Chuka Umunna takes major role in The Independent Group of breakaway MPs The former Labour MP's role suggests he will play a major role as The Independent Group tries to increase its profile Sky News reports The text in the image here however indicates Chuka's time in the Labour Party was only a pitstop
Opinion - Politics is a funny old game. As Huddersfield-born Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, famously said: “A week is a long time in politics." Lately however an hour has seemed a long time as the latest Labour Party coup against Jeremy Corbyn has gradually unfolded.
This time it is not such an obvious coup with some on the right-wing of the party cutting up their party cards and sharing the fact on social media while certain MPs and councillors have jumped ship but whatever you call it there is a serious attempt to remove Jeremy Corbyn as party leader underway.
For those of us in the party we see their game but sadly for voters around the country, those who simply want a better fairer government in place, and soon, confusion must reign.
Demonising Jeremy and his supporters is nothing new even though it is destructive and ultimately politically selfish.
Our MPs elected on a Labour manifesto openly saying they do not want a Corbyn led Labour government however crosses a red line.
While we do not want a series of resignations these people are either part of our electoral ambitions or they are not. If they are not they really do need to move on in every sense and complete as Chuka Umunna would say "their political journey"
After more than three years of Chuka acting as if he were some sort of unofficial party leader he has accepted his proper title of The Streatham King and jumped ship. I do wonder what he is doing for his constituents right now though as he trawls TV studio after TV studio.
Last night on the BBCs This Week Chuka talked his usual eloquent talk but it was more meaningless drivel.
He appears to actually believe that his constituents voted for him personally at the last General Election as he, to quote, "stood on a different manifesto to the Labour Party!"
Such arrogance is extreme even for dear Chuck.
He is pushing for a second referendum as that is what his constituents in Streatham allegedly want.
He conveniently forgets his last election success was helped by enthusiastic Labour Party campaigners who give up their free time to work in effect for the party for nowt! People from around the country not just Streatham. However as far as I know Chuka and his new party, sorry group, of Independent MPs are not the Streatham Party or are they?
Friday the Guardian reports "Chuka Umunna, who quit Labour last week to form the breakaway Independent Group, has said he never felt “comfortable” in his old party – and found his mixed cultural and class background were “a chain round my neck”" but what took him so long?
Today's blog was going to be about yet more arrogance, though in the shape of Angela Smith but with events ongoing rolling with the day is all we can do.
And we should never forget that Chuka Umunna is the group's appointed leader.
Angela Smith and revenge?
Today Ms Smith is also getting her latest 15 minutes of fame by complaining that her husband is getting a raw deal from some in the Labour Party.
"Ex-Labour MP accuses party of forcing husband out of job as councillor Angela Smith, who resigned to join The Independent Group, tells Sky News she believes the party is taking revenge on her."
Sadly Angela it is not rocket science nor is it vengeful.
As your husband has worked for you previously how can the party trust him? In a way the party is doing him as a favour and preventing him having divided loyalties or feeling under pressure to support you and or the party.
With you now part of Labour's opposition, and with earlier reports that one of your group allegedly tried to access Labour Party data, it seems a sensible option to have a new candidate in place for the May local elections. After all he may join you in TIG anytime.
Sky News reports "Steve Wilson [Smith's husband] was initially reselected to defend his East Ecclesfield seat last year, but the process is being rerun after complaints that eligible members had been excluded."
That sounds the sensible option.
As for vengeful, really?
What looks vengeful to me Angela is yourself and your group refusing to hold by-elections in their constituencies.
Elected as a Labour Party MP she now trawls television and radio news studios doing her best to attack and undermine the Labour Party and therefore those who elected her.
The same goes for her other Labour quitters who appear spiteful almost 24/7.
It is noticeable that the Tories who joined them are keeping their options open and using this time to bash Labour once again.
Don't fall for the headlines but decide for yourself.
Angela Smith BAME video
‘Good riddance’: Penistone locals have their say on Angela Smith resignation
Angela Smith claims she's 'NOT GOING ANYWHERE' as Sky host Burley demands by-election
The Labour Party, or rather Jeremy Corbyn, has faced some tough challenges recently, especially ahead of elections which were held May 3rd.
The number of smears, allegations and accusations from a variety of people has in many cases diminished real concerns.
The mainstream media has joined in but they are in the business of making money. One thing no person can deny is Jeremy Corbyn sells papers or rather these days gets eyeballs on online news websites.
As May 3rd drew near it started to look like there was a Smear-A-Day-HQ lurking in the political wings and its sole mission was or is to wreck Labour's election chances.
One line of attack that has been around for a while but surfaced late March relates to transgender self-identification and the inclusion of transgender women onto Labour's all women candidate selection lists.
What was galling was the fact that planned resignations from the Labour Party were re-timed to hit the party hard; and the fact that those involved opted to use the Daily Mail to further their cause rang many alarm bells.
The timing ran alongside elections, at a time so many Labour Party supporters were campaigning hard for election success.
How many people levelling accusations against the party are or were true Labour supporters and how many entryists into the party for their own reasons?
Whatever the truth they acted as enemies within and continue to do so using the mainstream and social media for a Labour negative.
Now they are making further demands and so we feel it is time we re-send our open letter to Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader, and Jennie Formby, Labour's new General Secretary.
This is our open letter from late March and is as valid as ever:-
Dear Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader, and Jennie Formby, Labour's General Secretary this letter was created late March 2018
You can show your support by signing here or in a comment below
There has been a lot of bad press recently alleging social media abuse by some Labour Party supporters.
But social media is often far from social.
Take a look at the tweet today by Tooting Labour Party with regard to one Peter Bingle. But note it is not Tooting Labour being offensive but allegedly Mr Bingle
“Tooting Labour Party
These disgusting tweets from a Senior Wandsworth Conservative and former Head of Housing at Wandsworth Council need to investigated by @MetPoliceUK under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. We raised them 3 weeks ago but Wandsworth Conservatives have refused to denounce”
The sample of tweets are show below:-
So who is Mr Bingle?
His social media timeline is a mixed bag.
But a quick google search and here he is.
The London Lobbyist with Ties to Billions of Pounds of Gentrification. Peter Bingle spends his time schmoozing councils on behalf of property developers
Grenfell action group
If you read the likes of the Sun and the Times firstly why and secondly you may believe all Jeremy Corbyn supporting Facebook groups are cesspits of hate.
Trolls like to infiltrate pages and groups for many reasons including they have nothing better to do, they are pathetic, they want to stir things up, they are fifth columnists and more.
But we have to accept that in anger people lash out and sometimes that translates to their online activity.
So let me introduce you to one hell of a hate-filled group called Jeremy Corbyn Watch
Take a look if you want to and be sure to report the page to Facebook as you hastily retreat.
With around 8,000 members it claims to be “observing the Labour Party” and be a “just for fun” page but that is simply misleading.
It is much more than that. It is pure hate.
The creator of this page is unknown. Cowards and bullies online tend to prefer anonymity.
Footage via Alan Sugar, shares re Tommy Robinson, hateful comments and more rings many alarm bells.
Yet this group appears to have stayed off limits to The Times undercover reporter Gabriel Pogrund who used others to infiltrate Corbyn supporting groups over a long period of time and found a few instances of abuse.
I ventured over to Jeremy Corbyn Watch briefly and in a view seconds observed a mass of abuse.
Abuse like this shown below, and kudos to John Robe who was equally shocked by what he saw.
Will the mainstream media share this story?
We will share it with them and ask you do the same.
Let’s see just how serious they are about removing social media hate.
From within a Jeremy Corbyn supporting Facebook group
Lord Sugar you should be fired from Twitter
Jeremy Corbyn supporter looks back at this week
On March 22, 2018, the Foreign Office led by Boris Johnson U.K. Foreign Secretary was adamant that Russia was to blame for an attack in Salisbury involving a former double agent and his daughter. A police officer also sustained injuries.
In a rollercoaster few weeks the British Tory government acted fast and many would say too fast.
Labour Party leader, and therefore leader of the British government’s official opposition at this time, Jeremy Corbyn, was criticised when the story broke for offering a more cautious approach.
Act in haste repent at leisure, so the saying goes.
Wednesday after experts at Porton Down said they had found no link between Russia and the nerve agent used in the attack the Foreign Office or Boris Johnson or both made sure the tweet below was quickly deleted.
As pressure mounts for P.M. Theresa May to sack Boris Johnson the Guardian reports:
“Putin says he hopes common sense will prevail in Salisbury row
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said today that he hoped “common sense” would prevail in the dispute with the UK over the Salisbury attack. Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, in Turkey, he said:
We wait for the moment when, finally, common sense comes out victorious, and international relations stop receiving the damage that we are witnessing right now.
Yesterday’s Porton Down statement represents a vindication of sorts for Craig Murray, the former ambassador to Uzbekistan (his book about his time there, Murder in Samarkand, is very good) who left the Foreign Office after becoming increasingly outspoken on the subject of human rights and who now blogs and campaigns, largely from an ultra alternative and anti-establishment viewpoint.
His suggestion that Israel is just as likely to have been to blame for the Salisbury attack as Russia would probably be seen by many people as borderline delusional.
But his Porton Down blog from three weeks ago has stood the test of time. “
Jeremy Corbyn was criticised by some of his own M.Ps for his thoughtful approach.
Will they now post a public apology?
Op-ed: It’s always sad to see Labour MPs in the mix with Tories but more so when a few weeks, or is it days, later they are all proved to have been WRONG.
#WeStandWithJeremyCorbyn has been a popular hashtag on social media for supporters of the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and it is a shame some of our own Labour MPs did not do just that!
Dare we say the usual suspects?
As Theresa May went into full attack mode against Russian leader President Putin some Labour MPs opted to applaud her and stand with her in parliament.
John Woodcock seems to have been a leading light in this.
As news broke this week that PM May and her Foreign Secretary had jumped the gun on Russia, as usual Jeremy Corbyn stands on the correct side of this affair, by having initially offered a measured approach.
Some MPs will no doubt be quick to comment that Jeremy Corbyn was a serial political rebel when he had a seat on the backbenches but he did not simply rebel to undermine a party leader rather he rebelled as he believed what he was saying.
I wonder how many who backed the Early Day Motion reproduced below can say the same?
RUSSIA'S POISONING OF SERGEI AND YULIA SKRIPAL
Date tabled: 14.03.2018
Primary sponsor: Woodcock, John
Sponsors: Streeting, Wes Creasy, Stella Doughty, Stephen Umunna, Chuka Coffey, Ann
That this House unequivocally accepts the Russian state's culpability for the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal in Salisbury using the illegal novichok nerve agent which has also led to the serious illness of Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey who went to their rescue, and to the possible poisoning of other members of the emergency services and public as yet unknown; fully supports the statement made by the Prime Minister on 14 March 2018 in response to Russia's illegal attack on the UK; further supports the Government's sanctions against Russia resulting from this incident thus far, including the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats; supports the decision not to send Government ministers or members of the Royal family to Russia until further notice; supports the Government's call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss Russia's use of chemical weapons on UK soil; and resolves to consider support for further proportionate actions to deter future acts of aggression by the Russian state.
Austin, Ian Labour Party Dudley North 14.03.2018
Bailey, Adrian Labour Party West Bromwich West 14.03.2018
Barron, Kevin Labour Party Rother Valley 14.03.2018
Berger, Luciana Labour Party Liverpool Wavertree 15.03.2018
Bottomley, Peter Conservative Party Worthing West 16.03.2018
Carmichael, Alistair Liberal Democrats Orkney and Shetland 15.03.2018
Coffey, Ann Labour Party Stockport 14.03.2018
Cooper, Rosie Labour Party West Lancashire 19.03.2018
Coyle, Neil Labour Party Bermondsey and Old Southwark 14.03.2018
Creagh, Mary Labour Party Wakefield 19.03.2018
Creasy, Stella Labour Party Walthamstow 14.03.2018
Davey, Edward Liberal Democrats Kingston and Surbiton 16.03.2018
Docherty, Martin Scottish National Party West Dunbartonshire 15.03.2018
Doughty, Stephen Labour Party Cardiff South and Penarth 14.03.2018
Ellman, Louise Labour Party Liverpool Riverside 15.03.2018
Evans, Chris Labour Party Islwyn 14.03.2018
Farron, Tim Liberal Democrats Westmorland and Lonsdale 19.03.2018
Fitzpatrick, Jim Labour Party Poplar and Limehouse 14.03.2018
Gapes, Mike Labour Party Ilford South 14.03.2018
Glindon, Mary Labour Party North Tyneside 15.03.2018
Hobhouse, Wera Liberal Democrats Bath 15.03.2018
Hodge, Margaret Labour Party Barking 15.03.2018
Jardine, Christine Liberal Democrats Edinburgh West 15.03.2018
Jones, Graham Labour Party Hyndburn 15.03.2018
Kinnock, Stephen Labour Party Aberavon 14.03.2018
Lamb, Norman Liberal Democrats North Norfolk 21.03.2018
Leslie, Chris Labour Party Nottingham East 15.03.2018
Lloyd, Stephen Liberal Democrats Eastbourne 16.03.2018
Malhotra, Seema Labour Party Feltham and Heston 15.03.2018
McDonald, Stewart Scottish National Party Glasgow South 15.03.2018
McGovern, Alison Labour Party Wirral South 14.03.2018
McKinnell, Catherine Labour Party Newcastle upon Tyne North 15.03.2018
Monaghan, Carol Scottish National Party Glasgow North West 16.03.2018
Murray, Ian Labour Party Edinburgh South 15.03.2018
Perkins, Toby Labour Party Chesterfield 14.03.2018
Rimmer, Marie Labour Party St Helens South and Whiston 21.03.2018
Ryan, Joan Labour Party Enfield North 15.03.2018
Shannon, Jim Democratic Unionist Party Strangford 19.03.2018
Smeeth, Ruth Labour Party Stoke-on-Trent North 14.03.2018
Smith, Angela C Labour Party Penistone and Stocksbridge 15.03.2018
Snell, Gareth Labour Party Stoke-on-Trent Central 15.03.2018
Spellar, John Labour Party Warley 15.03.2018
Stone, Jamie Liberal Democrats Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross 15.03.2018
Streeting, Wes Labour Party Ilford North 14.03.2018
Swinson, Jo Liberal Democrats East Dunbartonshire 16.03.2018
Timms, Stephen Labour Party East Ham 15.03.2018
Turley, Anna Labour Party Redcar 14.03.2018
Umunna, Chuka Labour Party Streatham 14.03.2018
Wilson, Phil Labour Party Sedgefield 15.03.2018
Woodcock, John Labour Party Barrow and Furness 14.03.2018
You know it is funny what you find online and sometimes even more so what you find lurking on your computer.
All the recent nastiness and mud-slinging aimed at Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters has been many things.
To those of us labelled hard left trots, a rabble and worse it has been challenging to say the very least.
To people cut off from U.K. politics by choice or not it must give the impression we are a band of monsters but we are not.
Take a look at the image above. A young Tory on a Facebook group called “Jeremy Corbyn is a dirty old man!”
Take a look at the list below and you will quickly realise Cllr Munro cannot use the excuse someone added me and I did not know.
Said councillor was happily adding people to the group.
That group may or may not still be active on Facebook. With so many people reporting the group it could have been taken down by Facebook.
It did not make an issue of The Times but we thought it fair to give it a share in light of recent events.
It is or was a closed group I think that you join to take part.
Some closed groups that are Jeremy Corbyn supporting apparently were infiltrated by trolls working for a Times journalist Gabriel Pogrund. Who knows if some actually posted click-bait posts and comments to get a response?
It could be though they found some real abuse as all Facebook groups face a tough time keeping abuse free.
I did not infiltate such a nasty group as Jeremy Corbyn is a Dirty Old man. That group by the was renamed from much worse following complaints.
But this old retired NHS worker is computer savvy.
Unless a group settings are totally locked down it is easy to see the list of members.
I acutally found the information having seen this nasty group on Facebook with some shocking posts visible and trying to see who was behind it.
Social media is not abuse free and it is not simply a Labour Party issue.
(Below more abuse aimed at Mr Corbyn on Facebook though we have no idea who the abusers are this time)
Hello all, shall I start this with something like a confession at alcoholics’ anonymous?
I cannot stand up to say it as I am sat typing at a P.C. and these days my old legs are not so good but here it is:-
My name is Eileen and I created a Jeremy Corbyn supporting group on Facebook a couple of years ago.
Phew that's better, confession being good for the soul and all that.
I have started in light-hearted mode not because I view all allegations of abuse as trivial or non-existent but rather because this is a heavy subject.
So firstly why create a group?
Why not there are tons on Facebook? Everything from dogs to politics to sex to D.I.Y and more.
Political groups can be a good place for sharing information, keeping each-others spirits up through any election defeats and so much more.
Political supporting groups have been on Facebook for as long as I have been a member but probably longer and from its humble early beginnings.
Some are lovely and friendly others feel like a jump into a lion's den but that is why some members love them.
Some people you know like to chat about politics anywhere and everywhere
But one reason is a positive group like ours helps counteract nasty ones such as Jeremy Corbyn is a Twat, Jeremy Corbyn is a Total Twat and Jeremy Corbyn is a dirty old man, which originally had a more abusive title linking Mr Corbyn to paedophilia re his young supporters. There is of course no evidence of that but those are just three right-wing groups on Facebook all pedalling hate, all reported to Facebook over and over again and which continued to cause offence, house trolls and be abusive, who knows perhaps all just for a laugh?
Funnily enough those groups seem to have been taken down today or recently. Interesting?
However you know Facebook.
Always able to find bits and bobs that lork after a deletion.
Perils of running a group
For a group to work you need a good admin team that all sing from the same song sheet and are there for one purpose only, in our case supporting Jeremy Corbyn on his path to being our next Prime Minister of the U.K.
Some Facebook users prefer to just have a laugh but being an admin is at times no laughing matter.
In our case we are now a small group of Corbyn supporters all working together as a great admin team, but along the way there have been bumps and hurdles.
We manage a group of over 4,100 members and some members are active online 24/7.
We obviously are not.
Our admin team includes the retired and the young working. With the best will in the world we cannot police our group day and night 24 hours a day.
We opted early on to add some restrictions to our group which means shares into the group have to be approved and so do new member requests. We added a couple of questions as to why a person might want to join us but people often tell lies on social media, don’t you know.
So we check profiles and do our best to make sure the person is a good fit for our group before we open the door and say come on in.
We do not always get it right but once a mistake is clear we remove that person a.s.a.p.
Then it is mind the door does not hit you on your way out!
In the two-years we have been an active group the admin team has changed more than once. This may mean we have stuff lurking in our basement which we really should bin.
Again we work to try to keep on top of that as and when we can.
But we do have open commenting and that can be a problem.
It means as long as you are a member of the group you can comment on a thread any time of day or night.
Whilst we check and delete offending comments some occasionally get through.
It has been a learning curve for us all including our members.
People are hurting under this cruel Tory government and when a person is affected themselves they lash out.
Is there any wonder ordinary non-funded, non-affiliated Corbyn supporting groups on Facebook get it wrong at times?
Our group has a great mix of people though all with the common aim of supporting Jeremy Corbyn. We are old, young and in the middle, varying ethnicity, well, not so well, vulnerable and people with disabilities, highly educated, not so educated and under educated; we are in fact a great cross section of the general public if you exclude the fat-cats.
And 99.9% of the time we all gel as one.
It is not only hurtful but sad to see such poor journalism in The Times today. It used to be such a great read quite a few decades ago now.
But these days it is under the leadership of Richard Murdoch former boss of the now defunct scandal rag the ‘News of the World’, still boss of the most hated publication in all of Liverpool ‘The Sun’ and long-time friends of high-ranking Tories and Mr Tony Blair.
Now that is not a conspiracy theory. A cursory search through Google images online will confirm it for you doubters.
In February the Daily Telegraph reported that the Tory Party was going to hire paid trolls to work for them on social media.
They were getting desperate to beat Mr Corbyn's unpaid band of faithful supporters.
We have all got used to being called a crazy cult, rabid trots and more sometimes by people within the Labour Party.
It is not called abuse though when it is directed at Jeremy Corbyn supporters for some reason. Odd that.
But I think we must all be getting like Jeremy. He has shown strength and resilience; When the going gets tough the tough get going.
In our hearts we know Mr Corbyn offers so many people in the U.K. a much better tomorrow, much better than more of the same old tired politics of other political parties including now old new Labour. We also know our man is not for sale and so do the likes of Rupert Murdoch.
Easter Sunday as many decent people who support Jeremy Corbyn are trashed by the mainstream media and have their names splashed in some cases across Rupert Murdoch rags it is hurtful to see supposed comrades joining in the abuse.
It's a fact some people are silly, some hateful, some fifth columnists and some genuine. Sorting out who is who online can be tricky.
If you see or experience abuse in any Facebook group or elsewhere online report to the admin, the site and if necessary the police so it can be investigated.
And do so no matter where the abuse appears to hail from.
A few images from our group have been used in this report. Some may be funny others more serious but hopefully non will cause offense.
Humour and satire can be a useful tool but also misjudged and misused at times.
Think back to Charlie Hebdo and have a long hard think.
If you are a Jeremy Corbyn supporter and use Facebook why not drop by and give us a knock?
We may just open the door and give you a huge welcome or we may slam the door in your face.
In our group there is never any offence intended; we just want to keep our safe and secure place where we gather just that; safe and secure.
For Background to this story:
In the Murdoch press:
Exposed: Jeremy Corbyn’s hate factory
Vitriol and threats of violence: the ugly face of Jeremy Corbyn’s cabal
Racist comments ‘should be investigated by police’
Luciana Berger: Four types of vicious abuse; just one way to deal with itJeremy Corbyn’s online army: the Facebook groups peddling hate
Targets of the trolls
On this website:
Lord Sugar you should be fired from Twitter
Jeremy Corbyn supporter looks back at this week
Where did you get that hat?
Lies, Damn Lies and Corbyn’s Anti-Semitism
Jeremy Corbyn Wins Apology And Payout From Tory MP Ben Bradley Over 'Communist Spy' Tweet
Minister's relative gives Tories £816,000: Labour
Tories hire army of tweeters to take social media fight to Labour
The Labour Party has had a tumultuous week.
It has been Holy Week in the Christian calendar but it has been one big holy mess in the Labour Party.
Today is Good Friday the day Jesus Christ was crucified.
But a few-weeks ago John Woodock MP fired the starting pistol on a right-wing attack against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.
It was John that kicked off the 2016 so-called chicken-coup and that was March too.
In the mix, of the latest unrest, is the dwindling group on the right-wing of the party Progress and those people wanting at the very least a second referendum plus those who want Brexit scrapped.
David Cameron certainly knew what he was doing when he allowed an E.U. referendum to shore up Tory voting but then quickly cut and run when the Leave campaign lost.
Others have been left to wade through a veritable field of quicksand.
But the Labour Party's problems this week had roots in allegations of anti-Semitism.
Events as the week has progressed actually disrespect true victims of such abuse as attacks are made against Corbyn supporters and are politicised by the right-wing of the Labour Party.
Alan Sugar, appointed as a Lord by former New Labour Party leader Tony Blair, has Good Friday evening incensed Corbyn supporters with the above tweet.
Social media activists and users have fought verbally online while many have simply been shocked and reported the tweet to Twitter as offensive.
Certainly if there is a problem with anti-Semitism what message does the above tweet send out?
For me it is notable that anti-Semitism accusing trolls on Twitter have remained silent.
Using anti-Semitism as a political tool is many things from dirty to abusive to offensive and more.
There are two tweets below pertaining to tonight’s row. One is from John Mann who said this week send any anti-Semitic tweets you see online to me and I will report if they are Labour Party members; the other is from Labour Party shadow chancellor John McDonnell who appealed to Sugar to withdraw the offensive tweet.
Obviously the tweet will act as a click-bait tweet to some and could therefore result in an offensive comment by an angry viewer.
Is that the idea lord Sugar?
As I tweeted to Mr Sugar "Once a barrow boy always a barrow boy. Money but no class. Reporting that tweet thank you.
I have included a reminder re John Woodcock in an image below.
Jeremy Corbyn supporter looks back at this week
Where did you get that hat?
Lies, Damn Lies and Corbyn’s Anti-Semitism
This is a personal view of events concerning the Labour Party this week, with a little personal background to kick this off
(Apologies this will be rather long)
Coming from a working class background, our family occupying what was deemed a slum property during my childhood in the 1950s and 1960s, I guess I was always going to be a socialist.
My parents were Labour voters though never party members and I followed that trend.
There were always some working class Tory voters, even where we lived as kids, most for a variety of reasons including working class snobbery and an “I'm Alright Jack Attitude”.
But we kids all played on the same bomb-sites, went to the same old Victorian built schools, tore around the streets playing games, washed in tin baths, if we were lucky, slept in icy cold bedrooms during the winter months and enjoyed the privilege of an outside lavatory.
But we were lucky as not far from our streets the tenants in blocks of houses all shared one outside lavatory in a communal yard with one outside tap thrown in to spoil them.
So for me once a socialist always a socialist
I have voted Labour all my adult life though at times having to pinch my nose and encourage others to vote for "the lesser of the evils", the Labour Party.
Retiring a few years ago it seemed sensible to join the Labour Party which I have always supported and put my money where my mouth has always been. It was ahead of the General Election 2015 and Ed Miliband was party leader.
I had already been joining in pro-Labour tweet-storms and other social media activity as well as posting supportive blogs so what could possibly go wrong?
What went wrong for me was the Labour Party in all its self-proclaimed broad-church splendour
People say ignorance is bliss and that is certainly true.
GE2015 was lost and Ed was the sacrificial lamb.
Ed’s own MPs, many who shy away from leadership or even cabinet positions, like to virtually throw the party leader under any passing bus in defeat and so they chucked Ed as far as they could throw him.
Which means it was strange to me that Jeremy was blamed when a majority of people in the U.K. voted to leave the E.U, as my M.P. Alan Johnson ran the Labour campaign.
Warning bells went ting-a-ling
But I digress
I initially supported Andy Burnham for party leader when Ed stepped down. My thoughts were his age compared to Jeremy Corbyn rather than anything else, and I say that as a person aged mid-sixties now.
But a new lesson was learned, never judge others by yourself.
Jeremy Corbyn has amazing stamina and resilience.
I never supported Yvette Cooper or Liz Kendall as both were just too wishy-washy and middle-of-the-road for me. I looked at those standing for Deputy Party Leader and opted for Tom Watson as best of the bunch. Like so many I truly regret that vote.
Having followed the leadership race tirelessly I actually missed the new leader announcement as the health of our old rescue dog took a terrible turn for the worse. As the new leader of the Labour Party was announced we sat on our kitchen floor, with our beloved Jessie, while the vet put her to sleep.
So it was a tearful day for us but nothing to do with politics.
I had vowed to support whichever candidate won and I have been true to my word unlike some.
However it has been an easy task to support Jeremy as Jeremy Corbyn is the best thing that has happened to British politics for many decades.
He and his political supporters offer real hope for the many not the few and a chance to create a better Britain.
Having watched Britain's decline over the decades he remains an inspiration to me and one of the few politicians that could reverse the decay and stop the rot.
But it has not been an easy ride for Mr Corbyn or his supporters.
From day one there have been accusations, smears, challenges to his leadership and enemies within the party trying their damnedest to remove him and return to the politics of Tony Blair; a man who came to the Labour Party late.
For some it is as if there was no Labour Party in existence before Blair took office.
So this week another crisis is reached in the Labour Party.
This time a huge crisis which kicked off with claims of Antisemitism levelled against Mr Corbyn relating to a comment he made on Facebook in 2012.
It is worth noting when he did not rapidly respond to the allegation made by a Labour MP she took to Twitter to ensure maximum coverage and damage.
But yes 2012, so why the huge personal urgency now?
Why not work with colleagues and address this once and for all?
For me timing is always important when we look at allegations and try to decide if they are an opportunistic smear or made with real concerns.
At the end of this blog I will share some links to this week’s events but I refuse to dredge it all up again.
This is my closure on the affair, cathartic, as we look forward to upcoming elections and begin campaigning. Those safely nestled in Westminster apparently do not give a flying fig about local people standing for election this year.
Timing as always matters
More sacrificial lambs?
There has been a plethora of nasty screenshots from closed member only Labour supporting groups flooding some twitter troll accounts for some time.
If there are real and new problems real action would have been taken by now. The ruling bodies of the NEC would have acted and new procedures would already be in place.
And the party machinery under outgoing General Secretary Iain McNicol have obviously left a backlog of work for newly appointed Jennie Formby.
Are all the issues new and only occurring now under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership?
No except possibly for the extent of in-house smears.
It is notable that today, Good Friday in the U.K. the boss of Progress Richard Angell has made sure Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters are headline news for all the wrong reasons.
As Angell and his side-kick Luke Akehurst have tried to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters from day one their involvement actually disrespects genuine victims of Antisemitism in my honest opinion.
Until I joined the Labour Party I had no idea what Progress or Momentum was but you soon wise up.
So here I stand, or rather sit at my P.C typing this blog on Good Friday, the day that Jesus Christ was crucified wondering what next?
What next for the smears?
What nest for the accusers?
What next for Jeremy Corbyn supporters like myself branded a rabble or trots and neo fascists from people within the party and from one Tory M.P. this week Sajid Javid who took the cowards way out and did his accusing in the House of Commons under parliamentary privilege rules.
And, what next for me?
I commented on social media a short while ago sensing what was coming having observed trolls in action "should I renew my Labour Party membership and why?"
I had lots of positive reactions and reasons to stick with it.
However as I watch our own MPs, some who were helped back into office by Momentum and Jeremy Corbyn supporting activists in 2017, virtually spit on each and every one of us I wonder why bother?
There are many reasons to stay but many more to quit.
One main one will be to continue to support Jeremy Corbyn from within as well as outside of the party.
But who knows which member will be deemed not fit to grace the party traditionally of the working class at any future date?
It could well be me next if someone wants to trawl social media with the software the trolls and the party use to find a reason to remove people; or even if they do not like this blog.
Of course the likes of Tony Blair and John Woodcock are allowed to stay party members while actively telling people they cannot vote for Jeremy or even telling them to vote for another party. They can also feed the media negative story after negative story and not be held to account.
Seems the software used and the people reporting are very selective.
So in case you are wondering:-
I am not a racist
I am not homophobic
I am not Antisemitic
I am not sexist
I am not abusive
I am not a careerist
I am not a journo posting click bait to make money
I do not yearn for any public office
But I am a Jeremy Corbyn supporter?
And I am angry
All I do is yearn for a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour government with a great team working with him.
I ask do other Labour people such as John Mann, Stella Creasy, Tony Blair, John Woodcock, Luke Akehurst, Richard Angell et al want that?
I think we all know the answer to that one
Will I renew my party membership?
The jury is still out on that one and here is why.
I have as little in common with Progress, its members, its supporting MPs, its bosses Luke Akehurst and Richard Angell and those on the right of the party as I do with the Tories or even god forbid Ukip.
Until I see that change why would I want to throw my hat in the Labour Party ring.
But there is a subtle difference this time.
If I leave the party my vote goes with me.
I will become non-political and enjoy a full-retirement at last.
Please feel free to comment but note due to spammers and those darn trolls comments need to be approved before they show.
MPs urge Corbyn to suspend Shawcroft amid anti-Semitism row
Watch: Labour supporters clash at rally against anti-Semitism
Thousands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters endorse letter saying Jewish-organised antisemitism protest was the work of 'very powerful special interest group'
Activists Demand Jeremy Corbyn 'Clean Up' Pro-Labour Facebook Pages Amid Anti-Semitism Row
Lies, Damn Lies and Corbyn’s Anti-Semitism
Where did you get that hat?
What is anti-Semitism?
According to the EU Agency for fundamental Rights (EUAFR), anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism that are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, or toward the Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.
In July 2017, the Campaign Against Antisemitism published the opinion of expert counsel on the adoption of the above definition as an International Definition of Antisemitism. Expert legal opinion states that The Definition is a clear, meaningful and a workable definition. Criticism of Israel, even in robust terms, cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic per se and such criticism is not captured by the Definition.
Monday, March 26, 2018 was a dark and disgusting day in British politics, when right wing hacks, Tory MPs and Mr Blair’s acolytes in the PLP hijacked the victims of real anti-Semitism for political point scoring in yet another attempt to discredit Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition.
Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has condemned racism in all its forms for his entire career, has been labelled anti-Semitic because he viewed a mural painted by a street artist. It mattered not that the picture, entitled ‘Fake Profits’ depicted capitalism, and the greed of the rich who made their money off the backs of the working classes, those with an agenda decided they could spin intent and use it against him.
Jo Coburn for the BBC, presenter and right-wing apologist who is rabidly anti-Corbyn, described the picture as a stereotypical depiction of Jews with hooked noses. Her comment, according to the EUAFR’s definition of anti-Semitism, could itself be described as anti-Semitic. No one suggested but she that Jews are bankers with hooked noses, and indeed many people have facial features which could, and do, lend themselves to parody.
The artist, Kalen Ockerman, has identified the men in his painting, from left to right, as “Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Aleister Crowley, Carnegie & Warburg“.
Of the six men, only the first and last in the list were Jewish. One, Aleister Crowley, was noted for his anti-Semitic views.
The people who fake outrage, and who are demanding Corbyn gives up his pound of flesh, are the same people who do nothing about the rabid Islamophobia raging though the entire British Isles, or the attacks on the Mayor of London, or the ignorant, hate-filled little Englanders who brand all Muslims as groomers, paedophiles and rapists.
The legacy of conservatism is a section of spiteful haters who are terrified that a decent man may ascend to number 10
The tabloids and the BBC are at it again.
Not content with the egging they received over fake claims that Jeremy Corbyn was passing secrets to a Czechoslovakian spy, they are now trying their hardest to discredit him using the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yuliya, who were hospitalised after encountering the nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury two-weeks ago.
The theme in the main stream media this time, is that Corbyn, by wanting to err on the side of caution until we have proof that the Russian government administered Novichok to Mr Skripal and his daughter, must mean that he is trying to protect the Russians for some nefarious reason of his own.
Most right-thinking people would undoubtedly agree that before our Government went ahead and escalated a cold war with Russia, it might not be a bad idea to check a few facts first, especially as the scientist working on the samples of the poison that were sent to Porton Down, have refused to state categorically that the Novichok was made in Russia.
‘Labour MPs round on Corbyn after he says he does not TRUST security services' evidence that Russia is to blame for spy nerve agent attack’ Screamed the Daily Mail.
Of course it mattered not to the Mail that it was totally untrue.
What Mr Corbyn said was he fully condemned the attack, and those who had committed such an atrocity on British soil must be found and punished. He simply wanted to wait for the report from the experts at Porton Down to identify the source of the poison before blame was apportioned anywhere.
Trial by media did not stop with the gutter press however.
On BBC Newsnight March 15, a photo of Jeremy Corbyn was selected to make him look as much like Lenin as possible.
His picture was set against a backdrop of Russia’s Red Square. It was obvious to Labour supporters and others that Mr Corbyn was set up to look like a Russian stooge.
Accusations of photoshopping Mr Corbyn’s hat were denied by the BBC, but it cannot be doubted that the colouring and the shadows in the photo of the Labour leader and his hat were altered to sit more comfortably with the backdrop.
The subliminal message from the BBC was look at Corbyn at home with his Russian mates.
There has been indecent haste to brand the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the U.K. a Russian sympathiser and a traitor to the country in which he was born and has served loyally for 35 years as a Labour MP and it’s not difficult to see why the right-wing hacks are behaving like this.
After Ben Bradley was forced to apologise for calling Jeremy Corbyn a traitor on social media, the oligarchs who control democracy in the U.K. must have felt a little flutter of alarm.
Jeremy Corbyn is a strong and principled man who has promised to sort out the jackals in the press when Labour take office.
They only have themselves to blame, however, but, any chance they get to go a little bit James Bond between now and the next election will not be missed.
By Monday March 19 a standard email was being sent out to those who had complained to the BBC. A copy follows:
Friday March 9, 2018, a group of women, angered at some anti transgender social media campaigning which was being used by those involved as yet another stick to beat Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn got together to create #Women4Corbyn.
It is an online based focus group which in a few days has received a great deal of support.
Unlike Mayday4Women our group members support transgender inclusivity in the party, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.
We all want and need a Jeremy Corbyn led government and as soon as possible.
We are a mix of age groups from around the country but with one message - we are staying put.
Mayday4Women has scheduled "mass resignations" from the party and involved anti-Corbyn outlets such as the Daily Mail to publicise their cause.
They seem oblivious to the hardship felt by many by the policies of the current Tory government. Their planned action will act as another political distraction enabling the Tory Party to go happily on its merry way.
Little wonder their Twitter account has some Tory groups following them.
As a new group we do not have the same media presence or contacts and we know that Corbyn bashing is infinitely preferable to many mainstream media outlets.
We are just ordinary women from ordinary backgrounds who support politics #ForTheManyNotTheFew.
If needed an internal debate and following Labour Party procedures is the best way forward on trans inclusivity.
Instead Mayday4Women members are planning to publicly resign from the Party this week if the NEC agrees to a motion that will allow transgender women to be on all women shortlists.
However the action of Mayday4Women needed a direct reaction and this is it.
And above all #VoteLabour #ForTheManyNotTheFew
Women show your support here
Trans inclusive #Women4Corbyn Pam's story
Trans inclusive #Women4Corbyn
MAYDAY 4 WOMEN @mayday4women Mar 11 As for the #Women4Corbyn response, at least attempt to address the concerns of women. Pretending sex is a self-defined abstract quality is anti-materialist hogwash. So telling how anti-feminists make everything about loyalty to a man. Only through men are you virtuous, women!
MAYDAY 4 WOMEN @mayday4women Mar 11
We're in The Mail on Sunday! If you want to resign in response to self-definition onto AWS, don't do it alone, join together with other women to make a collective statement.
New member Pam at #Women4Corbyn:-
When I was invited to this group, I was asked that I write a bit about trans. I'm not very good at this, better with Q&As as I'm less likely to go off at a tangent so I'm going to keep this mainly about myself, partly to protect others identities, and partly because it's a personal perspective.
Trans people are boringly "normal".
You may have met trans people without ever knowing so as contrary to popular belief, we don't walk down the road with Trans tattooed on our heads. In fact, we don't use the Trans prefix in everyday life.
A Trans Woman is just a woman, a transman, a man.
Now, I wont go in to the full mechanics of how we come about. There are others with knowledge of the scientific happenings, and I only know the very basics.
But safe to say, the brain is wired a certain way and trans people are born not made. You can't be persuaded to become trans just as you can't be persuaded to put your hand in a fire. The belief that you can is used as the excuse by so-called conversion therapists.
Most trans people just wish to get on with their lives, and most actually do when they get into the system (support, medical interventions, other contacts, etc).
A few of us campaign for trans equality. We are not fighting to take away anybody else's rights, but just to share in them and not be treated differently.
I was a campaigner from the mid 1990s until 2008 and then I retired to get on with my life. I did my own website and took it down when it reached a million hits to the homepage (don't forget, in those days, when the WWW was relatively young, there were only a few million with access rather than the 4-5 billion now).
I also set up and ran the http://mermaidsuk.org.uk/ website for the first ten years. Mermaids is an organisations for children and young people with gender Issues, and for their families. I also campaigned along with many others for the First Gender Recognition Act and was one of the first to receive a gender Recognition Certificate and new birth certificate.
In 2008, when I retired from campaigning to get on with my life, I was 7 years post-op' and feeling a little tired, so handed over the Mermaids website, and stopped campaigning.
But then in 2017, I heard the story in the local press of a young trans girl who had been shot in the face with a BB Gun whilst at school just for being trans.
It led to me leaving retirement and coming back to campaigning, albeit mainly online. And one thing I noticed that had changed in the time I was away, was the fact that transphobia had got so much worse and a lot wasn't even based on fact.
It was based on faux science and prejudice, and trying to debate with many individuals was like banging ones head against a brick wall.
But I was really concerned that many attacks were on children and their families including the outing of children who were stealth at school. This upsets me every time it happens and I will always defend trans children with my last breath.
So that's basically where I am now. If you've any questions I'll be happy to try my best to answer, or maybe one of the other people in the group who were born trans will.
MayDay for women describe themselves as an underground resistance, standing up for the rights of women and children.
They are allegedly Labour party supporters who feign outrage at the idea that transgender women are allowed the same platform in the Labour Party as people assigned female at birth.
Desperate to see misogyny in the most harmless of situations, these people are trying to bring down Corbyn’s Labour by claiming outrage that Labour are planning to allow transgender people onto all women short lists.
Emboldened by the onslaught against LGBT people in the right wing press, this sinister and nasty group are trying their best to create a hostile environment for those in the Labour Party who support a person’s right to choose the sex with which they feel most comfortable.
This group of seemingly transphobic bigots are trying hard to get their hatred sanctioned by organising mass resignations from the Labour Party in protest at what they see as sullying their gender purity.
They are the worst kind of feminists who set the cause for female equality back a hundred years.
Owen Jones reported that in today’s Britain, eight in 10 trans young people report self-harm and nearly half have tried to kill themselves.
How is a minority so afflicted with transphobia-induced mental distress supposed to feel with this relentless campaign against them?
Note that 64% of trans school pupils have been bullied for their gender identity; and 38% of trans people have suffered physical intimidation.
True feminism embraces all creeds colours and persuasions, and that includes those souls who wish to identify themselves as female MayDay isnt motivated by sisterly love or women’s rights, they have a thinly veiled agenda which is to score points against the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out who is behind it.
#Women4Corbyn is a transinclusive group of female Labour Party members showing continued support for Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader.
Show your support here
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