Tag Archives: motion

Bristol council passes motion to make reparation for slavery. Tories oppose it

Over it goes: the toppling of the Colston statue, back in June.

Here’s yet another reason for This Writer to be proud of the city of my birth.

After making controversial history during the Black Lives Matter protests last year, when citizens of Bristol tore down a statue of the slaver Edward Colston and threw it in the docks, the city council has gone a step further.

It has passed a motion to make “reparations” – not just financial but also cultural – for the slave trade in which the city participated and its enduring impact.

As former Lord Mayor Cleo Lake stated, “The contribution of African civilisation, culture and people versus how we have been treated is one of the world’s great paradoxes.”

Bristol is also calling for the UK’s Tory government to set up an all-party parliamentary inquiry to examine how such reparations might be delivered.

This might be a challenging request as although the motion was passed with 47 votes in support, 12 Tory councillors voted against it.

Believe it or not, they said the motion to make amends for an abhorrent past “risks exacerbating some divisions by presenting a binary view of the world when the reality is much more complicated”.

That sounds like doubletalk to This Writer! That is, disapproving speech that is intended to confuse an issue.

I think these Tories simply don’t want to face the reality of Bristol’s – and the UK’s – slave-trading background, with all the harm it has done, or the racism that still pervades this nation as a result.

In opposing the motion, they also opposed community wealth creation strategies to produce more sustainable and equitable growth whilst alleviating systemic poverty, which acknowledges that a just economy is the only way to achieve racial justice.

Typical Tories, you might say.

Source: ‘History is made’ as Bristol passes slavery reparations motion

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Concern over Starmer prompts Labour special conference call. Media attack ‘ruthless Corbynites’

It’s ludicrous. But people believe it – and that makes it dangerous too.

Yes, left-wingers in the Labour Party are calling for an emergency party conference – possibly to take place in June alongside the Women’s Conference.

But their reasons are perfectly rational: Keir Starmer’s lurch to the right – appealing to voters by waving the flag, wearing a suit and sporting a pretty haircut – isn’t working.

Poll results make this perfectly clear.

And this Huffington Post report spells it out:

The motion… reads: “Discussion in local Labour Party meetings has been suppressed; motions banned; scores of activists suspended; and anger and disillusionment is exploding across our lay membership across the party.

“Members are leaving in droves and many more are expressing frustration and dissatisfaction at the attack on democracy and free speech. Many members are saying it doesn’t feel like the Labour Party anymore.”

There is also frustration after several ex-officials suspended over the contents of a damning leaked report have been let back into Labour. 

Starmer faces criticism from the left over plans, reported in the Sunday Times, to woo businesses ahead of May’s local elections.

The Guardian also last week revealed a strategy document which said Labour was considering refocusing on patriotism, the Union flag and veterans’ causes to win back “Red Wall” seats captured by the Conservatives in 2019.

Reporter Rachel Wearmouth couldn’t resist claiming that Labour had seen a “massive improvement” at the polls – but this is not borne out by any evidence.

And she also claimed that Labour feared a “vaccine bounce” in the polls for the Tories, in the belief that the UK’s rollout of injections is one of the best in the world.

The problem is, the Tories are leaving the job half-done for most people, with only one of the two jabs they must have actually being administered and the second being delayed until up to 12 weeks after the first.

Pfizer, creator of one of the vaccines, has stated categorically that the second injection should happen no later than six weeks after the first. Otherwise there is no point having either.

It all adds up to another attack on the Labour Left – that could be accurately described as victim-blaming.

Left-wingers have been ruthlessly targeted by Starmer and his cronies – the most prominent being his immediate forerunner as party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

And of course no mention is made in the media to the years of backstabbing from centrists when Corbyn was in charge.

Will the call for a recall conference succeed? I doubt it.

The Parliamentary Labour Party is stuffed with “centrists” (read: right-wingers). It was a policy of the Blair/Brown years and Corbyn was unable to reverse it, despite a long-running debate over whether constituency parties should have the power to choose their own candidates rather than having people parachuted in by head office.

With so many “centrists” at the top of the party, it seems extremely unlikely that a poll of the entire membership that may lead to the removal of a “centrist” leader will be allowed.

See if I’m wrong.

Source: Exclusive: Demand For Special Labour Conference As Pressure Mounts On Starmer From Left | HuffPost UK

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Is Whittome Labour’s latest hypocrite in the Corbyn/suspension/free speech controversy?

Nadia Whittome: her behaviour is all the more vexing because she has no reason to be loyal to Keir Starmer – he sacked her as a Parliamentary Private Secretary because she voted against a Bill that would have protected soldiers from prosecution if they participated in acts of torture overseas, and briefed the right-wing Guido Fawkes blog about the sacking BEFORE telling her.

A Labour MP who had been considered to be on the left of the party and who said Jeremy Corbyn should be reinstated when his membership was suspended has become a turncoat, it seems.

Despite her own comments about Corbyn, it seems Nadia Whittome does not believe that her peers in the party should have the same right, as she stated in a Tweet following a meeting of Nottingham East Labour Party (she is MP for that constituency but not a member of the CLP):

It seems the agenda of last Friday’s CLP meeting included a motion that called for Corbyn’s reinstatement, the lifting of disciplinary measures from others for discussing the issues as well as for the removal of David Evans, General Secretary of the Labour Party, who imposed Corbyn’s suspension and the ban on discussing it that led to the suspensions of other party members.

Ms Whittome objected to the motion, despite having spoken against Corbyn’s suspension herself, it seems.

What are we to make of that? That she considers herself to be above her party colleagues? That she agrees that, while she may discuss such matters with impunity, it is right that rank-and-file party members be suspended for daring to do so? That she thinks party members should not be allowed to register their opposition when party officers flout rules and regulations?

That’s how it looks to This Writer.

Worse, Ms Whittome passed comment on an incident in which a Jewish CLP member left the meeting, claiming they did not feel safe there.

It appears that all was not as she led people to believe. Here‘s a statement from the CLP itself:

“There was only one interruption during the meeting. This arose when one member stated that in his personal experience he had never witnessed any antisemitism in any of our meetings. As he continued with his personal view, another member shouted out – in a manner that some found to be aggressive – that he himself had suffered personal, antisemitic abuse from the person speaking, who was taken aback and stated that this wasn’t true; the Chair intervened and tried to calm things down. At this point the member who had interrupted declared that he no longer felt safe at the meeting and left.

“The member who left has changed his narrative on social media to stating that the member he accused had ‘witnessed an anti-Semitic attack’ on him rather than had attacked him personally.”

Ms Whittome also mentioned the possibility that disciplinary proceedings had been launched against a member of the CLP. This appears to be CLP chair Louise Regan, a former NUT president and (I really hope this has nothing to do with it) vice-chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

It seems Ms Regan’s party membership was, in fact, suspended:

This can only be for allowing the motion to be heard (it was passed by 23 votes to 10). Ms Regan’s conduct during the meeting was described in the CLP statement as “exemplary” and Ms Whittome is said to have joined in thanking her for the way she chaired it.

If that was everything, it would be bad enough, but it seems even worse than that, as evidence has come to light claiming that Ms Whittome actually participated in a smear campaign against Ms Regan. Read:

Maybe Mr Kazmi has his own axe to grind (although, considering the number of Tweets by other people linking Ms Whittome with this AWL group, this seems doubtful). In any case, This Writer will be happy to hear what the MP has to say about all this.

At the moment, it seems likely she has fatally wounded her reputation among the very people on whom she would have to rely in order to be re-elected in any future Parliamentary poll.

And at the very least, it seems likely that she should expect a flood of complaints to Labour’s Governance and Legal Unit, that her comments have brought the party into disrepute – the very charge which, when used against her colleagues, she supported.

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Starmer’s authority crumbles further as shadow minister’s CLP demands Corbyn’s reinstatement

“We are many, they are few”: they being, it seems, the pro-Starmer faction of the wider Labour Party membership. And the longer Jeremy Corbyn remains suspended as a party member, the fewer they will become.

Days after Keir Starmer’s Labour leadership repeated a demand for rank-and-file Labour members not to discuss Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension or demand its reversal, CLPs are using his own hypocrisy to attack him.

This Site pointed out the double-standard in an article two days ago.

The day after it appeared, Bristol West CLP supported a motion that highlighted the hypocritical demand. It said, in part:

A number of public figures, including but not limited to the leader of the party, the deputy leader of the party, and the Socialist Campaign Group have issued public statements on the suspension, and that the SCG has called for re-instatement, yet the general secretary has nevertheless ordered that CLPs cannot do the same.

The CLP, political home of shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire, added:

This CLP resolves:

To condemn Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension and demand his reinstatement to the party.

To oppose any and all politically motivated disciplinary actions against the left by the leadership.

According to Skwawbox, right-wingers in the Bristol West Labour Party tried to pack the meeting in order to defeat the motion – or at least amend it – in what can clearly be interpreted as an attack on democracy by supporters of Keir Starmer.

It failed.

But Starmer – and his people – need to answer for their actions.

Source: Exclusive: full wording of motion passed on Monday by Shadow Cabinet minister’s CLP, condemning ‘political’ Corbyn suspension – SKWAWKBOX

‘Thicky’ Nicky Morgan spells it out: Tories denied poor children free school meals out of spite

‘We starve children’: Rishi Sunak’s slogan was a little different when he published it, but a member of the public has corrected it for him.

There’s a reason we call her “Thicky” Nicky. Tory High Command will be fuming this morning.

The reason? Former education secretary Nicky Morgan admitted on the BBC’s Question Time that she and her Conservative colleagues voted down a motion to give poverty-stricken children free school meals during the holidays – not for any practical reason, but because a Labour MP insulted one of them during the debate.

Angela Rayner has apologised for using that word during a speech by Christopher Clarkson. Considering the content of his speech, one is moved more to sympathy with her point of view than his.

So it is doubly hard to accept “Thicky” Nicky’s excuse as she peddled it out on Question Time – more so because she backpedalled in the face of criticism and tried to say the Labour Party was wrong to introduce the debate as an Opposition Day motion.

And she was still saying the Tories were reacting petulantly to the way the debate was being carried out, rather than to its content – the necessity of helping to feed children in England.

Those children are now set to starve, because Tories like Nicky Morgan made up excuses to be upset.

Here’s her outburst, as televised:

And here’s some of the outrage it sparked:

(There are more than 322 Tories but that’s the number of their MPs who voted down the motion to feed starving children.)

There are now moves to shame all the Tories who voted against this motion online, simply by pointing out what they did to their electorate.

This Writer notes that my own MP – Fay Jones – voted against it. She represents a Welsh constituency – and I don’t think it’s a good look for a Welsh Tory to be voting to starve English children.

Do you?

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Labour NEC challenged to hold ‘no confidence’ vote against Keir Starmer

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.

What will happen? We’ll find out soon.

Source: Labour civil war: Sir Keir Starmer faces a vote of ‘no confidence’ from his own Camden Left-wing members – Labour Heartlands

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Johnson loses again! His second attempt to have a general election is scorned by MPs

Frustration: Is this how Boris Johnson felt after losing the vote?

Boris Johnson has lost his sixth Parliamentary vote in a row – and his second attempt to hold an early general election.

Once again, hundreds of MPs abstained because they knew that Mr Johnson needed 434 votes in support of his motion – and wasn’t going to get them.

As the vote did not take place until well after midnight, perhaps they decided they would rather have an early night.

Only 293 MPs voted in favour of BoJob’s motion – fewer than last week. But then, only 46 voted against it, and that was fewer than last week as well.

As Speaker John Bercow said, “The majority does not satisfy the requirements of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.”

Parliament will now be prorogued for five weeks, with a new session beginning in mid-October.

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Sunday Times reporter disgraces himself AGAIN – and Labour MPs let him lead them by the nose

The Sunday Times reporter who published ‘fake news’ claims that Jeremy Corbyn’s office had interfered in more than 100 anti-Semitism investigations and that the Labour leader had an “anti-Semite army” has put his foot in it again.

Gabriel Pogrund responded to criticism of the story he co-wrote in the April 7 edition of that “newspaper” by tweeting another leaked Labour document – a letter from general secretary Jennie Formby, discussing the coverage. Unfortunately his own commentary completely misrepresents that letter, according to another Twitter user.

Here’s Mr Pogrund’s tweet. Take screenshots quickly because it may not stay up for long!

He went on to state that “Formby also says the most extreme abuse highlighted by The Sunday Times “is being treated extremely seriously by the Party and we hope the NCC will hear it soon as a matter of urgency.” Refers to abuse of Jewish MPs Margaret Hodge and Ruth Smeeth”.

And he tweeted, “BUT Formby doesn’t say why Labour readmitted members who spread conspiracy theories re. Rothschilds controlling the world, Theresa May plotting Manchester bombing abd Jews plotting 9/11. Or why “Heil Hitler” member has not been expelled. (Labour denies none of the above.)”

His claims have been comprehensively debunked by a Twitter user going by the handle “leftworks”. Here’s the thread:

You can see that there is clear cause to doubt Mr Pogrund’s integrity in this matter (as there has been previously).

But it seems he has done his damage.

According to the Huffington Post‘s Paul Waugh (himself no friend to Mr Corbyn), the usual suspects were causing trouble over the false information in the Sunday Times at this week’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party – treating it as if it were true.

And Stella Creasy retweeted details of a motion that went before the PLP – again treating the “revelations” in the ST fiction as though they were accurate:

The motion goes far beyond what should be required at the moment.

The demand for information allowing MPs to establish for themselves whether the information in the ST story is accurate is reasonable – MPs want to put their minds at ease.

But there’s no reason to lump a demand for the party leadership to publish its response to the EHRC investigation on alleged Labour anti-Semitism. That is a separate matter from this.

There’s no reason to demand a statement of solidarity with the treacherous Jewish Labour Movement which, under the terms of Labour Party membership, should by rights have its affiliation removed and the memberships of those members of that organisation who are also members of Labour revoked, as they have made it clear, not only that they will not help get a Labour government elected – they will actively try to prevent the election of a Labour governent led by Jeremy Corbyn. That’s against party rules.

And there is no reason to “commit to a fully independent complaints process for all allegations of racism, bullying and harassment by party members”. That said, This Writer thinks it is an excellent idea, as the party’s National Constitutional Committee has proved completely incapable of acting properly in this matter – hence its nickname: “National Kangaroo Court”.

Of course, the format of this independent complaints process would be contentious, and no MP with an interest in the result of complaints would be able to contribute to the process of deciding what form it takes. That means no member of Labour Friends of Israel, the Jewish Labour Movement, or MP claiming to have been abused could decide how abuse allegations are handled.

There are ways of handling complaints that could be independent and impartial – and you should take close note of the fact that the word “impartial” was omitted from the motion – but I have serious doubts that they will be considered.

Yet again we see Labour MPs acting improperly in the wake of allegations against the party’s leadership.

And then they complain when local members call for their removal.


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Labour members are calling ‘time’ on Tom Watson

On his way out: Tom Watson.

When will backwards Blairite Tom Watson be ousted from his undeserved position as deputy leader of Labour? Sooner, rather than later, if party members have their way.

A model motion is set to sweep Constituency Labour Parties, demanding Mr Watson’s removal. The wording – calling for him to resign or submit himself for re-election – has been published by Skwawkbox.

It lists as reasons Mr Watson’s attempt to get MPs who raise complaints about anti-Semitism to forward them to him in flagrant disregard for data protection laws, and his decision to set up a group of Labour MPs to undermine the policies of party leader Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow cabinet.

But these are just two incidents among many.

Members are also likely to be incensed by his speech at the “Put It To The People” march on Saturday (March 23), when he said he would support Theresa May’s dire Brexit deal if she agreed to a new referendum – a pledge that follows a commitment from Mr Watson that it was his job to prevent the Conservative government from falling (as deputy leader of the Opposition, it is his job to remove the Conservatives from government and prevent them from ever returning).

And what about his bizarre behaviour at meetings of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, at which he delayed and disrupted proceedings by refusing to hand in his mobile phone in accordance with anti-leak procedures, claiming he needed it because he needed to be informed of developments around Brexit?

He filibustered the same meeting with points of procedure that delayed matters by 90 minutes, according to other NEC members – and then complained that it did not discuss the suspension of his personal friend Steve Eling, whose party membership was suspended in January.

And he attacked the procedures that allowed Derek Hatton back into the party, then suspended his membership over a tweet from 2012 in which Mr Hatton called on Jews across the world to criticise Israel.

Details of that meeting are available here and here.

Mr Watson’s main duty is to ensure that the Labour Party is able to win a general election but his behaviour since he was elected in 2015 has consistently undermined the party and its leadership.

He is worse than a liability – he is an enemy.

No wonder CLPs across the country are voting in support of his democratic removal.


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There is a fatal flaw in the Jewish Labour Movement’s ‘no confidence’ vote on Corbyn

Jeremy Newmark, who revived a moribund Jewish Labour Movement as a supporter of the aggressively-Zionist Israeli government, sitting between disgraced Israeli embassy conspirator Shai Masot and Israeli ambassador Mark Regev at a private meeting during Labour’s 2016 conference. Newmark is seen in undercover Al Jazeera footage giving the ambassador “intelligence.” For further information see this article.

Has nobody pointed out to the leaders of the Jewish Labour Movement that its planned vote of “no confidence” in Jeremy Corbyn will hold little weight, coming as it does from an organisation that is grossly misnamed.

Members of the wider public may not realise it, but to join the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), one doesn’t have to be a member of the Labour Party. Indeed, one doesn’t even have to be Jewish!

So the threat, published in The Independent among others –

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) is braced to vote on the unprecedented motion at its annual general meeting, which claims the party is “institutionally antisemitic” and Mr Corbyn’s leadership, combined with his past actions and associations shows “a complete disregard for the Jewish community in Britain”.

– holds little weight as the organisation does not represent the Jewish community in Britain, or even the Jewish Labour community.

(It is also worth pointing out to Lizzy Buchan, author of the Independent piece, that the JLM is not “Labour’s only Jewish group” and it is wrong to deny Jewish Voice for Labour, the Jewish Socialists’ Group, and even Jewdas their place within the Labour movement. Are they the “wrong kind of Jews” who keep getting mentioned?)

And, of course, with only around 2,000 members (including those who aren’t Jewish or members/supporters of the Labour Party), it would be grossly irresponsible to let the JLM influence a political organisation of more than half a million people.

The claim in the motion, that “blame for both the crisis of antisemitism within the Labour party and the party’s failure to deal with it therefore ultimately rests with Jeremy Corbyn” is nonsense.

It seems clear to anybody who bothers to do their research that the row was manufactured by supporters of the Israeli government who fear that Jeremy Corbyn, as Prime Minister, would halt UK support for that government’s aggressively-Zionist project to eradicate Palestine and the Palestinian people.

It is likely that Mr Corbyn would demand efforts to support the peaceful co-existence of both Israel and Palestine.

So it would be more accurate to argue that it is Mr Corbyn’s effort to halt the persecution of a particular religious, ethnic or racial group that the Jewish Labour Movement is opposing.

As I have mentioned in the past, it is a racist organisation that even discriminates against socialist Jews.

The remainder of the motion – that “Jeremy Corbyn is therefore unfit to be prime minister and that a Labour government led by him would not be in the interest of British Jews” is also, therefore, nonsense.

What the JLM means is that a Labour government led by Mr Corbyn would not be in the interests of the current Israeli government – nothing more than that.

The Independent article quotes a Labour spokesperson as saying, “One antisemite in our party is one too many… We are determined to tackle antisemitism and root it out of our party.”

A good place to do so would be the Jewish Labour Movement itself.

After the JLM voted to remain affiliated to Labour, I said this was so its leaders could orchestrate a walkout at a time that would cause maximum inconvenience to Mr Corbyn.

It would be better if Labour acknowledged the JLM’s role in falsely accusing Mr Corbyn and the party in general, launched an investigation into its attempts to bring the party into disrepute with false allegation, and suspended it in its entirety until such an investigation is complete and the culprits expelled.

https://twitter.com/TonyGreenstein/status/1108169784041066497

Sadly, both Mr Corbyn and the party in general have capitulated so completely to the false narrative of “institutional anti-Semitism” that a change to a more appropriate response may be used against them.

But while Labour may have painted itself into a corner, the party can still get out – by taking decisive action.


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