Corporate media silent over Labour Files as Al Jazeera delays part three
THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED AT 8:50PM ON TUESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER TO REFLECT AL JAZEERA RELEASING THE FINAL EPISODE OF THE DOCUMENTARY.
Al Jazeera‘s The Labour Files has caused anger and uproar in much of the left wing of UK politics. The three-part documentary claims to have “the largest leak of documents in British political history”. Much of it covers the time Jeremy Corbyn was party leader. And yet so far, there has been negligible UK corporate media reporting on it. This is, of course, quite predictable – the press was complicit in much of what The Labour Files exposes. Meanwhile, Al Jazeera has run into problems – pulled part three twice from its schedule, finally releasing it late on Tuesday 27 September.
The Labour Files
Al Jazeera‘s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) has touted the documentary as:
exposing how unelected officials undermined democracy within the Labour Party.
The leaked data comprises 500 gigabytes of documents, emails, video and audio files from the Labour Party dating from 1998 to 2021…
The data reveals how the party’s bureaucrats, whose nominal function is to serve the interests of the party, attempted to undermine members supportive of Jeremy Corbyn
As of 12pm on Tuesday 27 September, Al Jazeera had released the first two episodes:
Al Jazeera was due to broadcast episode three on Monday 26 September. At first, it delayed it until Tuesday 27. Then, the Al Jazeera I-Unit pulled its tweets about the episode being broadcast. The Canary contacted the I-Unit for comment, but it had not responded at the time of publication.
At around 8:45pm on 27 September, the I-Unit finally released episode three. It seems there was an error in the documentary, as it tweeted the following:
CORRECTION: An earlier video in our tweet reported that some WhatsApp messages about MP Diane Abbot suffering illness came after she announced that she had diabetes. In fact, some of the messages were written before her condition became publicly known.
We have taken this down.
— Al Jazeera Investigations (@AJIunit) September 27, 2022
The series comes on top of the Forde Report – with both drawing similar conclusions in some areas. For example, Middle East Eye said that the Forde Report showed:
antisemitism was treated as a ‘factional weapon’ by both supporters and opponents of Jeremy Corbyn in senior party positions.
The Labour Files claimed similar, with Middle East Monitor reporting:
allegations of anti-Semitism were said to have been weaponised to undermine Corbyn. The plan, it seems, was to tarnish Corbyn’s image in the eyes of the British electorate by failing to build a functioning complaints and disciplinary process capable of dealing with allegations of racism.
But as Nasim Ahmed wrote, overall, The Labour Files showed that the “British establishment” led a:
campaign against… [Corbyn]… aided by the right-wing press, as well as self-styled left-wing publications like the Guardian and, most shocking of all, the Labour party itself which, it would later be revealed, sabotaged Corbyn’s chance of becoming Prime Minister.
Naturally, the corporate media appears to have been silent on The Labour Files except, bizarrely, the Express.
Fingers in ears for corporate media
Some corporate journalists have mentioned it on social media. For example, Michael Crick tweeted:
Every political journalist should watch the film & decide for themselves. I agree with Peter Oborne that the media – including us – should have looked into this far more. Trouble is every story in the saga was very complicated & disputed & it was hard to nail down the truth.
— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) September 23, 2022
The Guardian‘s Owen Jones was shocked – saying The Labour Files’ claims about an infamous Panorama documentary on antisemitism in the Labour Party were “extremely serious”:
This is extremely serious and needs a full and complete response from @BBCPanorama pic.twitter.com/LtYmrCXC8Y
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) September 25, 2022
However, former journalist Josh Funnell reminded him that he and The Canary exposed this over three years ago:
This is literally my story/investigation from July 2019. I spent a month investigating this. Basically everyone on the left ignored it because the Canary wasn’t considered cool enough. I even included the same recording. Really pisses me off.https://t.co/IWTbGQOMBK
— Josh Funnell (@Josh79227449) September 25, 2022
Of course, the story here is the same as it always is. Corbyn supporters and independent media like The Canary knew, and said, what was going on years ago. Now, the establishment lackeys feign shock – when they either turned a blind-eye previously, or actively colluded in the scandal.
So, it’s been left to independent UK media and international outlets to report on the story – again.
Independent media: The Labour Files
Inside Croydon ran several articles, noting the South London-based politicians implicated, including Labour’s general secretary David Evans. North East Bylines called The Labour Files “compelling”. Novara Media discussed the show in two episodes of Tysky Sour.
SKWAWKBOX gave perhaps the most coverage to The Labour Files. As it wrote:
We are not in a functioning democracy and the rest of the UK ‘mainstream’ media will either ignore, or actively collude in covering up, the vicious, racist, misogynist and blatantly anti-democratic behaviour of what is now the so-called ‘Labour’ regime
This is true. But what The Labour Files has also cemented is that the corporate media in the UK is broken. It is complicit in what the documentary revealed. And now it is actively trying to bury the revelations about its role. Fortunately, independent media in the UK is still alive and kicking – and it will not let the truth be forgotten.
Featured image via Al Jazeera English – YouTube
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