The appetite of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog for bashing the Labour party means that anything they can creatively reinterpret as a split or dispute is immediately seized upon and blown up out of all proportion. But when the claimed splits fail to materialise, that appetite for “news reporting” (ho ho ho) vanishes without a trace. Such is the routine stuff of right-wing hypocrisy.
This is who sits in judgment on the Labour Party ...
This month has brought us a superb example of not just the Fawkes appetite for over-inflating stories to suit their real boss (Rebekah Brooks, in case anyone was still wondering), but ignoring the parts of a story that do not support the line to take.
After Iain McNicol resigned his post as Labour’s General Secretary, those showing an interest in the role included Jennie Formby of Unite, and Momentum founder Jon Lansman. Several MPs declared their backing for Ms Formby, at which point The Great Guido declared that “This is going to be bloody”. SPLIT! PFJ!
Sadly, no-one anywhere to the left of the Fawkes massive gave a flying foxtrot what they thought, and so the next day they decided to up the ante and proclaimed “Red On Red: Corbynistas Launch Vicious Attack On Lansman”, telling readers not yet asleep “Grab your popcorn: the Labour General Secretary race is already descending into bitter briefing and attacks from Corbynistas on Momentum’s Jon Lansman”.
Then came the admission they did not know what they were talking about: “Skwawkbox, the pro-Corbyn website which is regularly briefed by the Leader’s Office”. Think Steve will be smiling quietly over that one. But on they plough, asking “Who could possibly have been behind that anti-Lansman briefing?” The person who wrote it, perhaps.
... and this is what he peddles
Can’t they do any better? Well, there is a Tweet from John McDonnell in which he endorses Ms Formby. But it’s hardly a “vicious attack”. All they can muster after that is a negative statement from a fringe group. It was lame in the extreme.
And what was worst is that, when Lansman decided to drop out of the race, the Fawkes rabble were absent elsewhere. To make matters yet worse, Skwawkbox, a site that they have persistently smeared as a Fake News outlet (look who’s talking, Fawkes folks) had the story, and Lansman’s statement in full - backing up their earlier prediction.
What say The Great Guido to that? At time of typing, nothing. Nil. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Not a sausage. Bugger all. But they do have attacks on Vince Cable and John Bercow, plus another lame attempt to pretend there is a split between Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. More than 24 hours after the story broke, and they are nowhere.
The Guido Fawkes blog is a borderline Fake News operation, the sub-boot boy division of the Murdoch press, a propaganda site where verifiable facts are an occupational hazard, rather than the basis for stories. The Lansman story merely underscores that.
But remember, they’re #1. Another fine mess, once again.