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THREAD: The Magnificent Seven (in their own minds, at least). I'm sure the good people of Britain would like an introduction to these brave, glorious defenders of democracy. Meet Chuka, Chris, Angela, Mike, Ann, Gavin and Luciana. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.
This is Chuka. In 2016, Chuka sat on the Home Affairs Select Committee, which recommended 'clarifications' to the IHRA definition on antisemitism.
The Committee found "no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party". Strangely, this didn't stop Chuka slamming the Chakrabarti Report because... who knows?
Despite the conclusions of the very Select Committee he sat on, Chuka went on to fulminate against the Labour Party's proposed code of conduct on antisemitism (which provided the very clarifications his Committee had called for), and refer to Labour as "institutionally racist".
In December 2016, Chuka urged Remain campaigners to abandon calls for a second referendum or risk being seen as a metropolitan elite “who think they know best". standard.co.uk/news/politics/…
In September of the same year, he had also said "If continuation of the free movement we have is the price of Single Market membership then clearly we couldn’t remain in the Single Market". politicshome.com/news/europe/eu…
On the basis that, when Chuka says something on an important issue, you can rest assured he'll say the opposite a couple of years later, he is now a leading campaigner for a 2nd referendum. Chuka is proud of his principles. But don't worry: if you don't like them, he has others.
Meet Chris. A man so unknown to the British people, he isn't even a household name in his own household, Chris has had a truly illustrious political career. Which in 2005, somehow included him losing his seat to Philip Davies, one of the most reactionary men in Britain. #winning
But fear not! Our hero returned to Parliament, and became Shadow Financial Secretary, then Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, at a time Labour were pro-austerity. His crowning glory was becoming Shadow Chancellor... at a time Labour had no leader.
As a Very Important Man, Chris had no time for party democracy and the members granting Jeremy Corbyn a landslide victory in 2015, so resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. Such courage and principle from our Chris! A man so much to be admired.
Last June, Chris published a Social Market Foundation (a think tank known across the left for its true Labour values) pamphlet: "Centre Ground: Six Values of Mainstream Britain". That this pamphlet amounted to a manifesto for a centre party was, I'm sure, just a total coincidence
In September, Chris lost a vote of no confidence tabled by his local party. Once more showing that where Chris is concerned, his democratic values shine through like nothing else, he didn't turn up for the vote.
And just before Christmas, as the government tottered from disaster to apocalypse, Chris decided to try and interrupt Corbyn's speech in the Commons again, and again, and again, and again. You can't blame him: he's a Very Important Man, and the world needed to hear his views.
Here's Angela. Angela is Labour to her very core, so I'm sure today's decision must have pained her greatly. She's shown her true Labour values on a whole variety of different occasions - which she deserves to have set out. Ah Angela, if only more MPs had principles like yours.
In 2007, Angela voted unsuccessfully to keep her expense details secret. Nothing untoward in that: why would the public want to know about her claiming for four beds for a one-bedroom flat in London? Anyone could make that mistake! Just a regular person is our Angela.
As a believer in opportunity and true meritocracy, Angela employs as her Parliamentary Assistant... her husband. True family values there. Setting an example for us all.
In 2016, Angela and her husband were repeatedly taken to football and dinner by Whitehouse Construction, a sub-contractor to Anglian Water and member of the 'Future Water Association', an industry group led by private water firms, which also fund the All Party Water Group.
By some unfathomable coincidence, Smith opposes Labour's plans to renationalise the water industry. She's cited a Social Market Foundation (they get everywhere, don't they?) report, commissioned by the water industry (well someone has to pay for it!) in support of her argument.
In fact, she believes that re-nationalisation "could make us the dirty man of Europe again". theguardian.com/commentisfree/… British consumers, beset with ever-increasing bills and no choice, while shareholders carve off massive profits, thank Angela warmly for protecting them.
In Angela, the Magnificent Seven have a true leader who represents 'mainstream opinion'. Only today, she's referred to the BAME community as "funny tinted". AT LAST! Someone prepared to speak up for them and hit racism where it hurts. Top darts, Angela.
Any serious political party needs a cheeky chappy to liven things up and keep the punters coming back wanting more. Lovely jubbly! Meet Mike. A long-serving MP and passionate West Ham fan (cut him some slack! Everyone has their faults), Mike's Labour values are unimpeachable.
Believing in spreading freedom around the world, Mike voted for the Iraq War, for which he has never apologised. He also consistently voted against any inquiry. His constituents, uninformed about such matters, thank him for representing their views so well theyworkforyou.com/mp/10219/mike_…
In 2001 and 2005, Mike was the victim of an OUTRAGEOUS smear campaign by Muslim groups, which included the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (UK). These groups accused poor Mike of being "anti-Muslim". Affronted, Mike thought to himself, "I'll show you lot".
What better way for someone to show how pro-Muslim they are than by (1) Voting for an illegal, barbaric war which killed so many Muslims (2) Opposing any inquiries into it (3) Never apologising (4) Going on trips to Saudi Arabia paid by the regime? nwemail.co.uk/news/barrow/16…
Long-suffering Iraqis and Saudis, whose lost families and friends to American and British bombers or to one of the most evil regimes on the planet - a regime which had Jamal Khashoggi chopped up and dissolved into acid - are grateful for Mike's solidarity with them.
As, too, are Yemenis. After Khashoggi's death, Mike finally spoke out against the Saudi government, and even suggested a suspension to arms sales. A brave, principled move. webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache… Except now, the statement's vanished from his website?! mikegapes.org.uk/2018/10/17/mik…
Judging by what happened this morning, we can only assume the Independent Group (ALL HAIL!) put Mike in charge of ensuring their website would run smoothly. There can, surely, be no other possible explanation for the disappearance of that statement.
A couple of weeks back, Mike once again showed how much he'd learned from Iraq by publicly calling for Labour to support the imposition of an unelected President on Venezuela. Such solidarity with the Venezuelan people. Such regard for others. All in a day's work for Mike.
This is Ann. Like Mike, Ann is in fully-fledged youth: 72 years young. Clearly, she has everything to lose by joining this new group: she's risking decades of noble public service ahead of her! Such courage. Ann, you are an example to us all.
Ann has done extremely important work tackling child sexual exploitation. She's also suggested the intriguing idea of... scrapping juries in cases of rape? It's a delight to see such commitment to due process and the right to a fair trial from such a distinguished stateswoman.
Ann has also been consistently prudent and parsimonious. What better example could an elected politician set than by claiming £1000 per month on mortgage interest and £160 per month for a cleaner? Ann is just like one of us. No different to her constituents, obviously.
Joining Ann in this veritable crusade for truth and justice is Gavin. AKA, "Never Heard of HIm". Gavin takes severe umbrage to suggestions that he's some arch-mediocrity. A true progressive, Gavin was opposed to same sex marriage.
And as a man of science and evidence, Gavin signed a letter to the Advertising Standards Authority, asking it to reverse its decision to stop the Christian group "Healing on the Streets of Bath" from claiming that prayer can heal. He wanted indisputable evidence that it can't.
Finally, we come to Luciana. A true heroine and woman of the people. Why - all heroines and women of the people are friends with commoners like... the Prime Minister's son. Unlike Luciana, I clearly haven't hung out with enough regular people!
In 2010, Luciana was selected for Liverpool Wavertree, despite not even knowing who Bill Shankly was. That her selection occurred after she lived at the incumbent MP's home, and said MP's partner ran the selection process, was just a happy coincidence. liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool…
In 2011, Luciana found herself accused by a local councillor of "making his life unbearable". All his fault of course. Luciana was simply implementing those time-honoured, hugely efficient top-down managerial processes with which New Labour wowed us all. labour-uncut.co.uk/2013/06/05/cou…
Luciana went on to do genuinely good work on mental health, and has been subject to appalling abuse on this platform from a bunch of vile plankton. However, she has made pretty much no effort to differentiate abuse from random trolls with abuse from Labour members.
Last year, Luciana made a powerful, shocking speech in Parliament about the abuse she's had. She certainly has my support on that. What the media would never publicise, though, is how much similar abuse so many of us receive online: including from some who claim to support her.
With Luciana publicly refusing to back either Corbyn or the Labour Party, her constituency party had had enough, and tabled a vote of no confidence in her. For which it was promptly accused, by those who should've known far better, of antisemitism.
She's also heavily pregnant. I wish her all the very best with that: future health for her and her baby. It is, though, rather odd that her condition apparently made the confidence vote unreasonable... but hasn't stopped her resigning from the Labour Party? Quite remarkable.
Upon her resignation, Luciana once again claimed that Labour is "institutionally antisemitic". This flies in the face of all data, all evidence, from the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, and that Home Affairs Select Committee I mentioned.
That evidence, indeed, is why the very small number of expulsions for antisemitism from the Labour Party - membership well over half a million - shouldn't be any kind of surprise. It rather fits with the facts, rather than media-driven hysteria.
Regardless of all that: I continue to sympathise with Luciana over the abuse, and wish her well. As I do all the other departees.
So then, shall we summarise? (1) Supporting a 2nd referendum after previously opposing it. Claiming that Labour is antisemitic after sitting on a committee which found that it wasn't. (2) Supporting austerity and not turning up for democratic local no confidence votes.
(3) Huge expenses claims, gross nepotism, bought and paid for by the water industry and racism on national TV (4) Voting for an illegal, catastrophic war which destroyed this country's reputation and his own party; never apologising for it; going on paid-for trips to Saudi Arabia
(5) More huge, grotesquely offensive expenses claims, along with opposition to trial by jury (6) Opposition to same-sex marriage (7) Parachuted into a seat of which she knew nothing via dubious beyond belief means, and smearing half a million people.
These, then, are your Magnificent 7. These are the heroes who will save politics from that awful bearded chap who makes his own jam and brings hope to so many millions. Saving politics from their Panamanian server. We can only wish them the very best of luck. Because after all...
They'll need it.
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