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#KeirStarmer’s death spiral: he’s denying vital funds to #Labour by banning members on false pretences

Starmer’s hypocrisy: this image was made when Starmer was accusing individual Jews of anti-Semitism. Now he’s attacking organisations that will have Jews in their memberships – and Neil Coyne has called for one Jewish group to be proscribed as well, in an echo of Nazi demands during the Weimar period in Germany.

Boris Johnson’s Tories may be unfit to govern but Keir Starmer’s version of Labour is in no condition to take over as it continues its self-harming course to the political scrapheap.

Starmer’s latest big idea for electoral success is to make Labour even more like the Conservative Party by ending its pretence of being a “broad church”; he wants to ban membership from anyone who claims to be a socialist.

As stated in a previous article, he’s doing this by claiming that socialists – who want self-determination for people of all ethnicities, particularly those that currently suffer persecution – are anti-Semites (because this means they want self-determination for Palestinians who are persecuted by the Israeli government that Starmer smarms up to).

First on the list to get the chop are around 1,000 party members who also belong to Resist, Labour Against the Witchhunt, Labour in Exile and Socialist Action.

Their crimes appear to be claiming that many anti-Semitism allegations, for which Labour members have been suspended or expelled, were blown out of proportion and politically-motivated; welcoming such expelled or suspended members into their own ranks; and demanding the re-admission of Jeremy Corbyn into the Parliamentary Labour Party.

All of these stances may be demonstrably connected to support for Palestinians against Israeli persecution.

Here’s the part that marks Starmer out as an imbecile, though: in cutting members out of the party, he’s cutting off the membership fees that he needs, in order to maintain the machinery he is using to attack them.

As it is – at the same NEC meeting where he will demand the removal of the above-named groups, he will have to propose plans to make around a quarter of Labour Party staff jobless:

Hilariously, the Guardian report tells us that the plan has been devised in a report entitled Organise to Win!

The report states:

Labour’s finances have been hit hard by fighting three general elections in the past six years, as well as a string of costly legal cases, and hopes of a membership bounce after Starmer took over failed to materialise.

The party paid out a six-figure sum a year ago to settle a case brought by seven former employees and a veteran BBC journalist, admitting it defamed them in the aftermath of a Panorama investigation into its handling of antisemitism.

It doesn’t mention the possibility that Labour had no need to settle, as its legal advisors had told Starmer that the party was likely to win if the case came to court. His decision to capitulate is inexplicable.

And how many other disasters have gone unreported? Labour lost thousands of pounds defending itself in court against This Writer’s case, that the party had broken its own disciplinary rules in order to expel me.

The finding was that the party had not broken its rules, which are extremely vague in respect of what may actually be done – but Labour did appear to have broken the regulations it had in place at the time, in order to justify throwing me out. The court ordered that Labour should not be repaid the thousands of pounds it had spent on the case.

How many other such cases have taken place? What other disputes have eroded the party’s funds?

Remember: Labour became the richest UK political party under Jeremy Corbyn because he inspired hundreds of thousands of people to join up – people Keir Starmer has been desperately trying to throw off since he became leader.

Starmer’s plan, it seems, was to go back to relying on donations from big businesses – the same model as that used by Tony Blair during the ‘New Labour’ period of the mid-1990s to 2015.

But his failure to inspire popular support – because he hasn’t said what he stands for – means businesses aren’t supporting him.

There is only one conclusion to draw:

If he isn’t trying to end his own party, then it is ironic that he might be saved from his own stupidity by NEC members who oppose the proscription plan. The UK’s biggest union, and Labour’s biggest donor – Unite – is against it:

The quoted section in the above tweet is from the Guardian article, again, and states:

Labour’s biggest donor, the Unite trade union, attacked the plans on Monday, saying: “While working-class communities are continuing to bear the brunt of the sickness and employment worries made much worse by Conservative mishandling of the pandemic, Labour is abandoning the field of battle against this government to turn its fire on its members instead.”

The union added that such “acts of political machismo” create a “sense of despair among voters who see a party at perpetual war with itself”.

And NEC members from the left-wing Grassroots Voice organisation also oppose the proscriptions:

The group states:

We believe that asking us to consider this matter … is a continuation of the destructive, factional behaviours from the leadership of the party which have marked the last year.

This isn’t just about the organisations we are being asked to consider… it is about … setting a precedent, proscribing these organisations as a forerunner to proscription of more and more groupings on the left of the party, to ultimately expel large sections of the Labour left and erase the Bennite and other socialist traditions within the party.

Then again,

Starmer has a supportive majority on the NEC, so the plans are expected to be agreed.

If so, then Starmer has stuffed the NEC with drones who are just as stupid as he is and the Labour Party no longer deserves to survive.

So those like Mrs Gee, below, who believe the Left is on a hiding to nothing if it carries on with Labour, may be entirely justified in that view – and, while it may take decades to get a new party up to the popularity Labour achieved under great left-wing leaders like Clement Attlee and Harold Wilson, it may be better to work towards that than to support a lost cause:

Whatever happens, it seems the Labour Party, as run by Keir Starmer, is over.

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Tory fascism at work: weren’t they supposed to be AGAINST attacking statues?

Yes: the attack on a statue by police fulfils at least two of the 14 signs of fascism: protection of corporate power, and disdain for intellectuals and the arts.

It seems attacking statues is only bad if it represents something the Conservatives support – like slavery.

A statue that was adopted by Extinction Rebellion in the campaign group’s protest and blockading of printing plants owned by Rupert Murdoch’s media organisations last Autumn is fair game, it seems –

– even when it is displayed as part of an arts charity’s competition.

The police were called in – and more than 40 personnel broke into the building where the statue had been installed.

Here’s artist Damien Meade with the story:

And how about this?

All this happened at the beginning of the month but This Writer didn’t hear about it until today.

It remains well worth reporting because of the Tory hypocrisy evident in the raid, and the suggestion that both the police and the Conservative government were acting for a media corporation rather than upholding any law.

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‘Shadow’ Labour Party is a good idea – IF it can avoid the stigma that will be thrown at it for obvious reasons

Perhaps this is the moment for people who have been smeared for political reasons to form their own party.

Alex Salmond has formed Alba – a new Scottish nationalist party – after SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon was found to have misled Parliament (albeit unintentionally) in evidence about accusations against him – and already one SNP MP has quit that party to join him.

Before Salmond made his announcement, suspended and expelled Labour Party members were already planning to create a ‘shadow’ Labour Party to fight back against the purge of left-wing members instigated by Keir Starmer and his unelected general secretary, David Evans.

The ‘shadow’ party is the brainchild of Labour In Exile Network (LIEN), a national organisation of members who have been unfairly suspended or expelled from the party headed by Starmer.

It is holding its first meeting today (March 27) at 6pm – and as an unfairly-expelled Labour member, This Writer did seriously consider attending.

But my problem is that I come with the kind of baggage that opponents in Labour and the other mainstream political parties could exploit.

And I’m not alone. Most, if not all, of the members of LIEN will have been removed from Labour accused of anti-Semitism or of supporting anti-Semitism by backing Jeremy Corbyn after Starmer (or was it really Evans?) suspended him.

I have no doubt that such accusations are false. They were in my case. But that won’t matter to seasoned politicians who will merrily manipulate a lie if it means keeping their privileged position.

So I hope one of the topics of tonight’s inaugural meeting will be a discussion of how to sideline such accusations and make the accusers look ridiculous.

LIEN has said this about the event:

How do we fight back against the ongoing onslaught against the left in the Labour Party? That’s the theme of LIEN’s first Fightback Meeting at 6pm on Saturday 27 March on Zoom – open to all members and supporters of LIEN (and no, you don’t have to have been expelled or suspended from the Labour Party to get involved!)

SHADOW CLPS: One key way is the building of shadow structures, “ghost” CLPs which enable members to continue debating how we advance the cause of the left. People will share their experience of setting up such structures and possibilities of national cooperation will be discussed.

WORKING GROUPS: From fighting the witch-hunt, racism and disability discrimination, to how we engage with the media and transform the Labour Party — LIEN is setting up a series of working groups to enable grassroots members to take their struggle forward. This meeting is your chance to get involved in an existing group or make the case for a new group. If you have an idea for a working group, please draw up a proposal of around 200 words and send it to [email protected] There are a few working groups already running/in preparation – see here: https://www.labour-in-exile.org/working-groups/

Please consider joining LIEN – annual minimum fee of£5 unwaged/£10 waged: https://membermojo.co.uk/lien

I have no doubt that this organisation will develop into a political party of its own, rather than concentrating on trying to save the original Labour Party; many are likely to believe this is a lost cause after more than 40 years of pollution by right-wingers, starting in earnest with Neil Kinnock but expanded hugely by Tony Blair. After that amount of time, the corruption runs deep.

I wish it the best in its inaugural meeting – and may apply to join later. I want to be sure it will be able to deal with the smears first. If you want to sign up for the meeting, you can do so here.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Unaffordable rents – arranged by Tories – are pushing low-income families towards homelessness

Nine out of every 10 homes for rent are too expensive for families on housing benefit or the equivalent, Local Housing Allowance – according to the National Housing Federation.

The report finds that 94 per cent of private rental properties are unaffordable for families on Housing Benefit, or the equivalent Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

It also found that 65 per cent of the families affected are in work – proving once again that the Tory mantra that “work is the best way out of poverty” is utter claptrap while they remain in office.

LHA was initially designed to cover the bottom 50 per cent of market rents – in any area. This was reduced to 30 per cent in 2011, after the Tory-led Coalition government came into power (with help from the Liberal Democrats). Rates were divorced from market rents altogether in 2013, and frozen in 2016.

One can only conclude that this was done to price benefit-dependent families out of the market. In the least-affordable parts of the UK – southern and eastern England – only one per cent of privately-rented properties are affordable to those on LHA.

Analysis of data on private rental listings found that:

  • Only 7.54% of rental properties advertised in England are affordable to LHA claimants.
  • “Family-sized” properties, i.e. those with two or more bedrooms, are even less affordable, with only 6.5% being affordable at the relevant LHA rate.
  • Southern and Eastern parts of England are the least affordable areas.
  • In 2011, LHA was set to the 30th percentile of rents within Broad Rental Market Areas, meaning that claimants should have been able to afford 30% of the rental market in each BRMA. In 2019, the median percentage of the rental market that is affordable within a BRMA is only 5.9%.
  • Only 2.75% of rooms within shared accommodation are affordable at LHA. The shared accommodation rate is usually the only LHA rate that single people aged under 35 may claim.

The National Housing Federation has drawn the obvious conclusion – that Tory policies have pushed homelessness to record levels – and are pushing children into overcrowded and poor quality accommodation, like shipping containers and converted office blocks.

The organisation is demanding that the government LHA payments to cover at least the lowest-costing 30 per cent of privately-rented homes again. It also wants a £12.8 billion annual investment in building new social housing.

I think we all know what’s likely to happen about that: Nothing.

You can read the full briefing here.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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