Some serving councillors lost their seats in last Thursday’s local elections. Many of those losing were from UKIP, and some were Tories. But although Labour gained ground, some of their councillors were among those losing. One of those was Adam Langleben, who had served on the council in the London Borough of Barnet.
The problem for Langleben is that he has been unable to accept defeat without blaming others, to the extent of making allegations which he will have significant trouble standing up. These have been made in a video he has posted. Here are some of the claims.
After saying “we just lost Barnet”, when Labour didn’t hold the council in the first place, he continues “we have conspiratorial anti-Semitism”, and then asserts “Right now, as I’m filming this, an alternative left-wing news website called Skwawkbox is going through all of the Tweets attacking me, as a Jewish Labour Party member … that accuses me of being a Mossad agent, that accuses me of trying to undermine the leadership”.
There was more. A lot more. “Accuses me of all sorts of things, and it is … propagating Labour anti-Semitism. Now, the Labour leadership can do something very simple and easy. It should say that these alternative fake news websites do not speak for them. Skwawkbox, The Canary … they are propagating conspiracy theory in the Labour Party. They allow it to fester. They spread the message”. And he wasn’t done yet.
“Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, both have close links to these groups, to people who run these websites. They should say loudly and clearly that any conspiracy theory that these websites spread are false. They should be shut down. They do not have the support of the Labour leadership. And it’s a very very simple thing to do. John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn, come and speak out about these fake news websites”.
While it is entirely understandable that Langleben is unhappy about losing his seat, he has a problem here: much of what he claims is not merely untrue, but actionably so.
Consider the two New Left Media outlets he has accused.
The Canary has never mentioned Adam Langleben.
Skwawkbox has never mentioned Adam Langleben.
Neither Skwawkbox, nor The Canary, has linked Langleben to the Mossad, or of undermining the Labour leadership (as they haven’t mentioned him at all).
The only Twitter interaction between Skwawkbox and Adam Langleben is one reply from the former to the latter, inviting him to DM them.
There is no evidence whatever to support the claim that Skwawkbox is “going through all of the Tweets attacking me”. Indeed, that is itself a conspiracy theory.
As to the “close links” that Jezza and McDonnell are alleged to have to those sites, let me restate what Zelo Street had to say to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog when they tried to make that accusation last year.
“Skwawkbox has NEVER had any contact with Jeremy Corbyn’s office. There is NO contact between Evolve Politics and Corbyn’s office … The Canary has NO contact with Corbyn’s office.” Got that? No contact. At all.
And as to the idea that sites which displease Adam Langleben, or indeed anyone else, “should be shut down”, the sinister overtones are simply breathtaking. That’s the kind of behaviour that gives totalitarian dictatorships a bad name.
Not surprisingly, Skwawkbox has already registered its displeasure at Langleben’s totally untrue claims. The Canary may be following along shortly. There has been talk of legal action, and understandably so. But there is a straightforward solution here.
And that is for Adam Langleben to stop, think, realise he is wrong, and say sorry. Skwawkbox did not lose him his council seat. Nor did The Canary. Nor did any other New Left Media site. The only person who lost that seat is Adam Langleben. That is all.