On the 1st of June 2020, the International Socialist Guild (ISG) will open its first National Chapter here in the United Kingdom. Designed to provide a safe and secure space within which to organise, educate and network, ISG membership is available only to Socialists, who can join as private Guild members.
Ben Timberley, the ISG Founder commented:
“The ISG has been a long time coming. With ever increasing levels of harassment, persecution and interference in the affairs of Socialists around the world and in the UK; I felt it was time that Socialists had somewhere safe to organise within.”
Whilst its office is based in Derbyshire well away from the unhealthy ‘Westminster bubble’, the ISG will primarily be hosted in a secure online forum. The forum will be protected by technical AND legal defences, ensuring Guild member interactions remain private and unusable in any form by disruptive groups, which include political party compliance teams.
Picked out for 'dead cat' duty on the day the result of the Jennifer Arcuri investigation was due - step up Crawley MP Henry Smith. His chosen tool of distraction? A tweet calling fellow MPs working remotely during the Covid19 crisis 'lazy' and 'work-shy'.
It would be hard to describe the outcome without using the words 'royally' and 'ratioed'. It didn't play well...
Apparently not having received the memo about cross-party working, he tweeted:
"Not that I should be surprised by the lazy left but interesting how work-shy socialist and nationalist MPs tried to keep the remote Parliament going beyond 2 June"
Presumably included among the massed ranks of the work-shy lefties are fellow Tory MPs Robert Halfon and Michael Fabricant, both of whom have been outspoken in their opposition to reopening Parliament as normal...
While neither Halfon nor Fabricant has chosen to take their colleague to task, Labour MPs were quick to point out that in fact working remotely where possible was lite...
Despitehaving spent the last week running out of Covid19 home testing kits to fulfil demand, a government-sanctioned helpline is apparently telling people who have managed to receive them to... throw them away.
Teacher Tom Howell, from Leeds, contacted the official helpline after his test kit arrived without a return label, but instead of emailing him one, or even just telling him the address to return his samples to, the adviser, who said that 'a lot' had been sent out without the necessary labels, told him to 'just put it in the bin'.
The government's self-referral portal for people applying for testing has been widely criticised after running out of the home testing kits numerous times since its launch last week, and it would be reasonable to assume that any avoidable wastage of stocks should be a priority.
While it isn't possible to put an exact figure on what constitutes 'a lot' of unlabelled tests, the fact is that these kits, which people are being advised to throw away unuse...
A Merseyside organisation is bulk buying and supplying PPE to the NHS and smaller organisations who have found themselves unable to access the vital supplies through the government - and is fundraising to help cover the cost of their work.
Help Bank Finder, the team behind the groundbreaking MyFoodBankFinder app, are sourcing protective equipment and delivering direct to organisations in need during the Covid19 pandemic.
And they say that contrary to reports, supplies of both the lifesaving PPE and real-time Covid19 testing kits ARE there, and available - the government is just failing to access them.
"Every supplier we know that the government has spoken to has said the exact same thing to us - emailed the Gov, took weeks to get a reply, then more silence - that results in the suppliers having to sell abroad. It's the same. Every. Single. Time" said HBF director Dom Lipscombe,
"It's also worth mentioning that we've had a department of USA's Homeland Security reach out to us, but not our o...
Thousandsof Labour Party members have signed an open letter to Keir Starmer, Jennie Formby and the Labour NEC, demanding the party whip is withdrawn from former General Secretary (now Labour peer) Iain McNicol, and action is taken against party staff implicated in the leaked report; "The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 - 2019".
The letter, which party members can add their names to HERE, reads:
A Call for Action on Behalf of UK Labour Party Members and Voters
For the attention of Keir Starmer, Jennie Formby and all members of the Labour Party National Executive Committee,
We, the undersigned, as UK Labour Party members and voters, are a portion of those who have been shocked by the revelations made in the leaked report titled, "The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 - 2019", compiled by the Labour Party in March 2020.
As committed anti-racists of all backgrounds, we abhor all case...
Fully half the allegations of antisemitism submitted to the Labour Party during 2019 came from one person - who submitted a huge raft of 'poorly evidenced' complaints, the majority of which did not even relate to party members, and was persistently abusive to party staff.
The leaked report by the party's Governance and Legal Unit (GLU), reveals that without this individual's actions, the number of complaints over the year would have halved instead of increasing - lending considerable weight to the widely held view than a large number of vexatious and unfounded allegations were made with the intent of artificially boosting the figures to make it appear that Labour had a worse problem than it did in reality.
And far from 'fighting antisemitism, the behaviour of this person instead served to clog up, overload, and slow down the internal processes designed to address the issue, leading to delays in the investigation of genuine complaints.
The report does not identify the 'serial complainant',...
A Bristol nurse whotweeted photos out of date PPE supplies still being given out to NHS staff has mysteriously vanished from the social media platform.
At 9.08am today, the account @MrBazJ, whose bio described him as a 'Proud NHS Nurse', posted images of PPE supplies he claimed were received today, clearly showing that original expiry dates, in 2016 and 2017, had been hidden with new stickers - one of which had just one day left, and one where even the new expiry date had passed 10 months ago.
He tweeted: "Are the #UKgov laughing at us? We need protection, not a flimsy attempt at shutting us up"
Just over an hour later, ITV journalist Harry Peet replied to the tweet, asking for an interview about the PPE situation. But shortly after, the tweet disappeared - then all the account's tweets disappeared - then the account itself vanished completely...
Of course, it may be that Baz has chosen to delete his account for some reason - possibly concern about potential repercussions at work, or medi...
Michael Gove began Sunday with an interview on the Andrew Marr Show, in which he smoothly stated:
"We had 10,000 tests yesterday...ahead of the deadline set by the Health Secretary"
He repeated the claim to the Ridge on Sunday programme on Sky shortly afterwards.
Good news, you might think? But it wasn't true.
The government's own figures for the period show that 127,737 tests had been carried out, up from 120,776 the previous day - a rise of just 6961.
And not only is today's daily tests figure not 10,000 - it isn't even as many as the number of tests carried out in the three days preceding it - the closest the number has got to 10,000 was last Friday with 8911.
Doubtless there will be some excuse trotted out about delayed figures - or indeed 'confusion' which is apparently the reason the government ignored an offer of 25,000 ventilators.
But the fact remains; at the exact time the official government figures were being finalised, a government spokesman was telling the British public somet...
The spread of the viral infection COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has made clear the precarious nature of the UK economy. The problems are not new, but due to the virus impacting everyone with the same cause it becomes clear that government policy for the last ten years has greatly reduced the ability of the country to deal with the outbreak.
The defunding of the NHS means that there was a crisis of bed availability even before the Coronavirus outbreak, which makes it almost inevitable that hospitals will be immediately swamped during the peak of cases nationally.
The number of people who are self-employed (often bogusly), low paid and reliant on credit means that should large sections of the economy close down, many will be unable to pay bills / rent and small & medium sized businesses could face bankruptcy.
Even a short period of economic stagnation could result in people choosing between foods and spending, with Universal Credit often taking months to attain.
Health Minister Nadine Dorries was herself infected with Coronavirus last week - but she must be feeling better. On Thursday evening she used her recovered health to spread outright lies about another country's policy towards treating patients.
Taking to Twitter after what has seemed an all too brief respite from her addled ravings, she tweeted:
"Sobering news @itvnews Italy has stopped intubating patients over 60. All ICU patients on ventilators are below 60 and not one has been weaned back off to breathe independently.
We must follow the advice on social distancing if we are to crack this #coronavirus"
While her second paragraph is accurate, her claims about treatment in Italy are absolute rubbish - and she was told so in no uncertain terms by the Italian Embassy in London, who responded:
"@NadineDorries this is Fake News. We urge you to deny it immediately. Italian Health System staff have been working round the clock to save "all" human lives. @itvnews #COVID19"
News that pharmacy chain 'Jhoots' has been charging almost £20 for paracetamol medicine for children has been covered by some mainstream media - none of whom mentioned that a director of the company is a substantial donor to the Conservative party.
The chain, which has dozens of branches across the Midlands and further afield, was also charging customers almost £10 for a packet of 32 paracetamol tablets for adults - generally available for under £1 in most supermarkets. And which Jhoots were selling for just £1.39 just last week.
Jhoots Director Sarbit Singh Jhooty was more generous with his money in 2018, when he donated £2,500 to Tory MP Grant Shapps...
The profiteering has been widely condemned, including by Labour councillor Majid Mahmood, who accused the Jhoots branch in his ward of Bromford and Hodge Hill, Birmingham, of charging 'extortionate prices' and putting profits before people
Jhoots, perhaps rightly ashamed and embarrassed to be caught in the act, issued the following state...
The Muslim Council of Great Britain has criticised the Equality & Human Rights Commission for putting off launching an official investigation into allegations of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, despite having been handed a detailed dossier of more than 300 allegations against Tory members.
The MCB is now demanding ‘swift action’ on the claims, which involve Conservative MPs, councillors, government advisers and party members, and include numerous incidents which have already been featured in the media, as well as a raft of new allegations which include:
A former councillor calling for “unconditional surrender” by Muslims, who they label “brutes who beat, kill and maim young women”;
A local party association chair who called for Muslims to be banned;
A member who called for Muslims to be thrown from bridges;
Another member who called for the forcible sterilisation of Muslims.
It also condemns the Conservative Party’s failure to suspend MP Daniel Kawczynski aft...
It's a rallying cry for many people on the left – a social media slogan that reflects real world campaigning. It's also the title of a new book detailing the power of socialist social media.
The Labour Party experienced a crushing defeat in the 2019 General Election. But instead of despair, the election has been followed by a reassertion of Socialist values, and policy ideas.
Now the views of Labour supporters, expressed recently on Twitter, have been given more permanent form in a book of essays entitled 'Get The Tories Out!', illustrated with memes from social media.
Amidst the dark days of Boris Johnson’s premiership, here are strong messages of hope. The authors analyse the reasons for Labour’s defeat, and show the way that a radical mass movement can regain the political initiative from the Tories.
The book is edited by Andrew Godsell, a Labour member throughout his adult life and a candidate in 10 elections, and author of ‘Why NOT Trust The Conservatives?
A new report from the UK’s leading pro-democracy group lays bare the ‘crisis of legitimacy’ faced by parliament, following an election that saw voters marginalised on an extraordinary scale.
The Electoral Reform Society’s comprehensive analysis of December’s general election, titled Voters Left Voiceless: The 2019 General Election, reveals:
Nearly one in three voters (32%) ‘held their nose’ and opted for a so-called lesser evil in December’s election, according to previously unreleased YouGov polling for the ERS (regional figures and by party are available). Similar analysis for the ERS in 2017 suggested around 20% planned to vote tactically then.
Over two thirds (71%) of votes – or 22.6 million – were ignored – i.e. they weren’t decisive to the local result. This is up from the 68% of votes ignored in the 2017 election. In seven constituencies, more than 90% of the votes were ignored (regional figures and by party are available). Of the 32 million votes cast, only 9.4 millio...
The Labour leadership election has been an astounding one thus far for one reason, - Keir Starmer. When you look at the other candidates that put themselves forward, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Emily Thornberry, Jess Phillips and Clive Lewis, they all have something different to offer irrespective of what wing of the party you are from and the fact that Keir Starmer has such a support base only further highlights the need of radical change, which won’t happen under him.
As a staunch socialist and belief in the grassroots movement that was energised and created under the Corbyn leadership, my votes will undoubtedly go to Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader and Richard Burgon for Deputy Leader.
Firstly, let’s unpack the issue of Keir Starmer and why he is seen as a ‘safe’ pair of hands by many left-wing members, and the ideal candidate for the so-called centre and the right of the party. He is a barrister and has been knighted, therefore he is seen as intelligent, capable but notably fr...