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Is this another nail in the coffin of Keir Starmer’s racist Labour?

Resigned: Marsha de Cordova.

It has emerged that a second black female Labour MP has resigned from Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet because he won’t support plans for a new law to tackle racial injustice.

Marsha de Cordova follows Dawn Butler, who quit as Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities because she would not sign up to the pledges demanded of the Labour Party by the Tory-run Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Sources have told Voice Online that the departure was prompted by serious differences with the party leadership:

Friends say Starmer’s inner cabal sidelined her efforts to develop plans for a new law to tackle racial injustice.

Sources said that efforts to set up a taskforce of experts to design progressive race equality policy were held back over concerns this might upset Red Wall voters, and that Starmer had resisted pleas to make a speech setting out his vision to black communities.

Associates of the Battersea MP claim that the party failed to put her on a single ‘media round’ during 17 months in the job, and that she was offered just five minutes speaking time at Labour’s annual conference, which takes place next week.

The revelations come amid growing pressure for the release of a report into alleged racism of party officials against Butler and fellow MPs Diane Abbott and Clive Lewis.

That would be the Forde report – which has been allegedly delayed to await the report of an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) inquiry into personal data protection breaches.

It seems Keir Starmer and his cronies are hoping that the ICO will say the information examined by Martin Forde QC should not have been available for other people to examine and that any racist comments those messages contained are exempt from discussion.

But the fact is that we do know about them, and we also know that Labour Party officers should not have been passing such comments about party representatives.

If he tries to sweep them under the carpet, Keir Starmer will be supporting the racism they contain.

The Labour leadership is trying to wallpaper over its own racism by announcing that a new annual Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic conference for members will start next year along with a new internal organisation to represent all BAME members.

That seems similar to Young Labour, which also had an annual conference for members – until this year, when Starmer’s unelected general secretary, David Evans, cancelled it in defiance of the party’s own constitution.

It is believed that the reason for the cancellation was Young Labour’s determination to host an event supporting Palestinian liberation from the tyranny of Israel. It would run against the official Labour Party line, which is that the Israeli government must be held above criticism at all times, no matter how many atrocities it commits against people of another ethnic group.

Racism again.

Source: Labour “nothing to say on racial justice” – Voice Online

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Does anybody think Matt Hancock will face any real punishment over his affair scandal?

The snog and The Scream: a reminder of what Hancock did – and of our reactions when we saw the CCTV image for the first time.

I don’t – even though a Tory councillor in his constituency is calling for him to resign as a member of Parliament – or be deselected if he doesn’t, so he can’t stand as a Tory again:

Ian Houlder has written to the local Tory party calling for Mr Hancock to be removed as MP for West Suffolk in the wake of his resignation from cabinet.

The West Suffolk councillor said Mr Hancock’s actions were “beyond the pale”, adding that his “honour, integrity, probity and honesty, should he have had any, [is] trashed beyond redemption”.

In his email to the chair of the West Suffolk Conservative Association, Mr Houlder said the controversy had shown Mr Hancock to be a “selfish, egotistical man”.

“He has let every member of the public down, pontificating that they should all make huge sacrifices on the altar of the pandemic, whilst doing the complete opposite himself,” Mr Houlder added.

Those are all valid points.

But Hancock is a wired-in member of Boris Johnson’s gang who will probably be back in the Cabinet as soon as any of the other dodgy individuals there are forced to go the same way he did.

For now, I think we’ll hear from apologists saying, “He’s suffered enough,” which is the usual excuse.

Suffered? He looked like he was enjoying himself immensely in that damning photo of him snogging his aide.

But that’s Tories for you. Nobody in the party hierarchy honestly believes Hancock did anything wrong. Rules are for other people and the power to hire and fire is there so Cabinet ministers can satisfy their grotty little carnal desires.

Meanwhile, Mr Houlder’s motives seem readily apparent.

As a Tory councillor, he’s probably standing in line for his own chance to take the constituency seat in Parliament. The Hancock scandal is just a chance to jump the queue by eliminating the incumbent.

I don’t think he’ll succeed but it will be interesting to see how the Tory leadership handles it.

Source: Matt Hancock faces constituency backlash over affair scandal – with calls for him to ‘resign without delay’ | Politics News | Sky News

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Hancock out, Javid in – it seems Boris Johnson has few Tories to choose from

Sajid Javid: the new Health Secretary has been compared with Gollum from JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth fictions.

Hancock had to go, in the end.

Not only had he brought the position of Health Secretary into disrepute by breaking his own “guidelines” (and we all thought they were rules), but he had allowed the Tory government to be ridiculed.

And nobody thought he should stay. This Site’s (admittedly unscientific) poll gave a 100 per cent result in favour of him resigning.

And now he is gone.

(I’m not saying he went just because of my poll’s result, but it does seem to have reflected the mood of the nation at large, meaning it was impossible for him to stay.)

Ironically, that leaves the woman he allegedly hired solely so he could have an affair with her, stuck in a Health Department job that she may not even be qualified to hold. We know nothing of her record as an adviser.

But he’ll probably be back very soon.

Yes – now for the bad news.

You see, Boris Johnson has appointed Sajid Javid as Hancock’s replacement.

Javid was removed from his previous Cabinet job as Chancellor of the Exchequer in February last year, after a row with Johnson and then-prime ministerial adviser Dominic Cummings over his own advisers.

The fact that he is back now – filling the gap left after the first Cabinet change since he left – suggests that Johnson has very few allies in his own party.

This could explain his refusal to sack his ministers; with only the Britannia Unchained mob (Patel, Raab, Truss, Kwarteng) and a few Brexiters to choose from, he can’t afford to lose anybody.

This would also explain the increasing wave of corruption in Johnson’s ranks.

They know he is weak and they are exploiting it.

Further signs of Johnson’s weakness are evident – and likely to become more so after Javid’s appointment.

We have already seen attacks from Dominics Cummings and Grieve, and the defection of John Bercow to Keir Starmer’s Labour (not a huge leap, sadly).

I’m willing to predict more backstabbings from what we might call more “traditional” Conservatives, as they realise an 80-seat Parliamentary majority doesn’t mean more than 360 supporters for Johnson’s fascism.

They have plenty of attack options – the fact that Johnson allowed Hancock to make so many mistakes, break so many rules (all right, “guidelines”), and generally corrupt his office shows that the prime minister’s judgement is highly questionable.

The fact that Johnson refused to sack Hancock in the face of the public outcry also raises serious questions. Other PMs have sacked ministers who brought their administration into disrepute, even though it meant hiring MPs less sympathetic to their own politics, but Johnson didn’t.  That could be a valuable pressure point in the future.

In fact, there’s really only one ray of hope for Johnson amid this political and public relations disaster:

Hancock’s personal life brought him down, not his utter failure at his job.

This is a man whose three years as Health Secretary were characterised by rampant corruption – the appointment of an adviser purely so he could have an affair with her is just one example – and incompetence.

He gave contracts to provide the NHS with personal protective equipment (PPE) to Tory donors and friends who failed to do so. In the time he wasted this way, tens of thousands of people died.

He wasted £37 billion on a privatised “track and trace” system that still doesn’t work after a year. That organisation was run by Dido Harding, who now wants a job running NHS England – and if she gets it, she’ll ruin it as well.

He lied to us repeatedly about the seriousness of the Covid-19 threat, about the effectiveness of the government’s opposition to it, and about the incompetence of his own decisions (covering up his uselessness).

He failed to provide appropriate guidance to protect care home residents from Covid-19 – most especially from fellow residents returning from hospital but also from staff who worked in multiple homes.

I’m listing these examples off the top of my head, by the way – they are so obvious I don’t even have to research them.

But those failures aren’t what brought him down.

Johnson can take heart from this. It shows that the mindless mass of tribal Tory voters is still right behind him – convinced that his government is doing what’s right for the UK, even as it drags us into the cess pit of fascism and exploitation.

It’s a very small gleam of sunlight through the clouds surrounding him, though.

He has surrounded himself with corrupt incompetents just like Hancock, whose rampant self-interest will bring them before the court of public opinion again – very soon.

What will Johnson do when the mob is baying for the next one’s head?

Source: Matt Hancock quits as health secretary after breaking social distance guidance – BBC News

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Maureen Lipman quits actors’ union Equity to support apartheid Israel

Maureen Lipman: this is an old image from 2018 because she honestly doesn’t rate the time it would take me to get a new one.

Once upon a time, Maureen Lipman was best-known as a legend among her fellow actors. Oh, and as Beattie from the British Telecom ads.

Now she’s best known for quitting the Labour Party – multiple times, apparently – and today for quitting actors’ union Equity.

Here’s Metro:

Coronation Street actress Dame Maureen Lipman has resigned from Equity, the actors’ union, after the organisation urged members to join a pro-Palestine march, it has been claimed.

‘I’m going to resign and I’m also going to ask for my £1000 a year membership fees to be given back to me, and I’m going to send it a charity for the victims on both sides,’ she told [The Telegraph].

‘I didn’t join a political union. I joined a union to protect its members. You don’t dictate to artists what they believe in, and don’t incite them to join a mob.’

This Writer is sure that the 200,000 people who took part in the “mostly peaceful” event in London last weekend will be nonplussed to learn that Lipman has branded them a “mob”.

And while some may say she is right to ask, “Where is [Equity president] Maureen Beattie on the Uyghurs, Rohingyas, the Sudanese, the Yemenites?” some of us applaud the decision to take a stand on a topical issue.

And when there’s a major demo for Yemenites and the others, I for one will look forward to seeing Equity representatives standing alongside everybody else.

A few misguided souls have supported Lipman’s stand:

I wonder whether she feels validated by the support of a former journalist who, as editor of The Sun, falsely accused Liverpool supporters of responsibility for the Hillsborough disaster?

And, as she is falsely accusing Equity of drumming up support for a “mob”, I can only surmise that she does.

Perhaps she prefers the statement by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which falsely claimed that Israel’s bombardment of Gaza happened because that overwhelmingly better-armed nation, supported as it is by the weaponsmiths of the UK and the USA, needed to defend itself against some home-made fireworks that mostly rebounded from the so-called Iron Wall.

Before reading this, let’s remember that the violence happened because Israeli soldiers had been attacking residents of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, turfing them out of their homes in what’s known as ethnic cleansing, and had invaded the Al Aqsa Mosque, hitting worshippers there with rubber bullets and stun grenades:

Strangely enough, accusing Jews in the UK of being more loyal to the people they know in Israel, has been described to us all as an anti-Semitic trope. Draw your own conclusions on what this says about the Board of Deputies.

Would you appreciate some more rational responses?

Some have reminded us that Lipman spent the last few years threatening to quit Labour over the false claims that the party had become a hotbed of anti-Semitism:

In fact it seems this isn’t the usual time of year for Lipman to quit Labour – that’s October or November, as far as I can tell.

Others have pointed out that Lipman’s stand is a contradiction: by opposing Jeremy Corbyn in 2019, she supported anti-Semite Boris Johnson’s racist Conservative Party back into power…

(If you don’t think Johnson is an anti-Semite, you need to read his novel 72 Virgins – or at least those parts of it that he stuffed with anti-Semitic tropes.)

… and by supporting apartheid Israel, she supported – well, read it for yourself:

Others have been more generalised in their criticisms:

But the message that people have taken from her announcement is all too clear:

Perhaps the most cutting comment is the one on which I’m going to end:

How the mighty have fallen. Lipman has brought a once-glittering career down to end in ashes.

Postscript: There is some good news:

Source: Coronation Street’s Maureen Lipman ‘quits’ union’ over pro-Palestine march urge | Metro News

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Nurse who provided care for Johnson resigns from NHS – deploring ‘lack of respect’

Jenny McGee: apparently Boris Johnson survived Covid-19 because she and another NHS nurse sat vigil for him at night. What a shame he offered her disrespect in return.

No, Boris Johnson, even the nurse who cared for you when you had Covid-19 says clapping for the NHS isn’t enough.

Jenny McGee, we’re told, kept vigil by Johnson’s bedside when he was suffering with the virus.

She stayed at her post, carrying out soul-destroying work through the height of the pandemic, while her former patient fudged his way through a series of wrong decisions, crony contracts and “clap for NHS” publicity stunts.

And now it seems she’s had enough.

She has handed in her resignation, such is her disillusionment with the “lack of respect” shown by the government for the NHS and healthcare workers.

“We’re not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve. I’m just sick of it. So I’ve handed in my resignation,” said McGee, referring to the government’s proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff, which unions have described as a “kick in the teeth”.

She was also critical of the government’s handling of the Covid crisis, adding: “Lots of nurses felt that the government hadn’t led very effectively – the indecisiveness, so many mixed messages. It was just very upsetting.”

Personally, I would have quit in an extremely public way, if I were her, when Johnson tried to co-opt her into a “clap for the NHS” photo opportunity with him during what she thought would be a discreet thank you visit to Downing Street.

Instead, she waited to make her announcement until she was filmed for a Channel 4 documentary, The Year Britain Stopped (apparently Northern Ireland didn’t).

One could describe it as an example of the discretion for which NHS nurses are rightly respected – if not by Tories like Johnson.

What a shame that, after Ms McGee restored his health with patience and care, he could not offer the NHS the same courtesy.

Source: Nurse who cared for Boris Johnson resigns over ‘lack of respect’ for NHS workers | NHS | The Guardian

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Starmer in denial as Labour take local election pummelling. HE is the problem

The excuses man: but no amount of references to Jeremy Corbyn can save Keir Starmer from the condemnation of traditional Labour supporters who have been forced to walk away from the party by him.

Before I start, let’s be clear about one thing:

That being said…

Keir Starmer has vowed to lead Labour’s fightback after having led it to a bitter local election pummelling and the loss of one of the party’s Parliamentary strongholds.

The denial is strong in this one.

It is clear to even the most disinterested observer that the party’s losses are all Starmer’s fault; that his direction for the Labour Party is deeply unpopular with the British people and that the best way he can help Labour fight back is to resign.

But he won’t do that. Instead, he’ll be announcing a “bold vision” for the party in the next few days.

That will be – what? His third “bold vision”? His fourth? – since he deceived party members into making him leader last year.

By the time of writing, StarmerLabour has lost 192 council seats, with the bulk going to the Conservatives.

The Green Party has picked up 51 seats, indicating that left-wing voters have migrated to that party in protest against Starmer’s betrayal of traditional Labour values. And the Liberal Democrats have also lost seats – 24 of them – indicating that the public has still – and rightly – not forgiven them for propping up the Tories for five years, from 2010 to 2015. These are about the only things the English voting public has got right.

In terms of council control, the Conservatives have taken Pendle, Maidstone, Cornwall, Nottinghamshire, Basildon, Northumberland, Dudley, and Nuneaton and Bedworth councils from no overall control. They also took control of of Harlow council, in Essex, from Labour.

Labour has lost Sheffield, Plymouth and Rossendale to no overall control.

And in another former Labour stronghold, the Tees Valley, Conservative Ben Houchen was re-elected mayor with 73 per cent of the vote – a massive swing of 23 per cent away from Starmer’s Labour.

Meanwhile, here in Wales, Mark Drakeford’s version of Labour – which many have said is a genuine continuation of Corbynism – has won 30 seats in the Senedd, securing another working majority. Labour will rule in Wales for another five years.

The contrast with StarmerLabour could not be more plain.

For This Writer, the most surprising aspect of StarmerLabour’s implosion is the way his critics are pussyfooting around him, playing down the scale of the disaster.

Look at left Labour MP Richard Burgon’s comment, quoted in the following tweet – and the response by Jen Wood:

Let’s not bother with the ‘soft’ critics. Starmer doesn’t need to hear people saying “Never mind, Keir. You stay put and next time you’ll do better.” At this point, such a possibility seems unlikely in the extreme; Labour is more likely to run out of votes altogether and be extinguished as a political movement.

He needs to hear the hard criticism – like this, from Peston:

And this, from near-legendary Canary columnist Steve Topple:

Even this is charitable; voters didn’t abandon Labour because they don’t care – they walked away because they do, and because Starmer wasn’t offering them anything they could support.

You want proof?

So that’s that. These people aren’t going to come back to Labour while Starmer remains in charge of what was once their party.

The message of the 2021 local elections is clear, then. For those who are still having trouble grasping it, it is this:

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With Labour set to lose three-fifths of its vote, will Jess Phillips still be smiling tomorrow?

What’s so funny? Jess Phillips was all smiles when Jeremy Corbyn suffered his huge defeat in 2019. Will she be as amused if Keir Starmer suffers a worse one in 2021?

Keir Starmer has changed his tune.

Only days ago, he said he had a “mountain to climb” and would continue doing that after today’s local election. Now he is saying he will “carry the can” if the result goes badly.

But will he?

Polling suggests that Labour is heading for its worst local election result in decades – equivalent to that suffered by previous Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the general election in 2019.

The Guardian reported that

Labour’s canvassing in Hartlepool suggested only 40% of the party’s previous supporters had pledged to vote for its candidate, Paul Williams

and Starmer will have to take responsibility if Williams loses; the candidate was practically parachuted in after Labour’s head office interfered with the selection process in a return to the bad old days of Tony Blair’s New Labour.

A particular problem across the board is StarmerLabour’s lack of any coherent policy after he abandoned the “continuity Corbyn” pledges he made to get elected as party leader and opted to be what Tony Benn once described as a “weathercock” politicians.

It means rather than choosing to take Labour in a well-defined direction, he has chosen to adopt whatever seems popular at the moment in a bid to fool voters into thinking he’s on their side.

That tactic seems to have failed.

Labour’s policy on the doorstep seems to have been to appeal to anti-Tory sentiment – but the party seems to have done this by making itself a caricature of northern working-class voters: “beer, fish and chips and flags,” as one left-wing MP told the Graun.

This has caused offence in several ways:

And behind it all is resentment at the way right-wing Labour MPs, who are now in charge of the party, stabbed Corbyn’s Labour leadership in the back in order to ensure that big defeat in 2019 – only to make matters worse.

At the time of writing, Jess Phillips is trending on Twitter. Here is the reason in two tweets:

That kind of betrayal is not something a political party can easily leapfrog.

Now it seems party members are planning to demand Starmer’s resignation if the party suffers major losses – including in Hartlepool.

He has said he’ll “carry the can” – but even in that, it seems he may just mean he’ll kick it down the road.

Already we are hearing that he has voiced concern that the next general election could be in 2023, not the following year, and that he is trying to suggest that this would be too soon for Labour to change direction if a new leader was elected between now and then.

If this is true, then he is deliberately avoiding the point – that it is better to have a new leader with a chance to win than an old one who will definitely lose. That is, after all, the reason he and his right-wingers forced Corbyn out.

Well, the one they presented to the public, anyway.

The saddest part of this whole sorry StarmerLabour saga is that he has made the Conservatives more popular – surely the cardinal sin of any Labour leader.

In Hartlepool, it is being suggested that half of the electorate will support the Tory candidate – a shocking claim in a Labour-held seat.

And it’s one that is made even worse when one considers that abominable record of the current Tory government under Boris Johnson:

His Covid-19 policies led to the deaths of 150,000 people – most of these could have been prevented if he had locked down earlier and more effectively.

He has mired his government in allegations of cronyist corruption.

And his Brexit – the way he pulled the UK out of the European Union – may actually lead to a shooting war with France over fishing rights near the Channel Islands; a war in which the UK, as the side causing the conflict, would be seen as the villain.

Johnson must be delighted that Starmer is leading Labour towards death in a ditch. It has taken all the heat away from his own failings.

And that is why – barring miracles – Starmer will have to go.

Source: Starmer promises to ‘carry the can’ as Labour braces for challenging elections | Keir Starmer | The Guardian

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Foster quits as DUP boss over Brexit. Can we get similar leverage against Boris Johnson?

Gurning, gurning, gone: Arlene Foster, whose support of Theresa May in 2017 deprived the UK of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn, has been forced out of politics after a vote of “no confidence” by her party, the DUP. Why couldn’t it have happened sooner?

The leader of Ulster’s Democratic Unionist Party who propped up Theresa May’s minority Tory government to help push through a disastrous, unpopular exit from the EU is being forced to quit politics.

Arlene Foster, announced that she was resigning as DUP leader on Wednesday, after losing a vote of “no confidence” among party members.

About 80 per cent of the DUP’s Stormont and Westminster ranks signed a letter of no confidence in her leadership.

Brexit has been hugely divisive in Northern Ireland, with the imposition of an artificial trade border in the middle of the Irish Sea considered by many to be a breach of the Good Friday Agreement that ended the so-called ‘Troubles’, 23 years ago.

As a result, violence has flared up in many parts of the province.

Ms Foster supported the UK Conservative governments of Theresa May and Boris Johnson that have brought this division down upon Northern Ireland and it seems she is being made to take responsibility for the result.

She has now announced her intention to quit the DUP altogether, saying it is no longer the party she joined. Sour grapes?

Her future seems assured. Loyalty to the Tories tends to reap rewards for individuals, and it has been suggested that Foster will find her way into the House of Lords, with its £300-per-day salary, just for turning up.

Her fate raises an important question: when will Boris Johnson suffer a similar humiliation?

Johnson was the poster boy for Brexit. He campaigned hard for it in 2015-16, and was noted for his ridiculous red bus with a grotesque lie painted on the side, that money paid to the EU could be spent on the NHS if the UK left.

Trade deals he promised have failed to materialise. The UK’s banking power has been decimated. Exports have fallen dramatically. And the nation’s international influence is waning.

Johnson himself stands accused of serial dishonesty, and of wishing death on thousands of his fellow UK citizens in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis he has mishandled so atrociously.

And yet he remains perversely popular. For how much longer?

Arlene Foster believes the DUP is no longer the party she joined, say sources close to her.

Source: Arlene Foster to quit DUP after leaving leadership roles – BBC News

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Mercer sacked over unequal treatment in prosecutions of armed forces veterans

Mercer: it’s right that he should leave the government – but it’s for the wrong reason.

The Minister for Armed Forces Veterans has reported that he has been “relieved of my responsibilities in government” because he disagrees with Tory policy on prosecutions for historic crimes.

This is extremely dodgy ground. It seems clear to This Writer that, if a serving member of the forces has committed a crime while on active duty – but the evidence only comes to light later – they should still face prosecution for it.

The Tory government sees the matter differently and has included in its Overseas Operations Bill measures to protect veterans from prosecution if the alleged crimes were committed more than five years before any allegations are made…

… except for those who served in Northern Ireland. They have been excluded from this measure, meaning long-retired personnel could face imprisonment for alleged crimes committed decades ago.

Nobody deserves to face the extreme distress of court proceedings and possible imprisonment over false allegations, of course.

But nor should anybody receive an automatic free pass if they did commit crimes, no matter how long ago they happened. Think of paedophiles whose abominable practices with children only come to light decades after they took place.

So Mercer is right to go – but he’s going for the wrong reason.

He should be leaving because personnel who served elsewhere are being let off – not because those who served in Northern Ireland are still on the hook.

He should also be leaving because the government hasn’t bothered to devise ways of weeding out unfounded, frivolous or malicious attempts to prosecute veterans, but has instead opted to offer (potentially) amnesty to criminals.

But nobody can say his views weren’t known. He offered to resign from Theresa May’s government in 2019 over the same issue. So it is perhaps unsurprising that he has now left Boris Johnson’s government after it refused to pay attention to his concerns about the same issue.

Of course, we don’t know the exact circumstances yet. First we were told Mercer was on the point of resigning, then we were told he had been sacked, then that he had actually resigned, and then in his resignation letter he said he had been “relieved” of his responsibilities.

Still, this is another departure over government policy, following that of Samuel Kasumu – who actually quit after Boris Johnson’s cronies rewrote a report on institutional racism in order to pretend that it no longer exists in the UK.

We may conclude that the Johnson government is highly prejudiced. Not only is it deeply racist, but it also discriminates against forces personnel depending on where they served.

That’s not a good look for a government that desperately wants to appear friendly to those in the services after years of scandal over veterans who were left homeless after their discharge.

Mercer himself won’t be short of cash after losing this job – if he’s still got his £85,000-a-year job as ‘non-executive director’ of a cyber-security firm.

So don’t worry about him. Worry about people who have been wronged by our armed forces who won’t get justice – and about veterans who are being wronged by a government that is still allowing vexatious prosecutions against them.

Source: Johnny Mercer: Tory MP resigns as defence minister – BBC News

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Keir Starmer was part of an attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn. Now he’s whining about Shadow Cabinet backstabbers

Keir Starmer was happy to resign as a shadow cabinet minister in order to push Jeremy Corbyn out of the Labour leadership in 2016 – but now he thinks his critics in the current shadow cabinet should go instead of him.

Keir Starmer. What a piece of… work.

Five years ago he was among a group of right-wingers in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet who took part in a co-ordinated series of resignations intended to cause a leadership election in what became known as the “chicken coup”.

As the name suggests, this behaviour was considered to be cowardly and underhanded.

Now, Starmer has thrown his toys out of his pram after hearing that some of his own, predominantly right-wing, shadow cabinet have been briefing against his aides and some of their colleagues:

Unnamed shadow ministers have in recent weeks criticised Starmer’s aides, including his chief of staff Morgan McSweeney, policy chief Claire Ainsley and political director Jenny Chapman, blaming them for Labour’s caution or its reliance on focus groups of former “Red Wall” voters.

Starmer is also understood to be furious at recent briefings against frontbenchers Anneliese Dodds and Rachel Reeves.

I can’t discuss the briefings against Starmer’s aides because I don’t know enough about it, but it was claimed that Dodds would be sacked for failing to communicate Labour’s vision – which is Starmer’s job.

And Reeves was criticised for appearing in media interviews instead of Starmer, after he made a video praising a church that preaches homophobia.

According to the Huffington Post,

The Labour leader told the weekly meeting of Labour’s shadow cabinet that he was appalled by recent criticism of his aides, saying those responsible should “either stop now or have the guts to get out” of his frontbench team.

Why would these critics want to resign?

Their entire point is that it is the aides and Starmer who have behaved inappropriately – Starmer in the cases of Dodds and Reeves because he had (allegedly) put them in the line of fire that he should have taken.

And by actually putting forward an argument, it seems to This Writer that they have behaved much more honourably than Starmer did in 2016, when he resigned because he didn’t like the leader the Labour Party had democratically elected (and who was elected again as a result of the coup, with a bigger majority than before – despite (again, alleged) attempts to rig the vote).

I notice that Starmer himself seems far less inclined, himself, to resign, even though that action seems far more appropriate now than it was in 2016.

Perhaps next month’s local elections will change his mind.

Source: Keir Starmer Blasts Shadow Cabinet ‘Cowards’ Who Brief Against His Staff | HuffPost UK

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