MOMENTUM THANET: THE FIGHT GOES ON

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Norman Thomas, chair of Corbyn support group, Momentum Thanet, argues that although Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected Labour Party leader, there is no time to pause or celebrate.

Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as leader of the Labour Party is an historic victory both for the left in particular and for democracy as a whole.

Despite wholesale vilification in the mainstream media, despite blistering opposition from famous figures including Neil Kinnock, Tony Blair and J K Rowling, and despite – worst of all – a barrage of dirty tricks, smear tactics and bureaucratic mantraps laid by Jeremy’s own party, the Corbynistas have got their choice, the majority have had their way and a new and exciting path has been opened up in the moribund jungle of British politics.

But there’s no time for breath or celebration – the fight must go on.

Here’s why. In Thanet we have two Tory MPs and a UKIP-controlled council: people armed with the most backward, repressive and prejudiced policies of any politicians in the land.  With them in charge austerity will continue, inequality will grow and prejudice will flourish.

But this apparent domination of our community by the right is deceptive.

It has come about because of apathy and cynicism, the inevitable byproducts of a long-term depressed and impoverished local economy.  It has come about because of the readiness of individuals – without any rational basis for their beliefs – to blame immigrants for their economic ills.  It has come about because generations of our residents have no belief or trust – or interest – in their politicians. They don’t “do” politics any more.

But how do we fight this state of affairs?

Well, not by making promises. Thanet has had its fill of political hot air.

The only way forward is to get out into our community and actually DO THINGS – things which will make a real difference to people’s lives.

This is the point of Momentum Thanet’s “Another Thanet Is Possible” campaign which Jeremy Corbyn helped us launch in the Great Ramsgate Rally at the beginning of September. The aim of the campaign is to take on the big issues we face, including housing, jobs, health and education. We will gather hard evidence and data on these topics, we will enlist the aid of people nationally and locally and we will start CHANGING THINGS NOW.

When Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the Great Ramsgate Rally he inspired many. But one or two accused him of “preaching pie in the sky.” It’s the job of Momentum and all who supported Jeremy in his campaign to get to work and turn his pie in the sky into real food on the table for all.

NORMAN THOMAS, CHAIR, MOMENTUM THANET

 

 

 

 

COMPLAINT LODGED ABOUT MP OVER ANTI-SEMITISM ALLEGATION

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A formal complaint has been lodged with the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards about South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay.

The complaint has been made by Christine Tongue, a writer for the Watch, who says Mr Mackinlay has put her in fear for her personal safety.

Christine, from Broadstairs, said: “My own MP has made the most damaging allegations about me without giving me a chance to respond or defend myself in any way. And it has exposed me to danger of personal attack.”

The basis of Christine’s complaint is that on Friday 2 September Mr Mackinlay published an unfounded allegation of anti-Semitism against her on social media. He made the allegation in a letter to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, which Mr Mackinlay then tweeted to his followers.

Christine, who is a well-known member of the Corbyn-supporting Momentum Thanet group, said: “In his letter Mr Mackinlay warned Mr Corbyn that I am an “example of ant-Semitism” and called on the Labour leader to ban me from his rally in Ramsgate which was due to take place the next day.

“He gave me no chance to defend myself against or respond to this utterly baseless and false charge before publishing it. I am in no way anti-Semitic and I am absolutely horrified to be attacked in this way.”

Christine said that the only evidence of her “anti-Semitism” Mr Mackinlay cited was a link she posted on her Facebook page to an article by the veteran Jewish US academic and author, Norman Finkelstein.

Christine said: “Far from being anti-Semitic, Mr Finkelstein himself is Jewish and his mother and father were survivors of the Holocaust.”

“Mr Mackinlay has published personal data on me in which, to my horror, he included my photo,” Christine said. “This means I am now exposed to the danger of physical attack by people who believe the terrible things he has written about me.”

Christine said: “Despite my repeated requests, Mr Mackinlay has refused to meet or talk to me to explain his allegations. He has also failed to explain why he picked on me for this attack.”

“Had he simply written a private letter to Jeremy Corbyn this might have shown that Mr Mackinlay’s concern was for the public good. But by tweeting it to the world at large he has gone far beyond what could be expected of a responsible MP.

“What he wanted, it appears, was to publically inflict as much damage as he could on me from a position of huge power and prestige, without care or regard for the impact these actions might have on me, a disabled, old age pensioner. This would be an outrageous and intolerable act by anyone – let alone my own MP.”

MR MACKINLAY, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

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Craig Mackinlay, one of the founders of UKIP, is now the Conservative MP of Thanet South in Kent.

He has recently published a letter attacking a number of his own constituents as being “anti-Semitic”.

He should not have done this.

But having done this, he should consider the following…

Someone who deplores what Israel is doing in Palestine – including its 50-year long illegal occupation , with illegal settlements, ongoing oppression and a thorough-going disregard of human rights and other acts declared illegal by the United Nations – is NOT being anti-Semitic.

Someone who is angered by the way a minority of Israel’s supporters try to excuse the country’s crimes by shamefully exploiting the horrific suffering of the Jewish people in World War II is NOT being anti-Semitic.

Remember, too, Mr Mackinlay, that when a person is writing about a controversial subject or discussing that subject with other people on social media it is comparatively easy to isolate their quotes in a way that unfairly represents their real views.

And for that reason, before publishing serious allegations about anyone – let alone your own constituents who you are supposed to serve – you should, as an absolute minimum, give them a chance to respond.

How is anyone possibly going to ask for your help as their MP when you have identified, attacked and branded them in public?

Finally, perhaps most importantly, you need to consider carefully what a true anti-Semite is – someone who attacks Jewish people for being Jewish and believes they do bad things because they are Jewish. This is the most despicable racism and everyone should condemn it without reservation.

Mr Mackinlay, please consider all this, retract your allegations and apologise unreservedly to the people you have attacked.

 

CORBYN RALLY WILL KICK START CHANGE IN THANET

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The organisers of Saturday’s Jeremy Corbyn rally in Ramsgate believe it will start a new movement for change in Thanet.

Jackie Walker of Momentum Thanet said: “This huge and amazing rally was the biggest political event on the isle in years. It shows the huge appetite among people here for a new beginning.”

Momentum is now in the process of setting up of working groups to tackle issues such as health, housing, jobs and education in Thanet and is inviting local people to get involved.

She said: “We urgently want people who have expertise and ideas to come forward. Another Thanet is possible – but it has to be a collective effort.”

The organisers were  amazed when a crowd – estimated by the BBC to be 3000 strong – packed the town’s East Cliff bandstand.

The large crowds meant Mr Corbyn had to speak from a fire engine to be seen.

“It was absolutely staggering,” Jackie said. “And at such short notice — we only knew Jeremy was coming a few days before.”

The rally, called “Another Thanet Is Possible”, was planned to take place on Ramsgate seafront. The coming of Mr Corbyn meant a last minute change of venue.

“It was all hands to the wheel – and it meant a big group effort by all our volunteers,” Jackie said.

She added:  “I must send our great thanks to the Events Team of Thanet District Council who were so helpful in making possible our move with such little warning.”

Rumours of a planned disruption by far-right groups came to nothing.

The next steps for Momentum following the rally will be discussed at a meeting on Tuesday 13 September at 7pm at the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Rd, Broadstairs CT10 2BT.

RAMSGATE RALLY FOR CORBYN

 

RAMSGATE RALLY

RAMSGATE RALLY FOR CORBYN, SAT 3 SEPT
Show your support for Jeremy Corbyn and his policies that will end austerity, provide jobs and homes for all, protect the NHS, protect our environment and build a fairer society. Bring banners, flags, whistles, and music for a lively, fun event! (If you know of a musician or other performer who wants to perform in support of Jeremy, let us know on  07989 070843 or inmeds@yahoo.co.uk) Assemble 11am, Sat 3 September, by the Obelisk, Harbour Parade, Ramsgate CT11 8LN