Where’s the evidence Aaron Porter was racially abused?


9:30 am - January 30th 2011

by Left Outside    


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Protests took place yesterday against the Tory led coalitions higher education cuts and fee hikes.

Throughout the campaign against the cuts, Aaron Porter has been a poor representative of the student body politic. Somewhat dithering, sometimes anonymous and something of an establishment lackey he is not a popular man.

That he was chased from a demonstration is surprising solely for the fact nobody had thought to do it earlier. What is surprising is that he is alleged to have suffered a torrent of anti-Semitic abuse at the time.

This has all the hall marks of a smear campaign; designed to undermine the student movement’s legitimacy and distract attention from the reason people were on the streets.

In short it smells fishy.

If there was racist abuse, then the ease with which it can be recorded and the import of doing so mean I am comfortable demanding a high level of proof.

Until it materialises I’m not willing to waste any more time distracted from the real issue; the Tory’s attack on education.

Update: Aaron Porter himself, according to an email to NUS members, claims he was racially abused.

Update from Left Outside: Yesterday I posted a quick blog on the strange lack of evidence that supported early claims that Aaron Porter had been racially abused, today it was cross posted to Lib Con. This seemed all the more curious as student led protests are going to be smart phone, and therefor camera and microphone heavy affairs.

It has now transpired that rather than being idle gossip, Aaron Porter himself, according to an email to NUS members, excerpted by the FT after I wrote my post, claims he was racially abused. I may not like his politics, but nobody deserves to be subjected to racism and I hope this incident is investigated fully. Reports of my ill intent are greatly exaggerated.

A Further Update from Left OutsidePerhaps foolishly, I am going to continue compiling evidence on the alleged [1] racial abuse of Aaron Porter.

From John commenting at my blog, who claims to have been alongside Porter throughout, we have this:

I was walking next to, and videoing, Aaron throughout this incident, at no point did I hear any racist abuse, at no point did I capture any on video. He was surrounded by anti-racist campaigners. As a volunteer for a charity supporting victims of racist abuse I would have been outraged if I had heard such abuse and fully supported Aaron. No one I have spoken to claims to have heard any racist abuse or knows anyone who confronted such abuse. Anyway back to the real story of Aaron’ lack of strong leadership…

I’ve e-mailed asking if it is possible to have the video shot published at my blog/put on youtube etc.

The AWL have also claimed a vanguard role in the repulsion of Porter from the protest and obviously denied any existence of racist chanting:

Yesterday’s incidents were begun by a group of students from the Hull and Leeds anti-cuts campaigns accosting Porter. This group included several AWL members (incidentally, the one who took the lead and shortly afterwards led chants against Porter, Chris Marks, is Jewish – as many of the anti-Porter protesters will have been). We were at the front of the crowd which chased Porter and thus would have heard any racist chants – let alone a “barrage”! We were also in possession of two of the four megaphones involved.

I still don’t think anyone has much of an idea what happened.

[1] That should be read neutrally.

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About the author
Left Outside is a regular contributor to LC. He blogs here and tweets here. From October 2010 to September 2012 he is reading for an MSc in Global History at the London School of Economics and will be one of those metropolitan elite you read so much about.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Media ,Race relations

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Reader comments


At the time, I had Tweetdeck open whilst working on other things, and noticed the gap in time between “Aaron has been pelted with eggs” and “Protestors shouted…such and such”. Now this was either the natural gap between instant reaction and getting more information, or the distance between reporting what had happened and inventing details for greater effect.

My worry goes back to attitudes towards Aaron himself. If he is seen by critics as something of a “New Labour policy wonk”, what uncomfortable position do currently prominant ex-New Labour types (such as Andy Burnham) find themselves as they try to sound as removed from Porter as they can?

As the law stands, if a victim feels they were raially abused, it has to be investigated as a hate-crime.

It’s a complete, utter lie. I was there. Students shouted “Tory scum” and “YOU scum”. Apparently the ‘source’ is an unamed “press photographer”. Hmm.

It’s already running across right-wing media. Their usual propaganda isn’t working (as polls among their own readers show), so now they’ve resorted to this. If this LIE ends up sparking ‘debate’ among student activists and unions, it’s done the old trick: divide, divide, divide.

Porter is such a gutless worm that he’ll probably run with this nonsense for sympathy and his own career aspirations, but it’s a LIE.

Also, he wasn’t ‘pelted with eggs’ – both he and another non-enity (whose name I forget) were chased VERBALLY off their podiums. Porter ran way behind police lines before anyone could get near him, too scared to even answer his critics. But I expect ‘booing’ will be remixed as ‘violence’ by the media now.

‘As the law…etc

As it should do, perhaps you can point me to where aaron himself says he was raciially abused etc. ?

As the law stands, if the twitteratti thinks its a hate crime it doesn’t matter.

Questions

1) Would “Tory scum” on its own have been fair comment?

2) If Porter had been a Muslim, would “Islamic scum” have been acceptable?

3) If Porter had been of German extraction, would “Nazi scum” have been OK?

4) If Danny Alexander had joined the march, what about “ginger scum”?

When answering please remember that only the last is an insult based on a racially inherited characteristic.

‘real issue’ (last para) is an anagram of sue israel – how AS!

@5

Yes, no, no, no.

Hope that helps in your search for meaning.

You could try reading what Mr Porter himself has to say:

Mr Porter told NUS members in an e-mail: “Just before the march started, I was surrounded by a particularly vicious minority of protesters more intent on shouting threatening and racist abuse at me rather than focusing on the issues. Instead of standing together and fighting the cuts, they instead chose to pursue me along Manchester’s Oxford Road and drive me away from the start of the march. As a result, under the strong advice of the police, I had to withdraw myself from the rally.”

Ouch, looks like Aaron Porter himself claims racial abuse.

Where’s your sneering now, Left Outside/Galen10/Chaise Guevara? You’re not asking for evidence that Alfie Meadows was injured by a policeman, when it’s now clear he was hit in the head by another protester, yet when Porter himself heard the racial insult you’re all Columbo now?

I tend to believe someone who claims they have been racially abused. That’s my starting point. I don’t ask for evidence and nor should you. What you are doing is allowing the claim of racial abuse to detract from the focus of the demonstrations. Ask yourself why?

I doubt there was much racism, but it sounds really unpleasant. W. Kaspar you say he was too scared to answer his critics, but angrily shouting “Tory Scum” isn’t exactly incisive criticism. And you seem to think its a good thing that someone you disagree with was intimated into not speaking? It just seems horrible to me.

12. Bored in Kavanagasau

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFiQ-i7UosM

I suppose Lib Con readers hear “Aaaron Porter, you’re a too, I want to hit you with my shoe” at 19 seconds.

The law says that a race hate crime should be investigated if the victim or witness felt it was a race hate crime.

This demonisation of Porter is obnoxious. It shows the negative side of a grassroots rebellion, it’s turning into a sort of purity test for some enthusiasts. They need to calm down or they’ll undermine the whole movement.

14. Biffy Dunderdale

Wait – is Aaron Porter in the Judean People’s Front or the People’s Front of Judea? Splitter!

Aaron porter is just another new labour tool.

However this article, and this headline – are you fucking kidding me?

This site is so inconsistent and hypocritical, I half expect one day to pop in and find a message from sunny saying the whole things was a joke.

@ Mr Pill

Yes, no, no, no.

Ahhhhh

So Harman WAS being racist when she referred to Alexander as a ginger rodent.

Interesting. You have to be so careful these days!!!

But I don’t understand why 1- 3, referring to politics, religion and a nation state are not acceptable.

None have anything to do with race.

Help me more in my search for meaning.

I believe in equalities bullshit jargon, this article constitutes secondary discrimination as it disbelieves the victim a hate crime. Kind of like those rape apologia doing the rounds over assange.

It’s interesting how this story only appears in those papers you’d expect it to appear in: the Telegraph and the Mail ,both of which have been against the protests and will print smears in order to discredit those protesting.

@ OP

“I’m not willing to waste any more time distracted from the real issue; the Tory’s attack on education”

and @ W.Kasper

“If this LIE ends up sparking ‘debate’ among student activists and unions, it’s done the old trick: divide, divide, divide.”

Apart from wasting time distracting the public from the real issue by dividing the movement; you don’t seem to bothered about divisions when you’re chucking eggs at our own (for the time being) representatives. Genius.

At the end of the day, the story is now the Porter incident (racist or not), rather than fees/EMA/cuts. Well done.

It’s interesting how quickly so many choose to disregard eyewitness accounts, and rush to believe:

Right-wing papers that realise they don’t have a leg to stand on regarding the student fees ‘argument’.

A notorious careerist, who tried to make underhand deals and pathetic, self-serving compromises with a government (and media) aggresively opposed to the interests of those he claims to represent.

As for ‘unpleasant’ – grow up. It’s politics. Are we expected to be Etonian bank managers before we can voice oppostion? We can’t all be Right Honourable MPs, nor do we have the luxury of limited, staged ‘debate’. Maybe if this country wasn’t so bloody deferential to these sleazeballs, they wouldn’t be able to smarm their way out of trouble so easily. No doubt his New Labour training made him think he could get away with anything.

He attended a protest, and was aware that student activists want him out. His crappy little publicity stunt (designed to undermine the larger protest in london) backfired. Tough. There’s more at stake than his career aspirations. His claims to being a victim of a racial attack are just a desperate attempt to recoup any dregs of sympathy that students may have for him. However, all he’s left with is a consoling cuddle from the boys in blue.

And as far as I’m concerned ‘Tory’ and ‘scum’ should be used together at every available opportunity. Doffing our caps is no longer an option.

22. Old & Bitter

If Porter was racially abused, surely we can all express regret, agree it should not have happened and move on.
The rejection of Porter and other members of the NUS Executive by so many of their members, does however interest me greatly. Perhaps the paths trodden by the likes of Straw, Clarke, Woolas from NUS Executive to positions of power and influence with the Labour Party are now so widely known that the poliical antennae of young people are sufficiently developed to be able to spot and quickly reject the more obvious careerists whose committment to the advancement of their own careers far outstrips their genuine committment to the causes they conveniently choose to espouse at any one time.
Of course as well as the NUS route to Labour Party stardom, my generation also witnessed the likes of Harman and Hewitt move effortlessly from seemingly passionate defence of civil liberties during their days at the erstwhile NCCL to membership of a New Labour government that had such a dismal record in the area of civil rights and liberties. Was their ever any more dispiriting sight than seeing Hewitt, along with Byers and Hoon, once their days of proximity to the centre of power and influence were drawing to a close, caught trying to rent themselves out to the corporate lobbying sector like a ‘taxi for hire’? So for sure students are right to reject leaders whose genuine loyalty to the cause appears to lag someway behind their calculations of their best route to career advancement.
This leaves me wondering whether in the coming months of unrest that appear certain to unfold, involving hopefully an alliance of students, trade unions, community groups and the wider public affected by the ‘austerity measures’, will Labour Party figures such as Miliband, Balls, Cooper etc also be rejected as credible spokespersons for such a developing movement? Associated,as they all are, so strongly with the dismal New Labour project, how best can they now re-invent themselves and distance themselves from their pasts to be seen as credible spokespersons for the fightback and resistance that appears imminent. Is it possible or will the the Labour Party have to engage in more root and branch reform if it is to be seen as relevant?

I looked at the video and can’t for the life of me work out what the guy said… so maybe there was a man who shouted something anti-semitic at another man. What I can’t quite work out is why this article seems to think it is impossible.

Is there not a single anti-semitic person in the student movement? It doesn’t say much about that movement one way or the other does it? If there was a crowd of people shouting anti-semitic abuse that’s something else but no one seems to be claiming that.

Can we just clarify that a) anti-semitism exists, b) some people who are good on one thing are awful on others and c) blunting denying the impossibility of something eminiently possible doesn’t really add to your credibility.

Going by yesterday, it seems Labour have a LOT of work to do. There were NO leading Labour representatives at Manchester (not even councillors). Also, the Union leaders present weren’t exactly ‘in touch’ – some were booed for their defence of E2E ‘back to work’ initiatives and other Blairite PR moves like the Future Jobs Fund (it was obvious some many young people present that these initiatives aren’t exactly good for their ‘future’). They were also surprisingly timid about the wider implications of the spending review.

They seriously need to take people’s experiences into account if they want to galvanise support against the coalition. Porter learned that reality and media spin are poles apart. Planet Earth isn’t made up of a few dozen London journalists. I expect other New Labour careerists to be learning a similar lesson this year.

@13 Cherub: This demonisation of Porter is obnoxious.

Porter’s job is to stand up for students, but many feel that he cares more about his future career as a Labour apparatchik. In this circumstance, people have a right to be angry. And frankly, if he can’t put up with a bit of abuse, he’s unsuited to public life.

It would be better if the NUS president was in future elected by direct democratic election all students affiliated with the NUS.

26. Chaise Guevara

@ 9 The Two Eds

“Where’s your sneering now, Left Outside/Galen10/Chaise Guevara?”

Who are you, where did you come from and why are you now attacking me in a thread that I haven’t even commented in yet? Seriously, what the hell is your problem? Have you seriously got nothing else to do than troll forums picking apparently random user names to throw stupid ad homs at?

27. Chaise Guevara

“Can we just clarify that a) anti-semitism exists, b) some people who are good on one thing are awful on others and c) blunting denying the impossibility of something eminiently possible doesn’t really add to your credibility.”

This.

28. Anecdotal Bloke

Liberal conspiracy appears to have taken an interesting turn. I can’t say I’m surprised though.

The Guardian reported the protestors as saying he was called a ‘Tory too’. This is similar to chants used against Blair in the original anti-fees protest when they were first being introduced.

Only the right-wing press have reported the other word supposedly used.

A Daily Mail photographer was the person that ‘heard’ it apparently.

‘Tory too’ sounds far more credible. I’d say this is a smear campaign against the students movement.

“Can we just clarify that a) anti-semitism exists, b) some people who are good on one thing are awful on others and c) blunting denying the impossibility of something eminiently possible doesn’t really add to your credibility.”

Yes indeed. A nasty spiteful article.

So hang on a minute, the MacPherson report says that racism is anything that anyone feels is racist.

Aaron Porter says he was subjected to racist abuse.

Liberal Conspiracy questions whether racism took place.

Would Lib Con treat a black man in the same way?

Is this denial of racism anything to do with the fact that Porter’s abusers were in fact Asian?

32. Chaise Guevara

@ 31

“So hang on a minute, the MacPherson report says that racism is anything that anyone feels is racist.”

I think it says that anything someone feels is racist must be investigated. Which seems like overkill to me, but it’s not the same as claiming the accusation is proof of guilt.

“Is this denial of racism anything to do with the fact that Porter’s abusers were in fact Asian?”

I doubt it. It’s more because the right-wing press are trying to use the incident (regardless of whether it happened) to paint protesters in a negative light. Of course, the sensible response is not to refuse to believe that it happened, but to say that even if it did, the idiot behaviour of a few do not reflect on the cause itself.

What if they said ‘Tory too’ and the Mail photographer and Porter misheard does that make it racism???

Or just a nonsense non-story?

34. Anecdotal Bloke

You do realise that on other blogs, there are eyewitnesses claiming that

(a) yes, it did happen

(b) it was some “asian lads”

(c) others chanted “no to racism” against them.

So, we have full on racism denial on LC. I bet this gets deleted now.

Yes, racism denial is exactly what this post is. Vile.

The behaviour of the demonstrators was appalling. Nothing but a bunch of thugs. Have a look at the EDL of the left.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFiQ-i7UosM

All racism is wrong but ‘Tory too’ is a well used chant at demo’s which sounds very similar to the supposedly used word.

One cannot trust blogs per se. Any film or recorded evidence?

#34 could you post a few links please – thanks

Going by yesterday, it seems Labour have a LOT of work to do. There were NO leading Labour representatives at Manchester (not even councillors).

Oh you mean apart from Tony Lloyd MP, who was speaking but was pelted by eggs by the same Trots?

So, we have full on racism denial on LC. I bet this gets deleted now.

Idiotic comment. This isn’t denialism – this is asking for proper evidence when all we have going is a Daily Mail report, and no corroboration with at the BBC or Guardian.

40. Chaise Guevara

@ 35

“Have a look at the EDL of the left.”

Hardly the EDL of the left. There’s a difference between heckling people and shouting “I want to hit you with my shoe” and rioting. If someone did racially abuse him then that’s appalling, but it doesn’t really affect all the other people there. If you want the EDL of the left you’d be better off with the protesters smashing up Tory HQ.

41. Anecdotal Bloke

Actually, it is even in the Telegraph:

“Witnesses report that among the chants directed at him from a small number of demonstrators were “——- Tory Jew”. Other protesters responded to the anti-semitic taunts aimed at Mr Porter by chanting: “No to racism, no to racism.””

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8290571/Student-leader-Aaron-Porter-barracked-with-anti-Semitic-insults.html

If the Telegraph reported the opposition by demonstrators to the racist chanting, how can it be part of a conspiracy to paint the demonstration are racist?

Why would Porter himself have confirmed it (as reported in the Financial Times)

The real question you should ask is why the Guardian and the BBC aren’t reporting this. Perhaps they disbelieve Porter.

Jews are often accused of lying about antisemitism, so none of this surprises me.

No Chaise, harassing people so badly that they need police protection is exactly like the EDL.

43. Anecdotal Bloke

Sunny – you have corroboration from the Telegraph (who also report that it was opposed by other demonstrators – hardly a sign of a stitch up), and the Financial Times, who report on Porter’s email

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/18b1b5b6-2bdf-11e0-a14f-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1CSOz6NeE

“Just before the march started, I was surrounded by a particularly vicious minority of protesters more intent on shouting threatening and racist abuse at me rather than focusing on the issues. Instead of standing together and fighting the cuts, they instead chose to pursue me along Manchester’s Oxford Road and drive me away from the start of the march.”

Not LC’s finest hour, this.

Have a look at the thugs here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFc0gBwyKmE

Oh for god’s sake – HE WASN’T RACIALLY ABUSED. It’s a meme (lie) generated by the Daily fucking Mail, and now it’s being parroted in all corners of the media left and right alike.

Also, it wasn’t ‘Asian lads’ – they were students. Overwhelmingly WHITE students (the entire protest was overwhelmingly white for such a multicultural city, but I digress). This whole ‘controversy’ has done it’s job – become a big red herring to divert attention away from the point of the protests, led to questions of the ‘character’ of the protesters, and provided a buffer for Porter and his incredibly weak mandate. It also looks like it’s becoming yet another ugly, media-generated ‘Muslims & lefties pick on Jews’ non-story.

I’m surprised how many readers of a blog called ‘Liberal Conspiracy’ are getting suckered so easily by the Daily Mail and the Telegraph. Coming soon: the usual columnists weighing in with pro-cuts/anti-left/anti-muslim/anti-student hogwash to create further mystification. They’ll probably even join the dots with the Egypt protests and their ‘anti-semitism’ (I can hear Melanie Philips ranting already). Just as log as we don’t look too closely at what the Tories are doing – that’s all they (and their press) want really.

If anything, this whole ‘story’ proves that maybe we DO need a more Media Studies graduates. Far too many people lack basic skills in distinguishing PR and propaganda from news.

46. Anecdotal Bloke

W Kasper

Why does the FT report that Porter himself sent an email referencing the racist chanting directed at him?

Is your argument that Porter is lying about this?

47. Chaise Guevara

@ 42/44 Paul

“No Chaise, harassing people so badly that they need police protection is exactly like the EDL.”

Hang on. The police will turn up if they think trouble might start. You can’t retrospectively say that it WOULD have done were they not there.

“Have a look at the thugs here:”

I assume you mean the last few seconds of the video. It’s a bit hard to see what’s going on, but it looks like trespass at least. Possibly also pushing and shoving. Trespass is bad but not as bad as attacking people and smashing stuff. Pushing and shoving, if it happened, would be getting into the same territory.

@7 Mr S Pill
Mr Porter is frequently stated to be a member of the Labour Party so why is “Tory scum” acceptable? Or is it now just a generic form of abuse for anyone that the abuser dislikes?

49. Chaise Guevara

@ 48

I personally have a specific hatred of the word “scum”, but it’s not on the same level as racist abuse. I suppose it comes down to what you mean when you say “acceptable”.

The Sunday Daily Telegraph regularly reports global warming sceptic opinion pieces. Doesn’t mean they are true. It could be all reports of this may emanate from one Mail photographer.

Aaron Porter has lied, backtracked and spun about many things. Whatever it takes to preserve his position and his ambitions.

HE’S A POLITICIAN.

Or, are you one of those strange people who thought Tony Blair was principled and sincere? Jack Straw? David Cameron? G.W. Bush? Mubarak?

Anyway, I give up. I was there, and all I’m reading is buffoons entering a debate over a story falsified by the Daily Mail. Apologies for even bothering. Good luck with your Daily Mail updates. Maybe Sky News has an ‘alternative view’ for the ‘debate’.

Extraordinary how people who describe themselves as left-wing can deploy the most poisonous and stupid arguments of the racist right when it suits their purpose. I’m frankly astonished that this article was published here. Utterly disgusting.

And if the comments above are ‘left of centre’, God help us all…

Those seeking corroboration might be interested in this, posted at Harry’s Place. Yes, yes, not the last site to seek anti-semites under the beds, but since the commenter is critical of them for using the Mail as a source, and suggests reports have been exaggerated, it’s perhaps worth giving it come credence.

(the racial reference, for which he later apologises, is in response to another poster who said the racist chanters were white)

I was at this protest today and I heard 2, yes, two people chanting this. And, guess what, the two men chanting this were of Asian descent, they were not white. Also what the article fails to mention is that about 20 or so people started chanting “no, no, no to racists” at these men.

But I see this place is more interested in believing the Daily Mail version of the story (who have never, ever lied about anything or smeared any people).

#43 If true it would be very wrong but unrepresentative. However it may be untrue. The word is similar to ‘too’. He may have misheard it in the melee. Also as it is so unrepresentative of the student movement it is a bit of a non-story. It is very convenient for the right-wing press though. They can smear the protesters as all being extremists.

If Porter himself says he was racially abused – it must be investigated.

But most people who reported from the event say there wasn’t any racist chanting, nor is there any video evidence to support that. That’s where it stands, and the piece is fine to ask where the evidence is – given it focuses on the Daily Mail’s version of events.

57. Anecdotal Bloke

“They can smear the protesters as all being extremists.”

So, the Telegraph is smearing the protestors by claiming that they opposed racist chanting?

Yes, that makes sense.

It is very convenient for the right-wing press though. They can smear the protesters as all being extremists.

Right, but this is why articles like this don’t help. Surely the correct response goes something like “we’re yet to see the evidence backed up a trustworthy source, but if true, such chants are indefensible and unrepresentative etc etc”.

#57 was the Telegraph reporter there on the scene or did they get it second hand from the Mail photographer?

All newspapers have a political agenda. Unlike the broadcast media they do not pretend to be neutral.

60. The Two Eds

Aaron Porter says he was racially abused. Would you tell a woman who claims she was raped, “sorry love, don’t care what you say, show me some evidence that holds up in a court of law, thanks” ? What a sad, sad day for LibCon.

Even though nothing of the sort happened, we would like to make it perfectly clear that we condemn this sort of behaviour. Especially when it didn’t happen. We would also like to ignore the actions of tens of thousands of protestors who actually did happen, so that we can pay serious attention to things that didn’t happen but were said to happen by a newspaper run by right-wing psychopaths. Although we can’t admit that we don’t actually have a clue what happened, our policy is to respond strongly to non-happenings if they happen in newspapers pretending that things that didn’t happen actually happened. On this, our position is clear. We condemn anything happening.

62. Anecdotal Bloke

Even though nothing of the sort happened,

Even though one protester says something of the sort did happen?

Stop Press! Now Aaron’s the victim of homophobia too!

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/01/30/was-aaron-porter-racially-abused

What next? Ritual Satanic abuse by the SWP? A human shield for Hezbollah? Maybe he should call that Tory-led bullying hotline. Oh, that’s right – that dissolved once it conveniently smeared Gordon Brown. Never mind.

@49 Chaise Guevara
I agree with what you said, but I think you missed my point.
When does it become unacceptable to shout “Tory scum” at a politician? If it’s acceptable for Aaron Porter why not for David Miliband? If so, why not for Ed Miliband? If so, why not for Ed Balls? If so why not for Tony Wedgwood Benn? If so, why not for Dennis Skinner? If so, why not for the ghost of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov?
I think one has to draw the line somewhere before there.

Actually, I heard some people call him a ‘pussy’ too. Is Porter a victim of misogyny? I demand a condemnation for the NUS and Harry’s Place by sunrise.

Looks like a very nice hole you’ve dug yourself there.

68. Chaise Guevara

@ 65

“When does it become unacceptable to shout “Tory scum” at a politician? If it’s acceptable for Aaron Porter why not for David Miliband? If so, why not for Ed Miliband? If so, why not for Ed Balls? If so why not for Tony Wedgwood Benn? If so, why not for Dennis Skinner? If so, why not for the ghost of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov?
I think one has to draw the line somewhere before there.”

Well, now we seem to be discussing the point at which “Tory’ becomes inaccurate. I think I might still be missing your point.

#57 #59
The Daily Mail has actually written: “One photographer reported chants of ‘Tory Jew scum’ directed at Mr Porter”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351694/Left-wing-students-vicious-racist-attack-fellow-union-leader.html

If i was being more cynical of the Daily Mail’s perhaps in parts deliberately vague statement : it’s ambiguous as to when and where the “photographer” heard such alleged chants, or if they heard these chants at all rather than having “reported” them. It is also unstated whether this is an alleged photo journalist or, say, police FIT. And with the extent of police infiltration and provocation within protest movements exposed in recent months, others’ repeating unquestioned on social media such unreferenced hard-right ‘news’ media claims looks either irresponsible or equally politically motivated.

variant –

Probably the most sensible comment on this thread so far.

@64 “I want to hit you with my dick”? How in the nine hells could that be taken as a homophobic slur? Does seem like Porter’s defenders are grasping at straws now.

@71 He was being sarcastic.

‘Does seem like Porter’s defenders are grasping at straws now.’

Or their dicks…

74. Chaise Guevara

@ 69

Are you suggesting that the Mail would just make stuff up to sell papers and further their political agenda? 8o

Yeah variant, it’s all a conspiracy! What a loon.

Not to be forgotten in all this is the opening post’s defence of thoroughly obnoxious and thuggish behaviour:

That he was chased from a demonstration is surprising solely for the fact nobody had thought to do it earlier.

I look forward to defences of similar behaviour if the next target is Left Outside, Hundal, or any other idiot who backs this post.

@ 68 Chaise Guevara
It seems beyond dispute that “Tory” is inaccurate as regards Mr Porter, who is repeatedly described as a Labour Party member and frequently as a Labour apparatchik. [I find it difficult to believe that the Conservatives would accept him if he turned up on their doorstep and asked to join].
Nevertheless Mr S Pill declares it to be “fair comment”, so I was asking where does he draw the line between “fair” and “unfair” if he doesn’t regard blatant untruth as a criterion?

77. Chaise Guevara

@ 76

Ah, in that case I imagine Pill considers that the accusation of him being a closet Tory (or whatever) is fair comment. I.E. he’s officially Labour but acting like a Tory.

There was a lot of that said about New Labour when it first emerged (and ever since), with varying degrees of fairness.

Yesterday I posted a quick blog on the strange lack of evidence that supported early claims that Aaron Porter had been racially abused, today it was cross posted to Lib Con. This seemed all the more curious as student led protests are going to be smart phone, and therefor camera and microphone heavy affairs.

It has now transpired that rather than being idle gossip, Aaron Porter himself, according to an email to NUS members, excerpted by the FT after I wrote my post, claims he was racially abused. I may not like his politics, but nobody deserves to be subjected to racism and I hope this incident is investigated fully. Reports of my ill intent are greatly exaggerated.

There’s the clarification, now to the comments.

Paul, thanks to the link to the FT piece, I hadn’t seen it.

W Kaspar, I don’t know if its lie, you may have been there, but you weren’t everywhere, there are always some dickheads at protests.

Jim Jepps, I wasn’t denying the existence of anti-Semitism, just trying to get some facts out of the twitter juice rumour mill. There have been developments since I posted, and I hope I have clarified the matter.

Those proclaiming the decline of Liberal Conspiracy should probably get out more.

Those complaining about violence in politics appear to have a poor grasp of politics. It is often, if not definitionally, the exercise of legitimate violence. Where do you draw the line? Are you a total pacifist, what level of violence is okay?

I don’t think anyone has accused me of anti-Semitism, which is good, but there are those accusing me of being an apologist for it, which is funny.

Calling someone nominally in Labour a Tory is of course abuse. Its meant to be! The idea is that he is acting like a Tory and that this is a bad thing. Again, calling people you disagree with names is kinda integral to politics, not big or clever, but not remarkable at all, at least until it become racist as this event may have.

Those complaining about violence in politics appear to have a poor grasp of politics. It is often, if not definitionally, the exercise of legitimate violence.

Well done for the clarification, but this just beggars belief. Is the EDL’s political violence “definitionally” legitimate? Or is it only for causes you believe in?

Thanks for the clarification left outside.

My main worry was you were far too quick to dismis a serious charge before seeing if there was any evidence. For clarification I wasn’t saying you didn’t believe that anti-semitism exists I was highlighting why it was plausible that such a thing might have happened.

Anyway, I think your update is useful – thanks.

“Well done for the clarification, but this just beggars belief. Is the EDL’s political violence “definitionally” legitimate? Or is it only for causes you believe in?”

Yes. Violence for good causes can be okay, violence for bad causes cannot. Egypt anyone? Or violence against apartheid South Africa was legitimate if you want an extreme example, Violence as chasing away somebody you consider totally unfit to lead the student movement is on the borderline, but I think fair considering the stakes involved.

Jim Jepps, yeah, online I have a naturally combative tone, the post was more meant to be a put up or shut up post, and I’m relatively happy to shut up to see the result of any ensuing investigation. Somebody mentioned rape above and asked if I would write the same sort of post, of course not, having insults shouted at you and being chased off is bad, but it is several orders of magnitude less awful than rape. I write about lots of bad things happening to people, these things need to be discussed.

I look forward to defences of similar behaviour if the next target is Left Outside, Hundal, or any other idiot who backs this post.

My view on the idiots who decide to chase and harass him is well known:

http://twitter.com/#!/sunny_hundal/status/31393054749360128

http://twitter.com/#!/sunny_hundal/status/31437525092405248

http://twitter.com/#!/sunny_hundal/status/31432354153107456

http://twitter.com/#!/wesstreeting/status/31359246780080128
http://twitter.com/#!/renireni/status/31439417281347584

I have it on good authority Aaron Porter did not hear any of the allegedly racist chants – so I presume his point comes from the Daily Mail article.

Though a few pointed out that a counter-chant ‘no to racism’ also kicked off, which may have been in response to that, though I’ve not see any video to that effect nor seen it reported in the press.

Yes. Violence for good causes can be okay, violence for bad causes cannot. Egypt anyone?

Right, but that’s pretty clearly not what you said.

Violence in a good cause can certainly be justified, though it’s notable the examples you cite are ones where there was no free press or proper democratic representation.

Re. Porter, why not go to the demo, turn your backs on him or shout him down? Seems to me (from the outside), there are already far too many people fighting this cause who see violence as part of the gig. Keep on down this road and you’re sunk.

Tactically, I think chasing Porter may be a mistake, but he’s been pretty useless. But I don’t think doing it is wrong in itself. Politics is messy, and although I definitely wouldn’t want to see him hurt, having his failing emphatically brought home may be a good idea.

@ 84 Sunny
The only good authority for that would be Mr Porter himself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFiQ-i7UosM

You hear it at 10 secs and at 19.

I am shocked though.

Shocked that so many good ‘progressives’ are surprised LC is calling the victim a liar. Why the surprise?

The accusation and denial of racism is nothing more than a political game to blogs like this.

The demonstrators are violent marxists and leftwing extremists. This kind of hatred is the bread and butter of the Street Left.

Scum this
Smash that
He’s a triator etc

You hear it at 10 secs and at 19.

I am shocked though.

Shocked that so many good ‘progressives’ are surprised LC is calling the victim a liar. Why the surprise?

I heard it last night repeatedly and I’m afraid its not clear. Also – according to some, it was two Asian youths in the back rather than the guy with the microphone (which kills off the video as evidence anyway). The crowd then started chanting ‘no to racism’ in response, which also firmly explains what their position is on the issue.

I hope that clarifies ‘Tory’.

If you want to hear “too” in that clip you can hear it, if you want to hear “jew” you can hear it. I don’t have a great connection, but that is all i get from it, anybody else confirm that for me with better internet and hearing?

“Shocked that so many good ‘progressives’ are surprised LC is calling the victim a liar.”

Again, as it seems you can’t read, assume malfeasance on my part, and I like winding up trolls with things like actual facts, I’ll repeat. This post was written before Porter’s statement became public. You can’t call someone a statement untrue before the statement’s been made, because of time. There has also been a clarification added to the original post too. Don’t let that distract from your whining however.

@ Left Outside
You need to read a better class of newspaper. It was published at 19.52 on the 29th that Aaron Porter had sent an email claiming that he had been subjected to racial abuse: your by-line is 9.30 on the 30th.
What you could say was that wrote your post before you read Porter’s statement and that you regret your incompetence.
.

‘Again, as it seems you can’t read, assume malfeasance on my part, and I like winding up trolls with things like actual facts,’

Yes, you jumped the gun for political reasons.

So at best you look silly and insenstive.

Would be better to wait to see if Porter had said anything. If he didn’t you could then push the denial stuff! What kind of vanguard is this? Schoolboy mistakes.

@ 90 Sunny Hundal
“The crowd then started chanting ‘no to racism’ in response, ”
Which implies that the crowd heard a remark that they thought was racist. Sounds to me like an argument in support of Aaron Porter’s complaint ….

‘I heard it last night repeatedly and I’m afraid its not clear. Also – according to some, it was two Asian youths in the back rather than the guy with the microphone (which kills off the video as evidence anyway). The crowd then started chanting ‘no to racism’ in response, which also firmly explains what their position is on the issue.’

Porter is making it up or he isn’t.

‘In short it smells fishy.’

That is was the original LC post. The author goes onto say, ‘as the law stands, if the twitteratti thinks its a hate crime it doesn’t matter.’

What on earth are you arguing about Sunny? You know full well LC has been busted, again. Remember the tough LC line on the Japser Vs HP debacle? Yes, how awful it was to imply a nothing was said to victim of racism..

Sigh.

Go to my blog. The original was posted at 6 on saturday, from my phone on my way home from work.

Between posting and reposting I was 1 drunk and 2 asleep and 3 heading to work.

Also, I isssued a clarification immediately after getting home from work today.

I’m not the villain you’re looking for.

Funnily enough I do in fact subscriibe to the ft! I would also note that proof proper has yet to be supplied, although its increasingly looking like it did happen.

Tory, I did post something quickly, in response to twitter. I don’t know what’s incentitive about asking for eviidence foir claims which hadn’t been substantiated, and which had not even been confirmed by aaron at the time of writing. Hell, I don’t want to upset aaron, just toreace him with someone less careerist.

To emphasise, this post was written before poirter said anything, this isn’t aboout him.

@ 95 – I wasn’t calling you a villain, merely incompetent. I wasn’t aware that you had posted it elsewhere yesterday and I apologise for my error based on my ignorance.

@85 sy

The idea is, you do some thinking and fill that bit in yourself, instead of posting sarky comments (ahem). You should be aware that LO is a well regarded blogger, not some twat like on Guido Fawkes.

Porter appears to have been sidelined by online organisation. Why not just ignore him?

I’m planning for the TUC day of action and I have increasing concerns about how it may turn out. I want to ally myself with students because I support their cause but some of them really are hard to feel any sympathy with.

#74 Not to rush to the Daily Mail’s defence but I do expect they’re seasoned enough not to have technically lied, but that doesn’t mean our expected interpretations of what’s written is true either : Daily Mail’s published what an alleged photographer has either ‘reported’ to someone, or to have had told to them and then ‘reported’, what’s alleged to have been directed at Porter. There’s no real indication in the article of how first-, second-, third-hand this ‘reporting’ is; to say nothing of sincerity. Let’s say my raison d’être along a particular editorial line is sales and controversy’s good for sales : I say to you doesn’t that sound like… you say yes it does… I report you reporting to me… bingo, story!

And if #84 is true — “have it on good authority Aaron Porter did not hear any of the allegedly racist chants – so I presume his point comes from the Daily Mail article” — then it shows what prejudices opportunist people are willing to utilise from such reputable sources as the Daily Mail.

How do we know they were not police stooges?

Or Tory stooges???

Merely because Aaron Porter believes he heard it does not guarantee it was said. It just means he thought something that may have been ‘too’ was ‘jew’ when in fact it may have been either.

Whatever was said, the Tories will be loving this ‘story’.

@ Bob
“Or Tory stooges??”
Because Tory stooges would have chanted “New Labour scum” of course!!!

103. Chaise Guevara

@ 98 Variant

You’re right in that they’re unlikely to directly lie about this if there’s any risk of being caught. I assume that’s why the “this story is based on what some bloke told me” disclaimer is so popular.

104. Charlieman

I don’t buy the Daily Mail. I dip in occasionally to the online version alongside the broadsheets.

I don’t buy into the argument that the Daily Mail is entirely evil. It is true that the Daily Mail advocated fascism in the 1930s. It is also true that one Tory MP was imprisoned as a Nazi sympathiser in 1940 and others were ostracised for their associations. I accept that the Conservative Party has denazified (remaining unpleasant on its fringes), likewise the Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail has an uncomfortable relationship with liberalism. One day it uses irrational arguments to denounce common sense measures, the next day it challenges the law by naming the men who allegedly killed Steven Lawrence.

Take Daily Mail stories with a grain of salt. Sometimes they are worth considering and other times you spit them out.

105. Troll Piddle Nutters

DM headline reads: Student leader faces barrage of anti-Jewish abuse….
What constitutes a barrage?

106. Chaise Guevara

@ 104 Charlieman

“Take Daily Mail stories with a grain of salt. Sometimes they are worth considering and other times you spit them out.”

I’m not concerend with the decades-old misdeeds of the Mail. The fact that they were supportive of Hitler does not have any bearing on the paper as it stands today. What makes me think of the Mail as something at least approaching evil is that they know full well that their target audience does NOT take stories with a grain of salt, especially if these stories support their personal prejudices or otherwise confirm their world view. Loads of people think that immigrants steal swans to eat, and probably most people who have heard of the story think that Winterval was an attempt to rebrand Christmas. Both stories are complete fabrications that serve to foster hatred and xenophobia.

The only mitigating factor is the damage done by the Mail is limited to the fact that it’s largely preaching to the choir. But it does make that choir even worse and more intractable.

The far-right BNP have already seized on this story and taking a line similar to the right-wing press.

Maybe they were BNP stooges (if it wasn’t a mishearing).

see the BNP scum’s website for clarification: http://www.londonpatriot.org/2011/01/29/students-union-leader-aaron-porter-targetted-by-students/

@ 100
Read 90 where Sunny claims “crowd then started chanting ‘no to racism’ in response”
In response to what? “Tory too”????
What is the PC response to a jeer of “Tory too”?
I am becoming tempted to describe anyone who still says that there is no evidence of racial abuse as a “denier”. What everyone should be saying is that it was only a handful and the bulk of the crowd did not support them. I regard the threat of violence against Mr Porter (and some actual violence against a policeman who was just standing there and against the speaker who deputised for him by throwing missiles at him) by some political extremists as more serious than a few people shouting “Jew” [that may be un-PC of me, but is realistic].

@98,103 The Daily Mail has told bare-faced lies in the past and gotten away with it, and it’s viciousness when it does so cannot be overstated. The PCC is a toothless watchdog with plenty of esoteric rules to prevent claims being made, and the courts are not exactly cheap when it comes to libel.
In this instance there is no single person being singled out as having said the slurs, so there is no case for the PCC to concern itself with, or an acceptable case for the libel courts.

In short this could all be made the fuck up and nothing at all could be done about it.

110. Chaise Guevara

@ 109

While I’m aware than in some respects libel laws in this country are too strong, I think we probably need a sort of “political slander” law making it illegal to tell lies to further one’s polical goals. So making up a story about unnamed immigrants, I don’t know, burning the Union Jack or something would be an offence because it would be a falsehood intended to make people more anti-immigration.

Listen to this Youtube clip.

It’s pretty clear that they are saying:

‘Aaron Porter we know you, you’re a fucking Tory too’

It is definitely the ‘t’ word used.

I listened several times. It is clearly the ‘t’ word NOT the ‘j’ word.

Listen to this Youtube clip.

It’s pretty clear that they are saying:

‘Aaron Porter we know you, you’re a fucking Tory too’

It is definitely the ‘t’ word used.

I listened several times. It is clearly the ‘t’ word NOT the ‘j’ word.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFiQ-i7UosM

I think he misheard.

Having said all that I think they shouldn’t have hounded him in the way that they did.

“If Porter himself says he was racially abused – it must be investigated.

But most people who reported from the event say there wasn’t any racist chanting, nor is there any video evidence to support that. That’s where it stands, and the piece is fine to ask where the evidence is – given it focuses on the Daily Mail’s version of events.”

So if the Mail reports that someone was racially abused at an EDL rally, and that person also confirms they were racially abused, will Lib Con stubbornly refuse to believe it?

Put the spade away, Hundal.

@110 Your bigger concern might be whom the chairman is in this list:
http://www.pcc.org.uk/about/whoswho/committee.html

116. Chaise Guevara

@ 115

Oh, FFS. I assume it’s one of those self-appointed voluntary watchdogs like the ASA?

117. Anecdotal Bloke

Left Outside

That was a very fair response and update. My comments were mostly directed to commenters on the thread, and not to you.

There was a lot of jumping to conclusions and taking positions, when the Mail first broke the story. Their account of it was equivocal in any case, any you were not to know that Porter himself would confirm what had happened. It could have easily gone the other way.

In any case, Porter is apparently half Trinidadian and not Jewish. But, hey!

@116 Something like that, Paul Dacre being Chairman of the committee that writes the Editor’s codebook doesn’t exactly inspire confidence though does it?

#117
We still don’t know if it was true. Merely that Porter believes it to be true.

The Youtube clip indicates that a mishearing is very likely.

“In any case, Porter is apparently half Trinidadian…”

Maybe someone called him a Tory sectarian…

I think hounding him down the street using threatening behaviour against him was wrong and stupid but I have listened several times and can’t hear any racism.

Bob is a denier
Sunny claims that students were chanting “No to racism” in response to what???
Claims that there can have been no racist insults in a two-hour period over a couple of square miles because the poster thinks that he/she can’t hear it (or that it might be “too” not “Jew”) on a 3-minute U-tube video covering a few square metres are pretty stupid.
Next question: is Bob a Tory stooge? Such mind-blowing rejection of the most obvious facts suggests that he might be a troll, trying to provoke a reaction from the few of us who care about truth.

@123 Actually, sunny claimed no such thing, re-read the full comments history.

@ 124 Cylux
Please read 84
“pointed out” is not the same as “alleged” – it means that something actually happened and someone drew attention to it.
If you are an American and speak a different language that employs the same words to mean different things you may occasionally make innocent mistakes but it is unwise to contradict a native English speaker as to the meaning of his own language.

@ 124 Cylux
Read Sunny’s post 90 “The crowd then started chanting ‘no to racism’ in response, which also firmly explains what their position is on the issue.”
Maybe you’re not American, just too tired to read through the stuff that you ask me to.

@John77
I see you didn’t bother to re-read the comments, number 34 is when the “No to Racism” chant was introduced by Anecdotal Bloke, Sunny actually states in 84 that he hasn’t seen anything which confirms said chant happened. Also his post at 90 includes the caveat “according to some”.

I hope that clears up everything.

#123 Have we had it verified by people who were there that they were saying ‘No to racism?’.

That would mean that more than 1 person thought ‘too’ was ‘Jew’. Wouldn’t prove it was said.

It has now reached the right-wing Israeli national newspaper the Jerusalem Post…

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=205986

Has a story which is probably bullsh*t ever travelled so far?

130. Chaise Guevara

@ 123

“Bob is a denier”

Ah, so now we’re sticking stupid labels on people we disagree with. Very nice.

“Next question: is Bob a Tory stooge? Such mind-blowing rejection of the most obvious facts suggests that he might be a troll.”

Hypocritical labels at that!

If all you want to do is call people names, do us a favour and bugger off to 4chan. Some of us are actually interested in the issue at hand.

@127 Cylux
I did – did you?
In 90 “According to some” qualifies the claim that it was just two Asian youths who shouted racial abuse, not the following sentence that says that the crowd chanted “no to racism”.
Sunny appears to be quoting the same source as the Telegraph (or a very similar one) and then qualifying the first half of their report that there were racist chants followed by anti-racist ones.
In 84 Sunny says he has not seen a video showing that the “no to racism” chant *was in response to the racist chants*.
OTOH he also suggests that Mr Porter’s claim was in response to the Daily Mail article which was published *after* his email to the NUS executive.

@130 Chaise
“Some of us are actually interested in the issue at hand.” – Including me
Please refer back to 108.
Bob suddenly appears from nowhere, simultaneously suggesting no-one said anything and that the no-one was a Tory stooge or a police stooge and …
So it looks as he wants me to say he is a denier. I am hoping that now he has got what he wanted he will shut up and go away.

133. Chaise Guevara

@ 132

““Some of us are actually interested in the issue at hand.” – Including me
Please refer back to 108.”

So you claim, yes. But labelling and snidely attacking those who disagree with you suggests you’re less interested in the issue than you are in a fight.

“Bob suddenly appears from nowhere, simultaneously suggesting no-one said anything and that the no-one was a Tory stooge or a police stooge and …”

No, what he actually said was “Maybe they were BNP stooges (if it wasn’t a mishearing).” Thus clearly allowing for the fact that a mishearing would contradict the possibility of it being a stooge. Look, there’s little point misrepresenting what someone has said when we can just look up the thread and check. As for “appears from nowhere”… it’s the internet. Are your opinions only valid if you post in the first few comments?

“So it looks as he wants me to say he is a denier. I am hoping that now he has got what he wanted he will shut up and go away.”

No, it looks like he’s making sensible suggestions and you don’t like them. Half of this seems to come down to who hears “Jew” in the clip and who hears “too”. I also think it’s a bit hypocritical for you to (rightly) attack those who act as if racism on the part of protesters is impossible, but now yourself act as a mishearing is impossible and throw insults at anyone who favours this position.

OK, I hope you’ll respond reasonably, but if you want to call me a “denier-enabler” or something go right ahead.

134. Chaise Guevara

*I’m aware I’m being a bit arsey myself at this point, and that you were earlier making sensible contributions to the discussion. But I really don’t think that Bob’s done anything to deserve the attacks you’re making.

@131 John77 please learn to read, Sunny @90 is responding to Tory’s claim that it is clear that the word spoken is Jew. Sunny claims he listened to the clip many times and that it isn’t clear either way, he then ventures that – according to some – that it was at most two Asian lads chanting and that the main body then chanted no to racism in response. If those “some” are mistaken then neither the anti-Semitic chants occured, or their response.

What sunny is saying is that there is currently no solid evidence that the word was either Jew or too, but that even if it was Jew, the majority of those protesting were against the racial abuse and let their feelings on the matter known. Or in other words, it is at best a distracting red herring, and as Sunny predicted the opposition to Porter has played right into the Tories hands.

@ Chaise
I wasn’t (or not consciously) misrepresenting what Bob said – please do go back up the thread and you can see that 108 was largely an exasperated response to Bob’s 99, 100, 101 – you are only looking at 107.
Someone produces a 3 minute U-tube video and Bob claims if it’s not on there it didn’t happen despite Mr Porter and a number of witnesses stating that it did happen and others reporting a crowd reaction to it. Now does that sound like someone debating rationally?
I am not saying an individual mishearing is impossible, just that the likelihood of the number of multiple independent mishearings required to explain all the reports goes beyond “vanishingly small” to “vanished”.
The U-tube video takes place while Mr Porter is being escorted away by police *after* the point where, he says, according to the FT “just before the march started, I was surrounded by a particularly vicious minority of protesters more intent on shouting threatening and racist abuse at me rather than focusing on the issues.”
So if Bob can hear “too”, that is irrelevant to the question as to whether racist abuse was shouted. To claim that no racist abuse occurred because he cannot hear it in a video shot later in the day is *not* a sensible suggestion which is why I don’t like it. I think that the video was introduced by Paul who was complaining about the thuggishness of the “protestors”, not racist abuse.
I do *not* think that it is sensible to suggest that the abusers were “Tory stooges” and then, after that, that Mr Porter made up a claim that he was racially abused because he couldn’t hear properly. [Also, a very minor point, if Mr Porter is a Trinidadian, why should he misinterpret “too” as racist abuse?].
[Someone up-thread has claimed to hear racist abuse on the video which, if true, would be proof that it occurred but if you can’t hear it on the video that is not proof that it didn’t].

@ Cylux
I can read and I did say what Sunny Hundal had said.

138. Chaise Guevara

@ 136

But Bob, based on the comments you’ve directed me to at least, hasn’t said that it wasn’t abuse! He suggested two alternative POSSIBILITIES (and phrased them as such): that the people who shouted it were plants, or that nobody shouted it and Porter misheard. He never said either scenario WAS the case, or suggested they could be simultaneously true. Your response to this is to label him a denier and a troll.

YES, Bob is obviously more interested in explanations that leave the protesters looking innocent, but he’s not following that bias to the extent of denying that the opposite is possible or (like you) personally attacking anyone who feels differently.

Normally I’d say this behaviour indicates that you yourself are a troll, but the rest of your posts indicate otherwise. Honestly, unless he’s said something I missed, I think you’re focusing your understandable annoyance at the attitudes of some people on the wrong person.

@136 Sunny @84 made the claim from a good authority that Porter specifically didn’t hear any racial abuse and that Porter’s current condemning statement appears to be based off of reading the Mail’s reporting of events. A significant difference.
In short if the Mail et al were telling porky pies, then Porter’s response would have those lies as its foundation.

@ 136 Cylux
Only if you’re a fan of Doctor Who!
As has been pointed out by a lot of people upthread, the FT reported Porter’s email at 19.52 on Saturday before the byline of the Daily Mail article.
Also, as I pointed out to Sunny, the only good authority on what Mr Porter heard is Mr Porter himself. If it is anyone else, that person can only report on what he/she heard.

@ Chaise
Add 111, 112, 119, 121, 122
Also 128, which was subsequent to my post
129 isn’t relevant to my point
99 appears to assume that racist abuse was shouted and suggests that it was by Tory or police stooges; 111 says that it wasn’t shouted (and as I said, if the clip includes “too”, that doesn’t mean that Mr Porter had not already been abused)

142. Chaise Guevara

John 77

Bob presented the clip as new at 111/112. I think it’s safe to say he hadn’t heard it before that, which would explain why he appeared to change his mind about the likelhood of “Jew” actually being said.

@ 142 Chaise
It is just possible that you are right but it appears to me that your tolerant attitude is stretching the limits of my credulity. I just cannot recognise as “sensible” the argument that Bob’s listening to a 3-minute video taken some time after Mr Porter says he was subject to threatening and racist abuse shows that that Mr Porter misheard the abuse (that allegedly prompted chants of “No to racism” which does not feature on the video, where there is laughter).

Hilarious. You really need to be deep, deep in the leftie bubble to imagine that abusing someone as a “fucking Tory” rather than a “fucking Tory jew” counts as mitigation. You people really can’t see the wood for the trees, can you?

145. The Two Eds

It is hilarious see these chumps falling over themselves to absolve their street thugs of the antisemitic remarks that Porter himself heard. Just accept you have a problem with antisemitism, then jump off a cliff. Thanks.

Well the independent ran the story today as “Tory too” and omitted any mention that there was a racial element to the story. Tory too does make the most sense, the protestors regarded Porter as being a lickspittle collaborator with the Tories. Calling him a Tory too makes far more sense from their position than Tory Jew.

147. Chaise Guevara

@ 145 The Two Eds

“It is hilarious see these chumps falling over themselves to absolve their street thugs of the antisemitic remarks that Porter himself heard. Just accept you have a problem with antisemitism, then jump off a cliff. Thanks.”

Sigh. Time for yet another basic logic lesson for The Two Eds. Watch carefully: regardless of whether someone racially abused Porter, it has no bearing on either the OP, the commenters on this site or the left in general. Unless you’re under the impression that literally every leftwinger in the country is Galen10 wearing a variety of masks, which would be par for the course with you.

148. Erica Blair

Big problem for the Porter fans, responsibility for the chanting has been claimed by the AWL.

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/01/30/was-aaron-porter-racially-abused

The AWL are…

…er Zionists!

Try again.

There was no anti-semitic chanting at the protest – eye(ear)witness account

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/01/30/wheres-the-evidence-aaron-porter-was-racially-abused/

If Sunny is correct that Porter’s response was based on press reporting, I think that we can chalk down the entire episode as opportunistic press smear based on a single photographer’s miss-hearing (with the possible exception of two idiots mentioned in the comments on the Harry’s place blog).

Ahem. Wrong link. Try this one instead:

http://shiftmag.co.uk/?p=402

There’s another update guys.

In brief, everybody continues to have no idea what actually happened.

@151 Well we’re not discussing the education cuts anymore so from a right-wing point of view it’s mission accomplished.

153. Chaise Guevara

@ 152

Short-term. I can’t really see “the day someone may or may not have used the word ‘Jew’ in an offensive fashion” becoming a turning point of the debate.

@153 Given how often fire extinguishers keep getting brought up, even though that was one lad who has since handed himself in, I remain thoroughly pessimistic.

@ 153 Chaise
I should say “exactly” except for the bit where I have been redefined as “deep, deep in the leftie bubble” …

156. Chaise Guevara

@ 154

Hmm. Fair point.

157. Chaise Guevara

@ 155 John77

“I should say “exactly” except for the bit where I have been redefined as “deep, deep in the leftie bubble” …”

I really, really wouldn’t listen to scooby, as I suspect you’ve realised. And no, you don’t need to be a lefty of any mould to sense the difference between a normal insult and a racist insult. He’s actually insulting the right by claiming otherwise.

@ Chaise
I thought that it might amuse you.
I have to suspect 102 fell flat as well

I think Porter was wrong to write the article in the Times today. How many people actually heard the insult???

If it is possible that he misheard he shouldn’t have said anything.

He has just smeared the student movement with a highly dubious claim and it has spread internationally.

He should resign.

@ Bob
After all that Chaise Guevara has done to try to persuade me that you might be trying to make a sensible argument, why did you post 159?
You again manage to say that there was racial abuse and suggest that there was none in the same post.
You say that Mr Porter’s article is a smear on the student movement (including my younger son who attended the London protest but steered as far away from violence as he and his friends could). NOT SO It is a complaint against a tiny violent anti-democratic minority
Balderdash.

@ Chaise
What else can I think?

Because I believe he made the claim up as he is worried about losing his job. There is currently a campaign against him as president and these claims will calm things down and make people more sympathetic.

Also the AWL have confessed to doing the chanting at the point when the supposed things were said. They are anti-racist. Some have even called them ‘Zionist’. One of the people on the Youtube clip with a megaphone is Jewish. Porter is not Jewish.

Porter made it up to keep his job.

The right-wing Spectator have now taken it up:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/nickcohen/6660648/why-the-left-loses.thtml

Better, more definitive footage from Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP_MYH6I0rk

Some suckers have been had by the right wing press and thus given succour to the far right who are further disseminating. Tiime the lie was nailed.

@159 Bob

Has Porter actually claimed to have heard the alleged racist chant himself?

What he’s stated in the Time is : “and there were audible anti-Semitic comments”.

(‘Racist chants will not win the fight against tuition fees’ Aaron Porter, The Times, January 31st 2011)

Which isn’t a statement of having heard anything himself.

‘Aaron porter, you’re a Jew, I wanna hit you with my shoe!’

met with a chorus of laughter

0.18-0.22

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFiQ-i7UosM

That and accounts by some there.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Where’s the evidence Aaron Porter was racially abused? http://bit.ly/egXqmx

  2. M

    Where’s the evidence Aaron Porter was racially abused? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/G2Xw5VU via @libcon

  3. Alys

    If it was another paper reporting, you'd take it as gospel » RT @libcon: Where’s evidence A.Porter was racially abused? http://bit.ly/egXqmx

  4. Martin Shovel

    RT @libcon: Where’s the evidence Aaron Porter was racially abused? http://bit.ly/egXqmx

  5. Alex

    RT @libcon: Where’s the evidence Aaron Porter was racially abused? http://bit.ly/egXqmx

  6. Sadie Smith

    Antisemitism is legitimate criticism of Israel… wait, no – of student financing. Sorry, what was the excuse again? http://bit.ly/gIJeVK

  7. Aaron Porter and Anti-Semitism in Manchester – Alex Andrews

    […] Any chance to attack the unions and spread disunity will be taken with relish. Of course, I await, with others, all other evidence and statements as they emerge, and will revise this opinion accordingly – […]

  8. Rachel Hubbard

    Where’s the evidence Aaron Porter was racially abused? | Liberal Conspiracy http://goo.gl/A6kGM

  9. JuliaM

    In which the left show how quickly they can throw basic principles overboard when they are politically inconvenient…
    http://bit.ly/gDsCF3





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