The routine dishonesty of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog is the stuff of legend: not for them the constrictions of honesty and integrity. And there is no finer example of this tendency to porkies than Staines’ gofer and head teaboy Alex Wickham, who has decided to talk about alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party - by lying blatantly, which to him is as natural as breathing.
Still pretending to be a journalist. No, don't laugh
“Jewish Labour Members Walk Out Over ‘Cancer’ Rant” tells the headline of Wickham’s post about the Arab ambassadors’ reception at this year’s Labour conference. So what was the story? “Jewish Labour members walked out of the Arab ambassadors’ reception at Labour conference last night after the Palestinian ambassador ranted about Israel. Multiple sources independently quote Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian ambassador to the UK, as describing Israel and Israelis as a ‘cancer’”. There was more.
“According to a source in the room a large number of attendees walked out in disgust, with some Jewish Labour members brought to tears. They were particularly upset that Labour MPs present did not speak out against the comments. Earlier Hassassian had launched another tirade against Israel, describing them as ‘cowboys’”.
There was, though, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, only one thing wrong with the claim that Israel and Israelis had been referred to as “cancer” - it was bollocks. Hassassain had made no such claim. What he had said was that Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank were a cancer, which may displease or upset some observers, but is not what Wickham accused him of saying. And it gets worse.
The “large number of attendees” walking out was in fact three, which, taken together with the correct context being applied to Hassassain’s remarks, shows why no Labour MP spoke out. The claim that there were “some Jewish Labour members brought to tears” is more of Wickham’s embellishment, or, as most people call it, lying speculatively.
Asa Winstanley, who, it has to be conceded, as a journalist at the Electronic Intifada, is unlikely to be a fan of the Fawkes rabble, pointed out on Twitter “Yet another false report by @GuidoFawkes: Hassassian said Israeli settlements in WB are a ‘cancer’, not Israelis”. Wickham, whose Twitter photo tries to make him look like a real grownup, rather than a vapid and rodent-like creep, responded immediately despite not being tagged.
“@AsaWinstanley @GuidoFawkes I will take no lectures on accuracy from a disgrace of a man like you” he gasped in mock outrage. But he did not dispute Winstanley’s main point - that his story was not true. Nor was there any outpouring of support for Wickham’s position, probably because nobody finds his lying worthy of comment, so routine has it become, along with his desperation to perpetuate the Labour anti-Semitism row.
Alex Wickham is still full value for his “Billy Liar” nickname. Another fine mess.