Posts Tagged ‘Black Lives Matter’

Forthcoming Events at the Arise Festival of Left-Wing Ideas

May 30, 2023

It‚Äôs nearly here!¬†ūüéČ

Hello David

Arise 2023 kicks off with a bang Wednesday, as a vital Our Right to Resist rally (info below, register here), brings together 15+ campaigns & groups on the fight for our civil liberties & rights.

If you aren’t one of those who has got a ticket for the whole online festival yet – please grab one here today – a better world is possible, let’s keep fighting together for it.

Yours in solidarity,
The¬†Arise ‚Äď A Festival of Left Ideas¬†Volunteers (via the¬†Labour Assembly.)

Coming up at Arise Festival

1) RALLY: Our Right to Resist


Online, THIS Wednesday May 31, 6.30pm. Register here // Get festival ticket here // Retweet here & spread the word.

John McDonnell MP // Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP // Kate Osborne MP // Kim Johnson MP // Lord John Hendy KC // Zita Holbourne, BARAC // Myriam Kane, Black Liberation Alliance // Chantelle Lunt, Black Lives Matter & Kill the Bill // Ellen Fearon, GND Rising // Mish Rahman, Labour NEC (pc) & Momentum NCG // Rob Poole, Strikemap // Chris Peace, Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign // Hasan Patel, Young Labour // Daniel Kebede, NEU next General Secretary// Fran Heathcote, PCS President // Alex Gordon, RMT President // Video message from Shami Chakrabarti // Christine Blower (Chair)

Opening Arise РAn Online Festival of Left Ideas 2023. 

2) What can Gramsci teach us about the crisis today & what we can do about it?


Friday June 2, 1pm, Online. Register here // Share & Invite here // Retweet here // Get festival ticket here

With James Schneider, author of “Our Bloc: How We Win”¬†& former advisor to Jeremy Corbyn.

This event will look out how the Italian socialist Antonio Gramsci’s concepts of hegemony & organic crisis can help us understand what is going on today.

Register¬†here¬†to get a link to join live or watch back later. Part of the ‘Socialist Ideas’ series.
 

3) Celebrating Solidarity: Crucial role of art & music in the miners’ strike


Sunday June 4, 5pm, Online. Register here // Share & Invite here // Retweet here // Get festival ticket here

With: Mike Jackson, LGSM; Kate Flannery & Chris Peace, Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign.

Fighting oppression & injustice has inspired many artists & musicians to connect with political struggles. As well as the support for the miners’ strike that came from many groups who were experiencing the same oppression & hostility from the establishment of the day, many artists¬†were proactive about their support for the miners,¬†We need bread but we can have roses too!

A Socialist Sunday session, hosted by the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign as part of Arise. Register here to get a link to join live or watch back later. 

4) The Good Friday Agreement at 25: Time for Irish Unity?


BE PART OF THE DEBATE: Register here // share & invite here // RT here // get festival ticket here.

Monday June 5, 18.30. Part of Arise 2023 РAn Online Festival of Left Ideas.


Michelle Gildernew MP, Sinn Fein // John McDonnell MP // Geoff Bell, author of ‘The Twilight of Unionism’ // Chair: Rachel Garnham, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy.

Join us for a vital discussion on Ireland’s future &¬†¬†prospects for real change.

5) NHS @ 75 – How can we repair & restore it after 13 years of austerity?


Online. Wed. June 7, 18.30. Register here // Share & Invite here // Get Festival Ticket here // Retweet here

Nadia Whittome MP, John Lister (Keep Our NHS Public & co-author, NHS Under Siege), John Puntis (Doctors for the NHS.) Chair: Chloe Brooks (North West. Rep, Labour Students.)

July¬†marks 75 years of our¬†NHS. In light of Starmer and Streeting’s recent remarks, join the discussion on how we can end the current crisis, & secure its future as a universal publicly-owned, public service for all.

Hosted by the Labour Assembly Against Austerity at Arise 2023.

6) Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist & Scourge of Empire.


Friday June 9, 1pm, Online. Register here // Share & Invite here // Retweet here // Get festival ticket here

With¬†Katherine Connelly¬†–¬†author of¬†Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire.

Sylvia Pankhurst dedicated her life to fighting oppression & injustice. This event will look at how this courageous & inspiring campaigner is of huge relevance  today. 

Register¬†here¬†to get a link to join live or watch back later.¬†Part of the ‘Socialist Ideas’ series.
 

7) People & Planet on the Brink – Socialist Solutions to Climate Catastrophe


Online, Sunday, June 11, 5.00pm. Register here // Get festival ticket here // Retweet here.

Olivia Blake MP // Tess Woolfenden, Debt Justice // Sam Knight, Green New Deal Rising // Sam Mason, Climate Justice Coalition trade union officer // Fraser McGuire, Young Labour.

The world is on brink of five ‘disastrous’ climate tipping points, threatening the very future of humanity. Yet our Government – like many others globally – are more interested in protecting the profits of the fossil fuel giants than urgent action to tackle the climate emergency.

A Socialist Sunday session at Arise 2023.

8) Free Palestine – Mustafa Barghouti briefing + Q&A


Monday June 12, Online, 6.30pm.
Register here //
 Share & Invite here // Retweet here // Get festival ticket here.

In-depth briefing + Q&A with¬†Mustafa¬†Barghouti, Palestinian National Initiative, on the latest developments in¬†Palestine¬†as Israel’s far-right government steps up its aggression.

With supplementary contributions from Young Labour, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign & Labour & Palestine. Chair: Louise Regan, National Education Union & PSC.

Free event but solidarity tickets & donations essential for funding Webinar & streaming. Hosted by Labour & Palestine as part of Arise.
 

9) The Case for Labour Party Democracy – for Members’ Rights & the Union Link


Online, Wednesday June 14, 6.30pm. Register here // Share & invite here // Get festival ticket here // Retweet here.

With: Jon Trickett MP // Mick Whelan, ASLEF GS//Simon Fletcher // Rachel Garnham, CLPD // Nabeela Mowlana, Young Labour.

Join us for a vital discussion to make the case for a democratic party & movement – & to map out next steps in campaigning for members’ rights &¬†in defence of the union-link.

Part of Arise 2023. 

Arise Campaign to Restore the Whip to Jeremy Corbyn and Democracy to the Labour Party

May 28, 2023

I had a message from the Arise Festival of Left Ideas notifying me of the various events they’re holding at the end of the month and into June. One of them is a campaign to have the whip restored to Jeremy Corbyn, and there’s an online rally on Wednesday, 31st May, about resisting the Tories and another on June 14th about fighting Starmer’s dictatorial constraints and restoring true democracy to the Labour party.

ACTION ALERT: As 70k oppose Starmer’s bloc on Corbyn – let the members decide!

Hello David

Our petition¬†Restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn – let Islington North’s members decide their candidate!¬†has reached over 70,000 signatories. Here are some next steps to take together against the attacks on¬†Labour Party democracy:

  1. Let the members decide ‚Äď support the new model motion ‚Äď Download here & take to your CLP // Read more here // Retweet graphic here // FB share here.
  2. Keep building support as 70k+ sign petition – sign & share here // Retweet image here // FB share here // Read more here.
  3. Join The Case for Labour Party Democracy – for Members’ Rights & the Union Link¬†online event –¬†June 14, 18.30. Register¬†here¬†// Retweet¬†here¬†// Full info below. With¬†Jon Trickett MP // Mick Whelan, ASLEF GS//Simon Fletcher // Rachel Garnham, CLPD // Nabeela Mowlana, Young Labour.

We will keep fighting.

Yours in solidarity,
Matt Willgress, via¬†Arise ‚Äď A Festival of Left Ideas¬†& the Labour Assembly.

EVENT:¬†The Case for Labour Party Democracy – for Members’ Rights & the Union Link

Online, Wednesday June 14, 6.30pm. Register here // Share & invite here // Get festival ticket here // Retweet here.

With: Jon Trickett MP // Mick Whelan, ASLEF GS//Simon Fletcher // Rachel Garnham, CLPD // Nabeela Mowlana, Young Labour.

Join us for a vital discussion In light of the growing concern about the erosion of democracy in the Labour Party. To make the case for a democratic party and movement – and to map out next steps in campaigning for members’ rights and in defence of the trade-union link.


Part of Arise РAn Online Festival of Left Ideas 2023. 

Also coming up at Arise 2023

1) RALLY: Our Right to Resist

Online, Wednesday May 31, 6.30pm. Register here // Get festival ticket here // Retweet here & spread the word.

John McDonnell MP // Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP // Kate Osborne MP // Kim Johnson MP // Lord John Hendy KC // Zita Holbourne, BARAC // Myriam Kane, Black Liberation Alliance // Chantelle Lunt, Black Lives Matter & Kill the Bill // Ellen Fearon, GND Rising // Mish Rahman, Labour NEC (pc) & Momentum NCG // Rob Poole, Strikemap // Chris Peace, Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign // Hasan Patel, Young Labour // Daniel Kebede, NEU next General Secretary// Fran Heathcote, PCS President // Alex Gordon, RMT President // Video message from Shami Chakrabarti // Christine Blower (Chair)

Opening Arise РAn Online Festival of Left Ideas 2023. 

Starmer Now Ready to Ditch ‘Wokeness’?

May 10, 2023

Okay, there are reports now that Starmer might be ready to ditch another set of policies and attitudes. Yesterday That Preston Journalist reported that Starmer had supposedly told his top team that woke didn’t interest the British public, and condemned the Tory party for supporting it. The Tory Journalist correctly pointed out that this was a bit rich coming from Starmer. The Tories weren’t much better than Labour when it came to these policies, but they had done more to oppose them. And Starmer had still been photographed taking the knee for BLM. The only Labour MP who had stuck up for women against the gender ideology was Rosie Duffield, who had been given no support from her leader and the rest of the party whatsoever. He then quoted Sir John Hayes, a Tory, who said that Labour was totally out of touch with the public on these issues.

In fact, not only has Rosie Duffield received no support for his opposition to the transgender ideology and its detrimental impact on women, but she has been isolated and vilified. Last week Starmer paid a visit to her constituency of Medway in order to boost morale among the Labour activists there. Duffield is the local MP, but was not invited.

I will definitely not be sorry if the Labour party ditches the woke ideologies entirely. I consider them entirely destructive, doing little except to increase grievance and resentment rather than promote real policies to resolve them. Black Lives Matter has become somewhat passe following the revelations about the way Patrice Cullors and the leadership of the parent organisation in America used the donations to enrich themselves and their families, Conservatives have also cited statistics that show that more American cops are killed by Blacks than the other way round, and that more Whites are killed by the police than Blacks. The gender ideology behind the trans rights movement is profoundly dangerous. Apart from its effects in allowing trans identified biological men into women’s spaces, it demands that gender nonconforming young people should only be treated as members of the sex they imitate or identify with, even though this may not be appropriate. It therefore sets them on a path to surgical transition that may severely damage their health and require them to receive additional medical care and support for the rest of their lives. Gender critical gays, like the LGB Alliance, reject the notion that trans rights are merely an extension or continuation of gay rights. Instead, they see them as a continuation of gay conversion therapy, in which society treats gay young people by transitioning them into members of the opposite sex, just as previous medical treatment included castration. But trans activists have denounced the LGB Alliance as a hate group. They were not allowed to attend last year’s Labour party conference while trans activists not only did, but were allowed to speak.

Starmer’s support for wokeness always was conditional. When the BLM protests broke out, he declared that it was ‘a moment’ and it took considerable time for him to be seen showing his support for it. And his remarks now don’t change the fact that he still said that 99.99 per cent of women don’t have a penis, meaning that he thought some do, and his panicked reaction when asked if women have cervixes. His response was that it was a question that shouldn’t be asked. The Journalist says that, whatever he’s said, he still relies on the support of the students and activists who support these policies.

He does, but it looks like he’s prepared to do what he’s done to so many other groups, and ditch them if he thinks they’re a liability. The trans lobby is very loud in its criticism of those who don’t follow their demands, and so if he reneges on his support for them completely, I think he’s going to face some very loud opposition and denunciations from the activists within his party, like LGBT Labour.

Is Keir Starmer Planning to Further Privatise the NHS If He Gets Into Government?

January 8, 2023

This deeply concerns me. A few days ago the mellifluous Irish left-wing vlogger, Maximilien Robespierre, posted a video asking if Keir Starmer was planning to push the privatisation of the NHS even further if or when he gets into 10 Downing Street. I didn’t see more than a few seconds of the video, but it seemed to be based on Starmer’s cagey response to how he would solve the country’s current crises. While Starmer has promised to repeal the anti-strike legislation, which would definitely be a great step if he actually does it, he answered that question by stating that Labour would not be spending its way out of these problems. This looks like an attempt to assure Tory voters that Labour is now fiscally responsible and no longer the high-spending party of traditional Tory caricature. But the current problems in the Health Service and other sectors are partly caused by decades of cuts and underinvestment. In the case of the NHS, the funding has also been gobbled up by increased administration expenses created by privatisation. So where is this extra investment, and improved services, supposed to come from? Blair tried to solve this by pushing the NHS’ privatisation further than Tories had dared. Not only were further NHS services outsourced to private healthcare providers, but he also created the Community Care Groups of doctors, who were responsible for commissioning medical services. These CCGs were granted the powers to buy in private medical services, and to raise additional income privately. Starmer is a Blairite, as shown by his vehement persecution of the Labour left and embrace of neoliberalism. One of the great commenters on this blog has suggested that he’s an admirer of the Swiss healthcare system. This is a mixture of state and private medical insurance, the degree depending on wealth. In the case of the very rich, it’s all, or nearly all, funded by private health insurance. In the case of the poor, it’s state-funded according to whether they can afford a level of private insurance. I have a feeling Nick Clegg of the Lib-Dems believed in the same kind of continental system. This obviously violates the fundamental principles on which Nye Bevin founded the NHS: that it should be universal and free at the point of delivery.

No-one wanted Blair to push through his NHS privatisations and there was electorally no need for it. By the time Blair was elected in 1997 the country was so thoroughly fed up of Tory misrule and their policies that Blair could have pursued a traditional Labour policy of renationalising it as well as funding it properly. But Blair was a Thatcherite and intensely concerned to get the Tory press and Tory voters onside, to the point that Rupert Murdoch has been described as an invisible presence at cabinet meetings. Blair’s pursuit of Tory policies left traditional Labour voters and members feeling betrayed and disenfranchised and the party lost both. They only continued winning elections because the Tories were worse.

I joined the Labour party a few years ago, inspired by Corbyn’s commitment to genuine Labour party policies and the protection and renationalisation of the NHS. I really don’t want to see it privatised by Starmer as Blair did.

If Starmer does push through further measures to privatise it, not only will he betray this country’s working people, making them poorer and with less available healthcare, then it will also have disastrous consequences for the direction of politics in this country. The recent surge of identity politics following the Black Lives Matter protests back in 2020 has also resulted in a backlash and the appearance of anti-woke parties further to the right, like Reform, led by Richard Tice, and Laurence Fox’s Reclaim. If working people become alienated from politics because whichever party you choose, economically they’re all the same, it leaves the way open for the far right. That was shown very clearly in Margaret Hodge’s neck of London, where Hodge did so little to tackle the rise of the BNP that the stormtroopers at one point had seven members on Tower Hamlets council. Their fuehrer, Derek Beacon, even sent her a garland after their squalid electoral victories. What has been shown to work against the fascist parties and unite working people of different ethnicities and religions is effective, traditional Labour welfare policies. These are desperately needed in themselves, but without them there’s the possibility that Britain may go the same way as the continent in the rise of extreme right-wing nationalist parties.

Renationalising the NHS and restoring the welfare state will not only massive improve the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the British working people, but will do much to stop the racial division and alienation fuelling the drift towards the parties of racial division, friction and resentment.

My Email to the Local Labour Party about the False View that only White Europeans Were Responsible for Slavery

January 4, 2023

I had an email from my local branch of the Labour party in Bristol this morning informing that they will be out this weekend canvassing people about the issues that matter to them. I wish them the very best of luck. Twelve years of Tory misrule have just about wrecked this great country and are forcing millions of ordinary, hardworking Brits into poverty. Not to mention the continued exploitation and impoverishment of the disabled and unemployment through benefit sanctions, work capability tests and all the rest of the welfare reforms that they have pushed through to enable them to stop paying benefits to people, who genuinely need it, all on the flimsiest of pretexts.

But one issue in Bristol that particularly concerns me is the way the slave trade is represented in exhibitions, the media and in education. Bristol was one of the major cities in the UK slave trade, along with London, Liverpool and I think Glasgow in Scotland. Although the slave trade was banned in 1807 and slavery itself abolished in 1837, it still casts a very long shadow over the city, just as it does the country generally. This was shown three years in the BLM riot that brought down the statue of Edward Colston and in a motion passed by the city council calling for reparations to be paid to the Black population. What concerns me about this is that it seems to me that a distorted image of slavery has arisen, in which White Europeans and Americans are seen as uniquely responsible and culpable for it. I am worried about the apparent lack of awareness that it existed right across the world and long before Europeans started enslaving Black Africans for labour in the plantations of the New World. It also appears that the BBC is determined to push this distorted image, as detailed by the group History Reclaimed and their document identifying the bias in twenty BBC programmes, several of which were about slavery. These included the edition of The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan when he went to Sierra Leone and Enslaved, presented by Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson. I therefore sent a reply stating my concern about this issue and the way it was handled by the local council. This runs

‘Dear Neil,

Thank you for your email letting me know that the party will be out this Saturday canvassing people in Bedminster about the issues that matter to them. I am afraid that long term illness prevents me from attending. However, apart from the continued cuts to public services forced on the mayor by central government cuts, there is one local issue that is of deep concern to me. This is the presentation and public knowledge of the history of slavery. Slavery has existed since antiquity and across the globe. Some of the earliest records come from the ancient near eastern town of Mari, which detail the sale of slaves and other properties. You can find lists of slaves on noble estates from ancient Egypt. Slavery also existed in the Muslim world, India and China. It also existed in Black Africa long before the emergence of the transatlantic slave trade. In some African societies, the proportion of the population that was enslaved varied between 30 to 70 per cent. By and large the slaves acquired by White European and American merchants were purchased from Black African slavers. Duke Ephraim, the king of Dahomey, had an income of £300,000 a year from slaving. There are records of British merchants to Africa being offered slaves Black chiefs. After abolition some of the slaving tribes attacked British trading posts in order to make us resume purchasing their human wares. Britain also paid compensation to former African slaving nations after abolition. In the 1850s we also fought a war with Dahomey in order to stop them enslaving the other local peoples.

But I am afraid I find little awareness of these issues in Bristol and among people generally. I am worried that this is creating a false view of the trade in the public, in which slavery, and particularly Black enslavement, is wholly the fault of Whites. This includes a lack of awareness that White Europeans, including British people and Bristolians, were also enslaved during the Turkish conquest of the Balkans and the Barbary pirates from Algiers and Morocco from the 16th century on till the French conquest of Algeria in the 1820s. I feel very strongly that this is creating an ideological motivated demonisation of Whites, especially if coupled with Critical Race Theory, which holds that all Whites are racist and will remain so.

I also feel this situation has been exacerbated locally by the motion passed a year or so ago calling for the payment of reparations for slavery, introduced by Green councillor Cleo Lake and seconded by Deputy Mayor and head of Equalities Asher Craig. This called for funding to be given to Black organisations rather than individuals, so that they can create sustainable, prosperous Black communities. This is obviously a noble aim, but the stipulation that the money should cover all Afrikans, as councillor Lake styles all Blacks, in the context of reparations means that Britain has accepted a moral responsibility for compensating people,. who were never enslaved by us, and which includes the vary African nations that committed the raiding and brutality that supplied the slaves. It also has nothing to say against the celebration in some African countries of these slavers, like Efroye Tinobue in Nigeria. It also erases from history the White victims of slavery.

I sent emails last year to Mdm. Craig and Councillor Lake pointing out these defects. I regret that I never received a reply. But this issue still has a particular urgency in Bristol. In previous correspondence, Asher Craig informed me that the local government was planning a new, ‘One Bristol’ curriculum for schools, which would foreground Black people. I have absolutely no qualms about Black Bristolians receiving the educational help they need, nor being included in our city’s history. But I am afraid that this curriculum will place the blame for slavery solely on White Bristolians and that this will lead to further racial division and prejudices.

I would very much like the local council to ensure that whenever slavery is taught or exhibitions on it mounted, its antiquity and the fact that other peoples, such as Black Africans, Arabs, Indians and so on were also involved, and that Whites were also the victims of the trade. This need not be an extensive treatment, but it should be there.

I hope you will take on board these concerns and recommendations, and wish you and the other party members all the best campaigning on Saturday.

Yours faithfully,

David Sivier’

I’ll let you know if I get a reply.

Woman Charged with Fraud over Bristol BLM Finances

January 4, 2023

It seems that it’s not just Black Lives Matter in America that is being run by people credibly accused of financial chicanery and embezzlement. My local paper, the Bristol Post, has as its front page headline a story about one of the BLM’s local organisers, Xahra Saleem, appearing before the local magistrates court on fraud charges. The Post article, written by Tristan Cork, reports

‘A woman charged with fraud in relation to tens of thousands of pounds raised in connection with the protest, which saw the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol toppled in 2020, has denied two charges.

Xahra Saleem appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court today, Tuesday, January 3, 2023, and entered two ‘not guilty’ pleas to two charges of fraud.

The 22-year-old answered to two charges of fraud. The first is that between June 28, 2020 and September 22, 2021, she committed fraud in that, “while occupying a position, namely ‘organiser’, in which you were expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of the ABL Bristol, she dishonestly abused that position intending thereby to make a gain, namely used the funds raised, for yourself”.

‘The second charge put to Ms Saleem, is that between June 23, 2020 and September 22, 2021, she committed fraud in that “while occupying a position, namely ‘director’, in which you were expected to safeguard, or not act against, the financial interests of Changing Your Mindset Ltd, she dishonestly abused that position intending thereby to make a gain, namely, used the funds raised, for herself”.

The charges stated that Ms Saleem allegedly committed the offences while at an address in Tadpole Garden Village in Swindon, ‘or elsewhere’. Ms Saleem gave her present address as Briars Walk, Romford, Essex.’

Saleem outside the magistrate’s court.

I’m sort of surprised, and sort-of not. For a long time it seemed that the British offshoot was more respectable and financially responsible than its American parent, whose head siphoned off something like $60 million for herself, her friends and relatives. Cullors, the American head, tried telling everyone that it was all racist slander, but the people demanding that she and her organisation be investigated included the organisation’s workers and the poor Black communities, who expected to receive help from her organisation but didn’t. Now it seems some of the same kind of light-fingered individuals may have found their way in the local branch over here. Part of the problem is that decent, anti-racist people, businesses and organisations in America gave Black Lives Matter plentiful donations without properly looking at how the organisation was going to spend it nor the procedures in place to prevent fraud and financial mismanagement. This left it open to such financial shenanigans. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this trial, but for the meantime I note that Saleem is alleged to have committed the fraud while in Swindon, and that she now gives her address as Romford. So she has precious little connection to Bristol and its great people, whether White or Black.

Do We Really Need a Special Poppy to Commemorate the Sacrifice of Black Servicepeople?

November 14, 2022

Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday, when the nation officially commemorates the sacrifice of our boys and girls in the armed forces, particularly in the two World Wars. And Simon Webb of History Debunked put up another piece about race. It seems that there is a black Remembrance Day poppy to commemorate the special sacrifice of Black squaddies from the Caribbean and Africa. Webb wondered why it was that Blacks felt they needed to have such a special symbol, while the millions of Asians that also served in the British forces during World War I – he rightly mentioned 3 million Indians – don’t feel the need to have one for themselves.

Let’s have a bit of context here. Until a few years ago, the war memorial in Belgium only commemorated the White troopers. There was rightly a campaign to have the names of all the non-White troops, who also fell, inscribed on the monument. I remember the news reports about it at the time and the interviews on the Beeb. The former Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol also did an exhibition about the contribution of the non-White Commonwealth troops. The displays included the war diary of a Muslim Indian soldier, who compared the carnage to the End of the World. There was also an image of a Black serviceman proudly bearing the medal he’d been awarded for his courage. If there was a need for a special poppy to commemorate non-White service during the War, the erection of the memorials to them in Belgium would have been the appropriate moment to do so. And it would have covered all the non-White squaddies who had previously been excluded.

But I got no sense of that from Webb’s video. He just said it had been around for a few years now. I have to say, I haven’t heard of it before, or seen them for sale. Which isn’t surprising, as I’m White. But I do wonder if these poppies are just around in very restricted areas, like the very Black, very anti-racist parts of London.

I have to say I have very strong misgivings about it. It seems once again to come from a mindset that Black people are especially victimised and need their own space and institutions. It seems to be another step on the road to real liberal apartheid. In America some of the universities have special ‘safe spaces’ for Black students and hold specially segregated, Black-only graduation ceremonies. It also seems to come from the fixed mentality that somehow Black lives are seen as intrinsically less by Whites or mainstream society, as otherwise expressed in the Black Lives Matter movement. But I also think this could increase resentment towards Blacks. One of the central elements of anti-Semitism is the perception that Jews’ first loyalty is to themselves and other Jews and have little loyalty to their host societies. This is the underlying assumption that made the ‘Stab in the Back’ myth of Jewish betrayal credible to some Germans after their defeat in the First World War, which formed one of the major pieces of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda. Over here there was similar suspicion about the divided loyalties of Jews of German origin and the Anglo-German Jewish businessman, Alfred Mond. A special Black poppy that commemorates only Black servicemen, while certainly not repudiating loyalty to the British Empire, nevertheless could very easily give the impression that they believe the lives of Black servicemen are worthy of particular commemoration over and beyond that of everyone else, and that Blacks are solely concerned with their own people, not wider British society. That’s probably not the intention the people who invented it want to give, but the possibility’s there, nonetheless.

American Transpeople Joining Gun Clubs Against the Coming ‘Trans Genocide’

November 8, 2022

This is both weird and alarming. Karen Davis is a gender critical Black American woman, who gives her critique of the trans cult and its excesses on her vlog, ‘You’re Kidding, Right?’ on YouTube. She’s a musician and a music teacher. I think she teaches special children. She’s also been a care worker in a social club for schizophrenics. She has an excellent grasp of the medical literature and frequently cites relevant papers on the damaging side-effects of puberty blockers, gender transition surgery and the mental and physical differences between the sexes that persist despite the surgery and hormone treatment. She’s an important voice in the debate, but I deliberately haven’t posted her here. This is because she has very strong and uncompromising views, expressed in similarly strong language. And I don’t want to offend any of my readers unnecessarily.

Yesterday, however, she made a couple of posts reporting a very alarming development. It seems some American transpeople have worked themselves up into such a state of fear over an imagined coming genocide that they’re joining a set of gun clubs, ‘The Pink Pistols’, set up by gay people in the early 2000s in order to teach them to shoot in order to protect themselves. This came out when she was talking about the reaction among some trans people to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ passage of a law in Florida banning gender treatment for minors. This forbade doctors and clinicians from putting trans-identifying children on puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones or surgery. This is important, as gender surgeons have been performing mastectomies on girls as young as 12. DeSantis is a Republican, and while I generally despise the Republican party, I think he’s done the right thing about this. Children are way too young to be able to make responsible decisions about such life-changing medical treatment. After all, we don’t allow kids of 12 to buy tobacco or alcohol, and over here they can’t buy glue at that age. It’s also the case that 65-85 per cent of children with gender confusion actually grow out of it, usually settling down as gay men or women. There’s real concern among part of the gay community that gender reassignment surgery is being used by homophobic parents as a kind of gay conversion therapy. If this is the case, then it’s as nasty as the historic gay conversion techniques involving electric shocks, isolation, starvation, sleep deprivation and other sadistic tortures. I don’t doubt that there are some people who really need trans therapy and medical treatment, but there are also very many who don’t and for whom it is inappropriate and damaging.

The people on one of the trans chatrooms visited by Davies, however, interpreted DeSantis’ legislation as the first steps towards the trans holocaust. One poster, InnocenceClaire, said that she was having fantasies of killing people. Her partner was in the navy, and she was concerned about having to shoot members of the US military when the state openly began killing trans people. She was also thinking of emigrating to Canada. Someone then suggested she join Pink Pistols, which is the subject of a further vlog post by Davies.

Okay, I’m very definitely someone who believes very strongly in gun licensing and restrictions on firearms possession. But I honestly don’t blame gay Americans for setting up their own gun clubs considering the violent persecution gays have suffered and still do in some quarters. Western society is much more tolerant now than it was when I was growing up. But I’ve been told by American friends that even though homosexuality has been legalised at the federal level, many individual states continue to have laws against homosexuality. And I don’t doubt either that transpeople get their share of abuse and violence. While drag has been part of British pantomime and the Music Hall tradition since the 19th century, it was illegal for ‘men to walk about in the clothes of the opposite sex for immoral purposes’, as the act put it. I don’t know when it was legalised. One of the gobbets we had to read in a book intended to help young people navigate their way into adulthood in RE when I was at school was about a young transvestite bloke in prison. In the 90s Private Eye in its ‘Funny Old World’ column published the obituary of an older transvestite, who had been frequently up before the beak. And the violence and abuse against trans people was covered in the small press magazine Aeon – the Magazine of Transkind. One of the great commenters here has posted a link to a BBC report on the abuse a transwoman received from a mob after an ambulance arrived to take her to hospital in this country.

But from what I can tell, most of the violence, abuse and threats of violence in this controversy come from trans rights activists, who may not be trans themselves, against gender critical feminists. Maria Maclachlan of the ‘Peak Trans’ vlog was the victim of one assault. A feminist protest in Spain against that country’s new gender identification laws had to be abandoned because of the menacing mood of the trans counterprotesters. There has been a lot of argy-bargy from the trans activists at the rallies Kelly-Jay Keen has held in Britain, including Bristol and Brighton. One of the trans rights activists there set off a smoke bomb and another was arrested with a bag of knives. Keen is on a campaign tour of America. She wanted to speak in Portland, but received hostile, threatening messages and was told by the cops that they wouldn’t be able to protest her. She wisely called it off. Now there have been social media posts smearing her as a member of the Proud Boys. Similar threats and attacks have happened to others. There was outrage a couple of weeks ago when Fred Sargent, a senior member of the American gay community and a veteran of the Stonewall riots, was knocked to the ground at a Pride march and had coffee poured on him because he was carrying a banner stating that transwomen weren’t women. And there were any number of posts on Twitter by people posting about how TERFs – Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists – were fascists and Nazis and should be killed.

In fact, the violence actually suffered by transpeople in Britain in America is small. I think in Britain three trans people were killed a couple of years ago, and there have fortunately been no more murdered since. According to Davis, 36 trans people have been killed in the Land of the Free this year. That’s obviously 36 too many, but it’s a tiny number compared to the 1,800 women murdered by their parents, often after they’ve given birth. Gender critical feminists aren’t fascists and there no trans holocaust.

I am not saying this to vilify transpeople, only to make the point that there are parts of that milieu that is violent and abusive. My fear is that this section of the trans community will tool itself up with firearms and bring them to demonstrations, like other armed groups. I can remember a couple of years ago when a militia group turned up to face down Black Lives Matter protesters. There was a stand-off, but mercifully no-one was shot. My fear is that some trans protesters equipped with firearms won’t exercise similar restraint, not if they really believe that TERFs are Nazis. And that would be a catastrophe. Apart from the loss of the life, many gays and transpeople are afraid that the militancy and extremism of the trans rights movement will provoke a backlash against all of them. That could very well come true if someone is shot at a rally. I really hope cooler heads prevail.

For further information, see the posts ‘MTFs ARM IN RESPONSE TO FLORIDA MOVE TO PROTECT KIDS’ and ‘FEMALE IMPERSONATORS GET GUNS WHILE REAL WOMEN GET KILLED’

American Teacher Describes Why Teachers Are Leaving En Masse

October 14, 2022

This video comes from the NHC Educational Justice channel on YouTube, ad has the title ‘Even a Mass Exodus of Teachers Doesn’t Faze our Administration at any Level. They Just Don’t Care’. It’s of a teacher presenting her evidence before the New Hannover County school board, or so I assume. The teacher states that very many of her fellows are leaving the profession so that vacancies are going unfilled. This is not because they hate their jobs or the kids, but because of low pay, the endless testing, the burden of getting the kids through SATS with little support, such as teaching assistants and so on. They are also stigmatised as already overpaid, and heavily criticised when children do not succeed. And as for pay, one woman left because she found that she could earn more as a waitress with the tips.

I’m putting this up because these complaints are exactly the same that teacher over here have repeatedly voiced ever since the days of Maggie Thatcher. There’s also the problem that there are any number of videos on the net by Republicans exposing and talking about radical teachers in the classroom talking about how their indoctrinating their children about Black Lives Matter, White privilege and Queer theory. There’s an awful lot of videos about gay and trans teachers talking on TikTok about how they’ve come out to the children in their class and are trying to support their children’s gay and trans identities. While these are serious issues, I think the far bigger issue is simply that faced by teachers over here as well: poor pay and an excessive workload. Concentrating on extreme left-wing radicals, in my view, presents a distorted image of the profession. Most teachers are in there not to turn children into intersectional Marxist revolutionaries or gay or trans activists. They’re in teaching because they want to stand in front of a class and teach ordinary subjects like reading, writing, maths, science, history or whatever. And I do believe that the far right is weaponising the concern about radical indoctrination in order to destroy the state school system. Right-wing activists like Matt Walsh will show a video of a gay/trans/non-binary teacher talking about their views and how they’re teaching them to their class and then advise their audience to take their children out of school and home school them. There’s a similar attitude over here with the Reclaim party and the New Culture Forum. But underneath it is a deeper hostility to state provision of education.

Instead of being misrepresented as raving Marxist radicals, intent on creating a new generation of young revolutionaries, most teachers are professionals with a serious commitment to teaching. They deserve better pay, support and respect.

And definitely not to be used as propaganda in a radical libertarian attack on state education.