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Andrew  Fisher’s comedy career is all over

class warI hate to break it to him, but Andrew Fisher is just going to have to accept that the second career he so obviously yearns for as a fulltime gag-writer for Frankie Boyle is never going to happen for him. He’ll just have to stick to being Britain’s best young left-wing economist instead.

Rumour is that Russell Howard cruelly sent back one of Andrew’s scripts with a pro-forma rejection slip, probably because he just didn’t think he could get a laugh out of the one-liner describing the Miliband frontbench as  ‘the most abject collection of complete shite’.

Billy Connolly did briefly consider incorporating the sketch about thumping James Purnell into one of his famous Glasgow football violence routines, but in the end decided that it just wasn’t funny enough.

To cap it all, Fisher is a pretty lousy anarchist agitator, too. Proper anarchists throw bombs, assassinate US presidents, or at least get drunk and trash cereal cafes in Bethnal Green. ‘Ni Dieu, ni maitre, ni cornflakes’, as the slogan runs. All Croydon’s answer to Emma Goldman can come up with is a Tweet in apparent support of Class War.

On the other hand, Jimmy Carr hasn’t written too many incisive critiques of neoliberalism, and relatively few Black Block hoodies are able to proffer counsel on macroeconomic policy. Indeed, the striking paucity of economics PhDs in either the comedy community or the ranks of contemporary British Bakuninites makes it best that Jeremy Corbyn picks somebody who knows his r > g from his elbow, without necessarily be able to deliver wisecracks while he’s about it.

But Fisher is now heavily under fire for some of the frankly idiotic things he has Tweeted and said, many of which are as asinine as his economic writings are profound. As I write this, he has been suspended from Labour Party membership, and the right are seeking his expulsion in the next few days.

Some Labour leftwingers have said privately that Fisher should fall on his sword. Jeremy needs to pick his battles, they maintain, and fighting to keep one young aide with a propensity for shooting his mouth off on board just can’t be a priority right now.

I think they are rather missing the point. As Left Futures has consistently argued, this whole affair is not about Fisher’s sporadic outbursts, for which he has quite properly apologised.

No, this manufactured controversy is part of the ‘shelling of Fort Sumter’ proclaimed by Blairite former MP Tom Harris in the Telegraph this week, effectively an open declaration of civil war by the Labour right on the Corbyn leadership.

As can be seen by reading the rightwing press this morning, all of this has been choreographed and the Labour left is facing heavy opening salvoes. The machine evidently doesn’t like being raged against.

We can let those who have proclaimed themselves our enemies, by way of explicit military analogy, to get away with salami slicing tactics. First they want to take out Fisher, a young and relatively low-ranking man. But make no mistake, the ultimate targets are John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn himself.

In these opening skirmishes of what might prove a protracted conflict, keeping Fisher in place is a key defensive task. Indeed, it is right to make it one of our side’s initial priorities.

13 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Hear hear!

  2. James Martin says:

    Fisher’s so-called ‘crimes’ are nothing compared with those of Simon Dumbfeck, and mirror in part the tweets of Emily ‘I’m entitled because of my name’ Benn in support of the Womens’ Equality Party. And the funny thing is that Fisher has merely tweeted what many of us has said to mates in the pub over the years (and then some), and I’m speaking as a Party member of nearly three decades in that respect. But Fisher has discovered what many a young shaver is finding, that what were once throw away remarks in private company or long forgotten meetings become forever lodged in cyber space due to the horrors of twatter and feckbook (that thankfully I’m far too old to be remotely interested in).

    This week we have also seen the movement of those connected to the ‘British American Project’ (inclusing of course Progress) to reassert their militarist warmongering credentials in wanting to kill lots more brown people in a foreign land (of course these are the same eejits that were frothing at the mouth about bombing Libya, a now terrorist heaven that they strangely never want to talk about these days), and they have themselves been aided by a choreographed display by the privately educated Gen Sir Nicholas Houghton who shamelessly attacks Corbyn in his homage to the First World War mass murdering generals that he so clearly idolises. In other words what is happing in our Party is not isolated, it is part of a wider ruling class attack with those Kendall supporting MPs now acting as the shock troops.

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      A good and very sound analysis; see also my own comment in response to Mervin Hyde below.

      We neglect the prevailing and far from benign influence of American culture and foreign policy at our peril.

  3. John Penney says:

    Well said. Every member of Jeremy’s team must be supported to the hilt. Andrew’s comments were undoubtedly undiplomatic , but unfair or untrue ? Nope. Does anyone really believe he was recommending a vote for the largely ex public school young toy “anarchists” of Class War ? Nope. I’m personally more affronted by Ms Benn’s call for support for the Women’s Equality Party.

    The Right are going to stop at nothing, with the full support of the entire mass media, day in day out, to ridicule and demonize every aspect of Jeremy’s new direction for Labour, and every supporter and member of his team. Every concession from the Left will be proof positive to the Right that the Destroy Corbyn Plan is working. We must not give an inch.

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      I completely agree Andrew Fisher’s particularly blunt and refreshingly honest comments about the people on the Labour front bench and am perfectly complacent about his appropriate use of expletive to describe them.

      It does however throw up an interesting point.

      More offensive to me by far were the crude and unwelcome comment’s made by Jim McMahon and by too many others, (many of them on the Labour front bench,) about the sick, disabled and the unemployed, who are knocking each other over trying climb onto the Tory, “the poor are to blame,” bandwagon.

      I all depends on what people find offensive; contrast the outrage about Andrew Fisher’s swearing with their complete indifference to all the people, (many of them sick, mentally ill or with dependency or just adequacy problems,) being abandoned to die lingering and humiliating deaths in squalor and deprivation on the streets of our major cities.

      It’s snapshot of everything that’s gone wrong with Labour during my lifetime.

  4. Andrew Fisher is the Author of ‘The ‘Failed Experiment’. A brilliant analysis of the problems that 37 years of unregulated financial dealings has bought upon us. For this he blames the political elite of both parties rather than the banks. The guns are out not because of what he twittered but because of what he wrote

  5. David Pavett says:

    I fervently hope that the NEC exercises sane judgement and dismisses the call for the expulsion of Fisher. Expulsion would be a body blow to all those who have joined the Party in such numbers with a sense of hope that it can a vehicule for radical change. It would be a sign that the old right retains its stultifying grip on the Party. It would be a declaration of war on the membership for not having delivered a leader acceptable to the right.

    1. Mervyn Hyde says:

      There is little doubt in my mind that the Neo-Liberal wing of the party have their own agenda which does not coincide with party members aspirations, and are determined to undermine Jeremy.

      I remember in the early 1980s David Owen a shadow cabinet member visited my then brother in law’s constituency in Norton Radstock where he felt safe to attack the Labour Party whilst we were expecting to hear words of wisdom as to how we could all get rid of Thatcher. Needless to say very shortly after that he formed the SPD with his other friends, thinking they had broken the mould of politics.

      Our failed candidate for the Gloucester constituency was a financial director at the time, also joined with a small bunch of party members, they called us at the general election the left wing rump of the Labour Party and we outnumbered them 10 to 1, needless to say we drove them off the political scene and look where one of the gang of four ended up, supporting the most right wing government since Thatcher.

      We know what these people are, and should make it known to the NEC that witch hunts are the preserve of McCarthyite right wing governments and have no place in the Labour Party.

      I see more of this kind of activity as time goes on and we do need to confront these people as they will drive the Labour Party into the ground, they have an agenda, we must all be prepared for anything they throw at us, and throw it back right in their face.

      Why didn’t they defend Labour against Tory claims that Labour were profligate, when they knew the opposite was the case? The obvious truth is that they were going to pursue exactly the same policies as the Tories and if anyone has read my previous links To Gordon Brown’s 2006 Mansion House speech where he boasted to the worlds Bankers and Business, how successful he was in Liberalising the financial sector, and how Ed Balls was going to work closely with the City, they also boasted that they had spent two years convincing the rest of Europe to follow suit. Then of course came the crash.

      The evidence is there for all to see just how complicit these Neo-Liberals are within our party, they have their agenda and will relentlessly pursue it to the bitter end.

      1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

        Personally I actually regard Blair as having been massively profligate and financially irresponsible; but I’ve expanded on this previously, (suffice to say that his fire sale, not just of public assets, but of future state revenue steams seems to me to compare very unfavorably with the kind of punitive tax farming and similar abuses, that many historians regards a having been among the precursors and abuses that contributed to the causes of the French and other revolutions.)

        The argument, where there’s even any argument going on at all, is between groups and people, (American companies and the all these self styled neolibral racketeers,) who regard property rights as absolutely paramount, (including the American penal system that is essentially still based on slavery, but not just slavery but actually the kind of debt slavery that was first outlawed in Europe by Pisistratus, I think it was him, in Athens around 600 BC ) and people who regard human rights as being far more important.

    2. John P Reid says:

      The only problem with your view,is that if Frank field Carrie spit his stand as independents, you can’t expel US. All, bluff, then ,if the NEC doesn’t expel fisher and did expel Field and co. In such a situation,then, it would be seen as hypacritical

  6. historyintime says:

    Well I’m a Rightie myself but this sort of authoritarianism (and hyprocrisy) is one of the key reasons the Right isn’t doing well at the moment. Fisher’s apology should be accepted with good faith. And the Right should focus its energies on getting back its policy mojo.

  7. David Ellis says:

    It’s a shame that we are talking about defensive battles already when we really should be on the attack. Losing momentum is a serious problem but a lot of the wind in Corbyn’s sails has been taken out by his own tacking. Corbyn needs to announce a series of radical policies, such as voting out in the EU Referendum, and a series of reforms of the Labour Party starting with the reduction of Labour MPs to servants of the party with one vote like every other member.

  8. Robert says:

    We seem to have issues with what we are going to fight the next election on, a lot of people who were members were advised they would not be allowed to vote on the leadership election because they had spoken against the labour party by attacking it.

    Jesus that would mean most of the people I know who are labour members including myself would not be allowed to vote .

    Was this young man stupid I expect so, he did not think I expect he would be a special adviser.

    But will this go away the Progress faction is already writing article all over the place to get him removed maybe we need to get McBride back or Campbell or the others who nearly wrecked labour under Blair.

    Never forget the one on September 11th when a well known adviser stated this would be a good day to bury bad news.

    Labour right wing soon forget the issues they had.

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