If ever there was a party that made the left look pathetic, weak, self-serving and reeking of multicultural opportunism you can’t find better than the Respect Party.
So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Lee Jasper Inc has joined George Galloway Inc to attempt to try and shore up the black vote in Croydon.
For those not quite in the know about dear Lee, below we reproduce an article by the IWCA from back in 2008. Just remember folks, class isn’t the issue any more, it’s all about race and which pocket of funding you can squeeze out as a self appointed representative of your chosen racial identity. The sleazier your character the better and bags of money for everyone especially if you’re a friend of Ken Livingstone. And when you don’t deliver? Take cash and move to the next town and start over leaving the ‘community’ you’ve chosen to ‘represent’ in a worse state than they were before.
Let’s hope the working-class people of Croydon North put Jasper and the Respect Party right where they belong…firmly on their opportunistic segregationist money grabbing arses….
Some are more equal than others…
In the land of ‘equal opportunities’ some are clearly more equal than others, if the grants by the London Development Agency (LDA) described as the Mayor’s ‘business arm’ are anything to go by. Under the guiding hand of Lee Jasper, the principle race adviser to Mayor Ken Livingstone, the LDA, has been doling out grants to his friends and cronies, as if there is no tomorrow.
Of course with police currently investigating four of the beneficiaries there may indeed be no political tomorrow for Jasper and Co; so ‘make hay while the sun shines’ seems to be the motto. And with good reason.
On Tuesday Rosemary Emodi, the deputy to the Mayor’s adviser on race, was exposed as a liar and forced to quit her £64,000 job, after initially denying she had accepted a free weekend at a £200-a-night beach resort in Nigeria without telling her employers. Her stay was paid for by the resort, La Campagna Tropicana , near Lagos.
When journalists made inquiries about the trip, Ms Emodi told her employers that she had never been to the resort, and the Mayor’s office issued a statement which later turned out to be untrue. The BBC obtained confirmation that Ms Emodi had in fact flown to Nigeria on Friday 30 November, returning the following Monday. The Mayor’s office has emphasised that no public money was involved.
But Brixton Base, run by a friend of Mr Jasper, Erroll Walters, a long-standing friend of Ms Emodi, who accompanied her to Nigeria, has however benefited hugely from public money. Brixton Base has received more than £500,000 in the shape of LDA grants to be precise. The London Evening Standard claims that, to date, nine students have complained to the LDA of intimidation and lying by Brixton Base staff.
In all it is believed that approximately £3 million of taxpayers money has been invested in similar projects with no discernable return. For example Diversity International, a company run by another business associate of Mr Jasper, received a £295,000 grant from the London Development Agency – all the money has disappeared without trace.
Of the total of thirteen projects under suspicion, not one thought it worthwhile to invest even a tiny fraction of the money in covering their tracks. Had they done so there would be something, anything, to show for their efforts, when the auditor or police came calling. As the story is breaking in increments, initially and inevitably the greatest shrieks of outrage from the media have been on behalf of the London taxpayer.
This is perfectly understandable, but there are other victims in all of this, and they are the supposed beneficiaries of the LDA largesse; London’s black working class. They, and their interests are after all supposedly Jasper’s reason for being.
His entire career from when he first emerged in the late 1980’s has been based on the premise that when you come down to it race remains the determining factor that transcends all else. He is, as one critic put it, ‘some one who would play the race card in a game of solitaire’. And he would also go to extraordinary lengths to prove his point.
In 1991 he organised a march through the predominately white class neighbourhood of Bermondsey simply to prove that racism did exist there and because of that fact a grant funded initiative he himself had proposed was needed to tackle it. Jasper chose to march on a day and a time that made conflict with fans of the local football club, Millwall, who were playing at home, inevitable.
The result was a race riot, with attacks carrying on long into the night. Whether he subsequently got his grant is not known, but whatever the outcome, it was the black working class locally and not Jasper who paid a high price for this particular political misadventure. But then again having others pay the price is hardly novel. When the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor, Brian Paddick, was a serving police officer, he and Jasper’s often crossed paths in the run up to the annual Notting Hill Carnival.
Predictably Jasper had cast himself as a ‘community leader’ in west London even though he was born in Oldham and actually lived south of the river. According to Paddick’s account, Jasper’s real interest in the affair was restricted to one long street that he, Jasper, insisted was ‘controlled by the community’, which in Jaspers eye’s entitled the ‘community’ to collect the monies from stall-holders that would normally go to the organising authorities. A standoff would normally ensue, with Jasper invariably emerging as triumphant. ‘An example of entrepreneurship’ was how Jasper would describe it.
That Jasper appears to have taken ‘affirmative action’ as a personal entitlement is beside the point. In terms of race relations there is more to this than the odd rotten apple, or indeed barrel.
Observer Columnist Nick Cohen recently appeared on a panel to discuss the forthcoming Mayoral election. A question came up on the issue of ‘affirmative action’. The substance of Cohen’s criticisms was that it always went to the ‘wrong people’. In his experience he told the meeting the principal beneficiaries of such schemes were ‘already middle class’.
This is undoubtedly true, but that objectively is the entire purpose of the stratagem: talk up equal opportunities for all but in reality work to create and sustain a black middle class as a buttress to the existing white middle class in order to maintain the political equilibrium, with the working class, white and black alike, picking up the tab in one way of the other.
‘Rosemary Emodi Plc’
A case in point is the career of Rosemary Emodi herself. Nigerian born to a middle class professional family she moved to London with her sister to study. She qualified as a barrister and in the late 1990’s became active in the Society of Black Lawyers (set up in 1973 to fight racism).
Ms Emoldi was fond of arguing that SBL should remove obstacles to “black success.” She certainly tolerated no obstacles to her own success. Within the black business community she was, it is alleged, widely known as “Rosemary Emodi PLC”. At the Town Hall her persona was of course very different. There she talked ‘the good fight’, both eloquent and consistent in her appeals on equality issues which endeared her to minority campaigners.
The likelihood is she didn’t believe a word of it. For when she took a free holiday in a 5 star holiday in Nigeria with her hosts believing that she and her companion, Errol Walters, were on an official mission from the GLA to investigate ‘funding visits for London youngsters with African roots’, she was consciously exploiting the inequalities, real or contrived, she was paid £64,000 a year to address.
And just because the scheme in question was an absurd improvisation of no imaginable merit, there can be little or no doubt that Emodi would have been just as eager to leech off it, had it been authentic and worthwhile. So what does that say about the integrity of the man that had her appointed his deputy, Lee Jasper? And indeed the probity and judgement of the individual who in turn had hand-picked Jasper?
Livingstone stated recently that he believes he can ‘trust Lee with his life’. Who knows, he may even believe It? But if Livingstone was anyone other than the High Priest of Multiculturalism, Jasper and company would already be toast. However startling it might appear, Jasper and Emoldi may not be the final word in self-serving hypocrisy.
Especially when compared to the unedifying crew responsible for running the Major’s administration, serving as the well lubricated liason between City Hall and the City. As is now widely known the main stringpullers are former members of a group called Socialist Action.
In 1990 following the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Socialist Action (no. 7, Summer 1990) had this to say: “The destruction of at least some of the workers’ states, in Eastern Europe, and the imperialist reunification of Germany are both the greatest defeats suffered by the working class since World War 2…” The reference to only ‘some of the workers states’ was because SA still had high hopes for Romania!
If, as Channel 4’s programme Dispatches claims, the Mayor has of late taken to indulging in the odd tipple, prior to, with, or instead of his museli, it is not too surprising. What will be probabaly hard for Livingstone to stomach if, as it appears, the old fraud’s entire career and legacy is hanging by a thread, is that he really has no one to blame but himself. As the old saying goes, ‘show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are’.
THE KING EDWARD VII, AYLSHAM ROAD, Norwich, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June 2012.
In response to the recent victimization of Punks in the Aceh province of Indonesia, Norwich’s own punk singer Emma Keevil of HOTWIRED is launching a two day benefit gig to raise enough money to bring Indonesian punk band DISLAW over so they can tour the UK and raise lots of cash for the street punks back home.
In a statement Emma said
“This benefit is to raise enough money to get the band Dislaw here from Indonesia after all the trouble from the police they’ve suffered. By bringing them here they can tour and it will raise awareness of the discrimination punks are receiving in Indonesia.
We are a huge family and we must unite all over the world. We can raise more money when they get here and send back any clothes boots etc that we might not want to replace the stuff the police have taken from the punks arrested.
I have grown to love the boys in this band, they have not only captured my heart but they are a fantastic band you will not be disappointed so please help us make this happen.
Where can you be arrested and brainwashed for listening to music in mixed company? That would be in Indonesia, where the deputy mayor of the Aceh region recently declared “being punk” a crime punishable by arrest.
Mayor Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal authorized the arrest and ten-day “reeducation” of sixty-four young people who attended a musical fundraiser in an Aceh park. Their “reeducation” consists of forced incarceration for ten days and having their heads shaved. Also some were hosed down in communal cells.
Illiza told the Jakarta Globe that the punks are guilty of spreading a “new social disease” which in effect undermines the community’s religious practice. However, the only breach of Islamic law that she cited was that men and women had gathered in the same place.
She has also announced her intention to pursue, incarcerate, and “reeducate” another 200 punk rockers in her region.
Tell Banda Aceh deputy mayor Illiza S’aduddin Djamal that punk is not a disease. Tell her to stop punishing punk rockers in her region!”
As a thank you to Hotwired for supporting NCAGs Norwich Justice For Ian Tomlinson Day back in 2010, I’ll be throwing my full weight behind supporting Emma and her endeavors to make this a great success and hope all NCAG members and supporters will take the time to do the same.
The event website can be found here http://punkisnotacrimefest.wordpress.com/
This promises to be one hell of a couple of days!
Rick Dutton, NCAG.
While today marks the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Nazi holocaust that killed 12 million people including 6 million Jews, 500,000 Roma and Shinti, countless Slavs, Poles and Russians among numerous other nationalities from all over the globe, the disabled, the mentally ill, trade unionists, communists, freemasons, LGBT people…we also remember all the other genocides that have been and are the terrible blight of humanity.
May the victims forever be remembered and may we continue to fight against those who would commit future atrocities whatever political persuasion, colour, faith, creed, religion or self declared righteous dogma they may come from.
by Rick Dutton in International News
If you know anyone from the West African Republic of Nigeria you might find them slightly absorbed by what is going on back home at the moment. Yes, yes, we hear you declare, that’ll be the ethnic tensions and rise of another group of Islamic extremists kicking off, they’re always doing that!
We’ll if you were to take a good look at international media reports it’s understandable that you might have that reaction. What isn’t being reported much is that there’s a movement of protest going on in Africas most populated country which is seeking to rid the country of injustice, corruption, political greed and incompetence. While there are indeed increasing clashes on a religious and ethnic basis these are minuscule compared to what is actually going on in pretty much every state of Nigeria. And that is ‘Occupy Nigeria’.
Cynics among you will no doubt be shocked to hear that this isn’t just a couple of hundred people in tents camped outside the equivalent of Londons St.Pauls Cathedral. Well it’s not. It’s hundred of thousands of people from every section of Nigerian society…hundreds of thousands of people on the streets shouting ‘We have had ENOUGH!’
Occupy Nigeria has barely been noticed by other Occupy groups around the world, hardly a mention. And it’s not like they haven’t been sending messages out asking for support. Yet there’s more eloquence and understanding of corruption in terms of international and domestic capitalism on display in Occupy Nigeria than from ANY other we have seen so far on our own door steep and indeed across the so-called ‘western world’.
Here’s some other things you may or may not know.
Did you know Nigeria is the sixth biggest oil producer in the world pumping oil to the tune of two million barrels per day? Did you know Nigeria is Americas third biggest oil provider? Did you know that a Nigerian Minister earns $60,000 more than an American Cabinet Minister? Did you know members of the Nigerian Senate earn $26,000 (not including allowances) more than their American counterparts? Did you know the majority of the population of more than 160 million people live on less than $2 per day? Did you know Nigerian ministers travel in convoys ten vehicles long, have their own jets, own properties around the globe, attend international events (whether invited or not) with entourages of sometimes 100 people…all at the expense of the Nigerian people? Did you know money regularly disappears to the tune of billions of dollars with rarely any explanation or individuals held accountable. In fact it is estimated that $400bn of the country’s oil revenue was stolen by Nigeria’s leaders between 1960 and 1999.
Remember our own expenses scandals? There is simply no comparison.
These are as close to facts as you could possibly get.
Meanwhile there is little to no working public infrastructure let alone any public welfare system. ‘Official figures’ from the Bureau of Statistics puts the unemployment figure at about 20% (about 32million people if based on a population figure of 160 million), but this figure still did not include about 40million other Nigerian youths captured in World Bank statistics in 2009. Average life expectancy in some studies puts men at 47 years and women at 48 years.
With those kind of statistics you’d wonder if there was anything at all that the Nigerian people receive from their government that is of benefit to them.
There was one, but that’s now being taken off them. We’ll call it a ‘perk’.
That one ‘perk’, from the government of Africas biggest oil producer, was subsidization at the fuel pumps.
That one ‘perk’ ended on January 1st causing prices to go from $1.70 per gallon (45 cents per litre) to at least $3.50 per gallon (94 cents per litre). The costs of basic food stuffs and travel also doubled.
Let’s just go over that again…$3.50 per gallon when the average wage of the population is $2 a day.
The only ‘perk’ taken away, just like that…overnight.
The lie from the Nigerian government is the removal of the subsidy will benefit the Nigerian population because there’s a massive hole in domestic finances which they’d like to recoup to rebuild the nation. Nigerians have heard this one before. Many times. ‘Rebuilding the nation’ is a phrase every government has used since independence in 1963 and it has rarely come to much.
As of last Monday the already growing Occupy movement was swelled when unions called out their members on strike in protest to the removal of the subsidy. In turn this has attracted the young, masses of them from every part of Nigeria.
Last night union leaders from the Nigeria Labour Congress, threatening this coming Monday to shut down all oil production met with the Nigerian President Goodluck Johnson and his government officials to ‘negotiate’ an end to the strike in return for the original fuel subsidy. However tweets from inside the meeting made it clear that the government would reduce the price slightly and the unions would meet them half way, much to the fury of protesters and a substantial number of the population who believe that the unions have no right to negotiate away the return of $1.70 per gallon on behalf of the Nigerian people. The popular declaration is it’s ‘N65 or nothing’ (the price in the local currency Naira).
This meeting ended without agreement and today hundreds of thousands were again back on the streets warning the union leaders not to betray them tomorrow when meetings between the two parties continue. Union leaders have called off the strikes over the weekend apparently in order to open airports and allow members of the government to fly to the capital Abuja to make their voices heard. Cynics might also say there’ll be those flying ‘far away’ also in fear of what may or may not occur in the coming days. But there is also a need for those involved in the protests and the population at large to ‘re-charge the batteries’, so in that respect it is to be commended.
Both governments and unions have much to be frightened of at this juncture. Neither parties are likely to quell the current growing anger if the demands of the public are not addressed quickly. The average working Nigerians are far from being the usual stereotype many bigoted fools in the ‘the west’ hold of scam artists who spam email boxes on a daily basis, they are far more politically astute and resourceful a nation than these bigots at large would give them credit for. Great names such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ken Saro-Wiwa should be forced upon them. In fact they are far more politically astute and resourceful than their own leaders and union heads give them credit for. They should take heed.
Meanwhile the international Occupy movement should get off their butts and support Occupy Nigeria. While it is common knowledge that there is chronic pollution in the Niger Delta caused by oil spillage, it is not the fault of the Nigerian people, it is the fault of their government, lack of accountability, corruption in high places and the oil industries. It is the fault of international capitalism running riot. Nigerians are calling for the outside world to support them.
And this has what to do with us here in little old Norfolk? Maybe nothing, maybe everything in the current international crisis. But keep an eye on the old oil pumps at your Morrissons, BP or Sainsbury forecourt if Nigeria hits crisis point, better still keep an eye on our own state and its allies because the root of all these problems internationally lies there!
And in the spirit of of Nigerian freedom fighters such as the likes of the late great Fela Anikulapo Kuti there’s a message to the EU, the US, the UK and above all the IMF…
Him no know hungry people
Him no know jobless people
Him no know homeless people
Him no know suffering people
Him go dey ride best car
Him go dey chop best food
Him go dey live best house
Him go dey waka for road
You go dey commot for road for am
Him go dey steal money
Na “Vagabond in Power!
While Cameron and Co hand out medals to the posh and corrupt lets recognize some folks who really are deserving of them but are instead fitted up and jailed in the fight against fascism.
Andy Baker, Thomas Blak, Sean Cregan, Phil De Sousa, Ravi Gill, Austen Jackson as well as all those jailed in the struggle against the far-right everywhere, we stand with you in solidarity.
70 years ago they’d have been called heroes, today they’re labelled criminals and extremists.
NCAG members were out and about today joining pickets and marching with trade unionists across the county.
One particular group of striking public sector workers stand out for their commitment to Norfolk communities and they are the striking paramedics who answered red calls hour after hour for no pay at all.
Are these the actions of selfish taking the piss trade unionists or dedicated, professional and essential public servants?
While the right wing media and Tory propaganda machine work on overdrive it has been more than clear today that there is more than just hesitant support for public sector workers in their struggle. There would be even more if the TUC leaders were to get off their behinds and embrace private sector workers and working class communities also.
There is much to play for, the destruction of the whole welfare state is at stake. But while Tories and their apologists appear on our screens day after day spouting nonsense about trade unionists and blaming the previous equally useless government for the mess we’re in, most people are able to see through the nonsense and remain committed to both the welfare state and those workers who form it’s backbone, and they’re not yet ready to sell them out to the corporations.
Long may that remain.