As part of his participation in the Murdoch Sunday Times’ lame hit job on the Labour Party yesterday, in which it was claimed that Facebook groups with no official connection to Labour were part of “Corbyn’s hate factory”, hack Gabriel Pogrund mused “Imagine for a second if Tory Spads were on groups riddled with anti-black or anti-gay abuse. It would be a national scandal”. But it isn’t - although the evidence is overwhelming.
Pogrund’s conceit - that it’s only worth pursuing if they’re SpAds on social media - is baloney. Tories - including MPs, at least one MEP, and many Councillors - have indulged in racist behaviour, including anti-Semitism, as well as sectarianism, other abusive conduct, fraud, violence, and child abuse including paedophilia. And it isn’t a national scandal. Although, given the outrage over the Labour Party, maybe it should be.
We know this because Matt Thomas has dug out the publicly available information on recent Tory misconduct. And the litany of unpleasantness makes for grim reading. There are no fewer than 22 separate instances of elected officials - including one senior cabinet minister (no prizes for guessing who) - indulging in racist conduct. In addition, there are several instances of Islamophobia and, yes, anti-Semitism.
Yet the Murdoch press appears blissfully unaware of all this. Nor has it picked up on several instances of Nazi and/or Hitler supporting behaviour, including one now former MP (the disgraced Aidan Burley) and a supporter of another (Jacob Rees Mogg’s helper from that fracas at the UWE). A few instances of sectarianism also got missed.
Also missed was at least one instance of homophobia, something Pogrund sets great store in mentioning specifically. Perhaps none of this happened on Facebook groups, perhaps it did. But it’s utterly irrelevant to the fact of the matter, which is that the right-leaning press has known about Tory misbehaviour for years, and in the recent past has done sweet Jack to report on it. And the charge sheet does not stop at racism.
The thread has all the individual cases in it
On top of all that are the Tories, including those who at the time of their conviction were MPs, involved in perjury, fraud, drink driving, money laundering, theft, breaching bankruptcy law, election fraud, property fraud, benefits fraud, forgery, pension theft, and various other breaches of the criminal code. Not mentioned by the Sunday Times, though.
Arguably worse is the 18 instances of Tories holding elective office who have been involved in indecent images of children, child sexual offences including assault and intercourse, and grooming. This, too, is not a national scandal. Turning Pogrund’s supposition around, had any of those been Labour Councillors, the Sunday Times would have been there like a shot. That’s why he and his fellow hacks are such hypocrites.
None of that is to diminish the seriousness of any kind of racism from Labour members, which the party has to deal with, deal with promptly and effectively, and be seen to do so. But for a Murdoch hack to pretend the Tories are pure as the driven snow in such matters is weapons grade bullpucky. He and his pals just can’t be bothered looking.
Does that mean they have an anti-Labour agenda? That’s another case of “You might wish to suggest that - I couldn’t possibly comment”.