Friday, 22 February 2019

Is "tinge" offensive?

When the Labour-defecting MP Angela Smith made her weird and racist comments about British Asians being "funny tinge" on the big day these splitters had been plotting for months, this racist gaffe was obviously going to attract a lot of ridicule.

The mess was made even worse when Smith and her fellow splitter MPs decided that there should be no disciplinary process, and agreed the line that she only spouted racist remarks because she was "very tired" (is it just me or is 'I was only racist because I was tired' an extraordinary excuse that implies racism is an inherent attribute that is always there, but only leaks out under conditions like tiredness, stress, or drunkenness?).

For context this is a bunch of MPs who spent months bitterly attacking Labour's internal processes for dealing with bigotry, who then immediately give one of their own MPs a total free pass on a bizarre outburst of 1970s-style racism, revealing the fact that they have absolutely no disciplinary procedures at all for dealing with racism in the ranks!

This shockingly lax attitude to dealing with racism is hardly surprising from a group who all either abstained on, or actually voted in favour of Theresa may's racist "Hostile Environment" legislation that created the Windrush Scandal, and resulted in black Britons being deported to their deaths overseas.

This bizarre and hypocritical "funny tinge" episode was always going to provoke derision, and the word "tinge" has subsequently been used to ridicule the Independent Group.

Nicknames, satire, and political shorthand have always been a fundamental part of UK political discourse, but ever since "tinge" became a thing there have been an awful lot of people turning up in comments threads to cry that calling Independent Group "tinge" is unfair, improper, offensive, and even Trumpian!

Amazingly these are people who will willingly and uncritically accept the explanation that Angela Smith slurred British Asians as "funny tinges" because she was "very tired" but then get hyper-offended at other people using the term "tinge" to refer to the group of MPs who continue to side with Smith, and who fully accept her outrageous 'I was only racist because I was tired' excuse!

In this warped worldview it's apparently perfectly fine to refer to the "tinge" of British Asians' skin as being "funny", but then unspeakably offensive to use the word "tinge" as satirical shorthand for the group the woman who did this belongs to!

The same thing happens when you use the political shorthand "parliamentary squatters" to describe the fact these MPs have refused to call by-elections in their constituencies because they're a bunch of democracy-fearing cowards who know they'd lose their seats if they actually put their divisive and egotistical actions to the vote.

The reason pro-austerity centrists are getting so upset about the use of satirical shorthand like "tinge" and "squatter" to describe the Independent Group actually has nothing to do with these words being offensive in their own right, it's that these people know that satire and shorthand are very effective ways of influencing public opinion.

If nicknames and descriptions like "tinge" and "squatter" are allowed to stick, people will be continually reminded about this group's shockingly lax attitude to racism in their ranks and the fact that they're so terrified of democracy that they're treating the constituencies that elected them with contempt.

So they react with outrage, and attempt to impose a form of political correctness to police political satire (meta political correctness if you like) because they desperately want to stamp out the kind of political satire that satirises the opaquely funded, self-serving, Tory-facilitating, pro-austerity centrism they approve of.

These people are not upset because the words "tinge" and "squatter" are offensive, they're upset because they're effective.

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Thursday, 21 February 2019

"Politics is Broken" and guess what? Only they can save us!

The 11 (and counting) squatter MPs are all pushing this populist "politics is broken" trope as hard as they can, and positioning themselves as the heroic saviours.

In this article I'm going to look at the absolute chaos this "politics is broken" trope has already unleashed in three other major economies, before looking at the squatter MPs and their Independent Group (AKA 'Tinge') in more detail.

What I'm not going to do is argue that politics isn't broken. Britain wouldn't be in this farcical Brexit shit-show if the political establishment class hadn't put us here, and anti-vaxxers, grifters, and smarmy charlatans would never have got their hands on the levers of power in Italy, the United States, and France had their political systems not been flawed enough to allow them to either.

The point is that just because someone is repeatedly saying "politics is broken" doesn't mean you have to unquestioningly accept the way they position themselves as the only possible saviours.


The Five Star Movement is a populist anti-politics political party founded in 2009 by the stand-up comedian and polemicist Beppe Grillo.

This party has used the big tent political strategy to build a disparate coalition of all kinds of people with eurosceptics, anti-globalists, direct democracy advocates, and anti-vaxxers making up several of their core demographics.

Initially attractive to people on the left for their anti-establishment, environmentalist, and direct democracy advocacy, it soon became clear that this party was shifting rapidly towards the extreme-right.

This rightwards shift became absolutely indisputable when the 5 Star MEPs in the European Parliament joined Nigel Farage's rag-tag band of far-right eurosceptics in 2014, but unfortunately, as in Britain, Italians pay very little attention to the internal machinations of the European Parliament, so this collusion with far-right fanatics and outright fascists went virtually unnoticed.

The March 2018 Italian General Election was the huge M5S breakthrough moment, they won the most votes and landed enough seats to make them kingmakers in the Italian parliament. In May 2018 they created a coalition with the fascist party Lega Nord bringing fascism back to the Italian government for the first time in decades.

Since then the popularity of Five Star has waned (although they're still extremely popular with the anti-vaxxer movement for the radical anti-science policies they've enacted) while the fascists they enabled into power have soared in popularity from the 3rd most popular party to by far the most popular.

So the lesson from Italy is clear: Vote for the "politics is broken" populists and get anti-vaxxers and fascism.

United States

I'm pretty sure I don't need to explain all that much about the last few years in US politics.

Donald Trump used "politics is Broken" style populism to position himself as the ideological saviour who was going to "drain the swamp" and "bring the jobs back" to places like the rust belt.

People believed him, he got elected, he immediately filled the top administration jobs with more Wall Street bankers, corporate stooges, and inherited wealth billionaires than any government in US history, then he set about attacking the health care and social security systems, and then he implemented the biggest tax handout for the mega-rich ever.

Nothing for the little people who voted him into power, and a massive windfall for his mega-rich mates. Who would have thought such a thing could happen when you elect billionaire from the international speculator class as your President?

So the lesson from the United States is clear: Vote for the "politics is broken" populists and get Trumpism.


The situation in France is by far the most analogous to what's currently happening in Britain.

Emmanuel Macron was a right-wing neoliberal who embedded himself within the centre-left socialist party. 

As minister of economy and finance in the socialist government he set about implementing spectacularly unpopular labour reforms that triggered mass protests and trashed the government's popularity.

After destroying the socialist government from within he walked away to set up a shiny new "centrist" party called En Marche which used the whole "politics is broken" and "we are the saviours" schtick to great effect.

What better way to sell neoliberalism to the public than point out all of the failings of neoliberalism (several of which you were personally involved with), then present yourself as the shiny new alternative?

The problem of course is that when you promise people change, but then deliver more of the same but even worse in the form of massive tax cuts for corporations and the mega-rich, fuel price increases loaded on the poor, even more ideological attacks on labour rights, deeply unpopular education reforms, and significantly collapsing living standards - people tend to get angry.

And when the French get angry they don't just unthinkingly vote in favour of a massive act of national self-harm and then grovellingly re-elect the bastards who trashed their living standards in the first place like us Brits do. They revolt, they protest, they riot.

France has been wracked by 14 consecutive weeks of mass protests and Macron has gone from winning the Presidency and an absolute landslide in the French parliament, to being the most unpopular President in French history with an approval rating only slightly better than cancer.

The most incredible thing about it is that he's managed to nose-dive his Presidency and reduce his nation to mass protests, riots, division, police brutality, and chaos in significantly less than two years!

So the lesson from France is clear: Vote for the "politics is broken" populists and get absolute bloody chaos.


So the Independent Group ('Tinge') parliamentary squatters are pushing the exact same rhetoric as these other populist movements. "Politics is broken", and guess what? Only they can save us!

The problem of course is that every single one of them is an establishment insider to the core, with several of them being particularly to blame for the current shit-show.

Before the EU referendum Chuka Umunna added fuel to the anti-EU bonfire by fulminating against Freedom of Movement and scapegoating European immigrants. Now he actually expects us to believe him when he positions himself as the glorious saviour to the Brexit mess that he actually helped to create by actively turning Labour Party members against free movement!

Mike Gapes, Joan Ryan, and Ann Coffey are all responsible for the thing that created the biggest ever rift in trust between British people and the Westminster political establishment class. Despite the biggest public protests in British history in 2003, these people voted in favour of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq on the grounds of terrifying Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Hundreds of thousands died, millions were displaced, these terrifying WMDs were never found because they didn't exist, and Iraq was turned into a lawless terrorism breeding ground that eventually gave birth to the monstrosity of ISIS.

To make matters even worse these warmongers all repeatedly voted against holding an inquiry into their disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq, and all hate Jeremy Corbyn on the basis that he was absolutely right that Iraq was going to be a disaster, and because they simply can't bear to admit that they have the blood of hundreds of thousands of people on their hands.

Anna Soubry is one of the three Tories to have joined the squatters citing her opposition to Brexit as a factor in her decision, but incredibly she actually voted in favour of Theresa May's hard-right EU Withdrawal Act in January 2018 while Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour front bench opposed it! Some brave and principled Brexit saviour eh?

Perhaps the most telling thing of all is that all 11 of the squatter MPs are either austerity-enforcers who actually voted in favour of the ruinous Tory austerity dogma that trashed British living standards and created the massive wave of public anger that drove Brexit narrowly over the winning line, or they're austerity abstainers from the right-wing fringe of the Labour Party who actually turned a blind eye to the suffering of millions of their fellow citizens to sit on their hands as the Tories voted though the biggest package of social security cuts in British history in 2015.

Anyone who imagines that this opportunistic group of pro-austerity fanatics, ideological contortionists, self-serving opportunists, and unrepentant warmongers from deep within the ranks of the political establishment class is going to fix our "broken politics" and lead a glorious British revival is clearly working at the same extraordinary level of delusion as those who voted in favour of Brexit thinking a Tory administered abandonment of the EU would immediately turn the UK into the land of milk and honey for all.

But the worrying thing is that there is already a lot of support for this fake political party (established as a private company in order to evade scrutiny of their financial affairs) with no policies, no members, no internal democracy, no leader, no respect for the people in their constituencies, and no disciplinary procedures for bigoted MPs who spout racist nonsense on the TV!

It's looking a lot like the shiny but empty promise of Macronism all over again, built by another bunch of hopeless charlatans desperately trying to keep orthodox neoliberalism alive by rebranding it as a wonderful new form of 'centrism' that will somehow miraculously "fix our broken politics".

Unfortunately this blatant con trick has been shown to work effectively in other major economies with predictably disastrous results, so only the complacent would imagine that it couldn't possibly work here too.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Wednesday, 20 February 2019

A spectacular inconsistency of principle

All 11 of the MPs to have joined the Independent Group have outright declared their intentions to squat in their parliamentary seats without calling by-elections to put their defections to the electoral test.

This behaviour is technically within the rules, although 2 MPs who defected from David Cameron's Tories to UKIP back in 2014 (Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless) tried to set the electoral precedent that political defectors should respect democracy and call by-elections.

The problem of course is that this refusal to call by-elections to give their constituents another say under the dramatically changed circumstances is that it betrays a searing hypocrisy because they all also advocate another Brexit referendum.

These people believe in putting things to the vote again when it suits their interests, but vehemently oppose the idea of voting again when they'd be in danger of losing their privileged positions in parliament.

This hypocrisy is so obvious, and so clearly motivated by self-interest and entitlement that it's obviously going to be a massive problem for everyone in the another referendum campaign.

Not only are People's Vote advocates going to have to deal with the (unfair and manipulative) characterisation that they're a "sore loser" campaign, they're now also going to have to deal with (entirely legitimate and justified) criticism of this extraordinary anti-democratic hypocrisy from 11 of their most high profile advocates.

If I was involved in the People's Vote campaign I'd be absolutely furious with these self-serving narcissistic cowards for giving opponents an absolutely devastating attack point, but somehow no.

Not only are the anti-Brexit pockets of the Internet so busy having raptures about the formation of this new opaquely funded pro-austerity "centrist" party that they can't even see that it's actually a massive distraction from the fact that a Tory Brexit meltdown is less than 1,000 hours away, they also refuse to see that this self-serving refusal to call by-elections is such glaring hypocrisy that it's created a devastating attack point against the People's Vote campaign.

What's even more concerning from a Brexit-sceptic perspective is that several of these people are the same strategically inept idiots who tied the nation up in a pointless and self-serving Anyone But Corbyn coup plot in the immediate aftermath of Brexit.

When the nation desperately needed to focus on coherent objectives (like fixing blame for the Brexit chaos squarely on the Tories who delivered it, demanding a wide ranging Brexit commission instead of allowing Theresa May to run it as a closed Tory shop exclusively for Tory party advantage, and unifying the Brexit resistance rather than creating even more divisions) Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes and their ilk instead delivered a massive political distraction by seeking to undermine the will of the Labour Party membership with a naval-gazing coup plot they'd been planning to launch for weeks beforehand, no matter what the outcome of the Brexit referendum.

Instead of any coherent form of action to deal with the Tory Brexit mess these idiots completely wasted the vital first few months on a brazenly self-serving, ridiculously divisive, and spectacularly failed anti-Corbyn coup that actually ended up actually increasing Corbyn's legitimacy as Labour leader with a resounding double-mandate from party members!

The anti-democratic and profoundly hypocritical way this political squatter group has been formed is proof that they've learned absolutely nothing about the elitist self-serving attitudes that resulted in their previous humiliating failure.

By refusing to call by-elections they're demonstrating exactly the same elitist entitlement as before, and by handing Brexiteers a devastating attack point to undermine calls for another referendum, they're in danger of delivering another spectacular political whopping by their political opponents too.

Just when the nation needs strong leadership in the face of an impending Tory Brexit meltdown, the same useless bunch of strategically inept, ridiculously self-serving, democracy-defying political narcissists have pushed themselves to centre stage in such a tone-deaf and hypocritical manner that they're actually freely handing out ammunition to their political opponents.

If this ludicrously unprincipled vanity project is really the best our political system can come up with in the face of an unprecedented self-inflicted socio-economic disaster looming on the horizon, we're absolutely fucked aren't we?

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Silence in the face of bigotry is complicity

February 18th 2019 was a truly extraordinary day in British politics. Not only did a bunch of self-serving Labour right-wingers split away from the Labour Party in a lest desperate effort to keep Tory austerity dogma alive, the British mainstream media twice demonstrated their screaming hypocrisy when it comes to bigotry.

Just hours after citing racism as one of her reasons for quitting the Labour Party, the right-wing pro-privatisation MP Angela Smith uttered an extraordinary racial slur on live TV, accusing British Asians of having a "funny tinge".

Even more extraordinary than this display of casual racism on live TV was the reaction of the mainstream media and Westminster establishment stooges on the panel. They just sat there in silence leaving the left-wing British Asian Ash Sarkar as the only one to immediately express disbelief at what had been said.

Interestingly the pseudo-political party that Angela Smith has joined (actually registered as a private company to evade declaring who is bankrolling them) has absolutely no disciplinary procedures in place to deal with racist comments from their MPs, so she was just allowed to get away with claiming that she wasn't serious and it only happened because she was "very tired".

Imagine if a left-winger or Corbyn-supporter had uttered a racial slur then tried to defend it on the grounds that they were just "very tired", do you honestly think the mainstream media would be fastidiously trying to bury the story?

Then on a different political panel show the right-wing anti-Corbyn polemicist Tom Bower (him of the extraordinary Corbyn is a 'dangerous hero' because he likes baked beans nonsense in the Daily Mail) used a vile anti-Semitic trope to bully and abuse a left-wing Jewish journalist called Michael Segalov.

Unbelievably the rest of the panel just sat there in silence as if racially bullying people is perfectly fine as long as the target is left-wing, leaving Segalov to defend himself against the abuse. No condemnation of the abuse, no solidarity with the victim, nothing!

The fact that this silent reaction to bigoted abuse happened twice on the same day illustrates the fact that this wilful blindness to bigotry from within the establishment ranks is an endemic problem.

It's quite extraordinary that people who would have howled themselves hoarse about the scandal if some leftist had used anti-Semetic bigotry to bully a Jewish person right in front of them on live TV, will just sit there in absolute silence when it's members of their in-group spouting the most absurdly bigoted things, actually leaving the targets of this bigoted abuse to defend themselves.

Let's make no mistake about it here. Bigotry is wrong whether it manifests on the left, the centre, or the right. Anyone proven to be a bigot needs to be lobbed out of whichever political party they belong to, no exceptions for the fact that you prefer one party or another.

Anyone who only opposes bigotry when it involves their political opponents, yet sits there and says absolutely nothing when it's coming from their political allies is an outrageous hypocrite, who is clearly only using the subject of bigotry to score cheap political points.

Whether you think Jeremy Corbyn has done enough to oppose anti-Semitism in Labour is one thing, but you'd be outright lying if you said he'd done nothing. At least he's trying, unlike those who just sit there and say nothing at all while their fellow establishment insiders spew casual racism and the most hateful anti-Semitic abuse.

Sitting there in silence as if nothing of importance has happened while your ideological brethren spew outright bigotry is bad enough in its own right because silence in the face of bigotry is complicity, but from people who are so keen to weaponise accusations of bigotry against their political foes, well it's just absolutely vile isn't it?

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Why this extraordinary disparity when it comes to anti-Semitic abuse?

On the 18th of February 2019 an outrageous anti-Semitic slur was broadcast on British television, yet virtually nobody raised the slightest exception to it.

The slur was the propaganda trope of the "self-hating Jew", which implies that there are 'good and proper Jews' who do as they're expected by wider society, and 'bad degenerate Jews' who defy social expectation of Jewish behaviour to such an extent that their actions can only be explained by the fact that they must be 'Jewish anti-Semites' who hate their own Jewishness.

To make matters worse this anti-Semitic slur wasn't just thrown out there as an anti-Semitic slur against left-wing Jews in general in the manner of Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid, it was specifically targeted at a Jewish individual (Michael Segalov - well worth a follow if you do Twitter) on national television, which conjured the spectacle of a non-Jewish person publicly bullying a Jewish person by smearing him as 'not a proper Jew'.

The unbelievable reaction of the rest of the Good Morning Britain panel was to just ignore the slur as if nothing happened and leave Segalov to defend himself (in much the same way Angela Smith's bizarre "funny tinge" racism has been glossed over by the mainstream media and political neoliberals as if it somehow didn't matter, or didn't even happen).

it's quite extraordinary to see Segalov left to defend himself against this anti-Semitic slur as the rest of the panel just completely let it slide. No condemnation of the abuse, no solidarity with the victim, nothing!

the absolute apathy and passivity of the rest of the panel in the face of such overt racism was actually even more shocking than the racism itself. Just watch it for yourself

The person making the "self-hating Jew" accusation was the right-wing polemicist Tom Bower who has been desperately hawking his lame hatchet job on Jeremy Corbyn to anyone who will listen (the bizarre gibberish that Jeremy Corbyn is a depraved "dangerous hero" because he likes baked beans and no frills camping holidays in the British countryside!).

In fact Bower has had his anti-Corbyn polemic serialised in the notoriously anti-Semetic Daily Mail propaganda rag that glorified Hitler, propagandised for the British Union of Fascists, and demanded Britain turn away Jewish refugee children from Nazi Germany.

So here we have a right-wing Corbyn critic publicly using an anti-Semitic trope to personally attack a Jewish person on live television, and virtually nobody in the mainstream media even batted an eyelid about it.

Just imagine if it had been a Corbyn ally publicly lambasting a Jewish person as 'the wrong kind of Jew' on national television. How do you think the mainstream media would have reacted to that?

Mass indifference, or wall-to-wall vitriolic condemnation?

So why does this extraordinary disparity exist when it comes to anti-Semitic abuse?

If literally anyone out of the 500,000+ members of the Labour Party says anything vaguely anti-Semitic and Jeremy Corbyn is held personally responsible by the Westminster establishment class and mainstream media hacks alike.

But a right-wing anti-Corbyn polemicist outright abuses a Jewish person on national television, and none of them even give the slightest shit!

The glaringly obvious conclusion is that anti-Semitism is just a disposable tool to people who are enveloped in the anti-Corbyn cult mentality.

If someone on the left says anything that can be interpreted as anti-Semitism then the defenders of the neoliberal orthodoxy will use the issue to attack Corbyn personally. But if someone who belongs to their anti-Corbyn in-group uses an anti-Semitic trope to bully and abuse a Jewish person on live TV, they immediately forget about the issue of anti-Jewish bigotry altogether.

And this disparity is vitally important because anyone who condemns anti-Semitism amongst their political foes, but ignores or condones it amongst their political allies is guilty of cheapening and debasing the fight against anti-Jewish bigotry.

This isn't just disgustingly hypocritical behaviour, it's also dangerous, because it risks creating the public perception that anti-Semitism isn't actually a real issue with appalling real life consequences, but just some kind of abstract political weapon to be used selectively in order to discredit people on the left.

Anyone who has actual legitimate concerns about anti-Jewish bigotry must surely be left wondering how on earth nobody on the panel thought to call out this display of bigoted anti-Jewish bullying in the moment, and with even bigger questions about how the mainstream media just ignored the fuck out of an extraordinary display of anti-Semitism on live TV simply because highlighting an anti-Corbyn polemicist spewing anti-Semitism would completely contradict the objectives of their underlying anti-Corbyn/protect the neoliberal status quo agenda.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Toryism is increasingly just a smokescreen for the far-right

You're probably familiar with the far-right activist James Goddard as the man who hangs around Westminster intimidating politicians, abusing journalists, screaming abuse, and leading a gang of street thugs who spit on people and brawl with the police.

Well here he is arguing that he can't be far-right because he votes Tory.

The problem here is that the Tory party has demonstrably absorbed the far-right in order to cling to power. Furthermore many within the Tory ranks are openly courting this extreme-right ultranationalist demographic, and actively promoting the dissemination of imported extreme-right radicalisation propaganda on UK university campuses.

In 2017 Theresa May only just managed to cling to power thanks to the majority of Ukippers abandoning the wreckage of their protest party in order to turn Tory.

Without this surge of support from the far right the Tories would certainly have lost so many seats they wouldn't even have been able to use public cash to bribe the far-right DUP sectarians into propping up their government.

Leading Tories know that they've painted themselves over a demographic trapdoor, with the majority of under-45s holding strong anti-Tory views, and they know that they're absolutely reliant upon the extreme-right ultranationalist blue-kip demographic to retain their grip on power.

This is why they turn a blind eye to the ongoing infiltration of the Tory party membership by Arron Banks propaganda victims and other extreme-right activists.

This is why Tory politicians outright refuse to condemn extreme-right thugs like Paul Golding when they set about publicly intimidating people who dare to oppose Toryism.

This is why Tory politicians are far more likely to spew derision and vitriol at a bunch of kids protesting against the destruction of the environment than they are to condemn a bunch of extreme-right Brexity thugs brawling with police on the very next day.

The Tory party know they need the extreme-right to retain power, and with the collapse of UKIP as an electoral force the extreme-right know that they need the Tory party to obtain power.

Thus there's a growing political symbiosis between Tories and the far-right.

Not so long ago Toryism was incompatible with the far-right. Yes it was still bad because they promoted hard-right economic policies like ruinous austerity dogma, defunding of public service, privatisation mania, severe social security cuts, and ideologically driven wage repression, but they eschewed the extreme-right, green-washed their political agenda, and even promoted a few socially liberal policies like gay marriage.

These days they're still pushing the same socially and economically ruinous concoction of hard-right economic policies, but the green-wash has gone in the bin, they're actively colluding with the homophobic misogynistic DUP orange order sectarians, and they're openly courting the extreme-right ultranationalist demographic too.

Tory MPs are far more likely to be lobbing vitriolic abuse at pro-environment school kids these days than green-washing their economic agenda, and they're far more likely to be pushing extreme-right propaganda like the "cultural Marxism" conspiracy theory, scapegoating immigrants, or promoting extreme-right indoctrination propaganda on UK university campuses, than they are to be promoting socially liberal policies like environmental protection or gay equality.

And this extraordinary extreme-right radicalisation of the Tory party has taken place right in front of our eyes with barely a jot of coverage from the mainstream media. And this transformation is now so complete that a far-right street thug like James Goddard can publicly identify as a Tory voter, no Tory politicians come out to publicly disavow his support, and the mainstream media just continue refusing to engage with the fact that the Tory party has been radicalised to far-right extremism right in front of our eyes.

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Monday, 18 February 2019

What you need to know about the seven Labour splitters

In this article I'm going to detail some essential facts on the 7 Labour splitters who are trying to keep Tory austerity dogma, public service cuts, and wage repression policies alive by splitting the Labour vote.

The seven are a diverse bunch with differing political backgrounds, but they do have several things in common. One is that they've continually expended far more time and effort on attacking their own party than on stuff like explaining Labour Party policies, or criticising the Tory government over the countless scandals and outrages they've inflicted on the British public since 2010.

Another thing that these 7 have in common is that every single one of them refused to oppose Tory austerity dogma in 2015 when the Tories passed the biggest package of social security cuts of all, cuts that are ruining people's lives to this day, especially those who live in the unfortunate areas where the Tory Universal Credit fiasco has been rolled out.

All seven of these supposedly moderate MPs also abstained on Theresa May's outrageous Hostile Environment legislation, even after she bragged about how her new rules could be used to "deport now, hear appeals later". Since then these rules have been used to deny jobs, housing, social security, banking services, and even lefe-saving health care to black Britons without the correct paperwork. Many Black Britons were even deported to their deaths overseas as a result of this despicable Tory legislation.

What could be more moderate than helping Theresa May deport black Britons to their deaths?

One other thing to note is that they've all colluded to join a breakaway faction called the Independent Group, but in order to hide who is funding them they've registered their website in Panama, and registered the organisation as a private business rather than a political party in order to evade declaring their funding to the electoral commission. Any politician who is willing to subvert the accountability rules in order to evade scrutiny like this should definitely never be trusted or taken at their word.

Chris Leslie

Many people would put Chuka Umunna down as the most significant of the Labour-splitters, but that honour goes to Chris Leslie who was one of the leading architects of Labour's ludicrously unappealing and self-defeating austerity-lite policy at the 2015 general election.

Had Labour opposed ruinous Tory austerity dogma in 2015 rather than pathetically imitating it Ed Miliband would probably have won, austerity would be over, Corbyn would still be an obscure backbencher, and there would be no such thing as Brexit!

Yes Brexit is a Tory instigated, Tory administered shambles that couldn't have happened without the Tory party, but it didn't happen in a vacuum, and Chris Leslie's idiotic pro-austerity posturing in 2015 is one of the main reasons the Tories actually won the majority that allowed them to set about inflicting this chaos.

Chuka Umunna

Chuka is an extraordinary self-serving chameleon of a politician. Before David Cameron and the Tories even called the EU referendum Umunna was a vocal opponent of Freedom of Movement, and then after the referendum he vehemently opposed a 2nd referendum on the final deal, and even argued that Britain should quit the Single Market.

But once Umunna saw the anti-Brexit movement as a useful vehicle for attacking the Labour leadership and furthering his own career he conducted a polar political switch to pro-EU radicalism!

Then there's the nonsense about anti-Semitism. Chuka Umunna was one of the MPs who sat on the Home Affairs Select Committee that called for clarifications of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and declared that "no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party".

None of this stopped Umunna later attacking Labour for proposing the IHRA clarifications that his own committee admitted the need for, and describing the party as "institutionally racist".

The only thing that's reliable about Chuka Umunna's political positioning is that he'll abandon it in an instant if he thinks it's in his personal advantage to do so.

Mike Gapes

Gapes is best known for the fact that he voted in favour of the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq, and then consistently voted against inquiries into the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Gapes has never apologised for his role in the Iraq invasion, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, or the creation of a lawless terrorism breeding ground which Al Qaida and ISIS have used as a base to spread their murderous fanaticism throughout the middle east for 16 devastating years.

Aside from triggering carnage in Iraq, Gapes is a big fan of the anti-democratic, homophobic, misogynistic, head-chopping, terrorism-spreading, journalist-dismembering tyrants who run Saudi Arabia. He's enjoyed several jollies in the Kingdom at the tyrants' expense, and opposes calls for Britain to stop selling them weapons because they keep using them to commit war crimes in Yemen with.

Luciana Berger

Luciana has suffered an awful lot of anti-Semitic abuse, to such an extent that three extreme-right fanatics have been jailed for abusing her and sending her death threats. On this she has my sympathy because alongside Diane Abbott, Sadiq Khan, and Jeremy Corbyn she's one of the most abused and threatened politicians in Britain.

What I can't stand is the way that cynical propagandists have taken these barrages of extreme-right abuse against Luciana in order to use them to attack the left with.

Berger was parachuted into the super-safe Liverpool Wavertree constituency where she had no connection and no knowledge of the local area whatever (to the point of not knowing who Bill Shankly was!). She was living at the incumbent MPs home at the time she was selected, and the incumbent MP's wife was in charge of running the selection process!

Berger isn't personally responsible for the extraordinarily corrupt selection procedure that put her in place, but she's certainly the beneficiary of the kind of anti-democratic Blairite constituency rigging that Labour is finally putting behind it.

In the end Berger's repeated threats to quit the Labour Party to join a new "centrist" party eventually resulted in a vote of no confidence from her local constituency.

The reaction of Labour right-wingers and the mainstream media was to claim the vote of no confidence was motivated by anti-Semitism and to ridicule the idea that it was actually motivated by her repeated threats to ... errr ... join a right-wing split away from the Labour Party.

The really sad thing about Berger is that she's done some really good work on mental health awareness. If she'd have just worked with the Labour leadership rather than constantly attacking and undermining her own party she could have made a real positive difference to people's lives.

Instead she's focused her efforts on scheming and plotting with Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie in order to damage the Labour Party, keep the Tories in power, and ensure continued austerity-driven cuts to mental health funding, youth services, community groups, adult education and countless other services that do wonders for people's mental health.

Angela Smith

Until the day she quit Labour as one of the seven splitters Smith was perhaps most famous for bitterly opposing Labour's manifesto pledge to renationalise the water companies despite the remarkable 'coincidence' that she's also accepted a load of freebies from the water industry lobby!

But on the very day she became a splitter she made an extraordinary blunder that will no doubt be her defining political legacy. On the very day she cited "racism" as one of her reasons for quitting the Labour Party she described British Asians as being "funny tinged".

She also claimed the cost of four beds at the public expense for the one-bedroom flat she'd declared as her second home!

Ann Coffey

Few people have ever heard of Ann Coffey. During the 2009 expenses scandal it was revealed that Coffey was claiming £1,000 per month at the taxpayers expense to fund the mortgage on her second home, and a further £160 per month on a cleaner.

She has done valuable work campaigning against child sex exploitation, but then she also made a remarkable call for the scrapping of the right to trial by jury for rape accusations.

She doesn't seem like all that bad a person, just someone who is politically confused and a bit of a money-grabbing expenses pisstaker.

Gavin Shuker

Gavin Shuker (AKA "Gavin who?") is most famous for being one of the tiny minority of Labour MPs who opposed gay equal rights, in fact he resisted gay rights so vehemently that he threatened to quit Ed Miliband's cabinet if Labour supported Gay Marriage.

Thankfully the bigotry of religious extremists like Gavin was overcome in a free parliamentary vote thanks to the fact that around half of the Tory party was less bigoted than he was and sided with the majority of Labour, Lib-Dem, SNP, and Plaid Cymru MPs.

Gay equality remains one of the very few positive things the Tory party have achieved since 2010, and it's absolutely telling that Gavin was one of the bigots who tried to oppose it.

Due to his constant attacks on his own party his local Labour constituency eventually upheld a vote of no confidence in him, meaning Shuker was highly likely to have been deselected as Labour's representative in the Luton South constituency at the next election. So it's pretty clear that he only decided to join this splitter rebellion in order to jump before he was pushed.


A pro-austerity right-winger who helped wreck Labour's chances at the 2015 general election, a shameless self-serving opportunist who changes his political principles more often than his underpants, an unrepentant war-monger who detests the idea of political accountability as much as he adores the tyrannical regime in Saudi Arabia, a private water industry shill who spouts racism on national television, a hangover from the Blairite era where people with no connection to the local community whatever were parachuted into super-safe Labour seats, an egregious expenses scammer who opposes the right to trial by jury, and an anti-gay bigot who jumped before he was pushed, all jumping ship to an incredibly dodgy opaquely-funded private company masquerading as a political party.

Good luck to any political illiterates who imagine that this useless lot are worthy of their political support.

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