Tag Archives: member

Board members of UK’s biggest finance firms have had nearly 80% pay rise since 2009

Nice work if you can get it!

And, indeed, if you think it actually qualifies as work.

Board members on the UK’s largest financial companies have enjoyed an average pay rise of 79 per cent since 2009.

This means that during the decade of austerity, while you were probably facing a pay freeze – meaning a real-terms drop in income, median pay for the three highest earning non-executive directors (NEDs) in each of the FTSE 100’s 17 financial firms surged from £90,700 in 2009 to £162,000 in 2019.

They received this for attending – just attending, not necessarily contributing to – an average of 26 meetings a year.

The largest increases have been at Lloyds Banking Group, where top NEDs are earning 257% more than in 2009; the London Stock Exchange Group, where there has been a 219% rise; and investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, where fees have jumped 170%.

Remember, these firms don’t actually contribute anything to our lives – they don’t make anything, and such services as they do supply are highly exclusive.

They make money by betting on whether other businesses will do well or badly. That’s what investment is, after all – a wager that providing money to those firms now will bring a profitable return later.

It’s a game for the very rich.

And it depends on keeping the people who do the actual work very poor.

Payroll is always the largest cost to any firm so, if they are to provide an expected return to investors from firms like Lloyds Banking Group, the London Stock Exchange Group, Hargreaves Lansdown, Phoenix, Barclays, Prudential, Aviva, Admira, RSA, NatWest and so on, businesses have to keep pay low.

So these 79 per cent pay increases for finance firms arise from their board members attaching themselves to you like leeches and sucking out all the benefits that you should be enjoying.

Remember that as you endure the hardships you’ll be asked to face in 2021.

Source: UK’s biggest financial firms have given boards near-80% pay rise since 2009 | Business | The Guardian

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Rayner defies EHRC by threatening to suspend ‘thousands’ of Labour members

Angela Rayner (here with her boss Keir Starmer): hypocrites – and very possibly anti-Semites without acknowledging it.

Note to Sienna Rodgers at LabourList: the headline on your report is wrong. It should have read Angela Rayner is a big ol’ hypocrite.

In the article, Rayner states that the findings of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party are not open to debate:

There’s no debating what the EHRC said.

LabourList also reported another statement she made to the Jewish Labour Movement’s conference – insultingly held on the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians – that she and Keir Starmer attended rather than support the Palestine solidarity event:

If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that.

The two comments are mutually exclusive. The report clearly states that

We have concluded that the practice of political interference was unlawful… The Labour Party should… implement clear rules and guidance that prohibit and sanction political interference in the complaints process.

Her threat to suspend thousands – a warning that the leadership is planning to purge the party of anybody who dissents against its dictatorship – is itself political interference in the process, as it is an attempt to suppress complaints by members against the actions of the leadership of which she is a member. Therefore she is not only debating the legitimacy of the EHRC’s finding; she is ignoring it altogether.

Remember that this is all about the attack on Jeremy Corbyn by Keir Starmer, party general secretary David Evans, and others at the very top of the Labour leadership including Rayner herself, despite the fact that she once said this:

She went from that position to saying that the truth is “unacceptable”:

She is a hypocrite. She has revealed her true colours. She cannot be trusted. She should be ejected from her position of power.

This will be hard because the Labour Party leadership has a well-known track record of rejecting any complaints against its own members and friends, no matter how well-justified they may be.

But we have all seen this behaviour and we are talking about it:

And organisations that formerly wanted Rayner’s support and endorsement are now rejecting her. To be honest, I don’t know if the following tweet was connected with what she said on LabourList, but I anticipate that this is the soft footfall that precedes a stampede:

Oh, and by the way, Labour is not completely irredeemable. Members across the UK did come out in support of Palestine, unlike their treacherous leader and deputy leader. Here’s a tweet from Wales:

Let’s remember that Rayner – and her vile boss Starmer – are saying that they are taking all this action against the good members of their own party because of hurt, harm and injury done to Jewish people in the UK.

What about the harm done to Jewish people who agree with the viewpoint Rayner, Starmer and the others are attacking?

That’s right. These Jews feel that Rayner, Starmer and the others are attacking them. And Rayner, Starmer et al treat them as though they don’t even exist.

Isn’t that attitude a little… you know… anti-Semitic?

Finally, Labour’s deplorable leaders need to acknowledge that this confrontation between them and party members arose because the EHRC found that the leadership had been interfering in investigations of anti-Semitism complaints in order to make it seem that there were more anti-Semites in the party than was the case.

A court found only last week that the process of investigating accusations against This Writer – me, Mike Sivier – was perverted in order to produce a false finding against me.

Labour failed to follow its own investigation procedure. It did not adequately inform me of the nature of the allegations against me (in fact, the party changed those claims as it went on, in order to ‘fix’ the result), and a party officer leaked false claims about me – including a lie that I was a Holocaust denier – to The Sunday Times (which subsequently had to publish a lengthy correction).

And I’m not the only one who has suffered this treatment. The EHRC report found that, of the investigations it examined, no fewer than 60 per cent suffered from bias calculated to discriminate against the respondent – against the person accused of anti-Semitism.

Where are the apologies for lying and smearing us? I still receive abusive messages accusing me of anti-Semitism, even now. It may be that I will continue receiving them for the rest of my life. The Labour Party is to blame for that. Where is the contrition? Where is the apology for that?

Corbyn reinstated. What about those Labour members suspiciously suspended for supporting him?

All smiles: Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party suspension is over. Now what about the members who stood up for him – and were suspended for doing so?

Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn on the restoration of the Labour whip.

Not only that, but he managed to achieve this feat without backing down from his position on the EHRC’s report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

You can read details on Skwawbox, where Steve Walker suggests that the result will let Keir Starmer off the hook he was hanging himself on – potentially splitting the party if he didn’t back down over Corbyn’s suspension.

But Starmer isn’t off the hook.

You see, very many people had their Labour Party memberships suspended for supporting Corbyn – right before crucial elections to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee.

The total vote counted constituted just 27 per cent of the last known number of members, compared with 68 per cent who voted in the previous NEC elections. That’s a big drop!

It has been suggested that the party has lost a large number of left-wing members who quit after Starmer’s election as leader – and whose votes were then wiped from the NEC election count.

It has also been suggested that Starmer was hoping the suspensions of those who remained to complain about his treatment of Corbyn would lead to a victory for the so-called “moderate” (right-wing) slate.

He didn’t get it.

So, now, it is possible to suggest that Corbyn has been reinstated because there is no more need for him to be suspended.

Where does that leave everybody else?

The reinstatement of Corbyn, while other party members remain suspended, fits Starmer’s modus operandi – and that of the party mechanism – perfectly.

Corbyn is a famous, high-profile party member. The others are rank-and-file members who Starmer seems to consider are interchangeable; disposable.

In this writer’s opinion, that is why Corbyn is back in and they are still out.

There is only one way for Starmer to clear his ledger – and that is for him to literally clear this ledger.

He needs to reinstate everybody his people suspended for supporting Corbyn, with no questions asked.

If he doesn’t, there will always be a shadow hanging over him, and a nasty smell of corruption.

Even if he does, it’s possible the delay means that smell won’t entirely go away.

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Calls for Corbyn to be reinstated are proliferating – after Starmer’s Labour tried to shut them down

Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn: Corbyn would have been well-advised not to turn his back on Starmer.

I wonder how well Keir Starmer thinks his clampdown on support for Jeremy Corbyn is going.

Starmer – or I should say the Labour leadership – issued notice that no party member should comment on the decision to suspend Corbyn’s membership, immediately after it was made on October 29.

(Some CLPs are ignoring the order.)

(And some party officers have flouted democratic processes to deny members the ability to vote on the matter.)

A special fast-track complaints process was put in place to ensure that party members who ignored the dictat could be reported as soon as possible – in direct contradiction of the wishes of the EHRC report that Starmer had – that very day – promised to honour.

And Labour members across the country are ignoring it.

Corbyn’s wife, Laura Alvarez, is encouraging part members to sign an open letter to Starmer, calling for his suspension to be lifted:

The web page warns that “your name and CLP will be in the public domain” – meaning anyone signing should be aware that their party membership may be at risk.

Corbyn’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell has supported a Change.org petition, simply calling for Corbyn’s reinstatement:

Zarah Sultana has also put herself in line for punishment by the Starmer regime by supporting the same petition:

Other Labour MPs are acting unilaterally. Here’s Claudia Webbe making her own appeal for Corbyn’s reinstatement – and potentially damaging her own career prospects by doing so:

And of course party members and the general public are also having their say online. For example:

The Demonisation & Suspension of Jeremy Corbyn

Meanwhile the vindictiveness of the Starmer regime seems to know no bounds:

Starmer said he did not want civil war within the Labour Party – but then, Starmer says a lot of things.

Civil war is exactly what he has caused.

And he has done it at a time when a properly-run Parliamentary opposition party would be attacking Boris Johnson’s inept government for its utter uselessness in the face of a deadly viral pandemic that is spreading uncontrollably across the UK.

Why is Starmer ignoring his duty to focus on his obsession?

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Labour expels members for quoting facts about anti-Semitism, deputy leader admits

Rayner and Starmer: who knew their “new direction” would be towards blatant dishonesty?

We all owe Angela Rayner a debt of gratitude for admitting publicly what some of us have known for years: that the Labour Party will expel members for quoting facts about anti-Semitism complaints.

That is what she said in front of television cameras in an interview yesterday (October 31) – albeit not in so many words.

Referring to Jeremy Corbyn’s statement that the amount of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party had been exaggerated – a statement borne out by the facts – she said this:

“Hurt” and “distress” are irrelevant if they are not based on facts. And how do we know that the people saying they were “hurt” and “distressed” actually were? There are a lot of liars out there.

And now we know they include the current Labour leadership among their number.

Rayner was saying that she and current leader Keir Starmer will lie about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, to keep on the right side of people who aren’t even members (and who are probably Conservatives).

She was saying that any party member who quotes factual information contradicting the party line will face suspension and possible expulsion for doing so.

And in doing so, she has said that Starmer was lying when he said he accepted in full the report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party by the Equality and Human Rights Commission; after discriminating against 60 per cent of party members accused of anti-Semitism (as noted in the report), it is clear from Rayner’s words that such discrimination will continue.

It makes me glad to be out of the Labour Party.

I don’t want to be a member of an organisation whose leaders admit they will lie freely about an issue as important as anti-Semitism – and who are saying they will only allow other people who lie about it to be party members.

Who would?

I don’t know – but I’m willing to bet that, among those who would, we would find a high number of anti-Semites.

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EHRC says Labour’s corrupt complaints system discriminated heavily – against people ACCUSED of anti-Semitism

 

The Labour Party discriminated against people who had been accused of anti-Semitism in a majority of its investigations, the Equality and Human Rights Commission found.

The report states: “Overall, we identified concerns about fairness to the respondent in 42 of the 70 sample files.” That’s 60 per cent of the cases the EHRC investigated.

Part 6 of the report covers “Serious failings in the antisemitism complaints handling system” – and This Writer can confirm the validity of its findings because I suffered many (if not all) of them while Labour was investigating – if we can call it that – a complaint against me.

To me, these findings indicate not only that the accusations against me were false but that the process of investigation was perverted in order to generate a false finding against me.

The report states that “the Labour Party has failed to publish a clear and comprehensive complaints or disciplinary policy or procedure” – now, in 2020 – despite the fact that “this failing was identified by the Chakrabarti report in 2016”.

It continues: “The Labour Party’s Rule Book has a high-level section on disciplinary measures by the National Executive Committee (NEC), and a more detailed appendix of procedural guidelines in disciplinary cases before the National Constitutional Committee (NCC). However, it does not include any procedural guidelines or information on antisemitism complaint handling. For example, there is no information on the different procedural stages of an antisemitism complaint.”

This is what I found when building my court case against the party for breach of contract (I said it had broken its own rules in the investigation against me): to find the procedures that should have been followed at the time of my investigation (but weren’t) I had to go to a document published online by the Huffington Post, in a report on how they were to be changed.

The EHRC report goes on to discuss a “lack of clear and fair process for respondents”. It states: “In 2017, the NEC Organisational Committee identified principles for disciplinary processes. This included that anyone accused of a disciplinary breach should be made aware of the nature of that breach in a ‘timely fashion’, and that NEC guidance notes should be drafted to ‘advise any persons under investigation of their rights and responsibilities’.”

I can assure you that this did not happen to me. The letter of suspension I received from Sam Matthews did not mention any rights that I may have had in the matter, and the only reference to the nature of the breach was the fact that the Campaign Against Antisemitism had published an article accusing me of anti-Semitism. I was never told the nature of the actual charges against me during the course of the investigation that took place between May 2017 and January 2018. When I finally got to see them in July that year – in the run-up to my hearing before the National Constitutional Committee – none of the claims in the CAA article were mentioned at all.

The report then goes into specifics:

“Our analysis of the complaint sample showed that:

• Some letters of administrative suspension failed to identify the underlying
allegations, or did so in a vague manner.

I have already demonstrated that this was true in my case.

• The system for explaining allegations to respondents and giving them an
opportunity to respond was not always effective.

After I was advised that my party membership had been suspended in May 2017, I received no contact from the Labour Party until October that year, when I was invited to an interview with an investigating officer (IO) at Transport House in Cardiff. I was not given any advance information about the allegations he was going to discuss and in the interview itself he did not explain what the allegations were. I was expected to respond “off the cuff”, rather than being given an opportunity to prepare a detailed defence with reference to the appropriate material.

• Some complaint files did not hold the identity of the complainant.

• Respondents were not told the identity of the complainant even when there
was no obvious reason to withhold their identity.

I have never learned the identity of the person who complained about me – despite several requests. Labour’s attitude was that it was of no concern to me.

• Respondents were not generally given an expected timeline for the
investigation

After attending the interview in October 2017, I was left in limbo again until December, or January the following year, when I was told informally that my case would be heard by the NEC at its next meeting. I received no official communication from Labour about it.

The next section discusses “inconsistent application of administrative suspensions” and states:

In our complaint sample we saw that:

• Suspension or removing a suspension took place in response to external
pressures.
• There was political interference in suspension decisions (we explain this in
Chapter 5).
• The Labour Party almost never kept written reasons for a decision to
suspend or a decision to lift a suspension.

I cannot comment on this as I have no information on whether my suspension took place due to external pressures or as a result of political interference. I did submit a Subject Access Request to the Labour Party, to find out more about the process, but when I finally received a response two years and two months later, much of it was blacked out.

The next section is headed “poor record-keeping” and stated that “there were documents missing in 62 of our 70 sample files”. I have no idea if documents were missing from mine as Labour has withheld that information from me.

The next section is about a “lack of guidance to the NEC and NCC” but I’ll skip that because it leads directly to something I can discuss: “unclear decision-making by the NEC and NCC”.

“NEC and NCC panels make decisions on suspension and expulsion, among
other matters,” the report states. “Given the potential consequences for the person being accused, we would expect detailed notes of NEC and NCC meetings, and the reasons for their decisions, to be recorded. This is also essential to ensure confidence in the process and to allow monitoring of decisions.

“However, the Labour Party informed us that it does not keep detailed notes of NEC antisemitism panel meetings and the reasons for the panels’ decisions. This is particularly problematic now that the NEC has the power to expel members.”

I was never provided with reasons for the NEC’s initial decision to send me for indoctrination by the Jewish Labour Movement. 

I was told about the discussion by a friendly NEC member – that my case was not on the agenda but was heard in “Any Other Business”, meaning no documentary information was provided to committee members; they were asked to listen to a verbal briefing and then come to a decision. My friendly NEC member did not, as I recall, provide any information on the reasons for their decision.

Note that I was not asked to attend and that, therefore, nothing in my defence was stated in the verbal report. I later saw a version of it (in the bundle of papers I received ahead of the NCC hearing) and it either misquoted me, twisted my words, or both. My understanding is that the only reason I wasn’t expelled on the spot was that several NEC members who were familiar with my work spoke up for me.

“We also note that an appeal to the NCC is on procedural grounds only, and question how someone can use this right properly without knowing the underlying reasoning from the NEC.”

This is curious. After I refused to go for JLM indoctrination, my case was automatically referred to the NCC. I was not informed that it was on procedural grounds; my understanding was that the panel would make its decision on the merits of the case against me and my defence against it. Indeed, I was told: “The NCC is only concerned with the procedures to be adopted after a charge is presented to it.  It is entitled to act on the basis that the charge is properly brought before it and any complaints regarding the conduct of the investigation should be addresses to the General Secretary”.

The report continues [boldings mine]: “Our analysis of the complaint sample … shows that the NEC and [NCC] do not often give reasons for their decisions; where they are given, they are often not adequate to explain why an allegation is found proven. We found unclear evidence of decision-making by the NEC and NCC in 56 of our 70 sample files.

This is clearly what happened in my case. I have seen no record of any reason given to find the case against me proven. I provided an excellent defence which was overlooked by the NEC and the NCC. Neither body provided even the slightest evidence in support of their decisions.

The next section refers to “inappropriate use of informal communications in the complaints process” and states that “The use of personal communications outside of the formal complaints process undermines confidence in the process, and affects its fairness and effectiveness.

“Because they do not form part of the complaint file process, including record-keeping, informal communications undermine scrutiny of the process.”

It goes on to discuss – and legitimise – theleaked Labour report which “referred to ‘thousands of messages exchanged on … an internal Party messaging service’ and 465,000 words in three WhatsApp groups”.

It notes that Labour did not provide these messages to the EHRC, claiming that ” it would be disproportionate and too onerous to provide this material to us”. I would have thought that would be a decision for the investigator, not the organisation being investigated.

In my own case, I am aware of only one instance of personal communication – and I found it in the files delivered to me after I made my Subject Access Request.

It refers to a complaint I made after Labour MPs Anna Turley and Wes Streeting referred to a Sunday Times report that I was an anti-Semite (using information leaked from the NEC meeting), and discusses the relevance of this matter to my NCC hearing which was still several months away at that time.

It states: “He will rightly say it is impossible to have a fair hearing if his case has been discussed publicly by senior party members, and we won’t be able to apply any sanction without it being subject” and the rest is blacked out. I subsequently received an email response saying that the matter was not a suitable subject for a complaint to the Labour Party and would be taken no further. This discouraged me from mentioning it at my NCC hearing or in the run-up to it. I now consider it to be clear evidence of an attempt to corruptly influence the outcome of that hearing.

The NCC hearing I attended was nothing more than a kangaroo court, as I have stated in previous articles. I was not allowed to conduct my case in the way I had expected, while the tribunal chair, at least, seemed to have made up her mind before the hearing began. When I received the decision notice it was that the charge against me was proved “on balance of probability” – which means nothing.

In summary: The EHRC report contains a wealth of information that the Labour Party did not only discriminate against Jewish people (and/or anybody else) complaining about anti-Semitism; it also discriminated strongly against the majority of people accused of the offence, and I am able to provide proof to support the EHRC claims.

Nobody in the mainstream media is mentioning this; neither is Labour leader Keir Starmer. They are concentrating on the claims that make Jeremy Corbyn look bad and he had nothing to do with any of the transgressions I mention above, apart from attendance at the NEC hearing.

As I mention above, I had to take a case to court in order to seek justice.

The verdict in that case is due on November 24.

What will Starmer say if it comes out in my favour?

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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Did £150k-salaried Boris Johnson oppose #FreeSchoolMeals because he has to buy food for his own kids?

Rolling in it: Boris Johnson has received enormous amounts in donations related to his work as a member of Parliament. But now, as prime minister, he complains about having to pay for his own food and that of four of his six children, while denying free school meals to people earning less than £6 per hour.

Sour grapes from the UK’s prime minister?

In this case it seems likely.

Boris Johnson was one of the 322 Conservative MPs who voted against free school meals for children whose families have fallen below the poverty line, either because of 10 years of Conservative-fuelled wage depression or because the Covid-19 crisis is forcing them to live on a fraction of their normal income.

His choice to starve poverty-stricken children came only weeks after it was revealed that he is “complaining about money” because he is having to use his £150,402 prime ministerial salary to feed himself, his paramour and four of his six children. At least his accommodation is provided by the state, though!

Was his vote fuelled by resentment?

Well, it is a possible interpretation. It doesn’t present the prime minister in a very good light but, if people complain when you mention this to them, just remind them that they voted for him.

Of course, Johnson does receive a certain number of donations from pro-Tory sources. These seem to have dried up since he became prime minister but I note from the register of members’ financial interests that he has received two “gift hampers” worth a total of £1,100, that he registered in May.

Could the contents of those not have helped him out?

And the £14,672 he has made from his various books since the current Parliament began last year should also ease the burden a little, This Writer would have thought.

Come to think of it, some of the money donated to him in previous years might come in handy, considering the huge amounts he received.

For example, in 2019 he received from polling and market research company CTF Partners Ltd,  £3,000 and an interest-free loan of £20,000 for office and staffing costs.

From JC Bamford Excavators Ltd, of Uttoxeter (Constituency: Burton and Uttoxeter; MP: Kate Griffiths (Con)): £64,000.

From “general secondary education” firm RTC Education 2 Ltd (Constituency: Harrow West; MP: Gareth Thomas (Lab)): £10,000.

From First Corporate Shipping Ltd (trading as The Bristol Port Company) (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £25,000.

From “holding company” IPGL Ltd (Constituency: Kensington; MP: Felicity Buchan (Con)): £20,000.

From real estate trader Countywide Developments plc (Constituency: Warwick and Leamington; MP: Matt Western (Lab)): £10,000.

From bookkeepers MET Trading Ltd (Constituency: Leeds North East; MP: Fabian Hamilton (Lab)): £5,000

From investment firm Killik & Co LLP (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £10,000.

From Audley Ltd (for whom Companies House failed to provide the nature of the business) (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £5,000.

From “business support services” firm Albion Agencies Ltd (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £5,000.

From Dow Investments plc (Constituency: Edinburgh North and Leith; MP: Deidre Brock (SNP)): £10,000.

And from private donors: an eye-watering £633,900!

And a prime minister who has recently received this kind of wealth begrudges free school meals to children whose parents are living on £5.80 an hour.

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Labour members: why revolt over Starmer’s ‘blind eye’ for refugee rights? Does he have a SEEING eye, in that case?

Still apt: Keir Starmer reckons he was named after original Labour leader Hardie – but can anyone doubt that his illustrious forerunner might have said these words, if confronted with evidence of Starmer’s abysmal performance? [I’m astonished to discover, after using the image on another article, that I need to clarify that he didn’t.]

Don’t get me wrong; it’s great that Labour Party members are challenging Keir Starmer over something.

And his failure to voice a coherent party policy on the people coming across the channel in dinghies – because they aren’t legally allowed to demand asylum in the UK without physically being here – is indeed shameful.

It seems the sticking-point for party members is that Starmer has criticised the government for incompetence in failing to carry out its own policy to deflect refugees away from the UK, because it is not Labour’s job to support the Tories in their cruelties.

And the protesters are right to point out that international law is clear: the migrants’ right to come to the UK for asylum is protected.

But there are so many other issues on which Starmer has disgraced himself – and brought Labour into disrepute.

Where is the party’s condemnation of Israeli’s bombing attack on Gaza, that has been ongoing for, I believe, 11 days by now?

Related to that, where is his apology to all the party members Labour has been persecuting with false allegations of anti-Semitism? This is linked to the party’s attitude to Israel because Labour under Starmer seems to think that opposition to that nation’s policies is the same as hatred of Jews – a clear fallacy.

Still on an ethnic theme, isn’t the Labour leader due a kicking over his frankly racist attitude to the Black Lives Matter campaign?

Or, going back to support for the Tories, why is he getting a free pass over his demand that schools must open again in September – in line with Boris Johnson’s own comments – when it is still not clear whether this is putting our children, and ourselves, in danger?

In fact it seems all-too-easy to challenge Keir Starmer over failings in his leadership.

Has he done anything that party members can wholeheartedly support?

Source: Channel crossings: Keir Starmer faces Labour revolt over stance on refugees | The Independent

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In UK politics, is an accusation of anti-Semitism really more serious than one of rape?

The gossips have been flaying the skins off the jungle drums since we learned a Conservative MP has been arrested for rape.

Much of the chatter has centred on the suspect’s anonymity, which seems to have provoked a lot of confected outrage.

This Writer isn’t outraged by it.

I’ve been to an awful lot of court cases and I’m satisfied that when matters get that far, it is right for the defendant to be named. It is the victim’s identity that must be protected.

Matters haven’t got that far.

And accusations of rape are extremely serious, with major reputational harm attached.

So, until such time as Her Majesty launches a criminal prosecution against the MP involved, I don’t mind him remaining nameless.

Once she does, his identity should be allowed no protection at all – most particularly because he is a member of Parliament. We should expect a higher standard of behaviour from our representatives.

The other talking-point is more worrying.

People have been complaining because the suspected MP has not been suspended by the Conservative Party, in the same way that Labour members and representatives were suspended the instant they were accused.

Doesn’t this say more about Labour than the Tories, though?

Whether the chatterers like it or not, a UK citizen – no matter what the accusation against them – is innocent until proven guilty.

The Tories – for the time being, at least – are right to protect their MP from the (possibly-unwarranted) attacks that suspension would attract.

Conversely, what about Labour’s decision not only to suspend members who have been accused of anti-Semitism, but for the party actually to go out of its way to inform the media (as it did in my own case)?

That’s right – it is Labour that is at fault.

Or am I mistaken?

I suppose it depends whether you think being accused of anti-Semitism – harbouring personal opinions of hatred against Jewish people simply because they are Jewish – is to be accused of a worse crime than rape – a direct attack that violates the victim’s body and often (personally, I would say always) traumatises them for the rest of their life.

Let me know your opinions – and be sure to include your reasons for holding them.

Source: Tory MP not suspended over rape allegation arrest while investigation ongoing – BBC News

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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People are lining up to explain why they’re quitting Starmer’s excuse for a Labour Party

For the fewer: it seems Keir Starmer’s decision to abandon traditional Labour policies for the discredited “centre” (actually right-wing) ground has triggered an exodus that will leave him in charge of a hollowed-out husk. Politics is moving away.

The resignations are coming thick and fast now – and publicly, thanks to the social media.

Keir Starmer’s bid to fool Labour Party members into thinking that he was any kind of socialist has failed utterly and members who joined to support Jeremy Corbyn are fleeing as he imposes his undemocratic, red-Tory vision on the party they loved.

People who served faithfully as party officers are advocating a new kind of “extra-Parliamentary Left” to fill the political void that Starmer is creating – at least until he and his cronies leave the once-great political organisation they seem determine to hollow out and suck dry.

Terina Hine, formerly Cities of London and Westminster CLP Secretary, explained her reasons for quitting on Counterfire:

Sir Keir Starmer became leader of the party promising to strengthen party unity and to respect and retain popular policies developed over the last five years. It is now clear that these promises are not going to be kept.

Labour under Starmer’s leadership will move to the right brutally and rapidly.

Labour has indicated it intends to move away from its environmental commitments, away from its close association with trade unions and once again away from its roots.

[Starmer’s] comments on the BLM movement show, at best, an embarrassing lack of understanding of the issues of entrenched racism in our society.

The imposition from the NEC of new election rules without resort to Conference, and the changes in policy direction, not least the newly adopted position on Kashmir in direct opposition to the resolution passed at Conference 2019, display disdain for party democracy.

Added to the lack of action taken over the racist and sexist abuse highlighted in the leaked report, not to mention the lack of action over those who actively worked against a Labour election victory, a clear picture emerges of a leadership more concerned with attacking the left within the party and wooing so-called “liberal conservative” voters than opposing [the UK’s] extreme rightwing government.

It has failed to hold the government to account over the worst crisis in my lifetime and consistently appears to be putting the interest of business over those of the workers

The failure of Labour to call for the sacking of Dominic Cummings was a truly shameful abrogation of the job of the opposition, while the victories won on schools and on children’s meal vouchers were both the result of pressure emanating from outside of Westminster rather than inside.

There are major struggles coming: mass unemployment, a global economic crisis and increased international tensions. But I believe the Labour Party in its current form will continue to capitulate and lean right.

All socialists and those on the left should join a union, get involved in grassroots campaigns, such as Stop the War Coalition, the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and Keep our NHS Public.

Young people who have been cancelling their membership have been explaining their reasons on DazedDigital.com.

Here’s Leila, 22:

It doesn’t seem like Labour is interested in justice anymore. You can see that from Keir’s refusal to advocate for tenants, his support for the government on coronavirus, and through his lack of engagement with low-paid nurses and essential workers. It’s also obvious from Keir’s refusal to engage with the material demands of Black Lives Matter, and his playing to TERFs.

I left the party because of the Labour Leaks – I found the report extremely chilling, and the fact that the leadership has not launched an investigation into its findings is shameful. We live in a time of global revolution, and Labour has simply revealed itself to be on the side of the oppressor. It made me so angry when Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner took a knee in an empty conference room – who exactly are you taking a knee against? These are both people who wield a huge amount of power, and have the capacity to confront racism and anti-Blackness in their own party if they actually chose to. I’d rather redirect my funds to people who are actually working to address our society’s systemic oppressions.”

Here’s Patrick, 27:

Over the course of seven days, [Starmer] fired Rebecca Long-Bailey out of hand, challenged the prime minister to a press-ups challenge like a frat boy, and took the knee in solidarity with the knee, not the neck.

Keir also tried to reduce Black Lives Matter to a ‘moment’ and not a movement, which was at best incomprehensible ignorance, and at worst outright racism. His dismissal of the demands of BLM as ‘nonsense’ was insulting to the movement and the Black community, and all those who have pushed for structural reform to achieve equality. The idea that to win back the ‘traditional Labour heartlands’ you need to employ dogwhiste racism is a complete misreading of the situation, and entirely unacceptable.

Here’s Sinthia, 23:

My instincts to care about poor people, refugees, Black people, people of colour, and the LGBTQ+ community would not align with the values of a party which seeks to demonise them and use them as scapegoats, like the right wing does.

It’s so sad that the very real and valid battle with anti-semitism is being weaponised against people who speak up for Palestinian people.

Here’s Florence, 29:

The final straw for me was when Labour suggested that renters should be given a rent holiday rather than a rent suspension, which would mean they’d be racking up more debt to their landlords. I’m an active member of the London Renters Union, and since Labour made this statement, loads more people have reported that their landlords have suggested this when they’ve requested temporary rent reductions. So, Labour has helped enable this, which is going to cause even worse problems for renters further along the line.

Here’s Sophie, 22:

My distrust for the Labour Party began when the antisemitism report was leaked. As a Jewish person, I was completely shocked to find that certain party members purposely tried to make Labour lose the 2017 election, and purposely mishandled antisemitism claims in order to undermine Corbyn’s leadership. I was also disgusted at the racist treatment of Diane Abbott and other BAME MPs. Starmer enacted no action against the Labour officials named in the report.

The final straw came when Rebecca Long-Bailey was fired… The response was entirely disproportionate. Starmer’s response went against the IHRA definition of antisemitism, conflating zionism and antisemitism. This co-opting of antisemitism to justify ousting left wing members of parliament from the cabinet is disgraceful. The actions of Israel and the IDF are not to be conflated with the actions of Jewish people – this bastardisation of the label of antisemitism is actively harmful to Jews. I’ve experienced antisemitism first hand and I feel my experiences and being co-opted to silence critics of Israel.

And here’s Greg, 26:

I was pretty skeptical about the funding Starmer received from certain donors that were known to be supporters of Blairite politics and funders of anti-Corbyn groups, but this only came to light after the leadership election, which seemed like a tactic to avoid scrutiny.

Then the Labour leaks showed conversations between Labour members scheming against Corbyn in 2017, providing evidence that decisions were purposely made to fuel the antisemitism accusations and that money was funnelled to anti-Corbyn candidates within Labour. Starmer said an investigation will take place into this, but I still haven’t heard anything more.

Also, our government has handled the pandemic so catastrophically, yet Starmer hasn’t held them to account enough.

It has been suggested that 100,000 people joined Labour in the run-up to this year’s leadership election – specifically right-wingers (euphemistically calling themselves “centrists” intending to ensure that no left-wing candidate could succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

The got their wish. Perhaps Keir Starmer will be happy to lead his tepid, watered-down, racist new New Labour with the support of these.

But he’ll be leading a party that is forever in opposition. UK politics is moving elsewhere.

Source: Starmer is moving Labour to the right ‘brutally and rapidly’: a CLP secretary’s resignation statement – Counterfire

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