Category Archives: U.S

Stranger Fruit: Does New Michael Brown video change anything?

Just days ago a new video emerged, two years after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, as part of a documentary called Stranger Fruit. It has lead to renewed protests and vigorous debate in the USA. 

Two years ago it was alleged that Michael Brown commited an unarmed robbery at a convenience store in Ferguson, St.Louis County, Missouri. When Michael Brown was picked up by police he allegedly tried to take the gun from police officer Darren Wilson who then shot Brown once who then made off. As Wilson gave chase it’s alleged that Brown turned towards Wilson and charged at him causing Wilson to fear for his life and he opened fire multiple times. Brown dies at the scene.

The video that was released by police at the time and the only video in relation to the convenience store that was released to the grand jury in the subsequent trial of Darren Wilson was the one depicting the unarmed robbery. 

In the video it shows Brown entering the store who appears to reach over the store counter and remove at least two packets of cigarillos (small cigars or Hamlets to our UK readers). As he begins to walk out of the store he is confronted by a shop keeper but Brown pushes the shop keeper away and walks towards him again. The shop keeper backs off and Brown exits the store. 

Before we move to the Stranger Fruit video I wanted to show two stills from that unarmed robbery. (You can watch the full video at the end of this article if you wish) 

Michael Brown (red cap, white t-shirt) can be seen holding the cigarillos he has taken from over the counter
Friend of Brown (Behind Brown with Dreadlocks) can be seen holding a pack of cigarillos that he has been passed by Brown

The Cigarillos in question were of the brand Swisher. In both of the images above the packs appear to be predominantly a red type of colouring with a white logo on the front with some white writing and white strip towards the bottom of the boxes. 

The alleged robbery took place somewhere around midday on August 9th 2014.

Darren Wilson was later cleared of any wrong doing in his trial amidst mass protests across the country, let alone Ferguson itself. Some witnesses had suggested that Brown had raised his hands just prior to being shot a second time. Other witnesses said he charged at the officer like a “football player with his head down” . 

The new video related as part of the documentary was unseen by the grand jury or the public. It shows an interaction at the same convenience store between Michael Brown and the shop keeper except it happens 12 hours prior to the armed robbery incident. It happened at around 1am that same morning. 

Brown can be seen entering the store and seemingly places something on the counter which three members of staff begin to pass around and look at. It’s alleged this is cannabis by the documentary maker although the shop staff deny any transaction took place. After this exchange the staff are seen bagging up what appears to be cigarillos and hand it to Brown who then proceeds to exit the store. However Brown returns to the counter and hands it over to staff. From the footage it appears that staff are holding it for possible safe keeping until a later time to collect. 

The images below are from the new video (which you can see in full at the end of this article); 

Shop keeper on right of image holding up a package. Note the predominantly red packaging and white logo
Same shopkeeper, holding same cigarillos but has turned the package around. Red packaging, white logo and white strip towards bottom of packaging

The question ‘Does this change anything?’  is two fold. It must be broken down into two areas. 

Firstly does it change anything connected to the court case of officer Darren Wilson? Secondly does it change anything around how the entire situation played out? 

Wether you believe police officer Darren Wilson is guilty or innocent or wether you believe Michael Brown had his hands up or not isn’t the point with regard to this article. Wilson was found innocent and this video wouldn’t likely change that verdict in the slightest. The incident as it unfolded for Darren Wilson remains exactly the same.

What it does change or should change is how the police deal with the aftermath of an incident and how that impacts on the rest of society. The police had this new video and had viewed it but decided it did not need to be released to the public or the grand jury. Michael Brown was labelled a thief or indeed a robber who had used strong armed tactics to effect his escape. Whilst there may be some truth in that from a technical stand point in law the new video clearly shows that there is good evidence to suggest that Brown was in fact retrieving the cigarillos he had left behind 12 hours earlier. It would appear that the shop keeper on duty at that time may not have been aware of this and thus thought he was being robbed. A miscommunication then? 

We will likely never know why Brown allegedly wrestled with the officer but that moment, whatever happened and why led to his death. 

The biggest tragedy is that an unarmed man was shot dead for stealing some cheap cigars. You expect the police to be professional and protect life at all costs. Was there a need to shoot? Could Wilson have backed off from Brown sufficiently? Did Brown pose a threat to any members of the public? I have to argue it was a needless death therefore it should be considered an unlawful death. Guns, even for US cops should be a last resort. Shot and injured from the first gun shot and likely slower in speed than Wilson there appears little reason why Brown had to be shot to death at that point. 

The new video however makes little difference to the eventual outcome for Brown and Wilson. 

(Below: Video of robbery) 

(Below: New footage)


Challenge your Viewpoint: Articles in relation to the Michael Brown case:

Washington Post – Analysing the evidence

Grand Jury testimony – transcripts

 The Intercept – A guide to the shooting

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UK Trump obsession puts NHS & Syria bombing in shade

We have no love for Donald Trump. Rude, crass, xenophobic, misogynistic are just a few words to describe him. He is a danger to the environment and a complete loose cannon on the world stage. It’s certainly going to be an ‘entertaining’ presidency. 

When it was announced that Donald Trump would be having a state visit the total panic and anger of UK citizens was palpable, certainly amongst many on the left, so much so that over 100,000 people protested in London alone in an international show of support against Donald Trump. 

Is it all really justified though? We have been no stranger to criticising our own left side for hyping up the fear levels. He is after all no more of a danger on the international scene than say George Bush Jr. The epitome of a Neocon hell bent on destroying the Middle East. If anything he is more of a danger to the environment and his own people than anything else. 

So we decided to see how much of a threat Trump has been to the people of the UK by looking at how many people have signed petitions in support of a few various causes, including some of the largest ever petitions to government. It may put some things into perspective. 

Even the NHS, with all its problems couldn’t get anywhere near the level of support the Donald Trump petition achieved.

There was then this first Donald Trump petition to stop him coming to the UK at all. Big enough in itself at over half a million signatures. 

Thankfully there was some respite from the insanity as over 800,000 people signed a petition to give all new borns a vaccine against a form of Meningitis.

But that was shattered by a colossal petition which puts everything in the shade. At almost 2 Million signatures, a petition to stop the state visit of Donald Trump to the UK. 

The two Donald Trump petitions combined means that of the petitions shown here Donald Trump has attracted in the region of 400,000 more signatures than the other 8 petitions put together including War, child abuse, the NHS and benefit cuts to the most vulnerable in society. 

We realise this is not scientific and doesn’t take into account perhaps other signature based petition websites or individual circumstances such as how widely a petition was shared but it does give us an idea of perhaps how skewed our sense of outrage is. 

This is why we refuse to get too hung up on Donald Trump. Before we know it, he will be gone, only to be replaced by a new Neocon and the battle for the Middle East will likely commence again, and besides, our NHS is far more important than Mr.Trump. 

Perhaps if we focused more on our own problems we might do better at getting the message across to the wider public about how this Conservative government is ruining people’s lives. 

You can view a list of the largest ever government petitions that have been signed here

The Left Are Oblivious To What’s Coming 

It’s a popular concensus to suggest that the likes of Trump and UKIP are a danger to us all. Described by some as either far right, right wing or just plain dangerous, the truth is that neither of these two are the real danger facing the left. 

In fact we have been facing this particular danger for many years, the only difference is that the focus has changed and we have put the real danger to the back of our minds. We are being distracted and it’s going to come and bite us all in the backside, hard.

The real danger is Neoconservatism, or Neocon for short. Neither Trump nor UKIP fit this billing. 

Trump and UKIP share a few qualities and they centre around protectionism. This will manifest in a desire to bring back industries lost to Capitalism (or progress), protect ones own country at the expense perhaps of foreigners, protect jobs and importantly keep out of foreign affairs as far as possible. The ideas often result in high levels of nationalism and that can be viewed by some as a good thing and others as bad depending on your take on things. In contrast protectionists do not usually like to interfere abroad, they tend to be militarily neutral and they have no desire to overthrow governments for whatever reason. To do so is considered expansionism or imperialism. It’s therefore extremely important to distinguish between imperialist nationalism and protectionist nationalism and both UKIP and Trump fall into the latter.

Today all the focus is on both of these political entities with UKIP constantly being labelled rightly or wrongly as racist and Trumps inauguration instigating one of the largest ever nationwide protests in US history and huge protests elsewhere around the world. Billed as perhaps the most dangerous man to ever enter the Whitehouse. In some ways that may well be true especially if your concerns are ones around the environment.

Whilst the world gazes almost hypnotically at the Whitehouse and the rise of right wing parties across Europe, the left is almost entirely taking its eye off the real danger. The Neocons. 

It’s not a great leap to suggest that Trump being elected was their plan all along. With the world seemingly turning against Imperialism and Neocons/Oligarchs and their domination under threat, what better way to scare the masses than put someone like Trump into power? 

One conspiracy too far? Perhaps, though the end result of Trumps leadership may well result in something equally as powerful to the Neocons. Cementing for many a year to come their unequivocal power and hold, on the electorate, rolling back the fear the people have of them and instead ensuring that the public embraces them.

Consider the image below; 

Taken from the Vox.com article it explains how Conservatives are trying to literally turn people away from the likes of Bernie Sanders and Socialism such is their fear of real change. In the article it states; 

“Americans needed to be reminded of life under the Soviet Union, arguing that they were insufficiently aware of the dangers of authoritarian states under communism.”

 It goes on to say 

“The panel repeatedly mentioned lessons from countries like Cuba, Venezuela, and the former Soviet Union, saying that millennials had to understand that socialism is inseparable from dictatorship”

If that is not enough to convince you that the Neocons are vying to take back control listen to this recent video featuring Hillary Clinton speaking for the DNC. 


Here she takes credit for the protests against Trump and claims that the Democrats produced the most “radical” set of policies in “history” during the presidential campaign. If you believe any of that then you’re bound to be one of the ones voting for the Neocons at the next election. Heck! She even used the phrase “resistance and persistence” . This is the way it will go between now and whenever the next election is. The Neocons will be brilliantly executing their plans to convince you that Neoconservatism is ‘normal’. Chances are it will work too because the left have taken their eye off the ball. The threat is not Trump, it’s still the imperialist, expansionist neoconservatives. 

They will return to power and when they do they will have a vice like grip on the electorate like never before because, they will say, ‘we never want another Trump in power again’ and with the Conservative youth wings of politics promoting Socialism as ‘bad’ like ‘Communist’ Russia and Venezuela, what chances that people will take another gamble after Trump? 

Meanwhile the likes of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US continue to try to fight the establishment tide within the Labour Party and Democratic Party respectively. 

When will the real left learn? To really make it work you have to break the mould. Stop trying to swing established Neocon parties to your way of thinking. Develop your own party, swell the ranks and turn the election into a genuine three horse race. The establishment clearly won’t allow you to win using their resources. Sure, it won’t be easy in a new party but at least you’ll get the right candidate and you will live and die by your policies and hard work and not at the hands of a secretive, bias DNC or in the case of Labour in the UK, the PLP. 

Perhaps the single biggest stumbling block though is the split running right through the Left at the moment on both sides of the Atlantic between the traditional working class left and the New modern left. I am in no doubt that many working class left, voted for Trump, as are many here in the UK voting for UKIP. 

The new modern left can’t understand this and having never likely been involved in old industries where workers rights and jobs was what it was all about, which includes curtailing migration when it needs to be done, the bridge between the two is hard to gap. 

The new modern left does include what many consider the far-left which entails Open borders and non nuclear policies but getting a traditional working class man to agree with you on those points I am thinking is going to be a tough job. 

As few left wing parties subscribe to this thought process the traditional left are turning to more right wing parties that offer protectionism. 

Unless these issues can be sorted out amongst the left then it will be hard to get a leader they want. Let alone the fact that right now the left are not even focusing on the right threat. The Neocons. It’s time the left opened their eyes to what lies ahead.

Corbyn & Labour: Home Truth’s From The Left

Labours explosion of new members making it the largest left wing party in Europe is down almost entirely to Jeremy Corbyn’s personal views on things such as Nuclear disarmament. 

When Corbyn first came to power it was policies like these that made the headlines and the fact he had rebelled consistently against the likes of the Iraq war when Tony Blair was in power. Here was a man that was truthful, honest and had radical ideas that some on the left held dear. They were policies that would otherwise never have a chance of seeing the light of day in any fringe party. This was their chance to force these issues into the public consciousness. This is how Corbyn came to power and this is why he is popular with many on the left.

The trouble is that those people who support radical or far left policies are not necessarily the same people who would support the traditional working class left in all their guises. 

Sure, the far left would support an end to war and the interference in international affairs and so would the traditional working class but the two would have very different outlooks. The far left would support an end to all forms of military intervention and the abolishment of many aspects of the armed forces. They view the army and its personnel as a spent force in a modern new world. The traditional working class left do not share that opinion. They are actually patriotic in nature and even if it’s not out and out patriotism they do none-the-less believe in their armed forces and the protection they afford the nation. They want a nuclear detterant. They value their armed forces. The differences are slight but significant. 

There are several examples along these lines but perhaps one of the most stark of recent times is the EU referendum. 

The working class traditional left have often been anti EU whilst the Conservative crowd has by and large despite the splits, been in favour of the EU. Cue then the anti establishment anti EU Jeremy Corbyn and surely this was a recipe for success? The Working classes must have been reeling when Corbyn decided to back remain in the EU referendum sparking immediate questions around how honest Corbyn was being with himself let alone the public. No sooner had Vote Leave won the EU referendum and Corbyn was calling for the triggering of Article 50. What was the pro Corbyn crowd going to do with this news? 

In many forums on the Internet if you dared suggest that Corbyn was actually pro Leave but had to campaign for remain due to political internal issues you were told that you were barking mad and that Corbyn was always for remain. Now he backs leaving the EU (with caveats) and that same crowd will tell you that he still believes in the EU and he just accepts the “will of the people”. To them, it’s that simple, unable or unwilling to read between the lines. This is the perfect scenario for him. Back remain and keep the PLP on side and now having lost the EU vote, vehemently back leaving the EU. The truth is, he doesn’t care if we are out of the EU because, actually, it suits him. If he were vehemently for remain he would do an Owen Smith.. after all, surely he wouldn’t lose votes because the Pro Corbyn crowd have always vowed to stick by Corbyn no matter what and then of course they wouldn’t leak votes to the Lib Dems as has been proved in recent by-elections as the Lib Dem share of both votes in Stoke and Copeland increased.  

This goes hand in hand with the mixed messages from various Labour MP’s including those close to Corbyn. Even on Immigration there have been repeat car crash interviews given by Dianne Abbott where she is unable to give a straight answer, contradicting other MP’s like Kier Starmers. We, those close to politics, understand full well the detail behind Corbyn’s immigration policy but the problem as has so often proved to be the case is the message. 

Corbyn supporters are often oblivious to the fact that most people still get their news from mainstream media at 10pm on a weekday night. The message matters and if you cant get it across in two sentences then don’t expect the general public to ‘get it’ . Some will exclaim that people should read Corbyn’s Facebook page or the Labour Party website yet this completely dismisses the issue around political engagement in the country. Here’s the bottom line… 

..most people don’t care enough to bother! 

That’s why they still primarily base their opinions on the 10pm News. Social media serves a purpose up to a point. It didn’t work for Bernie Sanders in the US and it’s not working for Jeremy CORBYN here in the UK. 

There is a good reason why Donald Trump won in the US. There were several long winded reasons but perhaps the one thing that has so often proved to be missing both from Bernie Sanders campaign and indeed Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign is soundbites. Trump is the expert in that regard and he got his message across quickly and effectivley. There is little doubt that his message got across to the disenfranchised and the people most affected by mainstream elite politics. It was this that inspired millions to vote for him. In troubled times people do want change, but they want change they can relate to and understand. It’s this that is missing from Corbyn’s insurgency. It’s this that could eventually wipe him out. 

It’s worth quickly mentioning here that many of the traditional working class won’t care one bit if Trump comes to the UK. It’s not on their list of concerns yet the far left or the new modern left turned out in their hundreds of thousands to protest his visit yet they have not afforded that turnout to any other issue since 2015 during the Union anti austerity protest. It remains to be seen if that many turn out on March 4th. If the new left are not addressing every day concerns here in the UK like this then why should the working class relate to it? 

Do the working classes with all their issues really care about Trump visiting the UK?

It’s no good door knocking, you’re never going to reach enough people to make a difference. Momentum split and that has just watered down the grass roots efforts. The Morning star and the Word newspapers don’t reach enough people to make a difference. What is left to reach the people? Mainstream media? They work with soundbites. Labour needs soundbites to reach the masses and it needs Corbyn to make his positions clear and understandable. 

Very few people, including Corbyn’s detractors, have anything bad to say about the man himself. He is always billed as honest and a man with integrity. It’s not Corbyn himself that is the problem, if people voted based on honesty then Corbyn would win hands down.. That’s got to be an unequivocal fact that can be disputed by no person and if that’s true then you have to ask yourself “why won’t people vote for him?”. If you don’t know the answer, read this blog post from the beginning.

It really doesn’t matter who’s fault it is that Corbyn is in this position, you can blame the PLP, the media, even Corbyn himself, something isn’t working and until those issue are addressed or until we accept the inevitable then this mess will continue. The damage is done and the game is up. Barring a miracle of sorts there is no coming back from this. 
Corbyn perhaps should carry on until there is no juice left in the tank, but what good will that do? 

What the left, working class and modern far left alike, should do is come to a consensus on the way forward. Addressing all the concerns of the working classes and then move forward and if that can’t be done then the far left needs to find and build up a party in its own image. Leave the Labour Party to rot, as it should now do. The Labour Party is without a shadow of a doubt for the centre left ground. It will never be radical nor far left. 

We, the left, should take a fringe party to the next level and make it big, stop avoiding the elephant in the room that Labour is not fit for purpose and focus on forming a new ‘largest socialist party in Europe’ that’s the way to go about this. Some on the far left jumped on a bandwagon at the start but they joined it when it was still in full flow. Now they have weighed the float down and it’s grinding to a halt because the float we find ourselves on wasn’t built for this. 

Forget the Greens, they were not built for this either. If we were honest with ourselves we should know that many of the new Labour members never even supported Labour of modern times, they only support the man at the top and so it needs to be asked, if they like his policies but not the party why did the left never en mass join a fringe left party and turn that into a force instead?

The left needs to regroup and regroup fast. Right now, some are clinging on to the float like that cliff edge isn’t really coming towards them. It is. 

Hewer: Trump ‘Ban’ Worse Than 20 Years Of US Foreign Policy

One of the main questions on last night’s BBC Question Time was, as expected, around Donald Trump’s “immigration ban” and wether the Queen should revoke the invitation to him for a State visit.

Nick Hewer, presenter of Countdown and previous right hand man to Alan Sugar on the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice‘, went on a tirade about Trump’s policy indicating that the policy on Immigration will help galvanise terrorists against America.

He could not have got it more wrong despite quoting a man who is an “authority” on the subject. He said; 

“I don’t know how many people here have read Patrick Cockburn’s piece, a great journalist, who is recognised as being an authority on all this and said that “Trump has turned himself into the greatest recruiting sergeant for ISIL, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra” because, what he has done with that long winded signature of his is turn every Muslim in the world and questioned where they stand in the eyes of one of the greatest nations in the world and they think less of the States now and that inexorably leads to recruits joining (ISIS) rather than..fighting ISIS” 

– Nick Hewer, TV presenter

Nick Hewer – TV Presenter and Businessman

Patrick Cockburn is a one time Middle East correspondent for The Independent and a one time correspondent for Moscow and Washington and more recently a book writer on modern Iraq. He has also won several journalistic awards.

It’s puzzling then how such a statement can come from someone apparently so informed. Not only this but Hewer is clearly someone in bias-awe of the US.

Perhaps Cockburn has mindlessly forgotten that US foreign policy has seen the US overthrow several foreign leaders over the years of predominantly Muslim countries including Iraq and Libya, to name just two, both of which have led directly to the complete destabilisation of the entire Middle East which ultimately has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims. 

Perhaps he has forgotten that the US has illegaly targeted people in foreign nations using drones such as in Pakistan, or maybe he has forgotten that the US more recently decided to fight ISIS using other less evil Jihadist groups, through a proxy war in Syria, supplying them arms and providing them intelligence. Then gave up on them by admitting ‘defeat‘, as they see it, by Russia resulting in the defeat of the Jihadist rebels in Aleppo.

Patrick Cockburn – Book Writer and Journalist

What do you think all of that does for Anti West sentiment? But of course, Donald Trump’s temporary block on people from some high risk Muslim countries is seen by Cockburn as the greatest threat to world peace. Clearly Hewer agrees. This couldn’t be further from the truth but it is popular to be seen to condemn Trump regardless of the facts. 

This blog does not support Trump at all, but we also call out hyperbole when we see it, regardless who the hyperbole is against. 

There is though one more point to make around Hewer’s statement. The second half of his statement clearly implies, wether he meant it or not, that every Muslim is now capable of turning to terrorism because of Trumps policy. What on earth does that say for Muslims? 

We like to think that most right minded, sensible Muslims will respond in the right way, we don’t think that all Muslims will now consider terrorism as a response to a temporary block on travel. If you think that, it says more about your opinion of Muslims than anything. 

We think they will respond the way the previous speaker to Hewer did. An Iraqi Kurd in the audience who stated that it’s ‘up to the US what policy they introduce’ but politely pointed out that innocent people would be caught up in the new restrictions. 

That’s about the only response that should be given in the grand scheme of things, and it’s the only response we should expect. 

The real issues regarding US policy are coming down the track and some of those policies will lead to greater problems for the wider global Muslim community, and when that time comes we should not bury our heads like we have done for at least the last 20 years.

Trump Protesters Helping To Mask Real Issues

It seems to be all the rage (perhaps literally) these days to denounce Donald Trump especially for his stance on immigration and his attitude towards women. 

A week ago hundreds of thousands of people across the entire globe came out in protest against Trump in a women’s march to highlight equality and a host of other female related issues in a unified voice to remind him that women matter. It became one of the largest protests in the history of the USA. 

This weekend it was the turn of Trumps immigration policy as the focus of discontent starting with the huge protest at JFK airport. 

These issues in their own right deserve attention and the people of the US have every right to protest whatever they feel they must protest against. It’s perhaps a shame though that they didn’t protest against illegal drone strikes in foreign nations or protest at US military involvement in the multiple conflicts during Obamas tenure or the failure to close Guantanamo Bay, or tighten up gun laws to stop the hundreds of deaths by firearms every year, over 500 murders were committed in Chicago alone last year, a good many commited by gun.

We here in the UK face a similar issue. Over 100 thousand protested with the US for womens rights and the knives are out this weekend for the US policy on Immigration. Again, all worthy causes in their own right but the women’s March was the largest protest since 2014 when 500,000 Union members protested against Austerity yet there is plenty here to protest against.

The USA is not introducing policies against women.. the leader just happens to be very misogynistic. The USA is not committing acts of violence against refugees or changing policy on how they are treated once they are in the country, it’s a change in immigration policy and whilst there is no doubt that it’s a policy rooted in mistaken beliefs and is discriminatory to say the least, it’s arguable that it’s not worth the response it’s got so far. It’s disproportionate. If anything Trump delivered what he promised and personally I blame the people that voted Hillary Clinton and not Bernie Sanders. If they had we would be seeing a very different USA now. Trump is keeping his promises, like it or not. 

Why then are we, here in the UK, getting almost as mad as Americans themselves over Trump when we ourselves are having ongoing issues that few people seem interested in tackling? Why is it so much easier to protest against the US President than protest our own prime minister? 

Let’s just take a few of the most stark issues to make the point.

Thersea May says that the UK government will not deal with countries that have a policy of Torture, yet this year we signed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia and May has just signed another arms deal with Turkey. 

Our NHS is in meltdown with potential A&E closures and the loss of 17,000 NHS staff including 7,000 Nurses on the horizon. The Conservatives are intent on privatising the NHS by making the NHS fail through its 7 Day NHS policy.

Homelessness in the UK has risen by 16% since just last year and with a Conservative policy that just does not address the housing crisis sufficiently it means homelessness will continue to rise whilst first time buyers will still be unable to get onto the housing ladder.

We have thousands committing suicide through a harsh benefits assessment or dying soon after being declared ‘fit for work’ with more cuts due for thousands of working poor that will see up to £3000 a year slashed from their budgets.

Our environment is suffering already with over 9,000 people in London every year dying from poor air quality and just recently the first smog alert was issued for London under the new alert system. 

We are in austerity yet we can find money for an expensive Nuclear power station, a doomed white elephant that is HS2 and more MP pay rises and corporate tax cuts. 

We have had the worst period for stagnant wages since the Victorian times. The worst 10 year period in modern times. 

1 million jobs are insecure via zero hours contracts helping to distort the unemployment figures.

Yet despite all these major problems you will be lucky to see a couple of thousand protesting against the issues at hand. Just this weekend a protest took place in support of the NHS in London with over 1,000 people claiming to be interested. We don’t have any figures on attendence but it certainly did not make the news and previous experience suggests that not even half that will have turned up. Credit to the people that did make it, but why were 100 thousand people not out at that protest? Is this not important enough to you, your parents, grandparents and children? 

It’s far easier to get angry about something in the moment than it is to tackle long term issues, but that’s the point. It’s reactionary. When all the dust has settled on what’s happening in the US, our problems here will still be very much real and by the time you pay attention, it may already be too late. 

If the world’s public want something to really unite for, against Donald Trump, perhaps it’s the things that are not making the news such as the failed political system that helped get him into power in the first place, or the shady dealings of Hillary Clinton or perhaps Trump’s executive order almost certainly for the very man who funded his campaign. The man responsible for building the Dakota Access Pipeline, Kelcy Warren.

The Effect Of Trump And Brexit on the Left

Trump hates the media right now. He slates them at any given opportunity and oddly perhaps this is where the hypocrisy and a clear split in the left of politics is evident and it’s a clear simulation of what has happened with Brexit in the UK.

For many a year the left has seemingly been unified across the board with social justice, the fight against the elite and 1% and the campaign against mainstream media in favour or independent or alternative media being the order of the day. 

Yet when push has come to shove the left has split in two causing perhaps untold and permanent damage to the foregoing unity. 

When Brexit was on the menu many on the left decided to back remain in the EU for mainly two reasons. One reason was because Jeremy Corbyn said to and the second reason being that some genuinely felt that staying in the EU protected rights and jobs in the UK along with environmental protections. 

On the other side the traditional working class, often seen as the traditional left, voted to leave the EU based in large part on concerns over jobs and this then manifested in concerns over immigration but backing these large numbers up was another large chunk of the left, known during the EU vote as Lexiters (Left Exit), they believed that immigration had little to do with the issues and instead focused their concerns on what the left had usually been united on, the fall of the 1% and the attack on the elite. They also believed that by leaving the EU it would stop foreign workers being paid below the national UK minimum wage and also in turn protect jobs in the UK. By leaving the EU it would help curtail at least the European super state forming and make it harder for the elite and 1% to operate. With the loss of pan European finance legislations it would indeed make life much harder for the banks and corporations. 

The difference between Lexit voters and the pro-EU left was principal. Lexit voters would vote against what they had always campaigned against even if it meant harder times for those in the UK (and there has so far been little evidence of that) whereas Pro-EU left voters voted on the fear that a Tory government would slash and burn workers rights and become entirely anti-immigration even if it meant backing the elite and 1%…something they too had campaigned for over the years. What they perhaps failed to see was the long term solution that a Tory government would not always be in power and that even Jeremy Corbyn spoke of a different Europe based on Socialist values if the UK came out of the current EU and a Left government came to power.

Regardless of all that though, it meant the left had split and a new dividing line had formed. 

What then is the link between this and Trump? Principle. 

The left has for a long time campaigned against the mainstream media as corrupt and bias with around 6 corporations in control of much of the world’s mainstream media. The tycoon ‘Murdoch’ perhaps being the most hated figure within the media spectrum.

Now though the same split as Brexit is appearing around Trump’s dealing with the media. Much of the left is rounding on Trump for not taking questions from the media, shutting down the conversation and ultimately berating the media and sometimes even insulting it. This section of the left is demanding that he deal with the media properly, like Obama did and citing Trump’s attitude as evidence of his Incompetence and unprofessionalism. 

Yet those on the other side of the left divide recognise that Trump’s behaviour toward the media is exactly what the left has in some ways been campaigning for. To put the media in its place, to reject it. To call it out for what they often are, hyperbolic liars incapable of true journalism. 

Perhaps in some ways the stand off between Trump and the media will galvanise journalists to finally do some real investigative journalism but when it comes to principle, the left has split irrevocably on a number of issues including Brexit and Trump. 

Some may argue that those on the left that support Trump’s stance with the media and support Brexit are also in turn supporting the right. However when it comes to principle you are not meant to change your views based on what others are doing or want. You stick to them, regardless. Only if something truly horrifying is happening should you consider altering your values and so far, with just a few days under his belt and just a few months after the Brexit vote, neither Trump nor Brexit have come close to be truly horrifying… yet. What it does show is that some on the left are so focused on their label as social justice protectors that anything else pails and such a one track mind can be as dangerous as a right wing supporter also with a one track mind. It takes little intelligence and little forethought to stand for something without having given it some long term analysis.

I can’t let the article finish without mentioning the violence and destruction that some on the left are committing. The only violence or destruction that ever need be committed is when it matters and only then against the actual target of the anger, that being, usually, government or corporate property or persons. Targeting your own communities or fellow citizens is most often cowardly and ineffectual and very stupid.