The EU and the slow coup against Jeremy Corbyn

BLAIRITESBREXITDURO DAKOVIC TEPEUEUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICEFREE MOVEMENTJEREMY CORBYNVIKING AND LAVAL

 

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party poses a threat to the rule of big business. This much is clear from the panic currently gripping the establishment, both inside and outside of the Labour Party.

But what is also apparent is that, so far, the establishment has lacked a coherent strategy for removing him. Indeed, the harder they try, the more he is lifted up by his supporters, and the more entrenched in his position he becomes.

This is in part because the very heavy-handed way in which he has been attacked. The Blairites, the representatives of capitalism in the Labour Party, have orchestrated two anti-democratic coups against his leadership. They have openly briefed against him in the Tory press. They also continue to expel members simply on the grounds of being socialists.

At every stage in their ruinous campaign, the Blairites’ intentions have been obvious and their tactics predictable. (NB: the term “Blairite” is not intended to refer to anyone who is pro-EU, just those who support Tony Blair and his more cynical reasons for remaning in the EU.)

But recent history has forced some of the more thoughtful Blairites to adopt a more sophisticated strategy. This is partly because the open approach to removing Corbyn has, time and again, only served to consolidate his position. But it is also because Labour’s excellent results at the general election have forced the Labour right onto the back foot: to openly oppose the leadership at this stage could be considered a treachery too far!

So rather than attack him directly, the capitalist establishment, hoping to make Labour safe for big business again, is attempting to divide Corbyn’s support through appeals to the pro-EU sentiments of a section of his supporters.

This was seen when 51 Labour MPs and MEPS moved an amendment to the Queen’s Speech guaranteeing membership of the single market. It was also evident last week, when the London Mayor Sadiq Khan was reported as saying: “What could trump the referendum result is us having a manifesto offer saying, we would not leave the EU, or we would have a second referendum.”

So why do the Blairites fetishize the EU in this way?

The truth is that, fundamentally, the EU and the single market are pro-privatisationand work chiefly in the interests of big business.

It is in this sense that the Blairites betrayal is most stark. They are attempting to dress up pro-capitalist policies in the language of internationalism – in effect, to use the progressive sentiments of many pro-EU Corbyn supporters to further policies which would act as a serious obstacle to a socialist government. (For those who claim that the existence of nationalised industries in the EU contradicts this, these arguments have already been refuted.)

Free movement for workers or for capital?

Free movement is a contentious issue in current debates over Brexit. This is in part because of ongoing attempts to conflate the way it applies to individuals and the way that it applies to undemocratic corporations.

In a recent interview with Andrew Marr, Corbyn stated that although Labour would guarantee the right of EU nationals to remain in the UK, “what there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”

This has been met with outcry by the political establishment – in and out of the Labour Party.

“Corbyn is a hard right Brexiteer”, writes Lib Dem leader Vince Cable – before describing himself, without a hint of irony, as a progressive. Baron Livermore, a former political advisor to Tony Blair and a representative of just about everything that was wrong with New Labour, complained that “Labour now has the same immigration policy as UKIP and a harder Brexit policy than the Tories”.

And yet any close scrutiny reveals that Corbyn’s criticism of free movement is as far from hard right as you can get. Corbyn’s opposition to the “wholesale importation of underpaid workers” is actually a criticism of the free movement of capital rather than workers – a common view in the progressive, and international, trade union movement.

One of the main reasons for this is that the European Court of Justice (ECJ), when called on to resolve labour disputes, has consistently come down on the side of big business, putting the free movement of big business ahead of the right of workers to strike.

Some of the most prominent examples of this came in the 2007 Viking and Lavalrulings.

Viking

In 2007, Viking Line Apb (Viking) was the thirteenth largest passenger shipping company in the world and the owner of Rosella, a passenger and cargo ferry that traded between Helsinki and Tallin.

Previously the Rosella operated under the Finish flag with a mainly Finnish crew, but when the company announced that the vessel was loss-making and announced plans to replace the Finnish crew with Estonian workers on worse pay and conditions, the Finnish Seamans Union (FSU) threatened to strike – an action protected under Finnish law.

This action was also supported by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the global body to which the FSU is affiliated, which called on its affiliates to show solidarity with the Viking workers, by refusing negotiations with the Rosellashould it go ahead with “reflagging” to Estonia.

The European Court of Justice, however, found that the actions of the FSU, supported by the ITF, infringed on Viking’s right of free movement, in particular the right of establishment under Article 43 of the EC Treaty and the right to provide services.

The ECJ acted to outlaw strike action if it infringed on the right of big business to move its national base in order to maximise profits.

Laval

Just one week later, workers’ rights were delivered yet another devastating blow through the ECJ in the Laval case, which held that Swedish trade unions could not take industrial action to compel a Latvian builder operating in Stockholm to observe the terms and conditions of collective agreement.

The main issue at stake here was the Posted Workers Directive. An EU report concerning this directive states that

“Member States shall… guarantee workers posted to their territory the terms and conditions of employment… which, in the Member State where the work is carried out, are laid down… by law, regulation or administrative provision.”

In reality, this means that migrant labour could legally be used to undercut union negotiated pay and terms and conditions – and if workers attempt to resist, they will be acting in defiance of EU law.

Workers, in other words, cannot take industrial action against their employer if it is considered to infringe on their right of “free movement”.

Other cases

These cases were followed in quick succession by the Rüffert and Luxembourg cases, which both backed up the central issues of Laval – prohibiting workers from taking effective action to protect pay and terms and conditions.

In Britain, these rulings have played out in a number of contexts. In 2008, pilots and flight deck employees at British Airways threatened strike action against proposed cuts to pay. BA responded by threatening legal action against the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), stating that any strike would be unlawful because of Viking and Laval.

BALPA was effectively blackmailed with an injunction and unlimited damages if industrial action went ahead. BA claimed that its losses, should strike action have gone ahead, would have been £100million per day. Enough to quickly bankrupt the union.

More recently in 2016, construction workers in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, were in dispute with a Croatian firm called Duro Dakovic TEP, who were subcontracted to build a biomass power station. The dispute was caused by Duro Dakovic who avoided paying industry rates to British-based workers by using a migrant labour force which, because of EU free movement legislation, they were only required to pay at minimum wage in the host country (roughly £7 per hour).

This is the sort of thing that Corbyn was talking about when he spoke of opposing the “wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions”.

According to rulings from the ECJ, workers cannot legally take strike action if it infringes on the free movement of capital and the right of establishment for big business.

(What a socialist view of immigration might look like is outside of the scope of this article, but it has been dealt with here.)

Blairites and the EU

The opposite of free movement of capital is not, as is commonly understood, the free movement of labour. It is the right to international trade union agreements.

But Labour right wingers don’t even support local trade union struggles over the rights of big business, so why would they support international trade union agreements over the right of establishment for big business?

The Blairites make a big song and a dance about supporting the EU because, they claim, it protects workers’ rights. But when workers in Britain undertake strike action, you can usually find right wing Labour MPs condemning the actioncrossing picket lines, or even coming down on the side of the bosses.

In fact, when the Laval and Viking rulings took place, the New Labour government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown refused to ensure that collective agreements would take precedence over the free market logic of the Posted Workers Directive. According to a 2009 article in the Times:

“Britain helped to kill moves to force employers to pay foreign workers the same as domestic employees last month when it rejected an update of the EU’s Posted Workers’ Directive.

“Pat McFadden, the Employment Minister, resisted any change to the directive, which says that employers need to pay foreign workers the minimum wage but does not enforce local pay deals – allowing British workers to be undercut. His fellow employment ministers agreed at a meeting on December 17 and the European Commission followed suit this month.”

Blair and Brown came under widespread criticism from the trade union movement for these actions (see the excellent edited volume by the Institute of Employment Rights, “The New Spectre Haunting Europe”).

What next for Corbyn supporters?

Corbyn is correct to say that he does not support Britain remaining in the single market. In response to the hysterical opposition of Labour’s right wing he should go on the political offensive by making clear that the starting point of his ‘Brexit negotiation policy’ would be to implement policies in the interests of the working and middle class. From a £10 an hour minimum wage and the abolition of zero-hour contracts, to public ownership of the banks and the major companies that dominate the British economy – annulling every EU law that was an obstacle to implementing them.

At the same time, he should continue to make clear that a government he led would guarantee the rights of citizens from other EU countries living in Britain. An appeal made on this basis to workers’ organisations across Europe could have an electrifying effect. It would be possible to use the Brexit talks to go on the offensive against the EU’s neoliberal rules and to fight for a socialist Europe.

But Corbyn and his supporters must also address the ongoing internal problems in the Labour Party. A campaign needs to be immediately launched to transform the Labour Party into a genuinely anti-austerity, democratic party of workers and young people.

This requires the introduction of mandatory reselection contests for MPs. The next general election could be at any time, and Labour must not face another election with the majority of its own candidates opposing Corbyn. MPs should have to account for their records, via a democratic process, to Labour Party members in their local area.

This should be combined with the democratisation of the party, including restoring the rights of trade unions, and welcoming all genuine socialists in a democratic federation. These measures could create a party which was genuinely able to bring together all the young people, socialists, workers and community campaigners who are inspired by Corbyn’s message into a powerful mass force.

He is not the Messiah, he is a very naughty boy

Let’s go back to the beginning. Remember, Corbyn only got onto the leadership ticket because a couple of Labour establishment figures thought we needed a proper debate and agreed to include a left winger. This is because the Labour Party had been transformed under Tony Blair into a centralised neo-liberal party in which constituencies no longer got to choose who their candidate was. They were mainly Blair loyalists parachuted in from central office. But once Corbyn was on the ticket it galvanised the membership in the Labour Party who wanted to see an alternative to austerity.

Corbyn only got chosen as it was his turn. The left in the Labour Party were a rump consisting of about dozen or so MPs, and everyone else had had a go. He never wanted to be PM. He never chased office. He has the lowest expenses returns of any MP. He’s been consistent in his views throughout his life, voting according to his principles.

Under Blair, if you remember, the Labour Party had become as corrupt and self-serving as the Tory Party. Remember Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt. Blair left office and made himself unimaginably rich: the richest ex-Prime Minister ever. The Blair method was to appeal to the right wing press by instituting policies that the ruling class approved of. In other words, these weren’t Labour policies. Margaret Thatcher, when asked what her greatest achievement was, said “New Labour”. And there you have it. There was no longer a choice in politics. It was blue Tory vs red Tory, with hardly anything to choose between the two.

The financial crisis of 2008 gave governments around the world the opportunity to institute austerity. It was the corrupt, and frankly criminal, activities by the banks that caused the crash, but it was the public and public services who were being asked to pay. The banks were bailed out, hardly anyone went to jail, and the rest of us were asked to tighten our belts. But it was always fake. Austerity was the opposite of what was required. Old fashioned Keynesianism says that in a time of recession you need to stimulate the economy, not shrink it. The point is that austerity had nothing to do with helping the economy. It was a means by which wealth was being transferred, from the bottom to the top, allowing both Labour and the Tories to sell off what remained of our public services.

That’s the background to Corbyn’s rise, and the reason his message is proving so popular. It’s not because he has “a Messiah Complex”. It’s because the Labour manifesto is promising something other than this continual transfer of wealth from – for example – BHS’s pension scheme to Sir Philip Green‘s third yacht; from the less well off to the wealthy, a process that has been going on for the last 40 years and which has been accelerating under austerity.

Here’s the reason austerity is wrong. If you redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich, all they do is to squirrel it away in tax havens where it does nothing. If you do it the other way round, and redistribute from the rich to the poor, the poor spend their money, thus stimulating the economy, thus making us all better off. It worked in 1945, it continues to work in the Scandinavian countries, why wouldn’t it work here and now?

So rather than attack the policies, the press have decided to attack the man. He was a clown, if you remember. A fumbling idiot. Unpatriotic. Scruffy. Unelectable. Didn’t bow his head at the right angle at the cenotaph. Didn’t support our armed forces. A whole bunch of other stuff. Now he has “a Messiah Complex”. The amount of bad press has been extraordinary, and not only from the right wing media, which you would expect, but from the left and the centre as well: from the BBC, the Guardian and the Independent as well as the Sun and the Mail. From his own back benches.

So “Corbynism”, if you want to call it that, isn’t about the man, it’s about the policies. It’s a movement, of the sort that brought the Labour Party into being in the first place, and which brought it to power in 1945. Everyone thought then that Winston Churchill would be the post war leader, but what the pundits didn’t know – as they failed to recognise this time – is that there was a genuine grass-roots movement taking place. Then it was in the forces, amongst the mainly young men and women who had been asked to risk their lives in the fight against Nazism. Now it is amongst the youth, who have been asked to pay for the profligacy of the rich and of the old through increasing insecurity, low paid jobs and zero-hours contracts, while our governments, instead of fighting Nazism have been supporting it: selling arms to Saudi Arabia and supporting terrorism in Libya, Iraq and Syria. Then it was Atlee, now it is Corbyn.

As for him “scoring political points” over Grenfell: yes and why not? Grenfell is precisely the symbol of all that is wrong in this country: using inferior non fire resistant cladding for poor people and immigrants in order to save money on the council tax bills of the richest people in the richest borough in the UK. Why would he not point that out?

As for all those “white middle class kids” paying over the odds in Glastonbury: haven’t they got a future too? And Corbyn is mobbed wherever he goes: in Newcastle, in Liverpool, in Birmingham and Manchester, and not just by the white middle classes.

Remember Grime For Corbyn?

People all over the country are rising up against the corruption of nepotism of the old politics, where, for example, Theresa May’s husband runs a company specialising in tax avoidance using loopholes his wife arranges while in government, or Boris Johnson closes down fire stations and then sells off the fire fighting equipment to his mate for £2 the lot.

Most politicians are corrupt, but instead of celebrating the one politician who is not corrupt, we say he has a “Messiah Complex” because people are responding to what he says. Don’t you think that’s a bit petty? What we are watching is a genuine transformation of social relations of the kind that happens every so often in politics, when a corrupt and venal political class go too far, and the people find them out.

We’re lucky to have Corbyn. Can you think of another politician who could go through the campaign of vilification he has suffered over the last two years and not want to give in? I don’t think anyone else, on the left or the right, could have done it. But it’s not about him, it’s about us, and the future we want to see for our children and grandchildren. We had free education, a national health service and a welfare state, why would we not want to bequeath those things to future generations? The magic money tree is real enough. It is the wealth that people generate through their hard work and ingenuity, when they are freed from poverty wages and the stress and anxiety caused by the false philosophy of neo-liberalism and the self-serving rule of the very rich.

Bring on the revolution, that’s what I say.

The Tory Right Press.

What the Telegraph and others do not understand about their Corbyn Ad Hominems …
For two years now, we have enjoyed a litany of sorry non-stories from the right-wing press. The format is always the same; ‘Jeremy Corbyn once visited the same supermarket as a fellow who was a driver for a guy who knew someone who claimed that they went to a meeting that Yasser Arafat also attended …’ or ‘Jeremy Corbyn didn’t fully button his fly at an official banquet in a clear attempt to insult the queen.’

Today his popularity continues to show an upward trajectory, whilst Theresa May’s popularity continues to tank. Labour are now 5-8 points ahead in most polling. The personal attacks aren’t working. And they aren’t working because they generally imply an association with terrorists or ‘bad people’, or suggest an overt and intentional disrespect on his part, which would, were it true, as reported, clearly be at odds with his actual actions and long held convictions in over 30 years of political life. He has in fact, if anything, facilitated the smears by his own honesty and integrity by actually providing respectful answers and explanations, to questions which were actually ill advised to ask, since there are few, if any real skeletons in Corbyn’s cupboard.

I recall a Telegraph smear article which headlined ‘Corbyn’s £3million State Funded Salary and Pension’. The figure was arrived at by adding up his income as an MP, over 30 years, and his Pension Rights; a totally meaningless figure except to demonstrate a reality which was entirely at odds with the intention of the headline, to anyone bothering to read beyond it. The fact that people exist who read the Telegraph, Sun, Express or whatever, and who are fundamentally ill disposed towards Corbyn is irrelevant to the mission to discredit him … it is preaching to the choir, so to speak. No, the intention has to be to bring more and more into the fold of ‘Corbyn Haters’, and as such the strategy has been a dismal failure. The reason is clear; there aren’t enough stupid people. Or at least there aren’t enough, who are stupid enough, who don’t already vote Tory.

We expect our politicians to evade, misdirect, or lie. Or perhaps all three, as of habit. So when Jeremy Corbyn is asked ‘would you push the nuclear button?’ and answers honestly, it ISN’T a slam dunk win for the fearmongering right. What many people see in such a situation is a man of integrity; an honest man who is prepared to lay bare for scrutiny his core beliefs. Not another of the self-serving, disingenuous, arrogant, supercilious clones who fill the benches on both sides of the house. We may not all agree with him, but many can respect his taking the hard choice, as opposed to simply ‘dissembling’. And that, after all, as many people have endlessly stated, is what they want from a politician.

Corbyn is also attacked frequently as weak on defence. Setting aside the irony that the hawkish Conservative Party have in government reduced the defence budget in real terms by an average of 0.5% for each year in office over the past 40 years, (ONS figures) Jeremy Corbyn is, by his own admission, not a pacifist. He subscribes to the view that ‘all war is a failure of diplomacy’, recognising that as a matter of last resort, incertain circumstances, the military option is necessary. But even on the basis of circumstance and priority, like many people, he has concluded that £150-200bn cost of Trident replacement is profligate. Only this month, the UN adopted a treaty banning nuclear weapons. And we have for decades been signed up to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Yes, he is a unilateralist. However, what Corbyn also demonstrates is a respect for the democratic process, and has clearly stated that so long as the Labour Party supports Trident through votes at conference, then that is the policy which will prevail.

There is another obvious incongruity between the painting of Jeremy Corbyn as a pacifist and appeaser, and at the same time a supporter of terrorism. The IRA loving, Hamas loving, terrorist sympathiser argument dissolves the moment Corbyn demonstrates his 30 years of active attempts at conflict resolution, involving talking through issues to search for common ground, and ultimately solutions. Yes, so far as Thatcher was concerned, he supported a ‘South African terrorist … one Nelson Mandela’. Yes, he opposed her ‘crimes against humanity Chilean dictator friend Pinochet … (subsequently arrested and indicted but died before trial). But what defines the man is his personal anti-war, anti-violence, CND supporting and pro unilateral disarmament personal position. Not the ideal credentials for someone against which you hope to orchestrate a smear campaign as a lover of ‘men of violence’. The clear truth is far more credible and obvious to all but the most intellectually challenged.

Jeremy Corbyn has presented an almost unique challenge for the normal personality assassination favoured by the media to undermine credibility or destroy careers. He’s a decent bloke. He finds time for people; to engage with and empathise with the common man. He has many of the virtues and of course faults, as do we all, and that is the point. The more people recognise and support the broad tenets of what is sometimes pejoratively described as ‘Corbynism’, the more people treat the attack as ‘personal’. As an assault on their own beliefs and core values, which sets them even more against the media narrative. The right-wing press and media is rapidly becoming no more than an echo chamber, with broad but often vague criticism typifying their anti-Corbyn rhetoric. There is no evidence that the sometimes hyperbolic demonization is having any effect whatsoever beyond reinforcing already held prejudices and opinions. There is every indication however, that the attacks galvanize a reflexive support, especially given the often extreme lack of balance or genuine credibility. It might reasonably be expected, the strategy, having a clear lack of traction, that some change of emphasis or direction would be a more fruitful enterprise. It is not in the interests of the left to suggest the form this change might take, but for the moment, and for as long as the current approach continues, the effect is more likely to be to further reinforce the perception that the constant ad hominems are a sign of a lack of imagination, if not actual desperation.

 

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Terrorists and being Strong and Stable

So Mrs May is still clinging on to power as our strong and stable Prime Minister. During the election campaign she tragically had to make comment on two Terrorist attacks, one in Manchester and one in London. Her rhetoric was that only she could be ‘strong and stable’ on terrorism and when Mr Corbyn had the audacity to question whether our foreign policy my have an impact the very walls shook with outrage and accusations of terrorist sympathiser and appeaser.

Since the election several things have changed the debate. Obviously bunging the DUP a billion quid from the magic money tree took some of the heat out of the alleged IRA links that Mr Corbyn was supposed to have. But now even more salient on the discussion is the release of a Home office statement. Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton Pavillion submitted a request to the Home Office asking if the Report on funding extremist funding in the UK was going to be placed in the public domain.

This is their statement:

The review into the funding of Islamist extremism in the UK was commissioned by the former Prime Minister and reported to the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister in 2016. The review has improved the Government’s understanding of the nature, scale and sources of funding for Islamist extremism in the UK. Publication of the review is a decision for the Prime Minister.

So Lucas then wrote to the Prime Minister. Who said she was considering advice on what is able to be published and will report to parliament with an update in due course.

So the Prime minister has a report about the funding of islamic terrorism in the UK that she doesnt want you or I to see? Interesting..

Could this be because the report lays bare the soures of the majority of terrorist activity in the UK comes from our really good friends the Saudis?

As WikiLeaks revealed in a leaked cable, the US government privately admitted that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”. WikiLeaks also published a cable that showed Hillary Clinton believed the Saudi government was giving “clandestine financial and logistic support” to Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and other extremist groups as early as 2014.

Now Amber Rudd and Boris Johnson have both rushed to the defence of the Saudis. They struggled to say the least. After all the UK has approved £3.5 billion in arms sales to the Saudis and Tory MP’s have received thousands of pounds in gifts and trips from the Saudi Government.

It would seem obvious to me at least that this report carrying as it does research into bombings and deaths in this country by Islami extremists would be something the Government would want to be in the public domain so we can address these issues after all one way to stop a terror campaign is to starve it of funds. But no apparently it is considered too dangerous for us proles to see this kind of information.

The Labour Party has vowed to get serious about terrorist funding and has made no secret of its distrust of the Saudis on this matter, If as it is thought, the Saudis are funding and equipping terrorists in the UK does that make any casualties the result of ‘friendly fire’?

Peter McFadyen

Europe, Ummuna and other Tories

Should Jeremy Corbyn have sacked Chuka Umunna and his 2 colleagues over the Brexit amendment? In one word YES.
Many people have been defending the view on the Single market and our access to it and also free movement of people so why are we against it as a party of inclusive internationalists.?
It’s complicated but worth understanding, a little history first. The Single European Act was signed in 1985 by a certain Margeret Thatcher, then PM. She was passionate about it. It carried with it the 4 freedoms but only 2 of those are contentious.

Free movement of goods and services and free movement of people.
Now I am going to quote dear Mrs Thatcher. This is from a speech she made in 1988.

“How we meet the challenge of the Single Market will be a major factor, possibly the major factor, in our competitive position in European and world markets into the twenty-first century. Getting it right needs a partnership between government and business.

“The task of government is two-fold: —to negotiate in Brussels so as to get the possible results for Britain; — and then to make you the business community aware of the opportunities, so that you can make the most of them.

“It’s your job, the job of business, to gear yourselves up to take the opportunities which a single market of nearly 320 million people will offer.

“Just think for a moment what a prospect that is. A single market without barriers—visible or invisible—giving you direct and unhindered access to the purchasing power of over 300 million of the world’s wealthiest and most prosperous people.

“Bigger than Japan. Bigger than the United States. On your doorstep. And with the Channel Tunnel to give you direct access to it.

“It’s not a dream. It’s not a vision. It’s not some bureaucrat’s plan. It’s for real.

“[Prior to 1973] Europe wasn’t open for business. Underneath the rhetoric, the old barriers remained. Not just against the outside world, but between the European countries.

“Not the classic barriers of tariffs, but the insiduous ones of differing national standards, various restrictions on the provision of services, exclusion of foreign firms from public contracts.

“Now that’s going to change. Britain has given the lead.

“We recognised that if Europe was going to be more than a slogan then we must get the basics right. That meant action.

“Action to get rid of the barriers. Action to make it possible for insurance companies to do business throughout the Community. Action to let people practice their trades and professions freely throughout the Community. Action to remove the customs barriers and formalities so that goods can circulate freely and without time-consuming delays. Action to make sure that any company could sell its goods and services without let or hindrance. Action to secure free movement of capital throughout the Community.

So the first thing we notice is that this act is a capitalis act designed not for ordinary people but for big business to take advantage of. So why then is free movement of people in all of this. Free movement of people was never about bright able people to move around Europe and work in any one of its member states, they already did and will continue to be able to. It was all about moving cheap and disposable labour around to suit big business. It is exploitation of poorer people and allows unscrupulous employers to take advantage for profit.

It is also worth remebering that in 2002 Mrs TThatcher also said her greatest legacy was the creation of New Labour and Tony Blair…….. There in her words you have it New Labour and Blairism is actually a reation of Toryism, Neoconservative and not about internationalism and equality,

Jeremy Corbyn has always accepted that getting a deal with Europe that is good for us will be difficult, but approaching Europe with humility, decency and a willingness to talk about shared values and some compromise will obvious;y stand us in much better stead than stamping our collective feet, threats and bloody mindedness.

Also in any political party that is serious about being in Government then their has to be discipline. We have our debates, argue our causes, come to a collective decision based on those debates and then unite behind that decision. Its called democracy, No no decision is absolutely set in stone, things can change causing us to revisit those decisions and we should again do it amongst ourselves, calm;y and again come to a democratic decision and unite behind it. No name calling, no secret briefings, And definitely no putting amendments that directly go against the parties agreed line. If that is something you feel so strongly about and couldn’t persuade the party to adopt your view then OUT you go, sorry but it has always been so.

Aha I hear people cry but Corbyn himself voted against the party line, Yes he did, as a back bencher frequently, but there is a world of differencce between voting as a back bencher and what a front bench spokeperson does. Look at what the Tories did to Michael Heseltine twice for dissent. So Mr Umunna, make a choice, argue your corner in private and then accept the democratic decision or leave, Wish you well but sorry if you cannot be for us then be against us somewhere else.

 

 

Chuka Umunna and other Tories

ummuna and may

 

Should Jeremy Corbyn have sacked Chuka Umunna and his 2 colleagues over the Brexit amendment? In one word YES.
Many people have been defending the view on the Single market and our access to it and also free movement of people so why are we against it as a party of inclusive internationalists.?
It’s complicated but worth understanding, a little history first. The Single European Act was signed in 1985 by a certain Margeret Thatcher, then PM. She was passionate about it. It carried with it the 4 freedoms but only 2 of those are contentious.

Free movement of goods and services and free movement of people.
Now I am going to quote dear Mrs Thatcher. This is from a speech she made in 1988.

“How we meet the challenge of the Single Market will be a major factor, possibly the major factor, in our competitive position in European and world markets into the twenty-first century. Getting it right needs a partnership between government and business.

“The task of government is two-fold: —to negotiate in Brussels so as to get the possible results for Britain; — and then to make you the business community aware of the opportunities, so that you can make the most of them.

“It’s your job, the job of business, to gear yourselves up to take the opportunities which a single market of nearly 320 million people will offer.

“Just think for a moment what a prospect that is. A single market without barriers—visible or invisible—giving you direct and unhindered access to the purchasing power of over 300 million of the world’s wealthiest and most prosperous people.

“Bigger than Japan. Bigger than the United States. On your doorstep. And with the Channel Tunnel to give you direct access to it.

“It’s not a dream. It’s not a vision. It’s not some bureaucrat’s plan. It’s for real.

“[Prior to 1973] Europe wasn’t open for business. Underneath the rhetoric, the old barriers remained. Not just against the outside world, but between the European countries.

“Not the classic barriers of tariffs, but the insiduous ones of differing national standards, various restrictions on the provision of services, exclusion of foreign firms from public contracts.

“Now that’s going to change. Britain has given the lead.

“We recognised that if Europe was going to be more than a slogan then we must get the basics right. That meant action.

“Action to get rid of the barriers. Action to make it possible for insurance companies to do business throughout the Community. Action to let people practice their trades and professions freely throughout the Community. Action to remove the customs barriers and formalities so that goods can circulate freely and without time-consuming delays. Action to make sure that any company could sell its goods and services without let or hindrance. Action to secure free movement of capital throughout the Community.

So the first thing we notice is that this act is a capitalis act designed not for ordinary people but for big business to take advantage of. So why then is free movement of people in all of this. Free movement of people was never about bright able people to move around Europe and work in any one of its member states, they already did and will continue to be able to. It was all about moving cheap and disposable labour around to suit big business. It is exploitation of poorer people and allows unscrupulous employers to take advantage for profit.

It is also worth remebering that in 2002 Mrs TThatcher also said her greatest legacy was the creation of New Labour and Tony Blair…….. There in her words you have it New Labour and Blairism is actually a reation of Toryism, Neoconservative and not about internationalism and equality,

Jeremy Corbyn has always accepted that getting a deal with Europe that is good for us will be difficult, but approaching Europe with humility, decency and a willingness to talk about shared values and some compromise will obvious;y stand us in much better stead than stamping our collective feet, threats and bloody mindedness.

Also in any political party that is serious about being in Government then their has to be discipline. We have our debates, argue our causes, come to a collective decision based on those debates and then unite behind that decision. Its called democracy, No no decision is absolutely set in stone, things can change causing us to revisit those decisions and we should again do it amongst ourselves, calm;y and again come to a democratic decision and unite behind it. No name calling, no secret briefings, And definitely no putting amendments that directly go against the parties agreed line. If that is something you feel so strongly about and couldn’t persuade the party to adopt your view then OUT you go, sorry but it has always been so.

Aha I hear people cry but Corbyn himself voted against the party line, Yes he did, as a back bencher frequently, but there is a world of differencce between voting as a back bencher and what a front bench spokeperson does. Look at what the Tories did to Michael Heseltine twice for dissent. So Mr Umunna, make a choice, argue your corner in private and then accept the democratic decision or leave, Wish you well but sorry if you cannot be for us then be against us somewhere else.

Never Forget

The Tories should not be forgiven for cheering after passing their public sector pay cap
In the wake of the Manchester bomb atrocity in May, Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
told NHS staff in Manchester and the surrounding areas “we are so proud of what you have done”.
In her speech made in the immediate aftermath of the terror attack at London Bridge in early June,
Theresa May praised the work of the emergency services.
But yesterday the Tories – along with the 10 DUP MPs they bought with £1bn of public money earlier in the week –
voted against a proposal to end the pay freeze on the wages of nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers a pay rise.And they laughed and cheered when their “victory” was announced in Parliament,
at their success in blocking a pay rise for workers they praised as heroes only weeks before.
This must never be forgotten or forgiven. The Tories have proven once again, that they are lower than vermin.

From someone I respect

I have been to the grenfell tower and witnessed the pain in the eyes of those who lost their loved ones, I saw hundreds of posters with young children’s faces and the elderly…missing. A photograph of an entire family with two little smiling toddlers turned to dust I cried.. I watched a little boy light candles surrounded by bouquets of flowers.. the back drop a dark gloomy charcoaled tower. I marched with the people of grenfell distraught and desperate for answers. The enormity of the scale of lost lives I have cried many times. I heard the pain in my mothers voice on the phone when she told me the tories had voted against a 1% pay rise. My mom works hard she is qualified and works with children she has not had a pay rise for 7 years. When I discovered my mothers true income I cried again. I was angry. I saw all the heartache and disbelief of people who had just witnessed the tories laughing at our own hardworking underpaid dedicated nurses not getting a pay rise. I witnessed grown men crying on the news because the tories had cut our fire services. I read a status by a lady distraught that the school she worked at could not afford new exercise books for the children. I spoke to nurses upset and ashamed that they are having to use food banks. I walk past the homeless every day on the way home from work sparing any change if I have it, they lie in every doorway and occupy every bench. I see the Sikh men come every evening in a large van to feed them all and provide provisions. I saw the picture posted by a man of himself campaigning at the side of the road with a sign in the country side which he has done for the last 5 years against fracking. There was the man who shared my petitions who I later realised was constantly trying to raise awareness about the inhumanity of fox hunting and the Tories acceptance and encouragement of it. I read the article about the tories blind eye to ivory sale. I have listened to many accounts from the disabled who feel like they are being victimised and left with little or no money to scrape by on. I stood next to a little girl with a sign around her neck at a protest that read ‘leave my education and free school meals alone’, I attended a reproductive rights protest and listened to harrowing accounts of the young girls being sectioned and arrested in Ireland fully supported by the pro forced pregnancy DUP. I felt the horror of the nation that the government was forming a coalition with homophobes. I read a comment from a man flying to the demo on Saturday from Ireland he was against the coalition with the DUP he felt it would cause trouble in Ireland and felt the DUP were responsible for deaths in his home town. I saw the devastating pictures of English bombs dropping over Syria, I watched a video in regards to Theresa’s plans to control our internet freedom, the news we receive, what is published and what we post. I endeavoured to help those who could not afford the privatised train fairs to the demo on Saturday one good hearted woman donated her train fare to another. I received several messages from the elderly willing to travel all the way to London to march, the disabled willing to borrow wheelchairs. I campaigned hard for labour and Jeremy Corbyn, I implored people to vote, I stayed up all night to see the results, i became angry at lost postal votes, admin errors and people being turned away. I heard tories sneer after the results about ‘the money tree’ and make obnoxious comments like ‘under 25’s should not be able to vote unless they have a house’ but nonetheless I know my efforts were not in vain! Although I have watched so much bigotry, I have saw so much fascism, I have heard so much austerity, And I have started to feel so much oppression.. I will never feel defeated.. I will continue to fight the good fight until there is no fight left in me ✊🏼🌹for I watched Jeremy’s speech at Glastonbury and it gave me hope.. I read up on his history of protesting and fighting the good fight and it inspired me.. I read all the heartwarming comments in the group and it motivated me.. I have a vision of love, peace & equality and that is intertwined into every fibre of my being.. that is why I will never loose my integrity..
They have tried to divide us,
They have spread lies & propoganda,
They have ridiculed us,
Tried to scare us but yet we still stand in defiance and solidarity.. for we are the many and THEY ARE THE FEW!❤️🌈🔴 Blinkered and sorry for they know not what they do!

Do not doubt your convictions, never loose hope! Hold your heads high and rise up! We are stronger than you think and they are afraid!

Forget strong and stable we are resilient and lionhearted 🦁 ❤️✊🏼
Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit!

‘ I will not go down under the ground,
‘Cause somebody tells me that death’s comin’ ’round.
An’ I will not carry myself down to die.
When I go to my grave my head will be high.
Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground!’

“Stop naming us” say MPs who voted for disability benefit cuts

problem with this as satire is that it is too near the truth, in fact it could be

News Toad

disability benefits

Conservative MPs who voted for £30 a week cuts in benefits for disabled people have asked today for people to stop naming them on social media so they can continue to claim huge expenses and lie about giving a shit.

London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith angrily hit back that there were any conflicts of interest in his patronage of a disability charity. “What’s £30 anyway? I claim that for my pre-dinner drinks on a week-night. But putting it on twitter makes it look like a lot. It’s completely unfair and unrepresentative. People need to stop noticing these things.”

Indeed the sentiment has been echoed throughout the country amongst MPs made to feel mean by people noticing that they voted to effectively withdraw support from some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Nick Boles MP who claimed over £140,000 in expenses last year said that he was shocked, outraged and…

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