British Labour’s Corbyn, smeared as ‘ISIS’ and ‘sexist’

Jeremy Corbyn, a threat

Earlier this month, a right-winger within the British Labour Party smeared Jeremy Corbyn, then a candidate for that party’s leadership, by comparing him to the ISIS terrorist organisation.

This smear was intended to stop Corbyn from being elected. Like other smears by Tony Blair himself, who equated Corbyn and United States presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as well, to French neo-fascist Fuehrer Marine Le Pen.

There were more smears by Tony Blair‘s supporters, describing Corbyn supporters as, eg, ‘morons’.

The invective did not manage to stop the voters from supporting Corbyn: Corbyn won, with nearly 60% of the vote.

After Corbyn was elected came a new Labour Party shadow cabinet.

Suddenly, all kinds of corporate media bigwigs and politicians who had never cared about discrimination against women and/or had actively contributed to it, started accusing Corbyn and Labour of sexism.

By Bernadette Horton in Britain:

Jeremy Corbyn and the blatant sexism lies

Saturday 19th September 2015

The furore over Corbyn’s shadow cabinet choices is a right-wing media storm in a teacup, says BERNADETTE HORTON

THE whole world it seems has waded into a media-led frenzied lather over Jeremy Corbyn and the gender balance of his shadow cabinet.

Forget looking calmly and matter of factly at the stats, as soon as it is mentioned on Twitter or on the front page of the Daily Mail it has to be fact — “Jeremy Corbyn is a sexist Labour leader who thinks women should be in the kitchen and coincidentally he eats babies for breakfast!”

Maybe I went a little far above, but the storm and controversy surrounding the choosing of Corbyn’s first ever shadow cabinet was absolutely devoid of fact at all.

Jeremy was put up against the right-wing press wall and shot — something no doubt he will get used to over the next five years.

The facts are that he appointed 16 women and 15 men to the shadow cabinet and actually it is the very first time more women than men have been appointed — something Blair didn’t do, for the record.

So we have 52 per cent of the JC shadow cabinet female, compared with 33 per cent in David Cameron’s current Tory Cabinet, and he had to reshuffle that to even get this amount after stinging criticism.

Angela Eagle is appointed as shadow business secretary and will deputise for Corbyn at PMQs on occasion.

The new shadow energy secretary is the inspirational Lisa Nandy, and Lucy Powell who had considerable experience as children’s minister under Ed Miliband is the new shadow education secretary. Talented women all.

Could Corbyn possibly have appointed people on talent and ability?

Why should Parliament not want the best person in the best possible role for their talents? …

So the whole furore is a right-wing media storm in a teacup, dreamt up by reporters like those at the Daily Mail who criticised Jeremy at the infamous war memorial service for “wearing a non-matching jacket and trousers.” Oh, the impudence of our Labour leader!

Come on, people. Let the right-wing press get carried away on their complete raft of downright lies on gender but let Labour members like us and our trade union comrades stand up and report the facts.

Corbyn, more than most male MPs, has an enviable track record of speaking out on female representation, campaigning for funding for women’s refuges and intrinsically knowing that women are bearing the brunt of austerity in caring and work-related roles.

Is he sexist as the right-wing media portray him? Never!

Working-class people who are coming back to the party in droves — 40,000-plus so far since last Saturday — want our party to look like the people who they represent.

Of course we want to see more female MPs in the party and of course we want to see them gain promotion to the shadow cabinet. But the bottom line is that they have. And I for one will be looking forward to seeing how the 16 women in the shadow cabinet shape our future party policies, but I will also be equally watching the 15 men too.

Bernadette Horton is a Labour Party and trade union activist.

ISIS leader Omar al-Shishani fought under U.S. umbrella as late as 2013: here.

Saudi diplomat accused of raping Nepalese women

This video says about itself:

India Calls In Saudi Ambassador Over Rape Case

10 September 2015

India called in the Saudi Arabia ambassador to seek his cooperation with an investigation into allegations one of his diplomats repeatedly raped two Nepalese women.

While the Saudi royal air force kills Indian sailors, a Saudi royal diplomat in India is accused of crimes as well.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Nepalese maids accuse Saudi diplomat of rape

Thursday 10th September 2015

TWO Nepalese maids have accused a Saudi diplomat of rape and torture while they were working in his home outside the Indian capital New Delhi, Indian police said yesterday.

The women have filed complaints with police alleging that the unnamed diplomat kept them locked in his apartment where they were repeatedly abused, said assistant commissioner Rajesh Kumar.

A police team rescued the women late on Monday after a third recently hired maid alerted a local NGO.

“We have registered a case of rape, sodomy and illegal confinement based on their complaint,” said Mr Kumar.

“They have also said that even guests at the house raped them.

“That is why we have added gang rape to the list of charges.”

Police said they were trying to determine whether the Saudi official had diplomatic immunity before proceeding with their investigation.

One of the women said they had been held for about four months.

US Republican Trump abuses R.E.M. song

This video from the USA says about itself:

Music video by R.E.M. performing It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).

Donald Trump is one of many Republican candidates for the presidency of the USA (most of them with lots of money). Like many candidates, he chose a campaign song. And, like many politicians (especially Republicans, like Michelle Bachmann or John McCain) he chose a song which the musician who wrote it did not want him to use.

He chose a Neil Young song, angering Neil Young.

Trump continued the same way.

From daily The Guardian in Britain today:

The [United States Republican party presidential candidates‘ polls] front-runner [Donald Trump] also came under fire from REM lead singer Michael Stipe, who lambasted the Trump campaign for using one of the group’s songs at a rally on Wednesday.

In a series of tweets posted on the account of bandmate Mike Mills, Stipe said: “Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you – you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men.

“Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”

Trump had arrived on stage to It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).

According to that Guardian article, Donald Trump also attacked fellow Republican presidential candidate Carla Fiorina. Not, like a rational Fiorina critic might do, because she made a mess of being CEO of Hewlett-Packard, sacking 30,000 U.S. workers, and fleeing away from the mess by US$21 to 40 million golden parachute. No, Trump being Trump, he resorted to sexism. He attacked Ms Fiorina, the only woman among seventeen Republican candidates, for being a woman.

Carly Fiorina

CARLY FIORINA MAKES GOP DEBATE CUT Find out who snagged the 11 slots in the upcoming GOP debate Wednesday. [Mollie Reilly, HuffPost]

CNN WORKERS FED UP WITH COVERING TRUMP Tensions have risen to the surface at CNN, where staffers have complained about the constant focus on The Donald. [The Wrap]

YOU CAN NOW PAINT WITH DONALD TRUMP It’s strangely therapeutic. [Paint With Donald Trump]

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announced Friday he is ending his presidential campaign. Perry announced the end of his campaign at the Eagle Forum — an event founded by conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly — in St. Louis, Missouri: here.

5 Right-wing Doozies this Week: Carson and Huckabee Reach Nutty New Heights. Dr. Ben Carson, man of science, doesn’t see global warming, or racism: here.

One of the leading Republican presidential candidates declared Sunday that a Muslim should never be allowed to become president of the United States. Speaking in defiance of the US Constitution, which explicitly prohibits religious tests for holding political office, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said on the NBC News program “Meet the Press” that being a Muslim should disqualify a candidate for the top position in the federal government: here.

Arson by anti-women fundamentalists in Washington, USA

This video from Washington state in the USA says about itself:

Arson shuts down Pullman Planned Parenthood office

4 September 2015

A Pullman fire investigator has determined the fire at a Planned Parenthood office early Friday morning was arson. KXLY4’s Brittany Paris reports.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Abortion clinic fire ‘was arson’

US: A pre-dawn blaze that badly damaged an abortion clinic in Pullman, Washington, was arson, fire investigators have determined.

The fire followed a recent wave of protests at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.

On August 22, around 500 protesters gathered outside the Pullman clinic, waving signs and calling for Congress to stop funding the organisation.

Miniskirt witch hunt at English school

This video says about itself:

26 October 2010

Miniskirt Ban? Make this jumpsuit so that the next time you’re strolling through Castellammare di Stabia [Italian town where mayor banned miniskirts, football and lots of other things], you’ll have something to wear.

After banning women for not wearing high heels … after banning women from wearing miniskirts, and banning women from wearing maxiskirts, and banning women from wearing any type of skirts, and banning women from wearing shorts, now this.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

150 schoolgirls sent home for wearing skirts that are ‘too short’

Girls with hemlines above their knees were reportedly placed in exclusion or picked up by parents

Siobhan Fenton

Saturday 05 September 2015

Up to 150 girls have been sent home from a school for wearing skirts that were deemed “too short”, it has been reported.

The students were returning to Tring School in Hertfordshire for their first day back since the summer holidays.

ITV reports that girls whose skirts did not reach their knees were pulled aside by teachers and then placed in exclusion or picked up by parents.

The news has sparked backlash on social media, with one Twitter user asking: “Why can women still not wear what they want when they want?!”

Another called on the school to “free the knee.”

The mother of a 13-year-old girl whose skirt was deemed inappropriate told ITV: “I think the school have been very heavy-handed. My daughter was wearing the same skirt as she wore last year. I sent her to school believing she was in the correct uniform.

“I find it ridiculous that girls have been excluded from education today because of what they are wearing.”

Read more
Which schools have the  most expensive uniforms?

Staffordshire school bans short skirts because they’re ‘distracting’ to male teachers and pupils

[Head teacher] Ms Collings said: “If a student or parent is unhappy with the policy in respect of the school skirt then they have the choice to wear tailored trousers.”

Unfortunately, in Britain there are rich sponsors of politicians who want to ban trousers for women as well.

French soldier raped Central African girl

This video says about itself:

French Troops and the Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in the Central African Republic

1 June 2015

They went to the Central African Republic to protect them but instead they allegedly ended up raping and sodomizing them. This is the story of the French troops in the Central African Republic accused of raping and sodomizing young boys, as young as nine years old in exchange for food and a few coins.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

New allegation of French sex abuse

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: The UN said yesterday another case of sexual abuse by a French solider had come to light.

UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said the alleged victim was in her teens during the abuse about a year ago.

She gave birth to a child in April and has filed a paternity claim with local authorities.

See also here.

Sandra Bland, Texas activists don’t forget her

This video from Texas, USA is called Sandra Bland Mass Action Waller County 08.09.15.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Sandra Bland activists maintain jail vigil despite dimming media spotlight

Activists make regular trips Waller County facility to celebrate Bland’s life and ‘ask the questions in person that her family and friends are asking’

Tom Dart in Hempstead, Texas

Thursday 3 September 2015 12.00 BST

The hourlong drive from Houston to the Waller County jail has become a regular commute for Hannah Bonner.

Since the death of Sandra Bland on 13 July, the United Methodist reverend has kept vigil outside the building almost every day, joined by others who are determined to honour Bland’s life and promote her legacy, long after the national gaze moved elsewhere and despite an ongoing investigation with few if any answers.

No one could deny that Bland’s death has prompted visible change at the jail. New barriers were erected in front of the building, eliminating the ability to sit or stand by the wall where protesters tended to gather because the overhanging roof made it the best place to find shade.

Bonner sometimes sat in a folding chair and strummed a guitar. Others brought posters, food and water. They used the jail’s restrooms. There were candles and statuettes of angels, and photographs of Bland. Bonner said people sought refuge from the summer sun and 100F temperatures under a tree in the parking lot. Last month, it was cut down.

Now, signs either side of the reflective-glass entry doors insist on “no loitering in the lobby”. The sheriff’s patience appeared to run out after 9 August – the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri – when protesters entered [see video] and chanted for several minutes until officers forced them outside.

A day later, Bonner filmed the sheriff, Glenn Smith, telling her: “Why don’t you go back to the church of Satan that you run?” The next day she found temporary barricades had been erected by the wall along with signs saying “no one beyond this point”. Later in the month they were replaced with yellow and brown metal railings. She said the sheriff has taken pictures of her license plate.

A spokesman for the Waller County sheriff’s office did not respond to a request for comment. …

But most days are quiet now. On Tuesday, Bonner and Karisha Shaw, a Houston-based school worker, were there in the rain. “Our presence here is to keep the attention on Sandra Bland,” Bonner said. “We don’t really have answers to what happened to Sandra Bland and we might never know, but we do know she should never have been in this jail.”

Bonner said she has made the journey from Houston on all but four or five days since activists started showing up at the jail 50 days ago, emphasising that she is not a protester but part of a “peaceful prayer vigil here to honour Sandra Bland’s life and to ask the questions in person that her family and friends are asking”.

Bland was found dead on 13 July. The official account – that she hanged herself in cell 95 using a trash bag, three days after being arrested when a routine traffic stop turned into a confrontation with a state trooper – was hotly disputed. Her family and many on social media found it implausible

The 28-year-old’s death underlined strained relationships between African Americans and law enforcement, both in the context of the number of black people killed by police across the country and locally in this rural county with a history of racism.

Bland was moving from Chicago to start a job at the majority-black Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater. Flowers are still by the roadside at the spot where she was stopped on University Drive, near the campus.

Last week, the Prairie View city council voted to rename the road Sandra Bland Parkway for at least the next couple of years. A sign near the flowers in front of a balding patch of grass announces the “future home of the proposed Sandra Bland memorial park”. …

Bonner said: “Black Lives Matter is not about hating white people, it’s about loving black people, and if you feel [loving both races is] mutually exclusive, then that’s where the problem in our country lies.”

Legal processes are still pending and information about the fallout from Bland’s death is scarce. Brian Encinia, the trooper involved, was placed on administrative leave after video emerged of him threatening to “light up” Bland with a taser during the traffic stop.

A spokesperson for the Texas department of public safety (DPS) said that an investigation into his conduct is “ongoing”. The Waller County district attorney’s office, which said in July that it would present evidence on Encinia’s conduct to a grand jury for possible indictment, did not respond to a request for comment.

“We’re very, very disturbed at the fact that they [DPS] still have not terminated that man,” said Cannon Lambert, the Bland family’s attorney. “This situation is very public – transparency is huge. If there’s a reason why you’re keeping him on staff … then you should tell us.”

Last month, Texas lawmakers announced an investigation into jail safety standards and Bland’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against parties including the sheriff’s office, two jailers and Encinia. Lambert said the legal action means officials will have to provide them with information about the case, including details that will allow an independent autopsy to be completed.

Bland’s family has called for the US justice department to become involved, though that has not happened so far.

Pledging transparency, Smith, the sheriff, asked Paul Looney, a local attorney, to form a committee to conduct an independent investigation of the sheriff’s office. Looney said that the six-member panel had held several meetings, each person was working several hours a week to gather “impressions, observations and data” and that he is “completely” happy with the level of cooperation from the department.

“We’ve got access to every piece of paper they have, every prisoner, every deputy,” he said. “We’re not going to discuss anything [publicly] until we have a report ready.”

When will Bonner and others feel the time is right to stop coming? “We are looking for where that point is,” she said. “I told her sisters: ‘I’ll do this as long as you need me to’… What keeps me going is her videos, her goofy pictures with her family, her sense of what they’ve lost. I can think she’s freaking hilarious and amazing and I’ll never get to meet her.”

The state of California is a glaring example of the racial disparities that persist in the criminal justice system. Although Blacks make up just 6 percent of the California population, they account for 17 percent of people arrested and nearly a quarter of individuals who die in police custody, according to the new OpenJustice data portal launched by Attorney General Kamala Harris to provide transparency about law enforcement: here.