The Guardian launches a bizarre attack on Labour women that backfires spectacularly

Diane Abbot, Dawn Butler and Rebecca Long-Bailey
Support us and go ad-free

On 17 June, the Guardian’s Suzanne Moore wrote an opinion article and launched a scathing attack on Labour women. It was also a centrist-fuelled criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. The Guardian also changed the headline, but that only made it worse.

The wrong sort of women?

The headline originally asked, “Why is it so hard for Labour to find a woman for its inner circle?”. Moore wrote:

We all know Corbyn is very concerned about having more women in the Labour leadership. But not concerned enough to actually have many.

Disgustingly, Moore wrote off all the brilliant women who are in the shadow cabinet. She dismissed them, writing:

A suitable female pet has to be groomed or the revolution may stall.

Um sorry, what?

Clearly, Moore missed the fact that there are 15 women in Labour’s shadow cabinet. The response to Moore came quick and fast; not least because she failed to mention any of Labour’s Black female MPs. If she’s talking about an ‘inner circle’ then Diane Abbott, Dawn Butler, Valerie Vaz, and Shami Chakrabarti are part of the shadow cabinet.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Fair enough, it was an opinion piece, but Moore also claimed that Labour “has a shortage of women, not on its benches but in its inner circle”. Yet, she also ignored other incredible socialist women. Again, in the shadow cabinet alone, this includes Rebecca Long-Bailey, Angela Rayner, and Cat Smith.

Moore, it seems, thinks these ‘female pets’ who’re working class, northern, or Black are just the “wrong type of women”:

As one person noted, it seems like Moore suffers from “double colour-blindness”:

Different headline, same shit

Even when the headline changed and asked, “Why is it so hard for Labour to find a woman to be leader?” it didn’t help. For a start, despite many centrists best efforts, Labour isn’t looking for and doesn’t need a new leader.

Since Corbyn was elected as Labour leader in 2015, membership has grown from 190,000 Labour members to an estimated 540,000 in 2018. This surge includes many people who left “during the Blair/Brown era because they were disillusioned by the ‘centre ground’ politics” and rejoined in 2015. Many new members joined because “Corbyn offered not only a sharp swing to the left but the rhetoric of a new style of politics”.

The new headline only emphasised Moore’s attack on left-wing women and Corbyn:

Moore stated that “Emily Thornberry couldn’t be called on to do PMQs as she made the terrible faux pas of telling the truth about the European elections”. But she missed two vital facts.

Firstly, on 5 June, shadow foreign secretary Thornberry was in Normandy with Jeremy Corbyn to mark the 75 D-Day anniversary. And secondly, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey absolutely smashed it when she stood in for Corbyn at PMQs:

Moore did champion Stella Creasy and Jess Phillips’ “strong voices”. In 2015, Phillips said she’d knife Jeremy Corbyn “in the front, not the back”. In 2016, she resigned from the shadow cabinet. Creasy is openly critical of the pro-Corbyn grassroots Momentum.

“We are still invisible”

Butler summarised everything wrong with Moore’s article:

And she was spot on. Too many strong women who do fight for equality remain invisible or face attack. Moore’s toxic, centrist, faux-feminism is exactly “part of the problem” that we need to stand in solidarity against.

Featured images via PaulNUK/Wikimedia, Chris McAndrew/Wikimedia and Rwedland/Wikimedia

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Guardian has been nauseating for me for quite some time now. Suzanne Moore I think is a bit of a coward. I think she voted leave in 2016 but doesn’t have enough courage to admit it or defend her position. I think Gary Younge, Larry Elliot, Kevin McKenna and Dawn Foster are the only people worth reading there. I know theCanary like to echo Owen Jones and sometimes Monbiot. But I’m not fully convinced by both. Monbiot tried some cheap shots at John Piliger and Chomsky in addition to advertising for his employers. Yes he’s against capitalism etc… But he also insinuates the like of Carol Cadwalladr (from the Observer). That woman is an award-winning journo who congratulated Soros after FT award. What kind of journo would congratulate the like of Soros? Seriously. And the pseudo left Paul Mason who still supports Syriza and Tsipras. By the way, here’s a story from RT. I know some will shrink an article from RT. I’ll let you decide.

    2. AS a Green party voter and sometime activist of several decades, I voted Labour for the first time in the Euro election this year. That was my response to the Greens’ rather sickeningly naive adulation for the neoliberal Europan Union, and because I’m fed up with the Greens’ lack of class or race consciousness. I’ve moved from a Remain stance to moderately Lexit and I can understand Jeremy Corbyn’s dilemma in having to cater to middle-class Remainers and generally more working-class Brexiters and Lexiters. The Guardian is moving further right. We need an adequate replacement on the left, but what?

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.