Tag Archives: ultimatum

WATCH: ‘Like dealing with children’ as Downing Street reveals petulant plan to ensure BoJob gets his ‘no deal’ Brexit

Pride before a fall? Downing Street’s threat is only effective if the EU27 countries are really interested in the UK’s co-operation in the future – and, considering what Boris Johnson and the Tories have been doing here, does he really think the UK has anything to offer them?

Remember when it was suggested that Boris Johnson might send two letters to Brussels if he didn’t get a Brexit deal by October 19 – one requesting a delay in Brexit, in accordance with the Benn Act, and one discouraging EU nations from agreeing to it?

Well, it seems that prediction was close to the mark.

In a text message sent to the political editor of The Spectator, Downing Street has said it will indeed send two letters. One will be the request for a delay, as required by the Benn Act.

The other will be an attempt to bully EU nations into rejecting that request, stating that those who reject a delay will “go to the front of the queue” for future co-operation – on matters such as defence – while those who support it will be deemed to have participated in “hostile interference” in the UK’s domestic politics.

Obviously, it is ridiculous to send a request for a delay and then say supporting that request is “hostile interference”. And what about the claim that countries supporting Mr Johnson will “go to the front of the queue” for co-operation? That’s straight out of the Donald Trump phrasebook – but Trump is president of the world’s largest superpower and Boris Johnson… well… isn’t.

Is there even a queue for the UK’s co-operation at the moment? Mr Johnson has proved himself utterly incompetent at foreign affairs and the only conclusion available to foreign powers is that any co-operation they receive from a nation under his leadership will also be utterly incompetent.

If he sends this message, he will put himself on course for yet another humiliation – and he will humiliate the rest of us along with him.

But wait! There’s more.

This is saying the Johnson administration will not take part in negotiations over the conditions in which Brexit would be delayed. He would go away and sulk instead.

And the claim that Mr Johnson will aim to win a future election in order to revoke “the entire EU legal order” is actually a threat against the people of the United Kingdom, who will lose many – if not all – of their legal protections if the EU’s legal structure is erased in one of BoJob’s tantrums.

Furthermore, this threat takes no account of the response by other UK institutions. Only yesterday (Monday, October 7), the highest court in Scotland warned Mr Johnson that he must adhere to the law – and there can be no doubt that Lord Pentland intends to hold him to the spirit of that law, not just its letter.

And what of the response by other political organisations? We have one already – and it puts our petulant prime minister right in his place. It was delivered by Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry – a woman who is far more capable than Mr Johnson.

First, let’s have the story as it was delivered by BBC Newsnight‘s Emily Maitlis:

Here’s Ms Thornberry’s response:

“It’s like dealing with children.” Spot on.

When Ms Maitlis suggests that Mr Johnson is trying to make matters hard for Europe, she said: “Let’s see.” She clearly does not believe the EU27 countries will entertain any ultimatum for a single second.

And she’s right! Parliament has passed a law – the Benn Act – which states that, having failed to get a deal, Mr Johnson is legally bound to seek an extension because that is the will of Parliament and Parliament is sovereign. The powers-that-be in Brussels know that, and are therefore likely to pay scant regard to schoolboy threats that have no substance.

Already the Twitter wits are having their fun:

https://twitter.com/laurawenn1/status/1181327839074881537

We can all look forward to the moment the EU negotiators have their fun with this silliness too.

Jewish Labour Movement’s ultimatum is a sure sign it should be expelled from Labour

“Solidarity cuts both ways,” the Jewish Labour Movement has stated in an ultimatum to the Labour Party that it won’t campaign in elections unless the party agrees to force its MPs to undergo a rating system on how they deal with allegations of anti-Semitism.

The claim is absolutely right. However, as Labour has bent over backwards to accommodate this organisation of around 150 far-right, pro-Israeli, pro-Zionist extremists (I note that The Guardian reckons it has 2,000 members and wonder where the other 1,850 were during the AGM on Sunday), it seems that this is not the time for further concessions. It is time the JLM made a gesture of support to the Labour Party.

In any case, if the JLM refuses to support Labour, its public image is such that the choice cannot be interpreted as anything other than opposition to the party and its policies – and that is not permitted under Labour rules; you can’t be a party member who campaigns against it.

Labour believes in the right to self-determination for all peoples and this provides an opportunity for the JLM to show its loyalty. Over in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu is threatening to annexe Palestinian land in the West Bank, and is demanding that Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights (which is part of Syria) be legitimised. Where is the JLM’s condemnation of these statements that deny Palestinians the right to self-determination?*

Labour MP Ruth Smeeth – a JLM member who has been caught lying about anti-Semitism allegations in the past, several times – reportedly said, “We have made clear that we want to stay affiliated to the Labour party – but on our own terms.” That is not how the party works, and as an MP, she knows it.

Membership of Labour – and affiliation to it – is on the Labour Party’s terms. If the JLM and its members don’t like those terms, they can ship out.

There is a perfectly workable – and far more decent – prospective Jewish affiliate in Jewish Voice for Labour, an organisation of equal size that doesn’t allow non-Jews to join, and doesn’t allow non-Labour-supporters in either, as the JLM does. Who knows which parties are supported by these non-Labour JLM members? And what is their motive?

The proposal of a scorecard is an insult and Labour MPs should reject it out-of-hand.

As they should reject the Jewish Labour Movement and all of its shrill demands.

*UPDATE: It turns out that the JLM did, in fact, pass a motion condemning Mr Netanyahu’s plans. How nice. But we should judge others by their actions, not just their words. Jeremy Corbyn has been at the centre of yet another huge row about anti-Semitism, partly as a result of the JLM’s behaviour. I had heard nothing about the motion against Netanyahu until I was informed about it on Twitter. What has the JLM done to support this (rather weakly-worded) protest?


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Labour leaders challenged over ‘anti-Semitism’ AGAIN – but will the accusers accept the facts?

It is being reported – this example was in The Independent – that Labour MPs are to give their leaders an ultimatum at their Monday meeting: Show that they have addressed accusations of anti-Semitism that dogged the party over the last few years.

It is possible that general secretary Jennie Formby could face calls for her resignation amid claims that she had staked her job on being able to resolve the issue by Christmas last year.

Personally, I’m not sure about that. I seem to recall Tom Watson saying that she should be given until Christmas to get to grips with it, which isn’t the same. But then, the “anti-Semitism” debate is riddled with instances in which false accusers have made inaccurate claims about what’s been said in the past.

Public opinion – apart from that of a few witch-hunters – seems firmly on the side of Jeremy Corbyn and Ms Formby. A rumour is already circulating that the ultimatum is being timed to coincide with a planned split from the party by hard right-wingers (don’t call them centrists) who have been threatening to clear off and start their own party for many months.

The aim, it seems, would be to undermine support for Labour in order to attract voters to the new party:

https://twitter.com/welshlad79/status/1091742541383389187

Would it succeed? Meh… History shows that a Labour Party which sticks to its core principles of supporting the poor and vulnerable against exploitation by the rich and powerful will endure against attacks from people of privilege – even if those people are squatting within the party.

More interesting, perhaps, is the question of whether there is any case to answer. “Cremant Communarde”, on Twitter, wrote a thread about this last week, going into the history of claims against Labour – starting before Mr Corbyn became leader, that is worth quoting here:

Now, there‘s a lady who knows a lot about storming out of the Labour Party! She’s done it many times, it seems.

Actually, let’s pause the thread there, because here’s Israeli historian Profession Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford and fellow of the British Academy, to tell us neither Ms Shah nor Mr Livingstone said anything remotely anti-Semitic, despite the furore that surrounded them:

I stood up for Ken Livingstone – and made the point that the image tweeted by Ms Shah was not in itself anti-Semitic – and was accused of anti-Semitism as a result. I proved these accusations false by myself but it’s good to have such learned corroboration.

Back to “Cremant Communarde”:

That’s an awful lot of pre-Corbyn anti-Semitism accusations, reported in the newspapers with Mr Corbyn’s face all over them.

Ever get the feeling you’re being misled?

Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has fallen since Jeremy Corbyn became leader. Don’t take my word for it – take it from pro-Tory polling organisation YouGov.

Labour has taken firm action in suspending and expelling many members who have been correctly accused of anti-Semitism…

But the party has made mistakes as well. Right-wingers keen on isolating Mr Corbyn (it seems to me) have used the controversy to accuse and expel people who are innocent of any wrong-doing – like myself.

I was accused, and my membership suspended, by the party in May 2017. An investigation followed that failed to follow Labour Party rules, and Labour’s NEC narrowly voted to reinstate me if I underwent some form of retraining by the Jewish Labour Movement – an organisation which had recently framed Jackie Walker as an anti-Semite at a training session. I declined.

Details of the (faked) case against me were then leaked to The Sunday Times, which published a smear piece about me in February last year. Copycat articles appeared in several other papers. I complained to press regulator IPSO about all of them and all have now published corrections. That’s right – I beat all the allegations.

My case came back before the Labour Party – this time the NCC, which handles disciplinary cases – in November last year, and it was a kangaroo court. After I conclusively proved in my evidence that the charges against me were false, the panel found against me because, apparently, the case wasn’t about whether I was an anti-Semite or not; it was about the fact that somebody had complained that I had written something that upset them. Labour has refused to say who this person was. As far as I am concerned, no such person ever existed.

It seems clear, therefore, that malcontents who have embedded themselves in the Labour hierarchy are using the anti-Semitism controversy for their own political ends – removing people they don’t like.

This cannot go on.

It is impossible to appeal against a decision by Labour’s NCC – no matter how corrupt it may be.

But I can take the party to court.

You see, Labour’s case against me – over articles I wrote in 2016 and 2017 – relies on rules that only appeared in the party’s rule book for 2018. Those rules are not retrospective and may not be applied to my case, but the party used them to expel me.

As an unincorporated association that is legally regulated by its rule book, Labour must abide by the rules in that book. This means that it is vulnerable to court action for breach of contract if it breaks those rules – as it has in my case.

I have tried to contact Ms Formby to arrange an amicable resolution of my dispute with the party over its treatment of me. She has not acknowledged my attempts to communicate with her.

So I’ll have to see her – or her represenative – in court.

This week seems an appropriate time to file the papers.


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Tom Watson’s list of donors tells us all we need to know about his attitude to ‘prejudice and hate’

Tom Watson: “Together” with his pro-Israel paymasters, he is publicising a lie about Labour and anti-Semitism.

Oh dear. It seems Labour deputy leader Tom Watson doesn’t like me any more.

I went looking for the tweet he made in response to the #ResignWatson Twitter storm and found this on his page: “You are blocked from following @tom_watson and viewing @tom_watson‘s Tweets.” I doubt I am the only one newly seeing that announcement today.

It seems he has seen my article on his blackmailing ultimatum to Jeremy Corbyn and, rather than attempting to engage with it in any meaningful way, he has decided to block out any further contact with me and/or my articles. How immature.

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

So, for his response to the Twitterstorm, let’s go to The Independent:

Tom Watson has hit out at a social media campaign to oust him as Labour’s deputy leader following his warning the party faced a “vortex of eternal shame” unless it resolved an escalating row over antisemitism.

Thousands of Twitter users – supportive of Mr Corbyn – mounted a “resignwatson” hashtag, used to direct demands for his resignation.

Responding to the criticism, Mr Watson posted: “It sometimes feels like people have been calling for me to stand down from day one but I never, ever thought I’d be facing demands to #resignwatson for standing up for people who are facing prejudice and hate.”

That’s a unique way of looking at it – by which I mean it didn’t get him anywhere.

Ruth Jenner, on Facebook, explains why: “Well, Tom Watson, that’s because you’re NOT “standing up for people who are facing prejudice and hate“ … that’s what Corbyn is doing and has done for his entire political career. You, on the other hand, are simply doing the dirty for your Israeli state-favouring donors…”

Israel-supporting donors? That may seem libellous – but she posted up the information to support her claim:

Paul Sheppard followed up this information with this pertinent point: “Exactly. He’s being asked to resign for accepting money from people representing a racist state and undermining the Labour Party.

“If you want to stand up against prejudice and hate, get behind Corbyn and condemn Israel for its crimes against humanity”

Addressing his words to Mr Watson (who was unlikely to read them), Graeme Braisby wrote: “You aren’t standing up for the oppressed and the distressed, you’re standing up for an apartheid state, a state who oppresses the Palestinians daily, a state who ignores UN resolutions and doesn’t face sanctions for it, where is the international outrage that other countries face for far less, what are the super powers doing about the Israelis nuclear weapons? Iran and North Korea are both being hounded about theirs, but not Israel? I suppose its not what you know, its who you know! Or who you can pay for… Over to you Tom Watson.”

Paul Robson summed it up: “Tom Watson isn’t standing up to prejudice. He’s actually getting paid,( about 50 thousand) to speak on behalf of the friends of Israel.
This isn’t a act of a decent compassionate man, and it’s totally obvious.”

You can read the Facebook thread here.

In the light of the evidence, I agree with the comments above – but then, I never thought Mr Watson was standing up for people facing prejudice and hate.

He was standing up for his pro-Israel paymasters. Now that is in the open, he must resign immediately – or be sacked.


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