Monday, 7 December 2015

Blairites = Moderates?

In the past few days some newscasters and TV journalists are speaking in terms of ‘moderates’ in relation to a group of Labour MPs. It appears that this strange status has been endowed upon Labour MPs who voted with the government last week in favour of bombing Syria.

The same status has also been given to the Blairites within the party. The same MPs who have in the past supported ConDem and Tory party austerity motions. These are the moderates who in the past three months have busied themselves stabbing Jeremy Corbyn in the back.

Our media is once again guilty of twisting the reality. The reality is that those MPs who voted against bombing are acting moderately. Those MPs who voted against benefits cuts and an austerity programme that is killing people are moderate. Those MPs who are supporting a Labour leader who won through democratic process by a massive margin; they are the moderates.

Let’s call upon our biased media and demand they cease their dirty tricks campaign against Corby. Let’s vote with our feet. Let’s stop buying the scum newspapers who misreport; and stop watching the TV news stations who purposely skew the news against the Corbyn leadership.  

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Farage mask slips, again

Running up to Thursday’s Oldham West and Royton by-election an ebullient Nigel Farage was predicting a close race. There was even a possibility of UKIP taking the seat by a few hundred votes, thought Farage.

Farage was wrong. He was wrong to the tune of almost 11,000 votes, the margin by which the Labour candidate John McMahon won. Yet despite the Labour candidate winning the seat with a 62% share of the votes cast Farage is unhappy. Accepting defeat with the grace of a sewer rat, Farage is blaming the postal ballot and the fact some of the Oldham West and Royton constituents didn’t speak English

Farage told the BBC: "The northern correspondent of the Guardian wrote last Saturday that she knocked on the doors of a street in Oldham where nobody spoke English, nobody had ever heard of Jeremy Corbyn, but they were all voting Labour…”

There is no prerequisite under UK voting rules that demands voters must have English as a first language. Neither is there any rule that states voters must be familiar with the party leadership structure of their preferred constituency candidate.

The UK does not operate a presidential election system. Voters in bye- or general elections vote for a constituency MP, they do not vote for the leader of a particular party or indeed the prime minister.

Once again the cheeky chappie one-of-boys persona Farage likes to masquerade behind is exposed as a front; and the true message of UKIP as an ultra right-wing racist party comes shining through.

Friday, 4 December 2015

All votes exercise conscience

Don’t we exercise our consciences as part of our thought and decision-making processes?  

So this week’s talk of votes of conscience and of giving free votes on non-political issues is interesting. Thinking things over every vote in Parliament is a political vote; and each time MPs are asked to consider a motion their consciences will be a considering factor.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Give Corbyn a chance!

A FB friend commented: "I was enthused by Jeremy's huge win as Leader, It was inspiring to see the Blairites roundly thrashed".

I responded:

“You make it sound as though it was a grudge football match. Winning the leadership can only be viewed as the first step in changing Labour. For all those who joined the Labour Party as affiliates, voted for Corbyn, then walked away. Well, they did him a massive disservice.

If they had the conviction to vote for him as leader, on his winning they should have joined the Labour Party as full members (obviously those who were permitted – and yes the party needs to root out all corrupt rightist elements) to help Corbyn win from the bottom up.

People are joining; they’re beginning to populate Branches and CLPs. Will they win over the Labour Party to a body that looks to the interests of the 99%? Is 4.5 years enough time to cleanse the party of twenty years of Progress neoliberalism? Many doubt it. Yet unless those of us who are willing to give Corbyn a chance fight on the right will prevail.”

If only our bombs fell on Daesh alone

If only we confined our actions to bombing Daesh. In recent military adventures overseas, and nearer, has this country’s armed forces been able to restrict its action against armed forces or military targets alone?

The civilian bloodbaths of Iraq and Afghanistan stand testimony to the inability of armed forces, with or without ‘smart’ weaponry, to contain their violence. Of course civilian deaths in these conflicts have been sanitised in the Orwellian-speak of collateral damage; the language of the accountants of death who measure life in ‘bottom lines’ rather than in lives of children, women and men.

Modern methods of bombing densely populated towns and cities have proved that this method of warfare does not discriminate. From the Blitz 75 years ago to Syria today we know that the greater causalities will be non-combatants, often as not women and children. Sure a few of the wring ‘uns get caught up; but enough to justify the deaths of those innocents?

On the question of our support for right wing politicians in the past – ok, let’s leave that in the past and move forward. One way of moving forward is to tell any MP – and I don’t care if they’re called Beckett, Benn, Umunna or Watson – that if they can’t accept our Labour values then they stand a strong chance of being deselected.

Finally, statements such as: “But to simply withdraw support for MPs who want to fight Daesh in a different way to ours…” are an obscenity. 

In the first instance those MPs who voted for war last night will not be fighting; no they’ll be sending others to fight and to fight from the relative safety of 15,000 feet and higher.

In the second instance it isn’t only Daesh who they’ll be fighting, as it is inevitable they will draw civilians into the fighting arena they create with their bombs. And anyway, isn’t a fight a two-or-more sided affair with all parties trading blows? How can bombing civilians be classed as a fight when only one participant is actually raining down blows?

Here we go again

As I was in bed before the 'War' vote was carried last night I awoke today to the sad news that we were once again raining death down upon innocent civilians.

Thanks to Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and all those other MPs who voted against the terrorising of women and children; and thank you to Helen Hayes, my MP, for voting against the air strikes.

Listening to the odious rat Nick Robinson interviewing John McDonnell on Radio 4 this morning strengthened my resolve not to support the BBC if it runs into problems. How can the BBC claim to be independent; where is the journalistic objectivity when this public news service tows the government line.

Nick Robinson’s disgraceful interview of John McDonnell on Radio 4 shows just how low the BBC has sunk. Robinson, a rank Tory, demonstrated no objectivity at all. In my view the BBC is finished. I certainly won’t support the corporation when the vampires come for it.