Tag Archives: demand

RESIGN, Starmer is told over stance on Gaza

Keir Starmer: his blind support for Israel has alienated Labour Party members across the UK. But will they be able to oust him from the party leadership?

Leaders of two Labour-run councils are demanding that Keir Starmer should resign as party leader because his response to the Israel/Gaza crisis is unacceptable.

Starmer infamously backed Israel’s decision to cut off Gaza’s food, water and electricity in response to an incursion into that country by members of Hamas. Hamas and Gaza are not the same, and Israel’s decisions are rightly regarded as war crimes.

When UK Muslims, including Labour Party members, abandoned Starmer’s party in response, he tried to say he was listening to their concerns, but has still refused to support a ceasefire.

Now councillors in Burnley and Pendle have called on their leaders to tell Starmer they have had enough and he should quit:

The statement (above) states: “The call on behalf of Labour councillors… follows hundreds of Labour councillors and MPs calling on the leader to put pressure on the government to call for a ceasefire to prevent any further loss of innocent lives in Gaza.

“Cllr Afrasiab Anwar said… ‘Sadly Keir Starmer has not stood up for Labour values hence why we are calling upon him to step down. Blindly following the position of Rishi Sunak is not acceptable to us and our residents who we represent.’

“Cllr Asjad Mahmood added… ‘He has failed to listen and we ask he consider his position and resign to allow someone to lead our party who has compassion and speaks out against injustice and indiscriminate killing of innocent human beings.'”

Starmer himself seems to be in denial. The BBC reports him responding as follows:

“My focus is on alleviating the awful suffering of all of those that are caught up in the situation that has developed over the last few weeks.

“Whatever the individual positions of members of my party, that is not my focus.”

Amazingly, it seems a leadership challenge may be on the cards!

Underwhelmingly, it seems to be coming from the right of the party:

The last thing the UK needs right now is a Labour Party that is turning even further to the political right; already Starmer has dragged it further right than Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives – and they are fascists in all but name (look up the 14 descriptors of fascism and you’ll see this).

But politics is unpredictable.

Hopefully more councils will follow the lead of Burnley and Pendle.

If so, who knows what may happen?

Keir Starmer’s response to Israel/Gaza is against Labour values

Complicit in genocide: do you agree with this description of Keir Starmer.

A devastating open letter to Keir Starmer from a group of British Palestinians who are Labour Party members has slammed his response to the Israel/Gaza conflict for opposing their party’s values.

The letter calls on Starmer to “rediscover your humanity”.

It states [boldings mine]:

We are horrified by your refusal to condemn Israel’s current indiscriminate bombing, imposition of a complete siege and planned land invasion of Gaza as war crimes. You appear to be supporting, if not encouraging, Israel in its genocidal actions against Palestinians, especially those in Gaza.

Rather than calling for an immediate ceasefire and lifting of the siege, you keep parroting ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’, a conveniently non-specific phrase.

Is killing more than 1000 children (to date) Israel exercising its right to defend itself? Is cutting off electricity, water, food and fuel following a 16-year siege so that we are on the brink of mass starvation and a collapse of Gaza’s health system examples of Israel defending itself? Is telling 1.1 million people to move from north to south Gaza and then bombing them when they have moved, a legitimate example of self-defence?

Or are they war crimes?

None of these actions are justified by the killing of civilians by Hamas.  We teach our children that two wrongs don’t make a right but this simple message seems to be beyond you. Instead, you encourage Israel on an eye-for-an-eye revenge path which will only lead to more violence and deaths on both sides. This is not the way forward to peace.

You also have had nothing to say about the Palestinian villagers in the West Bank who are being harassed and driven from their homes by armed Israeli settlers with the Israeli army standing by to crush any Palestinian resistance. The number of Palestinian fatalities there this year had exceeded 250 before Hamas’s attack on 7th October. Since then, these attacks have increased with at least three villages having been cleared//near-cleared and demolished, and an increase in the body count of more than 50 in a week.

Your statements and actions on the current tragic situation in Palestine-Israel are dramatically opposed to the values of peace, justice, equality and humanity that the Labour Party is supposed to uphold. You have badly damaged the reputation, perhaps fatally, of a Party that claims to support people fighting for freedom from occupation and oppression.

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Even in terms of the base morals of what needs to be done electorally to win power, your actions are irrational. Even if you win the next general election, you will have alienated minority ethnic communities that identify with the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

To add insult to injury, you have now banned elected Labour representatives and branches from attending protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people and said no motions can be discussed which oppose the leadership’s position on the current situation in the Middle East. The leadership’s position is totally at odds with that adopted at Labour Party conference last year.

In effect, you are aiming to silence Palestinian voices, including the estimated 20,000 British Palestinians living in Britain. And you are telling us that we can’t explain to fellow Labour Party members or the wider public how Israel in 1948/9 denied our father the right of return from studying in Britain back to Nazareth, where he was born and grew up, because he was an Arab, not Jewish but a Christian. This was not  an isolated incident but the policy that was applied to around 750,000 Palestinian refugees in the same years, often using brutal force, and a policy that continues to this day despite UN resolutions calling for the right of return of refugees.

You are saying that we cannot explain how our Palestinian relatives are discriminated against and are facing threats of ethnic cleansing. You are saying that we cannot argue for support for the non-violent BDS campaign which argues for Boycotts, Disinvestment and Sanctions to be applied to Israel until it ends the occupation and dismantles the Apartheid Wall, gives Palestinian citizens of Israel equal rights and supports the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

We understand that your policies have created an internal Party crisis with many Labour Councillors resigning or threatening resignation. We, however, will not resign, adopting the Palestinian tradition of steadfastness (sumud), and will fightback for Labour to return to the principles of internationalism, anti-racism, equality for all humans, anti-colonialism and choosing peace over war. We will work to have you removed from the leadership of the Party unless you genuinely return to these principles. Even if you expel us, we will continue to fight for Palestinian rights, for the only sustainable peace – peace with justice and equal rights for all who live in Palestine-Israel – and against Israel’s policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Source: Open letter to Sir Keir Starmer from 4 British Palestinians | Jewish Voice for Labour


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Experts ask: ‘why vote Labour? Starmer’s running a Substitute Tory Party!’

Rachel Reeves and Keir Starmer: they are laughing at all the tribal Labour supporters they think don’t have any choice but to vote for them – even though their current policy platform will deliberately harm millions of those voters.

Here’s the issue: Keir Starmer’s neoliberal, right-wing Labour Party is in pole position (or should that be “poll” position) to win the next general election by a landslide – but has the same policies as Rishi Sunak’s Tory government.

Starmer, and his shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, have both said they will not impose any policies that change the current status quo that is making the super-rich much richer, driving working people and the poor further into poverty, and ushering privatisation into public services to make them cash cows for fat cats (as we’ve seen with energy and water).

So, what is the point of voting for their party?

It’s actually worse than ‘Tory Fibs’ is suggesting. Starmer, Reeves and the rest don’t just want power for its own sake – they want it in order to ensure that power cannot be taken by anybody with plans that would actually improve the quality of life here, with public services that actually serve the public well, fair pay for everyone and a social security system that doesn’t persecute people who need help.

Influential people are now starting to accept that this is the situation. It is the reason academics have contacted Starmer, urging him to change his mind.

The letter by 70 economists and social policy experts, states that they

are concerned that your current economic programme for government will not transform the economic orthodoxy that has made this country poorer, less cohesive and more unequal than fifteen years ago.

The maintenance or extension of cuts in the current economic climate will only serve to deepen the poverty and hardship many are already facing.

They urge Starmer to turn

from an out of date, economically and socially destructive approach towards a model which improves wellbeing, works in alignment with our environment, and achieves social justice.

Failure to table an alternative will mean not only wasting that opportunity but many lives and futures as well.

Unpack that a bit:

Starmer Labour’s current approach is out of date.

It is economically and socially destructive.

And the party’s current policies will destroy many lives.

Alternative – workable – policies are suggested all the time. Here’s one, from a former Labour leader:

But it has fallen on deaf ears. Starmer isn’t interested.

His attitude represents a huge u-turn for party still known as “Labour” and its leader. Only a few years ago, he was claiming that his party would replace the current system with something completely different. But this week Justin Madders, Starmer’s shadow minister for employment rights, confirmed that this had been abandoned for a “continuity Tory” approach:

Here’s Damo to explain Starmer’s – and Reeves’s – economic policy, and why it is so harmful, in a little more detail:

It seems clear that Starmer has undergone a major change of heart, turning away from the people Labour is supposed to serve, and towards the city fat cats who are leeching our money away from us.

Madders tried desperately to deny any such change during his media turn:

Saul Staniforth (above) is right: if a leader’s principles depend on economic circumstances, then they are not principles. If they were principles, Starmer would have the economic circumstances under constant review, with a demand out to all his advisers for them to provide him at all times with plans that would achieve the needs of those principles in any situation.

The situation now has been summed up – again by ‘Tory Fibs’ – thus:

Yes. Both are failing us – the citizens of the UK.

In times like this, the electorate has a duty to look elsewhere for a government-in-waiting – not to cling to forlorn hopes that Starmer is a secret socialist who will turn back to the left as soon as he has installed himself in Downing Street. We see no evidence for this at all.

The Green Party has good economic plans. So do the Independents who used to represent Labour but have left because of the likes of Starmer and Reeves.

Have you looked at what they are offering? Or are you determined to vote for policies that will harm you terribly, simply because of some outdated tribal loyalty?

Now is the time to work out what you stand for – and to demand it from your representatives.


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Meeting strikers’ demands WON’T cost £1,000 per household. Sunak is LYING

Rishi Sunak (right) with his wife Akshata Murty: they live in the richest household in the United Kingdom and as such would pay more than most of us if striking public sector workers were to get the wage deal they want.

So much for his claim to be bringing integrity to the UK’s government.

Perhaps we should not be surprised that the UK’s prime minister is lying to the people, but we should certainly question why anybody so economically illiterate was ever invited to be Chancellor of the Exchequer!

Rishi Sunak is actually trying to protect the richest people in the UK – those whose incomes have increased the most during the nation’s recent economic upheavals – from paying their fair share towards resolving the problems he and his colleagues have caused.

(Let’s not go too far into the argument about tax paying for anything at all. By now, everybody should know that the government creates money – or rather, orders the Bank of England to do so – and spends it into the economy; tax is a mechanism to prevent inflation by ensuring the amount of money washing around the economy is limited. That is exactly why taxes would be raised in this case.)

You see, tax is paid on a sliding scale; the lowest-earning households in the UK don’t pay any at all, while those with the highest incomes – unless they are involved in tax avoidance schemes (and many are, because Sunak insists on allowing them to continue) – pay considerably more than the average.

Sunak himself lives in the richest household in the country. You need to understand that he has a personal interest in this.

So he has sent out his spokespeople with a silly lie that he hopes that, if it is repeated enough, you will believe.

Here’s Peter Stefanovic to explain further:

Who do you believe? Sunak – or Stefanovic and me?


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Demonstration on Saturday to Demand a General Election | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

The masses on the march: will the demo demanding a general election have the support of this one (the People’s Vote march from 2018?

Posted for information:

I got this reminder the other day from the Arise Festival of left Labour ideas that there’s a demonstration organised in London demanding a general election. I can’t go, but I’m putting it up for those who may be able to.

Saturday, 5 November, 12.00, Embankment Place, London, WC2N 6, United Kingdom.

The People’s Assembly is asking for your continued support to help us take our simple message onto the streets – General Election Now! Let’s say No to another unelected Tory PM.

Full details & spread the word here – Labour bloc details here.

Source: Demonstration on Saturday to Demand a General Election | Beastrabban\’s Weblog#

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The commentators: what WAS Liz Truss doing yesterday afternoon?

We still don’t know why Liz Truss couldn’t answer an urgent question directed to her in the House of Commons yesterday (October 17).

Apparently Downing Street has said she was in a meeting with 1922 Committee chair Graham Brady but it seems this is untrue. Phil Moorhouse states in the video below that Brady was clearly visible in the Commons while Penny Mordaunt was answering the UQ and fielding further comments from all sides of the House.

He left around 10 minutes before Truss came in – not long enough to have a meeting (and in any case, Conservative Party business does not take priority over Parliament).

Those aren’t the only problems facing Truss:

And she is meeting Brady.

Apparently, whether she met him during the UQ yesterday or not, she did meet him. And she was expected to meet him again today (October 18). This is thought to be the moment when he’ll tell her whether she’s best-advised to stay or go.

And in the background, a YouGov poll of Conservative Party members – the people who voted her into office only last month – has shown that 55 per cent of them want her out again.

There’s no clear majority for any successor, but the front-runner is – of all people – Boris Johnson, with 32 per cent of the 530 people polled calling for his return, despite the obvious corruption and incompetence of his own time in office:

This tends to indicate that the Conservative Party membership consists of a bunch of dithering pension-pullers who shouldn’t be offered the chance to choose a new national leader.

Worse still, if this is accepted as true, then there’s really no point in them being members at all, because their choices are bad and will be overruled:

So: not only is there no point in supporting the Conservatives in Parliament, because they can’t do anything right, but there’s no point in being a Conservative, because Tory Party members can’t make good decisions and they’ll only be overruled by their party in Parliament anyway.

And the longer the Truss farce continues, the worse it will get for them.

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Five Tory MPs have openly called for Liz Truss to resign. Will more stand up, please?

Defeated: Liz Truss (right) looks desolate in Parliament while her new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt (left) takes the strain.

While the debate rages over whether (or how soon) Liz Truss should resign, let’s bear in mind that a handful of Conservative MPs have already demanded that she should go.

The Telegraph (!) has highlighted this campaign, as follows:

More need to come forward in public – in This Writer’s opinion.

It seems likely that many have privately indicated their displeasure to Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee.

But until more Tory MPs have the backbone to make their displeasure public, it seems Truss will ignore the wishes of the masses.

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Senior Conservatives are set to call for Liz Truss to resign

Move along now: perhaps the choice of “Getting Britain Moving” as the slogan for the Tory conference wasn’t such a good idea for Liz Truss – as now they want her to move out of Downing Street.

It seems Labour won’t have the chance to claim Liz Truss’s political scalp – her own party is going to take it instead.

The BBC is reporting the following:

A group of senior Conservatives have decided to call publicly on Liz Truss to resign following her sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor.

The party grandees held their discussions and made their decision to act after reports emerged the prime minister was planning to sack her chancellor, which has since been confirmed.

The senior Tories are planning to speak out next week.

One figure involved in the discussions told BBC Newsnight: “These are serious people. The PM will find it hard to survive.”

The senior Tories, including former cabinet ministers, believe the prime minister’s position is untenable because Kwarteng was carrying out her policies.

The source said: “Liz Truss campaigned on these tax cuts. Liz Truss won the Tory leadership contest on the basis of this programme. It is absurd for her to blame Kwasi.”

The Tory source warned that Truss had made a mistake if she thought Kwarteng had no political base within the parliamentary party.

The source said: “People like Kwasi. He is friendly. He’s honest. Maybe a bit too honest. Maybe that’s his problem.”

Truss’s press conference is to take place at 2.30pm.

With the above in mind, what is she going to say?

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Food banks will start turning people away as demand outstrips supply

Food bank: this image was taken a few years ago – now they’re struggling to fill the shelves, and considering turning away visitors.

That’s that, then: no doubt the Tories will be delighted that they have finally overloaded destitute Britons’ last hope.

The food bank network has stated categorically that stratospheric energy bills and rocketing inflation are putting “unsustainable” demand on them – and they are going to have to start turning people away.

Those people will starve.

Food banks have already seen a ‘dramatic’ surge in people needing them since April – when the energy price cap shot up 54%.

This has been made even more disastrous by the fact they are also seeing a decrease in donations.

One in five providers say they have already resorted to making their parcels smaller.

A fall in donations is entirely consistent with the situation: the rich who can ride out the current crisis aren’t going to donate to help the poor – and those on middle-incomes who normally do are suddenly facing poverty themselves.

The Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan UK) has appealed to the Tory government for “urgent, cash-first interventions” – which This Writer predicts will do about as much good as spitting into the wind.

Source: Food banks are unsustainable and will have to ‘turn people away this winter’

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This is the real reason Labour wants Parliament recalled over the cost-of-living crisis

People say to me: “What’s the point of Labour unveiling a policy on this, or demanding that Parliament be recalled to debate it? They’re not in power. They can’t do anything.”

No, they aren’t, but there is a very good reason for Labour to agitate about action that its leaders – and those of the other Opposition parties – think the Tory government should be taking.

So when we read (in this instance, on the BBC),

Labour has called for MPs to return to Parliament early to deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow leader of the House of Commons, has written to the prime minister asking him to recall MPs two weeks early on 22 August.

She said new policies were needed before a rise in the energy price cap in October.

we should recognise that Labour isn’t just saying this in a vain bid to see it happen.

It’s being said to highlight the fact that, despite such action being necessary, the Conservatives aren’t making it happen.

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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