Tag Archives: community

As Israeli gunboats attack civilians in Rafah, international calls for a ceasefire grow

Here’s the situation in Gaza now:

Other parts of Gaza are still under attack, with horrifying civilian casualties there:

Buy Cruel Britannia in print here. Buy the Cruel Britannia ebook here. Or just click on the image!

In the UK, entertainers seem to have more humanity than politicians. Former Labour Party member (since expelled) and movie director Ken Loach was among those calling for a ceasefire at the Bafta awards ceremony:

Mr Loach seems to have more in common with Labour voters than that party’s MPs. Polling shows that 83 per cent of them also want an end to the bloodshed with an immediate ceasefire:

But look what happened when Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire was asked if she would support the motion for a ceasefire, due to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday:

Her interlocutor is right; whether a motion gives prominence to the attacks on Israel that took place on October 7 last year is neither here nor there when innocent civilians are being murdered by a heavily-armed military machine.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva knows this. And Asa Winstanley’s comment therefore seems right on the button:

In the United States, Susan Sarandon, an actress who lost representation by her agent because of her pro-Palestinian position, attended Congress in a bid to stop the US government passing a new Bill to give more money to the Israeli military. Her comments were well-made but This Writer fears they will have fallen on deaf ears because money talks louder:

And in Spain a former government minister there has said out loud that her country, and the United States are complicit in Israel’s genocide through their arms trade agreements with that country:

The tide has well and truly turned on Israel.

But how long will the international community wait before demands for action change into direct action against our intractable politicians by members of the public themselves?


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Be among the first to know what’s going on! Here are the ways to manage it:

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the right margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

5) Join the uPopulus group at https://upopulus.com/groups/vox-political/

6) Join the MeWe page at https://mewe.com/p-front/voxpolitical

7) Feel free to comment!

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Cruel Britannia is available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The Livingstone Presumption is available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Israel’s genocide: Christian community in crisis

This Site has accumulated a huge amount of information on the genocide in Gaza that I’ve been unable to publish as stories with my own opinion of them – due to time constraints.

Rather than leave them unseen, I’ve decided to publish them – with a caveat that it is up to you to decide what you make of them.

So:

Buy Cruel Britannia in print here. Buy the Cruel Britannia ebook here. Or just click on the image!

Gaza’s Christian community – among the world’s most ancient – is on the verge of extinction at the hands of Israel’s military, which treats mosques, churches, hospitals, schools, homes and civilians as legitimate targets.

More than 1,000 older people have been killed by Israel, about one percent of this age group, according to Euro-Med. Seniors represent one in 25 of all deaths in the genocide.

Israel has also attacked the fragile infrastructure that cares for the most vulnerable elders.

Israel has not spared Gaza’s elders any of the abuse it metes out against the rest of the population.


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Be among the first to know what’s going on! Here are the ways to manage it:

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the right margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

5) Join the uPopulus group at https://upopulus.com/groups/vox-political/

6) Join the MeWe page at https://mewe.com/p-front/voxpolitical

7) Feel free to comment!

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Cruel Britannia is available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The Livingstone Presumption is available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson LIED about community transmission of Covid-19 (EVIDENCE)

They really were lying: I never thought I’d get to use this image again.

Here’s some video evidence supporting what This Site said about Matt Hancock’s WhatsApp messages on Covid-19 testing in care homes during early 2020.

It shows both Hancock and then-prime minister Boris Johnson later denying that they knew anything about asymptomatic (the person with the disease didn’t have symptoms of it) transmission of Covid-19 at the time.

And then it demonstrates that both of them did know:

This supports what I said in my article – that they had been shown scientific evidence that people in care homes were being infected as early as February 2020 (in fact they received information from care homes about deaths there, as early as March 2) and simply ignored it.

Let’s hope this is picked up by the inquiry into the way the government handled the pandemic. We need to see major players in this fiasco receiving proportionate punishments.


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Where is the evidence of “unfathomably vast” abuse of Jews because of alleged Labour anti-Semitism?

Jeremy Corbyn: He would be spectacularly ill-advised to accept the advice of liars like the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council, and the Community Security Trust.

We’ve been here before.

Remember when Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth lied about receiving thousands of abusive social media messages in a single day?

She claimed in a BBC interview on September 2, 2016, that she had received 25,000 pieces of anti-Semitic abuse since the incident in which she had (falsely) accused Marc Wadsworth of anti-Semitism in June that year – 20,000 in a 12-hour period.

But research by the Community Security Trust showed that over a 12 month period (from October 2015 to October 2016),  there were 2.7 million tweets concerning Jews, of which only 15,575 (0.6%) were considered to be antisemitic.

The maximum peaks the CST team found were around 200 antisemitic tweets a day, and that was for the whole UK.

But the CST is one of the Jewish organisations that have written to Jeremy Corbyn, claiming “unfathomably vast” abuse has been received by Jews on social media this summer, due to the row over anti-Semitism stirred up by – among others – the CST.

Contradiction?

Of course.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council, the CST – and others – have created a fake row, with faked accusations of anti-Semitism.

And if real anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head now, it is only because these organisations have encouraged the perpetrators to believe that they will be safely hidden among the fakes.

It is therefore disingenuous for Board of Deputies chief executive Gillian Merron to say the Jewish community has “no interest in an ongoing dispute with any major political party about the nature of racism against us”, but that her group has to defend the interests of Jewish people.

Her group has deliberately harmed those interests by stirring up this row.

The JLC and CST followed the well-established pattern of conflating Zionism, Judaism and the state of Israel (they are not the same things), claiming that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party must accept that most British Jews had close ties with traditional Zionism – support for a Jewish homeland – and Israel.

There is no evidence to suggest that this is true.

And this statement is a flat-out lie: “The current obsessive hatred of Israel and Zionism means that no Jew can be an equal member of the Labour party, because even if they pass an initial loyalty/morality test, they still always remain under suspicion, lest they display ‘Zionist’ or ‘pro-Israel’ tendencies,” the letter said. “This is the current experience of Jews in Labour circles. It is an antisemitic environment.”

The claim of hatred towards Israel is not true. Nor is the claim of hatred towards Zionism.

It is possible that people may hate the policies of the current Israeli government, including its interpretation of Zionism which happens to demand the slaughter of thousands of Palestinian civilians for no good reason at all.

There is no evidence to suggest that Jewish Labour Party members who have not already exhibited loyalty to the Israeli government and its version of Zionism (like certain MPs we know) are likely to.

And let’s be honest, if they don’t demonstrate any such loyalty in their words or actions, there’s no reason to believe they have it – so the claim that Jewish members would always remain under suspicion is a lie (or should be).

So all the organisations writing to Labour are lying. What did you expect? None of them are affiliated to the Labour Party and there is plenty of evidence that some of their members have other political loyalties.

It follows, therefore, that their advice to Labour about ways of fixing the issue is useless – worse than useless, in fact. It will only create more opportunities for the kind of mischief that they have already been making.

So, what advice should Labour, and Jeremy Corbyn take?

Simple.

Check all the facts. Don’t accept any claims on face value. Draw your conclusions from verifiable information – not the unevidenced claims of liars.

And act appropriately, on the conclusions you draw.

Leading Jewish organisations have called on Jeremy Corbyn to end the “impasse” over tackling antisemitism in the Labour party, calling the abuse received by Jews on social media during the row this summer “unfathomably vast”.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and the Community Security Trust (CST) wrote separate letters to Labour’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, accusing the leadership of failing to deal adequately with concerns.

Source: Jewish groups urge Corbyn to end ‘impasse’ over antisemitism | News | The Guardian

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Corbyn meets Jewish right-wingers and agrees to none of their demands

Jeremy Corbyn: Not an anti-Semite, no matter how hard certain organisations try to claim it.

I’m sure everybody is glad that Jeremy Corbyn has finally met the right (-wing) kind of Jew to discuss the issue of anti-Semitism which they say is growing in the Labour Party – although everybody else has seen the statistics showing the exact opposite.

Mr Corbyn met representatives of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust on the afternoon of April 25. These organisations had refused to attend a roundtable meeting with other groups who (as I understand it) they claimed were the “wrong kind of Jews”.

They had six demands:

  • That there should be a fixed timetable to deal with anti-Semitism cases
  • That Mr Corbyn should take personal responsibility for Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism
  • That Labour should expedite the long-standing cases involving Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker
  • That no MP should share a platform with somebody expelled or suspended for anti-Semitism
  • That Labour should adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism with all its examples and clauses
  • That there should be transparent oversight of Labour’s disciplinary process

It is easy to see why Mr Corbyn did not accept these.

A fixed timetable means justice would be abandoned in favour of getting through all the allegations as quickly as possible. In the current atmosphere of false, malicious and opportunistic claims against party members, it would be easy to overload the system with frivolous accusations, making it harder for the innocent to have the exoneration they deserve.

What would these representatives demand if Mr Corbyn agreed to take person responsibility and then they (perhaps arbitrarily) decided he wasn’t doing a good enough job? His resignation? That would not be acceptable to the majority of Labour members but This Writer is sure it would suit the Tory Party very well.

It is true that the cases involving Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker have been taking a long time. But the Labour leadership was harshly criticised for its treatment of Mr Livingstone when he was suspended for quoting historical fact (don’t believe the nonsense that he said Hitler was a Zionist – he said no such thing) and we all know Jackie Walker was set up by the Jewish Labour Movement, and what they called anti-Semitism on her part was in fact her contribution to a discussion at which people were asked to voice their concerns, in a ‘safe space’ meeting where no recording equipment was supposed to be present. Strange that the JLM brought some along specifically to record and entrap her, isn’t it?

Personally I don’t see anything wrong with the demand that no Labour MP should share a platform with someone who has been expelled for anti-Semitism. But Labour’s process for dealing with these cases is extremely dubious at the moment – that’s one of the reasons new General Secretary Jennie Formby has been asked to review and revamp it. Members who have been suspended on suspicion are not guilty of anything – we have a convention in the UK that people accused of anything are innocent until their guilt has been proved – so I would not agree that that no MP should share a platform with a person who has only been suspended. It’s possible that the process of suspending someone while an investigation is carried out will end, though, so the issue might go away.

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, with all of its examples and clauses, is not acceptable to many people for several reasons – see this analysis by Hugh Tomlinson QC.

And by “transparent oversight”, what did these representatives mean? That they should have some influence over the workings of the Labour Party disciplinary process? Influence from external organisations would be unacceptable to the Labour Party under any circumstances.

Mr Corbyn was graceful about the meeting:

His full statement, on Facebook, followed the lines he had set out in his Evening Standard article prior to the meeting:

“I am grateful to the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust for a positive and constructive meeting about tackling antisemitism.

“I am absolutely committed to rooting out antisemitism from our party and our society.

“When members of Jewish communities express genuine anxieties, we must recognise them as we would those of any other community. Their concerns are not ‘smears’. Jews belong in the Labour Party and we are utterly committed to making it a safe and welcoming place for them.

“I have charged our new General Secretary Jennie Formby with improving our disciplinary procedures as her top priority to ensure all complaints are dealt with swiftly and fairly. We are grateful for the input from Jewish community groups, who we will continue to listen to carefully.

“We will lay out the further steps we are taking in the coming weeks. We will continue to engage and work with Jewish community organisations to deal with this issue. Our party will not fail our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

The JLC and the BoD were … less graceful:

It says:

“Our meeting with Jeremy Corbyn today was a disappointing missed opportunity regarding the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party. We welcomed Mr. Corbyn’s personal involvement in the discussion and his new comments recognising and apologising for antisemitism in the Labour Party but he failed to agree to any of the concrete actions we asked for in our letter to him of 28th March.

“Last month the Jewish community held an unprecedented demonstration outside Parliament to express our hurt and anger about the level of antisemitism in the Labour Party, and Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to take strong action against it. Following that demonstration we wrote to Mr. Corbyn to set out six areas of concrete action he and the party could take to address the antisemitism that has grown under his leadership. These represented the minimum level of action the community expected after more than two years of inactivity. Today we met Mr. Corbyn to convey in no uncertain terms the Jewish community’s feelings to him in person and to discuss his response to our proposals. It was a difficult yet important meeting.

“We are disappointed that Mr Corbyn’s proposals fell short of the minimum level of action which our letter suggested. In particular, they did not agree in the meeting with our proposals that there should be a fixed timetable to deal with antisemitism cases; that they should expedite the long-standing cases involving Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker; that no MP should share a platform with somebody expelled or suspended for antisemitism; that they adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism with all its examples and clauses; that there should be transparent oversight of their disciplinary process.

“Words in letters and newspaper articles will never be enough. We welcome the fact that Mr Corbyn’s words have changed but it is action by which the Jewish community will judge him and the Labour Party. Our sole objective from this meeting was to build trust with Mr Corbyn, but this will not be possible until and unless he and the party turn their many strong words against antisemitism into equally strong actions in order to bring about a deep cultural change in his supporters’ attitude to Jews.

“Thousands of British Jews did not demonstrate outside Parliament just for a few lawyers and another newspaper article; they demanded action and so do we. We will hold the Labour Party to account for any future failures and continue to represent the interests of British Jews with clarity and resolve. We also commit to do our utmost to work with all those within Labour who want to help make it a safe and equal space for all of its members.”

The statement has been greeted with disdain by some – including that organisation of the “wrong kind of Jew”, Jewdas, with whom Jeremy Corbyn controversially celebrated Seder a few weeks ago:

Carole Hawkins, below, makes an important point:

This is absolutely true. Suggesting that any Jews are not “true” Jews, or “the wrong kind of Jews” is an anti-Semitic stereotype. It isn’t acceptable for anyone to be behaving in this manner. Judge the three organisations Mr Corbyn met by that standard!

And the following should put all of the above into perspective:

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/988822303080439809

I wonder – of the people Mr Corbyn met – people who made very specific demands, including that he take personal responsibility for investigations into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, so presumably he should take the fall if THEY decide he hasn’t done enough …

How many of them even support the Labour Party or vote Labour?


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Corbyn launches community campaign unit

Mr Corbyn said the new team will “empower people” to campaign [Image: Reuters].

This is an excellent move – although the BBC’s reporting leaves a little to be desired.

This Writer is not convinced that targeting traditional Labour heartlands will “make inroads in the dozens of seats [Labour] needs to win”.

The party doesn’t need to rebuild support in its heartlands – the last general election showed that Labour’s heartlands are coming back to the party.

It is in Conservative-held constituencies that Labour needs to organise most strongly.

The party has supporters in even the most tightly-held Tory constituencies, and they only need to form a good argument to start persuading people across to the Party of the People and away from the Conservatives.

Labour hopes to encourage communities to organise around local issues and develop campaigns with a new team.

The unit … will target seaside towns and traditional Labour heartlands, where the party needs to rebuild support.

The strategy is designed to help Labour make inroads in the dozens of seats it needs to win to get into power.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he hoped an approach of “empowering people” would “further invigorate” his party.

Source: Corbyn launches community campaign unit – BBC News


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Bristolians rise against austerity with ‘Fund our city!’ call

On the march: The Rally for Bristol.

As I write this, the people of Bristol are staging a rally against austerity-driven Tory cuts to funding and services for their city.

The event was called by city mayor Marvin Rees – and This Writer (a former Bristolian) agrees with his reasons.

Only today, I had to write about funding cuts to another local authority that have endangered Women’s Aid services there – putting lives at risk.

Tories don’t care. They think money is more important than human lives.

The event’s Facebook page states:

“Mayor Marvin Rees has called a march and rally on Saturday September 9th … to demand the Conservative government gives Bristol and other cities the funding we need for our public services and stops the cuts that are damaging the lives of so many.

“The general election and polls since have shown that austerity is now opposed by the great majority of the public. But despite its weak position this government is handing £70 billion to the wealthy in tax breaks over five years, even as it burdens Bristol City Council with cuts to bare-bones essential services totalling £104 million (10% cut each year).

“On September 9th, three days before the Mayor is set to lobby ministers at Westminster, let’s send a powerful message by marching in our thousands in Bristol and other cities: we won’t take any more cuts – not to our social care and NHS, our children’s services, our housing, our libraries, our arts, our community centres, our parks, our schools, our children’s crossing patrols…

“We’ve had enough of closures, privatisation and job losses, and we’re uniting – as workers, service users and citizens – to fight all the way for the investment we need in the public services and the living standards of our communities!”


Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Women’s marches across the world: Great placards, but do we really feel safer?

Sir Ian McKellen with a placard showing his friend and colleague, Sir Patrick Stewart, in the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation ‘facepalm’ meme.
“Not my own – I found it at the end of the march in Trafalgar Square,” he admitted on Twitter.

I really hope the Women’s Marches, not only in Washington DC, or London, but everywhere they happened across the world, were declarations of intent, rather than end in themselves.

I don’t think anybody is safer from the ravages of Donald Trump (in the States), Brexit (in the UK) or any of the other evils taking place in the world right now, as a result of taking a weekend walk.

The events were tremendous outpourings of feeling – against oppression, “for the protection of our fundamental rights and for the safeguarding of freedoms threatened by recent political events; for the dignity and equality of all peoples, for the safety and health of our planet and for the strength of our vibrant and diverse communities” according to the Women’s March London website.

Those things are no safer today than they were on Friday.

I hope that everybody, who marched with placards held high, was also looking at the people around them, making connections, forming networks, and planning the steps that will need to be taken after the marches ended.

It was great to see so many celebrities taking part as well. I sincerely hope that they, with their much higher public profiles, will continue to support the rest of us. Ultimately, we are no different from them and the changes being inflicted on our way of life will harm them as well as us.

Those placards really were great, though. Let’s have a look at some of them, and some of the celebs who took part.

Carrie Fisher may have passed on but she has also passed into legend. This was just one of the many images based on her character, Princess/General Leia, from Star Wars. Many marchers turned up in costume as her.

Protesters called themselves ‘nasty women’ in reference to Donald Trump’s attack on Hillary Clinton:

‘Supernatural’ star Misha Collins with some ‘nasty women’.

https://twitter.com/vergilophile/status/822927031834963969

The march attracted many more people than the inauguration of Mr Trump, who has already been dubbed the least popular modern president:

ITV’s Queen Victoria – Jenna Coleman – marched in London. I’ve included the inset image of her as she took the main photo and therefore isn’t in it.

Likewise [Image blurred deliberately].

I’ll leave the last words to Sir Ian McKellen, who posted the following on Twitter:

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Vox Political’s ‘Big Democracy’ radio experience

Birds and the wires: People attending the Big Democracy event were invited to write their feelings about the way the government treats disabled people on paper and hang them on a network of overhead wires, so their shadow on the wall would build up into a large grouping similar to that of the birds flocking in the film loop projected onto the wall. The message: Together we are stronger.

Birds and the wires: People attending the Big Democracy event were invited to write their feelings about the way the government treats disabled people on paper and hang them on a network of overhead wires, so their shadow on the wall would build up into a large grouping similar to that of the birds flocking in the film loop projected onto the wall. The message: Together we are stronger.

You may have noticed that Vox Political was uncharacteristically quiet over the weekend. This is because I was co-running the Radnor Fringe Festival in Llandrindod Wells from Friday to Sunday, and helping tidy up afterwards on Monday (June 19-22).

The festival’s mixture of musical acts and community events was extremely – almost overwhelmingly – popular and the reaction has been universally positive. Not only that, but one of the events was worthy of an article in this blog.

It was a performance and debate event that asked: “Are disabled people an easy target for cuts?”

That’s right – it could have been devised specifically to cater for This Blog and This Writer.

The idea was chosen in an online vote as part of a three-year project exploring how art and creativity can help communities re-engage with the democratic process. Disabled artists and performers from National Theatre Wales collaborated with Llandrindod-based arts organisation Celf o Gwmpas performed prepared pieces, then encouraged members of the public to take part in collaborative creative/discussion workshops.

The tone was strongly anti-cuts, anti-government, and in favour of people speaking out about the effect that government policy is having on them.

The free event attracted many more people than the organisers expected, including This Writer and Mrs Mike – and was also attended by a recording team from BBC Radio 3, meaning at least some of our many contributions to the evening will have been captured for posterity and may be used in a radio programme to be broadcast today (Tuesday).

BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme, broadcast at 10pm (and subsequently available on iPlayer) will be about “Political and Bardic Traditions in Wales”, and will feature “a report on the brand new instalment of the National Theatre of Wales Big Democracy Project, a kind of interactive community theatre”.

So tune in this evening at 10pm – or catch up on iPlayer – and you may hear this writer’s dulcet Bristolian tones deploring the drawbacks of Iain Duncan Smith’s anti-democratic benefit nightmare.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Conservatives would put unemployed on community service

150215sanctioncentre

Under Conservative control, Job centres have already become places unemployed people fear. If David Cameron is elected in May, they will criminalise the unemployed altogether.

It used to be a punishment for low-level criminals, but now David Cameron has admitted a future Conservative government would force it on people who have been out of work for more than six months. Those aged 18-21 will have to go straight into this work.

What does that say about Cameron’s opinion of the unemployed?

Is he trying to make it seem like a criminal offence? Is he trying to make it a criminal offence to be young and out of work?

It’s all part of his ‘divide and conquer’ plan for the UK, one supposes – treat the unlucky as an underclass and make those who are fortunate enough to be in (well-paid) work thank their lucky stars.

Take note of that caveat about ‘well-paid’ work; part of this scheme to criminalise the unemployed is an intention to force more and more people into underpaid jobs without in-work benefits, in order to make more money for his rich donors (who of course will pass some of the benefit on to the Conservative Party). You know the kind – the zero-hours contracts that Labour plans to outlaw; part-time work, temporary work, minimum wage work that means people still have to claim benefits.

There’s also an intentional – but superficial – resemblance to Labour’s plan; the job guarantee.

Both would compel benefit claimants into work after six months, but after that, the Tory plan does not stand up well at all.

Cameron’s idea is to force people to do 30 hours’ community work every week, simply to keep the low level of benefits they are already receiving – and remember, benefits are currently subject to a low level of uprating and are capped to prevent people taking what Cameron has decided is too much.

Labour would put people in real jobs, paying at least the minimum wage, for a minimum of 25 hours per week, for a set period of time (although there would be the possibility of a permanent position afterwards, if the candidate is good at the job.

Critics have pointed out that 25 hours at minimum wage would provide the same amount of money as JSA plus housing benefit, but this relies on a false assumption; housing benefit would still be available to a minimum wage employee, with only a small taper (according to Stephen Timms, Rachel Reeves’s deputy).

In addition, 25 hours per week is the minimum amount of time employers will be asked to take people on. There’s nothing to stop them asking – and funding – more.

The BBC’s Ross Hawkins has pointed out that refusing to work under either system would mean a claimant would forfeit money – but that should not be an issue. Everybody should pay their own way, if possible – it’s a fundamental pillar of the British way of life. Why would anybody turn down a chance to stand on their own two feet and not rely on other people or the state?

Cameron reckons his scam – sorry, scheme – will cost £20 million to set up, funded by savings from the delivery of Universal Credit. How far over-budget is Universal Credit, now? £12.5 billion?

His sums just don’t add up.

He stands revealed as a grubby little grafter, scrubbing around for scraps that he can offer to his corporate masters.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
exposing what proposed political policies really mean.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook