easier for genuine anti-Semitism to become established. But these frauds need to be singled out somehow.

Extra: Another witch-hunter tactic is a form of psychological projection, in which they claim ownership of some form of discrimination that others say they are receiving. Yesterday the despicable @GnasherJew troll account claimed that @LabLeftVoice had demanded that Ms Riley undergo racial profiling to see if she “is really a Jew”:

In fact, @LabLeftVoice – an account run by a Jew – had finally had enough of Ms Riley’s friends like @GnasherJew denying her own Jewishness and had offered to undergo racial profiling herself in order to provide absolute proof of her own ethnicity.

She told This Site: “I said we’ll bring ours you bring yours.. Gnasher showcased it and put my post tiny and just said look LLV asking Riley and Oberman to be racially profiled.. bcos yet again.. they omitted I’m Jewish to their ‘fans’.

“They are the ones who constantly deny left Jews are Jewish and it’s sick. I’ve had enough of it.. I’m not sure what to call it apart from delegitimising.. dehumanising.. but it is also an antisemitic act to delegitimise Jews with different beliefs.”

Those are the facts. Now visit my Twitter feed (@MidWalesMike) for the dogpile from Ms Riley’s friends.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court

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3 thoughts on “Rileywatch: Now offensive Countdown co-host has tried to smear Owen Jones

  1. farmersboy

    My name’s Peter Rogers and ironically I was purged from the labour party for made up anti semitism, a state of affairs I know you understand. This isn’t my twitter account

  2. Pat Sheehan

    This ‘twitter’ / ‘tweet’ palaver appears to be getting completely out of hand. Paranoia appears to be increasingly gaining the advantage – as it frequently does when paranoids get together en-masse – and there seems to be no simple, effective remedy for that affliction: other than increased security of course! And all over that ‘word’ ‘antisemite’ and who is and who isn’t and what is and what isn’t and where is it and where isn’t it. If we could find a replacement word like, er, ‘person’ or ‘people’ then maybe, one day, we could return to something like reasoned, rational debate and ordinary people could join in without risking a metaphoric lynching. I don’t ‘tweet’ so I’m well out of it! And I’m saying nothing else!

Comments are closed.