For five years we have watched the Labour media culture expose their toxicity online, and with it the appalling nature of the misogyny they foster in the political media echochamber. When the Labour media team siezed on a girl who was not yet finished her ‘A’ Levels and exploited her, so she could be the latest in a long long line of people recruited via twitter to present the Labour Party as other than it is, most of us knew how it would end. With a teenage girl and inbox full of rape threats. We knew this because she wasn’t the first, and she won’t be the last by a long shot.
We need to discuss how the Guardian, New Statesman and Labour Party present themselves using exploitation of the vulnerable, and the consequences for the people they pick and discard like detritus. We could probably discuss it in context of the way they use these people to lie about policy, but that’s been done.
When you recruit a 17 year old, or a person with a disability living in poverty, or a single mother to give you poverty porn, you have a duty of care. Period.
Today it emerged that yes, Abby is receiving the death and rape threats that are de rigeur when you are a woman in that echochamber, and when you have been held up, as Jack Monroe and many others have been, to be abused. Only she isnt a grown woman, she is a kid. I don’t really care that it is patronising to point out that a teenager is in fact vulnerable to exploitation by grown men who should know better. And the media culture we are discussing are mainly male, but by no means could they be described as rational or adult.
Abby was recruited, she may have joined the party by choice, and her youthful enthusiasm something that the Labour spin team saw would boost a flagging election campaign, but she was in fact recruited and exploited when they made her the centre of that campaign. This is not about young people having an interest in politics,
It was downright irresponsible, exploitative, and abusive of that culture to recruit a 17 year old into the long line of women and vulnerable people they have tossed to be abused. It is absolutely the Labour Party and the New Statesman’s responsibility that she is now getting the threats that could have been, and were, predicted, when they first started exploiting her. It needs to stop. At some point those threats are gong to be carried out and some vulnerable person is going to end up being seriously hurt.
The people they pick get more and more vulnerable, and the second they criticise Labour the threats come from the tribes who today swarmed me for daring to point out what is obvious. We can see how this culture behave and that visibility is partly why noone will vote Labour as yet.