Sunday, 27 August 2017

Labour's left turns to hate

The rise of Jeremy Corbyn and his followers was supposed to change politics for the better yet the evidence shows that completely the opposite has happened. It started with Corbyn's supporters joining the Labour Party and bringing some very bad habits with them. These were not the "rank & file" who delivered leaflets, held fund raisers and knocked on doors or even had their occasional say at the local ward meeting.

The Corbynistas were a new breed entirely.

The Labour "left" has always been there and since the party is a broad coalition co-existence was necessary in order for Labour to form a government. There were differences of opinion even open conflicts and every once in a while the far-left infiltrated Labour for their own purposes. The Militant Tendency is the most famous of these.

Today whilst the organised Trotskyists actually form a small if vocally significant minority within the Corbyn movement, the majority have come from the crowds that usually formed the backbones of demonstrations or on-line campaigning. These were people with ideals but no idea on how to implement political policy other than through shouting down their opponents.

Very quickly those of us that were mainstream members or supporters became "red Tories" or "Blue Labour". Blairite was an insult used to isolate and denigrate anyone who dared not to treat the new found Messiah with due reverence.

Jess Phillips reminded The Times yesterday of the huge amount of abuse she got from the (so-called) left. You know the ones that talk about women's rights, identity politics and the like. She received over 600 rape threats. Stop there and think about this. These tweets were not coming from deranged fascists. These were disciples of Corbyn. It makes one wonder what kind of world they will create.

Actually "kind" isn't in their vocabulary. Anyone not with them including the electorate is "Tory Scum or worse a "Zionist. The anti-imperialist agenda of using Israel as the stick with which to bring down the West with soon mutated into outright anti-Semitism. Some of the remarks made by these people don't even bother using the epithet "Zionist" and directly attacks Jews.

Even ethnic minority women are having trouble with these activists who see any criticism of Islam as "Islamophobic" and despite this medieval religion being misogynist, anti-gay and  trampling on basic human rights this modern "left" gives the hate preachers and their followers a get out of jail free card.

It matters not the fate of brown women under Islam according to these activists. Meanwhile half these people revolve their own lives around their genital-orientated politics creating a Heinz like 57 varieties to indulge themselves in.

Meanwhile young brown girls are mutilated but it's "OK" it's part of their culture it would seem. Neither can you even mention Muslim grooming gangs. They are "Asian" according to even the media too afraid to upset the religion that dare not be named..


Meanwhile some idiot newly elected to Parliament says she can't be friends with Tories. These people are in her view just evil. Ridiculous but not new. Even Bevan fell into that trap.

The world of Labour has turned upside down. It is no longer the party of working people. It's been hijacked by the spoilt brats of the Middle Classes more interested in ideological purity than justice.

The road to a new politics will be a long one. Old loyalties die hard and there are still despite thousands of resignations a large number of decent types within Labour. Waiting for times to change which may prove to be a bit like waiting for Godot.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Time for the law to catch up on cycling

Woman using mobile whilst cycling: Photo By Colin Rose

The bus I was travelling home on tonight nearly got into an accident after the driver let a cyclist turn right and a car suddenly came shooting out from nowhere. If it hadn't been for the brakes there would have been an accident and there was a possibility I would have been injured being close to the front. We have all known for years that there are bad drivers and there are plenty of laws to ensure our safety on the roads.

That is it seems unless it involves bikes.

The recent killing of a woman crossing the road by a very arrogant young man riding a bike without any brakes has appalled everyone. This particular individual showed no remorse and blamed the dead victim for the accident. The fact remains had his bike been fitted with brakes this young mother would still be alive today.

A motorist would have been thrown (quite rightly) to the wolves had they been driving without any brakes. So why not this cyclist who at most faces a maximum of just two years in prison? The exclusion of cyclists from appropriate punishment is an oversight that planners and politicians alike have not considered as cycling is encouraged as both environmentally friendly and healthy for users.

Pedestrians however remain unprotected from those cyclists that abuse the roads by ignoring red lights, pedestrian crossings and the like. They are not a "tiny minority" as the cycling lobby would have us believe. Every day I see cyclists breaking the highway code and putting not just pedestrians but drivers at risk.

When I went to Central London a couple of weeks back nearly every cyclist I saw ignored the red lights, one was lucky not to have got hit by a lorry but two girls crossing the road (at a pedestrian crossing where the bus had stopped were pushed out the way by a cyclist. Our driver sounded his horn not that the recalcitrant took any notice.

Efforts have been made to police cyclists but not enough it would seem. Riders not fit to be on the road seem to be proliferating every day. I've seen cyclists on their mobiles , feet on the handlebars, jumping on pavements to undertake buses and lorries.

The law needs to catch up with the growth of cycling. Yes it has benefits but far too many users are inconsiderate. Certainly those that put others at risk must be firmly dealt with.

Two years for killing someone when driving a bike without brakes is not enough. An "unusual accident but one that must be punished with the full weight of law. Just like the driver of any motor vehicle would be.

**The author has never ridden a bike, driven a car or any other vehicle and uses public transport.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

When "diversity" becomes the oppressor

On the face of it the "diversity" agenda to recognise the rights of individuals might seem a good thing. Everyone should have the basic right to live their lives as they wish don't they? Of course individualism does have it's limits. As much as we all wish to do exactly that the majority of us recognise that others have rights and our rights cannot infringe on theirs.

We have laws to protect society from those who would seek to do us harm. We also have systems to enforce social responsibility to various extents. Within a democracy most of us can find a way of existing the way we wish without harming others.

Free thinking and expression is an essential part of this process. Such freedoms come with responsibilities even though the boundaries may sometimes be grey it can never be right to call for violence and murder against individuals and groups.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Pacifism is not an option in a dangerous world. Not all countries, cultures or ideologies are benign and peaceful. There will always be those who seek to oppress, control and kill. They must be opposed at every juncture.

Freedom and Human Rights are never easily won.

Sounds simple doesn't it.

Except it isn't.

There is a growing movement of activists for whom "diversity" means to dictate, to control and to oppress. These are those who pursue the self-indulgence of "safe spaces" (of which there will never be truly any) to avoid hearing any view , any opinion or idea with which they may not agree as it will oppress them and trigger..well.. some hurt to their egos.

When Tory MP David davis was overheard in a pub describing the Cameron/Clegg alliance as "the brokeback coalition" it raised many a wry smile across the land, though frankly it does become a bit much when you can't sit in the pub and have a private chat with your mates. Of course Davis is politician....

Enter the "diversity" brigade.

For years now both here and in America speakers have been banned free speech suppressed especially if it is from those of a more "conservative" vein. Now it has even hit former controversial activists like Germaine Greer demonised for having a view that trans-men are not real women. Not that they should be discriminated against or anything, Just a definition with which in purely biological terms a majority of people might concur.

Islam has become a protected theology despite the fact it is the most oppressive and cultish of all the Abrahamic religions. Don't mention women's rights even though "Sharia" only gives them half the weight of a man and as for gays. It's not a problem to hear speakers in our centres of learning call for homosexuals to be "thrown off mountains or murdered.

But hey let's have a go at Greer.

Oh and those pesky "Zio's" don't have rights. Anti-Semitism is at an all time high across the left.

Sad to say the mainstream right has become more colour blind than the masked lefties contemplating their 57 varieties of pretentious sexuality.  Exactly what is a "demi-sexual" or "allies". Don't bother responding below I'm past the stage of caring.

Teachers tell me that they have to be very careful what they say lest they get reported for being "politically incorrect" even outside school. Can't upset X or Y. It might oppress them poor souls. It's happening in your workplace now or very soon.

Dissidence is verboten. Diversity is here to rescue us from our own free thoughts.

Welcome to oblivion.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Jerry Lewis Remembered

Jerry Lewis - 1960s.jpg

One of the most loved American comedians from the sixties and star of many a film has passed away aged 91. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1926, Jerry Lewis went on to be a star on both television and in film.

Amongst his best films were Visit to a Small Planet and The Nutty Professor. His collaboration with Dean Martin was legendary and he even got a DC comic book series!

Jerry Lewis may be gone but his comedy will live forever.

Monday, 14 August 2017

A Load Of Old Fanny

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure Fanny Hill 1749 edition title page.jpg

Published in 1748 and renowned at the time for outraging vicars and bishops across the land most people would consider Fanny Hill a rather tame tome by modern standards. It's not so long ago that Lady Chatterley's Lover and the publication Oz caused scandal in the green fields of old England. Mrs Whitehouse campaigned to the last to defend our living rooms from such smut lest we degenerate into sex-crazed godless minions of Satan.

Yet today hundreds of thousands of thousands of people have picked up copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and it's sequels without batting an eyelid. Sex on TV whilst always after the watershed is wee bit more explicit than even Mary Whitehouse imagined. For better or worse we the people of England have seemingly lost our stiff upper lip so to speak.

Not so in universities it seems  as the Royal Holloway (part of the University of London) has dropped old Fanny from it's curriculum lest it offend some students. Yes I kid you not. Just the latest in a long line of atrocities being carried out in our centres of learning as the politically correct- intersectionalist-easily offended-snowflake brigade undermine education.

Apparently theology classes about Jesus at Glasgow University come with trigger warnings about (wait for it) "graphic scenes of crucifixion". Really? Didn't they teach that in Sunday School. Nailed to a tree the fella was and then apparently rose from the dead. Very central to the Christian belief system I understand. Don't think any studies of their theology could avoid this subject.

Better not let these vulnerable students anywhere near the old testament which is full of begetting and smiting plus genocide. Heaven forbid they dare read the Koran. Might make the poor soul Islamophobic. Better give it a free pass. Not open for criticism. Saves any PC problems later. Only white religions can be criticised according to the new breed of Social Justice Warriors.

If you think thats bad imagine law students being excused lectures on rape or future forensic scientists being given warnings about lectures involving the subject of blood patterns and crime scenes. Could be dead bodies. Awful. Perhaps puppy farming might be for anyone feeling queasy at this point. They certainly aren't going to be able to help rape victims or find the murderers before someone else is killed.

In fact don't go to university at all. Nobody learns anything there anymore. It's just for spoiled self indulgent brats to act like the bullies they are.

If you ask me their parents should have just given them a clip round the ear and told their little poppets to get a life.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Tell leading retailers: Justice now for Cambodian garment workers

Labourstart Campaign

The sudden closure of a garment factory has left 208 workers in Cambodia without jobs, salaries, or their legally owed compensation.

One year later these workers, mainly women, are still fighting for justice.

The factory – Chung Fai Knitwear – was making clothing for Marks & Spencer (UK), Nygård (Canada) and Bonmarché (UK).

The workers have been facing a long struggle.

They stood up for their rights by preventing the owners from selling the remaining assets from the factory, through physical occupation of the factory as well as legal measures

They have protested outside the Mark & Spencer office in Phnom Penh, outside the Ministry of Labour, and the court.

They wrote letters to the brands pleading for help and asked for meetings.

None of this helped.

Now the workers, supported by trade unions and labour rights' organisations, demand that the brands take responsibility and ensure that they get their legally due payment.

Please take a moment to support their struggle:

Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Far-Left and Venezuela

Venezuela was a country lauded by the far-left and anti-imperialists of how socialism could work. A "Bolivarian" revolution led by Hugo Chavez was feted by such as Jeremy Corbyn, Ken Livingstone, the Communist Party, the SWP and others who all came together to form the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign which tried to persuade us that this was a way forward to a better society.

Today with Chavez dead and his successor once claiming he talked to his mentors ghost the country is falling apart.  Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves and should in theory be able to provide for it's peoples basic needs. Yet the selves are empty. Staple items from bread to toilet paper unobtainable even if the average citizen had the money (which they don't) to obtain their basic needs.

Violence is ascendant. So afraid is Maduro of losing power he has seen the appointment of over 2,000 "Generals" in his army. That's more than NATO has.

Many people have been calling on Jeremy Corbyn to condemn what's going on. He won't and besides is currently somewhere in Croatia on a cycling holiday. More likely he'll listen to his friends from Sinn Fein whose representative in Caracas has declared that the poll, boycotted by the majority has been "fair & equitable".

Venezuela does not allow any independent observers monitor its voting. Maduro just ships in his mates. Sinn Fein is so trustworthy..not.

Meanwhile the Communist Party via the Morning Star rages:

Communist Party general secretary Rob Griffiths condemned US President Trump’s refusal to recognise the result of the Venezuelan election.

He said it is “our duty” to defend Mr Maduro’s elected government which has made “great strides” in redistributing wealth and given a voice to the excluded and underrepresented.

The old Militant Tendency now the Socialist Party prefers to remain silent and has a feature on how art helped inspire the Bolshevik coup d'etat in 1917 in the latest issue of their boring rag The Socialist. Even their "International" website hasn't had a piece on Venezuela since June and that just called for more "socialist policies" whatever that's supposed to mean.

Socialist Worker who are busy stirring up trouble in Hackney behind their front organisation Stand up to Racism did manage a few mealy mouthed comments in their latest paper:

The boycott and its limited success show the right’s continuing unpopularity. Its leaders couldn’t risk standing and couldn’t dissuade millions from voting for Maduro’s candidates.

Venezuela is now seeing economic and social devastation. But this hasn’t overcome the legacy of resentment at the right wing elite that once ruled the country......

The right poses a real threat to ordinary people in Venezuela.

But workers and the poor acting for themselves can create a movement that could pose a real alternative.

As usual like Militant the real way forward is to join the (their) party and build "socialism.

Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

Finally what of the laughably named Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign?

“On Sunday over 8 million Venezuelans, representing a turnout of 41.5%, participated in elections for a Constituent Assembly to revise the constitution, and provide an elected mechanism to help resolve the country’s current difficulties.

This impressive turnout was despite many sections of the country’s right-wing opposition deciding to boycott the vote, and some even calling violent protests on the day with the explicit aim of derailing the elections. Venezuela’s Public Ministry has announced that it will open a probe into the deaths reported as a result of these violent protests.

However The Times reports (no link£):

President Maduro has been accused of organising election fraud on a massive scale after it was revealed that officials invented one million votes in Sundays constituent assembly election.

The allegation was made by Antonio Mugica, chief executive of the  that provides the machines.... he said "we estimate the difference between the actual participation and the one announced is at least one million votes.

The far-left do not believe in democracy. Only control.

As we head to the anniversary of the so-called Russian Revolution it needs to be remembered what the Communists overthrew was not the Tsar but the elected government of Russia. 

Socialist democracy is a lie. From Cuba to North Korea it has led to dictatorship and worse. Venezuela will be no different if the comrades get their way.

Peter Tatchell writes Open Letter to Defend Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain

File:Peter Tatchell - Red Wall - 8by10 - 2016-10-15.jpg
Photo: Colin CC Wiki

"Open Letter to Pride: Defend the Council of Ex-Muslims

East London mosque has history of hosting homophobic hate preachers

London, UK – 3 August 2017

Dear Pride in London and Community Advisory Board,

I write as one of the co-organisers of the UK’s first LGBT Pride in 1972, as a Patron of Pride in London and as a human rights campaigner for the last 50 years:

I understand that complaints have been made against the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) by the East London mosque and others. The claim is that the CEMB's placards at this year’s Pride parade on 8 July were "Islamophobic".

They were certainly very critical of Islamic homophobia, which is legitimate, justified and necessary in order to defend LGBT Muslims who have been victimised by followers of Islam in the UK and by Islamic governments worldwide.

The CEMB placards condemned “Homophobes, Islamists, racists.” They supported LGBT Muslims and LGBT people fleeing persecution by Islamic states. One said: “End Islamic hatred and violence to gays.” Others highlighted UK mosques, such as East London and Green Lanes, that have hosted hate preachers who have endorsed or justified the killing of LGBT people.

Some placards said “Allah is gay.” The factual basis of such a claim is questionable. However, since there is nothing wrong or shameful about being gay - and only gay sex acts (not gay people) are condemned in the Qur’an and Hadiths - there is nothing insulting about saying Allah, God, Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Shiva or any other religious figure is gay. A person would only say it was insulting if they were anti-LGBT.

The CEMB’s placards against Islamic homophobia were entirely justified and commendable. We have to oppose Islamic homophobia in the same way that LGBT groups have long opposed Christian and Judaist homophobia.

None of the CEMB placards were against Muslim people. They did not incite hate against Muslims. They criticised homophobic religious ideas.

People and ideas are two very different things.

In a free society, all ideas, including Islam and other faiths, should be open to scrutiny and criticism. That's what freedom of expression is all about.

Criticising ideas is fine. Stirring hate against people is not.

The CEMB did not, in my view, cross that red line. It did not say a word against Muslim people.

You have said that Pride participants have a right to protest but “this does not give people in our parade the freedom to ostracise, discriminate against or humiliate anyone else taking part.” I agree. But the CEMB did not do this. They did not target anyone in the parade. They targeted Islamists who want LGBT people dead!

You say that Pride participants should treat others with tolerance and courtesy. True. But not if they want to kill us and incite their followers to hate and despise LGBTs.

One of the complainants against the CEMB is, I am told, the East London mosque. This mosque for many years used to host Islamic extremist preachers who stirred hatred against LGBT people and, in some cases, justified the murder of LGBT people in accordance with Sharia law.

I am told that East London mosque and its allied London Muslim Centre (LMC) have hosted homophobic clerics who have endorsed the execution of LGBT people, including Ibrahim Hewitt, Haitham al-Haddad, Yasir Qadhi, Assim al-Hakeem, Muhammad Alshareef, Yusuf Chambers, Yusuf Estes, Abdur Raheem Green, Murtaza Khan, Bilal Philips, Abdullah Hakim Quick, Hamza Tzortzis, Yusuf Patel and Khalid Yasin.

Some years ago, OutRage! and I organised a campaign against the mosque's anti-LGBT preachers. The mosque authorities did nothing to stop them speaking there until adverse media publicity and the protests of liberal Muslims shamed them into promising to not host any more extremist homophobic clerics.

They eventually pledged they would not host them anymore. But as soon as the fuss died down I discovered that the East London mosque was again hosting viciously anti-LGBT preachers.

They had made untrue, misleading promises that they did not keep.

It is true that many, many years ago the London Muslim Centre (LMC), which is linked to the East London mosque, did agree to meet me to discuss LGBT concerns. But I felt it was just a PR exercise. They paid lip service to opposing homophobia; being unwilling to engage with or affirm LGBT Muslims and not doing anything serious to challenge homophobia within the Muslim community.

In the last two years, I and my colleagues at the Peter Tatchell Foundation have 11 times contacted the mosque and LMC, requesting them to have a dialogue with the LGBT community: to build bridges and solidarity between LGBTs and Muslims to combat the prejudice, discrimination and violence that both communities suffer. We specifically requested them to dialogue with and host LGBT Muslims. All our requests have been rebuffed. They have repeatedly ignored our 11 appeals since 2015.

Other mainstream Muslim organisations, such as the Muslim Council of Britain, likewise refuse to dialogue with the LGBT community, refuse to accept LGBT Muslims and actively oppose LGBT equality, including campaigning against same-sex civil marriage and other LGBT equality laws over the last two decades.

I urge you to reject the complaints against the CEMB by the East London mosque and others. Instead, I urge you to ask them to explain why they refuse to have a dialogue with the LGBT community, refuse to publicly challenge homophobia within the Muslim community and why they refuse to publicly acknowledge and support LGBT Muslims.

I also request you to confirm that the CEMB can participate in future Pride parades.

If you have any queries, please get in touch.

Keep up the great work that Pride in London and the Community Advisory Board does. My thanks to you and all the volunteers for making Pride possible.

Much appreciation and best wishes,

Peter Tatchell, 

Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation