Listen to Leanne Mohamad. Listen to Everybody. 299

Leanne is a schoolgirl who gave a talk about something she believed in for a school speaking competition. But she spoke outside the right wing comfort area, and thus her speech got attacked online and then pulled. The Speakers’ Trust charity stated that “Following vile and hateful comments posted online during this Bank Holiday weekend Speakers Trust removed the video of Leanne’s speech.” It has since been reinstated.

The current aggressive campaign against anybody who speaks out for Palestine is gathering force. It’s most obvious manifestation lies in the ridiculous claims of “anti-semitism” against many left wing or radical campaigners who have worked against all racism their entire lives. As the establishment becomes more desperate to portray any thought or expression outside their neo-con orthodoxy as illegitimate, the related attack on supporters of Palestine becomes increasingly shrill.

It is very possible to plot the demonisation of radical thought in stark and recent examples. It brings to mind the demonisation of the Chartists as violent revolutionaries. For example, those in the openly left wing campaign for Scottish independence were repeatedly and regularly accused by the mainstream media of vicious online abuse. Bernie Sanders supporters were quite falsely portrayed throughout the mainstream media as violent after the Nevada Democratic Convention, even though widely available video evidence showing what really happened was totally contrary to what was reported. The 38 Degrees petition against the Tory bias of Laura Kuenssberg was withdrawn as “misogynist”, a charge echoed by the entire mainstream media, even though there is virtually no evidence of any associated misogynist abuse. Similarly the very slight three second mocking of Kuenssberg by the audience at a recent Corbyn event was, again with total absence of evidence, portrayed throughout all mainstream UK media as anti-woman rather than anti-Tory. The right wing meme that left wing Corbyn support is anti-female recurs almost daily in the mainstream media.

On the positive side, the establishment’s patently shrill demonisation of radical opposition is a reaction to a very definite upswell against the results of neo-liberalism. There is no denying that the SNP, Corbyn and Bernie Sanders phenomena on the one hand, and the Trump and UKIP phenomena on the other, represent a significant upsurge of popular discontent with the status quo. The Trump and UKIP side of that movement reflects a deliberate attempt by the Establishment to use the mainstream media to divert the focus of discontent away from the exploiters and burgeoning billionaires, and focus it on “foreigner” scapegoats.

The popular momentum is linked to intellectual momentum. Thomas Piketty and others proved the glaringly obvious, that neo-liberalism vastly increased wealth disparity in society. The recent IMF Research Department paper on the consequences of neo-liberalism made quite a splash. It agreed that neo-liberalism had caused a vast and growing wealth gap, and made a very significant apercu that “Increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth.” This is a vital challenge to neo-liberal orthodoxy. Simply put, if Mike Ashley has billions while his thousands of harassed agency workers are struggling to survive, there is less money actually circulating in the economy buying goods and services from local business and providing balanced and sustainable economic growth. Massive inequality does not drive economic growth, it damages it.

There seems to be a reluctance to accept that the Sports Direct story of massive degradation and exploitation is the inevitable consequence of the neo-liberal bonfire of workers’ rights and attack on the trade unions. Compulsory proper employment contracts with protection from dismissal and compulsory recognition of union representation are safeguards vitally needed to redress the imbalance between the fat-cats and those desperate to make a living. A minimum wage – even a living wage – is of little use if you are soiling yourself because you are scared to take time to go to the toilet, and can be dismissed on a whim of your employer.

A great many of the population now realise that they work in declining conditions and with declining means, to make an elite ever more super-rich. The mainstream media are the tool by which the population is to be controlled. Bernie Sanders’ heroic fight is drawing to a close for the present. I am hopeful that the appalling non-choice which Americans face for President will serve to fan popular discontent further and prove a Pyrrhic establishment victory over Sanders. The examples of demonisation of anti-establishment people with which I started this article all have one thing in common. They are attacks on people putting over radical views by means outside the mainstream media – social media and citizen journalism, or old fashioned standing up at meetings or organising together. The inspirational combination of new media and old fashioned community campaigning has been the hallmark of the Scottish independence, Corbyn and Sanders campaigns. It is the methodology that must give a blueprint and hope for the future.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

299 thoughts on “Listen to Leanne Mohamad. Listen to Everybody.

1 2
  • Anon1

    Did everyone watch George Osborne, Craig’s deputy poster-boy for the Remain campaign, having his arse handed to him by Andrew Neil?

    I am glad that the BBC is still able to employ a quality journalist, even if only for this one time outside his usual graveyard slot, and despite the Corporation’s overwhelming bias towards Remain.

    • craig Post author


      The problem is you expect people’s opinions to come in pre-determined packets. In fact
      a) I strongly support EU membership
      b) I agree the BBC is hopelessly biased towards Remain
      c) I have a high opinion of Andrew Neil as a journalist. He is one of very few with a genuine claim to being disrespectful of politicians impartially.

      • Resident Dissident

        Andrew Neil also doesn’t hide his own partiality, which I believe to be a good thing. I very much doubt that there are any decent political journalists who don’t have their own views on most subjects. All those journalists concealing their own positions often overcompensate by forgetting that their job is to bring out and challenge the views of the politicians.

      • Chris Jones

        Andrew Neil who laughed, gloated and had a party on his show to disco music accompaniment after they showed Gaddafi being murdered? That’s when the mask came off

        • Resident Dissident

          Can we presume you were attending the WRP luvvies wake at that time?

          • Chris Jones

            Is this for me Resident Dissident? What are you talking about if so? Would it not worry you to see a public broadcaster gloating at, and apparently celebrating the murder and assasination of a political leader of a country on world media?

  • Nuada

    I am so effing sick, weary and tired of Zionists screaming “anti-Semite” every time they’re not getting their own way. I just don’t care anymore.

    • Resident Dissident

      But do you mind them screaming when the anti Zionists are actually being anti-Semitic – or don’t you think that this ever happens?

      • Nuada

        Read the last line of my previous post. That’s what happens. When you force-feed people the same tripe day after day after day, sooner or latert they become physically sick swallowing it or anything that even tastes like it.

  • Becky Cohen

    The only thing that does annoy me though is why is it always a kid with perfect grammar and a snooty middle class accent that we hear in these debating competitions. We need more working class kids involved in these events – yet they are always elbowed out of the way by the children of posh middle class so called ‘professionals’. It doesn’t matter what they say so long as they get a chance to say it and express themselves, but working class. women’s and black voices are increasingly erased in our classist society. I’ve also noticed that when a woman voices an opinion it’s more likely to be dismissed as a ‘rant’ or she’s more likely to be condemned for being ‘bossy’ than when a man voices one. Yet more proof if any were needed that we still live in a very misogynistic, male-dominated world.

    • Republicofscotland

      ” I’ve also noticed that when a woman voices an opinion it’s more likely to be dismissed as a ‘rant’ or she’s more likely to be condemned for being ‘bossy’ than when a man voices one.”



      Is it the fault of the “white Christian” again Becky? Or are you offering yourself up as a kind of self-immolation to the cause.

      Tell me Becky, is the Knesset, genderly balanced ?

    • Loony

      You are of course correct. The misogynistic male dominated world has conspired to ensure no woman is anywhere near the levers of a fatally corrupted power source. For example:

      Do you want to destroy currency? Janet Yellen is the woman for you
      Fancy starting a war? Look no further than Victoria Nuland
      Need some weapons to fight those wars? Say a big hello to Marilyn Hewson
      Fancy telling some lies? Well Jen Psaki is the woman for you.
      Do you want to be a Foreign Minister even though you are manifestly incompetent? Maybe Catherine Ashton can provide some advice
      Do you think that killing 1 million Iraqi children was a good idea? You have a friend in Madeleine Albright
      Do you think Putin is Hitler, or would you like to gloat at the lynching of Ghaddafi – Hillary Clinton represents your views
      Fancy sitting under a mushroom cloud – well Hillary can probably help you out there too.
      Do you lionize the British working classes but have a penchant for beating them around the heads with Police truncheons – well you need to pay your respects to Margaret Thatcher.
      Do you want other people to die in support of your deranged world view – Samantha Power wants to hear from you.

      I could go on, but I prefer people like Kate Bush whose songs would have been better and more people would have heard of if only she had been a man.

    • Resident Dissident

      Perhaps part of the problem is that the Parties of the Left no longer take political education of the young anything like as seriously as they used to. In my experience Methodist Sunday Schools also did a pretty good job.

      • Chris Rogers

        Most strange Res Des, I attended both Methodist Sunday School and actually joined the congregation weekly and have managed to retain the ‘non-conformist’ roots I was born and bred with. Obviously our Ministers in the early 70’s were male, but even our local Church of Wales has a female Vicar, who’s noted for not being a member of the Tory Party at pray. Still, seems strange our a young girl can get castigated for telling the truth, which most of us suffer on the Left, given our views fall way outside the Blarite bullshite a few posters deem wonderful on these boards – me obviously not being one of them.

    • RobG

      The way this thread’s going you might be better of in Outer Mongolia – and by way of digression, many decades ago I almost died in Ulan Bator from a severe form of dysentery. That aside, and it was during the transition from the Soviet era (Mongolia was the second oldest communist state in the world), I would highly recommend Mongolia to any traveler; although now of course it’s become part of Washington’s take-over of the world.

  • laguerre

    I see that The Habba is again calling for comments to be shut down on Craig’s blog. 100% typical of hasbarists: main aim shut down the conversation. If you can’t, disrupt as much as possible. He’s pursuing his policy.

    Unfortunate that Craig prefers open conversation, which was the point of Craig’s post.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      I do wish people wouldn’t use that silly in- word “conversation”. That’s a general comment, by the way.

      Re this blog in particular – is what we observe really a “conversation”? To me it seems more like a series of individual outpourings which tends to wander off-topic with remarkable speed. The proof of this is that true dissidents are usually called trolls (and worse) within two posts which question or contradict anything said by those who appear to believe that that this is “their” blog. Not very “conversational”, I’d say.I believe the vast majority of readers are here because they wish to hear what Craig has to say and are not really interested in the views of people like “Bev” and his friends.

      As for wishing to shut down free discussion, that is of course nonsense. There are plenty of other blogs and websites, run by less fastidious people than Craig, which would be happy to accomodate the sort of comments sent in by the Excellences and their hangers-on.

      • Dave Price (requests more stew in the lion's den)

        Habbakkuk said:

        “To me it seems…”
        “…, I’d say.”
        “I believe…”

        That’s the whole point just there, Habbakkuk: it’s your opinion. It is however quite clear from the lack of comments supporting your opinion, that nobody else agrees with you. So if you really don’t like it here, it is you who should go off to one of the dark corners of the internet you mentioned.

  • Chris Jones

    Enough of this left/right nonsense. Time to unite under common sense and recognise the corporate elite and privatised central banks psychopaths who are controlling this global puppet show

  • Mark Golding

    Our freedom is incomplete without the the freedom of the Palestinians”

    Leanne Mohamad May 2016

    Tom Welsh & Monteverdi culled the emotion from Leanne – thank-you – and maybe a few recognised the imperative in Craig’s thoughts and struggle.

    No enigma there, mood shifts and critical thinking can only frustrate shame; ultimately only emotion can sustain intention and intention is our only vehicle to delay chaos and entropy. Perhaps the message needs repeating:

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      That’s interesting – the BBC reports two assailants, one of whom was injured and is in hospital and an other who is in custody.

  • Evgueni

    Quoting CM: “The Trump and UKIP side of that movement reflects a deliberate attempt by the Establishment to use the mainstream media to divert the focus of discontent away from the exploiters and burgeoning billionaires, and focus it on “foreigner” scapegoats.”

    Chomsky-Herman propaganda model explains this outcome adequately without the need to resort to conspiracy theories. Also, bias by omission does not invalidate the discussion that IS permitted. Immigration has real effects on people around the UK and it is their democratic right to have an opinion on it and to be able to express that opinion in speech (hate-speech excepted) and a free vote.

    I think we would do well to recognise that the preferred outlet for the discontent is one that further advances UK society on the path of democratisation. UKIP is better than Corbyn’s Labour in that respect – direct democracy is on their agenda. Direct democracy is a tool that cannot be limited to questions relating to immigration only, so the motivation for introducing direct democracy is far less important than the future and irreversible consequences of its introduction. That is, if one trusts the people.

    CM has consistently expressed a strong opinion in support of the EU despite its essentially undemocratic nature even when compared with UK system which he recognises to have a profound democratic deficit. By contrast he has not expressed convincing support for the ideas of direct democracy. He appears to be an elitist, someone who distrusts the people as a whole and who would prefer to have a system of governance that is controlled from the top by a “vanguard” with politically correct views. Or perhaps I am mistaken, but who really cares 🙂

  • Alan

    Occupation 101 – Voices Of The Silenced Majority

    Award-winning documentary film on the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The film covers a wide range of topics — which include — the first wave of Jewish immigration from Europe in the 1880’s, the 1920 tensions, the 1948 war, the 1967 war, the first Intifada of 1987, the Oslo Peace Process, Settlement expansion, the role of the United States Government, the second Intifada of 2000, the separation barrier and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, as well as many heart wrenching testimonials from victims of this tragedy.

1 2

Comments are closed.