In the run up to the Labour leadership election 2016 a series of party members where suspended from the Labour party.
Reasons were at times vague and many people smelled at least on big fat rat.
For most their problems stemmed from activity on social media.
For many it also appeared to be a McCarthy style witchunt with Jeremy Corbyn supporters targeted.
If that was the case were or are Corbyn supporters excessively abusive online? Just where is the line between banter and abusive interaction online?
If you are active online and drop by political forums, especially on Facebook, you may have already experienced abuse of some sort. It could be simple school yard type name calling or something more serious. It could also be by way of a "troll", possibly of the paid kind, and aimed at getting you to respond angrily.
It is then as simple as them copying your response and sending it off to the Labour Party validation team.
Initially this writer and Labour Party member was determined she would not stoop to that level but after too many online friends were removed from the party, perhaps temporarily, but all without due democratic process, it was a case of why not?
I posted a series of reports which featured some high flying abusers in the Labour Party followed up by open letters to the validation team.
Councillor John Ferret was one and he quit Labour recently. Did he jump before he was pushed? Who knows and in his case who cares. He has posted vile stuff on Twitter since Corbyn was first elected September 2015 egged on and supported by some MPs and he continues to do so.
But here is the thing.
A few things about the so-called #LabourPurge2 are worth noting:
One friend today has received details of five comments made on Twitter that used the word traitor.
One was actually during an interaction with Jo Cox who was murdered in June of this year.
But and there is a big BUT.
No expletives were used, no nastiness either, but pure and simple anger in response to a lack of support for party leader Jeremy Corbyn. A party member, an ordinary retired person who responded angrily as Labour Party MPs who opposed and still oppose Corbyn closed ranks.
Traitor was one word some had warned would be off limits.
However such ridiculous infringement of an adult's use of social media would act as a red rag to a bull in many cases.
In truth for some it would become a fight for freedom of expression.
Some of those suspended refused to toe a party line if that meant a curb of freedom of expression and can you blame them?
There was a time the Labour Party would have supported Evelyn Beatrice Hall who wrote the phrase: ""I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" as an illustration of Voltaire's beliefs. Hall's quotation is often cited to describe the principle of freedom of speech."
Social media at times is anything but social. It sometimes is more like anti-social media but how you choose to spend your free time is up to you as long as you do not break the law.
Since when has the word TRAITOR broken any laws?
I can think of far worse name calling, have seen it and experienced it in fact.
There is always the block button or the police if abuse is actual real abuse not simply silly name calling.
Remember some words hurt as they are close to the truth.
For many Corbyn supporters those who plotted from day one to undermine and then remove him from office are traitors pure and simple. They feel they have been betrayed by those who vowed to support whoever was elected leader. So a natural choice of word is traitor.
As for the Jo Cox comment hindsight is a wonderful thing.
At the time my friend commented to Jo Cox "traitor" no person could have guessed what was to follow - the murder of Jo Cox.
I have my own theories on #LabourPurge2 and I am sure you do too.
Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section but remember the thought police may be watching. When I used that phrase in the Labour Party Forum on Facebook months ago I was ridiculed but hey I am a big girl and can take it. Sadly however it seems that was not such a silly notion after all.
Note: The "traitor" person becomes my third online buddy to quit the Labour Party rather than face a foolish unnecessary investigation. This time though the person's partner is quitting the party too. Four Corbyn supporters gone but at what price? Four decent law abiding individuals who are valuable members of society.
I presume the Labour Party will not want their votes come election time then?
About that word Blairite.
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