Tag Archives: lead

Derision for Liam Fox as he’s knocked out of race to lead World Trade Organisation

Liam Fox: bye bye.

Tory joke candidate Liam Fox has been knocked out of the race to become director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

According to the Torygraph, the former international trade secretary was eliminated before the last of three rounds to replace Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down a year earlier than expected at the end of August, so

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee will go head-to-head to become the trade body’s first female director-general

The reaction has been what you might expect, considering the person involved.

Fox was forced out of an early David Cameron cabinet for letting a friend of his, Adam Werrity, into confidential defence meetings and taking him on foreign junkets.

He has since crept back into Tory cabinets and was Theresa May’s International Trade secretary.

But he is widely held to be another inept Tory fool.

So the reaction to his WTO failure was clear:

Despite his abject ineptitude, Fox seems to be one of the survivors of the modern Tory Party, having managed to hang on in Parliament and in government circles for the last 10 years and more.

Let us hope this finishes him off and he retires to the obscurity he so richly deserves.

Source: Liam Fox knocked out of race to lead World Trade Organisation

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Duff Sunday Times investigation has everyone thinking we need a new leader. Who should it be? [POLL]

Gove: apparently he’s Rupert Murdoch’s choice of replacement for a disgraced Boris Johnson. This is hardly surprising as he’s a former Murdoch employee and would almost certainly be in the newspaper magnate’s pocket.

It’s a stupid premise for a leadership challenge but people seem to be getting behind it (because they’re easily-led) so let’s do the same.

The claim is that Boris Johnson should not be the prime minister of the UK because he missed a few meetings that happened to take place in Cabinet Office Briefing Room ‘A’.

He wasn’t required to attend them. It would have been advisable for him to accept the advice that came from them, but it seems that he may have been given bad advice by those who did attend. And it is likely that he ignored any advice that didn’t fit his narrow-minded plans.

In fairness, also, he seems to have spent less time actually being the prime minister than he did campaigning to be Tory leader. First he was on summer recess, then he called an unlawful prorogation that was reversed by the courts, then Parliament was dissolved for an election, then it was Christmas, then he ran away from dealing with the floods, and then he had the coronavirus (we’re told). It’s an appalling record and he should be booted out of Downing Street for that alone.

The problem here is that a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch appears to be angling for a Murdoch man to be prime minister instead of Johnson: Michael Gove.

But why can’t we widen up the debate a bit?

The Tories have done a downright cruddy job of governing since the general election. They left thousands upon thousands to fend for themselves in the floods and they condemned millions to catch the coronavirus. They have failed in their duty of care for the UK’s people.

So perhaps we should have another election? Bring in a Labour leader, perhaps? Keir Starmer, anybody?

Alternatively, considering the way Starmer is turning out, perhaps we should turn the clock back and ask Jeremy Corbyn to come in (although he’d have to be supported by people who aren’t trying to backstab him at every opportunity).

Which would you prefer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes. It really is “deeply worrying”.

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

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

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After five years of hate, tributes for Jeremy Corbyn on his last day as Labour leader


For those of us who supported his leadership from the moment he declared his candidacy, the praise Jeremy Corbyn has received for his time as Labour Party leader is nothing more than he was due.

He took a floundering political party that had badly lost its way after being hijacked by right-wing neoliberals and steered it back to its socialist roots.

It was exactly the right thing to do, triggering a massive membership boost that made Corbyn’s Labour the largest political organisation in western Europe.

Sadly, elements on the right wing of the party did not accept Labour’s shift back to its roots, and did everything they could to undermine him.

They launched an attempt to unseat him with a no-confidence vote that only led to him consolidating his position as leader with a high majority than before.

They lied that he supported terrorists.

And they plagued him with unfounded claims that he was an anti-Semite and had made the party a safe haven for anti-Semites.

But it was Labour’s loss in the 2019 general election – caused by the party’s support for a vote-losing Brexit policy put forward by Keir Starmer – that led to Mr Corbyn’s resignation as leader.

Starmer went on to stand as a candidate to lead the party, and there are fears that – if he is successful – he’ll drag Labour back to the dark days of neoliberal ‘New Labour’.

One person who understands the hatred that Mr Corbyn had to endure is his wife, Laura Alvarez.

She told the Mirror: “Jeremy’s record in parliament, whether as a backbench MP or as the Leader of the Labour Party, is testament to his belief in a world where, social justice, human rights and peace are valued more greatly than money and greed. As an MP he has always sought to protect the most vulnerable.

“It has been incredibly hard for me to watch my husband vilified and to hear his words twisted by his political opponents and some in the media.

“It has been even harder to watch him be attacked by his own Party.

“The brutal irony is that if we had pulled together, we would have been ready to lead the country rather than suffer more austerity under the Tories.”

That’s true – to the shame of the right-wingers who are trying to pervert Labour once again.

Movie director Ken Loach – who has himself been falsely vilified as an anti-Semite after he declared his support for Mr Corbyn – told iNews: “In 2017, Corbyn and McDonnell came within a whisker of being in government. This would have meant cutting back the power of capital. Far from continued expansion and finding new ways of exploiting working people – public services and utilities, like health, energy, water and transport, would no longer be sources of profit for private companies. And that might be only the beginning. A Labour government could be the threat of a good example.

“Corporate power and its political allies, including the right-wing of the Labour Party, launched a campaign to destroy Jeremy Corbyn and the possibilities he represented. We could see the attacks coming but failed to deal with them.

“Corbyn, a man of peace, was branded a friend of terrorists, a life-long anti-racist he was called an antisemite. He was said to be either too weak or too controlling, too old, wanting a return to the seventies, or an unrealistic dreamer. His supporters were made out to be fanatics by the likes of the Daily Mail. The liberal press and the broadcasters joined in, from a respectful distance of course.

“Labour MPs were allowed to insult and humiliate Corbyn, when there should have been a clear call for open selection of candidates at every election. If the BBC wanted someone to attack Corbyn, no need to ask a Tory, get in a Labour backbencher instead.

“Throughout this, the mainly young supporters stayed loyal, and they saw that Corbyn represented the only viable future for them.

“We see now that the leadership should have been much tougher in dealing with those determined to destroy it. When the history is written, those who led the vilification of Corbyn will rightly be excoriated.”

Mr Corbyn’s senior policy advisor Andrew Fisher, writing in iNews, said the coronavirus is proving his boss’s policies right. He stated: “This crisis is proving policies are more important, and proving Corbyn to have been right on so many of the policies he chose to highlight in his leadership.

“First and foremost, it is clear that Corbyn was right when he said, from his 2015 leadership campaign onwards, “austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity”. Even before the scale of the coronavirus outbreak had been accepted in 10 Downing Street, the spending taps had been turned on – with new Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing bundles of cash that his own party had been denouncing when John McDonnell proposed them just three months earlier.

“The coronavirus outbreak has shown that when there is a crisis, money can be found – just as it was to bail out the banks in 2008/09. But the damage done by austerity is plain to see: our NHS went into this crisis after the longest funding squeeze in its history, with 100,000 staff vacancies and with 17,000 fewer beds than in 2010.

“The coronavirus crisis has also made clear that people need stronger rights at work. The loss of trade union representation across so many workplaces is one of the main reasons why so many workers need benefits just to makes ends meet or to pay the rent, while their bosses amass grotesque wealth.

“Many recently laid-off workers are also now confronting the shambles that is our benefits system… when, or rather if, people do get through to make a claim they will be shocked at the poverty rates at which our benefits are paid. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock candidly admitted he could not live on the £94 per week paid through statutory sick pay. Yet those who have lost their jobs will be receiving just £73 per week on Jobseeker’s Allowance. Labour had been campaigning scrap Universal Credit, raise benefit levels, end sanctions, and trial Universal Basic Income.”

Let’s finish with a few comments from people on Twitter:

Last word goes to Mr Corbyn himself:

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Diplomat’s searing resignation over Brexit confirms Corbyn’s claims about Johnson’s lies

Alexandra Hall Hall: She’s probably smiling because she doesn’t have to lie for Boris Johnson any more.

It’s couched in diplomatic language, but when a diplomat quits over “misleading” arguments and a “reluctance to address honestly” Brexit, you know she’s calling Boris Johnson a liar.

Alexandra Hall Hall’s unequivocal statement that she can no longer “peddle half-truths”, coinciding so closely with Jeremy Corbyn’s release of Treasury documents showing that Mr Johnson has misled the UK on the substance of his Brexit deal, can only confirm it.

Revealed as a liar, his Brexit deal simply the latest permutation of the old story about the “Emperor’s new clothes”, Mr Johnson is left with no options.

Naked and shamed, he can only hope that enough of the electorate are so nauseated at the thought of the Brexit drama dragging on that they’ll support him simply in the belief that he’ll make it go away.

He won’t, of course. He can’t.

And what if someone reminds the public that the fuss over the UK’s membership of the EU only happened because a previous Tory prime minister, in a fit of pride, thought it would heal divisions in his own party; it never had anything to do with any economic or social benefit to the UK.

What a cesspit David Cameron dragged us into! And how humiliating if we allow Boris Johnson to drown us in it.

A senior British diplomat in the US has quit with a blast at the UK government over Brexit, saying she could no longer “peddle half-truths” on behalf of political leaders she did not “trust.”

Alexandra Hall Hall, the lead envoy for Brexit in the British Embassy in Washington, said that she had become increasingly dismayed by the demands placed on the British civil service to deliver messages on Brexit which were not “fully honest.”

“I have been increasingly dismayed by the way in which our political leaders have tried to deliver Brexit, with reluctance to address honestly, even with our own citizens, the challenges and trade-offs which Brexit involves; the use of misleading or disingenuous arguments about the implications of the various options before us; and some behaviour towards our institutions, which, were it happening in another country, we would almost certainly as diplomats have received instructions to register our concern,” she wrote in her letter, dated December 3.

“It makes our job to promote democracy and the rule of law that much harder, if we are not seen to be upholding these core values at home.”

Source: Top British diplomat Alexandra Hall Hall quits with searing Brexit critique – CNN

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Financial Times gives Labour a huge boost with front page lead on life-changing policies

Plaudits to Skwawkbox for pointing out the fact that the Financial Times has shot itself in the foot with its lead story today (September 2).

The headline states that “Labour would cost companies £300bn” – implying that this is a scare story. But it continues “by shifting shares to staff”.

Brilliant news!

It’s saying that working people, who actually create the profits that the UK’s biggest firms make every day, will actually receive a dividend from those profits under a future Labour government.

That alone is a good reason to vote Labour at any future election.

No doubt the parasites will claim that the move will destabilise UK industry but this is clearly nonsense.

Working people have every right to profit – just as much as bosses and other shareholders – from the work they do.

The Financial Times (FT) has given the ‘above the fold’ half of its front page this morning to policies it presumably thinks will horrify its core readership – but which will be music to the ears of millions of voters hard-pressed under the Tories and their prioritisation, as Corbyn said in his Salford speech this morning, of ‘those who lend and speculate over those who actually make things‘.

The headline may blare about ‘costing UK companies £300bn’ – the FT’s estimate – but it goes on to say ‘by shifting shares to staff’. The article itself can’t help but elaborate a few of Labour’s groundbreaking policies and the way they would revolutionise the life of ‘the many’ in this country:

And it seems the FT digs itself further in by listing other great Labour policies:

The detail of the front-page coverage gives some key information on just a few of Labour’s game-changing policies:

  • Labour in government will give shares to workers in seven thousand of the UK’s biggest employers – entitling them to dividends of up to £500 per year as well as helping the national finances
  • Labour will introduce a right-to-buy for tenants of private landlords at affordable prices, helping to reduce the concentration of property in the hands of a few that has driven up rents and house prices under Conservative governments
  • Shifting power away from ‘bosses and landlords’ and to the people
  • Increasing productivity and long-term thinking by giving employees a meaningful stake

The timing is also hilariously inept for a newspaper trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.

This week, Parliament is in crisis as Boris Johnson’s dictatorial excuse for a government tries to overrule Parliament’s sovereignty in order to push through a “no deal” Brexit that few people want.

MPs may push back, even to the point of demanding a general election.

And on the eve of such a move, the Financial Times has given us all an excellent reason to vote Labour into power.

Tony Blair may be urging Labour to vote against an election on the grounds that Jeremy Corbyn is unpopular – but he is preaching a perspective on the Labour leader that is largely created by the Tory media.

We saw similar claims evaporate during the 2017 election campaign and fearmongers and yesterday’s men like Mr Blair would be better-off keeping their mouths shut.

The message from this newspaper is clear – if not quite as intended: If a general election is possible, bring it on! Labour will walk it.

Source: FT inadvertently gives huge front-page ad to Labour as party of hope and change | The SKWAWKBOX

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Swinson lies AGAIN, it seems – Harman claims she didn’t talk with Lib Dem leader

Harriet Harman: She says she didn’t talk with Jo Swinson.

Here’s a fascinating piece of information from Skwawkbox.

We already know that novice Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson claimed she had spoken to both Kenneth Clarke and Harriet Harman about one of them leading an interim government following a vote of “no confidence” in Boris Johnson’s administration.

This Site quoted her comment when challenged on this: “I have been in touch with them because obviously you don’t just mention people’s names without checking that they’re OK with that.”

That quote was in my article showing that Mr Clarke had not been in contact with Ms Swinson. He said: “I’ve been on holiday for two weeks and missed all this. This is the first I’ve heard of it.”

Now it seems Ms Harman has said she never spoke to Ms Swinson either.

In an email to members of her Camberwell & Peckham constituency party, according to Skwawkbox, Mr Harman wrote: “I can reassure you that I have not been involved in any closed door, cross-party talks between Labour and Conservative backbenchers and the Leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

“I support Jeremy Corbyn going for a vote of No Confidence in Boris Johnson. And will, of course, vote for it.

“It is… the clear constitutional right of the Leader of the Opposition to have the first attempt to form an administration if the Government fails.

“I back Jeremy Corbyn’s determination to do everything possible to prevent the terrible damage to our country that will be caused if the Government stampedes into a No Deal Brexit.”

Now I hear that opposition leaders including Ms Swinson have signed a declaration to do “whatever is necessary” to stop a “no deal” Brexit.

But discussions centred on ways of using the law to prevent such an event, with minimal talk about the “no confidence” vote.

Was this because of Ms Swinson’s reluctance to support Mr Corbyn? If so, shouldn’t the clear evidence of dishonesty mitigate against her?

Source: Excl: Harman denies Swinson’s claim they spoke about interim PM position | The SKWAWKBOX

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Labour opens up two-digit lead over the Conservatives in voting intention polls

The Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn has opened up a huge lead over the Conservative government in voter-intention polls.

This is in spite of attempts to smear Mr Corbyn with false allegations of anti-Semitism.

It also runs against claims that Labour’s policy on Brexit is hampering the party’s electability.

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1115989317598482432

In fact, there seem to be several:

The poll that offers options for a larger number of parties is the one that gives Labour a 13-point lead, and this suggests that the rise of Change UK (or The Independent Group) has harmed the Conservatives more than Labour.

It seems unlikely that the new organisation/party will be able to field candidates in all constituencies if an election is called soon, so it is perhaps unwise to assume the gulf between the two main parties will be as wide in practice.

And many people would say polls like these are designed to influence voters, rather than reflect their plans.

Still, these results may shut up the centrists who have been making noises about Labour’s lack of ability to open up a large lead despite current Tory weakness.

And it probably means mainstream media pundits will stop talking about the polls for a while (remember, they only refer to polls in order to claim the Conservatives are in the lead; think about the “gaslighting” scandal involving Diane Abbott on the BBC’s Question Time).

It is unlikely to stop certain malcontents from fabricating claims of anti-Semitism against Mr Corbyn and the Labour Party because it is impossible to draw any conclusions about this aspect of the current political debate; people could be attracted to Labour as much because of accusations of anti-Semitism as in denial of them. It’s an unpleasant thought but, as another part of current discourse has it, Brexit has encouraged a revival of racism in certain members of the electorate.

Personally, I think this is more accurate:

In related news:

and

https://twitter.com/rosskempsell/status/1115155616308264960

Some are saying that Labour has only to wait and the Conservatives will become extinct by themselves, but this is nonsense; they have been in power for nine years and that has allowed enough younger people to see what Tory policies do.

It will take a sustained period in power – and acting for the good of the population at large – for Labour to finally end the electability of the privileged class.


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Labour steams ahead in latest poll as challenges and smears come to nothing

What are the anti-Corbyn mob going to do now?

We’ve had smear after smear – the anti-Semitism allegations are a busted flush now, actually creating a danger that genuine anti-Semitism will go unnoticed.

We’ve had a new challenge to the party’s current direction in the form of Turncoat Tom Watson’s “Future Britain Group”.

And we’ve had the departure of eight Labour MPs for “TINGe” – The INdependent Group of elitists, as it has been dubbed.

The result? Here it is, according to the most accurate polling company currently working in the UK, Survation:

That’s right – Labour is now the most popular political party in the UK, with 39 per cent of the vote.

The Tories trail by four points, having lost five, presumably due to public reaction to the Brexit fiasco.

And the other parties and groups are nowhere – particularly TINGe, which appears to have sunk without trace.

M’good colleague Steve Walker, over at Skwawkbox, reckons that Labour’s poll improvement may be connected with an improved focus on positive campaigning, coupled with a refusal to engage with right-wing trolls.

There’s substance to the claim, too; I was chatting with a friend in the supermarket yesterday, who said she was having success online, just by posting a link to the Labour manifesto and asking people to identify what they don’t like about it.

Personally, I think there is a place for engagement with right-wing trolls – here on news-based websites. Part of our job should be to bust the myths that are told about the Left.

Skwawkbox points out that, less than two years ago, the Conservatives were polling at 50 per cent.

Let’s see if – despite the party games, lies and trolling – Labour can get to the same level before another year is over.


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Labour leads in opinion poll taken before Syria air strikes. The NEXT poll result should show how badly Theresa May has screwed up

Was this the reason Theresa May joined Donald Trump’s hugely ill-advised and provocative air strike against alleged chemical weapons sites in Syria? To give herself the proverbial “Falklands bounce” – an improved rating due to a successful overseas military operation – in the polls?

If so, she may be in for a huge surprise.

The latest poll, collected on April 11-12 and released yesterday (April 14) shows that, after weeks in which the Conservative Party’s puppet press has done all it can to rubbish the reputation of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mrs May was in serious trouble. Labour had gained the lead – and this was in a poll by ComRes, a company whose methodology is notoriously weighted against Labour (in comparison with the other pollsters).

The lead was only one per cent – well within the margin for error. But consider Susan’s comment, below:

We all know what happened at the general election, too – Labour’s share of the national vote increased by around 10 per cent, crushing the Conservatives’ slender majority at a time when Theresa May thought she would gain a crushing victory. So ComRes seemed to have made a huge mistake in its weightings – the assumptions it made about who would vote and how.

And the methodology hasn’t changed, as far as we know.

Meaning: Labour may have an absolutely enormous lead.

And it was into this atmosphere that Mrs May launched her attempt to become a military hero by allying herself with Donald Trump – an attempt that has backfired against her. For example, here’s a criticism of her decision to support the bombing of chemical weapons facilities:

That is an excellent point.

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/985081502710009856

So in fact, if there were any chemical weapons in these places, Mrs May’s decision is likely to have spread them across Syria.

What a fool. Even if she hasn’t spread chemical weapons across a country, she has harmed ordinary people – and they won’t forget who did it.

Mrs May has tried to justify herself with statements protesting the accuracy of the air strikes, and the legitimacy of the action:

But we know better:

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/985245651360518144

Mrs May took a decision not to recall Parliament early from its Easter recess and have a debate on whether to support Mr Trump’s plan for air strikes. In fact, we know that she deliberately chose to join the military action before Parliament could debate the matter – and now she is getting a verbal pasting for it:

Disgust is the only sane response – but Douglas Henshall (yes, as far as I know, the actor) went further:

He won’t be alone in that, after this weekend.

So let’s look forward to the first polls taken after this weekend; they may have huge ramifications for the future of the UK – and the rest of the world.


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