The Prole Star has received information suggesting that a former Labour MP may be running multiple Twitter accounts for the sole purpose of attacking and undermining the party leadership. Now who might do a thing like that?
In the spirit of investigation, we have compiled a list of ‘suspects’ and background material from Twitter – although we would like to make it clear that we are in no way suggesting that any one of the ‘line-up’ is the person responsible – we are merely exploring possibilities to allow readers to form their own conclusions.
Details of the potential sockpuppet accounts have also been blurred out – after all, given the line-up of former Labour MPs, innocent parties might take offence at being suggested as their alter egos.
We were told there had been, over some time, notable similarities in tone, phrasing and ‘like’ activity between the various accounts and those of some former MPs, as well as interaction between them. Now of course, this doesn’t constitute proof – but we felt it did constitute something worth a closer look.
Obviously the criteria ‘former Labour MP’ is a large one, so we have formed our first ‘line-up’ from those who have departed recently, in the last 18 months. We discounted Simon Danczuk, as he doesn’t appear to have been active on Twitter for almost a year – and if we’re honest, also because we had completely forgotten he existed!
We also dismissed Messrs Blair and Mandelson – we figured they probablyhave people to do that sort of thing.
So who might, to coin a phrase, be outside the tent and piddling in? A request for suggestions on Twitter threw up a handful of candidates – and disturbingly, several suggestions that current Labour MPs might be doing the same thing.
So who could it be? Let’s look at our first five candidates for Mr Multiple Personality, who we’ll rank out of 10 for ‘working to attack and undermine Labour’ and our admittedly unscientific ‘Kool Aid Test.
Let’s get Alan Johnson out of the way first, as he seems to be pretty much invisible on social media – not that he’s found that much of a hindrance, seizing every possible opportunity to whine and criticise to anyone who’ll give him a platform. Get on Twitter, Alan – you might get in touch with what’s really happening in the Labour movement…..
Undermining Labour: 6/10 Kool Aid Test: 0/10
Tristram Hunt gave up his seat and prompted the Stoke-on-Trent byelection last year after being offered a lucrative job as Director of the V&A – a post which has to be personally approved by the Prime Minister. However, since leaving Tristram has, if possible, shown even less interest in Labour than he did previously.
His activity on social media, even during the lead up to the GE, contains nothing that could be construed as a message of support, and more recently, his only vaguely political content has been about MPs moving out of Parliament for the refurb, and congratulating Tory Culture Secretary Matt Hancock for his excellent work…..
Undermining Labour: 3/10 Kool Aid Test: 0/10
Michael Dugher gave up his seat before last year’s GE to spend more time hobnobbing at gigs with his Tory pals and pretending to be down with the kids ‘cause he’s in the music biz. This hasn’t got in the way of his constant sniping and abuse on social media, however, and he was a popular suggestion for Mr Multiple Personality – although it might be argued that he thinks his own voice is so important that he wouldn’t want to speak as anyone else.
Undermining Labour: 7/10 Kool Aid Test: 0/10
Our old friend Tom Blenkinsop, who quit before he was kicked out after a tenure so incompetent that he all but gifted his Middlesborough South & East Cleveland seat to the Tories for the first time in its history. Roundly detested by his CLP and constituents, young Tom fancies himself a bit of a soldier, and is certainly no shrinking violet on Twitter, where he styles himself ‘son of the infant Hercules’.
Since Tom apparently spent a good portion of his political ‘career’ seeking out and blocking Corbyn-supporting accounts, we had to ask a friend to have a trawl through his timeline, where it transpired he had links to some of the alleged sockpuppets – and indeed an apparent affinity with one account in particular whose bio reads ‘somewhat unbalanced and obsessive’.
As to his Twitter activity, as you can see he wastes no chance to attack the leadership and those pesky ‘hard left entryists’. All we can say is we hope he doesn’t kiss his infant father goodnight with that mouth……..
Undermining Labour: 8/10 Kool Aid Test: 1/10
Step forward Jamieson Ronald Reed, Steward of the Manor of Northstead and staunch representative of the UK nuclear industry, who all but handed his Copeland seat to the Tories after having spent 12 happy years decimating Labour’s support base in the constituency.
Now Jamie’s pretty active on social media and is certainly no stranger to Twitter, whereon his sniping and abuse is regular and consistent. Jamie scored high on the Kool Aid Test, where his similarity to an account claiming to be ‘a former Labour adviser’ has been remarked upon by several of our contributors.
He is also included with at least one of them on a list titled ‘worth reading’ created by the I Have Left Labour account (this list also includes the toxic ex-councillor and Labour Vision hack Sam Stopp, a raft of Tory MPs, and hatemongers-in-chief Isabel Oakeshott and Julia Hartley-Brewer) Readers will have to decide their ‘worth’ for themselves.
Undermining Labour: 8/10 Kool Aid Test: 9/10
In an entirely unrelated matter, we can also offer for your amusement the fact that the website featured in Jamie’s Twitter profile, jamiereed.net, was not at all what we were expecting to find when we clicked the link…..
Now we wouldn’t want anyone to think we were implicating any one of these five, or our other potential candidates – we simply offer information so that readers can draw their own conclusions.
Of course, running multiple Twitter accounts isn’t illegal, though if done by a former MP, let alone one who has work responsibilities in the nuclear industry, the V&A, the music business, or whatever it is Tom Blenkinsop actually does, it is at best sad and at worst dubious behaviour.
Using multiple accounts to undermine the party they claim to support and to heckle and abuse ordinary Labour supporters seems to us clear ground for expulsion as a member.