Labour MP Kate Osamor, who had held the Shadow International Development portfolio until last weekend, has resigned from the opposition front bench, not, one has to conclude, over the drugs conviction handed down to her son Ishmael, but because she claimed not to have known about the case before he was sentenced, only for it to be revealed that she had provided him a reference. So far, so routine.
Kate Osamor MP
But then has come a double helping of hypocrisy from the press. Drugs? This kind of behaviour is A Very Bad Thing indeed. The Daily Mail has been particularly righteous, telling readers “Shamed Labour MP who 'threatened a reporter with a bat' and resigned from Jeremy Corbyn's front bench is 'banned from Wikipedia for repeatedly editing her own page’”. Those quote marks are working hard. As usual.
There was more from the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker. For instance, we read “Son of Labour MP Kate Osamor who admitted dealing £2,500 in drugs is allowed to KEEP his pass to the House of Commons”. Then comes smear supremo Guy Adams with “A convicted drug dealer, his lying Corbynite mother… and a wholly dishonest cover-up: GUY ADAMS on the scandal of Kate Osamor's son STILL living off the public purse”.
Yeah, I know, the Mail calling “liar” on others, but hey ho. The Murdoch Sun brought forth “Shamed Corbyn ally Kate Osamor banned from Wikipedia after she kept editing her own profile”, while the joke newspaper that is the Express offered “Labour MP Kate Osamor ‘BLACKLISTED by Wikipedia for repeatedly editing her own page’”. Er, hello Express people? You don’t think that headline is a bit, how shall I put this, racist?
And this is yet another display of stinking hypocrisy. Quite apart from the propensity of many in the Westminster media bubble to regularly revisit their relationship with Charlie, there is the case of the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the Seventeenth Baronet, who has a record of drug use, along with appearing to be off his face during PMQs on one occasion in late 2014. The press looked the other way.
Then there is the allegation that Ms Osamor threatened a Murdoch hack who had been pestering her. This has caused NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet to pass severely adverse comment on the MP. The Mail on Sunday’s not even slightly celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges carped “Know I shouldn’t be surprised anymore. But watching the Corbynites trying to defend a politician who threatened to smash in a journalist’s face with a baseball bat is actually pretty shocking. What is the line these people won’t cross. Is there one”. The question marks still ain’t making it.
That Hodges Tweet was Retweeted by (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries. Who threatened Ben Glaze, then of the Sunday Mirror, “Be seen within a mile of my daughters and I will nail your balls to the floor … using your own front teeth”. No condemnation from either Ms Stanistreet, nor Hodges, was forthcoming.
Not only is the press appallingly hypocritical on anything drug related, the double standards shown in response to a white Tory MP, and then a black Labour representative, speak volumes about not only hypocrisy, but racial prejudice as well.
What you will not read in the papers today. I’ll just leave that one there.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at