Tag Archives: criticise

More on the Madness election song – check out what they’ve done with the artwork!

Even the cover of the new Madness song, Bullingdon Boys, is a jab at Boris Johnson and his colleagues – including former PM David Cameron.

Mr Cameron is depicted in the mask worn by serial killer Michael Myers in the Halloween movies.

And Mr Johnson’s face is replaced by that of Porky Pig.

Other club members are depicted as a red-eyed reptile, the Devil, and an S&M fetishist (as far as I can tell).

According to NME, the song is the first Madness have released in three years, and is described as a “barbed swipe at the charlatans, rotters and chancers at the top of the tree who have done their best to take the shine off 2019.”

Inspired by the fact that 19 of the 54 UK Prime Ministers have come from Eton, the new song takes aim at Johnson, who was educated at Eton College before going on to study at Oxford, and his peers with anti-Tory lyrics.

The tagline on the artwork is a clear call for those of us with good taste in music to use our votes against Mr Johnson and his Tory cronies: “Don’t get bullied by the bully boys.”

If you haven’t already heard it via This Site’s previous article, here’s the song itself, again:

Source: Madness take barbed swipe at Boris Johnson on first new song in three years

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New song by Madness attacks the Tory elite – and it should be a chart-topper

The real Bullingdon boys: Boris Johnson is seated, to the right of the image; former PM David Cameron iss standing.

Chart veterans Madness have just released a new song. It’s called The Bullingon Boys. Can you guess what it’s about?

I’m guessing the band is asking us not to vote Conservative in this year’s general election, with a warning about what we can expect.

Or is the lyric about being taken off life-support too complicated?

It’s a terrific song, in the mould of the great Madness hits of the 1980s. Share it – and its message – around.

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Psychiatrists try to defend failure to speak out on ‘abusive’ Universal Credit project

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has tried to explain its reasons for failing to object to a pilot project in Cornwall in which Job Centre advisors – with no training – decide whether claimants need mental health care.

This Site reported on the project in August:

The department… is trying to cut doctors working on mental health out of the benefit system by claiming that rank-and-file Job Centre advisers are just as able to spot mental health problems – and recommend the best treatment.

They aren’t; they can’t. It’s just a cynical bid to stop people with mental health problems from claiming Employment and Support Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

The Tory government’s press release stated: “The initiative means work coaches can continue to refer people with mental health conditions to specialist one to one support, without the need for a GP or clinical assessment.”

I responded:

“Without the need”? Translation: “Without the support of evidence from a qualified doctor who can bring their expertise to a benefit tribunal.”

The press release said: “The support is also designed to help people find their way back into the workplace when they’re ready.”

I responded:

Translation: “The intention is to ensure that people with mental illnesses must continue to seek employment, whether they are ready or not.”

Disability News Service is now reporting that the Royal College of Psychiatrists has responded to this insult against its practitioners – after being nudged to do so by no fewer than five disability groups.

RCP states, according to the article, that:

RCP’s social inclusion lead has “continued to raise concerns and provide expert advice about the impact of welfare reform on people with mental illness and those with learning disabilities”.

[It says] it is “clear that anyone undertaking a mental health assessment needs to be sufficiently qualified to do so and, as part of the assessment, should engage with clinicians involved in providing care to the person concerned”.

[It also says] RCP believes that a jobcentre would not be “a suitable therapeutic environment to assess and discuss an individual’s mental health”.

[It adds:] “Having to do so would likely increase the stress and pressure on people with a mental illness when seeking support, and the possibility of them seeing the receipt of benefits as being conditional on them agreeing to mental health treatment.

“In addition, there is a risk that being referred to the wrong type of treatment may reduce the likelihood of seeking help in the future, make their illness worse and increase the likelihood of experiencing a future crisis.”

The disability groups are not happy with this response – and rightly so.

Why the delay in responding? Were these psychiatrists hoping the issue would go away?

Is the RCP going to talk to the Department for Work and Pensions about its concerns? Or were its comments just a sop to the disabled people’s representatives?

And what about the people of Cornwall?

What have they experienced while the RCP stood by in silence?

Source: Dismay over psychiatrists’ failure to speak out on ‘abusive’ universal credit project – Disability News Service

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Ex-defence secretary attacks May’s Brexit talks with Labour – and it’s not just sour grapes

Cassandra: Gavin Williamson.

This is a reasonable argument – easily discredited because of the source.

Gavin Williamson was ousted as Defence Secretary after it was alleged that he leaked concerns about national security about Huawei’s contract to help build the UK’s 5G communications network.

He has made it clear that he does not accept the claims about him, and that he considers himself to be a scapegoat for someone else.

So now he has criticised Theresa May’s attempt to build a consensus Brexit deal with Labour, it is easy to dismiss his argument as an attempt to get back at his former boss.

That’s a bad idea because it is a perfectly valid criticism.

True, Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t really need to “divide, disrupt and frustrate” the Conservatives – they’re doing very well at that themselves.

But Labour’s idea of Brexit is far from the Tory vision, so there is no reason to believe that the two parties can come to any lasting mutual agreement.

Mr Williamson, by playing the “Cassandra” role – the oracle who predicts disaster to people who won’t listen – is lining himself up to say “I told you so” if the talks fall apart.

Then he’ll be able to present himself as the clever one – who saw it coming and tried to prevent it.

It’s good positioning, with a leadership campaign on the way, don’t you think?

Gavin Williamson has attacked Theresa May as “naive” and warned that her Brexit talks with Labour are a “grave mistake”.

The former defence secretary, who was sacked over a leak of National Security Council talks on Huawei, said the talks were “destined to fail”.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said: “Even if Labour do a deal, break bread with the prime minister and announce that both parties have reached an agreement, it can only ever end in tears.

“The Labour Party does not exist to help the Conservative Party. Jeremy Corbyn will do all he can to divide, disrupt and frustrate the Conservatives in the hope of bringing down the government.

“His goal, and he has made no secret of it, is to bring about a general election.”

Source: Brexit: Theresa May’s ‘naive’ talks with Labour a grave mistake, says Gavin Williamson | The Independent

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Hajo Meyer isn’t the only Holocaust survivor who has criticised Israel. Are we to think they are ALL anti-Semites?

Gabor Mate: “In Israel-Palestine the powerful party has succeeded in painting itself as the victim, while the ones being killed and maimed are the perpetrators.”

Over on Beastrabban\’s weblog, my brother – the historian Dr David Sivier – has been doing a little research into the vilification of Holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer.

You will recall that this gentleman (now deceased) was vilified as a Holocaust denier (although not in so many words) by the mass media after some malcontents in the ‘Anybody But Corbyn’ camp tried to use him to attack the Labour leader.

Mr Corbyn had introduced Hajo Meyer at a Holocaust Memorial Day event, but had then been called away, so he did not even hear the Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz extermination camp denounce the Israeli government for behaving like the Nazis.

It was enough for his accusers, though. They like to make false and frivolous accusations of this kind in public.

And the only way they’ll be stopped is with legal action. That’s why I am crowdfunding for a libel action against my own accusers. Please visit my JustGiving page and donate, if you can.

The Beast has discovered cases in which other Holocaust survivors have spoken out, and raises strong issues:

Clearly, the Israel lobby has no problem with Holocaust survivors when they speak out against the persecution of the Jews, or other ethnic groups. Indeed, one of the criticisms of Israel is that it also exploits the Holocaust and its memory to promote itself as the Jewish state.

Holocaust survivors like Hajo Meyer explicitly challenge that identification and the assumptions of moral superiority Israel drawn through it, by discussing and attacking Israel’s own brutal persecution of the Palestinians and its seven decades’ old policy of ethnic cleansing. Their criticisms are particularly sharp and powerful because of their unique position of survivors and victims of Nazi persecution. A position, that surely qualifies them more than most to make the comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany.

Tony Greenstein has pointed out in his blog that Jewish critics of Israel, including Israelis, have regularly made the comparison between their countries, and even individual politicians, and the Nazis. He posted up a piece commenting and reproducing the text of an open letter a very well qualified and respected Israeli academic and researcher on the Holocaust, Dr. Daniel Blatman, ‘J’Accuse’, attacking Netanyahu and his ministers and bigoted supporters, explicitly comparing them to the Nazis and imperial Japanese during the Second World War.

Another Holocaust survivor, who embarrassed the Israelis by comparing them to the Nazis was the resistance hero Marek Edelman. Edelman had been a member of the Jewish Bund, whose motto was ‘Wherever we live, that’s our homeland’. He was also one of the leaders of the uprising against the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto. He declared that the Palestinians and their resistance to Israel persecution now had the spirit of the great heroes of the Warsaw uprising.

Four years ago during the Israeli attack on Gaza, the American alternative news site, The Young Turks, did a segment demanding the Israelis end their bombardment and harassment of the Palestinians. In the piece, which can be viewed on YouTube, they quoted another Holocaust survivor, a Jewish Canadian called Gabor Mate. And Mate, who supported Israel as a grand ideal, lamented what the country had become in its brutality towards the Palestinians.

Mate said: “In Israel-Palestine the powerful party has succeeded in painting itself as the victim, while the ones being killed and maimed are the perpetrators.

His conclusion:

Holocaust survivors need to be respected and listened to when they denounce racism, persecution and genocide. And this includes criticism of or denunciations of Israel. It does not make them anti-Semites, and abusing them as such debases British society and disgraces those who make such vile accusations.

Hear, hear. It will be interesting to see how those who use the Holocaust to justify their behaviour try to square that with their treatment of Holocaust survivors.

Source: TYT: Holocaust Survivor Laments the Brutality of the State of Israel over Gaza | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

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Loach’s outburst over Labour MPs at anti-Semitism demo should provide food for thought – not knee-jerk reactions

Ken Loach.

It’s going to be hard to have a serious discussion about Ken Loach’s reported words because the rent-a-quote crowd have been all over it already.

He says his suggestion that party members should “kick out” Labour MPs who attended the anti-Corbyn (not anti-Semitism – that was just a pretext) demonstration does “not reflect my position”.

Of course, we know that the characterisation of Mr Corbyn as a leader who has done little about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party does not reflect his position, either.

Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has reduced since Mr Corbyn became leader.

So the question arises – did these MPs attend the demonstration because they genuinely wanted to harm their party leader by supporting a lie, or were they genuinely misled? Either answer implies a critical failure of judgement.

And this leads us back to the last point Mr Loach made – that Parliamentary candidates should be selected every time there is an election, and the selection should not be based on individual incidents but on the MP’s principles, actions and behaviour over a sustained period of time.

Whatever you think about his other comments, he is right in that.

Everybody makes mistakes, and it is easy to be deceived by a lie if enough people are demanding that you believe it.

I wonder how many of the Labour MPs who attended that demo are big enough to admit they made a mistake in supporting such a lie?

The outspoken film-maker and ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the dozen Labour MPs who attended last month’s demonstration – including Bristol representatives Thangam Debbonaire and Darren Jones – of “dirty tricks”.

Mr Loach said: “Unless we get Labour MPs who believe in that manifesto last year we won’t get in power.

“If they’ve been going to the demonstration against him [Jeremy Corbyn] outside Westminster… those are the ones we need to kick out.”

The Kes and Looking for Eric director said: “You cannot work with people who have come to undermine the biggest challenge we’ve had – we’ve never had a leader like Corbyn before in the whole history of the Labour Party….and that’s why the dirty tricks are going to come out.”

Mr Loach has since rowed back on his comments telling the Daily Mail , which broke the story, that he did not want MPs to be deselected based on one event and that what he is reported to have said at Kingswood Entertainment and Sports Club “do not reflect my position”.

He clarified, saying: “Re-selecting an MP should not be based on individual incidents but reflect the MP’s principles, actions and behaviour over a long period. Being an MP is not a job for life.

“My view is that candidates should be selected for every election and party members should be able to make a democratic choice.”

Source: Film director Ken Loach says Bristol MPs should be ‘kicked-out’ over anti-Semitism rally – Bristol Post


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Attack on Corbyn over Bin Laden assassination is hysterical

bin laden ap

For clarity, this is Osama Bin Laden, not Jeremy Corbyn. Some right-wing commentators may not be able to tell the difference.

… In both senses of the word.

It seems that people who should know better have dredged up a comment made by Jeremy Corbyn in 2011 about the death of Osama Bin Laden – that it would have been better if the Al-Qaeda leader had been arrested and put on trial, rather than killed.

Tory Nadhim Zahawi told the BBC: “Osama bin Laden was a terrorist who any sensible human being in the world would want either killed or arrested.” So he agrees with Mr Corbyn that arrest should have been an option.

And Labour’s – Labour’s! – defence spokesman, Kevan Jones, said: “This just shows you how out of touch he is with what most people’s views are.”

Oh, really?

This Writer would have preferred to see Osama Bin Laden arrested and put on trial, and so would Mrs Mike. We may not be representative of the whole of the UK but that’s two-thirds of this household agreeing with Mr Corbyn (the other third is not available for comment) – enough for one to question whether Mr Jones is more out of touch than Mr Corbyn.

Why wasn’t Bin Laden arrested? The US troops who took part in the operation neutralised everybody in the compound, didn’t they? So there was no reason not to take Bin Laden into custody. The fact that he was shot raises questions about whether he might have revealed information that compromised the USA’s – and possibly even the UK’s – standing in the international community. Those questions must go unanswered, leaving suspicion behind.

And isn’t it interesting that Mr Corbyn’s opponents are reduced to digging around for long-buried comments he made, in order to besmirch his reputation.

Would these people like it if we all did that?

Here’s George Osborne, writing in Tory propaganda sheet The Sun: “The new unilateralists of British politics [meaning Corbyn and his supporters] are a threat to our future national security and to our economic security.”

Those are bold words, coming from a man whose policies before the economic crisis threatened our economic security to a much greater extent, by supporting calls for banking to be deregulated further than they already had. The banks later became part of – and fuelled – a massive debt crisis that threatened the global economy. If Osborne had had his way, it would have been much worse.

Perhaps this is why he has persistently claimed – falsely – that the UK’s debt problems were due to overspending by the previous Labour government.

And perhaps that is why he has been a strong supporter of austerity policies that take money from the poor and hand it to the rich – despite the discrediting of the academic studies on which these policies are based, early in the Coalition Parliament.

With that kind of record, why should anyone listen to George Osborne?

Still, this episode offers an opportunity for the rest of us. If Corbyn’s opponents are willing to dig up anything he once said, just to keep a good man from an opportunity to change matters for the better, they won’t mind if the rest of us do the same.

Pick your targets, folks, and start digging up the dirt.

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Comedian v Conservative over child poverty

Jason-Manford

This writer is not a huge fan of Jason Manford’s comedy. However, The Blog wholeheartedly welcomes his criticism of the Conservative Government. Let’s see many more celebrities following suit.

Manford has followed up a series of tweets attacking David Cameron over the NHS with a Facebook post criticising the plan to scrap the target to eliminate child poverty by 2020, which involves re-defining poverty to suit the very rich Tories.

Manford told his page’s one million followers: “Can’t believe David Cameron has wiped out Child Poverty in the UK. What a legend. Simply by changing the meaning of what we understand to be ‘poverty’. Genius.

“So glad the country voted him in. Nice one. Chuffed to bits.”

He added: “Statistically living in a poor family can reduce children’s expectations of their own lives and lead to a cycle where poverty is repeated from generation to generation.

“As adults they are more likely to suffer ill-health, be unemployed or homeless, and become involved in offending, drug and alcohol abuse, and abusive relationships.”

Those things are not likely to change, just because the Conservative Government has removed lack of money from its definition of poverty.

Bravo, Mr Manford.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Fracking set to be banned from 40% of England’s shale areas

The Guardian is reporting that regulations proposed by the Labour Party and approved by the Coalition Government mean fracking will be banned from two-fifths of the land in England.

[Image: The Guardian.]

[Image: The Guardian.]

Labour faced harsh criticism last week, particularly from the Green Party of England and Wales, after it failed to support that party’s call for a moratorium on fracking that would have banned it altogether. Green supporters suggested that Labour had done a deal with the Coalition to abstain on the moratorium in return for support over the 13-point regulation scheme.

In fact, according to the newspaper, “Ministers were forced to accept Labour’s new environmental rules last week to avoid a rebellion by Conservative and LibDem backbench MPs, many of whom are facing opposition to fracking from constituents.”

So there was no dirty backroom deal and 40 per cent of England is free of fracking whereas, if Labour had supported the Green moratorium, none of England would be protected.

The article continues: “Neither the government nor Labour have stated how much of the land available for future shale gas drilling – 60 per cent of England – would be affected by the new bans. But a Guardian data analysis has revealed it is 39.7 per cent, with large swaths of the south and south east off-limits, as well as the Yorkshire Dales and Peak district.

“An independent analysis by Greenpeace also found that 45 per cent of the 931 blocks being licensed for fracking in England were at least 50 per cent covered by protected areas, which it said was likely to make them unattractive to fracking companies.

“Just three per cent of of the blocks have no protected areas at all, Greenpeace found.”

Well played, Labour! That was a good afternoon’s work.

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Gaza conflict provokes the weak-minded to assault the innocent

Reality check: All you need to know about this issue is wrapped up in the fact that Vox Politicl had to add the words "NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY" to an image that should - obviously - be treated as satirical.

Reality check: All you need to know about this issue is wrapped up in the fact that Vox Political had to add the words “NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!” to an image that should – obviously – be treated as satirical.

What a paradox: While the Jewish state of Israel is criticised for treating Palestinian Muslims the way Hitler’s Germany treated them, history is repeating itself for British Jews who are being targeted for exactly the same treatment.

Gaza means Jews across the world may now be perceived as both perpetrators and victims.

Antisemitic attacks in the UK were up 42 per cent on the previous six months in July, because idiots can’t tell the difference between citizens of Israel and British Jews.

Attacks on Jewish people in the UK between January and June had already risen by 36 per cent.

Undoubtedly the increase in hate crime, described by Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust (in The Guardian) as a “wave of racist intimidation and violence”, has been fuelled by media coverage of the Israeli military action in Gaza that began in early July.

Mainstream media such as the BBC and Sky News have been criticised for one-sided reporting in favour of the Palestinian political group Hamas, and condemnation of the Israeli government has been widespread.

It is easy to understand why, when one examines the casualty figures: Almost 2,000 Palestinians have died, while the Jewish casualties number less than 100. Tens of thousands of people attended a rally in condemnation of these deaths in London yesterday (Saturday).

What has gone unnoticed – especially by the antisemitic thugs – is that Jewish communities in the UK are also “filled with grief for the people of Gaza”. As Rabbi Miriam Berger states in The Independent, “No Jew in Britain could possibly relish this loss of life.”

While she also expresses the belief that Israel needs to defend its citizens from attack, this simply shows how confused the situation has become. As this blog has stated, the conflict is a squabble over land between political organisations – Hamas and the Israeli government. Religion has very little to do with it.

British Jews are citizens of the UK, not Israel. They have nothing to do with the political process in that – foreign – country and it is clear that many of them disapprove of actions that have led to such a marked loss of life.

It is to all our shame that they have fallen foul of the kind of people who cannot distinguish fantasy from reality. These thugs would probably attack a soap actor in the street if a storyline made a villain of their character.

Demonising people who have done nothing wrong will only make a horrifying situation even worse.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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