Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Chauncey the Authoritarian
Ooh dear, these Commie sympathisers don't like it up 'em do they? Take a look at the picture of Chauncey above. What has happened to that soft spoken, avuncular image now? Could it be that it is all an act? Could it be that he really is the nasty, intemperate, reactionary, would-be authoritarian halfwit we have all been led to believe?
The picture is from a video that Chauncey released yesterday evening in which he issued the chilling and not terribly democratic warning that 'change is coming'. This was to the media who have impertinently questioned Chauncey about his Commie sympathising past and have not let up over the last week. Marxist Labour's strategy was to issue denials in quite carefully chosen words - non denial denials essentially - and to wait for the whole story to blow over. It hasn't worked out that way. The weekend newspapers went to town on it, others have picked up the baton and run with it, columnists have opined on it, even sympathetic newspapers have sometimes said that maybe he ought to come clean about it all and then yesterday they even questioned him about it. Him, a politician. The man with the initials JC. How dare they importune the dear leader in this way.
So in response they rushed out a video in which he told the press that change is coming. Scary eh? Well it's either that or he is about to defect to North Korea. Or Venezuela. They could do with someone with his singular vision. He could teach them how to grow vegetables. They need the food.
But can you see the problem with all of this. Yes, on the one hand Chauncey may have a point about the thinness of this story. This blog has already acknowledged that he almost certainly wasn't a spy. But neither is this a complete non story. Chauncey did have sympathies with the Communists and indeed even went on holiday there. He remains an apologist for Venezuela, a failed state in all but name. So asking questions about to what extent his sympathies went further are perfectly legitimate. The role of the press is to ask questions that politicians would rather not be asked. It is not to bowl under arm. And that is why the likes of Chauncey must never be allowed to bring in press regulation. Politicians aren't supposed to like the press. But neither are they supposed to threaten them.
There is an obvious remedy available if the press have overstepped the mark, or the bounds of legality. We have famously strong libel laws, the sort that Donald Trump would kill for. So sue. Put up or shut up. Have the Czechs release your file. If you have nothing to hide then stop having them hide it.
Marxist Labour's strategy was correct in the first place. Just wait for this to blow over. Wait for the press to move on. Instead Chauncey has just shown he is worried about the slings and arrows of the cut and thrust. And it is not as if this is a fabricated story. Yes there might be some exaggeration and hyperbole in it, but he did meet the diplomat more than once in the knowledge that he was probably a spy. He has expressed sympathy for the Warsaw Pact block and is a Marxist. Are the press supposed to ignore all of this? One only has to see his speech about the City of London yesterday to see he has not mellowed.
Now this story will live on for a few more days. And maybe some journalists will see this as reason to keep probing. Did he respond that way because he is worried?