Watch a BBC host gaslight a Labour MP to the point where he smears his own party, live on air

Emma Barnett
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BBC Radio 5 Live host Emma Barnett effectively bullied Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle to the point where he smeared his own party on 1 July.

In this instance, the corporate media gaslighting centred on MP Chris Williamson, who was recently re-suspended from the Labour Party. His case is now pending review.

How the gaslighting of the left works

Interviewing Russell-Moyle, Barnett launched a volley of attacks on Williamson, claiming that the MP has “approved… antisemitic remarks”. But Barnett’s examples related to Williamson calling out the well-documented weaponisation of antisemitism allegations against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour membership. For instance, Barnett attacked Williamson for speaking at a play “called The Lynching“. She alleged that the title was antisemitic because it suggested activists were being falsely accused of antisemitism, which was like being “strung up by a tree”. Yet the BBC itself recently reprimanded Barnett’s own colleague – Radio 4 host Nick Robinson – for false antisemitism allegations against the creator of the play, Jackie Walker.

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Kicked out based on innuendo

Williamson was originally suspended for a “pattern of behaviour”. But many Labour supporters have questioned the decision to kick somebody out of the party based on innuendo rather than specific antisemitic comments. Recently, 61% of LabourList readers said that the party should readmit Williamson, while 31% disagreed.

A report from academics at the Media Reform Coalition, meanwhile, previously concluded that corporate media reporting on Labour and antisemitism has been a “disinformation paradigm”.

What Williamson said

The actual comments that triggered the MP for Derby North’s suspension are often lost under inflammatory rhetoric. Williamson said that Labour has been “too apologetic” in response to being “demonised as a racist, bigoted party”. Contrary to allegations, he did not deny that there is some antisemitism in Labour; indeed, he referred to the “scourge of antisemitism” in the same address.

Still, Russell-Moyle ended up swallowing the attack-line. Sounding like a hostage reading out a forced message, the MP for Kemptown said:

I think… some of the things that he’s said do look like antisemitism to me

The Labour leadership and its prominent supporters must do better

Antisemitism exists in Labour, as it does across society. But given that cases reportedly relate to 0.1% of the party’s 540,000-strong membership, the scale of corporate media hysteria is clearly a smear campaign. Since Corbyn became leader, the number of Labour voters agreeing with antisemitic statements has actually fallen significantly.

So the exchange between Barnett and Russell-Moyle only proves Williamson’s point: Russell-Moyle is another example of a Labour representative participating in the demonisation of their own party. Instead of calling out the smear campaign, Russell-Moyle unwittingly supported the attack through accepting its premises.

All minority communities (from Jewish to disabled people), along with the rest of the UK, will greatly benefit from the universal programme of a Corbyn-led government. So the Labour leadership and its prominent supporters must do better at dismantling the smear campaign. Because it impacts us all.

Featured image via Twitter – BBC Radio 5 Live

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  • Show Comments
    1. That wasn’t an interview it was an interrogation and while I think Williamson is quite capable of saying some dumb things he was absolutely right to say what he said in the speech that triggered his suspension, and this interrogation exemplifies that – too apologetic, conceded too much. He could have simply flagged up that Willsman was off with his talk of Jewish Trump supporters, right in that the issue had been weaponised and that the play about Jackie Walker was not implicitly AS, that there was a political lynching of her based on very no firm evidence as the BBCs apology concedes.

      I guess he was also scared of getting suspended by the LP in the current Witchhunt climate, or getting mugged by John Mann.

    2. I don’t agree. whilst Emma Barnett may indeed have gaslighted Lloyd, who is my MP, he has done this kind of thing b4. Lloyd should have fought back vigorously and put her on the spot and challenged her. Lloyd is another example of a pro-Palestinian MP who is clueless about Zionism, the ideology that not only sustains the Israeli state but demonises its opponents as ‘antisemitic’.

      Do not let people off who should know better. Lloyd Russell Moyle is a soft Momentum MP who undermined me when I was suspended.

    3. Once upon a time, people who hated Jews were rightly described as antisemites, today however, people whom zionists intend to silence are tarred with that same brush.
      The Zionist agenda pursued by Israel against the wishes of many Israelis along with Jews all around the world, results in blatant atrocities against their neighbours, in flagrant disregard of international law, yet those who object, are apparently antisemites !
      It seems that these self righteous sociopathic aggressors can and do protect themselves from righteous criticism and internationally sanctioned constraint by playing the anti semitism card.
      The fact that despicably nasty things happened to Jews among others in WW2 has allowed for a certain latitude re the critique of their subsequent actions. This does not however and never can, allow them carte blanche to behave in whatsoever manner they deem fit for the rest of time.
      Voltaire said “ to learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise.
      Those of us educated in the west have been conditioned for generations not to question the moral status of Zionism’s expansionist agenda.
      The concepts of Zionism, Judaism and the Israeli state have been systematically conflated to the point where few seem to recognise the differences.
      Time to break our conditioning and take a cold hard look at ” those we cannot criticise”
      Antisemitism is a crime, Antizionism is an obligation.

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