Issue 224: 2019 11 21: Diary of a Corbynista

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21 November 2019

Diary of a Corbynista

The Tide Turns

by Don Urquhart

Mug shot of Don Urquhart7 November

This is a People versus the Elite election.

If you’ve got a few bob, a Labour Government will ask you to pay more tax in order to make the lives of the poor and the vulnerable more tolerable.

This has thrown the Conservatives and their acolytes into paroxysms of fear and trembling out of all proportion to Labour’s impact on their piggy banks.

You expect it from the billionaire press and the craven TV companies but even publications claiming no political affiliation are promoting fake news and smears against the Labour Party with a blinkered energy to rival the followers of Torquemada.

I must get out and canvas.  

8 November


Here BBC journalist John Sweeney reports that MI6 saw him as a security risk because he exposed himself to blackmail by partying with Russian oligarchs in Italy.

On Wednesday Business Insider reported a disturbing trend in Russian involvement with our Government.  Here are the headlines:

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has received a surge in donations from Russians in recent months.
  • Donors with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the party.
  • They have previously paid for meetings with senior government figures including Johnson.
  • He has blocked publication of a report examining whether Russia had influence over recent UK elections.
  • Johnson’s senior strategist Dominic Cummings is also under the spotlight following reports about time he spent in Russia in the 1990s.

9 November


From Business Insider a report on his mayoral commitment not to cut fire engines in 2010, the actual reductions of 27 fire engines and the closure of 10 fire stations, and being questioned about this in 2013 telling his interlocutor Andrew Dismore to get stuffed.

Do we really want to give Johnson more toys to break?

10 November


Lizzy Buchan in the Independent highlights yet another of those rattling skeletons that will only pop out of the cupboard after the General Election:

Boris Johnson’s relationship with Jennifer Arcuri could still be investigated for ‘possible criminality’ before election.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) strongly denied reports that it had delayed its announcement over whether the prime minister could face an investigation into “possible criminality” until after the Christmas poll.

11 November


This is the man who wrongly advised the Queen about the legality of shutting down Parliament.

This is not some smear circulated by a political opponent, but the considered and unanimous view of the Supreme Court of our land.

12 November


Does he understand his own flagship policy?

In a speech to Northern Ireland business leaders he was quite explicit that there would be no customs paperwork for trade between the province and Great Britain.  This directly contradicts the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Brexit Secretary.  Channel 4 summarises it well.

Does Boris Johnson understand his own Brexit deal?

13 November


Fracking halted after government pulls support

was the BBC headline 10 days ago.

Former Conservative energy minister Sam Gyimah, who is now a Liberal Democrat, said Mr Johnson’s “conversion to environmentalism” was “skin deep”.

“It’s interesting that just as we approach an election he has decided he is against fracking.”

And now in iNews:

The Government has slipped out a document which reveals ministers may allow more fracking in future

On 4 November, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published a response to a consultation on shale gas exploration which appears to contradict the new policy. It warns firms that the Government is generally opposed to fracking but does not rule out accepting new applications.

14 November

Whatever fantasies the Tories spin about love for their precious NHS, they have been running it into the ground for 10 years.

Here’s a Newsnight programme about Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in 2017. 

Since then things have deteriorated.  A&E waiting times are at their worst ever.

15 November

The Tories tell you they are putting more money into schools.  However listen carefully to Johnson and he talks rather of levelling the funding i.e. robbing Peter to pay Paul.

This video by Sonia Sodha earlier this year succinctly exposes the dire state of our education system and its relation to the ills the Tory party has inflicted on society.

16 November

The people in this Channel 4 News report have been left to rot by the Tory government.  How dare they pretend enthusiasm for public services in order to sneak election votes?

17 November

In Bolton a student block blessed with similar cladding to Grenfell Tower went up in flames.

Martin Moore-Bick is just embarking on Phase 2 of the Grenfell Report and he could do worse than examine government policy towards building regulations expressed so eloquently by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis in 2015.

Here’s a fawning interview where Lewis proudly reports:

We stripped away some 7,000 pages of planning guidance and regulations.

Brandon Lewis was just implementing the regulation scrapping policy of his government described here by David Cameron.

18 November

Today at the CBI Johnson backtracked on his commitment to reduce Corporation Tax from 19% to 17% in order to save £6 billion to fund the NHS.

It is a far cry from the oft repeated assertion from Johnson and co. that cuts in Corporation Tax lead to a higher overall take.

19 November

This evening Corbyn and Johnson go head to head on ITV.  Whatever you think of their politics, the former is famously honest, the latter has the opposite reputation.

And yet apparently Johnson is ahead in the polls.

Does it matter to voters how trustworthy the Prime Minister is?  Recent polls make it appear that the route to people’s votes is through short pithy phrases like Take Back Control and right now Johnson is hawking Get Brexit Done.

For me this coming election is about whether people see through Johnson and vote accordingly.  Optimistic friends tell me the public are not stupid and I would be the last to say that they are.

However I know how easy it is to spin a fairy tale and convince oneself of its reality evincing half-truths and fake news in support.

I am not religious, but if I were, I would be seeking some Act of God to eject Johnson from Downing Street.  Perhaps tonight’s debate….

20 November

No Act of God last night but the Leaders Debate has turned the tide in the election.  Many people will have watched it and encountered analyses in the media.  In canvassing you meet a lot of people who have not yet engaged with the General Election.  Let’s face it there are better things to think about.

As people engage they will make their assessments of the principals and policies and they will tend to come round to Corbyn.

The Yougov poll had Johnson winning 51-49 and despite its uncritical acceptance by the media it turns out that this was published 70 minutes before the debate started.

Of course this could be clever fake news but I see no refutation from Matthew Smith or his employer.

Other polls carried out for ITV and The Times had it decisively for Corbyn but you will not find this all over the media.


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