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Thank goodness for Michael Foster, The Anti-Corbyn CULT are digging their own graves and damaging Owen Smith's chances

His article in the Mail on Sunday was every bit as ridiculous as it was hysterical.  What the millionaire Labour donor achieved in one bitter, spittle-flecked rant, was both the encapsulation and culmination of every Anti-Corbyn smear in one handy ‘cut out and keep’ guide. By deliberately combining two unfounded and over-wrought stereotypes Foster managed to paint Corbyn supporters as anti-semitic Nazi Brownshirts. 

That’s not hyperbole. That’s not paraphrasing. That’s what he actually said, and that’s exactly what the Mail published.
That Foster writes such things is not particularly troubling. It is, after all, not so far removed from much of the Anti-Corbyn bile spewed on Twitter daily (see @labourabuse). The fact that a mainstream British newspaper, though,would choose to publish it, is far more significant. And potentially damaging.

It’s all a question of credibility.

Eventually every long-running TV show has a moment where it ‘jumps the shark’, that is to say, a point where something so ridiculous happens that a majority of viewers begin to notice that the quality is not quite what it once was. Worse than that, this cross-over point also draws the attention to the possibility that the show was never that good in the first place. 

I was never a Happy Days fan, so I can’t honestly claim to be affected by the scene which named the phenomenon -A water-skiing Fonz leaping over a hungry shark- but I have experienced the feeling. An anxious teenager, I was slightly disappointed by the format changes to Red Dwarf by the beginning of series 7. My heart sank when Ace Rimmer, the irritating inter-dimensional alter-ego of Chirs Barrie’s character made an unwelcome appearance air-surfing on the back of a puppet alsatian in pursuit of Ken Morley in a Nazi uniform. I stopped watching after that, thinking that at least I had the first six series on tape, and I could enjoy them whenever I liked. 

Except I couldn’t. The sight of that incredulous, almost insulting visual gag had ruined the show for me. I couldn’t watch those early episodes anymore. I became hyper-critical of the writing, the jokes made me cringe, and I just felt a bit sick whenever I thought about it. Once the magic had gone, I realised that I’d actually stopped enjoying the show years earlier, but because I’d believed in it, and identified with it, I hadn’t noticed.

I think that Michael Foster’s letter will prove a similar turning point in the Anti-Corbyn Cult. Moderates, undecideds and even interested disinterested may have been easily swayed by the relentless media message of various Labour and non-Labour commentators, but they will find Foster’s words far harder to digest. 

When people are faced with someone who takes their beliefs and extends them out to their natural extremes, they are often forced to consider the validity of path they have chosen and end up questioning its actual basis. (There is an excellent scene in Dennis Potter’s ‘Brimstone and Treacle’ where Michael Kitchen’s demon does this to Denholm Elliott’s character, bursting the bubble of his burgeoning nationalist views by forcing him to consider immigrant death camps.)

To those Anti-Corbynists, who find Foster’s words ‘a bit strong’ or ‘over the top’, I ask you -implore you- to consider not only these words, but the sustained programme of lesser, or unconnected diatribes that have preceded and enabled this. Ask yourself, how much credibility is there left in a movement which has clearly lost all sense of reason, all sense of perspective and all sense of reality?

Although it may not feel like it right now, the fallout from this, Tom Watson’s ‘Trots under the bed’ and Dave Watts’ attempt to paint Corbynites as Moonies, may mark a massive turning point in the public’s perception of Corbyn criticism. The scales are slowly falling from people’s eyes, and the implausibility of Foster’s words will perhaps force many to revisit their beliefs and begin to view future articles with a more critical eye.

We may be angry now, but when we look back on this period of history, we might well end up toasting the name, Michael Foster. 


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