Ash Sarkar: she posted this innocent image of herself enjoying an orange ice lolly after cycling – and racist loonies claimed it showed her supporting an alleged terror attack in which three people were killed. Is that how it looks to you?
What’s wrong with the picture above?
Nothing, as far as This Writer can see. It’s a shot of a healthy young lady enjoying an ice lolly after exercising on a bicycle – posted on her personal Twitter feed.
It might be considered a little risque as, if she’s wearing shorts, they appear to be very short indeed. But that’s the worst of it.
So why, then, did this happen?
The 3 orange emojis, by the way, are because you can see 3 orange things in the photo (saddle, wheel, lolly). That’s it – you can call off the investigation, Poirot.
Apparently Ms Sarkar was being accused of using the orange emojis as symbols celebrating the three deaths.
When have orange emojis ever been said to symbolise that?
They don’t. But that’s what the lunatics have been saying.
Is it because the BBC initially associated the killings with a Black Lives Matter protest in Reading and, besides being a political commentator, Ms Sarkar happens to have darker skin than some of us?
If so, it is beyond reason (that’s why I suggest that those saying it are lunatics). And who are the racists in this situation – the young lady posting a summery pic on her timeline, or the foam-at-the-mouth individuals perversely accusing her?
Sane Twitter users have made their choice:
Sometimes, as I'm sure Freud once remarked, an orange ice lolly, is just an orange ice lolly!
Then it became clear that Ms Sarkar’s critics were, in fact, just another gang of racists. They made it clear themselves.
In the next exchange, Ms Sarkar is replying to that classic racist trope: “go back to where you came from”. The tweeter appears to have deleted their message, which is a clear indication of guilt, and I would appreciated it if anybody who may have taken a screenshot could send me a copy.
Akala’s book Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire has this to say about the “go back to where you came from” trope: “Their assumption is that anyone who is not racialised as white is not really a citizen, echoing the old white-supremacist adage ‘Race and Nation are one’ and the ‘blood and soil’ logic of the Nazis.”
Ms Sarkar, being a citizen of the UK, comes from Enfield.
And of course, I’m giving her the last word because it is far more mature than anything her detractors had to say:
“Three families are grieving… and I feel really angry that there are people out there who are appropriating that grief, that shock, and that horror, and then using that to take down someone on Twitter.
“I don’t know how you live with yourself if you’re doing that.
“Beyond the racism and beyond the threats, I just feel that’s completely immoral.”
Distortion: this is how the BBC reported the terror murders in Reading – by linking them with Black Lives Matter protests.
Is this how the Establishment undermines a movement it considers dangerous to its power – by smearing it?
There was no reason for the BBC to link the murder of three people – and the serious injury of three more – in Reading with an entirely peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.
Even immediately after the killings happened, police were saying the stabbings were a random terror attack and nothing to do with the peaceful demonstration.
The BBC has now removed its original article, replacing with one that has a modified headline.
A suspect has been arrested and he has nothing to do with BLM.
Khairi Saadallah is a Libyan national who last year appeared in court charged with punching a Sainsburys security guard in the face and attempting to stab him with a broken wine bottle when he was accused of shoplifting alcohol.
In This Writer’s opinion, he fits the profile of a person of Middle-Eastern/African extraction living the UK who has been radicalised to commit terror acts, rather than anything to do with BLM.
But, according to Skwawkbox at least, “right-wing hate-promoters have continued to spread the fake news.” The BBC only needed to put it out there early and let it catch on.
Indeed, current reports seem confused as to whether the incident was a terror attack or not, with one saying “police … say they are not looking for anyone else over the ‘terrorist incident'” and another that “police are not currently treating the incident as terror-related”.
This Writer cannot help but recall a recent Vox Political article in which I remarked on the stupidity of forcing MPs to queue around the block from the Palace of Westminster in order to vote by passing through lobbies in the traditional way, while still observing the 2m social distancing rule currently in effect; it makes them vulnerable to (for example) terrorists.
Details of those who were murdered are starting to be released. One was James Furlong, 36, head of history and government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham, who was described by his family as a “wonderful man”, while his school colleagues said he was “talented and inspirational”.
Here is praise for Mr Furlong on Twitter:
James Furlong was a kind and giving man. He was an inspirational mentor for new teachers. I learnt something from him every time we chatted about history teaching. This is so so unfair. My thoughts are with James’ family, friends and everyone in the Holt School community.
Mr James Furlong was one of my favourite teachers in the world. In year 9 he showed me that I could still enjoy school, and also how to be proud of who I am. Every day he was a cheerful and inspiring presence and the world is a darker place without him. Rest in peace, Sir.
The two other deceased have not been named at the time of writing. Two people who were injured have been discharged from treatment, while a third remains in a stable condition under observation.
It seems clear that somebody is trying to turn a homicidal tragedy into a platform for petty political point-scoring.
No doubt the BBC will claim the information it received at the time justified the headline.
And the damage is done.
But This Writer would advise anybody to be extremely wary of any information coming from this news source about BLM in the future.
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.
Oppressor: It seems Johnny Mercer wants young people to join our armed forces so a Tory government can order them to brutalise others in the name of far-right-wing political dogma.
What kind of twisted mind does Plymouth’s Tory MP, Johnny Mercer possess?
He has started a huge debate with a claim that there is nothing wrong with killing to defeat the enemies of a nation.
Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to him that, to many of us, he is an enemy of the United Kingdom.
By his own reckoning, would I not be well within my rights to gather a few dozen like-minded people, track him down and beat him brutally with baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire (for example)?
If, as Tory MP Johnny Mercer claims, there's nothing wrong with killing to defeat your enemies, the millions suffering Tory austerity in Britain should have risen up and wiped him and his cronies out long before now. #Austerityhttps://t.co/R16N9vdtxQ
No, of course I wouldn’t. He doesn’t mean it like that.
We’re told he made his comment in a tweet encouraging young people to join the army. It stated: “The application of violence to defeat the enemies of the nation has become worryingly unpopular. Nothing wrong with fighting (yes killing) for values/what you believe in. The oppressed/bullied/tormented/voiceless deserve it. Join the fight; best thing you’ll ever do.”
So he wasn’t discussing “the application of violence” for “values you believe in”. He meant he wants young people to enlist in order to apply violence in the name of values he believes in.
And what about the line that “the oppressed/bullied/tormented/voiceless deserve it”? If you think he means they deserve protection, think again!
Mr Mercer means the oppressed/bullied/tormented/voiceless deserve to be oppressed/bullied/tormented/voiceless.
If you don’t believe me, just look at Conservative policies regarding sick and disabled benefit claimants since 2010.
It’s a philosophy you can see espoused in the movie (and, I suppose, novel) Starship Troopers. Author Robert A Heinlein had imagined a future civilisation in which far-right politics had conquered the world and in one scene, a character states that violence is “the supreme authority from which all other authority is derived… Naked force has resolved more issues throughout history than any other factor. The contrary opinion, that violence never solves anything, is wishful thinking at its worst. People who forget that always pay.”
This is what Johnny Mercer believes – but notice that he doesn’t want to put himself at risk in the application of that “naked force”. He wants the plebs to do that for him.
Note that he served in the Army as an officer, not in the ranks.
Officers are the people who decide how troops should be deployed, and send them out – often to their deaths. But they don’t often put their own lives on the line, and I wonder how often they expect to be asked to take the lives of others, as Mr Mercer is clearly asking others to do in his tweet.
My point is that it is easy to sign orders for other people to die, and to expect other people to carry out those orders. But it is less easy to actually do it oneself.
So what does Mr Mercer’s tweet actually mean? As indicated, this has been the subject of heated debate.
An article in The Independent has published several responses which make good points, as follows:
“Noelle Moysi said: “Is this really what you mean? You’re an MP and words matter. Jo Cox was killed by someone fighting for what they believed in. Jo Cox’s murderer saw her as an enemy of the nation and shouted the words Britain first as he did it.”
“Helen Troup said Mr Mercer’s remarks were “exactly the justification used by the IRA of course”.
“Lavendar Luke said: “I believe synth music is better than guitar music. Yet when I kill and fight for my beliefs I’m ‘a psychopath’ apparently. Thanks for standing up for me Johnny.””
My own suggestion about the meaning of the tweet would be this:
It means he wants he wants the young people of the United Kingdom to put themselves at risk of death in order to subject the oppressed/bullied/tormented/voiceless to the worst far-right-wing domination possible, while he and his fellow Tories sit back and call the shots.
No thanks. If he wants to go around bullying other people – at home or abroad – he can damn well try it on his own and see how far his “values” get him then.
These Tories always talk big when the odds are stacked in their favour and it’s your life on the line.
Commemorated: Memorials to the fallen outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
This is utterly vile: On the day 11 people were murdered in a synagogue in Pittsburgh – apparently by an adherent of the political far-right, bandwagon-jumpers claiming to speak for British Jews were lining up to accuse left-wingers in the United Kingdom.
Authorities in the US have alleged that 46-year-old Robert Bowers burst into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and gunned down 11 people who were there for Shabbat – the Jewish sabbath, just before 9.54am (EDT) on Saturday, October 27. Six others were wounded.
Bowers was arrested after a short gunfight with police. He has been charged with 29 criminal offences, including 11 federal hate-crime charges. The 11 counts of using a firearm to kill carry a maximum penalty of death.
Other charges include obstructing the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, weapons offences and seriously injuring police officers. The FBI was investigating the shooting as a federal hate crime.
According to The Guardian, “The suspect appeared to have far-right views… Social media accounts in the name of Robert Bowers contained antisemitic rants.”
In the UK, someone apparently connected with those who have been accusing Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour Party of anti-Semitism used a sock-puppet Twitter account to launch a false-flag attack against Labour.
In response to a tweet by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing sorrow at the attack, this account tweeted: “YOU BROUGHT THIS ON YOURSELVES.”
The person behind the tweet was an apparently-nonexistent entity calling itself Dean Brown (@DeanBrownLab), who was described by anti-Corbyn Twitter account ‘Left Over’ as “a former Labour Party staffer, is a @jeremycorbynsupporter and a member of both @UKLabour and @PeoplesMomentum”. No such person exists.
The account appeared to have been created to post the tweet, and bears similarity to another account – @WesBrownLab – that fooled Yvette Cooper last year. “Wesley Brown” self-described as “Special Adviser to RT. Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP” – but nobody of that name has ever worked for the Labour Party, let alone as an advisor to Mr Corbyn.
You can read the full details on the Skwawkbox blog. Notice that the accounts listed at the end of the ‘Left Over’ tweet belong to people (or groups of them) who have been regular features of the campaign to use false accusations of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn and his (genuine) supporters:
Saddeningly, left-wing comedy talent David Schneider joined in by attacking “the left’s and Labour’s failure on anti-semitism” – with reference to two tweets, neither of which could be said for sure to come from Left, or Labour, sources. He tweeted:
People who condemn All Lives Matter and their attempt to shut down Black Lives Matter but who, when it comes to Jews, tell me: “yeah but All Lives Matter”. Or who, like LibDem peer Jenny Tonge, blame Israel for the attack on American Jews. pic.twitter.com/Q7kFKWMm6U
Maybe I didn’t go far enough into his timeline to find out, but while I see plenty of socially-conscious retweets, I don’t see a lot of evidence that this person is a committed lefty, let alone a Labour supporter. I’m prepared to be contradicted on that one. As for the reference to a separate matter in a different country – well, we’ll come to that.
Jenny Tonge is, of course, a Liberal Democrat and therefore neither left-wing nor a member or supporter of the Labour Party.
Yet Mr Schneider tweeted:
At the core of the left’s and Labour's failure on anti-semitism is the inablilty to separate out Jews and Israel. Most anti-semitism on the left may be unwitting or due to ignorance but it is still anti-semitism. And it contributes to a mistrust of Jews that helps the far right.
(For clarity, Mr Schneider is wrong where he says anti-Semitism may be unwitting, and needs to clarify what he means by “due to ignorance”. Anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews, because they are Jews – and people can’t hate unwittingly or because they don’t know what is considered to be hatred in this instance. Even the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism states that A-S only “may” be evidenced by apparent correlation with the examples it quotes.)
Here’s a left-wing response to the Pittsburgh synagogue killings:
The massacre of Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue is a sickening atrocity, an act of murderous hatred against all Jews. Thoughts and solidarity with Jews in Pittsburgh, the US and everywhere.
Angela Rayner is Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary:
'What disgusting human being thinks it’s ok to open fire on innocent people at a synagogue? My thoughts are with everyone hurt and affected by this vile despicable act of violence. https://t.co/WnTMywnbJV
All have given the dead and wounded of the Pittsburgh shooting the respect they deserve.
Guardian journalist Christina Patterson on sky news papers review said Jeremy Corbyn encourages antisemitism in the labour party when discussing the Pittsburgh shootings. One of the worst slanderous attacks i have heard by a journalist on tv against Corbyn. See it on SKWARKBOX
This is despite the fact that the man accused of the killings is said to be a neo-Nazi.
I mentioned David Schneider’s condemnation of people who linked the Pittsburgh incident with Israel’s attacks on Palestinians. He believed they were inappropriate, so I hope he will join with other right-thinking people in condemning the way Labour’s Chris Williamson was dogpiled by Twitter users for retweeting a link to a Skwawkbox article about the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews using apparently anti-Semitic language.
This completely separate story was linked with Pittsburgh by the dogpilers, for no reason other than that they broke on the same day. Here’s Mr Williamson’s tweet – the dogpiling starts immediately:
‘Left Over’ and the accounts mentioned in its tweet, the five UK journalists who linked the Pittsburgh killings with Jeremy Corbyn, Chris Williamson’s dogpilers and – sadly – David Schneider are all responsible for an anti-left, anti-Labour, anti-Corbyn-and-his-supporters smear that is all the more disgusting because of its context.
All should make public apologies immediately. Some should face disciplinary procedures for false reporting.
But we all know that’s not going to happen, don’t we?
Not while anti-Semitism is the one accusation people can make against political figures without any need for proof whatsoever.
I know far too much about such matters myself. I was accused of anti-Semitism by fake crusaders similar to those listed above, and suspended from the UK Labour Party, nearly 18 months ago. After a botched decision by the party’s National Executive Committee that heard no evidence from me, I will finally have a chance to state my innocence next month.
I am also appealing for people who support justice to help fund legal action against my accusers. If you are willing to help, please visit my JustGiving page and donate what you can.
You can probably tell from the headline that This Writer is a little disappointed in the Labour leader.
Jeremy Corbyn told Aneurin Bevan Day celebrants in Tredegar there was “mounting evidence” that Tory austerity has been killing people.
He said: “There is clear and mounting evidence that austerity and inequality are killing people.
“For years people were living longer and life expectancy was increasing. That has now ground to a halt and in some parts of the country life expectancy is falling. This is unprecedented.”
Mounting evidence? We’re eight years into Tory austerity and the evidence is all around us!
We know that Tory changes to benefit eligibility have killed thousands because This Site forced the government to admit it after a two-year Freedom of Information battle.
We know that Tory changes to health and social care have killed more than 120,000 people because, again, the Conservative government has admitted it.
We don’t need more proof that Tory austerity is lowering life expectancy.
We do need a Labour government that will launch an investigation into the number of avoidable deaths that were caused by Tory policies – immediately upon taking office.
We need a government that will seize all relevant papers from all relevant goverment departments immediately, and that will follow all evidence trails without fear or favour, no matter where they lead.
The dead demand it.
Corbyn’s words are not strong enough.
He needs to man up and take the Tories to task over the mass deaths they have caused.
Labour’s shadow policing and crime minister, Louise Haigh, wouldn’t have paid attention to the memo even if she had received it. She has written an article in the Huffington Post:
“What connects all these things? Failing prisons, crisis in probation, the NHS in turmoil, cuts to education, austerity. The answer of course is this Tory Government. All roads lead back to ministers. They decide the funding, they decide the priorities.
“What of our Home Secretary? Amber Rudd’s silence is deafening. She is politically too scared to be associated with this toxic mess of her boss’s making. And what of the Prime Minister? Nothing. She is unable to criticise her own terrible record as Home Secretary and PM, as we have seen the loss of over 21,000 police officers across the country – with more than 17,000 from the front-line.
“But it’s simply not good enough.”
“Not good enough” is all you’ll get from the Conservatives. And under a Tory government, violent crime will only get worse.
Scotland Yard [has been holding] emergency talks over the recent spate of violent crime in London.
Police chiefs want to develop a mobilisation plan to tackle knife and gun violence in the city.
There have been growing calls for politicians to set out substantial plans to address the crisis, and concerns that national and London leaders have fallen short.
The Met police commissioner, Cressida Dick, has been criticised for making no public statement on the subject until Thursday, while the Home Office, the Met and the mayor of London all declined interview requests from BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday morning.
Laughing at the Tory: Former shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry once made a fool of current defence secretary Michael Fallon on Andrew Marr’s TV show.
This is Conservative policy on the international stage: Never mind human lives, never mind international law – we’ll sell anything, to anyone, and damn the consequences.
That’s the reason Michael Fallon doesn’t want any inconvenient facts raised in Parliament (or, one is to suppose, the media) about the uses to which UK-built weapons are being put by Saudi Arabia.
He doesn’t want you to know that British jet fighters are being used to kill innocent citizens of Yemen because the bad publicity it would create for the customer – Saudi Arabia – would create what This Writer believes is termed “consumer resistance”, and they’ll cancel any deal.
I know there would be an immediate effect on the UK’s balance of trade deficit, and on the future of contractor BAe Systems, if this multi-billion-pound trade deal were to be cancelled but the effect on our international reputation is even more chilling.
BAe is already in trouble and it would be better if the company re-tooled itself to pursue peaceful commercial enterprises instead of weapon-building, as This Site has already reported.
And the UK would be in a better position to market such products across the world if ministers like Mr Fallon weren’t intent on staining our reputation with concerns that we are breaking international law to make a fast buck.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has told MPs to stop criticising Saudi Arabia so we can sell them more weapons.
He told MPs criticism of the regime’s brutal bombardment of Yemen is “unhelpful” while Britain is trying to finalise a deal with BAE Systems to sell the Kingdom a further batch of Eurofighter jets.
Both the UN and Human Rights Watch have said the intervention is in breach of international law.
[Mr Fallon] told the Defence Select Committee: “We’ve been working extremely hard on the batch two deal. I’ve travelled to Saudi Arabia back in September and discussed progress on the deal with my opposite number, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – and we continued to press for a signature or at least a statement of intent as we’ve done with Qatar.
“I have to repeat sadly, to this committee, that obviously other criticism of Saudi Arabia, in this Parliament, is not helpful and …I’ll leave it there, but we need to do everything possible to encourage Saudi Arabia towards batch two. I believe they will commit to batch two and we need to work away on the timing.”
Labour’s Emily Thornberry has voiced the concerns we should all feel:
“These comments are extremely concerning. The sale of arms should never be prioritised over human rights, the Rule of Law and the lives of innocent children in Yemen.”
Not only are the Conservatives determined to destroy the UK’s economy – they are ruining our good name abroad so that it will be even harder to claw our way out of their mess after they are removed from office.
Vox Political needs your help! If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers) you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
The inhumanity of Iain Duncan Smith: He is pictured laughing at the plight of a rape victim who, under his ‘reforms’, has to pay bedroom tax for the panic room she needs in order to be safe from her abusive, rapist ex-partner.
Iain Duncan Smith must resign after he disgraced himself yet again, with a leaflet containing fabricated comments from non-existent DWP benefit claimants, according to a leading Opposition MP.
Debbie Abrahams, who has been a leading light in the fight to force the Conservative Government to reveal the true number of people who have died following Duncan Smith’s “welfare reforms”, said the Work and Pensions secretary’s behaviour was a “disgrace” and his position was untenable.
But don’t take This Writer’s word for it – here’s Ms Abrahams herself (all boldings mine):
“As a member of the work and pensions select committee, I have called for Iain Duncan Smith to resign following revelations that his department created a leaflet about sanctions containing made-up quotes attributed to non-existent benefit claimants.
“I instigated an inquiry into the use of sanctions by the work and pensions committee, which reported in March this year, and I believe after being caught out so publicly it must be impossible for Iain Duncan Smith to continue as work and pensions secretary and he should do the honourable thing and resign.
“This is yet another example of not only his incompetence, but what can only be described as very shady and unscrupulous behaviour not befitting a Member of Parliament let alone a Secretary of State leading a Government Department.
“Once again, Duncan Smith is caught trying to paint a particular picture of social security claimants. He is a disgrace and should do the honourable thing and resign. When his own department have to resort to this sort of tactic, in a desperate attempt to make it appear as though the system is working, no-one can be left believing that his draconian social security sanctions regime is fit for purpose.
“Only Mr Duncan Smith seems to believe that unfair and inappropriate use of sanctions on vulnerable social security claimants is acceptable. And now he’s shown that he thinks it’s acceptable for his department to produce literature that is fabricated in a desperate attempt to make people believe his sanctions regime is working fairly.
“It beggars belief that David Cameron can, in the light of this embarrassing debacle, continue to back Mr Duncan Smith as a credible work and pensions secretary when he has presided over such a catalogue of errors.
“In the last few weeks alone, the independent Social Security Advisory Committee has produced a report which says that the Government’s sanctions regime should be given ‘an urgent and robust review’.
“And following the Government’s appeal against the Information Commissioner’s ruling compelling the Government to publish figures on the number of people on Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance who have died between November 2011 and May 2014, including those found fit for work, a Tribunal has now been set for November 10to hear why Iain Duncan Smith has refused to publish these data.
“I will never forget the fact that not only did Iain Duncan Smith defy the Information Commissioner’s ruling to provide these data on deaths of people on social security, but that he stated to me, personally, in Parliament, it did not exist. But then, just two days later, the Prime Minister said to me, again in Parliament, the data would be published, only for the DWP’s appeal documents to defy him as well, stating publication was not in the public interest!
“The select committee inquiry which I instigated reported in March and the mountain of evidence that was put before the select committee by religious organisations, academics and charities, not to mention those actually affected by inappropriate sanctions themselves, pointed overwhelmingly to a system that is inhumane and deliberately created to skew unemployment figures.
“The sad truth is that Iain Duncan Smith is doing everything he can to cover up the mess he has created.
“This is a mess that is ruining innocent people’s lives and, as the evidence suggests, even killing some.
“The only credible reason he’s going to such lengths to hang on to his job is because he knows he has so much to hide.”
A petition on the Government website, calling for a vote of “no confidence” in Iain Duncan Smith and his removal from office, may be signed here.
It’s possible some people may not know about the forthcoming repeal of the Human Rights Act by the Conservative Government, to be replaced by a Bill of Rights that seems more about what you won’t be allowed to do than what will be permitted.
Here’s the first of what will hopefully become a series of infographics, illustrating the differences between what we have now, and what the Conservatives will deign to permit us.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.