All posts filed under: UK

It is Time for George Versus the Dragon

David Lindsay At least once every week, the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips, says something that would end the career of a Conservative, or of a Corbyn supporter, or of a man, or of anyone who was not Jess Phillips. Phillips supports the present Israeli Government. She has accused British Pakistanis of importing wives for their disabled sons. Her position on abortion, whatever one may think of that issue, is effectively a call for the full legal integration of Northern Ireland into Great Britain. She is rude and abusive towards Britain’s most prominent black politician, Diane Abbott. Or at least she claims to be; it is possible that she has built her reputation on lying about having used gutter language towards a woman who was old enough to be her mother. Phillips laughs at male suicides, at male cancers, at other men’s health issues, at violence against men, at problems in boys’ educational attainment, and at fathers denied access to their children. She has expressed the desire to stab Jeremy Corbyn. And …

Britain on the Leash with the United States – but at Which End?

James George Jatras, October 13, 2018, via Strategic Culture The “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom is often assumed to be one where the once-great, sophisticated Brits are subordinate to the upstart, uncouth Yanks. Iconic of this assumption is the mocking of former prime minister Tony Blair as George W. Bush’s “poodle” for his riding shotgun on the ill-advised American stagecoach blundering into Iraq in 2003. Blair was in good practice, having served as Bill Clinton’s dogsbody in the no less criminal NATO aggression against Serbia over Kosovo in 1999. On the surface, the UK may seem just one more vassal state on par with Germany, Japan, South Korea, and so many other useless so-called allies. We control their intelligence services, their military commands, their think tanks, and much of their media. We can sink their financial systems and economies at will. Emblematic is German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s impotent ire at discovering the Obama administration had listened in on her cell phone, about which she – did precisely nothing. Global hegemony means …

How Queer Theory Became University Policy

by Michael Biggs, [edited by Sarah Mills], via Conatus News The establishment of an official doctrine on gender identity is an unprecedented threat to academic freedom. Sex and gender should be subjects for debate. My university has recently established an official doctrine on gender, promulgated by its Equality and Diversity Unit. The University of Oxford declares that sex is not determined at conception but rather ‘assigned’ at birth, presumably on the whim of the midwife or obstetrician. Sex must be replaced for all practical purposes by an individual’s sense of gender identity, which may be chosen from a lengthy menu including nonbinary and genderqueer. Oxford is not peculiar, for the same doctrine is being instituted across British universities. This doctrine is derived from queer theory, an outgrowth of postmodernism. To understand how this esoteric discourse became the new orthodoxy, we need to follow the work of Gendered Intelligence, the charitable interest company that translates queer theory into public policy. Its chief executive is Jay Stewart MBE, a transman with a doctorate in Visual Cultures from …

In Praise of “Brocialism”

David Lindsay Recent events have redefined the political debate, and ongoing events are continuing to redefine it, in terms of economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends. In the struggle for economic equality, the leading role belongs to the working class, and the leading role within the working class belongs to the trade union and co-operative movements. In the struggle for international peace, the leading role belongs to the working class and to the youth. It is possible to see that latter dimension in the movements around Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, and Ron Paul. When seen in that context, then it is only to be expected and applauded that those youth movements are largely male. The eventual failure of the Ron Paul campaign was in no small measure due to its failure to locate the struggle for international peace within the struggle for economic equality, and vice versa. The Bernie Sanders phenomenon remains constrained by its failure to learn the lesson of Donald Trump’s victory, and …

OPEN THREAD: Brexit – Deal or No Deal?

Theresa May’s proposed “deal” for leaving the European Union has been criticised by MP’s from all across the political spectrum. Cabinet Ministers have resigned, jobs have been refused, letters of no-confidence have been sent. Where is this going? Will we see a Tory leadership election? If so, who’s going to win it? If the deal is voted down by Parliament, a vote of no confidence in Theresa May is almost inevitable. A vote of no confidence will almost certainly trigger a new General Election. A General Election Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party would be favourites to win. This puts the anti-Corbyn Blairite MPs in a difficult position – will they ruin what’s left of their credibility by backing the “deal” proposed by the Tory government? Will they call for an election and hope to replace Corbyn if/when Labour win? Or will we see a third Labour leadership election? Discuss below.

10 Facts about Labour’s Alleged “Anti-Semitism”

David Lindsay The Budget has fallen flat, so here comes the 2018 silly season’s greatest hit and dampest squib, “anti-Semitism in the Labour Party”. It is not clear that there really is a Police investigation into that. But if there is, then ask the Police about Orgreave. The decision as to whether or not to bring a prosecution would in any case be made by the Crown Prosecution Service, which has unilaterally adopted the self-appointed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s convoluted Definition of anti-Semitism as the law of the land, without reference to minor bodies such as Parliament. The Labour Party, however, is the only body in the world to have adopted that Definition after the enactment of Israel’s apartheid Nation-State Law. Even as much as Tony Blair’s continued membership of it, that makes me proud beyond words that that party long ago banned me for life. Anyway, here are 10 little facts. Fact 1 The definition of anti-Semitism in the Oxford English Dictionary is perfectly sufficient: “Hostility to or prejudice against Jews.” Fact 2 The …

Jeremy Hunt and his war against ‘fake news’

Kevin Smith INTRODUCTION I thought it would be helpful to explain my general perspective on the media and the endless warmongering by our governments. One of my observations about many independent news sites is that while you can see much of the readership is enlightened and knowledgeable on these matters, sometimes people feeling vindicated for their beliefs retreat back to their comfort zones. For example, this site may include many discerning ex-Guardian readers who’ve seen the light and are content they are reading articles which represent their views. But what’s next? My thinking is we need to reach out to others and the way to do that is appeal to the ‘lurkers’ reading this site. In my experience on a site like this the majority of readers are lurkers and never comment because they are slightly behind the curve and don’t feel knowledgeable or confident enough to join the debate. So my take on this is that to some degree we now need to take the next step, gather what we know and put this …

What on Earth is the Eleusis Benefit Corporation?

John Helsby Last year, a friend of mine studying computer science at the University of Cambridge noticed a curious poster pinned up in the William Gates Building, which houses the Computer Laboratory – the computer science department of the university. The photo was taken on the 29th September 2017. Some questions that occur: Why the emphasis on high achievers? What is the purpose of this study? Who will benefit most from understanding how the brains of high achievers respond to psychedelics? Why must they be working on a problem that is highly meaningful in the context of a professional or academic pursuit? Why must they enjoy math and/or have strong math competency? (Note the American spelling.) Why are they exclusively looking for people who have never done psychedelics before? Does “available in London for 6 days” mean they are dosing people on 6 different occasions? What are they doing at the follow-up sessions? Why is the University of Cambridge putting posters like this up in its computer science department? Did anyone vet it to make …

Warnings of protests at Grenfell Tower Inquiry as anger and frustration mount

Theo Russell Updated with latest developments 2/10/18 Warnings of protests at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry were heard this week as anger and frustration mount over the direction of the inquiry, at a meeting between the Fire Brigades Union and the local community close to the site of the fire. The community is increasingly concerned at the direction of the inquiry into the UK’s worst fire since the Blitz in WW2, where the presiding judge initially refused to take any questions from community members and survivors. Moyra Samuels of the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign received loud applause from the meeting on Monday night when she said “there should be protests outside the inquiry to show the judge that people are not happy with it”. Her call was backed up by Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, who said “if a total ban on the use of external flammable cladding is not announced, maybe we should start protesting against the inquiry.” Samuels told the meeting “We are a tough community, but unfortunately we discovered that through …

WATCH: 1982, Tony Benn on the “divisions” in the Labour Party

An interview with Labour party stalwart and “Lefty” Tony Benn,from January 1982. It’s interesting to compare the issues being discussed 36 years ago with those of today. Compare also the tone of the interview and interviewer with the way today’s Labour politicians are handled by the mainstream media.

Operation Nina – the Novichok Hoax

There’s no shortage of commentators in the Western mainstream telling us how Russia planned its attack on the Skripals, or how Syria planned its chemical weapons massacres. Anyone who expresses a different opinion from this accepted narrative stands condemned and belittled as a “conspiracy theorist”. But the criticism works both ways – for us it is they who are the conspiracy theorists, as well as the conspirators.

Behind Your Back: How the new “anti-stalking” bill could silence online dissent

John Ward MP Sarah Wollaston quite rightly wants the police to do more about (and tighten up the prosecution of) potentially dangerous stalkers. But now the crime includes “Cyber abuse”, her Private Member’s Bill is too lax in its definitions about what stalking is, and police guidelines on priorities. Equally worrying, a majority of those sponsoring the legislation have dubious elements in their pasts. In a special investigation, The Slog raises the alarm. Viewed in the round, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Tory MP Sarah Wollaston is a good egg. She isn’t Party voting fodder, she had a real job as a doctor before entering Parliament, she is suspicious of private sector health rip-offs, and she’s enormously popular in her Totnes constituency, where her ability to double and then treble majorities seems immune from the whimsical winds of electoral change as a whole. She espouses radical reform (in favour of the citizen) in how UK politics operate, and rebelled against the Government to vote against setting up a Royal Charter to regulate …

The BBC and transgender children

by Sarah Cooksley, via Liverpool Resisters, August 16, 2018 Over the past few years, many parents have begun to take note that the BBC is becoming ever more blatant with publicising and encouraging the transgender ideology amongst children. Where has this come from, and why? In January 2012, the BBC funded a Trans Camp, directed by All About Trans. There was considerable input from the CEO of Mermaids, Susie Green. In 2013, All About Trans met with the BBC Editorial Policy Department.  These meetings were described as “interactions” and the result has been several programmes specifically geared towards young people. All About Trans has several aims as a professional media organisation, but the first and foremost is to increase the public’s awareness of the existence of trans children. A year after these “interactions”, CBBC produced a TV series entitled “My Life: I am Leo”. Leo, aged 13, “always knew I was really a boy” because girls wear dresses and have long hair, whereas boys wear different things and have short hair. CBBC is a BBC …

Livingstone on antisemitism

Philip Roddis Back in April 2016, at the time of the suspension from the British Labour Party of Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone, I wrote: Thinking people can go into a tailspin of despair when confronted with the stark truth they’ve overestimated the power of reason. Yesterday self righteousness, pack instinct, unthinking emotionalism, malice and rank opportunism swept reason aside in the Labour Party. I took the matter seriously, but not seriously enough. At the time the brouhaha seemed just one more attack – of a piece with those on bombing Syria, shooting terrorists for Laura, losing Scotland for Labour, Virgin Traingate (did you spot the anachronism there?) and lamentable dress sense – on what Jonathan Cook recently and with characteristic cogencycalled “an old school socialist Labour Leader, whose programme threatens to loosen the 40-year stranglehold of neoliberalism on British society”. In short I was complacent. I failed to foresee that the antics of John Mann – who under Labour rules should have had the whip withdrawn, while finding himself on the losing end of a slander writ – would prove an opening shot …

To Make a Sailor Blush

W Stephen Gilbert I do not believe in personal abuse of any sort. Treat people with respect, treat people as you wish to be treated yourself, listen to their views, agree or disagree but have that debate. There’s going to be no rudeness from me … I want a kinder politics, a more caring society. Don’t let them reduce you to believing in less. So I say to all activists, whether Labour or not, cut out the personal abuse, cut out the cyber bullying, and especially the misogynistic abuse online, and let’s get on with bringing real values back into politics.” Those were the words of Jeremy Corbyn in his first conference speech as leader on September 29th 2015. He was heartily cheered. The parliamentary Labour Party has many members who, in all seriousness, would rather lose the next election under another leader – some would say any other leader – than win it led by Corbyn. That their own survival and that of their allies as MPs might well depend on winning that election …

They say there’s no “magic money tree”…well there is! But…

Bryan Gocke In Britain, if it wasn’t for BREXIT we would be discussing (among other things) Labour’s proposed economic policies, including an expansion of public sector spending. There would be a storm of media led disparagement about plans to stimulate the economy through borrowing and increased taxation and concerns raised about not paying down the national debt. As Theresa May said whilst campaigning for the last general election “There is no magic money tree.” I find it particularly disheartening that many well informed, left leaning people buy this criticism, worrying whether the country can afford improved public services and whether this will make Labour unelectable. The stock response of the Left to this would normally go along the lines of: The Tories are in disarray and deeply split over BREXIT and thus just might be even more unelectable than a slightly radical Labour Party. Britain is a rich country; surely it can afford better public services than it currently has? Labour’s proposals are, in truth, underwhelming! They represent such a modest step in a process …

Joining dots on the Skripal Case: Part 2 – Four “Invisible” Clues

Rob Slane Having stated in Part 1 why I believe the official story does not hold water, I want in this piece to take a look at four important aspects of the case. However, what is particularly remarkable about them is not so much the aspects themselves, but rather the fact that they seem to have been either: Ignored altogether or Quietly forgotten Yet in each instance they are clearly significant aspects, and so the fact that they are being ignored or forgotten, together with the official story being implausible, only goes to arouse suspicions that they may be crucial pointers to what really happened on 4th March. Below are four of what I would consider the most important aspects that fit into this category: The Invisible Mr Miller Three days after the Salisbury incident, the Daily Telegraph published an article which included the following details: “A security consultant who has worked for the company that compiled the controversial dossier on Donald Trump was close to the Russian double agent poisoned last weekend, it has …

Joining some dots on the Skripal case: Part 1: An Official Story That Doesn’t Hold Water

I have asked a lot of questions in relation to the Skripal case and many, if not most, are still unanswered. However, I want in this piece to go further than asking questions, and to start to join a few dots together. There is much to say, and rather than doing it in one long piece, which only three people will have the attention span to sit through, I want to do it over a number of articles. Probably four or five. We shall see.

Lift the ban on communications! Free Julian Assange!

by James Coga, via WSWS June 6 will mark 10 weeks since the Ecuadorian government blocked all communication by WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange with the outside world, including personal visitors. Assange has been trapped inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when Quito granted him asylum in the face of a legal witch-hunt by the governments of the United States, Britain and Sweden. Britain was moving to extradite Assange to Sweden on trumped-up allegations of sexual abuse as the first step in transferring him to the US to face charges of espionage, which carry a possible death sentence. Washington had vowed to punish Assange for having exposed before the world war crimes committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as US intrigues against other countries. In remarks last Wednesday, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno attempted to defend the silencing of Assange. He sought to deny—unconvincingly—that this action was the outcome of his government’s capitulation to pressure and threats by the United States. Moreno put forward an Orwellian conception of freedom of speech …

Whose words was Yulia reading?

Yulia Skripal’s surprise video statement and walkabout yesterday has, as usual in this case, raised more questions than it has provided answers. The MSM has predictably addressed none of those questions and been content to simply air the video along with portions of her statement, laced with anti-Russian commentary and distorted summaries of the backstory (see here and here and here). Fortunately those in the alt media are free to try to do a little better.