Thursday, 29 October 2020

Jeremy Corbyn suspended from Labour Party for his anti-racism

 

 

The transparent motive behind this cynical campaign is to demonize Corbyn, not because he's a 'fucking anti-semite' (Margaret Hodge), butbecause he's a principled champion of Palestinian rights. PROF NORMAN G FINKELSTEIN
 
 

This demonisation has centred around charges that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite, who in the words of the former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “has given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate”, adding, “Now, within living memory of the Holocaust, and while Jews are being murdered elsewhere in Europe for being Jews, we have an anti-Semite as the leader of the Labour Party and Her Majesty’s Opposition.”

 

 
      One of those countries where anti-semitism is growing is Victor Orban's Hungary. Wait a minute. Orban was recently an honoured guest of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government.

 

 
      In our own country The Middle East Forum, a pro-Israel conservative think tank were funding Nazi Tommy Robinson when he was in prison. In the words of their Director, Gregg Roman, who has worked in Israel's Defence and Foreign Ministries, “We are helping Robinson in his moment of danger ... to fund his legal defence … and bringing foreign pressure on the UK government to ensure Mr. Robinson’s safety and eventual release ...”

 

 
      MEF previously funded far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ legal defence, against Dutch charges of inciting racial hatred.
Despite knowing all this, we must prove that we are not anti-semitic before we criticise Zionism or Israel. Let’s do it.

 

 
      My father was one of the first Allied doctors to enter Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The photos he made there, and later showed me of the skeletal prisoners, scarred my young mind. It was those haunting pictures that led me to a lifetime of anti-fascism. As a teenager I took part in street fights with the British Movement, forerunners of the British National Party, the National Front and today's Israeli-backed Nazi, Tommy Robinson.

 

 
      But my opposition to Zionism now makes me 'anti-semitic.” 
I am in good company. Albert Einstein said, “The (Israeli) state idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed … I believe it is bad.”

 

 
      Primo Levi, a survivor of Auschwitz, said, “Everyone has their Jews and for the Israelis they are the Palestinians”.

 

 
      Then there is Marek Edelman, one of the leaders of the1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising. In a letter in support of the Palestine resistance, he compared them to ZOB, the Jewish fighters in Warsaw and greeted them thus, “Commanders of the Palestine military, paramilitary and partisan operations.”

 

 
      If alive today Einstein, Levi and Edelman would stand accused of anti-semitism. 

 

 
      So who are the Zionists? Founder of Zionism at the end of the 19th century and a proponent of a Jewish homeland was Theodor Herzl. He was an admirer of the British Empire and wrote to Cecil Rhodes, he of the white settler colony named after him, Rhodesia, “You are being invited to help make history … it does not involve Africa but a piece of Asia Minor, not Englishmen but Jews … I turn to you … because it is something colonial ..”

 

 
      Chaim Weizmann, who suceeded Herzl, wrote to the Manchester Guardian: “Should Palestine fall within the British sphere of influence and should they encourage Jewish settlement … we could develop the country, bring back civilisation and form a very effective guard for the Suez Canal.”

 

 
      Of the contemporary Zionists we should not forget the Evangelical Christian Right. Prayers at the US Embassy, on the day Trump moved it to Jerusalem, were delivered by Robert Jeffries, a Dallas megachurch pastor who said Hitler was sent by God to drive the Jews to their ancestral land.

 

 
      Amongst the first Jews who opposed Zionism were those who set up the Jewish Bund in Poland and Russia. They stressed the four principles of, socialism, secularism, Yiddish and doyikayt or “localness.” Doyikayt was encapsulated in the Bund slogan: “There, where we live, that is our country.”
  

The way charges of anti-semitism are being 
used in Britain to undermine the Corbyn-led 
Labour Party is not only a disgrace, but also an 
insult to the memory of the victims of the 
Holocaust. NOAM CHOMSKY



      “We Bundists”, wrote one of their early leaders, Viktor Alter, “wish to shatter the existing economic frameworks and show the Jewish masses how a new society can be built not by escape, but by struggle. We link the essence of the Jewish masses’ life to that of humankind.”

 


My support for the Palestinian cause is fiercer 
because I am Jewish. MIRIAM MARGOLYES
 



      Their contemporaries can be found in Jewish Voice for Labour, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jewish Voice for Peace and in the words of Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Miriam Margolyes and Alexei Sayle.

 
      If opposition to Israel is a definition of anti-semitism then add me to this list along with Corbyn’s mum and my dad. She was blocking Mosley’s fascists at Cable Street in the 1930s, while the Daily Mail, who are today leading the demands for Corbyn to resign as Labour leader, was lauding Mussolini and Hitler.

 
      It's long past time to call out these people for who they are. 

 

 
                                          No PasarĂ¡n!



The propaganda that's thrown against Jeremy 
Corbyn is digraceful. Until he appeared you 
had to vote for one kind of Oxbridge twat or 
another, people who all go to the same dinner 
parties. ALEXEI SAYLE


If you have a few minutes to spare please watch this statement from Andrew Feinstein






 

 

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

From race track to Track and Trace

 


Boris Johnson says that £12 billion has been ‘put into the NHS’ for Covid-19 track and trace projects. This chutzpah must rate as one of the most flagrant lies in political history, up there with US President Nixon's “I am not a crook”, only to resign days later when caught out.


None of this money has gone to the NHS, but to private companies, many ofwhom are Tory friends and donors. It might not be so bad if they were businesses with health sector experiences, but they are not. They are not even given after competitive tender. Just given.


NHS laboratories have been ignored with testing handed over to Deloitte, Serco, G4S, US-based ACF Technologies, Amazon, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Palantir, Faculty A.I., Capita and many others. Serco have subcontracted their Covid contracts to Concentrix; a company hired by HMRC in 2014 to tackle fraud and error in the tax credit system. They were removed following complaints from claimants that their benefits had been reduced or halted by the firm.


Dr. David Wrigley, deputy chair of the British Medical Association, has said “NHS Test and Trace—despite its name—is not an NHS service, it’s a largely outsourced programme that sees numerous private companies given billions of pounds to run testing sites, process samples and manage contact tracing call centres.”


Professor Alan McNally, of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at Birmingham University, said it was clear “infectious disease diagnostics were going down a privatised route.”


This is all symbolised with the appointment of former jockey and jockey club board member, Dido Harding, to run the whole thing. After Tesco, Sainsburys and a disastrous spell as Chief Executive at TalkTalk, when personal details of millions of customers were exposed, Baroness Harding of Winscombe is now being paid £65,000 for a two-day week. She is overseeing the whole sorry, rotten business. Perhaps we should be grateful she’s not working a five-day week.

 

Anyone want to lay odds on how much longer we will put up with this corruption. Isn't it time for a steward's Enqury?


Friday, 23 October 2020

Let Them Eat Steak

 

 

 


Within the Houses of Parliament there are 19 restaurants and cafeterias, eight bars and one coffee bar. They are all subsidised and paid for by the taxpayer.


Speaking for the 322 MPs who voted against giving free meals for hungry kids Tory MP, Brendan Clarke-Smith, said “we do not believe in nationalising children.” Tory Minister Paul Scully bizarrely chipped in with, “children have been going hungry for years”.


After his rib-eye steak Brendan might well settle down in one of the eight bars for his whisky (£3.25) and cappuccino (£1.44) and contemplate putting in for some expenses. The 2019 UK expense list showed that more than 130,000 items were claimed by MPs that year, making a total of £22.5 million worth of expenses. That figure is a little more than the hungry children programme cost for the one-week half-term break.


Here is a sample of the items claimed from you and me that year: extra-wooly underwear, pet insurance, food for a ‘guard dog’ (a Shi Tzu), Armani jeans, regular ‘bonding sessions', a garden shed, caravan rental, betting slips, a chimney sweep, fencing for a paddock, a septic tank and a ‘drain doctor’.


I can’t go on as I feel sick and what please is a drain doctor?



Tuesday, 20 October 2020

sercochester

 


Perhaps Manchester could change the city’s name to SERCOCHESTER. Mayor, Andy Burnham, asked for £65 million from the Boris Johnson government in support of businesses and staff affected by the Covid measures, which is "the bare minimum to prevent a winter of real hardship here”. The government had no problem handing 16 times that amount to one company, SERCO, for their inept ‘track and trace’ contracts.

SERCO - Grim Beyond Belief

 

'Grim Beyond Belief' is the Independent headline reporting that Serco expects bumper profits after securing an extension to its £1 billion Test and Trace contract while delivering its worst ever performance. I have repeatedly written about how this company and other Covid-profiting corporations are proof that privatisation of the NHS is escalating. Are there words for this sort of corruption? – Yes, a crime against humanity.


Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Phew, it's still for the few


  

While drinking my first coffee of the day I read this tweet from  writer and director Guy Masterson …   I have it on good authority that at a Zoom meeting about the future of the Arts with Downing Street, Cummings told Sam Mendes that he wasn't interested and that :"the fucking ballerinas can get to the back of the queue "…

Then I saw this on my FB ...

 

 
 

 

Slightly depressed, I turned to Hannah Arendt. Fleeing Nazi Germany she knew a thing or two about the ‘banality of evil’

 

 

 

 I made another coffee and relaxed. At least Jeremy Corbyn isn’t PM.

 


 original blog at: www.davidwilson.org.uk



Sunday, 11 October 2020

Pablo Escobar would be Jealous

 


Transparency and value for money in the way public funds are spent usually require state bodies to advertise any new contract over a certain value, and invite several bidders to compete. “Because of extreme urgency and in the interests of public health”, the government has dispensed with this requirement so that Covid-19 related deals could be signed “without competing or advertising the requirement.”

 

This has opened the door to a Covid-19 bonanza for some firms.

 

Serco have now ‘won’ over £1 billion to organise Covid-19 track and trace. There now needs to be a track and trace put in place to find out how they have managed to get this money without carrying out track and trace. 

 

I doubt that many readers can conceptualise what £1 billion means. In terms of time, 1 UK billion seconds = 32 years. In physical terms you would need 720 white vans to transport that amount in cash.

 

On a smaller scale Stroud Tory councillor Steve Dechan, who runs P14 Medical, a loss-making firm distributing medical devices, recently signed a £156 million deal to import PPE from China.


This follows the news that PR firm, Hanbury Strategy, founded by a Dominic Cummings ally, has been ‘awarded’ two Covid-related contracts for £900,000 to research “public attitudes and behaviours in relation to Covid-19”.


Topham Guerin, a communications company behind the Tory party’s 2019 digital campaign strategy, was given a £3 million contract to work on Covid-19 "messaging".


Public First, a consultancy firm owned by two friends of Cummings and Michael Gove, has been given nearly £1 million for Covid-related work.


Faculty, hired by Cummings for the Vote Leave campaign, is "conducting data modelling" for £3 million.

 

None of these ‘contracts’ went out for tender. 

 

This is what happens when you privatise the state and eviscerate local democracry. 

 

It is corruption on a scale that would make Pablo Escobar jealous.

 

***


You can find further information at Open Democracy HERE and HERE