Never be ashamed by ‘Anonymous’

This article was sent by a friend who remains anonymous. I’m happy to publish it here. For comment purposes, please feel free to attribute it to me if it’s important to you to have someone to hold responsible for the opinions therein.

NEVER BE ASHAMED.

Isn’t it funny that the words spoken by the Tory press or far right groups to be derogatory towards the Labour Party, or for the people who care, are things like Liberal left , Socialist, hard unions, champagne socialists, snowflakes or Woke, activists or liberal elites? I see them as virtues.

Elite’ used to indicate being accomplished. I see them all as virtues, but for so many they’re now seen as insults.

However if the far right March through a town, it’s the liberal leftists and woke’s of this country that turn up to drive them out.

When a minority group are having their rights taken away, it’s the liberal leftists of this world who stand up for them.

When workers are being mistreated by companies, it’s individual liberal elites and unions who stand and defend them.

When institutions are being attacked and stripped of manpower ( Prisons, Police, NHS, Schools Industries ) its liberal left and unions within that stand up for the fabric of our society.

When the right wing attack the poor or less fortunate with lies, and misinformation it’s the left wing liberal minded people who stand up and call it out.

When greed and hate , and racism is someone’s politics it’s labour who stand up against them.

I am happy to be called a woke, socialist and centre of politics, but that’s me. We may not be perfect for sure, but I believe it’s is far better than those who hate with their gammon red faces, We fight injustice rather than peddle hate and anger at everyone and everything!

They don’t believe in contributing anything towards the greater good in society. But yet, they are happy take paid holidays, workers rights , maternity leave, justice and human rights, NHS and pay rises etc. The very thing that the snowflake Unions and Lefty Labour Party fought for and gave them.

Never be ashamed to fight or care about people or community, you are better than those who are filled with hate.

We are Labour!

A little history: What’s a ‘lefty loser’?

I recently commented on a West Cumbrian internet site about my local MP. The site’s anonymous administrators responded to my factual points predictably enough with superficial memes, insults and attempts to discredit me with ad-hominem attacks rather than putting forward any reasonable points of their own. One of their taunts involved the term ‘Lefty loser’ which betrayed a lot about their very limited understanding of the working-class struggle for rights and equal consideration.

Voting counts

The genius behind the keyboard clearly thinks that the Left lost because of the 2019 General election result. They think the struggle lasts for the duration of a general election campaign and now it’s over. Such a superficial understanding of politics isn’t all that uncommon but it’s far from accurate.

ChartistsIn truth, as this series hopes to demonstrate, the fight has been going on for centuries. It was raging long before any of us were born and will presumably continue long after we’re dead. All any of us can do is join the fray in our own time – we won’t see defeat or victory – only periods of setback and progress.

The current government has an overall majority. That means they can do a great deal of damage to ordinary working people and our rights but they haven’t won. In fact, as history shows, despite the episodic highs and lows of our movement, working people have been gaining ground fairly consistently for generations and that overall trend will continue. We’ve lost a bit of ground right now but we’ll get it all back and more. So don’t despair – the task continues, the struggle continues and our work is the same as it ever was – to keep on advocating for justice and human rights, to keep on arguing against conservative greed and the racist and religious bigotry that so often accompanies it. The task for now is to do all we can to limit the damage that Boris and his mates will inflict by watching our neighbours’ backs, by making sure nobody goes hungry or destitute because of sanctions or cruel decisions from the DWP and by educating those around us about the real reason for their declining standards of living.

The dark side of the Industrial Revolution: child labourWe need to take the long view. We need to be resilient and not despair. We must never give up the fight but press on, just as our ancestors did whose tireless struggle won for us the NHS and the Welfare state, decent housing and the right to be involved in our own government at every level from casting a vote to participation in cabinet and the Lords.
Pages from the first leaflet introducing NHS to British Public in 1948.It was the brave activists of previous centuries that won for us employment rights, universal healthcare and an end to life-blighting childhood injuries from long hours in England’s ‘dark, Satanic mills’ and crippling stresses on developing bones in the mines to small boys suffocating to death in the blackness of chimneys. It was socialist reformers who fought for universal education and the right to more than a single day off a month. It was socialist activists who won for us access to the legal system and equality under the law. Their road to victory wasn’t easy and neither is ours but each generation of socialists makes its own progress overall. The current setback won’t change that so long as we come together, stick together and refuse to give up the fight.List of peterloo dead

There are no ‘lefty losers’ – only activists, campaigners and educators who continue the fight, hour after hour, day after day, year after year until each little battle is won and the cause moves that bit closer to a genuine, meaningful overall victory.

Like the Levellers, the Chartists, the Suffragettes and even the massacred victims of Peterloo our struggle continues. They didn’t lose and neither will we. There is no such thing as a ‘lefty loser’, only lefties who are in it for the long haul. We are resilient, we are strong, we are part of a centuries old tradition and we will prevail!

European rights and all that

It’s no secret that I voted to remain in 2016.

It’s no secret that I wish we weren’t leaving.

What may be unclear is why.

I have long argued that the most valuable thing about European membership is the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). I’ve warned repeatedly that these Tories want to be rid of our human rights protections so they can exploit us further and been accused of scaremongering (latterly ‘project fear’). And yet it’s happening.

Thumbnail the convention

This is a PDF of The Convention, a blog series I wrote years ago, long before the referendum was a prospect because even then politicians on the right and far right were complaining about our human rights.

The struggle to retain our human and civil rights will be the next big battle in post-Brexit UK. PLEASE get informed. Download The Convention and see why it’s so important not to let Boris and his cynical mates take our rights from us.

Workers rights under threat again

JenkyDuring the election campaign Boris Johnson and the rest of his team promised that there were no plans to meddle with the rights of Working people. My own local candidate, now tory MP for Workington, Mark Jenkinson went

on record at the local hustings explaining that there were no plans to reduce workers rights in the event of a tory majority. I’m afraid I wasn’t convinced.

The October withdrawal bill, the one that Boris withdrew because parliament wanted time to scrutinise it (and refused to let it pass without such scrutiny) included such protections. That’s the one the EU had agreed to in principle, assuming that it gained the consent of the house – a consent that could only come if parliament was allowed time to consider it in sufficient detail.

After the election Johnson has an 80 seat majority with many of his MPs new to the chamber, unsure of their position and presumably not sufficiently brave to stand up to Boris’ whips even if they wanted to. This means he can do what he likes, with or without parliamentary scrutiny and so…

Michael Gove.png

The December version of the withdrawal bill lacks the appropriate clauses about maintaining working peoples’ rights. Michael Gove, long time opponent of anything that stands in the way of large multinationals exploiting their workers has reassured us that everything will be OK because rights will be considered separately at some unspecified later date. The excuse is that they don’t want to complicate the road to Brexit so they’ll sort the rights part out later. Oh really?

screenshot_20191221-213437__012725869754827810623.jpgNeedless to say Mr. Jenkinson, newly elected MP for Workington voted in favour of the revised withdrawal bill and its implications for workers and Europeans despite the lack of time for proper scrutiny.

Now remember that the previous deal which included workers’ rights has already been agreed by the EU. Boris could pass whatever bill he likes in this new parliament so what could possibly be so difficult about workers’ rights that they need to be removed to let the bill carry through the house? That just doesn’t make sense.

 

In fact the opposite is true. It is precisely because of the changes to the October version of the bill, particularly relating to working peoples’ rights and the rights of EU citizens that the EU may not ratify this new version after all. Far from making the road to Brexit easier, abandoning workers’ and EU citizens’ rights is actually making it more complicated – and we all know where that can lead.

So what’s the real reason for the removal of working peoples’ rights?

Well? What do you think?

Workers rights no longer guaranteed

It’s just a matter of days since the tories learned of their landslide general election victory and already their manifesto promises are looking shaky. According to the Independent

“The government plans to reintroduce the withdrawal agreement bill, which implements Mr Johnson’s deal, this week. No 10 said it would be based on the deal that the prime minister secured with the EU, and would not necessarily include the guarantees made since then.

“The original draft of the legislation included provisions to ensure that workers’ rights were not weakened after Brexit. Under questioning from MPs in October, Mr Johnson also promised to include a similar measure on environmental protections.

“However, No 10 refused to say that the guarantees would be in the revised draft being brought back this week.”

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, conservative and hard right wing Brexiteer promised in the run up to the general election that there were no plans to reduce working peoples’ rights…

 

He also promised that the conservatives, if elected would seek to further protect the environment.

So we need to ask ourselves… was Jenky lying or is Workington’s new MP just a fool who couldn’t see what was so obvious to so many of us all along? Surely, the tory candidate should have known what his party planned to do, shouldn’t he?

It’s almost as though he doesn’t care about working people at all, especially since he even admitted that he didn’t even understand the question.

Labour’s Brexit confusion?

For months now people have been telling me that Labour is confused about Brexit. The argument goes something like this…

Labour wants to negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU and then vote against it. They can’t make up their minds what they want.

This argument is often persuasive but it’s also just plain wrong.

Labour’s confused Brexit from Left eye view on Vimeo.

Jules’ story

My childhood friend, we’ll call her Jules

Our lives kept pace through different schools

She was a child when Daddy died

The cancer ate him up inside.

She didn’t know about the pain

Relief that fogged his addled brain.

She didn’t know her great grandma

Had gone the same way years before

No pain relief for her back then

No hospitalisation

She lay there helpless, agonised

Till mercifully at last she died.

 

Times were hard for Jules’ Mum

Child benefit was such a boon

Three kids to feed and free school milk

Meant Jules grew strong – all the kids did

Free meals at school meant Jules stayed nourished

While Mum to better herself studied

 

Jules mother strived to make life better

A grant for college and a letter

Explaining how she’d few resources

Helped her to study pre-reg courses

 

By the time we went to secondary school

Jules’ Mum was working as a teacher

She’d passed her exams, fees all paid

And life was going up a grade

 

Jules’ flew through school, she’s very clever

And uni was her next endeavour

Free tuition, like her Mum

A great career had just begun

 

Soon after getting her first job

Jules conceived her first child, Bob

Her aunt had lost her job that way

But Jules just got maternity pay

And soon enough she came right back

Nobody had given her the sack

 

Bob grew up strong, a fine young man

And so is Mike, Jules second one

They’re both good lads, Bob’s soon to vote

He’s thinking Labour’s worth a punt

But Jules took him aside last night

And warned against that left wing shite

Fine words are all well and good you see

But the Labour party’s done nowt for me!

If you have to lie…

If you have to lie to make your point, your point isn’t worth making!

It’s late October and the next seasonal slight against British Muslims is making the rounds again. Year after year, from Facebook to Breitbart the same old crap is posited in Memes and articles. And year after year those of us with more than a handful of cranial axons to work with find ourselves responding.

Like Canute before the ocean we strive to hold back the growing Tsunami of deceit and discrimination as wave after wave of far right bollocks finds its way into our ‘news’ feeds. This is no mere paddling pool of right wing bollocks – this is a full blown flood complete with alt-right lies that really ought to be easy for even the least well-informed citizen to disprove. Unless, of course, they want it to be true.

The Royal British Legion is gearing up its annual poppy appeal, a yearly fundraising drive that will reach its zenith at cenotaphs across the nation at the striking of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. A moment of reflection when we remember and feel gratitude for the sacrifices of so many who gave their lives first in the Great war and then 20 years later in the struggle against totalitarian fascism. It’s the moment when we recall the great price paid by men and women of every race and creed to safeguard our democracy, our liberty and our right to survive.

And as we remember that sacrifice we owe it to those brave heroes to remember that diversity. In particular, given the toxic lies currently circulating on social media, we need to remember the many Muslim martyrs who lost their lives defending our freedom, our liberal democracy. They gave their lives so that we might be free.

So remember – when your auntie Mabel shares a meme claiming that Muslims are offended by the poppy or the flag to put her right. When some bloke at the social club holds court about ungrateful Muzzies not liking to be reminded of the proud Brits who fought for this country, when the loudmouthed dickhead Gammon in the beer garden makes speeches about deporting unpatriotic Moose limbs who disrespect our war dead let them know loud and clear.

Many of the war dead they revere so much were themselves Muslims. Indeed, without Muslim and Indian sepoys we might well have lost – twice! Many British Muslim families will be remembering their own British war dead this November. So make sure you speak out and let the Gammony bigots know just how ridiculous they sound when they claim that Muslims are offended by the Poppy.

It’s their poppy too, for fuck’s sake!