Tag Archives: by election

Amazing: StarmerLabour has won a by-election

Taking the limelight: Starmer spouts about Labour’s ‘fantastic’ win while new MP Kim Leadbeater is shunted to the side. Earlier this week he was tweeting about football rather than discussing the election, and wouldn’t go near Batley & Spen.

Congratulations are due to Kim Leadbeater after she achieved the impossible: winning a by-election for Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.

The circumstances in which she managed her feat were extraordinary, and are reflected in the result.

Labour threw away a majority of more than 8,000, won when Jeremy Corbyn was party leader in 2017. Batley & Spen is no longer a safe Labour seat and must be considered a Labour-Tory marginal as Ms Leadbeater won with a majority of just 323 votes.

The party – and its candidate – failed to put forward any policies at all. Ms Leadbeater merely said she would listen to voters after winning the election, and parroted Tory attack lines about there being “no magic money tree” to give nurses the pay rise they deserve.

At least one Labour representative apparently smeared the constituency’s Muslim population as violent and anti-Semitic, while authors of election literature were accused of “dog-whistle racism” over a leaflet showing Boris Johnson with Indian premier Narendra Modi.

Ms Leadbeater’s election literature suggested that she was ashamed of representing Labour. Party logos were stripped from leaflets and party colours were not used. The candidate herself wasn’t even a party member four months ago; Starmer broke Labour rules to make her a candidate in a cynical bid to win votes from the fact that she is murdered former MP Jo Cox’s sister.

And, of course, a surging Conservative Party was held back at the last minute as public opinions were swayed against the Tories because of the Matt Hancock affair scandal.

The result: a skin-of-the-teeth win due to “tribal” Labour voters who, as This Site mentioned yesterday, would have voted for a shaved monkey if it had a Labour rose next to its name on the ballot paper.

And now we have to listen to the chinless cuckoos who’ve invaded the once-great socialist party and turned it into Tory-lite, crowing about what a “fantastic result” it is.

I suppose it is a fantastic result for people who thought they were going to lose.

“What a fantastic victory… of hope over division,” said Keir Starmer, neglecting to say that the hope was that of those who must now wait in vain for Ms Leadbeater – and him – to come up with a policy programme that remotely resembles traditional Labour thinking – or that he is responsible for the division with his relentless onslaught against traditional party members and supporters.

He said nothing at all about what Labour will do in the constituency, or for it. This is because his party will do nothing. The win means he can continue as party leader for a while longer, while he searches for a soundbite that will attract voters.

He is not a principled politician. He does not have political views. His interest is only to put himself in power and to use it for his own purposes. He is, to all intents and purposes, a Conservative.

And not even a Tory in Labour clothing. Starmer despises the trappings of the working classes and has discarded them in favour of the sub-fascist iconography of Boris Johnson: a suit and a Union Flag. Only the haircut is an improvement.

And while the tribalists have helped him hold Batley & Spen, those of us with any political nous at all are abandoning Labour at the polls.

In other local elections, Labour vote shares have been plummeting while the Tories’ have been skyrocketing.

And this is after two years of Boris Johnson’s incompetence over Brexit and Covid-19, and his government’s corruption generally.

Starmer will try to spin this narrow win as a huge victory for him and for the direction he has taken Labour but nobody should be fooled – he is taking Labour down the drain.

Source: Batley and Spen: Labour narrowly hold seat in by-election – BBC News

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Labour Islamophobia: is this the reason Starmer will lose Batley & Spen?

Institutionally Islamophobic? Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer were information of serious concerns about Islamophobia in the Labour Party last November and have done nothing about it. Now we are told Labour sources are attacking Muslims (under the false flag of anti-Semitism) to justify the party’s impending loss of Batley & Spen.

This information is from Dan Hodges of the Mail, so I advise you to take it with a pinch of salt.

He says Labour Party representatives are already trying to justify their loss of the Batley & Spen by-election, even though it hasn’t happened yet.

And they’re doing it with rampant Islamophobia:

‘We’re haemorrhaging votes among Muslim voters,’ one senior Labour official tells me, ‘and the reason for that is what Keir has been doing on antisemitism. Nobody really wants to talk about it, but that’s the main factor. He challenged Corbyn on it, and there’s been a backlash among certain sections of the community.’

Remember the old saying that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”? By that token, Hodges is saying that his Labour official told him Muslims (or at least those who live in Batley & Spen) are all anti-Semites.

That is a viciously Islamophobic attitude.

Hodges goes further by saying he received a WhatsApp message (he doesn’t name the source) circulating among Muslim groups, listing five reasons not to support Labour’s candidate, Kim Leadbeater. One of them is this:

‘Her party leader Keir Starmer is pro-Israel and pro-Zionist. He needs to get a clear message in Batley and Spen.’

If this is being used as justification for the claim that all Muslims in the constituency are anti-Semites, then it is thin gruel.

Starmer is pro-Israel and pro-Zionist. Neither of those statements are anti-Semitic, for obvious reasons (not all Jews are Israelis; not all Jews are Zionists; and obviously a person can be pro-Israel and pro-Zionist without being Jewish). And just because a message is distributed around some Muslims, that doesn’t mean all Muslims agree with it.

It doesn’t even mean all Muslims who received the message agree with it.

In fact, Muslims in the constituency have many problems with current Labour policies but it seems the party doesn’t want to engage with those. Why should it, when it can simply tar all local Muslims as anti-Semites?

In doing so, of course, Labour would be taking a leaf out of the Israeli government’s handbook – where every criticism is attacked as anti-Semitic, no matter what it is.

Labour’s own institutional Islamophobia is discussed in a useful Skwawkbox article that states:

Labour’s contempt for Muslim voters and the Islamophobia deeply ingrained in the party’s right have long been obvious – and were condemned last year by a Labour Muslim Network (LMN) report.

Long before that, the party reacted to a recording of vile Islamophobic abuse against a left-wing Muslim member – by protecting the perpetrator and suspending the victim. For more than three years, with the process of expelling him ongoing.

And just after the publication of the LMN report, the party suspended a member of its National Executive Committee (NEC) of Moroccan Muslim heritage – for a statement of solidarity with Palestinians.

Acting general secretary David Evans claimed the party would implement the report’s recommendations in full – but … that has been exposed as nothing but lip service.

The LMN report was damning. As This Site reported last November, it found a whopping one-third of people of their ethnicity have witnessed Islamophobia within the party.

Worse, 44 per cent said they do not believe the party takes Islamophobia seriously and 48 per cent have lost confidence in the party’s complaints structures, according to the Labour Muslim Network investigation.

And worst of all, 59 per cent of Muslims surveyed said they did not feel well represented by the party.

In response, I wrote, “the party leadership that ignores the persecution of Palestine has made a perfunctory comment, promising to implement the report’s recommendations in a not-very-sincere way.

“The wording is cut-and-pasted from press releases about anti-Semitism and both Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner come across as not having thought about this as a serious issue at all.”

Their promise to implement the report’s recommendations appears to have been nothing but hot air.

There is a very clear conclusion to draw from all this.

While the words of Dan Hodges may be questionable, his article has highlighted institutional Islamophobia in the Labour Party.

Both Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner were made aware of it and rather than take action they have sat on their thumbs.

If Labour loses Batley & Spen because the Muslim vote moves elsewhere, they will only have themselves to blame.

Source: DAN HODGES: Who’s spreading the poison that could put the final nail in Keir Starmer’s coffin? | Daily Mail Online

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Labour suffers worst by-election result in party’s history. Will Starmer accept the blame?

What will be the excuse this time? Whatever Starmer says, the facts are clear: he has led Labour to its worst by-election result EVER. The party is on course for destruction under his leadership. If he stays, we’ll know that is what he wants.

Don’t think for a moment that the Liberal Democrats are on the rise again.

Ed Davey’s claim that his party’s victory in the Chesham and Amersham by-election means his party is now the main threat to the Tories in many areas is nothing but hot air.

No – the main shock of the by-election (triggered by the death of Tory Cheryl Gillan) is the collapse of support for the Labour Party under Keir Starmer.

Labour scraped together just 622 votes – that’s just 1.6 per cent of the votes cast, meaning the party even lost the £500 deposit it paid to take part.

It is the worst by-election result in Labour’s 121-year history.

Yes, turnout was lower than at a general election; yes, there may have been tactical voting to remove the Conservatives; and yes – Labour has never been in a position to win this particular Parliamentary seat.

But in general elections with turnout twice as high, Labour has historically won around 7,000-8,000 votes, with the 11,374 it received under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in 2017 its best result of all.

Once again, claims that Labour would do better with any leader other than Corbyn are destroyed.

And once again, Starmer will be looking to his Big Book of Excuses for a way to explain why he is dragging a once-great socialist party down to ruin in a mire of sub-Tory neoliberalism, focus group psychobabble and flag-waving.

Once again we see that the British public wants genuine, traditional (pre-Blair) policies and won’t be fooled by sharp haircuts, sharp suits, and vague announcements.

Labour is now in crisis. If Starmer continues as leader, he could drag the party down to destruction.

Source: Chesham and Amersham: Lib Dems overturn big Tory majority in by-election upset – BBC News

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Hartlepool by-election: will Tories win because Starmer parachuted a right-winger in for Labour?

Voting: but will people in Hartlepool vote Labour after the contempt with which Keir Starmer has (allegedly) treated them?

A poll – with, admittedly, a tiny number of respondents – has suggested that the Conservatives could take Hartlepool from Labour in Thursday’s by-election.

Is this because Keir Starmer steamrolled over the wishes of local part members to parachute a right-wing candidate in?

The behaviour of Labour’s head office with regard to the election has been, reportedly, a disgrace – and if this is how Starmer plans to run the party, then voters in Hartlepool will be right to abandon him.

The problem is that the Conservatives are likely to benefit from it.

Starmer is already facing criticism that his daft antics have strengthened the Tories. How will he be able to justify himself if they take Hartlepool?

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Brecon and Radnorshire: Where did all the voters go?

A voter’s plea: But have we really seen the end of the flood of leaflets that Jane Dodds and the Liberal Democrats used to bludgeon the electorate of Brecon and Radnorshire?

So you think last night’s Brecon and Radnorshire by-election result was a disaster for Labour? Well, you’re right – but probably not in the way you think.

Looking at the figures, we can see that although the Liberal Democrats enjoyed a slight boost, of around 1,700 votes, that’s nowhere near the numbers they were getting when Roger Williams was the candidate back in 2005 and 2010.

When he lost in 2015, Mr Williams’s vote fell by 37 per cent. Yesterday’s result clawed back only 13.8 per cent of that loss.

It seems the Liberal Democrats managed to retain their core vote – possibly due to the almost fascistic fearmongering of the campaign (“Only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Tories here!” – and the like); some of their supporters who went to Chris Davies in 2015 may have come back home; and – yes – some Labour supporters may have lent Jane Dodds their vote to get her past the line, in the belief that a bad MP is better than a diabolical one. We shall see.

But the Liberal Democrats are still damaged. Even allowing for the fact that the by-election attracted 17 per cent fewer voters (nearly 10,000 people) it is clear that they have not regained the popularity that consistently won Mr Williams more than 17,000 votes before their calamitous coalition with the Conservative Party between 2010 and 2015. And the toxicity of Ms Dodds’ campaign won’t improve their reputation.

And remember: Plaid Cymru and the Green Party chose not to field candidates in this election. Last time they both stood candidates for election, they netted 3,028 votes between them. It seems, even with such a huge campaign, Ms Dodds could not have beaten a criminal without their help.

The Conservative vote, on the other hand, collapsed. It is true that some of the pro-Brexit vote went to the Brexit Party and if that organisation had not stood a candidate for election, Chris Davies may have been returned to Parliament – but his criminal conviction for dishonesty seems to have stuck in voters’ collective craw and they couldn’t find it in themselves to hold their noses and vote for him; they would have choked on it.

So, while turnout was down by 17 per cent, Mr Davies lost more than double that proportion of his voters – 38 per cent. Some undoubtedly went to the Liberal Democrats (or back to them; ideologically, the two parties are very close), and I think some just stayed away.

But if the Tory vote collapsed, Labour’s evaporated. The party attracted less than a quarter of the electors who supported it in 2017. Where did they all go?

Well, some certainly went to Jane Dodds, along with disaffected Conservatives. And obviously Labour will know that it cannot count on the support of people who say they are Labour but consistently “lend” their votes to the Liberal Democrats – they are themselves Liberal Democrats and should not be treated otherwise. Some will have gone to the Brexit Party, heaven help them.

And the rest? I think they stayed at home. Having seen the huge weight of resources that the Liberal Democrats were pouring into the constituency, and noted the “Project Fear” tone of the campaign, they decided to keep their powder dry and wait for a better chance to get their candidate in.

I can’t say I blame them.

Now the focus will shift to Jane Dodds. Having made any number of castle-in-the-air promises, she has to keep them. Waiting for Ofcom to make good on its demand for better broadband in Brecon and Radnorshire by next March and then claiming it as a success won’t work, because we all know about that particular cheat now. She has to do some real work.

That doesn’t mean marching up to Boris Johnson, wherever he is, and saying “stop playing with the future of our community and rule out a no-deal Brexit”, as she claimed yesterday. He would simply brush her off and carry on doing whatever he damn well pleases because he’s the prime minister and she’s a nobody.

No – Ms Dodds will need to show she can be a good constituency MP before she can presume to have any effect on the wider issues.

I think she’ll mess it up because she simply doesn’t have the chops for it – and her party’s policies won’t do anything for the people of Brecon and Radnorshire.

If you don’t believe me, watch this:

From the tone of her campaign, we can see that Ms Dodds is a typical Liberal Democrat – an unprincipled political opportunist who’ll jump on any vote-grabbing bandwagon but won’t follow through with genuinely progressive work.

She’s going to fall flat on her face, isn’t she?

And we’ll all be watching when she does.

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‘Project Fear’ wins as Jane Dodds unseats Chris Davies in Brecon and Radnorshire

Jane Dodds: She has won the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election by instilling fear in voters that if they didn’t support her, convicted criminal Chris Davies would get back in.,

Congratulations are due to Jane Dodds, the new Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, who has won by convincing people that she was the best chance they had to unseat unpopular former Conservative MP Chris Davies.

But it was a narrow thing – she took 13,826 votes while Mr Davies accrued 12,401.

“People have chosen to believe in my positive Liberal vision for something better,” said Ms Dodds, in complete denial of the fact that her entire campaign was based on fear that Mr Davies would win if people didn’t vote for her.

She has no policies that are workable, although she is sure to claim credit for Ofcom’s order for better broadband in rural areas, for economic improvements ordered by Labour’s Welsh Assembly Government, and for the £1.4 million boost to healthcare courtesy of the same Labour-run Welsh Assembly.

Oh yes – she also supports remaining in the European Union, along with the other 12 Liberal Democrat MPs who have absolutely no influence in Parliament whatsoever.

Labour, whose Welsh Assembly Government will provide many of the boosts to Brecon and Radnorshire that Ms Dodds is sure to claim as her own, garnered just 1,680 votes – a huge drop in support, due entirely – it is believed – to a wish to drive Mr Davies out by any means necessary; Labour voters lent their support to Ms Dodds.

But she is unlikely to get such support again. The Liberal Democrat campaign was despicable.

Whether it was bombarding the electorate with lying leaflets, harassing them with telecanvassing calls or hanging on voters’ doorbells, Lib Dem campaigners disgraced themselves across Brecon and Radnorshire.

Some canvassers allegedly made false claims that Labour was not putting up a candidate in the by-election, and others apparently confronted Labour rivals, asking when they were going to “punch a Jew”.

All these matters are likely to be reported to the relevant authorities.

Still, congratulations are due to Ms Dodds. She has removed a Conservative from Parliament.

But people in Brecon and Radnorshire will be watching her performance very closely.

On the basis of her campaign, I’d be surprised if she gets a single vote from someone who isn’t a member of her party next time.

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This image may herald the end of Chris Davies’s political career #BreconandRadnorshire #byelection

This was spotted somewhere in Brecon and Radnorshire. Need I write more?

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This is disgusting. If you ever need a reason NOT to vote Lib Dem, here it is.

This bird is dead: The Liberal Democrats’ behaviour in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election has fallen well below the standard expected of political representatives.

I’ve just read the, from a Labour canvasser who was out in Brecon today (August 1) for the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, and met a group of Liberal Democrats working the same streets:

“They accused us of letting the Tories in. I asked them about the 25 leaflets being delivered to every home and they pretended they had no idea about that.

“One of our team reported that one [of] them asked her when she was going to punch Jews.”

Let’s have that again, shall we?

“One of our team reported that one [of] them asked her when she was going to punch Jews.”

How much lower can the Liberal Democrats go?

I certainly hope this will be reported to the relevant authorities as it is shocking.

And if you were thinking of voting for the people who think this kind of behaviour is acceptable? Please think again – and vote Labour while there’s still time.

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Tory/Lib Dem protest voters: Think again – Brecon and Radnorshire is NOT a ‘Brexit by-election’

Tom Davies in Brecon: He lives in the constituency, unlike Lib Dem interloper Jane Dodds.

Labour’s candidate in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election has appealed for voters to remember that there is much more to the August 1 by-election than Brexit.

“There are far greater issues than just Brexit,” said Tom Davies, whose campaign has been said to be lagging behind those of vapid Liberal Democrat leaflet-spammer Jane Dodds (Remain) and convicted criminal Chris Davies (Leave) – both of whom have little to recommend them other than the chance to record a pointless protest vote about the decision to leave the European Union. “We’re looking at the national effects of austerity, which are really taking hold in this constituency.

“What we’re hearing on the doorstep is more about people struggling to make ends meet and money not going into services than about Brexit.”

People in the constituency have been raising Brexit on the doorstep, he conceded, but “it’s not the only issue.”

He said: “We’re giving the option that if the public still want to leave the EU, then those people can vote for a deal. Parliament is deadlocked. The Tories rejected our deal, which I’d say was closest to what was promised during the referendum. Because the Tories have rejected that, it’s only right for that to be put back to the people.

“We as a party, and I certainly, will not accept any deal that will make us worse off than being in the EU. Any deal that has been put forward at the moment, save perhaps our own, is exactly that. In our stance – confirmatory vote and remain – I think we’ve got the sensible solution.”

And he pointed out that it would be a betrayal to stand aside for another party as part of a so-called “Remain alliance”: “We have a number of other factors at play, not just Brexit. I won’t forgive Lib Dems for their part in austerity. I won’t forgive them for their voting record during the coalition government. The last Lib Dem MP for this constituency lost his seat. He voted for welfare cuts, and I won’t be seen to be accepting that.

“Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, has been public in saying he’s thrown his support behind the Lib Dems. That’s him playing politics. He is well aware that Plaid Cymru hasn’t had a good showing in this constituency recently, and I don’t think he wants to lose their deposit.”

Austerity

He admitted: “You can introduce yourself and people will say ‘no, thank you’ because of your stance on Brexit or ‘yes, I’ll talk to you because you’re for a confirmatory vote’. [Tom is a Remainer, and would campaign for that as an MP if Labour has its way and voters go back to the polls to confirm the way forward on the vexed Brexit issue.]

“What we’re focusing on is austerity, but also losing between £850m and £1bn… In Brecon and Radnorshire, as part of Powys, we’re seeing a 9.5% council tax increase to pay for Tory cuts. [Powys County Council is Tory-Independent run.]

“The reason we’re not getting the funding from the Welsh government is because their budget has been cut from Westminster.”

NHS

“In spite of the Tory and Lib Dem coalition austerity measures, the Welsh government is still pumping record amounts of money into the NHS.”

Schools

“We’re still pumping £1.4bn over the last five years into the new schools programme, and the Welsh government has built 41 new schools across Wales. We’re also putting an extra £100m into education, and we’re offering families some of the best childcare offers across the UK.

The message is that despite the Tories in Westminster, it’s the Welsh Labour government that is delivering for the people of Brecon and Radnorshire.

Popular policies

“People are very interested in John McDonnell’s plans for a Post Bank. I certainly think it’s well worth exploring and developing. We’ve lost a lot of high street banks in this area and people need somewhere to be able to do their banking.

“We’re obviously looking at more funding for the devolved nations of the UK as a national party, and that is absolutely welcome. Also going down well are the pledges for a £10-per-hour real living wage, lifting the public sector pay cap and the green industrial revolution, which was a big hit in the hustings.”

Tactical voting

He doesn’t agree with the false Liberal Democrat demand for Labour supporters to vote tactically for the other party, to keep the Tories out – for a very good reason: “That hasn’t worked over the last few elections. It certainly didn’t work in 2015 and 2017. It didn’t work in 2010 either because, even though the Lib Dems were elected, they turned around and went into coalition with the Conservatives. That is not what Labour voters would have voted Lib Dem for.”

And of course there’s the fact that Liberal Democrat canvassers have been lying directly to voters: “We’ve heard rumours of one activist saying to voters in one area that Labour aren’t standing in this election so the voters who are naturally Labour should be voting Lib Dem. Well, here I am. I’m standing. It’s really misleading tactics from the Lib Dems.”

So there it is.

This election is about more than just Brexit – and voters simply cannot trust the Liberal Democrats and the Tory convict. Labour has the local policies that people want… It would be irrational to support anybody else.

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.

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By-election candidate supports tax avoidance for the rich – but hammered the vulnerable with the bedroom tax

Chris Davies: He supports tax avoidance and evasion, according to his voting record.

If you were reading This Site yesterday (July 30), you’ll be aware that a friend on Facebook has been looking at the Parliamentary voting record of Chris Davies, the former MP and current Conservative candidate in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election – and it makes grim reading.

The same friend has now finished researching Mr Davies’s record on taxation and the results speak for themselves. Amongst other decisions…

• Davies voted against a series of proposals intended to reduce tax avoidance and evasion.
• Davies voted against an investigation into the banking industry’s failure to prevent tax evasion.
• Davies voted against requiring multinational enterprises to publish a country by country tax strategy including information on their attitude to tax planning (this could have established evidence to show how companies avoid paying tax).
• Davies voted against giving the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority duties to combat abusive tax avoidance arrangements.
• Davies voted not to support the publishing full details of the Government’s tax settlement with Google and for an international agreement to implement country-by-country reporting of company accounts.

So you can see that Mr Davies is a big fan of tax avoidance and evasion by corporations and the very rich. Conversely:

• Davies voted to ensure that victims of domestic abuse would have to pay extra charges – the bedroom tax – if they were provided with a secure tenancy that incorporates a spare room.

So he’s against tax fairness; he would let corporations and the rich get away without paying a huge amount of tax that would hugely contribute to public services, but he’s happy to hammer the vulnerable with an unfair and random tax that affects people according to the accommodation that is allocated to them (which in turn is based on what is available).

I hope the people of Brecon and Radnorshire pay attention to this abysmal record – while also remembering that Mr Davies is himself a convict, having been found guilty of faking expenses claims earlier this year.

Mr Davies should never have been voted into Westminster. It is time to kick him back into the political wilderness.

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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