Posts Tagged ‘The Guardian’

Internet Petition from 38 Degrees Against Bankers’ Bonuses

September 22, 2022

And I have had absolutely no problem signing it.

David, millions of people up and down the country are struggling to make ends meet. As energy, food and fuel prices continue to go through the roof, many of us will be forced to make the impossible choice between heating and eating this winter. [1]

But what’s one of the first things our new Prime Minister and Chancellor have decided to do? Increase bankers’ bonuses. [2] You can almost hear the champagne corks popping!

This is the wrong policy at the wrong time. Why should city bankers be first in line for help when millions of people around the country don’t know how they’ll keep the lights on over the coming months?

Tomorrow, our new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, may announce this during a mini-budget – but it’s not a done deal. If enough of us make some noise and tell them this shouldn’t be a priority during a cost of living crisis, then there’s still time for them to do the right thing and drop their plans.

So, David, will you tell the Government that they should be focusing on support for ordinary people around the country – not city bankers? Simply click the button below to add your name:

ADD MY NAME

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng seem to believe that if enough cash is stuffed in the pockets of city bankers, then this will ‘trickle down’ to the others. But it just doesn’t work like that. Ahead of a meeting with our PM on Tuesday, even President Biden said that he was “sick and tired of trickle-down economics. It has never worked.” [3]

These caps on bonuses were introduced to provide a more balanced economy – and to get away from a culture of bankers taking “excessive risks”. [4] If Liz Truss believes in ‘levelling up’ the whole of Britain, then she should prioritise places outside of the City of London and put ordinary people at the front of the queue for support.

Just months ago, former PM, Boris Johnson, floated the idea of increasing bankers’ bonuses. But after more than 96,000 of us took action, and after much public outcry, the plans were dropped. [5] We’ve shown that we can reflect public feeling and get the Government to scrap bad policies and we can do it again.

David, will you add your name to our petition calling on the Government to drop their plans to increase bankers’ bonuses?

ADD MY NAME

Thanks for all your do,

Tom, David, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES
[1] Sky News: Cost of living: Millions of people already behind with their household bills, new research suggests
[2] BBC News: Liz Truss defends plan to lift cap on bankers’ bonuses
[3] Twitter: President Biden
[4] The Guardian: What is the banker bonus cap and could scrapping it boost growth?
[5] 38 Degrees: Dear Chancellor: No banker bonuses while millions struggle

They’re also asking for donations. I can afford to do so, but some of you may wish to.

’38 Degrees wouldn’t exist without you, David.

38 Degrees has no big donors – we’re funded by ordinary people who care, like you. Regular donations mean that we can plan future campaigns, pay our workers a decent wage, and keep fighting for what we all believe in.

If you don’t already do so, will you consider setting up a regular donation of a fiver, tenner or whatever you can spare? Click here to donate securely:

CHIP IN WEEKLY

MP Claudia Webbe Warns that Hindu-Muslims Riots Could Spread Beyond Leicester

September 20, 2022

This is a sort of follow-up to the piece I put up early today about the Indian news channels now reporting on the rioting in Leicester between Hindu and Muslim gangs. The Guardian has reported that Claudia Webbe, the Labour MP for East Leicester, has warned that the violence could spread beyond her city if the government doesn’t act. She also says it’s being stirred by right-wing extremism. The article by Rajiv Syal, ‘Leicester violence could spread beyond city, says MP’, begins

‘Violent clashes between groups of mainly Hindu and Muslim young men will spread beyond Leicester to other towns and cities without central government and police intervention, a local MP has warned.

Claudia Webbe, whose Leicester East constituency has been at the centre of several incidents over the past month, said ministers need to clamp down on “extremist rightwing ideology” and misinformation being spread through social media.

There was a tense standoff between groups of Muslim and Hindu men, and the police, on Saturday evening alongside outbreaks of sporadic violence.

A demonstration on Sunday resulted in the arrests of 18 people, eight of whom came from outside Leicestershire, the Guardian disclosed.

Webbe said: “The reality is that we have fringe elements led and inspired by extremism and rightwing ideology rearing its head in the UK and in the peaceful city of Leicester.

“If we do not understand the root cause this will spread beyond Leicester to other areas. The government needs to intervene and ensure that social media platforms stop this from getting much, much worse.”

On Tuesday, Hindu and Muslim leaders in the city issued a joint statement calling for unity and calm.

It said: “Our two faiths have lived harmoniously in this wonderful city, for over half a century. We arrived in this city together, we faced the same challenges together we fought off racist haters together and collectively made this city a beacon of diversity, and community cohesion.”

The article notes that the Indian High Commissioner has also written to condemn the violence and attacks on the symbols of Hinduism. But it also describes how Webbe contacted the police force expressing her concerns about the violence and the forces driving it.’

Webbe wrote to Leicestershire police’s temporary chief constable at the start of the month, and then again, before the weekend’s recent trouble, urging vigilance, and passing on reports “of incitement to hate targeting at those of Muslim and of Hindu faith”.

In one letter, Webbe said some constituents had voiced fears to her that violence was driven in part by “underlying Islamophobia in parts of Leicester’s communities, rather than an isolated incident”.

Days later, on 14 September, Webbe wrote to the chief constable claiming “ongoing disturbances” and “incitement to hate” incidents on 5 September, and on 9 September, following which two arrests were made.

She said constituents had told her “tensions in the community may be more long-standing and not narrowly related to the India v Pakistan” cricket match which took place on 28 August as part of the Asia Cup tournament in the UAE.

Writing before the weekend’s latest incidents, Webbe told the police of “incitement to hate being targeted at those of Muslim and Hindu faith, through hastily arranged protests”.’

She also says that there was a protest called against Muslim hate crime in the heart of the Hindu community, even though no crime had occurred. She believes the incident was deliberately staged to provoke trouble. She also describes finding gloves and balaclavas in back streets, evidence that gangs have come in from elsewhere to cause trouble. She also wanted the social media companies to act against the violence:

‘Webbe, who was elected as a Labour MP but sits as an independent after being found guilty of harassment, called for the police to co-ordinate a national response and for social media companies to intervene.

“Much of this violence and hate is being shared on social media and through online communications. It is racism and fascism and it is rearing its ugly head. It is a national problem that requires a national response by the police and other agencies.’

The social media firms – TikTok and Twitter and WhatsApp – are the mediums that are being used and they should bear some responsibility,” she said.’

The article also quotes another Labour politico, councillor Sharmen Rahmen, who also feels that there’s a danger this could become national, and that the violence is partly due to a lack of leadership and willpower among the city’s politicians to nip it in the bud before it started.

For further information, see: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/leicester-violence-could-spread-beyond-city-says-mp/ar-AA122t8g?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=459588adbcd1490280f1b4b8fef7f40f

I have a great deal of respect for Claudia Webbe. She stands for pretty much the same kind of left-wing policies I support. I’ve’ included the details of her correspondence with the police in order to stop any Tory trying to say that it’s somehow all Labour’s fault, as they’ve done with the grooming gang scandal and the Asian sweat shops in Leeds, despite the fact that some of the people trying to stop the abuses in both cases were Labour MPs and councillors.

I also feel that the article bears out my impression that the lack of national coverage of the riots may have been partly done to stop the violence spreading. I can also believe that religious/ racial extremists are behind the riots. I’ve seen allegations on one of the Asian news reports that the Hindu violence against the Muslims was inspired by Hindutva, the Hindu nationalism India’s head honcho Narendra Modi promotes. And I have no doubt that there are similar Muslim extremists on the Pakistani side.

This really needs to be damped down extremely quickly before the violence erupts elsewhere. And I hope the anti-racism organisations will start tackling the hidden prejudices and hatreds in other communities as well as Whites.

Stand Up To Racism Demands Justice For Victims While Protesting Against Tommy Robinson

September 6, 2022

I was watching one of the Lotus Eaters’ videos early today and I came across a possibly hopeful sign when they were discussing the latest protest by Stand Up To Racism against Tommy Robinson and his documentary about grooming gangs in Telford. I noticed that the Stand Up To Racism protesters were waving placards with the slogan ‘Justice for the Victims – No To Tommy Robinson’. The Lotus Eaters seemed a bit confused over who the victims for whom SUTR were demanding justice were. I don’t know, but I hope it means the victims of the grooming gangs.

I was furious at the response to a protest by SUTR and Unite back in February against Tommy Robinson and his gang when they appeared in Birmingham or Telford to premier their documentary about the ‘rape’ of the town by the Pakistani grooming gangs. Now I have no sympathy for Robinson. He is a violent, islamophobic thug. But his presentation of the film’s public showing was, I felt, far better as propaganda and outdid the protest against it by SUTR. Robinson’s video about the event showed a young Black man wearing a ‘Black and White, Unite and Fight’ T-shirt, which presented his organisation as anti-racist. This is justified, up to a point. The majority of the gangs’ victims were White, and they were racially abused while being raped and brutalised. Not that Robinson’s organisation is genuinely anti-racist: it’s against Islam, and I got the distinct impression that Robinson and his team regard the rape and utterly horrific abuse of the White girls as a convenient stick to beat to beat the British Muslim community.

Stand Up To Racism, by contrast, seemed to mismanage their protest completely. They turned up to shout the usual anti-racist slogans of ‘Fascist scum, off our streets’ and ‘Refugees welcome here’. These are fine against the usual Nazis and racists. But they’re not good enough against Robinson and his film because they ignore the Pakistanis’ abuse of the White girls. This gives the impression that SUTR wasn’t interested in the girls’ suffering and that they are only concerned about racist against Blacks and Asians. Callum, from the Lotus Eaters, had been present at the event and walked over and asked the SUTR protesters if they approved of the grooming gangs. ‘No, of course not’, was their reply. He then asked on the Lotus Eaters’ video why they hadn’t joined Robinson in protesting the gangs. They could have done this without approving of the man himself.

It’s obvious why they wouldn’t want to lend support to Robinson: he’s one of the racists they’re protesting against, even if he claims that he isn’t because Islam is a religion not a race. But I was so annoyed by SUTR’s massive mishandling of the protest that I wrote an email to Hope Not Hate and, if I remember correctly, Stand Up To Racism themselves.

The Hope Not Hate email went:

‘Dear Sir,

I have always been impressed by the great work Hope Not Hate has done and is doing in uniting people of all races and creeds in this country against the threat of racism and Fascism on the one hand, and Islamist religious extremism on the other. I have read with great interest and pleasure about your organisation’s attempts to combat Tommy Robinson and his very real islamophobia. But I am writing to you in this instance to express my grave concerns that the liberal left’s response to his rally and film, ‘The Rape of Telford’, has been so poor and catastrophically mismanaged that by contrast Robinson and his supporters seemed good.

As you are aware Robinson has been exploiting the very understandable and entirely reasonable public fears about the grooming gangs as part of his wider campaign to sow hate against British Muslims as a whole. A couple of weeks ago he turned up in Birmingham to show his film about the grooming gangs, The Rape of Telford, which included testimony from the abused girls. He was met with a counterdemonstration from Unite the union and Stand Up To Racism. And this is where the problems lie.

The counterdemonstrators seemed not to understand that victims of racism in this instance were White and to tackle this issue while at the same time expressing their disgust at Robinson. Instead they shouted the usual slogans like ‘Fascist scum off our streets’ and ‘Refugees welcome’. These are fine and suitable against the usual anti-immigration and racist demonstrations. But here they miss the point. They give the impression that the established anti-racist organisations are so fixated on anti-Black and Asian racism, that they find the very concept of anti-White racism literally unthinkable and have no response to it. This is not the impression they should give, and I’m sure it’s unintentional. One of the members of the right-wing Lotus Eaters YouTube channel actually asked them if they supported the grooming gangs. They replied that they certainly didn’t, but did not reply to his next question about why they weren’t over there with Robinson protesting against the grooming gangs.

They shouldn’t, of course, but this doesn’t mean that they should stay silent when it comes to anti-White racism and abuse. The real issue behind the grooming gangs is that they were allowed to get away with it for so long by the police, social services and local authorities because the victims were White and the authorities were afraid of being accused of racism. There are concerns about how the inquiry has been managed,, with some of the witnesses complaining that they have been instructed to limit their testimony and some of the evidence being redacted. There is speculation that some very prominent people, going as high as Blair’s government, are being protected.

It wasn’t always the case that anti-White racism was ignored. In the 1990s the CRE published a report, written by Independent and i journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown about Black and Asian anti-White racism as it was found that 60 per cent of the victims of a racist incidents were White. In the first decade of this century Sunny Hidak in the Guardian wrote a piece stating that anti-racism must now include poor Whites and attack religious extremist organisations like Hizb ut-Tahrir. But this inclusive message seems to have been forgotten or discarded in the age of Black Lives Matter.

I strongly believe that the way to fight Robinson is to take this issue out of his hands. People should be marching against the Muslim grooming gangs, just as they should and do march against White fascists and racists. Indeed, a few years ago when the Islamic preachers of hate were emerging with the Satanic Verses controversy in Bradford, liberal Muslims organised marches and demonstrations against them. But they complained they were given no support from mainstream society. Blacks, Asians, Muslims, Christians, atheists, Hindus and other faiths need to unite and march together against anti-White racism. I believe this is possible and non-Whites would be willing to join such marches and protests if it were organised by genuine anti-racist organisations. You can protest against anti-White racism without supporting fascists and islamophobes like Robinson or the BNP.

But this is what the established anti-racist organisations are failing to do. And I’m afraid their refusal to engage with this is handing Robinson a terrible weapon. If you watch the video he produced with Voice of Wales and Free Man Media on the ‘Rape of Telford’, one of his supporters is a young Black or mixed race man with the sweatshirt bearing the slogan ‘Black and White unite’. This is what the real anti-racists should be doing, but aren’t.

I would like to see it changed, but I’m afraid it seems that you may be the only organisation that will take this on board. I wrote a similar email to Stand Up to Racism a few weeks ago and have not received a reply. I would be very interested to receive your views about this subject, which I intend to place on my blog. You can contact me wit the email below:

Yours with very best wishes,

David Sivier’

I also wrote a series of email to various papers and organisation, including Stand Up To Racism, urging the organisation of a multicultural march against the grooming gangs.

‘Dear Sir,

I’m sure you share my disgust at the recent reports on the Asian grooming gangs and how they preyed on White girls for decades, as well as the way they were allowed to get away with it by police forces and local authorities who were afraid of being accused of racism if they intervened. But I am also greatly concerned about the lack of response to this monstrous scandal by mainstream anti-racist organisations like yours. While White people have been marching in support of Blacks and Asians in their struggle against racism for decades, I very much regret that there have been no such marches in support of these victimised White girls. This, in my opinion, is a grave and odious mistake, as it gives more ammunition and plausibility to islamophobes such as Tommy Robinson. 

A few months ago Robinson and his supporters turned up in Birmingham for a public launch of his film about the city’s ‘rape’, which included testimony from the gangs’ victims. There was also a counterdemonstration by your organisation and Unite. However, while the protesters shouted anti-racist slogans against Robinson, they made no public gesture in support of the raped and abused girls. Robinson’s video of the demonstration, however, appears to show his organisation as by far the more anti-racist and diverse. One of his protesters was a young Black man wearing a T-shirt with the anti-racist slogan ‘Black and White, unite and fight’. Unfortunately, I don’t see the mainstream anti-racist organisations doing this against the grooming gangs.

This gives the impression that your organisation and others aren’t concerned about anti-White racism and hate crimes, and that the only racism that matters to you is that against Blacks and other people of colour. Thus Robinson is able to present himself as the only person standing up for these girls against a bigoted and complacent establishment.

I feel very strongly that the only way to combat this is to organise genuinely multicultural rallies against these grooming gangs, just as there have been rallies against the BNP and NF and in support of refugees. I would be very grateful indeed if you could organise one as one of the leading anti-racist organisations here in the UK. I would be particularly grateful if your branch in Bristol could stage one. This is not one of the towns plagued by these gangs, but it has a diverse, multicultural population, who have demonstrated against Robinson and his attempts to stir up hatred against Muslims. Now we need to go further and demonstrate in support of these gangs’ victims as part of the wider campaign against racism. I have also sent an email to the head of Bristol’s equalities and children’s departments in the council about the possibility of organising such a rally. 

I would very much like to hear your reply about this suggestion, which I intend to publish on my blog. I look forward eagerly to receiving it.

Yours faithfully,

David Sivier’

If the victims mentioned on Stand Up To Racism’s placards are those of the grooming gangs, and not simply Robinson’s own victims – who are more than entitled to justice themselves after his treatment of them – then it would seem that SUTR has come round to my point of view. Perhaps they received a number of letters like mine from other people who felt the same way.

Johnson Scheme to Cut Joblessness by Limiting Time on Benefit Utter Failure

August 20, 2022

Here’s another article from the Groaniad revealing the failure of another Tory policy. In this case, it was the Prime Minister’s ‘flagship’ Way to Work scheme. This sought to encourage the unemployed to find work by ending jobseekers’ allowance after four weeks, unless they started looking for work outside their normal line. The article. ‘Boris Johnson’s flagship jobs scheme was a failure, new figures reveal’, by James Tapper, begins

‘Boris Johnson’s flagship jobs scheme appears to have failed, despite his claim that it helped half a million people into work.

The Way to Work scheme set a target to support 500,000 people into employment by cutting jobseekers’ benefits after four weeks unless they applied for work outside their normal occupation.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics released last week show that the number of unemployed people finding work actually fell by 148,000 compared with the six months before Way to Work began, despite record numbers of job vacancies.

The government is also facing questions about why it set a target of 500,000 when, on average, nearly 1 million unemployed people have found work during similar periods each year since 2001.

On 28 July, the official statistics watchdog challenged the Department for Work and Pensions on why it had not explained how its target was set or measured, a month after the government’s triumphant claims.

Ed Humpherson, director general of the Office for Statistics Regulation, wrote: “There is no clear explanation of how the Way to Work target was defined, how it would be measured, and the methods used to support claims … that the target has been reached.

“It is difficult to attribute and quantify publicly the impact of a campaign like Way to Work in the absence of a clearly defined and published target, and details about how the target will be measured and reported, at the start.’

For more information, go to: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/boris-johnson-s-flagship-jobs-scheme-was-a-failure-new-figures-reveal/ar-AA10SvzG?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=2d1fefce6f644195b785eb5932dc78b5

This scheme looks like it was based on the guff I heard when I started work, that’s there’s plenty of work around if you only look for it. It was the attitude of the clerks in the Benefits Agency when I was signing on there several years ago. They did not like me looking for work in my own line, that is, as an archaeologist and academic. In fact one young woman asked me exasperatedly why I didn’t go for something like a cleaning job before looking for more suitable work. In fact I understood at the time that you were allowed a few weeks to look for suitable work before they started insisting you try for anything at all. She and her colleagues hadn’t told me, but when I brought it up she didn’t deny it. She just said that it wouldn’t have been for as long as I thought. This tells you all you need to know about what used to be the Benefits Agency: they’re not interested in helping people find suitable jobs, just in getting you off their books. Perhaps the girl was frustrated at not getting a gold star and freebies as whistleblowers revealed clerks were being rewarded with for throwing people off benefits. I can think of a couple of reasons why I shouldn’t immediately have gone for a cleaning job: it puts somebody much more suited for the work out of a job. And that’s even if I got it, as having postgraduate degrees would almost certainly make me overqualified. Quite apart from the fact that I wanted to get a job as an archaeologist as quickly as possible.

They were also very annoyed by me not following Iain Duncan Smith’s pet scheme to get people to post their job searches online or something similar, so they’d be in public record. I resented this intrusion on my privacy, so simply brought in hard copies of the various jobs I’d applied for. Perhaps they got a gold star and prezzies for all the poor souls they forced into IDS’ wretched scheme.

As for limiting the time people can spend on jobseekers’ allowance, this seems to be another idea imported from America. Like the Welfare to Work scam Blair set up as part of his New Deal. As I understand it, in America unemployment benefit is only given for a few weeks while they expect you to find a job. Or it was thirty years ago. Perhaps it has changed since or varies from state to state.

Whatever the reason or rationale given for it, Johnson’s scheme has been an utter failure, as so many other Tory schemes are, all the way back to Thatcher’s privatisations. Well, in a few weeks’ time we’ll be saying goodbye to him.

Too bad we won’t be saying it to his foul party.

Alex Belfield’s Viewing Figures Show Secret VOR Channel Is Imploding

August 20, 2022

More on the continuing collapse of Alex Belfield’s popularity, courtesy of the YouTube channel,
‘Latest News on Alex Belfield Stalking Court Case’. And the latest news on Alex Belfield is not good, well, not from his point of view, but from the perspective of everyone who feels ripped off and insulted by him, it’s brilliant. After problems with YouTube over his content, Belfield announced he was off to Ustreme to host a secret VOR – Voice of Reason – club there. Of course, Alex Belfield as the voice of reason is, to use Spock’s description of Klingon justice, ‘a unique perspective’. Mostly it was just sub-Daily Mail rants against the channel migrants, immigration in general, the NHS, the BBC, diversity quotas, the trans cult, Guardian-reading, champagne-sipping Naga Manchushi types and people ‘who are light on their feet’. So, just a bit of homophobia then. Mixed in with this were jabs at Carol Vorderman, who he sent up as ‘Carol Vordernorks’, and Diane Abbott. This was all delivered with very ’70s jokes about ‘jellywobblers’. I do wonder what he had against Manchetti and Vorderman. Some of this was undoubtedly general Tory hatred. They started going after her because she did an advert in contravention of BBC rules. But I think the real reason was that Manchetti had been too good at humiliating Tories with awkward question during interviews. But the from the way Belfield carried on, you would think it, and whatever animus he had against Vorderman, was personal. Did they turn him down for a date?

Belfield was charging his viewers a pound a month or something to watch his Ustreme channel. This has irked an awful lot of his critics and detractors. Former fans of his have stopped watching, and are now posting YouTube videos instead stating very clearly why they no longer support him. One man explained that he doesn’t like the way Belfield insults and sneers at the viewers to his show, nor the way he’s constantly begging for money while boasting about his luxury holidays to places like Vegas. He pointed out that many of Belfield’s viewers are genuinely poor, and so Belfield was exploiting them to make himself richer. As for the humour, it got old. He originally liked it, but now has got sick and tired of it. And I think this fellow’s complaints are the same as many of Belfield’s former viewers.

The video below states that the viewing figures for Belfield’s Secret Vor Club were leaked. He only has 320 viewers, and some of them have cancelled watching him after his conviction for stalking. He suggests that the mad right-winger may go back to YouTube to post there in the time he has left before the Beak sentences him. Others have started speculating whether he’ll be allowed to do the voice of reason from his jail cell.

Whatever happens, Belfield’s popularity is collapsing. And there’s nothing he can do about it.

Cartoon of Belfield and Andy the Gabby Cabby Going Down the Lambley Pub

August 18, 2022

I don’t know if this video is satire or a homage to the duo. It’s a cartoon from Ryanonwifi’s YouTube channel of Belfield meeting Andy the Gabby Cabby after Belfield’s return from a luxury trip to Vegas. The speech in the cartoon sounds automated, but the dialogue really does skewer Belfield, with his jokes about ‘jellywobblers’, especially those belonging to ‘Carol Vordernorks’ and the way he insults people by calling them ‘shushi-shushi, champagne sipping, Guardian-reading socialists. Ryanonwifi is a fan of Andy the Gabby Cabby, whose relationship with Belfield is unclear. And I’m not sure if Ryanonwifi really intended to be so, but it really does seem like a biting spoof of the convicted stalker.

We Own It Petition for the Nationalisation of Failed Energy Company Bulb

August 13, 2022

I got this email this morning from pro-nationalisation organisation We Own It:

‘Dear David,

Privatisation has failed.

The Guardian is saying water should be nationalised. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is saying we need to bring energy into public ownership temporarily. Even the Telegraph and the Times are questioning privatisation.

Meanwhile, 100,000 people have pledged to stop paying their energy bills.

YOU can put a solution on the table – sign our new petition for the government to turn Bulb into a new public energy supplier which can cut people’s bills.

Nationalise Bulb

Private energy company Bulb collapsed in November 2021 and the government is planning on spending £2.2 billion to prop it up.

Right now the government is considering giving a further £1 billion to private company Octopus to take over the company.

This makes no sense. Other countries like France, Germany, Italy and the US all have public suppliers of energy. France has used publicly owned EDF to limit energy bill rises to 4% while our bills have gone up by 54% and that increase will go up to 119%!

The government could take Bulb’s 1.7 million customers as the basis of a new publicly owned energy supply company.

Sign the petition now

The situation is desperate and politicians know it. You can highlight this huge opportunity to politicians and the public. You can push for public ownership that can cut everyone’s bills by spreading the word.

Please sign and share now – before the government hands Bulb back to the private sector.

THANK YOU for your support.

Cat, Alice, Johnbosco, Matthew, Jack and Kate – the We Own It team’

I’ve had absolutely no reservations about signing the petition. It makes sense, far more sense than successive right-wing government spaffing public money against the wall trying to prop up failing private companies from a doctrinaire, inflexible belief in the superiority of private enterprise and in order to shove more public money into their friends’ pockets as management and shareholders. And this is an important first step to the nationalisation of the energy sector as a whole.

When even Gordon Brown, Blair’s right-hand man, the Torygraph and the Times are having second thoughts about the privatisation of the utilities, it’s clear that something is profoundly wrong with privatisation.

Thatcherism has failed.

Nationalisation is the solution.

Tories out!

To go directly to the petition if the above links aren’t work, it’s address is at: https://weownit.org.uk/act-now/nationalise-bulb

Guardian Letter Blames Privatisation for the Water Crisis

August 11, 2022

More ammunition for those of us demanding renationalisation of the water companies. The Guardian letters page has published a piece ”England’s water crisis should be blamed on privatisation’. It begins

‘The crisis facing the nation’s water supply because of the drought (Ban bonuses for water firm bosses until they fix leaky pipes, say Lib Dems, 8 August) reminds me of the words of Dr Jack Cunningham MP, who was Labour’s shadow environment secretary at the time of water privatisation in 1989.

As the bill to privatise the water industry in England and Wales was going through parliament, I interviewed Dr Cunningham for a political programme called Agenda transmitted by Television South. Dr Cunningham (now Baron Cunningham of Felling) said it was appalling that a natural resource like water should be put in the hands of people with a profit motive. It was unbelievable, he said, that the provision of such a resource should be subjected to commercial criteria like any other commodity. He thought the ultimate losers would be the public.

Twenty-eight years later, in 2017, opinion polling indicated that 83% of the British public would like to see renationalisation of all water services. In the same year, research by the University of Greenwich suggested that consumers in England were paying £2.3bn more every year for their water and sewerage than they would be if the water companies had remained under state ownership. As the disaster of water privatisation becomes ever clearer, I think Lord Cunningham has every reason to say: “I told you so.”’

See: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/england-s-water-crisis-should-be-blamed-on-privatisation/ar-AA10wq0q?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=d98dd26244804a839d74f30a7c1ba074

83 per cent of the great British public want the water companies renationalised, and we’re paying £2.3 billion more than if they had remained in the state sector.

More evidence that Thatcherism is an utter failure, Jeremy Corbyn was right, and Starmer is a sell-out who has bugger-all to offer the British working class, if you’ll pardon the obscenity, than more reheated Blairism. And as that’s Thatcherism by any other name, just rebranded so it looks a little more left, that’s a colossal failure too.

Renationalise water!

Down with the Tories!

Out with Starmer!

Mad Right-Wing YouTuber Alex Belfield Found Guilty of Stalking

August 6, 2022

Oh ho,, here’s a turn up for the books! Hat tip to Gillyflowerblog, one of the great commenters here, for this interesting snippet from BBC News. For a few weeks now, internet radio host, YouTuber, and friend of right-wing celeb and former Apprentice contestant ‘Hatey’ Katie Hopkins, has been on trial on a charge of stalking. Some of this harassment goes back decades to when Belfield was taken on at Radio Leeds in the 1980s, but didn’t have his contract renewed after a year. He then went on a campaign of abuse and intimidation against his former colleagues and bosses.

Not that you would think this by the way Belfield, who calls his wretched programme ‘The Voice of Reason’, spins it. As one of this many critics on YouTube put it one video, Belfield has presented the trial as he was taking his former colleagues and victims to court, rather than the other way round. In fact Belfield has consistently presented himself as the working class underdog in his bizarre dispute with the Beeb. If you listen to him, he’s just an ordinary, working class lad from a pit estate, who was sneered at discriminated against by ‘Guardian-reading, oyster-eating, champagne-guzzling Naga Manchushi types’, who are naturally university-educated, as well ‘Celia Imrie-type BBC diversity managers with clipboards’. HIs channel’s content is the usual right-wing targets – channel migrants, whom he dubs ‘dinghy divers’, immigration, welfare scroungers, the trans craze and various gay or sexually ambiguous celebs he describes as ‘swishies’ and ‘a bit light on their feet’. Oh yes, and he’s also frequently demanded the privatisation of the NHS to improve services, despite the fact that it’s privatisation that is killing the health service, and that privatisation will result in the creation of a for-profit health service which many of his listeners will be unable to afford. Precious little of what he says is original. If you have the feeling you’ve seen it before, you probably have. Most of it seems to be drawn from the pages of that day’s Heil, or whatever has been going around YouTube at the time. Just as much of Simon Webb’s stories seem to be drawn from whatever is in that day’s Telegraph.

The BBC report on the verdict begins

A former BBC radio presenter has been found guilty of stalking four people including broadcaster Jeremy Vine.

However, Alex Belfield was found not guilty of stalking four other people he was accused of targeting.

Belfield, who now runs a YouTube channel called The Voice of Reason, told jurors he had legitimate reasons for his online communications.

The 42-year-old, from Nottingham, is due to be sentenced on 16 September and has been warned he could be jailed.

Belfield was not accused of physically stalking the complainants, who were mostly current or former BBC staff.

Instead, he made YouTube videos about them, posted messages on social media, and sent emails either to them or about them.

In his closing speech to jurors at Nottingham Crown Court, Belfield said he had a right to freedom of speech, and some of the communications were in his role as a journalist, holding the BBC to account.

The full wording of the charges stated that he “pursued a course of conduct that amounted to harassment” of the complainants, which “amounted to stalking” and caused them “serious alarm or distress”.

He was found guilty of this offence in relation to only two of the complainants – BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Spedding, who is known as Bernie Keith, and videographer Ben Hewis.

In relation to Jeremy Vine and theatre blogger Philip Dehany, he was found guilty of two lesser offences of “simple” stalking, which does not require serious alarm or distress to be proved.

The verdicts in relation to each complainant were:

  1. Rozina Breen – not guilty
  2. Liz Green – not guilty
  3. Helen Thomas – not guilty
  4. Stephanie Hirst – not guilty
  5. Bernard Spedding – guilty (majority verdict)
  6. Ben Hewis – guilty (unanimous verdict)
  7. Philip Dehany – not guilty to the charge on the indictment but guilty of the alternative charge of “simple” stalking (majority verdict)
  8. Jeremy Vine – not guilty to the charge on the indictment but guilty of the alternative charge of “simple” stalking (unanimous verdict)’

The report concludes that there is a chance Belfield will get a custodial sentence.

See: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-62393949

If Belfield is going to head off to chokey, it’s going to mess up some of the events he’s advertised on his channel. He’s been appearing as a kind of double act in theatres across Britain with Katie Hopkins. He obviously won’t be able to do this if he’s jailed. Nor will able be able to use the money he’s been given from his followers’ donations to go on expensive holidays to places like Vegas, from which he then posts his YouTube videos saying how much he’s enjoying his break. This has also annoyed some of Belfield’s detractors, who rightly point out that many of Belfield’s viewers are probably on much lower incomes. They’ve given him their hard-earned money in the expectation that Belfield himself is hard-up, and needs the cash to continue broadcasting. But Belfield appears to live in a very grand house, complete with baby grand piano. His videos about his wonderful holidays seem designed to alienate people by rubbing their noses in how well Belfield is doing living off their money. It looks like a massive grift.

As for what Belfield will do now, I expect he may well appeal. And I don’t doubt that we’ll get a lot of complaining about how the trial was biased and he is being persecuted by them because he’s telling the truth. In other words, the same spiel the notorious islamophobe Tommy Robinson spins whenever he lands up in jail.

My Emails to the Local Labour Party and Bristol’s Head of Equalities and Children for a Multicultural Protest Against the Grooming Gangs

July 18, 2022

One of the other issues that really concerns me at the moment is continuing revelations about the Pakistani grooming gangs. Last week it was revealed that gangs in Telford had preyed on a further thousand victims, and that this had been ignored by the police and the local authorities. I’m absolutely disgusted by this, and infuriated by the response of these organisations and the left to it. There were angry scenes at a council meeting in Oldham last week when the council blithely claimed that there had been no cover-up. a Tory councillor shouted that there was, and he had one of the victims of these gangs there to prove it. I’ve also heard it alleged that it’s still going on. This is being used by the right to discredit the left, meaning particularly the Labour party, as the local authorities that allowed it to go on for decades were Labour. Various right-wing channels and YouTubers are stating that the left prefers rapists to accusations of racism, which is absolutely correct. But it also shows an underlying, profound inability in the left to deal with anti-White racism.

The anti-racist movement and its various organs, like the former Commission for Racial Equality, were set up to deal with anti-Black and anti-Asian racism, particularly after the race riots and the stabbing of a Black man just for having a White girlfriend at the Notting Hill Carnival. And there was a lot of very blatant racism, right down to the bullying of peeps from ethnic minorities by their workmates. There really were signs saying ‘No dogs, no blacks, no Irish’. And the continuing poverty, poor educational performance and marginalisation of the Black community has continued this focus on Black racial welfare. At the same time, the biased reporting in the right-wing press of Black crime and the victimisation of Whites in Black and ethnic majority areas was a part of a wider campaign against non-White immigration. This was rightly attacked as racism, especially as the real Fascists of the BNP and National Front used it as part of their political campaigns, while making up a few facts of their own. One of the grotesque examples of this was Nick Griffin or one of his wretched storm troopers telling his minuscule legions that Stephen Lawrence was a crook at school who forced the other kids to give him their dinner money. Completely made up! But when did that bother the political heirs of Hitler and Goebbels? What this has done is made the left in particularly absolutely terrified of acknowledging, let alone combating, anti-White racism.

This hasn’t been the case all the time. The Independent journo Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote a report for the CRE about anti-White racism, and the issue was discussed in the Guardian. But this was two decades and more ago. And the left is continuing to mishandle the issue of the grooming gangs by signally failing to protest against them. It means that the issue is being exploited by racists and islamophobes like Tommy Robinson. The left, meanwhile, protests against him while saying nothing about the racism against the White girls who were raped and exploited by the gangs.

I believe there is a way to tackle this, and that the left has the resources within it. I think what is needed is for the left to hold multicultural rallies against the gangs, just as Whites have marched with Blacks and Asians against racism and prejudice against them. I have therefore sent emails suggesting this to my local branch of the Labour party and to Asher Craig, the deputy mayor for Bristol and head of children and equalities for the city. My email to the local Labour party runs

‘Dear Sir,

I am writing to you as a member of the local Labour party to express my growing concern about the recent revelations of the rape and racist abuse of White girls by grooming gangs of men of Pakistani origin. I am particularly dismayed by what I feel is the complete lack of an appropriate response by the Labour party and the local authorities. In towns and cities like Bradford, Oldham and Rotherham, these gangs were allowed to get away with their predations for decades because the police and local authorities were afraid of being accused of racism. This past week it has emerged that a further 1,000 girls were raped and abused of the decades in Telford. This abuse has been confounded by police officers turning up to talk to one of the victims because she appeared on GB News to talk about her experiences. This grotesque inaction and the attempts by the police and authorities to contain this story, complete with denials that there has been any cover-up, reflects extremely badly not just on the police and local authorities in those areas, but on the left and the mainstream anti-racist movement generally. There have been videos about this scandal on YouTube that make it very clear that the posters believe that the authorities cannot be trusted and that the Left as a whole finds the racist abuse of White girls perfectly acceptable. The anti-trans activist Kelly-Jay Keen has put up a video, for example, with the title ‘the Left – Better a Rapist than a Racist’. The right-wing YouTube group The Lotus Eaters have been covering this issue for years, expressing similar views about the left. And the anti-immigrant YouTuber, ‘We Got A Problem’ included on his video about the issue the advice that people should start organising themselves to protect their children against such predatory gangs because the police and authorities won’t protect them. This is a call for vigilante gangs and racist lynch mobs, and the first step to Fascism. 

I believe that this issue has and is being disastrously mishandled by the left and the conventional anti-racist movement because of a long-standing failure to treat anti-White racism equally with anti-Black and anti-Asian racism. This seems based on the fear that any mention of racism by Blacks and Asians towards Whites will spark race riots and bring back the spectre of Enoch Powell and his notorious ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. But the opposite seems to be the case, as people are going back to Enoch Powell because of the left’s refusal to tackle these gangs. See recent posts by the History Debunked channel. While the left appears to give the impression that racism towards Whites is acceptable, it is islamophobes such as Tommy Robinson who are successfully manipulating the issue so that they appear inclusive. A few months ago Robinson, formerly of the anti-Islam organisations the EDL and Pegida UK, as well as the BNP, held a rally in Birmingham to promote the launch of his film, ‘The Rape of Birmingham’, complete with interviews with the abused girls. There was a counterprotest by Unite and Stand Up To Racism. However, instead of demonstrating that they were also against the grooming gangs, they simply shouted the usual slogans of ‘Refugees welcome’ and ‘Off our streets, Fascist Scum’. But it was Robinson’s group that really appeared to be inclusive and genuinely anti-racist. Their video of the rally prominently shows a young Black man wearing a ‘Black and White Unite and Fight’ anti-racist T-shirt.

This is what the Left needs to be doing. A few decades ago it was prepared to discuss and condemn anti-White racism as well as racism against Blacks and Asians. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote a report on it for the Committee for Racial Equality back in 1997. In the early part of this century, a Muslim Guardian journalist wrote a piece in that paper stating that working class Whites and ordinary Muslims should united against Islamist organisations like Hizb-ut Tahrir. And I have heard complaints from other moderate Muslims that they have received zero coverage and support from mainstream British society in their protests against the preachers of hate in their religion.

I feel very strongly that what is needed is a multicultural rally bringing Whites, Blacks and Asians together to condemn the grooming gangs and their predations as part of the wider anti-racist movement, to show that every form of racism, against all ethnic groups, is equally unacceptable. After all, Whites have shown their support for their Black friends in marching with them against their discrimination in the Black Lives Matter rallies, for example.

While Bristol is not one of those cities what has been preyed upon by these gangs, I believe it can play a major part in combating them through launching such a rally. Bristol has a diverse, multicultural population with Bristolians of all colours enjoying events such as the St. Paul’s carnival and the Asian melas, as well as the Pride events last weekend. I feel it is absolutely imperative that a multicultural rally should be staged to combat this racism, not just for itself, but to nip in the bud any further exploitation of it by the racist right.

It would be excellent if the Labour party in Bristol, or just the local Labour party in south Bristol, could organise such a rally or march, even if only on a small scale. I understand that there is no monthly meeting in August, but if this affair continues to develop then I will try and put forward this suggestion as a motion at the September meeting. In the meantime, if you can suggest other people or organisations I should contact to get this going, I would be very grateful.

I eagerly await your response.

Yours sincerely,

David Sivier’

And here’s my email to Craig

‘Dear Asher,

I am writing to you in your specific capacity as the official in charge of child services and equalities in our great city. I am very much concerned by the recent revelations about the grooming gangs of men of Pakistani heritage and the way their predations on vulnerable White girls were ignored by the police and authorities because of fears that they would be accused of racism. This past week, as I’m sure you know, it has been revealed that there were a further 1,000 girls abused by these gangs in Telford. I am deeply worried at what I believe is the disastrous way Labour and the anti-racist organisations are handling this crisis, and the way it is now being perceived and exploited by the right. Thanks to this mishandling, many people now believe that the Labour party regards such abuse as perfectly acceptable. The anti-trans activist, Kelly-Jay Kean, has put up a video entitled ‘The Left – Better a Rapist than a Racist’. The Lotuis Eaters, a right-wing, Libertarian YouTube channel, have devoted a stream of videos to this issue, which they regard as a form of anti-White racism. And not only is the Labour party tarnished by this inaction, but so is are the police, the BBC and the authorities generally. The anti-immigrant YouTuber ‘We Got A Problem’ posted a video last night stating that people should organise themselves to protect their children because the authorities would not protect them. This is a call to set up vigilante groups, with the attendant danger of racist lynch mobs. As I’m sure I needn’t tell you, the first step on the road to real Fascism is when there is a profound breakdown of trust between the authorities and their citizens on issues of race and nation.

I also believe that the racist right are far better at exploiting this issue,, and are doing so because they are doing what the left should be doing, but isn’t. The islamophobe Tommy Robinson, formerly of the EDL, Pegida UK and, I gather, the BNP, held a rally and a public showing of his film ‘The Rape of Birmingham’ a few months ago. He was met by a group of counterprotesters from Stand Up To Racism and Unite the Union. But they did not tackle Robinson on the subject of the grooming gangs. They merely recited the usual anti-racist slogans of ‘Fascist scum off our streets!’ and ‘Refugees welcome’. But they did not recognise that here there was a genuine, serious issue of the racist abuse and victimisation of White girls or demonstrate any support for the victims. When someone from the Lotus Eaters asked them if they did agree with the girls’ abuse, they said that of course they didn’t. But this isn’t good enough. They have to publicly show that they don’t. And they haven’t. Their failure to do so very much contrasts with Robinson’s own presentation of himself and his supporters. He claims not to be racist, and in the video he made of his rally there is a young Black man amongst his supporters, wearing a T-shirt with the slogan ‘Black and White Unite and Fight’. This is what the left should also be doing about these gangs.

For decades now, White people have marched in support of Blacks and other people of colour against racism and discrimination. I’m sure you remember the marches against the BNP and institutional racism in the 1980s and musical events in that decade and the ’70s by Rock Against Racism. I strongly believe that we need similar multicultural rallies against the grooming gangs. I realise that as head of equalities for Bristol your specific focus is tackling racism and improving conditions for the Black community. But the Black community, in my experience, is also able and willing to discuss racism and racist abuse directed against Whites. The I journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown authored an official report into anti-White racism by Blacks and Asians in 1997, and a Muslim Guardian journalist called for moderate Muslims and the White working class to unite against Islamist organisations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir. One of the complaints of moderate Muslims is that they are given no media coverage or support when they demonstrate against their religion’s preachers of hate.

I believe very strongly that the only way to tackle this is to organise a multicultural rally bringing Whites, Blacks and Asians together to condemn the gangs. We have to show unity, and that all forms of racism are equally unacceptable, just as White support for Black Lives Matter two years ago showed that the wider community despised anti-Black racism. I realise the gangs are a northern phenomenon, but there have been suggestions that it started in the south. And while Bristol hasn’t been touched by them, I believe the city could play a leading role in this because of its diverse population and the popularity of multicultural events such as the St. Paul’s Carnival and the Asian mela.

It is absolutely imperative that this should be done to show that Labour and the authorities are not complacent about any kind of racism, and that paedophile gangs of whatever colour are not welcome in our city.

As the head of equalities, I hope you may be able to organise such a rally for the city. If you cannot, I would be grateful if you could direct me to someone who could.

I eagerly await your reply.

Yours sincerely,

David Sivier.’

I’ll let you all know if there’s a reply.