Thursday, 17 December 2020

Welcome to #ToryBritain where Charities Mustn't Feed Hungry Children and Your Boss Pays Himself 100x More than He Pays You!

Jacob Rees-Mogg was furious today. Absolutely seething. His government have made courageous efforts to starve as many school children as possible this year, but bloody Unicef have stepped into feed them! Can you believe that? 

School children were posing quite the problem for the Tories due to their frustrating resistance to Covid-19, but Rees-Mogg thought he'd found the perfect solution, and then those bastards at Unicef decided to offer food. I'm still shaking with anger...

Rees-Mogg said Unicef should be "ashamed" while speaking from his family's castle in Somerset, sporting his favourite monocle. He explained they were "playing politics" because child hunger obviously doesn't exist in the UK... Okay, it does exist, intentionally, because the Tories want to stuff your money into their offshore bank accounts, but charities shouldn't get in the way of that.

You see, the Tory position is that charity should step in where the market fails, but it's also the Tory position that charities shouldn't do a damn thing. The original plan was actually that charitable organisations could be handy fronts for things like tax write-offs, but let's not talk about that...

Charity was not the only problem the poor Tories have dealt with this week. There was also the problem of the great invasion...

Recent research has shown UK bosses earn on average 100x more than workers, but refugees are definitely the reason you're living off Asda baked beans and can't afford to pay the rent this winter. We can't afford to feed the hungry in the UK, but you will be pleased to know we can still afford billionaires. The Tories really put the "n" into cuts, don't they?

The Great Replacement is mostly brown people, often Muslims, daring to flee the countries we bombed (when we fancied nicking their resources) and coming here because they want to eat! Who the fuck do they think is going to feed them? Unicef? They seem to think that because we've stolen loads of money off them that we'll share it out over here! Do they have any idea how elitism works? We don't even feed our own people!

I'm hearing pop stars in sub-Saharan Africa are releasing a record to raise money for Britain. Best make sure none of it goes to the kids though.

Anyways, pop records are not important. The real concern is that our people are being replaced! No one has actually explained where the replaced people are being sent to though. My best guess is a secret base on the Moon that receives shipments of Asda baked beans once a year. 

Where was I? 

Oh yes, those hungry bastards are replacing other hungry people who are obviously superior due to having less pigment in their skin. It's a huge concern and one the leader of the opposition listened to very carefully when a lovely white supremacist called Jody phoned in to LBC. So glad Keith didn't challenge her by the way. The far-right were thrilled with his performance. They were boasting about it all over Twitter. These are people who think Johnson isn't right-wing enough for them as he dumps British citizens on a plane and sends them to Caribbean countries they've never visited. It's lovely the far-right now have representation in Keith though, isn't it? After all, this is what pluralism is all about. Seeing who can win over the most racists.

"I still see myself as a socialist!" LOTO said. Fucking hilarious is wor Keith.

So wor Keith (or Sir as he's known to his subjects) has been fulfilling his duties to the establishment and purging all socialists from Labour while the Tories fight with charities who are stifling their efforts to starve the masses. Good thing too. If socialists ever took charge, we'd have empty food shelves and would be forced to eat our pets like they do in Venezuela, according to billionaire-owned newspapers. Good job things are much better here under capitalism. And they'll improve even further if we can stop that bastard Marcus Rashford.

But enough of him. We have more important people to focus on like the wonderful Priti Patel who has sadly announced she won't be seeing her family members this Christmas because she's deported them all. Poor Priti. At least she's hot though. Evil as shit, but hot nonetheless. Don't you dare fucking @ me!

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

Monday, 14 December 2020

BREAKING: Sir Keir Starmer Abstains on White Supremacy

Today, Sir Keir Starmer appeared on an LBC live phone-in...

That in itself should be enough to set alarm bells ringing. I don't listen to LBC myself, but I'm constantly told it attracts all kinds of racists and right-wing nutters. It's exactly the sort of place you'd expect a Labour leader to avoid, especially when his lot spent five years insisting you don't share platforms with undesirables.

NOTE: Their idea of undesirables is often left-wing activists like Black journalist Kerry-Anne Mendoza. We've mentioned her a lot recently and for good reason. She's been relentlessly targeted by the Labour hard-right, and Starmer issued orders that anyone who attended an antiracism event she attended would be suspended. Yes, he told Labour members they would be suspended for listening to a Black woman tell us why she thinks racism is bad. You really couldn't make this shit up, but I digress...

So Starmer appeared on an LBC phone-in. So far so bad. And it's about to get so much worse...

Starmer thought it would be a good idea to debate the legitimacy of people kneeling for Black Lives Matter and discuss whether Millwall fans should've booed kneeling footballers. Now in fairness, Starmer did defend those footballers in his own feeble way, but an antiracist really should not need to debate this shit! 

Let me spell it out for those who are confused...

You don't debate with a racist why racism is bad. You shut them down. You simply explain anyone who booed those footballers is racist. End of conversation. You do not lend legitimacy to the opposing view. It's like debating whether the Earth is flat, or having a friendly chat about whether the slave trade was a bad thing. It's not a conversation that needs to be had.

But it somehow gets even worse...

The caller went onto discuss far right "great replacement" theory and ask why Britain can't be turned into a white ethnostate. I shit you not...

"Should white people also start playing identity politics before they become a minority themselves by 2066?"

And when Starmer gave his piss-weak answer, she continued:

"If anything, the racial inequality is now against the indigenous people of Britain because we are set to become a minority by 2066... And we just have to look across to the middle-east where Israel has a state law that they are the only people in that country to have self-determination. Well, why can't I, as a white British female, have that same right?"

Obviously, Starmer shut her down immediately and told her such ideas are completely unacceptable in modern Britain, right? Wrong!

He simply replied: "We all have those rights" (not in an ethnostate, they don't, Keith) and then went on to waffle about kneeling for Black Lives Matter again. Starmer had an opportunity to condemn white supremacy handed on a plate and he declined that opportunity. 

And it turns out this was not any old caller either. This woman is reportedly a supporter of far-right group Patriotic Alternative. According to Red Flare, she has a YouTube channel where she shares videos with charming topics like "White lives matter." Click on the below tweet to see the thread in full and make up your own mind.

Now you could argue Starmer had no control over which caller would appear on the show, but LBC apparently do have some control. After all, they speak to their guests before putting them live on air. 

Those who've listened to LBC tell me it's flooded with right-wingers and suggest LBC vets their callers accordingly. I can't say whether this is true, but LBC's reputation should've been a red flag for the leader of a socialist, antiracist party (unless that is no longer what he wants the party to be).

Some very serious questions must be asked.

Why is Starmer going on shows which attract a racist far-right crowd when he's telling Labour members they'll be expelled for speaking to/interacting with/sharing a platform with anyone he declares a non-person? (Even a Black journalist discussing her experiences of racism!)

You could argue that in politics you must speak to a wide range of people, which is fair enough, but to declare left-wing journalists beyond the pale and then happily chat with the far-right is a horrifying double-standard.

Why was this person so seemingly comfortable raising such hideous topics with the Labour leader, anyway? Could it have anything to do with him previously describing Black Lives Matter as a "moment", or saying those who toppled the Colston statue were "totally wrong", or that he had "no truck whatsoever" with the Black Lives Matter organisation. Could it have anything to do with Starmer apparently failing to address the outrageous racist bullying outlined in the Labour leaks report? Or the fact he is allegedly close to some of the culprits?

Why is Starmer so comfortable, not just going on LBC call-ins, but writing for newspapers which have racist headlines on a daily basis? Why is Starmer never declaring racist right-wing journalists non-persons like he does Black left-wing journalists? Why does he completely fail to address concerns of Islamophobia and anti-Black racism in the Labour Party? Starmer is more than comfortable addressing antisemitism concerns, and rightfully so, but does he think these other forms of racism are less important?

I'm hearing Black people and Muslims say the Labour Party is no longer a safe space for them. On a personal level, I have a Black wife and kids and I don't trust the Labour leader on matters of racial justice at all.

Instead of addressing our concerns, Starmer is having cosy chats with white supremacists and writing for racist publications behind pay walls. Are these clumsy errors of judgement? Or part of a deliberate strategy to appeal to the right-wing? I know what I think, because whoever Starmer is appealing to, right now, it sure as hell isn't the left, and especially not our Black and Muslim comrades.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Jeremy Corbyn Launches Peace & Justice Project: Could it Grow into a New Socialist Party?

Jeremy Corbyn has announced a new Project for Peace and Justice which will seek international co-operation to end war, climate change, and inequality. He plans a global conference on January 17th and will officially launch the project next month. 

You can find out more here.

Many on the left are inevitably calling for this project to develop into a new socialist political party. In all honesty, I doubt that is in Jeremy Corbyn's immediate plans, but maybe it's an option to be considered in the future. If this project gains widespread public support and the new Labour leader continues on his current trajectory, a new party may well be a possibility. I'm certainly keeping my fingers crossed.

Corbyn said the following about the project to Jacobin:

"The Project for Peace and Justice is about ensuring that attitude toward international affairs is there in public debate, in research, in activism. But it’s also linked to the effects on the economy and life in this country. If we’re going to spend increasing amounts on armaments, don’t raise taxation at the top end, and pursue an economic strategy of repaying the debts incurred during coronavirus, then the only way forward for this government is wage freezes, cuts in health, education, housing, and all the other crucial budgets, and even more intense austerity than we had after 2010. This isn’t a new political party, but a space in which people can come together."

During the interview, Corbyn was critical of British foreign policy and the path Starmer's Labour is taking:

"The direction in which the British government is taking us, with increasing arms expenditure and decreasing foreign aid — and the Labour front bench in parliament accepting the increased arms spending, at least — is not necessarily the best of signs."

Corbyn had lots more to say to Jacobin, and much will be music to the ears of the left who are being disenfranchised by Starmer's Labour. I'm not clear at present whether this project will become an organisation that accepts members, but you can already sign up to a newsletter
My advice to the left is support Corbyn's project in any you can. This is an opportunity for us to amplify our voices, to say we will not be ignored.
If Starmer's Labour continues to disregard us, and the Project for Peace and Justice gains a groundswell of public support, then calls for a new party to grow from it will become deafening. If nothing else, Corbyn's move will force Starmer into a difficult position by exposing his conservative positions on key issues like economics and foreign policy. It will remind the public we once had a leader who was so much better.

If Starmer were to expel Corbyn, not only would he run the risk of the Labour right's dirty secrets being exposed in court, but he could face a challenge from a new left-wing party in 2024, and that would mean the end of his election chances. This is a smart move from Corbyn. It significantly strengthens his hand and gives the left something to rally behind. This is something we've been crying out for all year.

Here is the Project for Peace and Justice's mission statement:

"To bring people together for social and economic justice, peace, and human rights, in Britain and across the world.

"The Peace and Justice Project will back campaigns, commission reports and develop progressive networks in Britain and across the world.

"The Peace and Justice Project will work with labour and social movements and provide platforms to those campaigning for change for the many, not the few."

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

Friday, 11 December 2020

British Police Officer Filmed Punching Black Child Outside His School

Watch the shocking moment a Met police officer twice punched a 16 year old boy in the face outside his school in Tottenham. It was reported police officers received injuries during the encounter, but the footage suggests their actions were excessive, and they were met with loud protests from onlookers.

The boy was later treated in hospital for facial injuries and the incident has been referred to the police watchdog for investigation. I understand a small protest took place today, outside Parkview School in Haringey.

Tensions between police and the local community have been running high in Haringey, due to racial profiling and stop and search techniques. Ironically, the police claim their methods are used to reduce violent crime, but some might suggest police are often the violent criminals themselves.

I have a Security Industry Authority badge, meaning I am trained in proper restraint techniques or physical interventions. While I am unaware of police training procedures, I can confirm that restraining someone's limbs and neck, and then punching them in the face would be unacceptable in the security industry. 

It's not just the striking that seemed problematic either. Restraining someone's neck and dragging them to the ground is dangerous and can result in death or serious injury, particularly in those with health conditions or disabilities. You just don't know who you're dealing with during such an encounter. This is something which was explicitly stated during our training and I have trouble believing police would not understand it.

The officer could have employed multiple techniques to restrain the boy's arms without touching his neck, let alone punch him, especially when you consider he was bigger than him.

If a person in the security industry acted in this manner, not only would they almost certainly lose their badge, due to excessive use of force, but they'd be prosecuted. This was a grown man versus a teenage boy - a minor - who had his limbs and neck restrained in a dangerous manner. There was simply no justification I could see to throw those punches, regardless of what may or may not have taken place during the build up. I cannot see how those actions protected the officers or helped in the restraint of the boy. They actually risked escalating the situation and inflaming an already emotional crowd of onlookers.

Whichever way you look at it, this looks terrible for the Met. If anyone is still asking why we in Britain say Black Lives Matter, this is why. Police brutality is not just an American phenomenon.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Twitter Auto-Bans Users Due to Vexatious Mass Reports from Labour Hard-Right

Over the past few weeks a worrying trend has emerged of prominent (and lesser known) activists on Twitter being banned for absurd reasons. Among those banned was Canary editor Kerry-Anne Mendoza @TheMendozaWoman who shared her own email address in a tweet. 

Twitter apparently received a high number of reports that Mendoza was sharing personal information without permission, i.e., doxxing, and her account was automatically suspended. More concerning, I understand Mendoza was unable to successfully appeal the decision - her suspension was only overturned when Twitter users kicked up such a fuss that Twitter of America got involved. 

It would seem Twitter UK allows an algorithm to make a decision to ban a journalist with 59,100 followers, based only on the number of complaints received. How else could you explain the absurdity of the decision? This is a system which is clearly open to abuse and which leaves the most popular accounts the most vulnerable.

The Mendoza situation was not a one-off either...

Kerry-Anne was actually banned twice in a matter of days, and our very own Rachael Swindon @Rachael_Swindon was also banned - for the same reason too (!) - sharing an email address. Thankfully, Rachael also had her Twitter account restored after a public outcry. (We simply weren't going to sit back and let two of our strongest female voices be purged!)

Other activists, however, have not been so lucky...

A Twitter user called Red Sarah @RedSarah99 was recently doxxed by the Labour hard-right. Not long after that, she was banned for copyright infringement. Her crime? Sharing the song Letter to Corbyn in a tweet. The artist - Craft-D - has confirmed Red Sarah absolutely had permission to use the song. Both he and many other Twitter users have publicly appealed the suspension, but alas, it seems poor Sarah is not a big enough name for Twitter to take notice. 

Unless you have a huge platform, it would seem the algorithm is your judge, jury and executioner. And the algorithm is broken...

Another Twitter user, Ben @BenJolly9 was banned for posting a picture of an MP! Apparently, this was for "sharing personal information", i.e., doxxing again. (The picture was linked to the below tweet.)

The Twitter algorithm will just blindly accept that posting a picture of an MP that's in the public domain is equivalent to posting a regular user's address and other personal info! It's just absurd. But it gets worse. Ben's account was reinstated for a few hours and then mysteriously banned again. No one knows why this time.

Was the suspension lifted in "error"? Or was it lifted because Twitter users kicked up a huge fuss? Was the original suspension reinstated? Or was Ben vexatiously mass-reported again? We just don't know.

Here's what we do know: 

A number of Twitter users, some high profile and with blue ticks, have been boasting of their coordinated efforts to get these accounts banned. They've also publicly lied about the reasons for the bans. I could prove this with screenshot evidence, but honestly, I'm not giving these trolls the oxygen of publicity. Their tweets are out there and you can unearth them yourself with a few quick Twitter searches.

A few points to consider if you are a Twitter user:

The algorithm seems programmed to recognise certain elements of a tweet but not understand context. This means if you share your own personal email, for example, or the telephone number of the Samaritans, or a picture of your family pet, you could fall victim to mass reporting. If a few dozen complaints come in from this troll group, the algorithm will take you down. And unless people make a huge noise, your account will be gone forever. It seems Twitter does not have the manpower to look into each of these vexatious complaints. The algorithm's word is final.

I would recommend all Twitter users block troublemakers on sight. Don't argue with people or attract the attention of bad crowds - it just isn't worth it. Also, avoid using bad language. The algorithm hates that. And even a C-bomb which is not directed at anyone can result in a ban, if the algorithm so chooses.

Of course, what we really need to do is pressure Twitter into addressing the situation, and using the hashtag #StopTheLeftPurge should help. We need all vexatious complainants to be banned and we need to stop the algorithm issuing permanent suspensions. Only an actual human should make that decision. And there should always be a fully transparent appeal system within a guaranteed timescale. 

I know of people who've waited months to hear the outcome of an appeal, but if they email to request a follow up, they get told their original query is still open and they must continue to wait! For how long? Forever?

UPDATE: Ben Jolly and Kerry-Anne Mendoza have now been suspended for the third time in a week. Neither user has been given a reason this time. I have contacted them and they've shown me screenshots which simply state the account has been suspended. Nothing else. If Twitter does not take action against the vexatious reporters now, they will be complicit in harassment. This has to be stopped.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Starmer Abstains on Horrendous Tier Bill, but Corbyn Does the Right Thing Again

Tonight MPs voted on new, tougher tier proposals from the Tory government to prevent a third Covid-19 wave. While tougher action would certainly be welcome, some would argue the proposals simply do not go far enough. Plus, they are inherently unfair and the support packages are woefully insufficient. 

For example, pubs which are no longer allowed to serve food will get a one-off payment of £1000, which would not cover their bills for a month. Without further action, we could be looking at mass closures in the areas which are facing the harshest measures.

Surely, Covid-19 measures should be the same throughout the nation. You would certainly expect the leader of the opposition to make that argument. If the government is failing to adequately protect the public, it's the job of LOTO to step in and argue for an alternative. Someone really should explain this to Starmer.

In the end, only 78 MPs voted against the proposals, but not all were heroes - some 55 were Tories - mostly nutjobs who want no action to be taken at all. It's safe to say the Tories were revolting, in both senses of the word.

Jeremy Corbyn was, of course, one of the few Labour MPs to do the right thing and vote against the plan. He was joined by some colleagues from the Socialist Campaign Group. Here are the other Labour MPs who took a stand:

For all the SCG's faults, at least a few of them still know how to vote on principle. Starmer certainly doesn't. Some would argue he does not know what his principles are yet. A cynic might suggest his principles are conservative and the best way he could support the Tories was to sit this one out, like he does on every contentious vote where human rights are at stake. It seems human rights are not the type of thing a Blue Labour leader should take a stand on, but to be fair, Starmer has more pressing issues like purging socialists from a socialist party.

It's certainly worth mentioning that if Starmer wasn't supporting the Tory farce from the beginning, we would never have found ourselves in this mess. Countries like New Zealand acted strongly and avoided the catastrophe we are facing, but Starmer would prefer not to embarrass the government by pointing this out. He would rather support them while people are dying - 72,000 and rising. 

Here's me thinking meaningful opposition meant opposing government failure, but what do I know? I'm just a loony leftie. Silly me.

Starmer actually ordered his MPs to abstain, saying he recognised restrictions needed to continue, but he was "far from convinced" the new system will work. Absolutely fucking useless.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com

Stunning Hypocrisy: Starmer Donor Tweets "Self-hating Jew Trope" and Other Nonsense

It has emerged that one of Sir Keir Starmer's key donors, David Abrahams, has tweeted out a string of bizarre comments, including the "Self-hating Jew" trope, which many would consider antisemitic. He also tweeted comments which some social media users have suggested are Islamophobic or homophobic. These comments are certainly clumsy and offensive to say the least.

Starmer has repeatedly stated he never wants Labour to be associated with antisemitism again, so we must ask, will he be returning the donations he received from Abrahams? Will he be apologising? After all, this would appear to be a far worse situation than what Jeremy Corbyn was suspended for, and Labour members have certainly been expelled for this kind of social media use. 

Some would call this situation staggeringly hypocritical, especially when you consider that Sir Keir Starmer personally wrote to Abrahams to ask him to donate to Labour, as reported in The Times and other newspapers. Here are some of the tweets so you can judge for yourself whether Starmer should be asking for money from such a man:

Does this class as antisemitism in your view?

Or this?
What do you make of this?
Okay it's getting weird now...

Does this look like Islamophobia?
Or this?
What about this?
And did he just suggest Black South Africans preferred apartheid?
Racism, whether that be in the form of antisemitism, Islamophobia, or anti-Black racism, is unquestionably one of the great evils of this world, along with homophobia. Not only must we root bigotry out of society, but we must make every effort to distance ourselves from it and avoid any words which could be seen to encourage it. I would hope most people grasp this - after all it's pretty basic stuff.

It's not for me to say whether David Abrahams is racist, but I can and will say his comments are incredibly clumsy and insensitive. They've certainly offended many good people. If Sir Keir Starmer wants to be known as an antiracist, and never have Labour associated with antisemitism again, he simply cannot be associating himself with a man who uses such offensive language. He should not be taking money from him.

We've seen Labour members on the left come under huge criticism simply for standing in the same room as those accused of past antisemitic comments. I'm no fan of guilt by association by the way. I think it's shoddy reasoning and it's McCarthyite. But when Sir Keir Starmer is personally contacting a man to request money from him, he needs to ensure he knows who is dealing with. If he gets it wrong, he needs to apologise and quickly return the money. Failure to do so would be a far more serious error of judgement than that which Starmer removed the whip from Jeremy Corbyn, surely?

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support
email: r.d.hale@outlook.com