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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


John McDonnell will bankrupt the Tube and there’s no such thing as a free market

No sooner has John McDonnell outlined his ambition to renationalise energy, rail and water than news reaches us of a shortfall. The Guardian notes:

Transport for London (TfL) has insisted it is not facing a financial crisis despite planning for a near £1bn deficit next year after a surprise fall in passenger numbers.

Mr McDonnell told BBC Radio 4’s Today earlier:

“It would be cost free. You borrow to buy an asset and when that asset is producing profits like the water industry does, that will cover your borrowing cost.”

The assets make the profits. The profits pay the bills. What about if people alter their behaviour?

He went on:

“We aren’t going to take back control of these industries in order to put them into the hands of a remote bureaucracy, but to put them into the hands of all of you – so that they can never again be taken away.”

But bureaucrats will still run the entity, albeit ones appointed by the State, right? Who are they accountable to? How does anyone get redress for poor service? Is McDonnell seeking to serve taxpayers best or just tying to give meaning, direction and authority to the State?

“Public ownership is not just a political decision, it’s an economic necessity. We’ll move away from the failed privatisation model of the past, developing new democratic forms of ownership, joining other countries, regions and cities across the world in taking control of our essential services.”

So you take over the London Underground, and budget accordingly. And then there’s a £1bn deficit. Which means..? As Ronald Reagan put it in 1986: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

 

 

But business has never been independent of the State. What of PPI, regulation and subsidies, which rather dampen the idea that immense profits are being made? (In 2006-7, the Government spent £6.8 billion of public money in the the privatised rail industry – around half what it cost to run the entire thing.) What of Government calls for curbs on executive pay and vows to “fix the broken housing market”? So much for the free market.

Tony Blair told us “Stability can be a sexy thing”. Theresa May wants to be “strong and stable”. They seek to maintain the status quo. Doesn’t that add up to the established businesses and their links to Government rolling on and on and not entrepreneurship, the best of which is often triggered by volatility and daring?

McDonnell’s monocular and forgetful call for re-nationalisation has not come out of the blue. It’s just an addendum to current and recent Government policy and a crisis of purpose.

Posted: 15th, February 2018 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Money, News, Politicians | Comment


After Grenfell: John McDonnell suggests Camden Council is guilty of attempted murder?

John McDonnell says the Grenfell Tower disaster was “murder”. The shadow chancellor says the victims of the horror in west London were “murdered”. He says the dead were “murdered” as a “direct consequence of Tory attitudes to social housing”, cuts to fire brigade numbers and political decisions made over “decades”. As such the guilty should be charged with murder, no? And the likes of Camden Council leader Georgia Gould, where residents have been forcibly evacuated from tower blocks swaddled in flammable cladding similar to that used at Grenfell Tower, should be arrested for attempted murder, right?

Camden Council is run by Labour. The cladding on its estate in Swiss Cottage was installed in 2006, under Tony Blair’s Labour government. It’s good to see that McDonnell is not biased in his call for justice. In his judgement, Tory and Labour members are all guilty of murder. Lock ’em up. And the LibDems, too, after all they formed the coalition government. And let age be no barrier to justice. Go back over those decades when mass murder was fomenting in politicians’ warped hearts, and lock up anyone still alive. Strip honours from the dead.

McDonnell’s judgement that the dead were “murdered” is at least hasty. The deaths of 79 innocent people were not designed and arranged. Georgia Gould’s decision to evacuate the towers in her area was not because she experienced a change of heart about murdering scores of people. Thousands of people who advised and worked on cladding tower blocks with dangerous substances are not part of a huge conspiracy to murder. If they are, they are being remarkable silent.

McDonnell makes get play of speaking up for the victims. But we know how little politicians think of the great unwashed by their attitudes to Brexit. When the working classes and poor voted for change, they were called thick. David Lammy, who lost a friend in the Grenfell fire, wanted the Brexit vote undone by the politicians, you know, those people who knew best about social housing and used their nous to commit “murder” in a decades-long plot. “We can stop this madness’: London MP David Lammy calls on Commons to overrule Brexit vote and ‘end nightmare’,” ran the headline. As one writer notes: “Lammy has pushed himself to the forefront of politicising Grenfell. He wants to be a voice for the voiceless. We must be a society where ‘we care for the poorest and the vulnerable’, he says. This is the same David Lammy who following the first June disturbance, following Brexit, devoted himself to overthrowing the voice of the voiceless.”

Politics matters, but let’s not put too much faith in politicians.

Meanwhile, it turns out that every council block cladding checked since Grenfell has failed fire safety tests. So far 60 of 600 blocks have been tested. And what of the insulation behind the cladding? No news on that.

Posted: 26th, June 2017 | In: News | Comment


Man of the Establishment John McDonnell wants mass protest to bring down the Government

We should like it that John McDonnell speaks his mind. The shadow chancellor wants people to “get out on the streets” in support of Labour, to force Theresa May from office and to further the cause for another General Election and with it what he hopes will be victory for his Labour Party.

“We need people doing everything they can to ensure the election comes as early as possible,” says McDonnell. “What we need now is the TUC mobilised, every union mobilised, get out on the streets,” the Shadow Chancellor said in comments reported by the Morning Star. “Just think if the TUC put out that call – that we want a million on the streets of London in two weeks’ time.”

 

Brexit Labour

Via Private Eye

 

McDonnell, who went on to talk about his “comrades” in Labour, has much form when it comes to saying what’s in his head. He refused to apologise for calling Esther McVey a “stain on humanity”. “Sometimes it is better to be honest with people about how you feel,” he said. “At times, in parliament in particular, it means using strong language that reflects your honest views.”

I’m no fan of McDonnell, his calls for revolution mask a man steeped in conformity, who wants a society funded on taxation and welfare.

I enjoy his call for protest, a cornerstone of any democracy. But does a raucous protest – Occupy, anyone? – do anything other than gain media attention? The suspicion is that McDonnell, an MP and with that job title a member of the Establishment, would rather the marchers and Left presented themselves as victims of oppression than as active agents in a fight for meaningful change. If you can’t win through political argument – and twitter is wrong; Labour lost – you call for those already on your side and with time on their hands to get together and hope that being there is enough.

 

Posted: 15th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment