Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Slaver statues may fall but Boris Johnson – and the structural racism he embodies – goes on and on

The echoes of the thud with which Edward Colston’s statue hit the slabs probably hadn’t even died away before a Downing Street spokesman was telling us Boris Johnson is convinced the UK is not racist.

The country doesn’t have to be; he alone is racist enough for all of us:

We all can.

Prominent among the tweets on my Twitter timeline (TL) today was a link to a 2016 article in which Johnson suggested that then-US President Barack Obama may have an “ancestral dislike” of the UK.

Writing a column for The Sun newspaper the outgoing Mayor of London recounted a story about a bust of Winston Churchill purportedly being removed from White House.

“Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender,” he wrote.

One cannot imagine him suggesting that Donald Trump’s part-German ancestry gives him a similar “ancestral dislike” of the UK, though. Can you?

And the decision to invoke Winston Churchill may be considered a mistake, in hindsight. But then, look at the way others mention him:

(Incidentally, if anyone sees that hypocrite Finkelstein getting on his high horse about anti-Semitism about this, just remind him that he was happy to praise the racist Churchill.)

The fact that the UK state endorses racism is proved by a simple fact: even though we have laws to prevent racial antagonism from being stirred up, the police will not use them against the Prime Minister – he is literally above the law, despite all claims by the Establishment that nobody is:

https://twitter.com/RedRadicals/status/1269928734863351809

This Writer has experienced the same frustrations when reporting other members, of previous governments, for law-breaking. The police either say it’s somebody else’s problem or flat-out refuse to consider it.

In the case of a government minister – or indeed the Prime Minister – displaying racism, this becomes an example of not just institutional, but structural racism:

“Multiple institutions” – in this case the police and Parliament – “collectively uphold racist policies and practices.”

So Johnson is completely wrong.

The United Kingdom is racist. Perhaps the prime minister can’t see it because he’s such a damned racist himself.

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Will the UK send more riot gear to a despotic Trump? Of course. It makes a profit

Sacrilege: Donald Trump had people tear-gassed so he could have this picture taken, outside a church, with a Bible. It seems he hasn’t read the New Testament… and if he stepped inside the church, would he disappear in a puff of brimstone?

Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is being urged to ban the sale of riot control equipment to the United States in response to shocking images of police attacking peaceful protesters against the killing of George Floyd.

Trump seems to be entirely out of control. He had peaceful protesters tear-gassed so he could take part in a photo shoot in front of a church, clutching a Bible, in what many people (including myself) may describe as a blasphemy.

This is symptomatic of the attitude he has displayed since public opinion boiled over in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Many – including media pundits – believe he has turned the corner into dictatorship:

His attitude to the classes seems to support this:

For clarity, let’s have a look at some video clips of what has been going on:

https://twitter.com/LowkeySinistra/status/1267109420955086848

We need these clips by members of the public, too. If we didn’t have them, Ice T would be right:

Look at how news reporters have been targeted:

There have been exceptions, though – and it is important to note them. Not all in the police or the military agree with Trump that peaceful demonstrations should be put down with an iron fist:

It seems US police have been learning “brutality and repression” in specially-funded trips abroad. I make no comment about the country providing the training.

The good news is that, after Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the killing of Mr Floyd, the three other officers involved are also to face criminal charges. It has been said that Tou Thao watched while J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane helped hold the victim down:

And a civil rights investigation has been launched into the activities of Minneapolis police.

Back with the president, it seems the affair has killed Trump’s approval rating among US citizens. Now 54 per cent of them disapprove of him – the highest disapproval rating for any US president.

Trump should be happy – he’s always trying to say he’s top at something, and now he is.

All of this takes us back to the UK’s response to all this. Boris Johnson has been urged to stop exporting arms and riot equipment to the United States, so it cannot be used to harm peaceful protesters in the way we’ve seen in the videos (above):

According to the Independent article, neither Johnson nor any government spokesperson has yet commented on the issue.

This Writer’s opinion? There won’t be any cessation of arms trading with the US – it makes Tory-donor UK firms a fortune every day.

And Trump supporters can’t help shooting themselves in the foot (if only metaphorically). After Piers Morgan tweeted critically about the depths to which Trump has dragged his country, a US Twitter user made it clear that they did not want people from the UK to be involved in that country’s business. The response from a Brit was well-deserved and entirely appropriate:

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Coronavirus: Countries that relaxed lockdown are suffering second spikes – and Johnson’s talking about copying them


What a timing malfunction: on the day Boris Johnson tried to talk the UK into accepting his plan to relax lockdown restrictions, countries that have already made this choice reported increased infections and reimposed them.

Strangely enough, This Writer was only discussing the issue last week – with a guy who was saying that places like Germany have relaxed restrictions and nothing bad happened:

https://twitter.com/ricoforest30/status/1258431809135808513

https://twitter.com/ricoforest30/status/1258433256267137025

Well, I don’t know about Austria and Denmark, but as for Germany

New coronavirus infections are accelerating again in Germany just days after its leaders loosened social restrictions, raising concerns that the pandemic could once again slip out of control. The Robert Koch Institute for disease control said in a daily bulletin the number of people each sick person now infects – known as the reproduction rate, or R – had risen to 1.1.

Germany isn’t the only country having difficulties.

In South Korea

The South Korean government issued an emergency order on Friday for the closure of all bars in Seoul after a single clubber infected at least 40 people and exposed over 1,900 more to the coronavirus. The closure is indefinite.

The authorities were forced to trace the contacts of the 29-year-old man, who has not been named, after his night out in the Itaewon district of Seoul – and have so far found at least forty people confirmed with the infection. The country had previously been free of domestic transmission of the virus after an extensive and rigorous programme of testing, tracing and isolating as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

And in China

An untraced coronavirus outbreak in a Chinese city near the Russian border and a spate of new cases in Wuhan has prompted fears of a fresh wave of infections in China.

On Sunday, Chinese authorities reclassified Shulan, a city near the Russian and North Korean borders, as high risk, after a cluster of cases connected to a woman with no known history of travel or exposure to the virus.

It came just a week after China designated all regions in the country as low or medium risk. On Sunday the country’s national health commission reported 17 new cases, its second day of a double-digit rise and its highest number in nearly two weeks.

These are all countries that were thought to have got their Covid-19 outbreaks under control – only to see them flare up again.

Now Boris Johnson is telling the UK everything is under control – just as the leaders of those other countries probably said to their citizens.

Considering what happened there, what do you think is going to happen here?

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Now it is time to ridicule Brexit

The deed is done. The UK is no longer part of the European Union. We are our own country (not that we were ever anything else).

Can you feel the difference?

No?

Well, you shouldn’t – because nothing has materially changed. We are in a transition period in which we will negotiate deals on our future trading relationship with the EU.

The deadline is ridiculously short so any deal is likely to be rubbish – or we may leave with no deal at all, as many believe Boris Johnson is secretly hoping.

The event has, unsurprisingly, led to ridicule on the social media:

Still, we can all rejoice in our refound Britishness and the British things that make our country great – right?

Well…

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Standards on environment, safety and human rights to be slashed for a grubby trade deal with Trump

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump: Enemies of the UK?

The Tory minister who once complained that the UK imports too much cheese is set to abolish the UK’s environmental safeguards – to get a food import deal with Donald Trump.

Theresa May promised that the UK would keep within EU rules on the environment, safety standards and human rights after Brexit.

But Boris Johnson will get rid of all these rules – that protect you – so he can sign a grubby deal with Donald Trump, to import genetically modified, inferior US food products at a high cost to the UK.

He describes this a way of gaining “flexibility”.

It seems responsibility for scrapping our protections will fall to cheese-loving international trade secretary Liz Truss.

This will require a huge admission of hypocrisy on her part – the woman who said importing two-thirds of our cheese was a “disgrace” –

– now seems perfectly happy to lower standards across the country in order to import all kinds of junk.

EU officials say that British negotiators are particularly keen to jettison EU restrictions on genetically modified foods – a key demand of American trade negotiators.

One EU official with knowledge of the Brexit talks suggested US trade officials appeared to have been in contact with British negotiators and told them standards would need to be slashed if there was any chance of a US trade deal.

Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, said scrapping the protections was “vital for giving us the freedom and flexibility to strike new trade deals and become more competitive”.

And of course rejecting EU standards means there can be no free trade deal with the bloc after the UK leaves it.

The intention seems to be to put the entire country at Donald Trump’s mercy – and he doesn’t seem to have much of that.

It seems clear that this plan is in the interests of nobody in the UK – apart from, possibly, Boris Johnson.

He certainly seems not to be interested in his duty to act in the interests of the people of this nation.

Of course, none of this can happen while the UK remains in the EU – and without an exit deal that MPs and MEPs can support, the UK will do just that.

Source: Brexit: Boris Johnson moves to scrap environment safeguards to get deal with Trump | The Independent

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Britons take to the streets across the country to #StopTheCoup

Citizens of the United Kingdom have hit the streets in cities, towns and villages across the country to express their outrage at the actions of Boris Johnson – and the Queen.

There was even a demonstration in This Writer’s Mid Wales home town against the decision to shut down Parliament so that our unelected prime minister – who has not proved he can command a majority in Parliament – can enact a flagship policy that has been rejected by our democratically-elected legislature many times.

Here’s a smattering of videos and images from across the country, courtesy of Twitter. They speak for themselves:

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1167834940073005056

Finally, if you don’t like a certain swear word beginning with ‘F’, don’t play the following video…

… But if you don’t mind it, this is brilliant:

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The Tory death wish: They’ll have Brexit even if it destroys the UK

Tories really want to cripple their country, according to a new poll by YouGov.

Not only are they desperate to harm the economy by daring a “no-deal” Brexit in order to decouple from the European Union no later than October 31, triggering the application of huge tariffs on international trade…

… But they also don’t care if this has the knock-on effect of destroying the union, with Scotland and/or Northern Ireland separating from the United Kingdom.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is likely to capitalise on this in her speech to mark 20 years of devolution. She’ll probably say:

“Immense damage to Scottish communities was caused by an out of touch Conservative party that governed, unelected in Scotland, for 18 years. But now I fear a similarly out of touch Tory party, led by an even more reckless leader, could cause as much damage as Mrs Thatcher and John Major did. But while they took 18 years, he, whoever it is, could do as much – or more – damage in just 18 weeks. Because by the end of October, Scotland could be heading for a no-deal Brexit.

“Scotland must have the option of choosing a different course. The next six months could offer challenges greater than anything we have seen in the last 20 years. In my view they will inevitably require greater powers for Scotland – indeed the full powers that come with independence.”

So she wants out before the next Tory leader – whoever he is – can do the damage we all expect.

In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that has been propping up the Conservative government in a confidence-and-supply agreement has also been holding up Brexit by absolutely refusing to accept the so-called NI border “backstop” that would put the province on different trading terms with the EU than the rest of the UK.

Tory MPs are said to want a general election the instant a new leader is installed (Daniel Kawczynski mentioned Boris Johnson) in order to establish a majority without the need for DUP support.

But that might trigger moves for Northern Ireland to leave the union.

Of course, it might also lead to a Labour government, if the public at large don’t take to the leader the Tories elect (and Boris Johnson has a proven track record as a liar, a racist, and a sexist who’ll happily spaff our cash up the wall on nonsense).

And this leads to a contradiction, because according to the YouGov poll, the only thing that would dissuade Tory members from demanding Brexit at the first opportunity is the possibility of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

But such a government is more likely if they choose a leader committed to Brexit at any cost.

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Messages cut into grass for Donald Trump show everything that’s WRONG with political discourse

How do you explain to the world’s most powerful man that he’s making a mistake?

You don’t do it like this:

Not helpful: This image probably put a smile on many faces during the first day of Donald Trump’s UK visit – but you can guarantee that the President’s wasn’t one of them.

But it is a symptom of the extreme levels to which political discourse has been pushed that people think it appropriate to carve an image of a penis into the landscape on Donald Trump’s approach to the UK as a message to him.

It’s the same thinking that has people labelling supporters of the Brexit Party in the recent European Parliament elections as “fascists”.

Or, indeed, labelling critics of the current Likud-headed Israeli government as “anti-Semites”.

I hope Mr Trump didn’t see it, although I fear media coverage means he’ll be unable to avoid it.

It can’t do any good at all.

I mean, if somebody took issue with your work by leaving dick pics with your name attached all over the environment, would it make you feel inclined to be sympathetic?

I’m guessing no.

I’m aware that Mr Trump is a man of – let’s say – strong views, but every such man can still fall prey to friendly persuasion.

You simply have to find out what will persuade him. What will put pressure on him.

And you have to be in a position to apply that pressure.

For people in the UK after 40 years of progressive weakening by neoliberal governments that have sold off pretty much everything that made this nation strong, that’s a pretty tall order.

For members of an international movement dedicated to the survival of our species – and many others – in the face of determined efforts towards extinction by a highly-privileged few…

Well, it’s harder work than carving a penis into the grass on the flight path to Stansted Airport, but it could be far more rewarding.

Let’s try to be a little more intelligent about this, please.

Source: Messages cut into grass for Donald Trump to see as he lands for UK state visit | Metro News

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UN reports on poverty in the UK – and the Tory response is WORSE than expected

Remember when I responded to news of a UN investigation into cruel and inhumane treatment of disabled people by stating, “The UN will release a damning report stating that the UK’s Conservative government tortures disabled people, and the UK’s Conservative government will ignore it.”

The government’s response to UN expert Philip Alston’s report on poverty is, if anything, worse.

Mr Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, accused ministers of being in a state of denial about the impact of policies, including the rollout of universal credit, since 2010. He accused them of the “systematic immiseration of a significant part of the British population” and warned that worse could be yet to come for the most vulnerable, who face “a major adverse impact” if Brexit proceeds. He said leaving the EU was “a tragic distraction from the social and economic policies shaping a Britain that it’s hard to believe any political parties really want”.

And what was the Conservative government’s response?

Amber Rudd plans to lodge a formal complaint with the UN.

According to The Guardian, “Rudd will argue that Alston is politically biased and did not do enough research. The minister is seeking guidance from the Foreign Office on the best way to respond after Alston compared her department’s welfare policies to the creation of Victorian workhouses.

“In a statement, the government said his report was ‘a barely believable documentation of Britain based on a tiny period of time spent here” and “a completely inaccurate picture of our approach to tackling poverty’.”

Typical blinkered Toryism.

If they didn’t have their tame journalists in the partisan “mainstream media” to defend them, they would have been ousted as the charlatans they are, long ago. Look at the way Jo Coburn on the BBC’s Politics Live tried to deflect blame onto the Labour Party – the party of opposition that has absolutely no power to change anything – for the details of the damning Alston report:

In fact we know that Conservatives have spent the last 40 years systematically destroying every element of society that could give poor and working people a chance at a better life. Why do you think Margaret Thatcher destroyed our industrial base, back in the 1980s?

Their denials don’t ring true.

And if she goes through with it, I hope anyone seeing Amber Rudd in the streets will have the courage to call her out on it: “Amber Rudd – shame on you.”

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Lord Sugar got precious about his pledge to emigrate if Corbyn becomes PM – and got what he deserved

Sugar: He’s not feeling too sweet right now (I went with the cartoonised image because he’s acting like a cartoon character, of course).

What do you say to a guy who received a peerage thanks to a Labour prime minister, and then vowed to leave the country if another Labour leader gets to become PM?

Lord Sugar found out over the last few days – and wasn’t very happy about it.

Here’s the tweet that set him off:

https://twitter.com/Redlabour2016/status/1073270116551401474

This Writer’s first instinct, on watching the clip, was that Sugar had bought into all the nonsense about Mr Corbyn, the Labour Party under him, and anti-Semitism (for the record, anti-Semitism in Labour was low when Mr Corbyn became leader and has diminished since; it is far more prevalent in right-wing parties like the Conservatives). But it seems I need not have worried as his words imply he was suggesting the economy would fall off a cliff.

And that’s odd – hasn’t he noticed what’s happening anyway, due to eight years of Tory failure – and Theresa May’s Brexit?

Lord Sugar spotted the Red Labour tweet and responded – and this is where the story really starts:

Jealous? Anti-enterprise? Anarchist? Losers?

How does he know what these people have achieved?

As for his tax bill – yes, very large, but does he not understand that many, many other citizens of the UK have been held back from reaching the higher pay grades that would make a higher tax bill possible, because of the repressive political philosophy championed by the Conservatives, which is about making the poor poorer and keeping all the privilege for those who already have it?

Is it any wonder the Twittersphere yelled at him? Check out these responses:

If anyone complains about the spelling in the next one, you need to get a sense of perspective:

https://twitter.com/mevrouwbee/status/1073526185236283397

All good points, I’m sure you’ll agree. And only a few (there are many, many more such tweets) descend to Lord Sugar’s level.

The chances are he won’t leave, of course.

The guys who make such threats are always determined that we’ll do worse without them – and they’d never follow through on those threats in case we don’t.

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