Angela Eagle’s Harassment Complaint Is Weaponised Victimhood With A Clear And Tawdry Motive

Angela Eagle - Labour Leadership Candidacy Launch - Labour Coup - 2

I have more respect for foul-mouthed internet trolls than for elected MPs who seek to exploit the abusive ranting of trolls to undermine a political foe whom they are unable to defeat in a fair contest

There is a fine line between being genuinely and rightfully offended at a wrong committed against you on the one hand, and going on to burnish and sharpen that grievance into a weapon, cynically deploying it against a political rival on the other.

Angela Eagle is way over that line.

That’s probably not a very popular thing to write, but one sees it over and over again, particularly now with the stultifying rise of identity politics. Weaponised victimhood. It takes a legitimate wrong, a crime or misdeed committed by one person, and uses it to attack the reputation and honour of a third party. And for failed Labour leadership contender Angela Eagle, whose alternative policy platform / vision for Britain struggled to fill half a side of A4 paper, it is apparently the one remaining trick up her sleeve – her last role of the dice in a pathetic attempt to stay relevant.

From the Telegraph:

Labour MP Angela Eagle has criticised Jeremy Corbyn after she was forced to cancel a constituency surgery following police warnings that her safety was at risk just weeks after the murder of Jo Cox.

Ms Eagle, who last week pulled out of the Labour leadership race, said she feared for her staff after a brick was thrown through the window of her constituency office and she was subject to alleged death threats.

She said that in the wake of the abuse police had advised her that her safety would be at risk if she pushed ahead with the public constituency meetings, which were due to be held in a café and a supermarket.

She accused Mr Corbyn of “stirring” hostility in her Wallasey constituency and said he had created a “permissive” environment for the abuse of MPs by his supporters.

Angela Eagle went on to allege:

“I think he has contributed to this. It’s all very well to condemn it but there’s a permissive environment. You can make any number of ritual condemnations as you like but you have got to be judged by your actions not just words.

“He has been stirring, he needs to be held to account. We have contacted the police and they have said we should cancel surgeries for safety reasons.

“I’m afraid for my staff. It’s them that have been up there not me. It’s them that have had to field the calls.”

To be clear: there is no excuse for misogynist or even plain old ignorant verbal, written or physical abuse of anybody at any time, in political life or in the real world. And those people who have sent specific death threats or other threatening communications to Angela Eagle are utterly pathetic, and should be dealt with severely.

But none of those people are Jeremy Corbyn. And the allegation that the leader of the Labour Party is “stirring” the situation is itself an extremely serious charge, one which in any other circumstance might land Eagle in some rather hot legal water.

Precisely what physical actions is Jeremy Corbyn supposed to take to pre-emptively reign in the unhinged, hateful fringe lunatics who can’t keep their politics in perspective and resort to thuggish threats and behaviour? Angela Eagle is suggesting that there is some obvious, specific set of actions which he should take to lower the temperature and calm his wilder supporters, yet she neglects to name a single one.

Eagle says “it’s all very well to condemn it.” What more would she have Corbyn do? Personally monitor the computers of every single one of his supporters simultaneously, 24/7, summarily ejecting them from the Labour Party? It is difficult to know exactly what more she wants, other than for Corbyn to publicly admit to being a terrible human being on live TV, publicly whip himself and promptly withdraw from the Labour leadership contest. Which, of course, is exactly what she wants.

But since we are talking about angry moods being stoked up, let us not forget that the current “crisis” within Labour was precipitated by centrist Labour MPs and shadow cabinet members deciding to use the result of the EU referendum to force out a leader who they never accepted and have been working to undermine since Day 1. These are a group of politicians who, through their utter arrogance and incompetence have totally lost the support of their own activists, and who are held in active contempt by a majority of party supporters. And yet they saw fit to try to achieve through palace intrigue that which they could not achieve through their own charisma or bright political ideas – dislodge Corbyn from the leadership and replace him with another one of their own. If there is anger in the party, who exactly is then to blame?

But back to Angela Eagle and her attempt to shame Jeremy Corbyn with the actions of his most unhinged supporters (something that Eagle and her ilk would be outraged by if we were to do the same thing by, say, condemning all members of a certain religion because of the acts of extremist fundamentalists). For this is what she is doing. Having realised that she cannot win the love or respect of the Labour Party base, she is instead reduced to trying to tear down their hero, putting Corbyn’s name in proximity to the thuggish actions of assorted internet trolls as often as possible in the hope that some of the mud will eventually start to stick.

Now, this blog has no time for Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing political views. But in an age where politics has been captured by centrism, sanitised and transformed into a dull and largely inconsequential exercise in technocracy, this blog would rather see a party leader with a coherent and sincerely held worldview than yet another telegenic suit with one eye permanently fixed on a focus group report.

Unfortunately, the problem with so-called populist ideas and leaders is that they attract more than their fair share of thugs, losers and carnival barkers. Nobody would have ever called up a rebellious backbencher threatening to kill them unless they backed Ed Miliband’s disastrous leadership of the Labour Party. Miliband, bless his cotton Fabian socks, simply didn’t arouse that kind of passion in people.

But this is not the case for leaders like Jeremy Corbyn or Nigel Farage, people who force (or stumble) their way to national prominence by satisfying some unmet need – or often legitimate grievance – in their many supporters. Does that make Nigel Farage personally responsible for every single act of thuggery ever committed by basement-dwelling losers in the name of UKIP? No. No more than Jeremy Corbyn is responsible for the threats and jabberings of every one of his supporters on the lunatic left-wing fringe.

But time and again we see this soul-sappingly cynical attempt by politicians who have lost the argument against the populists to trick their way back into contention by morally bludgeoning their opponents, holding up the crimes of others to intimidate the innocent into silence. We saw it with the outrageous exploitation of the Jo Cox murder by disgusting people who saw a great opportunity to smear Brexiteers and the cause of euroscepticism in general. And we see it now, with cynical politicians using every nasty piece of correspondence they have ever received to smear Jeremy Corbyn, as though he and Seumas Milne stay up late every night cutting letters out of newspapers to assemble their childish anonymous death threats.

Of course if credible death threats have been made against Angela Eagle then that is truly reprehensible, and is to be condemned loudly and frequently. This blog does so again now. But I am far less disappointed in the basement-dwelling loser who spends his spare time writing rude messages to female MPs than I am with Members of Parliament who seek to take personal threats and seek to make capital out of them at the expense of a political foe.

I expect nothing from the basement-dwelling internet troll. My expectations for the conduct of an elected representative of the people are somewhat higher. And with her latest cynical attempt at weaponised victimhood, Angela Eagle has thoroughly failed to meet those expectations.

 

Internet troll

Top Image: Mirror

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Brexit Will Not Cure The Cancer Of Authoritarianism In Our Society

Terence Nathan - UKIP - Facebook

Death to Remainers!

Imagine for a second just how much safer our communities might be if local police forces spent half as much time patrolling the streets and engaged in community outreach as they do scouring Twitter for “offensive” speech.

Imagine just how much more responsive and well resourced our public services might be if local councils took complaints about potholes and vandalism nearly as seriously as they seek to persecute idiots for airing their half-baked opinions online.

Well, you can snap out of that reverie:

An investigation has been launched after a Ukip councillor made comments on Facebook suggesting those who voted Remain in the EU referendum should be killed.

The comments appeared on Terence Nathan’s Facebook page, councillor for Cray Valley West in Bromley, on Tuesday night.

The post, written in response to a news article referring to legal efforts against the Brexit vote, mentions Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which when triggered would initiate the UK’s departure from the EU.

Mr Nathan wrote: “Time to start killing these people till article 50 is invoked”, adding “perhaps remainers will get the message then.”

After another Facebook user raised concern over Mr Nathan’s rhetoric, he replied in a second comment: “Not threatening anyone, no need for threats just a bullet.”

Mr Nathan has since apologised for the comments saying: “My comments were only intended to be taken with a pinch of salt.”

The Independent article concludes ominously:

Police and council officials have said they are looking into the remarks.

A Bromley Council spokesman said: “The Council has launched an investigation into the alleged comments made but it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Bromley Metropolitan Police Service said: “Police in Bromley are aware of comments apparently posted online by a Bromley Councillor. Enquiries into this matter are ongoing.”

Is it not enough for Mr. Nathan to have made a complete fool of himself for all the world to see, and torpedoed whatever hopes he may have entertained promotion within UKIP or higher political office? Is it not enough that society’s natural self-righting mechanisms saw the man challenged and upbraided by other people exercising their own free speech to oppose him?

Must we really now assign some bored police constable and dreary office bureaucrat to sift through his Facebook profile, looking for further nonexistent evidence of a dastardly plot for Mr. Nathan to slaughter his way through the electoral register? Do we really need to be that pinch-paced, authoritarian society?

What possible good does this serve?

“But Jo Cox!”, I already hear some insufferable idiot screeching in protest.

No. Mentally disturbed people who snap and kill innocent bystanders almost by definition do not casually announce their intention to do so on social media beforehand. And though I don’t have statistics to hand, I would bet the house that a single police officer can prevent more human harm in one year on the beat than they would scouring social media and arresting every single cretin who voices a generic, non-targeted violent opinion.

Of course Mr. Nathan was being stupid when he called for Remainers to be killed until the British government invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. But why can’t we leave it at that? Who actually benefits from bringing the fearsome correctional power of the state crashing down on somebody just for being an idiot? Isn’t being the kind of intellectually tepid individual who jokes about killing people online punishment enough?

Sadly not. Britain is fast becoming an authoritarian hellhole populated by an army of thin-skinned victims-in-waiting who leap at the chance to criminalise those who disagree with them, and ruled by an activist big government which is eager, proactive even, in taking their side.

How utterly depressing.

 

Greater Glasgow Police - THINK - Social Media - Police State - Free Speech

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