Category Archives: Election campaign

Will you really vote for one of the ‘big’ parties in the local elections?

The ballot box: but will you be putting a vote into one of these on Thursday, May 5? Or do you think Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer have so badly harmed the UK’s democracy that it doesn’t matter whether you vote or not?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and that’s not beyond reason), you’ll know local elections are taking place across the UK tomorrow (Thursday, May 5).

We’ll be electing councils to run services in England, Wales and Scotland, and the government in Northern Ireland.

But probably more importantly, these elections will be viewed as a test of the mood on national issues like the government’s provocation of Russia over the war in Ukraine, its disastrous mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis and the row over parties held in Downing Street while the rest of us were in lockdown, and particularly the current cost-of-living crisis affecting most of the population (but not the Tories’ extremely rich supporters).

If that makes it seem that the Tories should take a hammering, don’t be so sure!

Many parts of England are Conservative heartlands where people will vote for a monkey if it is dressed in a suit with a blue rosette.

And Labour has not acquitted itself in any way honourably over the two and a half years since the last election, with outrage over Keir Starmer’s blind support of the Conservatives during Covid, and his persecution of left-wing party members under a pretence of attacking anti-Semitism.

This Writer asked commenters on Vox Political‘s Facebook page for their opinions and the responses may be informative:

“No reason to vote either Tory or Labour, under current conditions,” wrote one respondent. “Green or PAL if available or you could vote LibDems if no other possibility but I won’t, if there is no Green or PAL candidate I’ll vote independent.”

Another stated: “I think people are seeing the light more and more now. I believe there can and will be change if enough stand together. We are reaching the point where many folk have nothing left to lose, and that will bring change .”

And yet another stated: “Why pretend there’s any reason to vote Labour! Say it how it is!”

There was a large amount of support for denying votes to Labour: “Go green or independent – or do the Labour thing: ABSTAIN,” said one respondent.

“If they can abstain on important issues then you can abstain on Election Day. I plan to,” added another.

“Independent socialist if any available or green,” stated another.

One point of view may be easily encapsulated in this comment: “I won’t be voting Labour whilst Starmer is leader.”

Another respondent added: “With Starmer in charge [of Labour] it’s effectively a one party state.”

But another insisted, “We can all bang on about what ifs and maybes but there are only two parties to vote for,” meaning the Tories or Labour. But they continued: “You have to question your integrity, honesty and morals when voting if you can honestly say the Tories have done nothing wrong and hide behind the saying Johnson is doing great for Ukraine what is he actually doing for this country?”

There was a discussion of whether votes should be spoiled – as these are included in the counts and people believed a large enough number of spoiled ballot papers may spur electoral watchdogs to consider changing the system.

“My advice and I say this every year: if a party doesn’t represent you then write none of the above on your ballot slip and spoil it,” said one respondent. “If enough people do it then they’d have to take notice. Spoiled votes aren’t just discarded; they’re actually counted.”

“I’m gonna advise my fellow no political home pals to discuss exactly this,” another commenter stated.

Nobody advocated voting Conservative.

And the only support for Labour was on the basis that “tepid Tory” was better than “Fascist Tory”. Nobody believed that a Labour Party under Keir Starmer would provide a genuine alternative that might offer prosperity to more than a small number of extremely rich political donors.

Most support went to independent candidates or members of the new left-wing organisations that are springing up to replace Labour as representatives of the majority of UK citizens who are poor and struggling – or for spoiling ballot papers.

So, what will you do?

Will you take the tired old route of supporting whichever of the Big Two parties you think can remove a candidate you despise, even if you don’t support the policies of either of them? (Personally, I would call that madness.)

Will you try supporting somebody new, despite fears that most people will take the first option and your vote will be wasted?

Will you spoil your ballot paper in protest at the undemocratic farce that Johnson and Starmer have made of the UK’s voting system?

Or will you stay at home and not vote at all? If you do, then you’ll have to take the blame if a disaster happens as a result.

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Starmer ‘rule breach’ looks like Tory mud-slinging ahead of local vote

Keir and the beer: but isn’t the real question what the person who took the image thought they were doing? VoyeurGate, anybody?

Did Keir Starmer have a bottle of beer in a Durham MP’s constituency office last year?

Yes.

Was it against the rules at the time?

Probably not. There isn’t really enough information to be sure.

Skwawkbox has provided a handy list of the rules here – and that site considers Starmer to have broken the rules.

But the BBC takes a more nuanced view.

Labour itself says Starmer was at the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy for an online event ahead of the Hartlepool by-election – a neighbouring constituency. As pubs were closed, getting take-out food was the logical course of action.

Rules in force at the time said people should work from home if they could. It could be argued that this was an occasion in which working from home was not possible – and there was an exemption for “work purposes”. There were no specific rules for meals at work events or for socialising at them.

Durham police have investigated and said they were satisfied that no rules were broken.

That wasn’t enough for North West Durham Tory MP Richard Holden. He argued that “this location was not the usual workplace” of Sir Keir, and there was “no necessity” for him to attend the event.

Really? If it was billed as an online rally with Keir Starmer and Mary Foy, then it was probably reasonable for him to attend, and if it was organised by Ms Foy’s constituency party, then it was probably reasonable for him to attend it there.

And now there’s a question about Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner attending – which, again, is probably neither here nor there, considering the restrictions described above.

So on balance, This Site tends to agree (for possibly the first time!) with Starmer: “We’re a few days away from local elections, and Conservative MPs are trying to throw as much mud as possible.”

There isn’t any correspondence with the so-called Partygate scandal because the Downing Street gatherings were social events. Boris Johnson was fined for attending a party, not a work event.

So this issue is nothing more than a distraction – and a shot in the foot for the Tories.

That’s because, by concentrating on alleged lockdown rule-breaking, the Tories are focusing attention on their own wrongdoing more than anybody else’s. Their prime minister has been caught breaking those rules; Starmer is only accused.

And the simple there are far worse failings in Keir Starmer’s Labour Party that the Tories could be exploiting.

What surprises This Writer is that either party is anywhere at all in the polls. Other political organisations should be walking all over them while they squabble about this.

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Scheming Boris Johnson could call early general election to foil ‘no confidence’ vote in him

Boris Johnson: in his mind, he is more important than the good of the UK, the Conservative Party, or anything else. He would take us all down just to keep power for himself.

Boris Johnson may be planning to call a general election in early 2023, to stave off attempts to depose him by fellow Conservative MPs, it seems.

The Mail is reporting that 46 letters calling for a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Johnson’s leadership have been sent to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee – just eight short of the total needed for a vote.

The paper is saying party whips think it is inevitable that he will face a vote that could remove him from the Tory Party leadership – and end his term as prime minister.

But it is saying the final letters needed may only arrive if the Conservatives lose a by-election in Wakefield in June.

This Writer reckons it could come in the beginning of May, if the Tories lose hundreds of council seats (as expected) and if Johnson receives more fines for having attended lockdown-busting Downing Street parties.

The revelation makes it clear that Johnson is not interested any desire by the public for the government to “get on and focus on the issues on which we were elected”; his only concern is that he must retain power for himself.

If an early election is called, it will be because Johnson thinks his opponents will have to back off; there would not be enough time for a new leader to become established before voters went to the polls.

But it means the UK would not have the time to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic – or to forget Johnson’s disastrous mishandling of it.

Nor would Rishi Sunak be able to woo voters with the one per cent income tax cut he is promising in 2024.

Without these incentives to vote Tory, and with the party likely to be reeling from the loss of hundreds of councillors – and possibly Wakefield – along with the ongoing fallout from Partygate, a Conservative victory would seem unlikely.

But it also seems clear that Boris Johnson would happily wager the future of his party against his own career. That’s the kind of man he is.

Source: Boris Johnson ‘plots early general election to see off leadership rivals’ as Partygate trundles on | Daily Mail Online

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Partygate signals huge local election losses for Tories, campaigners say

Caught by the ballots: if Boris Johnson continues to show the lack of contrition over Partygate that we have seen so far, his own backbenchers will probably backstab him, fearing that losses of local councillors will endanger their own Parliamentary salaries and expense accounts.

Boris Johnson will make this worse because he simply doesn’t care.

He has been told that the Conservative Party – of which he is the leader – will lose huge numbers of council seats in the May local elections because he attended illegal parties in Downing Street while the rest of us obeyed his lockdown laws.

The losses are likely to be worsened if he receives any more fixed penalty notices for attending parties other than the birthday event for himself, for which he has already been fined – and police are said to be investigating five.

The Metropolitan Police have said they will not announce whether Johnson receives further fines during the pre-election “purdah” period (as it may be construed as an attempt to influence the way people vote) but Downing Street has said that it will make a statement if the prime minister receives any.

Johnson is facing an inquiry into whether he deliberately misled Parliament with multiple claims that there were no rule breaches before he received his first fine for breaching his own rules.

He apologised to Parliament on April 19 but Conservative MP Steve Baker has denounced Johnson’s words as insincere: “The contrition didn’t last much longer than it took to get out of the headmaster’s study. By the time we got to the 1922 Committee meeting that evening it was the usual festival of bombast and orgy of adulation.

“It took me about 90 seconds to realise he wasn’t really remorseful.”

That is what’s going to turn voters away from the Conservatives on May 5.

Johnson doesn’t care because he thinks the loss of local councillors won’t affect his position as prime minister.

But his attitude fails to take into account the fact that Tory backbenchers will be in danger of losing their seats if he continues to show the indifference that we are seeing now.

And like Johnson himself, the Tory MPs’ first loyalty is to their own income stream. If his continuation as PM puts their Parliamentary jobs in jeopardy, they’ll take action to prevent it.

Expect more letters of ‘no confidence’ in his leadership to flood in to Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, pronto.

Source: Tories face heavy local election losses over Partygate, PM told | Conservatives | The Guardian

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Chomsky damns Starmer’s Labour – will you boycott that party on May 5?

Noam Chomsky: the world’s leading left-wing thinker has nothing good to say about Keir Starmer and his Labour Party.

I’m not going to make a fuss because Noam Chomsky called Keir Starmer “Keith”. He knew he was belittling the Labour leader, and rightly so.

But his words about what Starmer has done to the Labour Party are far more damning. In video published by the New Statesman, he said:

“He is returning the Labour Party to a party that is reliably obedient to power; that will be ‘Thatcher-lite’ in the style of Tony Blair.”

The comments of the world’s leading left-wing thinker are important and relevant because they contribute to the demolition of the anti-Semitism smears to which Starmer has wedded himself.

As Skwawkbox states,

The Jewish academic is on record dismissing the Establishment’s antisemitism smears… as a ‘disgraceful game’ and a ‘largely fabricated tale’ created for the sole purpose of destroying Labour as a threat to the Establishment.

There is only one way to show your support for Chomsky’s – correct – analysis of Starmer’s strategy: that is to deprive Labour of your vote in the local elections next month.

If his candidates receive even the slightest amount of support, Starmer will claim a huge victory for his right-wing, Blairite, political trash.

He needs to be told in no uncertain terms that he isn’t wanted – nor are his lies and the hangers-on who mouth them for him.

Will you boycott Labour on May 5?

Source: Video: world’s foremost living left thinker calls Starmer ‘Keith’ – and the rest is damning – SKWAWKBOX

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Voters in rural areas are deserting Boris Johnson and the Tories. Why would that be?

Tractor factor: more people than farmers live in the countryside – but will they usher in twilight for the Tories?

A survey of voters in rural areas has found that the Tories are about to lose their lead over Labour in the countryside.

This is the reason This Writer is sceptical about Somerton and Frome MP David Warburton’s reasons for saying he has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital with shock due to his suspension from the Tory whip for sexual misconduct and drug abuse.

Whether he meant it to be or not, it looks like he’s trying to get people to look on him (and his currently-former party) kindly.

And it smacks of whataboutery: people in rural areas have perfectly good reasons to shun the Conservatives this year – concerns over planning and the ‘levelling up’ agenda, but it seems they’re being asked to vote Tory anyway, out of sympathy for one who has been accused – whether falsely or not.

I hope the ploy doesn’t work this time (for a change). The figures – from that most accurate of pollsters, Survation – suggest that it may not:

The Survation survey of Cornwall, Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Norfolk and Gwynedd, Wales found that 36% of voters in the countryside now intend to vote Labour at next month’s local elections, two points behind the Tory vote share.

That is a 7.5% swing to Keir Starmer ’s party. At the 2019 General Election 46% backed the Tories and only 29% Labour.

I don’t like Starmer’s Labour – for very good reasons; he’d be a nightmare if he ever got into Downing Street – but anything that makes the Tories think again would be welcome right now.

Source: Boris Johnson losing countryside support as rural voters desert Tories in droves

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Ministers accused of using public funds for ‘Tory propaganda’ ads. Are they lies too?

Fit for recycling? In 2019, Tory newspaper ads were banned by the Advertising Standards Authority as a pack of lies. Are these new ads about ‘Levelling Up’ similarly fact-free?

‘Levelling Up’ Ministers have been accused of using more than £100,000 of public money to flood local newspapers and Facebook with “Tory propaganda”, weeks before the local elections.

The Tory government has funded Facebook adverts promoting ‘levelling up’ spending in more than 30 areas, including many places where the Conservatives are hoping to make gains or defend council seats in May.

It has also used public money to fund wraparound adverts to cover the fronts of local newspapers, claiming to have been ‘levelling up’ across a map of the UK with the union flag.

Places targeted include tight council areas like Southend, Great Yarmouth, Derby, Wolverhampton and Walsall and general election marginals including Darlington, Blyth Valley, and Stoke-on-Trent.

There are also reports of radio adverts and even digital billboards in town centres.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities refused to say how much was being spent on the advertising campaign –  but it is likely to be far higher in total than the £100,000 spent on Facebook ads alone.

The Labour Party has been up in arms about the campaign, which has been launched just before the official “purdah” period that prevents the government from making public announcements or running campaigns – but low regulation around election advertising means little can be done.

According to The Guardian, Lisa Nandy said, “This is now a government so lacking in ambition that it literally has to pay people to promote its flagship policies.”

But a government spokesperson said: “These claims are untrue. Our levelling up campaign is running across the UK with areas chosen to portray real life examples of levelling up.”

This Writer’s advice is for Labour’s MPs to fact-check every claim in the Tory adverts.

Back in 2019, Boris Johnson’s Tory government paid for a series of wraparound adverts promoting Universal Credit…

They were swiftly banned by the Advertising Standards Authority as a pack of lies.

Source: Ministers accused of using public funds for ‘Tory propaganda’ ads

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If you’re in Erdington are you letting the Westminster rot continue – or voting Nellist?

Dave Nellist: a genuine alternative to the right-wing political coalition that is strangling the UK.

It’s a filthy day out – exactly the kind of weather that puts socialists off going out to vote.

It would be a bitter shame if that happens in Bimingham’s Erdington constituency today.

Voters have a choice between the usual right-wingers in the Tory and Liberal Democrat parties, along with a new right-winger being pushed by Keir Starmer’s turncoat Labour Party that (apparently) takes orders from the Tories – or they could support an exciting alternative who offers the political representation that we all need.

That alternative is Dave Nellist – as he demonstrates himself in two video clips released today:

It’s a simple choice: more of the same corruption – which is exactly what you’ll get if you stay at home and don’t bother to vote – or a chance for something different with Dave.

Erdington voters: what are you going to do?

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Tory stooge Starmer doubles down on threat to expel Labour MPs for criticising Nato

Feel free to post this infographic wherever you like.

In rational times, a Labour leader caught taking orders from a former Tory minister would automatically apologise and resign.

Clearly we don’t live in a normal world.

Because Keir Starmer, who followed the demand of former Tory minister David Gauke by threatening Labour MPs with the removal of the party whip for criticising Nato by supporting a statement opposing the war in Ukraine, has doubled down on his threat instead:

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has warned his MPs that any of them who attempt to attack Nato or indulge in “false equivalence” with Russian aggression will be kicked out of the party.

Sir Keir said there would be “no room” in Labour for anyone who seeking to blame the western alliance for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

It follows a telling off for the 11 left-wing Labour MPs who were threatened with the loss of the party whip if they didn’t pull support for a Stop the War letter criticising Nato.

“False equivalence” is a logical fallacy that can most easily be defined as “comparing apples with oranges”.

And if anybody is guilty of it, then Starmer is.

He wants to say that opponents of the war are comparing Russia’s behaviour in invading Ukraine with Nato’s posturing immediately before.

But in fact, the anti-war protesters were comparing Nato’s willingness to allow Ukraine to join the organisation – so it could put military bases on that country’s border with Russia, with Russia’s concerns that it was being encircled by members of an organisation hostile to it.

The language used by Nato and representatives of its member states was highly provocative, while ignoring the concerns that had been expressed to them – as Russian President Putin showed when he singled out the idiotic bluster of UK foreign secretary Liz Truss.

Starmer’s claim makes it seem as though these anti-war protesters are actually supporting Russia’s war – which is a clear contradiction of their fundamental position.

But then, he is (apparently) taking orders from the Conservative Party.

Incidentally, Starmer apparently used Ukraine as an excuse not to attend a regional Labour conference – but instead of actually doing anything related to that crisis, he went to Birmingham’s Erdington constituency to try to shore up crumbling support for his right-wing candidate there:

The genuine left-wing alternative – Dave Nellist – is enjoying considerable grassroots support, which is why the mainstream media are doing all they can to cancel him.

As I type this, BBC Radio West Midlands is holding a “debate” with “some of” the candidates. Nellist isn’t among them, having been deliberately excluded, it seems:

So there you have it.

The mass media – headed by your lovable, “impartial” BBC – are suppressing the left-wing candidate in this important local election, while Tory stooge Starmer has been snubbing his party members to go canvassing on a fake lefty ticket.

I only hope listeners boycott the BBC debate and go to meet Nellist at the Erdington Club rally instead.

And then let’s see a huge vote for Nellist rather than Starmer’s puppet on Thursday.

Source: Keir Starmer warns Labour MPs anyone attacking Nato will be booted out | The Independent

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#Erdington: campaign turnout for #DaveNellist shows real people want real CHANGE

Dave Nellist: a genuine alternative to the right-wing political coalition that is strangling the UK?

This illustrates perfectly what This Site is saying about the lack of choice in mainstream UK politics.

Apologists for Keir Starmer’s blue Labour say anyone taking their vote elsewhere is “splitting the left-wing vote” or “helping the Tories” when in fact they are doing nothing of the kind.

This is because Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are all right-wing parties that have nothing to offer working and working-class people apart from empty promises.

I recently tweeted a suggested formula to make Labour electable again:

Support for Dave Nellist’s campaign in Erdington suggests that I’m right. As Skwawkbox states,

Nellist’s wife Jane tweeted on Sunday evening about the level of support Nellist had received over the weekend in spite of horrendous weather… At least ten times more people [than the Labour candidate].

The reason is obvious: he’s offering something that real people really want.

And it’s good that the Trade Union/Socialist Coalition (part of the People’s Alliance of the Left) candidate has so many campaigners.

They’re needed, to explain that Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems are currently just three cheeks of the same right-wing backside that’s blowing hot air in all their faces.

Source: Nellist turns out 10x more campaigners in Erdington than right-wing Labour despite foul weather – SKWAWKBOX

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook