What was it all for?

Rebecca Long-Bailey, having had a lot of support to be Leader of the Labour Party, is no longer a member of the front bench;
and I wonder what principle, or value, RLB thinks she has lost her position for, given even the actor whose interview she celebrated has since retracted a part of the interview that may have added fodder to racism and anti-Semitism?

Keir Starmer chose to make tackling anti-Semitism in the Labour Party his top priority. Rebecca Long-Bailey celebrates an interview given by Maxine Peake, part of which endorses an allegation against Israeli security services, and only the Israeli security services, which means their work was responsible for the murder of George Floyd. A conspiracy theory, a smear.
RLB then recognises the claim is not true, but decides she cannot make the political gesture of withdrawing her political support for the article as a whole. So she is stood down. Supporters pile in to support RLB, claiming the right to be critical of Israel and claiming RLB’s dismissal is out of proportion.

Then Maxine Peake disowns the allegation, saying racism and anti-semitism is abhorrent.

And why is it anti-Semitic?
Cos some people do want more than it’s another conspiracy theory involving Israel.
Best explanation I’ve seen is by Sara Gibbs who says understanding why is hard to unpick and needs knowledge of context.
Summarised as “given that the accusation is demonstrably false, given that there is a widespread far-right conspiracy theory that Jews are trying to start a race war & given that there have been multiple incidents of Jews as a collective being blamed for anti-Black racism … the surrounding context makes a conspiracy theory which is … much more likely to be rooted in antisemitic sentiment.”

What happened to us liberals?

What happened to us liberals?  Celebrating a 14 day gaol sentence for the man who was caught short.

The guy convicted was drunk. He’d drunk 16 pints. (Have none of us had mates pull that stunt?) I am prepared to believe he didn’t know the memorial was there – he didn’t even know which statue he’d gone to keep open. He turned himself in (never mind what his Dad said or did.)

Why is 14 days in prison the right sentence?
Why isn’t cleaning up places through community service the correct approach?

So I’m pleased that Kevin Maguire has pointed this out.
Although he has hidden behind the remark “sickened”, even though I don’t think he knew memorial was there.

Now, the far right protestors do deserve heavy criticism and condemnation. I think they went intending to destroy statues – Gandhi’s and Mandela’s. Again I don’t know, but why try to break through Police fences and cordons to defend a Churchill status that was already boxed up?

Amazingly, the precedent for the jail sentence was 7 months for a woman who’d urinated on a war memorial – twice. Alright, that’s seems pretty premeditated, but 7 months?

And some Conservative MPs are calling for 10 years sentences for damaging statues – 10 years! I know, I know – it’s a distraction. Worry about the state, and not the freedoms and the new deal that servicemen came to fight for.

True – why not slam the “football fan” culture that has brought such ignominy to England’s reputation abroad. Indeed, I’ve chosen to publish Billy Bragg’s lyrics on the subject above. “The Few” – great lyrics, wrong key. He’d seen the nonsense of Nazi salutes in the defence of England. The lack of self-control that had led to the need for relief in very public places.

But for all that, and for all of that, the sentence is disproportionate and lacking in imagination.

Holocaust Memorial Day – 2020

All who attended were asked to collect a flower and commit to an action or act of remembrance in return.
So a quick mention for Franz Jägerstätter who featured in A Hidden Life and was killed by guillotine in Austria.

Rosemary Healy, the Lord Mayor, spoke and played viola.

Other memorable points –
1. that the individual acts of bravery against holocaust, appeared as sole acts when often more were involved and needed to be involved;
2. one forgotten act by Georg Elser who tried to blow up Hitler in Munich in 1939;
3. remember the knife attack on 5 Jews in New York in December;
4. anti-Semitism in British political life has been a problem;
5. all communities must denounce anti-Semitism;
6. many Austrians are unaware even of Mauthausen-Gusen, a concentration camp in upper Austria;
7. Many groups of people dies in the Holocaust, and there are other genocides to remember; but we must always remember the mass murder of Jews.

And of course, remember Heather Heyer.

Tony Blair’s total approach

Electric cos it’s a total view rather than here’s a policy idea I just thought of.
This ain ‘t “Freudian fixation”.
It is appreciation of a former leader with something to say, in this instance, 7 tests of what constitutes being radical with a purpose.
And guess what – I don’t agree with it all. But do think we should learn from it.

So what is the analysis?
Don’t go back in time. Do resolve to win – cos that how we enable. what the labour movement wanted from the party. We lost cos we had a leader and a manifesto that voters thought unacceptable.

And the framework?
1. Progressives win from the centre … the centre does not mean the status quo. … redefine “radical”, … fashion a new policy agenda, particularly mastery of a 21st-century technological revolution … and … from that to programmes of social justice and transformation, including on climate change and inequality. 
2. progressive politics works best when in the name of changing the world, we don’t promise the world … For many … our manifesto did not ignite hope. It ignited fear…. Free this, free that. …
3. parties that govern are not the same as protest movements. …. [winning] means appealing to people not living on the breadline, as well as those who are.
4. make it easy for people to come over to you. … our leadership was so sectarian
5. patriotism matters, … its basics … pride in our country; support for the armed forces; being strong on law and order. The progressive view … will add an emphasis on values of tolerance, equality and a commitment to social justice. But the basics can’t be absent.
6. if we denounce our own government’s record, don’t be surprised if the people conclude we shouldn’t be put back into power. …
7. decide whether it’s … about the people or about making us feel good about ourselves.

So what’s to disagree about?
1. the centre kinda is shorthand for the status quo. A better way of talking about it is to develop a new hegemony, much as New Labour did – it was just wrong on tolerance of inequality, housing and constant re-organisation of public services – but this is not a denunciation.
5. George Orwell explained patriotism better (“The Lion & The Unicorn”); but I wonder if there’s something else at play? Something like we’re always providing for those other people who don’t play by the rules. (Recent example – new housing promised in The Meadows will go to I;;heal immigrants.).

My pledges would be 1.NHS; 2. stop austerity cutting jobs; 3. re-claim tax breaks given to bankers and corporations; 4. (something on Europe – but we are such a stale of lux); 5. action on climate change.
What what to say about patriotism or its proxies beyond Blair’s basics? – Tentatively, something like helping the country out – reporting crime; not missing NHS appointments; taking part in in decision making (People’s budgets, registering to vote and voting); and George Orwell’s favourites – avoiding barbarity in the way we write and speak about others (c.f. lampooning); oh, and liking flowers.

Our Opponents attacked us on a Weakness. Go Figure.

A newly circulated graphic with Forrest Gump says – “and just like that anti-semitism wasn’t in the news anymore”.
People don’t get it. 
Jews felt themselves to be the victims of anti-Semitic attacks from Labour Party members. 
Over some time, Jezza apologises for 2 particular instances. 
He makes a general apology in August 2018.
The party acknowledges it as a problem in July 2019. It adopts the code. All after not really wanting to do it. 
So it becomes a symbol of not wanting to support victims of racism.

Then during the General Election, people attack us on a weakness. It’s what happens during a General Election. And our position is made worse cos we don’t repeat the apology already made and don’t look very nice people cos we’re under pressure. 
No amount of what-about-ery fixes this.
And Jezza’s appeal to people, especially young people is diminished, cos he doesn’t come over as the idealist that was his initial appeal on things like standing up to racism. (Same effect can be witnessed on his European Union stance.)

And then some of the apologists for the anti-Semitism circulate a graphic and people on the edge share it. 
No doubt new instances of anti-Semitism will arise. 
But it’s not in the news now because IT WAS A GENERAL ELECTION ISSUE.  
And it could have been fixed way before. 
And do you know what? It will have to be fixed. So get ready to fix it, rather than circulate rubbish like that.

Rude political graffiti

Thanks to local resident and City Councillor Rebecca Langton who has reported new graffiti – rude political graffiti, an instance of which was. shown by the N Post.
I reported an instance on Meadows Way west on 16th September.
The graffiti is not helpful.
I was surprised to see some Post readers celebrate its anti-Brexit message – followed by an exchange of abuse between Remainers and Leavers – kinda bizarre.

“It’s True, It’s True, It’s True”

Cos “It’s True”.
Go see it.
Go see “It’s True, It’s True, It’s True”.

Hey, Nottingham!
Go see it, Go see it, Go see it.
Go see it cos it compels & startles.

Go see it, cos against those cliched defences against rape charges, actually said, and more, victory.

At Nottingham Playhouse.
Last night – Saturday night.
So much more today – TO BE UPDATED.

Supporting the Hong Kong protestors from Nottingham

Angharad Roberts said “Glad to speak at this morning’s rally for #HongKongProtests in #Nottingham. Moving to hear the speeches and songs of so many young Hong Kong campaigners.”

I spoke to say that Britain and Nottingham have worked to develop partnerships with China, but the treatments of Muslims in China and of protestors in Hong Kong iss setting us back.
Thought the Sino-British Joint Declaration leaflet was particularly clear.

Video available
Photos available

Boris Johnson loses

He called an address from Downing Street but pulled his punches.
He spoke to there G7 conference to Parliament, but his jab at Jeremy Corbyn fell flat.
As he spoke, a Conservative MP crossed the floor to join the Lib Dems.
His majority of 1 was lost.
21 Conservative MPs refused to vote with him and he lost by 27.
He’s withdrawn the. whip and now his minority is 43.
He days he’ll call a General Election, but the combined opposition don’t have to agree to one, and will wait until they’re certain that No Deal can’t be passed will Parliament is not sitting.
An ERG Conservative MP claimed today that the proposed General Election Day of 14th October can’t stick because it is a Jewish holiday – and he may be right – but it just exemplified how they can’t be trusted on the date.

It’s been strange during the last few days as the language has slipped from ‘our party is the best’ to ‘we must defend the importance of accountability of the executive to Parliament’.
And if Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings think they can turn the debate into the people vs Parliament and be popular, the snap polls suggested they are wrong. He was pressed 3 times on obeying the law, despite saying he would at the second attempt, cos he muttered. his agreement like a six year old who didn’t’t want to say he was wrong.
Corbyn is apparently to suffer a setback cos he won’t yet agree to a General Election, but he should stick with it for fear of a Johnson trick and because the answer – Johnson can’t be trusted – bears repetition.