Sharing EU platform with Tories discredits Labour, says McDonnell

Of course he was talking about Sadiq Khan – and anybody else from right-wing Labour who tries similar tactics to confuse voters and weaken the leaders they still can’t accept. And John McDonnell was absolutely right to do so – as readers of This Blog will know from its article of yesterday (May 31). I note that Khan’s spokesperson said he had been telling the world that he would campaign alongside David Cameron all the way through his election campaign, but this is the first I’ve heard of it. It…

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Parents of Elliott Johnson vow to fight on after ‘suicide’ verdict on Tory activist

This Writer hopes that Ray and Alison Johnson take this matter as far as it can go. There are serious issues of bullying within a Conservative campaigning group that can’t be brushed under the carpet just because a coroner records a verdict of suicide. This is about establishing the reasons Elliott Johnson had for taking his life. And it won’t only be useful for his parents. Let’s remember that the Department for Work and Pensions has recently admitted it may have some responsibility for the suicides of sickness benefit claimants…

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A ridiculous mess: Dyfed Powys Police and the Electoral Commission are now investigating each other, not my Tory MP’s expenses

Quick recap: This Writer contacted Dyfed Powys Police, on advice from the Electoral Commission, to request an investigation into possible electoral expenses fraud by Brecon and Radnorshire’s new Conservative MP Chris Davies. He had not declared a four-page wraparound advert in the local Brecon and Radnor Express newspaper as a local expense. The advert would have cost £14,000 – more than his entire permitted spending during the regulated period known as the Short Campaign. Nor had he declared any amount relating to the visit of David Cameron and his battle bus…

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After Winterbourne View, has Tory NHS privatisation put more vulnerable people at risk?

Could there be more eloquent evidence of the worthlessness of Conservative promises? David Cameron promised action to prevent further abuses like those at Winterbourne View – in 2011. Five years later, we are still waiting. Tories act on promises made to themselves, not to others. The response from the Department of Health would be laughable, if the matter were less serious: “NHS England acknowledged the the progress to date “hasn’t been quick enough” and it “sympathised with the frustrations expressed” but a spokeswoman said a “real difference” would be seen over the coming…

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Has there been a stitch-up in the child abuse imagery case against Cameron’s aide Patrick Rock?

The trial of David Cameron’s former aide Patrick Rock began today (May 31) – and looks like ending today, after the jury retired to consider whether the 20 images they have been shown were indecent. Hang on! Only 20 images? Rock was originally charged with owning 59 such images – and of making three himself. Where are the rest of them and why has the jury not been shown them? A former aide to the prime minister downloaded images of scantily clad girls aged as young as 10 but denies…

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Another EU personality clash: Stephen Hawking vs Michael Gove. Who do YOU think should win?

At a time when Michael Gove is filling the airwaves with his Brexit baloney yet again, This Writer can only agree with this comment from friend and Twitter user ‘Kanjin Tor’: “Should I listen to Professor Stephen Hawking with his huge intellect or Michael Gove and his intellectual dwarfism re the EU? Hmmm?” Indeed. If you must insist on casting your vote according to personalities, at least cast it in support of someone who has a personality. Stephen Hawking has warned against Britain leaving the EU saying it would make…

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This argument against Brexit is stronger now than when it was written

Stephen Kinnock wrote this article in March, after he returned from negotiations with the directors of Tata Steel in Mumbai, over the future of the steel works in his constituency of Port Talbot. One can only wish Sadiq Khan had taken a leaf from Mr Kinnock’s book. The Port Talbot MP delivers a strong argument against leaving the EU, but also points out the absolute ham-headed stupidity of linking up with any Conservatives to campaign for the UK to ‘Remain’. What follows is a long discussion, so I have highlighted…

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Are economists waking up to the falsehoods of neoliberalism?

This important piece in The Guardian by Aditya Chakrabortty suggests that the IMF is admitting that neoliberalism doesn’t work; it makes a few people very rich but devastates economies. Better late than never, eh? In the IMF’s flagship publication, three of its top economists have written an essay titled “Neoliberalism: Oversold?”. The very headline delivers a jolt. For so long mainstream economists and policymakers have denied the very existence of such a thing as neoliberalism, dismissing it as an insult invented by gap-toothed malcontents who understand neither economics nor capitalism.…

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Never mind David Cameron – what about the shamelessness of Sadiq Khan?

If This Writer had been linked with extremism by a politician, the last thing I’d do is share a platform with him a few weeks later. Yet that is what Sadiq Khan has done – in direct violation of his party’s policy not to be seen campaigning alongside Conservatives on the EU referendum. Labour was stung badly during the Scottish independence referendum campaign, when nationalists claimed the party was campaigning alongside the Conservatives because there was no difference between them. The current policy seeks to prevent this from happening again.…

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Elliott Johnson letters accusing Tory aide of bullying read at inquest

It would be wrong to comment on this before the inquest returns its verdict. Please read, follow the link to the original article, and draw your own conclusions, for the time being. Letters left by political activist Elliott Johnson before he died, in which he accuses Tory election aide Mark Clarke of bullying him, have been read aloud at the inquest into his death. Johnson, 21, was found on railway tracks on 15 September last year. He left behind three letters, with one saying that Clarke – a former parliamentary…

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