Tag Archives: result

#Tories retain #OldBexleyAndSidcup with massively reduced majority

The winner: and isn’t it ironic that the first member of the Party of Brexit to win an election after the UK split from the European Union was a man called Louie French?

Here’s an election that will tell misleading tales.

Conservative Louie French has been elected to take over the Parliamentary seat of Old Bexley and Sidcup from his late Tory colleague James Brokenshire – so the Tories will claim a huge victory and that confidence in Boris Johnson has not been shaken by recent scandals.

But the low turnout suggests otherwise. Fewer than half of the voters who turned out for the general election bothered this time (70 per cent of the local electorate in 2019 v 33.5 per cent this time around). That’s a drop from 46,145 votes to 21,733.

And most of those who didn’t bother coming seem to have been Tories. Brokenshire’s vote in 2019 was more than the total number of votes cast this time around, at 29,786 (45 per cent of the local electorate). French managed to scrape up 11,189 votes (just 17 per cent of voters in the constituency).

That’s a massive drop – and I don’t think we can attribute it solely to the normal fall in turnout for a by-election. French received only 37 per cent of the number of votes Brokenshire had. I think it’s fair to say that thinking Conservative voters didn’t bother coming to this party because they don’t want anything to do with Boris Johnson any more.

More importantly, the fact is that 83 per cent of people in this constituency didn’t want the Conservative, but he is still going to occupy their Parliamentary seat. If ever there was an argument for proportional representation, this is it.

But of course the corrupt Tories won’t ever accept the argument for change because the current situation benefits them.

And then there’s Labour. Keir Starmer will undoubtedly crow about his candidate, Daniel Francis, increasing that party’s vote share by 7.4 per cent. But it’s only a relative increase – that is to say, Francis received a higher share of a lower number of votes.

In fact, Labour lost 4,123 votes in comparison with the party’s performance in 2019. Candidate Daniel Francis’s share of the local electorate was just 10 per cent – a drop of six per cent from Dave Tingle’s share of the constituency’s available vote in 2019 (16 per cent). That’s how 6,711 votes compares with 10,834 votes when the total local electorate is taken into account, rather than those who bothered to vote.

Starmer might be happy that his candidate lost fewer votes than the Tory – but when the best you can do is discuss relative falls in the number of votes you’ve received, you’re on shaky ground.

Looking at the other parties, the Liberal Democrats continued their decline. In 2019, Simone Reynolds received 3,822 votes (5.8 per cent of the local electorate). This year the same candidate scraped up only 647 votes (less than one per cent of the local electorate – a 4.81 per cent drop).

Perhaps the big shock of the by-election was the fact that the Green Party’s Jonathan Rooks didn’t scoop up support from disillusioned Labour voters, as the party has in local government by-elections since Starmer became party leader.

He picked up 830 votes – down from Matt Browne’s 1,477 in 2019 (1.27 per cent of the local electorate v 2,23 per cent). Again, the relative figures show a swing of 0.6 per cent upwards for this party when in fact its support has fallen.

Finally, we should discuss the popularity of Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party) and its candidate Richard Tice.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown demanded an investigation into this party’s finances in May 2019, after concerns were raised that it was receiving foreign money, possibly from hostile governments that were trying to destabilise the UK’s political system – like that of Russia.

Tice had insisted that all donations to his party were in Sterling but this referred to its PayPal account and was therefore unpersuasive; if a person or organisation opens a PayPal account in the UK then payments into it will be in UK pounds.

The party’s website had no safeguards to ensure that donors were eligible to support UK political parties and a Mirror investigation found that it was possible to sign up as a Brexit Party supporter under the name of Vladimir Putin, giving the address of the Kremlin.

Well, if foreign countries have been bankrolling Reform UK, it hasn’t worked – although Tice did make a big splash for a small party candidate, with 1,432 votes, equivalent to 2.2 per cent of the local electorate.

None of the other candidates had more than 300 votes.

Incidentally, a quick poll by This Site after the vote was closed showed that Vox Political readers correctly predicted a Conservative victory, but the comments suggested they agreed with This Writer about the reasons for it – that only the most tribal Conservatives would pay this by-election much interest.

If Boris Johnson had s**t on the paper and shoved the pencil up his bleached anus Tories would have politely pinched their noses, licked the pencil tip and put an ‘x’ in their box cos they think someone else’s ballot was accidentally s**t on and not theirs,” tweeted one person.

Looking at the result, who can argue with that?

AFTERWORD: the following tweet is satirical, but maybe it should be shown to all the voters in Old Bexley and Sidcup who didn’t bother to vote in yesterday’s by-election, as it tars them with the same brush as all those who voted for the new blue suit:

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GCSE results: Were exams traditionally DOWNgraded for non-private/grammar school pupils?

Exams: they didn’t happen this year or in 2020, and under teacher assessments, grades shot up. And after last year’s results, assessments by independent/grammar school teachers shot up further than those by teachers in state schools. Are millions of pupils, past and present, the victims of a national downgrading scam?

This Site received a very interesting – and worrying – comment on this year’s A-level results which I want to share with you.

It said:

“Surely, the BIG story is that this year probably reveals that lots more pupils should have done well in previous years, as well as in this year, but the exam system deliberately DOWNGRADED pupils so that numbers and quotas for college places etc would not be exceeded.

“In reality, before now, many pupils would have done well enough for a University place but, given a lack of enough places, the exam results were “doctored by algorithm” so that, by some mysterious process, the number of suitable pupils was almost exactly the number of college places available!

“The remnant 11-plus system in Kent or Glos works in the same way, producing enough pupils to fill the Grammar school places available, but then “failing” many others who, in other years, would have “passed” with exactly the same exam results.

“But this year, the teachers just made honest assessments of pupil progress and achievements and did not consider things like deliberately downgrading some results so that college places would not be under pressure.

“The big losers are , surely, the thousands of pupils in previous years who did just as well as this year’s, but were then downgraded to mean that they no longer hoped to go on to University.

“Public school kids, like Clarkson, didn’t have to worry about all this as they were set up for life anyway.

“Once again, it would have been the working-class pupils, who flogged their guts out to do well, expected some good results, but were then dismayed to find that ,somehow, they hadn’t done well enough.

“And, in the way this system always works, the victims end up blaming themselves and wish they could have worked harder or were, “more intelligent” etc.”

Looking at this year’s GCSE results in comparison with last year’s, that comment seems very close to the mark – although This Writer doesn’t think it’s about denying college places to people from state schools.

It’s about lying that state school pupils don’t deserve college places and independent/grammar school pupils do.

Look at the way top grades – over all candidates – have shot up by almost half since teacher evaluation was used instead of examinations – from 22 per cent of the total in 2019 to 30 per cent in 2021.

To me, that doesn’t indicate a sudden improvement in pupil performance and it certainly doesn’t indicate that exam conditions have a bad effect on grades.

It tells me that pupils at examinations have been traditionally and habitually marked down, if they were from state schools.

Further evidence is in the way teachers at independent and grammar schools, seeing last year’s results, have marked their pupils up in order to maintain their lead.

What, you think the quality of their teaching or the abilities of their pupils have suddenly shot up by three percent since last year (for grammars) and 14 per cent since 2019 (for independents)?

That isn’t realistic.

And, coupled with the rise in A-level grades over the same period of time and for the same reason, it gives me reason to suggest that state school pupils who took exams in 2019 and at any year before need to get angry.

We should be demanding to know why our results were so low in comparison to the grammars and the independents.

What were the criteria used in marking our papers?

Was there inbuilt bias against state schools? If so, who demanded it?

Any such bias will certainly have -arbitrarily – blighted our careers ever since, and that is utterly unacceptable.

Realistically, we won’t get honest answers from a system that is biased against us. We’ll be fobbed off with lies.

So how about an experiment?

Let’s demand a new system in which exam papers are anonymised – pupils are given numbers to put on their papers, and then the papers are mixed up centrally before being sent to examiners who have not been told any details of their origin.

Then they would have to mark honestly, and then we might learn what has really been going on in the UK’s education system.

As one of millions who are likely to have been penalised on the basis of the school I attended, I’m up for it.

How about you?

Source: GCSE results: pupils achieve record numbers of top grades in England

Trump acquitted in second impeachment trial – but not by the court of public opinion

Did anybody think Donald Trump would be found guilty by the Republican-dominated US Senate?

Impeached for the second time in his presidency – for inciting the Capitol riot in January that led to the deaths of five people – the evidence was considered by the 100-strong Senate, whose membership is evenly balanced between Republicans (Trump’s party) and Democrats.

For Trump to be convicted, a simple majority was not enough; the rules state that two-thirds of the Senate would have to find against him.

And here’s the result:

Final vote tally 57-43 but Senate fails to achieve two-thirds majority needed to convict former president of incitement.

Seven Republicans voted against their now-former president but it wasn’t enough. The others supported Trump.

It is suggested that they would have done so, no matter what evidence was put before them. That is a matter for their consciences.

The court of public opinion is another matter, though.

And the reaction of the people seems clear:

 

 

“The only thing easier to buy in the USA than a gun is a Republican Senator.”

Fair comment?

Source: Donald Trump acquitted in second impeachment trial | Donald Trump | The Guardian

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Tories have Commons Twitter account banned from tweeting vote results

He fought propagandists – but did he expect his own party to become the enemy? Churchill’s statue stares toward Parliament. If it was the man himself, it would probably turn its back in disgust.

Can you believe this? The Tories have contrived to have the House of Commons Twitter account stopped from tweeting vote results – because Johnson’s party said it was biased against them.

The House of Commons Twitter account has been banned from tweeting the results of votes after Tory MPs complained it was breaking impartiality rules when one tweet went viral.

During the passage of the trade bill, intended to pave the way for post-Brexit trade deals, the Commons Twitter account shared the outcomes of votes on amendments and new clauses: a 326-263 defeat for a clause relating “to parliamentary approval of trade agreements”, and approval without division for amendments about “sharing information and ministerial functions relating to trade”.

The descriptions were taken from the explanatory statement written by the MP who proposed the motion, and the tweet about new clause 17 was no different. That clause, the tweet said, was “intended to protect the NHS and publicly funded health and care services in other parts of the UK from any form of control from outside the UK”, explaining that it had been defeated 340 votes to 251.

The defeat allowed Labour to argue that Conservative MPs had voted against protecting the NHS from overseas control. The tweet itself was a key piece of evidence, which is why it gained 5,000 likes and almost 17,500 retweets in less than 24 hours.

That drew the attention of Tory MPs, who were bombarded with questions from constituents about why they had voted against such protection. The day after, MPs from the party made a complaint to the clerk of the House, the politically neutral civil servant who oversees the work of the support staff, including the social media team.

They argued that the tweet was in breach of the Commons’ requirement for impartiality. By the end of the day, the Commons team had deleted it and posted an apology.

So it was perfectly permissible for the offending words to be published in the explanatory statement by the MP who proposed the motion; the Tories just didn’t want them to get to the public.

What does that tell us about the Conservative government?

That they don’t want us to have full information about what happens in Parliament?

That they think Parliamentary media should not provide information to the public?

That they want such media to offer pro-Tory propaganda instead?

Johnson and his cronies have really taken the Josef Goebbels method to heart.

But the act has been a huge turn-off to the public – including This Writer (but you’d expect that, I’m sure):

I would have thought the answer was obvious: a would-be fascist dictatorship. But Johnson’s Tories are even failures at that.

Source: Commons Twitter account banned from tweeting vote results | Politics | The Guardian

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Tory corruption: why hide results of inquiry into NHS Covid-19 deaths?

Sufferer: Did any NHS staff member realise, when the Covid cases started coming into hospitals, that they could end up occupying the same beds as the people they were treating?

Who will benefit from the decision to keep secret the findings of a government review of Covid-19 related deaths of NHS staff?

The deceased won’t; they are beyond worrying about these things.

Their families won’t; it’s in their interests to have any mistakes made public, to get justice for the deaths of their relatives.

Other NHS staff won’t; it’s in their interests to have any mistakes made public, to ensure that they are not repeated, possibly harming them.

No, the only people who will benefit from this decision are the decision-makers themselves; secrecy will hide any mistakes they made, obscuring any responsibility they may have for the deaths.

And who are the decision-makers?

Matt Hancock. Boris Johnson.

The Conservative government.

This stinks of Tory corruption.

Source: Coronavirus: Cover-up fears as reviews of Covid-19 deaths among NHS staff to be kept secret | The Independent

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Project Yellowhammer – and the consequences of ‘no deal’ Brexit – explained!

“Stop Brexit!”: Even British comic legend Andy Capp has a reason to fear it.

This was on a friend’s Facebook page so I make no guarantees as to authenticity.

That said, it makes about as much sense as anything we’ve had from the Conservative government.

See what you think:

Yellowhammer summary for those who haven’t read it but want to know what it says explained by someone with a vague idea.

(Note: This is currently being called the ‘Reasonable Worst Case Planning Assumptions’ It only has that title because of Gove being caught lying about it to the select committee, and had to retract that it is, in fact, the base scenario. In many areas I’ve got business experience of, this is optimistic).

1) Most businesses aren’t ready. Big companies are likely to be more ready than smaller companies because they’ve been paying idiots like me to do so for the past months/years.

So some companies will struggle.

2) Leaving in October means also having our national inability to deal with any weather that isn’t moderate.

3) We leave around the time of half-term school holidays, which isn’t great.

4) We hope Ireland won’t cut supply of power to NI. but we can’t make them keep it going

5) Goods through Dover will drop by half. It will be slightly better in a few months. If you have family in Kent, you’ll need a helicopter to visit them at Christmas

6) If you’re going abroad (in the EU), it will take longer to get through customs. Hopefully not US Border durations.

7) Energy costs will go up, some energy companies might (will) go bankrupt.

8) We’ll have a shortage of some medicines. This also includes Vet medicines needed for animals that farmers might want to export.

9) Do you like fresh food? Shame about that. Come back in six months. Also less choice of food in general, and Christmas might be chicken in a tin.. Also we (govt) are saying we can’t assess how bad it is, despite all the unions and businesses telling us, so it’s not our fault when it’s worse than we’re saying here.

10) We think we’ll all have clean water. .Maybe a few hundred thousand people won’t. They might need bottles, or street bowsers, or rain water, rain water is good.

11) Financial Services companies might be fucked. Good job they’re not one of our biggest contributors to GDP and tax or anything.

12) International criminals and terrorists are in for a bonanza.

13) If you’re a Brit living in Europe, err, we don’t have a clue, hope the country you live in is better than us.

14) If you’re an IT company, travel company or anyone who has to send data back and forth with Europe then, err, bollocks. Not looking good. We’re not really sure.

15) Gibraltar’s fucked

16) Riots, public disorder, more homeless, people stealing bread, good job we haven’t slashed police numbers or anything, isnt it?

17) The Dartford crossing could be blocked by the traffic from Dover, which means fuel supplies in Kent, London and the SE in general might all run out. Also about 2000 job losses from refineries closing, and weeks of fuel shortages.

18) Insurance companies (that haven’t mitigated it, ahem) are going to have some problems.

19) If you’re poor, you’re going to be worse off. Actually if you’re poor, struggling, middle class or anything but rich, then you’re going to be worse off.

20) Northern Ireland is more fucked than Gibraltar. Job losses, food shortages, protests, dissident groups etc.

21) Cod Wars mark 2

22) Care homes could collapse en masse. Like, lots of them.

As you can see, nothing to worry about, certainly not all the things they also haven’t included.

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Tory cuts to childrens’ social services mean they face a lifetime of disadvantage

If you heard that children who have to see a social worker end up two grades behind at GCSE and thought the answer was to keep them away from social workers, you’re either a Tory or an idiot – most probably both.

Labour is right and funding for social services has collapsed due to Conservative-prompted cuts.

This Writer lives in one of the most rural areas in the United Kingdom and the service here is struggling desperately.

Faced with a choice between meeting funding targets and giving a child the treatment they deserve, the budget beats the bairn every time.

That’s harmful – not only for the child but for the society he or she inhabits.

It says we don’t care about our youngsters. If they grow up thinking that about themselves – and have evidence in their GCSE results – how will that affect the way they function as part of our culture?

Tories don’t care because they’d rather save the money.

I think they are forgetting the most important law that they can’t change – it’s called the law of unforeseen consequences.

Children who have had contact with a social worker at any time since the age of nine are around two grades behind at GCSE, a government review suggests.

The average classroom has three children who have needed support from social services at some point in last six years – a total of 1.6m children across England, according to the analysis.

On average, disadvantaged pupils achieved around six grades higher and made more progress in schools in cities than those in hamlets and isolated dwellings.

Source: Children with links to social services are two grades behind at GCSE, report suggests | The Independent

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Guest post: Why are politicians determined to honour a corrupted referendum?

This is a question that has bothered me considerably so I am delighted to host Tony O’Malley’s article asking why our political parties are determined to ignore the “lies, misrepresentations, cheating, illegality and probably criminality” of the 2016 EU referendum.

He says he understands left-wing members of the Labour Party have advocated that it is time to “move on”.

The problem is that we can’t. The whole of the UK is in stalemate over the issue.

Perhaps the reason for that is the insistence that we accept a corrupted result and “move on”, despite knowing that doing so will harm us.

Here’s Mr O’Malley [all boldings are mine]:

I have always considered myself a passionate believer in socialism, the internationalism of the Labour movement and Jeremy Corbyn.

I am also a litigation solicitor, who is now ‘retired’ due to various disabilities and health issues. In a prior career, I was a Registered General & Mental Nurse. I had been a member of the governing body of a major independent trades union & professional organisation (RCN), and I had the privilege of being the first ever elected U.K. President of the European Nursing Students Organisation. I have always fought tirelessly for justice for nurses, and especially for student nurses, as I consider them the future of a most noble profession and central to the delivery of high quality care and compassion in our renowned health service.

I voted Remain in the 2016 referendum. For me, it was an easy choice, though I did recognise that much institutional and policy reform was likely to be required if the EU, and the multiplicity of it’s constituent parts was to function better for the people of our continent, and thrive going forward. For quite some time now, I have been raising issues and queries with Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, Jennie Formby, Keir Starmer, and others. These many digital communications have sought early answers to the question of what was our party’s position with regard to the disturbing findings of the UK Electoral Commission about the running, result and supervision of the 2016 EU referendum. Sadly, I have not yet received any responses whatsoever, to any of my many attempts to engage in good faith with Labour politicians and officials who need to explain to me how political expediency now appears to have become so legitimate.

Whilst certain aspects of the actions by Leave campaign groups still remain under investigation by the National Crime Agency, there is already ample evidence in the public domain which reveals that the referendum result cannot be seen as the ‘will of the people’, because of the lies, misrepresentations, cheating, illegality and probably criminality which infested the whole sorry exercise. The courts have stated that, had the referendum not been legally constructed as being that of an ‘advisory’ referendum only, then they could have overturned the result because of the many serious concerns that have already been expressed and which would have been anathema to our long-standing principles of democracy and fair play.

David Cameron’s Conservative government really messed up when they committed, in a leaflet, to honouring the referendum result, when no such power for them to do so existed within the legal structure of the plebiscite.

In all other aspects of our society, we firmly and consistently adhere to the ancient principle that ‘cheats should not prosper’. The penalties for cheating in sport, business, academic testing and in many other areas of human endeavour, generally involve the complete loss of any advantage that the cheater obtained through their disreputable actions. In sport, for example, the winner’s medal would be forfeited if their performance could be shown to have been enhanced by illicit substances or done by any other breach of the rules. If I cheat in a college or school exam, then it should reasonably be expected that I do not receive the benefit that such cheating had given rise to! Nobody would realistically object to a race, match or other competition being re-run, or the prize being awarded to a non-cheater, if cheating was considered to have polluted the integrity of the initial event. This universal reaction is so uncontentious that it barely merits further debate.

Why is it then, when it comes to the widespread cheating and illegality that has been revealed in respect of the 2016 EU referendum, that politicians, the MSM and large sections of our civil society, can choose to close their eyes, and discard their moral compasses on the basis of shallow and temporary political expediency?

I have sadly witnessed a number of voices on the left of our political spectrum recently stating that it is time to ‘move on’ in respect of this unresolved issue. This response has shocked me to my core. If the Labour movement doesn’t stand for justice, then I’m afraid it doesn’t stand for very much!

How would the Hillsborough families, the Grenfell families, the Windrush families, the Orgreave families, the Palestinians and more, have reacted to the statement that it was ‘time to move on’, when their grievances and quest for justice remained unresolved after the long passage of time?

The truth is that it can never be acceptable to sacrifice our core beliefs, as we apparently appear to be doing in this shameful situation. Once you let that genie out of the bottle, it can can never be returned there. A precedent becomes set, that in certain circumstances we can give a nod and a wink to the flouting of the rule of law.

That abrogation of our core beliefs and principles will no doubt visit us again, and again, in forms not yet identified, but with potential unfathomable consequences for the Labour movement and our society.


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‘Left slate’ triumph at Labour NEC election is emphatic statement on Corbyn, anti-Semitism and democracy

Victory: The NEC election result should not only produce the thumbs-up from Jeremy Corbyn – it should be considered a massive thumbs-up for him.

All nine – yes, nine – members of the ‘left slate’ in the elections to the Labour Party’s ruling National Executive Committee have won seats, confounding the attack dogs who tried to undermine support for Jeremy Corbyn with accusations of anti-Semitism against him and one of the candidates.

https://twitter.com/MattTurner4L/status/1036641918007107584

Not only that, but the victory means that a review of internal party democracy is likely to see major changes including the introduction of mandatory reselection of candidates, meaning no sitting MP can expect to keep their Parliamentary seat without the support of their constituency party members.

Opponents of party leader Jeremy Corbyn were hoping to steal support away from the left-wing candidates who support him – most obviously with accusations of anti-Semitism against Peter Willsman, and claims that their support for the leader indicated that they must be anti-Semites (even though no accusation against Mr Corbyn – and there have been many – has been proved).

Supporters of Mr Willsman have pointed out that the accusations against him amount to a claim that demanding proof in support of anti-Semitism allegations is now considered to be anti-Semitism as well.

https://twitter.com/RickBlaine123/status/1036674039799054336

And his victory makes it clear that Labour Party members are entirely capable of making up their own minds about the facts.

His detractors have responded to his election by saying that many party members voted in the first four days of the election period, meaning they would have cast their vote before he was accused.

But people like Mr Eaton forget that we can check this – many votes were made online and the dates they were made are likely to be easy to verify. I would like to see the Labour Party release a statement on this.

The result makes it clear that the anti-Semitism smear campaign is not working at all. In fact, it might be turning party members away from Labour’s right wing.

Actor and stand-up comic Eddie Izzard, who won his position on the NEC by default after another left-wing member was forced to resign her position, was ousted.

And on a personal note, This Writer is pleased to record the abject failure of right-winger Gary Spedding, who contributed to a smear piece calling me an anti-Semite on an online magazine site called Prospect, and then called me an anti-Semite directly on Twitter. Read about it here.

It will be interesting to see the results of the next – Survation, as that company is the most trustworthy – opinion poll on voting intentions, conducted after the new NEC holds its first meeting (today, September 4) and makes its decisions regarding the democracy review and its code of conduct on anti-Semitism.

For now, the result is good:

But the validation is yet to come. It’s not enough that those we consider the good guys won; now they must justify our faith in them.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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POLL RESULT: The public have seen through fake anti-Semitism claims

Vox Political readers have delivered a resounding thumbs-down to hysteria being whipped up by the right-wing media and politicians about alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

This Site asked whether readers thought Labour should continue to treat every claim of anti-Semitism as a hugely-damaging blow to the party – as certain prominent MPs and organisations like the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council have suggested.

Alternatively, I asked if it would be better for the party to put in place a process to weed out fake, frivolous or malicious claims and get on with fighting REAL anti-Semitism.

The result was clear within the first few minutes of the poll going up on April 2 – but I left it until today (April 7), just to be sure.

A towering 98.24 per cent of respondents – 4,515 voters – said Labour should implement a process to weed out fake, frivolous or malicious claims, and get on with fighting REAL anti-Semitism.

These thousands will, I hope, be encouraged by the fact that incoming Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby has been charged with doing exactly that – improving the party’s disciplinary system to ensure that only credible accusations are given the time of day.

And what of the 81 voters (1.76 per cent of respondents) who said every claim, no matter how unlikely, should be treated as a hugely damaging blow to Labour?

I am tempted to suggest those who supported this option include everybody who has made such comments in the press over the past few days…

But I think even 81 would be a gross inflation of their numbers.


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