Tag Archives: pledges

Labour goons are trying to get lefties to buckle under to Starmer. Did they miss the last five years?

Keir Starmer: he’s not interested in accommodating left-wingers in Labour; he just wants them to shut up and do as they’re told.

It must be a kind of psychosis. Former Corbyn adviser Andrew Fisher’s outburst in The Guardian is just a symptom.

After spending five years refusing point-blank to accept Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party and follow the new (which was actually a traditional) Labour Party line, these creeps – and their buddie in the media (Graun) – are trying to get lefties to slavishly follow Starmer:

Labour’s left must work constructively with Keir Starmer and resist the temptation to go “back in our sealed tomb”, Jeremy Corbyn’s former policy chief has warned.

Notice the choice of language. Nobody on the left suggested the uptight right-wingers belonged in a “sealed tomb” (although let’s be honest, a fascist rally would be more appropriate).

He said it was the responsibility of senior figures within the party’s left to reassure new members that Corbyn’s replacement would not lead to their marginalisation.

That would be irresponsible because we have already seen leading left-wing figures marginalised (Rebecca Long-Bailey, for example).

Fisher said Starmer’s 10 leadership election pledges, which included commitments on abolishing tuition fees, taxing the wealthy and public ownership, was “still basically our policy programme”.

Not true – Starmer has already reneged on nine out of the 10.

So I don’t believe Fisher, and I don’t think anybody else should either.

The opportunity for the different sides of “broad church” Labour to come together was under the left-wing leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

It can’t happen under right-wingers like Keir Starmer because their attitude is as described in this article’s headline: buckle under or bugger off.

They’re not interested in devising a policy platform that is acceptable to traditional Labour supporters – and good for the country as a whole.

They just want to use rank-and-file Labour subscriptions to line their own pockets. In This Writer’s opinion.

Source: Labour left must work with Starmer or risk ‘return to tomb’, says Corbyn adviser | Politics | The Guardian

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Starmer’s failure on migrants shows he is breaking his leader election pledges as fast as he can

Keir Starmer: he’s no revolutionary. In fact, he’s abandoning his stated principles one by one.

Do you think Keir Starmer ever bothers to think about the 10 pledges he made to Labour members when he was campaigning to be elected party leader?

He certainly can’t have been thinking about Pledge #6 this week. It states:

Defend migrants’ rights

Full voting rights for EU nationals. Defend free movement as we leave the EU. An immigration system based on compassion and dignity. End indefinite detention and call for the closure of centres such as Yarl’s Wood.”

I mention this because his current shadow shadow immigration minister, responding to the Tory government’s homicidal determination to get rid of asylum-seekers – no matter what harm it causes them – hasn’t.

According to LabourList editor Sienna Rodgers, shadow immigration minister Holly Lynch said:

Today they have announced a new “comprehensive action plan” but have failed to reveal what that involves or when it will be enacted. We’re calling on the government to urgently provide the detail, and reveal why it has taken them this long to make any progress on a solution.

I don’t even see an attempt to “defend migrants’ rights” there. Mention of “a solution” suggests that the Starmer leadership considers migrants/asylum-seekers/refugees as a problem, rather than as people.

Contrast that with the comment of previous party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow immigration minister, Bell Ribeiro-Addy [bolding mine]:

We have a legal & moral responsibility to refugees fleeing famine, war and violence. They are not the problem. The problem is the dangerous routes they must take.

We should be looking at safe and legal routes, not intimidating them with Navy ships.

Compare the comments for yourself – Bat020 has tweeted them both side-by-side:

We should not be surprised by Starmer’s about-turn over migrant rights, though.

He ditched the very first of his 10 pledges as soon as he could. That was the one that promised Economic justice, saying that he would

Increase income tax for the top 5% of earners, reverse the Tories’ cuts in corporation tax and clamp down on tax avoidance, particularly of large corporations. No stepping back from our core principles.

He did step back from it, though.

Also unlikely to see the light of day in a Starmer government is Pledge #3: Climate justice:

Put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything we do. There is no issue more important to our future than the climate emergency. A Clean Air Act to tackle pollution locally. Demand international action on climate rights.

Back in June, a Starmer spokesperson said he was considering dropping climate change targets written into the Green New Deal, in order to win elections.

A spokesperson for Keir Starmer said that he had supported the plans included in Labour’s last manifesto, but that the party had lost the election.

It seems migrants are just the next group set for betrayal by Starmer.

His pledges mean nothing.

It seems he doesn’t stand for anything other than himself.

Source: 10 Pledges | Keir Starmer

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Labour leadership: Here are 10 Pledges that the candidates – and ALL of us – can support

Labour’s remaining leadership candidates need to stop listening to outside organisations representing a minority viewpoint that does not have the party’s interests at heart – and start listening to people like Kay Green.

Everybody who is angry at the Labour leadership and deputy leadership candidates who have signed up to the Board of Deputies of British Jews’ 10 pledges, like turkeys voting for Christmas, should read a new article by blogger Kay Green.

It has been suggested that perhaps Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry (leader candidates) along with Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Ian Murray (deputy candidates) signed up to these pledges without reading them, simply to get the BoD off their collective backs.

If so, they would at least have some excuse for failing to realise the huge amount of harm they would be doing to the Labour Party if they follow through on the demands.

They would trigger an all-out witch-hunt, with members expected to be expelled upon being accused, no matter how dodgy the accusation or suspicious the accuser.

Many believe the majority of party members would not accept this ill-treatment by the leadership and would walk out, declaring an intention not to support the party until this nonsense is purged. That is my belief.

This would critically weaken the Labour Party, making it unable to win any general elections, possibly for decades to come. It would also end the careers of all those who signed up to the pledges as politicians who should expect to be taken seriously.

So we’ve established that the 10 pledges are an attempt at sabotage by an organisation – the BoD – that is dominated by Conservatives who intend nothing but harm to the Labour Party.

Now here’s Kay Green with an alternative.

She has taken the BoD’s headline pledges and crafted 10 of her own, using the same wording where available but attaching different – and much improved meanings.

So, for example, where the BoD suggests pledge 1: Resolve outstanding cases should mean “All outstanding and future cases should be brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale,” Ms Green suggests:

Many members are hampered in their political activities by the lingering uncertainty of what they suspect are vexatious, politically motivated complaints. We are a well-funded organisation. If you haven’t got the staff, please employ some to get these cases looked at speedily and, where not justified, thrown out.

Isn’t that a million times better than the nonsense from Marie Van Der Zyl and her vicious Tory cronies?

Under pledge 2: Make the Party’s disciplinary process independent, the BoD stated “An independent provider should be used to process all complaints, to eradicate any risk of partisanship and factionalism” and this may be viewed as one of the more reasonable demands. But Ms Green’s version is better:

Stop taking instructions from organisations that have, one way or another, managed to present as the uncontested voice of people who don’t necessarily agree with them, and please endeavour to stop MPs being fooled by such organisations.

We can all get behind that! And yes, it is a criticism of the Board of Deputies itself, which claims to speak for all British Jews despite specifically excluding some individuals and organisations in a manner which is itself anti-Semitic.

If you don’t believe me on that, examine the Board’s pledge 8: Engagement with the Jewish community to be made via its main representative groups, which states: “Labour must engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through finge organisations and individuals.” These groups would all be chosen by the Board and would exclude organisations like Jewish Voice for Labour or Jewdas.

Ms Green’s version of that pledge is exemplary. Re-worded as “Engage with the membership, and with the people of this country, as efficiently and as directly as you can”, it states:

When you engage with “the community” please take some time to work out exactly who you are engaging with, and what actual proportion of the actual people in this country you are dealing with. If it turns out to be a strangely small number of voices speaking for a larger group, do some research and try again.

This is another criticism of the Board of Deputies, of course.

Other pledges by Ms Green demand that Labour give a better account of itself and its processes to members. I particularly applaud pledge 4: Prevent re-admittance of prominent offenders, which states:

Resist giving shadow cabinet posts or other power positions to MPs or execs who have repeatedly briefed against the party and/or the manifesto in ways that clearly go against the members’ wishes, or who have seriously misrepresented or slandered the membership.

The fear at the moment is that such people will in fact end up in positions of considerable power.

But probably the best of the lot is Ms Green’s version of pledge 5: Provide no platform for bigotry. Her version exposes the Board of Deputies for what it is – bigotry writ large.

The BoD version of this pledge demands that “Any MPs, Peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of antisemitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership” – in other words, anybody with opinions the Board does not personally support should be removed from the party. Yes, there is reference to “anti-Semitic incidents”, but who decides that they are genuine examples of anti-Semitism? The Board of Deputies, which has a political agenda? That is bigotry.

Indeed, among its pledges, the Board actually names individuals it demands should never be allowed back into the Labour Party.

Ms Green has recognised this, and her version really puts a seal on what the BoD has been trying to do:

Bigotry means disrespect for, or abuse aimed at, others whose ideas disagree with yours.

Do not let anyone with a powerful voice in the party demand the silencing or no-platforming of members, former members, or citizens generally, unless those individuals are clearly breaking the law by, for example, inciting violence.

On the other hand, on no account name or label individuals you happen to disagree with in a way that encourages the public to see them as ‘fair game’ for abuse or disrespect, especially don’t do this just because you don’t want views that challenge your own heard.

There are more, and they are also good. I recommend you visit Ms Green’s site (address below) and see for yourself.

I would extend this recommendation particularly strongly to the individuals named at the top of this article.

Source: 10 Pledges to end the leadership crisis for Labour – Kay Green

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Labour leader candidates sign Board of Deputies’ pledges in bid to become completely unelectable

Rogues’ gallery: Five of the six Labour leader candidates have signed up to the Board of Deputies’ undemocratic, divisive and damaging list of pledges. Only Clive Lewis has had the good sense to decline (so far) – and he is struggling to get enough nominations from fellow MPs to get on the ballot paper!

This is either an act of unutterable stupidity or a conscious betrayal of the entire Labour Party membership – and four of the five leadership hopefuls have committed it.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews – a self-appointed organisation claiming to represent Jews in the UK, believed to be composed mostly of Conservative voters – has released a list of 10 pledges  – in fact demands – its members claim Labour must support “in order to begin healing its relationship with the Jewish community”.

The Board of Deputies has no right to claim that it represents all British Jews; it doesn’t.

As for the list – let’s have a look:

“1. Resolve outstanding cases: All outstanding and future cases should be brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale.”

This is an insult to justice. Cases take as long as they take – otherwise more innocent parties will fall victim to miscarriages of justice, as has already happened in the cases of Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Chris Williamson and myself, to name only a few.

“2. Make the Party’s disciplinary process independent: An independent provider should be used to process all complaints, to eradicate any risk of partisanship and factionalism.”

And how is that supposed to happen? The Board of Deputies will be certain to demand a veto on any organisation chosen to carry out such work, ensuring that its disciplinary process could not be independent. This demand also conflicts with pledge 7, below. Come to that, it’ll be a neat trick marrying this up with pledge 10.

“3. Ensure transparency: Key affected parties to complaints, including Jewish representative bodies, should be given the right to regular, detailed case updates, on the understanding of confidentiality.”

This is a demand for access to confidential information about party members to be provided to people from outside organisations who may belong to organisations that oppose the Labour Party. I’ve already mentioned the BoD’s apparent preference for Conservative government; who else would want access under this unreasonable demand. And isn’t it contrary to the Data Protection Act?

“4. Prevent readmittance of prominent offenders: It should be made clear that prominent offenders who have left or been expelled from the party, such as Ken Livingstone or Jackie Walker, will never be readmitted to membership.”

This Writer is currently in the process of court action against the Labour Party over its decision to wrongfully expel me. If I succeed, then the party will be legally bound to readmit me, no matter what some third party like the BoD may think. This is simply an attempt to prevent Labour from reconsidering decisions to expel innocent members under false pretences.

“5. Provide no platform for bigotry: Any MPs, Peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of antisemitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership.”

This is a blatant attempt to thin out the party, ensuring that it remains too weak to win any future election. All members who were falsely accused have supporters who remain members, but this means anyone saying anything remotely supportive will face automatic suspension and possible expulsion. It is a fascistic attempt to exert control. And if anyone signing up to this pledge becomes leader, it will probably be unnecessary as the exodus is likely to be thunderous. People who have supported me have already indicated their disgust with Labour’s behaviour over the last few years, and a willingness to leave of their own accord.

“6. Adopt the international definition of antisemitism without qualification: The IHRA definition of antisemitism, with all its examples and clauses, and without any caveats, will be fully adopted by the party and used as the basis for considering antisemitism disciplinary cases.”

The man who wrote the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is on the record as saying that it has been weaponised by hard right-wing characters to demand support for criminal activities by the government of Israel. It was intended to be a working definition and is flawed in that it can be interpreted as demanding that anyone criticising the Israeli government should be treated as an anti-Semite.

See for yourself:

“7. Deliver an anti-racism education programme that has the buy-in of the Jewish community: The Jewish Labour Movement should be reengaged by the Party to lead on training about antisemitism.”

So much for “make the Party’s disciplinary process independent”. Labour has, in the past, told members to take anti-Semitism training from the JLM, but those members would be fools to accept it as the JLM has been known to fake evidence in order to get party members expelled.

“8. Engagement with the Jewish community to be made via its main representative groups: Labour must engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through fringe organisations and individuals.”

This is an example of genuine anti-Semitism. The Board of Deputies is trying to ensure that groups representing a more common-sense attitude, like Jewish Voice for Labour and Jewdas, are denied a voice. That’s denying Jewish people a right to self-determination, and it’s a claim that members of this organisation are “the wrong kind of Jew”. Despicable. It’s also undemocratic, of course.

“9. Communicate with resolve: Bland, generic statements should give way to condemnation of specific harmful behaviours – and, where appropriate, condemnation of specific individuals.”

An attempt to turn the anti-Semitism circus that Labour has become into a full-on witch-hunt. The demand for individuals accused of anti-Semitic behaviours to be named is a malicious attempt to blacken the names of people who may be perfectly innocent.

“10. Show leadership and take responsibility: The leader must personally take on the responsibility of ending Labour’s antisemitism crisis.”

The leader has always been responsible for tackling claims of discriminatory behaviour by party members. But this is a contradiction as the Board of Deputies is trying to claim seniority over the party leader – make the leader kowtow to its demands. That is simply unacceptable.

But five out of the six leadership candidates have signed up to it: Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry.

And deputy leadership candidates Rosena Allin-Khan and Ian Murray has also backed the pledges.

None of these turncoats should be allowed to have any position of authority – at all – in the Labour Party.

Already the move has put people off joining Labour – like Michael Siva, below:

And others both within the party and outside have voiced their outrage:

It goes on and on. These probably aren’t even among the strongest examples.

The Board of Deputies – and their Labour-hating allies – are undoubtedly loving the division they’ve caused. If party members elect a leader who supports these pledges, the resulting split could plunge us into far right-wing dictatorship for decades.

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Trouble at the top – who’s best for Britain?

There’s trouble at the top of both the UK’s main political parties, according to the latest Guardian/ICM poll.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has become slightly more popular than the Labour leader Ed Miliband, allowing the newspaper to stoke fears of a new power battle at the top, mirroring the problems of the Blair/Brown rivalry.

But the Conservatives are no better off, after George Osborne was singled out as the weakest member of the Coalition cabinet and the one most people wanted moved in the much-anticipated autumn reshuffle.

The Guardian article asks you to believe that Balls and his shadow treasury team have become hard work, demanding that no commitments can be made on anything that has spending implications without clearing it with them first. He is said to be demanding that shadow ministers should just keep repeating his five pledges for growth.

I think this is media-manufactured mischief.

My instinct tells me it is an attempt to continue a narrative that has been created around Ed Balls, that he was a key supporter of Gordon Brown against Tony Blair, while Brown was preparing to take over as Labour leader and Prime Minister, a few years ago – by suggesting that he remains a disruptive influence today.

This would be invaluable to supporters of the Conservative Party, which is losing support rapidly for reasons I will tackle shortly.

But I think it is a false assumption. We’ve all moved on a long way from the time when Mr Miliband parroted the same answer, no less than six times, to a series of questions from a television interviewer. That made him – and Labour – look silly and Mr Balls would be a fool to encourage any repeat of that situation now. And he’s nobody’s fool.

The Blair/Brown rivalry was played out while Labour was in power; today that party is in opposition and the greater priority by far must be the removal of the Conservatives from government. All other considerations should be secondary to the people at the top of the party. If Ed Balls is guilty of the kind of posturing suggested by the newspaper, he needs to suck it in, get behind his leader, and show – by example – that Labour is united.

The problems within the Conservative leadership are far more serious.

I think, as a nation, we are more or less agreed that George Osborne’s tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer has been a disaster.

His spending review in late 2010 stalled the economy. Growth flatlined for a period, then the UK fell into double-dip recession, with GDP now less than it was when Labour left office.

His budget in March this year is now generally considered the most ridiculous travesty in living memory, featuring plans to give a tax break to the richest in society – the now infamous cut in the top rate of tax from 50 per cent to 45 per cent – which would be supported by a range of hare-brained schemes including taxing static caravans and heated pasties.

And it is now accepted that the Coalition is unlikely to reach its two main economic goals – the reason the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats came together to form a government in the first place – before the next election in 2015, according to the Tories’ own Centre for Policy Studies thinktank. This is due to the failure of Mr Osborne’s fiscal policy.

The coalition had already given up hope of getting rid of the structural deficit by 2015 and the chance of ensuring that public-sector debt is falling by the time of the next election is now slim, the organisation has stated.

The Guardian/ICM poll says 39 per cent of those who voted Conservative in 2010 want Osborne moved to a different cabinet role, if not sacked outright. Asked if Osborne is doing a bad job, agreement goes up to 44 per cent.

But it seems Mr Cameron might keep Osborne, firstly because the chancellor is his closest cabinet ally – his own position is stronger if Osborne remains in place; and secondly, because he believes changing chancellor midway through a Parliament indicates weakness to the country – and, in particular, the markets.

Mr Osborne might be the most prominent problem for the Tories, but he isn’t the only one. There have been calls for the sacking of Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary who brought privatisation into the NHS despite Mr Cameron’s claim – on Tory election posters – that he would not harm the health service. Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt are also in the firing line.

Transport secretary Justine Greening has threatened to resign over plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport, and internecine squabbles have broken out, with Nadine Dorries attacking fellow Conservative Louise Mensch, who is quitting as an MP, for being “void of principle”.

So which party is in the most disarray?

Call me a loony leftie Labourite if you want, but on the evidence above, I don’t think there can be any doubt. Despite attempts to manufacture disunity in Her Majesty’s Opposition, it is the Conservative Party – and therefore the government – that is falling apart.

Or am I misreading the situation?