Tag Archives: ban

#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

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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.

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More gay and bisexual men can give blood – after wait of more than six years (at least!)

It is more than six years since I tore metaphorical shreds off of Michael Fabricant for suggesting the ban on all gay men giving blood should be lifted – and this announcement proves I was right.

At the time, Fabricant reckoned the ban on sexually promiscuous gay men should be lifted as straight men who behave in the same manner do not suffer the same discrimination.

I stated that this was insane – partly because it misrepresented the issue.

The problem, I said, was that the ban did not only affect sexually promiscuous gay men, but any man who had had sex with another man, with or without a condom.

This clearly discriminated against gay men who were in a monogamous relationship in which both partners were free of infection. They should not be covered by the ban, I said.

Fast forward to the new announcement:

Men who have sex with men in a long-term relationship will now be able to donate blood at any time.

The new criteria [focus] on individual behaviours, lifting a blanket ban for any men who have had sex with men in the last three months.

All blood donors who have had one sexual partner and who have been with their sexual partner for more than three months, will now be eligible to donate regardless of their gender, the gender of their partner, or the type of sex they have.

Under previous rules, all men who have sex with men had to abstain from sex for three months in order to donate.

It is as though the authorities had (belatedly) read my article.

There was more to it than is being stated by the BBC, though. Here’s what I wrote, back in 2014:

The ban was put in place – unless the memory cheats – because blood supplies donated by gay men were discovered to be infected with HIV. Anybody can see that a ban on anything that could spread HIV is entirely sensible and should only be lifted if technology has moved on enough for doctors to spot infected blood immediately or screen out the infection in blood that has been donated.

The issue then was that people who had been in a monogamous relationship for a long period of time, and who did not have HIV when they started it, were not going to have it when they applied to give blood either, and it was discriminatory to ban them from doing so.

The new change rectifies that. I welcome it.

Source: Blood donation: Rule change means more gay and bisexual men can give blood – BBC News

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Who are the troublemakers pretending that Welsh shops will be banned from selling alcohol?

It isn’t true – and that’s official.

Rumours have started circulating that the Welsh Government is to ban the sale of alcohol anywhere in the country from December 17.

But the Welsh Government itself has stated categorically that the claim is a lie.

Clearly somebody thought they could capitalise on the ban on pubs selling alcohol by spreading a scare story. Who are these troublemakers? Name and shame them where you can.

Obviously Christmas is a time when more people like to sit back and enjoy a taste of their favourite tipple (but drink responsibly, folks!) and an alcohol ban would be an extremely unpopular move.

It would also be completely pointless. The ban on alcohol in pubs was to curb the spread of Covid-19 through the hospitality industry and there is no perceived need to stop alcohol entering socially-distanced homes.

So the rumour can only be an attempt to discredit the Welsh Government and score political points.

Let’s find out who started it so we can discredit them instead.

Source: Rumour of imminent ban on buying alcohol in shops in Wales ‘simply not true’ – Nation.Cymru

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Hodge wants ban on social media anonymity – what a great idea! It will curtail fake anti-Semitism claims

It’s the first time This Writer has agreed with Margaret Hodge in years.

She has said the government must ban online anonymity or make social media directors personally liable for defamatory posts, revealing that she receives tens of thousands of abusive tweets a month:

Hodge accused the government of deliberately delaying the online harms bill in order to avoid difficult conversations with powerful social media companies, and said she was prepared to take up a campaign to make sure the law was tough enough.

The Online Harms Bill arises from a White Paper produced last year – and This Site commented on it at the time.

The White Paper – and now the Bill (I expect; I haven’t actually seen any information on it since April last year) proposed a statutory duty of care, to be conferred on media companies including platforms such as Facebook and Google, online messaging services like WhatsApp and file hosting sites.

They would be required to comply with a code of practice, setting out the steps they must take to meet the duty of care. This may include designing products and platforms to make them safer, directing users who have suffered harm towards support, combating disinformation (for example by using fact-checking services), and improving the transparency of political advertising.

They would be expected to co-operate with police and other enforcement agencies on illegalities including incitement of violence and selling illegal weapons.

And they would have to compile annual “transparency reports” detailing the amount of harmful content found on their platforms and what they are doing to combat it.

The government would have powers to direct the regulator – initially Ofcom, with a dedicated regulator to follow in the future – on specific issues such as terrorist activity or child sexual exploitation.

I pointed out last year that the White Paper did not include any measures to stop people creating anonymous accounts.

If Ms Hodge wants to see that happen now, then I am all for it.

It will stop me receiving much (but not all) of the abuse I get from people wrongly accusing me of anti-Semitism after the Labour Party expelled me under false pretences (as shown in court).

But that’s not what was on offer in April last year. As I made perfectly clear, “regulating online media platforms will not stop people posting “harmful” content to them, if there is nothing to stop them from doing so. It is farcically easy to create anonymous accounts, from which to post objectionable and/or abusive content.

“Shut one down? That’s fine – the individual responsible can have another up and running in a matter of minutes, if they don’t have multiple aliases working already.”

And I made that point that “it has been argued that people must have a right to be able to post anonymously, because of personal circumstances that make it important – possibly for their personal safety.”

My response: “Fine. A system can be devised in which people apply for anonymity and the number of people or organisations able to ascertain their real identity is strictly limited. That would allow these individuals to continue functioning in the online world. And it would prevent others from abusing social media platforms. Any posts from an unrecognised anonymous account would be easy to flag up and isolate.”

If Ms Hodge is proposing such a system then I am behind her every step of the way, and never mind all the other differences we have.

Although – as a staunch witch-hunter herself – I wonder whether she would approve of that outcome.

Source: Margaret Hodge calls for ban on social media anonymity | Online abuse | The Guardian

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Pub ban for curfew-backing MP: he says it’s political but they say he ‘killed us’

Don’t shed any tears for Warrington South MP Andy Carter, who has been banned from 30 pubs, clubs and bars in his town after voting in a 10pm curfew for them.

He has retaliated to the ban by the local Pubwatch scheme, saying it had been used for political aims that brought it “into disrepute”.

But this is nonsense. His own colleague Victoria Atkins, minister for safeguarding, said in 2019 that “Pubwatch enables licensees to take collective action against troublemakers”, and what could make more trouble for local pubs than a Parliamentary decision that one local Pubwatch member said “absolutely killed us”?

He said people were angry and Mr Carter had shown “no support for the hospitality industry at a time when we need as much as we can get”.

Carter’s own claim that the hospitality industry had enjoyed a huge amount of government help is risible as he mentioned Eat Out to Help Out, Rishi Sunak’s scheme that has been proved to have accelerated the second wave of Covid-19.

Sunak has refused to rule out bringing the scheme back.

Who will take him up on it, I wonder?

Source: Lifetime pub ban for Warrington MP who backed 10pm curfew – BBC News

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Rees-Mogg’s hypocrisy over England-Wales travel ban is borderline schizoid

Rees-Mogg: doesn’t he look properly psychotic in this image? Little did we know that it reflects his actual personality. Or did we..?

See what I did there? No? Allow me to explain:

Jacob Rees-Mogg has supported to the hilt plans that would put permanent borders within the United Kingdom – in the middle of the Irish Sea and on the inland border of Kent.

But he reckons a plan by Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford to ban entry into that country by people from other areas of the UK with higher Covid-19 lockdown restrictions is “unconstitutional”.

It isn’t; it simply puts those other parts of the UK in the same situation as those parts of Wales that are under more stringent restrictions and Drakeford is well within his rights to impose this temporary rule.

It seems, regarding internal borders, Rees-Mogg is schizoid – he is literally of two minds.

Here’s Nation.Cymru:

Jacob Rees Mogg replied: “What would you expect of a hard-left Labour Government?

“The approach to putting a border between England and Wales is unconstitutional and will place the police in an invidious position considering that they serve the whole of the United Kingdom.

“We are one single United Kingdom and we should not have… borders between different parts of the United Kingdom.

“And I’m afraid that is what you get when you vote for socialists.”

He did not offer any evidence that the Welsh Government’s plan was unconstitutional. Health is a devolved issue in Wales and can be legislated upon by the Welsh Parliament.

Police are not devolved but organised on an England and Wales, Scottish, and Northern Irish basis.

The measures regarding people coming to Wales from England are the same as those that exist between Welsh authorities.

You can see him making his comment here:

Phew, what a loony!

“Hard-left Labour government”? Rees-Mogg’s own constituency of Bath and North-East Somerset is very close to Wales. All he has to do is cross a bridge to realise that this is not a country full of Bolshevik revolutionaries.

Drakeford himself always struck me as being more of the ‘New Labour’ persuasion than a socialist. Perhaps he’ll take the hint from Rees-Mogg and adopt a more left-wing policy from now on (that would be welcome).

Realistically, we could suggest that Rees-Mogg’s attitude is that of the spoilt boy who finds that someone else has been playing with his toys; perhaps he thought nobody else was allowed to do as Drakeford has – now he knows better.

Alternatively, he’s mad as a bag of cats.

Our friends in the social media have an opinion about that, of course:

Come to that, so do a few people from Wales itself:

Of course it is perfectly permissible to travel out of Wales in order to give Rees-Mogg a verbal battering.

And if you don’t travel through any English Covid hotspots, it’s perfectly permissible to travel back in again.

The only people under any restrictions are those who should not be travelling anyway.

So this Tory fool is making a fuss about nothing.

Source: Rees-Mogg incorrectly claims new Welsh Covid-19 restrictions are ‘unconstitutional’ – Nation.Cymru

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