IN mid-March, I wrote that socialists were politicising this coronavirus outbreak as a way to attack general government policy, and also the personalities in the government. This differs in the comments made elsewhere on this site as the socialists portray this pandemic as being the government’s fault and also that the government is somehow glorying in the carnage.
A prime example of the attack line of the socialists came from the Havant Constituency Labour Party (CLP) in Hampshire. Try to go on to their Facebook page. Have a look at their Twitter account. You can’t. Because they have gone. This is how this came to pass.
Someone in the CLP obtained copies of images produced by a professional artist, possibly without the artist’s permission or knowledge, which depict gory caricatures of Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, and some others depicting them as sharp-toothed ghouls with blood on their hands, reflecting the style of how Soviet propagandists portrayed their opponents during the Second World War. It is an example of how the socialist mindset is divorced from conventional thinking that these unsavoury images were approved to be posted on the CLP’s social media. Perhaps the CLP thought this would convince existing Labour voters to keep supporting the party, as well as attract floating voters. If this is the case, the Havant CLP has an uphill struggle. The constituency has been Conservative since its creation in 1983 and the MP, Alan Mak, has a majority of well over 21,000.
While the socialist faithful might have been encouraged by the blood-soaked imagery, others were decidedly not and shared their dislike with the CLP on Facebook. The U-turn by Labour over an hour is as comedic as the images were ghastly.
The first post was defiant, and remember this came from an official Labour Facebook account. ‘And I thought the left were meant to be the ‘snowflakes’ – seems a few on the right cannot handle some pictures or home truths. #snowflake #staying alert #COVID19.’ It was the kind of arrogance shown by lipstick communist Ash Sarkar any time she is in a TV studio. However this self-righteous arrogance did not last very long. The next post, just nine minutes later, repeated the text of the first, but added this qualification: ‘We took the post down because we realised that there are better ways to convey our message than to use those pictures, and we apologise.’ So according to Labour, the ‘right’ could still not handle home truths, but the blood-soaked images could have been ‘better’, it seems.
Twenty minutes after that, Havant CLP posted again, but now without the first portion jeering at the ‘right’. Four minutes after that, the message was repeated, but with Labour now apologising ‘for any offence caused’. One minute later, Labour changed their message again, saying ‘We apologise for the post, it has been taken down and that kind of thing will NEVER happen again. We apologise for any offence caused.’ It would be interesting to have listened in on the conversations behind this meltdown. Five minutes later this apology was repeated.
Havant CLP was not without controversy before this episode. The Labour candidate in Havant for the General Election was Rosamund Knight who is also secretary of Havant CLP. She was a last-minute replacement for a comedy blogger, Neil Kendall, who was deselected when Labour’s National Executive Committee felt his satirical activities somehow had ‘potential to damage the campaign’. More than Jeremy Corbyn did, it seems. There is no suggestion Kendall was behind the offensive graphics issued in the name of the Labour Party, however it does appear that the Havant CLP still do not understand what can cause damage to their campaigning.
I contacted Rosamund Knight on Twitter to ask her what was going on. Her reply was even more bland than Labour’s responses to anti-Semitism. ‘As you would expect, this is an internal matter and will be discussed accordingly.’
It’s actually a public matter. The open and proud posting of deliberately offensive material by a political party is hardly ‘internal’.
Over five hours later, Ms Knight gave the official response: ‘Recently a post was made on the havant labour [sic] page that was not appropriate. I am not responsible for that page and the person who was is being dealt with. I do not condone in any way what was posted, and the image was not created by anyone in Havant Labour Party, simply shared.’
Given Labour’s past performance on how party officials ‘dealt with’ members who posted anti-Semitic images online, dealing with the bigot who committed this deed might take some time. The secretary of the CLP also refuses to take any responsibility for the CLP’s social media. Also how very Corbyn of her not to apologise for something done in the name of her party.
Havant CLP are now circling the wagons. After a few excruciating hours of public humiliation, the local party have shut off or deleted their Facebook and Twitter accounts, which is a quite Stalinesque response. However the internet never forgets and there have been numerous screen captures of all the traffic. Labour are trying to pretend it never happened. It was Labour who in the end ‘cannot handle some pictures or home truths’.
It is unlikely that this episode will cause a dent in Labour’s support in Havant come the next election. However it is another reminder, if any is needed, of how appalling the activist base is in the Labour Party. These commercially-available images were considered acceptable campaign material by Labour Party officials, and were posted on official party social media for the appreciation by the voters of Havant presumably to attract voter support for socialist policies. Instead they merely confirm voters’ worst suspicions about the socialist mindset. Several people must have been involved. It may be too much to call for a root and branch investigation into this outrage, but it is clear that in the Labour Party, the root and branch are still rotten to the core.