Happy April 1st. Energy bills have gone up over 50%, council tax is rising, National Insurance has gone up, water bills are up, and even VAT on eating and drinking has gone up from 12.5% to 20%. The next year is going to be a long, hard slog for ordinary people. It’s almost unbelievable, therefore, that the news of MPs getting a £2,212 pay rise today hasn’t been more prominent.
Previous IPSA-foisted pay rises have forced MPs to publicly condemn the move and promise to pay it to charity – this time only a couple have. While Guido’s previous call for MP pay to be linked to the country’s economic performance was rejected by IPSA, it is plainly awkward for any MP trousering this latest handout as they vote for higher taxes on their constituents. Guido’s not doing an April Fools this year – the taxpayer is already being played for one.
If you are going to organise a rally protesting against Donald Trump, you should probably try to make sure it isn’t hijacked by cranks, extremists and anti-Semites. Alas, the speakers at this afternoon’s “Stop Trump” rally in Westminster are a roll call of wrong ‘uns…
While a Respect Party councillor in Birmingham, Yaqoob infamously refused to join applause for George Cross-winning war hero Lance Corporal Matt Croucher. L/Cpl Croucher threw himself on top of a Taliban grenade in Helmand in 2008, saving the lives of his colleagues. As decorated Croucher entered the council chamber, Yaqoob sat with her arms crossed.
Malia Bouattia (NUS President)
Disgraced Bouattia says the government’s anti-terror programme Prevent is fuelled by a “Zionist lobby“, has ranted about the “Zionist-led media” and has described the University of Birmingham as a “Zionist outpost“. She also refused to acknowledge the right of the State of Israel to exist during a Channel 4 News interview last year. Professor Carol Baxter, the NHS’s former head of equality, diversity and human rights, carried out a probe into Bouattia’s comments and found they “could be reasonably capable of being interpreted as anti-Semitic”. Rumours are circulating that she could be ousted from the NUS this week.
Asad Rehman (Friends of the Earth)
Asad Rehman is Friends of the Earth’s “international climate campaigner” but he engages on a variety of issues outside his realm of expertise: Rehman has tweeted his belief that Netanyahu and Israel are “best pals” with ISIS. He advocates banning “Zionist organisations” from climate change events. Real piece of work.
Murad Qureshi (Chair, Stop the War Coalition)
The West-hating Stop the War has praised the “internationalism and solidarity of ISIS”, blamed the French for the Paris terror attacks and refuses to oppose Russian bombing of Syria. Qureshi feebly claimed his organisation could not protest against Putin because the Russian Embassy is on a private road. As Peter Tatchell says of Qureshi’s group: “The Stop the War Coalition is in moral meltdown… over its one-sided Syria protests and its persistent failure to listen to appeals from democratic, anti-war and civil society activists inside Syria.”
Way to completely discredit your anti-Trump protest.