Tag Archives: process

Anti-Semitism: where’s Labour’s plan to stop discrimination against members who are falsely accused?

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I never thought I would find myself in agreement with the lunatics from Labour Against Anti-Semitism.

But their call for an independent review of all historic reports of anti-Jewish racism in the Labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015 is right on the button.

It was a reaction to a new plan announced by Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner, for an independent complaints process in line with recommendations by the Equality and Human Rights Commission earlier this year.

As with all such plans by politicians, the real issue is what’s missing, rather than what is included.

The EHRC found that no fewer than 60 per cent of the cases it examined involved discrimination against the respondent – the person accused of anti-Semitism – by the Labour Party while it was supposed to be pursing an independent inquiry.

Starmer – whose strategy since becoming Labour leader has been to use false accusations of anti-Semitism to persecute prominent left-wingers and eject them from the party under false pretences – has made no plans to rectify this.

I had to take the party to court to prove that Labour threw away its own regulations to falsely accuse and expelling me.

So let’s have that “full review” of all cases since 2015.

And let’s see how many other members were falsely accused by lying Labour officers from Starmer’s wing of the party.

Source: Labour publishes plan to rid party of anti-Semitism – BBC News

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Tell this MP about your problems with PIP assessments

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign].

A former Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has appealed for members of the public to tell their stories of failings in the assessment process for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – as carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Labour’s Debbie Abrahams has teamed up with blogger Chris Whitaker, who explains the situation better than I could on his site, disabilityspeaks.com:

“Recently, I have heard some of your accounts about the PIP process.  Some of them were particularly worrying, so I got in touch with people to see if they could help.  One of them was Debbie Abrahams MP.  I’m working with Debbie to call for improvements to be made to the PIP process.

“To be clear, this isn’t a political thing.  It is far bigger and more important than that.  It is about treating people fairly, with decency and dignity.  To me, that is about more than a political viewpoint, and we need support from across the political spectrum to bring about positive change.

“To help support the case for change, I need you to tell me about your experiences of the PIP process. Tell me about how the PIP process felt for you, what you would improve. It’s important to highlight any good practice too.

“If you would like to tell me about your experiences as a claimant, an assessor, or someone who has been involved with PIP via a professional role, I’d like to hear from you.

“You can give your name, or tell your story anonymously.   Your name, or other information that might identify you, will not be publicly named unless you give your consent to this.  I understand that telling your story about PIP can be hard, so if you want to talk about this, please let me know.

You can use the form here, or email Chris at [email protected]

If you can contribute, please do.

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Was Derry car bomb a reaction to Tory arrogance?

Fireball: The explosion on Bishop Street, Londonderry was caught on camera.

Terrorism has reared its ugly head again in Northern Ireland, it seems – although interestingly the mass media are steering away from the word.

A car bomb – in a hijacked pizza van, we’re told – exploded outside a courthouse in Londonderry at around 8.10pm on Saturday (January 19).

Police were informed at around 8pm, leaving less than 10 minutes to evacuate people from neighbouring buildings which included a hotel, Freemasons’ hall, and a youth club. There were no casualties.

The lack of notice has led police to describe the attack as “unbelievably reckless”, and it is these words that the mainstream media have adopted, rather than referring to terrorism.

In fact, there seems a strong attempt to play down the incident:

But investigations have centred on the New IRA, one of a handful of republican groups that have rejected power-sharing and the Good Friday Agreement, and which makes a point of targeting police and courts.

Two men have been arrested. But the incident raises an important question:

Why now?

The timing seems significant as not only has the power sharing system brought about after the Good Friday Agreement stalled, but it seems Theresa May is determined to sideline the needs of Northern Ireland in her Brexit deal with the European Union.

There has been no government in Stormont since early 2017, after a row between Sinn Fein and the DUP over a botched renewable energy scheme.

And of course Brexit has revived concerns over the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and over NI’s constitutional status.

The Conservative government in Westminster seems conspicuously relaxed about both situations.

Doesn’t the attitude of Theresa May and her government seem deliberately provocative to people in Northern Ireland who were unhappy with the peace process in the first place? I’m not suggesting she is responsible for the actions of other people, but she certainly has a responsibility to prevent any return to the so-called “Troubles”.

Aren’t the delay over restoring the government in Stormont, and the failure to overcome the border controversy, an opportunity for such republicans to claim the peace process has failed and go back to violence?

Isn’t that what happened in Derry on Saturday night?

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It’s as if the UK is deliberately sabotaging Brexit negotiations, isn’t it?

A lorry passes an anti-Brexit placard at the Ireland-Northern Ireland border crossing in Killeen [Image: AFP/Getty].

Remember all those jokes in which Irish people were portrayed as harmless idiots? Well, the shoe’s on the other foot now!

This Writer cannot imagine what will be in the EU position paper on the Irish border question – but I doubt there will be any “magical” solutions in it.

Nor are there likely to be any premature trade negotiations.

I wonder what David Davis and his ill-prepared cronies think they are doing.

Are they deliberately trying to provoke their EU counterparts?

The European Union has accused the UK of “magical thinking” over plans to create an invisible border in Ireland after Brexit, amid fading hopes of an early divorce deal this autumn.

The response came as both sides prepared for the next round of negotiations in Brussels next week, with the EU issuing a stern rebuke against using the peace process as a bargaining chip.

Last week the UK outlined ideas for “as frictionless and seamless a border as possible”, with waivers for people and goods crossing the 310-mile long boundary between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Both sides want to avoid a hard border that risks reigniting attacks on checkpoints, which were a feature of the Troubles.

But EU diplomats think the British are trying to push responsibility for solving the Irish issue back on to them.

The UK paper on Ireland outlined two options to virtually eliminate checks on goods crossing the border: the first would rely on technology to eliminate physical border checks; the second would see the UK take responsibility for monitoring the border and even collecting customs duties for the EU.

Talk of technical fixes is seen as premature in Brussels. But it is the second proposal that has most alarmed EU diplomats, who think the UK already has problems in preventing customs fraudsters.

One EU diplomat told the Guardian that allowing the UK to manage the EU’s external frontier would be very difficult to accept. The British paper on the Irish border calls for “flexible and imaginative solutions” eight times, a repeated phrase that has left EU diplomats rolling their eyes.

Source: UK accused of ‘magical thinking’ over Brexit plan for Irish border | UK news | The Guardian

Theresa Mayfly’s contradictory Brexit speech opens the door to more confusion

Tired and small: Theresa May’s appearance emulates the way the UK will appear to the rest of the world after Brexit.

It is astonishing to see political commentators attempting to take Theresa May’s Brexit speech seriously. They should attack it for the rubbish it is.

She said the UK has to leave the European Single Market – but will seek “the greatest possible access to it through a new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement”. In other words, she wants us to be both outside and inside the single market at the same time. We knew that already.

Likewise, with the European Customs Union, she said the UK must leave in order to negotiate its own trade deals – but she also wants tariff-free trade with Europe, which isn’t possible outside the customs union. In other words, she wants us to be both outside and inside the customs union at the same time. We knew that already.

She said that both Houses of Parliament would be able to vote on any final Brexit deal – but did not explain what kind of vote this would be. Will it be a “take it or leave it” offer – accept what the Tories have negotiated or it’s over to WTO rules for everything? If so, what is the point in asking the Lords – the “revising” house – to consider it, as no revision will be requested or possible? It seems she wants to provide the illusion that our democratic institutions are involved, while actually trying to blackmail them into supporting her. We knew that already, also.

One aspect we can all agree we knew already was Mrs Mayfly’s determination to control immigration – despite the fact that, as Home Secretary, she had access to EU-approved controls on immigration for six years and never used them. So her words, that while wanting to continue to attract “the brightest and best to study and work in Britain”, “we will get control over [the] number of people coming to Britain from the EU” ring hollow. Under the EU rules she never implemented, she had power to send EU immigrants back to their own country if they weren’t students, didn’t have a job, couldn’t produce health insurance or evidence that they were using their own funds to live here. So controlling immigration is a non-story. The only thing that ever stopped Mrs Mayfly from controlling EU immigration was Mrs Mayfly.

A more plausible reason for leaving the single market, then, is Mrs Mayfly’s determination to stop the European Court of Justice determining matters relating to the UK – but she couldn’t even be honest about this. The European Court has influence only on matters of EU law, and cannot overrule any country on its own national law. Restrictions imposed by the European Court include maintaining workers’ rights, for example, and the quality of goods. Mrs Mayfly wants to scrap UK workers’ rights – and that’s why she wants us to leave the single market. But she didn’t want you to know that, so it seems the Tories have instructed their compliant media to distract us with complaints about immigration instead.

Claims that Mrs Mayfly wants to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK appear to be false, according to information seen by This Writer. Mrs May has said she wants to be able to confirm those rights as soon as possible, indicating that these people are to be considered “negotiating capital” with the EU – but I have seen evidence that at least one EU citizen, attempting to assert those rights recently, was told this was not possible. This suggests that the Conservatives have already decided to curtail those rights. Her claim to protect those rights seems false, therefore, and her promise to develop them in pace with the changing labour market suggests she will remove them as it becomes expedient to her corporate masters.

There were good aspects to her speech – but they were common-sense things. Of course the UK and EU should continue sharing intelligence and policing information. That’s about protecting us all from crime and ensuring our national security.

But what about the difficulties facing Northern Ireland, where the peace process is about much more than simply maintaining an open land border with the Republic of Ireland?

It is all nonsense and waffle. Theresa Mayfly might just as well have stood up and spent her time saying “Blah blah blah Brexit,” over and over again. As far as her tenure in Number 10 is concerned, she should probably start contacting removal companies now.

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