Tag Archives: Chris

If political interference in anti-Semitism complaints is wrong, why was Chris Williamson expelled from Labour?

Chris Williamson: he was dismissed from the Labour Party after political interference – in extremely bad faith – by right-wing Labour MPs, some of whom are now among Keir Starmer’s chief lieutenants. Shouldn’t THEY now be suspended and investigated?

I called it at the time.

Last year, Chris Williamson’s Labour Party membership was suspended amid false allegations of anti-Semitism. There was an investigation, the charge was upheld (wrongly, in my view) and he was punished for it with a formal warning.

Then a roll-call of the usual suspects – bad-faith Labour MPs acting on an agenda (in my opinion), along with that fake charity the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and others – demanded his re-suspension after the details were leaked to the press. They had their way and he was dismissed from the party.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report, published yesterday – ruling that there was no “institutional antisemitism” in the Labour Party during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – has condemned political interference of exactly this kind.

Referring to the Williamson case, the EHRC report points out that Williamson “successfully challenged the decision to reopen the complaint in the High Court. The court found that: ‘it is not … difficult to infer that the true reason for the decision in this case was that members were influenced by the ferocity of the outcry following the June decision … the NEC should decide cases fairly and impartially in accordance with the rules and evidence; and not be influenced by how its decisions are seen by others. Internal and press reaction to a decision are not of themselves proper grounds for reopening a case that was not otherwise procedurally unfair or obviously wrong.”

The EHRC does not make any recommendations that could lead to those responsible for the reopening of the Williamson case to be penalised.

But it does call for the current leadership to implement clear rules and guidance that prohibit and sanction political interference in the complaints process, and to acknowledge the effect that political interference has had on the handling of antisemitism complaints.

It occurs to This Writer that such an acknowledgement should include punishment of those responsible in the Chris Williamson fiasco – for bringing the party into disrepute in the way they did.

They are [shadow ministers in bold]: Tom Watson, Holly Lynch, Stella Creasy, Anna Turley, Rosie Duffield, Louise Ellman, Ruth Smeeth, Jenny Chapman, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Stephen Doughty, Karin Smyth, Baroness Thornton, Lord McNicol, Baroness Morgan of Huyton, Lord Turnberg, Gloria de Piero, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, Yvette Cooper, Baroness Massey of Darwen, Baroness Kingsmill, Lord Soley, Madeleine Moon, Kate Green, Ruth Cadbury, Owen Smith, Seema Malhotra, Liz Kendall, Chris Matheson, Margaret Hodge, Stephen Kinnock, Jeff Smith, Chris Bryant, Wes Streeting, Julie Elliott, Lord Levy, Lord Knight of Weymouth, Lord Harris of Haringey, Ali McGovern, James Frith, Lucy Powell, Bridget Phillipson, Pat McFadden, Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall, Lord Triesman, Lord Dubs, Ian Murray, Darren Jones, Alex Sobel, Karen Buck, Neil Coyle, Lord Mandelson, Anna McMorrin, Chi Onwurah, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Lord Willie Bach, Susan Elan Jones, Ged Killen, Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale, Lord Livermore, Kevin Barron, Dan Jarvis, Jess Phillips, Martin Whitfield, Rachel Reeves, Peter Kyle, Baroness Armstrong of Hilltop, Lord Young of Norwood Green, Ellie Reeves, Baroness Maggie Jones, Rushanara Ali, Debbie Abrahams, Daniel Zeichner, Lilian Greenwood, Graham Jones, Toby Perkins, Lord George Robertson, Baroness Mary Goudie, Barry Sheerman, Tonia Antoniazzi, Ian Lucas, Lord George Foulkes, Lord Wood of Anfield, Cat McKinnell, Ben Bradshaw, Lord Haskell, Lisa Nandy, Gareth Thomas, Lord Brooke, Sharon Hodgson, and Lord Kennedy of Southwark.

Will Starmer take appropriate action?

Or will he merely provide further proof of his own unfitness to be Labour leader?

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#Whitty and #Vallance TV briefing shows incompetent Tories failed to contain #Covid19UK while causing maximum public inconvenience

[Image tweeted by The Brexit Comic.]

There’s no way around it: Boris Johnson and his gang of Tory nincompoops have really cocked up the Covid-19 crisis.

That’s the message This Writer took from the televised briefing by chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance.

Here’s a summary of what they said, courtesy of that great critic of the Johnson government, Piers Morgan:

Those are the points I got from it too – and here’s my conclusion:

That’s right:

Here’s the rest of what I took from the briefing:

So what can we all expect in the future from Johnson?

More of the same.

He may impose more restrictions on our freedoms but he won’t tell us not to go to work again, because making money for his friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

His policies will be intended to keep hospital admissions within treatable levels – to prevent Covid-19 from overwhelming the UK’s doctors and nurses – as it always has been. But they won’t be about reducing levels of infection to zero because he has never been interested in that. Making money for his friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

Johnson may even try to justify his refusal to impose measures that would eradicate the disease by saying the effect on the economy would cause even more harm to public health. As I tweeted, that’s a political decision – he could legislate to ensure that any such harm is prevented. But he won’t, because making money for his friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

And that means many more people are going to die – your relatives and friends, perhaps. Maybe even you. Because making money for Johnson’s friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

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#SackWhitty and #SackVallance, people are saying – before they’ve even made their broadcast

Chris Whitty: the Chief Medical Officer is facing calls for his removal – before he has even had a chance to broadcast to the nation alongside Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance.

New hashtags on social media are calling for the UK’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser to be sacked – before they’ve even had a chance to address the public on television.

The broadcast was scheduled for 11am today (September 21) but platforms like Twitter have already been filling up with attacks on Chris Whitty and – notably – Patrick Vallance.

The attacks don’t make much sense.

In fairness to the advisers, we don’t know what their advice to the government has been. Their meetings have taken place behind closed doors and when they have faced the public it has always been under the shroud of shared responsibility – a line has been taken by Johnson government ministers and the advisers are obliged to support it.

So comments like this…

… seem premature.

Worse still is the “blame game” that some people are playing:

“Bent science”? We don’t know that the gentlemen concerned have been bending science in any way at all.

We do know that the politicians have been as bent as the figure “8”, trying to delay lockdown to keep the economy going, trying to shorten lockdown to prevent the economy from being harmed more than it already has been… trying to continue making money for their party donors while people die (or suffer serious health consequences).

And it’s the politicians who have been misusing emergency procurement procedures to funnel vast amounts of public money into the hands of private firms – some running companies that have been dormant for years – that happen to be run by friends of theirs; the socialism of the very rich.

So This Site tends to come down on the side of those who have been standing up for the scientists:

So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt – for a little while, at least.

But let’s also remember…

… other scientific opinions are available.

#Whitty and #Vallance to appeal to the public over #Covid19 – because nobody trusts the Tories any more

Whitty takes over: the chief medical officer – with chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance – will be making a televised address to the nation because nobody trusts the Tories any more. From the state of this image, not even Whitty.

Trust in Conservative ministers has eroded so badly that they have been forced to hand over a televised update to the UK’s chief scientific and medical officers.

Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty – who was last seen shouting at performing monkey prime minister Boris Johnson and his boss Dominic Cummings in a photograph published in The Spectator – will make an appeal to the public to stick to new rules on Monday (September 21).

Whitty and Vallance are likely to compare the UK with other European countries such as France and Spain, which have seen a sharp rise in cases translate – after a lag – into increasing hospitalisations and then deaths. The UK saw 3,899 new cases and 18 deaths on Sunday.

The scientists will set out the latest data on the spread of the disease, and urge people to exercise caution. Whitty is expected to warn: “We are looking at the data to see how to manage the spread of the virus ahead of a very challenging winter period.”

Their intervention comes after ministers were accused of eroding trust, from failings and broken pledges on testing and tracing to scandals such as Dominic Cummings’ lockdown journeys.

Covid-19 is now on the rise across the UK, among people in all age groups. Cases are doubling each week.

The Tory ministers – like Johnson and Matt Hancock (also seen recoiling from Whitty in that Spectator shot) – are said to be hoping the scientists’ broadcast will help bring home the message that tough new restrictions will be unavoidable if the situation fails to improve.

So it is the Tory mailed fist behind the velvet glove: comply with restrictions, including the “rule of six” limit on social gatherings, or see stricter measures imposed.

Source: UK at ‘critical point’ over Covid-19, top scientists to tell public | World news | The Guardian

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Image of #Whitty confronting #Johnson over #Covid19 goes viral. What WAS he saying?

Whitty furious: but what was the UK’s chief medical officer saying to the prime minister who has bungled our defence against Covid-19 so badly?

Remember the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words? It seems the above image of Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty tearing Boris Johnson a new one has merited many thousands more:

That last tweet seems the most likely to be true, profanity-ridden though it is.

The image accompanied a Spectator article by Robert Peston in which that “magazine” heralded a report by the Office for National Statistics that is likely to say Covid-19 is on the march again everywhere, not just in regional pockets.

It is also likely to say that while the illness is rising in all age groups, it is now most prevalent in young people aged 17-29.

The article goes on to discuss the latest plan to stop the march of the virus, by forcing pubs, clubs and restaurants nationally to turf out customers at 10 pm or reverting to closing them altogether for a couple of weeks.

Apparently the name devised for this is “circuit breaker lockdown”, the aim being to interrupt the progress of the virus by stopping its flow along an established route.

Bit of a misnomer, that, as closing pubs at 10pm isn’t going to stop Covid being spread through them.

In any case, the damage has already been done; it’s fixing the barn door after the chicken has come home to roost.

The simple fact is that Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and their cronies (who don’t like being challenged, according to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, remember) should not have reopened pubs in the way they did after such a haphazard campaign to keep a lid on the virus.

And that’s what I suspect Whitty was saying when the image was captured.

The article does highlight the real aim of Johnson’s Covid-related restrictions on our freedoms:

The priority of the Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, is to suppress the incidence of the virus to a level that doesn’t prevent the NHS from treating other diseases and conditions.

So the idea is to infect the whole nation, piecemeal – presumably in the hope of eventually achieving that mythical “herd immunity” Johnson mentioned to Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby back in March.

And never mind how many people die or suffer permanent health consequences as a result. Charming.

Peston, and the Spectator, also suggests that Johnson and his government “moved too late to prevent the first wave”, and “eventually applied the sledgehammer of total lockdown at huge economic cost”.

This seems characteristic of many right-wing periodicals; they are deserting the Tories – and in fact have started to criticise them hotly over the Covid fiasco.

Guardian article points out that the same magazine – The Spectator – ran a “Where’s Boris?” cartoon on its front cover “featuring a distant blond dot on a tiny boat bobbing rudderless and oarless on a stormy sea”.

The Daily Mail had reached a similar conclusion. “Boris: We’ve Failed” the front-page headline blared, with the paper claiming it had warned of a “looming test crisis five months ago”.

“Too often the government has over-promised and under-delivered,” concluded a leader in the Times on Friday morning. “Policies have had to be swiftly abandoned after the exposure of entirely predictable problems,” the centre-right broadsheet continued, adding the A-level fiasco and the problems with the contact-tracing app for good measure.

Of course they’re not willing to shift loyalty away from the Tories altogether… at least, not yet.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, for all his attempts to drag his party back into Tory orbit (and perhaps because of it) has failed to impress anybody apart from the most fervent haters of the man he replaced, Jeremy Corbyn. That party will need to find a new leader with a drop of socialism in his blood and a penchant for a decent soundbite. That’s not happening any time soon.

But just look at that picture.

This Writer has never seen a middle-aged bald man look so ready to smash somebody else’s face in – and I make that statement as a middle-aged, bald man myself.

It seems clear that Johnson is at a crossroads – but has probably sold his soul to the devil already. He’s on a road to a Hell of his own making – the question now is whether he’ll drag us all down with him.

Source: With scientists divided, it’s time for politicians to decide | The Spectator

Did Grayling quit intelligence committee because he really WAS Johnson’s stooge?

Chris Grayling: it seems there are limits to the humiliation he can endure.

Chris ‘Failing’ Grayling has quit Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee after failing (he does that a lot) to be named as chair a few weeks ago.

He was prevented from taking that position – despite being Boris Johnson’s nomination for the role – when opposition MPs combined their votes with that of Julian Lewis to install him instead.

Mr Lewis subsequently lost the Tory whip, on grounds that he had been “working with Labour and other opposition MPs for his own advantage”.

But it was widely believed that it was Johnson who had been trying to install his stooge (Grayling) to run a committee that had previously been proudly independent and non-partisan.

Grayling’s resignation will only strengthen that belief.

Source: Chris Grayling resigns from Intelligence and Security Committee | The Independent | Independent

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Covid confusion: when news sources contradict each other, what do you believe?

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Look at this:

Now consider this:

Apparently chief medical officer Chris Whitty is saying, at the same time, that children returning to school will increase the likelihood of people catching Covid-19… and that it won’t.

It depends which news source you use and whether you think the UK’s chief medical officer is likely to contradict himself in such a way.

What do you believe?

And, if you’re a parent…

What do you do?

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Concern that Corbyn may be removed from MP of the Year vote – after Chris Williamson last year

What will happen if Jeremy Corbyn is voted MP of the Year, I asked – and the popular guess is that pressure will be exerted on the award’s organisers, the Patchwork Foundation, to disqualify him.

That’s what happened with Chris Williamson last year, after all!

Do you remember that particular fiasco? I do. Here‘s what I wrote about it:

A charity that self-describes as “strengthening democracy” has undermined its own work by vetoing the nomination of Chris Williamson as a candidate for its ‘MP of the Year’ award.

The Patchwork Foundation, which claims to encourage the positive integration of disadvantaged and minority communities into British democracy and civil society, pushed Mr Williamson off the list because his membership of the Labour Party has been suspended pending an investigation into claims of anti-Semitism. This is despite the fact that he continues his work as an outstanding constituency MP.

A letter from the organisation states:

“Our MP of the Year Awards seek to celebrate and recognise those MPs that uphold the ethos and values of the Fooundation; to champion underrepresented, minority or disadvantaged communities in the UK.

“MPs under investigation or suspension would not be included. As such, Chris Williamson’s nomination could not be taken forward this year, as he is currently suspended from the Labour Party.”

What message does this send to disadvantaged and minority communities? “Don’t get accused of anything because the establishment – including this organisation – will automatically assume that you are guilty”? “We will pre-judge you on anything that is said about you”? “Don’t dare try to make a difference because you will be punished”?

That’s what it says to me.

New New Labour leader Keir Starmer is already under pressure to suspend Corbyn’s membership of the Labour Party, and I wonder if this will be enough reason for him to take that plunge?

He doesn’t usually need much encouragement to do the wrong thing; consider the way he paid £600,000 of party members’ funds to so-called “whistleblowers” who were threatening him with court proceedings, despite being told Labour could win. Now he’s facing many more threatened court claims.

Disqualification – as part of the so-called “cancel culture” – seems to be the most popular response on This Writer’s Twitter feed:

Some of the other answers have been more amusing, though. See for yourself:

I’m keeping the last word for myself as I see some people are still blaming Corbyn for losing the 2019 election, when it seems clear that it was rigged against him due to sabotage by right-wing factionalists within Labour:

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It seems the UK’s Equalities watchdog is a racist organisation. How can we believe its report on Labour?

Chris Williamson: He was subjected to death threats because of the false accusations against him, but the EHRC appears to have attacked him in its report.

A common tactic among right-wingers, when a document is about to be published  or a claim made that attacks them, is to undermine the validity of the issuer of that document in some way beforehand.

We’ve seen that happen many times over the last few years, haven’t we?

Often the critical claims have been proved untrue later. Consider all the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.

Now, with the Equality and Human Rights Commission soon to release its report on alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, that organisation is being buried under a flood of bad publicity.

But it seems unlikely that these claims will be quite as easy to dismiss.

Here’s Chris Williamson: he was the victim of a huge vilification campaign by many of his colleagues on the Labour benches after he made perfectly reasonable comments about the party’s attitude to anti-Semitism complaints in a speech.

The EHRC report comments on his case, and this means he has been allowed to see it in advance. From his response, it seems clear that the organisation has drawn a false conclusion:

He is right to start crowdfunding now. By the time the report comes out – hopefully – he will have raised the funds he needs and will be able to launch his proceedings immediately.

Clearly, he’s not making a wild accusation; people don’t take others to court frivolously unless they want to be penalised for vexatious litigation (Rachel Riley take note).

It seems the EHRC has already lost any credibility in claims of racism against other people and organisations, though; it has just been revealed that it removed its only black and Muslim commissioners in what the two people involved consider a clear act of racism:

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece, who at the time was the only Muslim commissioner and Lord Simon Woolley who was the only black commissioner, both lost their positions in November 2012.

At present, it has no black or Muslim members among its board of ten commissioners, which also includes the chair.

It currently stands accused of not standing up for British Muslims and being too close to the ruling Conservative Party, both claims the EHRC firmly denies.

“We were too loud for what the new coalition government wanted,” Lord Woolley told Newsweek.

“Our job as commissioners was to do exactly what they were supposed to do, to raise the fundamental issues of tackling race inequality in education, in health, in employment, within the criminal justice system and I saw that as my central role, but it was made very quickly aware to me that that strong voice was not wanted.

“They [the government] didn’t want the voices that challenge the big structural inequalities, which of course is the raison d’être of the commission, and then to work out plans to use its powers to demand change.”

Baroness Hussein-Ece said that she too feared that being vocal about issues of race worked against her.

She said: “We were the ones who spoke more about race. Race equality generally was put on the back burner during that period.”

She described the decision not to reappoint herself and Lord Woolley at the time as an “appalling” thing to do.

“We were told to apply for the next term because it’s a four-year term, our performance was deemed good, and that we should reapply,” she said.

“When we did reapply, we were told we weren’t even shortlisted.”

She also said that she was told by the Equalities Office at the time that more commissioners from business backgrounds were desirable.

The revelation – take note that it came out into the open this week, not in 2012 – has sparked a wave of outrage on the social media (and silence in the Tory-supporting, racist mainstream media). Judge for yourself if the comments are valid:

Remember this when the usual screamers start baying about Labour being guilty of anti-Semitism, simply because the EHRC is investigating; when the organisation itself is racist, its pronunciations on discrimination mean nothing.

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This rural Mid Wales constituency is now the focus of UK politics. Here are the reasons

“Where?” Boris Johnson may need a geography lesson to find out the location of the constituency that could make a monkey of him (or even Jeremy Hunt).

Isn’t it frightening that both remaining candidates in the Tory leadership contest have names that can be perverted into terms for genital organs?

We have Boris Johnson on one side – a ‘johnson’ being a slang term for male parts; and on the other side, Jeremy C… Hunt, whose surname has been mispronounced so many times that no further elaboration should be necessary.

Does this mean that, no matter who wins, the UK is f***ed?

It may not make much difference, if current developments in This Writer’s home constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire run their course. Not only is it now to be the location of a by-election that may break the Conservatives as a credible political organisation, but it is also the home of the woman who was brutalised by a Conservative MP at the recent Mansion House dinner.

Janet Barker, of Builth Wells in the constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire, was taking part in a peaceful protest against climate change when Mark Field grabbed her by the throat and marched her out, his face a picture of privileged Tory fury.

Mr Field has since apologised but he has already done the damage. Here’s Ms Barker saying he needs to take an anger management course:

What a proud advert for Conservatism Mr Field is! In this Guardian article, Ms Barker reveals that after he shoved her out of the Mansion House, Mr Field said: “This is what happens when people like you disturb our dinner!”

Make no mistake; when this man said “people like you” to Janet Barker, he meant people like you, dear reader.

He meant members of the general public who are harmed by Tory policies. He thinks your place is to suffer in silence while he and his kind eat slap-up meals, bought by causing that suffering. He is a fairly typical Conservative in that respect.

Two more fairly typical Conservatives are Chris Davies and Glyn Davies, the disgraced now-former Tory MP for Brecon and Radnorshire and the current Tory MP for neighbouring Montgomeryshire.

The latter seems to think the former has “suffered enough”, as the old saying about Tories caught in wrong-doing used to go, and that he should stand for re-election to the Brecon and Radnorshire seat.

He told the BBC: “There is a process. There is a parliamentary process – we’ve gone through that process… I would vote for Chris to be the candidate. We have processes.”

Gibberish!

Personally, I think Mr (Chris) Davies should stand again for Brecon and Radnorshire.

Consider the mathematics here. One-fifth of the total electorate voted to push him out. A further half of the voters are unlikely to even turn out, as this is a by-election (look at the recent Peterborough result). This means Mr Davies would have to try to get a proportion of the remaining 16,000 or so votes – from Tories who are likely to think he made them all look bad (he did) and ‘Leave’ supporters who will probably see the Brexit Party as a better option.

A Tory with an unblemished record would stand a better chance, I would have thought.

Perhaps there aren’t any left.

I wonder what Ms Barker thinks of these shenanigans?

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook