Tag Archives: backstab

‘Desperate’? Boris Johnson is clutching at straws as his party loses faith

Impotent rage: Boris Johnson is losing his grip on his party, as his incompetence as a leader becomes increasingly apparent.

Remember the old adage that repeating an action and expecting a different result is a sign of madness? It seems Boris Johnson hasn’t.

But then we already knew his grip on reality is tenuous at best.

The Observer is reporting that he is furious at the failure of his attempt to smear Labour leader Keir Starmer by connecting him with the IRA.

But rather than finding an alternative, he has instead reprimanded his advisers for leaving him under-prepared – and demanded more attack lines on Starmer, doubling down on criticism of his legal record.

It hasn’t worked; it won’t work.

Even where Starmer may be criticised, he knows those weaknesses and will have answers.

And of course Johnson will be laying himself open to analysis of his own past career – which consists of multiple claims of dishonesty and at least one high-profile sacking.

That won’t play well when he lays himself open to an airing of his faults at PMQs.

Meanwhile, his colleagues in the Conservative Party will be doing what they always do when they see a leader sinking; they’re sharpening their knives. Here’s The Observer:

There is evidence that the wider Tory party is losing faith in Johnson’s ability to lead them against Starmer – and signs that the chancellor Rishi Sunak has become the new favourite of the Conservative grassroots.

According to the latest survey of Tory members by ConservativeHome, the website for party activists, Johnson is now in the bottom third of cabinet ministers in the satisfaction ratings – having been the runaway leader nine months ago.

Johnson has slumped to 19th place, below Baroness Evans, the leader of the House of Lords, with a rating of plus 24.6%. Sunak meanwhile is out in front on plus 82.5%.

The verdict among the Twitterati is that Johnson is self-destructing:

You get the idea.

Who said Johnson would be gone by Christmas?

It seems likely he might be out a lot sooner.

Source: Desperate Boris Johnson to step up personal attacks on Keir Starmer | Politics | The Guardian

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Grossly distorted report by Starmer supporters predictably blames Corbyn for Labour election defeat

The villain of the piece: Keir Starmer set Labour up to fail with a weak Brexit policy – and a new report has blamed that policy on Jeremy Corbyn. How hypocritical.

Why are the media making such a fuss about a right-wing report that blames Labour’s defeat in the last general election on the party’s then – lefty – leader?

It makes the blood boil to read the distortions in this so-called report, put together by a cabal of Starmer-supporting right-wingers with an anti-Corbyn chip on their collective shoulder who have the cheek to brand themselves “Labour Together”!

Labour backstabbers, more like!

It should be no surprise that all the major members of Labour Together now have prominent roles in the shadow cabinet of Keir Starmer: Ed Miliband, Steve Reed, Lisa Nandy and Jim McMahon. Other right-whingers writing the review included Lucy Powell.

The report claims that the biggest issue in the election was Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, which had fallen in popularity. It does not correctly describe the reasons for that fall in popularity.

So for example, the report – falsely, in This Writer’s opinion – claims that the departure of backstabbers including Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna to form the unpopular and ill-fated Independent Group/Change UK/whatever-they-ended-up-calling-themselves led to a collapse in Corbyn’s approval ratings.

It does not state that this could have been because those now-former Labour MPs immediately went on media junkets trashing his leadership and spreading falsehoods about anti-Semitism.

In fact, after his success in the 2017 election, it is widely accepted that Jeremy Corbyn suffered the longest-running and most unfair hate campaign, possibly of any political leader in UK history – with a complicit media lapping up every lie.

Labour “went into the 2019 election without a clear strategy of which voters we needed to persuade or how”, and failed to settle on a coherent message with the power of 2017’s “For the many, not the few”, the report says.

It states: “It was unclear who was in charge” of the election campaign, and relationships were soured by years of infighting which had created a “toxic culture” and “significant strategic and operational dysfunction”.

And it says: Labour was outgunned by the Tories in the digital war, with messages poorly coordinated and most of them failing to reach beyond the party’s base.

All of these three issues can be related to a single cause: treachery against the party leader. We know this because it was very clearly highlighted in the leaked report on the way the party handled anti-Semitism allegations under Corbyn.

Party officers worked hard to present Corbyn as an anti-Semite, to undermine his leadership and to ensure that Labour could not win a general election with him as leader, that report stated.

Mr Starmer has launched an investigation into that leaked report, apparently with the intention of clearing those accused of treachery (and in many cases racism) and tarring the whistleblowers.

One criticism that rings true is the fact that the Conservatives’ “Get Brexit Done” message was more popular with voters than Labour’s offer of a new referendum on membership of the EU. But the report seems to forget that this particular policy was the brainchild of the current Labour leader, Keir Starmer. I wonder why?

Here’s a more accurate analysis of that part of Labour’s defeat:

Nobody with an ounce of knowledge about politics in the last five years has been fooled by this self-serving pack of distortions from Starmer’s new New Labour elite. See the responses for yourself:

https://twitter.com/JCisAntisemitic/status/1273957714583044096

This Writer was even tempted to respond to some of the usual suspects who have trumpeted this travesty as though it were the Word of God:

But media Toryism of the last 10 years has created a generation of ignorance, with most of the public happy to be spoonfed lies rather than think for themselves about the Age of Hypocrisy into which they have voted themselves.

The hypocrisy is strong in this report. How sad that the same people who lapped up the “Corbyn is a racist/Corbyn is a traitor/Corbyn is the devil” bull will be happy to do the same with this.

Source: Labour: dysfunctional ‘toxic culture’ led to defeat, major report finds | Politics | The Guardian

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Labour anti-Semitism report: Starmer acts – to cover his supporters’ arses

No Labour leader: Instead of taking action to identify and expel the wrongdoers in the leaked Labour report on anti-Semitism, Keir Starmer seems to be trying to protect them.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has issued a statement on the leaked Labour report that shows evidence that right-wing party staff members actively campaigned to undermine previous leader Jeremy Corbyn – by promising to protect the members implicated in wrongdoing, and investigate how the public got to find out about them.

Or so it seems to me.

In a joint statement with deputy leader Angela Rayner, he said the following. I’ll comment on his words [in bold] as we go through it:

“We have seen a copy of an apparently [apparently? It is an official Labour document on anti-Semitism and as such he is certain to have known about it. Isn’t he? Skwawkbox reckons he had a copy of the report shortly after his election as leader was announced yet he was completely relaxed about it until it was leaked] internal report about the work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism. The content and the release of the report into the public domain raise a number of matters of serious concern.

“We will therefore commission an urgent independent investigation into this matter. This investigation will be instructed to look at three areas. First, the background and circumstances in which the report was commissioned and the process involved [which, as leader, he should already know. In any case, it is made explicitly clear in the text of the report]. Second, the contents and wider culture and practices referred to in the report [which suggests an attempt to deny the findings and whitewash the wrongdoers]. Third, the circumstances in which the report was put into the public domain [which suggests he would have preferred it to remain secret and the wrongdoers to go unquestioned, let alone punished].

“We have also asked for immediate sight of any legal advice the Labour Party has already received about the report.

“In the meantime, we ask everyone concerned to refrain from drawing conclusions before the investigation is complete [why? The report is complete and its conclusions are clear] and we will be asking the General Secretary to put measures in place to protect the welfare of party members and party staff who are concerned or affected by this report [but not party members and former party members who were clearly victimised by those party members he is trying to protect].”

I would not want to see anyone face unreasonable abuse – either verbal or physical – for having taken part in the activities mentioned in the report.

But the behaviour it describes is utterly vile and, if true, anybody who was involved in it should – no, must – be expelled from the Labour Party forever.

If anyone thinks a lifetime expulsion is too much, bear in mind that these senior Labour staff used language that was considerably more abusive and inappropriate than that cited as justification for suspending many Labour members who supported Jeremy Corbyn in 2016.

Labour members past and present are lining up to demand action.

But it seems Mr Starmer is more interested in protecting the perpetrators of these offences.

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Labour officers spent years stabbing Corbyn in the back, according to suppressed report

“Straight talking”? “Honest politics”? Prove it, Lord McNicol; prove it.

Labour lawyers have stepped in to stop a report on the party’s response to anti-Semitism accusations being submitted to the Equalities & Human Rights Commission – because it shows that right-wing party officers spent years backstabbing Jeremy Corbyn.

The report runs to 860 pages and concludes that factional hostility towards Mr Corbyn amongst former senior officials contributed to “a litany of mistakes” that hindered the effective handling of the issue.

It provides evidence that senior staff “openly worked against the aims and objectives of the leadership of the Party, and in the 2017 general election some key staff even appeared to work against the Party’s core objective of winning elections”.

In other words, by the time Jeremy Corbyn became leader, it seems the organisational structure beneath him was riddled with individuals who hated the Labour Party and were actively working to ensure it would not win a general election.

Reading between the lines, it seems this means they misled the elected leadership about the number and nature of anti-Semitism allegations, hid documents to make some claims appear more credible than they were, and deliberately obstructed investigations to falsely make Mr Corbyn’s leadership appear incompetent.

Of course, there’s no way to know whether that’s true, until the report is published. I look forward to seeing new leader Keir Starmer order it, although I fear I may be waiting for some time.

What we do know, from a Sky News report on the document, is that it says there was “abundant evidence of a hyper-factional atmosphere prevailing in Party HQ” towards Jeremy Corbyn which “affected the expeditious and resolute handling of disciplinary complaints”.

It seems the anti-Corbyn faction ensured a lack of “robust processes, systems, training, education and effective line management”.

The report doesn’t find any anti-Semitic intent behind the behaviour, or that anti-Semitism complaints were handled differently to any other – but this should not come as any surprise.

The anti-Corbynites’ intention was to create an impression that anti-Semitism was a huge problem in the party – not to engage in it themselves. That would have been counter-productive.

And why should anti-Semitism complaints be handled any differently when the intention was to portray Mr Corbyn as incompetent?

In this context, the report casts doubt on the validity of claims made by the BBC in last year’s Panorama documentary, Is Labour Antisemitic.

Some of the stars of that particular film – which took their claims as cast-iron fact – are also heavily featured in the report, including the former General Secretary, Lord McNicol, and the former acting head of the governance and legal unit, Sam Matthews.

Lord McNicol and other senior figures are accused of providing “false and misleading information”on the handling of anti-Semitism complaints to Mr Corbyn’s office, which the report claims meant “the scale of the problem was not appreciated” by the leadership.

Note that we are not told whether this means anti-Semitism was more or less prevalent than Mr Corbyn was led to believe.

According to Sky News, the report quotes:

  • Conversations in 2017 which appear to show senior staff preparing for Tom Watson to become interim leader in anticipation of Jeremy Corbyn losing the election

  • Conversations which it is claimed show senior staff hid information from the leader’s office about digital spending and contact details for MPs and candidates during the election

  • Conversations on election night in which the members of the group talk about the need to hide their disappointment that Mr. Corbyn had done better than expected and would be unlikely to resign

  • A discussion about whether the grassroots activist network Momentum could be ‘proscribed’ for being a ‘party within a party’

  • A discussion about ‘unsuspending’ a former Labour MP who was critical of Jeremy Corbyn so they could stand as a candidate in the 2017 election

  • A discussion about how to prevent corbyn-ally Rebecca Long-Bailey gaining a seat on the party’s governing body in 2017

  • Regular references to corbyn-supporting party staff as “trots”

  • Conversations between senior staff in Lord McNicol’s office in which they refer to former director of communications Seamus Milnes as “dracula”, and saying he was “spiteful and evil and we should make sure he is never allowed in our Party if it’s last thing we do”

  • Conversations in which the same group refers to Mr. Corbyn’s former chief of staff Karie Murphy as “medusa”, a “crazy woman” and a “bitch face cow” that would “make a good dartboard”

  • A discussion in which one of the group members expresses their “hope” that a young pro-Corbyn Labour activist, who they acknowledge had mental health problems, “dies in a fire”

The report was drafted as a submission by the Labour Party to the EHRC’s ongoing investigation into “institutional anti-Semitism” in the Labour Party, and contains passages that refer to that organisation or address it directly. It therefore seems strange in the extreme that the party is now refusing to submit it, and claiming that it is out of the scope of the EHRC’s inquiries. Here’s Sky’s Tom Rayner:

The quoted extract says, “We hope the EHRC will focus on the documentary, primary-source evidence that the Party has made available to it… rather than the personal accounts of staff or former staff.” How is the EHRC supposed to do that if Labour won’t hand over the report?

Mr Rayner went on to say that a Labour source who worked in Mr Corbyn’s office said the report showed the leadership had been “sabotaged and set up left right and centre by McNicol’s team”.

Now read the quotes he had from McNicol himself, and from Matthews:

From McNicol we get whataboutery: party officers have been “trawling 10,000 emails rather than challenging anti-Semitism”. Of course, it would not have been necessary if he had done his job properly, right? And, really, an issue affecting only 0.06 per cent of party members (some of whom have been falsely accused, like This Writer) doesn’t merit the attention of every single person working for Labour.

Matthews simply attempts to divert blame. But here’s the thing: the report asks for the primary evidence – the documents – to be considered, rather than the comments on those documents by interested parties. The data doesn’t lie.

https://twitter.com/UmaarKazmi/status/1249283358305198080

The report’s non-publication has scandalised those of us with a stake in the issue – and should upset anybody else with an interest in justice. Many in the media leapt on the fabrication and treated it as real, without any reason to do so.

For example: remember Phillip Schofield demanding an apology for the anti-Semitism crisis in Labour, on live TV during the general election campaign? Now we see evidence that it was cooked up by backstabbers, will Mr Schofield be issuing an apology for sabotaging Labour’s election campaign?

Twitter has been alive with outrage:

There is already a mechanism by which anybody who is concerned about this issue can demand that the report be published for all to read, including the EHRC. Here it is:

Please visit the site and sign the petition. I have!

Source: Report in to antisemitism in Labour Party concludes that Jeremy Corbyn and senior leadership were stitched up – Dorset Eye

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Now Tom Watson is trying to backstab Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit again. Time for a Labour deputy leader election?

Proudly backstabbing: If Tom Watson really wanted to support the pro-European cause, he would be demanding the annulment of the 2016 referendum result that was based on false information.

With the Conservatives holding a summer leadership election, this would appear the perfect time to remove Labour’s turncoat deputy leader from a position he has unceasingly betrayed.

When he was campaigning for the deputy leader role in 2015, Tom Watson promised unswerving support for whoever became leader. Little did he know that Jeremy Corbyn would be that leader, with landslide support from the party membership.

It raised the curtain on nearly four years of backstabbing and betrayal, of which his speech on Brexit today (June 17) is merely the latest manifestation.

In his speech, Mr Watson demanded that Labour must become a firmly anti-democratic party, adopting an anti-Brexit stance in defiance of the national vote that narrowly supported leaving the European Union in 2016.

Personally, This Writer supported remaining in the EU, and I still think it would have been the wisest choice. But rejecting the choice that was made is not the answer and Mr Watson is only demanding it because it puts Mr Corbyn on the spot.

Under Mr Corbyn’s direction, Labour’s policy has been to make the best of the situation, working to get the best exit deal possible and reject damaging Tory plans, while keeping in reserve the possibility of going back to the electorate for confirmation of the decision if it becomes impossible to move forward. It is a wise policy, considering the circumstances.

If Mr Watson wanted to mount a credible challenge, he could have called on Labour to support an investigation into the legality of the 2016 referendum result. Proof of interference by foreign powers and other political operators has emerged since the result was announced, and it has been demonstrated that voters were exposed to false information – most famously the claim that £350m a week could be given to the NHS after Brexit – which brings it into doubt.

Switzerland recently annulled a referendum result after it was revealed that the public had been exposed to false claims – why shouldn’t this happen in the UK?

Because Tom Watson is too busy trying to backstab his leader – that’s why.

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Tory backstabbers are sharpening their knives – but who thought the first would be AMBER RUDD?

Look out behind you! Amber Rudd has been the first to undermine Theresa May.

Conservative MPs are conforming to type – backstabbing their leader in times of trouble.

Public opinion has turned against Theresa May over her disastrous Brexit plan, so her MPs are preparing to push her out of office.

But who would have thought that the first person to undermine her would be Amber Rudd?

Ms Rudd is Mrs May’s trusted lieutenant – the one she sent in to bat for the Tories in a TV debate before the 2017 general election while she ran scared.

It may seem doubly strange that Ms Rudd was the first to plunge the knife in, as she won her Hastings and Rye Parliamentary seat with a majority of just 346 in the 2017 general election, after several recounts, and is likely to lose the seat at the next election.

Still, she took to the airwaves to proclaim a “Plan B” in opposition to Mrs May’s “only plan on the table” – a “Norway-plus” option that would see the UK retain access to the EU’s single market and also join a customs union.

This is what she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

Unfortunately for Ms Rudd, it seems she lacks the judgement needed to choose a workable option – and that’s not a good look for a leader-to-be.

Consider:

It seems more likely that Ms Rudd has sealed her own fate, besides launching the first volley against Mrs May.

But with the prime minister likely to lose the “meaningful vote” at 8.30pm on Tuesday, it’s only a matter of time before more Tory MPs line up to take their shot at her.

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Watson’s hypocrisy: He complained about campaign for his resignation but plotted to remove Corbyn – claim

A more topical shot of Mr Watson would be one of him with his back to the camera, because he does his best to ignore legitimate criticism of his activities.

If only we could ask Mr Watson for his side of the story – but he blocks anyone who contacts him on the social media with tricky questions like that.

The following tweets will seem highly repetitive but the point needs to be made: Talk radio station LBC has alleged that Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, attended a secret barbecue hosted by Peter “I try to undermine Jeremy Corbyn every single day” Mandelson, at which they and other hard-right Labour MPs discussed ways to “save” the party from its current leader.

This is the same Tom Watson who complained bitterly about a campaign calling for his own resignation after one of his recent high-profile attempts to stab his party leader in the back.

The apparent hypocrisy should be obvious to everybody.

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Will Andrea Leadsom backstab Theresa May, after other leadership contenders tripped over their own tongues?

The only problem with this fabulous cartoon from the Daily Mirror is that Theresa May is being compared to Julius Caesar, who was a far greater leader than her.

Andrea Leadsom is probably relying on people having a poor memory.

It is more than a year, after all, since she managed to derail her own leadership ambitions with a tasteless comment about Theresa May’s childlessness.

But this is the era of Tories overstepping the bounds of good taste.

Look at the many imbecilities of Boris Johnson.

Look at David Davis – a man who, it seems, “can swagger sitting down”, and whose reputation should have been burned after he insulted (and assaulted, in This Writer’s opinion) Diane Abbott in a House of Commons bar.

Even if enough time has passed for Tories to forget Ms Leadsom’s familial faux pas, it seems unlikely she’ll be able to prevent herself from sticking her foot in her mouth again.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson told Andrew Marr this morning (October 8) that Mrs May was “the best prime minister we’ve got” – a foolish comment as Mrs May is the only prime minister we’ve got.

The Tories’ problem is that – and let us all hope this is a prophecy that comes true – with the kind of candidates we’re seeing on display, she’s probably the last prime minister they’ll ever have.

It is not David Davis or Boris Johnson that Theresa May fears the most. It’s her old rival Andrea Leadsom.

The PM knows what DD and Boris are up to. The Brexit Secretary and Foreign Secretary want her job and make no secret of it.

Mrs Leadsom is a stealth fighter. If she is gathering support to launch a second bid to oust her in a leadership contest, she is going about it quietly.

So quietly, Mrs May’s early warning system in the Tory whips office is struggling to pick it up on their radar.

A top Tory source told the Sunday People the Commons leader has not given up on her Number 10 ambitions.

Mrs Leadsom [has] the chance to wave her strong Brexit credentials and come through the middle as a compromise candidate.

Mrs Leadsom, 54, received the support of 66 MPs and came second to Mrs May in the first round of voting in the July 2016 leadership battle.

But after widespread revulsion at comments made by the mother of three about Mrs May being childless, her campaign imploded.

Source: Andrea Leadsom emerges as new contender to knife Theresa May in stealth plot


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Tories have been plotting to backstab Theresa May after series of disasters

Grant Shapps: ‘A growing number of my colleagues realise the solution isn’t to bury our heads in the sand and hope things will get better.’ [Image: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.]

Amazingly, we now have something for which to thank Grant Shapps!

The former Tory chair, whose own sordid history has been well-covered on This Site in the past, has emerged as the man behind the inevitable plot to oust Theresa May from the Tory leadership and from 10 Downing Street:

Some cabinet ministers privately agree Theresa May should step aside, a former Conservative party chairman has said, as pressure grows on the prime minister to call a leadership election.

Grant Shapps, who served as Tory chair for nearly three years, has emerged as the ringleader of a backbench plot to force May to step down. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the solution to the leadership crisis was not “to bury our heads in the sand”.

Shapps said he had the support of about 30 MPs, including five former cabinet ministers, and suggested some cabinet ministers privately agreed but would be reluctant to back him because they were on the “payroll”.

Shapps said he had hoped to speak to the prime minister privately but the Tory party whips had unmasked him in the Times newspaper. He revealed that No 10 was aware of his discontent and had urged him not to go public.

He said the group of MPs supporting him included Brexiters and those who supported remaining in the European Union.

(Source: Tory ministers privately agree May should go, says Grant Shapps | Politics | The Guardian)

Unfortunately, the fact that it is Grant Shapps, and that his own reputation isn’t spotless, means some are already seeing this as a storm in a teacup:

This Site has already commented on reports that Mrs May was being “bullied” towards resignation by Boris Johnson, with Conservative donors saying she should stand down.

Twitter has, of course, been full of gossip about the latest crisis to hit to Tories:

 

It’s all very enjoyable for those of us who aren’t Conservatives, but it is worth reminding everybody that this is a dangerous distraction at a time when the United Kingdom – as a world economy – is extremely vulnerable.

Just by having a debate about Mrs May’s leadership, the Tories have caused another run on the value of Sterling:

Brexit represents huge threats to the UK, as does the underlying economic weakness of the country due to Conservative mismanagement.

A leadership election and the arrival of a replacement will not lead to any improvement in these serious issues.

The only solution is the resignation of the Tories and the election of a Labour government that is prepared for these challenges.


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