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fresh audio product

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/06/2024 - 6:06am in

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link):

June 6, 2024 Siddhartha Deb, author of Twilight Prisoners, on the Hindu right and its poor showing in India’s elections • Sean Jacobs, New School prof and publisher of Africa Is a Countryon the ANC’s poor showing in South Africa’s elections

Election Bombshell: Keir Starmer Faces Unexpected Challenge from Veteran Activist Andrew Feinstein

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 29/05/2024 - 12:12am in

Editor’s Note: Dear Readers, MintPress News’ YouTube channel was recently demonetized, and many of our videos made age-restricted. We would greatly appreciate your support by becoming a member of our Patreon page so that we can continue to bring you important stories like this one. Much of the work that we do is supported by viewers like you.

The MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know – including intelligence, lobby and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. “The Watchdog” goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.

A surprise general election has been called in the United Kingdom, and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer is the overwhelming favorite to become the next prime minister. But today’s guest is looking to upset that grim future.

Andrew Feinstein is standing against Starmer for his Holborn and St. Pancras seat in central London. Feinstein is an expert in the arms trade, a former member of the South African parliament under Nelson Mandela, and a tireless activist, who Watchdog host Lowkey describes as someone who “campaigned for decades on important issues that really cut to the core of power and the way it functions in society.”

Under Starmer’s leadership, the Labour Party has ruthlessly purged leftist, anti-establishment voices from its ranks, including former leader Jeremy Corbyn. Feinstein described Starmer as holding an “authoritarian, undemocratic approach to politics,” accusing him of weaponizing anti-Semitism to carry out a witch hunt against radical elements within the party.

Starmer has given his full-throated endorsement to Israel, even as it carries out a genocidal onslaught against the people of Gaza, and strong-armed the Speaker of the House into shutting down a motion brought to parliament calling for a ceasefire. Meanwhile, he has expelled more Jews from the Labour Party than all other leaders combined, all under the guise of fighting anti-Jewish bigotry.

“This would be like expelling Nelson Mandela from the African National Congress in order to combat racism! It is that insane. And he actually thinks people are going to believe this; that what he is doing is correct,” Feinstein told Lowkey.

Feinstein is a white Jewish man who grew up in Apartheid South Africa. His mother is a survivor of Hitler’s genocidal ambitions, having hid for three years in a Viennese coal cellar to avoid detection by the Nazis. He became active in the anti-Apartheid struggle and became an elected official for the African National Congress during the country’s transition to democracy. He eventually resigned after being refused the right to investigate billions of dollars worth of arms deals signed by Mandela’s successor, Thabo Mbeki.

He warns that Starmer’s approach to politics represents a threat to democracy in the United Kingdom, and wants his campaign to be completely different, the antithesis of Starmer. “I don’t believe in professional politicians,” he told Lowkey. “I think politics should be about ordinary people being represented by other ordinary people from their community,” he added.

Feinstein stressed that local issues, such as hunger, unemployment, and a lack of housing, would be the key issues he would fight on. Nevertheless, he maintains an international perspective and is hopeful things are about to radically change across the globe. “This period of late neoliberal capitalism, which has bequeathed the world such injustice and such inequality, must be on its last legs. And that’s what gets me out of bed every morning,” he said.

Watch the full interview here, where the pair discusses politics in the U.K. and the success of direct action against Israeli arms factories. Feinstein shares personal stories about Mandela from their time working together.

Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist and academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack To The Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.

The post Election Bombshell: Keir Starmer Faces Unexpected Challenge from Veteran Activist Andrew Feinstein appeared first on MintPress News.

Breaking: Feinstein confirms GE candidacy vs Starmer

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/05/2024 - 8:59pm in

Constituency resident who served Mandela as ANC MP will stand in Holborn and St Pancras

Andrew Feinstein (image: Skwawkbox)

Former African National Congress (ANC) MP Andrew Feinstein has confirmed this morning that he will stand against Labour leader Keir Starmer in Holborn and St Pancras at the next general election.

Feinstein, a Jewish activist who lives in the constituency, is a former Labour member who has called for a new left movement outside the party, has been vocal against Israel’s genocide in Gaza, has consistently stood up for the release of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from prison, has an impeccable track record on human rights and represents the integrity that Starmer claims but has completely failed to show. He had previously indicated his willingness to stand, if the results of canvassing showed there was demand in the constituency for a challenge.

Such is the gulf in track record and personal qualities that Starmer’s team was said to be ‘raging’ at the prospect that he might stand. The prospect of a confirmed candidacy is unlikely to make them any happier.

Feinstein at Monday’s rally for Julian Assange outside the High Court in London

Announcing his confirmed candidacy, Feinstein said:

Our democracy is in crisis. The two main parties are virtually indistinguishable in their offers of permanent austerity, forever wars and environmental degradation.

Keir Starmer, the MP for Holborn and St. Pancras where my family and I have lived for around 22 years, is emblematic of this crisis. His politics are mendacious, unprincipled and in the interests of his billionaire donors rather than the constituents he was elected to serve.

I have seen real leadership in action: I was privileged to serve under Nelson Mandela as an MP in South Africa. His leadership was selfless, principled, accountable, transparent and honest. Everything that Keir Starmer is not.

His almost immediate abandonment of many of the ten progressive pledges on which he was elected to lead the Labour Party is a clear sign he cannot be trusted.

Starmer has now gone a step too far by refusing to support an unqualified ceasefire and a halt to arms sales to Israel amid the greatest human tragedy since World War Two: the genocide being committed in Gaza.

How is it possible that a former human rights lawyer, who must see the horrific images that we all view on our screens every day, has not even commented on the highest court in the world’s interim ruling that Israel is likely committing genocide and ethnic cleansing?

The ICC’s decision to seek an arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes, including “starvation of civilians, wilfully causing great suffering and cruel treatment”, casts Starmer’s support for a siege of Gaza – cutting off water and power – in an even more appalling light.

His attempts to deny such support, despite video evidence confirming it, smacks of a remarkable lack of honesty or contrition.

He has backed the Conservative government’s indefensible position on the crisis, rather than demanding an end to the carnage, to occupation and to apartheid – the only route to a just peace in the region.

The Labour Party’s appalling stance on Gaza has fuelled a concern, enunciated most explicitly in a report written by Martin Forde KC, that the party operates a ‘hierarchy of racism’.

It oxymoronically expels life-long anti-racist Jews, supposedly to combat antisemitism, while taking little if any action against Islamophobia and anti-black racism.

As Nelson Mandela opined: “You are either against all forms of racism and discrimination, or you are part of the racism problem.”

The UK government, supported by the Labour Party, is not only enabling and facilitating the genocide in Gaza, but also profits from it through the continuing sale of the weapons being used to kill innocents.

I believe these arms sales are in contravention of British arms export controls, our obligations under international law and as signatory to the International Arms Trade Treaty.

The notoriously corrupt British defence sector has for decades routed money to our main political parties and to individual politicians – mostly once they have left office, for decisions taken while in office.

These companies are the most heavily subsidised by the public purse, meaning that we the taxpayer are subsidising the arms being used in Gaza, the undermining of the rule of law and the corrupting of our political system.

I am committed to rooting out corruption in politics. I resigned from the South African Parliament on principle in 2001 because our then President Thabo Mbeki refused to allow an unfettered investigation by my oversight committee into a massively corrupt arms deal which benefited senior ministers, officials, corporate executives and my own party.

Since then, I have spent the past 23 years investigating and writing about political corruption, especially in the global arms trade: the most corrupt of all trades – the bribes from which oil the wheels of our political system.

Starmer’s growing authoritarianism comes as no surprise to those of us who live in Holborn and St. Pancras. Since he became our MP in 2015, Starmer has brought divisive, factional politics to the area.

Decent, committed and competent residents were purged from Labour Party structures. We witnessed undemocratic local selection processes that became a feature across the country. It fosters real concern about what a Starmer-led government will do in power.

What seems clear is that not only will the disadvantaged be ignored, but our civil rights and civil liberties will be even more restricted than they have been under the Tories, in a failing attempt to quell opposition to their complicity in genocide.

As a constituency MP Starmer has failed the people of Holborn & St. Pancras. Rents have soared, social housing is inadequate and there’s far too much homelessness. Our increasingly privatised NHS is failing – yet Starmer’s Labour will only privatise it further. Public transport routes have been reduced, benefits slashed and the cost of living crisis makes daily life a struggle for so many, compounding child poverty.

I will address these crucial issues by demanding greater investment from local and national government in opposition to the Labour Party’s self-imposed, punishing fiscal constraints. I will oppose privatisation of vital services and create consultative local fora between affected residents and service providers.

As a Member of Parliament, I will guarantee the people of Holborn and St. Pancras that I will hold a weekly surgery to address their needs and issues. Constituents will be invited to Parliament every week to observe the workings of our sclerotic legislature and my work there.

To revitalise our democracy, I will undertake a monthly public report-back session and engage with local residents before every significant Parliamentary vote. I will work exhaustively to represent all the people of the constituency who will, after all, be paying my salary. And if Camden workers are on strike, I will always support them and stand by them and their unions on a picket line.

We urgently require a new politics: a people-centred politics focused on the many not the super wealthy; a politics driven by integrity and honesty, rather than opportunism and mendacity; a politics in pursuit of greater justice and equality at home and abroad, and a more peaceful, environmentally sustainable, less corrupt Britain and planet.

Feinstein’s supporters in the area, who include left-wing groups OCISA, For the Many and The Collective although he is not part of their groups, are wasting no time in starting their campaign. OCISA members will be out in force handing out leaflets at tube stations around the constituency from 4.30pm this afternoon:

A campaign leaflet created by Feinstein’s supporters

News of his campaign and fundraising plans will be published at andrewfeinstein.org.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Starmer challenger calls for new left mass movement outside Labour Party

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 02/03/2024 - 6:19am in

Former ANC MP and arms trade campaigner will address activists from around UK tomorrow at Collective launch – and poses real threat to friend-of-genocide ‘Labour’ leader

Andrew Feinstein, former ANC MP under Nelson Mandela and leading critic of the global arms trade, will use a speech this weekend to endorse a new political alliance billed as the foundation of the first organised mass movement of the left outside of the Labour Party.

Feinstein’s speech will be the centrepiece of a conference called by dozens of former Labour councillors and other independent candidates. The event will take place in ‘Labour’ leader Keir Starmer’s home constituency of Holborn and St Pancras in London.

Feinstein, who has lived in the constituency for more than two decades since moving to the UK, has already signalled his willingness to stand against Starmer as an independent candidate and has been selected as candidate by the OCISA anti-Starmer group, attracting a groundswell of support both locally and nationally.

Local campaigners say there is real vulnerability in Starmer’s majority, established under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party, especially given the controversies embroiling Labour over the war in Gaza. Starmer looks even more vulnerable after yesterday’s landslide victory for Workers Party GB leader George Galloway in Rochdale and the collapse of Labour’s vote from over 50% to less than 8%, with Starmer’s support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza a major driver.

The new movement – dubbed ‘Collective’ – has been established following months of deliberation amongst grassroots campaign groups and prospective independent candidates for both council and parliamentary elections. Though it is not establishing a new party in time to contest this year’s election, it intends to do so onceit has grown a mass membership base.

Feinstein said:

It’s not just Labour Party members who were the victims of Starmer’s entirely fictitious campaign for leadership of the party. The people of Holborn and St Pancras also elected him twice on a socialist platform under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Having lived in the constituency for over 20 years, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and strength of feeling amongst local communities – and across the country – who are crying out for a response to the deeply corrupt, anti-democratic and out of touch Labour Party under Starmer. Under his leadership, the party has now completely abandoned working people and marginalised communities in an escalating effort to out-Tory the Tories.

But this election must do more than just provide an alternative to the pro-genocide, pro-austerity Sunak-Starmer circus. It must also mark the beginnings of a new mass movement of working people that can challenge the Westminster bubble once and for all. That’s why I’m proud to be joining Collective which is uniting sections of the left and will eventually transform into a new political party backed by an organised and democratic movement.

Feinstein also clarified regarding his parliamentary candidacy;

I have not declared that I am definitely standing. I’ve indicated my willingness to do so but am still consulting widely inside and outside the constituency.

Second, I believe that a new grassroots movement, built out of the extraordinary solidarity for Gaza, a rejection of permanent austerity, and the sclerotic, corrupt and elitist nature of establishment politics, is essential. The form that takes will be decided amongst people at the grassroots – a movement for the people, of the people and by the people.

Saturday’s event is about the councillors who have taken a stand against the indefensible role that the UK government and the Labour Party have taken in support of the genocide in Gaza.

Collective spokesperson Pamela Fitzpatrick, independent candidate for Harrow West:

Our political system – and now the Labour Party itself – is fundamentally anti-democratic and rigged against new parties, especially on the left. The only way to address this is to build a mass movement outside of the Labour Party as a foundation for a new political party that is truly free of vested interests and which can offer a real alternative to the pro-austerity and pro-war two party system. All around the country, independent candidates have and are coming forward to fight this election on a common platform calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, a real pay rise and decent housing for all, higher taxes for the rich, an end to privatisation of the NHS, and an end to unnecessary and unjust war. That is the foundation which Collective will build on, and eventually transform into a political party that will change the face of British politics.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Panicked by Feinstein, Starmer and Lammy issue near-IDENTICAL Gaza statements

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/02/2024 - 11:26am in

Candidacy of Jewish left-winger in Starmer’s seat prompts pair to issue statements trying to con pro-Palestinian voters – but they don’t even bother to tweak the wording significantly

Keir Starmer is rattled – and reportedly ‘raging’ – at the announcement that left-wing Jewish heavyweight Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC MP who fought apartheid under Mandela, is going to contest Starmer’s Holborn and St Pancras constituency at the next parliamentary election. Rightly so: Feinstein’s substance, integrity and principle cast a cold light on Starmer’s lack.

But the incompetence and arrogance of the Labour right can’t help showing through. Clearly someone among Starmer’s advisers has decided it’d be a good idea to finally issue a statement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza to try to mollify the huge numbers of voters who are outraged at Starmer’s sabotage of earlier parliamentary motions calling for one and his support for Israel’s ‘right’ to commit war crimes.

So he and Lammy duly issued statements – or, to be more precise, one statement with hardly any modification and with most of the relevant portions identical, word for word, including the final sentence:

Nobody’s buying what this pair are selling

Shoddiness, incompetence, panic, or just the basic inability in that essential Establishment skill of faking sincerity – whatever the mix, Starmer and his acolytes are just not very good. That may be fly in an interview with media giving them the usual easy ride, but it won’t fool voters furious at their complicity in Israel’s mass slaughter of Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, in Gaza.

Instead, it just shows how scared Labour is of a challenge by someone of substance, even in seats where they held a big majority last time round.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Jewish former S African MP Feinstein will stand against Starmer in Holborn St Pancras

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 11/02/2024 - 8:55pm in

OCISA selects candidate to fight for ‘Labour leader’s seat at next parliamentary election

Andrew Feinstein speaking at the ‘Stop Starmer’ initiative in London’s Conway Hall last year

The OCISA group formed with the aim of ousting so-called ‘Labour leader’ Keir Starmer has selected Corruption Watch UK director Andrew Feinstein, a Jewish former South African MP and adviser to Nelson Mandela, to stand against Starmer in Holborn and St Pancras in the next general election. Feinstein now lives in the seat.

Feinstein. the son of Holocaust survivors, has a long record of substance and principle that stands in stark contrast to his ‘broken every promise’ opponent, who is known as a ‘long-time servant of the security state’ and became known as the ‘kid starver’ after breaking promises to end the hated ‘universal credit’ benefit system and saying he would not end Tory benefit cuts that have put hundreds of thousands of children into poverty and hunger.

Feinstein has also consistently stood against Israel’s apartheid and genocide in Gaza, arguing that the same tactics his ANC party in South Africa used to bring down apartheid there must be used against Israel and pointing his social media followers to information about Israel’s slaughter of innocents. Starmer, in contrast, has said Israel has the ‘right’ even to impose the blockade on Gaza that is causing horrific starvation and disease.

Despite Labour’s significant majority in previous elections in the seat, the candidacy of someone with such substance and track record must be seen as a threat to Starmer’s position, particularly in a seat where one in six voters are Muslims and even more so in the light of South Africa’s leading role in the fight against the Gaza genocide – and soon against the UK’s complicity. The campaign is likely to be supported by large numbers of people from the constituency and around the UK, who are outraged at Starmer’s complicity in genocide and his abetting of the Tories’ assault on our rights and freedoms in the UK.

Starmer and his team are said to be ‘raging’ at the news and deeply concerned:

Those who wish to donate to Feinstein’s campaign fund can do so here.

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