Tag Archives: ‘No’

Labour conference: as party leaders fight to destroy democracy, isn’t it time for a ‘no confidence’ vote?

Fraud: Keir Starmer pretended he would be a decent Labour leader but all he has done is destroy the party from within. For the good of UK politics, he must be removed. Who will have the courage to demand it?

Labour party MPs and members: which of you will be brave enough to demand a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the leadership of Keir Starmer?

The Labour leader – who got himself elected under false pretences and ditched all his election pledges after his win – is working hard to undermine democracy in his own party: he’s having delegates to the conference suspended en masse to prevent them voting to remove his unelected right-wing general secretary, David Evans.

Left-wing NEC member Mish Rahman has raised the issue on Twitter:

This is transparent, surely? Starmer is having delegates suspended purely so they won’t be able to vote to have Evans removed. They aren’t being given reasons for the suspension – and isn’t that itself a breach of party rules? – because there are no reasons.

That is not the act of the leader of a democratic socialist party. It is the blind savagery of a dictator.

The revelation follows the announcement that Starmer wants to roll back democracy in party leadership elections in order to save his own scrawny neck from legitimate challenges.

And we also heard recently that Starmer undermined Labour’s position on Brexit in order to engineer the 2019 election defeat that led to his election as leader in the first place.

Since then he has failed to oppose Boris Johnson’s incompetent Conservative government in any meaningful way, and seems more keen to support the Tory attacks on working and poor people, rather than do his job and defend them.

This is the background to the 2021 Labour conference, which starts on Saturday.

It is clear that Starmer’s behaviour is unacceptable on any level at all. He has disgraced the Labour Party and has brought its leadership into the worst kind of disrepute; he attacks his own party rather than the Tories.

Is there anybody within the Labour movement – who has not yet been expelled from the Labour Party itself – with the courage to stand up and demand his removal?

Anyone?

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Zero daily Covid-19 deaths announcement is because statisticians were off for bank holiday

Vaccine: the swift creation of a vaccine against Covid-19, and its efficient roll-out, overseen by the health service, has cut fatalities drastically. Of course our incompetent government must take no credit for it at all.

Don’t get me wrong – I think it is great that the UK recorded no Covid deaths on Bank Holiday Monday.

But I also think people should be reminded that fewer deaths are recorded on weekends, because statisticians are not working – and this situation increases during bank holidays.

If zero deaths are recorded on a working day during this week, it will be more significant.

That being said, the fact that the number of deaths has fallen so low is welcome. It is entirely due to the efforts of the scientists who created the vaccines and the health service workers who are providing the jabs. The Tory government must not take any credit for it at all.

The UK has announced zero daily Covid deaths within 28 days of a positive test for the first time since March 2020.

The latest figures also reported another 3,165 new cases, compared with 3,383 on Monday and 2,493 one week ago.

Source: Covid: Zero daily deaths announced in UK for first time – BBC News

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Foster quits as DUP boss over Brexit. Can we get similar leverage against Boris Johnson?

Gurning, gurning, gone: Arlene Foster, whose support of Theresa May in 2017 deprived the UK of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn, has been forced out of politics after a vote of “no confidence” by her party, the DUP. Why couldn’t it have happened sooner?

The leader of Ulster’s Democratic Unionist Party who propped up Theresa May’s minority Tory government to help push through a disastrous, unpopular exit from the EU is being forced to quit politics.

Arlene Foster, announced that she was resigning as DUP leader on Wednesday, after losing a vote of “no confidence” among party members.

About 80 per cent of the DUP’s Stormont and Westminster ranks signed a letter of no confidence in her leadership.

Brexit has been hugely divisive in Northern Ireland, with the imposition of an artificial trade border in the middle of the Irish Sea considered by many to be a breach of the Good Friday Agreement that ended the so-called ‘Troubles’, 23 years ago.

As a result, violence has flared up in many parts of the province.

Ms Foster supported the UK Conservative governments of Theresa May and Boris Johnson that have brought this division down upon Northern Ireland and it seems she is being made to take responsibility for the result.

She has now announced her intention to quit the DUP altogether, saying it is no longer the party she joined. Sour grapes?

Her future seems assured. Loyalty to the Tories tends to reap rewards for individuals, and it has been suggested that Foster will find her way into the House of Lords, with its £300-per-day salary, just for turning up.

Her fate raises an important question: when will Boris Johnson suffer a similar humiliation?

Johnson was the poster boy for Brexit. He campaigned hard for it in 2015-16, and was noted for his ridiculous red bus with a grotesque lie painted on the side, that money paid to the EU could be spent on the NHS if the UK left.

Trade deals he promised have failed to materialise. The UK’s banking power has been decimated. Exports have fallen dramatically. And the nation’s international influence is waning.

Johnson himself stands accused of serial dishonesty, and of wishing death on thousands of his fellow UK citizens in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis he has mishandled so atrociously.

And yet he remains perversely popular. For how much longer?

Arlene Foster believes the DUP is no longer the party she joined, say sources close to her.

Source: Arlene Foster to quit DUP after leaving leadership roles – BBC News

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Let’s do the Brexit ‘hokey-cokey’: supermarkets told to stockpile food after Sharma said no

Remember this? It won’t be toilet roll that’s missing from supermarket shelves in January if they follow Alok Sharma’s advice – it will be food.

I had not realised how badly business minister Alok Sharma embarrassed himself on Monday’s breakfast media round.

Only a few hours ago, as I type this, he told the nation – well, see for yourself:

It turns out he was directly contradicting the government of which he is the business minister! See:

The UK government is reported to have warned supermarkets to stockpile food and other essential supplies amid increasing fears of a no-deal Brexit in less than three weeks’ time.

And in anticipation of shortages prompted by a no-deal, ministers have told supermarkets to start stockpiling goods.

Food producers have warned supplies of fresh vegetables will be worst hit if tariffs were imposed on goods in the event of a no-deal. They say shortages could last for at least three months.

If that is accurate, then Sharma’s advice is borderline criminal.

He was telling supermarkets not to stock up on vital food, despite having been warned of a shortage in the very near future.

He was telling the nation’s grocers to starve the people of the UK.

Source: Supermarkets ‘told to stockpile food’ as fears grow of no-deal Brexit | Brexit | The Guardian

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#NoDealBrexit scenarios are HORRIFYING. Good thing Boris Johnson’s going to save us all, innit?

Nightmare scenario: a leaked document has shown exactly how bad the government thinks the future will be without a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU – and this is the man on whom we’re relying to prevent it.

My tongue was well and truly planted in my cheek when I wrote the second sentence of that headline.

I should accentuate that I have not personally seen the leaked documents mentioned by @RussinCheshire but ITV seems to have, and he has a good record, so let’s treat him as if we have and he’s accurate. He says:

It’s a crystal-ball view of a living nightmare-to-come.

So, as I state in the headline, what a relief that Boris Johnson is charging to the rescue and will sort out a deal with European Commission chair Ursula Von Der Leyen in the nick of time!

That’s what the Tories try to do these days, you see. They build up a huge amount of fear and stress over a possible future disaster – then they announce that they have solved the problem in the nick of time.

So there’s no need to worry – right?

Ah, but – oh.

Oh yes, that’s right too.

Boris Johnson has also been accused of being in collusion with a group of hedge fund managers who allegedly funded his campaign to become Tory leader – and prime minister – on condition that he cause a no-deal Brexit, so they can make around £8 BILLION betting against household-name British firms surviving the resulting economic crash.

So perhaps we really are facing the future nightmare after all.

Oh well. At the very least, 17 million or so of us can console themselves with the knowledge that they voted for it and treat it philosophically.

It’s just a shame that’s not an option for the rest of us – the overwhelming majority who either saw this disaster coming and voted against it… or who didn’t even have a chance to register a view.

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‘Australia deal’ or ‘no deal’? It’s all semantics, says Sharma

Alok Sharma: I’ve cartoonised the pic of him so he doesn’t look too contagious. The alternative would have been an image of a pilchard.

Alok Sharma – what a gift to satire.

Today (October 19) he was on the radio, gifting us with his interpretation of the kind of Brexit trade deal Boris Johnson is likely to hand British businesses:

No deal. But he tried to dress it up by calling it an “Australia-style” deal.

How did he think he’d get away with it?

Nick Ferrari on LBC made him look the fool he is:

“It’s a question of semantics”!

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, semantics is the branch of language and logic concerned with meaning; Sharma was admitting that an “Australia-type” deal and “no deal” are the same.

He was just – desperately – trying to dress it up to pretend that it wasn’t; a last-ditch bid to fool the less attentive or less well-read among the radio audience.

I don’t think it worked:

You’d probably get a better answer from a pilchard.

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If Starmer hadn’t whipped Labour to abstain on #spycops bill, this support for murder, torture & sex crimes would have been defeated

Keir Starmer: he probably thought he was being smart but all he really did was get it wrong again.

Well, isn’t this interesting?

The tweet isn’t quite correct; only 20 MPs voted against the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill that would authorise people from the Financial Conduct Authority (for example) to commit crimes up to and including murder, rape and torture in the course of an investigation – and they were all from the Labour Party.

But only 182 Tories voted for it.

If Keir Starmer had not whipped Labour MPs to abstain – and take note that exactly 182 of them did – then this endorsement of crime by a criminal government would have been stopped in its tracks.

Defenders of the Bill have claimed it isn’t as bad as some of us are saying – that spies working for the various government agencies would need approval to commit crimes before carrying out the acts for which the planned law would grant them immunity.

But the safeguards against abuse are said to be “very vague and very broad” and, as I mentioned in a previous article, there is the issue of “mission creep”: agents will end up committing ever-more-extreme crimes because they are told to do so on the spur of a moment, creating precedents to stretch what is permissible until it covers anything at all.

Take note: Starmer used to be a human rights lawyer.

But he just gave an insult to human rights a free pass to the next stage of becoming law.

And his supporters are trying to flood the social media with claims that he is a good thing. #StarmerOutstanding, they say.

He is outstanding. He is an outstanding threat to the well-being of you, me and everybody we know.

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PMQs: Starmer misses Johnson’s gaping-open goal, allowing the Tory to make a fool of him

Johnson and Starmer: we have a PM for whom the initials more appropriately refer to him as a Performing Monkey, but the ‘forensic’ former Attorney General is incapable of beating him, despite his incompetence.

Keir Starmer’s protestations of support for Tory government anti-Covid policies came back to bite him on the arse in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Two weeks after supporting the government in its decision to close pubs at 10pm, Starmer u-turned, demanding an explanation of the science behind it. He gave Johnson a perfect opportunity to land a knockout blow – and launch a new anti-Labour soundbite:

I was dismayed:

Sadly, that was the way of it for the whole of this week’s PMQs – as I had feared at the outset:

Look at the rest of my commentary on the confrontation:

He didn’t. But Johnson picked up on that failure and it led to the knockout later on.

As I write this, Jo Coburn on the BBC’s Politics Live is suggesting to Labour’s Stephen Doughty that Starmer wrote Johnson “a blank cheque” by offering his support “whatever restrictions are in place”.

That failure – that lack of closure – seems to have given Johnson the confidence to launch his own attack.

I could have done better:

Starmer is under attack at the moment, for his failures to lead an effective Opposition against the Johnson government.

On Twitter, the general public are at each other’s throats with many attacking him under the #StarmerOut hashtag, while others have tried to subvert that with an opposing line, #StarmerOutstanding.

In the real world, the union Unite has withdrawn 10 per cent of its funding because Starmer “isn’t listening” on matters of major importance (I’ll make more of this in a separate article).

If he can’t respond to these criticisms – as he failed to protect himself from Johnson soundbiting him into shreds – then he must seriously reconsider his position.

He is leading Labour into irrelevance.

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‘Go to the cinema’ says Johnson. Fool me twice, shame on… who?

Not the cinema announcement: but the caption behind Boris Johnson (that I made for a previous story) is also appropriate to this one.

I know it’s just a coincidence, but shortly after This Site published an article criticising the Johnson government for jeopardising the arts and entertainment in the UK during the Covid crisis, BoJob himself made a pronouncement about it.

He got it all wrong, of course.

Johnson should have announced financial help for venues and businesses – for the duration of the Covid crisis, while his restrictions make it impossible for them to break even, and in addition to any schemes already in place that clearly aren’t doing enough.*

You see, I’d rather be able to go to the pictures, even if the auditorium is practically empty by order of the government, than for the cinema to be closed – possibly for ever.

Instead, BoJob passed the buck to us – as usual.

“Go to the cinema,” he told us – just as he told us to go to the pub and the restaurant back in the summer.

And what happened?

There was a huge spike in Covid-19 infections and Johnson blamed us.

Fool us once, BoJob, shame on you. Fool us twice – shame on us.

What will you do if we go and there’s another increase in Covid infections? Blame us for your mistake again?

What will you do if we don’t, and lots of cinemas go out of business? Blame us again?

I think it’s best if we just ignore Johnson as an incompetent nincompoop and make a rule that any unhappy consequence is his concern, not ours.

Oh, and this will make it easier: the film he wants us to go and see? It’s the new James Bond, No Time To Die.

And its release has just been delayed until April next year.

And also: Cineworld is closing its 120 UK cinemas anyway.

So we can happily stay away for the time being, and still say we were following Johnson’s instructions.

And in the meantime, we can demand to know what he’s going to do about the economic crisis he caused.

Here are comments from just a few people who feel as I do:

*It seems this is unlikely to happen because Johnson and his government haven’t actually started any of these schemes. Here’s @RussInCheshire with The Week In Tory:

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Tory threat to our cinemas as their failure to cope with Covid hits entertainment industry

“Delayed AGAIN???” Daniel Craig wonders whether the new James Bond film, No Time To Die, will ever see cinema release.

I don’t want to have any “it’s not their fault” mewling over this.

Cineworld is not the only venue for the creative industries that is suffering as a result of the Johnson government’s failure to get a grip on Covid-19.

But while BoJob and his buddies funnel money hand over fist to their chums in fake firms, set up in a pretence at treating/preventing the disease, they’re letting our artists and entertainers go to the wall.

They’ll say it’s because they haven’t got a legal means of helping but I think they just want to end fun in our lifetime.

Cineworld is set to temporarily close its UK cinemas in the coming weeks.

The firm is writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to say the industry is now “unviable”.

The firm says it has been hit by delays in the release of big-budget films, putting 5,500 jobs at risk.

The premiere of James Bond film No Time To Die has been postponed twice and is now due for release in April 2021.

Philippa Childs of entertainment and broadcasting union Bectu said: “The delay in the release of the Bond film along with the other delayed releases has plunged cinema into crisis.”

In a socially-distanced country, cinemas simply aren’t viable. Current guidelines mean operators should “organise seating to ensure two-metre distancing can be maintained; where two metres is not viable, one metre with risk mitigation is acceptable. Mitigations should be considered and those introduced set out in the risk assessment”. In Scotland, the two-metre rule must be maintained strictly.

That means only a handful of people can attend any auditorium at any time and it becomes unviable to employ the staff needed to run a venue.

It’s not often that I agree with this tweeter any more, but I’ll make an exception in this case:

Cineworld expects to make 5,500 staff unemployed while the 120-venue chain is closed – throwing them on the scant mercy of the Johnson government.

The hope is that they will be able to re-employ those members of their former staff who survive a winter of Covid-19 and the Tories’ harsh benefit conditions.

If that happens, I hope the company doesn’t take the easy – and very Tory – option of using this as an opportunity to cut staff pay and conditions. That would be a step too far.

Source: Cineworld to shut down UK screens after Bond film delay – BBC News

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