Wednesday 22 May 2024

To Stand, Or To Stand Aside?

At this General Election, I have been a declared Independent candidate for the constituency containing Lanchester since before the last one. The boundary changes have moved Lanchester into North Durham, which I will contest unless the Workers Party of Britain did so.

I am of course supporting the Independents whom it is also supporting because they were already established on the ground, although the ones who were in that position four and a half years ago are mostly or entirely sitting MPs, and hardly any more than those have stood for Parliament before, as I did in 2019.

I need an answer from the Workers Party. Will it be contesting North Durham? If so, then I will stand aside. But I do need to know, and I need to know soon. Shall we say Sunday?

How Far Britain Has Fallen

Peter Oborne writes:

Forty-three years ago, the Jewish Chronicle interviewed Margaret Thatcher, then the British prime minister, in the wake of Operation Babylon, the illegal Israeli attack on an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor near Baghdad.

The interviewer, Monty Modlyn, accused Britain of being “the leading advocate of the Arab case against Israel” and expressed his perplexity that Thatcher had accused Israel of “a grave breach of international law.”

Thatcher stood her ground: “I uphold international law. Once we go away from that, we shall not know where we are.”

Then she delivered a moral lecture for the ages.

“If we are not going to live by a system of international law, we are going to live by international anarchy,” she said. “Then no people anywhere in the world are safe.”

Compare and contrast Thatcher’s eloquent defence of the international order with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s reaction to the International Criminal Court (ICC) announcing that it is seeking arrest warrants against both Hamas and Israeli leaders in connection with alleged crimes against humanity.

Thatcher, though a strong supporter of the state of Israel and a famous admirer of the Jewish people, threw her weight behind international law.

Sunak has trashed it, saying the court ruling was “deeply unhelpful” before parroting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s talking point that the ICC had implied a “moral equivalence” between Hamas and Israel.

Insidious pattern

These remarks display a wilful failure to understand the rule of law. The ICC was not asked to make any judgment about equivalence.

The court, which Britain helped to set up as a tribunal to judge political leaders accused of war crimes, faced one simple task: to establish whether there were grounds to apply for arrest warrants.

Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of one of the most respected courts around the globe, was clear that those grounds existed.

They included, as far as Netanyahu is concerned, starvation of civilians as a method of warfare; intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population; and extermination by starvation, among other charges.

The Sunak government’s attack on the ICC is part of an insidious pattern. Earlier this year, Sunak mocked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for its decision to investigate Israel in the face of a plausible genocide.

As with the ICC, Britain is a signatory of the ICJ and claims to celebrate its values.

Not anymore. Something has changed in Britain over the last four decades, and the example of Thatcher shows how much.

I was her admirer then and remain so now, even though I accept that she was - and remains - hated by the left, and sometimes for good reasons. But she grew up in the 1930s and became a young woman in the war years. Like almost all of that magnificent wartime generation, she understood through lived experience the importance of the rule of law, and the need for powerful institutions to defend it.

As she told the Jewish Chronicle, justice was not optional, and it must apply to friends as well as enemies.

Pariah state

That’s why Thatcher would have come out in defence of the ICC prosecutor against the gangsterism underlying US calls for sanctions against the court.

She would have flayed Netanyahu for his demented attack on Khan for alleged antisemitism, “blood libel”, and creating a “twisted and false moral equivalence between the leaders of Israel and the henchmen of Hamas”.

And she would have mocked US President Joe Biden for a shameless double standard. International law, she would have lectured the US president, applies to friends and enemies alike. That means Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hamas leader Yayha Sinwar - and Netanyahu.

Only one British mainstream politician spoke the language of Thatcher last week, and it wasn’t a Tory.

The Labour Party’s foreign affairs spokesman, David Lammy, articulated Thatcher’s well-grounded vision when he spoke up for the ICC and the rule of law in the Commons this week.

Under Thatcher, Britain was one of the strongest upholders of the international order. Sunak’s blind support for the most far-right government in Israel’s history is turning Britain into a pariah state.

This is not just a calamity for Palestinians; it a tragedy for the Tory party, and of course, for Britain. Our blind support is a disaster for Israel, too. If Britain was a true friend, we’d be helping Israel find a way out of its bloody moral morass, not lending it support as it digs even deeper.

Feinstein’s Challenge: A New Hope

Paul Knaggs writes:

In an era where political integrity often takes a backseat to opportunism, Andrew Feinstein’s announcement that he will stand against Keir Starmer in the Holborn and St Pancras constituency is a breath of fresh air. As a former African National Congress MP who resigned on principle over a corrupt arms deal, Feinstein brings a track record of unwavering commitment to ethics rarely seen in British politics today.

While Starmer’s Labour lurches further rightward, abandoning progressive pledges and embracing austerity, Feinstein represents the antithesis – a proud Jewish activist advocating for a new left movement guided by honesty, equality and human rights. “Our democracy is in crisis,” he laments, with “The two main parties…virtually indistinguishable in their offers of permanent austerity, forever wars and environmental degradation.”

His vocal opposition to the genocide unfolding in Gaza and steadfast support for Julian Assange’s release from prison damningly highlight Starmer’s moral compromises. Feinstein rightly accuses Starmer of “supporting genocide in Gaza” and having “backed the Conservative government’s indefensible position on the crisis, rather than demanding an end to the carnage.”

In Feinstein’s own stirring words, the crisis of democracy demands “a people-centred politics focused on the many not the super wealthy; a politics driven by integrity and honesty, rather than opportunism and mendacity.” His campaign will champion revitalised local engagement, fighting homelessness, privatisation and the soaring costs that have made daily life a struggle for so many of his prospective constituents.

Crucially, he promises to be the accessible, accountable representative that Starmer has failed to be – holding weekly public surgeries, monthly report-backs and consulting residents before every major vote. A palpable departure from Starmer’s growing factionalism and authoritarianism in the area.

Some may dismiss Feinstein’s candidacy as quixotic, running against one of Labour’s preeminent MPs. But his credibility and clarity of purpose provide a tantalising alternative to those repulsed by the soulless managerialism of Starmer’s “electability” doctrine. He offers a timely reminder that politics can still be a catalysing force for justice, rather than an amoral pursuit of power at any cost.

Whether Feinstein pulls off an upset or simply bloodies Starmer’s nose remains to be seen. But win or lose, his campaign has already enriched our public discourse by reintroducing the idea that integrity in leadership should be non-negotiable.

An uplifting concept in an era where such virtue often seems antiquated.

The Manchester Bombing Cover-Up Continues

Mark Curtis writes:

Will the truth about the UK secret state’s connections to the Manchester bomber ever be revealed? Not if MI5 and David Cameron can help it.

The security service has been decidedly unforthcoming in revealing what it, and other UK intelligence agencies, knew about Salman Abedi in the months and years before he detonated his bomb at the Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017.

The report of the public inquiry into the bombing, published in March last year, was a very British establishment affair.

The inquiry chairman, Sir John Saunders, allowed MI5 to reveal almost nothing that was not already in the public domain about what it knew about the Abedi family.

Crucially, Saunders made little attempt to probe UK government policies during its war in Libya in 2011, when David Cameron was foreign secretary. Salman Abedi and his family fought on the same side as Britain during that war.

He was taken to the conflict at age 16 by his father, and may have gained military experience and training there.

Evidence emerged that the Abedis had joined militias (the February 17 Martyrs Brigade and the Tripoli Brigade) that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

Yet the inquiry did not probe how the British military and security services had supported those groups at the time, even though some information was available from open source material.

One key witness to the inquiry was a friend of the Abedis who was in contact with Salman prior to the bombing. He was a member of the Tripoli Brigade and admitted to being trained by Nato during the war.

There was little probing as to whether the Abedis might have also received such training.

Letting off Cameron

David Cameron, the foreign secretary during the Libya war, has been very conspicuously let off. He wasn’t even called to give evidence to the inquiry.

Evidence has emerged that MI5 and MI6 encouraged radicals such as the Abedis, and other British-Libyans based in Manchester, to fight in Libya, and allowed them to travel to the country, a hotbed of terrorism, for years afterwards.

Why did Cameron’s government allow this? No serious efforts were made by Saunders to probe this issue.

It is key because the Manchester bomber’s father is widely reported to have been a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – which was a banned terrorist group in 2011.

Remarkably, the inquiry report didn’t even mention that Britain was an active party to the war in Libya.

Neither was anyone from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) required to answer questions about how the UK military assisted the 17 February Brigade during the war – even though we published evidence showing Whitehall knew the militia would benefit from regime change. / Where were MI6 and GCHQ?

MI6 has escaped all accountability despite its extensive contact with the LIFG going back several decades.

From its collusion in the 1990s in a plot to kill Gaddafi, to its suppression of the group after 9/11, the LIFG was well known to MI6.

Saunders found it was likely that Salman Abedi was assisted in his bombing plans by people in Libya and in the terrorist training camps there. So why wasn’t the secret intelligence service required to give evidence about what they knew of this?

And why wasn’t Britain’s largest intelligence agency, GCHQ, which monitors communications and says it is central to all Britain’s wars, called to say what it knows?

The tragic murder of 22 people in Manchester was likely blowback from a foreign policy debacle that has destabilised north Africa for well over a decade.

MI5 accountability

The victims’ families are now taking MI5 to court for failing to stop the bombing. The inquiry at least found that the security service missed opportunities to stop Salman Abedi.

Largely as a result of the intensive efforts of the lawyers for the victims’ families, the head of MI5 was forced to apologise for his agency’s failings – a significant admission which might offer some solace to the bereaved families.

But they deserve the full truth.

The agency should be required to say what it knows about any British collusion with the Abedis. At the inquiry, MI5 was allowed to give nearly all its evidence in secret, closed sessions.

Saunders only allowed certain lines of questioning to be pursued and the inquiry’s terms of reference did not explicitly say the policies of UK government agencies would be investigated.

That’s not good enough.

Neither is MI5’s silence about another extraordinary episode – when in 2014, Abedi was allowed to travel to Libya unhindered and was even rescued from the country by the Royal Navy.

The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) stated that after Salman and his brother Hashem were rescued, they agreed to be “debriefed”.

What does this mean?

When Peter Weatherby, one of the victims’ families’ lawyers, questioned GMP witness Dominic Scally whether they were in fact debriefed, he said: “I’m afraid that’s one of the areas I can neither confirm or deny what we may hold about that.”

The MoD isn’t keen to reveal the truth either. When Alba MP Kenny MacAskill recently asked the department if the Abedi brothers were debriefed, minister James Heappey told parliament that, “having completed a search of relevant records, we have found no information pertaining to the question”.

The victims’ families are right to keep pressing MI5. The British establishment clearly has much to hide.

Why Realists Oppose The War In Gaza


At first glance, you might think that foreign-policy realists wouldn’t care one way or the other about what Israel is doing in Gaza. Yes, it’s a humanitarian disaster and possibly a genocide, but is brutal behavior all that rare in the conduct of international politics? Aren’t realists the first to point out that in a world with no central authority, governments are going to take the gloves off if they think they will benefit and that no one will stop them? Consider how the United States reacted after Pearl Harbor or after Sept. 11, how Russia is acting in Ukraine, or how the contending forces are behaving in Sudan, and you’ll see what I mean.

Yet prominent foreign-policy realists—including Chas Freeman, John Mearsheimer, and yours truly—have been highly critical of Israel’s conduct in Gaza and the Biden administration’s support for it. Isn’t it odd that adherents of a hard-nosed and unsentimental approach to world politics are suddenly talking about morality? Nope.

Some of the confusion arises from a common misconception about realism; namely, that its proponents think ethical considerations should play little or no role in the conduct of foreign policy. This is a silly charge, as even a casual reading of the realist canon would reveal. Hans J. Morgenthau wrote a whole book exploring the tensions between political efficacy and moral principles, and he emphasized that “the moral issues [of politics] raise their voice and demand an answer.” E. H. Carr was not a genuine realist, but he did write one classic realist work and made it clear that one could not exclude considerations of morality from political life. Virtually all of Kenneth Waltz’s writings on international politics focus on the problem of peace and the conditions or policies that reinforce or undermine it, and he repeatedly criticized the tendency of powerful states to commit evil acts in the pursuit of idealistic objectives. And prominent realists like George Kennan, Walter Lippmann, Morgenthau, Waltz, and their intellectual descendants opposed many of America’s recent wars of choice, on both strategic and moral grounds.

Like all human beings, those of us who think realism provides a useful way to think about world politics also have moral convictions and would like to live in a world where those principles were observed more consistently. Indeed, realists care about the moral dimensions of international politics precisely because they recognize how easy it is for states and other political groups to commit immoral acts. Realists are not surprised by what is happening in Gaza—as noted above, plenty of other states have done horrendous things when they felt their vital interests were at stake—but that hardly means that realists approve of what Israel and the United States are doing. Realists’ criticisms of the war in Gaza arise in part from their appreciation of the limits of military power and the importance of nationalism. They are acutely aware of the difficulties foreign invaders typically face when attempting to dominate or destroy another people with armed force, which is why they concluded that Israel’s attempt to destroy Hamas by bombing and invading Gaza was doomed to fail. It is increasingly clear that Hamas is going to survive Israel’s onslaught, and even if it doesn’t, new resistance organizations are bound to emerge as long as Palestinians are occupied, denied basic political rights, and gradually dispossessed of their lands.

Equally important, realists oppose Israel’s actions (and U.S. complicity in them) because the combination is undermining America’s global position. The war in Gaza has made it clear that America’s commitment to a “rules-based order” is meaningless; it is frankly hard to believe that U.S. officials can still utter that phrase with a straight face. The recent U.N. General Assembly vote granting new “rights and privileges” to Palestine—which passed 143-9 with 25 abstentions—was a revealing indicator of America’s growing isolation, as was the repeated U.S. veto of U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for a cease-fire. The top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has applied for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for war crimes and crimes against humanity (along with Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri). Washington will no doubt reject this step, further underscoring how out of step it is with much of the world.

Public opinion polls also suggest U.S. popularity has declined sharply in the Middle East and slightly in Europe, while support for China, Russia, and Iran has risen. Less than one month into the war, a report from the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy warned: “America is losing compared to its opponents because of the war in Gaza. The percentage of Arabs who believe America has a positive role in the war amounts only to 7 percent, with figures as low as 2 percent in countries like Jordan. By contrast, the percentage of Arabs who say that China has a positive role in the conflict included 46 percent in Egypt, 34 percent in Iraq, and 27 percent in Jordan. … Moreover, it seems that Iran has been a major beneficiary of this war. On average, percentage of those who say that it had a positive impact in the war is 40 percent, compared to 21 percent [of] those who say that it has a negative impact. In countries such as Egypt and Syria, the percentage who say that Iran has a positive influence in Gaza is even higher, reaching 50 percent and 52 percent respectively.”

And the war isn’t cheap. The U.S. Congress has authorized billions of dollars of additional aid to help Israel decimate Gaza, along with $320 million for that floating pier the United States had to construct because the “ally” we are backing wouldn’t let relief agencies send trucks in to deliver humanitarian aid. U.S. military forces have been using up expensive missiles and bombs against the Houthis in Yemen, who began to terrorize ships in and around the Red Sea in protest to what Israel is doing. I know: These amounts aren’t that much for a country with a $25 trillion economy, but it would be nice to spend this money helping Americans instead of helping kill Palestinians in Gaza. The next time congressional budget hawks say they must cut some domestic programs, remind them how eager they were to pay for Israel’s war.

The war is also burning up vast amounts of top officials’ time, energy, and attention. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Director William Burns have made repeated trips to the region and spent countless hours wrestling with these issues. So have other top officials, including President Joe Biden himself. The time U.S. leaders have devoted to a conflict between roughly 15 million people in Israel and Palestine is time that they could not spend visiting key allies elsewhere, devising a better policy in Ukraine, developing an effective economic strategy for Asia, marshaling global support to address climate change, or any number of far more important issues.

The big winners? Russia and China, of course. For many people around the world—and especially much of the global south—the carnage in Gaza validates Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recurring charge that global U.S. “leadership” sows conflict and suffering and that the world would be better off in a multipolar order where power was shared more evenly. You may not agree with that argument, but millions of people already do, and our current policy makes it look a lot more credible. In the meantime, Chinese leaders aren’t wasting their time flying to Israel for the privilege of being humiliated by Netanyahu; they are busy mending fences, cultivating economic connections, and solidifying the “no limits” partnership with Russia. They must be giving thanks every single day for the costly distraction that the war in Gaza has become for the United States.

Lastly, realists object to what Israel is doing because it brings the United States precisely zero strategic benefits. Although its value was sometimes exaggerated, during the Cold War one could plausibly argue that Israel was a useful check against Soviet influence in the Middle East. But the Cold War ended more than 30 years ago, and unconditional support for Israel is not making Americans more secure today. Some of Israel’s defenders now claim it is a powerful bulwark against Iran and a valuable partner against terror; what they fail to mention is that our relationship with Israel is one of the reasons the United States has a bad relationship with Iran and one of the reasons that terrorists like al Qaeda decided to attack the United States.

The plain fact is that bombing Gaza back to the Stone Age is not going to make Americans safer or more prosperous, and it is totally at odds with the values that Americans like to proclaim. If anything, it might make the United States slightly less secure, if it inspires a new generation of anti-American terrorists like the late Osama bin Laden. Nor is this policy going to make Israel safer; only a political solution to the conflict can do that.

And that’s why realists like me shake our heads about what the United States and Israel are doing today. On some rare and wonderful occasions, states can pursue a policy that advances their strategic interests and their moral preferences simultaneously. At other times, they face trade-offs between the two and must make hard choices between them (typically in favor of the former). But in this case, the United States is actively undermining its strategic interests and supporting the mass killing of innocent people, largely because U.S. leaders are trapped in an outdated view of the conflict and are overly deferential to a powerful interest group. For any good realist, doing evil for no good purpose is the worst sin of all.

The Safeguarding Challenge: Day 315

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Board of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, currently Nazir Afzal, Amanda Ellingworth, Wesley Cuell, Bishop Paul Mason, Sarah Kilmartin, Jenny Holmes, Sir David Behan, and Sr Una Coogan IBVM.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Committee, currently Gail McGregor, Paul Weatherstone, Fr Christopher Hancock MHM, Canon William Agley, Catherine Dyer, Canon Martin Stempczyk, Canon Peter Leighton VG, Maureen Dale, and Tony Lawless.

And that purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Team, currently Meriel Anderson, Ian Colling, Andrew Grant, Kirsty McIntyre, Lisa Short, Yvonne Brown, and Petra Scarr.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide. I should emphasise that there is absolutely no risk that I might ever give anyone the satisfaction of my suicide.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The CPS Challenge: Day 315

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of its organised persecution of the opponents and critics of Keir Starmer, which is its principal national priority.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from contesting the next General Election.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from seeking the position of General Secretary of Unite the Union.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from proceeding with my candidacy for the office of Mayor of the North East Mayoral Combined Authority.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a thinktank to strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a weekly magazine of news and comment, a monthly cultural review, a quarterly academic journal, and perhaps eventually also a fortnightly satirical magazine.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from taking journalistic, political or other paid work for fear of losing my entitlement to Legal Aid.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service out of the same racism that has caused it to refuse to prosecute the Police Officers in the case of Stephen Lawrence.

And I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to incite my politically motivated murder, a murder that the CPS has already decided would never lead to any prosecution.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Board, currently Monica Burch, Stephen Parkinson, Simon Jeffreys, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan, and Kathryn Stone.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the CPS senior leadership, currently Tristan Bradshaw, Dawn Brodrick, Mike Browne, Steve Buckingham, Matthew Cain, Gregor McGill, Grace Ononiwu, and Baljhit Ubey.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, currently Simon Jeffreys, Stephen Parkinson, Michael Dunn, Deborah Harris, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Nominations, Leadership and Remuneration Committee, currently Kathryn Stone, Stephen Parkinson, and Monica Burch.

And each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the 279 members of staff of the CPS North East Area, by definition including, but not restricted to, Chief Crown Prosecutor Gail Gilchrist, and the Area Business Manager, Ian Brown.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Clergy Challenge: Day 1019

I invite each and every bishop, priest and deacon of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if he thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me.

Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know. The current total is zero.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Representatives Challenge: Day 1019

As already stated on the day after my release: "The instant that Labour lost control of Durham County Council, then I was granted an unsolicited tag for more than 10 weeks of future good behaviour. I invite each and every Member of Parliament for the area covered by Durham County Council, each and every member of Durham County Council, and each and every member of Lanchester Parish Council, to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know." The current total is zero.

Since Lanchester is be moved into North Durham by the boundary changes, I invite each and every other candidate for that parliamentary seat to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. In this case, names most certainly will be published, including as part of my election literature. The current total is zero. If that remained the case when the next General Election was called, then my literature would state that each and all of my opponents, by name, did not think that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. At least in that event, then I challenge Oliver Kamm to contest this seat.

And since I am a candidate for Mayor of the North East Mayoral Combined Authority in 2028, or whenever we could get Kim McGuinness out before that, I invite her and every other candidate for that office to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. In this case, names most certainly will be published, including as part of my election literature. The current total is zero. If that remained the case when the election came, then my literature would state that each and all of my opponents, by name, did not think that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Two Years On

One of my greatest hits has been this about Ukraine, published two years ago today. See how it stands up.

Blood and Water

On Wednesday, the Liberal Democrats tried to amend the Criminal Justice Bill to make water company bosses criminally liable for sewage in the rivers, the lakes and sea. The Conservatives voted against, and Labour abstained. As did the SNP, come to that, although Plaid Cymru voted in favour. When it comes to promises about the contaminated blood scandal, then remember what the three largest parties in the House of Commons have done, or not done, about the ongoing poisoning of the public. And remember that all of them, and the Lib Dems, have been responsible for the NHS at some point during the very long period in question.

It was also the Lib Dems who were directly responsible for the privatisation of the Royal Mail. As long ago as 2011, the Post Office had to be hived off from the Royal Mail because the whole City knew about Horizon and would have refused to have bought the Royal Mail in its complete form, or to have handled the sale. Now look up the shareholder base of the Royal Mail, which is not unlike that of the water companies. Yet now even that is to yield to Daniel Kretinsky, who would have no interest in it if he had not been assured of the end of the universal service obligation. He is being advised by Chuka Umunna. Politically, of course he is. But more broadly, Managing Director of JPMorgan Chase? Really? Umunna had only ever been a solicitor and an Opposition MP. Welcome back to the Labour Party as we knew it before 2015. Thank goodness that its latest poll lead is only 16 points, half what it was supposed to have been a couple of weeks ago, and with several months to go before the General Election.

When I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

I have no plan to join the Workers Party of Britain, although nor would I expect to stand against it. If, however, it did not contest North Durham, then I would. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start.

Andrew Feinstein: Why I Am Standing Against Keir Starmer


Our democracy is in crisis. The two main parties are virtually indistinguishable in their offers of permanent austerity, forever wars and environmental degradation.

Keir Starmer, the MP for Holborn and St. Pancras where my family and I have lived for around 22 years, is emblematic of this crisis. His politics are mendacious, unprincipled and in the interests of his billionaire donors rather than the constituents he was elected to serve.

I have seen real leadership in action: I was privileged to serve under Nelson Mandela as an MP in South Africa. His leadership was selfless, principled, accountable, transparent and honest. Everything that Keir Starmer is not.

His almost immediate abandonment of many of the ten progressive pledges on which he was elected to lead the Labour Party is a clear sign he cannot be trusted.

Starmer has now gone a step too far by refusing to support an unqualified ceasefire and a halt to arms sales to Israel amid the greatest human tragedy since World War Two: the genocide being committed in Gaza.

How is it possible that a former human rights lawyer, who must see the horrific images that we all view on our screens every day, has not even commented on the highest court in the world’s interim ruling that Israel is likely committing genocide and ethnic cleansing?

The ICC’s decision to seek an arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes, including “starvation of civilians, wilfully causing great suffering and cruel treatment”, casts Starmer’s support for a siege of Gaza – cutting off water and power – in an even more appalling light.

His attempts to deny such support, despite video evidence confirming it, smacks of a remarkable lack of honesty or contrition.

He has backed the Conservative government’s indefensible position on the crisis, rather than demanding an end to the carnage, to occupation and to apartheid – the only route to a just peace in the region.

The Labour Party’s appalling stance on Gaza has fuelled a concern, enunciated most explicitly in a report written by Martin Forde KC, that the party operates a ‘hierarchy of racism’.

It oxymoronically expels life-long anti-racist Jews, supposedly to combat antisemitism, while taking little if any action against Islamophobia and anti-black racism.

As Nelson Mandela opined: “You are either against all forms of racism and discrimination, or you are part of the racism problem.”

Stop arming Israel

The UK government, supported by the Labour Party, is not only enabling and facilitating the genocide in Gaza, but also profits from it through the continuing sale of the weapons being used to kill innocents.

I believe these arms sales are in contravention of British arms export controls, our obligations under international law and as signatory to the International Arms Trade Treaty.

The notoriously corrupt British defence sector has for decades routed money to our main political parties and to individual politicians – mostly once they have left office, for decisions taken while in office.

These companies are the most heavily subsidised by the public purse, meaning that we the taxpayer are subsidising the arms being used in Gaza, the undermining of the rule of law and the corrupting of our political system.

I am committed to rooting out corruption in politics. I resigned from the South African Parliament on principle in 2001 because our then President Thabo Mbeki refused to allow an unfettered investigation by my oversight committee into a massively corrupt arms deal which benefited senior ministers, officials, corporate executives and my own party.

Since then, I have spent the past 23 years investigating and writing about political corruption, especially in the global arms trade: the most corrupt of all trades – the bribes from which oil the wheels of our political system.

Local democracy matters

Starmer’s growing authoritarianism comes as no surprise to those of us who live in Holborn and St. Pancras. Since he became our MP in 2015, Starmer has brought divisive, factional politics to the area.

Decent, committed and competent residents were purged from Labour Party structures. We witnessed undemocratic local selection processes that became a feature across the country. It fosters real concern about what a Starmer-led government will do in power.

What seems clear is that not only will the disadvantaged be ignored, but our civil rights and civil liberties will be even more restricted than they have been under the Tories, in a failing attempt to quell opposition to their complicity in genocide.

As a constituency MP Starmer has failed the people of Holborn & St. Pancras. Rents have soared, social housing is inadequate and there’s far too much homelessness. Our increasingly privatised NHS is failing – yet Starmer’s Labour will only privatise it further. Public transport routes have been reduced, benefits slashed and the cost of living crisis makes daily life a struggle for so many, compounding child poverty.

I will address these crucial issues by demanding greater investment from local and national government in opposition to the Labour Party’s self-imposed, punishing fiscal constraints. I will oppose privatisation of vital services and create consultative local fora between affected residents and service providers.

As a Member of Parliament, I will guarantee the people of Holborn and St. Pancras that I will hold a weekly surgery to address their needs and issues. Constituents will be invited to Parliament every week to observe the workings of our sclerotic legislature and my work there.

To revitalise our democracy, I will undertake a monthly public report-back session and engage with local residents before every significant Parliamentary vote. I will work exhaustively to represent all the people of the constituency who will, after all, be paying my salary. And if Camden workers are on strike, I will always support them and stand by them and their unions on a picket line.

We urgently require a new politics: a people-centred politics focused on the many not the super wealthy; a politics driven by integrity and honesty, rather than opportunism and mendacity; a politics in pursuit of greater justice and equality at home and abroad, and a more peaceful, environmentally sustainable, less corrupt Britain and planet.

The Safeguarding Challenge: Day 314

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Board of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, currently Nazir Afzal, Amanda Ellingworth, Wesley Cuell, Bishop Paul Mason, Sarah Kilmartin, Jenny Holmes, Sir David Behan, and Sr Una Coogan IBVM.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Committee, currently Gail McGregor, Paul Weatherstone, Fr Christopher Hancock MHM, Canon William Agley, Catherine Dyer, Canon Martin Stempczyk, Canon Peter Leighton VG, Maureen Dale, and Tony Lawless.

And that purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Team, currently Meriel Anderson, Ian Colling, Andrew Grant, Kirsty McIntyre, Lisa Short, Yvonne Brown, and Petra Scarr.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide. I should emphasise that there is absolutely no risk that I might ever give anyone the satisfaction of my suicide.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The CPS Challenge: Day 314

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of its organised persecution of the opponents and critics of Keir Starmer, which is its principal national priority.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from contesting the next General Election.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from seeking the position of General Secretary of Unite the Union.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from proceeding with my candidacy for the office of Mayor of the North East Mayoral Combined Authority.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a thinktank to strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a weekly magazine of news and comment, a monthly cultural review, a quarterly academic journal, and perhaps eventually also a fortnightly satirical magazine.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from taking journalistic, political or other paid work for fear of losing my entitlement to Legal Aid.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service out of the same racism that has caused it to refuse to prosecute the Police Officers in the case of Stephen Lawrence.

And I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to incite my politically motivated murder, a murder that the CPS has already decided would never lead to any prosecution.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Board, currently Monica Burch, Stephen Parkinson, Simon Jeffreys, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan, and Kathryn Stone.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the CPS senior leadership, currently Tristan Bradshaw, Dawn Brodrick, Mike Browne, Steve Buckingham, Matthew Cain, Gregor McGill, Grace Ononiwu, and Baljhit Ubey.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, currently Simon Jeffreys, Stephen Parkinson, Michael Dunn, Deborah Harris, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Nominations, Leadership and Remuneration Committee, currently Kathryn Stone, Stephen Parkinson, and Monica Burch.

And each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the 279 members of staff of the CPS North East Area, by definition including, but not restricted to, Chief Crown Prosecutor Gail Gilchrist, and the Area Business Manager, Ian Brown.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Clergy Challenge: Day 1018

I invite each and every bishop, priest and deacon of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if he thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me.

Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know. The current total is zero.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Representatives Challenge: Day 1018

As already stated on the day after my release: "The instant that Labour lost control of Durham County Council, then I was granted an unsolicited tag for more than 10 weeks of future good behaviour. I invite each and every Member of Parliament for the area covered by Durham County Council, each and every member of Durham County Council, and each and every member of Lanchester Parish Council, to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know." The current total is zero.

Since Lanchester is be moved into North Durham by the boundary changes, I invite each and every other candidate for that parliamentary seat to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. In this case, names most certainly will be published, including as part of my election literature. The current total is zero. If that remained the case when the next General Election was called, then my literature would state that each and all of my opponents, by name, did not think that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. At least in that event, then I challenge Oliver Kamm to contest this seat.

And since I am a candidate for Mayor of the North East Mayoral Combined Authority in 2028, or whenever we could get Kim McGuinness out before that, I invite her and every other candidate for that office to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. In this case, names most certainly will be published, including as part of my election literature. The current total is zero. If that remained the case when the election came, then my literature would state that each and all of my opponents, by name, did not think that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Monday 20 May 2024

48 Weeks On

Nominations have been closed for 48 weeks, so when is the election?

If you know, you know.

A Modern Revolutionary Interpretation?

Even if the circumstances leading up to it were questionable in the extreme, sometimes a helicopter crash in the fog is just a helicopter crash in the fog. We shall never know. But having destroyed, in Artsakh, one of the oldest Christian civilisations in the world, Azerbaijan is the main supplier of oil and gas to those who are actively trying to destroy the oldest of all, including the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem, burning down churches and spitting on priests as a matter of religious obligation. In turn, Israel arms Azerbaijan to the teeth, whereas Iran's air fleet is not very advanced at all, even if neither Iran, nor Russia, nor China, quakes at the prospect of war with the country that cannot find enough planes to stage a parachute drop on the eightieth anniversary of D-Day.

Although it has made it all the way to his Wikipedia page, never before today was Ebrahim Raisi called "the Butcher of Tehran". Now, don't get me wrong. He was a very nasty man. With very nasty enemies. The 1988 executions were mostly of the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (Mojahedin-e-Khalq), which the Americans relocated to Albania between 2013 and 2016, not without local resistance, although it also maintains a considerable presence in the France of Emmanuel Macron, as well as an office in Cricklewood.

The longstanding neoconservative and liberal-interventionist aim has been to install as Iran's new regime the weirdest political cult in the world, which has been based in exile since 1981, leaving it no constituency in a country of which half the population is under 30 years of age. Consider how the world turns, since that outfit was headquartered for many years in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, where it participated in atrocities committed by the Iraqi Revolutionary Guard. When Raisi was slaughtering its members in Iranian prisons, then they were there for having waged a terrorist campaign in support of their country's enemy in time of war, an enemy that had invaded that country. During the Iraq War, Biden's, Bush's and Blair's Boys bombed the PMOI/MEK into surrender, as part of a deal with Iran to hand over certain al-Qaeda suspects who were of course in any case opponents of the Iranian regime. Oh, how the world does turn.

Opponents of the Iraq War were screamed down as Islamists and revolutionary Marxists due to the presence of a few of each in our enormous ranks. But now the plan is to hand over Iran to the people who really do manage the remarkable feat of being both, yet who were nevertheless closely allied to Saddam Hussein. Or is it? Affections seem lately to have been transferred to the ridiculous fantasist Reza Pahlavi, who is supported by a mostly elderly three per cent of Iranian-Americans, heavily concentrated in and around Los Angeles, and by almost no one else in the world. They have been prominent in the off-the-books state and institutional violence against the pro-ceasefire encampment at UCLA, along with the charming Narek Palyan.

Throughout this century, the Israeli flag has been prominent at Far Right events the world over, while the Iranian monarchist flag may also be seen at the small but vicious pro-Netanyahu counterdemonstrations in London, at which Palyan would be entirely at home. Those habitually assault the Police, who nevertheless have to tolerate them under political pressure to provoke a confrontation with the peaceful marchers for peace, and thus to provide a pretext for banning those events and for rounding up tens of thousands of dissidents for the Julian Assange treatment. If you rightly thought that that threat were real now, then imagine that the Prime Minister had been the Director of Public Prosecutions who had tried to send Assange to Sweden for transportation to the United States, and the Leader of the Opposition who had called for Gaza to be starved as a method of warfare.

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

I have no plan to join the Workers Party of Britain, although nor would I expect to stand against it. If, however, it did not contest North Durham, then I would. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start.

Blood Brothers?

Destruction of evidence, you say? Durham Police now has conclusive proof that the person who lied to send me to prison, and who has lied again to bring about the farcical but ongoing attempt to send me back there, has also done precisely that. Those in possession of all relevant material include the Police and Crime Commissioner, with whom I used to be a hospital governor, and my Member of Parliament, who is a Cabinet Minister, as well as a number of local, regional and national journalists. Plus the Crown Prosecution Service. And the Church, of course, which would not lie about something like this in general, but least of all for that person, whose nearest thing to an ecclesiastical protector, himself a thoroughly disreputable character, has in any case just died. It's over. It is over, and I have won.

The statement by all parties that full compensation of the victims of the contaminated blood scandal would cost whatever it cost is a rare admission in so many words that as a sovereign state with its own free-floating, fiat currency, the United Kingdom has as much of that currency as it chooses to issue to itself, with the fiscal and monetary means to control inflation, means that therefore need to be under democratic political control in both cases. If it can be bought in the pound sterling, then, as the sovereign issuer of the pound sterling, the British State can afford it. Yet on democratic political control of monetary policy, Labour has today been outflanked on the left by the Conservative Way Forward Group, although that Group can say in all fairness that Margaret Thatcher never did surrender that control.

And for buttons, although of course including kickbacks, Wes Streeting wants to sell England's National Health Service to the American private companies that had sold it contaminated blood products. Oh, for an adult relationship with the United States, such as many other countries do enjoy. Although today has been a good day for that. Up to a point. Rebecca Joynes, convicted of sex with two of her 15-year-old pupils, is on bail, even though it was when she was bailed for sex with the first one that she seduced the second and got pregnant by him. Yet convicted of nothing in Britain (and of nothing more than hacking in Australia, where he learned the lesson that many of us have learned about being deceived into a guilty plea), Julian Assange is still in Belmarsh, which is clearly killing him. That it should kill him would seem to be the purpose. But being half-dead means that he is hardly a flight risk. When in much better health, he was only ever one of those over the Swedish "rape" allegation, of which the less said, the better.

Still, today's ruling was welcome as far as it went, and they do say that good things come in threes. Today has also been the day that Jacob Zuma has been found constitutionally ineligible to stand for Parliament, a story that is one of many reasons to look forward to the election of Andrew Feinstein at Holborn and St Pancras, and the day that the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the magnificently British Karim Khan KC, has applied for arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu, Yahya Sinwar, Yoav Gallant, Ismail Haniyeh and Mohammed Deif. So what that Israel is not a party to the ICC, something that speaks for itself? Tellingly, nor is either Russia or Ukraine. It is good to see the mask of "the rules-based international order" slip. You cannot seriously be proposing to vote for Joe Biden now, can you? Or for Keir Starmer, who expressly defended Israel's "right" to impose the "starvation as a method of warfare" for which Netanyahu and Gallant now face arrest, sending David Lammy out to do the rounds to repeat that obscenity? When Israel used a weapon from Britain to kill three British aid workers, then it was only giving effect to the British Labour Party policy that Gaza should be starved.

Such proponents of that as there are, were out on Saturday in the form of the tiny, screeching mob that the Police allowed at the Piccadilly Circus bottleneck due to pressure from the Government to provoke a confrontation with the entirely peaceful march for peace. Unlike the main demonstrators, that little gang usually assaults the Police, who therefore got off lightly this time. But if there were anything like that presence again, then the reason would be clear: the Government, under pressure from the loonies in and around its own party, had ordered the Police to create a confrontation, which there has only ever been from the supporters of Suella Braverman and "Tommy Robinson", who came equipped to stab the Police and who did so in some numbers, and from Gideon Falter, who also assaulted a Police Officer. Braverman was Home Secretary at the time of those stabbings, which she had incited. But if you rightly thought that that was bad, then imagine that Starmer were Prime Minister and that the Home Secretary were Yvette Cooper.

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

I have no plan to join the Workers Party of Britain, although nor would I expect to stand against it. If, however, it did not contest North Durham, then I would. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start.

Crisis Centre

I am delighted for Roz Adams, who, like J.K. Rowling and like several regular contributors on these matters, bears more than a passing resemblance to the middle-aged, middle-class women who are conspicuous on trans marches and at similar events. Young men tend to be sceptical of this as much as of #MeToo and all that, as well as tending to be very left-wing economically, and strongly anti-war internationally; all those things are connected.

But behind a small number of mostly older drag queens march hordes of young women, a large minority but still a minority of whom think that they are men. Alongside those young women march a goodly number of their academic instructors and administrators of the same sex, as such instructors and administrators do now tend to be. Whether she likes it or not, Judith Butler is a woman. By some distance, she is the most cited female academic in the world. And who is citing her? Humanities academia is ever more heavily female.

Still in thrall to one of the two most androgynous figures ever to have emerged in British public life, who contended that a man or a woman could be "self-made" and who destroyed the stockades of working-class male employment while creating a new ruling class of middle-class woman funded and empowered by the State, the Right produces almost none of its own gender critics, and of course ignores the soundness of the Morning Star and of Counterfire on gender self-identification, or the fact that both the Alba Party and the Workers Party of Britain have been founded in no small measure because of this issue.

Instead, a platform is given, and we do have to be grateful that it is given to anyone, to ostensible refugees from a Left from which their economic views had often suggested a dislocation, and their foreign policy views even more so, long before anyone remotely mainstream had ever suggested that human beings could change sex, or that biological sex did not exist, or anything like that.

Knowing their new audience and that it paid a lot better than their old one, and manifesting the fact that centrism and right-wing populism were con tricks to sell exactly the same economic and foreign policies to different audiences by pretending to wage a culture war, the permitted voices of gender criticism joined gleefully in the takedown of Jeremy Corbyn, are gearing up for another round of that against his Independent candidacy, broadly hint that they think that Alex Salmond was a rapist after all, simply call Julian Assange a rapist in so many words, therefore never miss an opportunity to brand George Galloway "a rape apologist", and parrot the #IBelieveHer case for the genocide of Gaza, a case that several of them have made for every previous neoconservative war, and most of them for at least one.

Those of a certain age have dusted down the file of lurid allegations that they deployed against working-class men during the Satanic panic of the Thatcher years, and which have been levelled, practically word for word, against every designated enemy since. At best, they raise no objection to the same treatment of racialised communities in Britain, who are today's Enemy Within, which is why that status will very soon be enjoyed again by the working class in general and by working-class men in particular, insofar as that has ever ceased to be the case.

In the meantime, people whose intersection of sex, class and generation matches the gender critics' perfectly, and who are usually the same colour as well, expel pro-ceasefire students, send in thugs to give them a beating, connive to revoke their visas, and so on. All while driving out or keeping down the gender critics, and while marching with those who threatened them with extreme violence. Those centrist mums and centrist aunties need to have a word with their own peers.

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

I have no plan to join the Workers Party, although nor would I expect to stand against it. If, however, it did not contest North Durham, then I would. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start.

The Safeguarding Challenge: Day 313

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Board of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, currently Nazir Afzal, Amanda Ellingworth, Wesley Cuell, Bishop Paul Mason, Sarah Kilmartin, Jenny Holmes, Sir David Behan, and Sr Una Coogan IBVM.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Committee, currently Gail McGregor, Paul Weatherstone, Fr Christopher Hancock MHM, Canon William Agley, Catherine Dyer, Canon Martin Stempczyk, Canon Peter Leighton VG, Maureen Dale, and Tony Lawless.

And that purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Team, currently Meriel Anderson, Ian Colling, Andrew Grant, Kirsty McIntyre, Lisa Short, Yvonne Brown, and Petra Scarr.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide. I should emphasise that there is absolutely no risk that I might ever give anyone the satisfaction of my suicide.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Clergy Challenge: Day 313

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of its organised persecution of the opponents and critics of Keir Starmer, which is its principal national priority.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from contesting the next General Election.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from seeking the position of General Secretary of Unite the Union.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from proceeding with my candidacy for the office of Mayor of the North East Mayoral Combined Authority.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a thinktank to strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a weekly magazine of news and comment, a monthly cultural review, a quarterly academic journal, and perhaps eventually also a fortnightly satirical magazine.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from taking journalistic, political or other paid work for fear of losing my entitlement to Legal Aid.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service out of the same racism that has caused it to refuse to prosecute the Police Officers in the case of Stephen Lawrence.

And I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to incite my politically motivated murder, a murder that the CPS has already decided would never lead to any prosecution.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Board, currently Monica Burch, Stephen Parkinson, Simon Jeffreys, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan, and Kathryn Stone.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the CPS senior leadership, currently Tristan Bradshaw, Dawn Brodrick, Mike Browne, Steve Buckingham, Matthew Cain, Gregor McGill, Grace Ononiwu, and Baljhit Ubey.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, currently Simon Jeffreys, Stephen Parkinson, Michael Dunn, Deborah Harris, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Nominations, Leadership and Remuneration Committee, currently Kathryn Stone, Stephen Parkinson, and Monica Burch.

And each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the 279 members of staff of the CPS North East Area, by definition including, but not restricted to, Chief Crown Prosecutor Gail Gilchrist, and the Area Business Manager, Ian Brown.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Clergy Challenge: Day 1017

I invite each and every bishop, priest and deacon of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if he thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me.

Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know. The current total is zero.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Representatives Challenge: Day 1017

As already stated on the day after my release: "The instant that Labour lost control of Durham County Council, then I was granted an unsolicited tag for more than 10 weeks of future good behaviour. I invite each and every Member of Parliament for the area covered by Durham County Council, each and every member of Durham County Council, and each and every member of Lanchester Parish Council, to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know." The current total is zero.

Since Lanchester is be moved into North Durham by the boundary changes, I invite each and every other candidate for that parliamentary seat to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. In this case, names most certainly will be published, including as part of my election literature. The current total is zero. If that remained the case when the next General Election was called, then my literature would state that each and all of my opponents, by name, did not think that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. At least in that event, then I challenge Oliver Kamm to contest this seat.

And since I am a candidate for Mayor of the North East Mayoral Combined Authority in 2028, or whenever we could get Kim McGuinness out before that, I invite her and every other candidate for that office to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. In this case, names most certainly will be published, including as part of my election literature. The current total is zero. If that remained the case when the election came, then my literature would state that each and all of my opponents, by name, did not think that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me.

This post will appear daily until further notice.