Saturday, 24 March 2018

Why do so many Corbyn critics insist on outright lying about what Labour's Brexit position actually is?

I've got no problem with people expressing opposition to Labour's six tests Brexit policy if they're still strongly in favour of remaining in the EU. The right to criticise and dissent are absolutely vital in any kind of democracy.

What I object to is the number of Remainers and Corbyn critics who insist on outright lying about what Labour's Brexit position actually is.

Labour's position

Despite continual misrepresentations by their political opponents, the Labour shadow cabinet position on Brexit is actually pretty clear and simple. 

Labour have devised a compromise position that respects the result of the referendum, but which insists that the final Brexit deal is subjected to Keir Starmer's six tests

This means that if the final Brexit deal the Tories negotiate with the EU is going to be a disaster for Britain (as the Tory government's own impact assessments indicate it will), the Labour Party will oppose it.

Labour have already shown their determination to fight against a hard-right Tory interpretation of Brexit by seeking to add amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill in order to prevent the Tory government from using Brexit as a Trojan Horse to attack our workers' rights, consumer protections, environmental laws, equality rules, and food standards.

After the Tories ripped up these amendments Labour were left with no choice but to vote against the EU Withdrawal Bill (which is hardly colluding with the Tories as so many people like to claim they are).

Unfortunately Labour and the other opposition parties didn't have the parliamentary numbers to stop the Tory EU Withdrawal Bill because a whole load of so-called "mutineer" Tory MPs like Anna Soubry who make a lot of noise about opposing hard Brexit decided to back Theresa May and the secretive cabal of ERG Brextremists who dictate her every move, and actually voted in favour of it.

Owen Smith

The reason Owen Smith was sacked from the Labour Shadow cabinet is obvious. He decided to break ranks with the agreed position that Labour needs to subject the final deal to Keir Starmer's six tests, and publicly set out his own bespoke Brexit policy.

Any competent political leader can't have their ministers going off and making up their own policies on the hoof, because that's the path towards the kind of incompetence and directionless of Theresa May who has so little authority over her own party that she couldn't even sack Boris Johnson from her cabinet after he made up his own Brexit policy that totally contradicted her own!

Love them or loathe them, strong leaders like Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher would never have allowed their ministers to just make up their own policies on the hoof. That's why Corbyn was right to sack Owen Smith, just as he was right to force out the unmistakably Corbynite MP Chris Williamson a few months ago after Williamson decided to announce his own bespoke policy on Council Tax.

Of Course Owen Smith has every right to criticise Labour's Brexit position from the back benches, but only a ridiculously weak and directionless leader like Theresa May would allow him to criticise the party position from within the party leadership.

The timing

Perhaps the worst thing about Owen Smith's decision to announce his own Brexit policy from within the shadow cabinet is the appalling timing just as the 2018 local election campaign is gearing up.

You'd have to be astoundingly gullible to imagine that Smith only just realised his opposition to the agreed Labour position right now, just when attacking his own party from within the cabinet would do the maximum damage to Labour's chances at the local elections.

Agree with Smith's call for a second EU referendum or not, it's impossible to argue that the timing of his decision to cause chaos by breaking from the agreed party line is incredibly damaging to the chances of thousands of Labour local election candidates up and down the country.

The lies

I wrote an article pointing out that the Labour right-wingers have form for this kind of internal wrecking behaviour, and that Smith's decision to publicly defy the agreed party line looks an awful lot like a deliberate effort to damage Labour's chances at the 2018 local elections in order to use the poor result as an excuse to have another crack at deposing Jeremy Corbyn as party leader.

The response to this article was an absolute cascade of lies and misrepresentations from Remainers, and the anti-Corbyn faction of the Labour Party. Here are just a few of the examples:

Aside from these examples of various different lies and misrepresentations of Labour's Brexit position, it's easy to find plenty more. Just peruse through the #FBPE hashtag on Twitter and you'll find dozens upon dozens of people outright lying with claims that Labour support Tory hard Brexit.

Why people lie

As I said before I've got no objection to people opposing Labour's position under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, that's an essential part of democracy. What I object to is this bombardment of lies, smears, and brazen misrepresentations of what Labour's position actually is.

So why do so many people insist on lying like this?

In my view there are two plausible answers:

They're either ignorant people who have heard the lies elsewhere, and uncritically regurgitate them as their own opinions, rather than actually checking the facts and rejecting them as lies.

The other alternative is that they do actually understand Labour's Brexit position, but they also know that the Brexiters won with a campaign of absolute lies, so they're adopting the same staggeringly dishonest tactics because they think it's the most effective way of attacking Corbyn.

It basically comes down to stupidity or mendacity.

Are these people just ignorant rote learners who don't even understand Labour's actual Brexit policy, but insist on attacking it with lies? Or are they cynical propagandists who believe that lying about Labour's position will have more impact than any kind of fact-based critique?

Why the truth is important

The thing is that whatever our political stance (pro-Corbyn, Corbyn-sceptic, Remainer ...) it's absolutely vital to demonstrate that we're actually better than the lying right-wing Brextremists.

The Brextremists use deceptions, smears, false promises and lies to get what they want. 

That they rely on lies to achieve their objectives is absolutely undeniable after the Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings admitted that they would never have won without the "£350 million for the NHS" lie.

We know this because the other even more right-wing and dishonest Leave.EU Brexit campaign worked with Cambridge Analytica to con people into voting for Brexit, and that Cambridge Analytica openly admitted that their strategy is that "it doesn't have to be true, people just have to believe it".

Whether we support Labour's position of subjecting the Brexit deal to Keir Starmer's six tests or not, those of us who oppose the Tories and the hard-right Brexit liars must ensure that the foundations of our political positions are facts, evidence, cogent analysis, and honest presentation. 

Otherwise we come across as being just as dishonest as they are, which leaves all the decent honest people in society with nowhere to turn but political apathy.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Friday, 23 March 2018

Why every single Labour member should be aghast at the cynical scheming of right-wing Labour MPs

The sheer cynicism of the Labour right-wingers never ceases to amaze. The timing of their latest manoeuvres just before the local election campaign doesn't just give their game away, it shows what a ruthlessly self-serving bunch they really are.

Remember Jeremy Corbyn's first set of local elections in 2016 when the right-wing Progress mob planned to use a poor set of results to instigate a leadership challenge, but their plot was foiled when Corbyn managed to hold onto Miliband's best ever set of local election results?

Remember when the coup plotters briefed the Daily Telegraph that they were going to use the Brexit result to get rid of Corbyn whichever side won, then they were stumped when he refused to bow to their anti-democratic plot by resigning, forcing them to run the hapless Owen Smith to stand as the Anyone But Corbyn candidate.

Well this time it's obvious what they're up to. They're going to create as much internal mess as possible in the run up to the 2018 local elections in the hope of creating a poor result for Labour, with the aim of using these poor results as another excuse to oust Corbyn.

Owen Smith coming out and defying the party line (which is that Labour will vote against Tory Brexit if it fails to meet the six conditions laid out by Kier Starmer) is the first blow in a internal wrecking campaign designed to reduce the Labour vote.

They know that in order for this strategy to work hundreds of Labour councillors will have to lose their jobs, and multiple local authorities will need to be ceded to the austerity fixated Tories. But they see these disastrous outcomes as a price worth paying in order to have another stab at getting rid of Corbyn and turning Labour back into a centre-right, pro-austerity, orthodox neoliberal party they want it to be, so that they can hover ever so slightly to the left of the barkingly right-wing Tories and deny the electorate any real economic choice.

The thing that makes this strategy of the right-wing Labour MPs so damned cynical is that that they definitely didn't want to try this kind of electoral own goal tactic at the General Election last year, because they knew that they'd be in danger of losing their own jobs if they conducted an internal wrecking campaign during a General Election.

Pure self-interest was the reason they gave up their coup-plotting for a while, backed Corbyn's fantastic 2017 election manifesto, and actually showed a bit of unity during the election campaign.

Instead of taking the hit themselves, they're brazenly looking to load the consequences of their scheming onto ordinary hard working Labour councillors up and down the country.

The fact is that the victims of this wrecking behaviour won't just be Momentum-backed candidates by a long stretch, it'll be Labour candidates from across the party, including those who support the right-wing Progress "party within a party" too.

Then there are all the innocent members of the public who will have to suffer even more austerity dogma under local Tory rule, because these right-wing MPs want to throw away the chance for Labour to win big because they're far too fixated on their own myopic agenda of getting rid of Corbyn at any cost.

Even Labour members who have serious doubts about Jeremy Corbyn must be able to see how cynical the timing of these moves are. Is anyone gullible enough to believe that Owen Smith only just realised his objections to Keir Starmer's six tests policy now, right when it would do the most harm to Labour's local election chances? 

The reality is that Smith sat in the Labour shadow cabinet and cynically waited for the most damaging moment to attack the party line, safe in the knowledge it would be other people within the Labour Party who pay the price, not him and the right-wing Progress MPs.

Every single Labour Councillor up for re-election,and every one of the tens of thousands of Labour activists who are gearing up to fight for Labour to win in their local area needs to understand that as far as the Labour right-wingers are concerned, you people are just pathetic disposable little pawns in their power game.

They don't care if you lose your job, or miss your best ever opportunity to serve your local community, or have to suffer another five years of catastrophic Tory rule in your local area. Their priority is having another crack at deposing Jeremy Corbyn, so "fuck you".

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Theresa May's disgusting relationship with the Saudi tyrants

Theresa May knows perfectly well that the Islamist tyrants who rule Saudi Arabia have been conducting a brutal campaign of airstrikes in Yemen that have resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people, including over 5,000 children. And she knows that a significant proportion of these airstrikes have been classified as war crimes because they've been carried out against civilian targets and refugees.

Theresa May also knows that the Saudis have been blockading food and medical supplies to the country too, meaning that famine and preventable diseases are rife.

She knows because all of this stuff has been debated in parliament, where her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made the grotesque argument that Britian should continue selling the Saudi tyrants the weapons they're committing their war crimes with because if Britain doesn't profit from these war crimes, someone else might.

Yesterday the Saudis carried out yet another air strike in the Ghamer area of Saana, resulting in at least ten civilian deaths including women and children, with several more suffering severe injuries too.

Swathes of the UK mainstream press continue to turn a blind eye to this campaign of Saudi airstrikes against Yemeni civilians, their war crimes, their execution of refugees, and the famine they're creating because this stuff is really inconvenient for Theresa May and the Westminster establishment club who rolled out the red carpet for the Saudi tyrants just a few weeks ago in order to flog them even more weapons to commit these atrocities with.

And even if you're the kind of person who can turn a blind eye to these military attacks against civilians and the use of famine as a military tactic just because the victims are brown people in a far off land, don't forget that Theresa May is still hiding the report into the funding of terrorist activities in the UK that allegedly points the finger at the Saudi tyrants.

Theresa May simply doesn't care about the victims of her actions. She doesn't care about the dead children in Yemen, or those dying from famine and preventable disease, or even that her Saudi mates are suspected of funding terrorism in the UK. 

All she cares about is making sure that Britain stays at the top of the list to supply weapons for the Saudi tyrants for them to commit their war crimes with.

And to think that she pretends to be a Christian.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


If the Daily Mail really want to "stand up for Britain" they should ditch the toxic Tories

The Daily Mail are whipping up a huge storm of nationalist outrage that their beloved blue passports will be manufactured in France, but if you look at the root cause of this issue it turns out that the Daily Mail and their readers are heavily responsible.

The reason that the production of UK passports was put out to competitive tender in the first place is that the production of passports was privatised in 1996. Before that British passports were produced by a state owned company.

This privatisation was one of the last acts of vandalism of John Major's dead duck Tory administration. And who supported these Tories back into power in 1992 despite knowing all about their obsession with hard-right privatisation dogma?

The Daily Mail and their readers of course.

Then there's all the other Tory privatisation scams the Daily Mail and their readers have enabled through their unyielding support for the hard-right privatisation obsessed ideological dogma of the Tory party.

Here's some of the other stuff the pro-Tory propaganda rags and their Tory-voting readers are responsible for:
  • The pre-1997 Tories were bad enough, but the post-2010 Tories are even worse. They don't just hand British infrastructure and services to their private mates and then let them gradually fall into the hands of foreign governments. They've decided to cut out the middle man and flog off our national silver direct to foreign governments. Perhaps the most egregious example being the sale of the GPSS underground aviation fuel pipe network to the governments of Oman and the United Arab Emirates for £82 million, followed immediately by a ten year £237 million contract to use the system we owned until the Tories flogged it off.
All of this Tory economic vandalism puts the passport contract into context. 

If having our passports printed overseas is the grotesque affront to our national identity that the Daily Mail are making out that it is, then surely the distribution of our rail services, nuclear expertise, national grid, water supply, and airport fuel supply network are also affronts to our national identity?

But the Daily Mail and their readers have relentlessly backed the political party that inflicted all this crackpot privatisation dogma on our nation. And what's more is that they continually hate-monger against Jeremy Corbyn because he wants to undo the worst of the damage and return core British public services and infrastructure to British ownership.

So if the Daily Mail really wanted to "stand up for Britain" they'd ditch the toxic Tories and throw their weight behind Jeremy Corbyn and his economic repatriation policies.

If they had any sense of perspective at all the Daily Mail (and their readers) should have a good long period of self-reflection about their role in creating the passport situation they're so furious about ...

But we all know that they won't, and that they'll be back to Corbyn-bashing and their outright refusal to describe hard-right Tory privatisation mania as the profoundly anti-British agenda that it actually is.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Thursday, 22 March 2018

Who on earth would trust the Tories?

The Tory party reaction to the Cambridge Analytica scandal is every bit as cynical and opportunistic as you'd expect.

Instead of focusing on the election rigging psychological warfare tools these shady characters have built on the the Facebook data they stand accused of stealing, the Tories are attempting to reframe the whole debate to paint Facebook as the big bad villains, and to promote the Tories' pre-existing agenda of clamping down on Internet freedoms.

In an article for George Osborne's Evening Standard propaganda sheet the Tory Culture minister Matt Hancock has bragged about his plan to "bring an end to the Wild West culture" of social media. 

This article makes his Facebook-blaming, responsibility-shifting, censorship-pushing agenda all too clear. Not just by what he says, but also by what he conspicuously fails to say.

Here are some of the many issues that Matt Hancock "forgot" to mention in his "Wild West" article.
One of the reasons the Tories are trying to shift the focus of the blame onto Facebook is really obvious. They recognise that the intimate financial links between the big players in this dodgy election rigging outfit and their own party look terrible, so shifting as much of the blame as possible to Facebook is a simple deflection tactic.

Another reason they're keen to blame Facebook is the £2.1 million they blasted on targeted dark ads.

The Tories outspent Labour by 4:1 on Facebook ads, but their influence on the site was more than negated by a rag-tag bunch of viral left-wing bloggers working on shoestring budgets.

If you'd spent such a huge amount of money in an effort to buy Facebook popularity and ended up getting humbled by a tiny bunch of bloggers who didn't even spend a single penny on buying Facebook ads, you'd be furious too.

Which brings us to what the Tories have in store for Facebook. There's no doubt whatever that the Tories will seek to use this mess to their own advantage, even though the money trail flows right back to the Tory party.

The most likely approach they're going to take is to strong-arm Facebook into clamping down on the freedom that has allowed independent voices to gain popularity by challenging the pro-austerity, pro-privatisation, wage repression pushing, welfare slashing, hard-right political agenda that so often goes completely unchallenged by the mainstream media.

Meanwhile they have absolutely no intention of clamping down on the use of the kind of targeted political dark ads they used extensively during the 2017 general election campaign. 

Sensible proposals include updating the existing rules against spreading political lies during elections, a requirement that all political ads be logged with the electoral authorities, and for geographically targeted social media ads to be classified as local election spending.

You'll never hear Tory politicians proposing any of these measures, because all of them would go against their self-interest.

When the Tories say that they want to make the Internet "safe", it's obvious that what they actually mean is that they want to turn social media into another comfortable "safe space" for themselves, where those who challenge the hard-right neoliberal orthodoxy are pushed to the margins. And if they can cynically make use of a crisis that was actually created by their fellow Tories at SCL/Cambridge Analytica to achieve it, all the better for them.

Anyone who paid attention to the bullet points above has got to be able to see that a bunch of Tories promising to keep us safe on the Internet is akin to a skulk of foxes promising to take care of security for your chicken coop.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Want to know why your Council tax is going up again?

If you want to know why your Council Tax bill is going up, but the services your local council provide are worse than they've ever been before, I've got the answer for you.

The reason that councils across the country are increasing Council Tax bills whilst simultaneously cutting what they actually spend on services is that the Tory government have slashed central government funding for local governments by 67% since 2010, and they're still slashing away at the Communities and Local Government budget now.

This sustained Tory attack on local government funding means that councils have way less money to spend on maintaining local infrastructure and services.
  • Local councils have far less to spend on waste services, so these ideologically driven Tory cuts are the reason that a huge number of councils have reduced bin collections to fortnightly.
  • Local councils have far less to spend on local amenities like libraries, public toilets, leisure centres, and public spaces like parks and indoor markets, so these ideologically driven Tory cuts are the reason that they're being closed down and sold off to property developers.
  • Local councils have far less to spend on running their planning departments, so these ideologically driven Tory cuts are the reason that simple planning applications are taking longer than ever to process.
  • Local councils have far less to spend on highway maintenance, so these ideologically driven Tory cuts are the reason that our roads are deteriorating so badly.
  • Local councils have far less to spend on youth services, so these ideologically driven Tory cuts are the reason that councils up and down the country have cut back on youth clubs andother programmes to keep young people occupied and out of trouble.
  • Local councils have far less to spend on social care services for the frail and elderly, so these ideologically driven Tory cuts are the reason that millions of elderly and infirm people are being left with totally inadequate care, meaning they end up in hospitals, which puts a lot more strain on the NHS (which the Tories are also deliberately under-funding).
The infuriating thing is that despite the devastating impact of these ideologically driven Tory cuts going on all around us, our local councils have no choice but to raise Council Tax rates in a desperate attempt to plug a few of the most serious of the gaps.

So where has all the money gone that the Tories have saved by slashing the Communities and Local Government budget to pieces?

While they've been gutting local government budget the Tory government have simultaneously been distributing lavish tax cuts and handouts to corporations and the mega-rich.

They've slashed the top rate of income tax to give an average £100,000 annual tax break to Britain's 13,000 income millionaires, and since 2010 they've cut the corporation tax rate from 28% to just 19% today, (which is by far the lowest in the G7).

Then there's all the handouts the Tories have given to corporations and the rich through ridiculously one-sided outsourcing contracts that cost more to run than they'll ever actually save, rip-off privatisation scams to flog off public property at way below its true market value, and the wholesale give-away of public property to wealthy Tory donors.

So the next time you ask yourself why you're paying way more Council Tax when your local services are worse than they've ever been before ... some smug corporate fat cat somewhere has purchased a brand new luxury yacht to berth in Monaco, or blasted six figures on a classic Aston Martin to add to his already extensive car collection.

Thanks to the Tory ideological obsession with the upwards redistribution of wealth, that's what you're paying for.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

#DeleteFacebook is a monumentally stupid campaign for the political left to be pushing

We all know the left has a spectacular propensity for self-harm, from factionalism and splits, through to the alienating language that so many on the left tend to use, but the Cambridge Analytica Facebook data scandal has unleashed a truly spectacular self-harming campaign on the left.

Left-wing people are taking to Twitter to call for others to #DeleteFacebook.

Of course Facebook has some very serious problems, including the alleged misuse of Facebook data to create psychological warfare tools to rig elections, their hosting of disgusting terrorism-inspiring extreme-right hate chambers like Britain First for years, their continued promotion of fake news, and their willingness to allow political parties and campaigns to spread outright lies through targeted dark ads.

I'm clearly not denying Facebook has serious problems, but to focus on all of the problems and refuse to recognise that Facebook was the scene of a massive left-wing victory during the 2017 General Election is wilful myopia.

After decades of hard-right neoliberalism completely dominating the means of communication, suddenly Facebook provided a voice to people to express an alternative.

Analysis by The Guardian found that every single one of the 30 most viral political stories on Facebook during GE2017 was pro-Corbyn, anti-Tory, or both.

My own analysis demonstrated that a small rag-tag bunch of left-wing political bloggers completely annihilated the Tories and the mainstream press for Facebook virality during the final week of the GE2017 campaign.

The 2017 General Election proved that there was an enormous public appetite for left-wing news that dared to step outside the parameters of the narrow spectrum of permissable mainstream media debate.

People wanted to read analysis that offered an alternative to the ridiculous caricature of Jeremy Corbyn as an irredeemable and incompetent terrorist-sympathising communist, and they wanted to read analysis that actually held the Tories to account for the seven years of ruinous austerity dogma, wage repression, local government cuts, privatisation scams, and impoverishment schemes they'd overseen.

2017 was the moment that the left finally fought back against the mainstream media cheerleaders of neoliberalism, and Facebook was the battlefield on which this all-too-rare left-wing victory was won.

So the idea that left-wing people should suddenly up sticks and abandon the vital media territory they've only just won, without even putting up a fight, is quite extraordinary.

Some might argue that Twitter is a better platform for political debate, but anyone who thinks winning on Twitter would be enough on its own is completely delusional.

Only 7% of British people have a Twitter account, significantly fewer are regular Twitter users, and even fewer still are deep into 'politics Twitter'.

On the other hand almost half of British people have a Facebook account. 

If you concede defeat on Facebook then you haven't got a chance of winning the social media battle. It's that simple.

Nobody who is on Facebook to keep in touch with their friends and family is going to delete it over a load of Cambridge Analytica scandals they probably don't even understand that well.
The right obviously won't care a jot that a dodgy company allegedly misused Facebook data to deliver Britain to a the Brextremists and the White House to Trump, so it's going to be predominantly lefties and liberals who go along with this #DeleteFacebook campaign.

So the only people who are going to strop off Facebook are politically active people on the left.

What could actually be a worse idea than left-wing people abandoning the largest and most effective social media platform of all, and leaving it to the Tories and the extreme-right?

Facebook is a fantastic means by which politically engaged people like me can reach out to less politically engaged people to present alternatives to the right-wing tropes that remain almost ubiquitous in the mainstream media.

And what's more is that the evidence shows that people are vastly more likely to share a political story if it's come to them via a friend, family neighbour, or work colleague than they are to share content that's been targeted at them in sponsored Facebook ads.

Yet the #DeleteFacebook crowd are pushing for people on the left to just throw this fantastic means of reaching out to ordinary people away, and abandon it to the Tories and the extreme-right!

Of course Facebook needs to be held to account for their actions. Of course Facebook has a responsibility to introduce new measures to combat stuff like dodgy data-mining, fake news spreaders, extreme-right hate chambers, and dishonest political dark ads.

But you'd have to be completely and utterly delusional to imagine that a whole bunch of left-wing people deleting their Facebook accounts and conceding the biggest social media platform of all to the Tories and the extreme-right is a great idea.

We only just cracked a way to counteract the nefarious influence of the billionaire hard-right press barons who have ruled the parameters of UK public discourse for decades, and these #DeleteFacebook melts want us to just throw it away!

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


If the Tories had any sense they'd make hapless Ben Bradley delete his Twitter account

The Tory MP Ben Bradley isn't just a nasty piece of work who defames his political opponents, calls for the sterilisation of poor people, and joked with Iain Duncan Smith about castrating a journalist who dared to criticise him, he's also a remarkably dim bulb who couldn't spot a public relations own goal if it slapped him in the face.

Fresh from creating the most viral political Twitter disaster British politics has ever seen with his apology for defaming Jeremy Corbyn, Ben Bradley must have thought that he'd scored a magnificent public relations goal by announcing the defection of two Ashfield councillors from Labour to the Tories.

'Oh good' he must have thought, 'a chance to bash Jeremy Corbyn by citing "Momentum" as the reason for the defections'.

The problem of course is that these defections don't really do anything to make the Tories look good, but do an awful lot to reinforce the Labour left narrative that the Labour Party has been somewhat over-run by a bunch of self-serving right-wing neoliberals in recent decades, and that re-selection is a means of removing the worst of these "Red Tory" infiltrators from the party.

If these defecting councillors have decided that they've got more in common with the pro-privatisation, pro-austerity, welfare-slashing, workers' rights trashing, NHS vandalising, disability discriminating, local government wrecking, blue-kip panderning, hard-right ultranationalist Tories than with their fellow Labour Party members ... then what the hell were they doing in the Labour Party in the first place?

Aside from actively confirming the accusation that the Labour Party has been infiltrated by "Red Tories" and adding weight to the calls for re-selection of Labour MPs to ensure they actually represent the will of the party membership rather than their own right-wing agenda ... there's more.

It turns out that one of the defectors has actually been democratically deselected as a Labour Party candidate by local people, and was being investigated by the party over allegations of racism!

It tells us a lot about the Tories that they're so keen to make a fanfare of poaching a Labour councillor, but that they "forgot" to mention the fact their new guy ran away because he's under investigation for alleged racism.

I'm a strong believer in due process, so it's absolutely right that Labour were investigating the issue internally before taking action, but now that Lee Anderson has damaged the Labour Party further by defecting to the Tory party, it seems like the racism allegations should be made public, because there's no conceivable justification for conducting an internal party investigation into the alleged racism of a guy who is now another party's politician.

So in one failed PR stunt Ben Bradley has managed to clearly demonstrate the validity of the left-wing "red Tory" narrative about the problem of pro-austerity pro-privatisation neoliberals in the Labour Party, and also make the Tory party look so desperate that they're lapping up the Labour Party's disgusting unwanted dregs!

But then again, don't the unwanted backstabbing alleged racist Lee Anderson and the elitist sterilise the poor proven liar Ben Bradley just make a perfect couple?

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.