Fundraising

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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.

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

Israel lobby-funded Woodcock tries to get Palestine Action banned 

Tory-collaborator, friend of apartheid and alleged sex-pest peer tables Lords bill to outlaw anti-genocide group

Main image: Palestine Action

John Woodcock, the former chair of Labour Friends of Israel made a peer and ‘extremism envoy’ by the Tories, plans to issue a report recommending new measures to outlaw groups trying to end genocide or to protect the planet – with a particular emphasis on protecting weapons manufacturers, treating them on similar lines to the proscription of supposed terrorist groups.

Woodcock, or Lord Walney, a longstanding supporter of the apartheid regime who accepted funding for a visit to Israel after Israel began its genocide in Gaza, wants to limit the activities and fundraising of groups such as Palestine Action (PA) and Just Stop Oil. PA’s direct action campaign against Israel’s largest weapons firm, Elbit Systems has seen successes in the UK, such as the closure of Elbit’s Oldham facility. Woodcock admits that the campaign has done “enormous damage” to the arms industry and wants a “proscription-light” option to restrict the groups’ ability to meet and fundraise – combined with “buffer zones” around weapons manufacturers to protect factories producing deadly technologies from protest. 

Supposedly an ‘independent’ government advisor, Woodcock is deeply-connected to the Israel lobby and the arms industry. He is the chair of the so-called ‘Defence Purpose Coalition’ of senior weapons industry figures and, since 2011, has travelled to Israel on multiple occasions on ‘all expenses paid’ trips funded by the Israeli government and pro-Israel lobby groups.

Woodcock is also a former right-wing Labour MP who in 2018 quit the party to escape an investigation into complaints from an investigation into ‘sex pest’ complaints against him. He was also accused by local Labour members of bullying staff.

In a statement on Woodcock’s ploy, Palestine Action said:

During our nearly four year direct action campaign, we’ve faced arrests, raids, imprisonment, beatings, convictions and more by a state desperate to protect the zionist war machine, over the freedom of their own citizens. Despite this, our movement’s determination and resilience has resulted in Elbit permanently closing two weapons factories, being dropped by several partners and losing 100’s of £millions in contracts with the Ministry of Defence. 

We are seven months into the Gaza genocide, and Walney thinks this scare tactic is going to make us surrender? He couldn’t be more wrong. 

When Palestine Action began we were under no illusion that the route to victory would be an easy ride. As a movement, we understand that every obstacle we face and overcome is a step closer to ending Israel’s weapons trade in Britain. For years the political class repressed us behind closed doors but refused to show their frustration at our growing campaign publicly. Now, they’re showing their hand which means we are winning.

Rather than deter us, Walney’s rampage to the press three days after we dissed him on twitter exposes his own motivations: to save face. 

He’s more concerned with protecting the military interests of a foreign genocidal entity over the will of the British people, who overwhelmingly support imposing an arms embargo on Israel.

His alliance is with Elbit Systems, who use Gaza as a laboratory to develop their “battle-tested” weaponry and are crucial to arming the ongoing genocide. Our alliance will always be with the Palestinian people.  Collectively we must refuse to surrender. No matter what, we will #ShutElbitDown!

Woodcock is one of a trio of hard-right former Labour MPs who were made peers by the Tories after campaigning against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour in the run-up to the 2019 general election. Ian Austin, the ‘thuggish‘ Israel fanatic and Thatcher-worshipper who was reprimanded by Labour for his abusive conduct, abused Jewish writer Michael Rosen when Rosen was a guest of Parliament and had to apologise and pay damages to a former party staffer for libelling her as antisemitic, became a ‘trade envoy’ to Israel. John Mann, another similarly boorish Israel supporter who sprang a stunt attacking elderly former London mayor Ken Livingstone and was interviewed by police for ‘hate speech’ in an anti-Gypsy leaflet, became an ‘antisemitism tsar’ who went on to try – and fail – to stitch up Skwawkbox and the Canary as antisemitic.

To date, Israel has murdered over forty thousand – and as many as a hundred thousand – Palestinian civilians, overwhelmingly women and children, and has maimed even more, while imposing starvation on more than a million Palestinian people. The Israeli government is on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide, faces likely arrest warrants for war crimes and has been widely condemned for its war crimes and contempt for international and humanitarian law.

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

Fred Hollows Campaign Highlights Challenge of Living With Cataracts

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 26/10/2015 - 9:46am in

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Face-to-Face Fundraising a Recession-Proof Technique

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 22/10/2015 - 9:18am in

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Chuffed to be Making a Difference

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 19/10/2015 - 11:39am in

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Charities Worst ‘Dead Letter’ Mail Offenders

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 15/10/2015 - 9:39am in

Pitching for Social Justice

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 15/10/2015 - 8:12am in

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UK Cancer Charity Launches £100M Grand Challenges

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/10/2015 - 11:42am in

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Crowdfunding for Mental Health Takes Off

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/10/2015 - 10:00am in

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New Charity Watchdog Bites in UK

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/10/2015 - 9:46am in

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