Tag Archives: memorial

Rileywatch: Now offensive Countdown co-host has tried to smear Owen Jones

Inappropriate: But it sums up Ms Riley’s attitude to anyone who disagrees with her.

Look at the state of this tweet from Countdown co-host Rachel Riley:

She seems to think re-tweeting an image denigrating Owen Jones as “The queen of bellends” is an appropriate way to behave after accusing him of anti-Semitism during Holocaust Memorial Day.

Mr Jones had been attacked by a Twitter account calling itself Peterrogers. He (Mr Jones) had been attacking the pathetic Brexit-related Liberal Democrat attempt to troll Jeremy Corbyn by claiming his backbone had been found in odd places and this person jumped in to attack him for failing to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day:

(Note that Peterrogers had tagged in Ms Riley, in search of help from her and her supporters.) Trouble is, Owen Jones had put up several posts and links commemorating HMD. Here are a few:

(We should remember that Mr Jones has fallen foul of genuine fascists recently. One wonders how those people would have greeted Ms Riley – and fears that it would be with open arms.)

So it is understandable that Mr Jones responded to Peterrogers with proof that he had, indeed, posted about HMD. But the troll (let’s call him what he is) simply complained that the post he saw wasn’t strong enough (it was about fighting fascism, for crying out loud), as you can see:

So Mr Jones did the obvious and pointed him to other posts. This is very generous as all he had to do was direct that person to his timeline and suggest he see them for himself. By now, other people were commenting on the thread – such as Keith Simmonds, who made the following suggestion:

https://twitter.com/KeithSimmonds7/status/1089530155771576320

Peterrogers seems to think Mr Simmonds is a sockpuppet for Mr Jones, to judge from his follow-up:

https://twitter.com/Peterrogers2011/status/1089535085144100866

This is shockingly poor behaviour. Mr Jones had posted several tweets condemning anti-Semitism; Peterrogers had simply ignored them. And of course Mr Jones is known to have campaigned strongly against anti-Semitism.

Bad faith is what it is: an “intent to deceive”, a “refusal to confront facts”.

By now, Ms Riley had stepped in. Having been tagged in from the start by Peterrogers, she posted:

What a despicable pack of lies and nonsense. Where does Owen Jones suggest he is a victim of the Holocaust? Nowhere. Nor does he pretend that anti-Semitism (referred to as “this” by Ms Riley) does not exist in the Labour Party; we will see that he posted links to some of his previous writings about it. Labour does not foster “Jew-hating rhetoric” either. Ms Riley provided absolutely no evidence to support her claims because they are not true.

As for British Jews seeing Labour as a “direct danger” – that is because people like Ms Riley, who have a political agenda, tell them to see it that way. If they were confronted with the facts, they might feel very differently about it.

She followed it with a smear:

Mr Bastani himself responded to that one:

And so did my old buddy in the battle to save people with long-term illnesses and disabilities from the DWP’s chequebook euthanasia, Sue Marsh:

Mr Jones himself came back with a list of links to his writings about anti-Semitism, and added a further point:

His point was that he has been attacked over anti-Semitism – by individuals claiming to speak for Jews – no matter what he has done. He just can’t do right for doing wrong (any course of action leads to a negative outcome).

Not good enought for Ms Riley, who dug into Mr Jones’s background for her next attack:

The links seem to refer to claims that Mr Jones edited Wikipedia entries about Israel while he was at college, and that he defended Jeremy Corbyn against “guilt by association” claims of anti-Semitism.

By now, Ms Riley’s followers had cottoned on that another dogpile was in the offing, and had started bombarding Mr Jones with their usual torrent of abuse. I had a taste of it over the weekend and you can sample it here.

So it is unsurprising that Mr Jones gave her a taste of it, and put the record straight over her claims:

That was when Ms Riley posted that tweet at the top of this article – the one that resorts to low and vulgar abuse.

You can read another perspective on this story on Zelo Street.

I’d like to address her claim, “This is a dog-whistle . The brigade will hear “political smear by Jew.””

This is exactly the kind of gross generalisation and double-standard that witch-hunters like Ms Riley like to make. They complain that they are victimised for being Jews, but think nothing of claiming that all supporters of Jeremy Corbyn must be anti-Semites.

And the claim is wrong. I certainly don’t see Ms Riley’s actions as being “political smear by Jew”. Ms Riley needs to take responsibility for her own actions.

That’s one of the positive elements that came from my contact with her supporters over the weekend – that I was able to establish that the claim that Ms Riley was being challenged because she was Jewish was a lie. I’ve made a little image to sum up the issue:

Feel free to use it against witch-hunters like Ms Riley for whom the label is appropriate. I do fear it will be abused but that’s the problem when people start witch-hunting – accusing others of anti-Semitism under false pretences; it makes it easier for genuine anti-Semitism to become established. But these frauds need to be singled out somehow.

Extra: Another witch-hunter tactic is a form of psychological projection, in which they claim ownership of some form of discrimination that others say they are receiving. Yesterday the despicable @GnasherJew troll account claimed that @LabLeftVoice had demanded that Ms Riley undergo racial profiling to see if she “is really a Jew”:

In fact, @LabLeftVoice – an account run by a Jew – had finally had enough of Ms Riley’s friends like @GnasherJew denying her own Jewishness and had offered to undergo racial profiling herself in order to provide absolute proof of her own ethnicity.

She told This Site: “I said we’ll bring ours you bring yours.. Gnasher showcased it and put my post tiny and just said look LLV asking Riley and Oberman to be racially profiled.. bcos yet again.. they omitted I’m Jewish to their ‘fans’.

“They are the ones who constantly deny left Jews are Jewish and it’s sick. I’ve had enough of it.. I’m not sure what to call it apart from delegitimising.. dehumanising.. but it is also an antisemitic act to delegitimise Jews with different beliefs.”

https://twitter.com/LabLeftVoice/status/1089665506695630848

Those are the facts. Now visit my Twitter feed (@MidWalesMike) for the dogpile from Ms Riley’s friends.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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See Lenny Henry hammer Theresa May’s racist policies while she has to watch

Doreen Delceita Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence (right) and her son Stuart at the Stephen Lawrence memorial service – with Theresa May, who appears desperate to be somewhere else.

She must have been squirming. But it’s not enough.

The video below shows comedian and actor Lenny Henry shredding Theresa May’s record on the Windrush Generation and the institutionalised racism of the current Conservative government.

It is particularly satisfying because he did it at a memorial service to mark the 25th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s death – over which This Writer understands institutionalised racism has also cast its shadow.

Mrs May was in the front row. Even her thick skin – let alone her thick head – isn’t so insensitive that she could not feel the derision, the mockery directed at her.

Here’s the clip. After you’ve watched it, I’ll tell you why it isn’t enough.

https://youtu.be/2gd-xEw6DD8

It isn’t enough because the racist policies that caused so much harm to the Windrush Generation are still in force, are unlikely to be rolled back, and are certainly going to continue harming other people.

Current Home Secretary Amber Rudd has made an exception for the Windrush migrants – that is all.

And she said she would be granting citizenship to them, as if they had not already received that when they moved here in the first place.

Even Philomena Cunk got that right!

(If you don’t believe me, check out Cunk on Britain on the BBC’s iPlayer – episode four.)

And here’s David Lammy with the British Nationality Act 1948, to hammer the point home:

Practically everything Theresa May and Amber Rudd have told you about the Windrush affair has been a lie.

They aren’t sorry about the suffering they forced on these people – they’re sorry they were caught doing it.

And now they are marking time until they can do it again.

That is why neither of these racists has resigned.


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So-called anti-Semitism campaigners publish childish and reluctant pseudo-apology for Corbyn lie

The Campaign Against Antisemitism has been pilloried for its unreasonable attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

Long-term readers of This Site will, I hope, understand and forgive me if my enjoyment of the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s discomfiture seems more than fulsome.

The organisation, which seems to have been founded as an offshoot of the Israel Advocacy Movement, and appears dedicated to countering criticism of the government of Israel by accusing the critics of anti-Semitism, put Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in its sights last week.

The claim was that Mr Corbyn had failed to mention Jews in his Holocaust Memorial Day statement. This was untrue. It was later found to be true that Theresa May, the Prime Minister, was in fact guilty of this omission (if any guilt need be applied – HMD commemorates all victims of the Nazi Holocaust, and victims of several other genocides as well), along with Vince Cable and the Chief Rabbi, as I understand it.

Today, the CAA published a grudging apology for jumping the gun. But the organisation refused to lay any guilt on Mrs May, Mr Cable or the Chief Rabbi – despite the fact that they had definitely done exactly what Mr Corbyn had only been accused of doing.

Here‘s what the CAA had to say. The apology – if you can call it that – is at the very end:

Objectively, it is clear that the collective reaction of Jewish organisations to Mr Corbyn’s failure to mention Jews in his message in the memorial book was different to the Chief Rabbi’s or the Prime Minister’s. Diagnosing the reason for that difference is important.

Mr Corbyn has presided over an unprecedented tolerance by a modern British political party for anti-Jewish racism. After action was not taken against numerous antisemites in the Labour Party, he commissioned the Chakrabarti report. The report was a whitewash and its author was reportedly told in advance that she would earn a peerage from it. Now, under conditions of secrecy recommended by the report, we do not know what is being done about the many cases of antisemitism waiting to be heard. However, we do know that Ken Livingstone, who claimed that Hitler “was supporting Zionism”, was not expelled from the Party despite the objections of 107 Labour MPs who said “we will not allow it to go unchecked” before mostly falling silent. Nor has the Party yet dealt with figures such as Jackie Walker. We also know that Mr Corbyn and his allies have been dismissive of allegations of antisemitism for a long time, and have had trouble speaking about the Party’s antisemitism problem without alluding to far less evident issues with Islamophobia and “racism in all its forms”. This is compounded by the fact that Mr Corbyn already sought out and defended antisemites from Raed Salah to Reverend Stephen Sizer, long before he was in the political spotlight.

For these reasons, Campaign Against Antisemitism and other Jewish organisations around the world are particularly concerned about Mr Corbyn. In this instance, Mr Corbyn has a defence that he did just the same thing as others whom we have not criticised, but context is everything and the heightened concern of Jewish organisations worldwide has not sprung from nowhere. However, upon reflection, on this occasion we expressed our concerns in a manner that was open to allegations of double standards, and that was a mistake.

Much of the above is disinformation – hogwash of the foulest kind. The Chakrabarti report was not a whitewash; it was an honest attempt to address an issue that many still believe to have been blown out of proportion by organisations like the CAA, for political purposes, rather than their stated intentions.

The claim that Ken Livingstone said Hitler “was supporting Zionism” makes it seem that he was suggesting the Nazi dictator was in full agreement with all the aims of German Zionists at the time. He wasn’t; he never said that. Mr Livingstone’s comments referred to a very specific instance in which his aims and those of the German Federation of Zionists coincided. The CAA’s claim here is therefore such a strong exaggeration that it may as well be considered a lie.

It is just as well that the CAA does not describe its complaint with Jackie Walker. Allegations about her stem from her attendance at a closed-door, “safe space”, “training” session run by the Jewish Labour Movement, from which none of her words should have been recorded, let alone quoted to the press and used against her. She had taken issue with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism which had been adopted by the Labour Party – on very solid grounds, as it happens, and as this dissection of the document by a leading lawyer shows in graphic detail. In fact, the only part of the definition put forward by the JLM that the IHRA has actually adopted is the first two sentences. The text that follows – 11 examples – includes seven that refer to the state of Israel rather than Jews, as this work by Jewish Voices for Labour explains.

Ms Walker was also attacked for suggesting that Holocaust Memorial Day should commemorate other holocausts than that which was perpetrated by the Nazis. The claim against her was that HMD does commemorate other atrocities, which is true. But it doesn’t commemorate all of them, including – for example – the genocide of indigenous American peoples over 500 years that claimed 100 million lives. And of course the protestations of certain people, including the CAA, when certain other people didn’t mention Jews in relation to HMD – the manner of their complaint – made it clear that they consider it to be a day to commemorate what happened to Jewish people, rather than the others. It is an attitude that has caused a certain amount of friction, as revealed by reactions to previous articles on This Site.

The claim that Mr Corbyn and Labour have been “dismissive” of allegations of anti-Semitism might possibly be explained with a counter-claim that some of those allegations are vexatious – especially those put forward by organisations like the CAA against Mr Livingstone, Ms Walker and, for that matter, myself.

As for the allegations of links between Mr Corbyn and anti-Semites, a group of British Jews wrote to the Jewish Chronicle to berate it for making the same claims during his initial campaign to become Labour Party leader, in 2015. Their letter stated:

Your assertion that your attack on Jeremy Corbyn is supported by ‘the vast majority of British Jews’ is without foundation. We do not accept that you speak on behalf of progressive Jews in this country. You speak only for Jews who support Israel, right or wrong.

“There is something deeply unpleasant and dishonest about your McCarthyite guilt by association technique.

But that is exactly the “deeply unpleasant and dishonest” technique being used by the Campaign Against Antisemitism again, in the article published yesterday (January 28).

Notice that the CAA article goes on to say Mr Corbyn “has a defence that he did just the same thing as others whom we have not criticised”, but this is a lie. Mr Corbyn did mention Jews in his words; the others did not.

Particularly pertinent to This Writer is the comment that “context is everything”. Yes it is – and that is the reason I remain disappointed that the Campaign Against Antisemitism took so many words from my articles and presented them, out of context, in an attempt to make me appear to be an anti-Semite.

In the light of yesterday’s words, perhaps it is time the organisation took down its lying article and published a full, frank and grovelling apology for its hate-filled attack on an entirely innocent man.

Finally, note that the apology at the end really isn’t one. All the author of the article can manage is an admission that the attack on Mr Corbyn was a “mistake”.

What kind of mistake?

The tone of the article suggests its author is sorry the CAA was found out, not sorry that it attacked an innocent man irresponsibly. That would certainly correspond with my own experience of its behaviour.

But it seems time is running out for the CAA and its fabrications. The attack on Mr Corbyn spawned a huge backlash. Here are some of the responses to its inflammatory article, which it tweeted out to the world in the form directly below:

https://twitter.com/arryTuttle/status/956892140885471232

https://twitter.com/OneTongueJohnny/status/956812585738948608

https://twitter.com/OneTongueJohnny/status/956996789428785153

That’s the problem with campaigns that are motivated by hatred rather than justice: They are always exposed in the end.


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The road to genocide starts with divisive words – the kind that are all around us today

I’m drawing attention to the article quoted below because it’s the right time.

The controversy over Jeremy Corbyn’s words to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day shows that evil-minded people will use lies and propaganda to twist the minds of others.

And consider attitudes to the long-term sick and disabled. How often have we heard the lie that they are parasites who could work for a living but prefer to leech money from the rest of us? It’s a lie, of course.

But ordinary people have been encouraged to scapegoat the sick and disabled, along with immigrants (whether from the EU or beyond), because it is easy.

And the reasons for the UK’s economic doldrums are complicated – although if you start with the word “Tories”, you’re well on the way to wisdom.

That brings us back to Mr Corbyn and the fact that, while he did mention Jews in his Holocaust Memorial Day words, Theresa May did not.

He was pilloried by certain organisations and individuals that pretend to stand up for Jewish people; she was not.

It’s because those people aren’t really standing up for Jewish people; they’re standing against the Labour Party under Mr Corbyn – for political reasons of their own.

Complicated political reasons.*

So they won’t want you to bother thinking about those reasons. Better to just accept the nonsense line that it’s all the fault of the sick, the disabled, or immigrants, or Jeremy Corbyn.

Right?

Or is it time we all started thinking for ourselves?

With concentration camps in mind, we assume that most forms of Nazi persecution must have involved overt physical violence and arrests. But a lot of it related to aspects of everyday life.

For example, they spread a “stab in the back” myth that Germany had lost World War I because of internal traitors, such as Jews and Communists, working for foreign interests. These myths about the Jews were widely believed, partly because they subtly played on existing prejudices, including fear of foreigners.

Nazi propaganda also tried to dehumanise the Jews. It compared Jewish people to rats, cockroaches and lice. This fed Nazi lies that Jews were, like parasites, extorting money from ordinary Germans and that Jewish financiers had taken advantage of Germany during the war for their own interests.

The complicity of ordinary people doing ‘everyday’ things was crucial for the success of Nazi measures. Ordinary people helped to channel Nazi hatred – both out of fear and, in some cases, greed and indifference, with thousands of ordinary people benefiting from the measures.

Similarly, one of the reasons anti-Semitic Nazi ideas were so effective was because they provided people with scapegoats for big issues that had caused them serious economic hardship… This made the lies more believable to ordinary people, who wanted easy answers to complex questions.

We may think this doesn’t affect us in the west in the 21st century. But replace the word ‘Jew’ with ‘migrant’ or ‘Muslim’ and it might give pause for thought.

Source: Why the Holocaust Shows We Need to Fight Hate Today with Human Rights – RightsInfo

*And no – I haven’t just fallen into the trap of using the “International Jewish Conspiracy” trope. The conspiracy theory relies on the perpetrators being part of a pan-Jewish, co-ordinated campaign – not a small number of malicious keyboard warriors with a grudge against left-wing Labour. We don’t even know if all those attacking Jeremy Corbyn or other alleged anti-Semites in the Labour Party are even of Jewish religion or ethnicity.


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Uncomfortable facts that should be addressed – not just on Holocaust Memorial Day but every day

A woman and a man at the memorial plaque at Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany [Image: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images].

Here‘s a worthwhile article on the Beastrabban blog, making an important point about the way the scope of Holocaust Memorial Day seems to have been limited.

Today is, I believe, Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the world, or at least the Western world, reflects on the Shoah and the calculated extermination of six million Jews.

As we commemorate the sufferings of the Jews during the Nazi regime, we also need to take on board that it isn’t just about anti-Semitism, but about similar horrors that have disfigured human history down the centuries, and murderous, criminal regimes that are perpetrating them today.

Just so. The Nazi Holocaust, the killing of millions of Jews, and the way in which they were murdered, should never be forgotten. But part of this remembrance must involve recognition that similar hate-motivated atrocities can happen – and are happening – even now.

Unfortunately, there are some highly vocal people who seem to want to mask this fact, as we have seen on This Site over the last few days.

Holocaust Remembrance Day isn’t just about commemorating the Holocaust and its victims, but other genocides and their victims that have occurred throughout history. Hitler partly made his decision to go ahead with the extermination of the Jews because of the complete lack of western reaction to the Young Turks’ massacre of the Armenians. He commented, ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’ And before then, the German colonial authorities in what is now Tanganyika had attempted to exterminate the Herrero after they revolted, using similar eugenicist logic.

It is … important to remember the other victims of the Nazi camps as well.

This included the congenitally disabled, who were murdered by Nazi doctors under the Aktion T4 programme with the assistance and supervision of the SS… This prefigured and prepared for the murder of the Jews, particularly in the use of poison gas.

I made the point that disabled people are being persecuted to their deaths by the Conservative government in the United Kingdom – right now – in a response to comments in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (January 24).

And what initial response did I receive?

Denial. And denial is one of the ten stages of genocide, as we all know from the Holocaust Memorial Day website. Right?

The Nazis also attempted to exterminate the Romanies – the Gypsies – as they too were considered, like the Jews, to be subhuman and a threat to German society and racial industry.

Other victims of the camps included the mentally ill, neurotics, prostitutes, recidivist criminals, Prisoners of War, and political prisoners, such as trade unionists, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, gay men, and slave workers from the Slav nations. The last were worked to death in horrific conditions, including building the Nazi fortifications and tunnels in the Channel Islands.

The Holocaust Memorial Day website devotes a couple of paragraphs on a page to these victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The highest estimate of the death figures shows they outnumber Jewish victims by a ratio of nearly two to one.

The website also devotes several pages each to the genocides in Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia and Rwanda, and mentions the atrocities against Armenians which encouraged Hitler to commit his own.

It omits many other genocides, both recent and historical.

Nothing is said about the indigenous people of America, for example. Those of you who are aware of the HMD website may not even know there is a site for Aztec Natives, which makes the following pertinent point:

“The Mexican people are the descendants and the end product of five centuries of genocide – the greatest Holocaust in human history. Over 100 million of our ancestors, i.e. at least 90% of natives were killed.”

100 million dead, and no commemoration on Holocaust Memorial Day. It seems some groups have stronger public relations people than others.

Genocides have continued to be perpetrated, such as the various crimes against humanity committed by Fascist regimes across Latin America, Asia and Africa, supported by American foreign policy. The persecution of the Rohingya is just the latest of these.

Isn’t it interesting how we can identify the wrongdoings of people in other countries, yet we say nothing about what’s happening in our own? “It couldn’t happen here”, as the saying goes.

It has; it does; it is.

Those who deny it are complicit.

Fortunately, the Beastrabban piece provides a ray of hope. We see that not everybody supports the overwhelming concentration of attention on the Nazi Holocaust, and it is important to note that Jewish scholars are among those leading the way in this regard.

And Jews have been involved in protesting and commemorating them and their victims as well. In Canada, the leader of the mainstream Jewish organisation, Bernie Farber, organised a ‘Shabbat for Darfur’ after that city was attacked by the Islamist Janjaweed Militia in the early part of this century. Farber’s generous action has been bitterly criticised by members of the transatlantic conservative Right, who feel that Jews should concentrate solely on their own sufferings in the Holocaust, and not expand their experience of suffering, persecution and attempted genocide to form solidarity with the other persecuted ethnic and religious groups.

Why not form solidarity with other persecuted groups? We all know there is strength in numbers. Is it because making such connections might reveal uncomfortable truths about events closer to home?

Israeli scholars have also noted that the Holocaust, while horrific, was not a unique event. See Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review, edited by Israel W. Charny, the executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust, Jerusalem, and Director of Postgraduate Interdisplinary and Graduate Social Work Programs in Family, Therapy, Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University. Dr. Charny’s book also includes a chapter on the ethnic cleansing of Israel’s indigenous Arab population, which is definitely unwelcome to the Likudniks.

But it bears out Ilan Pappe’s assertion that Israelis are still decent people, who need to have the situation and issues properly explained to them. But odiously, Netanyahu, Likud and other ethno-nationalists in his ruling coalition are doing all they can to prevent that occurring. As are his little helpers over here in the shape of the Jewish Labour Movement and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.

Food for thought, I hope. But I wonder if critics of This Site and This Writer will be able to forgive me for including more groups in my own commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day than they do.

Source: Wishing Everyone a Solemn and Reflective Holocaust Remembrance Day | Beastrabban\’s Weblog


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Holocaust Memorial Day tweet triggers hate-filled denial of disability-related deaths

Julie Hull (above) is the kind of person who wants the author of This Site condemned as an anti-Semite.

My word.

This Writer’s experience after Prime Minister’s Questions today demonstrates the danger of publishing unwise words – and I don’t mean my own.

At the very start of the session, Theresa May said: “I am sure that Members throughout the House will wish to join me in marking Holocaust Memorial Day this Saturday and in remembering all those who endured such appalling suffering in the holocaust.”

In fact, she seems to have made a common mistake, that HMD commemorates only the genocides perpetrated by the Nazis between 1939 and 1945. This is a falsehood. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn went some way towards correcting this as he stood to ask his first question: “I join the Prime Minister in commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day. Many Members will be signing the book of remembrance and attending the event tomorrow. We have to teach all generations that the descent into Nazism and the holocaust must never, ever be repeated anywhere on this planet.”

But of course it has been repeated – again and again. It is hard to describe the horror of the Shoah (as Jewish people describe the Nazi holocaust), but we have witnessed many occasions in which the same has been attempted against other ethnic groups.

The Cambodian genocide in the 1970s took anything up to three million lives. In Rwanda, in 1994, the highest estimate of the death toll is one million. In 1971, up to three million people were killed in Bangladesh.

There are smaller genocides, too. But are they to be treated with less horror, less revulsion, just because fewer people died? In East Timor between 1975 and 199, up to 200,000 people lost their lives. Are any of those lives less important than those lost between 1939 and 1945, or in Cambodia, or in Bangladesh? A similar number died in Somalia between 1988 and 1991. Were those lives any less important? What about the 200,000 Kurds said to have died in Iraq between 1986 and 1989? Or the 166,000 in Guatemala between 1962 and 1996?

Or the 30-40,000 deaths in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995? I was in Bosnia with a charity trying to help rebuild, in 1997. The things I saw, and the accounts of the people I met, will stay with me until the day I die.

What about the thousands of people who are understood to have died as a result of Conservative policies to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities since 2010?

They didn’t happen, according to people on Twitter today (January 24).

Perhaps it was unwise, considering the tidal wave of hate against me that has been swelling on Twitter over (false) claims of anti-Semitism that have been made against me – but I have been campaigning for many years against the Tory policy to push sick and disabled people to their deaths, and this was an opportunity I could not pass up.

So I tweeted:

Can open. Worms everywhere.

First, there are those who deny that people with long-term illnesses and disabilities are being pushed to their deaths by Tory policies.

Here’s one now – Julie Hull:

I’ll repeat her words, in case she chooses to delete the tweet later. She wrote: “A vile comment and equally grotesquely insulting to Conservatives, to true victims of genocides, and to the disabled. You and this kind of ‘kinder gentler politics’ bring shame on the party you pretend to love.”

Strong words. But it wasn’t clear what they actually meant, so I had to seek clarity. I asked: “Are you denying the deaths of sick and disabled people due to Tory policies?”

And she wrote: “Yes.”

Outrageous.

So Tory spending cuts in health and social care didn’t lead to the deaths of nearly 120,000 people since 2010 – mostly older people and those whose health issues mean they live in care homes? That will be news to the authors of this study, published by the British Medical Journal.

So Tory benefit cuts didn’t cause a “human catastrophe” for sick and disabled people in the UK? That will be news to the United Nations.

So Tory benefit cuts didn’t lead to the unexplained deaths of at least 2,400 people between 2011 and 2014? That would be news to me.

(If you click on the link, you’ll see it refers to fewer than 2,400 deaths. This is because the Conservative government at first tried to withhold some information from me. The remaining facts were provided later, under the cosh of the UK Statistics Authority).

And what of the other deaths? You see, the Department for Work and Pensions only records the deaths of claimants up to around two weeks after a decision is made to cut their benefits. Many, many people have died after that period – due to a number of causes.

Who can forget David Clapson, a former soldier who died of diabetic ketoacidosis caused by severe lack of insulin, three weeks after his benefits were stopped – for missing one meeting at the Job Centre. He had no money to pay for the electricity to keep his fridge working, meaning the insulin he kept there became useless. At the time of his death, he had no food in his stomach at all. A pile of CVs was found next to his body. His death was not recorded by the DWP as it occurred after the Department’s two-week limit.

How about Michael O’Sullivan, who was driven to suicide bids after being found “fit for work” by the Department for Work and Pensions? A coroner, Mary Hassall, made it clear that she considered the DWP – and therefore the Conservative government – to have triggered his suicide.

There are many more incidents. If you have the stamina for it, try going through the list of articles on the subject, published on This Site alone.

And for anyone who still doubts that the Conservative government and its policies had anything to do with the deaths, bear in mind that the benefit assessment interview for both ESA and PIP includes a query about whether the claimant has ever considered suicide.

If they say “yes”, the next question is: “Why haven’t you done it?” Can you honestly tell yourself that a person with mental health problems, who has already considered suicide, won’t take that as a demand that they take their own life?

It’s called “chequebook euthanasia”. And yes, you can trace its roots back to Nazi Germany.

Oh, but never mind any of the evidence that has been amassed since 2010. Julie Hull says there’s no connection between the deaths of sick and disabled people and the Conservative government, so that’s all right then.

Is it? Really?

The other aspect of this is the following claim, repeated many times over the last few hours:

Beth Rosenberg wrote: “Minimising of the Holocaust is antisemitic, which you know and are doing deliberately to cause offence.”

Two points:

  1. I have not minimised any Holocaust.
  2. Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates many holocausts and genocides, not just what happened to the Jewish people.

The first point should be self-evident from what I have written above. If anything, my critics are minimising the deaths of sick and disabled people currently taking place here in the UK – and that is unforgivable.

It is possible that the people complaining to me misunderstand the terms. For example:

“What a vile human being,” tweeted Jonny Braham. “Someone needs to look up the definition of #Genocide.”

So I did – on the Holocaust Memorial Day website. I responded: “HMD website: “The Convention [The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide] defines genocide as … causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group… deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” among others.”

That reply defies belief: “Ah ok so the tories made all these people disabled & now wants to wipe them out, I reiterate my previous tweet, you’re a vile human being.”

Who said anything about the Tories making anybody disabled?

As for the rest of it – we were discussing genocide and I provided the information requested of me.

Oh, and yes – I referred to holocausts in the plural. Look up the definition – this one is from the Oxford Dictionary:

“holocaust
“noun
  1. 1.
    “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war.”

My insistence on this definition will become clear, later in this article.

As for the second: The tweet I’ve quoted makes it very clear that the person attacking me believes Holocaust Memorial Day to refer specifically to the genocide committed against Jewish people by Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. So does this one, from the same person:

She wrote: “The mythology from the left compared to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews.”

So HMD refers only to the Shoah and not to any other such events, according to Ms Rosenberg. Oh, and the deaths of thousands of people with long-term illnesses and disabilities have not happened, in her opinion.

Here’s S. Nicholson:

“How dare you compare the systematic murder of millions of people with the fairy tale claim that controlling benefits is damaging?”

“Fairy tale”?

Christina Wallis tweeted: “That’s probably the most deluded and disgusting comment I’ve ever seen on Twitter. How dare you.”

I responded: “In what way? Are you denying the deaths of sick and disabled people due to Conservative Party policy? If so, on what basis? Have you read the information available on this subject (there’s a lot)? Or are you just trying to attack me?”

Her reply:

https://twitter.com/xtinewallis/status/956252907653025793

“I just find it upsetting that you’re using an atrocity that lead to the death of six million people, including members of my family to make a political point. I wasn’t attacking you, I’ve never attacked anyone in my life.”

Oh, is that right? It seemed like an attack.

So we’ve established that the people quoted above consider the Holocaust to be the atrocity committed by Nazi Germany against Jewish people, and I am an anti-Semite for suggesting anything else.

I draw attention to it because, back in September 2016, former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker was suspended by the Labour Party after members of the Jewish Labour Movement complained that she was an anti-Semite, for believing exactly the same thing.

According to The Independent:

“In terms of Holocaust Day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all people who experienced Holocaust?” she said at a training workshop on dealing with antisemitism at Momentum’s conference.

A number of people in the room immediately spoke out against Ms Walker’s comments and told her that Holocaust Memorial Day already included commemoration of other genocides. She responded: “In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such.”

Look at Theresa May’s words, quoted above. Look at Jeremy Corbyn’s. It is clear that they are referring to the Nazi atrocity. Together with the tweets above, I would say there is evidence that Ms Walker has a point.

Wouldn’t you?

For those who posted your hate messages in the hope that you would condemn me: At least you’ve done your bit to get Ms Walker’s suspension lifted.

For clarity, Holocaust Memorial Day does commemorate other atrocities – in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. That means it leaves out many, many other such horrific events. Ms Walker, if I recall correctly, was unhappy that transatlantic slavery is not mentioned.

Fortunately, there were people who were willing to stand up and be counted on my side too:

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/956140471578918913

One more thing: The Holocaust Memorial Day website has an image entitled “The ten stages of genocide”, which I’ll reproduce below:

As you can see, the Conservatives are well on their way with their genocide of people with illnesses and disabilities.

Stage One – Classification, Stage Four – Dehumanisation and Stage Six – Polarisation have already been implemented, with government and their tame media encouraging their supporters to ostracise those who have long-term illnesses and/or disabilities, and to refer to them as “scroungers”, “skivers” and worse. The Tories have the Daily Mail, among other rags, to spread their hate.

Attempts have been made at Stage Two – Symbolisation, with the bid to make disabled people wear badges on the London Underground. On the face of it, this was to allow them access to facilities for the disabled, but advocates for disabled people warned that it would make them targets for people who had been indoctrinated with the hatred symbolised by Stage One and Stage Four.

Stage Three – Discrimination is exactly why the United Nations criticised the UK government several years ago. The government was found guilty of “grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities”.

Stage Five – Organisation is covered by the Department for Work and Pensions. You see, violence doesn’t have to be carried out with guns these days – it can be done with a keystroke when a benefit claimant is deprived of their allowance. The assessment system for ESA and PIP assumes either that illness and/or disability is all in the mind, or that the claimant is trying to avoid working for a living, and current information has it that the government wants to clear 80 per cent of claimants from the benefit books.

Deprived of their means of survival, sick/disabled people are left to their own devices. They can’t claim Jobseekers’ Allowance – as directed by the DWP – because they would be sanctioned very quickly when their illness made it impossible for them to meet one or more of the conditions required of someone searching for a job. So they starve to death like David Clapson, or commit suicide, like Michael O’Sullivan, and the government can deny any responsibility, in accordance with Stage Ten – Denial.

We have already seen the Conservatives deny any wrong-doing to the United Nations; we know they do not collect information about the well-being of former sickness and disability benefit claimants who have been cut off by their cruel assessment system.

That’s how the Tory genocide of the sick and disabled works. If you denied it before reading this article, please reconsider your position.

The phrase most commonly associated with the Holocaust inflicted by the Nazis is “Never again”.

The fact is, since 1945, such events have happened again and again.

It is outrageous that I should be vilified for pointing it out.

Postscript: Believe it or not, I received the following after publishing this article:

https://twitter.com/kb32904/status/956339570915889152

“People die – it’s the way of the world” has to be one of the most sickening attempts to justify the Tory persecution of sick and disabled people that I have yet seen.


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Theresa May simply refuses to do right by the victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze

By the back door: Theresa May skulks into St Paul’s Cathedral for the Grenfell Tower memorial service – out of sight of the public.

Can anything be done to repair Theresa May’s moral compass? The evidence suggests not.

Grenfell Tower is a huge case in point:

Mrs May failed to react with any speed to the tragedy last June – she wanted to leave it to others.

She eventually promised to re-house the families who had been made homeless by the blaze within three weeks – but most of them are still homeless six months later.

She has refused to provide money to fit sprinklers into tower blocks, even though she has been told they would hugely reduce the risk of further tragedies like that which befell Grenfell.

And, of course, the biggie: After dithering for a day, Mrs May was shamed into visiting Grenfell – but decided to do it privately, by means of a stage-managed photo opportunity:

As Hicham Yezza tweeted: “Theresa May has just “privately visited” #GrenfellTower She didn’t meet residents or media, but was quite happy to get a photo-op out of it.” Were the firefighters hand-picked?

Clearly she got onto the site via a back door. It wasn’t the first time:

On her general election campaign, Theresa May made a habit of entering and leaving stage-managed events by back doors and (in this case) fire exits.

It took another day for Mrs May to meet the victims of the fire, and even then she had to run away:

Given this history, it is no surprise that our backdoor prime minister hid from the public at the Grenfell memorial service.

The fact that she turned up at all simply shows the extremity of her hypocrisy.

Theresa May was sneaked into the Grenfell Tower memorial service in London … entering through the back door of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The service was attended by dignitaries including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The Prime Minister eschewed an entrance through the front of the building and instead opted to make a subdued entry through St Paul’s churchyard gardens, before taking her seat next to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.

Her attendance at the service comes after she was accused of ‘failing to show humanity’ when she failed to speak with survivors in the days immediately after the tragic blaze.

Source: Theresa May sneaks into Grenfell memorial service through back door of St Paul’s Cathedral


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Art attack on Coalition policies that drive people to their deaths

140629artattack2

A UK artist has created an art installation as a memorial to the suicide victims of welfare reform.

Melanie Cutler contacted Vox Political regarding her piece – ‘Stewardship’ – a few weeks ago, asking, “Do you think I’ll be arrested?”

The response was that it should be unlikely if she informed the media. The artworks have been displayed at the Northampton Degree Show and are currently at the Free Range Exhibition at the Old Truman Brewery building in Brick Lane, London, which ends tomorrow (June 30).

Entry is free and the installation will be located in F Block, B5.

“I have become an artist later on in life,” Melanie told Vox Political. “I was a carer for my son and, a few decades later, my father. I have worked most of my life too, raising three children.

“Only recently, while studying fine art at University I found my health deteriorating. I have a cocktail of conditions – Type 1 diabetes (diagnosed last year), Coeliac disease, asthma, rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis (currently being investigated), osteoarthritis, psoriasis and a brain tumour (thankfully benign and inactive). I have also lived with depression for almost all my adult life.

“I wanted my work to articulate how I feel about certain issues. In March this year I pitched up in Thurrock, a marginal seat which will be hotly fought-over in the run-up to the next general election. I sat in front of a blank canvas and asked the people of the town to tell me how they felt about welfare reform, the press and the 2015 General Election. I took a team of people to film and photograph the event and to explain to people what the work was about.

'People of Thurrock' in the making. Artist Melanie Cutler sits, silenced, while residents of Thurrock write their opinions of 'welfare reform' on the canvas.

‘People of Thurrock’ in the making. Artist Melanie Cutler sits, silenced, while residents of Thurrock write their opinions of ‘welfare reform’ on the canvas.

“Buoyed on by the reaction to ‘People of Thurrock’, I went on to something else I felt was an important issue; I put welfare reform under the microscope and conducted research around this issue. I was struck by the amount of people who, through no fault of their own, seek to end their own lives as they feel they have no other option. My own family has been touched by suicide and one of my own children is on ESA and awaiting an interview with ATOS.”

'Stewardship': Each plaque features the name of a 'welfare reform' victim and a description of how they died.

‘Stewardship’: Each plaque features the name of a ‘welfare reform’ victim and a description of how they died.

'Stewardship': This memorial is to Paul Reekie, the Scottish poet and writer who took his own life in 2010. Letters left on his table stated that his Housing Benefit and Incapacity Benefit had been stopped. The poet's death led to the creation of the Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disability Rights.

‘Stewardship’: This memorial is to Paul Reekie, the Scottish poet and writer who took his own life in 2010. Letters left on his table stated that his Housing Benefit and Incapacity Benefit had been stopped.
The poet’s death led to the creation of the Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disability Rights.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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