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Locked-down Merseyside pub rebrands as The Three Bellends – after Johnson, Hancock and Cummings

A pub in New Brighton, Merseyside, has re-branded itself after new ‘Tier 3’ rules forced it to close again.

For the time being, the pub formerly known as the James Atherton, after the founder of New Brighton, is now The Three Bellends – after the architects of the area’s misery: Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and Dominic Cummings.

Anyone who is familiar with vulgar slang will understand exactly how appropriate the title is, as attached to those individuals.

According to the Huffington Post,

Daniel Davies, chief executive of pub owners Rockpoint Leisure, said the new name “really reflects the mood of the nation” and was chosen on Tuesday when he was forced to tell his staff the pub would have to close.

“It really tears the heart up,” he told HuffPost UK. “It just really, really infuriated us and made us think: why are they doing this? All the evidence points against shutting down places like public houses.

“They’re bellends because Boris and co said they would invest a lot in the north when he got in – but they’ve done nothing for the north. They’re not being affected by this lockdown.”

The change has been rung in with huge support:

And it has launched a rallying cry for pubs across the country to rebrand in similar ways – as visual demonstrations of their disgust at Johnson, his government, and their daft policies:

Could this be the only successful initiative to result from the Johnson government and its actions?

Source: Pub Renames Itself ‘The Three Bellends’ In Protest Against Liverpool Lockdown | HuffPost UK

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Vox Political writer mentioned in Graun piece on anti-Semitism – where’s my right of reply?

Keir Starmer: he’s clueless about anti-Semitism, as this latest debacle demonstrates.

This is pathetic from the Guardian – and the Labour Party.

It seems a councillor in Brighton and Hove has been suspended by the Labour Party for sharing Facebook posts “promoting alleged anti-Jewish conspiracy theories” – including one on This Site.

The article states:

Labour’s inquiry will also focus on a second post from August 2018 on a website run by Mike Sivier, who was expelled from Labour in the same year after he allegedly refused to undertake antisemitism training.

The headline of that post said: “Jewish Israeli journalist claims pro-Israel propagandists have ‘taken out contract’ to stop Jeremy Corbyn being elected.”

I was not contacted for comment on this, despite the fact that it clearly concerns me and implies that I have been spreading anti-Semitism.

The article – if either of the reporters on this piece (Henry McDonald and Jessica Elgot) had bothered to visit it – quotes the highly-respected award-winning (and occasionally controversial) Jewish journalist Gideon Levy, demonstrating that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had support among Jews at a time when many – including high-profile members of the Labour Party itself – were claiming he was an anti-Semite.

As Mr Levy is himself Jewish, it could be argued that attacks on his article – or mine that quotes it – are themselves anti-Semitic, by alleging anti-Jewish behaviour by someone who is himself a Jew.

Regarding my own circumstances, regular readers will know it is true that I was expelled from Labour in November 2013, but not because I refused to undertake anti-Semitism training.

The expulsion was based on false accusations by people who had selectively quoted from my articles in order to present a false impression of my views.

There was a hearing involving a tribunal of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee that was nothing short of a kangaroo court; my own evidence was ignored and it was clear to me that the tribunal members had made up their minds before even arriving at the hearing.

I have therefore launched a legal action against the Labour Party – for breach of contract – with the case to be heard at Bristol Civil Justice Centre on October 2.

Guardian reporters are certainly invited to attend, where I expect to win my case.

If I do, it will have a significant impact on perception of the Labour Party’s attitude to allegations of anti-Semitism – and, I hope, to the reporting of this issue in rags like the Graun.

In the meantime, I have contacted The Guardian and expect the newspaper to make an offer of restitution in the near future.

Otherwise it seems I may be forced to consider even more litigation.

Source: Labour suspends Brighton councillor over alleged antisemitism | Politics | The Guardian

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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Are food banks now the UK’s ONLY growth industry?

This graph is nearly three years out of date. If anybody can provide a new version, please feel free to send it in via the comment column.

If you want to know why food banks have proliferated, look to the United States.

That’s where the Conservative Party adopted the policies that lead to food banks; that’s why they have become the UK’s only growth industry.

The policy, adopted by former President George W Bush, was known as ‘starving the beast’, and involved tax breaks for the very rich, creating a deficit in the US Treasury, which made it possible for him to claim public services were costing too much – and then cut public services.

Result: Instant destitution for people who relied on those public services – and the rise of foodbanks.

As in the US, so has it been in the UK.

I warned you about this, years ago.

When austerity was in its infancy in the UK a few years ago and I made my first visit to food banks around the country, the people queueing for help expressed a common anxiety: that this might become the “new normal”. Everyone hoped it wouldn’t yet here we are, in the summer of 2017, and food banks are now ubiquitous. Legions of citizens, including tens of thousands of children, now rely on these stopgap facilities to meet basic nutritional needs. And a recent report alarmingly predicts that their use is likely to rise with the impact of policies such as benefit freezes and the roll out of universal credit. To see how this has happened we need only to look across the Atlantic.

The UK’s journey down the road of dismantling its welfare state and blaming the needy follows closely in the footsteps of the American system and the narrative that has shaped it. While the richest are awarded lavish tax cuts, millions of people are rendered desperate and destitute, and inequality is cemented. This is indeed the “new normal”.

Source: Food poverty is the ‘new normal’ in the UK. We adopted it from the States | Society | The Guardian


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Don’t expect any U-turns from our blinkered Chancellor

There’s absolutely no possibility that George Osborne will give in to the latest calls for him to ditch his ‘deficit reduction strategy’ and adopt a more moderate plan.

Firstly, people need to understand that the Coalition government’s fiscal strategy isn’t about reducing the national deficit at all. If it was, we would not have had a big tax break for the richest in society as part of the last budget. It’s a strategy to axe public services, selling off to rich corporations any that might be capable of yielding a profit. George W Bush followed this policy in the United States a few years ago; it’s called ‘starving the beast’ – look it up on Wikipedia.

Secondly, a more moderate plan, mixing appropriate savings in government costs with growth-creating measures, is something Mr Osborne could never palate for one reason: It’s the policy put forward by the Labour Party before the 2010 election. Adopting it would mean that he was admitting Labour were right; the Conservatives were entirely wrong to put forward their ideologically-driven austerity plan as an alternative; and that he had wasted everybody’s time and tax money for the past two and a half years.

At least we get the joy of watching all his support flow away, drip by drip. The current story shows nine of the 20 economists who signed a letter supporting austerity back in February 2010 (just before the general election) have had a change of heart. Others have already done so.

Furthermore, Boris Johnson merrily stabbed the part-time Chancellor in the back, at the same time as the economists. He called for David Cameron to “stop pussyfooting around” and invest in major infrastructure projects in London.

His outburst was an outstanding achievement as he managed to shoot himself in both feet at the same time – putting himself at odds with the Conservative leadership and showing the country as a whole how out of touch he really is.

London has just received £9.3 billion worth of investment for the Olympic games, along with related infrastructure investments worth a further (reputed) £16 billion. Other parts of the UK are desperate for investment on a fraction of that scale!

For example, the people of Scotland might reconsider whether secession from the United Kingdom was a good idea, if the UK government invested a little cash in their country; as might the people of Wales.

Oh! But then, Scotland and Wales don’t vote Conservative, do they?