Wes Streeting appears to have dumped himself in a lot of trouble.
The Labour MP, whose antipathy towards Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters is well-documented, appears to have gone too far with an attempt to “out” a Twitter user as an anti-Semite with a faked image while publishing her full, real name.
Others involved in the exchange said they reported the incident to Twitter – and may also have reported Mr Streeting to the police.
Here’s the tweet that started it all:
And here’s the tweet to which he was referring:
Oh please go away. Luciana Berger has done everything she possibly can to smear Mr Corbyn & over 500k members. #EnoughisEnough of the cost hatred being perpetuated by you and others towards innocent people who have never in their lives been antisemitic.
— NOT MEMBER of STARMERs Tory Tribute Band !!! (@xpressanny) February 4, 2019
Notice that the tweet does not dismiss anti-Semitism “as a smear”, as Mr Streeting suggested, but says that Luciana Berger has smeared Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the more-than-500,000 members of the Labour Party with claims of widespread anti-Semitism among them.
Mr Streeting continued:
You don’t need 20:20 vision to spot this one, @xpressanny. The Star of David and the shiny ring is a pretty big clue… pic.twitter.com/UzZVxsbu1l
— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) February 5, 2019
I know @xpressanny can do her own internet research. Her Mastermind subject could be the Rothschilds. pic.twitter.com/Dn7tAXRXwn
— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) February 5, 2019
Interesting subject, the Rothschilds: A hugely wealthy and influential business/banking organisation that is apparently immune from investigation under any circumstances because those questioning its actions may always be accused of anti-Semitism. Does anybody – apart from a witch-hunter – think that is reasonable? We can see that Mr Streeting does, but then, he stands with the witch-hunters.
He concluded: “People like @xpressanny deny the problem, even when it stares them in the face. People like Ann Wetherly-Barton aren’t just bystanders to antisemitism, they’re enablers. To understand the problem, she doesn’t need a dossier – just a mirror. Now leave Luciana and Emily alone.”
He had gone too far, as “Wolfie” pointed out, with support from “Valleyboy” – both pseudonyms, possibly for good reasons as outlined here:
Wes Streeting gave it out this morning. Now it seems it's been mentioned on BBC News tonight. I feel sick.
— NOT MEMBER of STARMERs Tory Tribute Band !!! (@xpressanny) February 5, 2019
The practice is known as “doxxing” – searching for and publishing private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent. Can anyone deny that this is what Mr Streeting has done?
The matter of the image is complicated. The quotation is not from Voltaire, but it is likely that many people have supported it and spread it in the belief that it is. In fact, it was said by an American white nationalist, neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier and white separatist called Kevin Alfred Strom. It seems that anti-Semitism witch-hunters have taken to using it to spread false accusations against innocent people – guilt through association.
But the assertion in the words is entirely reasonable, isn’t it? In a nation that is said to value free speech, any demand that one cannot criticise others – for whatever reason – is an assertion of power.
It is possible that some of those who have been netted by this trick associated the quote with the words of Tony Benn – most definitely not an anti-Semite – in his “essential five questions of democracy”. Those questions ask: What power have you got? Where did you get it? In whose interests do you use it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?
Obviously if someone in power is not accountable, this means we are not allowed to criticise them. You see the similarity?
Next: The image used by Mr Sweeting has been doctored. The original – and most popular – does not feature the Star of David on the sleeve of the arm that is crushing the people. But the space has been used to accommodate several symbols or phrases, as a Google image search (other search engines are available) will reveal.
As a widely-used and popular meme that most commonly appears without the anti-Semitic addition of the Star of David on the sleeve, and that features a sentiment with which most people would approve (although they may not support the person who coined it), it seems possible that the person Mr Streeting had targeted had voiced her support for it without noting its sinister undertones.
I was nearly caught out in a similar way on Twitter a couple of weeks ago. A witch-hunter tweeted an image of former Israeli Knesset member Shulamit Aloni, who said the government of that country often accuses its critics of anti-Semitism in order to avoid dealing with the issues presented to it. On that basis, I pressed the “like” button – and was then accused of supporting anti-Semitism because the image included text of an anti-Semitic nature. Unfortunately for my own critics, the image had been cropped automatically by Twitter so the text was not visible when I saw it on my timeline.
Twitter users have made Mr Streeting aware that the ploy used to entrap his victim has been spotted:
Michael McQuade’s complaint has been taken up by others, with one creating a template letter:
However, it seems Labour’s corrupt complaints system – which automatically suspends any ordinary member at the slightest whiff of an anti-Semitism accusation – is geared to shrug off criticism of Parliamentarians.
It certainly seems there may be a reckless endangerment case here. It has been alleged that Mr Streeting’s victim has been dogpiled on Twitter by his supporters and those of the fake anti-Semitism witch-hunt.
There is another matter as well, regarding Mr Streeting. I will not quote the details here but you can find it if you look up comments on this issue by @eddiegraham39 on Twitter. It is possible that Mr Streeting should be facing much, much stronger court action.
If it happens, he will have brought it on himself. He is not above the law and should be reminded of that fact.
POSTSCRIPT: Mr Streeting seems to enjoy throwing his weight around with allegations of anti-Semitism. After The Sunday Times published its now-disproved article about This Writer, he tweeted the following:
He was accusing me of anti-Semitism; he was wrong. Where’s my apology?
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:
He was also complicit in a bullying attack on Diane Abbot. This man is an embarrassing thug and letting Party Members down..Along with Mike Gapes these Ilford based Warmongers should never belong in a Democratic Socialist Party – unwanted Bitterites!
I complained, using your template and just received this:
I am writing in relation to your below complaint. It is the job of the Complaints team to review all complaints in a balanced manner to ensure that matters are dealt with appropriately and by the correct unit of the organisation.
After reviewing the correspondence that you provided it has been concluded that the matter you describe does not amount to a breach of the Labour Party rules and will therefore not be investigated further by the party. The person in question here has stated this individuals name but has not shared any personal details.
We would advise that your concerns on this matter should be reported to Twitter directly.
This is turning out to be a typical response. If rank-and-file members were to do the same it would be a different matter, I think. One rule for representatives, another for the rest. And this is supposed to be the Labour Party, in which everybody is equal!