Tag Archives: wing

Liz Truss: extreme neoliberal, anti-Labour, anti-environmentalist – and populist

New Tory prime minister Liz Truss is nothing more than a piece of theatre, according to Guardian columnist George Monbiot in this Democracy Now! interview.

He says her every utterance is carefully rehearsed in order to say only what she thinks is popular – and the same goes for her policies; she adopts whatever policy she thinks will find favour with the audience she’s with.

The audience she has been with over the summer has been the Conservative Party membership – a grossly unrepresentative and tiny group of UK people.

In pandering to these people, she has supported extreme neoliberal policies – tax cuts for the rich, more austerity, more privatisation if possible, and all when the exact opposite is needed.

Watch:

Her second week in power is about to begin.

Feel free to check Mr Monbiot’s predictions against what Truss does.

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Starmer Labour’s lurch to the right gets eviscerated on live TV

Taking the knee: Starmer and Rayner claimed it was in solidarity with victims of racist prejudice but it seems more likely they were going to follow up the gesture by drawing weapons and taking aim at the same victims.

I wonder how all those new, allegedly-genuine, Labour members feel about the policies and viewpoints they claim to adore being dissected and destroyed on live TV?

That’s what happened on Monday (February 21) on the BBC’s Politics Live. We can go through the content in a moment but let’s hear it first:

First up: Angela Rayner’s support for the murder of people accused of terrorism.

In fairness, her comment was, “Shoot terrorists and ask questions later.” It suggests she means genuine terrorists deserve to be shot, rather than people like Jean Charles de Menezes who was wrongly identified as a suspect by the Metropolitan Police – who shot him anyway.

But how do you identify who is a genuine terrorist and who is innocent – especially in an emergency?

That’s why Rayner’s comment was so dangerous, and why people like Sonali Bhattacharyya are right to be scandalised by her advocacy of it. She claimed to be “soft left” but seems to be more “hard right” as far as this is concerned.

Cressida Dick is mentioned because she was the senior Met Police officer in the operation that led to his fatal shooting.

Ms Bhattacharyya’s observation that Rayner’s words seem like posturing for the right-wing press is right on the button – especially at a time when Starmer Labour is trying hard to create a false distinction between it and the party as led by Jeremy Corbyn by saying he was (seen to be) soft on crime.

He wasn’t; Blairites such as Starmer like to make the claim, though. It harks back to Tony Blair’s attack on the Conservatives, back in the mid-1990s, and his 1993 slogan, “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.”

Anyone can see that this focused on rehabilitation as much as on punishment, but Starmer’s crowd has chosen to ignore the former in order to appeal to readers of right-wing low-intelligence tabloids.

Shadow Skills Minister Toby Perkins tried to laugh it off. He pointed out that Rayner’s comments were made on Matt Forde’s political comedy podcast. But this is not a laughing matter. Is it?

It’s very telling that at one point he said, “I think what Angela Rayner was trying to get away with-” before catching himself and rephrasing. So she was trying to get away with a claim about Labour’s attitude to terrorism, was she? Moments before, she had been making a humorous comment about her own, personal, attitude. Which was it? I couldn’t be both!

The weird part of that is, Labour’s attitude to terrorism really isn’t different now from its attitude under Jeremy Corbyn. There has been no policy change.

Ms Bhattacharyya went on to point out the apparent hypocrisy of Starmer Labour’s new attitude. Having taken the knee in support of Black Lives Matter protests, Rayner is now apparently saying she would prefer it if people like George Floyd (whose death prompted them) were murdered by police as a matter of course.

She might have said it humorously on a comedy podcast but if Mr Perkins is trying to use it to justify Labour’s claim to be tougher on crime than Corbyn, then she was also putting it forward as a genuine expression of policy direction. That’s hypocritical and Starmer himself needs to straighten out this tangle.

Next, host Jo Coburn made matters worse for Starmer by pointing out that, after being elected Labour leader on a “continuity Corbyn” platform, he has ditched all the promises he made.

Ailbhe Rea of New Statesman agreed that Starmer appealed to the left to take the leadership and was now going to “run to the centre” in his bid to become prime minister – in the belief that he has to do so in order to be electable.

Her claim that Starmer and his people are comfortable with making comments like Rayner’s because they “hope their voters/members who are less comfortable with that will know that it’s not fundamentally what they mean”. So, definitely hypocrites, then. Now the claim appeared to be that they had said they want to shoot people accused of terrorism but didn’t mean it. This story twists like a snake – which is what the Labour-representing participants are starting to resemble.

Asked to comment about the new attitude to crime in relation to Labour’s 2019 manifesto, Mr Perkins dug himself deeper into a hole by referring to the election result as the worst defeat the party had suffered since the 1930s – ignoring the fact that more people voted for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour than for Ed Miliband in 2015, Gordon Brown in 2010 or Tony Blair in 2005. Corbyn’s 2017 vote count was larger than Blair’s in 2001. In fact, the only time a Labour leader in the last 30 years has earned more votes than Mr Corbyn was 1997.

So when we hear Starmer say “a vote for him is a change of direction”, we hear a political leader determined to haemorrhage votes.

Ms Bhattacharyya had the perfect counter for Mr Perkins, simply by pointing out that Starmer was elected leader on his 10 pledges to continue Corbyn policies – policies that Mr Perkins had just rubbished.

And Mr Perkins then claimed that Starmer’s leadership offer was to say that the Corbyn manifesto of 2019 was “unrealistic in its totality”.

So, Starmer was elected Labour leader on a promise to continue policies that he was also saying were “unrealistic” in their “totality”. Nobody should buy that.

Jo Coburn re-inserted herself to draw attention to an opinion poll that shows Labour ahead of the Tories on issues including the economy, crime and immigration – trailing only on Covid-19 (because Starmer has supported Boris Johnson to the disastrous hilt, perhaps).

Asked to comment, old Tory Ann Widdecombe agreed that Starmer is trying to get away from left-wing Corbynism but said his problem is that much of Labour membership and support is left-wing and Corbynist, and aligning with them makes him “unelectable”.

But is it?

Labour nearly lost its de facto control of Bristol City Council on February 17 when the Green Party candidate in the Southmead by-election came within a few dozen votes of taking the seat.

Turnout was just 21.2 per cent, though – in a ward with considerable poverty. And it’s not the usual by-election apathy – in the 2019 general election, 47 per cent of the poorest people didn’t vote.

So Labour’s electoral victory isn’t conditional on appealing to an ever-diminishing crowd of right-wingers.

It should be considered conditional on enticing an increasingly-disillusioned – and growing – population of the UK’s poorest citizens into voting for the party.

Starmer isn’t going to do that – ever. And certainly not by pandering to bloodthirsty fascists.

Twitter’s algorithms promote right-wingers over the left – especially in the UK

If you’re a Twitter user who has ever wondered why the fascists seem to get more space on that platform, now you know the answer: Twitter’s computerised rules demand it.

Here‘s the story:

Twitter has admitted it amplifies more tweets from rightwing politicians and news outlets than content from leftwing sources.

The social media platform examined tweets from elected officials in seven countries – the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Japan. It also studied whether political content from news organisations was amplified on Twitter.

The research found that in six out of seven countries, apart from Germany, tweets from rightwing politicians received more amplification from the algorithm than those from the left; right-leaning news organisations were more amplified than those on the left; and generally politicians’ tweets were more amplified by an algorithmic timeline than by the chronological timeline.

Under the research, a value of 0% meant tweets reached the same number of users on the algorithm-tailored timeline as on its chronological counterpart, whereas a value of 100% meant tweets achieved double the reach.

On this basis, the UK suffered the second-strongest discrepancy between right and left (behind Canada) – although some might think that Labour (112%) is currently even more right-wing than the Conservatives (176%) meaning the results are skewed by the lack of information about left-wing organisations here.

The findings indicate problems for Twitter because they suggest that right-wing tweets get preferential treatment as a function of the way the algorithm is constructed.

The good news is that Twitter has indicated it may need to change its algorithm to give left-wing tweets a wider – and more equal – audience.

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Labour left-wingers send message to Keir Starmer ahead of rule-change vote

The message couldn’t be clearer, as this image – made after Starmer’s Labour decided to expel Ken Loach – epitomises.

Left-wing members of the Labour Party have sent an unequivocal message to Keir Starmer ahead of the vote on his proposed rule changes that would strip party members of electoral rights – in video form:

The singing may leave a little to be desired but the point is well-made, isn’t it? At one point, a voice makes it very clear exactly where Starmer can stick his rule changes.

The clip also makes it clear that “None of the people in these photos are linked in any way with the making of [this video] or any of the other photos that appear or the music. Their photos being in this slideshow DO NOT represent any sort of support for any particular organisations or people”.

I think we may conclude that this is to prevent the attack dogs in Starmer’s Governance and Legal Unit from using the video as an excuse to expel any more left-wing members.

The expulsion are continuing mid-conference, with police called in to deny entrance to party members who have been expelled overnight – as the dishonest Starmer scrabbles to gerrymander votes in his favour.

By the time he makes his speech, he’ll be doing it to an empty hall.

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After Evans won (rigged?) vote to remain Labour GenSec, here’s a recording of him saying he stripped members of their rights

Corrupt: Labour members who voted to keep David Evans as Keir Starmer’s general secretary won’t care that he’s as bent as a nine-bob note, but for those of us who prize honesty and integrity, this recording of him explaining that he deliberately worked to restrict the rights of left-wing, Corbyn-supporting members is reason enough to quit Labour forever and let it sink in its own corruption.

Funny how these things turn up after corrupt creeps like Evans get confirmed in their rotten jobs, isn’t it?

Still, it’s unlikely that it would have changed the result of the vote, which was carried, apparently, by Starmer and Evans’s right-wing robots.

It does show that Evans is corrupt, though – and indicates that Starmer is corrupt, by extension.

By rights, it’s enough evidence to force him to resign, making him the shortest-serving Labour general secretary ever. But these corrupt types never do the decent thing.

But it is more evidence to support a mass exodus from the party of Keir Starmer’s friends.

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Labour’s facing another lawsuit over anti-Semitism claims. How will Starmer pay for it?

Keir Starmer: he has bankrupted Labour. Could Pamela Fitzpatrick’s lawsuit over false claims of anti-Semitism finally push him out the door?

Bad news for a Labour Party desperate to avoid any more large legal bills: Pamela Fitzpatrick is suing.

You can understand her reasons. I mean, the hypocrisy of Keir Starmer is overwhelming.

What kind of party is he leading, where being interviewed by a left-wing magazine that was not blamed for anything at the time is worse than being the editor of a far-left magazine that would certainly be proscribed by Keir Starmer’s Labour, even though he himself is the editor in question.

And then there’s this, of course:

Of course, it’s entirely possible for a lifelong Tory to have a Damascene conversion, see the light and switch to Labour – but in these days of entryism, it is very dangerous for socialists to accept such changes unquestioningly.

Starmer has gone the other way, of course. From editing a Marxist periodical, he is now, for all intents and purposes, a Tory himself.

His attitude to the manufactured ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis that was created with lies and is being perpetuated with lies is an indication of the kind of man he is. Let’s get back to Pamela Fitzpatrick for her opinion on that:

That is a logical conclusion to draw.

Worse still is the fact that Starmer’s policy is itself anti-Semitic – in practice if not in stated intent.

He is attacking Jews:

Did you read all that, in Michell Laufer’s tweet? “As a Jewish member of the Labour Party whohas had to watch other Jewish members abused, suspended and expelled as antisemitism has been weaponised,” she asks of Starmer, “is he going to be honest about “the gerrymandering of party democracy, the silencing of members of criticise apartheid Israel, his fawning obedience to the Board of Deputies who do not represent the views of the majority of Jews in this country and the imposition of antisemitism training by the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement?”

Of course he isn’t.

He’ll have to be made to admit it all.

One organisation doing its best to raise awareness of the threat to Jewish people posed by Starmer and his racists is Jewish Voice for Labour, which has taken up the issue with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, also sending the facts to the Forde Inquiry (which is still apparently ongoing, as the report has not yet been published):

The latest submission – of August 24, three weeks since the previous one – states:

“We have become aware of seven new investigations of Jewish Party members. Notifications of new investigations and auto-exclusions are arriving on a daily basis.

“This means it would appear that over four times more Jewish than non-Jewish Labour Party members have faced actioned complaints of antisemitism.  The disproportion is even greater in relation to JVL Committee members and officers. The staggering numbers suggest that these Jews are nearly three hundred times more likely to be investigated than non- Jewish Labour Party members. In all these cases the charges of so-called antisemitism are deeply offensive.

“There has been significant further evidence of our being treated harshly as Jews.

“Dozens of Jewish members are now being targeted by Labour as antisemites, for voicing an understanding of antisemitism that is a direct product of our Jewish political and personal heritage.

“The effect of rejecting or ignoring complaints made by JVL members of antisemitism; our experience of bullying and harassment; and the refusal to consult or involve JVL in, for instance, the EHRC required Action Plan; all show disdain for our status and roles as Jews.”

There is currently a campaign to raise awareness of the weaponisation of anti-Semitism against left-wing Labour Party members – and particularly left-wing Jewish party members, called #ItWasAScam. The position it takes is right, and it is this:

And this is the reason Starmer will lose when Ms Fitzpatrick drags Labour to court.

He’ll put the party even further into debt.

And the problem isn’t anti-Semites; it’s him – and the entryists who are supporting him because they know falsely accusing Labour socialists (the people for whom the party was originally created) of a heinous offence will make the party unelectable, leaving the way clear for the Tory corruption that we have seen under Boris Johnson.

I think it’s just a matter of time until this particular house of cards comes crashing down around Starmer and his allies.

I’ve already got the popcorn on order and am now just awaiting the opportunity to use it.

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Was Sadiq Khan’s narrower-than-expected London Mayoral win due to Keir Starmer’s right turn?

Sadiq Khan said unflattering things about then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after his 2016 London mayoral victory. But at least Corbyn provided Labour policies for the public to support in the poll. Starmer put him in a vacuum and it is a miracle he received as many votes as he did.

Belated congratulations to Sadiq Khan on his re-election to the London Mayoralty.

But isn’t it disturbing that he won by a narrower margin than against Zac Goldsmith in 2016, against an equally inept candidate?

In the years preceding the election, Bailey had been criticised for racism (calling Khan “the Mad Mullah of Londonistan”, criticising celebration of Muslim and Hindu festivals and claiming that British people were being indoctrinated in the cultures of those religions).

He also proposed forcing larger London businesses to drug-test their employees – but with Parliament, dubbed the “corridors of powder” because of the huge “trace” amounts of cocaine that have been found there, exempt.

And he was accused of sexism as well as racism when it emerged that he had stated in 2006 that single girls in inner cities “deliberately become pregnant” in order to secure homes and benefits from the government.

Against such a man, Sadiq Khan gained more than 100,000 fewer votes than against Goldsmith.

I don’t think the drop-off was anything to do with Khan himself – or with his opponent, though.

I think it was about the leadership of Khan’s political party – Labour.

When he was elected in 2016, the people of London were riding high on the election of Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership with a set of genuinely socialist policies that had the potential to transform the UK into a vibrant example for the world.

By 2021, Corbyn’s right-wing opponents in the Labour Party bureaucracy had stabbed him in the back and had him replaced with suit-haircut-and-flag man Keir Starmer, who had promptly ditched all of those transformative policies in favour of an “any way the wind blows” approach.

In the absence of any policy support from his party leadership, it is a miracle Khan received as many votes as he did.

Source: Sadiq Khan wins second term as London mayor despite tighter-than-expected race | The Independent

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Hartlepool by-election: will Tories win because Starmer parachuted a right-winger in for Labour?

Voting: but will people in Hartlepool vote Labour after the contempt with which Keir Starmer has (allegedly) treated them?

A poll – with, admittedly, a tiny number of respondents – has suggested that the Conservatives could take Hartlepool from Labour in Thursday’s by-election.

Is this because Keir Starmer steamrolled over the wishes of local part members to parachute a right-wing candidate in?

The behaviour of Labour’s head office with regard to the election has been, reportedly, a disgrace – and if this is how Starmer plans to run the party, then voters in Hartlepool will be right to abandon him.

The problem is that the Conservatives are likely to benefit from it.

Starmer is already facing criticism that his daft antics have strengthened the Tories. How will he be able to justify himself if they take Hartlepool?

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Senior Tories including ‘Brexit Steve’ Baker demand continuation of Covid death spiral

The image above may not be the most sophisticated graphic This Site has ever published, but it is accurate all the same.

The Tory rabble who have been pushing for more deaths in a bid to keep the economy going and their paymasters in big business happy have been pressuring Boris Johnson for another early end to the restrictions he has (laughably) encouraged us all to call a lockdown.

The infection and death rates are back at pre-‘lockdown’ levels, they say, so he she start easing us all back into work at the beginning of March.

Shockingly, arch-Brexiteer Steve Baker, clearly believing he hasn’t done enough to wreck the nation, has been traipsing around the broadcast media today, claiming that we need to give Covid-19 a chance at a third wave, for the sake of the poorest in society.

“Think of the poor!” How disgusting.

As the infographic above points out, he couldn’t care less when he voted against letting the poor keep the Universal Credit uplift they need to get by.

In this light, he seems clearly revealed as the kind of opportunist who says whatever he thinks will get him what he wants.

And he isn’t the only one:

Lockdown-sceptic Tories have piled pressure on Boris Johnson, calling on him to commit to a timetable for lifting coronavirus restrictions with a complete end to controls by the end of April.

In a letter to the prime minister, the leaders of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) said the “tremendous pace” of the vaccination rollout meant restrictions should begin easing from early March.

They said ministers must produce a cost-benefit analysis to justify any controls that remain in place after that date, with a “roadmap” stating when they would be removed.

The letter was organised by the CRG chair and deputy chair, Mark Harper and Steve Baker, and was said to have the backing of 63 Conservative MPs in all. However, scientists advising the government are warning that lifting restrictions too quickly risks another wave of the disease as big as the current one.

Of course, 63 Tory MPs in rebellion isn’t enough to bother Johnson – the Tory majority in Parliament is 80 – but it might be enough to rattle his cage, reminding him that he needs to keep his members happy.

He has already said he hopes to map out a “cautious” route out of lockdown on February 22 – next Monday.

The CRG people, led by Baker and Mark Harper, reckon they can dictate its pace – demanding that schools reopen by March 8 and hospitality businesses by Easter.

So we’ll be well on the way to another surge by Whitsun, then.

Source: Tory MPs tell Johnson to commit to lifting Covid restrictions by end of April | World news | The Guardian

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Labour backs away from credible opposition by copying Tories on economics

Annaliese Dodds: do you really think you could trust this woman with the economy?

Keir Starmer’s Labour has announced that its new economic policy is to copy the Conservatives. Why not? Starmer’s copying the Tories in everything else!

Starmer, now well on his way to infamy as the worst leader in the more-than-100-year history of the Labour Party, may have turned the announcement over to his shadow chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, but it has his naive pawprints all over it.

Because it’s yet another example of an inexperienced politician, who doesn’t stand for anything apart from grabbing power for himself, blowing in the wind.

The Financial Times gave the game away.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds will signal on Wednesday that the Labour party is backing away from the hard-left economic policies of former leader Jeremy Corbyn

Sorry, what? “Hard-left” policies?

Corbyn was never hard-left and the author of the FT piece – Chris Giles, whose criticism of the Tories over the number of people dying due to Covid-19 has been exemplary – should know better. Perhaps he is being led by his ideological nose.

If Corbyn had been hard-left, he would have been demanding the nationalisation of everything and the end of individual property ownership. Hard-left policies require everything to be owned by the state and he never advocated that.

Corbyn’s policies were most similar to those of the Scandinavian countries – and anybody with an eye on international affairs will know that, economically, those nations are much more stable than the UK; their people far more prosperous. The UK would have been better-off under Corbyn’s economic policies.

But Starmer wants to turn his back on them because he is a Conservative at heart.

The trouble is, we already have a Conservative Party in the UK. Returning to the policies that lost Labour two elections (in 2010 and 2015 respectively) will not help a Labour leader who has failed to win a single victory against Boris Johnson’s inept and imbecilic Conservatives.

But that is exactly what Dodd’s is announcing.

In the annual Mais Lecture, she will cloak Labour’s strategy to become the UK’s next government in the latest thinking from international organisations such as the IMF, which recommends waiting until unemployment falls and the recovery is complete before thinking about the sustainability of public finances.

So, it’s back to austerity for Labour. That will be a long wait.

The best way to increase employment is to invest in it – not to leave everything to the market. That is hard-right neoliberalism and Labour should not have anything to do with it. Sadly, Labour members elected a Conservative as their party leader and he is imposing hard-right Conservative policies on them whether they want them or not.

The fact that he lied, lied, and lied again to get himself elected only partially excuses them (as it was clear that he was lying).

Strangely, in her speech, Dodds will distance herself from the economic programme Labour put forward in the run-up to the 2019 general election, that offered spending increases of £83 billion – a modest amount in comparison with the hundreds of billions splurged by Boris Johnson in the last year.

Instead, she will align Labour’s economic policy with that of the Tories, while referring to “responsible” policies no fewer than 23 times. There is nothing “responsible” about Conservative economic policy, or about aligning with them.

There’s an easy test for this. Conservative neoliberalism has been the dominant economic policy in the UK since 1979, when Margaret Thatcher was first elected into office.

At that time, a family of four could afford to pay the mortgage on their house together with all household bills including groceries and vehicle running costs, from the wages of just one parent – and still had enough left over for a holiday away from home during the summer.

Is that possible now?

No, it isn’t. Most of us are much worse-off after 41 years of this nonsense – apart from people in positions of extreme power, including MPs like Starmer and Dodds.

So perhaps there is an intention to help in this policy change. Starmer and Dodds are planning to help themselves.

Their predictable lapse into neoliberalism has been greeted with a chorus of derision from everybody who understands what it means:

Who would? The voting public certainly won’t.

Source: Labour signals end of Corbyn era in setting out economic vision | Financial Times

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