Helen Lewis is the deputy editor of the notionally left-wing journal The New Statesman. Her views on Jeremy Corbyn are well known and she’s a regular on the BBC’s Sunday Politics. Today, while Harriet Harman, Labour’s former interim leader appeared on the Andrew Marr Show, she issued this Tweet to her followers.
Come again? Harriet Harman did what? Lewis has got this arse about face. Harman has stood up for the establishment, not “stood up against it” as she claims. Indeed, she even ordered Labour MPs to vote for the government’s damaging Welfare Bill. Weeks later, Harman changed her mind and told Southwark News that she’d “oppose it” – that’s after she ordered Labour MPs to vote for it. And she’s thought of as leadership material?
In the last few weeks, the media has paraded a series of Orwellian neologisms like “post truth politics” before us. Can we therefore regard Lewis’s Tweet as “post-reality”? Let’s remember that Lewis herself comes from a privileged background and is, for all intents and purposes, like Harman, a member of the establishment. So it’s unlikely that she possesses the ability to identify anti-establishmentarianism and is more likely to characterize it as something else.
Later on, and perhaps spurred on by the appearance of Harman, Lewis went a little further and began banging the drum for Corbyn to quit.
So what was the reason for this? Corbyn has ordered a three-line whip on the vote for Article 50, which triggers the Brexit process. What hacks like Lewis and her colleagues in the anti-Corbyn media fail to understand (frankly odd for a political journalist) is that Article 50 is merely a Parliamentary mechanism. The actual debate on the precise nature of Brexit takes place later. Instead, the mass media has been misleading the public with the notion that Article 50 is the final stage in the process, thus they rely on the general public’s ignorance of Parliamentary procedures. This is the same ignorance that was exploited during the referendum campaign itself. It’s yet the latest stage in an ongoing attempt to remove Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, and the likes of Lewis won’t rest until they see someone picked by them in the role. That, friends, is not only contempt for the democratic process that elected Corbyn, but it is also contempt for ordinary party members.
Fake news? You’ll get loads of it from Lewis and her fellow hacks.