The Right-Minded View On Personal Abuse In Politics: It’s Just Not Cricket.

by richardhutton

People are being unpleasant to each other on the internet, I hear. This is a worrying development.

Never went in on my day, this online abuse, I can tell you. In fairness, the internet hadn’t been invented then; but that is merely the sort of pettifogging detail that only the most extreme of Lefties would consider relevant here.

Many a sharp word was exchanged via a well-timed telegram; and a good, stiff letter to the Daily Telegraph was often warranted. But there was certainly none of this “lol” malarky, until Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party. Politeness reigned in political discourse, until that precise juncture, in fact.

Admittedly, David Cameron and his numerous admirers in the dailies have frequently referred to Corbyn and his colleagues as “terrorist sympathisers“; and a number of senior Labour insiders – sensible moderates all – declaimed that those who voted for him were “morons“, in need of “heart-transplants“. But this should not be confused with casual abuse. Good heavens, no – it is debating, at the very highest level.

In fact, online abuse has become so pervasive since Corbyn’s ascension to the second highest office in the land that Conservative MPs have even received threatening messages from themselves. Merely consider the case of Ms Lucy Allen, for example. Becoming the victim of abuse from yourself, just because you’re a Tory, merely goes to show how far this sort of thing has gone.

And you certainly never hear an impolite word about others from the Conservatives. That is because they hold themselves to a higher code of ethics: standards, which we can all aspire to.

True, earlier this week a Conservative backbencher was overheard using a certain term, which has largely fallen from common usage; but rap fellas such as Icey Tea and Scoopy Scoopy Dog Dog use that word all the time; so I don’t see why Tory MPs can’t.

And besides, it elicited no complaint from any of her colleagues at the time – and there were plenty within earshot. They wouldn’t even think of using that word. They may occasionally use that word without thinking; but that is by the by – so we should not judge too harshly. It certainly does not compare to Corbyn-supporters calling people “liberals” – but using the word in a pejorative sense!

In sum: it really is high-time that Jeremy Corbyn issued a big apology for all of this. It’s just not cricket.