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Friday 5 July 2019

Billy Bragg Sells The Pass

The controversy surrounding Derby North MP Chris Williamson continues. Some of those passing comment have been measured in their approach; others have appeared as if they are emulating the pouring of petrol on a bonfire. Some interventions have been unexpected, and with the pronouncement of Billy Bragg, we have an unexpected intervention in the petrol-pouring category. Maybe even the whole can.
Billy Bragg

Bragg begins in a calm and reasoned manner, as might be expected from one of the left’s more level-headed people, before making a move that is way too clumsy to call a mis-step. “Been getting some negative responses to my comment that Chris Williamson is part of the problem that Labour has with anti-semitism, rather than the solution. Here's a thread explaining why I believe this to be the case” he tells. OK. What’s his response?
Chris Williamson

To dismiss those sensitivities on a purely legalistic reading of CW's comment is to underestimate the role that insensitive statements play in the normalising of abusive behaviour. Take the example of Carl Benjamin, the misogynistic YouTube provocateur aka Sargon of Akkad”. Woah! WHAT? And how does he stand that one up?
In 2016 he tweeted “I wouldn’t even rape you” to Labour MP Jess Phillips, in a message featuring the tag #feminismiscancer. Phillips said she subsequently received over 600 rape threats. When confronted about his comment, Benjamin doubled down … the insensitivity of a man using the threat of rape as a means to put down a woman was clear to all but a tiny minority of free speech warriors and misogynists. When Benjamin was adopted by UKIP as a candidate for the EU elections, the party paid a high price”. No. Just no.
But let’s allow him to finish. “Had Benjamin got away with his 'I'm only joking' defence, it would have emboldened misogynists everywhere”. No again. But do go on. "Like Benjamin's rape comment, it sent a message that CW doesn't care what the victims of abuse think. Given the Labour Party's proud tradition of standing up for the rights of victims, such an insensitive attitude should not be tolerated”. Ri-i-i-ght.
Let’s get one matter out of the way first: Carl Benjamin’s disgraceful attack on Jess Phillips was not the reason UKIP gained no seats at all in the European Parliament elections. The party was already dead, led astray by Adolf von Batten into far-right street-protest territory and effectively supplanted by the Brexit Party.
Let’s also nail one other point: Williamson has on at least two occasions made apologies for any offence he caused. Because, while he has caused offence to some, he has not intended to cause offence. Benjamin’s whole modus operandi, on the other hand, is about both deliberately causing offence, and not apologising for it. Hence the use of the term “Edgelord” to describe him and others like Mark Meechan, aka Count Dankula.
Carl Benjamin. Very failed non-politician

And let’s not lose sight of the minor detail that the comment that got Williamson suspended from the Labour Party was taken out of context: he was defending his party’s record on anti-racism, not trying to diminish the acts of those being racist. Yes, he was clumsy, and yes, he may have offended some, but he wasn’t setting out to offend. Benjamin was.

The rush to condemn seems to be starting earlier and earlier. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Anonymous said...

Dear Billy isn't the sharpest knife in the box.

He's a shit singer as well.

But it takes all types......

Sam said...

Bragg has form. He also backed Blair and his war. He also tweeted that Ched Evans should give up football after his release from jail. The concept of one paying one's price to society & being entitled to re-enter the work force after jail seemed to allude Bragg. Of course on re-trial Ched Evans was found Not Guilty of rape and still plays football. Bragg should think before he tweets.

Derek said...

Dear Zelo ,
During my five year’s employment in the ME I formed the opinion that Semitic people have a love of verbal dexterity and a tendency to hyperbole , illustratively in their addiction to bartering . I’ll give a few examples of this tendency :
“Mother of All Battles” …. Saadam Hussein
“Your grave awaits you” ….. King Abdullah
“Existential threat to British Jewry” …. Jonathan Sacks
“F**king Anti-Semite” …. Margaret Hodge
Obviously in response a useful tool to bear in mind is the British quality , which in older days was more prized , that of Understatement . Much of the discussion of ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour party has followed the Zionist premise , where they are trying to exclusively conflate ‘anti-Zionist’ and ‘anti-Jewish’ . It is an attempt to confuse and surely also tries to muddy the waters of ‘anti-Semitism’ , in particular that variety practised against Palestinians and the equally Semitic Arabs as a whole .

Jonathan said...

Not the brightest of folkies, music is bit dull and uninteresting alluding to fishermen and windswept caves.

Anonymous said...

I see, sticking "Von" in front of someone's name on this blog indicates they are a fascist.

Ursula VON der Leyen, candidate for President of the European Commission, a body reckoned to be democratic and approved of by this blog falls into this category. In this case it seems you are on the money!

Williamson is one reason why Labour voters are going elsewhere and they are polling record lows.

Mark said...

I wouldn't say that Bragg backed Blair in the Iraq War. I mean, he was at the front of the Stop the War march in Feb '03 and many others to boot. He's never been pro-war, he let his Labour membership lapse when Kinnock refused to take a stand against the first Gulf war. But he has always been very clear that he'd tactically vote for anyone to keep the Tories (or worse parties) out. "I attended the antiwar demonstrations, and yes, the war was a total waste of money. But do you think the Tories would do any different? Do you think the Tories would spend that money on the public the next time? Do you think the Tories won’t pal up with George Bush and the neocons?...Margaret Hodge is the Labour MP for my home town of Barking. The BNP recently won a seat on the local council and is targeting the area. Hodge is an ultra-Blairite who voted for the war. Should I stand back and say well, she is culpable, and let the BNP take over my home town, or should I get stuck in against the fascists? No contest."

I would also argue that the fact that Ched Evans was found not guilty says more about the poor state of our inherently patriarchal judicial system than it does about his character. I worked for a number of years helping high risk ex offenders find gainful employment after their lengthy prison sentences, but the fact remains that whilst they have a right to put their past behind them once their time is served, they do not have a right to simply walk back into their old life.

Man From Atlan said...

First scrub Corbyns record numbers of new Labour members from the rolls TWICE then blame him for Labour's failing fortunes takes a certain amount of chutzpah, or more likely the self-immolating tendency of the so-called "left" is why people are disgusted with the shower of Blairites and rent-a-Christian-Zionists that still control public discourse, looks like they are doing every thing to sabotage Labour's chances of winning the next G.E. long as they can blame him and get a decent man to resign, right "Anonymous"?