Smug: Starmer can afford to look complacent, despite the call for a ‘no confidence’ vote, because it seems unlikely that Labour HQ will allow it to happen.
It won’t happen, of course – the centrists are digging themselves in deep and won’t let annoying facts get in their way.
But it is definitely worth your while to know that Momentum members Camden – all members of the Labour Party – have demanded that the party’s National Executive Committee call a vote of ‘no confidence’ in party leader Keir Starmer – their own MP.
The motion, passed on July 24, states that Starmer:
Took no immediate action against those former staff members whose racism, sexism, and ableism was exposed in the leaked report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Reversed the overwhelming vote at Conference against the occupation of Kashmir, giving free reign to Prime Minister Modi’s imposition of martial law and spreading persecution of Muslims in India.
Downplayed the international Black Lives Matter movement as “a moment”, and labelled as “nonsense” the demand to defund the police in favour of greater community investment.
Kept in his Cabinet Rachel Reeves who joined Boris Johnson and other Tories in praising Lady Astor, a well-known Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite, while firing Rebecca Long-Bailey for retweeting a reference to Israeli training of US police – a fact which he described as an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”.
Said he “supports Zionism without qualification” and called attacks on Apartheid Israel “antisemitic”. In so doing he links all Jewish people with the crimes of a particular state – the very essence of anti-Semitism.
Refused to hold this Tory government accountable for its handling of the pandemic, making Labour complicit in a per capita death rate which is the second highest in the world and which has disproportionately affected people of colour.
This Writer expects the motion to get short shrift from the now-devoutly-centrist party hierarchy.
Starmer may find a procedural problem that means it can be dismissed as out of order.
Or, even if it comes to a vote, party apparatchiks may make excuses to disqualify hundreds of thousands of party members from voting.
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Jackie Walker: She has a right to have her story heard. Who is trying to deny her that right? And why?
Remember Jackie Walker, the former vice-chair of Momentum who was ousted from her position and suspended from the Labour Party on the basis of spurious claims of anti-Semitism concocted by the Jewish Labour Movement, Israel Advocacy Movement and complicit “news”papers?
It seems Ms Walker turned her experience of being smeared as an anti-Semite into a stage play, The Lynching – and now film-maker Jon Pullman has created a full-length movie about it, entitled The Political Lynching of Jackie Walker.
Shot in the UK and Europe, with commentary from friends and foes, the movie follows Ms Walker’s activities for more than a year, filming her at work, in performance, and across the kitchen table to interrogate the issues that lay behind the headlines, and the woman behind the activist. The film was due to have its premiere screening at the Labour Party Conference on the evening of September 25.
But the screening had to be cancelled – and the auditorium evacuated – after organisers received a bomb threat.
Obviously, at the time of writing it is far too early to make any suggestions about who may be responsible – but we may definitely suggest that whoever it was disapproves of free speech, especially if it presents a coherent, logical and possibly persuasive narrative that is different from their own personal bias.
And what encouraged them to commit this prank (I would be very surprised if there really was a bomb at the Liverpool auditorium in which the film was due to be screened)? Well…
May I draw your attention to this article, which I regret to inform you was published by a periodical known as The Sun which describes itself as a newspaper (although opinion on this is divided).
Headlined Fury as far-left activist who said Jews were behind the slave trade tells Labour members she’s been ‘lynched’, the piece states: “A far-left activist who was kicked out of Labour for making anti-Semitic slurs is putting events at the party conference – in which she claims she was “lynched”.
“Jackie Walker has sparked fury by hosting a film and a play at the annual get-together aimed at clearing her name.
“Ms Walker was formerly vice-chair of Momentum but was fired after she claimed Jews were responsible for the slave trade.
“Labour MP Louise Ellman blasted the attempts to promote her worldview, saying it was “disgraceful” for banned activists to be tolerated by other party members.”
This smear piece was accompanied by an image of a flier advertising the film screening, which clearly showed its date and location: Blackburne House, Georgian Quarter, Falkner Street, Liverpool at 7pm on September 25.
I call it a smear piece because it presents a lie as truth – that Ms Walker “claimed Jews were responsible for the slave trade”.
This is based on a fragment of a conversation between Ms Walker and a friend on Facebook’s private Messenger service, that was hacked by members of the Israel Advocacy Movement and given to the Jewish Chronicle as proof of anti-Semitism.
But Ms Walker, speaking afterwards, explained that she was referring to the Caribbean slave trade, of which her own ancestors had unique experience. This is from an article written nearly two years ago: “Yes, I wrote “many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”. These words, taken out of context in the way the media did, of course do not reflect my position. I was writing to someone who knew the context of my comments. Had he felt the need to pick me up on what I had written I would have rephrased – perhaps to “Jews (my ancestors too) were among those who financed the sugar and slave trade and at the particular time/in the particular area I’m talking about they played an important part.”
“For the record, my claim, as opposed to those made for me by the Jewish Chronicle, has never been that Jews played a disproportionate role in the Atlantic Slave Trade, merely that, as historians such as Arnold Wiznitzer noted, at a certain economic point, in specific regions where my ancestors lived, Jews played a dominant role “as financiers of the sugar industry, as brokers and exporters of sugar, and as suppliers of Negro slaves on credit, accepting payment of capital and interest in sugar.””
It’s a bit different when you see the full picture rather than just a fragment, isn’t it?
Hugo Gye, who wrote the Sun piece, would have had no excuse for ignorance of the facts of the matter – including the fact that Ms Walker has not been found guilty of any anti-Semitism at all by the Labour Party’s own disciplinary mechanism, so what motivated him – and the newspaper – to promote the lie?
Was it mischief?
Remember, Ms Walker is a former vice-chair of Momentum, and Momentum has bannedThe Sun from its fringe events at this year’s Labour conference.
By publishing its story about Ms Walker, along with details of the film screening, this publication might as well have been giving instructions to anyone with an agenda to push the false accusations of anti-Semitism and suppress the facts.
The bomb threat could easily have been triggered by this bitchy story.
We may never know for sure.
But, like so many of the accusers’ recent efforts, it seems likely that this attempt at repression will backfire.
People are going to ask why.
Why seek to silence an accused person who was only trying to put forward her side of this case?
What does this film show, that the accusers have to fear?
The threat – to kill by explosion people attending the premiere – is so extreme that people will want to know the answers to these questions. Is the accusers’ case really so fragile that they have to resort to such extremes in a bid to maintain the illusion of Ms Walker’s guilt?
Mr Hodges has a history of being incorrect. Look at his recent run-in with Michael Rosen.
Also weighing in with histrionics was Grauniad hack Heather Stewart:
This is outrageous – banning journalists because you don’t like their paper’s editorial line smacks more of Donald Trump than the lovely open, democratic social movement Momentum aspires to be. https://t.co/dM63xr8AR9
The Guardian has taken a strong anti-Labour, anti-Jeremy Corbyn direction in recent years and there is a campaign to force it back towards impartial reporting – or into bankruptcy – by boycotting the publication while it persists in its current behaviour. You can understand why, can’t you?
This is the new status quo – and right-wing MSM hacks need to get used to it: Actions have consequences.
The S*n have complained about press freedom after Momentum barred them from their Liverpool-based gathering. The tabloid famous for hacking the phones of dead children and smearing the good people of the host city in the most vile way, is as welcome as a shit on a new white rug.
This is David Morris: He’d rather suggest that tales of poverty at schools in his constituency are a Momentum-led conspiracy than do anything about it.
The Tories are turning to self-parody, it seems.
One supposes they have to find some sort of excuse for the results of their policies.
I mean, to a Tory, anything is better than actually facing the consequences of their actions.
So David Morris implies that claims of extreme poverty in a school in his constituency are a Momentum-led conspiracy.
And the poverty-stricken pupils of Morecambe get absolutely no help at all.
Conservative MP David Morris has ignited a storm of controversy after openly suggesting that Doctors and Teachers in his Morecambe constituency were lying about the extent of child poverty in the area, and that the claims were simply part of a Momentum-led conspiracy.
A recent ITV investigation went viral on social media after teachers in the area claimed that child poverty was so bad that:
They were having to wash pupils’ uniforms as parents could not afford their electricity bills
They had witnessed parents passing out in the school hall through malnutrition after missing meals due to lack of money
They had to regularly invite parents to join in with breakfast club in school and take them to food banks
They had to regularly hand out shoes and coats to pupils whose parents could not afford them
Morecambe’s local Tory MP, David Morris, took to ITV to refute the claims, suggesting that the local Doctors and Teachers who were making the claims were simply part of a Momentum-led smear against him.
Speaking with ITV News, Morris said: “I’ve not got issues with the report that you’ve run, I’m just questioning the validity of it because the reports always come from either Morecambe Bay Primary School, or another Morecambe Bay School in the West End of Morecambe, and Ash Trees Surgery – both have very strong links to Momentum.”
Well ahead: But according to Roy Hattersley, Labour is making itself unelectable.
Roy Hattersley must be hoping the Earth will open up and swallow him.
On the day Survation – the only polling company that correctly predicted the result of the 2017 general election – posted an eight-point lead for the Labour Party, Mr Hattersley published an article in The Guardian claiming Labour would make itself “unelectable” if the Left (followers of Jeremy Corbyn) were allowed to take control.
Let’s have a look at what he had to say:
“Momentum – a party within the party which is dedicated to moving Labour to the far left of the political spectrum – is on the point of winning control of Labour’s policy, programme and constitution.”
Not true. Momentum is not a Communist organisation but supports Jeremy Corbyn’s centre-left vision for the party. It acts as a support system for the vast majority of Labour Party members who support Mr Corbyn and want to be able to participate fully in party democracy, which has been dominated by the right-wingers since Tony Blair became party leader in the 1990s. While Momentum may have supported and facilitated the candidacy of many members standing for positions of responsibility, there is no intention to dictate what those members do; the aim is to facilitate an open, democratic Labour Party, powered by its members.
“Momentum does not disguise how it will use the power which domination of the party machine guarantees. The shift to the left will begin with a revision of Labour rules and continue with the replacement of moderate MPs and councillors with Momentum nominees.”
More accurately: Momentum is helping grassroots Labour members break the stranglehold of a right-wing elite on the nomination of Labour council and MP candidates, facilitating the creation of a more democratic party.
“Fears about victory for the far-left helps to hold down Labour’s opinion poll lead to 4-5% at a time when the government’s incompetence should put him 20 points ahead.”
This has been superceded by the Survation poll – and the right-wing extremists Mr Hattersley prefers have been stoking the fears he mentions with nonsense rumour-mongering when they could have been joining the majority of party members to present unified opposition to the incompetent Tory government.
Basically, the article is a long “Reds-under-the-bed” screed that would not have been out of place in the McCarthy-era USA.
Mr Hattersley is trying to blind the country to the fact that the enemy he wants us to believe is within the Labour Party is actually the majority of the party’s membership. He is trying to undermine democracy.
Fortunately, the Survation poll shows the people of the UK aren’t having any of it.
NEW political poll for MOS: State of the parties (chg vs 4-5th Oct)
LAB 45% (+1) CON 37% (-1) LD 6% (-1) UKIP 4% (NC) SNP 3% (NC) GRE 1% (NC) AP 3% (NC)
Supporters of Mr Corbyn and his version of the Labour Party cannot celebrate yet, though: The Survation poll result means right-wingers everywhere will be stepping up their underhanded tactics to keep good government out of the corridors of power.
For example, the Torygraph has reported that businesses are being told to expect a Corbyn government, saying:
“A paper issued by CME Group entitled “What to Expect from a Prime Minister Corbyn” was sent to investors and business leaders last month, and included a prediction that a Labour government would lead to a possible “nightmare scenario for the pound”.
“It is one of a series of cases of major organisations preparing for Mr Corbyn coming to power in the weeks Mrs May’s minority government has been rocked by a series of damaging rows and Cabinet resignations, as well as growing uncertainty over negotiations with Brussels over Britain’s departure from the European Union.”
Funny – This Writer thought the Pound has been suffering because of Theresa May’s determination to go through with a ruinous departure from the European Union, with Sterling only losing value whenever Mrs May opens her mouth to give another silly speech.
Expect more of the same – especially as Theresa May’s government continues to disintegrate.
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History shows that the so-called Labour Moderates (in fact, the hard-right of the party, many of whom are hard to distinguish from Conservatives in their attitudes) were the aggressors when the party’s left-wingers began to regain the ascendancy.
When Jeremy Corbyn won the party leadership, and Momentum sprang up as a members’ organisation advocating his policies, the “Moderates” did their utmost best to undermine both him and them, culminating in the failed “chicken coup” of 2016 which resulted in an increased mandate for Mr Corbyn.
Left-wingers have been attacked and undermined at constituency level as well, with false accusations resulting in lengthy suspensions for innocent party members. Perhaps the most well-known happened in Wallasey, where MP Angela Eagle blamed left-wing members for putting a brick through her office window – but no brick was found and the window that was broken in fact opened onto a staircase.
Read the responses to the tweet above and you’ll see that many people seem to have swallowed the false claim unquestioningly.
Others prefer accuracy:
The historical revisionism is strong in this one. The entire nation saw the Labour right-wing anti-Corbyn smear campaign followed by their spectacularly failed coup plot.
Clive Lewis has apologised for the words he used a month ago. [Image: ANTONY KELLY].
You can tell the Conservatives are in trouble – one of their most fervent supporters on the social media has just whipped out a month-old ‘dead cat’ to distract us all from the Tory disasters about Universal Credit and Brexit, among all the others.
You’ll recall that ‘dead cat’ is a term for a tactic in which a dramatic, shocking, or sensationalist topic is introduced into any kind of discourse (in this case UK politics) in order to divert attention away from a more damaging subject.
In this occasion, it is an incident in which Labour MP Clive Lewis is heard saying, “Get on your knees, bitch,” at a Momentum-hosted game show running alongside the Labour Party conference last month.
He said it to Mr Sam Swann, a 28-year-old actor who was kneeling on the stage to take the score, and who clearly did not take offence. He told The Independent, “It is clearly jovial… I think Clive Lewis is an absolute legend.”
So no hard feelings. And let’s face it, if it was such a terrible thing to do, surely an outcry would have been kicked up immediately – right?
After all, the entire event was filmed by Novara Media and has been on that organisation’s Facebook page since September 28. There are only two comments and neither is a complaint about Mr Lewis.
But a week is a long time in politics, let alone a month – and the revelations about Harvey Weinstein broke between then and now. Suddenly it became possible for a remark made in poor taste but that was “jovial” to be considered entirely beyond the pale.
And then the Tories had a bad, bad couple of weeks. Clearly someone thought it was time to distract us all with a dead cat disguised as a “bitch” – so a cropped clip appeared on the Guido Fawkes blog.
This is not where British politics is at the moment – it’s just where certain people want us to be looking, instead of at the failings of the minority Conservative government.
It didn’t take long for rent-a-quote Labour MP Jess Phillips to stick her knife in, apparently assuming Mr Lewis said the offending words to a woman:
Just seen the Clive Lewis video. Obviously I am appalled, just listened to 7 teenage girls speak up about gender inequality. Perhaps I'll bring them to work on monday
Tricky point, this, as brosocialism is a word that can be weaponised against the people to whom it refers. People identified as such are said to see the political discourse as being entirely about the class struggle, with problems of racism and sexism arising from that. There is an argument for it – referring back to Weinstein, you can see that his crimes (if he’s guilty of them, which has yet to be proved in court) arose from the fact that he was in a position of power over others, which is exactly what the class struggle is about.
Mr Bastani’s point is that accusations of sexism against him can’t apply as he and Novara do not discriminate on grounds of gender. Fair point?
Theresa May turned her party into the enemy of the young [Image: Getty].
“Grind to a crushing halt” seems the logical answer.
The latest YouGov survey puts Labour a staggering 54% ahead of the Conservative Party among 18 to 24 year olds.
Yet, instead of thinking that maybe it was their decisions to massively hike tuition fees , scrap housing benefits for 18-21 year olds, cut the Education Maintenance Allowance and reduce funding for youth mental health services, they believe hearts and minds can be won with “memes and funny images”.
Not that I’m complaining. I can’t wait for the Activate ball at next month’s conference, when the turns will include stand-up from Theresa May (riffing on all the wheat fields she ran through), Michael Gove as his own ventriloquist dummy, Katie Hopkins sawing an asylum-seeker in half, and a cast of chinless wonders, champagne flutes in hand, pogoing to The Jam.
And me thinking, like Paul Weller did when David Cameron named Eton Rifles as his favourite tune: “Which bit of that don’t you get?”
For a start, they were using an image from Internet pre-history to attract young people – something likely to appeal only to their target audience’s dad. Then there’s – oh, please, do I have to explain the sheer awfulness of it?
You'll need a damn sight more than Star Wars references to lure uk youth to the dark side 😂
The Twitter address on the #meme is wrong, by the way – it’s @ActivateBritain now. @Activate.UK.Net was vacated and subsequently adopted by a satirist who has been having great fun with the name.
Activate has a website, where it proudly proclaims: “Activate is an independent national grassroots campaign organisation that seeks to actively engage young people in the right of centre politics, make a case for what conservatism can offer and provide a platform to enable their voices to be heard.
“We intend to reclaim the voice of young people in politics, bringing together individuals and groups in our education system, workplaces and communities. We will campaign and organise to ensure that issues that are important to them are heard, discussed and addressed.”
Fine, if you like that sort of thing. It’s just that the public turns out not to.
The first sign of trouble is on the parts of the website relating to money – membership and donations. Full member, aged 25 and over, are encouraged to spend anything between £10 and £500 – yes, really! – on their membership. This Writer has no idea how many people have signed up to that, but as a possible indicator, let’s look at the “Donations” page, where we see the most that has been offered so far is £2.06, from a person with the unlikely name “Theresa May is wildly incompetent”.
Other donors at the time of writing include “Harold Shipman”, “Jimmy Savile” and “Communism Will Win”.
So it seems the public has not taken Activate seriously…
Perhaps they have taken their cue from the Conservative Party – one glance at the “People” section of the website showedthat it is not a grassroots campaign at all, but run by old-hand Tory apparatchiks. I say “showed” because that page has disappeared from the website for some strange reason – teething troubles, perhaps?
Yes. To complete the science fiction comparison, Activate has now become the Tory equivalent of The Black Hole, attracting all comment into its self-parodying gravity well. Even this (mocking) query about tax avoidance couldn’t escape the inevitable:
Hi @ActivateBritain could you please publish your business company/charity number. We sincerely hope you're registered & aren't avoiding tax
This Writer hopes that Activate enjoys a long life on the Internet and beyond. I also enjoy a good laugh. But I fear that this may be a phenomenon without enough momentum (ha ha!) to last until the end of the week.
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