Labour Party will boycott G4S security services over repression of Palestinians

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It has emerged that the Labour Party decided at its national executive meeting on Tuesday to boycott the private security company, G4S, that has provided its conference security in recent years because it helps Israel run prisons at which Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial and subjected to torture. Protests have taken place both outside Labour’s conferences in recent years about the issue.

G4S provides equipment and services to Israeli prisons at which political prisoners are held without trial and subjected to torture. In October alone, Israel arrested over 1,000 Palestinians as a means to stifle Palestinian popular resistance. Many of these people will be held in Israeli prisons that G4S is helping to run. By helping Israel to run such prisons and “interrogation centres”, G4S is participating in Israel’s use of torture and mass incarceration of more than 6,000 Palestinians as a way to discourage any action to resist its occupation. Continue reading

On Jeremy Corbyn, “shoot to kill” and stopping terrorists in the act of murder

Jeremy Corbyn, in the cross hairsYou can understand the thirst for vengeance. On Sunday night, France flew sorties over Syria to strike IS targets in Raqqa, the capital of their ramshackle semi-state. They reportedly hit a recruitment centre and munitions depot. Other facilities on the receiving end of French ordinance were a hospital, a museum, a stadium, and a chicken farm. Still, “something” has been done. IS have had a taste of fire, even if civilians every bit as innocent as the murdered in Paris lost their lives in the French bombing.

Whenever there is an appalling outrage on Western soil, or mass civilian casualties mount overseas, as per the Tunisian beach murders or the bombing of a Russian airliner, politicians and media outlets combine their outrage with simple non-solutions that paint one half of the world in saintly white and the other in sinner’s black. The complexity of the situation, of the drives that fuel IS support here and abroad, which few establishment figures are normally interested in anyway, are painted out. They’re against us, so let’s kill ’em. Alas, turning Raqqa and parts of Sinai and Yemen into the Moon will kill terrorists, but does nothing to address the causes of terrorism. Such is the folly of dressing ourselves in saintly white as against their sinner’s black. Continue reading

Orgreave – the IPPC and DPP are not fit for purpose

OrgreaveAccountability in Britain has reached a new nadir today. The report that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC) refuses to investigate claims of police criminality at the mass picket at Orgreave during the 1984-5 miners’ strike really stinks. They have already found evidence that police officers assaulted miners and then perverted the course of justice, committing perjury in later prosecutions which still failed. Even senior officers of the South Yorkshire police admit the perjury, but did not want it made public – who are they to block the course of justice? The IPCC in their report today try to dump blame on them for being complicit – so why is the IPCC now seeking to withdraw from the case? Continue reading

Human rights will shatter the myth that Cameron is in control of the UK’s destiny

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will be central to Tory planning for the EU referendum. The Tory manifesto gave a clear commitment to scrap the 1998 Human Right Act (HRA) and curtail the role of the European Court of Human Rights. It seems likely that there will be a measure paving the way to the Act’s replacement with a British Bill of Rights in the first year of this new government. This is a key part of Cameron’s plan to manage the EU Referendum which he unwisely conceded in order to appease his unruly right wing.

He has been told for some time now that the EU is in no hurry to make any treaty changes and it has also been made clear to him that the EU will not amend its core freedoms (in particular freedom of movement for labour) or its acquis (the body of acquired EU law). Scrapping the HRA and even withdrawing from the ECHR are then to be the red meat he can offer to his rebellious back-benchers if he cannot achieve the treaty changes or opt-outs from the EU fundamentals. Continue reading

The trial of Greville Janner

Lord JannerIs it possible to not be surprised yet be shocked at the same time? If it is, that’s what I felt this morning when the news came through that Lord Janner, the former Labour MP for Leicester West would not be charged. Shocked because the testimony and evidence is compelling, not surprised because of the crippled, senile old man Janner has become. The Crown Prosecution Service concluded that it would not be in the public interest to follow through with a prosecution and, as much as I wish it was otherwise, this decision is the right one.

As a Labour Party member he would say that.” Well, no. As someone interested in justice being seen to be done, I am saying that. Anyone following the Janner case will have their opinion about his guilt or otherwise. I certainly have my views, and they’re not a million miles away from the sentiment that’s been gushing like a torrent on Twitter all afternoon. Yet we still – just – have the right to innocence until proven otherwise, and that applies to those accused of the most disgusting crimes. So where the evidence is concerned, let’s just say there is a compelling case to answer. And on this point the CPS agrees. Continue reading