Seven Progress MPS added their names to a letter (screenshot at foot of blog) sent to Jeremy Corbyn yesterday in response to data published by Labour’s NEC that showed numerical details of accusations of antisemitism against Labour members and the results of ensuing action by the party.
The mendacious seven chose to publish their letter before waiting for any response to the queries contained within it.
There are several problems with the letter.
1) Impatience Some of the points raised in the letter (see points 2 – 8 in the letter) are demands for more information and, thus, could easily have been resolved with a polite enquiry (to the NEC) rather than a complaint declared publicly before the recipient had seen the complaint.
2) Confusion between party leader and NEC The inquiry and any disciplinary action regarding antisemitism is the responsibility of the NEC. The Progress seven are aware of that fact but chose to target the party leader with their complaint.
3) Invention of parliamentary party procedure The letter mentioned a Parliamentary Labour Party meeting on February 4th whereat they claimed a “unanimous” vote had decided that Jeremy Corbyn would provide an oral report on the NEC investigation into antisemitism in the party on February 11th (yesterday). They referred to the vote as a “motion” that had been passed. This is pure invention of procedure.
A random out of context single-sentence paragraph near the end of the letter exposed the seven as uninterested in facts, logic or the linear nature of time.
“The failure to respect the request for this simple information does nothing to dispel the accusation that is an institutionally antisemitic organisation.”
To clarify, an extreme accusation was made (above) because requests for further information had not yet been met, but these requests for more information were earlier in the letter. Did the seven think that Jeremy Corbyn was able to respond to the first part of the letter before the letter had been finished, or sent?
Elsewhere, one of the signatories, Margaret Hodge, issued a statement wherein she expressed disappointment that there were not more proven incidents of antisemitism by Labour members.
“I [Hodge] put in over 200 examples, some vile, where evidence suggested they came from Labour. So I don’t trust figures. I can’t believe only 12 expulsions. I am not convinced leadership serious on rooting out anti Semitism.”
Progress will never be satisfied Progress MPs will never be satisfied with whatever action Labour takes regarding antisemitism. When Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader Progress decided that accusations of antisemitism would be applied constantly regardless of proof or reason. This letter is yet another bizarre, contradictory and worthless addition to their campaign.
Progress is dedicated to preventing a Corbyn-led left-leaning government.
What image would come to mind if you were to imagine the appearance of someone who rummages through others’ discarded toilet tissue? What would a character hiding in the bushes with night-sight and a long lens look like? How would you depict a earwigger listening to intimate gossip of a stranger?
Would he look like this?
Above is Tom Bower who claims to be an “author” and an “investigative journalist“. Bower’s job is neither of those professions. He is a splicer of salacious gossip about famous people. He occupies the lowest rung on the integrity ladder of writers, a rung embedded deep down in putrid sewage.
Bower found a niche, devoid of human characteristics, and has wallowed there contentedly for decades.
Today, (Sunday 10th February 2019), the Daily Mail began a serialisation of Bower’s latest rectal expulsion, ‘Dangerous Hero: Corbyn’s Ruthless Plot for Power.’ The book is a mix of banal gossip, some mundane facts that are already known, clumsy juxtapositions and connections, absurd cod deductions and anti-didactic analysis. It is speckled with racism. It is trash. It was designed to be trash.
The purpose of the book’s existence is not its nebulous content. It exists as another spurious tool to use against Jeremy Corbyn and as a means of occupying media airtime at the expense of genuine political discussion.
It is noteworthy that one of Bower’s promotional events for his book is hosted by the extremist libertarian think-tank Centre for Policy Studies whereat he will be “in conversation” with its director Robert Colvile. The event is at 57 Tufton Street next door to infamous 55 Tufton Street, the latter the home of many economically hard-right think-tanks.
It is no surprise that a vile secretly funded and relentlessly dishonest think-tank, that acts as PR for some of the most despicable wealth terrorists alive, would wade in a septic pit of personal gossip about someone whom it fears. Fear is the key motivator. The think-tank’s anonymous donors fear the success and popularity of the political will to erase them.
Bower is happy to make a seedy living assisting others’ political aims.
Illegal and immoral recognition of Juan Guaidó by USA, UK, Brazil and many others (but not Russia and China) as “president” of Venezuela has been followed swiftly by theft of billions of pounds of Venezuelan people’s money. The Bank of England has stolen over a billions pounds of Venezuelan goldand USA has stated its intent to hand payment for Venezuelan oil to Guaidó rather than to the Venezuelan government.
Alongside the biggest international theft ever seen, Brazil and USA have threatened military action against the Venezuelan people if conman Guaidó’s actions are restricted by the Venezuelan government. Genocidal mass murderer and convicted war criminal Elliot Abrams has been appointed by Donald Trump to “oversee” actions against the Venezuelan people.
Theft of assets and threats of military action and terrorism are in response to the democratic re-election of Maduro as Venezuelan president. Having failed to remove him and his party via the democratic route, the enablers of US oil industry profits switched to robbery and violence. The tactics in use and in preparation against Venezuela are being displayed brazenly by Guaidó and his puppet masters in the White House with obsequious gimp-like support from trash such as Jeremy Hunt.
Centrists and liberals reveal their conservatism Surely, if a random political activist, whose activism has included inciting and enacting violence against a democratically elected government, declared himself “interim” president of a democracy and sought to steal payment from overseas for the country’s exports (oil) and sought help from far-right gangsters like Trump and Bolsonaro in an echo of murderous military coups in South America in the 1970s that were orchestrated by CIA and directed by Elliot Abrams, then liberals would be aghast and be rigorously opposed to such actions and seek to stop it, would they not, surely?
No. The centrists and liberals in European, Antipodean and North American democracies fell over each other as they rushed to prostrate themselves at Guaidó’s feet and align themselves with racist, white supremacist, anti-indigenous, anti-freedom fascists Bolsonaro and Trump.
Brexit Coordinator for EU, Guy Verhofstadt: “The US, Canada & many crucial EU partners in Latin American have recognised Juan Guaidó as President of Venezuela & the EU should do the same. He is the only legitimately elected representative of the Venezuelan people & authorities must guarantee his fundamental rights & security.”
Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland: “We now call upon Nicolas Maduro to cede power to the National Assembly, the only remaining democratically elected institution in Venezuela in line with that country’s constitution.”
(Update, April: Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie and Angela Smith left Labour and joined Change UK after this blog was written.)
Progress MP Mike Gapes created an opportunity for MPs, including the Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Alan Duncan, to speak about Venezuela in the House of Commons via an urgent question. A succession of obsequious Liberal Democrat and Progress MPs (below) stated their support for Guaidó. All displayed willful ignorance and blatant dishonesty and they shared similar directional biased terminology.
Gapes: “The economic collapse, as the Minister says, is a direct result of the corrupt, incompetent, kleptocratic regime of Nicolás Maduro. The rigged presidential re-election has rightly been criticised by international observers. The decision by National Assembly president Juan Guaidó to be declared interim President is correct—it is a game-changer. What [is needed] is our solidarity with the legitimate, elected, social democratic president of the National Assembly: interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. The European Union has called for credible elections, but Nicolás Maduro has already rejected that. When will our Government recognise Juan Guaidó as the President of Venezuela?”
Progress MP Graham Jones: “America still buys 500,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela and props up the economy. It could withdraw from that, but has declined to do so because it would have an impact on the Venezuelan people.“
Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson: “Maduro is presiding over a corrupt regime after rigged elections and is inflicting misery on his own people. He has no legitimacy. While the shadow Foreign Secretary suggests that recognising the democratically elected president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, would be interventionist, does the Minister agree that these exceptional circumstances merit such an approach if no free and fair elections are forthcoming, not least because of the intensity of the human tragedy that is unfolding and the rigged elections that the presidency of Maduro is based on?”
Progress MP Stephen Twigg: “The Maduro regime has clearly been a disaster for the people of Venezuela, with the humanitarian catastrophe, as we have heard, and the appalling abuses of human rights documented by Amnesty International and others. I agree that pressing for fresh, free and fair elections must be our priority. Surely it is best for us to pursue the correct objective of seeking fresh elections via negotiation and mediation first.”
Progress MP Chris Bryant: “The truth is that the Venezuelan Government have lied for years and years to their people and to the outside world, particularly Russia and China, and the people who are feeling the damage are the poor children on the streets and the parents who are unable to feed their children because there is nothing in the shops.”
Progress MP John Spellar: “After a proper ballot and, hopefully, the election success of Juan Guaidó, Venezuela will still face an existential crisis, with the Maduro legacy of economic meltdown, a collapsing oil industry, hyperinflation, food shortages and 3 million citizens in exile. Should not the UK, the EU and the international community be preparing a Marshall plan for the reconstruction of Venezuela?”
Progress MP Chris Leslie: “Does the Minister not agree that the hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in Venezuela and the millions fleeing that country are not doing so because of some grand Trump-oil conspiracy, but because they are starving? They are starving and they are suffering because of Maduro’s corrupt communism. Would it not be better if those who have been hailing that discredited ideology took this opportunity to apologise and admit they were wrong?”
Progress MP and Anglian Water employee Angela Smith: “The letter [supporting Venezuela in The Guardian] is a disgrace and every right-thinking member of this house should unite in condemning the Maduro regime and calling for his removal. But once that has happened we will need significant support for Venezuela in organising free and fair elections. I know the minister has addressed the points earlier but will the UK take a lead in ensuring that all necessary global support is given to Venezuela because it will be one of the biggest challenges faced by a country coming out of dictatorship for many, many years.”
It is unlikely that any seedy oil traders and their venal political associates looked through Hansard to see what various centrist MPs uttered but if they had they would have been delighted by the brazen displays of misinformation, corrupt deductions and cheer leading for imperialism. Puppets dancing to the right tune. The identity of who funds Progress is a very pertinent inquiry right now.
Labour MP Chris Williamson contributed to the questions to Alan Duncan but did not follow the script of the Progress mob: “Will the Minister explain why there are the double standards? Is it that he wants to facilitate another humanitarian catastrophe, as we are seeing in Yemen with British arms? Does he want to see the same in Venezuela? Does he not support the self-determination of peoples around the world, rather than intervention from western powers?” Duncan responded with typical Tory petulance and childishness, insulted Williamson and evaded the questions.
The centrist media’s masks slipped as easily as those of the similarly minded MPs.
In an Independent website report on Williamson’s contribution Rob Merrick wrote in his first sentence that Williamson “is under fire” for his comments; Merrick was very keen to set a very biased perspective for his report.
Brexifter hack Ian Dunt: “Ah, so I see that parts of the British left still think it’s OK for Latinos to be butchered by a tyrant as long as he calls himself a socialist.”
The Guardian’s man in Venezuela, Joe Parkin Daniels, wrote What next for Venezuela?as if he was part of the White House press team or a PR guy for an oil company. “Maduro, who two weeks ago was sworn into his second term following disputed elections last year, has little public support, but he retains the backing of the military. Guaidó, on the other hand, can mobilize mass displays of popular support.” Elections were free and fair and Maduro has majority public support. If Guaidó could “mobilize mass displays of popular support” then he would have stood in the recent presidential election but he chose not to.
The remainder of the trashy article was an embarrassing amateurish fantasy that bore no relation whatsoever to the political situation in Venezuela. The parade of untruths and misdirection was matched in volume by the contempt Daniels had for the intelligence of his readers.
In the same newspaper Tom Phillips provided a piece of PR for Guaidó wherein he described the democratically elected Venezuelan government as “Maduro’s embattled regime.”
While Progress and liberal MPs and centrist media hacks begged the Tories to go full-on imperialist against the Venezuelan people a member of Trump’s mafia, Henry Bolton, elucidated clearly that the intent of the US government was to steal Venezuela’s oil reserves and Guaidó promised that not only would he facilitate the theft of oil if he were to be puppeted into the Venezuelan presidency but he would also ensure that all vital public services in the country would be handed over to privateer vultures.
The behaviour of Progress MPs and Guardian staff was unsurprising. They will use any tactic they can think of to position themselves opposite to Corbyn and McDonnell. Opposing the Labour leadership’s tendency toward socialism is the main focus of the centrists and anything else is preferable to them even it means aligning with cross-border thieves and murderers like Abrams, Bolton, Pompeo, Trump and Bolsonaro.
Progress, Liberal Democrats, Guardian and Independent have chosen which side they are on.
Turning Point UK, not to be confused with the charity of the same name, is a partner of Turning Point USA.
Turning Point USA (TPUSA) TPUSA is a far-right Trump-supporting lobby group for wealth terrorists that focuses on campaigning for the removal of vital facets of society including public services, workers’ rights, access to healthcare and access to justice.
TPUSA promotes all the usual far-right nonsense, partly as distraction and partly as divisive tactics, including (among others) climate change denial, anti-abortion, anti-transgender, anti universal healthcare and anti-immigration, and it is comfortable being shamelessly racist and prejudiced. Its mode of operation is to be relentlessly childish and provocative.
It targets opponents by trying to censor them via encouragement of threats against them such as its notorious Professor Watchlist.
A guide to TPUSA’s political position was provided by who was on the list of speakers for its ‘Action Summit’ in December last year:
Turning Point UK (TPUK) TPUK‘s stated intent is to “organise individuals in a manner conducive to changing the culture at university and in the public sphere and educate young people on ideas consistently ignored or marginalised by mainstream education.” In practice, that means trying to shut down education, acquirement of knowledge and critical thinking; it means disruption of teaching and censorship of radical analysis; it means dumbing down all debate; it means persistent lies and misdirection; it means abuse directed at academics and learnéd experts.
TPUK uses the words “grassroots” and “freedom” fraudulently. Its protagonists are professional lobbyists from right-wing pro-Brexit groups and far-right news sites; there is nothing “grassroots” about TPUK. By “freedom” it means the “freedom” to stamp on everyone else’s freedom via a survival of the fittest philosophy.
TPUK’s reason for its existence is to stop, reverse and destroy positive achievements of socialist thinking. Any fiscal decision that improves people’s lives is abhorred by TPUK. It claims it believes in “small government” but, like all economically far-right lobby groups, it means it wants no control over financial gangsters exploiting the majority of the people.
TPUK claims it believes in “personal responsibility.” Coupled with its “small government” demand, this means in a TPUK dystopia if anyone is ill, disabled or loses their job then they are dumped in the gutter. It means an absence of workers’ rights, access to justice and health and safety regulations; it means economic lawlessness.
The desires of TPUK are already realised in Britain due to Tory policy over the last nine years. There is rapidly increasing homelessness and destitution, particularly for people with chronic illnesses or with disabilities, as a direct consequence of vicious cuts to welfare provision, legal aid has all but disappeared, huge cuts to police and fire service have jeopardised people’s lives and the NHS is being deliberately destroyed by the Tories and given away to privateer vultures.
A cliff-fall no-deal Brexit is looming, fully supported by the Tory government, like a final kick in the stomach of a dying man. Such an abrupt departure of the EU will be a windfall for disaster capitalists and market gamblers including the employers of the mob that populates TPUK.
In universities, TPUK wants the dissemination of knowledge, facts and intelligence to be replaced by propaganda and promotion of prejudices and bigotry. The Tory Universities Minister Sam Gyimah prepared the ground to help far-right voices acquire platforms by forcing universities to host them via the Tories’ fake student organisation Office For Students.
TPUK people Among its list of deplorables are former Guido news site contributor Tom Harwood, veteran of many inter-linked but separate-for-funding-purposes Brexit campaign groups Darren Grimes, and George Farmer who is a good friend of extremist, racist, white supremacist conspiracy theorists at Infowars. (Coincidently, Farmer’s father is a generous donor to the Tory party.)
These are not “grassroots” activists. They are experienced con artists, purveyors of offensive bigotry and prejudice and unpleasant abusive yobs. It is neither possible nor advisable to debate with them because they spout a deluge of lies sprinkled with abuse, ludicrous whataboutery, absurd anti-didactic narrative and childish provocation.
TPUK blogs The website is slim at present (February 4th). It includes a few bizarre blogs.
Daniel Mcilhiney’s Does capitalism benefit students? should have been delivered from a pulpit with choruses of hallelujahs as the TPUK disciples prostrated themselves on the cold stone floor. Its arguments were rancid but its stupidity, lack of logic and immeasurable contradictions were deliberate: The purpose was not to inform, educate or contribute to a debate; the purpose was to preach brainlessly and verbosely in order to dull the receptive cerebral processes of the congregation.
Some of Mcilhiney’s terminology was interesting. He implied that capitalism is aligned with a particular faith or faiths.
“The very fact that we have that potential to earn more than our parents or more than our contemporaries is down to capitalism and the Judea-Christian values of freedom on which the ideology is built.”
He viewed society as winners and losers.
“The potential to ‘win’ and the potential to ‘lose’ is what causes a society to flourish and an individual to feel fulfilled; without it we can only hope to achieve societal mediocrity and personal apathy. This desire to achieve is the same desire that drives capitalism.”
Mcilhiney repeatedly expressed his support for the high cost of education for students, partly as a deterrent to dissuade people from going to university.
“With more people entering universities we would see fewer people becoming plumbers, electricians and service-workers, all of which are absolutely essential for society; not only that but we would see a massive decrease in innovators and entrepreneurs who historically are rarely university educated.”
Or, would we see higher wages for service-workers? How did he deduce that innovators or entrepreneurs are rarely university educated? It seems clear that Mcilhiney does not approve of university education at all.
He extolled capitalism as a “meritocracy.”
“It [capitalism] gives you the agency of choice. It gives you the ability to succeed and to thrive in a field of your choice based upon your own merit. The simple truth is that societies that do not operate on a capitalist model remove these two things, choice and merit, from the vast majority of the society (although rarely the leader or their immediate family), which restricts an individual’s ability to innovate, thrive and develop.”
A translation of the above from gobbledygook to English is that, under capitalism, an elite few can succeed at the expense of everyone else and, apparently, the only alternative to capitalism is a George Orwell dystopia of drones.
Mcilhiney’s awful blog indicated that TPUK will be equally moronic and offensive, by design.
TPUK is an ugly anti-human libertarian propaganda machine designed to con and to obfuscate.
Disaster Britain is heading to a disastrous cliff-fall no-deal Brexit.
The effects, short-term and long-term, will be catastrophic for the majority of people in Britain.
Immediately, there will be huge increases in prices of basic foodstuffs, shortages of some foods and medicines and hundreds of thousands of job losses as businesses relocate outside the UK.
If the Tories remain in power after Brexit then complete departure from the EU will lead to cancellation of all workers’ rights, health and safety regulations, food safety regulations, access to justice and free speech.
The winners of a cliff-fall no-deal Brexit will bedisaster capitalists, exploitative businesses who will take advantage of the lack of workers’ rights and food safety regulations, privateer vultures who will vacuum up the remnants of public services, and, for a brief time, currency gamblers and market gamblers.
The other winners will be the employees of the above: Tory MPs, Tory lords, think-tank voices and newspaper proprietors.
Theresa May pretends to not support a cliff-fall no-deal Brexit but she would be entirely happy with that scenario. Everything she does or says regarding a so-called withdrawal deal is a pantomime. She would benefit personally from no-deal via her and her husband’s investments.
The Tory MPs who admit to supporting no-deal – for example, Dominic Raab, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg – know how disastrous it would be for the British people. The MPs also know how much they will benefit from it via their corporate connections.
Blame Tories are intrinsically too cowardly to take the blame for their actions. They have had cowardice inculcated into their personalities at some of the best private schools in Britain.
Who can they blame – now, immediately after Brexit and for years afterward – for the chaos and dramatic drop in living standards that will be consequences of a cliff-fall no-deal Brexit?
The easiest con trick is to blame the EU.
Dominic Raab inITV News interview: “If the EU is willing to show the pragmatism, flexibility we’ve shown there’s a deal to be done but if they keep taking an intransigent approach, a stubborn approach, a computer-says-no approach then we’ll leave on 29th March on WTO.”
Daily Express via Brussel correspondent Joe Barnes: “Brussels leaders have left themselves on the brink of diplomatic disaster as Britain hurtles towards a hard Brexit while officials overlook proceedings from their ivory towers simply twiddling thumbs – and it all could have been avoided.”
David Davis on LBC: “The EU have a lot more to lose than we have. There will be pressure on them to come back to the table.”
False negotiation Tories and their friends think that they can glibly attach all blame to the EU by claiming that the Tory government wants to negotiate.
The only change May is offering the EU is to ask for something that will not be given and that she knows will not be given: A change to the status of the land border in Ireland via a change to the definition of the “backstop.” A wholly undefined change to the backstop is the con that May is pretending to try to negotiate with the EU to perpetuate the lie that it is the EU who are intransigent.
Kwasi Kwarteng, Brexit minister, on BBC News: “Sabine Weyand, who is the deputy chief negotiator, said on Monday that she is open to alternative arrangements. We are going to have to have discussion and negotiation about what those arrangement in Northern Ireland will be, but clear there is room for a compromise.”
Stephen Barclay, Brexit Secretary, on BBC Radio 4 Today show: “What we saw in the vote last was a clear mandate to take back to Europe to say this is what parliament will support. What came through in the previous debate is that there is a central concern on the backstop. It was a vote on the deal if this central concern can be addressed.”
As has been true throughout the Brexit “negotiations” (and true of the Tories in general) everything said or done by May and her cronies is part of a pantomime and a con. The ministers offering fake negotiation, with no substance whatsoever, have exactly the same objective as the extremist no-deal supporters: Blame the EU for no-deal.
Theresa May is still pretending to try to get a majority in parliament for her EU Withdrawal Bill. She has encountered difficulties when trying to please alleged Tory remainers and extremist no-dealers simultaneously.
To help the progress (no pun) of the Bill through parliament May needs some votes from beyond the cesspit of the Tory party and DUP. Fortunately for her, some of the Progress mob are driven by venality not ideology.
Fourteen “Labour” MPs voted against an amendment proposed by Yvette Cooper that would have disallowed a no-deal Brexit. They do not oppose ideologically the details of Cooper’s intent. They wanted to advertise their availability for persuasion.
John Mann, a Progress veteran who is vehemently opposed to socialism and to Jeremy Corbyn and with a history of pantomime behaviour (see photo above), has been the most eager to prostitute himself to the Tories. In an interview on BBC news he said
“What is going on is some good dialogue I can tell you that. I’m hoping and anticipating the Prime Minister will come back with something significant. If she does, the chances of Labour MP’s from those Leave areas who don’t want a referendum, voting for her deal, I would say undoubtedly goes up. So I think it’s inevitable that the political arithmetic says that she will come back with something significant, but it’s also what she said when she became Prime Minister. So we’re simply saying to her that’s what you said, show us the money. It’s not a bribe at all, you see I voted Brexit and I’ve voted for the deal already. So I can’t be bribed, it’s about ensuring that we get the best for our area.”
The “best for our area” would be a Labour government. John Mann doesn’t care what is best for his constituency or for anywhere else. He wants to fool his constituents. He thinks his constituents should believe promises from a prime minister who has no concept of honesty and who has no integrity. Even Tory MPs know that her word is worthless.
Mann thinks Tory promises of investment in his constituency will aid his victory in the next general election as the voters rush to thank him but he is certain to be deselected as a Labour candidate before then.
Mann’s primary motivation for his antics is his determination to do anything to disrupt the possibility of a Corbyn-led Labour government.