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Friday 19 June 2020

Corbyn “Biography” - YES IT’S LIBEL

Early last year, an unauthorised biography of then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was published via Harper Collins, a subsidiary of the Murdoch empire. Written by Tom Bower, the book was serialised in the Mail on Sunday. Bower was given a platform to publicise Himself Personally Now by the Murdoch Times. Those opposed to Jezza hailed the volume as a work of the greatest importance. It was no such thing.
Tom Bower

As Zelo Street pointed out at the time, Bower’s book was riddled with falsehoods. He claimed that Corbyn’s visit to Jamaica in the late 1960s turned him into a Trotskyist, but there was no Trotskyist organisation there until the mid-70s (more likely is that Bower wanted to introduce a Very Scary Attribute into his argument). Peter Oborne did his own analysis of the book and passed severely adverse comment upon it.

Bower claimed of the incident at the launch of the Chakrabarti report into allegations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, where activist Marc Wadsworth was later criticised for his comments about MP Ruth Smeeth, that Wadsworth had asserted Ms Smeeth was Jewish. Not only did he not say that - Oborne studied video of the event and consulted witnesses to confirm this - he did not know she was Jewish.

So it should have surprised no-one that there has been at least one legal action against the MoS, and Press Gazette brought the bad news yesterday. “Mail publisher Associated Newspapers has paid substantial damages over a ‘grotesque’ libel made against a non-profit Palestinian refugee group in its serialisation of a Jeremy Corbyn biography”.
Was this something picked up on at the time? Not one of the headline whoppers, it wasn’t. “The book, and one of the serialised extracts, contained the claim that the UK-based Palestinian Return Centre - and by extension its chairman Majed Al-Zeer - was ‘known to blame the Jews for the Holocaust’ … Harper Collins and Bower have already withdrawn the allegation, explaining that the author had relied on a contemporaneous newspaper report of the incident that had not been amended or corrected”. Bit late now.

And who acted for the PRC? “Carter-Ruck, representing the PRC, said the ‘grotesque but utterly false’ allegation had come from the misreporting in the media of comments made by a member of the audience at an event hosted by the PRC at the House of Lords in 2016 … The lawyers said: ‘Neither Mr Bower, the Mail nor Harper Collins … saw fit to properly verify the true position, nor to put the allegation to the PRC prior to publication”. Oh dear.

Carter Ruck means it was expensive. And not for those instructing Carter Ruck. So the MoS will have had to stump up an amount well north of £100,000 - maybe two or three times that - because Tom Bower was so keen to shit all over Corbyn that he didn’t bother to do his homework. Worse for the MoS and Harper Collins, there may be more to come.

But maybe that is not the point: perhaps the Murdoch mafiosi, along with Associated Newspapers, knew that Bower’s book might land them with a few lawsuits, and merely factored that in to their calculations. Calculations including how much damage publication would do to Corbyn’s image, which was probably the objective in the first place.

They could then settle claims after Labour lost the election. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Jaxster said...

On the Ruth Smeeth incident Rosa Doherty of the Jewish chronicle posted a video to twitter:
"Activist who accused Ruth Smeeth of colluding with media corners telegraphs Kate E McCann" filmed after the event: (link now defunct)

The video was very much the opposite of its title featured in many articles at the time. The key point for me was he said "how have I offended her" McCann says "She's jewish" Wadsworth says "Oh I didn't know that" When I pointed this out to Doherty she immediately deleted the video from twitter, Jewish Chronicle and her personal website.

The tweet is Archived but the video is not unfortunately

Anonymous said...

Standard Heil and Murdoch Scum-type fascist propaganda.

Been that way for forty years. Britain let it happen as Germany let the Nazis happen.

For what happens next...consult reliable history books. If you can find any.

Ferdy Fox said...

Well what did we expect from a "biography". The truth? Accuracy? Not words that come up too often from the Right.

Anonymous said...

The Nazis burned books, the left merely won't let you read them

Anonymous said...

@ 18:01.

You'll find tory "austerity"* cuts resulted in closed libraries.

*A euphemism for thievery on behalf of tax fraud tory chums. Not that you're remotely interested in reality. Mugs seldom are.

grim northerner said...

You don't post anything consistent with the position of being a pragmatic centrist, you're fooling no one Mr ukip.