British pro-nuclear weapons politician changes his mind

This video from Britain is called Corbyn’s Trident arguments are compelling – Keith Vaz MP.

By Luke James in Britain:

Vaz: Jeremy has changed my mind on Trident

Saturday 16th January 2016

Senior backbencher boosts Corbyn’s chances of overturning Labour support for pricey cold war relics

JEREMY CORBYN’S chances of overturning Labour’s controversial support for Trident renewal have been boosted by unexpected support from senior backbencher Keith Vaz.

The Leicester East MP, who has previously voted in favour of retaining Britain’s nuclear weapons system, says the Labour leader’s arguments have changed his mind on disarmament.

In an interview

see video at the top of this blog post

to be broadcast today on Russia Today, Mr Vaz says: “I support Jeremy Corbyn’s line on this, I think he has persuaded me.

“He’s made it very clear when he’s prime minister he’s not going to be able to use these weapons so what’s the point of having them.”

The member of Parliament’s national security committee reveals his change of heart just a day after Labour formally launches its defence policy review.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson commended Mr Vaz for taking an “open-minded approach and engaging with the arguments” for and against Trident.

She told the Star: “That is all we ask from Labour MPs and Labour Party members — that they go into their defence review willing to listen to other views and open to shaking off their preconceptions about nuclear weapons and their utility — or not — for Britain’s security.”

Emily Thornberry, who does not support Trident, will lead the review after replacing pro-nuke Maria Eagle as shadow defence secretary last week.

She insisted yesterday that she had not prejudged the conclusion, which will be published in June ahead of the parliamentary vote on Trident renewal.

“It will be open, transparent and inclusive — and its conclusions will be based on the evidence,” she said.

“At every stage of the process, we will give full scope to the wide range of views on this subject in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.”

Defence specialists, NGOs and the armed forces, as well as Labour affiliates, will be invited to submit their views.

Responses to Labour’s defence review can be made at

British Labour’s Corbyn’s Christmas message

This video from the British parliament is called Jeremy Corbyn uninterrupted speech Dec. 2, 2015; on the Cameron government’s proposal to bomb Syria.

By Luke James and Ben Chacko in Britain:

Don’t fight me, fight the Tories

Monday 21st December 2015

Corbyn delivers his Christmas message to the Star

JEREMY CORBYN calls today for Labour to unite in the face of partisan Tory attacks, telling critics it is David Cameron who threatens the party’s future — not him.

Mr Corbyn raises the alarm over the real motives behind government policy in an exclusive interview with the Morning Star to mark his first 100 days as Labour leader.

He believes the Prime Minister is executing a premeditated “four-pronged attack” on the financial and electoral support of opposition parties.

The Trade Union Bill’s changes to affiliation fees, cuts to “short money” for opposition parties and the cap imposed on union election spending during the last parliament could force Labour to fight with its hands tied.

And individual voter registration has been rushed through Parliament in time for next May’s elections, despite warnings that two million people — mainly from Labour-voting groups — will fall off the electoral register.

Mr Corbyn told the Star: “What they’re doing is actually questioning the existence of labour movement politics altogether.”

But the Labour leader said: “We’ve got to stand up for what we believe in as a labour movement” and insists he is the man to lead the fightback.

Since he was elected leader in September — with a bigger mandate than Tony Blair — more people have joined Labour than the entire Tory membership.

Mr Corbyn said: “We’ve increased membership to nearly 400,000. We have the biggest, most active membership ever in my lifetime.

“We’ve beaten the government back on tax credits, which has saved three million people from having £1,200 taken off them in April.

“We’ve also had a very good result in the Oldham by-election. The activity level of local parties is huge and it’s completely contrary to everything the media are saying.”

The Labour leader, who joked to journalists last week that he’s kept them in a job, said most of the media have failed to reflect the success of his “new politics.”

He said: “I think the media’s attitude towards the Labour Party and our campaign has been horrendous.

“It’s because we are doing a different form of politics, which is a mass movement of ordinary people for the first time getting involved in politics.”

Asked whether a Labour government would break up media monopolies, he said: “Yes. We are developing a media policy which would be about breaking up single ownership of too many sources of information, so that we have a multiplicity of sources.

“And actually promoting co-operative ownership and access, including local TV and radio stations and newspapers like the Morning Star.”

Mr Corbyn is adamant though that media criticism won’t force him to abandon his new style of politics or principles.

He insisted they have brought success even in his toughest moments since becoming leader.

On his decision to give Labour MPs a free vote on bombing Syria, he said: “We started from the position of being in a small minority, both in the shadow cabinet and a minority within the PLP. We ended up with a majority of party members, MPs and shadow cabinet members voting with me on it.”

Mr Corbyn is far from complacent about his achievements though, saying Labour must become a “genuinely mass movement” to resist the Tories’ gerrymandering.

And he insists Momentum, the grassroots group of activists who have become a bogeyman for the media, have a part to play.

“It could be a way of bringing in a lot of people who haven’t hitherto been involved in the Labour Party into political activity,” he said. “That’s got to be a good thing.”

More from our exclusive interview with Jeremy Corbyn in tomorrow’s Star

September 12: Elected leader by landslide, beating his “mainstream” rivals and with almost 60 per cent of votes

September 14: Appoints the first ever shadow cabinet to contain more women than men

September 15: Pledges before the TUC to put trade unions back at the heart of the party and slamming “poverty-deniers”

September 16: Throws open PMQs to the public, wrongfooting David Cameron by posing questions submitted directly by voters

September 20: A general tells the Sunday Times the army “wouldn’t stand for” a Corbyn election victory if it challenged the military — and would use “fair means or foul” to stop him

September 25: Senior Green Party member Derek Wall calls for all on the left to welcome Corbyn’s election and “build a common future through co-operation”

September 29: Corbyn’s address to Labour conference receives four standing ovations. 2,200 people join Labour.

October 2: Political knitter Kristina Stiff unveils her woollen Corbyn Christmas tree topper

October 5: Corbyn steals the show outside the Tories’ conference, drawing 7,000 to a speech endorsing the People’s Post campaign at Manchester cathedral

October 13: The government pulls out of a contract to provide services to the brutal Saudi Arabian prison system following Corbyn’s campaign against it

October 26: Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s campaign against tax-credit cuts pays off as the Lords votes to block the move

November 1: The anti-nuclear campaigner gets a boost as Scottish Labour votes by 70 per cent to oppose Trident replacement

November 5: Collins English dictionary names Corbynomics one of its 2015 buzzwords.

November 26: Media Reform Coalition publishes research indicating Britain’s biggest papers set out to “systematically undermine” Corbyn from his first week in office

November 27: The Fire Brigades Union becomes the first trade union to reaffiliate to the Labour Party

December 2: Despite Corbyn’s principled opposition, Parliament votes to bomb Syria. But he takes a majority of his shadow cabinet and parliamentary party with him on a free vote, weakening his critics

December 3: Labour wins the Oldham West and Royton by-election, increasing its share of the vote to 62 per cent

December 21: Corbyn marks 100 days as Labour leader with an exclusive interview in the Morning Star

Jeremy Corbyn has been handed a major victory over Britain’s leading tabloid, after The Sun was ordered to publish a front page correction for a story which falsely claimed the Labour leader only agreed to be initiated as a Privy Councillor because his party stood to gain financially: here.

Stop bombing Syria, London demonstration

This video from Britain says about itself:

Join STOP THE WAR demonstrations

28 November 2015

Next national demonstration against the bombing of SyriaSATURDAY 12 DECEMBER. Join the ongoing protests in town and city centres around the country. #DontBombSyria Show Cameron you oppose another senseless bloody costly war.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Stop the War hits back ahead of rally

Saturday 12th December 2015

Group points to history of being proved right on British wars

DESPITE being targeted for a “hurricane of malicious attacks,” Stop the War will bring thousands to the streets of London today for a second mass demonstration against the Syrian air strikes.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was one of several political figures harangued by right-wing media sources over the last week for his longtime support of the campaign.

Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds insisted yesterday that her leader should not attend the organisation’s events because it stood against the party’s values.

Ms Reynolds was a supporter of rightist Blairite Kendall (who got only 4% of the votes) in the Labour leadership election. She claimed that Corbyn, who won with 60% of the votes, should not have been allowed to be a candidate at all. She used to be a lobbyist for Big Business at the European Union in Brussels; and was Special Adviser of fellow Blairite Geoff Hoon (later sacked because of corruption).

But Stop the War chairman Andrew Murray hit back at a fundraising dinner, saying: “Stop the War has faced a hurricane of malicious attacks in recent weeks, largely as a proxy means of trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn.

These attacks serve only to distract from the government’s crumbling case for war in Syria — and the fact that our movement has been proved right in its campaigns against the disastrous conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

“Stop the War has nothing to apologise for and much to be proud of.”

The event, which Mr Corbyn attended despite calls to do otherwise, also saw musician Brian Eno and actress Francesca Martinez attend.

Today’s demonstration will see an expected 10,000 people march from outside BBC Broadcasting House on Portland Place to Downing Street.

Stop the War convener Lindsey German argued that a continued campaign was absolutely necessary after Chancellor George Osborne’s comments that the air strikes had given Britain “its mojo back.”

“He’s made it very clear what this is all about,” she added.

“It’s about Britain having a place at the table with the other great powers.

“We think there’s no other justification for it at all.”

Calais aid group London2Calais organiser Syed Bokhari told the Star he would be attending the march because the group was “opposed to all imperialist intervention in Syria.

“Britain should be using its resources to welcome refugees into our society, not dropping bombs on Syria while simultaneously locking out refugees from the region.”

Fellow anti-war protester Sequoyah De Souza Vigneswaren said he came down from Leeds because “we have a moral duty to oppose the war crimes that are committed for strategic national-interest in our names.

“It is not just our right, but our obligation to hold our imperial elites to account.

“It is the very least we should do if we actually believe in the values of internationalism, peace and social justice.”

A report on today’s London demonstration is here.

As Downing Street brags of its ‘intense RAF activity’ over Syria, FELICITY ARBUTHNOT examines the machismo and militarism which led to this: here.

Following the mass killings in France, the British government has achieved its wish to join the air campaign against Isis in Syria. Ian Sinclair asks campaigners and academics to analyse the crisis: here.

A gathering of Syrian Al Qaeda-linked militias and exile politicians convened by the Saudi monarchy in Riyadh concluded Friday with the adoption of a joint agreement but with little clarity as to who was supporting it and even less on what purpose it will serve in furthering the stated aim of a negotiated end to Syria’s bloody civil war: here.

German army begins military intervention in Syria: here.