The Mirror titles are the only national papers that support the Labour Party. Or perhaps that should read “usually support the Labour Party”, because they are becoming uneasy at the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn continuing to be leader, and so going from lukewarm support to outright hostility. And there are few more hostile parts of the Mirror than that occupied by their very own Sunday Glenda, Carole Malone.
Ms Malone recently got her facts and her history horribly wrong when she talked of Lenin and the Gulag (not contemporaneous), and tried to suggest that Corbyn supporters were behind threats to MP Luciana Berger, when that was down to a far-right provocateur. But she is nothing if not a real trouper, and so has returned to the fray today to blame her lousy research on anyone and everyone else. Cos she didn’t do it.
She does not make an auspicious start: “I don’t suppose the Corbynistas thought I’d write about this again. I’m sure they thought the insults, the intimidation, the trolling would silence me, that it would put me, a mere woman, in my place. Nope, sorry. No can do”. You can’t claim the moral high ground when you use nicknames coined by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog.
And pointing out that something is wrong is not intimidation or trolling. But do go on. Ms Malone, like Dan Hodges, uses Angela Eagle as first witness: “She and her staff have suffered so much abuse she can’t now do her job as an MP because the police have advised her if she goes ahead with meetings in her Wallasey constituency she could be in danger”. No they haven’t. She is continuing with meetings.
Not so heavy on the research, eh? But there’s more: “last week I was branded a liar because a death threat to MP Luciana Berger - which was initially thought to be from a Labour supporter - turned out not to be. Which gave Corbyn’s nasty little gang carte blanche to abuse me, to call me a liar, to trash everything else I’d said about the intimidation and the bullying of women”. She got it wrong, that’s all.
Had she bothered to find out, she’d have known Ms Berger’s threat did not come from anywhere near the Labour Party. It’s no use blaming others for not getting your facts right - something that newspaper pundits find so hard to accept is that the days when they could just churn out any old rubbish and few would know any difference are long gone.
Still, let’s cut to the question Ms Malone wants answering: “So why are people refusing to accept the ugly truth - that Corbyn’s Labour has given free rein to a vicious gang of bullies and misogynists who don’t want women in politics?” The answer is that there is no defined gang, vicious or otherwise, and the number of women who turn out to cheer Jezza on tends to give the lie to Ms Malone’s simplistic victimhood.
There are many things one could criticise about Jeremy Corbyn (policy definition is often poor or haphazard, he’s a poor Commons performer and speaker, doesn’t get after the Tories when he should, is not well-liked outside his own party or sometimes within it, gives too many hostages to fortune, isn’t cutting through with the electorate, looks like he’ll lose the next election big time), but Carole Malone gets sidetracked and misses them.
The problem here is not Corbyn. It’s Carole Malone’s crap journalism and research.