As Corbyn gets targeted by far right in Salford, people blame media smears against him

Far-right agitators surround Corbyn's car in Salford
Ed Sykes

Britain’s media and political establishments have long been dogwhistling to the far right. And as the latter targeted Jeremy Corbyn this week, people held the former to account.

“Traitor”

On 2 September, police arrested far-right agitator James Goddard outside a Corbyn rally in Salford. He and about 10 others blocked the Labour leader’s car for around five minutes. They shouted “Corbyn is a traitor” and “we love you Boris, we do”.

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Police arrested Goddard, but later released him, taking no further action.

In June, Goddard was convicted of assaulting a photojournalist. In July, meanwhile, he was banned from going near parliament for five years for harassing political figures in December and January.

Goddard is an associate of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka ‘Tommy Robinson’). And like many on the far right, he holds anti-Muslim views. For example, he once said he wanted to “ban Islam from the west” and remove all Muslims from the UK.

Media incitement

In 2016, the murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox said in court:

Death to traitors, freedom for Britain.

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, has referred to at least one MP as a “traitor”. And it previously called judges “enemies of the people”. It and other right-wing rags have used this kind of language consistently, emboldening and radicalising the far right around the issue of Brexit.

Journalist Owen Jones is one of the people whom far-right agitators have targeted in recent months. And he’s very clear about the role the mainstream media has played in hyping up the far right:

In August, the National Union of Journalists expressed concerns about increasing far-right attacks on unsympathetic journalists. This came as several men attacked Jones. He later said people like the attackers “are being radicalised by mainstream politicians and a disturbingly large segment of the mainstream media”. Indeed, Brexit-supporting politicians have echoed Nazi propaganda and peddled racist language. And now, they’re driving British politics:

After Goddard and co targeted Corbyn on 2 September, people again highlighted the role of right-wing smears:

A Brexit supporter previously assaulted Corbyn in March. The terrorist responsible for the anti-Muslim Finsbury Park attack in 2017, meanwhile, testified that he had wanted to kill Corbyn.

Elect Corbyn – defeat the far right

Corbyn has won numerous peace prizes, and police once arrested him for protesting against apartheid. But because he presents a challenge to the interests of political and economic elites, this establishment has used smears, deception, and barefaced incitement to attack him. Both the media and parliament have become safe spaces for anti-Corbyn abuse and dogwhistling to the far right. Former PM David Cameron, for example, openly claimed the Labour leader was “Britain-hating” and called him and his anti-war colleagues “terrorist sympathisers”.

The far right didn’t appear from a vacuum. The media and political establishment fed it in their attempts to stop Corbyn. And unless we make him prime minister, this establishment / fascist alliance will only grow.

Featured image via Twitter – Ben. Additional reporting via Press Association.

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    1. I do hope that if Jeremy Corbyn gets elected (as the first legitimately elected Prime Minister in many years), that The Law will pursue and prosecute ALL those who committed criminal acts against him.

      Defamation of character is an illegal, and criminal act, and those who engage in such behaviour should be made to pay compensation to Jeremy Corbyn, and The Labour Party, and Jailed for 5 years (longer depending on the level of damage they inflicted on JC and Our Nation as a result).

      This should also definitely apply to anyone in the BBC/UK mainstream media who invented and lied about the facts relating to J.C and The Labour Party, which were blatant attempts at Defamation of Character (Panorama being just one example of many).

      I am hoping that our jails will have their numbers swelled with these destructive, anti-law arseholes, their power broken, and respect for our Laws restored. I suspect a great many Conservatives, Lib Dems, some Labour members, MSM people would end up in prison, but it needs to be done to send a clear message to everyone in this Nation that breaking the Law to damage a person’s good reputation, for the purpose of subverting the people of this Nation, will not go unanswered or unpunished.

      We are not America, we do not need their type of disgusting, disingenuous politics. We are British, and we actually do have laws that are meant to be observed. We may have an adversarial political system, but what we have witnessed for so long is the creep of American-style politics into where it does not belong, and the damage that has done to our National standing and our democracy is immense.

      Where is the respect and truth that used to be in our political system? It was that system that made our Nation respected and much emulated around the World, yet now we have no reason for pride in anything, because we don’t enforce our laws equally, and the Police have been re-designed to be political tools for corrupt governments and power-mongers, with the Judiciary filled with far-right leaning members (I’m thinking particularly the judge/s involved in Assange’s case, but there are so many more), where there should be NO leaning left or right!

      Our country needs a major overhaul politically, militarily, judicially, financially, and last but certainly not least, our corrupt business practices need to end (secret trade deals behind our backs, sickening tax loopholes and benefits, private hands in public services like the NHS).

      When we see the right people in prison, when politicians can’t put themselves above Law or ignore it and us with impunity, then we can all start to have pride in our Nation again, reserved of course, because we are British after all, not American (I don’t hate America, just its corrupt political system).

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