The desperation of Tories and their fellow travellers to smear anything called Labour knows no bounds. Sometimes the attacks are mounted by those who really should know better. And on occasion those who should know better end up covered in rather more than confusion. So it was when Young Labour, the party’s youth wing, decided to award its honorary presidency to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Their reasons are straightforward: “the former socialist president of Brazil, has been sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment in solitary confinement … Lula’s sentence is wildly disproportionate to the charges held against him … Every opinion poll shows Lula was by the far the most popular of any candidate … Lula has been imprisoned because he symbolises dignity and progress to the workers, peasants and dispossessed of Brazil.”
And, so what? Why should Young Labour not make that choice? Well, because the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog decided to pass adverse comment on it, that’s why. Under the heading “Young Labour’s Convicted President” (The Great Guido forgot the “honorary” bit, but no doubt that was mere forgetfulness, eh?) they sneeringly dismiss the choice.
“Young Labour have announced an interesting choice for their new honorary president – Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the disgraced former President of Brazil. The socialist leader was arrested in April this year and sentenced to 12 years and one month in prison after being convicted of money laundering and corruption. A great role model for aspiring Labour politicians” leers the Fawkes narrative. But there is one problem here.
And Young Labour has hinted at what that problem might be. “We won’t be taking lessons in morality from Guido Fawkes, whose publisher Paul Staines supported the fascist Contras in Nicaragua, fraternised with ‘Hang Nelson Mandela’ activists and tried to organise direct action against left wingers with the BNP”. Quite.
YL are, in fact, too kind to Staines. Added to the roll of shame should also be his involvement in running guns to the Contras, the illegal raves back in the day which he helped organise, his consumption of what was, by all accounts, an heroic amount of currently banned substances, being declared bankrupt, and a sting of alcohol related convictions, including two for drinking and driving.
Staines’ blog has also indulged in blatant anti-Semitism in its past attacks on Ed Miliband when the latter was Labour leader. His legendary thirst saw him thrown out of the IoD for drunkenness - the stills and video of which were brought to the world exclusively by this blog - and he attempted to bully me into silence using legal threats (which failed).
The Great Guido has no room to call out anyone else about their criminal record, or indeed their unfortunate life choices. And he has a serious problem if the best he and his new team can manage is to whine about those who aspire to actually have principles.
Good to see Young Labour telling Guido to Fawk off. Another fine mess, once again.
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