Tag Archives: world

Israel ponders ceasefire in Gaza as world protests continue

Israel is considering a ceasefire after promising talks with Palestinian representatives in Paris, it seems. Perhaps the fiasco of the ceasefire debate in the UK’s Parliament was worthwhile after all.

Or perhaps the protests against the ongoing genocide in Gaza have finally started to wear down its Israeli architects? This seems less likely but should not be discounted.

That is especially true when the protests are taking place in Tel Aviv, despite Israeli government attempts to discourage them:

Here’s a protest in Bath, that took place on Saturday (February 24, 2024):

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Here’s why protest at the popular level is important:

Meanwhile, in the Middle East:

Here in the UK, fallout from the farcical mess that Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle made of the SNP’s Opposition Day debate on a ceasefire in Gaza is still happening:

So the Israeli government is having a change of heart because the people of that country are turning against it, but the agony is still going on at the moment. In the UK, Labour is losing votes because Keir Starmer sabotaged a vote for a ceasefire, and organisations in the UK that are helping Israel’s genocide are in danger of prosecution.

Does that just about cover it? More to follow.


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UK has worst child poverty among world’s richest countries. Sunak’s comment is vile

Poverty: Destitution among children has spiralled out of control due to Tory decisions to starve parents of cash. But that’s what we all voted for – right?

Here’s the headline:

A 20 per cent rise in child poverty while the Tories have been in government? But they said they were doing so well in bringing it down! Were they… fibbing?

The article states:

The relative child income poverty rate for the UK before housing costs was 20.8 per cent for 2019-21, Unicef said.

During the period from 2012-14 and 2019-21, the UK saw a 20 per cent rise in relative child income poverty rates before housing costs, the humanitarian organisation added.

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The report said that during the period it focused on, UK expenditure on family cash benefits per child, as a proportion of GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, decreased from 18 per cent to 11 per cent.

It said several changes to targeted financial support had contributed to this, including the benefit cap, limiting the benefits a household earning below a set threshold can receive, and the two-child limit for child tax credits and the child element of Universal Credit, meaning families cannot claim support for more children.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “There are 400,000 fewer children and 1.7 million fewer people in absolute poverty when compared to 2010.

The DWP comment is because the UK measures poverty as a percentage of median income. Median income has plummeted (in real terms) under the Tories while costs have rocketed. The United Nations Children’s Fund may record it differently.

Rishi Sunak talked nonsense about this during Prime Minister’s Questions – and knew it. Here’s Peter Stefanovic with the facts:

The facts are an indictment against Sunak, his forerunners as prime minister, and the Tory governments we’ve had since 2010.

No wonder he’s so dishonest about them.


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Triathlon championship contestants fall ill after swimming in polluted water. Who pays?

A prediction that has come true: water discharged into rivers and seas isn’t expected to be drunk. But it has been – and it was full of raw, untreated sewage because the government has allowed privatised water firms to avoid the expense of purifying this water. Will that decision come back to haunt the politicians and the water tycoons now people have become ill?

This should be self-explanatory:

The allegation is clear: people participating in the World Triathlon Championship Series in Sunderland have fallen ill after swimming in waters that have been found unexpectedly to have been polluted.

Swimmers complained that they were swimming “in shit”.

The local privatised water firm has denied any responsibility – but who else would have been capable of doing it?

This could be a crucial test case, regarding the continued – government-supported – pollution of the UK’s waterways with raw sewage.

It seems the UK’s Tory government, by allowing the privatised water firms to avoid their responsibility to purify water before releasing it back into the environment, has actively supported the infection of the nation’s citizens with disease.

It occurs to This Writer that, if evidence can be found linking the swimmers’ illnesses with the release of contaminated water by the company, then the organisers of the event – and the individual swimmers – would have a strong case for compensation against both the firm and the UK’s government.

Taking it further – if such a case is won, the Tory MPs who supported dumping raw sewage into the UK’s waterways won’t be too badly inconvenienced; it will be the public – those their decision has harmed – who will pay the legal bill and any fines.

But we should all remember it at election time. Right?

Oh look – here’s visual evidence of what’s happening all around our coasts right now:


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The UK electricity bill is the highest in the entire world

So now we know. All Rishi Sunak’s talk about working hard to get our energy bills down has been silly nonsense.

The UK has the highest electricity bills, not just in Europe or the West, but in the World.

Worse still, the UK had the third-sharpest increase in electricity prices worldwide, over the last five years.

The 35 per cent increase suggests that prices were already high before pressure from events like the Russia-Ukraine war pushed them up further.

And that suggests government mismanagement. It should be a national government’s duty to make sure its citizens get the best value for money when they pay utility bills.

Wasn’t that what privatisation was about – at least in part (the other part being investment in improving the infrastructure)?

New research reveals that the UK has the highest electricity bills. Brits pay more for their power than anywhere else on the planet.

There’s only one logical conclusion: global issues didn’t make the real difference – Tory government decisions have forced up the cost of living in the UK to breaking point.

Source: Revealed: Brits are paying the highest electricity bills in the entire world


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TV Comedian shreds Starmer

Keir Starmer: he’s not doing here what Sophie Duker suggested in the clip – but the look on his face may suggest he has been in the recent past.

This was too good to leave as a throwaway tweet so I’ve taken video and put it on TikTok to test the possibilities of that platform (and as practice for myself).

It’s from Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, in which comedian Sophie Duker (not Dukes, as the software insisted on renaming her) passes judgement on Keir Starmer’s tenure (so far) as leader of the Labour Party.

It’s not good:

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Sophie Dukes shreds Keir Starmer (from Frankie Boyle’s New World Order).

♬ original sound – VoxPolitical

(To be honest, the clip isn’t that good either – sorry! But I’m sure it’ll get better once I’ve ironed out a few things.)

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#COP26 : How are these polluting politicians going to tackle climate change? With weapons-grade HYPOCRISY?

If you’re doubting the sincerity of the world leaders who are meeting to talk – and I stress, talk – about fighting climate change and the destruction of our eco-system at COP26, you’re not the only one:

It’s true, isn’t it?

These leaders – certainly Boris Johnson and his crony Alok Sharma who is hosting the conference – did their level best to keep the coppers rolling in for their big business funders during the (ongoing, let’s not forget) Covid-19 crisis – at the cost of our lives.

They scheduled two hugely important summits back-to-back – in cities thousands of miles apart. And they are travelling between those places in hugely-polluting aircraft and enormous gas-guzzling motorcades.

They are likely to put the onus to take action against climate change on the majority of the population, even though the 1% – the billionaires – who fund them are responsible for as much of the damage as a full half of the 99% – the rest of the population.

They are likely to ignore the fact that the 99% have no choice when it comes to climate change. We have to use the facilities provided to us by the 1% who control them, and if those facilities are provided using resources that trigger climate change, we can’t do anything about it.

And they are likely to blame us when nothing changes.

Meanwhile, they are unlikely to impose strong demands on the 1% that will actually stave off our impending eco-doom. Such demands would require their funders – remember, the businesspeople causing the problem pay money to the politicians – to forgo some of their massive profits in order to restructure their enterprises to cause less pollution.

And that might mean they couldn’t build their own – hugely polluting – spaceships!

Knowing all this, if This Writer were you, I would take everything these people say at COP(OUT)26 with a massive spoonful of salt.

And remind yourself that nothing is ever going to change when we are led by people of such weapons-grade hypocrisy.

Mark Drakeford attacked for speaking at ‘Trot jamboree’ – to bring UBI into disrepute?

Mark Drakeford: Wales’ First Minister is far more successful at elections than Keir Starmer. Is this the reason he is under attack?

Right-wing headbangers have been laying into the UK’s most successful Labour politician – because he is to attend a discussion of a favourite project at a Labour Conference fringe event.

He will be speaking at Where next for Universal Basic Income? Turning a Transformative Policy into Action: UBI pilot in Wales alongside Welsh Labour MP Beth Winter and co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network, Guy Standing – neither of whom have attracted any criticism at all.

Yet again, the weapon being used is guilt by association; the event is to be attended by people who have been falsely smeared as anti-Semites so the loony right is using this as an excuse to smear Drakeford.

Perhaps they’re just jealous because Drakeford actually wins elections while Keir Starmer’s record in that area is singularly lacking.

So we see Eluned Anderson, a regional ambassador of the Holocaust Educational Trust, saying, “The First Minister of Wales should not be sharing a platform with members who have been expelled from the party. The damn state of this.”

Yes indeed – look at the “damn state” of her comment. A man goes to an event to raise the profile of an idea that will improve the lives of millions and she’s bleating because somebody else will be somewhere nearby. Pathetic.

Then there’s swivel-eyed John Haywood, a Labour councillor for Ringwood North in Hampshire, which is nowhere near Wales so we may conclude that he doesn’t know Drakeford or have any qualification to comment on him.

He’s the origin of the catchphrase “Trot jamboree” that has been taken up by the press: “Very very disappointed that Mark Drakeford is on the bill at Twit Festival, which is basically a Trot jamboree taking place in Brighton at the same time as UK Labour party conference.“

For the record, not a single Trotskyist person or organisation has been invited to the event.

Next up: Wales Against Antisemitism: “Why does Mark Drakeford, as First Minister of Wales, think it appropriate to speak at this event, given antisemitism controversies involving many of his fellow speakers?”

I wonder whether this straightforward guilt-by-association smear would provide enough grounds for Ms Winter and Mr Standing to sue for libel.

These attacks are repellant and so are the people making them. They are indicative of the worst kind of political opportunism – accusing people, not because of something they have done, but because of unsubstantiated accusations against completely different people who won’t even be at the event.

(Or at least, we have no reason to believe that Jeremy Corbyn or Ken Loach will be at the talk. It would be nice if they were, though.)

Of course there has been an online backlash from people who seem to be more mentally-balanced.

Here’s a very pertinent comment:

How do the creepy extremists listed above feel about Starmer and Nandy attending a “Trots convention” alongside people who may have been excluded from the party since they were there.

That’s enough reason for Starmer and Nandy to be excluded, isn’t it? According to current Labour disciplinary practices, that is.

Ah, but here’s a possible explanation of why that is unlikely to happen:

Well we certainly can’t accuse Starmer or Nandy of socialism!

There has also been a lot of straightforward support for Drakeford, from people who want to hear what he has to say:

Yes indeed.

Ultimately, this could be interpreted, not as an attack on people who have been accused of holding controversial views – but an attempt to silence a progressive idea.

In attacking Drakeford, these swivel-eyed loons are dragging the idea of Universal Basic Income into disrepute – again, by “guilt through association”. Is that the real agenda?

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Young Labour joins ‘Trots Jamboree’ after Starmer’s general secretary cancels their conference

Keir Starmer (left) and his right-wing ACTING general secretary David Evans: they’re doormats to any right-wing organisation that wants to attack Labour, but have no problem attacking left-wing young people.

A new event has been added to the programme of The World Transformed – the left-wing political festival running alongside the Labour Party Conference this year.

Youth Rising for Palestine will take place on September 28, between 3-4.30pm, sponsored by Young Labour and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, in what can only be a bitter humiliation for Keir Starmer and his unelected general secretary David Evans, who – it seems clear – tried to prevent the event from taking place at all.

The event’s blurb states: “May 2021 saw thousands of Palestinians killed by Israeli air strikes in the Gaza strip, in the wake of a wave of protests against violent evictions in Sheikh Jarrar and across occupied Palestine. In response to these attacks, millions mobilised across the world in solidarity with the people of Palestine, including the largest ever UK solidarity demonstration in London attended by overwhelmingly young people. But it is not enough to protest in the streets when thousands of Palestinian lives are lost. As the Israeli state ramps up its regime of apartheid and occupation, while the British political establishment seeks to suppress Palestinian voices and those acting in solidarity with them, how can we build on the explosion of youth-led organising we’ve seen this year to build a long-lasting and cross-generational UK solidarity movement?”

You can see how this would upset Starmer, who has aligned Labour firmly with apartheid Israel through his fawning subservience to the Board of Deputies of British Jews – which has itself just admitted its own strong ties to the Israeli Embassy; apparently it is not a UK organisation but an arm of the Israeli government that is being used to influence UK politics.*

I’m not the only person to see it this way. Consider:

How was Young Labour forced to take its event outside the Labour Conference? It’s quite complicated, but I’ll try to take you through it painlessly.

Events had been unfolding for many months but we only found out about them yesterday (August 31) after Young Labour co-chair Jess Barnard finally gave up trying to reason with Starmer (who never responded anyway) and Evans – who, it seems, was more interested in exercising powers he doesn’t actually have:

Right – so Young Labour were told they would not be allowed to hold their annual event this year, even though the Labour Party is required by its own rules to host it. Already, Evans was breaking party rules.

If he had provided a reason – even one as flimsy as Covid-19 (it wouldn’t work because then he wouldn’t be holding a full conference) – it wouldn’t have been as bad, but he simply didn’t bother.

Okay, so Evans at least promised to provide more resources for a Young Labour presence in the main event. Did he?

No:

You read that right. YL provided all its required information months ago and was ignored until yesterday – August 31 – when Ms Barnard was given the excuse that the party had “no capacity for due diligence checks” until September 20.

To me, it looks like Evans (and Starmer?) found a reason to want YL’s events cancelled – quietly and without any nasty publicity. Why would they want that? Read on…

Is the picture clearer now? YL wanted to host an event with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Evans (and Starmer?) wanted to put a stop to it. But they didn’t want to be seen to be stopping that particular event, so they created an excuse about “due diligence” checks.*

Ms Barnard, at least, is still willing to work with the Labour leadership…

… but I fear any hopes she has are forlorn.

One reason for this feeling is the arrival of a journalist named Oliver Kamm (I had never heard of him either). After Ms Barnard tweeted her thread, he responded with the comment below – claiming that Young Labour is anti-Semitic and wants to see a second Holocaust.

There is, to This Writer’s knowledge, absolutely no evidence to support such a wild claim, so Ms Barnard’s response is entirely understandable.

And take a look at Alex Tiffin’s comment.

Where are Starmer and Rayner (and, for that matter, Evans)? Nowhere to be seen. Now, why on Earth would they not want to defend their elected Labour Party representative? And isn’t it a dereliction of duty that they have said nothing about this?

Fortunately a few other people have chimed in to have their informed say. Personally, I have no knowledge of this Kamm person so must rely on their information:

Fortunately, given all of the above, it seems certain that the following tweet will prove inaccurate:

So that is the reason Young Labour will be co-sponsoring an event at so-called “Trots’ Jamboree” The World Transformed – alongside the PSC. I wonder if Jeremy Corbyn will attend.

This Writer has no doubt that it will be a much more worthwhile use of your time than whatever vapid puff of hot air will be put up by Starmer’s mob at that time. When’s his leader speech?

Meanwhile, I can only agree with the following two tweets…

… and endorse James Foster’s words of encouragement to Young Labour members who will be attending the conference:

*Or so it seems to This Writer.

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Doubletalking Johnson pollutes the skies with plane trip to Cornwall, then prattles about ‘Greener Britain’

Hypocrite: Boris Johnson on the boarding ramp of the plane he took from London to Cornwall, talking about creating a “greener” world after causing five times as much pollution as if he had just taken the train.

Once again, Boris Johnson humiliates everybody in the UK before the leaders of the world.

He said he will ask fellow G7 leaders to contribute to creating a “greener” world – but travelled to the meeting at which he’ll do it in an aeroplane. The short flight from London to Cornwall created almost five times more greenhouse gas emissions than the equivalent train journey would have, according to the government’s own emission figures.

Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard said the stunt was “plane stupid” and This Writer agrees with him.

I stated in a tweet: “Typical doubletalk from Boris Johnson – claiming to be building a greener Britain while undermining it.”

Others were less charitable:

“The windup artist for the One Per Cent”? It’s a good point.

If the world is to reach “jet zero” emissions, how many of the flights that ordinary people take will be cancelled?

And how many flights taken by the super-rich, and by politicians like Johnson, will also be cancelled?

I’m willing to bet that the answers to those two questions are as follows: Many – and none.

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Derision for Liam Fox as he’s knocked out of race to lead World Trade Organisation

Liam Fox: bye bye.

Tory joke candidate Liam Fox has been knocked out of the race to become director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

According to the Torygraph, the former international trade secretary was eliminated before the last of three rounds to replace Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down a year earlier than expected at the end of August, so

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee will go head-to-head to become the trade body’s first female director-general

The reaction has been what you might expect, considering the person involved.

Fox was forced out of an early David Cameron cabinet for letting a friend of his, Adam Werrity, into confidential defence meetings and taking him on foreign junkets.

He has since crept back into Tory cabinets and was Theresa May’s International Trade secretary.

But he is widely held to be another inept Tory fool.

So the reaction to his WTO failure was clear:

Despite his abject ineptitude, Fox seems to be one of the survivors of the modern Tory Party, having managed to hang on in Parliament and in government circles for the last 10 years and more.

Let us hope this finishes him off and he retires to the obscurity he so richly deserves.

Source: Liam Fox knocked out of race to lead World Trade Organisation

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