Posts Tagged ‘Labour’

Aldershot Labour tried very hard not to win an election

June 11, 2017

Aldershot is a run down town, more like a large inner city. Prime picking for Labour one would have thought when Theresa May called an unnecessary General Election.

Labour in Aldershot ran an atrocious campaign. They tried very hard not to win.

Local candidate, local party, leader of local party, did an excellent job to work really hard not to win an election.

A useless candidate, and little evidence of any campaigning.

But when you look at their local councillors, easy to see something very wrong.

The only reason these useless candidates get elected is that they stand in slum estates where the electorate, when they can be arsed to vote, vote Labour as a knee-jerk reaction.

A complete failure to make use of social media, both by the candidate and leader of the local party.

Where were the posts of Jeremy Corbyn addressing mass rallies, John McDonnell making excellent economic points, the videos produced by Momentum?

The only video posted, of Dan Jarvis, who for some perverse reason was invited, the same Dan Jarvis who had been calling for Jeremy Corbyn to go. I say invited, not invited to visit, invited to post a message, that is so lacking in enthusiasm, it is palpable.  A video that was going to go a long way to obtain votes, I think not.  But if nothing else, illustrates how bad their use of social media, if this was the best they could do. And sadly it was.

But then this local party was one of the few not to support Jeremy Corbyn

Local activists did more on social media than the entire local party.

The candidate was not even local, parachuted in from outside.

Where Jeremy Corbyn inspired people, the Aldershot candidate generated as much enthusiasm as a wet dishcloth.

It could though have been worse, neighbouring Fleet the candidate was one of these useless local councillors.

To show how bad these councillors are, at least two have used social media to attack and abuse local activists who support Jeremy Corbyn.

The useless councillors would argue the Labour vote increased. Whilst this is correct, it should be noted the Tory vote has been on a  downward trend. Any increase in the Labour vote is entirely due to the efforts of Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Momentum, and the work of local activists.

Aldershot Labour would form an excellent case study in how not to win an election.

If a second General Election is called this year, which is a real possibility, the candidate needs to be someone from Momentum, an activist, a candidate with vision and drive and charisma, who is known on the streets and has the ability to communicate and connect with people.

Congratulations Jeremy Corbyn

June 9, 2017

Congratulations Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

Jeremy Corbyn offered hope, he addressed mass rallies where he inspired people, a future we could all feel proud of, be part of.

Congratulations John McDonnell, a viable economic plan that would help to rebuild a broken country, where the rich and large corporations pay their fare share of tax.

And what did the Tories offer? Nothing. Theresa May who would have trouble filling a telephone box with her supporters, who appeared to be a robot with faulty programming destined for a  factory recall.

The media did everything they could to smear Jeremy Corbyn. They failed. They are a busted flush.

Polling day, former head of MI6 Richard Dearlove was on the front page of The Telegraph stating Jeremy Corbyn a security risk, unfit to be Prime Minister. This the man who colluded with war criminal Tony Blair to wage an illegal war in Iraq, provided dodgy intelligence to justify that war, has the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis on his hands, has destabilised the Middle East and placed all of us at risk of terrorist attacks.

Theresa May, in a crude attempt to save her own skin and remain in power, gets into bed with DUP, not only getting into bed with terrorist sympathisers, but putting Northern Ireland peace in jeopardy.

Last night austerity and neo-liberalism died.

Once in a lifetime opportunity for radical political change

June 7, 2017

We are not the party of the billionaires. We are not the party of the corporate elite. We are the party of the people.— Jeremy Corbyn

The media today ran a vile smear campaign today against Jeremy Corbyn.


Because there is a very good chance that someone decent, who acts for ordinary people, may well by the end of tomorrow become Prime Minister.

This will only happen if everyone makes the effort to get out and vote.

We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to cause a political earthquake, to effect real political change.

Or do you wish to see

  • students start out in life with massive debts
  • continued harassment of the poor and disabled
  • elderly stripped of the winter fuel alliances
  • waiting times grow to see a doctor
  • collapse of NHS
  • our environment destroyed
  • elderly forced to sell the family home to finance care
  • pensions frozen
  • VAT rise
  • wealth transferred to the rich
  • increase in rail fares
  • increase in water, electricity and gas bills

Or do you wish to see a fairer society?

  • students granted free education
  • increase in minimum wage
  • end of zero hours contracts
  • end of exploitation by companies like Uber, Deliveroo, Sports Direct
  • rail taken back into public ownership
  • gas and electricity taken back into public ownership
  • corporations pay their fair share of tax
  • tax dodging stopped

For many working in the NHS it is quite literally a matter of life and death.

Same for the Police, they are stretched to breaking point.

Theresa May called the General Election. In doing so, she showed contempt for the Fixed Term Parliament Act. She thought she could rely on Labour MPs, fake-left Guardian, to sabotage Jeremy Corbyn.

It looks like she has made a fatal mistake. It looks like the Tory Party will be holding yet another leadership election.

Theresa May called an election, but then once again showed contempt for the people.

She could not be bothered to addressed ordinary people, invite only, careful screening

She has come across as a badly programmed robot.

BBC bias was appalling.

BBC reported Theresa May started the last day of campaigning at a market.

BBC did not report met with boos.

Contrast that with Jeremy Corbyn.

A few days ago, a massive rally in Gateshead. Tonight in Islington, where he is holding a final rally at Union Chapel, one cannot move in Islangton.

For the last seven years there has been despair. What we are seeing now is hope.

It is the hope we saw with the Arab Spring, the hope we saw with the Athens Spring.

The Arab Spring has been crushed with Fascist Islam and Fascist dictators.

The Athens Spring was crushed by the EU and the European Deep State, for fear of what they saw as a contamination that would spread across Europe.

But what you cannot crush is an idea.

What happens is up to you.

It is for you to get out and vote, to encourage friends and family to get out and vote

With Jeremy Corbyn we have a once in a lifetime opportunity for radical political change.

But it will only happen if you make it happen.

Jeremy Corbyn v The Establishment

August 19, 2016
Parliament is there to serve the people

Parliament is there to serve the people

The Establishment hate Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. Why, because they know their days are numbered, that their gravy train is about to hit the buffers.

When opponents attack Jeremy Corbyn, and say it is about being in power, what they actually  mean is that it is about a self-serving elite seizing power with party members and the electorate being used as ballot fodder.

Labour lost the last election because they offered Tory Lite, they supported the attacks on the poor, austerity and everything that comes with the neo-liberal agenda and Shock Doctrine. In Scotland, Labour were wiped out because SNP offered a radical alternative.

When Jeremy Corbyn threw his hat in the ring last year, he was to most people a breath of fresh air, here was for the first time in a generation the opportunity for genuine political change.

In less than a year, he has managed to form a mass social movement, which goes way beyond what can simply be measured as the numbers who have joined the labour Party.

And that is what worries the elite, the broad social movement which is eager for real change, and who having had a taste for it, are not going to give up lightly.

We are seeing the same in Spain and Greece, where the old corrupt socialist parties are dying and being replaced by vibrant dynamic radical parties like Podemos and Syriza.

When Thomas Paine proposed representative democracy at a time of Absolute Monarchs, he proposed radical change, so radical that he had to flee the country for fear of losing his head. What we are seeing now with Jeremy Corbyn, Podemos and Syriza is a change as radical. We are living in a post-2008, post-Capitalism world. In this New World Order, we have participatory democracy, not representative democracy, last seen in Athens in Ancient Greece.

Once Jeremy Corbyn threw his hat in the ring, the Party Establishment did everything they could to stop his election, then once elected everything they could to destroy his leadership.

The mainstream media talks of splits, the only split is between the Party Establishment who think they own the Party and have a God-given right to rule and the party membership.

This is our Arab Spring, the leadership election a counter coup by The Establishment.

Owen Smith was the scraping of the bottom of the barrel, the best they could come up with. A Blairite in his own words, who bragged he was more Blairite than war criminal Tony Blair, who called Blair a socialist. A former lobbyist for a major US drugs company, a PR drone, who wished to see privatisation of the NHS, who supported austerity, who abstained on massive Tory welfare cuts, but who now proclaims himself to be Corbyn Lite, as convincing as when Labour passed itself of as Tory Lite.

When Owen Smith was asked would he talk to Isis, his Pavlovian response was yes, presumably because he thought that would be what Jeremy Corbyn would say and he had to appear more Corbyn than Corbyn to win over any of the Corbyn supporters.

It badly backfired, it showed he had no understanding of Isis, how Isis has arisen, of Syria, Iraq or the Middle East.

Isis talks to no one. Canon Andrew White has tried. His intermediary had his head chopped off.

Isis is not the IRA, though it seems Owen Smith cannot see the difference.

Note: We are not allowed to call anyone ‘Blairite’, at least if not a Labour Party Member, as that disqualifies you from voting in the leadership election.

It is ok for the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn to be called Nazis, thugs, Trots, cultists and a whole load of other insults, ok to disenfranchise 130,000 party  members and use party funds, ie money belonging to the members,  to do so, but call anyone a Blairite and immediately face a sanction.

Blairites though have been remarkably quiet. In the last leadership election they were popping up in the media every day, all the has-been politicians we thought we had seen the back of were granted a soapbox.  Could it be they realise, if they are seen supporting Unelectable Owen, they will let the cat out of the bag?

Imagine for one moment, the impossible, that Oily Owen (as he is known in Wales) wins the leadership election, wins the next election, does anyone seriously think anything would change? It would be businesses as usual, one elite replaces another elite. It would be as the end of Animal Farm when the animals look in the farmhouse window, look from pig to man, man to pig, and cannot tell the difference.

But will Tony Blair be able to keep quiet?

It is not only the Blairites who are quiet, so is the rabid right wing press, controlled by Murdoch and Lord Rothermere. Not a dickybird.

Paul Mason (The sound of Blairite silence):

Normally, if a Labour figure stood up and, from thin air, plucked a £200bn spending pledge based on a wealth tax, the Sun, the Mail and the Telegraph would have reporters going through his bin-bags.

It’s the same over Smith’s call for a second referendum. The pro-Brexit tabloids would normally be eviscerating any Labour figure who called, effectively, for people to be made to “vote until they vote the right way”. But they’re silent over this.

The Blairite front groups, Progress, Saving Labour and now Labour Tomorrow, are also quiet. The latter two, who owns and controls them, who are their members, where is their money coming from, no one knows.

What we do know is, when Owen Smith was lobbyist for Pfizer, he arranged over £80,000 to be paid to Progress.

More appropriate names for the Blair fan clubs or cults would be Regression, Destroying Labour and Labour Yesterday.

Owen Smith shows his contempt for the British public by calling for a second EU Referendum, for Labour Party members by not opposing the decision to go to the Appeal Court to reverse the High Court ruling that struck down the act by Labour NEC to disenfranchises 130,000 members.

Time that should be spent drawing up a Post-Brexit future, has been squandered by the coup plotters on a completely unnecessary leadership election

We live in a world of newspeak constructed by George Orwell, where War is Peace, Peace is War, where Owen Smith tries to claim he is more radical than Jeremy Corbyn, where he claims Jeremy Corbyn fails to inspire people, has only sound bytes and no policies.

Owen Smith rally with free ice cream

Owen Smith rally with free ice cream

If the low point for Owen Smith was handing out free ice creams and burgers, he has yet to hit a high point.

Maybe he fails to notice the large numbers who attend a Jeremy Corbyn rally, when he can barely attract a couple of dozen, not even when he has an ice cream van or offers free burgers, that last year at Beyond Austerity, John McDonnell with Yanis Varoufakis sketched out a viable economic policy.

Jeremy Corbyn when asked a dumb question, did not recognise who Ant and Dec were, for most people this  enhanced his reputation, for who is interested in banal C-list celebrities?

When people attend a Jeremy Corbyn rally, they see here is a guy they can relate to. They see him travelling on the tube, travelling on the East Coast Mainline (now run by Virgin) sat on the floor. They see him without the distorting prism of the mainstream media.

From the coup plotters and those pulling the strings of Owen Smith, we have had smears and rigged elections. Their role, appears to be, if Jeremy Corbyn remains leader, which we can take as a given, destroy the Labour Party.

Where to now?

The coup plotter have made it clear, the war of attrition will continue.  We must turn mass social movement into more than just words. We have to be active at all levels. We have to create open coops, collaborative commons, ordinary citizens seize control of local Town Halls (as seen in Frome in Somerset, Barcelona and other towns and cities across Spain), then network across Europe. The coup plotters must be de-selected, votes of no confidence at local party meetings, the Labour NEC diktat on no meetings until after the leadership election ignored, the Right of Recall must be brought in, not only for Parliament but also local councils.

The Entirely Fake Owen Smith

July 19, 2016
Owen Smith

Owen Smith more Blairite than Blair

Owen Smith unelectable

Owen Smith unelectable

Even the mainstream media feel compelled to drop hints that Owen Smith is not what he is being promoted as. The Guardian’s words yesterday were unintentionally revealing;

the former shadow work and pensions secretary plans to pitch himself as the soft-left option

Note “to pitch himself”. For PR professional Smith, political stance is nothing to do with personal belief, it is to do with brand positioning. On Channel 4 News last night, an incredulous Michael Crick pointed out that the “soft left” Smith had previously given interviews supporting PFI and privatisation in the health service. He also strongly supported Blair’s city academies.

As chief lobbyist for Pfizer, Smith actively pushed for privatisation of NHS services. This is not something Pfizer did very openly, and you have to search the evidence carefully. Footnotes often tell you what is really happening, as in this press release  in which Owen Smith says of a Pfizer funded “focus group” study:

We believe that choice is a good thing and that patients and healthcare professionals should be at the heart of developing the agenda.

You have to look at the footnotes to see what kind of choice Owen Smith is actually talking about. Note to Editors 3 includes

“The focus groups also explored areas of choice that do not yet exist in the UK – most specifically the use of direct payments and the ability to choose to go directly to a specialist without first having to see the GP.”

Well, at least it is clear – direct payments from the public to doctors replacing current NHS services. Smith was promoting straight privatisation. As Head of Policy and Government Relations for Pfizer, Owen Smith was also directly involved in Pfizer’s funding  of Blairite right wing entryist group Progress. Pfizer gave Progress £53,000. Progress has actively pursued the agenda of PFI and privatisation of NHS services.

Owen Smith went to Pfizer from a Labour Party job, while Labour were in government, and there is no doubt that his hiring was an example of the corrupt relationship between New Labour and big business which is why the Blairites are so hated by the public. It is also beyond any argument that if Pfizer had any doubts about Owen Smith’s willingness to promote the Big Pharma and NHS Privatisation agenda, they would never have hired him.

Owen Smith is a strong supporter of Trident and assiduously courts the arms industry. He is a regular at defence industry events.

Perhaps most crucially of all, Owen Smith  joined his fellow Red Tories in abstaining on the Tory welfare benefit cuts.

I do not doubt Owen Smith’s expertise in brand positioning. I expect that there are indeed a large number of Labour Party members who might vote for a left wing alternative to Corbyn. But I also suspect that Smith has adopted the PR man’s typical contempt for the public, who are not as stupid as he seems to think. There is no evidence whatsoever that Smith is a left winger. There is every evidence that he is another New Labour unprincipled and immoral careerist, adopting a left wing pose that he thinks will win him votes.

People will notice, Owen. They really are not that stupid.

Re-posted from Craig Murray.

Owen Smith claims to be the unity candidate, only he can heal the wounds in the Labour Party, that he is as radical as Jeremy Corbyn.

His record shows anything but. He was one of the coup plotters, thus hardly a unity candidate or someone to heal wounds when it is he and hos coup plotters that have caused the damage to the Labour Party.

To claim  as radical as Jeremy Corbyn, is laughable.

His background is PR, he is a former lobbyist for a major US pharmaceutical company, favours privatisation of the NHS, has obtained funding for Blairites within the Party from a  US drugs company.  A former adviser.. He abstained on damaging Tory welfare cuts. Has contempt for democracy with his call for a second referendum on Brexit.  In Wales he is known as Oily Smith.

A candidate who is as shallow as Tony Blair.

Is this the sort of person suited to lead the Labour Party?

Most would say no.

Owen Smith and Angela Eagle have done a dirty little deal as to who would stand. Labour MPs met to decide who will stand.

Once again contempt for democracy, contempt for the members.

The only thing that ties the coup plotters together, is intense hatred of Jeremy Corbyn and contempt for the members.

Owen Smith is a careerist politician, satiated on his lust for power.

If not already registered to vote in the leadership election, please register before 5pm on Wednesday.

Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Party leader

August 11, 2015
Labour Leadership race explained

Labour Leadership race explained

far from denying the deficit we must tackle it

far from denying the deficit we must tackle it

 public ownership does not mean state control

public ownership does not mean state control

I am just an ordinary person trying to do an ordinary job. — Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn is the only candidate sticking to the line that the banks were to blame and he is reaping the benefit. Not least because he is absolutely right. — Larry Elliott

As people wake up to the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn actually being able to win the Labour leadership, the reaction has become increasingly hysterical, especially from elements of the Labour establishment. — John McDonnell

Sunday smear of the day: Jeremy Corbyn is taking us back to the bad old days, failed state nationalisation.

Not true. Jeremy Corbyn has questioned monopolies like rail, electricity, water. Questioned why we are making public investment in rail infrastructure to benefit private companies. He has suggested public ownership, where we all have a stake, open coops, collaborative commons.

I believe in public ownership, but I have never favoured the remote nationalised model that prevailed in the post-war era. Like a majority of the population and a majority of even Tory voters, I want the railways back in public ownership.

But public control should mean just that, not simply state control: so we should have passengers, rail workers and government too, co-operatively running the railways to ensure they are run in our interests and not for private profit.

This model should replace both the old Labour model of top-down operation by central diktat and Tories favoured model of unaccountable privatised operators running our public services for their own ends.

The public support public ownership, recognise the failure of privatisation of railways and electricity.

East Coast train at Kings Cross

East Coast train at Kings Cross

East Coast Mainline was in public owner, it was well run, returned a billion pounds to the Treasury.

Last year Tories handed East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson and Stagecoach.

Public ownership does not have to be nationalisation of the Big Six, indeed that would be the wrong approach. Far better would be community owned and controlled local grids, into which feed renewables guaranteed a fair price, consumers pay a fair price, surplus generation is fed to other local grids via the National Grid (in public ownership or a owned by the local grids or a mix of the two), any profit ploughed back into the local grid or funds local community projects. The Big Six would not be able to compete with local grids and would go out of business. Money would be available to be spent in and revive the local economy. In Germany there are several hundred local grids. Last year E.ON stated it could not compete with local grids.

Yesterday (Monday) we had Barry Sherman call for suspension of the leadership election because the wrong people were registering as supporters of the Labour Party, ie people who would vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

Barry Sherman is a supporter of Liz Kendall. To her credit, speaking on Wato, Liz Kendall did not call for suspension, she said it was good people were registering an interest.

Barry Sherman claimed Labour MPs were not happy with the new electoral system. This only goes to show how out of touch are Labour MPs and that we need to see a wholesale clear out.

Jermy Corbyn welcomes so many people are taking an interest. And as he says, this goes beyond the Parliamentary Labour Party, beyond the Labour Party. This is real democracy at work, inclusive, involving people, engaging with people.

Harriet Harman has called upon local Labour parties and MPs to weed out people known to them.

Imagine for one moment this happening in Russia or a Third World Country. There would be international outcry at crude attempts to rig the outcome of an election.

Yesterday the odious Alistair Campbell joined in the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn. He described it as madness for the Labour Party to elect Jeremy Corbyn. Well at least we would have someone of integrity, which is more than can be said for Alistair Campbell

Riding on the coattails of Tony Blair, Alistair Campbell helps Blair, for a fee of course, to improve the image of ruthless dictators whose hands are dripping with the blood of innocent victims, peaceful protesters.

In the last few weeks, Jack Straw and Tony Blair have attacked Jeremy Corbyn. Add in Alistair Campbell and that is three war criminals. Are all three worried that if there is the evidence, Jeremy Cobyn would agree to Tony Blair being put on trial for war crimes?

Today, it was the turn of Peter Hain, a man who would sell his grandmother, to attack Jeremy Corbyn, who he claimed lacked credibility, parroted what is now a well worn groove, that it is to take the Labour Party backwards and yet ironically, bemoaned the lack of any radical policies.

Who needs the Murdoch controlled media, when Old Guard Labour will do Murdoch’s dirty business for him.

Jeremy Corby unelectable

Jeremy Corby unelectable

We hear time and time again Jeremy Corbyn cannot win elections. That no doubt explains why he won Islington with an increased majority, when many of the Labour Old Guard could not even hold on to what until then were rock solid safe Labour seats, in Labour strongholds.

packed meetings

packed meetings

And what of the packed meetings? We are told they are deluded.

The Labour Old Guard have demonstrated they cannot win elections, they have lost two elections, with the last election being one of the worst ever results for Labour.

The public are sick of politics businesses as usual, the overwhelming vast majority of politicians self-serving scum, whores for big business and bankers, with rare exceptions such as Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn is a breath of fresh air, no spin doctors, no advisers, no on message, no looking over the shoulder at what Murdoch and Lord Rothermere may say. A politician of integrity, a politician who understands democracy, real  democracy, participatory democracy, engagement with the people, not the sham democracy we have been palmed off with, tick a box every few years, then keep quiet. People wish to see him elected, as a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the direction of politics.

Austerity has failed, failed that is unless you are one of the 1% who are doing nicely.

We used to have a prosperous working class, now we have minimum wage, zero hours, de-skilled workers, reliant upon tax credits. With no money to spend, our town centres are dying.

Austerity is not an accident, nor is it for the short term. It is part of the neo-liberal agenda to smash workers, smash democracy, drive wages down to the level of India or China. Forget minimum wage, many are working as serfs for apps, where once we had Trade Unions negotiating higher wages, atomised isolated workers are now bidding against each other to drive wages down.

The system is collapsing, but instead of the wealthy bearing the brunt of the cuts, after all it was they who caused the crisis in 2008 not the poor, austerity is being used as a cover for Shock Doctrine, it is the poor who are being hit with welfare cuts, students saddled with a lifetime of debt for wanting a decent education, pensioners facing pension cuts and being forced to work until they drop, libraries closed, art funding cut, hospitals starved of funding, waiting lists growing.

All the conditions that caused the banking crisis of 2008 are in place, banks have ever more toxic instruments in place. Only this time around, there is no money left to bail out the banks.

In Greece we are seeing the social catastrophe of austerity. And a further wave of privatisations, pension cuts, tax hikes is being forced on Greece, because they had the audacity to believe another world to be possible.

Tidjane Thiam, the CEO of Prudential, spelled out the true meaning of austerity at the Davos forum in 2012. Unions are the ‘enemy of young people’ and a minimum wage a ‘machine to destroy jobs’. He want to see more austerity. J P Morgan spelt it out in 2013, for the neo-liberal agenda to succeed, democracy must be destroyed. In other words, democracy must be destroyed for J P Morgan to survive.

As the Greeks have discovered, there is no Geneva Convention to protect us from the banks, from their riot police and tear gas. They will quite happily trigger a run on the banks to bring a democratic country to its knees, as they did in Cyprus in 2013 and Greece this summer.

They own the media, the politicians, but they do not own us. More and more of us are prepared to take to the streets face down the riot cops, the tear gas.

There is the hope, they completely lack public support. Parties like Syriza are prepared to stand up and be counted. They may have been forced into temporary retreat, the Fourth Reich may have occupied Greece, but they will not be there for ever.

In England there was no alternative. Tweedledee v Tweedledum, puppets of the bankers, only too willing to do their bidding. Democracy a sham. Tick a box, which puppet would you like for the next five years.

Enter Jeremy Corbyn. Now there is hope, a chance of real change. And because he is willing to offer change, that is why he is being attacked, and those attacks will only get worse.

In the unlikely event were Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham to win the Labour leadership race, it will be more of the same. Labour will be unelectable for the foreseeable future. But even were they to win an election, nothing would change.

Under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, the opportunity for real change, a once in lifetime opportunity. That is why his meetings are packed, why people are registering as Labour Party supporters, they want to see change, they want to be part of that change.

And it is not only Parliament, people will take to the streets.

Jeremy Corbyn addressed the massive anti-austerity protest in London in June, as did Russell Brand, Charlotte Church, Caroline Lucas. Where was the Labour Front Bench?

The deadline to register as a Labour Party supporter is midday Wednesday 12 August 2015.

If you want to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, simply register as a Labour Party Supporter at a one off fee of £3 and you can vote.


July 24, 2015

It’s difficult to know anything certain about modern politics. As Adam Curtis points out in his “Oh-Dearism” documentary, there is an emerging “strategy of power that keeps any opposition constantly confused, a ceaseless shapeshifting that is unstoppable because it’s indefinable”. It’s diaphanous, a dark attic full of spider webs, and the intention of the political elite is to make sure you don’t understand.

Every now and again, though, a little light breaks through the murk, and lets us see what the machinating cluster of arachnids are up to.

It seems rather telling that the mainstream establishment is getting all shrill and scurrilous about Jeremy Corbyn. After the poll that said Corbyn would win the Labour leadership 6 points ahead of Andy Burnham, centrists, Blairites and Blairs fell over each other to slander the man himself, as unelectable, and then to scoff at his supporters. St. Tony of Baghdad, lobbyist to the shadows, left many reeling with indignation when he spoke to the think tank Progress on Wednesday. Let us not forget that there is a wide consensus that this man should be tried for war crimes, and yet he has the gall to tell others to get “a heart transplant”?! He appeared from his coffin, looking like a wax puppet from an American remake of a Japanese horror film, and condescended to the nation with talk of winning “from the centre” and the dangers of comfort blankets. The sheep-dog yapped and the flock bolted. Margaret Beckett described herself as a “moron” for supporting Corbyn’s candidacy. Yvette Cooper said she would never serve in a shadow cabinet lead by Corbyn. John McTernan suggested that two candidates should drop out of the race to create an “anyone-but-Corbyn” campaign. The barks and bleats have become deafening.

In a leadership election that should be defined by new rules that make it more democratic, it seems ironically undemocratic that this tactic of sabotage should be used from within the party. The momentum is with Corbyn. Doesn’t it show a huge arrogance, for the other leading Labour politicians, to flagrantly disregard what the most significant faction of Labour supporters are saying? Rather than denigrating the man’s personality and dragging their heels in New Labour mud, shouldn’t they recognise that what many people want is a party of real opposition to sit next to the SNP in the house of commons? And if the left-wing are so “unelectable”, please tell me how the SNP won all those seats?

I’m not sure that this hullabaloo is at all damaging to Corbyn’s campaign though. That conversation we were all having for the previous god-knows-how-long (you know, the one about the Westminster bubble and the London elite being out of touch; the one that resulted in massive election turn outs for the SNP and UKIP), it didn’t just go away because we had a general election. Right now, the more Jeremy Corbyn is held cheap by the establishment, the more he begins to look like an intriguing outsider, relatable, and unfazed with the squabbling in the political playground.

The inverse of Nigel Farage, he appears to be a cool-headed, honest, considerate man, one of the few modern politicians who doesn’t seem to have been trained in neuro-linguistic programming, unconflicted in his political views, and abstemious in his daily life. He is one of the only politicians of note that seems to truly recognise the dire inequality that exists in this country today and actually have a problem with it. There is something inherently virtuous about him, and that is a quality that can rally the support of a lot of people, and most importantly, a lot of young people. With the big three zero on the horizon for me, I don’t know if I still count as a “young person”. What I can say is that for the first time in my adult life there is a politician from a mainstream party who shares my views and those of most people I know, and also has a chance of actually doing something to create a shift in the paradigm, from corporate puppetry to conscientious societal representation.

The hysteria that has rendered certain members of the Labour party catatonic, and has the right wing press rubbing its hands together in glee, is ultimately based on nonsense. The fact is that this election is not for the position of king of kings but for the leader of a party of equals. No matter how far left Jeremy Corbyn is, if he is voted leader he will have to represent a party that is jam packed with shy Tories and Blairites. He would be dragged towards the centre ground anyway. But he would have galvanised the support of many disparate factions of society, who didn’t vote in the general election, or who voted UKIP, or maybe even some of those who voted Tory.

In the USA, Senator Bernie Sanders is currently running his presidential campaign for 2016. He is a firebrand, a self proclaimed democratic socialist, and support for him is snow-balling. He’s a straight talking realist who is committed to outing the perversions of the system and seems to be unafraid of standing up for the rights of individuals against those of corporations. At the official opening of his campaign in Vermont in May, he had one clear message to anyone who doubted his ability to win: “Don’t underestimate me.” It seems that it wasn’t until Jeremy Corbyn took the lead in the polls that the rest of the Labour party worked out not to underestimate him. It just might be that he is the right person to clean out the cobwebs and fix those attic lights.

— Charlotte Church

Reposted from CharlotteSayshmmm.

Wonderful words from Charlotte Church.

As she says

He is one of the only politicians of note that seems to truly recognise the dire inequality that exists in this country today and actually have a problem with it. There is something inherently virtuous about him, and that is a quality that can rally the support of a lot of people, and most importantly, a lot of young people. … What I can say is that for the first time in my adult life there is a politician from a mainstream party who shares my views and those of most people I know, and also has a chance of actually doing something to create a shift in the paradigm, from corporate puppetry to conscientious societal representation.

Jeremy Corbyn has managed to engage with ordinary people, who do not wish to be ruled by a political class that acts for banksters and corporations.

If you want to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, simply register as a Labour Party Supporter at a one off fee of £3 and you can vote.

Jeremy Corbyn addressing a meeting in Bristol

July 24, 2015
packed meeting in Bristol to hear  Jeremy Corbyn

packed meeting in Bristol to hear Jeremy Corbyn

A picture is worth a thousand words. Every picture tells a story.

A packed meeting in Bristol to hear Jeremy Corbyn speak.

People’s Campaign for Corbyn:

Absolutely packed Jeremy Corbyn meeting in Bristol tonight. Politics is changing in Britain before our very eyes and the Blairites can keep moaning all they like but they won’t stop this movement.

People do not vote because they are sick and disgusted with two-faced hypocrites out to line their own pockets, who do not speak for them, who act for the banks and big business.

Jeremy Corbyn, like Caroline Lucas, is a rare example of a politician who listens to people, who shares their concerns, who acts for them.

He was on the streets demonstrating against austerity, supporting the Greeks in their fight against the EU.

It is because he is listening, that people sense real change, that people are willing to back him, turn out to meetings to hear what he has to say, lend their support.

The attack on Jeremy Corbyn by discredited and despised Tony Blair, only added to his support.

As has Labour wannabe leader Liz Kendal who said he is unfit to lead the Labour Party. No, the one who is unfit is Liz Kendal, who supports Tory attacks on the poor.

The Labour Establishment has crawled out of the woodwork to attack Jeremy Corbyn. These are the same people who lost the Election in May, who still do not get it why Labour lost.

Harriet Harman does not get it when she told Labour MPs not to vote against the Tory Welfare Bill that will take £12 billion out of the pockets of the poor. 48 Labour MPs had the decency and integrity of ignoring her, 48 Labour MPs that included Jeremy Corbyn, that included 18 newly elected Labour MPs, voted against the Welfare Bill.

They were accused by the Labour Establishment of damaging the Party, no those who damaged the Party were those who sat on their hands who could not be bothered to vote.

Tweedledee v Tweedledum, that was why Labour lost the election, no one could tell the difference. If you are going to vote Tory, you may as well vote the real thing, or not vote at all. In Scotland they had a real choice, that is why they voted SNP and why Labour is unelectable in Scotland for the foreseeable future.

People do not want austerity, they do not want to see library closures, cuts to NHS, the poorest people in society being bled dry, companies like Starbucks and Vodafone failing to pay taxes, privatised rail and power and water companies ripping us off, bankers getting away with fraud.

Mark Steel on Jeremy Corbyn:

If you look at Corbyn’s record it’s clear he just can’t win elections. In his constituency of Islington North he inherited a majority of 4,456, which is now 21,194. He’s one of the few Labour MPs whose vote increased between 2005 and 2010, when he added 5,685 to his majority. This is typical of the man, defying the official Labour policy of losing votes and getting more of them instead, just to be a rebel.

If you want to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, simply register as a Labour Party Supporter at a one off fee of £3 and you can vote.

Harriet Harman has completely lost the plot

July 12, 2015

Harriet Harman has completely lost the plot

Harriet Harman has said Labour will support the Tory attacks on the poor announced in last week’s budget. Poorest families are hardest hit, with a loss of £1000 per poor family.

These cuts are not only immoral they are economicially illiterate. Poor people spend money in the local economy. £1000 per poor family, that adds up to a huge loss of money flowing into a deprived area.

No surprise in the announcement from Harriet Harman as interim Labour Leader. Labour before the election voted for austerity.

Austerity is a completely failed policy, it is an excuse for shock doctrine, cuts in public services, welfare cuts, mass library closures, but Labour voted for austerity.

Harriet Harman just does not get it why Labour lost the election, lost it big time. They were wiped out in Scotland by the SNP, lost in England to UKIP and the Tories.

Tweedledum v Tweedledee. No one can tell the difference. If you are going to vote for Tory policies, you may as well vote Tory, or if you want something different UKIP, or not vote at all.

People have woken up to the fact that if they vote, under the present corrupt system, if you trouble to cast a vote, you are simply legitimising a corrupt system, deciding who gets the chance to sit at the top table and act for big business. Nothing has really changed, simply a different faction of the Establishment.

Of the four Labour Party wannabe leaders only Jeremy Corbyn has shown any decency or integrity. On the day of the budget, he addressed the anti-austerity protest outside, he addressed the Greek Solidarity protest. Where were the other wannabe candidates? Nowhere to be seen.

Where has been the voice of support for Greeks from Labour, a condemnation of the Fourth Rech (aka EU)? A deafening silence. Why, because the Greeks are an embarrassment to Labour, they highlight how useless Labour and why Labour is unelectable for the foreseeable future.

Across the country, crowds of enthusiastic supporters turn out for Jeremy Corbyn.

Harriet Harman warned against voting for Jeremy Corbyn, without mentioning by name.

There is a faction of the Labour Party, probably Blair cronies longing for the good old days, calling for a vote for anyone, so long as not Jeremy Corbyn.

If you want to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, simply register as a Labour Party Supporter at a one off fee of £3 and you can vote.

If Labour MPs had any decency left, they would ignore Harriet Harman and vote against the Tory budget cuts, leaving her isolated as leader of a party of one. Will it happen? I doubt it. Which is why Labour is unelectable for the foreseeable future.

Labour: What went wrong?

May 10, 2015
ToryLite - Ed Balls

ToryLite – Ed Balls

Last week, a disastrous result for Labour.

If the exit polls were bad, the result when the votes counted even worse.

  • Tories 331
  • Labour 232
  • SNP 56
  • LibDems 8
  • Plaid Cymru 3
  • Green Party 1
  • UKIP 1
  • others 18

Tories are 99 seats ahead of Labour.

For Labour, this is an even worse result than when Gordon Brown lost the General Election five years ago following the banking crisis. It is an even worse crisis than when labour lost seats under Neil Kinnock.

What went wrong?

Probably the best analysis from Mark Steel:

Maybe there was another problem with Labour’s campaign, which is it’s almost impossible to win an election by opposing corporate greed, against a hostile media, unless you have a social movement behind you. For example the leaders of Syriza in Greece were known for running massive food banks, leading marches of youth against the closure of services and organising protests against the fascists of Golden Dawn.

Obama is hardly a radical, but his first election revolved around the thousands of students who travelled across America to campaign for him, the vast rallies of tens of thousands and the fundraising from the poorest corners. The SNP vote was clearly more than an election, it was a movement, with thousands mobbing towns such as Inverness, just in order to see Nicola Sturgeon walk up the road. Even Blair in 1997 had a Labour Party that had recruited 80,000 members.

With forces like that, the insults from the press have less impact. There’s an army of people enthused with hope, ready to counter the arguments peddled by the press, and take up the cause of the campaign in every workplace, bar or launderette.

Ed Miliband managed to infuriate Murdoch and the wealthy, but he had no movement to back him up. So for enough people, the fear ate into them, and  they were left distant from a carefully managed sterile campaign, leaving them vulnerable, to a last-minute panic and a vote for the Tories.

When Russell Brand endorsed Labour, albeit a heavily qualified endorsement, he had a lot of stick from his supporters, and understandably so, it was Tweedledee v Tweedledum, barely any difference between Tories and Labour, and at  best, Labour lesser of two evils. As Russell Brand was later to agree, but the radical alternative was not on the table, we had to make the best of of what was on offer.

Nor was it helped that in Ed Miliband Labour had a disastrous leader, who should have resigned at least a year ago to give Labour at least a fighting chance, rather than wait until he lost the election, then resign.

Unlike Syriza in Greece or Podemos in Spain, Labour was not a party working with activists and civil society. This was another boring political party saying vote for us, so we can ruin your lives for the next five years.

Labour was not even opposing austerity.

Labour was offering ToryLite, nothing more.

Same discredited Tory policies, but watered down a little to make them a little more palatable.

Today Tony Blair and Peter Mandleson entered the fray, offering their two peneth worth. They want to return to the discredited Blair years.

Remember Blair, over a million people took to the streets to oppose the illegal war against Iraq, Parliament was lied to, but still we went to war. Now we have ISIS. But lest we forget, it has proved a nice little earner for Blair and his cronies.

No, Labour must not return to the Blair years nor must it return to the beer and sandwiches with the Trade Unions at Downing Street.

Blair showed contempt for the opponents of the Iraq war. But Ed Miliband showed the same contempt for the British people by refusing to grant an EU referendum.

Labour failed to listen on immigration. If you flood a country with unskilled labour willing to work for low wages, you are going to force down wages, force people out of work. If you flood a country with immigrants, you are going to create social disharmony, housing shortages, pressure on infrastructure, schools and hospitals.

If Labour is to have any meaning, it must become a radical party like Syriza and Podemos, they must be working with activists.

When the protests kick off against Welfare Cuts, as soon they will, Labour must be there on the front line.

They must be there resisting bailiffs kicking people out of their homes when they cannot pay their rent due to Bedroom Tax and Welfare Cuts.

They must clean out their entire front bench.

Any leader wannabe who says Labour too far to the left should be advised that they are in the wrong party and pointed in the direction of Tories or LibDems.

Yes, labour should be supporting enterprise, the enterprise of hard working people, small business, open coops, social enterprise, but not Big Business.

It goes without saying :Labour should scrap the Bedroom Tax, increase tax for the wealthiest, increase minimum wage, in the long term bring in a Basic Income, oppose TTIP, HS2 gravy train and airport expansion, support deep cuts in carbon emissions, change the planning rules that any development that increases carbon emissions will not be permitted development, that any new development has to lead to a decrease in carbon emissions, that any change of use of a pub has to be subject to obtaining planning consent, support the establishment of local, community owned and controlled electricity grids.

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