Saturday, 31 October 2020

The Impact of Jeremy Corbyn on a "Waster" Who Was Once Trapped in a Drugs Den

Rewind to 2003. 

I was staying with my mate in his uncle's council flat. It was basically a drugs den and my last resort, having found myself with nowhere else to go, again. The place was foul with resin-coated walls and a smell that would not shift, no matter how much Febreze you sprayed. Buckets were lying everywhere. Picture the movie Trainspotting and you're getting there. I made the mistake of walking barefoot to the toilet one night and got a minging fungal infection. 

We tried cleaning the place from top to bottom when we first moved in, even painted one of the rooms with a tin of pastel blue paint given by my mate's mother. We were trying to make the place habitable, but my mate's uncle, who I shall call Nobhead, told us he'd moved in with his girlfriend and would honestly not be staying there, yet Nobhead kept coming back and trashing the place. He only wanted us there to guard his stuff, not that he had much. 

We lived in absolute squalor. It was nightmarish. We'd go days without food, depending on handouts, but my mate had cannabis and that got us through our toughest spot.

I wasn't even a drug user, but anyone would be a drug user in that situation, with that level of depression and anxiety, so we'd sit on a foul, battered couch and get stoned. It was self-medication. We had nothing to do, apart from listen to gangsta rap and play Metroid Prime on the Nintendo GameCube inside a smoke-filled living room; I Made You Look by Nas blaring from the hi-fi speakers. 

If you've never played Metroid Prime, you really should. It's fucking amazing. That and weed got us through those grey and miserable days.

I remember walking through the streets of Seghill at midnight once. A fiver blew into my mate's hand like a gift from God. A minute later, a lad approached and asked if we had seen a fiver. My mate said "No" and we shrugged and ran to the local garage to buy food. We were fucking starving. I still feel bad about that poor lad though. He was probably just as hungry as we were, his belly aching just as badly, but we were desperate on a level you could never understand unless you've lived it. And we were living in a world that didn't give a crap about us. This is one of the reasons I'm so passionate about helping people now. The world should care.

Weeks we were living like this, while our Jobseeker's Allowance claim was being processed, and honestly, I had friends in prison back then who had things easier, but still we had fun.

Between our games of the mercilessly tough Metroid Prime, we'd rummage through the ash tray and the minging carpet for any crumbs of tac so we could make one last joint. And more often than not, we would talk about politics. Not from a party political perspective though. We knew nothing about that nonsense. We never gave a crap about it. But we did give a crap about our situation. Our marginalisation. 

We wanted radical change but didn't know we were socialists. I knew nothing about socialism, other than loony lefties were bad. I was a Sun reader then. Don't judge me!

This was back in the Blair days and we'd been so badly let down by Blair. That's why it makes me laugh when centrists tell me centrism is what we should aspire to, even be grateful for. Can they even hear themselves?

We had a six week wait for Jobseeker's Allowance under Tony Blair, and without occasional handouts and trips to Cash Converters, we would've starved. Centrists love to get outraged about the six week wait for Universal Credit under the Tories, but they never gave a fuck when people like me were waiting that long under New Labour. They had their preferred brand of Tory in charge so they could sip their lattes and pretend everything was okay. 

I would watch these people walk into coffee shops and think I'll never be in a position where I can just walk in there and spend £4.00 on a coffee whose name I can't even pronounce! The thought was insane to me. The thought of having a permanent minimum wage job was insane to me. I drifted between working temporary jobs where supervisors spoke to me like shit and offering my body for medical research. I was literally a guinea pig, locked away in a medical facility for weeks at a time as nurses injected untested drugs into my arm and wired me up to a cardiograph, just so I could eat. 

It was fun though. It was like participating in Big Brother. I made some good mates, met some nice girls. Some of my favourite memories are from my guinea pig days!

So anyways, back to the drugs den. 

Me and my mate and his teenage brother would get stoned and we'd talk about politics from our perspective, which revolved around lack of jobs and lack of education opportunities as rich people hoarded all the country's money. 

When you're at the bottom, it's plain as day the system is broken because you know that no matter how negatively others judge you, that if you were born into a different set of circumstances, life would've been so different for you. But it's so much easier for the comfortable middle class to look down on you. I'm utterly convinced about 50% of them actually need people to look down on. It's like a psychological craving they have and it's responsible for much of the evil in the world. The other 50% are well-meaning but utterly detached and so could never really understand you.

It's so easy to write people like us off, just assume we were wasters. Nothing could be further from the truth though. 

I was the most gifted kid in my school. My teachers would tell me so. Other parents would say I'd be the one to get out this shit hole and make something of myself. I swear I was a beacon of hope to some until I became homeless and dropped out of college! My mate was a super-talented chef who worked for an agency but nothing was available for him at that point. We were super-creative. We'd draw amazing anime pictures, write hip hop songs, and we'd apply for literally every crappy job in the JobCentre. We wanted to be constructive and creative. We had talents that could be put to use by society, but where we lived, hardly anyone's talents were put to use. You were either a drone or you were unemployed.

When we spoke of politics, one line often came up: All politicians are the same.

The politicians didn't give a fuck about people like us. They wanted their hierarchy. They wanted their lives of privilege to be propped up by our misery. And they had absolutely no desire whatsoever to change the system in a way that would give lads like us a fighting chance. We were beneath them. And that's the way they liked it.

Sometimes, we'd talk about how let down we felt by Tony Blair, about how we genuinely believed for a while that he would change things for us. But any changes where we lived (and there were some) were minimal, and we never saw the benefit ourselves. Things never changed for the overwhelming majority of us. We lived in a different universe to the middle class centrists who love to say "socialism can't work" like capitalism ever did.

So obviously I was a waste of space, even though I did get myself back on my feet, working for one of the world's biggest banks for the best part of a decade. I did pretty well there too, ended up coaching their complaints staff, among other things. My wages were still shit though. I was still living on the breadline. You see, when dickheads like Tony Blair talk about "aspiration", they don't mention that most can aspire to no more than making a stupidly rich person richer while we remain on the breadline, even if we're bloody good at our job, like I was. 

Neoliberalism is a lie. And all politicians are the same.

And then Jeremy Corbyn came along. 

Corbyn had been around for decades, of course. But he arrived in my life at a time when I'd given up on UK politics. I'd never had anyone I could vote for because no party offered anything to people like me. I was more interested in US politics. I was a massive Obama fan until he let me down too. My politics at that point was anyone who won't bomb the shit out the middle east = good, and Obama couldn't even meet that low bar. But then a funny talking old guy named Bernie Sanders started making waves and I had the internet at my fingertips so I began fact checking. It was eye opening. 

I had no idea countries were making a real success of left-wing ideas and their governments were actually representing their people. Suddenly, a new world of possibility was opening up and the arrival of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader brought that hope to the UK. Suddenly, we had a choice between more than neoliberalism or neoliberalism. We had the option of meaningful change, of more than poverty.

I was more politically clued-up at this point, but on another level, still rather naive. I honestly assumed, for example, the Labour Party would unite behind their new leader, that whatever their political differences, their ultimate goal of a Labour government would bring them together. Seems hilarious now.

I actually felt like I had something to fight for. I'd married an immigrant and had a baby and we'd been put through hell by the Tory government and their bullshit immigration policies. I was driven to activism and went from having no one to vote for, to joining a political party. A party which had returned to its socialist roots. Labour.

It seemed self-evident to me that 40 years of Thatcherism had failed us. A devastating recession and grotesque levels of inequality meant this was surely undeniable. It never occurred to me that people, the media, politicians, would cling so spitefully to this system that was such a failure. How could any decent person not want change at this point? It never occurred the media would launch such a grotesque smear campaign to maintain their power and privilege. It never occurred the establishment would close ranks so effectively to snuff out any chance of meaningful change.

When they came for Jeremy Corbyn, they came for me and people like me. When they smeared him, they kicked me, stamped on me. They told the working class to get back in our box. They told us we weren't supposed to have a voice. We weren't allowed change. We could have poverty and unemployment, or we could work on the breadline to make them even richer and be fucking well grateful. 

We were being so selfish. We were Generation Me. Fucking laughable.

The problem was the cat was out the bag. The internet not only meant I was fact checking, but we all were. We were developing our political literacy. We young 'uns were learning the older Tories who hate "Generation Me," climbed the ladder of socialism, took advantage of their free university tuition, bought up all our housing stock, including council houses, and when they found themselves in privilege, they voted to deny the same opportunities to us. We watched in horror as they ignored the climate crisis and destroyed our planet, safe in the knowledge they won't be around to see the damage. We saw them acting so utterly selfishly while calling us "Generation Me".

But now we had a figure head. 

We weren't a "cult". We were an entire class of people who badly needed representation. And that's why so many rallied behind Jeremy Corbyn. Crowds of thousands came out in the rain because he showed us so emphatically a better world is possible. He came to within a whisker of power in 2017. And the establishment vilified him for offering something so terrifyingly radical, northern Europe calls it normal. And northern Europe enjoys the highest living standards in the world.

But the young understand this. And by the young, I don't mean a bunch of sixth formers. I mean people of working age. If only people of working age voted, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour would have won in both 2017 and 2019. Fact check it. You have Google.

The reason is simple: Corbyn understands we deserve a living wage. He understands we deserve stable employment with guaranteed hours. He understands education is a right and not a privilege. He understands homelessness is a stain on this country. He understands aspiration in a way the Blairites never could, because he offered the opportunities they would deny us. Corbyn understands society.

We refuse to settle for neoliberal "centrism". Even if Sir Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister, we will still fight on. They won't silence us again. Two thirds of the British public want nationalisation. We want our green new deal. We want radical change. As far as I'm concerned, the beige Sir Keir can fuck off just as badly as Boris Johnson can.

Socialism is not only electable, but it's coming. It's just a matter of when. The only thing that can stop its arrival now is fascism. And we'll fight that to the death.

We have social media. The alternative media. We are ignoring the mainstream. We are informing each other. And even if Jeremy Corbyn's political career ends tomorrow, his legacy will live on. The thing is, we love Jeremy, but it was never about him, it was always about us. He just helped ignite the fire in our bellies. We will not give up the fight for socialism because our lives, and our children's lives, depend on it. The planet depends on it. And we know a better future is possible.

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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

A List of All 322 MPs Who Voted to Starve the Kids

Here is a list of all 322 MPs who voted to starve British school children during the half-term holidays while we're in the middle of a pandemic. Is your MP among them?

Nigel Adams (Conservative – Selby & Ainsty)

Bim Afolami (Conservative – Hitchin & Harpenden)

Adam Afriyie (Conservative – Windsor)

Imran Ahmad Khan (Conservative – Wakefield)

Nickie Aiken (Conservative – Cities of London & Westminster) 

Peter Aldous (Conservative – Waveney)

Lucy Allan (Conservative – Telford)

David Amess (Conservative – Southend West)

Lee Anderson (Conservative – Ashfield)

Stuart Anderson (Conservative – Wolverhampton South West)

Stuart Andrew (Conservative – Pudsey)

Edward Argar (Conservative – Charnwood)

Sarah Atherton (Conservative – Wrexham)

Victoria Atkins (Conservative – Louth & Horncastle)

Gareth Bacon (Conservative – Orpington)

Richard Bacon (Conservative – South Norfolk)

Kemi Badenoch (Conservative – Saffron Walden)

Shaun Bailey (Conservative – West Bromwich West)

Duncan Baker (Conservative – North Norfolk)

Steve Baker (Conservative – Wycombe)

Harriett Baldwin (Conservative – West Worcestershire)

Steve Barclay (Conservative – North East Cambridgeshire)

Simon Baynes (Conservative – Clwyd South)

Aaron Bell (Conservative – Newcastle-under-Lyme)

Scott Benton (Conservative – Blackpool South)

Paul Beresford (Conservative – Mole Valley)

Jake Berry (Conservative – Rossendale & Darwen) 

Saqib Bhatti (Conservative – Meriden)

Bob Blackman (Conservative – Harrow East) 

Crispin Blunt (Conservative – Reigate) 

Peter Bone (Conservative – Wellingborough) 

Peter Bottomley (Conservative – Worthing West)

Andrew Bowie (Conservative – West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine)

Ben Bradley (Conservative – Mansfield) 

Karen Bradley (Conservative – Staffordshire Moorlands)

Graham Brady (Conservative – Altrincham & Sale West)

Suella Braverman (Conservative – Fareham)

Jack Brereton (Conservative – Stoke-on-Trent South)

Andrew Bridgen (Conservative – North West Leicestershire) 

Steve Brine (Conservative – Winchester)

Paul Bristow (Conservative – Peterborough)

Sara Britcliffe (Conservative – Hyndburn)

James Brokenshire (Conservative – Old Bexley & Sidcup)

Anthony Browne (Conservative – South Cambridgeshire)

Fiona Bruce (Conservative – Congleton)

Felicity Buchan (Conservative – Kensington)

Robert Buckland (Conservative – South Swindon)

Alex Burghart (Conservative – Brentwood & Ongar)

Conor Burns (Conservative – Bournemouth West)

Rob Butler (Conservative – Aylesbury)

Alun Cairns (Conservative – Vale of Glamorgan)

Andy Carter (Conservative – Warrington South)

James Cartlidge (Conservative – South Suffolk)

William Cash (Conservative – Stone) 

Miriam Cates (Conservative – Penistone & Stocksbridge)

Maria Caulfield (Conservative – Lewes)

Alex Chalk (Conservative – Cheltenham)

Rehman Chishti (Conservative – Gillingham & Rainham)

Jo Churchill (Conservative – Bury St Edmunds)

Greg Clark (Conservative – Tunbridge Wells)

Simon Clarke (Conservative – Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland) 

Theo Clarke (Conservative – Stafford)

Brendan Clarke-Smith (Conservative – Bassetlaw)

Chris Clarkson (Conservative – Heywood & Middleton)

James Cleverly (Conservative – Braintree)

Thérèse Coffey (Conservative – Suffolk Coastal)

Damian Collins (Conservative – Folkestone & Hythe) 

Alberto Costa (Conservative – South Leicestershire) 

Robert Courts (Conservative – Witney)

Claire Coutinho (Conservative – East Surrey)

Geoffrey Cox (Conservative – Torridge & West Devon)

Virginia Crosbie (Conservative – Ynys Môn)

James Daly (Conservative – Bury North)

David T C Davies (Conservative – Monmouth)

James Davies (Conservative – Vale of Clwyd)

Gareth Davies (Conservative – Grantham and Stamford)

Mims Davies (Conservative – Mid Sussex)

Philip Davies (Conservative – Shipley)

David Davis (Conservative – Haltemprice and Howden)

Dehenna Davison (Conservative – Bishop Auckland)

Caroline Dinenage (Conservative – Gosport) 

Sarah Dines (Conservative – Derbyshire Dales)

Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative – Huntingdon)

Michelle Donelan (Conservative – Chippenham)

Nadine Dorries (Conservative – Mid Bedfordshire) 

Steve Double (Conservative – St Austell and Newquay) 

Oliver Dowden (Conservative – Hertsmere)

Jackie Doyle-Price (Conservative – Thurrock)

Richard Drax (Conservative – South Dorset)

Flick Drummond (Conservative – Meon Valley)

David Duguid (Conservative – Banff and Buchan)

Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative – Chingford and Woodford Green)

Mark Eastwood (Conservative – Dewsbury)

Ruth Edwards (Conservative – Rushcliffe) 

Michael Ellis (Conservative – Northampton North)

Tobias Ellwood (Conservative – Bournemouth East)

Natalie Elphicke (Conservative – Dover)

George Eustice (Conservative – Camborne and Redruth)

Luke Evans (Conservative – Bosworth) 

David Evennett (Conservative – Bexleyheath and Crayford) 

Ben Everitt (Conservative – Milton Keynes North)

Michael Fabricant (Conservative – Lichfield) 

Laura Farris (Conservative – Newbury)

Simon Fell (Conservative – Barrow and Furness)

Katherine Fletcher (Conservative – South Ribble)

Mark Fletcher (Conservative – Bolsover)

Nick Fletcher (Conservative – Don Valley)

Vicky Ford (Conservative – Chelmsford)

Kevin Foster (Conservative – Torbay)

Mark Francois (Conservative – Rayleigh and Wickford) 

Lucy Frazer (Conservative – South East Cambridgeshire)

George Freeman (Conservative – Mid Norfolk) 

Mike Freer (Conservative – Finchley and Golders Green)

Richard Fuller (Conservative – North East Bedfordshire)

Marcus Fysh (Conservative – Yeovil) 

Mark Garnier (Conservative – Wyre Forest)

Nusrat Ghani (Conservative – Wealden)

Nick Gibb (Conservative – Bognor Regis and Littlehampton)

Peter Gibson (Conservative – Darlington)

Jo Gideon (Conservative – Stoke-on-Trent Central)

Cheryl Gillan (Conservative – Chesham and Amersham) 

John Glen (Conservative – Salisbury)

Robert Goodwill (Conservative – Scarborough and Whitby)

Michael Gove (Conservative – Surrey Heath)

Richard Graham (Conservative – Gloucester)

Helen Grant (Conservative – Maidstone and The Weald) 

James Gray (Conservative – North Wiltshire)

Chris Grayling (Conservative – Epsom and Ewell)

Chris Green (Conservative – Bolton West)

Damian Green (Conservative – Ashford)

Andrew Griffith (Conservative – Arundel and South Downs)

Kate Griffiths (Conservative – Burton)

James Grundy (Conservative – Leigh)

Jonathan Gullis (Conservative – Stoke-on-Trent North)

Luke Hall (Conservative – Thornbury and Yate)

Stephen Hammond (Conservative – Wimbledon)

Matt Hancock (Conservative – West Suffolk)

Greg Hands (Conservative – Chelsea and Fulham)

Mark Harper (Conservative – Forest of Dean)

Rebecca Harris (Conservative – Castle Point)

Trudy Harrison (Conservative – Copeland)

Sally-Ann Hart (Conservative – Hastings and Rye)

Simon Hart (Conservative – Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)

John Hayes (Conservative – South Holland and The Deepings)

Oliver Heald (Conservative – North East Hertfordshire) 

Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative – Daventry)

Gordon Henderson (Conservative – Sittingbourne and Sheppey)

Darren Henry (Conservative – Broxtowe)

Antony Higginbotham (Conservative – Burnley)

Damian Hinds (Conservative – East Hampshire)

Kevin Hollinrake (Conservative – Thirsk and Malton)

Philip Hollobone (Conservative – Kettering)

Adam Holloway (Conservative – Gravesham) 

Paul Holmes (Conservative – Eastleigh)

John Howell (Conservative – Henley)

Paul Howell (Conservative – Sedgefield)

Nigel Huddleston (Conservative – Mid Worcestershire)

Eddie Hughes (Conservative – Walsall North)

Jane Hunt (Conservative – Loughborough)

Jeremy Hunt (Conservative – South West Surrey)

Tom Hunt (Conservative – Ipswich)

Alister Jack (Conservative – Dumfries and Galloway)

Sajid Javid (Conservative – Bromsgrove)

Ranil Jayawardena (Conservative – North East Hampshire) 

Mark Jenkinson (Conservative – Workington)

Andrea Jenkyns (Conservative – Morley and Outwood)

Robert Jenrick (Conservative – Newark)

Boris Johnson (Conservative – Uxbridge and South Ruislip)

Caroline Johnson (Conservative – Sleaford and North Hykeham) 

Gareth Johnson (Conservative – Dartford)

David Johnston (Conservative – Wantage)

Andrew Jones (Conservative – Harrogate and Knaresborough)

Fay Jones (Conservative – Brecon and Radnorshire)

David Jones (Conservative – Clwyd West)

Marcus Jones (Conservative – Nuneaton)

Simon Jupp (Conservative – East Devon) 

Daniel Kawczynski (Conservative – Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Alicia Kearns (Conservative – Rutland and Melton)

Gillian Keegan (Conservative – Chichester)

Julian Knight (Conservative – Solihull) 

Greg Knight (Conservative – East Yorkshire) 

Danny Kruger (Conservative – Devizes)

Kwasi Kwarteng (Conservative – Spelthorne)

John Lamont (Conservative – Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk) 

Robert Largan (Conservative – High Peak)

Andrea Leadsom (Conservative – South Northamptonshire)

Edward Leigh (Conservative – Gainsborough)

Ian Levy (Conservative – Blyth Valley) 

Andrew Lewer (Conservative – Northampton South)

Brandon Lewis (Conservative – Great Yarmouth)

Julian Lewis (Independent – New Forest East)

Ian Liddell-Grainger (Conservative – Bridgwater and West Somerset) 

Chris Loder (Conservative – West Dorset)

Mark Logan (Conservative – Bolton North East)

Marco Longhi (Conservative – Dudley North) 

Julia Lopez (Conservative – Hornchurch and Upminster)

Jack Lopresti (Conservative – Filton and Bradley Stoke)

Jonathan Lord (Conservative – Woking)

Craig Mackinlay (Conservative – South Thanet)

Cherilyn Mackrory (Conservative – Truro and Falmouth)

Rachel Maclean (Conservative – Redditch)

Alan Mak (Conservative – Havant)

Kit Malthouse (Conservative – North West Hampshire)

Anthony Mangnall (Conservative – Totnes)

Scott Mann (Conservative – North Cornwall)

Julie Marson (Conservative – Hertford and Stortford)

Theresa May (Conservative – Maidenhead)

Jerome Mayhew (Conservative – Broadland)

Karl McCartney (Conservative – Lincoln) 

Mark Menzies (Conservative – Fylde) 

Johnny Mercer (Conservative – Plymouth, Moor View)

Huw Merriman (Conservative – Bexhill and Battle)

Stephen Metcalfe (Conservative – South Basildon and East Thurrock) 

Robin Millar (Conservative – Aberconwy)

Maria Miller (Conservative – Basingstoke)

Amanda Milling (Conservative – Cannock Chase)

Nigel Mills (Conservative – Amber Valley) 

Andrew Mitchell (Conservative – Sutton Coldfield)

Gagan Mohindra (Conservative – South West Hertfordshire)

Robbie Moore (Conservative – Keighley)

Penny Mordaunt (Conservative – Portsmouth North)

David Morris (Conservative – Morecambe and Lunesdale) 

James Morris (Conservative – Halesowen and Rowley Regis)

Wendy Morton (Conservative – Aldridge-Brownhills)

Kieran Mullan (Conservative – Crewe and Nantwich)

David Mundell (Conservative – Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale)

Sheryll Murray (Conservative – South East Cornwall)

Andrew Murrison (Conservative – South West Wiltshire)

Robert Neill (Conservative – Bromley and Chislehurst)

Caroline Nokes (Conservative – Romsey and Southampton North)

Jesse Norman (Conservative – Hereford and South Herefordshire)

Neil O’Brien (Conservative – Harborough)

Guy Opperman (Conservative – Hexham) 

Owen Paterson (Conservative – North Shropshire)

Mark Pawsey (Conservative – Rugby)

Mike Penning (Conservative – Hemel Hempstead) 

John Penrose (Conservative – Weston-super-Mare)

Chris Philp (Conservative – Croydon South)

Christopher Pincher (Conservative – Tamworth)

Rebecca Pow (Conservative – Taunton Deane)

Victoria Prentis (Conservative – Banbury)

Mark Pritchard (Conservative – The Wrekin)

Jeremy Quin (Conservative – Horsham)

Will Quince (Conservative – Colchester)

Tom Randall (Conservative – Gedling)

John Redwood (Conservative – Wokingham)

Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative – North East Somerset)

Nicola Richards (Conservative – West Bromwich East)

Angela Richardson (Conservative – Guildford)

Rob Roberts (Conservative – Delyn)

Laurence Robertson (Conservative – Tewkesbury)

Mary Robinson (Conservative – Cheadle)

Andrew Rosindell (Conservative – Romford)

Lee Rowley (Conservative – North East Derbyshire)

Dean Russell (Conservative – Watford)

David Rutley (Conservative – Macclesfield)

Gary Sambrook (Conservative – Birmingham, Northfield)

Selaine Saxby (Conservative – North Devon)

Paul Scully (Conservative – Sutton and Cheam)

Bob Seely (Conservative – Isle of Wight)

Andrew Selous (Conservative – South West Bedfordshire)

Grant Shapps (Conservative – Welwyn Hatfield)

Alok Sharma (Conservative – Reading West)

Alec Shelbrooke (Conservative – Elmet and Rothwell)

David Simmonds (Conservative – Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner)

Chris Skidmore (Conservative – Kingswood)

Chloe Smith (Conservative – Norwich North) 

Greg Smith (Conservative – Buckingham)

Henry Smith (Conservative – Crawley) 

Julian Smith (Conservative – Skipton and Ripon)

Amanda Solloway (Conservative – Derby North)

Ben Spencer (Conservative – Runnymede and Weybridge)

Mark Spencer (Conservative – Sherwood)

Alexander Stafford (Conservative – Rother Valley)

Andrew Stephenson (Conservative – Pendle)

Jane Stevenson (Conservative – Wolverhampton North East)

John Stevenson (Conservative – Carlisle)

Bob Stewart (Conservative – Beckenham)

Iain Stewart (Conservative – Milton Keynes South)

Gary Streeter (Conservative – South West Devon) 

Mel Stride (Conservative – Central Devon) 

Rishi Sunak (Conservative – Richmond (Yorkshire))

James Sunderland (Conservative – Bracknell)

Desmond Swayne (Conservative – New Forest West)

Robert Syms (Conservative – Poole)

Derek Thomas (Conservative – St Ives)

Maggie Throup (Conservative – Erewash)

Edward Timpson (Conservative – Eddisbury) 

Kelly Tolhurst (Conservative – Rochester and Strood)

Justin Tomlinson (Conservative – North Swindon)

Michael Tomlinson (Conservative – Mid Dorset and North Poole)

Craig Tracey (Conservative – North Warwickshire)

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative – Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Laura Trott (Conservative – Sevenoaks)

Tom Tugendhat (Conservative – Tonbridge and Malling)

Martin Vickers (Conservative – Cleethorpes)

Matt Vickers (Conservative – Stockton South)

Theresa Villiers (Conservative – Chipping Barnet)

Robin Walker (Conservative – Worcester)

Charles Walker (Conservative – Broxbourne)

Jamie Wallis (Conservative – Bridgend)

David Warburton (Conservative – Somerton and Frome) 

Matt Warman (Conservative – Boston and Skegness)

Giles Watling (Conservative – Clacton)

Suzanne Webb (Conservative – Stourbridge)

Helen Whately (Conservative – Faversham and Mid Kent)

Heather Wheeler (Conservative – South Derbyshire)

Craig Whittaker (Conservative – Calder Valley)

John Whittingdale (Conservative – Maldon)

Bill Wiggin (Conservative – North Herefordshire)

James Wild (Conservative – North West Norfolk)

Craig Williams (Conservative – Montgomeryshire)

Gavin Williamson (Conservative – South Staffordshire)

Mike Wood (Conservative – Dudley South)

William Wragg (Conservative – Hazel Grove)

Jeremy Wright (Conservative – Kenilworth and Southam)

Jacob Young (Conservative – Redcar)

Nadhim Zahawi (Conservative – Stratford-on-Avon)

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Tories Don't Give a Fuck About the North

Tories don't give a fuck about the north.

Those words could almost be considered a northern proverb, given how they've been etched into our psyche. We lived through the Thatcher years and saw our industries destroyed. We saw the union movement crushed and we saw mass unemployment and poverty as a result. We also saw complete and utter indifference to our plight from the privileged few whose wealth we created. 

For so long, we were the industrial backbone of this country, and yet we were left to rot when we were no longer needed. This is why it was so galling to see the red wall fall to the Tories at the 2019 general election. How could this possibly have been allowed to happen?

Well, the reason was simple: too many up north were convinced the European Union and immigration were the cause of our problems, rather than the people who've ruled over us for a decade. We'd been left behind by Thatcherism, and as our living standards continued to fall, we foolishly allowed the blame to be placed elsewhere. We were sucker-punched and we really should've known better. It was collective amnesia.

Now let's be clear: this blog post is not a call for a return to the European Union. 

As much as I think that might be for the best (even though I'm no EU fanboy), it's not going to happen and we have to accept that now. Indeed, if Labour had accepted the Brexit result at the last general election, Jeremy Corbyn might've been Prime Minister, but unfortunately the Brylcreemed Knight of FBPE ensured that didn't happen because he wanted to inflict his own brand of conservatism on us. And now he's completely silent about hard Brexit...

It's true that we were manipulated into leaving the EU, but we were also manipulated into voting against the one party that had our backs. Corbyn's Labour. Even worse, we allowed that party to be destroyed and replaced with the Tory B team who think all the north really needs is more racism. That would be Blue Labour. What a fucking mess...

So here's where we're at: 

We have a multi-tiered Covid lockdown system designed to hit the north hard, devastate Labour seats and completely screw over those red wall towns that switched to the Tories while allowing Tory heartlands to continue as normal. The Tory system will place the north in Tier 3 with absolutely minimal support, meaning businesses will collapse and we'll relive the 1980s and 90s all over again, when much of the north was reduced to wasteland and my hometown saw the Meadowwell Riots

That's where we're heading. It's a fucking nightmare.

Tier 3 lockdown rules are a confusing mess that I can't be arsed to list, let alone make sense of, but they will do little-to-nothing to stop the spread of Covid. Recent evidence shows transmission rates in schools are tens of times higher than in the wider community, yet schools remain open, and we savages up north will get the blame when Tier 3 completely fails.

I hear there's going to be a judicial review into whether this Tier 3 bollocks is even legal, given the lack of scientific evidence to support it, and the government's shocking lack of planning.

Manchester's Labour Mayor Andy Burnham (and even some Tory MPs and councillors) begged, pleaded with the government for £90 million in support for their city. Boris Johnson's response was to drop the original offer of £60 million to £22 million which works out at £8 per head! He basically kicked Burnham, and the working class, in the nuts.

To put this in perspective, £22 million is 0.183% of the £12 billion the Tories gave their mates at Serco for the broken track and trace app.

Let's not forget, Ireland built a working app for about £800,000. 

That's not a typo. The Tories spent 15,000 times more money on a broken track and trace app than Ireland did on a working app. They gave £12 billion to their mates at Serco who have a string of failures but keep getting government contracts, and they said "Fuck you" to Andy Burnham who asked for less than 1/500th of what Serco got paid, so he could help struggling people and small businesses survive. 

And 1/500th is not a typo either. 

Andy Burnham asked for the equivalent of Serco's pocket change and the Tories told him where to go. Even worse, they spitefully dropped their original offer of £60 million to £22 million for no reason, but now they've decided to honour the original £60 million, just as I was about to hit publish on this article.

That's people's lives they're playing politics with, but the Tories don't give a crap about our lives because we're just peasants in the north. At least some northern Tories are starting to realise though...

Manchester Young Conservatives have since deleted this tweet

Andy Burnham is no King of the North

Andy Burnham is a Labour centrist who once abstained on the welfare bill that ruined so many lives up north, and yet he's winning over so many on the left, for one simple reason: he is fighting back. While Sir Keir Starmer is showing himself to be as much use as an inflatable dartboard, Andy Burnham is talking like this:

"What we've seen today is a deliberate act of levelling down. ... I don't believe we can proceed through this pandemic by grinding people down. We need to carry them with us, not crush their spirit."

Us lefties are often nonsensically accused of being uncompromising, yet here we are accepting leadership from a centrist we don't always agree with, simply because he's on the side of the people. He's speaking up for our interests. And we haven't heard anyone do that since Jeremy Corbyn stood down. All we bloody want is representation, but it's so hard to find these days, even from the Socialist Campaign Group who are now seemingly toothless. 

The hunger is real and it's caused by corruption.

We're all skint up here. All struggling to survive and being exploited. My wife is working a temporary factory job and didn't get paid by the agency the other day, but what can we even do? We're sitting in a half-decorated living room on an inflatable couch we bought from Tesco because we can't afford a real one! Christmas isn't happening this year. Not for us, nor for most people around here.

And what's the Tory response when Marcus Rashford asks the government to spend £40 million feeding hungry school kids during the Xmas holidays? Fuck you, again!

And again, £40 million would be Serco's pocket change. 1/300th of the broken track and trace app. We mean that little to them.

The Tories are taking the piss out of us. They've turned the Covid crisis into a free for all. They're looting the country and crushing their political opponents and they're getting away with it because we let them. They've handed out PPE contracts to companies with no experience of producing PPE. Same goes for ventilators. They pay massively over the odds - we're talking orders of magnitude - and we get failure in return. And who are they giving the money to? Their biggest donors. 

This is what corruption looks like. We overthrow leaders in Latin America for less.

Next time you get bent out of shape over a refugee getting £37 a week, just remember that's a drop in the ocean here. The amount of money the Tories are stealing from the tax payer is almost unimaginable. For example, it dwarfs the £60 billion cost of the Labour manifesto we were told was completely unaffordable and it's crippling the economy.

Small businesses can't get support in the north but Tory heartlands are allowed to continue as usual, or rather live in denial as the north faces the brunt. School kids can't be fed in the holidays, but Tory advisers can get paid £7,000 a day for their incompetence. Furloughed workers can be expected to survive on 2/3 minimum wage while paying 100% of their bills, but Dominic Cummings can't be asked to pay his £50,000 council tax bill. 

And worst of all, our Prime Minister reportedly spent tens of millions of tax payers' money fucking Jennifer Arcuri, I mean getting technology lessons from her. The Prime Minister was quite literally willing to spend more money getting his leg over than he was feeding hungry school kids. 

Has there ever been a more corrupt government in our history? Has there ever been a clearer example of the Tories' hatred for the working class and the north? Because I don't even think even Thatcher hit these levels of corruption, and I'm pretty sure she's now busy privatising the furnaces in Hell.

When do we say enough is enough?

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Monday, 19 October 2020

America Furious as Bolivia Chooses "Wrong" Leader Again!

To the surprise of absolutely no one who's been paying attention, the Movement Towards Socialism party has swept to victory in the 2020 Bolivian election. Exit polls show their lead to be so wide (20 points) that they've significantly surpassed the 10 point threshold needed to win outright in the first round. Although the official result will not be announced for five days, due to the lack of a rapid count, the announcement now seems to be a formality.

Interim President Jeanine Áñez Chávez who was, according to the US, Bolivia's rightful leader, actually dropped out the race to avoid splitting the conservative vote because she knew her chance of victory lay somewhere between nought and zero. She is about as popular among her people as Juan Guaidó is - the guy America declared Venezuela's rightful leader when they wanted to steal the world's largest oil reserves. Thankfully, neither the Venezuelans nor the Bolivians are taking any imperialist BS right now.

Elon Musk is said to be distraught

America decided to overthrow hugely popular President Evo Morales last year, due to serious concerns about the welfare of Bolivia's lithium reserves and reports that revenue was being funnelled into public services, rather than offshore bank accounts. Morales was so authoritarian that he declined to let US companies have the lithium because other countries like China and Germany offered him a better deal. 

Due to this outrage, the US pretended the Bolivian election had been rigged and a coup was in order, so Evo Morales was driven into exile in Argentina. It's worth bearing in mind, Morales had the audacity to set up an anti-imperialist school in Bolivia and was guilty of other crimes against humanity, such as a huge reduction in poverty and increased investment in public services. He had the monstrous idea the working class should come before billionaires. No wonder centrists fucking hate him. 

In Bolivia there is no one to look down on because they don't leave their people behind.

So anyways, Morales remains in exile from what I can gather, but stated he will return if MAS win and may well be on his way home, fingers crossed. He'd been leading the MAS campaign from Argentina, but for a while it seemed his party would be kept off the ballot. Thankfully, a recent ruling allowed them to participate in the election. Bloody democracy. This meant the people of Bolivia had more than a barely distinguishable range of conservative options, and they again chose the party that's had their backs since Morales swept to victory in 2006. 

Don't they know they're supposed to let America choose their leaders?

British-educated economist Luis Arce will soon be confirmed President (no, that's not pronounced arse, thank you very much) and real democracy will be restored to Bolivia, instead of the pretend kind where western imperialists select a hugely unpopular person who'll let them plunder natural gas and minerals. I can't see America tolerating this situation for too long.

Surely, it's a matter of time before the US imposes sanctions or stages a coup, while accusing Arce of every human rights violation America is guilty of. Or makes an assassination attempt which they honestly have no knowledge of. If you think this sounds a bit cynical, just remember the US has overthrown virtually every socialist leader in Latin America over the last 100 years and is currently working on President Maduro of Venezuela who has the audacity to keep surviving US attempts to murder him by drone.

Latin America, and indeed Bolivia, emphasises perfectly how the US and UK are absolutely the bad guys on the world stage. Right now, the imperialists of the Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives and Labour will be shitting themselves that Arce, along with Maduro (and further afield the likes of Jacinda Ardern) will demonstrate to the world alternatives to capitalism are not only possible but absolutely essential.

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Thursday, 8 October 2020

Starmer Putting Labour at Risk of Bankruptcy

Since Sir Keir Starmer took control of the Labour Party on 4th April 2020, not only has he taken every possible step to alienate his left-wing base and win over the Murdoch press, but he's also taken steps, which from a financial perspective would seem incredibly reckless.

While Starmer's team have openly been 'exploring other forms of revenue,' i.e., wooing corporate donors, those donors are only ever interested in one thing - neutering the left. And the way Starmer is haemorrhaging left-wing support at the moment, this strategy could very easily backfire. He could find himself without the financial support of the left or right, because let's face it, if Labour is in ruins, the billionaires won't need to hand over another penny to the centrist wreckers.

The goal, after all, is not to get Labour in power, but to keep neoliberals in power, blue, yellow, red, it simply does not matter. The system cannot be allowed to change. The rich people must not pay their fair share in taxes. Starmer himself even said so, breaking the pledge he made to increase corporation tax during his leadership campaign! The beige one does not have principles it seems, only an insatiable desire to crush those he was elected to represent. 

Starmer's decisions since he became leader have been so awful, they might tempt a cynical person to think he's willing to stop at nothing to protect his precious neoliberalism, even if it means destroying Labour in the process. Sometimes I wonder if Starmer would be bothered if the Labour Party disappeared tomorrow. Indeed, he might consider it job well done.

Since Starmer became leader, it's no secret the party has haemorrhaged support, with some estimating as many as 200,000 members have already left. Just think of the lost revenue: £4.38 x 200,000 = £876,000 a month potentially gone just like that. And given the rate at which Starmer is breaking the pledges he made during the leadership contest, you can expect that number to drop further. 

Many members say they are currently hanging by a thread, and with Christmas approaching, many will feel reluctant to hand over another penny to Starmer's neoliberal project. I would not be surprised to see another 200,000 members leave in the next 12 months. And let's not forget, due to the rapid growth of the Labour membership under Jeremy Corbyn, the party were hiring more staff (not least because of the sheer volume of complaints Margaret Hodge and friends were spamming their way). 

The running costs of the party have increased, but revenue has fallen. That does not make for a healthy balance book.

But the problems get worse.

Back in July, Starmer handed out six-figure compensation packages to the Panorama "whistleblowers", accepting liability in a case lawyers suggested Labour would likely win, if they were prepared to fight in court. This left the party in a vulnerable position as up to 40 new claimants were waiting in the wings, ready to demand their own huge sums. While things have fallen quiet on that front, further settlement pay outs could easily be in the millions. And if Labour defends each case in court, the legal bills could run so high, the party might not be able to fight to the end, given the protracted nature and huge costs involved. It would arguably have been cheaper to defend the original six cases, as if Labour had won, it would be unlikely they'd be pursued by the further 40 claimants. If Jeremy Corbyn was right that "this was a political decision rather than a legal one," it seems it may have been foolhardy.

And now Unite have cut funding.

The Unite Union Executive decided during a recent meeting to cut affiliation money to the Labour Party by 10% which I understand equates to about £700,000 a year. Unite is Labour's biggest donor, and you'd think Starmer and his team would be keen to keep them on side as priority, rather than suck up to Murdoch, especially given Labour is supposed to actually represent the labour movement. But the Labour right have for years treated the unions as they though live on a different planet...

Amusingly, Starmer supporters (the middle class types who know what the working class want better than the working class do) have been calling for Labour to disaffiliate from the unions so they can go all out with their Tory-lite project. Not sure it registers in their tiny brains that a Labour Party which does not represent unions is not a Labour Party at all. It is the Liberal Democrats. Sorry Neoliberal Democrats.

It would appear Unite have been as aghast as the rest of us as Starmer has whipped his party to abstain on bills which amount to an assault on human rights, giving our police and armed forces the power to murder with impunity. This on top of the insulting approach to Black Lives Matter and Palestinian activists, and the U-turn on the pledge to nationalise key services, means socialism is now effectively dead in the Labour Party. 

The Socialist Campaign Group, right now, although admirably standing by their principles, are effectively toothless. They have no positions in the shadow cabinet and are totally ignored by the leader who said he wanted to unite the party. What a joke.

Labour is now so far right, it refuses to even stand up to fascism - and while Starmer may have convinced himself we, in the red wall, abandoned Labour because we are all knuckle-dragging racists, the fact is we have no interest whatsoever in voting for a right-wing Labour Party. 

We did not abandon Labour because it was not racist enough, but because it abandoned the electorate with the PV policy (I'm a remainer btw) and because the middle-class London-types regained control after the 2017 general election, taking Labour in a direction we did not want to go. 

Neoliberalism is actually a huge fucking turn off to the people who are its primary victims.

We've been told repeatedly by Starmer's lot what the red wall wants, but what we actually want is a change to the status quo. The north didn't vote leave in huge numbers because of racism, but because our neoliberal economic model left us behind. The tragedy is in 2017, Labour had the anti-establishment vote, it was our biggest weapon, and then Starmer's lot, in a suicidal move, turned us into the pro-establishment PV party! This spectacular own goal didn't cost the Tories a single vote, but it cost Labour millions of votes - and now Starmer is doubling down on that approach. He's screaming to the electorate that he's more establishment than the Tories, and where I'm from that is going down like a cup of cold sick.

Expect Starmer to haemorrhage members in the build up to the 2024 general election, and expect the Labour coffers to run dry as the unions withdraw further funding. Starmer looks in no mood for reconciliation - indeed he seems to see the unions as the first enemy to his project, rather than an essential ally who can flood him with cash. 

At this rate, Labour will be a party with no one willing to knock on the doors for them and no one willing to hand over money - and at that point, Rupert Murdoch will not bother to endorse them and the corporations will have no need to fund them. 

It will be mission accomplished.

The Labour Party will be dead. 

Stabbed in the back by a knight of the realm.

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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Starmer’s Labour: Bankrupt Of Vision And Bereft Of Principle

Good evening. Let’s start with a little bit of history. 

The Labour Party was created way back in the year 1900. Everything was black and white, and Jacob Rees-Mogg was graduating from Eton. 

The idea was to have a new political party for a new century. Its formation was the result of many years of struggle by working class people, trade unionists and socialists, united by the goal of working class voices represented in British Parliament.

On the 27th February 1900, representatives of all the socialist groups in Britain (the Independent Labour Party (ILP), the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) and the Fabian Society, met with trade union leaders at the Congregational Memorial Hall in Farringdon Street. After a debate the 129 delegates decided to pass Keir Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, and agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour."

The Labour Party was born.

In 1924, Ramsay MacDonald became Labour’s first Prime Minister. Despite having no majority, his government passed legislation to improve housing, education and social insurance while also addressing unemployment. 

In 1935, Clement Attlee was elected Labour leader. Our manifesto ‘Let us face the future’ laid out a bold vision, pledging to destroy the five ‘evil giants’: want, squalor, disease, ignorance and unemployment. This message of change carried Attlee and Labour to a landslide election victory, winning 393 shortly after World War 2. 

Attlee’s government wasted little time enacting visionary change, introducing social security, bringing key industries back into public ownership and introducing a major programme of house building, providing safe and secure homes. But it was the Attlee government’s introduction of the National Health Service which will rightly go down as Labour’s greatest achievement.

On 5 July 1948, Sylvia Beckingham was admitted to hospital in Manchester to be treated for a liver condition. Doubtless this was a big event in her life; but it was an even bigger event in British history. Sylvia, 13, was the first patient to be treated on the NHS. 

The Labour governments of the 1960’s and 1970’s - under Harold Wilson and then James Callaghan were marked by a period of great change - the permanent ending of the death penalty, decriminalisation of homosexuality, legislation to outlaw racial discrimination, the Equal Pay Act and the establishment of the Open University.

The Blair Government arrived in 1997, riding into Downing Street on a wave of ‘Cool Britannia’ optimism. Record investment in the NHS, schools and the police rescued our public services. The introduction of the National Minimum Wage and the New Deal meant more jobs paying an improved wage. There was the landmark Good Friday Agreement. Civil Partnerships, the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act.

But sadly, 100 years worth of achievement was torn to shreds following the decision to illegally invade Iraq, based upon false evidence. Despite winning the 2005 General Election with a massively reduced majority, the decline of the Labour Party was well and truly underway.

As time went on it became clear the great hope of the Labour Party was in fact dancing to the tune of the rabid right-wing press. Mr Blair himself was a godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s offspring.

Blair’s government epitomised cronyism, brown envelopes stuffed with dirty money, a capitalist dream at the cost of the abandonment of principles built upon socialism. 

Gordon Brown got his turn. The highlight of his time was calling Gillian Duffy a “bigoted woman”. 

New Labour had lost the plot. The ideology was dead. They lost the trust of the same working classes they were formed to represent. The collapse of trust was well underway in Scotland and the North of England. 

From 1997 - 2010, Blair and Brown’s Labour governments lost 5 million votes. And they can’t even pin that one on Jeremy Corbyn!

This didn’t just happen in 2019. This has been a long time in the making, and with every betrayal of real Labour values, another piece of trust in the Labour Party would erode. For example, Labour siding with the Tories during the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum was an embarrassment and a disaster for the party.

Labour Party activists on the campaign trail, under the orders of their superiors, would phone up pensioners, warning them of Armageddon if they went out and voted for Scotland to take care of herself. 

So you get the idea. What started as a noble and principled movement for socialists and trade unionists ended up as a hawkish establishment plaything. 

This current embarrassment really isn’t quite what Keir Hardie imagined, is it? 

So we haven’t seen a real Labour government for a very long time. To his credit, Ed Miliband tried to change things, but the party machinery was still New Labour to its rotten core. They struggled to accept the capitalist dream was dead. They watched food banks pop up considerably quicker than a Serco test and trace drive-thru. 

While austerity battered Britain, Labour couldn’t decide if it was against public service cuts to such a level, and by 2015, Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, offered the electorate an austerity-lite, not-quite-as-bad-as-Cameron, smorgasbord of shite. Miliband got absolutely hammered, the press, his own party, and eventually the electorate utterly drubbed him. 

I think I’ve penned enough words about Jeremy Corbyn over the last few years. The traducement of this kind and decent man has been widely covered. Had the Parliamentary Labour Party of 2015-2019 put as much effort into fighting the Conservatives as they put into smearing and besmirching Jeremy Corbyn, things could and would have been very different. 

So we come to now. Who would’ve thought Sir Keir Starmer would drag the Labour Party back to the centre ground in less than six months? Or should the question be, who DIDN’T think he would drag the democratic socialist Labour Party back to the centre ground in less than six months. 

As I write this, #StarmerOut is trending across the UK. 

One or two opinion polls have given Starmer’s Labour a slight advantage over the Tories. Are you really gormless enough to think this has been down to great leadership from Sir Keir? Don’t be daft. It’s down to the failed leadership of Boris Johnson. 

This government is so bad you could pin a red rosette on rent-a-gob Anna Soubry and she’d still be in with a shout. Johnson himself is already coming to the end of his time as Prime Minister, his health, and his complicated private life is weighing down on his very limited ability to govern. 

And then there’s the tens of thousands of deaths that simply didn’t need to happen, had Johnson acted sooner, instead of going on holiday to write a book.

So Starmer’s boost in the polls is explainable. Corbyn’s Labour sat eight points clear of the Tories, and Miliband’s Labour had a double digit lead over the Tories, so the Starmer fans/FBPE really shouldn’t be getting too excited just yet.

In his short time as Labour leader, Starmer has been exposed for what he is. A timid careerist, willing to sell out anyone or anything if it gets him one step closer to power. 

What’s wrong with wanting to achieve power, you may ask. Absolutely nothing. 

But what good is there in gaining power if you don’t have the same basic principles that was the glue that first bound the Labour Party together, some 120 years ago? 

I hear the argument that it’s either Starmer or Johnson. See, the thing is, we told you it was either Corbyn or May/Johnson, and you preferred the racist option. In fact, you did your very best to ensure we lost two general elections. Given your support for Sir Keir, the racist option probably makes sense to you. 

When you had to choose between Labour and the Conservatives, you took the blue option, and tried dressing it up in red. 

Now you’re taking the blue option and dressing it up in blue, do you really think a choice between Sir Keir Starmer and Etonian Johnson is a choice for the British left? Is it fuck. 

The purge of left-leaning members of the Labour Party, named “Corbynistas” by the right-wing press that the current Labour leader writes for, occasionally behind a Murdoch paywall, has been absolutely disgraceful. 

The decision to abstain on major legislation has been an embarrassing plea to the ‘I’m not being racist, but…’ brigade, in a desperate attempt not to look weak on matters of security. 

What is weak is not having the cahoolies to stand up for what you believe in. Or perhaps you don’t believe in any of the shared values which have held the British left together for more than a century. 

Starmer, who made a big deal of being loyal to his workers, sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey for outmanoeuvring him on schools (she was right), and recently sacked another left MP, Nadia Whittome, amongst others, for having the audacity to vote against torture legislation. 

So he’s loyal to his staff when you ask him why he is employing a former private healthcare lobbyist at the top of his team, but not so loyal to his staff when they show their principles to be the exact opposite of his. 

Face it Sir Keir, Long-Bailey got it right on schools, and you got it wrong, very wrong, and very publicly. No ifs and no buts, Sir. 

Despite being six months into his leadership, nobody really knows what Starmer stands for, beyond his embarrassingly pathetic “we support the government” monotone rhetoric, and his plea to big business to flood their cash into the Labour Party coffers, now the threat of them paying a little more tax to fund our vital public services has been removed. 

No Labour leader with real Labour values could look at Andrew Marr or Sophy Ridge and tell them with a straight face, “we support the government”, following the Conservative government's handling of the Coronavirus crisis. But Starmer did, over and over again. 

This wasn’t opposition, this was shameless opportunism at the expense of human life. 

While more than 1,000 people were dying every day, as a result of Covid-19, Sir Keir Starmer said “now is not the time” to ask difficult questions of the government. This gave Boris Johnson the licence to continue with his dereliction of duty, his abandonment of leadership. 

It took Sir Keir Starmer until October 4th to tell us he thinks the government has lost control of the Coronavirus crisis - something we have been banging on about since his first day in the Norman Shaw Buildings overlooking the Thames. 

Yes Keir, I sat in your chair before you did. 

Anyway, when did the government have control of this crisis? Have I missed something obvious? When I look at the news I see Serco, Excel spreadsheets, rocketing Covid-19 infections, failure to mass test NHS staff and care home workers, I see recession, I see incompetence. 

Let’s not pretend the government have ever had a grip of this crisis - you would be doing a disservice to the many people whose lives have been tragically ended by the deadly virus, and the families and friends that they have left behind. 

So there is no choice for people with compassion. There is no choice for people wanting a leader that is unashamedly red, rather than climbing into Murdoch’s bed. 

There is no choice for me. 

Four years is a long time, particularly in politics. The chance of the next General Election seeing Starmer and Johnson go head-to-head is remote. Michael Gove and Rishi Sunak are more likely to be leading the Conservative Party - they will disown Johnson with the same brutality that they disowned Thatcher, and more recently, Windrush Theresa. 

So Starmer versus A N Other Tory isn’t a choice. 

The capitalist ideology doesn’t help people at the bottom of the pile, which is a vast majority of us. Trickle-down is a proven myth. Privatisation has been a gargantuan failure. 

The only solution we have is to rip it all up and start again, because a few tweaks here and there simply won’t cut it. We need radical change. 

The great Labour figures of the past would be turning in their graves if they could witness this shambolic sycophancy from Sir Keir. 

Starmer put his true-blue establishment credentials on the table, and no matter how you try and spin it, he is not a Labour Party leader. You will find more socialism under my toilet seat than you will in the current party leader.

Labour, the party of the Human Rights Act, the party of social justice, the party of international solidarity, and the party of your National Health Service has changed into the party that abstains on human rights issues, the party that thinks social justice is the name of a London-based Think Tank, the party that is more committed to little Englanders than it is to making a better world for all of us, and the party that seeks the grubby cash of the private healthcare giants, while employing a private healthcare lobbyist at the top of the leadership team. 

I rest my case. 

Rachael - @Rachael_Swindon

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