Actions speak louder than words

james barrowmanJames Barrowman notes that while Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly said he’s opposed to intimidation and bullying, there’s a mismatch between his words and his actions.


It’s not every day that the leader of a major political party alights on the eccentric disciplinary technique of phoning one of his MPs’ dads. So it’s hardly surprising that the allegation that Jeremy Corbyn did so in relation to Conor McGinn squeezed out the rest of Mr McGinn’s statement on the Labour leader. That was regrettable, because McGinn’s statement contained another allegation which appears to be just as revealing about Mr Corbyn’s attitude to intimidation.

On 17th July, a Twitter user with the username @frankryan1936 tweeted:

@connorMcGinn @jeremycorbyn I must name Conor MvGinn from South Armagh as a traitor to our leader JC McGinn is no longer welcome in Camlough

Camlough, in County Armagh, is Conor McGinn’s home village. The Twitter account which posted this message was apparently named after the IRA member pictured on the profile, which may be thought to give a more sinister slant to the implied threat.

Anonymous Twitter trolls are, of course, an unfortunate fact of modern life, even when they don’t adopt the guise of deceased paramilitaries. What made the tweet noteworthy was that, four days before it was sent, the same individual had tweeted this photo and text:

With JC,Martin and the core team at the NEC last night, we felt elated, hale hale,we shall not be moved #justSociety

The NEC meeting in question, of course, would have been that which decided to put Mr Corbyn on the leadership ballot without requiring nominations. The obvious implication is that the individual behind @frankryan1936 is pictured in the photograph, alongside Mr Corbyn.

Both tweets were copied by Mr McGinn to Mr Corbyn, along with the perfectly reasonable request that he would like to be made aware of the responsible party. If the photo was what it appeared to be, after all, it would seem reasonable to assume that Mr Corbyn either knew who was in it, or could find out without too much difficulty. Both tweets were then deleted by @frankryan1936, although they can still easily be retrieved online.

Now, it may be that Mr Corbyn was genuinely unable to help. It may be that he was an innocent bystander in a photograph relating to something else entirely. It may be that @frankryan1936 was lying about being in the photograph, perhaps because he was one of those MI5 agents so beloved of Len McCluskey. Any of these explanations would be fair enough, although they would beg the question of why, therefore, the tweets had been deleted.

If one of those explanations had applied, though, you would have expected Mr Corbyn to have at least indicated to Mr McGinn (who remains, let us remember, one of Mr Corbyn’s whips) that this was the case. In his recent statement, however, Mr McGinn notes in relation to the episode that “I have not had any answer from Jeremy about his relationship with this person or an explanation about how s/he obtained the photograph”. So, clearly, Mr Corbyn has not bothered to assist Mr McGinn in any way whatsoever.

A pattern seems to be emerging. Fellow anoraks will recall that, at the recent launch of the party’s report on anti-semitism and racism, Marc Wadsworth, then a Labour party member, made an intervention implying that Ruth Smeeth, a Jewish Labour MP, was colluding with a journalist from the Daily Telegraph. Opinions differ as to whether his remarks were actually anti-semitic, or merely offensive and inappropriate. In any event, they prompted Ms Smeeth to get up and leave the event: reports stated that she was in tears.

Video of the press conference shows that all of this happened in front of Mr Corbyn, while he had a microphone. But rather than standing up for his MP, or condemning Mr Wadsworth, Mr Corbyn instead answered his question as if nothing had happened. Further footage of the event shows that, once it had come to an end, Mr Wadsworth gleefully made a beeline for Mr Corbyn, who smilingly chatted away to him, again as if nothing had happened, with Mr Corbyn at one point noting that he’d sent Wadsworth a text.

So, there have been two recent occasions where Labour MPs have been subject to unacceptable conduct in a public forum by one of Mr Corbyn’s supporters, where he could have done something about it, but where he actually did nothing at all, and indeed gave no indication that he saw it as a problem.

Mr Corbyn is perfectly entitled to protest that he is unable to control all of those who dish out intimidation and abuse in his name. To be fair, it would be unrealistic to expect that he could. Members are, though, equally entitled to place more weight on his actions than on his words. They may ask why, when Mr Corbyn was in a position to personally do something about intimidation and abuse, he chose not to, not once, but twice. And they may well conclude that he is either insincere about addressing intimidation and abuse, or that he rather lacks the will to do so when he has the chance. For a leader, I’m not sure which is worse.

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24 thoughts on “Actions speak louder than words

  1. “James Barrowman notes that while Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly said he’s opposed to intimidation and bullying, there’s a mismatch between his words and his actions.”

    This entire insurrection is one great big exercise in bullying and intimidation. Jeremy Corbyn is the democratically elected leader of the Labour party by a huge margin of support but the extremist right wing Red Tory fringe cult within don’t like the idea of Labour once again taking on social democracy as its ideology so they cooked up a PLP rebellion trying desperately to bully and intimidate Corbyn into leaving but unfortunately for your pathetic little fringe cult you seriously underestimated his strength and resolve.

    This unadultered pish is just another example of that bullying and intimidation and its getting more desperate and nasty as it sees itself fail to the point where you going to be forced into breaking away and starting your own party from scratch with no space left on the political spectrum to take root and gather support from.

    A party surplus to requirements and already supperceded by other established right wing extremists.

    You clowns are going nowhere but to oblivion on a bus you’re driving yourselves.

  2. This is nicely timed to go along with Owen’s lack of patriotism jibes this morning.

    Owen’s won’t be termed a smear though, through some contortions and convulsions we’ll be told that it’s just an opinion, nothing to see here.

    You have a handful of nutters abusing the Anti-Corbs but the whole PLP machinery discrediting JC, you do the math.

  3. eta. There is no evidence anything said by Wadsworth to Smeetn was anti-Semitic, I suspect you know this yet still carry on with your SMEARS.

    What was that email of the abuse hotline again?

  4. Ive noticed that the Red Tory sympathetic media have changed their story from Brick thrown through Angela Eagles window to brick thrown through window of building where Angela Eagle has an office.

    If yer going to try to convince people your being intimidated its best not to make up stories and lie yer worthless arses off over incidents that don’t show actual intimidation because if it ever did happen folk would just accuse you of crying wolf too many times.

    This smells like the kind of smear campaign McTory McTernan or McTory McDougall would run.

  5. You can only stand back at the sides lines and gape in incredulous awe at Red Tory Blairites accusing others of anti Semitism when to a man and women they participated in some of the most extremist forms of anti Semitism on par with the Holocaust in Iraq Afghanistan Syria and Libya.

    And still are!

    Self awareness is not a Red Tory Blairite virtue it seems.

  6. James Barrowman takes to the stage as a modern day Brutus sticking the knife into Jeremy’s back with great aplomb and what makes his assertions on our terrific grass roots leader Jeremy even worse is that Jeremy has a place in history for his small contribution to the peace process in that he spoke to the people who were classed as the enemy and so welcomed them to settle hostilities by peaceful means so the difference between people like Jeremy and James Barrowman and Mr McGinn is that Jeremy has the cojones to tackle the big issues.

  7. Haud the bus—–weren’t John Reid and Gordon Brown accused of bullying toward staff over the years? In fact, isn’t it a trait in most, or all, mainly masculine occupations for alpha males to dominate others ( and they don’t do it with hugs )?
    Werent Labour whips NOTORIOUS for threats and intimidation of backbenchers?
    Isnt this all just cheap and nasty gutter smears against what we were told, only days ago, was a “decent man”?

    1. Its classic McTory McTernan. And Duncie poo took time to deny McTory is part of Owen Smiths campaign.

  8. I’m bewildered by this article. Where’s the evidence to back up the thesis? There’s a lot of speculation and unsupported insinuation. I don’t see any actual evidence. You might be forgiven for thinking it was just another attempt at smearing Corbyn?

    1. Erm, the evidence is in the tweets shown in the pictures. What’s your confusion?

      1. As evidence goes, it’s pretty weak, Dunc.
        Deleted tweets that can still be easily accessed. An apparently random photo, which might or might not contain the mysterious bad guy.
        Yup, there is all the “proof” a lynch mob would need, no more.

        1. The argument from Joe wasn’t that the evidence was weak (which is your opinion), it was that it didn’t exist. It clearly does exist.

          1. All the evidence (what little evidence there is ) shows, is that there are some pretty creepy people in Labour these days—-on what side they sit is more difficult to judge.

            My view is that there are people who would be happy to destroy Labour, in the hope of rebuilding it as the political vehicle they desire.
            And I believe they are on BOTH sides of this argument, and it may be that neither succeeds and it will be the historians who pick over the bones.

      2. So this evidence of abuse from so called Corbynites is based on Tweets from unknown Twitter accounts that anybody and his dog could set up? Is that right Duncan?

        1. If the account is not linked to someone JC knows he would surely have said so when one of his whips asked him. It is the lack of an answer to that question which forms the most substantial piece of evidence.

          1. Duncan you rarely answer any questions posed to you and on the rare occasions you do you take the opportunity you deliberately lie yer arse off. So now yer telling us you don’t answer because you’re guilty of something.

            A non answer to a question is an automatic indisputable proof of guilt? Seriously?

            You get more rabid by the day.

  9. On the issue of alleged intimidation Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North has just had his allegations comprehensively debunked. Evidence includes email, eyewitness testimony, and video. This is not a question of differences in interpretation of events, rather Mr McGinn’s accusations are shown to have been wholly fictitious.

    1. This appears to be a reference to a completely different incident not even mentioned in this article. Now why would you try to mislead people like that, I wonder? And why is an avowed nationalist campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn?

      1. Is he campaigning? I didn’t read that from his posting.

        I thought like the clarification of the Angela Eagles “brick” he was adding to the debate. Mind you, maybe it only appears he is trying to clarify..

        1. He’s referencing a completely different incident not one mentioned in this blog. How does that clarify? It confuses. And it’s deliberate. And he is a nationalist who campaigns against Labour.

          1. But he’s making a very valid point.

            It further compounds the notion that there is indeed those within the PLP who will act dishonestly to further their cause. McGinn, Malhotra to named 2 ‘found out’ today.

      2. The article produces no evidence of the origins of any abuse to anybody yet it does lead with an accusation without proof.
        Where is its credibility and authenticity? How do we even know it was written by James Barrowman?

    2. Christian,
      In the rule book of the traitor there are no rules. They dont want to hear stories about intimidation that go both ways. There is only one side that intimidate. Its all black and white in a conspiracy.
      “This appears to be a reference to a completely different incident not even mentioned in this article”. In Duncan’s world, what right have you got to balance the argument? What right have you got to have an opinion? ” why is an avowed nationalist campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn?”
      Duncan just does’nt get it. Duncan thinks politics is a factual science. He is never wrong. If you dont agree with him you must be stupid.
      I find this funny, here we are Christian not Labour supporters but interested enough to point out how unfair and how destructive this never ending attack on a decent man who happens to be the elected leader of the Labour party is having. And what thanks do we get? (You dont need to answer that).
      If only Duncan and his coconspirators including Kezia Dugdale realised how foolish they are. There can be no healing of the wounds after this putsch has been surpressed. Those that cannot accept Jeremy Corbyn now have only one course of action left to them if Labour members back their elected leader again.

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