Posts Tagged ‘Jane Kennedy’

Private Eye on Luciana Berger

April 12, 2018

It was Luciana Berger, who found that comment by Jeremy Corbyn from 2012, commiserating with the graffiti artist, whose picture had been censored because of anti-Semitism. This was the picture, you remember, that showed six white bankers dealing over a table resting on the bodies of Blacks. The comment formed the basis of the renewed attacks on Jeremy Corbyn for anti-Semitism two weeks ago, despite the fact that Corbyn has said he hadn’t properly looked at the painting and didn’t really know what was going on. But it’s also moot how anti-Semitic the painting actually was. Only two of the bankers portrayed were Jewish. These included Rothschild, obviously, but the other four were gentiles, and included Rockefeller. At the time, the Jewish Chronicle only said that the painting had an ‘anti-Semitic undertone’. Now, six years later, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council worked themselves up into a bug-eyed frenzy to denounce the mural and Corbyn as anti-Semitic. It’s entirely faux outrage. The BDJ and Jewish Leadership Council hate Corbyn, not because he is anti-Semitic – he isn’t, and they probably know it – but because he is genuinely anti-racist and supports the Palestinians from his commitment to fighting racial injustice. Israel was founded on massacre, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and its policies towards the Palestinians are indefensible, except by attacking the country’s critics as anti-Semites. And so that’s what the Israel lobby – the Board, Jewish Leadership Council, Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, Labour Friends of Israel, Jewish Labour Movement – has done.

I found this brief description of Berger and her political career in Private Eye for 18th – 31st March 2011, in the ‘New Boys and Girls’ column. This is the column that gives brief descriptions of the careers and activities of new members of parliament, who have recently been elected. Here’s what the Eye had to say about Berger.

She may recently have been voted the most fanciable member of parliament, and since being elected as Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree last year she has developed a drooling fan club of sad, middle-aged men in the Commons – but looks deceive.

Twenty-eight year old Lucian Berger is what the comrades used to describe as “right operator” . Within a few months of her arrival, Ed Miliband had already promoted her to the frontbench as a shadow minister for energy and climate change.

Her swift climb up the greasy pole began soon after she left the Haberdasher Aske’s School for Girls and went to Birmingham University, where she became an executive member of the National Union of Students, convening national anti-racism campaigns. She resigned in 2005, accusing the NUS of taking a lax attitude to anti-Semitism on university campuses.

She later took up a “public affairs” post at Accenture and went on to advise the NHS Confederation, but not before the rumour mill had come alive with talk of a relationship with Euan Blair after the pair were pictured at a party. Denials came thick and fast, not only from Blair but also from the Labour party, which took it upon itself to issue an official statement saying that young Luciana “was not, and had never been” romantically linked with Euan Blair.

One of her predecessors in the Liverpool Wavertree seat, the late Terry Fields, might have doffed his fireman’s helmet to her for the at she managed to get selected in the first place, for it came straight out of the old Militant Tendency’s instruction manual. While Labour was choosing its candidate, Berger lived for about a month at the home of Jane Kennedy, then the sitting MP, whose partner was the Labour official who ran the selection process, Peter Dowling. The completed ballot papers were then returned to Kennedy’s home address for counting.

A furious Frank Hont, secretary of the regional branch of the Unison trade union, lodged protests with party bosses, to no avail. Although veteran Liverpool Walton MP Peter Kilfoyle branded her a “student politician” who lacked the experience to do the job, Berger went on to beat Liverpool councillors Wendy Simon and Joyce Still by a margin of around 2-1 to win the candidacy on an “all-wimmin” shortlist. By this time, Berger was in a relationship with the MP and journalist Sion Simon, who was shortly to stand down from parliament to devote his energies to becoming mayor of Birmingham. The pair were talked of as a new “power couple”.

Berger didn’t improve her stock with incandescent Scousers by committing a series of gaffes that would have sunk a less shameless candidate. In January 2010, the Liverpool Echo tested Berger with a four minute quiz on Liverpool live and history. She scored two out of four, not knowing who performed “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and not recognising the name of former Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly.

In her defence, Berger said that “you can’t ask a girl a football question” and added: “I’m not new to the city. I’ve been coming here for the past decade through all different jobs.” It is difficult to know what caused more offence, Berger’s failure to have heard of Shankly or her reference to coming to the city “through all different jobs” – jobs, after all, being a commodity in short supply in Merseyside.

For a while it looked as though she would be given a run for her money at the election by Scouse actor and former union activist Ricky Tomlinson, who announced that he would stand for the Socialist Labour Party under the election slogan “Berger-my arse!” – but then wimped out because of “personal and contractual obligations”.

Once in parliament, Berger’s ability to upset local sensitivities continued. Last October she infuriated Liverpudlians by appearing on a Radio Five Live show with Kelvin MacKenzie, who was editor of the Sun at the time of the Hillsborough disaster and whose coverage of the story led to a boycott of the paper on Merseyside that lasts to this day. Berger’s lame defence was that she “didn’t know who the other guests were”.

With yet another little local difficulty somehow shrugged off, Luciana has also shrugged off Sion Simon and is now romantically involved with an equally ambitious Chuka Umunna, who has been dubbed “the British Obama”. With the pair already being talked of as a new “power couple”, let’s hope the Labour party doesn’t go and spoil things again by issuing a denial.
(p. 9).

She comes across very much as a typical New Labour politico – young, fiercely ambitious, very middle class and with a signal lack of interest in her constituency. Remember how Blair had various Tory defectors parachuted into safe Labour seats, ordering the sitting MPs to give way for them. The Tory defectors were immensely wealthy people, with very grand houses in London, and absolutely no connection to the constituencies they were given.

She sounds genuinely concerned about attacking anti-Semitism, but that doesn’t change the fact that the allegations against Corbyn and his supporters are grossly fraudulent and libellous. It just means she’s either very cynical as well, or that she really does believe that criticism of Israel equals Jew hatred.

And the circumstances of her selection as the official Labour candidate is so, er, irregular, that it could come from Stalin himself. ‘It’s not who votes that counts,’ said the old thug, ‘it’s who counts the votes.’ Quite.

It’s also highly ironic that she was propelled to the front bench by Ed Miliband. This is the Labour leader Maureen Lipman denounced as an anti-Semite, and claimed his election as leader forced her to leave the party. Miliband is of Jewish heritage, and in any case, anti-Semites don’t promote Jews to leading positions in politics. Lipman’s talking nonsense, but I’m sure you knew that already.

Her background with Accenture, formerly Anderson Consulting, shows that she is very definitely New Labour, with its orientation to the aspirational middle class and ideology focussed on privatisation and cutting welfare benefits. When Blair came to power, he did so with a plan prepared by Anderson Consulting, which the Tories had just thrown in the bin. She manifestly does not represent the working class, who New Labour ignored and took for granted. When Gordon Brown didn’t attack them as ‘feckless’ and responsible for their own problems, of course.

Her attack on Corbyn is all about undermining the Labour leader and preventing a return of real socialism, while advancing her own career as a leading Blairite in parliament.

Angela Eagle Lied about Corbynistas Responsible for Smashed Window

July 17, 2016

Angela Eagle, the contender for the leadership of the Labour party against Jeremy Corbyn, was in the news last week after one of the windows in the same building as her constituency office was broken. Eagle claimed that it was her office window, and that it was somehow the work of her opponents, the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. Except it wasn’t. It was more lies from the Blairite party of lying.

Mike over at Vox Political has today posted an article, based on a piece from Wirral In It Together, and a YouTube video made by members of the public, showing that the window that was smashed did not belong to her office. Her office is on the ground floor, and its windows are intact. The smashed window looks on to a stairwell. Moreover, she shares the premises with five other concerns. Whatever was done, was not targeted at her, and there is absolutely no reason to link it with Corbyn. Except by Eagle herself, for her own political advantage.

One of the commenters on that piece, Joy Boyd, comes from the area, and still has family living there. She had this to day about the incident.

Before looking at the alleged breaking of a window at Angela Eagles Constituency office let me tell you a little about myself. I lived in Wallasey for 25 years and passed the office most days. My children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren still live in Wallasey and Ms Eagle is their MP.

Demographic of the Constituency office.

Ms Eagles office is adjacent to the car park for Liscard Shopping Centre. The Royal oak pub is directly opposite and two further pubs to the left and the right are no more than 50-100 yards away. It is an area known for trouble and vandalism and this can be checked by FOI. Ms Eagles office is contained within a building with 4-5 other businesses in situ.

When I lived in Wallasey (I left in 2008) there were many incidents of shop windows being broken and many of incidents of wing mirrors being kicked off or body work scratched and car badges taken. My home was broken into and invaded on two separate occasions. It is a poor area with a high incidence of drug use. I therefore found it strange that Ms Eagle, Jane Kennedy (Merseyside Police Commissioner and the whole of the press immediately ‘knew’ the broken glass at Sherlock House was firstly an attack on Ms Eagle, and secondly it had been carried out by a Corbyn Supporter.

There are many variables as to why the window had been broken, vandalism, drunkenness or dissatisfaction with one on the four occupants occupying the premises. However we were told almost immediately the broken window was a Corbyn supporter. Jane Kennedy went so far as to call it a ‘cowardly act’ and informs she will dispatch personal to protect the premises.

As a former resident of Wallasey who endured burglaries, and vandalism a number of times I find Ms Kennedy’s sycophant behaviour inexcusable and left me very angry. Where was her voice speaking out for me and countless other real victims in Wallasey?

The media have been complicit in this ridiculous story of the ‘Curious case of the Broken Window’; lazy downright shabby reporting by media establishments that should know better. In November 2015 the Liscard Christmas tree was vandalised; the tree no more than 50-100 metres away from Eagles office. Did Jeremy Corbyn’s Supporters vandalise the tree? Rake Lane Cemetery 150 metres from Eagles office vandalised, again did Corbyn Supporters have a hand in that? It now transpires it was a window in the shared stairwell and not Miss Eagles office at all. It’s all been a concocted fairy story given credibility by a lazy media.

In other words, Eagle’s office is in an area which has been repeatedly vandalised, and the broken window is just part of this general pattern of vandalism. The only difference is that it has been cynically exploited by Eagle and her supporters in the media to smear Corbyn.