Jeremy Corbyn will #StopToryBrexit

JEREMY CORBYN TWITTER AVATAR

Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters are debating what to do about Brexit. Some have added #FBPE to their Twitter accounts, and many of their tweets. The left is split on what to do about this. As far as I’m concerned, at least initially, good people became part of this Twitter ‘movement’. I chose to debate with them. I now follow some, and they follow me. But I’m still not adding #FBPE to my account. Why not?

The ‘FB’ in #FBPE stands for #FollowBack. Essentially we are dealing with a classic ‘Popular Front’. Such strategies subordinate everything to a single issue. Socialists don’t play that game. At least we don’t play by the same rules.

Socialists prefer united fronts which allow us to discriminate on the basis of broader perspectives. We refuse to bite our tongues to protect reactionaries jumping on a bandwagon. And many of the most prolific #FBPE keyboard warriors are deeply reactionary across the board and,  as such, are an albatross around our necks. Try debating with these trolls for long and you’ll face abuse if you are a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. These opportunists have adopted #FBPE primarily to identify potential activists for a new Social Democratic Party, one that will revive the role played by the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable.

The SDP never entered government. But they did succeed beyond their wildest dreams by splitting the anti-Tory vote under first-past-the-post. They did this in a way that allowed Margaret Thatcher to form three reactionary Tory governments despite most voters rejecting her at the ballot box. This is what lays in store for progressives if we allow Vince Cable to put together a second electoral pact with Tony Blair’s supporters in the Parliamentary Labour Party. That is their agenda. It’s obvious to me. No one can seriously dismiss this as an idle ‘conspiracy theory’.

Nevertheless, despite the reactionary role played by the Liberal Democrats, by Blairite MPs committed to stopping Jeremy Corbyn entering 10 Downing Street, and by Tory MPs to this day proudly propping up Theresa May, it is possible to map out some common terrain between all the above and Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters. Thanks to these narrow but nonetheless real common interests, this rotten Tory Prime Minister lost a key vote on Brexit. This could happen again. And it must happen again. And that is why it would be wrong to rule out cooperation between some #FBPE supporters and Jeremy Corbyn’s voters.

As the best #FBPE supporters reluctantly concede, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister is their best hope of stopping a ‘Hard Brexit’, and/or securing a referendum on any negotiated deal with the EU. They are right on both counts. Trying to split the anti-Tory vote will condemn us to a Nigel Farage dystopia. Alastair Campbell and Vince Cable may not want to admit it, but they both know it is true.

After a preliminary debate on Twitter, some former supporters of #FBPE are now adopting #PCPEU to identify each other. A few use both. For obvious reasons, the latter is better, but it is an unfortunate sounding acronym. I prefer #StopToryBrexit. I recommend all Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters adopt that instead. It is a hashtag all socialists can adopt. And it is one Liberal Democrats, Blairites, The SNP and Greens will find impossible to argue against although many will desperately seek excuses to do that. Even Tory MPs who want to stop Hard Brexit, possibly hoping for a second referendum, will struggle to undermine socialists tweeting under this banner. Consequently, it will place the greatest pressure on Theresa May while simultaneously uniting every single anti-Tory regardless of our respective attitudes towards Brexit in the past.

#StopToryBrexit has one additional advantage for the left. It extends the time available to develop strategy and tactics needed to put Theresa May’s government out of its misery. This hashtag has the potential to unite left wingers who did – mistakenly in my view – vote for Brexit with the rest of us. It places no ultimatum on any leftist to apologize for what they did.

The left needs to get to grips with why Brexiteers won the referendum. Calling everyone who voted Brexit a racist and/or a moron plays right into the hands of Theresa May and Nigel Farage. Furthermore, unless we wake up and smell the rotten politics of those who lead the Remain campaign – David Cameron’s MPs, Liberal Democrats who propped up a Tory government for five years and Blairites -, we’ll never be in a position to win people over who did make a mistake.

As the nominal leader of the Remain Campaign admitted, voting for Brexit would – other things being equal – increase wages. This David Cameron appointee forgot that most of those voting in the referendum would be employees, not employers. According to the laws of supply and demand, voters were reliably informed, they should vote for Brexit.

Liberals have been tying themselves in knots dismissing voters as narrow-minded bigots, necessarily racist, for wanting to increase their standards of living. In reality, many of them want no more than to keep their heads above water. Every socialist needs to empathize with these voters, not abandon them to the clutches of right wing populists like Nigel Farage.

UKIP as well as their Tory fellow travelers in the Conservative Party were given access to the airwaves let a racist genie out of the bottle. But this was never inevitable. And we can put it back in again, provided we exposing the horrendous Thatcherite dystopia awaiting all of us if we leave it to Tory MPs and their unelected appointees to reconstruct the post-EU society.

Many on the left failed to appreciate who would be in the driving seat should Brexit win. It’s not too late to convince them to add their own not inconsiderable political weight within the organized working class and those living in poorest parts of the country to get us out of this mess. Such people are not racists. And they’re not Tories. They can play a key role in stopping Tory Brexit. They too can proudly promote #StopToryBrexit to their tweets.

 

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Toby Young would jail Jeremy Corbyn voters

TOBY YOUNG ON MOMENTUM

Theresa May appointed Toby Young to guarantee freedom of speech for young people in our universities. Toby Young then had to delete over 40,000 tweets that exposed him as a sexist, homophobic, racist idiot who hates the working class and those with disabilities. His incompetent attempt to destroy the evidence is reminiscent of totalitarian governments rewriting history. And isn’t that what he’s supposed to be protecting us from?

Theresa May is trying desperately to ignore hundreds of thousands of petitioners demanding she comes to her senses. Her buffoonish, equally racist and misogynist Foreign Secretary – Boris Johnson – defends Toby Young: possibly he doesn’t want to lose someone so awful that, by contrast, he looks relatively harmless. Good luck with that, Boris.

Anyway, something that hasn’t been raised in the objections to Toby Young’s appointment so far – at least as far as I am aware – is his truly remarkable performance in the penultimate edition of last last year’s Sunday Politics, 35 minutes in: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09hbmhp/sunday-politics-london-10122017. During that outing, Mr Potatohead compared Momentum’s so-called stranglehold on the Labour Party as equivalent to the violent fascistic Britain First pulling the strings of Prime Minister Theresa May. Britain First, let’s remember, is having its leading members arrested all over the place. And this is the man she appoints to defend civil liberties and free speech in the universities? This government is quite literally beyond parody.

If anyone’s interested, I wrote about Toby Young comparing Momentum to Britain First at the time. You can find it here: https://derekthomas2010.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/helen-lewis-toby-young-and-momentum/

If you want to sign the petition to dump Toby Young, here is a link: https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-sack-toby-young-from-university-watchdog-post

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Jeremy Corbyn’s broad church or #FBPE?

Prime Minister's Questions

Some who claim to be on Labour’s left back the #FBPE ‘movement’ on Twitter. I’ll refrain from calling them liars, at least until I find some proof. Most of them, I am sure, have their hearts in the right place, and that’s what matters most. But they are nevertheless, imho, making a very big mistake.

#FBPE is a popular front strategy. It works by subordinating everything and everyone to a single issue and this always benefits the right and is always a disaster waiting to happen. What the left wing supporters of this hashtag haven’t worked out yet is it is a key pillar in the Blairites’ strategy for crushing Jeremy Corbyn.

172 members of the PLP outrageously voted to overturn the democratic decision of hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members. If they had their way Jeremy Corbyn would even have been banned by the capitalist courts from getting his job back democratically by exposing precisely how disgusted members were with these Blairites plotters. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, imho, #FBPE is an indispensable tool to identify potential activtists for a second Social Democratic Party which will offer jobs to Tory rebels such as Corbyn-hating Anna Soubry.

Today’s Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, has form. He helped split the anti Tory vote alongside other Lib Dem MPs under first-past-the-post ensuring Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister three times despite most voters rejecting her at the ballot box. Most of the 172 Blairite MPs are preparing to repeat this treachery. They have to deny it, of course. But they would say that, wouldn’t they. Shirley Williams denied the Gang of Four split right up until the day they split.

#FBPE isn’t just designed to help ballot rigging McCarthyites like Tom Watson. Those behind it hope 600,000 Labour members will turn against Jeremy Corbyn while extending an olive branch to Tory MPs who have, thus far, voted to keep Theresa May in power, and David Cameron before her. This is not a well thought out strategy, imho. Baldrick’s name springs to mind.

Vince Cable’s pledge breaking bastards who kept David Cameron in power for five years; Blairite war criminals and vote-rigging McCarthyites; Tory MPs to this day unwilling to withdraw support for Theresa May’s rotten government. Unite with these people? Are you on drugs?

How did Brexit win?

The reality is Brexit was lost because the only voices who weren’t vetted by the Tory editors on telly and radio during the referendum were almost never any better than the Brexiteers. It was a choice of the lesser evil. Many who consider themselves on the left don’t accept this. They think voting against Brexit was a no-brainer. These people suffered from complacency, and they need to wake up and smell the rotten role played by David Cameron, George Osborne and the Blairites. They screwed up big time. The #FBPE ‘movement’ is nothing more than a clone of the original bullshit position of Cameron and Blair.

Is Brexit inevitable, and should it be?

This may seem counterintuitive given what I’ve said up to this point, but I don’t think the left should rule out a second referendum. Having said that, it’s far more likely that if the hard version is to be delayed it will almost certainly be by voters electing parties committed to renegotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU, potentially in a way that postpones Brexit more or less indefinitely. The alternative Vince Cable wants begs too many questions: for instance, if Theresa May’s deal is rejected in a referendum, what happens next? Just because she screwed it up, that doesn’t prove voters don’t want to leave on different terms, or possibly renegotiate continued membership in a way that is different from what David Cameron so pathetically negotiated. A second referendum can’t be taken seriously until we get answers to: ‘what happens next?’

Don’t insult most voters unless you want to keep losing votes

The left needs to stop insulting everyone who voted for Brexit. You have to be an idiot to not recognise just how counterproductive that is. The majority needs to be won round, and telling them they’re all racists and morons is hardly likely to accelerate a change of mind. On the contrary, doing that would guarantee most voters turn a deaf ear to everything we say, making it much more likely they’ll do the exact opposite of what we advocate no matter how perverse they admit that is.

Of course if every Brexiteer was a racist moron there’s no harm pointing it out, but it’s just not true. Many Brexit voters were and remain daft racist bastards. But others are anything but. Despite what you would gather from watching the BBC, SKY News, Channel4 News, ITV and C5, there were those promoting a left-wing defense of Brexit, the kinds of arguments Tony Benn deployed, arguments Jeremy Corbyn used to take for granted, not all that long ago. Pretending this is untrue makes it impossible to change people’s minds, as Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott changed their minds. Ignoring the arguments that lead to the large left vote for Brexit helps Theresa May and Nigel Farage. Unlike most people, I think Brexit in its hard version can be avoided, and must be avoided. But this cannot be achieved by embracing the reactionary methods of those who champion the #FBPE hashtag.

How can Hard Brexit be stopped?

The leader of David Cameron’s official Remain Campaign admitted publicly that Brexit would lead to higher wages. Being a capitalist, he thought that was a bad thing, confident that absolutely everyone would agree with him. The leader of the campaign was too stupid to realize that most voters are employees, not employers. He effectively told the majority of the electorate that if they wanted to raise their income they should vote for Brexit. Since most bosses at the television and radio networks opposed Brexit, and since they were not all quite as stupid as the man handpicked by David Cameron to win this vote, they didn’t go out of their way to publicise this own goal by their man. On the contrary, they clearly hoped voters might have missed it. But the truth remains that by cutting the supply of unorganized and unskilled labour, wages will rise — other things being equal. For self interested reasons, this basic fact is exploited by xenophobes and racists, as it was by UKIP and those even further to their right. But this economic law doesn’t need to lead to xenophobic conclusions. The democratic and internationalist left can deploy basic supply and demand economics to fight racism, provided we make the case for organizing everyone, regardless of country of origin, into trade unions. That is what was argued by some who campaigned for Brexit. The liberal ‘Remoaners’ who continue to stick their fingers in their ears on this issue of wages only alienate most of the unemployed, underemployed, and the living-from-hand-to-mouth low wage workers, into the bargain insulting them for not having been able to get degrees, snobbery which merely adds to the hatred of most workers against this smug, pampered ‘liberal elite’.

The behavior of the EU towards people of Greece — which we now see repeated vis-a-vis the people of Catalonia — exposes the alleged democratic credentials of these Bureacrats. The truth is reactionaries are to be found on both sides in the Brexit debate. Denying this fact when most voters know they are being lied to by politicians they already dislike, those they already dismiss as incorrigible lying opportunists…. Any attempt to bury the truth about the Tory ‘Remoaners’ makes it simpler for Nigel Farage’s right wing populists to exploit voter alienation. By calling for unity with the Blairites, with Lib Dem bastards, and with Tory MPs, the #FBPE hashtag risks playing into the hands of Theresa May and Nigel Farage. I vote that we don’t go down that road to nowhere.

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Helen Lewis, Toby Young and Momentum

SARAH SMITH EATING

Everybody should watch this week’s Sunday Politics. Why? Many reasons, but let’s focus on the ‘debate’ on Momentum. Sarah Smith had no problem with Toby Young comparing Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters’ overwhelming dominance in the Labour Party today to the violent fascistic Britain First gaining a stranglehold on the Conservative Party. What does that say about the presenter of the BBC’s flagship politics programme on Sunday?

To give her some credit, even ultra Blairite Helen Lewis pulled Toby Young up at this point. But her defense was somewhat lackluster. I could attribute self-serving motives to her, but — since I can’t read her mind- I won’t. Nevertheless, I don’t think she is fit to be a Labour Party member, assuming she still is. Why don’t I simply congratulate the comrade for defending Momentum against Toby Young, a daft Tory who was among the first of that lot to apply to become a Labour supporter to willingly pay cash to lumber the alternative to the Tories with the electoral liability they idiotically assumed Corbyn would be? I don’t do that because of all the other things Helen Lewis said.

Firstly, Helen Lewis compared Momentum unfavorably to Progress because it morphed from the group that campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn to win the leadership first time round. So what? Helen says this group is not based on ideas or politics, merely a personality cult. I think the left needs to examine the pros and cons of this allegation.

Jeremy Corbyn admits he finds the “Oh Jerermy Corbyn” chant and the merchandise bearing his image deeply embarrassing. Other politicians who told you that would be suspected of lying. With Corbyn we know it’s true. If he dislikes the ‘cult’ paraphenalia why does he put up with it? I don’t think it is healthy any more than he does, but given the problems Labour’s leader faces with an intensely hostile Parliamentary Labour Party he allows the ‘adulation’ to continue as a means of setting limits on the betrayal of those MPs determined to topple him the very first chance they get.

While I dislike the ‘Corbyn cult’, I have myself joined those chants simply because I know how much it pisses off Tom Watson and the rest of the Blairites. Seems a little childish I know, but who doesn’t love to sight of Blairites squirming in the morning?

The Jeremy Corbyn ‘cult’ will become dangerous if Momentum relies on the personal qualities and decisions of one man regardless of how much we like and trust him. He is the last person who wants that. He knows he is not god. And he knows he can’t live forever. He also knows that his one head is not nearly as good as that of six hundred thousand Labour Party members, all of whom are less than the sum of their parts.

Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters need a lot more than him gaining the keys to 10 Downing Street. Of course we need that, but we also need hundreds of Labour MPs worthy of the name. That is why we can’t survive without preparing to select the best candidates for the next general election. The overwhelming majority of today’s lot are underwhelming on steroids.

Momentum is no personality cult regardless of the trapping, the endless image of Labour’s leader as Twitter avatars etc. Momentum is a democratic socialist broad church that is preparing for generations of leaders, democratic spokespersons who don’t blow their chance when offered airtime on television or radio.

Labour’s relative poor polling (relative given the state of Theresa May’s shambles of a goverment) is directly caused by the almost total censorship of Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters on BBC, SKY News, Channel4 News, ITV and Channel5. This censorship is reinforced by collusion between the extremist Tory editors at all the news networks and the Blairite MPs and ‘journalists’ giving voters no reason to hope for a better future. Only social media allows Corbyn to sustain any support in defiance of this censorship. That and mass meeting and demonstrations, and events like his appearance at Glastonbury.

A second reason Helen Lewis’s characterisation of Momentum was absurd was her repetition of the lie about this organization turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism. She repeated this smear in the same breath she attacked the organization as being controlled by one man – a man she knows happens to be a Jew. What a pity Sarah Smith didn’t see fit to expose the contradictions in Helen’s case.

What about anti-Semitism? We do need to talk about this. Anti-Semites are not Jeremy Corbyn supporters anymore than misogynists are. Defending Palestinians is not racist. Defending ethnic cleansing, an apartheid state’s state terrorism, collective punishment of all non-Jews is racist. To the extent Palestinians associate all ‘Jews’ with Zionism, they are careless at best, but it is a carelessness that needs to be seen in the context of the theft of their land and human rights by a Jewish state for a Jewish people which by definition is as racist as a Protestant state for a Protestant people, Muslim state for a Muslim people etc.

In Britain when I find people defending the Palestinian by means of anti-Semitic rhetoric, I pubicly question their motives, and if I’m not satisfied, I’ll unfollow, and in most cases block. If they hide behind anonymous Twitter accounts, it’s natural to wonder if they are who they claim to be. I smell a rat. If they pose as supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, they do so while knowing he will expel them if they ever summon the courage to identify themselves, and rightly so. In all probability, such ‘Corbynites’ are paid by the British state to pose as Jeremy Corbyn supporters, doing that in order to discredit him and the entire left of the Labour Party. If Theresa May and Amber Rudd knowingly waste my tax payers money on police spy agent provocateurs in order to corrupt the democratic process, then I want them both to resign. And in such circumstances I want them to stand trial for abuse of power and breaching the human rights and civil liberties of the entire electorate.

And if Sarah Smith or any other BBC employee is wasting my license fee in wilfully protecting racist police spy infiltrators into Momentum, I hope before too long they are also identified, sacked and prosecuted for corrupting democracy.

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The Buck Stops With You, Nicola Sturgeon

KEREVAN BAMBERY CORBYN TWIBBON

Dear Nicola Sturgeon,
I have decided to make official complaints about SNP politicians — one MP, one MSP and one councillor. Nevertheless, unless you can persuade me otherwise, I hold you personally responsible for the failings of all three: the buck stops with you, First Minister. That is why I am calling for you to consider your position, which is effectively my invitation for you to resign, an invitation I’ll be happy to withdraw if you can persuade me that what I’m telling you in this open letter comes as news to you. If you prove unable to reassure me on that score (and that won’t be easy), I won’t consider you a fit person and proper person to be Scotland’s First Minister or even a member of the Scottish Parliament.
The previous paragraph is in need of a little clarification. In the first place, I refer to an SNP councillor. I should rephrase that. The councillor in question is Andy Doig, an individual your party chose to dump for unrelated reasons shortly after Stewart Maxwell and his secretary foisted him on me. He is no longer a member of your party. Nevertheless, one of your advisors refused to speak to me, forcing me to talk to Andy Doig instead, to talk to him about a matter that had nothing whatsoever to do with his responsibilities.
Andy Doig, just like Stewart Maxwell MSP and Mhairi Black MP, all refused to communicate with me face-to-face. The latter two appear to have decided to hide behind plausible deniability, forcing me to speak to underlings, who could then be blamed if something went horrifically wrong, as both already know it has.
Both Stewart Maxwell and Mhairi Black have forced me to speak to their representatives on an unsecured telephone line while both being in absolutely no doubt that I am complaining about crimes committed by British Intelligence – including the crimes of staff at GCHQ who both are aware are monitoring all my telephone and email communications to my political representatives. WTF!?!
And that is not all. I left a message on Mhairi Black’s telephone answering machine so she could no longer foist the blame on a ‘secretary’ failing to pass on what I’m telling her. On her answering machine, I named and shamed a long list of criminals I need her to name at Westminster, and have investigated by MPs, including Privy Council members like you, First Minister as well as the man who was at the time the leader of The SNP’s MP group at Westminster – Angus Robertson.
Several police spies were named in that message left on Mhairi Black’s answering machine, including police spy rapist Chris Bambery whose victims include close associates of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, including a former candidate for London Mayor and leader of the Stop The War Coalition, a woman who still doesn’t know that he has been a police spy since the mid 1980s. Also mentioned in the message I left on Mhairi Black’s answering machine was ex-MSP Frances Curran.
Frances Curran’s long list of crimes have been dealt with by me on several of my blogs and elsewhere on cyberspace, including extensively on my twitter account. I find it hard to believe, that you, First Minister, have managed to remain oblivious to my allegations about Frances Curran. Nor am I convinced that you never took the trouble to seek reassurances from Theresa May that she had not been working for British Intelligence while betraying her West of Scotland constituents. You, as a Privy Council member, must have made enquires. Have you chosen to sell out Frances Curran’s victims? Have you abandoned all Scottish citizens preferring instead to protect criminals in the British state security agencies? If you deny you have done any of this, then do so publicly at Holyrood, or in a court of law, under oath, where your testimony can be scrutinised by human rights lawyers.
Whose crimes do I think you must already know all about? What about the two plain-clothed police officers who I assume work for Special Branch, the ones who threatened to arrest me for contacting Mhairi Black for asking her to raise any of these issues on the floor of the House of Commons debating chamber?
Both of these cops told me explicitly that my MP, Mhairi Black, in person told them both to threaten me in this way. As you must be aware, I take it as a given that these cops lied through their teeth about Mhairi Black’s culpability. As I have also made clear on Twitter and in my blogs, I believe they had – from the moment I arrived at the door, under threat of being arrested if I refused to speak to them face to face – recording our entire conversation. However, when I told them I needed to get a glass of water as my mouth got dry due to the stress (which was true, and they could see that I could barely speak due to the stress they were causing, making my mouth bone dry), when I returned to my door after one minute, both of them had scarpered. Why?
While I can’t prove this, I believe these Special Branch thugs ran away as it occurred to them I may be returning with more than just a glass of water: a recording device of my own? They surely realized they’d screwed up big time. Any secret recording they had made to trick me into saying something I didn’t want to was now worthless as if they produced the tape, they’ll be caught red-handed lying about my MP telling them to threaten me. They were, I believe, terrified that I could now have a recorder of my own to pursue their lie about having been sent by my MP, someone I respect, a politician I have referred to only with kind words, long before she got elected as an MP, long before she won respect far beyond Scotland and the United Kingdom, someone who allowed me to follow her on Twitter, and who followed me back.
On Mhairi Black’s answering machine I had already named Chris Bambery as a rapist police spy and Frances Curran as a criminal who had worked with the British state to protect Chris Bambery’s identity. The crimes of the pair of them include helping those behind a brutal assault on my person, in my home at 50c St Ninians Road in Paisley at 9:00 am on 16th of March 2003, with two razor-blade-wielding thugs hospitalizing me. This extended violent assault ended up with over fifty witnesses of a friend of my assailants’ attempt to physically assault me as I was escorted into an ambulance by two paramedics.
Frances Curran subsequently worked with Regional Procurator Fiscal John Miller in an 18-months’ malicious prosecution of me for alleged, entirely fabricated, crimes I committed on the day I was reduced to a bloody pulp by two friends of a thug who had already gone to jail for sending me one of several death threats. And forensic evidence that this thug was allowed to smash in my windows, my front door and threaten to murder me in front of several witnesses happened to be paid by Special Branch to intercept my mail was destroyed by the head of Strathclyde Police Complaints and Discipline Department’s investigation into a series of ‘K’ Division chief superintendents for collusion with this violent thug. The head of this investigation into this blatant police collusion turned out to be someone who had spent five years as Director of Special Branch, Jim Orr. Coincidence? Pull the other one.
Frances Curran worked for years to protect Special Branch while posing as a member of the Scottish Parliament. She should be behind bars for her crimes, including a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice involving David Cameron’s Director of Communications while he, Andy Coulson, still worked at Downing Street committing perjury alongside Frances Curran and another half dozen members of the Scottish Socialist Party’s executive, all of whom were aware of her role in protecting rapist police spy Chris Bambery.
Within the last few days, I have learned that rapist police spy Chris Bambery is now working closely with one of Mhairi Black’s colleagues at Westminster – George Kerevan. Comrade Kerevan may or may not have been working with this police spy while both were members of the International Marxist Group in the 1970s, possibly both already on MI5’s payroll. Worth checking up on that, First Minister. Surely you can ask one of your fellow Privy Council members if an SNP MP is doing to his constituents what Frances Curran did to hers.
I can’t say for sure to what extent you have consciously kept a lid on this scandal. But from now on you can no longer pretend to have been kept in the dark. I’m giving Mhairi Black the benefit of the doubt because I think I’m a good judge of character, and I do trust her. In other words, I have no intention of making an official complaint about her at least until after she agrees to speak to me in person in circumstances where we are both free from the notoriously prying eyes and ears of GCHQ and related agencies of British so-called ‘Intelligence’.
I shall, however, be making official complaints about the councillor Stewart Maxwell sent my way – Andy Doig. However, as I’ve already pointed out, your party has parted company with him.
Then there is your ‘special advisor’ Stewart Maxwell. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on. As far as I’m concerned he is guilty as sin. I am calling on him to immediately resign as an MSP. If he refuses to do that, then his fellow MSPs should kick him out of Holyrood and, depending on the extent of culpability that proven beyond all reasonable doubt, possibly he deserves to be prosecuted.
Finally, let me repeat that I hold you responsible for the behaviour of your politicians – councillors, MPs and MSPs. If you have known more than you let on because you placed your obligations as a Privy Councillor to the unelected head of state of the United Kingdom, Her Majesty The Queen, above the human rights of Scottish citizens, then I am asking for your resignation as First Minister. My guess is you cannot possibly have been kept in the dark. But if you convince me otherwise then, of course, I will be happy to apologize. I am not, by the way, expecting to have to apologise to you.

 

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Should there be collective punishment of men?

CLIVE LEWIS AND EMILY THORNBERRY

Clive Lewis and Emily Thornberry

I have a terrible confession to make: I am not a woman. As such, I need to choose my words very, very carefully. I, a mere man, dare to suggests ideas for creating a more civilised society for everyone who defends human rights, including the right of the innocent to a fair trial.

It should go without saying that I want all men who abuse women to be prosecuted, lose their jobs, and – if the crime is serious enough, with all forms of sexual assault self evidently falling into this category – going to jail for a very long time. Lesser offences may require being sacked, or demoted, given a final warning, suspended sentences or whatever — the specific punishment depending on a variety of factors.

We are clearly dealing with a wide spectrum of offences. And society needs to look at each case on its merit. If we want to protect women, and end misogyny forever, we need to identify the problem, and — where possible – rehabilitate offenders who managed to get through half a century or more of their lives assuming that women didn’t care about their sexist comments or crude flirtations. We can change this. But have to start from where we are, not where we wish we were. There is horrendous legacy to tackle, and it is endlessly regurgitated on television and radio, and in the cinema, with sexist behavior legitimised with ‘jokes’ that promote this bad behavior, rather than take the piss out of the sexists. If sexist men want to be helped to grow up and enter the twenty first century, I for one think it would be better for society to meet them half way. Let’s see if they are serious or not.

Additionally, I hope it’s not too controversial to reject collective punishment of all and every man simply because of the crimes committed by some men. When it comes to the law, we want only the guilty punished, right? Statistics about how many rape victims don’t get the justice they deserve has zero bearing when a jury is discussing an individual case.

Unfortunately, the indisputable need for all of us to listen to those telling us they were sexually abused, when this is attempted in the full glare of the mass media — rather than in a court of law or with trained counsellors from rape crisis organisations and sympathetic police officers — there is a danger of depriving the alleged rapist of due process.

Almost everyone who has spoken on the telly or radio in the last couple of weeks has found unnamed men guilty in advance of their inevitable court case. This will necessarily rule out those discussing these cases in the media of serving on a jury for these rape cases, maybe of any rape case. Whoever these men are, the only solution for both parties is for the men to be charged, and then for the media to butt out. The sub judice principle has to be applied here or no fair-minded jury can possibly be found.

Very few women hate all men. Most adult women love, or at least quite like a few of us. Women, let’s remember, have brothers, fathers, sons, platonic friends, lovers. If one of these men claims he’s been falsely accused, many women friends/relatives will at least consider the possibility that these men are indeed telling the truth, standing by them unless and until their trust is shown to have been misguided.

I can remember asking Owen Jones on twitter what he would do if his good friend Clive Lewis claimed he was being falsely accused of sexual harassment. When I used that example, I had no idea that such a thing would come to pass. But it has. I don’t personally like Clive Lewis, nor do I trust his alleged ‘Corbynite’ credentials. But I refuse to deny him due process. The allegations against him do need to be investigated, but I’m prepared to believe he is telling the truth. I extend this approach to everyone, regardless of politics or class. Far too many on the left believe allegations when the accused is someone we dislike. Not good enough, comrades. Not good enough at all.

Is supporting the right of accused men to a fair trial synonymous with indifference to women who claim they’ve been raped? Absolutely not. Women need opportunities to get justice, and society as a whole needs to come up with better means of corroborating their allegations. I am confident there are ways this can be done. But jumping to the conclusion that men should be locked up without a fair trial doesn’t help anyone.

The assumption that all accused men must be guilty is a disaster waiting to happen. This is a trap that no woman should fall into. The problem is if no woman will have her allegations scrutinised before a jury of the peers of all of us, then sooner or later someone without morals nor brains will get caught making up a story. It’s possible that quite rapidly many false allegations will be exposed due to the feeling there is zero risk in doing this. That would inevitably lead to a backlash. Sexist men would then organize a counterrevolution where the assumption was that most allegations are probably based on lies. The only way to stop that is to make sure that we are all on the same page. Better catch the guilty. But don’t punish those who have not had any chance to prove their innocence.

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Why will the BBC refuse to investigate a hoax call by Chris Bambery?

Reposting this despite the possibility that the voice that I recognized as police spy Chris Bambery may not have been him after all. It’s possible that I jumped to conclusions. It seems reckless for Bambery to call into a radio show where he is often a guest. Nevertheless, the way BBC Scotland dealt with my complaint makes me wonder. While I can’t prove it, I think this probably was Bambery, and if it was I have no doubt that others working at the station will recognize the voice after I pointed it out to them, if they were not willing parties to a hoax to help a police spy trying to gain illegal entry into Russia with false passports and other documents. If it wasn’t Bambery he could easily prove it. If I’m mistaken then obviously I’ll concede and apologize. And, as I say, it’s hard to believe a senior police spy could act so recklessly.

WORKERS UNITED

Chris Bambery is posing as 'Ed' in Russia. Edward Snowden should be warned. Chris Bambery is posing as ‘Ed’ in Russia. Edward Snowden should be warned.

BBC Complaint Department’s Richard Carey’s response to my complaint about their helping Chris Bambery perpetrate a hoax on BBC Radio Scotland listeners is an insult to the license fee payers. Why is there no declaration of intent to conduct an investigation into a very serious complaint that Louise White, presumably unknowingly, helped Chris Bambery set up a fake identity in Russia?

Let’s us assume for the sake of argument that the BBC was not a party to Chris Bambery’s hoax prior to it taking place. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the Producer of Louise White’s Morning Call never recognized regular guest on that slot on Morning Scotland for several years now… Let’s assume that not only did no one at the program recognize Bambery’s voice prior to putting him on the airwaves, nor while he…

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