Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for politicians, public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming. E.g. Cancelling.
The entire premise behind this ideology is to remove any dissenting voice by means of de-platforming, also known as no-platforming, #cancel/cut out/stop being friends with/stop working with people. Any and all who allegedly have been perpetuating or engaging in problematic behaviours. At first glance, it kind of makes sense. We should hold people accountable, especially if they are repeat abusers of power and people. But who sets the rules who decides what’s acceptable and what’s not? Even worst what happens when one of our own gets cancelled?
Over the past five years, the rise of “cancel culture” and the idea of cancelling someone have become polarising topics of debate as a familiar pattern has emerged: A politician, celebrity or other public figure does or says something offensive. A public backlash, often fuelled by politically progressive social media, ensues. Then come the calls to cancel the person — that is, to effectively end their career or revoke their cultural cachet, whether through boycotts of their work or disciplinary action from an employer or even political exile.
With the result ensured, public figures are constantly under scrutiny, every world is guarded every Tweet, a worry it could be misinterpreted. No longer is it true that ‘To err is human; to forgive, divine.’ Today ‘To err is unforgivable and the culprit deemed cancelled.
Freedom of speech has turned into Orwell’s ‘Newspeak’ only in the language of IngSoc can politics be spoken.
Through the leaked Labour Party report on its handling of anti-semitism complaints, known as the #Labourleaks, we can clearly see how the Labour Party staffers used Cancel culture and by doing so helped to exacerbate an environment of ‘Newspeak‘, a culture of fear and guarded expression of opinion.
The staffers created their own coded program to search out dissenting voices on Left-wing Facebook groups and twitter. The GLU (Governance and Legal Unit) began trawling through Labour members’ and applicant supporters’ social media accounts to find a pretext for expulsion or rejection based on their support for Jeremy Corbyn or opposition to Blairite MP’s.
The GLU then initiated and undertook an intensive, large-scale operation to trawl social
media and purge the party of some of Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters. This operation was
falsely described as investigating members for abusive conduct, including
antisemitism, but only a small fraction was related to antisemitism. Many Corbyn
supporters were suspended or excluded from the party on flimsy grounds, while
action was not taken against many members on the right of the party reported to GLU
for the same conduct. Much of the language for which members were suspended was
the same as the language Labour staff used themselves when talking about
supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.
Algorithms were designed to search for negative comments about a specific list of Blairite MPs. After the release of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War, a general search was made for the phrase “war criminal” or for references to “warmongers,” with staff worrying about “an influx of antiwar angry people.” Phrases like “red Tory,” “pseudo-Tory,” “undercover Blairite,” “backstabber” and “Tory-lite” were also searched for as the basis for expulsion. Specific fishing operations were launched against those signed up to left-wing Facebook groups. There was also within the GLU a huge cross over from the Remain-supporting “Britain Stronger In Europe” An organisation lead by the Corbyn Sceptic Peter Mandelson along with a cross-party mix of EU fanatics.
These staffers discussed the need for secrecy, limiting what information people involved could see, and using people who could be “trusted”, with 10 people being recruited to work on this from Labour Students (two of whom were also noted as coming from “Britain Stronger In Europe”; there appears to have been some overlap between the two organisations). The key staff involved in this process openly opposed Jeremy Corbyn, and this process of “vetting” was designed to target the party’s left.
It cannot be dismissed that the former outspoken critic and EU sceptic, Jeremy Corbyn was seen by remainers as more of a threat than the Pro-remain EU appeasing Theresa May.
It was in this context that the Governance and Legal Unit led on a highly controversial
operation to “vet” members and supporters by examining their social media feeds – a
second round of 2015’s “Trot hunt”, officially called “Validation”.
At the time, the Nationbuilder software that Labour used to hold its member and
supporter data had agreements with Facebook and Twitter that enabled it to “match”
profiles, primarily through people’s email addresses. At the end of June 2016, Richard
Shakespeare, Labour’s lead developer, quickly produced a web app that would scrape
Twitter and Facebook for tweets, retweets, shares and comments that matched
various search criteria, and then match them to profiles of members and supporters,
with a basic interface for staff to review the evidence and matches produced.
Other groups on social media like the Facebook group ‘The Labour Party Forum‘ who while pretending to be an official Labour Party Facebook group, supporting both the name and the logo of the Labour Party added a second offensive. They pushed there own agenda promoting Blairite views overtly campaigning for a second referendum which at the time was against Labour Policy. They promoted the ABC lobby (anyone but Corbyn) The Admins carried out a disciplined regime, Left-wing leave supporters where kicked from the forum in a mini witch hunt. At the same time, they compounded a generalisation that Jeremy Corbyn and the Left of the Labour Party was systemically anti-semitic, However, people began to smell a rat when the Facebook group was singled out by the Sunday Times during the hight of the Anti-Corbyn media campaign, in the infamous publication titled ‘Exposed: Jeremy Corbyn’s hate factory‘ a media hit piece claiming to be the most comprehensive investigation conducted into 20 of the biggest pro-Corbyn Facebook groups — numbering 400,000 members. The one Facebook group singled out for being exemplary even though it was not a Corbyn supporting group was ‘The Labour Party Forum‘. this helped funnel the more moderate Labour members and supporters onto the ‘The Labour Party Forum‘ who masqueraded as an official forum where they directed their energy into undermining Jeremy Corbyn and later promoting sir Keir Starmer.
Two minutes of hate.
In the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), by George Orwell, the Two Minutes Hate is the daily, public period during which members of the Outer Party of Oceania must watch a film depicting the enemies of the state, specifically Emmanuel Goldstein and his followers, to openly and loudly express hatred for them. The political purpose of the Two Minutes Hate is to allow the citizens of Oceania to vent their existential anguish and personal hatreds towards politically expedient enemies: Goldstein and the enemy superstate of the moment. In re-directing the members’ subconscious feelings away from the Party’s government of Oceania, and towards non-existent external enemies, the Party minimises thoughtcrime and the consequent, subversive behaviours of thoughtcriminals.
“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”
The language of Newspeak came 30 years earlier than predicted.
In the official language of Newspeak, the word ‘crimethink’ describes the intellectual actions of a person who entertains and holds politically unacceptable thoughts; thus the government of the Party controls the speech, the actions, and the thoughts of the citizens of Oceania.
In contemporary English usage, the word thoughtcrime describes beliefs that are contrary to accepted norms of society, and is used to describe theological concepts, such as disbelief and idolatry, and the rejection of an ideology.
The Governance and Legal Unit in setting up their own NEW STASI decided what they deemed as ‘crimethink’ they then dispensed of the individuals that did not follow their dogma by bringing them under administrative suspension and ultimately expelling them from the Party.
While staff boasted privately about creating a “new Stasi system”, the scale of the operation was initially hidden from the NEC, with one staff member admitting: “we don’t want the NEC to have much of an idea how many there are to review (we’re worried they’ll get scared)”.
The NEC was provided with misleading information about the work being undertaken, and never provided with all of the search terms GLU were using, which would have revealed how the “purge” was being “rigged”.
Individuals associated with the Labour right whose abusive behaviour was well-documented and reported to the Party were protected from action.
The Labour Party and Politicising antisemitism within an inch of its life
George Orwell’s Final Warning: Don’t Let This Nightmare Situation Happen. It Depends on You!
The result is an Orwellian Grass/Cancel Culture which has shut down free speech and debate because of Labour members embracing Post-Modernist philosophical thinking such as ‘Power hierarchies only existing in discourse’ and ‘Words are literal violence’. As someone who spent over a decade enforcing power hierarchies, trained in delivering and actually experienced real violence, I assure neither is true.
And look where it’s left us. Material reality is no longer important within the Labour Party. Evidence is not as important as ‘how someone feels’.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
In politics, neutralising a toxic controversy and moving on by taking a strategic decision to retreat, withdraw or compromise, may be a prudent course of action. However, WOKE Utopia with its Cancel Culture techniques will not allow this, after all the rules are set and readable laid out in the adoption of the controversial IHRA working definition in full was The argument on free speech was lost.
In the wake of the Long-Bailey sacking, People can no longer ignore that the Labour Party has literally weaponized antisemitism as a tool to remove anyone within membership they don’t agree with.
Rebecca Long-Baileys sacking from her position as Labour shadow minister certainly kicked the hornet’s nest, Thousands of Left-wing Labour members have signed a petition to have RLB reinstated, however, thousands more have declared this is the last straw, they can no longer support a Labour Party that has shifted back to the centre, one that does more to please predominantly Tory BoD than it does in listening to and addressing working-class issues.
The Fallon hope, the last reaming socialist in the Parliamentary Labour Party that is those few Labour MP’s that openly declare themselves socialist, made a vain attempt to change the mind of the self-declared Zionist Sir Keir Starmer and reinstate Long-Bailey.
This happened during a Zoom meeting, Starmer spoke to more than 20 MPs in the Socialist Campaign Group, who expressed concern about Mrs Long-Bailey’s removal as shadow education secretary last Thursday.
Its membership includes former leader Jeremy Corbyn and other prominent left-wingers such as Diane Abbott and Richard Burgon, although the list of MPs that took part has not been released its known the group is very small.
The Socialist Campaign Group, MPs who took part said they wanted reassurance that those who criticised the Israeli government would not be suspended.
However, Sir Keir Starmer said he “stands by” his decision to sack shadow minister Rebecca Long-Bailey after the meeting with the few remaining left-wing Labour MPs.
The Labour leader said the virtual meeting was “constructive” but his mind was “made up” on the matter.
When people like Chris Williamson, Ken Livingstone, Marc Wadsworth and Jackie Walker faced the persecution from the witchhunt outside of the appalled membership and Labour supporters no one spoke out. They never experienced the comfort of solidarity Stalwarts of modern socialism were abandoned by their comrades in the PLP and NEC to be picked off one by one. Rebecca Long-Bailey felt it prudent to remain stum on all other suspensions and expulsions. It must have been an uplifting surprise that the few Left-wing MPs within the Labour Party rallied round to appeal to Sir Keir Starmer asking for him not to take further action
This show of solidarity by Labour MPs has come far too late. This solidarity should have taken place when Chris Williamson was a victim of the witchhunt or better still the Labour Party should have nipped the whole poor show in the bud when Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker were hounded relentlessly by the woke left masquerading as socialist guided by the BoD and supported by outlets like the Guardian.
The Labour Party have always defended the oppressed, the Labour Party have never been an Antisemitic Party. The Party has always promoted an environment of equality, both members and the party have always highlighted injustices carried out throughout the world, the Labour Party is a true internationalist party that stands in solidarity with any oppressed people no matter their race creed or colour. But for some in the Party, the defence of an oppressed people such as the Palestinians and the anger at seeing the injustices placed upon them has spilt over and for some, the remarks and comments made have not been articulated in the best way. This has been exaggerated by the enemy of the Left both externally and within the Labour Party. Both groups have weaponized Antisemitism.
Long-Baileys crime was not to Tweet an article from the independent newspaper that had a very small section that suggested the Israeli secret service trained US police forces in the Knee restraint tactic used in the killing of George Floyd. That suggestion in the Independent had already been counted and denied by the Israeli government, no Long-Baileys crime was to have disagreed with Sir Keir Starmer over children going back to school.
Rebecca Long-Bailey has narrowly escaped CANCELLING the membership and Labour supporters rallied and opposed the weak evidence and reason for her sacking. Long-Bailey got the support. That same support she withheld from other just as deserving if not more so.
However, in a twist of Irony SKWAWKBOX‘s editor lodged a formal antisemitism complaint against Sir Keir Starmer for the conflation of Jewish people with actions of the Israeli government in breach of IHRA code.
There where also other Formal complaints of antisemitism lodged against six Labour MPs, including Ed Miliband, Wes Streeting, and party leader Keir Starmer, with both the party itself and the Equalities & Human Rights Commission. We believe it to be the second such allegation including Starmer since his sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey last week.
By equating a comment about the Israeli state with antisemitism, Starmer has conflated Israel with Jewish people collectively, in clear breach of this example in the IHRA working definition which has been fully accepted by the Labour Party”
Complaints to the Labour Party can be lodged here and information about the EHRC investigation here.
To make a complaint to the Labour Party it can be lodged here and information about the EHRC investigation here
PLEASE HELP US KEEP GOING AD-FREEHELP US GROW.
This is a "Pay as You Feel" website.
This blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.
You can have access to all of our online work for free. However if you want to support what we do, you could make a small donation to help us keep writing and staying ad-free. The choice is entirely yours.