Unlikely though it seems, This Writer is going to be charitable to two hard-right political headbangers.
Former Labour MP, now Lord Ian Austin has said people who said they would boycott The Big Issue after it published a one-sided article about Rachel Riley and anti-Semitism in the Labour Party were “a complete disgrace.
“They would rather homeless people lose out and go hungry because The Big Issue contains an interview with Rachel Riley, who they hate because she campaigned against racism.”
And current Labour MP Neil Coyle said: “Anyone suggesting we don’t buy The Big Issue and ignore homeless people because it is also exposing racism reveals quite how these people sank Labour and why they must never again be trusted to be anything other than a factional cult.”
As anybody who read This Site’s article about the row last Wednesday will know, their comments are shocking misrepresentations of the facts.
Nobody who commented on the Riley article suggested that homeless people should be harmed because of The Big Issue‘s descent into fake news.
You can read a few of the reasons Riley’s opinions were not supported by the facts in the Vox Political piece, so we won’t rehash old ground by re-examining what she calls campaigning against racism and why it is more likely to be political factionalism.
Concerns that a boycott would cause problems for homeless Big Issue sellers were raised by Shaun Lawson – one of the very people Riley has accused as part of her so-called campaign against racism.
That isn’t mentioned in the Mail article.
Nor are any of the comments in response. Let’s redress the balance here:
Most people are saying they'll continue to support homeless people without giving the money to Big Issue, they decided to play partisan politics so it's on them. Pretty sure Corbyn would have done a lot to help homeless people if he wasn't smeared and lied about constantly.
— Heavygusto (@heavygusto) October 27, 2021
I mean here's an idea @shaunjlawson, instead of buying the "Big Issue", give the money direct to the oerson selling it & tell them the money is for them, not the magazine. Hell, that way they'll end up with all the money given to them, instead of just a proportion of it 🤷♂️
— FireNIceFly #NaturalSciences #CF_Trikafta (@firenicefly) October 27, 2021
I will still give my money to the seller, I just won't be rewarding that woman by accepting a copy.
— eleanor land (@landeleanor) October 27, 2021
No most people have already said they give money to the vendor.
— support talent ( none who smeared Corbyn tho,obvs) (@ColinEv61465093) October 27, 2021
The point is, you can boycott The Big Issue and still help the homeless, the two aren't connected.
— Marc (@MarcCarran) October 27, 2021
Giving money direct to the seller isn’t a perfect solution because The Big Issue relies on the seller buying the copies they pass on to the public – at half cover price.
But refusing to take the magazine while handing over the cash makes a strong statement – especially if the sellers hand all their unsold copies back to the publisher.
As you can see, nobody who called for the Riley issue of The Big Issue to be boycotted did it to harm the homeless sellers, or to attack a campaign against racism – because they do not accept that Riley does anything of the sort.
My question is: did the Mail‘s reporter make this clear to these politicians before they made their highly contentious and prejudiced statements?
If so, then This Writer is happy to forgive them after they publish a full retraction.
If not, then anybody who is not already shunning these people is encouraged to do so.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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