On Muslims in Britain
Milne was involved in a Stop the War Coalition appeal to stop attacks on the Muslim community. He was one of the speakers in a public meeting titled “Kafa – Enough: Stop attacks on the Muslim community”, which was held on 26 June 2009. In his speech, Milne argued that there is a basic process that can be seen across all of the British media:
|“||A racist portrayal of Muslims and Islam in general, a tendency to hype all bogus terror plots into something utterly beyond the pale… A process which is verged on incitement, and has played a central role I think in isolating and intimidating the community, and as we seen in places like Luton and elsewhere, effectively fueling violence on the streets and attacks on Muslim institutions and mosques in particular.|
Labour’s Director of Communications
On 20 October 2015, it was announced that Milne will become part of the team behind Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour Party’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications. He will be “on leave” from his post at The Guardian and will assume his new role on 26 October.
According to Tom Harris, a former Scottish Labour MP writing for The Daily Telegraph, Corbyn could have chosen for the Comms post “someone whose skills in media management were better known than his personal political views. Instead he chose Seumas Milne, a hate figure for the right of the Labour Party and pretty much everyone else to the right of that.” Lord Mandelson told the BBC that Corbyn had shown a lack of professionalism in appointing Milne, “whom I happen to know and like as it happens. But he’s completely unsuited to such a job, he has little connection with mainstream politics or mainstream media in this country.”
John Jewell, an academic at Cardiff University‘s School of Journalism, criticised the articles by Harris and others which mention Milne’s response to the murder of Lee Rigby. Jewell observes that “the article in which Milne wrote of Rigby not being a victim of terrorism ‘in the normal sense’ began with these words: ‘The videoed butchery of Fusilier Lee Rigby outside Woolwich barracks last May was a horrific act and his killers’ murder conviction a foregone conclusion.'”
Patrick Wintour, the political Editor of The Guardian, wrote that Corbyn “has been struggling to ensure he receives an effective press since he became party leader, and Milne will be charged with ensuring there is an improvement ahead of the large round of local government elections in Scotland, Wales, London and England due in May next year”. Peter Preston, Milne’s first Guardian editor, asserted shortly after Milne’s appointment: “The ‘on leave’ tag appears to make Seumas a once and continuing Guardian man, which won’t help relations with journalists from elsewhere and could hogtie former colleagues who aren’t on leave if they want to criticise Labour’s communications policies.”
The younger son of the former BBC Director General Alasdair Milne, Milne attended Winchester College and read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford, and Economics at Birkbeck College, London University. His sister,Kirsty, who died in July 2013, was an academic and former journalist.
After graduating from Oxford University, Milne was the business manager of Straight Left, a monthly publication of the faction within the Communist Party of Great Britain which wanted the CP, according to Michael Mosbacher, to remain “on a solidly Stalinist path”.
Before taking up this post, Milne was a columnist and associate editor at The Guardian newspaper, known for his left-wing views. He is the author of a book about the 1984–5 British miners’ strike,The Enemy Within: The Secret War Against the Miners, which focuses on the role of MI5 and Special Branch in the dispute.
Milne’s journalism and Labour Party appointment were the subject of much negative media comment in October 2015. Peter Preston, Milne’s former editor at The Guardian, commented on the ethical challenges faced by journalists-turned-political advisers and concluded about Milne’s change of career path: “Houston, we have a challenge: let’s see if we have a problem.”
TAP – The Satanic Cult seems to be in full control. Meacher gone. Now this charming addition.