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In defence of Jim Jepps against press smears

ozNV3c9BThatcher once noted that when opponents resort to personal attacks, it signals their inability to argue the politics. What then to make of the concerted attack on my friend and comrade Jim Jepps by the Fawkes rabbleThe Mail, and the Daily Mirror. Jim is very much away from the limelight, quietly plugging away at his own activist projects and not courting the media at all. And yet he’s become fair game in the desperate attempts by idiot journalism to smear his partner, the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett. 

Let’s be clear here. I am a Labour party person. I am firmly of the belief that the overwhelming majority of Greens would have more influence were they in the same party as me. Their recent Green surge, if repeated in Labour, would make it more likely that policies we share in common – such as a basic income for all, a more generous minimum wage, and an end to austerity – would make it onto the agenda.

To win Greens over, Labour has to offer something positive and not overly rely on it’s us or the Tories. Politics itself, however, is about the clash of interests and pursuit of well-remunerated, powerful positions. It’s a dirty business and won’t change as long as our society is underpinned by social conflict. That, however, does not mean we should resign ourselves to bathing in swill if we wade into the public arena. Nothing turns people off politics more than needless abuse and attacks by association. In this case, for Labour supporters to use/endorse methods favoured by the poltroons of The Mail and Guido only legitimates similar tactics deployed against our own side. It opens us up to charges of hypocrisy too.

Of the posts that must have taken an enterprising Mirror hack all of half an hour to find are no biggie. That’s right. Musing aloud about the ethics of sexual relationships between teachers and 17 year old students and rape fantasies is totally unremarkable. Especially when many of the journos and the readers they titillate and scandalise rarely get exercised by the existence of teacher/pupil role play and violent pornography always a few mouse clicks away. And there’s this:

It seems to me that the sex offenders register is a sledgehammer to crack a nut sometimes. When you have a teacher who kissed a 17-year-old placed on the same register as Gary Glitter it does make you wonder how useful the list is, no matter how creepy that teacher might be.

What is this loony libertarian shit? Such are the cynical depths to which our supposedly left-wing press stoop to that apparently, ordinary people – who just happen to be the significant other of a public figure – are not permitted to ask probing questions about the nature of sexuality and the official discourse on sex crimes. This while The Mirror pores over the bikini-clad bodies of female celebrities, while the Daily Mail happily ogles under age teenage bodies, while the Fawkes rabble plays host to rape threats and grotesque woman-hating, you can be forgiven for thinking that they should get their own households in order before drawing attention to others.

The attack on Jim Jepps as a way of getting at Natalie Bennett is pathetic and bang out of order. Jim is one of the kindest, most decent, hardest working, and supportive socialists I’ve had the pleasure to meet. So fuck you, Mirror Group Newspapers. I’d rather have one comrade like Jim in my corner than any number of cowardly, phone-fiddling Mirror hacks.

This article first appeared at All that is Solid

3 Comments

  1. Robert says:

    This is politics today, when you can not get people to listen to your announcements then why not go after the coalitions or possible coalition parties.

    I suspect Major we will see Blair next speaking telling us how great those leaders are.

  2. John.P reid says:

    Good article,
    We’re there personal insults though?

  3. John.P reid says:

    Many people are tarred with the same brush, but dare criticise do Gooders, who are happy to see men on the offenders register, over getting a caution, and you’ll be lynched,

    Many new MPs have a disrespect for the law when it suits them ,Diane Abbott Harriet ,Harman and co have always been there,when Sadiq Khan and Emily Thornberry before becoming MPs ,the former lawyers who’d been happily to redefine the law in their own terms, regarding civil rights, backed up by Doreen Lawrence

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