Friday, 4 December 2015

Spare a Thought For Those Poor War Mongering Labour MPs

Pro-War Labour MPs Whine About ‘Intimidation’

Brighton Anti-war vigil 2nd December

Brighton  anti-war vigil

Brighton  anti-war vigil

Brighton  anti-war vigil
Brighton  anti-war vigil
On behalf of this blog I wish to express my heart-felt sympathy for those 67 Labour MPs who voted to bomb the Syrian civilians of Raqqa, men, women and children.  It is a terrible thing to bring home to those who vote in favour of death and destruction, from the comfort of Parliament, the implications of their vote. 
Brighton  anti-war vigil
I imagine that readers of this blog will wish to join me in expressing their revulsion at the idea that Stella Creasy, one of the New Labour reptiles,should be held to account for her vote to murder  innocent civilians.
Apparently some wicked people even posted photos of dead babies through the doors of war-mongering MPs.  This is disgraceful and should be stopped at once.  It is difficult to imagine what goes through the mind of someone who seeks to connect someone’s vote to the consequences of their vote.  One can only hope that the Police do their duty and arrest such people forthwith.  At the very minimum they should be sentenced to life in prison.  

Unfortunately it’s not possible to bomb such people and their homes, as this is not Israel.
As that floating voter Andy Burnham MP said, ‘we need a code of conduct to curb such abuse’.  Quite.  It should be a criminal offence to acquaint MPs with the possible results of their votes. 
Another sensitive soul, Labour MP Neil Coyle told the Daily Mail (who else!) that he had reported a threatening tweet to the police.  Again one cannot but condemn this in the strongest terms.
And not only threatening tweets.  Some ‘had pictures of severed heads pushed through their home letterboxes or had their offices barricaded by protesters.’  Don't they know this is a democracy?  It is barely possible to believe what one reads.  Severed heads.  One can only hope they weren’t severed by our   democratic ally, Saudi Arabia!
Ben Bradshaw however has found a way to deal with this disgraceful intimidation.  He does this ‘by not reading the messages’ which begs the question, how does he know they are intimidating?  No doubt our Ben possesses some telepathic quality which enables him to discern the flavour of a message without actually reading it.  This is the kind of stuff of which leaders are made.
Brighton  anti-war vigil
Stella Creasy - warmongering MP for Walthamstow - doesn't like being held to account
Hull North MP Diana Johnson, who voted against air strikes, said she had received an email before the vote warning she would face a no-confidence vote in her local party followed by a move to de-select her "if I didn't vote the right way".  I’m sure people will join me in deprecating this kind of  behaviour.  MPs are there to represent their own consciences and Labour MPs are there to support David Cameron in his hour of need.  How dare mere members think they have the right to interfere with their delicate consciences?  I guess it's fortunate that she did vote the right way.
The Daily 'hate' Mail expresses all our feelings over this intimidation of MPs.  Intimidation is something the Mail has made into a fine art.
Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, son of Neil, demonstrated the Kinnock devotion to democracy when he called for Momentum to be "disbanded" if found to be co-ordinating attacks, describing the group as a "sort of organised mob".  Presumably he would prefer that it was a disorganised mob.  
Another example of intimidation - a call for the deselection of Labour warmongers - This blog is calling for calls for deselection to be made a criminal offence and the position of MP made into a lifetime job
Another Labour MP, Ann Coffey, says she was sent messages from an email account previously used by Momentum, before Wednesday's vote, branding her a "warmonger" and saying she would have "blood on her hands" if she supported bombing.  Yes I know.  It's almost beyond belief.

How one might ask can someone who votes for bombing civilians be said to have blood on their hands?  As Coffey said, those who say unkind things like this "create(s) a threatening atmosphere and other people come behind that with physical threats of assaults".  Coffey, who voted for the air strikes, obviously believes that bombs dropping on peoples' heads are just cartoon images with no physical consequences.  Something like Tom & Jerry.

They Actually Believe This

It is difficult to believe that those who vote for war can then whine and complain about receiving a little abuse for their actions.  They believe that you can vote for the death of others and not be brought to account for the consequences of one’s own actions. 

There is no doubt that the threat of deselection acted as a spur to those who would otherwise have voted with the Tories.  A week ago people were talking about 100 Labour MPs voting for bombing.  The fact that, despite a free vote, only 67 Labour MPs, less than a third of the total, voted for war, is a tribute to the pressure put upon them.  However this is still unsatisfactory.

We want MPs to vote against war, not because they are pressurised to do so, but because they genuinely oppose such action.

The obvious and immediate answer to this is mandatory deselection.  MPs are not representatives of their own consciences but delegates of the Party whose MP they are.  They should be recallable and accountable.

The first MP who should be deselected is Peter Kyle, the Labour/Tory MP for Hove.  This New Labour war criminal voted for bombing the Syrians who are under the thumb of Isis despite the overwhelming view of posters on his Facebook page and constituents that it was wrong to vote to support Cameron.  Kyle is someone who would be happy standing for the Tory party and he should be enabled to do so.

That said there were real weaknesses in the case that Jeremy Corbyn promoted.  It was not an anti-imperialist but essentially a pacifist case.  What didn’t get mentioned was the fact that it is the United States, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have deliberately promoted sectarianism and Salafi/Wahabi Islam.  Isis was a product of western imperialism’s divide and rule strategy in Afghanistan and then Iraq.  The idea that Western bombing is the answer to the monster they created is an absurdity.
The fact that NATO member and ally in the ‘war against terror’ Turkey is the main proponent of terror against one of the few remaining bastions of secularism in the Middle East, the Kurds and which provides Isis with a rear supply base and oil trading base demonstrates the nonsense of the idea that bombing Isis will somehow be a solution.

Isis is a consequence of the sectarian nature of the Iraqi state which has driven Sunni Muslims into their hands.   The answer to them is not merely military but political and without a fundamental reform of the Iraqi and Syrian state of Assad there will be no solution.

Tony Benn,  currently spinning in his grave at the antics of his son.  Alongside Tam Dalyell, a vigorous opponent of militarism and Jeremy Corbyn at the back, with Alice  Mahon besides him.  
As for the new ‘hero’ of the Labour Right, one Hilary Benn.  It’s not enough to say that his father, Tony Benn, would turn in his grave.  Benn was thoroughly dishonest.  If Isis is fascist (and  superficially it has similarities to fascist groups) then is he seriously suggesting that western imperialism including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are also anti-fascist?  His summoning of the heroes of the fight of theose who fought for the Spanish Republic was a disgrace.  As if the Tories of today, anymore than the Tories of yesterday, would have supported the Spanish Republicans.

It was a dishonest speech from a dishonest politician made possible only by the weakness of the Corbyn left.

Jeremy Corbyn warns Labour members over 'abuse'

Image copyright Reuters  Jeremy Corbyn and deputy leader Tom Watson said abuse would not be tolerated

Labour will not accept abuse and intimidation "from whatever quarter it comes", Jeremy Corbyn has warned.

His comments came in an email to members after a fresh row erupted over alleged bullying of MPs who voted to bomb so-called Islamic State in Syria.

Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham, who opposed air strikes, has called for a new code of conduct to curb abuse.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed it was assessing a number of online threats relating to MPs.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The assessment of these threats is ongoing."

Labour MP Neil Coyle told MailOnline he had reported a threatening tweet to the police.

Corbyn and Watson warn members

At the end of a joint email to Labour members on Thursday evening, Mr Corbyn and his deputy, Tom Watson, said they backed the right to "protest and lobby" and said MPs had to be "open to hearing the views of their constituents and others".

They added: "But, as we have both said many times, abuse and intimidation have no place in politics. And the party as a whole will not accept such behaviour, from whatever quarter it comes."

What Andy Burnham said

He called on Mr Corbyn to take a "firm line" with the alleged perpetrators, saying: "There cannot be abuse by members of the Labour Party or supporters of the Labour Party. That isn't the kind of party I want to be in."

He told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme social media was "in danger of poisoning our politics".

"I think it's because if you are just sitting with a keyboard you can be more offensive than if you are speaking to somebody face-to-face. It's a bad culture and we need to draw a line under it," he added. He said talks were under way in the party about a code of conduct.

Some of the tweets

Some MPs were sent pictures of dead children by anti-war protesters and faced foul-mouthed abuse - others allegedly had pictures of severed heads pushed through their home letterboxes or had their offices barricaded by protesters.
Here are some of the messages and the MPs' replies.

Former minister Ben Bradshaw, who voted for air strikes, said the party leadership needed to do more to combat online abuse, which "wouldn't be tolerated in any other walk of life" and which seemed to be "worse" for women in the party. He said he dealt with it by not reading the messages.

He added: "Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear he doesn't want this retribution... We can't start having threats of retribution based on what someone has done on a free vote."

Hull North MP Diana Johnson received an email before the vote warning she would face a no-confidence vote in her local party followed by a move to de-select her "if I didn't vote the right way".
Labour MP Stephen Kinnock called for Momentum to be "disbanded".  It was a "sort of organised mob".

And it gets worse.  Labour MP, Ann Coffey was sent messages from an email account previously used by Momentum (where else?) branding her a "warmonger" and saying she would have "blood on her hands" if she supported bombing.

What Corbyn-supporting groups say

Momentum, a successor organisation to Mr Corbyn's Labour leadership campaign, said it was "proud" to have helped 30,000 people email their MP asking them not to vote for bombing.
A spokesman said: "It can never be a threat to express your views to your elected representative.
"Momentum strongly disapproves of anyone who engages in abusive behaviour towards MPs or anyone else, and threatening or bullying, whether they are outside the Labour Party (as most are) or inside it.

"We specifically asked our supporters to emulate Jeremy Corbyn, and to keep their messages about the issues and to refrain from any personal attacks."

Campaign group Stop the War, which until recently was chaired by Mr Corbyn, said: "Stop the War condemns the whining complaints from those MPs who apparently do not like being lobbied.

"If an MP is not robust enough to withstand emails and tweets, they should really not be voting for bombing other people - those who wish to be alone with their consciences would do better to consider a life of religious contemplation.

"Stop the War will continue to hold to democratic account all those MPs who vote for war."

The de-selection threat

A number of groups, including Left Unity, have called for MPs who voted for military action to be sacked by their local Labour parties.

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy,whose office was targeted by anti-war protesters, is facing an attempt to de-select her by a member of the Socialist Party over her pro-air strikes vote.
The disgraceful Nancy Taafe threatening Stella Creasy with deselection
Nancy Taaffe, who stood unsuccessfully against Ms Creasy in May's general election for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, told the BBC's Daily Politics she wanted to see "a conference to make mandatory re-selection the heart of the new Labour project, if you like, the Corbyn project".
She said Labour was "essentially two parties in one" and "peaceful co-existence is impossible" between the Corbyn-supporting membership and "right wing" MPs and councillors.
The disgraceful ex-MP and London Mayor Ken Livingstone calls for deslection ('shock horror')

Ken Livingstone weighs in

Momentum said candidate selection was "entirely a matter for local party members and rightly so" but Ken Livingstone said party members had a right to get rid of MPs and candidates that did not back the party leader.

The former left-wing London mayor, who has come back under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership to be co-chair of the party's defence review, told BBC News: "Nobody should be doing abusive tweets or anything else like that, but people expressing their genuine belief that they would rather have an MP who supports the Labour leader rather than undermines them should be free to say that."

Andy Burnham said Mr Livingstone's comments were "disgraceful" as Labour MPs had been given a free vote on Syria and "to then say they should be subject to a witch-hunt or a campaign against them is wrong".
Liz Kendall, defies 'intimidation'  

How can Labour MPs be de-selected?

Mandatory reselection of Labour MPs as candidates by their local parties was introduced by supporters of the late Tony Benn in the 1980s. They were frustrated by the leadership ignoring the views of party members and also wanted a chance to get rid of MPs seen as lazy or complacent.

But opponents saw it as an attempt by the hard left to tighten its grip on Labour by getting rid of those on the right of the party.

The system was abolished by then leader Neil Kinnock as part of his war on the "party within a party" Militant.

Labour now uses a "trigger-ballot" system to decide before each election whether it wishes to carry out the full selection procedure - very few MPs are thrown out in this way.

Mr Corbyn has assured MPs mandatory reselection will not be brought back - but MPs out of step with his brand of politics could be ousted anyway, without an official "purge" from the top, as left wing campaigners increase their influence.

Analysis by BBC Parliamentary Correspondent Mark D'Arcy

There will be recriminations and, possibly, attempts at constituency level to deselect the recusants (there does not have to be a return to the '80s era of mandatoryreselection; the coming Commons boundary changes will ensure most sitting MPs will not face a simple rubber-stamping to become their party's candidate again).

If they succeed, some MPs may quit immediately, forcing uncomfortable by-elections, or simply go rogue in the Commons and vote as they please.
The shy and self-effacing Labour MP John Mann
John Mann on Abuse

Syria air strikes: MPs were sent dead baby pictures

3 December 2015

MPs received photos of dead babies and severed heads in the build up to the vote on Syrian air strikes, shadow Commons leader Chris Bryant has said.

The Rhondda MP said politicians' offices had been barricaded, and one MP's house had been surrounded.
Chris Bryant - previously famous for appearing in his underpants in a Sunday newspaper in some long forgotten scandal over texting images on his phone
Mr Bryant said such abuse was "beyond the pale" and that security at MPs' homes and offices should be reviewed.

Caerphilly MP Wayne David said he was called a "murderer" and "warmonger" for backing wider military action.

Mr David and Mr Bryant were among the four Labour MPs to join 11 Welsh Conservatives in supporting David Cameron's proposals, the measure was passed by a large majority of 174 on Wednesday night.

'Broad shoulders'

Mr Bryant told the Commons on Thursday that many people had "hurled a great deal of abuse" at MPs on both sides of the debate.

He said some had been called "murderers, peacenik, terrorist sympathisers, whatever", but insisted "no MP should ever be intimidated".

"Sadly the abuse for all members of this house has been beyond the pale," Mr Bryant said.

"Several members have had their offices barricaded, one member had her house surrounded, many had photos of dead babies pushed through their front door at home.
"I gather today some members have received photos of severed heads."

"MPs have broad shoulders, of course we do, but can I ask members to review the security of members homes and offices," Mr Bryant added.
A shocked Stephen Doughty MP
Media caption Welsh MP called 'murderer' over Syria views

Mr David, a frontbench justice spokesman and former minister, told BBC Radio Wales that as well as being called "a warmonger" he had been told he would have "blood on my hands", had received anonymous calls to his office and was threatened with de-selection.
Mr David, Mr Bryant and Stephen Doughty were the most prominent Welsh Labour MPs calling for military action.
Another victim of hateful bloggers - all he did was to vote for killing Syrians
They were joined by Susan Elan Jones, the Clwyd South MP.

Twenty of Wales' 25 Labour and three Plaid Cymru MPs rejected the plan.

Among the Welsh Labour MPs who voted against air strikes were shadow cabinet members Nia Griffith and Owen Smith.

They were joined by Kevin Brennan, Geraint Davies, Chris Evans, David Hanson, Paul Flynn, Carolyn Harris, Huw Irranca-Davies, Gerald Jones, Stephen Kinnock, Ian Lucas, Madeleine Moon, Christina Rees, Jo Stevens, Nick Smith, Mark Tami and Nick Thomas-Symonds, Jessica Morden and Albert Owen.

Ann Clwyd was absent from the vote due to illness.

Media caption Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty was one of four Welsh Labour MPs to vote in favour of air strikes

Although the Liberal Democrats said they were in favour of air strikes, the party's only Welsh MP, Mark Williams, voted against.

Glyn Davies, Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, who voted in favour of the action, said most MPs accepted there was no certainty the strikes would work to combat so-called Islamic State targets.

"If there was certainty then there would be no difficulty securing the vote of everyone. It's a big problem we're confronted with - a massive problem," he said.

The prime minister said carrying out UK air strikes in Syria would "keep the British people safe", as MPs debated the issue on Wednesday.

Mr Corbyn had claimed David Cameron's case "doesn't stack up", but he allowed his MPs a free vote on the issue. 

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