THE BLOG

Lets Debate, Discuss and Demonstrate - Not Bully and Abuse

07/12/2015 09:36 GMT | Updated 04/12/2016 10:12 GMT

Blink and you'd have missed it, last night the UK dropped its first bombs on Syria. Intense media scrutiny however has focused not on this but on the alleged abuse dished out to those Labour MPs who voted with the government in favour of air strikes.

Personal insults, abusive language and cyber bullying are not acceptable forms of political debate, they can not and will not be condoned by the Labour Party. The personal attacks levied at Stella Creasy, Liz Kendall and others via Twitter are abhorrent and must be condemned as such - particularly those using sexist or ableist language.

But let's be very clear on this, we can not allow what seems to be a small minority of individuals taking to social media, many of whom may well have no links to the Labour Party to be used as examples in an attempt to discredit those constituents who have quite rightly engaged in a legitimate process to lobby, criticise, debate and in some cases demonstrate against the position that their MP has taken.

The Telegraphs twisted portrayal of a peaceful march outside Stella Creasy's constituency office reminds us that this so called 'red on red' bullying behaviour is not just the reserve of the 'left'. Labelling the demonstrations organiser as 'a crony of Corbyn' and quoting offensive tweets not linked to the demonstration or its organisers as part of the article is nothing more than an attempt to undermine a powerful act of peaceful protest. An act that should be celebrated and encouraged in a democracy.

It is not those activists who have been critical of their elected representatives who deserve to be labelled as bully's. If bullying is considered as constituents legitimately telling their MP they believe that voting for air strikes will lead to the death of innocent people then what do we consider the relentless attack dished out to Corbyn and his supporters. He's been labelled as unpatriotic, a terrorist sympathiser and criticised for his appearance - but where is the public outcry against his treatment?

Have we suddenly forgotten that an independent inquiry into bullying within the Tory party is taking place due to a fathers claims that his son killed himself after being subjected to very real bullying by Tory party activists - why then is it that the Labour Party and Corbyn supporters are being singled out for criticism.

The Labour Party leadership has spoken out against the abusive behaviour and yet those within the Labour Party and outside of it seeking to discredit Corbyn and his supporters continue to link the behaviour of a few random individuals to that of a group - with little or no evidence.

the leadership have also publicly come out against campaigning for the reselection of sitting MPs yet the press seem to repeat the mantra that there is a baying mob within local parties salivating at the prospect of deselecting their MP, rounding on them like a pack of wolves.

Never before has the internal mechanisms of local labour parties been considered so news worthy and salacious, not to mention inaccurate but when exactly did we let the issue of accountability become so mired in controversy?