40 senior academics condemn anti-Corbyn bias in media coverage of antisemitism

More than forty senior academics write to the Guardian to condemn what they see as an anti-Corbyn bias in media coverage of the antisemitism debate…

“One of the main concepts in journalism education is that of framing: the highlighting of particular issues, and the avoidance of others, in order to produce a desired interpretation. We have been reminded of the importance of framing when considering the vast amounts of media coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s alleged failure to deal with antisemitism inside the Labour party. On Sunday, three national titles led with the story while news bulletins focused on the allegations all last week. Dominant sections of the media have framed the story in such a way as to suggest that antisemitism is a problem mostly to do with Labour and that Corbyn is personally responsible for failing to deal with it. The coverage has relied on a handful of sources such as the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and well-known political opponents of Corbyn himself.

“Yet where are the Jewish voices who support Corbyn and who welcome his long-established anti-racist record? Where are the pieces that look at the political motivations of some of Corbyn’s most vocal critics?”

[Read full letter and signatories on Guardian website…]

Video: Veil-wearer Umm Abdullah responds to Boris Johnson

UMM ABDULLAH 'A LETTERBOX RESPONDS TO BORIS JOHNSON

Since so many of you individuals and media outlets contacted me to comment on Boris Johnson referring to Muslim women as looking like bank robbers and letterboxes I have taken my time out to make this video. feel free to tweet the link of the video to him 😉

Posted by Umm Abdullah Official on Friday, August 10, 2018

“I am not a letterbox for your information, I am a human being. And I wear the veil.

“Boris, fair enough you have a bad hair day every day, but that doesn’t mean you need to take it out on us.

“I know the USA have produced something called the Donald Trump. But that doesn’t mean that we need to compete with it.

“Many people wear the face veil for many reasons… cultural reasons, or their beliefs, or for hiding their identities. This is their own choice. That’s the beauty of having freedom.

“Britain, the country in which I was born and brought up, upholds values of tolerance and freedom. That’s freedom of speech, freedom to wear what you want, and freedom to choose a religion you want to practise.”

Vince Cable says ‘centre of gravity’ shifting to second Brexit vote

From The Guardian: The “centre of gravity” on Brexit is shifting towards a second referendum on the final deal, the Liberal Democrat leader has said. Vince Cable was speaking as thousands of opponents of Brexit in the south-west of England took part in the first of a series of regional days of action planned by the People’s Vote campaign across the country.

Joining Conservative and Labour MPs and a Green MEP in addressing more than 700 supporters of a second referendum at Colston Hall in Bristol, Cable rejected claims that it would be undemocratic to put the question of EU membership back to another public vote, after the 52%–48% victory for leave in 2016.

Promises of a smooth and amicable withdrawal deal and a cash boost for the NHS had proved unfounded, Donald Trump’s protectionist policies had cast doubt on Brexiters’ vision of new trade deals, and voters were now more aware of the complexities of issues such as the Irish border, he said.

“The world has changed,” Cable told Sky News. “It is perfectly reasonable to go back to the public and ask, ‘Is this what you really want, or do you want to stay in the EU and reform it from within?’ It is a perfectly legitimate democratic expression.

“It is perfectly normal in countries that have a tradition of referendums – which we haven’t in the UK – to have confirmatory votes at the end to see whether people are happy with what the government has negotiated.”

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Tory Government ‘ignoring Grenfell warning signs’, say firefighters’ leaders

From Morning Star: Firefighters’ leaders have accused the government of ignoring the warning signs of Grenfell, as new figures showed a rise in incidents amid continued fire service cuts.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said that, despite mounting difficulties over the last year, the government continued to “starve” fire authorities of funding.

There were 564,827 incidents in England in the past year, an increase of more than 4,000.

Firefighters attended more than 167,000 fires, the most since 2011-12, said the FBU, adding that the long period of improvements in public safety has plateaued, with cuts the “most likely explanation” for the rise.

The union said that, since 2010, one in five firefighting jobs have been cut, including around 10,000 in Englan

FBU national officer Dave Green said: “These dreadful new figures confirm firefighters’ worst fears. Austerity cuts are now damaging public safety.”

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

“As we suffer in the heatwave and Greece burns, the Tories are signing off a fracking bill that is laughable”

Harry Cockburn writes in The Independent: “In Greece, the death count may reach triple figures. Wildfires have melted cars, wiped villages off the map and decimated families… What could our governments do to alleviate the carnage? What about some fracking? What about pumping millions upon millions of gallons of water and chemicals down into earth to break rocks to release gas which we can then burn?”

[Read column on Independent website…]

Frankie Boyle on Brexit food stockpiling…

If there’s one thing I trust this government to do, it’s to fuck up the stockpiling of food and medicines

Posted by Frankie Boyle on Friday, July 27, 2018

From drag queens to rappers: up close with the UK’s anti-Trump protesters – video

From The Guardian: The Guardian spends the day getting to know the people Donald Trump tried to avoid during his visit to the UK. More than 100,000 people travelled to London from around the country to protest against the US president, according to the organisers of the two marches that converged on Trafalgar Square.

[Watch video on Guardian website…]

“If Esther McVey’s getting away with it, things must be really bad”

Frances Ryan writes in the Guardian: “The irony of Esther McVey‘s current brazen predicament can hardly be lost on most jobseekers. If someone on universal credit made an error – no matter how slight or unintentional – they would be hauled in front of an official, and promptly have their benefits sanctioned. If a cabinet member gives false information to parliament – of significant proportion and even knowingly – they can get away with it with barely a slapped wrist.

“There’s a worry that the sheer scale of Theresa May’s Brexit disaster, coupled with the depth of her cabinet infighting, means McVey’s actions are already the political equivalent of tomorrow’s chip paper. These are, after all, not typical times.

“In any other government, Johnson would not have been allowed the dignity of resignation: he’d have been sacked months ago. At any other point, McVey’s actions would, at a minimum, lead a prime minister to launch an investigation into whether one of her officials knowingly lied to parliament. Yet against this current crop, McVey can misrepresent an independent body’s report in order to hide the failings of her department and still have competition to appear the most incompetent or unethical cabinet member.

Read more

“There used to be a bus every hour. Now we hardly leave the house”

From The Guardian: When Jill White, 53, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, she had three years of treatment, including operations and chemotherapy. It was a stressful enough experience to go through, but White, who is single and doesn’t drive, also faced a four-hour round trip, on a good day, to get to a hospital that was only 13 miles away, because buses from her village of Tatworth, Somerset only run on average every two hours.

“My appointments were often at 9am, so to get to Taunton hospital I would have to leave by 7am,” she says. “And then, even though I would be really tired after treatment, I faced another two-hour trip to get home again. Four hours was a good journey. It could have quite easily been a lot longer.”

White says the service used to be quite good. “When I first moved here 20 years ago, there was a bus every hour, evening, weekend and bank holiday – and they were reasonably punctual. Now they are often 30 minutes late, there are no buses on Sundays or bank holidays – and nothing after 6pm.” White’s situation is far from unique. A report last week by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) found that local authority funding for bus routes in England and Wales has been cut by 45% since 2010 and more than 3,000 routes reduced or scrapped. This prompted the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to raise the bus issue in parliament during last week’s prime minister’s questions, where he promised to “save” the bus industry and give all those aged under 26 free bus travel.

Read more

The Guardian view on Boris Johnson’s resignation: good riddance to a national embarrassment

Guardian editorial: “Mr Johnson is the most overrated politician in Britain, especially by himself. He was an embarrassingly useless foreign secretary. He diminished Britain’s standing in the world and he diminished his own reputation by the way he played his role, not least by his praise for Donald Trump. He was simply not up to the job. But Boris Johnson does not do serious. He does self-interest. The British government is better off without him. The Tory party should not deceive itself that he is the answer to its problems.”

[Read full article on Guardian website…] 

Responsibility for Windrush deportations rests “squarely on Theresa May’s shoulders” – Caroline Lucas

From Morning Star: Responsibility for the Windrush scandal falls “squarely on the shoulders” of Theresa May for ignoring a report warning her what would happen, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas charged yesterday.

The Brighton Pavilion MP had tabled a written question asking if Ms May, as home secretary, had acted on the Legal Action Group’s prescient October 2014 report Chasing Status.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes responded: ”No specific action was taken as a result of this report.”

The report recommended a number of measures which could have prevented the Windrush scandal, including to set up a special unit to fast-track cases of people living in Britain on January 1 1973.

It also called for the restoration of legal aid for these cases, allowing Commonwealth-born citizens to work, access the the NHS and claim benefits and for Home Office proof of residence standards to be revised.

Another of the report’s recommendations was for “greater openness” from the Home Office about its archiving and destruction policies, and for it to accept that some immigration records could be rendered inaccurate or incomplete over time.

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

“Splashmobbers” demand an end to 30 years of privatised water

From Morning Star: Campaigners from the We Own It group held a “splashmob” in London today to demand the return of the England’s water industry to public ownership after nearly 30 years of privatisation.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Green MP and co-leader Caroline Lucas and Derby North Labour MP Chris Williamson tweeted in support of the campaign. It is also backed by unions Unite, GMB and Unison.

Campaigners held a “circus of privatised water” on London’s Southbank — a splashmob highlighting the failures of the water profiteers.

We Own It director Cat Hobbs said: “Water belongs to us in the first place and should never have been privatised. 83 per cent of us want to take our water back. The only question is when and how.

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

40,000 protest in London over NHS funding cuts

From The Guardian: Tens of thousands of people have marched through London to mark the NHS’s 70th anniversary and demand an end to government cuts to the health service, of which large swathes have been privatised in recent years.

Bearing placards reading “Cuts leave scars”, “For people not profit” and “Democracy or corporate power” demonstrators moved down Whitehall to the chant of “Who’s NHS, our NHS”.

They stopped outside Downing Street to demand Theresa May’s resignation en route to the stage where Jeremy Corbyn and others were due to speak on Saturday afternoon.

A festival atmosphere permeated the crowd, although the anger towards the government’s NHS policy was palpable.

The organisers estimated that around 40,000 people had turned out and taken to the streets for the NHS 70 March, which proceeded down Regent Street to the thump of a marching band.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Lib Dem MP: Probably half the Cabinet have used cannabis

From ITV News: Former health minister Norman Lamb has called for the complete legalisation of cannabis – after alleging that “probably half the Cabinet” have used the class B drug.

The Liberal Democrat MP said the Government’s policy towards cannabis represented a “dreadful hypocrisy” and echoed calls from former Tory leader Lord Hague to bring in a regulated market for the drug.

Mr Lamb, speaking after Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a review into medicinal cannabis use, said: “Isn’t there a dreadful hypocrisy in Government policy in drugs more generally.

“Probably most of the Cabinet drink alcohol, the most dangerous drug of all, probably half of the cabinet has used cannabis, possibly even the Home Secretary — unless they’re a group of very odd people.

“Shouldn’t the Home Secretary actually follow the advice of the former Conservative leader Lord Hague, who makes the case for a regulated legalised market and that that is the best way to protect people from harm who at the moment buy from criminals who have no interest in their welfare at all.”

Mr Javid responded, saying that on this occasion he did not agree with Lord Hague.

[Read full article on ITV News website…]

Britain’s drug laws are in the dark ages. Billy Caldwell’s case proves it

Simon Jenkins writes in the Guardian: “What kind of country gets a politician rather than a doctor to prescribe medicine for a sick child? When the home secretary, Sajid Javid, decided at the weekend to allow 12-year-old Billy Caldwell “one bottle” of cannabis oil, his spokeswoman said it was an exceptional case to meet “a short-term emergency”. The only emergency was to the home secretary’s reputation. Britain is like a banana republic, in which politicians, not judges, decide who goes to jail.
[…]

“This is inhuman and absurd. The reason for Caldwell’s treatment has nothing to do with cannabis and everything to do with ministerial terror of seeming ‘soft on drugs’. This terror is now archaic. Public opinion has moved on. So-called recreational cannabis is as freely available on Britain’s streets as cigarettes and alcohol. It is available in schools and universities, clubs and festivals. Most British police forces turn a blind eye to modest possession.

Read more

1 2 3 10