Tag Archives: Birmingham Erdington

Diary Blog, 9 January 2022, including a few more thoughts about Labour Party chances, and about Islington North

On this day a year ago

Jewish National Fund UK chair: ‘Jews have no future in England

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post earlier this month, Jewish National Fund UK chair Samuel Hayek warned British Jews may “feel more comfortable” after the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn but “the underlying issues have not gone away”.

In addition to suggesting British Jews should consider emigration, he said: “Let’s assume that Corbyn would have become prime minister. We all know our lives would have changed without recognition. We cannot even understand it fully.”

“Is it easy to sell their businesses?” he asked. “Could they do it quickly? Where would they go? To South Africa, the United States, Canada – hopefully, Israel.”

[Jewish News/Jerusalem Post] https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/jews-do-not-have-a-future-in-england-687711

Comment unnecessary…

Tweets seen

A Jew like Giles Coren can suggest that someone (Mira bar-Hillel, a Jewish, but anti-Zionist, journalist) who is both named, and known to Coren, be killed by Jew Zionists, but will the police take any interest? No, of course not; yet if you, as an English person, say “boo” not even to a Jew but about him (or her, or it), the skies will fall in as the police —or even, maybe, their “anti-terror command”— play at being a poundland KGB.

Labour Party

Interesting, and typical of many tweets seen this morning. Looks as if Keir Starmer’s Jewish-lobby “Labour” Party (Rachel Reeves, like Starmer and all his Shadow Cabinet, being a fervent member of Labour Friends of Israel) is not convincing many. I concede that Twitter is very unrepresentative, but offline I have not met an openly Labour supporter or voter for about 7 years.

That is one reason why I took a very early look, a few days ago, at the Erdington by-election. That looks very much like it is going to be a straight Labour-Conservative fight, in a situation where both main System parties have lost public confidence. The question is, which party is hated and/or despised the most?

In recent by-elections, the Conservative Party has done badly, losing two hitherto safe Con seats, but to the LibDems as relatively uncontroversial third party, not to Labour. Both Chesham and Amersham, and North Shropshire, were considered safe Con seats. Birmingham Erdington has been a safe Labour seat since the 1930s (with a near-upset in 1983).

The Conservative Party vote-share fell hugely in the two by-elections mentioned; it also fell at the 2021 Batley and Spen by-election (won narrowly by Labour), and that at Old Sidcup and Bexley (won easily by the Conservatives).

However, in all those by-elections except Old Bexley, the Labour vote also fell, and by a considerable amount. The Labour percentage vote-shares were: Batley and Spen 35.3%; Old Bexley and Sidcup 30.9%; North Shropshire 9.7%; Chesham and Amersham 1.6%.

Another, earlier, 2021 by-election, was that held at Hartlepool, in March 2021. There, in a seat always Labour since its establishment in 1974 (and usually also in the predecessor constituency), and where Labour candidates almost always scored over 50% (Peter Mandelson 60.7% in 1997), Labour’s losing (to Conservatives) 2021 by-election vote-share was only 28.7%.

None of Labour’s 2021 by-election results can be plausibly laid at the door of the departed Jeremy Corbyn.

Out of those 5 by-elections, only one success (Batley and Spen) and only one increase in vote-share (Old Bexley and Sidcup). To me, the results show that Labour is being seen as not only unpopular but as actually irrelevant. As I have noted before, the Keir Starmer “pitch” to the public is, more or less, “we support what the Government is doing, on the whole, but it should be doing it better, and while down on one knee and wearing a facemask“. Not very inspiring.

The odds must be that the Birmingham Erdington by-election will go Labour’s way, but I am unsure about that. Until the past few weeks, I should have said that the Cons were only a couple of points behind Lab in the constituency. Now? Hard to say. This may be a battle between two blocs of apathy…

Afternoon music

Islington North: more Labour Party news

A high-profile Labour woman who lost her seat ‘thanks to Jeremy Corbyn‘ should be the candidate to end his Commons career, it was suggested last night.

Party insiders say that one of several female MPs who lost in the disastrous 2019 election would be Labour’s best choice to stand against the former leader in his North London stronghold, Islington North.

Mr Corbyn is currently barred from standing as the Labour candidate in the next General Election because of a bitter antisemitism row with Sir Keir Starmer.” [Mail on Sunday]

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10382919/Labour-woman-lines-Jeremy-Corbyn-London-stronghold-Islington-North.html

I think that one can guess what (((type))) of individual thought up that bitter and vindictive “pound of flesh” idea…

Mary Creagh was one of the most active and fervent pro-Israel drones in the Commons; Ruth Smeeth, half-Jewish and descended on one side from East London gangsters, was exposed by Wikileaks as listed as a “to be strictly protected” secret informant by the U.S. Embassy in London. In effect, an agent or spy, to put it one way. It is not known (by me) whether she was paid for that. Before becoming an MP, she was also employed by the Israeli propaganda operation known as BICOM.

Both women were or are members of Labour Friends of Israel. Both were found well-paid jobs heading non-governmental orgs after the electors of their constituencies disposed of them.

As to what might well happen if one of those two is selected by the Jewish-lobby “Labour” Party now headed by Keir Starmer to contest Islington North, that might be interesting.

Islington North is a very solid Labour stronghold. The last election there won by the Conservative Party was in 1935. No Labour Party candidate since 1931 has recorded a vote-share below 40%.

Corbyn has been MP for Islington North since 1983, and his peak vote-share of 73% (in 2017) exceeded even that which he achieved in 1997 (69.3%) and that of the winning Labour candidate in 1945 (67.4%). In 2019, his vote was at 64.3%. Only when he was first elected in 1983 did his vote-share dip below 50% (40.4%), and that was because the Social Democratic Party stood, and garnered a vote of 22.4% (Con 25.3%).

How much of that solid Labour voting is for Labour label, and how much for Corbyn? We have seen many past examples of former Labour MPs standing as independent or small-party candidates, only to be swept away. No doubt Starmer and “Labour Friends of Israel” hope that that will happen in this case. I doubt it.

This situation is, as far as I know, unprecedented. Former Labour ministers have stood against Labour in the past (notably in the SDP days), and with mixed but generally poor results. Never, however, has a former Labour Party leader stood for election in a constituency, against an official Labour Party candidate.

Corbyn is extremely well-known, to say the least, both in the country generally (since 2015) and in the constituency (since 1983; 38 years…).

I should think that, in such unique circumstances, Corbyn would have every chance if he stood as Independent, or Independent Labour. I doubt that, with his background, he would start a new party.

The Conservative Party vote-share in the constituency peaked at 66.07% in 1931; since then, there has been an uneven but gradual decline overall. In the 1980s and 1990s, mostly in the 20%-30% range, and lower since then: the elections 1997-2019 show 12.9%, 10.8%, 11.9%, 14.2%, 17.2%, 12.5%, and finally 10.2%.

See the direction of travel below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islington_North_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Election_results

There is every chance that the Conservative vote will slip below 10% —maybe even below 5%— next time. That means that the contest will be between Corbyn (if he stands) and whoever Labour selects to oppose him. Corbyn may well be the front-runner.

As to the LibDems, their vote peaked at 29.9% in 2005, and in the last few elections has been in the 10%-20% range (15.6% in 2019). It may be that they could mount something of a challenge in a 4-horse race. If Con votes joined with LibDem votes, on 2019 figures, that might add up to 25% or so, but it seems unlikely even then, that they could do better than a second place.

A situation to watch.

Mary Creagh

I just saw a comment by one of Mary Creagh’s former Wakefield constituents:

Mary Creagh was our mp, unfortunately. She is the most arrogant, self-important, waste of space. She literally did nothihng for the Wakefield area. Her attitude is appalling, she just could not be bothered with the area. Goodness knows why people voted for her. Islington is welcome to her. Strange isn’t it that she is still blaming someone else for her loss. She lost because she asserted remain when our area had voted leave and still the penny has not dropped for her. Her sense of entltlement is staggering. Watch out Islington!

Mary Creagh had her eyes on things far more important to her than the poor people of Wakefield, namely the interests of Israel and the Jewish lobby, followed by the pro-EU Remain campaign. Her own career and money too, of course…

Seeing TV reportage of Mary Creagh crying in anger and frustration, after the voters of Wakefield binned her, was stellar.

Addendum: saw this comment about Islington Labour voters: “Young professionals who have never lived through a Labour government. Could they cope through another Winter of Discontent with constant strikes, sitting my candlelight with no heating and rubbish piled up in the street?

The “”Winter of Discontent” myth has become as ingrained as the old “holo (you know what)” farrago! I was in the UK (aged 22) during the said winter. There were strikes in some parts of the economy, yes, for a few weeks in some cases. Few people had their electricity supply interrupted; same with heating. As for rubbish piling up, yes, but only in some areas, and for a few weeks. The whole thing was short in duration and limited in effect(s). It was not the Siege of Leningrad. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_Discontent.

The “Winter of Discontent” has become one of those things that many think is so, but is only partly so, a bit like the aforesaid “holo” stuff and various other situations (eg that the UK only had basic foodstuffs until about 20 years ago, or that there were large numbers of blacks living in the UK in the 1960s or even 1950s.

You often see people moaning also about how terrible the whole of the 1970s were, with light and heat cut off because of strikes, and similar “facts”. In fact, the “three day week” and the power cuts affected mainly businesses, lasted weeks not months (in late 1973) and few domestic users were even affected. A few, for short periods. Yet you see people, even those who were there at the time spinning nonsense in newspaper comments sections, or on Twitter, about how they spent much of the 1970s without heat, light, or even food!

It does make me wonder about the fallibility of human memory.

Tweets seen

“Doctor”? Hardy ha ha…The law should be clarified as to who is entitled to use the designation and who should not (e.g. someone whose doctorate is merely a Ph.D. based on a study of a strike in a match factory in 1888…).

Rod Liddle strikes me (though I have never met him) as a remarkably unpleasant person, with some of whose views (not re. the “panicdemic”, obviously) I agree, from time to time. Why anyone should think his views on medicine in any way authoritative, I have no idea; Liddle’s mature-student degree was in Social Psychology: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Liddle.

Late afternoon music

Late tweets

Sometimes, non-violent resistance can work, if the regime opposed is not completely brutal and/or deranged; and if the time is right. It worked in the Baltic republics, the DDR and other Soviet satellites in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and indeed in the Russian core of the Soviet Union in the same period, but it would never have worked in, say, 1970s Cambodia.

Late music

What a voice that woman had! Unique.

Diary Blog, 8 January 2022, including a preliminary look at the upcoming Erdington by-election

Afternoon music

The above version recorded only a decade before the Soviet Union collapsed…

Saturday quiz

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This week, political journalist John Rentoul managed to tie with me. 7/10. Well done.

I did not know the answers to questions 3 and 10, and the answer to question 5 slipped my mind (well, after all, he is hardly Maurice Oldfield…).

On this day a year ago

A preliminary look at the upcoming Erdington by-election

The sitting MP for Birmingham Erdington, Jack Dromey, having died, there will be a by-election at some point, probably in March or April.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_Erdington_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

I shall blog in detail later, when the candidates have been declared. For the moment, it is possible to sketch only outlines.

Birmingham Erdington is considered a safe Labour seat, though not quite rock-solid now. The last non-Labour candidate was elected in 1936 (Conservative Party).

The lowest Labour vote since 1983 was recorded in 2010 (41.8%). However, that vote increased to 45.6% in 2015, then 58% in 2017, before slipping back a little to 50.3% in 2019. Dromey was first elected in 2010.

As for the Conservative Party vote-share, its high-water mark was back in 1931 (68.1%). It was closest to success (since the pre-WW2 era) in 1983, when Labour, with 39.8%, narrowly beat the Conservative candidate (39.2%), a majority of only 231 votes.

During the Blair era, the Conservative vote slumped well below 30%, but has recovered since: 32.6 % in 2010, 30.8% in 2015, 38.4% in 2017, and 40.1% in 2019.

In 2019, Brexit Party put up a candidate who scored 4.1%. While one cannot say that that 4.1% would otherwise have voted Con, it is more likely than not, putting the Conservatives maybe within a couple of points of Labour. However, recent opinion polling has shown that Conservative Party support, nationwide, has been sliding.

The potential level for any social-national candidate is hard to gauge, but in view of the fact that there presently exists no credible social-national party in the UK, my assessment of the likelihood even of a saved deposit for any candidate of that type is low. The BNP achieved 5.1% and a saved deposit in 2010, and achieved that, moreover, despite the existence of both UKIP (2.4%) and National Front (0.6%) candidates. Had only the BNP stood, then it is possible that its vote might have totalled over 8%, and —who knows?— even over 10%. Still modest, of course.

UKIP, not social-national but somewhat (conservative-) nationalist, achieved a creditable third place on 17.4% of the votes cast in 2015.

This is not Liberal Democrat territory. The LibDems have lost their deposit in every election since 2010 (16.2%).

I imagine that the by-election will attract a host of minor and joke candidates.

In years past, there would been little point in blogging about a by-election such as this. However, this time it is worth speculating about, and then seeing the result. The interest lies in seeing whether former Labour voters’ apathy, and/or dislike of Keir Starmer and/or Labour generally (with its pro-mass immigration stance and “Covid” obsession) can result in a great upset.

Labour is sliding fast in the affections of the voters, but so is the Conservative Party, which talks big on immigration yet not only does nothing to stop it but is actually inviting millions of Hong Kong Chinese to live here, is inviting tens of thousands of Afghans to live here, and has done absolutely nothing to prevent the cross-Channel migration-invasion.

This looks like being a straight Conservative-Labour fight. I cannot see the LibDems mounting a successful third-party bid. At the moment, I should say that Labour are still favourites, but only just. I do not rule out an upset.

Labour Party in the Cold War

I am reading Against the Cold War; the nature and traditions of pro-Soviet sentiment in the British Labour Party 1945-89, by one Darren G. Lilleker.

A fairly interesting book-length study (a doctoral thesis), but I have already found flaws in the bit I have read so far, such as:

Lee, identified as Will Owen, was solely
interested in financial reward. According to
[Josef] Frolik he demanded free holidays and money
and in return passed information of the “highest importance.,… This description of Owen
seems somewhat dubious, Owen was not party to important information, and the fact that
he was acquitted from a treason charge on the 9th May 1970 substantiates these doubts
.”

Well, Owen was tried at the Bailey, true, but not on a charge of treason (in the strict legal sense). The charge was one of “communicating secrets” contrary to the Official Secrets Act.

Notes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Owen#Secrets_trial; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Frol%C3%ADk.

A basic error like that is not one that I should expect to see in the thesis of a Ph.D. candidate, frankly. There are already noticed one or two similar errors. Also, one is acquitted of (or maybe on) a charge, not “from“. Also, it is claimed, in the thesis, that the MP John Stonehouse was engaging in homosexual behaviour (which laid him open to blackmail by Czech Intelligence, though his main motivation for spying was financial).

The money aspect, yes, but is the other true, or not? Wikipedia mentions nothing of it [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stonehouse]. There have been two books on Stonehouse published in the past year; neither (judging from reviews) mentions the “gay” allegations.

Still, I am continuing to read Lilleker’s thesis, which I am finding interesting, overall.

Addendum: the thesis was successful, and the candidate got his (2001) Ph.D. Twenty years on, that candidate is Professor Lilleker of Bournemouth University, no less: https://staffprofiles.bournemouth.ac.uk/display/dlilleker#overview; https://staffprofiles.bournemouth.ac.uk/display/dlilleker#affiliations.

As for the thesis, it was published as a book, apparently (in 2004): https://staffprofiles.bournemouth.ac.uk/display/dlilleker#publications. I see that used copies in hardback (I rarely buy paperbacks) are as little as £3 on Amazon. I may buy one.

Incidentally, I blogged briefly about Stonehouse last year, when the books about him came out: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2021/07/17/diary-blog-17-july-2021/.

Covid “panicdemic”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/01/07/intensive-care-doctor-tells-sajid-javid-refusing-covid-vaccine/

Intensive care doctor tells Sajid Javid: this is why I’m refusing the Covid vaccine

“Steve James, of King’s College Hospital, said Health Secretary didn’t seem to agree that he had immunity from being ‘antibody’ positive.”

Mr James told the PA news agency he did not believe Covid-19 was causing “very significant problems” for young people, adding that his patients in the ICU had been “extremely overweight” with multiple other co-morbidities.

[Daily Telegraph].

Tweets seen

Cummings, about whom I blogged a few times, is making himself look silly now. As to Boris-idiot, it is hard to think that he could be made to look sillier…(actually, thinking about it, the same could be said of Cummings).

See also: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2020/01/03/dominic-cummings-a-government-of-dystopia-and-lunacy-posing-as-genius/; and https://ianrobertmillard.org/2019/08/10/les-eminences-grises-of-dystopia/.

I should like to believe that the British public would do better, but I do wonder…in the new multikulti “British” land, ignorance is bliss, quite often.

Were we in the USA, we might know a great deal about the composition of the jury, and also about why the jurors decided the matter thus, but since the passing of the Juries Act 1974 [as amended], most of that is not permitted: see https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/23/section/20D#:~:text=%5BF120DOffence%3A%20disclosing%20jury’s%20deliberations&text=(2)A%20person%20guilty%20of,a%20fine%20(or%20both).

My guess? Most of the jury was composed of a mixture of blacks, other non-Europeans, and persons of a generally Labour Party bent. There was no need for a majority direction from the trial judge, so either all jurors voted for acquittal, or most did and the few preferring conviction changed their minds and went along with that.

That Jew should [redacted]…

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Of course, I saw through Boris Johnson long ago, about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, I am forced by Fate to be merely (at least so far) a private citizen-blogger. Frankly, and if I myself say it that shouldn’t, I would be a far better head of government than Boris Johnson. Admittedly, many people might echo my words, and with justice.

More music

Kazakhstan

Flag of Kazakhstan
Land controlled by the Republic of Kazakhstan shown in dark green.

I was not intending to blog about the present upheaval in Kazakhstan. It is —tempus fugit!— now 24 years since I lived there (I was there for a year), and I have already blogged about some aspects of my own time there, en passant, several times. However, a few words…

Kazakhstan, when I went there, was all but unknown to the UK public. Even educated members of the Bar whom I knew asked “where exactly is that?” when I said that I would be living there.

Despite being the 9th-largest state in the world, more than 11x the size of the whole UK, Kazakhstan was almost invisible to most British people. That is less true today, though most people still know little about it.

At one time, from the 1920s to the early 1990s, Kazakhstan’s population was 20%-45% Russian, peaking at well over 40% in the 1970s. Even when I was there (1996-97), Russians were over 30% of the population, and probably more in the then capital and largest city, Almaty, where I lived.

By reason of Stalin’s mass deportations from other areas of the Soviet Union, there were numerous other ethnic groups in Kazakhstan up until the 1990s (they are still there but in far smaller numbers): Volga Germans, Jews, Ukrainians, Crimean Tartars, Turks and Koreans (former residents of Soviet areas bordering those countries) etc. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazakhstan#Demographics.

In the 1990s, Russians started to leave, as “Kazakhization” proceeded. Jews left for Israel. Germans left for Germany. Kazakhstan is now about 65%-70% Kazakh.

Russians were the backbone of Kazakhstan as a civilized and advanced country. The Kazakhs I myself met were (mostly) very pleasant, tolerant people, but badly-led and, after all, basically non-European. Before the late 19th Century, Kazakhs were still all nomadic. Most of them still were as late as the 1930s.

Russia gave the Kazakhs everything modern, from roads and rail, and medical services, and cities, to nuclear poison and labour camps…a mixed picture…

Kazakhstan was once called, informally —and dangerously—, Kazekstan, “zek” being a slang term for a prisoner.

The Russians, in the 19thC, established a fort at a place in the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains, a place they called Verny. There was founded a small town, later called Alma-Ata (“Father of Apples” in Kazakh). When I lived there, there were still a few small apple orchards in the hills within the city limits rapidly being developed into residential and office neighbourhoods.

Alma-Ata became (I have no idea why) “Almaty”, a name both Russians and Kazakhs found odd and somehow funny (they told me).

The few at the top after 1991 effectively stole everything, something that was obvious to me when I lived there. The “elected” dictator, Nazarbaev (resigned recently), was, even in 1996, said (by Fortune magazine) to be the 5th-wealthiest individual on Earth. The oil and gas and other riches under the ground went mainly to him and then to his clan, family, friends and contacts (and to Western oil, gas, and mining companies). Nazarbaev was the first Kazakh leader (even in Soviet times) who had no descent from Genghiz Khan; he was never fully accepted by many Kazakhs.

The Soviet government had tried, in the late 1980s, to install a non-Kazakh, a Russian, as leader. Riots killed hundreds.

I am sorry to see the bloodshed in Kazakhstan, but the country needs a new start.

More news

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/us-warns-kazakhstan-will-find-it-difficult-to-get-russian-troops-to-leave-3587387

Look who’s talking! US forces came to the UK by invitation in 1942, but never left! There are still strategically-significant American forces in the UK, not only air force contingents and actual US air bases, but Navy and Army, as well as smaller forces such as NSA, CIA and even US Coastguard (in London, of all places! I was talked with one of their officers).

More tweets

(When the USA seized the gold reserves of the defeated state of Iraq).

Lenin would rotate in his grave, if he had one! Ha ha!

(nb: Russian Christmas is later than that celebrated in the UK, USA etc, because the Russian Orthodox church uses the Julian calendar).

That is mainly because Europe, particularly Western Europe, is infested.

I have no idea who that rather unattractive airhead is, but the frightening thing is that idiots like that do actually speak for at least a significant minority of the UK population, and that fact is one reason why the secret cabals and ruling circles are not finding it too difficult to drag this country into a future which is already beginning to look like a dystopian nightmare.

I never chose it… I never chose it!

“I never had a choice” [Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra]

Whatever happens (or is said to have happened) with “Omicron”, the “panicdemic” narrative will continue to be pushed. The endgame has nothing to do with public heath, and certainly nothing to do with any supposed huge “danger” to the public, or the world. It is all to do with the next stage in the conspiracy— the microchipping of effectively the entire population of the world.

Stray thought

Looking at the film (from 1974, though the music dates from 1959), no-one in that film could have imagined that the DDR/East Germany would pass into history only 15 years (officially 16) later. Even when I spent a couple of days in the DDR in 1988, the regime seemed to be in full control, though there was to me a strange feeling about the place (I was in the seemingly almost depopulated Southwest and Southeast), a feeling that —despite all the trappings of a state— this was a kind of facade. I suppose that the feeling might be summed up as “where are all the people?”…

We imagine that a set-up like the UK will go on almost forever, and certainly not disappear or be radically changed within a few years. I’m not so sure of that.

Late tweets

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and I myself could certainly benefit from some weight loss, but truth is truth…

…and just in the past day or so I have seen one newspaper report about a working nurse forced to sleep in her car because she is “not a housing priority“, and another about an elderly Englishman who froze to death in a doorway because the local council would not help him, yet all stops are pulled out for these backward, useless untermenschen, who are invaders.

I am not usually favourable towards mob rule etc, but Macron should be dealt with in the way tyrants have been for millennia.

Ironic. Had I been Hitler, or in Hitler’s position, I would have done whatever was necessary to secure the future of the European peoples.

Late music