Tag Archives: boycott

Do these politicians know their comments on Riley-related Big Issue boycott ARE NOT TRUE?

Ian Austin: Did the Mail mislead him into believing that people who oppose Rachel Riley’s claims about anti-Semitism want to penalise the homeless?

Unlikely though it seems, This Writer is going to be charitable to two hard-right political headbangers.

Former Labour MP, now Lord Ian Austin has said people who said they would boycott The Big Issue after it published a one-sided article about Rachel Riley and anti-Semitism in the Labour Party were “a complete disgrace.

“They would rather homeless people lose out and go hungry because The Big Issue contains an interview with Rachel Riley, who they hate because she campaigned against racism.”

Neil Coyle: Does he care that he made a false claim when he said people are boycotting The Big Issue because it is exposing racism?

And current Labour MP Neil Coyle said: “Anyone suggesting we don’t buy The Big Issue and ignore homeless people because it is also exposing racism reveals quite how these people sank Labour and why they must never again be trusted to be anything other than a factional cult.”

As anybody who read This Site’s article about the row last Wednesday will know, their comments are shocking misrepresentations of the facts.

Nobody who commented on the Riley article suggested that homeless people should be harmed because of The Big Issue‘s descent into fake news.

You can read a few of the reasons Riley’s opinions were not supported by the facts in the Vox Political piece, so we won’t rehash old ground by re-examining what she calls campaigning against racism and why it is more likely to be political factionalism.

Concerns that a boycott would cause problems for homeless Big Issue sellers were raised by Shaun Lawson – one of the very people Riley has accused as part of her so-called campaign against racism.

That isn’t mentioned in the Mail article.

Nor are any of the comments in response. Let’s redress the balance here:

Giving money direct to the seller isn’t a perfect solution because The Big Issue relies on the seller buying the copies they pass on to the public – at half cover price.

But refusing to take the magazine while handing over the cash makes a strong statement – especially if the sellers hand all their unsold copies back to the publisher.

As you can see, nobody who called for the Riley issue of The Big Issue to be boycotted did it to harm the homeless sellers, or to attack a campaign against racism – because they do not accept that Riley does anything of the sort.

My question is: did the Mail‘s reporter make this clear to these politicians before they made their highly contentious and prejudiced statements?

If so, then This Writer is happy to forgive them after they publish a full retraction.

If not, then anybody who is not already shunning these people is encouraged to do so.

Source: Now hard-Left activists boycott The Big Issue because it ran interview with Rachel Riley | Daily Mail Online

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Don’t believe the Daily Brexit’s hard-right reporting – support the boycott of JLM anti-Semitism training

The Daily Brexit (otherwise known as the Express) has used concerns over planned training on how to spot anti-Semitism in the Labour Party to trot out the tripe that was used to attack Jeremy Corbyn – again.

“HARD Left supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have started a social media campaign to stop Labour members from carrying out antisemitism training,” the article begins – but nowhere does it provide examples to show that any of these people are Communists.

The reporting continues in a way that – although it avoids direct lies – may be considered dishonest.

“The course… has been recommended to members after the party became mired in an antisemitism scandal under Mr Corbyn’s leadership,” it states – failing to note that the majority of accusations were false. The entire campaign was an attempt to undermine Corbyn with lies.

“Among its objections to the training is that it is being run by an organisation which was vehemently critical for the former Labour leader.” Really?

Or would it be more accurate to say the objection to JLM is the fear that it will record members’ contributions, selectively edit them and then send them to media organisations like the Brexit as further proof of anti-Semitism?

“Several … cited the case of former Labour member Jackie Walker, who was expelled following comments she made during an antisemitism training session, in which she criticised Holocaust Memorial Day for only commemorating Jewish victims.” Ms Walker was the victim of this recording-selective-editing-and-release-to-the-media tactic, yet the Brexit skates over that fact without mentioning it.

“They are also furious that JLM successfully persuaded the party to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism which recognises that attacks on Israel are often antisemitic.”

More accurately: the IHRA working definition confuses anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the actions of the Israeli state, making it possible to accuse people of anti-Semitism when they are actually – and accurately – criticising Israeli persecution of Palestinians.

There’s no mention in the article of the fact that the man who wrote the IHRA definition has himself admitted it is not fit for purpose, for this very reason.

It seems likely that whoever wrote the story – David Maddox, political editor (I don’t know him either) – was simply quoting from a press release he had been sent, and hadn’t actually done a scrap of work to check the facts.

Who would send such a press release? My bet is on the person quoted in the article – Euan Philipps of that famous hate group, Labour Against Anti-Semitism.

LAAS has submitted hundreds – maybe thousands – of spurious anti-Semitism accusations against party members, most of which failed to trigger an investigation. Because they were false?

It typically scrapes information from Labour members’ activities on the internet and then presents it as evidence of anti-Semitism – often with little or no justification. The Brexit‘s claim to have seen 300 WhatsApp messages supports LAAS involvement.

None of the comments quoted in the article demonstrate any evidence of anti-Semitism – although some will claim that the way Zionism is mentioned qualifies.

Zionism, in its simplest form, is the desire for Jewish people to be able to live within the historic borders of Israel.

But the ideology has been perverted to justify the forcible removal – including killing – of Palestinians who have lived on that land for many hundreds of years by the contradictorily-named Israeli Defence Force.

Criticism of such racist hate crimes is habitually dismissed as anti-Semitism, remember. You see how this accusation game works?

This Writer has already called for these “training” sessions to be ignored.

The Jewish Labour Movement is not an acceptable provider. Evidence supporting claims of its affiliation with a racist party in Israel, that it was revived specifically to undermine Corbyn, and that it supports the aggressive Zionism I have described above is demonstrable.

What a shame the zealots who launched – and perpetuate – this campaign against decent Labour Party members are supported in their aims by so-called news reporters who appear to be little more than typists.

Source: Hard Left bid to stop Labour antisemitism training in attack on Starmer’s authority | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

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Don’t fund Tories: Worried about Covid spike from Wetherspoons overcrowding? Don’t go to that Tory pub!

The Guardian is reporting that Wetherspoon pubs are failing to prevent overcrowding, and this may cause a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The answer is simple: Don’t go into a Wetherspoon pub.

I’ll even give you a good reason not to go:

Every item you buy in a Wetherspoon pub increases Conservative Party funds.

So if you have been harmed by Boris Johnson’s failures on flooding, Covid-19, the economy, school exams or any of the other ways he has harmed the UK, it would be the height of stupidity to cross the threshold of a Wetherspoon pub.

The company is on This Site’s list of Tory donors you should boycott.

And the message is simple:

Don’t fund Tories – they’ll only hurt you again.

Source: Fears overcrowding in Wetherspoon pubs may lead to Covid spike | Business | The Guardian

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The list of Tory donors to boycott is growing. If you really want to beat them, starve them of cash

It’s all about money: if Boris Johnson didn’t have any, he couldn’t harm anyone. So why are we supporting the people who support him?

[Update: if you want to see the eye-watering amounts that Boris Johnson has received in donations – and the names of the private companies providing the cash – visit this article.]

[Update October 25, 2020: New additions added today. They are listed in this colour.]

The response to my article calling for people to stop buying products provided by firms that donate to the Conservative Party had a great response.

Originally I intended to update that article with new additions to the list of Tory donor firms, but it occurs to me that this may not attract as many readers as regular (or semi-regular) updates, so I’m taking the latter route.

I am aware that some respondents have expressed scepticism about the idea. It won’t produce results overnight, that’s for sure – but then, we’re stuck with Boris Johnson and his cabal of incompetents until 2024, thanks to the 2019 general election. Do you have anything better to do?

This Site can’t change the situation on its own, either, so don’t expect me to. It is the individual responsibility of everybody in the UK to obtain the best government possible – and to change that government by any legal means if a wrong decision is made; you can’t expect the rest of us to do it for you.

That means changing your behaviour to cut out the Tory businesses, and finding new suppliers of goods and services you need.

It also means pestering your friends and colleagues to do the same. Expect resistance because people are naturally lazy. Use the exam results fiasco to persuade parents, and the Covid-19 disaster on others. As the Tories perpetrate more cock-ups – and they will – add those to the list you can use.

And here’s the list of Tory donor firms to shun:

Addison Lee (via founder John Griffin)

Airbus Group Ltd

Airport Park & Ride Ltd

Alfred Dunhill Ltd

Allinson’s (bread – owned by Associated British Foods)

Alton Towers (owned by Prestbury property firm)

Amey Group Services Ltd

Annabel’s (Berkeley Square) Ltd

Asda Property Holdings

ASDA Stores Ltd

Askey’s (ice cream – owned by Associated British Foods)

Associated British Foods

AXA Trading Limited

BAA Airports Ltd

Balfour Beatty

Beds and Bars Ltd

Bell Pottinger Communications Ltd

Berkeley Homes (housebuilder)

Bestway (cash and carry)

Betfair Ltd

Bicester Shopping Village

Billington’s (sugar – owned by Associated British Foods)

Birmingham Airport Ltd

Bloomberg (media group)

Boden (online and catalogue retailer)

Caledonia Investments

Calor Gas Ltd

Cameron Mackintosh (theatre company: Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, Miss Saigon, Cats and Hamilton)

Canary Wharf Group (property)

Carlton Television (via boss Michael Green)

Carphone Warehouse

Caxton Associates (via boss Andrew Law)

CityLink (via boss Jon Moulton)

Claridge’s Hotel

Clinton Cards (donations to individual MPs of which this is an example)

Cobra Beer

Country House Weddings Ltd

Crusha (milkshakes – owned by Associated British Foods)

CVC Capital Partners (via co-founder Bruce Hardy McLain)

Delamere Dairy

DFS Furniture (historical – Tory donor Lord Graham Kirkham lost control in 2013)

Dorset Cereals (owned by Associated British Foods)

Dow Investments plc

Dunelm (owner Bill Adderly donated £500,000 to the Tory 2019 election campaign)

Dyson (household appliance manufacturer)

EADS UK

E.On (gas and electricity supplier)

Express Newspapers

Flamingo Land (Yorkshire theme park)

Garden Centre Group

Gatwick Airport

GCH Capital (manufacturing and distribution)

Genix Healthcare (NHS and private dental clinics)

Ginsters (pasty and pie manufacturer, owned by Tory donors Samworth Brothers)

Golden Wonder (crisps)

Heathrow Airport

Hooch (drink, owned by Tory donor Global Brands Ltd)

Iceland (supermarket)

Imperial London Hotels Ltd

Jacksons of Piccadilly (tea – owned by Associated British Foods)

JCB (construction, but has also licenced hundreds of other products)

Jordans (cereals – owned by Associated British Foods)

JP Morgan Cazenove (via former chairman David Mayhew)

Kingsmill (bread – owned by Associated British Foods)

Kurt Geiger (shoemakers)

LNT Group (boss Lawrence Tomlinson donated £40,500 to 13 Tory candidates in 2019 election)

The London Cabaret Club

Lycamobile (SIM card company)

McLaren (automotive)

Meggitt (aerospace engineering)

Melton Mowbray pies (owned by Tory donors Samworth Brothers)

Microsoft Ltd (UK branch of the US corporation. This could be tricky as I expect we all have Microsoft products!)

Moonpig.com

Mothercare

National Express

New Cross Nursing Group Ltd (nurse agency)

Next

Nielsen Massey (vanilla and food flavourings – owned by Associated British Foods)

Numis (investment banker)

Ocado

Ovaltine (owned by Associated British Foods)

OVO Energy (through managing director Stephen Fitzpatrick)

Palantir

Parabis Group (legal & professional services)

Patak’s (owned by Associated British Foods)

Petrofac (via chairman Ayman Asfari)

Pimlico Plumbers

Powerleague (five-a-side football group)

Radnor Hills Mineral Water

Frederic Robinson Ltd (owns Robinson Breweries and 280 pubs in the North West, producer of bottled and cask beers)

Ryvita (owned by Associated British Foods)

Sainsbury’s (supermarket) (due to donations by Tory Lord John Sainsbury, the company’s president, totalling more than £1 million between 2001 and 2017. There is also a Lord David Sainsbury who donated £8 million to the Liberal Democrats – but his holdings in the firm are now managed as a ‘blind’ trust to prevent any conflict of interest with his political career.)

Scottish Power (although this firm seems confused and has also given to Labour)

Selfridges (department store)

Serco

Shop Direct

Silver Spoon (suger manufacturer, owned by Associated British Foods)

Soreen Malt Loaf (owned by Tory donors Samworth Brothers)

The Spectator (magazine, via former owner Sir Henry Keswick)

Speedibake (bakery products – owned by Associated British Foods)

The Sun (newspaper (it says))

Sunblest (bread – owned by Associated British Foods)

Tate & Lyle (sugar manufacturer)

Telecom Plus

Tempcover (car insurer)

Towergate Partnership (insurance/financial)

Truvia (sweeteners – owned by Associated British Foods)

Tullow Oil

Twinings (tea manufacturer, owned by Associated British Foods)

Tyrells (crisps)

Veetee Rice (food)

VK (alcopop owned by Tory donor Global Brands Ltd)

Warburtons (bread manufacturer)

Wates (construction)

Westfield (shopping centre operator)

Wetherspoons (pub chain)

Wittington Investments (food)

Wren Kitchens

It’s still not an exhaustive list. I’m working through the evidence as fast as I can.

And it may be inaccurate in places. Any firm or person listed above who thinks they shouldn’t be is invited to get in touch (politely, please!) and we can talk about it.

I must emphasize that this is not something that can achieve results overnight. It requires a behavioural shift by a large number of people, into awareness of where their money goes after they use it to buy goods/services.

And I must also remind you of one very important fact:

If you – personally – don’t do anything, nothing will change. It really is your choice.

(NOTE August 17: Richer Sounds has been removed from the list as I have been informed that the company is very far from being a Tory donor; it is now largely employee-owned and supports a large number of progressive causes and campaigns, in line with the activities of its founder, Julian Richer. I am delighted to make this correction and hope to run an article about what appears to be an exemplary UK business in the near future.)

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Liverpool Job Centre staff boycotted BBC Universal Credit doco as they didn’t want to be connected with propaganda

The second part of a BBC documentary series on Universal Credit has been aired – notably without contributions from people at one Job Centre.

People working at Toxteth Job Centre, in Liverpool, refused to take part – according to the Liverpool Echo.

The reason was that they did not want to be publicly associated with a documentary that puts forward the Tory government’s propaganda:

It was reported last year that there were problems in the filming of the Liverpool episode of the documentary because staff at the Job Centre didn’t want to be involved.

As The Guardian first reporteda memo from the Public and Commercial Services Union– that represents Job Centre staff – said: “It is our understanding that there have been no volunteers to take part in the filming.”

The internal note explained that staff were unhappy about being identified on screen.

With the volume of hardship and problems associated with Universal Credit in the city of Liverpool – it is thought staff didn’t want to be publicly associated with a documentary that the government is pushing forward.

The Tory government, and the Department for Work and Pensions, have been trying to make Universal Credit look better with propaganda campaigns.

A series of advertorials in newspapers last year fell foul of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

It ruled the campaign in the Metro “exaggerated and misleading” and stated that there was “simply no evidence to back the Department for Work & Pensions’ (DWP’s) claims about people being better off on Universal Credit”.

Source: Why Liverpool Job Centre staff refused to take part in BBC Universal Credit documentary – Liverpool Echo

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Are the Tories increasing benefit conditionality to include working people on sick leave?

Anger: People taking part in a welfare-to-work protest in London in 2012 [Image: PA].

We know from the Autumn Statement that Mandatory Work Activity and Community Work Placements are being scrapped.

This has been welcomed by organisations like Boycott Workfare, who have campaigned against the enforced “work 30 hours per week for your benefits” schemes ever since they were introduced in 2011.

But it is only being replaced by something which is potentially much worse: the so-called Work and Health Programme.

According to the Daily Mirror, this new scheme aims to help long-term sick people find a job, “but a DWP spokesman could not confirm whether it will involve forced labour because the details have not yet been drawn up”.

To This Writer, it seems like an amalgamation of the ‘workfare’ schemes with the current ‘Health and Work Service’. You see? All they’ve done is reverse the words.

Health and Work is intended to prevent people from taking sick leave from their jobs that lasts any longer than four weeks (if This Writer recalls correctly).

Current operator Maximus (which also operated the Work Programme in a clear conflict of interest) was tasked with running a “work-focused occupational health assessment” which “will identify the issues preventing an employee from returning to work and draw up a plan for them, their employer and GP, recommending how the employee can be helped back to work more quickly”.

So it seems the scheme will be rolled out to lump in people who have jobs – but are ill – with people who don’t have jobs and make them all jump through the same hoops in order to keep their benefits or sick pay.

Health won’t get a look-in and it seems likely that the scheme will make sick workers even less able to return to their jobs than if they are left alone to get on with it. In other words, they’ll be treated like ESA claimants.

This seems extremely contradictory.

On one hand, the Conservative Government is saying it is trying to get as many people off benefits and into work as possible, but on the other hand, the same Tories are saying once you get into work, you’d better not get sick, because you’ll be treated like a person on benefits!

It’s another incremental erosion of the rights of UK citizens, reminiscent of the words of Adolf Hitler: “The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

But then, so much of the Conservative Government’s behaviour is directly relatable to the Nazis – especially where the Department for Work and Pensions is concerned (“Arbeit macht frei”, Mr Duncan Smith?) so perhaps we should not be surprised.

All this is mere speculation, of course.

It will be interesting to see how much of it corresponds with the reality – when the DWP finally unveils it.

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Who will ‘Help to Work’ really help?

140428IDSshrug

The government’s latest draconian measure – to drive people who have been living off the state for more than three years into all the nonexistent jobs that ministers insist are waiting for them – was launched today. (Monday)

Help to Work forces jobseekers to sign on every day, commit to six months of voluntary work, or sign up to a training scheme (the last two effectively removing them from the government’s unemployment figures without getting them a job) – or face having their Jobseeker’s Allowance docked for increasing lengths of time.

It’s clearly a scam to fiddle the joblessness statistics but, dear reader, you’re intelligent enough to have worked it out before you even started reading this.

Of course, voluntary work must be offered without coercion – otherwise it’s slavery – and for this reason leading charities have already announced that they will boycott the mandatory work placement part of the scheme.

Particularly disturbing – and we should be grateful that they highlighted this – is the fact that this aspect would lead to jobseekers doing more than double the 300-hours’-maximum community work than convicted criminals, who are ordered to carry out certain tasks as punishment for their offences.

The Guardian used the government’s own data to prove that Help to Work does not increase anybody’s chances of getting a job, and is more likely to put people off signing on for the benefits to which they are entitled – a ‘punishment’ effect that the government is desperate to play down.

Esther McVey, speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme in support of the scheme, said instead that it would be particularly useful for “people who have been away from the marketplace and the workplace for long periods of time”, and specifically mentioned those suffering from mental illness.

All right then, let’s ask this:

How well would this scheme fare in trying to find a job for a man aged 60 with no academic qualifications worth mentioning (left school at 14 and has lied about further education achievements), whose working life consists of a failed Army career that lasted less than six years, followed by irregular stints selling arms, working in a property company and selling gun-related magazines, in between periods on the dole. He has been funded by the taxpayer continuously since 1992 – a total of 22 years ‘parked’ at our expense. There are concerns about his state of mind, with fears that he suffers from paranoia and delusions.

Could Help to Work really find a job for a man like this?

Let’s hope so – because, if there’s any justice, Iain Duncan Smith will be looking for a job after next year’s general election.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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If Cameron thinks he’s doing God’s work you have to wonder what he worships

Face the facts: David Cameron has been sucking up to Hindus, Jews and now Christians because he wants religious people to vote for his Conservatives - in the same way Satan, the great deceiver, tries to lure the righteous into sin. If he worships any religious figure, it is Mammon, the personification of greed.

Face the facts: David Cameron has been sucking up to Hindus, Jews and now Christians because he wants religious people to vote for his Conservatives – in the same way Satan, the great deceiver, tries to lure the righteous into sin. If he worships any religious figure, it is Mammon, the personification of greed.

Perhaps he’s had a breakdown in the wake of the Maria Miller scandal.

Visiting Christian leaders were no doubt amazed to hear the leader of the most evil British government in decades telling them he has been doing “God’s work”.

David Cameron told them his Big Society concept – the vain attempt to get volunteers to do for free what public sector workers did before he sacked them all – was invented by Jesus of Nazareth, in Roman-era Israel.

If you think that’s a warped vision of Christianity, try this: He said, “Christians are now the most persecuted religion around the world. We should stand up against persecution of Christians and other faith groups wherever and whenever we can.”

Trying to start another war, David?

He won’t be fighting the Jews, it seems. Only last month he delivered a strongly pro-Jewish speech to the Israeli Knesset (their Parliament), supporting the religious slaughter of animals to make Kosher meat (in the face of calls for more humane methods) and rejecting calls to boycott goods produced in Israeli settlements like the occupied West Bank.

He even mentioned the fact that he had a Jewish great-great grandfather, although the Daily Mail reported, “he made no mention of reports that he may be descended from Moses”.

Cameron has also prostituted himself for the Hindu vote.

But let’s get back to his claim that his policies come from Christ himself. On the day Cameron finally accepted Mrs Miller’s resignation, he had nothing to say about the choice of music accompanying his Easter reception in Downing Street (Ave Maria). Instead, he told Church leaders that, if they believe there are obstacles preventing them from doing more to support his failed pet project, they should think of him as “a giant Dyno-Rod”.

And why not?

If anything in this country deserves to be flung down a drain, it’s David Cameron.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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