Tag Archives: leadership

#Amnesty falsely labelled #antisemitic over report on #IsraeliApartheid

Israeli apartheid: this barrier separates Israelis from Palestinians, who are treated as a lower class of human being by the government of Israel.

There is no way that Amnesty International is an anti-Semitic organisation. It simply is not possible when one considers the composition and purpose of that organisation.

The world’s largest human rights organisation, it has just published a report labelling Israel as an apartheid nation and demanding change:

You can read the full report by following the link at the bottom of this article. It is sensible and balanced.

But when UK-based organisations that claim to represent British Jews caught sight of it, they made fools of themselves by denouncing Amnesty:

The joint statement says:

“The report is completely biased and applies standards to Israel that are not applied to any other country.”

A lie.

“The emotive term “apartheid” against Israel is a preposterous slur.”

Another lie. Israeli apartheid is well-documented – not least in the Amnesty video that appears above.

“Despite AI UK’s claim to recognise the Jewish claim to self-determination… it does not support that right.”

A lie. Amnesty does not suggest that Jews should not have that right.

“It chooses to focus on demonising the one Jewish state, holding it to clear double standards.”

A lie. Amnesty’s report attempts to hold Israel to the same standards as any other nation.

“The situation for the Palestinian people is indeed distressing; this will not be alleviated by destroying Israel.”

There is nothing in the Amnesty report that even remotely suggests dismantling Israel.

“This is a bad faith report hostile to the very concept of Israel.”

I think we can all see who is acting in bad faith!

Like all controversial acts, the Amnesty report has attracted detractors (who follow the BoD/JLC attack line) and supporters. Let’s focus on the supporters because they are right:

 

And if it is right to support Amnesty, then it is also right to criticise the BoD and the JLC:

 

The response by the Bod and the JLC has also led to another conclusion:

It’s a fair point, which leads to a further issue: Keir Starmer’s support for apartheid Israel.

We shouldn’t hold our collective breath waiting for a response. Starmer is a coward and will run away from a challenge like this.

While we do wait, we can all read the Amnesty report.

 

Here it is: Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity – Amnesty International

Will #BorisJohnson face a #leadershipchallenge right after #PrimeMinistersQuestions?

Boris Johnson: his entire career could rest on his performance in Prime Minister’s Questions on January 19.

It seems rumours about a group of Tory MPs from the 2019 preparing to challenge Boris Johnson’s leadership are accurate.

In a previous article, I drew your attention to this:

Now the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg has got on the case, although it seems she’s treating it like a damage-limitation exercise on Johnson’s behalf.

According to Ms K,

there’s a notion that they will as, a group, submit their letters [of no confidence in Boris Johnson] to Sir Graham after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday afternoon.

She reckons there are around 20 of these MPs, rather than a dozen, as previously suggested. If it’s true that 35 MPs have already submitted ‘no confidence’ letters to Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, then he will have 55, which is one more than the threshold for a challenge to Johnson’s leadership.

Kuenssberg went on to say that a Johnson-loyalist Cabinet member has dismissed the “notion”, saying it is not a serious threat to the prime minister but a “pork pie plot”, playing on the fact that one of the 2019 group is Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton (home of the pork pie).

If her report of that intervention is accurate, then it can only make Johnson and his people look worse because, as Kuenssberg states,

colleagues say Ms Kearns has been unfairly targeted and that she’s not leading any rebellion.

Let’s hope other Conservative MPs are as disgusted by the behaviour of this Cabinet member as I am, and they add their support to the 2019 group and oust BoJob before he can do any more harm to the UK.

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Top scientist condemns #Covid19 ‘lack of leadership’ and demands international #vaccination

He’s right, you know: Sir Jeremy Farrar quit Sage so he could tell you the government is wrong about Covid-19.

Isn’t it funny how scientists instantly start singing a different song, the instant they stop being employed by the government?

Sir Jeremy Farrar quit the Tory government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) last month.

Now he is joining the growing number of people calling for vaccines to be supplied internationally, rather than being rationed according to which countries can pay.

He accused rich countries of taking “a very blinkered domestic focus, lulled into thinking that the worst of the pandemic was behind us”.

“The longer this virus continues to spread in largely unvaccinated populations globally, the more likely it is that a variant that can overcome our vaccines and treatments will emerge,” he wrote. “If that happens, we could be close to square one.

“This political drift and lack of leadership is prolonging the pandemic for everyone, with governments unwilling to really address inequitable access to the vaccines, tests and treatment.

“There have been wonderful speeches, warm words, but not the actions needed to ensure fair access to what we know works and would bring the pandemic to a close.”

He’s right, of course – and the emergence of the Omicron variant has proved it.

It is believed to have developed in a country that has not been broadly vaccinated: Covid is much more likely to mutate in places where vaccination is low and transmission is high, while immunisation greatly reduces the change of new variants emerging.

So providing the vaccine to poorer countries is a matter of survival, not profit.

But just try telling that to Boris Johnson after he spent the last – almost – two years helping Tory donors and friends profiteer from Covid!

Source: ‘Lack of leadership prolonging Covid pandemic’ says top scientist warning UK is heading ‘back to square one’

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No confidence: now 20+ letters against Johnson are said to have come in

Coward: Boris Johnson hid in a fridge once to evade difficult questions. Now he is resorting to flat-out lies.

The tide of scepticism in Boris Johnson’s ability to continue as prime minister continues to build – it is now believed that more than 20 letters of ‘no confidence’ have been received by the Tory backbench 1922 Committee chairperson.

But does it mean anything? Around 54 or 55 letters are needed to reach the threshold for a vote. Clare Hepworth, below, doesn’t think it will happen:

The markets are already spooked though – by Johnson’s policies and behaviour.

The FTSE is one of the worst-performing major stock markets in the world – if not the worst.

Tory MPs – many of whom are company shareholders on the side, and many of whom (as we’ve seen) have been funnelling public money into their own businesses by dodgy means – may consider Johnson’s removal to be necessary in order to give the markets the bounce they need.

Remember: Johnson is the prime minister who once, memorably, said: “F*** business!”

It wouldn’t surprise This Writer if his businesspeople MPs decided to f*** him over instead.

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Starmer’s bid to gerrymander Labour leadership elections is shattered – so he’s falling back on Plan B

Entitled: Keir Starmer HATES democracy and is doing all he can to remove it from the Labour Party.

Entitled types like Sir Keir always have a back-up plan to destroy democracy when their first one goes wrong, don’t they?

After the trade unions unanimously trashed Starmer’s lie that going back to an ‘electoral college’ voting system in leader elections (he had lied that it would empower the unions when in fact it would hand a huge amount of power to his crony right-wing Labour MPs), he took a different set of proposals to Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC).

It’s not a coincidence that the NEC currently consists mostly of right-wingers just like Starmer after he spent a year filling it with his cronies.

That organisation has wholeheartedly approved Starmer’s new plan to keep left-wing MPs off of leadership election ballots.

He is demanding that any candidate who wants to replace him should have the support of 20 per cent of MPs (according to the BBC; 25 per cent, according to The Guardian), rather than the 10 per cent required now.

This would effectively block out left-wingers before the wider party membership – which is broadly left-wing – could have a chance to vote for the member it supports.

The intention is clear: deprive grassroots members of the chance to have a leader they want, instead forcing them to choose between the least-worst options among right-wing Tory clones. It’s a sure-fire way to empty the party of democratic socialists.

Details are less clear on some of Starmer’s other plans to end democracy within the Labour Party.

He wants to abolish registered supporters, who pay a cut-price rate to show their support for the party and in return are allowed to vote in internal elections.

This would make party membership and participation the province of people who are rich enough to afford the standard membership fee, which isn’t cheap.

But it is not clear whether this was approved by the NEC.

He also wanted people to be in full membership for a longer period before being allowed to vote in leadership contests. This would give his perverted disciplinary system time to weed out the socialists before they had a chance to take part in internal party voting (you won’t be able to call it democracy).

Nobody seems to be saying what’s happened to that.

At local level, Starmer wanted to protect his cronies in the Parliamentary Labour Party by changing the procedure to deselect sitting MPs.

Instead of supporting democratic, open selections in which MPs would have to re-apply for the job in advance of general elections, Starmer wants a presumption that MPs will be re-selected automatically, unless more than half of constituency party members demand a contest.

Finally (as far as we can tell), he wants to restrict the number of policies that may be debated at party conference from 20 down to 12.

The fact that Starmer is proposing any of these ideas is disgusting in itself. No Labour leader should be trying to restrict popular representation.

The possibility that he might get any of them passed by conference is appalling.

Starmer has spent considerable time, in the run-up to the conference, cancelling delegates’ passes on trumped-up disciplinary charges (or security grounds, according to on-the-day reports).

And now it seems he wants to avoid full, properly-counted card voting on crucial issues such as whether his hitman David Evans will be rejected as general secretary.

A ‘show of hands’ vote would succeed or fail on whether the conference chairperson reckons a majority is for a particular side – but would not take account of the fact that each hand does not carry the same voting weight, as delegates from larger local parties and larger unions represent larger numbers of eligible votes.

None of this is acceptable.

In the name of democracy, let us all hope that Starmer is defeated on every one of these despicable offences to decency.

Source: Starmer ditches key part of plan to change Labour leader selection rules | Keir Starmer | The Guardian

Starmer snubs unions over threat to party democracy – & may now face leadership challenge at conference

The flag and the faker: Keir Starmer has revealed his true – blue – colour in an 11,500-word rejection of Labour Party values, and is attacking party members both electorally and psychologically. He must be stopped before he does any more damage – and could face a challenge to his leadership if he pushes ahead with these vicious plans.

This Writer was practically salivating with anticipation about what I might read on BBC News after discovering the following on Twitter:

And what did I find?

If this is what he stands for then it could have been done in far fewer than 11,500 words – and that’s down from his original claim that it would be 14,000 (let’s thank providence for small mercies)!

The short version is that Starmer has abandoned all Labour Party values. He proposes a “contribution” society – not in which contributions go from those according to their means, to those according to their needs – but (if I’m reading this right) from those who can be made to work the hardest to the UK as a whole (by which I’m presuming he means rich people like himself).

And he’s suddenly fully in favour of privatisation:

What’s the difference from Toryism?

And there’s a nasty return to the old “strivers v skivers” rhetoric that demonised a generation of people with disabilities and long-term illnesses and sent many of them to early graves because of benefit refusals on the basis of trumped-up excuses.

Some commentators have referred to fascist language that is reminiscent of Vichy France.

Others were more visual in their condemnation:

Personally I think that, if it’s supposed to be an essay, we should give it a mark and a comment:

D-
Needs improvement.

The BBC story unaccountably neglects to mention the meeting with the unions, so let’s see what we can get from elsewhere.

It seems that not even one union supported Starmer’s plan to return to an “electoral college” system of voting in Labour leadership elections, that would steal a huge amount of power from party members by depriving them of their individual votes altogether, and hand a huge amount to MPs – the party’s 200+ elected representatives would have one-third of the vote.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise – Starmer’s offer would not have benefited the unions in any way so they were able to reject it without any qualms:

And of course, handing veto powers to 200 high-earning middle-class MPs will do nothing to make Labour relevant to working-class people.

Now: we had understood that, if he didn’t get enough support from the unions (or indeed any, as has happened), Starmer would scrap the plan and would not take it to the NEC for inclusion in the agenda for the annual conference at the weekend.

It seems that claim was a lie.

I think Starmer is panicking. He reckons this will be his only chance to force through the changes he needs to secure his position as leader.

You see, Starmer’s hired guns at the Governance and Legal Unit have apparently been busily despatching notices of suspension to constituency party delegates, in order to ‘fix’ the result of conference votes.

Recipients of these letters are being told, it seems, that the reasons for the suspension of their membership will only be revealed after the conference, in what must be a breach of investigatory rules that is also attacking them financially (because they’ll already have paid for transport and accommodation at the Brighton-based conference) and psychologically:

As a victim of this treatment, I can confirm the truth of Mr Sellers’s words.

So Starmer has launched an attack against the Labour movement, on several fronts: against the trade unions, by snubbing them and ignoring their wishes; against party members, by pressing on with his plan to disenfranchise them while also subjecting them to the torture of the disciplinary process; and to the wider Labour-supporting electorate by betraying everything the party should represent, in his scummy little screed.

Fortunately it seems he’s not going to have it all his own way.

The unions will oppose his plans – and that’s half the conference vote against him before he has even made his first proposal. More than half, if he has deliberately suspended a significant number of delegates.

The remaining delegates – if they’re worth a farthing – will want to reject his plan in solidarity with their wronged colleagues. Right, delegates?

And even some Labour MPs are preparing to rebel against this insult to democracy. Starmer may think this is bad enough:

Worse for Starmer – much worse – is this:

Here’s corroboration, for the sceptical:

Expect fireworks at this conference.

Strange to think that these shenanigans all started because Starmer was worried about losing the vote to confirm his despotic acting general secretary David Evans in the role that has made him despised across the UK.

Whatever happens, Evans is toast.

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What are the Tories going to sneak past us while we’re going football crazy?

Big lie: racist Boris Johnson cropped this image to remove the references to a campaign against race-motivated hate crime, then put it out as his own expression of support for the England team. Is there any limit to the depths he’ll plumb while the England football team rides the crest of its wave.

Gary Neville nailed it after England won their Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark: “The standard of leaders in this country the last couple of years has been poor, but looking at that man there [Gareth Southgate] – that’s everything a leader should be: respectful, humble, tell-the-truth, genuine.”

The sentiment is exactly right, and Neville was right to use the platform he was given by the win to voice it.

Sadly, those other leaders he mentioned are almost certain to take the opportunity provided by all of us going football crazy… to try to slip something really nasty past us. See if I’m right.

And of course Boris Johnson, oily opportunist that he is, will try to jump on the bandwagon. He’ll try to associate himself with Southgate’s brilliance – and his government with that of the England team.

I say: don’t let him. We’re seeing something inspiring on the grass of Wembley. Let’s use it to demand better within the walls of Westminster.

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PMQs: Starmer misses Johnson’s gaping-open goal, allowing the Tory to make a fool of him

Johnson and Starmer: we have a PM for whom the initials more appropriately refer to him as a Performing Monkey, but the ‘forensic’ former Attorney General is incapable of beating him, despite his incompetence.

Keir Starmer’s protestations of support for Tory government anti-Covid policies came back to bite him on the arse in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Two weeks after supporting the government in its decision to close pubs at 10pm, Starmer u-turned, demanding an explanation of the science behind it. He gave Johnson a perfect opportunity to land a knockout blow – and launch a new anti-Labour soundbite:

I was dismayed:

Sadly, that was the way of it for the whole of this week’s PMQs – as I had feared at the outset:

Look at the rest of my commentary on the confrontation:

He didn’t. But Johnson picked up on that failure and it led to the knockout later on.

As I write this, Jo Coburn on the BBC’s Politics Live is suggesting to Labour’s Stephen Doughty that Starmer wrote Johnson “a blank cheque” by offering his support “whatever restrictions are in place”.

That failure – that lack of closure – seems to have given Johnson the confidence to launch his own attack.

I could have done better:

Starmer is under attack at the moment, for his failures to lead an effective Opposition against the Johnson government.

On Twitter, the general public are at each other’s throats with many attacking him under the #StarmerOut hashtag, while others have tried to subvert that with an opposing line, #StarmerOutstanding.

In the real world, the union Unite has withdrawn 10 per cent of its funding because Starmer “isn’t listening” on matters of major importance (I’ll make more of this in a separate article).

If he can’t respond to these criticisms – as he failed to protect himself from Johnson soundbiting him into shreds – then he must seriously reconsider his position.

He is leading Labour into irrelevance.

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#ANewSlogan for #Labour and #KeirStarmer – but it’s the same old #NewLabour underneath

Empty: Keir Starmer’s slogans are as empty as the promises in the 10 pledges he made when he was trying to be elected Labour leader (he has broken nine of them already).

Keir Starmer isn’t fooling anyone with his new empty slogan.

On the eve of Labour Connected – the party’s virtual conference, he’s replacing the previous empty slogan, “Under New Management” with one making the unlikely claim that he and his party are “A New Leadership”.

The problem is, neither Keir Starmer nor Labour under him have provided any leadership at all.

What are his achievements to date? Hmm…

Approving Boris Johnson’s disastrous Covid-19 strategy.

Agreeing with Boris Johnson that schools should open in September.

Paying off a gang of media-savvy ex-Labour apparatchiks before they could take the party into a court case that Labour was expected to win.

If that is leadership then Boris Johnson is the world’s greatest statesman (ha ha)!

Iain Watson of the BBC reckons the slogan has a lot of work to do:

First, it is designed to contrast favourably with Boris Johnson’s leadership – and build on Sir Keir’s sustained attempt to portray the current government as lacking competence.

Second, it dovetails with Labour’s plan to “introduce” Sir Keir to the country.

Third, it will be deployed to try to eliminate a negative.

While he may not have been fully introduced to the electorate, the good news for Sir Keir Starmer is that his personal ratings are positive.

The bad news for Starmer is that while he has made a relatively positive impression since becoming Labour leader in March, the party has been lagging behind the Conservatives in most polls.

The aim now is to bring the party’s standing closer to Starmer’s.

That’s a lot of work for a three-word falsehood to do.

If you visit the BBC story, you’ll see that among the illustrations is one of Tony Blair unveiling his slogan, “New Labour, New Britain” back in 1994.

They were empty words. New Labour, we soon discovered, was just a continuation of old Tory neoliberalism. Margaret Thatcher later described it as her greatest achievement.

I mention this because there seems to be a clear progression in Starmer’s slogans.

Could it be that he is marching with ponderous predictability, from “Under New Management”, through “A New Leadership”…

… back to “New Labour”?

Source: Labour Party: Starmer aims to build trust with ‘new leadership’ slogan – BBC News

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‘Desperate’? Boris Johnson is clutching at straws as his party loses faith

Impotent rage: Boris Johnson is losing his grip on his party, as his incompetence as a leader becomes increasingly apparent.

Remember the old adage that repeating an action and expecting a different result is a sign of madness? It seems Boris Johnson hasn’t.

But then we already knew his grip on reality is tenuous at best.

The Observer is reporting that he is furious at the failure of his attempt to smear Labour leader Keir Starmer by connecting him with the IRA.

But rather than finding an alternative, he has instead reprimanded his advisers for leaving him under-prepared – and demanded more attack lines on Starmer, doubling down on criticism of his legal record.

It hasn’t worked; it won’t work.

Even where Starmer may be criticised, he knows those weaknesses and will have answers.

And of course Johnson will be laying himself open to analysis of his own past career – which consists of multiple claims of dishonesty and at least one high-profile sacking.

That won’t play well when he lays himself open to an airing of his faults at PMQs.

Meanwhile, his colleagues in the Conservative Party will be doing what they always do when they see a leader sinking; they’re sharpening their knives. Here’s The Observer:

There is evidence that the wider Tory party is losing faith in Johnson’s ability to lead them against Starmer – and signs that the chancellor Rishi Sunak has become the new favourite of the Conservative grassroots.

According to the latest survey of Tory members by ConservativeHome, the website for party activists, Johnson is now in the bottom third of cabinet ministers in the satisfaction ratings – having been the runaway leader nine months ago.

Johnson has slumped to 19th place, below Baroness Evans, the leader of the House of Lords, with a rating of plus 24.6%. Sunak meanwhile is out in front on plus 82.5%.

The verdict among the Twitterati is that Johnson is self-destructing:

You get the idea.

Who said Johnson would be gone by Christmas?

It seems likely he might be out a lot sooner.

Source: Desperate Boris Johnson to step up personal attacks on Keir Starmer | Politics | The Guardian

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook