Tag Archives: mistake

Another rotten week under the Tories. Let’s make fun of them

Tory UK, 2020: life is hard, and likely to get worse as the Tory jackboot grinds Covid-19 into our faces while claiming to be doing the exact opposite.

These creeps demand our absolute obedience or they will bring in the armed forces to crush us.

So let’s have a laugh at their expense, eh?

On Monday, @RussinCheshire tweeted his #TheWeekInTory, which is always a good read:

On Monday, Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser, appeared on TV to explain why Covid-19 is running rampant through the UK despite everything we’ve been told to do to stop it. No member of the Johnson government was there…

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson announced his new Covid-19 related restrictions, which won’t actually halt the spread of the virus but at least make it seem he’s doing something, if you’re a brain-dead Tory sycophant.

Many of us aren’t. The image at the top is on response. Here are a few more:

Alternatively…

Wednesday was the day of Kexit – when it was announced that the UK would have an internal border after all – between the rest of us and Kent:

 

The UK’s new border: and the Tories can’t say it’s being imposed on us by anybody but them.

The end of the week got a bit serious, with the launch of the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app that doesn’t like NHS Covid-19 tests and won’t do any contact tracing.

Then again, after telling us he hadn’t been to Italy – and telling the nation we all have to batten down the hatches and put up with another six months (at least) of Covid misery – now with added job losses and poverty – we find that Boris Johnson’s significant other, Carrie Symonds, was photographed on holibobs in Italy after all. All right for some, eh?

Makes you wonder about BoJob’s Russian connections who live there, doesn’t it?

If you have any more fun stuff from the week, feel free to send it via the comments.

We need all the smiles we can get.

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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Bungling Starmer is stumbling through one race-related fiasco after another

Dithering and indecisive: and we were told he would sweep Labour back into power!

Keir Starmer is now in serious trouble.

His tone-deaf description of Black Lives Matter as a “moment” – along with a series of other race-related mishaps – has upset a multitude of voters – not just black or from ethnic minorities but everybody – and heralded a mass exodus that he seems ill-equipped to stem.

And the mass media are full of stories about it.

Here‘s black, working-class woman – and now-former Labour member – Evie Muir in Metro:

When Starmer took over this year, I was open to the change in leadership. His voting record on social issues mirrored my values and I was hopeful that this would be reflected in his actions moving forward.

But over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself distancing from the Labour Party at an evolving pace.

Starmer … positioned himself as a leader who will not be exploring [racism] for the party’s constituents. He is not only gatekeeping a problematic institution, but also failing to recognise the nuances within the relationship between the police and Black communities in the UK.

His comments are neglectful of the most recent examples of incompetency in the sector, including the circumstances around 12-year-old Shukri Yahye-Abdi’s death by drowning, and the police officers who just weeks ago allegedly took selfies with Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, two murdered Black women.

After the statement [on Black Lives Matter] went viral, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, notorious for his unapologetic bigotry, right wing rhetoric and anti-multiculturalism stance, tweeted that he ‘heartily agrees’ with Starmer’s condemnation of the BLM organisation.

I immediately cancelled my Labour Party membership.

I am not the only one to abandon Labour. My social media feeds, WhatsApp groups and DMs sprung to life with likeminded friends telling me they feel equally betrayed.

Questioning the validity of the only organisation that advocates for Black people, questions the validity of all Black people.

If the Labour Party is not prepared to listen to the needs of Black people, unapologetically support these and advocate for our rights to be heard, then the party is no longer a safe place for us. You are either with us or you are against us, there is no room for debating our humanity, excusing our oppressors or talking over us. This only puts us in further danger.

Starmer’s statement othered us so completely that I no longer feel like we have a home in the party, and as an avid and loyal Labour advocate, this turnaround is humiliating.

I won’t be forgetting Starmer’s comments, and I won’t be returning to Labour under his leadership.

This article has been endorsed by at least one black Labour MP:

Black Lives Matter has published its own opinion:

If you click on the link to the article, you’ll see that BLM is asking Labour members to report anti-black racism within the party – including, presumably, that of its leaders – to their regional offices, with contact details included, hence Jackie Walker’s exhortation for people to do it.

Here’s a tweet identifying two more issues alongside the Black Lives Matter fiasco:

The first point refers to the way party officials allegedly defended “racist, sexist and abusive” messages about colleagues, as seen in the leaked Labour report on the party’s response to allegations of anti-Semitism.

Here‘s The Independent:

One third of the National Executive Committee’s members, including representatives from four trade unions, wrote to the Labour leader this week accusing his office of misleading them about how the party dealt with leaked WhatsApp messages by senior officials detailed in a controversial internal report.

The messages, which included senior officials saying they wished a prominent Labour activist would die in a fire, calling a left-wing staffer “pube head”, and commenting that female advisers had “stopped wearing bras” in meetings, provoked widespread anger in the party when they came to light earlier this year. The party’s NEC ordered an investigation, which is still ongoing.

However, last week Labour’s press office provided a statement to journalists covering the story that defended the comments, describing criticism as “po-faced” and stating: “These were messages exchanged between co-workers in the expectation that they would remain private and confidential and the tone of the language used reflects that.”

The comment outraged NEC members, who called for an apology and retraction at a meeting of the body on Tuesday, but Sir Keir’s office is understood to have told them that the statement was not intended for publication and said it had been provided by the party’s lawyers.

But the offending statement, which The Independent has seen in full, was sent to journalists at the OpenDemocracy website from the Labour press office’s main email account and refers to “the party’s lawyers” in the third person. Although clearly written in legal language, it has the subject line “Re: URGENT: Right of reply offer pre-publication”, suggesting it was issued in response to a request for comment.

Labour has launched an inquiry into the contents of the leaked report, but NEC members – rightly – pointed out that this was now prejudiced by the press release:

In their letter to Sir Keir, the 13 NEC members said: “The Labour Party’s statement was not only inexcusable in defending the racist, sexist and abusive comments in the WhatsApp groups, it also directly prejudged the specific issues that Martin Forde’s inquiry is considering. This prejudices Martin Forde’s inquiry and thereby undermines its independence.

“It is clearly unacceptable for party officials or officials in the leader’s office to politically interfere with or compromise the integrity of the independent investigation that the NEC has commissioned. As members of the NEC, we therefore ask that you issue an immediate apology for this Labour Party statement and retract it completely.”

No such apology or retraction appears to have been made. A statement that the quoted comments “do not in any way represent the party’s position in relation to the contents of the leaked report overall and do not prejudge the outcome of those investigations” is unconvincing; we can judge those words for ourselves.

The storm over the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey has been well-documented on This Site and elsewhere.

All in all, it seems Starmer has dug a hole for himself and seems determined to sit in it.

Perhaps he thinks this will all blow over and he’ll be able to carry on as though he hasn’t made a damn fool of himself and everybody who follows him.

It won’t.

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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Tory stupidity over Covid-19 is monumental – and increasing all the time. Would you like some examples?

Facepalm: Boris Johnson realising the enormity of the many mistakes his government has made?

I’ve been compiling a little file. It’s marked “Tory Covid-19 stupidity”. When I say it’s little, I mean it is huge – and getting bigger all the time.

Would you like to read some of the examples I’ve found over the last week or so?

Let’s have a look:

Possibly the stupidest idea the Tories had was to remove England’s chief nurse, Ruth May, from Downing Street press conferences after she refused to support government advisor Dominic Cummings. The incident happened on June 1, two days after England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam sparked headlines by saying that lockdown rules “apply to all” when asked about Mr Cummings.

Van Tam has not appeared at press conferences since May 30, and on June 1 Ms May was removed from the line-up and Health Secretary Matt Hancock had to present the slides on the progress of Covid-19 himself, to the best of his limited ability.

It has since been revealed that everybody appearing on the briefings is now required to support the government’s position: “First it was Dominic Cummings, then easing lockdown and now the R-rate and the two-metre rule.”

“Asked to comment, No 10 said it strongly denied the claims that Ms May had been dropped over her views on Mr Cummings and added that health and scientific advisers would continue to take questions in the briefings.” That was on June 13.

The decision to remove Ms May raised questions that the Tory government is not “following the science”, as ministers have been claiming for months, unless “the science” agrees with their own narrative.

As Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Munira Wilson wrote to Hancock on Sunday, “By silencing [the experts], the government is not only denying the public the opportunity to hear from them, but also threatening the confidence the public has in the government’s approach to lifting lockdown, and more broadly in how and when government is using and sharing expert advice.”

To increase the embarrassment, Chancellor Rishi Sunak admitted that the government could overrule experts like Sir Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty on relaxing social distancing rules – disproving its own claim to be “following the science”.

But Downing Street strongly denied claims that Ms May had been dropped over her views on Cummings, and added that health and scientific advisers would continue to take questions in the briefings.

The trouble is, by that time the damage had been done and the credibility of Boris Johnson’s government had been dealt another crippling blow – by its own hand.

Next:

“The Government quietly relaxed strict controls to stop the spread of coronavirus in hospitals at the height of the crisis,” according to the Daily Telegraph.

“Hospitals were instructed to avoid using temporary staff to lower risk of spreading the virus.” The article goes on to state that this decree was soon reversed – indicating that it was a mistake that produced bad results.

The Torygraph seems highly critical of the Johnson government’s attitude altogether, in fact. This op-ed piece takes no prisoners: “Having been widely, and rightly, condemned for a slow and inadequate response to the pandemic, ministers are doubly shy of lifting the restrictions for fear of acting prematurely, getting it wrong again, and incubating a second wave.

“They have some reason to worry. The rate of new infections still seems relatively high compared to much of the rest of Europe, while the shambles of the UK’s “test, trace and isolate” initiative gives little confidence that social distancing measures can be safely abandoned without more deaths.

“We seem to have ended up with the worst of all worlds – the highest per capita death rate of any major economy, the most extreme form of continuing lockdown, and according to the latest OECD assessment, the biggest economic hit.”

Next:

It seems that, in addition to all the organisations tasked with handling a pandemic that were scrapped by previous Tory prime ministers, Boris Johnson closed the last one himself six months before Covid-19 arrived.

The Mail reports this one: “Boris Johnson scrapped a team of Cabinet ministers tasked with protecting the UK from a pandemic six months before coronavirus arrived, a Mail investigation has found.

“The group, officially known as the Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingency Committee (THRCC), was supposed to ensure the UK was ready to cope with a pandemic.

“It was mothballed by former prime minister Theresa May on the advice of Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill so ministers and officials could focus on Brexit [and] abolished by Mr Johnson days after he entered No10 last July as part of a vow to streamline Whitehall.”

Shades of David Cameron’s “war on red tape”!

Only a few years before, medical experts had believed a strain of SARS to be the next pandemic – but it had fizzled out. It might have been possible to justify scrapping pandemic response precautions on grounds that modern medical methods made them unnecessary in the light of this – but that wasn’t the reason and this represents a major blunder.

Next:

Oh, dear, Johnson and his cronies just can’t seem to stop being racist!

“The British Medical Association has demanded an explanation from the government following reports that pages containing recommendations to protect black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities were removed from last week’s Covid-19 disparity report,” reported The Guardian.

“Dr Chaand Nagpaul CBE, the BMA council chair, noted his concern over reports that 69 pages covering seven recommendations were removed from last week’s Public Health England’s report.

“The review was widely criticised for failing to investigate possible reasons for the disparities or make recommendations on how to address them.”

Perhaps government flunkies found it hard to include the words “persistent government racism” in their report?

The recommendations appear to have been published now. In a letter to the Equalities Minister, Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie wrote: “The clear message from stakeholders was the requirement for tangible actions, provided at scale and pace, with a commitment to address the underlying factors of inequality.”

And the seven recommendations were (translated from PHE technobabble):

1. Collect and record ethnicity data during NHS treatment, and ensure that it is available to help health teams reduce the impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities.

2. Research the social, cultural, structural, economic, religious, and commercial factors that affect the appearance of Covid-19 in BAME communities, and develop easy-to-implement programmes to reduce risk and improve health.

3. Improve access, experiences and outcomes of NHS, local government and Integrated Care Systems commissioned services by BAME communities. This to be achieved via regular equity audits; use of Health Impact Assessments; integration of equality into quality systems; good representation of black and minority ethnic communities among staff at all levels; sustained workforce development and employment practices; ad trust-building dialogue with service users.

4. Develop risk assessment tools to reduce the risk of exposure to and infection with Covid-19, especially for key workers working with a large cross section of the general public or in contact with those infected with Covid-19.

5. Fund, develop and implement Covid-19 education and prevention campaigns, in partnership with BAME and faith communities; rebuild trust with and uptake of routine clinical services; reinforce messages on early identification, testing and diagnosis; and prepare communities to take full advantage of contact tracing, antibody testing and vaccine availability.

6. Accelerate efforts to target health promotion and disease prevention programmes for non-communicable diseases promoting healthy weight, physical activity, smoking cessation, mental well-being and effective management of chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

7. Ensure that Covid-19 recovery plans actively reduce inequalities caused by the wider factors that affect health, to create long term, sustainable change. Fully funded, sustained and meaningful approaches to tackling ethnic inequalities must be prioritised.

There they are. Now we must all monitor what happens – or else the government is likely to simply shelve the letter and do nothing (as we have seen so many times before).

Given the enormity of these blunders, is it any surprise that the government is facing litigation over its failures so far?

Matt Hancock is likely to be dragged into court over the government’s insistence on slapping vulnerable patients with “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation” orders.

This has been going on at least since lockdown was ordered and This Site has reported on it often. The government and various health organisations have announced that the demand for these orders to be imposed on patients en masse, rather than discussed with them individually as required by law, has been withdrawn – but we have found that this is not the case.

Kate Masters, writing in The Independent, stated: “There appears to have been a national directive for doctors to put emergency plans in place for people at risk of becoming very unwell if they catch Covid-19, even without them being able to engage in the process. Just a few simple pieces of information would help patients and medics. These include the facts about DNACPR, including that they can be made without your involvement if you don’t want to discuss the matter, and that full information must be provided as to why this decision has been made on your behalf.

“Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has refused my request to provide this information on the NHS website… Instead, he has said the information currently available is sufficient. In fact, the information … is confusing about DNACPR and gives a misleading impression. It says “you can change your mind and your DNACPR status at any time”. This is just not right. Except in the special circumstances where a patient makes an advance decision to refuse treatment, DNACPR status is not something a patient always chooses, but is often a decision made by the treating team after consultation with the patient and, where appropriate, relevant family members.

“The legal requirement to consult gives the patient or family the opportunity to seek a second opinion if they are concerned about the decision or think it is premature or inappropriate.

“I am prepared to go as far as I need to ensure people are given access to this information about their rights. That’s why I’m now planning to take Hancock to court over the matter. I am raising funds to pursue the case using crowdfunding, and encourage you to add your support.”

Meanwhile, families whose loved ones have died of Covid-19 are demanding an independent public inquiry into the government’s handling of the crisis, with 500 relatives of people who have died during the pandemic launching the Covid-19 Bereaved Families’ campaign.

And healthcare staff are also demanding a public inquiry – into the deaths of hundreds of their colleagues and failings of PPE (personal protective equipment).

The Doctors’ Association (DAUK), supported by the Good Law Project and charity Hourglass, is calling for a judicial review into the decision by the government not to hold a public inquiry into the planning, procurement, and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and social care staff.

Nursing Notes tells us: “With healthcare being left “wearing visors made by teenagers on 3D printers” and “care workers being told to share the same mask”, the group has raised concerns that the inadequacy of PPE may have contributed wholly or in part to the tragic deaths of health and social care workers.

“At least 245 health and social care workers are known to have died from COVID-19 – with some figures suggesting … dramatically more.

“Despite a petition receiving over 120,000 signatures supporting a public inquiry, there has been no formal response from the government.”

Let us hope that all these groups and individuals get to have their day in court – before Johnson succeeds in his plan to stifle judges’ ability to force his government to abide by the law.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel: her team just made a terrible mistake

Rachel Riley is a serial litigant; besides suing me, she is also pursuing Laura Murray, who bit back at one of the Countdown co-presenter’s tweets in March last year.

Referring to the incident in which Jeremy Corbyn had been punched by an egg-wielding man in a London mosque, Ms Riley had dug up an old tweet by Owen Jones which said “If you don’t want eggs thrown at you, don’t be a Nazi. Seems fair to me.” To this, she added the comment: “Good advice.”

Ms Murray, who was working in Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party office at the time, tweeted her opinion that Ms Riley was saying Corbyn was a Nazi who deserved to be attacked violently. She added that, in her opinion, Ms Riley was a dangerous and stupid person who risked inciting unlawful violence – and nobody should engage with her in any way.

Mr Justice Nicklin, in a judgement based on paper evidence due to the coronavirus pandemic, ruled that Ms Murray had made a statement of fact when she said Riley had stated that Corbyn deserved to be attacked violently.

That’s the extent of the difference.

His statement that the words have a tendency to be defamatory isn’t a ruling that Ms Murray is guilty of libel; the defendant may say that her statement was factually accurate and back it up with evidence, and she may also provide information to support the opinions that she expressed.

Riley hasn’t won the case; this was a ruling on the meaning of Ms Murray’s words and whether they were statements of fact or expressions of opinion. There will be a trial at some point in the future.

But Ms Riley and her friends seem to have started celebrating victory prematurely.

And someone went one step further – by publicising the case prematurely.

The image above shows that the right-wing Guido Fawkes blog ran an initial piece on the ruling on April 23, albeit with no further information than a claim that Riley had won. The Mail went further, publishing at 6.21am the following:

 

But the ruling was not published by the High Court until 10am on April 24 – more than a day later.

So it seems somebody has committed contempt of court.

This was a reserved judgement. That meant that the hearing was some time ago and the judge prepared a written judgement to be handed down on April 24. Prior to handing down, the judge would have sent a draft to the parties. The rules on drafts say:

2.4 A copy of the draft judgment may be supplied, in confidence, to the parties provided that—

 (a) neither the draft judgment nor its substance is disclosed to any other person or used in the public domain; and

 (b) no action is taken (other than internally) in response to the draft judgment, before the judgment is handed down.

 2.8  Any breach of the obligations or restrictions under paragraph 2.4 or failure to take all reasonable steps under paragraph 2.6 may be treated as contempt of court.

I imagine Mr Justice Nicklin would be very keen to find out who’s been playing fast-and-loose with court rules and his judgement. And I can’t blame him.

I can’t comment on who leaked the story to the press too soon – but I will keep an eye on it.

As for people who prematurely claim a legal victory that they haven’t won … if you’re as nauseated by this as I am, then please remember that Ms Riley is attacking me in the same way she is attacking Ms Murray – and I don’t have the cash to fight her.

If I can win my case in court, then it should discourage Ms Riley and her friends – harshly – from this vile behaviour. But I can only do it with your help.

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be bad enough if Ms Riley had won. The fact that she hasn’t, and is claiming she is, is toxic. In my opinion.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Evening Standard messes report of BBC race cock-up. And the media accused LABOUR of racism?

The ladies concerned: (from left) Dawn Butler, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Marsha de Cordova. I bet you can tell them apart. What’s wrong with the BBC and the Evening Standard?

What a fiasco.

First the BBC confused Marsha de Cordova with Dawn Butler.

Then the Evening Standard, trying to report the BBC cock-up, used a photo of Bell Riberio-Addy.

These are media organisations that contributed to the accusations against the Labour Party, and its leader – of racism as part of an unrelenting four-year campaign of propaganda that bore little resemblance to the facts.

So why are we surprised?

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Weekend Vox Pop: which party has made the stupidest mistake of the election so far, and what was it?

What do you think? I want to hear from you!

Which UK political party has made the biggest fool of itself in the 2019 general election campaign so far?

Was it the Conservative Party? Labour? The Liberal Democrats? Plaid Cymru? The SNP? The Greens? The DUP? Sinn Fein, even?

And what was their error?

Already you have a huge number of cringeworthy gaffes from which to choose.

Please respond using the comment column and I’ll publish some results over the weekend.

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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Foreign office officials: Meet the new boss – same as the old boss

Just when officials at the Foreign Office thought they could live without embarrassment for a while, it turns out Jeremy Hunt is just as stupid as his immediate forerunner.

On a trip to China, intended to strengthen trade ties ahead of Brexit, Hunt tried to win the approval of his hosts by mentioning that his wife is Japanese – evoking memories of a centuries-old rivalry and a bloody occupation in the 1930s and 40s.

He backslid fast but the damage had been done.

Good luck getting a decent trade deal now, Jeremy! I only wish I had some knowledge of Chinese so I could describe you in the appropriate language.

Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s new foreign secretary, has made an awkward debut in China when he sought to curry favour with his hosts by mentioning his Chinese wife, but accidentally referred to her as “Japanese”.

China and Japan have been traditional rivals for centuries. Although relations have improved somewhat recently, they remain touchy due to issues such as Japan’s bloody occupation of parts of China in the 1930s and 40s.

Source: Jeremy Hunt makes ‘terrible’ gaffe about his wife in China | UK news | The Guardian

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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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Would the Tories rather look stupid than quote facts showing they’re wrong?

This is her “I’ve been caught out again” face [Image: Carl Court/Getty Images.]

Newsnight presenter Evan Davis put up an interesting tweet yesterday.

In it, he said his researcher was leaving for a proper job – and the first thing This Writer thought was, “Perhaps they’ve gone to be a researcher for Theresa May.”

That’s not because of the lamentable political collusion between the nation’s broadcaster and the Conservative Party (for a change).

It’s because I was thinking the Tories badly need to do their homework – on any current political issue.

Look at their recent history of goofs, gaffes and howlers.

Both Theresa May and Sajid Javid have claimed Tory policies have reduced homelessness – in fact, the Tories have made the problem worse.

The Tories claimed £45 million of new investment would improve child literacy – forgetting that they were responsible for worsening it, having cut funding by £2.7 billion.

Mrs May has refused to accept that the NHS is facing a crisis this winter, saying it was better prepared than ever. In fact, funding cuts have left patients waiting hours for ambulances – some dying during the wait, ambulances queuing at hospitals because A&E departments are overloaded – with nurses treating some people inside the vehicles, patients asked to lie on hospital floors (or sit in chairs, as one Tory minister suggested in moment of sociopathic arrogance) as hospitals suffer total bed occupancy.

In response to the issue of bed occupancy, Mrs May claimed the delayed discharges (that contribute hugely to the problem) were falling. In fact, they are on the rise.

Toby Young was appointed to the university regulator the Office for Students – sparking outrage over tens of thousands of misogynistic tweets and other outrageous behaviour.

Mrs May appointed to her Cabinet, or retained in it, MPs who are hugely inappropriate for their jobs, including Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, Sajid Javid, David Lidington, James Cleverly, Ben Bradley, David Gauke, Alun Cairns, Maria Caulfield, Brandon Lewis and – worst of all – Esther McVey, who deserved an article all to herself on This Site because the list of her abominations is so long.

Mrs May broke the Ministerial Code, using government property for party political promotional purposes.

She even gave Jeremy Corbyn an easy win in Prime Minister’s Questions, when she passed comment on Angela Rayner’s absence, only to be told the shadow Education Secretary was away receiving medical treatment – a huge own-goal when healthcare is the subject of heated debate.

All of these blunders could have been avoided, if the Tories had bothered to do their homework (although it is possible she may have had a hard time with the Cabinet appointments, as it may be hard to find any Conservative MP who does not have at least one black mark against their name).

But then another thought occurred to me:

Perhaps it is easier for the Tories to say the wrong thing and be ridiculed after the event, than to have the facts at their fingertips and have to admit they are wrong in their facts or (worse) their policies.


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Freudian slit? Jeremy Hunt ‘like’s tweet announcing Justine Greening has quit government

What an absolute c… Hunt.

Jeremy Hunt (whose nickname begins with a ‘c’, followed by the last three letters of his surname, for those who need an explanation of our headline and lead line) has a knack for putting his foot in it at the wrong time – and, guess what? He’s done it again!

His first act after metaphorically kicking minority prime minister Theresa May in the teeth by refusing to be moved from the Department of Health (forcing her to add ‘and Social Care’ to his title, even though he’s already responsible for it)…

… was to kick Justine Greening in the posterior as she was on her way out of the government.

He clicked the ‘like’ button on a tweet stating that Justine Greening (who also kicked Theresa May in the teeth by refusing to be moved from Education to the DWP – but got the boot, rather than being allowed to stay).

The decision to force Ms Greening out, while caving in to male cabinet members, has triggered an outcry about sexism by Mrs May.

Mr C… Hunt’s rash choice has opened him up to similar accusations.

At least he could fall back on a well-used strategy to limit the damage caused by his gaffe: He said it was an accident.

Some might say that, having had to cancel 55,000 operations because of the NHS winter crisis that could have been avoided if he and the government weren’t so keen to make the health service ripe for privatisation, Mr Hunt’s entire political career has been an accident.

Jeremy Hunt has been left red-faced after he was caught ‘liking’ a tweet announcing Education Secretary Justine Greening had left Theresa May’s Government.

He clicked the like button on the tweet which read: “BREAKING: Justine Greening has quit the government.”

Mr Hunt, who was kept on as Health Secretary with an extended social care role in the shake-up, was forced to explain why he had “liked” the tweet.

He later tweeted: “Like button pressed by accident. Justine was an excellent minister and will be a great loss to govt.”

Source: Jeremy Hunt makes embarrassing Twitter gaffe after hitting ‘like’ on news Justine Greening has quit Government – Mirror Online


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