Category Archives: Labour Party

Starmer snubs unions over threat to party democracy – & may now face leadership challenge at conference

The flag and the faker: Keir Starmer has revealed his true – blue – colour in an 11,500-word rejection of Labour Party values, and is attacking party members both electorally and psychologically. He must be stopped before he does any more damage – and could face a challenge to his leadership if he pushes ahead with these vicious plans.

This Writer was practically salivating with anticipation about what I might read on BBC News after discovering the following on Twitter:

And what did I find?

If this is what he stands for then it could have been done in far fewer than 11,500 words – and that’s down from his original claim that it would be 14,000 (let’s thank providence for small mercies)!

The short version is that Starmer has abandoned all Labour Party values. He proposes a “contribution” society – not in which contributions go from those according to their means, to those according to their needs – but (if I’m reading this right) from those who can be made to work the hardest to the UK as a whole (by which I’m presuming he means rich people like himself).

And he’s suddenly fully in favour of privatisation:

What’s the difference from Toryism?

And there’s a nasty return to the old “strivers v skivers” rhetoric that demonised a generation of people with disabilities and long-term illnesses and sent many of them to early graves because of benefit refusals on the basis of trumped-up excuses.

Some commentators have referred to fascist language that is reminiscent of Vichy France.

Others were more visual in their condemnation:

Personally I think that, if it’s supposed to be an essay, we should give it a mark and a comment:

D-
Needs improvement.

The BBC story unaccountably neglects to mention the meeting with the unions, so let’s see what we can get from elsewhere.

It seems that not even one union supported Starmer’s plan to return to an “electoral college” system of voting in Labour leadership elections, that would steal a huge amount of power from party members by depriving them of their individual votes altogether, and hand a huge amount to MPs – the party’s 200+ elected representatives would have one-third of the vote.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise – Starmer’s offer would not have benefited the unions in any way so they were able to reject it without any qualms:

And of course, handing veto powers to 200 high-earning middle-class MPs will do nothing to make Labour relevant to working-class people.

Now: we had understood that, if he didn’t get enough support from the unions (or indeed any, as has happened), Starmer would scrap the plan and would not take it to the NEC for inclusion in the agenda for the annual conference at the weekend.

It seems that claim was a lie.

I think Starmer is panicking. He reckons this will be his only chance to force through the changes he needs to secure his position as leader.

You see, Starmer’s hired guns at the Governance and Legal Unit have apparently been busily despatching notices of suspension to constituency party delegates, in order to ‘fix’ the result of conference votes.

Recipients of these letters are being told, it seems, that the reasons for the suspension of their membership will only be revealed after the conference, in what must be a breach of investigatory rules that is also attacking them financially (because they’ll already have paid for transport and accommodation at the Brighton-based conference) and psychologically:

As a victim of this treatment, I can confirm the truth of Mr Sellers’s words.

So Starmer has launched an attack against the Labour movement, on several fronts: against the trade unions, by snubbing them and ignoring their wishes; against party members, by pressing on with his plan to disenfranchise them while also subjecting them to the torture of the disciplinary process; and to the wider Labour-supporting electorate by betraying everything the party should represent, in his scummy little screed.

Fortunately it seems he’s not going to have it all his own way.

The unions will oppose his plans – and that’s half the conference vote against him before he has even made his first proposal. More than half, if he has deliberately suspended a significant number of delegates.

The remaining delegates – if they’re worth a farthing – will want to reject his plan in solidarity with their wronged colleagues. Right, delegates?

And even some Labour MPs are preparing to rebel against this insult to democracy. Starmer may think this is bad enough:

Worse for Starmer – much worse – is this:

Here’s corroboration, for the sceptical:

Expect fireworks at this conference.

Strange to think that these shenanigans all started because Starmer was worried about losing the vote to confirm his despotic acting general secretary David Evans in the role that has made him despised across the UK.

Whatever happens, Evans is toast.

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Labour conference: as party leaders fight to destroy democracy, isn’t it time for a ‘no confidence’ vote?

Fraud: Keir Starmer pretended he would be a decent Labour leader but all he has done is destroy the party from within. For the good of UK politics, he must be removed. Who will have the courage to demand it?

Labour party MPs and members: which of you will be brave enough to demand a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the leadership of Keir Starmer?

The Labour leader – who got himself elected under false pretences and ditched all his election pledges after his win – is working hard to undermine democracy in his own party: he’s having delegates to the conference suspended en masse to prevent them voting to remove his unelected right-wing general secretary, David Evans.

Left-wing NEC member Mish Rahman has raised the issue on Twitter:

This is transparent, surely? Starmer is having delegates suspended purely so they won’t be able to vote to have Evans removed. They aren’t being given reasons for the suspension – and isn’t that itself a breach of party rules? – because there are no reasons.

That is not the act of the leader of a democratic socialist party. It is the blind savagery of a dictator.

The revelation follows the announcement that Starmer wants to roll back democracy in party leadership elections in order to save his own scrawny neck from legitimate challenges.

And we also heard recently that Starmer undermined Labour’s position on Brexit in order to engineer the 2019 election defeat that led to his election as leader in the first place.

Since then he has failed to oppose Boris Johnson’s incompetent Conservative government in any meaningful way, and seems more keen to support the Tory attacks on working and poor people, rather than do his job and defend them.

This is the background to the 2021 Labour conference, which starts on Saturday.

It is clear that Starmer’s behaviour is unacceptable on any level at all. He has disgraced the Labour Party and has brought its leadership into the worst kind of disrepute; he attacks his own party rather than the Tories.

Is there anybody within the Labour movement – who has not yet been expelled from the Labour Party itself – with the courage to stand up and demand his removal?

Anyone?

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Exposed: treacherous Starmer plan to make the Tories more democratic than Labour

Blairite puppet: Keir Starmer wants to return Labour to a voting system that deprives members of any power, instead giving it to his cronies in the Parliamentary Labour Party in the same way his forerunner Tony Blair rigged the party system in his own favour.

Keir Starmer really is determined to make the Labour Party toxic, isn’t he?

His latest wheeze is to turn away anybody who believes in democracy, by making leadership elections more undemocratic than those of the Conservative Party.

You don’t believe me?

At the moment, the Tories elect their leaders by a system in which two candidates are chosen by MPs (in a series of votes that whittle down the potential choices) and then the wider membership is invited to choose between them on a “one member, one vote” basis.

Labour’s current system is more democratic, in that if a vacancy arises, a candidate may be nominated by five per cent of the Parliamentary Labour Party or at least three affiliate organisations (including two trade unions) representing at least five per cent of the affiliated membership; if an incumbent is challenged, a candidate must be nominated by at least 20 per cent of MPs prior to party conference. Then the wider membership votes by preferential ballot (candidates ranked 1, 2, 3 etc). Eligible party members, affiliates and registered supporters each have one ballot.

Starmer wants to change Labour’s system back to the corrrupt ‘electoral college’ system that gives disproportionate weight to votes by the few hundred party members who happen to be members of Parliament. They would get an entire third of the vote.

The other votes would be split between trade unions, whose block vote would represent another third of the total – and Constituency Labour Parties whose officers would vote for their choice, whether it was supported by the members or not. They would take up the last third.

Rank and file Labour members would not have any say in the election of a future leader at all. Around 200 MP would have more voting power than around 400 thousand rank-and-file members.

Well, we know what that’s all about, don’t we?

It’s about keeping a bitterly unpopular leadership failure – and Tory fellow-traveller – at the top of the Labour Party even if the membership at large is desperate to remove him.

Starmer would find it much easier to keep his job if a third of the votes in a leadership election come from his right-wing (and deeply unpleasant) fellow cuckoos, many of whom were parachuted into seats during the Blair/Brown years and are closer to the Tories than to traditional Labour in terms of their political values; and if CLP executives that have been purged of left-wingers under the nightmare tenure of unelected general secretary David Evans get to impose their will on party members.

Looking into the future, the trend would then continue because genuine democratic socialists would quit in large numbers, in the realisation that Labour is now neither democratic nor socialist.

And Boris Johnson would then have a free ticket back into Downing Street for as long as the situation would last, because Keir Starmer has absolutely no interest in mounting any serious opposition to the hard-right Tory despot.

Starmer’s words on the subject are as ridiculous as you might expect: “I have said I will make the Labour Party the party of working people, I am determined that the Labour party I lead focuses on the country, on the concerns of voters, so we need party reforms that better connect us with working people.” Nonsense!

He’s making it the party of privileged right-wing MPs! This duplicitous piece of treachery would sever the connection between the party leadership and working people and Starmer knows it. He is simply trying to trick the gullible.

Fortunately, there remain a few people in the Labour movement who are prepared to oppose the Blue Abstainer.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, according to the BBC: “This proposal to reduce the membership to one third of the vote, while inflating the vote of Labour MPs is unfair, undemocratic and a backwards step.

“People will remember that at their conference, Labour talked about rules not issues.

“That’s a huge error for them. We are almost trying to save them (the Labour leadership) from themselves.

“This is not the path to go down.”

And Momentum vice chair Callum Bell warned: “These rule changes would mark the start of a civil war in the party. Starmer holds the membership in contempt.”

On Twitter, Labour MP Jon Trickett led the fightback – and it wasn’t long before fellow members made the obvious point:

Fellow MP Ian Lavery has also spoken up in support of democracy:

And there are others – all from the Left of the party:

Perhaps predictably, we are yet to see opposition to this insult from the likes of Yvette Cooper, Angela Rayner, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Ruth Smeeth, Wes Streeting, and the rest of the Usual Suspects infesting the Labour side of the Green Benches.

The good news is that, unless Starmer gets support for the idea from at least two out of three major trade unions at a meeting this week (September 22), it won’t go forward.

So it’s over to you, GMB, Usdaw and Unison. Do you support worker (and member) empowerment, or are you all for the bosses dictating and the rest of us slaving? Your choice.

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Did Starmer sabotage Brexit talks to aid his own – and Boris Johnson’s – leadership ambitions?

All in it together: with Keir Starmer backing him up and blocking opposition, Boris Johnson can do whatever he likes. And are they both lining their pockets at our expense?

Boris Johnson was only able to force Theresa May out of Downing Street and become prime minister himself because Keir Starmer sabotaged Brexit talks, a biography of the Labour leader claims.

Lord (Michael) Ashcroft’s book Red Knight: The Unauthorised Biography of Keir Starmer alleges that Starmer blocked a deal with Theresa May’s government that could have resulted in a ‘soft’ Brexit.

We should be grateful to the blog Colonel Despard’s Radical Comment for teasing out the important details:

Ashcroft’s book notes that May had invited Jeremy Corbyn to take part in cross-party talks in an attempt to agree a unified approach to Brexit. Starmer led the Labour delegation. According to an extract published in the Daily Mail, “The meetings opened with some optimism. The Government team quickly discerned, however, that some of those in the Labour camp were more willing to compromise than others. While those in Corbyn’s close team ‘were sending out signals that they wanted a deal’, Starmer was insistent that an agreement had to include a second referendum.”

While on the surface conducting himself professionally, behind the scenes it appeared that Starmer himself was giving negative briefings to the media that undermined the talks. May’s former director of communications, Sir Robbie Gibb, believes that Starmer was responsible for leaks that contradicted the joint reports agreed with Seumas Milne, Gibb’s Labour counterpart.

Gibb told Ashcroft: “there were briefings to the BBC’s Today programme saying that the cross-party talks are going nowhere. I’d get a call from the BBC saying, ‘I believe the talks are on the verge of collapse.’ ‘Well, who have you spoken to?’, I’d say. ‘Can’t say. It’s official sources’. He is convinced the negative briefings came from Starmer or his team, and that the mixed messages highlighted conflicting attitudes within the Labour delegation.”

According to Labour sources quoted by Ashcroft, Starmer was the most deal-resistant of the Labour negotiators, and worked to undermine those in Corbyn’s team who were in favour of a deal.

The book further alleges that Starmer did this in order to get support from the People’s Vote campaign that would translate into votes for him in a Labour leadership election.

The failure of the talks also led to May’s resignation and a Conservative leadership election that ended with Boris Johnson’s ascension to the leadership – and the role of UK prime minister – because of Keir Starmer’s interference.

But did Starmer’s treachery go further than that? Was he in fact supporting hard-Brexit Tories all along?

It has been argued that the only reason Labour’s Brexit policy at the 2019 general election was confused, leading to the party’s historically major loss was… Keir Starmer.

He had made a major intervention at the party’s 2018 conference responding to clear anti-Brexit sentiment among delegates by unilaterally introducing the idea that there would be a Remain option in a second referendum.

According to the blog article, this led to a policy change that would

accentuate the divisions between remain supporters and MPs from leave-voting Labour constituencies in the north who warned at the time that the policy would lose the party votes in a new election – which is in fact what happened.

So it seems Keir Starmer deliberately engineered Labour’s 2019 election loss.

This evidence strongly suggests not only that Starmer had worked to undermine Labour’s policy in order to further his own career, but also that he deliberately supported Boris Johnson’s – and continues to do so, to this day.

Starmer dropped his support for remaining in the European Union like a hot potato as soon as he was elected Labour leader.

The disasters caused by Brexit, that have led to the collapse of the UK’s transport infrastructure and shortages of products that we previously took for granted, have created golden opportunities for a Remain-supporting Starmer to criticise the Tory Brexit.

But he has been silent.

Not only that, but he has also supported Johnson on other matters.

The Tory response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been a national tragedy, with hundreds of thousands of deaths* and millions of people likely to suffer the debilitating effects of Long Covid.

But Starmer has been silent. Indeed, he has only raised his voice to support government policies like the catastrophic decision to reopen schools last year, allowing the virus to access a superhighway into homes across the UK that created the winter surge at the end of 2020 and beginning of this year.

That is just one prominent example. You can probably pick out your own favourites from any number of Tory policies that Starmer has either overtly or tacitly supported, or failed to oppose in any meaningful way.

Now he has whipped Labour MPs to abstain on the scrapping of the triple-lock on pensions that, until now, protected what little value the UK state pension provided to our senior citizens.

The loss of the increase that would have been provided this year will now become structural, meaning future pensioners will be disadvantaged in perpetuity by this betrayal.

You may find it hard to accept.

But there is a clear argument that Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson are “all in it together”, as the former Tory slogan has it – and in it for themselves.

With Johnson as prime minister and Starmer blocking any possibility of strong opposition, they can line their pockets while the rest of us suffer.

*Remember, the official figures only record deaths within 28 days of a diagnosis, in order to reduce public feeling against the government’s failed policies.

Source: Starmer sabotaged soft Brexit talks to aid his leadership ambitions | Colonel Despard’s Radical Comment

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Rosie Duffield copies Luciana Berger: her Labour conference abuse claim is fake, too

Rosie Duffield: she reckons she can’t go to Labour’s conference because of threats from LGBT+ party members. Or possibly white male party members. Luciana Berger said she was intimidated by anti-Semitic party members a few years ago. She wasn’t – and Duffield has yet to divvy up any evidence for her own claims.

A Labour MP who broke genuine lockdown rules to meet her married lover has claimed she has been forced to pull out of the party conference because of threats to her safety that seem entirely imaginary.

Rosie Duffield told The Times that she had received online threats from “militant transgender activists”.

But where readers could have expected to see evidence to support her claim, all we got was this: “‘LGBT+ Labour now seem to hate my guts and I feared they’d have a massive go at me at conference,’ Duffield said.”

Ah! So there were no actual threats that she would be harmed if she attended conference at all, then?

“‘The people who threaten me I don’t think are actually likely to harm me.'”

Which people are these? We haven’t seen any evidence of any threats at all. And if they aren’t likely to harm her, why is she making such a fuss?

“‘They just say it often and very loudly.'”

Yes? Then The Times should have been able to show us evidence of this behaviour. And it didn’t.

In fact, This Writer has checked this story as it appears in 10 different newspapers, and none of them were able to show a single abusive tweet that Duffield had received, to support her claim.

And I’m not the only one.

Duffield tried to claim that this nonexistent abuse is a product of “misogyny” by “straight white men”.

She said, according to The Times: “It looks like, feels like, and smells like misogyny.”

Then how come the rest of us can’t see it, feel it, or get a whiff of it?

And if straight white men were responsible for the abuse, why had Duffield already blamed LGBT+ activists within the Labour Party?

Oh yes. That seems logical.

LGBT+ Labour itself has denied any involvement in abuse of the MP. According to the Huffington Post, a spokesperson said: “We have made clear our political disagreements with Rosie on policy affecting trans people, but political disagreement should never result in abuse or physical threats.

“LGBT+ Labour has never conducted itself in this way and would never encourage anyone else to. It is utterly unacceptable.

“Women in politics are subject to appalling levels of abuse and we are clear it has no place in our party or society.”

The HuffPost piece also falsely reported that former Labour MP Luciana Berger was given police protection at a previous party conference after months of anti-Semitic abuse. In fact, she was advised to have a police escort to and from the conference – and the only people who were ever found to have given her anti-Semitic abuse were far-right activists who had nothing to do with the Labour Party at all.

Nevertheless, Berger tried to blame then-leader Jeremy Corbyn for the anti-Semites who weren’t in the Labour Party, saying he was responsible for an influx of anti-Semites into the party that hadn’t actually happened. Indeed, anti-Semitism in the Labour Party fell under his leadership.

But considering Berger’s precedent, this seems a perfectly reasonable comment:

In fact, the similarity with Berger’s fakery is prominent:

Of course, Ms Duffield, who is apparently afraid of phantom misogynists accosting her within an event that will be, undoubtedly, patrolled very thoroughly by security guards, had absolutely no problem with breaking lockdown rules and avoiding the police in order to have an affair:

It’s interesting that the same people who supported Berger are popping up to support Duffield, showing stunning ignorance of their own hypocrisy. Jess Phillips, for example.

Any normal Labour leader would have reasonably expected to see evidence of abuse before commenting on the story – but not Keir Starmer:

Well, he couldn’t could he? If he had requested evidence, he would have been accused of hypocrisy because he has never shown any interest in seeing evidence to support anti-Semitism accusations.

It is, by now, a classic attack tactic: fabricate offensive behaviour, blame somebody you want to vilify, and get a story published by the papers. Remember Angela Eagle?

It is unsurprising that Duffield is being supported by people like Phillips who bought into Berger’s fakery in order to target innocent fellow party members; she has a shameful history of it herself.

The Labour MP for Canterbury marched in the ‘lynch’ mob with Ruth Smeeth and others to have Marc Wadsworth ejected from the Labour Party in the kangaroo court that was his hearing before the party’s National Constitutional Committee.

She campaigned for Chris Williamson to get the same treatment from his kangaroo court (NCC) hearing.

And she was caught trying to blame her own victims for abusing her in a classic DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender) trick, which This Writer called out in a previous article:

She has given an interview in The Times in which she claims that she is the victim of misogynistic abuse and death threats over her opinions about anti-Semitism, Brexit and – particularly – transphobia.

Metro give[s] an example that is pertinent to Duffield’s case:

“Let’s say an influential person is accused of transphobia. They issue a response in which they deny that they are transphobic – ‘I love trans people! I have many trans friends!’ – then attack their critics – ‘people saying I’m transphobic are just cruel, hateful people who want to cause division’. Finally, they Reverse Victim and Offender: ‘I’m receiving so much online abuse because I’m a woman and we live in a sexist society’.

“Now, as a critic, you’re stuck. If you continue to call that person out, you’re ‘cruel, hateful and want to cause division’. You’re being sexist. You’re piling on the online abuse.”

Isn’t that exactly what Duffield is trying to do?

Sadly the right-wing media have been all over this like a rash – and in their usual, casual disregard for fact-checking, none of them have actually bothered to seek corroboration of the claims they have blithely repeated.

And I can’t wait to see the creaking attempts to shoe-horn me into the role of abuser as a result of this article!

But unless and until Duffield can actually demonstrate evidence of LGBT+ Labour members and/or male members of the party threatening harm to her if she attends the party conference, I’ll stick to my evidenced opinion that Duffield is a liar.

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.

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Karma: Vicious false anti-Semitism screamer is targeted for exclusion by Labour

Kieron Monks (left) and Gary Spedding (right): they didn’t let the facts get in the way of a rotten story about me in 2018. Now that Mr Spedding is accused, will he finally admit he was wrong about me?

Back in 2018, This Writer was targeted with a series of vicious – and false – accusations of anti-Semitism by the fake charity ‘Campaign Against Antisemitism’. The claims were sent to the Labour Party and as a result I was subjected to the party’s kangaroo court disciplinary system and eventually expelled under false pretences.

While that was going on, I was also subjected to shocking abuse by people who were not directly involved in the allegations or investigation but who may be described as “fellow travellers”.

For example, the article to which Kieron Monks’s tweet (below) links repeated one of the false allegations against me.

I stepped in to point out the inaccuracy. At the time, I considered it best to counter the accusations wherever I found them. The response was a false interpretation of my words, in which what I said was edited in order to misrepresent me:

I pointed out the omission:

This was not good enough for the author of the article, but he only gave me another opportunity to clarify the fact:

(Strangely, none of my accusers ever wanted to acknowledge that the incident under discussion happened in 2003 or thereabouts. If Tony Blair had been influenced by a cabal of any kind, it would have become public knowledge long before, and my response to the question about it was made in that context – we all knew that the claim was false.)

Enter one Gary Spedding. His false accusation is undermined by the fact that he published a screenshot of my words, clearly showing that I had been telling the truth and that Mr Monks had not:

I tried to reason with him but he wouldn’t have it – repeatedly accusing me of anti-Semitism:

It seems clear to me that his claim was false, vicious, and intended to harm my reputation and, by extension, my income as a political writer in my own right.

We know his claim was false – libellous, in fact. A Labour Party officer (I still don’t know who it was) leaked the accusations against me to The Sunday Times and they were published in early 2018… and then in early 2019, the same paper had to publish a lengthy correction after IPSO found the allegation to be inaccurate.

I couldn’t sue him, though, because I don’t have the cash to carry out libel litigation. And it is unlikely that he’s worth enough to make it worthwhile.

Labour was later found by a court to have ignored its own regulations for investigating party members in order to justify expelling me.

So that was the end of it.

Now Mr Spedding himself is facing expulsion by the Labour Party – under a trumped-up accusation, but not one of anti-Semitism – and look how his tune has changed!

His statement says: “I am not feeling too well still after the death of my father in late May 2021 and I have chosen to take a break from politics generally to focus on spending time with my family.”

Fine words from a man who had absolutely no interest in the emotional well-being of his victim, back in 2018. I had been battling false accusations for nearly two years by the time he made his attack, and his only reaction to that was to intensify the pressure.

“I didn’t want to face the backlash, bullying and ridicule…”

But he had been quite happy to dish it out.

“… that is now rampant in the Labour Party thanks to the atmosphere of intimidation and fear under Keir Starmer’s leadership.”

The only reason Keir Starmer is leader of the Labour Party now is that people like Mr Spedding spent five years undermining former leader Jeremy Corbyn and his followers with accusations like those he made against me; I was known to be a supporter of Mr Corbyn so the attack on me made him look bad too.

He supported the atmosphere of intimidation and fear imposed on victims of the Governance and Legal Unit whose work, it seems clear, was also intended to undermine the then-Labour leader.

“However, I have no decided to speak out after much deliberation so as to highlight just how ludicrous my own case is and to join in solidarity with others who are facing similar disgusting attacks from within the Labour Party machine.”

The case against This Writer was also ludicrous – but he supported it to the hilt.

And now that he has been accused, he wants to “join in solidarity” with other people in the same situation.

It’s a bit late for that.

Also, given his previous behaviour, I doubt his motivation.

I envy the generosity of people like the owner of the @leftworks1 Twitter account, who is able to protest against Labour’s treatment of Mr Spedding as much as against the party’s treatment of me.

But actions can go a long way towards changing minds.

I notice that Mr Spedding is seeking a formal apology from Labour. But he has never made a formal apology to me, even after his claims against me were shown to be false.

If he really means what he is saying, then I think it would be reasonable for him to make a full and formal apology to me for the wrong that he did to me in 2018.

It seems a reasonable request. We can all gauge his sincerity from his response.

UPDATE: It didn’t take long for the response to turn up:

Right, we’ve got our answer. This guy is toxic. We shouldn’t give him a moment of our time. Whatever happens to him, he doesn’t deserve any help at all.

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.

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Is this another nail in the coffin of Keir Starmer’s racist Labour?

Resigned: Marsha de Cordova.

It has emerged that a second black female Labour MP has resigned from Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet because he won’t support plans for a new law to tackle racial injustice.

Marsha de Cordova follows Dawn Butler, who quit as Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities because she would not sign up to the pledges demanded of the Labour Party by the Tory-run Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Sources have told Voice Online that the departure was prompted by serious differences with the party leadership:

Friends say Starmer’s inner cabal sidelined her efforts to develop plans for a new law to tackle racial injustice.

Sources said that efforts to set up a taskforce of experts to design progressive race equality policy were held back over concerns this might upset Red Wall voters, and that Starmer had resisted pleas to make a speech setting out his vision to black communities.

Associates of the Battersea MP claim that the party failed to put her on a single ‘media round’ during 17 months in the job, and that she was offered just five minutes speaking time at Labour’s annual conference, which takes place next week.

The revelations come amid growing pressure for the release of a report into alleged racism of party officials against Butler and fellow MPs Diane Abbott and Clive Lewis.

That would be the Forde report – which has been allegedly delayed to await the report of an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) inquiry into personal data protection breaches.

It seems Keir Starmer and his cronies are hoping that the ICO will say the information examined by Martin Forde QC should not have been available for other people to examine and that any racist comments those messages contained are exempt from discussion.

But the fact is that we do know about them, and we also know that Labour Party officers should not have been passing such comments about party representatives.

If he tries to sweep them under the carpet, Keir Starmer will be supporting the racism they contain.

The Labour leadership is trying to wallpaper over its own racism by announcing that a new annual Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic conference for members will start next year along with a new internal organisation to represent all BAME members.

That seems similar to Young Labour, which also had an annual conference for members – until this year, when Starmer’s unelected general secretary, David Evans, cancelled it in defiance of the party’s own constitution.

It is believed that the reason for the cancellation was Young Labour’s determination to host an event supporting Palestinian liberation from the tyranny of Israel. It would run against the official Labour Party line, which is that the Israeli government must be held above criticism at all times, no matter how many atrocities it commits against people of another ethnic group.

Racism again.

Source: Labour “nothing to say on racial justice” – Voice Online

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Socialists are invited…

I know this is very short notice but This Writer has only just been informed:

Left-wing groups and movements are launching a new coalition on Saturday (September 18), starting at 11am.

Called Labour Left 4 Socialism, it will be started in a webinar, beginning at 11am and lasting until 1pm.

“This is the start of something for the whole of our movement, the result of months of work by members of left groups and unions working together to confront attacks from the Tory government and also from Labour’s right wing,” said a LL4S spokesperson.

“The right have got away with a full-scale assault on the left of the party, to rid it of socialism, to become a party of the establishment, because the left has not been united.

“Now we are putting down a marker that we are united and we are not going anywhere. We are calling on all socialists in the party to come together around common goals and join us in setting in motion the process of left mobilisation.”

The Labour Left 4 Socialism coalition will launch a manifesto setting out an agenda of unified defiance on major issues affecting all sectors of the labour movement.

It will set out a Left agenda on climate justice; international solidarity and peace; workers’ rights; free speech and democracy; fighting racism; and public services after Covid-19.

It is also backing calls for delegates at the Labour Party conference in Brighton later this month to reject Keir Starmer’s ally David Evans as general secretary.

“With the ferocious ratcheting up of suspensions and expulsions in recent weeks, it’s clear that delegates to Labour Party conference in Brighton next week need to follow the lead of Unite the Union and vote down Evans as party general secretary,” the spokesperson said.

Speakers at the online launch will include Andrew Scattergood (FBU) on workers’ rights, Ekua Bayunu (Labour Black Socialists) on the fight against racism, Chris Saltmarsh (Labour for a Green New Deal) on the climate crisis and Matt Wrack (FBU General Secretary on Public Services.

A standing committee will be established, representing supporting organisations, to plan a series of working conferences to debate and organise. Work is under way for an initial conference on November 27.

That seems like a good idea to me.

Manifesto details are available here: https://www.facebook.com/104483281568745/posts/253017513381987/

Register for the webinar here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ai3OLJ18SVibhT9WjhfiNQ

Left-wing politics started with people getting together and acting in a common cause.

After the infiltration and takeover of the Labour Party by entryist members of the political right, it seems logical that the process should start again.

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.

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Private Eye bashed over anti-Semitism coverage by accused historian

Private Eye: The Beast certainly seems to have a point when he suggests the Eye’s coverage of anti-Semitism is one-sided.

Fair play – at least Private Eye had the guts to publish this letter from my brother the Beast, in full, without trying to justify itself in any way.

The scan is a bit faint and I know some of you won’t be able to read it, so here are the salient parts:

“I have followed with interest your coverage of the mass accusations of antisemitism in the Labour party and the purges of those accused. I regret to say that I have found this coverage to be almost wholly one-sided.

“You have given little opportunity for the victims of what can only be described as a witch-hunt to speak for themselves.

“Worse, you seem to have blindly followed the media groupthink and automatically assumed that the Labour Party did have a severe antisemitism problem, that Jeremy Corbyn was an antisemite, and that those accused were indeed guilty.

“This left me somewhat perplexed, as your magazine has a strong tradition of criticising Israel and standing up for those who have been falsely accused. I am offering you the opportunity to correct this bias.

“Yesterday I received a message from the Labour Party Complaints Team informing me that I was being investigated for antisemitism based on an article I had published on my blog.

“In this I agreed with another blogger, Tony Greenstein, a proud Jewish critic of Zionism, that Zionism was an internalised Jewish version of antisemitism and that Israel is indeed a racist, colonialist state.

“The argument is supported by solid historical scholarship, quoting reputable historians and the major figures in Zionist history themselves.

“I am not an antisemite, a form of racism that I find particularly abhorrent, and have published very many pieces on my blog attacking it and other forms of racism, as well as its political expressions, Fascism and Nazism.

“I am determined to fight these false accusations and this attempt to suppress reasonable criticism of Israel by automatically equating it with genuine despicable hatred of Jews.

“DAVID SIVIER

“BA (Hons) History, MA History PhD Archaeology”

Please don’t get sidetracked into speculation that my brother is a modern version of Indiana Jones. The relevance of his qualifications is that, when he discusses Israel, Zionism, anti-Semitism, Fascism and Nazism, he knows exactly what he is discussing.

So it will be very interesting to see if his missive receives any responses in subsequent Eye letter columns – and to examine, with the Beast himself, the quality of those responses.

We all know – don’t we? – that none of the arguments matter. Labour has accused Dr Dave and the fact that he knows far more about this subject than his accusers won’t stop them from expelling him from the party as soon as they get the chance.

They’re utterly ignorant, but they have a quota to meet, or masters to obey, or whatever excuse it is today.

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.

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Starmer’s shifting story on Corbyn suspension shows he may be a worse liar than Johnson

Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn: Starmer was already lined up to stab Mr Corbyn in the back, even in this image.

Labour leader Keir Starmer is in a pickle, and no mistake! His own words are making him as big a liar as Boris Johnson.

But while Johnson is attempting to break with his government’s recent past by cutting loose some of the most offensive people in his former Cabinet and promoting those he thinks play well with the public, Starmer remains mired in the results of his own actions.

The latest revelations about his shocking mistreatment of former party leader Jeremy Corbyn should sink him altogether. Perhaps it is only the support of a true-blue Tory media, that knows Starmer is the best thing that could have happened to Johnson, that keeps the public from turning on him.

The Labour leader currently stands accused of lying about the way Jeremy Corbyn was suspended from party members – unilaterally, by Starmer, in breach of an agreement he had made with the Equality and Human Rights Commission that very day.

He is also said to have broken an agreement he made to bring Corbyn back into the party on publication of a “clarification” statement by the former leader.

Former Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey explained in a Guardian article a few days ago [boldings mine]:

Labour briefed journalists that Starmer hadn’t personally suspended Corbyn; the party’s general secretary, David Evans, had. This mattered because one of the EHRC’s main lessons was that there must be no political interference in disciplinary cases – that such interference could be unlawful. Starmer was careful to tell the BBC Today programme the following morning: “Appropriate action was taken yesterday by the general secretary in suspending Jeremy Corbyn.”

But that’s not what he told me on the phone. His words were: “He put me in an impossible position and I had no choice.”

The EHRC had made it clear in its report that party representatives like Starmer should not involve themselves in disciplinary matters in any way, as it may appear that they were acting for political reasons. And isn’t this precisely what Starmer was doing, on the very day he had promised to abide by the organisation’s recommendations?

Corbyn had been clear that “anyone claiming there is no antisemitism in the Labour party is wrong” and that “one antisemite is one too many”, but he had also said that the scale of the problem had been “dramatically overstated” by opponents and the media. Corbyn sought to substantiate his claim in a broadcast interview, pointing to polling that suggested a vast gap between the perception of the extent of antisemitism in the party (the public thought complaints had been made against a third of members) and what the former leader said was “the reality” that 0.3% of members had actually been subject to disciplinary investigations.

As a victim of false allegations by the Labour Party who has had to do some research on this, I can confirm that Mr Corbyn’s figures were correct. My opinion is that this disparity had been stoked by Labour MPs who had falsely claimed that the party was “institutionally anti-Semitic” (this claim was firmly squashed by the EHRC) but Starmer has taken no action against the individuals concerned, who have clearly dragged Labour into disrepute. Does he have another agenda, perhaps?

Starmer, in his speech, had said that anyone saying antisemitism was “all exaggerated” was part of the problem. Corbyn, of course, hadn’t said it was all exaggerated, but Starmer now raised the bar. He told me on the phone that Corbyn had deliberately undermined him. “It’s as if he’s gone out of his way to contradict that line in my speech,” he said. “I’m beyond angry with Jeremy.”

Here’s a classic tactic of the false anti-Semitism campaign being used by Starmer himself. He said that Mr Corbyn had undermined his statement that anyone saying anti-Semitism in Labour was “all exaggerated” was part of the problem. But Mr Corbyn had not said that, and it is a lie to imply that he did. He had said the scale of the problem had been “dramatically overstated” by opponents and the media – and provided evidence to support the statement.

Starmer’s false claim was an attempt to make us believe a lie. How sad that nobody in the media at the time was even interested in questioning that claim, but took it at face value and published it to the masses!

The following afternoon, Jon Trickett MP and I went to parliament for a meeting with Starmer, his chief of staff Morgan McSweeney, and deputy leader Angela Rayner. Rayner began by requesting our discussion be confidential. Given what happened subsequently, I no longer feel bound by that.

Damned by her own words. Did Rayner know that Starmer and Evans were already planning to renege on any deal mapped out between their new leadership and representatives of Mr Corbyn?

Trickett and Starmer’s senior adviser Simon Fletcher had worked up a draft statement. I joined a conference call with McSweeney. I said: “As far as we are concerned it is our expectation that if Jeremy agrees to the statement then that is the end of the matter and the suspension will be lifted, after due process, and Jeremy will be back to normal.”

McSweeney’s response was: “Yes, that is our expectation, also.”

“And you speak on behalf of Keir?” I asked.

“Yes,” came his reply.

That was the deal for Corbyn’s reinstatement. A month and a half later, in response to questions from Sky News journalist Tom Rayner, Starmer’s spokesperson would say: “There was no deal on reinstatement, no.”

A bald lie, it seems.

When pressed on whether senior Labour staff had advance sight of Corbyn’s statement (which they had in fact co-written), the spokesperson would respond: “We are not going to comment on private conversations.”

That’s a classic line when people don’t want to admit a fact, of course. Again, damning.

And because Starmer, Rayner, Evans, McSweeney and whoever else was in negotiations on Labour’s side have (allegedly) reneged on their agreement, Mr McCluskey is submitting his observations on those negotiations to be used in Mr Corbyn’s court challenge against Labour’s (then-subsequent) withdrawal of the party whip from him:

The formalities around Corbyn’s readmission were handled by a panel of Labour’s national executive committee, which met on 17 November. Corbyn published the agreed statement that morning. “To be clear, concerns about antisemitism are neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated,’” read the key passage. “The point I wished to make was that the vast majority of Labour party members were and remain committed antiracists deeply opposed to antisemitism.”

I was – as were many others who had been wrongly accused, I’m sure – bitterly disappointed by this statement from Mr Corbyn, which denied what had happened to us. Was it really “neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated'” when a Labour party officer leaked details of the party’s proceedings against me to The Sunday Times, which then published an entirely untrue claim that I was a Holocaust denier? (The newspaper published a lengthy correction a year later, after a lengthy investigation by newspaper watchdog IPSO.)

The vast majority of those who have been accused of anti-Semitism and expelled because of it are also committed anti-racists, falsely accused by the party they supported and trusted, with claims that certainly were ‘exaggerated’ and ‘overstated’. But I digress.

After Mr Corbyn made his statement and Starmer reinstated him into the Labour Party, the usual suspects piped up to cause trouble:

Margaret Hodge tweeted that it was “a broken outcome from a broken system”. The Jewish Labour Movement blamed a “factionally aligned political committee”.

Well, they would. Both have made it clear, over many years, that they have no interest in the well-being of the Labour Party but are they to undermine it, every chance they get. But Starmer never seems to understand that or act to counter it. Odd, that, don’t you think?

Instead…

it soon became clear he was going to crumble. It was reported he was given an ultimatum by Hodge: she would resign from the party if Corbyn remained a Labour MP.

Good riddance if she had! She should have been booted out years ago.

Starmer reneged on our deal. He withdrew the Labour whip from Corbyn, leaving him in the absurd situation of being an MP and a Labour member, but not a Labour MP. At no time in my discussions had this eventuality been mentioned. The objective of both sides had been to bring matters back to normal.

Corbyn was now told that if he wanted the whip restored he would have to make an apology – which prompted the question: if an apology was so important to the leadership, why didn’t they include one in the statement they co-wrote?

Shifting sands. The evidence suggests that Starmer wasn’t interested in justice; he just wanted an outcome that made him look good. And this shows his political naivete – he was never going to get it. In the anti-Semitism row, the Labour leadership is caught between members who know they are innocent and will fight for it, and activisits both inside and outside the party who know that merely making accusations will cause disruption and disarray in an organisation they hate.

I’m a trade unionist. The one thing you never do is renege on a deal you’ve negotiated… That was when I lost my personal relationship with Starmer. I could no longer trust him. He was not a man of his word.

If this was an isolated example perhaps it could be dismissed. But it increasingly looks like a pattern that extends to policy as well as politics.

Len McCluskey’s article is bad enough for Starmer.

But journalist Alex Nunns has gone further – simply by analysing the Labour leadership’s response and finding that it cannot deny any of the statements of fact.

Instead, Starmer’s office has tried to add new elements to the story, that support him. But in doing so, they undermine his claim that there had been no deal and support Mr McCluskey’s assertion that Starmer lied.

See for yourself:

This is an important point: nobody can trust Starmer or the group within Labour that he leads. Those of us who have fought anti-Semitism accusations know that this is true; if you are accused, your innocence does not matter. It means powerful people in the party want you out and they believe they can smear you with impunity to do it.

Crucially, it seems Starmer – the lawyer – has put himself in a position where he may have perjured himself in court proceedings:

My guess is that, although he has painted himself into a corner, Starmer will try to worm his way out of it on a technicality.

But the British people don’t care about technicalities. They care about how their leaders present themselves.

And Starmer presents himself as a shifty, untrustworthy liar – and certainly not the kind of person we can support into leadership of the UK. If this is how he mistreats Labour members, how badly will he mistreat the rest of us if he gets the chance?

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.

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