Tag Archives: executive

Leading left-winger quits Labour’s ruling body over hostility to socialists

Laura Pidcock (right) with Jeremy Corbyn: there’s more genuine for-the-people politics in this image than in the whole of Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet.

Keir Starmer will be happy to see her go – but that is a mistake.

Laura Pidcock, one of the leading lights of Labour’s left wing, has quit the party’s ruling National Executive Committee, citing “irreconcilable differences” between the behaviour of the party’s current leadership and the traditional Labour principles on which she was brought up.

In a statement, she said Keir Starmer’s leadership had made Labour “hostile territory for socialists, from those of us on the NEC, to those in CLPs across the country”.

“What I have witnessed on the NEC has been immensely frustrating,” she wrote.

“This leadership is devoid of ideas, lacking vision. I can’t and won’t negotiate with these people any more. The summit of their ideas are just small tweaks to the status quo.

“They challenge virtually nothing, but are noticeably determined when it comes to rule changes that alienate the left. They have demoralised thousands of people who were awakened to politics for the first time in their life. I am sure this is part of their larger strategy.

“When there is so much devastation caused by this Government and the economic system we live under, when poverty is endemic, when people are hungry, when finance capital is tightening its grip on the NHS, with a Government entrenching the hostile environment, and when the ravages of climate decay are obvious for all to see, we cannot go on giving our energy to people who want to block fundamental, positive change.”

She stated that her unease with the Labour leadership was “crystallised” by the cheering of Tory right-winger Christian Wakeford (“an MP who has voted against everything we believe in”)  as he crossed the floor of the House of Commons to join Starmer.

“What I immediately felt was pain for all of those who are forced to use food banks, all of those who are going through the punitive ‘social security’ system, for all of the amazing activists protesting against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, including Gypsy and Traveller people, who are also at the heart of resisting the racism in this legislation — some of the many reasons why this whooping by elected representatives of my own party, on that day, was so inappropriate and jarring for so many,” she wrote.

And she said attempts to restore the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn were futile under Starmer’s leadership: “Perhaps with the best of intentions, some people seem to think that we can negotiate our way to justice by appealing to the right of the party to do the right thing. That has never worked and certainly will not work in the current circumstances.”

A Labour spokesperson said: “We thank Laura for her service and respect her decision.”

It will be interesting to see how Ms Pidcock is replaced; under current Labour Party rules, her position would be taken by the runner-up for her seat at the last NEC election – Ann Henderson.

But she is also a left-winger like Ms Pidcock. Should we expect Starmer to seek a loophole that will allow him to install one of his right-wing cronies instead? (I think we should.)

Ms Pidcock’s resignation has triggered a wave of support for her from other politicians, commentators and organisations. Here are some of the comments:

Their words are undoubtedly echoed in the thoughts of many thousands of people across the UK.

And therein lies Keir Starmer’s dilemma – because he relies on the votes of left-wingers and socialists across the UK to keep himself and his fellow right-wing squatters in Parliament, and in power within the Labour Party.

His belief is that the Left has no alternative other than to vote for his Tepid Tories; the First Past The Post voting system means that is the only way to get the Tories out.

But genuine left-wing organisations are springing up across the UK to challenge him; its representatives calling on those socialists remaining in Labour to desert Starmer’s hollowed-out zombie party and join a movement where their achievements will not be neutered by his suffocating presence.

The first test of his ability to resist the new wave of socialism will be the local elections in May – but it won’t be the last.

Is Ms Pidcock’s resignation the first pebble-fall leading to a landslide that will bury Starmer and his traitors forever?

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Labour leaders keep Corbyn out of Parliamentary party after welcoming right-wing Tory

Philosophical: Jeremy Corbyn may not have regained his place in the Parliamentary Labour Party but he retains the high ground.

Leaders of the political party that falsely claims to provide an alternative to the hard-right Conservative government but welcomes the most right-wing of Tories to its ranks with open arms has voted to extend Jeremy Corbyn’s banishment from its Parliamentary membership.

Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee agreed by 23 votes in favour, 14 against and one abstention not to restore the party’s Parliamentary whip to Mr Corbyn after hearing from Chief Whip Alan Campbell, who said the party’s former leader had not apologised nor addressed any of the issues raised against him when his membership was suspended unilaterally by party leader Keir Starmer in November 2020.

Starmer decided to throw Mr Corbyn out after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had found that Labour had not been institutionally anti-Semitic under Mr Corbyn’s leadership, but right-wing factionalists had interfered with the party’s handling of complaints in order to bring the socialist then-leader into disrepute.

The EHRC examined 70 cases, of which 42 (60 per cent) were found not to have been investigated in line with the party’s policies at the time.

Mr Corbyn’s response to the EHRC’s finding was wrongly said to be offensive to Jewish people by Starmer. Let’s just check that…

So, right-wingers – with whom Starmer aligns – had tried to mislead the public into thinking Mr Corbyn was responsible for failures to address complaints of anti-Semitism when in fact they were to blame, having done so in order to falsely create an impression that the amount of anti-Semitism in Labour was far greater than was in fact the case – and Mr Corbyn was suspended as a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party for pointing this out?

If anybody should apologise, it seems that person’s name is “Keir Starmer”.

His resignations as party leader, MP and Labour member should follow (in This Writer’s opinion).

But we know that isn’t going to happen. He has spent far too much of the nearly two years he has been leader perverting the party’s rules and procedures to favour himself and his cronies to ever do that!

There is an alternative, though:

Mr Corbyn himself retains the higher ground:

This Writer would certainly agree that it is time for Mr Corbyn to join the left-wing movement that rising outside the Labour Party, which needs socialists far more than they need tepid Tories.

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Amanda Pritchard selected as next boss of NHS England

The new NHS England chief executive: Amanda Pritchard.

Is it good that Amanda Pritchard has been selected to run NHS England, replacing Simon Stevens?

I don’t know, but my first reaction was that she has to be better than Dido Harding (who was discounted earlier in the selection process)!

She’ll be the first female boss since the NHS was created in 1948, which is a boost for sex equality.

But she’s also a graduate of Oxford University, which suggests a possible bias towards Toryism. And she had to pass interviews with representatives of 10 Downing Street, the Treasury and Cabinet Office (Tory), NHS England chair Lord David Prior (Tory) and other NHS England board members (loyalties unknown).

Is it possible that she joined the service 25 years ago, just to undermine it?

Or will she be forced to, whether she wants to or not?

Source: Amanda Pritchard on course to be next NHS England chief executive | News | Health Service Journal

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Dido Harding wants to run English NHS. Where there’s no accountability, there’s no shame

Fiasco: Dido Harding (left) was appointed by Matt Hancock (right – not the donkey, although it probably has more brains than him) to run a privatised Covid-19 ‘test and trace’ scheme (hence the Serco logo) under the NHS banner. It was a disaster. Now she is thinking of applying to be the new boss of NHS England. What do YOU think will happen if she gets the job?

The former jockey who cocked up the UK’s Covid-19 “test and trace” efforts – so badly that £37 billion of public money couldn’t put it right – now wants to inflict herself on the English NHS.

Dido Harding has made a name for herself as the worst possible choice to run any organisation, ever since her lamentable stint as boss of Talk Talk.

Her tenure at the head of “test and trace” almost certainly caused thousands of unnecessary deaths.

But there is no accountability among Tories. She has not been called to face justice for her failures, and she never will be.

Just you think about the colossal amount of harm she could do to the nation’s health if she gets a job running England’s NHS.

The Tories would love it; it would be the best advert for full privatisation they could possibly have.

Source: Former Test and Trace boss Dido Harding considering bid to lead NHS England

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Beckett’s ‘silly cow’ comment shows Starmer has turned Labour into a cess pit

The shenanigans after yesterday’s (March 11) meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee make This Writer glad not to be a member of that party any more.

The fact that Margaret Beckett is being allowed to continue as chair of the NEC after calling fellow committee member Laura Pidcock a “silly cow” on a Zoom meeting is unacceptable.

Pidcock had made a perfectly reasonable point after a motion to recall Labour’s party conference had been rejected with no vote taken, in a snub to party democracy.

The motion sought to recall the full party conference, possibly to coincide with Labour’s women’s conference in June, for reasons This Writer set out in a previous article:

The motion… reads: “Discussion in local Labour Party meetings has been suppressed; motions banned; scores of activists suspended; and anger and disillusionment is exploding across our lay membership across the party.

“Members are leaving in droves and many more are expressing frustration and dissatisfaction at the attack on democracy and free speech. Many members are saying it doesn’t feel like the Labour Party anymore.”

There is also frustration after several ex-officials suspended over the contents of a damning leaked report have been let back into Labour. 

These are serious, party-splitting concerns, and it is unacceptable that Laura Pidcock, asking how members could have this out-of-hand rejection of those concerns explained to them, was dismissed as a “silly cow”.

The reaction on the social media was unequivocal:

The last commenter is right: this is indeed Keir Starmer’s Labour.

And he has made it a cess pit.

I am delighted that I am not a member of an organisation that puts Starmer and Beckett in positions of seniority that they clearly do not merit. I have a feeling that many other Labour members will also abandon the party in the face of this ill-treatment.

And I expect the general public will do the same at the May elections.

Source: Labour MP Margaret Beckett apologises over ‘silly cow’ remark – BBC News

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Top bosses’ pay passed the UK average for all of 2021 – in just five working days

 

Do they get too much or you get too little? Or both?

According to the High Pay Centre, median FTSE 100 CEOs’ earnings for 2021 surpassed the median annual wage for a full-time worker in the UK by around 5:30 pm on Wednesday, January 6.

It seems that conditions in 2020 mean the situation has taken a tiny, baby step towards equality – although when you see what this actually means, you may not think so:

We estimate that with CEO pay levels remaining essentially flat in their analysis, while pay for UK workers had increased slightly, it means that CEOs have to work 34 hours of the year to surpass median earnings, rather than just 33 hours in 2020.

Wow. Don’t get out the bunting for the street party just yet.

Pay for top CEOs today is about 120 times that of the typical UK worker. Estimates suggest it was around 50 times at the turn of the millennium or 20 times in the early 1980s.

Factors such as the increasing role played by the finance industry in the economy, the outsourcing of low-paid work and the decline of trade union membership have widened the gaps between those at the top and everybody else over recent decades.

This is optimistic:

These figures will raise concern about the governance of big businesses and whether major employers are distributing pay in a way that rewards the contribution of different workers fairly. They should also prompt debate about the effects that high levels of inequality can have on social cohesion, crime, and public health and wellbeing.

I don’t think they’ll raise concern. How can anybody worry about this huge inequality when they’re never told about it?

Be honest…

When’s the last time your boss told you how much more they earn than you do?

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Corbyn calls in the lawyers – just as This Site asked him to

What a coincidence!

The day after This Writer called for Jeremy Corbyn to take court action to stop the current Labour leadership from playing fast-and-loose with party rules to persecute him – he did just that.

Jeremy Corbyn’s solicitors have written to Labour calling for his suspension as one of the party’s MPs to be lifted, the BBC has been told.

I can’t take credit for the move – this is a tiny website with a very small readership – around 16,000 a day on average – but I think it is worth recording my gratitude to everybody who did pass my message on to Mr Corbyn, just in case.

Keir Starmer has built up a reputation, in a very short time, for conceding court cases Labour’s legal advisers say the party should win. In this instance, the opposite should apply – so I fear he’ll decide to fight.

Possibly mitigating against this is the letter to the party’s acting general secretary, David Evans (his appointment has yet to be ratified by a Labour Party conference), demanding that the Parliamentary party whip be restored to Corbyn.

According to Skwawkbox, the letter

  • condemns the ‘double jeopardy’ and ‘deliberate political interference’ of withdrawing the whip from Corbyn after he was reinstated by an NEC panel
  • makes clear that the decision of the panel was based on independent legal advice and the recommendation of Labour’s disciplinary investigative unit
  • implies that their advice was that there were no valid grounds for Corbyn’s suspension
  • confirms that the whip had been restored to Corbyn on the lifting of his suspension, making an utter mockery of Starmer’s excuse that he was ‘not restoring’ the whip rather than withdrawing it
  • makes clear that the meddling in the disciplinary outcome is exactly that kind of ‘political interference’ the EHRC has ruled unlawful
  • accuses Starmer and other right-wing MPs of smearing the NEC panel members who acted in accordance with the party’s rules and the legal advice they gave
  • says that Starmer has put NEC members in a legal bind – and that as a highly-qualified barrister he has no excuse for his ‘unconscionable’ choice
  • demands that Evans rebuke Starmer for his political interference in party processes and undermining public confidence in Labour’s disciplinary process
  • ‘requires’ Evans to immediately ‘demand’ that Starmer upholds the NEC panel’s decision and restores the whip to Corbyn

So now Starmer is well and truly caught between a rock and a hard place.

I wonder what sanctions will be carried out by the NEC members who signed the letter, if they don’t get what they demanded?

Perhaps Starmer’s decision will be made easier by the continuing rebellion of party members across the country, who continue to ignore his diktats that they should not speak up on Corbyn’s behalf or campaign for him.

This Writer is delighted to see that Bristol South CLP (I’m from that part of Brizzle) has just voted to support Corbyn:

I understand Brent Central CLP has also passed a motion demanding the restoration of the Labour Parliamentary whip to Corbyn.

And it seems another CLP has passed a motion calling on the NEC to take all steps possible to remove David Evans from office.

November 19 has been a disastrous day for Keir Starmer and his cronies.

How much worse can it get before he bows to the inevitable?

Source: Jeremy Corbyn’s lawyers challenge Labour over MP suspension – BBC News

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Labour NEC elections: should Electoral Commission investigate Starmer vote-rigging claims?

Stymied: Keir Starmer has failed to increase his power on Labour’s ruling NEC – and may face an investigation by the Electoral Commission over the possibility that his leadership team interfered with the votes, binning many that should have been counted.

Perhaps Labour Party members – the few who remain – should be grateful for small mercies: after the NEC election left-wing Grassroots Voice candidates took five of the nine CLP seats.

It means Keir Starmer’s ‘Stalinist Right’ (apparently) faction has been denied a chance to consolidate its power over the party; he will continue to face opposition to his more extreme right-wing policies in the party’s ruling committee.

But do these results really matter, when they come amid allegations of vote-rigging?

The claim is that Starmer’s leadership has been disregarding votes by people who subsequently quit their membership of the Labour Party in disgust at the undemocratic decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn for no reason at all.

And it seems this claim may have validity. The number of votes counted in this election is said to be around 117,000 – 27 per cent of the membership, according to the most recent figures we have. Last time, 68 per cent of the membership voted.

That’s a huge difference.

It is entirely possible that the 117k figure represents 68 per cent of the current membership, after the party haemmorrhaged members following Starmer’s election as leader and his immediate choice to betray those who voted for him by ignoring his 10 pledges and turning the party’s direction sharply to the right.

But if Starmer’s people have been binning votes from people who were members before they quit in disgust, then it seems they have acted unconstitutionally by removing votes that should have counted; these people were members when they voted and had every right to vote at the time.

Fortunately for democracy in the UK, we have an organisation dedicated to ensuring that elections are carried out in a free, fair and legal way.

So here’s the question:

Should the Electoral Commission be called in to investigate this election?

And if so:

Should the result of the NEC election – as currently reported – be ignored until the Electoral Commission is able to confirm (or deny) it?

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Outraged Labour members want to know why Starmer supports illegal torture by UK armed forces

Keir Starmer: if he was really a soldier – as in this mock-up image – he might be less inclined to support illegal torture by members of the armed forces.

The Tories aren’t the only ones getting a hammering from the public over plans to break international law.

Party members are calling on their representatives in Labour’s ruling NEC to debate why MPs were told to abstain from voting on a Bill to allow servicepeople to commit acts of torture.

Labour leader Keir Starmer demanded that MPs should abstain, rather than opposing the plan, which should be abhorrent to any right-thinking human being.

So when NEC member Rachel Garnham asked what members wanted to hear discussed at today’s meeting, this was the response:

Some have used it as a subject for humour – with a strong underlying criticism of Starmer, who many party members now consider to be no better than a Conservative:

Starmer’s leadership is too weak to brook any such criticism of his decisions, so it seems unlikely that any such discussion will take place.

This Writer certainly doesn’t expect to hear about any such deliberations.

So much for Labour Party democracy. Jeremy Corbyn tried to roll it back out to the members, but now Starmer is in charge, the people are losing their voice once again.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Coronavirus: The Tories’ catalogue of failures means people who should have lived WILL die

Chris Whitty: the Chief Medical Officer has now self-isolated with symptoms of the coronavirus himself. Doesn’t that suggest there’s something wrong with his ideas?

Those of you who have been following This Site over the past few days will have read article after article exposing the failures of the Conservative government – firstly to anticipate, then to combat the coronavirus crisis.

So it should come as no surprise that these failures have ensured that NHS workers and people who contract Covid-19 will die, who should be saved.

And the pedigree of the man making that claim should not be doubted: Richard Horton is the editor of what is possibly the most highly-regarded medical journal of them all: The Lancet.

He said measures implemented “far too late” had left the NHS “wholly unprepared for the surge of severely and critically ill patients”.

As a result, it had been plunged into “chaos and panic”, with patients and NHS staff condemned to “die unnecessarily”.

He pointed to an article in The Lancet, already referenced by This Site, stated on January 24 that the coronavirus was on the verge of becoming a global pandemic and urged the government to ensure that the NHS was prepared.

But Boris Johnson and his government didn’t bother. Successive Conservative governments over the previous 10 years had systematically dismantled the UK’s capability of tackling a pandemic like Covid-19.

The strategy to deal with it was last updated in 2011 and is hopelessly out-of-date.

The dedicated government Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Team, tasked with tackling this type of crisis, vanished around 2011.

The crucial document for getting the right messages to the public – the Communications Strategy – was written in 2012 and is wildly inaccurate in its assumptions about how and where people now get their information.

Worst of all, the government guide to dealing with the fatalities of a pandemic – the deaths – was written in 2008 and had never been updated.

Perhaps we should not be surprised, then, that the Conservative government’s response to coronavirus – throughout February – was wrong.

The Lancet article warned that “preparedness plans should be readied for deployment at short notice, including securing supply chains of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, hospital supplies and the necessary human resources”. But this warning was ignored.

Mr Horton lays the blame for this on Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, Chief Executive Officer of the NHS in England Simon Stevens and Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance.

Vallance’s was the mind behind the ridiculous “herd immunity” scheme to allow us all to become infected and if millions of vulnerable people died, that was a reasonable price to pay if the rest developed a resistance to the virus.

It didn’t last long but valuable days were wasted and, of course, while the overarching strategy was “do nothing”, nothing was being done to make the UK ready to fight the disease.

And when the government finally adopted an acceptable approach, the NHS was caught unprepared.

It didn’t have pharmaceutical supply chains ready – note the call for volunteers to ship medicines where they’re needed.

It didn’t have the necessary human resources.

And it didn’t have personal protective equipment, despite protestations to the contrary. As part of his article, Mr Horton called on England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jenny Harries, to apologise to health workers for saying the UK has “a perfectly adequate supply of PPE” and supply pressures had been “completely resolved” on March 20.

She was wrong, and it means doctors are risking their own health, if not their lives, every day by having to assess patients with respiratory symptoms, without the equipment necessary to protect themselves.

Worse still, the government didn’t follow basic World Health Organisation (WHO) advice. According to Mr Horton: “They didn’t isolate and quarantine. They didn’t contact trace. These basic principles of public health and infectious disease control were ignored, for reasons that remain opaque.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: all the way down the line, Boris Johnson and his government have had to be dragged into doing the right thing – always late and never willingly.

Already more than 1,000 people have been acknowledged to have died.

And it seems clear that more will follow – who would have lived if Mr Johnson and his ministers, their advisors and the leaders of the NHS had simply done their jobs properly.

Source: Coronavirus: UK response means NHS staff and patients will ‘die unnecessarily’, Lancet editor says | The Independent