Sanders: Corbyn Surge in UK Shows World Rising Up Against Austerity, Inequality

“People in the U.K., the U.S. and elsewhere want governments that represent all the people, not just the 1%,” Sanders said

Responding to the results of the U.K. election, which commentators have already deemed a “political upset” for the ages and a stunning backfire for Prime Minister Theresa May, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday congratulated Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the British people for “rising up against austerity and massive levels of income and wealth inequality.”

Globalization has left far too many people behind.” —Sen. Bernie SandersPeople “all over the world” are fighting the same battle, Sanders added, concluding:

People in the U.K., the U.S. and elsewhere want governments that represent all the people, not just the 1%. I congratulate Jeremy Corbyn for running a very positive and effective campaign.

Read more: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/09/sanders-corbyn-surge-uk-shows-world-rising-against-austerity-inequality

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  • Clyde Duncan  On June 11, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Memo From British Voters: Trust Nobody

    A hung parliament, in which no party can command majority support, is an entirely fitting, and indeed justified, response to the choice presented to the electorate.

    Alex Massie | The Atlantic

    It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Fortified by a 20-point lead in the opinion polls, Theresa May, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, called a general election in April assuming that, all things being equal, she couldn’t possibly lose.

    In 2015, David Cameron had won a small and fragile majority in the House of Commons, but this was Mrs. May’s opportunity to transform it into, as she said, a “strong and stable” government that would be well-placed to lead the U.K. through the choppy waters of leaving the European Union.

    An increased majority, she promised, would “strengthen” her hand in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

    Some hand. Some strength. Some stability. May lost 12 seats, winning just 318 constituencies and thereby falling short of the 326 required for a parliamentary majority.

    Far from strengthening her hand through the election — a curious ambition in the first place, since it presumed Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron would be impressed by the British prime minister’s electoral mandate — she has, to switch anatomical metaphors, ‘shot herself in the foot’.

    [Dat’s what she gets for hanging around Trump and his gun culture!]

    Rather than romping to victory, May has come up short. Her government’s strength and stability now rest on her ability to purchase the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

    It is impossible to avoid the thought that this election has proved one of the greatest self-owns in modern political history. By common consent, this was a dismal campaign in which May took victory for granted and, remarkably, ran a campaign of startling inadequacy. She had made much of how Europe’s leaders would soon discover that she is, in her own words, “a bloody difficult woman.”

    The British people determined that, actually, she was just a bloody useless woman and certainly not fit to be trusted with untrammeled power. The Tory view that May would be their greatest electoral asset was revealed to be chimerical.

    Despite that, May remains in denial. She might have won 44 percent of the vote, but this still feels like a monumental defeat. She did not receive what she had asked for — a Tory majority of at least 50 and, preferably, 75 or more — and no amount of damage control can make this result look any better for the Conservatives.

    Like Monty Python’s Black Knight, May has reacted to the loss of an arm by insisting this setback is nothing more than a flesh wound.

    How did it come to this? Her opponent, after all, was Jeremy Corbyn, a far-left leader of the Labour party whose agenda was opposed by the overwhelming majority of his own parliamentary colleagues.

    Corbyn, the subject of a ferocious assault from Britain’s right-wing tabloid press, was widely deemed unelectable.

    [Serious thought must be given to the high voter turnout in favour of Labour in spite of the warnings and rants by the right-wing media.]

    But Corbyn tapped into something important: He offered an alternative to the status quo and many voters, especially the young, warmed to a politician who promised something, anything different.

    In that respect, the election should be considered a delayed reaction to the turmoil of the 2008 financial crisis. Britons have endured years of astringent austerity during which time median wages have stagnated and a view has developed, however inchoate, that something, somewhere, has gone badly wrong.

    Corbyn offered some measure of relief from that; he promised that hope was not a disreputable sentiment and many voters were inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    By contrast, May produced a Gradgrind manifesto. Life was tough, you know, and only May could be trusted to confront the major challenges facing the United Kingdom. Managing Brexit was part of this, but not all of it. There was, moreover, a joyless quality to her campaign — an “eat your oatmeal” manifesto for a people thirsting for something sweeter.

    That was compounded by a measure of political cowardice. For reasons that can only be guessed at but which may owe something to her flat-footed inability to think on her feet, May declined all opportunities to debate her opponents on television.

    This projected an image that was neither “strong” nor “stable.” Instead it hinted at an unattractive combination of complacency and fear.

    There were other missteps. The Conservative manifesto proposed that henceforth the cost of pensioners’ social care — for those stricken with dementia — be paid by the sale of their homes.

    In one sense, this was a bold move to address a time bomb of a problem caused by a rapidly ageing population. But it was also politically inept.

    This so-called “dementia tax” was a losing proposition. In a remarkable development, May reversed on her manifesto commitment before the election had even been held and then compounded her incompetence by insisting that she hadn’t changed her mind at all.

    Her reputation for competence — her strongest suit, in the absence of any other suits — was ruined.

    Voters could sense this just as they could appreciate that they were in danger of being taken for granted by the Conservative high command.

    Never underestimate the power of contrarianism in Britain. May might, on balance, still be preferable to Corbyn, but that should not be confused with any sense that she was an attractive electoral proposition in her own right.

    Furthermore, although May insisted that the election be used to strengthen her hand in Brexit talks, she has never once deigned to explain to the British people what she actually hopes to achieve from those negotiations.

    “Brexit means Brexit” was her miserably inadequate mantra. Doubtless it does, but what does “Brexit means Brexit” mean? Brits remain none the wiser.

    All this confirms a sense that, Brexit or no Brexit, Britain is madly adrift. It is hard to recall a previous election in which the choices available were less appetizing.

    In that respect, a hung parliament, in which no party can command majority support, is an entirely fitting, and indeed justified, response to the choice presented to the electorate.

    With blind stubbornness, May insisted this changed nothing, but the people are wiser than that. Collectively, they knew what they were doing when they declined to offer a ringing endorsement of either major party. And who, frankly, can blame them?

    It is now 30 years since the Conservatives won a thumping majority in the House of Commons. Britain has changed since then and the Tory dependence on the old and the white voters seems likely to be subject to the laws of diminishing returns in future elections too.

    Then again, Labour cannot count on demographic changes working to its advantage either; the British left remains more dependent on London and university towns than is wholly electorally sustainable.

    Perhaps that’s the real message of this election: Britain’s divisions desperately require a political party, and a prime minister, capable of rising above them.

    On current evidence, however, there is no sign of that kind of white knight riding to the rescue. A fractious, disgruntled, country remains just that. The electorate sent a clear message on Thursday: Trust nobody.

    The U.K. awaits the arrival of a politician who can recognize and then surmount that; on the evidence available, it will be waiting for some time yet.

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 11, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Never mind leaving the EU – with the Tories relying on the DUP – we’re leaving the 21st century

    The DUP founder’s son has called homosexuality ‘immoral, offensive and obnoxious’

    Skylar Baker-Jordan | Independent UK

    I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill Tory backbencher, either. As the Independent earlier reported, the founder’s son, Ian Paisley Jr, has referred to homosexuality as “immoral, offensive and obnoxious”.

    The party is so deeply opposed to equal marriage in Northern Ireland that it has threatened the power-sharing agreement that has brought peace to the province in order to prevent Sinn Fein bringing it forward.

    As former DUP health minister Jim Wells famously said, “Peter will not marry Paul in Northern Ireland.”

    The DUP is also deeply opposed to reproductive justice. The party has opposed liberalising abortion laws in Northern Ireland – the strictest in the United Kingdom.

    According to the charity Marie Stopes, many Northern Irish women have to travel to England (and pay) for their abortions because of the strict laws supported by the DUP. And the DUP leader Arlene Foster was only last month accused of making sexist remarks about a Sinn Fein politician.

    The DUP has been disastrous for LGBT and women’s rights in Northern Ireland, and now, thanks to Theresa May, it can inflict its reactionary agenda on the rest of the country.

    If you think this unlikely, don’t kid yourself – with the 10 DUP MPs, May’s majority is two.

    She’s not going to want to rock the boat in any way, meaning that she’s unlikely to bring forward any legislation that would see progress on these issues.

    Equal pay? Doubtful. LGBT-inclusive PSHE? Don’t count on it. Pushing Stormont to grant equal rights to women and LGBT people in Northern Ireland? Hard NO.

    What we should really worry about, though, is all those EU rights that have to be enshrined in British law.

    So much equalities legislation is underpinned by European law, whether through the EU or the European Convention on Human Rights, whose court’s rulings are embedded in UK law through the Human Rights Act – which Theresa May has long dreamt of repealing and which the DUP would likely love to see go.

    If the DUP was willing to throw Northern Ireland back into turmoil over marriage equality, trust and believe that it’s willing to destroy Theresa May’s government if it doesn’t get its way – which means it will get its way.

    This is horrible news for women, for LGBT people, and for equality in general.

    By being so reliant on the DUP, Theresa May has basically given it control of the ship of state, and it has pointed the sails towards the past.

    Never mind leaving the European Union. With the DUP, we’re leaving the 21st century.

    • De castro  On June 12, 2017 at 12:28 am

      TM will bedfellow with Satan to
      stay in power !
      The wicked broomrider parsons daughter married to a greedy rich wimp ..fortunately no siblings !
      Vote of no confidence soon …and another time wasting election.
      Taxpayers to pick up tab !

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 12, 2017 at 6:31 am

    So Trump’s too scared to come to the UK. Who says protest doesn’t work?

    Hugh Muir | The Guardian UK

    If he can’t bomb it or tweet against it, the USA president’s cupboard of responses seems bare. We may be denied a spectacle – but saved another distraction

    How might President Trump react to a world leader who, afraid for his image, perhaps afraid for himself, refused to fulfil a promise to visit a loyal ally?

    He might fire off a tweet: “RAN from critics. A gift for crooked MSM [Main Stream Media]. TOTAL pathetic loser!”

    But he won’t, because the loser is him.

    He got to hold hands with Theresa May when she visited Washington, but alas, that may be the high point of his cuddle-fest with her, and with us – because Trump, it now appears, is not keen on making his proposed state visit to Britain any time soon.

    He has apparently, in a recent telephone call to the prime minister, declared that he does not want to come if there are to be large-scale protests. The visit, we are told, is on hold.

    Some may be surprised by this.

    From the violence and menace that became features of his ugly campaign, it was easy to assume that he liked a bit of edge to his public appearances.

    But on those occasions, he knew he would always have the support of far-right thugs and hangers-on who could drown out dissent and, if need be, throw a few punches at protesters, passers-by, anyone who would dare to question him.

    That intimidation, unprecedented in recent history, would have been more difficult to replicate here; he could hardly bring his street fighters with him. There are only so many seats on Air Force One.

    Maybe he didn’t fancy the trip without Theresa there to hold his hand; to keep him strong and stable, as it were. Even he might blanch – all the way from Tango orange to the whitest white – at the idea of skipping through the Downing Street rose garden hand in hand with Phil the spreadsheet Hammond or Boris Johnson.

    So we may be denied a spectacle, but will hopefully be saved from the distraction of Trump’s bandwagon when we may be fixating on at least one more general election, and we should certainly be focusing on the history-defining implications of Brexit.

    Saved too – for now at least – the embarrassment of those who offered Trump the invitation in the first place, those who saw our new place in the world as lying at the feet of a reprobate.

    And what do we learn from this? Once again we see what it is to deal with someone who has such high office and such thin skin.

    Just the notion of turbulence that might be seen around the world seems to be enough to scare him off. If he can’t bomb it or tweet against it, the cupboard of responses seems bare.

    But, for the more important message, look to ourselves. It is easy to question the efficacy of protest.

    Millions marched against the war in Iraq, but couldn’t stop it.

    Millions more marched against Brexit and cuts in the NHS.

    There is rarely such a direct link to be drawn between public action and response from those with power, but each public protest speaks to the strength and tenor of opinion.

    Every one sets out a position and raises the stakes. Here the stakes became too high for a brittle, image-conscious president of the USA, in Washington.

    What do we want? Not Donald Trump. When do we want him? Never.

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 12, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Ivanka Trump Taken Aback by ‘Level of Viciousness’ Directed at Her Father

    Helen Nianias | The Telegraph UK

    First daughter Ivanka Trump has been surprised by the intensity of negative feelings toward herself and her father, President Donald Trump.

    “There is a level of viciousness that I was not expecting,” she said during a Fox & Friends interview this morning.

    “I was not expecting the intensity of this experience but this isn’t supposed to be easy.”

    Ms Trump, who has been the focus of a boycott group for her fashion line and has come under criticism for supporting her father’s presidency, said: “Some of the distractions and some of the ferocity I was a little blindsided by on a personal level.”

    She added: “I’m trying to keep my head down and not listen to the noise.”

    Ms Trump, who is special advisor to her father said “there’s a scrutiny and an interest that exceeds anything I had experienced before.”

    This week Mr Trump is under extra pressure as he’s urged to say whether tapes exist of his conversations between himself and his sacked FBI chief James Comey.

    When asked about Mr Comey, who last week accused Mr Trump of lying, Ms Trump said that her father felt “vindicated”.

    “My father felt very vindicated in all the statements that he’s been making, and feels incredibly optimistic.”

    This was a more measured response than her brother Donald Jr gave to Mr Comey’s testimony, who called it “a joke”, and accused him of failing to follow FBI procedure.

    She added: “We moved down to Washington, we want to be helpful. We want to do big things, important things… My father and this administration intends to be transformative.”

    Her husband, Mr Trump’s senior advisor Jared Kushner, has also been subject to intense scrutiny over reports that he’d fallen out of favour with the administration and extra pressure over his alleged ties to Russia.

    Ms Trump insisted he “loves” his job, and added: “There is a 24-hour news cycle that gets fed and encouraged by lots of salacious details, but at the end of the day we’re all focussed on the work, and that’s very true for Jared.”

    Mr Trump’s involvement in the Middle East peace process was also praised by his daughter, who said “he was able to foster real dialogue, substantive dialogue” between different Muslim leaders during his trip to Saudi Arabia.

    The family left Saudi Arabia for Israel on their tour, and Mr Trump was the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

    “Every day has been surreal, but that was truly an unbelievable moment,” Ms Trump, who converted to Judaism eight years ago, said of visiting the religion’s most holy site.

    REALLY …!!!?!!!

    Here is the thing:

    How about discussing how “Dad the President” – how dat reprobate treats other people??

    “Little Marco” ??? Is dat a dignified way to address a grown man in public??

    What you sow you reap – Now, the crops come up!!

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