Tag Archives: selection

Haters attack Jewish candidate lined up to replace Louise Ellman in Liverpool – because she is pro-Palestine?

Jo Bird: Bigoted witch-hunters are conducting a hate campaign to sabotage her chances of being a Labour Parliamentary candidate – but the facts are against them.

Appointing a Jewish person to replace Louise Ellman as Labour’s candidate to represent Liverpool Riverside in the next general election might seem the most natural thing in the world.

Ms Ellman quit the party acrimoniously ahead of a re-selection trigger vote that she seemed certain to lose, after she accused members of her local party of anti-Semitism. When she quit, she threw a few more un-evidenced anti-Semitism accusations at party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

So it would seem good politics to nominate another Jewish party member to replace her – if only to show that the party is not institutionally anti-Semitic, or whatever today’s buzz-phrase from the witch-hunters happens to be.

Apparently not.

The favoured choice, you see, is Jo Bird – and she’s not the kind of Jewish Labour member the witch-hunters would ever approve.

For a start, she’s pro-Palestine.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that her party membership was suspended earlier this year on a trumped-up charge. Now the witch-hunters and bigots are trying to influence Labour against selecting her on the basis of this false claim…

… and Twitter is giving them exactly what they deserve.

The most inflammatory salvo against Ms Bird came from Karen Pollock who, as chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, should know better. Note from her tweet that she was referring to an article in the Jewish Chronicle, which has been instrumental in stirring up hatred against innocent people in the past.

The paper libelled This Writer in 2018 and was forced to publish a grudging correction after I took the matter to press regulator IPSO.

Note also that she omitted the fact that Ms Bird is Jewish.

Here’s Ms Pollock’s astonishingly ill-advised tweet:

The hypocrisy of the claim – especially as fuelled by the Jewish Chronicle, is clear:

Oh, and Ms Bird herself has made a video explaining the circumstances of her suspension:

The conclusion is clear: if there is any anti-Semitism going on here, it is being perpetrated by the Jewish Chronicle, Ms Pollock, and anyone else who wants to attack Ms Bird:

Well said, Ian and Sparky.

This Site wishes Ms Bird success in her campaign to replace Louise Ellman. It seems to me that it would be a huge step forward in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism.

EXTRA: I note that Rachel Riley is on the record as having attacked Ms Bird over the words that triggered her suspension. I wonder if Ms Riley had the courage – and the honesty – to apologise for the mistake after the councillor was exonerated?

Ms Riley is currently suing me for libel – another trumped-up charge. Details of how to support my fight against her lawsuit are below.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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POLL: Selection stitch-up for Lewisham East? Is this the spirit of Corbynism?

Hundreds of thousands of people have joined the Labour Party – and millions more supported it in elections – because of the promise of improved democratic representation.

Corbynism promised that party members would have a much louder voice – and that they would be able to influence decision-making like the selection of election candidates.

So what’s all this? Why are we being told the candidate for Lewisham East (replacing anti-Corbynite Heidi Alexander) will be selected by national party bigwigs rather than the Constituency Labour Party?

There are arguments to support the move, of course. But it has opened Mr Corbyn up to criticism from Blairites and right-wingers who have been quick to point out that the Left complained bitterly about people from their side of the party being “parachuted” into safe seats.

What do you think?

And let’s have your thoughts in the ‘comment’ column.

Labour bosses have been accused of a “stitch up” and of trampling over party democracy by rushing through the selection of a candidate for the Lewisham East by-election.

Ian McKenzie, the party’s constituency chair, has written to local members urging them to petition Labour’s national ruling body for a say in who their candidate should be.

It is understood a shortlist will be chosen at national party level rather than by Lewisham East members.

Source: Anger at Labour ‘stitch-up’ over Lewisham East candidate selection


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Will the first Parliamentary row of the autumn be over this obscure committee?

By the back door: Theresa May wants to inflict hundreds of “corrections” (read: perversions) on EU laws before allowing them onto the UK statute book.

This Writer had never before heard of the obscure Committee of Selection – but its members will decide whether the minority Conservative government will be able to pervert thousands of EU laws, without a single vote in Parliament.

The Tories want to pass a huge number of Statutory Instruments (SIs) – legislation that does not require a vote in Parliament as it does not change the broad framework of an Act, but only the details of its operation.

For the Tories, the Repeal Bill represents an opportunity to steal rights from UK citizens – and already the alarm has been raised over workers’ and consumers’ rights, environmental standards and devolved powers.

In the last Parliament, the Conservatives claimed five of the nine MPs on the committee, but officials have advised they are entitled to four only, after their Commons majority was destroyed. Nevertheless, they are insisting on keeping their five representatives.

Tough.

They have lost their Parliamentary majority; they do not have the right to try to bully anybody – especially as they are trying corruptly to strip us of our hard-earned rights.

And, without domination of the committee, will the Tories press ahead with their underhand plan?

Theresa May is accused of trying to break parliamentary rules in order to ram through controversial law changes after Brexit.

The Conservatives are demanding to pack a crucial decision-making committee with their own MPs, despite losing their Commons majority at the election, The Independent can reveal.

Now Opposition parties plan to join forces to derail the attempted fix, in what threatens to be the first autumn Parliamentary clash over leaving the EU.

Read more: Tories attempt to hijack powerful decision-making committee to ram through new post-Brexit laws


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UKIP in Wales: ‘No longer a party of democracy’. Was it ever?

150202james-coleUKIP

UKIP Wales have been rocked this week by the resignation of their deputy chairman James Cole, according to Exposing UKIP.

To make matters worse, Cole posted a scathing attack of the party as his Facebook status, claiming that UKIP in Wales are ‘no longer a party of democracy’.  Here is his post in full:

150202UKIPcoleresignation

Exposing UKIP goes on to highlight some of the possible “manipulation of power and core principles” in which Mr Coles took part, including his selection and deselection as UKIP’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Llanelli: “Firstly, he was controversially declared (by UKIP Llanelli chairman Barry Clark) as PPC despite not achieving a two-thirds majority in a members’ vote.  Non-committee members were not given the chance to verify the count.  After a complaint made from within UKIP Llanelli to UKIP’s head office, party chairman Steve Crowther ruled the vote invalid.  Cole was deselected.  To add to the events, during UKIP Llanelli’s next meeting in November, a journalist was ejected and UKIP were accused of curbing press freedom.”

Mr Cole’s claim to be against racism appears to be countered by a glance at his Facebook ‘likes’, including Britain First and the “hate-filled” page ‘We demand an immediate end to immigration’, the admin of which admits being a ‘passionate’ ex-BNP supporter.

150202UKIPcolelikes

Readers will be aware that Vox Political is based in Mid Wales, where UKIP has an active membership. What hope is there that any of those people will be any different, if this is the state of Welsh UKIP’s (former) deputy leader?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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UKIP MEP suspended on ‘financial issues’ – what’s this new game?

150124bashirfarage

Amjad Bashir and Nigel Farage in happier times. The man in the background may be UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall, but it is hard to tell for sure.

 

UKIP’s leaders must know this move makes them look very suspicious indeed. What are they trying to achieve?

The party has suspended MEP Amjad Bashir, hours before he was to announce his defection to the Conservatives, according to the BBC.

The allegations against him include claims of interference with the candidate selection process, and UKIP’s website stated that one of the reasons Mr Bashir has been suspended was his “continued affiliation” with Mujeeb Bhutto, who was involved in a Pakistani kidnapping gang.

A UKIP spokesperson has said the evidence will be forwarded to the police.

Mr Bashir has rejected the claims as “absurd and made-up allegations”. He said they were historical claims over which UKIP leader Nigel Farage had appeared on TV to defend him, adding, “these are just dirty tricks to try and discredit me.”

He had previously been a Conservative Party member, and became involved with UKIP three years ago. He has said his decision to return to the Tories is in order to carry out the policies he supports, including holding a referendum on EU membership and control of immigration into the UK.

He claimed these are “not achievable with UKIP.”

On this evidence, the public can only think that UKIP is in the wrong. If these allegations are old, if Nigel Farage spoke against them, then UKIP’s move can only be interpreted as the “dirty tricks” Mr Bashir claims they are – even though Mr Farage is now saying there are “extremely serious” questions that have gone unanswered.

The evidence means either Mr Farage was wrong to defend Mr Bashir in the past, or he is wrong to cast suspicion on Mr Bashir now.

Meanwhile, the Tories are suddenly smelling of roses.

Not only do they get a new MEP for free (Mr Bashir has refused to step down and trigger a by-election), but they benefit from his claims that they are the only party that can achieve his referendum and immigration aims, and from the fouling of UKIP’s name.

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Modern politics: Give the other fellow hell – and the country nothing at all

131214perception

Politics is perception.

It isn’t about government any more. It seems none of the main parties are interested in gaining Parliamentary dominance in order to improve British citizens’ chances of leading successful lives, serving their needs by creating the best conditions in which they can prosper.

Quite the opposite – it seems clear that the intention is to crush those very citizens beneath the heel of the State (most hypocritically in the case of the Conservatives), forcing the people to serve the interests of the elected members.

What a sad State to be in. Politics is no longer even “the art of the possible”, as Otto von Bismarck once put it – unless we are discussing possible ways to fleece the electorate.

Now, the aim of the game is to shape the way the masses perceive current events. Control of the media is vital, and a series of strong statements – supported by those media but not necessarily by the facts – is considered all that is necessary to win.

It isn’t, as we shall see. But this is why we hear Tories screaming on and on, week after week, that they are clearing up a mess (no they’re not) that was Labour’s fault (no it wasn’t); that the benefit bill is too high (no it isn’t – really, it isn’t!), and the only solution is to cut support for people who desperately need it and put them into deep poverty and destitution (no it isn’t). These are positions taken by the current Coalition government and none of them are supported by the facts.

Then there is the running-down of opposing politicians. Labour’s Jack Dromey was on the receiving end of Conservative ire yesterday, after he tweeted a message about a lad from a Royal Mail sorting office being its “Pikey”. He meant that Gareth Martin’s nickname in his place of work was “Pikey”, after the character of Private Pike, the youngest member of the platoon in Dad’s Army – but Tories including David Morris went as far as writing to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, demanding an investigation into the use of a derogatory term for members of the Roma and Irish travelling communities and questioning whether it was an incitement to racial hatred, of all things.

Of course it wasn’t. It was an attempt to get a fairly simple idea into Twitter’s 140-character limit that failed because of a word that had a double meaning.

Meanwhile, Labour MP Sarah Champion accused Conservative MPs of making sexist gestures at female members of the Opposition, while they are speaking in the House of Commons. If this is correct (and it’s hard to tell, because televised debates concentrate mainly on whoever is speaking), then the intention cannot be as open to interpretation as Mr Dromey and his “Pikey”. Interestingly, I had to use an MSN news report as reference because the BBC News item seems to have disappeared – which tends to support my point.

Constituencies up and down the country have been going through the motions of choosing the candidates who will fight the 2015 election – and what a well-managed process it is! I wonder how many of these candidates were the preferred choice of their Party heirarchy, who then contrived to convince their members that the choice was democratic? But we were all shocked at the suggestion of corruption in Falkirk, weren’t we?

How many new candidates will be besuited youngsters, with scant work experience other than as gophers for sitting Parliamentarians, councillors or devolved Parliamentarians/Assembly members, brandishing their degrees in Politics, Philosophy and Economics as though they were magic talismans that would guarantee their entry to the highest offices in the land?

How many of these candidates will be brave enough to have a voice of their own, and how many will simply spout homogeneous party lines, carefully-worded so that they can apply to any constituency?

And if they win their seat, how many of them will stand up for the rights and livelihoods of their constituents, rather than obediently voting through every corrupt bid to drain us of power and money?

Not many, I’ll warrant.

Look at your own representatives – and the candidates who hope to replace them. What do you see?

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Labour’s problem isn’t the unions – it’s the leadership

Enemies of the people? Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and the entire Labour shadow cabinet have created a strategy that will lose them the next election and could plunge us into decades of servitude under Tory 'austerity'. THIS MUST CHANGE. If they refuse to adopt policies in line with the wishes of the majority of Labour members, they'll have to go.

Enemies of the people? Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and the entire Labour shadow cabinet have created a strategy that will lose them the next election and could plunge us into decades of servitude under Tory ‘austerity’. THIS MUST CHANGE. If they refuse to adopt policies in line with the wishes of the majority of Labour members, they’ll have to go.

The way things are going, we all need to reconcile ourselves to the possibility that the Labour Party won’t win the 2015 election.

This will not be because the Conservative Party has better policies (it doesn’t) or because it has won the ideological argument about austerity (it hasn’t – the state of the economy clearly demonstrates this).

It will be because Labour’s leaders are doing their absolute best to distance themselves from everything that makes the party a distinct political force.

They seem to think turning Labour into a pale copy of the Conservative Party will win over voters from the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, while retaining the party’s current grass roots. It will do neither.

Considering the situation as it stands, one has to ask: Is it time for a ‘no confidence’ vote in the entire Labour front bench?

Look at the cock-eyed way they are handling the row over candidate selection in Falkirk. This is a silly sideshow that has been blown out of proportion by the other Parliamentary parties in an attempt to capitalise on discomfort that Labour did not have to endure.

On the face of it, the problem is that a union (Unite) allegedly tried to rig the selection process for a candidate in the next election. Unite’s stated strategy, according to the BBC, is to “shift the balance in the party away from middle-class academics and professionals towards people who have actually represented workers and fought the boss” – in other words, away from the career politicians and so-called ‘Blairites’ who currently occupy every noteworthy position in the shadow cabinet.

Why is this important to the largest union in the country? Well, let’s look at the reason the Labour Party was formed in the first place – to provide a voice in Parliament for the unions’ aim, which has always been to improve conditions for workers and working-class people in the UK.

It has become transparent, over the last few weeks, that the current Labour Party’s shadow cabinet has no interest in that ambition. If it did, it would not have given up the argument over austerity, saying it would continue Coalition economic policies if elected. Instead, it would abandon austerity in favour of a programme of investment in employment-generating, economy-boosting programmes that would bring a greater return into the Treasury than it would cost.

It would also be announcing policies to change the direction of the Coalition’s murderous – thousands of people have died because of it – attack on people receiving benefits, particularly the long-term sick and disabled. Instead, incredibly, Labour supports this policy.

In return, according to this article from the Welfare News Service, “disabled voters, who have supported Labour in past elections, are abandoning the party in droves”.

Clearly Labour’s leaders will not retain their voter base if they continue in this fashion.

I’ll come back to the Unite situation in a moment, but let’s stick with the WNS article because it features revealing comments from ordinary people about the cack-handed way Labour is handling cuts to social security benefits, following the leaders’ admission that they will not promise to reverse any coalition policies.

One person described it as “Labour’s cowardly cop-out on welfare”.

John Currigan of Tipton said: “Old Labour values have been consigned to the political scrapheap.”

Neil Anderson of Machynlleth said Labour’s “now-Tory attitude to social security means I will definitely never vote for them again”.

Phillip Hurley of Pontyclun voiced a fear that has been growing in many minds: “I think they wanted the Tories to get in, knowing they would make these cuts that they [Labour] were afraid to implement.”

At a time like this, with former supporters openly voicing their disgust with a Labour Party that has been gleefully running to join the right wing of the political spectrum ever since Tony Blair became leader, is it any wonder that dismayed union members may have tried to stop the rot?

(We must be honest with ourselves; Labour is rotting from the inside, and will continue to rot, as long as right-wingers who do not support the party’s original purpose are sitting around the shadow cabinet table.)

Len McLuskey, leader of Unite, says he personally had nothing to do with any attempt to influence the vote on a new Falkirk candidate by signing up 100 or more members to the constituency party, and at this time I am prepared to believe him.

The dissent against the Labour leadership’s wrong-headed, potentially-disastrous, and above all, STUPID policies has come from the grass roots; the working classes; the people they are – on the face of it – supposed to be representing. That is why it seems likely that, if this plan was carried out, it was hatched by people in the grass roots of the union and not its bosses.

There is hope; it seems that our political commentators are aware of the problem, and serious questions are being asked in Labour’s backbenches.

Owen Jones, that paragon of principled left-wing opinion, wrote in The Independent on Sunday, under the headine What’s killing Labour? A thousand failures to oppose the cuts: “Labour’s leaders… fail to challenge myths, and even occasionally feed them. It is utterly self-destructive.

“They think they are buying back credibility, rather than shoring up policies that should be seen as sunk, ruinous, shredded. By failing to offer a coherent message, they risk a sense of ‘at least you know where you are with the Tories’ bedding in.

“But the cost is not only to Labour’s electoral prospects: it will be to the working, disabled and unemployed people whose pockets will continue to be emptied.

“Our futures and those of our children are at risk. That’s not hyperbole. It’s the appalling truth.”

And in his blog, headlined Labour members in the country are crying out for policies they can believe in, Michael Meacher MP wrote: “I have just attended my party’s monthly General Committee meeting in my constituency and the mood was more despairing than any I can remember. They simply cannot understand how the party leadership can be accepting time after time whatever callous and unjust cuts Osborne throws at us – bedroom tax, withdrawal of benefit for the first seven days of unemployment, and now a welfare cap which even the Tories themselves haven’t yet defined.

Is there no limit to how far this surrender goes, they ask?

“They don’t want to talk of betrayal, but they are bewildered, hurt, disoriented and despairing.

None of them want Labour to out-Tory the Tories over cuts. They want three things: that Labour has a positive vision for the next Labour Government that they can believe in, that Labour has a plausible alternative to endless austerity, and that Labour campaigns across the country with bold policies to build the alliance to throw out the most vicious Tory government in modern times.”

I DO want to talk of betrayal – because that is precisely what we are all facing: Betrayal by party leaders who claim to be on the side of the workers and the working-class, but whose leaders have cheerfully joined the Westminster Gravy Train and are lapping it up as though this nightmare ‘austerity Britain’ is a party that will last forever.

Here in the country, Mr Meacher is quite correct: We ARE crying out for policies we can support. Labour’s leaders aren’t simply failing to give us those – they are actively REFUSING to mount any meaningful opposition, in the face of the overwhelming wealth of weaponry they could use.

The fact is, the vast majority of Labour members do not support the policies being foisted on us by the leaders. They are a shambles; they will be a disaster for the country, whether Labour is returned to office at the next election or not (and on these policies, as mentioned above, I don’t think they will). While the leaders persist, stubbornly, in forcing these policies on us, we have a classic case of “the tail wagging the dog”, and we cannot allow this to continue.

I have no confidence that they can win the next election. Even if they did, I have no confidence that they will pursue any policies that will benefit the UK as a whole. We will be swapping one gang of self-interested gangsters for another.

So I repeat: Is it time for a ‘no confidence’ vote in the entire Labour front bench?

If so, who wants to put the process in motion and how soon can we get it done?