Tag Archives: Joe

Hope Not Hate smears fundraising singer to deprive him of vital cash for aid groups. FAILS

Cheated of his prize: Joe Solo.

It’s a bitter blow to see once-trusted organisations fall so low.

This Writer used to think Hope Not Hate was a genuine campaigning group, fighting racism and fascism. Sadly, it now seems to support certain forms of both – especially if they have anything to do with the government of Israel.

Look at the case of left-wing musician Joe Solo, winner of the Hope Heroes award run by Hope Not Hate. The award is said to be intended to “recognise, celebrate and — for the three winners — financially reward those who have helped to unite their communities and build resilience against the far right”.

Joe won for his work forming We Shall Overcome, which Hope Not Hate acknowledges is an artist-led response to growing poverty on the UK’s streets.

His plan for the £5,000 prize money was exemplary:

There were three prizes and six nominees, all of whom were deserving of the award so in keeping with the spirit of WSO I have asked HopeNotHate to take £1500 of the prize money and split it three ways so each of the nominees who narrowly missed out on the vote gets £500 and that way everyone gets a little help to keep their incredible campaigns going.

That leaves £3500 which will be distributed like this:

  1. £1000 to Pauline Town at WSO Central in Ashton-Under-Lyne to keep the food parcels flowing and the warm clothes on hand for winter.
  2. £1000 to Rachel Emec at Mesopotamia in Nottingham to make sure she has the resources to carry on without having to sell her car which she was forced to do in order to keep the doors open earlier this year.
  3. £1000 to Hull Unity Shop in order to keep the solidarity parcels flowing and the community programme expanding.

The remaining £500 will be added to the WSO t-shirt money and distributed around the country in time for the rush around Christmas and January.

That leaves me happily broke again.

Sadly, it was not to be, because somebody got in touch with Hope Not Hate to say that Joe had published “social media posts that we deem unacceptable” in 2018 and 2019. These appear to be posts in support of former Labour MP Chris Williamson, who was hounded out of the party for making the self-evident observation that Labour had been too quick to apologise whenever claims of anti-Semitism were made against the party – before even checking on their accuracy.

The organisation withdrew the prize money, meaning the projects he would have supported will not not receive any cash for their good works. Some may be jeopardised as a result.

All on the basis of a false claim about somebody else.

I met Joe in October. He’s no anti-Semite. He is a committed anti-fascist and anti-racist. Hope Not Hate should be supporting him to the limits of its ability.

But perhaps we should not be surprised. One of Hope Not Hate’s directors is Ruth Smeeth, whose claim to infamy is that she hounded anti-racism campaign Marc Wadsworth out of the Labour Party on the basis of a completely false claim that he was a racist anti-Semite.

These people work on the basis of lies. They spend their entire lives attacking others on the basis of those lies.

And now we see them ruining the lives of a large number of people, and justifying it with their lies.

It is unacceptable.

This Writer will be cutting any connections with Hope Not Hate. I strongly urge everybody else to do the same.

These groups are like cancer. Tolerate them and they will only grow, and cause more damage.

The only solution to their poison is to cut them out of our lives.

There is an upside to this story.

Joe was stripped of his prize on November 17. The next day a fundraising page was opened to replace it.

In a single day it raised nearly £8,500.

That’s the kind of people power that misnamed organisations like Hope Not Hate can never stamp out.

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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#COP26 turns out to be the copOUT we all expected

David Attenborough at COP26: at 95, he knows he doesn’t have much time left – and he’ll die in despair for the future of the world if COP26 turns out to be just another gust of hot air.

This Writer opened Twitter today to be met by this from the acceptable face of Countdown femininity:

I bet she’s been monitoring the progress of COP26 – or lack of it.

Here’s the problem:

Sadly, it was the governments controlled by the corporates who were on display at COP26 – with predictable results:

Leading the parade of meaningless speeches was the UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson, a personality vacuum who could do most good for the planet by sucking all the harmful CO2 emissions into the gaping hole where his soul should be.

Yes indeed. Here he is sleeping without a mask next to David Attenborough, thereby endangering the life of a national treasure.

Here he is gassing about James Bond for no good reason:

Here’s that car crash interview. Spot the sideways look when he realises he is being challenged and nobody is going to help him out:

Oh! So tackling climate change is a matter for local planning authorities, is it? Then why did all those world leaders create so many more greenhouse gas emissions by flying and driving to Glasgow so they could drink all that Scottish booze and wag their chins at each other?

As for taking a plane back to London, Downing Street has claimed that he needs to be mobile in order to be where he needs to be at all times, that the plane uses a mixture of 35 per cent renewable fuel and 65 per cent regular (meaning it’s greener) and that the remaining carbon footprint is offset in other ways.

But this is just one flight among many. How many forests are being planted by the government in order to offset them all?

The whole farcical performance is summed up sharply in the following video (but don’t watch it if you’re offended by harsh language):

Tan isn’t the only one saying it, either:

Of course you won’t hear that on the BBC or ITV:

But it was noticed:

If they were all so great at cutting CO2 emissions – the greenhouse gas mostly responsible for the Earth’s increasing atmospheric temperature that is threatening us all – then COP26 would not have been called.

US President Joe Biden turned out to be another weapons-grade hypocrite (as I suggested yesterday). Look at how he turned up to a conference on reducing greenhouse gas emissions:

(Mind you, he wasn’t the only one who turned up to a conference about saving the environment in a gas guzzling mechanical monster. Hypocrites all…)

And his speech was just as bad:

Here’s a very quick answer to him:

Exactly. If there was a “market-based solution” to the climate crisis, it would have been implemented long ago and there would have been no need for a summit.

The most sense was spoken by someone who wasn’t even invited…

… despite having been a strong voice for reason for several years now. I mean, of course, Greta Thunberg:

“My expectation is that we will hear many, many nice speeches, we will hear many pledges that – if you really look into the details – are more or less meaningless but they just say them in order to have something to say, in order for media to have something to report about, and then I expect things to continue to remain the same.

“The COPs as they are now will not lead to anything unless there is big, massive pressure from the outside.”

Wise words – especially when coupled with the big announcement about saving the world’s forests, and the reaction to it.

And check out this dialogue between Labour’s Clive Lewis and Tory Zac Goldsmith on the relative responsibilities of the haves and have-nots:

Goldsmith was trying to dodge responsibility for the problem, on behalf of his rich buddies – but Lewis is right: the poor can’t give up something they don’t consume.

There were good speeches – but they were made by people with absolutely no power.

David Attenborough’s was a barnstormer…

… but he was speaking to a hostile audience. Look at those faces. They really couldn’t care less.

Maori activist India Logan-Riley also made strong points, having been asked to speak at the last minute:

“In the US and Canada alone Indigenous resistance has stopped or delayed greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one quarter of annual emissions. What we do works.”

Logan-Riley was not overstating the actions of Indigenous people in fighting for the environment. A recent report by Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and Oil Change International (OCI) found that an amount of greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one-quarter of annual US and Canadian emissions had been stopped or delayed due to Indigenous-led resistance to 21 fossil fuel projects in the two countries over the last decade.

The report found that about 1.587 billion metric tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions have been halted. That is the equivalent pollution of approximately 345 million passenger vehicles — more than all vehicles on the road in these countries, or 400 new coal-fired power plants — more than are still operating in the United States and Canada.

Needless to say, she doesn’t have any political power at all.

All in all, COP26 has turned out to be exactly the copOUT we all feared.

This Writer is left in agreement with Tom London:

They are in control – because we stupidly allowed it.

And they will make us suffer.

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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After Eustice said Biden didn’t know what he was talking about, Johnson lies about him

‘Get out!’ says Biden after Johnson breaks wind through his mask.

How long is Joe Biden going to put up with schoolboy antics from oiks like Boris Johnson and George Eustice?

US President Biden made it clear in interviews earlier this week that he would discuss the possible threat to peace in Northern Ireland posed by Boris Johnson’s stupid Brexit agreement with the European Union, when he met the UK prime minister.

The official record of the meeting also makes it clear that this is what Biden did: “President Biden reiterated his longstanding support for a secure and prosperous Northern Ireland in which all communities have a voice and enjoy the gains of the hard-won peace.”

But Johnson said it wasn’t discussed:

It’s bad enough when this compulsive liar chokes out a howler like that about a fellow politician here in the UK.

But to disrespect the most powerful human being on the planet in that way, at a time when Johnson is in the United States with his begging bowl out, pleading for a trade deal to get him out of the Brexit-shaped hole that he dug for himself, is plain lunacy.

Oh, but don’t tell me… he’s doing his best.

EXTRA: Just when you think he can’t get worse… I’ve just read this headline: “PM urges humankind to ‘grow up’ – and quotes Kermit the Frog – in call to arms on climate change.” Words fail me.

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Environment Secretary ‘Useless’ says it’s BIDEN who doesn’t understand Brexit NI protocol

A long record of defending the indefensible: Environment Secretary George Eustice has previously stated beliefs that children should starve during the holidays, asylum seekers should drown and people should die of Covid-19 rather than let the economy be harmed.

What stunning arrogance from a man who has been dubbed “George Useless”.

Environment Secretary George Eustice took to our airwaves to try to minimise the damage done by US President Joe Biden’s words on the Northern Ireland border and trade with the UK after Brexit – and made matters much, much worse.

Biden has expressed concern that peace in Northern Ireland could be jeopardised by the “Northern Ireland protocol” between the UK and the European Union, that regulates imports to and exports from the province.

It keeps Northern Ireland aligned with the EU’s single market for goods to ensure free trade across the Irish border, but has led to additional checks on goods being traded across the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which has drawn criticism and protests from unionist politicians in Northern Ireland who have called for it to be scrapped.

Boris Johnson swore to everybody who asked – before Brexit happened – that there would be no border checks between GB and NI… and it now seems clear that he was either lying or did not understand his own deal.

The UK has requested a fundamental renegotiation but the EU has refused – and with good reason. Boris Johnson was desperate to rush his Brexit into being, back in 2019, ensuring that many of his MPs did not understand what they were supporting. Any problem now is his responsibility and he will have to live with it – including any problems it creates with the USA.

Eustice turned up on TV and on the radio to suggest that Biden was “wrong” and had, himself, not properly read the details of the agreement that was negotiated, in a series of interviews that will make Boris Johnson’s current meetings with the US president much more difficult:

Eustice’s attitude was that this matter did not concern the US President…

… but that makes no sense at all when the UK is also trying to negotiate a two-way trade deal with the United States (over which Biden is, again, doubtful).

Eustice admitted, “It’s just not a priority for the US administration.”

And Boris Johnson has also said, “The Americans do negotiate very hard.”

It seems nothing has changed since former president Barack Obama said the UK would be at the back of the queue for a bilateral deal.

So of course the Johnson government has a Plan B, which is to join a trade bloc – like the one the UK has just spent five years leaving:

So the situation is this:

If the UK doesn’t get a trade deal with the US because its deal to leave the EU has created problems in Northern Ireland, then Boris Johnson will try to talk the UK into a trading bloc like the EU.

So what was the point of the last five years of fuss and palaver?

In other news, Julia Hartley-Doodah tackled Eustice on the really important issues:

Wow. If only some of our political interviewers could be bothered to dissect the Tories as thoroughly on issues like Universal Credit, rising bills and – yes – Brexit!

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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How did the West mess up Afghanistan so badly? Here’s a quick primer

Cycle of violence: are we seeing a permutation of this cycle now, in Afghanistan? [Image: Miki Henderson.]

You’ve probably been wondering why Vox Political hasn’t commented on the international clusterf**k that has happened in Afghanistan over the past few weeks.

Simple answer: I was trying to understand what has happened – which meant going into more than 20 years of background material.

Yes, more than 20 years. Western powers have been tinkering with the Middle East for centuries, trying to dominate, and we all know (don’t we?) that Afghanistan has been a particularly tricky nut to crack.

Anyone who has read George MacDonald Fraser’s first Flashman novel will have seen what a mess the British Army made of it in the 1840s under Lord Elphinstone. The army there wasn’t just defeated; it was obliterated.

We have a more recent example of failure to subjugate the natives (and I think this can be observed in such colonial-racist terms) in the Soviet occupation that ran from 1979-89.

That incursion followed a Communist coup by a repressive organisation that vigorously suppressed opposition and executed thousands of political prisoners, and whose leaders were themselves divided. This division, and the possibility that Afghanistan may start supporting the interests of the United States, prompted Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev to invade and install a puppet leader.

The intention was to secure towns and roads, stabilize the government under a new leader, and withdraw within six months or a year. But fierce resistance from insurgent groups (remember the Mujahideen?)  and difficulties with the harsh Afghan terrain pushed the Soviets into a war that lasted more than nine years and has been labelled the “Bear Trap” or the “Soviet Union’s Vietnam”. It ended with the retreat of Soviet forces in February 1989, after which Afghanistan remained in a state of civil war.

Guerilla fighters don’t get anywhere without help; they needed funding and weapons, and found both from a number of sources including – principally – the United States.

One might expect this to mean Afghans would be grateful to their US benefactors, right? Well, there’s a problem, and it is this:

After the Soviet withdrawal, Afghans started blaming the US for miseries caused in that country because it continued to fund rebels against the pro-Soviet administration that had been left in Kabul. Rebel rocket attacks in 1989 and 1990 went nowhere near military targets but killed civilians instead. And the US apparently had no interest in humanitarian aid to clear up the mess caused by a decade of conflict that it had supported.

Crucially to the current situation, many Afghans believed the US to be responsible for the rise of the Taliban. And who had been there all along, providing support to the US and acting in concert with the US government? The United Kingdom under Thatcher and Major – that’s who.

The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, on September 11, 2001, was believed to be “blowback”, or unintended consequences of supporting the Mujahideen, with principal planner of the attack Osama Bin Laden claiming the suffering of the Afghan people after the Soviet withdrawal was a consequence of US involvement.

Interestingly, while the US certainly funded guerilla organisations in Afghanistan, the question of whether it provided cash to Bin Laden’s group, Al Qaeda, is difficult to answer. Some say no; others say he had been their best general against the Russians.

Whether US relations with Bin Laden were good or bad, they soured when Saudi Arabia refused Bin Laden’s offer to fight the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, that happened in 1990. The Saudis turned to America instead and it is understood that Bin Laden never forgave the slight.

His organisation had been based in Sudan, but had been expelled, and returned to Afghanistan to take refuge with the Taliban.

This may seem contradictory to you. If the US was considered responsible for the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, why was 9/11 carried out by a Taliban ally?

The only answer I can offer at present is this: opportunism. Acting against a widely-perceived enemy offered a propaganda victory that might reasonably be expected to help win power. And hasn’t that turned out to be the case now?

Let’s backtrack a little, to the years immediately preceding 9/11. It seems a US thinktank called the Project for a New American Century had been building influence in the US government. This organisation’s stated aim was “to promote American global leadership”. In other words: world domination.

By the time of 9/11, members of the group had come to dominate the George W Bush administration, including Donald Rumsfeld (Defence Secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Deputy Defence Secretary) and others. They were in a position to put their aim into practice – but they needed a pretext. And 9/11 was it.

The hijackers who flew passenger planes into the World Trade Centre and tried to fly one into the Pentagon were all from Saudi Arabia, but they had been trained in Afghanistan – making that country the logical location for a response (or, in the words of then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, a chance to “capitalize on these opportunities”).

But Afghanistan was only the second choice. Rumsfeld wanted to attack Iraq because “there were no decent targets in Afghanistan”.

They were easy targets, though – and attacking Afghanistan would make it possible to topple the fundamentalist Taliban regime there that had been obstructing US plans to build an oil pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan.

So the troops rolled in, installed Hamid Karzai (allegedly an employee of Californian oil company Unocal, along with US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad), got their oil pipeline and moved on.

The UN Security Council established the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) – ostensibly to train the Afghan military to a standard by which they could defend themselves, but mainly to defend the newly-installed government against attempts by the Taliban to retake the country. Principal troop contributors were the United States and the UK.

ISAF combat operations in Afghanistan were formally ended in 2014, with full security responsibilities being transferred to the Afghan government – but on the very same day, the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support was formed, in which thousands of troops remained in the country to train and advise Afghan government forces and continue fighting the Taliban. Again, US and UK troops were prominent among them.

Then in April this year, new US president Joe Biden announced that he would be withdrawing US troops from the country – because he could see no way of defeating the Taliban.

According to the Washington Post,

Biden’s decision comes after an administration review of U.S. ­options in Afghanistan, where U.S.-midwifed peace talks have failed to advance as hoped and the Taliban remains a potent force despite two decades of effort by the United States to defeat the militants and establish stable, democratic governance. The war has cost trillions of dollars in addition to the lives of more than 2,000 U.S. service members. At least 100,000 Afghan civilians have been injured or killed.

“This is the immediate, practical reality that our policy review discovered,” said one person familiar with the closed-door deliberations who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss policy planning. “If we break the May 1st deadline negotiated by the previous administration with no clear plan to exit, we will be back at war with the Taliban, and that was not something President Biden believed was in the national interest.”

The goal is to move to “zero” troops by September, the senior administration official said. “This is not conditions-based. The president has judged that a conditions-based approach . . . is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever. He has reached the conclusion that the United States will complete its drawdown and will remove its forces from Afghanistan before September 11th.”

In other words, this was unconditional surrender to the Taliban. No wonder they swept in.

Everything else that has been said about the situation in Afghanistan was just talk, to cover up the fact that both the US and the UK were running away from that country with their tails between their legs.

So, for example, consider this:

My bet is that the UK intelligence on this was that the Taliban would be in control by mid-August, and Johnson was just blustering to stave off the international humiliation that the situation has caused to the UK – which has been America’s principal ally throughout this whole fiasco, dating back to the 1980s.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that Joe Biden’s decision was based less on the chances of military victory and more on projections of the kind of financial gain US commercial interests might enjoy by staying in Afghanistan; with no likelihood of profit, it was time to pull out.

At the end of the day, we see that Afghanistan has again defeated foreign attempts to assert control. As the British were ejected in the 1840s and the Russians in the 1980s, so have the Americans (and, again, the British) now.

It was never going to end any other way.

And now we in the UK are once again facing the consequences of our governments’ – successive administrations stretching back to Thatcher – interference in a place where we should not have been.

One of those consequences is the threat to lives posed by the Taliban, and the failure of the Boris Johnson administration to take anything like the necessary steps to save those lives.

And so the circle of violence turns. We invade a country, cause lives to be lost; we withdraw, and more lives are lost. Now people from that country are likely to come to ours hoping to kill some of us in return – and won’t that prompt our leaders to demand we go back and deliver reprisals?

We need a better solution.

But all we have are Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab.

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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Should Northern Ireland split from the UK to end deadlock with the EU and keep Biden happy?

Deadlock: The EU has a trade agreement and couldn’t care less if it harms Boris Johnson. And Joe Biden’s commitment to co-operation with the UK may waver if a solution can’t be found and the Troubles return. What if the Province splits from the UK – for the good of its people?

It makes a nice story on the eve of a G7 summit – especially one taking place in the UK. And that’s what the BBC propagandists want.

But while US President Joe Biden and the UK’s pipsqueak Boris Johnson might agree that trade problems in Northern Ireland due to last year’s UK-EU deal need to be solved, we have no reason to believe they agree on how.

The European Union has no problem with the current situation. All the problems were created by Boris Johnson because he rushed through a trade deal, either without understanding it or without caring what was in it – to meet a deadline he thought he needed to maintain public confidence.

Even the BBC had to admit it:

French President Emmanuel Macron said: “I think it’s not serious to want to review in July what we finalised after years of debate and work in December.

“We have a trade deal – it has been painfully discussed for years… if six months later, they say: ‘What we negotiated with you, we don’t know how to respect it’, then that means that nothing is respectable anymore.”

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the Northern Ireland protocol – the name for the post-Brexit trading rules – was the “only solution” and should be implemented fully.

Biden’s interest dates from the 1990s, when his forerunner Bill Clinton worked with people on all sides of the Northern Ireland question to help bring about the Good Friday Agreement that ended the so-called “Troubles”.

The BBC (again) has already published details of a planned speech in which Biden was set to voice concerns that deadlock on the Northern Ireland Protocol could jeopardise peace in the Province.

Sadly, with Biden taking pains to stress that he is not “warning” the two sides in any way, the EU unwilling to give any ground at all, and Johnson incapable of understanding the complexities involved, it seems there may be “Troubles” ahead once again.

There is a simple way out, of course: Northern Ireland could vote to leave the United Kingdom.

I’m not even suggesting that this means joining the Republic of Ireland.

The simple fact is that the people of this region have suffered terribly because of the “Troubles”. If I was living there, I would be furious that Johnson’s insensitivity has put NI back in the firing line and would be prepared to consider any alternative to prevent it.

And there’s no reason they would want to stay in the union – Johnson has created a situation where they are actually worse-off, the longer they put up with the current situation.

If Northern Ireland quit the UK but did not join the Republic, Biden would be happy; future violence could be averted. The EU would be happy too – it would make trading much simpler.

The only loser would be Boris Johnson. He would become the prime minister who forced the nation to split – and voters are not likely to forgive him for that.

It would be poetic justice. He thought he could get away with any old rubbish. He thought wrong.

Source: G7: UK and US in complete harmony over Northern Ireland – Boris Johnson – BBC News

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After the Capitol riot, is it time for gun control in the United States? (VIDEO)

Joe Biden: this Democrat president-elect will have a majority in the House of Representatives and a de facto majority in the Senate. Will he use it to enact the gun controls that the United States desperately need?

It seems to me that the fever over the Capitol riot in the United States is ignoring a very important fact.

I’ve made a short video and I would appreciate it if you would watch it:

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Is the United States getting serious about climate change? If so, it could be a game-changer

It seems Joe Biden wants to tackle the climate crisis. Perhaps he sees it as a way to make his mark on history.

If so, he is to be applauded. If the United States commits to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, it will take a lot of pressure from smaller countries – and pile it onto larger economies like China, Russia and India.

And while the UK has paid lip-service to climate commitments, the influence of America could force Boris Johnson (and his successors) to pay closer attention to making sure they are honoured.

This is another good news story. Perhaps the tide is turning at last.

The US will hold a climate summit of the world’s major economies early next year, within 100 days of Joe Biden taking office, and seek to rejoin the Paris agreement on the first day of his presidency, in a boost to international climate action.

Leaders from 75 countries met without the US in a virtual Climate Ambition Summit co-hosted by the UN, the UK and France at the weekend, marking the fifth anniversary of the Paris accord. The absence of the US underlined the need for more countries, including other major economies such as Brazil, Russia and Indonesia, to make fresh commitments on tackling the climate crisis.

Source: US to hold world climate summit early next year and seek to rejoin Paris accord | Climate change | The Guardian

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Johnson told to drop parts of plan to break international law – after Lords defeat

It seems Boris Johnson is living up to his new nickname as a #ShapeShiftingCreep once again.

He has just suffered a major defeat in his plan to break international law – contradicting his own EU Withdrawal Agreement, signed in January – after the House of Lords carved huge chunks out of his Internal Markets Bill before sending it back to him:

According to the Huffington Post:

Peers voted by 433 to 165 to strip out clauses in the Internal Market Bill which would allow the UK to renege on its obligations in the withdrawal agreement signed with the EU.

The defeat, one of the largest of any government in the Lords since hereditary peers were slimmed down in the 1990s, means that Johnson will have to weigh up whether to reinsert the clause in the House of Commons next month.

In another overwhelming show of strength, the Lords also voted by 407 to 148 to remove any breach of the northern Ireland protocol in the EU withdrawal treaty.

Senior Tories went on to tell Johnson his best course of action is to “quietly drop” those parts of the Bill that the Lords have excised.

The Evening Standard said Tories including Theresa May’s ex-chief of staff Gavin Barwell, former chancellor Ken Clarke and former Conservative Party leaders William Hague and Michael Howard all voted against Johnson’s government:

Lord Barwell told the Standard: “I don’t see any positives that come from those clauses.

He said the clauses were affecting the UK’s ability to get a trade deal with the EU and “rule out” any possible trade deal with the US while “damaging relations” with the new Joe Biden administration [in the United States].

After the vote, Johnson’s government insisted it would not back down and would re-table the clauses when the bill returns to the Commons in December.

Ah… but then there was the issue of Joe Biden. The new US president, who claims Irish ancestry, has said he will take an extremely dim view of any UK legislation that harms the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland.

And it seems certain that he would have made that clear when Johnson telephoned to congratulate him on his win in the presidential election:

Johnson now faces a hard choice: reinstate the controversial – illegal – clauses and face the wrath of Biden, or quietly let them drop and face ridicule here in the UK.

He is a weak prime minister – who allows public perception to sway his decisions. I think we all know how this will end.

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#USAElection2020 – it’s Biden! so Boris Johnson is in trouble

Joe Biden has beaten Donald Trump in the US presidential election – meaning trouble for UK prime minister Boris Johnson.

Biden topped the 270 electoral college votes needed to take the presidency when Pennsylvania declared for him on Saturday afternoon (UK time – November 7).

This means – hopefully – we will all be treated to the sight of Donald Trump being dragged from the White House by secret service men, kicking and screaming. That’s what he promised!

Trump may well follow through on his threat to bog the process down with litigation. We’ll see.

Assuming such shenanigans are dismissed, Biden’s accession to the Presidency creates serious problems for Boris Johnson.

Once described by Biden as a “kind of a physical and emotional clone” of Trump, he has long been considered hostile to Johnson’s right-wing, populist politics.

Part of this can be traced back to Johnson’s dismissal of Barack Obama. His claim that Obama’s “part-Kenyan” heritage gave him an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire” may be considered racist.

Biden’s team has, we’re told, kept a close eye on the Johnson government, taking offence at the way it has cosied up to Trump.

Dominic Cummings has been likened by some on Biden’s team to Stephen Miller, the Trump policy adviser who contributed to a controversial 2017 travel ban and policy of separating migrant children from their parents.

More tangibly, Biden warned Johnson away from his threat to break international law on Brexit and – potentially – undermine the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland.

Biden’s own heritage is Irish. It seems, when it comes to ancestry, Boris Johnson’s judgement is poor indeed.

So when it comes to trade deals, Johnson may find himself losing any ground he gained by cultivating close links with Trump.

That doesn’t mean we’ll all be saved from eating chlorinated chicken after all.

In fact, it’s more likely to mean Johnson will toss more of our national property in, to sweeten the deal.

Whatever happens, it seems Boris Johnson is heading for even more trouble – and, as usual, it’s all of his own making.

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