Corbynista Rides Again

Thumbnail Don Urquhart Red Sky Lenin Cast of Play Red Dawn

1 February 2024

Corbynista Rides Again

Still No Ceasefire

by Don Urquhart

9 December 2023

The Guardian reported on events at the United Nations:

The US vetoed a United Nations resolution calling for a ceasefire late on Friday, despite a dramatic warning from António Guterres that civil order was breaking down and the risk of a mass exodus into Egypt growing, with as yet unclear consequences for the rest of the region. The vote in the 15-member council was 13-1 with the UK abstaining.

13 December 2023

Yesterday the House of Commons spent 5 hours debating whether or not a specific African country could be deemed “safe” regardless of any evidence to the contrary.  The Prime Minister had pinned his political future to the implementation of a process whereby potential refugees could be transferred to Rwanda for processing.

A rational observer might ask why he would immolate himself for a topic of such futility and, perhaps more importantly, such irrelevance to the voting intentions of the nation.

I couldn’t watch all of it but was particularly struck by the contribution of Nick Fletcher, the Conservative MP for Don Valley. 

 Here is a selection.  His thesis appears to be that all of our problems are down to immigration.  I suspect his front bench see this analysis as their only route to election success.

Doncaster is full.

I do not think it is Christian when my constituents have to put up with immigration at the level it is at.

 Unfortunately, outside, we have left-wing lawyers making six-figure salaries calling me and people like me awful. We have TV pundits on seven-figure salaries, paid by my constituents through TV licences, again calling me awful.

Then all of a sudden the neighbour decides to move on—he gets a different job or moves somewhere else—and that house is turned into a house in multiple occupation. Then we have nine people who do not speak English bed hopping. That is what is happening. It is no good saying it is not happening; it is happening.

It is happening in Doncaster and in places throughout the country. We are turning parts of our community into a ghetto.

All of a sudden, you are living next door to an HMO and there are comings and goings at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, with people outside smoking. The grass does not get cut any more, the windows do not get cleaned anymore and, unfortunately, you feel too scared to let your child play out in the garden any more.

The only protection is a lock on the door. The council might introduce a public spaces protection order, but would probably not enforce it.

You cannot sell your house, or if you can, you have to sell it at a discount. Your little child falls over in the street and you have to go to A&E, and there is a 12-hour waiting list. The reason the waiting lists are so long is that people do not speak English in these places any more.  This is what is happening! In the schools, the classes are all oversized.

He was followed by Joanna Cherry, SNP MP for Edinburgh South West who commented:

I feel as if I have been sucked back in time to listen to Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech again.

14 December 2023

Hanukkah was formally celebrated at the Palace of Westminster for the first time.  The political parties were represented by James Cleverley, Sir Keir Starmer and Sir Ed Davey.  The Israeli Ambassador, Tzipi Hotovely stood front and centre and was able to proclaim:

I thank the UK Parliament for standing with us during one of the darkest periods in our recent history.

Many will interpret this as a thank you to the UK for supporting genocide in Gaza.

18 December 2023

The ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus first spotted that truth is the first casualty of war.  But are we living in a post-truth world? For many people the IDF approach to the Palestinians is justified by history – persecution of Jews throughout the ages, finding a homeland and defending it from hostile neighbours.  For others there is nothing that justifies the carnage being visited on innocent people in Gaza.

Both groups have a truth that works for them and they can filter the media reports through the prism that suits them.

There is a third group whose priority is simply to bring the Israeli hostages home.  The recent killing of Israeli hostages by the IDF might bring a Ceasefire nearer as people question the validity of the government narrative.

27 December 2023

The Independent tells us:

Junior doctors will stage a six-day walkout from the morning of 3 January to 9 January, during what is traditionally the most challenging week of the year for the NHS. It is the longest strike in NHS history and comes off the back of a 72-hour action before Christmas.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the dispute, resolution is not expedited by a Cabinet Minister referring to:

“… junior doctors, or doctors in training as I prefer to call them.

Delivering this utterance was the wife of Paul Kenyard, Managing Director of British Sugar or Victoria Atkins, Health Secretary as she prefers to call herself.

29 December 2023

Albert Einstein opined:

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Pretty soon we could find out if he was right.

In The Daily Telegraph, John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN advises:

The West may now have no option but to attack Iran.

In the Express, Alice Scarsi supports this view:

Iran leaves UK and US with no choice but ‘direct military force’ as it wages proxy war.

One might ask whether it is only Iran that is waging a proxy war.  Hopefully Joe Biden is busily disavowing Bolton’s view and similar statements from Sunak and Starmer might disarm conspiracy theorists in this country.

3 January 2024

The footage from Gaza has the residents turning on each other as they scramble for food.  How long before we are in a similar state?

Reuters reported last month:

Child poverty levels in the UK worst among world’s richest nations, UNICEF report finds.

And yet neither of the two big parties has the elimination of child poverty as a priority.  I guess they take the view that poor people are unlikely to have the time to vote.

4 January 2024

The Stop the War Coalition  (STW) was quick out of the blocks on 24th February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine :

This dispute could and should be resolved peacefully, and that remains the only basis for a lasting settlement, rather than the imposition of military solutions. That it has not been resolved is not, however, the responsibility of the Russian or Ukrainian governments alone.

The conflict is the product of thirty years of failed policies, including the expansion of NATO and US hegemony at the expense of other countries as well as major wars of aggression by the USA, Britain and other NATO powers which have undermined international law and the United Nations.

When Israel started bombing Gaza STW was quick to call for a Ceasefire.

If there’s a war it Won’t End in Gaza was the headline to Lindsey German’s article on October 24th 2023.

Thousands of deaths later in both conflicts and the combatants are hopefully coming round to the same conclusion.

5 January 2024

Yesterday Sir Keir Starmer set out his stall for 2024.  The BBC reported:

Big difference between Labour and Tories, says Sir Keir Starmer

Well there is a big difference between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump but neither would get my vote.

Starmer rattles on about broad aspirations.  The only thing he is categorically in favour of is fiscal rules, whatever they are.  And he hopes to win Tories over by presenting his team as a safer pair of hands for business as usual.

Anyone concerned about child poverty and homelessness will be waiting a long time before Starmer’s focus groups declare resolution of such problems a vote winner.

18 January 2024

In the European Parliament Irish MEP Clare Daly was critical of Joe Biden’s support for Israel and admonished him not to harp on his Irish roots with the memorable phrase:
Keep our country out of your mouth.

In years to come this could be the moment that defines her career.  Others have been chiefly remembered for a single statement.

Leo Amery was a government backbencher speaking in a May 1940 Commons debate.  He echoed Oliver Cromwell’s command to the Long Parliament to end a withering attack on Prime Minister Chamberlain:

In the name of God go.

David Davis used the same words in the Commons in January 2022, targeting Boris Johnson but the PM held on for 8 months so the event was less memorable.

What brought this to mind was an edition of Politics Live where Tory MP Matt Warman advised us not to vote Labour as that party had left no money in the coffers in 2010.  It’s a regular trope used most memorably by David Cameron in 2015 waving a piece of paper left for the Tories in 2010 by departing Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne.

The words on the piece of paper were a message to Byrne’s successor:

Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam

Whatever else Liam Byrne achieves he will be remembered primarily for this gaucherie.

19 January 2024

Our politicians need to answer the question:

Does the UK need a steelmaking capability?

If the answer is “no” they should say so and do the best they can for the 3,000 people thrown out of work by Tata’s plan to close the Port Talbot blast furnaces.

If the answer is “yes” they should explain how they will achieve this.

My jaundiced expectation is that government and opposition will say that steelmaking is strategic without proposing a single tangible measure to make it happen.

There should perhaps be a BAFTA for most heart wrenching virtue signaller and also most brazen rationale for kicking the problem down the road.

23 January 2024

The UK is now at war in the Middle East.  What else do you call bombing the Yemen?  Since October 7th we have been supporting Israel in its Palestine elimination project with weaponry and surveillance flights.  It could be UK surveillance that has shown the IDF where some of the 100 murdered journalists were located.  I don’t know if this is the case and I can only guess the rationale of our surveillance flights.  But the conflict is no longer a little local difficulty.  The USA and acolytes are engaged in a proxy war with Iran which is manifested as attacks in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Baluchistan and Israel/Gaza.

The Houthis say they will stop attacking shipping if there is a Ceasefire.  We should encourage the combatants to comply but we will not as this would make too big a dent in the aspirations of the USA Military Industrial Complex which is enjoying a splendid war dividend.

26 January 2024

Reuters reports:

Hamas says it will abide by any ICJ ceasefire order if Israel reciprocates.

This has to be good news for those of us hoping for an early resolution of the Israel/Gaza conflict, and also the bombing of Yemen despite the unconvincing efforts of Sunak and Starmer to portray the two issues as unrelated.

27 January 2024

At the time he didn’t have access to hard information.

This on Newsnight was Baroness Kennedy’s explanation of Sir Keir Starmer’s endorsement of the IDF siege of Gaza and explicitly the starvation and bombardment the inhabitants were experiencing.

It was disappointing to see this articulate lawyer putting party loyalty before truth.

29 January 2024

UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) organises humanitarian aid in Gaza.  It comprises 13,000 employees of whom 152 have been killed by the IDF.

Three weeks ago Israeli government spokesperson Noga Arbell advised the Knesset:

It will be impossible to win the war if we do not destroy UNRWA, and this destruction must begin immediately.

And so last Friday we discovered that, according to the Israeli government 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the October 7th attack.  The US and UK Governments speedily withdrew UNRWA funding.

This is part of an email I received today from UNRWA.

Recently, 12 UNRWA employees were alleged to have been involved in the attacks on Israel on 7 October 2023. UNRWA holds a zero-tolerance policy towards such actions. In response, the Agency has terminated the contracts of those involved and has arranged for a transparent independent investigation led by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), the highest investigative authority in the UN system

Following these allegations – and despite our swift response – several donor countries have temporarily suspended their funding to UNRWA.  

This comes at a time when critical humanitarian needs across the Gaza Strip are at their highest. Most people in Gaza depend on UNRWA for survival. Over the past 115 days, UNRWA has provided shelter, food assistance, and primary health care to those who need it most. The lack of funds poses a severe threat to our humanitarian operations.

Civilians in Gaza, including 13,000 of UNRWA’s humanitarian aid workers who are tirelessly working in unimaginable conditions to deliver aid, must now pay the price for the alleged actions of 12 employees.

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