Monthly Archives: June 2021

Isn’t Priti Patel’s attitude to footballers ‘taking the knee’… racist?

It seems to me that the Home Secretary is being disingenuous – if not downright deceitful.

She is deliberately trying to associate “taking the knee” – which is a gesture of solidarity with black people who continue to suffer oppression from modern nation states – with anti-social or even outright criminal behaviour.

Yes, it has been associated with the Black Lives Matter organisation and there are strong reasons to question the behaviour of those involved with it.

But most people who “take the knee” aren’t doing it because they agree with the politics of that particular pressure group. They’re doing it to make the simple point that black lives do matter – at a time when racists have been asserting the opposite.

So it is wrong for Patel to make a false connection between what the England team are doing and any questionable motives, just as it is wrong for her colleagues like Gillian Keegan to condemn the gesture as “creating division”.

How can a show of solidarity with an oppressed group be divisive? It’s an expression of fellowship.

It is also inappropriate to suggest that football fans who boo the England team for “taking the knee” are doing so for any justifiable reason.

I think Patel is right to say that those people are booing because they don’t want to see protests against racism. In other words, they boo because they themselves are racists.

Patel’s support for their position is therefore entirely consistent with the attitudes she has already expressed – for example, towards people of ethnic minorities who she has locked up like sardines in concentration camps where they were made vulnerable to Covid-19 infection.

In short, it seems clear that she supports people who are racists because she is a racist herself.

Source: Priti Patel says fans have right to boo England team for ‘gesture politics’ of taking the knee | The Independent

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Why are people who died after having Covid vaccine excluded from compensation scheme?

Jabber Johnson: if the prime minister had suffered ill effects after having the vaccine, you can be sure the Tories would have rushed to ensure that he received financial compensation. But because only ordinary people have suffered and died, it seems they aren’t interested in compensating bereaved families.

This is shocking:

The families of people who have died after being vaccinated against Covid-19 are being excluded from support schemes because the government has not included their circumstances in the relevant forms.

The Mirror has reported on the case of Stephen Wright, who died of a blood clot on the brain that developed after he had the Oxford/Astrazeneca jab.

There is a compensation process for people whose health is harmed after vaccinations – but it is geared towards children who develop a vaccine-related disability.

A law passed in 1979 says people who suffer harm from vaccines can claim damages from the government of up to £120,000 (£470,000 today, adjusted for inflation). But to do so, victims must prove that they are at least 60 per cent disabled as a result of vaccination.

The form does not allow for the possibility of a vaccinated person dying, and family members are therefore unable to use it to claim compensation.

Mr Wright’s wife Charlotte, having been provided with the form after his death, had to create a box in it to say that he had died.

When the Mirror article was published yesterday, she had not received any confirmation that the form was being processed by the government – or even that it had been received.

This is no way to treat people.

The government knows that people have died as a result of Covid-19 vaccination. News stories on this subject have proliferated over the last few months and 65 other families are known to be in the same situation as Ms Wright.

So why hasn’t the compensation scheme been adjusted to provide help for these people?

Is it further evidence of our Tory government’s utter incompetence – ministers simply never stopped to think that they should make sure compensation would be paid if people died?

Or do they simply not care?

Source: Wife of man who died from AstraZeneca jab is locked out of £470k government support – Mirror Online

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Will Tories rebel against extension of English lockdown to July 19?

Staying closed: many businesses may be forced to remain closed for a further four weeks – unless Tory backbenchers ruin Boris Johnson’s plans. But will he welcome that?

Well, there it is.

Boris Johnson is expected to announce an extension to the English lockdown, meaning most remaining restrictions won’t be lifted until July 19.

There are good grounds to do so:

Many scientists have called for the reopening to be delayed to enable more people to be vaccinated and receive second doses, amid rising cases of the Delta variant.

A delay would also allow more work to be done on whether vaccines are breaking, or simply weakening, the link between infections and hospitalisations.

But it is possible that the plan will face resistance – from Conservative backbenchers who are sick of the demand that we all wear masks when we go out, observe social distancing and keep some businesses closed, harming the economy.

On the last point, the BBC provides these examples:

If the lifting of restrictions is pushed back, the UK Weddings Taskforce – an industry group – estimates that 50,000 weddings planned in the four weeks from 21 June could be cancelled, with the industry losing £325m for every week of delay.

UKHospitality, which represents pubs, bars and restaurants, said businesses faced losing £3bn in sales if the relaxation of restrictions is delayed by a month.

The Night Time Industries Association said businesses such as nightclubs had already spent millions preparing to reopen, and the association will legally challenge any delay to reopening.

But the BBC also reports that projections based on the current trend show that if the current rate of increase continues, there could be 15,000 new cases per day – at least – by June 21. That’s double the number on June 13.

Ignoring that could be a public relations disaster for Johnson, who has been vilified as a dimwit for failing to acknowledge the warnings and delaying previous lockdowns, thereby assuring the deaths of thousands of people who might otherwise have avoided infection.

Still, collective responsibility for such recklessness is better for Johnson than having the blame piled on his shoulders alone, so he may welcome a vote that defeats his extension plan.

After all, how many of you will remember if your MP votes to end lockdown too soon? How many of you will even check what your MP does?

Source: Covid: Lockdown easing in England to be delayed by four weeks – BBC News

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G7 to cut down on burning coal. What about that mine in Cumbria that Boris Johnson supports?

Climate change champion? How can anybody believe Boris Johnson wants to reduce carbon emissions when he turned up at the G7 conference that announced an end to coal power in a chartered jet that put out five times the emissions a train causes?

The G7 weekend has turned into a terrible nightmare for Boris Johnson, hasn’t it?

He was slapped up and down the Cornish coast for signing a Brexit trade deal containing a Northern Ireland protocol that threatens the peace there, which he didn’t bother to read first.

He wouldn’t talk about his religion – because he couldn’t?

The G7 agreed to tax multinational corporations fairly – and Johnson’s Chancellor Rishi Sunak immediately asked for the City of London to be exempt.

And now he has to announce that he has agreed to phase out coal power – while also supporting the construction of a new coal mine in Cumbria.

The contradictions come out of this man so fast I’m amazed his tongue hasn’t tied itself in knots*.

The coal announcement came from the White House, which said it was the first time the leaders of wealthy nations had committed to keeping the projected global temperature rise to 1.5C.

That requires a range of urgent policies, chief among them being phasing out coal burning unless it includes carbon capture technology.

Coal is the world’s dirtiest major fuel and ending its use is seen as a major step by environmentalists, but they also want guarantees rich countries will deliver on previous promises to help poorer nations cope with climate change.

The G7 will end the funding of new coal generation in developing countries and offer up to £2bn ($2.8bn)to stop using the fuel.

But only five days before this, Sky News reported that the people of Whitehaven, in Cumbria, were urging Johnson to press ahead with the planned coal mine there because they need the jobs.

And that’s fair enough, because Johnson was all in favour of it back in February. Otherwise he could have told Robert Jenrick to block planning permission for it.

The BBC report of the time is hilarious in hindsight, because it focused on a leading climate scientist, James Hansen, warning that Johnson risked humiliation if he didn’t stop the mine from being built.

And now he is caught in a humiliating double-standard.

The G7 announcement – although far too vague for comfort – demands that coal be phased out in the 2030s.

But the Cumbria mine indicates a commitment to the emissions caused by coking coal until 2049 (because that’s the limit of the planning permission that was granted). That’s 14 years after all coking of coal must end in the UK, if the country is to meet its climate change targets.

I look forward to hearing him – or his more intelligent spokespeople at the Cabinet Office – talk his way out of this one.

That’s if he can get those knots out of his tongue.

*And wouldn’t it improve his speeches enormously if it did?

Source: G7 to agree tough measures on burning coal to tackle climate change – BBC News

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Netanyahu is not in power in Israel any more. Will his long-delayed court case happen at last?

Benjamin Netanyahu: he’s out – but is he gone for good?

And just like that, he was gone.

Clearly any attempts by Benjamin Netanyahu to break up the alliance against him – if he made them – have failed.

It’s fairly easy to see why.

New Prime Minister Naftali Bennett knows the alliance put together by Yair Lapid to oust Netanyahu includes people with wildly opposing views – so he has promised that his government will not discuss the contentious stuff:

Mr Bennett has indicated his government would focus on areas where agreement was possible, like economic issues or the coronavirus pandemic, while avoiding more contentious matters.

“Nobody will have to give up their ideology,” he recently said, “but all will have to postpone the realisation of some of their dreams… We’ll focus on what can be achieved, rather than arguing about what cannot.”

It’s a reasonable position – some might even call it enlightened.

Whether it lasts has yet to be seen.

And Netanyahu is now leader of the Opposition. He’ll be trying to cause as much trouble between these allies as he can.

Meanwhile, though, we can look forward to Netanyahu’s long-awaited court case for fraud and bribery.

I hope the courts get their act together and try it as soon as possible. The longer they delay, the more likely the new government will fall apart.

For us, the question is whether the situation between Israel and Palestine will improve.

My instinct is that it may. If the new government is going to step back from contentious issues, then this suggests a reprieve from hostilities. Dare we hope that even the offensive settlement programme will be put on hold?

If Netanyahu gets back in, even the slightest let-up is over.

If the courts find him guilty, then there is the potential for further improvement.

Historically, huge disasters are caused by small groups of people. We’ve seen the human tragedy that Netanyahu has caused; let’s see what can happen now he has been removed.

Source: Netanyahu out as new Israeli government approved – BBC News

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Self-styled campaigner against anti-Semitism reveals his own Islamophobia after pro-Palestine demonstration

Islamophobe: David Collier.

How revealing.

David Collier is an infamous name among those of us who have had to fight false accusations of anti-Semitism.

If you’re not familiar with him, here‘s one critique. There are many others available on the interweb.

A fellow-traveller with such commentators – it’s as bland an expression for them as any – as the @GnasherJew Twitter troll network and Rachel Riley, he is often to be seen flinging bile at people he labels anti-Semites.

And now he is hoist by his own petard.

The IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism, used by Collier’s ilk to attack others, uses, as an example, “Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.”

Another example is “Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

Now consider Collier’s attack on the pro-Palestinian demonstration in London on June 12, together with Ali Milani’s response:

Isn’t Collier applying double standards of exactly the type that is considered racist against Jews in the IHRA definition he touts?

To paraphrase, isn’t he “requiring of Muslims a behavior not expected or demanded of any other ethnic group”?

And isn’t he also demanding that these Muslims somehow have a responsibility for “the slaughter of innocents in Yemen, the tragedy of the Uigurs, or genocide against Christians in Nigeria” by failing to protest against them?

Isn’t he trying to make them “responsible” for these “wrongdoings”? Guilt by association is a standard tactic of Collier and his crowd.

By his own standards, he has highlighted himself as a racist Islamophobe. No legitimate journalist or commentator has any business with him from now on.

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Don’t believe the Daily Brexit’s hard-right reporting – support the boycott of JLM anti-Semitism training

The Daily Brexit (otherwise known as the Express) has used concerns over planned training on how to spot anti-Semitism in the Labour Party to trot out the tripe that was used to attack Jeremy Corbyn – again.

“HARD Left supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have started a social media campaign to stop Labour members from carrying out antisemitism training,” the article begins – but nowhere does it provide examples to show that any of these people are Communists.

The reporting continues in a way that – although it avoids direct lies – may be considered dishonest.

“The course… has been recommended to members after the party became mired in an antisemitism scandal under Mr Corbyn’s leadership,” it states – failing to note that the majority of accusations were false. The entire campaign was an attempt to undermine Corbyn with lies.

“Among its objections to the training is that it is being run by an organisation which was vehemently critical for the former Labour leader.” Really?

Or would it be more accurate to say the objection to JLM is the fear that it will record members’ contributions, selectively edit them and then send them to media organisations like the Brexit as further proof of anti-Semitism?

“Several … cited the case of former Labour member Jackie Walker, who was expelled following comments she made during an antisemitism training session, in which she criticised Holocaust Memorial Day for only commemorating Jewish victims.” Ms Walker was the victim of this recording-selective-editing-and-release-to-the-media tactic, yet the Brexit skates over that fact without mentioning it.

“They are also furious that JLM successfully persuaded the party to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism which recognises that attacks on Israel are often antisemitic.”

More accurately: the IHRA working definition confuses anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the actions of the Israeli state, making it possible to accuse people of anti-Semitism when they are actually – and accurately – criticising Israeli persecution of Palestinians.

There’s no mention in the article of the fact that the man who wrote the IHRA definition has himself admitted it is not fit for purpose, for this very reason.

It seems likely that whoever wrote the story – David Maddox, political editor (I don’t know him either) – was simply quoting from a press release he had been sent, and hadn’t actually done a scrap of work to check the facts.

Who would send such a press release? My bet is on the person quoted in the article – Euan Philipps of that famous hate group, Labour Against Anti-Semitism.

LAAS has submitted hundreds – maybe thousands – of spurious anti-Semitism accusations against party members, most of which failed to trigger an investigation. Because they were false?

It typically scrapes information from Labour members’ activities on the internet and then presents it as evidence of anti-Semitism – often with little or no justification. The Brexit‘s claim to have seen 300 WhatsApp messages supports LAAS involvement.

None of the comments quoted in the article demonstrate any evidence of anti-Semitism – although some will claim that the way Zionism is mentioned qualifies.

Zionism, in its simplest form, is the desire for Jewish people to be able to live within the historic borders of Israel.

But the ideology has been perverted to justify the forcible removal – including killing – of Palestinians who have lived on that land for many hundreds of years by the contradictorily-named Israeli Defence Force.

Criticism of such racist hate crimes is habitually dismissed as anti-Semitism, remember. You see how this accusation game works?

This Writer has already called for these “training” sessions to be ignored.

The Jewish Labour Movement is not an acceptable provider. Evidence supporting claims of its affiliation with a racist party in Israel, that it was revived specifically to undermine Corbyn, and that it supports the aggressive Zionism I have described above is demonstrable.

What a shame the zealots who launched – and perpetuate – this campaign against decent Labour Party members are supported in their aims by so-called news reporters who appear to be little more than typists.

Source: Hard Left bid to stop Labour antisemitism training in attack on Starmer’s authority | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

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Sunak’s call for City of London tax exemption proves Tories can’t abide by a deal

Rishi Sunak: after his boss Boris Johnson tried to backpedal on the Brexit trade deal, he’s trying to get out of the G7 tax deal. Pretty soon, nobody will want to deal with these Tories at all.

This is the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit trade deal all over again.

Boris Johnson merrily signed up to that without reading it because he wanted the UK out of the European Union by January 1 this year.

Now Rishi Sunak is trying to back the City of London out of a historic global tax change agreed by G7 finance ministers last weekend.

The aim is to ensure that the world’s top 100 businesses pay an appropriate amount of tax in the country where they base their operations, rather than moving their profits around to countries where they can pay the least.

Having agreed to it, Sunak is now trying to get an exemption – but only for the City of London, the super-rich business hub that has recently been losing business to Amsterdam because of – guess what? – Brexit.

He claims that he doesn’t want the UK’s banks to end up paying a grossly higher rate – but research suggests that this will not happen.

So the question arises: why does he really want an exemption? Is it to get all these juicy fat companies to pay their taxes in the UK, even if the amount is minimal?

And, topically:

Doesn’t this prove what we all believed after the Tories tried to back out of the Northern Ireland protocol – that they can’t be trusted to honour any deal so, fairly soon, nobody will want to deal with them?

Source: UK pushes for City of London to be exempt from G7 tax plan | G7 | The Guardian

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As Taser cop is tried for murder, Patel tells police to start ‘zapping’ criminals

She’s homicidal.

The person most likely to cause criminal deaths is the Home Secretary, it seems.

No doubt the Cabinet Office will tell us it’s all innocent and that we shouldn’t read too much into her choice of words.

But that doesn’t change the fact that, as a police officer accused of murdering a former footballer after Tasering him goes on trial, Priti Patel has told the Police Federation she wants them “going out there and actually zapping the really bad people out there”.

She was telling them to make a show of strength as the UK comes out of lockdown – to clamp down hard on potential criminal behaviour before it has a chance to emerge.

At the very least it is a shocking lapse of taste and good judgement; alternatively, it’s incitement for other police officers to kill their suspects.

Source: Priti Patel tells police to start ‘zapping’ criminals as lockdown laws ease | The Independent

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Labour is losing young voters to the Greens – because of Starmer

Not for the young: flag-shagging Keir Starmer has turned young voters away from the Labour Party.

How tragically revealing.

Admittedly this has to come with the caveat that the pollster is the Tory-run organisation YouGov.

However, the size of the numbers suggests there’s something in this.

They show that Labour’s share of the 18-24-year-old vote has plummetted by 21 points (from 56 per cent to 35 per cent). It seems all those voters have gone to the Green Party.

There’s a good reason for that…

Let’s be honest. We can name the reason in two words:

Keir Starmer.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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