• antisemitism,  Israel/Palestine,  UK Politics

    Let’s Raise Money for Matthew!

    The Jewish Chronicle reports: A Jewish lawyer has been fined £1,750 and ordered to undergo diversity training for saying an anti-Israel campaign group accused of hounding a Jewish businessman were “scummy racists.” Matthew Berlow, a solicitor based in Glasgow, was responding to a Facebook event organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) to protest against the sale of Dead Sea products in an Aberdeen shopping centre. “You simply found a soft Jewish target to aim your bile at,” Mr Berlow told the group, also calling them “scummy racists, bullies and cowards.” This strikes me as a gross injustice, for reasons that hardly need to be communicated. Though I will add that this…

  • antisemitism,  The Left,  UK Politics

    JVL’s 85 Point Plan for taking over the Jewish world

    It’s always good to have an 85 point plan…here’s Jewish Voice for Labour’s. Note the following:   Number 2: Campaigning against IHRA definition Number 8 expose Labour Friends of Israel Number 26 join Labour Against the Witch hunt Number 29 Work with Moshe M for reform of LP disciplinary process Number 35 Open talks with Yachad etc Number 41 Marginalise Lansman’s stance on Israel in Momentum Number 54 Roll out training to CLPs and TUs Number 55 Develop antisemitism workshops Number 76 Get members to stand for BoD  

  • Britain Today,  UK Politics

    British Prime Ministers in Transition

    After transitioning, these British PMs had the following careers (in chronological order, from bottom right) Sister Winnie Churchill – Senior Midwife, popular with her patients Alexandra “Sandra” Eden – debutante, married a banker Harriet MacMillan – Madam of a brothel, suing her cosmetic surgeon Harriet Wilson – lecturer in economics at Somerville College Edwina Heath – middle-class housewife in Surbiton Jenny Callaghan – changed her name to Mollie Sugden and starred in Are You Being Served Marcus Thatcher – Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer Joanne Major – senior in the Accounts team, always helpful to her colleagues Antonia “Toni” Blair – media career and on the panel of Loose Women…

  • UK Politics

    The morning after the morning after

    A few years ago I found it dispiriting that so many people in the UK seemed bored or even completely alienated by politics.  Then Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn came along – be careful what you wish for. But whatever you thought of the result, it’s healthy for people – perhaps particularly young people – to witness so much unpredicatability and realize that voting can make a difference. Often it seems that you can look at the results from a few bellwether seats and know the entire outcome, more or less. Isaac Asimov took this idea to extremes in his short story ‘Franchise’. But on Friday morning the results were all…

  • Scotland,  UK Politics,  Vote 2017

    And what’s happening in your constituency?

    Look on the bright side in this general election.  At least there’s no Russell Brand – remember Ed Milliband paying court to him last time?  Not to mention the Ed Stone.  The process of democracy, of politicians out-sloganing each other, the photo stunts, the slagging and counter-slagging is fairly undignified. The dignity belongs to the activists door knocking and leafletting, the voters at the poll stations making their mark, and the fact that we have evolved a way of passing on power without bloodshed.  Long live King Demos. Here in Scotland the issues boil down to not Tory or not SNP and 15% of the electorate, including me, are voting…

  • UK Politics,  Vote 2017

    Back to Work

    My local hustings was cancelled last night. Electioneering was put on hold after the Manchester bombing and will not resume until tomorrow. Outside of Manchester itself, one day’s pause would have been enough. There has been plenty written by Mancunians celebrating their city, their football and music and creativity. That is their Manchester, and they cherish it and celebrate more now it is wounded. I’ve only visited the city once and was taken with its buzz and friendly citizens and its mighty Victorian industrial past preserved. I had heard the music of course but my Manchester, the one I saw, was the civic pride of the Victorian industrialists with its…

  • Islam,  UK Politics,  Vote 2017

    General Election 2017 – Bradford West Again

    Who can forget George Galloway of the Respect party winning Bradford West in a by-election after running a foul sectarian campaign back in 2012? And his tweet saying “shattered but happy after the Blackburn triumph?” The 2015 General Election’s brightest spot was Naz Shah’s defeating him and telling him off for running a further disgusting sectarian campaign. Shah’s back story includes a forced marriage and Galloway’s agent was doubting this on the grounds that if mother and other witnesses attended a forced marriage, it wasn’t forced! Shah comes from a disability rights background and is an eloquent speaker. It was Shah’s “anti-Zionist” remarks that kicked off the whole Ken Livingstone…

  • UK Politics

    We are all sinners

    Yesterday’s news prompts innumerable talking points – the factors behind May’s decision, the reactions of some Labour MPs, the rather disturbing tabloid coverage, and so on. For many voters Brexit will be a key issue. Whereas Corbyn mentioned Brexit neither in his initial statement nor in his email asking members for donations, for the Lib Dems avoiding a Hard Brexit is central to their campaigning.  For many ardent Remainers who usually vote Labour, this is enough to justify a switch. However opinion – even liberal opinion – is divided over Tim Farron’s widely reported interview with Cathy Newman; he was evasive when she asked whether he thought homosexuality was a…