Tweet Checking: Corbynstas Embarrassing Brexit Denial
Goethe famously wrote in his Elective Affinities: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” It’s an aphorism worth keeping in mind; however, the flipside to remember is that those who believe themselves hopelessly enslaved— even if they are relatively free — will end up following any messiah who promises freedom, regardless of the cost.
Political-ideological cults, just like religious ones, make people believe and do irrational things, as we will see…
5. Tom Simpson
I can’t help but think of Mark Pantano’s insistence—observed in this column—that a core part of conservative values is “instilling respect for women.” Ahem…
Now, there are many grounds on which to criticise Oprah’s hypothetical run for president: the fact that she is a billionaire with a cult of personality when one of those is already president; that she has built her television career on promoting pseudoscience and quackery that may have killed and psychologically damaged millions. But attacking her because of her weight—especially in light of everything that’s been going on the past few months—strikes me as the exact reason why we need to have an honest global conversation about the position of the half of the population.
4. George Aylett
In the wake of Corbyn’s announcement that single market membership after Brexit is impossible because apparently “the single market is not a membership club that can be joined” (somebody better tell Norway…and Iceland…and Switzerland…and Lichtenstein…), Corbynites have been rallying to try to defend dear leader’s rambling trains of bilge through whatever means possible.Aylett is one of the most prolific Corbynatics going on Twitter, so it made sense to see how he was coping, and he did not disappoint.
Now Aylett: how do you get that Remain voters will be alienated if we are in the SM outside the EU because “we lose influence”? That doesn’t make any sense; the EEA has rules dealing with this. And how do you get that Remainers would somehow be happier or more agreeable being outside the SM without EU membership? Being part of the EEA is making the best of a bad situation. A majority of all voters want to stay in the SM, while Corbyn saying that he wants to leave it is alienating an overwhelming majority of Labour voters. How can you not see that? Corbyn making a stand for hard Brexit is setting himself against an overwhelming majority of Labour members as well. I thought this new party—sorry, “movement”—was to be for the members and “For the many not the few”?
3. Matt Zarb-Cousin
Well…where were they then? I don’t know how Zarb-Cousin seriously thinks this takes the piss out of Corbyn’s opponents when it’s obvious that Corbyn’s total lack of engagement was a decisive factor in Leave winning, rallies or not (or maybe, you know, just not giving your side such a low rating).
There’s also no evidence at all holding all those mass rallies for the faithful influenced the 2017 general election outcome; I mean, come on, you don’t attend them if you’re not already probably going to vote Labour. No one’s ever going to look at those outpourings of submission and think: “Hmm, might be a nice day out for me and the kids while I try and decide who to vote for.”
2. Emina Ibrahim
What is it with Momentum and the media as a whole? An omission is a conspiracy; reporting something is a conspiracy; asking questions is a conspiracy; not asking questions is a conspiracy.
Here the vice chair of the organisation just goes all in for an outright misrepresentation: the article in question does in fact mention that “the ‘Williamson model’, as it was termed by activists, proposed freezing council tax for properties rated in Bands A to C, which were rated under 1991 valuations as worth less than £68,000.”
Why do they do this to themselves? I mean, I read the article long before I read this tweet and remembered this detail quite clearly. Did she really think she could get away with this just by not linking the original article in her tweet? Really, people should be talking about the fact that Willaimson got sacked, not because he disparaged claims of ant-Semitism, not because he lent support to Maduro and conspiracy theories while Venezuelan protestors were being shot, and not because he supported gender segregation on public transport, but because he actually proposed a policy both Corbynites and Corbynsceptics (myself included) actually liked.
1. Nigel Farage and Dan Hannon
These two need to be taken as one as the same because they rely on a fundamental falsehood: Virgin Trains has not “banned” the Daily Mail. If you head onto a Virgin Train holding a copy of the rag for which is the-reason-we-cannot-have-nice-things, you may be kept waiting for unreasonable amounts of time, or ripped off for intercity travel, but you will not be tackled to the ground and repeatedly pricked with an EU flag pin until you submit and purchase a copy of The New European. Virgin has merely stopped selling it themselves on their in-train shops.
The reasons Virgin gives boil down to two main points. Virgin’s own statement reads: “We’ve decided that this paper is not compatible with the [Virgin Trains] brand and our beliefs. We won’t be stocking the Daily Mail for sale or as a giveaway.” The Daily Mail in its own counterstatement admits that Virgin has only sold seventy copies a day on average on its train services; it wishes to free up space for more saleable products, as any business is expected to do so. (It’s also worth pointing out that the Daily Mail choosing to make such a big stink over so few papers may be connected to their crippling financial situation, also known as Failing Pile of Garbage syndrome.)
What really gets me though is that these two proponents of such an extreme libertarian vision of free market capitalism (for example, here and here) are effectively condemning a successful corporation for exercising its business rights, potentially inviting state intervention. Hayek must be spinning in his grave.
When it comes down to it, what we’re seeing here is two politicians, who have fed on controversy and attention for so long, struggling to remain relevant in a country that is beginning to reject them.
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.
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