London

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Anti-Fascist Group Takes on London Conservative Mayoral Hopeful Susan Hall, Branding Contender a ‘Racist’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/02/2024 - 9:13am in

A leading anti-fascist organisation has launched a campaign to “take on” Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall AM at the London mayoral election this May. 

HOPE not hate kicked off their on-the-ground activism against the Sadiq Khan-opponent on Wednesday by leafleting at stations around London, accusing the Conservative mayoral hopeful of racism, in no small part due to her controversial statements on social media.

A spokesperson for HOPE not hate said the group has “exposed her racist social media history”. That includes the Harrow-based politician having liked a tweet saying ‘It's never too late to get London Back!'. The picture was an image of the late Conservative MP Enoch Powell with the quote "It's never too late to save your country". This was not a quote from 'rivers of blood' speech-giver Powell but a slogan that was once on the British National Party website.

She has also previously liked a tweet from a user suggesting Enoch Powell should have been Prime Minister, saying they'd like Enoch Powell to be an addition to a pack of Prime Minister playing cards. 

Other examples pointed to by the group include quote-tweeting  an article from “notorious right-wing misinformation site” The Gateway Pundit, alleging a conspiracy to steal the 2020 US presidential election from Trump. 

And she replied to a tweet from far-right commentator Katie Hopkins calling Sadiq Khan "our nipple height mayor of Londonistan" with an endorsement, saying: "Thank you Katie!". "Londonistan" is the term used to convey the idea that Muslims are taking over London.

Hall also liked a reply to a tweet about Sadiq Khan's anti-violence against women and girls strategy that said "Well said Susan, that Labour Traitor RAT Likes that sort of thing" – being female genital mutilation and violence against women and girls. This is racially charged implying that Muslims support FGM and violence.

Challenged about her social media activity on LBC last September – in particular the Enoch Powell meme and Katie Hopkins tweets – Hall told the LBC Radio phone-in she “can’t remember” doing so, adding: “I tweet, or I used to, all the time.” 

“When I retweeted, oh no I think I liked it. I don’t know, this was a long time ago. That wasn’t in my mind, and I’m glad you given me the opportunity to say…” 

Interviewer Nick Ferrari interjected: “I think you did, you retweeted it.” Hall replied: “I retweeted? I have no idea.” 

She denied she was a supporter of the former Conservative provocoteur Enoch Powell, adding: “If you’re a serial tweeter, you tend to go through liking all sorts of things, and you sometimes read things and don’t see. If anybody is offended, then obviously, I would apologise.” 

In October 2023, Hall was urged to apologise after that claiming Jewish communities in London were "frightened" by Sadiq Khan. The London Assembly member made the comments at a Conservative Friends of Israel at the Conservative party conference in Manchester.

Prior to selection the Conservative Assembly member liked a tweet saying that Sadiq Khan is "begging for Londoners to do a Tower Hamlets postal vote for May next year and we all know how that works. #fraud" – effectively accusing Sadiq Khan of electoral corruption and promoting the idea that Muslims in electoral politics subvert democratic principles.

And she has liked tweets targeting journalists, including on branding Sky's Matthew Thompson, then at LBC, a "virus". 

Georgie Laming, Director of Campaigns at HOPE not hate said: “Susan Hall is clearly not fit to represent a diverse and multicultural city like London.

“Her social media activity is some of the most egregious we’ve seen from a Conservative candidate, and that’s why we’ll be taking her on this election.”

At the end of last year the campaign group polled over 1,000 Londoners and found that 64% believed Susan Hall’s social media conduct was “racist”. The group says it will be using “some of the most advanced voter analysis available” to identify areas in each constituency that might be most receptive to hard-right politics, and to target them with anti-Hall material. 

Susan Hall’s team was contacted for comment.

Do you have a story that needs highlighting? Get in touch by emailing josiah@bylinetimes.com

Labour ‘shuts out’ Black MPs and groups from ‘race equality’ launch

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 07/02/2024 - 8:34am in

Black MPs and groups were ‘shut out’ of Keir Starmer’s ‘race equality’ launch last night. Several had expected to attend the event in Tottenham, but were not given the new location after Starmer and Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy cancelled the original meeting to avoid facing protesters eager to challenge them over their support for Israel’s war crimes.

Black paper The Voice has reported that:

Black MPs, community media and leading campaign groups were not invited, leading to accusations from party members we spoke to that the Labour party intentionally excluded them in a bid to censor opportunities to grill party leader Keir Starmer and equalities secretary Anneliese Dodds preventing any real scrutiny of the Race Equality Act plans which were launched back in 2020.

This appears to have left Doreen Lawrence, a Starmer supporter, as essentially the only Black attendee – and ensured that no Black MPs or activists who might have challenged Starmer and his equalities spokeswomen Anneliese Dodds about the lack of substance in their ‘plan’.

Diane Abbott, Britain’s first Black woman MP, dismissed Labour’s plan as ‘window dressing’:

The proposed Race Equality Act is just window dressing. The foremost Black media organisation, The Voice, was not invited to the launch and most Black MPs were excluded. This reveals the reality of where Keir Starmer’s Labour party really stands on fighting anti-Black racism.

Even the paper-thin plan is unlikely ever to come to fruition under habitual promise-shredder Keir Starmer.

Labour’s issues with Black people and other racialised groups under Keir Starmer go back to the beginning of his tenure, when he named an all-white ‘diversity panel’ and excluded Labour’s most senior ethnic minority staffer. Since then, the party has been embroiled in rampant Islamophobia, attacks on Black women MPs and other senior elected figures, wholesale deselection of Black councillors and blocking of Black candidates in areas with large Black communities and more, as well as disgraceful racism toward Gypsy Roma people and naming an entirely male, entirely white panel to select local authority election candidates.

The party has also done nothing to root out the embedded racism exposed by the Forde Report, which Starmer reluctantly commissioned under pressure, then ignored when he could no longer delay its publication.

Read the full story on The Voice here.

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‘Cold, horrible’ Starmer fails to impress even ‘select’ audience after fleeing Gaza protest

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/02/2024 - 10:52am in

‘Equality’ policy launch flops after even hand-picked audience finds him jingoistic and unpleasant

‘Cold and horrible’ – and spineless – Starmer at his ‘jingoistic’ policy launch

Keir Starmer delivered his latest policy con to a hand-picked audience and no press on Monday – after cancelling his main launch because of a planned pro-Palestinian protest, outside the original Tottenham venue, against his support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza – and it flopped.

According to Sky’s Serena Barker-Singh, even though Labour had winnowed down the audience to a ‘select’ few and excluded all the media, the ‘favoured’ attendees found Starmer ‘cold and horrible’ and his presentation ‘jingoistic’, with ‘union jacks everywhere’.

Starmer becomes less popular the more people see of him and it seems his advisers recognise that – but even hiding him from all but a few true believers doesn’t work, because they find themselves disliking him too.

And with Starmer’s record of breaking every promise, his ‘policy’ to supposedly improve equality is as meaningless as the fetid air it takes to speak it.

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Labour cancels Starmer/Lammy event rather than face Gaza protest

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/02/2024 - 9:29pm in

Yet again ‘Labour’ leadership unwilling to face anger of voters

Keir Starmer and Shadow Home Secretary David Lammy appear to be running scared yet again of the anger of protesters demanding a halt to Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The pair were due to appear in Tottenham this afternoon for a policy announcement, but Skwawkbox understands that the press conference has now been cancelled after details of the venue and meeting time leaked and human rights activists planned to gather at the event to protest at Starmer’s support for Israel’s mass murder of Palestinian civilians.

The cancellation is one of a number of events abandoned by Labour rather than face the outrage of those who simply want an end to the slaughter. Keir Starmer has still not even mentioned the International Court of Justice findings against Israel in the genocide case brought by South Africa, such is his inability to justify his stance or face the reality of Israel’s war crimes, though he has used his social media to post repeatedly about business and football.

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Protest planned in Tottenham as location of Starmer’s latest ‘pledge’ leaks

Starmer’s ‘equality’ promise is a farce after years of unpunished racism in the Labour right – and Starmer’s support for Israel’s genocide

Keir Starmer and local MP David Lammy will appear in Tottenham between 1pm and 3pm on Monday for what is expected to be Starmer’s announcement of his latest ‘pledge’ – this one promising equal pay protection for ethnic minority groups.

Starmer’s record shows that any ‘promise’ will be worth nothing and jettisoned as soon as convenient – but his decision to stage his blether in one of London’s most diverse boroughs, while he continues to support Israel’s genocide in Gaza and has not even mentioned the International Court of Justice’s binding orders on Israel to stop the slaughter, has prompted outrage and a planned protest:

Starmer’s regime has constantly ignored racism, misogyny and abuse from the right-wing faction that has destroyed the party as a meaningful opposition, often protecting alleged perpetratorseven paedophiles – and covering up even the most serious allegations, while doing nothing to act against perpetrators exposed by the Forde Report. His latest disposable pledge is clearly a feeble attempt to con diverse groups that he cares a jot about their best interests – and his decision to hold it at the centre named after Labour’s first Black MP, who would no doubt have regarded him with contempt, adds insult to injury.

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Uni ‘urgently investigating’ pro-Israel professor who told Greenstein ‘all Jews should be gassed’

Justin Stebbing says he was clearly speaking ironically in attack on left-wing, pro-Palestinian Jew Tony Greenstein – but went on to say Greenstein would have been ‘thrilled’ to murder all Jews during WWII

A professor at Imperial College is being ‘urgently’ investigated by the university after sending emails to left-wing Jewish pro-Palestinian activist Tony Greenstein about ‘gas[sing] all Jews.

Greenstein is a Brighton-based human rights campaigner who received a suspended sentence last year in a farcical trial for criminal damage to an Israeli-owned weapons factor when no damage occurred and who has been further targeted by anti-terror police for saying he supports the struggle of Gazans for freedom. He told Skwawkbox that he didn’t know who Stebbing was when he first received an email, from a personal email address, linking to discredited claims of mass rape and mutilation by Hamas and saying that Stebbing ‘agree[d] with you [Jews] should all be gassed‘.

Greenstein reported the incident to police as hate speech, but then realised Stebbing is an academic and, assuming his email had been hacked, contacted him on his university address to let him know. Greenstein said he was astonished when Stebbing wrote back – from his official email – to attack him further.

Stebbing retorted that he was being ‘ironic’ when he made his comment – but claimed that Greenstein would have been ‘thrilled to gas all Jews’ if he had been alive during the Second World War:

“My e mail was pure irony, but as always here the response to the crime is blamed. I have zero doubt that in WW2, you ,would have been thrilled to gas all Jews. That was the point I was making.”

The email headers showed that the email was genuinely from an Imperial email account. Greenstein accordingly sent a complaint to the university, which received an email acknowledgment.

Skwawkbox contacted Prof Stebbing about his emails to Greenstein. He responded:

The reason I wrote to Tony Greenstein was him contacting several senior colleagues accusing them of being doctors for genocide. He was of course aware he had just written that e mail and would and should have understood my e mail as being ironic in that context. We have had previous contact. Tony Greenstein knew that he’d written that so would have understood the context and this affects the meaning of what I wrote and it was clear, as I’d said, I was being ironic.

On Stebbing’s allegation that Greenstein had previous contact with him, Greenstein said:

They were doctors opposing a BMA statement calling for a ceasefire and accusing Israel of having broken international law including his colleague at Imperial. Yes I accused them of being Doctors 4 Genocide. There was an article in the Jewish Chronicle (see below) naming them. However Stebbing wasn’t named and I didn’t contact him. So it’s a lie that we have had previous contact. I’ve searched my email and his name doesn’t come up and it’s an unusual name so I would see immediately.

All these doctors say they have resigned from the BMA which is a good thing. Good riddance as Ghada Karmi said.

He added:

I emailed Stebbing to let him know that someone was clearly impersonating him. You could have blown me down with a feather when he responded saying that I was wrong. He wasn’t being impersonated. It was him. An ultra Zionist lunatic.

An Imperial College spokesperson told Skwawkbox that it was ‘urgently investigating this case involving a Visiting Professor’:

There is no place for antisemitic or hateful behaviour of any kind at Imperial. We are urgently investigating this case involving a Visiting Professor.

The International Court of Justice is expected to give a decision on South Africa’s application under the Genocide Convention for an order to Israel to stop its slaughter, which has killed and maimed more than a hundred thousand Palestinians, mostly women and children, as well as 117 journalists and more than 150 United Nations staff.

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Labour loses London seat of mostly Jewish and Muslim voters

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 20/01/2024 - 12:17am in

Seat Corbyn won from LibDems in 2018 rejects Starmer

Keir Starmer’s Labour has thrown away a seat in the London borough of Hackney that Labour won overwhelmingly under Corbyn. The Cazenove by-election was won by the Tories, who managed only single digits in the last election:

Cazenove’s population is around 40% Charedi Jewish and 40% Muslim. Locals say that the Labour vote collapsed among Muslims and some Charedis – who, unlike the prevailing right-wing narrative that Israel is central to Jewish identity, generally do not support the modern state of Israel – because of Starmer’s complicity in the Gaza genocide.

But the catastrophic loss is also a microcosm of Labour’s anti-democratic, visionless and frankly incompetent approach to politics, as former Labour speechwriter Alex Nunns pointed out:

The Prole Star page added a screenshot from a local London site:

Labour is also said to have blocked a union-backed prospective candidate from standing in the seat.

The result again exposes the nonsense of Starmer’s claim to have ‘professionalised’ the party and to have made it appealing to ‘Jewish voters’ – apparently Charedis are considered ‘the wrong type of Jew’ for the Labour right. It also highlights – again – the cynical and anti-democratic manoeuvrings that have characterised Labour’s selections and campaigns since the Starmer regime began.

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Independents select Palestinian Leanne Mohamad to stand against Streeting

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 16/01/2024 - 11:18am in

Mohamad wins democratic vote among Redbridge Community Action Group members

Redbridge Community Action Group (RCAG) has selected local Palestinian woman Leanne Mohamad to stand against arch-Labour right-winger Wes Streeting in Ilford North at the next parliamentary election. Ms Mohamad won selection among three potential candidates, by a vote of RACG members.

One local member, Muhammad Rehan Saeed, said:

We have voted a Palestinian woman to take on Wes Streeting and Labour at the next election in Ilford North. A fitting choice to stand against the genocide supporters.

Labour is in disarray in Redbridge – which covers Ilford North and Ilford South constituencies – with the Independents now the largest opposition group, after two landslide by-election wins and a resignation. Streeting, one of Keir Starmer’s main mouthpieces for his support for Israel’s genocide and other war crimes in Gaza. With neighbouring Tower Hamlets already run by Lutfur Rahman’s Aspire party after a landslide in the last council and mayoral elections and Newham Independents romping home in recent by-elections and scheduled elections, Labour and Streeting, who has been the target of protests and boycotts by outraged locals for his Gaza weaseling, have cause to be worried.

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Galloway makes ‘unity offer’ to Corbyn ‘to prevent socialist split’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 13/01/2024 - 2:05am in

George Galloway, left, at WPGB’s recent annual general meeting

Amid press speculation that Jeremy Corbyn may launch a new party or movement to challenge Starmer’s right wing, pro-Israel ‘Labour’ in this year’s general election, former Respect MP and pro-Palestine campaigner George Galloway is offering what insiders in his party are terming a ‘truce’ to Corbyn and his movement. Skwawkbox understands that Galloway is tabling a motion which, if passed, will raise the potential for Galloway and former Labour MP Chris Williamson’s Workers Party (WPGB) to cooperate with Corbyn’s project, in the hope of avoiding a split in the socialist vote at the General Election.

The motion will be tabled by Galloway at the party’s ‘Members Council’ in Birmingham on Saturday 20 January, reaffirming the party’s commitment to avoiding unnecessary electoral clashes with other left groups, a proposal the Workers Party originally put to TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) in 2022 and which remains in place.

Keir Starmer’s extreme authoritarianism, commitment to expanding NHS privatisation and support for Israel’s genocidal policies make him as great a threat to the life and liberty of British people as the Tories – and many would argue greater.

Galloway’s supporters say the move is being made in the hope that a united socialist movement could dent Starmer’s chances of forming a majority at General Election 2024. According to the Labour right’s own workings, Starmer needs a 1997-scale swing from the Tories to secure a majority of 1 at the election. Starmer’s allies have also quietly admitted that they expect Labour to lose seats at the election over the issue of Palestine, while even mainstream pollsters are indicating that Labour’s “20 points ahead” lead is very likely to shrink, potentially thwarting Starmer’s hopes for a majority. Preventing a split amongst socialists could therefore prove decisive in stopping Starmer’s worrying and dishonest regime from taking power.

Previously, the best chance of ousting Starmer from the Labour leadership was in 2021’s Batley and Spen By Election, which was won by Starmer ally Kim Leadbetter by just three hundred votes after a disgracefully Islamophobic campaign. Leadbetter went on to vote against a ceasefire in Palestine during a parliamentary vote. Many in Labour’s left-leaning Socialist Campaign Group (SCG) chose to campaign for Leadbetter and Starmer’s victory. Had the result gone the other way, it’s likely that Starmer would have been forced out.

The Workers party is led by George Galloway, with former Labour MP Chris Williamson, Aslef Vice President Andy Hudd, and former Ambassador Peter Ford acting as Deputy Leaders. The party has announced its intention to stand in up to 50 seats in the forthcoming General Election. Galloway is the party candidate in the 2024 London Mayoral contest.

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‘Labour Bloc’ to join National March for Palestine on Saturday

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/01/2024 - 1:43am in

A number of Labour organisations will join the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s ‘National March for Palestine’ on Saturday. The ‘Labour Bloc’ umbrella group’s announcement says:

Join the Labour Bloc on the National March for Palestine on 13th January!

Labour members opposed to Israel’s assault on Gaza and for a ceasefire will be marching in a contingent on next Saturday’s National March for Palestine. 

The Labour Bloc will be assembling from 11.45 am outside St Edmund, King and Martyr Church, at the corner of George Yard and Lombard Street, London EC3V 9EA (Map link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/FpiyJH2VwTAH4ttk6)

The contingent is sponsored by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, Momentum, Labour Women Leading, Labour and Palestine, Labour CND, Arise – a Festival of Left Ideas and Welsh Labour Grassroots, along with supportive websites Labour Hub, Labour Outlook and Left Horizons. The contingent will be addressed by MPs John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy.

https://bit.ly/palestinelabourbloc

www.facebook.com/labourandpalestine

Bring your banners.

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