Earlier today, Labour MP Angela Rayner reflected on her experience as the proud representative for Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden and Failsworth: “On abuse - I block most of it. I block between 30-100+ depending on what media I do everyday but can you imagine being a loved one of mine like my sons reading this stuff or a young woman who follows my tweets to gain confidence to follow my footsteps. It has to stop”.
Brandon Lewis and his brass neck
Ms Rayner is not the only Labour MP to be targeted by the online abuse mob: Stella Creasy, who represents Walthamstow, has had more than her fair share of it, and on the receiving end of yet more has been Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott, whose name came up this morning when new Tory Party chairman Brandon Lewis appeared before the inquisition of the host on The Andy Marr Show (tm).
She didn't get an apology ...
Lewis, whose unimpressive and occasionally repetitive appearance included an inability to recall how many members the Tories have right now (most convenient for him), told that his party wanted a respectful political discourse. This noble stance was then cut from under him as Marr asked if he would like to apologise to Ms Abbott for all that less than respectful abuse. Sadly, he did not. And the Tories are skating on thin ice here.
... and nor did he ...
The Blue Team has failed to even raise a finger at the abuse which has been doled out by their pals in the press recently: former Labour leader Ed Miliband had his late father’s reputation ritually trashed by the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his boot boys at the Daily Mail - and Theresa May has not only not admonished the Vagina Monologue, she’s favoured him with one-on-one Downing Street dinners.
... he won't be getting one either
Jeremy Corbyn is regularly subjected to smears and abuse from the Tory-backing press, even when on holiday: last week’s claim by the Murdoch Sun, which had to be retracted, that Jezza had visited the Trotsky Museum in Mexico City as some kind of “Marxist Homage” is a case in point. The claim originated in the Guido Fawkes blog, which many Tory MPs not only implicitly back, but to which they pass information.
Respectful f***ing discourse? That's for c***s
The Tory Party had a place for the likes of the loathsome Toby Young, who last week had to resign his board appointment to the new Office for Students after his misogynist, drug dealing, and yes, otherwise abusive past caught up with him. It was home to now-discredited activist Mark Clarke and his bullying pals, who were only rumbled after young activist Elliott Johnson was found dead on a railway line.
No respect here either
All of this is well known, yet Brandon Lewis has the brass neck to fetch up at the nearest broadcaster and pretend that it’s the other lot being abusive. His pals in and around our free and fearless press will no doubt pile in behind him and selectively dredge up and over-inflate as many supposed instances of Labour bad behaviour as they can. But in the final instance, his party and its hangers-on is the one doing the serious abuse.
When Brandon Lewis has disengaged CCHQ autopilot, he needs to look to his own side first before choosing to cast the first stone. Another case of Physician, Heal Thyself.