Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Corbo will engage in tonight's BBC debate

JEREMY Corbyn has announced he will take part in the live TV General Election debate tonight on the BBC, and he has challenged Theresa May to join him.
The Tories will be represented by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, after Mrs May made clear that she would not take part in a face-to-face showdown with any other party leaders during the campaign.
The Labour leader will take part with the leaders of the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru, and the SNP's leader at Westminster, at the BBC event, which is now being boycotted by the Prime Minister.
Mr. Corbyn tweeted:
. come & debate me. Any time. Any place. Britain deserves to see the only two people who could be the next Prime Minister debate
Meanwhile, the Labour Party issued the following statement on behalf on Mr. Corbyn:
'I will be taking part in tonight’s debate because I believe we must give people the chance to hear and engage with the leaders of the main parties before they vote.
'I have never been afraid of a debate in my life. Labour’s campaign has been about taking our polices to people across the country and listening to the concerns of voters.

'The Tories have been conducting a stage-managed arms-length campaign and have treated the public with contempt. Refusing to join me in Cambridge tonight would be another sign of Theresa May’s weakness, not strength.'

Corbyn & his Woman's Hour Horror Story

EMMA Barnett, a Woman's Hour presenter, gave Corbo a grim time yesterday as he giggled and fiddled with his i-phone desperately trying to to put a cost on Labour's plan for free childcare for 1.3m youngsters during an interview with BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour.
'It will cost... it will obviously cost a lot to do so, we accept that,' he said, before agreeing with host Emma Barnett that the figure was £5.3bn.

Stephen Bush, in the New Statesman, says:
'The interview is great radio – you can read the transcript here but it’s better heard than read – but is it a good way to cover politics?'

But should a professional politician be so ill-prepared that he doesn't have a note handy with the figures covering his party's flagship policy on? 

Perhaps Corbo thought he would have an easy ride, and didn't need to prpare himself properly to tackle Ms. Barnett, who after all is not an old hand like Jenny Murray.  I thought perhaps she was a new girl on the block, but Ms. Barnett was educated at Manchester High School for Girls and had an Orthodox Jewish background.

After the interview one tweeter declared:  'Zionist Emma Barnett (family lived off the proceeds of brothels) attacks Jeremy Corbyn on R4 this morning.'

In response to these attacks, Mr. Corbyn has said that she was only doing her job.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Now Sara Rowbotham backs Tony Lloyd!

IN what looks like a panic move Rochdale Labour Councillor Sara Rowbotham, who was played by Maxine Peake in the BBC docu-drama 'Three Girls', has gone on record saying she has given her full support to Tony Lloyd, the Rochdale Labour Party candidate in the 2017 general election next month.

Sara, a sexual health worker who played a vital role in getting abused girls’ voices heard by persistently reporting cases of child abuse as a sexual health worker, has told ROCHDALE ONLINE that Mr Lloyd has her '100% support'.

Sara told Rochdale Online: "Tony Lloyd has my 100% support as Labour's candidate for Rochdale.

Curiously, this follows on the heels of a tweet by Maggie Oliver, another key figure in exposure of the story of the 'Three Girls' docu-drama, who over the weekend circulated a message attacking Tony Lloyd as unhelpful:

Sara Rowbotham said of prospective Labour parliamentary candidate Tony Lloyd:
'He has lots of experience and ability and will make a first class MP for the town.  Tony is just what Rochdale needs.  During his time as Greater Manchester's Interim Mayor he worked very closely with lots of community organisations.  He is well known throughout town.  Tony will work with everyone to build what is best about Rochdale and its people.'

Sara added:
'Tony will fight the disastrous Tory cuts to our local schools which will mean bigger class sizes and teachers facing the sack. Tony will be the strong and experienced voice Rochdale needs right now.'

Where have we heard that before?   Labour councillors like Sara Rowbotham have been fighting Tory cuts for years while implementing Tory cuts at the same time.  Meanwhile, didn't Sara vote against the
proposed increase in councillors' allowances on the 14th, December last year..  As ROCHDALE ONLINE reported at the time:
'The proposal to increase councillors' allowances by a massive 34%, and Council Leader Richard Farnell's allowances by a whopping 51%, has been met with public outrage and a protest has been organised outside the Town Hall....'

Despite all the crocodile tears about 'Tory cuts' talked about by Labour Party councillors like Sara Rowbotham she was loyal to the Labour whip imposed by her council leader, Richard Farnell. 


Monday, 29 May 2017

Will the Tories win in Rochdale?

FORMER police and crime commissioner, Tony Lloyd, the current Labour candidate for Rochdale, has said that residents in Rochdale have told him:
'They want a serious MP who puts the town and people first. They want an MP who has the ability and experience to get things done.
'They want an MP who will push the town forward, not pull it down.'

 Mike Joslin on the 'Writeyou' Blog wrote about the choice of Tony Lloyd for Rochdale on 2nd, May:
'...there is a real risk that a non-local candidate could lose the seat if Simon Danczuk runs as an independent.  I was a Labour Party Organiser in the North West at the 2010 General Election and worked with Simon.  The seat is the type of place that cares whether there is a local candidate or not and very traditional liberal with a small L. From personal experience the seat will be challenging.

'According to another leading local Labour source, “Local candidate matters a lot there.  Whatever you think of Simon, he's very well known and strongly associated with area”.  The source added, “Strong feeling in Rochdale that a Leaders Office parachute could lose the seat against Simon.  That's actually a big risk for leaders office as it would all be blamed on them”.'

According to 'Ratbiter' in Private Eye 'Traditionally Labour leaders have used seats where MPs retire at the last minute [or as with Danczuk in Rochdale are denied the right to stand] have used these seats as safe havens for their cronies - but this time Watson and the unions carved them up instead.'

Edward Morissette commenting on the Labour List Blog some three weeks ago analysed the position in Rochdale:                 
'This is already a tricky seat.  If the Tories hoover up most of the UKIP vote (very possible) and the Lib Dems get some of the vote back they lost 2 years ago (also possible) then its already very tight between Labour and the Tories.  It only needs Danczuk to get, say, 4000 votes to hand it to the Tories.'

Not since lieutenant-colonel Wentworth Schofield who died almost 60-years ago in December 1957, has Rochdale had a conservative M.P.   That was a time when Rochdale still had large numbers of cotton mills, and Wentworth Scholfield had helped to formed the Manchester Yarn Spinners' Association and was a committee member of the Oldham Master Cotton Spinners' Association and the Federation of Master Cotton Spinners' Association, as well as acting as secretary to a cotton trade association.

It will certainly shake things up if Rochdale turns blue again after all these years. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Maggie Oliver's Praise for Danczuk, not Lloyd!

by Brian Bamford
THE COMIC OPERA continuing between the Danczuk Clan, Karen and Simon, and the Rochdale Labour party, ruled by Councillors Richard Farnell and Allen Brett, is becoming more entertaining by the day.

It was only two months ago that the Labour Party Council leader, Richard Farnell and Simon Danczuk, were cheerfully posing together with a snapshot of a birthday cake celebrating '50 years of the Samaritans' in Rochdale and district.  Yet now with Danczuk standing against the official Labour candidate all those happy times seem to have been forgotten, as on the 8th, May after Simon's resignation letter in which he declared:
'The Labour Party is no longer the positive political movement that I joined nearly 30 years ago.  Indeed, under its current leadership the Labour Party is more interested in serving its own ends rather than those of hard working people for whom the party was originally established.'

Only this week, Mr. Danczuk's former agent, Councillor Allen Brett has complained about the knock-about way Danczuk is conducting campaign against the chosen Labour candidate, and former pal of Danczuk, Tony Lloyd.

Earlier this week, according to ROCHDALE ONLINE, Mr. Brett claimed:
'The Danczuks have been engaged in a particularly "nasty and vindictive" campaign against Tony Lloyd since Mr Lloyd was chosen as the Labour Party candidate, much to the chagrin of Danczuk who coveted the Labour candidacy himself. '
Councillor Brett added:
'The public are getting fed up with the Danczuk's forever dragging Rochdale through the mud. The sooner we're rid of them the better.'

Unfortunately, the Rochdale Labour Party under the leadership of Mr. Farnell and Mr. Brett have had plenty of warning over the years about the wayward nature of Simon Danczuk, not to mention his former wife and mucker Karen, who always seemed away with the fairies.

But they wouldn't listen to anyone about Simon's unreliability, even their rank and file members in the Rochdale Labour Party.

Meanwhile, Simon has recently been blessed by the support of none other than the former detective constable in Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Margaret Oliver.  Oliver worked on sex abuse investigations in 2004 and 2010, and she worked on a small team assigned to Operation Augusta.
It was looking at allegations about the grooming of white girls in the northwest of England by Pakistani men in 2004.

In a tweet, which the Danczuks have now re-tweeted, see below:

Important message from Maggie Oliver, former Greater Manchester Police detective, regarding the Election in

Tony Lloyd, as I recall, didn't feature in the BBC drama 'Three Girls', but wasn't it the Crown Prosecution Service (the CPS) rather than the Greater Manchester Police, who failed to process the case in 2009?

Rochdale 'Three Girls' Sex Groomer's Sentences

Last week, in response to reports that all but two of the men sentenced for involvement in the Rochdale gang grooming in 2012, have now been freed, Maggie Oliver, the former detective constable who was portrayed by Lesley Sharp in the BBC drama 'Three Girls', was reported in the Rochdale Observer thus:  'Maggie Oliver insisted the seven [men] who have been released should have been charged with rape - rather than sexual activity with a child or trafficking offences - which attracts a longer sentence.'

Decisions on charging alleged offenders is I understand the responsibility of the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS], not the police.  Below is the list of offenders, their charges, and convictions.  It will be seen that some of the offenders. like Hamil Safi and Abdul Aziz, were actually charged with rape but found not guilty on that count and guilty of a lesser offence.  Is the former police officer saying that the jury verdict was wrong in those cases?:

Hamid Safi: Illegal immigrant Hamid Safi, of Kensington Street, Rochdale, was found not guilty of two counts of rape but convicted of trafficking and conspiracy. (Afgan)

Mohammed Amin: Taxi driver Mohammed Amin, of Falinge Road, Rochdale, was found guilty of sex assaults and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Abdul Qayyum: Married father-of-two Abdul Qayyum, of Ramsay Street, Rochdale, was convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Adil Khan: Taxi driver Adil Khan, of Oswald Street, Rochdale, was convicted of trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Mohammed Sajid: Cash-and-carry worker Mohammed Sajid, of Jephys Street, Rochdale, was found guilty of rape, trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Abdul Rauf: Taxi driver and Muslim preacher Abdul Rauf, of Darley Road, Rochdale, was convicted of trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Abdul Aziz: Taxi driver Abdul Aziz, of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, was cleared of two counts of rape but was convicted of trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Kabeer Hassan: Kabeer Hassan, 25, of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, was convicted of rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Shabir Ahmed: The evil predator who led the Rochdale child sex grooming gang - Shabir Ahmed - is locked up in Leeds prison and fighting efforts to deport him back to his native Pakistan. He was convicted of two counts of rape, one sex assault, trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Noam Chomsky on the Labour Party

by Brian Bamford
LAST Sunday, Trevor Hoyle wrote a comment on the 'McCluskey states the obvious' post on this N.V. Blog in which he claimed:
'Not clear what your position is Brian. "McCluskey states the obvious" -- well it is obvious because it's true that the vast majority of the mainstream corporate media are, and always have been, against Corbyn. ANY leader, no matter who, with such a sustained campaign of vitriol waged against him, including the so-called left-of-centre Guardian, would have struggled to overcome such a negative media image. '
Earlier this month dealing with the relative unpopularity of the British Labour Party, Noam Chomsky admitted to an interviewer:
'... that the current polling position suggested Labour was not yet gaining popular support for the policy positions that he supported.' 
Only last Saturday, Joshua Chaffin, in the Financial Times said that the polls 'suggest Mrs May is cruising toward a big victory on June 8.'
But by yesterday, with news that the 'dementia tax' was hitting the conserative party hard on the doorstep, Mrs May rewrote a major item in her election manifesto - social care reform - after four days of pressure; leaving her open to the accusations of show bad political judgement and being weak when the heat is on.
Meanwhile, over the weekend the polls showed that Labour under Corbyn, was closing the gap on the Tories.  Yet, still the Corbyn approach lacks charisma.
Professor Chomsky described to The Guardian what he thought was wrong:
' "If I were a voter in Britain, I would vote for him,” said Chomsky, who admitted that the current polling position suggested Labour was not yet gaining popular support for the policy positions that he supported.'
Pro. Chomsky then added:
'There are various reasons for that – partly an extremely hostile media, partly his own personal style which I happen to like but perhaps that doesn’t fit with the current mood of the electorate,'  he said. 'He’s quiet, reserved, serious, he’s not a performer.  The parliamentary Labour party has been strongly opposed to him.  It has been an uphill battle.'
Trevor Hoyle in his comment complains:
'I don't think Corbyn or McDonnell are dull at all.  They state their case and explain their policies in adult, measured tones.  To expect them to go all showbiz and join the media frenzy is to support exactly what is wrong with the political climate in this country.'
It might well be that a serious tone is preferable to those who read The Guardian like Trevor Hoyle, or The New York Times like me, but most of the people in the towns and cities in the North of England where the working-class target voters reside don't read these papers, and these people judging from what we are hearing prefer what Cyril Smith used to call Razzamataz than the kind of sombre socialism we might fancy.
When asked what motivation he thought newspapers had to oppose Corbyn, Chomsky said the Labour leader had, like Bernie Sanders in the US, broken out of the 'elite, liberal consensus' that he claimed was 'pretty conservative'.
Chomsky told Anushka Asthana, The Guardian Political Editor on Wednesday on 10 May 2017, that 'Labour needed to "reconstruct itself" in the interests of working people, with concerns about human and civil rights at its core, arguing that such a programme could appeal to the majority of people.'
Chomsky talks of the need for socio-economic programmes and the way the key defence against the existential threats of climate change and the nuclear age were being radically weakened, and then goes on to describe what he wants is the defence as a 'functioning democratic society with engaged, informed citizens deliberating and reaching measures to deal with and overcome the threats'.
This is all well and good, but the circles I move in among my neighbours  and other working people, I don't find much genuine concern about the kind of things that might concern Chomsky, Trevor Hoyle and me, like 'human rights'; 'civil rights'; or even the environment generally.
The great academic, Noam Chomsky who often describes himself as 'a kind of anarchist', and who is in Britain to deliver a lecture at the University of Reading on what he believes is the deteriorating state of western democracy, claimed that voters had turned to the Conservatives in recent years because of  'an absence of anything else'.
What the good professor ought to understand is that the left in this country since the Chartists, has rarely had a program or a strategy for social change which in any way will convince or inspire ordinary people, instead it continues to react to an aganda set by the establishment and the State.  Marching, protesting and demonstrating against cuts; Trade Union Acts; privatisation and the erosion of the NHS is all that the left reacts to.  There is very little vison on the British left, and that is why the right in this country these days always tends to have the initiative.

Message from North West TUC

New York Times link to detail on Manchester bomb:
Dear Colleagues 
Following last night’s horrific attack in Manchester we have been inundated with messages of solidarity and support from trades unionists throughout Europe and beyond....  Our thoughts are with all those affected by the attack and our thanks go to all those workers who have responded to provide emergency and other care to those affected. 
 Best Wishes
 Lynn Collins
Regional Secretary
+ North West TUC | 4th Floor, Jack Jones House |1 Islington|Liverpool  L3 8EG
' 0151-482-2710|  *| Twitter - @nwtuc and @lynncollins65

Monday, 22 May 2017

Free Speech & Humbug at Cocka Doodle Moo

by Brian Bamford
SIMON Danczuk earlier today threatened to pull out of a hustings event at a venue in Rochdale should any BuzzFeed reporter attend, following the publication over the weekend by BuzzFeed of a story about his election paperwork.
The hustings event, due to take place on Tuesday at Cocka Doodle Moo in the centre of Rochdale, is to be hosted by a local business networking group called #RochdaleHour.
The organiser of the event Damien Maddock initially withdrew his personal invitation to the #RochdaleHour business lunch, claiming 'his hand had been forced' after Danczuk said he would not attend if any journalist from the BuzzFeed organisation showed up, but reversed his decision after facing a backlash from the other candidates and local media outlets.
Mr Maddock was condemned for this by all the main participants to the event including Andy Kelly the Liberal Democrat, who told BuzzFeed News:  'I don't think it should be up to any one candidate to say which journalists should be at the event, and if the organisers want to let them do so I'm not interested in going' and 'I don't know if that will help me in the long run, but it's the right decision, a principled decision,' he added.
Rochdale Online editor Pauline Journeaux sternly said:  'Rochdale Online was attending but has now taken the decision not to do so in light of the ban on BuzzFeed. A stand has to be taken against this sort of anti-democratic behaviour.'
A Labour Party spokesperson told Rochdale Online'It is deeply concerning for a candidate to be allowed to prevent a well respected, bonafide news organisation from attending.'
Conservative candidate Jane Howard told BuzzFeed News it was 'unfortunate' that Danczuk had been allowed to dictate which media organisations could and could not attend.
She said:  'Any registered media outlet should be able to attend, and I'm disappointed that you're not able to do so.'
Robert Sharp, spokesperson for English PEN, said:  'These reports are very worrying. Political events should be open to all journalists, not just those who file positive stories about a candidate.  It is odd that this should be happening during a general election, when the political parties are surely seeking to broadcast their message to as many people as possible.  Candidates for political office need to reassure voters that they are open to scrutiny. Selectively refusing journalists access to events is not the way to build public trust.'
He added:  'If a politician thinks they have been unfairly treated by one outlet, then a better response would be to invite a greater range of journalists to cover future events.'
These are all noble sentiments by the parties concerned, and it is something Northern Voices would fully support given that we were politely escorted from a book reading by Mrs Karen Danczuk for questioning her then husband Simon too rigorously.
Yet still there is a whiff of hypocrisy about this outbreak of righteous indignation about democracy and free speech by the Rochdale political establishment.
In April 2015, at another husting for the 2015 general election at St Chads, all the parties fell silent as the National Front candidate Kevin Bryan was thrown out of the Parrish Church because the Church leaders felt that the far right party’s presence ‘may increase the likelihood of a breach of the peace’
On that occasion Northern Voices said:   'In doing this the Vicar of Rochdale defied the core ideas of the enlightenment and Voltaire, not to mention everyday democracy, by not giving the National Front an opportunity to present their views at an open forum in the Rochdale Parish Church.'  

In the present case once BuzzFeed News was allowed back into the event, the Rochdale Online editor Pauline Journeaux said she would also send a reporter to cover the hustings, and Andy Kelly said he would also attend the husting 'do', due to take place tomorrow at the Cocka Doodle Moo in the centre of Rochdale, is to be hosted by a local business networking group called #RochdaleHour.
At 7.30pm tonight, Rochdale Online reported:
'The hustings organisers have posted that Simon Danczuk has now confirmed he will be attending - so his initial threat not to do so if a Buzzfeed reporter was allowed to do so was an empty threat clearly intended to put unfair pressure on the event organisers.'

Petition in favour of 'Three Girls' campaigner

MORE than 120,000 people have signed a petition calling for the sexual health worker who advocated for the victims of grooming in Rochdale to be recognised for her work.
The petition asks for acknowledgment of the work of Sara Rowbotham, the sexual health worker played by Maxine Peake in the BBC drama Three Girls, which aired last week and depicted the abuse of girls in Rochdale and their struggle to be taken seriously by authorities.

Rowbotham was the coordinator of Rochdale’s crisis intervention team from 2003 to 2014 and worked with many of the girls who were victims of the Rochdale grooming scandal. She repeatedly raised concerns about vulnerable girls in the community to police and other authorities, which were dismissed.
She worked for a specialist sexual health service in the city and wrote in the Guardian earlier this month that if that service had not been available 'half the evidence that led to mass convictions would never have come to light'.  She added:  'The girls didn’t trust police or social services to help them and I quickly found out why they felt this way, as no one wanted to listen to them.'

For more:

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Celebrations at Boot & Flogger Premature!

PRIVATE EYE (5th, May) reporting on the victory of Len McCluskey in his bid to hold the top job in Unite said that '...celebrations were premature.  The far left saw its majority slashed on the Unite executive council last week.'
It seems that after his win McCluskey, other Unite officers, and Corbyn's head of strategy and communications, Seimas Milne, 'decanted to the Boot and Flogger wine bar near London Bridge to celebrate their victory', where they enjoyed 'bottle after bottle of champaigne (the chepest of which costs £47 a pop, according to the wine list).'  The Eye claims:
'Handily for McCluskey, the Boot and Flogger is just a short stagger from the Borough Market flat Unite decided its members should buy for McCluskey with £400,000 of their hard earned money.'
Before the election, the left-wing group had around 80% of the ruling body's 63 seats.  But that has now been reduced to 54%, with 39 new members representing United Left, and 32 independents.
The result is significant because any changes to Unite's rules must be backed by 75% of Executive Council members.
Now according to the PoliticsHome website a Unite source has said:  'United Left have lost a lot of seats and they have a shaky majority. It means Len McCluskey has lost the ability to change rules, which he had before. He no longer has a pliable EC.'
Electoral Reform Services report into the Unite Executive Council elections shows that turnout for the EC section of the ballot was less than 10% across the country.  For the general secretary election, a total of 1,062,049 ballot papers were sent out to union members, but only 130,071 were returned - a turnout of 12.2%.
Labour MP, John Spellar has already referred branch nominations to the trade union certification officer.  More challenges under trade union election law could be in the pipeline.

Len McCluskey states the obvious about Labour

Media Bias & Public Taste
by Brian Bamford
Len McCluskey Hits the Deck! (photo - Daily Telegraph)

THE leader of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, in a telephone interview with POLITICO magazine*, was merely stating the obvious when he says that it would be 'extraordinary' if Labour won, and went on to say that it was the Labour party leader's problem of his public image that was to blame, and for this he accused the media of 'media bias'.

He blamed all this on the media's 'constant attack' on Corbyn, internal party divisions, and on the consequences of the public support for the Prime Minister Theresa May when she was 'jumping on the bandwagon of hard Brexit.'

He said he was not holding out much hope for an upset victory despite the popularity of many of Labour’s left-wing policies, unveiled at the party’s manifesto launch in Bradford, West Yorkshire, today.

McCluskey claimed the working class voters who say they are going to vote Tory for the first time are doing so 'because their mind is being turned by the constant attack of the media on Jeremy Corbyn and the image that they’ve pinned on Jeremy.'

For McCluskey it is the same old story, as it is for most of the left, blame the media when things go wrong.  How can they be so surprised about media bias?

Meanwhile, today in the New York Times the novelist Joan Smith writes about the sexualisation of British politics in which 'Mrs May lounged on a sofa in a pair of leather trousers for an interview at the end of a momentous year that saw her move to No.10 Downing Street.'

Joan Smith, a feminist, justifiably suggests;  'The public probably knows more about what she wears than it does about what she wears than it does about her policies, confirming just about every sexist stereotype'.

Only a mediocre Marxist mind or a feeble-minded feminist, would expect that the public would find politics more fascinating than fashion and leather pants and especially 'eye-catching footwear'.

Ms. Smith writes:  'Isn't it demeaning, not to say sexist, to focus on how she dresses?'

In summing up Ms. Smith writes:  'This is all the more disappointing at a moment when the Conservative Party has overturned the traditional order of British politics by fielding a competent, personable woman against a male opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who looks and sounds like a throwback to the 1970s.'

Are the media to blame for focusing on what they believe the public like?  Or are the British public to blame for preferring fashion and the sexy style of Mrs. May to the dreariness of Mr Corbyn and John McDonnell?

* Overnight Mr. McCluskey underwent a change of mind on this matter, and on the BBC this morning he said that 'following the launch of Labour's manifesto, which he said had been warmly welcomed by his union's members'.  This only suggests a kind of collective catastrophic psychological condition in which Labour supporters, like McCluskey, don't know whether they are coming or going.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Police Interview Simon Danczuk

SIMON Danczuk  has now been interviewed at Holborn Police Station in London following an allegation that he raped a young woman in Westminster last year.
Danczuk denies the allegation, and he was not arrested or charged. The police have confirmed that their investigations are ongoing.
It seems that Zed Jameson, a photographer at FameFlynet Pictures, was posted outside the police station with his camera at the time Danczuk arrived.
It is not clear if  Danczuk was interviewed under a police caution, and he did not respond to an invitation to comment.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Query Over Danczuk's Election Papers?

TODAY, ROCHDALE ONLINE has drawn attention to the former Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk's election nomination papers.  In these he submitted his ex-wife Karen Danczuk's home address in a bungalow on Lonsdale Avenue, Kingsway, as his home address.

The online website claims Karen Danczuk has confirmed that he does not live at that address.

Last Wednesday (17 May), Karen confirmed to a BuzzFeed reporter who called at the bungalow that Danczuk does not live there, despite Danczuk continuing to insist he is legally resident at the address.

It is believed that Dnaczuk has been living at an address on Farm Walk, Littleborough for over a year when not at his London residence.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tweet by Simon Danczuk

LAST Sunday, Simon Danczuk on his Twitter account posted the following tweet about Rochdale's Labour councillors: 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Palestinian leader on hunger strike

Addameer's attorney Farah Bayadsi visited hunger-striking political leader and Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ahmad Sa'adat today, 14 May 2017, in Ohli Kedar prison.  Addameer's attorney was previously denied visitation, but received approval following a High Court petition submitted on 10 May 2017. Since the beginning of the strike, 17 April 2017, Addameer requested several visits from Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to visit hunger-striking prisoners and detainees, but the IPS either did not respond or rejected the requests.
Mr. Sa'adat joined the hunger strike, along with several significant Palestinian political leaders on 3 May 2017 including, Nael Barghouthi, Hassan Salameh, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Abbas al-Sayed, Ziad Bseiso, Basem al-Khandakji, Mohammed al-Malah, Tamim Salem, Mahmoud Issa, and Said al-Tubasi.
Mr. Sada'at was transferred, along with 38 hunger-striking prisoners and detainees, from isolation in Ashkelon prison to isolation in Ohli Kedar prison on Thursday, 11 May 2017. Mr. Sada'at informed Addameer's attorney that the prisoners are subjected to two violent search raids daily, during which prisoners are forced to leave their room, which is physically exhausting for prisoners due to their hunger strikes. He also added that 10 prisoners are held in one tight cell with one sink and one toilet and no fan or air conditioning (with high-temperature weather), and each prisoner is given 3 blankets.    
Bayadsi noted that Mr. Sa'adat's health condition is deteriorating and that he appears frail, walks and speaks very slowly and has lost significant weight. Additionally, his face appears pale and he is only consuming water. Mr. Sa'adat added that the medical examinations carried out by the IPS are not sufficient, as only blood pressure and weight of the hunger strikers were examined. Despite his deteriorating health condition, Bayadsi reported that Mr. Sa'adat is in high spirits and intends to continue on hunger strike until the prisoners' demands are met.
Mr. Sa'adat further added that the IPS imposed restrictions on hunger-striking prisoners including a disciplinary fine of 200 NIS; ban of family visits for two months; denial of access to the “canteen” (prison store); and seizure of salt and all clothes except one set of clothing per prisoner.
More troubling, the IPS has made it exceedingly difficult for independent doctors to visit the hunger striking prisoners and has provided prisoners with plastic cups in order to drink from the tap rather than the usually provided drinking water.
Addameer strongly condemns such treatment, which violates the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners which underlines the need for appropriate medical care inside detention. Furthermore, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners states that "Prisoners shall be allowed under necessary supervision to communicate with their family and reputable friends at regular intervals, both by correspondence and by receiving visits" (37). 
As the hunger strike enters its 28th day, Addameer Prisoner Support urges supporters of justice around the world to take action to support the Palestinian prisoners whose bodies and lives are on the line for freedom and dignity. Addameer urges all people to organize events in solidarity with the struggle of hunger-striking prisoners and detainees. Addameer further calls on the diplomatic community to pressure Israel to immediately allow for hunger striking prisoners to have access to necessary healthcare and legal advisement.
Addameer further urges all political parties, institutions, organizations and solidarity groups working in the field of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and abroad to support the prisoners in their hunger strike and demand that their legitimate demands be granted. Addameer will continue to closely follow the prisoner’s strike and provide regular updates on the situation as it develops.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

P. O. Box: 17338, Jerusalem
3 Edward Said Street
Sebat Bldg.
1st Floor, Suite 2
Ramallah, Palestine
Tel: +972 (0)2 296 0446 / 297 0136
Fax: +972 (0)2 296 0447

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Cambridgeshire Spy Cop - Cops Out!

Undercover Spy-cop Andy Coles (photo - The Guardian)

ANDY Coles, deputy police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has stepped down three days after his past as an undercover officer infiltrating political groups was revealed.
Today, The Guardian disclosed that the woman, known only as 'Jessica', is taking legal action against the police, alleging that Coles groomed and manipulated her.
Last Friday, he was accused of grooming a 19-year-old activist into having a sexual relationship with him while he was working undercoverin the 1990s.
Mr. Coles has said:  'There have been news reports over the weekend about which I am unable to comment.  This coverage is significantly impacting on my ability to carry out my duties as deputy police and crime commissioner.
'I have therefore today tendered my resignation with immediate effect, which [the] police and crime commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, has accepted.'
He disclosed that the allegations have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to be investigated.
Jessica, who had called for his resignation, said  today:
'I am relieved. He has done the right thing.
'This is just the start of what is going to be a long legal process to try and get some answers from both him and his superiors.'

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Early Syndicalism discussed in Wakefield

YESTERDAY, the Wakefield Socialist History Group debated syndicalism at the start of the last century.   The speakers included Robin Stocks who has written 'The Hidden Heroes of Easter Week'; the Huddersfield historian Alan Brooks; and Robin Stocks who spoke about the South Wales' miner and syndicalist, Noah Ablett.
The title of the meeting at the Red Shed was 'SYNDICALISM & the GREAT UNREST'.
Alan Stewart, the convenor of the event, drew our attention to Bob Holton's book 'British Syndicalism' (1979), which described the developments before and after World War I asRobin Stocks,  a form of proto-syndicalism. 
In the introduction for the meeting  it was stated:
'The early years of British syndicalism saw, Holton (1976) suggests. a "slow and unspectacular advance."  He says there were three "currents of revolutionary  industrial feeling" at this stage.
The first, centred around the writings of Daniel de Leon, the American socialist.  Though sometimes marred by a certain "sectarian rigidity" his works -brought back to Britain by seamen and other workers- were lively and accessible (Challinor 1977).
'His ideas were welcomed in particular by dissidents in the Social Democratic Federation who felt the SDF had lost momentum and was neglecting industrial struggles.  In 1903 a GS Yates of Leith led a de Leonist breakaway.  The Socialist Labour Party was formed. It in turn spawned the British Advocates of Industrial Unionism (1906).
'Now de Leon had been involved in the establishment of the American IWW (Wobblies) in 1905.  Yet Holton (1976) notes that there were problems with applying the "dual unionism" strategy to British conditions.'
There did not appear to be much reference to or attempt to discuss the founding conference of the 'Leeds Soviet'  a hundred years ago this month, which was considered in detail by Chris Draper on this Blog in January this year:
'HISTORY's most remarkable social experiment began one hundred years ago. As the Russian war effort disintegrated, autocratic Czarism was abolished and a revolutionary SOVIET system substituted.  Soviets were collectives of workers and soldiers organised to end the war and radically democratise Russia.  In March 1917 (February in the old Russian calendar) the PETROGRAD SOVIET led the revolution and despatched a four-man delegation to England to encourage British workers to follow their lead.  On 3 June 1917, over a thousand workers’ representatives met at LEEDS COLISEUM, Cookridge Street to emulate their Russian comrades and organise a British network of ”extra-parliamentary Soviets with sovereign powers”. 

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Review of 'How Will Capitalism End?'

‘How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System’ by Wolfgang Streeck
(Verso, 2016) – book reviewed by Andrew Wallace,
Capitalism and Entropy
This is an intriguingly titled volume of essays, only the first of which is however devoted to the subject of the book’s title, namely a discussion concerning various scenarios in which we might contemplate the mortality of an ‘improbable social formation, full of conflicts and contradictions,...  unstable and influx and highly conditional on historically contingent and precarious supportive and well as constraining events and institutions’.
Streek takes his cue from what he considers a seminal text co-authored 3 years earlier by 5 distinctive thinkers.  Streek’s titular essay then is very much a dialogue and assimilation of this work:-
Does Capitalism Have a Future? (2013) – Wallerstein, Collins, Mann, Derluguian, Calhoun.
The crisis scenarios under discussion are a distillation of Marxist, Keynesian and heterodox economists who remain critical of the key axioms of the so called free market, especially in the wake of the Great Recession (2008). The old spectres of market disequilibrium by overproduction or underconsumption are of course very much in contention, as is Marxist crises of profitability and the problems of modernity by obsolesce and the finite limits of land and labour. Weber and Schumpeter also introduced wider socio-economic themes inherent with bureaucratic sclerosis.
Streek suggests that various crisis scenarios from these 5 writers could be ‘aggregated into a diagnosis of multi-morbidity in which different disorders coexist and, more often than not, reinforce each other.’
No revolutionary alternative is required
A nice little irony at the centre of Streek’s thinking unfolds here. With capitalism in its contemporaneous super-turbo charged  'neoliberal' platform, having so successfully vanquished all would be alternatives (which have typically rescued the system in revitalised form at various critical points in our past history) via its bleak credo of there is no alternative ‘capital realism’easier to imagine the end of the world than capitalism, now at the zenith of its apparent impenetrable hegemony, because it has exhausted the possibilities of renewal from reformist quarters, it now be forced kicking and screaming into a prolonged period of entropy.
We are hearing from many thinkers how automation, information technology and electronicisation will have profound implications for the middle classes in much the same way in which mechanisation did for the manual working class.  With alarming implications for unemployment and ongoing secular stagnation or dramatic declines, this will add to the ongoing crisis of underconsumption and demand gap.
Streek has a nice line in irony as he notes our divided identities, located within our consumerist lifestyles, as voracious consumers of cheap clothes and electronic gadgets and household goods, we also put direct pressure on ourselves as producers, ‘accelerating the move of production abroad and thereby undermining (our) own wages, working conditions and employment.’
Neoliberalism has overextended itself, having cannibalised a lot of the soft underbelly, social capital and infrastructure vital to maintaining confidence and stability in the normative capitalist context.
Useful contribution to our Post-Liberal era
The other essays in the book discuss the nature in the shift of post war Keynesian democracy to the post democratic ordoliberalism of thinkers like Hayek, given the move to depoliticisation in many domestic spheres and of course international governance from the EU.
This is an interesting short volume of essays although some of the later offerings may come across as a little dry and technical.  Streek is certainly making a very interesting contribution to ongoing discussions concerning the distinct post-liberal phase we seem to be entering with the marked rise of anti-globalisation sentiments.  And whilst the political atrophy of the left continues, it is important to note that wider structural shifts in the nature of capitalism may mean that other practicalities apart from mere politics may force the hand of history.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Waste Disposal in Manchester

THIS week, it was reported that waste handling in Greater Manchester is to be taken back into public ownership.    The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) has told Viridor, and its joint venture partner John Laing, that it is terminating the region’s long-term waste contract.
On the 4th, May, Robin Latchem, the editor of 'Material Recycling World' [MRW], wrote:
'It was one of the worst-kept secrets in the sector that the GMWDA and Viridor-Laing partnership was on the rocks.'
Back in February, the Greater Manchester Authority raised concerns with Viridor Laing over the progress being made on these works, including 'significant rusting issues' in the mechanical and biological treatment plant tanks and the in-vessel composting facilities.
The authority’s relations with Viridor Laing over the 25-year, £3.8bn private finance initiative deal became even more frayed in recent months, as Costain continued with repairs to some of the 42 facilities.
At that time, in February, it was reported that a trading update from parent company Pennon showed that the construction contractor Costain was making modifications at some facilities servicing the 25-year, £3.8bn private finance initiative (PFI) contract with Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA).
The Greater Manchester Authority approved the termination of the contract at a meeting last week. This comes several months after the waste authority revealed that it was ‘not satisfied’ with the status of the contract, and had been seeking ‘significant savings’ through the deal (see story).

The Pennon Group – the parent company of Viridor – has noted that there are provisions in the PFI contract for compensation to be paid to Viridor and John Laing on termination.  And, in a statement issued on the 2nd, May, Pennon claimed that the Authority’s exit from the contract is due to ‘financial challenges’ caused by prolonged austerity.

These concerns prompted the authority to decided to exit the PFI deal.
The company has stated:  'Discussions and negotiations are now expected to progress over the coming weeks as we work with GMWDA to ascertain the implications. There are provisions in the PFI Contract for compensation to be paid to Viridor and John Laing on termination.'

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Elections, Pitchford Inquiry & Vain Expectations?

 WE are publishing the newsletter below from the
Blacklist Support Group.  We publish it as we
always do, but without any great expectations
or hopes with regard to any kind of plebian victory 
resulting from the General Election.  While we may 
agree with Ludwig Wittgenstein that William the Conquer
got himself a good bargain in 1066, generally we side with
Orwell who said:  'The corruption that happens in England 
is seldom of that kind [overt].  Nearly always it is more in the 
nature of self-deception, of the right hand not knowing what 
the left hand doeth.  And being unconcious it is limited.'
(See The Lion & the Unicorn').  That is why, in the final
analysis, Northern Voices cannot fully embrace the optimism
of the Blacklist Support Group either with regard to the
Pitchford Inquiry or indeed in their expectations from a
Labour Government.  We wish the blacklist campaigners
well, but we cannot stomach the necessary self-deception
involved in promoting the Labour Party.
EVERY political party in the General Election is claiming to be the voice of the workers. Blacklisted construction workers know the score:

1. Labour pledges a public inquiry into blacklisting: That gets our vote!
This pledge was announced by John McDonnell in St.George's Hall, Liverpool last week in front of the huge Blacklist Support Group banner.  

2. Article in today's Morning Star exposing the failure of the ECGR and British courts to protect blacklisted workers and challenging political parties to grant basic employment rights to all workers in the UK.   If workers rights cannot be protected by judges in the UK or the European Court of Human Rights, then it is time to change statutory legislation. 

3. In the same week as the ECHR ruling above, blacklisted electrician Frank Morris, is sacked again. This time on an NHS hospital. Let's hear candidates queue up to call for Frank Morris to be reinstated.  

4. Spycops
New 59 page ruling from the undercover police public inquiry. Releasing the cover names of undercover police officers who spied on activists is a 'priority' but Lord Justice Pitchford allows Met Police another 12 months extension to carry out 'risk assessments' in preparation for more anonymity applications.  But the police are not engaged in 'delaying tactics', oh no.
Victims boycott Scottish police internal investigation
Scottish activist spied on by police seeks judicial review to win a Scottish inquiry
Other than John McDonnell and Jenny Jones, most politicians have been surprisingly quiet about the spycops scandal. 

5. May Day greetings from the Blacklist Support Group to all sisters, brothers & comrades fighting for their rights around the globe.

6. Dates for the diary:
Friday 5th May - Blacklisted worker turned academic Dr Jack Fawbert speaking on Corporate Crime 7 Blacklisting at Anglia ruskin University in Cambridge 
22nd May - Last day to register to vote in General Election

7. And finally:
Congratulations to the blacklisted workers and rank & file activists elected to represent construction on the UNITE Executive Council Frank MorrisRoyston BenthamTony Seaman & Joseph Pisano

Blacklist Support Group

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Russian supreme court bans Jehovah's Witnesses and orders seizure of group's property!

Russian courtroom April 2017: Photograph - Ivan Sekretarev /AP

The Russian supreme court has banned the religious group the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in Russia by ordering the closure of its HQ and 395 local chapters. The order also calls for the seizure of the group's property including its religious literature.

The ban came after the justice ministry denounced the Jehovah's Witnesses as an extremist group. Svetlana Borisova, an attorney for the justice ministry, told the court that the Jehovah's Witnesses, "pose a threat to the rights of citizens, public order and public security." She also added that the group's opposition to blood transfusions violated Russian healthcare.

The Witnesses believe that the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church lies behind their persecution by the Russian authorities. The organisation claims to have around 170,000 adherents throughout Russia and they have said, that they will appeal against the ruling of the supreme court. If the ruling takes effect, Witnesses could face criminal prosecutions including fines and imprisonment.

Andrew Brown, a Guardian journalist, has pointed out that the persecution of the Jehovah's Witnesses by the Russian authorities, has been going on since at least 2004. Using anti-terror legislation, the Witnesses, a virulently pacifist and non-violent group, have been treated as though they were a group of violent religious fundamentalists who plant bombs and sever heads. Their meeting places, kingdom Halls, have been raided and their members threatened with imprisonment for refusing military service. Unlike many Christians, the Witnesses adhere to the 6th Commandment - "thou shalt not kill" and this adherence to non-violence, has made them one of the most persecuted Christian sects of the 20th century.

Under Hitler, Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany, were incarcerated in the Nazi death camps and were executed for refusing to serve in the military. They refused to swear loyalty to Hitler or any worldly government. As they wouldn't say "Heil Hitler", the Gestapo ransacked their meetings, made them wear a purple triangle and took their children off them, so they could receive "a proper patriotic German education." In 1942, Wolfgang Kusserow, a German Jehovah's Witness, was beheaded in Brandenburg prison by the Nazis for refusing to fight - "You must not kill", he said at his trial. "Did our creator have all this written down for the trees?" By the end of the war, half of all witnesses in Germany were in concentration camps and a quarter of them had died. They were also imprisoned in both Britain and the U.S.

Earlier this year, the Russian police stormed a meeting of Witnesses in the small town of 'Birobidzhan' in Siberia. They later claimed to have discovered 'extremists' literature. However, eyewitnesses who were present at the meeting, say the police were seen planiting the literature under a chair. The authorities then ordered that the building be closed. Other congregations in Belgorod, Stary Oskol and Elista, have also been closed down.and the organization has been told to disclose information on all of its 2,277 Russian congregations.

In April 1951, Joe Stalin exiled more than 9,000 Jehovah's Witnesses to Birobidzhan, a mosquito infested swampland in Siberia. They were only allowed to take 150kg of possession with them and everthying else, was confiscated by the Russian state.

Religious persecution is not something that is new in Russia. Baptists, Catholics, Proteststant, Dukhobors (spirit wrestlers') and even members of the Russian Orthodox Church, have all been persecuted at one time or another. However, the latest crackdown on the Jehovah's Witnesses, is seen by some as evidence of the resurgent power of the Orthodox Church and the increasing authoritarianism, of the kleptocratic, mafia-style Putin regime, which is seen to be behind the murders of many of the regimes political opponents, including Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned with polonium 210 in London in November 2006.

Timothy Snyder, a professor of history at Yale and author of 'On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century', notes how many European nationalists are eager to overturn the widespread view of the 1930's as a period of shame. In particular, he refers to Vladimir Putin's, rehabilitation of the philosopher of Russian fascism, 'Ivan Ilyin', who was influential eighty-years ago. Although he spent the 1930's exiled from the Soviet Union and was buried in Switzerland, Putin had him dug up, and his remains moved to Russia, where he layed flowers on his grave. In his speeches, Putin frequently quotes the Russian nationalist and fascist.

Russia prosecutors claim that the Jehovah's Witnesses destroy families, foster hatred and threaten lives, which is entirely refuted by the Witnesses themselves. Human Rights Watch, has denounced the supreme court decision as an impediment to religious freedom and association in Russia.

Gold Rush For Rochdale Seat!

NEWS that Simon Danczuk MP, has at last been dumped as a candidate by the Labour Party, has led to  a band wagon effect in the local Labour Party as the leader of the Rochdale Labour Party, Councillor Richard Farnell, struggles to control the local membership.
Today, ROCHDALE ONLINE reports that 'at least three local Labour members, two of them councillors, are throwing their hats into the ring to be the party's candidate'.
In an email seen by Rochdale Online, Councillor Farnell said:
'I would ask that no one comments to the local/national media - referring them to the national Labour Party press office.  The decision on the selection of a candidate for Rochdale rests with the National Executive Committee.'
The three hopeful local Labour Party members wanting to stand in Danczuk's place are Councillor Chris Furlong; Castleton councillor Aasim Rashid and Former Lib Dem councillor Mark Birkett.
Backing Councillor Rashid is the Pakistani & Kashmiri Community Association. Spokesperson Mudassir Yasin said:  'We strongly recommend the idea of nominating a local person as the candidate for Rochdale who knows the issues and is keen enough to resolve them.'
An official decision will be announced after a meeting of NEC members on 3 May to approve candidates. The deadline for Labour’s candidate nominations is 5 May.

Liberal Democrat Welcomes Danczuk dumping

THIS morning The Independent reported that Simon Danczuk MP for Rochdale, having been dumped by the Labour Party, 'is now thought to be considering standing as an independent and may also launch a legal challenge'.  
Last night, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Rochdale, Councillor Andy Kelly, issued the following statement:
'If Simon Danczuk cannot stand for Labour - then that's good news for our Town. The Liberal Democrats are fighting hard to win in June. We have dozens of new members and activists ready to give Rochdale the fresh start it deserves.'
Andy Kelly further speculates saying:

 'We fully expect Danczuk to stand as an Independent to pocket close to a whopping £40,000 redundancy package. It would be interesting to see whether the local Labour Party back him as they have continued to do throughout the scandals that have dragged our town down.'

A Labour Party spokesperson confirmed the decision about Mr Danczuk:
'After considering the case of Simon Danczuk in detail and speaking to him in an interview, the Labour party’s NEC endorsement panel today unanimously recommended that he should not be endorsed as a Labour candidate. 
'He will not be able to stand as a Labour candidate in any constituency at the general election,' the spokesperson told the Guardian.
Danczuk, who has been involved in a series of scandals, was been suspended from the party in December 2015, when he sent sex messages to a 17-year-old girl who was seeking a job.
Mr Danczuk has not yet formally responded to the Labour Party decision.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Professional Politicians & Political Gravy Train

by Les May
A week or so ago a someone who has no liking for politicians rang me to say that he had come across a ‘tweet’ saying the Liz McInnes would no be standing as a candidate for the Heywood and Middleton seat at the general election.   The reason she gave was that she is not a ‘professional politician’.  But as my caller pointed out we need more MPs like that.  That is more MPs who are not ‘professional’ politicians.

You have only to look at McInnes’s Wikipedia page to see that she became an MP after nearly 35 years working in a quite different sphere of life.   And why she chose to stand for Labour.

If you want to see the consummate ‘professional’ politician in action look no further than the MP in the neighbouring constituency of Rochdale.  Ever since Danczuk was elected in 2010 he has ‘milked’ his position for all it’s worth.  It’s not just the pay-offs from the Daily Mail for his contribution to articles attacking Corbyn or the cash he has received for revelations about his private life which have appeared in The Sun which are part of this process.   His book about Cyril Smith is so full of fanciful assertions masquerading as ‘facts’, so repetitious, so full of ‘flowery flannel’, that it is unlikely that it would have found a publisher had he not been an MP. 

Whilst his predecessor Cyril Smith was an apologist for the asbestos industry he does not seem to have taken ‘freebies’ such as Danczuk has taken from another killer industry, tobacco.   No one has ever suggested that Liz McInnes has ever behaved like that.

But finally Simon’s antics have caught up with him and he will not be a Labour candidate for Rochdale in the upcoming election. That doesn’t mean the ‘pay days’ are at an end of course but no one is going to be dishing out heaps of cash for his views on the Labour leadership. But it’s worth pointing out that contrary to the stories coming from some sources he has not been ‘banned’ from standing as a Labour candidate.

What the NEC actually said is ‘After considering the case of Simon Danczuk in detail and speaking to him in an interview, the Labour party’s NEC endorsement panel today unanimously recommended that he should not be endorsed as a Labour candidate.’  This would seem to neatly get round the question of a ‘legal challenge’.  Natural justice would seem to have been served.  And if he does decide to stand as a candidate in opposition to Labour he will have sacked himself neatly resolving the question about whether his suspension from Labour should be lifted.

So it seems that there is only one bit of unfinished business yet to be resolved.  That’s the investigation by the Metropolitan Police into the little matter of the £11,000 Simon had to repay because he was not entitled to it.

Simon Danczuk Dumped! by Labour Party

 SIMON Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale, has been rejected by the Labour Party National Executive Committee [NEC] as a candidate in the forthcoming general election. 
Today a Labour party spokesperson confirmed the decision to the Guardian saying:
'After considering the case of Simon Danczuk in detail and speaking to him in an interview, the Labour party’s NEC endorsement panel today unanimously recommended that he should not be endorsed as a Labour candidate.  He will not be able to stand as a Labour candidate in any constituency at the general election.'
Despite being banned as a candidate Danczuk has not been expelled from the party, the source said.
A friend of Danczuk said he was seeking advice over the decision.  He pointed out that Danczuk has previously been named as campaigner of the year in parliament and was commended for his work with constituents and over child abuse claims against the late MP Cyril Smith. This friend also said:  'Simon has made some silly mistakes and he’d be the first to admit that.  But let’s not forget it wasn’t long ago that he was forcing Tory ministers to stand up in the House of Commons and issue grovelling apologies, he was briefing Theresa May on why she needed to launch an independent child abuse inquiry and he was getting corrupt politicians jailed in Sri Lanka for killing his constituent.' 
The friend is no doubt refering to the seemingly endless expensive overarching public enquiry into child sex abuse, and which will not be published for donkey's years. 
The notorious MP was told by party officials that he would not be endorsed as a candidate for the Lancashire seat, which he has held since winning it from the Liberal Democrats in 2010.
Danczuk’s nearest rival at the 2015 election was a Ukip candidate who won about 8,500 votes, closely followed by a Conservative with about 7,700 votes.
NEC members are due to meet on 3 May to rubberstamp all the candidates selected for the 630 seats the party will contest across the UK, including sitting MPs.   Labour officials from party headquarters have told local Rochdale members that an official decision will be announced after the meeting on 3 May.
The deadline for Labour’s candidate nominations is 5 May.
His estranged wife Karen has also failed in her bid to be selected as a Labour candidate for Bury North in the upcoming election.

Professor Paul Preston: 'Holocaust Denier'?

Is Paul Preston a soft core 'holocaust denier'?

THE academic, Professor Paul Preston , described in his book ‘THE SPANISH HOLOCAUST’ as ‘the world’s foremost historian of twentieth-century Spain’; in 2012 published an account of what he called ‘inquisition and extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain’.  By the standards of today, as spelled out by the holocaust expert Deborah Lipstadt this week, this comparison of the holocaust now amounts to what she calls 'soft core holocaust denial'. 

In view of recent developments with regard to the Trump administration’s skirmishes with the Jewish community’s claim to ownership of the term ‘Holocaust’, ought we now to be revisiting Pro. Preston’s employment of the word in the context of the Spanish Civil War? 

Deborah Lipstadt is Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, who wrote 'Denying the Holocaust’ (1993), this week in responding to the recent blunders of the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, she stated in The Alantic journal:
The Holocaust was something entirely different. It was an organized program with the goal of wiping out a specific people. Jews did not have to do anything to be perceived as worthy of being murdered. Old people who had to be wheeled to the deportation trains and babies who had to be carried were all to be killed. The point was not, as in occupied countries, to get rid of people because they might mount a resistance to Nazism, but to get rid of Jews because they were Jews...’
What we have here from Deborah Lipstadt is a claim to Jewish exceptionalism, which specifically excludes claims like that of Prof. Preston about the Spanish tragedy in the 1930s. 

In the last century the linguistic philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, critising dictionary definitions, argued that the meaning of a word is in its use.  

Having seen the recent film 'Denial' portraying Deborah Lipstadt's defence in the defamation case brought against her by the historian David Irving, it would seem that Ms. Lipstad wants to control the meaning of certain words in a totalitarian manner, which would put the words like holocaust in a kind of sacred category which demands an iron law defence of the meaning 'holocaust' that would have offended Wittgenstein. 

Thus, Deborah Lipstadt told the New York Times this week:
The de-Judaization of the Holocaust, as exemplified by the White House statement, is what I term softcore Holocaust denial. Hardcore denial is the kind of thing I encountered in the courtroom. In an outright and forceful fashion, (David) Irving [another historian] denied the facts of the Holocaust.’

As a conversational analyst I would view this as an attempt by Ms. Lipstadt and others to seize control of certain words like 'holocaust' and to deny use of the use of words to other groups like the gypsies etc. and even to poor Professor Preston's depiction of 'The Spanish Holocaust', as a form of intellectual totalitarianism or bullying..

What we are getting here from Professor Lipstadt and others in the 'holocaust industry', is a kind of tyranny of words, dictated and developed by an ideological group with political vested interests.