Universal Credit cut goes ahead.

Moving the same people around shows the sheer lack of talent and for Johnson rewarding loyalty is more important than any discernible competence. Musical chairs. Moving people around who are useless whilst getting rid of a few you’d never heard of.

The whole thing was a timed distraction as drooling establishment journalists pored over who was in and who was out in varying states of euphoria depending on who was losing a trusted source and who’s had survived. It was timed to distract from the biggest cut to social security in British History and it worked – the intended cut to Universal Credit being voted through that evening was by and large even on social media, buried.

The Tories intended cut to Universal Credit, what they are terming the withdrawal of the uplift was passed last night. £1040 a year taken away from the poorest, often working households given this extra money to help with the additional costs of the COVID crisis. It came in in March of last year and has helped keep many afloat with children at home, work uncertainty and of course the uncertainty of whether or not you’d contract the virus and need to isolate. It is another evidenceless act of cruelty from Johnson’s regime that they’ve done this, but for him it probably brings back happy Bullingdon memories of burning £50 notes in the faces of the homeless – here he’s been able to burn a virtual twenty in the face of 5.5 million families every single week. I’m sure he’ll sleep like a baby at night.

The fact is the COVID crisis is still ongoing as much as Johnson might wish to pretend its not. So much stock has been put in a vaccine that loses efficacy over the course of several months that he feel the country can get back to normal and keep on opening up, ignoring the fact 200 people died yesterday alone and those figures, along with hospitalisations and positive cases are on the rise too as we head into a winter period, so where is the justification on withdrawing this money? Need to pay off those ministers you actually sacked? £17,000 a piece they get, 17 families worth of annual Universal Credit uplift each and many of them have just moved to a new post just to rub salt in the wounds.

Its not like this is the first instance of the Tories doing away with restrictions that make no sense either. The most vulnerable were required to shield for the longest time and then this was again, completely done away with overnight, so much stock being placed in that vaccine. When double vaccinated people are losing their lives still because the vaccine was never 100% effective and always needed to be taken in conjunction with other social mitigations, its little wonder despite the good the vaccine is capable of, we’re still seeing rising cases. All this the poorest families, 40% of whom are working already, so seeking more work may not be a solution, are having to deal with on worse incomes.

The UN special rapporteur on poverty has also implied that human rights law may have been broken to force this through. I’m sure Johnson will get human rights hater, now the new justice secretary Dominic ‘Afghanistan can wait, I’m off for a swim in the closed sea’ Raab to fix that little detail given half a chance, but it is damning that once again we’ve been seen to flout our human rights obligations and to be doing so against our own people and over social security. Previously it was people like the original minister for death Iain Duncan Smith the UN were getting heated with, but this cut is so bad Smith had actually spoken out against it himself!

But the very fact the UN have attacked the Tories over regressive cuts to the poorest incomes, particularly while not asking the rich to pay more shouldn’t give anyone any hope that that’ll change anything. Somebody would have to be willing to take the UK government to an international court of law over it and so far nobody has seemed very willing. Not when we were an EU member for example certainly not now that we’re out.

The fact is the uplift, entirely spent within the economy, helping to support it, made all the difference. Thousands more people now face the choice between heating and eating. The reliance on foodbanks is going to increase significantly as Energy bills are due to rise by an average of £139 per year this winter. As I mentioned before 40% of Universal Credit claimants are in work and many of those face that National Insurance tax increase as well as this cut and rising energy bills. A Trussell Trust survey has indicated that 20% of Universal Credit claimants, that’s 1.2 million people expect they’ll have to skip meals and fractionally more, 1.3 million say they will not be able to afford to heat their homes and perversely it’ll be mostly those in the colder north of the country disproportionately affected by this. All whilst we’re still in the COVID crisis! Another 900,000 are expected to rely on foodbanks to help feed them as well. All so the richest and most able don’t have to pay a penny more, though some have said they’d be prepared to. Fact is, Johnson isn’t prepared to let them or make them. It’s the poor, non-Tory voting ordinary working classes being oppressed again, by an Old Etonian born with a silver spoon. It is class war, make no mistake about 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.

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.

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

Can migrants be sent back to France by Priti Patel?

Can migrants arriving in the UK, or attempting to get here be sent back to France? Priti Patel the home secretary, who’s favourite nursery rhyme is ‘I’m a little despot, short and stout’ seems to think so. Does she honestly ever bang on about anything else? Well I’ve got some news for her, since incredibly, she doesn’t seem to know, or rather her own inbuilt dislike of people fleeing warzones or poverty appears to dominate her thinking.

Firstly, referring to these people who may be trying to get to the UK as all being ‘migrants’ is a media spin tactic and one Patel embraces, since it implies these people do not need to be here, they just want to come here, no doubt to ‘steal our jobs’, or other common refrains to that effect. I had no idea Brexit was a migrant! It is racist baiting rhetoric from racist right wing sources and that should be condemned by anyone with an ounce of sense.

The fact is these people may be coming here for a whole host of reasons, but put yourself in their shoes for one moment and imagine how desperate their plight may well be, if they’re prepared to try and cross the channel from France to try and find a better life for themselves, particularly if its families with young children. We’ve all seen the pictures of rescues at sea, we’ve all seen the horrific images of when these crossings go tragically wrong, so just think about that. A great many of these so-called migrants are in fact refugees and that’s a major, but often omitted difference.

Now sorting out refugees from migrants happens when these people arrive and seek asylum. Nobody can be turned away when they apply for asylum it is law that they have every right to remain here whilst their application is reviewed. Sadly under the Tory regime we are enduring, they’re not doing a great job of this. We are not supposed to send people back to unsafe destinations, yet it happens. For years, the Tories have been sending people back to Afghanistan under the pretext it was safe, when actually it was only under occupation by Western forces. How did that work out?

While the rest of the world takes tens of thousands of legitimate refugees from there now, we’re only taking 5,000 a year over the next 4-5 years. How I wonder will those in the years long queue to come here survive in the meantime? We said the same thing over Syria, Theresa May as Home Secretary pledged to take 20,000 Syrians over 5 years too. Target was missed and government attitudes have not changed, in fact they’ve only hardened further. Every legal means of coming here to seek asylum have been removed, so whilst the Tories can do nothing about international law regarding people seeking asylum once here, they’ll make it as difficult as possible to get here to start with. and so we come to that question of France.

Can we turn people around and send them back to France? The answer is no. I’ll repeat that again for the serially inept Tory MP Helen Whately who was doing the media rounds on this this morning, the answer is no. It is a violation of international maritime law – if you find someone in trouble, you have to rescue them. Can you order them to turn around? Not if it is unsafe to do so and when many of these people are arriving in small boats and dinghies, attempting to cross one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, it is beyond doubt that they are in danger and should be rescued. Our rescue services can only bring them here, the RNLI for example, so it is dependent upon who exactly rescues such people as to where they end up taken.

Now when it comes to Priti Patel, she’s got serious form for this. She’s already attacked the RNLI for daring to rescue people and has threatened them with legal action if they don’t stop rescuing people and bringing them back here. It is their remit, they will not leave people at sea to die no matter how much she might want that and fair play to them – her attack on them led to a massive upsurge in donations to the RNLI, which operates as a charity and I’m sure such donations were indeed very welcome.

Nonetheless, Patel as recently as July paid the French £55m to increase their border patrols to stop people leaving France and heading here. With the best will in the world however, we’re talking massive stretches of coastline on both sides and you simply won’t catch them all. Sure there’s a safety aspect to stopping them leaving, if they can be stopped for their own safety they should, but it is impossible to stop the most determined from trying again and some will inevitably make it. Of course if this country provided a legitimate means of coming here to seek asylum, they wouldn’t need to take such desperate measures, so perhaps think on that as you ponder the realisation Priti Patel would rather throw tens of millions of pounds at the French to stop tiny boats leaving France, typically at night, often overcrowded, rather than provide a safe route to asylum.

Of course the other concern is that if you want to return people to France, you kind of need France’s permission to do so. They’ve refused. They won’t enable Patel to violate maritime law or endanger lives, as our border force are instructed to actually turn boats around. Our government would face legal action if they did so, so much as once.

Priti Patel has a problem with migrants. It never ceases to amaze me that her own parents came here as refugees in the 70’s from Uganda, that she has such a hardline stance against anyone wishing to come here and seek asylum from another country. The fact is her desire to turn boats around would be illegal, France will never accept these people back anyway in order to safeguard their lives, something our government refuses to prioritise. The RNLI thankfully will and it remains to be seen if Patel follows through on threats to target them for doing so. Anyone once here can claim asylum, it is for them to make their case for that, with the odds stacked against them even if they’re fleeing a warzone, such is the state of that system under the Tories. Our government are spreading racist, divisive rhetoric and desperate people fleeing goodness knows what shouldn’t be scapegoated by despotic little madams like Patel, or anyone else.

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.

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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Assange vs Alpaca: A Tale of Two Leaders

So Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour Party was at the high court yesterday in support of Julian Assange who the US is still seeking extradition for, now going to the lengths of appealing the case. This country has laws that protect whistleblowers and sure, Assange blew his whistle loud and clear when Wikileaks leaked a ton of documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its due to some of this that the US wants him, on allegations of conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence secrets.

We protect whistleblowers from bad employers, so why should it be different for national governments, especially for national governments, especially when the cover-ups can be over such heinous acts. We know now that the Iraq War was trumped on false pretences, we know George Bush wanted to finish what his father started and we know Tony Blair was all too happy to join in. That war was a story of nepotism and lies. So often, that which whistleblowers leak is of national interest, our governments shouldn’t be able to get away with this, we deserve to know what they are doing in our name, in the interests of national defence, especially when their actions led to the uprising in the likes of Al-Qaeda and everything that came to pass afterwards. Yet here we are, the guy who blew the whistle is locked up, his health deteriorating, literally dying in prison, his mental health so shattered he’s a suicide risk and on this basis the judge has refused extradition, for which the US sickening now appeals, so he remains locked up. Why aren’t you arresting George Bush? How many young American soldiers died in a land they had no business being, so he could look big and make his daddy proud? Why isn’t Tony Blair in the Hague instead of whispering sweet nothings in Keir Starmer’s ear these days and appearing on every disingenuous news outlet to spout his ‘advice’ which nobody asked for and nobody in their right mind should want. Assange is a political prisoner, not a criminal one.

Oh but Keir Starmer. For all his involvement in Assange’s case, as Director of Public Prosecutions he fast-tracked Assange’s extradition to Sweden, on charges that Sweden later dropped, where the fear was he would be extradited to the US afterwards. he advised Swedish officials not to question Assange here in Britain and that dragged out the mans incarceration, his purgatory, his not knowing what was happening nor how long it’d take. The full scale of how up to his neck in this mess Starmer is, remains largely unknown, but it was a safe assumption that he wouldn’t be showing up to defend Assange as Jeremy Corbyn did. No, Starmer was more worried about Geronimo. Whilst Julian Assange’s plight once more made the news, Starmer was more concerned over the likes of Boris Johnson’s father trying to save the life of an Alpaca called Geronimo who had tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Any domesticated animal that tests positive for it has to be destroyed. Yes, it’s a familiar story that the tests aren’t brilliantly accurate, but after 3 positives, its unlikely there’s a mistake being made here. If this had been your ordinary run of the mill cow, it wouldn’t be news. If it was a badger they’d be shot, ineffective as that is in controlling this virus. It’s taken 18 months, but finally a policy position from Starmer. He is pro killing Alpacas!

He is right in that there are no alternatives to this, but for this to be the biggest Starmer story of the day says a lot about the absence of substance regarding the man himself. This lack of anything meaningful was also commented on yesterday by outgoing Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey who warned Labour could go under with Starmer at the helm, such has been the utter failure of his leadership to produce anything meaningful for anyone, save the right wing of his own party. Meanwhile his predecessor, still wrongfully suspended by Starmer, is campaigning amongst others, reaching out with the public to fight to save a man Starmer himself had a hand in condemning, to the misery he’s still now in. Never mind Geronimo, Labour has a virus too. It’s called Keir Starmer. Thankfully it doesn’t seem he’s catching on with most people, so the contagion is contained, but whether it proves lethal to Labour as McCluskey has warned remains to be seen.

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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Where’s the money gone Keir & Dave?

Fire and Rehire, the pernicious practice of firing your employees unless they accept new contracts with poorer conditions. Made illegal in many countries, the Tories won’t do it here, so its up to the Trade Unions to defend their members from being mistreated in this way. You wouldn’t expect the political arm of their movement, the Labour Party to indulge in this practice however, but sadly, such is the decline of the Party under the regime of Keir Starmer & David Evans, Fire and Rehire is exactly what they’re doing. Labour is in a financial mess entirely of the making of the two aforementioned idiots. When they took over the party, they enjoyed being debt free and had reserves of £13.5m in the bank. 18 months later, we’re told that the party is one payroll away from bankruptcy. Where’s the money Keir & Dave? What have you blown it on? Settling stupid legal fees and driving away members, losing their dues to the tune of an estimated £6m, a figure quoted this morning by Howard Beckett on The Not the Andrew Marr Show.

What has been reported by Skwawkbox and later by The Independent is that a third of Labour Party staff have been made redundant, yet the party is still taking people on, employing them on temporary contracts on much poorer conditions. Starmer made a big speech not long back condemning Fire and Rehire, but given he’s lied about pretty much everything since he got elected leader, not least of which the 10 pledges he stood for election on, it’s no surprise he’s actually gone back on this as well, made even worse by many of the staff in question finding out from the Guardian newspaper instead of the party.

You can imagine the Trade Unions are up in arms with this. Unite and the GMB, both affiliated unions, both considerable donors to Labour, but not typically from the same wing of the party are singing from the same hymn sheet now. They’ve slammed this action, done without consultation, they’re particularly scathing that they’ve gone for redundancies straight away instead of trying to cut costs in other ways first, such as reducing upper management pay – none of them are getting the axe – and have demanded a response from Labour. So far I’ve not heard that this has happened.

Beckett this morning has also said Labour would be treated like any other bad employer. The party of the workers facing strike action from the very trade unions who fund them and rightfully so as that party seeks to turn away from representing the working class, turning away from socialism and turning into the same Blue Labour, Blairite, tory-lite party that turned so many of us off before. With so many of Starmer’s recent LOTO staff appointments being essentially a Blairite reunion – I bet they got a good employment package – that’s where we are. A party both financially and morally bankrupt at the top, becoming ever more distanced from its own founding principles.

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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Labour First conference motion is a violent, incendiary, Islamophobic declaration of war on Palestine.

If you want to see how right wing, so-called Labour moderates hope they’ve engineered this years Labour Conference, you only have to look at the ridiculous motion the right wing Labour First group, sadly not proscribed, but then they’re right wing, have put forward, that they hope to see pass, courtesy of their secretary, Luke ‘The Nuke’ Akehurst. Never met a war he didn’t seem to like. Supports Saudi Arabia attacking Yemen, the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world, because he ‘doesn’t want Iran to win it’ and of course is to this day a staunch defender of Labour’s disastrous intervention in Iraq under Tony Blair. Offering support for military interventions and selling bombs because he’s picked a side and wants them to win despite being totally unaffected by it himself. You have to be utterly twisted to cheerlead over such things, it takes a special sort of fucked up to agitate for war where we have no business waging it and make no mistake, when we’re selling the weapons, we’re part of it, the blood is on our hands too, it’s just that most of us don’t choose to bathe in it. Take a look at this motion.

Two-state solution, not everyone agrees with that but it’s a debate to be had sure, first paragraph talks of peace, no arguments there, but I want to draw your eyes down to where it gets properly batshit and that’s the fourth paragraph, I’ll read it out:

Conference condemns all acts of terrorism unequivocally. Conference calls for free and democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority and the restoration of Palestinian Authority control over Gaza. Conference calls for the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to be removed from power in Gaza and disarmed in return for massive investment to improve life for citizens in Gaza.

Terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad eh? Its funny that it’s only the West and Israel that designate them such.

In fact, in the case of Hamas, the UK only recognises their military wing, Hamas’ Izz ad-din Al-Qassam Brigades as a proscribed terrorist group, not the political side of it because hey, guess what? Hamas were elected to power in Palestine and run the Palestinian state. That wasn’t the West’s plan, but hey, the likes of the US and UK have form for not acknowledging election results in other countries that they don’t like. Venezuela anyone?

But this motion truly goes full Luke the Nuke when it talks about removing them from power. How are you going to do that? They’re elected. Fairly. Given Akehurst’s penchant for violence as long as its not on his own doorstep, it really does look like they’re agitating for military action here. As if Palestine doesn’t already have enough on its hands. I’m not excusing the fact they fire rockets at Israel, but they’re firing at a nuclear power with an iron shield defence system preventing most rockets getting through. When Israel fire on Palestine, and of course they bloody do it as well, all their rockets hit. It’s David vs Goliath stuff. There’s no talk of engaging in diplomacy in this motion, of compromise, of bringing two sides together, it simply says removal, then going on to say we’ll offer you pots of cash to improve and invest for citizens in Gaza. Bribing the population into civil unrest? They’ve dealt with this shit for 60 years, they aren’t about to stop now because you’re prepared to raid the piggy bank. Armed invasion instead then? We all know how much you love them. But for all your talk of benefits, do you really mean the Palestinians though Luke? Or more illegal settlers? Once ‘settled’, bulldozing family homes, driving farmers off their land, they’d technically be Gazans themselves. Given that aside from being secretary of Labour First, which he regards on his Twitter profile as a ‘spare time’ role, his work, his main role is as director of We Believe in Israel, an outfit to promote Israel’s right to exist – not Palestine’s –  and is funded by BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications Research Centre, so any recommendations for the betterment of Gazans doesn’t convince me its Palestinian Gazans you give a damn about. In fact, you’ve got form for arguing that the illegal settlement of Palestinian lands is permissible insofar as it doesn’t contravene the Geneva Convention! This motion is so ambiguous and your bias so well documented you’d have to be a fool to think otherwise of you.

With people like this on Labour’s NEC, the pressure to go to war again should we attain power is significantly raised. Our taxes once more being used to spill blood elsewhere. Akehurst is no representative of Labour members, how he came top in the last NEC elections after years of repeatedly failing to get back onto the NEC I still find incredibly suspicious. His family doesn’t suffer, his family isn’t affected, he isn’t affected, but he doesn’t give a shit and for as long as he works for We Believe in Israel, he’s taking money from one state, despite calling for a two state solution. More like a two-faced solution. He is as I’ve said previously, probably the most dangerous man in the Labour Party today and it shows. Conference needs to throw this filth out the door, not least because it’s blatantly Islamophobic and falls foul of Labour’s brand spanking new Code of Conduct over Islamophobia. I guess we’ll soon see how seriously they consider that to be, but I fear given how the delegate structure has been rigged, that instead this ‘declaration of war’ motion may yet pass.

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.

Support the RNLI, don’t allow Patel to criminalise them.

The RNLI. They keep us safe, from our day at the seaside, or out for a sail to being on scene at the worst of shipping disasters. Down here in the South West with our massive coastlines, they are an intrinsic part of our communities, they have earned our utmost respect, they should command everyone’s respect. These brave men and women who are prepared to risk their lives to save the lives of others unconditionally. They volunteer for this. The RNLI itself relies solely on charity in order to perform its duties. There is no government money for them, they perform essential duties that no UK government has ever seen fit to fund, so they rely on us, via donations, for their entire existence.

For them to come under assault, be it verbal or otherwise is disgusting, but it comes about as a result once more of our rabidly right wing media and the disgrace for a government we’re currently enduring.

You see, the RNLI won’t discriminate. If someone is in trouble in the water, they’ll rescue them. It’s what they do. They value the sanctity of life and are prepared to risk their own to uphold that and that includes migrants.

Yes migrants. Nigel Farage fodder and our twisted government in the form of Home Secretary Priti Patel saw fit to bring a Bill to parliament, the Nationality & Borders Bill, which, if passed, criminalises asylum seekers. Now the knuckle draggers with bacon complexions will be snorting with joy at such a move, the sort of people who have no idea what the RNLI do, yet see fit to tell them how to do their job. The abusive simpletons who will never appreciate the value of this service unless they one day find themselves in need of it. Farage himself has called the RNLI a ‘taxi service for illegal immigration’, so is it any wonder the racist dipshits of this country are turning on them?

See the thing is anyone coming across in a dinghy or worse and finding themselves in trouble, the RNLI will rescue them. I mean, wouldn’t you? A boat with people of all ages, young, old, in trouble, the people on it certain to drown if you don’t do something? Unless you’re utterly sociopathic you would do something. If this Bill passes, and it’s already passed second reading now, anyone, from the passing fisherman to the RNLI lifeboat crew potentially face years of imprisonment if they don’t stand by and let them drown. Imagine if this happened back during the Holocaust, to the Kindertransport? Instead of being regarded justifiably as a hero, Sir Nicholas Winton would’ve been arrested! People seeking asylum are often from war-torn, dangerous places. Why else would they risk their lives covering enormous distances and dangerous terrain to get here, if here is their choice?

Why can’t they enter legally? You might ask. Well there are no legal routes left. The government has closed them all. Besides, calling it illegal entry doesn’t make their asylum claim any different, because anyone can claim asylum here and their presence is perfectly legal until such time as a decision is made on their application. By removing legal routes, they have caused the endangerment of these desperate people. The RNLI are mitigating the worst outcomes of this mess of the governments own making! This Bill is just another racist piece of legislation from a government renowned for it. They’ve just handed France £54m for an extra 100 migrant police on their side to try and reduce the numbers of boats coming here. Bear that in mind when our 3% nurses pay rise will end up being paid for by cuts to health services elsewhere.

Once here, they can legally claim asylum, so our government response is ‘stop them making it’, even if that means they die. Meanwhile our at sea, self-funded rescue service get called everything under the sun for daring to do their job and refusing to let people die.

They tell us it’ll hit people traffickers, but it doesn’t. It weakens alternatives to the traffickers who will just find more dangerous ways of trying to get people here.

Attacking vulnerable people, preventing them seeking asylum here any way they can, even to the point they’re prepared to criminalise a rescue organisation they don’t even see fit to fund for all our benefit, that has to fund itself. We’re led by the very worst of us, but I challenge anyone to think they can keep on sailing past a boat load of people, leaving them to drown. You wouldn’t sleep at night.

Support the RNLI if you can, consider it a subscription to giving two fingers to this racist legislation & the government pushing for it and the gammons abusing the service, but genuinely, they cannot do what they do without 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.

Bravo Dawn Butler, but Parliament fails us again.

Yesterday just before breaking up for Summer Recess Dawn Butler dropped a few home truths on the Tories about their liar of a leader. She called out his lies. She called out his dishonesty and yet this farce of a House of Commons threw her out for the rest of the day because her language was unparliamentary.

Fuck unparliamentary. Fuck it from a great height, Boris Johnson is a consummate liar and yet our MP’s are forbidden from calling a spade a spade. Boris Johnson is doing real damage to this country and can lie with impunity over it, because he is never dragged back to correct the record. The parliamentary process, the parliamentary language, the parliamentary rules, the pomp and circumstance, the tradition, fails us the nation in doing so. Yet for another MP to call it out? Not allowed. MP’s are not allowed to accuse each other of deliberate deceit. It ties opposition hands and allows a government made up of ministers more than happy to break the rules, to abuse parliament, to abuse what passes for our democracy these days, and to keep on doing so. Such ministers are expected to resign should they deceive the House, but of course that leaves things up to them doing the honourable thing and when they actually have no honour, we end up where we are, with no apparent recourse to even call that out, let alone act upon it. To compare the ridiculousness of this, take the example of 5 Tory MP’s who were recently found to have attempted to sway judges in the case of a sex-offending Tory colleague and all that happened was they lost a day’s pay! A criminal act going unpunished, but accuse an MP of lying? No hesitation – away with you.

It’s not like its even news, we all know Johnson’s a liar. the Peter Stefanovic viral video has now had over 27 million views, clearly showing his lies in action and journalist Peter Oborne has written an entire book all about his dishonesty. Former Tory colleague Rory Stewart called him ‘the most accomplished liar in public life’, another former colleague Anna Soubry said ‘he lies as easily as he draws breath’. That Johnson is a liar is demonstrable and beyond doubt. So why are our elected representatives prevented from calling him one?

Compounding this further are the public dismissals. Daily Fail reader comments referring to her as ‘another Diane Abbott’ in order to discredit her whilst lacing it with a bit of casual racism, shameful but par for the course with gutter rags of that ilk and those that choose to read them, those who would forgive Johnson if he ate a baby on live TV and then defend him when he inevitably lies about it. But worse is the lack of support coming from her own party. So many sitting on their hands not commenting, those that are are almost all from the left and some like Angela Rayner attempted to jump on Dawn’s coattails by repeating the liar line whilst forgetting to even mention Dawn Butler at all. We see you Ange! Barry Sheerman said she was no Dennis Skinner! Why does she need comparing to a white man even if he is a legend Barry? More’s the pity you’re still sat on those benches and Skinner isn’t! Chris Bryant, apparently Labour and a wannabe speaker himself, defended the deputy speaker who threw Dawn out, saying she had no choice. She did, she didn’t have to go there, but raised a point that such things have to be debated. Who gets to choose what to debate though? The House, by voting on a motion to do so and which has a Tory majority of 80. You really think it’d be heard? But as for Keir Starmer, he’s ignored the entire issue, instead reverting to sport once more because the Olympics are up and running. The Silent Knight, silent on his actual job as always. There’ll be a statement involving at least 6, possibly 7 Union Flags, just to make sure, plus pub shots featuring an untouched pint in one hand and some forensic pointing at a telly with some Greek Wrestlers on or some such coming up, you know it’s bloody coming. No solidarity, no support, just the usual flaccid uselessness we’ve come to expect. The political equivalent of an erectile dysfunction. Perhaps once his focus groups have had a chat he’ll come to a decision, but more likely he’ll leave it to someone else and then Captain Hindsight it, acting like it was his idea afterwards. It’s not like there were many Labour MP’s in the chamber at the time, but they should’ve walked out with her, that they didn’t is another scandal.

Johnson can get away with lying at any time, to justify any act and nobody is allowed to call him such in parliament. That is what it means these days to behave in a parliamentary manner. For us on the outside, or even Dawn Butler on the inside calling him out for it? It’s a minor inconvenience to him. Parliamentary democracy is a farce. It needs tearing up and starting again.

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.