SKWAWKBOX

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"Communicating on stuff that matters"



SKWAWKBOX is a political blog.

Funding

It has asked for donations in January 2017.[1]

Articles

Articles since 2017 include:

Lifelong Tory voters switching to Labour

After reading the SKWAWKBOX’s recent article on UKIP supporters in Staffordshire switching to Labour, which included a Q&A with a former UKIP member about the reasons he is now a wholehearted supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party under him, another Staffordshire resident contacted this blog to give her story.

This one a hitherto-lifelong Tory voter. Eleanor, a marketing manager for an engineering company, got in touch because she wanted people in nearby Stoke and around the UK to know what they won’t hear from media pundits – that people who’ve never previously supported the Labour party are doing so now, thanks to the authenticity and vision of its leader.

Here are her own words:

"I live in Stafford. I’m a working mum and I have ALWAYS voted Tory – until Mr Corbyn.
"I was on the original committee for Support Stafford Hospital and I helped organise the march of over 50,000 people for the future of our hospital.
"I felt badly let down by the Tories over what happened to our hospital and what is being done to the NHS. In my opinion, if politics has a future Jeremy Corbyn and people like him are it.
"He’s a man with morals and principles, who speaks for all the working class people of this country and is taking Labour back to where it should be. It’s time for the country to say ‘no’ – no to silver spoon public school millionaire politicians.
"I am now a card carrying Labour member and am in Momentum. I talk to a lot of people and there are many many more like me.
"The government won’t call a General Election until they have to, because they know the tide has turned, never mind what pundits say.
"We want our voice back, and Jeremy Corbyn gives us that."

The media and right-wing pseudo-Labour politicians have been doing their best to ridicule and undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s misnamed ‘populist relaunch’, finding fault with any ridiculously small issue they can and talking of his supposed ‘disconnect’ with working class people. But it’s not a relaunch, it’s who he is – he is not the usual ‘manufactured’ politician.

The picture portrayed by right-wing media and politicians is a construct. A confection.

One designed to confuse, demoralise and distract people from the grassroots reality the media don’t want to talk about because it would grow even faster if acknowledged its existence.

A few Labour members and a tiny number of career-wedded right-wing MPs and functionaries are desperately fighting that reality because they know they have no place in it – and they want their place, their perks, the prestige they’re addicted to, or the comfort-zone they’re used to.

Without question there are huge battles to be fought and won. But that reality is Tories, UKIPpers – and people who previously never bothered to support anyone because they thought ‘they’re all the same‘ – recognising the real deal when they see it and throwing the weight of their support behind Corbyn and the real Labour vision he represents.

However much vested interests want you to think otherwise.[2]

The Scum is backing Nuttall

Paul Nuttall UKIP leader and candidate at the Stoke by-election

There is no shortage of reason for people living in Stoke – or anywhere else – to disdain UKIP leader Paul Nuttall’s attempt to win the 2017 Stoke Central by-election. His on-the-record hatred for the NHS, the dog-whistle racism and dishonesty of his candidacy speech or the huge fraud investigation into UKIP – including Nuttall himself for allegedly claiming expenses for an office and staff that appear not to exist.

Just in case you needed one more, the Murdoch rag the Scum has now backed Nuttall for the seat – presumably because he appeals to their undeniable racism and hatred for fairness and compassion.

Paul Nuttall comes from Bootle and claims (dubiously) to have been caught up in the Hillsborough disaster – which the Scum lied about and smeared the victims for.

The rag – ‘newspaper’ would be far too generous and inaccurate a description – is still despised by Merseysiders, with the vast majority of shops in that area and elsewhere refusing to sell it. Yet, for its own political reasons, it is talking up Nuttall’s chances of winning even though all the bookies – not known for giving away their money – make Labour ‘odds on’ favourites to win the by-election.

If Paul Nuttall has an ounce of decency – which is, of course, highly debatable – he will disown the Scum publicly. If he doesn’t, he will be even further disowned by every Merseysider.

And, I’m sure, rejected by the people of Stoke, who from my experience are far too sensible a bunch to fall for an ambitious outsider whipping up hatred.[3]

Israeli infiltration of the Labour party

Tom Watson and friends at an LFI junket

A couple of weeks ago, the SKWAWKBOX covered the proof uncovered by Al Jazeera of Israeli infiltration of the Labour party (and others) to exert undue influence on politics and policies – and specifically to undermine Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn called on the Prime Minister to properly investigate Israeli interference in UK politics but Mrs May, unsurprisingly but ludicrously, decided that a mere apology by the Israeli ambassador was the end of the matter.

This has caused considerable outrage among right-thinking Labour members, incensed at

  • the admission that the Israeli embassy set up groups within Labour to further Israel’s interests and to helping those groups achieve their ends;
  • the huge array of right-wing, anti-Corbyn Labour MPs who are implicated by their involvement with the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) group specifically discussed by Israeli diplomat Shai Masot;
  • the admission that Israel was working to undermine UK MPs they consider unhelpful;
  • the revelation that Israel, or at least Masot, does not want Corbyn – a long-time supporter of a just settlement for Palestinians – as Labour leader (do the maths with the preceding point)
  • the incessant ‘fake news’ allegations that Labour has an ‘antisemitism problem’; and,
  • the claims by the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, which contains LFI and CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel) members of the ‘antisemitism problem’, even though the committee’s own report says there’s no evidence.

At least one Labour CLP (Constituency Labour Party) – Sefton Central, to the north of Liverpool – has discussed a motion calling on Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) to conduct a formal, public investigation into these matters:

Subject: Emergency Resolution on Government of Israel
Following the recent documentary “The Lobby’ made by Al Jazeera, Blundellsands and Manor Labour Party wards call on Sefton Central CLP to ask Labour’s NEC to undertake an internal inquiry into the revelation that attempts have been made to infiltrate and subvert our Labour Party. Specifically we ask the investigation examine the £1m fund being set up primarily to be accessed by Labour MPs sympathetic to the Government of Israel.
We ask the investigation examine the purpose and nature of this fund and that the findings be shared with all CLPs via the NEC.
Proposed by Blundellsands and Manor Wards

This blog is delighted to report that the motion was passed unanimously.

The SKWAWKBOX urges members of every CLP to propose a similar motion, to organise to make sure it passes and to require both an acknowledgement from the NEC and confirmation of action – and then maximum censure of those MPs, MEPs, employees and members found to have worked against Labour and the party’s reputation and electoral prospects at the behest of Israeli operatives.

Ideally, the matter of the antisemitism smear and its association with LFI (and JLM – Jewish Labour Movement) supporters should be mentioned specifically as well.[4]

Trident "homing missile"

Trident test misfiring an 'operational detail'

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has today answered questions in the Commons on last year’s test of a Trident nuclear missile. The verbatim Hansard record is not yet on line at the Parliament website, but I listened to the live coverage and can safely say that it’s rare to see even a Tory MP squirming and dancing around an issue so desperately trying to find ways to avoid giving a straight answer.

The upshot of these gyrations was that the submarine tests, of which the missile test-fire was a part, were officially successful – and that anything else is just ‘operational detail’ that it would be inappropriate to discuss.

I wonder whether the 20 million or so people who live in Florida would consider their existence – and its theoretical termination – as mere ‘detail’. If the missile had been armed, they – and the many rare species of plant and animal residing there – would have had only the successful functioning of a self-destruct button standing between them and oblivion.

Mr Fallon tried to say-without-actually-saying that everything went swimmingly, by telling one questioner:

"You shouldn’t believe everything you read in the newspapers."

A “non-denial denial” if ever there was one. Unfortunately for Mr Fallon, while he was at the despatch box the US military released a confirmation that the missile had in fact, failed:

Can someone get a note to Michael Fallon in parliament & tell him the US has briefed CNN on details he won't discuss?[5]

Fallon is a caricature of Tory pomposity in any case. But the danger is that his discomfiture – admittedly very pleasing – distract from the real issue at hand.

During the debate on the renewal of the Trident system last July, Theresa May said that she would be willing to ‘press the nuclear button’ to launch a missile that would kill 100,000 people. What she omitted to tell MPs – and the public – is that those 100,000 people might well have been you or me, given that she knew beyond doubt, because it had just happened, that Trident could simply veer off course, then explode somewhere other than it was meant to, if the auto-destruct should fail.

While the media got its knickers in a twist about Corbyn’s honest answer that he would not ‘press the button’, Mrs May was busy hiding undeniably relevant facts from Parliament and from the British people.

Which is all very illuminating about the mores of Tory politicians and the UK’s media – and about Corbyn’s unerring tendency to be on the right side of history. Not quite as illuminating as a nuclear flash, though.

Oops, sorry Florida![6]

Blairites are trying to lose 2 by-elections

Tristram Hunt: "Hey, I know! Why don't I resign too? Then we can try to lose TWO seats!!"

Interesting day today for those of us who keep an eye of what the ‘hard right’ (since they insist on calling moderate socialists ‘hard left’, to call them ‘moderates’ is nonsense) get up to.[7]

First, we had Richard Angell of Progress – he of the fake NHS campaigning – showing his true colours by taking to one of the worst right-wing rags to attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in classic ‘straw-man’ fashion. The article, a mishmash of assumptions that he can see inside people’s heads and then attacking what he tells you he finds there and simply making stuff up, attempts to portray Corbyn as copying what he supposedly disdains (there goes that straw-man again).

It’s a woeful, snide little article – entirely in keeping with its author, sadly, but it shows how desperate the Labour right are to seize even the most tenuous opportunity to undermine Corbyn’s leadership.

And one suspects Angell knows it – at the first suggestion of even a question on social media, Angell was immediately on his frequent ‘attack-is-the-best-form-of-defensive’ modus operandi:

The Leader's office stitch up in #Copeland backfired. Local choice @Gillianformp is now Labour's standard bearer.[8]
@RichardAngell @Gillianformp @TelegraphNews We're all Labour Richard. Why are you saying this? Very disappointing behaviour. Not helpful.[9]
We are? You @NameChangeGirl are an anonymous troll. Do your politics on the record. [10]

So much for Mr Angell, only useful as a weathercock, to see which way the right-wing flatulence is blowing.

Next was an attempt by a nameless Blairite MP to sow doubt and demoralisation, as reported by the Politics Home website under this headline "Labour set to lose Copeland according to internal polling:

According to an anonymous ‘senior Labour source’:

Internal documents seen by the Daily Telegraph show dwindling support for Jeremy Corbyn is behind the drop.
Support for Labour is believed to have dropped by a third since the 2015 General Election.
A senior Labour source said Mr Corbyn’s “incompetence” as a party leader was repeatedly coming up as a concern for voters on the doorstep.
The returns suggest that the Tories will take Copeland – a seat held by Labour for 80 years – when voters pick their new MP next month.
It would be the first time the Government has won a seat off the official opposition since the Tories took Mitcham and Morden, London, in 1982.

So far, so predictable. The clearly Blairite ‘senior Labour source’ gives away the game by over-egging the pudding with talk of Corbyn’s ‘incompetence’. ‘Internal documents’ could easily be emails or similar between two Blairites, specifically for the purpose of giving substance to a ridiculous article.

And, of course, there’s the prediction of doom: a 33% fall in Labour support handing victory to the Tories.

All couched in a suggestion of inevitability that would – if believed – tend to suppress the Labour turnout. Why bother going to vote if you’re sure you’re going to lose?

If all this seems familiar, that’s because it is.

In 2015, the Oldham West by-election, was triggered by the sad death of veteran Labour MP Michael Meacher and this Express headline was typical: Corbyn factor making Labour jittery ahead of safe seat by-election.[11] It’s all there: the ‘safe seat’ talk, the supposed ‘haemorrhaging’ of support and, of course, the ubiquitous, "One senior Labour source said". You probably know what happened in Oldham West, but just in case here’s a headline from just after the by-election: Labour wins Oldham by-election with thumping majority in first electoral test for Jeremy Corbyn.[12]

So the supposed ‘internal documents’ predicting drastic loss of support should be taken with a Dead Sea-sized pinch of salt. Rather, those predictions are intended to create lost votes, by depressing turnout. It appears the Blairites think they didn’t ‘go big’ enough for Oldham West, so now they’re co-ordinating negative headlines from inside and outside the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) and have changed their predictions of doom from ‘haemorrhaging support’ to ‘one third of voters’, in an attempt to make sure that their doomsaying succeeds in being self-fulfilling this time round.

A loss in Copeland will, of course, be used by them as a stick to beat Corbyn – even though the candidate is distinctly right-leaning.

It’s clear that Labour’s right-wingers want to lose Copeland – and probably Stoke too – because they’re more interested in regaining control of the Labour party than in electoral victory, no matter how much they try to accuse the Left of it. But, at least in Copeland, if their plan doesn’t work they have the consolation of a so-called ‘moderate’ in Parliament, while what happens in Stoke Central remains to be seen.

If Labour wins in Copeland, it will be in spite of concerted Blairite attempts to sabotage the campaign. If Copeland becomes ‘Oldham West the Sequel’ and Labour wins it, it will be a huge testimony to the appeal of Corbyn’s authenticity and bold, intelligent policies. If not, then there will be no honest doubt about where the real blame lies.

But of course, we don’t expect the media or ‘moderates’ to be honest – so if you’re a Copeland constituent or can get there to help with campaigning, please do everything you can to achieve the win. We’re not just fighting the opposition and media, but some who pretend to be Labour.[13]


References

  1. "Running rings round the MSM - The SKWAWKBOX needs your help"
  2. "Lifelong Tory voters switching to Labour"
  3. "As if you needed more reason to despise Nuttall, the Scum's backing him"
  4. "Israeli infiltration of the Labour party"
  5. "Can someone get a note to Michael Fallon in parliament & tell him the US has briefed CNN on details he won't discuss"
  6. "Dear Michael Fallon, Is Test Nuking Florida 'Operational Detail'?"
  7. "#TRISTRAMHUNT RESIGNATION: DIVIDE (RESOURCES) AND CONQUER?"
  8. "The Leader's office stitch up in #Copeland backfired. Local choice @Gillianformp is now Labour's standard bearer"
  9. "We're all Labour Richard. Why are you saying this? Very disappointing behaviour. Not helpful."
  10. "We are? You @NameChangeGirl are an anonymous troll. Do your politics on the record."
  11. "Corbyn factor making Labour jittery ahead of safe seat by-election"
  12. "Labour wins Oldham by-election with thumping majority in first electoral test for Jeremy Corbyn"
  13. "Labour right are trying to lose two by-elections. But Oldham West applies"