Jeremy Corbyn elected British Labour leader, victory speech video

This video from Britain says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn elected Labour leader: victory speech in full

12 September 2015

“I say to the new members of the party, welcome to our movement. And to those returning to the party who were in it before and felt disillusioned and went away: welcome back, welcome home.”

Jeremy Corbyn delivers his first speech as leader of The Labour Party, after defeating his three rivals in the first round of counting, taking 251,417 (59.5%) of the 422,664 votes cast.

Congratulations, Jeremy! I hope this will be a signal in other countries (France, The Netherlands, etc.) to send rightist Blairite leaders of officially leftist parties packing.

I hope attempts of the Blairites in British Labour to destroy this democratic vote result with coups and intrigues against Corbyn will be thwarted by the Labour rank and file.

Corbyn has proved a fearless foe to a hostile right-wing press that’s determined to misrepresent him, writes RABBIL SIKDAR: here.

83-year-old refugee on death bed chained for deportation

This video from England says about itself:

‘The Secret World of Yarl’s Wood’- BBC News

27 August 2015

Two weeks ago the prisons watchdog described Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre as a “place of national concern”,

There are 12 centres like it in the UK – Yarl’s Wood is the one for women. We – as media – are not allowed in at all. A charity called ‘Yarl’s Wood Befrienders‘ are given rare access – they go in and meet the women facing deportation. These people have shed light on one of the most secretive places in the UK for a new play called ‘The Scar Test’ – Catrin Nye reports.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

83-year-old on death bed hauled to detention centre

Friday 11th September 2011

A 83-YEAR-OLD “on his death bed” was handcuffed and chained before being taken to an immigration removal centre (IRC), MP John McDonnell told the Commons yesterday.

The immigration system is ineffective, unjust and degrading, especially of those who have fled persecution and war, 25 MPs unanimously agreed during the debate.

In making the case for closing down IRCs, the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington added: “There’ll be more self-harming, more suicides, hunger strikes and the riots [in IRCs] will come back again.

“This is no way to treat our fellow human beings.”

More than 30,000 people were held indefinitely by the Home Office in 11 IRCs last year at a cost of £164 million — £36,000 per person, MPs were told.

But 50 per cent of prisoners ended up returning to the communities they were snatched away from.

Children became severely distressed after being put in foster care for an average of 170 days even when their parents’ detention “served no purpose,” said Hornsey and Wood Green Labour MP Catherine West.

MPs agreed that immediate and drastic change to immigration procedure was necessary instead of “piecemeal tinkering.”

They renewed demands for a 28-day immigration detention time limit and for assurance that it is used “sparingly” and as a last resort.

Safeguards should be put in place to protect vulnerable women in detention who were victims of rape and trafficking, they added.

In the first quarter of this year 3,483 people were detained. Two-thirds were held for more than 28 days, 488 for more than six months, 153 for over a year, 25 for two years and one for five years.

The Movement for Justice (MFJ), which demonstrated outside Parliament on Wednesday, told the Star that it wanted IRCs to be shut down completely.

“Unchecked powers of the Home Office” allow it to imprison people in worse conditions than those of serious criminals who had the right of a fair trial, the MFJ said.

Only profiteers like Serco, which runs Yarl’s Wood IRC, benefit as they “literally profit from this misery,” said Ealing Central and Acton Labour MP Rupa Huq.

Worst ever British monarch, poll

This video says about itself:

The Most Evil Men and Women in History – Episode Fourteen – Bloody Mary Tudor

16 September 2014

Mary I was the fourth crowned monarch of the Tudor dynasty, she is remembered for restoring England to Roman Catholicism after succeeding her half-brother, Edward VI, to the English throne. In the process, she had almost 300 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian Persecutions, earning her the sobriquet of “Bloody Mary”.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Who is our worst monarch of all time? The people have spoken

A poll of 1,579 British adults by YouGov has shown that the public considers Henry VIII to be our worst ever monarch.

Which would you consider to be our worst-ever monarch?

Survey of 1,579 British adults between 3-4 September 2015. Figures as a per cent, not including answers of “Don’t know”.

19 Henry VIII
7 Other
6 King Canute
3 William the Conqueror
1 Alfred the Great
1 Elizabeth I
1 Victoria

Henry VIII is perhaps best known for his six wives and his separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, leading to the dissolution of the monasteries.

King Canute ranks second in our public opinion, with 6 per cent of the vote, whereas James I ranked third worst, with 5 per cent.

Among Labour supporters, Elizabeth II ranks as fourth worst on the given list of monarchs with four per cent naming her as the worst to sit upon the throne, whereas 0 per cent of Conservative supporters nominated her as the worst.

On Wednesday at around 5.30pm, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-ever reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.

She will have reigned for 63 years and seven months, surpassing Queen Victoria’s record.

I am a bit surprised that Bloody Mary, Charles I, Charles II, James II, George III and George IV are not options in the multiple choice question.

Refugees welcome, racism not welcome in Britain

This video from Britain is called Riots, Recession & Resistance – Zita Holbourne – 11 August 2011.

By Zita Holbourne in Britain:

Refugees are welcome, racism is not

Tuesday 8th September 2015

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of anti-refugee rhetoric, but there are still ways to help our brothers and sisters fleeing across the globe, writes ZITA HOLBOURNE

The labelling and demonisation of human beings is fuelled by deepening racism as some migrants and refugees are considered more equal or “deserving” than others. Politicians are quick to forget that the riches Europe enjoys were gained through enslavement, colonialism and empire.

The myths and lies told by politicians and the mainstream media about people migrating and refugees fleeing persecution and war are nothing new. In recent years those migrating to Britain have been scapegoated in an attempt to shift the blame for austerity. When people migrate to Britain they are described as migrants, with many negative labels added on, but those emigrating from Britain to other countries are described as ex-pats and not negatively labelled in the same way. Last year the government introduced the Immigration Act, which seeks to reduce the rights of migrants and create a divide in access to services, healthcare, education and more.

So severe are the dangers that people are fleeing right now, that they risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea because it’s safer to do that than to stay where they were. Restricting borders and stopping rescue services won’t prevent people from fleeing. You can’t stop those fleeing persecution by persecuting them some more.

To respond to the government’s failure to adequately address the refugee crisis, demonising those who have died, which includes children and babies, while fleeing persecution, war and poverty in an attempt to find a safe haven and calling for a more compassionate, humanitarian response, several organisations including my own, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (Barac UK), have called a national day of action under the banner “Refugees welcome here” on Saturday September 12.

The other organisations are Stand up to Racism, the Stop the War Coalition, Migrant Rights Network, War on Want, the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, Movement Against Xenophobia, Unite Against Fascism, Love Music Hate Racism and Black Out London.

The assembly point is Marble Arch at 12 noon for a march to Downing Street, with a rally happening there at 2pm. Thousands have indicated they will be attending but as it is a national day of action we have called upon people across regions and countries in Britain to organise solidarity events. There has been a brilliant response with many events taking place on the same day.

Details of the day’s events can be found online and you can say if you’re going on the Facebook event.

Trade unions and their members are encouraged to join us on the day with trade union banners and join the action to support refugees and challenge the government response. In four years Britain has granted asylum to only 5,000 Syrian refugees, far lower than several other European countries. At least 16 European countries have accepted more asylum-seekers than Britain and last week Germany said it would accept 800,000 more this year.

In Calais some 4,000 to 5,000 people are living in a camp dubbed “the Jungle,” a name which some of those left with no other choice but to be there have rejected. They don’t have adequate shelter or sanitation and their “living” conditions are harming their health and spreading illness. There are people from many countries living there including Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan (Darfur), Eritrea and Pakistan.

We all have a responsibility to respond with humanity when human beings are in need of help and solidarity and there are many practical ways of supporting our sisters and brothers there.

Barac UK has affiliated with the London2Calais group which is taking food and other essential items to Calais on a regular basis, working with established aid organisations based in Calais. The next visits are planned for September 19 and October 3. The support of Morning Star readers would be very welcome. Information about the group, collection points, what’s needed and how to donate can be accessed on its website and donations can be made on its Indiegogo page. In addition to essential items and food being sent, a library and school have been set up and books in a variety of languages are needed.

The growing support and action by ordinary people is in contrast to the woeful response from politicians and we need to send out a strong, clear message that refugees are welcome here but racism is not.

Instead of barricading borders we should instead break down the barriers which keep refugees out, othering them and increasing racist attitudes. August 27 marked the 52nd anniversary of the March on Washington, yet black and Muslim people are still facing racism and injustice. Martin Luther King said: “Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about the things that matter.” Now is a time to not just speak out but to take action because if all lives were valued equally there would be no need for a #blacklivesmatter hashtag and movement over half a century later, and no need for thousands of people to lose their lives while seeking freedom and a place of peace.

• Zita Holbourne is the co-founder and national co-chair of Barac UK and elected to the Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX) national steering group, the PCS union national executive and the TUC Race Relations Committee. She is a poet, visual artist and curator.

BRITAIN will take in just 20,000 refugees over the next five years, Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday, which saw MPs respond with boos of disappointment: here.

A COUPLE who won a Birmingham Baby of the Year competition are using the prize money to help refugees in the face of callous disregard by David Cameron’s Tory government: here.

THE APP CONNECTING MISSING REFUGEES WITH THEIR FAMILIES “Launched in 2008 by Danish brothers David and Christopher Mikkelsen, Refunite is a free family-locating platform that maintains an anonymous database of more than 405,000 users.” [HuffPost]