Posts Tagged ‘Coronavirus’

Spat Between UKIP and Reform as Tice Refuses Offer of an Alliance

January 23, 2023

This comes from a video by right-winger Mahyar Tousi on YouTube. UKIP has been trying to organise some kind of alliance with the other right-wing populist parties and splinter groups. They have said that if they join this alliance they can keep their leaders and independence under an agreement intended to bring all these groups an electoral victory which would be beyond them as individual, separate groups. To join this proposed alliance, all that was necessary was that 95 per cent of the parties’ views should be the same. Today UKIP’s deputy fuehrer, Rebecca Jane, announced that the only one of these smaller right-wing parties to have ignored the Kipper’s overtures was Reform. She stated that it because its Duce, Richard Tice, believed that he could challenge the other parties alone. This was a mistake. She also criticised him for criticising the Tory MP, Andrew Bridgen, who had been thrown out for attacking the Covid compulsory vaccination programme. Tousi himself declared that this was splitting the right, and that it was all a clash of personalities rather than any real disagreement over policies..

I was surprised that UKIP was still going. I thought it had absolutely collapsed and been wound up following the departure of Nigel of Farage, his replacement by Gerard Batten and the entry into the party of Count Dankula, Carl Benjamin and Paul Joseph Watson. I also thought that whatever remained of the party had been reconstituted as Reform, but that’s evidently not true. As for these parties remaining separate and splitting the right, I am more than happy to see that continue. From what I’ve seen, they’re all hard right, Thatcherite parties, who’d continue the Tories’ attack on the welfare state and NHS. The only difference I can see is that they’d be more overt about it. And that is quite apart from their aggressively anti-immigrant policies.

I therefore think it’s no bad thing that these right-wing, populist parties are divided. Labour’s not perfect, but I want them to gain power and overturn 12 wretched years of Tory misrule. And these parties splitting the vote between hopefully makes that easier.

38 Degrees Petition to Expel Tory PPE Profiteer Michelle Mone from the House of Lords

December 2, 2022

As you can see, I’m clearing the backlog I’ve built up of various emails from the petitioning organisations and activist groups. I got this one on Monday about Lady Michelle Mone, who pocketed a very tidy sum from recommending to the government a company producing faulty PPE. This has caused immense outrage, and people want her out. I concur, and I’ve signed the petition. If you’re as annoyed at this piece of Tory cynicism and venality as I am, I hope you will too.

David, it’s all over the news. Conservative Peer Michelle Mone is under fire for reportedly pocketing £29 million from the taxpayer by supplying dodgy PPE during the pandemic that was deemed totally unfit for purpose. [1]

Ministers are being asked to explain how they let our nurses and NHS staff go without proper PPE, all the while handing over hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers money, to a reportedly dodgy company linked to a friendly Conservative Peer. [2]

What’s missing is pressure from us, the British public who want her kicked out of the Lords and taxpayers who want our money back.

Since we launched the petition a few days ago, more than 85,000 of us have added our names calling for Michelle Mone to be kicked out of Parliament and to hand back EVERY PENNY of the £29 million that she reportedly took from the taxpayer, at the very least.

Right now, your name is missing, David.

Will you help make it to 100,000 signatures by the end of today and send a message from the British public that they can’t ignore? Add your name with one click by hitting the button below:

To: The Lords Conduct Committee

Expel Michelle Mone from the Lords immediately

ADD MY NAME

Corruption has no place in politics. Conservative peer Michelle Mone is reported to have secretly pocketed £29 million of public money during the pandemic for unsafe PPE that couldn’t even be used – all while our NHS heroes were putting their lives on the line – including by wearing DIY PPE to protect themselves and the public during the pandemic.

We – the undersigned – are calling on the Lords Conduct Committee to investigate and expel Michelle Mone from the House of Lords and ensure that every penny in profit that she took from the taxpayer is repaid immediately.

ADD MY NAME

Or if don’t want to sign, you can tell us why here:

I’M NOT SIGNING THIS PETITION BECAUSE…

Thanks for being involved,

Tom, Jonathan, Ellie, Kate and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:

[1] The Guardian: Revealed: Tory peer Michelle Mone secretly received £29m from ‘VIP lane’ PPE firm
[2] The Guardian: Ministers face pressure to explain PPE Medpro contracts decision
The Guardian: PPE Medpro declines to say how it would repay millions if told to do so

Adam Savage Talks to Wearable Robot Maker Jorvon Moss

November 23, 2022

This fascinating little video comes from Adam Savage’s Tested channel on YouTube. Savage is an SF fan, who himself makes science fiction costumes and props, and who also interviews professional modellers and costume and special effects technicians. In this video he talks to Black maker Jorvon Moss, who makes wearable robots and technology. Moss states that he started making these machines after a friend died during the Covid pandemic. It was his way of processing and getting through the grief. The first of Moss’ machines they look at is a pair of enormous SF goggles, whose lenses go in and out and which sports eyebrows that go up and down. Moss says at one point it was inspired by Steampunk, which he considers to be the perfect synthesis of art and technology. This really didn’t surprise me, as one essential element of steampunk costumes, it appears, is a set of suitably retro-futuristic goggles. They then go on to a model robot spider. Moss, unlike just about the rest of humanity, likes spiders and was inspired to make it by the west African legends about the spider god, Anansi. He’s made the robot to sit on his head. The gadget’s own head moves and its eyes light up, so that it gives the impression that it’s watching you. The last robot is partly made from a backpack designed for transporting cats. This is connected via a pipe or flex to the robot, which sits on the wearer’s shoulder. This actually has a computer and a pattern recognition system so that it recognises faces. It also speaks. If it sees someone, it utters one or more of three phrases, including ‘Carbon dioxide detected’ and ‘Alcohol detected’. Moss also shows Savage his robot bird, now somewhat delapidated. He was inspired by Archimedes the robot owl in the Ray Harryhausen ’80s film, Clash of the Titans. The robot has cogwheel eyes that spin round, and a pair of wings that open.

Moss states that he’s really an artist and taught himself about the technology used in his machines. He also says that he was aware there were no other people who looked like him who were making robots and other technological models. He’s therefore keen to inspire other Black people to join in. He also wants other people generally to follow his ideas and become inspired in their turn to take them further. All his ideas are open source, and the details of how they’re built can be found on his website. I think they’re made using a 3D printer, which most of us don’t have access to. But more and more people are acquiring them, and so have the technology to make some of the gadgets and machines he has.

With his background in art Moss sort of reminds me of a 21st century Black Wilf Lunn from Vision On. This was the 1960s-70s BBC programme for deaf children which launched the careers of Aardman Animations, the mischievous plasticene man, Morph, and the artist Tony Hart. After Vision On was cancelled, Hart went on to have his own TV show, Take Hart. Also on Vision On was future Dr. Who Sylvester McCoy as the Professor. Wilf Lunn was the programme’s inventor, who created little toy automatons. It struck me thinking about the series a little while ago that Lunn was probably an artist taking an artistic approach to invention, rather than a scientist or engineer like those on the popular science programme, Tomorrow’s World.

Moss is clearly a talented inventor himself with a great enthusiasm for his robots. He’s an excellent ambassador for technology, and I’ve no doubt that if he went round a few schools, he’d inspired many more kids, particularly Blacks, to take an interest in the STEM subjects.

Reform Party Launch Attack Ad against Tory ‘Consocialists’

November 20, 2022

Mad ultra-brexiteer Mahyar Tousi is highly delighted with the latest promotional film from Richard Tice and the wretched Reform Party. He showed it on one of his videos earlier today or yesterday. The film shows a hammer striking a piggy bank with the message that pensions are being hammered. It then talks about how Brits are being hit by Tory austerity and that the country is paying the price for 12 years of failed Tory policies. This is because Rishi Sunak and the rest are ‘Consocialists’. The Reform Party, however, offer growth and prosperity based on lowering taxes and eliminating waste. But note the contradiction – lowering taxes and cutting waste is Tory policy, and it translates into lowering taxes for the rich and cutting services, particularly the welfare state. So, what’s all this bilge about ‘Consocialists’? I can only think it’s because when Covid hit, suddenly the Tories had to put cash into the economy to support the businesses that were closed and the people that couldn’t work due to the lockdown. And the Tory hard right, which includes Tousi and the others the ad is aimed at, have bitterly resented it ever since. I think if they’d had their way, they wouldn’t have initiated the lockdown but carried on with the nonsense about herd immunity. Which means letting the old and weak die in order to allow the rest to become immune to the disease. But the nonsense of ‘Consocialism’ also harks back to Farage nonsense about ‘Liblabcon’ and how they were all the same, with only UKIP being different.

No, the Tories are not socialists. They have cut welfare provision to the point where, for many of the most vulnerable people, it no longer exists. That’s why people are being forced to use food banks. The Tories fully support private industry and are covertly trying to privatise the NHS and convert it into a system of private healthcare funded through private health insurance like America’s. They were also behind the privatisation of the utilities, which has been a disaster. Privatisation has not brought greater investment, just further cuts to services in order to boost boardroom pay and shareholder dividends. As for tax, they have cut taxes – for the rich. These are all policies that Tice and his vile crew will follow if in they get into government. And the results will be the same: abysmally poor public services, mass poverty and ill health with a privatised health service.

The Tories and Reform are just two branches of the same party. Don’t vote for them.

Wednesday’s Online Meeting about Statutory Sick Pay

September 23, 2022

Wednesday evening, I went to a Zoom meeting organised by the Centre for Progressive Change about campaigning for much needed reforms to Statutory Sick Pay. The Centre for Progressive Change is a new organisation, and this is their first campaign, so they want to make a mark. As far as I could make out, the campaign is being led by the cleaners and their union, although other unions are also involved. At the moment there are a large number of workers, who aren’t getting statutory sick pay. I’ve forgotten the precise figures, but it’s something like a third or above. If they do qualify for it, they have to wait three days to receive it from the day they sign off sick, and the amount paid, £99 a week, isn’t sufficient to cover people’s needs. They are therefore campaigning for the amount to be raised, and for it to be paid from the first day of ill health.

They also mentioned cases where workers were denied time off work and SSP by their employers, even though they were perfectly entitled to it. This included one young man who came down with cancer a year or so ago. An operation was scheduled, but he was told he would have to isolate for a week or so before the operation to make sure he didn’t catch Covid and would need two weeks off work to recover. When he told this to his HR manager, who had previously been kind and supportive, he was told that the manager couldn’t run a place like this and so couldn’t take the time off work for isolation. Nor was he going to receive sick pay when he took time off work to recuperate. The boss told him instead that he’d have to take unpaid holiday.

This clearly isn’t acceptable.

The meeting itself was bilingual in English and Spanish. There was a button for simultaneous translation, so if you didn’t speak whatever language was being spoken at that moment, you could press a button and get the translation. It felt rather like being at the UN when the various ambassadors and officials there get the translations of speeches through their headphones. I was puzzled why it was in English and Spanish when we’re no longer in the EU, but it may just be that so many of the cleaning staff and other low wage workers involved in this campaign are Spanish.

They’ve got a petition to persuade the government to pay increased SSP and are also trying to get people to organise to see their local MPs about it. I’ve signed it because of the cost of living crisis and Truss’ renewed assault on working class wellbeing.

For more information, go to their website athttps://www.centreforprogressivechange.org/

Labour Left Proposed Motions for the Labour Party Conference

September 4, 2022

The Labour party conference is looming and Arise, the Labour festival of left-wing ideas, has sent these suggested motions out to their supporters so they can propose them to their local constituency parties, in the hope that they’ll accept them and propose them at conference. The email I had and the proposed motions run:

Model Motions Recommended for Labour Party Conference 2022

Hello David

Please find below and online here suggested model motions for Labour Party Conference. The deadline for submissions is Thursday 15 September 2022 at 5pm and the word limit is 250 words. They are on supporting public ownership, defending asylum seekers, supporting a pay rise for workers plus those unions taking industrial action to this end. and speaking up for Palestine.

Best wishes,
The Arise – a Festival of Left Ideas Volunteer Team.

1) Public ownership Motion from the Labour Assembly Against Austerity

Public Ownership is Necessary and Popular
 
Conference notes:
That public ownership is popular with voters, with polling indicating these levels of support:

  • Energy – 66% (Survation, 2022)
  • Water – 69% (Survation, 2022)
  • Royal Mail – 68% (Survation, 2022)
  • Railways – 67% (Survation, 2022)
  • Buses – 65% (Survation, 2022)
  • Social Care – 64% (Survation, 2020)
  • NHS – 84% (YouGov, 2017)

Additionally, 61% of the public think local and central government should try to run services in-house first, before outsourcing (Survation, 2015,) 82% want schools to mostly be run in the public sector (Survation, 2020;) and 63% want utilities to mostly be run in the public sector (Survation, 2020.)

Conference believes:

  • The crisis caused by soaring energy bills and the scandal of raw sewage being dumped into rivers this Summer have highlighted the failures of privatisation in Britain.
  • Private companies are making mega-profits from public services – these vast sums should instead be invested to improve services, to give their workers a pay increase and to lower costs for consumers.
  • That the Tory corruption and outsourcing crises during the pandemic have further illustrated the need for public ownership and democratic control.
  • A clear commitment to extending public ownership of key utilities and public services can be a big vote winner for Labour.

Conference resolves:

  • To oppose further Tory privatisation and outsourcing, including of the NHS, education and council services.
  • To support public ownership of key services and utilities including energy, water, railways, buses, social care, the royal mail and the NHS.

2) Motion on asylum seekers & Rwanda from the Arise Volunteer Team:

Labour should oppose the sending of asylum seekers to Rwanda

Conference notes:

  • the commitment of both candidates in the recent Tory leadership to the unethical, inhumane and racist Tory policy of forcibly sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, and the widely-condemned Nationality and Borders Act (NABA,) with its two tier system of ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ refugees that would prevent some 99 percent of refugees from seeking asylum and its threat to the citizenship of 6 million people in Britain. UNHCR said the Nationality and Borders Bill would “penalise most refugees seeking asylum”.
  • the scale of opposition to the Government’s inhumane treatment of refugees who just want to rebuild their lives here in safety.
  • the decision of the European Court of Human Rights which forced the cancellation of the first scheduled flight on 14 June 2022.
  • Public polling shows increasing support for asylum seekers’ rights, including their right to work.
  • Other disastrous aspects of the ‘hostile environment’ policy over recent years including the Windrush Scandal and the notorious ‘Go Home’ vans.

Conference resolves:

  • For the Labour party to clearly oppose this obscene Tory policy in its entirety as part of campaigning for an end to the ‘hostile environment’ and against racist anti-immigrant narratives, including through a commitment that the next Labour Government will immediately cancel the Rwanda Asylum Scheme.
  • To oppose “no recourse to public funds”, NHS access restrictions and other ‘Hostile Environment’ policies.

3) Pay and backing trade union action motion from the Labour Assembly Against Austerity:

Britain Needs A Pay rise

Conference notes:

Twelve years of the Conservative Government’s low-pay agenda has significantly diminished the real value of people’s incomes with average real wages still below 2008 levels;

The situation is getting worse. Real pay dropped by 4.1% in June compared to the same period last year, with record falls of 3.4% in the private sector and 6.7% in the public sector;

The imposition of significantly below-inflation pay awards which amount to real terms pay cuts;

An increase in trade union campaigning for improved pay awards, from protests to strike ballots and industrial action;

That 76% of people support the view that pay should rise in line with the cost of living (Survation August 2022)

Conference believes:

Below-inflation pay offers will increase poverty and hardship;

That the Government should not impose real terms pay cuts on public sector workers;

It is wrong that many private firms are imposing real terms pay cuts while making big profits, awarding bonuses and large dividend payments;

Recent trade union campaigns, including strike action, have led to numerous enhanced pay awards.

Conference resolves:

To oppose the Conservative Government’s imposition of real terms pay cuts;

To support inflation-proofed increases in pay in both public and private sectors and urgent measures to restore the real value of pay lost under successive Conservative Governments since 2010;

To support a National Minimum Wage of at least £15 an hour.

To support trade union campaigning, including through backing workers taking industrial action, to achieve these aims.

4) Palestine motion from Labour & Palestine / Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Justice for Palestine

Conference strongly condemns:

  • Israel’s renewed bombing of Gaza in August 2022 killing 44 Palestinians, including 15 children, and notes the UN Special rapporteur description of it as an  act contrary to International law. 
  • the Israeli army’s killing of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and beating of her coffin bearers by Israeli police.
  • the outlawing of 7 NGOs including Addameer; the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and Defence for Children International – Palestine.

Conference recognises that these events are illustrative of the conclusions of leading human rights organisations including B’tselem, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people, and further erode any possibility of a just solution.

Conference notes policy passed at Labour Party Annual Conferences 2018 ,2019 and 2021 in solidarity with the Palestinian people and against Israel’s ongoing violations of their rights and of international law.

Conference Resolves:

  • To support the application made in April to the International Criminal Court (ICC), calling for an investigation into the Israeli government’s systematic targeting of journalists.
  • To stand in solidarity with all human rights defenders and fully oppose the Israeli government’s attempts to silence them
  • To adhere to an ethical policy on all UK trade with Israel in line with policy passed at previous Conferences, including banning trade with illegal settlements and ending the ongoing arms trade.
  • To oppose fully any UK legislation aimed at preventing legitimate and democratic solidarity actions in support of the Palestinian people.’

These policies are popular and necessary. Among the polls showing public support for renationalising the utilities, I’m massively impressed that 82 per cent want schools to be in public hands. As for the motion on Palestine, it really amazes me how anyone in a genuinely left-wing party could support the closure of quangos devoted to protecting women and children. If ‘100 per cent Zionist’ Starmer supports this, then he’s a depraved monster, utterly unfit to govern any country devoted to humanity and the rule of law. This shows that hardly anybody wants academies or a return to grammar schools, despite the Tories constantly pushing them. I’m going to check with my local constituency party to see if these or similar are among the motions they are going to discuss this Thursday prior to conference. If they aren’t, I will propose them.

This will undoubtedly annoy the Blairites, especially the motion on Palestine. I’ll let you know if they start throwing around any fake accusations of anti-Semitism again.

‘Correct, Not Political’ Claim Teachers Now Asked to Collect Information on Pupils’ Beliefs in Conspiracy Theories

August 29, 2022

Correct, Not Political are a right-wing group who organise counter-protests and put up videos on YouTube giving their own coverage of Pride marches, Drag Queen Story Hour, anti-racist and pro-immigrant demonstrations, Extinction Rebellion and so on. Just how right-wing they are is shown by a section on their YouTube homepage devoted to ‘socialists and commies’. Having said that, watching some of their videos they do seem to be polite. Many of their videos about Pride and Drag Queen Story hour simply consist of them talking to the demonstrators, asking why they believe as they do and simply putting their own arguments. Quite often this is done simply and conversationally. I realise that with any broadcast material, including stuff from the official news organisations, you have to be careful of selective editing but they do come across much better than some of the left-wing demonstrators. Some of them come across as very aggressive, simply screaming ‘Trans Rights Are Human Rights’ and ‘Off Our Streets, Fascist Scum’, as if those are adequate replies or rebuttals. Other left-wing protests they interview are polite and personally reasonable.

They posted this piece up on their channel the other day, claiming that teachers have now entered into a contract with the government to report on whether their pupils hold one or more from a list of conspiracy theories. They are also asked how they are tackling these beliefs. This also includes whether they have been referred as radicalised.

This is the list.

They comment: Parents beware, the state have incentivised teachers to enter a contract in which they get subsidies on teaching materials in order for them to take part in surveys to collect data on your children, this is getting very scary.

See: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoFAZOEAhkrQVYVGuDeKIMA/community?lb=Ugkxg_YC8Wd9dAZJwdY7NODD525BjsJUW6Xr

I don’t know what’s going on here, as they have not said how they acquired this information, whether it was from a teacher or some other school or educational employee or official, nor how reliable this is. It could all have been cooked up as a form of disinformation designed to spread even more paranoia by someone. It’s possible that the list is correct, as the government is keen to prevent the radicalisation of young people through the Prevent programme, but it’s dubious whether this is part of it without further information.

They’re also wrong about one of the conspiracies. The Great Replacement, from what I understand, is the notion that the Jews are encouraging Black and Asian immigration to Europe to replace the White population. The idea that Muslims are going to replace us through immigration and outbreeding us is ‘Eurabia’.

I also wonder how many schoolchildren are actually interested in any of these stupid theories or have come across them on the web. It seems to me that a far greater problem is children seeing pornography or other age-inappropriate material, as well as the dangers of sexting and girls having the nude pics they sent to a boyfriend passed and put up for all to see.

Their commenters are naturally afraid of the state taking an interest and trying to control what pupils believe. I’ve got absolutely no problem with any teacher refuting any of these during lessons if they come up. But what is worrying is that some of their commenters seem to think some of them might be true. My guess, from some of the group’s content, this would be the theories about climate change and the ‘scamdemic’, in which the Covid crisis has been manufactured to take away our freedom.

Open Britain on the Heartbreaking Messages and Satirical Artwork for their Leaving Card to Bozo

August 20, 2022

I also got this email from the pro-democracy organisation Open Britain about the leaving card they’ve been organising for Boris Johnson. They’ve asked people to sign it and send a special message to the inane clown Prime Minister why they definitely are not sorry he’s departing. One of the examples they gave is from someone, who was bitterly hurt by the Covid restrictions that meant they could not socialise with the other mourners at a family funeral for a cousin, who died during the lockdown. And thus Johnson’s repeated parties – a total of 19 in all – are to people like this person and others like them a particularly bitter insult. Open Britain also reports that they’re getting a satirical artist to do the card’s cover. This all looks very fun indeed, and a good slap in the face to Johnson!

‘Dear David, 

We are delighted to announce that legendary satirical artist Cold War Steve has agreed to create an original artwork for the giant leaving card that we will be presenting to Boris Johnson ahead of his departure from Number 10.

Cold War Steve’s iconic art has been a constant feature of our lives since the EU Referendum, reflecting the absurdity and squalor of the Brexit project and the chaos and corruption of Johnson’s subsequent premiership. His work has opened the eyes of millions to the deficiencies in Johnson’s character and the dysfunction of his administration. In his own way, Cold War Steve has forced a kind of artistic accountability on a government famously shy of being held to account. We can think of no-one better to provide the image for our card and are over the moon that he has agreed to do so.

Over 12,000 of you have now submitted farewell messages to go inside the card…and they are still coming in. We’ve been blown away by the response…thank you!

While some of those messages are short and to the point (and…err…shall we say ‘colourful’), many are sobering and heart wrenching.

Here are just a few examples to illustrate that point:

“I am 83 years old and an old soldier. You are the first PM to make me feel ashamed of my government and my country.”

“My lovely cousin died during lockdown. I travelled to Holmes Chapel from Surrey and had to sit 3 metres away from people I love at the funeral. We couldn’t even hug or have a cup of tea together. We all left feeling very sad. You asked us to do that but didn’t seem to think you had to do something similar. It hurts still.”

“Thank you for making your millionaire friends so much richer and the rest of us so much poorer.”

“Jesus, Mary and the little wee donkey, will you not just f*** off into obscurity.”

ADD YOUR FAREWELL MESSAGE HERE

We launched this initiative to counter the outrageous narrative being put forward by Johnson’s political allies and his cronies in the media that he has been a great Prime Minister, who got all the big calls right, and who didn’t deserve to be kicked out of office. We wanted to give Open Britain supporters and the wider public a chance to express their thoughts and feelings on the matter.  Take a moment to read through some of those comments here and you will see that, for all the specious plaudits from his high-end friends, ordinary people have a very different view of him. We are glad those views have been recorded and that they will now form part of his legacy.

If you haven’t submitted your farewell message yet, make sure you don’t miss your opportunity to do so. We have only a few days left before we have to finalise the contents of the card and submit it to the manufacturers so we can get it to Downing Street before Johnson disappears. And, when you have submitted your message, make sure you click on the social media buttons to tell all your friends so that they too can have their say.

Thank you and all the best,

The Open Britain Team

SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT

Your generous support makes this movement possible. Thank you.

Brexiteer Michael Heaver Reveals Reclaim Party’s Exciting Warmed-Up Tory Leftovers Policies

July 26, 2022

Michael Heaver’s another right-wing, Brexiteer YouTuber. Most of his content seems to be about how wonderful Brexit it, or would be, if it wasn’t for those evil whining remoaners and the European Union trying to sabotage it all the time. He seems to have gone from the Tories to backing the Reclaim party, as well as wanting the return of Johnson. Today he put up a piece revealing Reclaim’s new, (ahem, cough, cough) policies. Laurence Fox’s party will be fielding 600 candidates, which, if true, is definitely a challenge to the Tories and the other established parties. Their policies are:

Do Brexit properly.

Net Zero immigration.

Cut taxes.

I think there’s also something about getting rid of the Green agenda. And I also think they want to support Johnson’s return to power, because the other Tory leadership candidates are so terrible and will hand the government over to Starmer. Or such is the fear amongst some Tories.

This is hogwash. Let’s go through them.

Do Brexit properly: Can’t be done. Uh-huh, no way. It’s simply impossible, like squaring the circle or redefining PI as equalling four, which is what the Nebraska legislature did way back in the 19th century. If this had gone ahead, it would have meant that clocks would have gained fifteen minutes everyone hour. But like ‘Get Brexit done’ it makes a good slogan. You can’t enact Brexit without reneging on one of the key policies of the Good Friday Agreement, which was an open border with the Republic. It’s either that, or the Irish backstop in the middle of the sea, thus alienating the Loyalists. Johnson got into power claiming that he’d ‘get Brexit done’. Well, he did, and it’s been chaos. Britain’s trade with the EU has taken a massive hit, there are real threats to British industry and agriculture, the financial sector the Tories and Blairites have been so keen to protect and establish London as a international hub has also been threatened. By Brexiteer Tories, like Jacob Rees-Mogg, who moved his investment business across the briny to Dublin. All while he was telling the rest of us that Brexit would be A Very Good Thing Indeed. There were delays at Dover months or even years ago because of the additional red tape added to hauliers and other travellers going to the continent now that we were no longer part of the EU. That red tape is also damaging our music industry, as it’s made it extremely difficult for British musicians and performers to travel over there to perform.

We were told that the Tories had an ‘oven ready deal’ with Europe for Brexit.

We were told that the millions saved on our EU contributions would be spent on the NHS.

We were lied to.

And this, as the late, great Max Headroom used to say, is simply ‘more of the same’. Except that he was talking about epic, rocking 80s pop music and videos.

Net zero immigration. More red meat for the Tory faithful, and other sections of the population worried about immigration. Mostly non-White immigration. And there are real moral and practical problems with that. Firstly, there’s the moral question of denying asylum to people, who may very well be in real danger of persecution in their countries of origin. I think many of the prospective migrants properly are coming here for economic reasons. One former channel migrant was interviewed on GB News or Talk TV, and he said that most of the other immigrants he was with were trying to dodge military service in their home countries and hoped to settle so that they could bring their families over. I can’t say I entirely blame them for wanting to do so, especially when these countries are dirt-poor, corrupt dictatorships like Eritrea. But nevertheless, I think there are people trying to get here because they face real threats to their lives for their views or simply because of their ethnicity or religion. Gay people around the world face persecution, particularly in Africa. Go back a few years, and there were the Yezidis, whose women were raped and enslaved for sex by ISIS. Last year there were Afghans desperate to escape the Taliban takeover. And in the past few months Britain and other European nations have taken in refugees from Ukraine, escaping Putin’s genocidal onslaught. I don’t see how you can morally turn at least some of these away.

Then there’s the economic aspect. As Buddyhell over on Guy Debord’s Cat, and just about everyone else on the web has point out, Britain needs immigrant doctors, nurses and other workers for the NHS. Yes, we should be training our own. But we haven’t been doing so ever since one of the Tory ministers – I think it may even have been Enoch Powell – decided in the 1960s to solve the shortage of NHS doctors by encouraging them to come from Pakistan and India. I can’t see the Tories wanting to spend the money to pay for the proper training for doctors and other medical professionals. Not when they seem content to drive them away by not paying them what they deserve and overburdening them with work and paperwork.

People also immigrate to Britain and settle down and raise families as part of their work. I know a number of people, who came to this country to work, and particularly on ground-breaking scientific or engineering projects. This country is short of scientists, engineers and skilled technicians. These are precisely the type of people we should be encouraging to come here, if only so that they can pass these skills on to Brits.

Education is a major part of this. There’s a movement of academics, both teaching staff and students, between countries and across continents. Most university’s, I’d say, have international students, some of whom are going to try to settle down here. Academics also take up posts at universities and colleges right across the world. When I was studying archaeology at Bristol, several of the department staff were foreign. One was Portuguese while another was German, for example. At the same time, archaeological work takes people right across the globe. At the time I was there, there was great excitement about Neolithic discoveries in Ukraine. One of the lecturers had also helped carry out excavations of archaic homo sapiens remains in Romania. Another leading member of the department had also been excavating in Iran. Some of these academics will no doubt wish to settle down and make their home here. Either way, I can see Brexit and a zero-net immigration policy causing real problems with universities obtaining needed foreign academic staff.

And it’s going to be hypocritical. The Tories have, in my recollection, shown themselves perfectly willing to grant British citizenship to anyone rich enough. Just as Rishi Sunak got his green card to work in America by paying a million dollars. I strongly suspect that if Reclaim got in, we’d have more of the same. It would be easy immigration for the global super-rich, and keep out for everyone else.

Cutting taxes: More of the twaddle you’ve been hearing from the Tory leadership candidates. What this means is cutting taxes for the rich while passing the burden on to ordinary people at the bottom. This is supposed to encourage more investment, and hence more jobs. Balderdash. The money saved simply rests in the elite’s bank accounts. Meanwhile, because there’s less money going into the exchequer, the Tories and Reclaim after them will tell us all that cuts need to be made, more pushing of the mythical NHS waste, profligate spending on the welfare state, too many civil servants and so on. The result, more punitive cuts to the NHS, more destruction of the welfare state, more people struggling to survive on food banks, more starvation, malnutrition and grinding poverty.

Attacking the Green Agenda: The scientific consensus supports climate change, and the Green New Deal promises more jobs as well as combating threats to the environment. But the right don’t believe in climate change, and, with money coming in from Big Oil, they really don’t want to end our dependence on fossil fuels any time soon. All last week while the rest of us sweltered they told us that the rising heat was nothing to worry about, was not cause by global warming, and we were all wimps and weaklings for thinking otherwise. I wonder if Reclaim and its bosses also have their places booked for the biodomes the rich will no doubt retreat into as the deserts march on London, Birmingham and anywhere else.

Bring back Johnson: Really? There are people who really won’t be told. There’s a petition up for his return. Just like there are Americans who want the return of Trump. That’s incredible. Aside from the party politics, Trump was a disastrous president. A friend lent me a book on his presidency, and what came across most strongly was how incompetent he was. He quarraled with his leading generals, one of whom actually swore at him while telling him precisely what he was in the White House. He made up policies on the spur of the moment and then changed his mind just as suddenly. Appointments were made with important visitors, but not kept. Or he didn’t tell his staff about them, just forgot them. He deliberately undermined leading White House staff, replacing them and then doing the same to the new replacements, all of whom were determined to undermine their predecessors and competitors. And rather than draining the swamp, Trump was massively corrupt giving government contracts to friends and anybody else, including the Russians, who were prepared to stump up cash. Government monies that were intended to protect workers on bread and butter issues like pensions vanished in various politicos pockets, where they gave it to their favourite businessmen.

Johnson has been similarly incompetent. He was grotesquely tactless and incompetent as foreign secretary. Once he got his behind in No. 10 he showed himself unwilling to knuckle down and do some actual work. It seemed that every few weeks he was heading off to Chequers for a holiday. He caught Covid because he personally broke lockdown rules. And he gave valuable PPE contracts to his friends and other Tory donors. The result was problems with supply. But no worries, eh? His mates were all right. The parties were just a symptom of a man, who doesn’t like to work, loves the power and the popularity that comes with it, at least in his own imagination, and really, really, has zero sympathy with ordinary working people and their problems.

And he’s still clinging on to power, just like Gordon Brown tried to do with a deal with the Lib Dems after he lost the election to Cameron. Ian Hislop got very excited about this on Have I Got News For You, calling him ‘Mr Barnacle’. Well, Johnson is behaving exactly like the marine mollusc, and the same should apply: ‘get ye gone!’ It says something about the effectiveness of establishment propaganda that someone really thinks he’s done such a good job they want to keep him in power.

But back to the Reclaim party, there’s nothing new here. It’s just the same old Brexiteer Tory policies, promoted by a few new faces. And I honestly can’t see many of them getting a seat. Some might, but I foresee a lot of lost deposits, compounded with them splitting the Tory vote in certain quarters so that a Lib Dem or possibly Labour candidate get in.

I have a feeling they’ll go the way of UKIP and the Brexit party as another right-wing group trying to ‘break the mould of British politics’.

Jim Round on New Labour’s Prosecution of the Grooming Gangs, and Mahyar Tousi’s Bias

July 21, 2022

Jim Round, one of the many great commenters on this blog, posted this remark adding more evidence to refute the right’s accusations that Labour was complacent about the Pakistani grooming gangs. The latest person to repeat the allegation is Mahyar Tousi, a right-wing Brexiteer Tory, in a video attacking Jess Philips. She had raised his ire by asking how many of the current Tory leadership candidates were aware of Johnson breaking the lockdown, but said nothing.

Jim writes

‘I was certainly no fan of “New Labour” but I read somewhere that under Labour, convictions of grooming gangs were far higher under them than under The Tories.
Let’s also not forget Johnson’s “staffing” comments and the alleged closeness of Jimmy Savile to Margaret Thatcher.
Also worth remembering that it was a Muslim, Nazir Afzal, who convicted many gang members.
As for Tousi, well, for someone who regularly gets his “news” from the Guido Fawkes blog, he has a cheek to call any other news outlets for bias and fake news.
He is also another one who deletes reasonable comments that disagree with him or correct his “news stories” an example being the young man who allegedly was kicked off his college course, in Burnley I think. There were, of course, two sides to this story and Tousi deleted or ignored comments putting across the other side.
Free speech but only if you agree with me again.’