Very excited! I’ve just been banned from my first Facebook forum!

Today in a spirit of solidarity and political engagement I joined two new Facebook political forums. I am already a member of the 50+ Corbyn Supporters Group I today also joined, ‘We Are Labour’ and the ‘Labour Party Forum“.

To be honest my motives weren’t as pure as I have suggested. I had heard from various sources that these FB forums were very aggressively anti-Corbyn and I was intrigued to see what that meant in practice. So I enrolled to take a look.

A few hours after I joined We Are Labour a bloke called Jonathan Ainsworth posted the following:

(i) “From conversations I’ve had with people who voted for Corbyn I can start to see cracks in his support. The SWP mob who’ve joined the party will never change their views, however, a lot of established labour members who voted for JC because of the language he used at his meetings are starting to have serious doubts. What do you think we can do to get such members to move away from Corbyn? Would a page for ex Corbyn supporters be a good idea?”

I was in a state of shock to see this on such a forum so I felt obliged to challenge this Jonathan Ainsworth bloke, expressing the thought that it wasn’t very ‘Labour’ to so actively and publicly conspire to undermine the democratically leader of the party. I can of course no longer access my comment because I’ve been banned but it went something like this:

(ii) “I am shocked to see someone on a supposedly Labour Party supporting forum so openly plotting the downfall of the Labour Party leader so recently elected with the biggest majority of any political leader, from any political party in British political history. You Jonathan Ainsworth are not Labour. I don’t know what you are but you are not Labour.”

His reply was something like:

(iii) “Mustering as much respect I can to you Chris Jury, piss off!!!! I have been Labour all my life.”

I was going to reply something like:

(iv) “So your answer is to swear at me? Very civilised. The point I am making is that regardless of your years of service you are not currently showing loyalty to the Labour Party because the Labour Party has very emphatically expressed itself by the overwhelming vote for Corbyn as leader.”

But before I could post that second post I was banned from the forum on the basis of my initial post (i.e. (ii) above)! Now as Mr Ainsworth swore at me in (iii) above, I would hope he too has been ‘banned’ from the forum but I somehow think it unlikely.

So be warned, the We Are Labour FB forum, is an anti-Corbyn grouping that will NOT TOLERATE pro-Corbyn dissent. The good news is that the We Are Labour FB group has 248 members whereas the 50+ Corbyn Supporters Group alone has 2259 members and The Labour Party Forum has 23,000!

And moving on to the ‘Labour Party FB Forum’ my experience is so far, so good. There is a wide diversity of opinion expressed on the forum, from died in the wool, un-reconstituted, 1997, ‘Things can only get better’, Blairites, through to died in the wool, un-reconstituted, 1977, ‘Red Flag’ Old Labourites way to the left of Jeremy Corbyn. This is a good thing and much to be encouraged.

The debate on the forum from all sides is robust, sincere and passionate and as a result sometimes very uncomfortable to sit with, as people supposedly on the same side tear strips off each other. But to me that is no bad thing. The election of Corbyn as party leader is potentially a game-changing, truly momentous, event in British politics and the implications for all of us in the Labour Party have to be discussed openly.

So for what it is worth I would highly recommend the Labour Party FB Forum to all Party members from Blairites to Corbynistas and everyone beyond and in between.

My final observation is, that in general the anti-Corbyn voices on both these forums are far more strident, shrill and offensive than the pro-Corbyn voices. And I acknowledge that this is by necessity a generalisation. I am NOT saying all anti-Corbyn voices are strident, shrill and offensive nor that pro-Corbyn voices never are. But I AM saying that overall,  in my limited experience so far, you are far more likely to read sneering, passive aggressive, and even straight forward aggressive, posts from anti-Corbyn voices than pro-Corbyn voices.

The anti-Corbyn voices don’t tend to swear often (excepting of course of Mr Ainsworth above), but they often sneeringly question the intelligence and/or sanity of Corbyn supporters and use other disrespectful rhetorical devices like sarcasm rather than addressing the issues. They also seem to equate being called right-wing or a Tory with a foul insult like calling someone a prick or a c**t. And of course we can all see where they are coming from on that one! (Sorry I couldn’t resist it). But they seem to think it is entirely rational and objective to sarcastically call Corbyn ‘the chosen one’ or our ‘divine leader’, or to call a supporter of Corbyn a Stalinist, a loony leftie or whatever. For example a few hours ago someone on The Labour Party Forum posted a link to a news item on N.Korea and asked if that was what all us Corbynistas wanted? A one-party, totalitarian state? So for supporting a moderate, reformist, parliamentarian arguing for a Keynsian mixed economy we are all totalitarian Commies!

The anti-Corbyn voices often seem to divisively accuse the Corbynistas of being divisive, to use inflammatory language to criticise other people’s use of language, and to equate any digression from their own views as aggression or bullying. It really is a very Orwellian situation where words like debate, democracy and unity, are used to mean exactly the opposite to what they are normally understood to mean i everyday usage. War is Peace and all that.

Anyhoo, it’s been a fascinating day that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. Onwards and up wards Comrades, we are Labour!



About I Am Not A Number

I Am Not A Number is written by Chris Jury. For 30 years Chris Jury was a TV actor, director and writer best known for playing Eric Catchpole in over 60 episodes of the BBC’s antique classic, Lovejoy, and for directing over 50 episodes of Eastenders. In 2008 he was appointed as the Senior Lecturer in Recorded Media in the School Of Music & Performing Arts at Bath Spa University. He currently presents, Agitpop, a pop & politics radio discussion programme on North Cotswold Community Radio He is currently the Communications Officer for UCU at Bath Spa University and a UCU SW Regional Rep at SWTUC.
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8 Responses to Very excited! I’ve just been banned from my first Facebook forum!

  1. Proper shocked. I was called a c*nt a wh**re tory lite a red tory a ukipper retarded a spazzo and various other things on The Labour Forum. Also witnessed one of the admins take the piss out of a lady with mental health problems. I haven’t tried the We Are Labour page, but will check it out

  2. Janet Sillett says:

    I too joined the Labour Party Forum not too long ago (as Janet Silver). I noticed some of your posts today. I entirely agree with your analysis of the forum – it depresses and frustrates me but gives me hope too. I am too addicted to responding to some of the Orwellian brigade (I think I borrowed that in a post today) instead of working. Is there any point? I’m not sure as it is like beating your head against a brick wall. But they have to be challenged – new members may wonder what the Labour Party is if they are left to just get on with it. I don’t make personal comments usually, only to say someone is talking rubbish, though I do make the odd remark about spelling and grammar. If the anti Corbyn brigade could only argue coherently, spell and make sense it would be less of a struggle. So I will persist – for now and hope you do too.

    • Yeah, keep up the good work Janet as you say the narrative has to be continually challenged.

      And it has to said that I find connecting with Comrades such as yourself is a very satisfying reward for engaging. This is how movements are built!

      Just had a very depressing exchange of posts though with a Blairite who suggested that calling the Iraq war ‘illegal’ had cost us the last election! Lol. I couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t worried about the death and destruction just didn’t want me to call ‘illegal’. As if being ‘legal’ made it okay”

  3. Janet Sillett says:

    I hope it wasn’t William James McBride, a Labour councillor from Copeland, who must be the strangest Labour councillor I have ever come across (and I was a councillor for 18 years and work for a national local gov thinktank). He isn’t even a Blairite though.

    There was a discussion today about ignoring the main suspects until they get bored after the main one posted a stupid article from The Daily Mail. Which has some merit I suppose – ignoring them I mean. But I will continue responding sometimes for now.

    And yes it is great to find so many people with similar views – after years of being under the radar. I like the 50 plus supporters site and there are lots of good people on the Labour Forum too. My local Momentum group is only online currently but there are some reasonable discussions.

  4. No it wasn’t William. I am aware of him!

  5. Richard says:

    Well i too was a member of 50+ Corbyn Supporters Group until the other day i posted a poll to vote for Jeremy or Theresa May as best candidate for prime minister anyway one lady posted its a fix i voted for Jeremy and it says i voted for May ! So i tried the poll again Jeremy was at about 70% to Mays 29% so i tried it again and sure enough it was working. So i put an explanation on how to do the poll by sliding the sliders under Jeremy’s name to vote for him. So again this woman posted that it was a fix and not working so again i tried it and it was working so again getting slightly frustrated i posted about the sliders how to vote and make sure to click submit at the end and i added its not rocket science with lol! at the end. Next thing you know i get told i am being patronising ….only if you do not recognise what lol! is i guess that might be true. So i said well sorry you think that but its not patronising it was a joke! To which she replied i was being sexist to which i replied now who is being patronising how is that sexist!? Then i said anyway lets focus on the important things here like Jeremy does and get Jeremy elected the last thing we need to be doing now is dividing amongst each other lets not be negative and focus on the positives. She posted three more negative comments which i deleted and stopped replying to her eventually she responded no more the day after i find i am barred does this seem fair over a meaningless light heart’ed comment ?

  6. Richard Pink says:

    I got Banned from the Labour Party Forum and 50+Corbyn supporters group for being pro Corbyn i did not swear i was not rude or offensive i did how ever make jokes when people were rude to me. I find some people forget to keep a sense of humour whether they are Corbyn supporters or died in the wool Blairites and also when you make a really good point like a truth bomb as i call it you tend to get banned. I question the Labour party forums integrity because when i mentioned people hanging on to Blairite ideology about the centre ground, i pointed out that if the centre ground was the way forward how come the liberals have been in the political wilderness for a hundred years!?

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