Tweet Checking: The Corbyn Left Are Spreading as Much Brexit Bullshit as the Tories
Windrush is the scandal that won’t die, and after the Channel Four debate on immigration last Friday, I did a little digging around and found an interesting 2007 quote from Liam Byrne, then immigration minister for the sitting Labour government: "What we are proposing here will, I think, flush illegal migrants out. We are trying to create a much more hostile environment in this country if you are here illegally. We have to make Britain much less of an attractive place if you are going to come here and break the rules."
Windrush, as well as the scandal of Brexit, with all the lies and bullshit flying about (just see below), are collaborative efforts between the two main parties. You can kick and scream that the Labour of now is the party of “Honest Jez”, the spin has gone, “kinder gentler”, and all that bilge, but that does not bode well in the face of the facts.
I’m not partisan; I haven’t been a member of a political party for over seven years. I’m going to stop apologising for attacking the Left, because such distinctions between Left and Right in the face of the cultism and jingoism that has arisen in this country over the past few years have made them ever more arbitrary, if not irrelevant.
I stand athwart history, yelling: “Pack it in!”
5. Angela Rayner
The problem is Rayner, Corbyn kinda already did that back in February: “We will use funds returned from Brussels after Brexit to invest in our public services and jobs of the future, not tax cuts for the richest.” He said this with a straight face.
No one’s hands are clean here: Labour is telling as many untruths about Brexit as the Tories, and public accountability has totally broken down.
4. Mike Huckabee
The most pressing issue in America no doubt: bigotry against white people from Arkansas who work for oppressive administrations. Brings a tear to your eye…
Huckabee’s cries of “bigotry” against a business’s choice to kick his daughter out might carry more weight if he hadn’t in the past declared the bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein—who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple—“heroes in the fight for #ReligiousLiberty.”
His daughter doesn’t seem to get the irony, and neither seem to understand that being gay is not a choice, serving in an authoritarian administration is.
3. Steve Howell
You mean politicians like Caroline Lucas and David Lammy? Yes, Cable and Soubry were there (although I don’t know how the tax plans of the former count as “neoliberalism”), but what the partisan mind of tweeting heads like Howell can’t seem or don’t want to understand is that Brexit is a transpartisan issue that resonates across the political spectrum. Turns out that McDonnell can collaborate with the other side as much as he wants without any comment, but then again, he is Dear Leader’s right-hand man.
Howell is of the seemingly unkillable and patronising school of thought that the reason that Leave voters voted the way they did was not because of immigration fears but because they were secretly making a stand against neoliberalism. It’s a central tenant of Corbynite electoral theology. But of course theology is not sociology: fear of immigration drove Brexit—this is essentially the closest thing to a sociological fact.
And I think asking where the Leader of the Opposition is when 100,000 people—one of the largest protests of the decade so far—turn out against government policy is a perfectly legitimate question. But I think it’s also fair to say that really many of the marchers were protesting him as much as May.
(And yes, I know he was in Jordan visiting a refugee camp, but it seems like there’s always a convenient excuse for him not to be there. He always has to be off somewhere stroking his humanitarian ego, getting photo opportunities with the victims of his friends.)
2. Liam Young
In his tedious thread, Young at no point cites any study or poll to back up his claim that young voters “deny” Brexit is an important political concern. In fact, someone directly cites stats against his assertion—and he stills tries to wiggle out of it.
But then again, this is a man who thought that young people didn’t care about travelling, and when the British Electoral Study disproved “Youthquake”, he still asserted it (well, we don’t want bookales to go down do we?).
I also can’t get over this idea that leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, never mind the EU itself, won’t have a disastrous knock-on effect on all those things Young would rather be talking about.
1. Donald Trump
You can already tell it’s coming, but there are really two parts to this one.
Firstly, of course, not only is it not the case that crime in Germany is “up 10%”, the German crime rate in 2018 is not only down “5.1 percent over the previous year”, it’s at its lowest since 1992.
And second, and more curiously I’d say, there is the eternal struggle of Trump with the English language: “officials do not want to report these crimes”
It’s my understanding that members of the public report crimes to officials, and they record them, not the other way around.
You could be kind to him and suggest what he was really trying to say was that officials are somehow covering up crimes, apparently of immigrants. Not only is there no evidence of that (not that that’s ever stopped him before), such a thing is virtually impossible: when a crime is reported, it’s the crime that’s reported, not the status of the criminal. Is Trump is seriously suggesting that officials are going through crime reports and negating those that they determine were committed by an immigrant? Probably…
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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