Tag Archives: Corbyn

‘Cancelled’ Young Labour rally is a huge success. Is this one part of the party we can still support?

Packed: the Young Labour rally that Keir Starmer’s Labour conference app falsely stated was cancelled. This is the way to beat liars like Starmer.

The antipathy shown by Keir Starmer, David Evans and their right-wing-dominated NEC toward Young Labour suggests that it is one of the few parts of the party that deserve to grow during their blighted reign.

According to the excellent Skwawkbox, Labour’s official conference app falsely announced that Young Labour’s “Rally for a Socialist Future” yesterday evening was “cancelled”; it wasn’t.

Instead, the event was packed with young socialists who heard speakers including Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Zarah Sultana, Nadia Whittome and representatives of the union Unite and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

And it was a huge success:

It seems to This Writer that Young Labour is one of the few parts of the Labour Party that is actually fulfilling its stated function as an organisation for democratic socialists.

As it represents a starting-point for people who will form the future heart of the Labour Party, CLPs should not only urge young people in their constituencies to join; they should actively find roles for Young Labour members as they mature – ultimately seeking to find Parliamentary candidates among them.

It’s a way of preventing Starmer and/or his successors from parachuting Tories in as candidates instead.

Also popular among the fringe events yesterday evening was a discussion between John McDonnell and former US Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who said left-wing Labour should challenge Starmer over his rejection of socialist policies.

According to the BBC,

Mr Sanders said what “the progressive movement” on the left was calling for was not “radical demands”, but it was time to put those who said no “on the defensive”.

“There is no reason why in the UK or the United States all workers should not be able to earn decent wages and have decent benefits,” he said.

“There is no reason all over the world [why] we cannot provide quality healthcare to all human beings as a right of citizenship.”

The senator added: “Those people who tell you you can’t do it, you ask them why, why can’t you do it? Because you are afraid to stand up to big money interests? That is not an acceptable reason.”

Mr Sanders said the approach would lead to a good outcome.

He concluded: “When you speak truth to people, they often respond in a positive way.”

He makes a good point.

And when you are speaking the truth in the face of an obvious lie – like the Starmer-run Labour app’s claim that the Young Labour rally had been cancelled – you have an immediate advantage.

Starmer’s supporters have voted to make Labour’s internal struggle a long, slow war of attrition, focusing on internal party politics while Boris Johnson and his Tories do whatever they like in the real world (and I use the word “real” advisedly). That has been their choice.

It should be the choice of socialists to call out their lies, put them under the spotlight and explain in the simplest possible terms why policies for everyone – upheld by honest people – are better.

Source: Labour ‘cancels’ Young Labour conference event – but it was still a big success – SKWAWKBOX

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Evans wins card vote on his GenSec job amid claims of vote-rigging

Rigging the vote? Keir Starmer (left) retains the services of his hitman David Evans (right) – but how many delegates to Labour conference were denied their vote by foul means in order to achieve the outcome? And will any of the votes in this year’s conference be honest?

David Evans has survived a vote on whether he will be allowed to continue as Labour Party general secretary.

Evans’s boss, Keir Starmer, had been pushing for the vote to be by ‘show of hands’ – an inaccurate method which right-wingers have allegedly used to rig vote results in the past.

But Evans himself announced that the vote would be by the more accurate ‘card’ system, in which every vote is counted.

It seems clear that Evans – and Starmer – had become confident of the result, and claims are circulating that they had eliminated enough anti-Evans delegates to make the vote go their way.

It was still a relatively close-run thing, with 59 per cent for Evans and 41 against. I wonder how many votes that translates into – and expect that we’ll all be surprised at how low the number are.

Stories of delegates’ party memberships being suspended before they could attend conference, being refused admittance for “security” reasons, or being denied the chance to vote when they did, are rife.

And who actually counted the votes?

But the result did not prevent humiliation for the hated general secretary. During his report, Evans told the assembled delegates, “Everybody remembers why they joined Labour,” and asked: “What was it for you?”

The response? Delegates broke into a chant of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn!”

The vote result does not bode well for the rest of the conference – or, indeed, for the future of the Labour Party under these two Tory cuckoos. Expect a mass exodus as Starmer and Evans steer a once-great party of the people into obscurity and ignominy.

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Starmer’s shifting story on Corbyn suspension shows he may be a worse liar than Johnson

Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn: Starmer was already lined up to stab Mr Corbyn in the back, even in this image.

Labour leader Keir Starmer is in a pickle, and no mistake! His own words are making him as big a liar as Boris Johnson.

But while Johnson is attempting to break with his government’s recent past by cutting loose some of the most offensive people in his former Cabinet and promoting those he thinks play well with the public, Starmer remains mired in the results of his own actions.

The latest revelations about his shocking mistreatment of former party leader Jeremy Corbyn should sink him altogether. Perhaps it is only the support of a true-blue Tory media, that knows Starmer is the best thing that could have happened to Johnson, that keeps the public from turning on him.

The Labour leader currently stands accused of lying about the way Jeremy Corbyn was suspended from party members – unilaterally, by Starmer, in breach of an agreement he had made with the Equality and Human Rights Commission that very day.

He is also said to have broken an agreement he made to bring Corbyn back into the party on publication of a “clarification” statement by the former leader.

Former Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey explained in a Guardian article a few days ago [boldings mine]:

Labour briefed journalists that Starmer hadn’t personally suspended Corbyn; the party’s general secretary, David Evans, had. This mattered because one of the EHRC’s main lessons was that there must be no political interference in disciplinary cases – that such interference could be unlawful. Starmer was careful to tell the BBC Today programme the following morning: “Appropriate action was taken yesterday by the general secretary in suspending Jeremy Corbyn.”

But that’s not what he told me on the phone. His words were: “He put me in an impossible position and I had no choice.”

The EHRC had made it clear in its report that party representatives like Starmer should not involve themselves in disciplinary matters in any way, as it may appear that they were acting for political reasons. And isn’t this precisely what Starmer was doing, on the very day he had promised to abide by the organisation’s recommendations?

Corbyn had been clear that “anyone claiming there is no antisemitism in the Labour party is wrong” and that “one antisemite is one too many”, but he had also said that the scale of the problem had been “dramatically overstated” by opponents and the media. Corbyn sought to substantiate his claim in a broadcast interview, pointing to polling that suggested a vast gap between the perception of the extent of antisemitism in the party (the public thought complaints had been made against a third of members) and what the former leader said was “the reality” that 0.3% of members had actually been subject to disciplinary investigations.

As a victim of false allegations by the Labour Party who has had to do some research on this, I can confirm that Mr Corbyn’s figures were correct. My opinion is that this disparity had been stoked by Labour MPs who had falsely claimed that the party was “institutionally anti-Semitic” (this claim was firmly squashed by the EHRC) but Starmer has taken no action against the individuals concerned, who have clearly dragged Labour into disrepute. Does he have another agenda, perhaps?

Starmer, in his speech, had said that anyone saying antisemitism was “all exaggerated” was part of the problem. Corbyn, of course, hadn’t said it was all exaggerated, but Starmer now raised the bar. He told me on the phone that Corbyn had deliberately undermined him. “It’s as if he’s gone out of his way to contradict that line in my speech,” he said. “I’m beyond angry with Jeremy.”

Here’s a classic tactic of the false anti-Semitism campaign being used by Starmer himself. He said that Mr Corbyn had undermined his statement that anyone saying anti-Semitism in Labour was “all exaggerated” was part of the problem. But Mr Corbyn had not said that, and it is a lie to imply that he did. He had said the scale of the problem had been “dramatically overstated” by opponents and the media – and provided evidence to support the statement.

Starmer’s false claim was an attempt to make us believe a lie. How sad that nobody in the media at the time was even interested in questioning that claim, but took it at face value and published it to the masses!

The following afternoon, Jon Trickett MP and I went to parliament for a meeting with Starmer, his chief of staff Morgan McSweeney, and deputy leader Angela Rayner. Rayner began by requesting our discussion be confidential. Given what happened subsequently, I no longer feel bound by that.

Damned by her own words. Did Rayner know that Starmer and Evans were already planning to renege on any deal mapped out between their new leadership and representatives of Mr Corbyn?

Trickett and Starmer’s senior adviser Simon Fletcher had worked up a draft statement. I joined a conference call with McSweeney. I said: “As far as we are concerned it is our expectation that if Jeremy agrees to the statement then that is the end of the matter and the suspension will be lifted, after due process, and Jeremy will be back to normal.”

McSweeney’s response was: “Yes, that is our expectation, also.”

“And you speak on behalf of Keir?” I asked.

“Yes,” came his reply.

That was the deal for Corbyn’s reinstatement. A month and a half later, in response to questions from Sky News journalist Tom Rayner, Starmer’s spokesperson would say: “There was no deal on reinstatement, no.”

A bald lie, it seems.

When pressed on whether senior Labour staff had advance sight of Corbyn’s statement (which they had in fact co-written), the spokesperson would respond: “We are not going to comment on private conversations.”

That’s a classic line when people don’t want to admit a fact, of course. Again, damning.

And because Starmer, Rayner, Evans, McSweeney and whoever else was in negotiations on Labour’s side have (allegedly) reneged on their agreement, Mr McCluskey is submitting his observations on those negotiations to be used in Mr Corbyn’s court challenge against Labour’s (then-subsequent) withdrawal of the party whip from him:

The formalities around Corbyn’s readmission were handled by a panel of Labour’s national executive committee, which met on 17 November. Corbyn published the agreed statement that morning. “To be clear, concerns about antisemitism are neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated,’” read the key passage. “The point I wished to make was that the vast majority of Labour party members were and remain committed antiracists deeply opposed to antisemitism.”

I was – as were many others who had been wrongly accused, I’m sure – bitterly disappointed by this statement from Mr Corbyn, which denied what had happened to us. Was it really “neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated'” when a Labour party officer leaked details of the party’s proceedings against me to The Sunday Times, which then published an entirely untrue claim that I was a Holocaust denier? (The newspaper published a lengthy correction a year later, after a lengthy investigation by newspaper watchdog IPSO.)

The vast majority of those who have been accused of anti-Semitism and expelled because of it are also committed anti-racists, falsely accused by the party they supported and trusted, with claims that certainly were ‘exaggerated’ and ‘overstated’. But I digress.

After Mr Corbyn made his statement and Starmer reinstated him into the Labour Party, the usual suspects piped up to cause trouble:

Margaret Hodge tweeted that it was “a broken outcome from a broken system”. The Jewish Labour Movement blamed a “factionally aligned political committee”.

Well, they would. Both have made it clear, over many years, that they have no interest in the well-being of the Labour Party but are they to undermine it, every chance they get. But Starmer never seems to understand that or act to counter it. Odd, that, don’t you think?

Instead…

it soon became clear he was going to crumble. It was reported he was given an ultimatum by Hodge: she would resign from the party if Corbyn remained a Labour MP.

Good riddance if she had! She should have been booted out years ago.

Starmer reneged on our deal. He withdrew the Labour whip from Corbyn, leaving him in the absurd situation of being an MP and a Labour member, but not a Labour MP. At no time in my discussions had this eventuality been mentioned. The objective of both sides had been to bring matters back to normal.

Corbyn was now told that if he wanted the whip restored he would have to make an apology – which prompted the question: if an apology was so important to the leadership, why didn’t they include one in the statement they co-wrote?

Shifting sands. The evidence suggests that Starmer wasn’t interested in justice; he just wanted an outcome that made him look good. And this shows his political naivete – he was never going to get it. In the anti-Semitism row, the Labour leadership is caught between members who know they are innocent and will fight for it, and activisits both inside and outside the party who know that merely making accusations will cause disruption and disarray in an organisation they hate.

I’m a trade unionist. The one thing you never do is renege on a deal you’ve negotiated… That was when I lost my personal relationship with Starmer. I could no longer trust him. He was not a man of his word.

If this was an isolated example perhaps it could be dismissed. But it increasingly looks like a pattern that extends to policy as well as politics.

Len McCluskey’s article is bad enough for Starmer.

But journalist Alex Nunns has gone further – simply by analysing the Labour leadership’s response and finding that it cannot deny any of the statements of fact.

Instead, Starmer’s office has tried to add new elements to the story, that support him. But in doing so, they undermine his claim that there had been no deal and support Mr McCluskey’s assertion that Starmer lied.

See for yourself:

This is an important point: nobody can trust Starmer or the group within Labour that he leads. Those of us who have fought anti-Semitism accusations know that this is true; if you are accused, your innocence does not matter. It means powerful people in the party want you out and they believe they can smear you with impunity to do it.

Crucially, it seems Starmer – the lawyer – has put himself in a position where he may have perjured himself in court proceedings:

My guess is that, although he has painted himself into a corner, Starmer will try to worm his way out of it on a technicality.

But the British people don’t care about technicalities. They care about how their leaders present themselves.

And Starmer presents himself as a shifty, untrustworthy liar – and certainly not the kind of person we can support into leadership of the UK. If this is how he mistreats Labour members, how badly will he mistreat the rest of us if he gets the chance?

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Lisa Nandy’s plan to backstab Corbyn means handing a bigger election victory to the Tories

Nandy: speaking before thinking, again?

Nandy should be expelled from the Labour Party for even suggesting this.

She won’t – because Keir Starmer runs a party with one rule book for the rank-and-file members and a completely different one for his privileged elite MPs like Nandy. Doesn’t he?

Here’s another example of Starmerite double-standards:

But let’s get back to Nandy.

She has been doing the media rounds, saying that she would doorknock for any Labour candidate who stands against Jeremy Corbyn in his constituency of Islington North.

She accuses Corbyn of trying to make Labour’s falsified anti-Semitism crisis “all about himself”.*

And she reckons Corbyn should go because he has not apologised for his response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.**

She misses the operative point though: he has no reason to.

Nothing Corbyn said was wrong; it was entirely in line with the findings of the EHRC.

Here’s a comment on that from the president of a union that is calling on its members to vote on disaffiliating from the party because of false claims made about him by StarmerLabour:

Nandy’s problem is that Corbyn did not kowtow to the propaganda – the lies – put about by her failure of a leader, Keir Starmer. She thinks her side must now make an example of Corbyn, to show what happens when the grassroots (Corbyn supporters) take sides against elites like her and Starmer.

She wants us to accept her model of the Labour Party – with herself, Starmer and the right-whingers in power as an undemocratic aristocracy, forcing their demands on the majority of the party’s population.

But isn’t that exactly the system that Labour was originally founded to oppose?

I’ll give you a clue: Yes it is.

If Nandy is any kind of politician at all – and that is questionable – she isn’t a Labour politician.

According to the Labour rule book, any party member who announces an intention to campaign against a party representative or vote against one who is seeking election is breaking the rules and must face disciplinary procedures that will lead to their expulsion.

Nandy has been making exactly that threat on the national news media. The rule is clear. She should be expelled. The email should already have arrived in her inbox.

But you can bet it hasn’t, because Keir Starmer’s party is more corrupt than the Conservatives.

Worse still is the fact that what Nandy has proposed would cause such outrage among the grassroots, rank-and-file Labour membership, most of whom (even now) joined the party to support Corbyn, that Labour would lose the general election in which she carried out her plan. The Tories would probably get an even larger majority than Boris Johnson achieved in 2019.

She’s just too arrogant to admit it. She thinks Labour’s voters have no choice but to vote for the party, even though everything she does shows that it has been usurped by entryist Tories like her.

But don’t just take my word for it! The backlash has been strong, so judge by the words of these people instead, if you like:

Ultimately, we are left with one clear message:

But what will it take for Nandy, Starmer and their ilk to understand ours? Here it is:

*The facts about this are closer to the view put forward by “Frank Owen’s Legendary Paintbrush”: “Dear @lisanandy, Corbyn didn’t make the “antisemitism crisis” about him. YOU and your fellow plotters did. Why don’t you tell us about the money Sir Trevor Chinn of pro-Israel lobbyists BICOM “donated” to you? Or that he’s also a co-director of your company, Labour Together?

“As for campaigning against Corbyn in Islington North, you should be more worried about your own seat in Wigan. If Corbyn decided to set up a proper socialist party before the next GE, you’d be toast. Left-wing voters take a dim view of corruption, duplicity and treachery.”

**Oh, and Nandy’s claim to be trying to repair Labour’s relationship with “the Jewish community” is a lie. There is no single, monolithic Jewish community and Labour has, in fact, sided with a very narrow group of Zionist Jews who support the government of Israel in its persecution of Palestinians – as directed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, that was recently outed as an arm of the Israeli Embassy.

As “Frank Owen’s Legendary Paintbrush” states: “That @lisanandy used to be chair of Labour Friends of Palestine [sic] shows how heavily the cards were stacked against @jeremycorbyn .

“Just last week, Nandy claimed the United Nations unfairly singles out Israel.

“Make no mistake, Labour is an anti-Palestine/pro-apartheid party.”

Billy J Wells makes the point clearly: “THE Jewish community? Just one big homogenous group with a hive mentality? That Jewish community?

“There is no the Jewish community, lots of Jewish communities would be more accurate but hey, what about the hurt caused by the Labour Party to Jews who do not conform to the Zionist cause?

“Those Jews who do not support Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people and dared to speak out for Palestinians?

“What about those left wing Jews who dared support Jeremy Corbyn? Never reported though, those Jews are the wrong type of Jews so no one gives a damn about their pain and hurt.

“Let’s get this in perspective…..there was never a crisis of anti-Semitism until it was weaponised to destroy Jeremy Corbyn. Those who instigated and played their part – they are the ones who caused hurt and not just to British Jews.”

Simon Maginn puts it succinctly:

And Aron Keller adds: “If you care about hurt to minority communities, I’d politely suggest not treating their views as monolithic – thereby denying their basic humanity – so that you can use them to fight your factional wars.”

There’s also this:

 

Starmer sinks further as the lies of his Labour Party purge are exposed

It will take more than yet another relaunch to save Keir Starmer’s Labour Party leadership.

And that’s doubly true when the slogan he chose – “Winning The Future” – corresponds with the Internet acronym WTF, which means “What The F***”.

That’s just a tone-deaf indication that the Labour leader is entirely out-of-touch with the rest of the UK, and particularly the electorate from whom he still demands support that he won’t get.

Pollsters Redfield and Wilton Strategies (who?) have recorded their lowest-ever net approval rating for Starmer: minus 18 per cent.

We all know the problem and we all know there is only one way to solve it:

But no! Starmer is fighting back.

Not against the Conservatives. Not against the dire response to Covid-19. Not against the disaster that is Brexit. Not against political corruption. Not against the injustices that have been heaped upon working-class people over the last 11 years of imbecilic Tory blunderings.

No – Team Starmer supports all of that insanity.

Instead, it seems the plan is to fight back against Jeremy Corbyn, who was recently proved right in his 20-year opposition of UK troops going to war in Afghanistan – and against the “straw man” pretend version of anti-Semitism that Starmer’s right-wing supporters have created in order to expel good socialists from the party.

A report quoted below refers to comments by Starmer insiders, referring to Corbyn’s suspension from the party, reinstatement, and suspension from the Parliamentary party:

“We looked on that as a moment of strength, but it seems the public saw it as weakness because one minute he was suspended, then he wasn’t, then he was again,” one source reveals. “All people took away from it was the mess and vacillation.”

A senior shadow minister adds: “What scares the Tories more than anything is if we make it clear that the loonies aren’t part of us anymore. The problem we have is we are 15 months into Keir’s leadership and we’re still talking about Corbyn and anti-Semitism.”

But one influential figure points out that unless the former leader complies with Starmer’s demands, he simply won’t be a Labour candidate at the next election. Crucially, despite his big majority, they are convinced Corbyn will lose if he runs as an independent.

There are so many false assumptions here that the mind boggles at how these people managed to squirm their way into positions of influence.

Firstly: there is no reason to believe the public thought Labour had been indecisive about the problem of Jeremy Corbyn, because most people don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is the problem. The problem is the determination of the swivel-eyed right-wingers to demonise him.

Next: The Tories aren’t worried that people like the “senior shadow minister” will be able to demonstrate that “the loonies aren’t part of us anymore”. That will never happen – that person is one of the loonies. It is the right-wing purge of Labour Party members who have done no wrong that is insane.

Starmer does have a problem in the fact that Labour is still bogged down in its attempts to persecute Corbyn and its false-flag “anti-Semitism” attack on left-wingers. But that’s not going to stop because of anything they do; it is being perpetuated by Tories like the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Why would they stop making false claims that weaken Labour and make it unable to oppose the Tories that they support?

This is the only explanation of the current situation that makes any sense at all.

As for whether Corbyn would fail to win an election as an independent – it’s a valid argument. No former Labour MP who has stood as an independent in recent history has got anywhere.

But Corbyn is not those people. They were all on the side of the Starmerites quoted above. And Corbyn’s popularity is demonstrable – he attracted rallies of tens of thousands of people as party leader while Starmer struggles to attract 10. They are making the critical mistake of comparing an apple with excrement.

Look at the comments attached to the quoted passage on Twitter. Solomon Hughes points out that “They think ‘we are not loonies’ is a winning message and have made a mess even of that.” Yes – because their actions scream the opposite.

And Aaron Bastani – himself demonised in some quarters – points out that denying Corbyn his Labour candidacy would simply “undermine” any campaign.

Starmer can’t even inspire hatred. His critics are simply sad that he has failed so monumentally.

… except where it comes to the witch-hunt. That has blood boiling – and rightly so.

Among the latest people to face false – let me reiterate it strongly: false – accusation is Pamela Fitzpatrick, a former applicant to succeed Jennie Formby as Labour’s General Secretary (Starmer appointed David Evans to the job and has yet to gain the approval of the party-at-large for the decision. Their record of persecution against large swathes of the membership suggests that this will now never happen).

She is facing auto-exclusion because she was interviewed by the proscribed organisation Socialist Appeal in May 2020 – more than a year before the decision was made to remove it and its members from any association with the party.

At that time, she had no reason to believe she was doing anything wrong. My understanding is that there was nothing in what she said that would justify penalties of any kind at all.

The following response to Ms Fitzpatrick, by John McDonnell, and the appeal by Council Estate Media’s RD Hale, is a glaring sign of the times.

It’s true. A new left-wing political organisation fronted by Corbyn and McDonnell would eclipse StarmerLabour humiliatingly, from startup.

But this is a battle for the soul of the Labour Party and – whether misguided or not – McDonnell and the other socialist Labour MPs have planted their flag there.

Others have also put their heads above the parapet:

Personally, I would take Ms Formby’s words more seriously if she had not presided over such “guilt by association” expulsions herself, while she was General Secretary. One of the false accusations against me followed that pattern. I pointed this out to her in correspondence but she never bothered to reply.

That said, the point she makes is valid.

We established during my NCC hearing that the reason Labour expelled me had nothing to do with its fabricated anti-Semitism claims; it was because I am a journalist who had criticised Labour policy fairly and accurately while being a party member.

It seems fairness is forbidden in Starmer’s right-wing party.

Tom London identifies the rot:

This brings us to This Writer’s brother.

Yes, BeastRabban is under investigation; he received the letter last week. The accusations are risible; it seems he is being persecuted because he wrote an article discussing comments by Tony Greenstein (a Jew who has long since been thrown out of the party). Guilt by association, again.

Leftworks, below, discusses one of the comments for which the Beast stands accused in detail, but the others are well worth examination too:

Yes indeed. The phrase “Two Jews, three opinions” is actually the title of a collection of quotations by American Jews, compiled by Sandee Brawarsky, arts and culture editor of Jewish Week, and Deborah Mark.

The use of the other quotations in Labour’s accusation suggest that the party now considers any criticism of Zionism as it is practised by the Israeli government, and/or that government itself, is unacceptable – no matter what is done in their name.

Does that seem reasonable to you?

Also considered beyond the pale is the claim that people who hold entirely reasonable opinions that are critical of Israel are being vilified, harassed and purged as racists and anti-Semites – despite the fact that the accusations against BeastRabban are an example of exactly such vilification and harassment – and that he faces being purged because of them.

Indeed.

It is this unreasonable – fascist – persecution of perfectly good Labour members on unreasonable grounds that marks out Starmer’s supporters such as those quoted above as the very kind of “loonies” they claim to oppose.

And it is Starmer’s own endorsement of the opinions taken by these supporters that has pitched him over the cliff-edge of public opinion and into the void.

He’ll never get out and Labour will never win an election with him at the helm. He’ll steer the party unerringly (dare I say forensically?) into oblivion.

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One person has been consistently right about UK involvement in Afghanistan. Guess who?

Jeremy Corbyn: this MP has been right about the war in Afghanistan for almost 20 years, but you won’t hear anybody in the UK’s mass news media admitting it.

It was Jeremy Corbyn, obviously.

He opposed the idea of the UK going to war in Afghanistan from the moment it was first suggested in 2001, after the 9/11 atrocity – for all the right reasons.

But you won’t hear mainstream media types – or anybody in the current Labour leadership – saying it because it casts them in a poor light.

They’ve spent more than half a decade dragging Corbyn’s name through the mud, so it would be hugely embarrassing for them to admit he has been right about the major issues of our times, all along.

The facts are obvious, though.

Way back in 2001, after Tony Blair decided that the UK would follow George W Bush’s Project for a New American Century US government into war with Afghanistan, to remove the Taliban government that had little or nothing to do with 9/11, Mr Corbyn was elected to the steering committee of the Stop the War Coalition, which was dedicated to opposing the decision.

“There is disquiet… about issues of foreign policy, varying between people like myself, who are strongly opposed to the deployment of troops to Afghanistan, and the threat of bombing Iraq, so there is a lot of disturbance, yes,” he said in March 2002.

Eight years later he made a landmark speech predicting how the warfar in Afghanistan would end – and he was right.

“The issue of Afghanistan goes on. The deaths continue, the soldiers continue to die, the war is clearly unwinnable,” Corbyn said.

“The expense in moral terms, financial terms and loss of life of Afghan people gets worse and worse.”

You can see the speech embedded in this Independent article.

Seven years later – and now as Labour Party leader, Mr Corbyn urged then-prime minister Theresa May not to support then-US president Donald Trump as he plotted to send more troops to Afghanistan:

He said: “The war in Afghanistan has failed. After 16 years of bloodshed and destruction, the Taliban are undefeated and terrorism is no less of a threat at home. In fact it has spread.

“The British Government should make clear to Donald Trump that his strategy of more bombing and a new troop surge will continue this failure, not obediently applaud his latest policy U-turn.”

When Boris Johnson announced that UK troops were pulling out of Afghanistan in July this year, Mr Corbyn called for an inquiry into this country’s reason for going to war there in the first place.

He said: “This has to be a day of reflection. We have spent billions of pounds in the war in Afghanistan, 450 British troops have lost their lives, thousands of Americans and other troops have lost their lives, many, many thousands of Afghan people have lost their lives and many more have been forced to be refugees in exile all around the region as well as in western Europe.

“While Britain is withdrawing, surely we need to recognise that when we make hasty foreign policy decisions to go to war, the consequences go on for a very long time. In this case, it is now the 20th anniversary of such a decision.”

(Incidentally, Boris Johnson’s speech on that day – July 8 this year – is, in retrospect, bitterly hilarious. His prediction for the future of Afghanistan after the UK pulled out its troops has proved so far off the mark that one has to wonder whether he was taking his intelligence from Christmas crackers.)

And now, with the refugee crisis that has followed the Taliban’s resurgent takeover of Afghanistan, Mr Corbyn has proved himself right yet again:

For those who can’t read text from image files, he said: “We must learn the lessons of a two-decade war which cost nearly a quarter of a million lives and failed to achieve security for the Afghan people or prevent the spread of terrorism.

“The War on Terror and its architects’ reckless use of force to deal with complex political issues has had profound, uncountable, and unacceptable human costs – whether to British and allied servicement and women or to the civilian populations of Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond.

“Invasions and occupations are not only wrong and violate the right to sovereignty, they also do not deliver viable and sustainable political settlements. We cannot allow ourselves to be led down such a disastrous road again.”

And, heading off a certain stripe of critic, he added: “Too often rejecting military intervention is conflated with taking no action at all. As well as resettling refugees, I will be making the case in Parliament this week for the UK to play its part in a robust diplomatic effort that engages regional powers to ensure stability.

“This will need to cover humanitarian support, a response to rising extreme poverty, respect for human and civil rights expecially those of women and girls, and real self-determination for Afghanistan.”

Contrast Mr Corbyn’s attitude with that of current Labour leader Keir Starmer, as depicted in the two representative tweets below:

Mr Corbyn highlighted the humanitarian emergency, saying the UK has an obligation to Afghan refugees.

Meanwhile Starmer could not care less about the Afghan people who have suffered 20 years of disruption (20? more like 40, if you count the resistance to Soviet occupation that the UK supported). His only concern was to evacuate British personnel and support staff.

The contrast encapsulates the reason Jeremy Corbyn is the best prime minister the UK never had – and the reason Keir Starmer must never be prime minister of the UK.

The arguments have been convincing, all the way down the line – more so in hindsight, because we can recognise that Mr Corbyn has been right. Yet there has been no recognition by the UK’s national news media.

They really don’t. Look at the reaction of James Ball of investigative news organisation The Bureau to comments by people pointing out that Mr Corbyn has been highlighting the mistakes that the Western powers keep making, year after year.

He responded with whataboutery – and falsehood – that Mr Corbyn doesn’t care about people being oppressed, if the oppressors don’t happen to be the United States.

Alex Nunns, below, wisely restricted his response to Mr Corbyn’s comments during 2001 alone:

The moral is clear: if you want the facts, go to Jeremy Corbyn – and avoid the mainstream media distortions.

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Will Starmer’s latest relaunch be undermined – by Jeremy Corbyn? [Also in the news]

Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn: in this image, Starmer was preparing to stab Corbyn in the back (metaphorically). Now it seems grassroots Labour members have found a way to do the same to Starmer.

Keir Starmer’s bid to “reinvigorate” his leadership of the Labour Party at this autumn’s conference could be torpedoed by grassroots members – and Jeremy Corbyn.

The party rank-and-files that Starmer has spent the last year trying to marginalise are circulating a motion to give final say on disciplinary action against MPs to the membership at large.

It’s a terrific idea because it would ensure that the leadership couldn’t influence decisions in favour of its favoured (right-wing) members… if ever that should seem attractive to Starmer and his cronies.

But more crippling for Starmer will be the fact that his decision to exclude Corbyn from the Parliamentary Labour Party could be reversed – by the members he hates, ruining his “reinvigoration”:

Also in the news today:

1. Dido Harding will stand down as NHS Improvement boss in October.

It means the organisation’s title may finally stop being a contradiction in terms.

But what part of the national infrastructure will Harding try to blight with her presence next?

2. Thousands of ESA claimants are to receive thousands of pounds in back payments

A four-year review of ESA claims has ended, with thousands of people receiving thousands of pounds.

And the families of many more who have died will receive a £3,000 payout.

But here’s the problem: if they had received that money when they were alive, would they still have died?

3. David Cameron allegedly made millions by cashing in his shares in Greensill before it collapsed.

He had tried to get his former colleagues in the Tory government to invest in the company’s loans, before it collapsed when its insurer refused to renew cover for the same loans.

By that time, we’re told, Cameron had cashed in his own shares in the company, making £7.2 million.

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, eh?

4. NHS hospital wards may have been filled with toxins because the government ignored SAGE

Several NHS hospitals have trialled air purification products that could produce dangerous levels of toxins after the government ignored advice from its Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) to implement new guidelines for air purification systems.

Sage’s environmental modelling group in November urged the Government to draw up “impartial guidance” on air purifiers following a spike in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sage’s advice was repeatedly ignored. Business minister Paul Scully told MPs eight months later, in July, that current trading regulations are adequate to keep consumers safe.

Industry figures raised concerns after several NHS hospitals trialled air purification systems made by decontamination technology firm Airora that could generate potentially dangerous levels of formaldehyde and ozone.

5. The government’s new disability strategy is to carry on pushing people off benefits

“The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Shaping Future Support: the health and disability green paper, released a week before the NDS, confirmed that it has no intention of easing up on its attempts to push disabled people off benefits.”

This is embarrassing for the Tories as it undermines anything in the NDS – or it would, if there was anything to undermine.

The strategy itself seems to be to award empty “accessibility promotion” job titles to non-disabled people.

The issues of most importance to people with disabilities – benefits and social care support – are conspicuous by their absence.

6. DWP is handing Universal Credit information to local councils – to undermine the vulnerable?

Consider this:

… and have them evicted?

7. Right-wing think tank loses complaint over radio comments

This is unfortunate – for the Institute of Economic Affairs:

Am I right in thinking we can all now say that the IEA is a politically-biased hard-right lobby group of questionable provenance, with dubious ideas and validity?

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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Atkins falsehoods are quietly edited out of Hansard. Will she now be dragged to the Commons to apologise?

Speaker: Lindsay Hoyle in action. He looks fierce in this image – but will he be quite so fierce in defending the reputation of the House of Commons, that Victoria Atkins has so casually besmirched?

After This Site highlighted the fact that the official record of Parliamentary proceedings had been ‘doctored’ to misrepresent Home Office minister Victoria Atkins’s smear against Jeremy Corbyn, we learn today that it has been quietly edited again.

Now the record presents her words as she said them, as this tweet from Leftworks shows:

Sadly, this has been done without a word of apology or explanation from the authorities, and this is not acceptable.

Furthermore, Atkins’s speech means she knowingly lied to Parliament – she misrepresented Jeremy Corbyn as a racist, wrongly using the EHRC investigation of the Labour Party as supporting evidence.

Lying to Parliament is a serious offence, and it is also considered extremely poor behaviour to accuse another member of Parliament in the way Ms Atkins has.

She should be dragged back to the Commons to apologise for her speech and explain why she thought it was acceptable to lie that Jeremy Corbyn was a racist in the same debate where she defended Boris Johnson, the prime minister, against the same charge, despite the many known occasions where he has exhibited such behaviour.

I have written to Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to that effect. Here’s the text of my letter:

I published an article on my website Vox Political yesterday, referring to surreptitious editing of Hansard to misrepresent the debate on the Urgent Question about racism in the social media, in the Commons on July 14.

In that debate, Home Office minister Victoria Atkins stated, “I remind the House of the findings of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission under his [Jeremy Corbyn’s] watch: Labour ‘unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish’.”

This was edited in Hansard with three words added as follows (I have capitalised them for ease of identification): “I remind the House of the findings of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission under his [Jeremy Corbyn’s] watch, TO DETERMINE WHETHER Labour ‘unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish’.”

In the debate, Ms Atkins went on to say, “I will listen to many people about tackling racism and I will work with pretty much anyone, but I will take a long spoon with which to sup with this particular member.”

The effect of her speech as a whole was to falsely present Mr Corbyn, a lifelong campaigner against racism and discrimination of any kind – as I am sure you, being a Labour Party member, are awre – as a racist.

The effect of the editing of Hansard was to corruptly mitigate that falsehood in the record, making it seem she said Labour was only investigated by the EHRC when in fact she presented Labour, and Corbyn, as having been found to have committed the offence stated.

I notice that Hansard has now been surreptitiously edited for a second time, with the offending words removed. I welcome this, although I believe the people of the UK deserve an explanation as to why the falsehoods appeared in the official record in the first place. In fact, I am writing to demand one. How many other falsehoods have been edited into Hansard, unnoticed?

Additionally, the new version makes Ms Atkins’s false claim against Mr Corbyn clear again. It is unacceptable and hypocritical for a UK government minister, who defended the prime minister against allegations of racism in the face of documented historical records of it, to also falsely accuse a former Labour leader of racism in the way she has.

In addition to my demand for an explanation of the editing-in of falsehoods into Hansard, I am therefore also writing to demand that Ms Atkins be brought back to the Commons to apologise for smearing another member of Parliament in the despicable way she has.

Let me make myself clear: I am not requesting these things – I am demanding them. Ms Atkins’s behaviour has seriously harmed the reputation of the House of Commons and if you fail to act, that institution will suffer further reputational harm.

I await your confirmation that you will comply with my wishes and look forward to seeing them carried out.

I don’t expect Hoyle to comply with my demands.

Like all tribes, MPs tend to stick together when they perceive they are being attacked by someone else.

But he knows that this offence has been seen, and he’ll have to record that he received a complaint about it.

Whatever happens next, I think we should all follow some of the prime minister’s advice, and be vigilant.

Let’s make it clear to our MPs that we’re sick of their antics. They were elected to represent us in a responsible way – not to engage in playground insults and lie about it afterwards.

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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Who doctored Hansard to protect this Tory racist? Did she do it herself?

Boris Johnson [Image: The Agitator].

Not only did a Tory minister make false claims to Parliament about racism in the Labour Party, but the official record of the debate – Hansard – was doctored to make it seem that she did not.

Worse still, Victoria Atkins had already added to her party’s tally of racism by telling a fellow MP who happens not to be white to know her place and not be uppity with her betters (although she didn’t use those exact words).

Her shocking abuse of her position has sparked a demand for the Commons Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, to take action – not just to correct the record but to save the reputation of the House of Commons.

Here’s just one complaint to Hoyle, from Twitter, with follow-up messages to show the issue:

You can see that Leftworks is absolutely correct by watching this video (ironically posted by a fan of Atkins).

She did indeed quote the EHRC’s remit as though it were that organisation’s conclusion – it was not – and Hansard did indeed insert three words to falsify the record.

The effect of Atkins’s words at the time they were said, and in that place, would have been to negate Jeremy Corbyn’s argument – she was effectively saying that he was a racist and therefore had no right to accuse others.

Furthermore, of course, her claim about Luciana Berger needing police protection was false.

Right-thinking people are up in arms about this – and rightly so:

Ms Atkins, who was standing in for her racist boss, Home Secretary Priti Patel, was in the Commons to answer an urgent question on what the government would do to stop racist abuse on the social media.

Patel had been – rightly – accused of “stoking” such abuse by Tyrone Mings of the England football team, whose teammates Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were victims of it.

When she was tackled on the racism of her own prime minister by rising Labour star Zarah Sultana, Atkins treated her as if she were a black housemaid in the pre-Civil War American south, warning her to “lower” her “tone”:

I make no apologies for adding in this tweet, which includes much of the same video material, for the sake of Seema Chandwani’s observation about the way Ms Sultana was treated:

Shall we have a think about racism by the prime minister – that’s Boris Johnson, by the way – and by Atkins’s boss Patel?

Let’s start with Priti Patel, who locked asylum-seekers from foreign countries into filthy concentration camps where overcrowding caused hundreds of them to catch Covid-19. How many of them died? We haven’t seen the figures.

She wants to bring in a new law making it an offence to help refugees into the UK – even by saving them from drowning in the sea off the UK’s coasts.

Another Bill passing through Parliament at the moment will target the GRT community – Gypsies, Romanies and Travellers – by assuming that they are committing crimes simply because they are Gypsies, Romanies or Travellers. This is classically-defined racism.

The Home Office at which Atkins is a minister destroyed the records showing that members of the Windrush Generation were UK citizens – and then pursued an aggressive policy to deny them services they had spent decades funding, like NHS healthcare and state benefits, while taking action to deport them. One may conclude from this that Atkins is a racist herself.

Need I go on?

As for Boris Johnson, Twitter has been full of commentary on his racism:

That’s right – he actually approached a black woman at a party, made monkey noises at her and tried to hand her a watermelon.

How about some more references to Johnson’s historical pronouncements?

This is now a summary of commentators’ attitude to Johnson:

And – thankfully – the fact of his racism is filtering through to the general public, despite the protection he gets from the Tory media:

Perhaps the last word on Johnson’s racism should be this, that relates it back to Atkins:

As for Hansard: it seems the record may be edited – possibly by MPs themselves – but not if the meaning of the words spoken is changed by those edits:

The changes to Atkins’s speech change the meaning of the words and are therefore not permissible.

As Commons Speaker – the MP who chairs sessions of the House of Commons – Lindsay Hoyle needs to act to save its reputation.

How many other changes are being made to Hansard, that nobody catches because they happen surreptitiously?

And why would Hoyle – or anyone working in Parliament – wish to support or enable these Tory racists?

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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Reinstatement of Trevor Phillips shows that post-Corbyn Labour has turned TOWARDS racism

Trevor Phillips and Jeremy Corbyn: the contrast between the way Labour has treated these two men says everything about the party’s attitude – which is one of institutional racism under Keir Starmer.

Here’s the message that explains it all:

Ignore the doubletalk coming from Labour HQ; Jeremy Corbyn was removed from the party leadership because he was impeding the party’s descent into racism – not because he was a racist himself.

The reinstatement of Trevor Phillips just confirms it.

Phillips’s Labour Party membership was suspended in March last year, when Jeremy Corbyn was party leader, over comments he made about Muslims:

He also claimed that the centre of gravity of British Muslim opinion was “some distance away from the centre of gravity of everybody else’s” – prompting Labour MP Naz Shah to demand an explanation.

And Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said, “The statements he has made on a number of different things would not be statements that he would make against other communities.”

According to Labour procedures, Phillips’s case should have gone before a committee of the party’s National Executive Committee – but, after a delay of more than a year, that organisation was told last week that the case against him had been summarily dismissed.

Presumably, this means Keir Starmer decided to spit on the rules and made the decision on his own.

Why?

Well… he’s been spending a lot of time around Peter Mandelson lately.

Mandelson was the spin doctor behind Blairism and New Labour, and it could certainly be argued that Islamophobia was behind the decisions to go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq during Tony Blair’s leadership of the UK.

He is also a close friend of Trevor Phillips.

Consider also:

So: close friend of Mandelson; member of the same Labour branch as Starmer. And Mandelson and Starmer are as thick as thieves right now.

It seems Starmer has turned Labour into another old-school-tie network; a club for well-placed people who have personal interconnections. Doesn’t the Conservative Party already operate that kind of elitist, privileged, entitled system?

So much for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, then, and its demand that Labour’s political interference in its disciplinary process be halted. Keir Starmer vowed solemnly that he would follow that advice. Clearly, he lied.

But then, it seems the EHRC has been failing in its duties since it was created. Would you be surprised at this, knowing that its first chairman was… Trevor Phillips?

The links explained by Chris Williamson suggest wide-ranging, institutional corruption.

So-called centrist (in reality, so deeply into the right-wing of politics that they could be Tories) Labour MPs have rushed to defend the decision to reinstate Phillips. But they haven’t done a very good job. In the video below, Jess Phillips (no relation) seems to be suggesting that the Islamophobia accusations were inflated out of proportion in order to gain political advantage. The Prole Star draws an obvious parallel:

Note also that she was making her comments on a platform provided by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which has its own questions to answer about political interference – especially in the case of Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn himself worked tirelessly to disentangle the party from the barrage of false accusations of anti-Semitism that it faced under his leadership. We now know (don’t we?) that he was undermined in these efforts by right-wing party officials who wanted to smear him in order to ensure that the Conservatives would beat him in a general election, forcing him out.

His reward was to be suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party by Starmer so he now has to sit as an Independent MP – and now one of the party’s swivel-eyed right-wingers, Neil Coyle, has accused him of failing to declare financial support he received in order to fight the false claims against him.

So we see a huge dichotomy – a contrast between Labour’s attitude to anti-Semitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and what it is doing now about Islamophobia under Starmer:

No wonder Muslims abandoned Labour en masse at the Batley & Spen by-election. The rest of us should do the same because of the outrageous mistreatment of Corbyn.

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