Tag Archives: privilege

Labour’s plan for public schools is controversial; here’s why

Eton: it’s just a school. Why should it have charitable status or VAT exemptions to make the £50,000-per-year tuition fees go even further than they already do?

On one hand, it’s just another broken Keir Starmer promise.

But it seems to have created a lot more heat than might be expected.

Here’s what’s going on:

Labour has dropped plans to end charitable status for private schools but says it will still remove other tax breaks if it wins the next general election.

The status exempts some private schools in England and Wales from taxes.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had previously said charitable status for private schools could not be justified.

The party now says it can remove “unfair tax breaks” without changing the rules on charitable status.

There are about 2,500 private schools in England and Wales and the government says half are registered as charities.

Having charitable status means schools can not operate for a profit and are eligible to claim some tax exemptions, for example, on donations and business rates.

Since 2006, private schools have had to demonstrate they were creating “public benefit” to maintain their charitable status.

Labour says it would charge private schools 20% VAT, as well as ending business rates relief, to raise an estimated £1.7bn.

It’s the last bit that is causing trouble among some commentators, it seems.

Labour is saying its plan was always to remove tax breaks that the party seems to believe give private schools an advantage over state-run schools.

In fact, education in the UK is a mess – due in part to the encroachment of privatisation into the state sector, with privately-run academies whose owners seem to collapse with alarming regularity, only to be replaced with more doomed privateers.

A few decades ago, some corner-cutting government (does it matter whether it was Labour or Tory?) decided to build new schools using RAAC concrete, and now those buildings are falling down. This does not improve the state of, well, state education either.

Meanwhile, on the private side, we have seen schools like Eton unleash one dunce after another into the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. Boris Johnson is living proof that an Eton education is not the gold standard it once was.

But the “Old School Tie” network means these numbskulls can climb the slippery pole to success with much less effort than the rest of us, despite being far less deserving of it.

Result: well, you can see it all around you. The UK is on the brink of collapse.

The fact is that neither Labour nor the Tories have anything like a decent grip on what needs to be done.

So they argue about side issues like VAT as if they matter, and then fall to personal insults:

Time to let somebody else make an educated guess at how to solve this?


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The Labour Party is a cesspit, according to one of its own MPs

Allegation: Charlotte Nichols.

Not only is Keir Starmer a racist (see past Vox Political articles) but he’s also protecting sex pests – according to a female Labour MP.

Warrington MP Charlotte Nichols says party bigwigs had long known about the allegations against Geraint Davies but only acted when they became public in order to limit the damage.

She said further allegations against a not-very-high-profile frontbencher were also known – and she is preparing to use Parliamentary privilege to name that man if the party doesn’t clean up its act:

When quizzed by the Warrington Guardian as to whether she will be naming the individual in the House of Commons – where MPs are free to speak on any subject, and where they cannot be sued for defamation over their comments – Ms Nichols issued a threat to her own party.

The Labour MP for Warrington North said: “Everyone in Parliament and the party hierarchy who has the power to act has the information they need to do so, and it’s beyond disappointing that until now my party has chosen not to.

“As the Labour Party only acted in the Geraint Davies case at the point at which his name came into the public domain despite allegations stretching back over an extended period, if this is what it takes to get them to do the right thing, then I reserve the right to do this.

She added: “Those who will only demand higher standards from other parties but will stay silent on unacceptable conduct or inaction on sexual harassment from their own parties are not interested in addressing the problem, but in scoring political points.”

Labour hasn’t addressed Ms Nichols’ claims directly but said anyone with a complaint should take it to the party’s independent complaints process, Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme or, if appropriate, the police.

Considering what’s being said here, This Writer would suggest the press also – just to make sure nobody sits on anything they shouldn’t.

Source: Charlotte Nichols may ‘publicly shame’ Labour Party | Warrington Guardian


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Coronation arrests show protest is now a privilege – not a right

The political clampdown on protest: it seems Graham Smith of Republic (in the yellow) was arrested because of his political views, not because he was protesting in an illegal way – because he wasn’t.

The  big story of the coronation weekend fell to new depths when the Tory government tried desperately to justify its punitive Public Order Act in response to an Urgent Question in the House of Commons.

Policing Minister Chris Philp actually tried to get us to believe the Metropolitan Police had received “intelligence” saying that rape alarms would be used to frighten police horses during the street parade.

He told the House of Commons: “Commissioner Mark Rowley has outlined the intelligence picture in the hours leading up to the coronation. It included more than one plot to cause severe disruption by placing activated rape alarms in the path of horses to induce a stampede and a separate plot to douse participants in the procession with paint.

“All plots to disrupt the coronation were foiled by a combination of intelligence work and proactive vigilant policing on the ground.”

There’s just one problem with this: There were no plots to do any of the things Philp suggested. If there had been, arrests would have been followed by criminal charges and, eventually, imprisonment. They weren’t.

Let’s see what Philp had to see about the people who were arrested: “the arrests included a person wanted for sexual offences, people equipped to commit criminal damage with large quantities of paint, and arrests on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, often backed by intelligence.”

A statement from the Met has clarified that eight of the 64 arrests made on Coronation Day had nothing to do with protest but included drugs offences and possession of an offensive weapon. Four charges have been brought, and although the police have deliberately confused the issue, it seems likely that none of these had anything to do with protest.

Allow me to reiterate: as far as we can tell, nobody involved in protest was charged with any offence at all.

Philp refused to discuss the arrest of three members of the Night Stars organisation that hands out rape alarms to vulnerable women walking London’s streets in the dark of night. Without any further information, we must conclude that this is the origin of the claim about rape alarms – and that the claim was unfounded.

I fear what may have happened with the Night Stars unable to carry out their work from a police cell. If one or more vulnerable women were attacked – and remember this is in London, where critics of the police say rape might as well be legal these days – what were they supposed to do? Grin and bear it?

In the face of Philp’s nonsense, others tried to inject some accuracy into the debate, only to suffer the ill-mannered contempt of the minister:

Those were two Labour MPs making the point about the Public Order Act, under which the arrests were made. One would have expected them to have enjoyed the support of their party leader – but sadly this has not been the case:

On the subject of “bedding in”, this Twitter user makes the operative point:

 

Indeed, Starmer’s attitude now is the exact opposite of his thinking a few years ago:

It’s more hypocrisy from the Labour leader.

Philp, on the other hand, told MPs that the Public Order Act is designed in a way “allowing peaceful protest” – and this is the point: It allows protest, in a country were protest is everybody’s right.

He claimed that “the law allows peaceful protest where it is not disruptive and where people do not plan to cause disruption, which is why hundreds and hundreds of people… were able to protest peacefully. Where someone is preparing to commit or is committing a criminal offence, such as disrupting a procession, it is reasonable for the police to act.”

But this is nonsense, most particularly because it was in reply to Caroline Lucas’s accurate point: “Those who were arrested and kept in were not causing an obstruction… does this not show that the powers the Government have handed to the police are dangerously broad and liable to gross misuse, as many of us have pointed out?”

We are left with the inescapable conclusion that the police targeted particular people or groups, including the representatives of anti-monarchy group Republic who have already received a considerable amount of attention, while leaving others alone.

That adds a totalitarian, dictatorial political dimension to the Public Order Act:

Under Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives, dissenting voices are now silenced and protest is neutered. And Keir Starmer – who should be standing up for your rights – supports it.


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‘House of Commons Hooligan’ Gullis falsely accuses Gary Lineker. Will he be sued (please)?

Braying beardie: this is still the only image I have of Jonathan Gullis (the maskless one shouting over Boris Johnson’s shoulder).

The ‘House of Commons Hooligan’ has struck again – but this time he may have made a fatal mistake.

This is because Jonathan Gullis has has accused BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker of calling so-called Red Wall voters Nazis and bigots – alongside a slew of other unsupported accusations…

… outside of Parliament.

This means he did not have Parliamentary privilege when he said those words, and this means that Mr Lineker could sue him for libel.

Mr Lineker has seen the offending clip and, from the tweet directly below, it seems he is distinctly unamused:

This Writer can only urge Gary Lineker to initiate court action at once. It won’t go all the way because the offence seems very clear-cut, and the experience of having to apologise and make reparation might even reform the Tory party’s loudest-mouthed thug.

For anyone who doesn’t think the above is bad enough behaviour, let’s have a few reminders:

In January 2022 we all saw him screaming his support for Boris Johnson after the Tory soon-to-be-ex-prime minister made a fat-shaming joke at the expense of then-SNP Parliamentary leader Ian Blackford, in response to an accusation about the alleged birthday party at Downing Street: “I do not know who has been eating more cake.”

Here’s a video clip:

Disgusting, isn’t it?

And it isn’t Mr Gullis’s only such intervention. People have been looking him up.

Here are some of the ugly details:

https://twitter.com/MarinaPurkiss/status/1486469347438743554

After a mercifully-brief period as an education minister in Liz Truss’s less-than-two-month ministry, in December 2022, he made another of his famously misguided attacks – this time at bishops in the House of Lords.

His outburst came after all the Anglican bishops in the Upper House said the Tory government’s Rwanda deportation policy, which was endorsed as “lawful” by the High Court earlier this week, should “shame us as a nation”.

They signed a letter saying, “The shame is our own, because our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum-seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have for centuries.”

In fairness, even the Home Office seems to have accepted that many of those who arrive in the UK by illegal routes still have a claim for asylum; the majority of them are accepted as genuine refugees and are permitted to remain in the UK.

The problem lies in the fact that they have to take illegal routes – making them prey for the Tory government’s deportation policy – because there are no legal routes; the Tories have closed them all off in order to be able to pursue this inhumane mistreatment of people who are already victims.

Gullis’s response may be found here:

So: first he flung some whataboutery into the ether, claiming that the Church should be dealing with abuse claims against its own clergy. How does he know that it isn’t? And isn’t that more a problem for the Catholic clergy?

Then he said: “Too many people are using the pulpit to preach from.” Does he not know that preaching is exactly what the pulpit is for?

This man used to be a teacher but gave up when he was elected into Parliament. He said pupils at the school where he had been working were “probably happy to see me go” – perhaps because they were already better-educated than he was?

He also said the bishops were unelected. Correct – but everybody has an understanding of what constitutes fairness and justice, and nobody needs to be elected to put forward their opinion of what that is.

Furthermore, these are people who sit as experts on law and political matters in the Upper House of Parliament, and their words have weight whether Gullis likes it or not.

And in January this year, Gullis apparently shouted, “Well, they shouldn’t have come here illegally!” in response to a Prime Minister’s Question by labour MP Tulip Siddiq, drawing attention to the fact that, despite the UK being considered a safe haven for vulnerable children, there are 200 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children missing from UK hotels.

That’s Compassionate Conservatism for you: let children go missing – kidnapped? Made into slaves for criminal gangs, for purposes that one flinches from considering? – because they should have stayed at home, possibly to be exploited in similar ways by their own countryfolk?

<strong>One can only agree with Peter Kyle: The Conservatives have found a new low.</strong>

Here’s the video clip:

And here’s Mr Kyle’s tweet:

Are these not great reasons for someone who has the ability to punish Gullis, actually to do so?


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One rule for them: the privileges enjoyed by this Tory MP sex offender have been astonishing

Khan and can’t: Imran Ahmad Khan has been convicted of a serious crime – but will his erstwhile boss, that utter incompetent Boris Johnson, also be convicted of a criminal offence before long?

Are the newspapers really sure they have permission to reveal that now ex-Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan is a convicted sex offender?

The lengths to which he – and, it seems, the authorities – went to avoid admitting he was facing charges were phenomenal, and strongly reinforce the prevailing opinion that MPs, and particularly Tories, get preferential treatment:

  • His victim said he wasn’t ‘taken very seriously’ when he made the allegation of sexual assault to the Tory press office days before Khan was elected as MP for Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in the December 2019 general election.
  • Turned away by the Tories, the victim resorted to the police, making a complaint days after Khan was elected. But Khan was sent a questionnaire by Staffordshire Police rather than being interviewed under caution at a station because of “Covid protocols in place at the time”.
  • Neither Staffordshire Police nor the Crown Prosecution Service informed the media or the public when Khan was charged by postal requisition – the point at which suspects in criminal cases are routinely named.
  • His first appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by video link on June 3 last year did not appear on the public or press lists. Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring granted him an interim anonymity order ahead of another unlisted hearing, which the CPS refused to confirm was taking place as well as what charge Khan was facing.
  • He attempted to stop key details of the case – including the age of his victim, his own homosexuality, and even his fondness for a gin and tonic – coming into the public domain.
  • On June 17 last year, Khan argued in court that he should be granted anonymity.
  • Then he tweeted in support of press freedom, retweeting a message by then-foreign secretary Dominic Raab about the situation in Hong Kong. He had previously claimed Extinction Rebellion had constrained press freedom when the protest group blocked a newspaper printing press.
  • His anonymity – unprecedented in a case not involving national security – was only lifted after legal challenges from two media organisations.

Now Khan has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old male at a house in Staffordshire in 2008.

Southwark Crown Court heard how Khan forced the teenager to drink gin and tonic, dragged him upstairs, pushed him onto a bed and asked him to watch porn before the attack.

The victim, now 29, told a jury he was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan touched his feet and legs, and came within “a hair’s breadth” of his genitals.

The boy ran to his parents and a police report was made – but no further action was taken at the time because the victim did not want to make a formal complaint.

Of course, now that a court has returned a “guilty” verdict, the Tory Party’s attitude has gone into reverse. Whereas in 2019 the victim wasn’t “taken very seriously”, now Khan has been expelled from the organisation.

He is awaiting sentencing for the offence and if he is imprisoned for more than a year he will be automatically expelled from the House of Commons.

He could also be subjected to the recall process, by which Wakefield constituents may have him removed as their MP.

Labour has already called for him to resign, so the people of Wakefield “can get the representation they deserve”.

This Writer is fine with all of that; whatever is appropriate, I’ll go with it.

But I want to know how the police and courts will be prevented from treating accused MPs as though the law doesn’t apply to them.

Source: Tory MP guilty of sex attack on boy after forcing him to drink gin | Metro News

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Free speech under attack: McVey attacks Barnardo’s over ‘white privilege’

Mad McVey: she looks like a pop-eyed loon in this image, and she’s been behaving like one in her attack on a beloved children’s charity.

Remember Esther McVile McVey? She was the poster girl for Tory bigotry before Priti Patel and she is still carrying out her vile work.

McVey has returned to headline news with an attack on Barnardo’s – one that could harm the organisation’s position as a charity.

She has said that a blog post by Barnardo’s, which aims to offer a guide to parents on how to talk to their children about racial inequality and white privilege in the UK, is “political”.

Charities are forbidden to campaign on political issues and could lose their status if found to be doing so.

But is it political campaigning when an organisation raises awareness of racism and the fact – fact – that in the UK white people have advantages that other ethnic groups don’t have?

Or is McVile distorting the facts in order to perpetuate the very racism the charity is highlighting?

In an opinion piece unwisely published by the Telegraph, she claimed that Barnardo’s could be “hijacked by people who want to use it as a platform for their political views”.

She said it would jeopardise Barnardo’s fundraising efforts it if it becomes “yet another charity more obsessed with political correctness and virtue signalling than actually helping people in need”.

That is a threat.

And what did Barnardos say, to provoke it?

The blog post states: “For the one in five Barnardo’s service users who are black, Asian or minority ethnic, the colour of their skin is an additional factor that negatively affects them and their families in a multitude of well documented ways.”

The article referenced well evidenced examples of white privilege, including higher employment rates, lower rates of prosecution and sentencing and a longer life expectancy for white people, with black African women having a mortality rate four times higher than white women in the UK.

The blog post states that being white doesn’t mean life is not hard, but it means it is not made harder because of your race.

“Helping children and those who nurture them, to understand what white privilege really means will not only prevent future generations from growing up to ignore race as an issue – but to be actively anti-racist through their actions.”

That all seems perfectly reasonable to This Writer.

But McVile went off the deep end:

McVey said while she will always be “grateful” to Barnardo’s, she was “deeply troubled” by its decision to “divert its attention to political activism”.

She continued: “This is such a misguided and misjudged move away from what the charity is about and what it ought to be doing.

“Barnardo’s is too important a charity to be hijacked by people who want to use it as a platform for their political views.”

On Friday, a group of 12 Conservative MPs reportedly wrote a letter to Barnardo’s chief executive, Javed Khan, to express their “concern and disappointment” over the post.

According to The Guardian, the MPs described the post as “ideological dogma” and “divisive militancy”. They also asked for it to be investigated by the Charity Commission.

So there it is – a threat against Barnardo’s charity status, simply because the charity spoke up about racial inequality.

Perhaps the 12 Tory MPs should be reported to the Equality and Human Rights Commission? Ah, but the EHRC has already refused to investigate Tory racism, hasn’t it? Isn’t that an example of white privilege, right there?

It seems the UK’s governing party is employing that classic DARVO gaslighting technique – deny, attack, reverse victim and oppressor. By claiming Barnardo’s has become political, the Tories are hiding their own racism.

Source: Former minister criticises charity for ‘activism’ and discussing white privilege | The Independent

#CharlieElphicke sex assault sentence exposes the privilege of the ruling class

Charlie Elphicke: his sentence is not proportionate to the anguish he has caused his victims.

Charlie Elphicke is not the alleged “Tory rapist” who’s currently still a member of Parliament although barred from participating in debates.

That matter has yet to be concluded.

But his two-year sentence for sexually assaulting two women reveals several damning truths about the UK’s justice system and how it cushions convictions against the privileged few.

Here’s the story:

Ex-Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been jailed for two years for sexually assaulting two women.
Elphicke, 49, the former MP for Dover, was convicted of groping the women in similar situations, nine years apart.
He denied the charges, but was found guilty of one count of sexual assault in 2007 and two further counts in 2016, after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.
The judge told Elphicke he was a “sexual predator who used your success and respectability as a cover”.
Within minutes of his jailing, Elphicke confirmed he would appeal against his conviction, arguing he had not had a “fair trial”.

That’s the official view. Now let’s hand over to people on Twitter who know far more about this subject than I do. Firstly:

He’s not the #ToryRapist, as stated at the top of this article. But the Conservative whips knew about him.

He is described in the so-called “dodgy dossier” of Conservative MPs with unsavoury sexual histories as: “Charlie Elphicke: inappropriate with female researchers.”

That’s an interesting euphemism to describe a man who had already committed sex crimes against two such researchers by the time the dossier became public knowledge in 2017.

This information should have been enough to put everybody in the Tory whips’ office at the time – along with then-prime minister Theresa May – right in the dock with Elphicke as accessories.

But that didn’t happen because they are above the law.

Yes: he used his success and respectability as a cover – exactly the same success and respectability that keeps his former Parliamentary colleagues from being investigated.

Elphicke himself was given a two-year custodial sentence, meaning he’ll serve 12 months unless he disgraces himself in prison somehow.

And to what kind of prison is he being sent – while he appeals against that sentence?

Contrast that with the life sentence that he handed down to the women he sexually assaulted. Their statements make horrific reading:

You can click on the images for the statements but let’s save you the bother.

According to Prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC, the first victim had a “significantly increased sense of caution” when coming into contact with men, including taxi drivers and butchers.

“The logical part of my brain is telling me to be polite to them but the emotional side is making me stressed.”

[This went] even to the extent that when the (police) officers came to take an account from her, she found it difficult to be alone with them.

She says she avoided being alone with men in general.

The second victim said in her impact statement, “I still remember how he made me feel, I still know those feelings of fear and helplessness.

“I do believe as a result of what happened, it changed how I perceived myself.

“Because of his acts, he stole a large part of my self-worth and self-esteem.

“My inner scars will always be there.”

There is one small element of poetic justice in this story, though: Elphicke voted to restrict the provision of legal aid, and then fell foul of the new restrictions.

At the time, he probably expected the change to affect only poor people, who need legal aid to have access to the justice system; without it, they can’t challenge the privileged few.

He didn’t realise that he was giving away his house as well.

Not to mention his liberty.

But then, it wouldn’t have happened if he could have kept his hands to himself.

Source: Charlie Elphicke: Ex-MP jailed for sex assaults on women – BBC News

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Racist coward Home Secretary uses Parliamentary privilege to label Jeremy Corbyn a racist

Un-Priti: the smirking, smug Ms Patel used Parliamentary privilege to lie that Jeremy Corbyn was a racist, and to spread falsehoods after Labour MPs complained about her own misbehaviour.

Priti Patel: what a nasty piece of work she is!

This Writer feels comfortable in calling her a racist; she supported – by which I mean she voted for – the racist legislation that created the “hostile environment” policy at the Home Office, leading to the Windrush scandal.

And of course she is a close ally of Boris Johnson, who has proved himself to be a racist on many occasions.

Perhaps, then, she was trying to deflect attention away from her party’s, her government’s, and her own racism when she smeared Jeremy Corbyn as a racist in the House of Commons. The Independent reports:

Answering questions about recent protests linked to the death of George Floyd in the US, Ms Patel turned her fire on Keir Starmer for supposedly not breaking with the policies of his predecessor.

She said: “I’m saddened that the leader of the opposition has effectively failed to depart from the divisive, hateful, racist politics of its former leader.”

Ms Patel did not make clear exactly which of Mr Corybn’s policies she regarded as racist.

She could not; Mr Corbyn is said to be the only MP in Parliament who has voted against every piece of legislation that contained even the slightest possibility of a racist application.

https://twitter.com/Cornish_Damo/status/1272578747946991617

And she knows her claim was a lie – otherwise she would have made it outside the Commons chamber, where she would not be protected from prosecution by Parliamentary privilege. As it is, her words come across as cowardly, craven. And she was unable to support her claims in the Commons Chamber. Here’s The Independent again:

Her allegation came in response to a question from the Conservative MP for Wakefield, Imran Ahmad Khan, in which he referenced a letter to Ms Patel last week from black and minority ethnic Labour MPs – including a number of members of Sir Keir’s front bench – who accused her of using her own experiences of racism to “gaslight the very real racism faced by black people and communities across the UK”.

“It must have been a very different home secretary who as a child was frequently called a Paki in the playground, a very different home secretary who was racially abused in the streets or even advised to drop her surname and use her husband’s in order to advance her career,” she told MPs. “A different home secretary recently characterised … in The Guardian newspaper as a fat cow with a ring through its nose, something that was not only racist but offensive, both culturally and religiously. So when it comes to racism, sexism, tolerance or social justice, I will not take lectures from the other side of the house.”

Mr Ahmad Khan said: “The home secretary and I, along with other Conservative colleagues, have been subject to torrents of hateful prejudice and frankly racist abuse from the left’s legions outside – as well as, in the case of my right honourable friend, sadly from sources on the benches opposite – as we refuse to conform to their prejudices.

Last week’s letter came after Ms Patel told the Commons she would not “take lectures” from Labour MPs about her understanding of the issue of structural racism.

“We all have our personal stories of the racism that we have faced, whether it has been being defined by the colour of our skin or the faith we choose to believe in,” [it said].

“Our shared experiences allow us to feel the pain that communities feel when they face racism, they allow us to show solidarity towards a common cause; they do not allow us to define, silence or impede on the feelings that other minority groups may face.”

The letter was coordinated by the shadow community cohesion minister, Naz Shah, and signed by senior Labour MPs including Diane Abbott, Tulip Siddiq, Kate Osamor, Chi Onwurah, Seema Malhotra, Dawn Butler and Rosena Allin-Khan.

For perspective: just one of the people who signed the Labour letter – Diane Abbott – receives more racist abuse on a regular basis than every other member of Parliament put together.

Priti Patel’s claim that she will “not take lectures” from someone like that is an insult of the grossest kind – made worse by the fact that, even though Ms Abbott’s experience of racism is so much more acute, she, along with her colleagues, had written that their experiences “do not [italics mine] allow us to define, silence or impede on the feelings that other minority groups may face” – which was exactly what Ms Patel was trying to do.

How two-faced of the smirking Ms Patel – who, let’s not forget, was forced to resign in disgrace from a previous Tory cabinet after trying to conduct her own foreign policy, contrary to that of the government of the day.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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The double-standard that is crippling Labour

Tom Watson: As a member of the Labour Party’s privileged few, he can say whatever he likes. It is only rank-and-file members who are threatened with suspension and expulsion for expressing an opinion.

On Monday (March 11 – possibly today, by the time you read this), Tom Watson will launch his new Future Britain Group of Labour Party MPs – and it will be based on at least one enormous hypocrisy.

It can be explained very quickly:

When I attended Labour’s tribunal – the kangaroo court set up to find me guilty of anti-Semitism, no matter what the evidence showed – I was not questioned on the facts of my case. My argument was not disputed at all.

Instead, I was asked repeatedly why I had discussed an internal Labour Party matter in public. As a party member, did I not think that such things should remain confidential?

My response was that the anti-Semitism row was not an internal Labour Party matter, and had not been an internal Labour Party matter since Labour MPs had created such a fuss about it in the media, starting in 2016 with the Naz Shah affair. It was now a matter of public interest and it would be a mistake for Labour Party members to avoid the debate; false arguments would be allowed to go unchallenged.

Of course the tribunal’s members were well in favour of those false arguments, as their verdict shows.

Mr Watson, on the other hand, has done little else but agitate about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party since the current allegations first came to public attention. I don’t see him having to argue for his continued membership of the party before a tribunal.

The contradiction is clear.

Labour was founded to be a party representing those who did not have the benefits of privilege, in which ordinary people would have an equal voice.

But the party as it currently exists doesn’t want to hear the voices of ordinary members; our their purpose is to work for those who are privileged enough to be elected representatives and/or candidates; to listen, but not to speak. And under the Blairite system, elected representatives and/or candidates owed their positions to the patronage of the leadership. It became a system of privilege – exactly what Labour had been founded to oppose.

Mr Watson considers the party’s current direction of travel to be away from this; his Future Britain Group is an attempt to halt that movement and restore the Blairite system of patronage and privilege.

You can hear the proof of it every time he speaks up in support of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt, while ordinary party members who dare to do otherwise have their memberships suspended and are threatened with expulsion.


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The revolving door – between PARTIES – that keeps the privileged in power

Nicola Blackwood: It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know that counts.

It’s hard to tell what’s worse about this:

The fact that Nicola Blackwood, rejected by the voters of Oxford West and Abingdon, has been given a free peerage so she can return to the government?

The fact that she has been given this despite (due to?) a Commons record that includes voting against gay marriage (why does she think she should have a right to meddle in other people’s affairs?) and supporting fox hunting (does she enjoy cruelty to animals?) among her support for other abhorrent Tory policies?

The fact that the tax-paying public is having to fork out an extra £300 for every day she spends in this occupation?

Or the fact that she has spent the time between being voted out of the Commons and nominated into the Lords, working for New Labour grandee Peter Mandelson?

Some might say he can employ anybody he wants, and political leanings should not get in the way of professional suitability.

But it looks like more evidence that New Labour was too similar to the Conservative Party, by far.

You see, if one is willing to employ a person because of their political views, it doesn’t seem logical to belong to an opposing political party.

It isn’t an age since a Labour cabinet minister described the Conservatives as “lower than vermin” yet we find another, former, Labour cabinet minister giving one a job.

We should thank our lucky stars the Party of the People has gone back to its roots.

The government has used a loophole to make unelected Nicola Blackwood a health minister.

Blackwood was the Tory MP for Oxford West and Abdingdon before being defeated by Liberal Democrat Layla Moran in the 2017 general election.

As an MP, she was criticised for voting against gay marriage and supporting fox hunting.

After losing her election, she went to Peter Mandelson’s lobbying agency Global Counsel, advising its clients on political risks.

Now the government is giving her a peerage so that she can re-join the government as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department of Health.

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