Jeremy Corbyn: Blairite coup attempt post Brexit referendum

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Post by TonyGosling »

Labour Appeal: Fury as Appeal Court Judge Philip Sales’ intimate links to Tony Blair revealed
By Matt Turner - 12th August 2016 ... -revealed/

[html]<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="">#Corbyn</a> vote exclusion Court of Appeal judge Philip Sales was Blair insider for years <a href=""></a> & <a href=""></a></p>— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) <a href=" ... 08">August 12, 2016</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>[/html]

Tony Blair Justice Philip Sales
In what is a consolation victory for the Labour Party’s establishment in the Court of Appeal, it has been revealed by WikiLeaks that there may be more to the decision than meets the eye.

After Sir Philip Sales QC overruled the previous High Court decision to allow the 130,000 disenfranchised Labour Party members to vote in the up and coming leadership election – notorious whistle-blower Wikileaks revealed that Sales had been a Blair insider for years, having been recruited as Junior Counsel to the Crown in 1997.

WikiLeaks ✔ @wikileaks
#Corbyn vote exclusion Court of Appeal judge Philip Sales was Blair insider for years &
5:53 PM - 12 Aug 2016
1,408 1,408 Retweets 881 881 likes
The literature cited by WikiLeaks confirms that immediately after Labour’s victory in the 1997 general election, Sales was recruited by Tony Blair. Interestingly, it also reveals that Sales used to be a practising barrister at law chambers 11KBW, of which Tony Blair was a founder member. At the time of the appointment, there was uproar over Sales’ appointment and plunged Blair into a cronyism row.

According to The Guardian’s coverage of the sexual discrimination case brought against Sales’ appointment, a source close to the case referred to 11KBW as a ‘network of old boys and cronies’, and that there was ‘no coincidence that the appointment came from Lord Irvine’s and Tony Blair’s old chambers’.

Since his appointment in 1997, Sir Philip Sales managed to rack up a hefty bill to the taxpayer as the highest earning lawyer in the entire government. Moreover, as a key part of Blair’s legal team, he also defended the Government’s decision against holding a public inquiry into the Iraq War in the High Court in 2005.

Clearly, there is no evidence of wrongdoing, only that of a conflict of interest. Sales’ deep involvement in the Labour Party during the Blair years will raise questions about the legitimacy of his shock ruling in favour of the National Executive Committee, especially as there was an evident breach of contract.

Despite these 130,000 members being told in black and white that they were eligible to vote in upcoming leadership elections upon registration, today they have been officially cast aside by their own party in an attempt to skew a result that is already a foregone conclusion. The biggest kick in the teeth, however, is that the permission to do so was granted by a former key lawyer of Tony Blair’s Labour government.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Strategic lies from the outset
'Why I despise Jeremy Corbyn and his Nazi stormtroopers', by Jewish Labour donor MICHAEL FOSTER ... OSTER.html

........Smith will most likely win the £25 sign-up vote too; as many right-minded middle class and working class people, are tired of the Corbyn rhetoric that has bought almost nothing in the past ten months for the people Labour is meant to serve.

They have realised that effective opposition to a Conservative Government’s austerity programme will never be made to work by the divisive and blinkered extremes of a Corbyn-led cadre of second-rate minds.

Those who do not share their view of the world are dismissed as neo-liberals or worse as ‘Blairite’ elitists hell-bent on protecting capitalism’s vested interest.

If MPs declare their opposition to Corbyn, bully boy McCluskey threatens to target them with deselection.

Oppose them as a Jewish donor and the riposte from Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s mouthpiece, is that you are part of a Blairite, Right-wing ‘conspiracy’ (the ancient racist rhetoric is that Jews don’t act alone, the malevolent Jew always conspires) to destabilise the democratically and legitimately elected leader.

The Corbynista dream of government is our nightmare.
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Post by TonyGosling »

P Teddy Sawyer
I did some work in Neil Kinnock's constituency in the eighties and found the community was very cruelly divided. If you criticised him you were militantly shunned. Kinnock cleared the way for Blair.

Tony Gosling
Agreed P Teddy Sawyer. While Home Secretary under Wilson Callaghan was toeing the line on the Northern Ireland show the army and Carrington were running from behind the scenes. He kept the briefings he was getting from them secret from the cabinet and as such was groomed to take over when Wilson was pushed out. Blair was being groomed from the late 1980s. Bilderberg Athens 1993 then BINGO! The criminal elite hit the Middle East jackpot.

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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

After the Labour leadership vote
Coup plot stage two...
The right don't really support Owen Smith either!

The sound of Blairite silence
Owen Smith has become the willing dupe of the Labour right ... d2ef726c8a

No matter how hard you listen it’s impossible to hear the Blairite wing of Labour. They have shut up shop. The Progress website looks like it’s being maintained by interns, while there are no official Progress events being held until the day after the leadership election (Angela Eagle and a venture capitalist, since you ask).

During their attempt to stop Corbyn getting on the ballot paper, the right launched Saving Labour — there’s no information about where it gets its money, who its officers are, what it’s statues are. It organised a day of street stalls, issued three press releases and went quiet on 28 July.
It’s been superseded by “Labour Tomorrow” — a private company with a reported £250,000 war chest to fight Jeremy Corbyn once he wins. This money will be distributed only to “moderate centre left organisations”. No other other information provided on its website apart from a single blog post by David Blunkett and Cold War union rightwinger Brenda Dean. No explanation of what “centre left” means, again no indication of where the money’s coming from.
The purpose of this Blairite* dumb-show is to foist the entire job of keeping Labour under the control of the neoliberal elite onto the soft left around Owen Smith.
The aim, clearly, is to reduce the ballot to: which face would you like to see at PMQs? Perky, untested, bland, technocratic Owen, or gnarled, unpredictable Jeremy? The massive differences in policy, strategy and class orientation signalled by the emergence of Labour Tomorrow are not to be allowed to surface in the actual election itself.
Thus, Smith’s campaign has been designed as Jeremy Lite. Nearly as left wing as Corbyn, only competent at playing the parliamentary game. Close to Corbyn, but a bit “more patriotic” and less “metropolitan”.
To facilitate the illusion that this is about two left wingers with marginal disagreements, something else had to go quiet: the tabloid media. There has been almost no right-wing criticism of Smith’s faux-left programme in the papers.
Normally, if a Labour figure stood up and, from thin air, plucked a £200bn spending pledge based on a wealth tax, the Sun, the Mail and the Telegraph would have reporters going through his bin-bags.
It’s the same 0ver Smith’s call for a second referendum. The pr0-Brexit tabloids would normally be eviscerating any Labour figure who called, effectively, for people to be made to “vote until they vote the right way”. But they’re silent over this.
Revealingly, the second referendum call is the kind of gestural trick that you can only pull off if you’ve no chance of winning. What if people vote for Brexit again? — Smith has no answer and is never asked. But coping with the actual Brexit process, as actual Leader of the Opposition, is the practical question Corbyn has to deal with now. It involves consultation, juggling the various Labour interest groups: Scotland, the unions, northern MPs etc.
Smith has named no putative shadow cabinet. He has made no attempt to define his future relationship with the Blairites, or the Brown-era veterans such as Yvette Cooper who stood down last Summer. There’s no plan because the Owen campaign does not believe Owen himself would ever be allowed to call the shots. If Corbyn is defeated it will be Peter Mandelson, Brenda Dean and David Blunkett calling the shots. And behind them millionaires like Michael Foster who called Corbyn’s supporters “sturm abteilung”.
This summer of Labour right omertà reached its nadir yesterday when Smith inadvertently blurted out that he wanted Britain to negotiate “round the table” with ISIS.
Corbyn immediately and clearly rejected the idea. If Corbyn had said it though, the right would have screamed blue murder. It was quietly put to bed by Fleet Street, with a retraction. Instead the headlines were about Corbyn failing to recognise a picture of B-list celebrities Ant and Dec, with the New Statesman rushing out an immediate condemnation of Corbyn’s alleged “disrespect for popular culture”.
Smith is part of a whole generation of Labour MPs who sounded left wing, but you could never quite place what was left about them. They have willingly shouldered the task of keeping Labour under the influence of big pharma, big finance and big war. And they are losing.
Neither Smith, nor his backer Ed Miliband, nor any of those around them, have bothered to give an account of why Labour failed in 2015. But the right have. For the Blairites the failure of 2015 happened because Miliband was too left wing. Because he failed to reach out to the mythical “centre” of politics. Plus — and remember these are the supposed ultra-Europeanists of Labour — they want tougher rhetoric against immigration.
Since key Blairite nabobs were seen running Angela Eagle’s office during her short-lived leadership bid, and since Eagle has given way to Smith as a “unity candidate”, it would be logical to ask: what does Owen Smith think of the Blairite right and its project. What’s Owen’s relationship to Progress, Saving Labour and Labour Tomorrow?
But nobody asks it. Not the media. Not the TV anchors, because they’re too busy spitting the word “Trotskyist” and “antisemite” into the faces of pro-Corbyn interviewees.
At the Gateshead hustings, and even more so at the Nottingham one televised by the BBC, something that should have been obvious about Smith finally emerged. He doesn’t seem to believe in anything.
Sure, he has “policies”. But they are, in general, whatever Jeremy says only less. And he’s a patriot. And he has a “normal family”.
Smith’s conversion to Jeremy Lite socialism is so shallow and recent that there is no backstory to it. With Tony Benn you understood how he moved from the centre to the left; the same with Ed Miliband, who had to be dissuaded by his minders from visiting the student occupation of UCL in 2010.
With Owen Smith it is never clear where, on the road from BBC Wales, via Pfizer, via the years as a special adviser in Belfast surrounded by all those nice members of MI5, via losing Blaenau Gwent to an independent because he was too identified with Blair… at what point did Owen become converted to Jeremy Lite left radical socialism?
This combination — of high personal ambition and the lack of a permanent belief system — is exactly the right attribute for someone whose purpose is to be a placeholder for the Blairite counter-revolution. Who can forget, after all, that Angela Eagle — the original placeholder — launched her campaign without a single policy.
Smith is there to remove the grip of Corbyn, and Corbynism on those few parts of the Labour machine it controls. After that the money amassed by Saving Labour, Progress and Labour Tomorrow will be used to fund the party’s re-conversion to a safe tool of the global elite. It will be back to normal.
At every stage, the pro-1% Labour machine has tried to suppress democracy: it tried to force Corbyn off the ballot paper; it tried to debar new, pro-Corbyn members from voting; it tried to produce a new Labour leader without a vote; it imposed an arbitrary cut-off date for new members voting.
At the same time the Labour right is promoting an series of largely unfounded victim narratives: that “Corbyn is antisemitic” (backed up with a defamatory attack on Shami Chakrabarti). It’s promoted the narrative of misogyny, of physical threats, of “Trotskyist entrism”, of Corbyn “sabotaging” the Remain campaign.
We must anticipate the outcome of this — on the principle that Chekov outlined in theatre: if a gun appears in Act I, by the end of Act III someone is going to get shot.
Every signal from the Labour right appears to point towards a second coup against Corbyn, once he wins the leadership election, which will make Owen Smith’s current effort look like a sideshow.
The plan was spelled out in the Bagehot column of the Economist two weeks ago: declare yourselves “True Labour” in parliament; claim the legal role of HM Opposition; attempt to take unions and CLPs with you — if necessary by bureaucratic declarations; fight for the party’s name and assets in the courts on the grounds that it is you — the breakaway group — which truly represents Labour’s social democratic heritage. Bagehot advises the Labour coup-plotters:
“True Labour’s role would then not be to compete amicably with Mr Corbyn’s “Labour” but to marginalise or, ideally, destroy it by appropriating the Labour mantle through sheer weight, dynamism and persuasiveness. I see few reasons to believe that such a party would lack the talent, prominence, funding potential and organisational ability to do so.”
You may ask: what does the Bagehot column in the perennially neoliberal Economist know? Well its author is Jeremy Cliffe, formerly intern at the Party of European Socialists in Brussels, aide to Chuka Umunna and activist in the Ed Miliband for Leader campaign. He’s written a perceptive policy paper on the cosmopolitanisation of British politics and is probably one of the best informed UK journalists in the sphere of Labour and European social democracy.
So join the dots. The fact that the Court of Appeal judges took seriously Labour HQ’s fears of “entryism”, when they OK-d the retrospective disenfranchisement of 130k Labour members, tells you where this is going.
The whole “violence, anti-semitism, misogyny and Trotskyism” scare is designed to end up as the small print of an Appeal Court — or Supreme Court — judgment, once Bagehot’s plan is put into action.
That, if you are mystified, is why they are pushing it so assiduously; why when one scare dies out they promote another, no matter how ludicrous or unfounded. And why — apart from the victim narrative — senior Blairite politicians are saying nothing political in public, appearing nowhere alongside Smith, and suppressing the very real criticisms they have in private of Owen’s dire hustings performance, and his Jeremy-Lite left socialism.
In all this, Smith and his backers have a choice to make. Are they going to be the willing accomplices of the real coup, which lies ahead? Right now they acting like willing dupes: like the Auguste clown at the circus, who stands there pretending he doesn’t know the Whiteface clown has a custard pie behind his back. But that can’t go on.
Smith has held a spate of risibly small street rallies, whose low-point was the “ice cream van” rally in Liverpool (pictured) and whose high point has yet to be reached. His campaign is foundering.
But it is having one tangible effect: to tank Labour in the polls. A whole new genre of polling has been invented designed to show that Labour voters prefer the Theresa May to Corbyn. Soon, on the basis of these polls, some obliging person in Labour HQ will draw up a list of seats Labour expects to lose in the next election. Then the list will be leaked.
But Labour activists should, for now, ignore the polls and the projections. After Brexit we are no longer in an electoral “cycle”. UKIP’s collapse — to 6% in one poll — is fuelling the Tories and the Labour infighting is doing the rest.
The polls that matter will be those that register: a) the impact of Corbyn as Labour leader and the effect of any Labour unity initiative that happens when he wins; b) the potential crack-up of UKIP and which way its voters break c) how people feel once the Tory Brexit begins sucking the life out of the economy, combined with a Boris-led fiasco in the exit negotiations.
But the “bad polling narrative” is important for what the right is planning next. If we turn the Bagheot plan into a timeline it goes like this.
On 22 August the voting starts. By 5 September when parliament returns for two weeks it will be clear Smith has no chance of winning. There is one final opportunity for Labour rebels to try and destroy Corbyn using parliamentary sabotage. We will see the same humiliation and bullying techniques they’ve deployed, from the back benches — with comrade Owen smiling his approval from beside the Speaker’s chair, never joining in of course, and “deploring intimidation”.
Once that fails, the next phase will begin just before the 24 September special conference. This will be the phase of splits, legal actions, High Court rulings and attempts at the physical seizure of the party’s assets. That’s what these ominous one-page websites of Saving Labour and Labour Tomorrow are preparations for.
It won’t be led by Owen Smith. Like Angela Eagle before him, he will be squeezed out like a tube of toothpaste and discarded. But at that point Smith and the soft left MPs around him have to decide what they’re going to do.
Right now, they understand Jeremy-Lite is not working. There’s an argument inside the Smith team between those who want him to set out policy alternatives to Corbyn; and those who want simply to up the tempo of personal attacks on Corbyn, over competence, security etc.
Logically, the only way to make the “attack Corbyn” tactic work would be to drag up his record as an anti-imperialist (or as the Tories put it “a security risk”). If Smith goes for the latter, he is effectively signalling the end of any attempt to win over the pro-Corbyn left.
Meanwhile the Blairites could not give a * whether Owen Smith backs talks with ISIS, favours a mild fiscal stimulus or ending the public sector pay freeze; or whether Corbyn supported a united Ireland. They do not intend to be in the same party as Jeremy Corbyn’s 300,000+ supporters come Christmas and they are deeply relaxed about whether Owen Smith and his mates will come along for the ride.
With every Labour hustings that does not bring meltdown for Corbyn, Smith and his supporters face a looming choice. Are they going to go on playing the willing dupe to Blairism, or — when the time comes — fight Blairism in alliacne with Corbyn’s supporters?
Sadly for Smith’s camp, the sequences overlap. On 5 September parliament will be back and Owen is either with Corbyn against the #BagehotCoup, or agin him. By 24 September, it will be a straight fight for the body and soul of Labour, against people who believe MPs like Nandy, Malhotra etc crossed the line of acceptability when they agreed even to be in Corbyn’s first shadow cabinet.
Smith should end his leadership challenge now. If he can’t, theres still a way of de-weap0nising it for the right. Smith’s aides could indicate they will refuse to join a split; they could pledge — now not later — to respect the legal right of the winner of the race to run the Labour Party; and pledge to collaborate in the work of opposing the Tories in parliament.
The price for Corbyn should be — again, now not later — to offer them specific posts in a unity shadow cabinet, clear input into the leader’s office and the HQ, and a Labour policy agenda that compromises between what Corbyn’s supporters want, and what Smith’s want. The result would be to negate Blairism and speed its exit from the party.
* Throughout this article I use the term Blairite and Blairism as a political category, not a term of abuse.
I corrected a few typos – thanks for pointing them out
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by outsider »

‘Israeli Minister “We always use the anti-Semitism trick or bring up the Holocaust” (Video)’: ... 7BBDTN%7D)

She is not espousing the fact, but exposing it (she's a Communist).

And Owen Smith?

'As the ‘Sun’ would say: !!!Gotcha!!! : EXCLUSIVE:Owen Smith said in a 2006 Telegraph interview he agrees with BLAIR on EVERYTHING: ... -2006.html

‘…Born-again-socialist Owen Smith gave an interview to the Telegraph in 2006 in which he said he had no areas of difference with Tony Blair. Smith told the paper he opposed the Iraq War, despite previously praising it, but then claimed he agreed with Blair on everything else. Here is the excerpt from the interview:


Would he describe himself as a socialist?

“I am a democratic socialist, yes.”

And Mr Blair, is he a socialist?


Mr Smith, 36, believes the Law movement is no more than a political spasm. “Their campaign is about the past and reminding people about the past. We are looking to the future.” Trying not to sound like a New Labour clone, Mr Smith dips his toe in a puddle of controversy. “The invasion of Iraq was a mistake,” he offers. “The world would have been a safer place if we hadn’t done it.”
Any other areas of difference with Mr Blair?

“No, I don’t think so.”

On Iraq, he had previously praised the war to his local paper and refused to say he would’ve voted against. So the truth is he agreed with Blair on everything. He’s now shamelessly claiming to be Corbynista-lite to win votes, but this is why Labour types who know Smith describe him as “more Blairite than Blair”…'
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

BBC’s ‘Biased’ Jeremy Corbyn Coverage Sparks Rows Between Broadcaster And Media Analyst
BBC accused of slander after defending Labour coup coverage.
29 July 2016 ... 2daa4a2678
Kathryn Snowdon News reporter, The Huffington Post UK
A row has broken out between the BBC and the author of a media report that described the broadcaster as “a mouthpiece for the right wing press” following claims of “clear and consistent bias” against Jeremy Corbyn.

The study from The Media Reform Coalition and Birkbeck, University of London, analysed TV and online news during the 10 days after the wave of resignations from the Labour leader’s shadow cabinet.

The report accused the BBC of giving twice as much airtime to Corbyn’s critics than to his supporters on some programmes during the crisis following the Brexit vote.

A row has broken out between the BBC and the author of a media report about the broadcaster’s alleged ‘bias’ against Jeremy Corbyn.
Report author Dr Justin Schlosberg hit out at the BBC after the broadcaster defended its coverage.

A BBC spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “BBC News adheres to its editorial guidelines to report with due impartiality. We are confident our coverage of Labour’s unprecedented en masse frontbench resignation was impartial and we continue to air views from both sides of the party’s ongoing divisions.”

The spokesperson added that the Media Reform Coalition was a “vested interest group” and had only analysed some BBC programmes over ten days, acknowledging itself that the sample did not reflect the breadth of the BBC’s news coverage.

But Schlosberg accused the BBC of being “a mouthpiece for the right wing press” after their statement.

“Just for record, the BBC’s completely unsubstantiated charge of ‘vested interests’ smacks of tabloid speak,” he said.

“The Media Reform Coalition was founded by world-renowned professors including James Curran and research carried out by academics at Birkbeck and Goldsmiths, University of London.

“Rather than engage constructively with that research, which is what we appealed for in the report, they chose to slander us.

“This is exactly the problem: the BBC has become a mouthpiece for the right wing press.”

The research measured how much airtime and online coverage was focused on Corbyn’s allies and opponents.

The report stated there was “a marked and persistent imbalance in favour of sources critical of Jeremy Corbyn, the issues that they sought to highlight, and the arguments they advanced”.

As Corbyn faced mass resignations, the report’s authors accused the mainstream media of “imbalanced reporting” that could affect the democratic process, finding the BBC’s flagship 6pm evening TV bulletins gave double the amount of airtime to Corbyn’s political enemies than those still backing him.

In contrast, it found the ITV evening news bulletins, and the BBC’s online news were “relatively balanced” in their reporting.

The report took in 40 prime time television news bulletins on BBC One and ITV during the period, and 465 online news articles from 8 websites, between 27 June and 6 July. It looked at stories around the Labour leadership crisis, the party’s planned anti-semitism report and Corbyn’s response to the Chilcot report.

The Media Reform Coalition is not officially aligned with any political party, but has previously published studies that present Corbyn as under fire by the media.

It published research in 2015 claiming Corbyn was ‘systematically’ attacked by British press in his first few weeks as Labour leader.

In today’s report, called ‘Should he stay or should he go?’ it commented that it was “not surprising” that the country’s conservative press did not support Corbyn, but said that the “trusted” medium of TV was governed by “strict rules” on impartiality.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by TonyGosling »

The reshuffle in full so far

Chief Whip: Nick Brown (first frontbench job under Corbyn, replaces Rosie Winterton)
Shadow Home Secretary: Diane Abbott (promoted from Health, replaces Andy Burnham)
Shadow Attorney General: Shami Chakrabarti (first frontbench job under Corbyn)
Shadow Women and Equalities Minister: Sarah Champion (returns after quitting in June, replaces Angela Rayner)
Shadow Welsh Secretary: Jo Stevens (promoted from shadow solicitor general, replaces Paul Flynn)
Shadow Minister for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities: Dawn Butler (first frontbench job under Corbyn)
Shadow City Minister: Jonathan Reynolds (returns after quitting the front bench in January)
Shadow Brexit Secretary: Keir Starmer (returns after quitting the front bench in July, replaces Emily Thornberry)
Shadow Defence Secretary - Nia Griffith (replaces Clive Lewis)
Shadow Business Secretary - Clive Lewis (replaces Jon Trickett)
Shadow Lord President of the Council and Labour’s National Campaigns Co-ordinator - Jon Trickett (returns to the role he was given in June) ... le-8992370
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Post by TonyGosling »

Who’s who in the Labour shadow cabinet?
The opposition frontbench at a glance. ... ow-cabinet

Who is appointed to the Labour shadow cabinet has always been a cause for minor controversy, but the spotlight has been even more on the opposition frontbench since June. It started when the original shadow cabinet began resigning in the aftermath of Brexit. For a strange time over the summer, it seemed like loyalty to the embattled leader was enough to earn you a spot in the top team. But now that Jeremy Corbyn has decisively won his re-election, the power has shifted. So who, in the era of Corbynism, are the chosen ones? We give you the lowdown:

Leader of the Labour party: Jeremy Corbyn

In the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote in June, the MP for Islington North was abandoned by one after another of his shadow cabinet and faced a leadership challenge from Owen Smith. The shadow cabinet limped on with the help of Corbyn loyalists, and in September, Corbyn beat his rival to win a second overwhelming mandate for party leadership.

Corbyn's victory confirmed the party's shift to the left, but for some dissidents in the parliamentary Labour party, the problems with the leader were primarily about his managerial style and character. Has Corbyn learnt from the coup? To lose one shadow cabinet would be misfortune, but to lose two would be carelessness.

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer: John McDonnell

Scourge of New Labour and veteran of the party’s left, John McDonnell has long been an ally of Corbyn. The MP for Hayes and Harlington ran the Labour leader’s initial leadership campaign, and was rewarded with the shadow chancellorship once he had won. He has held the same position ever since, surviving a few gaffes ranging from briefly supporting George Osborne’s fiscal charter to brandishing Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book during the Autumn Statement last year.

Before becoming shadow chancellor, McDonnell – an MP since 1997 – was chiefly known for his work on the Greater London Council, attempting to enter the Labour leadership race in 2010 (he didn’t get the nominations), and controversial remarks about the IRA that nearly got him suspended. While McDonnell’s more polished media style sometimes has commentators’ tongues wagging (and a few socialists privately pining) about him replacing Corbyn, he is a less palatable figure among the PLP; it’s likely he would never have made the ballot as Corbyn did. But his tenure as shadow chancellor is a secure one.

Deputy leader of the Labour party: Tom Watson

The MP for West Bromwich East was elected to his position at the same time as Jeremy Corbyn in 2015, and attempted to remain a bridge between the parliamentary Labour party and his leader as relations deteriorated. But Watson and Corbyn were soon at blows. The deputy leader complained the party was being infiltrated by "Trotskyists", and Corbyn responded by telling him to stop "talking nonsense". Watson also reportedly criticised Corbyn for removing Ashworth from the NEC.

Shadow home secretary: Diane Abbott

Jeremy Corbyn’s closest ally in Parliament and a veteran of three decades of internecine conflict within the party, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington was the first black woman to be elected to Parliament ever in 1987 and is the first black person to hold or shadow a great office of state in British history.

Prior to Corbyn’s elevation to the leadership, she carved out a niche as a regular presence on the airwaves, particularly on the BBC political programme This Week.

Shadow foreign secretary: Emily Thornberry

An MP since 2005, this is Thornberry’s fourth role on Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench. She also served in Ed Miliband’s top team as shadow attorney general but was forced to resign after sending a supposedly snobbish tweet during the 2015 general election campaign (defenders point out she was raised by a single mum on benefits). A Corbyn loyalist who stuck by him during the recent “coup”, she was rewarded with a top job. Despite her promotion, Thornberry has not lost her talent for gaffes. During a recent Sky News interview, she forgot the name of the French Foreign Minister and then attempted to divert attention by accusing the presenter, Dermot Murnaghan, of sexism.

Shadow Brexit secretary: Keir Starmer

A former director of public prosecutions, Starmer became the MP for Holborn and St Pancras in 2015. Previously a shadow minister on the home affairs team, he quit in the wake of the Brexit vote. An influential moderate who is tipped as a future leader, his return to the frontbench was seen as a signal that Corbyn’s rhetoric on unity was translating into action. But Starmer already appears to be at odds with the leader over immigration policy, saying that the Labour party must be open to supporting the end of current EU freedom of movement rules. Corbyn has previously stated that he doesn’t see immigration as a cause for concern.

Shadow health secretary: Jon Ashworth

The MP for Leicester South was an ally of Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. He backed Yvette Cooper in the 2015 leadership election, but managed to keep a place in the shadow cabinet as minister without portfolio, and stayed in during the turbulent summer months.

Ashworth received a promotion in return for his loyalty, but also was forced to give up his all-important seat on the National Executive Committee.

Shadow education secretary: Angela Rayner

Rayner was only elected as the MP for Ashton-under-Lyme in 2015, but she has already made a name for herself as a charismatic speaker who has personal experience of the gritty side of life. Rayner was raised by a mother who could not read or write, was pregnant by 16 and left school with no qualifications. She came to politics through her work as a union rep. Although a loyal ally of Corbyn who juggled two shadow cabinet roles during the summer chaos, Rayner has potential as a unifying figure due to her praise for New Labour policies like Sure Start.

Shadow attorney general: Shami Chakrabarti

The appointment of the former director of the civil rights group Liberty to Labour’s frontbench has sparked controversy. A party member for a mere five months, Chakrabarti was awarded a peerage in August following her inquiry into alleged anti-Semitism in Labour. But some Corbyn critics have branded the inquiry she headed a “whitewash”, and she has recently found herself fending off allegations of hypocrisy due to her admission that her son attends a private school.

Shadow work and pensions secretary: Debbie Abrahams

The MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth since a by-election in January 2011, Abrahams took over the work and pensions brief from Owen Smith when he resigned to mount his leadership challenge. In her speech to Labour party conference she outlined her vision of a “socialist pension policy” and pledged to scrap the unpopular bedroom tax.

Shadow business secretary: Clive Lewis

Lewis has rapidly emerged as “first among the equals” among the younger generation of Corbynite MPs, and is regularly tipped as a possible successor to Jeremy Corbyn. A former soldier as well as a BBC producer, the MP for Norwich South's biography is far from that of the typical politician and would, allies believe, inoculate him on charges that he is “soft” on security issues.
He broke with his leader over defence policy, triggering his move to the Beis brief.

Opposition chief whip: Nick Brown

The MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East is back in charge of Labour party discipline, after his two stints as Chief Whip under Tony Blair (1997-98) and Gordon Brown (2008-10) in government. Ed Miliband stopped him continuing in the role in 2010, in order to have “a fresh start” and a “new generation” at the helm, which makes Corbyn’s appointment of the Brownite fixer a rather telling move. As Stephen writes, putting Brown (who supported Yvette Cooper for the leadership last year) in this position might comfort anti-Corbyn MPs fearing deselection, while employing a politician who specialises in seeing off coups is a big boost for Corbyn’s leadership. However, his surprise re-appointment – which meant the sacking of Rosie Winterton, who was his successor back in 2010 – has caused anger among some MPs supportive of Winterton, and Labour whips Holly Lynch and Conor McGinn have resigned.

Shadow justice secretary: Richard Burgon

One of the most loyal MPs to Corbyn, Richard Burgon has been on the frontbench since the Labour leader was elected last year. The MP for Leeds East started out as shadow city minister, a job that led him to being caught out by Channel 4 News for not knowing the UK deficit figure. Following Labour’s post-Brexit reshuffle, he replaced Charlie Falconer (the Blairite who had hitherto been committed to making it work under Corbyn) in the justice brief. Burgon continues in this position. Before being elected in 2015, the Cambridge-educated Burgon had been working as a trade union lawyer.

Shadow environment secretary: Rachael Maskell

Elected in 2015, Unite-backed MP and former NHS care worker and physiotherapist Rachael Maskell was first appointed to Corbyn’s frontbench last September, to the position of shadow minister for armed forces personnel and veterans. It was a tough first gig, in light of the Labour leader’s divisive decision at the time not to sing the National Anthem at a Battle of Britain memorial service. Following the post-Brexit exodus from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, the MP for York Central was promoted to shadow Defra secretary, and is staying in the position. Though Maskell has remained loyal to Corbyn, she nominated Andy Burnham for the leadership last year.

Shadow leader of the House: Valerie Vaz

Valerie Vaz has been an MP since 2010, but her new role shadowing the Leader of the House of Commons is her first frontbench foray. Hitherto dedicated to a career on the committee corridor, serving in the health select committee and environment select committee among others, the MP for Walsall South was appointed to Corbyn’s team this October. A solicitor specialising in local government matters, Vaz came into politics via working as a councillor in west London, and getting a job as a lawyer for the civil service. She nominated Andy Burnham for the Labour leadership last year, and has since kept largely out of internal Labour warfare – unlike her brother and fellow MP, Keith. She was categorised as “Core group plus” in the leaked list of “hostile” MPs drawn up by Corbyn’s office earlier this year.

Shadow Scotland and Northern Ireland secretary: Dave Anderson

Anderson – who was elected MP for Blaydon in 2005 – has never had a shadow cabinet role before. Now he has two! Corbyn appointed him shadow Northern Ireland secretary in June, following the slew of resignations from his shadow cabinet, and gave him the Scotland brief shortly after. (Labour’s only MP representing a Scottish constituency, Ian Murray, told Julia his last conversation with Corbyn was when he resigned in June). Anderson has experience of Northern Ireland policy-making, having served on the select committee since becoming an MP. He was an opposition whip in Ed Miliband’s first year as leader, and under Corbyn too since the beginning of this year, and is supportive of Corbyn’s leadership. He is on the left of the party – writing to Miliband in January last year (alongside fellow left-wingers including Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott) calling for a change of direction towards rail nationalisation, empowering unions, and opposing austerity.

Shadow Wales secretary: Jo Stevens

Jo Stevens, who won Cardiff Central from the Lib Dems in 2015, was first appointed to Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench in January, as his shadow solicitor general (she is a former lawyer) in the shadow justice team. She was promoted to shadow secretary of state for Wales in the most recent reshuffle, taking over from Paul Flynn, who had been experiencing his first outing as a frontbencher at the age of 81. She nominated Andy Burnham for the leadership election, and backed Owen Smith’s subsequent leadership bid, saying it had become “painfully obvious” that Labour wasn’t fulfilling the role of opposition. But she remained on the frontbench, dismissed the vote of no-confidence in Corbyn as “self-indulgent”, and said it was “absolutely right” that he should automatically be put on the leadership ballot paper when challenged.

Shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs: Cat Smith

Cat Smith is a former parliamentary aide to Jeremy Corbyn, and a key ally. After being elected as the MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood in 2015, she nominated and voted for Corbyn. She became a member of the women and equalities select committee in September last year – a brief stint, leaving shortly after Corbyn appointed her shadow women and equalities minister. She was shuffled over in June this year to shadow voter engagement and youth affairs, a position she is staying in, in spite of exciting journalists by fleetingly removing the job title from her Twitter bio during the reshuffle.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury: Rebecca Long-Bailey

Part of the 2015 general election intake of MPs, Long-Bailey represents the safe Labour seat of Salford and Eccles in the northwest. The daughter of a local docker, she says growing up watching her parents struggle with debt and the threat of redundancy inspired her to stand up for workers’ rights. A key Corbyn ally, she nominated him for the leadership in 2015 and was then used by the leader to replace Hilary Benn on the NEC.

Shadow communities and local government secretary: Teresa Pearce

This is Pearce’s second shadow cabinet role. A Corbyn loyalist, she is standing in for Grahame Morris MP, who is on leave. She describes herself in her Twitter bio as being “angry about a lot, tired most of the time”. She had her first child at 18 and has said that the experience helped her understand how it feels to be “written off” by society.

Shadow housing secretary: John Healey

Healey is a returner to the shadow cabinet, having resigned from his post citing a lack of strong leadership in the wake of the Brexit vote. He is a frontbench veteran who has served under four different Labour leaders, and has a long history of campaigning for better social housing. Despite supporting Owen Smith’s leadership bid, he has returned to the fold advocating unity.

Shadow international trade secretary: Barry Gardiner

Unlike many of his colleagues, Gardiner has experience of serving in government, having been first elected in 1997 during the New Labour heyday (he served as a junior minister in the Northern Ireland office, Trade and Industry, and Defra). A committed environmentalist, he is an advocate of tougher energy policy and supports a ban on fracking. He defended Corbyn in the dark days after Brexit, saying he was shocked that the rest of the top team “went AWOL” and left the Tories with no opposition. Since the Corbyn’s re-election he has called on warring MPs to either come together or leave the party.

Shadow minister for women and equalities: Sarah Champion

One of the many MPs who resigned in June, Champion was the only one who soon after asked for her job back – officially unresigning. She was welcomed back by Corbyn, and his campaign group Momentum who tweeted “#WelcomeBackSarah”, and has now been promoted from her previous role as shadow minister for preventing abuse. The MP for Rotherham, she has campaigned passionately on behalf of the victims of the sexual abuse which occurred in her constituency between between 1997 and 2013.

Shadow lord president of the council: Jon Trickett

A Corbyn loyalist, the MP for Hemsworth served as shadow secretary for business, innovation and skills after Angela Eagle resigned. In the reshuffle, he made way for Clive Lewis but has the compensation of extra titles - he is not only shadow lord president, but national elections and campaigns co-ordinator.

Shadow leader of the House of Lords: Angela Smith

Baroness Smith of Basildon said in July that she was not convinced Corbyn could win a general election. In a damning interview with The Guardian, she described his performances as unimpressive and said that he lacked leadership qualities. Smith was elected to her position, and never officially resigned from the shadow cabinet - nor can Corbyn sack her.

House of Lords opposition chief whip: Lord Bassam of Brighton

A peer since 1997, Steve Bassam is another Corbyn critic who keeps his seat by virtue of election. A former squatter, Bassam entered politics through local campaigns in Brighton. After shadow cabinet MPs began to resign, Bassam stopped attending meetings of the shadow cabinet.

Shadow minister for the cabinet: Ian Lavery

A former miner, Lavery went on strike during the industrial disputes of the 1980s and became an active member of the Labour party. He built a career as a union activist and then stood for Parliament in 2010. The MP for Wansbeck became the shadow minister for trade unions and civil society in Corbyn's first shadow cabinet.

A longterm critic of austerity, Lavery was named as "core group least hostile" in a leaked document outlining Corbyn's friends and enemies.

Shadow minister for diverse communities: Dawn Butler

A former union worker, Butler was initially the MP for Brent South, but her constituency was abolished in 2010. Thanks to the Lib Dem collapse in 2015, though, Butler was able to get back in via Brent Central. She voted for Corbyn in the summer's no confidence vote, and said she was shocked by the conduct of the party in the aftermath of Brexit.

Shadow international development secretary: Kate Osamor

For Osamor, Labour politics is in her blood. She is the daughter of Martha Osamor, a vice chair of the Labour party’s black sections, which were instrumental in getting Diane Abbott, among others, elected to Parliament in 1987.

The MP for Edmonton is implacably loyal to Jeremy Corbyn and represents the shadow cabinet on the NEC.

Shadow transport secretary: Andy McDonald

McDonald is one of the biggest tendency in the Corbyn frontbench: MPs elected under Ed Miliband, whether at the 2015 election, or, in the case of McDonald, in a 2012 by-election.
The MP for Middlesborough stepped up first to replace Jonathan Reynolds as rail minister and again to replace Lillian Greenwood at transport.

Shadow minister without portfolio (attends shadow cabinet): Andrew Gwynne

Gwynne, a longtime ally of Andy Burnham, might have expected to serve on the NEC had Burnham’s leadership bid not faltered. He is well-regarded in the North-West and organised the party’s defence of Oldham West and Royton.

Shadow minister for mental health and social care (attends shadow cabinet): Barbara Keeley

Keeley returns to the frontbench after a six year absence. She served as deputy leader of the house under Gordon Brown and now attends shadow cabinet as shadow minister for mental health and social care.

Shadow defence secretary: Nia Griffith

Nia Griffith is one of those who quit the shadow cabinet, only to return following Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election. The MP for Llanelli was rewarded with a promotion from Secretary of State for Wales to the defence brief, on which she is at one with the leader on the need to scrap the Trident submarine programme.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Support Oxfam?
Blairites - all voted AGAINST TEMPORARILY blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia for them to mass murder civilians in Yemen ... nt-tweets/

Adrian Bailey
Andrew Gwynne
Andy Burnham
Angela Eagle
Angela Rayner (Paired – Would have voted to support the motion if it was possible)
Angela Smith
Ann Clwyd
Ann Coffey
Anna Turley
Barry Sheerman
Ben Bradshaw
Bridgit Phillipson
Caroline Flint
Catherine McKinnell
Chinyelu Onwurah
Chris Bryant
Chris Elmore (Teller)
Chris Evans
Chris Leslie
Clive Lewis (ill)
Connor McGinn
Dan Jarvis
David Crausby
David Lammy
Diana Johnson
Fiona MacTaggart
Frank Field
Gareth Thomas
Gavin Shuker
Geoffrey Robinson
George Howarth
Gerald Kaufman
Gill Furniss
Gisela Stuart
Gloria De Piero
Graeme Jones
Graham Allen
Graham Stringer
Grahame Morris (Long term sick – has contacted us to say he would have voted to support the motion if he was able to)
Heidi Alexander
Helen Jones
Hugh Irranca-Davies
Ian Austin
Ian Murray
Ivan Lewis
Jamie Reed
Jim Fitzpatrick
Joan Ryan
John Mann
John Spellar
John Woodcock
Judith Cummins (Teller)
Julie Elliott
Kate Hoey
Keith Vaz
Kevan Jones
Kevin Barron
Lindsay Hoyle
Liz Kendall
Luciana Berger
Lucy Powell
Madeleine Moon
Margaret Beckett
Margaret Hodge
Maria Eagle

Mark Hendrick
Mary Creagh
Meg Hillier
Melanie Onn
Michael Dugher
Mike Gapes
Natascha Engel
Neil Coyle
Nia Griffith
Pat McFadden
Paul Flynn
Peter Kyle
Phil Wilson
Rachel Reeves
Rob Flello
Rob Marris
Roberta Blackman-Woods
Ronnie Campbell (Long term sick)
Rosena Allin-Khan
Rosie Cooper
Rushanara Ali
Ruth Smeeth
Shabana Mahmood
Siobhain McDonagh
Stephen Kinnock
Susan Jones
Toby Perkins
Tom Blenkinsopp
Tom Watson
Tracy Brabin
Tristram Hunt
Vernon Coaker
Wayne David
Wes Streeting
Yasmin Qureshi
Yvonne Fovargue
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Two Labour branches have backed motions calling for mandatory reselection of MPs ... on-of-mps/

Two Labour branches have backed motions calling for mandatory reselection of MPs
By Tom Barker - 2nd December 2016

More than a year since Jeremy Corbyn’s historic election as leader of the Labour Party, the Blairite smears have not abated. Little wonder then that, in the last two weeks alone, two branches have backed motions calling for mandatory reselection of Labour MPs. The groups concerned are Chingford Labour Party and Leyton and Wanstead Labour Party.

Mandatory reselection, abolished under Tony Blair, simply means that for each election that takes place, candidates must be democratically decided by party members. This is not simply about removing MPs, but about restoring democracy to the Labour Party. It is basic democratic accountability.

Trade union general secretaries stand for election every five years and lay union representatives, working hard to represent their members while facing facility time cuts, between one and three years.

Why should an MP be any different?

Predictably, those on the right of the Labour Party recoil in horror when anyone mentions mandatory reselection. Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, described it as an “inherently intolerant mechanism”.

Labour’s pensioner buster Frank Field goes further still:

they [his constituents] are longing to have somebody that they can all boss around as if they have a view… there will be some, of course, that think that they can direct what MPs do, and if they want MPs like that, and have got MPs like that, they deserve them.
Their sense of entitlement for their careers is pathetic.

The Blairites are also hypocrites. Whilst they claim to oppose mandatory reselection, it has not stopped them organising a wholly undemocratic coup against Jeremy Corbyn, who, it seems, is now subjected to yearly mandatory reselection through doomed but divisive leadership challenges.

But the ball is now rolling. Let’s follow the example of Chingford, and Leyton and Wanstead Labour Party and get our local branches to support mandatory reselection.

The following template motion can be used to raise the issue in your branches.

Model motion
[Name of Labour Party branch] welcomes the reelection of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader as a reflection of the general mood in the Labour Party against austerity.
MPs have not got ‘jobs for life’. They represent their constituency but ultimately they are selected by and accountable to their Constituency Labour Party. To ensure democratic accountability and the rights of party members to select candidates that reflect their views, this branch supports the need for mandatory reselection of Labour MPs in each Parliament as essential.
We call on the [name of Labour Party branch] CLP to support a rule change to the Labour Party rulebook to reintroduce mandatory reselection of MPs before each general election.
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by TonyGosling »

A million Israeli US pounds to discredit Corbyn - crikey!
Israeli diplomat worked inside Labour to discredit 'crazy' Corbyn ... 1016879568

Secret tapes expose how embassy employee sought to launch youth group amid concerns about waning Israeli influence within UK opposition

Masot (pictured) described supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as "weirdos" and "extremists" (Al-Jazeera)
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Undercover recordings seen by Middle East Eye have revealed how an Israeli diplomat sought to establish organisations and youth groups to promote Israeli influence inside the opposition Labour party, in an effort to undermine Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

In secret conversations filmed by an undercover reporter, an employee at the Israeli embassy in London, Shai Masot, described his plans to set up a youth wing of the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) organisation and revealed that he had set up other such organisations in the past.

Masot described taking delegations of Labour members on trips to Israel and told Joan Ryan, the chair of LFI, that he had been approved £1m ($1.2m) to fund further visits.

READ: Shai Masot, the Israeli Machiavelli caught in the act

He also said he had set up a group called “The City Friends of Israel” in collaboration with AIPAC, an influential pro-Israel lobbying organisation in the US.

Describing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as “crazy”, Masot said he had set up a youth-wing of the Conservative Friends of Israel in 2015 and wanted to do the same inside the Labour Party, but had been unsuccessful because of the “crisis” surrounding Corbyn's election as leader.

Masot also described Corbyn's supporters as "weirdos" and "extremists".

Corbyn is considered supportive of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which Masot elsewhere in the recordings said he had been tasked with discrediting and undermining.

Asked whether he had set up other groups in the UK, Masot said:' Nothing I can share, but yeah'
Corbyn's tenure in power has seen a parliamentary revolt against his leadership and the party's fortunes slide in the polls. He has also presided over a row within the party over the alleged presence - and toleration - of anti-Semitic views among members.

The conversations were covertly filmed by an undercover Al Jazeera reporter posing as a pro-Israel Labour activist who gained Masot's trust and infiltrated his circle so effectively that he was himself tasked with the job of establishing Young Labour Friends of Israel.

In a subsequent conversation, Masot stressed that the organisation should remain independent, but reiterated that the Israeli embassy could help.

Asked whether he had set up other groups in the UK, he said: “Nothing I can share, but yeah.”

He then said: “Yeah, because there are things that, you know, happen, but it’s good to leave those organisations independent. But we help them, actually.”

Shai Masot was secretly filmed over a number of months (Al Jazeera)
The undercover reporter also caught pro-Israel Labour activists on film describing financial support that they had received from the Israeli embassy.

In one conversation filmed outside a London pub, Michael Rubin, the parliamentary officer for LFI and a former leader of Labour Students, said: “Shai spoke to me and said the Israeli embassy will be able to get a bit of money as well, which is good... he said he’s happy to sort of help fund a couple of events so it makes it easier, so I don’t think money should be a problem really.”

Rubin also said that he and Masot “work really closely together... but a lot of it is behind the scenes”.

READ: UK government pressed to investigate plan to 'take down' minister

The latest revelations come as the UK government on Sunday faced mounting calls for an inquiry into the activities of Masot, a senior political officer based in Israel's embassy in London who was secretly filmed plotting to “take down” government ministers and MPs considered to be causing “problems” for Israel.

They included Alan Duncan, a foreign office minister who has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel's illegal West Bank settlement programme, and Crispin Blunt, the influential chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs select committee.

The tapes also exposed the extent of Israeli influence within the ruling Conservative Party, with one assistant to Robert Halfon, a junior education minister, boasting about how she had planted parliamentary questions, and describing how “pretty much” every Conservative MP was a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel.

Masot complained that the Labour Party under Corbyn, who in a meeting with activists in 2009 referred to the Palestinian group Hamas and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah as “friends”, had proved harder to influence, despite its historic links with Israel.

“Not a lot of people want to be affiliated,” says Masot in the video recording. “Obviously when they become MPs they won’t be affiliated and then that’s it, the chain is done. Because for years, every MP that joined the parliament, the first thing that he used to do is go to join the LFI.”

REVEALED: Secret tapes expose Israeli influence over UK Conservative Party

In footage filmed at last September's Labour conference in Liverpool, Masot is seen discussing plans with Joan Ryan, the MP for Enfield North in London, for a forthcoming visit by LFI members to Israel.

“What happened with the names that we put into the Embassy, Shai?” Ryan inquired.

“Just now we’ve got the money, it’s more than one million pounds, it’s a lot of money,” Masot replied.

“I know, it must be,” said Ryan.

“And now I’ve got the money so from Israel so… it’s not physical, it’s an approval,” Masot continued to explain.

“I didn’t think you had it in your bag!” joked Ryan.

OBORNE: Is May's government complicit in Israeli interference in UK politics?

The exchange prompted a call from Sir Hugo Swire, a Conservative MP who chairs the Conservative Middle East Council, for the Friends of Israel organisations linked to all of the UK's main parties to disclose their funding arrangements.

“There are serious questions to be asked,” Swire told MEE. “This raises a whole lot of issues on a whole lot of different levels. The Conservative Middle East Council is a properly affiliated organisation within the Conservative Party. Therefore we have to fall within the parameters of corporate donations and individual donations as does the party itself.

He said that certain groups were not officially accredited to their respective parties. "I do think the time has come for these organisations to come out public and reveal how they are funded and where they are funded from.”

I do think the time has come for these organisations to come out public and reveal how they are funded and where they are funded from

- Sir Hugo Swire, Conservative MP
Labour on Sunday called for a full investigation into Masot's activities, after the government on Saturday said it considered the matter closed following an apology to Duncan from Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador.

Emily Thornberry, Labour's shadow foreign minister, said: “The exposure of an Israeli embassy official discussing how to bring down or discredit a government minister and other MPs because of their views on the Middle East is extremely disturbing.

“Improper interference in our democratic politics by other states is unacceptable whichever country is involved. It is simply not good enough for the Foreign Office to say the matter is closed. This is a national security issue.

“The embassy official involved should be withdrawn, and the government should launch an immediate inquiry into the extent of this improper interference and demand from the Israeli government that it be brought to an end.”

Labour has been backed in its call for an inquiry by the Scottish National Party and several senior Conservative MPs.

Crispin Blunt told MEE: "What we cannot have is Israel acting in the UK with the same impunity it enjoys in Palestine.

"This is clearly interference in another country's politics of the murkiest and most discreditable kind."

'What we cannot have is Israel acting in the UK with the same impunity it enjoys in Palestine'

- Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP
Nicholas Soames, another Conservative MP, told MEE's Peter Oborne: “This ranks as the equivalent of Soviet intelligence in what they are doing to suborn democracy and interfere in due process.”

Writing anonymously in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, a former minister in the previous government led by David Cameron, said that British foreign policy was “in hock to Israeli influence at the heart of our politics.

“For years the CFI and LFI have worked with – even for – the Israeli embassy to promote Israeli policy and thwart UK government policy and the actions of ministers who try to defend Palestinian rights.”

The Israeli embassy has sought to play down Masot's seniority describing him as a “junior embassy employee” whose remarks had been “completely unacceptable”.

It said he would be “ending his term of employment at the embassy very shortly”.
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Post by TonyGosling »

[html]<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A quick history lesson for John Humphrys, Tom Watson and <a href=" ... r4today</a> listeners, on <a href="">@P ... omentum</a>, <a href="">@unitetheunion</a> and <a href="">@ProgressOnline</a>... <a href=""> ... bTa</a></p>— Views from Nowhere (@ViewsFrmNowhere) <a href=" ... 112">March 20, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>[/html]
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Post by TonyGosling »

That open letter from a Labour Party member to infighting Blairites is bang on. No wonder everyone is reading it [IMAGE]
MARCH 16TH, 2017 Kerry-anne Mendoza KERRY-ANNE MENDOZA UK ... ing-image/

That open letter from a Labour Party member to infighting Blairites is bang on. No wonder everyone is reading it [IMAGE]UK
An open letter from a member of the Labour Party to the General Secretary of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) is lighting up the internet. As it should.

The letter to Iain McNicol

Iain McNicol presided over not one but two Labour Party purges aimed at shedding the party of pro-Corbyn members ahead of leadership elections. Despite this, the Labour leader won both, with landslide victories. Since then, the party has won almost every by-election it has fought, and four mayoral elections. All in the face of a universally hostile mainstream media, and significant opposition from right-wing factions within the party itself. And that includes from McNicol.

Labour Party member Frank Hutton has captured this calamity beautifully. When McNicol wrote to Mr Hutton asking for a donation to the party, Hutton chose to deliver some home truths instead.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
chelley ryan @chelleryn99
This letter NEEDS to go viral! #WeAreFrank
9:30 PM - 15 Mar 2017
1,073 1,073 Retweets 870 870 likes
It’s time for Labour to listen

The Conservative government is on the ropes. Its budget is in tatters. It is under investigation for electoral fraud. It has no plan for Brexit. And it is turning on itself.

This is the time for Labour to present a unified and tenacious opposition. But while Labour MPs should be standing for their constituents, they are holding a sit-in against their own leader.

Enough. McNicol expelled Labour Party members for retweeting the Green Party, so the party should certainly expel Labour MPs for propping up a Conservative government. It is time that these MPs get in line and do their job. Or lose their job in favour of people of principle who will.

Get Involved!

– Write to Iain McNicol calling for mandatory reelection of back-biting MPs.

– Join the Labour Party to have your say.

– Join Momentum, the grassroots pro-Corbyn movement.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Left-wing MP Jeremy Corbyn has narrowly made it onto the ballot paper for the Labour leadership contest after a tense final morning before nominations closed.
The socialist backbencher secured 36 nominations by his colleagues at the last moment in a photo-finish countdown that gripped Westminster.
Mr Corbyn was still seven nominations short with an hour to go before the noon Monday deadline, and still three nominations short with 10 minutes to go.
A last minute burst of MPs into Labour’s parliamentary offices, where nominations were delivered in person, put the Islington North MP just over the line.
The final MP to deliver their nomination for Mr Corbyn was reported to be Oxford East MP Andrew Smith. Other last minute additions include Chi Onwurah and Neil Coyle. ... 20686.html
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Jeremy Corbyn is a danger to this nation. At MI6, which I once led, he wouldn't clear the security vetting ... y-vetting/
Sir Richard Dearlove 7 JUNE 2017 • 9:48 PM

Today, Britain goes to the polls. And frankly, I’m shocked that no one has stood up and said, unambiguously, how profoundly dangerous it would be for the nation if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister. So let me be clear, the leader of the Labour Party is an old-fashioned international socialist who has forged links with those quite ready to use terror when they haven’t got their way: the IRA, Hizbollah, Hamas. As a result he is completely unfit to govern and Britain would be less safe with him in No 10.

I can give an indication of just how serious this is: if Jeremy Corbyn was applying to join any of this country’s security services – MI5, GCHQ or the service I used to run, MI6 – he would not be cleared to do so. He would be rejected by the vetting process. Far from being able to get into MI5, in the past MI5 would actively have investigated him. And yet this is the man who seeks the very highest office, who hopes in just 24 hours time to run our security services.

Sir Richard Dearlove, Bilderberg steering committee & former director general, chief of MI6
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by Laurence Morton »

With Jeremy Corbyn being viciously attacked in the news these last few weeks re his alleged "anti-semitic" comment about a certain mural in London depicting a group of bankers playing Monopoly on a table balanced on the backs of honest working folk, I was fascinated to come across an amazing documentary series made by Al Jazeera of an undercover journalist who infiltrates the dirty world of the various Friends for Israel groups in the UK, and exposes how the Israel lobby manipulates our choice of MPs in Westminster.

USA, of course has the monstrous Israel lobby AIPAC.

As the saying goes - no matter who you vote for, the government always gets in - the New World Order Zionist Controlled Government.

The Lobby P1: Young Friends of Israel – Al Jazeera Investigations

The Lobby P2: The Training Session – Al Jazeera Investigations

The Lobby P3: An Anti-Semitic Trope – Al Jazeera Investigations

The Lobby P4: The Takedown – Al Jazeera Investigations
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Post by fish5133 »

I have always tried to be political party neutral as it helps to keep one from being blinkered. Have to say that it does seem a deliberate attack against Corbyn which I think will be picked up by the masses and work in his favour.
"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places " Eph.6 v 12
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

The sharks circling around Corbyn scent blood
Jonathan Cook: the Blog from Nazareth - ... ent-blood/
26 March 2018
After a short reprieve following Jeremy Corbyn’s unexpected success in Britain’s general election last year, when he only narrowly lost the popular vote, most of the Labour parliamentary party are back, determined to bring him down. And once again, they are being joined by the corporate media in full battle cry.

Last week, Corbyn was a Soviet spy. This week we’re in more familiar territory, even if it has a new twist: Corbyn is not only a friend to anti-semites, it seems, but now he has been outed as a closet one himself.

In short, the Blairites in the parliamentary party are stepping up their game. Corbyn’s social justice agenda, his repudiation of neoconservative wars of aggression masquerading as “humanitarianism” – lining the coffers of the west’s military-industrial elites – is a genuine threat to those who run our societies from the shadows.

The knife of choice for the Labour backstabbers this time is a wall mural removed from East London in 2012. At that time, before he became Labour leader, Corbyn expressed support on Facebook for the artist, Kalen Ockerman, known as Mear One. Corbyn observed that a famous anti-capitalist mural by the left-wing Mexican artist Diego Rivera was similarly removed from Manhattan’s Rockefeller Centre in 1934.

Interestingly, the issue of Corbyn’s support for the mural – or at least the artist – originally flared in late 2015, when the Jewish Chronicle unearthed his Facebook post. Two things were noticeably different about the coverage then.

First, on that occasion, no one apart from the Jewish Chronicle appeared to show much interest in the issue. Its “scoop” was not followed up by the rest of the media. What is now supposedly a major scandal, one that raises questions about Corbyn’s fitness to be Labour leader, was a non-issue two years ago, when it first became known.

Second, the Jewish Chronicle, usually so ready to get exercised at the smallest possible sign of anti-semitism, wasn’t entirely convinced back in 2015 that the mural was anti-semitic. In fact, it suggested only that the mural might have “antisemitic undertones” – and attributed even that claim to Corbyn’s critics.

And rather than claiming, as the entire corporate media is now, that the mural depicted a cabal of Jewish bankers, the Chronicle then described the scene as “a group of businessmen and bankers sitting around a Monopoly-style board and counting money”. By contrast, the Guardian abandoned normal reporting conventions yesterday to state in its news – rather than comment – pages unequivocally that the mural was “obviously antisemitic”.

Not that anyone is listening now, but the artist himself, Kalen Ockerman, has said that the group in his mural comprised historical figures closely associated with banking. His mural, he says, was about “class and privilege”, and the figures depicted included both “Jewish and white Anglos”. The fact that he included famous bankers like the Rothschilds (Jewish) and the Rockefellers (not Jewish) does not, on the face of it, seem to confirm anti-semitism. They are simply the most prominent of the banking dynasties most people, myself included, could name. These families are about as closely identified with capitalism as it is possible to be.

There is an argument to be had about the responsibilities of artists – even street artists – to be careful in their visual representations. But Ockerman’s message was not a subtle or nuanced one. He was depicting class war, the war the capitalist class wages every day on the weak and poor. If Ockerman’s message is inflammatory, it is much less so than the reality of how our societies have been built on the backs and the suffering of the majority.

Corbyn has bowed to his critics – a mix of the Blairites within his party and Israel’s cheerleaders – and apologised for offering support to Ockerman, just as he has caved in to pressure each time the anti-semitism card has been played against him.

This may look like wise, or safe, politics to his advisers. But these critics have only two possible outcomes that will satisfy them. Either Corbyn is harried from the party leadership, or he is intimidated into diluting his platform into irrelevance – he becomes just another compromised politician catering to the interests of the 1 per cent.

The sharks circling around him will not ignore the scent of his bloodied wounds; rather, it will send them into a feeding frenzy. As hard as it is to do when the elites so clearly want him destroyed, Corbyn must find his backbone and start to stand his ground.

This piece in the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz by their senior columnnist Anshel Pfeffer sums up a lot of the sophistry (intentional or otherwise) underscoring the conflation of leftwing critiques of neoliberalism and globalism with rightwing ultra-nationalism and anti-semitism.

Pfeffer writes:

The conspiracy theories of globalist bankers utilizing mainstream media and corrupt neoliberal politicians to serve their selfish sinister purposes, rather than those of ordinary people, are identical whether from left or right.

And on either side, most of the theorists will never admit to being anti-Semitic. They are just “anti-racist” or “anti-imperialist” if on the left, or “pro-Israel” on the right. And most of them really believe they have nothing against Jews, even while parroting themes straight out of the Protocols [of the Elders of Zion].
Notice the problem here. If you are a radical leftist who believes, as generations of leftists before you have done, that military, political, media, and financial elites operate in the shadows to promote their interests, to wage class war, then not only are you a conspiracy theorist, according to Pfeffer, but you are by definition anti-semitic as well. If you believe that an Establishment or a Deep State exists to advance its interests against the great majority, you must hate Jews.

The logic of Corbyn’s critics has rarely been articulated so forthrightly and so preposterously as it is here by Pfeffer. But make no mistake, this is the logic of his critics.

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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
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Post by TonyGosling »

EXCLUSIVE: Fake social media accounts used to smear Labour supporters & undermine Corbyn
April 3, 2018 Mark Jameson ... my-corbyn/

The Pileus has discovered further evidence of right-wing activists posing on social media as ‘disillusioned’ Labour supporters and fake accounts being used to spread abusive and threatening messages, in the the guise of Labour activists. All of this, in a bid to undermine support for Jeremy Corbyn.

‘Sheila’ and ‘Jason’: Spot the difference.
All over Facebook underhand Tory activists have been busy copying and pasting duplicate messages, usually verbatim, as seen above. They have posted them in political groups which are followed by many thousands of people. They have done this in a bid to break morale among genuine Labour supporters.

Tory activist ‘Sheila’ (featured in the image below), posted the disillusioned Labour supporter message into a Facebook group with over 95,000 members:

This fraudulent message was posted in a Facebook group with over 95,000 members.

Sheila issued this post in a Facebook group with over 95,000 members.

Note the casual bigotry on display in this tract: “Izzard… can’t decide whether he’s male or female…”

After a quick look at Sheila’s Facebook profile, it wasn’t long before her pretense of being a genuine Labour supporter, disillusioned or otherwise, was betrayed by this little oversight — Sheila seemed to have forgotten about the ‘Vote Conservatives’ Twibbon embedded in one of her old profile pictures!

Her Vote Conservative avatar dates back to April of last year. Yet today she claims to be a ‘disillusioned Labour supporter’. However, I discovered that numerous other eagle-eyed Facebook users had also cottoned-on to this crude attempt to deceive:

And she would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for these meddling kids!
And she would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for these meddling kids!
Shiela’s deception is not an isolated case. I was sent a link to the following message, spotted in The Great British Political Debate Facebook group, which had been posted by one Raymond. As you can see, this is a carbon-copy of the very same disillusioned Labour supporter message that Sheila published, simply copied and pasted into another large Facebook group popular with Labour members:

Does this message sound a tad... familiar?
Does this message sound a tad… familiar?
And, just in case the bigotry contained within the much-reproduced disillusioned Labour supporter message was too subtle for some, Raymond followed this up with further abuse aimed at Eddie Izzard:

Abusive and dehumanising: "I don't think I'd sh*g it..."
Abusive and dehumanising: “I don’t think I’d sh*g it…”
Note here that Raymond refers to Eddie Izzard as “it”.

Many such duplicated Facebook posts seem to have disappeared, presumably deleted by admins or their publisher. However, a number of variations on the ‘disillusioned Labour supporter’ theme have been surfaced, as we see from the post posted in another Facebook group (below) from Jason:

Initially, I believed that this particular Facebook post might have come from a genuinely dissillusioned Labour supporter, as I hadn’t seen these words duplicated anywhere else. Nonetheless, I thought I’d take a quick look at his personal Facebook page, to find out if Jason was linked to any other political groups. Within seconds I discovered that, yes, he is:

Recent convert Jason?
Recent convert Jason?
Whilst these accounts appear to belong to real Tory activists (hence my decision to partly obscure their names), many other Facebook accounts used in this deception appear decidedly fake. Unlike those featured above, many seem to have been created very recently, with few status updates and few likes, or friends — i.e., generally inactive.

This ploy, whereby right-wing activists pose as Labour supporters in a bid to help turn public opinion against Corbyn, has not been confined to Facebook. It seems to be part of a much wider strategy rolled out across other social media platforms.

However, some of the skulduggery I discovered on Twitter was of a more sinister nature.

Abu Hussein: This account seems to have been used exclusively to issue tweets of this nature.
Abu Hussein: This account seems to have been used exclusively to issue tweets of the same violent nature.
This evidence demonstrates the most extreme kind of political infiltration undertaken by those who seek to undermine Jeremy Corbyn.

Another, more graphic threat of violence.
Another, more graphic threat of violence.
The ‘Abu Hussein’ account has been used to engage in Twitter conversations, with messages of incitement to violence against Jews. All of this, whilst sporting an full-sized header photo depicting a caricature of Jeremy Corbyn with text that reads ‘Vote Labour’. The bio for this account reads: ‘There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah #JC4PM” and the account’s handle is @AbuHusseinLab. Whoever created this account seems to have been very keen to make a link between Jeremy Corbyn and violent antisemitism as persuasive as possible.

The fake Abu Hussein Twitter account: Not too subtle?
The fake Abu Hussein Twitter account: Not too subtle?
A journalist using Twitter, Asa Winstanley, raised the alarm after another Twitter user had used a ‘reverse image search’ app and discovered that the avatar used by the fake ‘Abu Hussein’ account had been taken from a dating website.

The 'Abu Hussein' account was reported to Twitter Safety, though it has not been removed.
The ‘Abu Hussein’ account was reported to Twitter Safety, though it has not been removed.
More specifically, the avatar used for this account seems to have been taken from a 28 year-old Jordanian man, named Ahmed, who resides in Hungary.

The avatar used for the 'Abu Hussein' account was matched to a photo stolen from a dating site, belonging to a 28 year-old called Ahmad, who lives in Hungary.
The avatar used for the ‘Abu Hussein’ account was matched to a photo stolen from a dating site, belonging to a 28 year-old called Ahmad, who lives in Hungary.
Whilst the ‘Abu Huseein’ account has a relatively small number of followers, none of them are remotely affiliated with the Labour Party. In fact, with the exception of a handful non-political Southeast Asian followers, all other accounts following the ‘Abu Huseein’ account are themselves fake accounts… whose tweets consist, predominantly, of ads to buy more Twitter followers.

It’s very easy to amass hundreds, even thousands, of fake followers on Twitter in a very short space of time. This can easily be achieved in a matter minutes. Anyone seeking to lend an air of authenticity to a fake Twitter account can visit a variety of media companies, such as Fiverr and Followersgain, who offer such services for a small fee. Once the payment has been received through their websites, these companies will immediately add to your account how ever many fake followers you’re prepared to pay for.

Fake followers: fake accounts often do no have header photos and sometimes do not have avatars either.
Fake followers: fake accounts often do no have header photos and sometimes do not have avatars either.
Note: By the time I documented this image, the owner of the account had deleted all of their tweets.

One anomaly that struck me as a possible oversight was the fact that the ‘Abu Huseein’ account was following a Councillor from the far-right political party For Britain — Why would somebody posing as a Labour Party supporter follow a Twitter account belonging to a Councillor from a minor far-right party? For Britain was founded by the anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters, in 2017. Their Twitter content seems to consist largely of Islamophobic and Anti-Corbyn tweets.

There are many other examples of these dark practices being utilised for political ends, as Skwawkbox recently reported: Alive Terry, Tories, ‘abuse’, fake accounts, UKIP trolls and Jess Phillips’ apology.

We have no means of tracing this evidence back to any particular person, so we cannot ascertain the source of these fake accounts. It may be that these cases are indicative of a centralised and highly-orchestrated operation, or it may be a case of like-minded lone wolves using uncannily similar methods. We can only speculate. Of course, Twitter holds information on these accounts which could be of use to police, such as, when and where Twitter members logged into their account. However, if police wished to obtain such data, they would need to apply for a court order in California — a process that can be very expensive.

Sadly, it seems highly doubtful that this scandal will be picked up and reported on by the UK’s powerful right-wing media who, perversely, have made use of such criminal behaviour in an endeavor to give the illusion of credence to their own attacks on Labour supporters and Jeremy Corbyn. And so, the demonisation of Labour members and their leader has remained largely unchallenged. Meanwhile, the media turns a blind eye to the abuse experienced by Labour MPs, such as Diane Abbott, and prominent Labour-supporters, like Owen Jones. They have received appalling levels of abuse, on a daily basis, for many years.

It seems that the only prospect of exposing this malaise is to persistently call out those media outlets that continually exacerbate the problem. Moreover, I believe it is vital that we nurture and support new, grassroots media.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Jeremy Jesus-Christ Corbyn
April 04, 2018 / Gilad Atzmon ... ist-corbyn

By Gilad Atzmon

Yesterday we learned that Jeremy Corbyn has yet again upset ‘the Jews,’ and by 'the Jews' I mean a few loud obnoxious voices who claim to ‘represent the Jews.’ Since he is a well meaning guy, Corbyn accepted an invitation to celebrate the Jewish Passover dinner with Jewdas, who are apparently the ‘wrong’ Jews according to the Zionist lobby.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) and Campaign against Antismitsm are beside themselves. During a phone - in to LBC Radio BOD’s president Jonathan Arkush stated that Jeremy Corbyn has “reached the tipping point.” The BOD had made it clear to Corbyn that he should stop giving any credence to Jewish “ultra-fringe” groups.

One would expect the BOD that claims to ‘represent British Jewry’ would also represent Jewdas and maybe even some other independent Jewish voices. I guess we can deduce from this that rival Jews cannot tolerate each other, based not on having no points of agreement, but on the way in which they put each other down. These groups slander their political foes in a manner that resembles the notorious Herem religious ritual. This kind of base behaviour recalls the old Jewish joke: how many synagogues are needed in a village with one Jew? Two; one to go to and one to boycott.

But what about the rest of humanity, the so-called goyim, the Brits, for how long will they agree to allow their politics to be hijacked by a microscopic lobby falsely claiming to represent a miniature community that amounts to 0.5% of British population? It seems that Jews openly smear and slander each other, but this privilege is reserved exclusively for Jews. Goyim are supposed to walk on their tiptoes. The mere mention of the ‘J’ word can easily cost you your future, your career and your livelihood.

Corbyn seems to have found a way through the tribal maze. The opposition leader is basically a Christ figure. Being the nicest guy in the world of politics, he manages to expose the tribal bullies. Corbyn’s secret weapon is kindness. Time after time when he is viciously attacked by Jewish groups such as the CAA, the JLC or the BOD the Labour leader reacts in a soothing voice, half smiling as he accepts the criticism, apologises on behalf of his party and vows to appease his Jewish critics.

For those who still fail to understand, Corbyn does as Christ instructed, and turns the other cheek. And like their Biblical forebears , those who claim to represent British Jewry fail to read the map. Instead of backing down in the face of acquiescence, they provide the Brits with a spectacle of venom. Rather than shaking Corbyn’s hand and seeking peace and harmony, they unabashedly punch the other cheek.

For some reason that is beyond me, the British Zionist Lobby decided to launch its recent slander campaign against Corbyn on Good Friday. Corbyn for his part, went along with their plans and celebrated the Passover Dinner with a group that sound like Judas (Jewdas). By now the Brits are unable to tell whether the acronym JC refers to Jeremy Corbyn or Jesus Christ. So here is my advice to the nagging Zionist lobby. If you decide to destroy a Jesus type figure for attending a Passover dinner, don’t be surprised if he is resurrected by the following Sunday.

If they want to burn it , you want to read it..

Being in Time - A Post Political Manifesto
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Journalistic Representations of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Press
From "Watchdog" to "Attackdog" ... emy-corbyn

Project Director: Dr Bart Cammaerts

This research project provides a sound and theoretically informed analysis of the various (or unison) media representations of the rise of Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate for the Labour leadership and of him as the new leader of the largest opposition party in the UK. Furthermore, this project also aims to make a contribution to the ongoing public debate regarding the role of mainstream media and of journalists in a media-saturated democracy.

We set out to recognise and acknowledge the legitimate role of the press to critique and challenge the powers that be, which is often encapsulated by the metaphor of the watchdog. Our systematic content analysis of a representative sample of newspaper articles published in 8 national newspapers between 1 September and 1 November 2015, however, shows that the press reacted in a highly transgressive manner to the new leader of the opposition, hence our reference to the attackdog metaphor.

Our analysis shows that Corbyn was thoroughly delegitimised as a political actor from the moment he became a prominent candidate and even more so after he was elected as party leader, with a strong mandate. This process of delegitimisation occurred in several ways: 1) through lack of or distortion of voice; 2) through ridicule, scorn and personal attacks; and 3) through association, mainly with terrorism.

All this raises, in our view, a number of pressing ethical questions regarding the role of the media in a democracy. Certainly, democracies need their media to challenge power and offer robust debate, but when this transgresses into an antagonism that undermines legitimate political voices that dare to contest the current status quo, then it is not democracy that is served.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
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Post by TonyGosling »

Corbyn should learn his lesson: compromise with the devil is not an option ... an-option/ ... er_004.jpg

Michael Pacher – “St. Augustin & the Devil”
There are two kinds of compromise: the strong compromise, and the weak.

The former is where you cede an interest to uphold a principle, the latter when you ignore your principles to further your interests.

The first is an important tool in all aspects of life, the second should almost always be avoided. Jeremy Corbyn should learn that lesson.

Twice in recent weeks Corbyn’s leadership has faced an opportunity to cede a point of principle in order to further – as they apparently see it – the interests of their party. Both times they have done so, both times were a huge mistake.


The first question is: What does “Antisemitism in the Labour party” actually mean?

Let’s start by acknowledging what it isn’t. Criticising the government of Israel is not antisemitic. Supporting Palestine in its struggle for emancipation and justice is not antisemitic. Opposing George Soros’s neoliberal crusade through his various NGOs is not antisemitic. Accusing a Blairite MP (who happens to be Jewish) of working hand in hand with the right-wing press to undermine Corbyn is not antisemitic. Claiming Hitler was a “zionist” may or may not be accurate, but it is not antisemitic. Even supporting the freedom of expression for a painter who makes a mural about the 1% that some third parties allege might appear to represent unflattering images of Jewish people(even though the artist denies it completely) is not antisemitic, unless specific intents can be established.

When we remove all these non-antisemitic incidents from the list of alleged “antisemitism” in the Labour Party, how much real antisemitism remains?

Very little to none would seem to be the answer. You might even argue there is less antisemitism within the Labour party than within the general population. Certainly there’s little evidence of any more. Ken Livingstone shows no signs of being antisemitic. Nor does the latest victim of the latest purge – Marc Wadsworth.

Wadsworth – a veteran anti-racism campaigner – has been expelled from the party for notionally being racist (it was actually “bringing the party into disrepute”, the evidence of racism was so little they couldn’t even officially call it that). He has been effectively sacrificed to appease the state-sponsored and state-supporting media in the UK.

This is a terrible mistake. By conceding this point of principle in order to gain a perceived strategic advantage Corbyn’s team have in fact conceded both principle and strategy to a force that has no interest in compromising with them and simply wants them gone. The result is this:

1. Labour’s right-wing, (who DO, demonstrably, work “hand in hand” with the anti-Corbyn press), have been allowed to define what “antisemitism” means, and they are going to take full advantage of this. From now on, any Labour MP or even grassroots member who criticises Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians – or who simply disagrees with another Labour member who happens to be Jewish – can look forward to being shamed and expelled. How does Corbyn see this as furthering the cause of freedom and democracy?

2. They have accepted the lie as truth. A man has been expelled for antisemitism. Even though the grounds are spurious, it will in future be cited as evidence that the left does indeed have a problem with antisemitism.

Corbyn’s team decided to play soft and weak, in the hopes that letting a little blood would sate the thirst of the media. But you don’t abate a feeding frenzy by chumming the water. You don’t compromise with the devil by selling a piece of your soul. They have made it immeasurably worse. Livingstone and Walker will follow, and slowly Corbyn’s allies in the party will be chipped away.


The same exact process is playing out with the “Russian interference” situation. When the first accusations of being “soft on Putin” were thrown around, the strong principled position to take would be to dismiss the smears as racist and stupid. Argue the issues, ignore the white noise of smear and innuendo.

Corbyn’s principles, and those of the Labour party, dictate that they should stand against prejudice, abuse, censorship and summary justice.

They COULD have made statements that RT is just as valid a medium to be interviewed on as the BBC or CNN. They could have pointed out that Russian money in London is fleeing Putin’s crackdown on the oligarchs. They could have stood by the truth, and to hell with what the press say.

Instead Corbyn’s camp saw a chance to score some easy points in the media. McDonnell decided to publicly denounce RT, whilst the “leftwing” press tried to attack the Tories for their “dirty” Russian donors.Instead of saying “this campaign of demonising Russians is degraded & offensive”, they said effectively “Yes, Russians are demons, but they like the Tories more than us!”

This is potentially a more egregious mistake than the antisemitism issue. Firstly, it endorses the quasi-racist idea that all things Russian are inherently tainted with evil. Secondly, it undermines RT, an important voice for alternative politicians in the UK. And it opens the gates to this:

Headline in the Sunday Times, April 29 2018
This is the most predictable headline I have ever seen. It’s more predictable than sunrise or the tides or the waning moon. It was destined from the moment of his first leadership victory. And Corbyn has no one to blame but himself.

By allowing the “Russiagate” hysteria to blossom without challenge, by allowing the memes of “dirty Russian money” in London, and the “Russian influence” of the Brexit vote to go unchecked, Corbyn has encouraged the climate where people can be “denounced” in true McCarthyite fashion. And now he is paying the price.

Corbyn seems to think a few little compromises will get him accepted in the mainstream media. It pains me to say it, but this is fundamentally untrue. You can’t compromise with someone who wants nothing but your total destruction. Hopefully Corbyn has learned this lesson by now.

And truth in politics is important, it has power, not simply through its rarity. Corbyn’s power came from telling truths we all knew and no one else was saying, and he has undermined it by allowing convenient lies to stand.

You can’t build a greater truth on a foundation of small, convenient lies. When a person tells a lie, it is an act of weakness to allow it to stand. Responding “Yes, but”, does nothing but reinforce the initial dishonesty.

You cannot allow the deep state to use their tools in the media to set the narrative. You cannot try to meet them in the middle, because they’ll just use that leverage to pull you further over to their side. A half-truth is just a lie that lacks conviction, and by letting them slide you allow the media to set the width of the Overton window.

Jeremy Corbyn is a good man, his entire career – apparently his entire outlook on life – is built around principle. It’s those principles that got him elected leader and made him so popular. He should not compromise them now, in order to appease people who will never be appeased.
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Post by TonyGosling »

New MRC research finds inaccuracies and distortions in media coverage of antisemitism and the Labour Party
September 27, 2018 By Media Reform Coalition ... bour-party

The Media Reform Coalition has conducted in-depth research on the controversy surrounding antisemitism in the Labour Party, focusing on media coverage of the crisis during the summer of 2018. Following extensive case study research, we identified myriad inaccuracies and distortions in online and television news including marked skews in sourcing, omission of essential context or right of reply, misquotation, and false assertions made either by journalists themselves or sources whose contentious claims were neither challenged nor countered. Overall, our findings were consistent with a disinformation paradigm.

We use the concept of disinformation to denote systematic reporting failures that broadly privileged a particular political agenda and ideological narrative. This does not mean that these failures were intentional or that journalists and news institutions were inherently biased. We recognize, for instance, that resource pressures combined with acute and complex controversies can foster particular source dependencies or blind spots.

Nor does our research speak in any way to allegations of smear tactics. To interrogate the root causes of disinformation would necessitate a far more wide-ranging study than was undertaken here. We start from the well-founded assumption that concerns about antisemitic hate speech within the Labour Party are genuine and not necessarily or entirely misplaced. There have been unambiguous examples of racist discourse invoking holocaust denial, generalized references to Jews in stereotyped contexts, and critiques of Zionists or Zionism that explicitly use the terms as proxies for Jews. Some of these cases have involved holders of official positions within the party, including local councilors.

Alongside such cases, there is a contested category of discourse that may be considered offensive or insensitive but not necessarily racist. Indeed, determining what counts as antisemitism lies at the heart of the wider controversy that has been played out in reams of column inches and air time since 2015, and with particular intensity during the spring and summer of 2018. We reserve judgement on this central point of contention but acknowledge legitimate views on both sides, as well as a spectrum in which relatively extreme and moderate positions are easily identifiable.

We recognize that this controversy – on the surface at least – involves prominent voices in a minority community accusing a major political party of harbouring racism directed towards them. What’s more, these voices have been vocally supported by many high profile Labour MPs. In such circumstances we expect journalists to take these concerns seriously, view them as inherently newsworthy, and not necessarily afford equal time and attention to contesting views. It is also important to stress that journalists must be allowed – on occasion – to get the story wrong: the public interest is never served by an overly cautious press.

But we do expect professional journalists to strive for accuracy, to establish essential contextual facts in any given story, and to actively seek out dissenting or contesting opinion including, in this case, within the minority group in question, within other affected minorities, and amongst relevant experts (both legal and academic). Nor do the particular complexities and sensitivities absolve journalists of their responsibility to offer a due right of reply to the accused or to interrogate contentious claims made by sources on all sides.

Overall, we found 95 clear cut examples of misleading or inaccurate reporting on mainstream television and online news platforms, with a quarter of the total sample containing at least one such example. The problem was especially pronounced on television – which reaches far wider audiences by comparison – where two thirds of the news segments on television contained at least one reporting error or substantive distortion.

Underlying these figures was a persistent subversion of conventional news values:

Several reports focused on a controversial social media post by Jeremy Corbyn omitted any mention that it was made six years ago, with some emphasising a sense of currency and recency that failed to make clear the historical context of the post.
Journalists covering the launch of Labour’s antisemitism report in 2016 routinely misquoted an activist in ways that were entirely removed from his original comment, in spite of a video recording of the event that was readily and immediately accessible.
Above all, coverage of Labour’s revised code of conduct during the summer of 2018 often entirely omitted critical discussion of the ‘working definition’ of antisemitism put forward by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), and wrongly characterized it as consensual and universally adopted.
In fact, we established through background case research that

Although the IHRA is an international body with representatives from 31 countries, only six of those countries have, to date, formally adopted the definition themselves.
In spite of a call for local authorities to adopt the definition by the UK’s central government in early 2017, Less than a third of councils have responded and several of those have chosen not to include any of the controversial examples contained within the working definition.
Several high-profile bodies have rejected or distanced themselves from the working definition, including the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (a successor to the body that drafted the original wording on which the definition is based) and academic institutions including the London School of Economics and School of Oriental and African Studies.
Mainstream academic and legal opinion has been overwhelmingly critical of the IHRA definition, including formal opinions produced by four leading UK barristers.
Virtually none of this essential context found its way into news reports of the controversy. Instead, the Labour Party was routinely portrayed by both sources and correspondents as beyond the pale of conventional thinking on the IHRA definition.

This matters because although the manifest issue at stake is not outwardly political in nature, the controversy is inextricably linked to a wider ideological conflict that has been playing out within the Labour Party for some years, and within British politics more broadly. To that extent, such controversies bring into sharp relief the news media’s role and responsibilities in nurturing inclusive public debate and contributing to an informed citizenry.

It also matters because the misreporting of antisemitism risks normalizing or distracting attention from certain forms of antisemitic discourse. Distortions also risk stirring racial tensions by provoking counter-outrage that may be misdirected at Jews on either the left or right of the political spectrum. It is notable in this respect that in 2016, a Daily Mail columnist who has been outspoken on this issue described one Corbyn supporter as a “useful Jewish idiot”; whilst in 2018, the Prime Minister’s warm congratulatory words offered to her Malaysian counterpart – a leader who has openly described himself as an ‘antisemite’ – received barely no attention at all in mainstream news, despite antisemitism being such a salient issue on the news agenda at the time.

In sum, although our findings do not engage directly with the controversy – shedding no further light on what is antisemitism nor how prevalent it is within the Labour Party – we can say with some certainty that there have been prevalent errors, omissions and skews in the mainstream coverage.

This was no anomaly: almost all of the problems observed in both the framing and sourcing of stories were in favour of a particular recurrent narrative: that the Labour Party has been or is being lost to extremists, racists and the ‘hard left’. Some of the most aggressive exponents of this narrative were routinely treated by journalists – paradoxically – as victims of aggression by the party’s ‘high command’.

During the summer of 2018, this controversy reached fever pitch amid claims that the Labour party had become ‘institutionally racist’ under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, and that the prospect of a Corbyn-led government posed an ‘existential threat’ to Jewish life in Britain. It has given rise to vocalized threats of a split within the party, further destabilizing politics and signaling a potentially profound reshaping of the British political map. At a time when the country is entering the final stages of its negotiated withdrawal from the European Union, these findings warrant urgent attention from journalists, editors, policymakers and activists alike.

You can read the full report here.

You can read the executive summary here.
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Post by TonyGosling »

[html]<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The UN says Israel's killings of demonstrators in Gaza - including children, paramedics and journalists - may constitute “war crimes or crimes against humanity”.<br><br>The UK government must unequivocally condemn the killings and freeze arms sales to Israel.<a href=""></a></p>— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) <a href=" ... ">February 28, 2019</a></blockquote>
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Post by TonyGosling »

Witchhunt - Jackie Walker - trailer

Patrick Haseldine
"WitchHunt" was premiered on Sunday 10 February 2019 at the Rio Cinema in Hackney, London and simultaneously in Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Cambridge. The London event was followed by a Q & A session with director Jon Pullman, anti-racist campaigner Jackie Walker, writer & comedian Alexei Sayle, media analyst Justin Schlosberg (Media Reform Coalition, Birkbeck) and chaired by executive producer Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi (Jewish Voice for Labour media officer).

The screening of "WitchHunt" at the House of Commons in a room booked by Chris Williamson MP on behalf of Jewish Voice for Labour was cancelled after a tweet from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and complaints from TIG MP Luciana Berger and Deputy Leader Tom Watson to Chief Whip Nick Brown and Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby.

"WitchHunt" is scheduled to be launched online on 17 March 2019.

The lynching of Jackie Walker
Tony Greenstein 12 October 2016
The attacks on Jackie Walker and others are political, a determined effort by the Israel lobby to make Britain’s Labour Party safe for Israel and Zionism.
I hope you feel the same towards the African holocaust? My ancestors were involved in both – on all sides… millions more Africans were killed in the African holocaust and their oppression continues to this day on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews and many Jews, my ancestors too, were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade… so who are the victims and what does it mean . We are victims and perpetrators, to some extent by choice. And having been a victim does not give you a right to be a perpetrator. ... ie-walker/

Jews, Slaves, and the Slave Trade
Setting the Record Straight
By Eli Faber
New York University. 366 pp. $27.95
Chapter One
Chapter One: England's Jewish Merchants and the Slave Trade

....A Jewish investor joined the ranks of the Royal African Company's shareholders for the first time. On May 26, 1691, Alvaro Da Costa purchased 500 [pounds sterling] worth of its stock. Born in Lisbon, Da Costa had arrived in England in the early 1660s as a refugee from the Portuguese Inquisition. Fashioning a career as a merchant, Da Costa became one of the small Jewish community's leading importers and exporters, sending woolen cloth abroad and importing, among other items, bullion, olive oil, indigo, and wine. An act of Parliament in 1667 made him England's first naturalized subject of the Jewish faith. Naturalization required that he take an oath as a Christian and receive Communion, but Da Costa appears to have floated between Christianity and Judaism, a not unfamiliar course of action for a refugee from the Inquisition who maintained trading ties with the Iberian Peninsula. It was a strategy followed by others as well, for this was an era in which agents of the Inquisition spied on Sephardic merchants. The latter consequently often employed aliases, including Da Costa, who used the Hebrew name of Jacob within the synagogue and Alvaro outside. As Alvaro, he never submitted to circumcision, but as Jacob he was buried in London's Sephardic cemetery, while all his children married Jews and lived openly as members of the Jewish community.

Da Costa had the wherewithal to invest in the Royal African Company well before 1691. That he possessed both the capital and the inclination to take risks is evident from the records of the East India Company. In contrast to his late entry into the Royal African Company, waiting twenty years before he bought any of its stock, Da Costa acquired shares in the East India Company within several years of his arrival in England. Presenting evidence of his naturalization by act of Parliament, he purchased 1,000 [pounds sterling] worth of East India Company stock in 1668. In 1674 he invested another 1,200 [pounds sterling], and in 1675 1,800 [pounds sterling]. Between 1675 and 1678, when the East India Company's records referred to him as "an adventurer in the General Joint Stock," Da Costa sold off 2,700 [pounds sterling] of his shares. Clearly, therefore, Da Costa could have invested in the Royal African Company long before he did so.

Subsequent to his initial investment in the Company, Da Costa acquired additional stock during the late spring and summer of 1691. Three other Jewish investors soon followed his lead, purchasing shares during the summer. Other members of the Jewish community later followed suit, and by April 20, 1693 the Company had 11 Jewish shareholders. Eight invested as individuals, 2 did so in partnership, and the remaining shareholder was the estate of a deceased individual who had purchased stock prior to his death. As a group, they comprised a small minority within the Company, which had a total of 301 shareholders and a general stock valued at 438,850 [pounds sterling]. The 11 Jewish newcomers amounted to 3.6 percent of the whole, and their 19,500 [pounds sterling] in holdings to 4.4 percent of all outstanding shares. After 1693, their presence in the Company continued to increase, rising by March 1699 to 29 shareholders out of 423, or 6.8 percent, whose holdings were worth 135,000 [pounds sterling], or 12.2 percent of the entire stock.

Between 1691 and 1701, the number of Jewish investors who all told acquired Royal African Company stock totaled 31, with possibly 1 more. The 31 investors represented roughly 10 percent of the Jewish households of England, which were comprised in 1695 of approximately 185 families and 114 single lodgers.

But while 31 members of the Jewish community joined the ranks of the slave-trading company's stockholders during the 1690s, most English Jews with capital to invest did not. A total of 80 members of England's Jewish community invested in various enterprises during the decade; the 31 who bought shares in the Royal African Company therefore comprised a minority of 38.7 percent of their number. At least 73 Jewish investors acquired shares in the Bank of England, more than twice as many as the 31 who invested in the Royal African Company. The number who acquired Bank stock may have been even higher, with perhaps as many as 10 additional investors. ... etrade.htm
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Post by TonyGosling »

Anti-semitism is cover for a much deeper divide in Britain's Labour party
Jonathan Cook ... bour-party

20 February 2019 16:30 UTC | Last update: 3 weeks ago
Breakaway MPs hope that smearing Corbyn will obscure the fact that they are remnants of an old political order bankrupt of ideas

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks in London on 19 February (AFP)
The announcement by seven MPs from the UK Labour Party on Monday that they were breaking away and creating a new parliamentary faction marked the biggest internal upheaval in a British political party in nearly 40 years, when the SDP split from Labour.

On Wednesday, they were joined by an eighth Labour MP, Joan Ryan, and three Conservative MPs. There are predictions more will follow.

With the UK teetering on the brink of crashing out of the European Union with no deal on Brexit, the founders of the so-called Independent Group made reference to their opposition to Brexit.

The report decisively undercut their claims – not only of endemic anti-semitism in Labour, but of any significant problem at all
The chief concern cited for the split by the eight Labour MPs, though, was a supposed “anti-semitism crisis” in the party.

The breakaway faction seemingly agrees that anti-semitism has become so endemic in the party since Jeremy Corbyn became leader more than three years ago that they were left with no choice but to quit.

Corbyn, it should be noted, is the first leader of a major British party to explicitly prioritise the rights of Palestinians over Israel’s continuing belligerent occupation of the Palestinian territories.

‘Sickeningly racist’?
Luciana Berger, a Jewish MP who has highlighted what she sees as an anti-semitism problem under Corbyn, led the charge, stating at the Independent Group’s launch that she had reached “the sickening conclusion” that Labour was “institutionally racist”.

She and her allies claim she has been hounded out of the party by “anti-semitic bullying”. Berger has suffered online abuse and death threats from a young neo-Nazi who was jailed for two years in 2016. There have been other incidences of abuse and other sentences, including a 27-month jail term for John Nimmo, a right-wing extremist who referred to Berger as "Jewish scum" and signed his messages, "your friend, the Nazi".

In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, the former Labour MP said the Independent Group would provide the Jewish community with a “political home that they, like much of the rest of the country, are now looking for”.

MP Luciana Berger announces her resignation from Labour on 18 February (AFP)
MP Luciana Berger announces her resignation from Labour on 18 February (AFP)
In a plea to keep the party together, deputy leader Tom Watson issued a video in which he criticised his own party for being too slow to tackle anti-semitism. The situation “poses a test” for Labour, he said, adding: “Do we respond with simple condemnation, or do we try and reach out beyond our comfort zone and prevent others from following?”

Ruth Smeeth, another Jewish Labour MP who may yet join a later wave of departures, was reported to have broken down in tears at a parliamentary party meeting following the split, as she called for tougher action on anti-semitism.

Two days later, as she split from Labour, Ryan accused the party of being “infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism”.

Hatred claims undercut
The timing of the defections was strange, occurring shortly after the Labour leadership revealed the findings of an investigation into complaints of anti-semitism in the party. These were the very complaints that MPs such as Berger have been citing as proof of the party’s “institutional racism”.

And yet, the report decisively undercut their claims – not only of endemic anti-semitism in Labour, but of any significant problem at all.

That echoed an earlier report by the Commons home affairs committee, which found there was “no reliable, empirical evidence” that Labour had more of an anti-semitism problem than any other British political party.

Anti-Semitism and Labour: Muzzling free speech silences rightful criticism of Israel
Read More »
Nonetheless, the facts seem to be playing little or no part in influencing the anti-semitism narrative. This latest report was thus almost entirely ignored by Corbyn’s opponents and by the mainstream media.

It is, therefore, worth briefly examining what the Labour Party’s investigation discovered.

Over the previous 10 months, 673 complaints had been filed against Labour members over alleged anti-semitic behaviour, many based on online comments. In a third of those cases, insufficient evidence had been produced.

The 453 other allegations represented 0.08 percent of the 540,000-strong Labour membership. Hardly “endemic” or “institutional”, it seems.

Intemperate language
There is the possibility past outbursts have been part of this investigation. Intemperate language flared especially in 2014 – before Corbyn became leader – when Israel launched a military operation on Gaza that killed large numbers of Palestinian civilians, including many hundreds of children.

Certainly, it is unclear how many of those reportedly anti-semitic comments concern not prejudice towards Jews, but rather outspoken criticism of the state of Israel, which was redefined as anti-semitic last year by Labour, under severe pressure from MPs such as Berger and Ryan and Jewish lobby groups, such as the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Labour Movement.

Palestinian children play next to the rubble of buildings destroyed in the 2014 Gaza war (AFP)
Palestinian children play next to the rubble of buildings destroyed in the 2014 Gaza war (AFP)
Seven of the 11 examples of anti-semitism associated with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition adopted by Labour concern Israel. That includes describing Israel as a “racist endeavour”, even though Israel passed a basic law last year stripping the fifth of its population who are not Jewish of any right to self-determination, formally creating two classes of citizen.

Illustrating the problem Labour has created for itself as a result, some of the most high-profile suspensions and expulsions have actually targeted Jewish members of the party who identify as anti-Zionist – that is, they consider Israel a racist state. They include Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker, Martin Odoni, Glyn Secker and Cyril Chilson.

Another Jewish member, Moshe Machover, a professor emeritus at the University of London, had to be reinstated after a huge outcry among members at his treatment by the party.

Unthinking prejudice
Alan Maddison, who has been conducting statistical research on anti-semitism for a pro-Corbyn Jewish group, Jewish Voice for Labour, put the 0.08 percent figure into its wider social and political context this week.

He quoted the findings of a large survey of anti-semitic attitudes published by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in 2017. It found that 30 percent of respondents from various walks of society agreed with one or more of eight anti-semitic views, ranging from stereotypes such as “Jews think they are better than other people” to Holocaust denial.

Four-fifths of those who exhibited a degree of anti-semitism also agreed with at least one positive statement about Jewish people
However, lead researcher Daniel Staetsky concluded that in most cases, this was evidence of unthinking prejudice rather than conscious bigotry. Four-fifths of those who exhibited a degree of anti-semitism also agreed with at least one positive statement about Jewish people.

This appears to be the main problem among the tiny number of Labour Party members identified in complaints, and is reflected in the predominance of warnings about conduct rather than expulsions and suspensions.

Far-right bigotry
Another of the institute’s findings poses a particular problem for Corbyn’s opponents, who argue that the Labour leader has imported anti-semitism into the party by attracting the “hard left”. Since he was elected, Labour membership has rocketed.

Even if it were true that Corbyn and his supporters are on the far-left – a highly questionable assumption, made superficially plausible only because Labour moved to the centre-right under Tony Blair in the late 1990s – the institute’s research pulls the rug out from under Corbyn’s critics.

Demonstrators gather outside the head office of the UK Labour Party in London on 8 April 2018 (AFP)
Demonstrators gather outside the head office of the UK Labour Party in London on 8 April 2018 (AFP)
It discovered that across the political spectrum, conscious hatred of Jews was very low, and that it was exhibited in equal measure from the “very left-wing” to the “fairly right-wing”. The only exception, as one might expect, was on the “very right-wing”, where virulent anti-semitism was much more prevalent.

That finding was confirmed last week by surveys that showed a significant rise in violent, anti-semitic attacks across Europe as far-right parties make inroads in many member states. A Guardian report noted that the “figures show an overwhelming majority of violence against Jews is perpetrated by far-right supporters”.

Supporters of overseas war
So what is the basis for concerns about the Labour Party being mired in supposed “institutional anti-semitism” since it moved from the centre to the left under Corbyn, when the figures and political trends demonstrate nothing of the sort?

A clue may be found in the wider political worldview of the eight MPs who have broken from Labour.

All but two are listed as supporters of the parliamentary “Labour Friends of Israel” (LFI) faction. Further, Berger is a former director of that staunchly pro-Israel lobby group, and Ryan is its current chair, a position the group says she will hold onto, despite no longer being a Labour MP.

Labour and anti-semitism in 2018: The truth behind the relentless smear campaign against Corbyn
Read More »
So extreme are the LFI’s views on Israel that it sought to exonerate Israel of a massacre last year, in which its snipers shot dead many dozens of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza in a single day. Faced with a social media backlash, it quietly took down the posts.

The eight MPs’ voting records – except for Gavin Shuker, for whom the picture is mixed – show them holding consistently hawkish foreign policy positions that are deeply antithetical to Corbyn’s approach to international relations.

They either “almost always” or “generally” backed “combat operations overseas”; those who were MPs at the time supported the 2003 Iraq war; and they all opposed subsequent investigations into the Iraq war.

Committed Friends of Israel
In one sense, the breakaway group’s support for Labour Friends of Israel may not be surprising, and indicates why Corbyn is facing such widespread trouble from within his own party. Dozens of Labour MPs are members of the group, including Tom Watson and Ruth Smeeth.

Smeeth, one of those at the forefront of accusing Corbyn of fostering anti-semitism in Labour, is also a former public affairs director of BICOM, another stridently pro-Israel lobby group.

None of these MPs were concerned enough with the LFI’s continuing vocal support for Israel as it has shifted to the far-right under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have stepped down from the group.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in Washington on 6 March 2018 (AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in Washington on 6 March 2018 (AFP)
‘Wrong kind of Jews’
Anti-semitism has taken centre stage in the manoeuvring against Corbyn, despite there being no evidence of significant hatred against Jews in the party. Increasingly, it seems, tangible abuse of Jews is of little interest unless it can be related to Corbyn.

The markedly selective interest in anti-semitism in the Corbyn context among the breakaway MPs and supposed anti-semitism watchdogs has been starkly on show for some time.

Increasingly in this febrile atmosphere, there has been an ever-greater indulgence of the 'right kind of anti-semitism' – when it is directed at Corbyn supporters
Notably, none expressed concern at the media mauling of a left-wing, satirical Jewish group called Jewdas when Corbyn was widely attacked for meeting “the wrong kind of Jews”. In fact, leading Labour figures, including the Jewish Labour Movement, joined in the abuse.

And increasingly in this febrile atmosphere, there has been an ever-greater indulgence of the “right kind of anti-semitism” – when it is directed at Corbyn supporters.

A troubling illustration was provided on the TV show Good Morning Britain this week, when Tom Bower was invited on to discuss his new unauthorised biography of Corbyn, in which he accuses him of anti-semitism. The hosts looked on demurely as Bower, a Jewish journalist, defamed fellow Jewish journalist Michael Segalov as a “self-hating Jew” for defending Corbyn on the show.

Revenge of the Blairites
So what is the significance of the fact that the Labour MPs who have been most outspoken in criticising Corbyn – those who helped organise a 2016 leadership challenge against him, and those who are now rumoured to be considering joining the breakaway faction – are heavily represented on the list of MPs supporting LFI?

For them, it seems, vigorous support for Israel is not only a key foreign policy matter, but a marker of their political priorities and worldview – one that starkly clashes with the views of Corbyn and a majority of the Labour membership.

Corbyn and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair are pictured in London on 11 November (AFP)
Corbyn and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair are pictured in London on 11 November (AFP)
Anti-semitism has turned out to be the most useful – and damaging – weapon to wield against the Labour leader for a variety of reasons close to the hearts of the holdouts from the Blair era, who still dominate the parliamentary party and parts of the Labour bureaucracy.

Perhaps most obviously, the Blairite wing of the party is still primarily loyal to a notion that Britain should at all costs maintain its transatlantic alliance with the United States in foreign policy matters. Israel is a key issue for those on both sides of the Atlantic who see that state as a projection of Western power into the oil-rich Middle East and romanticise Israel as a guarantor of Western values in a “barbaric” region.

Corbyn’s prioritising of Palestinian rights threatens to overturn a core imperial value to which the Blairites cling.

Tarred and feathered
But it goes further. Anti-semitism has become a useful stand-in for the deep differences in a domestic political culture between the Blairites, on one hand, and Corbyn and the wider membership, on the other.

A focus on anti-semitism avoids the right-wing MPs having to admit much wider grievances with Corbyn’s Labour that would probably play far less well not only with Labour members, but with the broader British electorate.

Anti-Semitism and Labour: Jeremy Corbyn must stop apologising and start fighting back
Read More »
As well as their enthusiasm for foreign wars, the Blairites support the enrichment of a narrow neo-liberal elite, are ambivalent about austerity policies, and are reticent at returning key utilities to public ownership. All of this can be neatly evaded and veiled by talking up anti-semitism.

But the utility of anti-semitism as a weapon with which to beat Corbyn and his supporters – however unfairly – runs deeper still.

The Blairites view allegations of anti-Jewish racism as a trump card. Calling someone an anti-semite rapidly closes down all debate and rational thought. It isolates, then tars and feathers its targets. No one wants to be seen to be associated with an anti-semite, let alone defend them.

Weak hand exposed
That is one reason why anti-semitism smears have been so maliciously effective against anti-Zionist Jews in the party and used with barely a murmur of protest – or in most cases, even recognition that Jews are being suspended and expelled for opposing Israel’s racist policies towards Palestinians.

This is a revival of the vile “self-hating Jew” trope that Israel and its defenders concocted decades ago to intimidate Jewish critics.

The Blairites in Labour, joined by the ruling Conservative Party, the mainstream media and pro-Israel lobby groups, have selected anti-semitism as the terrain on which to try to destroy a Corbyn-led Labour Party, because it is a battlefield in which the left stands no hope of getting a fair hearing – or any hearing at all.

Members of the Jewish community protest against Corbyn in London on 26 March 2018 (AFP)
Members of the Jewish community protest against Corbyn in London on 26 March 2018 (AFP)
But paradoxically, the Labour breakaway group may have inadvertently exposed the weakness of its hand. The eight MPs have indicated that they will not run in by-elections, and for good reason: it is highly unlikely they would stand a chance of winning in any of their current constituencies outside the Labour Party.

Their decision will also spur moves to begin deselecting those Labour MPs who are openly trying to sabotage the party – and the members’ wishes – from within.

That may finally lead to a clearing out of the parliamentary baggage left behind from the Blair era, and allow Labour to begin rebuilding itself as a party ready to deal with the political, social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Jonathan Cook
Jonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, is the the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a past winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His website and blog can be found at:
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

'The murky world of the UK’s Blairite anti-Corbyn coup plotters': ... e-j22.html

The murky world of the UK’s Blairite anti-Corbyn coup plotters
By Robert Stevens
22 July 2016
The attempt to remove UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is being spearheaded by right-wing supporters of former Labour leader Tony Blair. These forces, who aim to either take over or destroy the Labour Party and set up a new right-wing party, are working in intimate collusion with the security services in Britain and the United States.
The plot was enacted immediately after the June 23 referendum vote for Britain to leave the EU. The organisers of the putsch seek to reverse the referendum result and re-fashion the Labour Party as the central tool to carry this out.
Among those playing a leading role against Corbyn is Labour MP Ruth Smeeth. She was elected as a Labour MP at the 2015 general election, after working in public relations at multinational food and facilities management company, Sodexo. She later worked in public relations for Nestlé. In between, she held a post with the pro-Israel lobby group, Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM).
On June 27, Smeeth resigned her position in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet as Parliamentary Private Secretary for the shadow Northern Ireland and Scotland teams. This was part of more than 60 coordinated resignations from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet organised by the plotters, with the aim of precipitating a no- confidence vote and forcing his resignation.
Corbyn refused to resign.
On June 30, Smeeth staged a stunt at a press conference where Corbyn was launching a report into the manufactured claims from Labour’s right wing that the party under his leadership was anti-Semitic. Smeeth stormed out of the meeting, with her office later claiming she had been reduced to tears. She made an official complaint to the party after claiming, “a Jeremy Corbyn supporter” had “used traditional anti-Semitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy’”—a reference to a statement that she was working with the Daily Telegraph.
Smeeth claimed that under Corbyn, Labour was not a “safe space for British Jews”. She called on Corbyn to stand down as leader “immediately and make way for someone with the backbone to confront racism and anti-Semitism in our party and in the country.”
Smeeth describes herself as “a lifelong Labour Party campaigner,” a former trade union officer and activist.
What is generally not known is that she was identified by WikiLeaks, via a US embassy diplomatic cable, as a “strictly protect” US informant.
The cable, dated April 24, 2009, was one of more than 251,287 made public by WikiLeaks and is headed “UK POLITICAL SNAPSHOT”. It notes, “Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Burton [the seat she contested and lost, prior to winning another in 2015] Ruth Smeeth (strictly protect) told us April 20 that [former Labour Prime Minister Gordon] Brown had intended to announce the elections on May 12, and hold them after a very short (matter of weeks) campaign season.”
The cable ends: “(Note: This information has not been reported in the press.)”
The cable testifies to the intimate connections that Labour’s plotters have to the US state and intelligence agencies. However, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Ruth Smeeth is married to Michael Smeeth, a member of the executive body of the British-American Project (BAP). The BAP describes itself as a “transatlantic fellowship of over 1,000 leaders, rising stars and opinion formers from a broad spectrum of occupations, backgrounds and political views.”
A November 2004 Guardian article noted that the BAP, which was essential in the formation of Blair’s New Labour, “has been described as a Trojan horse for US foreign policy.”
The article reported that following Blair’s first election victory in 1997, BAP released a private circular headlined, “Big Swing To BAP.” The circular stated, “No less than four British-American Project fellows and one advisory board member have been appointed to ministerial posts in the new Labour government.”
These included Mo Mowlam, Chris Smith, Peter Mandelson, Baroness Symons, George Robertson, Jonathan Powell, Geoff Mulgan, and Matthew Taylor.”
Mandelson was Blair’s closest adviser. Powell was Blair’s chief of staff and was previously posted at the British Embassy in Washington in 1991. Robertson, now a life peer as Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, was Blair’s Defence Secretary. He became NATO Secretary General from October 1999 to January 2004. Symons was Blair’s Minister for the Middle East, International Security, Consular and Personal Affairs in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Guardian named another Blairite, Douglas Alexander, then Foreign Office and Trade Minister, as a BAP member. David Miliband, the brother of Ed Miliband, Corbyn’s predecessor as Labour leader, was another BAP member.
The BAP includes a number of prominent UK and US journalists and broadcasters among its membership. A UK journalist, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, told the Guardian of one BAP conference: “The amount of drink, the way you were treated, the dinners with everyone who was anyone. ... Jonathan Powell [Tony Blair’s chief of staff] used to come a lot. I remember having many an argument with him beside swimming pools in white towelling dressing gowns. ... It was money that I’d never seen at any conference before. We [the participants] used to joke, ‘This is obviously funded by the CIA.’”
The BAP is certainly well financed. Journalist John Pilger wrote in a December 2007 article published in the New Statesman, “Since 1985, BAP ‘alumni’ and ‘fellows’ have been brought together courtesy of Coca-Cola, Monsanto, Saatchi & Saatchi, Philip Morris and British Airways, among other multinationals.”
The BAP was established in 1985 under the US Republican administration of Ronald Reagan with a mission “to perpetuate the close relationship between the United States and Britain.” Reagan said, “A special concern” being addressed by the BAP was cultivating the “successor generations, as these younger people are the ones who will have to work together in the future on defence and security issues.”
Pilger notes, “Attending this ceremony [where Reagan spoke] in the White House Situation Room were the ideologues [media oligarch] Rupert Murdoch and the late James Goldsmith.”
Labourite Nick Butler was central to the BAP’s formation. The Guardian article states that he “was treasurer of the influential left-leaning pressure group the Fabian Society and a promising junior player in the Labour party.” It cites Butler as saying, “The UK was in a bad state. ... America seemed much more dynamic, full of ideas, open”.
He continued, “My perspective then was that my generation—I would have been described as ‘rightwing’ in the 1982 Labour party—were totally stifled here. No prospect of being in power.”
Between 1982 and the BAP’s first conference in 1985, Butler secured the support of Sir Charles Villiers, a liberal Tory businessman; the US embassy in London, “which gave Butler a grant to go to Washington to test reactions to the BAP idea; and the Pew Charitable Trusts, a very large and wealthy American foundation.”
Butler spent 29 years with the BP, including five years as Group Vice President for Policy and Strategy Development from 2002 to 2006. The Guardian notes that such was the “warmth of its relations with Downing Street” that “during his time as BP”, it “become known as ‘Blair Petroleum’.”
Efforts to depose Corbyn were ramped up this week, with three quarters of Labour MPs voting for the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system. In the debate, various Blairites lined up to make clear that Labour is an unswerving ally of US imperialism and an advocate of nuclear war.
Smeeth stated that Britain had to embrace “our responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and as a founder member of the NATO alliance. ... From Major [Clement] Attlee’s support for Churchill in our country’s darkest hour to the founding of NATO under Ernest Bevin, our party has always stood up first and foremost for the security of our nation—we do now, and we always will.”
The author also recommends:
The anti-Corbyn coup and calls for a second referendum on Brexit
[1 July 2016]
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by TonyGosling »

The US Just Threatened to Move Against Corbyn: Where Is the Outrage?

Chris Nineham: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's threats should not be ignored or trivialised

"Trump's endorsement of Johnson and Farage during his visit was bad enough. But here we have an unambiguous statement by the most powerful foreign policy official in the US administration bar the President suggesting a move against a democratically elected leader in Britain. And it is not big news."

The Secretary of State of the world's most powerful nation has promised to 'push back' against the possibility of the leader of the Labour Party in Britain getting elected. He suggests US agencies will try and intervene to stop that eventuality because "it's too risky and too important and too hard once it's already happened".

We live in a liberal democracy at a time when there are widespread elite fears of foreign interference in politics, particularly by Russia. Cue outrage from the government and across media platforms surely? Err...well no actually. I haven't found a single record of complaint from the government, the story hasn't got near the top headlines in the national press, and as I write the BBC website is not featuring the story at all.

This is extraordinary. Trump's endorsement of Johnson and Farage during his visit was bad enough. But here we have an unambiguous statement by the most powerful foreign policy official in the US administration bar the President suggesting a move against a democratically elected leader in Britain. And it is not big news.

So, what are we to conclude? First this gives us an insight into the real dynamics of the 'special relationship'. When we protested Trump's visit, we were told we were wrong and that it is vital to our interests that we engage with the democratically elected leader of the free world. But what we see exposed here is a relationship of domination, in which senior US officials apparently reserve the right to decide who runs Britain.

But the lack of fuss and outrage suggests that the British elites are frankly unperturbed. Their commitment to democracy doesn't extend as far as defending the rights of a left-wing Prime Minister in waiting.

Pompeo's threats should not be ignored or trivialised. He is one of the leaders of a regime that believes it has the right to intervene militarily and politically from Venezuela to Afghanistan, from Syria to South Korea. Jeremy Corbyn is clearly seen as a threat to a world order that is based upon that right. Far from securing us against such intervention, the special relationship can be the means by which it is implemented.

This incident should alert everyone to the fact that the efforts made by elements of the establishment so far to sabotage Corbyn are just the start. They are going to intensify and internationalise as the prospect of a Corbyn government gets closer. Prepare yourselves.
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

The Plot to Keep Corbyn out of Power ... power.html

In the latest of the interminable media “furores” about Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed unfitness to lead the Labour party – let alone become prime minister – it is easy to forget where we were shortly before he won the support of an overwhelming majority of Labour members to head the party.

In the preceding two years, it was hard to avoid on TV the figure of Russell Brand, a comedian and minor film star who had reinvented himself, after years of battling addiction, as a spiritual guru-cum-political revolutionary.

Brand’s fast-talking, plain-speaking criticism of the existing political order, calling it discredited, unaccountable and unrepresentative, was greeted with smirking condescension from the political and media establishment. Nonetheless, in an era before Donald Trump had become president of the United States, the British media were happy to indulge Brand for a while, seemingly believing he or his ideas might prove a ratings winner with younger audiences.

But then Brand started to look rather more impressive than anyone could have imagined. He took on supposed media heavyweights like the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman and Channel 4’s Jon Snow and charmed and shamed them into submission – both with his compassion and his thoughtful radicalism. Even in the gladiatorial-style battle of wits so beloved of modern TV, he made these titans of the political interview look mediocre, shallow and out of touch. Videos of these head-to-heads went viral, and Brand won hundreds of thousands of new followers.

Then he overstepped the mark.

Democracy as charade

Instead of simply criticising the political system, Brand argued that it was in fact so rigged by the powerful, by corporate interests, that western democracy had become a charade. Elections were pointless. Our votes were simply a fig-leaf, concealing the fact that our political leaders were there to represent not us but the interests of globe-spanning corporations. Political and media elites had been captured by unshored corporate money. Our voices had become irrelevant.

Brand didn’t just talk the talk. He went out and started committing to direct action. He shamed our do-nothing politicians and corporate media (the devastating Grenfell Tower fire had yet to happen) by helping gain attention for a group of poor tenants in London who were taking on the might of a corporation that had become their landlord and wanted to evict them to develop their homes for a much richer clientele. Brand’s revolutionary words had turned into revolutionary action.

But just as Brand’s rejection of the old politics began to articulate a wider mood, it was stopped in its tracks. When Corbyn was unexpectedly elected Labour leader, offering for the first time in living memory a politics that listened to people before money, Brand’s style of rejectionism seemed a little too cynical, or at least premature.

But while Corbyn’s victory marked a sea-change, it is worth recalling that it occurred only because of a mistake. Or perhaps two.

The Corbyn accident

First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper. Most backed him only because they wanted to make the election look fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regrettedhaving assisted him. None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party. These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Brand had noted, to represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.

Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by 2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.

And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook – one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.

Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Brand wrong. Even the best designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t that Corbyn’s election had demonstrated that Britain’s political system was representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was that accident.

‘Brainwashing under freedom’

Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous “accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.

Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.

The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist, unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless, unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired – not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the party the largest in Europe. As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.

Redefining anti-semitism

Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly. Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable “humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the pockets of the military-industrial complex.

It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The political and media establishments soon learnt that they could recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.

Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – that expressly conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.

The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble – leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted party”, adding: “Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic.”

Remember every time the Guardian claims Chris Williamson said Labour was 'too apologetic about anti-semitism', it is *not* reporting. It is colluding in a lie promoted by those weaponising anti-semitism to damage Corbyn

— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) June 28, 2019
The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour was “too apologetic about anti-semitism”. In short, the Guardian and the rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism. But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party condoned racism.

Like the Salem witch-hunts

The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears, voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he added: “Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”

In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to admit the party’s institutionalised anti-semitism, to distance themselves from Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of guilt.

The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an investigation.

These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago, when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Then the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged apologists for Israel.

Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored – are denounced, as by Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.

In fact, the weaponisation of anti-semitism against Corbyn has become so normal that, even while I was writing this post, a new nadir was reached. Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary who hopes to defeat Boris Johnson in the upcoming Tory leadership race, as good as accusedCorbyn of being a new Hitler, a man who as prime minister might allow Jews to be exterminated as happened in the Nazi death camps.

.@Jeremy_Hunt: “When I went to Auschwitz I rather complacently said to myself, ‘thank goodness we don’t have to worry about that kind of thing in the UK’ and now I find myself faced with the leader of @UKLabour who has opened the door to antisemitism”

— Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) July 2, 2019
Too ‘frail’ to be PM

Although anti-semitism has become the favoured stick with which to beat Corbyn, other forms of attack regularly surface. The latest is a comment by an unnamed “senior civil servant” reported in the Times alleging that Corbyn is too physically frail and mentally ill-equipped to grasp the details necessary to serve as prime minister. It barely matters whether the comment was actually made by a senior official or simply concocted by the Times. It is yet further evidence of the political and media establishments’ anti-democratic efforts to discredit Corbyn as a general election looms.

One of the ironies is that media critics of Corbyn regularly accuse him of failing to make any political capital from the shambolic disarray of the ruling Conservative party, which is eating itself alive over the terms of Brexit, Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union. But it is the corporate media – which serves both as society’s main forum of debate and as a supposed watchdog on power – that is starkly failing to hold the Tories to account. While the media obsess about Corbyn’s supposed mental deficiencies, they have smoothed the path of Boris Johnson, a man who personifies the word “buffoon” like no one else in political life, to become the new leader of the Conservative party and therefore by default – and without an election – the next prime minister.

It's not just that it undermines democracy for a senior civil servant to tell the Times Corbyn would be unable to 'grasp the issues' as PM, it's the idea that Corbyn would have less of a grasp than Boris Johnson, who's about to become the UK's unelected PM

— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) July 2, 2019
An indication of how the relentless character assassination of Corbyn is being coordinated was hinted at early on in comments – also reported by The Times, and also made anonymously – by a British military general immediately after Corbyn’s election in 2015. He toldthe paper there would be “direct action”, what he termed a “mutiny”, by the armed forces should Corbyn ever get in sight of power. The generals, he said, regarded Corbyn as a national security threat and would use any means “fair or foul” to prevent him implementing his political programme.

Running the gauntlet

But this campaign of domestic attacks on Corbyn needs to be understood in a still wider framework, which relates to Britain’s abiding Transatlantic “special relationship”, one that in reality means that the UK serves as Robin to the United States’ Batman, or as a very junior partner to the global hegemon.

Last month a private conversation concerning Corbyn between the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and the heads of a handful of rightwing American Jewish organisations was leaked. Contrary to the refrain of the UK corporate media that Corbyn is so absurd a figure that he could never win an election, the fear expressed on both sides of that Washington conversation was that the Labour leader might soon become Britain’s prime minister.

Framing Corbyn yet again as an anti-semite, a US Jewish leader could be heard asking Pompeo if he would be “willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the UK”. Pompeo responded that it was possible “Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected” – a telling phrase that attracted remarkably little attention, as did the story itself, given that it revealed one of the most senior Trump administration officials explicitly talking about meddling directly in the outcome of a UK election.

Here is the dictionary definition of “run the gauntlet”: to take part in a form of corporal punishment in which the party judged guilty is forced to run between two rows of soldiers, who strike out and attack him.

So Pompeo was suggesting that there already is a gauntlet – systematic and organised blows and strikes against Corbyn – that he is being made to run through. In fact, “running the gauntlet” precisely describes the experience Corbyn has faced since he was elected Labour leader – from the corporate media, from the dominant Blairite faction of his own party, from rightwing, pro-Israel Jewish organisations like the Board of Deputies, and from anonymous generals and senior civil servants.

‘We cheated, we stole’

Pompeo continued: “You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

So, Washington’s view is that action must be taken before Corbyn reaches a position of power. To avoid any danger he might become the UK’s next prime minister, the US will do its “level best” to “push back”. Assuming that this hasn’t suddenly become the US administration’s priority, how much time does the US think it has before Corbyn might win power? How close is a UK election?

As everyone in Washington is only too keenly aware, a UK election has been a distinct possiblity since the Conservatives set up a minority goverment two years ago with the help of fickle, hardline Ulster loyalists. Elections have been looming ever since, as the UK ruling party has torn itself apart over Brexit, its MPs regularly defeating their own leader, prime minister Theresa May, in parliamentary votes.

So if Pompeo is saying, as he appears to be, that the US will do whatever it can to make sure Corbyn doesn’t win an election well before that election takes place, it means the US is already deeply mired in anti-Corbyn activity. Pompeo is not only saying that the US is ready to meddle in the UK’s election, which is bad enough; he is hinting that it is already meddling in UK politics to make sure the will of the British people does not bring to power the wrong leader.

Remember Pompeo, a former CIA director, once effectively America’s spy chief, was unusually frank about what his agency got up to when he was in charge. He observed: “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses.”

One would have to be remarkably naive to think that Pompeo changed the CIA’s culture during his short tenure. He simply became the figurehead of the world’s most powerful spying outfit, one that had spent decades developing the principles of US exceptionalism, that had lied its way to recent wars in Iraq and Libya, as it had done earlier in Vietnam and in justifying the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, and much more. Black ops and psyops were not invented by Pompeo. They have long been a mainstay of US foreign policy.

An eroding consensus

It takes a determined refusal to join the dots not to see a clear pattern here.

Brand was right that the system is rigged, that our political and media elites are captured, and that the power structure of our societies will defend itself by all means possible, “fair or foul”. Corbyn is far from alone in this treatment. The system is similarly rigged to stop a democratic socialist like Bernie Sanders – though not a rich businessman like Donald Trump – winning the nomination for the US presidential race. It is also rigged to silence real journalists like Julian Assange who are trying to overturn the access journalism prized by the corporate media – with its reliance on official sources and insiders for stories – to divulge the secrets of the national security states we live in.

There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the Turkeys that keep voting for Christmas.

That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.

When we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies, the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply ideological system destroying the planet was treated as though it was natural, immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our own and our children’s future does not have to continue. That we can raise our voices and loudly say: “No!”

*(Top image: Jeremy Corbyn. Credit: Steve Eason/ flickr)

Jeremy Corbyn
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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