Historic Failure

Led by Donkeys: A historic failure

Jeremy Corbyn: A warning to Truss and Hunt: people see the chaos and unfairness – and they won’t accept it

In my 39 years in parliament, I cannot remember a fiscal plan so reckless, arrogant and out-of-touch. More than one in five people – and one in three children – are in poverty in the UK. A quarter of a million people in England are homeless. This October, millions of people will struggle to heat their homes or feed their children. But will nobody think of the bankers?

It doesn’t matter which remnants of neoliberal economics this government tries to rescue from the rubble. Nor does it matter how many chancellors they use to try to resuscitate them. The Tories will never be able to fix the economy until they reckon with the fact that they’ve spent the past 12 years destroying it.

By preparing for another wave of austeritythe new chancellor is not just in denial about the scale and severity of the cost-of-living crisis. He is in denial about the very economic policy that engendered it. The last round of cuts to public services – which has been linked to 330,000 excess deaths by a recent report – did not just plunge millions into poverty. It stole resources from the poorest people in society and transferred them to the richest: as child poverty was heading towards its highest levels since 2007, Britain’s billionaires more than doubled their wealth. Far from rectifying this act of social robbery, the government is intent on helping the 1% steal even more.

As the Tories plunge themselves into electoral oblivion, those in opposition have a precious opportunity: to redistribute wealth, ownership and economic power. To end insecurity, exploitation, poverty and homelessness. To build a society grounded in compassion, creativity and care.

Continue ReadingHistoric Failure

Jeremy Corbyn criticises West for ‘pouring arms into Ukraine and prolonging war’

Image of Jeremy Corbyn, Wikimedia Image, Author Sophie Brown. Sophie Brown, CC BY-SA 4.0
Jeremy Corbyn. Author Sophie Brown, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/jeremy-corbyn-ukraine-russia-invasion-b2137091.html

The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the west for arming Ukraine, arguing that its military support will prolong the war.

Countries including the UK and the US have sent Kyiv billions of pounds of weapons to help it fight off Vladimir Putin’s troops.

“Pouring arms in isn’t going to bring about a solution. It is only going to prolong and exaggerate this war,” Corbyn said, echoing the line taken by Moscow on western military aid to Ukraine.

Although the North Islington MP said he “disagrees” with the Russian invasion, he accused world leaders of using “the language of more war and more bellicose war” instead of pursuing peace.

“This war is disastrous for the people of Ukraine, for the people of Russia and for the safety and security of the whole world, and therefore there has to be more, much more effort, put into peace,” he said.

‘This is a war of propaganda’ John Pilger on Ukraine and Assange Talking Post with Yonden Lhatoo

20 min long unfortunately …

10 August 2022. This post disappears from the blog repeatedly, I don’t know why.

11 August 2022. [Technical] I’m very pleased with my current host while the last one was good when I joined but bought out and then turned useless. It’s cheap, fast and has excellent tech support. I should have flushed the NGINX cache after changing the theme to get this post displaying properly. Not sure about this theme despite it being very popular e.g. quoted text not reactive, [12/8/22 now working, think that my secret secretary should be thanked for that. I don’t know who my secret secretary is – it’s a secret ;)] could be simpler to use (how can I change the background colour in the header? why is it a different colour anyway? I want this sort of stuff to just work straight out of the box).

Continue ReadingJeremy Corbyn criticises West for ‘pouring arms into Ukraine and prolonging war’

State of the UK Labour Party

Two articles about the UK Labour Party, Craig Murray discusses the pointless Keir Starmer:

Starmer’s role has been simply to emasculate the Labour Party, and to purge it of any elements that might seek to pose a threat to rampant neo-liberalism and wealth inequality. His efforts to ban Labour MPs from supporting striking railway workers must be anathema to anybody who has the slightest feel for the history and traditions of that party and indeed the most basic understanding of its very raison d’etre.

This Tony Benn quote from the 1980’s has come into vogue because it is prophetic, and the process appears now complete:

If the Labour Party could be bullied or persuaded to denounce its Marxists, the media – having tasted blood – would demand next that it expelled all its Socialists and reunited the remaining Labour Party with the SDP to form a harmless alternative to the Conservatives, which could then be allowed to take office now and then when the Conservatives fell out of favour with the public. Thus British Capitalism, it is argued, will be made safe forever, and socialism would be squeezed off the National agenda. But if such a strategy were to succeed… it would in fact profoundly endanger British society. For it would open up the danger of a swing to the far-right, as we have seen in Europe over the last 50 years.

Starmer is in one sense the apotheosis of this process. Not only has he acted to purge the Labour Party of socialism, he also offers so very little of a meaningful alternative to the Tories that there is very little danger of the Tories being voted out of office. Not only is he a safe right-wing backstop, he is a self-redundant safe right-wing backstop.

Jeremy Corbyn Sophie BrownCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

and Jeremy Corbyn openly discusses the many parties that obstructed him. The article also discusses Julian Assange.

The Guardian has long been viewed as the voice of the liberal-left in Britain, so it surprised many during the Corbyn leadership to see it act as one of the main media vehicles through which the campaign to bring him down was fought. 

The paper was a key part of the “anti-semitism crisis” that engulfed Corbyn’s leadership. From 2016-19, the Guardian published 1,215 stories mentioning Labour and anti-semitism, an average of around one per day, according to a search on Factiva, the database of newspaper articles. 

In the same period, the Guardian published just 194 articles mentioning the Conservative Party’s much more serious problem with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll in 2019, for example, found that nearly half of the Tory party membership would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister. 

The Guardian’s coverage of anti-semitism in Labour was suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggested that the issue was being used politically.

The late Jewish anthropologist David Graeber commented after the 2019 election: “As for the Guardian, we will never forget that during the ‘Labour antisemitism controversy’, they beat even the Daily Mail to include the largest percentage of false statements, pretty much every one, mysteriously, an accidental error to Labour’s disadvantage”.

Keir Starmer says he is scrapping Labour’s manifesto and ‘starting from scratch’ on policy

Continue ReadingState of the UK Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn unites with direct action group Just Stop Oil

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jun/16/jeremy-corbyn-unites-with-direct-action-group-just-stop-oil

Jeremy Corbyn Sophie Brown, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour leader, has teamed up with direct action campaigners to form a new “red/green” climate and social justice movement which aims to stage a “major wave of popular mass action” later this year.

Corbyn’s Peace and Justice Project, which he set up in 2021, is joining forces with Just Stop Oil campaigners who have staged a series of disruptive climate actions over the past six months.

The new movement – which also includes trade unionists, civil society organisations and leftwing activists – argues that the current “destructive economic model” is the root cause of the cost of living crisis as well as the climate crisis.

New red green coalition forms to confront cost of living and climate crisis through a “major wave of mass popular action”

Lawrence Leather, 22 a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil, said:

“It’s been over a year since Sir David King, the former UK chief scientific adviser warned the ‘next three to four years will determine the future of humanity”. But still the government refuses to do anything.

“As the climate breaks down, the cost of everything will rise. That’s why we want to bring together the broadest coalition we can, including the trade unions, Britain’s biggest social movement, around concrete demands that decarbonise and put money back in people’s pockets.

“We are encouraging everyone to step up now and join the movement. The politicians won’t save us. It’s on us to change history. Their time is up. Our time is now.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the founder of the Peace and Justice Project, said:

“Movements are the motor of change in history. When we come together, we can transform the world. And we must because those in power – the fossil fuel giants, the billionaires and the governments they own – are picking our pockets and stealing our future.

“That’s the crisis. You can’t separate out the cost of living and climate crises. The whole system, which creates billionaires and starves hundreds of millions, is the crisis. It can’t be resolved, it must be overcome and transformed.”

Continue ReadingJeremy Corbyn unites with direct action group Just Stop Oil

Climate protest news 12 April 2022 / 1

Extinction Rebellion targets energy industry insurers Lloyd’s of London

Activists from Extinction Rebellion blocked the entrances at Lloyd’s of London headquarters and prevented staff from entering the building, with the aim of closing down the insurance and reinsurance giant for the day.

The climate campaigners are is demanding that Lloyd’s of London stop insuring fossil fuels projects, and highlighted the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension in Canada, which they believe is being insured through the Lloyd’s marketplace.

The action is part of the April Rebellion and comes after 10 days of ongoing disruption across the UK from Extinction Rebellion and the Just Stop Oil coalition.

‘A Disgrace’: UK Labour Party Slammed for Seeking Injunction Against Climate Activists

The United Kingdom’s ostensibly leftist Labour Party came under fire Monday after calling for nationwide injunctions to block direct actions by climate campaigners that shut down oil terminals to demand an end to new fossil fuel investments.

“Those protesting against fossil fuel giants should be applauded, not arrested.”

“On the Conservatives’ watch, drivers are being hammered by rising petrol prices and now millions of motorists can’t access fuel,” tweeted Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer. “The government must stop standing idly by and immediately impose injunctions to put an end to this disruption.”

Steve Reed, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, made similar remarks Monday, outraging supporters of the Just Stop Oil (JSO) demonstrations—which started at the beginning of April—along with other leftists within and beyond the U.K.

“The Labour Party has just called for nationwide injunctions against climate protesters who are peacefully demonstrating against fossil fuels for all of our futures,” said Joe Ryle, who campaigns for a four-day work week and serves as the media and communications lead for a think tank.

“This is a disgrace, flies in the face of all the climate science, and will be deeply unpopular with Labour members,” asserted Ryle, a former press officer for the political party.

Former party leader Jeremy Corbyn made clear he disagrees with the push by Labour to criminalize or further block legitimate climate activism directed at the fossil fuel industry.

“We need a Green New Deal and a sustainable planet for future generations,” said Corbyn. “Those protesting against fossil fuel giants should be applauded, not arrested.”

“Absolutely incredible,” declared British columnist Owen Jones. “In Keir Starmer’s game-changing video in the Labour leadership campaign, he was showcased as a crusading lawyer who defended activists from being prosecuted by the state. Now he’s calling for environmental protesters to get locked up!”

Just Stop Oil activists vow to continue disruption until UK agrees to fossil fuel demands

Just Stop Oil activists have vowed to continue their efforts to disrupt oil infrastructure across the country amid mounting criticism and concern of fuel shortages ahead of the Easter Weekend.

“Supporters of Just Stop Oil have no choice but to continue to take action whilst our government refuses to end new fossil fuel projects,” the campaign said in a statement to The Independent Tuesday.

“The government can end the disruption immediately by making a statement that they will end all new fossil fuel licences and consents in the UK.”

Breaking news is that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are fined over ‘Partygate’ lockdown parties …

Continue ReadingClimate protest news 12 April 2022 / 1

COP26 News review day 9

Gender day today at the COP26 summit. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi arrived today.

COP26 Report Reveals ‘Massive’ Credibility Gap Between Climate Commitments and 1.5°C Target

Climate policy experts on Tuesday called for the final days of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be spent with world leaders focusing on closing the “credibility, action, and commitment” gap that has emerged as countries put forward their goals for reaching net-zero fossil fuel emissions, with current targets on track to allow global heating far above the 1.5°C limit.

The climate policy organizations Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute released their annual Climate Action Tracker (CAT) on Tuesday, showing that even with full implementation of emissions targets set for 2030, the planet is expected to heat up by 2.4°C by the end of the century.

[Comment by dizzy: I can’t see humans surviving anything like an increase of 2.4C. Apparently we’re at 1.1 or 1.2C increase currently and look at the problems that we have already …]

First Draft of COP26 Decision Text Slammed as ‘Love Letter’ to Fossil Fuel Industry

As a new analysis revealed Monday that fossil fuel industry lobbyists have a larger presence at the COP26 than any country, global campaigners criticized the first draft of the final decision text for the United Nations climate summit for failing to even mention phasing out coal, gas, and oil.

Greenpeace International, in a statement, highlighted that “this glaring omission” comes despite expert warnings about the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground that have mounted in the leadup to the ongoing summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

“What’s very concerning here in Glasgow is that the first draft of the climate pact text is already exceptionally weak. Usually, the text starts with some ambition, which then gets watered down,” said Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan.

UN ‘guilty’ of failing to act on climate change say activists and experts from the Global South

Sunday was an official break day for proceedings at COP26 – but that doesn’t mean that climate events weren’t still happening across Glasgow.

Organised by the COP26 Coalition, the People’s Summit for Climate Justice was one of those events. And as negotiators and COP attendees took a well-deserved rest, a People’s Tribunal took place. This is a simulated trial with the aim of holding the UN accountable for failing to act on climate change.

Made up of activists, experts, NGOs and even a former COP negotiator from the Global South, the tribunal heard four hours of evidence against the UNFCCC, the UN organisation behind these climate talks.

Climate change is a far bigger problem than coronavirus, Sir Patrick Vallance warns

The climate crisis poses a far greater threat to humanity than Covid, the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance has said.

In a stark warning, Sir Patrick Vallance said global warming could kill more people than the pandemic and pose a threat that could last a hundred years.

Jeremy Corbyn hits out at COP26 ‘greenwashing’

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told The Big Issue there is too much greenwashing and “chat” at COP26, and not enough action.

“I’m concerned that there’s an awful lot of greenwash. There’s an awful lot of chat going on, there seems to be very few concrete agreements that have been reached so far. That worries me,” he said.

Boris Johnson to return to Cop26 for one-day visit

Continue ReadingCOP26 News review day 9

Labour MPs hand letter to Belmarsh prison governor demanding meeting with Assange

Labour MPs hand letter to Belmarsh prison governor demanding meeting with Assange

LABOUR MPs Richard Burgon and Diane Abbott handed a letter to the governor of HMP Belmarsh today, demanding permission for a meeting with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

The two socialist MPs joined Mr Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris outside the prison to deliver the letter on behalf of a parliamentary working group.

Mr Assange remains locked up at the Covid-hit south London prison pending an appeal after he beat an extradition case brought by the US.

The letter is signed by 20 parliamentarians including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, MPs Bell Ribeiro-Addy, John McDonnell, Zarah Sultana, Caroline Lucas, Claudia Webbe and members of the House of Lords.

Julian Assange is a ‘journalist of distinction’ & has to be set free, Jeremy Corbyn tells RT outside UK’s Belmarsh Prison

Julian Assange’s case should’ve ended as soon as a UK judge denied his extradition to the US, Jeremy Corbyn, former Labour leader, told RT as he joined other MPs to demand a meeting with the WikiLeaks founder in a London prison.

Corbyn described Assange as “somebody that has stood up for truth around the world. He’s helped us to understand what happened in Guantanamo Bay and so many places around in the world where the US military has done terrible things. We think that he’s a journalist of distinction.”

FBI Fabrication Against Assange Falls Apart

Continue ReadingLabour MPs hand letter to Belmarsh prison governor demanding meeting with Assange

Boris Johnson, COVID and the Media

The Pursuit of Truth – Or Not Boris Johnson, COVID and the Media Dorothy Byrne 21 June 2021

When a man lies often enough, every now and then, something he says will turn out to be true. And so it happened with Boris Johnson. He said our country would be “record-breaking” in this pandemic and it has been, twice over: at one point, the UK had achieved the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths per capita in the world; and it also suffered the worst fall in GDP in Europe.

How have the Prime Minister and his Cabinet fared when it comes to telling the truth about the greatest disaster our country has experienced since the Second World War?

Privately, radio and television journalists will reel off what they think are the most outrageous lies of this Government’s Coronavirus catastrophe – how it claimed that it was simply ‘following the science’ or ‘protecting the NHS and care homes’ or awarding contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE) sensibly. 

Back in autumn 2019, I condemned Boris Johnson as a known liar in the annual MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival. A number of my colleagues in broadcasting disapproved strongly even though they did not dispute the accuracy of my statement. That the Prime Minister is a notorious liar is accepted among journalists in the UK across the political spectrum.

Johnson was sacked by The Times early on in his career for an untruthful front-page story which he misattributed to his own godfather. As the Daily Telegraph’s Brussels’ correspondent between 1989 and 1994, he regularly disseminated ‘Euromyths’. He was sacked in 2004 as the Conservative Party’s vice-chairman and Shadow Arts Minister for dishonestly assuring the then leader Michael Howardthat reports he had had an affair with a columnist were an “inverted pyramid of piffle”.

Yet, almost all broadcast journalists believe that they should not use the ‘L’ word about Johnson.

Why? Firstly, it’s rude and we’re British. Secondly, they fear that the public could thereby think we have lost our impartiality. Well, that’s a risk we have to take. I am indeed not impartial between truth and lies. The public doesn’t have the wherewithal to research the facts about politicians’ statements and therefore judge accurately whether they are telling the truth. They rely on us for that. 

Ministers have made untrue statements over and over again and it has worked for them. A significant proportion of the population has accepted these statements. This is partly because they sympathised with a Government dealing with a plague without precedent for which it could not be blamed. But this is also because broadcast journalists have not said that we have been lied to in significant ways.

Back in 2019, I was complaining about Johnson’s lies concerning EU rules on condoms and kippers. What halcyon days they were, pre-pandemic, when a politician lying about fish seemed like a big deal. Now, he and his Cabinet lie about life and death. Previously, his lies were specific. Now, they are are so vast in their ambition that they create a parallel universe.

In the past, lying politicians were held to account on television and radio. They were not named as liars, but their statements were analysed forensically in lengthy interviews. Not any more.

During the Coronavirus crisis, we have not seen Boris Johnson putting himself up for the sort of grilling to which, for example, Margaret Thatcher subjected herself over the Falklands. Johnson and senior Cabinet ministers have failed to appear on Newsnight or Channel Four News, the two programmes with the time to carry out in-depth interviews. 

A leading broadcast journalist told me: “They just don’t believe in accountability. In one of the great crises of modern times, where is the major interview with the Prime Minister? I can’t think of a time when a Prime Minister in a crisis has put himself up so little. There is no proper scrutiny. It’s a complete contempt for accountability.” 

This is an edited extract from ‘Populism, the Pandemic and the Media: Journalism in the Age of Brexit, COVID, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson’ to be published on 24 June 2021 by AbramisDorothy Byrne is a television journalist and producer. She was formerly editor-at-large at Channel 4 Television, where she previously served as head of news and current affairs

Continue ReadingBoris Johnson, COVID and the Media

EHCR report on anti-semitism in the Labour Party

Here it is https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/investigation-into-antisemitism-in-the-labour-party.pdf

There wasn’t any really.

[2/11/20 ed: I would say that the scale of the problem was dramatically overstated for political reasons by opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media. That was enough to get Jeremy Corbyn suspended from the Labour Party despite it being an entirely true and accurate statement.

Aljazeera’s investigation ‘The Lobby‘ documents the Israeli embassy smear-campaign against Socialists in the Labour Party using false manufactured accusations of anti-semitism.

Continue ReadingEHCR report on anti-semitism in the Labour Party

Trump/US’s assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani: analysis

The US assassinated Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani this morning by drone attack near Baghdad airport. I present my analysis which my be revised or extended.

Trump/US’s assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani is no doubt an extremely provocative and outrageous act having little or any regard for international laws and customs and – of course – Iraqi sovereignty.

It should be recognised and accepted that US, UK and Australia are dictated to by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. National policies are decided by Neo-Con (and climate-destroyer) Murdoch in pursuit of his own interests. Murdoch exerts a veto on politicians e.g. former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and otherwise controls how senior politicians act through the power of his news empire. It is extremely unlikely that Trump would have taken this action without clearing it with or being directed to do it by Murdoch.

Trump is facing re-election is 2020. This action provides a distraction from impeachment proceedings and presents Trump as a bellicose leader.

The best resolution of this unprecedented situation would be a legal one i.e. Trump/US being held to account legally. It is unfortunate that this is unlikely to happen since US has not ratified or does not recognise such legal treaties.

2.25pm

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, responding to the killing of Qasem Soleimani, said:

“The US assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani is an extremely serious and dangerous escalation of conflict in the Middle East with global significance.

“The UK government should urge restraint on the part of both Iran and the US, and stand up to the belligerent actions and rhetoric coming from the United States.

“All countries in the region and beyond should seek to ratchet down the tensions to avoid deepening conflict, which can only bring further misery to the region, 17 years on from the disastrous invasion of Iraq.”

Continue ReadingTrump/US’s assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani: analysis