30 August 2018
Diary of a Corbynista
by Don Urquhart
Israel’s expansion into the West Bank continues relentlessly. Haaretz reports:
Israel Approves 382 New Homes in West Bank Settlements
In addition, plans were advanced Wednesday for an expansion of a residential neighbourhood in Kiryat Netafim settlement by an additional 84 housing units, the construction of 29 housing units in Otniel and 52 units in Beit El. These plans are pending further approvals.
The council also discussed the planning of hundreds of new housing units in Adam settlement (also known as Geva Binyamin).
In today’s Jewish Chronicle Joan Ryan, Labour MP and chair of the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) takes her party leader to task for focussing on the Palestine problems rather than pressing domestic issues.
Jeremy Corbyn appals me – and his behaviour will get no better
The Labour Party should have spent this summer highlighting the government’s multiple failures and failings.
Instead, the last four weeks have been dominated by stories about our leader attending ceremonies at the graves of those behind the Munich massacre, presiding over Holocaust Memorial Day meetings where Israel was compared to Nazi Germany, and casting doubt on the guilt of Hamas terrorists.
I can’t think it was Corbyn’s choice to spend his time answering questions about past events dragged up with monotonous predictability by the usual suspects of whom Ms Ryan is one.
In The Guardian Robert Booth tells of a coming United Nations investigation into extreme poverty in the UK.
Alexander Tiffin, a 30-year old from the Scottish Highlands, sent a diary of his life on universal credit to Prof Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, who is coming to Britain in November.
Tiffin’s diary of life on universal credit is among the most striking contributions so far. The wheelchair user told Alston he is living off £95.35 a fortnight in universal credit payments and that, after paying for his electricity and gas, fuel for his adapted car, broadband connection, TV licence and baby milk for his youngest son, he is left with £10.50 for two weeks.
“At one time in February, I had no food at all for two weeks,” he wrote. “I probably ate on less than a quarter of the days in that month. I just had nothing. I lost two and a half stone … my hair has started falling out and my teeth are loose due to a lack of vitamin intake.”
On 8 May, he wrote: “I wanted to be able to make myself some sandwiches, so I bought a loaf of bread for 45p and a small block of cheese for £1.72. This left me with £3.30 [with 10 days to go until the next payment]. I must admit I felt bad after buying it as I shouldn’t have wasted the money.”
I never thought I would say this but today’s Daily Express has a thoughtful article. Darren Hunt and Fraser Peel deal with the problems Brexit is likely to bring for fruit farmers. There is a videoed interview with Tim Chambers who farms berries in Kent. He fears the loss of cheap seasonal labour from the EU.
The reason British people would not be encouraged to do the jobs is because they are seasonal, so you would have to come and live on the farm, because you need to start very early in the morning or work for a time period; after six months or five months or three months, when the crop finishes, you then need to go and find another job. Living in the UK you need a steadier income.
Mr Chambers and others obtain a steady income from the same business so why not the people who pick the fruit. Could it be that the solution lies in the structure of the industry and how its benefits are distributed?
The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours.
Not the Labour manifesto, but the words of Theresa May on the Downing Street steps in 2016.
Yesterday The Local Government Association reported on the plight of homeless children:
More than 123,000 children and their families have spent their school holiday homeless, an increase of around 53,000 since the summer holidays of 2011.
Julius Streicher was the millionaire owner of Der Stürmer, a German newspaper of the 1930’s specialising in pornography and anti-Semitism. In attacking individuals he dredged up alleged misdeeds from their past and depicted them in banner headlines. His motto was:
Something always sticks.
A number of newspapers are waging a propaganda war against Jeremy Corbyn, a politician proposing policies unpalatable to them. Although Julius Streicher was executed as a war criminal in 1946, his motto lives on.
On Sunday morning three men were stabbed in the East German city Chemnitz. One of them died.
The two suspects are from the Middle East, one Iraqi and one Syrian. Since then there have been street clashes between far right and anti-Nazi groups.
In Der Spiegel Johannes Grunert reported that a group of 800 to 1000 had been marching chanting slogans:
We are the People,
Foreigners Out and
This is our City.
They attacked anyone who did not look German.
Markus Frohnmaier an MP from the far right AfD party went on to Twitter:
If the state cannot protect its citizens, people go on the streets and protect themselves.
I was reminded of reports I had read of the battle of Cable Street in 1936, where Mosley’s British Union of Fascists marched to intimidate the East End’s Jewish population, but were confronted and routed by the local people. My mother told me she and her neighbours had gone out to protect the Jews.
The Daily Mail recently enjoyed prodding the Labour leader over his poor choice of words at an event 5 years ago:
EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Corbyn said British ‘Zionists’ have ‘no sense of English irony’.
Back in the 1930’s the Daily Mail headline was:
Hurrah for the Blackshirts.
Harold Harmsworth was a friend of Oswald Mosley and a fan of Adolf Hitler. He stopped supporting the British Union of Fascists, allegedly only when Jewish advertisers threatened to withdraw their business.
Irony is piled on irony.
Today’s Daily Telegraph tells of a UN report which concludes that all sides in the Yemen conflict – the Yemeni government and its Saudi-led backers as well as the Houthi rebels may have committed war crimes.
The detailed report said both sides had conscripted child soldiers and carried out acts of torture as well as other human rights violations.
The report found that at least 6,475 civilians have been killed since the Saudi intervention began in March 2015 but said the “real figure is likely to be significantly higher”.
And it calls on Britain and America to stop selling weapons to the Saudis.
The response of our government spokesperson was light on concern and proactive compliance:
We take reports of alleged International Humanitarian Law violations very seriously and call for all parties to the conflict to adhere to International Humanitarian Law.