Labour Reckon Civil Service Think Their Disarmament Plan is “Brilliant”

How’s this for a conference laugh. Labour’s “Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament” Fabian Hamilton has recounted the tale of what happened when Emily Thornberry met the Foreign Office permanent under-secretary Sir Simon McDonald during the election to discuss the event of a Labour win. The plan for day one: appoint a Cabinet minister with responsibility to disarm the UK…

“Just before the General Election on June 8th, Emily Thornberry and Jennifer Larbie, Head of International Policy for Jeremy’s Office, they went to see Sir Simon McDonald who is the Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, that means by the way that he is the boss, he’s the senior United Kingdom Diplomat… When Emily and Jennifer put to Sir Simon that the idea that if we won on Thursday and if we win in the future – when we win in the future – we will create, because it’s in the manifesto, a Minister, a Secretary of State, a Cabinet role, for Peace and Disarmament, and that would include the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. And McDonald’s reply was: ‘Brilliant, that’s a really good idea.'”

Oh to have seen Sir Simon’s face…

Speaking at a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament fringe meeting, Hamilton also recounted a phone call with Corbyn during which he said the Labour leader reiterated his opposition to nuclear weapons:

“He [Jeremy Corbyn] said: ‘You and I have been active in Parliamentary CND and I have always taken the view that our independent nuclear deterrent is a waste of money and worse.'”

A member of Labour’s National Policy Forum outlined plans to bring forward motions at next year’s conference to make nuclear disarmament official party policy. George Downs said scrapping nukes was “Jeremy’s vision” and the left’s capture of the party’s Conference Arrangements Committee could be used to bring it about:

“Fingers crossed this time next year we will be debating the National Policy Forum Report which includes nuclear disarmament, but if not a contemporary motion which isn’t ruled out of order by this new Conference Arrangements Committee, and we can get Labour Party policy which is in line with Jeremy’s vision.”

Could unilateral disarmament become official Labour policy this time next year?

Michael Eavis Says Corbyn Told Him He’ll Get Rid of Trident

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has said Jeremy Corbyn told him he will get rid of Trident “as soon as I can“. Quotes via Somerset Live:

When asked about the Labour leader’s appearance, Michael Eavis said: “Wasn’t he fantastic?”

“I said to when are you going to be prime minister? He said: ‘In six months’.”

Eavis said he asked Corbyn: “When are you going to get rid of Trident?”

“He said: ‘as soon as I can’.”

And Jezza’s Glasto appearance was going so well. Penny for Nia Griffith’s thoughts…

Corbyn Nuked

The most wounding moment of the night: Corbyn takes a battering from several audience members on nuclear weapons and then refuses to answer an audience member entirely. The tittering and laughter from the audience said it all… Corbyn found out at last?

Corbyn Suggests Labour Could Scrap Trident

Corbyn reopens the old Trident wounds, suggesting a Labour government would look again at its renewal and refusing to say if it will be in his manifesto. Paging Nia Griffith…

Government’s Trident Spin Misfires

Below Guido tracks the government’s spin on the Trident misfire over the last 48 hours:

  • Saturday night: Sunday Times reports “serious malfunction” during Trident test, missile “may have veered off in the wrong direction towards America”.
  • MoD says in a statement that it was “successfully tested and certified”.
  • Sunday: On Marr, Theresa May refuses to answer questions about what she knew and when.
  • Monday morning: Number 10 spokesman insists the test was “successful” in certifying the crew and submarine. Says May was informed. Won’t say if she was told about any ‘misfire’.
  • Monday afternoon: Michael Fallon tells Commons not to “believe everything you read” in Sunday Times. Won’t say what in their report is inaccurate. Says test was “successful” and “satisfactory“. Won’t comment on details of any ‘misfire’.
  • May repeats the “successful” line in pool interview.
  • While Fallon is speaking, US official tells CNN the test ended in failure, and that rather than “veering” towards the US coast, the trajectory was part of an automatic self-destruct sequence.

The government’s line from Saturday night to Monday afternoon is that the test was “successful”. The US now say it was a failure…

Blue on Blue: Sir Craig Oliver v Julian Lewis

Sir Craig Oliver has lost it with Julian Lewis after the Tory Defence select committee chair claimed this morning that David Cameron’s spin doctors had covered up the Trident misfire. Sir Craig put out a statement blasting Lewis for “making these claims without any evidence”. On the Daily Politics Lewis doubled down:

“A very senior former Cameron spin doctor has rung up my office in a state of great anger, saying they never knew anything about it. I have to say it was a great pleasure to convey the message to Sir Craig Oliver that he ought to issue a press release on the subject, and I hope he will do so in great detail and depth. But nevertheless, if he didn’t know, did the Prime Minister know? And if the Prime Minister knew, why didn’t he make the matter public and why didn’t he tell even his closest spin doctors?”

Sir Craig’s statement was on behalf of a “spokesman for Mr Cameron’s media team“. When the spokesman needs a spokesman, as someone once said…

May Refuses to Answer Trident Question Four Times

Theresa May refuses four times to answer Marr’s questions about the Trident cover-up reported in the Sunday Times:

MARR: When you made that first speech in July in the House of Commons about Trident did you know that misfire had happened?

MAY: Well, I have absolute faith in our Trident missiles. When I made that speech in the House of Commons, what we were talking about was whether or not we should renew our Trident…

MARR: Did you know that it had happened?

MAY: I think that we should defend our country. I think that we should play our role within Nato and have an independent nuclear deterrent. Jeremy Corbyn thinks differently…

MARR: This is a very serious incident. Did you know about it when you were talking in the House of Commons?

MAY: And the issue that we were talking about in the House of Commons was a very serious issue…

MARR: Prime Minister, did you know?

MAY: There are tests that take place all the time regularly for our nuclear deterrence. What we were talking about in that debate that took place…

That’s a yes then…

Anti-Nukes Nat Made Case For Nuclear Deterrent in 2005

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The attention-seeking Nat who asked Theresa May if she would “kill a hundred thousand innocent men, women and children” yesterday was George Kerevan. The SNP MP has today written a long piece in the National explaining why the nuclear deterrent has been a disaster “for decades”:

“For decades, maintaining the so-called independent deterrent has detracted from delivering a successful civilian industrial policy… Instead, let’s spend the £100bn Trident 2 will cost on revitalising industry for civilian and export purposes. And finally end the pretence that Britain’s nuclear deterrent is anything but Labour’s long-time vanity project.”

Of course, in 2005 the very same George Kerevan wrote in the Scotsman about his support for keeping Britain’s nukes:

“Nuclear proliferation is a fact of global life. Anyone who really thinks Britain giving up its nuclear stockpile will persuade the Iranians to play ball is hopelessly naive and probably lives in New Zealand (which no one is going to nuke anyway). For that reason, Britain should hang on to a minimum nuclear deterrent until there’s enough democracy around to feel safer.”

Former Scotsman editor Iain Martin recalls how “George was v hawkish post-9/11” and remembers him being “v pro nuclear deterrent” in leader conferences. Usually CND types like George grow up and ditch their unilateralism, not the other way round…

UPDATE: David Roach, the Tory candidate who stood against George Kerevan in the last general election says that he advocated that the UK should set an example to the world and unilaterally disarm.

“I used to repeatedly ask him in hustings how long he thought it would be before Russia, North Korea and Pakistan would follow that example. Suffice to say he never answered. Just kept dodging it and would say he had a Damascus moment while researching for a piece on America’s nuclear capability when he was a journalist at The Scotsman.”

Nothing to do with it being a pre-requisite for would be SNP candidates hoping for selection…

Scargill “Disgusted” With Corbyn

Arthur Scargill tells the BBC that Jezza has sold out on the EU and Trident:

“The message he should be putting forward is the one that we stood on the platform for and argued over what, 20 or 30 years, alongside Tony Benn and myself, and that is we should be coming out of the European Union; we should be calling upon people to vote ‘no.’ Secondly, he should be very clear and say the party’s policy is now clearly to scrap Trident… quite frankly, he’s done a u-turn, and I’m sorry to say I’m saddened and disgusted with the way that he’s behaved with these u-turns on fundamental policy.”

Watch what Corbyn really thinks about Brussels here

Labour NEC Backs 9/11 Apologist Whose Trotskyist Group Defends ISIS

gerrymayday20131

Gerry Downing, a key member of the Trotskyist revolutionary group Socialist Fight, says he has won an appeal to be reinstated to the Labour Party after he was excluded last year. A self-confessed “Trotskyist with ambitions to end capitalism on the planet by socialist revolution”, Downing was kicked out for publicly supporting a different party. He then appealed to the Corbynista-controlled NEC, and now claims they have found in his favour. Downing says this is what the Labour Compliance Unit told him:

“The NEC panel has reviewed your appeal against the rejection of your membership and made the decision to accept the appeal… it has been decided that you should be re-joined as a member”

Downing himself has defended the 9/11 hijackers, writing:

“it is the justified outrage of the oppressed as opposed to the outrage of the oppressor, one violence is that of the slave and the other is that of the slave-owner. One is progressive, no matter how distorted its actions are, and must never be ‘condemned’… That is the entirely understandable motivation for 9/11 and suicide bombers… not understanding the mind-cast of the 9/11 hijackers, refusing to examine the causes that drove them on and still drives the likes of ISIS means you can never tackle the problems as serious Marxists”

And who are Downing’s organisation Socialist Fight? The group openly apologises for ISIS on its website:

“We defend the ‘Islamic State’ in Syria and Iraq against the bombing of US imperialism but do not ally with them against the Kurdish defenders of Kobane and Rojava (Western Kurdistan).”

They then go further, apparently calling for “tactical military assistance” in defence of ISIS:

“Whilst giving no political support to the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Sunni and Shia militias in Iraq, Hamas or Fatah in Palestine, Gaddafi (as was) in Libya, Assad in Syria, the ‘Islamic State’ in Syria and Iraq, the theocratic regime in Iran or the Donbass leadership in Eastern Ukraine we recognise US-led world imperialism as the main enemy of humanity and so advocate critical support and tactical military assistance from the working class to all those fighting for the defeat of imperialism”

A Labour spokesman has been approached for comment on whether the NEC did indeed find in Downing’s favour, and whether he has been reinstated. His local Brent CLP are said to be fighting against his membership tooth and nail…

Named: Labour Trident Rebels

corbyn

These are the 14 Labour rebels who defied Jeremy Corbyn and voted to keep Trident this evening:

Kevin Barron
Ben Bradshaw
Mary Creagh
Chris Evans
Jim Fitzpatrick
Liz Kendall
Chris Leslie
Madeleine Moon
Albert Owen
Jamie Reed
Emma Reynolds
Angela Smith
Gisela Stuart
John Woodcock

And these are the six who ignored Corbyn’s order to abstain and voted to scrap it:

Roger Godsiff
Ronnie Campbell
Kelvin Hopkins
Graham Stringer
Dennis Skinner
Geoffrey Robinson

Well at least Jezza didn’t rebel against his own whip…

Submarine Warfare on Commons Corridors

Labour moderate John Woodcock is having a good go at defending Trident renewal in the House this afternoon. This was the imaginative leaflet Woodcock had hung on MPs’ doorknobs in parliament this morning:

Yet one anti-Trident parliamentarian is not going down without a fight. This was found on SNP MP Pete Wishart’s door today:

A severe escalation of hostilities, or just sub-par?

H/T @claire_pearsall

Ken Blamed Paris and Boston Attacks on the West, Defended Putin and Hamas

Anti-Trident Ken Livingstone has announced that he will co-chair Labour’s defence review. Corbyn clearly doesn’t trust his pro-Trident Shadow Defence Secretary Maria Eagle to do it herself. Guess on whom Jezza’s top new defence strategist blames the Paris attacks:

“All these terrorist attacks, the statements they make on their websites and so on are all about foreign policy… it’s the endless interventions of Britain and America and France in Arab countries that has come back to haunt us. After the fiasco of Afghanistan and Iraq, Britain and America and France are just not credible in this.”

Yes, merely 48 hours after the attacks, Ken really was piling into the French…

He has form: after the Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three and injured 200, Livingstone blamed America for “fuelling” the atrocity. He told Iranian state television channel Press TV:

“There was such ignorance in the Bush White House about Islam and the history of so many disputes that exist in the Middle East. People get angry — they lash out. It’s the whole squalid intervention that has disfigured the record of the western democracies and I think fuels the anger of the young men, who — as we saw in Boston — went out, and, out of anger and a demand for revenge, claimed lives in the west.”

Speaking to Kremlin-controlled Russia Today last year, Ken called for alliance with Russia and Iran and repeatedly defended Putin over Ukraine:

“Russia must be a key player in it, Iran should be a key player… [on Ukraine] You cannot blame Putin. This is an absolute tragedy, but it is not something planned and plotted by Putin. And that is the line being dished out from Washington and the British government… Let’s make it clear, Russia did not destabilize Ukraine… Now you have got a Russian president who puts Russia’s interests first.”

What about some of Ken’s other foreign policy views? In 2009 he told Israelis “don’t complain” when Hamas terrorists fire rockets at their civilians:

What is it with Corbyn’s new defence strategist and blaming the victim?

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