Diane Abbott received half of all abusive tweets sent to women MPs

Image of Dianne Abbot

by Emma Bean

The shadow home secretary experienced the vast majority of online abuse sent to women MPs, and had 10 times more abusive tweets sent to her than any other figure in the run up to the election. She also suffered eight times more abuse in the whole six month period which was analysed.

The research, conducted by Amnesty International, looked at messages sent in the period between January 1 and June 8. In this time she received almost a third of all the abuse directed at women political figures.

The list of the five female politicians who received the most abuse included two other Labour MPs, with Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, and Jess Phillips, chair of the women’s PLP, coming in third and fourth respectively. Joanna Cherry, SNP MP, got the second most abuse and Anna Soubry, Conservative MP for Broxtowe and a prominent Europhile, being placed fifth in the ranking.

However, Abbott’s level of abuse far outstrips those mentioned, with the trailblazing Hackney North MP receiving 31.6 per cent of abusive tweets, and the rest of the top five getting nearer three per cent of abusive tweets. She also received more abusive tweets than all the women in the SNP and Conservative party combined in the six month period.

Ethnic minority women politicians, excluding Abbott, received 35 per cent more abuse than white women. Some 5.8 per cent of all tweets sent mentioning Abbott’s twitter handle were classified as abusive.

The report found that “intersectional discrimination” meant that a figure who had more than one identity, e.g. if LGBT, BAME or disabled, meant that they were then more likely to face abuse.

In a New Statesman article describing the report, Amnesty’s researcher in technology and human rights Azmina Dhrodia writes: “Diane Abbott standing out in our analysis is an acute example of how intersectional discrimination works. The abuse that she faces is not just sexist and misogynistic; it’s also incredibly racist.”

“Nearly 90 years after women won the right to vote, there is a real danger that the high levels of online abuse against women MPs will have a chilling effect on women taking part in public life  —  particularly women of colour. This is not only detrimental in terms of the possible long-term effect on the representation of women in politics in the UK but also continues to deepen societal inequality between genders.”

©LabourList

Continue ReadingDiane Abbott received half of all abusive tweets sent to women MPs

Sunday evening politics review

First off, I’ve had a really stinking cold for a week now. I turned to brandy for some respite and all of a sudden it seemed the cold was cured. Drinking more than one bottle of brandy does have it’s disadvantages but at least I appear to turn into a ranting fool rather than a death-threatening ranting fool. One of the dangers of overindulgence is that you think everything you say, think and do is fantastically profound and important. That’s the magick of eau de vie.

On the subject of death-threats, there has been at least one arrest for making death threats to MPs on facebook. I’ve failed to find what was actually said but come on. I’m certain that New Labour ministers and policemen did allsorts of nonsese to me while I was legitimately participating in the democratic process. The problem was that I was good at it ;) These MPs did after all vote to kill people – and it is expected – innocent people too unless these astoundingly super-wonderful weapons of mass destruction ‘Paisley’ missiles have got some truly divine abilities. That’s understandably likely to piss some people off a lot.

More false-flag attacks. C’mon, you’re finding it so easy that you’re not really trying. Don’t forget the issue that the innocent patsies are executed as part of that BS.

Image of Mhairi Black, SNP MP
Mhairi Black, SNP MP

Congratulations to Mhairi Black awarded University of Glasgow’s Young Alumnus of the Year.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Anton Muscatelli said: “Mhairi has been a true ambassador for the University of Glasgow, demonstrating huge commitment to her final year studies at the same time as canvassing for election.

“Students and staff at the University of Glasgow have shown they can change the world – I am certain that Mhairi will make a difference to the lives of others as she strives to combat poverty in her role as an MP. I am also sure that she will be an inspirational role-model for other young people to engage in the democratic process.”

There are various calls from disgruntled Labour MPs for Corbyn to step-back or disassociate with Stop the War Coalition and the Momentum movement and to refuse to attend the Stop the War fundraiser as guest of honour. Well he has already stepped back from Stop the War but a Corbyn spokesman is entirely correct in saying

“The anti-war movement has been a vital democratic campaign, which organised the biggest demonstrations in British history and has repeatedly called it right over 14 years of disastrous wars in the wider Middle East,” the spokesman said. “Jeremy Corbyn rejects any form of abuse in politics from any quarter. But he will not accept attempts to portray campaigning, lobbying and protest as somehow beyond the pale. In fact it’s at the heart of democracy”.

Is Corbyn responsible for all actions of all Momentum or Stop the War members and activists? What can he realistically do to stop any online abuse? He appears to be held to a far higher standard than others. Does the left call for Blairites to distance themselves from right-wing thinktanks?

Alex Salmond suggests Corbyn does a shadow cabinet reshuffle. Well, what did they expect?

I’m sure that I read a report that Corbyn’s chief whip Rosie Winterton refused to whip the Labour Party saying that she answers to the shadow cabinet. I can’t find any mention of it now but I’d like to know. Perhaps someone could buy me a ticket to the fundraiser and I’ll ask him?

And lastly, Jeremy Corbyn in a santa hat raising money for refugees.

Image of Jeremy Corbyn in a santa hat raising money for Oxfam's refugee appeal.

slightly later edit: I think that I understand Corbyn’s drive for a new politics. It is a different politics inspired by the Stop the War Coalition. In my case I also saw it in the 2005 G8 campaign.

It’s a real desire for consensus rather than confrontational politics. We did this at my own Stop the War group when delegates were representing the views of the group (which strangely enough is not the way unions and political parties do it).

Cameron claimed that he wanted consensus with the Syria vote. He didn’t and instead simply wanted a win to look the big war leader. Clearly there was and there is division rather than consensus.

Continue ReadingSunday evening politics review

Craig Murray on how the Left can win

Craig Murray has an excellent article on how the Left can win.

“A Daily Mirror opinion poll following a BBC televised Labour leadership candidates’ debate this week had Jeremy Corbyn as the clear winner, with twice the support of anyone else. The media ridicule level has picked up since. This policy of marginalisation works. I was saddened by readers’ comments under a Guardian report of that debate, in which Labour supporter after Labour supporter posted comment to the effect “I would like to vote for Jeremy Corbyn because he believes in the same things I do, but we need a more right wing leader to have a chance of winning.”

There are two answers to that. The first is no, you don’t need to be right wing to win. Look at the SNP. The second is what the bloody hell are you in politics for anyway? Do you just want your team to win like it was football? Is there any point at all in being elected just so you can carry out the same policies as your opponents? The problem is, of course, that for so many in the Labour Party, especially but not just the MPs, they want to win for personal career advantage not actually to promote particular policies.”

 

Continue ReadingCraig Murray on how the Left can win