Corrupt establishments face nemesis in Scotland and Liverpool

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson stepped aside after his arrest on corruption charges

With elections now confirmed for May 6th in most of the UK (despite continuing restrictions associated with the pandemic) a spotlight has fallen on two powerful political establishments: the Labour Party in Liverpool, and the Scottish National Party north of the border.

Among the many political institutions facing elections in May are the Scottish Parliament, where the SNP seemed until recently likely to extend its dominance; and the City Council and directly-elected Mayoralty in Liverpool, a Labour-dominated city in recent years.

Once mighty political boss Joe Anderson, former city council leader and directly elected Mayor of Liverpool since 2012, had expected easily to win re-election for a third mayoral term, but stood aside in December 2020 after he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

For legal reasons we cannot comment about the charges against Mayor Anderson – however their immediate impact was to throw the local Labour Party into chaos.

A candidate process involving an all-female shortlist was begun, then abruptly abandoned when it seemed likely to end in victory for a ‘left-wing’ candidate, Anna Rothery.

Joe Anderson himself paid lip-service to fashionable ‘left-wing’ notions such as militant ‘anti-fascism’, but was more an old style city boss (of a type familiar to our American readers) rather than a socialist firebrand. Ms Rothery herself wasn’t (by modern Labour standards) exceptionally far left either, but sufficiently so to embarrass the new party leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has been trying to rebrand Labour for a post-Corbyn era.

The reopened Labour nomination battle seems likely to end with another left wing half-caste woman becoming mayoral candidate – ironically named Joanne Anderson, though unrelated and very hostile to the outgoing Mayor.

This discreditable farce is sure to undermine Liverpool’s tribal loyalty to Labour long-term – although in the short-term it seems likely both that Labour will hold on to power, and that racial/populist nationalism in the city will remain a negligible force.

The Scottish National Party’s Alex Salmond (now at war with his successor Nicola Sturgeon) and Humza Yousaf (SNP Cabinet Secretary for Justice).

Meanwhile in Scotland another overmighty and corrupt political establishment – Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP – is also facing nemesis.

Ms Sturgeon’s predecessor Alex Salmond has alleged that the Sturgeon regime colluded in an effort to destroy his reputation through allegations of “sexual harassment” and worse. A sexual misconduct inquiry in 2018 collapsed for legal reasons, and a criminal trial ended with Salmond being acquitted of all charges in 2020.

The entire saga has moved beyond ‘political insider’ circles, and there is now a serious possibility that Sturgeon will be forced to resign as Scotland’s First Minister.

In any event, this scandal and bitter infighting seems to have derailed what until recently seemed unstoppable progress towards a second Scottish independence referendum.

Andy Wightman in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood

Moving from high political drama to farce, Scottish politics (as in much of the White world) has become obsessed with the issue of “Trans rights”, i.e. whether people who are biologically male can force the rest of society to accept their self-definition as “female” (or vice versa).

This has led to conflict between the “Trans” lobby and radical feminists, who resent the trespassing of people they regard as men.

In common with many left-liberal parties, the Green Party has tended to take the “Trans” side, resulting in the resignation of one of their most prominent MSPs. Andy Wightman quit the Scottish Green Party after he argued that women who were victims of rape or sexual assault should have the right to demand a female doctor for any consequent medical examination.

The Greens – alongside the Liberal Democrats – had taken the line that such women would have to accept a male “trans” doctor as being a woman, if he/she claimed to be so. Mr Wightman voted with the SNP, Labour and Conservatives who accepted that (in this particular circumstance of alleged sexual assault or rape) women should have the right to reject “Trans” demands.

Mr Wightman will now stand as an independent candidate in the Highlands & Islands constituency at the May election. The circus of sexual politics moves on, much to the bemusement of most voters.

Trotskyist councillor caught up in far left turmoil: rape allegations against comrade

Poster displayed by militant feminists at Liverpool Hope University. H&D does not know and cannot verify the truth or falsehood of these allegations, but reports the ongoing dispute as a matter of public interest.

Britain’s most successful far left organisation – the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) – is falling apart because of rape allegations against one of its leaders, who had also been the key organiser of the ‘anti-racist’ campaigns Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism.

Internal SWP reports refer to the accused party official only as Comrade Delta, but he has been widely identified by fellow leftists as Martin Smith, long serving national secretary of the party who was convicted in September 2010 of assaulting a police officer at an ‘anti-fascist’ demonstration against BNP leader Nick Griffin’s appearance on the BBC’s Question Time.  Detailed rape allegations dating back four or five years were made against Smith by a female SWP member.  She was 17 at the time: Smith was almost 50.

Smith’s colleagues on the party’s central committee held an enquiry chaired by the Manchester trade union activist Karen Reissman.  They voted 6-1 to dismiss the allegations, but the party membership was more evenly split, voting 231-209 in his facour.  Most importantly, many prominent activists were so disgusted by the SWP’s handling of the affair that they quit, and in some cases leaked important documents about the case to rival leftist factions.

A few months ago Smith bowed to the inevitable and resigned his party positions, though retaining the support of his cronies at the top of the SWP.  The latest twist in the case is that Smith has been awarded what (in today’s much cut back educational world) is a rare funded place to study for a doctorate at Liverpool Hope University.

Feminists and anti-rape campaigners in Liverpool are outraged, and have directed their anger not only at Smith but at his fellow SWP activist Michael Lavalette, who heads the social work department at the university.  Several left-wing blogs have alleged that Lavalette was involved in arranging his comrade’s placement at Liverpool Hope (formerly known as the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education).

Obviously we have no way of knowing the truth of these charges, but here at H&D we have encountered Lavalette many times.  He is a councillor on Preston City Council, one of the very few Trotskyists ever to enjoy electoral success, having defeated Labour three times in the heavily Asian ward known as Town Centre.

Who will win this titanic battle between Trotskyists and Feminists?  How will Cllr Lavalette’s many Muslim voters react, as they probably have little sympathy with either of these Western bourgeois ideologies?  Will Comrade Delta become Doctor Delta and win back his position in the vanguard of the revolution?

Only one thing remains certain: the SWP and its myriad far left rivals will continue to offer no hope for the betrayed workers of 21st century Britain.

Michael Lavalette (centre) in happier days after winning re-election to Preston City Council in 2012.

Martin Smith speaking at an ‘anti-fascist’ demonstration in Amsterdam in 2010.

Warrington bombing linked to Red Action group

Tonight at 7.30 pm BBC North West broadcast a documentary film about the Warrington bombing twenty years ago, which killed 3-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry.

Inside Out suggested that mainland operatives of the “anti-fascist” group Red Action might have been behind the atrocity.  Red Action and Anti-Fascist Action organiser Patrick Hayes had carried out the Harrods bombing in London in January 1993.  The Warrington attack used a similar modus operandi, and was carried out eighteen days after the arrest of Hayes and his fellow terrorist Jan Taylor.

The programme is not yet on the BBC website but can now be viewed below:

Coincidentally a discussion of this very topic (using one of the same photographs of Red Action / IRA terrorist Patrick Hayes as appeared in the programme) is in the just published edition of Heritage and Destiny magazine, in a review of Physical Resistance: A Hundred Years of Anti-Fascism.  Click here for details.

Martin McGuinness – the IRA godfather who is now Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland – is due to visit the scene of the crime on 18th September, when he delivers a lecture at the Warrington Peace Centre founded in memory of Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry.

Will McGuinness or any of his cronies have the decency to admit precisely who carried out the Warrington bombing?

 

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