Sunday, 19 July 2020

10 Socialist Demands for Sir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer, you stand accused of abandoning the left, breaking leadership campaign promises and capitulating to smear merchants. You promised a 20 point lead over the Tories and yet you are currently eight points behind. You have failed every major test of your leadership so far. Here is what you must do to put this right:

1. Stop Praising the Damn Tories

I should not have to point out the Tories killed 130,000 of our most vulnerable people through austerity policies. Nor that they let 70,000 of our citizens die from Covid-19 because they were reluctant to take the necessary preventative steps. The Tories were not doing their best. They were not trying to help people. They were certainly not doing a brilliant job. They were letting people die while protecting capital interests, and those who died were absolutely depending on you standing up for them.

You are supposed to lead the opposition, instead you let our people down. Their blood is on your hands as much it is on Boris Johnson's hands. You must stop praising the Tories or suggesting you broadly agree with them, and you must stop being so afraid to criticise them. There is nothing forensic about acting like you are on the same side as our horrendous government. What happened to meaningful opposition?

If you agree with the Tories, you should not be Labour leader, and if you are afraid to say you disagree with the Tories, you should not be Labour leader. Grow a damn spine!

2. Adopt a Fair and Independent Complaints Process

Labour's complaints procedures are an absolute shambles. Any complaints process must be fair and impartial, yet your MPs feel it necessary to provide a running commentary of complaints and demand the outcome they want. It strongly looks like this is about eliminating political opponents.

Any complaints process which is not free from political interference is simply not worth having. Rein in your damn MPs and tell them to stop conducting trials by media. Take Chris Williamson for example. No matter what anyone thinks of his guilt or innocence, no one, I repeat no one can pretend he faced an impartial complaints procedure and indeed, the courts agreed with him. Where was the apology for this by the way?

3. Stop Purging Socialists

You had one prominent socialist in your shadow cabinet. One! And you got rid of her at the first opportunity. Nobody believes Rebecca Long-Bailey is an antisemite. It really looks like you were just waiting for the excuse to get rid and I hope I am wrong on that. I really do.

I am honestly unsure whether you are aware of your bias, but you promised, I repeat promised a balanced shadow cabinet and yet you have provided no left wing representation. Your shadow cabinet is a centrist's neoliberal shadow cabinet running a socialist party. It's almost as though a fifth column has taken control and this is hugely concerning.

It's not just MPs we fear are being purged either, it's councillors and party members who get suspended on apparently spurious reasons, including NEC candidates, suggesting this was to keep them off the ballot.

Time and again we see suspensions of pro-Palestinian activists for statements far less controversial than anything uttered by the late, great Nelson Mandela. Would you suspend Mandela for antisemitism? Labour was founded to be a socialist party which fights human rights abuses at home and abroad and you would do well to remember that.

4. Find some Perspective on Racism

Antisemitism is one of the great evils of the world and you do the fight against it absolutely no favours whatsoever when you throw terms like "antisemitic conspiracy theory" around to attack the likes of Rebecca Long-Bailey and Maxine Peake. How dare you slander Maxine Peake by the way. She is a good person who has done far more for our movement than you ever will and it is ridiculous to accuse her of spreading an antisemitic conspiracy theory because she made a comment on Israel.

People like Maxine deserve our support and Jews deserve for antisemitism to not be weaponised for political purposes. I am unsure whether weaponisation was your intention but please do not fall into this trap. Also, remember conflating all Jews with the state of Israel is in itself an antisemitic trope so please be careful.

And now let's contrast your approach to antisemitism with your approach to anti-black racism. You called the Colston protesters "totally wrong" for God's sake. You and your team remained silent on the anti-black racism in your party. You said you have "no truck whatsoever" with Black Lives Matter. Add to this your silence on the brutalisation of the Palestinian people and I am left wondering if you even understand what racism is.

Please apologise to BAME communities and consider booking yourself onto a racism awareness course.

5. Introduce Open Selection

MPs like Twitter troll Jess Phillips are not representing the left. Hell, Jess can't even hide her contempt for us. She piled on me 4 or 5 times in one day for asking if she would fight for a Labour government in 2019! Why is she even in the Labour Party? I seriously get the impression she hates socialism with every fibre of her being.

And Jess is not the only problematic MP either. It was galling to see Labour MPs constantly attacking their own party and sneering at our manifesto pledges in the build up to the last general election. A united Labour Party could have won but your allies chose disunity.

Let the membership decide who should represent them and give them the option to change their minds before every general election. No labour MP should have a job by default simply because they meet your personal approval. Open selection is considered normal in many political parties around the world. There is a crazy concept called democracy and you should embrace it.

6. Stop the NEC Stitch Up

The NEC elections are supposed to be democratic. This is not supposed to be a process for you lot to decide which of your handpicked shortlist should get a job. It is hugely concerning to hear of last minute rule changes to favour your candidates and potentially keep others from the ballot, especially given this change was not agreed at party conference. What do you have against democracy by the way?

7. Stand by the Labour Manifesto

The Labour manifesto is amazing, inspiring and hugely popular. It offers hope to millions. The green industrial revolution will save the economy and the planet. Nationalisation is absolutely necessary to fix our broken public services. People are counting on you to honour the promises you made during your leadership campaign, Sir Keir. If you water down our manifesto, you will appeal to neither the left nor right wing and you will be consigned to the dustbin of history. Britain needs a meaningful alternative to Tory rule. Are you willing to offer this?

8. Apologise for the PV Policy

Over half of voters who switched from Labour to Tory said they did so because of your People's Vote policy. You promised this would win us the general election, even though you had previously acknowledged it would hurt us in Labour heartlands. This looks like a seriously disingenuous move on your part. Was it part of a plot to sabotage Corbyn? Throw the general election so you can step in as leader? Or was it just a woeful error of judgement? Either way, an apology is needed.

9. Take Meaningful Action on the Labour Leaks Report

We need full protection for whistle blowers and an apology to the Labour membership, including acknowledgement of the racist abuse received by the likes of Diane Abbott. We need to see prosecutions, if it turns out your staff really sat on complaints and misdirected funds. And don't you dare apologise to these people or even think of compensating them. It is horrifying that some of your staff seemingly wanted to lose the 2019 general election, and it appears you may have backed some of them for promotion. If correct, this is completely unacceptable.

10. Stop Promoting Troublemaker MPs

I know I said you should stop the purge, but seriously Jess Phillips and Wes Streeting have to go from the shadow cabinet. Like yesterday.

All of the above would probably make uncomfortable reading for you, if you ever bothered to read it. In fact, it would probably make your skin crawl, if as I suspect, your political views are closer to conservatism than socialism. But here's the thing, every one of the above demands is utterly fair and absolutely necessary. If you can't take the above actions, you are not a Labour leader worth having and you certainly aren't one I can respect. This is about integrity and it's about whether you are a socialist.

If you are not a socialist, please resign and make way for someone who is.

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Saturday, 18 July 2020

Would Sir Keir Starmer have Suspended Someone like Nelson Mandela?

It has been suggested on social media that if Nelson Mandela were alive today and a member of UK Labour, his comments on Israel and Palestine would get him suspended. I would like to look at this claim, not to upset people or race bait or divide, but to explore attitudes towards racism and see if we are sometimes guilty of double standards.

Racism, whether that be the apartheid in South Africa or the monstrous antisemitism which led to the holocaust, is one of the great evils of this world. Given that we are exploring such an emotive topic, it is no wonder we sometimes get it wrong.

Recently Rebecca Long-Bailey was sacked from the shadow cabinet for sharing an interview with actress Maxine Peake which allegedly contained an "antisemitic conspiracy theory". This was the suggestion that US cops learned a neck-kneeling restraint from Israeli special forces. If Long-Bailey had made those comments directly, rather than simply sharing the article on Twitter, her punishment would likely have been more severe.

I have heard the argument Long-Bailey's suspension was justified because Peake suggested George Floyd's killers were taught this technique by Israel and this claim is false, therefore making it an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

But was this really the intention of either Long-Bailey or Peake? Were either thinking Jews were collectively responsible for George Floyd's murder? Or that Jews are responsible for much of the evil in the world? Or that the Israeli special forces are representative of the Jewish people? Because when we are talking of antisemitic conspiracy theory, that is what we are implying.

Peake's comments contained partial truths such as the fact US cops are sometimes trained by Israel. One recent article suggested images from an Israeli website showed these techniques being taught to US cops and another article reported Israel held a seminar for the Minneapolis Police Department in 2012.

While I cannot say how much influence anyone from Israel had on George Floyd's killers, if any at all, I do not think it's reasonable to call someone antisemitic for joining up the dots and making an admittedly clumsy comment. It was the type of mistake in which an apology and clarification is sufficient without need for accusations of racism.

There have been many reported cases in which Labour MPs, councillors and ordinary members have been accused of antisemitism and removed from the party for similar mistakes. The term "antisemitic conspiracy theory" is a justification often used.

This got me thinking of Nelson Mandela's scathing criticisms of Israel and whether any would have led to his suspension from the Labour Party. In all honesty, I believe an ordinary Labour member repeating these words would likely face disciplinary action and possibly expulsion. Would this be reasonable action or an unreasonable attack on freedom of speech? Let's take a closer look:

Mandela suggested Israel was a terrorist state slaughtering defenceless people and that Israel is treated differently by the international community because its inhabitants are white.

“If one has to refer to any of the parties as a terrorist state, one might refer to the Israeli government, because they are the people who are slaughtering defenceless and innocent Arabs in the occupied territories, and we don’t regard that as acceptable.”

"What we know is that Israel has weapons of mass destruction. Nobody talks about that. Why should there be one standard for one country, especially because it is black, and another one for another country, Israel, that is white."

Mandela suggested the USA should confiscate Israel's weapons of mass destruction and expressed solidarity with the PLO. Would such comments be considered support for terrorism?

"Why are they [the USA] not seeking to confiscate weapons of mass destruction from their ally Israel?"

"We identify with the PLO because just like ourselves they are fighting for the right of self-determination."

"Arafat is a comrade in arms, and we treat him as such."

Mandela suggested the fight against South African apartheid is part of the same struggle the Palestinians are facing. Suggesting Israel is an apartheid state is considered somewhat taboo and could possibly land you in hot water.

"We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."

And Mandela expressed support for violence against oppressors but only as a last resort. Imagine a Labour MP making such comments in defence of the Palestinians.

"Choose peace rather than confrontation. Except in cases where we cannot get, where we cannot proceed, or we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence."

After the death of Yasser Arafat on 11th November 2004, Mandela paid tribute to the Palestinian leader who he hailed as an "icon".

"He was an icon in the proper sense of the word. He was not only concerned with the liberation of the Arab people but of all the oppressed people throughout the world - Arabs and non-Arabs - and to lose a man of that stature and thinking is a great blow to all those who are fighting against oppression."

The point of this article is certainly not to upset people on either side and absolutely not to attack Nelson Mandela who I see as a heroic figure, but to highlight the importance of nuance, to remind people that when we are screaming "Racist!" we can be guilty of applying double standards.

I personally agree with some of Mandela's comments and disagree with others, but I would not dare suggest the man was racist because his intentions were clearly the opposite. Also I want Jews to enjoy freedom and safety just as much as I want Palestinians to enjoy freedom and safety. Whatever criticisms I have made of Israel do not deflect from the fact I am on their side too. This may seem like a contradiction but I do not see things in binary terms.

Criticism of Israel is so often referred to as antisemitic conspiracy theory or an attack on the right of Jewish settlers to live freely and peacefully. Antisemitism is unquestionably one of the great evils of this world but so too is anti-Palestinian racism, and sometimes when Labour centrists demand zero tolerance on antisemitism, they risk going too far the other way.

The Israel/Palestine issue is a sensitive matter and one must strike a fine balance. Accusing one person of antisemitism when their intentions are to defend Palestinians is no more constructive than calling someone else racist for wanting to defend Jews. We should be on the side of Jews and Palestinians, but we should equally be free to criticise either side of this conflict without fear. And I am not even trying to offer a "both sides are to blame" argument here. I am simply defending free speech and the right to disagree.

If a person is free to criticise Hamas or Hezbollah, they should equally be free to criticise Likud or Mossad without being wrongly accused of racism. And this is important - you can be impolite or even wrong in your criticism and still not be racist. Tone policing and telling people they can only be considered not racist, if their comments are 100% accurate and meet your approval is not a constructive way to pursue dialogue.

Of course, we should strive to be sensitive when discussing issues like racism, but we should also remember people's emotions can get in the way of their message. Do we want to understand or misunderstand?

People should always be completely unafraid to highlight crimes against humanity or historical facts. Just because you don't like someone's words, does not mean the person is wrong, and even if they are wrong, it does not always follow that punishment is fair or rational. Context is so important.

We must focus on education and understanding and avoid spurious and counterproductive accusations of racism, if we are ever to defeat racism.

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What did Conservatives Think of Nelson Mandela?

Today, 18th July 2020, marks Nelson Mandela's 102nd birthday and the man is almost universally praised for his heroic struggles against South African apartheid, but this was not always the case. Indeed prominent conservatives in both the US and UK believed Mandela and the ANC were terrorists, yet today they attempt to whitewash history and pretend they were allies in the fight for racial equality.

Let's take a look at conservative attitudes towards the apartheid struggle in the 1980s:

During the Commonwealth Summit in Vancouver in 1987, Margaret Thatcher refused to sanction the apartheid regime of South Africa, despite facing intense international pressure to do so. When she was questioned about Mandela's ANC party at the press conference, she replied: “I just remembered I did not answer the second part of the previous question put to me about the ANC. When the ANC says that they will target British companies, this shows what a typical terrorist organisation it is. I fought terrorism all my life and if more people fought it, and we were all more successful, we should not have it, and I hope that everyone in this hall will think it is right to go on fighting terrorism. They will if they believe in democracy.”

Thatcher went on to say: "I will have nothing to do with any organisation that practises violence. I have never seen anyone from the ANC or the PLO or the IRA and would not do so.”

There you have it, clear as day, Margaret Thatcher believed Mandela's ANC was a terrorist organisation and even drew comparisons to the IRA. Would any Tory MP dare suggest Mandela was a terrorist today?

Nelson Mandela was clearly and unequivocally a socialist, but both Thatcher and Reagan labelled him a communist and saw him as a threat. The Reagan administration even placed Mandela on a terrorist watch list. Both leaders considered the South African regime to be a cold war ally and refused to impose sanctions which Mandela and the ANC had called for.

Reagan described apartheid South Africa as “a country that has stood by us in every war we’ve ever fought, a country that strategically is essential to the free world in its production of minerals.” These words sound eerily similar to today's justifications for Britain and America's close relationship to the monstrous Saudi Royal Family.

Thatcher and Reagan saw the ANC as a terrorist organisation seeking to spread communism and they had no interest in working constructively with it.

“The South African government is under no obligation to negotiate the future of the country with any organisation that proclaims a goal of creating a communist state and uses terrorist tactics and violence to achieve it,” Reagan said in 1986.

“A considerable number of the ANC leaders are communists,” Thatcher told journalists.

The U.S. classified Mandela and the ANC as terrorists and shockingly kept them on watch lists until 2008. Prior to this, Condoleeza Rice had to personally approve visits to the US from South African officials. She told a senate committee: “It's frankly a rather embarrassing matter that I still have to waive in my own counterpart, the foreign minister of South Africa, not to mention the great leader Nelson Mandela.”

In 2016, The Times reported Margaret Thatcher even tried to prevent a Royal Family member from giving Nelson Mandela an honorary degree. This is not the kind of behaviour you would expect from a Prime Minister who claimed to support the apartheid struggle and fight for Mandela's release from prison, is it?

And it was not just Thatcher and Reagan who held Mandela and the ANC in such contempt. In the 1980s, MP Terry Dicks famously said: "Nelson Mandela should be shot" and asked: “How much longer will the Prime Minister allow herself to be kicked in the face by this Black terrorist?”

A Tory MP by the name of John Carlisle began a one man campaign to stop the Free Mandela concert being shown on TV in 1988, saying: “The BBC never ceases to take any opportunity of putting forward anti-South African propaganda.”

MP Eric Forth asked in Parliament: “What would be your reaction if the South Africans approached the Government demanding the release of a prisoner in this country?”

It is absolutely clear the prevailing conservative view of the 1980s was that Mandela and the ANC were terrorists and the South African regime were allies who should not be sanctioned.

Dick Cheney appeared on This Week in 2000 to explain he voted against a 1986 bill urging the release of Mandela from prison because "the ANC was then viewed as a terrorist organisation.” 
Given all of the above, isn't it extremely disingenuous for Conservatives to pretend they were allies in the struggle against apartheid and to praise Nelson Mandela without acknowledging these shameful truths? While you can argue this was over thirty years ago and many of today's conservatives cannot be held responsible for this, the fact remains today's conservatives call Saudi head choppers allies, abandon the people of Kashmir, and turn a blind eye to the Palestinian struggle against apartheid.

Nelson Mandela once said: "We know too well our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians." He saw the struggle faced by Palestinians as part of the same struggle faced by the ANC against brutal apartheid oppressors. If you have ever wondered whose side you would have been on in the 1980s, ask yourself whose side you are on today, and then you know your answer.

Conservatives are always in the wrong side of history.

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Civil Rights Giant John Lewis Passes Away

Congressman John Lewis of Georgia's 5th District has died at the age of 80. He had been battling pancreatic cancer.

The son of sharecroppers from Alabama, Lewis became an icon of the civil rights movement and was the last survivor of the "big six" leaders which included Martin Luther King jr. He helped found the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and became its chairman from 1963-66. He also helped organise the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, speaking at the rally in which Martin Luther King jr gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

In 1965, Lewis led 600 protesters in the Bloody Sunday March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.While walking with his hands in his pockets at the front of the march, he was attacked and beaten by police officers. Lewis received a fractured skull and the shocking televised images sparked a national debate on racial oppression which resulted in President Lyndon B. Johnson planning the Voting Rights Act days later. The bill became law later that year, removing barriers to voting for the black community.

Lewis once famously said: “But we must accept one central truth and responsibility as participants in a democracy: Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”

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Friday, 17 July 2020

What does the Labour Right have against Democracy?

Labour is supposed to be a socialist party so why does it even have a right wing which holds the party's ideals and membership in such contempt?

The great Nye Bevan famously said: "The right wing of the Labour Party would rather see it fall into perpetual decline than abide by its democratic decisions." The last five years would suggest little has changed in the Labour Party over the past century.

I remember feeling hugely optimistic about the 2015 Labour leadership result. Finally with Jeremy Corbyn in charge, I believed the Labour Party would represent someone like me who had genuinely been rock bottom and faced hardship my whole life. I and many others finally had a light at the end of the tunnel. We had representation.

In my naivity it did not occur to me, the majority of Labour MPs would revolt against their own democratically-elected leader Jeremy Corbyn, which meant revolting against the Labour membership, against people like me, the hardest up in society who were supposed to be who Labour represented.

I was horrified by the contempt they showed towards us. I was horrified to see them sneer at the Labour manifesto, at policies decided democratically at the annual conference, policies which included things like a £10 an hour minimum wage which would have lifted many out of poverty, nationalisation of key services which would have meant an end to rip-off prices and profiteering, and a green industrial revolution which was aiming to literally save the planet, creating many jobs in the process.

These weren't far left, unachievable ideas. They were fully costed policies which are considered normal throughout northern Europe and elsewhere, and were (and still are) absolutely essential to creating a more equitable society. Yet the so-called "moderate" Labour MPs could not help sneering at the policies they were supposed to endorse, every time the BBC wheeled one of them out to say how terrible the party leader was.

That leader would be Jeremy Corbyn, of course, the man we twice elected to represent our interests. Yes, twice, because the centrists did not accept the result of the first leadership contest which Corbyn won by a landslide, so they tried to stitch up the second contest by keeping Corbyn off the ballot, and when they failed to rig things in favour of the dismal Owen Smith, Mr "Unelectable" rather predictably won by another landslide.

These "moderates" are the same people who told us Britain wanted a People's Vote because they would not accept the democratic outcome of the EU referendum. They insisted Labour would win the next general election by a landslide, if only we switched to a PV. Instead our PV policy gave the Tories their landslide, but the Labour right never cared about victory, they just cared about stopping Corbyn.

Labour would be 20 points ahead under any other leader, they insisted. Well Starmer is ten points behind during his honeymoon period. "Moderates" completely fail to grasp the only people cheering on the Labour right are a handful of people with #FBPE in their Twitter bios and Tories who are delighted to see Labour implode. Core Labour voters are aghast at the Labour right's contempt for democracy and are leaving the party in droves. Some are arguing the left should stay and fight. Why? So we can get another socialist leader, only for the Labour right to sabotage another general election like they sabotaged the last two?

We know how the Labour right felt about the 2017 general election result because we saw their faces, we heard them speak - and then internal messages were made public. These people were devastated Jeremy Corbyn came so close to victory, terrified the man they insisted was unelectable might actually become Prime Minister and achieve meaningful reform in this country. They had the opportunity to vote no confidence in Boris Johnson and make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister. Instead they desperately looked for someone else, anyone else, including Tories like John Major and Ken Clarke!

The contempt they showed to their twice democratically-elected leader was outrageous, as was the contempt they showed for the Labour manifesto, as was the contempt they showed for the EU referendum, as was the contempt they showed for two general election campaigns in which they apparently wanted their own party to lose, as is the contempt they show to the NEC elections in which they do everything to keep left candidates off the slate, including issuing suspensions.

How can the left possibly work with people who are seeking to water down Labour's manifesto, despite Starmer promising the opposite to get himself elected leader? How can we possibly trust this arrogant and deceptive mob whose recent attitudes towards racism have been shocking? The answer is, we can't, so we showed the dignity the "moderates" lacked and we walked away from a project we no longer believe in, knowing any attempt at compromise with those who would vilify us was pointless.

No doubt, many of the Labour right are thrilled by the mass exodus, but they are about to get one hell of a wake up call when they discover neither the left nor right will vote for them, and they are fighting the Lib Dems for the centrist vote. The Labour right are about to discover the democracy they have such contempt for is going to punish them very hard indeed. You don't win an election without offering a meaningful alternative and centrism offers nothing at all.

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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Why is Sir Keir Starmer Attracting Support from Far Right Bots?

For the past 4 years, the media has given wall-to-wall coverage to the antisemitism scandal which has mired the Labour Party, but today a new racism scandal is emerging which is anti-black, anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic. So far the media is giving this racism a free pass. Could this be because the racism is coming from "moderates" which meet the establishment's approval? Or could there be a racism hierarchy in both the Labour Party and Britain as a whole?

Recently I posted several tweets critical of Starmer's words on Black Lives Matter and the subsequent praise he received from Nigel Farage. I was met by a deluge of low follower Twitter accounts, many of which were insulting, abusive, or even racist as they expressed support for the Labour leader.

Now it's worth pointing out I've criticised Starmer several times without receiving such a large scale reaction so this is a new phenomenon. I must also point out these are not Labour bots, they're clearly as far right as it gets, and yet they're suddenly defending the Labour leader. This is concerning.

You could argue it was the Farage comment which attracted the far right and they were just causing trouble to amuse themselves, only it wasn't just this tweet they were appearing on, it was every tweet I posted about Starmer, as though they had been instructed. A clear pattern was emerging.

Take Archibald with 10 followers and no banner for example whose Twitter feed is full of right wing bile and who describes Black Lives Matter as a "Marxist anti Semitic group". He gleefully shares posts with the black on black crime trope as well as posts attacking left wing politicians. It is rather concerning that such a person would jump to the defence of the Labour leader.
Everything about Archibald's account screams bot. You have to ask what a person would get out of doing this, unless they were getting paid. Are the controllers of the bot farm exploiting Starmer's recent own goals to divide Labour? Or are they just thrilled to get a fifth columnist in charge?
Or what about 0 follower kingdomofkitsch who describes Black Lives Matter as an "incredibly divisive & problematic group"? Another account with a Twitter feed full of right wing bile who likes calling BAME MPs and celebs like Dawn Butler and Nish Kumar "plonkers". Why would someone with zero followers even bother?

Here is Robert with 35 followers who has decided we're all deluded commies and Black Lives Matter wants to destroy civilisation. Totally normal. Robert has regularly criticised the Labour Party but now he has found common ground - on Starmer's approach to racism.
And Starmer even received support from whitelivesmatter who thinks Black Lives Matter is a brainwashing sham that allows blacks to get a free ride. Need I say more?
In all honesty I was bombarded by accounts, most with fewer than 10 followers calling me "commie", "liar", and amusingly "dickcheese" for criticising the Labour leader. I spent an entire day blocking hundreds of them. I have never received such a backlash when criticising Starmer or the Tories and most were clearly fake accounts.  Other Twitter users have told me they experienced the same. Where the hell did the bots come from and who is funding them?

Will the Labour leader denounce the abusive and racist bots spontaneously defending his recent actions? Will the media run a story on this scandal like they so often did whenever they encountered a socialist on Twitter posting antisemitic content?

Now you could put forward the argument this is all unfair, that no one could prove where these accounts came from, and that Starmer would not endorse their behaviour. These would be fair points, only the Labour leader's record on tackling racism in the Labour Party has so far been abysmal - from his failure to condemn the racist abuse received by the likes of Diane Abbott to his immediate condemnation of Rebecca Long-Bailey and then his awful comments on Black Lives Matter, the Labour leader is all over the place. He is not showing a consistent and coherent approach, instead only acting decisively when a socialist is accused.

I don't think these bots have anything to do with Starmer or the Labour Party, but the fact remains, they are only able to cause trouble because Starmer's clumsiness has enabled them to. His recent words and actions have positioned him closer to the far right than to the left and BAME communities are saying they feel abandoned by Labour and are now politically homeless. Surely Starmer should be winning these people back and distancing himself from the far right so as not to give them further ammunition.

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Forward Momentum Candidates Clean Up at Internal Elections

After a 6 week long voting process, Forward Momentum candidates have won all 20 seats in the members' section of their internal elections, defeating Momentum Renewal rivals backed by Jon Lansman who has stepped down as leader. This means Forward Momentum now has a majority on the National Coordinating Group.

Renewal candidates won four public office holder seats chosen by MPs and councillors, showing a distinct divide between politicians and grassroots. The NCG will soon decide who replaces Lansman as leader.

There is now excitement among activists that Momentum can return to the energetic, grassroots driven force for change it once was and cast off the toxic authoritarian image it has accrued in recent years.

It's important to remember just how effective Momentum was in getting the message out in the build-up to the 2017 general election. Their outstanding social media work was a key reason for Labour's unexpectedly high performance, but by 2019, Momentum had clearly lost its edge and was turning so many off. Forward Momentum may well offer a new direction for the organisation, but it will do so by staying true to its original vision.

When Jeremy Corbyn stepped down as Labour leader, he asked party members to join Momentum to ensure the left still had a powerful voice within the party. Today's news may well prompt many to do just that.

You can join Momentum by clicking the below image:

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