Corbyn smear over Iranian Green Movement as baseless as the rest

Corbyn smear over Iranian Green Movement as baseless as the rest

The latest attempt among the ‘MSM’ – and a certain right-wing trash site – to paint Jeremy Corbyn as lying to the BBC’s Andrew Marr centres around a comment he made to Marr that he stopped appearing on Iranian English-language station Press TV after the way Iranian authorities treated the ‘Green Movement’.

Corbyn told Marr:

I ceased to do any programmes when they treated the Green Movement the way that they did

The right-wing site claimed:

gf iran 2009.png

Various journalists and others have claimed that, as Corbyn’s last appearance on Press TV was in 2011, this means that he lied.

However, while the Iranian ‘Green Movement’ began in 2009 and was involved in protests after that year’s presidential election, the Iranian government’s repression of the movement extended into the 2011-12 protests.

Which fits perfectly with Corbyn’s statement to Marr that he stopped appearing “when they treated the Green Movement the way that they did“.

It appears that those still pushing the line that Corbyn was not telling the truth to Marr have taken a date first mentioned by a right-wing trash – a site with a long track record of anti-Corbyn nonsense – and treated it as definitive.

A quick check of the facts means that Corbyn’s comment makes perfect – truthful – sense.

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Edit: an early draft of this article was originally published in error that contained reference to 2009 dates. This has been corrected.

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So low its depressing

First I thought of the title of this post, because when I’m depressed, I find myself binge-watching shows on streaming tv. Then I listed the shows I wanted to talk about, and realized immediately that they have one thing in common: death. I know, I know—that’s a grim and dangerous topic to take on when…

via 4 Shows to Watch When You’re Depressed — The Gloria Sirens

Neoliberalism and corruption: hidden in plain sight — Politics and Insights

Earlier this month, faced with amendments in the House of Lords to its post-Brexit anti-money laundering Bill, the UK government continued to block and delay vital reforms to address the UK’s role in global corruption and money laundering. Another amendment, also backed by Lords, would require the Overseas Territories – which include some of the most […]

via Neoliberalism and corruption: hidden in plain sight — Politics and Insights

Khan’s rejection of Kober appointment rumour could not be blunter

Khan’s rejection of Kober appointment rumour could not be blunter

khan.png

Since centrist Haringey councillor Claire Kober’s announcement earlier today that she will step down as leader of the Labour-run council after May’s local elections, strong rumours have been circulating that she would be appointed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as his head of housing for the city.

Khan has rejected the idea in the bluntest and most emphatic terms.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted the mayor’s office to ask whether there was any truth in the rumour – and received a short, unequivocal response.

A spokesperson for Khan said simply:

No, it’s not true.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

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Corbyn’s 51 EDM condemnations of Iran are 7th highest in parliamentary history

Corbyn’s 51 EDM condemnations of Iran are 7th highest in parliamentary history

corbyn statesman

The fake news aimed at Jeremy Corbyn by the Establishment would have us believe that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has shied away from condemning human rights abuses in Iran.

Trash right-wing sites claim that this is because he appeared years ago on the Iranian English-language station Press TV (PTV) and had received a significant sum of money for doing so.

Yesterday, the SKWAWKBOX exclusively exposed fake news that repeated time and again by almost every mainstream media outlet that Corbyn appeared on PTV over a period of four years and accepted £20,000 for doing so. That turned out to have been a single year and a sum of somewhere between £1 and £5,000 – far less than Corbyn gives away each year to charity.

But that is not the limit of the mainstream fake news about Corbyn’s stance on Iran, as a series of graphics depicting his parliamentary activity regarding Iran puts beyond question:

The Corbyn 51

‘Early Day Motions’ (EDMs) are a means by which MPs can express their opinion – positive or negative – on matters of particular currency or interest to them.

Jeremy Corbyn has signed EDMs condemning human rights abuses no fewer than fifty-one times.

iran 51

Among current MPs

Fifty-one times in isolation only tells part of the story, however. Without the context of how that compares to the behaviour of other MPs, it’s not entirely clear how significant that is.

The chart below shows Corbyn’s record among all current MPs of any party:

iran chart

Jeremy Corbyn has put his name to more motions condemning Iran for human rights abuses than any other currently-serving MP except one.

The all-time list

Current MPs are one thing, but what about an all-time comparison? After all, MPs in the 1960s and 1970s would have been hearing about human rights or the lack of them under the regimes of the Shah and then Khomeini.

Let’s see:

iran edm

In the all-time comparison, Corbyn ranks seventh. Only six MPs in history have been more active in Parliament in standing up for human rights in Iran.

Comment:

The attempts to smear Corbyn over Iran are the fakest of fake news.

Yet again, we see evidence that the main source of fake news is the Establishment and the ‘mainstream media’ that support it. Especially when it comes to Jeremy Corbyn.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

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Busting the Lexit Myths

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL 30/01/18 AT 00:01
Busting the Lexit Myths
Foreword by
Heidi Alexander MP & Alison McGovern MP
Authors:
Catherine West MP, Nick Donovan, Dr Andy Tarrant,
Richard Corbett MEP, Dr Mike Galsworthy, Sarah Veale CBE,
Tom Burke and Lord (John) Monks.
Edited by
Francis Grove-White
Labour
Campaign
for the
Single
Market
EMBARGOED UNTIL 30/01/18 AT 00:01
Chapters
Open Britain is a national cross-party campaign, making the case for the UK to remain in the Single
Market and the Customs Union, and for all options about our future relationship with the EU to be
kept on the table.
The Labour Campaign for the Single Market is seeking to shift Labour Party policy towards support
for staying in the Single Market and the Customs Union. It is co-chaired by Heidi Alexander MP and
Alison McGovern MP.
Foreword
Heidi Alexander MP & Alison McGovern MP
Austerity
Catherine West MP
State aid
Nick Donovan
Renationalisation
Dr Andy Tarrant
Immigration
Richard Corbett MEP
The NHS
Dr Mike Galsworthy
Employment rights
Sarah Veale CBE
The environment
Tom Burke
Trade deals
Lord (John) Monks
3
5
8
11
15
18
21
25
28
1
Austerity in the UK is a political choice, made by the
Government, and has nothing to do with the EU or Single
Market rules. In fact, the reverse is true. Leaving the
Single Market and Customs Union will cause an economic
loss which will reduce tax receipts and therefore risks an
extension or intensification of austerity.
5
Austerity
The myth
The reality
Leaving the Single Market and Customs Union will
allow a future Labour government to end austerity.
“A vote to leave is a chance to stop the following regressive policies: Austerity, which is a
foundation stone of the EU, and has led to the slow, creeping destruction of pensions, education,
social housing, the NHS and every local public service, as well as strangling local government,
further adding to poverty and social inequality.”
Labour Leave letter, 21 June 2016
1
“Post-financial crisis, agonising austerity has been imposed – especially on the periphery. Any
attempt to create a different kind of economy from inside the EU has been forestalled through
powerful legal impediments embodied in the treaties.”
Joe Guinan and Thomas M Hanna
2
“[Labour Leave wants to] rebalance our economy, helping firms to achieve higher productivity,
with rising wages and investing in the infrastructure to support export-led growth.”
Labour Leave campaign
3
29
New trade deals cannot replace our lost trade
with the EU
The EU is, by some distance, the UK’s largest
trading partner. In 2016, it was the destination
for some 43% of UK exports in goods and
services.
57
This is the case for good reason. The
Customs Union allows for trade in goods that is
unencumbered by customs duties or rules of
origin checks, while the Single Market ensures
common product standards, health and safety
regulations and consumer and environmental
protections, and the right to deliver services
across the continent.
It is also a simple matter of geography. No
matter which countries you look at, the evidence
is remarkably consistent: bilateral trade between
two countries is proportional to size, measured
by GDP, and inversely proportional to the
geographic distance between them.
58
This is
known as the gravity equation. The countries of
Europe are on our doorstep, and so it is of little
surprise that we do the majority of our trade with
them. By contrast, many of the countries often
talked up as targets for future free trade
agreements are on the other side of the world.
For example, although they are important
markets, Australia accounts for just 1.7% of UK
exports, India 1.7%, Indonesia 0.2% and New
Zealand 0.2%.
It is too often overlooked that the EU is also a
major trading power in its own right, with
preferential trade agreements in place with more
than 65 countries around the world, and
negotiations ongoing with many more. That
means the EU has deals in place with more
countries than the US (20), China (23) and
Australia (19) combined. At present, nearly two
thirds of UK exports go to countries in the EU,
the EEA or countries with whom the EU has an
agreement in place. If Britain leaves the Customs
Union, each of these countries will have an
interest securing better terms. So, while it is
possible that many of these deals can be
renegotiated as we leave the EU, this is by no
means guaranteed. And we of course stand to
lose out as the EU concludes negotiations with
other major economic powers in the coming
years.
Many of those who advocate a hard Brexit argue
that new trade deals will compensate for the
economic cost of leaving the Single Market and
Customs Union. Yet there is no evidence for this.
The Treasury is widely reported to have analysis
showing that new trade deals cannot make up
for lost trade with Europe, though it has so far
refused to publish it. One of the most
comprehensive studies, by Monique Ebell at
NIESR, has estimated that the increase in total
UK trade from free trade agreements with
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia,
New Zealand and the US would be less than
5%.
59
By contrast, she estimates that leaving the
Single Market will be associated with a long-term
reduction in total UK trade of between 22% and
30%. Given that some 3-4 million jobs in the UK
are linked to our trade with Europe, the burden
of proof is on those who advocate a hard Brexit
to disprove this.
The fact is, EU members negotiate tariffs and
trade agreements with third countries
collectively, and are able to use the clout of
being the world’s largest market to secure better
terms than could be delivered by any individual
member state. Going it alone, with a small and
inexperienced negotiating team, and with the
economic imperative of needing to secure
numerous trade agreements at speed, Britain’s
position will be weak. New deals will take many
years to negotiate, and will involve major
trade-offs for minimal reward.
The EU is not ‘tariff-heavy’ across the board
the world’s poorest countries
It is often claimed that the EU has high tariffs on
imports from the world’s poorest countries, and
that remaining in the Customs Union would
mean Britain continuing to enforce these
protectionist policies. A narrative has emerged in
some quarters that the EU acts as a ‘protectionist
racket’ towards the developing world, strangling
many countries growth and development
prospects.
There is little evidence to support these claims.
The European Union offers developing countries
lower tariffs on their exports into the EU through
its ‘Generalised System of Preferences’. In
particular, the EU’s Everything But Arms scheme
grants full duty-free and quota-free access to the
EU Single Market for all products except arms
and armaments, to all countries that are listed as
a Least Developed Country (LDC) by the United
Nations. There are currently 47 such countries on
the list of LDCs, and the list is updated every

 

43% of disabled claimants under Tories attempt suicide. McVey still on board of Samaritans

43% of disabled claimants under Tories attempt suicide. McVey still on board of Samaritans

Last month, the Independent carried the horrifying news that between 2007 and 2014, the number of disabled benefit claimants who had attempted to take their own lives had more than doubled from twenty-one percent to forty-three percent:

indie suic.png

Ministers were warned in secret reports that DWP (Dept of Work and Pensions) handling of disabled people were heightening the risk of suicides, while a Labour MP claimed in last month that a new parliamentary report ‘blew out of the water’ government claims that its policies were not linked to suicide rates among claimants.

Yet Esther McVey – co-architect with Iain Duncan Smith of DWP policies during her first stint with the department and now heading it in her second – is still a member of the ‘advisory board’ of the Samaritans charity that provides a helpline for people struggling with suicidal thoughts.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Samaritans to ask how this could possibly be appropriate in the circumstances. A Samaritans spokesperson confirmed that Ms McVey is still on the board and said:

Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide and we work with individuals, organisations, politicians and policy makers across the spectrum to help achieve this.

Esther McVey joined Samaritans’ Advisory Board when Chair of the British Transport Police Authority, which is one of the partners we work with to reduce suicides in the rail environment.

Our Advisory Board provides informal support to Samaritans, helping us increase our potential to influence and fundraise. For example, it played a key role in the launch of our 116 123 free to call number, which removed any barrier to calling us in terms of cost, by supporting our work with telecoms companies and funders. The Advisory Board has no legal or governance role in Samaritans and elects its own Chair and members.

Details of the Chair and members of the advisory board can be found here.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

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