Posts Tagged ‘Jess Philips’

The Difference Between Tories and Labour over Misogyny and Offensive Jokes

October 23, 2017

Mike’s put up several pieces over the past few days commenting on the recent ‘dead cat’ scandal the Tories are manufacturing over a joke Clive Lewis made at the Labour party conference. In one event, one male volunteer asked if he could take part on his knees. Lewis replied that he could, and jokingly referred to him as ‘bitch’.

This complete non-event, which no-one present objected to at the time, is now the subject of a storm of fake indignation from the Tories and their Blairite enablers in the Labour party, like Jess Philips, who is accusing Lewis of sexism and misogyny. One Tory female MP, Nusrat Ghani, wants an early day motion to debate Lewis’ horrendous comment.

A friend of mine used to be a member of the Conservative party, right up until John Major said baldly that students only went to university to avoid going to work. He was at the same College I was, and worked extremely hard, as did so many other students despite the propaganda pumped out by the press. You can probably remember the stories – students are all lazy, don’t do any studying and just use their grant money to get drunk. Realising that the party he’d supported had nothing but contempt for him and others like him, he left. Discussing the state of the Tory party, he quoted the old saying, ‘the Tory party is an organised hypocrisy.’

And as Mike has shown, it certainly is. In spades. He has provided quote after quote from Tories swearing at constituents, and making racist and very sexist comments. One female Tory MP was caught repeating the figure of speech ‘N***er in the woodpile’. One of the most horrendous hypocrites has been Paul Staines, of the Guido Fawkes blog infamy. Despite his professed horror at the use of the word ‘bitch’, Staines has bandied it around fairly freely himself. Mike quotes a couple of young women on Twitter, who were seriously maligned by Staines and his followers. One was accused by Staines when she was 17 of having got her place in Momentum through providing sexual services, and another was similarly hounded by his slavering followers when she was 19.

In fact, the idea that Staines has any respect for women is incredible, considering his political connections. Back in the 1980s, Staines was part of a Libertarian group on the fringes of the Tory party. This group were so extreme, that one year they invited the leader of one of the Central American Fascist death squads to be the guest of honour at their annual dinner. This were the same death squads that raped women, and sexually mutilated both their male and female victims. But now the poorly fellow is terribly outraged by the jocular use of the word ‘Bitch’.

This government has certainly been no friend to women, despite the attempt to portray the selection of Theresa May of Prime Minister as the Second Coming of Maggie Thatcher. As one of the female commenters on Twitter quoted by Mike has pointed out, the Tories have closed rape crisis centres. They also inserted a rape clause to justify not paying child benefit to women, who had a third baby through sexual violence.

And on the subject of rape and women’s reproductive rights, Jacob Rees-Mogg went off and said abortion couldn’t be justified at all, even when the child was conceived through rape. For which Mogg, now also being touted as the next great Tory leader, was also pilloried.

And the hypocrisy comes particularly thick and fast in the shape of Boris Johnson. Mike’s provided a number of comments from Blond Bruiser, which shows just how deeply prejudiced he is. In one of them, he says that women only go to university to find husbands(!) Well, yes, people often meet their future partners at Uni. But most students, female and male, go to university because they enjoy the subject they want to study, and hope that pursuing it will enrich their lives as well as hopefully lead to better career prospects, if not a career. For example, it has been projected that soon the majority of people in medicine will be women. And it’s very clear from the number of female doctors and other medical professionals that they studied medicine because they wanted to be doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychiatrists and therapists, not because it was simply a nice way of meeting a prospective husband.

The most recent offensive comment uttered by BoJo was about Libya and the prospects for capital investment despite the carnage wrought by the civil war raging there. Boris stated that he had British investors lined up to turn the town of Sirte into the next Dubai ‘after they’d cleared away the bodies.’ This cavalier reference to the police and civilians shot down in a battle with Islamist militants understandably upset a lot of people. It was even denounced in one of the Libyan parliaments. But the last thing I saw about it on YouTube had the headline that Boris wasn’t going to apologise.

He should. But he hasn’t.
Lewis, on the other hand, has. And according to the I today, Jeremy Corbyn has condemned the comment.

And so we’re back to Tory hypocrisy, as amply supported by Mrs Nusrat Ghani.

For the various comments and Mike’s response to them, see

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/10/22/never-mind-clive-lewis-what-about-the-racism-and-sexism-alleged-of-these-scottish-tories/

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/10/21/this-is-not-the-state-of-british-politics-but-you-should-still-be-sickened-strong-language/

In Defence of Left-Wing Anger

August 17, 2016

I’ve been meaning to get this off my chest for a little while now. One aspect of the anti-Corbyn Labour MPs that really annoys me is the hypocrisy that comes with their constant playing at being the victims of terrible abuse by Momentum and Jeremy Corbyn. Every so often they make pleas for political discourse and exchange to be made kinder or more genteel, while showing precious little of such qualities themselves. Jess Philips, according to the Groan, is having a panic room installed at her constituency office. But Mike’s already stated that she herself is an abrasive character online. This doesn’t justify any threats against her, but it doesn’t make her quite the innocent victim she claims either.

I’ve reblogged a video several times made by a couple in Angela Eagle’s constituency pointing out that Eagle’s story about the brick being thrown by Jeremy Corbyn supporters through her constituency window is a load of hogwash. It begins with footage of Eagle giving her story to the press. She concludes by saying that ‘We need a kinder, gentler style of politics’, before turning smartly on her heel and marching off, surrounded by her aids. This little piece has infuriated me ever since I’ve seen it. Firstly, it seems more than a little imperious. It’s bit of ‘I, the Great One, am speaking. Mortals listen!’ I also object to it on the grounds that it seems to be trying to deny the fact that her critics and opponents just might have entirely justifiable reasons for their anger. She seems to want to have the kind of exchange where everything is calm and mild. Now this is the kind of exchange I prefer. I honestly don’t like abuse and trolling. But on certain issues, if people do become abusive, it can be because the issue they’re discussing has all too real implications and consequences for them.

And many of the policies enacted by the Blairites have had terrible consequences for Britain as a nation, and specifically for the poor and working class. Let’s go through them.

Firstly, Blair took Britain into an illegal war in Iraq. The country had not threatened us, and at the time we invaded, Saddam Hussein was pretty much a joke to the rest of the Middle East. He was a thug, but he was contained. And the country over which he ruled was relatively prosperous, and with an advanced welfare state and educational system, at least for the region.

This has all changed. A quarter of a million Iraqis have died, and the country degenerated into a bloodbath of competing factions. Their economy has been wrecked, and ISIS and related death squads have terrorised its population. Our squaddies have been sent to fight and die, not to keep the world safe, but to produce even greater profits for the oil companies and American multinationals wishing to get their mitts on the country’s appetising state industries. Domestically it reinforced the view of many Muslims that the country was being targeted simply because it was Islamic. So it’s increased more racial and religious friction and intolerance over here. Is the Iraq invasion a good reason for people to get angry. Yes.

Then there’s the privatisation of the NHS. Blair, Brown and the others in New Labour took over the Private Finance Initiative and massively expanded it as official labour policy. They also began to split up the NHS into different commissioning groups, with the intention of creating competition. These commissioning groups were to provide healthcare not only from the NHS, but also from private healthcare companies. Hospitals and doctors surgeries have been taken over by private hospital chains. More than half of all hospital treatment is now commissioned from private healthcare providers. The ‘walk-in’ centres, or polyclinics, that were set up were also intended to be privately run. New Labour took as their care model a private American company, Kaiser Permanente. These policies have been taken over and further extended by the Tories after they won the 2010 election. Now it’s almost set to be totally privatised. Frankly, this makes me absolutely furious.

Let’s take the Work Capability Test. This was adopted by Blair and co. because they uncritically swallowed the Tory rubbish about most disabled people, the long term sick were malingerers and scroungers. They took over a tick-box questionnaire approach to examining people’s health pioneered by Unum, an American health insurance company that was guilty of some of the biggest insurance frauds prosecuted by the American state. The questionnaire used, and its underlying assumptions, are scientific nonsense. The policy is so notorious, that Atos decided to throw in the towel early, and were released from their contract a year before it was due to expire.

But the policy goes on, and it has had terrible real world consequences. Seriously ill people have been thrown off their benefits, and in some cases, have actually starved to death through lack of an income. Those with mental health problems, like anxiety and depression, have become worse, often much worse. As an example of how farcical this is, you consider some of the worst incidents, where people terminally ill in comas have been told they should find a job. Or when an amputee was asked when they expected their limbs to grow back. People are suffering and starving because of this. This isn’t a case of abstract policy, an interesting intellectual puzzle, which has no clear consequences for people’s lives. It makes a different over whether people are actually able to put food on their tables, or have a roof over their head, or can live out their lives with dignity.

It’s the same with the issue of benefit sanctions. Thanks to them, and the flexible employment policies Blair and Brown were so keen to employ, there are about 4.7 million people living in ‘food poverty’ in this country. There are cases where mothers are starving themselves, because it’s the only way they can afford to feed their children. And I can remember an incident I read on one of the other blogs, about how people in one town came to the aid of a young man, after he broke down in tears outside the Jobcentre, because they wouldn’t help him. As with the Work Capability Test, this is an issue that all-too real consequences for millions of people. And when nearly five million are going hungry in the fourth richest country in the world, you bet people have a right to be angry.

You can expand this to include the way the treatment of jobseekers has been deliberately made as humiliating and degrading as possible, with the imposition of workfare, capitalist forced labour brought to you by Sainsbury’s and the myriad other firms using it to cut down on labour costs. This was introduced as part of Margaret Thatcher’s return to ‘Victorian values’, which in this case meant the same values on which the workhouse system was established. The DHSS and the Benefits Agency always had an element of danger with them, because claimants naturally got angry with the state bureaucracy that could deny them money. People are left angry, despairing and furious with their treatment by the Jobcentre. But they also have a right to direct this rage at the politicians, who created the system.

And here New Labour have also shown themselves to be despicable. Cameron introduced workfare, but Ed Miliband ordered his cabinet not to oppose it, in case the Labour party should be seen to be soft on ‘benefit scroungers’ by the Tory press. Again, people have a very definite right to be angry.

I also think part of what makes me angry about Eagle’s behaviour, is her manner. It’s as if she seems to be completely insulated from the grim reality of the suffering New Labour have inflicted. She sounds to me like a bureaucrat or manager, completely obsessed with administering the policies that have been set, and getting irritated because somebody, somewhere, has had the temerity to object to it. I’ve remarked before that many of the Blairites seem to come from affluent, privileged, middle class backgrounds. My guess is that they genuinely don’t appreciate the harm they’re doing, because they’ve never experienced it themselves. They’ve only ever seen these policies from the vantage point of people, who’ve taken on the task of carrying them out. And they find it confusing and intensely infuriating when the masses don’t just accept what’s being done is for their good.

I am not saying that people have a right to abuse politicians or Jobcentre staff, or threaten them, let alone attack them or try to damage their property. I am very definitely against all of that. But people do have a right to be enraged at what has been done to them by the Thatcherites, both in the Tories and in New Labour.

And anger, as John Lydon sang, is an energy.

The gaol should now be to use this anger, this resentment against an unfair and deliberately cruel and exploitative system, to argue, research, expose and organise and keep the pressure on relentlessly to overturn these policies.

Vox Political: Corbyn Critic Has Panic Room Installed at her Office

August 17, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has put up a piece from the Guardian, reporting that the Jess Philips, a Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, has had a panic room installed at her constituency office. She states that she does not feel welcome by large swathes of people in the Labour party, and stated that she would struggle to stay in the party if Corbyn won again, unless something changes in the way people were treated online, in the streets and our security. She later denied that she was planning to quit.

Mike in his comments to the piece wondered who’s paying. He made very clear that no one in a job that doesn’t involve risks to their life, like MPs, should have to fear for their lives. He also makes it clear that he wouldn’t threaten her, or would want to follow through on any threats she had received. But he makes it clear that she is a vocal critic of Corbyn, and a very abrasive character, as was evident from her Twitter feed. Which meant that he was also sick of her unparliamentary behaviour.

I started wondering how far the installation of the panic room represented genuine fears, and how much it was all part of the theatre of victimhood the Blairites have been acting out every since they rebelled. We’ve had Angela Eagle claim that a brick was thrown through her office window, when it wasn’t. A brick was thrown, but it went through the window of shared staircase. There’s nothing to connect it to any Corbyn supporters. We’ve seen people from the Portman PR heckle Corbyn at a gay rights demo, and then claim that this represents popular feeling against him. And then there were the inflated stories about Corbynites hold demonstrations outside other anti-Corbyn MPs offices, when they were simply marching past. And it just seems to carry on. And as Philips is an abrasive character, there is a part of me that thinks she’s brought it on herself. She’s shown a willingness to gratuitously insult and upset people – I assume. I’m not on Twitter. And if she does that, then perhaps she shouldn’t be too surprised at the consequences, particularly as she must be aware that there are some very dark parts of the internet. Again, this makes me wonder how genuine her supposed fear is. After all, if the abuse she’s receiving is bad, you wonder just how much worse the abuse far more famous trolls like Louise Mensch and Katie Hopkins are getting from the people, who loath and despite the rubbish they mouth. Hopkins herself goes out deliberately to upset and offend, and has caused numerous scandals and outrages. But I haven’t heard of her claiming that she fears for her safety. Quite the opposite. Hopkins seems to be one of those vile people, who thrive off any abuse they get, which is why I don’t want to give her any publicity. But at the same time, she’s a national figure while Philips, I suspect, is still quite obscure to most people.

So while part of me feels guilty about the blaming the victim, I do wonder how far she genuinely fears for her life, and whether this is just another stunt at fake victimhood to smear Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.

Florence on the Fabians and the Labour Right

August 15, 2016

Florence, one of the great commenters on this blog, posted this comment on the links between the Fabian Society and the Thatcherite entryists on the Labour right.

The Fabian Society is a small group, they say dedicated to networking, I call it as a closed shop for privilege, the white middle class, and the political dynasties. The Fabian Society has also been spotted hovering in the shadows with the Blairites, such as Benn and Kinnock, and especially those who seem to be trying to redefine feminism to their own liking, Jess Philips, Jo Cox, Tessa Jowell, Hariett Harman, to name but a few in Fabian Women’s section. They run a mentoring programme, and in their own words,

“The programme has already delivered some incredible results for its 125 participants and the Fabian Women’s Network. Mentees have been selected or shortlisted as Parliamentary candidates, as candidates for the London and Welsh Assembly with brilliant support from other mentees. Many others were shortlisted. 27 women have been elected into local government positions and a number of women have gone on to become school governors and trustees on the boards of charities. The majority has gained promotion, been nominated for awards and written or spoken in national media.”

Not bad for a society with only 6,000 members in total. A lot of influence for the few. Don’t get me wrong, women’s mentoring to prepare for public life is great, it’s just that an awful lot of the “parachuted” or more correctly imposed New Labour candidates into winnable Labour constituencies proves there is a link between THIS Fabian programme and the actual elected MPs, notably those who are very vocally anti- Corbyn and anti-Socialism. This also shows how far the webs reach between the PLP problems, and the disconnect with the actual membership and in the country. The graduates of the programme seem to know very little about the Labour movement or socialism, it’s aims and more about neo-liberalism as a “good thing”, and of course Corbyn as democracy as a “bad thing”.

https://fabianwomen.org.uk/fabian-women-mps/https://fabianwomen.org.uk/fabian-women-mps/

The source of Fabian Society funding also bears some inspection, where there are a number of corporate donors and sponsors are powerful lobbyists for corporate interests, and not known for their support for socialist ideals- such as Barclays and Lloyds banks, Bellendon PA (political lobbyists) the Portman Group (lobbyists for the drinks trade), Sanofi – a large pharmaceutical, and so on.

http://www.fabians.org.uk/about/how-we-are-funded/http://www.fabians.org.uk/about/how-we-are-funded/

This is depressing. The Fabians have always had a reputation for being ‘milk-and-water’ Socialists, but I used to have far more respect for them than I do today. I was briefly a member of the society back in the 1980s, when I felt I had to do something to stop the rampant privatisation under Maggie Thatcher. My great-grandfather had been a member, and I was impressed with the intellectual work they’d done. This was a time when there was still a variety of opinions in the Society. Indeed, one of the sources I’ve used for my blog posts and pamphlets against the privatisation of the NHS was a Fabian pamphlet by Robin Cook against it. It’s not just from Florence that I’ve heard about the Fabians forming part of the network of Blairite groups. A friend of mine also remarked on it, with the suggestion that if Corbyn wanted to destroy the Blairites, he could do much by simply expelling the Fabians.

It’s a profoundly depressing development for the organisation of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, George Bernard Shaw, and, briefly, H.G. Wells. The Webbs did much to promote Socialism in Britain, and their report on the state of British healthcare laid some of the foundations for the development of the NHS decades later. It’s now become a mouthpiece for the corporate shills trying to privatise everything, and break up that greatest of British institutions.

Secular Talk: Iranian Cleric Claims 60 Per Cent of American Women Prefer to Have Sex with Dogs

February 3, 2016

This piece of sheer lunacy comes from Iran. It’s a piece from Secular Talk in which the host, Kyle Kulinski, talks about a piece in the Daily Beast by Shima Sharabi, in which she talks about the propaganda she and other Iranian young people were exposed to from the mullahs in the Strategic Centre for Chastity and Modesty. This was a section of the Iranian theocracy devoted to encouraging women and girls to wear the hijab. One of these clerics, Mehdi Bayati, declared that feminism in the west was due to western women not wearing the hijab, and that this is why sixty per cent of American women ‘preferred to sleep with dogs rather than men’. He also claimed that not wearing the hijab also reduced general sexual desire in the surrounding society. Although he saw many couples kissing each other when he was in America, they did so ‘without heat’. This was because they were too used to seeing women’s hair that men were no longer aroused by it, despite having kissed 94 people previously.

Kulinski makes the point that this says more about the mullahs in Iran and their perverted little minds than it ever does about the west. He states quite forcefully, and with good reason, that he has never thought about women having sex with dogs before now, and neither have most people, before they heard this piece of prize nonsense from Bayati. He also makes the point that while men may admire a particular haircut on a woman, they don’t find it sexually arousing. But this, he states, is a result of the repressed society like Iran, where women have to be covered up from head to toe, so that the merest hint of hair is seen as arousing.

The Sex Assaults in Germany and Birmingham

I’m reblogging this because it says much that’s very important about official prejudices towards the west in Muslim and Middle Eastern societies, prejudices that contribute to the wave of sexual assaults that took place in Germany and other countries last month, and similar incidents that have been committed in Birmingham according to the British politician, Jess Philips.

Pornography, Bogus Statistics and Anti-American Propaganda

Firstly, it’s undoubtedly true that the figure for American women sleeping with dogs is completely bogus. It’s something that Bayati pulled out of thin air. And he did it deliberately to arouse disgust. The idea that anyone would want to have sex with animals is revolting enough, but dogs are considered unclean in Islam. It’s his way of claiming that American women, and by extension all western, non-Muslim women, are particularly dirty and disgusting. It’s a product of his filthy mind. And if he did live anywhere in America where it actually went on, there’s the question why he didn’t call the cops. That type of figure sounds like it comes from the lowest, vilest, degrading pieces of pornography. This kind of stuff is illegal, as he should know if he lived in America as he claimed. So if he was encountering this material, why didn’t he alert the police to get the people producing and selling it busted? The reason is either that he actually got turned on by it, and was actively seeking it out, or that it is just propaganda. This is far more likely. It reminds me of the similarly bogus statistics the Soviets used to put out about crime in America during the Cold War. These included completely spurious factoids about the numbers of robberies and murders committed every minute or so in the Land of the Free. They were supposed to show that capitalist America was a vile cesspool of violence, robbery and murder. This was in contrast to the tranquillity of the Communist bloc, where violence and mass murder was strictly a state monopoly.

Last month in Cologne in Germany, and other countries in northern Europe, including Finland, there was a spate of rapes and sexual assaults carried out by gangs. The rapists were described as being of Middle Eastern and North African appearance, and a majority of the suspects arrested were indeed Arabs and others from that part of the world.

Jess Philips, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, and Sex Assaults in Birmingham

Then last week, Jess Philips caused a storm of protest when she claimed that assaults like these occurred every day on one particular street in Birmingham. Civic minded Brummies, full of wounded pride, and others subjected her to a tirade of abuse on social media. Among other things, she was denounced as racist.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the Indie’s long-time correspondent specialising in racial issues, actually defended her in a piece in Monday’s edition. Alibhai-Brown stated that Philips’ piece was actually reasonable and measured, and certainly not a racist rant. She said that only some – but certainly not all – Muslim men were responsible, and compared the assaults and the sexist attitudes behind them to those of the British during the Empire.

Mullahs Repeating the Same Racist Attitudes of European Imperialists

And Philips and Alibhai-Brown are exactly right. During the heyday of European imperialism, the nudity of some of the indigenous peoples was seen as an indication both of their lack of civilisation and culture, and their own sexual depravity. It added spice to the lurid tales of cannibalism and human sacrifice. Blacks in particular came to be seen as highly sexualised, and so entirely deserving of the abuse and sexual exploitation Black women were subjected to on the slave plantations. And if they weren’t seen as highly sexualised, they were viewed as the opposite. There’s a piece in Elliot Rose’s sceptical study of European witchcraft, A Razor for a Goat, for example, which reveals the attitudes to indigenous societies at the time the book was first written in the 1950s. Reviewing the sado-masochistic elements that were supposedly practiced in Western witchcraft, he compared them with the extreme sexual practices of primal peoples outside Europe. These peoples did not have the same sexual vigour as Europeans, and so needed flogging and other such acts to properly stimulate them for the sexual act. It’s rubbish, of course, and says much less about real conditions and attitudes amongst the world’s indigenous peoples than it does about the weird and prurient attitudes of the sexually repressed European society at the time.

Just as Mullah Bayati’s rantings about the perverted tastes of western women and the lack of sexual desire in western society says nothing about the west, and everything about officially approved Islamic attitudes. It’s the same sneering about supposedly degenerate, naked inferior peoples, that the British and other European colonial powers did, and for pretty much the same reason. It was to bolster their sense of superiority, and stop any members of their ruling elite from going ‘jungly’ and adopting the customs and attitudes of the people around them.

Muslim Anti-Western Propaganda as Contributing Factor to Sex Assaults by Muslims in West

I’m not saying all Muslims have these attitudes, by a long chalk. I know women, who married Iranian Muslim husbands and said that, in contrast to some indigenous British men, they treated them like ladies. But with mullahs like Bayati bellowing at their congregations across the Middle East, on TV, the radio from the pulpit in the mosques, that women, who don’t wear the hijab or chador are lewd, promiscuous whores, and it’s only to be expected that some will act on it. Criminals, who don’t know how to behave, and believe such women deserve to be raped and assaulted, because, by their standards, they’re worthless tarts. Such attitudes aren’t confined to Muslim men, by a long way. I don’t doubt at all that most rapists, and those who commit other forms of indecent assault are White. But attitudes like Bayati’s and the rest of the Iranian mullahs on this don’t help, and contribute to the problem.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was concerned that feminism was being sacrificed to anti-racism. Of course, she’s right, though it goes far beyond feminism, back to the basic level of proper decency and respectful behaviour. The ravings of the Iranian mullahs and their Strategic Centre for Chastity and Modesty show just how necessary the Slut Walks that took place around the world are. No woman deserves to be raped or assaulted, simply because of the way she dresses. Just as the reverse is also true, and no woman should be insulted, attacked or killed, as some women have been, simply because they wore the chador or hijab.