Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Sunday, 12 January 2020

RLB Attacks Turning Nasty

Anyone not sure just how creepy, intrusive and downright nasty the attacks on Labour leadership candidates are going to get should be disabused of the notion that it’s all going to be Good Clean Fun by a particularly vicious hit job on the Mail website on Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long Bailey. This has taken the previous low bar for journalistic standards and set it much, much lower. And it will probably get worse very soon.
The headline, as befits the Mail, tells readers what to think: “Rebecca Long-Bailey's very middle class lifestyle revealed: Labour front runner lives in leafy village dubbed 'Monton Carlo' with £100k-a-year marketing boss husband sparking distrust among grassroots activists”. Labour leadership candidates can no longer be considered middle-class.

Ms Long Bailey and her husband live in Monton, which is in the constituency. The Mail article has decided this is “plush”. It isn’t. They have also talked of “grassroots Labour activists distrustful of her sudden emergence”, but cannot name one. She “counts judges, barristers and football stars amongst her neighbours”, but, er, no citation. Her husband’s Audi A5 is branded “top of the range”. But it isn’t.

They have a “joint income approaching £200k”, except they don’t. But the Mail has found one person willing to go on the record. He is “former Salford councillor Paul Wilson, a Labour member for 20 years”. Except Phil Wilson had a much-publicised falling out with his council colleagues and left the party. So he is no longer “a Labour member”.

Otherwise the article relies on “Another said …” and “Another Labour activist”. But the nudge-and-wink is the usual stuff from a highly partisan media outlet - until the article crosses the line into outright creepiness. First, Ms Long Bailey’s husband has been photographed in the street - and was clearly aware of the snapper. What is his relevance to whether or not she is a candidate for the Labour leadership?
Then the Mail goes rather too far. “Rebecca Long-Bailey lives in this four bedroom home in a well-heeled part of Manchester” it tells. Yes, her address has effectively been doxxed. And the Mail is not satisfied with just the front view of the property, which is just a larger than average Semi-detached. There is a rear view, and one of the kitchen. How did they get those? “She and husband Stephen bought this property for £588,000 in 2016”.

Off an estate agent’s website, perhaps? What the article does show, though, quite apart from the willingness to endanger a well-known MP by effectively doxxing her, is that the spiteful legacy of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre (who owns not just one property, but three, including a Scottish estate which garners hundreds of thousands of pounds in EU subsidies) has endured, despite his taking an enforced back seat.

The Mail’s website is willing to plant falsehood and misinformation about politicians it fears, and Ms Long Bailey is one of whom they are scared shitless. And if she shows any sign of getting the Labour membership and Trades Unions on her side, it will get worse.

They wouldn’t do it to the Tories. They wouldn’t do it to their fellow hacks. So they shouldn’t be prepared to do it to anyone else. Leveson clearly changed nothing.
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

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Mail will do this to *any* Labour MP as they see fit, just for being a Labour MP as for any sense of them being a 'threat.'

Anonymous said...

Well, I did warn it would get much worse......

As usual the Rothermere Heil lies about social class. Which is a matter of self identification. It has fuck all to do with where you live or what car you drive. Not that the Heil cowards are interested in anything but their own cringeing employment inside the M25 ghetto.

LiamKav said...

It is pretty amazing that they can publish articles basically going "some Labour leader candidates are a bit middle-class" whilst Jacob Rees-Mogg and Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson are running the country. What's their argument? Working class people should know their places? It's okay for Tories to be posh but no-one else? Or is it just pushing doublethink on its readers hoping they won't notice the hypocrisy?

Burlington Bertie from Bow said...

Hey, 'Anonymous.....' of the big gaps between the ranting. You haven't mentioned your obsession with the 'M25 Ghetto' lately.
Could this be because you had a look at the political map after the election and noticed that the area inside the M25 seems to be mostly coloured bright red?
How did the areas that you would vaunt in counterpoint to these soft southern bastards do? Rather a lot of false consciousness outside London and the other cities, eh?

Not so simple is it, life?

iCowboy said...

When the Mail decides to go after someone they will grasp at any straw no matter how ludicrous. About ten years ago they decided they didn't like Nick Clegg* and came up with choice morsels like:

'His wife is Spanish, his mother Dutch, his father half-Russian and his spin-doctor German - is there anything British about LibDem leader Nick Clegg?'

'last night it emerged that Nick Clegg's Sheffield home is a four-bedroomed property...'

'the LibDem leader's neighbours include doctors, lawyers and dentists...'

'visitors there tell of expensively-covered modern chairs.'

* long before it became fashionable.

Sam said...

As LiamKav points out :"what's their argument"?. Are Tories meant to be all Eton or Public school educated? Must Labour MPs be the "salt of the earth" and be brought up in a 2 down 2 up with a father covered in coal dust and a mum pictured in an apron as she makes lard sandwiches for a brood of 8?.
How many of the great vast public buy into this utter balderdash?. There are a handful of comments with the Mail article from absolute cretins parroting "champagne socialist", an idiotic dated 60s term but does the great vast public really give a stuff about the back ground of their MPs?. They are doing this to Keir Starmer who is from a working class family and has dragged himself into the middle classes. I really think this stuff is almost at breaking point. The mendacity of Britain's largely Fascist leaning media has reached a peak. I reckon it will downhill from now on because of one thing: Brexit. If Brexit goes fabulously well (it won't) the media will bask in the glow. If it is a nightmare (it will be) they won't be able to blame a soul. People often say "that was an election to lose" and I reckon the recent one was. The Tories & the gutter press like the Mail will be unable to blame anyone over Brexit and Labour must ensure that these malicious pundits "own it".

LiamKav said...

@sam

Remember though it's not just enough for Labour MPs to have come from working-class backgrounds - they also have to remain there. So Starmer is bad because he's... worked hard and now has a nicer house than the one he grew up in.

Labour MPs: Know your place.

Anonymous said...

A headline from the RedRoar that ended up in my news feed (despite being blocked previously): "Long-Bailey and Burgon endorsed by NEC member suspended over antisemitism".

So that's how it's going to go!

Anonymous said...

@ 22:28.

Always my pleasure to stick a pitchfork into your tightly packed hay bale of narrow-minded "centrist" nonsense.

Lighten up BBBertie dude. There's more to life than your petty M25 resentments.

d.mclintock said...

'expensively-covered modern chairs'. I wonder if they doorstepped the 'visitors'? I had to acknowledge this because it it so incredibly crass and crap, however you look at it. But in reality it is uncommentable on.

nparker said...

Anonymous, you don't seem to have the ability to be taught or to teach. Human beings should have one quality or the other.

Why don't you answer his comments instead of more bluster? The M25 interior is rather red, as Bertie said. Perhaps you're simply pretending to be Labour. Or perhaps you simply can't stand being questioned. Does reality not fit your angry ravings? If not then you'll just have to deal with it eventually.

I have noticed a new pattern with you recently however. You've now decided that literally everyone who disagrees with you on anything is now a horrible centrist spiv or some such. Even when it's about the M25 you go on about or when a decade starts. Rather humorous but also tedious.

Anonymous said...

@ 00:58.

See that second sentence in the 16:25 comment?.....Swallow it. Even though it sticks in your craw at one a.m.

Enjoy reality, as per the third sentence.