Tweet Checking: Left-Wing "Fake News", Conspiracies Only End Up Helping the Right
Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I’m sick to death of concentrating on tweets by left-wingers—and yet here I am again, mostly leftists.
Maybe it’s because I dohold the Left to a higher standard than the Right, not in spite of being a socialist, but because I am a socialist. We’re the Left! We’re supposed to be on the right side of history, be the forces of progress, the movers of justice, the users of reason and the empirical. We should always hold ourselves to a higher standard—or else history will not. It also goes without saying, that when we have shut down our facilities of self-criticism in the past, very bad stuff has tended to happen.
It’s also probably because bad ideas and notions ultimately hurt the Left and help the Right. Whether it be conspiracies, fake news, factoids, bad rhetoric, or mud-slinging, all it does is feed into right-wing assertions—sometimes unfortunately accurate—of leftist hysteria, intolerance, and untrustworthiness.
Now of course all those things exist on the Right, often in far more hideous a form (as we’re about to see), but taking out the rubbish always has to begin at home, something certain people just don’t seem to get.
5. Barbara Ehrenreich
There are many tweets like this, but I thought that a doctored cellular biologist who has written renowned books on topics as varied as the low wage economy in America and the sinister happiness industry would have more sense than this.
Does she not know that there are parts of the world outside of the United States? Does she not know a chemical weapons attack has occurred in Douma? Does she not know that this has been regularly occurring since 2014, supposedly after Assad’s chemical weapons programme had been decommissioned? Does she not know that France has been the real driver of the strikes?
However, she still isn’t as bad as the (disturbing number of) people who think May masterminded the strikes to help the Tories in the local elections…even though a plurality of Britons did not agree with the strikes before they took place.
4. John Prescott
Maybe because they’re the opposition and Hammond is the current Chancellor of the Exchequer? News organisations have to prioritise, and given Labour seems to be constantly changing its policy positions and is in a perpetual state of internal disagreement over what varied policy actually is, I’d say just giving it an article is the adequate method of information dispersal for such a minor course of action by a party that doesn’t yet hold power (and may never at this rate).
It also never makes sense to accuse the BBC of ignoring something or covering something up by sharing an article by them reporting on that something.
3. Paul Weston
Yeah, a Cabinet filled with Sajid Javid, Priti Patel…oh wait, those people already are or have been members of the Cabinet, and British civilisation did not collapse. This is not to defend Javid and Patel and their pitiful roles in May’s chaotic administration; it just goes to show that when you judge someone by their race and not by their politics you end up looking like a fool. I may not care much for Abbott or Shah, but I’m going to stick to their policy positions and stated beliefs not their ethnic background when attacking them.
Weston is most famous for being arrested for shouting handpicked remarks on Islam made by Churchill (Churchill’s actual relationship with Islam was in fact much more complex, almost becoming a Muslim at one point), and for fronting one of the few candidates in the by-election for Jo Cox’s seat after her assassination (and gaining less than half the seats of the BNP candidate). He’s recently moved from being more UKIP on meth with his now defunct Liberty GB outfit and more of an out-and-out white nationalist.
What always gets me with this white nuts is that they’re totally obsessed with non-white children…as though the kids are somehow to blame, but also I can’t help but imagine the perverse fantasies of domination they must be having. Eegh, Christ, now I need a shower…
2. Paul Mason
Can you see the problem here? 932 people on Twitter couldn’t.
It’s not just that Labour definitely did say yes to Iraq in 2003—and again in 2014—it’s also that such an extremely narrow view completely ignores all the other “yeses” to intervention (and self-defence) in Labour Party history: yes to Libya, yes to Kosovo, yes to Bosnia, yes to Sierra Leone, yes to Kuwait, yes to Afghanistan, and yes to the Falklands. And don’t let members of the current Shadow Cabinet ignore their own previous “yeses” too.
There are far more “yeses” than “nos” in the post-War era history of Labour, and most of the time they were the right call.
1. Owen Jones
Except that is exactly what you did, because thankfully Tom Doran saved the previous tweet you’ve since deleted:
“voted for Hitler’s Enabling Act on the basis they’d get concessions”
Seems pretty much a clear cut accusation of cause-and-effect to me.
In his deep fear of the potential for a new centrist party (I’m not holding my own breath by the way), Jones has not even attacked the actions of an actual centrist/liberal party: the Centre Party were (and it seems still are) a bunch of Political Catholics of the most regressive kind, supporting a mixture of moral conservatism, anti-Polonism, and state monopoly capitalism that very much jelled with the Nazi ethic.
This foolishness and seemingly wilful lack of historical understanding is the reason why the Left can never have nice things…
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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