Tag Archives: anti

Boris Johnson’s anti-corruption champion quits – calls on PM to resign

John Penrose: when the Anti-Corruption Champion resigns because of the behaviour of the prime minister, it can only mean that he has found the PM to be corrupt.

Is this the killing blow against Boris Johnson?

The government’s anti-corruption champion has resigned, saying it is clear that Johnson has broken the Ministerial Code and the only honourable choice for the PM is to step down as well.

John Penrose, MP for Weston-Super-Mare, has himself suffered criticism related to corruption because he is married to Dido Harding who – as the person in charge of the government’s disastrous ‘test and trace’ strategy – wasted £37 billion of public money on a system that did not work at all.

But he has salvaged his reputation today by making it clear that he considers Boris Johnson to be unfit to lead the Conservative Party or the country – and that his reason for believing this is corruption.

In a letter to Johnson, published on Twitter, he stated: “It wouldn’t be honourable or right for me to remain as your Anti-Corruption Champion… nor for you to remain as Prime Minister either.”

He wrote: “My reason for stepping down is your public letter last week, replying to your independent Adviser on the Ministerial Code about the recent Sue Gray Report into ‘partygate’.

“In it you addressed the concerns over the Fixed Penalty Notice you paid, but not the broader and very serious criticisms of what the Report called ‘failures of leadership and judgment’ and its conclusion that ‘senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture’.

“You will know (and your letter to your Adviser on the Ministerial Code explicitly says) that the Nolan Principles of Public Life are absolutely central to the Ministerial Code, and that the seventh of them is ‘Leadership’.

“So the only fair conclusion to draw from the Sue Gray Report is that you have breached a fundamental principle of the Ministerial Code – a clear resigning matter.

“But your letter to your independent Adviser on the Ministerial Code ignores this absolutely central, non-negotiable issue completely. And, if it had addressed it, it is hard to see how it could have reached any other conclusion than that you had broken the code.”

Mr Penrose listed some of what he considered to be Johnson’s achievements, but then stated: “I hope you will understand that none of these can excuse or justify a fundamental breach of the Ministerial Code. As a result, I’m afraid it wouldn’t be honourable or right for me to remain as your Anti-Corruption Champion after reaching this conclusion, nor for you to remain as Prime Minister either.

“I hope you will now stand aside so we can look to the future and choose your successor.”

Damning words.

They make it clear that the government’s Anti-Corruption Chief considered Johnson to be corrupt according to the rules.

And they state that the prime minister should resign ahead of today’s vote on his future. Staying on to await the result of a ballot would be dishonourable and wrong.

Johnson now sits on the horns of a dilemma. Should he resign now, on Penrose’s advice? Or should he try to brazen it out and tempt the wrath of backbenchers incensed at being asked to support somebody who is dishonourable and corrupt?

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Tories support discrimination and division in rejecting bid to improve MPs’ behaviour

Say what you want: Boris Johnson’s Tories have stamped on a bid to make MPs conform to principles of anti-racism, inclusion, diversity and respect. What does that tell us about them?

The Conservative government has rejected a proposal to change MPs’ code of conduct in line with a principle of “respect”.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised; they seem to respect few things other than money and power.

They have rejected calls by the Commons Standards Committee that would mean MPs “should demonstrate anti-discriminatory attitudes and behaviours through the promotion of anti-racism, inclusion and diversity”.

It doesn’t actually mean they want to promote racism, exclusion and blind obedience – but it does appear to mean they won’t oppose it if MPs exhibit those traits during debates.

I wonder how long that will last, if non-Tories exploit the openings this presents?

A separate committee on Standards in Public Life has already updated the Seven Principles of Public Life – also known as the Nolan principles – to include the demand that all public officials “treat others with respect”, to counter “increasing intimidation and abuse”.

But 10 Downing Street chief of staff Steve Barclay and chief Tory whip Mark Spencer rejected the idea of incorporating this into the wider MPs code.

They said in a joint statement: “We would not want to stifle legitimate debate on politically contentious issues which are important to our democracy… This could have a chilling effect on free speech on contentious and polarised political issues.”

Expect the Tories to play on this as much as they can, just to rub it in everybody else’s faces.

Source: Tories reject move to stamp out ‘discriminatory attitudes’ in Commons as attack on MPs’ free speech

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Karma for Coyle: Labour suspends the whip after allegedly racist remarks

Caught: Neil Coyle has admitted making racist remarks.

Keir Starmer may have spent months delaying any investigation of anti-Semitism by Neil Coyle but he has acted faster over a second allegation of racism against the far-right Labour MP.

It only took Starmer’s party a week to suspend its whip from Coyle after two claims were made about him.

British-Chinese journalist Henry Dyer has reported Sinophobic remarks by Coyle to Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle after a meeting in the Strangers’ Bar on the Parliamentary estate on the evening of February 1.

Mr Dyer claimed he had also witnessed Coyle “angrily shouting at a Labour staffer” in the bar the previous evening.

It is understood that after the Speaker became aware of Mr Dyer’s allegations, he convened a meeting with the Serjeant at Arms who ordered that Coyle should be suspended from bars in the Commons for six months. Authorities in the House of Lords are believed to have taken similar action.

Labour has said that the party’s chief whip, Alan Campbell, has suspended Coyle from membership of the Parliamentary Labour Party, pending an investigation.

Coyle has released a statement apologising for his comments (so he has admitted making them). He said he had apologised to all those involved and would be co-operating fully with the inquiry.

It is good that Starmer has acted at last over his out-of-control right-winger.

But it is strange that it took a week for his party to suspend the whip and start an investigation; contrast it with his immediate suspension of the whip from Jeremy Corbyn on the basis of a false interpretation of that MP’s words about anti-Semitism.

And Coyle is the subject of anti-Semitism claims on which Labour has been sitting for more than six months.

So karma has struck; if Coyle got away with anti-Semitism, he has still been caught for racism.

But the incident highlights prejudice in Starmer’s Labour – unless they fall foul of outside authorities, his right-wing supporters enjoy privileged exemption from the rules.

Source: Labour MP Neil Coyle has party whip suspended following alleged racist remarks

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Protesters mob #Starmer shouting ‘#JimmySavile’. What does this say about the UK?

A matter of trust: one of these politicians was mobbed because people believed the other, even though he’s known to be a habitual liar.

One person, at least, may be delighted to learn that Boris Johnson has been blamed for an incident in which anti-vaccine protesters mobbed Keir Starmer – and it may not be who you think.

Here’s the story:

Starmer and the shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, had to be bundled into a police car after anti-vax protesters surrounded him near parliament with shouts of “traitor” and “Jimmy Savile”. One witness said a protester carried a hangman’s noose prop, which another protester had joked was for Starmer.

MPs from all sides angrily rounded on Boris Johnson and accused him of whipping up political poison after the Labour leader… was set upon by protesters who accused him of protecting the paedophile Jimmy Savile.

Johnson provoked widespread fury last week when he suggested Starmer had protected Savile during his time as director of public prosecutions.

Who’s likely to be pleased by this horror story?

Why, Boris Johnson himself, of course!

It shows that, even in the face of all his lies, there are still people in the UK who will believe anything he says.

Source: MPs blame Boris Johnson’s ‘poison’ after protesters mob Keir Starmer | UK news | The Guardian

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Non-Labour ‘Labour Against Anti-Semitism’ boss in anti-Semitic attack on former Children’s Laureate

Anti-Semitic: and this tweet was published by a director of Labour Against Anti-Semitism (who isn’t a member of the Labour Party). Credibility blown?

When it all falls apart for so-called anti-Semitism crusaders, it seems to fall apart badly.

Peter Newbon is a director of Labour Against Anti-Semitism (LAAS), despite not being a member of the Labour Party (it would be interesting to find out if he has any other political affiliations).

Today, May 19, he tweeted an image of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reading Jewish former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to a group of children, with the image altered so the book appears to be the anti-Semitic text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The caption was: “‘Oh no! A J-… er, I mean a ZIONIST! A nasty, horrible Zionist! We can’t go over him, we can’t go under him, we’ll have to make an effigy…'”

See for yourself:

This is clearly an anti-Semitic message, linking all Jewish people with a racist ideology in what appears to be an attempt to “normalise” Zionism along the lines of Robert Jenrick’s “Anti-Zionism is antisemitism” nonsense.

Now, serious questions are being asked about Labour Against Anti-Semitism, and Newbon’s university job also appears to be at risk.

Questions are even being asked of the Labour Party, whose leaders have signalled support for LAAS on many occasions:

Let’s all keep a close eye on this one.

I think some very nasty people have a lot of explaining to do.

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Unforgivable: anti-lockdown protesters compare masks and vaccines with the Holocaust

I was going to avoid reporting on anti-lockdown protests, because in a time when wearing a mask and having a vaccination injection could save many thousands of lives, I would have hoped anyone with sense could see that these people are wrong.

But some of the protesters who were out in London today (and elsewhere, I dare say) took the opportunity to take their silliness across the line into the unforgivable. I refer to this:

It is bad enough that people like this … lady … have chosen to mock the memories of more than 150,000 victims of the Covid-19 virus by announcing their ignorance of its threat all over our streets.

But then they had to pretend that measures designed to safeguard their lives are somehow similar to the systematic persecution and extermination of Jews by Nazi Germany.

It isn’t very often that I agree with David Baddiel on matters concerning anti-Semitism but this was an offence, not only against the 150,000 who have died over the last year or so but also against the six million Jews who were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust.

In that context, I think his tweeted “Take. That. Off.” was remarkably restrained.

Others who took to the social media to express their outrage were more explanatory. I won’t publish the actual tweets because they feature the full image, including the woman’s face, and I don’t want to give her the publicity.

The Auschwitz Memorial Twitter account stated, “Instrumentalization of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, and finally isolated in ghettos and murdered during the Holocaust, in order to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.” This was also remarkably restrained, in my opinion.

Heather Rufus tweeted: “To anyone wearing the Star of David as a lockdown protest, you’re totally lacking in awareness. Millions of Jewish people were murdered during the Holocaust and you are likening lockdown to that. You should hang your head in shame. Gross.”

Ian Moore went further: “If you wore a Yellow Star today to protest against facemasks that protect others, you are a stain on humanity. You ignorant, privileged morons. Whatever your perceived grievances are, how is that Holocaust level? Vile.”

Benjamin Cohen, CEO of Pink News added: “If you really want to be a crank and protest about the Covid lockdowns that have saved lives, do not then appropriate a symbol from the Holocaust that led to the murder of six million Jews and permanently diminished Jewish population, destroyed Jewish culture and history.”

There’s this, from @HowardA_Esq: “Being asked to wear a mask or be vaccinated is not like having your family burned alive, gassed to death, starved to death or worked to death because of their religion. This is the symbol of our religion and our persecution. Take it off, bigot.

“My family were murdered by people who force them to wear the Star of David. Playing holocaust victim because you were asked to wear a mask, it’s reprehensible on every level.”

Damn straight.

Source: London protest: Thousands gather for anti-lockdown march after pubs and shops reopen – Mirror Online

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Double-talking Desmond: is Swayne an anti-vaxxer or isn’t he?

Desmond Swayne.

This is confusing.

Sir Desmond Swayne, a former International Development Secretary, has suddenly become controversial over comments he has made about Covid-19 vaccination.

Angela Rayner took to our TV sets today to complain about him as follows:

Swayne says it isn’t true (apologies for the presence of Julia Hartley-Brewer in this clip; I know many people find her offensive in any capacity):

Well, what did he say?

According to Sky News, he

urged anti-vaccination campaigners to keep going with their fight against coronavirus restrictions and told them NHS capacity figures were being “manipulated”.

But the story goes on to quote Swayne:

“My remarks … on those subjects mirror what I’ve said in the House of Commons. I was completely unaware that any of them had any traction on anti-vaxx and no anti-vaxx entered into the conversation I had.”

Is he just talking us down the garden path?

Something clearly seems to be wrong. I’m glad he is to attend a meeting with scientific advisers. Hopefully they can straighten out just what this Tory is trying to say.

Or perhaps they’ll just send him for psychiatric help.

Source: COVID-19: Michael Gove says Tory MP ‘out of order’ to tell anti-vaxxers to ‘persist’ against restrictions | Politics News | Sky News

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Starmer’s authority crumbles further as shadow minister’s CLP demands Corbyn’s reinstatement

“We are many, they are few”: they being, it seems, the pro-Starmer faction of the wider Labour Party membership. And the longer Jeremy Corbyn remains suspended as a party member, the fewer they will become.

Days after Keir Starmer’s Labour leadership repeated a demand for rank-and-file Labour members not to discuss Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension or demand its reversal, CLPs are using his own hypocrisy to attack him.

This Site pointed out the double-standard in an article two days ago.

The day after it appeared, Bristol West CLP supported a motion that highlighted the hypocritical demand. It said, in part:

A number of public figures, including but not limited to the leader of the party, the deputy leader of the party, and the Socialist Campaign Group have issued public statements on the suspension, and that the SCG has called for re-instatement, yet the general secretary has nevertheless ordered that CLPs cannot do the same.

The CLP, political home of shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire, added:

This CLP resolves:

To condemn Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension and demand his reinstatement to the party.

To oppose any and all politically motivated disciplinary actions against the left by the leadership.

According to Skwawbox, right-wingers in the Bristol West Labour Party tried to pack the meeting in order to defeat the motion – or at least amend it – in what can clearly be interpreted as an attack on democracy by supporters of Keir Starmer.

It failed.

But Starmer – and his people – need to answer for their actions.

Source: Exclusive: full wording of motion passed on Monday by Shadow Cabinet minister’s CLP, condemning ‘political’ Corbyn suspension – SKWAWKBOX

McCluskey targeted again: he’s right to apologise – but not for anti-Semitism

Len McCluskey: his words were not anti-Semitic.

Unite union leader Len McCluskey has rightly apologised to Peter Mandelson for comments in a BBC Newsnight report – but claims that his words were anti-Semitic are wholly wrong.

Responding to disparaging comments from Mandelson about the Jeremy Corbyn era of the Labour Party, McCluskey had said that he should go away and “count his gold”.

As this had nothing to do with the matters under discussion – and seems intended as an insult – it is right that McCluskey has issued an apology:

Sadly some people have chosen to interpret McCluskey’s words as an anti-Semitic trope:

There’s just one problem with that interpretation – and it’s a big one:

Peter Mandelson is not Jewish.

Jewishness is handed down by female family members and Mandelson’s mother was a gentile. He isn’t Jewish.

And consider this: isn’t it strange that one person with Jewish ancestors is said to be Jewish (for the purpose of attacking someone else), while another person with Jewish ancestors was told repeatedly that she was not (for the purpose of attacking her), even though she did self-identify as such?

To me, this seems just another opportunistic lie, made to attack a person on the left wing of UK politics.

Type “McCluskey” into the search box on Twitter and you’ll be able to make a list of the names and handles of a large number of fellow travellers who support this lie. Some of them are well-known so it is worth making that list.

And, as there is (clearly) still a strong campaign to disparage and discredit people on the left wing of politics, let’s see if the same names crop up to support the next lie.

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Schools are now for indoctrination, not education, as teaching of non-capitalist ideology is forbidden

Education secretary Gavin Williamson: he’s too stupid to realise the best way to get people interested in something is by banning it.

Boris Johnson’s government has lurched further towards fascism with an edict banning any anti-capitalist ideology from schools.

Any ideology other than capitalism is to be considered an “extreme political stance” from now on, according to guidance issued by the Department for Education and its secretary of state, Gavin Williamson.

Resources from organisations that have expressed a desire to end capitalism are henceforth to be considered equal to opposition to freedom of speech, anti-Semitism and endorsement of illegal activity.

As former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said, the measures effectively outlawed reference in schools to key events in British history, and symbolised growing authoritarianism within the governing Conservative party.

McDonnell said: “On this basis it will be illegal to refer to large tracts of British history and politics including the history of British socialism, the Labour Party and trade unionism, all of which have at different times advocated the abolition of capitalism.

“This is another step in the culture war and this drift towards extreme Conservative authoritarianism is gaining pace and should worry anyone who believes that democracy requires freedom of speech and an educated populace.”

Totalitarianism is nearer the mark.

Economist and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said the guidance showed “how easy it is to lose a country, to slip surreptitiously into totalitarianism”.

He added: “Imagine an educational system that banned schools from enlisting into their curricula teaching resources dedicated to the writings of British writers like William Morris, Iris Murdoch, Thomas Paine even. Well, you don’t have to. Boris Johnson’s government has just instructed schools to do exactly that.”

Of course Mr Varoufakis will be among the first to be banned:

Critics of the new policy have come out in force.

Emyr Lewis added a few names to the list of banned authors: “We’ll have no more of your William Blake, your Shelley, your George Bernard Shaw, your D. H. Lawrence…”

And here’s mention of one highly notable person that the Tories ought to ban, if they’re serious:

This, from Jessica Simor QC, makes the point that the Tory government itself has broken its new guidance on multiple occasions:

How about this:

This makes the point in coarser terms:

Opinions of the Johnson government have been… frank:

Rohit K Dasgupta put it mildly, commenting on Tory racism: “Teachers: Rosie has 10 apples and gives Rashid 4. How many apples does Rosie have now? DfE: Stop that at once. This is straight up communism. Rashid has to prove he is a legal immigrant and can buy those apples.”

Then there’s this:

But there is an optimistic side to this. Here‘s Martin O’Neill:

Schools in England told not to use anti-capitalist material in teaching”. – My optimistic prediction is that this will backfire spectacularly. This government are creating a generation that will forever despise them and everything they represent.

And it is creating a generation that will want to know why alternatives to capitalism are being banned from schools.

This Writer certainly intends to put as much information about those alternatives into the public sphere as possible.

I’m happy to take suggestions too.

Source: Schools in England told not to use anti-capitalist material in teaching | Education | The Guardian

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