Friday, 31 May 2019

PCS Union Conference: Swansong of the Socialist Party

Public and Commercial Services Union (logo).png  Socialist Party logo

The Annual Conference of the largest civil service union took place last week in which the Socialist Party (Militant) finally found themselves at the bottom of the pecking order on the far left as the useless Chris Baugh bowed out of the Assistant General Secretary position and were left with just two seats on the National Executive Committee.

John Maloney the guru of the Independent Left and member of the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) was magnanimous towards his erstwhile opponent. Solidarity (the AWL paper) reports:

John was generous in his comments about his defeated opponents and very demonstrably stood to applaud Chris Baugh, the defeated AGS, following his last conference speech as AGS. It was a respectful tribute to Chris Baugh’s work on behalf of the union, despite John’s serious political differences with him, and stood in stark contrast to the personalisation of the attacks upon Baugh by his opponents in the PCS/Left Unity leadership (people who once stood shoulder to shoulder with him on all major issues).

Maloney's standing ovation forced the backstabbers on stage to stand and applaud the hapless Baugh. 

Baugh of course still remains on the pay role as a senior negotiator though will have to vacate the AGS office as it's needed. Since space is "limited" in PCS HQ he's likely to be shipped off somewhere out sight and out of mind...

Meanwhile the now thoroughly routed Socialist Party who carelessly lost the biggest contingent of senior union activists in their organisation and were used to having a major say in how the union is run have been pushed to the fringes.

In a rather mealy mouthed report of PCS Conference the SP's boring rag The Socialist reports:

For nearly 20 years PCS Left Unity has been the dominant political force in the civil servants' union and Socialist Party members have played a major role.

More recently, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has increasingly concentrated power in his hands with support in the union's full-time officialdom and from elements within Left Unity.

In other words we want our ball back.

The Socialist Party organised a fringe meeting bringing down Socialist Party general Secretary Peter Taffe to boost the morale of the remaining sect members. Takings were well down in their collection which usually went over a grand.

Meanwhile the bitterness of the now effective leader of the tiny Socialist Party contingent Marion Lloyd was obvious as she wrote about Mark Serwotka's bid to get re-elected again:

....delegates, on their way to the Left Unity rally, were handed leaflets by prominent Left Unity national committee members announcing Mark Serwotka's re-election campaign.

The Socialist Workers Party, who were first in the line of those handing out leaflets, had no answer to the question: "What democratic process did this go through?"

Serwotka, astonishingly given his backing for a non-Left Unity candidate in the assistant general secretary campaign, spoke at the rally and made clear that the pre-emptive announcement of his candidature was exactly that.

The Left Unity national committee members handing out the Serwotka leaflet are obviously expecting some sort of coronation but this will not be acceptable to most activists who will demand a democratic election process to determine who will be the Left Unity candidate.

Are the Socialist Party are possibly thinking of challenging Mark Serwotka the failed messiah of trade unionism? Will Baugh make a bid for the top seat? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile we'll hear a lot about "PCS officialdom" from the Socialist Party who now seek to rebuild an opposition. Their depleted ranks would suggest otherwise.

Stop laughing at the back....

Thursday, 30 May 2019

New Music: Shakespears Sister

Recently Bananarama made a comeback with a single Stuff Like That which I thought was rather catchy and being a long term fan went and got the album. However there was one "banana" missing, Siobhan   who I discovered has got back together with Marcy to release a new single from Shakespeares Sister.

Being a fan of them as well I thought I'd share this release for your listening pleasure! All the Queen's Horses is available on download only sadly(I want a vinyl copy girls!) but is also on their new album The Singles 1988 to 2019. Given this is their first single for 27 years the title is a bit cheeky really ladies.

More info at: /

Monday, 27 May 2019

The party is far from over for Change UK

The results of the Euro elections came as no surprise in the end yesterday. The Brexit Party came out as the biggest winners and the Liberal Democrats eclipsed Labour as expected. The Greens also did well winning an extra 4 seats probably as the result of a general disillusionment amongst the younger left wing voters who felt betrayed by Corbyn. The Tories were virtually wiped from the board.

For me of course the big but anticipated disappointment was the low performance of Change UK who got just under 4% of the vote nationally though 5.3% in London where it had been expected to do better and was the one hope of an MEP for the new party.

A slow start, some might say stalled beginning that does not bode well for the new party. It's performance will worry both the current MP's and those that have been reported to be considering defecting from the Tories. Of course they still could but the risk factor is now greater.

The current leader of Change UK, Heidi Allen caused some consternation after her interview in which she seemed quite clearly to be looking towards a future merger with the Liberal Democrats, though did admit this was not shared by her colleagues. This caused distress and arguments on the pages of more than one Change UK Facebook forum .

Whilst Change UK remains a minor player without any actual organisation on the ground with no actual members or policy making process the party remains in a sort of "limbo" despite attracting thousands of supporters and donors, a majority undoubtedly from former Labour Party members and voters. Change UK still gained hundreds of thousands of votes in the Euro's. There remains a small but viable base upon which the organisation can be built.

Now the Euro's are over the task of building that organisation has to begin in earnest and an e-mail has been sent out stating that this will begin shortly. Like most sympathisers I wait patiently for this to begin.

The collapse of the main two traditional parties along with continuing divisions in both their ranks does open an opportunity for a new political movement. The Brexit Party is a one issue movement with no members and no organisation either. It's success has been to unite Brexiteers who feel cheated by the Government's failure to deliver Brexit.

The upcoming by-election in Peterborough will in all likelihood see a Brexit Party victory there. Labour has slipped badly and the unfortunate fact the former Labour MP disgraced herself and ended up in jail won't help them much either.

In fact Labour are in a difficult position.  The Euro-elections showed a collapse of the Labour vote even in Corbyn's own borough with the Liberals coming first. Of course votes may change in a general Election but the outlook for Labour is frankly as uncertain as the Tories though if they elect Boris Johnson as expected the Conservative Party may rise once more and regain the votes it lost to the one-issue Brexit Party.

There remains the question of a viable alternative to the main parties long term. The Liberal Democrats have been lucky but are still under performing to gain power on their own. Even if Heidie Allen had her way that would not increase their chances. In fact if the political centre is to rise again Change UK must get it's act together and become the home for disillusioned Labour Party members and supporters that it should have been in the first place.

Many people including this blogger want a new party and are not prepared to join the Liberal Democrats simply because they are not "Liberals". An electoral pact is a necessity especially where there are sitting MP's, but a new politics must lead to a pluralistic centre rather than just the one party. Change UK must be built and remain a separate entity. The Liberals swallowed up the SDP and Change UK must not go the same way.

There remains a lot of work to be undertaken in the coming months. It will not be easy and there will be disagreements. Heck I've had some already! However the centre can and must be rebuilt with a radical outlook on both domestic and international policy to offer voters the chance to fix Britain's broken politics.

Change UK will be part of that process if those of us who support it pull together and create the organisation that can replace the tired old political system that has got the country in the mess it is. Join us in that task.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Boris and Corbyn are no choice at all

Wiki Loves Mett P1020874.JPG
Pigs Ears: Photo By Fridolin Freudenfett

I woke up and caught the end of McDonnell whining on Radio 4 about "extremists" in a reference to the Conservatives. Too tired to laugh I just scowled, like most people not at my best first thing in the morning. Even the cat decided to start screeching, though her demand to be fed  inspired me to put the coffee on and consider the future after May.

It's highly likely the erratic Boris Johnson will become the next Prime Minister judging by the reaction of grassroots Tories. They will want to woo back the millions that have chosen to vote for the Brexit Party in the Euro elections in attempt to save their party from extinction.

Meanwhile The Quisling Jeremy Corbyn is calling for a general election in the hope his unruly mob can form the next government. Not going to happen yet. Boris despite his demeanour is no fool even if he acts like one. Boris will want to establish his firm hand on both his party & the nation over Brexit and will more than likely lead us to a "No Deal" exit which may be good for his party but would be bad for the nation despite what the "Brexiteers" say.

And that is the whole problem with the Brexit issue. David Cameron agreed to a referendum to stop a split in his party. He mistakenly and lazily thought it would be an easy win. In fact it divided the nation as do all referendums. By putting his party first he placed the nation in danger.

Theresa May will probably be seen as the worst Prime Minister this side of Chamberlain when history comes to be written. Actually it should be Cameron. he created this mess and ran away. May's attempt to resolve how Brexit implemented was never going to be an easy one and despite her tenacity she simply ran out of a political road to run on.

Now the future may hang on a man who with only personal self interest in mind decided to go for a Brexit campaign despite having openly supported the EU in his tenure as Mayor of London. Boris may have tipped the balance, we'll never really know.  The referendum was divisive from the start and has left the country in a mess. The Tories more divided than if Cameron hadn't have gone for a referendum in the first place.

Waiting in the wings is a Labour Party that not only is no longer fit for purpose, but is led by a man who proclaims pacifism whilst befriending some of the worst terrorists imaginable. The IRA, Hamas, Hezbollah and the world's dictators are amongst his causes yet he would disarm this country and be unable to to act if a major terrorist atrocity hit these shores.

His supporters led by a modern version of Lord Haw Haw in the form of the political child Owen Jones, are a rabble of undisciplined and aggressive individuals who would become authoritarian if ever handed the reins of power as their intolerance, institutional racism and misogyny show. A future would run red indeed.

The need for an alternative to these men has never been greater and yet so distant. The country is in danger and no one capable of raising Excalibur exists to save us

Time for Change in the UK.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Terrorist threat to Asia Bibi in Canada

It seems the saga of Asia Bibi is far from over as this video provided by the British Christian  Pakistani Association shows. The BCPA report:

A video which is making headway on the internet shows a man intent on killing Asia Bibi telling the world he is in Canada seeking an opportunity to murder the innocent Christian mother of five who has only recently been allowed to leave Pakistan after a 9.5 year brutal incarceration......

Though Pakistan has been relatively quiet since her release, a video has emerged of a man claiming to be in Canada and seeking to kill her to honour Islam. Worse still two of the senior leaders of Thereek-e-Labaaik who led the mass riots that brought Pakistan to a standstill after Asia Bibi was acquitted, have been released on bail for reasons of poor health - in cases that seem to have been fast-tracked. 

Asia Bibi was innocent of the charges which resulted from an argument over a cup of water whilst working:

Asia a berry-picker was beaten and raped for an alleged blasphemy offence in June 2009 when she reacted to the abusive treatment she was receiving for drinking from the same well as Muslims. While she was being beaten and berated by women colleagues she simply uttered the words 'my Christ died for me what did Muhammed do for you?' The men workers from her berry field then began their attack and returned with a mob a few days later to lynch her.

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan are abused by Islamists and others alike to rid themselves of Christians and other non-Muslims but as ways of getting out of debt.

Mobs regularly murder Christians in Pakistan.

Hopefully Canada has hidden Asia safely away from prying eyes with security keeping an eye on her.

The Islamists have no respect for life or reason, if caught this "man" should be incarcerated for life as he is too dangerous to allow to walk free.

Publishing notes from Howie

Deleted Posts:

Due to a human error, that is to say me not taking care in what I was doing when updating the blog I have accidentally deleted the last two blog posts both of which referred to the Euro-elections that took place yesterday. I have no means of restoring them and frankly they are both out of date.

The Euro-election results will be declared on Sunday night and I will pick up the issue from there.

Apologies to those of you who have accessed these via links on Facebook & Twitter to find they are no longer available.

Comments Policy:

To be honest most of the comments on my posts appear on a number of Facebook pages rather than here where they are few and far between but readers should be aware that any comments marked "Anonymous" are automatically sent to the spam filter and deleted without being read.

Any comments from "Unknown" (and are abusive) will be automatically deleted. I blog under my real name and expect my critics to reply in theirs.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

An appeal to reason

The Union Flag: a red cross over combined red and white saltires, all with white borders, over a dark blue background.

I was reminded that whilst the Tories erred during Britain's Darkest Hour that Labour was at the forefront of promoting Winston Churchill to the forefront of British politics in order to save this country.

Halifax and Chamberlain plotted from the wings to negotiate with those that would bring this country down. Traitors to the core, Halifax remained one until the end.

How different politics is today. Neither of the two parties can be trusted with this countries future. The Tories are divided under an incompetent Prime Minister whist the spirit of Halifax has resurrected itself in Jeremy Corbyn who would likewise appease only the enemies of democracy.

Politics is in crisis and our political system is broken. Whether we stay in Europe or not the issue will not go away. Neither will the divisions within the two parties that dominate our political system.

There is a need for an alternative to the current gaggle of Victorian dandy's and Stalinist hacks at the heart of this crisis. There is a need for a new party. The Liberals have not proved themselves worthy but perhaps if we can get our act together now matter how well or how badly we do in the European elections that a new organisation can slowly be built from the ground upwards to overthrow the worn out establishment.

Change UK may not yet be that party, it may never be that party but it can be the beginning of that new way forward in politics. Support us, Join us vote for us. In time there can be new hope but patience is required to ride the coming storm of political collapse.

Monday, 20 May 2019

New Music from the Hollywood Vampires!

Taking a wee break from political blogging tonight with a live version of The Boogieman Surprise from the Hollywood Vampires (Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry) which will be their next single released on June 21st.

Their new Album Rise is also released in June. Can't wait!

More from their official website:

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Euro-Round-up: Animals, Greens and Change

Beagle image
Photo: CC BY-SA

As much as I like Eurovision it's good to be back listening to rock music this morning with Machine Head from Deep Purple blaring over my headphones as I type and the missus watches whatever that is n the television. Now it's time to move forward after that brief distraction. A success despite the efforts of the comrades trolling on-line.

This week the Euro-elections are upon us as I was reminded yesterday afternoon whilst shopping in Kensington High Street and got handed a leaflet from the Animal Welfare Party. One group who hadn't delivered through the door. They are standing a full slate of candidates around a programme of policies designed to protect animals.

They are only standing in London as the £5,000 deposit prevents them from standing in other regions. There are however representatives of other Animal Welfare Parties in the European Parliament. You can read heir Manifesto: here

They won't win any seats and I'm not entirely sure why they are not with the Green Party (except the Greens are actually not a very pleasant organisation these days so maybe they are better off) but their Manifesto contains many policies with which I can agree and some which I cannot. A move to vegetarianism is not suitable for people like me who have to eat a low fibre diet for medical reasons. And there are a lot like me out there besides the fact I have no moral objection to eating animals for food.

Breeding them for fur is another thing. That goes for testing on Animals. Not necessary at all. The Body Shop doesn't do it and I was interested to hear that L'Oreal uses lab grown human skin for testing which is a relief as I use their range for men.

I was sad to read in The Metro that:

A new puppy farm has been given the go ahead in Britain, where puppies are specifically bred for animal testing. The facility will open in Grimston, near Hull, and will breed Beagles for vivisection and drug test experiments. 

It will be Britain’s second facility for breeding beagles to be cut open and experimented on while still alive. The other facility is in Harlan, Cambridgeshire, which breeds around 3,000 beagles for animal testing each year.

So unnecessary and cruel. 

Meanwhile as loyalties change even Lord Heseltine has switched to supporting the Liberal Democrats who are polling well in the run up to the vote on Thursday. However it is the populist Brexit Party that is the run away success in these elections.

There is still time for Change UK to establish itself on the political scene though it's obvious the impact of remainer voters turning to the Lib Dems will make a serious impact on the new party's performance. The organisation needs to get it's act together after the Euros as there remain thousands of disgruntled and politically homeless activists needing a new party before the next general election.

British politics is broken. Time for Change.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Eurovision 2019: Stuff the Boycott! Australia to win!

The Eurovision song contest is due to be broadcast from Tel Aviv at 8pm this evening and is destined to be a spectacular event with  not just the usual fun of the contest but a headline performance by Madonna, Queen of pop!

There have been attempts by racists, the so-called anti-Zionists and the left to call on people to boycott the contest.  Funny they are not calling for a boycott of China who are throwing millions of Muslims into "re-education camps". It's always just Israel They can get stuffed. Israel is here to stay!

In the mean time I've placed a bet on Australia to win. It's pure "Eurovision". My other favourite was Roumania but they didn't make the final...such is the vagary of voting.

Lets make Eurovision a success!

Friday, 17 May 2019

PCS: Socialist Party become bad losers

Socialist Party logo

For months the infighting between the remaining members of the Socialist Party and it's erstwhile allies inside the PCS Left Unity electoral alliance led to the defeat of Chris Baugh the useless and now former Assistant General Secretary of the largest civil service union the PCS. Once the largest faction and in many ways de-facto control of the union the Socialist Party have been reduced to just 2 members of the National Executive Committee.

The old Militant tendency have not taken this defeat and loss of control and prestige well:

Chris came second with 5,796 votes to John Moloney, candidate of the union's 'Independent Left' grouping, who received 6,211 votes. Lynn Henderson - supported by general secretary Mark Serwotka, the Socialist Workers Party, 'Socialist View', and much of the union officialdom - came third on 5,588 votes.

But importantly, on many key industrial issues, the big differences were between Chris Baugh and John Moloney on one hand, and Serwotka, Socialist View, the SWP and Henderson on the other. For example, Chris and John had similar positions on union democracy, the need for lay control and accountability, and for an open-minded and inclusive approach in shaping the pay campaign and strike ballots.

Not sure the Independent Left would agree about democracy or much else that the bureaucrats of the Socialist Party stood for but the comrades continue:

Seen in this light, the combined vote for Chris Baugh and John Moloney clearly represents a massive rejection of Serwotka and his supporters. Moloney must now deliver on his promises. Union members will be looking for him to stand up to what appears to be the leadership's bureaucratic trajectory.

Henderson, in a statement on her blog after her defeat, claimed "the vote is a rejection of the Socialist Party, its control of the AGS post, and Chris Baugh's conservatism." But nothing could be further from the truth.

Henderson forgets she came third in this election. The reality is that Chris and Moloney's vote is a rejection of the approach and methods of Mark Serwotka, Lynn Henderson, and their supporters.

How the SP can even begin to see their votes in the same light as Maloney's will always be a mystery. The Independent Left broke away from left Unity in the days when it was known as the Socialist Caucus. One of their (legitimate) complaint was the bureaucratic and exclusionary way in which Let Unity had become an electoral machine to simply re-elect union grandees .

Of course the grandees had powers of appointment to juicy full time posts in the union and lots of Socialist party members found themselves earning a crust well above that of the members they purported to represent. Not even Baugh when he was AGS lived on an average civil service salary.

Neither did or does Mark Serwotka.... 

Still the Socialist Party did nothing about this when they were the officialdom. They've simply lost to others after all these years. Their hard core members have drifted off to "Socialist View" and other than selling papers at NEC meeting maid Marion (Lloyd) will be reduced to ranting ineffectively from the back benches only able to muster one other vote for Taffe's now rapidly declining sect.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

UK call-to-action: Invite your MP to Parliamentary Meeting on West Papua, June 4

Cross post from the Free West Papua Campaign

On Tuesday June 4, the UK-based All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua (APPG) will be holding a meeting in the Palace of Westminster.

We are aiming to get as many MPs in attendance as possible to hear about the latest situation in West Papua.

Please write to your MP inviting them to the APPG. You can find a template letter to send here, and find your MP’s email address here.

Speakers at the APPG meeting will include:
  • Alex Sobel MP, Chair of the APPG on West Papua;
  • Benny Wenda, Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua;
  • Jennifer Robinson, Co-Founder of the International Lawyers for West Papua;
  • Peter Prove, Director of International Affairs at the World Council of Churches;
  • Dreli Solomon, First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Vanuatu, Brussels.

The APPG meeting comes off the back of the historic first-ever House of Commons debate on West Papua, held on May 8. West Papua has been the subject of a stream of debate interventions, written questions and motions in the UK Parliament this year.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Don't write off Change UK yet

There has been much talk in the media and on line about the apparent decline of Change UK the new party formed by MPs breaking from both the Labour and Conservative parties. Despite strong initial showings in the polls the Change UK share of the vote has declined across a number of polls as the Liberal Democrats attempt to mop up the "Remainer" vote.

It's hardly surprising that the Lib Dems are enthusiastic about their prospects following their huge successes in the local elections. Change UK did not contest these as the organisation remains somewhat in limbo having only formally been registered as a political party barely a month ago. It still has no actual members, branches or structures. The effort has been concentrated on the European elections.

As a "remain" party, Change Uk had hoped to establish itself and may still poll well enough to get one or two MEPs for what they are worth in what is seen by most as a wasteful election when there is so much else to spend money on. However the remainers don't want to leave the EU despite the referendum result.

The push for a second vote has divided the major parties. Labour is both pro-brexit and pro-remain at the same time though Corbyn has been ideologically committed against this "capitalist club" since the beginning. As a result of this mess a single issue populist party under Nigel Farage has established itself as the potential winner of the Euro-elections with the Tories being pushed into third place.

Change UK has committed itself to a divided cause and has ended up competing with two well established and organised parties. Both the Lib Dems and the Greens are doing better and that is unlikely to change in the next week or so as we head towards the actual vote.

I will be voting for Change UK. This blog will support Change UK. I would have preferred to stay in the EU but have consistently said I accept the result of the referendum. I will support Change UK not because of Europe it's because I want an alternative to the Labour party which is what has been needed since Labour was hijacked by Corbyn and his three quid disciples.

Sky News reports that former Labour MP Bridget Prentice quit labour:

On a "Corbyn cult", Ms Prentice wrote: "I joined the Labour Party, not a cult. Singing 'Oh, Jeremy Corbyn' might be mildly amusing, but the inability to countenance any criticism of The Leader is not.

"Never in my life in the party has a leader not been criticised, questioned, asked to justify a position - and rightly so.

"But that's not allowed under the Corbyn cult. Anyone questioning the leadership's position is vilified; complaints sent in to the disciplinary panel like something out of a North Korean rulebook that disloyalty to the leader is a criminal offence."

Labour is no longer fit for purpose. Riddled with intolerance, racism (in the form of anti-Semitism) and abandoning women in face of the censorious trans -agenda which saw Lord Moonie quit the Labour Party this week the comrades have created a Stalinist monster of an organisation that will lead to misery, repression and poverty if ever elected.

I want Change UK to become the home for disgruntled Labour activists and the thousands that have quit since Corbyn's ascendancy. One nation Tories would also be welcome as the like of Rees-Mogg takes their party back to the eighteenth century.

There remains much enthusiasm amongst a layer of people I see daily on the three Change UK discussion groups. Some Liberal Democrat activists have been trolling these groups but they should be ignored. We are not "Liberals" and frankly neither are the Lib-Dems. There still is a Liberal party, small but committed to the old ethos of radical liberalism that the merged party abandoned. 

Change UK is co-operating with the small but reasonable Renew Party has endorsed it's candidate in the Peterborough by-election next week. After the election we have been advised that the work to set up the new party on the ground will begin. It is then the slow process of building an alternative to not just Labour but our broken political system can begin.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Madonna to defy Eurovision "boycott"

Madame X Deluxe Edition

Pop superstar Madonna is to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv this Saturday in defiance of the so-called boycott.

Y Net News reports:

In her first comment on her decision to sing at the event, Madonna said she was a supporter of all human rights.

"I'll never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be," the singer said in a statement to Reuters.

"My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace," she added.

The first of the Eurovision semi finals will be broadcast on BBC 4 tonight at 8pm. The second will be on Thursday at the same time.

One of the songs Madonna will perform will be from her new Madam X album due for release on June 14th.

Official Wesite:

Sunday, 12 May 2019

In Defence of Eurovision

Flag of Israel.svg

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The Eurovision contest starts next week beginning with the first semi-final which will be broadcast on BBC at 8pm on Tuesday 14th May presented by Scott Mills and Rylan Clarke Neil direct from Tel Aviv in Israel.

Unlike in previous years there have been calls to boycott Eurovision by the so-called anti-Zionists who wish to see the country destroyed despite the fact it is the only functioning democracy in the Middle east where people of all religions can freely worship and the LGBT can be open with their preferred lifestyles.

In neighbouring Gaza under the rule of the Hamas terrorists homosexuality is not tolerated and would see gay men and women severely punished if not murdered were there sexuality exposed in public. The same applies in all the surrounding countries.

In fact the human rights records of all of those countries and organisations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Fatah are appalling. Women are second class citizens, opposition is not tolerated and the treatment of minorities especially Christians in Egypt, Iran and Iraq is at near genocidal levels.

All this is ignored by the so-called anti-Zionist community including the main one i this country which masquerades as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. At one of it's meetings the Saudi Ambassador described Israel as a cancer needing removal to which the comrades cheered. The Saudis at the time were the only country in the world to ban women from driving. Even now women need "guardians" permission to to do this or that, even travel.

The Saudis torture and execute using the barbaric method of beheading. Even atheists risk death in this backward country ruled by an extreme version of Islam in many ways indistinct from the that imposed by the criminals of ISIS.

I could go on. Nevertheless the Saudis sit on the United Nations Human Rights Committee whilst the gay hanging, hijab enforcing oppressors of women, Iran have been elevated to the UN Women's Rights Commission. And the body expects the world to take it's edicts seriously. I think not.

The Eurovision is a non-political event to bring people together to promote peace and harmony. Nobody suggested boycotting Russia because of it's actions. The hypocrisy of the Boycotters is exposed bare as the demonstrators in London showed yesterday. The mainly white crowd of several hundred (not the thousands claimed by the PSC) were cheering on the speakers who ranted against the "gutter Jews". Their racism exposed.

Boycott the Boycotters.  Support the Eurovision contest. Stand up for democracy and against anti-Semitism. 

Israel is not perfect then what country is, especially when every so often terrorists fire hundreds of rockets at the Jewish State every so often. Israel has a right to defend itself.

My money is on Australia to win.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

PCS Union Elections: Baugh loses, Militant ousted

After months of infighting and backbiting that led to a split in the Socialist Party (Militant) in it's strongest union base over support for the useless Chris Baugh the election has finally taken place. As widely expected the split in the "Left Unity" vote in a three way election allowed  Independent Left  candidate John Maloney to win the post of Assistant General Secretary.

In a statement to to the members the PCS Guru General Secretary, Mark Serwotka laughingly stated:

“Congratulations to John Moloney on being elected as the PCS AGS. I look forward to working with John in meeting the many challenges facing PCS members in the years ahead.

Commiserations to the unsuccessful candidates, Chris Baugh and Lynn Henderson. Chris has served the union as AGS for 15 years and made a significant contribution to PCS in that time, and previously as an activist in the union. I wish him well for the future."

Yeah right. Serwotka was behind the move to oust Baugh by replacing him with former PCS president Janice Godrich. This led to Baugh being removed as the official Left Unity candidate, caused a split in the Socialist Party and the creation of yet another Trot faction, Socialist View. Janice however became too ill to continue and Baugh managed to regain Left Unity's backing but Serwotka put up full timer Lynn Henderson as his preferred bag carrier.

As usual the turnout in the PCS elections was derisory, though slightly up on last year to just 10.5%. This means that the new AGS John Maloney has a mandate of just 3.7% of the total membership which has declined to around 165,000 under the far-left's rule.

How easy John Maloney and Serwotka manage to work together remains to be seen. Both are in the Labour Party. Both support Corbyn  but Maloney (a member of the Alliance for Workers Liberty) has much better positions on issues such as anti-Semitism and the Middle East which may not seem like much of interest to ordinary PCS members but the PCS union devotes a considerable amount of it's time and money promoting the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

No wonder it's membership has declined and most members disconnect with the politics of the union.

The National Executive Committee elections saw just 3 Independent Left members elected with the rest going to Left Unity and their fellow travellers. No change there except the Socialist Party is no longer the major influence. 

Friday, 10 May 2019

Musical Interlude - Donovan

I noticed it was Donovan's birthday in The Times today (he's 73) and had a number of hits in the sixties but doesn't seem to get much airplay these days. Maybe I just don't listen to the "right" stations (Planet Rock and occasionally Radio Caroline are my preferred choices for music). I do like his songs so here to celebrate is one of my favourites: The Hurdy Gurdy Man.

Peterborough by-election antics

The Renew Party

Following the historic removal of sitting MP Fiona Onasanya via a petition from her constituents the Peterborough by-election is to go ahead. There will be no less than 15 candidates standing, though Change UK will not be among them following one of a number of controversies surrounding the nominations.

George Galloway, the greasy former Labour and Respect MP had declared his intention to stand but in a strange twist of events it turned out the not so gorgeous one was seeking to get the Brexit Party nomination in a shameless move to the right by the self proclaimed Marxist and anti-imperialist. However his hopes were dashed as the local Peterborough Today website reported:

...Mr Galloway this evening confirmed he was pulling out of the race after missing out on the Brexit Party nomination which has gone to Secret Millionaire Mike Greene.

Mr Galloway tweeted: “I tried to persuade @Nigel_Farage to support my candidacy in #Peterborough to emphasise the broad democratic alliance the campaign must be and balance the candidatures of Ms Widdecombe and Ms Rees-Mogg. Now that the #Brexit Party have named their candidate I have withdrawn my own.”

Mr Galloway had never confirmed if he was standing as an independent or with a party, although he had been rumoured to be seeking the Brexit Party nomination.

Meanwhile it turned out that the "remain" parties had been trying to agree on a joint independent candidate but this was apparently scuppered by the Labour Party. A joint statement from the groups involved was issued yesterday:

Change UK, the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats and Renew have been working hard these last few days on a joint approach to the Peterborough by-election, recognising that we need to put the country's interests first, securing a People's Vote and remaining in the European Union.

We all agreed to stand down any candidates we might field in favour of a genuinely independent - pro People's Vote and pro Remain - candidate who had expressed an interest and intention to stand.

However, senior Labour figures - senior figures campaigning for a People’s Vote - made it clear that they would strenuously disrupt the campaign and obstruct an independent candidate, driven by fears that it would harm their party in Peterborough. The candidate was left with no option.

The pro People's Vote and pro Remain third parties will continue to work together where we can in the national interest to promote the cause - this initiative marks the continuation not the end of us working together to stop Brexit.

The apparent threat from Labour, shows how shallow their claim for a "new, kinder politics" was. As with everything else it was a false promise by the far-left who have turned Labour into an enemy of democracy.

The final twist in this story was announced by the Renew Party:


Change UK - The Independent Group will not field a candidate and will support Renew for the duration of the campaign

Wednesday, 9th May: The Renew Party is delighted to announce Peter Ward as its candidate for the Peterborough by-election on 6th June.

Peter is a dedicated member of Renew who brings decades of campaigning experience and legal expertise as a distinguished barrister to Peterborough. He will stand for election to reject the lies, reform politics and remain in the European Union.

Correspondingly, Change UK - The Independent Group will not be fielding a candidate in Peterborough, instead supporting Renew for the duration of the campaign.

On his candidacy, Peter said:

“I am delighted to be fighting the upcoming by-election at a crucial time for Peterborough and the United Kingdom. The disgraced former Labour MP, Fiona Onasanya, showed massive disrespect to voters here by lying to police about her crimes. They deserve a better, honest representative in parliament ready to take radical action to reform our political system.

“Peterborough is a successful city with a history of openness. It is a multicultural place that has benefited from immigration in numerous ways, not least for helping to create a dynamic economy driven by aspirational people from all walks of life. Renew is determined to reject the lies and present a positive case for an open Peterborough in contrast to Nigel Farage’s cynical and divisive project of fear.

“I am therefore standing to represent an open Peterborough that sees strength in diversity and has a crucial role in the United Kingdom’s future. While I understand the issues that led people here to vote for Brexit, I am determined to present a positive case for the UK in Europe that sees in Peterborough the potential to reform politics for the better.”

Renew leader, Annabel Mullin, said:

“It is wonderful to be supporting Peter, a barrister and committed environmental activist who drives a cool Tesla, as someone from outside politics working to bring extraordinary change to Peterborough”.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

When far-left joins far-right

If there's one thing that is certain about British politics at the moment is that no matter where one looks there are strange alliance and extremism is seeping into the mainstream. The cause is two-fold. Brexit is the main one and although is the result of activities from the right of  the Conservative Party and the populist politician Nigel Farage.

Although nowhere near being a fascist himself Farage has come under fire for appearing on the broadcasts of one Alex Jones, a rather nasty right wing character. Amongst the things he he's discussed are "conspiracy" theories about international plots which borders on well pandering worst kind of theories that also crop up on the left with regularity.

Brexit Party.svg

Which neatly brings me to the other cause of mainstream extremism formed around the "messianic" figure of Jeremy Corbyn. Hos deluded followers include large numbers of rabid anti-Semites, not all disguised as anti-Zionists either. Corbyn is patron of the "Palestine Solidarity Campaign" which the London Evening Standard reports:

The Labour leader has been closely associated for two decades with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

PSC says it fights racism and is the largest organisation in the UK dedicated to securing Palestinian human rights.

However, close inspection of local PSC branches across the country reveals activists are sharing anti-Semitic cartoons of Jews and conspiracy theories about Israel controlling the world.

A Standard investigation found such images as a cartoon comparing Israeli Jews with white power neo-Nazis, an ugly caricature of a Jew sowing hand grenades in a field, and an image of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu bathing in Palestinian blood posing with Adolf Hitler.

All were posted in the name of local branches of the PSC, despite the organisation insisting it is “unequivocally” opposed to anti-Semitism.

Given the on-going crisis of anti-Semitism inside the Labour Party this news from those who seek the genocide of a whole nation comes as no surprise. Their slogan "From the River to the Sea" chanted by Labour Party conference delegates says it all. It is the PSC who raise this slogan and provided the flags. Heil Hamas?

Returning the question of Europe it's been known the main far-left groups voted No to Europe. Amongst then the Socialist Workers Party, both of the former Militant wings the Socialist Party  & Socialist Appeal plus the "official" Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star).

The Communist Party is currently running a campaign to boycott the Euro elections, specifically not supporting the Labour Party. Since this is Jeremy's favourite (and probably only) read he must be torn. Labour is officially pro-Europe and most members want a second referendum. The old fool himself has always been anti-EU as so many of his young "disciples" have cottoned on to and are leaving disillusioned to the core.

The futures of the young have been stolen by the combination of fools from the left and charlatans from the right. 

Flag of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist–Leninist).svg

Rumours were posted on Twitter that Galloway was aiming to be the Brexit candidate for the Peterborough by-election.  something that even another left wing group seemed to suggest when they posted this meme on their news page.

George Galloway so-called (and self appointed) saviour of the masses tweeted:

“Given the nature of Labour’s Euro-fanatic candidates list and the crucial juncture we have reached in the fight for the full implementation of the Brexit referendum result and for one-time only I will be supporting @Nigel_Farage in the next months elections. @TheBrexitParty”. (17 April 2019)

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), a breakaway from Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party (anyone remember that?) has gone the whole hog and is telling people to vote for Farage and his Brexit Party. 

Strange and sadly dangerous days indeed.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Corbyn and Anti-Semitism: An Overwhelming Indictment

Guest Post by Jeff Samuels 


Those of you who are active on social media will, like me, have repeatedly encountered the mantra "where is the evidence that Corbyn is antisemitic?". Finding myself answering this ludicrous challenge for the umpteenth time I decided to collate that which I know into a single 'indictment'. Here I share it in the hope that others find it useful.

I do not pretend that this list is comprehensive by any means. It is a work in progress and I would very much welcome any additional material that I may have inadvertently omitted or about which I am unaware. It should also be noted that the list below is restricted to events prior to September 2015 when Corbyn was thrust from back bench obscurity to Labour leader.

I have been following Jeremy Corbyn's career for more than 35 years. He first came to my attention in the early 1980s for 3 reasons:

a) He was a member of the editorial board of London Labour Briefing at the time of the Lebanon War in 1982 (see point 1. below).

b) His first act on being elected to Parliament in 1983 was to refuse to share a room with the also newly elected Tony Blair.

c) In the division lobby soon after his entry to Parliament he was punched by fellow Labour MP, Robert Kilroy-Silk.

What always struck me, apart from the sheer mediocrity of the man, was how far removed he was from what I understood to be the values of the Labour Party. Leaving aside the not insignificant and repellent cheer-leading for the IRA, the evidence of the man's antisemitism seemed clear and unmistakable. His apparent discomfort with mainstream jewry contrasted sharply with his seeming at ease with those who hate and indeed seek to kill us.

File:Yellowbadge logo.svg

So, as the left war cry goes, what is the evidence?

1. Commissioned and published a cartoon grotesquely showing Menachem Begin in SS uniform (swastika replaced by magen david) standing over a pile of corpses under the caption "The Final Solution".

2. A long term supporter of and contributor to Deir Yassin Remembered, founded by one Paul Eisen, an unambiguous holocaust denier. There is clear evidence to refute Corbyn's assertion before the Home Affairs Select Committee that once he learned of Eisen's real character he ceased all involvement.

3. Invited Raed Salah to the House of Commons for tea. Apparently he deserved it because he is an "honoured citizen who represents his people extremely well". Salah is a convicted blood libeller. According to him Jews (nb not Zionists or Israelis but jews) kill non Jewish children and use their blood to bake matza. Now where have I heard that before!?

4. Intervened in the Church of England Synod's disciplinary proceedings against the Rev Steven Sizer who had inter alia asserted that 9/11 was a Mossad operation. According to Corbyn Sizer's principled stand was what was causing him to be victimised for "daring to stand up to the Zionist lobby" and that he was "not remotely antisemitic".

5. On one of his appearances on the Iranian government funded Press TV Corbyn himself mooted that in relation to an Islamist attack on Egypt he could "see the hand of Israel". Needless to say he did not substantiate that claim with a shred of evidence; just a knee jerk antisemitic conspiracy theory.

6. Also on Press TV described men guilty of the murder of Jews as "brothers" about whom he expressed concern for their welfare.

7. Referred to both Hezbollah and Hamas as "friends", the latter being apparently dedicated to "long term peace and political and social justice". As in 1. above this was in the context of another invitation for tea. According to Corbyn there could be no more appropriate use of Commons' facilities. In addition, in the same speech, he suggested that to label them as terrorist organisations was an "historic mistake" and indeed he has consistently campaigned for them to be removed from the list of proscribed organisations.

8. In a recently unearthed article written in 2009 at the time of the first Gaza conflict Corbyn asserted that the BBC was subject to "incredibly high" levels of influence by the Israeli government and that US foreign policy was dictated and controlled by Israel.

9. Laying of a wreath in honour of the masterminds of the Black September massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at Munich in 1972.

10. Back home he added his name to a campaign to end Holocaust Memorial Day as currently constituted, criticising its emphasis on what has been described as the "Jewish holocaust" to the detriment of "all other holocausts".

11. As if to reinforce 10. above he facilitated an event in Parliament designed to equate the Holocaust with the situation in Gaza.

12. "Despite having lived here most if not all of their lives they don't understand English irony".

13. Objected to the removal of a patently antisemitic mural by Mear.  One expressing his sympathy with the artist while failing to address or even notice the hooked nose bankers at a table resting on the backs of the world's poor.

14. Member of the Palestine Live Facebook group riddled with holocaust denial and inversion, Rothschild conspiracy theories etc

15. Long term patron of PSC despite it being a cesspit of 14. above.

16. Wrote a 3500 word foreword to a reprint of Hobson's imperialism gushing in its fulsome praise. Not a word about the appalling antisemitism underpinning the theory endorsed by Corbyn. The title of one chapter "Economic Parasites" was not enough to attract the attention or the ire of this self professed lifelong anti-racist and militant opponent of antisemitism.

Whenever I have countered the "where's the evidence?" nonsense with some or all of the foregoing I have been met with abuse, single line dismissals or no response. Not once has anyone been able to refute any of the particulars.

Were this an actual indictment one would be advising Corbyn that the case against him was overwhelming.

Monday, 6 May 2019

The Euro elections begin. Time for Change in the UK


The first election leaflet arrived through my door on Saturday as the various political parties began to campaign for the Euro-elections taking place on May 23rd. The local elections had only just finished and were surprisingly more interesting than expected. The routing of the Tories combined with setbacks for the Labour Party has started to wear down the two party system.

The Liberal Democrats won over 700 seats and the various Independent Candidates manged to obtain well over 600, Even the Green Party managed an advance with some 165 new councillors. Meanwhile UKIP found itself nearly wiped out. The For Britain Party fielded 40 candidates winning two seats, though lost it's sitting councillor to the Tories.

Voters have shown their disdain for the two main parties whose parliamentary antics have impressed no one. The public may be divided on Brexit but one thing is for certain most people are just sick of the arguments that have dominated the news. Thing is all this is far from over.

The Euro-elections will likely be a disaster for the Tories and it is far from certain that Labour will fare well either . This time voters will have the opportunity to vote for two new political parties. The leaflet that arrived through my door was from the Brexit Party which is already leading in the polls. Nigel Farage will seriously damage the Conservative vote and attract support from elsewhere.  UKIP is likely to disappear off the scene as the campaign steams ahead.

Renew Party logo.png

The Lib Dems whilst having reestablished themselves on the political scene may not do so well as they face competition not just from the existing parties but a resurgent Green Party and an unknown factor in the form of Change UK who are on around 9% nationally but polling higher in London which may result in the Lib Dems slipping back in the capital.

Change UK has already been on the streets and rallies have been held in London and more are due in Nottingham tomorrow with Norwich and Manchester to follow. Change UK has also linked up with the centrist Renew Party who have four candidates on the joint list.


People’s vote and remain rally – Nottingham

Crowne Plaza Nottingham, Wollaton Street, Nottingham NG1 5RH

Monday, May 6, 2019

12:45 PM — 2:00 PM


The opportunity exists to establish a new politics in this country. The old system is broken with a seriously weak and divided Conservative Party who have put their internal factionalism before the country's best interests which led to the disastrous referendum in the first place. Meanwhile the Labour Party has been taken over a by concoction of old hard leftists from the the far left and a blinkered younger following who thought they saw a saviour in the form of Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn of course has proved himself inept in dealing with his own party unable to control his own followers who have split asunder as so many of them are Remainers whilst the old fool himself has ardently been against the "capitalist European Union" since the beginning. Under his leadership Labour has allowed anti-Semitism to seep into the political mainstream to the point where it is being investigated by the Equality Commission. The only other political party to undergo such an examination was the BNP.

The combination of the far-left with what they define as the far-right under Farage to obtain Brexit sees former members of the Revolutionary Communist Party not only support but stand candidates on the Brexit Party slate. Corbyn's mates in the Communist Party of Britain who publish his daily read The Morning Star are boycotting the Euro-elections.

British politics is in a mess. The time has come to build a new politics. That has had a beginning with the creation of Change UK which I invite readers to support and vote for on May 23rd. I will be on the streets of Putney campaigning for them today.

Go to: Change UK  for further information and check out this short video from the London Rally below.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Gaza Missile Attacks on Israel

We Believe in Israel   

Message from:Luke Akehurst, Director, We Believe in Israel

Israel has been under attack since yesterday morning. As of 17:00 on Sunday more than 600 missiles have been fired into Israel and four Israeli civilians have been killed. Our colleagues at BICOM have prepared this special bulletin to help you understand the situation.

What has happened?
On Friday, violent demonstrations erupted on the Gaza border and two IDF soldiers were shot by Palestinian snipers, most likely from Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Israel responded by bombing a Hamas position killing 3 operatives.

In response Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched a brutal and indiscriminate wave of missile attacks. More than 600 missiles have now been fired at southern Israeli communities and cities as far as Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Beersheva. The IDF in response attacked approximately 250 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets including terrorist cells that were firing rockets, tunnels, military compounds, homes of senior Islamic Jihad commanders, weapons depots and factories owned by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Hamas said that 11 people had been killed in Gaza, including a pregnant mother and her 18-month old daughter although Israel said the mother and baby were killed by a Hamas missile that misfired and most of these other fatalities were fighters. Earlier today Israel carried out a targeted strike on a senior Hamas leader, Hamdan El Hadary, who was in charge of receiving funds from Iran.

Three people have been killed in Israel. One 60 year old man when a missile hit his home, a factory worker when a missile hit his workplace in Ashkelon and another Israeli man was killed when a Kornet anti-tank missile was fired at his van near Kibbutz Erez. There are unconfirmed reports of another two Israeli deaths.

Israeli communities as far north as Rehovot have spent the weekend in shelters. Today the oncology department at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon was hit by missile shrapnel and the hospital was partially evacuated.

Talks between senior Hamas officials and Egyptian representatives are ongoing in Cairo to agree a potential cease-fire.

The international community has criticised Hamas. The State Department said the US supported Israel’s right to defend itself and the European Union called for an immediate halt to the missile fire from the Gaza Strip. Foreign Office Minister Mark Field said he was “deeply saddened by the civilian deaths in Israel and Gaza over the past 24 hours.” adding that “Hamas’ indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli communities are totally unacceptable. Strongly support UN efforts to de-escalate the situation.”

Why now?

In late-March Israel and Hamas reached an informal understanding via Egyptian mediation in which Hamas would cease violent attacks on the border and in return Israel would allow in cash from Qatar, incease the supply of fuel and power, open the border crossings and increase the fishing zone. The deal appeared to have led to much reduced violence but there were disagreements over whether each side had fully implemented their commitments.

There are two main reasons why hostilities escalated yesterday.

Timing: Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza are aware that Israel is approaching a sensitive period of public events - Memorial Day (Tuesday night / Wednesday) and Independence Day (Wednesday night / Thursday) and that next week thousands of visitors are expected to arrive for the Eurovision Song Contest. Hamas and Islamic Jihad felt they had an opportunity to force Israel to agree to a ceasefire deal with better terms for Gaza, particularly regarding the entry of more Qatari money into Gaza. This was due to a belief that Israel would not launch a ground offensive or a full scale war. There are also sensitive dates approaching on the Palestinian side - Ramadan begins tonight and on 14 May Palestinians mark the anniversary of events in Israel's war of independence that they call 'Nakba Day'.

Increased Islamic Jihad activism: Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has a new leader, Ziyad al-Nakhalah who is based in Damascus, and who is taking orders from Iran, wants to try and engage Israel in renewed and intensive hostilities in order to give Iranian forces in Syria greater room to operate. The theory being that if Israel is engaged in Gaza it won't be able to carry out operations in Syria.

What happens next?

Israel has experienced a number of periods of heightened conflict with Gaza in the last year. This peaked in November when more than 500 missiles were fired from Gaza, and Israel responded with strikes against 160 targets in Gaza. At that time, the two sides pulled back from the brink and agreed a ceasefire. Israel opted to focus on Hezbollah tunnels in the north and the (winter) weather was restricting Air Force operations. But none of these factors apply now. On Saturday, the IAF hit a Hamas post killing 3 operatives, and on Sunday, Israel targeted a group of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists who were inside a weapons warehouse in the southern Gaza Strip.

While it remains a truism that neither Israel nor Hamas want a full-scale war and actions by both sides are often carefully calibrated, in the current situation, the IDF is gearing up for the potential of several days of combat and is deploying another armoured brigade to the Gaza border.

Looking foward, there will be two ways to evaluate the seriousness of escalations:

1. The targets being hit. Are missiles being fired into southern Israel or also towards Tel Aviv and its surrounding areas? And what sort of targets is Israel hitting in response? Israel killed a senior Hamas leader today, will they do this again?

2. The number of casualties. If large numbers of Israeli civilians are killed then the Israeli Government will be compelled to launch a more extensive response. Equally if large numbers of Palestinian civilians are killed in Israeli airstrikes, or large numbers of terrorist operatives, then missile attacks on Israel will be increased.

We will keep you updated as events unfold, and alert you if we need you to take action, such as writing to your local MPs.

Our thoughts are very much with the people of Israel at this difficult moment.

Musical Interlude: Ghost

The local elections are over the Euro elections are about to begin but it's a Bank Holiday weekend and everybody, bloggers included need a rest so no post yesterday and just a quick one for now. Normal service will resume in due course.

Being an atheist I thought it time for something a little irreligious.

Take it away Ghost..with Year Zero

More from:

Friday, 3 May 2019

Night of the small parties

Liberal Democrats logo 2014.svg

It was obvious from the start that these local elections were going to be bad for the Conservatives but less predicted how badly the Labour Party would do. At the time of writing the Tories had lost some 400 seats whilst Labour had lost 85 when they had been expecting gains. Of course there are still an enormous amount of results to declare this afternoon.

The winners last night were the Liberal Democrats who so far have gained 320 councillors, the Greens gained 42 and interestingly the Independents picked up around 138 seats. Even the tiny Liberal Party gained a seat as did Anne-Marie Waters For Britain party who won a seat in Hartlepool.

For Britain Party logo.png 

The local elections in Hartlepool also saw Arthur Scargill's almost forgotten Socialist Labour Party stand candidates one of which pushed the Tory into fourth place after gaining 241 votes in a ward overwhelmingly taken by UKIP in one of their few overnight victories.

Also losing out were UKIP who have slumped in the polls as Farage establishes his Brexit Party and had a net loss of 54 seats so far. They didn't contest as many as last time but that shows the current weakness of UKIP  which under George Batten has swung to the far-right.

  Change UK Logo 2.png

Neither the Brexit Party or Change UK were set up soon enough to prepare for the local elections and some councillors who defected from Labour have not stood again. Both these groups will make their debuts in the European Elections. Nigel Farage has promised to contest the now vacant seat of Peterborough. It is a seat they could win as is Hartlepool apparently.

These local elections have shown a disdain for the main two parties and although the Conservatives are getting punished, Labour has not benefited and remains nowhere near where they need to be to form the next government.

After fudging on Brexit and the anti-Semitism crisis Labour have not won the confidence of the public. In the long term we could see the break up of the old two party system. Of course pundits have predicted that before but could this be the moment British politics changes?

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Fast defying protests for Ramadan

Cross-Post from Maryam Namazie

In past years, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) has held fast-defying protests at embassies in solidarity with those who are persecuted for eating and drinking during Ramadan.

This year, CEMB's fast-defying action will include a protest at the Department for Education on 17th May at 12pm.

The 17 May protest at the Department for Education aims to highlight the Department's inaction with regards to child fasting in schools during Ramadan. Child fasting should be banned as it is harmful to children.If a child is sent to school without breakfast and not allowed to eat lunch or drink water whilst going about their normal school day for an entire month, this would rightly trigger safeguarding procedures and be considered a form of neglect. However, when it comes to BME children of religious parents, the Department for Education readily turns a blind eye.

Being forced to not eat or drink water for an entire month for 12+ hours a day is clearly harmful to children and child development. It causes sickness, dizziness, migraines, sunstrokes, lack of focus and tiredness as a result of dehydration or lack of sustenance. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, anger, apathy, reduced alertness, diminished comprehension... Children have been known to faint at school as a result.

Adults, of course, can fast if they choose. It's important to remember that there is a corresponding right NOT to fast if one chooses not to. Nonetheless, when it comes to children, imposing fasting rules is child abuse and neglect.The Department for Education has a duty of care for school children and must act immediately to put child welfare above any religious demands of parents.


More details here:…/ramadan-fast-defying-protes…/


17 May, 12pm

Fast defying protest outside Department for Education, 20 Great Smith St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BT

1st June, 1pm

Ramadan Fast-Defying Picnic for ex-Muslims. 

To join picnic, please email

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

One Million Views On, Time For Change?

Bored with Brexit, dismayed with Labour under Corbyn, concerned about Islamic terrorism, the rise of a violent ultra-right and the attacks on freedom of speech coming from all directions continue to motivate me to blog past my retirement.

The world is a wonderful place as I have discovered over sixty years on this planet especially following my own brush with death back in late 2017. I appreciate the extended lease of life awarded me by the fine people of the NHS. There's plenty of books, movies, comics and much music for me to enjoy.

At the same time the world we share is under threat from those who wish to do us harm like ISIS and those who would who betray us like Corbyn. They are not the sole threats but two that stand out to me. Perhaps it's because I'm Jewish, albeit an atheist one.

Since I am no longer a trade union activist this blog has represented my main method of trying to influence the world around me but even as Howie's Corner passes the Million Page View count this week, it remains little more than a ripple in the political ocean around me.

The long break in publication whilst I spent eight months in hospital made it hard work to recover a readership. Gradually the views have gone up but still mostly average half of what they were except during last years Labour Party conference when an audience was found for a while.

The nature of this blog did change as my disillusionment with politics grew but finally I have seen a glimmer of hope for the future. The establishment of Change UK by MP's breaking away from both the Labour and Conservative parties.

It's very early days yet and we will have to wait for the party to organise itself as the Euro-elections (for what they are worth) approach. The polls indicate some 10% may vote for us rising to 17% in London.  The need for an alternative to the main two parties has never been greater and the ability of people from across the past political spectrum to start to co-operate is a good start.

I admit I have been impatient to get involved. As we wait the outcome of the local elections tomorrow (which will probably be marred by a low turnout as Tories stay at home and Labour voters will be either their usual sluggish selves or abstain as many who have left may do) there is more reason to be hopeful about the Euro-elections.

The Brexit Party may be polling well but it is a one trick pony, only Change UK has a real long term future and that is something I will commit myself to in the coming months.

However this blog whilst fully supporting the Change UK project will remain independent and I have no intention of moderating my views on the controversial issues of the day. I want Change UK to be a radical party of the centre, not a moderate party. I've never been "moderate" about anything I do.

That includes my music so here's some Deep Purple to celebrate what I hope will be a new era with a classic from the past.