‘Job done’ — Jessica Elgot and Guardian
This week’s bright and bushy tailed article by Jessica Elgot illustrates why fewer people on the left now read the Guardian.
Let’s get some context here. There were totally unacceptable posts which appear to have been published in Palestine Live, a Facebook group. David Collier collected these awful posts and published a ‘dirty dossier’. I say ‘appear’ because David Collier, a well-known extremist Zionist blogger (with an over detailed and rather tiresome pseudo-academic style) is the author of this dossier and someone whose work is, in my opinion, not to be taken at face value.
Collier’s real targets of course were not the admins of the FB group, but Officers of the non-Zionist Jewish group Jewish Voice for Labour, the anti-Zionist Free Speech on Israel, myself, Baroness Tonge, a couple of MPs and of course Jeremy Corbyn, who all appear to have taken very little active part in Palestine Live as far as I can see (wading through the dossier was tortuous and I may have dozed a bit).
Jessica Elgot (Guardian journalist) speedily publishes the story as soon as it’s released, not bothering to research Collier’s background (or perhaps she does? perhaps she knows him already?). There’s barely a deviation from Collier’s content. She simply translates his smears into Guardian-speak, endorsing Collier’s mixture of ‘some’ truth, fake news and smears to give the blogger an authenticity that should embarrass any serious newspaper.
You might ask, surely Elgot, before she reproduced Collier, must have done some digging? I mean lessor mortals find it near impossible to get the ear of a Guardian journalist! Well, you might think that, but it would appear you would be wrong (thanks at this point for the research of Steve Cooke).
Collier is a well-known face in pro Palestinian meetings. According to reporter Asa Winstanley, “Collier’s blog contains a considerable amount of virulently anti-Palestinian racism”. But it’s not Collier’s style to disrupt meetings in the way so many extreme pro-Israel activists do. Collier instead prefers to go covertly, wearing a false beard (I kid you not), accompanied at times (bizarrely, given the potential for volatility in these meetings) by his around 10 year old son and wife, in order to twist truth and re-package events to fit his warped view of the world.
Given the story of Corbyn Collier has manufactured it’s more than interesting that since 4 August 2016 he’s been a member of a 27,000-member Facebook group called ‘International Community’.
Anti-semitic and Holocaust denial content is regularly posted in International Community, alongside Islamophobic material (as well of course as entirely innocuous posts). For example:
There are in fact many examples of hate speech on the page, including the posts above, none of which appear to have been challenged by Collier.
Debra R Cohen added Collier to International Community. As can be seen from the screenshots, Cohen has expressed genocidally anti-Muslim views in the group, which again Collier doesn’t appear to have challenged.
Let’s be more generous than Elgot or Collier, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt — let’s say Collier ‘didn’t notice’ the many offensive posts. After all, people are added to groups all the time and it can be difficult to keep track of what’s happening on FB pages. But we should reflect at this point that Corbyn’s ‘active participation’ in the ‘Palestine Live’ group, which ended some years ago, amounted to no more than replying to a couple of posts where someone tagged him. Given Collier’s involvement in such an anti-semitic, racist group, how can any serious journalist accept what he says in his dirty dossier, in particular as he targets Corbyn and his supporters for (some might say) lessor failings?
Now to Collier’s laughable attacks on me (echoed by Elgot in the Guardian). Apparently, Elgot says, “In one post, Walker appears to ask: “How safe is this group? to which the group’s founder, Elleanne Green, replied: “Very. No one is allowed in who is not trusted. I am very very careful, it is a secret group.”
Yup — I asked that. Yes, like many people I’m a member of a number of Facebook groups, some public (like my own page), some secret and others closed. Given the level of harassment and smears from Collier and his ilk, is it surprising that I asked the question? Given the level of harassment and smears from Collier and his ilk and their apparent easy access to the main stream media, to the disciplinary processes of the Labour Party, is it surprising that people on the left seek a private space to speak to each other?
Elgot then gave a reason for my current suspension. Now, you would think she should know the reason, after all she has been writing about me for nearly two years. Why then did she choose to fabricate (perhaps the wrong word), let’s say, not bother checking her facts when she wrote (another piece of) libel about me in this article? Why, even after I contacted the Guardian, though they removed the libel, was there no apology forthcoming?
For 2 years the Guardian, no doubt for its own editorial reasons, has done what it could to destabilise Corbyn and promote the idea that Labour has a significant anti-semitism problem. Doesn’t matter that all evidence says the contrary. The Guardian chooses NEVER to check a story about me …. with me….and blocks the publication of article after article, including from me, that would counter the narrative they have obviously decided to promote.
So Elgot removes her earlier libel — no apology — never mind, job done you might think. No, because the Guardian goes on, blinded and dumb to the racism it (at least through complicity) promotes, doing what it can to undermine the Left and squeeze out concern for oppressed minorities. You see the Guardian espouses ‘liberal’ ideals while at the same time acting as gate keepers, blocking free speech that would enable any real balance of opinion getting out to a readership hungry for the truth, hungry to know what is happening in the Labour party on all forms of racism, including anti-semitism.
I can’t help but note at this point, that for all the newsworthiness of the Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) Jeremy Newmark being investigated by police over, I believe, substantial missing funds from two Jewish organisations (including from the JLM, an organisation affiliated to the Labour Party, a group that many believe have been central in stoking false allegations of anti-semitism), the Guardian passes over this story. Instead the Guardian chooses to publish garbage from Collier rather than deal with the real scandals in the Labour Party around race; the victimisation of anti-zionist Jews, the police investigations of Jeremy Newmark and the decreasing representation of people of colour. It tell us everything we need to know about the newspaper.
What purpose, you may well ask, does publicising Collier’s dirty dossier have? Looks to me it’s an obvious; ‘job done.’