Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Comedy Interlude: Day of Rage...

The far-left was planning a "Day of Rage" today. Not sure what happened to it. Perhaps their parents sent them to bed early.

Meanwhile....

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

McCluskey Sacks Political Opponent Scandal

So much for democracy. Len Mccluskey, the Marxist General Secretary of Unite has sacked the man who dared challenge him in the recent election.

STATEMENT FROM GERARD COYNE

I have been notified by email that I have been sacked from my position as West Midlands Regional Secretary of Unite the union following a disciplinary hearing held at Unite’s London office on June 15th.

I am deeply disappointed but not surprised at my dismissal. When you are in a kangaroo court, you are rarely surprised by the outcome.

I have held the post for 16 years and no complaint was raised during the hearing about how I carried out that role.

However, during the disciplinary process I was informed that union rules require a regional secretary to be “the General Secretary’s representative in the region.”

It was implied that because of the way I criticised Len McCluskey during the campaign I could not fulfil that role any longer.

Seven charges were originally made against me that it was claimed amounted to gross misconduct. They consisted of such heinous crimes as publicly criticising and challenging Mr McCluskey’s decisions in leaflets, newspapers and social media. All related to my conduct during the General Secretary election campaign.

Three of those charges I managed to knock out before the hearing and three were dismissed at the final hearing. The final one related to to an alleged technical data breach, which it was claimed had damaged Unite-Labour Party relations.

This preposterous trumped up charge has been used to indict me - even though the Returning Officer from Electoral Reform Services had already ruled that there was no breach of the rules.

It was always clear to me that the charges were nothing more than a stitch-up. My real ‘crime’ was having the audacity to challenge Mr McCluskey in the General Secretary election that he called unnecessarily.

The disciplinary hearing was nothing more than a show trial and the irony not lost on me that Mr McCluskey’s chief of staff, Andrew Murray - a self-confessed admirer of Joseph Stalin - was the investigator and decision maker on the charge I was dismissed for.

It is beyond parody that I, as a 30-year member of the Labour Party, should be accused of harming Unite-Labour relations by Mr Murray, a member of the Communist Party for 40 years.

It is a public warning to any member of Unite’s staff who is thinking of challenging the way the McCluskey gang run the union: ‘step out of line, and you will be out of a job’. Political dissent is not tolerated inside Unite.

However, I will not be bullied into silence. Once the Certification Officer has considered my complaint about the conduct of the election, I am looking forward to a re-run of the contest. We will build a union where members interests are always put first - not subordinated to the political machinations of a clique.

I will be appealing against the decision

Monday, 19 June 2017

The Elephant in the Room


Photo: By Bit Boy

It's getting to the point whereby I dread switching on the television or more likely changing the channel when I get up in the morning as there is seemingly one tragedy after another these days. The latest was an assault on a group of worshippers emerging from their prayers at the Finsbury Mosque by some lunatic in a van.

At the time of writing whether he acted alone or was part of some extreme right wing group is actually unknown. However what happened did seem to have a certain "inevitability" about it.  Whilst much of what is described as "Islamphobia" is somewhat exaggerated there certainly is a growing resentment towards the Muslim community, particularly the obviously religious in the country.

And oddly unlike all the other atrocities that have taken place today there was little to no talk of it around me, except in whispers. Have people become accustomed to these kind of attacks or were some people hiding their true feelings about what I have seen on social media described as "karma"?

If so then there is reason for all of us to be worried. Islamic extremism is a very real and major threat. Of that there can be no denial. There is also increasing deference to "islam" across the cultural and political fields that disturbs our mostly secular way of life, but resorting to the violence is certainly not the answer or the way forward.

Whilst many have legitimate criticisms of the Islamic creed and it's intolerance I do not wish to live in a country where people cannot go about their business, including worship in fear of attack. This will only enhance the self-imposed isolation that the majority of the Muslim community already feel.

The key must be in integration whereby worshippers (of all religions) separate their godly fealties from the secular requirements that are a necessity in a modern and truly inclusive society. Believe in what you will but human rights and equal rights must take precedence over all and any religion or political creed.

The Muslim community must face up to the problems that have brought it into disrepute with other sections of society. I speak not just of the Jihadists, though they are the most pressing problem but when they complain, sometimes rightly of being treated as outsiders then their leaders must ask why has the rise of anti-Semitism gone hand in hand with the expansion of Islam within the UK. Further the Muslim community must re examine its attitudes to the Ahmadiyya Muslims who are persecuted by the mainstream for daring to differ.

There was a case where a man travelled hundreds of miles to kill one newsagent, a Ahmadiyya Muslim, who other Muslims don't see as Muslims at all. Just for wishing his customers Happy Christmas.

Then there is Rochdale. A rape and abuse tragedy that went on for years because the authorities were too afraid to confront the abusers in case the were called racists. Look at the victims, not the perpetrators when making such judgements.

The Muslim community has a right to exist and worship within the law of this land and be respected for doing so, but at the same time the sheer medievalism, cultural & political backwardness and refusal to integrate will hold them back.

There can be no compulsion in religion and that is the end of it. If someone criticizes your faith, just learn to live with it.

The future by necessity must be secular.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

A sombre nation

Grenfell Tower fire (wider view).jpg
Photo: By Natalie Oxford

I awoke to the disaster which was Grenfell Tower and looked at the pouring smoke from the building from my twelth floor balcony in horror. I cannot imagine what was going through the minds of those directly affected and still inside. Even now we still don't know how many have died. Clearly the body count will increase as the investigation in the ruins begins.

Having lived in a tower block for near on twenty years fire is one of those things you really hope does not happen but has even here on my floor in one of the flats opposite. The fire was contained and we were only evacuated for a short time. The buildings all concrete. No bloody cladding. Whoever thought that was a good idea should never be let near a building site again.

People died because of politically motivated aesthetics from what I can see. Never again should council or social housing residents ever be put in such a position again.

This comes at a time when the nation is still in shock from several terrorist atrocities, events which have united ordinary people against a common foe. The latest disaster shows how divided we have become as a nation and frankly how leaderless we have become.

Theresa May having messed up electorally, now fails to show true grit by meeting the residents. Corbyn got better press though his supporters actions in and around the protests leave a lot to be desired. Only the Queen came out of this as a figure with any public credibility in myview.

The nation lacks decent politicians. Neither May nor Corbyn or the outsider Farron come close to the standards of the politicians I grew up with. Where are the Harold Wilson's and Denis Healy's or even (god forbid) the Margaret Thatcher's of this world? Such a grim lack of talent on the front benches.

The only politician to impress me of recent times was Hilary Benn and he's in no position to take a leading role due to rise of the far-left inside Labour. The Tories are at their weakest ever and the alternative is a shower of rabid protesters who don't understand how democracy works as shown by McDonnells call for a million on the streets to bring down the Tories.

Meanwhile as the nation remains in a mournful state there will be an "al-Quds" day march with the flags of the Iranian backed terrorist organisation Hezbollah being flown in the streets of London. An insult to the victims of terrorism in this country.

A march that will be attended by many supporters of Corbyn, though he himself is likely to shy away from attending unlike in previous years.

For those who want to see a return to political rationalism the extremes of ideology that seem to be taking hold the failure of Mrs May to front a decent election campaign that if based on her seeming "one-nation" conservatism could have broken the Corbynistas is blindingly obvious.

There seems little hope that a decent political choice will exist by the next general election which will be sooner rather than later. So many Labour types have surrendered to Corbyn. Their party is currently lost to reason as are the Conservatives.

There seems little hope for the immediate future on all fronts. Weak government, terrorist threats and a disastrous brexit all add up to a more than uncertain future.

Will reason ever prevail?

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Musical Interlude: Slade

Not in the mood for politics at the moment, so here's a little tune from Slade to help celebrate Noddy Holder's Birthday. 71 today would you believe.......

Monday, 12 June 2017

Comedy Interlude: Irish Politics Explained!

I was surprised at the number of people at work who had no idea who the DUP were or hadn't heard of them.

However this may help........ or not.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The truce can only be temporary.



Whilst waiting for a bus in Shaftesbury Avenue yesterday afternoon I could not help but overhear the conversation by the others standing there about the general election. All participants obviously from different countries and none with English as their first language. They seemed confused as does much of the activist class on the left to be honest.

Jeremy Corbyn did a lot better, much better than anyone including myself was expecting. Theresa May did appallingly badly. A contest that went from the cult of the personality around Corbyn to one with no personality with May.

Corbyn still lost though, no matter how either he or his supporters want to spin it.

However no matter how one looks at the result the Conservative Party blew it big time and the electorate were not impressed.

The polls got it wrong except for the last one. The Exit Poll predicted a hung parliament and that's what we got.

So what happened and why? That the Prime Minister has decided to continue, at least for now is unsurprising and given the parliamentary arithmetic was the only choice. A rainbow coalition of Corbyn and all the others would not have been enough, especially with Sinn Fein refusing to take up its seven seats.

Enter the DUP, an Irish political party founded by the divisive figure and self appointed Reverend Ian Paisley. In essence a very right-wing and dangerously religious formation thats politics consist of the bible and a soft brexit. Their MP's are like so many religious maniacs anti-gay marriage , anti-abortion and pro-creationist.

I'd almost say god help us but I'm an atheist!

Labour has lost the third election in a row but there has been a return to the seventies, the early years with a hung parliament as Mrs May faces the same problems Edward Heath did and the country has seemingly returned to a two party system with over 80% of the electorate voting for one of the two main parties. The Liberals are seemly buggered for now and that's without another Jeremy...

The big swing to Labour was from young voters whose abstention during the referendum cost them their future in the EU. This time and via social media and particularly in University towns the under 25's surged to support Corbyn based on promises of free education and lots of other free stuff.

The Labour Manifesto made promises that attracted people. The Tory Manifesto just pissed voters off. Dementia Tax? Forget it. No deal over Brexit? No thanks.

But herein lies Labour's problem for the future. Corbyn's Manifesto was written on the basis of a "wish list", one that would not need to be implemented. It was based on the premise that the party would lose and only "the fight", the campaign would matter. It's easy to make promises that won't need to be delivered.

One wonders what would have happened had Corbyn actually walked into No 10.

There will be another election in due course. Theresa May will not survive for long. The knives are already out for her scalp. The deal with the DUP will only last so long and is only a "confidence and supply" arrangement. Government will of necessity be pragmatic.

The Tories will regroup learn from their arrogance and mistakes and return with a new leaders, a new strategy and will not shirk the televised debates. Their manifesto will ditch the controversies and the protection of the pensioner base will return.

A new leader is likely to be more "business friendly" than May turned out. Soft Brexit will be the aim. Jobs first.

Then Labour buoyed by its seeming resurgence will realise that a new manifesto will need to take into account political reality because if it doesn't they will like Clegg before them permanently alienate so many supporters who have been energised by the Corbyn cult. Much of Labour's manifesto is blatantly undeliverable though many of the young will not relate to reasoning why.

To the young (and I remember my youth well) it's a question of "right or wrong". Grey areas are not considered. As the Corbynistas return to the politics of the past I am reminded of something else I noticed during my journey yesterday. Young people do not seem to read newspapers, just us oldies whose habits die hard.

More to the point the use of social media tends to exclude those with whom they disagree. Memes and shared posts to reinforce perceived outlooks are the order of the day. And a local Momentum Organiser dared to accuse me of being brainwashed by the Daily Mail, a paper I do not read.  The Times is my paper of choice. It just informs me. I use other sources, albeit on-line for different views and oddly I seemed to read far more of the left's sites than he did!

The country faces an uncertain few months and years ahead. Just like the seventies. Except the threat is not IRA bombs (for now) or Communism (though that's open to debate) but from Islamist terror and Russian imperialism. Same threats from different quarters.

For now Corbyn is secure and his supporters will take advantage. Those moderates who held their noses and /or campaigned for Labour with so many Labour MP's disowning Corbyn had better watch out. The left are still waiting in the wings to purge.

The truce can only be temporary. Corbyn's promises will motivate for now but when he does not deliver what happens then.

The mainstream left/centre must be prepared for the inevitable. Politics is indeed "out of the box" as old Steptoe likes to tell us but in my view this will hopefully be his ceiling and the future remains an unwritten page.

Organise against Corbyn and Momentum for the future. Unite the moderate factions before it is too late.