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Laura Pidcock: She’s the subject of a series of exclusive video interviews.
This is well worth your time.
It’s the first part of a series, so I would advise you to keep your eye on the Skwawkbox for the next instalments.
Labour gets poor coverage from the mainstream media; if you want to know what’s really happening, you need to visit the left-wing media online.
If you haven’t done so already and don’t know where to go, this is a good place to start.
Two years ago… the SKWAWKBOX published an exclusive interview with Labour rising star Laura Pidcock [who] rocked the political Establishment by stating frankly that she had been elected to do the job of representing her constituents and that she had no interest in making friends with Tory MPs who were blighting the lives of people in her North-West Durham seat and beyond.
Two years on, Laura Pidcock spoke again to the SKWAWKBOX at even more length and across a range of subjects, including Brexit, Parliament, ‘trigger’ selection contests, antisemitism and more. In this first video in the resulting exclusive series, she talks about:
that 2017 article and explains why she still has no interest in ‘fraternising’ with the Tory MPs attacking the people who rely on her
compares the treatment she and other new MPs receive from Parliament and Establishment media with an ‘abusive relationship’
the ‘mental discipline’ she maintains to resist attempts to assimilate her into the Establishment’s business-as-usual and the ‘unnatural’ environment imposed on MPs to force or tempt them into line
the honour of serving her constituents and the ‘degrading’ anguish they suffer under Tory attack that makes it unthinkable to ‘fraternise’ with them
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.
The Charity Commission is investigating the Campaign against Antisemitism (CAA) – an organisation that has been accused of being pro-Israel ‘shock troops’ ‘posing as a charity’ with regard to its petition against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
As well as being a likely breach of charities’ obligation to refrain from party-political activity – the petition demands Labour MPs remove Corbyn or form a new party – the petition has been called defamatory and accused of inciting number of death threats. The CAA has condemned the death-threat comments, but did not remove them and has not taken down the petition.
Now the Metropolitan Police have also confirmed that they are investigating the CAA and the petition under the Malicious Communications Act after receiving complaints about the nature of the petition.
Brace yourself for a wave of false accusations against supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party – most probably of anti-Semitism.
That is the message we are to take from the so-called Red Roar‘s fake outrage at the proposed penalties for vexatious or malicious claims.
It occurs to me that this might be the reason for the cloning of Corbyn-supporting Labour members’ Twitter handles, as explained by Evolve Politicshere.
If you are a Labour member, please take note of the advice in the last paragraph by Skwawkbox, below, and act on it.
The ‘Red Roar’, more commonly referred to among Labour members as the ‘Blue Squeak’ has been attempting to whip up outrage about the idea that a penalty for vexatious or malicious claims might be included in Labour’s disciplinary code when Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) meets to discuss the party’s Code of Conduct either next month or in October.
That’s right – Labour’s morally-bankrupt right, for which the Squeak is an unprincipled mouthpiece – thinks it’s a bad idea that people should be penalised for making false claims designed either to bog the party down in nonsense or to smear someone with an undeserved and lifelong taint.
The proposal… would address false complaints of any type – and is entirely in line with usual legal principles.
If someone makes a deliberate false accusation of a criminal act, they can be charged and suffer legal penalties. If someone makes a false, damaging statement about someone in the media, they can be penalised for defamation.
So the Squeak getting its knickers in a twist reveals more than they might wish – because only people who want to make false and malicious accusations are likely to worry that there might be a penalty for doing so.
It’s a dead give-away of the plans of the Labour right – of course only false accusations by Labour members would be subject to any penalty in Labour’s rules.
So what can Labour members of good will do? Find the details of your member or union representatives on the NEC and demand that they ensure that a motion for the inclusion of a penalty for vexatious, malicious or abusive complaints is on the agenda for the next NEC meeting – and that they both support it and lobby their colleagues to do the same.
The emergency services, newspapers and the government seem to have been colluding with each other to hide the deaths – by self-immolation – of benefit claimants who have been persecuted as a matter of government policy – to prevent the kind of social change triggered when Thích Quảng Đức set himself on fire in Saigon in June, 1963?
Why have the news media been playing down these incidents, that – if they happened abroad – would have sparked huge and justified civil unrest?
Where is their sense of responsibility – not only to the dead but to the living victims of Conservative government persecution?
And would any of them care to explain the disparity between the way foreign events have been reported and those here in the UK – is it really all down to the lack of a photograph of somebody in flames?
Yesterday (August 19) we learned that a woman aged in her 50s apparently tried to take her own life by setting herself alight in a housing office run by Conservative-controlled Barnet Council.
The last report we have is that this woman – who has not been named by the authorities – remains in critical condition.
Today we discover that this lady was lucky in comparison with retired builder Peter Sherwood, who set himself alight on the pavement of London Road North, Lowestoft, at around 5pm on September 4, 2015.
That’s right – nearly three years ago a man burned himself to death on a busy shopping street in a British town during rush hour, and nobody thought it was worth mentioning.
The only information we have is from an inquest report in the Lowestoft Journal, published on April 28, 2017 – more than a year and a half after the incident took place.
Inquests don’t usually take so long. Why was this one dragged out?
The Lowestoft Journal report states that Mr Sherwood had been visited at home by his local community mental health team, who heard him express plans to end his own life and made an urgent appointment for him to see a psychiatrist the following week.
The fact that they did not take him to get help immediately is where the report seems to be suggesting any fault for the death lies. What about the reason he felt that way?
Here they are:
In a statement read during the hearing, Mr Sherwood’s niece Sarah Wilby said… Mr Sherwood was on Disability Living Allowance but he had received a letter informing him he needed to reapply for Personal Independence Payment, which she believed contributed to his heightened anger at that time.
Now consider this:
Coroner Peter Dean read statements from witnesses, who described seeing Mr Sherwood spraying something on the pavement starting with the letter ‘h’ with an aerosol can.
Mr Sherwood then set himself on fire. Members of the public tried to douse the flames by throwing their jackets onto Mr Sherwood, and using a fire extinguisher from a nearby shop.
Police at the scene reported Mr Sherwood had muttered the word “humanity” to them a couple of times after the incident.
So he was pleading for humanity from the authorities, or complaining about the lack of humanity being shown to him. Would it be unreasonable to suggest such a thing?
… Especially in light of the fact that we have evidence showing that huge numbers of disability benefit claimants have complained about the Conservative government’s inhuman treatment of them.
Mr Sherwood, of High Street, Lowestoft, had a long history of recurrent depressive disorder and psychosis and had attempted suicide several times in the past.
This is all-too-familiar.
We are left with evidence that people across the UK have been self-immolating over a period of years, because of the Tory government’s lack of “humanity” towards them – and that those with the ability to bring this horror to the attention of the public have been deliberately covering it up.
Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight in Tunisia in December 2010, sparking a series of revolutions in Arab countries. British people were outraged by the event at the time. But what happened when a British woman set herself alight in a British government office? Nothing.
When Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in Tunisia in December 2010, he became the catalyst of the Arab Spring – a series of revolutions against oppressive regimes in the Arab world.
The street vendor was driven to self-immolation by the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation inflicted on him by a municipal official and her aides.
The event was well-reported, supported by photographs of the event, and sparked such outrage among Tunisians that protests began within hours, building in frequency and intensity over the weeks that followed and becoming widespread after Mr Bouazizi’s death on January 4, 2011 – to the point at which President Ben Ali fled the country, ending 23 years of his rule.
Last Wednesday – four days ago – a woman set fire to herself in a housing office run by Conservative-held Barnet Council. It went unreported by the press and there have been no protests. Why?
On June 11, 1963, a Buddhist monk named Thích Quảng Đức burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection, in protest at South Vietnam’s persecution of Buddhists.
Again, there was photographic evidence.
Thích Quảng Đức set himself on fire in Saigon in June, 1963. His protest was against the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnamese president Ngô Đình Diệm, who was deposed by that country’s army and assassinated that November.
US President John F Kennedy, who had been a supporter of Ngô Đình Diệm, saw the photograph when he was passed the morning newspapers while on the phone to his brother Robert. He reportedly interrupted their conversation about segregation in Alabama by exclaiming “Jesus Christ!” And he later remarked that “no news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one”.
There is no photograph of the woman who self-immolated in Barnet Council’s housing office. If there had been, would the newspapers have reported it? Or would they have hushed it up?
Fortunately, we have the following report from Skwawkbox, otherwise we would know nothing about it:
The parent of an eyewitness described the incident:
“My daughter took her mother to an appointment at Barnet Council ( Tory) housing office yesterday afternoon. They were being interviewed in a side room when they heard a commotion. Someone came and told them to leave the building.
“When they left the room they saw flames on front of them in the waiting room. A woman had set fire to herself. Everybody was just turfed out after witnessing this terrible ordeal. She said that those outside were in severe shock but left to their own devices.
“There hasn’t been a word about this in the news or local news. This is Tory Britain . How often is this happening and going unreported? My daughter was still very upset and had to spend the night with her mum.”
Visit Skwawkbox to see video of emergency vehicles outside Barnet House.
When the site’s writer, Steve Walker, contacted police for information, he was told there had been no inquiries about the incident from anybody in the local press.
Eventually, he received the following information: “Police were called by the London Ambulance Service to Barnet House, High Road N20 at around 15:44hrs on Wednesday, 15 August after reports of a female suffering from burns injuries.
“Officers attended with LAS and the London Fire Brigade.
“A female, aged in her 50s, was taken to a London hospital before being transferred to a specialist burns unit in Essex.
“She remains in a critical but stable condition.”
When people set fire to themselves in other countries, the incidents were well-documented by the press, and the governments against which they were protesting fell soon afterwards.
But here in the UK – an allegedly-civilised country – a woman pushed into desperation by government persecution (why else would she do it in a Tory housing office?) can set herself on fire and suffer injuries that put her health in critical condition…
… and nobody bats an eyelid.
Is it really because we haven’t seen a photograph of her burning body?
Are we all really so shallow – so insensitive – that we need to see the horror before we can react to it?
Fortunately, now that Skwawkbox has published its report, word is getting out and people are starting to respond – and they are angry at the lack of response from the press.
It is possible that the local – and national – news media did not know about the incident because it had not been reported to them by any member of the public. But the emergency services have a duty to report major incidents and it is alarming that they did not.
People in positions of power must now account for themselves.
And we need to know, not only who the casualty is, but why she did what she did. Does she have relatives? Friends? What do they have to say about this?
If anybody in Barnet, who has information, is reading this, get in touch.
ADDITIONAL: It turns out the story was reported, by the Times series of newspapers in the area. The manner of the report is – well, see for yourself.
Nye Bevan News also has a piece, but it’s the comments by the relative of an eyewitness, as quoted above, along with a plea for the facts to be brought to public attention.
At the time of writing, I published this article about an hour ago and it has been read nearly more than 6,000 times. We’re getting there.
Louise Ellman is vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, an organisation with whom Shai Masot claimed to be working when he was conspiring to adversely influence UK politics in favour of the Israeli government.
This party-within-the-Labour-Party has gone unscrutinised for far too long. Masot was exposed and withdrawn from the UK more than a year ago but it seems no questions have been asked about LFI.
Now it is spreading indignation about an event hosted by Jeremy Corbyn, supporting claims that a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust who was at Auschwitz could be an anti-Semite, and keeping quiet about its own leaders’ tacit support for ugly pro-Zionist demonstrations.
Labour is quick to condemn rank-and-file party members for far less abhorrent behaviour. Why are these people immune?
Labour Friends of Israel vice-chair and Labour MP Louise Ellman has been at the forefront of much of the loud criticism of the party and its leader over alleged antisemitism, appearing regularly on programmes to express her dismay. The latest manifestation of that criticism is a claim that he acted somehow inappropriately in arranging an event at which Jewish Auschwitz survivor Hajo Meyer spoke.
She appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, claiming to have been ‘appalled’ to find out about the event.
She did not mention – nor did the programme – that she attended the same 2010 event for which she and others were criticising Corbyn.
In fact, she was there far longer than Corbyn was.
Corbyn introduced the event and then had to leave to be elsewhere, before returning later. Ms Ellman, by contrast, is reported as staying throughout – including during a major disruption caused by pro-Israel demonstrators who invaded the event and heckled survivors of other genocides when they spoke.
A letter, written at the time to the Tribune, puts her attendance beyond question:
“A tiny group of Zionist fanatics invaded the gathering and shouted so continuously that the careful programme was derailed, though not prevented from happening. This was a total destruction of the democratic space for over an hour – something I’ve never seen before in any Parliamentary meeting. It was sickening to hear the hounding of 85 year-old Dr Meyer, and the bellows of ‘boring!’ every time any survivor of a different genocide tried to tell their experience.
“Most shockingly, Louise Ellman MP – who as Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Israel was presumably attending as an observer with a companion from the Board of Deputies – both sat unmoved without making the slightest attempt to quell their fellow supporters of Israel and create an open space. They later tried to guilt-trip MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Brian Iddon for bravely hosting the event.”
The Conservative Party is moving inexorably into fascism – the latest example being Tory MEP David Bannerman, who wants to execute UK citizens who wanted to stay in the EU – for treason.
It is people like this man who form the government of the United Kingdom and that is why the United Kingdom is falling apart before your eyes.
A Tory MEP wants to ‘update’ the Treason Act to include execution for ‘extreme EU loyalty’.
David Bannerman tweeted this morning that those exhibiting too much loyalty to the European Union should be treated like jihadis if the law is updated to allow Islamic extremists to be tried as traitors. Although Bannerman later replaced his original tweet with one which did not specify that it was the mediaeval version of the Treason Act to which he was referring, as the original did:
Bannerman considers that those ‘working undemocratically against’ the UK are comparable with those taking up arms against it. Curiously, the Brexit-supporting MEP does not seem to consider that those who have – as already proven by the Electoral Commission – worked undemocratically for Brexit should suffer the same fate.
Labour MP Stella Creasy has launched a campaign to stop companies that have signed Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals with the government from benefiting from falls in the rate of Corporation Tax.
Ms Creasy says it is important because, when these deals are signed, the rate of tax companies will pay is directly part of deciding if they represent value for money.
On her Facebook page, she explained: “If I buy a toaster and then its on offer a week later I don’t get the difference back so why should these companies get such a windfall – either they come to the table to renegotiate these contracts and the cost of them to the public sector or we should be willing to legislate. Help us secure support from more MPs for this.”
She linked to a Guardian article which elaborated:
Companies that built and run NHS hospitals under private finance initiative (PFI) contracts will have made about £190m in unexpected windfall profits by 2020 because of George Osborne and Philip Hammond’s cuts to corporation tax, research suggests.
Analysis by the Centre for Health and the Public Interest found that more than 100 PFI operators in the NHS collectively saved an estimated £84m between 2008 and 2015 and are due to gain another £106m between 2016 and 2020 because of the falling corporate tax rate.
The PFI companies are making bonus profits because the corporation tax rate has fallen from 30% when the majority of their contracts were negotiated to 19% now and is due to drop as low as 17% by 2020. Some companies may be deferring their tax liabilities to later in their contracts when the rates will be lower.
She also discusses the matter in a Twitter thread:
Pls share to help us win the case for this campaign to tackle the profits PFI companies are now making due to the… https://t.co/diYUFMsNHp
For many of us – especially those who never like the idea of PFI in the first place – this is a worthwhile cause. These companies are already making a fortune at the taxpayer’s long-term expense; why should they receive millions more – apparently in breach of their contracts – because of Tory tax changes?
But there’s a snag.
Ms Creasy’s campaign seems to have been overshadowed by her inability to answer a simple question: Whether she thinks it is acceptable for Labour MPs to be friends with – and socialise with – Conservative MPs.
Our fellow leftie blog, the Skwawkbox, raised this issue a couple of days ago after discovering that Ms Creasy had attended a gig with Tory MP Therese Coffey on December 16.
In light of Ms Creasy’s fellow Labour MP Laura Pidcock’s well-publicised belief that Labour MPs should not “hang out with Tory women” who are “no friends of mine” and “an enemy to lots of women”, Skwawkbox blogger Steve Walker asked for Ms Creasy to comment.
In response, he received a torrent of evasion – and, to be honest, abuse. See for yourself, here and here.
Her bizarre attitude has been bolstered by an article in the Huffington Post that supports her attitude of indignation that a blogger should call her out on this matter.
Isn’t this hypocritical of the HuffPost, which was quite happy to quote the Skwawkbox interview with Ms Pidcock, where she first made her comments about Labour MPs fraternising with the Tories? This Writer thinks so.
It seems the aim is to divert attention. Ms Creasy seems so desperate to avoid telling us whether she thinks it’s okay to hang out with her political enemies, she’ll try to point us at anything else.
So she has claimed Skwawkbox was attacking her taste in music, then that the blog is misogynist, and finally that the blog was trying to undermine her PFI campaign.
I’m sorry, but it seems Ms Creasy has managed that, all by herself.
And it seems she has succeeded in hoodwinking people. Look at the following tweet, from another respected blogger, Tom Pride:
OK guys, I'm going to stick my neck out here. Stella's right. PFI scandal much more important than taste in music. Can people on the Left please stop attacking each other and start opposing the Tories? https://t.co/TCdt0e5Ia0
I could not agree more with this Skwawkbox article.
(Sources here and here. ‘A8 countries’ are Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia)
Anybody arguing an anti-immigrant position – with regard to Brexit or anything else – is misinformed.
Immigrants haven’t taken anybody’s jobs and services away – the Conservative Government did that.
And, in fact, the Conservatives have given far more of our resources to foreigners than immigrants could ever have taken – by privatising our national assets and allowing them to be bought by foreign concerns.
So weathervane-style triangulation of the kind suggested by Yvette Cooper (who is slowly turning into a political dinosaur and may find herself in danger of extinction soon) is exactly wrong.
Labour should stake out its own terms of engagement, scorn the UKIP arguments as the stuff and nonsense that they are and hammer into the Tory privatisers at the same time.
It is the only sensible response.
The message from the Labour right is that Sleaford – and Richmond Park before it – shows Labour is under threat from UKIP and needs to swing toward the ‘concerns’ of anti-immigrant voters.In other words, the weather-vane mode so beloved of the politically-bankrupt ‘triangulators’, rather than the ‘signpost’ of those who actually believe in something.
In fact, while I guarantee you won’t hear this in the news at all, the result in Sleaford shows the exact opposite. Far from meaning Labour should ‘tack UKIP’ to appeal to the anti-immigrant vote, it should do the opposite and accentuate its difference.
I can hear the screams of the Blairite/Progress/Labour First supporters (all 500 of them), but it’s true. Here’s why.
It’s not true
Simply put, the anti-immigrant position – at least as far as the EU is concerned – is based on lies. The UK is substantially better off because of EU immigrants.
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