Friday, 18 December 2015

Jeremy Corbyn Bashing - Award of the Week

Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party on 12 September with a whacking great mandate from the Party and its supporters. The 'Blairites' who had run the party for so long suffered a crushing defeat. Since that day he has been almost under constant attack from the mainstream media. Every move has been scrutinsed and criticised. 

One of the early attacks was his 'failure' to sing the national anthem. This was backed up by a widely published photograph which showed him 'not singing'. Apart from the fact he was entitled not to sing the national anthem, the photo was cropped. I've seen the original on Twitter and it showed that many other people weren't singing at the same time as him, including Army officers in uniforms covered in medals. Did they get any flak? they didn't.

So this is my Award of the Week for Corbyn Bashing - a non-story in the Independent reporting that Corbyn was 'mocked' for sending and Xmas card. The report said:
"The photo - showing a snow-covered bike locked to a bike rack in front of a red telephone box - was widely ridiculed for its lack of Christmas spirit and its austere appearance". 
Although the Independent acknowledged that Corbyn is being regularly attacked it still chose to rub it in. So well done to the Independent.

As a member of the Green Party why am I bothered about this? Shouldn't I be enjoying the Labour Party's discomfort over Corbyn? I'm bothered because I know that Corbyn is under attack because he is perceived as a genuine threat to the cosy and iniquitous stitch-up which the UK has become - a nation run in the interest of a narrow ruling elite, who fear him. I also know that the Green Party is also a threat albeit a much smaller one. If we had more than 200 MPs our leader would be getting exactly the same treatment.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

ISIL's useful idiots

Donald J Trump's recent announcement that all muslims should be barred from entry into the USA makes him one of ISIL's prime useful idiots. He is doing exactly what they want him to. In fact, he might as well have strings attached like a puppet. Of course Trump's comments are aimed at a domestic US audience, and are calculated to win the support of Americans who, disillusioned and disaffected with the political establishment, want someone who vocalises what they are thinking. They want someone who 'sticks it to the man', and he is seeking the Republican nomination. Is Trump bothered about widespread condemnation? I doubt it. He is seeking maximum publicity and wants to top the headlines.

However cynical Trump's statements may be, they must be music to the ears of ISIL, whose aim is to spread fear and division in the west. They want to turn non-muslims against muslims because that will cause both fear and division and help them to recruit more supporters. Islamophobia works for them, tolerance and social cohesion works against them.

Meanwhile, in the UK, a majority of our MPs have been rushing to joining the ranks of the useful idiots by voting for the UK to join the bombing campaign in Syria. Much of the pressure that made MPs vote yes came through the mainstream media who helped to spread the fear and panic ISIL wanted by wall-to-wall sensationalist coverage of the recent horrific attacks in Paris. But you can't bomb an idea out of existence and however much we may despise the actions of ISIL in the long term there will have to be a political settlement which isolates the hardcore of fanatics at the heart of the ISIL 'regime'.

None of this is to downplay in any way the horrors inflicted on the citizens of Paris, Beirut, Turkey and the Russian passengers on the flight from Sharm-el-sheik or to underestimate the threat to citizens globally. But a solution cannot be found by playing into the hands of a group we are supposed to be defeating. We need a diplomatic and political solution which involves the disparate groups in Syria, and we need to support groups such as the Kurds who could be capable of defeating ISIL on the ground if we were prepared to give them the help they need.