Corbyn: “I’m calling your Da…” (Honestly)

This just in from Planet Weird… (formerly known as the UK Labour Party)…

  • hgreen

    Any chance of some balance on here?

  • Granni Trixie

    The anecdote made me laf out loud. …but it has a serious purpose in illustrating part of the problem with Jeremy …to be used against him. Just hope it’s true.

  • Declan Doyle

    Slow news day? This site is acting a bit weird tbh.

  • hgreen

    Getting a bit desperate now. As stated elsewhere it’s a third hand witness story, with a proposed but unknown motivation about an action that was discussed and not carried out.

  • Barra Mac Seain

    Slugger still hasn’t pointed out what it believes to be the best alternative political model. I simply read all these anti-corbyn pieces, which is fine, everyone has their position. But it is disingenuous to describe yourself as a forum with a ‘diversity of opinion’, because it is clear on the issue of Corbyn that there is only one opinion emanating from slugger. It is at this point that I lose interest in reading anymore of your articles on this issue because I know, more or less, what they will say.

  • Donagh

    Conor contradicts those Tweets in today’s Belfast Telegraph article:

    In the Tweet he says “When I [McGinn] challenged Jeremy he … said he was going to ring my Dad”.

    That Tweet clearly implies that McGinn was told this directly by Corbyn. However in the Belfast Tele:

    He says:
    “But he added that he was later informed by colleagues in the Whips’ Office about the proposal to call his father.”

    So which is it, did Corbyn tell threaten him directly or did some unknown person in the Whip’s Office tell his this is what Corbyn said? On this evidence Conor seems to be a bit of a drama queen and/or spoofer.

  • Declan Doyle

    Are u nuts?

  • hgreen

    Today was Conor’s turn to come up with some shite about Corbyn which will be faithfully be reported by the MSM without checking it’s validity or sources. Tomorrow it’ll be some other MP’s turn to accuse Corbyn of killing their hamster.

  • Rory Carr

    Not so “honestly” after all we find.

  • Kevin McIlhennon

    It really is “Let’s All Pick On Jeremy” day here. Just like every day.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Those questioning McGinn on this, can you clarify, on what basis?

  • Granni Trixie

    There’s always you.

  • mac tire

    Well, you could try this.

    “According to Sky News political correspondent Sophy Ridge, the flurry of resignations from Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet have been “choreographed” largely by one man: Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North.

    She said: “He’s ringing shadow cabinet members and ministers, organising the timings and co-ordinating the resignations to try to cause maximum impact. This is significant because he’s one of Jeremy Corbyn’s Whips – tasked with ensuring party discipline.”

    McGinn, however, belongs to a wider network of Blairite Labour politicians who had opposed Corbyn’s leadership of the party from the beginning.

    McGinn had formally joined the pro-EU cross-party campaign, Britain Stronger In Europe, as a “political champion”, alongside Hilary Benn… Sky News’ confirmation that this process was being coordinated by one of Corbyn’s own whips, Conor McGinn, suggests that McGinn and Benn had
    worked together to orchestrate the sudden resignations. McGinn did not
    respond to multiple requests for comment.”

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Good on him!

    But I was referring to people questioning the veracity of McGinn’s claim that Corbyn had, directly or indirectly, threatened to call McGinn’s father. Any evidence this claim was false? Seems not from what people are posting so far, yet they are trying to cast aspersions regardless. A bit dishonest of them …?

  • mac tire

    I really don’t know if the claim is false. It’s a case of ‘someone told me that Corbyn said this.’
    I’m keeping an open mind because McGinn is heavily involved in the bid to get rid of his leader. He has a dog in the fight.

    With respect, the dishonesty and aspersions with this Labour infighting has been working both ways.

  • chrisjones2

    Funny but on Labour List the meme is that its all a giant conspiracy. That Pfizer planted Owen Smith in the Party as an Agent on the basis that as Leader he will privatise it and sell it off to US Multinationals

    Think of a Joseph Conrad novel without the leavening humour

  • chrisjones2
  • Katyusha

    There’s no evidence any which way or the other, MU. It’s all hearsay; even on McGinn’s part it’s hearsay. He claims he didn’t hear this from Corbyn himself, but third-hand from someone who participated in a meeting after his interview.

    It’s all very amusing though. Even it were true, I can’t see the problem with it. Calling this “threatening” or “bullying” behaviour just makes McGinn look a little silly. In some ways it would be nice to hear what type of conversation Corbyn would have with a former SF councillor about his New Labour son; maybe they’d whinge about the state of the Left over a few drinks.

    It’s also amusing how McGinn Sr’s links with SF get attached to this story on every airing, as if his political views are in any way relevant. But then this is a media game; more about imagery and insinuations than factual information or analysis. The details of the story are less important than the ability to squeeze “Corbyn”, “bullying” and “Sinn Féin” into the same headline or tweet.

  • Reader

    Barra Mac Seain: disingenuous to describe yourself as a forum with a ‘diversity of opinion’, because it is clear on the issue of Corbyn that there is only one opinion emanating from slugger.
    It’s the job of the forum to be diverse (your contribution has helped…).
    It’s not reasonable to expect each actual blogger to be ambivalent on every topic.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Take the wooden spoon to him.

  • Granni Trixie

    Blaming the messenger? This item is all over the news today and links NI and across the water…why not have it as an item on Slugger?

  • the rich get richer

    Surely , Jeremy would have been better ringing Connor’s Mammy .

  • Granni Trixie

    So an item which some commenters here think is too slight to warrant discussion gets more and more interesting.

  • Granni Trixie

    Agreed. But would you not agree that the onus to address this situation lies with the leadership more than anyone else in the party. And as I keep banging on about why,o why are Labour not sorting themselves out to get tor into the Tories?

    ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ if the moral imperative to get their act together in current circs is not greater than each side wanting their own way.

  • Thomas Barber

    Indeed Grannie –

    Oh and Jeremy Corbyn has denied he was ready to call Conor McGinn MP’s father, a one-time Sinn Fein councilor, and ask him to reprimand his son over critical comments he had made about the Islington MP.

    I dont expect there will be much focus on that.

  • Granni Trixie

    Like myself you seem to find the idea of ‘telling yer da on Ye’ amusing yet you think it makes McGinn look silly? Infact if true it makes Corbyn look immature. And poses the question that if the McGinns were not known as a political family would Corbyn and co have bothered?

  • mac tire

    Of course the leadership should address this situation – if true.

    And I agree with you 100% that Labour should sort themselves out. The Tories were impressively ruthless in sorting out their leadership problems.

  • Katyusha

    McGinn and the press trying to make a story out of a nothing incident is what makes them look silly. By all accounts, there isn’t much to complain about here, and it doesn’t sound like Corbyn&Co bothered doing much of anything at all. There’s nothing serious here, so making it out to be threatening or bullying behaviour is a bit ridiculous.

    But I think you are right in that the thought wouldn’t have even crossed Corbyn’s mind if McGinn’s father wasn’t a fellow lefty. Maybe he instinctively thought he might find more common ground with McGinn Sr. than his son 😉

  • Thomas Barber

    “Jeremy felt that they would share a political affinity and was proposing to use that to ask my father to apply pressure on me”

    Says it all Grannie, lets throw mud and hope it sticks kind of thing. One day Jeremy Corbyn is a coward, too nice of a guy and too weak to lead and now we’re to believe he’s a bully who uses threats and intimidation.

    The flip side of the coin is Grannie what if McGinn was being econimical with the truth about the matter what action should Jeremy Corbyn take against him as leader of the Labour party ?

  • hgreen

    As far as I’m aware most credible newspapers and TV require verification of stories from multiple sources before going to publication. What we’ve got here is something that the National Enquirer would be embarrassed to publish. Still it obviously tickles you in the right places.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    McGinn heard it directly from one of Corbyn’s team. Sorry, but if your boss knows your dad, and one of your boss’s team tells you your boss is going to call him to try and bend your arm over something, that is bullying. Worse, it’s a real invasion into personal family affairs.

    It’s not hard to link either Corbyn or SF to bullying, it’s endemic on both the hard right and the hard left.

    At least SF are mainly just verbal bullies these days, it used to be quite a bit worse, as many people in wheelchairs, on crutches and in cemeteries would testify (except the ones in cemeteries). They didn’t mess around when it came to bullying, did they …

  • MainlandUlsterman

    they do love a conspiracy theory, the hard left.

    I always think of Benn and his not so brilliant ‘puppeteer’ analysis of any given problem. We’re all dangling on strings, apparently. No one has any agency other than some corrupt Establishment guy in Whitehall cackling over a brandy as the world burns.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    but do you think McGinn is making this up? Or not?

    If he’s not making it up, it’s very damning of Corbyn, no?

    Perhaps it was a joke, like his views on the IRA.

  • Declan Doyle

    Because it’s somewhat sensationalist unsubstantiated and ridiculous.

  • hgreen

    The accusations of bullying are also a bit rich from the party that employed Alistair Campbell for years.

  • mac tire

    “but do you think McGinn is making this up? Or not?”

    I’ve stated I don’t know whether the claim is false or not. The issue isn’t McGinn making it up – he has apparently been told by someone else this happened. I’d say he is reporting what he has been told. You see the difference?

    “If he’s not making it up, it’s very damning of Corbyn, no?”

    If true, I think Corbyn should grow up and fight his own battles. But we don’t know whether it is true or not.
    So, I’ll ask you, if it’s not true then it’s very damning of the person that made it up, no? Just like plenty of other stuff that was made up recently.

    “Perhaps it was a joke, like his views on the IRA.”

    Seriously, get a life. Attempting to shoehorn stuff like that into every post is tedious. But you just can’t help it.

  • MalcolmRedfellow

    What is truly astounding about this is:
    ◉ A threat was “allegedly” made;
    ◉ The recipient of the threat called out the Party “leader”;
    ◉ It made the press;
    ◉ The Labour Leader’s “spokesperson” denied the threat had ever been made;
    ◉ The recipient of the threat called the Leader a liar;
    ◉ A full day on, the recipient of the threat (who happens to be a PLP Whip, and is now on record for calling the Leader a liar) is still in place.

    We live in strange times.

  • Granni Trixie

    Sayimg ‘if true’ suggests you are referring to the ‘he wanted to tell my da to tell me off’ story whereas I was referring to the whole Labour mess.

  • Thomas Barber

    “Jeremy does not know my father”

    Conor Mc Ginns own words MU.

  • Katyusha

    You must have information I don’t have, then. In his statement, McGinn says he heard it from the Whips Office. Given that McGinn is the opposition whip, it sounds more like he heard it from his own team; then again, I guess he counts as one of Corbyn’s team himself. It’s getting confusing with all the infighting.

    It seems also that by the time McGinn heard about it, Corbyn had been persuaded to drop the idea, which puts paid to any notion that this information was leaked to McGinn in an effort to twist his arm.

    And yes, that’s in McGinn’s prepared written statement, which he released to PoliticsHome, then neatly put out a few tweets to draw attention to it, and managed to have the whole story publicised across the media first thing in the morning. Impressive, for a spontaneous action taken only after having watched Newsnight the night before.

    Regarding hearing feedback from work through your family, it’s happened to me on at least two separate occasions. I never thought twice about it, never mind thinking about it as “bullying”. Both times I was was working in NI, though, with it’s pervasive social networks. I can’t imagine it happening in England, just because the culture is more individualist and there is less perception of families as common social units, in my experience. But maybe if I was more sensitive, I’d have brought a harassment case? But like I said, I never thought twice about it. I certainly never found it “shocking and embarrassing”, like McGinn says he did.

    Back to McGinn’s statement. Let’s highlight a few of the things he said:

    When I watched Jeremy’s interview on Newsnight last night, I am afraid I could no longer tolerate the hypocrisy of him talking about a kinder, gentler politics when I knew for a fact that he had proposed using my family against me in an attempt to bully me in to submission because he didn’t like something I said. That is why I have reluctantly and sadly chosen to make this information public now.

    Corbyn has been calling for this “new kind of politics” since before he was elected. It’s the entire basis for him reframing PMQ’s as a polite debate on voter’s issues rather than a sparring match. Both Corbyn’s stance and this incident are well in the past at this stage. What’s changed recently? The leadership election. There’s your trigger, or at least the most plausible one. But it’s possible he just found the end of his tether at that moment, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Secondly, McGinn’s assertion that “he knew for a fact that Corbyn had proposed using his family to bully him into submission” is disingenuous, because there is no suggestion – even third hand – of what Corbyn wanted to achieve by talking to his father, much less hard evidence that he was trying to “bully him into submission”. In fact, he admits earlier in his statement that this is merely a presumption of his:

    Jeremy does not know my father so I can only presume that because of the much-publicised fact that my father was a Sinn Féin councillor, Jeremy felt that they would share a political affinity and was proposing to use that to ask my father to apply pressure on me. Thankfully, others dissuaded Jeremy from taking this course of action. The call was not made, and it would not have been well received.

    And thirdly, McGinn pushing this into the media spotlight does not look “reluctant” in the slightest.

    It’s telling that the very first line of McGinn’ tweet is about his Dad’s link to Sinn Fein, even though that has nothing to do with the story. Every headline on the story draws prominence to this link to Sinn Fein. The fact that Corbyn had apparently initially asked for McGinn to resign plays second fiddle to a call he didn’t make to McGinn’s father. And your last two paragraphs illustrate very nicely why: this is about forming a tenuous link in the minds of readers between Corbyn, “bullying”, and “Sinn Fein”. He gets two lines into that first tweet: one, “My dad was in Sinn Fein”, and two “Jeremy was going to ring my dad”. He couldn’t have been more efficient. The first part is irrelevant, but it fits a certain narrative very well.

    McGinn is most likely being truthful with his story; and Corbyn’s ideas (not actions) can hardly be called professional. That doesn’t mean he’s not putting his own spin on it and using it as part of a media war.

  • Do you reckon Alistair Campbell is not involved in the current spin fest?

  • Of course not all the articles on Corbyn will be ambivalent. But could we have a piece on what sort of alternative policies the opposition could offer to the current (centre?) right consensus?

  • Corbyn says lots I can disagree with, but which of these seems more like bullying?

    “Someone told me he’d phone me da to get me to wind my neck in”? Or…

    “Resign or we’ll trigger a leadership contest that will split the party”?

    Just wondering…

  • MainlandUlsterman

    You argue the anti-McGinn case eloquently but none of it changes the basic picture: Corbyn did what McGinn says he did and it was completely out of order.

    Of course the timing is chosen to embarrass Corbyn and there is no love lost etc. But what he revealed was true and it was bad.

    If I were Corbyn I would just be saying sorry and moving on from this one. I don’t think the explanations you put forward actually make what he did any less wrong.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Yes, and …?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Part of a wider pattern of getting at people in personal and intrusive ways. Read alone it might seem minor and perhaps is. But it was raised to draw attention to the wider problem of Corbynism’s personally rancorous, bullying style.

    It is clear that Corbyn supporters have been engaged in the very personal bullying and abuse of Labour moderates. As one myself (I was out there knocking on doors in marginals for Labour at the last election), I have been subjected to it myself on Twitter by the Momentum brigade. It is a real thing and it is appalling.

    This was a rare instance of Corbyn himself apparently getting his hands dirty; his MO has generally been rather to let it happen around him while he adopts a shield of deniability.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    You’re not being clear though – do you think it happened or not? You seem to be suggesting McGinn might be making it up, but you don’t give any reason for thinking that.

    Cornyn’s views on the IRA are highly relevant. They show his poor analytical skills and the weakness of his basic sense of right and wrong. One of many pieces of evidence of his unsuitability for office. They are also the reason I had to quit the party last year (I have now re-registered as a supporter to get him out).

    The IRA’s campaign will haunt everyone who failed to oppose it and so it should. You might find it tedious but get used to it. It cannot be airbrushed from our recent history. SF and their sympathisers should really have known it wasn’t going to be quickly forgotten, or ever forgotten. People have to live with the consequences of their actions. That is only ever a good thing.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    some anti-Corbyn people have been out of order too. But it does seem the vast majority of the really bad stuff has been from the Corbyn side – the physical threats to MPs so surgeries have to be closed, bricks through windows, death threats, routine calling of people ‘Tories’ who have been Labour activists for decades … sorry this is just not happening to that degree on the other side.

    The hard left has a problem with threatening and bullying. I was subjected to it once in person in the 90s at a party, I got cornered by a beardy hard left agitator at a friend’s party. He had had a few and I had only just arrived – never met him before – but his tirade was the most jaw-droppingly unpleasant abuse I think I’ve ever had socially. Dave Spart may be a caricature but unfortunately people like him are real and they are pretty horrible.

  • hgreen

    Would it have been completely out of order if McGinns dad had been in the Tory party?

  • Thomas Barber

    “Sorry, but if your boss knows your dad, and one of your boss’s team tells you your boss is going to call him to try and bend your arm over something, that is bullying. Worse, it’s a real invasion into personal family affairs”

    It seems perfectly clear that you are implying above that McGinn’s father and Corbyn have some sort of personal relationship.

    “If I were Corbyn I would just be saying sorry and moving on from this one. I don’t think the explanations you put forward actually make what he did any less wrong”

    I take it you’ve accepted the word of McGinn without a shread of evidence other than hearsay and dismissed Jeremy Corbyn’s denial out of hand.

  • Thomas Barber

    “It seems fantastic now, but 30 years ago there really was a plot to carry out a coup d’etat against a British prime minister”

    “As Peter Wright confirmed in his book Spycatcher, Wilson was the victim of a protracted, illegal campaign of destabilisation by a rogue element in the security services. Prompted by CIA fears that Wilson was a Soviet agent – put in place after the KGB had, the spooks believed, poisoned Hugh Gaitskell, the previous Labour leader – these MI5 men burgled the homes of the prime minister’s aides, bugged their phones and spread black, anti-Wilson propaganda throughout the media. They tried to pin all kinds of nonsense on him: that his devoted political secretary, Marcia Williams, posed a threat to national security; that he was a closet IRA sympathiser”

    Nothing much has changed in British politics has it.

  • Pointis

    The burden of proof rests on the person making the allegation namely Conor McGinn!

  • Pointis

    “sorry, but if you boss knows your dad”. McGinn specifically claims Corbyn doesn’t know his dad!

  • kensei
  • mac tire

    “You seem to be suggesting McGinn might be making it up, but you don’t give any reason for thinking that.”

    I’ll quote from my post: “he has apparently been told by someone else this happened. I’d say he is reporting what he has been told.”

    So no, I don’t think McGinn is making it up but he has been told this by another person (McGinn states this).


    We could all play this game but I have no wish to. The conflict is over, MU. Come out of the bunker.

  • chrisjones2

    You are frree to put one forward.

    AT the moment the only viable one in Town is the Tory one. On Trident for example Labour had 3 policies yes no and abstain

  • Granni Trixie

    A preoccupation with who says and did what gets away from the more important point – Labour is behaving badly and letting the Tories off the hook.

  • Granni Trixie

    Look, to go to a third party – “dad” – to correct something their relative did that you thnk is wrong is…wrong.

    I have experience of this kind of thing myself. Some years ago someone in an NGO was offended at something I said to him. Instead if tackling me they went to my partner to get it sorted! Fortunately my partner knew this was none of his business (he knows me well).

  • Granni Trixie

    Isn’t there an elephant in the room here. Corbyn seems to have been sympathetic to the SF cause …maybe he thought it gave hm clout?,

  • Thomas Barber

    And maybe the whole matter is a figment of McGinns imagination.

    “Corbyn has denied such a conversation ever took place,

    McGinn said he had been told by fellow whips

    Speaking to Sky News later, Corbyn denied he had made any threats. “I don’t do any abuse, I don’t do any bullying

    A source later said the suggestion had seemingly been made to Labour whips by one of Corbyn’s senior staff members, at the instigation of the Labour leader, rather than by Corbyn directly. Corbyn’s office denied he suggested such a move”

  • mattwardman

    Except for the chances of Corbyn being a serving Prime Minister…


  • MainlandUlsterman

    again the “if true” … but without any reason to think it wasn’t true.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    The problem is that Corbyn seems to regard bullying behaviour with less seriousness than most other people. I think he’s used to living in the hard left world where bullying and intimidation are less unusual and he just doesn’t see it as a big problem. That’s why it’s likely to go on around him, despite his sotto voce condemnations. The messaging of what is acceptable under his leadership comes out both intentionally and unintentionally – he leaks what he really feels about it through his inaction and through his ‘blind eye’ attitude to the records of people he chooses as allies. That’s how a nasty culture develops.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    the former

  • MainlandUlsterman

    because Corbyn has so few people left still prepared to serve under him

  • MainlandUlsterman

    and he’s insisting that is what he was told

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Wright himself admitted later he’d made a lot of that up and that there was perhaps only one other officer apart from himself who wanted to spy on Wilson. There was no MI5 operation. It was all investigated after the Wright allegations, old spies dug out and interviewed etc and a report made to parliament. The highly regarded history of MI5 by Christopher Andrew, published in 2009, also debunked the story.

    Wilson’s fear of being bugged may well have been accentuated by his early onset Alzheimers, which he had towards the end of his time in office – it was tragic but there was no real conspiracy. Though ironically the cabinet meeting room was bugged! No evidence the bugs were ever used but MI5 did have them for a time after Profumo in the early 60s and up until Callaghan.

  • mac tire

    “…but without any reason to think it wasn’t true.”

    No, I don’t MU. Perhaps I am automatically suspicious of “someone told me that someone said” arguments. McGinn has produced no evidence to support what he was told (notice I didn’t say not what he made up but what he was told). So he hasn’t actually given us any reason to think it is true. We also know that Mr McGinn has been agitating against the person he is accusing. Those few points make me suspicious.

    I would like evidence, not hearsay.

  • Pointis

    That is what is known in legal parlance as “heresay”.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    it’s not actually hearsay if the allegation is that Corbyn made it known through an agent – it came directly from the agent.

  • mac tire

    You’re tenacious, I’ll give you that.

    I call it hearsay (information received from other people which cannot be substantiated; rumour).

    You call it an allegation: (a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof).

    Hey, it seems we are in agreement, MU.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    correction – if your boss knows who your dad is and threatens to call him …

  • MainlandUlsterman


  • MainlandUlsterman

    hearsay is a legal term with a particular legal meaning. It doesn’t apply here for the reason I explained.

    A principal using an agent, such as an employer instructing an employee to do something as part of their job, is responsible for the actions of the agent provided the agent is doing as requested. Corbyn may try to claim his staff member was acting ultra vires if the staffer made the thing up, but that would be his only defence really. Hearsay doesn’t really come into it. Either the staffer made the thing up or Corbyn is responsible for this. But even if it was the former. McGinn was entitled to believe the staffer was talking on behalf of Corbyn.

    It’s really hard to see how McGinn is in any way at fault and I can only think the vitriol aimed at him is because he opposed Saint Jeremy.

  • mac tire

    “It’s really hard to see how McGinn is in any way at fault…”

    I have not said it’s McGinn’s fault – in fact, I have stated that he is making nothing up – he’s reporting what he has been told.

    I’ve merely said that we do not know whether the original assertion by the third party is true or not.

    I said I was suspicious – and that is because over the last week alone some stories have been embellished. Take the brick thrown through Angela Eagle’s constituency office which turned out to be a brick through a stairwell window in a building in which her office is situated (along with some 7-8 others).

    Or Angela’s claim that police advised her not to hold constituency surgeries. The police had to release a statement to deny that and that the decision was Angela’s alone.

    I’ll repeat what I popsted in reply to you 3 days ago – “the dishonesty and aspersions with this Labour infighting has been working both ways.”

  • But we don’t have the agent’s testimony, do we, unless there have been new developments? We just have yer man’s statement that some unnamed person claimed Corbyn had said something.