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

Diane Abbot, Dawn Butler and Rebecca Long-Bailey
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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...

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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

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  • 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?

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