A Blairite MP is facing the mother of all backlashes after one terrible tweet

Iraqi children playing football and Labour MP Graham Jones
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Blairite Labour MP Graham Jones is facing the mother of all backlashes on social media after displaying a staggering level of ignorance in just one tweet:


Chequered past

Jones resigned from the Labour front bench when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader in 2015. As the Rossendale Free Press reported:

Mr Jones said he could not serve under Mr Corbyn as he was from the ‘extreme left’ and did not hold Labour’s ‘true values’.

And he has consistently voted in favour of using Britain’s military abroad as well as voting against holding an investigation into the invasion of Iraq. So he has certainly earned his ‘Blairite’ tag.

The tweet

Oxfam’s initial tweet was simply an attempt to humanise refugees displaced by post-2003 instability and conflict in Iraq:

Read on...

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Yet Jones saw it as an opportunity to pursue his bizarre agenda, saying:

Some cheek. They can only play because the Iraqi people with help from the west liberated them through military action.

Some people couldn’t work out quite what he was getting at:

Evolve Politics, meanwhile, decided to run a fact check on his claim:

Seriously. What?!?

Looking back into Jones’s past sheds some light on the possible meaning of his tweet. In 2016, he spoke glowingly about the benefits of UK airstrikes on Iraq:

without those strikes the Iraqi army would not have been able to go into Daesh held territory and push them back. Those air strikes are what has turned this around and what is going to result in the demise of Daesh.

And speaking to the Rossendale Free Press, he discounted the idea that UK intervention in 2003 had helped to create Daesh:

Daesh is not a western problem, Daesh did not occur because of the operation in 2003 or the toppling of Saddam Hussein – it’s because of the failure over the centuries of power sharing in Iraq.

Debunking the Blairite myths

As The Canary‘s Ed Sykes wrote previously about the 2003 invasion of Iraq:

The manufactured war against a dictator who the West once supported was an absolute disaster. It reportedly killed at least a million Iraqis and left thousands of children with deformities and cancer. And amid all that death and destruction, the context of anti-occupation resistance and the dissolution of the Iraqi army (and state) gave the forerunners of Daesh (Isis/Isil) fertile ground to grow. The years since have seen global terrorism skyrocket (with Daesh and similar Wahhabi groups responsible for the majority of non-state terrorism).

In fact, even Tony Blair himself has acknowledged the link between the invasion of Iraq and the rise of Daesh.

Fortunately, it seems Jones’s historical amnesia doesn’t reflect the views of the wider public.

“The ‘cheek’ is all yours”, Jones

Twitter users were quick to slam Jones’s out-of-touch tweet:

Others, meanwhile, simply expressed shame that Jones represents the Labour Party:

And one Twitter user summed the situation up sarcastically, saying:

Jones displayed a staggering level of ignorance and poor judgement in his tweet. But thankfully, people aren’t letting him get away with it.

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Featured image via ImajsaClaimant/YouTube and Moveen/YouTube

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