Alastair Campbell’s overdue ejection from Labour divided opinion almost exactly between socialists and anti-socialists.
Immediately post-ejection, support for Campbell was informed by anti-Corbyn opportunism but it also elucidated the rancid stink of the relationship between politicians’ PR teams and newspapers and broadcasters.
Veteran BBC reporter Jon Sopel displayed that disreputable relationship brazenly:
“I’ve known Alastair Campbell for 25 years. A more tribal, Labour to his finger-tips person you would struggle to find, yet expelled from Labour with lightning speed brutality. But anti-Semites? Hard to avoid conclusion Labour is making deliberate choices…“
What Sopel should have said is that both he and Campbell worked in their respective professions – reporter and communications confidence trickery – for the last twenty-five years. Sopel’s familiar phraseology showed how the relation operated: He admitted that Campbell’s PR skills had worked on him. In 2007 Sopel’s usefulness and acquiescence was recognised by the public affairs industry (the industry wherein Campbell worked) with the title of ‘political journalist of the year.’
The deliberate ignorance of Sopel’s analysis was partly a consequence of having “known Alastair Campbell for 25 years.”
Since the day Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of Labour, Campbell sought his removal and campaigned relentlessly to achieve that aim; Campbell’s behaviour contradicted Sopel’s claim of “tribal” support.
Sopel repeated the purposeful misunderstanding of the difference between Campbell’s ejection (rule-breaking that he admitted) and Labour members being accused of rule-breaking but not immediately ejected because of their denial and subsequent investigation. Clearly, Sopel disapproved of due process. His conclusion, including general libel, was disgusting and unprofessional.
Regardless of whether Campbell’s decision to use a fake wealth-driven legal route to get his membership back will succeed, Labour made a strong point with his ejection. Those who he manipulated over the years – twenty-five years – revealed themselves as worthless and unreliable.
Related blog: Alastair Campbell ejected from Labour