Is Jamie Driscoll’s crowdfund the dawn of a new model of politics?
Some seem to think so:
Is this the start of a ‘new model’ politics? Most of the donations are £5-10 but in less than half a day an independent politician already has a third of the budget required to run a campaign.
— Phil Gould 🇵🇸🖕🥁 (@bongosaloon) July 17, 2023
In fact it is more the continuation of a democratisation of politics that we’ve been seeing on the social media for several years.
Long-term followers of This Site will remember when I started the CrowdJustice fund to fight Rachel Riley’s lawsuit against me. I started by hoping for £5,000 by the end of the first month – and had it within a single day.
That was in 2019, and my public profile even then was much smaller than Jamie Driscoll’s is now.
The corporate bosses of the social media platforms have since tried to squash independent, left-wing news and politics sites out of public view but Mr Driscoll, being already highly-visible, has been able to avoid such censorship (so far).
It will be up to his supporters to keep it that way – and we can all expect a strong backlash from the Establishment that wants someone like Kim McGuinness (Labour’s just-announced candidate to be North East Mayor) to win:
🧵 I’m so delighted to announce that I’ve been selected as @UKLabour candidate for North East Mayor. I love our region and our people.
Together we can make the North East the home of real opportunity.
We need a Labour mayor now more than ever.
The campaign starts now. 🌹(1/2) pic.twitter.com/mgevv8Om3x
— Kim McGuinness (@KiMcGuinness) July 17, 2023
Gosh. She loves the region and its people and wants to make the North East the home of real opportunity. For whom?
And hasn’t Mr Driscoll already done all of that? And isn’t he better-placed to continue all of that?
The only reason STP (Substitute Tory Party) leader Keir Starmer wanted to replace him is to change policies away from those that work for working-class people and towards something else.
In such circumstances, only a fool would support anyone but Jamie Driscoll.
Is Labour’s candidate selection process racist?
This is truly shocking decision. I’m calling for the recall of Forde Inquiry team to investigate the party’s attitude to racism eg yesterday the party adopted a candidate allegedly using racist anti GRT language & today has blocked Mish, one of our most prominent black activists. https://t.co/3drEN2s7t0
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) July 18, 2023
Read Mish Rahman’s statement and you will learn that, it seems, racism is alive and well in the STP (Keir Stürmer’s Substitute Tory Party), despite all the leader’s (false?) claims to have cleaned up the party’s act.
Mr Rahman says: “None of my fellow Bernie Grant Leadership Programme alumni have been selected. We were told the party would support us towards leadership positions as black and ethnic minority activists – yet after this longlisting process, nothing has changed.
“I was blocked for how I voted on the NEC in relation to the composition of party disciplinary structures, following the EHRC report… Being blocked for casting a vote in a democratic process should be a serious concern for all of us in the Labour Party.”
So: not only racism but also totalitarianism. Stürmer’s party hates democracy.
What else are we supposed to conclude from this?
Doubletalk and bafflegab over Labour’s child poverty betrayal
The pundits are out in force, trying to smooth over – or emphasise – the mistake Keir Stürmer’s STP (Substitute Tory Party) has made in refusing to promise to lift the two-child limit on Child Benefit claims.
Some (mostly representatives of the party leadership) are trying to support the decision on the grounds that changing the limit is unaffordable:
'There just, frankly, is no money left'
Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell says the Labour Party can't make promises it 'can't afford to keep' as she defends Keir Starmer's plan to keep the two-child benefit cap in place pic.twitter.com/SoT5rK2ttR
— ITV News Politics (@ITVNewsPolitics) July 18, 2023
Others are attacking it – while still saying Stürmer’s party should get our vote in upcoming elections:
Careful when encountering this type of ‘lefty’
They want to ride the wave of unpopularity & backlash against Starmer but by their own admission will vote to put Starmer’s lot in number 10
They can’t have it both ways. They’re as much part of the problem pic.twitter.com/TqjmQ56yEY
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) July 18, 2023
The debate reached ridiculous levels when STP right-winger John McTernan appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight to ask, if the two-child limit on Child Benefit is abolished, where will it end? Scrapping the punitive Benefit Cap? Abolishing Universal Credit and it’s five-week delay in paying claimants?
He said this as though those outcomes would be bad things; they’re not. Watch:
John McTernan explaining that Lab wont scrap the Tories two child benefit cap & lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty because on its own its not a priority, & anyway, if Lab did that, where would it end? Scrapping the total benefit cap? Abolishing Univeral credit? pic.twitter.com/oQrxXcPYOP
— Saul Staniforth (@SaulStaniforth) July 18, 2023
Oh, so the plan is to lift children out of poverty via an improved economy. But Stürmer has no economic policies that are intended to do that – or even like to achieve it by accident; no consequence of any mythical improved economic performance are set to be channelled into a better quality of life for working people under a Stürmer-run government.
In fact, we don’t know what such a government would do, because we are simply not being told.
We can only echo the words of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn – a man who explained very well exactly what he would have done if elected to form a government:
If lifting 250,000 children out of poverty isn’t a priority, then what is?
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 18, 2023
The simple fact is that Stürmer could find more than enough cash to support the proposed Child Benefit change, by reversing Conservative tax system tinkerings. For example:
Annual cost of helping 23,000 hugely wealthy families by abolishing inheritance tax: £7.1bn
Annual cost of lifting 250,000 children out of poverty and reducing poverty for a further 850,000, by abolishing two child benefit cap: £1.3 billion.
We have the wrong priorities.
— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) July 18, 2023
Nobody should vote for any candidate – on Thursday (July 20, 2023) or at any other time – just because they have a Labour Party logo next to their name. Without knowing what the organisation behind that banner now intends to do, it would be foolish in the extreme.
Instead – if you want to elect someone with policies equivalent to those for which the Labour Party was originally formed – standing up for the people who do the work – you need to support the Independents who used to be Labour members but have left because their politics and those of Keir Stürmer and his cronies have diverged.
We all know about Jamie Driscoll, whose election for North East Mayor isn’t until next year.
But there’s also Rosie Mitchell, standing as an Independent in Somerton and Frome on Thursday.
And there are two other by-elections on the same day. Who are the candidates there who stand for what you need?
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