Tag Archives: Diane Abbott

How many scandals can Keir Starmer hide with his sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey?

 

Choke hold: Israeli armed forces using the same ‘knee on neck’ technique that was used to kill George Floyd. But we’re being asked to believe Israel never taught that technique to US police and it is anti-Semitic to suggest that one country’s armed forces could teach such techniques to another’s police.

Quite a few, it seems.

Let’s start with the biggie: Israel is due to launch a major invasion of Palestinian territory next week, targeting in particular areas containing the aquifers that make life possible in these parched places.

Starmer’s sacking of RLB is a warning to Labour Party members that he will not tolerate the voicing of any dissent against this racist military action.

Any comment that he dares to make will be entirely ineffectual:

Labour has a policy that all people have a right to self-determination. Israel’s right to self-determination has been used as a stick to beat party members accused of anti-Semitism. Palestine’s right to self-determination goes unrecognised under racist Starmer.

But let’s not stop there. Starmer has also taken the heat off Robert Jenrick, whose corrupt manipulation of the planning system to save Richard Desmond £45 million in return for a small bung for Conservative funds was causing trouble for the Tories.

While Starmer moved quickly to sack RLB, he has done nothing about the right-wingers in his party who subjected Diane Abbott to racist abuse:

Finally, let’s bear it in mind that Starmer has no interest in opposing the Tory government’s genocidal policy on handling the Covid-19 pandemic…

… and, come to that, the people to whom he is pandering – the Board of Deputies of British Jews and all those other right-wing supporters of the Likud government in Israel – never criticised successive Tory governments for killing huge swathes of the UK population either:

Underlying all of this, remember: The claim RLB was sacked for – in an interview with her constituent Maxine Peake – is accurate. Israeli forces do indeed train United States police. And Starmer’s claim that it is anti-Semitic to say this loses any force when one realises that Jews know about it and oppose it:

 

Here’s the last word – it should be the last word on Starmer’s catastrophic leadership of the Labour Party (but it won’t, because these creeps cling like limpets):

Keir Starmer has turned Labour into the party of hypocrisy – and racism

Diane Abbott: she has suffered more racist abuse than anybody you can name – and new Labour leader Keir Starmer has had the front to tell her off over a trumped-up accusation around a video discussion attended by expelled former party members.

Labour’s new leader, Keir Starmer, is working his fingers to the bone – turning Labour into the kind of racist cess-pit that no right-thinking person would want to join.

Consider the hypocrisy in the fact that he has “disciplined” Diane Abbott for taking part in a Zoom discussion attended by expelled former party members – but has done nothing to suspend members of the so-called right-wing “faction” who were accused of subjecting her to appalling racist bullying in the leaked Labour report on the party’s response to anti-Semitism accusations.

That alone marks out his leadership as hypocritical and racist.

Starmer’s decision also betrays a failure to understand how Zoom works. It’s an online discussion that anybody can join, simply by dialling in.

Furthermore – as This Site has mentioned before – neither Jackie Walker nor Tony Greenstein, the former Labour members whose attendance triggered the complaint against Ms Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, were expelled for anti-Semitism as claimed.

In any case, Labour’s investigations of anti-Semitism accusations – especially high-profile claims like those against Ms Walker and Mr Greenstein (yes, they were accused of it but they weren’t expelled for it) – are known to have been fatally flawed. Saying these people are anti-Semites because Labour said so carries less factual weight than gossip.

Finally: although Starmer had signed the controversial “10 Commandments” issued by the BoD, those pledges have no weight in the Labour Party. Any individual member can agree to sign and be bound by any document they like – but they can’t force it on the rest of the party undemocratically and Starmer has done nothing to seek its approval by the party as a whole.

So any disciplinary action against Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy is unwarranted, unfair and unconstitutional – as those of us who’ve suffered similar treatment are well aware:

https://twitter.com/abbyhoffmann/status/1256648746772938754

But the Labour leader is likely to be unconcerned. He’ll be moving on to his next designated victim – who is, apparently, Salma Yaqoob.

She is being attacked for something she hasn’t even done yet: another Zoom discussion in which she is set to appear as a speaker on May 12 – this time with Tony Greenstein billed as a speaker alongside her. So she would be sharing a platform with him.

Once again, for clarity: Mr Greenstein has been expelled from Labour – but not for anti-Semitism or any other kind of racism.

He does, however, provoke a certain response from excitable people – who may be considered to have a problem of their own, where it comes to hate:

The issue was picked up by former Labour MP Ian Austin, who left the party because the Jeremy Corbyn leadership had returned it to socialist ideals.

He betrayed his own leanings by demanding that Ms Yaqoob should be suspended – before she had even done anything. One finds Asa Winstanley’s comment persuasive:

So this is the Labour Party under Keir Starmer.

Racism is fine – if it’s done by right-wingers against people on the left.

Sexism is fine – if carried out in the same way.

But if he has a chance to accuse people on the left – male or female – of the same, then he will attack mercilessly.

It is as Kerry-Anne Mendoza states:

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This minority interest group is dictating RACIST membership rules to the Labour Party. Why?

Keir Starmer: he’s caught between a rock and a hard place so perhaps he’s not quite so comfortable now.


I’ll tell you why at the top of this article: because Keir Starmer stupidly signed an agreement that he would let the Board of Deputies of British Jews dictate who could be in the Labour Party and how it would be run, during his leadership campaign.

The Board of Deputies doesn’t represent all British Jews. It represents a minority of them. Yet Starmer gave it power over him and every member of the Labour Party and now it is using it…

To direct racist abuse at black, female MPs, it seems.

The BoD – led from the front by president Marie Van Der Zyl, is calling for the expulsion from Labour of Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy after they appeared on a Zoom discussion which also featured contributions from audience members including expelled Labour members Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein.

According to Ms Van Der Zyl, Starmer promised to expel any party member found to be giving a platform to former members who had been expelled for anti-Semitism.

There’s just one problem – neither Ms Walker nor Mr Greenstein were expelled for anti-Semitism.

So the attack on Ms Abbott and Ms Ribeiro-Addy comes across as nothing more than pure, unadulterated racism.

And that’s not a good look for a supposedly anti-racist organisation!

Let’s see how this progressed and what people are saying about it. Here’s Ms Van Der Zyl:

“It is completely unacceptable that Labour MPs, and even ordinary members, should be sharing platforms with those that have been expelled from thie Party for antisemitism. Indeed, this breaches the Board of Deputies’ Ten Pledges that Keir and the other Labour leadership contenders signed up to.”

Now consider this:

(In fairness, we don’t know how many members of the BoD are in the Conservative Party, but the organisation as a whole is highly supportive of the Conservatives, despite that party’s own record of racism and anti-Semitism.)

Let’s move on to the racism aspect:

There’s also this:

What will Keir Starmer do?

Will he take action against the first ever black female MP and one of that ethnic minority’s rising stars in order to appease a minority of a minority – prompting more party members to walk out on him than have done so already? At this rate, by Christmas Labour will consist of him and Angela Rayner alone.

Or will he stand by his colleagues and risk re-sparking the war of words around alleged anti-Semitism in his party?

There is no easy choice but we should have no sympathy – he has done this to himself.

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POLL: BBC backtracks over Question Time row – Fiona Bruce DID make unwise comments about Diane Abbott

Fiona Bruce: The Mirror used this image on its article about her verbal indiscretion.

Well, how about that! It turns out the BBC was lying when it said Diane Abbott was not treated unfairly during the warm-up for the show in which she appeared nearly two weeks ago.

The Mirror is reporting that Fiona Bruce made “light-hearted personal comments” and “what she believed were good-humoured remarks” before recording of the show began.

Apparently the admission was made in a private email between the show’s editors and the Shadow Home Secretary.

This Writer had heard elsewhere that the remarks concerned Ms Abbott’s relationship with Jeremy Corbyn, with a suggestion that she is in her current position because of that relationship.

I don’t know about you, but I would say a suggestion that Ms Abbott only became Shadow Home Secretary because of a relationship she had in the 1970s certainly qualifies as an example of her being “treated unfairly”.

The implication is that she didn’t earn her job by merit and doesn’t deserve to have it – and Fiona Bruce had no right to make such a suggestion.

Ms Bruce has hosted just three editions of Question Time, after taking over from David Dimbleby. It seems clear that she is not capable of doing the job properly, considering the amount of political bias evidenced by her remarks.

But Question Time is in trouble for other elements of its production that day. Is it true that another member of the team also made prejudicial remarks about Ms Abbott to the audience? The BBC will have to release recordings of what was said before we know for sure.

And what about the claim that Ms Abbott’s microphone was turned down during the recording of the show itself, so she had to work harder to make herself heard?

The BBC has admitted that it lied about Ms Abbott’s treatment – but the extent of that lie has yet to be established. As for Ms Bruce – let’s have a poll:

I look forward to your responses.

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Question Time row: Fiona Bruce issues ‘clarification’ on Abbott gaslighting – but is it enough?

Do you think that this is enough of an apology from Fiona Bruce, for gaslighting Diane Abbott on the BBC’s Question Time on January 17?

Ms Bruce had joined Isobel Oakeshott, after Ms Abbott said Labour and the Conservatives were neck-and-neck in the polls, to claim that the latest poll showed Labour was behind. This was not true and Ms Bruce should have apologised.

I suggested yesterday that the programme would enjoy an upsurge of viewers for its first five minutes – who would switch off if they did not hear an apology in that time. The 20-second statement from Ms Bruce duly appeared midway through the show – ensuring that any viewers who did as I expected would not have a chance to hear it.

The official BBC statement stops short of an apology too.

Labour has made an official complaint, which includes other incidents reported about the Question Time recording in which Ms Abbott appeared.

It has been claimed by audience members that Ms Bruce and another BBC representative told jokes at Ms Abbott’s expense before the show was recorded, apparently to turn opinion against her. It is believed that this was recorded but the BBC is refusing to hand over the material.

And a sound technician said Ms Abbott’s microphone was turned down so she would find it harder to make herself heard.

So the Labour Party still has many reasons to complain.

I’ve already said I hope this goes to court. The BBC has been involved in too many rows like this and deserves a bloody nose.

As for Ms Abbott? She has come out of this smelling of roses:

If this unsavoury incident results in a little more support for the UK’s first black female MP – who receives more hate messages than all the country’s other politicians put together – then I’d say it did some good.

That’s in spite of the efforts of Ms Bruce, Ms Oakeshott and the BBC itself.

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BBC’s Question Time to get huge increase in viewers – for first five minutes of tonight’s show

Will they or won’t they? That will be the question on viewers’ minds as they tune in to the BBC’s Question Time this evening (January 24).

And if Fiona Bruce fails to apologise for joining Isobel Oakeshott in gaslighting Diane Abbott on last week’s edition, you can bet that a large number of those viewers will switch off. After that, word of mouth could cripple not only the programme’s reputation but also its viewing figures.

It would be extremely hard for Question Time, the BBC or new presenter Fiona Bruce – this incident happened on only her second show as chair – to recover their credibility and I can certainly foresee calls for the show to be scrapped and replaced with a less biased format in the future.

For those who don’t know what the row is about, not only did Ms Bruce and Ms Oakeshott lie to Ms Abbott that she was mistaken about Labour’s position in the national opinion polls…

(The BBC subsequently issued a clarification that managed to stop short of being an apology)

… but studio audience members have claimed a BBC employee and Ms Bruce stirred up feeling against Ms Abbott with prejudicial attempts at humour about her prior to recording of the programme. The BBC is believed to have recorded the pre-show warm-up but has refused to release this evidence.

Outraged Licence Fee-payers have been clamouring for an on-air apology ever since:

https://twitter.com/James4Labour/status/1088334992994983937

Will the BBC back down? Smart money says no.

Instead, it is likely the Corporation will double down on its position and hope the outcry dies down.

But the Labour Party has made a formal complaint and may escalate this to court action if it doesn’t get satisfaction.

The national publicity of a court case could do huge harm to the BBC’s reputation as an impartial public service broadcaster.

Can ‘Auntie’ afford it?

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Question Time row: Labour complains as the BBC manages NOT to apologise

The Tory-supporting BBC has got itself into a real pickle after Question Time host Fiona Bruce and fellow panellist Isobel Oakeshott tried to gaslight Diane Abbott over poll results.

They claimed that Labour were trailing the Tories when the most recent poll (by Survation, and therefore reliable) put Ms Abbott’s party three points ahead. It was a blatant lie that many of us witnessed. If you didn’t, see my recent article.

Now, according to the Mirror, Labour has made a formal complaint to the BBC.

The paper claims Labour have complained that Ms Abbott was incorrectly challenged during the programme. The complaint is also said to mention the level of interruption Ms Abbott faced – panelists or Ms Bruce stopped her 21 times, whereas Tory Rory Stewart was stopped nine times and the SNP’s Kirsty Blackman eight times.

And social media claims, reported in my previous article, that a BBC team member made inappropriate comments to the audience about Ms Abbott and Labour leade Jeremy Corbyn are also said to be included in the complaint.

The BBC’s press team has responded to the row as follows:

Many of us have been having fun with it.

Some have pointed out that YouGov is a Tory operation run by Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi, thereby calling its results into question.

Journalist Steve Howell addressed the inaccuracies in the statement:

This Writer made a pertinent point about the dates of recent polls:

Here‘s Gurdeep Sahota: “You were sorry to hear her concerns, now say sorry to … Your statement says that you reject anyone was treated unfairly. Do you now accept that she was treated unfairly? Can you broadcast this on the next episode?”

Or how about Audrey: “I’m pretty sure that what you wanted to say is ‘It was Fiona Bruce’s job to rectify Isabel Oakeshott on this, and we recognise that she failed to do so. On hers, and the BBC’s behalf, we profusely apologise to Diane Abbott!'”

Ms Abbott herself has written a piece in the Independent, calling her treatment “a disgrace”. She tweeted:

In her article, she wrote: “Over a long political career I have appeared on BBC Question Time innumerable times, but I have never had such a horrible experience as I had in Derby last week.

“Fiona Bruce… does not appear to be well briefed. She got the polling for Labour vs Tory wrong. She (or her researcher) appears to have got their figures from a Conservative Central Office handout. Above all, it seems she is not afraid to appear unfair as a presenter.

“I was interrupted more than twice the number of times that Tory MP Rory Stewart was interrupted, even though he spoke more times than I and for a longer period overall. I was not allowed to respond to a blatantly abusive remark from the audience. I’m also told that she made unpleasant remarks about me to the audience, before the programme was actually recorded.”

Note that the BBC has issued a denial – but not of what Ms Abbott alleged. It denied that “any of the panel was treated unfairly either before or during the recording”. This could refer to personal treatment, not references made about them to third parties.

Ms Abbott also made a crucial point regarding race: “Who could blame any young Bame women with an interest in politics and a left-of-centre ideology seeing the way that I was treated on Question Time and deciding that politics is not for her?”

That would suggest outright racism on the part of BBC employees.

Or perhaps they are simply following the Conservative “hostile environment” agenda.

Needless to say, there has been a huge gammon-based backlash against Ms Abbott on the social media. I won’t quote any of them; you can find out for yourself if you can stomach that much salted meat.

On a personal note, as the journalist who first wrote that Ms Abbott had been gaslighted by the BBC, it was pleasant to see others in the mainstream pick up on that term and bring it to a wider audience than I have here.

So Biba Kang in the Independent (again), wrote: “They’ve chosen to weaponise the public conception of Abbott as “ill-informed”, and are peddling the widespread and deeply problematic narrative that people of colour, and black people in particular, are paranoid and angry without cause.

“This approach is an incredibly common way of dealing with accusations of prejudice. It’s essentially gaslighting: the process of psychologically manipulating someone, such that they doubt their own sanity. By telling Abbott that she has in fact been mislead by erroneous social media reports, the BBC are actively undermining Abbott’s own experience of events. People of colour will be familiar with this insidious technique being used to undermine their legitimate concerns.”

Hear, hear.

And Faisa Shaheen tweeted:

No – these people need to be stopped.

The BBC has been self-regulating for far too long. I’m led to believe this is supposed to have changed recently but I see no evidence of any difference.

Perhaps it’s time the Corporation was taken to court over the damage it has been doing to the reputation – not only of prominent left-wing politicians like Ms Abbott – but of left-wing politics as a whole.

If Labour doesn’t get satisfaction from the BBC’s complaints department, then perhaps the party will take that option.

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The BBC gaslighted* the UK’s most-abused MP. Where’s the impartiality? Where’s the justice?

Diane Abbott: This is from a previous appearance on the BBC’s Question Time.

I think the BBC, Isobel Oakeshott and Fiona Bruce need to be prosecuted for the systematic, televised abuse of Diane Abbott. Don’t you?

Ms Abbott is the UK’s most-abused MP. It is beyond the pale that an organisation calling itself a public service broadcaster willingly participates in that abuse.

And it’s hardly an auspicious start for Ms Bruce’s tenure as chair that she presided over this abuse on only her second outing in the role.

Here’s the offending incident:

Momentum’s claim – that Ms Abbott was correct and Labour is neck-and-neck with the Conservatives in the polls, despite the combined efforts of the Tory-supporting media moguls – is borne out be recent poll results. See:

Notice the comment from Devutopia there: Christian Fraser on the BBC News Channel allowed a Tory stooge to say that party was “leading all the polls”, even though they weren’t.

Aaron Bastani of Novara Media adds wider context:

So it’s a campaign of disinformation by the BBC, it seems.

Survation, remember, was the only polling company that accurately predicted the result of the 2017 general election.

According to some audience members, sentiment against Ms Abbott was stoked before recording started. Here’s Jyoti Wilkinson:

Tonight I managed to wangle myself into the @bbcquestiontime audience. The way they stoked up the anti Dianne Abbott sentiment before hand was appalling – the BBC is in dire need of reform … The wangle was the fact I managed to get picked without having some underlying hatred of Dianne Abbott”.

The story is corroborated by Alison Martin:

The jeers against Diane Abbott were worse than could be heard on the broadcast; was some humour at Diane’s expense from BBC staff before the recording”.

Shocking.

Mr Bastani (again) provides a little second-hand information:

I’m told that prior to broadcast of tonight’s #bbcqt Fiona Bruce came out, introduced herself to audience and gave a 10 minute talk [this is normal for QT]. Proceeded to make jokes about Dianne Abbott which were ‘in reality appaling’ then in rehearsal the floor manager did the same thing [while this is definitely not]. Abysmal”.

There’s more evidence, as you can see from this Zelo Street article.

The BBC has denied claims that Ms Abbott was treated unfairly. According to the Mirror, a spokesperson said: “We firmly reject claims that any of the Question Time team treated any of the panel unfairly before and during the recording last night.”

Meanwhile the Express has insisted that Ms Bruce and Ms Oakeshott were right to say Labour is behind in the polls, producing the result of a new survey by Tory-supporting pollsters YouGov – from January 6 and 7, nearly a week before the date of the the Survation poll quoted above.

Perhaps Ms Bruce can’t read dates – in which case one has to question her suitability for a job chairing the BBC’s mainstay political panel show.

And Ms Abbott? She has accused the Question Time team of legitimising racist abuse.

I think she has a point and I would like to see an adjudication on it.

Evolve Politics thinks the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) should be asked to judge:

Having had personal experience of IPSO, I wouldn’t advise it unless you have the patience of a saint because it can take a long time and any recommended remedial action won’t be worth the wait.

My advice?

Take the BBC straight to court instead.

*”Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception… sanity” – Wikipedia.

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Diane Abbott’s perfect eight-word response to the saboteurs in the Labour Party

Diane Abbott was responding to claims by Chuka Umunna that the Labour Party is now “institutionally racist”. She was right; he was wrong.

It seems Diane Abbott has the answer to Chuka Umunna’s claim that the Labour Party is “institutionally racist”.

She said:

And she’s right.

For more details, see: Here’s Diane Abbott’s perfect eight-word response to the saboteurs in her own party | The Canary

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He’s been Home Secretary less than a day and already Sajid Javid is messing it up

According to Larry the Cat’s Twitter account, “The cabinet stand like this because a body language expert thought it would be a laugh to see if they would.” And on his first day as Home Secretary, Sajid Javid was stupid enough to do it.

Result:

The Tory Powerstance Workout Video – Featuring Sajid Javid [Image: The Agitator].

And:

“Ladies and gentlemen,” wrote Gary Barker, “I give you your new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid and your surviving (just) Prime Minister Theresa May.”

Worse than that, he used his first appearance in the Commons, in his new role, to promise to “do right by the Windrush Generation” – and then lied to everyone.

Responding to a question from Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, on whether he would restore the protections that were taken from the Windrush migrants in the 2014 Immigration Act, he said: “No such protections have been removed. People who arrived pre-1973 – they have the absolute right to be here and that has not changed.”

Ms Abbott begs to differ. Refused the opportunity to respond in the House, she took to Twitter with this:

The Guardian report shows that a clause giving longstanding Commonwealth residents protection from enforced removal was taken off the statute book by the 2014 Act. The Home Office claims it was redundant – but who’d believe it?

Mr Javid also said that he disliked the term “hostile environment” as a description of Home Office policy relating to immigrants and would not be using the term – which shouldn’t be too hard, as the Home Office ditched it a while ago.

Instead, he said he preferred to talk about having a “compliant environment”.

Interesting word choice.

“Compliant” means “disposed to agree with others or obey rules, especially to an excessive degree; acquiescent; meeting or in accordance with rules or standards” [Boldings mine].

So Mr Javid wants to create an environment in which everybody slavishly obeys the rules he makes up – no matter what they may be.

Vile.

And what of the rules that are already in place – the really ugly, racist rules that mean thousands of people, including British citizens who have been unjustly accused of being illegal immigrants?

They remain in place. After a crippling scandal for the Tories, more innocents are being deported this week.

So the “hostile environment” is still in place, no matter what Mr Javid says.

That’s a series of lies racked up in his first Commons appearance.

Home Office employees are probably saying to each other: “Meet the new boss… Same as the old boss.”

Maybe, but as the title of the old Who song, from which that lyric is taken, states:

We won’t get fooled again.


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