Over the past few months Labour MP’s have spoken of the incredible abuse they have come under by constituents. It is of such a serious nature that;
- NEC (National Executive Committee) meetings have had to be held in secret.
- CLP (Constituency Labour Party) meetings have had to be cancelled indefinitely.
- Police have been called in to investigate allegations of assault
- Leadership candidate Angela Eagle had to be temporarily moved into police protection after an attack on her constituency office.
- ‘Far left entryists’ are having to be weeded out of the membership due to the threat they pose to the safety of CLP staff.
Amongst the most serious and well documented allegations of abuse was claimed by Jess Phillips MP (The one that ‘jokingly’ said she would “stab Corbyn in the front”). Phillips said she was subjected to 600 tweets on Twitter in one night joking about raping her.
That’s not quite how it went down. It was a bending of the truth probably because she hadn’t bothered to actually look into what was said. Probably the reason no one has been charged by the police despite the central culprit in question being easily found on the Internet.
So.. we went in search..
Here is the original tweet that set everything in motion;
Now we will be the first to condemn misogyny and any threat to rape. However this isn’t a rape threat, it’s the reverse. As horrible as the tag line to the subsequent video is and in poor taste it may be it certainly doesn’t amount to a threat to rape and when you understand the context, a picture begins to emerge. The video below is the video shown in the above tweet. Fast forward to the 17 minute mark approximately and you will find the author talking about a feminist article that Jess Phillips had written. He makes the comment “I wouldn’t even rape you” in response to a quote in her article. Again, I stress, it is perhaps in bad taste and still an unacceptable phrase to use but this does put the comment, like it or not, into context
Subsequently after the tweet was put online with the headline grabbing text it was seen and clearly discussed by at least..600 people. We haven’t seen them all.. and we doubt Jess Phillips has either but we are left in little doubt with some of the tweets we have seen as shown earlier in this article that most were either retweeting the article or discussing it and not directly threatening her as was stated in the Guardian article;
“A Labour MP has said she may leave Twitter after trolls sent her more than 600 messages in one night about raping her.
Jess Phillips spoke out after a wave of abuse was launched against her, apparently after she replied to one person who said: “I wouldn’t even rape you.”
– The Guardian
Jess Phillips original tweet says she had 600 ‘mentions’. Very different from “messages’ as the Guardian states. And maybe the answer is not to respond to people throwing abuse at you on the Internet. Because when you do.. you only highlight the offending post. It’s just common sense.
So in summary what we have is an overblown claim of abuse where Jeremy Corbyn is accused of not doing enough to protect MP’s. What should Jeremy do? Police the Internet himself? Stop bloggers? Invoke a North Korean style purge of the world wide web on UK servers?
That’s the worst of the abuse MP’s face.
Other examples include an allegation of spitting at the Brighton CLP meeting just over a week ago. Although nothing concrete about the incident has been discussed.
There was a brick thrown through Angela Eagles constituency office window… oh wait… no… that was a window to a stairwell in a building that housed 6 businesses including the office of Angela Eagle which incidentally was untouched. It also worth pointing out that locals have said the area is often the victim of vandalism, or at least it wouldn’t be out of place. Oddly enough the constituency office window had a Labour sign in it. The suspect was either really stupid or just a local vandal who didn’t give a damn what offices were inside. Either way there is no direct suggestion that her staff were targeted.
The truth about Angela Eagles broken window – Video below
Another long article again by the Guardian goes to great lengths to talk of abuse towards MP’s but it doesn’t really touch on many specific allegations, again it chooses to highlight threats toward Jess Phillips
“Last month, Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley, said she received more than 600 threats of rape in one night on Twitter”
The article also refers to a repeated rape threat from one individual back in 2014. That man was jailed for 18 months.
It also states that that one anonymous aide to an MP regularly reported threats to police with around 10% deemed to be illegal and worthy of police investigation in some way. But even then that doesn’t mean that 10% were convicted.
There are few specific examples of abuse towards Labour right wing/centre ground PLP members as a result of Jeremy Corbyn supporters, indeed it’s likely that no MP could point toward anything illegal done in the name of Jeremy Corbyn that led to police intervention. Which gives rise to the questions why are Labour MP’s making such a fuss now? Why are Labour MP’s throwing Jeremy Corbyn’s name into the ring everytime they receive some online abuse?
The problem doesn’t appear to be overly prevelent, the problem doesn’t seem to be a sustained attack and certainly few MP’s can seem to be able to give many specific examples of the abuse they receive and when they do, it’s often misconstrued, an outright fabrication (who remembers Lucy Allen MP and her entirely manufactured death threat) or simply blown out of all proportion.
No MP should have to suffer direct threats to their wellbeing but we must also ensure that MP’s do not use social media insults and abuse as a stick to beat down democracy which is exactly what is happening in Labour right now. Online abuse will likely always happen and when you’re in the public spotlight I am afraid to say you have to suck some of that abuse up. You’re dealing with people’s lives and futures. You make incredible decisions that affect everyone to one degree or another and you will annoy some people and they will vent their anger. You can’t afford to be offended at every tweet and Facebook post. Get over it and get on with running the country. It’s not Jeremy Corbyn that is failing to be a strong enough leader, after all he himself has been in receipt of plenty of online abuse including from some of his own MP’s, it’s you, the backstabbing plotters that are not strong enough to cope with change.
How many times have you been to a job interview where the requirement is ‘must be good at dealing with change’ or similar wording. Some Labour MP’s would never get a job in the real world.
One of our readers kindly reminded us about Angela Eagles allegation of receiving homophobic abuse at her constituency meeting recently.. only for it to be revealed she had not even attended the meeting.
In case you hadn’t noticed… there is a coup going on. If you honestly believe that the allegations of abuse are as substantial as some MP’s are making out, you’re not paying close enough attention. There is a war taking place.. it’s not in Turkey where the recent attempted coup took place, it’s here inside the Labour Party, a coup on our own doorstep and Labour PLP are trying to win you round to their way of thinking. Don’t believe the lies. Research.
(Screenshot from a Forum link at UK Police Online discussing the offence of threats to kill)
We couldn’t really complete the article without mentioning Jo Cox. Her sad death was committed by a far right supporter who may or may not be mentally ill. No connection to Labour in the slightest and that incident has to be taken in isolation. May her husband and children recover from their loss.