Tag Archives: ban

Banning UK citizens from protesting against Israel’s government is anti-democratic. Here’s why

Anti-Semitism? The Tory government’s plan to ban public bodies from taking part in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against a murderous foreign apartheid regime will be painted as a crusade against anti-Semitism. But it is one that will lack accurate evidence.

One of the (many) planned laws in Boris Johnson’s new legislative programme is one said to “prevent public bodies from adopting their own approach to international relations” by adopting ethical positions against foreign human rights abusers with boycotts of their exports.

It is widely understood that Johnson’s aim is to protect the government of Israel from the growing BDS movement, which seeks to end that country’s apartheid regime in Palestine.

This is – of course – hugely undemocratic. Local authorities and the devolved governments are elected by the UK’s voters and should be allowed to procure goods and services as they see fit, including according to a higher standard of ethics than that of the national UK government itself.

In essence, it seems the legislation is intended to smear those who refuse to tolerate the Israeli persecution of Palestine as anti-Semites. For some of us, it’s a familiar tactic.

Many people, including This Writer, have already been smeared as anti-Semites for opposing the harmful – indeed, homicidal – activities of a national government that presents itself as representing an entire ethnic group (it doesn’t; many Jews around the world are repulsed by the way Palestine is being treated).

Perversely, it is anti-racism campaigners who are being branded as anti-Semites – a brand that the UK’s own government intends to burn into local authorities, devolved governments and other public bodies if they insist on acting against the persecution of Palestine.

You can find out more about what has already happened – and help fight what is happening now – by visiting the website of a relatively new organisation whose title states exactly what it is about: the Campaign Against Bogus Antisemitism.

The organisation’s website states: “It is deeply hurtful to anti-racist campaigners to be branded as antisemitic. People are broken by the embarrassment and shame of attacks they suffer in the media, there for friends, family and other campaigning bodies to see – as if it were the truth… CABA aims to help set the record straight.

“We are a volunteer-led group dedicated to exposing and countering bogus antisemitism- through education and championing those unjustly accused.

“We are building a network of activists across UK, Palestine and further afield, working in a concerted manner, campaigning to allow us to decry apartheid in Israel without being branded ‘anti-Semites’.”

There’s a lot of information on the CABA site – This Writer hasn’t been able to read all of it, and I’m sure that much of it will be disputed by those with an interest in doing so.

But the intention seems an honest one – which is more than the Tory government can offer with its pro-racist, pro-apartheid planned law.

Give it a look and judge for yourself. You may learn a lot.

Source: About Us- and Joining – Campaign Against BOGUS Antisemitism

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Tories set to outlaw the kind of anti-war protests we praised so much in Russia


While you’re busy having your attention directed to Russia and Ukraine by your Tory-supporting right-wing media…

… and I’ll make this quick because it’s really easy to understand…

Remember those anti-war protests in Russia that we all praised last week?

These:

Well, while you were being distracted by the war against which these brave people were protesting, your own government has been busy outlawing the kind of protest they were carrying out.

This is important because we are being told that Russia is a repressive, authoritarian dictatorship. And it is true that protesters can expect to face lengthy prison sentences if they are arrested.

But just compare the jail terms they’ll get with what you’ll face if you protest against your own government after the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is passed into law:

The debate is in Hansard (although at the time of writing, not in full). You can read it here.

So much for the Tory UK’s freedom-loving democracy!

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MPs called for #RussiaToday to be banned as it is state-sponsored. Like the #BBC?

Propaganda: UK MPs want you to think it is only broadcast by foreign state-owned TV channels like Russia Today. What about the BBC?

This is just a quick post in response to a well-placed observation:

It’s true, isn’t it?

Russia today is backed by the Russian government – but isn’t the BBC a state-run broadcaster, here in the UK?

The government here has a huge influence over the BBC – particularly the Tories who have put their people on the BBC board and into its newsrooms, yet still hypocritically claim it misreports them.

The recent decision to end the licence fee – the BBC’s principle form of income – is a prime example of UK government interference that we can all see.

So Keir Starmer’s accusation against Russia Today rings hollow. It may well be a state-backed broadcaster, but isn’t it acting exactly as the BBC has done – but from an opposing viewpoint?

Isn’t it useful to know how other countries are reporting the international issues?

And isn’t free speech still a right in the UK?

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Is Johnson trying to use his RESIGNATION honours to keep himself IN Downing Street?

Backhander: but Boris Johnson isn’t offering money to MPs in return for a guarantee that they won’t submit a vote of ‘no confidence’ in him. He’s said to be offering knighthoods and places in the House of Lords.

Boris Johnson could offer knighthoods and peerages to his critics in his resignation honours, to ensure that he won’t have to resign for years to come.

That’s the warning from the Liberal Democrats. They say they only way to stop him from bribing his Tory critics in this way is to stop him from giving any resignation honours at all.

Of course, bribery is a crime – but it would be hard to prove. The argument would be that, rather than allow him to corrupt other MPs but not be sure, it is better to deny Johnson the opportunity.

Lib Dem chief whip Wendy Chamberlain has written to the chairs of the House of Lords Appointments Commission and the Cabinet Office Honours Committee.

The move follows unconfirmed reports that Johnson is offering honours in his resignation list if Tory MPs refrain from submitting letters of no confidence in his leadership to 1922 Committee chair Graham Brady.

Prime Ministers are traditionally permitted to issue resignation honours lists on departure from office, although not all have done so.

The Honours Committee and Appointments Commission are able to block nominations deemed to be inappropriate, and are believed to have struck several names from the list submitted by David Cameron in 2016.

In her letter, Ms Chamberlain makes the point that, if Johnson is forced out because he is found to have broken the law and the Ministerial Code, it would be a stain on the UK’s democracy and a matter of shame for the nation.

He should not be allowed to hand out resignation honours to MPs who he persuades not to force him out by other means – no matter whether they are awarded because he is forced out now or leaves at a later date, she reckoned.

Source: Watchdog urged to stop Boris Johnson using honours to win back Partygate rebels

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Tory ban on foreign mineral water means we must drink our own that is polluted with sewage

This is the plan by Boris ‘Rivers of Sh*t’ Johnson, isn’t it?

It certainly seems suspicious that, having ensured that so much water in the UK is undrinkable, the government should order that we cannot have bottled water from a foreign country, meaning that we can only drink the stuff they’ve filled with sewage.

And that is what has happened. The ban will be enforced from January 2022:

The decision was taken before the Lords forced the government to promise that it will force water companies to make a “progressive reduction” in the sewage it dumps in rivers, remember.

Ah, but now we have that promise, don’t we?

Yes, but it doesn’t mean much.

Remember Fay Jones, This Writer’s MP, who was caught banging on about the cost of improvements to the “Victorian sewerage system” earlier?

She said in the same tweet that the government was already working to reduce discharge from storm overflows. You can see that at the start of the clip below. The rest of it is worth watching too.

So the government had claimed that Brexit would make it possible to improve standards, and has gone back on that claim. And now mouthpieces like Ms Jones are saying water companies would pass costs on to customers if forced to maintain health standards.

Hmm…

My understanding, when the utilities were privatised back in the 1980s, was that they would be cheaper for the country’s taxpayers because they would use part of their profits to maintain health standards and there would be no extra cost to customers.

It seems to me that, with a government formed by the same party that was responsible for the privatisation now saying the opposite, this organisation may clearly be seen to have been duplicitous – either then or now. The Tories lied to us.

Here’s another clip explaining the current situation:

Yes, it also reflects badly on the water companies. But it seems to me that they are simply acting according to the conditions on which they were sold these going concerns. So the responsibility falls back onto the Tory government.

The rivers are full of human waste now. The ban on foreign mineral water starts in January. And the water companies certainly won’t bother to change their working practices significantly before it begins.

So I hope you’ve all got your water purifiers installed and in full working order.

And this means that, yes indeed, the chances of any future environmental action are slim – not just with regard to rivers, but also from any decisions made at the imminent COP26 climate conference, that is being run by the Conservatives.

They haven’t ensured our rivers will remain free of sewage; they won’t do much (if anything) to improve that situation; so we may conclude that they’ll do nothing to end the threat of climate change.

That’s a shame, because COP26 is being touted as our last chance to avoid climate armageddon. The fact that it is being hosted by Boris Johnson’s Conservatives heralds doom for the whole world.

That is not a joke or hyperbole.

Meanwhile, we have the current situation, as immortalised in satire…

… in images that should stay with us forever (but probably won’t)…

… and in profits for the water companies (together with the Tory Party that receives their donations):

The moral of the story?

Money talks to Tories, in a language they understand better than survival.

AFTERWORD: Following a query from fact-checking organisation Full Fact (over Facebook links to this article) I am happy to clarify that manufacturers of EU mineral water may continue to export it to the UK if they renew their accreditation under UK rules by January 7, 2022.

This information is available to readers of the article who click on the link to the government announcement, above, and then read the government letter. If this context is not clear, the fault lies with the Tory government for ignoring this fact in favour of propaganda promoting UK mineral waters.

But of course, this raises a further question. EU mineral water producers may certainly apply for UK accreditation, but why should they bother?

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#KeirStarmer’s death spiral: he’s denying vital funds to #Labour by banning members on false pretences

Starmer’s hypocrisy: this image was made when Starmer was accusing individual Jews of anti-Semitism. Now he’s attacking organisations that will have Jews in their memberships – and Neil Coyne has called for one Jewish group to be proscribed as well, in an echo of Nazi demands during the Weimar period in Germany.

Boris Johnson’s Tories may be unfit to govern but Keir Starmer’s version of Labour is in no condition to take over as it continues its self-harming course to the political scrapheap.

Starmer’s latest big idea for electoral success is to make Labour even more like the Conservative Party by ending its pretence of being a “broad church”; he wants to ban membership from anyone who claims to be a socialist.

As stated in a previous article, he’s doing this by claiming that socialists – who want self-determination for people of all ethnicities, particularly those that currently suffer persecution – are anti-Semites (because this means they want self-determination for Palestinians who are persecuted by the Israeli government that Starmer smarms up to).

First on the list to get the chop are around 1,000 party members who also belong to Resist, Labour Against the Witchhunt, Labour in Exile and Socialist Action.

Their crimes appear to be claiming that many anti-Semitism allegations, for which Labour members have been suspended or expelled, were blown out of proportion and politically-motivated; welcoming such expelled or suspended members into their own ranks; and demanding the re-admission of Jeremy Corbyn into the Parliamentary Labour Party.

All of these stances may be demonstrably connected to support for Palestinians against Israeli persecution.

Here’s the part that marks Starmer out as an imbecile, though: in cutting members out of the party, he’s cutting off the membership fees that he needs, in order to maintain the machinery he is using to attack them.

As it is – at the same NEC meeting where he will demand the removal of the above-named groups, he will have to propose plans to make around a quarter of Labour Party staff jobless:

Hilariously, the Guardian report tells us that the plan has been devised in a report entitled Organise to Win!

The report states:

Labour’s finances have been hit hard by fighting three general elections in the past six years, as well as a string of costly legal cases, and hopes of a membership bounce after Starmer took over failed to materialise.

The party paid out a six-figure sum a year ago to settle a case brought by seven former employees and a veteran BBC journalist, admitting it defamed them in the aftermath of a Panorama investigation into its handling of antisemitism.

It doesn’t mention the possibility that Labour had no need to settle, as its legal advisors had told Starmer that the party was likely to win if the case came to court. His decision to capitulate is inexplicable.

And how many other disasters have gone unreported? Labour lost thousands of pounds defending itself in court against This Writer’s case, that the party had broken its own disciplinary rules in order to expel me.

The finding was that the party had not broken its rules, which are extremely vague in respect of what may actually be done – but Labour did appear to have broken the regulations it had in place at the time, in order to justify throwing me out. The court ordered that Labour should not be repaid the thousands of pounds it had spent on the case.

How many other such cases have taken place? What other disputes have eroded the party’s funds?

Remember: Labour became the richest UK political party under Jeremy Corbyn because he inspired hundreds of thousands of people to join up – people Keir Starmer has been desperately trying to throw off since he became leader.

Starmer’s plan, it seems, was to go back to relying on donations from big businesses – the same model as that used by Tony Blair during the ‘New Labour’ period of the mid-1990s to 2015.

But his failure to inspire popular support – because he hasn’t said what he stands for – means businesses aren’t supporting him.

There is only one conclusion to draw:

If he isn’t trying to end his own party, then it is ironic that he might be saved from his own stupidity by NEC members who oppose the proscription plan. The UK’s biggest union, and Labour’s biggest donor – Unite – is against it:

The quoted section in the above tweet is from the Guardian article, again, and states:

Labour’s biggest donor, the Unite trade union, attacked the plans on Monday, saying: “While working-class communities are continuing to bear the brunt of the sickness and employment worries made much worse by Conservative mishandling of the pandemic, Labour is abandoning the field of battle against this government to turn its fire on its members instead.”

The union added that such “acts of political machismo” create a “sense of despair among voters who see a party at perpetual war with itself”.

And NEC members from the left-wing Grassroots Voice organisation also oppose the proscriptions:

The group states:

We believe that asking us to consider this matter … is a continuation of the destructive, factional behaviours from the leadership of the party which have marked the last year.

This isn’t just about the organisations we are being asked to consider… it is about … setting a precedent, proscribing these organisations as a forerunner to proscription of more and more groupings on the left of the party, to ultimately expel large sections of the Labour left and erase the Bennite and other socialist traditions within the party.

Then again,

Starmer has a supportive majority on the NEC, so the plans are expected to be agreed.

If so, then Starmer has stuffed the NEC with drones who are just as stupid as he is and the Labour Party no longer deserves to survive.

So those like Mrs Gee, below, who believe the Left is on a hiding to nothing if it carries on with Labour, may be entirely justified in that view – and, while it may take decades to get a new party up to the popularity Labour achieved under great left-wing leaders like Clement Attlee and Harold Wilson, it may be better to work towards that than to support a lost cause:

Whatever happens, it seems the Labour Party, as run by Keir Starmer, is over.

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Thousands of renters who just voted Tory could be evicted next month – because of Tories

Stop evictions: this was a protest in 2016 – before Covid, furloughs, and eviction bans. The question is: will the Tories do anything to stop evictions in 2021? My guess is they won’t.

The short-sightedness of the voting public can be astonishing.

As a result of the Covid-19 furlough scheme that asked people to live on 80 per cent of their normal income, families – that’s right, families – are facing eviction from their private-sector rented homes when the eviction ban ends at the end of this month.

According to Citizens Advice, half a million private renters were behind with their rent in January. That figure is only likely to have increased.

Average debt is £730, but the total amount of arrears is said to be £370 million, and around 150,000 people are likely to face eviction after the end of the month.

More than 2,000 possession orders were made between October and December last year – and those tenants are likely to be forced out of their homes in June.

They had a stay of execution (of those orders) because of the eviction ban that stops landlords from sending in the bailiffs and obliges them to give six months’ notice of court action.

Of course, all that ends on May 31, meaning hundreds of thousands of people could be homeless by June 2.

They are typically in insecure jobs, often on zero-hours contracts, and in industries that have suffered disproportionately over the past year.

Strange, isn’t it? Back in, say, the 1970s, an entire family could afford to mortgage a house, cover their living expenses and enjoy a decent holiday, all on the earnings of just one parent.

Now, most people can’t afford to rent a home, even with both parents and all the children (who can legally do so) working.

That’s 40 years of Tory – or fake-Tory – government for you.

And last week, I’m willing to bet, a significant proportion of those facing eviction voted for the party that put them in danger of it – the Tories.

Source: Rent arrears put thousands at risk as end of eviction ban in England looms | Renting property | The Guardian

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Banning protest won’t save the Tories if a hot summer of discontent boils over into violence

Sound and fury from 2011: discontent with the government of the day boiled over into riots – and for much less reason than might present itself in 2021. Boris Johnson is hastily banning large protests – but will anybody care?

Here’s a disturbing truthbomb from Richard Murphy:

He makes good points.

Boris Johnson is promising a much better summer than we had in 2020 but the early indication are that he will disappoint us yet again.

As matters stand, history is sure to remember him as the prime minister who promised us the world and then took our world away from us instead.

So he reckons Covid-19 will be under control. Why are our health experts planning for another surge in cases, to hit us around July?

At the moment, half of the UK population is half-vaccinated, and there will be shortages from April onwards. That’s the reason variant strains of Covid are appearing; the virus is mutating to beat the defences of a half-protected population.

Johnson reckons we’ll all be able to resume our foreign holidays. How can we, considering the state of foreign nations’ vaccination regimes?

And Johnson reckons the UK’s industries are going to bounce back – what’s the phrase? “Build back better”? – with a boom during the summer. But post-Brexit problems indicate that any such economic explosion is likely to be a damp squib.

He knows all this.

Why else do you think his government has legislated to restrict protest events to the point where anything that is actually noticeable is to be punished with imprisonment?

It is exactly the wrong response. But he’s a Tory and doesn’t know how to do anything apart from punish the poor.

His decisions are all wrong. They are equivalent to clamping the lid on a pressure cooker and turning it up to maximum. What do you think will happen?

I hope I’m wrong.

If I’m not, I just hope that anyone resorting to violent protest remembers that indiscriminate vandalism won’t do anybody any good – 2011 taught us that. It is pointless harming the innocent.

If you’re angry with the government, make sure it’s the government – and its enforcers – who feel the brunt of that anger.

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Nuclear bomb announcement sends clear message: warmonger Johnson has cash to KILL, not heal

Terrifying: it’s not quite a Nazi salute but Boris Johnson’s policies come straight from the Adolf Hitler playbook – except Hitler didn’t have nuclear weapons and Johnson does.

Warmongering UK prime minister Boris Johnson is reversing plans to reduce the UK’s arsenal of nuclear weapons after a review of foreign policy.

From what the news reports are telling me – and they are confused – it seems he wants to start a war with a country bordering on or within the Indian or Pacific Oceans and wants to set off a few nuclear weapons, to show how hard he is.

Well, he’s a blowhard, that’s for sure.

And a liar. We knew that already, but today’s reason for saying it can be summed up with the following tweet:

Yes – Johnson has said there is no money available to prevent nurses from receiving a real-terms pay cut, yet it seems he has plenty to spaff around on penis-substitutes that nobody in their right mind would ever take out of their box.

He’s going to halt a planned reduction of our nuclear stockpile to 180 warheads and instead increase it to 260 – a rise of around 45 per cent. Nobody’s saying what this will cost but we’re looking at many billions of pounds.

Already Johnson’s cheerleaders are making stupid suggestions that the UK will be invaded if Johnson doesn’t start piling on the kilotons. This is nonsense.

The 195 bombs we currently have possess a yield of 100 kilotons – nearly seven times as much as the Hiroshima bomb. Setting off even one of them would be devastating enough – and the only situation in which that could be envisaged is one in which other countries were threatening – or doing – the same.

If that happened, there wouldn’t be a UK to invade.

As a deterrent, 195 warheads is many more than enough. How many times do these damned fools think they can blow up the world?

The backlash has already started:

Did you miss those messages when they went up?

Well, guess what: if Johnson gets his way – and with the majority UK voters gave him, he will – this is the only form of protest that his government will allow in the future. Silent protest.

People won’t be allowed to congregate in the streets with banners, and made speeches, or make any visible or audible show of protest because that will provide Priti Patel’s puppet police with the only excuse they need to wade in with their truncheons, break heads and make arrests.

As a result, most of the population – you know the type; the ones who are happy to be distracted with celebrity gossip and junk TV about buying houses – won’t even know there’s anything wrong.

That’s the reason the anti-protest law is being imposed, of course.

Remember when Hitler took power in Germany? He built a bunker in which to plan a massive war, built up his army and stockpiled weapons, while controlling the majority of his population with propaganda and persecuting any dissenters.

For decades, people said it could never happen here in the UK.

How do you feel, now that it is happening here?

Source: Integrated review: UK to lift cap on nuclear stockpile – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Priti Patel wants to stop protests against male violence on women. Will YOU help stop her?


The government’s reaction to protests like that on Clapham Common last night (March 13), when male police officers arrested many women who had gathered to protest at the kidnap and murder of a woman, apparently by a male police officer, is simple: it will stop us from protesting.

Do you think that is reasonable?

Priti Patel is pushing through new legislation to ensure that police can step in to prevent any protests, rallies, or other public demonstrations tomorrow (March 15).

Her new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will expand on powers to restrict demonstrations in the Public Order Act 1986 that allowed them to be restricted if there was a risk of “serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community”.

The new Bill increases the scope to allow restrictions on the basis of noise: Patel means to literally silence protest in the UK.

If it is enacted as it stands, then police will be able to stop protests that “may result in serious disruption to the activities of an organisation” – for instance by distracting employees in a nearby office.

This also applies if the event disturbs passers-by – if the noise of the protest could have “a relevant impact on persons in the vicinity of the procession”.

The threshold is minimal: if just one person could be caused “serious unease, alarm or distress”, the rozzers would be allowed to move in and get busy with their truncheons.

This is fascism – and it makes a mockery of the false hand-wringing the Bill’s author, Priti Patel, was exhibiting on Twitter yesterday:

We should have known this was coming, though. She made her position clear when she told LBC’s Nick Ferrari “I don’t support protest”:

The horrendous scenes on Clapham Common last night were a direct consquence of Patel’s ideology. Remember, she controls the Metropolitan Police:

It seems the new Bill will contradict the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights, which enshrines our right to protest in law:

This Writer therefore called for all right-thinking people to make a stand against Patel’s fascism:

I am glad to report that there will indeed be such an event:

So there it is. If you want to protest against Priti Patel’s (and by extension, Boris Johnson’s) plan to silence protest against male violence on women* then be at Parliament Square in London from 5pm tomorrow – Monday, March 15.

*Yes, she wants to stop all forms of protest but this is what she is stopping right now, and people need to be aware of what it means. If you want to complain about my choice of words, your priorities are as wrong as if you wanted to complain about my characterisation of “male” violence in a previous article.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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