With accusations still being made about the Labour Party’s stance on anti-Semitism, and the way in which it deals with complaints of anti-Semitic behaviour, there is always the risk for the more enthusiastic Labour bashers to get a little carried away, to make claims about the party and indeed its leader Jeremy Corbyn that cannot be backed up.
This brings us to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, where a new apprentice sandwich monitor, oops sorry, reporter has recently been hired. Claiming to be a journalist - so just like all the others, then - Tom Harwood is already churning out posts. He’s particularly keen on nailing anyone indulging in anti-Semitism. And today, he has perhaps been a little too keen.
I haven't screwed up again, have I?
The Jewish Labour Movement had revealed a particularly vicious email they had received last weekend. Their Twitter feed has told “Imagine opening your inbox on a Monday morning to find an email telling you Hitler was right. We don’t have to imagine, this email was sent to us on Shabbat”. The email talks of a “Jewish Mafia”, equates “Jews” to “Goldman Saks” [sic], and ends by asserting “Hitler was right”.
The email was signed “Dave Neve”. But thus far, a search for him has shown only that there is no trace of a Labour member called Dave Neve. That did not stop Harwood, who has told Fawkes followers “This is the sort of abuse being emailed to the Jewish Labour Movement at the moment, claiming ‘the Jews (Goldman Sacks) [sic]’ created the subprime mortgage crisis, and that standing up to anti-Semitism ‘does nothing but to convince millions of people that Hitler was right.’ This is all being done in Corbyn’s name”.
Except that Harwood does not know in whose name it is being done, and after he proudly Tweeted out his post with the comment “Beyond sickening”, City Pride chair Craig Spencer replied “How was this done in Corbyns name? I couldn't see the direct link”.
This matters, and for reasons which should be all too obvious. One Labour member has reminded us “For clarity, the person calling themselves Peter Arif on Facebook who was posting vile AS statuses on his page is a ‘no trace’ as a member of the Party. Complaints have just emailed me to confirm that he can't be found on the database anywhere”. And Harwood almost certainly did not check with Labour before making his accusation.
The Fawkes new boy has made a claim that looks, right now, as if he is going to be unable to stand up. If “Dave Neve” turns out to be somehow untraceable, or, worse, merely an agent provocateur with no connection to the Labour Party, Tom Harwood could be in deep shit. And that’s quite an achievement for someone so new to the job.
Staines and his rabble have put out so much Fake News of late that defaming someone was perhaps inevitable. Another fine mess, once again.