Tag Archives: raid

Labour’s Rochdale by-election double-bind: hypocrites or election-throwers?

Azhar Ali: unsafe whatever he does.

Labour has put itself in a double-bind after its candidate in the Rochdale by-election apologised for voicing a well-known claim about the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The party is rumoured to be about to suspend its candidate, Azhar Ali, after he accused Israel of complicity in the raid that killed 1,200 people and led to 250 being taken hostage.

It seems he not only posted about it on the social media but also passed comments on it in a community meeting.

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The BBC reported:

In the recording, which has not been heard by the BBC, Mr Ali is alleged to have said: “The Egyptians are saying that they warned Israel 10 days earlier… Americans warned them a day before [that] there’s something happening… They deliberately took the security off, they allowed… that massacre that gives them the green light to do whatever they bloody want.”

Egypt has indeed said that it warned Israel in advance of the raid. Still, Ali has had to make a grovelling apology to Israel’s supporters after his words were quoted by a hostile UK mainstream press.

Is that enough to save him from suspension, which would effectively end Labour’s Rochdale campaign?

Many think not. Skwawkbox is reporting that

suspending Ali would effectively end Labour’s campaign in the by-election, with no possibility to stand another candidate less than three weeks before polling day. Cynics have pointed out that the political fallout from exiting the election would be less damaging than Galloway beating Ali in a fair fight and accused the party of engineering the default.

But if Ali is allowed to continue, he would still face obstacles:

His willingness to stand for a party led by Keir Starmer, who has supported Israel’s ‘right’ to commit its war crimes against the Palestinians has already seen videos posted of him being ordered to leave doorsteps during his attempts to campaign. Such has been the contrast with the reception given to Workers Party GB leader George Galloway, a firm supporter of the Palestinians, that Galloway’s odds to win the by-election have been slashed from 16-1 to 2-1.

Not only that, but if Ali isn’t suspended, then Labour is endorsing a candidate who has admitted contradicting the party’s line on the Israel/Gaza conflict – and the inferred hypocrisy could be enough to cost it the forthcoming general election.

It seems Azhar Ali is set to lose, no matter what happens.

Source: Labour ‘set to suspend’ Rochdale candidate despite grovelling apology to Israel supporters – SKWAWKBOX


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Laurence Fox arrested for conspiring to damage ULEZ cameras

Laurence Fox: disgraced, and now arrested. Is he in his right mind?

When they fall, they fall hard – it seems.

Laurence Fox, who was suspended by GB News over offensive comments he made about Politics Joe journalist Ava Santina (aka Ava Evans), has been arrested and his house raided by police.

Apparently it comes after he said he would bring angle grinders to hack down cameras used to enforce the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in London.

This Writer is unclear as to whether the gendarmes were looking for angle grinders or cameras.

Fox livestreamed the incident, puffing on a cigar while a large number of uniformed officers carried out the search (although, let’s be honest, most of them just seemed to be standing around):

It’s a bizarre way to behave.

I wonder about his state of mind.

Source: Laurence Fox’s home ‘raided by police’ after ULEZ threat | The Independent


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Israeli invaders murder eight Palestinians in Jenin; they are defended by tin-eared MPs

Hard to believe: as Israeli troops murder more Palestinians, the UK government is trying to remove our right to protest against the occupation of Palestine.

This is one instance in which the timing of an event is tragic.

The Israeli government always says it is defending that country when it launches these attacks – but This Writer finds it hard to believe when these operations always seem to take place on Palestinian soil (for an obvious example). These anti-terrorist operations never seem to happen in Tel Aviv – do they?

Consider also:

The reference to Russia and Ukraine is timely. Russian troops are known to have treated Ukrainians in invaded territory in ways that are more or less universally considered abhorrent, yet Israelis apparently avoid assessment by the same yardstick when they attack and kill Palestinians, including children.

And on the day when the latest Israeli atrocity comes to light, MPs in the UK were being asked to support that country by banning local authorities from campaigning against it, boycotting its goods or sanctioning it.

The wording of the legislation tries to obscure this by saying it’s about stopping councils pursuing their own foreign policy agendas but the upshot will be that local democracy will be overridden by a central government diktat ordering councils to support a country that has invaded a neighbour and is slowly destroying it.

Critics say the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill is inconsistent with longstanding UK foreign policy towards the Occupied Palestinian Territories because it specifically names them, along with Israel and the occupied Golan Heights (Syria), as places for which the Bill’s provisions must apply.

This undermines longstanding UK government policy that calls for an end to Israel’s military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

In other words, councils that follow a boycott, divestment and sanctions policy against Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territories are in fact in line with UK government policy.

The situation is worsened by the fact that the Bill makes provision for its restrictions to be lifted with regard to particular countries, with Russia and Belarus as named examples.

That didn’t stop the usual useful idiots from standing up to support Israel:

How is it anti-Semitic to use economic means to express discontent with an oppressive political regime? It isn’t.

Thankfully, there was at least one voice of reason – and it was also the usual one:

Mr Corbyn spoke about events in Jenin during the debate:

He wasn’t the only one, either:

(In fairness, it seems other good points have been made in the debate – such as the possibility that the Bill will attract animosity towards Jewish members of the community, under the pretense that they represent the one nation that appears to be exempt from any criticism at all.)

The result of the vote (which has not taken place at the time of writing) will be revealing – although possibly not in the way some MPs hope.

It will show us which of them think it is okay to undermine UK democracy to support invading murderers. We should use that information to remove those MPs at the next election.


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How could police raid G7 activist’s home without warrant or reason?

Police: it seems they are expanding their powers unilaterally, so they can harass you even before you have given them any reason to.

It seems Boris Johnson’s fascist government has decided to accelerate its attack on your right to protest by putting planned restrictions on your freedom into action before legislation has passed through Parliament.

How else are we to understand the raid at G7 activist Rob Higgs’s Cornwall home, workplace and the business where he keeps his boat, last Thursday (May 13)?

Rob, who is a theatre maker and co-founder of climate action group Ocean Rebellion, said of the raids: “They searched the premises without any warrants, interviewing all my neighbours and tenants, asking about me, what I do and telling people at the boatyard that I am a ‘person of interest’.

He told CornwallLive: “The police’s quote was, ‘We’re just letting you know that we will not in any way stop peaceful protest but we can arrest you at any time that we believe you might be considering disrupting the G7 Summit’, which wouldn’t be legal as normally you’ve got to break a law to be arrested, unless what they’re hinting at is conspiracy charges.

He added: “It’s because I’m a co-founder of Ocean Rebellion, which is an entirely peaceful, legal organisation trying to raise awareness of the oceans.

“We basically make photo shoots and small pop-up theatrical performances that gets good media and global coverage about ocean degradation and how the seas are dying. We’re trying to raise awareness of that and push legislation from the UN to reverse the ocean degradation.

“For the last few months the G7 police have been asking what our plans are and made contact early on saying they’d like to facilitate a peaceful protest. We said ‘thanks but generally you stop it whenever we tell you what we’re doing.’

“We’ve got a dedicated police liaison officer already who has been in discussion with them for months now trying to get them to tell us what we can and can’t do and where we can and can’t go, and we will design all our actions around that to stay within the legal frameworks. I don’t want to break any laws.

“They have refused to let us know, specifically on the water, where the exclusion zones are. They come back to our police liaison officer asking what we’re planning and we tell them we can’t say until they tell us where we can do it!”

Mr Higgs is filing an official complaint to the police and had also taken it up with the Cabinet Office.

What a bizarre situation – it seems the police are being deliberately obstructive of these campaigners’ attempt to mount legal protest, in order to have a reason to arrest them!

I think it would be hard to make a conspiracy charge stick when this group has a police liaison officer who has been trying to plan legal activities but has been foiled by the police’s refusal to co-operate in any way.

But it seems clear in any event that the police are being used as political tools – sent to harass this organisation in order to frustrate its efforts.

And what is the terrible, terrorist act that Ocean Rebellion wants to do?

It wants to raise awareness of the fatal effects of climate change and pollution on sea life – effects that will eventually impact on human beings like you and me in possibly catastrophic ways.

Bang goes Boris Johnson’s attempt to claim environmental credibility.

I can’t wait to hear him try to justify it but I bet he won’t even acknowledge that it has happened.

Source: G7 summit activist in Cornwall files complaint after police ‘raid’ his home and work – Cornwall Live

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Sunak threatens tax raid in yet another Tory u-turn

Rishi Sunak: I like this shot because he looks nervous. If I was in his position, asking Tory backbenchers to raise taxes, I’d be nervous too.

This won’t play well with the Tory backbenchers: after u-turn after u-turn over Covid-19 and schools, their government is promising yet another u-turn – over tax.

Tories pride themselves on being a tax-cutting party. But Rishi Sunak is said to be threatening not just one but several tax hikes:

And to add insult to injury, the planned policy change means the Conservatives will be mirroring a policy planned by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour in its 2019 election manifesto:

And if the voters don’t like it – and they don’t:

… What are Johnson’s already-disgruntled backbenchers going to do?

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Why haven’t police arrested Britain First thugs who raided migrant-housing hotel?

Proud of it: the banner seems to set out the Britain First agenda clearly – racism.

Did Theresa May intend our police to be toothless, back when she cut law enforcement numbers by more than 20,000 in 2016 or thereabouts?

Coppers in the UK now seem far more interested in prosecuting parking and speeding offences than in investigating crimes of violence perpetrated against human beings.

How else could one explain the inability of police services across the UK to stop people who are exempt from wearing face masks in shops from being assaulted by their fellow shoppers, who have no right to do so?

And how else could one explain the ability of Britain First “activists” (read: racists) to raid a hotel housing asylum seekers with impunity?

Cheshire Police were called but by the time anybody turned up, the perpetrators of the harassment had long since departed.

The incursion into the privacy and dignity of the people at the hotel has been roundly condemned by right-thinking people – for example:

But it seems clear that people like the Britain First thugs will feel empowered by the fact that they got away with it – and are likely to get away with it if they do it again.

Apparently the Johnson government has offered protection to hotels housing asylum seekers, but can we really believe that?

It is the jingoistic rhetoric of these Tories – and the Tory governments that came before them – that has made these racists feel entitled to stick their faces where they don’t belong.

And look at the recent behaviour of the Home Office, regarding asylum seekers and the people who stand up for them.

It seems likely that Britain First’s “activists” have been doing exactly what the Johnson government wants.

* I’ve put “activists” in quotation marks because it is interesting to note the way the word is being used. The Home Office attacked “activist lawyers” in a hastily-deleted video tweet last week, and now we see the word again here. What are we to conclude from this use of language?

Source: Far-right Britain First activists branded ‘disgusting’ for raiding hotel housing migrants | London Evening Standard

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Nearly 60,000 dead in UK because of Covid-19 – and Johnson wants to penalise healthcare staff

Read it and weep. First the bad news:

The image above is (according to Chris Giles – economics editor of the Financial Times – on Twitter) a cautious estimate of the number of excess deaths in the UK.

He says the total – as of yesterday – was 59,700. Of these, 51,000 have happened and 8,700 are estimates bringing the official data up to date using evidence from hospitals.

That’s nearly twice as many as the 32,000 or so claimed by your Tory government. And even that figure is appalling because the Tories should have ensured our health service was prepared for it, and didn’t bother.

His report in the FT states:

The official figures from the UK’s statistical agencies are much higher than the daily announcement from the Department of Health and Social Care, which stands at 32,065.

The FT model now estimates that slightly more than 60,000 more people will have died than normal from the start of the outbreak to May 11, based on the excess deaths to date and the latest daily figures from hospital deaths.

At present this is the highest absolute level of excess deaths in Europe, although figures for Italy are not yet comparable because they are only available to the end of March.

Now the ugly news:

Your Tory government is considering freezing the pay of public sector workers – that means doctors and nurses among all the others – in order to pay the £300 billion cost of the coronavirus crisis that its MPs could have prevented if they had made the proper preparations for it over the last few years.

Other proposed measures include tax hikes – so doctors and nurses will be doubly-hit – and a raid on the national pension fund.

Here’s The Independent:

A confidential treasury assessment cited by The Daily Telegraph is reported to say the UK’s deficit could reach heights of £337bn this year due to the government’s attempts to keep the economy afloat during the crisis.

The paper added that the government document said measures including income tax hikes, a public sector pay freeze and the end of the triple lock on pensions may be required to fund the debt.

Proposing to end the triple lock, a guarantee to increase to the state pension every year based on whatever is highest out of inflation, average earnings or a minimum of 2.5 per cent, has proved controversial in the past – with many citing it as a catastrophic moment in the run up to Theresa May’s underwhelming 2017 election performance.

And a freeze to the public sector pay – potentially impacting the healthcare workers who have been on the front lines of the response to the virus – is also likely to cause consternation from the public and across the political spectrum.

How do you feel about this plan by the Tories to make healthcare staff and pensioners pay for the Tories’ mistakes?

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It’s time the Tories gave up the billions they’ve been creaming from the miners’ pension fund

MPs are demanding a new settlement for the miners’ pension fund [Image: Getty].


We can all tell the 1990s deal was written by a Conservative government, can’t we?

Of course it’s scandalous that the government is taking so much from miners’ pension pot – and you can bet ministers will claim the state needs the money.

Meanwhile the government has plans to cut Corporation Tax and higher-rate Income Tax – and you can bet ministers will claim that the state doesn’t need the money.

Because, you see, the state only needs poor people’s money.

Sickening. The Tories brutalised the miners in the 1980s and they’ve been doing it ever since. Let’s get a better deal.

MPs will tomorrow call on Business Secretary Greg Clark to give former miners a fair share of their pension fund .

Mr Clark will asked to end the “scandal” that has seen the Government receive nearly £3.4billion from the Mineworkers’ pension scheme.

Under an arrangement struck when British Coal was privatised in the 1990s any surplus in the fund is split 50-50 between the scheme’s members and the government.

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Just to be awkward, Russia is bombing Syria

This is about the least-distressing image I could find to describe the situation in Syria.

This is about the least-distressing image I could find to describe the situation in Syria [Image: BBC].

Russia is bombing parts of Syria in raids that appear to have been planned, not to relieve the suffering of innocent people there, but to cause logistical and diplomatic problems for the USA and its allies.

According to the BBC, Russia has claimed it is targeting Islamic State, but a US official has said none of the targets appear to be in IS-held territory. War planes have attacked what appears to be territory held by rebels against Syrian President Assad in the Homs and Hama provinces.

This has created serious complications in what are already seriously-complicated hostilities.

Russia gave the US an hour’s notice that it would be launching air strikes, along with a demand that America and its allies, in effect, get out of the way – but we don’t know who the targets are.

America is, in its usual bullish manner, saying it won’t halt any of the operations it has already planned with its own allies.

This makes it possible that US and Russian forces will end up shooting each other – even if they say they don’t mean to. Americans have an extremely poor record in this regards – as their British allies in the Second Gulf War learned to their cost.

In the midst of all this, the UK’s damned-fool Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, has asserted that this country will continue bombing IS, in Syria, for “as long as it takes” – even though the Conservative Government has no Parliamentary mandate to do anything of the kind.

MPs rejected military action in Syria, almost exactly two years ago. They have since approved strikes against IS in Iraq, but the ban on raids in Syria is technically still in force. Our personnel should not be there.

In the light of the new development, there is even more reason for the UK to pull out of Syria – but of course our Defence Secretary is a damned fool.

This is a situation that could escalate into a shooting war between America and Russia, if damned fools like him are allowed to continue running around like bulls in front of red rags. That should be the last thing anybody wants – but do you see anybody trying to stop it?

And what about the innocent parties in all this – the Syrian citizens who just want to be left in peace? Nobody seems to care about them, even though the addition of Russia into this apocalyptic mess means even more refugees streaming into Europe.

If anybody has any ideas about how to restore sanity, could they please make those ideas known – before we’re all blown to smithereens?

It all makes the fuss over Jeremy Corbyn saying he would not launch a nuclear missile look a bit silly, doesn’t it?

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Are the paedophilia probes getting too close to the Tories?

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Blocked for 11 months: The Mail on Sunday describes how the Conservative-run Cabinet Office tried to hide information about paedophilia in the corridors of power.

According to Labour’s Simon Danczuk, the government is refusing to publish at least four files on historic child abuse because it is worried about what information may be revealed ahead of May’s general election.

Oh really? This suggests that the facts must be more damaging than any speculation. We all know that leading Conservative MPs, including at least one cabinet minister from the Thatcher era, have been implicated in the ongoing paedophile investigation.

Yesterday we learned that then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been told about child abuse allegations relating to the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, but still gave him a knighthood in 1988.

And the Daily Mirror, together with investigative news site Exaro, has revealed that police have raided the London and North Yorkshire homes of the late Leon Brittan as part of Operation Midland – set up to ­investigate historic claims of child abuse by a group of powerful men.

The Mail on Sunday report states that the Cabinet Office – run by Conservative Francis Maude – repeatedly blocked attempts to see documents about Cyril Smith, and only relented under threat of High Court action.

It said David Cameron and Nick Clegg have both been accused of colluding in the cover-up.

Mr Danczuk told the paper: “Nick Clegg and David Cameron have colluded in covering this up. It involves their people and we should not have to learn about this piecemeal because of journalists pestering for information.

“Both men need to come clean and make a personal commitment to revealing everything that is now held by Government departments.

“The Prime Minister promised there would be no stone unturned into the inquiry of historic sex abuse in Westminster. But the Cabinet Office seems to be doing the opposite.

“Clegg, who sits in this department, has already written to me refusing to carry out an investigation into who knew what about Cyril Smith in his party and it’s disappointing to see the Cabinet Office continuing this unhelpful approach.”

This is not the only information being withheld by the government prior to the general election. It is known that Jeremy Hunt is holding back a highly critical report on NHS management – apparently for political reasons.

Iain Duncan Smith is withholding information on the full cost of his disastrous Universal Credit vanity project until after the election.

And of course the government is refusing to reveal how many sick and disabled people its vicious ‘welfare reforms’ have killed off – as reported in this blog last month, and many times in the past.

Didn’t David Cameron say his would be the most open government ever, ushering in a new era of transparency? Yes he did.

What a shame this most evasive of all governments is working so hard to hide the information people need, if they are to make the right choice at the general election.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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