Tweet Checking: Corbyn Single-Handedly Defeats UKIP, and Owen Jones on NeoLiberalism (Again)

I’ve talked before about why I hold the Left to a higher standard, but it still hurts to look at the list below and see nothing but leftists. To my mind, the left has traditionally been on the side of reason - whether it is LGBT rights or the environment. It was the left the used empirical evidence - on both on more - to advance progress.

The Left is of, course, not one body. Nor is Twitter anything but a microcosm of the wider debate. There have always been cranks (on both sides) but the difference now is that these guys are in charge; they have the loudest voice. Whereas before truth-deniers lurked on the outskirts of the debate. Now, they are centre stage.

So think of this column as a little bit like medicine. It can be tough to take but it is necessary.     

It never gets any easier, but I’m driven from within to do it. And my editor.

5. Devotopia

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All of which raises the question: if there is a vast BBC conspiracy to cover up the iniquities of Jeremy Hunt, then why report on it at all? Why not just ignore it, or do a complete utter spin of it, like suggesting that Hunt had been ruled ‘not guilty’ of the charges?

It’s yet another case of someone attacking the messenger rather than focusing on the flaws of the processes which allowed Hunt to get away scot-free with the mildest apology.

4. Owen Jones

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Yep. It’s also a Kit-Kat bar that’s broken before you open it, it’s a scratch on your new car door, it’s someone not holding a door for you: anything you find vexing, neoliberalism covers it.

Now I’m not someone who rejects neoliberalism wholesale as a paradigm of analysis—I myself see it in a lot of places in modern society, whether when applying the logic of austerity to national security, or in manifestations of identity politics—but in the way it’s used by many of those on what I like to call the “Luxury Left”, it has become a nebulous villain, a ghost that infests any given machine that isn’t working properly, a catch-all term more emotional disease than a product of political economy. Neoliberalism has had so much attributed to it to the extent that certain political scientists such as Colin Talbot suggest the entire concept may be just a myth (and got a lot of abuse for saying it).

I’ve pointed out before that Jones obviously just can’t handle theory.

The worst thing: believe it or not this was supposed to be a thread. (And it still exists.)

3. Sara Gilbert

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Bullshit.

Gilbert, who played Barr’s on-screen daughter, knew exactly what she was getting into when she signed onto the project: a woman with a public history of anti-black racism, Trumpism, and conspiracy theories. And all long before the new season  - and now final - of Roseanne was commissioned by ABC.

Gilbert may be upset by what Barr tweeted, but she was not too upset at what the actor had said before to prevent her from signing on to the project. Now the ride is over.

Gilbert knew exactly what Barr was capable of, but it just became harder to cover up the shit up.

And it seems that even after all that she might still get her own spin-off.

I’d quote George Carlin but, as he says, good manners don’t permit it.

2. Michael Segalov

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“Never done or said”?

What exactly counts as anti-semitism on Corbyn’s part, Segalov? Segalov, a columnist for Vice, has written about Corbyn defending that mural, and has insisted that the Labour leader wasn’t an anti-semite, but only because he was “inclined to believe” that he wasn’t because—as many, many other Corbynites have insisted time and time again—he is “a tireless anti-racist campaigner”. You end the piece in question: “I know that Jeremy Corbyn is no anti-Semite just as well as he does.” Mind-reading is a talent Segalov can add to his CV, it seems.

The only criteria it seems for believing that Corbyn is or isn’t an anti-semite is whether or not it’s politically convenient for him to be one or not.

Corbyn can be as friendly with Hamas and Hezbollah, or hang out with Holocaust deniers, as much as he likes, but to accuse him of anti-semitism is “bizarre and offensive”; he is simply too sacred in himself to even dare criticise. The possibility of him being an anti-semite is inconceivable, and people who even suggests it are, as Segalov wrote barely a year and a half ago now, “vile, dispicable [sic] chancers making a mockery of antisemitism”.

Again: this not a question for Segalov of truth in an accusation, it’s a question of political convenience.

  1. 1. Steve Howell

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Really? Corbyn single-handedly defeated UKIP? You mean it had nothing to do with the results of the referendum on EU membership nullifying the need for the party? Nothing to do with the fact that public support peaked long ago and the party is widely regarded as toxic? Nothing to do with the constant scandals and lack of real leadership?

Howell is a former Corbyn aide so has an obviously point of view.

It’s also ridiculous Anglo-centrism to try and directly compare the UK to Italy. For one thing, the former never suffered under either fascist rule or occupation (whereupon a collaborationist movement could thrive). In either case, there exists the seeds of a far-right revival. It’s also important to note that, unlike Germany, Italy never underwent a period of de-fascistisation—I remember visiting Sicily many years ago and seeing little statues of Mussolini for sale, like they were just any other trinket and not the representation of a mass murdering dictator. The UK has no analogue.

And the figures don’t bear anything out either: only 11% of 2015 UKIP voters actually voted for Labour in 2017, while 45% of them voted Tory. Further to this, Labour in 2017 was not only 4% behind the Tories with ABC1 voters, as you might expect, but it was 2% behind with C2DE (lower income) voters. By comparison, in 2015, Ipsos recorded that the two parties were roughly even-stevens among C2 voters but that Labour had a whopping 14% lead among DE voters. So the great movement towards Labour came from the better off where the Tories lost their advantage.

If the whole Corbynite project was meant to sure up working-class support, the workers haven’t got the memo yet.

More about the author

About the author

Harris Coverley writes the Tweet Checking column for Disclaimer and is constantly looking for readers to help him correct the worst of internet. No stupidity or falsehood is too great a challenge.

He lives in Manchester and holds an MA in Intellectual History from UCL. He also writes short fiction and poetry, the former of which only Disclaimer has had the good sense to publish.

Follow Harris on Twitter.

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