Wednesday, September 24, 2014

*CN – Violence against Women* Solidarity with FW Rory MacKinnon and Survivors of Domestic Violence

The following is a repost from the Liverpool IWW blog:

Liverpool IWW wholeheartedly welcomes the statement made this week by Clydeside wobblies, and supports their call for a boycott of the Morning Star. We stand in full solidarity with FW Rory MacKinnon, who was suspended (and effectively forced to resign) by the paper, for investigating the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union bureaucracy’s suppression of domestic violence allegations against their assistant general secretary, Steve Hedley.

Click here for the rest of the statement.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Liverpool Rise for Palestine Respond to Mayor Joe Anderson

Liverpool Rise for Palestine have released a statement in response to the Liverpool Echo's sensationalist coverage of their protest outside Mayor Joe Anderson's Old Swan home. The Echo published much of it, but here is the original:

Mayor Anderson is indignant at the protest outside his house on Friday 12 September, and accuses us of ‘intimidation and thuggery’ (your report 13 September). Liverpool City Council has prevaricated over the use of G4S as a security contractor, and Liverpool Rise for Palestine organised the protest to demand real action. We see it as a simple matter: just sever those G4S contracts as a gesture of support for the people of Palestine. G4S provides services and equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints, the Apartheid Wall and the Israeli police. Liverpool Rise for Palestine pays no heed to G4S declarations that a review has cleared it of breaching human rights in Palestine: the whole of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, its detention of over 7,000 Palestinian prisoners at any one time, is a breach of the human rights of the Palestinian people. G4S is part of an apparatus of ruthless repression of the Palestinian people – but as a bloated parasite it does not care where or how it makes its money.

Liverpool Rise for Palestine was presented with a hard choice: should we escalate the protest over the City Council’s use of G4S, or let matters lie? Mayor Anderson will shortly be full of ‘hard choices’: it will be his cop-out when he demands massive cuts in services and jobs across the city for the fifth year running. These are the real acts of ‘intimidation and thuggery’: they destroy people’s lives and break up families. He will cry and wring his hands and say how terrible his position is, but he will do whatever the government requires. ‘Hard choices’ has become his, and the political class’s, euphemism for savaging the conditions of the working class on the one hand, while keeping hold of its own privileged position on the other.

Liverpool Rise for Palestine will continue to make ‘hard choices’, but they will be ‘hard choices’ on behalf of the people of Palestine rather than on behalf of a discredited privileged elite. We demand: end the contracts with G4S!

My Personal Manifesto for the 2015 General Election (Work in Progress)


Back in May I announced that I'd be standing in next year's general election, as Class War candidate for Liverpool Riverside. Last week I shared my answers to questions asked by the Candidate Hub website. Today I'm sharing my current list of policies (Class War in general have their own here).

The policies are the result of brainstorming with my 'closest advisers'. They range from the fundamental and serious to the fun, and my plan is to collect new ones on the doorstep, but feel free to suggest new ones!

So, in no particular order, here they are:
  • Hunger Games, just with politicians
  • A pet owl for everyone who wants one
  • Bring back lollypop people
  • Royalty to clean public toilets
  • No student fees/re-instate grants
  • Abolition of parliamentary elections
  • All cuts immediately reversed
  • More, free of charge, trains and buses
  • Confiscate wealth of banks and bankers
  • More trees and flowers and shit in concrete-dominated areas
  • More cats, less rats
  • Legalise shooting fascists like in the war
  • Ban private landlords
  • All working class personal debts written off
  • Install anti-rich spikes in mansions and palaces
  • Close Yarl's Wood and all 13 migrant detention centres
  • Free fruit and veg for all
  • Wages for housework
  • Collectivised childcare
  • Swimming pool on every street
  • Paulo Freire schools
  • Wages for carers
  • Free solar panels for every roof
  • Tony Blair tried for war crimes
  • UK troops out of every nation, put to useful work at home

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pro-Palestine Campaigners Visit Home of Liverpool Mayor

The view from inside (pic: @JoeforLiverpool)
Campaigners from the Liverpool Rise for Palestine group protested outside the home of Mayor Joe Anderson yesterday evening, angered by his Labour council's links with G4S. The notorious security company stand accused of atrocities within the Israeli prison system.

From information provided by Anderson himself on his Twitter account, it seems that around twenty protesters gathered outside his home for around an hour last night.

At around 7:47 pm, the mayor tweeted:

"Friends of Palestine [sic] demonstrating at my house for last 30 mins shouting abuse bullying and scaring my 84 year old Mother in law. " 

Not surprisingly, Rise for Palestine themselves had a very different take on the event. Their Facebook page posted:
"Joe Anderson took this photograph from his window tonight of our protest at his house for being the chair of the cabinet that gave G4S the contracts with Liverpool City Council. He and the council has known about G4S for years. He calls us abusive and intimidatory but doesn't have a problem with giving contracts to companies that literally provide equipment that locks thousands of Palestinian prisoners in jails. As if the Israeli soldiers don't kidnap Palestinians from their homes, at check points, in the street. As if the soldiers don't break and smash Palestinian homes in raids. As if Palestinians every day aren't going through the brutal processes of interrogation and torture in detention centres and prisons. As if Palestinians are being detained without charge or trial. As if sham military courts don't postpone and postpone court dates. This is what Anderson and Liverpool City Council supports. The brutal and racist policies of Israel's colonial prisons. What we are demanding is that the contract is broken today. Not weeks, months or years from now. TODAY."
As Israel rained death and destruction on Gaza this summer, Anderson struck a neutral pose, despite the massively lopsided balance of forces  At the end of July, he called a "peace vigil" at St George's Plateau. In announcing the event he stated:

"Whatever the issues, whoever started it and whichever side people see themselves on, surely we can agree that children should not, and must not, be victims of war? It cannot be right that children are at risk of their lives, frightened or being made homeless. Our diverse communities coming together in recognition of this will be a simple act of humanity. We are seeing daily images broadcast on the news, social media and the newspapers of children crying, frightened, injured and dead. They are too difficult to watch without doing something or saying something." [emphasis added]

Of course, when 2, 143 Palestinians were killed, as opposed to a mere 6 civilians in Israel, this neutrality is a cover for siding with the oppressor. Liverpool's Labour group has a particularly strong link with Israel's Zionist agenda. MPs Louise Ellman (Riverside), Luciana Berger (Wavertree) and Stephen Twigg (West Derby) have all held high positions within Labour Friends of Israel. Labour's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy formerly chaired the group.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

My General Election Profile for Candidate Hub


Support The Class War Party from Lil Onorth on Vimeo.

A few weeks back, Candidate Hub asked me a bunch of questions about my election campaign next year. The answers will go up on their website when they've got more answers, but this is what I told them.

1. Obviously our goal is to strengthen the relationship between voters and candidates, but what do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
I'm not going to win the election. My Labour opponent will. If by some miracle I did win, I'd take a wage equal to the average income in the constituency (donating the rest to working class solidarity causes), and refuse to take any expenses, and continue to live in the constituency. Perhaps more importantly, I'd continue to take part in local working class activism.

2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?  
I'm probably not the best candidate for this constituency. There are possibly hundreds or thousands of people living here who might do better. But I'm certainly the best candidate who will be on the ballot paper. Why? Because I've not ever had an easy life, and it's getting harder and harder during this unrelenting class war of the rich. Because I therefore believe that working class people need to fight back, in their workplaces and in their streets. Because I would never vote for a single cut to working class living standards, and I would use the Westminster soapbox to promote the one solution - revolution.

3a. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful? (The incumbent will be asked: "What would you have liked to have done differently during your time in Parliament?")
I see from Louise Ellman's profile on theyworkforyou.com that she has voted strongly for equal marriage and a hunting ban. I certainly don't oppose those things. That's about it though.

4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
What the media and politicians call 'austerity' is the legalised, government-organised robbery of working class people on behalf of the rich scum who triggered the big recession of several years ago in the first place. The richest 1,000 people had their wealth increased by 15% in 2013, as our living standards continue to plunge, and our futures are sold off. So yes, what people call 'austerity' is certainly working for the richest people - who all the parties represent in one way or another. It is utter ruin for the rest of us.

5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
There should be no limitations on migration from anywhere to anywhere. Many migrants come to the UK as a direct result of wars waged by our government, or because of economic policies which benefit the UK rich. But even if that weren't the case, it makes no more sense restricting migration from say Afghanistan to the UK than it does from England to Wales. Borders are completely artificial, and people should be able to move wherever they think they will be the most happy. Basically, the problem is the rich and their system, not the even-poorer-than-you.

6. Many people are concerned with the cost of living in the UK, with wages having failed to rise in line with the price of food, energy and rent in recent years. How can this be corrected?
Nothing that the other parties propose could correct this, even if they wanted to...and they don't. Wages failing to rise in line with prices means bigger profits for the rich, and much more desparation and deprivation for the rest of us. This is capitalism working well for those at the top. The solution to this is working class people uniting in workplaces, and struggling together to win a better living standard for us all. Eventually, we should reorganise things so that we cut out the capitalists entirely, and live our lives in our own interests.

7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
The best way of improving the NHS would be removing the profit motive from it entirely, giving it massively more funding, hugely increasing the pay of those who work in it, and let them make their own decisions about how it is run.

8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
Unemployment should be abolished. It exists entirely because the rich want to squeeze as much profit as they can out of everyone. And the JSA sanctions regime worsened by successive governments exists to frighten and discipline those in paid work. If the wealth of the super-rich scum was confiscated, everyone who is able to work could be given well-paying, fulfilling work. Eventually, 'work' as we know it today could easily be abolished, with all the nasty jobs done by robots and computers!

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
The short answer is yes! Women don't even account for a quarter of MPs, and people of colour are less than one in twenty in the Commons, compared to more than one in ten of the population. There are extremely few out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer MPs. This represents how these demographics are underrepresented in this country's ruling class.

I can't find what the average worth of an MP is, but once the high wage and the expenses are added to an almost always wealthy background, we can see that the average MP is white, male, straight and filthy rich. Can the 'average person' ever be represented by these people, or will they run things in their own interests? Everyone knows the answer to that question.

10. If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
The EU is a club run by and for the richest Europeans. In recent years especially, the bankers have used it to devastate working class lives across the continent. Having said that, the UKIP/Tory eurosceptic rich want to leave because it does - at least in theory - give working class people some protections, and places some tiny restrictions on the City of London. I don't think it's possible to have a decent society under this capitalist European Union, but things won't change for the better unless we replace it with a European Soviet Union!

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