Once again, rather a lot of our free and fearless press, and to their shame some broadcasters too, have been taking the malicious partisanship of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog as legitimate news. This has resulted in Labour MP Clive Lewis, a favourite Fawkes target, but not because of any racist motive you understand, getting it in the neck.
Hello gullible media folk - this is who you're all enabling
As the BBC report tells, “A Labour MP has apologised for using ‘offensive and unacceptable’ language at the party conference last month … Norwich South MP Clive Lewis was filmed on stage at a fringe event in Brighton saying: ‘Get on your knees, bitch’ - the video emerged on social media”. The video, in fact, had emerged some weeks previously, and has only just been discovered by The Great Guido.
We know this as “Aaron Bastani, the co-founder of left wing website Novara Media, tweeted: ‘I was there. The video has been up at @novaramedia for a month - Clive was saying this to a man’”. Sadly, some MPs - even in his own party - did not bother to ask such questions before tamely toddling along after the Fawkes rabble and lining up before whatever media outlets they could find to express shock and outrage.
Tory MPs were also, as befits a party of shameless hypocrisy, taking turns to kick Lewis. But no-one asked the obvious question: wasn’t The Great Guido indulging in a little double standards once more? And, as so often, the answer was that, well, yes he was.
The instances of the word “bitch” in the Fawkes twitter feed are legion. “How much are you offering and what does the bitch look like?” was an early example of this craft, with the kicking of Labour MPs evident soon after. “He thought it was a Shad Cab meeting >> @eyespymp: Last night: Ben Bradshaw dancing on stage at cabaret show 'Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!’”. And there was more - rather a lot more.
No Fawkes abuse collection would be complete without a smear of Owen Jones. This is no exception: “Owen denies he's Len McCluskey's bitch, yet here's photographic evidence that he's kept on Len's leash”. Then there are all those instances of “bitch slap” that The Great Guido loves to deploy, such as “Evan just bitch-slapped Bryant into stuttering ‘I accept responsibility’ for (his words) sloppy and half-formed speech/briefing #R4today”.
Was there yet more? You jest - there’s plenty more. There are all the “bitch fight” claims, including “International Bitch Fight”, “LibDem Lords Bitch Fight”, “Tory Membership Bitch Fight”, “Twitter Media Bitch Fight”, and the regular “Twitter Bitch Fight of the Week”.
On it goes, with “Peak Roger Lord: ‘Douglas Carswell is Nigel’s bitch; he will perpetually be picking up the political equivalent of prison soap’”, via the rather more brief “It's Alesha, bitch” to “Latency is a bitch” and “Democracy's a bitch”.
Then, just for one Labour MP who has trouble engaging brain before mouth, came the pièce de résistance. “Twitter Bitch Fight of the Week: @StanCollymore v @jessphillips, featuring Ulrika and dogging”. Did she complain about that as vehemently as she did about Clive Lewis? As if you need to ask.
And this is what the press takes as a source of genuine news. Sad, really.