Tag Archives: Salma Yaqoob

Keir Starmer has turned Labour into the party of hypocrisy – and racism

Diane Abbott: she has suffered more racist abuse than anybody you can name – and new Labour leader Keir Starmer has had the front to tell her off over a trumped-up accusation around a video discussion attended by expelled former party members.

Labour’s new leader, Keir Starmer, is working his fingers to the bone – turning Labour into the kind of racist cess-pit that no right-thinking person would want to join.

Consider the hypocrisy in the fact that he has “disciplined” Diane Abbott for taking part in a Zoom discussion attended by expelled former party members – but has done nothing to suspend members of the so-called right-wing “faction” who were accused of subjecting her to appalling racist bullying in the leaked Labour report on the party’s response to anti-Semitism accusations.

That alone marks out his leadership as hypocritical and racist.

Starmer’s decision also betrays a failure to understand how Zoom works. It’s an online discussion that anybody can join, simply by dialling in.

Furthermore – as This Site has mentioned before – neither Jackie Walker nor Tony Greenstein, the former Labour members whose attendance triggered the complaint against Ms Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, were expelled for anti-Semitism as claimed.

In any case, Labour’s investigations of anti-Semitism accusations – especially high-profile claims like those against Ms Walker and Mr Greenstein (yes, they were accused of it but they weren’t expelled for it) – are known to have been fatally flawed. Saying these people are anti-Semites because Labour said so carries less factual weight than gossip.

Finally: although Starmer had signed the controversial “10 Commandments” issued by the BoD, those pledges have no weight in the Labour Party. Any individual member can agree to sign and be bound by any document they like – but they can’t force it on the rest of the party undemocratically and Starmer has done nothing to seek its approval by the party as a whole.

So any disciplinary action against Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy is unwarranted, unfair and unconstitutional – as those of us who’ve suffered similar treatment are well aware:


But the Labour leader is likely to be unconcerned. He’ll be moving on to his next designated victim – who is, apparently, Salma Yaqoob.

She is being attacked for something she hasn’t even done yet: another Zoom discussion in which she is set to appear as a speaker on May 12 – this time with Tony Greenstein billed as a speaker alongside her. So she would be sharing a platform with him.

Once again, for clarity: Mr Greenstein has been expelled from Labour – but not for anti-Semitism or any other kind of racism.

He does, however, provoke a certain response from excitable people – who may be considered to have a problem of their own, where it comes to hate:

The issue was picked up by former Labour MP Ian Austin, who left the party because the Jeremy Corbyn leadership had returned it to socialist ideals.

He betrayed his own leanings by demanding that Ms Yaqoob should be suspended – before she had even done anything. One finds Asa Winstanley’s comment persuasive:

So this is the Labour Party under Keir Starmer.

Racism is fine – if it’s done by right-wingers against people on the left.

Sexism is fine – if carried out in the same way.

But if he has a chance to accuse people on the left – male or female – of the same, then he will attack mercilessly.

It is as Kerry-Anne Mendoza states:

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


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Panellists hijack Question Time to attack Iain Duncan Smith

Finger-jabbing protest: Iain Duncan Smith talked over Owen Jones in his last Question Time appearance; this time the other panellists didn't give him the chance.

Finger-jabbing protest: Iain Duncan Smith talked over Owen Jones in his last Question Time appearance; this time the other panellists didn’t give him the chance.

Around three-quarters of the way through tonight’s Question Time, I was ready to believe the BBC had pulled a fast one on us and we weren’t going to see Iain Duncan Smith get the well-deserved comeuppance that he has managed to avoid for so long in Parliament and media interviews.

There was plausible deniability for the BBC – the Isis crisis that has blown up in Iraq is extremely topical and feeds into nationwide feeling about the possibility of Britain going to war again in the Middle East. The debate on extremism in Birmingham schools is similarly of public interest – to a great degree because it caused an argument between Tory cabinet ministers. Those are big issues at the moment and the BBC can justifiably claim that it was making best use of the time and the panellists (for example Salma Yaqoob is a Muslim, from Birmingham, who is a member of ‘Hands Off Our Schools’).

But Auntie shouldn’t think for a moment that we didn’t notice the glaring omission on tonight’s agenda. With the Work and Pensions Secretary as the major politician on the panel, we should have had a question about his job but were fobbed off instead with non-items about ‘British values’ and whether parents should be arrested for allowing their children to become obese. That’s enough for some of us to read a right-wing agenda between the lines – an aim to avoid embarrassing Iain Duncan Smith.

It seems that, even if Auntie’s twin-set is pink, her bloomers are blue. Blue-mers, if you like.

By the time the fourth question came up, it seemed there would be no opportunity to analyse RTU (we call him Returned To Unit after his failed Army career) and his disastrous ministerial career.

This question was: “After the Newark by-election, are we looking at the destruction of the Liberal Democrats?” Thank goodness some of the panellists realised this was their chance.

Chris Bryant leapt at the opportunity to bypass the Lib Dems altogether. “The real enemy is over there,” he said, indicating the Secretary-in-a-State. “The Conservatives have made this country a place where two million people need food bank handouts.”

He was trying to hit a nerve; Duncan Smith’s department has been accused of trying to mislead the public on the reason food banks have been springing up all around the country – and it was very recently alleged that senior figures in the government had warned food bank charity the Trussell Trust to stop criticising government policy or be shut down.

Salma Yaqoob pointed out that, thanks to the Conservative-led coalition (and, because he’s the Work and Pensions secretary, Duncan Smith’s policies), “13 million people are now below the poverty line and one million are suffering the indignity of having to use food banks.

“People are suicidal,” she pointed out – a very pertinent claim to make, as the most common cause of death for people going through Iain Duncan Smith’s benefit system appears to be suicide (due to the stress created by Department for Work and Pensions officers who work very hard to push them off-benefit). “They don’t want to be a burden to their families because their support has been taken away.”

She said: “People have been called scroungers… Iain Duncan Smith quite happily labels poor people as scroungers, when he claimed £39 on expenses for his own breakfast.”

Duncan Smith was interrupting from the background to claim that he had never called benefit claimants scroungers. Feel free to go to your favourite search engine right now, type in “Iain Duncan Smith scroungers”, and see for yourself whether his name has ever been associated with the word.

And, thank goodness, a member of the public spoke up to say: “Iain Duncan Smith is systematically taking down public services in this country and destroying people’s lives.”

He went on to invite anybody who cares about this issue to the demonstration in London by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, on June 21.

(I have since discovered that he was David Peel, press officer for the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. In my opinion, the fact that he was a political representative, planted in the audience to make a point, diminishes what he had to say – but I am still glad that somebody said what he did.)

It was sad that the great satirist Ian Hislop did not take an opportunity to make a few sharp observations – especially as commenters to this site have made it clear that they contacted him to request this action. He addressed himself to the question he had been asked and I make no comment about that; you can draw your own conclusions.

It didn’t happen the way this writer would have wanted, but the job got done anyway.

Expect multiple attempts by the right-wing press to salvage the situation – all doomed to failure.

Last week, Vox Political stated that there was an opportunity here to show the public the homicidal – if not genocidal – nature of the changes to the benefit system this man mockingly describes as “welfare reforms”.

Job done.

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