Blairite dirty tricks in British Labour

This video from London, England says about itself:

Keep Corbyn Rally – Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner, Jeremy Corbyn

27 June 2016

Several thousand people rallied outside parliament this evening, Monday, in defence of left wing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Hundreds more joined similar rallies in Newcastle and Manchester to defend Corbyn against moves by Labour MPs to get rid of him.

Labour left group Momentum, which organised the London rally said 10,000 turned out to support Corbyn. It came as Corbyn faced Labour MPs and peers inside parliament, who were meeting to debate a motion of no confidence in his leadership.

The rallies had the feel of Corbyn’s huge public meetings during his leadership election campaign last year.

Speaking at the rally in London, Corbyn reflected the reasons why many of his supporters voted for him last year. He said, “We’re absolutely the spirit of hope—not the spirit of despair”. He also said Labour supporters needed to build a “politics of unity” to beat austerity.

But the rallies were also angry and defiant. It’s incredible and appallling that just when all the attention should be on the Tories’ problems, the right has divided Labour.

Chants of “Tories out—Corbyn in” rang out across Parliament Square in London and at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle city centre.

Jeremy Corbyn coup designed to stop him ‘calling for Tony Blair’s head’ after Chilcot report, says Alex Salmond. ‘It would be a mistake to believe that Chilcot and current events are entirely unconnected. The link is through the Labour Party’: here.

Labour’s new defence chief slams ‘selfishness’ of Corbyn coup plotters: here.

Grassroots movement to #KeepCorbyn snowballs: here.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

More Dirty Tricks up their Sleeve

Monday 4th July 2016

EXPOSED: Labour plotters bid to keep Corbynista off NEC seat

PLOTTERS seeking to topple Jeremy Corbyn were last night accused of dirty tricks to prevent the Labour leader from standing in a second leadership election.

Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) is likely to adjudge whether Mr Corbyn automatically makes the ballot or has to gather signatures from MPs in the event of a leadership challenge.

But today the Star can exclusively reveal that a new left-wing member of the committee has already received an email threatening him with disciplinary action, within 48 hours of taking up his position.

Darren Williams, a PCS union official and Cardiff city councillor, has been accused of having “taken a photo of Welsh Labour print material and sent this to the press.”

Mr Williams could not be contacted for comment yesterday but friends say he is baffled by the allegation.

The email, sent on Friday afternoon by Labour’s head of disputes and discipline Kat Buckingham, invites Mr Williams to attend an “urgent meeting” this afternoon.

Ms Buckingham writes: “Should this allegation be true, the NEC is likely to consider that this action was prejudicial to the party’s interests.

“I should stress that the evidence I have received is strong. I will be reporting this matter to the NEC disputes panel on Tuesday and I am asking to meet with you on Monday to gather your views in advance of that meeting.”

Mr Williams, a runner-up in the previous elections for the committee, has taken the place of Ken Livingstone, who resigned his position on Wednesday night. The former London mayor’s suspension from party membership meant he could not attend meetings.

A source close to the Labour leadership told the Star: “It really strains credibility to think this is a coincidence. It seems like an attempt to prevent [Mr Williams] taking his seat on the NEC in order to weaken support for Jeremy.

“Let’s remember this is a tactic the right has used throughout — they’ve objected to anyone they can joining the party in order to undermine Jeremy.”

The source also said that tonight’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party could be “turned into a hustings for an anti-Corbyn candidate.”

Angela Eagle, who resigned as shadow business secretary in a call for Mr Corbyn to quit, has reportedly been preparing a challenge.

But with the Chilcot report into the Iraq war due to be published on Wednesday, it is understood MPs believe her support for the illegal invasion could hinder her chances against the anti-war Mr Corbyn.

Another candidate touted to run is “soft left” ex-work and pensions secretary Owen Smith.

But in a TV appearance yesterday, the leader of Labour’s largest affiliated union asked the pair to back down. “We would bring both parties together and resolve this issue,” Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said.

“The alternative, if Angela goes ahead with this, and I hope she doesn’t, or Owen, is that we’re plunged into a civil war that will be bitter and ugly and may never allow the Labour Party to re-unite again.

“I’m suggesting that Angela and Owen should desist from this, that they should allow the trade union general secretaries to broker a peace deal.”

Figures on the left say that Mr Williams’s alleged offence could have been fabricated by Labour rightwingers in order to discredit him. But sources also said it was unusual for a party boss to travel the breadth of Britain for a short-notice questioning session.

A lack of clarity in Labour’s rulebook over whether an incumbent leader is automatically put on the ballot has given a new sensitivity to the NEC’s composition since Mr Corbyn was elected last autumn.

Ms Eagle, who sat on the executive as a shadow cabinet representative, has been replaced by shadow lord president Jon Trickett, who is a supporter of Mr Corbyn.

And the upcoming elections for the constituency posts on the executive have been steeped in controversy since former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy intervened in vain to block a young Jewish GMB rep, Rhea Wolfson, from standing.

The Labour Party could not be reached for comment.

IF YOU’RE confused about last week’s botched coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn, just remember what Tony Blair said about fighting a general election. “I wouldn’t want to win on an old-fashioned leftist platform,” he told Labour-right faction Progress during last summer’s leadership race. “Even if I thought it was the route to victory, I wouldn’t take it”: here.

Labour MPs must abandon their coup and take on the Tories, says IAN MEARNS MP: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Dirty tricks of oblivion

Monday 4th July 2016

SIGNS that a “dirty tricks” campaign is under way aimed at keeping Jeremy Corbyn off the ballot paper in any Labour leadership contest are unsurprising.

The proposal may seem absurd: if the man elected to lead the party by almost 60 per cent of members just 10 months ago is challenged, it’s a no-brainer that he should be allowed to run against his challenger.

But the rebel MPs are desperate and have already reconciled themselves to the hatred of their own party.

We are all familiar with the phrase “the Westminster bubble,” the distorting atmosphere in the corridors of political power that means most MPs see the world differently from the rest of us.

In this strange and rarefied world, things that are obvious become invisible — things such as admitting that British foreign policy has made terrorist attacks more likely, or that renationalisation [of railways] is a vote-winner.

And inside that bubble, the voices of 400,000 party members or trade union leaders collectively speaking for millions are irrelevant.

Members are seen as footsoldiers who can be helpful for knocking on doors at election time but should be strung up for insubordination if they dare to express opinions on anything important.

Decent women and men who care enough about politics to trek to Parliament to support their leader, on a Monday evening with an England [European football championship] game on the telly, are dismissed as “dogs.”

And the trade unions whose members still provide the bulk of Labour’s funds are an embarrassment, tolerated because Labour cannot compete with the Tories when it comes to fat-cat funding but out of order if they think that gives them the right to influence policy.

This battle is about much more than Corbyn. It is about whether the Labour Party has any meaningful future at all.

Unlike the Tories, a party that grew out of a parliamentary faction, Labour has always been about much more than Parliament. It was founded as a mass movement to give the working class a political voice.

Years of aping Tory free-market fanaticism and ignoring the interests of working people have created a gulf between MPs and the communities they serve, a gulf dramatically demonstrated by the EU referendum result.

If Labour is to survive it has to be a movement, not a parliamentary faction. It has to reconnect in the workplace and on the streets. Corbyn and John McDonnell have begun that process, marching alongside doctors and nurses, standing on picket lines with striking workers.

It is precisely this sort of behaviour that the rebels see as un-prime ministerial.

So Corbyn’s removal would not allow the left to pick some smoother-talking candidate and carry on. It would mean the comprehensive defeat of any idea of Labour as a social movement and the end of any concept of it speaking for the organised working class.

The rebels suspect they cannot beat Corbyn in a leadership contest. They are reluctant to break away from Labour and form a new party, because without any support whatsoever outside Parliament they know they would be crushed as soon as an election were called.

So they are resorting to efforts to keep him off the ballot paper. No skin off their noses if the members leave in droves: they would prefer the party to be more like the Tories, funded by big business and with a smaller membership passive to the point of senescence.

As for the electorate, despite a litany of election defeats and the referendum shock, they almost unbelievably still hold they have nowhere else to go.

There is no future for Labour in such a vision. The party and the movement would face oblivion. The dirty tricks campaign must be seen off: if a contest is called Corbyn must stand, and Corbyn must win.

This video from Britain says about itself:

Tony Blair’s epitaph: the lies that killed one million Iraqis

25 September 2012

Tony Blair’s attempts to rehabillitate his reputation are doomed. This report on the tenth anniversay of the “dodgy dossier” recalls the lies and the assault on democracy that Blair used to take the UK into an illegal war on the coat tails of George W. Bush and the USA.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

McDonnell won’t rule out calling for trial of Tony Blair

Monday 4th July 2016

SHADOW chancellor John McDonnell refused yesterday to rule out calling for Tony Blair to be tried for war crimes over Iraq.

A number of MPs are expected to try to use an ancient law to try to impeach the former prime minister once the findings of the long-awaited inquiry into the Iraq war are published on Wednesday.

Mr McDonnell did not confirm or deny whether he felt Mr Blair should face questions in the International Criminal Court.

“I want to see the Chilcot report,” he told Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News.

“Nobody can comment on this until we see the report itself and I’m hoping that the report will be thorough and for me the importance is not Tony Blair or any individuals — it’s about the processes so we never ever get into this tragic, tragic mess again with such loss of life.”

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said there “has to be a judicial or political reckoning” for Mr Blair’s role in the Iraq conflict.

“He seemed puzzled as to why Jeremy Corbyn thinks he is a war criminal, why people don’t like him,” he told Sky News.

“The reason is 179 British war dead, 150,000 immediate dead from the Iraq conflict, the Middle East in flames, the world faced with an existential crisis on terrorism — these are just some of the reasons perhaps he should understand why people don’t hold him in the highest regard.”

Britain faces dangerous times after the EU referendum campaign and Labour plotters trying to oust their leader, but amid it all there’s the chance to beat back Tory policies, says GLYN ROBBINS: here.

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