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Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air

How many people were on the Peoples’ Vote March for Populism?

The People’s Vote March was about walking for another referendum  – this one intended to upset the result of the EU referendum. On June 23, 2016, 17.4 million voted for Britain to end its membership of the EU; 16.1 million wanted Britain to remain. How many people were on the streets of London in support of giving us another go? The number matters to the protestors because  – get this – this was a march for populism:
 

500,000

 

“Hundreds of Thousands”


 

200,000.


 

At least 100,000

Says: The New European

“Upwards of 100,000” people were on the march, says the paper of Remain.

 
“About 100,000”

Says the: Guardian

 

the peoples vote march numbers

 

50,000

Says: Xinhuanet:

Early estimates put the number of marchers at 50,000, but organisers said it had swollen to double that as more joined in the protest.

 

No. It was 50,000.

 
Tens of Thousands

Says: Radio New Zealand

Tens of thousands of people have marched in central London

 
Thousands

Says: BBC:

Thousands march for ‘people’s vote’ on final deal

The headline figure of 100,000 was provided by anti-Brexit group Open Britain, which organised the protest.
 

How many – you can count:

Posted: 23rd, June 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Hitler blinks: Trumps revokes child abusing immigration policy

Looks like ‘Hitler’ had a rethink. President Donald Trump has rescinded a policy that separates children from their undocumented parents in migrant detentions. The outcry was understandable over children being isolated in “cages” and “tender age shelters” while their parents were jailed and prosecuted for illegal border-crossing. US immigration officials tell us 2,342 children were separated from 2,206 parents between 5 May and 9 June.

“It’s about keeping families together,” said Mr Trump as he put his big felt tip to the latest decree. “I did not like the sight of families being separated.” The “zero tolerance policy” of criminally prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally remains.”I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it,” he added. “We don’t like to see families separated.”

We especially don’t like to seem them split up by uniformed men and women on the telly. This was cruelty manifest. The pressure built and Tump blinked.

And what of the view we’ve seen? Brendan O’Neill watched TV anchor Rachel Maddow shed a tear as she told her MSNBC views of children in tender-age shelters in South Texas:

Maddow began to weep. She turned away from the cameras and asked her producers to flash up some graphics while she regained her composure. Cue an outburst of social-media solidarity. ‘I’m weeping too’, virtually everyone said, for what’s the point in weeping these days if you don’t tell everyone about it? The unrecorded tear is a wasted tear in our narcissistic era.

…Ms Maddow and the army of online emotionalists who live-tweeted their weeping alongside hers somehow managed to maintain eyes as dry as the Sahara during far worse things done by previous administrations.

Where were their sobs when Obama and Clinton’s misadventure in Libya not only killed… 27 women and children but also contributed to the destabilisation of Libya and to the exodus of more than 600,000 Libyans? … Why didn’t they cry when Obama ramped up the deportation of Haitians in 2016? ‘Natasha Joseph’s almond-shaped eyes brim with tears as she cradles her pregnant belly’, started one report about a Haitian woman who was thrown out of the US while her husband was imprisoned in Arizona. Her husband would not witness the birth of their child. Shattered Haitian families don’t deserve public weeping, it seems. Because the shattering was done by politicians these people admire.

So what to do? If in doubt, troll the opposition:

 

 

The children deserve compassion. The oneupmanship is nasty. It’s not the Holocaust. Right? Michael Hayden, a retired Air Force general who ran the National Security Agency as well as the CIA, is no historian:

 

The story is worked into a frenzy. Swathes of people are monstered. Fact are blurred. Idiocy prevails. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an architect of the “zero tolerance” policy, told us why Hayden is wrong. “It’s a real exaggeration,” says Sessions said on Fox News, “because in Nazi Germany they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country.”

Did anyone in the US study history?

But the Nazi analogy is apposite, right? MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough says the Trump administration is “just like the Nazis”.

To miss the parallels in what our government is doing today, you would have to be blind. It’s there in the way that Donald Trump invokes the boogeyman of MS-13 to justify the imprisonment of children too young to tie their shoes. It’s there in the stories of detainees who have no idea where Homeland Security has taken their children, and have no way of finding out.

Yes, our government is only rounding up human beings, not executing them or burying them in mass graves. But the roots of that evil are there — they have, to an extent, always been there. Does it need to flower into something truly monstrous before we recognize it for what it really is? Hitler also did things by degrees, nipping away at freedoms and piling one small indignity on top of another. That has been the strategy of the Trump administration: first racial insults, then stepped-up enforcement, then the wall, then the cage.

The cage? The Washington Post and National Public Radioset out to find the child cages. They found none.

Meanwhile… immigration. What are you going to do about it? “They could be murderers and thieves and so much else,” the president said on Monday. “So we want a safe country, and it starts with the borders. And that’s the way it is.”

The New York Times said this year: “Some migrants have admitted they brought their children… because they believed it would cause authorities to release them from custody sooner… Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing.”

What to do?

Posted: 21st, June 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Accusing every man of murdering Eurydice Dixon is pathetic and demeaning

When Eurydice Dixon was raped and murdered in Melbourne, Victoria, she went from private individual to public property. Daniel Andrews, premier of Victoria, thought it wise to take to Facebook and opine at length:

’Eurydice Dixon was 22 years old. She was an aspiring comedian. Smart, funny. She lived in the inner north. Surrounded by friends.

She had a phone.

She was using it: “I’m almost home safe.”

She was keeping an eye on her surroundings. Looking out for herself. Being responsible. Doing everything we expect.

But Eurydice did not make it home safe.

In a few days, women across Melbourne will gather in Princes Park for a vigil of her life.

And they will do so firm in the knowledge that Eurydice died because of her attacker’s decisions – not because of her own.

They’re right. And we need to accept that fact, too.

We’ll never change a thing until we do.

We’ll never change this culture of violence against women. All women.

We’ll never change the fact that one woman in this country dies every week at the hands of a partner or former partner – someone they loved, in the safety of their own home.

We’ll keep asking “Why didn’t she leave him?” instead of asking “Why did he hurt her?”.

We’ll keep asking “Why was she alone in the dark?” instead of asking “Why was he?”.

We’ll keep ignoring the real problem, instead of actually fixing it.

So our message to Victorian women is this: Stay home. Or don’t.

Go out with friends at night. Or don’t.

Go about your day exactly as you intend, on your terms.

Because women don’t need to change their behaviour.

Men do.’

If male Australians really think violence against women is ok, and all men must accept their share of the blame for the heinous crime, why is there so much upset among men at the death of Eurydice Dixon? Why can men be blamed – millions and millions of them – for the actions of one man? You begin to wonder who has the problem. Andrews is at pains to be the wokiest bloke in the chamber. But laying the blame for this appalling crime at the hands of all men and a country’s culture only excuses the actual criminal and recasts all women as victims.

NOTE: Men are perpetrators and victims:

A 2005 report released by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), Homicide in Australia: 2003 2004 National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) Annual Report found that:

36 per cent of homicide victims were female and;
49 per cent of female victims were killed as a result of a domestic altercation (as compared to 15 per cent of male victims).

Domestic violence is a doubly cruel crime, leaving the victim with nowhere to run. But it’s not all men. To say it is demeaning.

Posted: 19th, June 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Labour Live Workers Beer Company refuses to help Corbyn organise a piss-up in a brewery

Turns out we it was no joke about Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party being unable to organise a piss-up in a brewery. The Observer has the last laugh on labour Live, aka Jez Fest:

There was no visible revolt over the fact that half the crowd had coughed up £35 for their entry and the other half had been bussed in for free after the Labour party started desperately giving out tickets to make up the numbers. The growing sense that the leadership should not be reliably left in charge of party organisation at a brewery was compounded by the fact that the Workers Beer Company refused to provide keg versions of its product, because they were “reserved for high-volume events”.

First stop a field in North London. Next stop the entire country…

Moe highlights here.

 

Posted: 17th, June 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Middle-class nightmares: Guardian readers panic over post-Brexit au pair shortage

Brexit matters trouble the Guardian’s readers as they made their way to Jezfest, aka Goodstock. What would it all mean for au pairs? One of the most-read stories on the Guardian’s website begins: “Au pair shortage sparks childcare crisis for families.” This from the paper that mused: “Is au pairing the new slavery?” and “Au pairs on a pittance: the young women minding kids.” And so to the looming Brexit disaster for the Guardian’s caring readers:

Many families are facing a childcare crisis following a 75% slump in the number of young Europeans willing to work as au pairs, as Brexit, plus other factors such as last year’s terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, deter young people from coming to the UK.

May, June and early July are when most au pair placements are arranged, before the beginning of the school term in September, but Guardian Money has learned that some agencies are unable to find a single young European for British families to even interview.

Or to put it another way not versed in the paper of the knowing liberal who outsources child rearing on the cheap: ‘Brexit ends au pair slavery’; and: ‘Brexit ends scandal of teens minding other kids.’ Says the paper, at pains to assure readers that an au pairs shortage affects not only middle-class professionals who can’t afford full-time staff:

While families who have an au pair are often characterised as well off, agencies say many are “ordinary” people such as doctors, nurses, firefighters and academics who work long hours, have long commutes or do not work nine to five, which means breakfast clubs and after-school clubs often do not benefit them. An au pair can be an affordable alternative to employing a nanny.

Since when did GPs and university dons become anything other than middle-class and wealthy? Does the Guardian really think GPs – average wage: £100,000 per annum – are anything but well off?

Maybe it does? And maybe if Brexit happens their kids will have to put their own plates in the dishwasher? The horror!

Posted: 17th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, Money, News, Politicians | Comment


Labour Live: the highlights of Jeremy Corbyn’s Goodstock Festival

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Live Festival was  terrific fun. Let’s see what you missed as Corbyn continues his drive to turn a mainstream party into a fringe movement:
 

John McDonell sings Find The Magic Money Tree:

 

Clean Bandit Don’t Need No Educashun

 

 

Jeremy Corbyn front The Average White Band (Diversity No-Mix)

 

Transforming the World one rubbish dance at a time

 

The Electric Light Orchestra

 

Marx & Spender

 

If You Build |it They Will Come (the journalists; the local Labour MPs, the people with free tickets, the security…)

 

The Hacks

 

The Handlers


 

Brexit Means whatever Jeremy Corbyn Thinks You Want It To Mean


 

A Cultural Exchange


 

Your Mum…

 
His Mum…


 

Our Father (Ted)

 

Organising a Piss-up In A Brewery

 
Next week: The Women’s Institute.

Posted: 17th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Narcissism saves 30m North Koreans from nuclear destruction

Baseball caps off to Donald Trump. It turns out that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un want to make America great again. The paid had “a really fantastic meeting. A lot of progress” says Donald in that manner he of saying things like he’s heard the words for the first time. It’s why he says everything twice, isn’t it, because after guffing out the words the first time he tries to work out what they mean so repeats it. If the first peroration gets a cheer, he might say it three times. So how was it, Don? “Really very positive,” he explains. “I think better than anybody could have expected. Top of the line. Really good.”

And now after the tea and the handshakes, the other guys and gels – “my people”, as Don calls them – will sort out all the details, you know, the stuff about nuclear weapons, trade, human rights, lots of tanks aimed at South Korea, repatriating the dead and other odds and sods. And that’s to say nothing –  and nothing was said – about North Korea trading with the EU, the US or even UKplc, North Korean students being able to study overseas and the general opening up Mr Kim’s  hermetic camp. But let’s not split hairs. North Korea back in the fold of international relations is good thing. Its people will get richer.

 

trump kim north korea

Many papers lead with a photo of Trump looking like gameshow host – Mr Kim, Come On Down! ‘You wanted peace but… you got a prawn cocktail. Hard cheese! Or more like no cheese at all, or meat or much food for your people of any sort.’

 

In case you missed it, this is the document Don and Kim signed:

1) The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity

2) The US and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula

3) Reaffirming the 27 April 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

4) The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

 

The media is the message, right? Don’t sweat the details because life will take care of those. The doings will out. So Trump can denigrate his predecessors. Only he can do it the right way. And maybe you can do if you stay tuned, buy the book, watch DVD and work out if the 30m people – that’s the number Trump said he was saving – can be saved from obliteration by the power of narcissism.

 

 

Posted: 13th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Kim Yong Un can’t pay his hotel bill

This is an amusing little story which illustrates how the absurdity of economic sanctions can worm their way into the society at large. Kim Yong Un – you know, fattie who runs North Korea – we’d rather like him to be at a summit where we can all talk through how we’ll beat him up unless he gives up those nuclear bombs. Yet he can’t turn up because he can’t find a place to stay:

Just one day after President Donald Trump announced the US-North Korea summit is back on, the US and Singapore are looking for ways to bear the cost of Kim Jong Un’s accommodation, including the North Korean leader’s preference for a five-star, $6,000 a night hotel.

The Washington Post reports that paying for North Korea’s accommodation during the June 12 summit would conflict with US Treasury Department sanctions and require a waiver to be signed to temporarily bypass them.

North Korea can’t pay the bill. Because that would mean the hotel taking money from North Korea and that can’t happen because of the sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions existing because of the Big Bad Bomb problems.

Kim’s trip to Singapore, which would be the furthest he would have travelled as leader, has posed a number of logistical challenges for White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin and Kim’s the de facto chief of staff Kim Chang son.

Although Mr Hagin is open to footing the bill, US Treasure Department sanctions require a waiver to be signed before America can pay for his luxury stay, the Washington Post reported.

America can’t pay the bill because that would mean spending money on Kim Young ‘Un. Something they’re not allowed to do because of the sanctions. You know, the sanctions over the Big Bad Bomb problem. The Big Bad Bomb problem we’d like to sit down and discuss with Kim Young ‘Un.

I admit to finding all of this amusing. Although not quite as amusing as something that happened a couple of decades back. I was doing business with the government of North Korea. No, it’s OK, it was legal back then. They had to issue a letter of credit – it’s a promise to pay, backed up by a bank that there really will be payment – and their bank refused to issue one. It wasn’t for a lot of money, not a lot for a country that is. $250,000. But their bank – one in Singapore as it happens – refused to issue it on the grounds that North Korea didn’t have that much money.

Who knows, maybe it’s not about sanctions now, perhaps they just don’t have the cash?

Posted: 8th, June 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


John Prescott is a Clint Eastwood look alike

In the Times news that Hollywood politician and actor Clint Eastwood looks a lot like John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister:

 

clint eastwood john prescott

 

Clint Eastwood, of course, only pretended the punch people in films. Prescott, however…

 

Posted: 1st, June 2018 | In: Celebrities, Politicians | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn has “antisemitic views” says Jewish expert

Corbyn anti-semitism

The Mail’s photo choice is interesting

 

Jeremy Corbyn has “antisemitic views”. So says Jonathan Arkush. Arkush is the outgoing president of the board of deputies. He says the Labour Party leader “has views which are antisemitic, and he has problematic views”. Arkush tells the Daily Telegraph that British Jews are asking: “Do we have a future here?”

Under a country governed by Corbyn: yes, of course Jews will continue to live in the UK. One remarkable characteristic of Jewish history is the persistence with which they are persecuted. Some Jew always stays on to light the lamp, denying Mohammed and Jesus’s claims of divine destiny by waiting for the true Messiah. Will derelict synagogues in London, Leeds or Manchester become stopping points on tourists walks, like those in India, Cuba, Morocco, Turkey, Iraq, the Czech Republic, Syria, Italy and all other places where the Jews were dispossessed and expelled? Will the country under Corbyn do its bit for the deep history of Jewish victim hood? No. Well, not yet.

The future for British Jewry might not be a vibrant one. Better, of course, if British Jews become the right sort of Jews. But Arkush does not speak for all British Jews, even if the Mail does bill him as ‘The Tribe’s’ “chief”. The bilge that ethnic minorities in the UK have ‘community leaders’ who speak for their kind sticks in the craw. Don’t lump us all in together. Don’t divide us into groups. You don’t need to be Jewish to see that Corbyn’s Labour has a little problem with Red Sea Pedestrians. Arkush speaks for himself. And we can listen. Jews, after all, are often rather good at spotting Jew haters.

“He was a chairman of Stop the War, which is responsible for some of the worst anti-Israel discourse,” says Arkush. “If he shares the prevalent discourse about Israel, then that view is unquestionably antisemitic… I think we are all entitled to some clarity on his real views about Israel.”

Corbyn is too nuanced and slippery to let the electorate know his real views on much. But he does have a spokesman to tell everyone that Arkush comments are “personal attacks without any evidence to support them… Jeremy has been absolutely clear that he is a militant opponent of antisemitism and is committed to driving it out of our movement.”

He is? Got any evidence of anything he’s done to prove it?

“Jonathan Arkush’s attempt to conflate strong criticism of Israeli state policies with antisemitism is wrong and undermines the fight both against antisemitism and for justice for the Palestinians,” the spokesman adds. “It should be rejected outright.”

Rhea Wolfson, a member of Labour’s national executive committee, is shocked by the comments. Her words take up half the Guardian’s story on the matter. The paper offers no words in support of Arkush’s view. “Jeremy Corbyn is not antisemitic, he does not hold antisemitic views,” Wolfson tweeted. “I cannot understand what Arkush is trying to achieve here but I know it isn’t about being constructive.

“Jonathan Arkush has never spoken for me, for many other young, progressive Jews, and he doesn’t in this article. We have a lot of work to take a lot of poison out of the debate… around Israel and Palestine, making blanket accusations isn’t constructive and doesn’t move towards a better debate or solutions.” So much for Corbyn being militant. It’s a debate he wants.

The Guardian story is headlined: “Jeremy Corbyn’s views ‘could drive Jewish people from UK’.” So if you’re a bigot, vote Jez, right? The paper finds no space to report what Arkush also said. This from the Tele:

Mr Arkush said: “We have always felt Britain is a generous, fair-minded, exceptionally tolerant, mutually respectful country where Jews have been secure, well accepted and in return they have contributed vastly.

“That is why I am so troubled that, particularly in the last few months, there is an increasingly widespread question asked over the dinner table – which is, do we have a future here, and what’s that future going to look like? In its current, widespread form, it is very new.” Asked if he attributes this new anxiety in the community to Mr Corbyn’s leadership, he said: “Yeah. I do.”

You do wonder how any British Jew can vote for Corbyn, or, indeed, be a member of the Labour Party he heads. But it takes all sorts to make a ‘community’. And – get this – not all Jews are the same.

Posted: 31st, May 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Jermy Corbyn backed ‘catrastrophic’ Scottish Independence says MP

Is Jeremy Corbyn  rectionary? SNP Mp Mhairi Black says the Labour Party leader told her he was backing Scottish independence during a private conversation. Corbyn says Scottish independence because it would be “catastrophic” for Scotland.

The Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP tells the HuffPost:

“He has had unelected lords in his cabinet. He’s had scandal upon scandal, and don’t get me wrong, I get that there is a whole lot of backbenchers against Jeremy, but he has sold his soul. He has sold out in terms of austerity. He has sold out in terms of Scottish independence – because I know that he doesn’t believe the things he says about independence now.”

Asked directly how she knew Corbyn supported independence, she said: “From talking to him.”

Labour say the story is nonsense.

In other news: Corbyn says Scotland “holds the keys” to him getting into power.

Ubiquitous pollster Sir John Curtis told Sunday Politics Scotland:

“The truth is if the SNP vote were to go up a couple of points at the next election, Labour’s chances of getting an overall majority are significantly diminished. If the SNP vote just falls a couple of points and the Labour Party are doing roughly where they were last time, then Labour’s chances improve significantly.

“So, Scotland is now absolutely central to the battle for power at Westminster, particularly as far as the Labour Party is concerned.”

Is the SNP strigrring? Does Corbyn simply agree with whatever popular position gets him the most votes?

Posted: 7th, May 2018 | In: Politicians | Comment


Racism is only unacceptable if McDonnell and Corbyn notice it in Pendle

The story of the Tory and the racist joke features Pendle Council, Lancashire, and Rosemary Carroll’s return to the Conservative party’s ranks. In July 2017, Carroll was suspended from the Conservative Party for sharing a joke on Facebook. The Lancashire Evening Post added a dash of tautology and called the joke “racist and derogatory”. Council leader Mohammed Iqbal made an official complaint and called for Carroll councillor to be expelled from the Council and the Conservative Party.

Pendle Tory leader Coun. Cooney acknowlegded the “racist post which had been shared on Facebook by one of our councillors” and stated: “We will not tolerate racism of any form.”

By now you want to know two things: what was the joke and what happened next? Well, the Daily Mirror reproduces the joke. Most other newspapers and the BBC do not. Indeed the BBC says: “Tories urged to act in ‘racist joke’ row at Pendle Council,” the broadcaster unsure what is racist. Without the joke, the story is lacking. Here it is:

“I took my dog to the dole office to see what he was entitled to. The bloke behind the counter said ‘you idiot, we don’t give benefits to dogs’. “I argued ‘why not? He’s brown, he stinks, he’s never worked a f***ing day in his life & he can’t speak a f***ing word of English’. “The man replied: ‘His first payment will be Monday’.”

Nasty stuff.

Carroll spoked to LADbible. Her apology contained a blend of sympathetic back story and the caveat now routine in all apologies, the one that places the onus on the recipient and their reaction, ‘if I have caused offence’. She said:

“It was a mistake, obviously, somebody posted it to me and I thought I was deleting it. I don’t use Facebook much. Everything has gone over the top now. It was a genuine mistake. I can only apologise, because I am not racist by any means. All I can say is, if I’ve caused offence, I am truly sorry. I don’t do stuff like this and have closed that Facebook thing.”

In May, Carroll rejoined the Tories.

Tory leader Paul White says Ms Carroll had “learned form her mistake”. Mohammmed Iqbal says:  “They should have done the decent thing and distanced themselves from her. I’m appalled. The suspension was a gimmick.”

Carroll’s return was timely. In the council elections, the Tories won control of Pendle council by a single seat. The Conservatives control Pendle with 25 seats, ahead of Labour’s 15 and the Liberal Democrats’ nine.

And then the story got bigger. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said it was “unacceptable” for Carroll to return. “To have the Conservative Party take control of that council by reinstating a councillor who used the foulest, foulest joke, a racist joke is unacceptable,” he said.

If Carroll’s return is wrong is – and argue amongst yourselves if it is – is it also wrong for Naz Shah, Jeremy Corbyn and others accused of racism to be in the Labour Party?

Shah was John McDonnell’s PPS. Shah is the Bradford West MP – and what if her job gave the Labour Party an overall Commons majority? – who shared on Facebook the idea of “transporting” citizens of the world’s only Jewish state (that’s Israel, not New York) to the middle of the USA. Having called for a country to be obliterated and “foreigner” Jews forcibly relocated away from what many see as their ancient home, she added the comment “problem solved”.

The JC added: “Shah also posted a tweet with a link to a blog which claimed Zionism had been used to ‘groom’ Jews to ‘exert political influence at the highest levels of public office’.”  The BBC adds: “A number of other posts emerged, with her comparing Israel to the Nazis and saying ‘the Jews are rallying’.”

Nasty. Labour suspended Shah. But she apologised, kept her job and her salary. After a brief suspension (a little over 3 months), Shah was back.

Former Labour major of London Ken Livingstone is still suspended by Labour. He said Shah’s comments were “rude and over-the-top” but not anti-Semitic – even though Shah accepted it was and apologised. And then he doubled down, opining: “When Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

John Rentoul noted:

Livingstone’s refusal to accept that he had ever come across anti-Semitism in his 47 years in the Labour Party. And hence his refusal when pressed on the BBC’s Daily Politics today to accept that Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, whom he invited to London and who wrote that “every Jew in the world” should be fought by “every Muslim”, was anti-Semitic because he had never said anything anti-Semitic to him.

Back to Jeremy Corbyn, then, of whom Nick Cohen writes:

Corbyn invited Hamas and Hizbollah to Parliament and called them his ‘friends’. Bear in mind that Hamas’s Charter is explicitly genocidal – it makes it clear its supporters want to kill Jews and repeats Nazi conspiracy theories. Their founding Charter also rules out any peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestine problem. It says:

Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad.

See a pattern?

Ben McIntrye has a good article in the Times on why Livingstone is no historian:

The suggestion that Hitler backed the idea of a Jewish homeland underpins an association between Nazism and Zionism that is fundamentally antisemitic. It is also wrong. “You can’t expel someone for stating historical fact,” Livingstone insists. But his claim is not a fact: it is a distortion of history, a defence of the indefensible that has undoubtedly emboldened antisemites within his party, leading to the current meltdown…

The Haavara Agreement was really just one more way of ethnically cleansing the Jews from Germany and taking their wealth. The idea that it represented any kind of support for a Jewish homeland, a central tenet of Zionism, is ludicrous and a deliberate perversion of its real import…

The idea that the Holocaust was due to the onset of “madness” on Hitler’s part is also wrong, reducing a programme of collective evil to an act of insanity on the part of one man. Hitler’s genocide was not the unexpected policy of a lone madman but premeditated, rational by Nazi logic, and purely wicked.

The oldest trick in the book of cornered politicians is to claim to have been accused of something they have not been accused of, and deny it. “I did not say Hitler was a Zionist,” the former London mayor said. “And that was why I was suspended.” Again, not true: he was punished because he claimed Nazi “support” for Zionism, a more subtle insinuation and a misreading of historical fact.

After Livingstone’s comments, things escalated. The Times again:

John Mann, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, branded Mr Livingstone a “Nazi apologist” in a confrontation outside a TV studio that was captured live on camera. Mr Mann is reported to have called him a “f***ing disgrace”.

When the party released a statement early in the afternoon to announce Mr Livingstone’s suspension, a spokesman added that Mr Mann had been summoned to see the chief whip about his conduct.

Michael Dugher, Labour MP for Barnsley East and a former frontbencher, said that announcing the actions at the same time represented “drawing some kind of moral equivalence between John Mann and Ken Livingstone”.

“Yet again they’ve prevaricated because it was another of their close allies up to their necks in antisemitism again,” Mr Dugher said.

Is any of that “unacceptable” to John McDonnell?

In January, we got more:

On Saturday, International Holocaust Memorial Day, Mr Livingstone, 72, a former mayor of London, appeared in a programme called Has the Holocaust been exploited to oppress others? on the Iranian state-owned channel Press TV.

He said that Hitler had worked with the Zionist movement to move Jewish people to Israel: “He worked with the Zionist movement to move . . . to get 60,000 to go, but it was about half a million — and then he changed his policy and went for genocide.”

The presenter, Roshan Muhammed Salih, told viewers that Mr Livingstone, who has been suspended from Labour since April 2016, had been “targeted by the Zionist lobby here in the UK”.

You know who else used to appear on Press TV? Yeah: Jeremy Corbyn who used to present a show on the channel – although since Labour was exposed as haven for anti-Semites, traces of Corbyn’s journalism seem to have vanished from YouTube.

 

Corbyn mural east london

Corbyn and ‘Yvonne Ridley’ – someone of that name also used to present a show on Press TV  – both voice their support for an anti-Semitic mural in East London.

 

If Rosemary Carroll’s return to the Tories is “unacceptable” to Labour – she underwent diversity training and apologised;  Shah went on a “journey” of self-discovery and apologised fully; Corbyn says of supporting a huge painting of Jewish bankers sat on the backs of naked workers, something the Guardian says “resembled a homage to the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer”, “I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on.”

Labour only notices racism when it’s not about them and everyone else is pointing at it.

Posted: 7th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


UKIP vows to return the county to the Middle Ages

 

UKIP is going to kill you. Kill your first born. Kill everyone you love. Following a hammering at the polls, UKIP’s General Secretary went on the BBC’s Today programme, telling Nick Robinson about the party’s plans for a dramatic return to the fore:

“Think of the Black Death in the Middle Ages. It comes along, it causes disruption then it goes dormant. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

Sod all that guff about UKIP turning the clock back to the 1950s or even the 1930s – it’s the 1340s.

Image: Rats dancing at the time of the plague. Oil on canvas by an unknown Flemish artist, 17th century.

Posted: 5th, May 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Only bigots and fools think Jews lost Barnet for Labour

According to the Indy, the Conservatives won control of Barnet Council in north London because “Labour was punished by voters for the antisemitism controversy”. Er, no.

Also wrong is Owen Jones, who writing beneath the hopeful headline “The biggest election threat facing Labour is complacency”, tells Guardian readers:

“Westminster, Barnet and Kensington and Chelsea are all Tory citadels in the capital that have never surrendered to the wooing of Labour.”

Jones’s long and monocular story tells of Tory “chaos” over Windrush and makes a single mention of all that anti-Jew hatred in the heart of Labour’s ranks:

Barnet, in north London, is home to Britain’s biggest Jewish population, many of whom feel angry about, and fearful of, the left’s antisemitic fringe.

Fringe? Is Jeremy Corbyn now on the fringe of the party he leads?

Jones might also like to read this letter in the Guardian:

Labour took control of the council in 1994 with the support of the Lib Dems, remaining in power until the election of 2002. From 1997 until 2010, it returned two Labour MPs: Rudi Vis (Finchley and Golders Green) and Andrew Dismore (Hendon). Not so “otherworldy” then.

Having reduced Jews from individuals with their own likes, dislikes, needs, contradictions and prejudices to a group who vote en masse – what racism? – the Indy adds:

Labour was widely expected to win the borough for the first time since the local authority was created in 1964. London Mayor Sadiq Khan had predicted the party would “probably” claim victory but admitted fears about left-wing antisemitism could damage their campaign.

Depressing stuff, no, not least of all because the narrative goes that only Jews give a toss about anti-semitism at voting time. Is Barnet the only borough where race hate is punished by voters? Can it be that everywhere Labour won is a haven for anti-Semites?

Barnet’s Labour group leader Barry Rawlings tells us:

“…to be honest most of the conversations have been about potholes rather than antisemitism. That said, we want people to know it is an issue we take very seriously in the Labour Party.”

No. You don’t. Anti-semitism is not something Labour takes seriously. Of course, if the Guardian and Indy are correct, only lots more Jews in lots more wards would force Labour to censure Jew baiting and Jew hatred in its ranks. But thinking that way is to fall into the trap of Jews losing Barnet for Labour.

Council leader Richard Cornelius, a Conservative councillor, also said voters were generally more concerned about “local issues” rather than accusations of antisemitism within Labour.

“It’s things like potholes, the collection of their rubbish bins and keeping the council tax low,” he said.

Most people didn’t bother to vote at all. Voter turnout in Barnet 43.7% – an increase from 41.1% four years ago. Sod the Jews – it’s apathy that prevented a bigger Tory win.

 

2011 – census

 

And how many Jews are there in Barnet? The census tells us:

Garden Suburb in Barnet was the most populous Jewish ward in 2001, even though it has grown since, it has been overtaken by Golders Green, which has increased by a third in a decade.

JPR [ Jewish Policy Research] now puts the number of Jews in Golders Green at 7,661 – which is considerably higher than the 6,795 people in the ward who identified themselves as Jews by answering the religion question in the census.

Not all that many, then. Although many don’t want their thoughts and aspirations to be calculated and sieved through race:

JPR has adjusted the total by adding the estimated number of Jews from among people in the ward who did not answer the religion question. In fact, JPR demographer David Graham has found that in wards with large Jewish populations, the number of residents overall who omitted the religion question was 9.3 per cent — more than the 7.2 per cent who left it blank across the country as a whole.

 

Total Barnet population*, 2001–2016

Total Barnet population, 2001–2016 – Via

 

What about non-Jews?

According to the 2011 census, by religion, Christianity is the largest faith in Barnet accounting for 41.2% of the total population. The next most common religions are Judaism (15.2%) and Islam (10.3%).

Drop those flaming torches and stand down the hunt, Corbynists. It wasn’t the Jews wot wunnit for the Tories in Barnet. It’s doubtless comforting for Corbyn and his supporters with their adherence to the reductive and patronising power of identity politics to view Jewish voters as a ‘community’ best managed through lunch with a ‘community leader’, but people are individuals. Labour lost and the Tories won for as many reasons as there are voters.

 

Posted: 4th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Mahmoud Abbas: Jews to blame for Holocaust

The anti-semitism accepted as normal in the upper echelons of Arab politics is echoed in the anti-Semitism rife in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. So when Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told a meeting of the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah that the history of European Jewry was written by “Jewish Zionist authors”, we cock an ear to find out what the Labour leader and some of his more avid supporters might next retweet. Abbas then turned his mind to the Holocaust.

“But why did this used to happen?” he asked. “They say, ‘It is because we are Jews.’ I will bring you three Jews, with three books who say that enmity towards Jews was not because of their religious identity but because of their social function. This is a different issue. So the Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury [money-lending] and banking and such.”  So that’s why the Germans and their allies murdered my family of farmers and bookbinders. Oh, he also said of Ashkenazi Jews – Jews from Germany and north-eastern Europe: “They have no relation to Semitic people.”

Having said that Jews deserved the Holocaust because they are rich, mean, cheating [insert antisemitic tropes here], the the man BBC has called a “moderate” rides high on the news cycle.

Abbas has form. In January the self-styled historian opined: “The Jews did not want to emigrate even with murder and slaughter. Even during the Holocaust, they did not emigrate.” True enough. The cattle trucks never did stop at Jerusalem on their way to death camps. The ghettos never were on the bus route to The Promised Land.

Jonathan Freedland notes:

At a push, you could imagine someone justifying such a view by noting that tension between Jews and their neighbours in Europe was fuelled for centuries by antisemitic laws that banned Jews from owning land, excluded them from key professions and forced them to engage in financial activity religiously forbidden as “usury” to Christians. But Abbas didn’t say any of that.

Mehdi Hasan gets it:

And:

In 1982, he published his doctoral dissertation that claimed the death toll of the Holocaust was exaggerated and alleged that Zionist leaders worked with the Nazis. The dissertation formed the basis for a 1984 book titled, The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.

Writing in the Times, Ben McIntyre looks at that idea in light of Ken Livingstone’s claim Hitler supported Zionism until he “went mad” and suddenly decided to murder millions of them:

The suggestion that Hitler backed the idea of a Jewish homeland underpins an association between Nazism and Zionism that is fundamentally antisemitic…

…it was a way of expelling Jews. Before settling on the Final Solution, the Nazis attempted various methods of solving the “Jewish problem”, including forced relocation, eviction, “encouraged” emigration and confiscation of possessions. In 1940, the Madagascar Plan envisaged relocating the Jewish population of Europe to the French colony…

Far from nursing any positive feelings towards a Jewish homeland, let alone supporting Zionism, he [Hitler] had made his loathing apparent back in 1925 in Mein Kampf, inveighing against the Jewish “spiritual pestilence”.

Here’s Abbas building bridges and pushing for peace:

 

Posted: 2nd, May 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


John Kelly: Trump’s an idiot (and Moon Jae-in agrees)

All that guff about Donald Trump single-handedly bringing peace to the Koreas via the power of tweeting is cut through by Chief of Staff John Kelly who has, reportedly, referred to his boss as an “idiot”.

The news that North Korea and South Korea are moving towards peace and unification is joyous. But while the selfless Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, gets on with the hard work, not least of all appealing to a wary electorate at home, Tump thunders: “KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!”

Moon understands who he’s dealing with, which is why he thinks Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize: something shiny, lucrative and prestigious is what Trump really craves. Peace in Korea is nice, but you can’t hang it about your throat.

And maybe Kelly knows Trump, too. The NBC News checks eight present or former White House staffers as sources for its scoop. You might laugh. Don’t. Last week, Michelle Wolf’s monologue “called bullshit on the role laughter has been performing in Trump’s America”. ‘

Here’s an excerpt (via):

The officials said Kelly portrays himself to Trump administration aides as the lone bulwark against catastrophe, curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. He has referred to Trump as “an idiot” multiple times to underscore his point, according to four officials who say they’ve witnessed the comments.

Three White House spokespeople said they don’t believe it’s accurate that Kelly called the president an “idiot,” adding that none of them has ever heard him do that or otherwise use that word.

Officials said Kelly’s public image as a retired four-star general instilling discipline on a chaotic White House and an impulsive president belies what they describe as the undisciplined and indiscreet approach he’s employed as chief of staff. The private manner aides describe may shed new light on why Kelly now finds himself — just nine months into the job — grappling with diminished influence and a drumbeat of questions about how long he’ll remain at the White House.

Not long.

Posted: 1st, May 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Right-wing tabloids use Piers Morgan’s impotent tool to bash Diane Abbott

As the Government inches towards its removal targets for people unsuited to their environment – farewell, Amber Rudd – the Press look around for the next scalp. They spot Diane Abbott, the Labour shadow home secretary. The Sun thunders “DIANE DISASTER “, zooming in on Abbott’s “car-crash interview” with TV’s Piers Morgan. Lest the paper’s position be unclear, it adds: “The disastrous interview came after the resignation of Amber Rudd as Home Secretary.”

Says the Sun:

Pressed on the [illegal immigration] issue, Ms Abbott refused EIGHT times to lay out exactly what her solution would be if she got into power.

As ever, the non-event on mid-morning telly between Paxman-lite and Blinky hits Twitter:

 

 

The Mail analyses the facts.

Diane Abbott refuses SIX TIMES to say what SHE would do with illegal immigrants in her latest car crash interview

We know journalists are rubbish at sums but surely the Sun and Mail can decide if Morgan repeated himself 6 or 8 times? (The Mirror says it’s 6.) You can watch the video of the chat if you can stand it – but you might wonder if repeating the same line of questioning is more vainglorious balls than an actual attempt to get an answer. But the poor questioning and the non-answer gets the headlines – no fewer than three times on the Daily Express website:

STORY 1: “What is Labour immigration policy? Piers Morgan frustrated as Diane Abbott fails to answer”

STORY 2: “‘You couldn’t give me a straight answer’ Morgan hits back at Abbott after fiery TV clash”

STORY 3: “Piers Morgan Twitter: Good Morning Britain star continues HEATED debate with Diane Abbott”

Good to see the country finally having a sensible debate on immigration – not.

Oh, go on, here it is.

 

Posted: 30th, April 2018 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Michelle Wolf didn’t go far enough

Michelle Wolf’s standup gig at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner on Saturday night was joyous. Wolf’s most memorable comments were pointed at press secretary, Sarah Sanders, and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

 

michelle wolf

Smoke roasted

 

Not everyone shares Wolf’s sense of humour. White House adviser Mercedes Schlapp and her husband, Matt Schlapp, who chairs the American Conservative Union, left early. The man with the ear of the most powerful man in the free world later tweeted about a stand-up comic: “Enough of elites mocking all of us.”

You set ’em up, Matt and Mercedes. We’ll knock ’em in.

Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable,” wrote MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski.

Sanders looked unimpressed. What did she expect? If you can take Wolf’s voice, which should be bottled and sold as a contraceptive device, listen in:

Did Wolf go too far?

 

 

That bit about the “smokey eye” is nasty. But Jean Hannah Edelstein tells Guardian readers that “Wolf was in fact complimenting the appearance of Sanders’ makeup”. Yeah, right… (Rolls eyes.)

Posted: 30th, April 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Labour kick out an alleged antisemite; Corbyn stays

A mere 22 months after the incident, Marc Wadsworth has been expelled from the Labour Party. The Momentum activist made comments at an antisemitism event – no, not a rally for Labour anti-semites, although Corbyn’s Labour could fill a large venue for that do; Wadsworth clashed with Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth at the launch of Labour’s inquiry into antisemitism. You’ll recall that Labour invited Shami Chakrabarti to investigate the rampant Jew hatred in its ranks. She joined Labour, discovered a “minority hateful or ignorant attitudes and behaviours” and was made a Labour peer and shadow attorney general. What looked like a duck, walked like a duck and quacked like a duck was a dead ermine, said Shami admiring her new robes.

But the Labour Party’s Jew haters kept popping up. Being antisemitic in Labour was not rare at all. Things came to a bit of a head when something finally stuck to nuanced and slippery Jeremy Corbyn, who admired a massive public artwork, an artwork Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson called “a horrible anti-Semitic mural”. Corbyn wanted it kept on display. The local Labour mayor thought it revolting and ordered it to be painted over.

Corbyn, who was at the launch of the party’s antisemitism drive, was filmed on camera talking with Wadsworth at the event. Both deny being antisemitic.

One paper stirred the pot, reporting:

A video has since emerged showing the Labour leader laughing along with Mr Wadsworth as they exit the launch. Mr Wadsworth can be heard saying: ‘You saw what happened.’ Mr Corbyn replies: ‘Yeah, I did.’

It’s here – but there’s very little to it. Leader meets fan might be the better description of the happening:

 

 

Wadsworth denies any wrongdoing. He says today:

“I deplore anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, Islamophobia and all forms of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination that I have campaigned against all my political life and will continue to do so.

“With my brilliant legal team, who won the arguments hands down, I will be looking at all my options to legally challenge the decision.”

The Guardian outlines the case:

Wadsworth came to prominence after he challenged Smeeth at the launch of Shami Chakrabati’s inquiry into antisemitism in 2016, accusing her of working “hand in hand” with a Telegraph journalist.

Smeeth has said she was reduced to tears by his remarks. Wadsworth, who was distributing flyers at the event, has said he did not know Smeeth was Jewish.

The matter was heard by the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), Labour’s top disciplinary body. Says Labour:

“The NCC has found that two charges of a breach of the Labour party’s rule 2.1.8 by Marc Wadsworth have been proven. The NCC consequently determined that the sanction for this breach of Labour party rules will be expulsion from membership.”

The rule states that “no member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party [including actions] might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age; disability; gender reassignment or identity; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation… racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or otherwise racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions, sexual harassment, bullying or any form of intimidation towards another person on the basis of a protected characteristic”.

Labour MPs, Chris Williamson and Clive Lewis gave character references for Wadsworth. Lewis said people “do not get to be judge, jury and executioner when it comes to who’s expelled or not. Go read a history book about what happens when an accusation equals evidence.”

Smeeth is pleased – but makes no specific mention of antisemism:

 

But is it over? Is it there? Ken Livingstone, currently suspended from Labour over remarks linking Adolf Hitler and Zionism, tells LBC today:

“I’m not discussing anti-Semitism until after the election is all out the way because it is a complete diversion. We had this last year in the run-up to the local elections then. We had it two years ago in the run-up to the election of Sadiq Khan. It didn’t damage us at the last two local elections but it is a complete diversion.”

 


 

 

And on it goes in Corbyn’s Labour…

Posted: 27th, April 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Trump and Melania join the crown green bowls club

trump melania woman

 

When Donald Trump and Melania were welcoming the French President and his wife, the First Couple opted to wear flannels and thereby best absorb some of drooling Macron’s copious amounts of salvia (see hands, faces, necks – the guy gets rid of best he can but we’ve started to notice; he’s almost resorted to licking people).

Previously:

 

melania white

 

Spotter: @waathepies.tv

Posted: 27th, April 2018 | In: Politicians | Comment


Ed Miliband’s speech writer says Jews have no place in Corbyn’s Labour Party

Is being a Labour Party member compatible with being a Jew? That’s a rhetorical question. It isn’t. At least it isn’t for the wrong kind of Jews. Jamie Susskind, the lawyer son of futurologist Richard Susskind (The End of Lawyers?) who has written speeches for former Labour leader Ed Miliband and is a former chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club, has resigned from the party. Membership to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is an “insult” to his heritage. He accuses Corbyn of “erecting a bureaucratic shield for anti-Semites in Labour”. It’s all about deference to Party process with slippery and nuanced Corbyn.

Susskind has posted his resignation letter on twitter:

 

 

I’m amazed more have done the same.

Posted: 26th, April 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Arf, Arf – Nigel Farage’s Kids Have German Passports

A lovely little story producing giggles among the Remainaiacs – Nigel Farage’s kids, the very kids of that arch anti-EU campaigner, have German passports. As well as their UK ones of course. This is, of course, producing more than a little mirth.

Nigel Farage has admitted two of his children have both British and German passports, which would allow them to take advantage of free movement rights post-Brexit, but insisted they feel British rather than European.

Nigel’s second wife is German, her children gain German citizenship that way. So far, so not funny. But that Farage’s second wife is German allows a little explanation of Ukip itself and the Leave campaign which led to Brexit. I can be trusted as a source on this, I used to work for Ukip, directly for Nigel, even stood as an MEP candidate for them.

We’ve no problem at all with Europe. In fact, rather like, even love, the place. The wines, the food, the people, the other countries, why not, many of them are fabulous (and then there’s Belgium of course, the rudest word in the known universe). Why wouldn’t we like all these things – and I speak as someone who lives in Portugal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 19th, April 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Corbyn exposed and isolated by Labour’s anti-Semitism problem

David Lammy told us that “when you lie down with dogs, you get fleas”. The Labour MP was talking about the ordeal faced by the Windrush children, transformed from British citizens into criminals by a lazy and callous immigration policy. Lammy was linking that story to what he sees as Tories pandering to racist right-wingers and Brexit. What, then, does he think of his own party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who has called Jew-haters his “friends” and presided over a Labour Party rife with anti-Semitism? Ever the nuanced and slippery figure, nothing really stuck to Corbyn, not even the fleas. Until something did.

When Corbyn made a Facebook comment about a hideous mural in East London, the story shifted from being about his Jew-hating “friends” to his own prejudices. Corbyn offered his support to the mural’s artist, which many of us consider to be anti-Semitic in tone and subject. The then Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfar Rahman, ordered council officials to “do everything possible” to remove the mural, arguing that “the images of the bankers perpetuate anti-Semitic propaganda about conspiratorial Jewish domination of financial institutions”. But Corbyn liked it and wanted it to remain on view.

That was 2012.

 

Corbyn mural east london

Corbyn and who could be his fellow former Press TV presenter Yvonne Ridley both like the mural.

 

In 2018, Corbyn said he should have looked “more closely” at the massive mural that covered the entire end of a building – the mural he now finds to be “deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic”. Corbyn said “sorry” for not having studied the content of the mural more closely”. Tom Watson, Corbyn’s deputy, called the artwork a “horrible anti-Semitic mural”.

 

 

Hugo Rifkind adds:

Corbyn is also reported to have been a member of two Facebook groups, and perhaps a third, where such things were widespread. Did he never look closely? Above his comment is one by Yvonne Ridley. This, presumably, would be the journalist Yvonne Ridley, who once wrote that David Miliband was “a gutless little weasel who lost more than his foreskin when he was circumcised”. She also used to host a show on the Iranian PressTV on which Corbyn was a guest. Did they never speak? When Corbyn speaks of the “pockets within the Labour Party” in which antisemitism has occurred, what he leaves out is that, for the first 30 years of his career, these were the pockets he was in.

Yesterday, Labour’s antisemitism problem was debated in the Commons. Dame Margaret Hodge, 73, the Labour MP for Barking and the daughter of Jewish refugees, told her peers that she felt like “an outsider in the party I have been a member of for 50 years… I have never felt as nervous and frightened as I feel today at being a Jew. It feels that my party has given permission for antisemitism to go unchallenged.”

 

 

Luciana Berger, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, said: “I have no words for the people who purport to be both members and supporters of our party, who use that hashtag JC4PM [Jeremy Corbyn for prime minister], who attacked me in recent weeks for my comments; they attacked me for speaking at the rally against antisemitism… who say I should be deselected.”

Ruth Smeeth, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, read out a message she’d received:”First job for Jeremy Corbyn tomorrow, expel the Zionist hag bitch Ruth Smeeth.”

Tom Watson was not sat by Corbyn at the front – he moved from his usual spot in the Commons to sit between Berger and Smeeth. He sees the problem. Do you?

Here’s Labour MP John Mann. He gets it. People are scared. Anti-semitism is rife. If you acquiesce to it, if you make anti-Jewish comments, if you don’t speak out when you hear it, if you turn a deaf ear to it, if you don’t think it’s worth bothering about, you’re wrong. It’s dangerous:

 

Posted: 18th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Windrush children only became visible when they became criminals

At what point do you realise that the country thinks you’re worthless? Asking for a friend who came over to the UK on the Windrush on June 22 1948. The British government of the day invited her family to work in the country. They accepted the invite, and came across the Atlantic Ocean in search of better lives. In 1971, Commonwealth migrants were given indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

 

windrush rudd may

 

My friend and many like her are now being offered the chance to return from whence they came decades ago and have never returned to since – or else. The British government has been rounding up these workers from the Commonwealth.

Michael Braithwaite is 66. He’s lived in the UK since he was nine. If time spent in the country is a measure of citizenship, Mr Braithwaite is more British than Prince Harry and Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary. Last year. Mr Braithwaite, who worked as a special needs teaching assistant, lost his job. He was branded an illegal immigrant. ‘Albert Thompson’ (not his real name; he wants no publicity) has lived in Britain for 44 years. He was offered the chance to produce a British passport or pay £54,000 for his cancer treatment. He didn’t have the money nor the passport. So he went without. He was evicted from his home and spent three weeks homeless. Paulette Wilson left Jamaica when she was 10. She’s lived in the UK for more than 50 years. She was employed at the House of Commons, where she served food to MPs. Aged 61, the State threw her into Yarl’s Wood detention centre for a week and told she’d be deported. At the last moment, someone finally listened to her and she won a reprieve.

These people’s crime was to have never applied for a British passport. In its haste to clamp down on immigration, the Government decreed that all  migrants in search of work, housing or benefit must provide documents. But the Windrush children who arrived here on their parents’ passport and never applied for their own. This presented them with a hideous problem. From being British citizens they were are the stroke of a pen turned into criminals. Guilt is assumed. They have to prove their innocence. They must do this by showing official documents for each year of their stay in the UK.

Amber Rudd has now apologised for this horror. After much asking, Theresa May has finally has only just agreed to meet with Commonwealth leaders to discuss the matter. Until last Friday, the Government’s advice was for anyone worried about deportation to speak with a lawyer, placing the onus on the innocent to find the time and money to make right the Home Office’s egregious error and demeaning oversight. Hiring lawyers is often stressful and expensive – the cost becomes prohibitive when you can’t earn money.

But now Amber Rudd says she’s sorry. She says her department “sometimes loses sight of the individual”. Nonsense. They only do that when the individual doesn’t matter. They didn’t lose sight. They never saw them to begin with.

Rudd’s set up a task force of 20 Home Office wonks to help her notice people who have lived and worked in the UK for decades. That’s how valued my friend is  – Rudd needs 20 people to notice her contribution to the country. She only became visible when the State wanted to make an example of her and send her ‘home’.

Posted: 17th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment