As Lee Anderson doubles down on his controversial comments made over the weekend, when he claimed “Islamists” had got “control” over London and that the mayor, Sadiq Khan had “given our capital city away to his mates”, Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay, said:
“Sunak needs to recall his pledge to act with integrity and challenge the divisive and dangerous rhetoric being used by some of his MPs.”
“We need our leaders to work for unity rather than creating division. For some time, senior Conservative Muslims have been raising concerns about the extent of Islamophobia in their party and criticizing the failure of the leadership to tackle it. Sunak needs to make clear that there is no place for such views in his party, and to instigate an immediate review of Islamophobia.”
Braverman is continuing her bid to ban peace marches even though the demand for a Gaza ceasefire commands majority support in Britain and indeed right across the world, where Britain and the US stood shamefully isolated this month as the only countries not to support a ceasefire resolution at the UN security council.
Lee Anderson, in the guise of moderating Braverman’s claim (“I don’t actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country”) actually took it a step further (“they’ve got control of [Sadiq] Khan… He’s actually given our capital city away to his mates.”)
Leftwingers will be incredulous at the implication that peace demonstrators are Khan’s “mates” — the London mayor is no socialist and enthusiastically joined in the character assassination of Jeremy Corbyn when he led Labour.
But Anderson’s subtext is clear: Palestinians are Muslims (not all are, of course, but nuance is not Anderson’s strong point), people marching for justice for Palestinians must therefore be controlled by Muslims, the big marches in London haven’t been banned, and this must be because its mayor is a Muslim.
This is incendiary stuff. So rattled are British authorities that they have repeatedly misrepresented Palestine solidarity demos: the attempt to ban the huge Armistice Day demo rested on a baseless assertion it posed a threat to the Cenotaph (which the fascist thugs riled up by Braverman’s propaganda actually did).
THE Prime Minister’s decision to frame the Speaker’s anti-democratic antics this week as “giving in to extremism” obscures reality.
Lindsay Hoyle’s claim he prioritised a Labour amendment over the SNP ceasefire motion because he was worried about MPs’ safety is a damage limitation bid.
But it chimes with ongoing Establishment propaganda painting peace demonstrators as extremists.
Every crisis of ruling-class legitimacy in recent years has prompted attacks on our democratic rights. Britain is racing towards an authoritarian future, with successive laws empowering police to make arrests on the vaguest grounds (such as causing a “nuisance”) and shut down protests before “disruption” even begins.
Now the idea that protest leaves MPs unsafe is used to justify curtailing democratic processes in Parliament itself. Keir Starmer did not browbeat Lindsay Hoyle into trashing procedures because he was worried about MPs’ safety.
He was trying to avoid the embarrassment of a revolt exposing divisions in his party.
PLANS for even more draconian limits on people’s right to protest — including outside Parliament — will be resisted, campaigners insisted today.
Government “violence adviser” Baron Walney, who was Labour MP John Woodcock before his elevation, has recommended that “threatening” protests outside Parliament, MPs’ offices and council buildings be banned and dispersed by police.
The clampdown adds to existing new limits on protests including for being “too noisy” or causing inconvenience.
The Stop the War Coalition pledged to mobilise against any new laws or regulations banning protests outside Parliament, and humanitarian campaign group Liberty condemned the proposals as “knee-jerk and deeply concerning.”
Peaceful protests have been condemned by reactionary politicians and the media as “hate marches” and calls for Palestinians to have freedom “from the river to the sea” have been dubbed “anti-semitic.”
Sam Grant, advocacy director at human rights campaign group Liberty, said: “When people care deeply about an issue, it’s natural for them to make their voices heard at the place where decisions are made.
“For centuries, protesting outside Parliament has been how people have campaigned for positive change in society, from the right to vote to equal marriage.
“We’ve already seen a tightening on how people protest outside Parliament through the Policing Act 2022, and these plans could extend that much further.”
LONDON — The U.K. government is mulling plans which would hike household energy bills to help pay for a new nuclear energy plant.
Ministers are considering tweaking the funding deal for Sizewell C, a proposed £20 billion nuclear plant in Suffolk, as they scramble to attract investors.
Under one proposal being looked at in Whitehall, the development would be part funded by electricity suppliers — and those firms “would be expected to pass these costs onto consumers through their electricity bills,” according to a consultation paper on the plans.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is set to publish its response to that consultation later this week, according to two industry figures granted anonymity to discuss the process.
Officials insist potential additional charges to consumers would be low. But any move leading to higher bills would be controversial during a cost-of-living crisis driven by two years of rising energy costs.
Three people will be charged with criminal damage following a Greenpeace protest at Rishi Sunak’s home in North Yorkshire, prosecutors have said.
Mathieu Soete, 38, Amy Rugg-Easey, 33, and Alexandra Wilson, 32, will each be charged with one count of criminal damage over the protest last August in the prime minister’s Richmond constituency, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
Mr Soete, of Hackney, and Ms Rugg-Easey and Ms Wilson, both from Shiremoor in North Tyneside, are due to appear at York Magistrates’ Court on 21 March, according to the CPS.
A fourth suspect is due to answer bail at a later date.
Activists were pictured last year atop the roof of Mr Sunak’s grade II-listed manor house in Kirby Sigston, near Northallerton, which they draped with oil-black fabric in protest over what they called a new fossil fuel drilling “frenzy”.
The prime minister was on holiday in California at the time of the demonstration.
GB News was left embarrassed after the right-wing channel’s own poll showed that an overwhelming majority of respondents want to rejoin the EU, not a result that the channel would’ve been happy with.
Over the weekend, eight years after Britain left the EU, GB News decided to carry out a poll to gauge public opinion on Brexit. They would’ve done well to remember that a number of polls over recent months have shown that a majority favour rejoining the EU, with the demand to reverse Brexit reaching is highest ever level in one poll.
However, GB News decided to put their poll behind a paywall, meaning that only paying readers could participate. Author Edwin Hayward then decided to tweet a link to the poll which bypassed the paywall, allowing others to join in on the voting.
With a wider sample now participating in the poll, the overwhelming majority of votes went to rejoin, with over 90% of voting to rejoin the EU.
“The evidence points to a significant long-run output cost of Brexit,” the economists at Goldman’s wrote.
Yet more evidence has emerged of just how disastrous the decision to leave the EU has been for the UK economy, with economists at Goldman Sachs group saying that real GDP has underperformed by about 5%.
In a research note published earlier this month, Sven Jari Stehn and colleagues said that Brexit had resulted in reduced growth and higher inflation, with ‘reduced international trade, weak business investment and a drop in migrants coming from Britain’s largest trade partner all contributing’, Bloomberg has reported.
It comes as a number of studies have warned of the harmful consequences of Brexit, with the Bank of England saying last year that the decision to leave the EU has cost the average UK household £1,000, due to a lack of investment following the referendum.
WEDNESDAY is a fresh moment of truth for British politicians. For the second time, they will have the opportunity to vote in the House of Commons for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
Since they backed the Israeli aggression by a majority last November, the genocidal assault on the Palestinians has only intensified.
More than 100,000 people have now been killed or wounded, nearly 5 per cent of Gaza’s total population. Of the dead, more than a third are children.
To date, the British government has not just acquiesced in this. It has enabled it — with arms supplies, logistical support, diplomatic backing and political indulgence.
It is complicit in genocide. So too is the Labour Party, which under Keir Starmer’s pro-imperialist leadership — it is the only issue on which he never wavers or changes course — has been hard line in its backing for the British and Israeli governments alike.
“They have amassed untold wealth off the back of death, destruction, and spiraling energy prices,” a Global Witness investigator said of a new analysis.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches its second anniversary, one group has clearly benefited: the five biggest U.S. and European oil and gas companies.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies have made more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in profits since the war began, according to an analysis published by Global Witness on Monday.
“This analysis shows that regardless of what happens on the front lines, the fossil fuel majors are the main winners of the war in Ukraine,” Global Witness senior fossil fuels investigator Patrick Galey said in a statement. “They have amassed untold wealth off the back of death, destruction, and spiraling energy prices.”
Big Oil’s profits were fueled in part by high wholesale gas prices, which were already elevated before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and skyrocketed afterward. All five companies covered by the analysis reported record profits for 2022.
This bonanza came as the conflict killed more than 10,000 Ukrainian civilians.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been devastating for millions of people, from ordinary Ukrainians living under the shadow of war, to the households across Europe struggling to heat their homes,” Galey said.
During 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden accused Big Oil of “war profiteering.”
Global Witness calculated that BP and Shell have raked in enough since the war began—at £75 billion—to pay all British household electricity bills through July 2025. Chevron and ExxonMobil have made a combined $136 billion while Total has netted $50.4 billion.
These massive profits also come as the climate crisis, driven primarily by the burning of fossil fuels, continues to escalate. 2023 was the hottest year on record, and likely the hottest in 125,000 years. Yet instead of using their record profits to invest in renewable energy technology, the five major oil companies have cut back on their climate initiatives and handed massive payouts to shareholders.
“This is yet another way in which the fossil fuel industry is failing customers and the planet.”
Of the more than $280 billion the five companies have brought in since the war began, they returned what Global Witness said was an “unprecedented” $200 billion to shareholders. At the same time, Shell rescinded a promise to curb oil production by 2030 and said it would fire around 200 people employed by its green jobs division. BP, meanwhile, slashed its emissions reduction target from 35-40% of 2019 levels by 2030 to 20-30%.
The money paid to shareholders is also money that could have been paid to help communities adapt to the climate crisis or recover from the damage it has already caused. The $111 billion that the five companies paid to shareholders in 2023 alone is 158 times more than the money pledged to climate-vulnerable nations at COP28, and the €15 billion that TotalEnergies rewarded shareholders with was more than the €10 billion that France needed to recover from droughts and storms in 2022.
Galey said the companies were now “spending their gains on investor handouts and ever more oil and gas production, which Europe doesn’t need and the climate cannot take.”
“This is yet another way in which the fossil fuel industry is failing customers and the planet,” Galey said.