Trolls are a new irritant in the political debate.
I have been swarmed by a group of them these past few days. Their mission is to set the agenda to match their cause with multiple messages. These were all tweets asking me to answer a catalogue of baseless charges in tweet replies. A university essay might be adequate but a 140 character reply would not satisfy.
Most were anonymous or of questionable origin, none were constituents and all pushed a case on an outrageously titled source LABOUR HATES JEWS. I initially thought it was a webssite as I two messages under that title. I am told that it is not a site but a word page.Whoever they have reached their conclusions and are thrashing around for evidence to justify it. Any tweet reply from me would have been rejected by the closed minds and more tweets would follow. If they were serious about a debate they would write to my blog or Facebook. But that is not what they are up to. The intention is to seize the agenda and use MPs' sites as platforms for their views. Like cuckoos laying their eggs in the nests of other birds.
They contain complete untruths that could become accepted facts such as the claim that I had said there are no anti-semites in the Labour Party. It's a complete invention. There are bigots, racists, anti-semites in all parties. In my experience there are higher proportions in the UKIP and Tory parties than in Labour Party. The trolls are convinced they are right by their claims of events that took place, or did not take place, many years ago. My judgement is based on 70 years of experience working in the Labour Party. I started at twelve. Their condemnation of some Labour Leaders is based on hearsay: mine is based on 30 years of friendship with them. Neither I nor them have an atom of racism/anti-semitism in our bodies.
To stop LHJ imposing their agenda on my sites, there is no practical defence except to shut the stable door and block them. Other trolls have attempted similar swarming in the past. To answer their fake enquiries would by a distraction, a waste of time and a neglect of the essential agenda that it is my duty to follow. Tories tried to raise irrelevant issues in the election campaign for the same reason, always off-piste. If this truly dreadful hate-filled website wishes to gain attention they can try to do it through their own sites and not mine. A supporter of this group is a constitent of mine who I have replied to many times with details of lifelong support of Israel, Jewish charities and my host of Jewish friends many of whom that I have known since childhood. All of this is dismissed by my constituent. She is unmoved that I have visited Israel 3 times, including a family holiday, wept at Yad Vashem, met Netanyahu and the widow of Yitzak Rabin and supported Youth Alliah. All is dismissed as meaningless. Being a member of the Labour Party condemns me in her eyes. There is no hope of reasoning with such granite prejudice.
Extra dirty tricks to create new invented grievances were a person complaining I had blocked a 'distinguished journalist' and a particular group, Not one of the 50 swarmers identified themselves as either. No journalist has EVER tried to contact me by tweets. All journalists know how to contact MPs directly. These were further ploys to create more baseless grievances to strengthen their complaint of victimhood. I stand firmly by my lifelong devotion to the politics of non-racism that started with leading a demo in Cardiff in 1953 against the banning of black US soldiers from the Victoria Ballroom.The level od debate was dire. One siad that 'Denial of anti-semitism in the Labour Party was equivalent to Holocaust denial. There is a mountain of evidence for one and rumour, prejudice and innuendo for the other. To conflate the two is absurd, I recommend the writer takes a course in logical thinking and a study of the difference between truth and propaganda.
Already the Labour Party and a Select Committee has conducted a thorough review of all the charges and the Chakrabarti report said they were much exaggerated.
The clear conclusion of the thorough Labour Party report was:
“The Labour Party is not overrun by antisemitism. … An occasionally toxic atmosphere is in danger of shutting down free speech within the Party rather than facilitating it, and is understandably utilised by its opponents.” A Commons Select Committee reached similar conclusions.
People were punished unfairly, others suffered because they were unjustly accused. Demanding that I should re-open another Joe McCarthy style hunt in the Labour Party originated by this bigoted group is futile. Prejudice is everywhere but to concentrate the attacks on one party is wrong. This group has tried to damage the Leader and Party by these accusations but the effects on the elections results were negligible. T
This group has tried to damage the Leader and Party by these accusations but the effect on the elections results were negligible. There are so many crucial issues to pursue.
This orange has been sucked dry.