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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.

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Israeli media: Israel ‘totally defeated’ – and terrified of Iran

Source close to discussions about Iran says millions would be fleeing Israel if they knew what was being said

Israeli media are often far more honest about what their country is doing – and what is going on in it – than western ‘mainstream’ media are about the same issues. While UK ‘msm’ still maintain the lie that Hamas ‘beheaded babies’ and raped women on 7 October, Israeli media sometimes freely discuss the truth – and frequently and openly write about the ‘immense’ numbers of Israelis killed that day by the Israeli military.

And now, Israeli media are discussing two further truths that will not be aired by UK broadcasters or printed by UK papers.

First, Haaretz – one of Israel’s major dailies – has splashed a headline concluding that Israel has lost – totally lost – the ‘war’, the genocide, it has been raining down on the innocent civilians of Gaza. Lost so badly that Israel cannot be secure – and will not either regain by force the captives taken by Hamas, or end its pariah status:

And second, journalists with sources close to the Israeli regime’s discussions about Iran – which yesterday achieved a measured but compelling attack on Israel in retaliation for Israel’s bombing of Iran’s consulate in Damascus – are saying openly that those discussions are so terrifying that if the Israeli populace knew what was being said, millions of them would be flooding Israel’s main international airport to try to get out of the country:

The UK government, opposition and media are incorrigibly dishonest about Israel’s genocide and its terrible consequences for the millions of innocents in Gaza and the West Bank – and the ruination of both Israel’s and the West’s always-thin pretence as democratic, humane and law-abiding. But the truth is out there – and will percolate through.

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Former MP Smith quits Labour after suspension for refusing to vote for cuts

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 16/03/2024 - 5:54am in

Labour under control freak Starmer has no respect or inclusivity, says former Crewe and Nantwich MP Laura Smith, who also cites Starmer’s Gaza stance as a driver for her decision

Former Crewe and Nantwich MP Laura Smith has quit the Labour party with a blistering attack on Labour’s lack of standards and inclusivity under Keir Starmer, after being suspended from the Cheshire East council Labour group for refusing to vote in support of a package of swingeing Tory cuts.

In a public statement about her decision to resign, Smith said that she:

entered mainstream politics back in 2017 after years of activism in social justice
movements after growing up in a family of trade union and socialist values. I stuffed
leaflets In the Labour Party envelopes and served tea and biscuits at the meetings of the local group as a child, and some of my earliest memories were of Saturdays spent In the car with my dad as he drove Gwyneth Dunwoody, the MP at the time around the constituency. I knew my core values from a very early age and I knew from the feeling in the pit of my stomach that my fight was always going to be equality and social justice. I experienced many things growing up that further shaped my beliefs and that feeling only grew as I became an adult.

Being supported by my local Labour party and then becoming an MP representing my home towns was something that I couldn’t ever have Imagined. As someone from a challenging background and always struggling to make ends meet, it wasn’t a future that I felt was possible. But it did happen In a whirlwind of political change and hope for an alternative in the snap general election of 2017. I was elevated into a position where I felt that I could make a difference and my motivation was always the same. Those same values that I had harboured since being a little girl.

That two and half years in Parliament was an experience that I will always cherish and struggle with, in equal measures. The stark reality of our political system is one that I cannot pretend hasn’t made me more cynical, less hopeful for a real alternative and unfortunately more worried for the future. When I was elected, I hoped that I could prove to young girls and women who had been just like me that their voices could be heard, that they could make a difference and that they could be the changemakers and creators of a better world. The sad reality is that the system itself hampers the opportunity for real progress.

I would love to say that politics is a safe space for women. It isn’t. I would desperately like to say that debate and conflict is healthy and respectful. It’s not. I wish I could say that the old tropes that politics is a dirty corrupt business were untrue. But sadly it is. And that is from the top of our system all the way down to local politics.

More than anything I would like to say that the Labour Party itself sets a standard of
inclusivity and respect but that would be untruthful in my experience. It has become a place where to have a thought in your head that differs to the Labour leadership and the officials behind the scenes is an offence that can lead to suspension or even expulsion. At a local level it is a space where judgment is felt because as a full-time working mother juggling multiple caring responsibilities as well as often working Saturdays, you can’t sit in meeting after meeting or knock on doors in your rare free hours. I have heard the tutting and watched the finger wagging and listened to the comments and I think that it unfortunately remains the case that to be valued in the party you need to have lots and lots of free time. Naturally that means being either retired, not have caring responsibilities, being healthy both physically and mentally, and more often then not financially secure. Equality right? This Is before even
touching on the factional aspects that rage through the party, manifesting Itself through bullying, belittling, a culture of fear and a general lack of respect.

I am not perfect. I don’t have all of the answers. But one thing I am not is a hypocrite. It is for that reason, and after much consideration, I have decided to resign my membership of the UK Labour Party, rather than appeal my recent suspension letter by the local labour group at Cheshire East Council. I was suspended for not voting In line with the whip, but as I stated at the council meeting on the 27th of February I cannot support an austerity budget that places local councillors as the punching bag tor a Tory Government determined to destroy public services. This has not been an easy decision, but it is on balance the right one for me.

The reasons that I have stated combined with the position the Labour Party leadership is taking on international policy as well as domestic issues is now completely at odds with my personal beliefs and unfortunately, I feel that an alternative voice is no longer respected within the party structures. I would like to thank the great many friends that I have within the party who I hope will continue to value and respect me as I value and respect them. I will continue to serve my ward of Crewe South as an independent socialist councillor on the political values that I have always openly and honestly shared and was elected on.

I remain dedicated to fighting for true equality and Justice for the people in this country who quite simply are not receiving anywhere near the service and quality of life that they deserve. There is a complete void of honesty, decency, ambition and leadership from those with the true power to change things. Talk is cheap and the dishonesty that I have encountered on a daily basis in politics is something that I simply could not have imagined.

Bravery is required in desperate times, and democracy can only really work when fear and desire for power is not the driving force behind people’s motivations. It is our actions that define who we are and we owe it to ourselves to be true. I will be true to the little girl I once was and not allow my voice to be erased and my opinions silenced.

Smith was re-elected last year as councillor for Crewe South and will continue to serve, but as an independent.

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Video: Merseyside Metro Mayor Rotheram refuses to say Israel is committing genocide

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 04/03/2024 - 10:31am in

Rotheram says he’s come to ‘speak to the community’ – but apparently not to the member of the community asking him to give a simple yes or no answer

Merseyside ‘metro mayor’ Steve Rotheram has been confronted by a local woman who asked for a yes or no answer whether Israel’s slaughter of Palestinian civilians is genocide.

Rotheram squirmed, he obfuscated – but he wouldn’t even give a multi-worded answer, let alone a yes or no one. Nor would he ask the local woman whether she thought it’s genocide, so she can show how simple it is to say.

Instead, he wittered about ‘part of the problem’ and wanting to ‘speak to the community’ while having ‘a private conversation’ (which is it, Steve?):

Video used by courtesy of The Art of Resistance

Keir Starmer’s corrupting influence on the Labour party is seen all too clearly in the actions of many local ‘Labour’ politicians – and Starmer’s war on anyone within the party who dares speak out against the actions of Israel has many party representatives too terrified to do so, in spite of the overwhelming moral need for solidarity with Palestinians and condemnation of Israel’s genocide – yes, genocide. Sadly, it seems like Mayor Rotheram is one of them, despite the massive solidarity among the people of Merseyside with the oppressed and murdered in Gaza and the West Bank.

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Well over 100 civilians murdered as Israeli tanks, gunboats fire on crowd waiting for aid delivery

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 01/03/2024 - 1:50am in

Terror and chaos in Gaza City after IDF ‘trap’

Injured wait on lorries and a donkey cart (social media image)

More than a hundred Palestinian civilians have been slaughtered and many more injured, after Israeli tanks, gunboats and armoured vehicles opened fire on a crowd of people waiting for a scheduled aid delivery to arrive. The Israeli military has admitted opening fire, claiming that troops felt ‘endangered’. The IDF also tried to blame the civilians for their own deaths, saying some were trampled – presumably as terrified people tried to escape the fire zone.

Some reports have put the death toll at 170, with more than a thousand wounded. Social media posts show the carnage and the attempts to evacuate the injured. The Al Jazeera news service reported that the victims had fallen into a ‘trap’ set by the Israeli military:

Palestinians who witnessed the Israeli attack on aid seekers in Gaza city say it was a trap.

According to human rights group Euro-Med Monitor, Israeli forces have killed almost 40,000 Palestinians in Gaza since 7 October last year, the vast majority of them civilians and a large majority women and children, and have wounded more than 70,000 others, many of them severely. The World Health Organization and others have reported that more than a million people are in, or at imminent risk of, starvation because of Israel’s blockade and military assault, and victims of starvation have already died.

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‘Elite’ IDF brigade ‘too scared’ to go back into Gaza

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 17/02/2024 - 12:06am in

Givati Brigade refuses to return to service, reports Israeli newspaper

Image blurred intentionally

Soldiers of an ‘elite’ Israeli military brigade have refused to go back into Gaza, according to Israeli paper Haaretz.

So heavy have been the Givati Brigade’s losses to Hamas’s guerilla tactics, that the group of troops are ‘too scared’ to return to service in Israel’s genocide of Palestinian civilians.

The soldiers told their commanders that they were too traumatised to return to the field and were afraid for their lives. Haaretz said that the IDF command is unsure how to react to the refusal.

According to IDF figures, around six hundred of its troops have been killed or severely wounded in Gaza since the start of the ground invasion but Israeli media, collating figures from the country’s hospitals, estimate numbers in the thousands and Hamas’s media outfit releases videos showing its successful guerilla attacks on Israeli tanks, infantry and fortifications almost daily.

According to human rights group Euro-Med Monitor, Israel’s assault on Gaza has killed and severely wounded well over 100,000 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, imposing famine on hundreds of thousands more and bombing schools and hospitals. Israel has been put on trial for genocide and has been ordered to protect Palestinian lives, but has intensified its assault and is now regularly bombing and shelling Rafah, the tiny enclave it ordered Palestinians to move to as a safe haven, before what is expected to be a ground assault that will cause an even greater and completely avoidable humanitarian disaster.

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Bookies slash Galloway Rochdale odds to 2/1

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 09/02/2024 - 3:15am in

Reaction against Labour candidate and warm welcome for Workers’ Party GB hopeful cuts odds from 16/1

Betting companies have slashed their odds against George Galloway winning the Rochdale by-election from 16/1 to 2/1 after the campaign saw the Workers’ Party GB candidate’s warm welcome contrast starkly with the hostile reception given to the Starmerite candidate, especially by local Muslims.

The phenomenon aligns with the catastrophic national fall in Labour Westminster voting intention among Muslims voters who voted Labour in 2019 – from 86% then to half that now – because of their outraged at Keir Starmer’s appalling support for Israel’s genocide and other war crimes in Gaza.

Not the Andrew Marr Show presenter Crispin Flintoff, who has been in Rochdale covering Galloway’s campaign, said:

I am still buzzing over what I saw around George Galloway’s campaign. There were hundreds of people at the launch and his campaign is extremely well organised. At the same time, other parties and candidates seem to be in disarray.

Starmer’s advisers have anonymously admitted that they fear the the impact of their enthusiasm for apartheid Israel, despite the ICJ’s findings against Israel for genocide, on the vote among Muslims and others horrified by the mass slaughter of Palestinians civilians in Gaza, mostly women – as well as the more general issue of the Labour right’s rampant Islamophobia and racism – and have already been proven correct in London boroughs and other areas after catastrophic local election results.

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FRIGHT Friday - Stretched to Breaking Point

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/12/2016 - 1:20am in

Tags 

fear, life, death

Dan Holloway gives a talk for the FRIGHT Friday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016.

FRIGHT Friday - Gothic Horror: Medicine and Monsters

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/12/2016 - 1:13am in

Tags 

fear, medicine

Dr Andrew Papanikitas gives a talk for the FRIGHT Friday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016.

FRIGHT Friday - Fear and Flesh: Gothic Medicine

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/12/2016 - 1:10am in

Tags 

fear, medicine, death

Dr Barry Murname gives a talk for the FRIGHT Friday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016.

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