Tag Archives: order

Labour members are banned from talking about Corbyn – and they’re not taking it lying down

Still the most apt comment on Keir Starmer: his namesake Hardie obviously didn’t say those words but if he were alive today, he might well follow through on the threat.

It’s the new policy from the Labour leadership: do as we say, not as we do.

Why is it permissible for Keir Starmer, David Evans, Angela Rayner, Lisa bloody Nandy, uncle Tom Cobley and all in the shadow cabinet and the NEC to spout any tripe they like about the suspended former Labour leader, while gagging rank-and-file party members?

It isn’t, as far as This Writer can see. Party rules certainly don’t allow for it.

And party members aren’t standing for it.

The edict, mentioned in the Mirror yesterday, is a repeat of what Evans and Starmer said back on October 29 when Corbyn was suspended – and party members ignored it then, too.

There have been petitions and open letters signed by members from CLPs across the UK, and individuals have spoken out on the social media and in their own groups.

They will continue to do so, because the Labour Party was founded on the principle that everybody is equal and, in this case, Starmer and the others have led by example.

They made a huge fuss about Corbyn’s suspension when they announced it; they can’t complain about everybody else making a fuss about it now.

And the way they are tackling the issue has been likened to Russian politics under Stalin in the 1930s:

An MP who was at the meeting… said: “In 40 years I’ve never seen anything like it. It was a bit scary.

“It’s like 1938 in the USSR, with the show trials. I’m not, and never have been, a fan of JC but it makes me feel a bit nervous.”

Starmer will hate this comment. He has already been labelled Keir Stalin over his ham-handed handling of Corbyn’s suspension.

And worse was to follow as Labour – and ex-Labour members took to the social media to hammer him:

All of the above are good, valid comments but I would draw particular attention to the one below. Unlike the others, it comments on the posture adopted by Starmer and his cronies who are currently infesting the Labour Party’s top positions:

That is what rings true, in everything Starmer has done since he became party leader – ironically on a “continuity Corbyn” ticket.

He isn’t a socialist. He’s a neoliberal, cut from the same mould as Tony Blair, Iain McNicol and Peter Mandelson. He hates the socialism that swept Corbyn to the leadership and boosted party membership to more than half a million.

And that means if you are a Labour member who joined because of Corbyn, Keir Starmer hates you.

He will try to drive you out. He has probably succeeded in pushing out many of your colleagues already.

He is trying to annul the votes of those who have left from the current NEC elections, in order to gerrymander a victory for hard-right-wing candidates, because he thinks that will send you on your way.

He is proving, every day, that he fooled huge numbers of you; you elected to the head of a democratic socialist party a man who is neither a socialist nor a democrat.

He deserves all the exposure you can heap on him. So to Labour members I say: 

  • Ignore Keir Stalin’s dictat to stay silent about Jeremy Corbyn. If you all speak up, there’s nothing they can do about it.
  • Expose the inconsistencies in his posture. His closest colleagues have broken party rules and they have committed acts of genuine anti-Semitism. Why has he taken no action against them?
  • And demand that the party leadership return to following its own rules by suspending all those who have broken them – including Starmer himself.
  • Do not give up until you have won.

You are many – he and his cabal are few.

Source: Labour banned from talking about Jeremy Corbyn’s possible expulsion from party – Mirror Online

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Calls for Corbyn to be reinstated are proliferating – after Starmer’s Labour tried to shut them down

Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn: Corbyn would have been well-advised not to turn his back on Starmer.

I wonder how well Keir Starmer thinks his clampdown on support for Jeremy Corbyn is going.

Starmer – or I should say the Labour leadership – issued notice that no party member should comment on the decision to suspend Corbyn’s membership, immediately after it was made on October 29.

(Some CLPs are ignoring the order.)

(And some party officers have flouted democratic processes to deny members the ability to vote on the matter.)

A special fast-track complaints process was put in place to ensure that party members who ignored the dictat could be reported as soon as possible – in direct contradiction of the wishes of the EHRC report that Starmer had – that very day – promised to honour.

And Labour members across the country are ignoring it.

Corbyn’s wife, Laura Alvarez, is encouraging part members to sign an open letter to Starmer, calling for his suspension to be lifted:

The web page warns that “your name and CLP will be in the public domain” – meaning anyone signing should be aware that their party membership may be at risk.

Corbyn’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell has supported a Change.org petition, simply calling for Corbyn’s reinstatement:

Zarah Sultana has also put herself in line for punishment by the Starmer regime by supporting the same petition:

Other Labour MPs are acting unilaterally. Here’s Claudia Webbe making her own appeal for Corbyn’s reinstatement – and potentially damaging her own career prospects by doing so:

And of course party members and the general public are also having their say online. For example:

The Demonisation & Suspension of Jeremy Corbyn

Meanwhile the vindictiveness of the Starmer regime seems to know no bounds:

Starmer said he did not want civil war within the Labour Party – but then, Starmer says a lot of things.

Civil war is exactly what he has caused.

And he has done it at a time when a properly-run Parliamentary opposition party would be attacking Boris Johnson’s inept government for its utter uselessness in the face of a deadly viral pandemic that is spreading uncontrollably across the UK.

Why is Starmer ignoring his duty to focus on his obsession?

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Tory ‘rape clause’ starts to fall apart: how can a woman be denied benefit for being raped in the wrong order?

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“Punish the rapist, not the victim”: Campaigners against the so-called ‘rape clause’ have been trying to overturn the rule for years.

We’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

The experience of the lady involved in this story shows that the Tories are discriminating unfairly between rape victims.

They’re saying that a person can have two children and still receive the child element of Universal Credit for a third born of rape, only if it was the third, and born after April 2017.

This clearly discriminates against mothers who have had first or second children as a result of rape, because they are then forbidden from claiming the child element of UC for a third child that they wanted.

Both situations involve two children not born of rape and one that is, but only one qualifies for the benefit.

That is unfair.

I hope someone takes a case through the courts. Perhaps this is a job for public interest solicitors like Leigh Day, who seem to have done very well with other benefit-related cases recently?

Then, with luck, we’ll be able to force the Tories to u-turn on this despicable rule that humiliates women who have already suffered too much.

Source: DWP denies mum Universal Credit for her child because she was raped in the wrong order – Mirror Online

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Tory government’s wish to avoid embarrassment on Personal Protective Equipment puts us all in danger

Why is the government dragging its feet so badly on the provision of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to NHS workers? Do the Tories have some psychotic desire to watch us all die of the coronavirus?

This is a government that was told – years ago – that the UK’s health service would be unable to cope with a pandemic virus infection without plentiful supplies of protective equipment for health workers… and decided that such an investment was too expensive.

And now:

Also:

NHS workers are crying out for proper equipment because the lack of it is putting them in danger – and if they’ve got the virus themselves, they can’t treat anybody. Consider this:

Doctors and nurses can’t have the equipment because it simply isn’t there:

The NHS procurement chief mentioned above was Alan Hoskins, whose tweet on Sunday, which has since been deleted, said: “What a day, no gowns NHS Supply Chain. Rang every number escalated to NHS England, just got message back — no stock, can’t help, can send you a PPE pack. Losing the will to live, god help us all.”

It’s possible that the tweet was deleted under duress, as it seems doctors have been warned not to make any comments about shortages on social media, as well as avoiding talking to journalists, and NHS England has taken over media operations for many hospitals and health trusts in order to ensure that they all stay “on message”.

Some doctors claimed managers had threatened their careers if they breathed a word of how bad the situation really was:

This part is grimly amusing: “NHS England confirmed it was controlling media communications, which it said was part of its national emergency incident planning to ensure the public received “clear and consistent information”. Notice that nothing is said about that information being factually accurate!

But why aren’t NHS workers getting the protective equipment they need?

It’s a good question, considering the manufacturers have been desperate to provide it, but haven’t been able to even start making them until the government put in an order – and the government did nothing but stall for a prolonged period of time:

https://twitter.com/ScouseGirlMedia/status/1244347321875410959

Fashion and textile firms said they could have begun making gowns and masks for frontline workers on March 19.

The government, meanwhile, has been insisting that everything is all right – creating something of a credibility gap:

Trade group Make It British said factories had been receiving calls from individual hospitals, begging them to send anything they could provide.

A spokesperson said she believes the government does not have the expertise it needs to source the products from UK firms because it is so used to importing goods from overseas.

So This Writer would suggest that the government has been hiding the fact in order to prevent embarrassment for ministers.

And that leads me to the big question:

Which is more important – saving lives or saving Tory ministers’ blushes?

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With so many others closing, why not hairdressers? Because they haven’t been told to

I was talking to an acquaintance the other day – a person of senior years who fits into several of the coronavirus “at risk” categories.

“Oh yes,” she assured me. “I’m self-isolating.”

Great!

“I was only telling my hairdresser about it at the salon today.”

What?

I mean, what?

Yeah. She was absolutely staying away from contact with any other people who could possibly pass on Covid-19 to her – apart from any other people who happened to be at the hairdresser’s at the same time as her. And she didn’t think there was anything wrong with that.

And here’s the thing:

Even the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) – that represents hairdressing salons – knows that people who attend such establishments are putting themselves at risk.

Why haven’t they closed?

Well, some have done so voluntarily.

But most have not – because the government hasn’t told them to do it.

See, without an order from Boris Johnson’s administration, hairdressers can’t get access to the financial help that has been put in place for businesses.

That’s why the NHBF has asked for salons to be put on the list of businesses that must close.

Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself:

The Government issued instructions on Friday 20 March about which businesses must close but made no mention of hair salons, barbershops or beauty salons. The NHBF has urgently contacted a number of key government officials and departments (see details below) to ask for all salons and barbershops to be immediately added to the list of businesses that must close.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we fully understand how worried everyone in our industry is at the moment. Our priority is to protect our industry, colleagues, business owners, employees and clients from the further spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Some salons and barbershops have already taken the decision to close, and we believe that this is the right decision. Stylists, therapists and barbers are inevitably in close contact with a wide range of clients which means they cannot follow the government’s social distancing guidelines.

My own experience with my acquaintance tells me that the NHBF is right.

It’s vital that the government puts hairdressing salons on the ‘closed’ list – otherwise people like her will blithely put themselves in danger without a second’s thought.

Source: Coronavirus: NHBF update 22 March 2020 – National Hair & Beauty Federation

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Tory ‘law and order’ campaign falls flat on its… truncheon

Lawless: All those police officers behind Boris Johnson, and not one of them had the good sense to take him into custody.

That was short and not-very-sweet, wasn’t it?

Yesterday we heard that the Conservatives would try to make December’s general election about law and order. Today, that plan fell to ruin.

It seems the Conservatives wanted to trumpet their claim to be adding 20,000 police officers to our streets. There was only one problem:

It has already been debunked.

We know that it was the Tories who cut the service by 21,000 in the first place.

We also know that, with natural wastage occurring all the time (such as retirements or resignations), adding 20,000 won’t even make up the staffing level we have at the moment.

So we know that any claim to be restoring law and order to a higher standard in this way is false advertising, if not an outright lie.

Also, of course, there’s no point in having police if the Tories are going to use them as political tools – as seems to have been the case in the Extinction Rebellion protests, when they victimised vulnerable people with disabilities.

But health secretary Matt Hancock didn’t seem to know that, when he appeared on Good Morning Britain.

The result was a train crash for him, and a killing for the show’s co-presenter, Susannah Reid:

Now, to judge from Nadhim Zahawi’s performance on the BBC’s Politics Live, the Tories want to make it about the NHS.

But wasn’t there a scandal about a dodgy US trade deal to rig the price of drugs, only yesterday?

Ah yes, that’s right: Price-rigging is now to be known as “valuing innovation”.

Hopefully the Tories’ innovative valuing system will price them right out of being re-elected.

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Tory aide in bar ruckus – and Johnson wants his election to be about law and order!

James Starkie.

You couldn’t make it up, could you?

Here’s The Guardian‘s Rowena Mason:

“The home secretary’s chief of staff was escorted out of a bar in parliament by armed police earlier – just as MPs were voting on an election that Boris Johnson wants to make about law and order.

“Two people who witnessed the incident say James Starkie was ordered out of Strangers bar after swearing loudly in the vicinity of a Tory MP, Col Bob Stewart, being refused service and appearing to punch a door.

“As police escorted him out of the bar, which is frequented by MPs, witnesses said he apologised for his behaviour.

“Starkie is a familiar face around Westminster as a former Vote Leave campaigner who went on to work for Michael Gove, before taking up his position as a senior adviser to Priti Patel. A House of Commons spokesperson said:

“‘We can confirm there was an incident with an individual in Strangers bar. The individual was asked to leave, and was escorted from the estate by parliamentary security.'”

How can Johnson claim to improve the rule of law in the nation at large when he can’t even enforce it among his followers?

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Tories withdraw illegal leaflet telling disabled jobseekers to downplay their conditions

Arbet macht frei: There was a big fuss over an image like this recently, so I’ll tell you what: I’ll stop using it when Job Centres stop persecuting the benefit claimants they process.

A “well-intentioned” leaflet urging people with disabilities to mislead employers about their conditions has been withdrawn by the Department for Work and Pensions, after questions were asked in Parliament.

The official DWP leaflet, issued by a Job Centre in Dorset, told jobseekers to avoid using words like “chronic” or “depression” when applying for work. They were told to use “more general terms” and to avoid making things “sound worse than they are”.

It stated: “Avoid words that sound worse than they are, eg: chronic, degenerating, etc.

“You may find it helpful to use official diagnosis terms, eg multiple sclerosis, PTSD.

“Equally, you may wish to avoid terms such as depression, ME, or low back pain etc and use more general terms such as low mood or a mental health condition, a fatigue-related condition, an ongoing pain condition etc.”

Shadow minister for disabled people Marsha de Cordova raised the issue in a point of order in the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday, October 8).

She said: “In essence, the DWP is encouraging disabled people to downplay their disability or health condition.

“It cannot be right that the Department expects disabled people to downplay their disability or health condition.”

Hours later, the DWP announced that the leaflet had been withdrawn.

A statement read: “This was well-intentioned local advice but has been withdrawn, as we would always encourage jobseekers to speak freely about a health condition or disability.”

The wording of the leaflet had been used before, in a “positive health statement” that was circulated by the Dorset NHS trust issued in 2013 – so it is reasonable to believe that the offending leaflet was produced in Dorset.

It was still against the law, though.

Under the Equality Act 2010, disabled people – including those with mental health problems – are entitled to protection if their disability has a substantial, adverse, and long term effect on normal day-to-day activities. It is therefore unreasonable to ask them to “downplay” their disabilities in any way.

So that leaves a thorny question still unanswered:

As the leaflet did break the law, and was passed to people who live with disabilities, who will be prosecuted for it?

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NHS ‘gagging orders’ are to end – because the Tories don’t need them any more?

Tory Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said NHS non-disclosure agreements – so-called ‘gagging orders’ preventing whistle-blowers from speaking up – are to be ended.

He says his government is on the side of the whistle-blowers, which seems odd, considering his government was the organisation that imposed the obligation of silence in the first place.

The health secretary has vowed to end the use of non-disclosure agreements that prevent would-be NHS whistleblowers speaking out.

Matt Hancock said he wants more people to feel they can “put their head above the parapet”, and described settlement agreements that infringe on people’s rights to voice concerns as “completely inappropriate”.

Perhaps this is simply a rule that has outlived its usefulness and the Tories don’t need it any more?

Source: NHS non-disclosure agreements to end, vows Matt Hancock | Society | The Guardian


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Tories gag drug companies to stop them admitting no-deal Brexit will seriously harm the UK – and their own electability

Companies must sign non-disclosure clauses “to prevent leaks that could weaken the government’s negotiating ability”.

It isn’t often that I agree with Keir Starmer these days, but he’s right on the money here:

The fact that the Tories are asking firms to sign non-disclosure agreements is tacit confirmation – not only that a no-deal Brexit is now likely, but that it will also cause an incalculable amount of harm to the UK economy.

This leads us inexorably to the other reason an NDA would be demanded; the information the Tories would provide to company representatives must be so damning that they think it will seriously harm not just the economy but their party’s electability.

The Conservatives know that they are responsible. Not only did they trigger the referendum that led to this point, they made sure no effort was made to explain what Brexit would mean in the run-up to the vote, and they have squabbled among themselves like children rather than acting in the interests of the country after it.

But they want to hide this from the general public.

So they are forcing gagging orders on anybody they think might give the game away.

With less than five months to go before we sever our ties with our greatest trading partner, the UK is on the brink of Conservative-created catastrophe.

Drug companies are being told to sign gagging clauses before discussing contingency plans for a chaotic no-deal Brexit with the government.

The Department for Health and Social Care has asked drug companies as well as bodies representing the pharmaceutical industry to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) so that officials can talk to them “in confidence” and ensure that “any requests of them are clear, appropriate and deliverable”.

Labour accused the government of silencing the health sector. After last week’s revelations about the retail magnate Sir Philip Green’s use of NDAs, Theresa May vowed to crack down on employers who are “using them unethically” and to “improve the regulation around NDAs”, although the prime minister did not condemn the use of gagging clauses altogether.

Source: Drug companies gagged over no-deal talks | News | The Times

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