Labour Party suspension of Young Labour Chair jumps the shark.

The Labour Party has truly demonstrated what an utter cesspit it has become under Keir Starmer and David Evans in the wake of so many suspension letters being sent out, often at a ridiculous hour, midnight or 1am, designed to cause maximum distress to people unable to act at that time, or to start their day with. Young Labour chair Jess Barnard was one such recipient, a fantastic advocate for the party, someone who genuinely wants to make a difference, someone who has a particular interest in mental health awareness and has spoken of her own struggles publicly. So what did Labour do? Chose to send her a suspension letter at 1am in the morning on Suicide Prevention Day for, of all things, standing AGAINST transphobia.

The Labour Party has become a regime of diktat under the current leadership, flouting the rulebook in order to impose orders to not discuss certain topics, block no confidence motions in the leadership, block solidarity motions with some of those already suspended and meting out suspensions for the most ridiculous reasons, such as those given against people who had ever had anything to do with proscribed groups at a time before they were proscribed, leaving the Party open to legal challenges as it has. You’d think given Starmer, as he always likes to remind us being the former Director of Public Prosecutions, he’d know when he’s doing something legally stupid, but perhaps he, or Evans really don’t care as long as they can keep purging socialists, keep driving more members away, so the party, in as dire a state as it is, remains in their control. Above all else, this is about control.

So it is that we come to Jess Barnard, the elected Chair of Young Labour, the representative body within the Labour Party to represent members below the age of 27 – a weird figure, but there we go – who has herself been targeted for suspension.

Jess has found herself on the wrong side of the Labour leadership, but hasn’t let that stop her from doing what she feels is right and that means highlighting causes the leadership would rather not and it has invited pile-ons from right wing supporters of the Labour leadership, most recently for inviting the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to speak at the Young Labour event at Labour Conference.

She’s also found herself on the wrong side of the right wing press with Murdoch Times scribbler Oliver Kamm going as far as to derangedly accuse Barnard of wanting a second holocaust for Young Labour’s advocacy of Palestinian rights. Thankfully, there are journalists out there who will write factually, such as the Skwawkbox, who has covered this story in detail. No support from the Labour leadership whatsoever, they’d already cancelled Young Labour’s rulebook mandated Conference of their own, so you can see how much regard the leadership have for young members – about as much as they have for members full stop. This Labour leadership would rather have rich donors.

However at 1am in the morning of Friday the 10th of September, she found herself presented with a suspension letter for challenging transphobia – I repeat, she was challenging it. Not defending it. It is indefensible to defend hate speech of any form after all, identifying as trans is a protected characteristic, but that is not what Jess Barnard was doing and was not what she’d been issued with a suspension letter for. She was challenging transphobia in a twitter exchange with a right wing Labour Councillor and had been issued with a suspension letter for it. It was on Friday. Suicide Prevention Day. Often such letters, knowing they cause significant distress, particularly to long time members are supplied with contact details for the Samaritans. I don’t know if that was the case with Jess, but my goodness, can you imagine if anyone sent suspension letters that day was?

Here are the tweets in question, where Jess makes reference to TERF’s, an acronym standing for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, emphasis should be on the first two words since as I said before, identifying as trans is protected in law. I also fail to see what is so feminist about behaving this way towards such people either. The label fits the behaviour, Jess had done nothing wrong, in fact if its not obvious in the first tweet it is with the exchange with the councillor where she is clearly defending the rights of trans people and not attacking them.

To her credit, Jess went straight to the NEC and also got her legal team involved. Lo and behold, later that day the suspension order was rescinded. The claim from the Party is that this was sent in error, but the Communication Worker’s Union General Secretary Dave Ward hit the nail on the head when he sent a tweet saying the Labour Party disputes process is in disarray. It is not an error to hunt through somebody’s tweets, compile an investigation document, attach it and send it. This is clearly factional and wrong.

Of course he’s right, a fair amount of work goes into investigating anyone to the point a suspension is warranted, but you get the feeling they’re being doled out like sweets, especially when they’re being sent out for standing up for a protected characteristic! Are we the Transphobe Party now? It’d be good to get a statement from Starmer on this, but he’s been too busy tweeting about tennis to show interest in this or show Young Labour’s top representative an ounce of solidarity.

It had been suggested that all of this was the work of a rogue senior official with a vendetta against Barnard, but again, the work involved shows that is a risible, weaselly excuse. She was targeted for her beliefs, which are not in keeping with the current leadership even if they are in keeping with the party ethos and she’s not alone. Another example publicised in Evolve Politics this morning shows a Labour member, who shared one of that publications tweets relating to supporting a 4 day working week and championing free broadband has been suspended on the basis that they’ve shared racist content. Free broadband isn’t a protected characteristic last time I looked and I’ve yet to meet someone who self identifies as broadband who might be offended! Something has got to give and with Labour Conference just around the corner, things may well be explosive. A lot of hurt and upset is being caused by these often hilariously stupid suspensions, that sadly the people affected do not find funny at all. Exposed for being based on absolute idiocy, on factional vengefulness as they have in this and many other instances is incredibly damaging to the party’s reputation, its electability and we need a change. That change has to come from the very top.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

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October Lockdown: Blame the Tories not the NHS!

Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister and seemingly Boris Johnson’s go-to guy to promote whatever twaddle he wants broadcasting on the days news programs has said that an October firebreak – another lockdown in other words might be needed if the vaccine booster rollout is not done well – as ever with Zahawi you have to read between the lines.

The booster rollout, as with the vaccine rollout is being overseen by the NHS, so guess who will cop the blame?

While COVID restrictions have been all but completely done away with in schools, the biggest vectors of transmission, Nadhim Zahawi implies it’ll be booster jab failures, not their stupidity in lifting restrictions that’ll be to blame. They’re going to scapegoat the NHS if we let them.

Now it should be said the department of education, led by former fireguard salesman and professional stupid boy Gavin Williamson have said this isn’t true, that they are not planning a firebreak around the October half-term, but given it’s the Tories we’re talking about here, I’d read that as needing a firebreak sooner than that, I’ll give it 4 weeks after all schools have reopened as they will have by the end of this week.

We have had over the course of this pandemic, a need to wear masks, a need to social distance, a need for contact tracing, a need for isolation, a need to support families at home from work and from school to reduce the spread of the virus, an acknowledgement eventually that this virus is airborne, a need for those who’s health makes them particularly vulnerable to shield and of course the vaccine rollout, yet what we have now is a return to the point before we acknowledged the airborne transmissibility of the virus, we’re back to hand washing, of catching coughs and sneezes, shielding went ages ago, support to stay at home from work ends at the end of the month, families are being threatened with all sorts to coerce their children back to school, despite no need for masks, no contact tracing, no bubbles, no social distancing, at this moment in time, still no news on vaccinations from the government,  nothing. You will get notified if your kids class has a nits outbreak but not a COVID outbreak, there is only one logical conclusion to draw from this and that is the determination of this government to intentionally infect our kids. Herd immunity is still order of the day despite 18 months of absolute failure. The Good Law Project have recently stated that the department of education could be in breach of the law over this, I should think they damn well were.

Already as not all schools have returned over 41,000 new cases have been reported just yesterday along with nearly 1,000 new hospitalisations and over the last week we’ve seen nearly 800 deaths. Johnson recently said 1000 deaths a week was acceptable to him to open the country up, a man who apparently almost died of this virus himself does not care if you or a member of your family dies instead. What is he keeping the country open for? In who’s interest is the country being run for if we are so expendable to him? Clearly it isn’t being run in the interests of the people.

The danger with continuing on this self destructive path is that people will get fed up with it. Already on social media the voices saying we won’t do it, no more lockdowns, we must resist this, we must disobey, are getting louder and louder, cheered on by the typically odious far-right blue-tick mouthpieces that always seem to get involved with such behaviour. The longer the government fails to take a realistic stance on this, the harder its going to be to enforce it, until it becomes unenforceable and things become catastrophic.

As for the booster rollout, it has emerged recently that the protections offered by the vaccine’s wanes with time, with a worst case scenario of falling to just 50% efficacy in those vaccinated first, the elderly, by the time winter gets here, hence the need for boosters. How often are we going to need boosters? As new variants consistently keep appearing, how will they impact the booster rollout? By the time you roll out boosters to younger people, will older people need doing again? How will the NHS keep up with this, when its underfunded and understaffed as it is? Which brings us conveniently back to Nadhim Zahawi’s not so veiled finger pointing – in all likelihood they won’t be able to with the schools reopening with no mitigations driving the next COVID spike. The Tories will again point at the NHS as unfit for purpose – bear in mind the massive success of the initial vaccine rollout was down to the NHS – they’ll bring in more private firms and make a convenient scapegoat of them, aided and abetted by their friendly media outlets.

We’re facing another COVID lockdown. It’ll be driven by the schools having reopened with little to no mitigations worth their salt, the government having done nothing to make them safer all summer either and the onus will be put on the NHS to rollout boosters as the perceived pushback against what is going to come from their incompetence. Vaccination on its own without other mitigations isn’t enough. The NHS is being set up, don’t fall for it.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

The Tories will blame our kids for COVID

So education secretary Gavin Williamson, the Tories answer to Frank Spencer has been putting it out there that kids mustn’t get carried away when they return to school, in order to be able to return to normal, get their education and not promote another COVID surge. Has he ever met a child?

This is buck passing on an industrial scale by Gavin Williamson – if COVID cases rise then it’ll be the kids fault according to him. Nothing to do with the fact he has removed all mitigations in schools ahead of their return despite still being in the grip of the pandemic, still being Plague Island and cases already on the rise around the country. 300 under 18’s are getting hospitalised each week, 14,000 kids are getting infected daily, thousands developing long COVID with little understanding right now as to the long term consequences of developing this additional complication.

Schools have been closed for 6 weeks, that’s 6 weeks that the government could’ve been implementing ventilation measures, air scrubbing measures, all ahead of kids returning to school. They could reintroduce mask wearing, social distancing, but no, we’re back to the whole hand washing routine again, once more skirting over the fact this is an airborne virus and with the more infectious Delta variant now dominant, this is an even greater issue than it was before. The biggest hand washing exercise is the Tories washing their hands of this issue, to our detriment.

Williamson has also laid the blame at the feet of parents if they send kids in ill. Well, the tests we do at home are not particularly accurate anyway, so relying on them is asking for trouble full stop, but besides that, if kids have to be kept at home and families have to isolate again, what financial support is there to help people stay home? Your government is removing it all! There’s no more shielding, furlough is due to end at the end of September, it has already been reduced. No more additional measures for the immunosuppressed, no more special measures or support for those most vulnerable. No more contact tracing, no bubbles, no isolation for close contacts. You’ll literally be better informed if there’s an outbreak of nits in a class than a case of COVID. There’s a complete abdication of responsibility for this pandemic in government right now. The ONS is reporting that 1 in 40 school age children are infected.

Mask wearing and social distancing should never have been rolled back on, we’ve seen 160,000 people in this country die since the pandemic began and still it doesn’t seem to be enough for the Tories. Johnson has decided a 1000 deaths a week is a price worth paying and with Delta infecting younger people more readily, we are already seeing this demographic driving infection and yes, we’ve had 2 individuals in the age 10-19 bracket tragically die of COVID in the last week. Other countries are vaccinating over 12’s, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is still dragging its feet over this, they’re still not committed to offering a second jab to 16 and 17 year olds, which I’ve still seen no evidence to support, given we’ve all known from the start these vaccines are given over 2 shots. But the fact remains we’ve a government still set on herd immunity rather than zero COVID, still believing its better to try and live with this virus rather than invest in ventilation and vaccination in the biggest vectors of transmission we have – our schools.

Given they’re already pushing blame onto others they know what is going to unfold. I mentioned Johnson’s 1000 deaths a week before, but with English schools still to open, we’ve seen over the last 7 days there have been 805 deaths. We’re already nearly at that point. The schools reopening without any mitigations, I daren’t contemplate how bad things will get this time around. Talk in recent days has already turned to the need for vaccine boosters because we know on their own the vaccines are not enough, they aren’t 100% and with each variant that pops up, another variant of Delta has been identified off the back of the recent Boardmasters Festival in Newquay for example, the vaccines become less effective at blocking transmission and preventing serious illness. Yet we’re now being advised if we’re double jabbed, we don’t need to isolate.

When this all blows up again over the course of the next month, do not let the government get away with blaming others, with blaming you or your kids. They want to move on and get back to normal, but without dealing with COVID properly, as other nations have done; without a proper plan for Zero COVID, we’re never going to be able to return to normal because we cannot live with this virus. We’ll be playing catch-up permanently as it continues to evolve, locking down every few months, our kids education being messed around still and no, it will not be our fault, or our kids. The blame must sit squarely with the Tories and their fault refusal to do what they need to and put people before profit.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

New hospital lies from the Tories

Earlier this week we had the spectacle of new health secretary, Mr irreversible, there’s no going back Sajid Javid, a man with an attitude of ‘if you get covid just walk it off’, a chap with all the empathy & bedside manners of Skeletor, sat on a train to Cumbria saying he’s off to open one of 48 new hospitals. Except he wasn’t.

The whole opening new hospitals schtick that the Tories have been whittering about for a long time now has always failed to materialise and even the additional Nightingale Hospitals opened to deal with increases due to COVID were a scam with no additional staff to run them, they were a political stunt and nothing more. Sadly, PR is more important to the shambles running the country than actually running the country and so Javid’s stunt was readily exposed – by doctors at the very hospital Javid was heading for – a hospital that has very much existed for the last 20 years!

What Javid was off to open was a new unit, a new cancer unit. State of the art yes, a great thing for the hospital and if they’d been honest about it, would have reflected well on the Tories, but instead they went with the enormous fib that it’s a brand new hospital! Worse, when the lie got exposed people will naturally have dug down into the detail and it was quickly picked up on by left wing Labour MP Jon Trickett that the unit was actually ordered in 2017, so actually had nothing to do with Johnson or his team whatsoever.

Trouble is, this is just one example of a very dishonest set of claims regarding new hospitals. Hospitals who have had their layouts changed, had a unit replaced, had a refurb, been merged are all being called new hospitals when that is anything but the truth and most damningly, the government is demanding the NHS implicate itself in this lie by backing the government up and saying they are new hospitals too – they’ve issued guidance on it!

The guidance demands that, and I quote ‘the schemes named in the announcement are not all identical and vary across a number of factors, however they do all satisfy the criteria we set of what a new hospital is and so must always be referred to as a new hospital.’

Now there is a paragraph doing some exceptionally heavy lifting! They vary across a number of factors, yes they do, they are all changes to existing hospitals, but therefore still not new hospitals. ‘They satisfy the criteria we set of what a new hospital is’. Well what criteria is this then? The criteria of, we promised in our manifesto that we’d build 48 new hospitals by the end of the decade and of course we lied about that, we are Tories after all, so lets try and spin our way out of this one! That is essentially what this all is, an exercise in spin to make it look like they’re doing something they actually aren’t and as for the criteria?

Well here you are, here’s a box of plasters, lets call it a new hospital shall we? Here’s a tubular bandage, another brand new hospital, here’s some hearing aid batteries an other hospital there and look, I’ve got my very own NHS trust!

This is literally as honest as any of the claims the Tories have just made and the saddest part of it is, is they’re getting away with it because this story has been woefully underreported because most of our mainstream media, particularly the right-wing rags have not picked it up. Once more it is small, alternative media outlets that have exposed this.

The thing is, for all these supposed new hospitals, many have seen bed reductions, where mergers have taken place, services across the board have been reduced, our health service capacity has been reduced over 11 years of Tory rule and its all happened at the worst possible time. A report out today published via the Lancet Infectious Diseases Medical Journal – so not Tory spin, but proper scientific research, has shown you’re twice as likely to be hospitalised by the Delta COVID variant, than the original alpha strain. We’re already seeing cases of COVID rise, particularly in places where schools have already returned and where there have been large gatherings, Newquay for example here in Cornwall is riddled with COVID right now off the back of Boardmasters, Deaths are already back above 100 a day nationally and apparently Johnson considers 1000 deaths a week an acceptable number to keep the country open. How sick of him to put a value on human life – you can bet he wouldn’t value his own as such. If one of these 1000 a week was a member of your family would you consider their death to be for the good of the economy? The vast majority of schools haven’t gone back yet, the government has put no mitigations in place in them despite them being shut for weeks, so you know what is going to happen next.

If you voted for the Tories on the back of their promise to build 48 new hospitals, you were lied to. They want the NHS gone, the pandemic is giving them cover to do it since the additional strain its under excuses their claims that it is unfit for purpose. Fact is they’ve underfunded it, underequipped it and understaffed it for 11 years and just as we may all need it most, it’s at its lowest ebb. It’s what the Tories always do, the NHS has never and will never be safe in their hands, so stop voting for them.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Afghanistan abandoned.

Once upon a time and by that I’m going back to the early 80’s, the West was actually funding various dissident groups in Afghanistan, the likes of Osama bin-Laden in fact, the so-called Afghan mujahideen, because they were at war with the Soviet Union and that suited us because Russia bad, America and its allies good. We armed these people, we trained these people and now, as always seems to be the case, we’re walking away from a mess of our own making.

Margaret Thatcher promised these people that the hearts of the West were with them when really these people were just a temporary convenience to the West. It was a proxy war to the ongoing Cold War and it resulted in as many as 2 million Afghans losing their lives and countless more displaced, becoming refugees. For 9 years it rumbled on, ending only when the Soviets decided to withdraw, unable to cope primarily with the difficult terrain more suited to Afghan guerrilla tactics, but left the country in such a state it collapsed into civil war amongst various factions of that same mujahideen, a mix of disparate warlords fighting over bits of the country until they themselves were driven out by the Taliban, hardline religious zealots who had emerged from Pakistan promising to drive out the factions, taking over roughly three quarters of Afghanistan by 1996 and holding it until 2001 when the West went to war there and drove them out.

Hang on a minute Damo you might be thinking, these warlords, the mujahadeen had been funded, armed and trained by the West and they’ve been driven out. How is the Taliban invading from Pakistan and taking over the West’s fault?

Well the Taliban are themselves a mess of the West’s making. They were founded in 1994, essentially a student movement in Pakistan, appalled at the lack of Islamic teachings in neighbouring Afghanistan after that country fell apart once the Soviets had withdrawn. They pledged to establish a purely Islamic state and as we saw subsequently, they installed a harsh regime with hardline Sharia Law at its centre. Crucially, a great many of these individuals also came from the very mujahadeen fighters, trained, armed and funded by the West to fight the Soviets years earlier, so it was a kind of mujahideen civil war in a sense.

I’ll go back to that point as well about the Taliban beginning as a student movement – the word Taliban literally means student – students need educational materials in order to learn and what they were being taught was being supplied by the US. Despite eventual revisions to texts, these Taliban students, but also students in war-torn Afghanistan received learning materials that would shape their thinking, images of soldiers, of war, of weaponry, of jihad, of violence combined with Islamic teachings and a hatred of foreigners. Kids were literally being taught to count by counting tanks or missiles in a book for goodness sake! The intent was to keep fresh in the minds of these students what the Soviets had done to them, a hatred of Communism – to foment a distrust and dislike of the Soviets, just as the West distrusted and detested the Soviets – all supplied covertly, so US hands weren’t dirtied by it, all Cold War propaganda effectively.

So we have armed, indoctrinated forces from two countries, taught to hate foreigners, primarily intended to be Russia, who went to war and the Taliban came out victorious. None of this would’ve been possible without western involvement. Let’s get that into context.

But then all this interference in other countries came and bit the West on the arse.

The Taliban were supported by the terrorists Al-Qaeda, formed by Osama bin-Laden after he ceased to be a useful, Western funded mujahadeen fighting the Soviets, yes they formed from that same funded, trained and armed proxy army too. He’d been involved in blowing up US embassies in Africa, which had put him on the most wanted list, but the events of 9/11 meant he was now too big a threat to the US to be left at large. Demands that the Taliban hand him over, hiding in a cave in Afghanistan as he was, were rebuffed, they didn’t bow to the demands of the hated foreigners, including the non-Russian variety, so the month after 9/11 the US invaded to remove the Taliban from power and they did so within months, though it’d take a decade of fighting them before they got bin-Laden. The Taliban, having come from Pakistan, simply returned there to regroup, started feeding back into Afghanistan to mount more offensives and it became a constant cat and mouse game. The problems with the landscape that the Soviets found fighting there in the 80’s proved to be a problem for Western forces right up to the here and now. Here we are some 20 years after that initial invasion and it is decided that we’re going to all pack up and go home without finishing what we started and what happens? The Taliban have taken city after city, are at this moment knocking on the door of the capital city Kabul and sweeping back into power. Civilians are being evacuated where possible or ordered to remain in place for their own safety, the US ambassador has been airlifted from the roof of the embassy and everything has gone to hell as the government the West installed and built up is trashed in a week! If I was an American taxpayer, I’d be pissed, $100bn US dollars spent on training the Afghan army and to what end? An embassy that cost $700m now just gifted to the Taliban. An absolute failure for any of the structures put in place to hold up. Still, the withdrawal is going on, troops are being deployed, but to continue with the withdrawal, not to defend people who have worked with us for 2 decades, nor it seems to help them flee as well! The country is going to fall once more to the Taliban because, what? We got bin-Laden and now we’re bored and want to go home? There are people out there who helped the West, served the West, translators and the like who are now being abandoned. These people have a price on their heads and the Taliban plan on separating them from their bodies. The despotic Priti Patel has decided we don’t want to take Afghan refugees in case it encourages others to flee here – just what part of taking responsibility for our nations actions doesn’t she get, or rather, her own maniacal hatred of bloody foreigners coming here means she simply doesn’t care. These people literally face execution at the hands of the Taliban, they’ve been warned in advance they face beheading for helping us and we’re just going to walk away again, leaving a mess behind, just as we always damn well do. Apparently Dominic Raab is the foreign secretary these days, who knew! We’ve heard very little from him, perhaps he’s still trying to find Afghanistan on a map! Has he found Dover yet?

After the Gulf War, we abandoned Palestinians and the Bedoon booted out of Kuwait, after Libya we left a country to fall apart to the point its now a place of slave markets and civil war, after the Iraq War we left a political vacuum filled by the rise of ISIS. Every time we go to war somewhere, we don’t see it through, we go out there under the auspices of achieving peace yet that is the one thing that never happens. Our Western leaders get what they want, then lose interest. They’ve become bored by Afghanistan, they never really won, but they started a fight they can’t be bothered to finish, instead allowing the oppressive Taliban, a monster of the West’s own making, to just take it all back again and the people out there are doomed to suffer as a result.

Some of the most sickening responses I’ve seen are the blatantly political attacks on Joe Biden for pulling troops out and whilst there’s certainly cause to be angry over this, the orange idiot before him wanted to pull out in May – there’s no political high ground for republicans or democrats here!

There’s none for us here in the UK either. Refugees need not apply, weasel soundbites from Boris Johnson about not wanting Afghanistan to become a breeding ground for terror as we wash our hands of the situation too. Jeremy Corbyn of course warned us against getting involved in Afghanistan to start with, but hey, it was never in Tony Blair’s playbook to not go running when George Bush clicked his chubby fingers and they made him a peace envoy to the middle east. How much more twisted can you get? Soldiers from any country who served must be looking at this, families of those who had died out there and they must surely be wondering, what was the point? What did we fight for? What did our loved ones die for if this is the end result?

So when would have been the right time to leave? We can’t stay forever after all? Is a perfectly reasonable response to all I’ve said so far. I’d suggest after 20 years, you’d think we’d have done enough so that Afghanistan could stand against the likes of the Taliban on its own, be secure in its own defence capability, have allies in the area to aid it, a strong economy to support it. A huge amount of time and money has been spent but what is there to show for it? Perhaps 20 years in a region so battle-scarred in recent history isn’t enough, but surely it is not unreasonable to suggest if you go to another country and you make war and cause disruption, you have a moral and ethical responsibility to stay until the situation is settled don’t you? Walking away just to let the Taliban take back over should be utterly unthinkable.

I could’ve gone further back in history if I’d wanted to, Western interference in the middle east has been a pisstake and a grand litany of failure, leaving only death and suffering behind for a great deal longer than I’ve covered here. This is another sad, sorry chapter in that history. Our governments should shame us and my heart goes out to the people of Afghanistan as events continue to unfold, abandoned, with a choice between Sharia Law, death or fleeing goodness knows where, while we just walk away.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Incel ideology is terrorism. Say it.

On the evening of the 12th August we watched in horror as the events of the first mass shooting on British soil since 2012 unfolded in Keyham, Plymouth. The assailant, a 22 year old called Jake Davison, armed himself, shooting and killing 5 people, including his own mother and a child now reported to have been aged just 3, before shooting himself. First and foremost my heartfelt sympathies to the friends and families affected by this despicable act, I hope you are getting all the support you need at this traumatic time.

Davison was described by the BBC as a former employee of Babcock, that his social media was littered with American propaganda, that he loved guns. They have also repeatedly referred to him as a gunman or a shooter. Would they be calling him a gunman if he was a person of colour? Would they be calling him a gunman if he was Muslim? These are questions many are asking on social media, because so often if that were the case, you might expect him to be labelled a terrorist. The question a lot of people are asking is should this guy be called a terrorist and if so, why are our mainstream media, including the BBC, our publicly funded broadcaster not calling him such?

Look up the word terrorist in the dictionary and you’ll see that a terrorist is defined as someone committing violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims. So what have we learnt about this guy’s politics? Not much if you rely on the BBC!

Well, he was a Trump supporter, he regarded Theresa May as a sell-out, so already we’re getting an impression of some pretty right-wing views here, if our Tory Party isn’t hardline enough for him. He was pro-gun, loved his guns; yet despite having known mental health issues he held a gun licence, massive questions need answering about that, especially in light of it having been taken from him in September of last year and Devon & Cornwall police returning it to him just last month. He was obsessed with the fact he didn’t have a girlfriend and that other men have wives and children to support them in their daily lives. He was embittered by this, he described himself as an incel, as an involuntary celibate, believing he was incapable of attracting women, was a so-called blackpiller in that he believed that this is genetic and the subculture and indoctrination of incel networks are characterised by deep misogyny and aggression towards the opposite sex. Since 2014 there have been at least 7 mass murders resulting in 56 deaths connected with this subculture. Members are typically white, male, straight, possess extremist views and radicalise their subscribers accordingly. Davison’s social media activity, his activity on YouTube, now thankfully deleted, bears out such beliefs in the angry tirades he filmed himself having. When you are being indoctrinated to think a certain way, when your mental health may be such that it renders you susceptible to certain suggestions, when you are having your behaviour altered by what you read, what you see and what you hear you are being radicalised, that is to say you are being trained to think and believe in certain things and in a certain way. How then is this not political? Politics pervades our everyday lives whether you notice this or not. I’m left wing, my videos are quite partisan I’m not afraid to admit as much because its what I believe in, I believe a socialist view is what is best for this country, I give a damn about other people and want to see everyone’s quality of life improve in a society that is far too unequal. If you think likewise, that’s probably what brought you here perhaps and what keeps you coming back maybe. The incel networks do just this too, however their beliefs are very right wing, a damn sight more extreme, far less reasonable and a heck of a lot more violent. It is for this reason that a machete attack on three people in Toronto, Canada last year resulting in one fatality was labelled a misogynist terrorist attack. The charges were 1st degree murder, terrorist activity and attempted murder, terrorist activity. The motive given was incel ideology. Terrorism based on misogynistic ideology – ideology is another word worth defining too, a system of ideas or ideals forming the basis of economic or political theory – politics again. This was a first in Canada, but its clear as day to see that that same ideology played a part in what happened in Plymouth. A different weapon, but the same misogynistic brainwashing, the same hard-right extremism is being evidenced.

So why, WHY is it so hard for our media to just come out and say it? It is the English language after all, these are our words and our definitions, so why are we shying away from this and as many people are rightfully asking across social media and I alluded to earlier, if this person was non-white, if this person was Muslim, for example, would we be using similar nervous language surrounding this terrorist in Plymouth?

I put a video out recently regarding the Batley & Spen by election and of course the subject of Jo Cox was prevalent once more and her killer also subscribed to hard right ideologies, he was involved with far right organisations both here in the UK and the US and when arrested he WAS held under the Terrorism Act 2000. Similar extremist ideologies, similar levels of indoctrination, in both cases there was history of mental health problems too, but why is one considered a terrorist, and Cox’s killer was labelled as such in several media outlets, but this guy Davison is only a gunman? Is it because he killed himself that his ideology no longer matters? Wording matters, terminology matters, how this crime gets recorded and reported and commented on from the media, to TV news, to MP’s matters because we can’t have one rule for some and not apply it to all. That definition of terrorism from earlier? The Terrorism Act 2000 repeats it almost word for word. So this does beg the question as to whether these men were particularly susceptible to these materials and therefore as a country we should be putting mental health at a far more prominent level of care, but also coming down harder on possession or access to extreme materials and ideologies and working with other countries to clamp down on this properly. It’s now been reported that his mother had been begging mental health services for help but was told they were short staffed and couldn’t. That’s on the Tories and their so-called health reforms that have been nothing of the sort and on a piss poor opposition health team doing anything but oppose. Mental health services have been woeful for too long, underfunded, underappreciated and those suffering from it, some of them will be susceptible to suggestion and far right dogma as has happened here and has happened before. It may come to a point as the investigation of this case plays out that it will be determined as an act of terrorism, for that is exactly what it was, but we shouldn’t have to wait for that, for our media to report these things factually and correctly, when we have already seen far too many similar cases before and especially when it gives an impression to some communities that they’d be treated differently if the perpetrator were one of them.

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Tory Turing Scheme is a massive con compared to Erasmus.

So we left the EU and one consequence of that has been the end of Erasmus, the study and work abroad in the EU scheme that was open to British students. It has been replaced by what the government have called Turing and are today crowing that take-up under the Turing scheme is three times more than under Erasmus, but being the Tories, there’s a catch of course.

Under Erasmus 18,300 UK students were able to go abroad to study, yet the Department of Education is proudly crowing that it is sending over 28,000 students abroad under Turing and is expecting to have universities bid for up to a total of 40,000 students. The thing is, under Erasmus, students were only sent to the EU, it was an EU only scheme. Turing is worldwide, so given the world is bigger, you can imagine there’s more places available, so more students going shouldn’t be a huge surprise. The sting in the tail however is that Erasmus actually covered tuition fees whereas Turing doesn’t. It was only a few days ago that Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire and a man who always has the air of being on the verge of exploding, was bemoaning Tony Blair permitting poor kids to go to university when they should’ve been learning to be a lorry driver. If you think the Tories care about getting more kids from poorer backgrounds studying, think again. The headline is risible from the Department of Education, we’re giving more people the chance to study abroad, it just misses out the part where you need to be wealthy enough to pay for it. There is cash going in for disadvantaged students is the cry, but this is going to vary from University to University and destination to destination and will cover the costs of visas and passports, not tuition, which will be a barrier to those from poorer backgrounds from taking up the scheme. Turning is aimed solely at University level students, whereas Erasmus was open to all ages. Many foreign language degrees require a residential abroad – we already have a shortage of foreign language speaking roles – would such students be disadvantaged further? We don’t know. The Minister, stupid boy Gavin Williamson, hasn’t clarified. Apart from anything else the funding available, some £110m which doesn’t seem a lot, has to be bid for by Universities, so it isn’t even guaranteed full stop. What impact will COVID have is another good question, given we’re Plague Island and many may not want students from here. It is, in short, another ill conceived, Tory con.

We’re out of the EU. To go and study there or anywhere else now, tuition fees are no longer free. For those courses that weren’t free before, they’re no longer discounted, so that now when you have to pay for your fees, you may have to pay the much higher international rates, certainly this is true for Europe. These can be enormous, depending on where you go it can be two or three times domestic fees, high as they are, which is just ridiculous, though it does need to be noted, for some countries this could be cheaper. But of the 150 countries that are apparently taking part – some of which incidentally are on the advisory list against all travel there – how many would this apply to and how many places would there be? You have to consider what incentive would there be for a country to take part if it isn’t set to make money itself out of this? This is not levelling up, this is keeping ordinary, working class kids down, disadvantaging them and telling them to know their place, that higher education isn’t for them and rubbing their faces in it, as they see others from other universities or more affluent backgrounds, able to take up a placement that prior to Brexit, would have paid for them to do as well.

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Diktat from Downing Street kept schools open as the pandemic surged according to new TES Report.

The TES, a weekly educational publication has broken a story this week, courtesy of the excellent Amy Gibbons and based on a scathing new report from the Institute for Government, that Private Pike himself, Gavin Williamson, the fireplace salesman put in charge of the Department of Education, by the feral idiots running the country was actually not involved in any decision making where it came to school shutdowns. Could he have possibly been underqualified by any chance! As it happens, it would appear not to be that straightforward. Despite being his opportunity to take a lead and shine it appears that for whatever reason, all decision making on education was coming from Downing Street instead. The decision to finally shut schools in March of last year was not taken by Williamson. The minister for education was not involved. The decision to send primary school kids back before the summer holidays, despite nobody in education believing it possible under the circumstances, despite Unions and school leaders speaking out, saying young children like this could not be expected to social distance, to send them back at that point, all were overruled as Downing Street demanded they return anyway.

Every time I read or hear stuff like this I’m always reminded, particularly as a science graduate myself that Bozo and Co keep saying ‘we’re following the science’, that their tame scientists, prepared to sacrifice reputation by standing alongside the out of his depth oaf at those damned daily announcements and legitimising his bullshit, that has proven so lethal to so many and expose’s like this remind us that actually, they never bloody have. Everything has been about Johnson’s whims. Remember the words he’s spoken. Let the bodies pile up, Over 80’s should be more concerned about the economy. He is utterly depraved.

Even worse is the fact that after the shit hit the fan during that first lockdown and we have to remember, for all the control freakery the Institute of Government implies here, the Tories were watching COVID roll around the world towards us, see the devastation to countries across Asia and Europe, before us and until the last minute, didn’t take it seriously, took no action, yet going forwards, that trend of taking no action continued. Forward planning in case things flared up again you would think would be the order of the day and although we know they kept screwing up, resulting in second and third lockdowns in November and February of this year, the fact much of this came about because still they made no forward planning, prepared no contingencies is nothing less than criminal negligence and its negligence according to this report that stops with Johnson himself. The civil service planned for nothing because Johnson forbade it and of course for the TES, with their focus on education, the mess regarding exams, the dissatisfactory grading systems, the ignorance stemming from a hardened belief that kids don’t get sick, aren’t as much at risk and again, repeated the mistake of locking schools down too late. Johnson was determined that exams would go ahead, that schools would reopen and that Coronavirus would damn well do as he told it essentially. Just pig fucking ignorance. King fucking Canute mark 2. You can bluff the public, blowhard across right-wing media to deceive the masses, but this doesn’t work on the virus. It doesn’t just pack up and go home. And lessons have never been learned since, the cycle of stupid just continued. Just as Williamson was seemingly frozen out, local authorities were as well, on the basis not enough of them were Conservative! In amongst all of this the government opened up for Christmas, there was Eat Out to Help Out, we’ve seen new variants evolve here as well as arrive here due to never properly implementing travel restrictions. Schools wanted to move back online, Williamson did appear by this point of course, he threatened the schools through their local councils with court action if they didn’t obey the order to stay open. This entire disaster has unfolded from an ignorance and distortion of science, a failed desire to put economic interests ahead of the health and wellbeing of a nation and a level of control freakery and diktat that means the buck very much stops with the buffoon in Number 10, but also with those who have supported, stood by and agreed with his decisions, which inevitably led to repeated U-turn after U-turn. Schools have been the main drivers of Covid-19, we know this, we’re seeing it now as new cases and testing figures decline whilst kids are on holiday. There’s still no impression that anything is going to change ahead of September, there is still too much reliance and belief the vaccine is and of itself the answer. That if Johnson continues to bury his head in the sand it’ll all go away. The vaccine cannot do this on its own. It’s not 100%, its just asking for more resistant variants to start appearing when schools return because it puts the virus under pressure to do so when so many remain unvaccinated, especially in our schools. This government has failed us utterly, continues to fail us utterly, yet an alternative to this madness is nowhere in sight.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.