Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Corbyn loses No Confidence vote

The front ends of two vehicles after an accident
Photo: By Damnsoft 09

The news that Labour MP's have voted for the "No Confidence" motion in a ballot comes as no surprise. There were a few more than expected, though sadly some MPs didn't vote at all. This includes some members of Corbyns own new Shadow Cabinet members. Hedging their bets against the inevitable backlash from the far left who were represented by newcomer and former vociferous opponent of the Labour Party, Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the unaffiliated PCS union on Sky TV.

Yesterday Corbyn addressed several hundred of his "supporters", many of whom were from outside political organisations such as the Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Party and even the quite mad Spartacist League.

The rally organised by the new Militant Tendency known as Momentum attracted the worst types of the left imaginable and is precisely the reason why the Corbyn project is dangerous and is dooming the Labour Party to failure. They will be organising on the ground to cajole and bully Constituency Labour Parties to remove dissident MP's (the bulk of the Parliamentary Labour Party) and replace them with "yes" men (and women) from the left who will be expected to toe the line of the activists rather than represent their constituents.

Corbyn remains at the time of writing unmoved and tries to reject the legitimacy of the vote putting himself and his cult of followers before the party itself. He declined to address the loss of confidence by his own MPs in a statement issued a short while after the vote was declared.

Corbyn has been an abject disaster for Labour, it is time for him to go.

The die is now cast for the fight for the future of the Labour Party which may or may not survive the current internecine warfare. 

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Corbyn: The man who broke the Labour Party?

Photo: By Bundesarchiv

The crisis inside the Labour Party finally entered it's final phase today as we learnt of the sacking of Hilary Benn by Jeremy Corbyn as his "plot" to oust the leader came to light. Over the day, almost hour by hour members of the Shadow cabinet resigned. The dies is cast. The long awaited challenge will go ahead.

Margaret Hodge the MP whose motion of no confidence precipitated this battle has also come under attack, from those very types who personify what has gone wrong with Labour. The so-called "anti-Zionists" decided to run with this on Electronic Intafada:

Margaret Hodge, a pro-Israel Member of the UK Parliament launched a coup attempt against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Friday.

Corbyn is the left-wing leader of the main opposition Labour Party, who supports boycotts of Israel.

In plain English read: a "Zionist plot".

With Corbynistas desperately rallying their forces on social media and with on-line petitions, moderates are calling for those members who left to return to the party. There's even an on-line petition involving Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the non-affiliated PCS union. A man previously openly hostile to the Labour Party and supporter of Respect and the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition in previous elections.

The stakes are high. The Labour Party is losing support on the ground amongst voters at an alarming rate. Scotland is gone and with the likelihood of Independence in the not too distant future, lost forever. UKIP are targeting those areaswhere Labour voters supported Brexit and confidence in Corbyn outside the ideologically motivated left is practically non-existent.

The man at the centre of this is seemingly unmoved.

Despite his poor performance in the referendum and his seeming inability to actually take on the Tories he and his supporters in the ideological bunker that is Islington refuses to recognise what he has done to the main opposition party in the UK.

As Chris Bryant MP so eloquently put it in his letter to Corbyn:

You will go down in history as the man who broke the Labour Party.

Corbyn must go. There is still time to restore a real Labour Party and remove the far-left parasites that have wrecked it.

We have been here before. Back in the early eighties there was Foot, Benn and the Militant Tendency who took Labour to the brink. The Party was won back and Labour went on to win elections. Corbyn, McDonnell and Momentum can also be beaten.

Corbyn must go. The alternative is a decade of Tory government.

Sunday Supplement: Between the movies. Independence Day: Dark Fathom

The sequel to blockbuster film Independence day hit the screens this week and (almost) just in time Titan have released the Official Prequel to the movie. Independence Day: Dark Fathom is a graphic novel collecting the five-issue miniseries of the same name that was released in the run up to the film.

Set at the end of the first alien incursion, the action takes place entirely underwater when a city destroyer ends up at the bottom of the Atlantic. Captain Adams takes on board a team who have been sent to investigate what the aliens are up to.

[Cover Art Image] [Cover Art Image]

On boarding the enemy ship a small team of US marines investigates what turns out to be a huge ship and find the aliens are drilling into the biggest fault along the ocean floor under the Atlantic. Millions of lives are at stake and their job is to stop this from happening.

An interesting take on the movie franchise which also usefully provides a time line at the back of the novel which take through what has happened on Earth in between the films. You will also find out what happened to Will Smith and why he's not in the movie. No spoilers from me though. Read  the book & see the film.

Independence Day: Dark Fathom

Although this is published by a British comics company the creative team is American and Brazilian. Not a criticism, just an observation. It's a real coup for Titan to get the franchise. They are a small company just breaking into the US comics market and also publish a range of Doctor Who comics amongst others.

Anyway here's a teaser for the movie if you haven't been yet.

For more about comics please try my other blog: Howie's World of Comics

Friday, 24 June 2016

An uncertain future

The country woke up to the news that the public had voted to leave the European Union. Already this morning there have been a number of developments as a result of the Brexit victory.

David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister (though won't actually go until October) and Boris Johnson (unsurprisingly) has put himself to the fore despite not formally announcing a challenge. Many people will wonder why a general election hasn't been called since this is a major defeat for the government, but there's going to be problems enough for this country without dragging more uncertainty.

Jeremy Corbyn appeared on TV looking lost and haggard with no real answers to the questions being put to him, almost throwing one of his now legendary tantrums when pressed by the host. We were told Jeremy was a basically "nice man" but from what we have seen thus far this doesn't seem to be the case.  Unless you are one of his fawning fans who dote on every word he utters.

A challenge to his leadership has been brought forward by retiring MPs Margaret Hodge and Anne Coffrey neither of whom will be concerned about deselection threats before th next election since they won't be standing.

The Labour civil war will continue unabated whilst nearly all of them will ignore the reasons for the Labour vote going against them in the referendum. Corbyn was only part of the problem. He just didn't care for the EU and it showed despite his formal adherence to the "Remain" camp and as a result despite the efforts of rank & file members the message did not only not get across. It was ignored.

The other and unsurprising outcome was the rewed call for another Scottish independence referendum. All the main parties got wiped north of the border and nationalism has grown, not abated since the SNP's last effort. Given the Scots voted to stay it's probably a foregone conclusion that Scotland would vote for independence this time round.

There is a need to address the "elephant in the room" which was responsible more than anything else for the No vote. Immigration.

If any single act finally put the nail in the coffin of Britain's membership of the EU it was Angela Merkel's decision to open Germany's borders. The sight of a million or more people marching across Europe caused not just a reaction in Eastern Europe but here as well.

Problem is no-one except the real xenophobes really addressed the problem and all attempts to discuss the issue of immigration in large numbers met with either silence or wild eyed cries of racism. However people were and are concerned. The expansion of Europe (which was too fast in my opinion) had already brought in countries and economies that clearly were not ready for membership but also fears of migrants here. Add to this the wave from the Middle East and people's concerns were met with silence from the establishment.

Labour included.

People right asked why the other Arab and Muslim countries were not doing more to help these people. Saudi Arabia had a huge ready built and working camp for thousands up thousands of pilgrims going on the Haj. But they proved to be more concerned with their political control of the Islamic pilgrimage than helping refugees. So much for the charitable nature of their Islamic religion. No different to any other "politicians".

And so control of our borders became a central issue. Rioting in Calais and elsewhere did not help matter. The Labour vote turned quite clearly in favour of ending mass immigration. 

Yet Corbyn, the left and even the "Blairites" remain in denial.

It will take time for us to leave the EU (two years apparently) and for the economic situation to stabilise but our political system has undermined itself. Cameron has gone. Corbyn should join him. The political future is uncertain but the politics of the old ways have failed us.

Time to meet that challenge.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

And it's an Interlude with him....

The polls are just about to close as write this. I don't know about you but I'm fed up with this 'ere referendum lark. Brought the worst out of so many people on both sides. But whether you're a Brexiteer or Remainer we are all fond of good old fashioned British humour.

So lets laugh together with Ronnie Barker.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Corbyn and the Referendum: Letting the side down... as always

The media, especially on the TV is concentrating on just one issue. The referendum. Tomorrow voters will go to the polls in their droves (or so we are led to believe) with a high turnout possibly around the 80% level. Whether that turns out to be correct remains to be seen.

Despite the manic approach of the Brexit and Remain camps to garner peoples votes there remain more than a few undecided voters even at this late stage. The City seems to be gambling on a "Yes" vote. Perhaps they know something we don't. The race remains close, far too close for comfort.

The stakes are high and feelings running wild as poll approaches. The campaign has already cost one life, that of Jo Cox MP which shocked both sides, though the far-right attempted to take advantage of this by presenting her murderer as a martyr.

This is a disturbing trend upon which I have already commented (see post below) yesterday and yet another Labour Remain MP has received death threats. The Guardian reports:

Yvette Cooper has said that she has informed police and Twitter about a tweet in which a user threatened to kill her children and grandchildren.

The Labour MP, who has been campaigning for a remain vote in this week’s EU referendum, posted an image on Tuesday of the tweet, which was sent from an account which had been suspended on Tuesday night and accused her of issuing propaganda.

Meanwhile despite the gravity of the situation and huge risks for ordinary working people Jeremy Corby has refused to join the Prime Minister in a joint appearance to promote the Remain campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn declined to appear with David Cameron and Tim Farron at a planned eve-of-referendum rally that the Remain campaign hoped would be a display of cross-party unity in support of the EU....

Corbyn’s team insist they were merely being consistent in sticking to their publicly stated policy of not having the party leader appear on the same platform as prominent Tories during the EU referendum.

This from a man who quite happily shares platforms with Hamas and Hezbollah which are nothing more than anti-Semitic terrorists and appears on the Iranian clerical fascists propaganda channel Press TV

Corbyn does not understand the difference between democratic and anti-democratic politics.

The Times (no link£) reported yesterday that:

Jeremy Corbyn has said that he would refuse to take any blame should Britain vote to leave the European Union as he declared that he was not a lover of the bloc.

As if that's a surprise. In the past he has always opposed the EU as he has NATO or anything else that helps maintain this country's economic and military security.

Further given his propensity to throw a tantrum every time he has his ideas challenged. Corbyn has lived in a closeted little world where he's only ever interacted with those who agree with his general political direction.

Corbyn has no idea of the concept of responsibility.

Neither have his supporters.

The future of this country is at stake and at a time when we needed a strong Labour leader Corbyn has let the side down.

As he always will, weak and foolish man that he is.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Brexit supporters behaving badly despite last weeks tragedy

The shocking murder of Jo Cox MP by a far-right terrorist (let's call it what it is) resulted in the supension of campaigning over the EU referendum.  Calls for calm during the debate seem to have fallen on deaf ears as violence breaks out.

In Carlisle Cumbria Crack reports:

A 78-year-old man handing out EU referendum leaflets for the IN campaign was struck in the face causing minor injuries by a 52-year-old man following an altercation about the EU referendum .

A 52-year-old man was arrested by Police shortly after the incident. The Police investigation into this assault continues.

Remain activist Gabriella Evans reports being assaulted whilst just walking her dog by an aggressive man shouting about "F**ing foreigners when he saw her "Remain" badge. Police are currently making enquiries and calling for witnesses.

And then there was this

@feedthedrummer Activist of mine punched in the stomach this morning for asking Vote Leave to remove a stake from his church yard.

According to a further tweet, the assailant has accepted a police caution.

The question we have to ask ourselves is why this is happening. Xenophobia has come to the fore in this brutish campaign and UKIP plus the far-right have latched on to it creating a quite vicious atmosphere.

There is a lot of ill-feeling amongst a large number of people though thankfully this has not in most cases resulted in actual physical violence. However there are clear dangers ahead which can be seen from the Scottish Referendum campaign.

When the SNP lost the vote for Independence there are marches on the streets claiming the vote had been "hijacked". Lots of nationalists suddenly declared themselves the "45%" despite not acknowledging the irony of that figure which meant they lost.

This resulted in the rise of aggressive Scottish Nationalism on a parliamentary scale. Can the same thing happen here with UKIP?

The far right are rising across Europe, The National Front in France, Jobbik in Hungary, the "Alternative" Party in Germany just to name a few.

The whole idea of the EU was to break down these nationalistic and antagonistic barriers to co-operation for a better future but other factors have come into play.

The biggest mistake was by Angela Merkel and is one she will live to regret no matter what view one takes on refugees. The decision to open Germany's borders brought chaos across Europe and frankly frightened a layer of poorer working class people who were already feeling the pinch. Combine that with growing Islamist terrorism and the situation became somewhat toxic.

We do not want or need political violence in our debates, ever.

Fortunately there are only a couple of days to go. Everyone must accept the outcome which frankly is quite uncertain.

If we don't then democratic politics will be under threat.