Tory trade envoy troubles

Liz Truss, cheese afficionado and pork markets fan – will she ever be remembered for anything else? Has today announced ten brand new trade envoys to represent Britain and promote our exports and our interests. Truss might be the most popular Tory politician – God only knows why – but she’s never been known for being the brightest. Perhaps that’s unfair, perhaps she’s picked some real experts here, some real professionals in this field, after all her boss Johnson signed off on them all. So who has she appointed then? Who are these trade experts? Oh dear Liz…you were better off with the cheese…

Liz Truss the Secretary of State for International Trade and never one to shy away from bigging up even the smallest deal has today announced 10 brand new trade envoys to help open up new trade links, promote our produce and big up Great Britain post Brexit. All sounds rather positive doesn’t it! So who are these booming economies we’re sweet-talking with these new faces?

Let’s start with Australia and you can imagine Liz Truss thinking what are we famous for in Australia, what do they love about us and came up with cricket. They don’t love us for cricket, they love us for losing against them at cricket. So rather than appoint anyone with familiarity with Australian economics, she appointed a cricketer, who also just happens to have joined the vermin in ermine in the House of Lords in 2020, becoming Baron Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham of Ravensworth. Although he sits as a crossbencher, Botham was vocally pro-Brexit which is all the qualification he surely needs. What part of cricketer training, what conversations in the clubhouse concern economics and trade relations? Weren’t the Tories implying sportsmen should stick to what they know? They told Marcus Rashford he had no business sticking his nose into things that didn’t concern him when he strove to feed kids during the holidays when the Tories would rather they starved, what could qualify this millionaire footballer after all, other than growing up poor himself! He had life experience, Botham has none regarding trade. The Tories really do need to make up their minds – can sportsmen make good politicians? Yes or no?

Ghana next, and who have the Tories carefully selected? Former Labour MP – and by the fact she’s taken the Ian Austin weasel route into the Tories grace and favour, you can tell that’s where she really belongs – Kate Hoey. Yes, screamingly pro Brexit cheerleader, another life peer to the House of Lords and Irish white woman Kate Hoey. Was there any real desire to have someone with something remotely in common with Ghana appointed to this post? I mean she was certainly one of the loudest voices for Brexit, she even got on a boat with Nigel Farage so perhaps she was owed a favour? I’m not sure what the Ghanaians did to deserve her though. She can bring her political experience of cutting her nose off to spite her face, wanting to hunt small wildlife and demand all cyclists be registered I suppose. Have they even heard of her over there?

Sir Geoffrey Donaldson MP is off to Cameroon – he’s a DUP MP, Brexit patsies that they were for the Tories and it seems they just can’t help still cosy up to them after the way they were shafted and what is it with the Tories sending the Irish to Africa, or do you have to be Irish AND bigoted? Have they left Dominic Raab to sort this out? He does know Ireland isn’t over there right? Donaldson apparently is already trade envoy to Egypt, so apparently he’s got enough time for this as well which is remarkably reassuring that we’re clearly getting some massive trade going on there if he’s got time to do both.

Current Tory MP Conor Burns is off to Canada – an Irishman not heading for Africa, well there’s a change, though no doubt his constituents in Bournemouth will be delighted to see their MP working for them on the other side of the Atlantic! The joys of living in a Tory safe seat – you don’t matter. Another brexiteer, so a shoe-in for a trade envoy job, but this ais a guy who was forced to resign as minister of state for trade policy just last year for being found guilty by the parliamentary standards commissioner for threatening to expose a member of the public using parliamentary privilege. He got suspended from parliament for 7 days, so this very much looks like your typical Tory rewards for bad behaviour when they think we’ve stopped looking. We see you. Sorry Canada, you’ve drawn a short straw.

Another Tory MP, Mark Eastwood is off to Pakistan and you’ve guessed it, he’s a brexiteer, he’s white and I’m not sure how fluent his Urdu might be! He has been to Pakistan once as part of an all party delegation though, so he does at least know where it is. He was a new intake MP for 2019, a red wall Tory, so there’s little else to be said, but then there doesn’t seem to be much needed to qualify anyone for these roles.

David Mundell, for some time the lone Tory MP in Scotland has been appointed trade envoy to New Zealand, so at least they got a politician and not a sportsman, though the question needs to be asked given he’s being sent from plague island, will they even let him in – do catch my recent article on New Zealand going into lockdown again off the back of a single new COVID case. There’s an irony sending a Scottish unionist to an island that gained its independence from Britain and has been successful – he doesn’t think that’s possible you see.

Another Tory MP, Marco Longhi, he who replaced a cowardly Ian Austin who had stood down as an MP rather than face defeat. Of course the Tories then gave the snivelling rodent an ermine overcoat, showing he was never really Labour to begin with. Longhi is off to Brazil. He’s lived there, he speaks Portuguese, you could almost think there was logic to this choice, if we hadn’t already run through a bunch of absolute howlers, but Longhi is a Tory after all, owning numerous properties and had accused the National Trust of being woke and appropriating cultural Marxism, which is a known racist trope. He’ll no doubt get on brilliantly with Jair Bolsonaro.

Stephen Timms is off to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, famous between them for chocolate and false teeth, so the more of one they can push on us, the more we’ll need the other! He’s a remainer and Labour MP so how did he sneak through, though perhaps the question ought to be, why on Earth is a currently serving opposition MP taking a role from the governming party, because that’s just taking the piss and makes Labour look even more of a failure in the opposition department than it already is.

Felicity Buchan has been appointed as a trade envoy to Norway and Iceland, who is the current MP for Kensington, having replaced the excellent Emma Dent Coad and therefore inheriting the ongoing, unresolved mess of Grenfell, I’m sure her constituents will be delighted that she’s sodding off to Scandinavia, though given she voted against the Labour amendment to the Fire Safety Bill intended to implement the recommendations of the first phase of the Grenfell Tower Enquiry, they’re probably more than well aware she doesn’t give a shit. A former banker, her only qualification to this role appears to be the fact she’s Scottish and therefore comes from the bit of Britain closest to Norway and Iceland.

Lastly there’s Lord Walney, there’s an innocuous, name, but it’s bloody John Woodcock. A former Labour MP who took a Tory peerage – funny so many of these have been former Labour MP’s, its almost as if the Labour Party is led by people who don’t really belong in it doesn’t it! He left the Labour Party let’s not let him forget coincidentally whilst a sexual harassment investigation into him was taking place. He was Ian Austin’s sidekick and fellow Corbyn basher and stood up publicly declaring what a danger Corbyn was to society and advocating for people to vote Tory. Yeah. That worked out well. He and Austin got their peerages for services rendered, but don’t think he’s satisfied yet, he’s a co-owner of the Jewish Chronicle.

Well he’s been appointed trade envoy to Tanzania. Whilst this country suffers, the people he purported to represent he has utterly betrayed for his own ends and he’s still cashing in. I can only apologise in advance to the people of Tanzania, I had no idea the Tories hated you this much.

So we have a list of ten trade envoys, many with no experience in trade whatsoever, all on the gravy train to some extent or another, despite 50% of these nations being majority non-white, 100% of all the trade envoy’s are white. 80% of them are male and 70% of them were pro Brexit.

Liz Truss and Boris Johnson aren’t interested in getting trade deals, I doubt they’re bothered whether any of these people succeed or fail, these are pats on the back, these are golden handshakes, these are rewards for loyalty and services rendered and when we’re paying for all of this, all whilst the Tories cut to ribbons our quality of life, all while our cost of living goes up, we should all be very, very pissed off at this.

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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Starmer ‘paint a picture in primary colours’ relaunch. WTF?

Keir Starmer, Labours absolute shambles of a leader is – you’ve guessed it – relaunching himself again!

He’s gone from embracing Blair’s legacy to finally admitting those 10 pledges were a sham and now wants to paint a picture in primary colours – what the hell does that even mean?

Keir Starmer has announced a departure from his 10 pledges, a pledge lest we forget being a solemn promise, made to us, the Labour membership. This is hardly news to those of us who have been or still are members of the Labour Party. He departed from them on day one, its just taken him 18 months to admit he never really meant a word he said in order to become elected. His war on the left of his own party just confirming that. His promise to build on the success of Corbyn’s leadership translated as rip it all up and suspend him from the party for far longer than the rules allow and suspend any CLP’s that dare try show solidarity with him. Any semblance of socialism he appointed to his front bench was ousted on the flimsiest of terms as fast as he could manage and its been diktat ever since.

He’s lost support, lost volunteers, lost members and has now thrown out even more by proscribing various groups on the left of the party and as a result is no longer competitive in by elections, losing one after another, only hanging onto Batley & Spen as a result of emotional blackmail and a bit of luck in the Green Party stepping aside.

Pledge one was the easiest to keep as it was on economic justice. Lowest corporation tax level in Europe, a tax only on profits as this is, raising it should’ve been a no brainer. He said now is not the time to this at the same time he was campaigning to be Labour leader – he literally broke it before even getting elected!

Pledge 2 was social justice – well where’s the social justice in saying nurses deserve a 2.1% pay rise, after the Tories promised 1%. They needed 12%, they were owed 15%, the Tories went 3% and Starmer broke his pledge and faith with nurses needing a fair deal.

Climate justice was pledge 3, for heavens sake all he had to do was stick with Becky Long-Bailey’s excellent Green New Deal and Corbyn’s 2030 climate crisis target. Nope, ditched it within months of becoming leader, has offered a limp ambition since. Always ambitions and never actual policy announcements.

Promote peace and human rights was pledge 4, just look at his treatment of Labour Party members, his abuse of the Labour party rulebook, the payoffs to shush up legal cases we had, and you’ve got an authoritarian who has been far too profligate with Party cash. No wonder Labour is worried it can’t even cover payroll now, but besides internal abuses he’s been a serial abstainer on the issue of human rights and he’s a former human rights lawyer! From the overseas operations bill, to the spycops bill he whipped his MP’s to abstain and was going to on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill until Clapham Common happened, forcing him to grudgingly oppose. Pathetic.

Pledge 5, common ownership – he ripped that up when he rowed back on the prospect of nationalising BT saying Labour under him is pro-business. In other words, he’s a red Tory.

Defend migrants rights was pledge number 6. When we have a sociopathic migrant hater in Priti Patel, it should be easy to just oppose frankly anything that comes out of her mouth. Starmer has failed to ever do so, so hasn’t kept this pledge.

Pledge 7 was strengthen workers rights and trade unions – what a sick joke this one is. When Becky Long Bailey sided with the teaching unions over concerns regarding covid in schools, she got the sack, allegedly over calling actress Maxine Peake a diamond, but we all know the truth. Useless Kate Green replaced her and Starmer just went, schools must open no ifs, no buts, no equivocation. He backed Unite over Fire and Rehire on twitter, then panicked over it and deleted it and now he’s using fire and rehire tactics to sack 90 staff, whilst recruiting more on temporary part time contracts, causing the trade unions to consider industrial action against Starmer and Labour! He broke this in the most egregious possible way.

Pledge 8, radical devolution of power, wealth and opportunity, was torn up when he defended Boris Johnson’s trip to Scotland to promote the Union during the pandemic and has been utterly silent on Tory cronies ending up in the House of Lords – so much for equal opportunity, the gravy train rumbles on.

Pledge 9 was promotion of equality, but then he called Black Lives Matter a moment and has expelled members, most notable Jeremy Corbyn and most recently Ken Loach over factually questioning the prevalence of antisemitism or standing in solidarity with suspended members, plus he’s still burying the Forde Report, which, lest we forget is a report into internal racism in the party and BAME members in particular are furious this has still not been released.

And pledge number 10, to provide effective opposition to the Tories. I’ll never forget the people on Gogglebox saying ‘if him saying I agree with the Tories were a drinking game you’d be pissed!’

So lets bury this notion that he might scrap his 10 pledges, he’s already broken every single one, some several times over and they are no longer worth the paper they were printed on.

Now, on top of his agile ceremonies and multi-disciplinary collaboration in iteration, he’s talking about painting in primary colours. Why the hell does this brylcreemed advert for suited and booted nothingness insist on talking in such a meaningless fashion? His speech is now a direct reflection of his persona, it’s like he’s from an alien planet, there’s no sense in anything he says! Painting in primary colours, what are you three? Well you’ve torn up any semblance of socialism, so you won’t be using red, you stand for a metric ton of sod all, so Liberal yellow might suit, but with all your constant agreement with the government your tenure as leader is most definitely blue. Some might argue that mixing them makes green, but we’ve already exploded pledge number 3, so lets not go there.

The top priority is a Labour government he says, great, tell us something we don’t know, how are you going to achieve that when you lie, break your promises and have no policy? Are you going to announce some? No you’re apparently going to paint.

What is the one thing that connects Attlee, Wilson and Blair? They all had vision, had policies, they all increased Labour’s seat count, you missed Corbyn out in 2017 who did the same though, but that little nugget doesn’t suit you does it?

By officially announcing the 10 pledges might be on the way out, broken as they are anyway, merely confirms you lied to get elected. You lied to members who might have supported you and that makes you fundamentally untrustworthy. You’re dishonest Keir. You have no policies, still, to this day for anyone to base an opinion on your ability to lead, and the longer that goes on for, the worse people’s opinions of you are going to be. A recent YouGov poll of people’s attitudes towards you was excoriating. Of 12,000 respondents – huge by YouGov’s measure – 76% think you’re incompetent, 80% dislike you, 80% don’t believe you’ll ever be Prime Minister and as for people voting who they thought did a better job of leading the Party, you scored 35% compared to Jeremy Corbyn leading with 44%.

‘Win the Future’ is the new strapline you’re sticking to, how handy for a guy with no policies and no direction that the future isn’t written yet, but it won’t be primary colours with you still leading, you walking absence, it’ll be beige, beige, beige. The fact this abbreviates to WTF and what that usually stands for hilariously sums up how the majority of not just members but voters feel about you and what passes for your leadership, but how cringingly awful you are at promoting yourself or the party.

Nobody trusts you after you broke all your promises, nobody knows what you stand for when you relaunch yourself more often than you change your underwear and so I’m afraid I have to break it to you that you will never lead the country, you will never win, because unlike the Tories, we won’t support somebody with so little substance, nor back a liar. Next month at Labour Conference I really hope some home truths are going to hit you hard, you useless little man.

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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New Zealand lockdown in force.

The New Zealand response to the COVID crisis has been one that should be held up as the gold standard in COVID responses. In response to a single case, now risen to 31, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern once again shuts the country down. Stamping it out at every opportunity has meant that her country has suffered only 26 fatalities since COVID first appeared. Why have other countries, including us in the UK, not learned from what they’ve proved works?

An unvaccinated man from  Auckland, New Zealand had tested positive for the Delta variant. Considered infectious since the 12th August, he was identified on the 17th August and from midnight that night, the whole country was put straight into level 4 of lockdown, the strictest level of lockdown they have. Schools shut, everyone stays home except for medical treatment, exercise or to collect essential shopping. All work ceases except for essential workers. The virulence of the Delta variant means this one identified case has now become 31, which, compared to UK stats, is absolutely nothing, awful as our response has been but given New Zealand has become renowned around the world for eliminating COVID and keeping it that way, how has it got in?

If you want to visit New Zealand these days, you have to jump through some serious hoops. Only New Zealand residents and their families can enter, along with Australian residents who’s main residence in in New Zealand, certain people due to their work – air travel workers for instance and people from places designated quarantine free zones, which basically only covers Australia and a few South Pacific islands.

Everybody else has to go through 14 days of Managed Isolation or Quarantine, their MIQ system. You need to have tested negative before departure. Upon arrival you must spend 14 days in isolation and you have to have arranged a placement in an MIQ facility before you leave for New Zealand too. They won’t let you on the plane without proof of this! It’s not a case of going where you want and holing up, they want to make sure you’re isolating so you go to a facility before you go anywhere else. You get tested repeatedly. If you test positive, you move to a quarantine facility, if you continue to test negative, you do your isolation period and are then free to go wherever you choose. These border controls have meant that despite seeing Delta variants show up at their borders – these MIQ facilities – since June, not until now have they had an outbreak of this variant, they’ve successfully kept the country clear. So what happened?

Well the outbreak has been linked through genome sequencing to New South Wales, Australia. Although Australia is in a quarantine free zone, this was suspended back in July as a precaution due to rising cases there, so its not a clear picture at all as to how this has happened, though the Australian island of Tasmania was not restricted from being a quarantine free zone at the same time as the mainland, so it may have come through there, before that route was closed off as well.

What has happened is of those 31 cases, 19 have been linked, the remainder remain under investigation and 1189 contacts have already been identified, all in the space of some 48 hours.

Compare that to here in the UK. 36,572 new cases on the 19th August. Cases rising again even before schools return for most of us. No masks required, no social distancing, everyone back to work, no mitigations being put in place in schools before they return, so expect cases to rise even further and faster with all the consequences we know that brings as we head into another COVID winter. ‘Oh but the vaccine will protect us’ people will cry. Well with still only 75% of the adults in the UK double vaccinated, still nobody under the age of 16 vaccinated, and we’re only now starting to vaccine 16 and 17 years olds, but only with one dose! We’re still seeing hospital admissions and we’re still seeing people dying. None of the vaccines are 100%, on their own they are not sufficient so if you consider that good enough, then you’re a sociopath in my book. 36,572 versus 31. Jacinda Ardern vs Boris Johnson. Don’t tell me what we’re doing in the UK is good enough.

We could’ve adopted what they’ve done in New Zealand, we’re an island nation too. Just because our population is a lot bigger shouldn’t be an excuse not to, it should be a reason to move faster and its an advantage over nations with land borders we could’ve used to our advantage. One of the most incompetent and stupefying aspects of our COVID response from the start was the sheer lack of travel restrictions. We basically threw COVID the red carpet.

Of course Ardern has her critics – they’re puerile, but they’re there. The most common one is that New Zealanders are prisoners in pursuit of Zero Covid. She hasn’t just pursued zero COVID, she’s achieved it. I have no doubt she’ll achieve it again and once more New Zealanders will be able to ditch their masks, ditch social distancing, go out to eat, to the cinema and socialise in all the ways we used to, but they can do so safe in the knowledge nobody is going to catch COVID. Sounds pretty freeing to me.

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.

Brexit Chicken Supply Crisis

Well who’d have thought it, the party that brought us Brexit means Brexit couldn’t foresee supply chain problems after we left without a decent trade deal in place, the giveaway should be that they’ve been trying to tear up their ‘oven ready’ Brexit deal almost since they got it signed off and as a consequence we’re now struggling to even get an oven ready chicken! They never got Brexit done, they’ve just dragged the pain of it out, pulled the wool over our eyes and made it even worse.

Boris Johnson, a man who has rarely been troubled by honesty and all too often has been allowed to get away with that, has been somewhat fortunate in that the COVID crisis has for the most part masked the fallout from his ‘oven ready’ Brexit deal, an agreement he’s been trying to wriggle out of almost since it was signed. Whether he ever even read the thing before he signed it is highly questionable, but when you consider the consequences of his ambition, his idiocy or a combination of the two and it’s little wonder why, when you visit the supermarket and see the vast array of empty shelves there to greet you, that the government line is to blame something else, namely COVID. Where are the goods? Why can’t I buy what I need? and the answer has been things like shortages of staff in the warehouse due to COVID, lorry drivers down with COVID and because COVID has become so normalised, life is back to normal and we’re just living with it now – except the ones dying from it obviously but who thinks about them anymore, as the mass media avoid talking about that – and so we just accept it’s a temporary hitch and move on.

Well it isn’t a temporary hitch, it isn’t related to COVID and this is becoming more obvious to more people by the day as we look at pictures of supermarkets in Europe on social media, Europe with its share of COVID to deal with as well and what do we see? Well stocked shelves full of fresh produce! Why can they get food and we can’t? The answer is a Brexit inflicted supply chain disaster that actually has a greater knock-on effect and none of it positive.

Sure, some of it might be people off sick with COVID, but that’s a short term issue, the long term issue caused by Brexit is the lack of staff to start with. Many weren’t British nationals and they’ve left or are about to leave, leaving massive holes in the workforce, holes in industries that require a level of skill, that not anyone can do. We’re short on lorry drivers to deliver goods. If our shops need supplying, they need stuff delivered to them and that has been hit hard.

It’s not just been a case of non British drivers not staying either, many British people have left the job too, because Brexit has disincentivised them from staying. Many used to earn decent money doing runs to the continent when as part of the EU we could collect goods and come back without fuss. Now it’s 2 or 3 days of red tape, fresh produce going off as they’re sat there and whilst they’re sat there waiting to get back they aren’t getting paid. They lose money sitting there not trucking. That hurts the drivers in the pocket and what produce they bring back? More of it will have perished by the time it gets here, driving up demand and as a result prices.

This crisis is a two-way street actually as well, as our meat and fish exports have dropped some 83% and there’s nothing worse than spoiling fish, so this is directly hitting our economy as well. And if you don’t believe me over any of this? How much has your shopping bill gone up lately?

Think about how this might hurt the poorest in the country right now if you’re feeling the pinch. They’re due to lose £20 a week, a Universal Credit uplift the most ill and disabled still on legacy benefits never got to begin with, combined with energy bills set to soar again and with this supply and demand crisis only worsening, the price of meat and fish is up 23%, fresh fruit and veg up 14% and the price of poultry up a staggering 41% and it’s the poultry industry I’ll turn to next.

We raise a lot of poultry in this country, but the industry is in crisis because they’ve lost so many workers as well. Again, most came from abroad because working with chickens or turkeys is a poorly paid job, but again a skilled one; its another example of skilled work not being paid as such, from the husbandry to the butchery, the people working there operate quickly and efficiently and that takes time to train and get the hang of, but when the market demands ever cheaper meat, the wages do not keep up with UK cost of living, therefore people here simply cannot afford to take this work on, or learn how to do it. The cost of living in this country has been a massive problem gone ignored by business-centric successive governments for decades. It left the country with a need for cheap foreign labour and here its biting us on the arse, particularly as the cost of living is rising, goods and utilities costing us more and wages and benefits here are still not rising to match. Look, food banks as an example are an absolute consequence of a system failing its people and the queues to these places are getting longer and longer and the number of people able to pop a few items in the food bank bin will get fewer and fewer as costs rise, as this issue of income versus cost of living worsens, plus availability of goods as well, continues to widen.

The British Poultry Industry has spoken out today, flatly blaming Brexit for the staffing issues its industry faces and demanding the government fast-track visas for people to come here and do the jobs needed, those possessing the skills needed. How is this being back in control? How is this freedom oh Brexit voters? Surely we should be employing people here to do this, surely these poultry farmers and processors should be training up Brits? The reason nobody will is that we all want cheap chicken and therefore the poultry industry cannot pay enough for a British worker to live on. Its hard work, skilled work but our government response would be to anyone not earning enough, would be to work harder or take another job – there’s no time to around this kind of work and it is in itself enough work for anyone for one day. A fair days pay for a fair days work is what we all should be demanding, whatever happened to that? It went out of the window in the 70’s. Wages have failed to keep up with cost of living for decades. We can’t afford to buy a home anymore, can’t afford to rent a home it seems these days, now its becoming increasingly harder to put food on the table, save for a pension you’ll have to work even longer for to earn and with the poultry industry struggling to meet demand, case in point today Nando’s closing 45 outlets and KFC reducing their menu options, let alone the state of play on your supermarket shelves! You might not even be able to get a turkey for Christmas because although the birds are there, the processing and delivery infrastructures are not! Whilst Brexit has brought into sharp, chicken-flavoured focus the cost of living crisis – I’m not going to say anybody was right or wrong depending on how they voted, that time is past – but the least you should expect is for your government to know what they were doing and its bloody obvious by now that they were all making it up as they went along. Their mishandling of Brexit, their incompetence and cluelessness, their detachment from ordinary lives, has accelerated the cost of living crisis and there needs to be a fundamental shift to address it as more and more people find themselves unable to afford even the basics, like a roast chicken dinner.

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 agile ceremonies? What is this drivel?

What in the ever loving chuff are Agile ceremonies? Unelected, unratified acting General Secretary of the Labour Party David Evans has taken inspiration from a Thick Of It script by the sounds of this. What a pile of drivel! In his strategic plans unveiled to Labour staff this week, some of whom it won’t matter to anyway when around a quarter of them now face the axe, somehow have to make sense of this in order to succeed. All this, because of the financial mismanagement of the Labour Party under Starmer & Evans tenure. What happened to just making popular policies?

Agile ceremonies, I had a vision of a vicar in gym gear when I first heard it, athletic weddings perhaps? Maybe its Starmer, Evans, the right wing frontbench and certain members of the NEC dancing in a circle and chanting around a cauldron? Is this how they resurrect the legacy of Blair perhaps? Sounds a bit cultish.

But no, apparently it’s the new way of working for those surviving the cut at Labour HQ.

David Evans idea of leadership is to tell the remaining staff they need to work collaboratively in agile and multi-disciplinary ways, that they need to adopt agile ceremonies, be empowered to make decisions and focus on rapid prototyping, deployment and iteration.

What the hell? Has he tripped over a dictionary and swallowed it? What do we want? Agile Ceremonies! When do we want it? At an optimum point for delivery whilst maintaining product quality!

How do you convey this to local party members when they ask for help or advice? Iterate more! Deploy with more agility! What does it mean? do you want us performing somersaults as we post flyers through doors?

This absolute travesty passing for advice is what Labour staffers have been told they must do in order to make up for the job losses faced by colleagues. Evans admitted the key driver was a need to achieve a substantial cost reduction – no bloody kidding! Where has the money gone Keir and Dave? Corbyn left you with a £13m surplus! Blown on pay-offs to people who may or may not be badly incriminated in the never to be seen Forde Report, losing membership subs in droves as they attack the left of the Party ceaselessly, driving more members away from the party and pissing off the Trade Unions to the point some are considering disaffiliation, have withdrawn funding and are now even considering possible industrial action, since the way the party has gone about the layoffs, whilst recruiting more people on poorer terms and conditions, temporary, work-from-home contracts, is straight out of the Fire and Rehire playbook! Reports last month were that the Party was a single payroll away from bankruptcy, they’re certainly going to need to be more agile with their spending if they’re going to last much longer!

There is of course a way that we can put this nonsense to bed once and for all and that’s to make sure unratified Dave Evans, remains so. He cannot remain as General Secretary if he isn’t formally endorsed by Labour Party Conference happening next month and it really does depend how much the Starmer faction has stitched up the delegate selection process as to whether he’ll get the nod. A lot of people want him gone, not just over this latest, hilariously bad, incomprehensible plan for the Party going forwards, but as a result of his dictatorial instruction to CLP’s, walking all over the party rulebook, ordering them not to discuss things such as no confidence votes in him and Starmer, but also blocking solidarity votes in the perpetually suspended Jeremy Corbyn, for which he and Starmer will never be forgiven. The additional suspension of Ken Loach only adding to the contempt members across the country hold for the pair of them. We can give Starmer and his regime currently running our Party into the ground and into financial ruin a massive headache. Send Evans unceremoniously packing next month, let’s see how agile he bloody is then and see how well Starmer can rapidly deploy and iterate after that.

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.

British response to refugees is shameful.

The sight of people trying to flee Afghanistan as the Taliban moved in and took over was harrowing to see. People cramming onto aircraft if they were lucky enough to get on one, some so desperate that they were tying themselves to the wheels or clinging onto the sides, literally risking death to escape, only for death to claim them, yet our sorry excuse for a government? They all seem to be on holiday while it happens.

As with any war, innocent lives are not only lost but displaced as well. It happens every time and sadly all too often this side of the story isn’t spelt out, isn’t told, all too often our media play it down not wishing us to be informed as to what the human cost is. Death figures are harrowing of course, but they are numbers on a sheet, people displaced by war, driven from their lands, homes destroyed, jobs gone, nowhere to go and in need of help that doesn’t always come – well, these are real people, still there and the picture becomes far more complex.

For those countries that do put their hands up, that do acknowledge their role and that they need to play a part in helping the innocent caught up in atrocity deserve to be applauded for their efforts. Germany have said they’ll evacuate 10,000 Afghans, naming translators and human rights lawyers specifically – those who worked with the West for 2 decades and are at risk of execution if caught. Angela Merkel has also said that she’ll work with other European countries to facilitate more. Good luck with dealing with Emmanuel Macron of France on that, since he seems more interested in blocking flows of ‘migrants’ from Afghanistan – they aren’t migrants, they’re refugees, learn the difference –  and has vowed to develop an EU initiative to stop them. Pandering to the far right in his own country to try and save his own political hide at the expense of displaced victims of war. Centrism for you – people hanging off planes and falling to their deaths and he wants to put the boot in.

The US plan on taking 30,000, Canada 20,000, even Uganda has pledged to take 2,000, now there’s a country that knows something about citizens displaced by war.

But what of the UK, how many are we taking? Boris Johnson is on record as saying we must not turn our backs on Afghanistan, Boris Johnson has mumbled something about an Afghan refugee scheme this week, but would they really want to come here given our track record?

Since 2008, the UK have deported, under the guise of repatriation, 15,575 Afghans back to their home country on the basis that their country was safe. It’s another untold Windrush story. By 2015 an average of 100 Afghans a year were being sent back, including people who arrived here as children, have known nothing else. Their formative years were spent here, they studied here, passed qualifications here, were raised by foster families here, but the minute they hit 18, back they went. In fact an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found Afghan children were more than twice as likely to be refused permanent asylum as children from anywhere else.

How many more days will it be before Johnson informs us how many refugees the UK is going to take? Why is it taking so long? Why also, is he not being put under any pressure by the opposition, where is Keir Starmer in all of this, how many refugees does Labour think we should take? Oh, he’s apparently going to wait until the government produce some numbers first. Pathetic, he’s going to Captain Hindsight this as well. Johnson will name a number and he’ll go that’s not enough and raise him what? 100? A thousand? and then Johnson will go slightly higher. This is what passes for leading the opposition these days, utterly useless. Canada has already received a planeload of refugees, whilst we can’t make our minds up how many we’ll take still!

It’s hardly surprising, Johnson was on holiday and the de facto deputy prime minister and Geography impresario, Dominic Raab, who also, without any trace of irony is the foreign secretary was also away! He was warned ahead of heading off to a beach in Cyprus, that things were escalating in Afghanistan and that he shouldn’t go. Naturally, being all about himself as Tories invariably are, he went anyway. He’s had to be dragged back, refusing to budge for several days and mumbled a mealy mouthed ‘nobody could see this coming’ when he got back! Literally the PM and Deputy PM were absent from duty, nobody holding the fort, because y’know, don’t these Taliban types realise the UK is on its hols! Nobody could see it coming? You were told before you left! Jeremy Corbyn warned Blair about this in 2001, but y’know, who listens to jam making vegetable botherers! Well he was right again!

He’s also mumbled about increasing aid to Afghanistan by 10%, but this is after the UK cut foreign aid there by 78% just last month! They knew the Taliban was advancing then and all the while aid and military were being pulled out. What bloody good is 10% after that you pathetic worm of a man and who will it be paid to now, the Taliban?

And of course wherever there’s talk of the UK taking people in from elsewhere you just know Home Secretary Priti Patel will have said something dreadful and that chronic woman has already squealed about migrants – again, they aren’t migrants! They haven’t made a choice to come here, they’ve literally nowhere to go, the very definition of a refugee – they’re seeking refuge for heavens sake! She wants to make sure we only take people of value apparently! Good job Ted Heath didn’t feel the same way when he opened the UK up to refugees fleeing Uganda, since that included Patel’s bloody parents! Uganda, the same country now taking 2,000 refugees, which is 2,000 more than we currently are!

Patel is more concerned about the message this will send to other refugees who might want to come here. She is inhumanly cruel and callous, it is just astonishing given her own personal family history that she thinks the way she does and worse, that she’s in a position of privilege such as she is as Home Secretary.

We owe the people of Afghanistan. We stoked dissent there during the Cold War, we trained many of the fighters who later became part of the Taliban back in the 80’s to fight the Soviets. That proxy war left a country torn apart by civil war which laid the foundations for the Taliban to take it over. Displaced Afghans came here as children only to be sent back the minute they turned 18 as the country was deemed safe, during the 20 years a Western supported government held up but in reality the entire thing was built on quicksand. Trillions of dollars wasted without giving any thought to the country being able to support itself and its gone to hell inside 10 days.
Our government, We in Great Britain, we owe the people of this country a lot. We’ve caused chaos over the last 40 years in Afghanistan as a nation, the least we can do now is take some of those who’s lives have been destroyed thanks once again in part to this country, offer them a new, permanent home somewhere safe to rebuild. We should all demand it, we as a country need to do our part.

UPDATE:

Its now emerged we’ll be taking 20,000 refugees, but over the course of 5 years! What the hell these people are meant to do while they wait I don’t know, but this is effectively washing our hands of the situation and should shame us all. Demand better.

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.

Ken Loach Expelled! This has to be the last straw.

Oi Keir, over here, I’ve got something for you!

Keir Starmer’s polling took a hammering the day he overturned an NEC panel to ensure Jeremy Corbyn remained suspended from taking his place as a Labour MP.

Today he demonstrated in no uncertain terms that he intends to prove he can poll even lower by seeing Ken Loach expelled from the Labour Party.

We knew already that he was coming after members of left wing groups, proscribed by the now majority right-wing NEC in an effort to purge socialists from the party and Ken was an official sponsor of one such group, Labour Against the Witch hunt. He was apparently deemed unfit to be a member because he refused to disown those he stands alongside on this and why on Earth would he do such a thing?He’s not you Starmer, you spineless Twunt!

His has been a life of socialism and film-making, more often than not the two blending, shining a light on the injustices of society and exposing those responsible over the last 60 years. Films like Cathy Come Home, Kes or I, Daniel Blake have exposed the gritty hard-nosed reality of life for too many people over far too many years, the rank inequality and the preservation of that from successive governments, finally coming close to ending it with Corbyn’s leadership, snatched away from us by the very shits now leading Labour into electoral oblivion, believing the only way they can win is to purge anyone who wouldn’t be just as good a fit in the Tory Party.

Starmer’s defenders, chiefly coming from the Tory press, have opted to smear Loach with accusations of Holocaust denial, something he has absolutely never done. Litigation would be a deserved response to this, but when Starmer’s supporters have demanded the proscription of left wing Jewish groups, apparently with no action required, they’re skating awfully close to accusations of antisemitism themselves. Lets also not forget that the party that is apparently no place for Ken Loach, is a place for Trevor Phillips, readmitted to Labour despite complaints of Islamophobia made to the party about him remaining unactioned upon.

It was almost predictable though. The left had a good day yesterday securing the votes to elect Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes back onto the Conference Arrangements Committee, so Starmer has spat his dummy and decided the left need reminding that they aren’t wanted, that we should know our place, so deals us a psychological blow in the form of expelling one of our best loved, highest profile members. Make no mistake, this move was made to demoralise us, to encourage more of us to leave. It’s Labour Conference next month and there’s every chance dictatorial David Evans, Starmer’s as yet unratified General Secretary will get voted down. We need to make sure our delegates know in no uncertain terms that that is exactly what they must do. We need to stay and fight because right now there is no viable alternative to power for us. Yes we want the Tories out above all else but for that we have to be electable and we cannot be electable when our leaders are more interested in attacking us then attacking them and why? Because they have more in common with those bloody Tories than they do with us.

Never forget that Starmer has been shown to have lied to get elected leader, he has not kept his 10 pledges, he has not been an effective opposition, he is losing council seats and by-elections around the country and he absolutely must, must be sent a message from us now that it is he, HE, that must go and we can start by ensuring he has the Labour Conference from hell. He’s asked for it, his attacks on us, his appalling treatment of so many members not least Jeremy and Ken. We can start by sending Evans packing. We can start by calling him out for the snivelling Tony Blair wannabe he is and we need to send a message as well to those left Labour MP’s that their strongly worded letters are only ending up in an often emptied bin. Stop writing letters, stop hand wringing, stop procrastinating and do something about this before there’s no party left for you to belong to. Len McCluskey’s words the other day are absolutely on point, with Starmer at the helm the Labour Party could well go under. There’s nothing positive that can be said of Starmer’s tenure as leader, there’s literally nothing. It’s time we took our party back, its time the Socialist Campaign Group stood up and made themselves counted and Conference is our chance to fight back. Lets not waste it, otherwise what sort of a party is there, for the likes of Jeremy and Ken to come back to?

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.

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

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.

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