Tag Archives: homophobia

Hypocrisy without limit: Boris Johnson on race and sexuality should enrage everybody

Boris Johnson is one of the worst hypocrites whose words This Writer has every been unlucky enough to have to report.

Consider the fact that June is Gay Pride Month. Mr Johnson has responded to it – and then gay people have responded to him:

Perhaps Mr Johnson’s tweet would have been better-used with an apology for his appalling behaviour in the past, an acknowledgement that gay people deserve more respect than he has given them, and an affirmation that he will do his best to make amends at all times in the future?

Well, that didn’t happen.

And then there’s his attitude to people of colour. Prepare to cringe:

Finally, let us consider his attitude to migrant workers and foreigners in general, after his recent appeal for them to come back to work in the UK:

What happened to all the anti-foreigner rhetoric?

Ah, but wait.

He’s saying it’s fine for Johnny (and Jane) Foreigner to come and work in the country with the highest Covid-19 death rate in the entire world – where they can merrily risk their lives for the further enrichment of himself and a gang of entitled rich brats who couldn’t care less about them, except as the butt of racist insults.

Have I got that right?

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Man assaulted Owen Jones out of hatred for his political views and homophobia, court rules

Abuse: Owen Jones has experience of dealing with abuse from the far right. This shot shows him being pursued by James Goddard in January last year.

This Site reported the assault shortly after it happened. It’s good to see justice done and know that the far-right crazies can’t get away with anything they like, just because another far-right crazy is in Downing Street.

I don’t agree with Mr Jones about everything he says but he certainly should not be threatened with violence over the opinions he expresses.

A man has been found guilty of aggravated assault against the Guardian columnist Owen Jones because of hostility to his leftwing political views and homophobia, following a two-day trial at Snaresbrook crown court.

Anne Studd QC, the presiding judge, concluded at the end of the hearing that Jones was the victim of a “wholly unprovoked assault” outside a central London pub last August because of “his LGBT and his leftwing beliefs”.

The defendant, James Healy, 40, had “far-right” views, Studd added, as evidenced by a collection of memorabilia found at his Portsmouth home, including items with logos or mottos from far right group Combat 18, white supremacist groups and hooligan groups associated with Chelsea football club.

Healy had already pleaded guilty to assaulting Jones last August outside the Lexington pub in King’s Cross, north London, at about 2am. But he was on trial to determine whether his actions were motivated by homophobia and hostility to Jones’s leftwing views.

Healy is one of three men who have admitted being involved in the incident. He and Liam Tracey, 34, from Camden, north London, and Charlie Ambrose, 29, from Brighton, all pleaded guilty to affray last month. Healy also admitted a further charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Sentencing for all three men is due to take place next month at the earliest. Healy will receive a greater than normal sentence because of the aggravating factors.

Source: Man found guilty of aggravated assault against Owen Jones | UK news | The Guardian

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Gyimah joins the Lib Dems. Are they now the party of homophobia?

Unpleasant company: The more Tories Jo Swinson welcomes into the Liberal Democrat, the more right-wing her party will become.

What is happening to the Liberal Democrats?

Jo Swinson’s tactic of taking in every waif and stray from the Conservative Party and Change UK may seem to be a sound way to increase her party’s presence in Parliament.

But it is changing the nature of that party at the same time.

When Phillip Lee crossed the floor of the House of Commons, the Liberal Democrat spokeswoman on LGBT+ issues quit, on the grounds that he was a homophobe.

Now Sam Gyimah has – rather dramatically – quit the Conservatives to be revealed as the latest Lib Dem recruit at their party conference. And this makes matters worse.

You see, Mr Gyimah famously filibustered a law to pardon all gay and bisexual men in England and Wales historically convicted of sexual offences that are no longer criminal, in 2016.

He claimed that the bill did not give strong enough protections against men being accidentally pardoned for sex with a minor or non-consensual sex.

But this was nonsense. As SNP MP John Nicolson explained at the time, “If the crime for which you were convicted is still a crime, by definition you are not pardoned.”

So – well, I don’t often agree with Wes Streeting, but he seems to have got it right with this tweet:

And as Owen Jones has now added:

Tom Clark of Another Angry Voice is more blunt:

In a way, it’s a shame. Mr Gyimah’s parting shots at the leader of his former party were strong:

“I listen to ministers undermining the courts,” he said. “Ministers questioning experts because their views are inconvenient for what the government is saying about no deal. You have a government that says law enforcement is the centrepiece of its platform, and yet says in another breath that it will pick and choose what laws it chooses to respect.

“This is in many ways undermining key pillars of our constitution and the functioning of our democracy. The issue for me is not just Brexit. It is beyond Brexit – how you conduct politics and the veering towards populism and English nationalism.”

Not only have the Liberal Democrats tarnished themselves by tacitly condoning homophobia, but it also seems their ‘Party of Remain’ credentials are in tatters too.

Writing in the Observer, party leader Jo Swinson stated: “The Liberal Democrats are the strongest Remain party in the UK, and we continue to grow, adding members, councillors and MPs. When a general election comes, we will be ready for it and ready to take our clear, pro-European message to the country.”

But it seems her plan to cancel Brexit isn’t Liberal – and is especially un-Democrat-ic; given the chance, she would not check that it was what the general public wants but would simply stop the process by which the UK is leaving the European Union.

In its way, that’s just as bad as the Conservatives’ determination to force their version of Brexit on us, whether we want it or not.

It means Labour is now the only major political party – certainly in England – that would give voters a say on Brexit.

Source: Sam Gyimah rejects ‘populist Johnson’ as he joins Lib Dems | Politics | The Guardian

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Andrea Leadsom wants to be Tory leader. Does she really think that’s a good idea?

Oh dear. Another Tory blunderer wants to make a bid for the top spot in politics.

Andrea Leadsom actually ran for the Conservative Party leadership – and to be prime minister of the UK – back in 2016, but withdrew in order to allow the coronation of Theresa May to happen unopposed. We all know how that turned out!

Now, according to some political commentators, she fancies her chances again. Here‘s the Huffington Post:

“Asked if she would run this time, Leadsom said:  “Yes, I am seriously considering standing. I’m disgusted at the fact that nearly three years on and still we haven’t left the EU.”

Is it a good idea? Well, let’s consider some of the things Ms Leadsom has said in the past:

That seems conclusive; she appears to be a female Boris Johnson.

And of course there is also the question of whether she is a homophobic bigot:

Just think: What Mr Johnson did for the Conservative Party’s race relations, Ms Leadsom could do for relationships… It doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?

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Terrorist Thomas Mair jailed for life for killing Jo Cox. Why did he do it?

Murderer and terrorist: Thomas Mair [Image: PA].

Murderer and terrorist: Thomas Mair [Image: PA].

This was a terrorist attack by a right-wing extremist – and just the first sign of a wave of aggression, around the world.

People like Thomas Mair saw the anti-immigration rhetoric that fuelled the vote to leave the European Union as an endorsement of racist, nationalist views.

And the proliferation of hate crimes suggests those views appear to be on the rise in the United States of America, after the election of Donald Trump as President, and in continental Europe.

People are committing these crimes because they think they can. They think that, somehow, atrocities against their fellow human being are now permissible – or at least that the authorities will turn a blind eye.

But what makes them believe their racism, homophobia, sexism, sectarianism, anti-Semitism or whatever is justified, anyway?

Have we, as a culture, failed to address these issues?

This Writer finds that hard to believe. I’ve been brought up in the same culture as everybody else and my compassion for another person has never been conditional on the colour of their skin or the compatibility of their religious beliefs.

Yet these crimes have happened and are continuing to happen. Thomas Mair murdered Jo Cox on the basis of a falsehood – for a lie.

Why?

I know many Vox Political readers have been waiting to air their opinions on this very subject; now is your chance.

What on Earth do you think has been motivating this?

Thomas Mair has been jailed for life after being found guilty of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

The 53-year-old shot and stabbed to death the mother-of-two in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on 16 June, a week before the EU referendum vote.

Mair shouted “Britain First” in the attack, but the judge said the true “patriot” was Mrs Cox, not Mair.

Prosecutors said Mair was motivated by hate and his crimes were “nothing less than acts of terrorism”.

Mair was also found guilty of having a firearm with intent, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to 78-year-old Bernard Kenny, who tried to help the MP, and having an offensive weapon, namely a dagger.

Source: Jo Cox: Man jailed for ‘terrorist’ murder of MP – BBC News

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Alt-right? What’s the difference between these people and Nazis?

Very little, it seems.

According to Wikipedia, “The altright is a loose group of people with far right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States.”

The article goes on to say: “The alt-right has no formal ideology, although various sources have stated that white nationalism is fundamental. It has also been associated with white supremacism, Islamophobia, antifeminism, homophobia,  anti-Semitism, ethno-nationalism,  right-wing populism, nativism,  traditionalism, and the neoreactionary movement.”

White supremacism, anti-Semitism and right-wing populism would have swung it for me – they’re Nazis in a new suit (or perhaps uniform).

But it seems they are self-identifying as Nazis as well. Take a look at this alt-right logo:

161121-daily-stormer

Now see an original Nazi newspaper propaganda rag:

161121-der-sturmer

Point proved?

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Celebrities are taking sides against the intolerance that is sweeping the West. Bravo!

P!nk: "To any of you closet racists, homophobes, sexists... We are not friends."

P!nk: “To any of you closet racists, homophobes, sexists… We are not friends.”

It is heartening to see that people in the public gaze are using their status to call for people of good conscience to stand fast against the wave of – what shall we call it? Hard-right attitudes? Fascism? Nazism? – sweeping the Western World.

It seems the election of Donald Trump as US President has sparked incidents in that country, and those who stand up against it are to be praised.

So here‘s the singer P!nk*: “To anyone reading this: if you think this is a time for misogynistic jokes, or for laughing about voting in a person that doesn’t believe in climate change, or humanity. To any of you closet racists, homophobes, sexists….. please block me. Please unfollow me. We do not respect each other. You do not have my respect, and I obviously don’t have yours. We are not friends.

“To everyone else, we shall overcome. Stay on the path of love and tolerance. Hug your kids. Teach them about diversity and about fighting for others, and sticking up for themselves. I will do my part.”

Will you do yours?

*A Facebook friend posted this on her page; I’m sure I could have used any number of other messages by celebrities… right?

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Wallasey Momentum on accusations of homophobia against Angela Eagle: ‘Evidence first – verdict later!’

Almost 400 people crowded Wallasey civic hall at a meeting to discuss the local Labour party's suspension [Image: Liam Murphy on Twitter].

Almost 400 people crowded Wallasey civic hall at a meeting to discuss the local Labour party’s suspension [Image: Liam Murphy on Twitter].

A report attacking Labour Party members in Wallasey that was leaked after being presented to the ruling National Executive Committee has now been savaged by the constituency’s Momentum group.

The response, below, was originally published on Wirral In It Together, along with a comment on behalf of that blog. This Writer recommends that you visit that site and read the comment there, in order to gain further insight into the situation.

The Momentum comment mentions This Blog and the Skwawkbox blog, both of which have already published articles about the report to the NEC – saying Momentum does not endorse all the comment and analysis we have provided. That’s fine – these are all opinion pieces. The more points of view are available to the reader, the more likely it is that they will reach an informed opinion.

Here’s what Wallasey Momentum has to say, published as on Wirral In It Together:

The consequences of Angela Eagle’s disastrous decision to resign from the Shadow Cabinet and launch a botched attempt to challenge Jeremy Corbyn continue to be played out in Wallasey.  The attempted coup did massive damage to Labour’s standing in the polls.  Locally, the continued trashing of the Party’s reputation may come to bite Labour in marginal Council seats and in the general Election across Wirral.

The next move by those trying to defend Angela is an inaccurate report on the local Party.  Just one example will give the flavour: “A small number of members held a public meeting to discuss their concerns about the suspension of Wallasey CLP”.  The Liverpool Echo live streamed this meeting called by Wirral TUC.  The Echo reported that over 400 people attended.  Prior to Jeremy’s election the normal attendance at all member CLP meetings was 15 to 20.

The “confidential” report was immediately leaked to the Liverpool Echo.  Local Party members first saw it in the media.  It has now been published online by a blog Skwawkbox.  There is analysis on that blog and also on Vox Political.  It’s worth reading but Wallasey Momentum does not endorse all the comment and analysis.

The enquiry concludes that it is highly likely that the brick incident was related to Angela’s leadership challenge.  But the very specific allegations by Angela’s supporters, never contradicted by Angela despite being offered a chance to do so on national TV, were that it was a Wallasey Labour Party member, at the behest of Jeremy Corbyn, who threw the brick.  No evidence is produced to support those wild allegations.  However the report says that calls for members to be disciplined if they can’t substantiate their allegations are “intimidation”.

All this is bad enough, but for a Party that stands for fairness, the most worrying aspects are how the allegations of homophobia are treated.

In the leaked report, under “Allegations of homophobia” it says “The investigation has found that some members have truthfully claimed that homophobic instances occurred during the AGM.  Others truthfully said that they were not aware of those instances.  It is possible for the events to have occurred without the knowledge of all members.  The allegations are not that the CLP is institutionally homophobic or that members were aware of homophobia but took no action, but are specific to individuals.  These allegations will be reported to the next meeting of the Disputes Panel regarding individual disciplinary action.”

Party members who are interested in truth and justice should study this passage carefully.

They will see that the investigation has reached a verdict before any individual has been charged.  They conclude “Some members have truthfully claimed…” But no allegation has yet been put to anyone.  No-one has had no [sic] chance to respond, and to call witnesses.  How can the enquiry have concluded that the allegations are true?  It is like the trial scene from Alice in Wonderland.

Even worse, the Labour Party is apparently going to move to “individual disciplinary action”.

There is no mention of having a hearing, looking at the evidence, or of any process at all for the accused.  At the time of writing, months after the alleged incident, no-one has been informed by the party that they are the ones about whom the secret allegations have been made.  When they are informed, they will know that they have already been publically [sic] convicted – by the National Executive Committee!

So where does this leave the Labour Party if the evidence does not in fact support the allegations?

The central claim made in the media was that someone used an offensive homophobic term about Angela Eagle.  If it is true, that would be an outrage deserving of disciplinary action.

However, in order to test the validity of this claim, the person or persons eventually accused will need to know who their accuser is.  They will then know where the accuser was sitting in the room.

And the people sitting near the accused, near the accuser, and in between, can then be asked for their version of events.  If none of those people heard the abuse, as the Party report suggests was the case for most people present, how credible is the accuser’s claim?

As we have stated for months now, what is being alleged is a hate crime.  Labour Party procedures tell complainants in these circumstances to report the matter to the Police.  Officers of Wallasey CLP responded to the initial reports by asking the complainants to do just that.  It appears they did not do so.

Party procedures then require that the Labour Party report the issues to the Police. Again, that does not appear to have happened.  Why might that be?  It is essential that the Police are now brought into this since the NEC sub-committee has concluded that there was homophobia.

The worry must be that having reached a verdict, the Labour Party will now feel obliged to stand by it whatever the evidence shows.  A finding of homophobia against an individual could cost them their job.  If there is no reliable evidence, it will be libel.  This could all end up in court.  Have the Labour Party NEC and its full time officials thought this through?

We should add that Wallasey Momentum is not behind the reported “crowd funding” of legal action –and we don’t know who is.  It could be a hoax.  But legal action is clearly possible if and when an individual is accused.

The Labour Party NEC must urgently reconsider the train of events that they seem to have set in motion.  A proper independent investigation of the allegations must take place, with a fair hearing, and the conclusion following the evidence.  The Party procedures are clear and fair – but they have not been followed.  Any specific allegations against individuals must be shared with them, and that should happen now, not in January 2017 or Spring 2017.  An unbiased interviewer who has not already decided the result should question the accuser, the accused, and their witnesses.  An independent panel should then consider those facts, and there should be a right of appeal.  It is going to be hard for the Party to recover from this massive procedural blunder, but they must try.

Evidence first – verdict later!

Source: UPDATED – Wallasey Momentum’s Response to Labour NEC Report ~ Alleged Homophobia Towards Angela Eagle | Wirral In It Together

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Another day, another UKIP scandal – this one’s about homophobia

James George Hargreaves, who was Operation Christian candidate at a by-election in Hodge Hill, according to the Coventry Telegraph [Image: Coventry Telegraph].

James George Hargreaves, who was Operation Christian candidate at a by-election in Hodge Hill, according to the Coventry Telegraph [Image: Coventry Telegraph].

UKIP intends to parachute anti-gay preacher Reverend George Hargreaves into Coventry South as the party’s prospective Parliamentary candidate there, after asking current candidate Mick Taylor to stand aside.

Rev Hargreaves made his fortune in the 1980s pop industry penning hits such as ‘So Macho’ for singer Sinitta, according to the Coventry Telegraph.

He then went on to launch a political career, standing in the Scottish Parliamentary elections for his own Scottish Christian Party with a strong anti gay message, according to Hope Not Hate, describing homosexuality as “a sin” and calling for a hard-line stance against abortion and euthanasia along with supporting a return of the death penalty and withdrawal from the EU.

“The manifesto for the Scottish election contained proposals for the reinstatement of Section 28, banning of gay adoption and the prohibition of ‘acceptance or approval’ of homosexuality in diversity training, outlawing embryo research and introducing mandatory Christian religious education into schools.”

Charming! And after making all his money from a gay anthem, too!

Back to Hope Not Hate: “His former flatmate and song writing partner was a gay man who died of AIDS. This didn’t stop Hargreaves saying in one interview that HIV patients should be refused NHS treatment since their illness was “self-inflicted”.

“Hargreaves also formed The Welsh Christian Party in 2007 and campaigned to remove the dragon from the Welsh flag, claiming that it was ‘nothing less than the sign of Satan’.”

… And that is how this writer met him!

He seems par for the course as far as UKIP is concerned!

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Don’t believe the critics – Labour’s plans are good for Britain

What do you think of the Labour Party conference this year? It’s a loaded question and one that is bound to elicit loaded answers.

The propaganda machines of the other parties have been working overtime to discredit Her Majesty’s Opposition, with Scottish people who wanted independence (the minority, let’s remember) claiming Labour lied to them, UKIP supporters adamant that the party is full of child abusers (based on a BNP propaganda website, which should tell anyone with a brain all they need to know), and of course the Tories doing what they usually do – blaming all the country’s problems on the last Labour government while stealing the family silver.

You never hear ‘No’ voters saying Labour lied, do you? You never see UKIP supporters complaining about racism in their own party. You never see Tories calling for genuine reform that helps the 99 per cent, rather than the tiny minority that they represent.

So let’s look at what Labour is proposing. Let’s make a list – because, you know what? Mrs Mike was watching coverage of the conference yesterday, and even she tried to tell Yr Obdt Srvt that Labour wouldn’t keep its promises. If we have a list, we’ll be able to check the promises against what they do, after a Labour win next May.

So let’s see what Ed Miliband promised. He outlined six “national goals”, and he called for 10 years in which to hit them. You may very well ask: Has he been reading Vox Political? Recent comments questioning Labour’s intentions have been answered with the simple observation that it takes time to change the direction in which a country is travelling (or in the UK’s case, lurching), and Miliband’s words echo that sentiment. He can’t do everything in one day. It does take time. Let’s look at those goals.

They were:

Halve the number of people in low pay by 2025, raising the minimum wage by £60 a week or more than £3,000 a year.

Ensure that the wages of working people grow with the economy (something that is glaringly missing from the Conservatives’ ‘economic recovery’, meaning that – for the vast majority of us – it isn’t a recovery at all). Miliband said: “What’s amazing… is that statement, that goal is even controversial. It used to be taken for granted in our country that’s what would happen.” He’s right – look at today’s article from Flip Chart Fairy Tales that Vox Political re-published.

Create one million jobs in the green economy – neglected by the Conservatives – by 2025, committing to take all the carbon out of electricity by 2030; start a Green Investment Bank; devolve powers to communities to insulate five million homes by 2025, saving energy and heating costs

By 2025, ensure that as many young people will be leaving school or college to go on to an apprenticeship as currently go to university. It really is as though he’s been reading Vox Political. A long-standing gripe of this blog is that governments have concentrated on academic achievement while neglecting the education of people who have more practical aptitudes. This is a very welcome change.

By 2025, be building as many homes as we need, doubling the number of first-time buyers in the UK. Vox Political would prefer to see far more social housing; perhaps this will come as well but it wasn’t part of Miliband’s promise. Nevertheless, the pledge to build 500,000 new homes should make housing more affordable again for people who aren’t spectacularly wealthy or don’t have wealthy family members.

Finally, to create a world-class 21st century health and care service, funded by a clampdown on tax avoidance including tax loopholes by hedge funds that will raise more than £1 billion, proceeds from a mansion tax on homes above £2 million, and money from tobacco companies. Total: £2.5 billion (per annum, it seems). Some have said this is not enough when the NHS is facing a £20 billion shortfall but we must remember that this deficit only appeared recently and could be the result of Tory scaremongering, or the private companies introduced by the Tories leeching money out of the system to fatten their shareholders. More details were due from Andy Burnham today (Wednesday).

Oh yes, you see Andrew Lansley’s hated – Yr Obdt Srvt really cannot find the words to show how vile this diseased piece of legislation really is – Health and Social Care Act will be repealed by a Labour government. If you don’t care about any of the other measures, you should vote Labour for that reason alone.

So those are his six goals. But what’s this?

“It is time we complete the unfinished business of reform of the House of Lords so we truly have a Senate of the nations and regions.” Considering the way Cameron has been packing it with Tory donors, rather than people of any expertise (as it is intended to contain) this can only be a good thing.

“And it is time to devolve power in England.” What a blow against the Tories who have been claiming Labour want to delay or destroy such a process! Miliband is talking about “devolving power to local government, bringing power closer to people right across England”. That seems to be an indication that he wouldn’t create a new, expensive English Parliament but would give power back to the current councils – power that has been leeched away from them by centralising Conservatives and the previous, neoliberal, incarnation of Labour.

There’s more. He wants constitutional reform. But unlike David Cameron, who wants to impose changes from above, so that they only benefit people who are already rich and powerful, Miliband wants to make it a matter of public discussion. Those who can’t be bothered to take part will only have themselves to blame if they don’t get what they want.

There were promises on foreign policy – to stand up for the UK in Europe, in contrast to Cameron’s strategy which Miliband blasted: “When David Cameron comes calling, people don’t think he’s calling about the problems of Britain or the problems of Europe. They think he’s calling about the problems of the Conservative Party. And here’s the funny thing… If you’re elected the Chancellor of Germany or the Prime Minister of Italy or the President of France, you don’t really think you were elected to solve the problems of the Conservative Party.”

More solid was the promise to recognise the state of Palestine and actively seek a solution to the problems of that part of the world we might call – in an attempt to be fair – the Holy Land: “I will fight with every fibre of my being to get the two state solution, two states for two people, Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side.” Many detractors have wrongly claimed that Miliband is a Zionist, determined to support the Israeli government’s use of vastly superior firepower to eliminate Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank; they had better think again – and look very hard at David Cameron, whose government has done as little as possible to protest at what has been happening.

And Miliband also said he wanted Labour to fight discrimination against same-sex relationships around the world. That may not seem as important to some people, but in some places it is just as easy to be killed by homophobia as it is to be killed because of your religion. Personally, Yr Obdt Srvt finds same-sex relationships unattractive – but it takes all sorts to make a world.

That makes six more goals! Double the value.

These are all good aims. All of them, if seen through, will be good for the UK.

So there’s your checklist, with 12 – not six – goals on it. If you support Labour next year, you’ll be able to check Miliband’s progress against them and you’ll have a chance – halfway through his 10-year plan – to stop him if he’s not making it happen.

Alternatively, you can say to yourself – as Mrs Mike did last night: “He doesn’t mean it. They’re all the same. It’s not worth voting,” or any of the other things the Tory campaign chief Lynton Crosby would like you to believe, and you can sit on your thumbs at home. That would be a vote for the Conservatives to carry on raping your country and ripping you off.

If Labour win in spite of people like that, then they will still benefit from the changes Miliband wants to introduce, along with the rest of us. If the Conservatives win because of those people, then we will all lose – apart from a miserably small band of super-rich, super-selfish, super-arrogant and entitled exploiters who tell Cameron what to do.

Framed that way, it isn’t really a choice at all, is it?

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