Friday 29 July 2016

Labour coup-plotters are blaming Corbyn for the consequences of their own actions

The Anyone But Corbyn camp have demonstrated their venality time and again, but the tactic of trying to blame Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour Party's slump in the polls in the wake of their woefully inept, spectacularly ill-timed and highly damaging coup plot really does take the biscuit.

Before the EU referendum Labour were pretty much level pegging with the Tories, and Jeremy Corbyn was considered one of the most trustworthy politicians during the referendum debate. This was despite a savage mainstream media campaign against him and a succession of current and former Labour politicians stabbing Corbyn in the back at every opportunity.

On the day after Brexit was announced a Survation poll found that the Tories and Labour were level pegging on 32% each while all other polls in the weeks before the EU referendum had Labour within 5% of the Tories. In the aftermath of the inept coup plot against Jeremy Corbyn Labour slumped to double digit deficits in five of the first six polls conducted since the fanatical hard-right authoritarian Theresa May was anointed as Tory leader.

It's no coincidence that Labour have slumped in the polls after the coup plot was launched. It's actually quite remarkable that over a quarter of people still express an intention to vote for a party who's MPs are so out-of-touch with reality that they actually decided to launch an internal civil war at precisely the moment when the country needed them to speak in unified condemnation of the Tory Brexit mess.

Anyone But Corbyn supporters trying to blame Jeremy Corbyn for the consequences of their own actions is either deeply cynical stuff, or it's the product of extraordinary tunnel vision.

There are plenty of Anyone But Corbyn supporters who understand basic cause and effect, and recognise that the damaging actions of the coup-plotter MPs that they support are the cause of the slump in party popularity. But they're determined to blame it on Jeremy Corbyn regardless, because they're essentially dishonest people who will use literally anything to attack Corbyn, whether it's his fault or not, or even if they know perfectly well that their own side are to blame.

The other kind of Anyone But Corbyn supporter to attempt to blame Corbyn for the results of the coup-plotters actions is the tunnel vision sufferer. These people are not as cynical and opportunistic as those who blame Corbyn despite understanding that it's the actions of their own faction that are to blame. The tunnel vision sufferer just doesn't have the thinking skills to understand basic cause and effect or synthesise various bits of information in order to develop a coherent worldview. As far as they're concerned the slump in the poll numbers is purely a reflection on Jeremy Corbyn's popularity, and can be considered in total isolation from the context of the hugely damaging rift in the party caused by the actions of the coup-plotters.

It's bad enough that the coup plotters chose to launch their pre-planned attack on their own party leader just at the moment when Labour could have bounced ahead of the Tories in the polls by speaking with a unified voice in condemnation of the Tory Brexit mess, but to actually blame Corbyn for the post-coup slump in the polls is absolutely staggering. 

Not only did the coup-plotters spurn the best opportunity to attack the Tories in years by launching their ludicrous pre-planned coup attempt, they're now actually trying to blame Jeremy Corbyn for the consequences of their own actions.

Is it any wonder voters are turning away from Labour when the party is full of people like that?

 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.


Thursday 28 July 2016

The legal challenge to stop Jeremy Corbyn defending his leadership has been thrown out of court

The Anyone But Corbyn faction of the Labour party have already demonstrated that they're an anti-democratic bunch who resent the interference of Labour Party members in an organisation that they consider to be theirs.

Launching their highly damaging, ineptly conducted, and staggeringly ill-timed coup attempt just when the Tories were at their weakest moment since the Lib-Dems enabled them back into power in 2010 was a sign of their contempt for the party membership. Just when Labour Party supporters (and anyone else who opposes the Tories) needed the opposition to speak with a unified voice, the right-wing of the party launched their damaging pre-planned attempt to bully the elected leader of the party into resignation.

When Jeremy Corbyn refused to cave in to their bullying tactics the coup-plotters realised that they'd over-played their hand. They had to come up with an Anyone But Corbyn candidate to beat him in a democratic election after he'd more than doubled the party membership by inspiring over 300,000+ people so much that they decided to cough up membership fees.

The right-wing of the Labour Party realised that the only way that their Anyone But Corbyn candidate could possibly win was by rigging the leadership election in their favour.

They did this by arbitrarily excluding over 130,000 recent Labour Party members from participating in the leadership election whilst simultaneously offering the right to participate for a fee of £25.

The Anyone But Corbyn camp were hoping that by excluding the 130,000+ mainly left-wing members from voting, and putting a ridiculous £25 surcharge on participation they would rebalance the Labour electorate away from left-wing people and towards the kind of well-to-do people who can easily afford to blast £25 on a single vote, and might be a bit more likely to support a Blairite candidate.

This ploy failed spectacularly when an unprecedented surge of 183,000+ people coughed up the £25 surcharge over the space of just two days. This means that more people registered to vote in the Labour leadership contest in two days than there are members of the Tory party in total! Most of the people to pay the £25 surcharge were Corbyn supporters, and lots of them made significant sacrifices to scrape the money together to makes sure the efforts to disenfranchise them were unsuccessful.

Another assault on Labour Party democracy from the Labour Party establishment are their decisions to enforce a complete lockdown on local party democracy (to stop local parties from holding votes of confidence in Jeremy Corbyn or against their coup-plotter MPs) and disbanding several local parties entirely because they had already dared to support Corbyn or criticise their coup-plotter MP.

The failure of their coup and the failure of their efforts to rig the leadership election in Anyone But Corbyn's favour didn't deter the Labour Party right-wingers, and the Millionaire Labour Party donor Michael Foster decided to try to use the courts to block Jeremy Corbyn from participating in the leadership election.

The decision to appeal the National Executive Committee (NEC) decision to allow Corbyn to stand in the leadership election left the Labour Party in a bizarre state of limbo, with the entire future of the party hinging on the decision of a 67 year old judge called David Foskitt.

Had Foskitt decided to overturn the NEC decision to allow Jeremy Corbyn to stand, and effectively barred him from the leadership contest, he would have destroyed the reputation of the party. How could anyone have considered Owen Smith the rightful leader of the party when him and his backers were too cowardly to even allow Corbyn to stand against him in a democratic election?

Thankfully Justice Foskitt saw sense and declared that it was not his responsibility to rewrite the rules of the Labour leadership contest, so Corbyn gets to stand in the leadership election, and the Blairites who think that millionaire donors like Michael Foster should have more influence over the party than the party membership are left to eat sour grapes.

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Tam Khan's confused extreme-right diatribe

One of the Biffer trolls who takes advantage of my anti-censorship policy to use the Another Angry Voice Facebook page as platform to spread anti-immigrant anti-Muslim propaganda pointed me in the direction of an interesting and widely shared Facebook political statement from the Muslim Mixed Martial Artist Tam Khan.

At the time of writing the statement has liked by over 90,000 people on Facebook and shared by 80,000.

While ostensibly a sensible statement about how Muslims have an obligation to accept the cultural practices of their host country, to be good Muslims and to report anyone they suspect of plotting extremist activity to the authorities, it's also riddled with some extremely disturbing right-wing rhetoric.

There's nothing much wrong with statements like this part, in fact it's admirable that the guy wants people to be better Muslims and better Brits too.

"Stop becoming militants and extremists. Pray, do good, give charity, be good to your family and elders, contribute to your community, help the place prosper. Integrate, speak the language of the country, educate yourselves."
The problem is that in his statement noble sentiments like the one above are interspersed with intolerant, right-wing, authoritarian and downright fascist sentiments.

The most glaring of these disturbing right-wing sentiments is this:

"I think it's time the British or west deport not only those who speak bad or against the country but the entire family also."
This is a declaration of support for a policy of collectively punishing the families of people who do nothing more than criticise some element of British life/culture/politics/foreign policy through mandatory deportation! There's no other way of reading it.

The idea that people should be deported for exercising their right to free speech is fascistic enough, but the deportation of innocent members of their family is staggeringly harsh. Imagine getting deported because your grandfather/brother-in-law/nephew dared to criticise the British government or British foreign policy. This is exactly what the guy is calling for.

If you tend to agree with the policy of collectively punishing innocent family members for the things other people in their family did, no matter how serious/trivial the crime/non-crime, then it's time to admit to yourself that you're an extreme-right fanatic who supports political policies that would be considered war crimes if enacted at a time of war.

Not only is the call for innocent family members to be collectively punished for the non-crimes of their kin a staggeringly un-British un-Western attitude, it's also a crime in Islam too, which makes it a very odd thing for a British Muslim to be calling for.

 If Tam Khan's idea for dealing with people who speak out of line conflicts with the legal system in the UK, the Geneva Convention and his own Muslim faith that he claims to be so proud of, surely it's time for him to reconsider the thought processes that led him to propose such a policy?

Another concerning thing about the post is the effort it makes to demonise people on welfare, as if claiming benefits is some kind of moral sin. There are numerous reasons people claim benefits: Disability, sickness, childbirth, to top up the poverty wages their employer pays them, or in a tiny minority of cases because people are lazy and don't want to work.

Exhorting Muslims to get off benefits and get a job feeds into the extreme-right narrative that the UK has been infested with a swarm of benefits cheating immigrants. Their claims don't stack up at all because the evidence shows that on average immigrants are far less likely to claim benefits than British born people

Muslims spreading extreme-right tropes about lazy Muslims coming to the UK to "milk the benefits system" are actively feeding into the hateful anti-Muslim, anti-migrant scapegoating campaigns of the extreme-right.

Another problem is the staggeringly contradictory nature of the post. I mean how is it possible to not spot the contrast between "We are lucky to be ... able to have free speech" and "if you don't like it, leave".Praising free speech and then calling for the forced deportation entire families because one of their members spoke out of line is so contradictory it would take complete immunity to cognitive dissonance for anyone to actually like such a statement.

How is it possible to laud free speech in one breath and then call for it to be abolished and replaced with a draconian collective punishment system in the next?

In my view the problem isn't Tam Khan chatting shit. We can't expect everyone to carefully think through what they're saying before they post it on Facebook to make sure they're not promoting fascist ideas like the collective punishment of innocent people, the scapegoating of immigrants and the propaganda war against people who need the social security system.

Given the numerous grammatical errors in the post it's difficult to imagine that it's a deliberate cynical effort to appeal to the extreme-right demographic just in time to publicise his more famous brothers' talk of involvement in the MMA scene, but appealing to the extreme-right it certainly is.

The problem isn't so much Khan's warped opinions, but that tens of thousands of people have actually liked
 his lazy rehashing of blatant extreme-right tropes so much that they actually chose to share it on their Facebook walls. In fact the comments thread beneath the post is full of absolute adoration with people describing it as a "fantastic point of view", "one of the most educated and fair viewed piece of writing""possibly the most amazing post iv [sic] ever read" and even "the best post ever writen [sic] on Facebook".

Either people are too stupid to have understood the horrific implications of stuff like the collective punishment of entire of families because one member committed the "crime" of speaking out of line, or they openly support fascism.

It's fair to assume that a lot of people just don't have the thinking skills to discern the significance of the bit calling for the collective punishment of innocent people because a lot of people actually lauded Tam Khan's statement by saying stuff like "we need to join together against all extremists" as if the collective punishment of innocent people for the non-crimes of their family members isn't an extreme position to take in pretty much any context you look at it.

Whatever case it's deeply concerning that so many people are happy to share a deeply confused statement that includes a call for extreme-right un-British lunacy like collective punishment of innocent people and a load of right-wing anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-welfare tropes 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.


Why is Owen Smith pilfering Jeremy Corbyn's policies

It's undeniable that Owen Smith has been imitating Jeremy Corbyn's policies on a number of issues. Ending ideological austerity, an investment fund for infrastructure, opposition to exploitative Zero Hours Contracts, bans on exclusive recruitment abroad for jobs in the UK, wealth taxes and now even the highly specific policy of introducing a Ministry of Labour, loads of Owen Smith's policies are indistinguishable from Jeremy Corbyn's.

Misleading propaganda

Given that the Blairite faction of the Labour Party and the mainstream media have conducted an intensive propaganda war to try to portray Jeremy Corbyn as some kind of dangerously radical extremist, how on earth are they allowing Owen Smith to pillage Corbyn's policies without whining that he's an extremist too?

How is it possible that one guy is supposedly a "dangerous fanatic", but the guy imitating most of the supposedly dangerous and fanatical policies is a "moderate" and the only hope of saving Labour?

The constant pillaging of Jeremy Corbyn's policies by his Blairite backed rival exposes just how inaccurate most of the anti-Corbyn propaganda has been over the last year. If he really was as bad as they kept claiming, they wouldn't be copying most of his policies, they wouldn't touch them with a barge pole.

The Blairite U-turn on austerity vs investment 

In 2015 the Blairite former interim shadow chancellor Chris Leslie's savagely attacked Corbyn's policy of using quantitative easing cash to invest directly in infrastructure and services (rather than just handing it to the private banks and naively hoping that they invest in useful things rather than the inflation of asset and housing bubbles as was done last time). Leslie wasn't the only one either. Yvette Cooper (the wife of the guy who came up with Ed Miliband's hopelessly uninspiring and election-losing austerity-lite strategy for the 2015 General Election) also bitterly criticised the Corbyn/McDonnell plan to boost the economy by directly investing in infrastructure and services.

Owen Smith has been promising a £200 billion investment in infrastructure and services as one of his flagship policies. Are Chris Leslie and Yvette Cooper apoplectic with rage about this plan? Of course they're not. They're supporting Owen Smith.

There are only a few explanations for this radical shift from phlegm specked condemnation from the Blairites in 2015 to active support for a guy pushing investment rather than austerity economics in 2016.

  • Over the past year the likes of Leslie and Cooper have come over to Corbyn's strategic investment position because the Tory "let's cut our way to growth" agenda is falling out of fashion (thanks to some actual opposition to it from the opposition party after 5 years of feeble hand-wringing from Miliband's team). This would imply that Corbyn is actually a very good communicator who even managed to convince people who absolutely detest him to change their economic views.
  • The likes of Leslie and Cooper always knew that Corbyn was right about austerity being a load of ideologically driven rubbish, but they were prepared to attack him for his anti-austerity position because back in 2015 the opinion polls said that austerity was still believed in by the Tory voters they want Labour to appeal to.
  • They still secretly agree with Tory austerity but they're pretending to like Smith's Corbynite investment plans because they know that the only way to beat Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Leadership election is to imitate his policies in order to nick his supporters. If this is the case I guess they're confident that Smith will ditch his investment plans after the leadership election is over, and go back to promoting the kind of right-wing Tory style economic policies the Blairite faction is keen on.
Blame the symptoms, not the cause

Owen Smith's policy of restructuring the DWP as the Ministry of Labour is such a blatant steal it's ridiculous. Corbyn promoted that policy back in August 2015 and the Shadow Chancellor  John McDonnell committed to the IER recommendations to introduce a Ministry of Labour in June 2016.

Several Anyone But Corbyn supporters have claimed that it's a sign of Corbyn's poor communication that they hadn't heard of the policies that Owen Smith is now copying, but it's hard to spread the message about your policies when only 11% of all newspaper articles bother to accurately report what your policies are.

Blaming Corbyn for the lack of fair coverage he gets in the corporate mainstream media is almost as crackers as blaming him for the catastrophic Labour slump in the polls since the inept Anyone But Corbyn coup was launched (imagine suffering such tunnel vision that you couldn't spot the link between an ill-timed, ineptly conducted and highly damaging internal party coup attempt and a subsequent slump in the poll numbers).


One thing that it is worth noting is that Owen Smith's pilfering of Corbyn's policies means that if you now conduct Internet searches for some of Corbyn's policies, the results are completely dominated about articles about Owen Smith's reiterations of Corbyn's policies.

Here are a couple of examples:

Given the staggering ineptitude of the Anyone But Corbyn coup, it's hard to imagine that this cyber-squatting in Jeremy Corbyn's search engine results is deliberate, but it's now a definite factor that people searching for detail of Corbyn's policies end up being confronted by reams of mainstream media articles about Owen Smith's versions of the same policies.

Ideological flexibility

My last (and probably most important) point is that Owen Smith is a political chameleon who will do and say whatever he thinks is necessary in order to serve his own political interests.

Today he's pretending to be a radical progressive socialist because he knows that's exactly what he needs to do in order to have even the remotest chance of ousting Jeremy Corbyn in a vote amongst Labour members. But before he was playing this "radical leftie" character he was a full-bore Blairite who in 2006 expressed support for right-wing policies like PFI and the privatisation of the state education system couldn't even bring himself to criticise the failings of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

If Smith can switch from being a loyal Blairite parroting apologia for right-wing policies like PFI and privatisation of the education system to being a radical leftie pushing left-wing Corbynite policies, how on earth could anyone trust him to not switch back to right-wing Blairism again once he's duped people into voting for him, especially given that his leadership bid is backed by every Blairite in the Labour Party?

 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 27 July 2016

The Tory war on British workers' wages and labour rights

The Tories have been carrying out one of the most radically right-wing economic experiments ever tested at the national level. The Tory policy of wage repression is designed to turn the UK into a low-skill, low-wage low-job security economy where bosses earn fortunes and employees are treated like disposable pawns.

While most of the rest of Europe have experienced some wage growth since 2007, including crisis devastated economies like Spain (+2.8%) Ireland (+1.6%) and Italy (+0.9%), UK workers have seen a catastrophic decline in earning power only matched by workers in the economic catastrophe zone that is Greece (-10.4%).

Ordinary British workers have seen the deliberate decimation of their wages since the Lib-Dems enabled the Tories back into power in 2010Meanwhile the super wealthy minority have literally doubled their wealth since the economic crisis

Aside from overseeing the longest sustained decline in wages in economic history, a reduction in earning power only matched by the crisis stricken Greek economy, a huge upwards redistribution of wealth, and the slowest economic recovery on record, the Tories have also been savagely attacking working rights too.

The Tories have attacked the right to compensation for unfair dismissal by introducing huge tribunal fees, they've tried to bribe workers into giving away their employment rights, they've been ruthlessly attacking the trade unions to make trade union democracy completely unworkable, they've slashed in-work benefits for the working poor, and they've overseen a massive increase in exploitative Zero Hours contracts as used by Sports Direct.

The fact that the British public have become a hopelessly docile bunch is evidenced by the almost complete lack of reaction to these attacks on workers' rights and wages designed to produce a deliberate upwards redistribution of wealth. In fact the party that set the destruction of workers' rights and wages as one of their deliberate policy priorities are soaring ahead in the polls!

Just look at the furious way the French have reacted to attacks on their employment rights, and consider that they've enjoyed a 10% increase in their earning power since the pre-crisis period. In Britain we've had a 10% decrease in our earning power and most people have sat back compliantly as the Tories have repeatedly snatched our employment rights away.

The situation is likely to get even worse now because the new Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a fanatical right-winger called George Freeman as her policy director. In the past Freeman has championed policies like slashing the minimum wage in poor areas, reducing corporation tax to 10% (half the basic rate of income tax paid by their workers!), and the scrapping of workers' rights to basic protections like holiday pay, maternity/paternity pay, sick pay and the right to claim unfair dismissal.

The sad thing is that the mainstream media have allowed this radical and unprecedented Tory assault on wages and labour rights to go almost completely unreported. Instead they try to refocus people's anger away from the political villains and the super-rich establishment they serve, and onto scapegoats like immigrants, the unemployed and disabled people.

Additionally the mainstream press are conducting an intensive propaganda war against Jeremy Corbyn because he dares to stand up for ordinary workers against this Tory anti-worker agenda, whilst simultaneously lauding Theresa May for her transparently misleading rhetoric about how the Tories are going to help ordinary working people instead of the privileged few.

A look at Theresa May's voting record reveals that she voted time and again in favour of attacks on wages, in-work benefits and workers rights, yet she thinks the British public are such a gullible bunch of halfwits that they'll believe the ridiculous story that the Tories are now interested in serving the interests of the workers rather than the interests of the millionaire bosses who actually fund the Tory party.

Unfortunately, according to the polls she is right. The British public really are that gullible. Millions of working people actually support the party that has been systematically destroying their earning power and employment rights for the last six years.

 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.


Tuesday 26 July 2016

Jeremy Corbyn is a social democrat

One of the most commonly occurring strategies in the mainstream media propaganda war against Jeremy Corbyn is the tactic of painting him, his shadow cabinet and the people who support him as a bunch of extreme-left fanatics.

If you want proof that they're not just consider the response of the Labour Shadow Business Secretary Jon Trickett to the BHS corporate pillaging scandal.
"The Prime Minister laments public cynicism about the corporate sector. But for as long as scandals like Sports Direct and BHS continue to occur, the public are justified in their impression that in Tory Britain 2016 there is one rule for the 1% and another rule for the 99%. Only a fundamental overhaul of corporate governance will restore their faith." [source]
Trickett's response clearly isn't a full scale anti-capitalist condemnation, it's a call for better regulation. Far from being a far-left battle cry, it's actually a classic demonstration of social democratic values.

In reality, hard-left people who have anarcho-communist or Marxist tendencies are extremely dismissive of the social democratic idea that the excesses of capitalism can be mitigated through corporate regulation and socialist policies (like operating health services, public transport and energy infrastructure as not-for-profit public services). Very left-wing people are usually very dismissive of social democracy because they see capitalism as essentially unreformable.

The debate between the centre-left social democrats and the diverse bunch of more left-wing political philosophies that for the sake of brevity I'll lump together as "anti-capitalists" is an interesting one. Both sides have good points to make. The social democratic post-war consensus period (1945 - 1979) saw a blend of regulated capitalism and state socialism. This ideological compromise resulted rising prosperity across all sectors of British society, decades of falling national debt and the longest period of economic stability in British history. It may not have been perfect, but it worked incredibly well while it lasted (that's why it's referred to as the "Golden Age of Capitalism").

On the other hand it is undeniable that the social democratic post-war consensus gradually weakened and was eventually torn down and replaced with the hard-right corporatist Thatcherise ideology that has infected the Westminster establishment club from 1979 to the present. The hard-right Thatcherite ideology resulted in the destruction of Britain's heavy industries and the communities they supported, the fire-sale of countless valuable public assets to private profiteers, severe house price inflation, the financial sector meltdown, ideological austerity and the iniquitous mess we have today. It's possible to argue that as long as socialist policy is only used to mitigate the worst effects of capitalism, then the public will eventually get complacent and hard-right corporatists will seize control and undo all of the good work.

It's certainly fair to argue about whether anti-capitalists have a valid point about capitalism being unreformable. What it's completely unfair to argue is that Jeremy Corbyn, his cabinet, and the majority of his supporters fall under the hard-left "anti-capitalist" banner when they're very clearly 21st Century social democrats (Otherwise Corbyn, McDonnell and Trickett would surely be using the appalling BHS and Sports Direct scandals to call for the overthrow of capitalism rather than better regulation to prevent such scandals happening again).

To anyone with the remotest sprinkling of political literacy, comments like the above quote from Jon Trickett are clear demonstrations of Corbyn's actual position on the centre-left. Such comments make an awful lot of sense to people with social democratic principles (the majority of the UK population), but they clearly don't go anywhere near far enough to appeal to the hard-left "anti-capitalists" they stand accused of being by the right-wing mainstream media propaganda machine.


Next time you hear or read someone talking about Corbyn as if he's a dangerous extreme-left anti-capitalist fanatic, you can be sure that they're either a political illiterate, or if they do know that they're deliberately talking crap, they're clearly taking you for one if they expect you to believe such transparent nonsense.

 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.


Monday 25 July 2016

Seema Malhotra submits her entry for the Most Ludicrous Corbyn Criticism award

The abject desperation of the Anyone But Corbyn camp has already plumbed some appalling depths.

There was the ineptly conducted and spectacularly ill-timed initial coup attempt to try to bully Jeremy Corbyn into resigning. There was the deliberate misrepresentation of the notorious broken window of Wallasey. There was Tessa Jowell's lie about Angela Eagle suffering homophobic abuse at an event that neither woman actually attended. There was the lie from Angela Eagle's campaign team that an event had to be cancelled because of abuse (when in reality the venue owner pulled the plug when he found out what the booking was because he didn't want a political event in his hotel). Then there was the deliberate disenfranchisement of 130,000+ Labour Party members in order to try to rig the leadership election against Jeremy Corbyn. Then there was the complete lockdown on local party democracy and the shutdown of several local Labour Party groups (like Brighton and Wallasey) for the "crime" of doing stuff like holding votes of confidence in favour of Jeremy Corbyn and against their own coup-plotter MPs.

The former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Seema Malhotra has just launched her entry for the the Most Ludicrous Corbyn Criticism award. Her widely reported complaint is that Labour Party staff members have been trying to access "her" office.

The mainstream coverage of these accusations was absolutely farcical, without a single journalist willing to ask the simple question of why Seema Malhotra and her staff members are still occupying an office they should have moved out of almost a month previously when she quit her job as part of the pre-planned effort to bully Jeremy Corbyn out of his job by inflicting as much damage as possible in a stage managed 24 hour "blitz" (the coup-plotters were so confident of success that they briefed the Daily Telegraph about their plot two weeks before the EU referendum result was even known!).

Outside of the cosseted Westminster bubble everyone knows that if ordinary people like us quit our jobs, we don't get to keep squatting in our office for a month afterwards. We also know that if you're looking for favours from your ex-boss (like keeping access to your office for a month after quitting) it's a very very bad move indeed to not bother giving any notice at all before you stuff your job in.

Seema, and whoever put her up to briefing the press about this ludicrous story, clearly didn't even think about how it might look to the public. They just saw it as more ammunition to sling at Jeremy Corbyn, regardless of the fact that turning a squabble over office space into mainstream media headlines is extremely damaging to the reputation of the Labour Party, and to Seema Malhotra herself.

They also didn't seem to consider that most people with experience of working in the real world would have very little sympathy with someone guilty of squatting in their office for a month after quitting their job when they set about whingeing that the office manager used her key to enter the room that should have been vacated weeks before.

The office Seema Malhotra has been squatting in is intended for the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who is now Rebecca Long-Bailey. Rather than being a sign that Jeremy Corbyn is some kind of tyrant, the fact that he's allowed Seema Malhotra to squat in an office intended for someone else for a month is actually a sign that he's been incredibly patient with someone who so blatantly stabbed him in the back.

Another factor that makes this story a real contender for the the Most Ludicrous Corbyn Criticism award is the fact that Seema has tried to
 frame the dispute in terms of "intimidation" whilst simultaneously bullying the Office manager by naming and shaming her in the press. For all of the whinging about bullying emanating from the Anyone But Corbyn camp, the fact that Seema joined in the anti-democratic effort to bully Jeremy Corbyn out of his job last month, then this month named and shamed a low-profile office manager in the national press in order to try to score political points against Corbyn is an appalling exercise in hypocrisy.

It's clear that Seema Malhotra is intent on obstructing the functioning of the shadow cabinet as much as possible by squatting in an office that should be being used by her successor. What makes Seema's behaviour so much worse is that rather than just sticking to her crude obstruction tactics, she actually used the dispute that she has manufactured herself as an excuse to run to the press about it in the full knowledge that they would take her side and turn her ludicrous complaints into yet another staggeringly biased hatchet job on Jeremy Corbyn and his team.

UPDATE: Seema Malhotra's complaint about people trying to access the office she had been squatting in for weeks after quitting her job was dismissed by the Commons Speaker John Bercow. He replied to her complaint saying "Having taken advice, I am satisfied that there is nothing in your letter or in the information subsequently elicited by the deputy serjeant at arms which would justify regarding these events as a possible breach".

Unbelievably, even after having her complaint dismissed, Malhotra is persisting in damaging her own reputation, and the reputation of the Labour Party by refusing to accept that there was nothing wrong with Labour staff members attempting to access an office that she should have vacated weeks ago.

 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.


Philip Green to be "punished" with an impotent slap on the wrist

On the weekend that the first 20 BHS stores shut their doors for good Philip and Tina Green cavorted on their brand new £100 million super yacht Lionheart in Malta.

When Philip Green took over BHS in 2000 the company pension fund had a £43 million surplus. When he sold the company to Dominic Chappell (a twice bankrupt businessman with absolutely no retail experience) the company pension fund was already £571 million in deficit.

Between 2002 and 2004 Philip and Tina Green extracted £400 million in dividends from the company.

When David Cameron came to power in 2010 he decided to bring Philip Green into the government (presumably because his experience of asset stripping of BHS could help Cameron and Osborne in their project to asset strip the entire UK).

Until the scale of the BHS catastrophe became clear the Tories heaped lavish praise on Philip Green, pretending that by associating themselves with the very worst kind of self-serving capitalist they were somehow demonstration their good business acumen. 

“We are extremely fortunate to have Sir Philip, with his immense commercial experience and of course his fantastic track record at managing large organisations, on board.” - Francis Maude, 2010
A few years down the line the Tories are singing a very different tune. This is the updated 2016 Tory view as expressed by Tory MP Richard Fuller:
"It is a portrait of how individual greed can affect the lives of thousands of people ... Personally, I now believe he should lose his knighthood."
11,000 BHS staff have lost their jobs and 22,000 pensioners face stress and uncertainty over their catastrophically mismanaged pension funds, yet the guy who caused all of this misery by greedily pillaging the company and then selling the debt-ridden husk to a manifestly unsuitable owner faces no threat of punishment other than being possibly stripped of his knighthood!

The idea that sycophants no longer sticking the word "sir" before Philip Green's name is somehow a punishment befitting the pillaging of a company resulting in the destruction of 11,000 jobs and a vast pension black hole is yet another demonstration of how out of touch the Westminster establishment club are.

A parliamentary report has found that "Sir Philip systematically extracted hundreds of millions of pounds from BHS, paying very little tax and fantastically enriching himself and his family, leaving the company and its pension fund weakened to the point of the inevitable collapse of both."

As far as the establishment club are concerned, Philip and Tina Green can continue living their spectacularly decadent lifestyles on the hundreds of millions they extracted out of the business they completely ruined because the disappointment of Philip losing his knighthood is supposedly punishment enough.

This is how British justice works. If you're not part of the establishment club and you pinch a bottle of mineral water or smoke a bit of herb you can go to jail But if you're part of the club (like Fred Goodwin or Philip Green) you can systematically ruin a huge business, destroy thousands of jobs and leave the taxpayer looking at vast bills to repair the damage, but you'll be able to keep your ill-gotten gains and your "punishment" will be stopping sycophants from calling you "sir".

No wonder the public are so furious with the out-of-touch Westminster establishment club when these people honestly seem to think that the same impotent slap on the wrist they gave to Fred Goodwin for destroying RBS is punishment enough for Philip Green for pillaging BHS too.

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