Friday, 31 July 2020

Thank God We didn't Elect Jeremy Corbyn!

Statement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson who you can follow on Twitter here.

Good afternoon, Britain, I, Prime Minister Boris, um, Johnson, am proud to be addressing you on this fine day in my usual erratic style of placing emphasis on random words in a failed attempt to display gravitas.

Today is a proud day indeed, for my leading scientific adviser (Dominic Cummings) says we have finally succeeded in getting the "R" number back to one. While many of you may be concerned about the coming death toll, I would like to assure you, our measures are protecting the profits of Wetherspoons and other companies. This is one of the reasons the people of Manchester are not allowed to invite friends to their gardens, but are absolutely welcome to meet them in the local pub. In difficult times, we need a leader who can make tough decisions like sacrificing the plebs to safeguard corporations. My only regret is that we locked down at all.

Many of you have pointed out the disproportionate number of Covid-19 deaths among BAME communities, so I must clarify this is entirely their fault. If the letterboxes and piccaninnies followed my government guidelines (which were ignored by Dominic Cummings), they would all be alive today, probably. Remember, the next time you see a brown person, yell: "The pandemic's all your fault, you foreign bastard!" 

Please don't consider for a second, the enormous contribution BAME people have made to the NHS and care services. It's like World War 2 all over again - we will demand they make sacrifices and give them no credit whatsoever.

During the pandemic, Britain has unfortunately experienced the worst excess death toll in Europe at around 80,000 so far. Now remember, as leader of this country, I bear absolutely no responsibility for this catastrophe. None whatsoever. No one could have seen this coming, not even the scientists who repeatedly warned us to stock up on PPE and lockdown earlier. 

It is an unfortunate circumstance that Britain was one of the last countries hit by Covid and had one of the longest periods in which to prepare, especially when you consider the pandemic interrupted my holiday in Mustique and the birth of my fake baby.

Imagine someone fucked up so badly at work they killed 80,000 people and almost died themselves from their own carelessness. Now imagine they were greeted as a hero for surviving and the dead were barely mentioned. That's what happened to me and it's why I love this brilliant country. 
Posh, Eton-educated idiots can get away with anything, even genocide, but a leftie can't say the word "peace" without being denounced as a traitor. And rightfully so.
Now if you are one of the few people unhappy with my government's response, just look at New Zealand which is led by loony leftie Jacinda Ardern. They've only had about 12 deaths and all of those unfortunate people could still be alive today, if they never elected a bloody socialist. It's a disgrace. If Britain elected Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, I have absolutely no doubt he would've prioritised science in the same irresponsible way Jacinda Ardern did. Perish the thought.

And let's not forget Jeremy Corbyn is a terrible racist. A racist who's never said anything racist in his whole life, but a racist nonetheless. Fortunately, Britain is led by a man who uses racial slurs like "piccaninnie" and "coon" and leads a party which gave us Windrush and Grenfell. That party leader would be me, of course. Jeremy Corbyn, on the other hand, did unforgivable things like get arrested protesting apartheid.

Please remember, any racism which affects real people in real life is not actual racism. The only racism that counts is the made up kind which we can use to attack the left. And I'm proud to say, we've made up a lot of racism for the Labour Party. Don't dare point this out though, because we'll find one of the real incidents of racism and then call you a racism denier.

Jeremy Corbyn really should've taken a leaf out of my book - instead of introducing tough rules to tackle antisemitism, he should've dismissed the problem like I did with Islamophobia. This is a perfectly acceptable response when a tiny minority of your party (60%) is Islamophobic. Might have been more difficult for Labour though, what with their antisemitic 0.05% of their party.

Labour antisemitism was quite rightly a national scandal, whereas Tory racism doesn't even happen, apart from every single day from our MPs on TV who blame foreigners for everything that we don't blame poor people for.
If Labour were in government now, they would've already bankrupted the country with their crazy spending plans which were actually about 1/10th of my government's current spending plans. Don't worry though, Britain can't go bankrupt on our watch because our billionaire friends are keeping our money safe in Panama. 

This is why it was perfectly fine for the Tories to borrow more since 2010 than every Labour government combined. That's more than all Labour governments in history put together. This is really true according to those lefties at the Office of National Statistics.

If ever there is a major national crisis, I'm absolutely certain the generous billionaires will bail us out. They would never, for example, ask the tax payer to bail them out and then sack their workers anyway. Billionaires are the moral arbiters of our society and that's the way it should stay. 

Thank goodness we have philanthropist Rupert Murdoch to choose our Prime Ministers on our behalf. I dread to think what would happen if the mindless plebs were allowed to make their own decisions. They might start demanding silly things like equality. And remember equality would be completely unaffordable - unlike the £900,000 paint job which made my plane my favourite colours. Jeremy Corbyn would've probably used that money to feed the school kids who raid bins for scraps of food. Bloody idiot.

And let's not forget Corbyn wanted to end homelessness. Just think about that for a moment. If we ended homelessness, the working class plebs would have no one to look down on, apart from foreigners, and they wouldn't have people to fear becoming like, apart from foreigners. 

How would we keep the plebs in their place without the constant fear they might lose their homes? We temporarily ended homelessness during the pandemic, overnight, just like that, and it was horrible. Let's never go back to ending homeless again.

Now I have a vision for Britain. And it's a grand vision. A vision which includes an incredible post-Brexit trade deal with the US to unleash Britain's world beating potential. We just need to get Brexit done and then we can get on with the job of importing chlorinated chicken, which I can assure you is definitely not going to happen. We are not going to lower food standards (just quietly abolish them without telling you). 

I can also assure you the NHS is definitely not for sale. With that in mind, my party voted down a measure to protect the NHS from the US trade deal and negotiations are well under way to sell it off. If anyone talks about this, just denounce them as a traitor who is siding with Russia. (Psychologists call this cognitive dissonance, which is a fancy way of calling you puppets.)

Siding with Russia is what Jeremy Corbyn did. The man is a threat to national security, whereas I only went and culled 80,000 of you because I couldn't be bothered to do my job. It's absolutely treasonous to share genuine documents which proved my government were doing bad things which we promised we weren't doing. I might bring back hanging to stop lefties talking about this. 
My government should be free to receive bribes from Russian oligarchs and sell the NHS without your consent because we're better than you. We went to Eton after all.
Our sense of superiority and entitlement is one of the key reasons you live in a country where children are making soup from stolen tomato sauce sachets. Remember, child hunger is great for generating entrepreneurial spirit. My government has taken the impressive step of housing homeless families in shipping containers which are scorching in summer and freezing in winter. This is a real thing. Google it, if you don't believe me.

Ten thousand children a year are being treated for malnutrition but we simply don't think this figure is high enough. This is why we wanted to starve kids during the summer holidays, but then some footballer called Marcus Rashford went and generated public sympathy for the little scamps. Good grief. We're not supposed to be a caring nation, unless we're lecturing oil-rich countries on human rights and making plans to bomb decency into them.

Clearly, the Tory way is the right way. 

Just think how terrible Britain would be today if you lot defied Rupert Murdoch and thought for yourselves in December 2019. You could've elected a Prime Minister who adopted a scientific approach to Covid-19, reducing deaths by up to 99%. This in turn would've meant all the money we spent on correcting our Covid catastrofuck could've been spent on the Labour manifesto. This would've meant you would've personally benefited, rather than rich people like my friend Tim Martin. 

It gets worse, remember when we ended homelessness overnight? That could have been made permanent. And food could've been made a human right, ending foodbank use and child hunger. Britain could've even focused on saving the world from the climate catastrophe. 

Instead, you can expect to be eating chlorinated chicken in 2021 and paying a very high hospital bill when it poisons you. If you think that sounds bad, just wait until 2022 when you're trapping rats and catching rain water in the post-Brexit apocalypse. If you are fortunate enough to live that long, please remember to tell the last of humanity, it could have been so much worse. We could have elected Jeremy Corbyn.

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Thursday, 30 July 2020

The Weaponisation of Antisemitism

Today, I'm going to discuss the topic few on the left dare discuss for fear of being branded antisemitic themselves: antisemitism.

First, a bit of history. Antisemitism is unquestionably one of the great evils of the world. The Jewish people have faced persecution for centuries and were the main victims of one of the worst genocides of the last 100 years: the holocaust. Even today Jews face horrific abuse, threats and violence. Antisemitism is real, it's found across the world and it's completely unacceptable.

Here's a statement equally as true: in recent years antisemitism has been weaponised by the media and politicians to attack the left. But this is a fact you are not allowed to point out, because if you do, you will immediately get branded an antisemite. It's a new form of McCarthyism.

That's not to say left wing antisemitism isn't a thing, of course. A vocal minority among the left are unquestionably antisemitic. I sometimes see them pop up on my Twitter feed or in a Facebook group, regurgitating the same ridiculous tropes which frankly make them look unhinged. I block and report these idiots on sight, but I suspect they reemerge with aliases whenever their accounts are suspended.

Now if you are one of these people, let's point out a few things: Zionists don't control the world or the banks and when you bring Jews up in every online exchange, it not only makes you look racist, it suggests you need mental help. You're embarrassing yourself and you're embarrassing the left.

Antisemitic tropes are a real and dangerous phenomenon. But a big problem is emerging: the right wing are now overusing the term "antisemitic trope," along with other terms like "Jew baiting". Every time someone criticises Israel or defends Palestine or calls out antisemitism smears, this terminology is used as though it makes the alleged antisemitism a reality. 

The Tory government is even talking of criminalising those who boycott Israel in solidarity with Palestine. Imagine criminalising those who boycotted apartheid South Africa and you can see the problem here. Even more disturbingly, right wing antisemitism is almost completely overlooked, despite making up 70% of all antisemitism, according to the Home Affairs Committee.

I've seen people raise genuine concerns about video footage which apparently shows an Israeli official attempting to bribe UK officials. I've heard no one dispute the footage is genuine and I understand the official in question was subsequently fired. However, people who've raised concerns about whether this means Israel is interfering in our democracy are supposedly "antisemitic conspiracy theorists" and are guilty of the "antisemitic trope" that Jews run the world. That's one hell of a stretch.

No one would call you Russophobic for suggesting Russia might be interfering in our democracy. Well, we have documented evidence Israel might be doing the same. I don't know whether the alleged incident was a one-off or part of a pattern, but sadly we have no way of finding out. The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for an investigation but frustratingly nothing happened. Why do we investigate Russia but not Israel? Is that not a double standard?

The IHRA guidelines on antisemitism state you can criticise Israel as you would criticise another country. Yet in reality you can't criticise Israel without the right screaming "Antisemitic conspiracy theorist!" and the accusation becomes a reality in many people's eyes. Others become terrified of defending you in case they get branded antisemitic too. Indeed, the Board of Deputies demanded Labour members be suspended for showing solidarity with others disciplined for antisemitism - that would be a thought crime.

How is any of this logical? How does any of the above mean you hate Jews for being Jews? Or that you are discriminating against all Jews? Or that by criticising Israel, you are attacking all Jews? Is treating Jews as a monolith not antisemitism itself?

I remember 2016 when Jeremy Corbyn was facing one ridiculous smear attempt after another. You remember - Russian spy, terrorist sympathiser, man who doesn't bow low enough and wears wrong kind of coat. The Labour antisemitism scandal just fell out of the sky with absolutely no build up. Overnight, British newspapers decided Labour was institutionally antisemitic in what looked a very coordinated move, but of course, this must be an "antisemitic conspiracy theory" too.

Suddenly every incident of antisemitism attributed to Labour was Jeremy Corbyn's fault. It didn't matter that many complaints were not about Labour members, or that they dated back to Ed Miliband's time as leader, or that it was not the Labour leader's job to resolve complaints, or that Corbyn inherited a complaints process which he later overhauled. All that mattered was they had a stick to beat socialism with, an excuse to demand the expulsions of anyone they accused. It was that cynical.

Suddenly it was impossible for the left to engage on social media without being called antisemitic. You did not have to make any comment, other than you were left wing and supported Labour or Corbyn. I went through thirty-odd years of my life without ever being called antisemitic, but now it was happening to me several times a day. Bizarrely, Israel, Palestine and Judaism were subjects I rarely, if ever, discussed, and I've actually learnt far more about these subjects since the smears began.

What I found particularly hurtful was I've always felt a strong empathy towards the Jewish people. As a child, I would see the terror attacks in Israel on news reports and my heart would break. I knew virtually nothing of the political situation - I just knew I wanted peace and for the Israelis to live safely. Those were my only thoughts on the matter for most of my life, yet suddenly I was an "antisemite". An antisemite who loves the Jewish people and wants them to be safe.

In recent years I've learnt to feel the same empathy for the Palestinians as I've become educated about their plight. I've discovered the Israeli state has been guilty of human rights abuses, according to the United Nations, and I must as a person of good conscience call this out. This does not make me antisemitic. I condemn violence towards Israelis and Jews just as strongly as I condemn violence towards Palestinians. I get there are no easy solutions, but I just want peace in the middle east and around the world.

I am convinced Jeremy Corbyn feels the same way I do. I am convinced he is a good man who just wants peace and gets vilified for being a socialist and speaking up for Palestinians. If I thought otherwise, I would drop him like a stone.

I note how the good people at Jewish Voice for Labour, an exclusively Jewish organisation for who I have recently written, are often labelled antisemites! They are Jews, but they are the wrong kind of Jews, it would seem. Left wing Jews. This of course is an antisemitic trope. But apparently it's perfectly fine for conservatives to be guilty of those. Indeed, we've seen prominent Tory MPs using antisemitic tropes in Parliament in recent years.

If you are left wing, however, you can't stand in the same room as an alleged antisemite without being guilty of everything they have allegedly said or done. And if you dare suggest an accused person might not be antisemitic, you are now an antisemite. It does not matter that you've never had an antisemitic thought or committed an antisemitic act. Your character is now forever stained because you made a principled stand. A difference of opinion = racism.

People on the left are even facing vexatious litigation when they call out antisemitism smears. I can't discuss individual cases for legal reasons, but you probably know which cases I'm talking about. The ones the media are terrified of touching with any honesty, enabling cynical lawyers to operate with impunity. Lawfare.

No doubt, some conservatives and Labour centrists will use this article as absolute proof I am an antisemite. Indeed, if I was still a Labour member I would probably be suspended for writing it. And yet here I am, still having nothing but love for Jews and all good people on this Earth.

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Twitter Libel Laws must be Changed

Did you know that at present you can be sued, simply for retweeting someone on Twitter or sharing their post on Facebook? Did you know there are now lawyers specialising in doing just that? Lawyers who will trawl the internet looking for any content which is arguably defamatory and then issue legal threats?

At present, you could innocuously retweet a blog post, and if someone feels it contains a single defamatory line, you can be held responsible, even though you never wrote the blog yourself. Even though you may have missed the line entirely, or just had no way of knowing it was defamatory. At present, you can be held responsible for anything you share, even a newspaper article, meaning you are not safe to share without fact checking every element first. Utterly ridiculous.

It gets worse. Celebrities are now apparently using libel as a tactic to silence their critics. They can hire a social media lawyer on a No Win, No Fee basis and take out liability insurance on the off-chance they might lose. The next step is simple: issue legal threats to everyone who has shared the content you disapprove of. Your lawyer can issue an ultimatum: pay us XXX amount of money or risk going to court and losing everything you have.

Libel cases can last well over a year and the legal bills can come to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Unlike the celebrities who are suing on a No Win, No Fee basis, you as the defendant have to raise every penny yourself. If you can't afford to defend the case, you lose by default and any assets you own can go to the other side to compensate them and cover their costs. 

If like me, you have nothing to your name and live on a council estate, the case will dropped due to your lack of means, but if you own something of value, you are in trouble. You might have done nothing wrong. The content you shared might not even be libellous. It doesn't matter. You are now destitute.

Just think of the enormous implications for freedom of speech, freedom to share information, even freedom of thought. The content you wish to share might have enormous public interest, but you currently take a huge risk, just by letting people know. 
Imagine Jimmy Saville were still alive and you wanted to share the details of his unproven crimes. Saville could potentially issue legal threats and stop you in your tracks. 
Our libel laws are designed to protect the powerful and they are among the most regressive in the world. But obviously not every libel lawyer is acting in such a vexatious manner. Sometimes lawyers are arguably correct in pursuing a case, but this leads to the next problem: in law there is the principle the punishment should fit the crime.

Let's say someone wrongly called me a racist or bully and I wanted to sue (not that I would). I may be perfectly justified in doing so, but do the other side deserve to lose their home and car? I would not want to put them through that, when a retraction and apology would suffice. Even if they refused to retract and apologise, I don't feel they should be out of pocket by more than a few hundred quid. 
I get libelled on Twitter almost every day and I wouldn't dream of suing because I have integrity, and I recognise my detractors can make careless comments without being bad people. We all occasionally speak in anger.
My take on social media libel is as follows: No Share or Retweet should ever be considered libellous. Only the original author should be responsible for their words. A retweet to me is no different from handing a newspaper to someone and then being accused of defamation. It's simply not reasonable.

There should be recognition in law that a regular person is not a huge corporation or newspaper with deep pockets. There should be a cap on what an individual is forced to pay out, both in compensation and legal fees. Let's say you make the maximum figure £10,000. That's still a huge amount of money, but it would stop vexatious litigation in its tracks and end disproportionate punishment.

It's worth pointing out vexatious litigation is currently illegal, it's just that if you are a victim, it's almost impossible to defend yourself without very deep pockets or generous friends. This is not justice and it's not democratic. As a result, I've started a petition to change UK libel laws which you can sign here.

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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Jane Heybroek Defeats Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman in Court

In a widely publicised court case, TV presenter Rachel Riley and actress Tracy-Ann Oberman were suing barrister Jane Heybroek for libel. The pair were represented by libel and privacy lawyer Mark Lewis of Patron Law.

The case centred around Jane retweeting a blog post on Twitter which Riley and Oberman claimed contained seriously defamatory content. I understand Riley and Oberman have withdrawn the case and agreed to contribute towards Jane's costs. 

Such are the enormous costs involved in defending libel action, Jane had been raising funds on CrowdJustice and received widespread support on social media, raising an impressive £45,100. I know that Jane was incredibly moved by the support.

I am fortunate enough to know Jane through social media (although not personally) and she comes across as one of the nicest people I have engaged with, so I am thrilled to hear this news. It is just unfortunate the matter went so far and caused distress for all parties involved. Riley had recently been asking her Twitter followers to send her details of actionable libel and I personally hope lessons can be learnt from this unfortunate situation.

For those who want more details about the case, here is a quote from Jane's fundraiser:

"On 14th November 2019 I was served with a High Court defamation claim by television presenter Rachel Riley and actress Tracy-Ann Oberman.

"The Claimants are seeking damages and costs in respect of a retweet containing a link to an article (which I subsequently deleted). The article, by blogger Shaun Lawson (which concerned the Claimants’ alleged behaviour towards a teenage Labour supporter on Twitter in January 2019), was re-tweeted by hundreds of other people, but for reasons best known to the Claimants, I am the only person being sued for a retweet.

"PLEASE NOTE: it is very important that, if you are aware of the subject-matter of the article, you do not comment about it, as it may leave you exposed to legal action yourself."

I must emphasise the last part of this quote. While Jane was successful in court, you could still risk leaving yourself open to court action if you comment on the details of the blog so please show restraint.

Jane Heybroek has issued the following statement. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Statement by Jane Heybroek 

"I am Jane Heybroek, a barrister specialising in immigration work. I was the subject of discourse on Twitter, and reports in the mainstream media, earlier this year, as a result of a libel claim being brought against me by the television presenter Rachel Riley, and the actress Tracy Ann Oberman. I am now able to report that the claim against me has been withdrawn and that Ms Riley and Ms Oberman have agreed to make contributions towards my legal costs. I wish to thank everyone who has helped me in the last 18 months; it will not be forgotten. 

"Ms Riley and Ms Oberman are not personally known to me. Their claim saw them seeking damages and costs in respect of my re-tweet of a tweet by the blogger Shaun Lawson, which contained a link to a blog article he had written about them in January 2019. Mr Lawson’s article, which concerned the celebrities’ alleged behaviour towards a teenage Labour supporter on Twitter in January 2019, had been re-tweeted/shared by hundreds of people. Some of those people were threatened with legal action like me; others were not. Ultimately, despite press reports which suggested as many as 70 people might face legal action, I was the only person who was sued. This was despite the fact that I had deleted my re-tweet before I had even received Letters of Claim. I did not even know how long my re-tweet had been live for. Neither, it seems, did Ms Riley or Ms Oberman. There was no evidence, that I am aware of, to suggest that anyone had read the blog article as a result of clicking the link in my re-tweet. There were also various other ways in which the claim against me could have been (and would have been, had it proceeded) defended. 

"Ms Riley and Ms Oberman were being represented, from the very outset, on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, and had ‘after the event insurance’. This meant that there was almost no risk to them in bringing the claim. Many people would have felt forced to settle for reasons of pragmatism. Whilst I am in a more fortunate position than most, after having spent almost £30,000 by a very early stage, it was clear to me that I would have no prospect of funding my defence to trial without help. I therefore launched a fundraiser on the website, and was overwhelmed by the response which I received. Due to the support of a great many people, I was able to continue to retain leading defamation lawyers, and properly contest the case. 

"I am making this statement for the benefit of those who have supported me emotionally and financially, and to address one other issue. Ms Riley and Ms Oberman’s vocal stance against antisemitism (and perceived antisemitism) has been widely documented, as has their involvement in other legal cases. This claim, however, did not actually involve any allegations of antisemitism against me or indeed Mr Lawson. I understand that Mr Lawson is himself Jewish and that his grandmother was a holocaust survivor. For my part, I abhor all forms of racism. Unfortunately, as a result of the litigation, I was subject of a number of nasty comments from a small minority of people who simply presumed to know what the case was about and what the outcome would be. They were wrong on both counts. 

"Finally, as I have said throughout to those who have supported me, I ask people, for their own sakes, not to discuss the content of Mr Lawson’s article, nor to comment on Ms Riley or Ms Oberman on social media more generally. Notwithstanding the fact that I am a lawyer by profession, this has been a long, and at times, exhausting experience and I would not wish anyone to find themselves on the receiving end of legal action!"

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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Let's make Jeremy Corbyn MP of the Year!

No MP in living memory has done more to fight for the most vulnerable in society and no man has been more vilified as a result. From the anti-Corbyn TV programmes to the newspaper smears to the Labour party "infighting", it's clear the establishment closed ranks to stop Jeremy Corbyn. To stop the transformative Labour manifesto. To stop us from having a kinder and more caring society. But what really galls the establishment is how they failed to defeat both the man and the movement. 

They failed to understand this was always about so much more than one man. It was about fixing a broken society which left people behind and is leading to climate catastrophe. Proof of Corbyn's overwhelming support comes from the recent GoFundMe to help him defend possible legal action. The fundraiser reached £300,000 in just a couple of days. 

The desperate right wing are so afraid of justice, they are trying to get the fundraiser stopped as reported by Skwawkbox. These people need to understand this movement is not going anywhere. Jeremy Corbyn might not be the establishment's Prime Minister, but he is certainly our Prime Minister, so let's make the loudest possible statement by voting for him to become the Patchwork Foundation's MP of the Year.

You can vote by clicking here. Please share this article so we can get as many people involved as possible.

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Tone Deaf Blue Labour MP wants People to Fear Police

During a period where trust in police has fallen to an all-time low among many communities, Blue Labour MP Nick Thomas-Symonds shows he is in touch with his Tory base by calling for police to be even scarier! That's how you rebuild trust with the community, he claims in an interview with The Daily Mirror. Worryingly, this Tory in Labour clothing is somehow shadow home secretary.

It doesn't occur to Nick the rise in violent crime by 42,000 incidents in red wall seats since 2010 might be due to the Tory approach that Nick wants to double-down on. It would seem Nick plans to be a better Tory than the Tories. Good grief. Perhaps Nick might want to ask himself why countries with a gentler community-led approach to policing have lower crime rates. It's almost as if there's a connection.

By all means lock up the hardened criminals - you don't need to use words like "fear" to achieve that. You just focus on investigating the worst offenders. We would all welcome that. But make them fear you? The problem with Nick's logic is hardened criminals will never fear the police. That's why they are hardened criminals. Nothing you can do will change that. And I should know, I grew up around such people.  

In fact, a more aggressive approach to policing would likely place officers more at risk, not less. And the other problem with aggressive policing is that it does not just affect hardened criminals but everyone. My brother was pulled over by police in Florida once and described the officers as complete psychos. Thankfully my brother is white though. You can imagine how intimidating it must be for the black community who fear every traffic stop could be their last. We do not want Britain to go in that direction. No thank you.

Nick says he wants people to feel safe in their communities. The problem is many communities fear the police more than anyone else. Nick's use of the word "fear" is hardly going to instil confidence in them. This kind of language comes at a time we have seen worldwide Black Lives Matter protests over the behaviour of police. The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described protesters as "Totally wrong" for throwing a slaver statue into the river Avon and said he has "No truck whatsoever" with Black Lives Matter. This also comes at a time when Covid-19 fines have been issued disproportionately to the black community - people who've been disproportionately stopped and searched for years. People who are more likely to face prison sentences than their white counterparts for the same crimes.

The mood in Britain right now is for the relationship between the police and communities to be restored, for bridges to be built, not for them to act as terrifying enforcers. That approach has been used across the Atlantic with America's militarised police force and we know where it leads - to mass incarceration and police brutality. While we certainly have those problems in Britain, they are thankfully on a smaller scale. And let's be clear: the language politicians use in so important. When you tell police that people should fear you, that's a step on the road to fascism. 

In Trump's America we are seeing police beat up young women and old men. We are seeing them shoot rubber bullets into the eyes of wheelchair users. We are seeing them execute black men with impunity. We are seeing secret police kidnap peaceful protesters in unmarked vans. Why the hell would Labour even hint at going down that path?

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Monday, 27 July 2020

Elon Musk Expresses Support for Bolivian Coup

In a recent Twitter exchange, Elon Musk replied that "We will coup whoever we want," in response to a comment on the overthrow of Evo Morales. This expectedly sent Twitter users into overdrive with many speculating the US-backed military coup took place to allow Tesla access to Bolivia's lithium reserves.

Here is Musk's Tweet which could, of course, be dismissed as a joke, but what is not so easily dismissed is Tesla looks set to profit from the coup. Musk has not helped himself by further mocking the left on Twitter.

The Bolivia coup was justified by accusations of voting irregularities, but researchers at MIT commissioned by the Center for Economic and Policy Research have cast doubt on those claims. “The statistical evidence does not support the claim of fraud,” wrote the researchers, John Curiel and Jack R. Williams.

If the researchers are correct, then Evo Morales may well be the legitimate democratically-elected leader of Bolivia. Certainly, he maintains widespread support and could plausibly win again if he was allowed to stand in future elections, which is obviously doubtful.

Many believe the real reason for the coup is that Bolivia may hold nearly half the world's lithium supply, estimated by some at up to 45 million tons. The value of lithium looks set to skyrocket as demand for batteries and computer components rises. Tesla's electric car plants need a steady supply of the precious metal.

US mining companies have attempted to gain access to Bolivia's lithium for years but have been met with refusal. Morales instead struck better deals with Germany and China, in effect, looking out for his people's best interests - something which inevitably met with US disapproval. Unsurprisingly, the coup administration immediately invited multinationals like Tesla to start mining Bolivia's lithium reserves.

Morales called the coup an “act of revenge by the United States, which never accepted the loss of control of the Bolivian lithium market in favour of Chinese and German companies.”

The interim President only received 4% of the popular vote at the last general election and has postponed elections three times since seizing power, leading to calls for mass demonstrations. It would certainly appear Jeanine Áñez has no legitimacy, but as she is friendly with US mining companies, you can expect a double-standard from western leaders. Dictators are considered fine if the west can loot their country's resources.

Evo Morales' Movement Towards Socialism party is expected to win the coming November elections, if they are allowed to go ahead this time, but there are fears the party could be disbanded by the interim government. They have already barred Morales from standing and he is currently in exile in Argentina.

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Piers Jackson

The Clash memorably put a stark decision forward, and though the song was to do with a human relationship, it has a deep resonance for me in political terms.

Relationships are two way. When you respect, and are respected, love and are loved, then there is a sound base for moving forward. To me, politics is a relationship. You can observe from the edges, criticise or applaud, or become involved more deeply when something radically changes.

That radical change happened in 2015 when Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party. For many years I didn’t really understand politics, however I knew what I believed to be right, and so I voted Labour since 1974, although I was aware enough to know that nothing was perfect. The 70s were a time of upheaval and finally led to the election of Thatcher, a destructive force whose legacy is now coming to the fore with an extreme right wing government.

Although voting Labour for 46 years, often wondering why I did as no one except Michael Foot spoke to my political ideals, I kept what may be viewed as a misguided faith. Until 2015.

I was living in France when I joined the Labour Party and when I moved back to England I transferred my international membership to my local CLP. I helped as far as I was able to campaign in the 2017 election and in 2019 too. Paid my subs and was happy to do so for a sensible set of policies that could have started to redress the balance of inequality in our society.

So, we lost the election. And now, discovering the lengths to which right wing Labour MPs (see chicken coups) and admin staff at Labour HQ went to to smear and discredit their leader, I had to decide whether this was my party or not, and if I should continue to pay them through my subs.

Everything I have learnt since has contributed to my decision a few months back. There is a fetid stench of corruption and entitlement in the extreme right wing of the Labour Party. And indeed for those who call themselves “centrists”. They are not. They are Tories but pretend not to be and should continuously be called out.

I appreciate and understand the reasons why Labour Party members wish to stay and fight from within. I support their right to do this, and I know that Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and others will stay and fight in their own ways. For that I give them, and all real socialist MPs, my absolute respect.

But I can’t do it any more. I didn’t vote for Keir Starmer as leader but accepted the result as a democratic choice. Then he announced his Shadow Cabinet, packed with the right wing MPs who spent 5 years at least working, in tandem with the mainstream media, at demonising Jeremy Corbyn. Then he sacked Rebecca Long Bailey, someone who has, at least, a socialist bone in her body.

Now we have the Labour “leaks” report, more work on demonising Jeremy Corbyn and the possibility of the Labour Party becoming bankrupt after “settling” with the people who seem to be complicit in bullying behaviour that should have had them thrown out of any organisation. There are many skeletons in the closet of the Labour Party hierarchy that need to be exhumed. Maybe a court case would open cans of worms that they would rather remained buried.

So, should I stay or should I go? I’ve already gone. But I remain a committed socialist looking for a political entity that will reflect my views. The current Labour Party does not.

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Sunday, 26 July 2020

Clement Attlee: A Leader more Radical than Corbyn

When Clement Attlee became Prime Minister on this day 75 years ago, he embarked upon the most radical social programmes Britain has ever seen. It's fair to say Jeremy Corbyn's ambitions were modest in comparison to Attlee's and defied the conventional wisdom of tightening one's purse strings during difficult times.

To put things into perspective, Britain had a budget deficit of 250% in 1945 and much of the country was left in ruins from World War II. Soldiers were returning home to slums at a time when the poor did not enjoy the luxury of healthcare, and things were so bad, food and other essentials had to be rationed.

If ever there was a time for the argument that socialism is unaffordable, it was in 1945. Yet Attlee did not implement the huge cuts in services we've seen over the last decade to clear a 75% deficit, (policies which have seen the deficit rise to 86% by the way), but the man recognised the only way to fix Britain's infrastructure and social problems was through investment, so he defied logic and borrowed and spent his way out of trouble. This period of investment gave us our beloved National Health Service, the welfare state and council houses, and effectively built modern Britain. Resources like coal, electricity, gas, iron and steel were brought under state control, ignoring any hysteria about how this could be paid for. 

During this time, Attlee defied another convention, that of immigrants being a drain on our resources. He welcomed immigrants from across the British Empire on the basis that people who fought for Britain and contributed so much to it, should be considered citizens, and he understood we needed a larger workforce to rebuild. These immigrants - the Windrush Generation - were not a burden on our state, but on the contrary were essential to our post-war recovery. The next time you hear someone condemning immigration, you would do well to remember this.

But surely this post-war idealism must have come at extraordinary cost and hit our economy hard, right? Actually, no, quite the opposite in fact. Attlee achieved full employment and turned that 250% budget deficit into a surplus in just five years. That is what socialism can do for Britain. Just imagine what socialism could do today to aid our recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. 

Don't forget the right wing will use the same arguments today that social programmes are unaffordable because of the difficulties we are facing, not considering that non-investment can prove far more costly in both human and economic terms.

To conservatives and centrists, there is never a good time for socialism, and yet whenever socialism does emerge like in 1945, they are quite happy to celebrate its accomplishments. How many Tories today would dare condemn the founding of the NHS? Attlee's impact created a post-war consensus that made socialism mainstream for decades to come.

It's worth mentioning the moderates of 1945 such as Ernest Bevin and Herbert Morrison favoured very high levels of income tax and nationalisation, putting them even to the left of Jeremy Corbyn, and yet these men were often at loggerheads with the likes of Nye Bevan who they saw as too left wing. It begs the question: if ex-MPs to the left of Corbyn felt the architect of the NHS was too left wing, what on Earth would today's moderates have thought of Nye Bevan? 

Of course, Labour centrists agree with Bevan in hindsight - moderates love to pretend they supported the winners all along. But the truth is that when a socialist arrives on the scene and pushes for radical change, moderates so often push back and tell us how unrealistic those proposals are.

Take today's Blairites who sneered at the idea of universal broadband which Labour offered from a far stronger financial position than Britain faced in 1945 when Bevan created the NHS. If Attlee's manifesto was affordable so too was Corbyn's manifesto. But the instincts of today's moderates put them far closer to the Tory Party than to Labour's socialist roots.

Jeremy Corbyn's leadership style bore strong similarities to Attlee's with his humility and emphasis on collective decision making, rather than the all-knowing approach favoured by Tony Blair - a man who dismantled party democracy to place more power into his own hands. Power which ultimately led to disastrous decisions like two illegal wars which absolutely did not have the approval of the membership. Blair wanted to strip away democratic participation whereas Corbyn wanted to increase it, so who was really on your side?
Nye Bevan once famously said: "The Right Wing of the Labour Party would rather see it fall into perpetual decline than abide by its democratic decisions." I wonder what Nye Bevan would have made of Wes Streeting or Jess Phillips...
Attlee was considered to be more or less in the centre of the Labour Party, yet was more left wing than Corbyn who is described as being on the party's far left. This is a perfect example of how effectively Blair was able to build his neoliberal fifth column and marginalise those who remained true to Labour's core values. Corbyn was never the extremist, Blair was. 

Indeed if Clement Attlee was Labour leader today, those moderates who laud his accomplishments would surely have branded him as an extremist and forced him out, just like they did with Jeremy Corbyn. 

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Why is Tony Blair's Opinion even Remotely Relevant?

Nowadays, the media wheel out Tony Blair out whenever they want a "statesman" to bash Jeremy Corbyn or praise Sir Keir Starmer or demand a People's Vote. It's as though Blair's job is now to steer Labour in the direction chosen by those out-of-touch tossers in the Westminster bubble, and it doesn't matter if his proclamations of Starmer's "electability" are at odds with opinion polls, the media hang on every word of the man they once despised. However, I'm afraid the friendly salesman act no longer works on the public who see the blood of the middle-east oozing from Blair's every pore.

The media love to scream about centrist electability as though Britain never had a socialist government, as though our proudest institutions like the NHS, the welfare state and council housing did not arise from socialism.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of Clement Attlee's election victory. If only Labour's finest prime minister was revered by the media, rather than its worst prime minister.
Let's not forget that after taking Labour to a landslide victory in 1997, Blair haemorrhaged seats at the next two elections, losing four million voters in the process. Thanks to Blair, support was dwindling in Labour heartlands and was all but dead in Scotland. 

When Tony Blair tells you of the "disaster" of Jeremy Corbyn, he strangely fails to mention how Corbyn took more votes in England than Blair did in any of his three election victories. Indeed, if Blair had not handed Scotland to the SNP, Jeremy Corbyn would probably be Prime Minister now. And let's not even mention the PV policy which Blair and Starmer insisted would save Labour but only only did further damage in heartlands. It seems laughable that Blair now talks as though he knows what Labour supporters want. 

In 2017, Jeremy Corbyn so nearly undid the damage caused by Blair, Brown and Miliband who destroyed trust with Labour's core voters, and the only reason Corbyn did not fully succeed is because the Blarites ensured he didn't. They sabotaged their own party's election chances.
Let's be absolutely clear, the key reason Labour has struggled over the last 10 years is the legacy of Tony Blair.
First and foremost, Blair led us into not one, but two wars which were described as "illegal" by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. We were lied to about Afghanistan being responsible for 9/11 when it was actually Blair's mates in Saudi Arabia, and we were lied to about Saddam Hussein having WMDs that could reach Britain in 45 minutes. Consent from the British public was obtained through deception and one million innocent people lost their lives as a result. I have family in the military. My cousin saw his mates blown up before his eyes when he was just eighteen years old and he has Tony Blair to thank for that tragedy.

Somewhat ironically, when Blair was not looking for excuses to overthrow despots in the middle-east, he was cosying up to them. Not only was he close to the monstrous Saudi Royals but called the likes of Hosni Mubarak and even Colonel Gaddafi personal friends. Even worse, his best mates were genocidal neocon idiot George Bush Jr and media mogul Rupert Murdoch - Blair is Godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch's kids. Also, I hear he was named in Jeffrey Epstein's little black book which is worrying to say the least.

Margaret Thatcher said Blair's New Labour was her "proudest achievement" and David Cameron famously described himself as the "Heir to Blair". It's fair to say Blair is revered in Tory circles far more so than Labour circles, and it's no wonder, given the rate at which he was selling of our most prized national assets. 

Blair introduced PFI contracts into the NHS, despite Blairites previously condemning the idea when John Major was Prime Minister and calling it a "back door to privatisation." Plus, he received help from David Cameron when he wanted to marketise our education system with Blair's Academy schools programme, knowing he couldn't get the votes from his own party. This moved paved the way for free schools.

Older generations wonder why millennials so vehemently oppose the idea of neoliberalism, but our adult lives so far have seen illegal wars, the introduction of tuition fees, a broken housing market, international recession, falling living standards, zero hours contracts, rip-off privatised services, Covid-19 mishandling to protect the market, and coming soon to an apocalyptic wasteland near you, the climate crisis. 

The path embarked upon by Thatcher and Blair imposed poverty on our generation and stole our future, so it's no wonder many of us became socialists. Gallingly, many of the generation who climbed the ladder of free higher education and bought up all the housing stock when it was actually affordable, call us "entitled" and "ungrateful".

While Blair was restructuring Britain, he was also bolstering his neoliberal fifth column, parachuting centrist MPs into safe Labour seats without the consent of CLPs - a legacy Labour is stuck with to this day and which made Jeremy Corbyn's job as leader almost impossible. 

While Corbyn had the overwhelming consent of the membership and stood on a manifesto of the membership's choosing, Blair's fifth column saw it as their job to destroy the man and undermine that manifesto at every opportunity. They showed the same contempt for the outcome of the leadership election as they showed for the EU referendum.

Blair's supporters claim Labour could not possibly have won without his leadership, completely overlooking how Black Wednesday devastated the Tories and how John Smith looked absolutely set to become Prime Minister. Labour did not suddenly become electable the moment Blair decided to turn Labour into the Tory B team. Poling showed it was already electable and Blair arrived at just the right moment to save poor old billionaires like Murdoch from the tyranny of socialism.

Blair and his mob love to pretend his illegal wars made Britain safer, even though the terrorist threat significantly increased in the aftermath and the middle-east now faces turmoil. They love to pretend privatisation was somehow more affordable, more economically viable, yet after the quick buck of the initial sale, the tax payer was left paying enormous subsidies and customers were left paying rip off prices for essential services. We are now hit twice, but it's nice for the shareholders I suppose.

Blairites love to tell you they played absolutely no role in the economic crash of 2008 and that no one could have possibly predicted such an event. No one apart from every socialist who screamed we were building an economy on the fresh air of the economic sector. Neoliberal economic dogma throughout the developed world was deregulate, deregulate, deregulate, the market knows best - only this was complete bollocks. Neoliberals simply gave free rein to crooks and when the inevitable happened, they refused to accept responsibility for their carelessness.

That's the thing about the free market which its proponents don't want you to know, it's about a refusal to take responsibility for your country's destiny. When things are going well, you get to play the hero and when things inevitably go wrong from your lack of action, it's because events were completely out of your control. Kind of ironic this ideology comes from people who love to lecture the poor on personal responsibility.

Labour is meant to be a socialist party. It was founded by Keir Hardie in 1900 to reclaim the means of production for the workforce. You are not supposed to join the Labour Party unless you accept its founding ideals. Instead, Blair pretended to be a socialist for a while, even praising Karl Marx in his younger days, and when he became leader, he rewrote Clause IV so those founding ideals were no longer relevant. He stole the Labour Party from socialists and replaced the Liberal Democrats as the Tory B team, showing nothing but contempt for the people he was supposed to represent. On top of that, the man really should be on trial in the Hague so I personally won't be listening to a word he says, unless he is standing in the dock.

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Saturday, 25 July 2020

Why are Centrists so Obsessed with Jeremy Corbyn?

Jeremy Corbyn received over 4 years of sustained political attacks from the media and centrists within his own party during his time as Labour leader. While political attacks are to be expected for a leader of a major political party to some extent, it would be disingenuous to pretend this didn't reach new heights under Corbyn. 

The man was a victim of McCarthyism and his supporters understood perfectly why - Corbyn posed a threat to the establishment. He planned to permanently change Britain's power structures, democratise workplaces and the media, ensure public services were run for the people rather than profit, create a society which prioritises human needs, and take every possible measure to fight the climate crisis. 

All of these things made Corbyn public enemy number one. Being the good guy made Corbyn public enemy number one. However, when centrists sabotaged the 2019 general election and Corbyn stood down, we honestly thought they'd leave this quiet and decent 71 year old man alone. How wrong we were. Just read this Tweet from Liam Young:

Since Sir Keir Starmer took over as Labour leader, Corbyn still gets blamed for every negative associated with the Labour Party and needlessly doorstepped by the media. Whenever something bad happens, they always go to Corbyn for answers, rather than Starmer whose job it actually is to provide such answers! It would seem the media recognise, perhaps rightly, that Corbyn is still the leader of the British left.

The new Labour leader promised to unite the party, but has instead spent his time cosying up to the right wing, marginalising the left, and among other insults, accepting liability in a court case which lawyers suggested Labour could win. Starmer in effect let Corbyn take the blame, rather than defend his record in court, and he paid 6-figure sums which came from membership fees. No wonder Labour members are furious

Yesterday we saw grime star Wiley, who was awarded an MBE by the Tory government, go on a sickening antisemitic rant on Twitter which was roundly condemned by the left. However, this did not stop the inevitable centrist narrative that Corbyn was to blame for Wiley's comments and that he somehow enabled the rise of Wiley! This is interesting considering Wiley's first hit was in 2002, a full 13 years before Corbyn became Labour leader. 

Jeremy Corbyn is responsible for things that happened before his leadership now, just like he was responsible for all those antisemitism complaints that dated back to Ed Miliband's time as leader. I swear his detractors would connect Corbyn to the holocaust if they could. And here's the thing, constantly pinning every act of British antisemitism on a man who has repeatedly condemned antisemitism is itself a form of antisemitism. But these people don't care about that. 

They know they could not politely disagree with Corbyn's policies because they know those policies centre around the common good and provide solutions to problems they cannot solve. They can't have a policy debate with Corbyn so they resort to smears.

Let's not forget, when they began their smear campaign, it was never about defeating Corbyn himself, but rather silencing the left, so they attacked our figurehead, the man who was unifying an often fragmented left wing, in the expectation we would fall silent. They did not realise we cannot and will not fall silent, because this was always about so much more than one man. It was about falling living standards, a broken economy that marginalises so many, and an impending climate catastrophe. These people are so accustomed to their life of privilege that any call for a fairer society, or even to save our grandchildren, is seen as a monstrous attack on their sense of entitlement. Wanting better makes you the bad guy. And it made Corbyn - who called for a kinder and gentler society - a monster. 

The problem has become so extreme that when the Russia Report exposed the Tory Party's close ties with Russian oligarchs and the large donations they receive, the media doorstepped Jeremy Corbyn! They accused him of cosying up to Russia for exposing that Tories had been negotiating the sale of the NHS to Donald Trump in a post-Brexit trade deal. Lisa Nandy was quick to point out Sir Keir Starmer would have done no such thing. 
How can anyone conclude anything other than Corbyn is on our side and these people are not? People who are happy to see our NHS sold off, for God's sake?
It's laughable that every time we say something nice about the thoroughly decent Jeremy Corbyn, centrists jump on us and say "Corbyn lost, get over it!" And usually they accuse us of being "Obsessed" and most tellingly, tell us to "Grow up!" This is the condescending approach to politics that centrists think will work. You are the child in the room, and they, who spent four years enabling the Tories, are the grownups. What they really are, are a bunch of self-superior tossers completely out of touch with ordinary people and lacking any principles or ideology of their own. 

Amusingly, if you try to pin a centrist down on their principles, they will pretend to share left wing views while sneering at the left. The cognitive dissonance on display is quite spectacular. These are people who are terrified of saying who they really are, but will call you childish for demanding meaningful action on issues they pretend to care about. It's enough to make your head explode if you think about it long enough.

Centrists obsess with Jeremy Corbyn because whenever he speaks, he holds up a mirror and exposes who they really are. And they do not like who they see. When they smear Corbyn, they simply describe the ugliness they see in themselves and when they blame every bad thing on Corbyn, they simply show contempt for the truth. They vilify one of the very best among us.

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Corbyn Wrongly Linked to Appalling Wiley Comments

Grime star Wiley went on an appalling Twitter rant on 24th July, posting comments which were unequivocally antisemitic. These comments were roundly condemned by the overwhelming majority of Twitter users, and for a man with 495,200 followers, the support he received was relatively minimal. It would seem the bulk of Wiley's followers were unimpressed.

One deleted tweet read: "crawl out from under your little rocks and defend your Jewish privilege". Here are a few screenshots of other comments:


Electronic music producer Salute called out Wiley's antisemitism and asked others to do the same.

Ex-Labour MP and Tory antisemitism Tsar John Mann seemed to think Jeremy Corbyn should take personal responsibility for Wiley, which is interesting, considered Lord Mann was honoured by the same Tory government that gave Wiley his MBE.

Perhaps Wiley would be more likely to become a Tory MP, since the Tories awarded him an MBE...

Other Twitter users condemned the way Wiley's words have been turned into an attack on Corbyn, almost as though they are more more interested in condemning the former Labour leader than the culprit himself.

One Twitter user expressed concern about how some Twitter users turned the Wiley incident into an attack on the back community, Grime, and Corbynism.

Wiley's comments were clearly unacceptable and of course it's disappointing that a small portion of his fans expressed support for these views, but it's also disappointing to see centrists laying blame at Jeremy Corbyn's feet and claiming this antisemitism is representative of the UK left. This is simply not accurate. I have a quarter the number of Twitter followers Wiley has, but my tweet condemning Wiley's tweets received more likes and retweets in half an our than Wiley's did in 24 hours. I would suggest this response is far more representative of the British left, than the preposterous media narrative that we all hate Jews.

This Twitter user seemed to think Corbynism made Wiley possible, but Wiley's first hit was in 2002, 13 years before Corbyn became Labour leader. Need I say more?

Wiley's tweets have since been removed by Twitter for violating their rules, but at the time of writing, the account has not been suspended. Some have expressed dismay at how Wiley was allowed to continue his rant for 48 hours, while others mentioned the likes of Katie Hopkins were allowed to spew hatred for years. 

Some Twitter users are boycotting the platform for 48 hours, starting Monday to demand tougher action on antisemitism. While the move is itself commendable, I note some of those leading the charge are among the worst trolls and have regularly engaged in the cynical weaponisation of antisemitism. It is difficult to join with those who have smeared Jeremy Corbyn for political purposes, and for that reason I cannot participate, although I fully agree with the principle that Twitter must act on racism and abuse. 

Clearly, there is dissatisfaction among the public at how the social media giant handles complaints. However, Wiley is reported to have been dropped by his management company A-list Management. Wiley received an MBE for services to music in 2018 but there are now calls for this to be revoked.

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Friday, 24 July 2020

Would it Really be so Terrible if Labour were to Split?

Labour's internecine warfare reached new heights this week after Jeremy Corbyn accused Sir Keir Starmer of making a political rather than a legal decision in compensating some of those named in the Panorama antisemitism investigation. Some journalists were reporting from anonymous sources that Starmer is strongly considering withdrawing the whip from the former Labour leader. Whichever side of this argument you fall on, you must surely agree the divisions within the party are now too great to heal. 

Going forwards, I see three possibilities: 

1. One faction gains full control of the Labour Party and the other faction is purged of all bar those who fall in line. The losers and their supporters become marginalised.

2. Labour stays as is, and the two factions continuously disagree on policies, even taking their differences to court. The media gleefully reports on the infighting for the next four years and Labour remains unelectable.

3. The Labour Party splits and both sides put their arguments before the electorate to see whose manifesto truly represents the British left. I see this as the most democratic option.

But hold on a minute... Why can't the two factions just get along, you may ask. Well, the answer is quite simple: their ideologies are almost completely incompatible with one another.

The Starmerists are market-driven neoliberal imperialists who think the current economic system more or less works, with only minor tweaking required. On many key issues, Starmerists are closer to the Tories than the Labour left, and they neither want radical change nor believe it could be achieved.

The Corbynites are socialists who recognise Britain needs fundamental change throughout our society. They feel our economy has become too marketised and profit is now put before human well-being. They want to permanently alter existing power structures: democratising workplaces and the media, fully nationalising key public services, and tackling the problems we face, from crime to poverty to the climate crisis without compromise.

Starmerists believe Corbynite goals are unachievable. Corbynites believe Starmerists are protecting the establishment they seek to dismantle. Both sides now struggle to hide their contempt for one another.

A political party is founded so people of similar political goals can work together to achieve a particular vision. The problem is we now have two competing Labour visions for Britain that massively differ from one another. When both factions think the other is crazy, it's reasonable to ask why they remain in the same party. And it's not unreasonable to point out Starmerist goals are indistinguishable from Liberal Democrat goals. They are quite literally neoliberals.

Labour was founded to be a socialist party that reclaims the means of production for the workforce. It was never meant to be an imperialist party that protects the wealthy and maintains the status quo, justifying their inaction with modest increases in public service investment. Socialism is about so much more than the Sure Start centres New-New Labour loves to brag about. I'm not even knocking Sure Start centres here, they were a great idea, but they offer nothing for someone like me who was a homeless teen under Tony Blair.

I remember walking into the council office the day I became homeless and being advised by a staff member there was a 7 year waiting list for council houses and I was not a priority case. I was given a list of landlords and promised all of these would accept DSS tenants. So I called all of them and guess what every single one said? No DSS.

That is the glorious free market that neoliberals so strongly believe in. It does not cater for human needs. It is driven by profit and casts people like me aside. Blair was not investing in council housing, nor was he intervening in the market to ensure rents or mortgages were affordable. He was enabling a free for all for the haves at the expense of the have-nots, and then telling us how marvellous his Sure Start centres were. 

What I heard is that toddlers matter, which is great to know, but people like me, who had a terrible start in life, we were just rubbish to be discarded. I drifted for years through low paid temporary jobs, often treated like dirt by whoever I was calling boss at the time. I participated in drug trials to get money when I was unemployed which was 80% of the time. I would see people do something as simple as walk into a coffee shop and think that was out of reach for me! I could not even afford a coffee, let alone visit pubs and night clubs like some of my old school friends.

Prior to this, I was forced to drop out of college because the state would not support me through my studies and I could not find stable employment. No one was willing to give me the sure start I so badly needed.

In Blair's Britain, I felt surplus to requirements, like I could never be part of society, and I thought this was maybe the way things had to be. But then I heard about places like Scandinavia with their left wing governments and high social mobility and living standards and realised I had been sold a lie. I had been so enthused about the possibility of change when Blair came into power in 1997 and then I was so catastrophically let down by him.

Given all of the above, I think I can be forgiven for having no interest whatsoever in another neoliberal government. They are slightly gentler Tories who love to boast of their competence as they build an economy on the fresh air of the financial sector, and they love to boast of their altruism when they give us Sure Start centres. Meanwhile, northern Europe gets on with eradicating the crime and poverty and unfairness that neoliberals disregard to preserve the integrity of the free market - which is free only for the wealthy and pretty damn restrictive for the rest of us.

So, the free market is what the Starmerists prefer and that's fine. It's a perfectly valid political position which works quite nicely for the middle class and above. But what about the working class and the underclass? We are the people Labour was founded to represent, and yet we see Starmerists sneering at us and calling us a rabble. Don't we deserve political representation too? 

The neoliberals have two major political parties in Labour and the Lib Dems now. Three, if you count the Tories who are marginally to the right of them. But what about this gaping chasm on the left filled by people who won't vote for New-New Labour under any circumstances. Where is our socialist alternative? Why don't we have a nationwide party unapologetically fighting for socialism? After all, that was Keir Hardie's vision for Labour - a vision which was stolen by a neoliberal fifth column.

People will say Labour can't split because neither party could win a general election, but I would offer several counter arguments:

1. The current Labour Party is arguably unelectable as it stands. Starmer is 8-10 points behind the Tories in the polls during his honeymoon period so why continue with unelectability out of fear of unelectability? It makes no sense.

2. A new socialist party would receive many votes from people who are refusing to vote Labour, and left wing voters focus on policy rather than brand. If a new party offers socialist policies, socialists will come.

3. It's unhealthy for democracy to disregard the left half of society, especially given socialist policies like nationalisation of key services are supported by 2/3 of voters. The future of the British left should be decided at the ballot box. Infighting is simply wasted energy.

I say let the Labour Party split. My prediction is Starmer's Labour would fight a losing battle with the Tories for older voters and maybe take a handful of votes from the Lib Dems. Meanwhile, the younger generation so enthused by Corbyn and his manifesto would join the new party in huge numbers. I could be wrong, of course, because these are turbulent political times and anything can happen. No one expected Syriza to rise to power in Greece in 2015 but they did. A new socialist party could provide a viable alternative for those like myself who feel completely unenthused by the establishment and will settle for nothing less than a radical transformation of society.

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