There are certain character traits evident in many of our UK politicians that leave a great deal to be desired. Some mannerisms are easier to swallow, or dilute, than others. For example, whilst I recognise the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson are virtually the equivalent of affable Sith Lords spreading a cancerous evil among the plebeians they feed on at night, they are at least affable. There is a certain amusement to be found in their quaint, bumbling awkwardness. Entertainment value, if you will.
Then, there are politicians like Michael Foster. A man who claims to be a member of the Labour Party, who has just put himself forward as a candidate for Islington North – the same constituency as the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Four weeks before a general election – perhaps the most important general election this British public shall know in their lifetimes.
“I love the Labour Party, which is why I’m standing against Jeremy Corbyn.” “A heavy heart.” Poppycock. One can hardly imagine a more brazen, or more deliberately public attempt to sabotage and destroy the Labour campaign. And yet again, it comes from within the most insidious corners of the Labour Party itself.
Michael Foster: the Labour “candidate” (who writes for The Daily Mail)
I admit, I take particular issue with Michael Foster. As someone whose father was a Jewish refugee welcomed to Britain during WWII, whose paternal family were also wiped out by actual antisemites and Nazis, I take extreme issue with those who would try to skew Jeremy Corbyn or his party as antisemitic for political gain. It is quite frankly, in my opinion, the cheapest and most deplorable of shots. Anyone who’s listened to what Corbyn actually says (for more than the odd soundbite) knows full well he simply stands for peaceful resolution, and for allowing all parties a voice in peace talks. Yes, that even includes groups that have committed horrific, unspeakable acts – arguably a fitting description for the British government and others too. It may be distasteful, but nonetheless a fact that many groups and individuals in history have been deemed ‘terrorists’ right up until the point someone in government listened, and decided they had a point after all.
Michael Foster, who is Jewish himself, goes a step further. Not satisfied with merely hurling antisemitic slurs at Corbyn and any who support him, he went as far as to describe them as “Nazi stormtroopers” in August 2016 – writing for The Daily Mail, of all publications.
Generally, decent people in this country – certainly those likely who identify with the egalitarian values of Labour – are absolutely positively sick and tired of the relentless hatred, division and inane arguments spewed by the likes of The Daily Mail. It’s like saying you stand for vegans everywhere, while simultaneously acting as brand ambassador for Burger King.
Alongside its brethren, bargain-basement tabloids such as The Sun and The Express, The Daily Mail is widely acknowledged as the driving force behind all the nationalistic madness of recent times. The most notable similarity between all of them, is their shared disdain and determined smearing of UK minorities, including:
- The unemployed
- LGBTQ+ people
- “Liberal elites” (eg: the educated)
- Homeless people
- Disabled people
- Mothers who breast-feed
And they’re just the groups that spring to mind.
Does Mr Foster really think a Labour candidate should identify with such a publication? Is that what his Labour stands for? A puerile man with a vendetta, trying to argue Corbyn is prejudiced, without irony, on the pages of a publication that is openly prejudiced? Really??
At very least, anyone who already supports Jeremy Corbyn and his ethics – eg: the largest political party membership in Western Europe, would be appalled. So how does replacing Corbyn’s seat with such a contentious individual heal rifts in the Labour Party? Answer: it wouldn’t, it’s not intended to. Corbyn’s enemies within Labour don’t give a fig what happens to the country under the Tories now; they view it as a battle already lost, and are actually willing it to happen. (After all, it will only serve to prove how they were right all along.)
Foster defines that as “love”.
In a recent article by Jim Waterson for Buzzfeed discussing the rise of allegedly ‘alt-left’ publications, including EvolvePolitics, one argument reportedly posed by detractors was:
They fear such outlets are deluding Labour’s core activist base by convincing them Corbyn is an electoral asset while restricting the ability to push centrist messages through traditional media outlets, which would appeal to floating voters.
The small detail seeming to escape them, is the ‘alt-left’ (if there is such a thing, we’re really just what remains of the left) won’t tolerate these publications, exactly because we recognise how poisonous they are. Like it or not, these sites have gained traction exactly because of inaccuracies and deliberate mis-portrayals in the mainstream media. They have a readership because stories are based on facts, ethics, and research, not populist flights of fancy. So rather than trying to acclimatise the electorate to “acceptable” poison, perhaps someone should listen to what we’re bloody well saying – and actually root it out.
Wondering where you’ve heard his name before?
There’s another reason I can’t stand the guy. Before moving on to become a political donor and would-be big-shot, Michael Foster was a theatrical ‘showbiz’ agent. As a former actor myself, I can personally attest that ‘agents’ are often the least ethical of creatures among the entertainment industry. Keenly obsessed with their own importance and entitlement, eg: their ability to affect other people’s careers, to make or break aspiring performers, they often swan about much like politicians – tending to share the wealth and opportunities with their favoured few. They’re even known to look down their noses at some of the people they represent.
In other words, there’s more than a few similarities between the vocations.
Foster has certainly never been shy to use his showbiz contacts in an attempt to dazzle a celebrity-hungry British public. Hugh Grant and Ross Kemp have both been reportedly wheeled out for statements championing him before now. Not only that, he seems to think his wealth and considerable donations to the Labour Party should mean that he gets to decide its policies too. Foster has taken it upon himself to be actively involved in every attempt to remove Corbyn as leader since 2015; he even antagonistically heckled Corbyn at a 2015 reception for the Friends of Israel (a curious event for a supposed ‘antisemite’ to be attending). And if that’s still not why you know his name, perhaps it’s because when the attempted Labour leadership coup began last year, Foster was the one who ridiculously challenged an existing leader’s legal right to automatically be on the ballot!
Not only did Foster want to undemocratically remove an elected leader, he wanted to deny that leader the opportunity to defend himself. He believed he knew better than the entire membership; that their choice should be discounted.
A thoroughly nice chap
Still not it?
Well perhaps you know the name, because Michael Foster was publicly shamed, and became notorious for quite deplorable conduct. Behaviour most unbecoming to political office. Indeed, a man who unashamedly boasts of his “legendary temper” (and breaking his own finger punching a table) exposed his true colours in 2015, when he called a political opponent, Loveday Jenkin, a “c**t” – for raising the subject of his £1.5million home. He also threatened the elderly female politician: “if you pick on me again, I will destroy you”.
In other words, Foster is arguably better suited to a big bumper colouring book and a Capri-Sun than political office.
Yes. Unbelievably, the grand plan behind this latest Labour mutiny is to replace a man revered specifically for his ethics and politeness, with a guy who walks around calling people “c**ts”.
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