Posts Tagged ‘The Independent (newspaper)’

38 Degrees Petition to Get Jeremy Hunt to Provide Free School Meals to Children on Universal Credit

November 25, 2022

I got this message yesterday from the internet petitioning organisation objecting to Jeremy Hunt’s apparent refusal to provide free school meals to four-firths of a million children on Universal Credit, but who currently don’t qualify for free school meals. I’ve signed it, and if you feel as strongly about it as I do, I hope you’ll do the same. Because this is obscene. Britain is one of the richest countries in the world, and millions of working people and children are going hungry. They have to use food banks to stave off starvation, and now there are warm banks to make sure they don’t die of hypothermia because they can’t afford to heat their homes. Marcus Rashford, God bless ‘im, managed to shame them into providing fee school meals to deprived kids during the holidays. And they hate him for it. They published hit pieces afterwards lambasting him for being rich and having more than one house. Guess what? That’s irrelevant. The Fabian Society rejected class war, and so, I think, did the Labour party in general. They fought for the working class but saw socialism as such an eminently reasonable social system of society that everyone would benefit. This is where Labour differs from Communism. The only people who are fighting a class war, and exploiting class resentment, are the Tories in order to keep the workers firmly in their place.

‘Dear David,

800,000 vulnerable children are going to school hungry and missing out on free school meals – yet Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had nothing to say about it in last week’s budget. [1] He’s happy to leave hundreds of thousands of families, on Universal Credit but not eligible for free school meals, to struggle to feed their kids. [2]

David – we won’t let the Government get away with this. Our petition to expand free school meals is over 90% of the way to 100,000 signatures – but your name is missing. [3]

We MUST push this up the Government’s agenda if we’re to protect families struggling this winter. [4] That’s why we have BIG plans to expand this campaign – and it all starts with ramping up names on this petition and handing it in to Rishi Sunak to put child hunger firmly on his radar. As for the next stage of the campaign… watch this space!

So David, will you add your name to show Rishi Sunak he can’t get away with letting kids go hungry?It only takes a few seconds to sign!

I’LL ADD MY NAME

I’m not signing because…

It feels like we’re getting close to a breakthrough, David. Supermarkets, local councils, and celebrities are piling on the pressure to expand free school meals. [4] But time and again, the Government has failed to give critical support to families most in need – which is why we need your name, and your support.

So David, will you sign today to urge this Government to expand free school meals and keep this country’s children fed?If each of us reading this signs, we’ll smash the 100,000 target!

I’LL ADD MY NAME

I’m not signing because…

Thanks for all you do,

Flo, Tash, Siobhan, Angus and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] The Guardian: ‘It would mean so much’: parents on the need to expand free school meals 
The Independent: Feed the Future: Jeremy Hunt ignores pleas to expand free school meals in autumn Budget 
[2] See note 1.
[3] 38 Degrees: Rishi Sunak: don’t let kids go hungry by ditching the free school meals expansion! 
[4] Evening Standard: UK supermarkets join calls for expansion of free school meals 

Media Suggests New Farage-Led Party Could Challenge Tories with 25 per cent of the Vote

November 15, 2022

I’ll believe it when I see it, but that was what the headlines said on two videos I found on two right-leaning channels on YouTube yesterday. I think one was GB News, which in some cases is so right leaning that it’s actually fallen over. Farage has been making noises about a political comeback and was reported as recommending that the various fringe right-wing parties like Reform and Reclaim should unite to challenge the Conservatives. Because apparently the Tories aren’t the Tories anymore, and Rishi Sunak is following socialist policies. This comes from the bonkers Brexiteer right, the kind of people who declare that the Nazis and Italian Fascists were socialists because they started out on the left and were all in favour of state control. Which conveniently ignores the fact that both parties were nevertheless frantic supporters of private industry – Mussolini even included it as one of the fundamentals of the Fascist state. I wonder what they would have made of Harold Macmillan, who supported the social democratic consensus and memorably described Thatcher’s privatisations as ‘selling off the family silver’. ‘Supermac’ widened access to the universities so that people from more ordinary backgrounds could attend and expanded the construction of council houses, though these were poorer quality than those built by Labour under Clem Attlee. Presumably he was a socialist too? The Lotus Eaters have also got in on that act and were pushing David Kurten’s Heritage Party as ‘the real Conservatives’. Yeah, David Kurten, whose name reminds me of Peter Kurten, the gay serial killer of 1920s Germany, dubbed the something-or-other vampire or werewolf, because he drank his victims’ blood. Obviously, the only thing Dave has in common with that monster was the surname.

I’m sceptical of all this. I think Tice and Fox are too possessive of their own positions as leaders of their respective parties, and I can’t see them merging for the same reason other small parties on the political fringes, like the NF and BNP, seem to fragment into ever smaller political sects, due to personality clashes and differences in doctrine and strategy. Besides which, Farage has had his day. He was never elected to parliament despite his many attempts, did absolutely nothing as an MEP except collect his paycheque and moan, and jumped ship from UKIP, leaving it to sink under the inspired leadership of Gerald Batten.

As for 25 per cent of the British electorate voting for them, this reminds me of one of the stats the Independent reported back in the ’90s. This claimed that a poll had found that a majority of Brits would vote for a far-right party. In fact, the closest the BNP ever got to sweeping into power was in 2007 and it imploded under massive public criticism soon after. Before then I think it had never got more than 2 per cent of the vote. The prediction of a new, even more right-wing party challenging the Conservatives seems very much like that prediction. Though the Tories themselves are now horrifically right-wing, no matter what the demented Brexiteer right may think.

Labour Party Now Running Islamophobia Awareness Days

November 1, 2022

I’ve had an email this evening from Labour General Secretary David Evans inviting me to sign up to two Islamophobia awareness training sessions. The email says

‘The Labour Party stands united against Islamophobia. Islamophobia is a pervasive hatred in our society which manifests in violent hate crimes, targeted discrimination, and loss of opportunity for many Muslims.

We had to root out the Antisemitism which had infected our party and we are serious about tackling all forms of discrimination. That is why we also have new codes of conduct to tackle Islamophobia, Afrophobia and anti-Black racism.

This Islamophobia Awareness Month the Labour Party will be offering two member training sessions on Islamophobia Awareness. Understanding Islamophobia is vital to tackling it.

This is an introductory session on Islamophobia and how it presents itself in the UK. We encourage you to sign up to this important session.

…..

‘I know that there is more work to be done, and we are committed to this. Whilst there can never be any complacency on these issues, Keir, Anneliese and I are leading a thorough programme of reform in the Labour Party.

This includes:

  •     the introduction of an independent complaints process
  •     mandatory unconscious bias training for staff
  •     changes to our hiring practices
  •     and a diversity and inclusion board

Labour won’t dismiss structural racism – we’ll tackle it head on, with a landmark, new Race Equality Act, by implementing all the Lammy Review recommendations, and with a curriculum that reflects our country’s diverse history and society.

We have also worked constructively with the Labour Muslim Network, and together with the Parliamentary Chair, Afzal Khan MP, we are committed to implementing all the recommendations in their report.

Thank you, 

David Evans
General Secretary’

This comes after the scandals and allegations of the bullying of Black and ethnic minority MPs and staff and that a third of Muslim Labour party members have experienced Islamophobia. Well done, but a little late, especially as many of the bigots responsible for the bullying and racism came from the Blairite right. However, I also have a few reservations of such anti-racist training. How genuinely anti-racist will it be? The anti-Semitism training given to members was handed over to the Jewish Labour Movement, and their idea of anti-Semitism conflated it very strong with criticism of Israel. I wonder if the anti-Islamophobia training will also be handed over to ideologically motivated groups with their own agenda. For example, Ed Hussein wrote an article in one of the broadsheets – possibly either the Independent or the Guardian, stating that when he was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a genuine Islamic supremacist party, they used to shut down any criticism of the activities on campus by screaming ‘Islamophobia’. I have to say I’m very sceptical and wary about such courses generally, as in my experience they can begin with the assumption that all Whites are racist, especially after the BLM protests and the introduction of Critical Race Theory and courses relating to it in universities and businesses.

38 Degrees Open Letter to Get Rishi Sunak to Attend the COP27 Next Week

November 1, 2022

I got this email from internet democracy group 38 Degrees about their petition against Sunak’s ambivalence about attending next week’s summit on climate change. Sunak has apparently said he may not go, and so 38 Degrees have set up this campaign to persuade him.

This is outrageous: Rishi Sunak says he may not be attending the COP27 summit next week. [1]

David, we knew the new Prime Minister was not the strongest on climate change. But the decision to not attend a crucial event where world leaders agree on steps to tackle the climate crisis is shocking and concerning. Especially when a UN report last week showed that current actions by countries across the world have not gone far enough. [2]

Sunak has blamed “domestic challenges” for this decision, but the fact is that the climate affects us all. [3] Not attending such an important summit – even for one day – while also removing the Climate Minister from the Cabinet shows the climate crisis is not a top priority for this government. [4] Rishi Sunak may say the environment is important to him, but his actions say otherwise.

His decision has not gone down well – the media, world leaders and UK MPs have been criticising it and news today has pointed to signs that he may be wavering in his decision to not attend. [5] So let’s be the voice that finally persuades him to attend the summit. If we sign an open letter in our hundreds of thousands it could push the PM to attend the meeting and show us he cares about saving the planet.

So, David, will you add your name right now and demand the PM attend the COP27 summit? By clicking the button below your name will automatically be added to the open letter.

ADD MY NAME

I’M NOT TAKING PART BECAUSE…

To: Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister

We, the public, are calling on you to make tackling the climate crisis a top priority. You’ve claimed it is, but your actions this week – removing the Climate Minister from the Cabinet, and refusing to attend the COP27 summit – say otherwise.

We understand that domestic issues are important, but the climate crisis will affect us all. The fact that you won’t attend and be part of the global conversation is damaging and concerning for everyone. Especially given the latest reports from the UN that current actions by all countries across the world have not gone far enough to limit any rise in global temperature to 1.5C.

Show us you care about the climate crisis and the environment. Commit to attending the summit for at least one day, as your predecessor Liz Truss promised, and give Climate Minister Graham Stuart the right to attend Cabinet meetings.

Signed,

The British public

The PM’s absence at this global summit will be keenly felt. Since the UK were the hosts of the summit last year it means we are the current holder of the COP presidency until this year’s summit starts. By not bothering to attend, Rishi Sunak will be sending a message to the whole world that the UK is not committed to tackling the climate crisis. But taking action to save our planet is a team effort and we need to play our part.

That’s why we, the public, need to add our voices and let Rishi Sunak know that the climate crisis is one of our top priorities. And as Prime Minister he needs to commit to doing something about it. We and future generations deserve better.

Will you be the voice of reason and add your name to the open letter today? By clicking the button below your name will automatically be added to the open letter.

ADD MY NAME

Thanks for all you do,

Simma, Megan and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] The Independent: Sunak prioritises ‘depressing domestic challenges’ over attending climate summit
[2] The Guardian: Climate crisis: UN finds ‘no credible pathway to 1.5C in place’
[3] See note 1
[4] See note 1
Daily Mail: Rishi Sunak pulls out of Cop-27 climate summit and downgrades the status of his climate minister – but No10 insists new PM remains committed to net zero target
[5] See note 4
The Guardian: Global anger at Sunak’s Cop27 snub that raises fears over UK’s climate crisis stance
BBC News: Rishi Sunak criticised for skipping COP27 climate summit
BBC News: Rishi Sunak could still attend COP27 climate summit

I’ve signed it, because despite Sunak’s stopping fracking, his possible refusal to attend the summit shows that the Tories still don’t care about the environmental crisis and are hostile to further steps to prevent climate change. His absence will harm Britain’s international standing in this struggle.

Petition from Internet Democracy Group Avaaz for a General Election

October 21, 2022

Liz Truss’ resignation and the prospect of the installation of another Tory prime minister without a general election has prompted the internet democracy groups Avaaz and 38 Degrees to launch petitions calling for one. Here’s Avaaz’s, which I received yesterday.

Liz Truss is gone but Tory plans to replace her with another unelected Prime Minister make a mockery of democracy. The British people must have a say! Join the voters across the UK uniting to demand an immediate general election.

SIGN NOW

Dear friends across the U.K.,

Liz Truss has resigned.

But under Tory plans, we’re not getting a vote on who replaces her. In just 7 days, they want to crown a new Prime Minister – the second unelected PM in two months.

It makes a mockery of democracy. They’ve already crashed the economy, making life worse for millions. Now they want to choose our next PM!

The British people must have a say. And they must have it now.

MPs care what their constituents think. Let’s build a massive urgent call for an immediate general election, and let’s ensure the British people, not a few Tory MPs, decide who leads the country through the economic crisis that Downing Street helped to create.

Click to demand an immediate general election

The Conservative Party has gone into complete meltdown. Political insanity has become the new normal. There is now no legitimate reason to deny the British people a say – every major political party except the Tories is calling for a general election.

Despite what Tory bigwigs would like to believe, Britain is still a democracy. Our people have the right to choose who leads them. Any leader imposed upon us would have no mandate and no legitimacy, as they make some of the most consequential decisions of a generation.

A massive call from the public right now could win us the election we need. Add your name and share with everyone you know – let’s take back our democracy, before more damage is done.

Click to demand an immediate general election

The Avaaz community has a long record of defending democracy. We’ve faced down the far right in EU elections, opposed Marine Le Pen in France, called for accountability for Trump and countered the spread of election disinformation. We won’t rest until everyone everywhere can vote.  

With hope and determination,

Nick, Antonia, Ruth and the whole Avaaz team

More information:

Please sign it if you also believe that we need a general election now.

38 Degrees Launches Cost of Living Catastrophe Map

October 17, 2022

I got this email from internet democracy site 38 Degrees earlier this evening.

BREAKING: the Government has ripped up their disastrous mini-budget – and now they want us to pick up the pieces. [1] They’ve put our livelihoods, our homes and our futures on the line with their reckless plans, and turned the cost of living crisis into a catastrophe. [2]

But with no sign of the rescue plan we’ve needed all along, we need to show them the price we’re paying. And we’ve got just the thing.

So we’ve just launched a HUGE, ambitious new project: the cost of living catastrophe, mapped.[3]Our interactive map spotlights more than 1,000 stories from across the 38 Degrees community – and the country.These are the real lives behind this catastrophe.

This is what the map looks like

Together, thousands of us have forced the Government into the biggest U-turn we’ve ever seen – but we can go further. [4]If all of us share this map far and wide, we’ll put the stories behind this catastrophe front and centre, so journalists, MPs and the Governmentwill have no doubt that we need a proper rescue plan for the country.

So, David, will you help keep up the pressure on the Government by sharing our cost of living catastrophe map – and show the real price of this crisis?

Twitter is the best way to ensure as many MPs and journalists see this map. Just click below and retweet the 38 Degrees tweet or – if you can – ‘quote tweet’ it and share your own cost of living story. You could even tag your MP!

SHARE ON TWITTER

If you don’t have Twitter, you can share on Facebook or WhatsApp instead.

SHARE ON FACEBOOK

SHARE ON WHATSAPP

Or, if you don’t use social media, will you consider chipping in so we can help share it via online and offline ads.

Thank you for being involved,

Flo, Angus, Matt, Jonathan and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] BBC News: New chancellor reverses ‘almost all’ tax measures 
The Telegraph (paywall): Energy price cap could be torn up under plans considered in Whitehall
[2] BBC News: What was in the mini-budget and what has changed?
The Independent (paywall): Kwarteng confirms further cuts of up to £18bn for public services
Sky News: Cost of living: More mortgage products now on offer – but interest rates continue to rise
[3] 38 Degrees: The cost of living catastrophe, mapped 

I’ve absolutely no problem with posting this on social media. The Khazi may be gone, but Liz Truss and her Tory hordes are still in power, and people are still hurting. And they don’t care about the poor – only about the rich, and getting re-elected.

38 Degrees Invite Water Company Heads to Fake Festival of Sewage

October 2, 2022

This is a highly amusing idea. In order to make the point that the sewage the water companies are allowing to get into the environment isn’t acceptable, 38 Degrees are asking their supporters to send the heads of their local water companies fake invitations to a festival of sewage. I go this email and invitation about it on Friday.

Coming to a river or beach near you David: SEWAGE FEST 2022!

Okay, so we’re not actually putting on a festival celebrating sewage pollution. I know, shocking. But today copies of this poster really did start appearing in Brighton, one of many beaches affected by sewage pollution this summer. [1] The message to water companies? Sort. It. Out.

The 38 Degrees community has a history of using fun and creative ideas to make a serious point – and this time is no different! With the Government asking water companies to develop better plans to tackle sewage pollution, it’s the perfect time to publicly shame them – and make sure they really do step up their game. [2]

So here’s the plan: Imagine thousands of us inviting water company bosses to ‘attend’ Sewage Fest 2022 by sharing VIP tickets with them over Twitter (after all, it just wouldn’t have been possible without them!). It’ll be massively embarrassing for them – as well as spreading the word about the campaign!

So David, will you tweet the CEO of your water company a ticket to Sewage Fest 2022 now – and publicly pressure them to clean up their act? The ticket design is below – we hope you like it!

I’LL TWEET A TICKET

So why now? Well, a few weeks ago the new Environment Secretary told water companies to produce more ambitious plans for tackling sewage pollution. [3]

It’s positive news – and only happened because of a huge amount of public pressure. [4] But with everything else going on in the world (and there’s a lot right now) we need to make sure water companies know we’re watching – and won’t accept watered down proposals!

Last week, thousands of us emailed water company CEOs demanding they make their plans as ambitious as possible. [5] But we can’t stop there. Just imagine those same CEOs being publicly invited to an ‘event’ of their own making – Sewage Fest 2022! VIP tickets too, what a treat. Together we can publicly embarrass them, making them feel the heat over their collective failure to tackle the issue.

So will you tweet the CEO of your water company – inviting them to Sewage Fest 2022 and hold them accountable for their disgusting mess? Just click below and you’ll be sent to a page where you can select your water company.

I’LL TWEET A TICKET

Thanks for all you do,

Simma, Matt, Megan, Angus and the 38 Degrees Team

NOTES:
[1] Our posters are all over Brighton – you can see examples herehere, and here!
The Telegraph (paywall): Sewage now pollutes every single beach between Brighton and Hastings
BBC News: Sussex beaches: People advised not to swim after sewage releases
The Independent: England’s most polluted rivers as sewage pumped into waterways for 2.6m hours
[2] Daily Mail: Water companies given two week deadline by government to show how they will stop sewage being pumped into rivers and beaches
Sky News: Water company bosses given 14 days to set out sewage dumping plans, new environment secretary says
[3] See note 2
[4] BBC News: Environment Bill passes following lengthy battle over sewage
38 Degrees: Stop dumping raw sewage into our seas and waterways
DEFRA: Storm overflows discharge reduction plan
The Rivers Trust: Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan still too little, too late
[5] 38 Degrees: Enough is enough: draw up ambitious plans to fix our outdated sewage system

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.

Independent Article about Anti-Muslim Racism In Britain’s Hindu Community

August 20, 2022

Today’s Indie has published an article in their ‘Voices’ section by Smriti Singh, ‘Voices: British Indians have a racism problem – we need to be honest about it’ talking about anti-Muslim prejudice in the British Hindu community. This has been generated by Modi and his Hindu-supremacist BJP, with their hatred of non-Hindu minorities and particularly Muslims. Anti-Muslim messages and images have as result been published not just for domestic Indian Hindus audiences, but also for the consumption of Hindu communities abroad, particularly in Britain. The article begins

‘I was recently sent a WhatsApp clip of a street vendor in India, dressed in a manner that suggested he was Muslim, apparently spitting into food containers. The clip was clearly doctored and shared in the name of “raising awareness”. But in fact it was intended to stir up more hatred against India’s Muslims – not just there, but among Hindus here in Britain.

I come from a family of immigrants – my parents came to the UK from India and we all experienced racism, particularly in the early days. Yet despite this, I am heartbroken by how much racism I am seeing from British Hindus today, directed at Muslims and stirred up by India’s extreme right-wing government.

Since the election of the BJP government in 2014, Hindu fundamentalism has been growing in India. Legislative changes from the top, with the judiciary and mainstream media capitulating to this agenda, are turning India from a secular country to one that puts “Hindu” first.

In 2019, the BJP passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, providing Indian citizenship to refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan – but specifically excluding Muslims. Muslim girls who wear the hijab are increasingly excluded from schools. There are frequent reports of lynchings of Muslims for (allegedly) killing cows. Day-to-day life for religious minorities, particularly Muslims and lower-caste Hindus, is becoming harder.’

For further information, go to: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/voices-british-indians-have-a-racism-problem-we-need-to-be-honest-about-it/ar-AA10RZ93?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=b32ba70602624b12883808d40a7e49fd

Respect to the Indie for publishing this article, which would surely annoy Diane Abbott. I’ve said for a long time that racism in Britain is complex and not simply a case of White prejudice against and victimisation of people of colour. I’ve heard that in some schools in Bristol, the big problem of racial friction and gang fighting in the playground wasn’t between Blacks and Whites, but between various groups of Asians. But the mainstream anti-racists really don’t seem to want to recognise the complexity of situation or that it simply isn’t Whites against non-Whites. One Asian man at a Labour gathering asked Diane Abbott about doing something about racism amongst Britain’s different ethnic communities. She reply that she didn’t want anything done, because ‘they’ would use it to ‘divide and conquer’. Which shows you how fixed and racist her own anti-racist views paradoxically are.

My Suggestions for this Issues the Lotus Eaters Should Tackle

August 18, 2022

Sargon and his chums in the Lotus Eaters have asked their readers to send them suggestions for what issues they should write articles about. I’ve therefore sent them three in the comments section. These aren’t suggestions about what they should do about their libertarianism, their frantic support of privatisation and free market capitalism when both are disastrously failing. Nor did I tell them what they could do about their support for Donald Trump, who may well be making a come-back bid to be president. They just wouldn’t publish them and I expect all I’d get would be a storm of anger and abuse from their supporters if they did. Instead I just sent them three suggestions regarding the skewed attitudes among anti-racist activists regarding the historiography of slavery, the failure to protest against the Pakistani grooming gangs and demands for autonomous communities by Islamic theocrats and Black activists. Here’s the comments I left:

‘I could present you with a list. I’d like it if you could tackle the way the historiography of slavery is being skewed. I’ve got the distinct impression that the anti-racist activists demanding reparations for slavery do not want it taught in schools or people made aware that slavery was universal and not invented by Whites; that it existed in Europe long before Europeans enslaved Africans; that Africans were also enslaving other Africans long before the transatlantic slave trade, and that some African states were not only complicit but did extremely well out of it. They also do not want to hear how the British government began improving conditions for slaves before abolition, nor how we attempted to abolish indigenous slavery in other parts of the British empire and around the world. They don’t want to know that Indians also enslaved Africans, or that the Arab slave trade resulted in the export of 14 million slaves from the continent. And above all, the really don’t want the Barbary pirates discussed. They have been erased from the narrative about slavery in the view of one academic author because they don’t fit with the idea that Whites enslaved Blacks, not the other way round. And the French postmodernists have a very racist view of them in which the pirates are ‘nationalists’ and their ‘white victims ‘imperialists’.’

‘Going further, the utter failure of the anti-racist left to protest against the Pakistani grooming gangs. Following Callum’s coverage of Unite’s and Stand Up To Racism’s protest against Tommy Robinson and his film about the rape of Telford, I wrote to Unite and SUTR complaining about their failure to protest against the gangs. I suggested that the organise a multicultural march against them, ’cause Whites have protested with Blacks on their campaigns against racism. No reply. I wrote to my local paper, the Bristol Post, suggesting this, and also to the Independent. No reply. I also wrote to Asher Craig, Bristol’s deputy elected mayor and head of equalities and children’s services. She’s a Black woman who said she wanted a museum of slavery in Bristol. No reply there either. This said very clearly to me that when it comes to racism, for the anti-racist left racism against Whites does not matter.’

‘And if you really want to be controversial, you could write a piece about colonialist attitudes among Muslims and Blacks. This exists. Anjem Chaudhury’s outfit in Belgium, Sharia4Belgium, wanted a separate Muslim territory in that country, governed by sharia law and with Arabic as the spoken language. The same demands were made over here in some of the literature published by the British Muslim publishers. A more recent argument I came across a couple of years ago explicitly ties it to the colonisation of America. The way the British encouraged other nations to settle in their colonies by allowing them to preserve their culture and laws, these Muslims argue that Muslims in the west should also be allowed to retain their laws under the protection of the British state. I’ve also seen Black British writers and politicos demand separate spaces for Blacks and autonomous communities.’

I know there are issues about people from the left dealing with right-wingers like Sargon and his crew. These are issues that I’d like the left to tackle. But they really don’t want to tackle them or see them discussed. And so, unfortunately, the only avenue is to take them up with the right and see if they will.

I’ll let you know if I get any replies.