Category Archives: Sexism

Dick put ‘on notice’ – but why because of her officers and not because of herself?

Cressida Dick: she regularly appears in the media, trying to mitigate the shocking offences committed by Metropolitan Police officers – and their commissioner.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has been put “on notice” by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, that she must reverse the culture of racism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny discovered in her service’s ranks since she took over.

Khan is said to have referred to it as “a return to the bad days of the Met of his childhood in the 1970s and 80s”.

Certainly there is reason to find fault with the Met Police under Dick’s direction.

The latest revelations show officers, mainly at Charing Cross, had joked about rape, domestic violence and killing black children.

A report by the Independent Office of Police Conduct stated, “We believe these incidents are not isolated or simply the behaviour of a few ‘bad apples’.”

Recent history bears this out.

Look at Wayne Couzens, who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, and burned the body to evade detection. Did Charing Cross officers make a joke about that? One Met officer certainly did – he shared memes showing a police officer kidnapping a woman, but has been allowed to keep his job.

Three more officers were charged with sex offences in October alone. One – David Carrick – now faces charges relating to 29 offences including many rapes between 2009 and 2020. Francois Olwage faces child sex charges. Adam Zaman has been charged with rape.

And what about the officers assigned to guard the bodies of murdered women, who took photographs of them and shared the images on a WhatsApp group because they thought it was funny? The mother of murdered sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry demanded that Dick clear the rot from the Met but that clearly hasn’t happened.

Incidents in which Met officers have stopped and searched people who happen to have been “driving while black” abound.

But Cressida Dick herself is not above suspicion either. Both she and the service she heads were found to have been “institutionally corrupt” in their handling of the Daniel Morgan murder inquiry.

And now it seems she is busily covering up the misdeeds of Boris Johnson in the Partygate scandal. Initially the Met refused to investigate allegations of more than a dozen lockdown-busting Downing Street parties, claiming there was no evidence, even though officers from that service were guarding the doors of Number 10 at the time and it seems unlikely that they could have failed to notice civil servants carrying suitcases full of wine bottles into the building.

After Sue Gray uncovered a huge mass of evidence, Dick stepped in and announced that the Met had decided to investigate after all – and this meant the senior civil servant must edit details relating to the 12 parties under police investigation out of her report.

It seems, even after being labelled “corrupt” in the Morgan report, Dick just can’t stop interfering.

So now Sadiq Khan has put her “on notice”. If she does not clean up her act, and that of her officers, then according to a source close to Khan, “the mayor will have to consider whether she is the right person to lead the change needed at the Met”.

He means he’ll have her removed.

As far as some of us are concerned, such a move can’t come soon enough. He should have done it already.

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Rabid Starmerites need a reality check. Here it is

All in it together: Keir Starmer is more at home with Tory Boris Johnson than with democratic socialist Zarah Sultana.

This is bitterly amusing.

After my article yesterday, Critics of Labour are being wrongly labelled ‘Tory enablers’. Let’s put the record straight, I found a response from a prolific pro-Starmer commenter in the ‘Trash’ file of the comment system (which clearly has a well-developed sense of taste).

It asked, “Which of the policies that were announced and/or confirmed at this years party conference are either Tory or Fascist.” As if that would settle the matter.

Do you like the wording – the attempt to restrict me to policies from the party conference? I did.

Of course it was setting up a false argument because none of those policies matter one whit.

Keir Starmer lied his way into the Labour Party leadership and he has been lying ever since.

He was elected on 10 pledges that he has since abandoned in their entirety and I have absolutely no doubt that he will also abandon any policy he has announced since then – whether at the party conference or not – as soon as they become inconvenient to him.

Here’s a tweet, in response to a similar Starmerite, if anybody needs clarification of this point:

Starmer’s words mean nothing at all. Those of us who criticise him aren’t paying any attention to his empty words – because we are watching what he is actually doing.

This evidence reveals that he has spent the whole of his time as leader conducting a protracted persecution of his own party members – particularly left-wing Jews, making this an anti-Semitic attack as well – with false accusations of anti-Semitism that carry absolutely no weight in the real world – at the behest of his apparent masters at the Israeli Embassy.

It shows that he has supported Boris Johnson’s Conservative government when it has inflicted dazzlingly stupid and genocidal policies on us, such as almost every measure to do with Covid-19 that has been inflicted on us.

It shows that he can’t win elections because people see him as a pale blue Tory. The two mentioned by Howard Beckett, below, are just the latest in a long line:

And it shows that he mistreats even his own MPs:

Because he’s a sexist, a racist and an Islamophobe, that’s why.

I’ve discussed Starmer’s treatment of Ms Sultana in a previous article as follows:

Now, that race hate and intolerance are making themselves clear within the ranks of the Parliamentary Labour Party, as it seems Starmer is planning to deselect four sitting MPs – for the crime of being black:

It seems the claim is that some in local party groups are stirring up unrest on the basis that some of the named black women were selected as supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, rather than as representatives of the people in the constituencies.

Among those facing deselection is Zarah Sultana, who is widely accepted to have been one of the most effective MPs in a Labour Party that has been rendered toothless by Starmer’s leadership:

She recently highlighted the racist abuse she receives from members of the public, posting on Twitter an email she received on her return from bereavement leave after the death of her grandmother:

What has Starmer done to support his MP in the face of this racism?

Nothing.

I’ll say it again:

He has done nothing.

He supports genocidal racists and he undermines people of colour in his own organisation – while pretending to be pious for the cameras.

What a verminous, racist hypocrite.

My words are supported by the evidence from Ms Sultana herself. She has given an interview to LabourList that is searing in comparison with that website’s usual deference to Starmer:

“You expect support and solidarity from people in your party.

“I haven’t had a single word of solidarity from the current leadership,” she says. “Angela Rayner, Nick Thomas-Symonds, Louise Haigh, Kim Leadbeater, all of those guys got in touch – and I didn’t get anything from the leadership at all.” In fact, she adds: “I’ve never spoken to Keir.” Asking questions at parliamentary party meetings is the closest they have had to a conversation, the Labour MP says.

Sultana believes that, as a young Muslim woman, she is treated differently not only by those who send abusive emails and letters, but also by her colleagues. “I learnt this lesson very early on,” she says. Sultana points out that her maiden speech referring to “40 years of Thatcherism” caused uproar, yet nobody blinked an eye when Lisa Nandy talked about “40 years of economic decline” during the leadership election and said “the consensus that Thatcher built lasted all the way through the New Labour years”. Sultana was told that senior MPs were advising other 2019 newcomers: “you don’t want to do what Zarah did with her maiden speech”.

Only a handful of Labour MPs have been reported as being particularly under threat of deselection, yet two of this small number are Muslim women. “To me, if we’re just talking about optics – and it shouldn’t just be about the optics, it should be about the people who are affected – that just doesn’t look very good,” Sultana observes. Asked about the chances of her being triggered, she says: “I have no sense that I’m more under threat than anyone else… I’m really hopeful that I will have [members’] support.”

“The people providing those quotes [for articles about her potential deselection] were citing things like Prevent, and they were citing things like Palestine… as though it’s not a normal concern to have,” she says. “I was really shocked because someone’s obviously given a green light to this.”

Yes indeed – and the buck stops with Keir Starmer.

So, judging Starmer by his actions, we see that he himself is a Tory supporter/enabler – that demonstrates the Tory aspect of his behaviour.

And for the fascism, look no further than the sexism, racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and persecution that has characterised his attitude towards his own party members.

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Dominic Raab doesn’t know what misogyny means. How is he qualified to rule on it?

“He has no idea what he’s doing”: Raab blocked anti-Brexit groups after they broadcast this image while he was Brexit secretary – but it is just as valid today as it was then.

Dominic Raab rejected the idea that misogyny should be a hate crime – on a TV interview in which he then demonstrated ample proof that he didn’t even know what it means.

BBC Breakfast presenter Sally Nugent had to read a dictionary definition of the word to him after he said, “Misogyny is absolutely wrong, whether it’s a man against a woman or a woman against a man”.

Misogyny is hatred aimed specifically by men against women.

Hatred by women against men is misandry.

And Dominic Raab is so illiterate, he did not know the difference. Couldn’t he even be bothered to get a briefing from someone in the know?

… Ah. Well, I think we all know the answer to that. After all, he didn’t understand the importance of the Dover-Calais crossing when he was Brexit secretary.

That’s why one commenter tweeted that he wasn’t surprised Raab didn’t know the meaning of ‘Misogyny’: “I am surprised that he didn’t think Misogyny was a place just south of Calais.”

Raab also demonstrated his ignorance of ‘taking the knee’.

We all know it’s a symbolic gesture against racism, in protest against the lack of attention given to issues of racial inequality and police brutality. Right?

Raab didn’t.

And now this:

And this is what passes for Cabinet-level expertise in Boris Johnson’s government?

I know Raab has been demoted from Foreign Secretary but it is clear that he is still being asked to perform far beyond his capabilities and the UK will suffer as a result.

EXTRA: This response is too good to leave on Twitter:

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Starmer wins vote to make Labour ‘paler, maler and staler’

Pale, male and stale: this is the future of the Labour Party – a white man in a suit with absolutely no ideas at all.

Keir Starmer has succeeded in changing the rules on Labour Party leadership elections that makes them racist and sexist.

A vote on his proposed rule changes means that at least 20 per cent of Labour MPs will have to endorse a colleague’s candidacy to lead the party – a threshold that has previously been reached by just one female candidate, and by nobody who is not white.

If they had been applied before the 2020 leadership election, the only candidate on the ballot paper would have been Keir Starmer. You can see why he likes them.

Grassroots party members will not be allowed to vote on their preference until MPs have decided who they will be allowed to vote for. And there are too few socialist (left-wing) MPs left in the Parliamentary party, so if members want to vote for a left-wing candidate, they will not be offered the chance.

The sexism and racism of the new rules was pointed out before the vote was taken by James McAsh, a delegate from Camberwell and Peckham whose party membership is likey to be revoked in the very near future.

He said the change meant Labour’s future debate would be “paler, maler and staler”:

The vote was very tight indeed – 53 per cent for to 46 per cent against. This Writer understands that Starmer only won because Unison was persuaded to support him with its block vote.

I would urge Unison members to ask their leaders why they support racism and sexism, and why they chose to undermine democracy.

It is also possible that Starmer gerrymandered the result with his mass expulsions. This Writer would like to know how many actual votes were cast, and how this figure compares with those for votes in previous years.

Also included in the rule changes:

It will be harder for grassroots members to deselect unwanted MPs, with more than half required to demand a reselection procedure before it can take place.

And registered supporters, who pay a one-off fee to vote in party elections, are abolished.

Boris Johnson is probably laughing so hard he may bust his enormous gut.

It is bitterly sad that Labour is now more sexist, more racist, and less democratic because a right-wing trade union supported a leader who is more right-wing than the Conservatives. The members most affected by this – constituency parties – overwhelmingly voted against the change.

Of course, Starmer lied in order to fool party members into voting for him – and that should be enough reason to demand his resignation and a new election under the rules that existed until today, on the grounds that the change would not have been brought in under an honest leader.

Sadly, Labour doesn’t have an honest leader.

And he certainly isn’t going to allow anything like decency to take power away from him.

Of course, it doesn’t make any real difference. The only votes he can win are rigged.

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Michael Gove: sexist, racist, homophobic and divisive – from his own lips

Michael Gove: One wonders how Chelsea FC and its fans feel about having this racist, sexist, homophobic hater of the North as a fellow supporter.

It shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, he did think rape was funny.

Michael Gove apologised for his comments about Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom…

… but it turns out he has been making similar comments in public since at least 1987, according to The Independent.

The newspaper has listed sexist, racist and homophobic comments from 1987 and 1993 – all of which should have disqualified him from ever being considered a suitable candidate for a Parliamentary seat.

He was elected into Parliament in 2005. Presumably some Tory sponsor thought he had lived down his words after 12 years. Little did they know what would happen 12 years later… or, indeed, now.

And what has happened now?

Well, we’ve found out what he said all those years ago. Probably the most offensive part – to the most people – is the classist statements (below):

Yes – it’s worse than the sexism and racism because the North will hate being pigeonholed so offensively and the South will hate being assumed to hate the North.

At the very least, it’s not good for sales.

The real question about this scandal is what Boris Johnson will do about it.

Gove is currently Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which doesn’t mean a lot. But he’s tipped to become either Foreign or Home Secretary in a mooted Cabinet reshuffle.

If Johnson goes through with the alleged plan to give Gove a more high-profile job, after these revelations came to light, he’ll upset millions of people…

… and show that he couldn’t care less about the feelings of the “happy” South (ha ha) or the “cruel, dirty, toothless” North. Electoral suicide.

Source: Revealed: Michael Gove’s sexist jibes, racist jokes and homophobic slurs | The Independent

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Were the Jake Davison killings terrorist acts? Or is ‘Incel’ just a pretty tag for wretched inadequates?

Jake Davison: from the state of him – both mental and physical, the reason he couldnt get a girl seems clear.

What are the facts?

We know that 22-year-old Jake Davison took a gun (of some kind) and murdered his 51-year-old mother Maxine at their home in Biddick Drive, Keyham, Plymouth, last Thursday.

He then moved out into the street where he murdered three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father Lee, 43.

Finally, he shot dead 59-year-old Stephen Washington and Kate Shepherd, 66, before turning his weapon on himself.

Also shot were a 53 year-old woman and a 33-year-old man who were sent to hospital with injuries that were not thought life-threatening.

Why?

It seems the authorities don’t know Davison’s stated reasons for the rampage – the worst mass killing on UK soil since 2010.

But he has left behind information about his political beliefs that provide us with a workable theory: he reckoned he was an “Incel”.

What on Earth is an Incel?

It’s a term apparently coined in the early part of this century to denote men who believe they are “INvoluntarily CELibate” because women are unfairly withholding sex from them.

Looking at their other beliefs, it becomes apparent that anybody withdrawing from contact with these crazies is likely to have had extremely good reasons for it!

Dr Louise Raw described the Incel philosophy in an article way back in 2018:

They specifically feel entitled to sex with women they perceive as the most attractive — “Stacys” — and resent both them and the “Chads” — romantically successful men — they date. When these are men of colour, the hatred steps up a gear.

This all seemed pitiful until it turned deadly.

Pitiful is right!

The fact is that pretty much every man on the planet might describe himself as “involuntarily celibate” at one time or another.

But – as a rule – we don’t blame women – as a group – for “withholding” sexual contact that we feel we have a right to have. It doesn’t work like that. Sex is the most intimate thing that two people can do, and that’s why most women won’t do it with any Tom, Harry or Dick that turns up. It is perfectly reasonable for them to want a little security in their choice first.

Nobody is “entitled” to it. In fact, if you believe in Darwin’s laws of natural selection, procreation is a privilege that should be awarded only to those who are most fit for the job. There’s evidence for that in the mating displays carried out by the males of other animal species in order to impress the females.

So, as an attitude to relationships, we can safely say that anybody holding this view is a wretched sexual and social inadequate who is just looking for a shortcut to sex that will hide their interpersonal failings.

But there’s another aspect to this: politics.

Incels, it seems, ally themselves with opposition to feminism. The idea is that an improvement in the lives of women must bring with it a worsening of men’s position, and this leads to hatred of women – also known as misogyny.

And misogyny has long been a pathway into support for fascism – in the same way that racism has been.

Incels are therefore most likely to be white men who are misogynistic racists; if they see women they consider attractive with men of colour, then the hatred steps up a notch.

This makes them easy to recruit into far-right organisations, and there is evidence that American alt-right groups have been doing just that.

Davison was certainly prime material for radicalisation of this kind. According to the Daily Beast,

Davison expressed his admiration for Donald Trump on Facebook and posted multiple self-pitying YouTube videos in which he identified himself as part of the incel community.

In one post from 2018, Davison shared a Trump quote and, when his friends ridiculed him in the comments, the suspect hit back: “You may not agree with his political views (I do) but he is different from the scum like Hillary or the people running our country like the neo-con sellout that is [then-British Prime Minister] Theresa May.”

Davison’s Facebook likes suggest he was obsessed with conservative U.S. politics. He followed the pages of Trump, all of his children, and several Trump businesses, as well as pages for the NRA, Fox News, Breitbart, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and one called “Ted Nugent for President.” In one comment, he said it was his dream to move to the States.

It has been noted that these associations were suppressed by domestic news organisations like the BBC in their early reports:

But was Davison a terrorist?

Tricky. And these waters were muddied by the BBC (et all) failing to identify his political leanings…

At first, Devon & Cornwall Police denied any link with terrorism:

But now they’re changing their tune.

UK law defines terrorism as: “Use or threat of action, both in and outside of the UK, designed to influence any international government organisation or to intimidate the public. It must also be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.”

Personally, then, I don’t think Davison’s actions would constitute terrorism as defined here.

I don’t think he was trying to influence government or intimidate the public because firstly, he didn’t demand anything and secondly, he would need to be alive for any intimidation to work.

The idea of advancing Incel as a cause is self-defeating; even those who identify as members of that group don’t want to be in it!

And his lunatic right-wing ideology will have taken a public relations hammering as a result of his murders.

That being said, there is plenty of evidence to show that people who identify themselves as Incels need to be tracked down and challenged. Perhaps the easiest way to do this would be to accede to the wishes below, and define misogyny (and therefore also its counterpart, misandry) as a hate crime.

It seems to me that the expression of misogynistic opinions in the way carried out by the Incels indicates a desire to harm – and a lack of concern about the consequences – that crosses the line of acceptability.

It also seems reasonable to me that, if alerted to such expressions of opinion, police should challenge those responsible and, following on from that – if necessary – take appropriate steps to prevent acts of violence such as we saw last week in Plymouth.

It would be possible, also, to use such interviews as ways to research whether these people are indeed being radicalised by right-wing organisations for the purpose of committing terrorist crime – and to devise ways of combating such activity.

Connected with this, of course, is the fact that Davison owned a gun. His own social media posts and YouTube videos confessed that he was mentally unstable, and therefore it seems logical that he should not have been in possession of a firearm, yet his licence had been renewed only recently.

And it isn’t as though we haven’t been aware of the risks:

Ah, but Chris Williamson is a socialist – and therefore might as well be a terrorist himself – right?

You see how these debates can be twisted by political dogma – especially when news organisations like the BBC distort or omit important facts?

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Police kettle women for trying to ‘reclaim’ the streets after policeman arrest for woman’s kidnap and murder

Kettled: hundreds of people – mostly women – were kettled on Clapham Common by police – mostly men.

Could there be a more strident declaration that the UK is backsliding culturally?

After a police officer was arrested and charged for kidnapping and murdering a woman, a vigil was organised on Clapham Common in memory of the deceased and as a mark of defiance against those who would put women in fear for their lives while just walking down the street.

In response, Metropolitan police officers kettled participants – boxing them in so they could not move freely – and then arrested them. Here’s how they carried out the second part of this operation:

The message is clear: in Tory Britain in the 21st century, women should feel afraid – all the time. The police will enforce it.

Possibly worst of all is the fact that the police acted this way not only after one of their number was arrested for the kidnap and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, but also under the orders of a female commissioner, Cressida Dick.

Dick’s tenure has been controversial from the start – often due to racist behaviour by her officers. This incident has renewed calls for her resignation, with accusations of sexism against people of her own gender.

As I understand it, police say they acted as they did in order to enforce Covid-19-related laws on social distancing. It is unclear how they can say kettling people is consistent with that claim.

My understanding, again, is that people gathered on Clapham Common in spite of the fact that a planned vigil had been cancelled due to difficulty in securing police co-operation. Organisers of the cancelled event, Reclaim These Streets, have released this statement:

Women across the country are deeply saddened and angered by the scenes of police officers physically manhandling women at a vigil against male violence*.

From the start, Reclaim These Streets set out to work closely with the Met to ensure this vigil could go ahead safely, so women could stand together peacefully and safely to remember Sarah Everard and all the women lost to male violence.

The Metropolitan Police failed to work with us despite the High Court ruling yesterday that a vigil could potentially go ahead lawfully. In doing so, they created a risky and unsafe situation. It is their responsibility to protect public order, public health and the right to protest – they failed tonight on all accounts.

All the time they spent fighting us on a legal claim that the Judge agreed should not have been necessary and was caused by the Metropolitan Police’s stance, they could have been working with us to ensure the vigil went ahead in a safe way. The Judge was clear and the Metropolitan Police conceded minutes before the hearing that there was no blanket ban on protest under the current law. They then had an opportunity – and a responsibility – to work with us safely and within the law.

This week, of all weeks, the police should have understood that women would need a place to mourn, reflect and show solidarity. Now is the time for the police and the government to recognise that the criminal justice system is failing women. Tonight it has failed women again, in the most destructive way.

Possibly the most chilling comment on these terrible events came from Boris Johnson, who said he would do “everything I can to make sure the streets are safe”.

He’ll probably impose an armed curfew.

Whatever he does, it will probably backfire because people are angry.

One commentator – aptly – described the situation: “Peaceful protest against violence against women is broken up by state violence against women.”

If that’s how people are seeing it, then in a country that is a seething cauldron of frustration due to Covid-19 restrictions, I fear that feelings are going to boil over and we could see some real confrontations.

And people are seeing it that way:

The woman pictured being arrested, above, is Patsy Stevenson. She was interviewed afterwards and her words capture the feeling of the moment:

Note that she said the next thing that should happen is another protest – and bigger.

With the authorities reacting not only inappropriately but violently – against the victims, I can only see this situation getting worse.

I hope I’m wrong but I know how the current government mistreats ordinary people. Tories will not understand that they cannot expect us to comply with what they say when what they do is harming us.

*Some readers may object to the characterisation of “male violence”. If you are one such person, my advice is simple: get over yourself. These events happened after a woman was attacked and killed by a man. The scenes on Clapham Common involved many men attacking many more women. And the worst of it is that all the men involved have police uniforms. Women have been left in fear for their lives not only because they don’t know whether the next man they see is going to attack them but also because they now know they cannot trust the police to protect them. Many men are saying that they have nothing to do with attacks on women and wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing, and that may be true. But that doesn’t mean that no men are responsible for such attacks. Perhaps, until a way is found to ensure that women can once again walk the UK’s streets in safety, all men should take responsibility and try to help, rather than whining that it’s nothing to do with them.

Source: Sarah Everard: Met criticised over Clapham vigil policing – BBC News

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The Anna Rothery scandal suggests Labour is a sexist and racist institution under Starmer

Anna Rothery: her socialism is probably the reason she has been dropped as a Liverpool mayoral candidate. But the decision is also sexist and racist – and that is how Keir Starmer’s Labour party should now be described.

How is this an improvement?

Let’s go through the information we have, and please correct any errors.

There will be an election to fill the role of executive Mayor of Liverpool after Joe Anderson retired under a cloud.

The Labour Party held a selection process using an all-female shortlist which produced three candidates, including current Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Anna Rothery.

However, examination of Ms Rothery by party leaders revealed that she is:

  • female
  • black, and
  • socialist.

It seems that these are considered undesirable elements in Labour candidates under Keir Starmer’s leadership.

This may come as a surprise to many, especially as he should have expected a selection process that demanded that all candidates are female to produce candidates who aren’t men.

The selection process has reopened. It seems clear that the aim is to parachute in a candidate who is as neoliberal-blue as Starmer himself – in denial of Liverpool Labour members’ right to a free and democratic selection.

But the fact is that he will have eliminated a black woman to do it.

Therefore it is possible to claim that Starmer’s Labour is prejudiced against women and against people of colour: he and his party are sexist and racist.

I am reminded that his forerunner as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, suffered years of attacks, both in the media and by backstabbing right-wingers within the Parliamentary Labour Party, based on fabricated accusation of anti-Semitism.

So I ask:

How is genuine racism and sexism better than fake anti-Semitism?

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Senior Labour staff urged to publish WhatsApp messages IN CONTEXT if they think #LabourLeaks report misrepresented them

I haven’t contributed to the so-called Forde Inquiry into the allegations in the (also so-called) #LabourLeaks report because I think it’ll be a stitch-up.

My own court case against Labour will go to trial on October 2 and I’m happy to let Mr Forde QC come to his own conclusions, which I may then find easy to use against the party if my own legal action is successful.

You will understand why I see no point in contributing when I make this point: if Mr Forde’s inquiry was above-board, why did a small left-wing blog have to suggest that disputed WhatsApp messages be published in full?

The demand is an obvious one, but it has been made on the Skwawkbox blog, not in the mainstream media or by anybody directly concerned with the inquiry. The article states:

Former staff accused in a leaked Labour Party report of abusive comments toward other staff, racism, obstructing disciplinary processes to facilitate media attacks – among other things – and even of sabotaging Labour’s electoral campaigns are trying to sue the party for breach of confidentiality.

They also claim that their WhatsApp conversations were used out of context to incriminate them – a defence remarkably similar to the one that Keir Starmer just abandoned in order to pay ‘whistleblowers’ a huge amount of money in a case Labour’s lawyers said the party was likely to win.

If those attempting to sue the party believe the context of:

  • comments such as ‘pube head’, discussions of bra-less female employees and women’s weight and glee at Labour’s first black woman MP allegedly crying in a toilet
  • the diversion of party campaign funds to an ‘Ergon House’ account to use for their own priorities
  • comments expressing horror at Labour’s strong performance in the 2017 general election
  • actions to block and derail investigations into antisemitism and other racism

would show that those comments and actions were innocent and entirely in keeping with the positions they held and the substantial salaries they received for filling them, then the solution is simple:

Publish their conversations in full, so everyone can see for themselves.

How suspicious that none of the individuals concerned seem keen to take up that offer!

Perhaps they fear the evidence will serve merely to corroborate that of others who have gone public with their own submissions to Forde – assertions which support the leaked report’s claim that senior officials of the Labour Party spent years sabotaging Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and succeeded in preventing him from winning a general election in 2017 (and possibly in 2019 as well).

Here‘s a piece on Open Democracy that provides ample information on the subject. I am grateful to a Facebook friend who summed up its claims as follows:

The Offices of the Leader of the Opposition are less than half a mile away from Labour party headquarters on Victoria Street. Labour party HQ is responsible for setting up the party leader’s offices. They should have been up and running when Jeremy Corbyn took over from Ed Miliband. Joe Royle has submitted evidence to the internal Labour inquiry, chaired by Martin Forde QC into sabotage by party employees before the 2017 general election.
1) There were no ‘handover notes’ left for the new leader’s team.
2) Many of the office computers had gone missing.
3) The computers that remained were old and kept crashing.
4) There were not enough monitor screens for computers.
5) John McDonnell’s offices had been completely gutted.
6) The walls were bare, with staples and blu-tak left behind.
7) There were desks without chairs or computers.
8) Attempts to hire new staff were delayed, frustrated or blocked.
9) Jeremy Corbyn had only 16 staff. Ed Milliband had twice that.
10) The party refused to hire a former treasury economist (James Meadway), so he had to be seconded from a trade union which did hire him.
11) Discussions from meetings were leaked to journalists instantly.
12) The leader’s office could not trust Labour HQ not to leak every policy announcement in advance.
13) A rally for John McDonnell was held in the middle of nowhere to deter members from turning up and prevent press coverage.
14) This tactic had been used before.
15) Press releases were blocked.
16) Staff members briefed against Jeremy Corbyn’s office.
17) The party’s message was deliberately kept off social media.
18) Coordinated staff resignations
19) The 2017 manifesto was leaked (never happened before).
20) Facebook adverts designed to be seen by Corbyn’s team only but prevented from being seen by the public (£5,000 cost per one).
21) Staff disappointed that the party did so well in 2017.
22) Corbyn’s staff’s access to Labour HQ was revoked in anticipation of losing the election.
23) Resources, including campaign organizers, were diverted away from winnable marginal seats to safe Labour right-wing seats.
24) Labour lost the seats necessary to win the 2017 election by 2,227 swing votes.

And what are the so-called victims in this case – the ones whose WhatsApp chats were quoted and who say they were misused – doing?

Are they backing calls for the chats to be published in full?

No. They are trying to hide the evidence and have the Forde Inquiry closed down.

Here‘s The Guardian (and shame on that rag for giving this demand column space):

lawyers for the accused officials say the WhatsApp messages were used selectively and edited to give a false impression. They also say the inquiry should be abandoned given the damage already caused by the leaked report.

It’s interesting that these staffers would suggest that a tactic regularly employed by Labour’s disciplinary system to falsify accusations of anti-Semitism against party members (I have personal experience of this) has been used unfairly against them.

Some might call it “sauce for the goose” (suggesting that such treatment is poetic justice for the likes of these people) but I would not be one of them. For one thing, I expect the accusation to be proved false when (if?) the facts come into the open.

And Claudia Webbe, who headed the disputes panel that used those tactics at the time, seems to agree. Although I am uncomfortable with having to side with someone who was part of the system that attacked me, I think she makes points that are worth reading in this matter:

“It’s disgraceful that anyone would attempt to justify racism towards black Labour MPs and misogyny towards women employees, which has driven many of our members, particularly BAME members, to leave our party in disgust.

“If former officials thought quotes in the report – which are clearly copied and pasted from WhatsApp – were misleading, they would welcome the Forde inquiry having the chance to see the full texts. Instead, they seem to want to stop the inquiry from looking at the evidence because they fear it will confirm the accuracy of the WhatsApp messages.”

Ultimately, the Labour staffers whose WhatsApp chats were used (and we all know who they are, even if we can’t mention the names yet) are unsafe whatever happens.

If the Forde Inquiry publishes the messages in context, so we can all judge them for ourselves, then it seems likely they will be exposed as racists and misogynists (and possibly anti-Semites as well).

If they succeed in blocking it, then we will all draw the obvious conclusion that the inquiry would have revealed them to be racists, misogynists etc and their names will automatically poison anything with which they try to associate themselves.

If I were in their position, I’d let the information be published and allow the public to make an informed choice, rather than try to hide it like a coward.

Hypocrisy without limit: Boris Johnson on race and sexuality should enrage everybody

Boris Johnson is one of the worst hypocrites whose words This Writer has every been unlucky enough to have to report.

Consider the fact that June is Gay Pride Month. Mr Johnson has responded to it – and then gay people have responded to him:

Perhaps Mr Johnson’s tweet would have been better-used with an apology for his appalling behaviour in the past, an acknowledgement that gay people deserve more respect than he has given them, and an affirmation that he will do his best to make amends at all times in the future?

Well, that didn’t happen.

And then there’s his attitude to people of colour. Prepare to cringe:

Finally, let us consider his attitude to migrant workers and foreigners in general, after his recent appeal for them to come back to work in the UK:

What happened to all the anti-foreigner rhetoric?

Ah, but wait.

He’s saying it’s fine for Johnny (and Jane) Foreigner to come and work in the country with the highest Covid-19 death rate in the entire world – where they can merrily risk their lives for the further enrichment of himself and a gang of entitled rich brats who couldn’t care less about them, except as the butt of racist insults.

Have I got that right?

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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