Party Conferences, whether Labour, Tory, Lib Dem or whoever else, have fringe meetings. And the clue is in the title: the party fringe does not enjoy the imprimatur of the party concerned. One does not need to be connected in any way to the party hosting the main Conference to take part. Some of those taking part are opposed to the party hosting that main Conference, while some have been banned by it.
Hence the likes of the “Freedom Zone” at the Tory fringe, as it includes some groups with which the Tory Party does not wish to be associated. Labour cannot be expected to be any different, except of course to those trying desperately to paint the party in the worst possible light, which inevitably brings us to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, and the Dacre doggies at the Daily Mail.
So it was that yesterday the Fawkes massive told readers “Labour Fringe: Expel Jewish Group From Party, Israel Like Nazis”, the handiwork, as with so much of The Great Guido’s most blatant falsehood and misinformation, of newly anointed teaboy Alex “Billy Liar” Wickham. So some fringe ranters rocked up at a fringe event? Is the Fawkes rabble going to hold the Tories to the same standard next week? No, thought not.
Which c*** says I'm a f***ing bigot? Are they foreign?
This was then taken up by the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, who put it on their front page, screaming “Anti-Semitism at Conference … BBC star intimidated … LABOUR IS THE REAL NASTY PARTY”. The supporting article was worse.
How much worse? “Labour was branded the 'new nasty party' last night after an outbreak of intimidation and anti-Semitism at its annual conference … Jeremy Corbyn was urged to act after activists applauded panellists at a fringe meeting who likened supporters of Israel to Nazis”. Jezza is now supposed to personally police the Conference fringe.
And there was more. “Mr Corbyn was also facing a row about intimidation of Laura Kuenssberg. The BBC's political editor has been given a bodyguard following threats from Left-wingers at the conference”. None of the threats were repeated, for some reason. But this was lapped up by the Fawkes folks in a self-congratulatory post titled “Another Year, Another Conference Anti-Semitism Row”. So let’s get to the point here.
Milk, no sugar, hold the smear
What happens at a fringe event is not “At Conference”. It is “On the Conference fringe” (hint in the description, there). Moreover, Labour is set to adopt a rule change clamping down on anti-Semitism, not that the Fawkes rabble or Mail is about to tell readers. This is no more than a crude smear, combined with an attempt at deflection. After all, The Great Guido was no stranger to dishing out the anti-Semitism smears when it was Ed Miliband on the receiving end (see HERE and HERE). And nor was the Mail.
More precisely, the Mail got itself in hot water with a series of Jewish voices after its bizarre attack on the memory of Miliband’s late father Ralph, when it talked of “The jealous God of Deuteronomy” and “visiting the sins of the father on the sons”.
When it comes to intimidating the BBC and its personnel, both The Great Guido and the Mail have no room to talk - especially the latter. And as to the Mail’s past dalliances with anti-Semitism … I’ll just leave that one there.