Category Archives: Politics

Jeremy Corbyn’s legal defence fund – 2: £20,000 target, but over £170,000 raised and more coming in

Today, organiser Carole Morgan has expressed her deepest gratitude to everyone for the most amazing and overwhelming response to this fundraiser for Jeremy Corbyn.

Disloyalty will have political and financial costs

The funds on this campaign will remain on hold by GoFundMe until the details for distribution have been established with Jeremy’s office and I will continue to provide updates as they become available. Jeremy did not know about this campaign beforehand and he is deeply touched by this outpouring of love and support.

RD HALE, the author of the Skye City series, is a prolific campaigner who worked tirelessly to get Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street. His current goal is to return the Labour Party to its socialist roots because he is extremely unhappy with the current leadership, and his ultimate goal is defeating the oligarchy and ushering in a green industrial revolution.

On the 23rd, he reported, “It is believed up to 40 new claimants intend to pursue the Labour Party, following its decision to apologise in the high court and pay damages to seven “whistle blowers” and BBC journalist John Ware.  The pay outs so far have totalled six figures and some, such as departing Unite leader Len McCluskey have suggested this was a misuse of party funds, on the basis lawyers reportedly said the Labour Party would likely win in court, if it had opted to defend the case”.

Because Jeremy Corbyn stated the decision to settle was political, rather than legal, he is now facing possible legal action himself from John Ware. A fundraiser to pay Corbyn’s legal costs has now (July 24th) raised over £165,000.

Hales asks if Starmer could be at risk of bankrupting Labour

He adds that Labour is understood to be suffering a significant loss of revenue, due to members leaving the party in huge numbers since Starmer became leader. Some are speculating that over 300,000 have left since December 2019 – roughly half the membership, although no official figures have been released.

A shadow cabinet minister told the Telegraph: “This is the legacy Corbyn has left us. People should be angry.” And people are angry, but judging by the overwhelming support Corbyn’s fundraiser has received, it would appear they are not angry at the former Labour leader.

Unless a solution is found, it looks like the internecine warfare of the last five years might finally destroy this once great party, and most tragically of all, many on the left would not be sad to see it go.

Still, through this fund, Carole adds, it will become known that Jeremy is NOT alone. He is NOT the few. He is one amongst the many (Ed: York, 2017 above) and we have started a fight back!

 

 

 

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PMQs: showing why Jeremy Corbyn is the leader this country needs

Jeremy Corbyn made his last appearance as Labour leader on Prime Minister’s Question Time (see video) and Emily Apple says that “his performance shows why now, more than ever, he’s the leader this country really needs”.

Lamiat Sabin reported that Jeremy Corbyn turned the spotlight on the workers driving the “huge collective effort” to push on through the coronavirus crisis for the greater good of society.

He told the Commons that the Covid-19 pandemic had made it clear how deeply we depend on each other in our daily lives: “At a time of crisis, no-one is an island, no-one is self-made. The wellbeing of the wealthiest corporate chief executive officer depends on the outsourced worker cleaning their office. At times like this, we have to recognise the value of each other and the strength of a society that cares for each other and cares for all.”

Mr Corbyn praised the “unsung heroes” in the NHS, emergency services, prison and probation, schools, postal service, transport, utilities, Civil Service, local authorities, and social care who “work day and night” to keep the country running and singled out one group who are usually ignored, forgotten and decried as ‘unskilled workers:’ cleaners: “All around the country — and in this building — they are doing their best to keep our places hygienic and safe.”

Mr Corbyn pressed Mr Johnson on whether measures would be taken to make sure that front-line workers are protected during the pandemic, and if testing for the virus was being prioritised. He pointed out that he had asked the PM many times over the past few weeks about plans for widespread testing and had been assured that “everything that could be done was being done.” He called for clarity on why the government had not sought to buy testing kits weeks or months ago, after a leaked email showed that Mr Johnson had only written to British laboratories on Sunday to seek help in buying testing equipment.

As Emily Apple commented: added, “In fact, even Corbyn’s normal detractors suddenly seem to realise his value”:

Boris Johnson praised the outgoing Labour leader’s sincerity and “determination to build a better society” and Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said he “admired” Mr Corbyn for his “unquestionable” commitment to public service and “strong principles about how we think this country may be better governed.”

Mr Corbyn stressed that he would still be campaigning as MP for Islington North, promising: “My voice will not be stilled.”

 

 

 

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Voting intentions are changing in London

 

 

 

 

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Key policies from Labour’s manifesto

Richard House draws attention to a useful breakdown of key policies from Labour’s election-winning manifesto

 

 

 

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NEC’s colossal blunder: wilfully rejecting Chris Williamson, a most able, honest and talented Labour MP

Many members will find it hard to understand the NEC’s spineless decision not to endorse Chris Williamson as a Labour candidate for his Derby constituency because he had, quite correctly, commented that Labour was “too apologetic” in response to criticism of its handling of anti-semitism allegations.

Former Labour MP Chris Williamson speaks outside the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre where he lost his High Court bid to be reinstated to the Labour Party

By doing so the NEC has inadvertently given the wider world the impression that the party is still failing to take anti-semitism allegations seriously.

In his letter to Labour general secretary Jennie Formby, Mr Williamson wrote that he was “dismayed” that party officials have “executed” a “witch-hunt” against anti-zionist members, led by “those who shroud themselves in the banner of socialism”.

Lamiat Sabin reports that he has decided to resign from the Labour Party and seeks re-election in Derby North as an independent candidate in the general election next month. On Wednesday evening, he tweeted: “After almost 44 years of loyal service and commitment, it’s with a heavy heart that I’m resigning from the Labour Party.”.

Blacklisted and vilified

And the man who was nominated in July for the MP of the Year Award (annual People’s Choice Award), which recognises MPs who work closely with disadvantaged and under-represented communities – who set up Holocaust Memorial Day events in Derby and rescinded the obsolete medieval proscription barring Jews from living in Derby – has been blacklisted and vilified as having helped to make the Labour Party ‘a frightening place for Britain’s Jews’.

“As a principled socialist and prominent Corbyn supporter, Williamson was targeted by the right within the party and Labour’s enemies outside, in alliance with those who define as anti-semitism support for the Palestinians’ fight against their oppression”:

This is the verdict of many, voiced by the secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour, which deeply regrets his loss and had hoped he would stay in the party and fight for reinstatement.

 

 

 

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Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to “drive big money out of democracy”

 

In Bolton on Sunday (18.8.19) Mr Corbyn announced a new policy to ban donations or loans to parties from non-doms and those not registered for tax in Britain. He said:

“People are right to feel that politics doesn’t work for them. It doesn’t. Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party are captured by big donors, who are corrupting democracy. If you have the money you can get access to ministers. Look at the fracking industry. But if you wish to protest against the frackers because it will damage the environment, you can’t get a hearing”.

Lamiat Sabin (right) reports that Cabinet Office shadow minister Jon Trickett is working on a comprehensive plan to stop big money “buying up our democracy” before outlining further plans in the autumn and that Mr Corbyn revealed details of donations to PM Boris Johnson – nearly a million pounds – from hedge funds and bankers.

In all: £953,056.47 came from hedge funds and bankers in donations and income over the last 15 years, (Labour’s analysis of Electoral Commission data and register of members’ interests entries) and contributions of up £730,000 to him or Conservative Associations in his Henley and Uxbridge seats. Some detail:

  • speeches to banks in Europe and the US: £233,056;
  • £100,000 received in June from Ipex Capital chairman Jonathan Moynihan, who also chaired the Vote Leave finance committee;
  • £10,000 in June from hedge fund manager Robin Crispin Odey, who is short-selling the sterling in expectation of a slide in the value of the pound in the event of Mr Johnson’s no-deal Brexit — according to Labour;
  • Johnson flown to New York and paid £94,507.85 for a two-hour speech at the multibillion-dollar hedge fund company Golden Tree Asset Management and
  • £88,000 from hedge fund boss Johan Christofferson from direct donations or contributions to Uxbridge Conservative Association.

He said: “We have to stop the influx of big money into politics. Politics should work for the millions, not the millionaires. Labour is the party of the many, not the few and we do things very differently. We are funded by workers through their trade unions and small donations, averaging just £22 in the last general election. That’s why we will be able to drive big money out of our democracy.”

 

 

 

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FT: Business leaders are increasingly interested in the shadow chancellor’s policy proposals

In the Financial Times, noting that Conservatives and Labour are ‘neck and neck’ in the polls, Jim Pickard – formerly a severe critic of Jeremy Corbyn – wrote today “With British politics in a state of acute flux, there is increasing interest from business leaders about Labour’s policy proposals”.

At the launch of the annual Living Standards Audit by the Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank that focuses on low pay, the Independent reports that shadow chancellor John McDonnell (right) will announce details of Labour’s commitment to ending in-work poverty over the course of the next parliament, due to cover the years 2022-27 unless brought forward by a snap election.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said last year that ‘in-work poverty is the problem of our times’ and McDonnell will make a commitment to ending this modern-day scourge, eliminating it by the end of Labour’s first full Parliamentary term.

In September it was reported here that the Financial Times appeared to have left the anti-Corbyn/McDonnell media caucus, somewhat warming to the shadow chancellor. Following Jim Pickard’s first respectful report on any aspect of Labour policy, an article, by Jim O’Neill, chair of the Chatham House think-tank and former Treasury minister, had the headline, “The UK opposition steps into an economic void left by a government grappling with Brexit”.

The second sign was the FT’s comment in a December article that the UK lacks the kind of community banks or Sparkassen that are the bedrock of small business lending in many other countries adding: “When Labour’s John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, calls for a network of regional banks, he is calling attention to a real issue”.

As a paragraph in his address today says: “As Chancellor in the next Labour Government, I want you to judge me by how much we reduce poverty and how much we create a more equal society, by how much people’s lives change for the better. Because that is our number one goal.”

 

 

 

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Place Corbyn at the helm: avoid the light-weight opportunist

In addition to the apprehension about the private American companies further invading the NHS, the imports of adulterated meat and genetically modified produce, there are the unpredictable hazards of truckling to a second Trump administration.

Reams have been written about Boris’s private life and his expensive mistakes as mayor but even more alarming is the trait of opportunism which he shares with Donald Trump.

Judge by appearances? 90% infallible?

Boris Johnson as foreign secretary with Kim Darroch on Capitol Hill

Boris Johnson refused to say whether he would keep Kim Darroch as UK ambassador to the US, following verbal attacks by Donald Trump on the British envoy after the leak of diplomatic cables in which Darroch called the Trump administration “inept”.

The FT reports that Mr Johnson, a former foreign secretary, said it was of “fantastic importance” for Britain to have a “close partnership with the US”.

Harking back to World War II many deplore the acceptance of the Lend-Lease programme for which Britain and other nations paid dearly in the form of ‘reciprocal aid’, then the coalition in the Iraq war which arguably was responsible for the destabilisation of the Middle East today. Assisting military adventures in Afghanistan is said to have cost the UK £30 billion (and around 600 lives) and both ventures are widely regarded as strategic failures.

Our role in the post-war world as that of an imperial poodle 

 

From our extradition treaties to our nuclear deterrent to our business practices, no “ask” is too big or small for Uncle Sam as Alex Proud wrote a few years ago:

“Our drugs policy is America lite. Rather than upset the US government, we pursue a policy which has been proven not to work. When our government’s own advisers and scientists question this, they are sacked and their studies suppressed.

“We pursue regressive American-style taxation policies and wonder why we’ve got an underclass. And we applaud the American economic model, which, even when it’s working well, benefits very few ordinary Americans”. And soft power: ‘that American citizen of convenience, Rupert Murdoch’ exercises considerable political and economic power through control of our TV and press.

Proud presents the spectre of Tony Blair as a warning to all politicians who decide to follow the path of discipleship: ”His blind subservience to Bush and co all but destroyed his reputation in this country and in much of Europe. Unloved by his own people, he is now doomed to wander the earth, welcome only at Neo-Con fund-raisers and the desert palaces of gas-rich Kazakh dictators”.

The elephant in the room here is the prospect of being linked to a leader who appears to have no awareness of the various threats of climate change, though this is widely thought to be increasing the incidence of uncontrollable floods, fires and storms on his own doorstep.

Britain should now lead rather than follow – in co-operation with one of those promising presidential candidates who should replace Mr Trump.

 

 

 

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Right-wing saboteurs ought to be suspended, not Williamson

Richard House throws down the gauntlet in a letter to the editor:

The squalid shenanigans of the Labour right over the Chris Williamson question are beneath contempt.

Good old Tosh McDonald for sticking up for him (MPs hounding Chris Williamson are ‘bullies,’ prominent trade unionist says, M Star June 29–30); and I want to respond to the call by Tosh’s for Chris’s defenders to stand up and be counted.

First, on the letters pages of this and other newspapers, I have said exactly what Chris said about anti-semitism in Labour, in the speech for which he was suspended from the party. His statements were absolutely correct and factually accurate. Chris and I both passionately believe that to the extent that there is anti-semitism in Labour, it is abhorrent and must be eradicated.

But the scale of the media coverage that the anti-semitism issue has generated is grotesquely out of proportion to the actual problem.

It has been stoked, orchestrated and weaponised in a despicable anti-Corbyn putsch attempt by the likes of Tom Watson and the Labour right.

So, I’m saying it again here, in black and white and without mealy-mouthed triangulation or equivocation, just as Chris has rightly pointed out.

So come on, rightists: suspend me from the party, too. And if you do, I look forward to seeing you in court, where, once and for all, I’ll take great pleasure in exposing your shameful shenanigans for all to see.

These people’s divisive disloyalty and misconduct are in effect making the election of a Labour government less likely, and so if anyone should be suspended from the party, it’s them, not the likes of Chris.

 

Dr RICHARD HOUSE

Stroud Constituency Labour Party

 

 

 

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Was it so wrong of Corbyn not to “welcome” Trump?

Two correspondents – who admire JC in many ways – think so and one has expressed their misgivings in an open letter to Jeremy Corbyn:

Africanherbsman1967 writes:

Dear Jeremy

First, congratulations to Labour for winning the Peterborough by-election and staving off a surge from Nigel Farage’s BREXIT Party.

But what a missed opportunity earlier last week?

Much as I understand your strong antipathy towards Donald Trump, you should have made a genuine effort to meet the President of the United States when he came on his State visit.

You made your views quite clear from as far back as April that you planned to boycott Trump’s visit. You fulfilled your promise and instead spoke at an anti-Trump rally.

I have to say that your decision not to attend the State banquet was misguided and I am concerned about the lack of diplomacy you are displaying on the world stage. I am also concerned about who is advising you on foreign policy.

Jeremy, when are you going to realise that as the leader of the official opposition, you will have to meet and work with politicians that you disagree with on many issues? I would rather you had met with Trump than being on the outside looking in. But despite your protestations leading up to visit, lo and behold Trump told the public that you wanted to have a private meeting with him and he turned you down.

The ideal thing for you to have done, when you were first aware of Trump’s visit, was to issue a public statement welcoming the visit and that you look forward to discussing a number of critical issues with the Donald. Then Trump may have been more forthcoming. If not, then you would have had the upper hand in calling him out.

Yes, Trump is a polarising and controversial leader. He can be pompous, rude and offensive. But he is the most important head of government that you will have to consult on a regular basis should you become PM.

Trump’s modest operandi is all about planned chaos before resolution. So expect the drama, PR stunts and the snide remarks. But look beyond such behaviour and bluster from Trump to achieve your Party’s own goals.

Jeremy, you are the leader of a political party where many of your own colleagues have been rude, pompous and offensive publicly to your face (and back) since you became leader.

In Tom Watson (your deputy leader) you have the most insubordinate number 2 I’ve ever seen in UK politics. Even Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has made harsh remarks about your leadership.

[I know you must realise that Khan is using his own public row with Trump to boost his chances for re-election and also to go after your job.]

Remember Jeremy, you are constantly accused of allowing anti-Semitic behaviour to thrive in the Labour party. Whether this allegation is true or not, how would you feel if international leaders refuse to meet you because of such allegations?

The UK is currently being led by a rudderless Conservative government and thus here was an opportunity to meet Trump on cordial terms. You could have raised concerns over BREXIT, trade, Iran, Cuba, Palestine, Israel, Saudi Arabia, intelligence, North Korea, and China.

Just imagine the faces of Netanyahu and John Bolton if they saw pictures of you discussing Palestine with Trump? You could have been that rare of person – a pro-Palestinian politician with access to Trump.

Despite the numerous disagreements that you and Trump have, there are a few things you both have in common:

  1. The mainstream media in the US and UK hates you both in equal measure. Especially the BBC.
  2. You both are anti-EU.
  3. Senior management of US and UK intelligence services are no fans of either of you.
  4. You both support less US military aggression across the globe.
  5. You both support negotiations with North Korea rather than the far scarier alternative
  6. Sadiq Khan hates you both.

To be honest Jeremy, by now you should have globe trotted to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and UN to get first hand understanding of issues affecting the wider society, hone your diplomatic craft and build key networks.

Yes, we all know Trump has made some incendiary comments about race, women and much more. On the issue of race your advisors could have consulted the likes of Van Jones to learn how he worked successfully with Trump to achieve changes to the criminal justice system.

Jones, a Democratic Party strategist, has been a vocal critic of Trump from the very night the latter won the 2016 US presidential elections. Yet Jones managed to work with the Trump administration to pass the First Step Act, which allows non-violent criminals early release by way of increased “earned time credits.”. The Act rolls back some of the harsh and unfair measures in the 1994 Crime Bill that was passed under the Bill Clinton administration. The Crime Bill damaged the lives of African Americans more than any other group of Americans. Jones is African American.

The Labour Party’s fortunes have been floundering in recent months for reasons you do not need reminding of right now. But I strongly suggest that you add some advisors with solid diplomatic experience to your inner circle. Also do get out of the UK bubble and meet leading politicians from other nations on their home soil. We have yet to witness Corbyn the statesman on the international stage on a consistent basis.

The UK is crying out for major changes at Downing Street. The current crop of Tory candidates vying to succeed Theresa May as PM should hopefully not be there too long. We have had a decade of Tory led governments and many have grown tired of their policies, wickedness and incompetence.

It’s Labour’s turn. Just don’t blow it.

About africanherbsman1967 

Spent three decades in working in Whitehall mainly for Customs and Excise, Cabinet Office and Home Office. Worked for public sector bodies in the UK, EU and US. Ex-London tour guide. Now lives in Jamaica. Loves photography, reading, arts, music, sports and farming.

 

 

 

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