Monday 20 April 2015

In Defence of Jim Jepps

Thatcher 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 rabble, The 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.


BCFG said...

You only have to have watched the recent leaders debates to understand why the Greens would have certain problems joining New Labour. Ed Miliband offered a mixture of Tory lite, UKIP lite and Lib Dem lite with some New labour lite thrown in for good measure.

Mark Walmsley said...

Good piece. I think you should expand on that intro though - Greens gaining influence by moving to Labour. Interesting thought but not sure.

treborc said...

Since most of the surge in the Greens are coming from labour, then one has to ask the question why?. Why is it labour cannot get those lost Millions back and why is it UKIP and the Green are now seeing those from labour and the Tories.

Miliband words are we are the party of working people, well then people have to look for something else.