Tag Archives: fight

Why is supine Starmer spending Labour money appeasing opponents in anti-Semitism case?

Keir the clueless: if he won’t stand up against liars who present a false impression of the Labour Party, then his version of Labour is not worth your support in any way at all.

It seems Keir Starmer is set to pay out Labour members’ subscriptions and apologise to so-called anti-Semitism whistleblowers, in order to settle a court case that Labour would win – if he fought it.

Why?

What is the aim here, other than to humiliate the party and create a false impression that Labour was in the wrong?

Here’s the story:

Labour is poised to make a formal apology to antisemitism whistleblowers as part of a settlement designed to draw a line under allegations made during the Jeremy Corbyn era, the Guardian has learned.

The whistleblowers sued the party for defamation in the wake of a BBC Panorama investigation last year. No final settlement has been reached but sources said an agreement was imminent, prompting anger from Corbyn allies who accused the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, of capitulating.

Seven of the eight whistleblowers – all former Labour staffers – who featured in the documentary instructed the prominent media lawyer Mark Lewis to take action against the party.

They claimed senior figures had issued statements attacking their reputations and suggesting they had ulterior political and personal motives to undermine the party.

Labour is expected to settle a separate case with the veteran journalist John Ware, who led the Panorama investigation and who sued over a statement by Labour that the BBC had engaged in “deliberate and malicious representations designed to mislead the public” in its broadcast.

If they were justified in their action, then perhaps it would be fair for them to receive an apology and restitution. However:

Any apology will prove controversial among Corbyn loyalists, who questioned whether settling it is a good use of party funds. The Guardian understands legal advice provided to Labour under Corbyn’s leadership suggested the party could win the case.

Labour under Starmer has appeared eager to reach agreements to end ongoing conflicts over the party’s antisemitism crisis.

So on the face of it, Starmer is throwing Labour members’ subscription money away, in order to lie about the way anti-Semitism was handled by these former officers.

And it will be for nothing. Appeasement never stops anybody – it just encourages them to go on accusing and demanding, with each demand being more outrageous.

What impression is Starmer hoping to give?

That Labour is now utterly supine?

That the party will give in and go along with anyone who tries to bully it – like the Tories on the Covid-19 crisis and the sectarian groups among the UK’s Jewish community who demand absolute loyalty to the Israeli government, no matter what atrocities it commits against Palestine?

That Labour is no longer an anti-racist party as it will not defend even its own members who stand up against racism?

That Labour is no longer worthy of support in any way at all?

Source: Labour set to apologise to antisemitism whistleblowers | Politics | The Guardian

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Can new anti-Universal Credit alliance really mirror the anti-Poll Tax campaign?

Can these campaign groups match the intensity and mass feeling of the anti-Poll Tax campaign of 1990?

This Writer can’t answer that.

But Universal Credit has to go.

It has been nothing but a hugely expensive white elephant.

It doesn’t help people back into work.

It certainly doesn’t keep them out of poverty.

It’s full of loopholes that cost claimants money left, right and centre.

And the Tories would rather fight those claimants in court than admit fault.

So if there’s to be a campaign… I’m in.

And you?

Disabled activists have called for opponents of universal credit (UC) across the country to help mirror the campaign that led to the poll tax being abandoned in the early 1990s, by joining a new national alliance that is demanding UC is scrapped.

They announced the new alliance at an online meeting organised by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) that focused on the ongoing campaign to “stop and scrap” UC.

Scrap Universal Credit Alliance (SUCA) will include disabled activists, disabled people’s organisations (DPOs), unions and allies.

Mark Harrison, from Norfolk Against Universal Credit (NAUC) and the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance, said UC was “the 21st century workhouse” and was leaving people imprisoned in their own homes, in debt and reliant on food banks.

He said it was “urgent that we step up the campaign” to stop and scrap UC.

He said that was why DPAC, NAUC and others had set up SUCA, which will act as an umbrella campaign for all local campaigns around the country that are dedicated to scrapping UC.

Source: New alliance to scrap universal credit aims to mirror anti-poll tax campaign – Disability News Service

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MPs keep hearing disabled people must fight to live ordinary lives. When will they listen?

Anne Severwright.

This is an old, old story.

Successive Tory governments since 2010 have heard evidence of the hardship they have forced on people with disabilities – and done nothing but worsen it.

It has been said that one definition of insanity is repeating the same behaviour and expecting different results.

So I have to ask why anybody in Parliament possibly thought any good would come of this?

Other strategies are necessary now – and have been for years.

Let’s talk about them.

Disabled people are being forced to fight for their right to live ordinary lives because of the flawed and under-resourced social care system, MPs have been told by a disabled campaigner.

Anna Severwright told members of the Commons health and social care committee on Tuesday that she and other users of council-funded care and support were unable to live normal lives because of cuts to their support packages.

She said the system was characterised by fear, a lack of trust and unfairness.

She said: “People my age talk about it being a fight, fighting the system, and that constant sort of sense that we are having to fight for our rights and fight to have a life.”

Source: Disabled people forced to fight for right to live ordinary lives, MPs hear – Disability News Service

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Violence in London as NAZIS march in SUPPORT of CHURCHILL. The reasons may shock you

This story will be full of apparent contradictions. It is, in fact, about betrayal.

It features Nazis making stiff-armed salutes next to the Cenotaph, and claiming to be supporting Churchill.

The same people, who say they love the rule of law, have attacked police.

And while claiming to deplore violence at the Black Lives Matter demonstration in London last week, they flew to it within minutes of starting their own demonstration.

There is sense to it – although it’s hard to see because people in authority would prefer you to remain confused – and the mass media support them in that.

This story is best told from the response to the removal of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol last week – triggering a movement to remove other statues glorifying slavers and racists including calls for the removal of the statue to World War II prime minister Winston Churchill in London – and its actual defacement. In fact, the story started decades ago, as we will see.

The threat to Churchill’s effigy seems to have brought every far-right-wing lunatic in the United Kingdom out of the woodwork to demand action to protect a man they claim as an inspirational, ideological leader. Figureheads demanded that every “patriot” – take note of the language – should be in London to defend the statue during the next scheduled Black Lives Matter demonstration in London – on June 13 (today).

Black Lives Matter organisers weren’t having any of that; their demos are always intended to be peaceful and there was a clear threat of violence in the so-called “patriots”‘ call to action. They pulled out and left London to the lunatics.

Meanwhile, the authorities boarded up the statue, leaving nothing for the “patriots” to protect.

They went anyway – and caused scenes that have been branded in the mildest possible terms as a “national disgrace”.

To learn why the far right thought it necessary to scandalise the country – possibly the world – we need to go back many decades, to examine the career of their idol Churchill.

The claim is that they are protecting the legacy of the man whose leadership saved us from Nazism and the politics of Hitler. But the people saying that are the same people who, today, threw Nazi salutes at the cenotaph in an insult to everybody who died to protect us in the 1939-45 war.

These people are not celebrating a victory over fascism!

So what are they celebrating?

Churchill was a racist and an oppressor of his own countryfolk. That is the Churchill the far-right revere.

Look at the Tonypandy riots massacre in Wales in 1910. As Home Secretary, Churchill sent first Metropolitan police officers, then the 18th Hussars – who shot down the striking miners. It is widely believed that he ordered the use of live rounds, although he denied it.

Or shall we talk about his actions in Liverpool, the following year?

I’m sure there are other examples but let’s look at the racism:

According to his biographer, John Charmley, Churchill believed in a racial hierarchy and eugenics, and that at the top of this were White Protestant Christians.

He said it was ‘alarming and nauseating’ seeing Gandhi ‘striding half-naked up the steps of the vice-regal palace’ in India. He also said ‘I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion’. So it should be no surprise that he allowed three million people to die in the Bengal famine of 1943, in which Churchill refused to deploy food supplies.

The Bengalis starved because their grain had been sequestered as back up supplies to feed British troops. In the end they weren’t needed. Churchill also said that the famine was their fault for having too many children.

This racist also said that ‘Keep Britain White’ was a good slogan for the Tories to go into the 1951 general election.

Let’s look at his attitude to World War II. Boris Johnson has claimed that the former prime minister “saved this country and the whole of Europe from a barbaric fascist and racist tyranny, and our debt to him is incalculable”.

But according to historian of fascism Martin Pugh, Churchill wasn’t opposed to fascism in itself; he was simply concerned that Nazi Germany threatened British interests in the North Sea.

And Peter Hitchens has pointed out that Churchill wasn’t interested in saving the Jews; he was simply honouring treaties with Poland and France. He knew about the extermination camps but neither said nor did anything about them until they were liberated during the allied invasions of Germany and Poland.

So it should be unsurprising that people of good conscience have reached the logical conclusions about Churchill:

I have already mentioned Boris Johnson’s history-denying defence of Churchill as a fighter against fascism, when he was no such thing. Is it any surprise, then, that after he was told to “grow a pair” and defend the continuance of the statue (by people like the boxer Tyson Fury), he leapt to it?

“The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country – and the whole of Europe – from a fascist and racist tyranny,” he wrote on Twitter yesterday.

“It is absurd and shameful that this national monument should today be at risk of attack by violent protestors. Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial.

“We cannot now try to edit or censor our past. We cannot pretend to have a different history. The statues in our cities and towns were put up by previous generations.”

Sadly, here he is undermined by the UK government itself, which has indeed edited and censored the UK’s collective past:

The news story refers to the destruction of records detailing crimes committed by the British Empire in its colonies, during its final years. Apparently Mr Johnson thinks it is perfectly acceptable to edit and censor the past when it reveals inconvenient facts.

He has attracted appropriate criticism:

What conclusions may we draw so far? That far-right-wingers in the UK made an issue of defending Churchill’s statue because they are racists, just as he was? That they hoped to disrupt the planned Black Lives Matter demonstration in order to beat up black people? That they relied on Boris Johnson for support because he is a racist (“picaninnies with watermelon smiles”, remember. “Letterboxes” and “bank robbers”, remember)? That the Nazi salutes in London today were as much for Johnson as they were for Churchill?

That they were relying on a rise in racism in the UK caused and promoted by successive Conservative governments since 2010 – most especially around the UK’s membership of the European Union and Brexit?

We should also take note of another aspect of the far-right-wing malady: exceptionalism. They adopt what it suits them to adopt and ignore the inconvenient facts – such as the fact that their ally in support of Winston Churchill, Boris Johnson, also presided over the ejection of Churchill’s grandson from the Conservative Party:

https://twitter.com/cfinnecy/status/1271543052084097032

This exceptionalism is especially strong with regard to statues of slavers, racists and other oppressors who, we are told, made Britain “great”:

Even the arguments they use to support the retention of these offensive slabs of stone show exceptionalism:

See, Katarzyna b-m was saying anyone who is uncomfortable with the way people behave in their home (or indeed, home country) – such as their choice of decoration – is welcome to leave. The comment may be considered dog-whistle racism towards Ash, who is a person of colour. But Ash just batted it away with the pertinent observation that, when the British invaded other people’s homes in the time of Empire, they did the exact opposite; instead of leaving, the British changed those other nations and didn’t give a fig about the feelings of the natives.

With these statues, of course, it is native Britons who want rid, so the argument is nonsense. But that’s right-wing exceptionalism for you.

We’re getting close to the events in London today, but should first consider two more elements in this mix: the police and the press. Both have been put between a rock and a hard place.

The police, you see, were prompted into action last week against Black Lives Matter demonstrators – although members of Avon and Someset Constabulary wisely avoided a confrontation with those who pulled down Edward Colston’s statue, even though it was done illegally. The far-right extremists who planned to challenge any demonstration this weekend were claiming to be upholding the rule of law – but their subsequent actions made it clear that this was not true. What were the police supposed to do with them?

And the news media have been instrumental in supporting the rise of racism in the UK over the last few years – faithfully reporting the Tory governments’ claims that immigrants have been responsible for many of the nation’s ills, among other questionable practices. The extremist demonstration in London today was a logical result and progression of these reports – but what sort of treatment did reporters expect if they pointed their cameras at the violence that happened today?

So we come to the demonstration today.

It tells us that racism is still alive and well in the UK and that most of the people in this video clip are there to stick it to the blacks.

Next thing we knew, these people who claimed to be celebrating Churchill the man who led us to victory over the Nazis were performing Nazi salutes in front of the police (and also in front of the cenotaph in an insult to the people whose deaths that monument represents):

Interestingly, the Nazis doing the saluting were again contradicting themselves; they’re all for police brutality against black people (because they’re racists) – but if the cops turn a heavy hand to them, it’s a different story and they react with violence:

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772774126755841

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772778258186240

And when the press recorded this behaviour…

But on television…

Schizoid.

There’s only one conclusion to be had:

The United Kingdom remains a hopelessly racist nation.

It is racist because the history we learn reeks of it. Our monuments venerate it. Our government promotes it. And our (white) people take their cue from all three.

This situation will not change because our government – and the most powerful people in the UK – want to keep it the way it is.

It puts us at each others’ throats instead of at theirs.

And why is it about betrayal?

Simple. This overt racism is a betrayal of everyone who has been led to believe that Britain is better than that.

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Coronavirus:  Peston is right – Raab taking over from Johnson IS ‘deeply worrying’

Dominic Raab: it’s almost a facepalm but we’ll probably be doing that action for real within days.

Dominic Raab – the man who didn’t realise how much UK trade relies on the Dover-Calais crossing…

… the man who said it would be easier to get a trade deal with the EU after crashing out of the bloc without one when the opposite was the case…

… is now in charge of the UK’s fight against coronavirus, after Boris Johnson went into hospital and named Raab as his chosen stand-in.

This provides us with a rare opportunity to agree with ITV politics pundit Robert Peston:

Yes. It really is “deeply worrying”.

What’s he going to do – take us back to the “herd immunity” fallacy and send us all out to catch Covid-19 too?

Source: Dominic Raab to lead UK through coronavirus hurdles | Politics | The Guardian

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PIP assessor terrorises household. What kind of people is Capita hiring?

This should concern anybody who has a long-term illness or disability, who has a family member with one, or may develop one in the future.

Disability News Service has reported that an assessor working for Capita, the sub-contractor hired by the Depatment for Work and Pensions to assess claims for Personal Independence Payment, basically terrorised a household.

The man, believed to be in his 50s, was carrying out the assessment at the home of Cheryl Matthews, in Cardiff.

Ms Matthews works as a customer service agent and has several long-term health conditions, including one that could cause a fatal aneurysm if she becomes anxious.

She already receives the PIP standard rates for daily living and mobility, but had requested a new assessment after her health worsened in recent months.

But the assessor seems to have been determined to ignore her information about recent events, describing them as “irrelevant”.

His attitude angered Ms Matthews’ 22-year-old son, who asked for the assessment to be ended.

On his way out, it seems the assessor shoved her son so hard that he fell against a door – then challenged him to a fight before leaving the front door open and kicking the safety gate – that protects their three dogs – off its hinges, damaging the wall of the house.

He made off, saying that he would be back to fight Ms Matthews’s son.

She has struggled to sleep since the incident, according to the report. Considering her health condition, it seems that – rather than helping Ms Matthews meet the challenges of life with a disability – the assessment put her life in danger.

We are told Capita has suspended the assessor and offered Ms Matthews £600 in compensation. South Wales Police has launched an investigation into allegations of criminal damage.

To This Writer, that seems right and proper – but what about other people facing assessment?

I should say that Mrs Mike had her PIP assessment at home, and the Capita assessor in that instance behaved in an exemplary manner. She was polite and considerate, and paid attention to everything Mrs Mike had to say.

But the incident in Cardiff suggests that others may not be so lucky.

It certainly seems appropriate to raise questions about the standards under which private companies, working for the government, hire people to carry out this work.

While the policy of privatising this task may be attractive – it allows the Conservative government to distance itself from incidents like this – it does suggest that the government is also putting people at risk.

Is this incident not an argument for these assessments to be brought back in-house – under the auspices of the public service, with higher, public-service standards?

Source: PIP assessor told claimant to ignore her ‘irrelevant’ suicide attempt… then challenged her son to a fight – Disability News Service

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The tide is turning: Crowdfunding campaign against ‘anti-Semitism’ lies leads to apology and donation

Mike Sivier (right) with the late, great Tony Benn.

This was an extremely pleasant surprise.

You will be aware that This Writer has been the victim of several unfounded and vindictive accusations of anti-Semitism, including attacks in the national press, that I have been fighting these claims through the press regulator IPSO, and also launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the costs of any libel actions I may have to bring to court.

A few days ago, a comment was posted to the crowdfunding page. I wanted to draw your attention to it.

It stated [boldings mine]: “Several months ago I left a post on the Vox Political website, regarding the culpability of Mr Mike Sivier’s engagement in anti-Semitism, namely that he had made anti-Semitic statement’s regarding the Holocaust. These statements were wrongly reported in the national press and media, and have since been proven to be entirely untrue.

“I apologise without reservation for my comments that agreed with these reports, and in the light of findings retract and reverse my accusations. I am ashamed that these public comments, reinforced by myself have been allowed to tarnish the character of Mr Sivier and adversely affect his journalistic professionalism, his reporting website and personal profile with unknown damage to his business interests.

“I hope that he is able to recover damages from these original sources to compensate him in some small way for what are now evidently clear and slanderous lies designed to be spread to tarnish his career and political journalism. I myself will be making a contribution to his campaign costs and encourage others to do the same to fight the current trend of underhand press reporting now prevalent in this country, to hold them to account and make an example of their political manipulation that affects us all.”

I was hugely impressed and also genuinely moved by this comment.

It is no easy thing for any of us to admit a mistake, especially after having made it on a widely-read public forum like Vox Political.

This one was, as my mother would describe it, “handsomely done” and I wanted my own appreciation of the gesture – and gratitude for the promise of funds to help my campaign – to go on record.

I hope the person who posted those words (I won’t cause embarrassment by naming him, although you can find out who it is by visiting the crowdfunding site) will stand as an example to others – and in contrast with the cowards who did indeed tarnish my good name and don’t have the guts to admit what they did was wrong.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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The Tories are squabbling about Brexit again – wasn’t the EU referendum supposed to stop that?

Liam Fox: Don’t talk to him – he’ll only give you a lot of meaningless waffle.

All the news seems to be about Brexit.

First we had this.

Then this.

Now it turns out the Tories are fighting among themselves about what Brexit will mean – again.

The whole idea of the EU referendum was to put an end to Conservative in-fighting over the UK’s membership of that bloc.

But David Cameron made a pig’s ear of his offer to the public, failing to provide any solid information about what leaving the EU would mean.

If he had, nobody in their right mind would have voted for it and the nightmare of the last two years could have been avoided.

Tories. They can’t get anything right.

Liam Fox has said he finds the Treasury’s predictions of economic turmoil following a no-deal Brexit “hard to swallow”.

The international trade secretary’s intervention underlines deep divisions in the cabinet over the government’s approach to Brexit, with the forecasts only recently promoted by Philip Hammond.

The chancellor said his department’s best estimates were that a no-deal Brexit would lead to £80bn a year in extra borrowing, sparking fury among Brexiteers who believe leaving without an agreement would be preferable to Ms May’s Chequers proposals.

Source: Cabinet split over no-deal Brexit reopens after Liam Fox calls Philip Hammond’s forecasts ‘hard to swallow’ | The Independent

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Singing about it won’t save the NHS


Look at the state of this:

I tweeted her back. One word: “Hypocrite.”

Johnny Vegas had it right:

Yes that’s right. On its 70th anniversary, we all need to fight for the NHS.

But turn on the TV and it seems all you’ll see is people singing about it.

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Now Philip Hammond is bidding to be sacked for unparliamentary behaviour

Philip Hammond: As far as businesses are concerned, he seems to think “The Way” can only by the TORY way.

Paul Mason is to be congratulated for this discovery. He explains:

The image is a passage quoted from the Politico website. It states:

“Hammond… urged industry to back the Tories. “I know you don’t engage in party political activity but I expect you to face up to when the principles that undermine our economic structure and your business are placed at risk,” Hammond said. “You have to decide to combat this menace or collaborate with it and let it get into power.”

I’ll leave it to Mr Mason to explain why Mr Hammond was wrong to say these things at a £400-a-head dinner that was part of the Conservative conference on October 2, and why he should relinquish his role as Chancellor for having done so:

In business, a fiduciary is a company representative who is placed in a position of trust – to run the company in the best interests of the owners or shareholders, and not to put their own interests or those of any others first – including political organisations like the Conservative Party.

At this event – whatever it was – Mr Hammond was clearly asking chief executive officers of Britain’s businesses to conspire against the Labour Party, for the benefit of the Conservatives.

“Extraparliamentary resistance” is a thorny issue. Some would say that certain firms carry out such resistance as a matter of course, fiduciary duty be damned.

Financial institutions certainly seem biased against Labour. If a Labour administration comes into office, they seem very quick to change their predictions about the economic well-being of the country, in the face of all the evidence.

(Historically, the UK has always benefited from Labour governments. The Attlee administration on 1945-51 heralded decades of improvements in the UK economy and living standards across the board, that was ended by the Thatcherite neoliberal revolution of 1979 onwards.)

But it is unforgivable for a senior Conservative minister actually to come out an appeal for businesses to work against another political party.

As a government minister, his only duty is to work with businesses – no matter what their political colour – for the benefit of the country as a whole.

His speech demonstrates that his only concern is the benefit of the Conservative Party.

That is unacceptable.

He should resign – or be sacked.

Neither is likely to happen, of course. Theresa May – herself under heavy fire for the ineptness of her government since she took over in 2016 – simply doesn’t have enough talent at hand to replace him.

Isn’t that the most serious indictment against the Conservatives of all?


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