By Ben Pensant
As the Labour conference draws to a close – both the best one EVER and the only one I’ve been to – it’s becoming increasingly hard to pick a highlight from the weekend. Most delegates arrived in Liverpool still buzzing from Jezza’s crushing victory over PLP ponce Owen Smith, blissfully unaware of the iconic moments still to come – Len McClusky lying through his nose, Diane Abbott calling 17 million Leave voters thick racists and the unexpected appearance of Peter Kay’s brilliant new character, roly-poly militant Max Shanley. But by far the greatest overall highlight has been not so much a moment as a theme: unity. And not your common-or-garden unity neither – I’m talking about REAL unity, the type that’s only possible once we’ve shamed, ostracised and de-selected all those MPs we disagree with.
Because coming together is the goal now, and one that our Dear Leader rammed home in his triumphant closing address which I watched in my hotel room with a sense of awe and unbridled joy I’ve not felt since the Oldham West & Royston by-election (Note to self: when the next conference comes around best make a trip to Superdrug and stock up on extra towels, wet-wipes and Savlon just in case his speech is even more beautiful than this year’s). The reason I wasn’t in the hall witnessing St Jezza’s words to the wise is too dull to go into, but needless to say if it wasn’t for an over-zealous security guard searching my bag on Tuesday Tom Watson would have had left the stage with more than just a metaphorical shit-eating grin on his face. Ever seen Salo, Or The 120 Days Of Sodom? You have been warned, fatso.
But we had too much fun to let Watson spoil it with his deluded talk of trying to win elections instead of attending demos, waving placards and writing gushing poetry with all the poise and elegance of My Uncle Billy Had A Ten Foot Willy. And he won’t stop us from pushing for unity either, unity we’re willing to display by allowing those we’ve smeared, abused and threatened back into the Momentum Magic Circle just as long as they tow the line. And one person who appears to be on board with this is none other than Guardian columnist, saviour of the working-class and practicing homosexual Owen Jones.
You may remember the celebrity Marxist was cast out of the Corbynite bubble in July after taking the PLP pound and withdrawing his support for the Dear Leader. However, it seems he’s been working around the clock to claw back his left-wing street cred. Having been instructed by Momentum top brass to refuse to read anything by Owen after his shocking betrayal we all got used to not having to think about him other than to send him the odd death threat or call him a ‘Blairite bell-end’ on Twitter. But unbeknownst to us he was slowly but surely writing piece after piece explicitly designed to curry favour with the regressive left. And he appears to have pulled it off with a handful of Guardian columns that couldn’t be more regressive if they were stitched onto Michael Moore’s enormous back with hair plucked from the head of Noam Chomsky by a gang of Bolivian guerrillas.
Indeed, he’s spent his time in exile tackling hate crime, post-Brexit racism and Channel 4’s attempts to smear leading Momentum figures as far-left entryist wank-splats by secretly filming them admitting to being far-left entryists and acting like wank-splats. And what a joy it’s been to see him back doing what he does best; scaremongering, misrepresenting statistics and telling us how revolting and oppressive it is to live in one of the most tolerant liberal democracies on the planet. It’s just a shame he’s decided to remind us what he’s capable of this late in the game when we’ve already started planning his show trial, imprisonment and public execution.
But hey, when 2020 comes around we’re gonna need a gulag the size of Wembley stadium to house everyone who’s ever said anything bad about St Jezza so we’re always willing to negotiate. And as luck would have it Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson has recently put himself forward for internment by drawing rude pictures of the Dear Leader then taking a hissy fit when people attacked him for it. The last thing we’ll need in Corbyn’s Britain is an artist wandering around thinking it’s perfectly okay to depict the prophet so perhaps a one in/one out ethos may just save Owen’s bacon. It certainly won’t harm his chances if he keeps writing crowd-pleasing columns with titles like ‘Not All Men Commit Abuse Against Women. But All Must Condemn It’.
In which Owen set his stall out with this no holds barred opening line: ‘The Failure of men to speak out against male violence against women and girls renders us all complicit’. That’s right: me, you, your dad, your brother, Santa Claus, Paul O’Grady and that little old bloke who plays the keyboard downstairs at the Monument Metro station. Everyone of us are to blame for violence against women whether we’ve commited it or not, spoke out or remained silent. It’s refreshing that Owen is so willing prove his regressive credentials he thinks nothing of holding an entire group responsible for the actions of a small minority, despite the fact he’s spent most of his career telling the rest of us we shouldn’t do that. Indeed, it’s worth remembering this isn’t the first time Owen has bravely gone against his principles in order to rack up those SJW points.
Earlier this year after posh fop Zac Goldsmith was trounced in the London Mayoral election by Sadiq Khan, Owen took to print to vent his anger at the racist campaign ran by Goldsmith. Zac’s heinous crime was to smear Khan as someone who has defended, supported and associated with extremists by providing factual demonstrable evidence of Khan defending, supporting and associating with extremists. But Owen was having none of it as he raged against ‘a campaign soaked in racism’ and bemoaned the fact that London was offered ‘fear, smear and bigotry’ by Goldsmith for having the temerity to bring up Khan’s links to the ISIS-supporting anti-Ahmadiyya imam Suuliman Ghani and Yusuf al-Qaradwi, the Egyptian Islamic theologian with some delightful views about Jews, gays and women. Happily, Khan’s team managed to brush away the former by finding a selfie Gani took of himself and Goldsmith in the street which was deemed enough by the likes of Jones to put the matter to bed once and for all.
As for his associations with Qaradawi, it shows what a tawdry campaign this was that the best they could throw at Khan was the fact that in 2004 he claimed Qaradawi was ‘not the extremist he is painted as’ and issued a statement through the Muslim Council Of Britain – whose legal committee Khan was chair of at the time – alleging a smear campaign against the harmless scholar orchestrated by the Zionist lobby and the BBC. Surprise, surprise. Indeed, a few minutes of Googling reveals that Khan was bang on and Qaradawi is indeed no extremist: his support for suicide bombings and female genital mutilation may seem extreme to uneducated Brexiteers, but any decent liberal can see it is softened by his progressive belief that gays should merely be ‘lashed’ rather than killed and wife-beating is acceptable as long as the husband ‘avoids her face and other sensitive areas’. So ‘break her arms but don’t touch the tits’ seems to be the sensible rule of thumb and who but the most uncultured Essex Man could find fault with that?
In the current hysterical climate some may argue that Owen should also be condemning Khan for defending a man who appears to have a bit of an issue with Jews. But Owen has already done quite enough on that score by, in his own words, ‘confronting anti-Semitism on the left’. By ‘confronting’ he actually means ‘coming to the conclusion that anti-Semitism is bad but actually there’s not that much of it on the left anyway and ooh look at that Islamophobia over there!’. Much in the same way he bravely spoke out against Putin apologism earlier this year by urging liberals to condemn the human-rights abusing combover oligarch, even listing those who have defended and indulged him such as Trump, Farage, Le Pen and Blair. Curiously, this roll-call of shame framed Western support for Putin as a predominantly right-wing phenomenon, neglecting to include the names Corbyn, Galloway, Livingstone, Milne or any of the other left-wingers who have spent the last decade earning small fortunes appearing on Putin’s state-controlled propaganda station Russia Today. This was clearly a word-count issue though, and nothing to do with Jones living up to his reputation for ignoring stuff that destroys his narrative. And even if it wasn’t: Corbyn et al are allowed to be soft on Russia because they’re more wholesome than Trump and Farage. And if they did so it was obviously for reasons of principle and not just because they’ll align themselves with any repugnant regime that hates the West no matter how authoritarian it is. Jeez, have you been living under a rock?
Also, if people took the time to some research on the supposedly extremist Qaradawi they’d realise his views about the holocaust are remarkably open-minded: he doesn’t say it never happened, just that it was ‘exaggerated’. For Jezza’s sake, the bloke simply said Jews lied about their own genocide and suggested men should show a bit of chivalry when they’re assaulting women by leaving the kisser unmarked and the Islamophobes call him an extremist (?). Which is even more hypocritical as it’s common knowledge that non-Muslim wife-beaters think nothing of leaving their women with visible black eyes and bust lips. Perhaps it’s they who should be wearing veils instead of shoving their bruised noses in our faces. All of which sums up our prejudiced society to a tee. Khan was absolutely right when he said Qaradawi wasn’t the extremist he was painted as and no amount of lies, accusations and verified quotes will change that.
So having realised this tactic had failed, Goldsmith made further accusations by reminding the press that Khan once referred to Muslim reformers as ‘Uncle Toms’, appeared alongside Islamists at the 2004 Al Aqsa conference, received an award from and heaped praise upon the extremist group FOSIS and even utilised his skills as a human rights lawyer to selflessly defend Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a man who calls Jews ‘bloodsuckers’ and believes white people are a race of devils created six thousand years ago by a scientist called Yakub. Any idiot can see none of these claims hold any water whatsoever despite the fact they’re all true. But as Owen wrote, that didn’t stop Goldsmith and the Tories pathetically trying to ‘exploit anti-Muslim hatred’ by condemning a mayoral candidate for associating with people whose ideology has caused Muslims more pain and suffering than a hundred half-arsed mayoral campaigns ever could. And for that, as Owen writes, they are all culpable, whether they had anything to do with it or not. Indeed, even Tory MPs who condemned the campaign – such as Peter Oborne and Shazia Awan – get shirt shrift from Owen: ‘Over the coming days Tories will try to distance themselves from the campaign. They cannot get away with it’. Tories as a whole are ‘collectively responsible and it must never be forgotten’. Unfortunately for Jones it kind of has been but that’s what happens when you live in an MSM-dictated police state.
But Jones deserves credit for fighting the good fight nonetheless. And fighting it in the uncompromising, no holds barred manner which has become a hallmark of the regressive left. Because as we all know, a good liberal can’t simply point out that Goldsmith fought an off-putting, negative campaign which focused on his opponent rather than his own policies, or even that he is a deluded playboy with little connection to most Londoners who seems to have stole most of his ideas from the Green party. No, we have to do what we always do when anyone on our side is criticised: refuse to enage with the content of the criticism, point out it’s all lies then accuse him – and every other member of his party, most of whom had bugger all to do with his campaign – of ‘dog whistle racism’. And why not? The Sun, the BNP and those bigoted ex-Muslim anti-Sharia ‘campaigners’ have been doing it for years. It’s OUR turn to be shamelessly judgemental and blame an entire community for the actions of a minority.
Interestingly, given his equally principled views about the complicity of all men in allowing domestic violence and sexual assault to fester, at no point does Jones condemn Khan for defending and supporting Qaradawi, a man who endorses wife-beating. So while Owen passionately believes ALL men are complicit in violence against women whether they commit it or not, he’s paradoxically of the view that one man who defends someone who condones it has no complicity whatsoever and is not at all at fault for enabling and excusing a religious sub-culture that routinely treats women like slaves and punchbags. Because as we know, when that one man is a Muslim and a Labour MP all bets are off. The racism of low expectations, kids. It’s kept the regressive left in morally inconsistent murky waters for years and we won’t stop swimming in them for anyone.
Which brings us back to Owen’s column about violence against women, in particular the way he framed the argument to include all the other poor, vulnerable, oppressed groups at the mercy of the patriarchy in this godforsaken country: ‘Misogynistic hate also intersects with other forms of bigotry – take the targeting of Muslim women on the streets by white men’. Which we all know is a widespread epidemic that happens on such a regular basis Muslim women are terrified to leave the house. There is no evidence for this of course, and Owen doesn’t bother to expand upon the issue. Because when a liberal wants something to be right, it usually is right, regardless of the fact that it’s not. Indeed, he cares so much about Muslim women and how they are treated by misogynists that he completely ignores the misogyny they experience at the hands of Muslim men.
And so he should. It’s not for us privileged white males to point out when it comes to oppression and abuse Muslim women are far more at risk from the reactionary ideology of their own religion than they are the odd moron hurling abuse at them when they’re out shopping. And anyway, is Islam’s view of women really that bad? I’ve no doubt the average Muslim women would agree that being forced into a marriage, made to wear a veil, treated as a second class citizen or strangled by her brother for wearing lipstick is nothing compared to the horror of some racist idiot shouting ‘towel head’ at her on the Metro.
Warming to the hate crime theme Owen then expertly namechecks the Fawcett Society and how they are ‘calling for male violence towards women to be classed as a hate crime’. For those of us under the impression that violence against women was kind of already a serious crime think again; women can now sleep easier knowing the next time they are raped or beaten to death their attacker will also have to live with an extra year or two on his sentence for calling them ‘sweetheart’. Indeed, Owen is enthusiastically behind these new proposals whether horrific acts of violence are involved or not, lauding the approach recently adopted by Nottinghamshire Police. Deploying his usual trick, Owen omits to mention what this actually entails which is to theoretically criminalise misogyny in all its forms by outlawing everything from wolf-whistling to saying ‘cheer up’ to a barmaid. Because as we all know, women are such pathetic, vulnerable creatures they can’t be expected to react like adults when they hear something they don’t like. Ditto Muslims, blacks, immigrants, homosexuals, transgender folk and everyone else who the left have been treating like frightened children for decades.
As a resident of Newcastle I can understand why: there aren’t many Geordie women alive who aren’t more than capable of giving both barrels back to any hairy-arsed builder daft enough to implore them to get their tits out. And there are even some women who would actually laugh at and have banter with a group of blokes who invaded their safe space by buying them drinks and calling them ‘babe’. But the reason for that is they are too stupid, too uneducated, too downright working-class to realise they’re being violated. Like pop stars, lap-dancers and page three girls, their passive acceptance of rank sexism show the danger of women behaving like independent adults instead of eschewing free will, autonomy and all the other stuff modern feminism despises. And the fact that they don’t even realise how harmful these so-called ‘terms of endearment’ used all over the word are is a stain on the ignorant class that spawned them.
Because as anyone who saw the recent video of an American SJW being viciously assaulted by a man saying the words ‘Hugh Mungous’ knows, words can maim. Literally. Predictably, right-wing trolls and bearded bloggers accused the poor girl of over-reaction, hyper-sensitivity and utterly deranged bat-shit mental entitlement. Well, I’ve got news for them. Perhaps she is entitled. Entitled to pester and harass a man who not only had a different opinion to her but then rubbed salt into the words by practically anally raping her with an innocuous play-on-words that Bart Simpson would reject for being too juvenile. I suppose we can at least be grateful that when she demanded to know his name he didn’t say ‘Mike Hunt’ as that would have been such an aggressively violent attack he might as well have fired a shotgun up her fadge.
But this depressing and dangerous malaise is everywhere and the tolerant and diverse country I call home is as culpable as any other: ‘We have a very misogynistic culture in the UK. We tolerate the casualization of violence and objectification’ writes Sam Smeethers of Fawcett and Owen is on hand with some shocking statistics to prove her point: ‘Male violence is pandemic; 117,568 men were prosecuted for offences against women in Britain in 2015-16, a surge of almost 10% over the course of a year’. For those a bit confused as to how a figure which accounts for 0.3% of the male population can be put in the same category as a disease such as the Black Death which killed 200 million people, fear not; Owen then goes on to inform us that these convictions represent a tiny proportion, estimating that nearly 2 million more rapes, sexual assaults and instances of domestic violence occur and remain unreported. How he knows this or where he got the numbers from isn’t clear but as we all know, tiny irrelevancies such as proof and evidence are of little importance when there are narratives to maintain. And the narrative that Britain is a misogynist hellhole in which boys are conditioned to hate women and millions of rapists and wife-beaters roam the streets terrorising women is well worth maintaining: ‘Putting it bluntly, the men who commit violence think they are getting away with it. And devastatingly, they are right’.
Because the supposedly free country we live in is indeed infested with millions of rapists, wife-beaters and people who don’t realise shouting ‘wahey!’ at an attractive woman at a bus stop is as painful and traumatic as dragging her down the street by her hair. But even more ominously, since 17 million thick as pig-shit racist idiots voted to leave the EU, the streets are also teeming with people who’ve taken it upon themselves to attack immigrants and ethnic minorities with pansexual abandon, as the much discussed ‘huge increase’ in post-Brexit hate crimes illustrates. Which we should be grateful for as it gave Owen yet another chance to hold an entire group responsible for the actions of a minority of idiots who would have been merrily dishing out racism with or without the referendum.
Of course Owen provided no hard evidence for this post-referendum spike, such as, y’know, charges or convictions, which makes sense as there haven’t been any. However we don’t need some judge in a chalky wig dishing out prison sentences to convince us Brexit-induced hate crime is on the up: we’ve got eyes, we can see the hate increasing every time we leave the house. And not the good hate, such as we saw at the Labour conference, the kinder gentler hate which allows people who see themselves as tolerant liberals to talk of spitting in people’s tea and lynching Tory MPs. No, the type of hate I’m talking about is the kind that can’t be measured by demonstrable evidence, such as crimes that are actually investigated. This kind of hate can only be gauged by one website which logged 85 unverified allegations of racist behaviour for a four day period immediately after the vote, which just so happened to feature 31 more unverified allegations of racist behaviour than the corresponding period the previous month. No information was provided as to the nature of these crimes and as of yet no reports exist anywhere detailing any charges or convictions relating to them. Yet that hasn’t stopped the likes of Owen, Diane Abbot, the BBC, Channel 4, the vast majority of Twitter and Facebook users and thousands of BTL Guardian commenters quoting the 57% increase as damning evidence of a full-blooded wave of anti-immigrant hatred unleashed by the EU referendum result.
Consequently, die-hard Remainers took to social media courageously urging people to start reporting hate crimes and before you knew it everything from burgled restaurants to a photo of racists waving anti-immigrant banners in the same spot in Newcastle in which they had done so every weekend for the last two years were being used as evidence of a Brexit-influenced xenophobic crime wave. And what a glorious few months it’s been, proving that the middle-class bastions of the modern day left-wing establishment are every bit as adept at lying and fearmongering as the right-wing press of thirty years ago. George Orwell would be so proud.
Owen, of course, was keen to stress he wasn’t holding the knuckle-dragging fools who voted Leave responsible for the mythical spike in hate crime. No, his anger was directed at those who led the Leave campaign and the lies they fed to the public. Which in turn won them the vote and gave the bigots a licence to turn our streets into racist warzones. So in a roundabout way he is holding the knuckle-dragging fools who voted Leave responsible but only because they were too stupid to realise Nigel Farage was lying to them. ‘Their intolerance now had official sanction…for the first time they had a democratic mandate’. It shows Owen’s dedication to the big government socialist pipe dream that the world he inhabits is a bureaucratic bubble in which even bigoted buffoons demand to have their every prejudice officially recognised by the state. And you can tell Owen has met his fair share of racists too judging by his belief that it took the result of a referendum to embolden them to ‘yell abuse at strangers’ when a supremacist hatred of people with different colour skin has been doing the job for centuries.
Still, as Owen isn’t one for sensationalism or whipping up fear he was at great pains to point out that it was only a ‘small minority’ of people in this country who hold racist views. He doesn’t explain how a small minority have managed to be both small and cause a ‘tide of racism and xenophobia’, nor does he expand upon how this small minority have made migrants feel ‘besieged’. What he does say however is that we ‘can only guess at the true scale of hatred on our streets’, which is apt as he then spends the rest of the article quite literally guessing at the true scale of hatred the small minority have unleashed on our streets.
And with that sentence the prodigal son returned to his seat at the captain’s table with the speed of Max Shanley at an all you can eat buffet. Though despite his good work of the last few months Owen knows he can’t afford any more slip-ups; there’s as much chance of Momentum allowing him a third strike as there is of Owen ever writing another sentence about Venezuela. But a good way to earn some brownie points would be an appearance at the annual Stop The War Coalition conference in London this month, attended by the Dear Leader and Anas Altikriti of The Cordoba Foundation. For the uninitiated, Anas is a Hamas supporter who condones suicide bombings and said of the murdered Charlie Hebdo staff: ‘If you poke someone in the eye once too often, you have to expect a response’. In other words, exactly the type of Muslim who fits into Jezza’s Labour like a bloodstained glove. And exactly the sort of person Owen could do well to defend and support at every opportunity if he wants to convince us he’s in it for the long haul.
A word of advice though, Owen. If Anas or any other moderate Islamist asks you if you’d like to go up to the roof to see the view, politely decline. It’s a long way down and Stop The War will have enough on their plate deflecting accusations of anti-Semitism and ignoring the fact that Russia are bombing the shit out of Syria without having to scrape your mangled corpse off the pavement.
Welcome back, comrade!