Owen Smith’s biggest backer just lost it on social media, threatening violence against an MP [TWEETS]

Support us and go ad-free

John McTernan, a commentator and previous strategist for the Labour Party, has threatened an SNP MP with violence on Twitter. In one fell swoop, McTernan (who strongly backs Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest) proved himself to be the very type of abusive person that officials claim they want ejected from the party.

The threat transpired during an exchange between McTernan and SNP MP Pete Wishart over recently released figures on the state of Scotland’s finances. Wishart had commented that the newly released figures “reflect Scotland as part of the UK”. McTernan responded by suggesting that the country’s finances would be worse outside of the UK.

To that statement Wishart commented:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

McTernan responded with the following message:

A swift reaction was then issued from Wishart:

And it was this last message that propelled McTernan to suggest violence:

Twitter users who saw the exchange had various reactions to the threat:

There was obvious amusement found by some commentators in the online clash, with one suggesting McTernan should form his own “Alpha Male Party”. But this behaviour by McTernan is more than just “over the top”. It is likely a direct violation of Labour Party rules.

The Labour Party has seriously cracked down on anything it deems abusive behaviour since the Labour leadership contest began. For example, it has banned words like ‘traitor’, ‘scum’, ‘scab’, and ‘Blairite‘. One Labour member was even suspended for writing poetry that criticised anti-Corbyn Labour MPs.

Obviously, Wishart is not a Labour MP. But surely the party’s new heavy-handed rules on abuse do not exclude actual aggressive behaviour towards MPs. It would be a strange crackdown indeed if a Labour Party member could be banned for calling a Labour MP a ‘Blairite’ but get off scot-free if they threaten to floor an MP from another party.

Unfortunately, in the current climate, it would be surprising if action was taken against McTernan for his comments. So far, when those in Smith’s corner have hurled abuse (such as calling Corbyn supporters “Nazi stormtroopers”), nothing has been done.

But the incident does serve as a useful reminder that the constant (and usually falsebranding of only Corbyn supporters as abusive is nonsense. Those who behave in such a manner are making an individual choice. And McTernan has most certainly made his own choice aggressively clear.

Get Involved! 

Read other Canary articles on the Labour Party.

Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.

Featured image via Policy Exchange/Flickr

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

Comments are closed